Robert Morris University governs its student body through a set of policies in its Student Code of Conduct. The basis of the code is to ensure that students at the University have a chance to grow as people and academics in a safe learning environment. Students who violate this Code will be subject to the Student Conduct Process to be tried for their violations. Students who are found responsible for violations will have sanctions imposed on them by the University; these sanctions may often be disproportionately harsh when compared to the actual violations. The process begins when a complaint is filed against a student. The student will then be sent a notice of charges, and must then proceed to an Informal Resolution Hearing.
Robert Morris University Informal Resolution
The Informal Resolution Hearing is an attempt at an early resolution for a violation without having the case proceed to a full hearing. Informal Resolution Hearings must be scheduled by the student themselves within 3 days of receiving the notice of charges. The Informal Resolution Hearing itself consists of a brief meeting with the Conduct Advisor assigned to the case and will offer students a chance for the student to accept the charges and accompanying sanctions. If they do not accept the charges, students can attempt to negotiate a resolution or they can also request to move the case forward to a hearing.
Student Conduct Board Hearing
The hearing authority for formal hearings is the Student Conduct Board. A board will be selected from a pool of volunteering students, faculty, administrators, and staff. A minimum of 3 members is needed for a hearing, with a possible maximum set at 5 members. The Student Conduct Board itself has the authority to impose sanctions up to and including expulsion.
Throughout hearings, students accused of violations will be known as "respondents" with either the University or the complaining student or University personnel known as the "complainant."
Hearings will begin with an introduction to the charges, and the complainant affirming them. Next, an opening statement will be made by the complainant. Following this, an opening statement will come from the respondent. Afterwards, the evidence and witnesses presentation phase will begin, with the complainant presenting theirs first. Finally, closing statements will be made by both sides, and the Student Conduct Board will begin their private deliberations. Cases will be decided by a majority vote, and the Student Conduct Board will use the standard of "a preponderance of believable evidence" to make a decision.
The University prefers to keep hearings between the students and the University personnel involved. Students are allowed to have an advisor from the University community. However, members of the University community will not have the experience or level of dedication to a student's case that an attorney will. Receiving an attorney's counsel outside of the hearing process can help students prepare for their case. Attorneys can provide valuable insight into courtroom tactics, evidence presentation, witness questioning, and proper argument construction. With these skills at hand, the student can strongly influence the outcome of a hearing.
Robert Morris University Appeals
Should the hearing result in an unfavorable outcome, students have until 3 business days after the confirmed decision is made available to the student. The grounds for appeal are an error in procedure, errors of interpretation of University policy, or a grossly inappropriate sanction. Appeals must be made to the Dean of Students.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Robert Morris University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.