Campus Conduct System
The basic purpose of a conduct system at Bluffton University is to protect an environment for learning. Throughout the conduct process there is a commitment to the fundamentals of fair play in the adjudication of violations of standards of conduct and the honor system.
Jurisdiction of Conduct Process
All students, faculty and staff members are a part of the conduct system.
There is one conduct board which is called the Campus Conduct Board (CCB). The vice president for student life and dean of students is administratively responsible for the conduct process and the CCB. There are three permanent members and three rotating members on the CCB. The three permanent members consist of a faculty member and two students. These three members serve on the CCB for one year and they are chosen as follows:
Chosen by faculty as one of her/his committee assignments at the time other committees are elected.
Chosen by Student Senate in September; they must be members of Student Senate at the time they are chosen.
The three rotating members consist of one faculty member and two students. They serve for a one-month period of time. If a case initiated during the month is not completed during the month, the original members will continue with the case. Student Senate is responsible for randomly choosing these three members who will serve each month. In addition, an alternate for each rotating position is chosen by Student Senate.
The permanent faculty member serves as chairperson of CCB. The three permanent members of CCB elect a vice chairperson who serves in the absence of the chairperson. A quorum consists of two of the three permanent members and the three rotating members or their alternates.
Restorative justice coordinator
Director of residence life
Restorative justice facilitators
Facilitators are those individuals who have completed the 20 hour mediation training program as chosen by the restorative justice coordinator.
- A student accused of violating a standard or the Honor System that does not fall under the "Sexual Misconduct Policy" violations is referred to an administrative officer. Allegations of violations that would involve sexual misconduct are referred to the conduct process outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy. The administrative office may appoint a staff person to act in his/her place.
- The accused is asked by the administrative officer (or her/his designee) if he/she is guilty of the violation described in the referral. If the accused admits guilt, he/she may elect to have either the administrative officer (or her/his designee) take action on the violation or to have the case referred to the Restorative Justice Coordinator for a restorative justice review.
- Upon completion of the restorative justice review, the Restorative Justice Coordinator will initiate a restorative justice action in response to the conduct violation. In cases where the restorative justice review deems a restorative response inappropriate, the conduct case reverts to traditional conduct system. Parties should select individuals as an advisor and/or support person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for all meetings, sessions or conferences. Delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor.
- If the accused does not admit guilt in initial meeting with the campus administrative
officer, the case is automatically heard by the CCB.
- The accused must be notified at least 72 hours prior to a CCB hearing unless he/she
wishes to waive this right. The following procedures are followed at all CCB hearings:
- The accused is given the opportunity to present a plea of guilty or not guilty.
- The accused and the person referring her/him may be questioned by any member of the CCB.
- The accused may be allowed one person to serve as counsel; this person must be a student, faculty member or a staff member.
- The hearing is closed unless both the accused and the person referring her/him agree to an open hearing; deliberation of the CCB must be closed.
- The accused has the right to question the person referring her/him at the hearing; therefore, the latter must be present.
- The CCB examines all material evidence, hears and questions all witnesses prior to voting on the case. Witnesses who are called by the CCB are required to meet with the CCB. Decisions are determined by majority vote. In the case of a tie vote, deliberation will be continued until a majority vote is reached. The CCB determines guilt or innocence and the appropriate sanction in each case. Determination as to whether a violation occurred is based on a preponderance of evidence standards (is it more likely than not that a violation occurred).
- The accused must be notified at least 72 hours prior to a CCB hearing unless he/she wishes to waive this right. The following procedures are followed at all CCB hearings:
Adjudication of extraordinary violations
Incidents which are considered to be violations of standards of conduct and the Honor System are normally adjudicated through the Campus Conduct System. It is recognized that there may be incidents referred that are an immediate threat to the campus community and/or the environment for learning. These extraordinary incidents may call for immediate action by the university. If the president, in consultation with the cabinet, judges that incidents are extraordinary and that they call for immediate action, the president, in consultation with the cabinet, will determine the procedures to be followed in adjudicating the referral. The procedures will be consistent with the standards of fair play. Appeal of a decision reached through these procedures is to the Board of Trustees.
Outcomes imposed by an administrative officer (or her/his designee) or the CCB may include any one or a combination of the following:
- Dismissal Subject to review by the vice president for student life and dean of students.
- Suspension Subject to review by the vice president for student life and dean of students.
- Restorative justice
- Financial or work penalty
- Other penalties as appropriate in each case.
An appeal must be submitted in writing within five (5) business days of receiving the decision of the CCB. An appeal will only be considered if it falls within one of the following categories:
- A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the CCB or administrative officer.
- Sanctions(s) imposed were substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation of which the responding party was found to have committed.
- To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original investigation, because such information and/or facts were not known tot he person appealing at the time of the original investigation.