a. Initiating Charges
Any person may make a complaint and request a review of the alleged actions of a student that may violate the New York Tech Student Code of Conduct, federal or state law, or local ordinances. A review for possible violations of the Code of Conduct may be initiated in the following ways:
- Filing an incident report with New York Tech campus security or requesting the submission of a report from another law enforcement agency to campus security. Campus security will forward all incident reports involving the conduct of students to the dean of students (or designee).
- Providing a written and signed statement to the dean of students (or designee) or Office of Residence Life. In complaints involving alleged Gender-Based Misconduct, the New York Tech official receiving the complaint may transcribe the complainant's verbal complaint into writing. Written statements should be sent to the appropriate office responsible for handling the incident, based on the person(s) involved or location of incident (see Section C, below). Any statement submitted in writing from an email account must come from the person's official New York Tech account if the person is a member of the New York Tech community. The appropriate conduct officer will determine the appropriate course of action for the complaint. The student conduct officer or student conduct body reserves the right to request additional documentation, if appropriate.
- If the student conduct officer determines that documentation is insufficient or there are no grounds to file charges on behalf of New York Tech, no charges will be filed and the individual initiating the report will be notified about the decision.
b. Filing Time
Reports must be filed with the appropriate New York Tech official within ninety (90) business days of the incident or knowledge about the incident except in cases of alleged Gender-Based Misconduct, which reports must be filed within twelve (12) calendar months of the incident or knowledge about the incident. However, New York Tech reserves the right to exercise professional discretion to extend these filing times in exceptional circumstances.
c. Notice of Alleged Violation
The notice given to any student alleged to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct will include the following:
- Notice of the alleged violation, including specific section(s) of the Code(s) under consideration, and a brief description of alleged offense(s), within 15 business days from receipt of an incident report or written statement, except in cases of Gender-Based Misconduct, which will be noticed as follows:
- The student will receive initial notice of the complaint and notice of the commencement of an investigation within five business days from receipt of an incident report or statement.
- The student will then receive a subsequent notice within 10 business days of the completion of the investigation, which will inform them of the results of the investigation and notify them of any conduct charges against them. This notice makes the student eligible for an information meeting as described in #2, below.
- The student will be informed of the factual allegations, including the date, time, and location of the alleged offense(s), the specific alleged Code of Conduct violations, and possible sanctions, prior to the information meeting.
- In cases of Gender-Based Misconduct, the conduct process will run concurrently with any criminal justice investigation and proceeding, except for temporary delays as requested by external municipal entities while law enforcement gathers evidence. Temporary delays should not last more than ten days except when law enforcement specifically requests and justifies a longer delay.
- After receiving the notice(s) as described above, the student will be provided an opportunity to attend an information meeting, except in cases involving interim suspension, during which the student may review all materials to be used in their student conduct case, receive information regarding their rights and procedures used in a student conduct proceeding, and have an opportunity to select the forum in which the case will be heard (unless otherwise determined by the associate deans of students, director of residence life, or designee, per Student Conduct Bodies and Forums). In addition, the student will receive information regarding the resources available to the student in preparation for their student conduct case.
- If a student fails to respond to a request to schedule an information meeting and/or attend a scheduled information meeting, or 10 business days have expired since the date of the notification letter, the student waives their right to an information meeting, and the student conduct officer will select a hearing forum for the student and provide the student with notice of the hearing date.
d. Information Meeting
During the information meeting, the student will be provided the following:
- Clear and complete description of the Student Code of Conduct and brief description of the allegations to be considered.
- Information related to the student's rights and responsibilities.
- An opportunity to understand all information in their student conduct file.
- Information regarding the resources available to the student in preparation for their student conduct case.
- The right to accept responsibility for all charges and enter into a summary resolution or the right to dispute the allegation and request an informal or formal meeting hearing:
- If the student accepts the charges as presented, assumes responsibility for the violation, and agrees to a summary resolution, the student conduct officer will provide the appropriate sanction(s), in writing, to the student at that time or within 10 business days from the summary resolution. Grounds for appeal for students whose case was determined through a summary resolution is limited solely on the basis that the severity of the sanction is disproportionate with the nature of the offense.
- If the student does not accept responsibility or disagrees with the allegation, they may request an informal or formal hearing be conducted on the matter.
e. Hearing Notification
Students requesting an informal or formal hearing shall be afforded reasonable written notice, at least five business days prior to the hearing, unless the student waives their right and requests a hearing within five business days. Written notice shall include:
- A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing.
- A statement of the nature of the case and of the forum under which it is to be heard.
- A brief statement of the behavior of the student alleged to be in violation of this code that serves as the basis for the violation(s) being considered. If the student fails to appear at the scheduled information meeting and fails to provide adequate written notice prior to the scheduled hearing, the hearing will be held in the student's absence. No student will be found responsible for a violation of the code solely because the student failed to appear before a student conduct body. The decision of the student conduct body will be determined based on all the documentation and testimony presented at the time of the hearing.
- Proper notification given to the student if the college has sent the hearing notification by one of the methods set forth in "Delivery of Disciplinary Notifications and "Official Forms of Communication," below.
- A student may request a hearing to be rescheduled once if proper notice is given, at least two business days prior to the hearing, and for reasonable cause. A student requesting to reschedule after the first time may only do so at the sole discretion of the student conduct body and under extraordinary circumstances.
f. Scope of Inquiry
A student's previous student conduct record from the New York Tech student conduct process (if applicable) will only be considered at the discretion of the student conduct officer when determining whether the student has violated the Student Code of Conduct. However, after a student is found responsible for a violation of the code, any academic or previous disciplinary record may be taken into account when determining the appropriate educational sanction(s).
g. Disciplinary Consolidations
- Whenever possible, cases where more than one student is alleged to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and the students' conduct arose out of the same incident(s), each case should be heard by the same student conduct body.
- At the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee, in cases where more than one student is alleged to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and the students' conduct arose out of the same incident(s), a single hearing may be held for all the students charged.
- The student conduct officer shall make determinations regarding consolidation with the students, and, if necessary, with the party filing the complaint. The student conduct officer shall make the final decision on all consolidations.
h. Role of the Student Conduct Officer
The role of the student conduct officer when presiding over a formal hearing will be to:
- Advise the student of their rights under the Student Code of Conduct.
- If an advisor is present, review the advisor's role and limitations during the hearing as outlined in "Student Rights."
- Make all administrative decisions on matters relating to the conduct of the hearing, including matters regarding admission of relevant evidence, statements, and questions.
- Ensure there are no conflicts of interest between any of the hearing panel members and the student parties (including the charged student and complainant, if any).
- Ensure that all questioning of witnesses is done in an orderly and respectful fashion. The student conduct officer reserves the right to determine the method for delivery of questions between the respondent student and witnesses.
- Maintain an orderly hearing and permit no person to be subjected to abusive treatment, intimidation, or harassment. The student conduct officer, at their discretion, may remove anyone who refuses to be orderly and conducts themself in a manner conducive to a learning environment.
- Administer an appropriate oath of truthful testimony to the charged student and all witnesses.
i. Hearing Procedures (Formal)
All formal hearings are private and closed to the public. Formal hearings are recorded by New York Tech only via audio or video recording (at the sole discretion of the chair), and the recording will act as the official record of the hearing. The following procedures are applicable to formal hearings before all student conduct bodies:
- Presentation of the incident and the sections of the code alleged to be violated by the student conduct officer.
- Brief review and affirmation of student rights and responsibilities by the student conduct officer.
- Administration of an appropriate oath of honesty and truthful testimony to the charged student prior to testimony before the hearing body.
- Opening statement by the charged student.
- Questions directed to the charged student by the student conduct board.
- Administration of an appropriate oath of honesty and truthful testimony to each witness prior to testimony before the hearing body.
- Presentation of witnesses, or witness statements by the Investigator (or student conduct officer), followed by questioning of those witnesses by the hearing body and the student, if appropriate. The student conduct officer reserves the right to determine the relevance of the questions and the method for delivery of questions by the student to the witnesses. Witnesses are then dismissed. At the discretion of the student conduct officer, witnesses may be excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses. Written statements may not be considered evidence unless signed by the witness or witnessed by a New York Tech official (a statement sent from an official New York Tech email account may serve as a proxy signature). A copy of written statements will be furnished to the student and hearing body. All paperwork presented must be collected by the student conduct officer at the end of the hearing. In certain circumstances, the student conduct officer may determine that a witness may testify outside the presence of the charged student (or the written statement may not be furnished to the charged student), where there are potential repercussions to the witness of being identified to or testifying in the presence of the charged student. In such cases, the student conduct officer must take all reasonable measures to protect the rights of the charged student, including providing the student with a summary of the testimony and the opportunity to provide written questions to the witness.
- Follow-up questions to the charged student.
- Closing statement by the student.
- Meeting adjournment. The student conduct officer will exercise control over the hearing to avoid needless consumption of time and to prevent the harassment or intimidation of witnesses. The student conduct officer has the right to make the appropriate revisions to the hearing procedure so long as the student's rights are upheld and maintained. Any person, including the advisor, who disrupts a hearing or who fails to adhere to the facilitation of a student conduct officer, may be excluded from the proceedings.
- Deliberations are closed, except for members of the student conduct hearing panel, and are not audio or video recorded. In cases of a formal hearing involving Gender-Based Misconduct, the student conduct officer may request the presence of the Title IX Coordinator during the hearing and deliberations. Responsibility is determined by the student conduct officer, or in cases resolved by the student conduct board, by a majority vote of the student conduct board members. The vote and final decision of the student conduct hearing panel, including the determination of responsibility and sanctions, if appropriate, are recorded and become the official record of the hearing.
- The student and the complainant, if any, shall be informed of the outcome of the student conduct proceeding, the sanctions imposed, and the rationale for both. Witnesses will not be notified of the outcome of the hearing.
Within 15 business days after the conclusion of deliberations, the student conduct board shall provide to the student the outcome, in writing, which will include:
- A summary of the evidence/finding of fact used to support its determination.
- The determination of, and rationale for, the appropriate sanction(s).
- The process for appealing.
The student's enrollment status shall remain unchanged pending New York Tech's final decision in the matter except in cases of interim suspension or where the dean of students (or designee) determines that the safety, health, or general welfare of any individual, or any part of New York Tech, may be at risk.