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5.4. Informal Conduct Process

5.4.1 The Responding Student has the right to a formal hearing before a PCB or Conduct Panel, as appropriate. However, at the discretion of the assigned Student Conduct Administrator, except in cases involving reports of sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination; dating and domestic violence; stalking; and retaliation, as defined by federal Title IX law, the Responding Student may opt to waive their right to a PCB or formal Conduct Panel hearing verbally, electronically, or in writing using the Conduct Panel Hearing Waiver Form and instead, have the matter decided by the assigned Student Conduct Administrator. In such cases, the Responding Student waives the right to some procedural guarantees provided by the formal conduct process with a PCB or formal Conduct Panel hearing, including the right, as applicable, to:

a. Receive a Complaint formally notifying the student of the alleged misconduct;
b. Have questions asked of the Reporting Party and any witnesses by the PCB or formal Conduct Panel chair;
c. Complete an in-person review of the hearing packet, including related conduct documentation and statements; and
d. Have a single verbatim audio and/or digital recording prepared of the student’s conduct process.

During the first investigation meeting with the Responding Student, if an informal Conduct Discussion is an option, the assigned Student Conduct Administrator will ask the student if they want to proceed with an informal Conduct Discussion or a formal conduct hearing with the PCB or formal Conduct Panel, as appropriate.
Excluding formal Title IX Complaints, which must be resolved through a Title IX Conduct Panel, for Complaints investigated by the Office of Institutional Equity, as provided in section 5.2, the assigned Student Conduct Administrator will ask if the Responding Student wants to proceed with an informal Conduct Discussion during the student’s first meeting with the assigned Student Conduct Administrator at the conclusion of the investigation by the Office of Institutional Equity.
Under exigent circumstances, the assigned Student Conduct Administrator or their designee shall retain discretion to convene a formal Conduct Panel hearing without utilizing the PCB.

5.4.2 If the Responding Student elects the informal conduct process, the assigned Student Conduct Administrator will complete the investigation interview or first meeting with the student, as appropriate.

a. If further investigation is not required to determine there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable cause to believe the Responding Student violated the Code, the assigned Student Conduct Administrator may transition the investigation interview or first meeting, as appropriate, into the informal Conduct Discussion, engaging the Responding Student in discussion about their behavior, actions, and decisions.
b. If additional investigation is still required or the Responding Student exercises their rights as outlined in 5.4.3, the assigned Student Conduct Administrator will take any additional steps necessary to finish investigating the reported misconduct, including conducting additional investigation interviews with the Responding Student or other witnesses.
c. If through the additional investigation, there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable cause to believe that the Responding Student violated the Code, the assigned Student Conduct Administrator will schedule and conduct the informal Conduct Discussion with the student. If there is insufficient evidence through the additional investigation to support reasonable cause to believe the Responding Student violated the Code, the Report will be closed with no further action.

5.4.3 The Responding Student may speak on their own behalf, submit a written statement, and ask witnesses to speak to the assigned Student Conduct Administrator on the Responding Student’s behalf before the Student Conduct Administrator determines the outcome of the Report or the Complaint investigated by the Office of Institutional Equity.

5.4.4 Students are not permitted to record informal Conduct Discussions.

5.4.5 The assigned Student Conduct Administrator shall determine whether the student has violated each section of the Code in which an alleged Report or Complaint investigated by the Office of Institutional Equity is made against the student. Should the student be found in violation of one or more sections of the Code, the assigned Student Conduct Administrator will determine the appropriate educational, conduct outcome(s) to be imposed against the student.

5.4.6 Within three (3) days of the conclusion of the informal conduct process, the assigned Student Conduct Administrator will prepare a written summary of the informal Conduct Discussion, which details the finding made by the Student Conduct Administrator, the information cited in support of their finding, any information excluded from their consideration and why, the outcome(s) to be imposed on the student, and the information cited in support of the imposed outcome(s). The summary shall be the property of the University, maintained as part of the University’s disciplinary records, and not exceed three (3) pages in length.