Student Code of Conduct
The Judiciary Committee hears cases involving Fort Valley State University students. Hearings are also held to hear complaints and to take disciplinary action in accordance with the provisions of this document and the Code of Conduct.
Any academic or administrative official, any University staff member, any member of the faculty, any aggrieved member of the neighborhood community, or any student may file charges against any student or student organization for misconduct.
The charges will be filed with the Office of Student Affairs. The Vice President for Student Affairs will direct the case to the Judiciary Committee or the case will be handled administratively, based upon the Code of Conduct violations implicated by the charge or admission of guilt. The administrator's decision as to the appropriate forum shall be final.
The Office of Student Affairs shall, in accordance with the section entitled Inappropriate Behavior, determine whether the case will be heard administratively or by the Judiciary Committee.
Contempt of court is any act calculated to embarrass, hinder, or obstruct the administration of justice and will be treated as a violation of the Code of Conduct (Article III, Section 3).
Perjury is the willful issuance before the court or administrator of statements known to be false and will be treated as a violation of the Code of Conduct (Article II, Section 9).
A subpoena may be issued by the Office of Judicial Affairs or by the Judiciary Committee with the concurrence of the Office of Judicial Affairs.
The Vice President for Student Affairs may remove a student from the residence hall and/or classes pending a hearing if sufficient facts indicate the student poses a threat to himself/herself or to other students.
A student charged with an offense will be assigned the next available hearing date by the Vice President for Student Affairs. A student=s request for a postponement must be supplemented by written documentation. A continuance will be granted only under extreme circumstances and at the discretion of the Office of Student Affairs.
The Judiciary Committee or Vice President for Student Affairs may request, but not demand, that an accused student submit briefs to the Judiciary Committee before a hearing; either party may file a brief voluntarily.
Attendance at hearings is limited to parties involved and University officials as deemed necessary by the Judiciary Committee. Live character testimony is not permitted although a charged student may submit written character references to the Judiciary Committee.
If either party fails to appear when the case is called for a hearing, the Judiciary Committee or the Vice President for Student Affairs may dismiss the action with or without prejudice to either party, set a new hearing date, or may grant judgment to the appearing complainant by default if the charged student fails to appear, or to the charged student if the Complainant does not appear. In the former instance, the Judiciary Committee or administrator may sanction the defendant.
Decisions of the hearing body shall be majority vote. A quorum for the Student Court shall consist of five (5) members. (See Section VII on Student Court.) A quorum for the Judiciary Committee shall consist of three (3) members, two (2) faculty members, and one student.
Any member of the hearing body shall disqualify himself if the personal involvement in the hearing is of such a nature as to prejudice the case.
The hearings of the Student Court and the Judiciary Committee shall be closed except for the accused and his advisor and those directly involved; the hearing body may exclude any person who may be reasonably expected to interfere materially with the hearing. Hearing body deliberations are closed to all but the hearing body members.
The hearing body shall make a tape recording and/or summary transcription of the proceedings.
The hearing body shall provide a brief written summary of each case with recommendations for appropriate disciplinary actions to the Vice President for Student Affairs and to the student(s) involved.
The Vice President for Student Affairs will review the case and recommendations and implement disciplinary action.
The decision reached at the hearing shall be communicated in writing to the student.
The presentation of evidence shall proceed as follows:
- Complainant's opening statement
- Charged student's opening statement
- Complainant's testimony and other evidence
- Charged student's right to question complainant's testimony and other witnesses
- Charged student's testimony and other evidence
- Complainant's right to question charged student and witnesses
- Complainant's rebuttal
- Charged student's rebuttal
- Complainant's closing statement
- Charged student's closing argument, including any statement as to mitigating circumstances
*Note: The charged student has the right to remain silent with no inference of guilt drawn therefrom.
During the course of a hearing, all points of order and all objections shall be determined by the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee or the presiding member of the Judiciary Committee.
Judiciary Committee proceedings are tape-recorded for the purpose of appeals only. Students who legitimately appeal a denial of due process may request to listen to the recording of the hearing in the Office of Student Affairs. Tapes are not to be removed from the Office of Student Affairs.
The decision of the Judiciary Committee shall be filed after the completion of a hearing.
All records of the case will be confidential.
Members of the Fort Valley State University Campus Police may be requested to be present at hearings when the case warrants it.
Decisions to impose an Article I sanction for any violation other than an Article I grievous violation shall require a three-fifths majority vote. Otherwise, a simple majority shall suffice.
When a student shall be expelled or suspended by action of the Judiciary Committee, such student shall have the right to appeal in accordance with the following procedures.
The person aggrieved shall appeal in a typewritten letter to the President of the institution, with a copy to the Vice President for Students Affairs within five days after the action of which the person complains. The President of the institution, within five days, appoints a committee composed of three members of the faculty of the institution or utilizes the service of an appropriate existing committee. This committee shall review all facts and circumstances connected with the case and shall within five days make its findings and report thereon to the President. After consideration of the committee's report, the President shall within five days make a decision which shall be final so far as the institution is concerned.
A student may appeal on grounds that the evidence was not sufficient to find him or her in violation of the Student Code of Conduct or other specified relevant grounds. In either case, he or she shall clearly state the grounds for appeal in a typewritten statement.
The President shall be given a tape recording and/or a written summary of the proceedings in the original hearing of the Judiciary Committee. If a verbatim transcript has been made, it should be made available to the President for his or her consideration.
Should the aggrieved person be dissatisfied with the decision of the President, he shall have the right to apply in writing to the Board of Regents for a review. An application to the Board of Regents shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Secretary of the Board within a period of five days after the President's decision and shall cite all reasons for dissatisfaction with the previous decision.