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 Appeals 

 

SPOTLIGHT

A student or student organization has the right to appeal action taken by a Hearing Board or Administrative Hearing Officer.  The complainant in cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking also has a right to appeal action taken by a Hearing Board or Administrative Hearing Officer.  An appeal does not provide for a second hearing of the case, but addresses one or more issues as outlined below under Grounds for Appeal.

A.     Appeal Authority

1.       Unless an interim suspension is imposed, a student shall continue matriculation until the student's case is fully processed through University procedures, including any appeals. 

2.       Decisions rendered by an Administrative Hearing Officer and decisions rendered by a Hearing Board that do not result in separation from the University may be appealed to the Assistant Vice President for Student Services.  The Assistant Vice President for Student Services will designate an alternate appeal officer in the event the Assistant Vice President for Student Services is unable to consider the case.

 3.       Decisions rendered by a Hearing Board which result in sanctions of separation from the University may be appealed to an Appeal Board.  The Appeal Board will consist of one Chairperson, one faculty/staff representative, and one student representative from the Hearing Board roster.  No one who served on the Hearing Board for a given case shall also serve on the Appeal Board for that case.

4.       The purpose of the Appeal Board is to examine the referral information and the record of the original hearing board proceeding to determine whether or not procedural errors occurred. The Appeal Board has no authority to rehear the matter or to suggest changes to sanctions imposed.

5.       The Director of the Office of Student Conduct, or designee, has general authority, as required by circumstances, to name Appeal Board members.

 

B.     Appeal Procedures

1.  To appeal the decision of a Hearing Authority, the student/organization or complainant (in cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking) must file, in writing, the reasons for seeking modification of the hearing decision.  This document must be filed with the Office of Student Conduct within five business days of receipt of the notification of the hearing decision. 

2.  The Director of The Office of Student Conduct, or designee, will prepare a written response to the student's/organization's or complainant's (in cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking) appeal for the Appeal Authority. 

 3.   The appeal documents, the Conduct Administrator’s response, and all records from the hearing will be provided to the Appeal Authority for review.

4.  Grounds for Appeal: Upon the specific request of the student/organization and complainants in cases of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as indicated in the appeal document, the Appeal Authority shall review the decision of the Hearing Board or Administrative Hearing Officer to determine:

a.  whether the hearing process was conducted fairly and in accordance with prescribed procedures;

b.  whether there is new evidence or relevant information, not available at the time of the original hearing, which may alter the Hearing Authority's findings;

c.  whether the University regulations alleged to have been violated were properly interpreted or applied by the Hearing Authority; 

d.  whether the sanction imposed was proportionate to the gravity of the misconduct.  

5. If the Appeal Authority determines that none of the grounds for appeal have been substantiated, the appeal is denied.  This decision shall be final and all sanctions determined by the Hearing Authority will be enacted.

6.  The Assistant Vice President for Student Services, as Appeal Authority, may affirm the Hearing Authority's decision, reduce the sanction determined by the Hearing Authority, dismiss some or all of the violations, or remand the case for a new hearing.  The Assistant Vice President may not increase the severity of the sanction as a result of the student's/organization's appeal.  The decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Services is final.  The student/organization ( and complainants in the case of victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking) will be notified of the Assistant Vice President’s decision in writing or via the students’ or student’s representative in organization SRU email address. The Assistant Vice President for Student Services will return the records to the Office of Student Conduct, where all records are maintained.

7.   If an Appeal Board determines that there are grounds for appeal, the case shall be referred to the Vice President for Student Life.

8.   The Vice President for Student Life will review the record of the hearing and the referral information to determine the appropriate action.

9.  The Vice President for Student Life may affirm the Hearing Board decision, reduce the sanction determined by the Hearing Board, dismiss some or all of the alleged violations, or remand the case for a new hearing.  The Vice President for Student Life may not increase the severity of the sanction as a result of the student's/organization's appeal.

10.  The decision of the Vice President for Student Life is final.  The student/organization and the complainant in cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking will be notified of the Vice President's decision in writing.  The Vice President will return the case records to the Office of Student Conduct where all violations/records are maintained.

Victim Resources

Referral Report

Director:
Leigh Ann Datt

Administrative Assistant:
Carrie Kerr

Graduate Assistant:
Tasha Roberts

Office:
008 Old Main
Slippery Rock, PA 16057

Phone:
724.738.4985

E-mail messages sent from the office of student conduct to students through university assigned e-mail addresses will constitute an official means of communication.

All correspondence regarding incidents will be communicated through the student's SRU e-mail address.

Correspondence involving incidents may also come from the office of residence life. It is the student's responsibility and obligation to access and respond to official university e-mail correspondence.