The Office of Student Conduct strives to address behavior which violates the Student Code of Conduct and other policies of Pacific University justly and according to the procedures outlined in the Code. These procedures also give students who are found in violation of policies the option of appealling decisions rendered by Student Conduct Boards under certain circumstances to ensure students rights are protected.
To Submit an Appeal
After a hearing in which you have been found in violation of a policy, you will recieve email notification of the hearing outcome, including any sanctions you have been assigned. In this message, you will recieve a link to a website at which you can submit a written appeal. When writing your appeal, be sure to explain which of the four grounds for appeal you believe you meet and why (see points 2.a-b below). The Office of Student Conduct will then be in touch with you regarding the status of your appeal and if any further information is needed.
Appeal Deadlines and Requirements
From the Student Code of Conduct:
1. A decision reached by the Student Conduct Board or a sanction imposed by the Student Conduct Board may be appealed by the Respondent(s) or Complainant(s) to the Conduct Advisor within seven (7) days of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Student Conduct Advisor or his or her designee. All decisions made by the Appeals Board are final and cannot be appealed.
a. Appeals submitted by the Respondent(s) will only be considered if the Respondent(s):
i. Was found in violation of a policy;
ii. Attended the original Student Conduct Board Hearing to which he or she was called (exceptions to this may be made by the Student Conduct Advisor in rare circumstances);
iii. and appealed based on one or more of the criteria listed in section 5.3.6-2.a-d, providing a reasonable explanation of the selected criteria in his or her written appeal.
2. An appeal shall be limited to a review of the verbatim record of the Student Conduct Board Hearing, supporting documents, and discussion with the Respondent(s), should she/he attend the appeal meeting, for one or more of the following purposes:
a. To determine whether the Student Conduct Board Hearing was conducted fairly in light of the alleged violations and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information that the Student Code was violated, and giving the Respondent a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to those allegations. Procedural error will only be an acceptable basis for appeal when such errors were so substantial as to effectively deny the Respondent a fair hearing.
b. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the Respondent was based on substantial information, that is, whether there were facts in the case that, if believed by the fact finder, were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code occurred.
c. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code, which the student was found to have committed.
d. To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original Student Conduct Board Hearing.
3. If the Appellate Board determines that the appeal is not valid, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved and the original Conduct Board decision(s) stands. If the Appellate Board determines that the appeal is valid, the Appellate Board renders a final decision with regard to policy violations and/or sanctions. A successful appeal does not necessarily mean that a case will be dismissed with all violations and sanctions removed. The Appellate Board reviewing the appeal may decide:
- to affirm the findings and sanction(s) imposed by the original Student Conduct Board.
- to reverse or modify the decision and/or sanction(s) of the Student Conduct Board. Such reversal or modification shall take place only upon a showing by the respondent of clear and material error on the part of Student Conduct Board and which error affected the outcome of the case.
- to dismiss the entire case. Dismissal will occur only if there is insufficient information to support a finding of responsibility for all alleged policy violations.
In April 2014, the Office of Student Conduct proposed several langauge revisions to the Appeals section of the Student Code of Conduct. These revisions were approved through the University Council governance system and went into effect in June 2014. A summary of these changes are below:
- Added clarification to explain that a student can only appeal a hearing decision if the student was found in violation of a policy, if the student attended the hearing (the Conduct Advisor may grant an exception at his/her discretion), an submitted an appeal that reasonably makes a case based on one or more of the appeal criteria. This revision better explains our practices.
- Explained that an appeal will also involve a conversation with the student appealing, should he or she choose to meet with the Conduct Board in charge of the appeal. This revision better explains our practices.
- Revised appeals ground "A" (regarding procedural error) to state the policy in more basic language for all students to understand.
- Provided a clearer course of action for the Conduct Board and Office of Student Conduct to take should a student appeal on more than one grounds. New protocol streamlines the process so that the matter is resolved for the student more swiftly.