Arcadia University governs its student body with a Student Code of Conduct located in the University's Student Handbook . The Student Affairs Office holds jurisdiction over any proceedings and is responsible for upholding and enforcing the Student Code of Conduct. Students who violate the code will be subject to disciplinary hearings and may see punitive sanctions arise as a result.
Arcadia University Disciplinary Procedures
The first step in the Disciplinary Process for any violations is an Informal/Preliminary Administrative Hearing. This hearing will take place relatively quickly after an incident is filed. At the meeting, the student facing charges will have the opportunity to explain the situation, and the individual conducting the meeting will advise the student of what potential sanctions they may face. Decisions are not made during this meeting, however, it may be decided afterward. From here, the case will proceed to a hearing, unless sanctions were assigned.
Hearings can be held in front of either the Judicial Board or the Student Conduct Board. The Judicial Board will hear any academic concerns and higher level behavioral concerns. The Judicial Board will consist of at least two students and two faculty members, and is headed by a Chairperson. The Student Conduct Board consists of 5 resident students and typically hears cases of lower-level violations, such as vandalism or noise complaints. The Student Conduct Board has a less rigid structure to their hearings, as they do not handle as high-level allegations.
Once a case is slated to move to a Judicial Board hearing, the hearing will begin with a review of the pre-hearing procedures. After this, the Chairperson will read the charges to the student, who will be known as "the accused" throughout the proceedings. The accused will then respond to the charges by admitting to them or denying them. If the accused denies the charges the hearing will move forward to a witness and evidence presentation phase. The accuser will present first, with the accused being given the chance to challenge the charges with their own witnesses and evidence afterward. Both the accuser and the accused are given the right to cross-examinations, however, the board members may also ask questions for clarification on any issue. After presentations have concluded, the board will deliberate and decide upon an outcome. The standard for deliberation is a preponderance of evidence.
The University keeps the hearings closed, meaning that no parties outside of those deemed absolutely necessary by the school are permitted into the hearing process. Students are entitled to an advisor, but the advisor must be a member of the University faculty. While students may want to take advantage of this, it is important to remember that an advisor will not provide the same level of dedication to the best interests of the student as an attorney. Receiving outside help from an attorney will make students feel like someone is truly on their side in the hearings, instead of a University official simply fulfilling a task. Attorneys will be able to help students pick and choose helpful and relevant evidence to support their case, and instruct them on how to present evidence and questions at a hearing.
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Dean of Students, depending on whether their offense was academic or behavioral in nature. The appeal will then be forwarded to the Appellate Board, who may decide to hold a brief hearing. Arcadia University appeals can only be made on the grounds of an error in the process. Although sanctions of suspension, dismissal or expulsion will automatically be considered for review during the appeals process, mitigating evidence should be submitted as to why such a sanction should be reconsidered. Appeals must be made within 2 business days of the letter of decision.
If you or a loved one is facing disciplinary action from Arcadia University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.