Seton Hill University governs its student body through a set of Standards of Conduct, located in the University's student handbook. Students who violate these standards will have charges of violations pressed against them, and will be tried under Seton Hill's Student Conduct Process. Student's found responsible for violations will face sanctions imposed upon them by the University.
The process begins when a Communication Report or Incident Report is sent to the Office of the Dean of Students. From here, Student Life staff will meet with the student. The student will be offered a chance to either accept or deny responsibility for the violations. Accepting responsibility will waive a student's right to hearing and appeal. If a student does not accept responsibility, the case will move forward to a disciplinary hearing.
Seton Hill University Disciplinary Hearings
A disciplinary hearing can come in one of two forms: a hearing with the Campus Life Resolution Board, or an Administrative Hearing. The student will receive a written notice of the place, date, and time of their hearing. Failure to attend the hearing will cause the hearing to be held in the student's absence. In addition, failure to attend the hearing also forfeits the right to appeal the decision made.
Campus Life Resolution Board
A formal hearing with the Campus Life Resolution Board will be used for all cases when a student does not accept responsibility for the violations. At the hearing, the Chair of the Campus Life Resolution Board will read the charges to the student. After being read the charges, the student will be given another chance to accept or deny responsibility for them. As the hearing goes on, students can present supporting information for their case. The board will also question the student. After all, information has been presented, the board will excuse everyone from the hearing, and proceed to the deliberation phase. Once deliberations have concluded, the student will be called back in and presented with the decision. The student will also receive the decision in writing.
An Administrative Hearing will be used when certain specific conditions apply to a student's case. These include: if the charges are criminal in nature, if there is concern for the personal safety of others, if it is a particularly sensitive case, or if the Campus Life Resolution Board cannot attend the hearing. An Administrative hearing will follow the same process. The Administrative Hearing Board will preside and make the decision. The Administrative Hearing board is chaired by the Dean of Students or a designee.
Students are welcome to have an advisor present with them at hearings, however, this advisor must be a member of the University community. A member of the University community will not necessary have the same skills, experience, and dedication to a student's case that an attorney will. An attorney can work from behind the scenes with a student to enlighten them on effective courtroom tactics. Students who employ courtroom-tested methods of evidence presentation and argument construction can have a much better chance at securing a positive outcome.
Seton Hill University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have a chance to make an appeal. The appeal must be made within 3 business days of receiving the written decision of the hearing, or 5 days for cases that resulted in suspension or dismissal. Decisions made by the Campus Life Resolution Board must be appealed to the Dean of Students. Decisions made by the Dean of Students or an Administrative Hearing must be appealed to the President. The grounds for appeal are a claim of a violation in the due process, or new evidence to be considered.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Seton Hill University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.