Preamble Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility. The responsibility to secure and respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the community. The present code is designed to establish policies and procedures which provide and safeguard this freedom.
Purpose Towson University 's mission to the community at large is one of academic excellence and achievement. To that end, its campus community must be one wherein respect for the individual pursuit of academic excellence and achievement is given priority. In order to foster this environment, it is incumbent upon students to conduct themselves within the framework of the reasonable rules and regulations designed to enhance and protect the academic environment of the university. By specifying behavioral standards and by establishing fair and efficient processes for adjudicating conflict, the university seeks to protect the environment in which learning is nurtured and respect for that goal is continually afforded.
Individual Rights and Responsibilities
Access to higher education
Within the limits of its facilities, the institution and its courses, programs and activities shall be open to all applicants who are qualified, according to its admission requirements.
The institution shall, in the university Undergraduate Catalog , make clear to the students the standards of its programs.
Admission to Towson University shall be in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations that prohibit illegal discrimination.
Discussion and expression of all views relevant to the subject matter are permitted in the classroom, subject only to the responsibility of the instructor to maintain order and reasonable academic progress.
Faculty comportment shall be in accordance with standards set forth by the American Association of University Professors.
Students shall not be penalized for expressing controversial views relevant to the subject matter in class.
Evaluation of a student's academic performance shall be neither prejudiced nor capricious.
Discussion and expression of all views is permitted within the institution subject only to requirements for the maintenance of order. Support of any cause, by orderly means which does not disrupt the operation of the institution, is permitted.
Refer to Towson UniversityPolicy on Time, Place,
and Manner (06-04.11) https://inside.towson.edu/generalcampus/tupolicies/.
Students, groups and campus organizations may invite to hear any persons of their own choosing, subject only to the requirements of the use of institutional facilities and regulations of the university and the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland .
Students' dress and grooming, of any style, are permitted subject to legal prohibitions.
Students, groups, or organizations may
distribute written material on campus, providing
such distribution does not disrupt the
operations of the institution.
The right of assembly is granted within the institutional community. The institution retains the right to assure the safety of individuals, the protection of property, and the continuity of the educational process.
Orderly picketing and other forms of peaceful protest are permitted on institutional premises. Interference with entrances to institutional facilities, intentional interruption of classes or damage to property exceeds permissible limits.
Orderly picketing and orderly demonstrations are permitted in public areas within institutional buildings subject to the requirements of non-interference.
Every student has the option to be interviewed on campus by an organization authorized to recruit at the institution.
Students have the same rights of privacy as any other citizens and surrender none of those rights by becoming members of the academic community.
Information about student views, beliefs and political associations acquired by faculty and staff in the course of their work as instructors, advisers and counselors is confidential and is not to be disclosed to others unless under legal compulsion or with permission of the student.
The privacy and confidentiality of all student records shall be preserved. Official student academic records, supporting documents and other student files shall be maintained only by full-time members of the institution's staff employed for that purpose and students employed by them who may have access in line of employment. Separate files shall be maintained for the following: academic records, supporting documents and general educational records, records of disciplinary proceedings, medical and psychiatric records, and financial aid records.
No entry may be made on a student's academic record and no document may be placed in the student's file without actual notice to the student .
Every student is guaranteed the right to inspect and review all information in his or her own files maintained by the Office of
Student Conduct and Civility Education, subject only to reasonable regulations as to time, place and supervision. However, the student may not have copies of items in a file .
A student may challenge the accuracy or presence of any item by following the standard appeal process (see Appeal Procedures below).
When a case is referred, a disciplinary file may be developed in the name of the charged student.
The file will be voided if the charges against the student are not substantiated .
The file, including any university
hearing audio recordings, will be retained for seven years if the charges are substantiated. Disciplinary records may be retained for longer periods of time or permanently if the sanction is suspension or expulsion from the university or university housing .
Any record, file or incident report to which the student has access and an opportunity to respond, or records of previous hearings, may be taken into consideration by the decision-maker in arriving at an appropriate decision.
Pursuant to recent changes in the
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of
1974, as revised, the Office of Student
Conduct & Civility Education reserves the right to notify parents of students under the age of 21 who are found responsible for alcohol or drug violations of the Code of Student Conduct .
No record may be made in relation to any of the following matters except upon the express written request of the student: religion, political or social views, and membership in any organization other than honorary and professional organizations directly related to the educational process .
Agencies of the university which keep student records must make students aware of how and to whom those records may be divulged. No information in any student file may be released to anyone except with prior written consent of the student concerned or as stated below .
Administrators may have access to student records for internal educational and administrative purposes.
Members of the faculty may have access to academic records for internal educational and administrative purposes.
Non-academic records shall be routinely available only to administrators and staff charged with their maintenance. Faculty and staff may have access to all records for statistical purposes.
Directory information, as defined in Appendix F, may be released to any inquirer unless the student has specifically asked the
registrar to withhold that information.
Unless under legal compulsion, all other information regarding students' records shall be denied to any person making an inquiry .
Upon graduation or withdrawal from the institution, the records and files of former students shall continue to be subject to the provisions of this code .
Rights and Responsibilities of Campus Organizations
Organizations, groups and NCAA teams may be established within the institution for any legal purpose. Their recognition will be in accordance with established guidelines .
Membership in all institution-related organizations, within the limits of their facilities, shall be open to any fee-paying member of the institution community who is willing to subscribe to the stated aims and meet the stated obligations of the organization .
Individual members, as well as the organization, group or team itself, can be charged with violations of the Code of Student Conduct, including those actions defined in the “Hazing Policy” section of this document.
Use of university facilities shall be granted to recognized student
organizations. Student organizations shall be given priority for use of space as outlined in procedures established by Event & Conference Services and the Student Government Association .
The authority to allocate institutional funds derived from student fees for use by organizations shall be delegated to a body in which student participation in the decision-making process is assured .
Approval of requests for funds is conditional upon submission of budgets to and approval by this body.
Financial accountability, in full accordance with university
and state policies, regulations, procedures and practices, is required for all allocated funds, including statement of income and expenses on a regular basis.
Otherwise, organizations shall have independent control over the expenditure of allocated funds .
The student press is to be free of censorship. The editors and managers shall not be arbitrarily suspended because of student, faculty, administration, alumni or community disapproval of editorial policy or content. Similar freedom is assured oral statements of views on institution-controlled and student-operated radio or television stations. This editorial freedom entails a corollary obligation under the canons of responsible journalism and applicable regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.
All student communications shall explicitly state that the opinions
expressed are not necessarily those of the institution or its student body
Rights of Students in Institutional Government
All constituents of the institutional community are free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of interest to the student body. Clearly defined means shall be provided for student expression on all institutional policies affecting academic and student affairs.
The role of student government and its responsibilities shall be
made explicit. There should be no review of student government actions except where review procedures are agreed upon in advance, or where actions of the government are either potentially illegal or present a clear danger to either individual or institutional rights.
On questions of educational policy, students are entitled to a
participatory function. Students shall be designated as members of standing and special committees concerned with institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs, including those concerned with curriculum, discipline, admission, academic standards, university governance and allocation of student funds .
Student Grievance Procedures
Any student or group may file a grievance against an administrative official or faculty member for violation of student rights as listed above.
Students choosing to file a grievance should
contact the Office of Student Conduct and Civility
Education, who will serve as a resource to the
student. The Office of Student Conduct and
Civility Education will direct the student to the
appropriate university department based on the
nature of the student's grievance.
Code of Student Conduct
Rationale The primary purpose for the imposition of discipline in the university setting is to protect the campus community. Consistent with that purpose, reasonable efforts will also be made to foster the personal, educational and social development of those students who are held accountable for violations of university regulations. However, the university must commit its policies and procedures first of all to protect and promote the academic enterprise. Consequently, it may be necessary to suspend or expel students who have been found responsible for violations of this Code, or who otherwise pose a substantial danger to the campus community .
The terms “university” and “institution” mean Towson University (TU).
The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the university, both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, professional, certificate or continuing studies. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the university are considered “students.”
The terms “faculty member” and “instructor” mean any person hired by the university to conduct classroom activities.
The term “university official” includes any person employed by the university, performing assigned administrative, professional or paraprofessional responsibilities (including student resident assistants and building managers).
The term “member of the university community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, university official, or any other person employed by the university.
The term “university premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities and other property in the possession of or owned, used or controlled by the university (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with formal requirements for university recognition (including SGA, Greek and NCAA).
The term “group” means a number of persons who are associated with each other but who have not complied with university requirements for registration as an organization.
The term “Hearing Board” means the hearing
officer and student conduct aides authorized by the director of
the Office of Student Conduct and Civility
Education to determine whether a student has violated the Code of Student Conduct.
The director of the Office of Student Conduct
and Civility Education is that person designated by
the university president to be responsible for the administration of the Code of Student Conduct.
The term “policy” is defined as the written regulations of the university as found in, but not limited to, the Code of Student Conduct, the Policies for University Housing, the Faculty Handbook, the Undergraduate Catalog, the Towson University Procedures for Alcohol Events,
Student Organization Handbook and the Event & Conference Services Guide for Student Organizations.
The term “interim disciplinary action” means discipline which is imposed pending the outcome of a court case for off-campus behavior.
The term “banned from campus” means that a student is prohibited from coming onto university property. A student who is banned from campus may be allowed to finish current course work off campus, if appropriate, and a tuition refund may be granted. As a result of a ban, the student will not have a permanent file in the Office of
Student Conduct and Civility Education. A ban
will normally only be issued after the student
has been offered a meeting with a representative
of the Office of Student Conduct & Civility
The term “non-consensual sexual intercourse” means any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman, without effective consent.
The term “non-consensual physical conduct of a sexual nature” means any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without effective consent.
The term “effective consent” means consent that is informed, freely and actively given, and that uses mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is not effective if it results from the use of physical force, threats, intimidation or coercion.
The term “incapacitated sex” means to have sex with someone who you know or should know to be incapable of making a rational, reasonable decision about a sexual situation. This includes but is not limited to someone whose incapacity results from being intoxicated or from the taking of a so-called “date-rape drug.”
The USM Policy on Sexual Misconduct can be found
The term “stalking” means to follow or otherwise contact another person repeatedly, so as to put that person in fear for his or her life or personal safety.
The term "harassment" is defined as conduct directed at a specific person or
persons which seriously alarms or intimidates such
persons and which serves no legitimate purpose. Such
conduct may include: threats,
including gestures which place a person in
reasonable fear of unwelcome physical contact or
harm; following a person about in a public place
or to or from his or her residence; making remarks
in a public place to a specific person which are by
common usage lewd, obscene, expose a person to
public hatred or that can reasonably be expected to
have a tendency to cause acts of violence by the
person to whom the remark is addressed; or any other
conduct which is sufficiently severe, pervasive or
persistent so as to interfere with or limit a
person's ability to participate in, or benefit from
the services, activities, or opportunities offered
by the university.
The term "event-related misconduct" is
defined as serious misconduct that is related to
university-sponsored events, including athletic
events. Event-related misconduct includes
rioting, vandalism, fire-setting, or other
misconduct related to a university-sponsored
event, occurring on or off-campus, that results
in harm to persons or property or otherwise
poses a threat to the stability of the campus
Preponderance of evidence is that evidence
which, when fairly considered, produces the
stronger impression, has the greater weight, and
is more convincing as to its truth when weighted
against the evidence in opposition thereto.
The accused and the complainant may each be
accompanied by a friendly observer. A friendly
observer is someone who provides support, guidance,
and/or advice to the accused or the complainant
during the University Hearing process, however this
individual cannot speak or directly participate in
the hearing proceedings. The friendly observer
cannot serve as a witness for either the accused or
the complainant. The friendly observer may
remain in the room with the accused or complainant
for the duration of the hearing. This
individual may be a family member, friend, faculty
member, staff member, or other advisor/support.
This party may not act as legal counsel, but may
advise the accused or complainant through written
communication methods. Should a friendly
observer not adhere to these expectations, or
attempt to play an active role in the University
Hearing, the Hearing Officer, at his/her discretion,
may remove the friendly observer from the University
Generally, student or group conduct subject to institutional discipline is limited to: on-campus actions; off-campus actions which affect the university community or the university's pursuit of its mission, policies or procedures; off-campus actions by officially sponsored organizations, groups, or NCAA teams; or actions on university property which is leased to, or managed by, an entity other than the university .
However, a student charged with a violation of federal, state, or local laws for off-campus behavior may be disciplined by the university without a
or informal investigation when: the student is found guilty by a court of law; the student pleads guilty or nolo contendere
to the charges; or, the student is given probation
before judgment. Allegations of off-campus event related misconduct
(see definitions) must be supported by a report,
statement or accusation from a law enforcement
agency in whose jurisdiction the misconduct is
alleged to have occurred. Additionally, interim or final disciplinary action may be taken
before any court action is completed. Examples of charges that may result in action include acts of violence, drug- and alcohol-related violations, and a citation for a disorderly house. Such action will be taken only after a limited investigation by the Office of
Student Conduct & Civility Education.
The student will be offered a meeting with a
university official to discuss the incident. In situations where a student is not able to meet
with a university official, interim action may still
be taken pending a meeting with the student. Any interim action shall be reviewed, and appropriate final action taken, at the student's request or at the university's discretion, when a final court decision is rendered or when the university receives additional persuasive evidence .
Some conduct clearly disturbs only the campus environment; when such behavior occurs, the university shall take internal action.
When there is evidence that a student has committed a crime
on campus, disciplinary action at the university will normally proceed independently of pending criminal charges, including when charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or dropped. The student may then be subject to civil authorities as well as internal disciplinary action.
When a student is charged with a violation of one or more provisions
of this Code, a letter listing the charges will be given or sent to the student within a reasonable amount of time. At
a meeting with a representative of the Office of
Student Conduct & Civility Education, the student will be informed of :
Description of alleged incident
Hearing or informal investigation procedure
Rights of appeal
Prohibited Conduct The following misconduct is subject to disciplinary action: 1a. Intentionally furnishing false information to the institution; this includes lying to university officials. 1b. Forging, altering or using instruments of identification
or institutional documents with intent to defraud, or to otherwise benefit there from. 1c. Possession of false identification (e.g., a false driver's license).
2a. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research,
administration, disciplinary proceedings, or normal
university operations. 2b. Disruption or obstruction of university-sponsored activities or events. 2c. Off campus conduct that is disorderly and
disrupts others in the community. 3. Lewd, obscene or indecent behavior. 4. Physical abuse of any person. 5a. Unwanted physical contact or threat of physical contact with a university official. 5b. Threats of violence or placing a person in fear of imminent physical injury or danger. 5c. Any endangering conduct that imperils or jeopardizes the health or safety of any person or persons, including oneself. 5d. Stalking of any person. 6. Inflicting mental or emotional distress upon a person through a course of conduct involving abuse or disparagement of that person's race, religion, sex, creed, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability. 7. Acts that invade the privacy of another person.
8. Violation of the university policy prohibiting sexual
harassment, the university sexual assault policy, and/or
the University System of Maryland Policy on Sexual
Misconduct. 9. Abuse of any person; this includes verbal, written, e-mail, or telephone abuse.
10. Intentionally or recklessly damaging, destroying, defacing or tampering with university, public or personal property of another. 11a. Uncooperative behavior and/or failure to comply with proper instructions of officials acting in performance of their duties. 11b.Event-related misconduct. (see definitions).
12. Violation of published institutional regulations and policies.
13. Violation of state, federal and local laws. 14. Unauthorized presence in institutional facilities. 15a. The possession or use of illegal drugs,
unauthorized controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia when not in accordance with established policy. 15b. The sale, distribution or intent to distribute, and/or manufacture of illegal drugs
or controlled substances when not in accordance with established policy. 16. The possession or use of any firearms or instrument which may be construed as a weapon, without express permission of the University Police. 17. The possession of explosives, fireworks, or pyrotechnic paraphernalia on campus.
18a. The possession or use
of alcoholic beverages in the following manner: by any
person under 21 years of age; or, possession of, or
consumption from, an open container in any public area
which has not been approved by Towson University; or, a
person 21 years of age or older purchasing for, serving
to, or otherwise distributing alcohol to any person who
is under 21 years of age. 18b. Public intoxication. 19. The unauthorized use of or entry into university computer systems. 20. Violation of the university housing policy. 21. Violation of any disciplinary sanction. 22. Charging telephone or telecommunications charges to university telephones or extension numbers without authorization. 23. Theft, attempted theft, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to steal or misappropriation of another's property. This includes, but is not limited to, removing, possessing, concealing, altering, tampering or otherwise appropriating goods or property without authorization. 24. Violation of the Student Academic Integrity Policy. 25. Harassment of any person.
26. Unauthorized use of the name "Towson University" or
the unauthorized use of any University trademark,
service mark, logo or seal for advertising or
promotional purposes in a manner that expressly or
impliedly indicates the University's endorsement.
Penalties The following penalties may be imposed upon students and all student organizations for violations of the Code of Student Conduct. With
certain exceptions, federal regulation prohibits disclosing the outcome of
disciplinary proceedings to anyone other than to the accused and to appropriate university personnel.
The first exception relates to the disclosure of the
final results of the University's disciplinary
proceeding to a victim of an alleged crime of violence
or of a non-forcible sex offense regardless of whether
the University concluded a violation was committed.
In addition, the parents of students under the age of 21
may be notified when students are found responsible for
violations of the University's alcohol or drug policies.
CENSURE: A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations, including a warning that continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may be cause for additional disciplinary action. This may include a specified period of probation.
PROBATION: Notice to the student that any further disciplinary
violation, during a specified period of time, may result in suspension or expulsion from the university and or
SOCIAL PROBATION: Exclusion from participation in privileged
or extracurricular institutional activities, including NCAA athletic events or practice, for a specified period of time. Additional restrictions or conditions may also be imposed. Violations of the terms of social probation, or any other violation of this Code during the period of probation, will normally result in a fine, suspension or expulsion from the university.
SUSPENSION: Suspension involves separation of the student
from the university for a specified period of time and usually impairs a student's ability to pursue work at other colleges and universities. Normally, the student will also be barred from university premises during the period of suspension. Any student who is suspended shall not be entitled to any tuition or fee refund.
EXPULSION: Expulsion constitutes permanent separation of
the student from the university. Normally, the student will also be barred from
university premises upon expulsion. Any student who is expelled shall not be entitled to any tuition or fee refund.
EVENT-RELATED MISCONDUCT SUSPENSION OR
EXPULSION:In general, a
student found responsible on a charge of
event-related misconduct shall be suspended or
expelled. Any decision to impose a
sanction less than suspension or expulsion for
university-sponsored event-related misconduct
(see Definitions) must be supported by written
findings signed by the vice president for
Student Affairs. A record of any
suspension or expulsion for university-sponsored
event-related misconduct shall be noted on the
student's transcript for the duration of the
sanction, or longer if so specified in the final
notice of sanction. A student suspended
for event-related misconduct shall not be
admitted to any other institution in the
University System of Maryland during the term of
the suspension. A student expelled for
event-related misconduct shall not be admitted
to any other institution in the University
System of Maryland for at least one year from
the effective date of the expulsion. Any
student who is suspended or expelled shall not
be entitled to any tuition or fee refund.
SUSPENSION OF GROUP: Suspension shall consist of the
withdrawal of an organization's recognition by the university, for a stated period of time, when an organization is found to have violated regulations. Suspension shall result in complete suspension of activities of the group during the stated period of time and may also include conditions for removal of suspension.
ORGANIZATIONAL DISSOLUTION: Organizational dissolution
is a sanction imposed only upon student organizations guilty of serious and/or repeated violations of these standards. The sanctions involve permanent withdrawal of recognition by the university, denial of the use of university facilities or funds, and official dissolution of the organization on the campus.
may be imposed on students whose violation has
involved monetary loss or damage. Fines may be
imposed in addition to restitution. Restitution
becomes a financial obligation to the university
and either full payment or an agreement for
partial payment according to a schedule agreed
to by the director of the Office of Student
Conduct and Civility Education is
required before a student may register for
classes again, or in the case of seniors, before
the student may graduate or before the diploma
is released. The University typically does
not issue restitution to third parties,
including other students, as part of a
REMOVAL FROM ON-CAMPUS HOUSING:
This sanction prohibits a student from residing
in on-campus housing for a stated period of
time. Any student who is removed from
on-campus housing shall not be entitled to any
refund of housing costs. In addition to
removal, students are typically banned from
being in or around (as determined by university
staff) all on-campus residence halls.
FINES: Fines of varying
amounts may be imposed for certain violations.
Fines issued to students for misconduct
typically start at $100 and may increase
incrementally for subsequent violations or
instances when the student is found responsible
for multiple charges related to the same
incident. These increases are typically in
increments of $50. It should be noted that
the severity of the incident may also impact
this fine resulting in a higher amount charged.
Additionally, students with a prior disciplinary
record may receive higher fines if their prior
history supports such action. Fines must be paid prior to the end of the current term, otherwise a student's registration privileges will be withheld or prior registration canceled.
OTHER SANCTIONS: Other sanctions may be imposed
instead of or in addition to those specified above. For example, students may be
required to participate in and complete an
approved alcohol or drug educational/treatment
program, students may be subject to restrictions upon or denials of university parking privileges for violations involving the use or registration of motor vehicles on campus;
community service hours or research projects may be assigned;
educational sanctions or workshops may be assigned; or the university housing contract may be placed on probation.
Standards and Procedures of Due Process
Students subject to suspension or expulsion from the university will be entitled to a
university hearing, except as described in section C.2. With the exception of allegations of academic dishonesty (see the section below: Student Academic Integrity Policy), students subject to any other sanction will
typically be entitled to an informal investigation.
The purpose of a disciplinary proceeding is to provide a fair
evaluation of an accused's responsibility for violating disciplinary regulations. Although formal rules of evidence need not be applied, procedures shall comport with standards of fundamental fairness. Harmless deviations from the prescribed procedures shall not necessarily invalidate a decision or proceeding unless significant prejudice to an accused student or the university may result.
Any person may refer students or student groups or organizations
suspected of violating this Code to the Office of Student Conduct and Civility
Education. Allegations of violations occurring within
on-campus housing should be referred to the Department of Housing
and Residence Life. Those referring cases are
normally expected to serve as a witness and to
present relevant evidence in disciplinary hearings
or informal investigations. The director of the
Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education may appoint a member of the campus community to serve as an adviser to university witnesses. The role of the adviser shall be limited to consultation with the witnesses.
Suspensions and expulsions from the university will be made
by the vice president for Student Affairs or designee. All other sanctions will be determined by the director of
the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education, or designee. In all cases, the accused will be notified in writing of any sanctions to be imposed and of his or her rights of appeal .
Informal Investigation and University Hearing Procedure
Informal Investigation: The informal investigation is designed to reduce unnecessary proceduralism and potential contentiousness in disciplinary proceedings. An informal investigation will normally begin with an informal, non-adversarial meeting between the accused and a university administrator, as designated by the director of
the Office of Student Conduct and Civility
Education. The university shall consider all matters that reasonable persons would accept as having probative value, including documentary evidence, written statements and hearsay. The accused will be given access to documentary evidence and written statements in advance or during the initial meeting and allowed to respond to them. Accused are also allowed to submit the names of appropriate and relevant witnesses.
The accused will be found responsible if the
university administrator decides that a
preponderance of evidence supports the charges. The following procedural protections are provided to respondents in the informal investigation :
Written notice of the specific charges prior to or at the initial meeting
Reasonable access to the case file during the informal investigation
or at the student's request
An opportunity to respond to the evidence and call appropriate and relevant witnesses .
University hearings are scheduled when a student
disagrees with the charge(s) against him/her. The following procedural guidelines shall be observed for all hearings held by the University Hearing Board. The University Hearing Board will be composed of the hearing officer, who shall preside and make the final decision, and
student conduct aides. In the absence of the student
conduct aides, the hearing officer may hear and
decide the case alone. A case may not be heard if
the hearing officer is not in attendance. The hearing officer shall be responsible for submitting the hearing panel's report to the Office of
Student Conduct and Civility Education.
The accused shall be given notice of the
hearing date and the specific charges against
him or her at least three business days in
advance and shall be accorded reasonable access
to the case file, which will be retained in the
Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education. (In some cases, the accused may choose not to wait three days for a hearing to take place.)
The hearing will be audio recorded.
The accused will be present for the hearing. If more than one
student is charged with the same incident, the university may hold a combined hearing. If the accused fails to appear, this will be stated for the record and the hearing will continue.
The accused and the complainant may be
accompanied by a friendly observer. This party
may not be or act as legal counsel, except when
concurrent criminal charges have been filed. In
this situation, counsel may not participate in the hearing, but may advise the accused.
The hearing officer shall exercise control over the proceedings
to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve orderly completion of the hearing. Any person, including the accused, who disrupts a hearing may be excluded by the hearing officer.
The accused will be found responsible if the
hearing officer decides that a preponderance of
evidence supports the charges.
Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable in disciplinary
proceedings conducted pursuant to this Code. The hearing officer shall admit all matters into evidence that reasonable persons would accept as having probative value, including documentary evidence, written statements, and hearsay. Repetitious or irrelevant evidence may, however, be excluded. Documentary evidence and written statements shall only be admitted into evidence if available to the accused before or during the hearing.
The director of the Office of Student
Conduct and Civility Education may appoint a special hearing
panel member in complex cases. Special panel members may question all parties, participate in hearing panel deliberations, and offer advice to the hearing officer.
The hearing officer's report will be presented to the Office of
Student Conduct and Civility Education. The student may view the hearing officer's written report by appointment.
The accused will receive the decision in writing from the vice president for Student Affairs or designee .
Disciplinary Procedures for Student Organizations, Groups, and NCAA Teams
Student organizations, groups and NCAA teams (referred to here collectively as “group”) may be charged with violations of the Towson University Code of Student Conduct.
When one or more members of a group are charged with a violation
of the Code of Student Conduct, the university may charge the group as well. A student group and its officers may be held collectively and individually responsible when violations of this Code by those associated with the group have received the consent or encouragement of the group or of the group's leaders or officers.
A position of leadership in a student group entails responsibility.
Student officers or leaders cannot knowingly permit, condone or acquiesce in any violation of this Code by the group. This section of the Code is designed, in part, to hold a group and its officers accountable for any act of hazing. The express or implied “consent” of the victim or participant is not a defense.
The officers, leaders or any identifiable spokesperson for a student
group may be directed by the vice president for Student Affairs or designee, to take appropriate action designed to prevent or end violations of this Code by the group. Failure to make reasonable efforts to comply with the vice president for Student Affairs' directive shall be considered a violation of this Code, both by the officers, leaders or spokesperson for the group and by the group itself.
An informal investigation, or whenever
appropriate, a university hearing, for student
groups will be conducted in a manner similar to the
procedures listed above. Conferences shall be
conducted with one spokesperson representing the
group, usually the president. Any sanction listed in
the Code of Student Conduct may be imposed on a
group and its individual members. If individual
members are subject to suspension or expulsion from
the university for actions of the group, those
individuals will be offered a university hearing .
A group may be held responsible for violations
of the Code of Student Conduct resulting from the actions of
its members, if the actions: arose out of
activities related to the group; were encouraged,
fostered or condoned by the group; were known or
should have been known by members of the group; or
were activities that the group could have prevented
To be held responsible for Group Misconduct, it
is not necessary that the misconduct be approved by
the entire group nor is it necessary that more than
one group member be involved in the misconduct.
In determining whether a group is responsible,
the university may consider, among other factors,
whether the misconduct would have occurred if the
participating individuals were not members of the
group or whether the misconduct was encouraged,
fostered or condoned by the group or whether the
misconduct could have been prevented by the
collective action of the group.
When there is evidence that the continued presence of a student on the university campus poses a substantial threat to him/herself or others, or to the stability and continuance of normal university functions, the vice president for Student Affairs or designee, may immediately suspend a student from any or all university activities, including university housing, for an interim period pending a hearing or medical evaluation. Such an emergency suspension may become effective immediately without prior notice.
An emergency suspension may be imposed only :
to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the university community;
to ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and
if the student poses a definite threat of ,disruption of, or interference with the normal operations of the university .
A student issued an emergency suspension shall be denied access, as determined appropriate by the vice president for Student Affairs or designee, to :
The entire campus, including classes;
university housing and dining facilities;
all other activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible .
In these cases, a university hearing or medical evaluation will be scheduled as soon as is practicable .
Any disciplinary determination resulting in expulsion or suspension from the university may be appealed to :
the Student Appeals Committee
the president of the university
Any disciplinary determination resulting in
removal from on-campus housing may be appealed to: the Student Appeals Committee.
Any disciplinary determination resulting in any
lesser sanction except as provided below may be
appealed to: the vice president for Student Affairs
or designee. The basis for appeal of a disciplinary sanction must be one of the following :
a flaw in the student's right of due process
evident bias in the decision of the hearing board or the individual conducting an informal investigation
inconsistent or overly severe sanction imposed
new evidence or insufficient consideration of all aspects of
Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of
Student Conduct and Civility Education
by the deadline indicated in the sanction letter. Failure to appeal within the allotted time will render the original decision final and conclusive. Appeals shall be decided upon the record of the original proceedings, written letters submitted by the parties, and any further information requested by the committee,
vice president for Student Affairs, or designee. The imposition of sanctions will not be deferred during the appeal process unless the student presents a compelling reason to the vice president for Student Affairs or designee.
When a student has a dispute about a grade or substantive academic matter, the appeal process is :
Student Appeals Committee
In cases involving the awarding of grades, the Student Appeals Committee normally reviews whether a grade was determined in accordance with the terms set forth at the beginning of the term by the instructor, normally as outlined in the course syllabus. Disputes regarding the grading of a particular piece of work shall be assigned to the appropriate chairperson who shall establish impartial means to conduct a review of the grade. Grade appeals must be initiated within one year .
When a student appeals a course-related sanction for academic dishonesty, the appeal process is: