Student Code of Conduct Part II: Process Definitions

The following selected terms are defined to facilitate a more thorough understanding of The Student Code of Conduct. This list is not intended to be a complete list of all terms referenced that might require interpretation or clarification. When appropriate, additional definitions are provided when a term is first introduced. The Director of Community Standards, or designee, shall make the final determination on the definition of any term found in The Student Code of Conduct.

1. “Administrative Conference” is a meeting between a respondent and a Case Resolution Coordinator to review a referral, explain the community standards process, and review possible options for resolving the matter.

2. “Administrative Review” allows for the full consideration of an allegation that a student has violated The Student Code of Conduct and/or the proposed sanctions for an allegation. An Administrative Review examines the completed investigation and allows the parties to respond to the investigation report and findings as well as any proposed sanctions, if applicable.

3. “Administrative Review Committee (ARC)” means three university staff members who are authorized to conduct an Administrative Review to determine the appropriate resolution of an alleged violation(s) of The Student Code of Conduct, and/or to impose sanctions or affect other remedies as appropriate. The Director of Community Standards authorizes and trains members of the Administrative Review Committee annually. Members may conduct reviews for any alleged violation of The Student Code.

4. “Administrative Review Committee Advisor” means any person authorized by the Director of Community Standards to assist members of the Administrative Review Committee in any answering procedural question raised during Administrative Review Committee meetings.

5. “Advisor” means any person who accompanies a respondent, a complainant, or a victim for the limited purpose of providing support and guidance. An Advisor may not directly address the Administrative Review Committee, Case Resolution Coordinators, question witnesses, or otherwise actively participate in the community standards process. Individuals allegedly involved in the same incident may not serve as an Advisor. Requests to change proposed meetings to accommodate an Advisor’s schedule will not generally be considered.

6. “Appellate body” means any person or persons authorized by the Provost, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee to conduct a review of a decision reached by an Administrative Review Committee.

7. “Business day” means any day, Monday through Friday, that the university is open.

8. “Case Resolution Form” means the final agreement regarding violations and/or sanctions between the Case Resolution Coordinator or the Administrative Review Committee and the student or student organization.

9. “Case Resolution Coordinator” means a university staff member who is authorized by the Director of Community Standards to determine the appropriate resolution of an alleged violation of The Student Code of Conduct, and/or to impose sanctions or affect other remedies as appropriate. Subject to the provision in this code, a Case Resolution Coordinator is vested with the authority to, among other duties, investigate an alleged violation of The Student Code of Conduct; decline to pursue a referral; refer identified disputants to mediation or other appropriate resources; establish alleged violations regarding a respondent; approve a Case Resolution Form developed with a respondent; conduct an Administrative Review; impose sanctions; approve sanctions recommended by another review body; and conduct an appellate review.

10. “Community Standards file” means the printed/written/electronic file which may include but is not limited to incident report(s), email and written correspondence, witness statements, and conduct history. Community Standards file records, including those resulting in a finding of “not responsible” for violations of The Student Code of Conduct, are maintained by the university for a period of at least seven years from the date that the student leaves the university. Records are subject to the protections and release provisions by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as it may be amended from time-to-time.

11. “Community Standards Hold” means an administrative hold placed on a student’s record or on a student organization’s activities or privileges when the student or student organization representative does not respond to the request of a university official to attend an administrative conference, has not completed an assigned sanction, or, with respect to a student, has withdrawn from the university while a conduct matter is pending.

12. “Community Standards process” means the process defined in The Student Code of Conduct to address behavioral concerns within the Bridgewater State University community involving students. Potential violations of the Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Affirmative Action Plan are normally managed by the Office of Equal Opportunity under the procedures outlined in the EO Plan.

13. “Complainant” refers to any person who believes that they have been a victim of a student’s misconduct. If the complainant is a Bridgewater State University student, that student will have the same rights under The Student Code of Conduct as are provided to the respondent, even if another member of the university community referred or reported the allegation itself.

14. “Designee” refers to a staff or faculty member who is responsible for implementing the Community Standards process or administering the Community Standards system, in part or in whole, at the direction of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Director of Community Standards, or other university official.

15. “Director of Community Standards” refers to that person in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, designated by the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, who is responsible for the overall coordination of the university Community Standards system, including the development of policies, procedures, and education and training programs. The Director of Community Standards may serve as an Administrative Review Committee member, a Case Resolution Coordinator, and/or a member of an appellate body.

16. “Discriminatory Harassment” has the meaning set forth in the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan.

17. “Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Affirmative Plan” or “EO Plan” addresses issues of discrimination and harassment and includes the Policy Against Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment and Retaliation and the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy. Definitions related to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and harassment may be found in the EO Plan. Additional information regarding these policies and procedures may be found in the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan.

18. “Investigator” refers to the Case Resolution Coordinator given the responsibility of conducting a full investigation of an alleged violation of The Student Code of Conduct.

19. “May” is used in the permissive sense.

20. “Member of the university community” includes any person who is a student, instructor, or university employee; any person who works directly or indirectly (e.g., a vendor), resides, or receives services on university premises or in connection with its programs or activities; and may include visitors to university premises. A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Director of Community Standards.

21. “Policy” is defined as any written policy, procedure, standard, regulation, rule, or Community Standards expectation adopted by the university, as may be amended, modified or replaced from time to time.

22. “Referring party” means any person who submits an allegation that a student violated The Student Code of Conduct.

23. “Respondent” means a student who, or student organization, which has been accused of violating The Student Code of Conduct.

24. “Shall,” “Will,” and “Must” are used in the imperative sense.

25. “Sanction” means a requirement a student or student organization must abide by or complete when found responsible for violating The Student Code of Conduct. Failure to complete assigned sanctions will result in the application of a Community Standards hold on a student’s account.

26. The “Standard of Evidence” used in determining whether or not the respondent violated The Student Code of Conduct is a preponderance of the evidence (whether it is more likely than not that a violation occurred).

27. “Student” means any person who has been admitted to, registered or enrolled in, or attends the University, any University course, or University conducted program. This includes any University sponsored academic program which provides individuals with any access to the University, its programs, or facilities.

28. “Student organization” means an association or group of persons, including, but not limited to, any student organization, team or club, that has complied with the formal requirements for University recognition and/or are recognized by the University.

29. “Student Organization Representative” means the president or designee representing the student organization in the Community Standards process.

30. “University” means Bridgewater State University.

31. “University official” includes any person authorized by the University to perform administrative, instructional, or professional duties.

32. “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the University, either solely or in conjunction with another entity or person.

33. “Witness” means any person with knowledge pertaining to an alleged violation of The Student Code of Conduct.

Updated 9/2020 by Peter Wiernicki, Office of Community Standards