Students at Drew University are responsible for upholding the Student Conduct Policy. The policy entails the behaviors necessary to uphold a safe and prosperous learning environment. The policy itself is located in the Drew University Student Handbook. There are several potential actions students can take that are listed as "violations" of the policy. These are actions that endanger others or do not promote what is deemed proper conduct by the University. When a student commits a violation, they become subject to Drew University's disciplinary process.
Drew University Hearings
The disciplinary process begins with the filing of a complaint. Complaints can come from any member of the University community, not just staff or faculty. They are reported to the Dean of Students, the Office of Residence Life & Community Standards, or the Department of Public Safety. Once the complaint is filed, the case will be assigned an appropriate Conduct Officer. The Conduct Officer will then reach out to the accused student to discuss the charges, and any possible resolutions. At this point in the process, minor and first violations are likely to be resolved. If the meeting is regarding a repeat or a major violation, then the student will be given a 24 hour period to decide on a venue to proceed with a hearing and discuss options with family and friends. Hearings come in two forms: Administrative Hearing and Student Conduct Board Hearing.
An Administrative Hearing is between the accused and the Conduct Officer. The Conduct Officer will discuss the complaint, the evidence, and any other pertinent information with the accused, and the accused student will be given a chance to present their version of events and respond to the claims. After this has concluded, the Conduct Officer will make a final decision on whether the accused is responsible or not responsible for the violations based upon the standard of a preponderance of evidence. The Conduct Officer will also advise the accused student of what sanctions are to be imposed as well.
Student Conduct Board Hearing
A Student Conduct Board Hearing follows a slightly more formal process, and may be used for violations that bring forth more severe sanctions. These hearings are convened by the Conduct Officer, or another chosen representative that will be known as the convener. The convener oversees the hearing and ensures that procedure is being followed properly by participants in the hearing. The primary participants will be known as "the accused" and "the complainant." The Student Conduct Board itself will be made up of 2 students and 1 staff member, who will vote on the accused student's responsibility for the violations. The accused will be able to speak on their own behalf, and will be able to both present and question witnesses that appear in the hearing. After the hearing has concluded, the board will vote make a decision based on a preponderance of evidence.
Hearings are typically kept between the accused student, and any University personnel in attendance to the hearing, however an attorney can still provide assistance from behind the scenes. Receiving legal counsel prior to hearings will help students understand the hearing process, and also better prepare them for what they might encounter in the hearing.
Drew University will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student is found responsible for violating the Student Conduct Policy or other University policy. Violations of these policies may result in a variety of sanctions, ranging from severe penalties to less stringent measures, as appropriate to the accused student's underlying conduct, course of conduct, or overall student conduct history. The primary purpose of Drew University sanctions is generally educational and rehabilitative, although in some matters, the protection of the University community will also be an important consideration. The reasons for the imposition of sanctions will be stated in the accused student's file and will become a part of the accused student's record. 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:
- Revocation of Admission
- Revocation of Degree
- Withholding Degree
- Expulsion from the University
- Expulsion from the Residence Halls
- Suspension from the University
- Suspension from the Residence Halls
- Residence Hall Relocation
- Discretionary Sanctions
In addition to any of the above, the University will impose additional sanctions for academic integrity violations as deemed appropriate.
Regretfully, some Drew 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 Drew 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.
Drew 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. Drew 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.
Experience Matters - An Experienced Attorney's Role When Representing a Drew University Student
Drew University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Conduct disciplinary violations 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, may be able to serve as an a liaison between Drew University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Student Conduct charges and/or academic integrity 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 Drew 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 Drew University in matters involving Student Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic disciplinary charges should not be confused with Drew 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 Drew University as well as behind the scenes to defend against sexual misconduct and sexual assault allegations.
An experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Drew University.
Drew University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable decision from the hearing, students are given an opportunity to make an appeal. Appeals must be made to either the Dean of Students, or whomever the designee specified in the notification of sanctions is. They must also be filed within 2 business days of notification of the decision. Appeals may only be made on the grounds of new information and evidence, or a procedural error during the hearing process.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Drew University, contact our university student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today.