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Student Affairs

Student Affairs

Conduct System

The Bentley University conduct system is designed to address student behavior, provide proactive initiatives, support a safe and stimulating campus climate, and educate students via individual meetings, board hearings, as well as through the delivery of holistic sanctioning.

Learning Outcomes

Identify the behavior they engaged in and why it is a violation of University policy.

Implicit in this outcome, why is the institution concerned about student behavior?

Examine the impact and consequences of their behavior on self and the community.

Implicit in this outcome, does the student understand how future incidents will impact their standing as a student?

Recognize their personal responsibility in their actions and behavior, and articulate alternative strategies to prevent negative consequences in the future.

Implicit in this outcome, how do these actions reflect the students personal beliefs and values?

Philosophy and Purpose of the System

The philosophy of the Bentley University student conduct system is based on the belief that:

  • Students are responsible for their individual actions as well as for the way the community functions as a whole.
  • When students can learn from their experiences, receive help from the university, constructively examine their behavior and take positive steps toward changing that behavior, the proper conduct response should be educational in nature.
  • When students become involved in behavior that violates the spirit and/or substance of federal, state or local law, or Bentley rules, regulations, policies and procedures basic to the welfare of the university community at large or the individual therein, the university is bound to take disciplinary action that modifies, restricts or denies the student’s status as a member of the university.

The Bentley Student Conduct System affirms and protects the right of every member of the community to:

  • Be free from physical and psychological harassment based upon gender identity, gender expression, gender appearance, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, nationality, ethnicity, disability status, veteran status or age.
  • Study and socialize in a clean, well-kept, and safe environment.
  • Sleep and study in reasonable quiet and privacy.

The administrative hearing process provides an opportunity for administrators to work with students to encourage ethical behavior and an understanding of community standards. Additionally, the hearing process provides the professional staff member the opportunity to gain further insight as to what other factors may be influencing the student’s life at the time of the hearing.

Conduct boards offer students who have been charged with violating a policy to be heard, and if appropriate, sanctioned by their peers through a fair hearing process.

The appeals process offers students an opportunity to have their case reviewed if they believe there has been a failure of fair process, or if new, relevant information has been introduced or if the sanctions imposed are too harsh or propose an undue hardship.

Resources

Faculty and staff can always contact the Conduct staff in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs with questions or concerns. 

You may find yourself supporting a student who is going through the conduct process, or you may have questions or concerns about the appropriateness of certain classroom behaviors. There are a few resources attached to this page that you can refer to, but please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. 

Jamie Bang, Assistant Director of Student Conduct & Development
781.891.2710 | jbang@bentley.edu

Erin Kelley, Direct of Student Conduct & Development/Title IX Coordinator
781.891.2329 | ekelley@bentley.edu

Additionally, faculty and staff are encouraged to submit a student for referral to the Bentley CARE team. If you would like to report a hazing related incident, use our hazing report form

Conduct Process

An Incident Occurs

An Incident Occurs

  1. A resident assistant, resident director, assistant director of the residential center, university police officer, student event staff, or other reporting party completes a report and forwards it to an appropriate supervisor.
  2. The supervisor reviews the report for clarity, sufficient information, typos, and grammatical errors.
  3. If the student conduct system is the most appropriate means of bringing resolution to the issue, the report is forwarded to the director of student conduct systems.
  4. The case is assigned to the appropriate level of the system by the director of student conduct systems and is referred to an administrative hearing officer.
  5. The student charged with policy violations is sent an email with date, time, and location of the meeting with their administrative hearing officer.
Administrative Hearing

The student meets Administrative Hearing Officer (AHO).  The AHO reviews the student’s rights, the policies they are charged with violating, reads the report and hears the student’s side of the story.  The AHO then works with the student to decide the most appropriate course of action.

The student may:

  • Admit the violation(s) and accept sanctioning from the AHO.
  • Admit the violations(s) and request a hearing before a conduct board.
  • Deny the violation(s) and request a hearing before a conduct board.

An AHO may decide that the Administrative Hearing is not the best means of resolving the case and may therefore refer it to a conduct board.  This should only be done after discussing the case and the hearing with their direct supervisor.

If the student admits responsibility, the AHO sanctions the student, if appropriate, and discusses these sanctions with the student.

The AHO discusses the behavior in question, reviews the policy, and discusses possibilities for future decision-making.  The AHO also reviews other aspects of the student’s life, such as roommate issues, academics, and campus involvement to make any other appropriate referrals.

The student maintains the right to submit an appeal.

Board Hearing
  1. If a student or the AHO feel a board hearing is the most appropriate resolution, the case will be referred to the appropriate conduct board.
  2. A time is set for the hearing and all involved persons are notified and requested to attend.
  3. All involved persons have the opportunity to speak at the hearing, ask questions via the board, and respond to information presented in the hearing.  Board members also ask questions.

After all information is gathered, the board meets privately and determines if there is enough information to find the student(s) responsible for the violation (using a preponderance of the evidence standard).

If a student is found responsible the board will review the student’s conduct history and determine appropriate sanctions.

The findings are communicated to the student by letter and/or email.

The student maintains the right to submit an appeal.

Appeals Process

Conduct Appeals

Appeals of conduct decisions must be made in writing, and must explain in detail the reason(s) for the appeal. In order for an appeal to be considered, an appeal must be submitted no later than five (5) working days from the date of the decision online via the ADVOCATE student portal.

A student may appeal the outcome of either the administrative hearing or the student conduct board hearing for one or more of the following reasons:

  • There has been a failure of fair process
  • New, relevant information can be introduced
  • The sanctions are too harsh and/or impose undue hardship

The appeals process is the final step a student may make in the conduct system. The decision rendered as to whether or not an appeal will be granted is final. If an appeal is denied, the student cannot appeal the decision for that case again. The student will be notified within a reasonable amount of time as to whether or not an appeal is granted.

Sanctions given by the administrative hearing officer or conduct board will stand until the decision on the appeal is made. If an appeal is granted, the case either will be resolved administratively or forwarded to the appropriate personnel. If the case is to be heard again, the student will be notified within a reasonable amount of time as to the date and time of the hearing. If the appeal is denied, the conduct process concludes.

For Title IX appeals, please review our Title IX policy.

Parking Ticket Appeals

Appeals of parking tickets can be filed in writing and submitted to the University Police.

All members of the community who believe their initial written appeal has been denied in error may request a student appeal board hearing. All outcomes of the hearing are final and may not be contested. Please review the grounds for a hearing and enter all requested information accurately. 

Student Conduct Boards

Mission of the Student Conduct Boards

Bentley University student conduct boards provide an impartial evaluation of the behavioral and attitudinal conduct of students accused of violating University policy. These boards enforce policy through appropriate sanctions and education.

Board Levels

Level I and Level II Boards

Level I violations are lower level violations of University Policy, as found in the Student Handbook. Quiet Hours and first time alcohol violations can be considered level I violations. Violators appear before Level I Administrative Hearing Officers. If the case is referred to a conduct board, students will appear before the Level I Board.

The Level I Board maintains reasonable order and harmony in the community by reinforcement of rules and standards through discussion and appropriate conduct action. It deals with community issues of localized concern. It consists of 4-6 student board members and an advisor.

The Administrative Hearing Officer or the Level I Board may impose educational sanctions, levy fines, and/or set limited restrictions upon the students. Appeals are made online, through the ADVOCATE student portal.

Level II violations are more serious violations of University Policy. Level II violations can be illegal parties, violations involving marijuana, and minor damage. Violators appear before Level II Administrative Hearing Officers. Cases referred to the conduct board appear before the Level II Board.

The Level II Board addresses more serious issues and maintains a firmer disciplinary position. It consists of 4-6 student board members and an advisor.

The Administrative Hearing Officer or Level II Board has the authority to sanction as in Level I, but also to: limit student access to particular buildings and freedom to participate in certain activities; place students on residential and/or disciplinary probation; and remove students from housing. Appeals are made online, through the ADVOCATE student portal

Level III

Level III cases are the most serious violations of University Policy. Cases of this nature are forwarded to the Level III Board. The Level III Board consists of two students, two faculty members, and is chaired by a faculty member.

Decisions rendered by the Level III Board are communicated to the student by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. The Vice President/Dean of Students will serve as the appeals officer for all level III conduct board decisions. The dean may also designate another staff member to act as the appeals officer in his stead. The Administrative Hearing Officer or the Level III Board has the authority to sanction as in Levels I and II as well as have the ability to suspend or expel a student. Appeals require a typed letter of appeal, uploaded through the ADVOCATE student portal and sent directly to the Vice President/Dean of Student Affairs.

Student Conduct Board Process

Cases are forwarded to one of three levels of the student conduct boards. Hearings before the student conduct boards will follow a standard process as follows:

  1. Notification: The accused student(s) are notified of the date, time and place of the hearing by a hearing notice. The reporter, residence life staff involved in the incident, campus police, and all witnesses that are indicated in the report are also notified and asked to appear at the hearing.
     
  2. Welcome: The board chair will welcome everyone to the hearing and ask everyone to introduce themselves. Parties will be informed that they will each have a chance to relate their side of the story, as well as ask questions, through the board, of the other party.
     
  3. Perspective: The board will ask each person speaking at the hearing to begin by relating what happened. The board will ask questions and seek to clarify any points made. Witnesses, including the reporting parties will be asked to come in and speak as well. Although the board will have read the reports, they will be interested in hearing firsthand accounts of what occurred.
     
  4. Questions: The board will ask questions of each party throughout the hearing, for clarification purposes and to obtain further information. After all statements are given, the board will allow the parties to ask questions of each other. All questions will be directed through the board; direct questioning is not allowed.
     
  5. Decisions/Sanctioning: After all statements have been heard and all questions have been answered, the board will thank all parties for their participation and dismiss them from the hearing. The board will deliberate in private and make a decision based on the evidence presented. The board will determine whether or not there is a preponderance of evidence indicating that the student is responsible for the alleged violations. In other words, what they heard and read at the hearing must convince them that it is more likely than not that the student violated the policies in question. If the Board finds the student(s) responsible, their conduct history will be reviewed and appropriate sanctions will be imposed. The student(s) will be notified in writing of the decision within three working days.
     
  6. Appeal: The student(s) maintain the right to submit an appeal.