OSA Code Procedures Section 2: Administration of the Code and Procedures
The Director (“Director”) of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (“OSCCS”) manages the student conduct system and cases arising out of the Student Code of Conduct (“Code”). The Director receives and ensures proper investigation and adjudication of alleged violations of the Code, or of any other regulation as the University President or Board of Trustees may direct.
The fundamental role of the Director is to ensure that complaints are handled with fairness, integrity, and objectivity for all parties concerned, consistent with the educational and rehabilitative goals of the University’s student conduct system. The Director does not prosecute cases against students. The Director shall hire and train competent individuals to undertake careful, fair, and objective investigations of complaints and to serve as chairs of hearing panels. The Director is also responsible for the training and administration of the University Hearing and Review Panel, with the intention of ensuring fair and consistent adjudication, findings of responsibility and as appropriate, imposition of sanctions based on the circumstances of individual cases. Anyone can direct questions about the student conduct system to the OSCCS.
The Director shall be appointed by and reports to the Vice President for Student and Campus Life. The Vice President shall consult with the Student Assembly (“SA”) and Graduate and Professional Student 248 Assembly (“GPSA”) prior to the Director’s appointment and shall request representatives from the SA and GPSA to serve on the search committee when a new Director is hired. The Director shall provide an annual report to the Vice President, the SA and the GPSA on the operations of the office and of the student conduct system. The Director shall undergo an annual review overseen by the Vice President (or designee). The Vice President shall request and thoughtfully consider feedback from the SA and GPSA as part of that annual review.
The Office of the Student Code Counselors is part of the SA’s Office of the Student Advocate. Student 256 Code Counselors (“Counselors”) provide free assistance and representation to both Complainants and Respondents within the Student Code of Conduct process.
Counselors are not attorneys and do not provide formal legal advice. Within the rules in these procedures governing the participation of non-parties, Complainants and Respondents may utilize Counselors exclusively, in addition to their own legal counsel, or may rely entirely on legal counsel of their choosing. Counselors explain how the student conduct system works and assist and support Complainants and Respondents at every stage of proceedings. The Lead Student Code Counselor (“Lead Counselor”), who manages the Office of Counselors, assigns individual Counselors to serve on individual matters. However, Complainants and Respondents may request specific Counselors, which request shall be honored to the extent practically possible. Complainants and Respondents may also request assignment of a new Counselor for good reason, which request shall be honored if practical and feasible in the discretion of the Lead Counselor. Counselors are required to adhere to strict confidentiality responsibilities and may not discuss a case within the community of other Counselors except as appropriate within the context of applicable procedures.
Each spring, the SA and GPSA, in consultation with the Director, shall select a Lead Counselor to manage the Office of Student Code Counselors for the following academic year from a group of no more than three individuals nominated by the Counselors. The Lead Counselor must be an undergraduate, graduate or professional student, and have previously served for at least two years as a Counselor. The normal term of appointment is one year; however, this individual may be reappointed for a second term. (In the first two years of operation of this new office, the SA and GPSA in consultation with the Director, may appoint any duly qualified person to serve as the Lead Counselor.) The Office of the Student Code Counselors shall create the procedures used in nominating candidates for Lead Counselor.
The SA and the GPSA, in consultation with the Director, shall set relevant qualifications for the Counselors, along with an application, selection and training process to be implemented by the Director. Counselors may be undergraduate, graduate, or professional students and will be appointed by the Lead Counselor from nominations supplied by the SA and the GPSA. To support an empathetic and knowledgeable approach to all conduct proceedings, Counselors will be trained and assigned to assist both Complainants and Respondents. Counselors will recognize that the goals of the Code are focused on education, rehabilitation and accountability, and shall treat parties, witnesses and each other with respect and consideration. Counselors may be reappointed by the Lead Counselor for continued one-year terms so long as their service is deemed exemplary, and they remain students at the University.
The Hearing and Review Board is a group of at least 55 members appointed from nominations submitted by the Student Assembly (“SA”), the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (“GPSA”), the Faculty Senate and the Employee Assembly. The Board shall include at least 25 students, 15 faculty members, and 15 nonfaculty employees. The Assemblies and Senate shall solicit applications from interested faculty, students and staff on an annual basis and submit them to the Director no later than May 1 of each year. All applications shall be confidentially shared with the Executive Committees of the SA and GPSA for review and evaluation. Together with those committees, the Director shall make appointments. The Director may also make emergency appointments on a temporary basis. No person shall serve on the Hearing Panel and Review Board who is at the same time a member of the SA or GPSA, or is an employee of the Office of the Assemblies.
Members of the Hearing and Review Board are typically appointed for two-year staggered terms beginning in June 1 of the year appointed. Any appointment to fill a vacancy or to address an emergency shall become effective immediately. The Director shall have the authority, in consultation with the SA and GPSA Executive Committees, to remove a member of the Board if the member is reasonably deemed to not be honoring their commitment to communicate promptly regarding hearings, to serve on panels, to participate ethically in hearings, and otherwise to participate responsibly in this process.
The Director shall hire a professional Panel Chair to guide Hearing Panel proceedings with appropriate training and expertise to manage technical questions and rulings. The Panel Chair does not vote on individual cases. Instead, the Panel Chair addresses the many procedural and evidentiary matters that arise under these procedures in a fair and consistent manner, across many individual cases and proceedings. The intent of appointing a trained Panel Chair is to afford consistency, fairness and professionalism in all cases proceeding to hearings under the Code.
A five-person panel of the Hearing and Review Board shall adjudicate cases under the Code. Panels are chosen through a random process but shall be appointed to include three students, one faculty, and one nonfaculty member.
A three-person panel of the Hearing and Review Board shall hear appeals under the Code. Panels are chosen through a random process but shall be appointed to include one student, one faculty, and one nonfaculty member. The appointed faculty member serves as the Review Panel Chair.
Every person serving in an official capacity or role under these procedures shall receive training from the Director or other appropriate university experts appropriate to their position. In addition, training focused on diversity, equity and inclusion that is approved by the Presidential Advisers on Diversity and Equity (“PADE”) shall be required on an annual basis. PADE shall solicit the involvement of leaders of diverse and representative groups from the student community to assist in the development and vetting of this training.
**Please submit comments on the main Office of the Student Advocate Recommendations for Community Life page.**