Group Conduct Review Process

Our students are held to high standards as defined in the Student Code of Conduct and other university policies, procedures and rules. Students remain subject to the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct and university policies, procedures and rules at all times, including while engaged in activities of university-recognized student organizations (each, a “group”), whether on or off campus.

In addition, groups are also held to the same high standards of conduct. The group’s president, or the president's designee, and members of the group should at all times be aware that the actions of the group and its leaders and members, as well as individuals who are authorized or permitted to represent themselves as connected to the group (“group representatives”) and guests of the group (“group guests”), reflect on both the university and the group. As a result, a group may be held responsible for both the group’s misconduct and misconduct of any 1 or more of its leaders, members, group representatives and/or group guests. Such misconduct includes any violation of the Student Code of Conduct or any other university policy, rule or procedure, including but not limited to

  • hazing
  • theft
  • assault
  • vandalism
  • discrimination and harassment
  • dishonesty
  • any violation of the Drug and Alcohol Policy
  • any violation of the Good Neighbor Policy
  • any violation of Residential Life policies and rules
  • any violation of Student Involvement & Leadership rules governing student organizations, club sports, fraternities, sororities and social fellowships
  • any violation of any academic policies
  • any misappropriation or misuse of group funds or university funds
  • any violation of any federal, state or local law, regulation, rule or ordinance

When

  • members of the group act in concert with respect to misconduct;
  • the individual committing the misconduct was either acting on behalf of the group or engaged in a group-sponsored, -financed or -endorsed activity;
  • the misconduct grows out of, occurs during, or is related to any group-sponsored, -financed or -endorsed activity, event or environment created by the group;
  • the group’s leaders have knowledge of the misconduct or incident before or while it occurred and failed to take corrective action; or
  • a pattern of individual misconduct by group members is found to exist

The university administers the Group Conduct Review Process in good faith, making every reasonable effort to be fair to all involved. Groups have the right to participate in the Group Conduct Review Process without having past conduct violations discussed or used when a decision is being made concerning a current alleged violation; however, past violations may be considered when determining a sanction for a group found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. All students have the obligation to participate in the Group Conduct Review Process, as a witness or otherwise, when asked by a university representative.

Student Conduct generally follows the procedures under JWU Communications with Students whenever contact with students or a group is necessary.

The Group Conduct Review Process does not replace the Conduct Review Process with respect to individual students, nor does it serve as an extension of or replacement for the local, state or federal civil or criminal court system. In addition, the outcome of civil or criminal proceedings concerning a violation will not control or be binding on the outcome of the university’s Group Conduct Review Process for the same violation.

All groups should be aware that it is the policy of the university to cooperate with local, state and federal law enforcement authorities in the investigation of crime. The university will not provide a sanctuary against criminal prosecution.

How the Group Conduct Review Process Works

Reports of Violations and Notification

Any individual who witnesses or becomes aware of an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct should report the violation to Campus Safety & Security, any member of the Student Involvement & Leadership staff, the dean of students or Student Conduct. Once an alleged violation is reported, an incident report will be prepared by Campus Safety & Security describing the nature and circumstances of the incident and the parties involved. Campus Safety & Security may conduct further investigation if additional or supplemental information is needed. All incident reports that imply group involvement are reviewed in Student Conduct, and those that warrant action are then referred for either an educational conversation or a hearing, depending upon the nature of the alleged violation.

There are 2 types of Group Conduct Review hearings at Johnson & Wales: administrative hearings and panel hearings. Administrative hearings are held before a single hearing officer. Panel hearings are conducted in front of a group of 3 trained panelists. In both cases, the role of the hearing officer or panel is to consider information provided from the investigation, group and, to the extent necessary, any complainants, participants or witnesses, in order to make a finding of “responsible” or “not responsible.” More serious violations that may result in a sanction of withdrawal or suspension of recognition are referred for a panel hearing, while less serious violations are referred for an administrative hearing.

When an incident report is referred for a hearing, the group’s president or the president's designee will receive a notification describing the alleged violation and indicating the time and place for the hearing or a pre-hearing conference.

Any unexcused failure to attend a hearing or conference will result in the hearing being held in the absence of the group’s president or the president's designee, at which the hearing officer or panel will not have heard the group’s side of the story. If the group has a legitimate need to reschedule a hearing or conference, the group’s president or the president's designee must contact the hearing officer as early as possible before the scheduled hearing or conference date to request rescheduling.

Hearing Procedures

The group’s president or the president's designee may participate in the Group Conduct Review Process. The group may bring any relevant materials and witnesses with personal, relevant knowledge of the incident to the hearing. The group may also bring an advisor. Advisors may attend the hearing, but cannot participate in any manner. If there is a legitimate conflict of interest related to the advisor, Student Conduct reserves the right to disqualify an advisor. The group would then be required to obtain a new advisor. When possible, the hearing officer will make reasonable adjustments in order to accommodate an advisor’s schedule. However, the hearing officer is not obligated to reschedule meetings and/or hearings to accommodate the advisor. A group may select a new advisor in the event of a scheduling conflict. Except for witnesses and advisors, other people may not attend the hearing with the group.

At a pre-hearing conference (for panel hearings) or before the hearing gets underway (for administrative hearings), the group’s president or the president's designee may be asked whether the group wishes to waive the hearing by acknowledging the group’s responsibility in the incident. If the group acknowledges responsibility, sanctions will be imposed and the group will not be entitled to an appeal. If the group does not acknowledge responsibility, the hearing will proceed and the hearing officer or panel will

  • outline the process
  • review the incident report and/or allegations and any supplemental information
  • hear any statements relating to the incident
  • hear or review the statements of witnesses with personal, relevant knowledge of the incident (but other witnesses, such as character witnesses, will not be allowed to attend or be heard)
  • hear or review the statements of other relevant witnesses (and where confidentiality is a consideration, the identity of such witnesses will not be disclosed to the group)
  • either defer the decision or render a decision of "responsible" or "not responsible." Hearing officers and panels use the “more likely than not” standard to evaluate alleged violations
  • if the group is found responsible, recommend 1 or more sanctions to the director of student conduct

The director of student conduct will review the recommendation and make a final determination of appropriate sanction(s) after consultation with the director of student involvement & leadership (taking into consideration the group’s prior conduct violations). The group will receive a final written decision, which will set forth the final result and the sanction(s) imposed. The written decision will also include information regarding the appeal process and deadline for filing an appeal.

Appeal

The decision of the hearing officer (for administrative hearings) or the panel (for panel hearings) is final unless it can be demonstrated that 1 of the following has occurred:

  1. Relevant, new information has come to light since the decision was made.
  2. The Group Conduct Review Process, as outlined, was not followed.

To request an appeal, a group must submit a request in writing to Student Conduct. The request must be submitted within 3 business days after the date of notification of the outcome of the hearing and must state clearly the basis for the appeal. The appeal will be reviewed upon receipt, and a decision concerning the appeal will be available within a reasonable time. The appeal will either be granted, remanding the case back for a new hearing, or denied. The decision of the appeal officer will be final.

The group will receive a final written decision from the appeal officer, which will set forth the outcome of the appeal.

Retaliation, including intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination, against any individual who has made a good faith complaint, or who has participated in the Group Conduct Review Process, is unlawful and in violation of university policy. Anyone found to have engaged in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or termination from the university.

Questions?

For questions regarding the Student Code of Conduct, Group Conduct Review Process or Sanctions for Groups, please contact Student Conduct at your campus:

  • 401-598-2885 (Providence Campus)
  • 305-892-7602 (North Miami Campus)
  • 303-256-9591(Denver Campus)
  • 980-598-1820 (Charlotte Campus)