Seton Hall University has a Student Code of Conduct mandating a strict disciplinary process. The Code itself outlines behavior that is considered outside of the bounds of what is tolerable by the University. These actions can include harming others, or dishonest academic behavior. When a student performs one of these actions, it is considered a violation. Violations will subject the student to Seton Hall University's disciplinary process.
The Disciplinary Process
The disciplinary process begins with the filing of a complaint. Anyone in the University community is able to bring forward a complaint against a student for an alleged violation. Once a complaint is filed against a student, they are known going forward as a "respondent". The respondent will be investigated by an assigned Student Conduct Administrator. The Student Conduct Administrator will conduct interview with relevant parties and arrive at a conclusion as to whether or not a violation was committed. If a decision is made that to charge the respondent with a violation, they will be notified and given a chance to either accept or not accept responsibility. If the respondent accepts responsibility for the violations, they also accept any sanctions that accompany the violations. If the respondent does not accept responsibility, the report will be referred to the review board and they will begin the process for Review Board Hearings.
Review Board Hearings
A Seton Hall University Review Board Hearing will be selected at a time that does not conflict with a student's class schedule, and will only be rescheduled in the event of a conflict. Hearings are overseen by an appointed Board Chair who will take charge of the hearing and make determinations on things like relevance and redundancy of evidence. Both parties, complainant and respondent can present their own witnesses, as well as question any opposing witnesses. After the presentation of evidence and witnesses has been heard out, the Review Board will begin their deliberations. They are responsible for determining whether the respondent is responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct, and also assigning the sanctions that they deem appropriate. The board's standard of decision-making will be upon the notion of "more likely than not."
Students are welcome to the presence of an attorney at the hearing. Legal counsel at a hearing will be a great confidence boost, and can have a positive effect on the overall outcome. Receiving an attorney's counsel will help students understand the full consequences that can stem from these hearings, and give them a better understanding of what to expect. In addition, a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with university administrative hearings can provide valuable advice as to what a student should try to emphasize or avoid when presenting evidence or testimony.
Seton Hall University will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student is found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct and/or a University rule or regulation. To determine an appropriate sanction, the following is considered: 1) The severity of the disciplinary violation; 2) The respondent student's previous record of disciplinary sanction(s), if any; 3) The effect of the respondent student's misconduct upon the Seton Hall University community; and 4) Consistency with previously issued disciplinary sanction(s) for similar student misconduct. 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. Possible sanctions include:
- Disciplinary Reprimand
- Loss of Privileges
- Probation I
- Probation II
- Residence Hall Suspension
- Residence Hall Expulsion
- University Suspension
- University Expulsion
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree
- Withholding Degree
In addition to any of the above, the University will impose Educational/Discretionary Sanctions as deemed appropriate including, but not limited to:
- Developmental Exercises
- University-Mandated Service
- Education Class(es)
- Administrative Reassignment of Housing
Additional sanctions for academic integrity violations will also be imposed as deemed appropriate.
Regretfully, some Seton Hall 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 Seton Hall 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.
Seton Hall 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. Seton Hall 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.
Experience Matters - An Experienced Attorney's Role When Representing a Seton Hall University Student
Seton Hall University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Code of Conduct disciplinary violations and/or academic misconduct charges are filed in certain instances. If charges have already been filed against a student, the accused student's attorney, also in certain instances, may be able to serve as an a liaison between Seton Hall University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Student Code of Conduct 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 Seton Hall 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.
A attorney's involvement at Seton Hall University in matters involving Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic disciplinary charges should not be confused with Seton Hall 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 Seton Hall University as well as behind the scenes to defend against sexual misconduct and sexual assault allegations.
An experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Seton Hall University.
In the event of an unfavorable outcome from a hearing, the respondent is welcome to an appeals process. Letters of appeal must be sent to the Assistant Dean of Students, who will then direct it to an Appeal Authority for further review. Seton Hall University appeals must be made within 5 calendar days of the decision notification. Appeals must be made on the grounds that the sanction was too severe, there was a procedural error, or that the board should consider new information. It is important to know that both parties involved may make an appeal, and the time limit for appeals does not extend when the opposing party makes an appeal. On top of this, if the opposing party does make an appeal, the severity of the sanctions can increase for the respondent. The case can also go to a different Review Board for a new hearing.
If you or your student is currently facing the disciplinary process from Seton Hall University, contact university student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today.