Policy Name: Student Code of Conduct
Policy ID Number: 05-04-001
Version Effective Date: August 16, 2016
Applies To: Students
Responsible Office: Student Affairs
Approved By: Dean of Students
INTRODUCTION AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The governance of New Jersey City University is entrusted to the trustees, administration,
faculty and students. All amendments to these statements on Student Rights and Responsibilities shall be made by the Office of the Dean of Students and approved by the Division of Student Affairs.
The university reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community and to protect the continuing operation of the university. The prohibited conduct identified by the Student Code of Conduct applies to the university premises and all university-sponsored activities. Charges of violating a local ordinance, state, or federal law may subject the student to disciplinary action by the university.
If behavior on or off campus adversely affects the university's educational mission, and/or
constitutes a substantial and/or continuing danger to the safety or property of the university or members of the university community, there is also the possibility of disciplinary action being taken. Students are also expected to respect and comply with the rules and regulations of other institutions when visiting or participating in activities on those campuses.
The policies and procedures apply to all student-related violations as long as the Reporter(s) and the Respondent are matriculated graduate and/or undergraduate students at the university.
Interpretations of the Student Code of Conduct are set forth in writing in order to give students general notice of prohibited conduct. The regulations should be read broadly and are not designed to define every instance of misconduct.
Interim Suspension is an immediate suspension from the New Jersey City University, pending further disciplinary proceedings, upon written notice from the Office of the Dean of Students, without an informal resolution or a formal hearing. The Dean of Students will make the decision to suspend based on whether or not the allegation of misconduct is valid. An interim suspension usually includes physical exclusion from the campus. Therefore, this action will be taken if the continued presence of the student on university premises poses a threat to the physical or emotional well-being of any individual, including the student, or relates to the safety and welfare of any university property or function.
A student suspended on an interim basis will be given a prompt opportunity to appear before the Dean of Students or designee within five (5) university business days following the interim suspension, or in cases involving incarceration, when the student is available. The interim suspension will remain in effect until a final decision has been made on the pending complaint either through an informal resolution, a formal hearing process, or until the Dean of Students determines that the reason for imposing the interim suspension no longer exists.
UNIVERSITY NO CONTACT ORDER (UNCO)
When a student alleges that another student has engaged in harassing and/or threatening behavior against him or her and if the action violates the following provisions in the Student Code of Conduct, the Dean of Students will assist the victim by issuing a University No Contact Order (UNCO)
*Section E. Abusive and Disorderly Behavior
*Section F. Hazing
*Section G. Disruptive Behavior
*Section K. Assault and Battery
*Section L. Harassment/Intimidation/Bullying
*Section M. Discriminatory Harassment, Intimidation, or B
*Section N. Sexual Harassment
A University No Contact Order (UNCO) may be issued by the Dean of Students for violating the foregoing provisions of the Student Code of Conduct. The UNCO shall be served upon all parties and state the reasons in support of its issuance. Students who have been issued a UNCO will meet with a DOS staff member to discuss its terms. Students will be asked to provide written consent indicating compliance with the UNCO. If the student fails to provide written consent, the Dean of Students may proceed with the student conduct hearing process based on the alleged violation. The alleged student violator who fails to provide written consent may still be issued a UNCO, if warranted, for the protection and safety of the reporter pending a final hearing regarding the alleged violation. UNCOs are not part of a student's official and/or unofficial academic record.
The university disciplinary process at New Jersey City University is administered by the Office of the Dean of Students and serves an important role in protecting the individual rights of students, as well as the interests of the university. Conduct officers will insure procedural fairness to the respondents of violations of the Student Code of Conduct, entitling students to due process regardless of the alleged offense. Supporting the educational mission and philosophies of the university, the administrators of the university disciplinary process (conduct officers) will seek to educate students about appropriate behavior within a community that fosters academic success and personal growth. The system is based on the expectation that students assume responsibility for their own behavior. Therefore, the university has the authority to establish an internal structure for the enforcement of its policies and procedures which students have agreed to accept by virtue of their enrollment. Wherever possible, conduct officers will embrace and apply the "Restorative Justice" philosophy by asking individuals to become accountable for their actions. According to Warters, Sebok and Goldblum (2000) "Restorative Justice represents a philosophy and a process that acknowledges that when a person does harm, it affects the person(s) they hurt, the community, and themselves.
When using restorative justice measures, an attempt is made to repair the harm caused by one person to another and to the community so that order is restored for everyone" (p. 1). Thus, effective resolutions must involve all of the persons who contributed to the conflict(s) and who are ultimately accountable for the outcomes of the resolution. The goal of the conduct process is to provide positive, productive responses to offenses or violations, ultimately meeting the unique needs of the student population.
TENETS OF THE UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
- To regard each student as an individual, who deserves personal attention, consideration, and respect
- To consider the facts fully and carefully in the resolution of all cases
- To speak candidly and honestly to each student
- To hold each student to a high standard of behavior, both to protect the campus community and to promote student moral development
- To contribute to the educational mission of the university by designing policies, conducting programs, and offering instruction that contribute to the intellectual and moral development of the entire student body
Section I. Definitions
- A. Bullying – aggressive behavior or intentional harm-doing which is carried out repeatedly and over time in an interpersonal relationship characterized by an imbalance of power
- B. Cyber bullying – willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices
- C. Distribution – sale and/or exchange
- D. Harassment – Conduct (physical, verbal, graphic, written, or electronic) that is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent so as to threaten an individual or limit the ability of an individual to work, study or participate in the activities of the university
- E. Possession – the exercise of actual or constructive dominion over a thing by one or more persons
- F. Presiding Officer – a Conduct Board member with voting authority who coordinates the orderly administration of a formal hearing or an informal resolution
- G. Sanction – penalty for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct
- H. Student – a person who is registered for and/or who is auditing courses at the university either on a full or part-time basis.
- I. Disciplinary File – An incident file is created in the name of each student or student organization alleged to have violated the Student Code of Conduct and follows the student or organization through an informal resolution or formal hearing.
- J. Disciplinary Records – A student is considered to have a disciplinary record when any of the following occurs; the Conduct Board or Presiding Officer finds the student responsible for violating one or more of the policies set forth in Section II of the Student Code of Conduct or an appeal filed by the student results in an affirmation of the Conduct Board's or Presiding Officer's decision.
- K. Reporter – any member of the university community who submits a formal, written Incident Report to the Office of the Dean of Students
- L. Respondent – NJCU student implicated as violating the university's Student Code of Conduct in a formally submitted Incident Report
- M. Unauthorized – without the expressed approval of the University President or his/her designated representative.
- N. University community – all staff, faculty, administrators, and students who are associated with the university
- O. University premises – buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled or supervised by the university
- P. University-sponsored activity – any activity on or off campus that is initiated, aided, authorized or supervised by the university
Section II. Prohibited Conduct
This list of behaviors is intended to represent acts that constitute violations of the New Jersey City University Student Code of Conduct and should not be regarded as all-inclusive.
- Misuse or unauthorized use of fire extinguishers, fire sprinkling systems, and other safety equipment or warning devices
- Setting fires, intentionally or recklessly misusing or damaging fire safety equipment, including, but is not limited to; alarms, heat sensors, smoke detectors, hoses, fire extinguishers, and emergency telephones
- Failure to exit any building when a fire alarm has sounded or a building is evacuated
- Possession, use, or storage of firearms, explosives, weapons, or dangerous chemicals on university property or in the course of any university activity; this includes, but is not limited to; "BB" guns, paintball guns, knives, swords, handguns, and rifles
- Use, possession or distribution of illegal or controlled drugs, misuse of prescription drugs, and abuse of alcohol
1. Participation in illegal games of chance or raffles for which there are not
appropriate permits; this includes:
- a. Betting on, wagering on, or selling pools on any university athletic event
- b. Possessing on one's person or premises (e.g. room, residence unit, car) any card,
- book, or other device for registering bets
- c. Knowingly permitting the use of one's premises or one's telephone or other electronic communications device for illegal gambling
- d. Knowingly receiving or delivering a letter, package, or parcel related to illegal
- e. Offering, soliciting or accepting any bribe to influence the outcome of an athletic
- f. Bookmaking or wagering pools with respect to sporting events
2. Students are expected to abide by the federal laws and the laws of the
State of New Jersey that prohibit illegal gambling.
3. According to the New Jersey Gambling Laws 5:5-51, re: Raffles: "no
license shall be required for the holding, operating or conducting of a
raffle for a door prize of donated merchandise of the value of less than
$50.00 for which no extra charge is made at an assemblage at which no
other game of chance is held, operated or conducted . . ."
- Abusive and Disorderly Behavior
- Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm and/or causing reasonable apprehension of such harm
- Intentionally and substantially interfering with the freedom of expression of others
- Intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging the property of others and/or the University
- Trespassing or unauthorized entry to any university premises, facility, property or at a University-sponsored event or activity
- Engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct, which interferes with the activities of others
- Hazing – Conduct (other than competitive athletic events) in connection with membership in any campus organization or group which places another person in danger of physical, sexual or mental harm, bodily injury or deprivation. The supposed consent of the endangered person is not a defense. Campus organizations and their members are prohibited from engaging in or encouraging others to engage in hazing.
- Disruptive Behavior – Disruptive behavior on campus or in classrooms is not permitted. The primary responsibility for managing the teaching and learning environment rests with faculty or any other person acting in a supervisory capacity over the instructional forum.
Faculty/staff have the right to ask a disruptive student to leave class or an office. All incidents are to be reported to Public Safety and to the Dean of Students in order to keep a record of such behavior and to inform students about their rights and responsibilities via New Jersey City University's Student Code of Conduct.
- This may include but is not limited to the use of cellular phones, bringing unregistered persons to class, smoking, persistently speaking without being called upon, refusing to be seated, disrupting the class by leaving and entering without authorization, etc.
- Depending upon the severity and frequency of the conduct, the University will impose sanctions as indicated in this code.
H. Vandalism/Destruction of University property
- Misuse of materials, including, but not limited to, student identification cards, keys, computers or computer-related items, laboratory equipment, athletic equipment, or other materials issued by the university
- Destruction, damage, defacing, or littering of any university building, property, or private property on the campus at university-sponsored events
- Misuse and/or tampering with any electrical system, wiring, telephone service, or other safety/security devices
I. Actual, attempted, or knowledge of the theft of property or services, including, but not limited to:
- Unauthorized possession, duplication, or misuse of or damage to University property or other personal or public property, records, electronic files, telecommunications systems, forms of identification, and keys
- Embezzlement of university funds
- Unauthorized reading, duplicating, removing, photographing, forging, counterfeiting, altering of any document, permit, or record
J. Theft, misuse, or abuse of New Jersey City University computing facilities, websites, files, hardware, or software, including, but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose
- Unauthorized transfer of a file
- Unauthorized use of another individual's identification or password
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another person
- Use of computing facilities to send, deliver or publish obscene or threatening or false and defamatory electronic communications including e-mail and web postings.
- Exceeding bandwidth allotment set by Information Technology Services
- Use of computer facilities to harass or invade the privacy of a specific individual or groups
- Although the university will protect the freedom of speech guaranteed to students by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in cyberspace, use of University computer facilities that goes beyond the legally defined boundaries of free speech and threatens to disrupt substantially university operations or violates the civil and educational rights of others, will be sanctioned
K. Assault and Battery
- The threat of or actual physical assault or abuse; hazing; stalking; verbal abuse, intimidation, coercion, and disrespectful behavior
- The threat of or actual sexual assault and unwelcome sexual contact (Please see the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy for more detailed information.)
L. Harassment/Intimidation/Bullying Students are prohibited from engaging in harassment, intimidation or bullying. A student will be found responsible for harassment, intimidation or bullying if he or she engages in conduct, including any gesture, written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication (which includes e-mails, text messages, and Internet postings on web-sites or other social media), whether it be a single incident or series of incidents, that occurs on the university's campus, through use of university facilities, or at any function sponsored by the university or any university-related organization, on or off-campus; that is so severe or
pervasive and objectively offensive that it substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the university or the rights of any student or other member of the university community; and that a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances:
- involves intimidation or threats to another person's safety, rights of personal privacy and property, academic pursuits, university employment, or participation in activities; or sponsored by the university or organizations or groups related to the university; or
- will have the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or
- creates an intimidating or hostile environment by substantially interfering with a
- student's education, or by materially impairing the academic pursuits, employment or participation of any person or group in the university community, or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student or other member of the university community; or
- Physically or emotionally harming a student or other person or damaging the person's property or placing him/her in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his/her person, or to any member of that person's family or household, or of damage to his/her property.
M. Discriminatory Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying
A student will be found responsible for discriminatory harassment, intimidation or bullying who engages in conduct described above as "harassment, intimidation or bullying" which the student directs at a specific group or individual, based upon race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, nationality, sex, gender identity or expression, source of lawful income or any other characteristic protected from discrimination by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, NJSA 10:5-4, which conduct substantially interferes with work, educational performance or equal access to the University's resources and opportunities. (Please see the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy for more detailed information.)
N. Solicitation and commercialization by students shall be prohibited on campus unless authorized by the administrative staff within the Office of the Dean of Students or their authorized representatives.
O. Interference with disciplinary procedures or outcomes, including but not limited to:
- Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information before a conduct officer or conduct board
- Knowingly initiating a complaint without cause
- Harassment and/or intimidation of any member of a conduct board, witness(es), or university personnel before, during or after a proceeding
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by either the Presiding Officer or the Conduct Board
P. Non-Student Conduct – If it is determined that the accused individual is not and/or has never been a currently registered student and did engage in prohibited conduct, the Office of Public Safety will be asked to intervene. As deemed necessary, this individual's Gothic card will be confiscated and s/he may be barred from campus until such time that his/her enrollment status and/or disciplinary standing changes.
Section III. Sanctions
Violations of any of the aforementioned behaviors shall be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students. Because of his/her findings, s/he may initiate any of the following actions. Please note: More than one of the sanctions listed may be imposed for any single violation.
Section IV. Procedural Standards
Any New Jersey City University graduate or undergraduate student, charged by a member of the University community with the commission of an offense, shall have the right to a formal hearing or an informal resolution by the Presiding Officer or the Dean of Students. A student charged with a serious offense by a member of the university community shall receive a Notice of Charges. The Office of the Dean of Students ensures the fair and impartial treatment of all students regardless of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, veteran status, or ethnicity. A standard of "more likely than not" (preponderance of evidence) is applied in disciplinary decision making.
A. Pending Criminal or Civil Proceedings
- 1. Infractions of federal, state or local laws occurring off campus shall be the sole concern of the civil authorities except when such actions directly affect the health, safety, or security of the university community. When a student commits an act either on and/or off campus that poses a substantial and continuing danger to the safety and/or property of the university community and/or constitutes a serious criminal offense, the University may take official action to protect its continued functioning as an academic community.
- 2. The Dean of Students, with possible consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or University Counsel, will determine whether the university shall proceed with a case against a student who also faces related charges in a civil or criminal suit.
- 3. Depending upon the nature of the incident, it may be necessary to suspend the on-campus conduct process until the outcome of the legal case has been determined. If the university defers its conduct proceedings to await the outcome of related charges in a civil or criminal inquiry, the university may subsequently proceed under the Student Code of Conduct without regard to the timelines outlined within that code.
- 4. In the event that a student is suspended in accordance with the code's interim suspension provisions, and the university has deferred its proceedings because of pending civil claims or criminal charges, the interim suspension may continue while awaiting the outcome of those charges and the university's subsequent proceedings.
B. 1. Any member of the university community may report (to the Office of
the Dean of Students) a student who is suspected of violating the
Code of Conduct.
- 2. The Reporter(s) must file an Incident Report and submit it to the Office of the Dean of Students. Please note: Incident Reports filed and sent to the Office of the Dean of Students via the Residence Life staff and/or Public Safety will be considered formal complaints if submitted as such.
- 3. The individual initiating the complaint will be expected to serve as the Reporter and present relevant facts that confirm the alleged action to the designated staff member of the Office of the Dean of Students.
- 4. The Reporter(s) and the Respondent(s) shall receive a Notice of Charges and a copy of the Procedural Due Process within five (5) university business days of filing the complaint.
- 5. The Respondent must prepare a written statement in response to the charges and submit it to the Office of the Dean of Students within five (5) university business days upon receipt of notification of charges.
- 6. After a review of the charges and written statements, the Dean of Students or administrative representative will decide, whether the case warrants an informal resolution, a formal hearing, or a dismissal of a complaint.
- a. Informal Resolution – After a review by the Dean of Students or an administrative representative, hereafter referred to as the Presiding Officer, the following may be recommended:
- I. Mediation – This is an option in cases where suspension or expulsion will not be the required sanctions. The Reporter and the Respondent are asked to undergo Conflict Mediation to resolve the issue. There is no appeal of mediation.
- ii. Administrative Conduct – Within five (5) university business days of receiving the complaint, the Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students will meet with all parties; the Reporter, the Respondent, and any pertinent witnesses, in order to
- render a decision. If the Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students find(s) that the Respondent has violated the Code of Conduct, the appropriate sanctions will be levied within five (5) university business days of this meeting. The Respondent may appeal the decision. If the Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students determine(s) that the Respondent did not violate the Code of Conduct, s/he will be notified of such.
- b. Formal Hearing – A hearing is conducted by the Conduct Board during which the Reporter and the Respondent have the opportunity to provide testimonies, present witnesses, and submit information on behalf of his/her case. The Conduct Board will listen to the case and render the decision, which will be recommended to the Dean of Students.
- Dismissal of a Complaint – If a complaint does not warrant an informal resolution or a formal hearing through the Office of the Dean of Students, it will be referred to the appropriate office for resolution.
C. The Rights of the Reporter/Respondent (as per the NJCU Student Code of Conduct):
- The right to written and oral explanation of the charges.
- The right to present his or her side of the story.
- The right to a written statement explaining the Conduct Board process Procedural Due Process.
- The right to file a no-contact order to prohibit harassment of the Respondent by the Reporter, friends, or supporters.
- The right to challenge the Conduct Board on conflicts of interest (e.g., if the Reporter is a member of a particular student organization, the Respondent may challenge the presence of an advisor from that student organization).
- The right to know ahead of time the names of the witnesses to be called to the hearing.
- The right to have needs promptly addressed.
- The right to have a support person accompany him/her through the hearing. All participants will be bound by the rules of confidentiality governing the hearing. Subject to court subpoena, all participants have the right not to have their identity revealed outside the confidential proceedings, without consent.
- The right to a fair and impartial hearing.
- The right not to have past sexual history discussed during the hearing.
- The right to a closed hearing.
- The right to remain present for the entire proceeding.
- The right to have access to any information that will be used at the hearing.
- The right to a hearing without unnecessary delays.
- The right to be informed within five (5) university business days of the Conduct Board's findings and of the outcome of the hearing.
- The right to appeal the decision of the Conduct Board in writing within five (5) university business days of notification.
- The right to know the status of the case at any point during the investigatory process.
- The right to remain silent.
- The right to testify on his/her behalf.
D. Informal Resolutions
- The Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students conduct Informal Resolutions.
- Pending the schedules of the Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students, an informal resolution will be scheduled in a timely manner.
- Please note that during exam week, winter/ spring recess, or other busy times during the academic year, the conduct process may take longer.
- The Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students will interview all parties involved. (The interviews may be conducted separately).
- Should the Reporter(s) and/or the Respondent receive proper notification of an interview during the informal resolution process and fail to appear and/or fail to appear on time, without contacting the Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students and providing reason, the Dean of Students will make a determination in the student(s)' absence.
- The Reporter(s) and the Respondent shall be given an opportunity to testify and, if feasible, meet with one another to discuss the charges in the presence of the Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students.
- All informal resolutions are closed proceedings with attendance limited to the Respondent and the Reporter(s). (For clarification purposes, the Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students may request to consult with additional witnesses.)
- The assigned Recording Secretary, who will serve as an ex-officio member, will document and prepare the minutes of the informal resolution.
- The Respondent and Reporter(s) shall receive a summary confirming the results of the informal resolution, including any appropriate sanctions.
- Deviations from these procedures shall invalidate the informal resolution or the results of the resolution unless otherwise amended by the Office of the Dean of Students.
E. Formal Hearings – If a complaint is forwarded to the Conduct Board for
adjudication, the following procedures will be in effect:
- The Conduct Board conducts formal hearings.
a. At the beginning of each academic year, the Dean of Students will appoint and train a Presiding Officer and the members of the Conduct Board.
b. The Conduct Board shall consist of an equal number of students and faculty/staff.
c. For each hearing, there must be five (5) members, including at least two (2) students and (2) faculty/staff members. In addition, the Recording Secretary will serve as an ex-officio member.
d. Whenever necessary, the Dean of Students may appoint a representative to replace a standing member of the Conduct Board if that member is unavailable to participate in a hearing.
- Pending the schedules of Conduct Board members, hearings will be scheduled in a timely manner.
- During exam week, winter/spring recess, or other busy times during the academic year, the hearing process may take longer.
- Members of the Conduct Board, who assume bias for or against either party, in a particular case, may not serve on the board. If necessary, a replacement/alternate shall be assigned by the Dean of Students.
- The Reporter(s) must present information that confirms the facts as s/he sees them.
Decisions made by the Conduct Board will be based in part by the information introduced at the hearing. The standard of “more likely than not” (preponderance of evidence) shall be the standard for disciplinary decision making.
- Should the Reporter(s) and/or the Respondent receive proper notification of a hearing and fail to appear or fail to appear on time, without contacting the Presiding Officer and/or the Dean of Students and providing just reason, the hearing may proceed and action may be taken based on the information received at that time.
- The Reporter(s) and the Respondent shall be given an opportunity to testify and to present witnesses who will be permitted to give testimony relevant to the case in accordance with the Presiding Officer’s conditions (See Section IV, F 2: Witnesses & Information for Formal Hearings).
- Within five (5) university business days, the Office of the Dean of Students will notify both the Respondent and the Reporter(s) of the results of the hearing. Additionally, the Respondent shall receive information regarding the specific sanctions and the right of appeal (See Section IV, G: Appeals).
- All formal hearings are closed proceedings with attendance limited to individuals directly connected with the case.
- Both the Reporter and the Respondent have the right to be assisted by an advisor of their choice. An advisor’s sole purpose will be to advise the Reporter(s) or the Respondent before and after the hearing. The advisor may not question witnesses and/or otherwise participate in the hearing.
- The assigned Recording Secretary will document the proceedings and prepare the minutes of the hearing.
- Deviations from these procedures must be approved in advance by the Office of the Dean of Students.
F. General Procedures for Formal Hearings
1. The Presiding Officer of the Conduct Board is responsible for conducting hearings in an orderly and proper manner. S/he is present throughout all phases of adjudication and acts to ensure that both parties receive the opportunity to present relevant facts and witnesses. In addition, the Presiding Officer ensures that final decisions rendered are in accordance with outlined procedures.
- a. The Presiding Officer will call the meeting to order.
- b. The Presiding Officer will explain the function of the hearing and verify that the Respondent and the Reporter(s) are aware of their rights.
- c. All parties (Reporter, Respondent, advisors, and witnesses) will address the Conduct Board. Some parties may address the Board separately as deemed necessary by the presiding officer.
- d. The Presiding Officer will inform all parties that the Recording Secretary will take minutes during the proceedings. The Presiding Officer will introduce all parties, ask whether there will be any witnesses testifying on behalf of the Reporter and/or the Respondent, advise the Reporter and the Respondent of the right to be present at all stages of the hearing process, with the exception of deliberation, and read the charges.
- e. The Presiding Officer will inform both parties that all witnesses will be asked to affirm the truthfulness of their testimony and that providing false information may result in sanctions for the Reporter, the Respondent, and/or the witnesses.
- f. Both the Reporter and the Respondent will have the opportunity to present opening and closing remarks.
- g. The Recording Secretary will read the incident report(s) and, as necessary, any statement(s) submitted on the case.
- h. Conduct Board members may then question each party and the witnesses.
2. Witnesses & Information for Formal Hearings
- a. A list of expected witnesses and copies of any documents, in support of the charges, or in defense of the Respondent, shall be provided to the Conduct Board at least five (5) University business days before the hearing. If additional witnesses and/or information are obtained during this period, the hearing may be postponed at the discretion of the Presiding Officer.
- b. A witness must come before the Board with the understanding that he/she will be questioned only regarding the said accusations.
- c. A witness must answer questions to the best of his/her knowledge. Providing false information during a testimony at a hearing is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and may be sanctioned accordingly.
- d. Conduct Board members may question witnesses called by the Respondent.
- e. All witnesses will be excused from the hearing room upon completion of their testimonies. The Presiding Officer will advise these witnesses that they are not to discuss their testimonies outside of the hearing room, including once the Board has rendered a decision.
- f. The members of the Conduct Board may recall any witnesses from either party if necessary.
- g. The Presiding Officer may recess a hearing if he or she concludes that the Board requires additional information to render a final decision.
3. Deliberation for Formal Hearings
- a. Upon conclusion of all testimony, the Conduct Board will meet in private to deliberate the matter and render a decision. The deliberation will not be recorded; the final vote will be noted, but will not be publicized.
- b. The determination of responsibility for violations and the recommended sanction(s) are determined by a majority vote of the Conduct Board.
- c. In the event the Conduct Board finds that the Respondent did commit the said charges, the Conduct Board may recommend a sanction.
- d. All board decisions are made as recommendations to the Presiding Officer.
- e. In determining a recommendation, the Conduct Board may consider the past disciplinary record and previous offenses of the Respondent. If applicable, the Office of the Dean of Students will provide relevant records to the Conduct Board for review and consideration.
- f. All Conduct Board discussions are confidential.
4. Notification – After a formal hearing and its deliberations have been completed, the Presiding Officer will send written notification of the results of the hearing to the Office of the Dean of Students within five (5) university business days after the deliberation ended. The Office of the Dean of Students shall notify the Respondent, in writing, of the following, within five (5) university business days:
- a. Final decision in the case
- b. Sanctions, penalties and other stipulations or special requirements
- c. Right of appeal to the Dean of Students
5. Reporting of Hearings, Final Decisions and Sanctions
- a. The privacy and confidentiality of all student disciplinary records shall be in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended.
- b. Information regarding hearings scheduled, final decisions made, and/or the disciplinary status of a student may be shared with appropriate university officials and departments (i.e. Residence Life Director, Public Safety, Athletics, Deans, etc.).
- c. Reporter will receive written notice of the Conduct Board’s findings.
G. Appeals – Students may appeal hearing decisions made as the result of a formal hearings in accordance with the following provisions:
- Students are entitled to no more than one appeal review per case.
- Students electing to appeal a hearing decision must file a written appeal, including the reasons for the appeal, with the Dean of Students, within five (5) university business days of notice of the sanction of the original hearing.
- Appeals must be in writing and must state specific grounds for the appeal. Grounds for appeal are limited to the following:
- a. The sanction(s) imposed are significantly disproportionate to the offense
- b. Specified procedural errors or errors in interpretation of university regulations were so substantial as effectively to deny the student a fair hearing
- c. New and significant information became available and could not have been
- discovered by a properly diligent student before or during the original hearing
- d. The finding is unsupported by any information that was presented
4. The Dean of Students will review all documentation associated with the case and determine whether sufficient grounds exist to reopen the case. If sufficient grounds do not exist, the finding(s) and sanction(s) from the original hearing will stand and no further appeal is provided. If sufficient grounds exist to reopen the case, the Dean of Students may elect to hear the case in part, in total or de novo and is not bound by the finding(s) or sanction(s) of the original hearing body.
5. Once the appeal is granted, the Dean of Students will notify the all appropriate parties, in writing, of the new hearing date and of the new hearing conditions. The Dean of Students hears all appeals.
H. Tips for Respondent Student in a Disciplinary Proceeding: This information is intended to assist the Respondent student to prepare for a disciplinary proceeding. It is meant to supplement the hearing process. Questions about the process should be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students.
1. If you have been charged with a violation of the New Jersey City University Code of Conduct, you are presumed "not responsible" until proven "responsible," therefore; it is the responsibility of the Reporter to present the case against you. The decision of the Presiding Officer or the Conduct Board will be based on information that indicates that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred.
2. As you prepare for the disciplinary proceeding, you should keep in mind the following pointers:
- a. Tell the truth. Failure to tell the truth is itself a serious charge and can result in further disciplinary action even if you are found not in violation for the charge against you.
- b. You will be allowed to submit documents or statements for use at the proceeding. These documents must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students prior to the proceeding so that copies can be made and distributed to the appropriate persons. Statements should be submitted, signed, dated, and typed or clearly written in ink.
- c. Statements should be recollections of the incident and answer who, what, where, when, and why questions. Only individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the incident should submit them. These individuals may also be called as witnesses at the proceeding. Written statements will generally be requested during the investigation and should be turned into the Office of the Dean of Students. Character witnesses will not be permitted to appear as they are not needed and have little, if any, relevance to the charges against you.
- d. You are entitled to review the submitted written statements and incident reports. Please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 201-200-3525 to set up an appointment to view the file. You may not duplicate these materials. Read the materials carefully and think of any questions you will want to ask at the proceeding. Write the questions down in advance. When reviewing these documents, look for missing information, gaps in time that are not explained well or fully, and misinformation or inconsistencies among statements.
- e. The hearing and all materials associated with it (incident reports, statements, etc.) are to be considered confidential. You may not discuss this case with anyone, including any member of the Conduct Board during or following the hearing.
- f. You are permitted to have an advisor present during your testimony. The advisor in a disciplinary proceeding may be anyone of your choosing (including an attorney). The advisor is not permitted to speak during the proceeding. The advisor may confer and speak privately to you. The advisor may not be included in the list of witnesses. S/he may only function in the capacity of an advisor. The advisor can assist you with the following:
- i. Reviewing the charge(s) and the student conduct process
- ii. Preparing the presentation of the case
- iii. Taking notes during the proceeding
- iv. Providing you with moral support during the proceeding
3. Your presentation of the case and closing statements are important. If you engaged in prohibited conduct, you should admit this at the beginning and offer any mitigating circumstances that may affect your case. If you are not responsible for the charge, you should state that at the beginning and be prepared to show why the Reporter is wrong in bringing the charge against you. You may read a prepared statement or prepare an outline to ensure that you do not forget any major points. Your closing statement will allow you to summarize the findings of the case from your perspective.
4. During the proceeding, the Presiding Officer/Conduct Board members will ask questions.
Answer only the questions asked of you and do so in a clear, concise and direct manner. Do not be evasive.
5. Eye contact should be made with the Presiding Officer/Conduct Board members when they address you. They are not the enemy! They are there to do three things: hear the information, formulate an opinion regarding whether it is more likely than not that you engaged in prohibited conduct, and if so, impose a sanction. Do not become defensive or argumentative with the Presiding Officer/Conduct Board members.
6. You may appeal certain sanctions. The appeal process is explained in Section IV, Part G of this document. Your advisor may be helpful in formulating your appeal letter if you choose to appeal the decision.
7. In general, you should take the process seriously and prepare carefully.
I. Tips for the Reporter in a Disciplinary Proceeding: This information is intended to assist the Reporter to prepare for a disciplinary proceeding. It is meant to supplement the Student Code of Conduct, which details the hearing process. Questions about the process should be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students.
- 1. Prepare a short outline that identifies the following:
- a. The key players; clarify which individuals will be needed to testify at the proceeding;
- b. The sequence of events;
- c. The special circumstances associated with the incident (i.e., alcohol or other drug use,
- harassing or provoking speech or actions); and/or
- d. The specific rule, regulation or standard of conduct that the Respondent student has allegedly violated.
- 2. Clarify discrepancies in and between statements.
- 3. Anticipate questions that the Presiding Officer/Conduct Board may ask
- 4. Conduct Board Process – Please review the Student Code of Conduct, Section IV. Procedural Due Process. The hearing will be divided into four segments:
- a. Presentation of Case
- b. Questioning of the Parties
- c. Questioning of the Witnesses
- d. Closing statement
- 5. Presentation of case – Prepare and write out an outline for the presentation of your case.
The presentation should begin with a brief statement. The rest of the presentation is a narrative about the incident and the key facts.
- 6. Questioning of the Conduct Board – When responding to questions, avoid providing unnecessary information. Short, direct responses are preferred by the Conduct Board.
Do not make personal comments about the Respondent student.
- 7. Closing Statement –State what you have shown throughout the hearing. Point out any discrepancies you have discovered during the hearing. Explain the impact of the incident on the Reporter and the university community.
- 8. Reminders:
- a. The use of alcohol or other drugs may not be used as a defense.
- b. In cases of sexual violence, the alleged injured party's past sexual history may not be revealed unless said activity was with the Respondent and can be shown to be relevant to the case at hand.
- c. The hearing and all materials associated with it (incident reports, statements, etc.) are to be considered confidential. You may not discuss this case with anyone, including any member of the Conduct Board during or following the hearing.
- d. Character witnesses are not permitted in the hearing since they have little if any relevance to the charges.
J. Tips for the Witness in a Discipline Proceeding: Please note: If you have been called as a witness in a disciplinary proceeding before the Presiding Officer or the Conduct Board, you are under no obligation to participate in this process.
- The role of a witness is not that of an advocate or helper for one side; a witness’s obligation is simply to tell the truth. You have been asked to be a witness because you know something about the incident or about matters directly related to the incident in question. You are asked to share that information at the proceeding.
- This is not a court of law, but rather a part of our student discipline system for addressing complaints about student behavior. The fact that allegations have been made and are taken seriously does not mean that they are true.
- The parties involved and the Presiding Officer/Conduct Board members may ask you questions. You are asked to give truthful, thoughtful answers. You will be given many opportunities to tell what you know about the case. When the Presiding Officer/Conduct Board members excuse you, you may leave. As student hearing records are confidential, you are not to discuss the case outside the proceeding unless authorized to do so by the Office of the Dean of Students.
- If you anticipate a scheduling conflict, notify the Office of the Dean of Students. You are advised to consult the Code of Conduct and familiarize yourself with the student conduct process. Questions about the conduct process should be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students.
K. Tips for the Advisor of a Student in a Disciplinary Proceeding: The advisor in a disciplinary proceeding may be anyone of the student's choosing (including an attorney).
1. The advisor is not permitted to speak during the proceeding. The advisor may confer and speak privately to the advisee. The advisor may not be included in the list of witnesses. S/he may only function in the capacity of an advisor. The advisor should assist the advisee with the following:
- a. Review and understand the charge(s) and the student conduct process
- b. Prepare the presentation of the case
- c. Take notes during the proceeding
- d. Help keep the advisee calm and in control
- e. Provide moral support to the advisee during the proceeding
2. The advisor's assistance may also be needed in preparing a letter of appeal (if advisee is the Respondent student), should the student choose to appeal the decision.
STUDENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
- A. Students shall not be denied access to university facilities because of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, veteran status, or ethnicity.
- B. Students shall have the right to form and operate a Student Government Organization to approve and legislate for student activities and budgetary concerns. The Student Government Organization and all other organizations authorized or chartered by the Student Government Organization shall choose their own advisor where one is desired.
- C. All students enrolled at the time of elections, as per the Student Government Organization Constitution, shall be eligible to vote in all student elections and on all student referendums conducted under its auspices and shall be eligible for all student offices within the guidelines established by the Student Government Organization.
- D. Students, through representation on the University Senate, shall be consulted in the planning of courses and recommendations for changes within the curriculum guidelines established by the University.
- E. Students shall have representation on the University Senate and its standing committees as provided in the University Senate constitution.
- F. Students shall have the right to participate with faculty in the establishment of standards of conduct for students and faculty.
- G. Students, through representation on the University Senate, shall have the right to participate in a Student/Faculty Committee for Grievances through which students may file grievanceswith regard to discriminatory practices, prejudiced evaluations, and institutional neglect.
- Students shall have equal representation with the faculty on this committee.
- H. Students shall not be denied without adherence to due process the opportunity to remain in the university.
- I. Students and their property shall not be subject to search and seizure by University authorities, except by officials designated by the University President and only when the immediate safety of the university community is threatened.
- J. Students shall be given the opportunity to review the non-confidential contents of their respective files upon written request and shall have the right to reply to any derogatory material. These responses shall become part of their files. Students shall be notified of all requests for information by non-university authorities and such information shall not be released without their expressed written consent. Procedures for destruction of inactive records will be established that will safeguard the confidence in which they should be held.
- K. Students have a right to demonstrate dissent if all facets of the dissent are within the law and do not impede the normal business of the university or restrict the rights of others.
- L. Students shall have the right to invite and hear speakers of their choice. The right to assemble and hear these speakers shall be subject to restrictions as stated in No. 11 above.
- M. Students have the right to express ideas freely. This right shall be considered to have been violated, however, if such expressions are unsupported or contradicted by facts, adversely affect the reputation of any member of the university community, and/or or restrict his/her opportunities to engage in activities which are consistent with the normal business of the University. Such violations shall not be tolerated even when carried out under the guise of anonymity.
- N. The university shall guarantee editorial freedom. As safeguards for the editorial freedom of student publications, the following provision are necessary:
- 1. The student press shall be free of censorship and advance approval of copy, and its editors and managers shall be free to develop their own editorial policies and news coverage.
- 2. Editors and managers of student publications shall be protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval of editorial policy or content.
- 3. All student publications shall explicitly state that the opinions expressed therein are not necessarily those of the university or the student body.
- 4.The editorial freedom of student editors and managers shall entail corollary responsibilities and offer reasonable opportunities for rejoinder to the university community.
The following procedure is available to students to resolve grievances regarding grading, course requirements, attendance requirements, and other related complaints:
- A. Discussion with faculty member
- B. Appeal to the appropriate department chairperson.
- C. Appeal to the appropriate academic dean.
- D. Grievances, which are not resolved at the dean’s level, may be referred to the Student Affairs
Committee of the University Senate
1. The Student Affairs Committee shall deal with grievances involving students and faculty, staff or administrators. Upon receipt of a written appeal from a student, faculty member, or administrator, the committee shall first determine that:
- a. All pertinent information has been requested, obtained and reviewed; the grievance has basis in fact;
- b. All normal avenues of grievance resolution (i.e., student, faculty members, chairperson and academic dean) have been exhausted.
2. The Student Affairs committee members shall then process the grievance and render its recommendation to the Vice President of Academic Affairs who will make a final decision and inform interested parties.
3. The entire grievance procedure, including notification of a final decision, should be resolved in a timely manner. The Committee shall include at least one full-time faculty member from the College of Professional Studies, College of Education and College of Arts & Sciences. The chairperson or vice chairperson of the Senate shall also be a member.
Students who wish to inspect and review their educational records may do so by notifying the Dean of Students. The Dean will schedule a mutually convenient time for said inspection within seventy-two hours (three working days) of the request; all such inspections will be scheduled between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and a member of the University staff will be present throughout. Special arrangements will be made for evening students. Students have the right to inspect and review their educational records except in the following cases:
- A. Financial records of the student’s parents.
- B. Confidential letters or statements placed in the file prior to January 1, 1975.
- C. In the case of material, that includes information on other students; the student may review or be informed only of his/her information.
The University maintains the following records on individual students, and in most instances, the inspection of records will be scheduled in the office in which the record is kept.
- A. Transcripts – Office of the Registrar
- B. Registration – Office of the Registrar
- C. Advisement – University Advisement Center
- D. Student health records – Health and Wellness Center
- E. Financial aid records – Office of the Director of Financial Aid
- F. Placement records – Career Planning and Placement
- G. Disciplinary records – Office of the Dean of Students
Access to these records will be given to university personnel who have a legitimate educational interest in the records as determined by the Dean of Students. Information may be released to other agencies and individuals only in compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), copies of which are posed in the offices of the Dean of Students and the Registrar. Students may request copies of information contained in their educational records.
The cost of reproducing copies of other records will be charged to the student and will be determined at the discretion of the appropriate office. In no instance, however, may the fee exceed the cost to the University for reproducing the copies. If the educational records contain a factual inaccuracy, the student may apply to the Dean of Students to have that inaccuracy removed from his/her records. That officer will schedule whatever conferences seem appropriate
for that purpose. Any disputes will be resolved through an appeal in writing to the President of the University.
PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION
Any information that includes:
- A. The name of the student, the student’s parents or a family member
- B. A personal identifier, such as the student’s social security number or student number
- C. A list of personal characteristics or other information which would make it possible to identify the student with reasonable certainty
RELEASE OF PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION
The University may not release educational records or personally identifiable information in the records to any individual, agency, or organization unless: (Updated to reflect current changes and standards)
- A. The student signs and dates a written consent which specifies:
- 1. The records to be released
- 2. The reasons for the release
- 3. The person to whom the records are released
- B. The records are released in compliance with a hearing order or pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena. The student must be notified in advance that the information will be released. Ordinarily subpoenas give the University very little time to comply. A good faith effort should be made to contact the student and/or to postpone the compliance date for the subpoena.
- C. The information is to be used to compile a student directory that would include the student’s name, address, and telephone number. Although the release of directory information is permissible, the University reserves the right to exercise discretion regarding the release of directory information.
- D. Information is released to the following individuals or agencies and for the following purposes:
- 1. University personnel with a legitimate educational interest as determined by the Dean of Students;
- 2. Officials of other schools in which the student seeks to enroll, provided the student is notified of the release;
- 3. Federal and state officials in connection with the audit and evaluation of federally funded programs in connection with the enforcement of federal legal requirements which relate to such programs or in connection with the student’s application for or receipt of financial aid;
- 4. State and local officials pursuant to a state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974;
- 5. Organizations conducting studies for the purpose of developing predictive tests, administering student aid programs and improving instruction;
- 6. Accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions;
- 7. Parents who claim the student as a dependent on their IRS statements; however, information will be released to a divorced, non-custodial parent only with written authorization of the student or in compliance with a subpoena; and
- 8. When necessary in an emergency to protect the health, safety or welfare of the student or others, to persons who are in a position to deal with the emergency.
RECORD OF ACCESS
A record must be kept, within the educational records of each student, which indicates the individuals or organizations, other than University personnel, which have requested or obtained access to the student’s records. This should also reflect the legitimate educational interests of the individual or organization for obtaining the information. The record of access may be released only to University personnel, state, or federal officials as a means of auditing the system of reporting access to student records. Educational records or personally identifiable information in the records may be released as specified in items D.2, D.3, and D.4 under Release of Personally Identifiable Information.
DATE TO INITIATE REVIEW AND UPDATE
As deemed necessary or appropriate by the Policy Coordinator but at a minimum, at least every 5 years from the date of last review.