I. Reporting a Judicial Offense
A student who has violated a judicial regulation is required to report herself within 24 hours by completing a contact report available online at the MBC Web site.
A student who has witnessed or knows of a judicial violation shall first attempt to confront the student or students involved. She should then complete an online contact report within 72 hours. She may also wish to discuss the violation with the Judicial Board representative for her hall.
Online contact reports go directly to the Judicial Board Chairwoman and the Judicial Board advisor. While every effort is made to maintain confidentiality, the name of the student reporting the offense may not always remain anonymous given the nature of the review process.
Members of the faculty or administrative staff may report suspected judicial violations to any member of the Judicial Board or through the online contact report system.
II. Procedures Following Report of a Judicial Offense
Following the report of a first offense for a student, the student will receive a letter of warning from the Judicial Board representative for her residence hall (or the Chairwoman in the case of a commuter student) stating that she has been reported for a violation and the nature of the offense. In the letter, she will be reminded to follow the code of conduct and the judicial codes of the college.
If a second offense of any kind is reported for a student within the same academic year, she must meet with her Judicial Board representative and the Judicial Board Chairwoman. This meeting must take place within one week of the offense being reported. The Judicial Board sees its primary role as educational, the conference is to help the student understand what she may or may not have done in violation of the codes and agree upon steps to be followed. Following the conference, the Judicial Board Chairwoman will confirm in writing with the student the agreed upon steps and consequences of any future violations.
If a third offense of any kind is reported for a student within the same academic year, the student will meet with the Judicial Board representative for her hall, the Judicial Board Chairwoman and the Judicial Board advisor within one week of the offense being report. The student will be given the choice to have a hearing before the Judicial Board or to have her case decided by the representative, Chairwoman and advisor. If the student chooses to have a hearing, the procedure is outlined below. If she chooses to have the case decided by the reviewing group, she will be notified of the sanction determined by the group within 72 hours of the meeting time.
When an offense is committed which involves a gross breach of community standards, the Judicial Board Chairwoman may skip steps A and B and go directly to step C. The student will be given the same choices listed in step C. In the instance where an infraction involves personal injury, property damage or illegal substances, the Judicial Board Chairwoman may refer the case to the administration for review.
Any additional offense committed by the same student during the academic year will be handled at the discretion of her Judicial Board representative, the Judicial Board Chairwoman and the Judicial Board advisor.
III. Investigation in the Case of a Hearing
An investigating committee will be appointed consisting of one member of the Judicial Board, appointed by its Chairwoman, and two members of the Honor Council, appointed by its Chairwoman.
The Judicial Board member of the investigating committee is present for clarification of information but shall not vote at any subsequent hearing. The investigating committee should interview the student involved as well as any witnesses to the situation.
Investigation sessions should be tape recorded and a summary of each session typed up by the Judicial Board representative on the investigating committee. The investigating committee shall make a full investigation of the reported offense and, upon completing the investigation, shall report its findings to the Judicial Board Chairwoman.
Following the investigation, if the Chairwoman determines that probable cause does not exist for a hearing, the charge shall be dismissed. If the Chairwoman determines that probable cause does exist, a hearing shall be scheduled.
IV. Rights of the Accused Student in the Choice of a Hearing
When a Mary Baldwin College student accused of a judicial offense chooses to have a hearing she has the following rights:
- The right to be notified by the Judicial Board Chairwoman by e-mail to her MBC account and in person of the reported offense. An investigating committee will be appointed. The Judicial Board recommends that the accused student request a Student Advocate at this point in the process.
- The right to request and identify a reasonable number of witnesses to be interviewed by the investigating committee.
- The right to be notified in writing by the Judicial Board Chairwoman of the date and time of the hearing at least 72 hours before her appearance in front of the Judicial Board.
- The right to a delay in her hearing of at least 72 hours for cause if requested. Delays will not be granted in the absence of cause. The presence or absence of cause shall be determined by the Chairwoman.
- The right to choose and have present at her hearing a student advocate, member of the faculty, administration, or student body of Mary Baldwin College to serve as her advisor. The Judicial Board Chairwoman will assist the accused in choosing or appoint an appropriate advisor. The advisor may counsel the accused, question witnesses and the investigating committee and be in attendance during the presentation of all evidence in the case. The advisor may not present argument to the Judicial Board. Unavailability of the chosen advisor shall be grounds for a reasonable continuance of the hearing. However, should such advisor be unavailable for a period longer than one week from hearing date originally scheduled, the accused may be required to choose a replacement advisor who is available, such advisor to be found with the assistance of the Judicial Board Chairwoman.
- The right to call any witnesses who are members of the faculty, administration, or student body of Mary Baldwin College which are necessary to present her case.
- The right to cross examine all witnesses who are called to testify at the hearing.
- The right to be present during the presentation of all evidence in the case.
- The right to refuse to testify. However, should an accused student testify on her own behalf, she shall be required to answer all questions material to the case which are asked of her.
- The right to leave the Mary Baldwin College community to avoid a hearing. However, in the event of such withdrawal, the student’s permanent record shall contain a notation that she withdrew without official permission while facing charges of a possible judicial violation. Moreover, the student shall not be readmitted as a student at Mary Baldwin College without appearing before the Judicial Board to face the original charges.
- The right to appeal a Judicial Board decision to the Board of Appeals and ultimately to the President of the college, as set forth in the student handbook. A student who is found in violation of the codes by the Judicial Board and assigned a sanction of suspension or dismissal, or any sanction that appears on the student’s transcript, may appeal the Board’s decision on either or both of the following grounds: (1) the Board failed to follow stated procedures AND the failure affected the sanction given, or (2) a sanction that appears on the student’s transcript is not supported by evidence heard by the Board.
V. HEARING PROCEDURES
A. On determining that a quorum of the Judicial Board, all requested witnesses, the accused, and the advisor to the accused are present, the chairwoman shall require the accused and the witnesses to state their names and shall administer the oath to the accused and each witness in turn. The accused and witnesses shall be reminded that statements given in their testimony are subject to the provisions of the Honor System.
B. The chairwoman shall read to the accused the charge or charges against the accused and shall determine that the accused understands the charges; has had an opportunity to prepare for the hearing; and has received a statement of her rights.
C. The chairwoman shall ask the members of the Judicial Board if there are members who have knowledge of the offense charged which will prohibit them from deliberating in an unbiased manner. Any members who have such knowledge shall be disqualified. The accused may submit written questions to the chairwoman bearing on the ability of any member of the Board to participate in the case. In the event of disagreement, decisions on whether a member of the Judicial Board can participate shall be made by the chairwoman and recorded by the secretary. A five member board will hear all cases.
D. The investigating committee shall present its report. Members of the Judicial Board may question the committee members orally. At the conclusion of such questions, the faculty advisors to the Judicial Board, the accused, and the advisor to the accused shall have the right to question orally. The chairwoman shall determine whether the questions are appropriate. Any rejected question shall be recorded in the written minutes of the hearing. Upon completion of the report of the investigating committee, the Honor Council members of the committee shall withdraw from the hearing.
E. Witnesses summoned by the investigating committee shall then be called to testify. They shall be questioned in the same manner as members of the investigating committee.
F. After the investigating committee and all witnesses summoned by it shall have presented their evidence, the accused and/or witnesses for the accused shall testify in an order to be determined by the accused and her advisor. This testimony shall be conducted in the manner set forth for previous witnesses.
G. At any time during the hearing, the chairwoman may direct that the Judicial Board withdraw for deliberation and/or discussion, out of the presence of the accused and her advisor. The accused and her advisor may request of the chairwoman a brief recess for deliberation/discussion.
H. Witnesses shall be allowed to testify about any matter considered by the chairwoman to be relevant to the issue of in violation or not in violation of the accused. Questions of relevance shall be within the discretion of the chairwoman. No questions shall be allowed concerning previous misconduct or honor or judicial offenses.
I. At the conclusion of the evidence the board shall retire to deliberate. A student shall be found in violation only if the committee finds that the offense has been proven by preponderance of evidence. If more than one-third of the eligible voting members of the Judicial Board present cast a vote of “not in violation “ at the conclusion of the deliberations, the charges shall be dismissed and the accused so notified. All Judicial Board members present at the hearing shall cast a “in violation” or “not in violation” vote. Voting will be done by all eligible members.
J. If a student is found in violation, the Judicial Board shall recall the accused and her advisor and so inform them.
K. Proceedings shall then begin concerning the appropriate penalty. During this portion of the hearing, the accused may testify on her own behalf concerning the penalty and may call witnesses on her behalf (including character witnesses) who may provide any information relevant to the determination of the penalty. She may not present evidence weighing on her guilt or innocence. The Judicial Board may consider past judicial convictions but may not consider any past judicial accusations.
L. After hearing the evidence concerning the penalty, the Judicial Board shall return to its deliberations and determine the penalty by a majority vote. The appropriate penalties are as set forth in this handbook.
M. The Judicial Board shall notify the accused in person of the penalty imposed. The accused shall be presented a written statement of the offense, verdict, and penalty, signed by the secretary of the Judicial Board.
N. The secretary (or her designee) of the Judicial Board shall maintain: a tape recording and typed summary of the procedures except the deliberations of the board; written minutes of the hearing; and as part of the record of the hearing the summons, the signed statement of rights, a signed copy of these procedures, and a copy of the written statement described in paragraph 13. These materials shall be used in the event of appeal.
Warning (vocal or written) — This serves to inform the student that any further breach of conduct may warrant further action by the board.
Educational Task — An appropriate task to help reinforce the importance of adhering to Mary Baldwin’s social regulations.
Restriction — Restriction warrants removal of social privileges that have been abused (i.e., the removal of visitation hours for a constant offender). The Judicial Board reserves the right to establish, on an individual basis, the exact limits of the penalty as deemed necessary to fit the abuse of each situation.
Removal from Campus Housing — The Judicial Board may recommend to the dean of students removal of a student from campus housing.
5. Quiet Hour Probation — Probation is a testing period and acts as a warning that further breach of quiet hours will result in a more severe penalty.
1. Disciplinary Probation — Probation is a testing period and acts as a warning that further breach of conduct will warrant severe action. A letter will normally be sent to the student by the Judicial Board with a copy to the dean of students (or designee). At the end of the probation period if no other breach of conduct occurs the copy of the letter retained in the student’s file shall be destroyed. The student’s faculty advisor may also be informed of a disciplinary probation.
Suspension — Usually for a period of no less than two terms, during which time the student shall not be allowed to be enrolled at the college.
Dismissal from the College — Suspension from the college, with the provision that the student may apply for readmission after one year, such application to be considered on its merit and on proof of good conduct in the interim.
VII. PROCEDURES FOR APPEAL
The Dean of the College is chair of the Board of Appeals.
The Board of Appeals consists of the Dean of the College, chair; either the chairwoman of the Honor Council (for an appeal of a decision by the Judicial Board) or the Chairwoman of the Judicial Board (for an appeal of a ruling by the Honor Council); the Lead Advocate; one full-time member of the faculty; one member of the staff. The faculty and staff members are appointed annually by the Executive Committee of SGA and approved by the Senate.
Alternates for Board members may sit at the discretion of the chair, who will in writing notify the appellant of the composition of the Board at least 48 hours in advance of a hearing, not including Saturdays, Sundays, and days when the college is not in session.
The Board meets early in each academic year to review duties and procedures, including those set forth in the Board of Appeals Handbook, which is updated annually by the chair in consultation with the chairs of Honor Council and the Judicial Board.
The associate vice president for student affairs provides support for students involved in the process of an appeal, including members of the Boards. S/he is not a member of the Board of Appeals.
2. Conditions for Appeal
A student who is found in violation by the Honor Council or the Judicial Board and who is assigned a sanction of suspension or dismissal, or any sanction that appears on the student’s transcript, may appeal the Board’s decision on either or both of the following grounds: (1) the Board failed to follow stated procedures AND the failure affected the sanction given, or (2) a sanction that appears on the student’s transcript is not supported by evidence heard by the Board.
The student may remain on campus until the appeal process is complete, unless subject to a summary suspension. The student may attend class during the appeal process. The student will receive credit for work submitted prior to the effective date of a suspension or dismissal. Class attendance policies are the course instructor’s prerogative.
The effective date of a suspension or dismissal is the date on which a Honor Council or Judicial Board decision is handed down, or the date stated in that decision. Work submitted after the effective date is automatically invalid, although it may have been submitted during an appeal process.
3. Rights of a Student In An Appeal:
To receive 48 hours’ notice of a hearing, not including Saturdays, Sundays, and days when the college is not in session.
To present to the chair of the Board of Appeals a written statement of reasons for objecting to the participation of any member of the Board of Appeals. The student must present her statement at least 24 hours in advance of a hearing (not including Saturdays, Sundays, and days when the college is not in session). The chair may appoint an alternate to the hearing panel in his/her own sole discretion. The signed statement becomes a part of the hearing record.
To receive a delay for cause, granted at the sole discretion of the chair.
To choose an advisor who is a member of the Mary Baldwin College community, or to choose or to be assigned a Student Advocate, for support and advice during the appeal process.
To question witnesses who testify in the appeal hearing.
To discuss the case and to receive support from all persons with whom the student is permitted to discuss a pending honor or judicial case.
Students may waive their rights by signing an explicit written statement of the right being waived. The signed statement becomes part of the hearing record.
4. Appeal Process
To appeal a decision of the Honor Council or Judicial Board the student must hand deliver a written appeal directly into the hands of a staff member in the office of the Dean of the College or his/her administrative assistant (not a student assistant), within 48 hours of the close of the hearing, not including Saturday, Sunday, and official college holidays. Notes: Do not use e-mail. The schedule of official college holidays is posted on the college’s web site.
The student’s written appeal of a procedural violation that affected the sanction must include both of the following:
a. The statement in the Student Handbook requiring the procedure that the appellant claims was not followed, and
b. Her reasons for believing that the failure to follow the procedure affected the sanction.
The student’s written appeal that a sanction is not supported by the evidence must include:
a. Concrete and specific reasons for believing that the sanction is not appropriate to the offense of which she was found in violation. Note: penalties imposed by the College’s disciplinary Boards are individual to the student found in violation and to the specific circumstances of the offense committed. Sanctions may not appropriately be compared, and such a comparison may not form the basis of an appeal of a sanction.
b. Information that was not considered by the hearing Board, if any.
5. Hearing Process
The chairwoman of a Board that has handed down a decision that may be appealed will notify the chair of the Board of Appeals that such a decision has been handed down.
Prior to a Board of Appeals hearing the chairwoman of the Honor Council or Judicial Board will forward to the chair of the Board of Appeals a written summary of the hearing, signed by the appellant to indicate that she also has received it. The written summary includes items of evidence and/or questions excluded from the hearing, the summons, the signed statement of rights, and the Board’s written statement of offense, verdict, and penalty. At his/her sole discretion, the chair of the Board of Appeals may request the tape recording of the hearing.
The chair of the Board sets a time for the hearing and notifies the appellant of the time, place, and composition of the Board (see Rights of a Student in an Appeal).
The Board of Appeals may meet in advance of the hearing to review procedures and the written materials, including the student’s statement of appeal. During the hearing, the Board of Appeals will question the appellant and the chairwoman and advisor of the Board whose decision is in question. The Board will not call other witnesses. However, the chair may seek information from any source in his/her own sole discretion.
The following also may ask questions in an order determined by the chair: the chair, the members of the Board of Appeals, the appellant and her advisor, and the chairwoman and advisor of the Board whose decision is under appeal.
The Board may recess at the discretion of the chair.
Following questioning, the Board of Appeals will retire to deliberate. The Board will determine whether the sanction imposed was affected by a failure of the Honor Council or Judicial Board to follow stated procedures, and/or whether the sanction imposed is supported by evidence heard by the Board. The Board of Appeals may affirm the sanction or remand the case to the Honor Council or Judicial Board for a new hearing. The Board will state briefly the reasons for its finding.
At the conclusion of the hearing the chair of the Board will state its determination orally to the appellant and may include a statement of the reasons for the finding.
On the next day the college is open, the chair will make available to the student a written statement of the Board of Appeals’ determination, including a written statement of the reasons for the finding, with a copy to the president of the college, the associate vice president for student affiars, and the chairwomen of the Honor Council and the Judicial Board.
If the Board of Appeals affirms the sanction, the student may within 48 hours appeal to the president of the college, by giving a written statement directly into the hands of a member of the president’s staff (not a student assistant). The president or a staff member will notify the chair of the Board of Appeals, who will forward to the president the materials the student presented to the Board, a summary of the student’s involvement in the case, a copy of the student’s letter of appeal, the hearing record, and a copy of the chair’s letter to the student, including the statement of the reasons for the Board of Appeals’ finding.
The president shall make a final decision and notify the student in writing. The president may affirm the sanction assigned by the Honor Council or Judicial Board or return the case to that Board for a re-hearing. The president will communicate her/his decision to the student in writing, with a copy to the dean of the college, the associate vice president for student affairs, and the chairwomen of the Honor Council and the Judicial Board.
All members of the Honor Council/Judicial Board, students reporting offenses, members of an investigating committee, witnesses at a hearing and/or investigating committee, advisors and members of the Board of Appeals shall strictly maintain the confidence of proceedings. An accused student may discuss her case while an investigation is proceeding with the following individuals: her parents, her advisor to the Honor/Judicial process, the chairwoman of the Honor Council/Judicial Board, the advisors to the Honor Council/ Judicial Board, her Student Advocate, and faculty, administration and staff of the college. An accused student may not discuss her case with any other individual, especially those involved with an investigation. If an accused student is found in violation and given a sanction, the student may tell others her sanction. She may not discuss any other aspect of the case with anyone except those persons listed above. Failure to maintain confidentiality will result in an action by the Honor Council.
The Judicial Board shall post the results of cases in which a student has been found in violation, without names, once each semester; however, if there is a breach of confidentiality, the Judicial Board reserves the right to post a statement, without names, of the facts of the case for one and a half to two days at four places on campus.
IX. JUDICIAL BOARD/HONOR COUNCIL POLICY
A. All people testifying in a Judicial Board proceeding shall be subject to the Honor System. In the event that a student is suspected of lying during a hearing, the hearing will proceed to a conclusion. The separate suspected offense of lying shall be investigated following the procedures applicable to other offenses.
B. If a student is accused of an act constituting both a judicial and an honor offense (e.g., vandalism and stealing, violation of regulation and lying about it) the honor offense shall take precedence. However, the judicial proceedings can begin. In the event of findings of violation on both offenses, the Judicial Board may consider the penalty imposed by the Honor Council in imposing its sanctions.
X. SEARCH POLICY
Searches of students’ rooms will be conducted only upon authorization of the Dean of Students or her designee. Permission to search will be granted whenever the Judicial Board has presented specific evidence that
A. There is, reliably, reason to believe that the search will produce evidence that a judicial offense has been committed.
B. The specific item or items may be found and the basis for that belief.
C. The search is required by unusual circumstances. The student whose room is to be searched will receive at the time of the search a written statement of the reason for the search and the object sought.
D. In order to uphold the alcohol/drug policy and the Commonwealth of Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Laws, the Judicial Board may do a search upon an entire hall/dorm based on reasonable suspicion. Along with the presence of alcohol, if any behavior is taking place that is deemed to be dangerous or disruptive to other residents, it will dealt with at the discretion of the Board or chairwoman.
E. When doing a search for anything reported on the warrant, and alcohol is found to be present in the room being searched, the Judicial Board will dispose of it if the resident is under 21 years of age. Then the Board or chairwoman will follow up as needed. Any other illegal substances found will be seized and turned over to Security.
Searches will be made by an investigating committee appointed by the chairwoman of the Judicial Board.
The Judicial Board may also conduct searches at the time of an alleged offense based on reasonable suspicion of an offense taking place. Students do not have to be present for a search to be conducted. If the student is present at the time a search is started, she has the right to remain in her room for the duration of the search.