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Initiation of Student Conduct Process

Contents


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.

Investigations of Alleged Code of Conduct Violations: Any member of the University community may report an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct, in writing or in person, to the Department of Public Safety, 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 student listed in the incident report shall be referred to the student conduct process. If after a preliminary investigation, the Student Conduct Administrator determines that there is sufficient reason to conduct additional investigation, he or she shall proceed with investigating. The investigation may consist of interviewing witnesses, the accused, the complainant, or reviewing documentary evidence, if any.

If, after investigation, the Student Conduct Administrator or designee finds sufficient reason to make a formal charge against the accused, the Student Conduct Administrator or designee shall inform the respondent in writing of the charge (s) via the student’s St. John’s email account. Students shall be responsible to maintain and regularly check their email account. The Student Conduct Administrator may consider mitigating circumstances when deciding to make formal charges.

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 respondent has been scheduled to meet with a Student Conduct Administrator. 

Investigations of Allegations Regarding Sexual Misconduct or Gender Discrimination: Any member of the University community may report an instance involving sexual misconduct or gender discrimination, in writing or in person, to any member of the University community including, but not limited to, the Dean of Students, a Student Conduct Administrator, a responsible employee or confidential resources. Any reported complaint regarding sexual misconduct or gender discrimination shall be reported to Public Safety and the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator shall review the complaint and may designate the appropriate individuals to conduct a preliminary review.

If after a preliminary review, the Title IX coordinator determines that there is sufficient reason to conduct additional investigation, the Title IX coordinator shall assign investigators to further the process. The investigation may consist of interviewing witnesses, the accused, the complainant, or reviewing documentary evidence, if any.

Upon completion of the investigation, the Title IX coordinator shall review the investigation file to ensure the alleged behavior has been eliminated, prevented from reoccurring and addressed with both complainant and accused. The complainant and accused shall be provided an opportunity to review the report and comment. The Title IX coordinator shall then provide the Student Conduct Administrator with the investigation file for review.

If, after review, the Student Conduct Administrator or designee finds sufficient reason to make a formal charge against the accused, the Student Conduct Administrator or designee shall inform the respondent in writing of the charges via the student’s St. John’s email account. The complainant will also be made aware of the charges against the respondent. Students are responsible to maintain and regularly check their email account. The Student Conduct Administrator may consider mitigating circumstances when deciding to make formal charges.

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; (3) a brief summary of the allegation and; (4) the date, time and location the respondent has been scheduled to meet with a Student Conduct Administrator. 

At any time during the Student Conduct process for matters involving sexual misconduct or gender discrimination, the Title IX Coordinator may authorize appropriate interim actions in addition to those issued by the Student Conduct Administrator. 

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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 or respondent may be issued an interim action. The complainant may also request interim actions. These requests will be reviewed by the Dean of Students or designee and may be implemented if reasonable at his or her discretion. This includes, but is not limited to, 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 that 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 or respondent’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or (3) if the accused or respondent 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. 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.

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Section C: Violations of Criminal Statutes, Laws, Regulations

If an accused or respondent 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. In cases of sexual misconduct the University shall proceed with an investigation and a hearing. When a response to the criminal action proceeds concurrently with the University’s investigation, the University may exercise discretion in extending its investigation with a brief delay. 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.

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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 teams, may be charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct reserves the right to address organizational behavior that takes place both on campus and off campus.

Any person having knowledge of any activity or conduct which may constitute an organizational violation should contact the Dean of Students or designee or Public Safety. 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 may be subject to disciplinary action. 

When student groups are accused of Code of Conduct violations, an informal investigation for student groups shall be conducted by a student conduct administrator. The organization’s president and advisor/coach shall be notified. When student groups are accused of organizational violations, an informal investigation for student groups shall be conducted by a student conduct administrator, at the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee. If the student organization is affiliated with a national organization, the national headquarters may be contacted depending on the severity of the incident, the organization’s involvement in the incident and the organization’s cooperation in the investigation.

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 shall be referred to the Dean of Students or designee for participation in the student conduct process.

Student organizations found responsible for Code of Conduct violations may be sanctioned in accordance with Section VII of the Student Conduct Process. Sanctions include, but are not limited to (1) revocation of University recognition or denial of application for recognition; (2) participation in any Fraternity/Sorority Life or Student Affairs activities; (3) recruitment/new member education or; (4) the reservation/use of University facilities.

An unrecognized student organization is any fraternity, sorority, or other student organization which was previously recognized by the University but is no longer so recognized. This includes groups with a membership and/or a purpose substantially identical to a previously recognized student organization, even if operating under a different name. 
Student participation in unrecognized student organizations is strongly discouraged, but is not prohibited. Any student who facilitates for other students to participate in an unrecognized student organization shall be charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct and referred to the student conduct process. The accused student may be subject to the full range of disciplinary sanctions available at the University, up to and including expulsion.

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