Spring 2020 Code Revisions - Section 1: Participants in the Process

Please note that a * denotes a section that has corresponding CJC comments that the committee wishes the public to review.
Any student, member of the University faculty, or other employee of hte University may allege a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, of which that individual was the victim, by filing a complaint witth the OSCCS. In cases in which a complaint is made by one or more individuals, and where such individuals have been directly harmed by the alleged conduct and would like to participate in the resolution of the complain, the individuals shall be designated as the "named complainants." In cases in which a complaint has been made but the individual has not been directly harmed or would not like to be designated as a named complainant, but an investigation is initiated by the OSCCS, Cornell University shall be designated as the complainant. Whether an individual is designated as a named complainant or not shall not hinder the OSCCS's or Panels' ability to impose measures, such as Interim Measures, to protect the health and safety of a complainant or witness. At any stage of these Procedures, the case shall be presented by the OSCCS in the name of the complainant regardless of whether there is an individual named complainant or Cornell University is names as the complainant.
A named complainant shall have the right to be present at any relevant hearing. Each names complainant shall have the right to be accompanied at every stage by a personal advisor of that person's choise, but that advisor shall not be a witness and shall not partipate actively in a hearing in the capacity of counsel. The OSCCS shall provide information to a named complainant about the University's Victim Advocate and other relevant resources, including information about how to file a police report.
A student, University-recognized organization, or University-registered organization against whom a complaint has been filed with the OSCCS will be designated the “respondent.”
At all stages under these Procedures the respondent will be afforded the assistance of an advisor provided by the University through the Office of the Judicial Codes Counselor to assist and advise. As an alternative or in addition to utilizing an advisor offered by the University, the respondent has the right to select and consult with an advisor of their own choosing. Such advisor may be any member of the University community or general public but shall not be a witness. Except for the Judicial Codes Counselor, the respondent’s advisor shall not normally participate in a hearing in the capacity of counsel. However, for a disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion to be imposed, such counsel or advisor must have had a reasonable opportunity to participate fully in the hearings.
[The CJC voted 6-1 in order to allow advisors to speak on behalf of the student parties. The one vote against believed in order for the process to be the most educational the student party should take the lead in speaking with necessary advisor support and guidance.]
The respondent also has the right to a support person of their choice. The respondent’s support person shall not be a witness and shall not participate actively in the conduct process in the capacity of counsel.
The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards (OSCCS) manages the student conduct system and cases arising out of the Student Code Of Conduct (“Code”). The OSCCS receives and ensures proper investigation and adjudication of alleged violations of the Code, or of any other regulation as the University Assembly, the University President, or Board of Trustees may direct. 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 OSCCS 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.
The fundamental role of the OSCCS 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 OSCCS does not prosecute cases against students. Anyone can direct questions about the student conduct system to the OSCCS.
The Director of OSCCS shall be appointed by and reports to the Vice President for Student and Campus Life. The Vice President shall consult with the University Assembly prior to appointment and shall request representatives from the University Assembly to serve on the search committee when a new Director is hired. The OSCCS shall undergo an annual review overseen by the Vice President (or designee). The Vice President shall request and thoughtfully consider feedback from the University Assembly as part of the Director’s annual review. The Director shall provide an annual report to the Vice President, the University Assembly, and its Codes and Judicial Committee on the operations of the office and of the student conduct system.
*The CJC requests feedback on this section.*
The Office of the Judicial Codes Counselor provides free assistance and representation within the student conduct system to respondents involved in the Student Code of Conduct process and to students charged with violations of the Code of Academic Integrity.
To the extent permitted by law, the Judicial Codes Counselor shall not reveal any information provided by the accused, unless the accused expressly requests that the information in question be confided to another person. Although the Judicial Codes Counselor should be a law school student, the services are not meant to be a substitute for professional legal advice or for the legal assistance provided by an attorney. The Judicial Codes Counselors primarily explain how the student conduct system works and assists the parties in the selection of counsel or an advisor. With the consent of the Judicial Codes Counselor, an individual may choose a Judicial Codes Counselor as their advisor.
The Judicial Codes Counselor shall be appointed for a two-year term. The President shall appoint the Judicial Codes Counselor with the concurrence of the University Assembly, following the procedures for the appointment of the Judicial Administrator. The Judicial Codes Counselor shall be solely responsible for the Office of the Judicial Codes Counselor. The Judicial Codes Counselor shall be independent, although an administrative relationship should exist with the University administration to support that office. The Judicial Codes Counselor shall be subject to removal only by action of the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the University Assembly. No employee of the Office of the Judicial Codes Counselor shall be a member of the University, Student, Graduate and Professional, or Employee Assembly, or any of their committees or boards, or of an Administrative, Hearing, or Appeal Panel.
*The CJC voted 4-3 to keep the language above. The 3 members who voted against believed that the position of the JCC should be open to any graduate, professional, or undergraduate student who is interested and goes through the necessary application process. In addition, some members believed the Office of Judicial Codes Counselor’s should be moved into Student and Campus Life to increase accountability, understanding of other aspects of student life, and make the process less legalistic and more educational. In addition, the name might be subject to change.*
*The CJC requests ideas/feedback on the process for the selection and the number of people who are part of the pool for: panelists, Administrative/Hearing Chairs, Appeal Chair, and Logistics Chair. Need to determine whether these panelists all come from the same pool of people.*
The OSCCS and Administrative, Hearing, or Appeals Panel may grant to witnesses immunity from proceedings within the conduct system related to the subject of their testimony.
All who are involved in the complaint, investigation, methods of resolving a Formal Complaint or formal charges, including mediation, hearings, and appeals, and reporting processes are obliged to maintain confidentiality of the proceedings, except as otherwise specifically provided in this Code. They shall protect the confidentiality of all conduct records, except those records specifically referred to in section 8.10 of these Procedures.
Copies of student conduct records shall not be released to outside sources without written consent of the subject of such record, except:
  • When required by law;
  • When authorized by law and necessary to protect the safety or well-being of the University community members, or to preserve the integrity of proceedings under this Code;
  • With respect to the conduct records of University-registered and University-recognized organizations only, when deemed necessary to educate the University community or to provide information to the University community about the organization’s conduct.

**Please submit comments on the main 2020 Proposed Amendments to the Campus Code of Conduct page.**