When can I appeal a decision?
If the hearing officer or Student Conduct Committee determines that you are responsible for the following violations of the Student Code of Conduct (suspension, dismissal, denial of housing/network access), you may appeal. If you are the complainant in a gender-based violence case, you may also file an appeal. You must follow the information provided below to appeal. Appeals may only be filed in the event of:
- Denial of due process refers to procedural guarantees(see The University Student Conduct System for more information) afforded to students and organizations who are referred to a formal hearing.
- Significant and relevant new evidence is information which was not available to you prior to or during the formal hearing. This is not information you chose not to share or obtain prior to the hearing.
- Unduly harsh or arbitrary sanctions are not sanctions you disagree with, but sanctions that are not consistent with your conduct or case precedent.
- An appeal cannot be filed simply because you are unhappy with the decision.
- An appeal is not a rehearing. It is a written review of your formal hearing. Appellate decisions are the final decisions of the university.
Since appeals are a written review, it is important that you spend significant time addressing your grounds for appeal, and refrain from addressing subject matter not relevant to your case or the decision rendered. Appellate officers will review your grounds for appeal, case information, recordings of the formal hearing, any previous sanctions, and a written sanctioning rationale from the hearing officer or student conduct committee chair.
Each question on the appeal form must be answered for your appeal to be complete. If you need additional room, additional sheets can be attached. The specific reason for the appeal and a detailed explanation should be included in the appeal. The written request for an appeal must be received by the end of the seventh day following written notification of the original formal hearing. Appeals must be filed within seven (7) business days from notification. The appeal period begins once the hearing officer discloses the decision; that day is considered the first day of the appeal period.
Students who wish to file an appeal may meet with someone in Student Conduct to review the appeals process and to obtain the appeal paperwork prior to the appeal deadline. If you know you are going to appeal the decision following the formal hearing, feel free to ask your hearing officer for appeal paperwork before leaving your hearing. If you would like to meet with some to review the appeals process contact Student Conduct. This appointment is not your appeal review, it's simply an information meeting.
Appeals will be reviewed by the senior associate vice president for student affairs (or designee). The appellate officer may uphold, reduce, increase, or dismiss sanctions issued by hearing officers/committees. Appellate officers may review the appeal request and make a decision, request that the original hearing body re-hear the case, or ask that a new hearing be scheduled. The appellate officer's decision is final. All actions on appeals will be communicated in writing to the referred student or student organization and those hearing officers or Student Conduct Committee members responsible for the original decision.
There is no definitive timeline for receiving an appeal response. It depends on the complexity of the case and the information mentioned in the appeal, as well as the appellate officer's case load at that particular time.
It is imperative that the appeal be written by the student, and not a parent or attorney. The appellate officer is most interested in reviewing the student’s thoughts regarding the decision made and why they feel the outcome should be changed. Feel free to seek the assistance of parents, advisors, friends, or faculty members in organizing your thoughts.