Office of Student Affairs
P.O. Box 5
Hampden Sydney, VA 23943
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V. The Judicial Process
- Investigations: The President of Student Government shall determine whether there is sufficient evidence of a violation of the Honor Code to warrant investigation. If so, he shall appoint, from among the court officers described in Paragraph IV.C., a student to complete the investigation and to present the case to the Student Court. The Chairman of the Student Court and the Dean of Students shall determine whether there is sufficient evidence of a violation of the Code of Student Conduct to warrant investigation. If so, the Chairman of the Student Court shall designate a student to complete the investigation and to present the case to the Student Court.
- Searches: When the Dean of Students, or other appropriate member of the College administration, has reason to believe that an Honor Code violation has occurred, or that a violation of the Code of Student Conduct has occurred or is continuing (which violation, if proved, would be serious enough to warrant disciplinary probation or suspension), and if he believes further that a search of a suspect's person, property, or quarters would aid the investigation, then such College official may authorize the President of the Student Government or other investigator to search the suspect's person, property, and quarters. Should a student investigator determine that such search can only be made with the use of force, he shall report this fact to the officer who authorized the search, who may enlist the aid of campus security officers. The Dean or other authorizing officer shall document the giving of such authority and the basis therefore at the first available opportunity.
- Fines: Fines assessed to students by the Student Justice System for Code of Conduct violations are to be paid by the student to Hampden-Sydney College in the Dean of Students Office within thirty days of notification. Failure to make payments in full within that thirty day period will result in contempt of the Student Justice System charges and the referral of the fine to the student's account in the Business Office.
B. Presentation and Defense of Cases
The designee of the President of Student Government shall present cases heard by the Student Court. An accused shall have the right to select a student advisor from the court officer group described in Paragraph IV.C. above to assist him in his defense. If he prefers, an accused may be represented by a student (with no prior legal training) who is not a designated member of said group.
C. Summary Disposition
Reported violations of the Code of Student Conduct which are not deemed by the Chairman of the Court and the Dean of Students to be serious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion may be dealt with by the Chairman and the Dean, acting for the Student Court as a summary tribunal. The Chairman and Dean may also determine that the evidence of a violation of such Code lacks merit or is insufficient to warrant prosecution. At the next meeting of the Court the Chairman shall give a report to the Court, in appropriate detail, of any matters which have been disposed of by summary process or which have been determined to be unsuitable for prosecution.
D. Notice of Charges and Trials
When the President of Student Government, in an Honor Code matter, or the Chairman of the Student Court and Dean of Students, in a Code of Student conduct matter, has or have determined that there is sufficient evidence of a violation of such Codes to warrant prosecution, the President or Chairman, as appropriate, shall prepare written charges. The accused student shall be immediately notified in writing of the specific charges against him and of the time and place set by the Student Court for the trial thereon. Such notice shall be delivered to the student at least twenty-four hours before the hearing. For good cause shown, e.g., the complexity of the issues, the unavailability of witnesses, illness, etc., the Chairman, at his discretion, may grant the accused's request for a greater notification period or for a reasonable postponement of a scheduled trial.
- General: When the President of the Student Government has determined that there is sufficient evidence of a violation of the Honor Code or when the Chairman of the Student Court and the Dean of Students have determined that there is sufficient evidence of a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and that such violation involves complex facts and circumstances or that such violation if proven might reasonably warrant suspension or expulsion, a trial will be conducted by the Student Court. Trials need not be held in strict compliance with legal rules of evidence but rather should be conducted based on general principles of fairness and reasonableness. Lawyers may not participate in trials before the Student Court or in appellate proceedings.
- Quorum: At least seven members of the Court must be present at the conduct of a trial unless the trial is held before the freshman class has elected its Court representatives, in which case five members shall constitute a quorum.
- Evidentiary Standard and Prior Acts: A preponderance of the evidence is the standard on which the Court's convictions shall be based. Information regarding acts of prior misconduct shall not be received as evidence of guilt but may be considered by the Court in determining the punishment to be assessed.
- Witnesses: An accused student shall have the right to cross-examine any witness who testifies at a trial. If a report of, or information about, an offense is provided to the Chairman by an individual who fails or refuses to testify at the trial, then such information will not be communicated to the full Court or received or considered as evidence at the trial.
- Presentation of the Defense: The accused shall be given ample opportunity to testify and/or to offer the sworn oral or written testimony of other(s) on his behalf. It is for the Court to determine the probative value of written statements offered by the accused from affiants who were not subject to cross-examination at the trial. Should the accused make no offer to refute the charges against him, the Court may draw from such circumstance any inference it deems appropriate.
- Recordation: On its own motion, or at the request of the accused, the Court may cause a trial (but not the Court's deliberations) to be taped or otherwise recorded.
- Required Vote for Conviction, Punishment: Of the Court members sitting in a particular case, a minimum of all but one must vote in favor for there to be a conviction. The punishment shall be determined by simple majority vote.
- Decision: The Chairman of the Student Court, in each case where an accused student has been convicted, shall reduce its decision to writing, which writing shall include a clear recitation of the Court's verdict, the findings on which the verdict was based, the punishment assessed, and the rationale therefore. This trial summary statement shall be available to appellants upon their request.
- Confidentiality: All trials by the Student Court shall be confidential and all persons attending the proceedings shall be obligated not to disclose any of the evidence or the findings except as hereinafter provided. Only persons summoned to participate or who otherwise are permitted to be present by the Student Court may attend the trial. A breach of this confidentiality requirement shall be punishable under the contempt provision of the Code of Student Conduct, Paragraph III. A.(xx) above.
- Reports of Results: If a student is found guilty, a notice of such finding, which does not include the name of the convicted student, shall be posted on the Student Government Bulletin Board and published in the Tiger, the student newspaper.
- Trials of Graduates, Spring Semester Seniors: Where an alleged Honor Code violation, or a Code of Student Conduct violation which, if proved, would be serious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion, is not discovered and prosecuted until after a student graduates from the College, such prosecution will be conducted with the former student being invited to defend himself (or tried in absentia if he elects not to appear). Any decision rendered against such former student shall be entered in his student record. When a Spring Semester Senior is accused of such a violation at or near the end of the semester and there is insufficient time before commencement for the conduct of the investigation and trial, the accused, if otherwise eligible for graduation, will be allowed to participate in commencement activities and the graduation ceremony, however, an actual diploma will not be awarded unless the Student Court proceeding shall have been resolved in favor of the student. Such proceeding shall be conducted as soon after commencement as it is practicable to do so. Graduating Student Court members shall retain their seats on the Court for the purpose of hearing such cases.
- End of Semester Offenses: When an alleged violation of either code, which, if proved, would be serious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion, is not discovered until at or after the end of the semester, every effort will be made by the President of the Student Government and the Student Court, respectively, to investigate and try the matter immediately, as appropriate, regardless of whether school may, or may not, be in session. Graduating Court members and other involved individuals shall retain their roles in the proceedings for the purpose of dealing with such cases fairly and expeditiously. In the event that a trial cannot take place until the beginning of the following semester, the Student Body President will, at minimum:
(1) determine if the evidence warrants prosecution;
(2) certify the charges to the Court and notify the accused;
(3) assign an Investigator to develop the case over the Semester Break.
These actions will be taken before the Student Body President leaves for the Semester Break. The Court will make every effort to try the case before, or soon after, the day of matriculation for the semester following the offense.
F. Administrative Review
In any Code of Student Conduct case where the Student Court has ordered the expulsion or suspension of a student, such punishment shall not become effective without the concurrence of the Dean of Students acting for the President of the College. If the Dean does not concur with the punishment which has been ordered, he may remand the matter to the Student Court with instructions that the Court assess a lesser punishment or, as an alternative, the Dean may enter a final order in the matter.
A convicted student whose punishment is suspension or expulsion may appeal his conviction to the Appeals Committee as a matter of right. In cases involving less severe punishment, the Appeals Committee, at its discretion, may elect to entertain an appeal and in such instances it shall be the final appellate authority. In suspension or expulsion cases, the convicted student may appeal an unfavorable decision of the Appeals Committee to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. Notice of appeal must be given in writing within forty-eight hours after the pronouncement of a Student Court or Appeals Committee decision. Notice of appeal to the Appeals Committee shall be given to the Dean of the Faculty. Notice of appeal to the Trustees shall be given to the Office of the President of the College. Following proper notice, the appellant may submit supplementary documentation or written rationale for the appeal. This additional material must be submitted to the appropriate Office (Dean of the Faculty or the President) within one week (five working days) of the decision by the Student Court or the Appeals Committee. In extenuating circumstances, this time period may be extended by the Dean of the Faculty. Neither of the two appellate bodies will hear evidence or act as trial courts. They will confine their consideration of the appeal to a review of the record of the earlier proceedings. The appellate body, at its discretion, may request, and allot specified amounts of time for, oral arguments by the convicted student or his student advisor and by the student who acted as presenter in the Student Court. The appellate body may take any one of the following actions:
(a) affirm the Student Court decision in whole or in part;
(b) send the case back to the Student Court for retrial of one or more of the issues presented;
(c) affirm the determination of guilt but reduce the penalty;
(d) reverse the finding of the Student Court and dismiss the charges.
The only grounds on which either appellate committee may reverse or modify a Student Court decision are that:
(a) the accused was not afforded the due process protection provided for herein;
(b) the penalty imposed was too harsh for the offense;
(c) there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict.
A simple majority vote of the members in attendance at an appellate body hearing (where a quorum is present) shall be required for the reversal of a Student Court decision. Tie votes will constitute affirmation of the decision of the tribunal from which the case was appealed.
H. Appeals Committee
The membership of the Appeals Committee is as follows:
Three faculty members, who shall be appointed for staggered three-year terms by the President of the College with one of said faculty members being designated by the President as Chairman of the Committee. One additional faculty member shall be appointed by the President of the College to serve a one-year term as an alternate. Appointments for the succeeding academic year (July 1-June 30) shall be made before the end of the second semester.
Two students, who shall be members of the Junior or Senior class and who shall be appointed for a one-year term by the President of Student Government. One additional student shall be appointed for a one-year term as an alternate by the President of Student Government. Appointments for the succeeding academic year (July 1-June 30) shall be made before the end of the second semester. Neither the President of Student Government nor the Chairman of the Inter-fraternity Council, the Chairman of the Student Court, the Chairman of the Student Senate, nor any member of the Student Court may be a member of the Committee.
Three faculty and two student members shall constitute a quorum. A majority of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees shall constitute a quorum.
I. Annual Code Reviews
To enable the College to respond to changing conditions and to ensure continued student support of the Student Justice System, new Student Government leaders and College Administration should review, on an annual basis, the codes and other material set forth herein and make such recommendations as they deem appropriate.
The Student Court or the Executive Committee of the Faculty may propose amendments to this document and to the codes contained herein, provided that, except as hereinafter provided, no amendment shall become effective until the same shall have been approved by both of said bodies and by the Board of Trustees of the College. Any amendment deemed by them to be of a minor nature may be effectuated upon the concurrence of the Chairman of the Student Court, the Executive Committee of the Faculty, and the Dean of Students. The Student Court Chairman, when he deems an amendment to be of a major nature, may, at his discretion, condition his approval upon the favorable outcome of a student body referendum. Any amendment hereto which would have the effect of modifying the Student Government Constitution must be adopted in accordance with Article VII of that Constitution.
Appendix A: Stealing
Appendix B: Plagiarism
Appendix C: Substance Abuse
Appendix D: Sexual Misconduct
Appendix E: Firearms
Appendix F: Bad Checks
Appendix G: Housing Regulations
Appendix H: Motor Vehicle and Bicycle Regulations
Appendix I: The Commons and Tiger Inn
Appendix J: Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources
Appendix K: Digital Copyright Infringement Policy
Appendix L: College Alcohol Policy
Appendix M: Implementation of the College Alcohol Policy
Appendix N: Posting Notices, Unauthorized Removal or Destruction of Signs
Appendix O: The Use of Personal Vehicles for College Business
Appendix P: Harassment and Discrimination Policy (Including Sexual Harassment)