Geneva College holds order over its student body using a set of Community Standards. The Community Standards themselves follow traditional Biblical values, in line with the College's image. The Community Standards are located in Geneva's Student Handbook. Acts that are contrary to the College's Community Standards are considered to be "offenses." When a student is suspected of committing an offense, they will undergo the College's Student Conduct Process. When a student is held responsible for an offense, the College will impose sanctions on them as punishment.
Once a student has an incident report filed against them, the process begins.
Geneva College Student Conduct Process
First, the accused student will be notified in writing of their charges. The notification will also instruct the student to attend a Pre-Hearing conference with an appointed Hearing Officer. Failure to attend this conference will allow the Hearing Officer to make a decision in the student's absence.
A Pre-Hearing Conference is a brief meeting with the Hearing Officer. The meeting is informal, and is meant to be informative and conversational. The overall purpose is to discuss the offenses in question, the student's options, and the overall process for resolving the conflict. Students have the option to accept the charges and the sanctions at this stage. If the student does not agree with the charges, the case can be escalated to an Administrative Hearing, which will be heard out by whatever hearing authority the Hearing Officer deems necessary. Prior to a hearing, students can request a different Hearing Officer
Hearings will proceed at the discretion of the hearing authority. The case can be heard out by one of several different hearing authorities: the Hearing Officer, the student's Residence Director, an individual selected by the Director of Residence Life, or the Student Conduct Board, the highest authority. At hearings, students have the right to present supporting witnesses. They also will have access to the incident report that details the events in question. Once all information has been heard, the hearing authority will deliberate. Any decisions will be made using standard of "more likely than not."
Students are entitled to have an "advocate" of their choosing present with them at the hearing. There is no reason why this advocate should not be an attorney. Students with an attorney at their side will feel more confident in front of the hearing authority. An attorney will not only inspire confidence in students, but will also help them to understand courtroom-effective methods of evidence presentation, witness questioning, and argument construction. Making use of these methods in the setting of a college hearing can be incredibly effective at securing a better outcome.
Geneva College Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have a chance to make an appeal. Students have 3 business days from the date they received their notification of outcome to file an appeal with the Dean of Student Development. Appeals must be on the grounds of violations of proper hearing procedures, evidence that the sanctions are unjust, or additional evidence to be considered. There is no secondary appeal.
If you or your student is facing disciplinary action from Geneva College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.