Investigation and Decision
Within five business days after a complaint that does not involve academic misconduct is filed, the vice president for student affairs or designee shall complete a preliminary investigation of the incident and schedule a meeting with the student against whom the complaint was filed in order to discuss the incident and the charges. In the event that additional time is necessary, the vice president for student affairs will notify the student in writing. Written notification of the need to extend the time will be sent by certified mail and by email to the student's @student.athenstech.edu account, unless the student has already met with the vice president. After discussing the complaint with the student, the vice president for student affairs or designee shall determine whether the student is guilty of the alleged misconduct and whether the alleged misconduct constitutes a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. If the student fails to respond to the vice president for student affairs within five days, fails to appear at the meeting, or reschedules the meeting more than once, the vice president for student affairs will consider all of the available evidence without the student's input and make a determination.
In the event that a complaint alleges violations of the Student Code of Conduct by more than one student, each student's disciplinary proceeding, as well as any appeals relating to that proceeding, shall be conducted individually. Based on the severity of the incident, the vice president for student affairs may take one of two actions.
1. If it is determined that the student is guilty of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the vice president for student affairs or designee may impose without referral to the Hearing Body, one or more of the following sanctions.
- Restitution — A student who has committed an offense against property may be required to reimburse the college or other owner for damage to or misappropriation of such property. Any such payment in restitution shall be limited to the actual cost of repair or replacement.
- Reprimand — A written reprimand may be given to any student in order to notify him/her that he/she violated college regulations. Such a reprimand does not restrict a student in any way, but it signifies to the student that any further violation of the Student Code of Conduct may result in more serious sanctions.
- Restriction — A restriction upon a student's privileges for a period of time may be imposed. This restriction may include, but is not limited to, denial of the right to represent the college in any way, denial of the use of facilities, alteration or revocation of parking privileges, or restrictions from participating in extracurricular activities. A restriction signifies to the student that any further violation of the Student Code of Conduct during the period of time the restriction is in effect may result in more serious sanctions.
- Disciplinary Probation — Students placed on disciplinary probation may remain enrolled in classes provided they adhere to specific terms. Any student placed on probation will be notified of the terms and length of probation in writing. Any conduct determined after due process to be in violation of these terms while on disciplinary probation may result in the imposition of more serious disciplinary sanctions as specified by the terms of the probation.
- Failing or Lowered Grades — Students who are found to have committed academic misconduct may receive failing or lowered grades as specified in the college's Academic Honesty Policy (see Academic Honesty Policy).
2. If it is determined that the student is guilty of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the vice president for student affairs or designee may recommend one or more of the following disciplinary sanctions. The vice president for student affairs recommendation will be forwarded to the Hearing Body, which may impose one or more of the following sanctions.
- Disciplinary Suspension — If a student is suspended, he/she is separated from the college for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. The judicial body or vice president for student affairs may specify conditions for readmission. Conditions of reinstatement, if any, must be provided in writing to the student.
- Disciplinary Expulsion — Students may be removed and excluded from the college, college-controlled facilities, programs, events, and activities. A record of the reason for the student's dismissal is maintained by the vice president for student affairs or designee. Students who are dismissed from the college for any reason may apply in writing for reinstatement twelve months following the expulsion if the expulsion did not constitute academic misconduct. If approval for reinstatement is granted, the student will be placed on disciplinary probation for a specific term. The probationary status may be removed at the end of the specified term at the discretion of the vice president for student affairs or designee. Sanctions imposed on students who are removed or excluded from the college for academic misconduct reasons are outlined in the Academic Honesty Policy (see Academic Honesty).
- Interim Disciplinary Suspension — As a general rule, the status of a student accused of violations of the Student Code of Conduct should not be altered until a final determination is made regarding the charges brought forth against the student. However, an interim suspension may be imposed if the vice president for student affairs or designee determines that the continued presence of the accused student on campus constitutes a potential or immediate threat to the safety and well-being of the accused student or any other member of the college community or that the continued presence of the student on campus creates a risk of substantial disruption of classroom or other college-related activities. During the interim suspension, students shall be denied access to the campus (including classes) and/or all other technical college activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible as the president or the vice president for student affairs may determine to be appropriate.
In addition to the penalties outlined above, groups or organizations may also face:
- Loss of all privileges, including technical college recognition, for a specified period of time.
A student who has been suspended or expelled from the college shall be denied all privileges afforded a student and shall be required to vacate college premises at a time determined by the vice president for student affair or designee. After vacating the college premises, the suspended or expelled student may not enter upon college premises at any time, for any purpose, in the absence of written permission from the vice president for student affairs or designee. A suspended or expelled student must contact the vice president for student affairs or designee to obtain permission to enter college premises. Permissions, if granted, will be for a limited, specified purpose.
Suspended or expelled students wanting to submit a written appeal of the disciplinary sanction may submit the appeal by mail or fax if the vice president for student affairs or designee refuses the student's request to enter the college premises for that specified purpose. A scheduled appeal hearing before the judicial body shall be understood as expressed permission from the vice president for student affairs or designee for the student to enter the college premises for the duration of that hearing.
The vice president for student affairs shall notify the student(s) in writing of his/her final decision. In cases involving sanctions that include probation, suspension, or expulsion, the vice president for student affairs shall provide written notification to the president, vice president of academic affairs, director of registration and records, and instructors.
A student who wishes to appeal a disciplinary decision of the vice president for student affairs or designee must file a written notice of appeal through the office of the vice president for student affairs. Appeals will be reviewed by the judicial body. Students must submit their written appeals within five business days of receiving notification from the vice president for student affairs or designee of the sanctions imposed for violating the Student Code of Conduct.
The vice president for student affairs will schedule a hearing before the judicial body within ten business days of receiving the appeal. In the event that additional time is necessary, the vice president for student affairs will notify the student in writing. Written notification of the need to extend the time will be sent by certified mail and by email to the student's @student.athenstech.edu account. The student has the right to present evidence and/or testimony during the hearing before the judicial body. The vice president for student affairs or judicial body shall conduct hearings according to the following guidelines:
- Privacy and Attendance Issues
- The judicial body normally shall conduct hearings in private.
- Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the chair of the judicial body.
- The complainant and the accused have the right to receive assistance at their own expense from any advisor they choose. The advisor may be an attorney. The complainant and/or the accused students are responsible for presenting their own cases and, therefore, advisors may not speak or participate directly in any hearing before a judicial body.
- The complainant, the accused, and the judicial body shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses, subject to the right of cross-examination by the judicial body.
- Procedural Issues
- At the discretion of the chair, a judicial body may accept pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements as evidence for consideration.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chair of a judicial body.
- After the hearing, the judicial body shall determine (by majority vote if the judicial body consists of more than one person) whether to uphold the original sanctions.The standard of proof in all hearings shall be a preponderance of the evidence.
- There shall be a single, verbatim record, such as a tape recording, of all hearings before a judicial body. The record shall be the property of the technical college.
- The chair of the judicial body shall notify the vice president of student affairs in writing of the judicial body's decision. The vice president for student affairs or designee will notify the student in writing of the judicial body's decision and of the opportunity to appeal directly to the president.
In the event that the student chooses to contest the decision of the judicial body, he/she has the right to appeal the decision to the president of the college within five business days of receiving the notification of the judicial body's decision. The appeal to the president shall be in writing. The president shall only consider evidence currently in the record; new facts not brought up in earlier stages of the appeal shall not be considered. The president shall deliver his/her decision in writing to the student and vice president for student affairs within ten business days. The decision of the president shall be final and binding.