Florida A&M University
Student Code of Conduct - Regulation 2.012
(1) All student conduct regulations of the University shall be printed in a form or forms which make them available to all students and shall be applicable only upon publication in the Student Handbook, FANG, or other reasonable means of written or electronic notification such as the FAMU Website. The Student Code of Conduct shall hereinafter be referred to as the “Code”.
(2) As members of the academic community, students enjoy the rights and privileges that accrue to such membership including, but not limited to, academic freedom and participation in the decision-making processes of the University. Additionally, students are subject to the obligations and duties that accompany this membership and are responsible for compliance with the requirements of law and with all governance by students, faculty, and staff. It is incumbent upon members of the campus community to notify the appropriate judicial body or officials of a violation of these regulations, to encourage all to comply with them, and assist in their enforcement by testifying as witnesses when called upon to do so. Accordingly, all alleged violations of the Code shall be referred to the University Judicial Officer. Students, faculty and staff members may allege violations of the Code and make their report in writing to the Judicial Office. If the Judicial Officer or his/her designee believes after an investigation of the allegations that the allegations have merit, the student will be issued, in writing, an administrative request to appear at an information briefing before the Judicial Officer or his/her designee. At the information briefing, the Judicial Officer or his /her designee will explain to the students the elements of due process that will be afforded to the student.
(3) Discipline may be imposed for offenses against the Code occurring at any of the
following locations or activities:
- University campus;
- University owned or controlled property;
- University premises, including but not limited to fraternities, sororities, and organizations property;
- Activities sponsored by the University wherever they may occur;
- Activities officially approved by the University that are conducted by University chartered organizations wherever they may occur;
- Activities occurring off campus, either university or non-university related.
(4) Felony – a serious offense against the University for which a student, upon a finding of responsible, shall be punished by:
- Expulsion from the University; or
- Dismissal from the University for a period not to exceed five years; or
- Suspension from the University for a period not to exceed three years; or
- Community service, not to exceed 15 hours per week and not to exceed a total of 11 weeks; or
- Probation for a specified period, or for a period not to exceed a total of time needed by the student to complete requirements for graduation; or
- Restitution for the loss, damage or injury; or
- Discretionary sanctions; or
- Counseling—The University can require the student to seek professional counseling in order to remain at the University; or
- Any combination of the foregoing that the majority of the hearing body or the University Judicial Officer may, under the circumstances, consider fair and appropriate.
(5) Misdemeanor – an offense against the University for which the student, upon a finding of responsible, shall be punished by:
- Suspension from the University for a period not to exceed two semesters; or
- Community service, not to exceed 15 hours per week and not to exceed a total of 11 weeks; or (c) Probation for a specified period, or for a period not to exceed one year; or
- A letter of reprimand; or
- Restitution for the loss, damage or injury; or
- Discretionary sanctions; or
- Counseling—The University can require the student to seek counseling from a professional counselor in order to remain at the University; or
- Mediation; or
- Any combination of the foregoing that the hearing body or judicial officer may, under the circumstances, consider fair and appropriate.
(6) Definition of student conduct terms – The following terms are defined as follows:
- Expulsion – a student shall be deprived of his/her opportunity to reenter the University. The student is permanently separated from the University.
- Dismissal – separation of the student from the University for a period not to exceed five years. Readmission is conditioned by the recommendation of an ad hoc review board appointed by the President or Vice President for Student Affairs.
- Suspension – separation of the student from the University for a definite period of time. The duration of the period of suspension shall not exceed three years and shall be in direct proportion to the degree of seriousness attached to the misconduct.
- Probation – an official warning that the student’s conduct violated the code of conduct of the University and requires the withdrawal of special privileges, participation in inter-collegiate activities, and others. The student may not be elected to office during the period of probation. If the student is holding an office, he/she must vacate the office for the term of probation. The penalty of probation may also include a specified monetary fine from $100.00 to $350.00.
- Reprimand – a formal rebuke and official recognition by letter to the student of misconduct as charged by the University.
- Community service – hours the student may be required to perform in specified areas of service.
- Restitution – Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may be in the form of monetary or material replacement.
- Discretionary sanctions – Work assignments, essays or other related discretionary assignments.
- Student - Any person matriculated to the University; any person who enrolls in any course or program in any school, college, institute or unit of Florida A&M University; or any person who has enrolled in any course or program at the University and continues to be associated with the University because he/she has not completed the course or program at the University. The term “student” will also refer to student clubs and organizations.
- University official – Any person employed by the University, performing administrative or professional responsibilities.
- Faculty member—Any person hired by the University to conduct classroom instruction and/or research activities or who is otherwise considered by the University to be a member of its faculty.
- University—The Florida A&M University whose main campus is located in Tallahassee, Florida and any of its satellite or branch campuses.
- University premises—All buildings, land, facilities, and any other property owned, leased, operated, controlled or supervised by the University.
- University sponsored activity—Any activity on or off campus which is initiated, aided, authorized or supervised by the University.
- Hearing body—Any person or persons who have been authorized by the University to determine whether a student has violated the Code and to recommend sanctions that may be imposed when a Code violation has been committed.
- Club and/or organization—Any number of students who have complied with the University requirements for recognition or registration. The term “club or organization” also will refer to student.
- Accused Student –The student accused of violating this Code.
- Complainant—Any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Code.
- The word, “Shall”, is used in the imperative sense.
- The word, “Will” is used in the imperative sense.
- The word, “May” is used in the permissive sense.
- Mediation—This is the actual mediation in which all parties involved in a dispute seek to reach a resolution with the aid of neutral mediators. Agreements reached are based on the interests of all parties so that everyone reaches a satisfactory compromise or settlement of the dispute.
- Judicial hold—This prevents the student from conducting any form of registration.
- Sanction—A penalty imposed upon a student after the student has admitted that he/she is responsible or has been determined responsible by the Judicial Officer or a hearing body for violating a provision(s) of the Code.
- Preponderance of Evidence—The term “preponderance of evidence” means that evidence considered as a whole indicates the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not .
- “Responsible”—The term “responsible” means that the Accused Student has been found responsible or accepted responsibility for violating a provision(s) of the Code.
- “Not responsible”—The term “not responsible” means that the Accused Student has not been found responsible or did not accept responsibility for the alleged violation(s) of a provision(s) of the Code.
- All code of conduct definitions not included in this Code are in accordance with definitions found in the most recent edition of Blacks Law Dictionary in effect at the time of the violation of the Code.
(7) A student convicted of a second misdemeanor while on probation shall be liable for punishment of a felony.
(8) The hearing body or judicial officer may recommend suspension of sanction(s) for a specified period of time where circumstances warrant. A probationary period must be imposed.
(9) The President of the University or the Vice President for Student Affairs may expel, dismiss or suspend any student when the student’s conduct is detrimental to the University and involves disruption of the University process or is dangerous to the health, safety and morals of the University community.
(10) Offenses Classified as Felonies and Their Definitions.
- The offense affray is defined as the fighting of two or more students in a public or private place, voluntarily or not, to the disturbance of others. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- The offense assault and battery is defined as the unlawful and intentional application of force to the person of another. This includes physically contacting another person without his/her consent and causing or intending to cause injury or imminent fear of injury. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- The offense assaulting a University official is defined as the unlawful attempt or offer to do bodily harm to an official of the University when the official is in the execution of his office. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- The offense disobeying a University official is defined as an intentional defiance of authority. The offense includes disobeying orders of the University official or the use of contemptuous words toward the University official. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- The offense breaking and entering is defined as the unlawful breaking into of a building or structure of another, with intent to commit an offense therein. The word building includes a room, classroom, office, store, or modular unit. A break includes any removal of any part of the building designed to prevent entry. Opening a closed door or window or other similar fixture, or cutting out the glass or the netting of a screen is defined as breaking. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- The student who knowingly, with the intent to deceive, falsifies records or gives misleading information, oral or written, is subject to charges of deliberate deception. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- The offense destruction of property is defined as willful and malicious defacement, damage or destruction of University property or the private property of another. It includes vandalizing, misusing or intentional losses of University or private property. In addition to being subject to disciplinary action, students or student organizations responsible for such damage may be financially liable. The value of the property referred to must be $100.00 or more. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- The offense hazing is defined as noted in FAMU Regulation 2.028. Penalty: See subsections (3) and (4) of said regulation.
- Stealing is defined as the intent to deprive or defraud the true owner of his/her property or to appropriate the same to the use of the taker or someone other than the true owner. It is taking from the possession of another or obtaining from a person value of any kind, appropriating the same to personal use or to the use of another person other than the true owner. The property alleged as being stolen must be of a value of $100.00 or more. Penalty: Probation up to dismissal.
- Lewd and Lascivious Behavior is defined as such behavior as indicated under Section 800.03, Florida Statutes. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- Use and/or possession of firearms, ammunitions, explosives, knives, firecrackers, fireworks or any other instrument as a weapon in a reckless manner is prohibited. Firecrackers or fireworks may be used only when approved by appropriate University officials.
- “Firearm” means any weapon (including a starter gun, BB gun, and) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun. The term “firearm” does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a riot; the inciting or encouraging of a riot; or the commission of any felony under this Rule.
- “Fireworks” means and includes any combustible or explosive composition or substance or combination of substances, or except as hereinafter provided, any article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation. The term includes blank cartridges and toy cannons in which explosives are used, the type of balloons which require fire underneath to propel them, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, incense, dago bombs, and any fireworks containing any explosives or flammable compound or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance. The term “fireworks” does not include sparklers; toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns.
- The term “sparkler” means a device which emits showers of sparks upon burning, does not contain any explosive compounds, does not detonate or explode, is hand-held or ground based, and cannot propel itself through the air. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- The opening and removing of the mail of another person without authority is a violation of Federal law. University penalties may also be imposed for such a violation. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- The student convicted of a felony by an off-campus court of competent jurisdiction may be subject to sanctions by the University. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- Violations of the terms of disciplinary action imposed as a result of previous disciplinary proceedings under the provision of this Code will subject the student to additional sanctions. Penalty: Probation up to dismissal.
- The offense conspiracy is defined as planning with one or more fellow students to commit an act or acts that violate(s) the University Code of Conduct. Penalty: Probation up to expulsion.
- Identification violations include:
- To fail to present identification when requested by a University Law Enforcement Officer or other university official who identifies him/herself. Penalty: Probation up to dismissal.
- To alter, illegally use or attempt to illegally use an identification card, library card, decal or other means of identification not issued to the student. Penalty: Probation up to dismissal.
- The student who knowingly, with intent to deceive, allows another to use his/her student identification card, decal or other means of identification. Penalty: Probation up to dismissal.
- Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person commits the offense of stalking. Penalty: Probation up to suspension.
- Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person, and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in fear of bodily injury or loss of life; or who fails to comply with an off-campus court order to cease and desist with any such conduct toward subject person or that person’s property commits the offense of aggravated stalking. Penalty: Suspension up to expulsion.
- Sexual Battery – The non-consensual oral, anal or vaginal penetration by, or union with the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration with an object by another; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose. Penalty: Suspension up to expulsion.
- “Victim” means a person who has been the object of a sexual battery.
- “Alleged Offender” means the person who has been accused of committing sexual battery.
- Unless expressly prohibited by law, the University is committed to affording the victim of a sexual assault the following rights:
- To not require the corroboration of the victim’s testimony.
- To prohibit the victim’s past sexual history from being admitted as testimony in university proceedings.
- To allow the victim to submit to the Hearing Body during the penalty phase a victim impact statement.
- To authorize the Vice President for Student Affairs or Associate Vice President for Student Affairs or Director of Housing to modify living arrangements in cases where the victim and alleged offender live in the same housing complex.
- To authorize the Vice President for Student Affairs or Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, or the University Judicial Official to issue an immediate administrative restraining order, forbidding the alleged offender from all contact with the victim.
- To authorize the University provost and/or the academic deans to establish an immediate reassignment of classes for the alleged offender when both alleged offender and victim attend the same classes.
- To provide on-campus counseling services to victims of sexual assault.
- To close the proceedings from the public as provided in all other disciplinary proceedings.
- Academic Honesty Violations:
- An academic honesty violation shall include a student who gives or takes information or material and wrongfully uses it to aid himself/herself or another student in academic endeavors.
- It shall further include receiving unauthorized written or oral information from a fellow student. Additionally, it shall include stealing, buying, selling, or referring to a copy of an examination before it is administered.
- In the instance of papers written outside of the class, academic honesty violations shall include plagiarism. Plagiarism may be specifically defined for the purposes of any course by the instructor involved. Unless otherwise defined, plagiarism shall include failure to use quotation marks or other conventional markings around material quoted from any source. Plagiarism shall also include paraphrasing a specific passage from a specific source without indicating accurately what that source is. Plagiarism shall further include letting another person compose or rewrite a written assignment.
- A student who assists in any of the academic honesty violations mentioned above shall be considered equally as responsible as the student who accepts such assistance.
- For procedural information regarding academic honesty violations, students should consult with the academic dean or director in the respective school or college.
- The penalties for academic honesty violations shall include: reprimand, reduction of grade; denial of academic credit; invalidation of university credit or of the degree based upon such credit; probation; suspension; dismissal; or expulsion. In addition to any other penalties that may be imposed, the individual or student may be denied admission or further registration, and the University may invalidate academic credit for work done by a student and may invalidate or revoke the degree based upon such credit if it is determined that the student has made false, fraudulent, or incomplete statements in the application, residence affidavit, or accompanying documents or statements in connection with, or supplemental to, the application for admission to or graduation from the University.
- Theft or other abuse of computer facilities and resources, including but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Use of another’s individual’s identification and/or password.
- Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages.
- Use of computing facilities or resources to interfere with normal operation of the University computing system.
- Penalties—Written reprimand up to suspension.
- Abuse of the Student Judicial System, including but not limited to:
- Failure to obey the notice from the University Judicial Officer to appear for a information briefing or hearing as part of the student judicial system.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a hearing body.
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a judicial hearing.
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the student judicial system.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a hearing body prior to, during, and/or after a judicial hearing.
- Harassment, verbal or physical, and/or intimidation of a member of the hearing body or a witness prior to, during, and/or after a judicial hearing.
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student judicial system.
- Penalties—Written reprimand up to suspension.
- Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot, or activity that disrupts or obstructs the normal operations of the University and/or infringes upon the rights of other members of the University community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area. Penalty: Probation up to Suspension.
- Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on University premises. Penalty: Written reprimand up to suspension.
- Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of illegal drugs and/or substances.
- The University has a Zero Tolerance Policy for the use, possession, manufacturing or distribution of illegal drugs and/or substances.
- Zero Tolerance means that the student may be removed form University housing, and up to suspension or expulsion from the University.
- Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, or public intoxication. Penalty: Probation up to dismissal.
- Harassment—Words, conduct or action of a repeated nature being directed at a male or female, that annoys, alarms or causes substantial emotional distress to the male or female. Penalty: Probation to Suspension.
- Extortion – The act or practice of obtaining something or compelling some action by force, coercion, intimidation or threat.
(11) Offenses Classified as Misdemeanors and Their Definition.
- The offense assault is defined as an unlawful offer or attempt to do bodily harm toward the person of another. Penalty: Letter of reprimand up to suspension.
- The student who gives or takes any information or material with the intention of wrongly using it to aid himself/herself or another student in academic endeavors shall be subject to the charge of cheating. This includes falsifying, tampering, altering, forging, or misusing any University record or official document or knowingly supplying false or misleading information to a University official. Penalty: Letter of reprimand up to suspension.
- The offense destruction of property is defined as willful and malicious defacement, damage or destruction of University property or the property of another. It includes vandalizing, misusing or intentional loss of University or private property. In addition to being subject to disciplinary action, students or student organizations responsible for such damage may be financially liable. The value of the property referred to must be less than $100.00. Penalty: Letter of reprimand up to suspension.
- The offense disorderly conduct encompasses the act or acts, disorders and neglect which affect the peace, harmony, and well being of the University community to the prejudice of good order and discipline. Disorderly conduct includes, but is not limited to the use of profanity in public, drunkenness in University buildings and grounds and the use of insulting or defamatory language. Penalty: Letter of reprimand up to suspension.
- The offense stealing is defined as the intent to deprive or defraud the true owner of his/her property or to appropriate the same to the use of the taker or someone other than the true owner. It is taking from the possession of another or obtaining from a person value of any kind, appropriating the same to personal use or to the use of another person other than the true owner.
- The property alleged as being stolen must be of a value of less than $100.00. Penalty: Letter of reprimand up to suspension.
- The possession of firearms, ammunitions, explosives, firecrackers or fireworks, or the possession of a knife or other discharges or weapons of whatever kind or character is in violation of the code of conduct. Penalty: Letter of reprimand up to suspension.
(12) The time limit for filing a charge against a student for violation of the Code should be filed within twenty days of the date the violation was committed or discovered, whichever is later. The University Judicial Officer may exercise professional discretion when applying the time limit for filing a charge against a student when there are circumstances that warrant a waiver of the twenty days from the date of discovery. Circumstances that may warrant a waiver include but are not limited to: stalking, sexual battery, or relationship violence, in which the delay may be related to issues of victimization. The written notice of the charge of violation to the accused student should proceed the actual hearing date or information briefing with the accused student by no less than three workdays, except in an emergency. A hearing shall normally be scheduled with ten workdays of the date of the notice of the charge of violation to the accused student, unless the accused student and the Judicial Officer or his/her designee agree in writing to a later hearing date or unless there are extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances that may warrant a delay of a hearing include, but not limited to: unavailability of witnesses, illnesses, death, pending civil or criminal proceedings which might prejudice University findings, an on-going related law enforcement investigation, and written requests for continuance from an attorney secured by the accused student or from university attorney.
(13) The University may summarily dismiss or expel any student or group of students, pending a hearing at a later date if requested, under the following circumstances:
- The continued presence of the student on campus is likely to create interference with the educational process and/or the orderly operation of the University; or
- The continued presence of the student on campus is likely to endanger the health, safety, welfare or property of the University community.
- The offense or conduct committed by the student is of such a serious, heinous or repulsive nature, as to adversely affect the University community and the student’s suitability as a member of the academic community.
(14) Violation of residence hall policies and procedures are punishable as misdemeanors.
Violation of the Visitation Policy as found in the Residence Life Handbook shall carry either an arrest for trespassing, suspension or probation and the removal from residing in University housing facilities.
(15) The President or Vice President for Student Affairs may summarily dismiss or expel any student, pending a hearing at a later date if requested, who is convicted of or pleaded guilty to a criminal offense of a kind which interferes with the educational orderly operation of the University, or a kind which, if the student were allowed to remain enrolled, would endanger the health, safety, or property of the members of the academic community.
(16) A student who fails to respond to an administrative request to appear shall be prohibited from attending classes and participating in extra-curricular activities until compliance with the administrative request to appear is effected.
(17) If a student charged with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, regardless of which judicial body may hear the matter, wishes to have the hearing postponed because there is pending or possible civil or criminal litigation which he/she feels might be prejudiced by the findings of the University hearing, such postponement may be granted provided the student requests it in writing and agrees to accept the imposition of probation, suspension or withdraws from the University voluntarily, depending upon the gravity of the offense. Such probation, suspension or withdrawal will be determined and activated by the University Judicial Officer with recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Action taken shall remain in force until such time as the student requesting a hearing appears before the appropriate hearing body and a hearing is held. The student shall be informed whether he/she would be placed on probation or would be suspended prior to his making a decision to postpone the hearing.
(18) Students are required to carry a Florida A&M University picture identification card at all times. Failure to do so, may subject them to a reasonable detention by appropriate University authorities.
(19) In addition to the right of University officials to enter a student’s room in University housing pursuant to the terms of the Housing and Board Agreement, officials may enter when an emergency exists, where there is reasonable cause to believe there is a clear and present danger or where there is a reasonable belief that contraband is present which interferes with the educational process of the University, or where the health, safety and morals of the University community are in imminent and apparent danger.
(20) In the event a student charged with an offense wishes to waive, in writing, his/her right to a hearing and/or an appeal of a hearing to the appropriate official or hearing body and the University Judicial Officer wishes to accept jurisdiction, the University Judicial Officer may make a determination of facts and, if the student is found responsible for the offense, make a recommendation of penalty. The student’s written waiver shall be obtained after being given an explanation of the charges against him/her and of his/her rights to a hearing and appeal under the Student Code of Conduct. The student shall have two (2) workdays from the date of signing the waiver to rescind, in writing, his/her waiver and request a hearing. In the absence of a rescission of waiver, the student shall be informed in writing of the decision of his/her case within ten (10) workdays from the date of the waiver.
(21) When a student is accused of a violation, which in the opinion of the University Judicial Officer, if proven, would not warrant a penalty in excess of probation, the University Judicial Officer may channel the case to the Student Government Association Supreme Court.
(22) In the event the offense charged is within the jurisdiction of more than one primary hearing body, the University Judicial Officer shall determine which primary hearing body shall hear the charge.
(23) Decisions of the Student Supreme Court pursuant to subsection (21) above, Residence Life informal hearing panels and administrative hearing panels are appealed to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. The final appeal within the University is to the President or Vice President for Student Affairs.
- The student has ten (10) workdays from the date of the written notification of the decision by the hearing body to make his/her appeal in writing and file same with the Office of the Dean of Students.
- The written appeal must specify reason(s) why consideration should be granted and should only deal with matters of record, procedure, testimony and/or evidence.
- No student’s final penalty shall begin to run until all University appeals are exhausted or denied, except as specified under (13) above.
(24) A tape/video recording or verbatim recording of each hearing will be made and preserved until the appeal process has been exhausted. Deliberations shall not be recorded. During the appeal period the accused, with or without the company of legal counsel, and/or advisor, and/or parent with the written authorization of the Accused Student will be granted permission to listen to the recorded testimony under arrangements as determined by the University Judicial Officer, with the express understanding that the record is to remain confidential to the extent provided by law. The student may, at his/her own expense, arrange for the making of a full transcript of the hearing by employment of a stenographer and/or videographer. Other than the above modes of recording the hearing, other mechanical, electronic devices for recording or broadcasting shall be excluded from the hearing. If the student chooses to appeal, the record shall be made available to the accused and the President or Vice President for Student Affairs or his designee. Refer to University Regulation 2.012 for additional information regarding disciplinary records.
(25) The President of the University or Vice President for Student Affairs reserves the right to appoint an ad hoc committee to hear matters regarding, but not specifically limited to, the subject matter of subsections (9), (13), and (15) above. The chairperson of the committee, who may be an academic dean or director, shall be appointed by the President or Vice President for Student Affairs.
- The student shall have five workdays from the date of the notice to request in writing an emergency hearing at which the student may show cause why his or her continued presence on the University campus is not a threat pursuant to Section (13) of the Student Code of Conduct.
- The emergency hearing shall be held within five workdays of receipt of the written request from the student for an emergency hearing. The emergency hearing shall not abrogate the right of the student to request in writing a regular (non-emergency) hearing on the merits of the case, i.e., whether the student committed the alleged offense or offenses under the Student Code of Conduct. The written request form the student for a regular (non-emergency) hearing on the merits of the case must also comply with the specified time period for requesting a regular (non-emergency) hearing as stated in the notice to the student.
(26) The hearing body, ad hoc committee or University Judicial Officer shall afford the accused student with due process as, provided by FAMU Regulation 2.013, and/or Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0105(5). The regulations or codes implementing the due process provisions as well as other matters referenced in said rules but not included herein shall be printed in the student handbook, the FANG, under the section entitled “Student Rights, Responsibilities and Code of Conduct.”
(27) Students who have a change of address after registration must file a change of address form at the Office of the University Registrar and/or via the Our FAMU. All notices, decisions and outcomes of judicial matters connected with the disciplinary process will be mailed to the student’s last known local address as filed with the Registrar’s Office and/or via Our FAMU. All notices, decisions and outcomes of judicial matters connected with the disciplinary process will be mailed to the student’s permanent home address when there is no local address furnished to the Office of the Registrar and/or via Our FAMU by the Accused Student. This method shall constitute proper notification to the Accused Student.
(28) Disciplinary hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the following guidelines:
- All hearings shall be closed to the public unless required by law.
- The Complainant, Accused Student and his/her advisor, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the hearing at which information is received, excluding deliberation.
- Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the University Judicial Officer or chairperson of the hearing body.
- In judicial hearings involving more than one Accused Student, the University Judicial
- Officer or the chairperson, in his or her discretion, may permit the hearing concerning each student to be conducted separately or jointly.
- The Complainant and the Accused Student have the right to be assisted by an advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisor may be an attorney. The Complainant and/or the Accused Student are responsible for presenting his or her own information and, therefore advisors are not permitted to speak or participate directly in any hearing before a judicial hearing body. A student should select an advisor whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time of the hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor. The student must provide, in writing, to the University Judicial Officer or the chairperson of the hearing body, the name, mailing or email address, and phone number of his/her advisor at least three workdays days prior to the hearing date.
- The Complainant and the Accused Student may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information to the hearing body. The University will try to arrange the attendance of possible witnesses who are members of the University community, if reasonably possible and who are identified by the Complainant and/or the Accused Student at least three workdays prior to the judicial hearing. Witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the hearing body and the Accused Student. No witness may be compelled to provide self-incriminating information.
- If the Accused Student fails to appear at the hearing after being properly notified, the hearing body may hear the case on the basis of evidence accumulated as a result of witnesses and shall notify the Accused Student of the decision. In the absence of the Accused Student, the plea of not responsible shall be entered on the student’s behalf by the chairperson of the hearing body.
- An Accused student may request only one postponement of a judicial hearing by contacting in writing the University Judicial Officer at least three workdays prior to the hearing.
- Postponement of the hearing shall be at the discretion of the University Judicial Officer or his/her designee.
- Witnesses shall not serve as advisors at any judicial hearing. At the time of the hearing, an automatic postponement shall be granted if the composition requirements of the hearing body are not met.
- If any member of the hearing body feels that he or she had previous contact with the case or with the students involved so that a fair judgment cannot be rendered, the member must request that he or she not serve for the hearing. The Accused Student may request that any member of the hearing body be excused whenever the student can show a bias on the part of the member. The chairperson of the hearing body will decide on such challenges and, if appropriate, ask the member to excuse him or herself. If the chairperson of the hearing body is challenged by the student, the hearing body will decide by a majority vote whether or not the chairperson should be requested to excuse him or herself, notwithstanding that the chairperson does not vote on whether the Accused Student is responsible or not responsible for violating the Code.
- An Accused student may be diverted from the disciplinary process or hearing if prior to or during the disciplinary process or hearing, it is determined by Associate Vice President for Student Affairs pursuant to Sections (6-13) of University Regulation 2.007, Voluntary and Involuntary Withdrawal, that the Accused student has a mental disorder and the objectionable behavior appears to be a result of the mental disorder.
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration at the discretion of the chairperson of the hearing body.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the hearing body.
- After the portion of the judicial hearing concludes in which all pertinent information has been received, the hearing body shall determine by a majority vote whether the Accused Student is responsible or not responsible for violating each section of the Code which the Accused Student is charged. The chairperson of the hearing body cannot vote.
- Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court proceedings, are not used in Student Code of Conduct hearings.
- The burden of proof in all judicial hearings shall be on the accuser. A “preponderance of evidence” shall constitute the burden of proof standard in all judicial hearings.
- The University Judicial Officer and/or the chairperson of the hearing body, under extraordinary circumstances, may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Complainant, Accused Student, and/or witnesses during the hearing by providing separate waiting rooms and/or by permitting participation, when feasible, by video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, or other means.
- The disciplinary hearing body is comprised of faculty members, staff members, administrators and students. The composition is variable from 3 to 5 persons, depending upon the nature of the violation. At least one of the members must be a student.
- The above guidelines for conducting a judicial hearing are not exhaustive. Therefore, the University Judicial Officer may adopt additional guidelines for the conduct of judicial hearings that are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Code. Such procedural guidelines must be approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee and must be in writing and made available to the Accused Student and all witnesses at least three workdays prior to the hearing.
(29) Victim Rights- Victim is defined as the person harmed by a violation of the Code by the Accused Student. Victims of violations of the Code have the following rights in accordance with all federal and state laws:
- To have an advisor of the alleged victim’s choice accompany him/her when presenting information to the hearing body and to any other relevant meetings held throughout the disciplinary process.
- To submit a victim impact statement to the hearing body. This information may be used only in the sanctioning phase of deliberations, if the Accused Student is found responsible for the violations/charges. If the Accused Student appeals the decision on the basis of severity of the sanction imposed, he/she will have the right to view the victim’s impact statement upon written request.
- To have unrelated past behavior excluded from the hearing. The University Judicial Officer or chairperson of the hearing body will decide if such information is unrelated.
- To submit questions to the Judicial Office at lease three workdays prior to the hearing. The University Judicial Officer will decide whether the questions are relevant and should be presented at the hearing.
- To be present throughout the hearings, or portions thereof, at the discretion of the University Judicial Officer.
- To have personal property returned to them if in the current possession of the University. The determination of when this property may be returned is left to the University Judicial Officer and/or University Department of Law Enforcement.
- To be notified of the outcome, including both the decisions and the sanctions of the disciplinary process.
- For victims of sexual battery, refer to additional rights noted under Section (10) r above.
(30) Unless specifically stated otherwise herein, the provisions of this Code should be read and interpreted broadly, and are not intended to define misconduct in exhaustive terms.
Specific Authority 1001.74(4) FS. Law Implemented 1001.74(10)(e), 1006.60, 1006.61, 1006.62, 1006.63 FS. History–New 10-1-75,Repromulgated 3-8-76, Amended 8-6-78, 12-22-83, Formerly 6C3-2.12, Amended 9-14-87, 1-26-04, Amended June 29, 2006.
Cf. BOR University Rule 6C3-2.028, F.A.C., on anti-hazing