Saint Joseph's University, or "St. Joe's" as it is known by students, is governed by a set of Standards and Expectations, that are upheld by the Office of Community Standards. A full list of the Community Standards can be found in the Student Handbook. Students who are suspected of committing a violation of the University's Community Standards will be subject to the Community Standards Process. Students that are found responsible for committing a violation will suffer sanctions imposed on them by the University. When a student is involved in the Community Standards process, they will be known as "respondents."
Case Resolution Options
Students are not limited to just one process to undergo disciplinary action; they are given several options to choose from, depending on the severity of the violations they are facing. Hearing offerings will be at the discretion of the Office of Community Standards. All hearings will be decided by their respective administrator or board by using the standard of "more likely than not."
An Alternative Resolution Hearing is an informal way of resolving complaints filed against students without taking formal disciplinary measures. A student who is offered an Alternative Resolution Hearing will be expected to treat the process with seriousness and respect, otherwise they will lose this opportunity, and the matter will become an official disciplinary matter to be resolved by a higher level hearing.
Administrative Hearings are used when formal charges and allegations of violations are made against a student. There will be an assigned individual hearing officer that meets with the student one-on-one. Respondents will have the ability to present information and witnesses at the hearing. After the information has been heard, the hearing officer will reach a decision and notify the student.
When a student faces a Peer Review Board Hearing, the case will be determined by a group of other students that are assigned positions. The board will operate with 3 students who vote for a decision, a chairperson, and a staff Moderator. Respondents can also object to board members if they feel that a bias may be present. Respondents will have opportunities to make present questions to the board, as well as present any relevant evidence or witnesses, and make concluding remarks.
Community Standards Board Hearings are reserved for the highest level of violation severity. Before a Community Standards Board Hearing, students will always be given an opportunity for a pre-hearing to discuss the process and prepare for the hearing. The Board will consist of 1 student, 1 faculty, and 1 staff, and will be led by a voting chairperson, who is selected by a Moderator. Like Peer Review Board Hearings, respondents may choose to object to any member for cause. Hearings will allow respondents to present any relevant information, witnesses and evidence.
Hearings are limited to students and University personnel, and no one outside of the case, save for witnesses is permitted to attend. Even though attendance is closed, an attorney will still be able to help from behind the scenes. Counsel and advice from an attorney can help a student select and present relevant and strong evidence to benefit their side of the case. Students will feel more confident in their case after receiving help from a skilled and experienced attorney.
Saint Joseph's University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have 5 business days to make an appeal to the Vice President for Student Life or Associate Provost. Appeals can be hand delivered to the office, or they can be emailed to [email protected] for convenience. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, or previously unknown or unavailable evidence. Appeals are evaluated by an Appeal Board, and the student can object to members they feel will be biased within a day of the panel meeting.
If you or your student is facing disciplinary action from Saint Joseph's University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.