Millersville University of Pennsylvania has a Student Code of Conduct that is enforced by the Judicial Affairs Office. The Code of Conduct is dedicated to maintaining a safe and secure campus environment. There are a number of behaviors listed in Code of Conduct that are classified as "violations" of the code. Students who are under suspicion of committing a violation will be subject to the University's judicial process. The judicial process is a three step process. Students who are under investigation will be known as respondents in all judicial proceedings.
The process occurs with an incident reported to Judicial Affairs. From here an investigation occurs, and if it is deemed necessary, the judicial process will begin.
Millersville University Administrative Hearing
The first step in the University judicial process is an Administrative Hearing. This will take place with the respondent, any witnesses, and a designated Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will both adjudicate the hearing as well as make the decision on whether or not the respondent is responsible for a violation of the Code of Conduct. Respondents are able to present evidence and witnesses to support their case, and will be able to conduct responsive questioning of witnesses and evidence presented against them. The Hearing Officer will make a decision after the elements of the case have been properly reviewed.
If the Administrative Hearing results in an unfavorable outcome, respondents are entitled to an appeals process. Millersville University of Pennsylvania appeals must be made within 5 business days of the Hearing Officer's decision. Grounds for appeal are a failure in following hearing procedure, new information to be considered, and a suggestion of arbitrary or capricious sanctions. The Judicial Affairs Office has a specific form available to respondents who wish to submit an appeal.
Successful appeals will move the respondent forward in the process to an appellate hearing with the University Conduct Board.
University Conduct Board
The University Conduct Board is selected from a dedicated pool of students, faculty and staff. Each board will consist of at least 3 members with one serving as Chair, and any member who may have any involvement or bias to the case will step down. Respondents are also able to request the removal of any board member they feel will not judge fairly. The University Conduct Board deals strictly with appeals, and holds the final authority in the judicial process. At the hearings, respondents can present any information that is pertinent to their case. After the information has been reviewed, the Board will come to a decision. This is the final decision and cannot be appealed.
Students are welcome to the presence of an attorney at their side during each hearing. An attorney's presence will help to ease student's worries and promote confidence before the judicial authorities. On top of this, receiving counsel from an attorney will assist students in selecting relevant and strong evidence, and also presenting their evidence at the hearing.
Millersville University Sanctions
Millersville University will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student (or student campus organization) is found responsible for violating the University's Student Code of Conduct. The University distinguishes between Educational Sanctions (S.E.) and Retributive Sanctions (S.R.). Educational Sanctions are intended to provide the responsible student with a "dynamic and active educative experience" and to help the student better understand the impact of their conduct on themselves and on the Millersville University community. Retributive Sanctions are intended to hold the responsible student with a with a proportionate penalty in response to their role in violating the Student Code of Conduct.
Both Educational Sanctions and Retributive Sanctions can be imposed for a violation; 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.
Educational Sanctions include:
- Educational Reflection
- Educational Development
- Service Restitution
- Counseling Services
- Conduct Contract
- Behavioral Mentor
- Restorative Practices
Retributive Sanctions include:
- Deferred Action
- Financial Restitution
- Parental Notification
- No-Contact Directive
- Loss of Privileges
- Suspension (not to exceed one full academic year)
- Inactivation (not to exceed five years)
- Termination of University Recognition (for student campus organizations)
In addition to any of the above sanctions deemed appropriate, Millersville University will impose: 1) mandatory minimum sanctions for alcohol and drug violations; and 2) academic integrity sanctions for academic integrity violations. Millersville University can also impose an Interim Suspension and/or Interim Loss of Privileges when an accused student's presence on campus constitutes a potential threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the University community. If an accused is placed on Interim Suspension, an Administrative Hearing will be scheduled within 10 class days to determine responsibility, and a final sanction if applicable.
Trying to Mitigate the Damage After an Adverse Finding and Sanctions is a Mistake
Regretfully, some Millersville 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 Millersville 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.
(Millersville 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. Millersville 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 Millersville University Student
Millersville University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Code of Conduct disciplinary 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 Millersville University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Student Code of Conduct disciplinary 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 Millersville 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 Millersville University in matters involving Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic integrity charges should not be confused with Millersville 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 Millersville 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 advise accordingly.
An experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Millersville University.
If you or your student is currently involved Millersville University of Pennsylvania's judicial process, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.