Procedures for the Conduct of Disciplinary Proceedings at the University of Alabama in Huntsville
(a) Complaints. Any person or entity may request charges be filed against a student for alleged violation of law, the Student Code of Conduct or University regulations or policies. An investigation may take place of the circumstances of the complaint. The complaint regarding a student’s conduct must be submitted as follows:
- Filing a police report with the University Police Department or requesting that a report from another law enforcement agency be sent to the University Police Department and referral to the Dean of Students office; or providing a written and signed statement to the Dean of Students office. Written statements should include all information and evidence the person making the complaint can produce.
- Reports must be made to either law enforcement or the Dean of Students office within 6 months of the incident, or knowledge about the incident. No student may be charged with a violation to the Student Code of Conduct if the report is made past the 6 month period. This provision shall apply except in incidents involving patterns of behavior (i.e. stalking, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, etc.). These incidents must be reported within one (1) calendar year from the date of the incident or knowledge about the incident. Exceptions to this reporting timeline will be made in cases where the legal statute of limitations for the alleged violation has not passed.
(b) The Student Conduct Director in the Dean of Students office will determine if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the allegations of the complaint are true, and if true, would constitute a violation of the University’s Code of Conduct. If it is determined by the Student Conduct Director that there are reasonable grounds a violation did occur, the student will be notified of charges.
(c) Notice of Charges. The notification of charges shall be in writing and include: the specific conduct code violations, a brief description of alleged offenses, the student’s rights, and an invitation to attend an Initial Review with a Preliminary Action Officer. The Initial Review shall take place no sooner than three academic days, excluding holidays and weekends, from the date of Notice of Charges. In cases involving Sexual Misconduct or Sexual Violence, the Initial Review will be replaced by a Title IX investigation conducted by the Dean of Students. The Initial Review shall take place no sooner than three academic days, excluding holiday and weekends, from the date of Notice of Charges.
- If a hold on registration is not already in effect, as an Emergency Measure, upon issuing the Notice of Charges the Student Conduct Director may place a Student Affairs hold on registration until final disposition of the complaint.
(d) Initial Review. After the Notice of Charges has been issued, an Initial Review may be scheduled.
- There are no witnesses called and it consists primarily of a discussion between the charged student and the Preliminary Action Officer in an effort to resolve the matter. The Preliminary Action Officer will have spoken to the Complainant prior to the Initial Review meeting.
- The Initial Review is not audio taped or recorded.
- At the conclusion of the Initial Review, the charged student may accept or deny responsibility for the student code of conduct violations on the Notice of Charges.
- If the charged student chooses to accept responsibility, or fails to attend the disciplinary conference, the Preliminary Action Officer will make recommendations to the Student Conduct Director regarding sanctions as are deemed appropriate or recommend dismissal of the case. This acceptance of responsibility or failure to appear shall constitute as the charged student’s waiver of a formal hearing and right of appeal. The student retains the right only to appeal the severity of the sanction.
- The Student Conduct Director will review recommended sanctions or dismissal. The Student Conduct Director will communicate the final decision to the student.
- Brief written decisions (including findings of fact) will serve as records of Initial Review and will be communicated in writing within seven academic days of the Initial review.
- In cases involving Sexual Misconduct or Sexual Violence, a Title IX investigation will be conducted by the Dean of Students in lieu of the Initial Review process described above. This investigation will include meeting with the alleged victim, the accused student, and any witnesses. Upon the conclusion of this investigation, the Dean of Students will meet with the accused student to determine responsibility, forward to a formal hearing or dismiss the case. If the student accepts responsibility, the Dean of Students will assign sanctions deemed appropriate. The acceptance of responsibility shall constitute the charged student’s waiver of a formal hearing and right of appeal. The student retains the right only to appeal the severity of the sanction.
(e) Formal Disposition by Hearing: When a charged student denies responsibility and the case has not been previously dismissed, a hearing shall be scheduled no less than three days after the date of the Initial Review.
- A Formal Hearing is defined as any hearing before the Student Conduct Board or a University Hearing Officer. In cases of sexual violence, the Formal Hearing will be heard by the Student Conduct Board.
- The student may choose to have his/her hearing before the Student Conduct Board or a University Hearing Officer, except in cases of Sexual Misconduct or Sexual Violence which will proceed to a Student Conduct Board.
- If the student does not choose an option, the hearing shall be heard by a Hearing Officer.
(f) Notice of Hearing. The notification of hearing shall be in writing and include:
- The date, time, and location of the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer hearing
- Reference to this regulation, of his/her rights and the hearing procedures
- A reasonable date, time, and location for a Pre-Hearing Meeting, during which the student may review a potential witness list and all materials to be used by the University in his or her case, which shall be no less than three academic days prior to the hearing. If the student chooses to review the materials provided at the Pre-Hearing Meeting, the charged student shall allow the University to also review all of his or her materials and witnesses to be used in the case. Any materials or witnesses not provided at the Pre-Hearing Meeting by either the University or the student may not be used at any time thereafter during the student disciplinary proceedings.
- The charged student shall have the opportunity to challenge the impartiality of the Hearing Officer or Student Conduct Board member within three academic days of notification. In the event that a student has opted not to challenge the impartiality of a Hearing Officer or Student Conduct Board member prior to the allotted three academic days, the assigned Hearing Officer or Student Conduct Board member shall remain as scheduled. The student shall state in writing the basis for such challenge. A hearing officer so challenged maybe replaced by the Student Conduct Director for good cause.
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