Conduct and Grievance Procedures

Please note: These policies have been identified as pertaining specifically to online students and excerpted from the full student Policies and Code of Conduct. On-campus students and students interested in viewing the complete set of UDM student policies should check the latest student handbook.

Interim Suspension

If during the conduct procedure, the Dean of Students or their designee determines that a student’s continued presence represents a clear and present danger to persons, property or the ongoing academic/administrative processes of the University of Detroit Mercy, such student may face interim suspension. During the interim suspension, the student is not allowed on campus except to attend conduct meetings.

Conduct Procedure

The conduct procedure was established to guarantee protection of individual and/or group rights when accused of violating University Code of Conduct, policies, or procedures. Academic grievances are handled by the individual colleges/schools. The proceedings follow rules of administrative rather than legal bodies.

  1. Filing of Charges: Written reports of an alleged violation(s) may be filed by a member of the University community against a student or student organization. The report should be filed within two weeks of the incident with the appropriate University official designated by the Dean of Students.
  2. Inquiry: The alleged violation(s) will be investigated within four weeks by an appropriate University official designated by the Dean of Students.
  3. Notification: If the alleged violation(s) are found to have a reasonable basis in fact, a letter shall be sent within one week after completion of Step 2 to the student’s last known address informing him/her of the alleged violation(s), and the procedure to be followed.
  4. Informal Resolution Conference: Within two weeks of the notification, the student will arrange to meet with the appropriate officer to review and discuss the alleged violation(s). The student may at this time admit responsibility and accept appropriate sanctions, and that will conclude the matter. If a student does not choose to admit responsibility and the Dean of Students or their designee feels that the matter warrants further action the matter will proceed to a Formal Resolution Conference.
  5. Formal Resolution Conference: Within two weeks of the informal resolution conference, the student will meet either with the appropriate office for an administrative conference, or they can request a conference before the Student Conduct Board (the board only meets during fall and winter terms when classes are in session).
  6. Letter of Conduct Procedure Action: Within two weeks of the conference (or failure of student to arrange a conference) the officer will send the student a letter stating the outcome of the investigation and sanctions as appropriate.

Witnesses

A student that is required to attend a Formal Resolution Conference (FRC) may request witnesses to testify on their behalf at the FRC. Victims, complainants and the conduct officer may also invite witnesses to appear at the FRC. In the exceptional event that a witness is unable to attend the FRC, the witness may write or record a statement and discuss the statement with the student conduct officer before the scheduled conference. The student conduct officer is to be notified of a request for a witness(es) not less than two (2) working days before the FRC, whether in person or in writing. The student conduct officer may reasonably limit the witnesses called due to relevancy as well as the scope and time devoted to witness statements. Witnesses are typically asked to comment only on the event(s) pertinent to the charges, not the character of the charged student(s).

Advisors

The charged student, a victim in a sexual assault case, or any victim who has received permission from the student conduct officer, may have one adviser present at their Formal Resolution Conference (FRC). If the student wants to have an adviser present, the student must notify the student conduct officer of this fact in writing no less than two (2) working days before the beginning of the FRC. Advisers are normally members of the community (i.e., current full time students, faculty, staff). This adviser serves as a support person and is intended to be of direct assistance to the student before and during the conference.

The adviser may not speak for the student nor address the conduct officer or the Student Conduct Board.

Sanctions

The primary aim of the Code of Conduct is to help facilitate the growth of students by helping them deal maturely with questions of personal responsibility. These sanctions are intended as guidelines, which may be modified based upon extenuating circumstances.

The University of Detroit Mercy, in addition to imposing its own sanctions, may refer any violation of federal, state, or local law to the proper authorities.

  1. Warning: An official reprimand for a minor violation indicating that continued improper behavior could result in a more serious disciplinary action. This sanction is normally given for at least a semester and not more than one year.
  2. Discretionary Sanctions: These sanctions are given at the discretion of the Conduct Officer and are typically regarded as an educational opportunity for the student and will likely relate to the policy that has been violated. When such a sanction is assigned, there will be specifics as to what is to be completed and the deadline for completion (written proof must be submitted) and failure to complete the task is considered noncompliance. Examples of discretionary sanctions included, but are not limited to: Service with a campus office or community agency and work assignments or special projects.
  3. Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  4. Behavior Contract: This is a written contract between the student and the University in which the student agrees to correct inappropriate behaviors. The length of the contract is typically no less than one semester and no more than one year.
  5. Loss of Privileges: This sanction is denial of appropriate privileges for a specified period of time. Example of privileges that can be denied include (but are not limited to): access to all or part of a building, campus registration of a vehicle, parking in a specific area or during designated times, access to a program, holding of an office in a Registered Student Organization, participation in an extra-curricular activity, involvement in an university-related activity, and attendance at graduation ceremonies.
  6. No Contact: This Sanction prohibits a student from having contact, including but not limited to, physical, written, verbal, and/or electronic contact with another student for a specified period of time.
  7. Disciplinary Probation: This sanction indicates that the student has repeatedly violated minor policies or committed one moderate break of University policy. The length of this sanction is typically at least a semester and no more than one year.
  8. Removal from On-Campus Living: A student may be removed from the residence halls for repeated violations of policy or a severe violation of University policy. This sanction typically is for no less than one semester.
  9. Suspension in Abeyance: This sanction allows the student to continue to engage in University activities while providing one final opportunity to demonstrate they are a responsible member of the community. If during the suspension in abeyance a student is found in violation of the student code of conduct, the student will be immediately suspended for the duration of the abeyance, as well as given additional sanctions, including extension of the suspension or non-academic dismissal. Suspension in abeyance will last for a specified time or until certain conditions are met.
  10. Suspension: Involuntary separation from the University for a defined period of time for a serious violation of the University policies. During this period the student is excluded from all academic and social functions and is prohibited from visiting the University except on matters which are directly related to the suspension. Suspension will last for a specified time or until certain conditions are met. A notation is made on the student’s permanent transcript in the Registrar’s Office.
  11. Non-Academic Dismissal: Permanent separation of a student from the University when behavior indicates that the student is unfit to continue within the University community. The student is excluded from all academic and social functions and is forbidden from visiting the University. A notation is made on the student’s permanent transcript in the Registrar’s Office.

Suspension and non-academic dismissal will be at the discretion of the Dean of Students or their designee.

In suspension and dismissal, fees will be refunded in accordance with regular University procedures. The grades which would be appropriate if the student withdrew voluntarily would be assigned. In any of the previous sanctions listed, additional acts of misconduct or the violation of disciplinary restrictions may result in more serious disciplinary action.

Parental Notification

The University of Detroit Mercy is very concerned about students’ use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Federal laws governing the privacy of student records, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), permits colleges and universities to inform the family of a student under 21 years of age when their student has been found in violation of university alcohol or drug rules and/or in the case of a health or safety emergency.

The goals of Parental Notification include:

  • Reducing alcohol/other drug use by UDM students
  • Engaging parents in dialogue about their student’s behavior related to alcohol/drugs

A member of the Student Affairs professional staff will notify the family of a student:

  1. By a phone call, if that student is transported to an emergency medical treatment center for drug use or intoxication or if a person’s health and safety is at serious risk, staff will contact the person the student listed as an emergency contact at the time the student is transported.
  2. In writing, from the Dean of Students if the university determines that the student (under 21 years of age) has committed a serious violation of alcohol or drug policies. (This letter will be sent within several business days of the determination that the student violated UDM alcohol or drug policies. Some policy violations that are considered less serious-for example, a person’s first time in a room where an empty beer can has been found-may not result in a notification letter being sent. )

Exceptions that may preclude Parental Notification involve certain situations related to a student’s personal relationship with or the current status of the parent. These exceptions will be granted in consultation with the conduct officer and the Dean of Students.

Student Conduct Board

The Conduct Board is a group of students who will hear from the student named in the incident and the person(s) reporting the incident (or their designee). After hearing from each party, the board will then deliberate on whether or not the student named in the incident is responsible or not responsible. They will then recommend to the Dean of Students or their designee sanctions appropriate to the incident. During the summer, and other times when the University is not regularly in session, conduct matters will be handled administratively.

Right to Appeal Disciplineary Action

Students found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct may appeal the decision. The Dean of Students will determine if there are grounds to warrant an appeal. (Note - For cases in which the Dean of Students makes the disciplinary decision, the Associate Dean of Students or designee will assume the appeal role described in this section.)

The grounds must include one or more of the following:

  • To determine whether or not the conference was conducted fairly
  • To determine there was not sufficient evidence to establish responsibility
  • To determine whether appropriate procedures were conducted in the formal resolution conference
  • To determine whether the disciplinary action(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation
  • To consider new evidence, sufficient to alter the decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original conference.

Timeline

The student has five (5) business days after the receipt of the written notification of the conference decision to file an appeal with the Dean of Student’s office. Failure to appeal within the five (5) business day period waives the right to appeal. Disciplinary actions will not be implemented while an appeal is under consideration.

Documentation

The appeal must be in writing and must contain the following:

  • The completed Request for Appeal Form that includes a statement explaining in detail why the student is appealing; this form can be obtained in the Dean of Students Office or online at www.udmercy.edu/slo.
  • Copies of any documents that will substantiate or clarify the appeal request.

Review of an Appeal Request

Within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the material pertinent to the appeal, the conduct officer hearing the appeal will notify the student in writing if the student’s grounds for appeal were denied or accepted. If approved, the conduct officer will set up an administrative conference or appeal board conference with the student. Based upon the appeals conference, the student will be notified in writing of the decision within five (5) business days. The decision is final.

Appeal Conference

During the summer, and other times when the University is not regularly in session, conduct matters will be handled administratively.

The Appeals Board will be notified by the Dean of Students or their designee of a student’s desire for an appeal conference. The date for the conference will be set no sooner than three days after the receipt of the written request or at the 10 business days deadline to ensure that the student has an opportunity to prepare for the conference. Previous sanctions are not considered as evidence or used in the establishment of responsibility but may be considered in the determination of sanctions. During the conference, the student requesting an appeal has a right to:

  • Be assisted by an advisor.
  • Present evidence and witnesses in his/her own behalf.
  • Question and challenge statements made on behalf of the complaining party.
  • Be informed of all witnesses.

The conference will be recorded so that a permanent record of the meeting is available. After the conference, the Board will decide whether or not to uphold the original decision. All information will be kept in strict confidence. The decision will be related to the student in writing by the Chairperson within two weeks, with a copy to the Dean of Students. The decision is binding and final.

Postponement of Activity Participation and Conferring of Honors and Degrees

The university reserves the right to delay or postpone the involvement of a student in any university-related activity, or delay or postpone the conferring of any honor or degree while there are pending student conduct procedures or actions.