III. Initiation of Student Conduct Process
Section A: Commencing the Process by Filing an Incident Report
An incident report is a written description of an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Any member of the University community may report an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct, in writing or in person, to the Dean of Students or a Student Conduct Administrator. Upon receipt of the incident report, a Student Conduct Administrator or designee may conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether the charges listed in the incident report have merit. The preliminary investigation may consist of interviewing witnesses, the accused student, the complainant or reviewing documentary evidence, if any.
If the Student Conduct Administrator or designee finds sufficient reason to make a formal charge against the accused student, the Student Conduct Administrator or designee shall inform the accused student in writing of the charges via the student’s St. John’s email account. Students are responsible to maintain and regularly check their email account. The meeting notification shall state: (1) the date and general location of the incident; (2); the clause(s) in the Student Code of Conduct that the student is accused of violating and (3) the date, time and location the accused student has been scheduled to meet with a Student Conduct Administrator.
Section B: Interim Actions
At any time during the Student Conduct Process, and at the discretion of the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Dean of Students or designee, the accused student may be issued an interim sanction. This includes an interim suspension; a “no contact” order with the student who raised the concern or with other students involved or with knowledge of the matter; limitation of access to designated University facilities and/or residence halls by time and location; limitation of privileges to engage in specified University activities; and/or reassignment to alternate housing or removal from housing. An interim suspension may include a denial of access to University-managed living properties, or the campus (including classes) and to all other University activities or events which the student might otherwise be eligible to participate in or attend.
Interim actions may be issued in the following circumstances: (1) to ensure the physical or emotional safety and well-being of members of the University or its property; (2) to ensure the accused student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or (3) if the accused student poses an ongoing threat or disruption of the normal operations of the University.
Interim actions, including interim suspension, may be utilized for any student accused of a violation, including (but not limited to) sexual misconduct, harassment or violent behavior against another person. Students accused of such violations are not permitted to have any contact with the complainant regardless of the issuing of the interim action.
Once imposed, an interim suspension takes effect immediately. The decision to suspend in advance of a hearing is not subject to review. A suspension pending a hearing is not a University sanction, and no notation of it will be made in the student’s transcript or file.
Section C: Violations of Criminal Statutes, Laws, Regulations
If an accused student is charged with the violation of a state or federal criminal statute (or its equivalent in another jurisdiction), the determination to proceed with the Student Conduct Process concurrently with the legal system is in the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee. Any determinations regarding violations of the Student Code of Conduct are made independent of law enforcement disposition of the matter. The University does not offer legal advice or counsel to students facing criminal charges.
Section D: Organizations
Any group comprised of St. John’s University students, including (but not limited to) all Student Government Inc.-recognized student groups, Greek letter organizations and athletic teams, may be charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The group’s executive board may be held both collectively and individually responsible when alleged violations of the Code of Conduct by one or more of its members take place with the direct or implied consent of its leadership. Individual members who knew or should have known that violations were being or would be committed are also subject to disciplinary action. The Office of Student Conduct reserves the right to address organizational behavior that takes place both on campus and off campus.
When student groups are accused of Code of Conduct violations, an informal investigation for student groups will be conducted by a student conduct administrator. When student groups are accused of organizational violations, an informal investigation for student groups will be conducted by a student conduct administrator a member of the University community, at the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee.
Student groups may be subjected to interim actions including, but not limited to, an interim suspension as described in Section B. If the investigation reveals that individual members are subject to disciplinary action, those individuals will be referred to the Dean of Students or designee for participation in the student conduct process.