Moravian College relies on a set of Community Standards to maintain a governance over its student body. The Community Standards are located within the College's Student Handbook. The Community Standards are kept in place to promote the idea of respect for the College Community. Violations of the tenets of the Community Standards will trigger the College's Judicial Proceedings. This is the process by which a student is "prosecuted" for their violations. Students who are found responsible will face sanctions as punishment for the violations.
When a student commits a violation, any member of the College community can begin the disciplinary process by filing charges against them. Following the filing of charges, an investigation will be conducted by the Associate Dean of Students. The Associate Dean of Students will also appoint the appropriate judicial body for the hearing. There are two types of judicial bodies that can hear and decide cases.
Discipline Review Committee: The Discipline Review Committee consists of volunteers. A judicial administrator will be assigned to present information for the case and lead the committee at hearings. The Committee is typically used for severe violations and cases where facts and events are complex and in dispute.
Director of Student Development: The Director of Student Development or a designee will be used for situations where there has already been an admission of responsibility, or in situations where the facts and events are relatively simple and without complications.
Moravian College Judicial Proceedings
Throughout College judicial proceedings, the student facing charges will be known as "the accused," and the person who is bringing the charges against them will be known as "the accuser." Once a judicial body has been selected for a hearing, the accused will receive a notice of the hearing in writing along with a notice of the charges. The accused may present information, call witnesses, and cross-examine any parties at the hearing. Character witnesses are not permitted. Once all relevant information has been heard, a decision will be made based on the standard of "a preponderance of evidence" to determine responsibility. The judicial body that reaches a decision to hold a student responsible for a violation will also determine any sanctions to assign. The notification and decision of sanction will be sent to the student in writing.
Students may have an advisor present at their hearing. Advisors must be members of the College community, except in cases of sexual misconduct. While an advisor may be a comfort to a student, a member of the College community is likely to lack the necessary skills and experience to properly assist a student with their defense. Students can receive help from an attorney working behind the scenes. Attorneys can assist students by helping them understand techniques such as witness questioning, evidence presentation, and argument construction, and helping them put these techniques into use in a College hearing setting, instead of the courtroom.
Moravian College Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have 5 class days from the original hearing verdict to make an appeal. Appeals are submitted to the Associate Dean of Students, and may be heard out by an appeal board. The grounds for appeal are unfairness of the original hearing, a decision contrary to the evidence, inappropriate sanctions, or new evidence for consideration. Secondary appeals may be made for sanctions of suspension or expulsion.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Moravian College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.