V. Student Conduct Resolution Procedure

The Student Conduct Resolution Procedure (SCRP) provides a consistent, fair, and effective mechanism to resolve cases in which students or student groups allegedly violate the standards of the Tufts community. The SCRP is designed to be used by and accessible to Tufts students. No special knowledge or legal training is required to participate in the SCRP or to understand the procedures below.

All complaints that a student or student organization violated a University policy, including academic dishonesty, should be reported to the Office of Community Standards within the Dean of Student Affairs Office. The Office of Community Standards will generally follow the student conduct resolution procedure described below to resolve complaints. However, given the often personal and targeted nature of complaints related to non-discrimination and sexual misconduct, complaints that these policies have been violated will be resolved according to the Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Process or the non-discrimination process, which is available online.  The interim action section below applies to all complaints, including discrimination and sexual misconduct.

A. Definitions

The following definitions are used to describe various roles in the SCRP.

1. Complaint

A complaint is a written allegation that a student or student organization has violated one or more University policies.

2. Complainant

The complainant is the person or persons alleging misconduct on the part of a student or student organization.

3. Respondent

The respondent is the student or student organization who responds to the allegation that they have violated University policy. In a student organization, the individual student(s) who is registered as the leader or representative of the group will receive communication about alleged violations of University policy and may act on behalf of the student organization, including representing the organization at meetings and hearings.

4. Advisor

Any complainant or respondent involved in the Student Conduct Review Process may have one advisor of their choice, except that the advisor may not be a member of the media. The advisor may be a faculty mentor, a friend, a family member, an attorney, a chaplain, a mental health clinician, or another person of the student's choosing. Advisors are neither required nor necessary in the Student Conduct Review Process.

a. The role of the advisor is to provide support to the student they are advising, not to advocate on behalf of the student. Advisors may assist the student in organizing their thoughts, help the student prepare for hearings and meetings, and provide personal or emotional support. Regardless of whether a respondent works with an advisor, respondents are responsible for learning about the SCRP and making their own decisions.

b. Advisors are permitted to attend the initial meeting, the hearing, and other meetings with the student, but they are not permitted to participate. Advisors may not speak to or disrupt the hearing panel, sanctioning panel, or conduct officer. Advisors who disrupt the proceedings may be directed to leave.

c. Advisors may not write complaints, responses, or other documents on behalf of students or correspond with the Office of Community Standards on behalf of the student.

d. The University does not provide professional advisors for students or student organizations. The Dean of Student Affairs Office will help a respondent find an advisor upon request. The University makes no representations concerning the skills, knowledge, or effectiveness of any advisor.

e. University staff may be willing to work as an advisor with a party involved in the Student Conduct Resolution Process, but are not required to do so.

f. A party who intends to have an advisor at a hearing or sanctioning panel must provide the chair with written notice of the identity (name, relationship to the student, whether the advisor has had any legal training and the nature of that training, address, and telephone number) of the advisor no later than three business days prior to the hearing or sanctioning panel.

5. Business Day

A business day refers to a standard day of University operation, meaning 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, with the exception of University holidays or closures. Academic breaks during which the University is open for business (e.g., spring break) are business days.

6. Office of Community Standards

The Office of Community Standards (OCS) is a department in the Division of Student Affairs. The office is responsible for upholding the standards of the Tufts community and addressing alleged policy violations. Students who have questions about Tufts policies or their rights or responsibilities according to Tufts policy, or have questions about making a complaint or a response, are encouraged to contact OCS.

7. Conduct Officers

Tufts staff members authorized by the Office of Community Standards to individually resolve cases. Some conduct officers are additionally authorized to serve as hearing chairs. Conduct officers will be trained in the SCRP and shall report to the Office of Community Standards regarding their implementation of the SCRP.

8. Hold

An enrollment hold prevents a student from adding or dropping classes, changing their academic schedule, or enrolling in subsequent terms at the University. A transcript hold prevents a student from receiving a diploma or receiving or sending a transcript. A graduation hold prevents a student from having a degree conferred, participating in commencement exercises, and receiving a diploma. Conduct officers may put one or more of these holds when appropriate to affect the purpose of the SCRP.

9. Preponderance of evidence

All decisions about whether a respondent violated Tufts policy will be made using the preponderance of the evidence standard. This means that the Conduct Officer or Hearing Panel will weigh the available information and decide whether it is more likely than not that the respondent violated policy.

B. Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Student Conduct Resolution Procedures

Rights and Responsibilities

The University views the SCRP primarily as an educational experience that can resolve conflict, promote growth, increase understanding of one’s role as a member of an academic community, and facilitate the exercise of one’s rights and responsibilities. The SCRP is also a mechanism to maintain a safe community, enforce University policy, and promote accountability.

During all phases of the SCRP, both the complainant and the respondent can expect to be treated fairly. Accordingly, complainants and respondents both have the right to:

A. Receive a written notice of the alleged violation(s), including a list of the policies allegedly violated; and

B. Receive an explanation of the Student Conduct Resolution Procedures upon request; and

C. Participate in the SCRP.

a. If a complainant, respondent, witness, or other participant has a disability and requires accommodation to participate in the SCRP, they should contact Student Accessibility Services at 617-627-4359 or accessibility@tufts.edu;

D. Have the presumption that no violation of policy occurred unless the available information establishes otherwise, by the preponderance of the evidence standard, after they have received notice of allegations and had a meaningful opportunity to respond; and

E. Be accompanied by an advisor if desired and if the advisor specifications listed in Section I.A.4. are met; and

F. Receive written notification of the parts of the outcome of the conduct process that are relevant to them (complainants may receive the full outcome in certain cases when permitted by federal privacy law); and

G. Appeal a decision made in the SCRP according to the procedures for appeal, outlined in Section V.DD.

H. In matters that are handled through a hearing or sanctioning panel, the complainant and the respondent additionally have the right to:

a. Receive access to the information and documents to be presented at a hearing or sanctioning panel in advance of the hearing or panel; and

b. Be present during the entire proceeding of a hearing or sanctioning panel, but not during either panel’s deliberations; and

c. Question any party or witness present at a hearing or sanctioning hearing, either directly or indirectly, at the discretion of Chair; and

d. Present relevant material witnesses, i.e., those with firsthand knowledge of the incident (the respondent and complainant are responsible for contacting and arranging for the attendance of their own witnesses in all cases).

In addition to having rights, the complainant and respondent also have a responsibility to:

  1. Participate honestly in the SCRP; and
  2. Interact professionally with others involved in the SCRP; and
  3. Certify that all materials submitted as their own constitute their own original work and must cite sources, editors, and collaborators appropriately.

C. Procedures for reporting an alleged violation

1. General Complaint

Any person may submit a complaint alleging a student or student organization violated the Tufts Code of Conduct or any University policy. The University may itself submit a complaint.

a. The complaint shall be submitted in writing to the Office of Community Standards (OCS). OCS maintains an online portal that may be used to submit complaints.

b. A complaint usually entails a description of the incident or circumstance and the identity of the student or student organization alleged to have violated policy. The complaint will be accessible to the respondent.

c. A complaint should generally be submitted as soon as possible after an event takes place, however, there is no time limit for the submission of a complaint. Although the University will investigate and adjudicate complaints while the respondent is still enrolled or registered as a student organization, the passage of time may have an impact on the availability and quality of available information.

d. In certain circumstances, the University may investigate alleged misconduct by a graduate. Such circumstances are described in Section P.

e. Prior to the submission of a complaint, a complainant may meet with the Office of Community Standards to discuss the options available to resolve the complaint, the steps to follow for each option, and receive answers to related questions.

f. A complainant is permitted to have an advisor. Section I.A.4. for a definition of the advisor role.

g. A person submitting a complaint will be required to certify that their complaint is their own original work and the complainant must cite sources, editors, and collaborators appropriately.

2. Sexual Misconduct Complaint

A complainant's statement, complaint form, and privacy/non-retaliation acknowledgement should be submitted to the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) to initiate a sexual misconduct complaint. Detailed procedures are available in the Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Process, which is available online.

3. Non-Discrimination Complaint

Complaints alleging that a student or student organization has violated the non-discrimination policy should be submitted to OEO. More information about this process is available online.

D. Interim Actions

Interim Actions

Complaints of student and student organization misconduct occasionally require the University to take immediate action in order to protect the health, safety, or wellbeing of individuals or the community; to maintain academic integrity; to uphold University values; to end ongoing or prevent further misconduct; to separate individuals involved in a case; or for other similar reasons. To that end, the Dean of Student Affairs and the Director of Community Standards, and their respective designees, are authorized to impose immediate interim measures when, in their judgment, such measures are necessary and appropriate under the particular circumstances.

Possible interim measures include without limitation interim suspension of a student from the University, interim suspension of a student organization, removal of a student from housing or relocation to another room or residence hall, no-contact orders, restricting a student's access to certain campus locations, or changes to academic or work schedules.

Interim measures will usually remain in place pending the resolution of the complaint.

Interim suspension of an individual student may only be imposed if, in the judgment of the Dean of Student Affairs, the Director of Community Standards, or their designees, there is evidence or information which appears reliable suggesting that the respondent violated a Tufts policy and that interim action is necessary: (1) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; or (2) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or (3) if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operation of the University. 

While a student is on interim suspension, the student is not permitted to access any building, facility, or activity of the University, including classes, residence halls, and extracurricular activities.

There are no such restrictions on the reason for the interim suspension of a student organization.

E. Stay Away Requests and No Contact Orders

1. Stay Away Request

The Director of Community Standards or designee may issue Stay Away Requests (SARs) on behalf of students who would like to provide formal notice to another student that they do not which to have further direct or indirect communication or contact with them. An SAR can be initiated by contacting the Dean of Student Affairs Office at 617-627-3158.

a. An SAR prohibits direct or indirect communication or contact between the parties, including in person, mail, email, telephone, messaging, social media, or contact through friends, and are designed to secure the integrity of the adjudication process.

b. SARs stay in effect until further notice is given to the involved parties.

c. An SAR is a directive, not a disciplinary action, and it has no disciplinary consequences. It is not in itself a finding of responsibility for any disciplinary action, nor does it preclude future disciplinary action.

d. However, failure to abide by the terms of an SAR will likely result in serious disciplinary action, including a strong consideration of removal from campus housing, loss of privileges, probation, and suspension. Disregard of an SAR can also be used as evidence in a claim of harassment. Any party responsible for retaliation or threats of retaliation will also be subject to disciplinary action by the University.

e. An SAR does not necessarily restrict a student from being on campus or place restrictions on any academic or co-curricular activities of either party.

i. There is no minimum distance that must be maintained between the two.

ii. However, provisions regarding certain spaces on campus may be added to an SAR at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office, and should the parties unexpectedly encounter one another, they are both expected to maintain the maximum distance possible and must not initiate direct or indirect communication with one another.

iii. The person who arrives second to a closed space is expected to leave that space.

2. No Contact Order

The Director of Community Standards or designee issues No Contact Orders (NCOs) as a result of certain complaints being filed, including complaints of Sexual Misconduct, including sex and gender discrimination; sexual and sex- and gender-based harassment, sexual assault and rape, sexual exploitation, stalking, relationship violence (including domestic and dating violence), and retaliation. NCO are issued between parties once a complaint alleging sexual misconduct has been submitted to OEO. An NCO can be requested by contacting the Dean of Student Affairs Office at 617-627-3158.

a. An NCO prohibits direct or indirect communication or contact between the parties, including in person, mail, email, telephone, messaging, social media, or contact through friends, and are designed to secure the integrity of the adjudication process.

b. NCOs stay in effect until further notice is given to the involved parties.

c. An NCO is a directive, not a disciplinary action, and it has no disciplinary consequences. It is not in itself a finding of responsibility for any disciplinary action, nor does it preclude future disciplinary action.

d. However, if an NCO is violated, the offender will be required to leave the campus immediately and additional disciplinary action will be taken, including a strong consideration of removal from campus housing, loss of privileges, Probation, and/or Suspension. Disregard of an NCO can be used as evidence in a claim of harassment. Disregard of an NCO may also be considered in the assignment of a consequence for any original violation.

e. An NCO does not necessarily restrict a student from being on campus or place restrictions on any academic or co-curricular activities of either party.

i. There is no minimum distance that must be maintained between the two.

ii. However, provisions regarding certain spaces on campus may be added to an SAR at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office, and should the parties unexpectedly encounter one another, they are both expected to maintain the maximum distance possible and must not initiate direct or indirect communication with one another.

iii. The person who arrives second to a closed space is expected to leave that space.

f. In cases where there has been a finding of responsibility, the NCO may be modified by the Director of Community Standards or designee to require to the respondent to modify their class schedule, change residential arrangements, or take other actions to avoid the complainant.

3. Harassment Prevention Order or an Abuse Prevention Order

Students may also request a Harassment Prevention Order or an Abuse Prevention Order from the relevant court. Staff in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and TUPD officers can provide information about requesting such orders and can assist students in requesting such an order from the court.

F. Information Gathering

Information Gathering

In certain instances, additional information gathering or investigation is needed after the complaint is received. Such information gathering may be conducted by the Office of Community Standards or other designated University staff. In appropriate circumstances, information gathering may occur in cooperation with the Tufts University Police Department, academic departments, and other relevant agencies and departments.

Information gathering may include interviewing involved parties such as witnesses or victims and reviewing available information relevant to the complaint.

G. Legal Proceedings

Legal Proceedings

The SCRP reserves the right to take information from legal proceedings into account when conducting its own analysis and will do so on a case-by-case basis. In general, the SCRP will proceed without waiting for the resolution of criminal, civil, or other legal actions arising from the same set of facts that caused a SCRP complaint. However, the Director of Community Standards or designee may direct the conduct officer to defer SCRP resolution for a short period of time as necessary not to interfere with a criminal investigation.

H. Resolution Method

Overview

Once a complaint is submitted, the Director of Community Standards or designee will review the complaint and assign it to a conduct officer for resolution. The conduct officer, after reviewing the complaint and any other documentation they deem appropriate, determines whether the complaint is within the jurisdiction of the SCRP and which method of resolution will be used. The conduct officer may consult appropriate individuals in making the determination. The determination by the conduct officer on the method of resolution is final and not appealable.

Tufts generally uses four methods of resolution when a complaint is received: administrative decisions, restorative conferences, hearings, and sanctioning hearings.

1. Administrative Decision

The Administrative decision is designed to allow students to discuss the complaint and critically evaluate their behavior in a one-on-one setting. The conduct officer provides the respondent an opportunity to meet and to provide a written response to the complaint before a decision is made. The Administrative decision leads to a decision by the conduct officer.

a. Administrative decisions are used in situations where the consequences of the alleged violation, if a respondent were found responsible, are less than disciplinary suspension; and in cases where the respondent requests an administrative decision, regardless of the severity of the allegation.

b. The conduct officer determines whether or not the respondent violated Tufts policy using a preponderance of the evidence standard.

c. If there was a violation, the conduct officer also determines what sanctions are appropriate.

d. The conduct officer may consult with appropriate people in making any determination.

e. Administrative decision may also be used in cases where the respondent has been found responsible for violating Tufts’ non-discrimination policy by the Office of Equal Opportunity. In such cases, the finding from OEO will not be subject to dispute, but the student will meet with the conduct officer for a discussion of the appropriate sanction.

2. Hearing

A hearing is designed to facilitate a robust examination of the facts of a case by people of different perspectives in the community.

a. Hearings are used in cases where all of the following conditions are met:

i. There is a dispute about whether or not Tufts policy was violated.

ii. The possible consequences of the alleged violation, if the respondent is found responsible, are:

  1. Suspension, expulsion, or degree revocation for an individual student, or
  2. Suspension or revocation of recognition for a student organization.

iii. The respondent has not requested or received an Administrative decision.

b. Special Requests for a Hearing. An individual student respondent who does not meet the above conditions may request a hearing if there is a dispute about whether Tufts policy was violated and the possible consequences of the alleged violation, if the respondent is found responsible, include probation.

i. Requests for a hearing must be made in writing to the conduct officer within two business days of the initial meeting.

ii. Requests may not be made after an Administrative decision is issued.

iii. Student organizations may not make a special request for a hearing.

c. Hearings allow the complainant and respondent to appear before an impartial panel of trained community members who will consider all relevant information from the complaint, the response, and relevant witnesses.

d. The hearing panel will determine whether or not the respondent violated Tufts policy using a preponderance of the evidence standard.

e. If there was a violation, the hearing panel will determine the sanction.

3. Sanctioning Hearing

A sanctioning hearing is designed to facilitate careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of a case, when those facts are not in dispute, in order to determine the appropriate sanction. a. Sanctioning hearings are used in cases where the following conditions are met:

i. Complainant and respondent agree on most facts, or a finding of responsibility has already been made through another university process;

ii. The respondent accepts responsibility for the alleged violations, or a finding of responsibility has already been made through another university process;

iii. The possible consequences of an alleged violation are:

  1. Suspension, expulsion, or degree revocation for an individual student,
  2. or suspension or revocation of recognition for a student organization. iv. The respondent has not requested an Administrative decision.

b. Special Requests for a Sanctioning Hearing. An individual student respondent who does not meet the above conditions may request a sanctioning hearing if the possible consequences of the alleged violation include probation.

i. Requests for a hearing must be made in writing to the conduct officer within two business days of the initial meeting.

ii. Requests may not be made after an Administrative decision is issued.

iii. Student organizations may not make a special request for a sanctioning hearing.

c. Sanctioning hearings allow the complainant and respondent to appear before an impartial panel of trained community members who will consider all information relevant to sanctioning.

d. Following the sanctioning hearing, the panel will determine the sanction.

4. Restorative Conference

A restorative conference is designed to identify and respond to the harm caused to others or the community at large by the respondent's actions and give the respondent an opportunity to repair the harm.

a. Restorative conferences are used only when (1) the respondent accepts responsibility for violating a policy or otherwise causing harm, (2) the complainant and the respondent are interested in meeting with each other in a restorative conference, and (3) the conduct officer determines that a restorative conference is appropriate.

b. Restorative conferences are not available in cases of sexual misconduct, and they are not available in cases where the possible sanction includes suspension, expulsion, or degree revocation for an individual student or suspension or revocation of recognition for a student organization.

c. In a restorative conference, the respondent meets with the complainant and other involved individuals.

d. At the conclusion of this meeting, an agreement is reached describing the action steps the respondent will take to repair the harm.

5. Informal Resolution

The Office of Community Standards or the conduct officer may resolve a complaint through informal methods, when it appears that the behavior described in the complaint, even if accurate, is not a violation of Tufts policy, when the complainant and respondent agree to informal resolution and the conduct officer agrees informal resolution is appropriate, or otherwise when approved by the Director of Community Standards.

I. Procedure for Responding to a Complaint

1. Participation in the SCRP

Respondents are required to participate in the Student Conduct Resolution Process.

a. The conduct officer will offer respondents the opportunity to participate in the process.

b. In the absence of participation from a respondent, the conduct officer may proceed with a resolution without input from the respondent.

c. All people involved in the Student Conduct Resolution Process are expected to be honest and truthful.

d. Students who knowingly provide false information to University officials will be subject to disciplinary action.

e. Any party involved in the SCRP may have an advisor. See Section I.A.4 on the role of the advisor.

f. The University expects students to engage appropriately with the SCRP and considers sanctions assigned as a result of the SCRP to be required components of the student’s education. Accordingly, conduct officers and the Office of Community Standards have the authority to place registration, transcript, and graduation holds in order to require students to attend meetings related to the SCRP process, enforce sanctions, respond to past due sanctions, and otherwise effect the SCRP's purpose.

2. Respondent status while complaint is pending

a. Once notified of a complaint, the respondent may not take a personal or academic leave and may not permanently withdraw from Tufts, without transcript notation, until the final resolution of the complaint.

b. If a respondent attempts to permanently withdraw from the University while a complaint is pending, the conduct officer has the option to (1) resolve the complaint according to the SCRP, with or without the respondent's participation, or (2) approve the student to withdraw with disciplinary charges pending. Withdrawal with disciplinary charges pending makes a student ineligible to return to Tufts and causes the student to be out of good standing with the University, and will be noted on the transcript.

c. The respondent can only take a medical leave with the authorization of the conduct officer. Such authorization will only be granted in extraordinary circumstances and will specify that the complaint must be resolved before the student can return and that while the student is on leave, a notation of pending disciplinary action may be placed on the transcript.

d. Once a complaint concerning an academic integrity violation has been filed, a student may not drop, change course grading to Pass/Fail, or withdraw from the course.

i. If found not responsible, the student may drop or withdraw from the course as per usual academic policy. If the deadline to drop or withdraw from a course or switch from graded to pass/fail has passed, a student found not responsible may request an exception to the deadline from the Office of Community Standards.

ii. If the student is found not responsible, the assignment will be graded on its own merit and no grading penalty may be imposed.

iii. The student has the right to continue in the course while the case is pending and after resolution is reached, regardless of the grading penalty imposed, unless a sanction of suspension or expulsion is imposed.

e. In cases where an allegation, if proven, may result in Probation, Suspension, Expulsion, or Degree Revocation the notation “Disciplinary Charges Pending” may be placed on the transcript at the time the complaint is filed.

i. The notation will be removed or changed as appropriate following final resolution of the complaint, including any possible appeal.

f. No disciplinary action or other restriction on a student’s participation in academic or co-curricular activities will be imposed prior to a final determination, except interim action described in Section V.D.

g. In cases where an allegation, if proven, may result in Probation, Suspension, or Expulsion, a student’s degree may be held pending a final resolution of the case.

3. Notice

When a complaint is received, the respondent will be notified in writing that a complaint has been submitted and the policies alleged to have been violated.

a. The respondent will be invited to schedule an initial meeting with the conduct officer to discuss the case.

b. The initial notice, and all subsequent notices will be sent electronically to the respondent's Tufts.edu email address.

c. All students are responsible for regularly checking their University email address.

d. Failure to respond to an initial notice will result in the placement of an enrollment hold, a transcript hold, a graduation hold; or in the conduct officer proceeding with the SCRP without the respondent's input.

4. Initial Meeting

Respondents are required to attend an initial meeting with the conduct officer promptly upon receiving written notice of the complaint.

a. The purpose of the initial meeting is to discuss the substance of the complaint, offer the respondent a chance to respond, consider what can be learned from what occurred, and discuss the options available to the respondent under the SCRP.

b. A respondent is permitted to have one advisor accompany them to the initial meeting, and any other meetings or hearings during the SCRP.

c. In certain cases, the initial meeting may be followed by additional investigation and a subsequent meeting.

d. Written Response. After an initial meeting with the conduct officer, respondents may to respond to the complaint in writing.

i. A written response is required in cases resolved via hearing and sanctioning hearing, and optional in cases resolved via Administrative decision and restorative conference.

ii. Respondents who are required to or choose to submit a written response to the complaint must do so within two business days after the initial meeting. Extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

iii. The respondent will be required to certify that their response is their own original work and the complainant must cite sources, editors, and collaborators appropriately.

J. Procedures for Administrative Decision

Procedures for Administrative Decision

The Administrative decision most often takes place during the initial meeting, but may occur in a separate appointment following the initial meeting. The purpose of an Administrative decision is to facilitate a reflection on what occurred, prompt the student to identify what they can learn from the experience, and identify action steps that resolve the situation.

After the Administrative decision and the student's opportunity to submit a written response, the conduct officer will determine whether or not the respondent violated Tufts policy, using a preponderance of the evidence standard.

If the respondent is found responsible, the conduct officer also determines what sanctions are appropriate. The conduct officer may consult with appropriate people in making this determination. In deliberations on sanctions, the conduct officer may review any prior findings of responsibility of the respondent. Except as provided in Section V.O, the conduct officer's decision is final. The conduct officer provides written notice of the decision to the respondent, and when permitted, the complainant.

No audio or video recording of any kind is allowed during an Administrative decision. A documentary record of the proceedings will be kept in the files of the Office Community Standards. This record should include: (1) the complaint and respondent's response, (2) all documents submitted, and (3) the decision letter.

K. Procedures for Hearing

Overview

A hearing is designed to facilitate a robust examination of the facts of a case by people of different perspectives in the community. Hearings allow the complainant and respondent to appear before a panel who will consider all relevant information from the complaint, the response, and relevant witnesses. The panel members are students, faculty, and staff who are trained in resolving cases according to the SCRP. Hearings do not attempt to create an adversarial or a courtroom environment, but rather are structured conversations with a decision-making panel.

A hearing may be convened to consider the conduct of a single student or student organization. A hearing also may be convened to consider the conduct of multiple students or student organizations involved in the same incident or circumstances. If a hearing is convened to consider the conduct of multiple students or student organizations, the panel determines the individual responsibility of each student or student organization and issues separate sanction accordingly. The panel also has the discretion to decide that individual hearings should be convened instead of hearing the case collectively.

1. Scheduling and notice

The hearing is scheduled as soon as is reasonably possible after the respondent's written response has been received by the conduct officer or after the deadline for submission has passed.

a. Hearings are scheduled based on the class schedules of the complainant, respondent, and witnesses and the panel members' availability. Hearings are not scheduled around the availability of advisors, nor around extracurricular activities of complainants, respondents, or witnesses.

b. The complainant and respondent will be notified in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing at least seven business days in advance. The complainant and respondent are each responsible for notifying their advisor and their witnesses.

c. Both parties will be provided with guidelines for submitting documents for the hearing and a date by which any documents to be presented at the hearing must be submitted, typically three business days before the hearing.

i. All parties must certify that all materials submitted as their own constitute their own original work and must cite sources, editors, and collaborators appropriately.

ii. Information submitted following this date may only be included for consideration at the discretion of the chair.

iii. The complainant and respondent will have access to all documents that the panel will consider relevant to the finding of responsibility.

iv. Following receipt of this information, the documents will be made available to the panelists, the complainant, and the respondent. Typically, documents will be distributed two business days before the hearing.

v. The chair or the panel may request a fact-finding report from the Office of Community Standards or designee.

2. Panel

The panel hearing any particular case shall be made up of five individuals who are approved by the Office of Community Standards, which shall include at least three faculty and at least one student.

a. Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to a fair and impartial panel.

b. Normally, the names of panelists who will participate in a hearing will be given to the parties five business days prior to the hearing.

c. A panelist will be replaced if one of the parties in the case is able to demonstrate to the chair of the hearing, at least three business days before the scheduled hearing, that the panelist is not in a position to be impartial.

d. The panel or the chair will judge whether a panelist whose impartiality is questioned should remain on the panel.

e. The mere fact that a panelist has taught or is teaching a class in which one of the parties was or is enrolled, or that a panelist has been or is in a class with a party, is not grounds, per se, for the disqualification of the panelist.

f. The complaint and respondent can waive the minimum quorum of a panel in writing in order to allow the hearing to proceed with fewer than five panel members.

3. Privacy

Hearings are open only to the complainant, complainant's advisor, respondent, respondent's advisor, scheduled witnesses, the panel, and the chair. No others are permitted to attend.

4. Witnesses

The complainant and the respondent are entitled to present as many relevant eye witnesses as necessary at a hearing.

a. Eye witnesses who testify about an incident will be asked to speak to what they have directly observed, heard, or done – not what the witnesses believe or may have heard happened.

b. A list of witnesses must be provided to the chair no later than five business days prior to the hearing.

c. Each party will receive a list of the other party’s witnesses no later than three business days prior to the Hearing.

d. Both parties will have an opportunity to ask questions of all eye witnesses.

e. Witnesses are normally required to be present at hearings so that they may respond to questions.

f. Character witnesses will not be permitted to appear in person.

i. Character witnesses may submit a letter to be considered by the panel.

ii. The complainant and respondent may submit letters from up to two character witnesses each.

g. Expert witnesses are only allowed in unusual circumstances and with the advance permission of the chair.

5. Chair's Role

The chair facilitates the hearing.

a. The chair may postpone or suspend a hearing.

b. The chair may call a brief recess at any time during the hearing.

c. At any time, the chair determines whether certain witnesses should appear and decides whether any particular question, statement, or information will be allowed during a hearing. Formal rules of evidence that apply to civil or criminal judicial processes are not applicable.

d. The chair may call a particular witness.

e. The chair shall warn any participant deemed to be disruptive, harassing, or intimidating to any other participant and if appropriate, excuse any individual's presence at a hearing, or take any other action deemed necessary by the chair to ensure an orderly hearing.

6. Hearing Procedures

Hearings will generally follow the following procedure. The chair of the hearing may alter this procedure by agreement of the complaint and respondent or otherwise as necessary to ensure a fair hearing.

a. The chair reads introductions and description of the hearing procedures to the parties.

b. The chair reads the alleged violation(s) and asks the respondent either to accept or deny responsibility.

c. The complainant may make an opening statement (limited to ten minutes) followed by the opportunity of the respondent and the panel to ask questions of the complainant.

i. When the University is the complainant, the University will not give an opening or closing statement.

d. The respondent may make an opening statement (limited to ten minutes) followed by the opportunity of the complainant and the panel to ask questions of the respondent.

i. When the University is the complainant, the University will not ask questions of the respondent after the opening statement.

e. The complainant's witnesses may provide statements followed by the opportunity of the complainant, the respondent, and the panel to ask questions of the complainant's witnesses.

i. When the University is the complainant, the University may invite witnesses to answer questions from the panel and the respondent.

f. The respondent's witnesses may provide statements followed by the opportunity of the respondent, the complainant, and the panel to ask questions of the respondent's witnesses.

g. The panel or the chair may call witnesses to aid the panel. The panel or the chair may recall witnesses who previously appeared for the purpose of asking further questions.

h. The panel may ask questions of both parties and the parties may question each other.

i. The complainant may make a closing statement (limited to ten minutes). If the University is the complainant, the University will not make a closing statement.

j. The respondent may make a closing statement (limited to ten minutes).

k. The chair closes the hearing

l. The panel meets in executive session to deliberate; the chair will facilitate deliberations.

m. Please note the following:

i. The panel may ask questions of any party at any time.

ii. If either party is reluctant to ask questions of the other party or of any witnesses, they may submit a written list of questions that, if appropriate, will be relayed by the chair of the Hearing.

7. Deliberations and Decision

a. Once the hearing has concluded, the panel meets in executive session to reach its decision.

b. The Director of Community Standards or designee will be present during the sanctioning portion of the deliberations if the student is found responsible but will not have a vote. The Director of Community Standards or designee may be present during the finding portion of deliberation at the panel’s request, but will not have a vote.

c. The panel decides first, using a preponderance of the evidence standard and based on a majority, if a respondent is responsible for committing one or more violations of Tufts policy or standards.

d. If a respondent is found responsible, the panel will then decide what is the appropriate sanction or sanctions to impose. In deliberations on sanctions, the panel may review any prior findings of responsibility of the respondent.

e. The sanctions available are described in Section V.N.

f. Except as provided in Section V.O the SRCB's decision is final.

g. Written notice of the decision is usually provided to the respondent, and when permitted, the complainant, no later than ten business days after the hearing.

8. Record Keeping

No audio or visual recording of any kind of is allowed during the hearing; no transcript of the hearing should be made. A documentary record of the proceedings will be kept in the files of the Office of Community Standards. This record should include: (1) the complaint and respondent's response, (2) all documents submitted at the hearing, and (3) the decision letter. This record does not summarize or otherwise attempt to preserve the hearing or deliberative discussions.

L. Procedures for Sanctioning Hearing

Overview

A sanctioning hearing is designed to facilitate a robust examination of the facts of a case by people of different perspectives in the community. Panel members are students, faculty, and staff who are trained in resolving cases according to the SCRP. Sanctioning hearings allow the complainant and respondent to appear before a panel of trained individuals who will consider all information relevant to sanctioning.

Sanctioning hearings do not attempt to create an adversarial or a courtroom environment, but rather are structured conversations with a decision-making panel. The proceedings provide an opportunity for complaints, responses, and evidence to be considered.

A sanctioning hearing may be convened to consider the conduct of a single student or student organization. A sanctioning hearing also may be convened to consider the conduct of multiple students or student organizations involved in the same incident or circumstances. If a sanctioning hearing is convened to consider the conduct of multiple students or student organizations, the panel determines the individual sanction separately. The panel also has the discretion to decide that individual sanctioning hearings should be convened instead of hearing the case collectively.

1. Scheduling and Notice

The sanctioning hearing is scheduled as soon as is reasonably possible after the respondent's written response has been received by the conduct officer or after the deadline for submission has passed.

a. Sanctioning hearings are scheduled based on the class schedules of the complainant, respondent, and witnesses and the panel members' availability. Sanctioning hearings are not scheduled around the availability of advisors, nor around extracurricular activities of complainants, respondents, or witnesses.

b. The complainant and respondent will be notified in writing of the date, time, and place of the sanctioning hearing at least five business days' in advance. The complainant and respondent are each responsible for notifying their advisor and their witnesses.

c. Both parties will be provided with guidelines for submitting documents for the hearing and a date by which any documents to be presented at the sanctioning hearing must be submitted.

i. All parties must certify that all materials submitted as their own constitute their own original work and must cite sources, editors, and collaborators appropriately.

ii. Information submitted following this date may only be included for consideration at the discretion of the chair.

iii. Following receipt of this information, the chair will assemble the documents and distribute them to the panelists, the complainant, and the respondent.

iv. The chair or the panel may request a fact-finding report from the Office of Community Standards or designee to be submitted.

2. Panel

The panel hearing any particular case shall be made up of five individuals who are members approved by the Office of Community Standards, which shall include at least three faculty and at least one student.

a. Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to a fair and impartial panel.

b. Normally, the names of panelists who will participate in a sanctioning panel will be given to the parties five business days prior to the hearing.

c. A panelist will be replaced if one of the parties in the case is able to demonstrate to the chair of the sanctioning panel, at least three business days before the scheduled sanctioning panel, that the panelist is not in a position to be impartial.

i. The panel or the chair will judge whether a panelist whose impartiality is questioned should remain on the panel.

ii. The mere fact that a panelist has taught or is teaching a class in which one of the parties was or is enrolled, or that a panelist has been or is in a class with a party, is not grounds, per se, for the disqualification of the panelist.

iii. The complaint and respondent can waive the minimum quorum of a panel in writing in order to allow the hearing to proceed with less than three panel members.

3. Privacy

Sanctioning hearings are open only to the complainant, complainant's advisor, respondent, respondent's advisor, scheduled witnesses, the panel, and the chair. No others are permitted to attend.

4. Witnesses

Eye witnesses are generally not used at the sanctioning hearing because the respondent has already accepted responsibility and the parties agree to the facts. Character witnesses will not be permitted to appear in person, but may submit a letter to be considered by the panel. The complainant and respondent may submit up to two character witnesses each. Expert witnesses are only allowed with the advance permission of the chair, which will only be granted in unusual circumstances.

5. Chair's Role

The chair facilitates the sanctioning hearing.

a. The chair may postpone or suspend a sanctioning hearing.

b. The chair may call a brief recess at any time during the sanctioning hearing.

c. At any time, the chair determines whether certain witnesses should appear and decides whether any particular question, statement, or information will be allowed during a sanctioning hearing. Formal rules of evidence that apply to civil or criminal judicial processes are not applicable.

d. The chair may call a particular witness.

e. The chair shall warn any participant deemed to be disruptive, harassing, or intimidating to any other participant and if appropriate, excuse any individual's presence at a sanctioning hearing, or take any other action deemed necessary by the chair to ensure an orderly sanctioning hearing.

6. Sanctioning hearing procedures

Sanctioning hearings will generally follow the following procedure. The chair of the sanctioning hearing may alter this procedure by agreement of the complaint and respondent or otherwise as necessary to ensure a fair hearing.

a. The chair reads introductions and description of the sanctioning hearing procedures to the parties.

b. The chair reads the alleged violation(s) and asks the respondent either to accept or deny responsibility. If the respondent denies responsibility, the sanctioning hearing ends and is referred for another resolution method.

c. The complainant may make an opening statement (limited to ten minutes) followed by the opportunity of the respondent and the panel to ask questions of the complainant.

i. When the University is the complainant, the University will not make an opening statement.

d. The respondent may make an opening statement (limited to ten minutes) followed by the opportunity of the complainant and the panel to ask questions of the respondent.

i. When the University is the complainant, the University will not ask questions of the respondent after the opening statement.

e. The panel or the chair may call witnesses to aid the panel.

f. The panel may ask questions of both parties and the parties may question each other.

g. The complainant may make a closing statement (limited to ten minutes). When the University is the complainant, the University will not make a closing statement.

h. The respondent may make a closing statement (limited to ten minutes).

i. The chair closes the sanctioning hearing j. The panel meets in executive session to deliberate; the chair will facilitate deliberations.

k. Please note the following:

i. The panel may ask questions of any party at any time.

ii. If either party is reluctant to ask questions of the other party, they may submit a written list of questions that, if appropriate, will be relayed by the chair of the hearing.

7. Deliberations and Decision

Once the hearing has concluded, the panel meets in executive session to reach its decision.

a. The Director of Community Standards or designee will be present during the sanctioning panel’s executive session but will not have a vote.

b. They formally find the respondent responsible.

c. The panel will then decide what is the appropriate sanction or sanctions to impose. In deliberations on sanctions, the panel may review any prior findings of responsibility of the respondent.

d. The sanctions available are described in Section V.N.

e. Except as provided in Section V.O the panel's decision is final.

f. Written notice of the decision is usually provided to the respondent, and when permitted, the complainant, no later than ten business days after the hearing.

8. Record Keeping

No audio or visual recording of any kind of us allowed during a sanctioning hearing; no transcript of the hearing should be made. A documentary record of the proceedings will be kept in the files of the Office of Community Standards. This record should include: (1) the complaint and respondent's response, (2) all documents submitted at the sanctioning hearing, and (3) the decision letter. This record does not summarize or otherwise attempt to preserve the hearing or deliberative discussions.

M. Procedures for Restorative Conference

Procedures for Restorative Conference

If a complaint is possibly a candidate for a restorative conference, a conference coordinator will contact the complainant and respondent to determine whether they are interested in participating. If a complaint is made by more than one individual, the individuals may participate as a group or through a representative(s). When the University is the complainant, the conduct officer will determine if a restorative conference is appropriate and may select a representative of the University to participate. The conduct officer will contact all other involved individuals with an invitation to participate. No person is required to participate in a restorative conference; complainants and respondents are free to choose another resolution method at any time.

If both the complainant and the respondent are willing to participate, a conference coordinator will facilitate separate pre-conference meetings with the complainant, the respondent, and other involved individuals. The purpose of the pre-conference meetings is to understand the perspectives of all involved individuals, educate the students about their role in the restorative conference, and prepare participants to discuss the harm that was done.

The complainant and respondent will be notified of all people who have been invited to participate at least three business days before the conference. The conference coordinator will schedule a restorative conference. The complaint, respondent, and other involved individuals will be notified of the date, time, and location of the restorative conference at least three business days in advance.

The conference coordinator will facilitate the conference, which will generally adhere to the following format:

1. Conference Opening. Conference coordinator sets shared expectations for conference and builds shared responsibility for outcome.

2. Respondent tells their story. In an effort to establish responsibility and repair relationships, the respondent shares what occurred and what harm was caused.

3. Complainant and affected community members share their stories. The complainant, followed by other involved people, are asked to describe how they have been impacted.

4. Discussion. Conference coordinator facilitates a discussion that leads to an agreement on what action to take to repair the harm that was done. Participants in the conference reach the agreement by consensus of everyone present.

5. Signed Agreement. Once the conference agreement is drafted, the conference coordinator collects signatures from conference participants and identifies action items.

6. Conference coordinator closes conference. Following the conference, the conference coordinator sends a copy of the signed agreement to all participants. The conference coordinator tracks the implementation of the outcomes.

If no conference agreement is reached, the conference coordinator refers the case to another resolution method.

N. Sanctions

Overview

Violations of University policy are addressed through disciplinary sanctions, restitution, health and safety measures, and educational sanctions. Sanctions may be issued by the conduct officer or by the panel and may apply to students or student organizations. Sanctions also may be outcomes agreed upon at a restorative conference. Sanctions may include but are not limited to those below.

1. Warning

A warning is a letter noting that a student or student organization’s behavior violated University policy and further similar behavior may result in more serious disciplinary action. Warnings are a prompt to consider behavior more carefully in the future. A warning is not noted on a student’s transcript.

2. Reprimand

A reprimand is formal notice that a student or student organization’s actions violated University policy, that such actions are not acceptable in our community, and that further misconduct may result in more serious disciplinary action. Reprimand is a communication to the student or student organization that improved decision making is expected in the future. A reprimand is not noted on a student’s transcript.

3. Probation

Disciplinary probation is a status indicating that a student or student organization has violated an important expectation of community membership. Probation communicates to the student that urgent action and significant change are required, and a warning that continued inappropriate behavior may result in disciplinary suspension. During the probation period, students and student organizations are directed to take active steps toward improving their behaviors and to demonstrate that they can uphold the standards of the Tufts community. Probation lasts for a specified period of time. During the probationary period, students and student organizations are not considered to be in good standing at the University. Disciplinary probation may be noted on the transcript for a duration of time specified by the conduct officer or hearing panel.

a. The probationary period can be accompanied by a loss of privileges. For individual students, loss of privileges may include but is not limited to inability to hold certain campus employment and leadership roles, inability to study abroad, inability to participate in varsity athletics and certain other extracurricular activities. For student organizations, loss of privileges may include but is not limited to restrictions on social events or restrictions on use of funds.

4. Disciplinary Suspension

Suspension communicates that the respondent's behavior was inconsistent with the mission and values of Tufts University and the respondent must reflect and change in order to return to the academic community. A student on suspension may not be on campus or participate in any aspect of University life, including but not limited to classes, extra-curricular organizations, research, campus events, on-campus or University-recognized housing, and employment. Disciplinary suspension will be noted on the transcript, for a duration of time specified by the conduct officer or hearing panel.

a. Respondents will be required to complete additional sanctions or action items while suspended in order to be readmitted to the University. Readmission is coordinated through the Office of Community Standards and is contingent upon satisfaction of all requirements stated in the original sanction.

b. A student who is suspended after having satisfied all degree requirements will not be awarded their degree until the period of suspension is over and they have met all conditions for reenrollment. The student may not participate in commencement exercises until the period of suspension is over and they have been approved to reenroll by meeting all the terms of the suspension.

5. Expulsion

Expulsion is permanent dismissal from the University without the possibility of readmission or reinstatement at any time in the future. Expulsion communicates that the respondent's behavior was fundamentally inconsistent with the mission and values of Tufts University and the respondent is no longer eligible to be a part of the Tufts community. Expulsion results in the forfeiture of all rights and degrees not conferred at the time of the expulsion. Expulsion disqualifies a student from participation in campus activities including classes and social events. Students who are expelled are not permitted to be on campus at any time for any reason. Expulsion is noted on the transcript permanently.

6. Revocation of a Degree

In instances where an individual is found responsible for a violation that rises to the level of permanent dismissal but is no longer enrolled at the University, the University may revoke that individual's degree. When a degree is revoked, the graduate forfeits of all rights and responsibilities associated with the degree, and forfeits all tuition and fees. All restrictions outlined under permanent dismissal also apply, including the prohibition from readmission to be a student at Tufts University in the future. Revocation of a degree is listed on the transcript permanently.

7. Suspension of student organization recognition

Suspension of student organization recognition is the temporary termination of the University's recognition of a student organization. While a student organization is suspended, it may not exercise any of the benefits of recognition, including the use of University facilities, the use of the University's name or logo, the use of the University's electronic resources (including web hosting), access to University funds or banking, bulletin board and room reservations, etc. While a student organization is suspended, the organization may also be sanctioned by loss of approval for student organization residence.

a. The conduct officer or hearing panel may require communication of the student organization’s suspended status to all student members of the organization and to prospective organization members. In all cases, notification of the suspension will be sent to the appropriate governing groups and the Office of Campus Life.

b. The conduct officer or hearing panel may specify conditions that the student organization must meet before being eligible to petition for a return to recognized status and may also specify conditions which must be met upon return to registered or recognized status. These conditions will be in addition to the recognition requirements that any other prospective student organization would be required to complete before achieving registered or recognized status.

c. At the end of a suspension period, a suspended student organization must petition for permission to return to registered or recognized status through the OCS, demonstrating that all requirements of the suspension have been satisfied and that there have been no additional violations. If the petition is approved, the suspended organization must also complete the standard recognition or registration process that is in place for student organizations of its type at the time of return. Depending on type of organization, this standard process may include approval from national organizations of which the student organization would be a local chapter; securing approval from the Tufts Community Union Judiciary or other relevant governing body; securing a faculty or staff advisor; or other process that is in place at the time of the petition. A student organization can only return to registered or recognized status after the OCS has approved a petition to return and all the normal criteria for achieving registered or recognized status are achieved.

8. Revocation of recognition

Revocation of recognition is the permanent termination of the University's recognition of a student organization. If recognition is permanently revoked, a student organization is not permitted to return to recognized status at any time, in any capacity. After a student organization has recognition revoked, it may not exercise any of the benefits of recognition, including the use of University facilities, the use of the University’s name or logo, the use of the University's electronic resources (including web hosting), access to University funds or banking, bulletin board and room reservations, etc. Revocation of recognition also necessitates a loss of approval for student organization residence, if applicable.

9. Loss of approval for student organization residence

For student organizations that operate University-approved housing for their members, loss of approval for student organization residence means the temporary or permanent termination of University-approved housing status and will require all active members to move out of the organization’s formerly approved housing. The conduct officer or hearing panel shall specify the duration of the temporary prohibition or indicate a permanent loss of approval for organization residence.

10. Removal from or Relocation within On-Campus Housing

A student or student organization may lose the privilege to reside in all on-campus housing or to reside in a specific residence hall, house, building, or other residence.

11. Loss of Privileges

A student or student organization may lose privileges for a specified period of time. Such privileges including the ability to have a car on campus, parking privileges, participation in certain events, access to electronic resources, access to residence halls, suspension of visitation privileges to residence halls, or use of Tufts-owned equipment. Loss of privileges also may entail the loss of membership or leadership positions such as student staff positions in the Office of Residential Life and Learning, leadership positions in Pre-Orientation programs, or positions on athletic teams.

12. Grade Change

If found responsible for academic misconduct, a grading consequence is issued by the instructor of the course based on the recommendation of the conduct officer or hearing panel. Typical grading consequences include a zero or failing grade on the assignment or in the course.

13. Notification of Parent(s) and/or Guardian(s)

A student's parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) may be notified of the violation.

14. Notification to National Organization Representatives, Officers, or Advisers (Student Organization or Group only)

A student organization’s national representative, officers, and/or advisers may be notified of the violation for which the student organization has been found responsible.

15. Notification of University Officials

University officials may be notified of a student’s consequence/sanction, depending on the nature of the violation. Officials may include but are not limited to academic advisors, members of residential staff, professors, department heads, supervisors, or coaches.

16. Restitution

Restitution is the payment for all or a portion of injury or damages to person(s) or property caused by an individual or a group.

17. Substance abuse assessment

Students may be assigned to obtain a substance abuse assessment from an appropriate professional. The student will typically be required to complete any education or treatment that is recommended as a result of the assessment.

18. Participation in a Workshop, Training, Course, or Seminar

Students or student organizations may be required to complete an educational program. Such programs may include plagiarism prevention tutorials, bystander intervention training, workshops about hazing prevention, an Academic Integrity Seminar, or other relevant educational program.

19. Required Writing Project

Students or student organizations may be assigned to complete written reflections or projects. Such projects may include reflection essays, proposals to address a campus issue, research reports, or other written projects. Written projects are expected to exhibit the quality of writing expected of University students.

20. Personal Accountability Plans

Students may be assigned to consider the factors that led to the violation and create personal, academic, professional, and/or other goals to avoid future violations. Personal Accountability Plans typically include required metrics to assess progress toward a student's stated goals and follow-up meetings to discuss progress.

21. Required Meeting(s) with the Dean of Student Affairs Office

Students or student organizations may be required to attend one or more meetings with the conduct officer or another advisor in the Dean of Student Affairs Office.

22. Referral to other offices or services

Students or student organizations may be asked to meet with or attend programs facilitated by other offices on campus. Referrals may include a meeting with an academic advisor, workshops at the Academic Resource Center, or other relevant services.

23. Restorative Actions

Restorative actions require a student to engage in actions to restore the impact of a violation and repair the harms resulting from misconduct on other members of the community. These actions may include letters of apology, drafting and implementing a plan of resolution, and developing plans for reintegration. Restorative Actions also may include any plan of behavioral changes agreed to during a Restorative Conference.

24. Additional Sanctions

Additional sanctions may be imposed such as projects, community service, removal from activities, and other sanctions as the conduct officer or hearing panel deems appropriate.

O. Appeals

Overview

The appeal process is designed to ensure that decisions reached as a result of the SCRP are fair. The appeal is not a re-hearing, or an opportunity to request reconsideration, but rather a review of the record by impartial community members who were not involved in reaching the original decision designed to ensure the decision reached was consistent with the SCRP and with fundamental fairness.

Both parties may appeal a decision made by a conduct officer or by a hearing panel. If the University is the complainant, the University may not appeal. Decisions reached at restorative conference are not subject to appeal. The appeal must be filed using the online form on the Community Standards homepage within ten business days of the notification of the disciplinary decision. The appeal must specifically state the grounds for the appeal and the information or evidence in support of the appeal.

There are only three grounds on which to appeal a decision reached as the result of an Administrative decision, hearing, or sanctioning hearing. They are:

  1. Newly Available Information. There exists substantive and relevant information that was not available to the parties at the time of the resolution or could not have been discovered through due diligence at the time of the original resolution.
  2. Denial of Fair Process. There was a substantial departure from the procedures outlined in the Student Conduct Review Process that significantly affected the fairness of the process.
  3. Severity of the Consequences. The sanction is at significant variance with the range of sanctions appropriate in the situation.

The appellate body is the Committee on Student Life. The CSL is a standing committee composed of members of the faculty, appointed by the faculty of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, by students elected at large by the student body, and by a representative of the Graduate Student Council. The appeal is received and reviewed by the co-chairs of the Committee on Student Life (CSL). If one or more of the co-chairs determines that the appeal adequately presents an argument that one or more of the grounds for appeal is met, then the co-chairs will convene an CSL for an appellate panel. If no co-chair forwards the appeal to the full committee, the appeal is denied and the parties are notified.  This denial is final and the SCRP concludes.

The purpose of the appellate panel is to consider the grounds for appeal as submitted by the person appealing the decision. An appellate panel will generally adhere to the procedures below.

1. Panel

The panel hearing any particular appeal shall be made up of individuals who are members of the CSL. In accordance with the Bylaws of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, the quorum for all appeals heard by the CSL shall be three faculty and two student members.

a. Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to a fair and impartial appellate panel.

i. A member of the CSL will be recused if one of the parties in the case is able to demonstrate to the co-chairs of the CSL, at least three business days before the scheduled appellate panel, that the member is not in a position to be impartial.

ii. A CSL member may ask to recuse themselves if they believe that they are not in a position to be impartial.

iii. The CSL co-chairs will judge whether a member whose impartiality is questioned should remain on the panel.

iv. The mere fact that a member has taught or is teaching a class in which one of the parties was or is enrolled, or that a panelist has been or is in a class with a party, is not grounds, per se, for the disqualification of the panelist.

v. The complaint and respondent can waive the minimum quorum of a panel in writing in order to allow the appellate consideration to proceed with less than five panel members.

2. Participation

Neither the complainant nor the respondent will be present during the appeal. The appellate panel will consult with the conduct officer or hearing chair involved in the original Administrative decision, hearing, or sanctioning hearing. The appellate panel may consult members of the original hearing panel. The Director of Community Standards or designee will be present during the appellate consideration to assist the panel. If the Director of Community Standards is the original conduct officer, the Director will designate another individual to assist the panel.

3. Chair

The co-chairs of the CSL will designate an individual member of the CSL, typically a co-chair, to convene the appellate panel.

4. Case Record Review

The appellate panel will be provided with a written record of the case.

a. The documents provided to the appellate panel will include the complaint, response, outcome letter, and any evidence and/or supporting documentation submitted at the hearing as well as the appeal letter.

b. Documents may be admitted or omitted at the discretion of the Director of Community Standards or designee.

c. The appellate panel will review the case materials.

d. The appellate panel will ask clarifying questions of the chair of the original hearing or conduct officer.

5. Deliberation and Decision

Once the appellate panel hearing has concluded, the panel meets in executive session to reach its decision.

a. The Director of Community Standards or designee will be present to assist the panel, but will not be a voting member of the panel.

b. The panel may reach a decision by a simple majority.

6. Appeals outside CSL Session

Should an appeal occur when the CSL is not in session, the co-chairs of the CSL or designees will act as the appellate officers.

a. In the case of an appeal heard by the co-chairs of the CSL or designees, the co-chairs or designees will review the case materials, ask clarifying questions of the conduct officer or chair, and come to a determination.

7. Outcomes of Appeals

An appeal may result in any of the following options:

a. The appellate panel or officer may deny the appeal and uphold the original decision. In this case, the decision is final and the SCRP concludes.

b. The appellate panel or officer may accept the appeal and direct one of the following actions to occur:

i. For appeals made on the grounds of new evidence, the case will be remanded to the conduct officer or hearing panel that resolved the case originally to consider the new evidence.

  1. If the original conduct officer or hearing panel members are unavailable, a new hearing panel or conduct officer will decide the case.

ii. For appeals made on the grounds that there was a denial of fair process, the case will be the case will be remanded to a new Administrative decision, hearing, or sanctioning hearing.

iii. For appeals made on the grounds of the severity of the sanction, the appellate panel or officer may alter the original sanctions' terms or assign new sanctions. The appellate panel or officer may assign sanctions that are less severe, more severe, or simply different. The full range of potential consequences is available to the appellate panel or officer.

8. Notification of Outcome of Appeal

A written notice of the decision is provided to a respondent no later than ten business days after the appellate panel.

a. The final decision will be communicated to the same people who received notice of the decision and to any other University officials who need to be aware of it in order to permit them to fulfill their professional responsibilities.

b. This appellate decision by the CSL or the appellate officer is final.

P. Allegations Against Former Students

Allegations Against Former Students

The student conduct resolution process may be used to resolve complaints against former students and former student organizations.  All allegations of discrimination or harassment, including sexual misconduct, against former students shall be referred to the OEO.  OEO does not have a statute of limitations on these matters and will resolve these matters in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct and Non-Discrimination policies and processes.

Due to the rarity of such cases, the retroactive and permanent nature of the sanction, and the special circumstances surrounding each such case, the student conduct review process includes the following special procedures to respond to such complaints:

1. The Director of Community Standards or designee will conduct an initial review of each complaint to determine whether, based on the allegations presented on the face of the complaint, it is appropriate to move forward with an internal investigation or resolution of the case.

a. In order to be eligible for internal investigation or student conduct review process resolution, a complaint against a former student or student organization must:

b. Allege conduct that occurred while the respondent was a student or a registered or recognized student organization and that was against University policy at the time of the alleged conduct.

c. Allege conduct that would have resulted in a consideration of expulsion if the complaint had been submitted while the respondent was a student, or that would have resulted in the consideration of permanent revocation of recognition for a student organization.

d. Not allege misconduct of which the Dean of Student Affairs Office had sufficient knowledge in time for a reasonable opportunity to adjudicate prior to the student’s graduation. 

i. The Director of Community Standards or designee can waive this limitation upon determination that good cause exists to do so.

e. Have occurred within the following time frame:

i. For allegations of academic misconduct, there shall be no time limit.

ii. For allegations of all other misconduct, the Dean of Student Affairs Office will generally not consider complaints that allege misconduct that occurred more than two years prior to the date the complaint is made. 

  1. The Dean of Student Affairs may waive this limitation upon a petition from the complainant documenting that good cause exists to do so.
  2. Have a compelling and current nexus to the University (this can include, without limitation, any ongoing status of the respondent at the University; the University’s need to maintain a safe campus; the ongoing status of the complainant, witnesses, or other people involved in the case at the University; the University’s need to maintain integrity in academic programs; the need to correct ongoing misconduct; and other similar criteria) or in the judgment of the Director of Community Standards or designee raise an issue of significant importance to the University.  In determining this point, the Director of Community Standards or designee shall consider the case holistically and shall have wide discretion.

2. As a result of this initial review, the Director of Community Standards or designee can choose to request an internal investigation and, at the conclusion of the investigation, conduct an adjudication of the case per normal student conduct review process. The Director of Community Standards or designee also may determine that the case will not move forward.

a. The Director of Community Standards or designee’s decision on whether to permit a complaint against a former student or student organization to be investigated or resolved by the student conduct review process is final and not subject to appeal.

3. If the preceding conditions are met and a graduate is found responsible for misconduct occurring prior to the individual graduating from the University, the resulting sanction may be revocation of the individual’s degree.

a. It is expected that the sanction of degree revocation will be reserved for the most serious policy violations.

b. Other sanctions may include without limitation: temporarily or permanently banning a graduate from being on campus, participating in University-sponsored programs, or returning to Tufts in the future for further study or employment; transcript notation of disciplinary action; restitution; and any other sanctions that the Director of Community Standards or designee or panel determines are appropriate.

4. All other components of the student conduct review process that are not specifically modified by this section, including the appeal options, remain in effect and will be applied to a case of degree revocation.

Q. Record Keeping

Record Keeping

Records of disciplinary investigation and action are maintained in the Dean of Student Affairs Office. These records are considered private and internal. Accordingly, they are only released outside of the University at the student’s request or in accordance with federal law and the standards in Section VII : Appendix. In most cases, records are maintained for seven years from the date of the incident. In cases involving suspension, expulsion, degree revocation, student organization suspension or revocation of recognition; cases where the student withdraws while a charge is pending; cases with incomplete sanctions; cases involving litigation; and other cases designated by the Dean of Students, the Director of Community Standards, or designee, the records will be maintained indefinitely.

Because of their nature as a community group, student organizations do not have the same privacy interest as individual students. The community has an interest in knowing an organization’s current disciplinary status and recent history of policy violations. Accordingly, a summary of the violation and sanction is published online when a student organization is found responsible. No individual student information is published as part of this information.