Students are expected to conduct themselves ethically, honestly, and with integrity as responsible members of the University's academic community. This requires the demonstration of mutual respect and civility in academic and professional discourse.
By virtue of membership in the University's academic community, students accept an obligation to abide by the Student Code of Conduct. West students are expected to uphold the image and reputation of the University. Behavior, either on or off campus, that is determined to impair, interfere, or obstruct the opportunities of others to learn or that disrupts the mission, processes, or orderly functions of the University will be deemed misconduct and shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Misconduct, for which students are subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following academic and non-academic violations:
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4. An alleged violation of West's Code of Conduct that relates to sex discrimination/harassment shall be forwarded to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Christopher Davis or designee:
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1. Allegations will be investigated in a prompt and reasonable manner.
2. Relevant evidence may include, but not be limited to, pertinent documents and statements from witnesses. Title IX investigations will be conducted within sixty (60) days barring any unusual complexity.
3. While an alleged violation is under investigation, a student may be removed from class, campus-sanctioned events, and other University functions.
1. A student who is charged with a violation of West's Code of Conduct will be notified of the specific charge(s) in writing by a Charging Letter sent via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, or comparable means, and given ten (10) business days to submit a written response to the designated University official.
2. Failure of a student to respond to the Charging Letter will result in suspension from the University following completion of the current course if the student is then actively attending classes and is not subject to immediate suspension.
3. In those instances where the University determines the conduct does not warrant a Charging Letter, it may choose to issue a Warning Letter and/or provide counseling to the student. NOTE: A Warning Letter is not appealable.
4. In Title IX cases, the complainant(s) shall be notified of the conduct procedures and notified of when and if a Charging Letter or warning is sent to the respondent(s).
1. A student response acknowledging guilt will be sent to the Associate Registrar or designee, who will determine the appropriate sanctions.
2. In Title IX cases, a student response acknowledging guilt will follow the Title IX committee process outlined below.
3. A student response denying the charge(s) will follow the committee process outlined below.
1. In cases not involving allegations of sex discrimination/harassment, the University Academic Council Review Committee (UACRC) will convene to review the file and make findings and recommendations to the Associate Registrar, or designee, who has the ultimate authority to accept, reject, or modify the recommendations and render a decision. The decision shall be sent via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, or comparable means.
2. The UACRC shall use the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof (more likely than not) to weigh the evidence and make a recommendation to the Associate Registrar, or designee about whether a violation occurred and what sanction, if any, is warranted.
3. In cases involving sex discrimination/harassment, the Title IX committee, who will be comprised of at least three impartial individuals who have no prior involvement with the parties or the investigation, will convene to review the file and make a determination. Opposing parties will be afforded the opportunity to speak at the committee which will be facilitated by an impartial administrator from the university and present written witness statements for inclusion in the Title IX Case Packet. Students are entitled to have third parties present during the committee process.
4. The Title IX Committee shall use the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof (more likely than not) to weigh the evidence and make a recommendation to the Title IX coordinator or designee about whether a violation occurred and what sanction, if any, is warranted.
5. In accordance with the requirements under the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), upon written request, West will disclose to an alleged victim of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense the results of any disciplinary hearing conducted by the Institution against the student who is the alleged perpetrator of the crime or offense.
6. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the alleged crime or offense, West will provide the results of the disciplinary hearing to the victim's next of kin, if so requested.
7. In accordance with the requirements under the HEOA, in cases of an alleged sex offense, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the committee determination involving an alleged sex offense, including any sanction that is imposed.
1. If a violation is found, disciplinary sanctions shall be based on the seriousness of the situation and may include, but are not limited to, documented counseling by a University staff member, loss of academic credit, action plan (must be approved by the Office of Dispute Management), suspension, and/or expulsion. Students are responsible to pay for courses interrupted by the Conduct Review Process if the investigation results in a sanction.
2. A recommendation of expulsion by the decision maker shall be reviewed by the West Executive Review Committee and the Office of Dispute Management before that sanction is communicated to the student.
1. In those instances where students are found to be in violation of West's Code of Conduct, they may appeal the decision to the Executive Review Committee (ERC) within ten (10) days of receiving the notice. The ERC is comprised of the Provost, the Vice President of Operations, and the Registrar (or their respective designees).
2. In Title IX cases, opposing parties shall be afforded the opportunity to appeal within ten (10) days of receiving notice of the outcome; if an appeal is filed, each party shall receive notice of the other party’s appeal.
3. The decision of the ERC is final and shall be communicated directly to the student and the campus, except in the case of a decision by the ERC supporting a campus recommendation of expulsion. If the sanction against the student is expulsion, the review of the appeal shall be conducted by the University President. The decision of the University President is final and will be communicated directly to the student and administration.
4. In Title IX cases, opposing parties will be notified of the ERC decision.