If a student is found in violation of a policy he or she will receive one or more sanctions. Many factors are taken into consideration when sanctioning: the current violation, the past conduct record, previous sanctions that may exist, and the level of understanding the student demonstrates regarding the actions he or she displayed.
If more than one student is found responsible for the same or similar violations they may or may not receive the same sanctions. Sanctions may vary depending upon the degree of participation (i.e. a person who initiates (‘leader”) an incident may receive more serious sanctions than those who participate (“follower”)), the individuals past conduct record, previous sanctions that have been imposed, and the level of understanding the student demonstrates.
Due to the desire for creative sanctioning and individual student development efforts are made when possible to find educational sanctions that will provide an opportunity for a student to learn from his/her actions. However, there are certain policy violations that generally receive a standard sanction.
The PSU philosophy of sanctioning is one of progressive discipline. The severity of sanctions may be appropriately increased with the frequency or seriousness of a student’s behavior as well as the student’s demonstrated willingness and ability to alter their conduct to that which is acceptable.
Sanctions are intended to serve a remedial and educational purpose and to protect the rights of others to reasonably pursue their education.
TIMING RETALIATION AND RELATED MISCONDUCT
Complaints and Availability of Procedures
There is no time limit to invoking any of these processes in responding to complaints of sexual assault/misconduct so long as the accused is still an enrolled student. Even if the accused is no longer enrolled, protective measures are available. If a student would like to file a conduct complaint they are encouraged to report sexual assault/misconduct as soon as possible in order to maximize the university’s ability to obtain evidence, and conduct a thorough, impartial and reliable investigation.
If a student would like to access an advocate who provides 24/7 confidential support services they are encouraged to contact Voices Against Violence at 603-536-1659 to discuss their options.
It is a violation of university policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of sexual assault/ misconduct or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of sexual assault/misconduct. For these purposes, “retaliation” includes intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action threatened or taken. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Dean of Students and may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanction or interim measures imposed in response to reports of sexual misconduct.
Related Misconduct (Sexual Misconduct Cases)
In accordance with policy, student conduct hearings may be convened for sexual misconduct and any violations of the University’s Standards of Conduct directly related to the sexual misconduct. Such related misconduct may include, violations of the rules of privacy as articulated herein, violations of administrator directive(s) and/or violations of other standards of conduct that occurred in the course of the sexual misconduct. Evidence of a complainant or witness’ use of alcohol or drugs (e.g., underage drinking) will not result in conduct charges as covered in the university Amnesty Policy for alcohol/drug use.
Sexual Misconduct/Harassment Violations
All sexual misconduct and sexual harassment policy violations are very serious. Students found in violation of these policies may face suspension or expulsion from Plymouth State University. Furthermore, all violations of this nature are investigated by the Associate Dean of Students or the Dean of Students; as these incidents may require a Title IX investigation, as required by federal law.