Georgian Court University outlines a Student Code of Conduct in its Student Handbook. The Student Code of Conduct focuses on ensuring a safe and comfortable academic environment for students. Endangering students or disrupting the environment can turn into a code violation, which may necessitate a disciplinary hearing for students involved in the incident.
Georgian Court University Hearings
The hearing process for Georgian Court University is a multi-step process that offers students chances to resolve early on before a full hearing can happen. The process begins with a complaint being filed to either the Title IX coordinator for sexual offense, or the Office of the Assistant Provost for others. From here, an investigator will be assigned to the case, and will interview all parties and witnesses. Next, the investigator will notify the student and present him or her with an opportunity to respond to the complaints and findings. The student will also have the opportunity to admit responsibility at this stage. If the investigator and the student cannot agree on a resolution, the case will be referred to the Student Conduct Hearing Panel.
Students who are moving on to a full hearing will be given a Pre-Hearing Meeting with the Assistant Provost for Student Life. The goal of this meeting is for both parties to simplify the issue, agree to the facts, exchange relevant information, and work together in order to ensure that the hearing is fair and effective.
Student Conduct Hearing
If the matter is unable to be resolved through prior means, the incident will be referred to the Student Conduct Hearing Panel. The panel itself will consist of 5 members: 2 staff, 2 faculty, and 1 administrator. Either party in the case can request the removal of a member on the basis of a suspicion of bias.
The hearing itself will be headed by a chair, who will ensure that procedure is being followed. The hearing will begin with each party's opening statements. Following this, there will be a period for evidence presentation, with both parties able to present witnesses. Rather than each party conducting a cross-examination of the witnesses (as is the case in a criminal hearing), they must present their questions to the chair, who will then ask the questions to the witness. The Code only permits evidence relevant to the incident in question, therefore no party will be able to present character witnesses. Following the presentation of information, both parties will be able to make closing statements before the panel deliberates. The panel will deliberate upon the standard of a "preponderance of evidence" and make a decision by majority vote. The panel provides the decision, the reasoning behind it, and their recommended sanctions for the student to the Office of the Assistant Provost for Student Life who will make the final determination.
Students are welcome to the presence of an attorney for support. On top of assistance outside of the hearing, an attorney's presence at the hearing itself will serve to inspire confidence in front of the Student Conduct Hearing Panel. Legal Counsel will help students better understand the complex nature of the University's disciplinary process, and assist them with preparation for their hearing.
Georgian Court University Sanctions
Georgian Court University will impose disciplinary sanctions if a respondent student is found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct. The specific sanctions imposed may differ depending on the circumstances of the matter being addressed. In general, however, sanctions imposed for violating the Code of Conduct are at the University's discretion. Unlike most schools, the imposition of sanctions at Georgian Court University will take effect immediately and will not be stayed pending the resolution of a student's appeal. 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:
- Disciplinary Probation
- Loss of Privileges
- Suspension from a Residence Hall
- Expulsion from a Residence Hall
- Suspension from University Premises
- Expulsion from University Premises
- Suspension from University Academic Programs
- Expulsion from University Academic Programs
In addition to any of the above, Georgian Court University will impose additional sanctions for academic integrity violations as deemed appropriate.
Regretfully, some Georgian Court 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 Georgian Court 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.
Georgian Court 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. Georgian Court 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 Georgian Court University Student
Georgian Court University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Code of 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 Georgian Court University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Student Code of 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 Georgian Court 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 Georgian Court University in matters involving Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic disciplinary charges should not be confused with Georgian Court 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 Georgian Court 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 Georgian Court University.
Georgian Court University Appeals
Students who receive an unfavorable result from their hearing have a chance for an appeal. Depending on the nature of the offense, students have either 5 business days or 10 business days to make an appeal. The appeal must be made within 5 business days for Title IX violations and sexual misconduct offenses, and 10 business days for other offenses. Title IX violations only have one stage of appeals. Lower violations can appeal to higher offices, all the way up to the Provost or the Conduct Panel, which will be the final appeal.
If you or your student is currently involved in Georgian Court University's disciplinary process, contact university student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today.