Western Kentucky University

Due Process


 

Conduct information

Due Process

A student who is alleged to have violated Student Code of Conduct is entitled to certain procedural rights to insure a fair conference of information is provided. These rights also apply to those students representing student organizations charged with violations of Student Code of Conduct. 

Preponderance of evidence

This is the standard of proof used in the WKU Judicial Process. For a student to be found responsible for a violation, the evidence must indicate that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred. This is very different from the criminal court system.
Preponderance of the evidence standard is necessary to ensure a fair and equitable judicial process.

Procedural Rights

"STUDENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO..."

Receive advance notice and or be advised of the charges in writing.

Explain their version of the events that lead to the alleged violation(s).

Not participate. You may choose not to answer any questions.

Refute, question, or ask for clarification on any questions presented.

Challenge the objectivity of the judicial officer if you have reasonable cause to believe that they may be biased or have a conflict of interest.

Appeal the outcome of the conference if it resulted in a suspension, expulsion or denial of housing/network access.  If you are the complaining student in a sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct case, you may also file an appeal.

Appeals may only be filed in the event:

1. To determine whether the original conference was conducted fairly and in accordance with the Office of Judicial Affairs sanction determination and procedures.

2. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial information to determine the preponderance of evidence and/or the level of responsibility.  This is not information you chose not to share or obtain prior to the conference.

3. To determine whether any sanctions imposed (suspension, expulsion or denial of housing/network access) were appropriate and not unduly harsh for the violation(s) set forth in the Student Code of Conduct.

4.  If you are the complaining student in a sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct case.  For sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment cases both the complainant and the charged student can file an appeal regardless of the outcome. Both students have the same grounds to appeal and the same time frame in which to submit an appeal.

*An appeal cannot be filed simply because you are unhappy with the decision.

*If one of the aforementioned conditions is proven, the appeal will be forwarded to the appropriate reviewer. The appeal will be reviewed and determined by the Director of Judicial Affairs, The Vice President for Student Affairs or The President.

*If none of the three conditions for appeal is met, the decision of the original conference will be upheld and the responsible student is expected to comply immediately.

Separation Procedure

The university retains the authority to impose a separation if such action is necessary to preserve the safety of persons or the University Community. In this instance, the students will be afforded a conference with the Director of Judicial Affairs or his/her designee and given the opportunity to show why their continued presence on campus does not constitute a threat, harm or danger  to themselves, others, or the University Community. Alleged violations of the student conduct that constitute an immediate threat harm or danger to others will be addressed in an informal student conduct meeting. In certain instances, students may be interimly suspended from the university or campus facilities as a result of this policy if deemed in the best interest of the university community and separation is not necessary.

The following steps explain the procedure for imposing a separation:

1.  When a situation, as defined above, occurs, the responding university official contacts the Chair of the Campus Partners Team, the Director of Judicial Affairs, the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee to assess the situation. If the situation is sufficiently serious, the Chair of the Campus Partners Team, the Director of Judicial Affairs, or the associate vice president for student affairs or his/her designee will determine if a separation is appropriate.

2.  The student will be notified immediately to meet with the Director of Judicial Affairs.  (in cases of immediate response all provisions of "due process" may not be guaranteed) The University Police will be contacted to determine if a ban from campus is needed. Upon receipt of the request to meet, if the student is on campus or in university facilities, the student will be escorted by a University Police Officer to the notifying office.

3.  The student can immediately agree to a separation without further review to be conducted by the Director of Judicial Affairs or his/her designee. The separation letter will contain instructions on how to request a return to the University or receive transcripts if applicable. Those present at the meeting may include the responding university official and other witnesses as deemed appropriate by the Director  to ensure due process.

4.  During the meeting with the Office of Judicial Affairs, the student will be given an opportunity to demonstrate why his or her continued presence on campus does not constitute a threat to themselves, others or property. As part of the meeting, the student may be required to submit to an immediate medical/psychological evaluation. The student will be evaluated by the WKU Counseling and Testing Center or his/her designee.

5.  The outcome of the meeting will be determined solely on the basis of evidence and statements provided. A determination of responsibility is made when the preponderance of evidence supports the charge(s).  The decision of the separation will be final. There will be no appeal.

6.  If the student does request an additional review of the decision it will be reviewed by the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee. All information related to the Office of Judicial Affairs investigation will be provided.  The separation and/or ban from campus residential facilities will remain in effect until the review is concluded.  The final outcome will be shared with the Office of Judicial Affairs. That office will schedule, as soon as possible, a formal judicial conference to determine the final consequences of the initiating behavior.

 Last Modified 7/23/14