La Salle University governs its student body through a set of Community Standards, located in the Student Guide. The Community Standards are constructed to ensure that students in attendance of the University have a safe and secure learning environment. Students who violate Community Standards will be subject to La Salle University's disciplinary procedures. Students who are found to have committed a violation will have sanctions imposed on them.
La Salle University Disciplinary Procedures
The Disciplinary Process is a multi-step process that allows early resolutions for students who are willing to accept charges. The process begins when an incident report is filed against a student accounting details of the incident. This report upon further review will become a full disciplinary report, that will then be sent to the student for an accusation. From here, the next step in the process is a Preliminary Hearing.
After the accused student receives the disciplinary report, they must meet with a Preliminary Hearing Officer within 7 days. The purpose of La Salle University's Preliminary Hearing is to explain disciplinary procedures and what sanctions that the student may face, as well as obtain information related to the incident from the student. If necessary, further investigation will be conducted by the preliminary hearing officer. If there is sufficient information, the Preliminary Hearing Officer will also determine if disciplinary action is necessary, make a decision on a finding, and assign sanctions. The accused student will receive the decision in writing, and will be able to contest or accept the outcome. If the accused student does not contest charges, the decisions and sanctions will become permanent. If the student decides to contest the preliminary hearing outcome, the case will move forward to a formal hearing.
Formal hearings can take place in front of either a Judicial Board or an Administrative Hearing Officer. The student's preference will also be taken into account when deciding which hearing authority will be used.
Judicial Board: The Judicial Board is made up of volunteers selected by the Student Government Association. The volunteer pool is made up of 5 faculty members and 15 students. A hearing panel of 5 will be selected for any hearing.
Administrative Hearing Officer: The Senior Associate Dean of Students or a chosen designee will serve as the Administrative Hearing Officer, unless they have served as the Preliminary Hearing Officer.
Hearings will have the same procedure regardless of which authority is presiding over the hearing. The hearing will begin with opening statements from both parties. Following this, witnesses can be presented from both sides. Both sides can question witnesses, but questions must first be presented to the hearing authority, who will then ask the question to the witnesses. Finally, both parties can present closing statements before the Administrative Hearing Officer or Judicial Board retires to make a decision. Decisions to hold the accused student responsible for a violation will be made on the standard of a "preponderance of evidence."
The University keeps hearings between students and University personnel. Accused students are allowed the opportunity to have an advisor. However, the advisor must be a member of the University community, who may lack the experience or investment into the accused student's interest to properly assist their defense. An attorney can help from behind the scenes and provide proper and helpful insight into courtroom tactics, such as how to interview witnesses and present evidence. Help from an attorney will also inspire confidence in students facing disciplinary hearings.
La Salle University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome from a hearing, students may file for an appeal. Appeals must be made within 5 business days of the outcome. The grounds for appeal are unfair hearings, arbitrary sanctions, relevant evidence not reviewed at the hearing, and new evidence to be considered. Appeals must be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
If you or your student are currently involved in La Salle University's disciplinary process, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.