Calvin University Disciplinary Process
A. Responding to Violations - general outline
- 1. University Receives Notice
The Senior Conduct Officer receives an incident report, problem report or an anonymous report. The Senior Conduct Officer reviews report, gathers facts, and assigns the case to a staff member or assigns a staff member to begin a fact finding process to more clearly understand the situation.
- 2. Student Receives Notice
The student is notified via email that the university has received an incident report or problem report which involves this student. The office sends a notice to the student to schedule an initial conference with conduct officer.
- 3. Initial Conference with Student
During this meeting the conduct officer will:
- Review report with student.
- Allow student to respond to the report and the evidence.
- Provide student with opportunity to:
- Present further information.
- Offer additional perspectives.
- Suggest avenues of investigation.
- Review relevant policies and issues with student.
- Review process and answer student’s questions.
- Establish temporary measures where necessary.
- Decide on process options.
During or after the meeting the conduct officer will:
- Prepare a statement that is reviewed and signed by the student, if applicable.
- Communicate a process decision to student.
At the conclusion of this meeting, the Conduct Officer will decide based on the facts of the situation and the input of the student to:
- Move to closure because no further action is necessary.
- Move to investigation to gather additional information.
- Move to investigation and/or resolution under Safer Spaces Policy.
- Move to informal resolution. Resolution meeting is scheduled. Student may request extra time to prepare (generally one week and more can be requested).
- 4. Informal Resolution
The university will refer a case for informal resolution when:
- The student and the university achieve general agreement regarding the facts of the report/violation.
- The evidence supporting the violation is so strong that the student’s testimony does not adequately challenge the finding based on preponderance of evidence standard.
- In cases involving injured parties, where all parties agree to move to informal resolution.
- 5. Resolution Meeting
During the resolution meeting, the conduct officer will:
- Provide student with written notice of any conduct violations.
- Review with student the role of prior disciplinary history in the sanction decision.
- Present written copy of the resolution agreement which will be based on the violations and will list requirements. Requirements may include:
- Educational interventions
- Restitution and/or restorative measures
- Clarification of temporary measures
- Answer student’s questions about policy, process or resolution requirements.
- Determine student response/acceptance of resolution requirements.
- Provide appeal Information, if applicable or upon request.
B. General Operating Guidelines
- 1. Process Decisions
Given the scope of the university’s responsibilities, the university will review each reported problem or violation and decide which process to employ to address the situation.
- 2. Standard of Evidence
Calvin University’s disciplinary process requires a preponderance of evidence for finding an individual responsible for a violation. Unlike the criminal system, which requires evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a university disciplinary decision is based on the “greater weight of the evidence.” A preponderance of evidence standard requires that the information show it is “more likely than not” that a violation occurred.
- 3. Types of Evidence
Formal rules of evidence used in a court of law are not applicable to the university disciplinary process. The university process will consider all information or statements with probable value, such as hearsay or anonymous reports. The responding student has the right to hear and respond to all information that may be utilized for a decision.
- 4. Process Advisor
Students may select any member of the Calvin University community (current faculty, staff or student) to serve as an advisor during the resolution meeting. The faculty, staff or student serving as the advisor cannot directly address the proceeding, but may advise the student during and after the meeting or hearing.
- 5. Resolution Meetings and Hearings
Trained university hearing officers will conduct the meeting in a manner that is according to university policy and protocol and is also thorough and respectful. Family members and attorneys are not present during these meetings or hearings.