Mansfield University of Pennsylvania governs its student body with an all-encompassing Student Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct lists a number of violations students can commit that can endanger both the academic and community well-being of the University. When a student is under suspicion of committing a violation, they are subject to the University's disciplinary process. The process begins with a complaint being filed to the Chief Conduct Officer. Any member of the University community is able to file a complaint against a student. Once a complaint is filed, the Chief Conduct Officer will investigate the complaint and either dismiss the case or move forward if there is enough reason to believe a student has violated the code.
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Student Conduct Hearings
Students who have complaints submitted against them will be known as "respondents" throughout hearing procedures. Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Conduct Hearings can come in two different forms: Administrative and Board Hearings. Students are typically assigned one or the other depending on the incident related to their potential violation.
Administrative Conduct Hearing
Administrative Conduct Hearings are typically overseen by Residence Life for a majority of first time and minor violations. Respondents can submit evidence and testimony to support their own case at the hearing for review. After the hearing has concluded, the Chief Conduct Officer will decide whether or not the student violated the code of conduct based on a preponderance of evidence. The Chief Conduct Officer will also assign whatever sanctions are deemed appropriate for the behavior.
Student Conduct Hearing Board
The Student Conduct Hearing Board will be made up of 4-6 faculty or staff members, 1-2 students, a Hearing Board Chair and the Chief Conduct Officer or a specified designee. Full Student conduct Board Hearings are typically reserved for more serious violations that include higher sanctions. They have a more structured process and involve a decision being made by a majority vote, using the standard of a preponderance of evidence to determine a respondent's culpability.
At the hearing, both the complainant and the respondent will be able to submit evidence and testimony for consideration, as well as being able to question the opposing party's evidence and testimony. The members of the hearing board can question witnesses from either side. Both sides can make closing statements following the presentation phase. The Chief Conduct Officer may also make a closing statement after this.
Students are welcome to have an attorney present with them at either type of hearing. An attorney's presence will promote feelings confidence and security in the student when facing the ominous presence of hearing boards and University administrators. An experienced attorney can also provide guidance and counsel on selection and presentation of evidence for students to bring to the hearing.
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Sanctions
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student is found responsible for violating the University's Student 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. Possible sanctions include:
- Educational Sanctions
- Disciplinary Warning
- Disciplinary Probation
- Facility Suspension
- Facility Expulsion
- Loss of Privileges
- Removal from Class
- Revocation of Admission
- Counseling Referral
Regretfully, some Mansfield 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 Mansfield 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.
(Mansfield University of Pennsylvania 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. Mansfield 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.)
An Experienced Attorney's Role When Representing a Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Student
Mansfield University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Code of Conduct charges and/or academic integrity charges are filed in certain instances. If charges have already been filed against a student, the accused student's attorney, also in certain instances, will be able to serve as an advocate between Mansfield 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 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. 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 Mansfield University in matters involving Student Code of Conduct charges and/or academic integrity charges should not be confused with Mansfield 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 Mansfield University as well as behind the scenes to defend against sexual misconduct / sexual assault allegations. An experienced attorney will know how to defend against Title IX charges and can provide counsel accordingly.
Ultimately, an experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Appeals
If the hearing results in an unfavorable outcome for a student, they are able to make an appeal on the decision. Mansfield University of Pennsylvania appeals must be made within 10 days after hearing results delivered to student. They must be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. The grounds for appeal are: the decision was not made in accordance with the facts presented, the decision was not reached through proper procedure, the sanction was not appropriate for the violation, and new information should be considered. For cases involving sexual misconduct, it should also be noted the complainant may also appeal for higher sanctioning.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.