College Academic Misconduct Defense for St. John’s University

St. John's University, located in New York City, was founded in 1870 by the Vincentians (a Catholic order of priests), with its main campus in Brooklyn. Today, however, the school resides in Queens, where it moved its main campus in the 1950s. Its rootedness in Vincentian ideals gives the school its focus on being “confident, goal-driven, and ethical.” One of the main ways that this dedication to an ethical life shows up is in the school's commitment to social justice, echoing St. Vincent de Paul, who founded the Vincentians. Another significant way, however, is in the school's academic honor pledge, which was adopted in 2003 by the school.

The pledge states: “I will not tolerate or participate in any form of academic fraud by cheating, lying or stealing, nor will I accept the actions of those who choose to violate this code. I will conduct myself both honorably and responsibly in all my activities as a St. John's University student, both academically and non-academically.”

As you can see, the university takes academic integrity very seriously. If you or a loved one is facing allegations of academic fraud, it's important that you take action quickly, rather than waiting until you reach the point where you need to make an appeal. In this article, we'll offer an overview of some of the procedures at St. John's. By the end, you should have a sense of what next steps you might take.

What Is the Judicial Process at St. John's University for Academic Misconduct?

The disciplinary process at St. John's can be found on the school’s site. It's important to note, however, that what the site covers is fairly broad and not very specific. The school defines academic dishonesty as anything that includes (but isn't limited to) cheating or plagiarism and any “obstruction or disruption of teaching, research or other University-sponsored activities of an academic nature.”

Anyone at the school may make a report alleging academic misconduct. The individual decides whether to report the information to the Dean of the (accused) student's school or to the Office of Judicial Affairs. If OJA is approached first, they will notify the Dean, who will, in turn, inform the student of a hearing either with the Dean or with a committee.

This committee will consist of two faculty members, two graduate or undergraduate students (dependent on the accused's status), and the Dean of the school where the student is enrolled. If someone on the committee needs to be replaced for any reason, the Dean is responsible for choosing an alternate.

How will you learn of your charges?

If you've been accused of academic dishonesty, the Dean will notify you in writing along with a copy of the relevant procedures. You'll receive this within 15 days of the charges being made, and this letter will be hand-delivered or sent by registered mail with return receipt requested. If you do not respond within ten calendar days to the Dean, they will render a decision.

As a student, you have a choice as to whether the Dean conducts your initial hearing or the committee does. If they confirm the allegations, you can then appeal (in writing) the decision.

What Are Possible Sanctions That St. John's Might Administer?

The list of potential sanctions that St. John's offers is very sparse, as is much of their documentation for academic misconduct. You can see them on the same page as the information about the honor pledge; however, you want to make certain that you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the red drop-down section.

The potential consequences range from serious to severe. To begin, you could lose credit (full or partial) for the work that is linked to the allegations of academic misconduct. Next is the potential to lose credit for the entire course. While each of these is serious enough in and of themselves, they could have repercussions beyond the classroom (which we will discuss further below). Other possible sanctions include receiving academic probation or written reprimand on your student record. Probation could prevent you from participating in extra-curricular or other associated university activities.

The two most severe options, however, are suspension and expulsion, “imposed by recommendation to the Provost.” If you are suspended or expulsed from a school, that could have a drastic effect on your long-term academic goals and employment goals.

Is There a Long-Term Impact for Academic Misconduct?

If St. John's confirms the allegations of academic misconduct, this can cause long-term consequences for you. For example, if you attempt to apply to graduate studies, the academic misconduct could deter the admissions department from offering you a spot at the school. When students are suspended or expelled, they may find that their financial aid is rescinded, based on not qualifying with the appropriate credit hours to maintain student status. This can create an extra financial burden, on top of the already-heavy emotional burden. Even if a student can overcome a suspension, it will not come without its costs. An expulsion, however, can literally end a student's academic career.

What Is the Appeal Process?

If you want to appeal the Dean or committee decision, you will have to notify the appropriate Appeals Committee in writing. Although there may be a specific timeframe for this process, it's not available on the school's public-facing website. Make sure that if there is a timeframe, you are aware of it and comply. The school will only hear an appeal if there is a procedural error or new evidence that came to light after the hearing was concluded.

Work With the Best Academic Misconduct Attorney for St. John's University

If you or your loved one is facing these allegations, you should take action quickly and speak with an attorney advisor who can help guide you in obtaining the best possible outcome. Academic misconduct charges can follow you long after you've left your studies, and it's best not to waste any time. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have worked with countless students and their families at St. John's University and across the nation as they navigated their school's disciplinary processes. Contact them today at 888-535-3686 or reach out online.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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