The University Record, November 23, 1992

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN'S

STATEMENT OF STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Ann Arbor Campus

November 10, 1992

Preamble

The University of Michigan is dedicated to creating a scholarly community that promotes intellectual inquiry, encourages vigorous discourse, and respects individual freedom and dignity. Civility, diversity of opinion, and freedom of expression are all valued as the necessary foundation for a healthy learning community. All students are welcome members of this community and are expected to participate in sustaining its values.

The University of Michigan and its students are committed to maintaining an inclusive, academically centered community. The goals of this community include creating an environment that supports learning, protects the freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution, and assures members of the University community a safe environment free from violence, intimidation, fraud, theft, and harassment. The responsibility for reaching these goals lies with each member of this academic community.

The purposes of this statement are to define students' basic rights within the University community and what students may expect of the University and to explain the academic community's expectations of its student members, including the standard by which student behavior is measured. This statement describes unacceptable student behavior and creates procedures to sanction students if they engage in such unacceptable conduct.

It is the University's goal that all members of the University community - students, faculty, and staff - adhere to a set of fundamental and ethical standards similar to those that follow for students. The manner in which each group may carry out such standards will vary depending on the rules and procedures established.

Section I: Scope of the Statement

This statement does not:

  • apply to issues of academic integrity or professional conduct covered by school or college rules: it does not apply if the school or college chooses to employ its rules and procedures to process a case.

  • cover the policies or practices of student organizations; it applies only to the actions of individual students.

  • apply to non-violent civil disobedience or student protest. Federal, state, and local laws may be enforced against student demonstrators, but the University will not pursue sanctions under this policy against students for non-violent demonstrations.

  • apply to speech that is protected by the First Amendment.

  • apply to student publications or to students responsible for writing, creating, or publishing the material contained in such publications while they are acting within the scope of their journalistic responsibilities.

  • limit the ability of the University to employ administrative actions (hold credits, library fines, etc.).

    Section II: Expectation of Students

    Students accept the rights and responsibilities of membership in the University of Michigan's academic and social community when they are admitted to the University. Honesty in academic work is expected of each student at the University of Michigan. Allegations of academic dishonesty are reported to and handled by the schools and colleges. Each student is expected to respect the rights of others and to work to create an open, intellectually stimulating environment where diversity of ideas is valued and every person's dignity and autonomy is respected.

    Section III: Students' Rights and the University's Responsibilities

    Students at the University of Michigan have the same rights and protections under the constitutions of the United States and the state of Michigan as other citizens. These rights include freedom of expression, press, religion, and assembly. Freedom of expression, including dissent and voicing unpopular views, is a valued tradition at the University of Michigan, where students have a long tradition of activism. As members of this community, students have the right to express their own views, but must also take responsibility for according the same right to others.

    Students also have the right to be treated fairly by the University and to be informed of University policies affecting them. Any student accused of violating this policy is entitled to procedural due process protections.

    A. The University is committed to protecting students' rights of association

    Students are free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests.

    B. The University is committed to protecting students' rights of inquiry and expression

    Students are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately.

    The University's commitment to freedom of expression and inquiry has been described in detail in the "Statement on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression: The Rights and Obligations of Speakers, Performers, Audience Members, and Protesters at the University of Michigan," approved by the Board of Regents in July 1988. Members of the University community, speakers, artists, and others invited by members of the University community have the right to set forth their views and opinions at the University. Within its lawful authority to do so, the University will protect the right of any member of the University community or any invited speaker or artists to speak or perform. The University will also protect the rights of those members of the University community who wish to hear and communicate with an invited speaker or artist.

    C. The University is committed to protecting students' rights to a free press

    The University will not restrict the editorial freedom of student publications and the student press.

    D. The University is committed to protecting students' rights to due process

    Students who have been accused of violating University policies have the right to fair treatment. Students, under this policy, have the right to:

    1. be informed, in writing, of the charges against them with sufficient particularity and time to insure opportunity to prepare for a hearing.

    2. decline to make self-incriminating statements or to participate in a hearing. Such action will not be interpreted as evidence of guilt, but the process and the hearing will still go forward.

    3. decline to appear at the hearing, which will not be interpreted as evidence of guilt, with the understanding that the process and the hearing will still go forward. The judicial advisor will attempt to set hearing times and dates that are mutually acceptable to the parties.

    4. present information on their own behalf, including oral and written statements, physical exhibits, and witnesses.

    5. require the testimony of any member of the University community who has direct knowledge of the incident; unless the Judicial Advisor determines that the testimony would be irrelevant, immaterial, or redundant or would violate a legal privilege.

    6. hear all information presented and to question all people who appear before the hearing committee.

    7. be advised by an advisor or attorney for consultation purposes during the hearing.

    8. an opportunity to challenge the objectivity of the hearing officer or the panel.

    9. have the burden of proof rest upon those bringing the charge.

    10. receive a timely written decision.

    11. confidentiality as provided by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

    12. have a recording made of the hearing.

    13. an appeal or review of the original hearing.

    14. an open hearing, providing the accused requests an open hearing and either:

    (a) the complainant consents, or

    (b) the complainant is not a student and the complaint does not allege sexual assault or harassment, or

    (c) the judicial advisor, in consultation with the General Counsel's office, determines that no substantial harm will result to the complainant as a result of an open hearing.

    Section IV: Students' Responsibilities

    Students at the University of Michigan expect members of their community to be responsible for their actions and to respect the rights of others.

    A. Actions on campus

    The following personal actions on University property or at official University functions are prohibited by this policy:

    1. Sexual assault and rape

    2. Harassment, defined as physical force or violence; or behavior, including stalking, that involves a deliberate interference or a deliberate threat to interfere with an individual's personal safety, academic efforts, employment, or participation in university sponsored activities and causes the person to have a reasonable apprehension that such harm is about to occur. Students may not use threats, explicit or implicit, concerning the terms or conditions of an individual's education, employment, housing, or participation in a University activity as a way to gain sex and/or sexual favors.

    3. Physical assault, battery, or endangerment of any person

    4. The knowing possession, use, or storage of firearms or dangerous weapons, except for authorized academic or employment purposes or in connection with a registered student activity or organization

    5. Hazing practices as requirements of membership, advancement, or continued good standing in organizations, defined as including the following willful acts, with or without the consent of the individual involved:

  • physical injury, assault, or battery

  • kidnapping or imprisonment

  • intentionally placing at risk of severe mental or emotional harm

  • degradation, humiliation, or compromising of moral or religious values

  • forced consumption of any liquid or solid

  • mandatory personal servitude

  • placing an individual in physical danger (at risk) which includes abandonment

  • impairment of physical liberties which include curfews or other interference with academic endeavors

    6. Unlawful possession, use, manufacture, sale, or distribution of alcohol or other drugs

    7. Arson; unauthorized setting of fires, unauthorized tampering with any fire alarms or fire safety systems

    8. Fraud against the University, forgery, misuse, or alteration of any university document or record, misuse of the University's computer system to gain access to restricted information, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University

    9. Unauthorized taking or possession of property or services of another

    10. Intentionally and significantly interfering with teaching

    11. Damage or destruction of property belonging to another

    12. Unauthorized entry into University facilities

    13. Making a false report concerning a fire, bomb, or other emergency

    14. Misuse of the disciplinary procedures, including

    (a) failure to obey the request to appear before a hearing body or judicial advisor, except for the accused student to appear before the hearing body

    (b) knowingly falsifying or misrepresenting information before a hearing body

    (c) disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a hearing

    (d) knowingly initiating a disciplinary proceeding without cause

    (e) attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a hearing body prior to, and/or during the course of, a hearing

    (f) harassment and/or intimidation of a member of a hearing body or of a witness prior to, during and/or after a disciplinary proceeding

    (g) failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the hearing body

    (h) influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the disciplinary procedures.

    B. Actions off campus

    While the conduct of students on campus is of concern to members of the academic community, student actions off campus may also negatively affect the security of the community and/or the integrity of the educational process. The University has differentiated these by the nexus to the institution and the egregiousness of the violation. While all illegal conduct by students is abhorrent to the University, the ability to gather evidence, including testimony of witnesses, limits the institution from pursuing most violations which occur at a distance from the University.

    1. The following actions committed off campus will result in a challenge through the student judicial system if they occur in Ann Arbor or its environs (within 30 miles of campus):

    (a) illegal sale, distribution, or manufacture of drugs

    (b) physical assault, battery, and endangerment

    (c) murder

    (d) arson

    (e) hazing

    (f) sexual assault and/or rape

    (g) harassment

    2. The same actions listed in IV B. 1 may be challenged through the University judicial system regardless of where they occur if a student has been convicted of the offense in a court of law. The University hearing body must decide if the violation poses a clear threat to the mission of the University or to the health and safety of its members.

    Section V: Regents' Bylaw 2.01

    The Board of Regents of the University of Michigan in Regents' Bylaw 2.01 has given the President of the University the authority for "the maintenance of health, diligence, and order among the students." In cases in which student behavior interferes with the University's ability to maintain those conditions, the President, working through designated University officials, normally will refer a student case to the hearing procedures outlined in the procedures section of this document.

    PROCEDURES FOR RESPONDING TO VIOLATION OF THESE STANDARDS

    I. Purposes of the Procedures

    These standards and procedures have been established by the University to protect its educational purpose, to provide for the orderly conduct of its activities, to protect the victims of crime, and to safeguard the interests of the University community. These disciplinary procedures used by the University are considered part of its educational process and reflect the philosophy of peer education and evaluation. Hearings or appeals conducted as a part of this process are not courts of law and they are not subject to many of the rules of civil or criminal hearings. Because some of the violations of these standards are also violations of law, students may be accountable to both civil authorities and to the University for their actions. Disciplinary action at the University will normally proceed not withstanding any civil or criminal proceeding.

    II. Emergency Suspension

    If a student's actions indicate that his or her continued presence on campus or participation in University activities poses an imminent danger to persons or property, the Vice President for Student Affairs may take emergency action through an immediate suspension. Before, or within 24 hours after, such emergency suspension is imposed, the student shall be given an opportunity to appear before a designee of the Vice President for Student Affairs. At such time the student may make a statement and present evidence bearing on the alleged violation. If the emergency suspension is continued, the student is entitled to a formal hearing within seven (7) calendar days or as soon as practicable after the accused student is prepared to participate in a hearing.

    III. Filing Complaints, Notice and Investigation

    A. Filing a complaint

    Individuals are encouraged to file complaints when they believe there has been a violation of this policy. The formal mechanisms are designed to afford due process protection to the individuals involved, including time to prepare statements, but also resolve cases in a timely manner.

    Those filing complaints under these standards should contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, in the Fleming Building. A judicial advisor, located within the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, administers the procedures and guidelines of these standards. The judicial advisor will consult the Office of the General Counsel regarding such complaints.

    All complaints must be filed within one year of the date of the alleged offense.

    B. Notice and Investigation

    The judicial advisor will make written notification within ten (10) working days after the filing of the complaint, as well as provide the accused with a complete copy of the complaint. All records and documents to be presented to the hearing committee will be made available to both the accused and complainant. The judicial advisor will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with mediation or a formal hearing. Such a review ordinarily will involve interviewing any complaining witnesses and the accused, as well as other necessary witnesses. If the judicial advisor determines there is enough evidence for a hearing committee to find a violation of the policy, a formal hearing process or mediation will be initiated.

    If the judicial advisor determines there is insufficient evidence that a violation has occurred, both the accused and the individual filing the complaint will be notified in writing.

    When a serious violation has been reported and it appears that a member of the University community is in serious and continuing danger, the judicial advisor will move the case ahead of others to insure a timely hearing.

    IV. Mediation

    The University believes a strong system of mediation of disputes will encourage reporting and resolution of complaints. Mediation is appropriate when all parties involved (accuser(s) and accused) voluntarily agree to engage in the mediation process. Mediation will involve resolution of the incident, including sanctioning when needed. If mediation fails, the case will be forwarded for a formal hearing.

    To ensure these standards are applied with a proper regard to their goals and purposes, such mediation will occur solely through or at the direction of the office of the judicial advisor. Other academic and administrative offices may provide counseling and support for students. These offices include Counseling Services, Multicultural Student Programming, the Ombudsman, the Center for the Education of Women, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, the Department of Public Safety, Services for Students with Disabilities, the Lesbian and Gay Male Programs Office, and faculty and staff within the schools and colleges.

    V. Formal Hearing

    The hearing board will consist of six students. At the beginning of each academic year, students will be randomly selected from the student body to serve as potential hearing panelists until a pool of 50 eligible students is obtained. Selected students may be excused by the judicial advisor if service could cause undue hardship. The hearing will be chaired by a faculty or staff member drawn from a panel selected by the Student Relations Committee of Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs. The chair conducts the hearing and is a non-voting member of the committee. The chair selects a hearing committee by lot from the eligible pool of panelists. The judicial advisor shall provide appropriate training for the faculty and student panel in due process and questioning techniques prior to being assigned to a hearing committee.

    The chair shall ensure that panelists are both dedicated to their duty as well as unbiased. The chair's selections may be reviewed by both the complainant and the accused. The complainant or the accused may challenge a committee member or the chair based on bias or other cause. The committee member shall be disqualified if the chair determines that the challenge is justified. The chair shall be disqualified if the Vice President for Student Affairs determines that the challenge is justified.

    The chair may consult with the General Counsel's office before, during, and after the hearing regarding procedural matters. The judicial advisor is responsible for sending the complete report of the investigation to the hearing committee, and may be called as a witness. The accused retains the right to confront all witnesses and the accused, complainant, and panelists may question witnesses. Either the complainant or the accused may offer sworn affidavits to the panel for consideration. Both parties may be accompanied and counseled by an advisor of their choice who will be permitted to attend, but not participate in, the proceedings. The following are exceptions to this rule:

    A. In cases where the accused student is physically incapable of being present at

    a hearing, he/she may be represented during the hearing by a non-attorney

    member of the University community.

    B. Students with communication disorders may have a non-attorney member of

    the University community speak for them.

    The accused must be informed of his or her right to remain silent, and may not be compelled to be a witness against himself or herself. Committee deliberations will be in private. The chair will communicate in writing the results of the hearing to the accused and to the complainant. The letter communicating the results of the hearing will include a separate finding of facts in the case and how the facts were applied.

    If all members of the committee determine, by clear and convincing evidence, that the accused student has violated the policy, they will come to consensus on an appropriate sanction. The finding and sanction of the hearing committee will be communicated to the Vice President for Student Affairs who will enforce the sanctions.

    VI. Alternate Hearing Process

    The accused student may waive a full board hearing and request an administrative hearing. These hearings are conducted by hearing officers appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Administrative hearings will be used during the summer when student board members and faculty chairs are unavailable. An accused student has the option of delaying his or her hearing until the fall term, unless delaying the hearing causes imminent danger to persons or property.

    VII. Appeals

    A. Procedure

    If the accused student disputes the finding of the hearing committee or the administrative hearing officer, or the recommended sanction, he or she may appeal the decision. Such an appeal must be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs within ten (10) class days after the notice of the decision of the hearing panel. Upon petition, this time line may be extended. The appeal statement should contain the grounds for the appeal. Appeals will be limited to a review of the record of the hearing, written statements submitted by parties and any new evidence. The Vice President will forward the student's letter of appeal and all records of the investigation and hearing to the appeals board. The student may challenge any member of the appeals board for bias. The board member shall be disqualified if the Vice President for Student Affairs determines that the challenge is justified.

    B. Grounds

    Grounds for the appeal are limited to:

    1. the procedures described in this policy were not followed

    2. the decision was not supported by the evidence presented at the hearing

    3. the sanction was not appropriate for the violation

    4. new evidence is available that was not reasonably available at the time of

    the hearing.

    C. Appeals Board

    The Appeals Board is composed of three members who are to serve for the academic year and hear all appeals. They are appointed as follows:

    1. a student who is elected from and by the 50 students comprising the hearing panel

    2. a faculty member who is appointed by SACUA

    3. an administrator who is appointed by the President of the University.

    Alternate members may be appointed to the Appeals Board as needed.

    D. Decisions of Appeals Board

    Decisions by the appeals board will be by majority vote. The appeals board must make a decision within ten (10) working days of receiving the appeal. It may take any of the following actions:

    1. affirm the original decision concerning the violation of the policy

    2. affirm the original decision concerning the disciplinary sanction imposed

    3. reverse the original decision concerning the violation of the policy and direct that the complaint be dismissed

    4. reverse the original decision concerning the violation of the policy and direct that a new hearing be held before a new hearing board

    5. set aside the original decision concerning the sanction and impose a different sanction. The Appeals Board may not impose a greater sanction than the Hearing Committee.

    The appeals board will notify the Vice President for Student Affairs in writing of its decision, who will communicate the decision to the student.

    E. Further Appeals

    The student who filed the appeal may not make any further appeal from this decision. An exception to this rule can be made when a student has been tried in a civil or criminal court for the incident which resulted in a campus hearing and has been found not guilty in criminal court or has a decision in his/her favor in civil court. In this situation, a student may petition for an appeal before an Appeals Board, regardless of earlier appeals or length of time since the hearing committee's decision.

    VIII. Records

    Detailed records will be maintained by the judicial advisor about any actions undertaken under the policy. Accordingly, records will be maintained by the judicial officer of formal complaints, hearings, mediations, resolutions, findings, sanctions, and appeals. Two sets of records of these data will be maintained, an expunged version for public review and a confidential version for permanent records. Confidentiality of the records will be maintained to the extent required by law, including the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Records will be maintained in such as way that data on violations of this policy are easily available to the public. The judicial advisor will annually compile and release detailed statistics and examples of the administration and enforcement of the policy. However, some data may not be releasable if the identity of individuals involved would be revealed.

    IX. Sanctions

    Hearing panels should fashion sanctions commensurate with the offending conduct. Because education may be the most effective and appropriate means of addressing behavior that violates these standards in a University community, the University encourages hearing panels to design sanctions which include an educational element. One purpose of the sanctions is to help students understand their behavior in the context of this academic community. It is inappropriate for the University to try to change student's convictions; however, it remains appropriate for the University to ask a student to change behavior. Sanctions should be designed to deter the student from behaviors which harm, intimidate, harass, or threaten others. Regrettably, some conduct is so harmful to members of the University community or deleterious to the educational process that it requires more punitive sanctions. Hearing panels should impose such sanctions where appropriate.

    Certain factors should be considered in fashioning the sanctions. These include the intent of the accused, the effect of the conduct on the victim and the University community, whether the student has violated the standards in the past, and whether sanctions such as education and community service are likely to change the student's conduct. The most severe sanctions, suspension from the University and expulsion, should be imposed only in very serious cases, including the willful failure to comply with a lesser sanction. The range of potential sanctions is as follows:

    A. For any offense

    1. Formal Reprimand: The individual receives a formal reprimand for violating the standards of behavior and a warning that future violations will be dealt with more harshly.

    2. Community Service: The individual performs an appropriate amount of public service that is both beneficial to the community and likely to assist the individual in understanding the harm caused by his or her conduct.

    3. Class Attendance: The individual enrolls in and completes a class that helps the person understand why the standards prohibit the conduct involved.

    4. Restitution: The individual makes restitution to the victim for actual loss.

    5. University Housing Transfer or Removal: The individual is transferred to a another room or housing unit, or is removed from University housing entirely. Additional policies identifying responsibilities of students living in University Housing are available in the document Guidelines for Community Living. The disciplinary process and sanctions described in that document may be applied as appropriate.

    6. Suspension from Specific Courses or Activities: The individual is removed from a course or activity; or the individual is moved to a different section of a course.

    7. Combined Sanctions: A combination of the sanctions described above may be imposed.

    B. For offenses which are violent, dangerous, repeated, or a willful failure to comply with a lessor sanction

    8. Suspension: The individual is suspended from the University for a defined period of time. When a student is suspended during a term, his or her tuition is forfeited. The Vice-President for Student Affairs shall consult with the dean, chair, or director in the unit in which the student is enrolled before suspension is imposed.

    9. Expulsion: The individual is expelled from the University. When a student is expelled during a term, his or her tuition is forfeited. The Vice-President for Student Affairs shall consult with the dean, chair, or director in the unit in which the student is enrolled before expulsion is imposed.

    The sanctions imposed under these standards do not diminish or replace the penalties available under generally applicable civil or criminal laws. Students are reminded that many violations of the standards, including harassment and other discriminatory behavior, may violate various state and federal laws.

    X. Amendments

    A. Proposal

    Amendments to the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities can be proposed by the Michigan Student Assembly, SACUA, any Executive Officer of the University, by a petition sponsored by a student and signed by 500 currently enrolled students, or the faculty/student Panel. The judicial advisor shall bring all proposed amendments to the Panel for consideration.

    B. Consideration by the Panel

    All proposed amendments shall be considered and voted on by the Panel during the academic year. The Panel shall hold at least one public hearing on the proposed amendments. After the public hearing the Panel shall convene a meeting to determine by majority vote whether to approve a proposed amendment. The Panel may modify a proposed amendment at this time. During the public hearings and this meeting, at least 26 student panel members must be present. If less than 26 student members are present, no action may be taken. If the Panel votes to approve a proposed amendment it will be forwarded to the Board of Regents through the Vice President for Student Affairs.

    C. Approval, Limitation and Exceptions

    This is the only procedure by which faculty, staff, or students can make amendments to the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities not required by law. If an amendment is required by law, it can be unilaterally enacted by the Board of Regents. The Regents of the University of Michigan may reject any amendment approved by this procedure. The Regents may propose and enact amendments without following this procedure.

    EFFORTS TO EDUCATE THE STUDENT COMMUNITY ON THEIR RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES AND THESE STANDARDS

    A. Education and Prevention

    The prevention of behavior that violates these standards and the establishment of effective procedures with due concern for all parties require a thoughtful educational program.

    1. The University will provide resources and time for the prevention of, and education about conduct that violates these standards. The University will provide information to deans, student affairs staff, chairs, and directors in each unit concerning: (a) student rights and responsibilities under this policy; (b) how complaints are filed; (c) summaries of cases; and (d) sources of support and information for victims and respondents.

    2. Deans and heads of major administrative units are strongly encouraged to discuss these standards at meetings of faculty, staff, and teaching assistants. In addition, the deans and heads of major administrative units are urged to examine practices and behavior within their own units that may be inequitable or unjust to students.

    3. Training programs for residential advisors, those who meet students in crisis situations, and others serving in an advising capacity to students, will include training about referrals, resources, and methods for handling conduct covered by this policy.

    4. The Office of Student Affairs will develop an overall educational program for students dealing with issues covered in this statement and will provide information, definition, support, identification of resources, and exploration of behavioral alternatives. Educational programs will be directed toward, but not restricted to, new undergraduate and graduate/professional students.

    5. The University will publish annually this statement and the procedures, including the resources available to advise, counsel, and assist in the mediation or reporting of violations of these standards. The information will explain how to utilize University-wide and school-specific resources.

    B. Exit Interviews

    The University will survey annually a sample of departing students to measure the existence and frequency of incidents that violate these standards, with a focus on violent or intimidating conduct, as well as survey all participants in the judicial system.