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The principal responsibility for proper conduct rests with each student, and as much as possible, each is encouraged to resolve conflicts of individual rights and responsibilities him/herself. The University will become involved, however, when a student cannot resolve a conflict him/herself; when there exists a reasonable basis to believe that laws have been broken; when there could be or is a potential for personal harm or property damage; or when there exists a reasonable basis to believe that University regulations have been violated. No sanction shall be brought against a student accused of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct until a judicial body has reviewed the complaint, made a decision and issued a disciplinary sanction, except in those matters handled directly by the Dean of Students or instances of a violation of the academic dishonesty handled by faculty members in accordance with policies set forth in their syllabi and the Academic Integrity policy in this Course Catalog. Students wishing to appeal academic decisions made by faculty members should consult the Academic Grievance Procedure section of this Course Catalog for guidelines.
Should a student’s presence on campus create a threat to the safety or well being of other members of The University of the Arts community, the University reserves the right to immediately suspend that student from campus until the time of a hearing. Additionally, the University reserves the right to resolve a case and sanction a student, including suspension, without a hearing where such action is deemed necessary or appropriate by the President of the University.
The following definitions refer to The University of the Arts judicial procedures and processes only:
- The term “University” means The University of the Arts.
- The term “student” includes both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University are considered “students”.
- The term “University official” includes any person employed by the University or an out-sourced auxiliary service who performs assigned administrative or professional responsibilities, including conducting classroom activities.
- The term “Residential Life staff ” includes resident assistants, graduate resident coordinators, and the directors of residential programs and student housing.
- The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, University official or any other person employed by the University, including any University auxiliary service employee and vendors.
- The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of, owned, used, or controlled by the University.
- The term “University organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition/registration.
- The term “judicial body” means any person or persons authorized to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and to recommend imposition of sanctions; exercise disciplinary action following a proper hearing. The University will exercise this right in cases where its reputation or orderly functions as an academic community are involved.
- The term “appellate body” means any person or persons authorized to consider the appeal of a judicial body’s determination that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct or the sanctions imposed by the judicial body.
- The term “University policy” is defined as the written regulations of the University as found in, but not limited to, the Student Handbook, and the Course Catalog.
- The term “hearing officer” means the person present during judicial hearings responsible for ensuring that due process, as defined by the Student Handbook, is followed. The hearing officer in Campus Standards Committee hearings is the chair.
- In all other hearings, one individual serves as both the hearing officer and the “judicial body.”
Jurisdiction of the University Judicial System
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The University Judicial System will hear complaints concerning violations of University policy or regulations whenever the conduct in question occurs in any of the following circumstances:
- If it occurs on the campus or in any University facility;
- If it occurs while the student who is charged was attending or participating in any University-related activity, i.e., study abroad, field trip, social event, activity sponsored by a recognized student organization; or
- If the conduct, whenever and wherever it occurs, calls into question the student’s suitability as a member of the University community. Unlawful acts of violence, violations of another’s civil rights, hazing, the unlawful sale or possession of drugs, the unlawful use of alcoholic beverages and crimes against persons or property are examples of conduct that will subject a student to the judicial system regardless of where the conduct occurs. In cases involving student behavioral problems that occur off campus, the University reserves the right to exercise disciplinary action following a proper hearing in cases where its reputation or orderly functioning are in question. The fact that a student’s conduct may also constitute a crime in violation of local, state, or federal law does not limit the ability of the University to discipline the student for that conduct. The University, therefore, reserves the right to submit a complaint to the judicial system even if the same conduct is or may become the subject of a criminal case.
Student Code of Conduct
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Prohibited behavior at the University of the Arts includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Violations of Academic Integrity including, but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism;
- Non-academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to, theft, attempted theft, possession of stolen property, forgery, and falsification of information provided to any University official;
- Conduct which threatens the physical or psychological health and/or safety of any person (including the person committing the act) or the sanctity of the campus, including, but not limited to physical or sexual assault;
- Damage to public, private, personal or University property;
- Violation of policies as described in the Student Handbook, the Course Catalog, the UArts Housing Contract and all other rules governing University facilities, programs and services;
- Intentional obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, other University activities or activities authorized to take place on University property;
- Disorderly conduct including acts which breach the peace;
- Non-compliance with the directions of University or civil authorities performing official duties, including failure to give proper identification when requested and repeated unexcused non-attendance of classes;
- Violation of a student’s rights or privileges and verbal or written harassment, discrimination, abuse and/or disrespect of any person; and
- Violation of statutes, laws, ordinances and/or regulations of the City of Philadelphia, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (or other states, when applicable) and the United States of America.
Any member of the University community may initiate the judicial process against any student for alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct generally within two to three months of the alleged violation(s) by submitting a complaint in written form to the dean of students. Resident assistants and resident coordinators initiate charges in writing through their supervisor. Charges filed by all other members of the community must be prepared in writing and directed to the dean of students. Alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct generally may be adjudicated by one of three types of judicial body on campus, depending upon the nature and seriousness of the charges (see below for levels of violations), the location of the event and/or the number of students involved:
- Graduate Resident Coordinators coordinators for Residential Life generally address lower-level violations by residents living within their respective residence areas;
- Professional staff members of the Division of Student Affairs generally address intermediate level violations and cases involving commuter students or multiple residents from different living areas;
- The Campus Standards Committee, consisting of students and faculty, generally conducts hearings to address violations of the most serious nature that have the potential to result in University suspension or expulsion. The Committee is advised by the Dean of Students who serves as the chair.
There are two exceptions to the above-stated procedures. With respect to non-academic matters, exceptions to this policy may be made by the Dean of Students, at his/her discretion. With respect to violations of academic integrity, faculty may choose to follow policies and procedures described in their course syllabi. Anyone with questions about the judicial process should contact the Assistant Dean of Students at 215-717-6617 during regular business hours.
General Judicial Procedures
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The University judicial process shall be conducted by a judicial body according to the following guidelines:
- All charges of misconduct shall be presented to the accused student in written form generally between two and fifteen business days after the student has been notified.
- Hearings shall be conducted in private. Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the hearing officer;
- The respondent and the complainant have the right to be accompanied throughout the hearing by advisors of their choice selected from among members of the University community. Only when the student is exposed to concurrent criminal charges or civil liability may a respondent have legal counsel as an advisor. An advisor, including legal counsel, may not speak on behalf of the respondent or address the judicial body. The names of the advisors must be provided to the hearing officer at least two working days prior to the hearing;
- The respondent and the complainant may present as witnesses only those persons with first-hand knowledge of the alleged incident or violation or others having information which can otherwise be shown to be credible. The decision to hear testimony from witnesses having information other than first-hand shall be made by the judicial body;
- In hearings involving more than one accused student, the hearing officer, at his/her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately;
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the hearing officer. Technical rules of evidence and other “due process” rights associated with courts are not applicable to the University judicial process;
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by a judicial body at the discretion of the hearing officer. Assumptions, speculations, or references to prior, unreported incidents will not normally be permitted;
- After the hearing, the judicial body shall determine (by majority vote in Campus Standards Committee hearings) whether the student has violated each section of the Student Code that the student is charged with violating. The judicial body’s decision shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct (preponderance of evidence);
- There shall be a written record of all hearings before a judicial body for use by the appellate body; a copy of this is not available to the accused or the complainant. The record shall cite the violation(s), the decision (responsible or not responsible), a brief statement of the facts upon which the finding is based, and the sanction(s). Generally, there shall be no audio/visual recordings of hearings other than those conducted by the Campus Standards Committee;
- Failure to obey the summons of a hearing officer or failure to attend one’s own hearing does not preclude the case from still being heard and a decision being rendered; and
- Decisions made by a judicial body shall be final, pending the normal appeal process. Following a hearing, the hearing officer shall advise the accused and the complainant in writing of the decision of the hearing and of the sanction(s) imposed, if any, within three business days whenever possible.
Campus Standards Committee Hearing Procedures
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- The chair shall open the hearing by introducing all parties involved and the chair will read the complaint form;
- The complainant shall present his/her opening statement, present his/her complaint, and call witnesses. The respondent may question the complainant and witnesses as they appear;
- The complainant shall at all times have the burden of proof, upon preponderance of the evidence, that the respondent has violated the Student Code of Conduct;
- The respondent shall present his/her opening statement, present his/her response and call witnesses. The complainant may question the respondent and witnesses as they appear;
- Members of the Campus Standards Committee may ask questions of the complainant, respondent and all witnesses for the purpose of fact finding and clarification;
- Campus Standards Committee members may call back witnesses from either side after all original testimony has been heard for the purpose of fact finding and clarification;
- The complainant may present a closing statement;
- The respondent may present a closing statement;
- All parties except Campus Standards Committee members shall be excused from the hearing room while the Campus Standards Committee discusses the case to determine their decision and appropriate sanction(s). Their decision will be made at the time of the hearing unless unusual circumstances make deferment necessary; and a majority vote of Campus Standards Committee members present is sufficient to declare a decision and sanction(s).
- The complainant and respondent will remain in the vicinity of the hearing during the committee’s deliberation, unless excused by the committee;
- The complainant and respondent shall be called back to the hearing room to be verbally informed of the decision and sanction(s), if rendered at the time of the hearing. Any sanctions imposed are effective immediately;
- A transcript of the hearing is made by audio tape recording. Transcripts may not be shared with any persons not directly involved in the hearing;
- In case of an appeal, a copy of the transcript is available to either party upon request at cost for the transcription service.
The following sanctions, among others, may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct:
- Warning - A written notice to the student that he or she is violating or has violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- Loss of Privileges - Denial or restriction of specified privileges or use of specified facilities for a designated period of time.
- Conflict Mediation.
- Restitution - Compensation for loss, damage or injury through the payment of money or through appropriate work requirement related to the offense.
- Referral to Support Services/Educational Programs.
- Service-work assignments - Service to the University or other related discretionary assignments.
- Probation - Defined as the middle status between good standing and suspension. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating the Student Code of Conduct during the probationary period.
- Mandated room reassignment - Behavior merits immediate relocation of the student to another campus residence.
- Living/learning contract - Disciplinary letter placing the student on probation; this letter is signed by the student requiring him/her to satisfy certain sanctions within a period of time.
- Failing assignment or course grade (in the event of a violation of the academic integrity policy only). If the sanction is failure of the course, an “F” will be given and will appear on the transcript, the student will not be allowed to drop the course, even within the drop period. A reason for the “F” will not appear on the student’s transcript, except in the case of suspension or expulsion due to violations of academic integrity.
- Persona non grata - Prohibition from a specific or all campus property and/or activities. Violation of a persona non-grata sanction may subject the violator to arrest for trespass.
- Suspension - Removal from classes and other privileges or activities as a student for a designated period of time. Suspension from the university will result in automatic “W” grades in all classes in the semester of the suspension. A suspended individual must turn in campus photo identification, University keys and all other University property at the time the suspension goes into effect and are considered persona non-grata. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Expulsion - Permanent removal from classes and other privileges or activities as a student. Expelled individuals must turn in campus card photo ID, University keys and all other University property at the time expulsion goes into effect.
More than one of the above sanctions listed may be imposed for any single violation. Other than University expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s academic transcript but shall become part of the student’s permanent record. A student’s record is, therefore, subject to review by those authorized to request it, such as transfer higher-education institutions and future employers and in other cases when the student initiates the disclosure.
The following sanctions, among others, may be imposed upon student groups or organizations:
- “1” through “8” sanctions listed above.
- Deactivation - Loss of privileges, including University recognition, for a specified period of time. When a student organization engages in some act of misconduct, the University may take action not only against the student(s) involved, but also against the organization itself.
In certain circumstances, the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) may impose a University or residence-area suspension pending an assessment and/or a hearing before a judicial body. Interim suspension may be imposed to:
- Help ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property.
- Help ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and/or well-being.
- Help prevent disruption or interference with the normal operations of the University.
During interim suspension, students may be denied access to the residence area and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the dean of students (or his/her designee) may determine to be appropriate.
In certain circumstances, the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) may impose an interim residence suspension, mandated room reassignment or other restrictions prior to a hearing before a judicial body. Whenever interim sanctions are imposed, a hearing convenes at the earliest possible time. The interim sanction(s) may remain in effect until a final decision has been reached, including any appropriate appeals process.
The accused student(s) or the complainant(s) may appeal a decision made by a judicial body. A request for an appeal must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) within two business days of the decision. Generally, the Dean of Students will direct an appeal to the supervisor of the hearing officer, who will make a final decision in the case. The Dean of Students will generally hear appeals of residential suspensions; the President of the University (or his/her designee) will hear the appeal of University suspensions or expulsions. The written request for any appeal must be based upon one or more of the following reasons, which must be specifically specified in the
- Violation of University judicial procedures.
- Misinterpretation of the policies alleged to be violated.
- New evidence not reasonably available at the time of the hearing.
- Improper or excessive sanction(s).
- Decision not supported by a preponderance of evidence.
Upon receipt of the appeal, the appellate body will do one of the following:
- Accept to hear the case at his/her discretion.
- Refuse to hear the case for lack of sufficient reason for appeal.
- Request that another hearing be conducted.
- Investigate and amend the decision and/or sanction.
Appeals of decisions made by the Campus Standards Committee are handled as follows:
- The Dean of Students hears appeals of nonacademic decisions made by the Campus Standards Committee, except in cases where the Dean is the complainant or a witness in the matter. (In such instances, appeals will go to the President).
- The Provost (or his/her designee) hears appeals of academic decisions made by the Campus Standards Committee.
In appeals by the accused involving claims of improper or excessive sanctions, decisions following appeal cannot result in more severe sanctions for the accused student. Review of the audio transcript or other supporting materials will be available to the appellate officer at his/her request. The decision and sanction(s) resulting from any appeal will be sent to the respondent, complainant, president of the University and/or persons and offices notified of the original sanction(s).
The University of the Arts reserves the right to change and/or add to the policies, procedures and programs described in the student handbook and will make reasonable efforts to inform students of such changes and/or additions as they become necessary.