Article 9: Disciplinary Proceedings
Any student whose conduct has been called into question by any member of the University community or who is alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct and/or any regulations of Texas A&M International University or the Texas A&M University System will be notified of the charges via e-mail by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement (SCCE). At the point that the SCCE receives notification, a student conduct administrator will conduct an investigation to ascertain details and circumstances associated with the complaint. Investigation may result in charges, a form of alternative dispute resolution, or dismissal of complaint.
Section 9.01 Investigation Process
The student will recieve a notification via University e-mail informing that an allegation has been brought against the student.
The student must attend the scheduled appointment to provide his/her account of the events. If there is a schedule conflict, the student may reschedule by calling 956-326-2280. Failure to attend the meeting may be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and may result in the student conduct process moving forward without the student’s participation. The following will proceed:
- A student conduct administrator will meet with the student to explain the allegation.
- A student conduct administrator will discuss the student’s rights and responsibilities.
- A student conduct administrator will explain the student conduct process.
- A student conduct administrator will hear any statement that student may wish to make.
- Should the respondent accept responsibility during the course of the investigation, the respondent may waive his/her right to an administrative conference and proceed directly to sanctioning phase (Article 11).
Should the student conduct administrator determine there is sufficient information that a charge is merited, proceedings in section 9.02 will apply.
Section 9.02 Student Conduct Proceedings
Students are expected to pay all financial obligations to the University when due.
All charges shall be presented to the respondent in written form via University e-mail. The respondent will be given at least three (3) University business days to prepare for an administrative conference. In all student conduct proceedings, the respondent shall be presumed not responsible until it is determined that a violation of the University rules occurred by a preponderance of the evidence. Student conduct proceeding shall be conducted by the following guidelines:
- The respondent has the opportunity to be assisted by an advisor s/he chooses, at his/her own expense.
- Attorneys, counselors, and advisors are not permitted to represent any student at an administrative conference. However, an advisor may be present, but may not speak at an administrative conference. Request for advisor to be present must be done so in writing a minimum of three (3) business days before the scheduled administrative conference.
- Students who are charged in the same fact pattern, or who are not in good standing with the University are not eligible to serve as an advisor at administrative conferences.
- The respondent is responsible for presenting his/her own information. Therefore, a student should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the administrative conference. Administrative conferences will not typically be delayed due to scheduling conflicts of an advisor. There is no restriction on who a student may consult or seek advice from, the restriction pertains to the administrative conference only.
- The respondent and the Student Conduct Administrator may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information to the Chairperson. Witnesses may provide this information to and answer questions from the Chairperson, Student Conduct Administrator and respondent. (Character statements shall be accepted in written form only).
- Pertinent records, exhibits, student impact statements and other written statements may be accepted as information for consideration at the discretion of the chairperson. Student impact statements and other documents determined at the discretion of the chairperson shall be taken into consideration during the sanction phase only.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson.
- After the portion of the administrative conference concludes, in which all pertinent information has been received, the Chairperson shall deliberate in private to determine whether the respondent has violated the student code of conduct as charged.
- The focus of inquiry in administrative conferences shall be the determination of whether a violation of University rules occurred. In all initial student conduct proceedings, the burden of proof shall rest with the University, and said burden of proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.
- There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a digital recording, of all student conduct conferences. Deliberations shall not be recorded. The record shall be the property of the University.
- If a respondent with notice does not appear at an administrative conference, the information in support of charges shall be presented, considered, and a decision may be made. The Chairperson may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, respondent, and/or other witnesses during the conference. There is no entitlement to these accommodations and they shall be determined by a Student Conduct Administrator. A Student Conduct Administrator may also make reasonable accommodations to provide access for students with disabilities.
- The respondent and his/her advisor, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the student conduct conference at which information is received (excluding deliberations) provided the accused student and his/her advisor appear at the designated time and do not inhibit the proceeding. Admission of any other person to the student conduct conference shall be at the discretion of the Student Conduct Administrator.
- There will be no finding of responsibility solely because a student remains silent during a student conduct conference.
- If the student is found “not responsible,” the process ends and incident report closed.
- If the student is found “responsible,” a sanction(s) will be assigned.
- The student may accept or reject decision.
Section 9.03 Sexual Misconduct/Harassment Proceedings
For the purposes of this code referring to sexual misconduct or sexual harassment only, the term survivor shall mean any individual to whom the alleged sexual misconduct or sexual harassment was directed regardless of whether there has been a finding of responsibility for the accused student(s) allegedly involved.
The following guidelines apply to administrative conferences in cases of alleged sexual misconduct or sexual harassment:
- The survivor shall not be required to attend the student conduct conference.
- The survivor shall have the opportunity to submit an impact statement detailing the alleged consequences suffered by the survivor.
- The survivor has the right to be assisted by an advisor s/he chooses, at his/her own expense.
- Attorneys, counselors, and advisors are not permitted to represent any student at an administrative conference. However, an advisor may be present but may not speak at an administrative conference. A request for an advisor to be present must be done so in writing a minimum of three (3) days before the scheduled administrative conference.
- Students who are charged in the same fact pattern, or who are not in good standing with the University, are not eligible to serve as an advisor at administrative conferences.
- The survivor is responsible for presenting his/her own information. A student should select an advisor whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the administrative conference. Administrative conferences will not typically be delayed due to scheduling conflicts of an advisor. There is no restriction on who a student may consult or seek advice from, the restriction pertains to the administrative conference only.
- The survivor shall have the opportunity to request immediate on-campus housing relocation (based on available space), transfer of classes or other steps to prevent unnecessary or unwanted contact or proximity to the accused student, when such contact is likely to place the survivor in danger of bodily injury and/or cause the survivor severe emotional distress.
- The survivor, or surviving family member if the survivor dies as a result of the alleged misconduct, shall be informed of the outcome of the administrative conference. The proceedings and outcome of all administrative conferences are considered confidential information in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Such information should not be otherwise re-disclosed.
- The survivor shall have the right to not have her/his past behavioral history discussed during the student conduct conference. Questions of relevancy shall be determined by the chairperson.
- In administrative conferences which may result in a University mandated separation from the University for the accused student, there shall be a single verbatim record, such as a tape or digital recording, of all administrative conferences before a Student Conduct Administrator. Deliberations shall not be recorded. The record shall be the property of the University.
Section 9.04 Appeals
The decision as to which procedure to utilize for a grievance filed by a student shall be made solely by the University and shall be based on the fact pattern of each particular case.
- A decision or sanction imposed by the Student Conduct Administrator may be appealed by the respondent, or in cases of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, the survivor, to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement within five (5) University business days of the outcome. Such appeals must be submitted in writing.
- The decision as to which procedure to utilize for a grievance filed by a student shall be made solely by the University and shall be based on the fact pattern of each particular case.
- A decision or sanction imposed by the Student Conduct Administrator may be appealed by the respondent, or in cases of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, the survivor, to the OSA within five (5) University business days of the outcome. Such appeals shall be in writing.
- When an appeal has been filed, the Vice President of Student Success and or designee will determine whether the grounds for appeal merit a hearing.
The appeal must be based on one or more of the following:
- A procedural error occurred during the process, which had a direct impact on the outcome.
- New information has come to light, which has a direct impact on the outcome.
- The sanction administered is unjustified in it severity or leniency.
After receiving the written request for an appeal, the Vice President of Student Success may:
- Deny the request for an appeal and committee decision will be final.
- Accept the appeal and ask the committee to reconvene and hear the case again with the new information.
After the committee reviews the case at the request of the Vice President of Student Success, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved.
Appeals due to suspension will be assessed by the Vice President of Student Success and or designee for reconsideration of admission to University.
Notice: Academic appeals differ from disciplinary. For more information on academic appeals, go to the Student Handbook - Classroom Behavior & Academic Disputes.
Section 9.05 Administrative Hearings
A student charged with a disciplinary violation of the student code of conduct has the right to elect an administrative hearing before the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs or designee. Should a student wish to pursue the administrative hearing the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs will hear the case, render a decision and if found responsible for a violation, sanction the student.