Cheyney University outlines its Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook. The Student Code of Conduct urges awareness of the policies for any students in attendance, and also sets forth a number of actions and behaviors that are violations of the code. Alleged violations of the code will subject students to Cheyney University's disciplinary procedures, and, if found responsible for a violation, any accompanying sanctions.
Cheyney University Disciplinary Procedures
The Disciplinary Process at Cheyney University begins with a complaint being filed to either the Office of Public Safety or the Office of Student Activities. The accused student will be notified by the Chairperson of Disciplinary Committee. A Residence Life Hearing Officer will get involved for violations that occur within residence halls. Students facing charges for minor violations can be resolved by a Waiver of Rights to a Hearing, or through guided mediation if approved by the chair of the University Disciplinary Committee. If matters cannot be resolved, they will move forward to a Cheyney University hearing in front of the University Disciplinary Committee, or a Residence Life Hearing Officer.
When the hearing begins the student will have the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. At the hearing, the party bringing the charges to the student will be given the opportunity to present their evidence, and witness testimonies. Anything presented can be questioned by the University Disciplinary Committee or presiding Residence Life Hearing Officer, as well as the charged student. Questions must be of a "reasonable and pertinent" nature. After the charging party's presentation phase is complete, the charged student will be able to present their own evidence and witnesses. After the presentation phase for both parties has concluded, both parties will be able to make closing statements with regard to their case. The University Disciplinary Committee or Residence Life Hearing Officer will make their decision of culpability based on the evidence presented to them. When considering sanctions they will take into account a student's academic record, class year, any prior disciplinary records, and their attitude during the hearing.
Students are welcome to the presence of an attorney at their hearing. An attorney will help students understand the hearing process, as well as assist in selecting relevant and strong evidence to help their case. Students will feel more confident and self-assured in their cases when they know they have an attorney at their side.
Cheyney University Sanctions
Cheyney University will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student (or student campus organization) is found responsible for violating the University's Student Code of Conduct. Cheyney University sanctions are intended to serve as a deterrent to student misconduct, to provide educational experiences that will foster the development of student conduct demonstrative of responsible citizenship, and most importantly, to protect the safety and welfare of the Cheyney University community and to maintain an environment that is conducive to learning. More than one of the sanctions listed below may be imposed for a violation, and the full range of sanctions is available depending on the nature and severity of the violation. Possible sanctions include:
- Disciplinary Reprimand
- Disciplinary Probation
- Restrictions on Participation/Attendance at Activities and Events
- Residence Hall Assignment
- Educational / Developmental Assignments
- Community Service
- Written Assignment
- Letter of Apology
- Collaborate and Coordinate an Educational Program with an Office on Campus
- Interview of an On Campus Professional
- Mentorship Program
- No Contact Directive
- Residence Hall Suspension
- Interim Suspension
- Deferred Suspension
- Disciplinary Suspension
- Stops on Accounts / Records
- Termination of University Recognition of a Student Organization
In addition to any of the above sanctions deemed appropriate, Cheyney University will impose mandatory minimum sanctions for alcohol and drug violations as well as other disciplinary violations.
Trying to Mitigate the Damage After an Adverse Finding and Sanctions is a Mistake
Regretfully, some Cheyney University students, despite their and their parents' best intentions, proceed with the University disciplinary process without a full understanding of the possible consequences, both immediate and long-term. Those unfamiliar with the realities of the disciplinary process often do not realize until it may be too late that Cheyney University imposes suspensions and expulsions as a sanction more often than would be expected; even in disciplinary matters that may seem to be less serious. The stakes are very high, and some consequences are unforeseen; even sanctions lesser than suspension or expulsion can greatly jeopardize a student's academic and professional goals.
(Cheyney University sanctions for Title IX sexual misconduct violations, which include sexual harassment and sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence, will always be severe, and Title IX sexual misconduct violations can have lifetime consequences. Cheyney University will also promptly impose interim measures as deemed necessary to protect the complainant before the final outcome of a Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceeding involving Dating, Relationship or Sexual Misconduct or Violence.)
An Experienced Attorney's Role When Representing a Cheyney University Student
Cheyney University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic misconduct charges are filed in certain instances. If charges have already been filed against a student, the accused student's attorney, also in certain instances, will be able to serve as an advocate between Cheyney University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic misconduct charges are filed, in working towards the prospect of an agreeable resolution, the extent of an attorney's involvement will be at the discretion of Cheyney University. Every student's case is unique; an experienced attorney will understand what the University may be receptive to, and will approach the matter accordingly.
An attorney's involvement at Cheyney University in matters involving Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic misconduct charges should not be confused with Cheyney University disciplinary cases involving Title IX sexual misconduct allegations. In Title IX student disciplinary proceedings, an experienced attorney must work both as the point of contact between the accused student and Cheyney University as well as behind the scenes to defend against sexual misconduct / sexual assault allegations. An experienced attorney will know how to defend against Title IX charges and can advise accordingly.
An experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Cheyney University.
Cheyney University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome from the hearing, students who are found guilty or responsible for violations will be known as "aggrieved students." Aggrieved students are given 5 business days from receiving the notification of the University Disciplinary Committee's decision to make an appeal. Appeals must be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Student Life. From this point, the University Disciplinary Committee will be convened once more to review the information and arrive at a final decision. Appeals must be made on the grounds of new evidence, an unfair original hearing, an improper interpretation of University code, or an overly severe sanction. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Student Life can either uphold or overturn any decision made by the University Disciplinary Appeals Committee.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Cheyney University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.