Saint Francis University makes use of its Code of Student Conduct to govern its student body. The Code of Student Conduct is upheld and enforced by the Office of Student Conduct. The Code itself is located within Saint Francis University's Student Handbook. Students who violate the Code of Student Conduct will be subject to the Student Conduct Review Process, which is the University's form of a justice system. The process begins with a Notice of Incident filed to an administrative authority of the University. The Notice will be reviewed to see if an investigation is necessary. A hearing will occur pending the results of the investigation.
Saint Francis University Incident Review Hearing
A Hearing Officer will preside over each hearing. The Hearing Officer will be appointed by either the Associate Dean of Students or the Title IX Coordinator.
At hearings, the Hearing Officer will review the facts of the case, and may choose to recess the hearing until further investigations can reveal more evidence. The accused student and the accusing party may present evidence supporting their respective sides in the matter, and the Hearing Officer will also present any other available evidence that differs from either accused student or accusing party, if necessary. Once all of the facts have been reviewed, the officer will make a decision if a violation has taken place. The standard for making a decision is a "preponderance of evidence." The sanctions assigned will be determined by the seriousness of the violation and the accused student's conduct history. The accused student will receive the outcome of the hearing and applicable sanctions in writing.
The University closes the hearings to any outside parties. In spite of this, an attorney's counsel from behind the scenes can be incredibly helpful to students facing hearings. Attorneys will provide valuable insight into evidence presentation and courtroom tactics to help prepare students for their hearings. Students who receive counsel from an attorney will feel more confident in their case, and this confidence will carry over into their hearings.
Saint Francis University Appeal Hearings
In the event of an unfavorable outcome from the initial hearings, students may request an appeal. Appeals must be on the grounds of new information, a material derivation from standard procedure, biased actions from the hearing officer, or claims that the sanctions are outside of the typical range for the offense. Appeals must be made within 3 business days of receiving the decision of the original hearing. The letter of appeal should be delivered to the Associate Dean of Students who will make the determination of whether or not to grant an Appeal Hearing.
Appeal Hearings will be held by the original Hearing Officer, unless the Associate Dean of Students appoints a new officer, depending on the circumstances and grounds of the appeal. Appeal Hearings are intended to be a reconsideration of the original decision, so in most cases, only the record of the original hearing will be taken into consideration, unless the appeal is based on new evidence. The Hearing Officer will review the written record of the hearing and any supporting documentation of the appeal, as well as any new information included. Further investigation will be done if it is deemed necessary to arrive at a decision. After hearing all necessary evidence for a decision, the Hearing Officer will make a decision once more. Students should beware: the Hearing Officer can actually increase the original sanctions upon a second review. Although the Hearing Officer has the ability to increase the original sanctions after an appeal, making an appeal with the help from an attorney can greatly reduce the chances of this happening.
If you or your student is facing disciplinary action from Saint Francis University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.