There are significant differences between the campus judicial and criminal justice procedures. The processes are NOT mutually exclusive. In other words, a student may be arrested and charged in the criminal justice system AND go through the College’s hearing process.
Overall, the campus judicial process is much less formal than criminal proceedings. The Office of Community Standards and Responsibility strives to provide an atmosphere that is both supportive and welcoming. Students will find, though, that more serious charges tend to be accompanied by more formal processes, in an effort to protect the students’ rights.
The campus judicial process is intended to be educational, not punitive. Our goal is to help the student to better understand the impact of his or her actions and to help him or her take steps towards repairing the harm done to the Rollins community. Sanctions are determined based on a variety of factors and are often unique for each individual student.
In the hearing process, charges occur for alleged violations of The Code of Community Standards, which may or may not be violations of local, state or federal law.
Findings of responsible in the College’s hearing process will not result in any criminal record. Additionally, findings of “guilty” or “not guilty” in the criminal system usually have no bearing on the outcome of campus judicial proceedings.
The standard of evidence in determining a student in violation is not as high as that of the criminal process. We use a level of preponderance of evidence (i.e. 51% or "more likely than not"), as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
Legal rules of evidence, i.e. whether something is “admissible”, do not apply in campus judicial cases. The hearing officers will gather and utilize any information that is relevant, including hearsay or third party testimony.
Campus judicial cases are confidential, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law. Criminal records become public records, and information may be shared with the community at large.
While students are entitled to have an advisor present during their hearing, that advisor may not represent that student. Since the hearing process is educational in nature, students are expected to speak for themselves at all times during the process, and any advisors disregarding these rules will be asked to leave any meeting or hearing.
Adapted with permission from The Ohio State University and the ASJA publication, THE STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS, copyright 2006.