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Student Disciplinary Procedures

Preamble

The Student Disciplinary Procedures (the “Procedures”) is established to provide for justice on campus and to ensure that any student charged with a violation of the University’s Standards of Conduct (the “Standards”) is handled under due process.  It should be noted that the Procedures below are not meant to follow the system of justice that governs society at large and should therefore be distinguished from the judicial system of the Government.

The Procedures shall be subject to revision or amendment as may be approved from time to time by the Student Affairs Committee and the Senate.

1. Reports of Misbehavior which may Require Disciplinary Action

1.1   Any members of the University community such as students and staff members on campus may report to the Director of Student Affairs (“DSA”) any alleged violation of the Standards of a student no later than fourteen (14) working days from the date of the alleged violation or from the date the violation could reasonably have been detected.  The complainant shall be referred to the Procedures when a case is reported.

1.2    The report shall be in written form and comprises the complainant’s identity, current mailing address and contact number(s), a full account of the incident where misbehavior is alleged, name or identity of the student being accused and any supporting evidence such as photos, depositions from witnesses, bills, receipts, weapons, damaged items, recovered stolen goods, police reports, court rulings, etc.

1.3    A report lacking details will be returned to the complainant for further clarification and shall be resubmitted within seven (7) working days of such return to expedite process of the complaint.

1.4   For complaints involving students’ misbehavior off campus, the DSA may at his/her discretion decide whether or not the Procedures should be initiated.  Among other things, his/her considerations will include whether sufficient information is in place or can be gathered to ensure justice in the application of the Procedures.

2. Police Investigation and Legal Proceedings

2.1    If the case has been reported to the Police, the Procedures will normally be withheld until after all police investigation and any legal proceedings are discontinued or completed.

2.2    Once police investigation and any legal proceedings are discontinued or completed, the DSA may at his/her discretion determine whether student disciplinary proceedings shall be conducted or resumed.

2.3    If the case has not been reported to the Police but involves criminal offence, the complainant may demand the case be reported to the Police.  In that case, the Director of Estates or his/her designate shall assist the complainant to report to the Police and at the same time the Director of Communication and Public Relations shall be informed.

3. Investigation and Sanction authorized by the Director of Student Affairs

3.1   The accused student shall be required to attend an interview with the DSA or his/her designate and asked for an admission or denial to the alleged violation of the Standards.  If the accused student admits the allegation or the DSA finds that the allegation sustains, the DSA may impose any sanction less serious than suspension from the University.

3.2    Sanctions authorized by the DSA shall be communicated in writing to the student against whom sanctions are to be imposed normally within seven (7) working days after the interview between the DSA or his/her designate and the student.  Such written documentation will be, at the discretion of the DSA, copied to the respective Dean or Head for records.  The complainant will also be verbally informed of the sanction.

3.3    In case of sanction authorized by the DSA where the complainant or the student against whom sanctions are imposed feels that the sanctions are inappropriate, he or she may submit a written appeal to the Chairperson of Panel on Student Disciplinary Cases (“the Panel”) within seven (7) working days of notification of the sanction, to request that the Panel be convened.  The appeal shall state the grounds of the appeal, and if additional evidence is to be presented, the nature of any such new evidence and the reasons why it was not put forward during the interview with the DSA or his/her designate.

3.4    Where a written appeal has been lodged, based upon a review of the records and any new evidence presented, the Panel shall decide whether to uphold the sanction authorized by the DSA, or to conduct hearings, investigate into the matter and deliberate on any appropriate sanction.

3.5    The students concerned shall be informed of the Panel’s decision to uphold the sanction authorized by the DSA or impose another sanction, or to conduct hearings.

4. Panel on Student Disciplinary Cases

4.1    Members of the Panel are nominated and approved by the Student Affairs Committee.  The Panel will normally be held when:

a. The accused student fails to attend the interview with the DSA or his/her designate within the prescribed period without a just reason, or
b. The accused student denies the charge of his/her violation of Standards, or
c. The accused student or complainant appeals for the disciplinary sanction imposed by the DSA, or
d. The alleged violation of the Standards amounts to a criminal offense in nature, or
e. The alleged violation of the Standards is serious and that a sanction of dismissal or suspension from the University may be necessary.

5. Notice of Hearing

5.1    Where allegation of violation of the Standards is referred to the Panel or where an appeal has been lodged with the Panel which subsequently decides that hearings will be conducted, the Secretary of the Panel shall send a Notice of Hearing containing the following information to the accused student:

a. Outline of specific charge being brought against the student;
b. Date, time and place of the hearing provided that the date of hearing shall not fall within fourteen (14) working days of the Notice of Hearing.

6. Hearings

6.1    Hearings before the Panel shall be conducted behind closed doors.  Only the following individuals will be allowed into the hearing room: 

a. Members of the Panel; 
b. The complainant; and
c. The accused student

6.2    The Panel Chairperson shall have discretion on whether the identity of any person concerned shall be kept anonymous in any agenda documents, reports and evidence as well as during the hearings and meetings.  The Chairperson may at his own discretion prescribe the manner under which student members including the accused student, the complainant who may be a student, and other students standing as witnesses, shall participate in works of the Panel.

6.3    A hearing is not intended as a formal judicial proceeding, and strict rule of evidence will not be followed.  A hearing will follow the sequence below.  However, at the sole discretion of the Chairperson, changes may be made to accommodate unusual circumstances.

6.4    If the complainant/accused student would like to have witnesses who would provide evidence during the hearing, they shall submit to the Secretary of the Panel a list of such witnesses at least three (3) working days before the hearing.

6.5    The Panel may call any witnesses for testimonies or question. Witnesses will be present only at the time of their testimony and will not be permitted to hear the testimony of other witnesses.

6.6    The accused student will attend the hearing before the Panel. The Chairperson will read the charge to the accused student and ask for an admission or denial thereto.  If the student admits the charge, hearing will be terminated and the Panel shall go on to determine the appropriate sanction in private.  If the student denies the charges, hearing will be continued and the Panel shall determine whether the charge sustains and if so, the sanction.

6.7    The complainant may be asked to attend the hearing to present evidence in support of the charge if deemed necessary.

6.8    The Chairperson may guide the members to exclude irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence.

6.9      The Secretary of the Panel shall maintain an audio verbatim of the whole proceedings of the Panel, and all parties shall be informed of such record.

6.10    If the accused student does not attend the hearing, the hearing may be conducted in his or her absence and such absence shall not invalidate the proceedings or decision of the Panel.

7. Executive Session

7.1    The Panel will then enter into an executive session in private to determine whether the charge has been proven.  The complainant, accused student and all witnesses shall be excused.

7.2    The preponderance of the evidence standard of proof shall be adopted to determine if a charge is proven.  Preponderance of the evidence means such evidence, when considered and compared with that opposed to it, has more convincing force to the members of the Panel.

7.3    A quorum consists of three members of the Panel.  Decisions of the Panel shall be made by a majority of the members present.

7.4    Any previous violation by the accused student of the Standards shall not be considered in determining whether the charge was committed.  In the event of equality of votes, a verdict of not guilty shall be recorded.

7.5    If the accused student is found guilty of the charge, the Panel shall decide the disciplinary sanction to be imposed.  Any previous violations of the Standards by the student may be considered in arriving at a sanction.

7.6    Upon the conclusion of a hearing, members of the Panel shall return to the Secretary of the Panel all documents pertaining to the disciplinary matter, including but not limited to the following:  agenda, agenda documents, incident reports, police reports, written statements, memoranda, declarations, objects, any other materials submitted by the complainant or the accused student, as well as any personal notes taken during the meeting.

7.7    The Panel will send a written notification to the accused students within seven (7) working days after the conclusion of the proceedings of the Panel, stating the findings of the Panel and the sanction arrived at, if any.  Such written notification will be, at the discretion of DSA, copied to the respective Dean or Head for records. The complainant shall be verbally notified of the decision of the Panel.

7.8    If the Complainant or the student against whom sanctions are imposed feels that the decisions of the Panel are inappropriate, he or she may lodge a written appeal stating the grounds of the appeal with the Chairperson of the SAC within seven (7) working days from the date of the notification in paragraph 7.7.

7.9    Any decision of the Panel to suspend or dismiss the student from the University shall be temporary and subject to further review and approval by the Student Affairs Committee (“SAC”) and in such case, the respective Dean and/or Academic Head shall be consulted.  The decision of SAC shall be final.

7.10 Any recommendation related to the withholding or revocation of academic awards shall be subject to the approval of the University Senate.

8. Appeal Against the Decision of the Panel to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC)

8.1   An appeal shall be limited to procedure matters and/or the inclusion of new evidences and extenuation circumstances for one or more of the following reasons:

a. To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the alleged violation and evidence presented, and in conformity with the Procedures giving all parties a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence.
b. To determine whether preponderance of the evidence standard of proof is followed.
c. To determine whether the sanction imposed was appropriate for the violation which the accused student was found to have committed.
d. To consider those new evidence or facts not brought out in the original hearing, sufficient to alter a decision, which

8.2    If the SAC is satisfied that new evidence or newly discovered facts are admissible and could have altered the decision of the Panel, the matter may be remanded to the Panel for reopening of the hearing.

8.3    If new evidence and/or facts are not presented, the SAC may confirm or modify the decision of the panel and/or may uphold, reduce/increase the sanction or suspend the sanction.

8.4    At any time after a notice of appeal is served, an appellant may abandon the appeal by serving the SAC a notice to that effect as soon as possible.  In that case, the appeal shall be deemed to have been dismissed.

8.5    The decision of the SAC shall be final, and communicated to the appellant in writing normally within seven (7) working days after the date of the relevant meeting. Such written documentation will be copied to the respective Dean or Head for records. The complainant shall be verbally notified of the decision.

9. Student Affairs Committee

9.1    The SAC, a Standing Committee with members appointed by the University Senate, will normally handle disciplinary cases when:

a. There is an appeal against the decision imposed by the Panel as stated in paragraph 7.8 .
b. There is a need to review and approve the recommendation by the Panel to suspend or dismiss a student from the University as stated in paragraph 7.9.  The decision of SAC shall be final.

10. Temporary Suspension of the right to use certain facility from the University

10.1    The DSA, Panel, or the Student Affairs Committee may, where it is satisfied that a student being accused of a charge poses (a) a danger to the safety of other members of the University community or (b) an ongoing threat of disrupting the proper functioning of the University, temporarily suspend the student and/or deny the student’s access to any facility or the whole campus, and/or other privileges and rights for which the student might otherwise be eligible until further notice.

11. Report on Student Disciplinary Cases

11.1 Student disciplinary cases handled through the DSA, Panel or SAC shall be reported through the SAC to the Senate.

12.   Records of the Disciplinary Matter and Penalty

12.1 Papers relating to disciplinary matters shall be kept in the Office of Student Affairs and respective offices until the graduation of the accused student.

12.2 Any sanction of academic disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal shall be entered into the student’s academic record as soon as the completion of the proceedings.