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The discipline of student organizations is incorporated into the general Student Code of Conduct and operates according to the rules of that system. The University may carry out disciplinary proceedings and impose disciplinary sanctions on a student organization or recognized club found responsible for violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Any member of the University community may file charges against an organization for misconduct. Charges should be prepared in writing and directed to the Coordinator of Student Conduct. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place.

The Coordinator of Student Conduct may conduct an investigation to decide whether a formal charge will be brought against the organization. The Coordinator of Student Conduct may refuse to grant hearings on complaints about incidents that occurred at a time too distant from the date of the filing of charges or when information or testimony is too vague.

The following procedural guidelines are established for the direction of all persons and boards conducting formal hearings on disciplinary complaints against a student organization at Gallaudet University:

  1. The organization will be notified by the Coordinator of Student Conduct that a disciplinary complaint has been filed. The president/chair of an organization and/or his/her designee will represent the organization in any proceedings involving alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct by the organization.
  2. An appointment for a pre-hearing meeting with the Coordinator of Student Conduct must be made no later than five business days after the letter is received. If a meeting with the Coordinator of Student Conduct is not arranged within five business days after receipt of the letter, or if the organization fails to show up at the scheduled pre-hearing meeting to decide how the case will be handled, information in support of the charge(s) will be presented and considered, and a decision will be made in the student organization representative’s absence.
  3. The Coordinator of Student Conduct may conduct an investigation to determine if the charges have merit and/or if they can be disposed of by restorative practices, through a restorative practices committee established for this purpose on a basis acceptable to the Coordinator of Student Conduct. The restorative practices committee will be chaired by a staff or faculty member selected by the Coordinator of Student Conduct. If the charges are disposed of by mutual consent through the restorative practices committee, such disposition will be final, and there will be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the charges will be handled by the Student Conduct Board or Coordinator of Student Conduct. The Coordinator of Student Conduct, if present at the restorative practices committee, may later serve in the same manner as a non-voting member of the Student Conduct Board in a hearing.
  4. The organization will be informed by the Coordinator of Student Conduct of two possible ways to resolve the case: 1) appear at a scheduled hearing and present its case before the Student Conduct Board; or 2) accept responsibility for the violation(s) as charged, waive the right to a hearing and present witnesses on your behalf and accept sanctions imposed by the Coordinator of Student Conduct. In the event of scheduling difficulties or special circumstances, the complaint may be heard and action decided by an Administrative Student Conduct Board.
  5. The president/chair of the organization and/or his/her designee may appear in person and present relevant information to the Coordinator of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct Board, and may call witnesses. While efforts will be made to accommodate the schedules of all parties involved, scheduling conflicts or the failure of witnesses to appear will not constitute grounds for a continuance of the hearing. The designated representatives are responsible for presenting their cases and will have the opportunity to hear and question all participants at the hearing. Should the designated representatives of the organization elect not to appear at the hearing, it will be held in their absence. The failure of an organization to appear may be a factor considered.
  6. The designated representatives of the organization may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice. The designated representatives of the organizations are responsible for presenting information during the hearing, and therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in the disciplinary hearing. Advisors may confer with a student only when there is not a question on the table or a response pending from the student. In consideration of the limited role of an advisor, the organization should select an advisor or a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time of the hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor. Violations of any restrictions for advisors will result in the advisor being removed from the hearing at the discretion of the Coordinator of Student Conduct.
  7. The organization may remain silent to preserve the right against self-incrimination. In such cases, other available information will be considered.
  8. Formal rules of processes, procedures, and/or technical rules of evidence will not be applicable to campus disciplinary proceedings conducted pursuant to this Code. Any information or testimony the Board or the Coordinator of Student Conduct believes to be relevant may be considered.
  9. The Coordinator of Student Conduct will exercise control over the proceedings to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve orderly completion of the hearing. Any person, including the representative of the student organization (the respondent), who disrupts a hearing may be excluded by the Coordinator of Student Conduct.
  10. After the hearing, the Student Conduct Board will determine whether the organization is responsible for the violation with which it is charged and will recommend sanctions, if any, to the Coordinator of Student Conduct from the range of sanctions applicable for student organizations. All parties and witnesses will be excluded during Board deliberations. All decisions apply the preponderance of the evidence standard; the Student Conduct Board’s determination will be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused organization violated the Student Code of Conduct. If the Student Conduct Board, Coordinator of Student Conduct, or the restorative practices committee decides that a violation did occur, but the organization is not responsible for the violation, the complainant may proceed with charges against individual(s) through the Student Conduct program in accordance with the disciplinary hearing procedures for individual students. The student organization will be entitled to a rationale of any decision, and a letter summarizing the decision and any disciplinary sanctions, if applicable, will be sent to the student organization except in certain cases (e.g. sexual misconduct) where the complainant will also receive a letter summarizing the decision and any disciplinary sanctions, if applicable.
  11. The organization will be informed in person and writing in personof the right to appeal a decision. A decision or judgment of the Student Conduct Board or the Coordinator of Student Conduct may be appealed to the Dean of Student Affairs and Academic Support. A decision or judgment of the Student Conduct Board or the Coordinator (or Director) of Student Conduct may be appealed by either or both of the opposing parties upon the following grounds:
    • Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant unfairness results.
    • There is new or newly discovered information that could not have been produced at the hearing that could affect the outcome of the matter. In order for the Associate Dean of Student Center Programs and Services (or the Dean of Student Affairs, if the Associate Dean served as hearing officer in the case) to consider new information sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original conference, such information and/or facts must not have been known at the time of the original conference by the appellant.
    • The sanction imposed was clearly inappropriate and/or disproportionate to the conduct for which the person was found responsible for the violation.

An appeal must be in writing, must indicate the basis of the appeal with an explanation, and must be made within five business days of the date the parties were notified of the decision. In an appeal case, action assessed by the initial Student Conduct Board or the Coordinator of Student Conduct may be held in suspense until acted upon in appeal, at the discretion of the Dean of Student Affairs or his/her designee. The Dean of Student Affairs or his/her designee may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction originally assessed. The Coordinator of Student Conduct will convey pertinent information to the Dean of Student Affairs or his/her designee. The decision of the Dean of Student Affairs or his/her designee is final and is not appealable.

All Student Conduct hearings will be closed to the public in order to protect the confidential nature of the proceedings.

Any Student Conduct Board member will elect to abstain from participation in a hearing when the member has a duality of interest in the case or a personal reason that precludes participation without prejudice. The parties will be shared a list of potential panel members during the pre-hearing meeting. All objections to any panel member must be raised in writing, detailing the rationale for the objection, and must be submitted to the Coordinator of Student Conduct as soon as possible and no later than three (3) business days prior to the hearing. Panel members will only be removed if the Coordinator of Student Conduct concludes that their bias or conflict of interest precludes an impartial hearing of the allegation(s).

Determinations made or sanctions imposed under the Student Code of Conduct will not be subject to change or challenge because criminal charges arising out of the same fact-giving rise to violation of University rules are pending, were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of/or against the criminal law defendant.

Because of time concerns and the expenses it would incur, provision for written transcripts of campus disciplinary hearings is not required.

The Student Conduct Board, restorative practices committee, and/or Coordinator of Student Conduct will determine the rules of procedure in addition to those stated herein and all procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Coordinator of Student Conduct.

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(202) 250-2385

(202) 651-5064

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