Judicial Affairs FAQ's
What are my rights as they pertain to the judicial process?
All students have the right to;
- Have incident resolved by an unbiased body.
- Have advisor from WVWC present at judicial hearings.
- Receive written notice of the time and place of meeting or hearing.
- Receive a written copy of the incident report.
- Right to object to a Board member or Administrator.
- Not to present information against himself or herself.
- Hear and respond to all information presented against him or her.
- Present information on his or her own behalf.
- Receive written notification of results.
- Appeal Suspension or Dismissal.
Who is responsible for making case referrals or reports?
Any member of the Wesleyan Community may refer a student or student group or organization suspected of violating the Code of Conduct to the Dean of Students or Residence Life Coordinator – Judicial Programs.
- People making referrals are required to provide information pertinent to the case. This includes writing an incident report and calling witnesses.
- People making referrals may be expected to appear before a judicial board as the complainant.
What happens if I’ve been “written up?”
- Incidents occurring within the residence halls are documented on Housing and Residence Life Incident Report Forms. This form is simply a tool for the staff to use to document what they have seen. Being documented in an incident report does not make you automatically responsible for violating College policy.
- Once an Incident Report has been filed, the person responsible for resolving the incident will review the report and determine if judicial action should be taken.
What are the steps in the Discipline Process?
- Incident Report is filed and reviewed.
- Staff member contacts person(s) documented.
- Student meets with staff member resolving the incident.
- Student decides whether to resolve with the staff member or to have a judicial board hearing.
- Staff member or hearing panel determines responsibility.
- Sanctions are given, if necessary.
Someone from the College will contact me, but who?
- Depending on what happened and where it happened will make the difference regarding who contacts you. If the incident occurred in the residence halls, you could be contacted by a Community Assistant, an Assistant Coordinator, a Residence Life Coordinator, or the Judicial Affairs Officer. If the incident occurred somewhere on campus other than the residence halls or off-campus, you will be contacted by the Judicial Affairs Officer.
Am I going to get kicked out?
- Sanctions are determined based on the seriousness of the incident and a student’s past judicial history. A person’s status as a student or resident of the campus can not be altered until a conference or hearing is held unless it is determined that the person is a threat to the community.
Will my parents/faculty/advisor find out?
- Disciplinary proceedings, including the files that accompany them, are considered educational records and are protected by federal law from being disclosed. An exception is made if the sanction is Disciplinary Probation, Suspension or Dismissal, the student is not 18, or the student gives written permission for someone else to be notified.
How do you make your decision about if I violated policy?
- WVWC uses a Preponderance of Evidence in order to find a student in violation of policy. In other words the information presented must show that it is more likely than not that a violation of policy occurred.
Who decides whether or not I violated policy?
- In most situations, you will meet with a Residence Life Staff member or the Judicial Affairs Officer. However, you may choose to meet with the Campus Judicial Board. If you receive a Meeting Request Form from a Residence Life Staff member or the Judicial Affairs Officer, you need to attend this initial meeting. At this meeting you will be given the opportunity to choose a hearing. If you choose to meet with the staff member, you will talk to him/her about your involvement in the situation. If you choose a hearing, you will make a statement concerning your involvement at the hearing
What if I did not do anything wrong?
- Then there is nothing to worry about. Just come in and tell the truth.
What if I don’t show up?
- A decision will be made in your absence based on the contents of your disciplinary file. It is in your best interest to participate.
So, what will be the consequences?
Judicial Affairs operates under an educational philosophy, and, as such does not believe that punishment is the best way to educate. Our sanctions range depending upon:
- The nature of the violation
- Prior violations/previous disciplinary history
- Mitigating circumstances surrounding the violation
- Your motivation for the behavior
- Sanctions involved in cases involving similar violations
- The developmental and educational impact
A person found in violation of College policy could receive the following sanctions, depending upon the seriousness of the violation and the person’s judicial history:
- Written Reprimand – a written notice signifying that further misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.
- Community Action – written notice that a student’s conduct is of a serious nature. Community Action is assigned for a specified period of time and may lead to more severe judicial action if further violations occur.
- Disciplinary Probation – written notice that a student’s conduct warrants significant corrective action. Probation is assigned for a specified period of time and involves conditions or restrictions, identified at the time probation is assigned. Eligibility to publicly represent the College is lost during probation.
- Suspension – separation of the student from the College for a specified period of time, after which the student may apply for readmission.
- Disciplinary Dismissal – permanent separation of the student from the college. Notification appears on the student’s transcripts. Student is barred from College premises.
- Restitution – student is required to make payment to the College or other persons or organizations for damages incurred as a result of a violation.
- Other Sanctions – educational projects, Life Skills Workshops, community service, restriction of activity participation, restricted access to facilities, monetary fines, loss of student employment.
A judicial board hearing is one of the settings for resolving judicial incidents here at WVWC. The other setting is a disciplinary conference. The standard judicial board consists of 2 students, 2 faculty members, and 1 staff member.
During the hearing, information is presented before the board regarding the incident. This information includes written reports and testimony by witnesses. The board uses the information presented at the hearing to make a decision about the student’s responsibility in the incident.
Whenever an incident report is filed the student(s) involved are given the choice to have a disciplinary conference or a judicial board hearing. If the student(s) dispute the facts of the report, it is in their best interest to choose a judicial hearing.
If the seriousness of the violation and/or the student’s disciplinary history indicates that suspension, dismissal, or removal from housing might be the end result, then the judicial officer will usually require that a judicial hearing be held.
Judicial Board Hearing Policies
- No sanctions are given until a hearing is held and a decision has been made by the Judicial Board. Exceptions are only made if a student poses a threat to the safety of the campus.
- You will receive a notice of the hearing date and charges at least three days before the hearing. The hearing will be held within seven days of when the notice is sent.
- You should receive a copy of the incident report. You may also view the case file. This file is usually kept by the RLC – Judicial Affairs in the Housing Office.
- Hearings are closed to the public.
- Students may have an advisor of their choice to assist during the hearing. Advisors must be someone from the WVWC community (student, staff, or faculty). Advisors may not participate in the hearing.
- You may present information on your behalf. This means you can make a statement about your involvement and you can also call other witnesses to testify for you. It is your responsibility to contact these witnesses and have them present. You can also question witnesses that are presented by the other party. You are not required to present information against yourself.
- The judicial board will make a decision based only on the information presented during the hearing. This includes reports and testimony. The board’s decision will be made based on a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, the information presented must be more than 50% convincing that a violation occurred.
- Anyone who will be a witness may only be present at the hearing during the time they are testifying.
- If there are other individuals involved in the incident, you may request a separate hearing.
- The burden of proof is upon those bringing charges. They must establish the responsibility of the accused student by a preponderance of the evidence.
- Only board members are present during the deliberations. You will be notified of the decision verbally within two class days. After that, you will receive a letter within seven days. This letter will also be forwarded to appropriate campus officials.
- After reaching a decision, the Board will consult your discipline file before determining a sanction. They will also consider the severity of the violation and what sanctions have been given for that violation in the past.
For more information visit West Virginia Wesleyan's student handbook