Washington & Jefferson College governs its student body through the use of a Student Code of Conduct. The Code itself can be found within the College's Student Handbook. If a student is suspected of violating the Code of Conduct they will be tried under the College's Student Conduct Procedures. If the student is found to be responsible for a violation, they will have sanctions imposed upon them by the College to serve as punishment.
Any member of the College community can file violation charges against a student. Once the charges are filed, the Student Conduct Process will begin.
Washington & Jefferson Student Conduct Procedures
Throughout the Student Conduct Procedures, the person presenting charges will be known as the "complainant" while the student facing the charges will be known as the "respondent."
The Director of Community Standards or a designee will meet with the Respondent. A brief investigation will be done, and the respondent will be questioned at the meeting. The overall goal of the meeting is to determine if the charges can constitute a violation, or if the charges can be resolved through a mutual agreement between the complainant and the respondent. The Director may assign sanctions outright in response to the violation. The student can agree to responsibility and sanctions. A hearing will be held if an agreement cannot be reached. The Director also has the ability to refer a case to a student conduct board hearing if deemed necessary.
Student Conduct Hearing
The Student Conduct Board will oversee and decide upon the hearing. The Board will normally consist of 1 staff, 1 faculty, 1 student, and the Student Conduct Administrator.
Hearings will be led by the Student Conduct Administrator. The Student Conduct Administrator also decides the flow of the hearing and is responsible for preserving procedural integrity. Both the complainant and respondent can present their own supporting evidence and witnesses. No character witnesses will be permitted. Both parties can cross-examine one another's witnesses, but cross-examinations must be done indirectly through the Student Conduct Administrator. After all evidence and witnesses have been heard, the board will deliberate. Decisions will be made by majority vote. The standard of "more likely than not" will be used during deliberations.
Students are entitled to an advisor of their choosing, however, the College recommends this advisor be a member of the College community. Even without attending a hearing, an attorney can still help a student from behind the scenes. Attorneys can offer student valuable insight into courtroom tactics. Students armed with methods of argument construction and evidence presentation will have an edge in a hearing.
Washington & Jefferson College Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals must be made 5 business days from the issuance of sanctions. The grounds for appeal are inappropriate sanctions, new information, or unfairness in the conduct process.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Washington & Jefferson College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.