Gannon University governs its student body through a Code of Conduct located within its Student Handbook. Gannon University is a Catholic university and strives to ensure that its student body represents that and upholds those values. The rules in the Code of Conduct are known as Community Standards. Students who exhibit actions that violate these Community Standards will be subject to the University's Disciplinary Process. Students who are found to have committed a violation will face disciplinary sanctions for their actions.
Gannon University Disciplinary Process
The Disciplinary Process begins when an incident report is submitted to and reviewed by the Student Conduct Officer. The Student Conduct Officer or a specified designee will meet with the accused student to discuss the charges, the disciplinary process, the incident itself, and also what types of sanctions the student will face.
Following the meeting, the Student Conduct Officer will conduct an investigation. The investigation will consist of information gathering and interviews with any relevant witnesses to the incident. The Student Conduct Officer will then make a decision of whether or not a violation has occurred. The standard for making a decision will be "more likely than not" that a violation occurred.
Gannon University Appeals
If the initial meeting and disciplinary proceedings with the Student Conduct Officer result in an unfavorable outcome, students can begin the appeals process. The grounds for appeal are a procedural error, new information, or overly severe sanctions. Appeals must be made within 5 business days, unless the student receives a sanction of expulsion or suspension, in which case the appeal must be made within 48 hours of the decision. Appeals will be initially reviewed for merit by the Committee on Student Conduct, and if approved will proceed to an appeal hearing.
Appeal hearings will be led by the Committee on Student Conduct. The full Committee on Student Conduct will consist of 8 faculty and 7 students. For hearings, a Committee will be made up of 5 members, with at least one student member and, at least, one faculty member. The Committee will be led by a Chairperson, who will also lead the hearing itself. The Committee makes a decision by a majority vote to determine whether or not the decision should be altered. Students are not required to attend appeal hearings, however, if they do not attend they will not have an opportunity to present information to the Committee. The hearing will begin with the Student Conduct Officer presenting information to the Committee of the violation and the facts of the incident. Following this, the student will be given a chance to respond to the information and present their own information to the Committee. After this, the Committee will then render a decision based on what was presented in the hearing. If an appeal is granted, the Committee will recommend modifications to the Student Conduct Officer. The Committee on Student Conduct is the final step in the process and there are no further appeals except in the case of expulsion. This is where an appeal can be made within 48 hours of the hearing outcome to the President of the University.
Students are welcome to have an advisor present at the appeals stage of the disciplinary process. However, the advisor must be a member of the University community, who may not have the student's best interests in mind. An attorney working with the student from behind the scenes will always focus on the student's needs within the case. Counsel from an attorney will provide insight to the student on courtroom tactics and proper means of selecting and presenting evidence to help the case.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Gannon University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.