Wilkes University has a Code of Student Conduct contained within its Student Handbook. The Code governs the student body through a list of behaviors known as violations. Students who commit violations will go through the University's Student Conduct Process. This is the disciplinary process of the University. If a student is found to be responsible for a violation, they will have sanctions imposed on them by the University. Both academic and behavioral violations are subject to the Student Conduct Process.
The Student Conduct Process begins with the written report of an incident or alleged violation. The report is the submitted to Student Affairs or Residence Life. After this, the report is reviewed, and if necessary, an investigation occurs. Following the investigation, the case will either move to a brief conference or the case will be dismissed, depending on the report and the findings of the investigation. At the conference, the charges and potential sanctions will be explained to the accused student, as well as the overall hearings process. The alleged violator can either accept the charges and sanctions or disagree with the charges and sanctions and move the case forward to the hearings stage.
Wilkes University Hearings
There are two types of hearings used at Wilkes University. The type of hearing depends on the nature of the case being heard, and what sanctions a student may face.
Administrative Hearing: Administrative hearings are held by the Associate Dean or the Office of Residence Life. These hearings are typically used when the potential outcome does not carry a sanction of removal of residence or suspension.
Student Affairs Council Hearing: A Student Affairs Council Hearing is used in cases when the potential outcome carries a sanction removal from residence or suspension from the university. The Student Affairs Council is made up of the Associate Dean of Students, 4 members of the Student Affairs staff, and 4 volunteering students. The hearing Council will always consist of at least 4 members and it must include at least 1 student and at least 1 Student Affairs staff member.
Conduct hearing dates will be communicated to the students in writing. Students are to argue their own case and present any evidence and witnesses themselves. Decisions at hearings will always be made using the standard of a "preponderance of evidence."
The University typically keeps hearings between the accused students, witnesses, and the adjudicating Council or Administrator. Even if they cannot attend a hearing, an attorney can still help from behind the scenes. An attorney will have knowledge of tactics used in the courtroom that will be incredibly beneficial for a student to have at a hearing. With the help of an attorney, students will gain insight into proper and established methods of evidence presentation and argument construction. These methods can be incredibly useful throughout a hearing.
Wilkes University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students are given the chance to make an appeal. Any appeals must go to the Dean of Students. Appeals must be made within 5 business days of the original outcome. The grounds for appeal are new evidence, procedural error, or inappropriate sanctions.
Appeals are heard by the University Judicial Council, if an appeal session is necessary, the student will be notified. Students can attend the appeal session and can argue their case further in front of the Judicial Council.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Wilkes University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.