Definitions in the Student Code of Conduct

Definitions in the Student Code of Conduct

♦ The term “appropriate staff” means a member of the Student Affairs staff and/or Framingham State University Police Department staff.

♦ The term “University” means Framingham State University.

♦ The term “student” means any person registered for, enrolled in, or attending any University course or program; any person admitted to the University for an upcoming semester; or, any person who, at the time of a reported incident resulting in a conduct complaint was registered for, enrolled in, or attending any University course or program or, had been admitted to the University for an upcoming semester.

♦ The term “registered student organization” means a group or association of students which has complied with the student organization requirements prescribed by the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development and by SGA.

♦ The term “University property” means all property owned, leased, or on loan to the University.

♦ The term “University document” means any University record, written communication, or form.

♦ The term “member of the University community” means any student, faculty or staff member, University official, members of any officially recognized University board, or any employee of the University or its contracted vendors who regularly perform work on University property.

♦ The term “University premises” or “University-related premises” means all lands, buildings, vehicles, or facilities owned, leased, supervised, or otherwise controlled by the University.

♦ The term “University-sponsored activities” is defined as any activity, on or off the University premises, which is initiated, aided, authorized, or supervised by the University, including any registered student organization.

♦ The term “hearing officer” means a Student Affairs professional staff member or designee appointed by the Dean of Students, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Development, or President.

♦ The term “Appeal Review Officer” means a Student Affairs professional staff member or designee appointed by the Dean of Students, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Development, or President, who did not participate in the investigation or administrative review of the initial conduct complaint.

♦ The term “Dean of Students” means the Framingham State University Dean of Students or individual appointed to serve as a designee by the Dean of Students.

♦ The term “Associate Dean of Students” means the Framingham State University Associate Dean of Students or any individual appointed to serve as a designee by the Associate Dean of Students.


Additional Information and Definitions                 

When a criminal investigation of an incident of sexual violence, sexual or gender-based harassment, domestic or dating violence, stalking or retaliation is also occurring, the University will not delay its investigation due to the criminal investigation, unless law enforcement requests time to gather evidence. When law enforcement makes such a request, the University will typically resume its investigation within three to ten days.

Advisors: Each victim, complainant or respondent to an investigation initiated under the Student Code of Conduct complaint and resolution procedures is entitled to have an advisor present during any meetings regarding the process and conduct complaint proceedings. Except as otherwise required by law, the advisor may observe, but may not participate in any way whatsoever, including, without limitation, by asking questions or speaking during the meeting or proceeding. The advisor’s role is to provide support and/or advice to the party. During meetings and proceedings, the advisor may speak with the party or pass notes in a non-disruptive manner. In addition, please note that the University does not need to cancel or delay a meeting or proceeding simply because an advisor cannot be present. Further, the advisor is not permitted to attend a meeting or proceeding without the advisee. The personal advisor for a complainant or, a student respondent can be any person, including an attorney.

Amnesty: Students may be hesitant to report sexual violence, sexual or gender-harassment, domestic or dating violence, stalking or retaliation out of concern that they, or witnesses, might be charged with violations of the University’s drug/alcohol policies. While the University does not condone such behavior, it places a priority on the need to address sexual violence and other conduct prohibited by the Sexual Violence Policy. Accordingly, the University may elect not to pursue discipline against a student who, in good faith, reports, witnesses or possesses personal knowledge of sexual violence, sexual or gender-harassment, domestic or dating violence, stalking or retaliation.

Complainant: An individual who submits a complaint under the Student Code of Conduct. The Complainant may also be the University under certain circumstances.

Confidentiality of Process: Complaints and investigations under this Code will be conducted as confidentially as reasonably possible to protect the privacy of all involved. The University may share information about the allegations with parties, witnesses or others on a need-to-know basis.  All with whom information is shared shall be advised of the confidential nature of the information and directed not to discuss it with anyone except an advisor. See Section VI of the Sexual Violence Policy for more information about confidential reporting options.

Conflicts of Interest: If any University official involved in the investigation, resolution or appeal process believes there is a potential or actual conflict of interest regarding their role, they must disclose this conflict in advance to the Equal Opportunity officer or Title IX Coordinator (where applicable) or designee. Likewise, if a complainant or respondent believes there is a conflict of interest present regarding any University official involved in the investigation, resolution or appeal process, s/he must disclose the conflict in advance to the EO Officer, Title IX Coordinator (where applicable) or designee. If a valid conflict of interest exists, the University will take steps to remedy or eliminate the conflict.

Concurrent Criminal or Civil Proceedings: Persons may be accountable to both the University and the state for conduct that constitutes potential violations of the EO Plan and/or Student Code of Conduct and state or federal law. University investigations may be conducted before, after or simultaneously with civil or criminal proceedings, and University investigations are not subject to challenge on the grounds that civil or criminal charges involving the same conduct have been dismissed or reduced. When a person has been charged with a crime or a violation of civil law, the University will neither request nor agree to special consideration for the individual solely because of his/her student status. Persons subject to parallel criminal charges shall be instructed that their statements and/or other information supplied by them may be subject to subpoena.

Day: A day shall mean a calendar day.

Discipline or Sanctions: The terms may be used interchangeably.

Interim Protective Measures: Upon review of a complaint, the University may determine that interim protective measures are necessary or appropriate. The University will implement interim measures as described in Section H of the Sexual Violence Policy. Interim measures may also be instituted and/or modified at any point during the investigation and resolution process.

Notice of Meetings and Access to Information: Each party to an investigation will be provided timely notice of meetings at which such party or both parties may be present. The parties will be afforded the same and timely access to any information that the University is aware will be used at any meeting or hearing.

Off Campus Behavior: The University may investigate off-campus conduct alleged to violate the Student Code of Conduct when such conduct involves behavior by or toward a community member, which (1) occurs during University-sponsored events or the events of organizations affiliated with the University, including study abroad and outside internships; (2) negatively impacts a victim’s access to education programs and activities; (3) adversely affects or disrupts the campus community; and/or (4) poses a threat of harm to the campus community.

Preponderance of the Evidence: The standard of review used to evaluate all complaints. Under this standard, conclusions must be “more likely than not.” Accordingly, the fact-finder must find that it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the Student Code of Conduct.

Right to File an Outside Complaint: Individuals have the right to file charges of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual violence, sexual or gender-harassment, domestic or dating violence, stalking or retaliation at any time with the appropriate government agency, with or without filing a conduct complaint with the University.  More information about filing an outside complaint can be found in the Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy and the Sexual Violence Policy, both of which are contained in the EO Plan.

Referrals to Title IX Coordinator: Complaints of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for evaluation. Before starting an administrative investigation, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will determine whether the reported facts, if true, would violate the Sexual Violence Policy and/or the Student Code of Conduct, and may consult with the complainant to obtain more information and discuss his/her options.

Refusal of Participation: In cases where a complainant or respondent (or both) refuses or fails to participate in the investigation and resolution process, the University may continue the process without the complainant and/or respondent’s participation. The failure of the respondent to participate in the investigation and resolution process will not prevent the University from imposing discipline or other sanctions if a violation is found.

Respondent: An individual who is accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct.

Withdrawal of Complaint: The complainant may withdraw a complaint at any point during the investigation. The Associate Dean, Title IX Coordinator, or designee, however, may determine, in their discretion, that the allegations raised in the complaint warrant further investigation despite the complainant’s desire to withdraw the complaint. See Section VII (A) of the Sexual Violence Policy for more information on the circumstances under which the University may elect to proceed with an investigation of alleged sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation.

 

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RAM Student Handbook 2018-2019
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