Holy Family University makes use of a Student Code of Conduct, located in its Student Handbook, to govern its student body. The University strives to emphasize Catholic traditions and values. The Code itself is based on the University's core values of family, respect, integrity, service and responsibility, learning, and vision. When a student exhibits behavior that may violate the code, they will be put through the University's disciplinary process.
Holy Family University Judicial Process
Students involved in the University's judicial process may be known as the "respondent" throughout any hearings. Hearings can either take place in front of an Administrative Hearing Officer or a Judicial Hearing Board. In either case, hearings will proceed the same way.
Administrative Hearing Officer: An Administrative Hearing Officer will be chosen by the Vice President for Student Life, and is usually a member of Student Life or the Office of Residence Life.
Judicial Hearing Board: The Judicial Hearing Board is a group of faculty and staff that volunteer to participate in the judicial process. The board will usually hear more serious violations of the Code of Conduct. For hearings, 3 members of the board will be selected to form a hearing panel, with special members appointed as Chairperson and Moderator.
The procedure of a hearing will remain consistent whether an Administrative Hearing Officer or a Judicial Hearing Panel is taking authority over the matter. Hearings are intended to be educational processes instead of adversarial events. Open discussion of the events, facts, and individuals involved in the incident is encouraged over each party attempting to thwart the other's case presentation. However, this method also allows things like hearsay evidence to be taken into consideration. After the discussions conclude, the decision to hold the respondent responsible for violations will be determined on the facts from the discussion and the standard of "more likely than not."
If a student is found responsible for one or more violations, the hearing panel or officer will take into consideration some factors that do not necessarily affect the initial discussions. Factors to determine severity, type, and other specifics of sanctions include, but are not limited to honesty, maturity, cooperation with the judicial process, the respondent's attitude at the hearing, the harm caused, the respondent's willingness to make amends, prior disciplinary records, and prior adherence to sanctions.
The University prefers to keep hearings between students and the University personnel. In spite of this, an attorney can still be incredibly helpful to students by working behind the scenes. Students who receive help from attorneys will become familiar with courtroom tactics and proper methods of fact presentation and argument construction that can greatly impact the outcome of the hearings.
Holy Family University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have 5 business days to make an appeal. Letters of appeal must be delivered to the Vice President for Student Life either through a drop-off in the office or through an email address provided in the handbook. Appeals must be made on the grounds of procedural error, new information to be considered, or inappropriate sanctions to be reconsidered. Successful appeals will result in new hearings, different sanctions, or a remand of the initial hearing. Students seeking appeal should be aware that in certain cases, the Appeals Board or the Vice President may actually increase the sanctions upon review.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Holy Family University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.