Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania outlines its Student Code of Conduct in the Swataney, the University's Student Handbook. The Code of Conduct governs the student body by enacting a number of rules and regulations to promote community values and standards. Students who disobey the rules may be found in violation after a review from a Student Conduct Hearing. The University will impose sanctions on students that are found in violation of rules. Sanctions may also come with a number of stipulations that add further punishment or ruling to the imposed sanctions.
Shippensburg University Student Conduct Boards and Officers
Hearings can take place in front of a number of Student Conduct Boards or Student Conduct Officers. Regardless of what Board or Officer is deciding and ruling on the case, hearings will proceed in the same way.
There are three types of Student Conduct Boards that hear cases:
Student Board: A student board will consist of 3-5 student members. A student board will normally hear cases that involve students with no prior disciplinary records and lower-level violations. Appeals for cases heard by this board go to an Associate/Assistant Dean of Students and the Assistant Director of Residence Life.
Community Board: A Community Board will consist of 1 Associate/Assistant Dean of Students, 1 Graduate Assistant/Residence Director, and 1-2 students. The Community Board will normally hear cases with higher-level violations and students with some prior disciplinary records. Appeals for cases heard by the Community Board will go to the Dean of Students.
University Board: A University Board will be composed of 2 faculty, 1-2 students, and 1-2 staff. Shippensburg University Board hearings are reserved for high-level violations and lengthy student disciplinary records. This is the most serious board a student can face. Any cases involving the potential for expulsion will be heard at this level. Appeals for cases heard by the University Board will go to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
There are three types of Student Conduct Officers that will hear cases:
Residence Director/Graduate Assistants: These hearing officers will hear lower-level violations and students who have no prior disciplinary history or a small disciplinary history. Appeals for cases heard by Residence Directors/Graduate Assistants will go to the Associate Dean of Student for Student Conduct.
Associate/Assistant Deans of Students and Assistant Directors of Residence Life: These hearing officers will hear out mid-level violations and students who have longer disciplinary histories. Appeals for cases heard by these hearing officers will go to the Dean of Students or Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.
Dean of Students: The Dean of Students will hear cases involving serious-level offenses and students who have a long disciplinary record. Cases that involve the sanction of expulsion can be heard at this level. Appeals for cases heard by the Dean of Students will go to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Shippensburg University Hearings
Shippensburg University hearings will follow the same basic procedure whether they are heard out by a Student Conduct Board or a Student Conduct Officer. At hearings, the student facing charges of a violation will be known as a respondent, and the party putting the charges forward will be known as the complainant.
A hearing will begin with the case being introduced by a the Conduct Officer or Chair of the Board. The complainant will present their own case and witnesses first. Afterwards, the respondent will present the information for their side. Both sides will then be questioned by hearing officer or board members. Following this, both parties get to make their own final statements, with the complainant speaking first. The hearing then ends and the Board or Officer will go into private session to make a decision on whether the student is "in violation" or "not in violation." The respondent will be notified of the results in writing.
Respondents are welcome to have an attorney present at these hearings, regardless of who is conducting and deciding upon the hearing. Students with an attorney at their side will feel more confident at the hearing. Attorneys will also help students find and present evidence that is both strong and relevant to their case.
Shippensburg University Sanctions
Shippensburg University will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student (or student campus organization) is found responsible for violating the University's Student Code of Conduct. Sanctions are utilized to help Shippensburg University students develop more productive patterns of behavior, to support the integrity of the academic mission, and to protect the members of the academic community. Stipulations may be also attached to Sanctions as deemed appropriate by Hearing Officers and Judicial Boards.
More than one of the Sanctions listed below may be imposed for a disciplinary violation, and the full range of Sanctions is available depending on the nature and severity of the violation. Possible Sanctions include:
- Term Suspension
- Indefinite Suspension
More than one of the Stipulations listed below may be attached to a Sanction, and the full range of Stipulations is available depending on the nature and severity of the violation. Possible Stipulations include:
- Housing Transfer
- Housing Suspension
- Alcohol/Drug Referral
- Community Service
- Termination of Privileges
- Termination of Student Organization Registration or Fraternity/Sorority Recognition
- Community Seminar
Shippensburg University will impose additional penalties/sanctions for academic dishonesty and academic integrity violations as deemed appropriate.
Trying to Mitigate the Damage After an Adverse Finding and Sanctions is a Mistake
Regretfully, some Shippensburg 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 Shippensburg 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.
(Shippensburg 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. Shippensburg 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.)
An Experienced Attorney's Role When Representing a Shippensburg University Student
Shippensburg University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic integrity charges are filed in certain instances. If charges have already been filed against a student, the accused student's attorney, also in certain instances, will be able to serve as an advocate between Shippensburg University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Student Code of Conduct disciplinary 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 Shippensburg 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.
An attorney's involvement at Shippensburg University in matters involving Student Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic integrity charges should not be confused with Shippensburg 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 Shippensburg University as well as behind the scenes to defend against sexual misconduct /sexual assault allegations. An experienced attorney will know how to defend against Title IX charges and can advise accordingly.
An experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Shippensburg University.
Shippensburg University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students are entitled to an appeal. Shippensburg University appeals must be made within 3 business days of receiving written notification of the hearing outcome. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new evidence, unjust sanctions, or a decision made contrary to the evidence presented. Appeals to the vice President for Student Affairs may be reviewed by an Appeals Board before the Vice President makes the final decision.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Shippensburg University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.