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Student Conduct

Article

11. Student Conduct

Preamble

11.1 Any decision to take formal action against a student under this regulation shall be made by the Warden or a Pro-Warden, on the advice of professional services staff in the Governance & Legal Services Department. Governance & LegalServices administers the procedures set out in this regulation, and should be the point of contact for academic and professional services departments in matters relating to student misconduct. 

11.2 A case officer from the Governance & Legal Services Department will be the administrative point of contact for student and staff in any formal action underthis regulation.

11.3 A three stage procedure is operated:

11.3.1 Cases, including a preliminary enquiry, are initially considered by (or on behalf of) the Warden

11.3.2 As a second stage, a case may be considered by a disciplinary committee

11.3.3 Following a disciplinary committee, a student may ask for a review.

11.4 The standard of proof to be applied is the balance of probabilities.

11.5 Disciplinary and Review Committees will be conducted in accordance with a Procedure for Conduct of Student Hearings agreed by Council on the recommendation of Academic Board

Definitions

11.6 It shall be an offence under these Regulations for a student by his or her conduct or activities to prejudice the good order and discipline of the College either in the precincts of the College, or in buildings or in premises owned or occupied by the College, or elsewhere, or by his or her conduct to bring the College into disrepute.

11.7 The offence of plagiarism is dealt with separately under the Assessment Regulations, and student disciplinary offences in student accommodation are dealt with in the Student Accommodation Regulations.

11.8 In particular, but without prejudice to the generality of 12.6, it shall be an offence for any student by his or her conduct wilfully to disrupt teaching, study, research, examinations, or the administration of the College, or to obstruct staff of the College or any other authorised representative of it in the performance of his or her duties, or to damage or deface any property of, or in the custody of, the College, or wilfully to harm any member or authorised representative of the College.

11.9 The following shall (subject to the above) constitute misconduct:

11.9.1 disruption of, or improper interference with the academic, administrative, sporting, social or other activities of the College, whether on College premises or elsewhere;

11.9.2 obstruction of, or improper interference with, the functions, duties or activities of any member of the College, authorised representative of it, or authorised visitor;

11.9.3 violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening or offensive behaviour orlanguage whilst on College premises or engaged in any College activity; 

11.9.4 fraud, deceit, deception or dishonesty in relation to the College or its staff orin connection with holding any office in the College or in relation to being a student of the College;

11.9.5 action likely to cause injury or impair the health or safety on College premises of students or staff;

11.9.6 harassment of any student, member of staff or other employee of the College or any authorised visitor to the College;

11.9.7 use of social media, including any websites, blogs, wikis, instant messaging, video/web conferencing, email or any app in such a way as to bring the College's name into disrepute, or to be derogatory, demeaning, malicious, defamatory, abusive, offensive or hateful to any individual employed by or attending theCollege.

11.9.8 breach of any College Regulation or any procedures or policies given authority by these College Regulations;

11.9.9 damage to, or defacement of, College property or the property of other members of the College community caused intentionally or recklessly, and misappropriation of such property;

11.9.10 misuse or unauthorised use of College premises or items of property, including computer misuse;

11.9.11 behaviour which brings the College into disrepute;

11.9.12 failure to disclose name and other relevant details to staff of the College or any other authorised representative of it in circumstances when it is reasonable to require that such information be given;

11.9.13 failure to comply with a previously-imposed penalty under these Regulations;

11.9.14 in the case of a student enrolled on a programme of study which leads to an entitlement to practise as a member of a profession, conduct which might call into question his or her suitability to practise that profession (professional fitness to practise);

11.9.15 conduct which constitutes a criminal offence where that conduct:

1 takes place on College premises; or

2 affects or concerns other members of the College community; or

3 damages the good name of the College; or

4 itself constitutes misconduct within the terms of these Regulations; or

5 is an offence of dishonesty, where the student holds an office of responsibility in the College.

Misconduct that is also a criminal offence

11.10 The following procedures apply where the alleged misconduct would also constitute an offence under the criminal law if proved in a court of law:

11.11 Where the offence under the criminal law is considered to be not serious, action under these Regulations may continue, but such action may be deferred pending any police investigation or prosecution.

11.12 In the case of all other offences under the criminal law, no action (other than suspension or exclusion) may be taken under these Regulations unless the matter has been reported to the Police and either prosecuted or a decision not to prosecute has been taken, at which time the Warden may decide whether disciplinary action under these Regulations should continue or be taken.

11.13 Where a finding of misconduct is made and the student has also been sentenced by a criminal court in respect of the same facts, the court's penalty shall be taken into consideration in determining the penalty under these Regulations.

Stage 1 - Warden's Preliminary Enquiry

11.14 the purpose of these Regulations, reference to the Warden may be taken to refer to a Pro-Warden who shall act for the Warden.

11.15 When a report of misconduct is received, a Preliminary Enquiry shall be held by the Warden, or by his or her nominee, for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not a substantive case exists against the accused.

11.16 The student shall be notified of the general nature of the charge under investigation and shall be given an opportunity to make representation in writing to the member of staff undertaking the Preliminary Enquiry. He or she shall be under no obligation to make any statement or give any explanation if he or she does not wish to do so, and shall be so informed.

11.17 If no substantive case is found to exist, all proceedings in respect of that charge shall terminate.

11.18 If the Warden has reason to believe that an offence has been committed, heor she shall have the power to take no further action in the matter, to reprimand a student, to deliver a warning, or to summon a student to appear before the Disciplinary Committee, and at his or her discretion to suspend or exclude a student from the College until such time as a hearing may be convened.

11.19 In the event of the Warden administering a reprimand or warning he or she shall do so in writing. The Warden will offer the student the alternative of having the matter referred to the Disciplinary Committee.

11.20 In cases of urgency, a student may be excluded temporarily by a member of the staff of the College in order to protect the members of the College in general or a particular member or members. Where a student has been excluded as a matter of urgency, by a member of staff other than the Warden, a report on the circumstances surrounding the exclusion shall be made to the Director of Governance & Legal Services at the earliest opportunity.

11.21 Suspension shall involve a total prohibition on attendance at or access to the College and on any participation in College activities; but it may be subject to qualification, such as permission to attend for the purpose of an examination.

11.22 Exclusion shall involve selective restriction on attendance at or access to the College or any premises owned or occupied by the College, or prohibition on exercising the functions or duties of any office or committee membership in the College or the Students' Union, the exact details to be specified in writing.

11.23 Where a student has been suspended or excluded from academic activities associated with his or her programme of study pending a police investigation or prosecution, the decision to suspend or exclude shall be reviewed by theWarden every four weeks in the light of any developments.

Stage 2 - Disciplinary Committee

11.24 The Disciplinary Committee shall comprise:

11.24.1 A Pro-Warden, or other member of the academic staff, appointed by the Warden, as Chair

11.24.2 One Head of an academic department

11.24.3 Either: One member of Academic Board in Class 2 or 3 or, where misconduct falls under 12.9.14 (professional fitness to practise), one person who will normally be registered with the relevant professional regulatory body, and who will not be an employee of the College, but who may be a member of academic staff from another University or relevant institution.

11.24.4 One enrolled student of the College nominated by the President of the Students' Union and shall as far as practicable comprise members from a variety of gender, ethnic, and social backgrounds.

11.25 No one shall serve on the Disciplinary Committee who has prior knowledge of the offence, or who has knowledge of the student being considered.

11.26 The quorum for a meeting of the Disciplinary Committee shall be three members.

Penalties Which May be Imposed by Disciplinary Committee

11.27 The following penalties may be ordered by the Disciplinary Committee:

11.27.1 written warning;

11.27.2 written reprimand;

11.27.3 suspension or exclusion from the College or from premises owned or occupied by the College for a stated period;

11.27.4 removal from a relevant programme of study;

11.27.5 permanent dismissal from the College;

11.27.6 payment of a sum determined by the Director of Finance, not exceeding the cost thereof, for the repair of damage caused by, or the defrayal of other expenses arising from, the offence.

11.28 The Disciplinary Committee shall also have the power to impose combinations of the above penalties.

11.29 The Disciplinary Committee may order that the measures agreed will be imposed immediately or that the imposition will be deferred. The conditions of any such deferment shall be clearly stated as part of the decision of the Committee.

11.30 The Disciplinary Committee will consult the Head of the relevant Department prior to imposing any penalty in respect of a student enrolled on a programme of study which leads to a professional qualification.

11.31 The Disciplinary Committee will pay due regard to any mental health issues that may have affected behaviour when considering the penalty to be imposed,and where necessary may seek advice from the Counselling or Disability teams.

Stage 3 - Review

11.32 student may request a Review of the decision of a Disciplinary Committee, on one or more of the following grounds:

11.32.1 that there was a material procedural irregularity in the process leading to the decision of the Disciplinary Committee or;

11.32.2 that relevant further evidence can be presented which could not reasonably have been made available to the Disciplinary Committee, and casts substantial doubt on the Committee’s decision;

11.32.3 that the decision of the Disciplinary Committee and/or the penalty imposed by the Committee was not reasonable in all the circumstances.

11.33 Review applications must be received by the Director of Governance & Legal Services within fourteen days of the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee; applications based on the ground of further evidence must be supported by that evidence.

11.34 The Director of Governance & Legal Services, or his/her nominee, will consider the Review application. If the application is found to present valid grounds, then a Review Committee will be convened. If the application is not found to present valid grounds, the student will be informed in writing, and a Completion of Procedures letter issued.

Review Committee

11.35 The Review Committee shall comprise three members (but note 11.36 below):

11.35.1 An independent member of Council as Chair

11.35.2 A Pro-Warden OR a member of the academic staff who is also a member of Council

11.35.3 One enrolled student of the College nominated by the President of the Students' Union

11.36 Where misconduct falls under 12.9.14 (professional fitness to practise) the Committee shall additionally include one person who will normally be registered with the relevant professional regulatory body, and who will not be an employee of the College, but who may be a member of academic staff from another University or relevant institution.

11.37 None of the above members shall be persons who have served on the Disciplinary Committee or have been directly involved in the case or in the teaching of the student(s) concerned. All must be present to form the quorum.

Complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator

11.38 If dissatisfied with the College’s final decision, a student may submit a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, which is an independent agency established to consider complaints from students in higher education. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator will only consider a complaint once the College's own internal procedures have been exhausted. In order to submit a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator a student must obtain a letter of Completion of Procedures from the Governance & Legal Services Department.