Student Judicial Process

Introduction and Preliminary Information

Tufts University is an academic and social community, which means all of its members are responsible for maintaining certain community standards. Students and student organizations are held accountable through the Student Judicial Process for violations of University policy, local ordinances, and the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Code of Conduct, Tufts’ Academic Integrity Policy, and other policies described in the Student Handbook. The Student Judicial Process is managed by the Director of Community Standards with oversight from the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

The information and procedures below are current and supersede any prior version. They are subject to change at any time. Questions regarding the currency or accuracy of the material below should be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs Office.

Please note: The University’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) provides a separate process, the Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Process (SMAP), for addressing concerns or complaints of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and relationship violence. For questions about the SMAP or to file a report of sexual misconduct, please contact OEO’s Title IX Coordinator, Jill Zellmer: 617-627-3298. A report of sexual misconduct may also be filed with Kevin Kraft, Director of Community Standards, and students may contact either Kevin Kraft or Nandi Bynoe, Tufts’ Sexual Misconduct Resource Specialist, about initiating a Stay Away Request or No Contact Order between themselves and another student.

Students may seek confidential support and/or guidance for issues related to sexual misconduct by contacting the following:

Tufts University has an anonymous and confidential reporting system, EthicsPoint, which is available to both community members and non-members who would like to file a report about an incident/circumstance or bring a concern to the attention of the University. EthicsPoint can be used to report an incident of sexual misconduct, hazing, bias, intolerance, discrimination, and/or hate.

Jurisdiction

Tufts students are responsible for their conduct from the time they express intent to attend the University until they graduate or formally withdraw. University policy, local ordinances, and the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts apply to all incoming and matriculated students, regardless of leave status or time of year, both on and off campus. They also apply to all non-matriculated students enrolled in courses, and to official and unofficial student organizations. As such, the Student Judicial Process is used to address the behavior of all such students and student organizations.

Please note: Certain complaints and/or violations of local ordinances or the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be pursued in civil or criminal court simultaneous with or separate from the adjudication of a complaint within the Student Judicial Process. The Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) can provide information and assistance in bringing a complaint to a criminal or civil court: 617-627-3030. Please note, however, that filing a court case will rarely replace or postpone University disciplinary action.

Court Action

Students who are indicted in the court system, plead guilty, or are on probation from the courts, whether in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or elsewhere, are generally not eligible to be enrolled in classes at the University and/or to access the Tufts campus. Such students are also generally not eligible to be considered for possible re-enrollment and/or to access the Tufts campus until the resolution of the court proceedings and expiration of any probationary status.  Students serving probation in the criminal court system are also generally not eligible to transfer credits for courses taken elsewhere during the probationary period.

Communication during the adjudication process

Please note that the University’s primary method of communication is email and that parties involved in the Student Judicial Process are expected to maintain timely correspondence with staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office.  Failure to respond to email correspondence within 2 business days may result in adjudicative action being taken without the input of the involved parties. Please note that this expectation is in effect year-round, including the summer and at other times when classes are not in session. (Please see the Email Policy in the Student Handbook.)

Expectations of Truthfulness

Parties involved in the Student Judicial Process are expected to be honest and truthful.  They are asked to use specific, concise, objective language. Students who provide false information to University officials will be subject to disciplinary action.

During a formal Hearing, parties are not asked to swear an oath, but all written and oral participation must be truthful. A party or witness has the right to refrain from responding to particular questions. However, the panel is permitted to draw negative inference from a party’s or witness’s refusal to answer questions. The panel will determine whether a violation has occurred based on the testimony and evidence presented.

Attorneys

Students may seek the assistance of a private attorney in filing or responding to a complaint in the Student Judicial Process.  The attorney may consult with the Dean of Student Affairs Office or with Tufts University Counsel. However, private attorneys are not permitted to be present or to participate in student judicial proceedings. The University neither provides attorneys nor maintains a list of private legal resources.

Please note: Tufts University Counsel may be present during student judicial proceedings.

Advocates

Anyone can be an advocate for a party involved in the Student Judicial Process – a friend, parent, faculty member, a student from the Student Advocacy Program, even an attorney.  However, attorneys may not participate or be present in student judicial proceedings. (See Attorneys.)

Advocates, except for attorneys, may be present at student judicial proceedings, may work with a party in preparation for a Hearing, and can provide a ten-minute closing statement at the end of a Hearing. The advocate will not provide coaching during a Hearing, cannot question witnesses, or address the panel. Within reason, the convener of the Hearing may provide breaks during which the advocate may provide additional assistance to a party. The advocate may request to confer privately with the convener or University Counsel about the process. Advocates who violate or abuse these limitations are subject to disqualification from further participation in the current or future proceeding.

Advocates are neither required nor necessary in the Student Judicial Process. The University does not provide professional advocates for students or student organizations involved in disciplinary proceedings. The University makes no representations concerning the skills, knowledge, or effectiveness of any advocate. In addition to those in the Student Advocacy Program, University officials may be willing to work as an advocate with a party involved in the Student Judicial Process. However, some University officials are not eligible to serve as advocates at actual Hearings because of their roles and/or involvement with the individuals who typically make up Hearing panels. Some of these individuals include the chaplains, staff of Counseling and Mental Health Services, deans and vice presidents, police officers, and the directors of Student Affairs departments and programs.

Please note: A party who intends to have an advocate at a Hearing must provide the appropriate University official with written notice of the identity (name, relationship to the student, whether the advocate has had any legal training and the nature of that training, address, and telephone number) of the advocate no later than five business days prior to the Hearing. Failure to meet this deadline will result in forfeiture of the right to have an advocate.  Each party will be notified by a staff member in the Dean of Student Affairs Office of the identity of the other party’s advocate.

Student Advocacy Program

The Dean of Student Affairs Office’s Student Advocacy Program operates in partnership with the Tufts Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ). Through this system, student volunteers participate in a training to familiarize themselves with the Student Judicial Process. Please note that while the training provides familiarity with the judicial processes at Tufts, it is not substantial enough to provide “expertise” to these volunteers.  No certification or endorsement of ability is provided to the advocates in the program. Nevertheless, many students going through the Student Judicial Process have found that working with an advocate from this pool has been helpful. The list of the student advocates can be obtained from the Judicial Affairs Administrator: 617-627-3158.

Standard of Proof

Disciplinary decisions are made on the basis of a preponderance of the evidence presented. The complaining party has the burden of proof.

Prior Behavior

Generally, behavior that occurred prior to that described in the current complaint will not be considered while determining a student’s (or student organization’s) responsibility for a violation. However, complainants and respondents, under certain circumstances, may ask the appropriate University official to consider prior behavior if they feel it is relevant. Prior behavior will be considered at the discretion of the appropriate University official. In the event of a Hearing, prior behavior must be raised with the convener no later than 5 business days prior to the Hearing.

Current Disciplinary Status and/or Record

If a student (or student organization) is found responsible for a violation, their current disciplinary status and/or record will be considered in determining an appropriate consequence. However, a student’s (or student organization’s) current disciplinary status and/or record will generally not be used while determining their responsibility for a violation.

Please note: Before a panel meets in executive session during a formal Hearing, the convener will hand a sealed envelope to the panel to be opened only if it has been determined that a violation has occurred. The envelope contains information indicating whether or not the student (or student organization) has any current disciplinary record.

Counseling Records, Personal Documents, and Other Evidence

The University will not require any student to release their counseling records to another party, a University official, or a panel as part of a Hearing, nor will the University require a counselor to participate in a Hearing. However, a party involved in a Hearing or other judicial proceeding may choose to introduce as evidence or testify about information contained in their own counseling records or other personal documents. If a party wishes to introduce these materials, or to testify about information contained in them, the entire original, unedited, unabridged record or document set must be made available. If the case of a Hearing, these materials must given to the convener five business days prior to the Hearing. The convener will make the materials available to the opposing party (and their advocate) 3 business days prior to the beginning of the Hearing. The opposing party and advocate are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the materials and must return all such documents at the end of the Hearing.

If the opposing party identifies information in the records or documents that is inconsistent or contradictory to the allegations made or the testimony offered, the convener will provide an opportunity for the opposing party to raise these issues and to ask questions concerning the material.

Right to Pursue Related Violations

The scope of a disciplinary case will not be restricted to the violations alleged in a disciplinary complaint. The University reserves the authority to pursue any additional potential violations that have been identified during the disciplinary proceeding. The Dean of Student Affairs Office will notify the student(s) (or student organization(s)) of any new allegations that are identified and will decide whether such allegations will be pursued as part of the current judicial proceeding or will be considered in a separate mechanism of the Student Judicial Process.

Disciplinary Charges Pending

In cases where an allegation, if proven, may result in Probation, Formal Censure, Suspension, Indefinite Suspension, or Expulsion, the notation “Disciplinary Charges Pending” may be placed on a student’s transcript at the time the complaint is filed. No disciplinary action or other restriction on a student’s participation in academic or co-curricular activities will necessarily be imposed prior to a final determination, including any appeal, without evidence that a student poses a safety risk, threat, or disturbance to the campus community.  The notation will be removed or changed as appropriate following final resolution of the complaint, including any possible appeal.

Please note: In cases where an allegation, if proven, may result in Probation, Formal Censure, Suspension, Indefinite Suspension, or Expulsion, a student’s degree may be held pending a final determination at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office.

Withdrawal with Disciplinary Charges Pending

If a student voluntarily withdraws from the University after disciplinary charges have been filed against them, whether or not a “Disciplinary Charges Pending” notation has already been posted on their transcript, a permanent notation will be placed on the student’s transcript stating, “Student Withdrew with Disciplinary Charges Pending.” A student who withdraws under these circumstances will not be eligible to return to the University. Additional records of the pending disciplinary charge (including the complaint, correspondence, etc.) will be retained by the Dean of Student Affairs Office permanently as part of an official disciplinary record.

Notification to Tufts Community

Disciplinary Hearings and disciplinary outcomes are a matter of Tufts community public record. An anonymized Summary Report is made available on the Judicial Affairs homepage at the end of each semester and again at the end of the academic year.

Campus media may describe the nature and outcome of disciplinary situations, but are not given the names of the individuals involved.  Even in the event of a closed Hearing, the convener will provide a summary of the circumstances and findings of the case for reporting. Please note that occasionally the campus media may discover the identity of those involved in judicial proceedings through campus gossip or through outside police or court records, which are a matter of public record. When this happens, the University will not confirm the identity if asked and will discourage the campus media from disclosing the identity of those involved. However, the University cannot control decisions of the editorial boards of the media organizations in how to handle this information.

 

The Process

Filing a Complaint

A complaint may be filed against incoming and matriculated students (and against student organizations) by another student, a group of students, members of the faculty or administration, a student organization, or by those outside the Tufts community. The process begins with the submission of a written complaint to the Dean of Student Affairs Office: 617-627-3158.

The Dean of Student Affairs Office also has an online system for faculty who would like to Report an Academic Integrity Violation.

The person(s) filing the complaint is the “Complainant.” Complainants will usually be asked to write a description of the incident /circumstance, the person(s) against whom the complaint is being filed, and facts sufficient to initiate disciplinary procedures within the Student Judicial Process.

Once filed, the complaint will be made available to the Respondent. Once filed, a complaint may not be amended, but additional written statements and/or complaints may be brought to attention. Additional information or written statements may also be requested by the Dean of Student Affairs Office after a complaint has been filed. In situations where safety is an issue, some of the identifying information about the complainant or witnesses may be withheld.

In some cases, the Dean of Student Affairs Office may choose to pursue a “Dean’s Complaint” on behalf of another.  A Dean’s Complaint may be initiated at the request of a potential complainant or victim, but may also be initiated by staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office at their discretion without such a request when a potential violation has been identified.  (Please note that, in the case of a Dean’s Complaint, a potential complainant or victim may be asked to serve as a witness or to provide a written statement to the Dean of Student Affairs Office.)

Please note the following:

  • In the event of a Hearing, the complaint will be made available to the panel members. In the event of an appeal, it will also be made available to the appellate body. Incident reports prepared by the University police are not generally available to students or to the public. However, a student may request a copy of a police report by contacting the Dean of Student Affairs Office or the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) (617-627-3158 or 617-627-3030, respectively). 
  • Staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office are also available to facilitate informal conversations for community members who would like assistance resolving non-judicial conflicts. An informal conversation does not require the submission of a formal complaint, but is an opportunity for parties in conflict to discuss the issue at hand and propose an informal resolution.  Please contact the Dean of Student Affairs Office for more information: 617-627-3158.
  • Once a complaint concerning an academic integrity violation has been filed, a student may not drop or withdraw from the course.  If cleared of the allegation or found not responsible, the student may drop or withdraw from the course as per usual academic policy.  If the student is found not responsible, the assignment will be graded on its own merit.
  • A student accused of or found responsible for an academic integrity violation has the right to continue in the course regardless of the grading consequence, unless separation from the University has been imposed.
Time Limitation on Complaints

A party who wishes to make a complaint about an incident must initiate the complaint within one calendar year from the date of the incident. (Note that in the Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Process there is no time limitation.) The University, at its discretion, may conduct disciplinary proceedings in relation to an incident that occurred outside of the one-year window when circumstances warrant, including – but not limited to – cases where the alleged behavior suggests that there could be an ongoing safety risk or where the validity of academic work toward a degree is in question.

A complaint may be filed at any time. The Dean of Student Affairs Office will always proceed with adjudication at the time a complaint is filed, but a complaint filed late in the semester may result in a delay in adjudication until the beginning of the subsequent semester. Those considering bringing a complaint should anticipate that a delay in doing so may result in evidence or witnesses being unavailable. The University has no ability to compel an individual’s participation in a University judicial process if they are not a matriculated or incoming student at Tufts.

Submitting a Response

The person(s) against whom the Complaint is filed is the “Respondent.” Respondents must be incoming or matriculated students. (See Jurisdiction.) Respondents will be contacted by staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office requesting that they make an appointment. After meeting with a staff member in the Dean of Student Affairs Office, Respondents have the option to complete and submit a written response within 2 business days. (Please note that, in some cases, Respondents may be presented with a complaint remotely, by phone and/or email.) Responses should be submitted using the online form on the Judicial Affairs homepage.

If a respondent fails to meet with a staff member in the Dean of Student Affairs Office (or fails to make a phone appointment and/or correspond via email), and/or if no response is filed within 2 business days, action may be taken without the input a written response may provide. A request for additional time to submit a response must be made in writing, via email to the appropriate staff member before the submission deadline has expired.

Once submitted, the response will be made available to the Complainant. Once submitted, a response may not be amended, but additional written statements and/or responses may be brought to attention. Additional information or written statements may also be requested by the Dean of Student Affairs Office after a response has been submitted.

Please note: In the event of a Hearing, the response will be made available to the panel members. In the event of an appeal, it will also be made available to the appellate body.

Mechanisms for Resolution

There are four mechanisms for resolving complaints within the Student Judicial Process:

  1. Dean’s Decision
  2. Administrative Resolution
  3. Mediation
  4. Hearing
Dean's Decision

A large majority of the complaints filed with the Dean of Student Affairs Office are resolved via Dean’s Decisions. A Dean’s Decision is an administrative judgment issued by an individual staff member in the Dean of Student Affairs Office. Dean’s Decisions may be issued at the request of the respondent(s), if the respondent(s), after receiving notice of the complaint, does not deny the allegation, if the evidence of a violation is deemed indisputable by a staff member in the Dean of Student Affairs Office, or if the respondent(s) fails to engage in the Student Judicial Process in a timely manner. (See Communication during the adjudication process) A Dean’s Decision determines both the responsibility of the respondent(s) and the appropriate sanctions. A Dean’s Decision may be appealed. (See Appeals.)

Administrative Resolution

In some cases, Respondents may enter into an agreement with the Dean of Student Affairs Office called an Administrative Resolution in order to resolve a complaint. In an Administrative Resolution, a Respondent(s) waives their right to a Hearing and agrees to an outcome and/or sanction which is not subject to appeal. (See Appeals.) Administrative Resolutions can result in a finding of responsibility or an agreement to forgo an admission or denial of responsibility. Administrative resolutions are not the same as Mediations, since the party bringing the complaint plays no role in proposing or determining an outcome. Administrative Resolution may be a useful option for a Respondent(s) who wishes to avoid a Hearing.

Please note: The outcomes of Administrative Resolutions are subject to the same regulations regarding public record and confidentiality as complaints resolved through Dean’s Decisions or a Hearing.

Mediation

Mediation is a formal negotiation or settlement between parties. Mediation can be a useful mechanism for resolving certain kinds of cases. If it is difficult to determine whether a violation has taken place, or if it difficult to determine the nature of a violation, a Mediation can allow the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) to come to an agreement about an appropriate resolution and/or compromise. However, in cases involving safety risks, Mediation may be excluded as a mechanism for resolution at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office.  Mediation may also be excluded as a mechanism for resolution at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office if the Respondent(s) requests that a Dean’s Decision be issued, if the evidence of a violation is deemed indisputable, if the Respondent(s), after receiving notice of the complaint, does not deny the allegation, or if the Respondent(s) fails to engage in the Student Judicial Process in a timely manner. (See Communication during the adjudication process.)

Mediations can result in an agreement of responsibility or an agreement to forgo an admission or denial of responsibility.

The following procedures are used for Mediation:

  • A Mediation cannot occur until a written complaint has been filed with the Dean of Student Affairs Office and a copy has been given to the Respondent.  (A response may also be submitted, but is not required.)
  • After reading the complaint (and response), either party can propose in writing, to mediate. If both parties are willing to consider a mediated resolution, and if both are willing to waive their rights to a disciplinary Hearing if a resolution is reached through Mediation, the Dean of Student Affairs Office will facilitate a Mediation. If either party is unwilling to consider a mediated resolution, a Mediation will not be pursued.
  • Mediation may be done remotely (phone and/or email) or in person.
  • A resolution through Mediation requires the agreement of both parties.  It can include disciplinary and/or non-disciplinary sanctions/outcomes. The Mediation Agreement is binding and not subject to appeal once it has been signed. (See Appeals.)
  • A Mediation may be discontinued at any time prior to the signing of a Mediation Agreement by either party and/or at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office.
  • If no agreement is reached via Mediation, resolution can be pursued using another mechanism.

Please note the following:

  • No Mediation may change or deviate from established University policies or practices. The mediator may stipulate that a particular suggested element in the Mediation effort is not acceptable to the University.
  • A Hearing is often scheduled while a mediated resolution is being pursued. The Mediation must resolve the case prior to the scheduled date of the Hearing, or the Hearing will proceed. A resolution may also be reached via a Dean’s Decision if a Mediation fails.
  • A violation of a signed Mediation Agreement or disregard for its terms may result in disciplinary and/or non-disciplinary action being taken as indicated in the signed agreement. In the event that a resolution is violated and the agreement did not specify a resulting outcome, the Dean of Student Affairs Office will determine whether to call a Hearing to address the original charges and/or to initiate a complaint based on the new allegation.
  • The outcomes of Mediations are subject to the same regulations regarding public record and confidentiality as complaints resolved through Dean’s Decisions or the Hearing process.
Hearing

Hearings may be convened to resolve complex cases, either at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office or at the request of a Complainant and/or Respondent.  However, a Hearing may be excluded as a mechanism for resolution at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office if the Respondent(s) requests that a Dean’s Decision be issued, if the evidence of a violation is deemed indisputable, if the Respondent(s), after receiving notice of the complaint, does not deny the allegation, or if the Respondent(s) fails to engage in the Student Judicial Process in a timely manner. (See Communication during the adjudication process)

Hearings do not attempt to create a courtroom environment, but are structured conversations before a decision-making panel. The proceedings provide an opportunity for complaints, responses, and evidence to be considered. (See Hearing Procedures.)

Most Hearings involve a panel using a complaint, response (if submitted), and any evidence and/or supporting documentation in conjunction with the testimony of the complainant(s), respondent(s), and any witnesses, to determine the responsibility of the respondent and any sanctions and/or consequences that may issue as a result. However, when the responsibility for a violation has already been determined because there are no significant facts in dispute or because the respondent chooses not to contest the complaint, a Hearing may also be convened solely to determine what, if any, sanctions or consequences may issue as a result.

In certain cases, a Hearing may also be convened at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office to resolve a Dean’s Complaint.  (See Filing a Complaint for more information about Dean’s Complaints.) In this case, there may be no official Complainant, but the Dean of Student Affairs Office has decided that it has reason to believe that the behavior of a student(s) or student organization(s) should be investigated for a potential violation(s).

A Hearing may be convened to consider the conduct of a single student or student organization. A Hearing may also 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.

The result of a Hearing may be appealed. (See Appeals.)

Hearings Procedures

There are several different judicial bodies at Tufts that hear cases.  (See Judicial Bodies.)  Regardless of the judicial body, Hearings generally follow the order below.  By agreement of all parties involved, however, modifications may be made to facilitate the process.  Modifications are also made when a Hearing is called to resolve a Dean’s Complaint. As there is no official Complainant in such cases, the procedures that refer to the Complainant are omitted:

  • Opening statement of the Complainant(s) (limited to five minutes)
  • Opening statement of the Respondent(s) (limited to five minutes)
  • Questioning of each party by the panel (if desired by the panelists)
  • Questioning of the Complainant(s)’s witnesses first by the Complainant(s), then by the Respondent(s), then the panel
  • Questioning of the Respondent(s)’s witnesses first by the Respondent(s), then the Complainant(s), then the panel
  • Questioning by the Complainant(s) of the Respondent(s)
  • Questioning by the Respondent(s) of the Complainant(s)
  • Final questioning by the panel
  • Closing statement of the Respondent(s) or advocate(s) (limited to ten minutes)
  • Closing statement of the Complainant(s) or advocate(s) (limited to ten minutes)
  • Executive session (panel only) to first determine responsibility, then to determine sanctions and/or outcomes if there is a finding of responsibility.

Please note the following:

  • The panel may ask specific questions of any party at any time. 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 read by the convener of the Hearing.
  • There may be circumstances where the convener will change the order of events, allow witnesses to be taken out of order, or allow additional witnesses to be called.
  • The convener has the discretion to suggest to the panel how any incidental procedural issue will be handled. Before the Hearing begins, those involved should direct questions to the convener concerning how issues not covered by Hearing Procedures may be addressed. The panel has final discretion in deciding procedural matters.
  • Following the presentation of evidence, the panel will go into an executive session (when possible, immediately following the proceedings). The primary task of the panel will be to determine whether the allegation has been substantiated and a violation of the University’s Code of Conduct has occurred. A majority vote of the panelists is necessary.
  • If a violation is determined, the panel will assign a consequence. A majority vote of the panelists is necessary. The convener of the Hearing will promptly communicate the outcome of the Hearing to both parties. 
  • Staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office review outcomes determined by the Dean of Students Judiciary to ascertain that the judiciary’s findings are feasible and in accordance with University policy.
  • Before a hearing is scheduled, University officials may confer with the parties involved in an effort to narrow the areas of fact that are in dispute. When appropriate, the parties may agree to a Statement of Facts, which may be submitted to a judiciary panel for consideration.
Judicial Bodies

There are five judicial bodies at Tufts that resolve cases via Hearings.  The body selected to hear a particular case depends on the nature of the violation(s) and/or the identity of the respondent(s).

  1. The Dean of Student Affairs Judiciary
  2. The Committee on Student Life (CSL)
  3. The Residential Judiciary Board (RJB)
  4. The Inter-Greek Council Judiciary (IGC)
  5. The Tufts Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ)

Please note: All judicial bodies are available during the Fall and Spring semesters, except as noted. At other times, judiciaries involving student panelists are usually not available. At such times, complaints may be heard by alternative bodies, if necessary, or, more typically, will be deferred until the next semester.

The Dean of Student Affairs Judiciary

Jurisdiction: Complaints against students or groups of students, but not against student organizations.

Composition: The Dean of Student Affairs Judiciary panels are convened by staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office and are made up of three members of the Tufts administration and/or faculty and two student members from the Tufts Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ). The administrative or faculty members are selected from a pool based on availability and expertise. The student members are selected by lottery from among the seven elected TCUJ members.

Additional information: Staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office review sanctions and/or outcomes determined by the Dean of Students Judiciary to ascertain that the judiciary’s findings are feasible and in accordance with University policy.

Appeals: Appeals of initial decisions made by the Dean of Student Affairs Judiciary may be brought to the Committee on Student Life (CSL). The Dean of Students Affairs Judiciary does not hear appeals of initial decisions. (See Appeals.)

The Committee on Student Life (CSL)

Jurisdiction: Complaints against student organizations, including serious complaints against fraternities and sororities. (A complaint is deemed serious at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office. Minor complaints against fraternities and sororities are heard by the Inter-Greek Council Judiciary (IGC).)

Composition: 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.

Additional information: While not exclusively a disciplinary body, the CSL may impose any outcome and/or sanction against a student organization. The committee does not hear initial cases against individual students. It may, however, following proceedings of cases involving allegations against student organizations, refer charges against individuals to the Dean of Student Affairs Office.

Appeals: Appeals of initial decisions made by the CSL may be brought to the Dean of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of Engineering, depending on the school of affiliation of the appellant, or their designees. The CSL also hears appeals of initial decisions made by the Tuft Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ), the Inter-Greek Council Judiciary (IGC), the Dean of Student Affairs Judiciary, and staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office. (See Appeals.)

The Residential Judiciary Board (RJB)

Jurisdiction: Non-disciplinary complaints stemming from incidents that occur in a residence hall, even if the students involved do not reside in the hall.

Composition: RJB panels are convened by the Assistant Director of Community and Judicial Affairs and are made up of two Area Resident Directors and three student Residential Judiciary Board members.

Additional information: The RJB may impose judicial resolutions, including those that affect an individual’s housing status or eligibility to reside in University housing. The RJB may not impose disciplinary action, but may refer cases to the Dean of Student Affairs Office if such action is seen as appropriate. (The residence hall judicial system also includes Mediation options as non-disciplinary mechanisms to help resolve roommate and hall citizenship issues.)

Appeals: Appeals of initial decisions made by the RJB may be brought to staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office (student Respondents) or to the Tuft Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ) (student organizations). The RJB also hears appeals of initial decisions made by staff members in the Office Residential Life and Learning. (See Appeals.)

The Inter-Greek Council Judiciary (IGC)

Jurisdiction: Minor complaints against fraternities and sororities. (A complaint is deemed minor at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office. Serious complaints against fraternities and sororities are heard by the Committee on Student Life (CSL).)

Composition: IGC panels are convened and advised by staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office and/or the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life and are made up of members of the Tufts fraternity and sorority community who have applied for and been selected to serve on the board.

Additional information: The IGC may not impose disciplinary action on individual students, but may refer individual cases to the Dean of Student Affairs Office if seen as appropriate. The ICG may impose decisions that are consistent with University precedent, including removal of University recognition of a chapter.

Appeals: Appeals of initial decisions made by the ICG may be brought to the Committee on Student Life (CSL).  The IGC does not hear appeals of initial decisions. (See Appeals.)

The Tufts Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ)

Jurisdiction: Non-disciplinary complaints concerning the Tufts Community Union Constitution. Such complaints may be brought against individuals or student organizations.

Composition: The TCUJ is made up of seven students elected by the student body.

Additional information: The TCUJ may not impose disciplinary action on individual students, but may refer cases to the Dean of Student Affairs Office if such action is seen as appropriate.

Appeals: Appeals of initial decisions made by the TCUJ may be brought to the Committee on Student Life (CSL).  The TCUJ does not hear appeals of initial decisions. (See Appeals.)

Additional Infomation about Hearings

Hearing Date

Hearings will be scheduled for the soonest possible date. University holidays and panel availability are primary factors in choosing a Hearing date. It is often impossible to avoid time conflicts with other University activities. A Hearing will not be postponed because of such conflicts. However, staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office will provide written verification of students’ involvement in a University process to a faculty member or coach.

Once the date for a Hearing has been chosen, there will be no postponement unless one of the parties involved in the case or a party’s advocate is faced with an emergency or University personnel have an unavoidable conflict. Rescheduling of the Hearing after such a conflict will be at the discretion of the appropriate judicial body or of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office. No postponement will be granted for witness conflicts.

Right to an Impartial Panel

A party has a right to a fair and impartial panel. Normally, the names of panelists who will consider a complaint will be given to the parties five business days prior to the Hearing. A panelist will be replaced if one of the parties in the case is able to demonstrate to the convener of the Hearing, at least three business days before the scheduled Hearing, that the panelist is not in a position to be impartial. The panel or the convener will judge whether a panelist whose impartiality is questioned should remain on the panel. 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.

Open or Closed Hearings

Disciplinary Hearings are usually open to the Tufts community and campus media. Outside media are not allowed to attend. Either party may request in writing at least 2 business days prior to the Hearing that the Hearing be closed to the Tufts community and campus media, in which case only the parties (and their witnesses and advocates) and a University counsel/designee may be present.

Witnesses

Involved parties are entitled to present as many eye witnesses as necessary, as well as two character witnesses, at a Hearing. 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.  A list of witnesses must be provided to the convener no later than five business days prior to the disciplinary Hearing. Each party will receive a list of the other party’s witnesses no later than three business days prior to the Hearing. Both parties will have an opportunity to ask questions of all eye witnesses.  (Parties may not ask questions of the other party’s character witnesses). Witnesses are normally required to be present at Hearings so that they may respond to questions.

Each party should arrange for the presence and participation of their witnesses. If a critical witness is reluctant to appear, the Dean of Student Affairs Office will attempt to arrange for the participation of the individual if they are a matriculated student at Tufts. Such witnesses will be introduced as “University” witnesses. University officials and panel members may also call witnesses who are believed to have evidence useful to the Hearing.

Written Statements, Evidence, and Supporting Documentation

Complaints and responses will always be made available to the panel.  At the discretion of University officials, other evidence and supporting documents may also be made available.  Any evidence and/or documents provided to the panelists will also be provided to the Complainant and Respondent.

Appeals

Filing an Appeal

Both parties are entitled to appeal a disciplinary decision, not including outcomes reached through Mediation or Administrative Resolution. 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.

The procedure for an appeal differs among the various mechanisms. Depending on the circumstances and the time an appeal is filed, appeals may be considered by individual administrators (e.g. the Dean of the School of Arts & Science, Engineering, or their designees), or by a specially convened appellate body (e.g. the Residential Life Appeal Board), or sometimes initially by the co-chairs of a standing committee with review by the full board (e.g. The CSL co-chairs).  Most appeals are heard administratively.  However, in rare circumstances, an appeal Hearing may be necessary, which will generally follow ordinary Hearing Procedures.) 

The documents provided to the appellate body will include the complaint, response, and any evidence and/or supporting documentation as well as the appeal letter. Documents may be admitted or omitted at the discretion of staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office.

Please note: Appeals may be filed concerning disciplinary sanctions, but grading consequences may not be appealed.

Grounds for Appeal

An appeal of a disciplinary decision, regardless of which judiciary or University official issued the original decision, must be based on one or more of the following:

  1. Denial of fair process 
  2. New evidence
  3. Severity of the consequence

Please note: It is up to the appellate body to determine whether the appeal statement clearly identifies and explains one or more of the above reasons for the appeal. In the absence of such demonstration, the appeal will be denied. The appeal is not an opportunity to argue that the initial decision was wrong. The appeal is not a new evidentiary process. 

Denial of fair process

In an appeal on the grounds of a denial of fair process, the question before the appellate body will be whether or not the process used by the judiciary or appropriate University official provided an opportunity for the case to be considered fairly and impartially. There are some cases where a deviation or change from the general procedures outlined in the judicial process will have occurred but where the deviation or change will not have affected the outcome. In such cases, there is no denial of fair process. Only the original judiciary or an appropriate University official, not the other party, will respond before the appellate body to the issues raised in the appeal.

If the appellate body determines that there was not an opportunity for fair and impartial process in the original proceeding, the decision of the judiciary or appropriate University official will be vacated and a new process will occur before an appropriate University official or judiciary. In such circumstances, the appellate body does not hear the complaint, but remands the case.

New evidence

Occasionally, evidence becomes available after the judiciary or appropriate University official hears and decides a case. When such evidence could have substantially affected the outcome, the appellate body may vacate the decision and have the same judiciary or appropriate University official hear the new evidence and issue a new decision. The party against whom the evidence is being introduced will be able to argue before the appellate body that the evidence is not new and/or that the evidence could not have substantially affected the outcome of the Hearing.

Severity of the consequence

Both parties will be able to argue that the consequence assigned is inconsistent with the outcomes for those who were found to be responsible for substantially similar violations. In this type of appeal, some or all representatives of the original judiciary or the appropriate University official will be present to argue the rationale for the consequence assigned.

Dismissal of an Appeal

The appellate body or its convener may decide not to accept an appeal that does not comply with the requirements noted above, may rule on the appeal, or take other action to bring the appeal into compliance.

Outcome of an Appeal

The judicial body or University official hearing the appeal may modify or leave unchanged a disciplinary decision. If a change is seen as appropriate, it may result in a dismissal of the original sanctions and/or outcomes or new  sanctions and/or outcomes that are less severe, more severe, or simply different. The full range of potential consequences is available to the appellate body.

Appellate Bodies

There are three judicial bodies at Tufts that hear appeals of initial decisions.  The body selected to hear a particular appeal depends on the nature of the violation(s) and/or the identity of the Respondent(s).

  1. The Committee on Student Life (CSL)
  2. The Residential Judiciary (RJB)
  3. The Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of the School of Engineering  

Please note: All of the above appellate bodies are available during the Fall and Spring semesters, except as noted. At other times, appellate bodies involving student panelists are usually not available. At such times, appeals may be heard by alternative bodies, if necessary, or, more typically, will be deferred until the next semester.

The Committee on Student Life (CSL)

Jurisdiction: Appeals of initial decisions made by the Tufts Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ), the Inter-Greek Council Judiciary (IGC), the Dean of Student Affairs Judiciary, and staff members in the Dean of Student Affairs Office.

Composition: 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 Residential Judiciary Board (RJB)

Jurisdiction: Appeals of initial decisions made by staff members in the Office Residential Life and Learning.

Composition: RJB panels are convened by the Assistant Director of Community and Judicial Affairs and are made up of two Area Resident Directors and three student residential judiciary board members.

The Dean of the School of Arts or Sciences and the Dean of the School of Engineering, or their designee(s)

Jurisdiction: Appeals of initial decisions made by the Committee on Student Life (CSL). In addition, when the CSL is not in session, the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of the School of Engineering, or their designee(s), depending on the school of affiliation of the student making the appeal, will hear appeals that would be heard by the CSL if it were in session. In some instances, the deans may elect to postpone the appeal until the new semester so that it can be heard by the committee. However, if the timing of the resolution is important, either to determine a student’s enrollment status for the upcoming semester or for other reasons, the appeal will proceed.

Appeals before the deans or their designee(s) are not considered in a Hearing format. The deans will usually decide the appeal based on a review of the documents available. The deans may also meet with the appellant, the other parties in the case, and/or the members of the judiciary or the appropriate University official who made the first decision. The deans or their designee(s) will determine the process to be used and the materials or information deemed to be relevant.

Interim Measures

Stay Away Requests (SAR)

The Dean of Student Affairs Office can 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, including in person, mail, email, telephone, messaging, social media, or contact through friends.

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

An SAR can be initiated by contacting the Dean of Student Affairs Office: 617-627-3158. 

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. However, failure to abide by the terms of an SAR will likely result in serious disciplinary action, including removal from campus housing, loss of privileges, Probation, and/or 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.

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. There is no minimum distance that must be maintained between the two. 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.  The person who arrives second to a closed space is expected to leave that space.

No Contact Orders (NCO)

The Dean of Student Affairs Office issues No Contact Orders (NCOs) between student Complainants and Respondents as a result of certain complaints being filed, including complaints of Sexual Misconduct. (Please note: The University’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) provides a separate process, the Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Process (SMAP), for addressing concerns or complaints of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and relationship violence. For questions about the SMAP or to file a report of sexual misconduct, please contact OEO’s Title IX Coordinator, Jill Zellmer: 617-627-3298. A report of sexual misconduct may also be filed with Kevin Kraft, Director of Community Standards: 617-627-3158.)

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.

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

An NCO can be initiated by contacting the Dean of Student Affairs Office: 617-627-3158.

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. However, if an NCO is violated, the offender will be required to leave the campus immediately and additional disciplinary action will be taken, including 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 originary violation.

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. There is no minimum distance that must be maintained between the two. However, provisions regarding certain spaces on campus may be added to an NCO 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.  The person who arrives second to a closed space is expected to leave that space.

In all situations where there is a concern about safety, students are advised to consult a counselor, the police, or the District Attorney’s office about seeking a protective order from the courts.

Interim Suspension

In circumstances where a student’s behavior raises significant concern that they may present a threat or safety risk for themselves or others in the community, or in cases where a student is causing a disruption to the campus community, the Dean of Student Affairs Office may impose an Interim Suspension, which requires the student to remain off campus until such time as a determination can be made about the threat, safety risk, and/or disruption to the campus community.

Interim Suspension 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. However, the behavior which resulted in the Interim Suspension may lead to a disciplinary sanction and/or outcome. During an Interim Suspension, a student may work with faculty members to keep up with coursework through readings and online communication from off campus.

Interim Suspension is frequently accompanied by a requirement for the student to undergo a comprehensive psychological evaluation and risk assessment before being able to return to campus.

For further information, please visit the Tufts University Threat Assessment and Management (TTAM) Program website.

Sanction Levels

Disciplinary Sanctions and Outcomes

Students found responsible for violating Tufts’ Code of Conduct will be issued sanctions.  There are seven general Sanction Levels: Warning, Reprimand, Probation, Formal Censure, Suspension, Indefinite Suspension, and Expulsion.  A general sanction can include Notifications, Grading Consequences, and/or Additional Consequences, depending on the nature of the violation. For example, a student may be issued a reprimand that includes parental notification and requires them to pay restitution. If a student who has previously been issued a sanction(s) is found responsible for any additional violation(s), the previous sanction will be called to attention during the adjudication process.

Please note: Tufts University, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) will not disclose information about disciplinary records to any third party, except as defined in the Student Judicial Process. However, if a student authorizes a background investigation by an employer, graduate school, etc., that investigation may inquire about any Code of Conduct allegation or outcome, even in the absence of a transcript notation.

Warning

A Warning is a non-disciplinary sanction issued for minor violations.  Students are still considered to be in good standing at the University after being issued a Warning, which does not become part of an official disciplinary record.  The non-disciplinary record of a Warning is retained by the Dean of Student Affairs Office until graduation or until the student has left the University.

If a student who has previously been issued a Warning is found responsible for any additional violation(s), the Warning will be called to attention during the adjudication process.

Examples:

A Warning will generally be issued for a first violation of Tufts’ Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy, including underage consumption or possession of alcohol, possession of an open container of alcohol, public intoxication, or illegal use or possession of small quantities of marijuana (or use or possession of small quantities of marijuana on campus).

A Warning is never issued for an Academic Integrity violation.

A Warning will generally be issued for a first violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Reprimand

A Reprimand is the strongest possible non-disciplinary sanction that can be issued prior to a disciplinary sanction (Probation, Formal Censure, Suspension, Indefinite Suspension, or Expulsion).  A Reprimand is issued for significant violations or subsequent minor violations after a Warning. Students are still considered to be in good standing at the University after being issued a Reprimand, which does not become part of an official disciplinary record. The non-disciplinary record of a Reprimand is retained by the Dean of Student Affairs Office until graduation or until the student has left the University.

If a student who has previously been issued a Reprimand is found responsible for any additional violation(s), the Reprimand will be called to attention during the adjudication process.

Examples:

A Reprimand will generally be issued for a second violation of Tufts’ Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy, including underage consumption or possession of alcohol, possession of an open container of alcohol, public intoxication, or illegal use or possession of small quantities of marijuana (or use or possession of small quantities of marijuana on campus).

A Reprimand will generally be issued for violations like accessing the roof of a university building, lack of cooperation with a university official (including members of Residential Life), failure to pay parking ticket issued by Tufts’ Department of Public Safety or by city or state law enforcement, failure to evacuate during a fire alarm, and a first violation of the No Smoking Policy.

Although an Academic Integrity violation will almost always warrant a disciplinary sanction, in rare cases a Reprimand may be issued for violations like unauthorized collaboration on a homework assignment, enabling another student’s dishonesty, or plagiarism that affects a slight portion of an assignment where the source is cited in the bibliography and/or body of the assignment.

A Reprimand will generally be administered for a second violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and for providing another individual with your network password.

Probation

Probation is a disciplinary sanction issued for serious violations or subsequent violations after a Warning or Reprimand. Probation may last for any specified period. During the probationary period, students are not considered to be in good standing at the University. The Probation becomes part of an official disciplinary record, which is retained by the Dean of Student Affairs Office for seven years after the student graduates or leaves the University.

  • Probation will often affect a student’s Eligibility to participate in certain programs, such as becoming or remaining a member of residential staff, joining a fraternity or sorority, participating in varsity sports, or studying abroad.
  • Probation will result in Notifications of parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and/or University officials.
  • Probation will result in a temporary Transcript Notation, which is posted for the duration of the probationary period.
  • Probation will often include Additional Consequences, depending on the nature of the violation.

If a student who has previously been issued Probation is found responsible for any additional violation(s) during or after the probationary period, the Probation will be called to attention during the adjudication process and will often result in Suspension from the University.

Examples:

Probation will generally be issued for a third violation of Tufts’ Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy, including underage consumption or possession of alcohol, possession of an open container of alcohol, public intoxication, or illegal use or possession of small quantities of marijuana (or use or possession of small quantities of marijuana on campus).
 

Probation will generally be issued for violations like illegal entry without force, possession of a fraudulent ID or University parking decal, theft or attempted theft of property valued at less than $250, fraud in relation to the housing lottery, tampering with Fire and Life-safety equipment (first offense), a second violation of the No Smoking Policy.  Probation may be issued for violations like providing alcohol to an underage individual and disorderly conduct.
 

Probation will generally be issued for Academic Integrity violations like unauthorized collaboration on a lab report or paper, submitting one assignment in two courses without permission from both instructors, plagiarism that affects a slight portion of an assignment where the source is not cited in the bibliography and/or body of the assignment, and plagiarism that affects a substantial portion of an assignment where the source is cited in the bibliography and/or body of the assignment.

Probation will generally be issued for a third violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, sabotaging or deleting another student’s files, forgery of an academic petition, spamming, and running password-circumventing programs.

Formal Censure

A Formal Censure is a disciplinary sanction issued for very serious violations. A Formal Censure lasts from the date it is issued until the student graduates or withdraws from the University.  While a Formal Censure does not require a student to leave the University, after receiving a Formal Censure, students are not considered to be in good standing for the duration of their time as a student at Tufts.  The Formal Censure becomes part of an official disciplinary record, which is retained by the Dean of Student Affairs Office permanently.

  • Formal Censure will often affect a student’s Eligibility to participate in certain programs, such as becoming or remaining a member of residential staff, joining a fraternity or sorority, participating in varsity sports, or studying abroad.
  • Formal Censure will result in Notifications of parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and/or University officials.
  • Formal Censure will result in a permanent Transcript Notation.
  • Formal Censure will often include Additional Consequences, depending on the nature of the violation.

If a student who has previously been issued a Formal Censure is found responsible for any additional violation(s) prior to graduating or leaving the University, the Formal Censure will be called to attention during the adjudication process and will result in Suspension from the University.

Examples:

A Formal Censure may be issued for violations like providing alcohol to an underage individual and disorderly conduct.

A Formal Censure may be issued for Academic Integrity violations like the visibility of unauthorized materials (including a cell phone) in a room where an exam is being given.

A Formal Censure may be issued for participating in theft or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.

Suspension

A Suspension is a disciplinary sanction issued for severe violations or subsequent violations after Probation or a Formal Censure.  A Suspension may last for any specified period. During a Suspension students are required to leave the University and are not considered to be in good standing.  The Suspension becomes part of an official disciplinary record, which is retained by the Dean of Student Affairs Office permanently.

  • A student may not participate in any University activities during a Suspension, including study abroad programs.  The student is not allowed to be on campus for any reason without obtaining explicit written permission from a staff member in the Dean of Student Affairs Office. Suspension will often affect a student’s Eligibility to participate in certain programs after their return to the University, such as becoming or remaining a member of residential staff, joining a fraternity or sorority, participating in varsity sports, or studying abroad.
  • Suspension will result in Notifications of parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and/or University officials.
  • Suspension will result in a permanent or temporary Transcript Notation depending on the nature of the violation.
  • Students may not transfer credit to Tufts for courses taken elsewhere during the Suspension unless explicit permission to do so is given in the letter notifying the student of the Suspension.
  • Suspension will often include Additional Consequences, depending on the nature of the violation.

If a student who has previously been issued a Suspension is found responsible for any additional violation(s) during or after the period of Suspension, the Suspension will be called to attention during the adjudication process and will often result in Expulsion from the University.

Examples:

A Suspension will generally be issued for violations like consumption, use, or possession of illegal, controlled substances other than marijuana (or large quantities of marijuana), for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, assault, hazing, harassment, illegal entry with force, theft or attempted theft of property valued at more than $250, tampering with Fire and Life-safety equipment (second offense), providing alcohol to an underage individual, disorderly conduct, and a third violation of the No Smoking Policy.

A Suspension will generally be issued for Academic Integrity violations like unauthorized collaboration on a take-home exam, falsifying/inventing data or research, cheating on an examsubmitting an exam for re-grading after altering original answers, plagiarism that affects a substantial portion of an assignment where the source is not cited in the bibliography and/or body of the assignment, and the visibility of unauthorized materials (including a cell phone) in a room where an exam is being given.

A Suspension will generally be issued for electronic intruding into University computer systems and causing damage, knowingly running or accessing programs that are restricted, and participating in theft or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.

Indefinite Suspension

An Indefinite Suspension is a disciplinary sanction issued for very severe violations. Indefinite Suspension requires a student to leave the University indefinitely and means they are no longer considered to be matriculated. (Incoming students will not be permitted to matriculate.) When issued, Indefinite Suspension includes specified conditions for reinstatement. Students who seek reinstatement may file their request, per the conditions, with the Dean of Student Affairs Office. However, meeting the specified conditions does not guarantee reinstatement.  The Indefinite Suspension becomes part of an official disciplinary record, which is retained by the Dean of Student Affairs Office permanently.

  •  A student may not participate in any University activities after being issued an Indefinite Suspension, including study abroad programs. The student is not allowed to be on campus for any reason without obtaining explicit written permission from the Judicial Affairs Administrator or the Dean of Student Affairs and may not transfer credit to Tufts for courses taken elsewhere during the Indefinite Suspension. If a student is reinstated after an Indefinite Suspension, a student will be ineligible to participate in most University programs, including becoming or remaining a member of residential staff, joining a fraternity or sorority, participating in varsity sports, or studying abroad.
  • Indefinite Suspension will result in Notifications of parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and/or University officials.
  • Indefinite Suspension will result in a permanent Transcript Notation.
  • Indefinite Suspension will often include Additional Consequences depending on the nature of the violation.

If a student who has previously been issued an Indefinite Suspension is found responsible for any additional violation(s), the Indefinite Suspension will be called to attention during the adjudication process and will result in Expulsion from the University.

Examples:

An Indefinite Suspension will generally be issued for violations like violent assault or hazing.

Expulsion

An Expulsion is a disciplinary sanction issued for the most severe violations or subsequent violations after Suspension or Indefinite Suspension. An Expulsion requires a student to leave the University permanently and means they are no longer considered to be matriculated. (Incoming students will not be permitted to matriculate.) Students who are expelled are not eligible to be reinstated and return to the University. The Expulsion becomes part of an official disciplinary record, which is retained by the Dean of Student Affairs Office permanently.

  • A student may not participate in any University activities after being expelled. The student is not allowed to be on campus for any reason without obtaining explicit written permission from a staff member in the Dean of Student Affairs Office.
  • Expulsion will result in Notifications of parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and/or University officials.
  • Expulsion will result in a permanent Transcript Notation.

Examples:

An Expulsion may be issued for violations like a violent assault, hazing, dealing or trafficking in a controlled substance (including prescription drugs), arson, and embezzlement.

An Expulsion may be issued for Academic Integrity violations like enlisting another to take an exam on your behalf or submitting a paper, lab report, project, thesis, or other assignment that has been almost completely or wholly authored by another, whether that assignment has been purchased, borrowed, found, or stolen.

Grading Consquences

If found responsible for an Academic Integrity violation, a grading consequence is issued by the instructor of the course according to the following guidelines:

Reduced grade for an assignment OR Zero or F on an assignment with the possibility to resubmit for a replacement grade

A reduced grade for an assignment OR a Zero or F on an assignment with the possibility to resubmit for a replacement grade may be issued for violations like:

  • Unauthorized collaboration on a homework assignment
  • Enabling another student’s dishonesty
  • Plagiarism that affects a slight portion of an assignment where the source is cited in the bibliography and/or body of the assignment

Please note: There is no automatic grading consequence for the above violations.

Zero or F on an assignment without the possibility to resubmit for a replacement grade OR a course grade reduction from one letter grade to an F

A Zero or F on an assignment without the possibility to resubmit for a replacement grade
OR a course grade reduction from one letter grade to an F will be issued for violations like:

  • Unauthorized collaboration on a lab report or paper
  • Submitting one assignment in two courses without permission from both instructors
  • Plagiarism that affects a slight portion of an assignment where the source is not cited in the bibliography and/or body of the assignment
  • Plagiarism that affects a substantial portion of an assignment where the source is cited in the bibliography and/or body of the assignment

Zero or F on an assignment without the possibility to resubmit for a replacement grade OR an F in a course

A Zero or F on an assignment without the possibility to resubmit for a replacement grade OR an F in a course will be issued for violations like:

  • The visibility of unauthorized materials (including a cell phone) in a room where an exam is being given
  • Unauthorized collaboration on a take-home exam
  • Falsifying/inventing data or research
  • Cheating on an exam
  • Submitting an exam for re-grading after altering original answers
  • Plagiarism that affects a substantial portion of an assignment where the source is not cited in the bibliography and/or body of the assignment
  • Enlisting another to take an exam on your behalf
  • Submitting a paper, lab report, project, thesis, or other assignment that has been almost completely or wholly authored by another, whether that assignment has been purchased, borrowed, found, or stolen.

Notifications

Notification of parents

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) mandates that post-secondary educational records (including disciplinary records) may only be released to parents with the explicit permission of the student (regardless of age).  However, the University will generally attempt to inform parent(s)/legal guardian(s) when a student is issued disciplinary sanction (Probation, Formal Censure, Suspension, Indefinite Suspension, or Expulsion) so that parent(s)/legal guardian(s) may be involved in a decision to file an appeal.  Parent(s)/legal guardian(s) will also generally be informed when a student is placed on Deferred Residential Probation or is separated from University housing. (Please consult Habitats for more information about Residential Policy at Tufts.) If a student receives a Reprimand and the nature of a violation is deemed to warrant the attention of parent(s)/legal guardian(s), they will often be notified.
Please note: the University will attempt to get in touch with parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and other family members or emergency contacts if the Director of Mental Health Services or the Director of Medical Services deems that a student’s well-being is in jeopardy or if a student is hospitalized involuntarily or in an altered state of consciousness. The University will also involve parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and other family members or emergency contacts if a student cannot be located and there is reasonable cause for concern.

Notification of University officials

University officials may be notified of a student’s consequence/sanction, depending on the nature of the violation.  Officials can include academic advisors, members of residential staff, professors, department heads, supervisors, coaches, etc.

Transcript Notation

Notations may be posted on a student’s University transcript, depending on the general sanction level that is issued. Temporary transcript notations will be posted for any specified period as the result of Probation. Permanent transcript notations will be posted as the result of Formal Censure, Suspension, Indefinite Suspension, or Expulsion.

Additional Consequences

Educational Consequences

Students may be required to attend meetings with staff members at the Academic Resource Center, Health Services, etc., depending on the nature of the violation. They may also be required to seek help outside the University for behavior management or substance abuse. For certain Academic Integrity violations, students may be required to redo an assignment or complete additional academic work.

Restitution

Students may be required to pay restitution if the violation includes damage to property. For example, a student who is found responsible of breaking the window of a University building may be required to pay for the cost of replacing the window.

Fine

For certain offense, like off-campus Noise Disturbances and bulk-container violations, students will be issued fines.

Eligibility to participate in certain University programs

Depending on the nature of the violation and/or the general sanction level that is issued, a student’s eligibility to participate in a certain University programs may be affected. These programs could include University-sponsored social events (for example, Spring Fling), fraternity or sorority events, becoming or remaining a member of residential staff, studying abroad.

Special Disciplinary Actions

Students may be issued special disciplinary actions as part of any sanction, depending on the nature of the violation. Some examples of special actions include loss of parking privileges, temporary loss of access to the University network, or being required to report periodically to offices such as the Dean of Student Affairs Office, Health Services, or the Academic Resource Center.