Disciplinary Appeals Policy and Procedure
Responsible University Officer:
Disciplinary Appeals Policy and Procedure
Bethel has adopted the following appeal procedures to ensure that a fair process for review is available to any student facing the imposition of a disciplinary response to the student’s conduct. When a disciplinary response is made, the student is informed, verbally or in writing, of the nature of the conduct that constitutes the violation in question, the disciplinary response that will be made, and the student’s right to appeal that response to the appropriate Student Life personnel. Appeals will be considered on one or more of the following grounds:
New information or evidence, not available or not previously considered in the disciplinary process, suggests that the student did not commit the acts in question.
The disciplinary response taken by the Office of Student Life is disproportionate to the behavioral violation as stated in Bethel’s disciplinary policies.
Disciplinary procedures were not followed as outlined in the written disciplinary policy.
The level at which a disciplinary response is initially made will determine the Student Life staff member to whom the appeal is addressed. Appeals will be addressed to the supervisor of the individual making the disciplinary response (e.g., disciplinary responses made by a residence director will be directed to the associate dean of residence life; responses made by one of the deans of students will be appealed to the vice president for student life).
If a student chooses to appeal a disciplinary response, the student must submit, in writing before 4:30 p.m. on the business day following notification of the university’s disciplinary response, a letter to the appropriate Student Life staff member stating: (1) the student’s desire to appeal the decision; (2) specific objections to the previous decision; and (3) any material relevant to the objections (see the three grounds for appeal listed above). The Student Life staff member to whom the appeal is addressed will respond to the student’s appeal within two business days. The staff member may request a meeting with the student to gather additional information, or may meet with the staff member that made the initial decision, or may make an appeal decision based solely on the merits of the appeal as presented in the student’s letter.
The vice president for student life is the final authority for all Student Life disciplinary appeals, with the exception of dismissal or expulsion from the university, which may be appealed to the university provost. In order to appeal a dismissal or expulsion for disciplinary purposes from the university, a student must submit, in writing before 4:30 p.m. on the business day following notification of the dismissal decision, a letter to the university provost stating: (1) the student’s desire to appeal the decision; (2) specific objections to the previous decision; and (3) any material relevant to the objections (see the three grounds for appeal listed above). The vice president for student life shall transmit to the university provost the record of the case maintained by the Office of Student Life, as well as other materials deemed relevant to the appeal. The university provost shall decide the appeal on the basis of the written materials submitted by the student and the record submitted by the Office of Student Life and shall notify the student involved and the vice president for student life of the decision in writing within a reasonable time after receipt of the record of the case. The decision of the university provost is final and not subject to further appeal.
Pending final appeal decisions, the student may continue to attend classes and reside in on-campus housing, unless one of the deans of students determines that to do so, would be detrimental to the health or safety of members of the Bethel community.
Three or more faculty members volunteer to serve each year as student advocates. In that role they make themselves available to students involved in disciplinary processes. As student advocates, they help students understand the options available and the appeals process. They may help students prepare for a hearing and offer guidance and support. The student life staff encourages students who are in the midst of an appeals process to access the assistance of the faculty student advocates. While an appeal is in process, the Student Life staff is limited in the amount of communication and support they can offer to the student who is appealing a decision of their office. Information about faculty student advocates is available from the Office of Student Life.