Saint Vincent College is a Christian college in Pennsylvania. The College governs its student body using a Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which is located in the College's student handbook. Students who are suspected of violating the standards set forth in the Code will be tried for violations under the College's Student Conduct Process. The Student Conduct Process is overseen by Office of Student Conduct. When a student is found to be responsible for a violation of the Student Conduct Process, they will face sanctions imposed on them from the College.
The process begins when an incident report is filed against a student. Anyone can file incident report, against a student. Once an incident report is filed, a summons letter will be delivered via email or hand-delivered by appropriate authority.
Saint Vincent College Student Conduct Process
Once a student receives the summons, they will have a disciplinary hearing scheduled for them that they are expected to attend. Students may also be requested in writing to simply admit to responsibility to the violations without having to attend the hearing. If the student admits responsibility, they will accept the accompanying sanctions and will lose their right to both a new hearing and an appeal.
A Pre-Hearing meeting will be scheduled when the alleged conduct is particularly serious. The purpose of this meeting is to review the charges and disciplinary procedures with the student.
Hearings will be conducted by a designated Student Conduct Administrator, or a panel. Through hearings, the person, or the College itself, that is presenting the complaint against a student will be known as the "complainant" while the student facing accusations will be known simply as the "Accused Student." The process of the hearing itself will be at the discretion of hearing authority. The most serious violations will be heard by the Committee on the Code of the College. Students will be given the opportunity to respond to what charges they face. Once all information is heard, the hearing authority will retire. All decisions by hearing authorities are to use the standard of a "preponderance of evidence."
College hearings are typically kept between the students facing accusations, and the parties involved in administering the hearing. Students are entitled to an the presence of an advisor, however, there is one unfortunate caveat to this advisor: they must be a member of the College community. A member of the college community is likely to be either a student, who will lack experience in defensive argument, or a College personnel member, who may not hold the student's best interests at heart. An attorney working from behind the scenes with a student can fulfill both of those needs. Attorneys can offer insight into techniques such as evidence presentation and argument construction that can help a student fortify their defenses at a hearing. This can strongly influence the outcome in favor of the student.
Saint Vincent College Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have a chance to make an appeal of the original hearing decision. Appeals must be made within 5 school days of the original decision. The grounds of appeal are to determine if jurisdiction of student code was violated, if the hearing was conducted unfairly, if there were inappropriate sanctions assigned, or if the evidence was insufficient to make the decision that was arrived at.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Saint Vincent College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.