Delaware Valley University governs its student body with its Student Code of Conduct. The Code exists to ensure a safe and comfortable learning environment for students. If a student does not adhere to the code, they will go through the University's disciplinary process. Students who are found to be responsible for a Code violation will have sanctions imposed upon them by the school. There are two types of violations: Type I and Type II. Type II violations are less serious than Type I.
Any member of the University can make a complaint against a student for a violation. Complaint reports are reviewed by the Associate Dean of Students or the Chief Student Conduct Officer for reason to hold the student responsible for a violation. The Associate Dean of the Conduct Officer will make the decision on whether or not to have an informal or a formal resolution, and if the case is to go the route of a formal resolution, the decision of whether or not to have an administrative hearing or a panel hearing.
Delaware Valley University Informal Resolution
An Informal Resolution involves a meeting with the student and the Chief Conduct Officer. The overall goal of the meeting is to resolve the conflict without having to resort to formal disciplinary measures, however, if they cannot be resolved a formal hearing can be requested.
In order to resolve a complaint informally, the facts of the incident cannot be in dispute, and the student must accept responsibility for the violation. Also, the potential outcome of the offense cannot change students status with the University, meaning that the sanction associated with the violation cannot be a high-level sanction. Finally, the behavior in question cannot show a potential pattern of similar misconduct. Once these requirements have all been met, the situation can be resolved informally.
Throughout the formal resolutions process, the person who filed the complaint will be known as the complaining party and the student who is the subject of the complaint will be known as the responding party. There are two types of hearings that can occur in a full resolution: an Administrative Hearing and a Panel Hearing. Type I violations are always resolved through a Formal Resolution.
Administrative Hearing: Administrative hearings will be led and decided by a lone Hearing Officer.
Panel Hearing: A Panel Hearing will consist of a panel of 5 members picked from the Student Conduct Board, a pool of volunteers that adjudicate cases. The members of the panel will be 2 students, 1 faculty, 1 staff, and 1 administrator from Student Affairs
Prior to a hearing, students can contest the hearing officer or panel members on the basis of a conflict of interest. At hearings, the panel or the hearing officer will hear out all information presented. Both the complaining party and the responding party can present evidence and witnesses. The panel or hearing officer will ask questions to any witnesses and complaining and responding parties for clarification. Once the information is presented, the panel or officer will close the hearing for deliberation.
The University keeps hearings between the students, witnesses and University officials involved in resolving the matter. The University does allow for an advisor to the students, however, the advisor must be a member of the University community. A University advisor will not have the same degree of dedication to the student's case, nor the same level of experience that an attorney will have. Even without attending a hearing, an attorney can greatly assist a student from behind the scenes. An attorney experienced in student defense will provide students with insight into techniques and strategies used during hearings. Students who go into their hearings fully prepared to use attorney-proven methods of presenting evidence and questioning witnesses will feel more confident, and will have a better chance of securing a favorable outcome.
Delaware Valley University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students can make an appeal. The appeal must be made within 5 business days of receiving the hearing outcome. The grounds for appeal are procedures not followed, new information, or excessive sanctions. Appeals must be submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs, who can make the decision outright, or have it reviewed by an Appellate Panel chosen from the Student Conduct Board. In the event of an expulsion, students may have a secondary appeal which must be submitted 5 business days from the decision of Appeals Panel.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Delaware Valley University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.