4.3 General Conduct Procedures, Rights and Exemptions
4.3.1 Reporting an Incident/Filing a Complaint and Initial Review
All alleged violations should be reported as soon as possible following the discovery of the alleged inappropriate behavior. Any individual (student, employee of the university, or other person) who believes a student or student organization may have committed a violation of the Code published above, may file a report with University police, contact the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity, and/or complete an incident report using one of the following Student Conduct report forms below:
- General Incident Report Form
- Academic Misconduct Report Form
Complaint Resolution proceedings are initiated by the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity under the guidance of the Director of Student Conduct and/or designee. Upon receiving a complaint of student/student organization behavior, the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity will conduct an initial review to determine:
- Validity of the report and credibility of information submitted;
- If additional investigation/information is necessary;
- Potential policy violations when reviewed against the Code;
- Most appropriate conduct process or dismissal of report.
4.3.2 Right to a Complaint Resolution Procedure
Students and Student Organizations alleged to have violated the Code will be afforded the opportunity to resolve the allegation within the established CRPs (See Section 4.4—Individual, Non-Academic Student Misconduct Procedures; Section 4.5—Student Organization Misconduct Procedures).
4.3.3 Equitable Procedures
All students at Indiana State University have a right to fair and equitable procedures for determining the validity of charges of violating university policy.
- These procedures shall be structured so as to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth or falsity of charges and to meet the fundamental requirements of fairness (i.e., right to notice of charge in advance, right to a hearing, right to examine evidence, right to prepare defense, right to appeal, and right to an advisor of the student’s choice but not representation by counsel or other advisor).
- Students have the right to know in advance the range of penalties for violations of campus regulations (Section 5: Conduct Process Outcomes). Upon request students have the right to obtain copies of all specific policies of the university (e.g., routine administrative policies, Faculty and Professional Personnel Handbook, etc.).
- Charges of minor violations (those violations, by their nature, not warranting suspension or expulsion and not repeated) of regulations, for which a student is sanctioned by reprimands, restrictions, or requirements, may be handled efficiently by the appropriate individual or committee. Students sanctioned in this manner have the right to appeal to the next higher level of administration or to an established appeals committee.
- In cases involving charges of violations that may result in suspension or expulsion from the university, students have a right to an Administrative Conference or University Conduct Board hearing and procedures which include right of appeal. In cases where a University Conduct Board is an option or required, a pre-hearing conference will be scheduled to ensure the student understands their rights and resolution options. Any person penalized for a serious infraction of established university regulations or policies has the right to appeal, either to the next higher administrator or to an established appeals committee.
4.3.4 Notification of charges
Notwithstanding uncontrollable circumstances, the Director of SCI or their designee will notify the accused student within ten (10) working days of receipt of the complaint. This notification will include:
- The nature of the alleged inappropriate behavior,
- The date, time, and place of the alleged inappropriate behavior,
- The process in which to review all information relevant to the situation,
- The date, time, and place of the hearing,
- The rights a student has during the complaint resolution process,
- The sanction(s) applicable if found responsible for a violation of the Code (See Section 5),
- A description of the preservation and the release of information from the conduct record, and
- A notice that a decision will be made in the student’s absence if the student chooses not to appear at the hearing. Failure to appear may be a factor when determining conduct process outcomes.
4.3.5 Conduct Process Environment
All hearings are closed to the public. Only individuals involved in the situation may be present. Involved individuals may include:
- Conduct officers and/or conduct board members,
- Student accused of violating University policy,
- University Conduct Advisor,
- Legal Counsel (if applicable and serve as a non-participating observer),
- Complainant, and
- Witnesses (witnesses will remain only for the duration of their own statement).
4.3.6 Recording of Conduct Processes
There shall be a single verbatim record, such as an audio recording, of all University Conduct Board (UCB) Hearings. Deliberations shall not be recorded. No other recording shall be made. The accused student and complaining witness may review the recording in the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity upon request, for any reason but typically to prepare for an appeal. The recording shall be the property of Indiana State University and shall be maintained by the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity until the conclusion of all appeal proceedings, until the appeal deadline has surpassed, or as required by law. Preliminary meetings, witness and other interviews, or administrative hearings also may be recorded by Office of Student Conduct and Integrity staff members only. Recording these processes without permission may constitute a violation of the Code policy 3.2.4.
4.3.7 Student Conduct Process Procedural Rights
Students accused of a policy violation have the following rights.
- choose whether to attend or not attend any conduct process or submit a written presentation of their case prior to the schedule process (4.3.8).
- access to a University Conduct Advisor (4.3.9);
- a fair, equitable, and timely process;
- provide witnesses (4.3.10);
- be presumed not responsible until the conclusion of the conduct process if the standard of proof is present; and,
- review, not receive copies of, all relevant information regarding their conduct case in order to prepare a defense.
4.3.8 Students Right to Participate
Accused students/respondents have the right to choose whether to attend, or not attend, any conduct process. Accused students/respondents may submit a written presentation of their case prior to the scheduled process. The university does not compel an accused student/respondent to attend the hearing; however, the hearing may continue in the absence of the student with a finding and outcomes assigned. By such absence, or non-receipt of written material, the accused student/respondent forfeit their right to question witnesses or respond to material presented to the hearing officer for consideration. An accused student/respondent lack of participation will not be viewed as an admission of responsibility, and the case will be decided upon available documentation, witness testimony, and/or available information.
4.3.9 University Conduct Advisor
All involved students have the right to a University Conduct Advisor The conduct advisor must be a member of the University community (student, faculty, administrator, staff, coach, recognized University affiliate). The advisor must have experience or knowledge of the University conduct system. The role of the advisor is to provide support and to assist in preparing for the hearing. Since the complaint resolution process is not a civil or criminal court hearing, the advisor’s role is not that of an attorney. This person may not address the hearing officer or hearing board or ask questions of any witnesses. For assistance in securing an advisor, contact SCI.
The accused student/respondent, complainant, and SCI staff have the opportunity to present witnesses. Witnesses are permitted to participate in the CRP. A list of witnesses must be submitted to the appropriate conduct officer no later than two (2) days prior to the administrative conference. Witnesses may be questioned by the conduct officer or conduct board members, by the complainant, and by the accused student. Witnesses will be asked to provide information concerning only the violation(s) being adjudicated.
Since the complaint resolution process does not have the authority to subpoena, witness statements may be submitted in the place of having witnesses present during the hearing. Witness statements should be submitted to SCI no later than two (2) business days prior to the hearing for consideration by the board members and should be delivered directly from the witnessing party via in person or university provided electronic mail account. Witnesses should contact the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity should they have questions.
Character witnesses will not be provided an opportunity to address the hearing officer or University Conduct Board; however they may provide a written statement to be considered during the sanctioning phase of deliberations.
4.3.11 Standard of Proof
The Standard of Proof is “more likely than not” that University policy has been violated (also referred to as preponderance of the evidence). Proof needs to show that the facts are more likely to be so than not so. Evidence, when considered and compared with that opposed to it, has more convincing force and produces in the hearing officer’s mind the belief that what is sought is more likely true than not true (Journal of College and University Law).
4.3.12 Presumptions of Responsibility/Innocence
The university does not presume a student’s responsibility, or lack of responsibility, for a violation until a complaint against the student has been resolved through an adjudication process outlined in this Code or related policies.
4.3.13 Violation of Policy
A student is considered to have violated the Code when the student:
- Admits responsibility for a violation, and/or
- Is found responsible for one or more violations of the Code determined by the University standard of proof
4.3.14 Persons with Disabilities
Reasonable accommodations will be provided in conduct procedures for persons with disabilities on an individualized and flexible basis. Students may seek assistance from the Office of Disability Services in making a request for accommodations.
4.3.15 Conflict of Interest
No member of the conduct board nor conduct officer who has a conflicting interest in a particular case may participate in a conduct hearing for said situation. Conduct board members and conduct officers with conflicting interests must recuse themselves from the proceedings. Either the student or the complainant may challenge a member of the University Conduct Board or University Conduct Officer in writing with the Director of SCI. In cases where the Director of SCI’s involvement is questioned, the challenge would be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
4.3.16 Other Proceedings
At the discretion of university officials, conduct action under this Code may proceed in advance of or during the pendency of other proceedings. University officials may also pause proceedings at the request of law enforcement agencies so as not to interfere with criminal investigations.
4.3.17 Adjustment of Timeline/Process
The university reserves the right to delay any conduct proceeding if unforeseen circumstances arise necessitating a delay. The reason for the delay and estimated adjustment to the timeline will be provided to the student in writing. Changes to the process may also occur as long as those changes do not negate established procedures or are agreed upon by the student involved.
4.3.18 Virtual Conference/Hearing Environment
All conduct proceedings will occur in person as established; however, video conferencing may be utilized as necessary due to availability of on campus space, inability to be in physical proximity, and/or distance. Video conferences may also be utilized at the discretion of SCI staff and under the guidance of the Director. In the event video conferencing is necessary, students will be asked to be in a private space, free from distraction. General conduct resolution procedures (closed conference/hearing, no recording other than the one made by SCI, all conduct rights, etc.) will be maintained and adjusted for the virtual format as reasonable.