2016-2017 Graduate Academic Catalog

Sanctions and Appeals

Sanctions

If a policy violation is found, the Dean or the Dean’s designee may implement sanctions immediately. The Dean and designee have discretion to impose a variety of sanctions and other actions, including but not limited to those listed here; these are only examples. The list includes behavioral infractions and the range of potential sanctions. When noted, “progressive” refers to sanctions that increase in magnitude (i.e., amount of fine; length of suspension). Fines are increased by increments of $25 for each subsequent violation. Actual sanctions will reflect an assessment of all the facts and the nature of an offense. Progressive sanctions are not required. It is possible, when a student’s actions are particularly dangerous or egregious, for a student to receive any sanction available to the University or to be expelled from the University, even for a first offense.

  1. Physical violence, serious threats, intimidating and/or aggressive behavior, weapons policy violations
    1. 1st offense: conduct probation, suspension from University housing and/or classes, counseling, or potential dismissal from University housing and/or the University
    2. 2nd and subsequent offenses: extended probation, dismissal from University housing and/or the University
  2. Smoking in University housing
    1. 1st offense: fine ($50) and conduct alert
    2. 2nd and subsequent offenses: progressive fine, conduct probation, suspension from University housing
  3. Fire safety violations
    1. 1st offense: fine ($100), conduct alert, including confiscation of candles and/or incense, etc.
    2. 2nd and subsequent offenses: progressive fine, conduct probation, suspension from University housing
  4. Tampering with, or damage to, fire safety equipment, failure to vacate
    1. 1st offense: fine ($100), conduct probation, payment of all damages and any fines from fire department, suspension from University housing
    2. 2nd and subsequent offenses: progressive fine, extended probation, payment of all damages and fines, suspension or dismissal from University housing
  5. Damage to property or removal of University furniture or furnishings
    1. Unintentional: conduct alert and payment of all damages
    2. Intentional or malicious: fine ($50) and conduct probation, payment of all damages, suspension from University housing
  6. Guests (host students are responsible for their guests’ behavior)
    1. Fine ($50), conduct alert, conduct probation, loss of guest privileges for period of time (progressive), suspension from University housing, and exclusion of particular guest from campus.
  7. Alcohol
    1. Under-age drinking
      • 1st offense: fine ($50), mandatory alcohol education program, conduct alert, and/or communication with parents and confiscation of alcohol
      • 2nd and subsequent offenses: progressive fine, mandatory alcohol education program, conduct probation, referral to counseling, restrictions on guests in residence hall room, restriction on visiting other residents where alcohol is present, possible communication and/or conference with parent(s), suspension from University housing
    2. Irresponsible Use
      • Use of alcohol (under-age or not) that results in disruptive behaviors will be subject to the under-age drinking sanction
  8. Illegal Drugs

    Consistent with the University’s Drugs and Alcohol Policy, possession, distribution, or use of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia also renders a student liable to disciplinary action by the University, including but not limited to confiscation of materials, dismissal, or referral to local police authorities. Dealing, selling, and/or distributing illegal drugs is cause for immediate removal from University housing pending investigation.  (Despite changes to Massachusetts law, the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of marijuana – including medical marijuana – remain prohibited under federal law and, thus, are prohibited everywhere on campus including in student residential facilities (dorms), parking lots, University vehicles, University buildings, and any other property owned, operated, or leased by the University.)

    1. 1st offense: fine ($75), mandatory drug education program, conduct probation and confiscation of illegal drugs
    2. 2nd and subsequent offenses: progressive fine, mandatory drug education program, counseling, extended probation, suspension or dismissal from University housing and/or the University
  9. Disturbing the peace/hazardous behavior
    1. 1st offense: fine ($75) and conduct alert
    2. 2nd and subsequent offenses: progressive fine, conduct probation, or suspension from University housing.

The Dean or the Dean’s designee may also impose any of the following requirements: no trespass, no contact, or stay away orders; mandatory counseling; referral to a support program; suspension and/or dismissal from an athletic team; and prohibition from participating in a study away program.  Any discipline, suspension, or dismissal does not affect the student’s financial obligation to the University for tuition, residence fees, or other indebtedness.

 

Appeals

A student may appeal a determination that he or she violated a University policy; however a student who elected not to participate in the Dean’s Review Process waives any right to appeal a finding that a violation occurred. In addition, if the Dean or the Dean’s designee finds no policy violation in a case where a student claims that he or she was physically harmed in any way or threatened with physical harm, then that student may appeal the no-violation finding; however, a student who elected not to participate in the Dean’s Review Process waives any right to appeal a finding of no violation.

After the Dean’s Review Process, a decision made by the Dean's designee may be appealed once to the Dean and a decision made by the Dean may be appealed once to the Provost or the Provost’s designee. There are no further rights of appeal.

There are two bases for an appeal: (1) facts showing that a procedural error affected the determination of whether the student violated an applicable policy, or (2) facts relevant to the determination that were not available at the time of the Dean’s Review Process. To illustrate, a procedural error that prevents an eye witness from speaking with the Dean or designee may provide the basis for an appeal if the information from the witness contradicts one or more factual findings necessary to the determination of a policy violation. Similarly, there may be a basis for an appeal if an eye witness does not become available until after a determination has issued.

A student wishing to appeal must give written notice to the Dean or the Dean’s designee within seven days of receiving the findings.

While an appeal is pending, any sanctions may be suspended or modified in the discretion of the Dean or the Dean’s designee, as applicable. If the appeal is denied, the sanctions will be immediately reinstated.

If the written appeal letter states in good faith one of the permitted bases for appeal, the Dean or the Dean’s designee forwards the appeal and a copy of the letter indicating the outcome of the review process to the Provost or the Dean for review. The Dean or the Provost (or the Provost’s designee) reviews the appeal and the letter indicating the outcome of the review process and, in his or her sole discretion, make a determination to (1) uphold the determination, (2) review the determination on the merits, (3) assign the review to another University official as appropriate, or (4) instruct the Dean’s designee or the Dean to re-open the Dean’s Review Process. Absent exceptional circumstances, the Dean or the Provost (or the Provost’s designee) makes a determination within 30 University business days of the Dean’s designee’s or the Dean’s receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Dean or the Provost (or the Provost’s designee) is based upon the preponderance of the evidence and is final. The student who appealed will be sent a letter notifying him or her of the results of the appeal.

Use of Information and Confidentiality: Information gathered during one investigation may be used in other investigations at the discretion of the Dean. The University makes reasonable efforts to protect the privacy and confidences of all parties during the investigation, consistent with and subject to the University’s need to investigate the report of misconduct and implement any sanctions. However, the Dean or the Dean’s designee may in his or her discretion share information gathered during the investigation with any party.

Changes to and Variations from this Policy: The University retains the right to amend this policy at any time and will post changes on the Lesley University website.

These procedures are designed to promote fairness. Accordingly, variations are permissible when undertaken to promote fairness to the students involved or for the welfare of the Lesley University community.