Any member of the Delaware Valley University community may make a complaint through Public Safety or Student Affairs about student behavior that violates the Code of Conduct. A process of review and resolution is implemented when the actions of a student(s) or organization violate the Delaware Valley University Code of Conduct. This section describes the ways in which this occurs. 

Generally, reports of violations of are reviewed by the Chief Student Conduct Officer who determines whether a case will be resolved through Informal Resolution or through Formal Resolution, which involves an administrative or panel hearing. The best judgment of the chief conduct officer will prevail to establish a resolution method that best meets the needs of the circumstances involved in the case to be heard.

Factors considered include but may not be limited to: clarity of facts at hand, degree to which student assumes responsibility for the behavior, sensitivity of the incident and privacy considerations, student's conduct record, and seriousness of the offense. 

Informal Resolution

Informal Resolution (IR) is an approach to resolving conduct concerns when the:

  • facts of the incident are not in dispute
  • student(s) involved has accepted responsibility for the behavior
  • likely outcome given the offense will not alter a student's status with the University.
  • behavior does not represent a pattern of similar types of misconduct

An IR involves a conversation between the student involved and a party(ies) appointed by the chief conduct officer. Amicable and respectful discussion is expected throughout the process.

The goal of the meeting is to address the issue of concern, resolve conflict, and restore the student's relationship and standing within our community. This is achieved through outcomes mutually agreed to by the University and the student given the situation at hand.

Because the outcomes of informal resolution conversations are mutually developed and agreed upon by parties involved, an appeal of the process and its result is not permitted. If the parties are unable to agree on the outcomes of the informal resolution proceeding, any party may request that the matter be resolved through formal resolution proceedings. Other than when the honesty of any person or organization offering information during the formal resolution process is at issue, no statements made during the informal resolution process may be used during the formal resolution proceedings.

Type I violations which have the likely outcome of altering a student's status with the University are not eligible for review under Informal Resolution.

Proceedings of IR meetings are not recorded, and the outcomes do not appear on a student's conduct record; however, the outcome of an Informal Resolution will be taken into consideration if additional violations occur.

Formal Resolution

When a conduct violation is not eligible for review under the Informal Resolution process, or where a party has so requested, Formal Resolution proceedings will be initiated. There are two options for Formal Resolution: an administrative hearing or a panel hearing with representatives drawn from the Student Conduct Board (SCB). Hearings involve a more formal set of procedures which are described in this section.

Students are advised that Type I behaviors may only be resolved through a Formal Resolution process. Further, violations which involve sexual misconduct are resolved with a process specific to those offenses and which is outlined in the college's Sexual Misconduct policy.

Should the need for a hearing arise the following principles of fundamental fairness are afforded to students who are asked to respond to a complaint or report:

  • To receive written notice of the complaint.
  • To receive written notice of time and place of the hearing within a reasonable period of time. Generally, conduct hearings are resolved within 60 days from report to final resolution.
  • To appear in person and present information on their own behalf, to call witnesses, and to ask questions of anyone present at the hearing. In determining responsibility for the alleged violation, the University will permit witnesses of fact but not character.
  • To elect not to attend a hearing. In such cases, the hearing shall be conducted solely on the basis of the information available.
  • To refuse to answer or make a statement. However, decisions will be based on the information available.
  • To have at the hearing a member of the faculty, administration, or student body who may provide support but not participate in the hearing. Individuals other than those listed above, including but not limited to family members and attorneys, will not be admitted.
  • To receive written documentation of the outcome of a hearing and any sanctions imposed.
  • To request an appeal of the outcome of a hearing based on specified grounds.

Students who may bring forward a complaint can expect: 

  • To be treated with dignity and seriousness.
  • To be reasonably free of intimidation that may occur because of a case.
  • In a case of assault, to be informed of the status and outcome of the case.
  • To have at the hearing a member of the faculty, administration, or student body who may provide support but not participate in the hearing. Individuals other than those listed above, including but not limited to family members and attorneys, will not be admitted.
  • To receive or be referred to appropriate support services.

Because complaints of sexual misconduct are resolved through a grievance procedure specific to those types of violations, students are advised to review the University's Sexual Misconduct policy for protections that are afforded complainants and respondents involved in resolution of complaints of sexual misconduct.

Consistent with the philosophy of the student conduct system as an educational process to review breaches of our community standards, formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Student Code proceedings.

Panel Hearings:

Cases referred for resolution by a panel drawn from the Student Conduct Board are generally those which involve more serious cases, where a student's status at the institution may be altered if they are found responsible for the behavior, or, situations which represent a pattern of less serious violations which must be reviewed in totality.

Panel Hearing participants:

A panel consists of five members: two students, a faculty member, a staff member, and an administrator from Student Affairs. Panels are drawn from the full membership of the Student Conduct Board which is an all-college committee.

The Student Affairs representative to the panel serves as the administrator for the hearing whose role is to:

  • Facilitate the hearing;
  • Make determinations on matters of procedure and compliance;
  • Facilitate deliberations to assist the panel in weighing critical factors such as community impact, stakeholder concerns, student development and success, residential impact and others 
Advisors:

Students involved as a respondent or a complaint in a formal resolution proceeding may be assisted by an advisor. This person may help prepare the student for the hearing and may accompany the student to the hearing. An advisor must be a current student, faculty member or staff member of Delaware Valley University. This person must not have a law degree and cannot speak on behalf of the responding party or complaining party during the hearing. Parents may not serve as advisors. The Student Affairs Office will assist any party in identifying an advisor, if requested.

Please note that the guidelines for advisors and who may serve in this role differ in the instance of a sexual misconduct proceeding. Students are advised to refer to the Sexual Misconduct Policy if appropriate.

Hearing Procedures:

Whether a formal resolution of student conduct concerns occurs in an administrative hearing, or through a Student Conduct Board panel hearing, the following basic procedures are followed:

  1. Reports of alleged conduct violations are reviewed by the Associate Dean of Students (or designee) who determines: a) whether a student may have violated University policy; b) whether the review of alleged misconduct will be informal or formal; and c) if formal, whether an administrative hearing or panel hearing. 
  2. A notice letter provides a student with information about the policy violation(s) that are alleged to have occurred. In addition, the letter provides a student with the date, time, and place of the hearing, as well as the name(s) of the person(s) reviewing the case. Email is the University's official means of communication and students are expected to check it. Failure to do so will not be grounds for altering the timeline of proceedings.
  3. A student who wishes to contest his or her hearing officer or panel member(s) based upon a perceived conflict of interest should contact the Associate Dean of Students as soon as possible, but in no less than one full business day before the hearing. A conflict of interest exists where, based upon facts and circumstances, the hearing officer or panel member cannot listen without bias or render a fair and impartial decision.
  4. At the time appointed for the hearing, the panel or administrative hearing officer will listen to and consider all relevant information. Information supporting the violation(s) alleged may come from documents or oral information from the complaining party and other individuals. 
  5. The responding party shall be provided with an opportunity, and is encouraged, to respond to the allegations and present any information available to support his/her position regarding the alleged violation(s). Parties and other individuals who offer information at a hearing are expected to respond to questions presented via the hearing panel chair and/or by the panel members themselves. Requests to reschedule must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Students at least two business days prior to the hearing. Requests must come directly from the student receiving a notice letter.
  6. Student Conduct Board hearings are audio-recorded. The audio recording is created for two limited purposes only: for reference by the hearing board or officer during deliberations and for review by the appellate officers during an appeal. No other recordings of conduct proceedings are allowed and no other access to the recordings is permitted. The audio recording is destroyed following the conclusion of the proceedings, including all appeals. Once all the information has been presented, everyone will be dismissed from the hearing room so that the panel or administrative hearing officer may deliberate in private. 
  7. If a hearing must be held at or after the end of the semester and/or a hearing panel cannot reasonably be convened, those cases will proceed to an administrative hearing with the Chief Conduct Officer, or his or her designee.