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Incidents of alleged violations of the Code of Conduct should be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students. Any member of the University community may file a written report concerning alleged violations of the Code of Conduct. A written report should be prepared and directed to the Dean of Students or designee. Any report should be submitted, either in paper or electronically, as soon as possible after the alleged event takes place. Reports should contain as much information as possible about the incident, including date, time, location, description of events and a list of individuals involved. Reports may also be made in person at the Office of the Dean of Students. Any delay in reporting may result in lost evidence or an inability to investigate the report.
The University considers the reporting and adjudication of Code of Conduct violations to be extremely important. While the University considers the expectations outlined in the Code of Conduct as a minimum standard of behavior, the University may extend limited immunity to students reporting incidents and/or assisting the parties from sanctioning for some University policy violations.
 Incidents of alleged violations of The Sex and Gender Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Title IX Sexual Harassment and Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Grievance Procedures should be reported in accordance with the requirements of that policy.
Incidents of alleged violations of other University policies that may result in a proceeding under the Honor Code or Code of Conduct should be reported in accordance with the requirements of those policies or to the Office of the Dean of Students.
After receiving a report, a preliminary review will be conducted by the Dean of Students or designee, to understand the circumstances of the incident and to determine if the alleged behavior may violate any policies detailed in the Code of Conduct. Reports describing alleged behavior which does not violate any policy(s) may result in no action being taken. Likewise, lack of sufficient information in a report may result in no action being taken.
Before an investigation or meeting proceedings are initiated, the Dean of Students or designee, may take preliminary action. These actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Initiate any necessary and appropriate interim actions.
- Review the history of the student(s) involved, the context of the incident(s) and the nature of the complaint, any potential patterns, and identify any witnesses.
- If a member of the university community is reluctant to file a report, it will be determined whether the matter should still be pursued and whether there is sufficient information to warrant further investigation even without the participation of the person who reported the concern.
- The student(s) involved may be notified if the University intends to pursue the report, as well as the student’s rights in the process, including any options to become involved as the investigation continues.
- Meet with any reporting parties or witnesses to determine whether there is sufficient information to warrant further investigation.
If the Dean of Students or designee is unable to determine whether the report should be further pursued following the completion of the initial review an investigator, assigned by the Dean of Students or designee, may conduct an investigation.
An investigation may be conducted to determine if the facts alleged would constitute a violation and to determine what specific policy violations should serve as the basis for the complaint. Investigations are not required in cases where the Dean of Students or designee or a Conduct Officer determines, in the Initial Review, there are allegations which should move to resolution.
The assigned Investigator(s) will conduct an investigation. A notice of investigation will be provided to the student(s) under investigation. The investigation may include an interview of the student(s) accused of committing a violation and any relevant witnesses. The investigator will summarize the investigation. The report may identify what happened, what policies are at issue, other individuals involved, documents or other information relevant to determining at the meeting whether a violation of the policy occurred. Based on the investigative report, the Dean of Students or designee will determine if charges are issued against a student.
When a report has been filed and has not been dismissed following the initial review or investigation, the student will receive written notification (sent via electronic mail to WFU student address) of the allegations from the Office of the Dean of Students. That notification will typically include the date of the report, the alleged conduct regulation violation(s), the assigned Conduct Officer, and an electronic link to the Code of Conduct.
Accommodations are designed to provide meaningful access to investigation and resolution processes for students with disabilities. A student requesting accommodations must do so in advance with enough time to allow the request to be reviewed and appropriate accommodations to be implemented. It is the responsibility of the student to make a timely request; the Office of the Dean of Students may not be able to provide accommodations without reasonable advance notice for evaluation and implementation.
Qualified students may request accommodations for recognized disabilities through the Learning Assistance Center – Disability Services, Student Health Service, or the University Counseling Center. Those offices will consult with the Office of the Dean of Students to determine which accommodations, if any, are appropriate. It is the responsibility of the requesting student to provide needed documentation to the Learning Assistance Center, Counseling, or Student Health. The student must concurrently notify the Office of the Dean of Students of the accommodation request and identify the office where the request is being made.
Accommodations and requests for accommodations cannot be applied or requested retroactively.
Upon either the conclusion of the investigation or upon the conclusion of the initial review, the process moves along a pathway to resolution. The process may be resolved either through an Informal Resolution or Formal Resolution meeting. The Dean of Students, or designee, will determine which method for resolution is appropriate and assign a Conduct Officer to the case. When possible, cases are resolved through an Informal Resolution meeting. Factors considered in determining whether a Formal Resolution is appropriate include the severity and/or complexity of the incident, possible outcomes, and the student’s prior conduct record.
For an Informal Resolution meeting, the student will be required to make an appointment with the assigned Conduct Officer. The student is responsible for arranging this requested meeting within the parameters stated in the notification. The student may also receive a brief summary of the alleged behavior. If the student fails to arrange the required meeting, a hold may be placed on the student’s record. Meetings may take place in person or electronically, at the decision of the Conduct Officer.
For a Formal Resolution, the student(s) will be notified of the designated meeting date, time, and location. Meetings may take place in person or electronically, at the decision of the Conduct Officer.
Board of Student Conduct Investigators and Advisors (SCA BIA) provides students charged with a violation with a SCA BIA member to guide the student through their assigned process. SCA BIA members do not represent students in either a Formal Resolution or Informal Resolution. Instead, they meet with students to explain the process, the charges assigned to the student, possible outcomes, and they answer any additional questions the student may have. For both Informal Resolution meetings and Formal Resolution meetings, the SCA BIA member will attend the meeting or the hearing at the discretion of the student. At times when SCA BIA members are not available, the Dean of Students or designee may work with students to secure an appropriate representationalternative to support/guide the student through the process. Alternative advisors are usually Wake Forest University faculty or staff who have experience with student conduct. External advisors, including parents or attorneys, are not permitted.. The SCA BIA member is the only person a student may have present in the meeting, unless otherwise permitted in these procedures.
Students scheduled for a Formal Resolution will be assigned an advisor from the SCA
BIA. Students scheduled for an Informal Resolution meeting may request an advisor from the SCA. BIA.
If the Dean of Students or designee determines the case may be resolved through an Informal Resolution, the assigned Conduct Officer and the Student will meet to discuss the details of the incident. The Student may review the case record in advance of the Informal Resolution or may review the report at the beginning of the meeting. If requested by the student, a SCA
BIA member may be assigned and attend the Informal Resolution meeting. An Informal Resolution meeting is considered resolved only when the following criteria are met:
- the assigned Conduct Officer and the student agree Informal Resolution is a reasonable option given the circumstances;
- the Conduct Officer and the student agree to the findings (including Responsible or Not Responsible) for the alleged violation(s), and;
- if it is agreed the Student is responsible for the alleged violation, the Student must agree with the outcomes resulting from the violation(s).
Cases that cannot be resolved using these criteria will be referred for a Formal Resolution meeting.
If a resolution is reached through an Informal Resolution, the Conduct Officer will complete a written or electronic copy of the decision, which the Student will have the opportunity to review. The Student will sign the decision, indicating acceptance of the findings and outcomes. Through this signed acceptance, the student acknowledges there will be no further review or appeal of the findings and outcomes. If the Student declines to sign the decision, the case will be unresolved and referred for a Formal Resolution.
- The student(s) will be given notice regarding the alleged violation(s), the designated meeting date, time, and location, witnesses being called by the University, and any other information (e.g., security video, access records) being presented.
- The Conduct Officer will determine if the Formal Resolution meeting will be conducted in front of a Meeting Panel or if the Conduct Officer is going to proceed without a panel. Meeting Panelists will be drawn from a pool of trained faculty, staff, and students. Retirees and former panelists may also serve on panels.
- Reasons that a Conduct Officer might determine a panel is or is not necessary:
- Complexity of the case or incident(s)
- Previous interactions with the student(s)
- Severity of the incident(s) or possible outcome(s), which may include separation from the University
- For cases including a charge of disruption and/or harassment, a panel is required.
- Reasons that a Conduct Officer might determine a panel is or is not necessary:
- The student will be assigned an advisor from the Student Conduct Advisors. The advisor will contact the student to schedule a time to review the record, charges, and procedures.
- If the student(s) identifies witnesses, they must provide a list of witnesses to the Office of the Dean of Students in advance of the meeting. Only witnesses who can provide relevant observations of the alleged behavior(s) will be allowed. Character witnesses may not present testimony, because Wake Forest students are already presumed to be of high character.
- If a student’s or University’s witness cannot attend the meeting, remote participation may be permitted or a written or video statement may be presented.
- All meetings will be
audiorecorded by the Office of the Dean of Students and the recording will be included in the case record. Recording by students or others is not permitted. Recesses and deliberations are not recorded. Recordings are provided only to the Judicial Council upon appeal and law enforcement agencies if subpoenaed.
- Meetings are private. Only the accused student, meeting panelists, Conduct Officer, witnesses, and assigned members of the Student Conduct Advisors are allowed in the meeting. Staff from the University Counseling Center, SAFE Office, and the Office of the Dean of Students may serve as support persons for the student, at the request of the student. Support persons are present only for emotional support of the student and may not participate in the meeting. The Office of the Dean of Students may occasionally bring a non-participating faculty or staff.
- Two or more students may be scheduled to participate in a joint meeting if they are all alleged to have participated in the conduct at issue. The charge(s) and/or the alleged factual circumstances need not be identical for participation in a joint meeting.
- Any student scheduled to participate in a joint meeting may request a separate meeting. A request for a separate meeting must be submitted in writing to the Conduct Office prior to the date of the scheduled meeting. The Dean of Students or designee or a designee will make the decision regarding the request and notify the student in writing.
- A student may be charged with violations in two or more unrelated incidents. Those incidents may be aggregated into a single meeting at the discretion of the Dean of Students or a designee. Any student subject to charges of two or more unrelated reported incidents of alleged misconduct is entitled to a separate meeting for each incident. A request for separate meetings must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students or a designee prior to the date of the scheduled meeting. The Dean of Students or designee or a designee will make the decision regarding the request and notify the student in writing.
- The student shall be presumed not to have violated a conduct requirement until such a violation is determined to have happened based upon the standard of proof. The standard of proof shall be preponderance of the evidence, or “more likely than not”. It is the responsibility of the University to establish if the violation is more likely than not.
- Rules of evidence applied in legal cases do not apply to the Formal Resolution Meeting process.
during both the investigatory and hearing phases.
- The students may request a delay in the meeting. Reasons for the delay, as well as a proposed length of the delay, must be included in the request, which must be submitted in writing to the Conduct Officer. The Conduct Officer will make the decision regarding the request and notify the student in electronically or in writing.
- If the meeting is delayed, either at the request of the student(s) or by need of the University the student(s), witnesses, and assigned SCA advisor will be notified electronically or in writing.
- The order of the meeting will be as follows:
- The Conduct Officer will begin the meeting and recording.
- The Conduct Officer will review the proceedings and may provide background information about the process.
- All students are introduced, and an honor code oath administered to those will provide testimony.
d. The information presented during the hearing will be reviewed.
- The allegation(s) will be read, and the student will be asked to accept or deny responsibility for the allegation(s).
- The student will be given an opportunity to provide a statement or narrative regarding the incident in question and the allegations(s). Opening statements are to be no more than 30 minutes in length.
- The Conduct Officer and/or meeting panelists may question the student.
- As necessary, a witness or witnesses will be called into the meeting one at a time, in the order determined by the Conduct Officer. Each witness will be introduced and respond to the Honor Code oath. When an Investigation has been conducted, the investigator may present the findings of the Investigation.
- Witness(es) will provide testimony regarding their knowledge of the incident.
- The Conduct Officer, meeting panelists, and/or the charged student(s) may question the witness(es).
- Information may be presented at any point during the meeting.
- After the witnesses have been heard and the meeting panel has concluded asking questions, the Conduct Officer will ask the student and/or SCA member if any additional information needs to be provided, and the student may make a closing statement. Closing statements are limited to no more than 15 minutes in length.
- The meeting is adjourned.
- All procedural questions regarding a meeting are subject to the final decision of the Conduct Officer.
The meeting panel serves in an advisory capacity to the Conduct Officer regarding findings and outcomes. Following the conclusion of a meeting, the panel will deliberate and recommend Findings. If the panel recommends a finding of “not responsible” for the allegation(s), there will be no outcomes recorded. If the panel recommends a finding of “responsible” for the allegation(s), the panel will recommend an appropriate outcome(s). The Conduct Officer and all members of the panel will be present and available as a resource during all deliberations. The Conduct Officer is responsible for informing the panel of applicable precedent and any previous conduct violations. Upon consideration of the meeting panel’s recommendations, the Conduct Officer will determine the findings and outcomes for the student.
The Finding and outcome(s), if applicable, will be delivered to the student(s) electronically or in writing by the Conduct Officer, generally via e-mail.
The Judicial Council is the appellate body for Honor Code and Code of Conduct cases and is composed of students, faculty, and administrators.
Students requesting an appeal must follow these procedures:
- Requests for an appeal from an HEC or Formal Resolution meeting outcome must be submitted within 14 calendar days to the Secretary of the Judicial Council and are ordinarily submitted via e-mail.
- An appeal request should set forth the reasons why the decision of the meeting body should be reversed or modified and must address one or more of the following grounds for an appeal: (1) sufficiency of the evidence to support the decision, (2) appropriateness of the outcome, (3) germane new information not available at the time of the original meeting, (4) procedural error significantly impacting the outcome.
- Students who have received an outcome of suspension or expulsion will be automatically granted an appeal meeting if the request is made within 14 calendar days of receiving notification of the outcome of an HEC or Formal Resolution meeting.
- Students who have received an outcome other than suspension or expulsion are not guaranteed an appeal meeting. Upon receipt of a request for an appeal in such cases, the Judicial Council will determine if an appeal request should be granted. If the Judicial Council decides against meeting an appeal in such cases, the student will be notified electronically or in writing of the reasons for the Council’s decision.
- In cases where an appeal meeting is held, the Judicial Council will set a date for the appeal meeting and notify the student in writing of the meeting date at least seven (7) days before the meeting.
[NOTE: Details on the format, procedure, and possible outcomes of appeal meetings are set out in the Judicial Council Section of the current Student Handbook]
Based on the nature of a student’s alleged behavior, the Dean of Students or designee may impose an Interim Action prior to the completion of the conduct process regarding alleged violations of the Code of Conduct. Interim Action may be imposed when:
- a Student poses a
significantthreat of serious harm to any members of the University community, including visitors, or others;
- it is necessary to preserve University premises or the property of any members of the University Community, including visitors, and/or
- it is necessary to prevent significant disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations or activities of the University.
Interim Action may include, but is not limited to, prohibiting the student from being on University premises, attending classes, attending programs and activities, or using University facilities. The student will receive notice of any Interim Action taken in writing to their official University email address. Interim Action may be in place for no more than fifteen (15) business days pending the Formal Resolution meeting on alleged violation(s) of the Code of Conduct, unless the student requests a delay in the scheduling of the Formal Resolution meeting.
The Dean of Students or designee may also impose an Interim Action prior to the completion of an administrative withdrawal process, as explained in the Administrative Withdrawal Policy. Such Interim Action may always include, but is not limited to, prohibiting the student from being on University premises, attending classes, attending programs and activities, or using University facilities. An Interim Action imposed as a part of the administrative withdrawal process may remain in effect until the completion of that process.
A student who receives interim action, related to either the Code of Conduct or the Administrative Withdrawal process, may request an Interim Action Review by submitting the request in writing to the Dean of Students or designee. The appeal must include a statement from the student explaining why the student believes the Interim Action is not warranted. The Interim Action Review must take place within three business days of receipt of the appeal. If the student requests a delay in the scheduling of the meeting on alleged violation(s) of the Code of Conduct, an Interim Action Review is required. A Conduct Officer who did not impose the Interim Action will conduct the Interim Action Review. The Interim Action may be modified, upheld, or removed, and the student will be notified of this outcome in writing. The outcome of the Interim Action Review is final, and any Interim Action imposed will remain in effect until the conclusion of the Code of Conduct or Administrative Withdrawal process.
A record of the matter will be maintained. The following items may be included: Incident reports. Statements by witnesses; Investigative reports; Evidence, such as photos, videos or documents; Official communication with the student(s); Resolution documents or outcome letters.
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