Students of Kean University are under a Code of Conduct that rests upon five tenets. These tenets are: integrity, fairness, community, respect, and responsibility. Failure to uphold one of these can breach the code of conduct, and land you or your loved one in some serious trouble. The five tenets foster a community at Kean University, and behavior that breaks one of those tenets is considered a violation, and will be granted a sanction accordingly. However, not every situation is the same, and sometimes strict university policies can prevent students from getting the education they deserve. There's no reason why one mistake should interfere with your future.
The Code of Conduct Process and Procedures
The process begins with a complaint being filed against a student for a violation. Complaints can be filed by any member of the community. After this, the initial investigation begins into their actions. Complaints are reviewed and investigated by the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. If there is "reasonable cause" to believe the student has committed a violation, they will then be notified by their university email address.
Student Conduct Conference
After the accused student has been notified of their violations in question, they will be given a date, time and location for the Kean University Student Conduct Conference, where they will be given information regarding the complaints against them, and the opportunity to admit to or deny allegations. The conduct administrator that held the conference can then either dismiss, resolve informally, or call for a Student Conduct Hearing.
Student Conduct Hearings
Kean University Student Conduct Hearings will be run by University faculty, staff, or an outside consultant that is chosen by the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. This person will be known as the hearing officer. Students are welcome to the aid of an attorney to assist in the hearing. The accused student will be given a chance to either claim responsibility for the violations or deny their responsibility. They can also agree to claim responsibility with an explanation, which admits responsibility but allows the student to explain the circumstances that may have contributed to the incident that should be taken into consideration. Both sides, accused student and complainant, will be able to present witnesses and testimony, and all parties may question both each other, and the witnesses, with the hearing officer directing questions as necessary. The hearing officer also makes the final determination as to what offenses the student is responsible for; the hearing officer will also impose the sanctions that they deem appropriate.
Kean University will impose remedies and disciplinary sanctions if an accused student is found responsible for violating the University's Code of Conduct. 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. At the discretion of the hearing officer, other remedies and sanctions may be fashioned and imposed. Possible remedies and sanctions include:
- Written Warning
- Letter of Reprimand
- Specific Period Suspension
- Indefinite Period Suspension
- Residence Hall Suspension
- Facilities Restriction
Remedies and disciplinary sanctions may also be accompanied by any of the following:
- Service Assignments
- Psychological or Psychiatric Referrals
- Fines for Drug and Alcohol Violations
- Campus-Wide Notice of No Trespass
- Residence Life Notice of No Trespass
- Campus-Wide No Contact Order
In addition to any of the above, Kean University will impose additional sanctions for academic integrity violations as deemed appropriate. Kean University also reserves the right to make public notification of the final results of certain student conduct actions. Such notification may include the name of the student offender and the type of violation.
Regretfully, some Kean 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 Kean 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.
Kean 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. Kean 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 Kean University Student
Kean University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before 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 Kean University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after 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 Kean 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 Kean University in matters involving Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic disciplinary charges should not be confused with Kean 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 Kean 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 Kean University.
In event of an unfavorable outcome from the hearing, students are given the opportunity to file an appeal with the university. Kean University appeals can result in less severe sanctions, including changes to sanctions such as suspension and expulsion. An appeal must be made in writing to the Review Committee for Appeals within 5 business days from the date of a hearing officer's determination for most violations. If a student has been suspended or expelled, the appeal must be made out to the Vice President for Student Affairs within 3 business days. It is important to begin the appellate process right away, should the hearing officer arrive at an unfavorable decision; the more serious your sanction, the shorter the time you will have to file an appeal. On top of this, if an appeal is not filed in time, the sanctions go into full effect.
What Can You Do?
No university wants to unnecessarily expel or punish any of its students; however, university policies can take very harsh stances on breaching their code of conduct. A violation of the University code of conduct can have severe repercussions on a student's education and future employment prospects. Having an experienced attorney as an advocate can make a substantial difference in a disciplinary proceeding outcome. The earlier you obtain the assistance of counsel, the more effect your attorney can have over the hearing. If you or your loved one is facing potential disciplinary action from Kean University, please contact university student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today.