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2021-22 Student Handbook & Calendar

Part 5: Procedures

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  1. Procedures conforming to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA). All cases falling under the purview of this rule which may result in (i) suspension or expulsion of a student or student organization from APSU for conduct related reasons, or (ii) revocation of registration of a student organization during the term of the registration are subject to the contested case provisions of the UAPA § T.C.A. 4-5-301 et seq. and shall be processed in accordance with the uniform contested case procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees, unless the student or student organization waives those procedures in writing and elects to have his or her case heard by either the University Hearing Board or an Administrative Hearing.
  2. Cases which are not subject to the contested case procedures under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act and cases in which a student or student organization has waived the contested case procedures in writing shall be processed in accordance with APSU Hearing Procedures. APSU has established two (2) alternate APSU Hearing Procedures:
    1. A hearing conducted by one (1) or more Student Affairs Administrators; or

    2. A hearing conducted by the University Hearing Board. (Note: This option shall be available until the final ten (10) class days of each semester, or the final five (5) class days of the second summer term, during which time all hearings will be conducted by appropriate Student Affairs Administrators, except those subject to UAPA procedures as selected by the student or student organization.)
  3. Cases which are not subject to the contested case procedures under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act and which involve minor first offenses by students or student organizations may be discussed informally. In such cases, no formal record will be maintained in the conduct records of APSU. The Dean of Students or other designee, appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs, shall note the name of the student or student organization involved in his/her personal records. The purpose of this notation is only to determine a student's or student organization’s prior involvement in a minor offense, when and if a second offense occurs at a later date. If the student or student organization is subsequently involved in another violation of regulations, at the discretion of the hearing body, this Informal Record will become a part of the student’s or student organization’s Formal Conduct Records.
  4. Alternative resolution methods may include, but are not limited to, mediation and/or negotiated resolutions.
  5. Jurisdiction of Cases to be heard by Student Affairs Administrators:
    1. All formal cases involving incidents which occur in APSU residence halls and/or apartments and which involve on-campus residents shall be heard by the Residence Life staff or designee.
    2. All other formal cases shall be heard by the Dean of Students, or appropriate designee, except in cases where such staff member is unavailable or has a bias toward either party in the pending case. In such cases the Vice President for Student Affairs shall assign one (1) or more Student Affairs Administrators to hear the case.
  1. A student or registered student organization accused of violating APSU policies, rules, or regulations shall be called before the Dean of Students or designee, appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs, for a preliminary conference at which the student or registered student organization will be advised of the following:
    1. The charges against him/her/or organization;
    2. The rights afforded to the student or organization by the hearing procedures which are available;
    3. The hearing procedure options available; and
    4. The responsibilities of the student or registered student organization in the conduct procedures.
  2. A student or registered student organization may waive the right to a preliminary conference and an oral explanation of the items listed in (2) (a) above.
  3. Once advised of the hearing options, the student or registered student organization may elect to accept the finding and sanction from the Dean of Students or designee, or elect a hearing pursuant to UAPA (where appropriate), or a hearing before the University Hearing Board.
  4. The election must be made within three (3) class days of receipt of notice of pending charges against him/her or organization by completing, and signing, an Election of Procedure form and/or waiver form. Once the election is made, the decision is final and may not be changed during the course of the hearing.
  5. Complaints related to discrimination or harassment will be investigated in accordance with applicable APSU policies and rules. If APSU determines that discrimination or harassment occurred that falls outside of the Title IX regulations or APSU’s applicable rule or policy, the student or organization will be subject to the conduct procedures outlined in this rule and related policies.
  6. This rule does not apply to matters that fall within the scope of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. 
These rights shall be afforded the accused student/organization in all APSU Hearings falling under the purview of this rule before the appropriate Student Affairs administrator or the University Hearing Board.
  1. The right to choose the desired hearing option. (This right must be exercised within three (3) class days of the presentation of charges. Note: This University Hearing Board option shall be available until the final ten (10) class days of each semester, or the final five (5) class days of the second summer term, during which time all conduct hearings will be conducted by appropriate Student Affairs administrators, except those subject to UAPA procedures.)
  2. The right to written notice, by United States mail, courier service, hand delivery to the permanent or local address on file for the student, or APSU email, of the time, place, and date of the hearing at least three (3) days in advance of the hearing. A justified delay may be granted.  The right to at least a three-day notice may be waived in writing by the students and/or student organization.
  3. The right to a written statement of the charges in time and detail sufficient to enable the student/organization to prepare for a hearing.
  4. The right to be accompanied by an adviser of the student’s/organization’s choice, but such adviser participation shall be limited to directly advising the student/organization during the hearing.
  5. The right to a statement of the possible corrective actions that may be imposed as a result of a finding of a violation of the Student Code, at least three (3) days in advance of the hearing.
  6. The right to present witnesses in the student's/registered student organization’s behalf and to question any witnesses presented. The student/organization is responsible for the attendance of any witnesses to be present on the student's/organization’s behalf.
  7. The right to be informed in writing, delivered either by United States Postal Service mail, courier service, hand delivery to the permanent or local address on file for the student, or via email to the APSU email of the student or registered organization, of:
    1. The final administrative decision.
    2. The proper procedure for appeal.
  8. The right to be provided copies, upon request and in accordance with APSU policies, rules, and guidelines, of all complaints, reports, witness statements and other written materials used in determining the charges.
  9. In cases involving sexual misconduct, the right to the name of each witness APSU expects to present at the student conduct proceeding and those APSU may present if the need arises.
  10. In cases involving sexual misconduct, the right to request a copy of APSU’s investigative file, redacted in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
  11. In cases involving sexual misconduct, the student’s right to request copies of all documents, copies of all electronically stored information, and access to tangible information that APSU has in its possession, custody, or control and may use to support claims or defenses, unless the use would solely be for impeachment.
The APSU member (student, faculty or staff) who self-authors on their own behalf a complaint shall have the following rights:
  1. To be notified of their rights prior to making a statement and be provided a copy of any statements made in regard to the violation;
  2. To attend the hearing, submit a list of witnesses to be called to the hearing, to be given the opportunity to question all witnesses.
  3. To have an adviser present during the hearing. Adviser participation shall be limited to directly advising the student/organization during the hearing;
  4. To be permitted to dismiss the complaint only up to the date of the hearing;
  5. To be notified of the outcome of the hearing, including the finding of responsibility and sanctions;

  6. In cases involving sexual misconduct, the right to obtain the name of each witness APSU expects to present at the student proceeding and those APSU may present if the need arises:
  7. In cases involving sexual misconduct, the right to request a copy of the APSU’s investigative file, redacted in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974; and
  8. In cases involving sexual misconduct, the student/organization’s right to request copies of all documents, copies of all electronically stored information, and access to tangible evidence that APSU has in its possession, custody, or control and may use to support claims or defenses, unless the use would solely be for impeachment.
  1. Hearings before a Student Affairs Administrator. The appropriate Student Affairs Administrator shall act as hearing officer in the hearing, shall determine students/organization’s finding of responsibility and shall apply sanctions as appropriate. This administrator shall create the record which must include, but may not be limited to, evidence of witness testimony and any exhibit provided by any party, in addition to the technical record.
  2. Hearings before the University Hearing Board. Procedures for the Board include the following:
    1. The Hearing Board shall be composed of nine (9) persons: five (5) students, (two (2) automatically selected from the Student Tribunal Justices of the Student Government Association), and three (3) selected by SGA, two (2) faculty and two (2) administrators, all appointed by the University President, for a term of one (1) academic year. Additionally, student, faculty and administrator alternate members shall be selected to serve in the absence of regular members and shall be appointed by the University President for a term of one (1) academic year.
    2. The Chair of the Hearing Board shall be appointed by the University President.
    3. A minimum of five (5) members of the Hearing Board are required to hear a conduct case, composed of at least two (2) students, one (1) faculty member, and one (1) administrator. The Hearing Board shall create the record which must include, but may not be limited to, evidence of witness testimony and any exhibit provided by any party in addition to the technical record.
    4. The Dean of Students or designee shall train and advise all regular and alternate members of this Hearing Board in appropriate procedures.
    5. The hearing shall be conducted consistent with the rights described above in paragraphs (3) and (4) of this rule.
    6. All hearings shall be closed unless the respondent and the complainant both elect in writing to have an open hearing.
    7. Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable. The adjudicating body may exclude evidence which in its judgment is immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious.
    8. The standard of proof used for all cases is the preponderance of evidence.

    9. The hearing source shall issue a written decision within three (3) class days after the conclusion of the hearing.
    10. The student will be advised in writing via APSU email (and USPS mail if requested by the student) of the Hearing Board or Student Affairs Administrator decision and all sanctions imposed as a result of the conduct hearing.
    11. Any sanction imposed shall be effective immediately upon written notification of the student/organization unless the hearing authority deems a stay of such sanction desirable pending appeal.
    12. In any case where the sanction results in separation from APSU, the decision shall be reviewed by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee prior to notifying the Office of the Registrar and the Academic Department in which the student has been enrolled.
  1. The student may appeal decision(s) of the University Hearing Board or the Student Affairs Administrator. Appeals are made to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee.
  2. Student(s) or organization(s) may make an appeal within five (5) business days of the date notification of sanction imposed. Appeals must be in writing indicating the reason(s) for the appeal and submitted to the Student Affairs office.
  3. Appeals shall be limited to the following reasons:
    1. whether the proper procedures were followed in the hearing;
    2. whether the appropriate standard of review was used in the hearing;

    3. whether the sanction was appropriate for the violation; or

    4. New information, not available at the time of the original hearing, has become available which would substantially alter the outcome of the hearing.
  4. Review shall be based solely on the hearing record and the written appeal documents submitted by the student.
  5. Appellate Authority. The Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee, shall have the authority to do any of the following upon review of an appeal:
    1. Uphold the finding of responsibility and sanction;
    2. Uphold the finding of responsibility but adjust the sanction up or down;
    3. Return the case for further consideration by the original hearing authority; or
    4. Reverse the finding of responsibility.

  6. The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee shall issue a written decision within five (5) business days after the appeal is heard.
  7. The decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee is final.

 

  1. Any registered student organization may be given a warning, reprimand, placed on probation, suspension, or restriction or may have its registration withdrawn by the Dean of Students, or by a Student Affairs Administrator appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Such actions may be taken after having a hearing conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in these rules for conduct procedures.
  2. The contested case provisions of the UAPA will be used in the case of withdrawal of registration of an organization, unless those provisions have been waived in writing by an authorized representative of the student organization.  Withdrawal of Registration may be taken for any one (1) of the following reasons:
    1. The organization fails to maintain compliance with the initial requirements for registration;
    2. The organization ceases to operate as an active organization;
    3. The organization requests withdrawal; and
    4. The organization operated or engaged in any activity in violation of the policies, rules, and regulations of APSU, of any governing body of federal or state laws.
(1)  Consistent with the Student Due Process Protection Act, T.C.A. 49-7-1704, student disciplinary proceedings must include protection for respondents and complainants analogous to, and no less protective than, the conflict of interest provisions of T.C.A. § 4-5-30.