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Student Conduct Procedures

Student Conduct Procedures - Individual Student(s)

Student Conduct Procedures - Registered Student Organization(s)

Student Conduct Procedures - Sexual Misconduct 


Student Conduct Procedures - Individual Student(s) 


Violations of Policy

Any member of the University community may file violations of misconduct against any student for misconduct related to the Student Code of Conduct directly with the Office of Student Conduct. Violations may also be filed on behalf of the University by the Office of Student Conduct. Violations shall be prepared in writing and will be reviewed by the director of Student Conduct, or designee, who is responsible for the administration of the Student Conduct process. For the procedures involving sexual misconduct, please see Appendix II.

The director of Student Conduct, or designee, may conduct an investigation to determine if the allegations have merit. If the alleged violations are found to have merit, the responding student will have an incident review scheduled.  If the allegations do not have merit, the Office of Student Conduct may choose not to file violations of misconduct against a student. 

Notification of Incident Review/Hearing Board

Students will be notified at least one (1) business day prior to their scheduled incident review/hearing board via their Spartan email account. In this notification students will be advised on the incident review/hearing board procedures, date of alleged violation, alleged violation(s), and mandatory meeting date with the Office of Student Conduct.

 

Incident Review Meeting

The incident review meeting is considered a private one on one meeting with the incident reviewer and the responding student.

The incident reviewer will explain the specific policy(ies) the responding student has allegedly violated.

The incident reviewer will conduct an interview with the responding student and the responding student may accept responsibility for the policy violation(s).  In their discretion, the incident reviewer may assign appropriate sanctions at this time or may defer the imposition of sanctions to consider additional information.  he incident reviewer’s decision as to sanctions is final.

The responding student may also deny responsibility during the interview and request a hearing board. The appropriate board will be determined by the director of Student Conduct or designee.

At the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct, the responding student can be referred directly to a hearing board for adjudication at the conclusion of the incident review.

 

Hearing Board

At the discretion of the director of Student Conduct, or designee, the hearing board may be an administrative conduct board or student conduct board. 

Hearing boards are closed to the public. Admission to any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion and final decision of the hearing board advisor.

Hearing boards must have a minimum of (3) three voting members to establish quorum.

Hearing boards will have a sole official verbatim record. The record is property of The University of Tampa.

Hearing boards will request and review information submitted to the Office of Student Conduct and from the responding student(s) if applicable. Hearing boards may also postpone the hearing to obtain additional information with a majority vote. 

Hearing boards may question parties providing information during the hearing.

Hearing boards reserve the right to hear a case in abstention of the responding and reporting parties. Hearing boards may also postpone the hearing of a nonparticipating responding party with a majority vote. 

Hearing boards use the “preponderance of the evidence standard” in making determinations regarding student responsibility. All procedural questions are subject to final decision of the hearing board advisor.

Hearing boards may not be disrupted by any party. The hearing board advisor has the right to remove any disruptive individual.  The hearing will continue in the absence of the disrupting party.

 

Types of Hearing Boards

Student Conduct Boards are comprised of at least three (3) full-time students with a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 and the director of Student Conduct or designee who serves as a non-voting hearing board advisor. The Student Conduct Board will determine the responsibility of the responding student(s) and if found responsible can make sanction recommendations for the Office of Student Conduct to consider. The Office of Student Conduct shall have the sole authority to make a final decision on the appropriate sanction.  All decisions of responsibility are based on a simple majority of the board members.

Administrative Conduct Boards are comprised of at least three (3) faculty and/or staff members at The University of Tampa and the director of Student Conduct or designee who serves as a non-voting hearing board advisor. The Administrative Conduct Board will determine the responsibility of the responding student(s) and if found responsible can make sanction recommendations for the Office of Student Conduct to consider. The Office of Student Conduct shall have the sole authority to make a final decision on the appropriate sanction. All decisions of responsibility are based on a simple majority of the board members.

Appellate Hearing Boards are comprised of at least three (3) faculty and/or staff members at The University of Tampa. This board has the authority to affirm the decision of the original board or return the case to the original hearing board or a new hearing board for a re-hearing. The review of the board is limited as set forth in the Appeals section of this policy. All decisions are based on a simple majority of the board members.

 

Incident Review Student Rights

Responding students have the right to:

Be informed in writing via their Spartan email account about the alleged violations and hearing procedures at least one (1) business day prior to the incident review meeting.

Review the electronic/written incident report(s) submitted to the Office of Student Conduct.

Present information on their own behalf at their incident review. This includes not providing any information on their behalf. 

Be informed in writing via their Spartan email the outcome of the incident review meeting within 10 business days unless the determination of sanctions has been deferred to obtain additional information.

Students who have accepted responsibility at an incident review are not eligible for an appeal.

 

Hearing Board Student Rights

Responding students have the right to:

Be informed in writing via their Spartan email account about the alleged violations and hearing procedures at least one (1) business day prior to the hearing board meeting.

Review the electronic/written incident report(s) submitted to the Office of Student Conduct.

Have an individual hearing board. If more than one (1) responding party is involved in the incident, students can waive their right to an individual hearing if there is mutual consent from all parties.

Present information on their own behalf at a hearing board. This includes presenting any combination of three (3) witnesses or written witness statements. In addition, students may choose not to provide any information on their behalf. The hearing board reserves the right to make an inference from students who choose not to answer questions.

Question anyone providing information to the hearing board. Questions will be directed to the hearing board advisor. The hearing board advisor will have the final determination on the appropriateness of the question.

Request the removal of hearing board members based on bias or other conflict of interest. The hearing board advisor will have the final determination on removal of the hearing board member.

Be assisted by one (1) member of The University of Tampa community. This person must be a current student, faculty, or staff member.  The person assisting the responding student is not permitted to take part in the hearing but may communicate only with the responding party they have been asked to support. Students cannot be assisted by an attorney during the hearing board process.

Be informed in writing via their Spartan e-mail the outcome of the hearing board within 10 business days after the hearing board has concluded its hearing.

Appeal the hearing board decision within two (2) business days from the delivery of the email notice containing the hearing board’s decision. Delivery is complete upon sending the email.

Schedule a post-hearing meeting with the Office of Student Conduct to discuss the decision of the hearing board.

 

Progressive Disciplinary Sanctions

All sanctions are progressive, educational and assigned based upon the severity of the policy violation(s). Additional sanctions may be imposed in conjunction with a progressive disciplinary sanction. The Office of Student Conduct shall have the sole authority to make a final decision on the appropriate sanction based on the conduct at issue, and it is not required to impose a lesser sanction for a first violation. At all times, the Office of Student Conduct has the sole right and discretion to select the appropriate sanction based on the conduct at issue. Progressive disciplinary sanctions include:

Disciplinary Reprimand is a written expression of disapproval to the student for violation of specified University policy. It includes a warning that further violations of University policy may result in more severe sanctions.

Disciplinary Probation is a notice to the student that their actions are of a serious nature within The University of Tampa community. Probation shall be for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found in violation of any University policies during the probationary period. Any violation committed during the probationary period will result in a review of the student's status with The University of Tampa.

Deferred Suspension is an increased disciplinary probation status that does not include suspension. During this period, any further violations of policy may result in a recommendation for suspension. The student may also be ineligible for co-curricular activities. This status will also restrict a student from study abroad opportunities.

Suspension* is the termination of registration as a student at the University after a specific date and for a specified time not to exceed two (2) years. 

Expulsion* is the permanent separation of a student from the University without the opportunity for reinstatement.


* Students who are suspended or expelled from the University will receive no refund.

 

Additional Disciplinary Sanctions

BASICS Feedback Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment is a program designed to assess the behavior of students related to alcohol and other drugs.  Students are required to complete the program and all recommendations of treatment made by the Wellness Center.

Campus Service provides a service for a University of Tampa affiliated office or program for a determined amount of hours.  Student must seek approval from the Office of Student Conduct before beginning campus service hours.

Community Service provides a service for The University of Tampa campus community for a determined amount of hours.  These hours must be completed off-campus and are different than campus service hours. The intention is to have students give back to the off-campus community. Students must seek approval from the Office of Student Conduct before beginning community service hours.

Conduct Fines are imposed when a student fails to attend a scheduled hearing without making any prior effort to contact the Office of Student Conduct.

Deferred Termination of Residency is the residence-hall probationary status that does not include termination of residential privileges at The University of Tampa. During this period, any further violations of policy may result in a recommendation for termination of residency. This status will also restrict a student from study abroad opportunities and may also impact other co-curricular activities.

Discretionary Sanctions include but are not limited to:

Letter of Apology

Research/Reflection Paper

Program Presentations

Holds are placed on student accounts and will prohibit students from registering for classes or changing an academic schedule.

Housing Room Reassignment is notice that the behavior merits the immediately relocation of the student’s housing assignment.

Parental Notification is a letter sent to the parent or guardian of a student who is either under 18 years of age or financially dependent on their parent or guardian.  Parents will be notified of alcohol and other drug incidents for students under 21 years of age, regardless of financial dependency.  Notification will be mailed to the student’s address listed in SpartanWeb.  Notification will only be sent following a decision of responsibility.

Prevention Fees are associated with the cost of preventative programming related to alcoholic beverages and drug policy violations.  These fees range from $100-$200 dollars depending on the circumstances relating to the severity of the incident.

Restitution is a written directive to replace, repair or make specific compensation for property of The University of Tampa that was damaged, destroyed or misused as a result of a student’s actions or negligence.

Restriction/Revocation of Privileges is the restriction or removal of one or more of the student’s privileges for a specified period of time.

Termination of Residency is the removal of a student from University housing after a specific date and for a specified period of time. Through the specific period of time, the student will be prohibited from entering all residential facilities. Students who are removed from University housing for disciplinary reasons will receive no refund. The student may also be ineligible for co-curricular activities. This status will also restrict a student from study abroad opportunities.

 

Interim Actions

The Office of Student Conduct also may impose interim actions prior to an incident review meeting or hearing board.  Interim actions will be imposed in the following circumstances:

To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property;

To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or

If the student poses a threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University.

The Office of Student Conduct shall have the sole authority to make a final decision on the appropriate interim action, and it may select any sanction from all of the available sanctions that it finds appropriate under the circumstances at issue.

Interim actions may include:

Residence Hall Restrictions – The director of Residential Communities or designee may impose a Residence Hall Suspension, Housing Room Reassignment or other restrictions prior to the beginning of the formal student conduct process.

Interim Suspension – The director of Student Conduct or designee may impose an interim suspension of a student prior to the beginning of the formal student conduct process.  In this case, the student may not reside in a residence hall and/or attend classes at the University until the interim suspension has been removed.  This action may also include an interim trespass order.

Interim No Contact Order – The director of Student Conduct or designee may impose an interim no contact order between students or any other member of the University community.

Interim Trespass Order – The director of Student Conduct, Campus Safety, and/or the director of Residential Communities or designee may impose an interim trespass order which may limit access to a specific territory including but not limited to buildings, events, and the University.

Interim Student Employment Removal – The director of Student Conduct, the student's department supervisor or designee may impose a temporary removal of student employment.  

Whenever an interim action is imposed, The Office of Student Conduct will convene the formal student conduct process as soon as possible pending the normal due process requirements. Interim actions will be no longer applicable after the conclusion of the formal student conduct process.

 

Appeals

The Complainant or Respondent may file an appeal of the hearing board written decision within two (2) business days of delivery to their Spartan email account. Appeals shall be limited to a review of the verbatim record of the hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes.

To determine whether the original hearing was conducted in conformity with prescribed procedures. If a procedural error occurred it needs to be sufficient to alter the decision of the case.

To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, that was not available at the time of the original hearing, because information and/or facts could not have been known to the responding or reporting student(s) at the time of the initial hearing.

The Office of Student Conduct will determine if the appeal is eligible for review by meeting the criteria outlined above. If the appeal is eligible for review, it will be referred to the appropriate appellate board.

The appellate hearing board will review appeals based on a review of the verbatim record of the original hearing and any supporting documents provided within the appeal. This review shall be limited to the two purposes identified above in paragraph a.  The decision shall be rendered by a simple majority of the board members.

The appellate hearing board has the authority to render the following decisions:

Affirm the decision of the original board.

Refer the case for a re-hearing by the original hearing board or a new hearing board.

All appeal decisions are final. Students will be notified within 10 business days of the appeal decision via their Spartan email account.


End of Year and Summer Cases

Acknowledging the fact that incidents occur at/or right before the closure of a semester the Office of Student Conduct reserves the right to move forward with cases during or after final exams have concluded. In addition, the Office of Student Conduct reserves the right to suspend a case until the beginning of the next semester that the responding student is enrolled.

Students may or may not be asked to appear for an Incident Review or Hearing Board during a scheduled finals exam week.

Students living more than 50 miles away from campus and not enrolled during the current term may be asked to participate in the conduct process via tele-communication using video and/or audio technology.

The Office of Student Conduct reserves the right to assign a Hearing Board to hear the case if the student denies responsibility for a given incident.

All graduating students that have been notified of an incident before the commencement ceremony must complete the conduct process and sanctions required, if any. The University of Tampa reserves the right to withhold a degree in the event that there is a pending conduct process or incomplete sanction.


Holds and Incompletion of Student Conduct Process:

In the circumstance that the student is no longer attending or withdrawals from the University before the initiation or completion of the Student Conduct Process the following measures are applicable:

A hold will be placed on the student’s account

If the student chooses to return to the University they must complete the Student Conduct Process prior to lifting the hold

In the circumstance that the student has unsuccessfully completed their sanction(s) the following measures are applicable:

  • A hold will be placed on the student’s account.
  • The student may be assigned additional or alternative sanction(s) that must be completed before the hold is lifted. 


Student Conduct Procedures - Registered Student Organization(s) 

A. Introduction:

Any member of the University community may file violations of misconduct against any student organization for misconduct related to the Student Code of Conduct and the Registered Student Organization policies directly with the Office of Student Conduct. Violations may also be filed on behalf of the University by the Office of Student Conduct. Violations shall be prepared in writing and will be reviewed by the director of Student Conduct, or designee, who is responsible for the administration of the Student Conduct process. The director of Student Conduct, or designee, may conduct an investigation to determine if the allegations have merit. If the alleged violations are found to have merit, the responding student organization will have an investigation conducted to determine if policy violations have occurred. If the allegations do not have merit, the Office of Student Conduct may choose not to file violations of misconduct against a student organization.

B. Procedure Coverage:

The Organizational Misconduct Procedures apply to any complaints of registered student organizational misconduct.

C. Jurisdiction:

As noted in the Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Student Code of Conduct, The University of Tampa reserves the right to discipline or dismiss any student or registered student organization whose conduct on or off campus violates the Student Code of Conduct and other University policies.

D. Reporting Organizational Misconduct:

All students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to file a complaint of organizational misconduct in any of the following ways:

E. Assumption of Good Faith Reporting

The University presumes that reports of prohibited conduct are made in good faith. A finding that the behavior at issue does not constitute a violation of the Organizational Misconduct Policy, or that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the incident occurred as reported, does not mean that the report was made in bad faith. The University encourages all individuals who have experienced or witnessed behavior they believe violates the Registered Student Organizational policy to report the matter so that it may be addressed by the University.

F. The University Response Procedure

Interim Actions:

The University of Tampa may implement interim actions, as may be appropriate for the individuals involved and for the larger University community. The University of Tampa may choose to impose one at its discretion to ensure the safety of all parties, the broader University community, and/or the integrity of the investigative and/or resolution process. Interim actions are kept in place throughout the investigation of a complaint, review and appeal process, and may become permanent.

Interim actions may include:

On-Campus Restrictions – The director of Student Conduct or designee may give additional limitations and/or restrict an organization regarding any official or unofficial on-campus activity for the duration of the registered student organization conduct process.

Off-Campus Restrictions – The director of Student Conduct or designee may give additional limitations and/or restrict an organization regarding any official or unofficial off-campus activity for the duration of the registered student organization conduct process.

Interim Suspension – The director of Student Conduct or designee may suspend an organization for the duration of the registered student organization conduct process. This will terminate all existing programs, meetings and other forms of social activities until further notice.

Meeting with Director of Student Conduct

The respondent organization is required to attend a meeting with director of Student Conduct or designee, who is free of any conflict of interest or bias, to review the all rights and responsibilities within the Registered Organizational Misconduct Process.  At this meeting the organization will be given notice of an investigation into the alleged misconduct.

Investigation

Investigations will consist of a thorough fact-finding investigation, which includes meeting separately with the complainant (if participating), respondent organization (if participating), reporter (if applicable) and pertinent witnesses (if participating), and reviewing other relevant information. 

Investigation Report

The investigator(s) will prepare a written report at the conclusion of an investigation. The investigator(s)’s final written report will generally contain, at a minimum the following:

  • A summary of the investigation;
  • The complainant and respondent statements;
  • A summary of witness statements; and
  • A summary of material facts.

A conclusion and finding based on the preponderance of evidence of whether a registered student organization policy or other University policy has been violated.

Standard of Proof

The investigator(s)’s finding will be made using the preponderance of the evidence standard. This standard requires that the information supporting a finding of responsibility be more convincing than the information in opposition to it. Under this standard, organizations are presumed not to have engaged in misconduct unless a preponderance of the evidence supports a finding that organizational misconduct occurred.

Outcome and Sanctioning

If the respondent organization is found responsible for organizational misconduct, the University will initiate a sanctioning process designed to provide progressive and educational outcomes that will be assigned based on the severity of the violation.  Sanctions will be determined by the associate dean of students or designee who is free of any conflict of interest or bias. 

If a respondent organization is not found responsible for organizational misconduct, the University will not initiate a sanctioning process. The decision of the associate dean of students or designee is final as to the sanction outcome.

Appeals

Respondent organizations may file an appeal of the decision of the investigator(s)’s written decision within two (2) business days of delivery to their Spartan email account. Appeals shall be limited to a review of the investigation and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes.

To determine whether the original investigation was conducted in conformity with prescribed procedures. If a procedural error occurred it needs to be sufficient to alter the decision of the case.

To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, that was not available at the time of the original investigation, because information and/or facts could not have been known to the complainant or respondent organization at the time of the investigation.

The dean of students or designee, will review appeals based on a review of the investigator(s)'s final report any supporting documents provided within the appeal. This review shall be limited to the two purposes identified above. 

The dean of students or designee has the authority to render the following decisions:

Affirm the decision of the original investigator(s).

Refer the case for a re-investigation by a new investigator(s). The new investigator(s) will receive all statements given by any parties that were interviewed. The new investigator(s) will not receive any conclusions or findings from the original report. This information will be provided to the new investigator(s) by the director of Student Conduct or designee.

All appeal decisions are final. The registered student organization will be notified of the decision within 10 business days of the appeal.