Appealing a Behavioral Sanction from Student Development

Appeals Process

When the sanctioned student disputes the outcome of a disciplinary procedure, that student (hereafter called the Appellant) may request, through the Dean of Students, that an Appeal Hearing Committee review the decision. Sanctions may or may not be postponed or suspended pending the outcome of this appeal, at the discretion of the Dean. A student may appeal their sanctions on the basis of:

a) inaccurate findings (i.e. the available facts used in determining sanctions were inaccurate/incomplete), new evidence has become available;

b) an unfair or inequitable process.

The following are not within the scope of the appeal process:

a) the interpretation or judgment of University administrators regarding the meaning or implementation of the written regulations, standards, and/or policies of the University;

b) the written regulations, standards, and/or policies of the University themselves;

c) the determined sanctions from the disciplinary procedure.

To initiate an appeal hearing,

(1) the Appellant is to submit the following, in writing, to the Dean:

a) A request for a hearing to consider the appeal, submitted within five (5) working days from the time the Appellant was informed of the disciplinary decisions.

b) A statement, which includes all of the relevant issues and evidence to be considered. Issues/evidence not included in this statement will not be considered in the appeal hearing.

c) A list of material witnesses, if any, and the essence of their proposed contribution to the appeal hearing. Please note these are not character witnesses but individuals with first-hand knowledge of the situation in appeal. Their testimony will be limited to the specified matters.

(2) The Dean will then form an Appeal Hearing Committee, made up of one member of the SCT (Student Care Team) who then serves as a non-voting facilitator, along with three faculty/staff members selected by the Dean. If no members of the SCT are available, the Dean may select a replacement from Biola faculty/staff.

(3) The Appeal Committee will, within 15 working days of the receipt of the appeal request, review and evaluate the original adjudication, as well as the information that the Appellant has presented. Based on the nature of the appeal, the Appeal Hearing Committee has the discretion whether or not to call the Appellant and/or his/her witnesses to appear before the Appeal Hearing Committee. If the Appellant and/or the witnesses will be called, they will be notified at least two (2) days in advance of the appeal hearing date. The Appeal Hearing Committee may tape-record the appeal hearing.

(4) The Appeal Hearing Committee will issue its decision in writing to the parties involved within a reasonable time (usually within 10 working days) of the conclusion of the appeal process. The decision of the Appeal Hearing Committee will be final and no further appeal is possible.

It is also important to note that in respect to appeal proceedings, formal rules of evidence are not followed, and past conduct may be considered in the appeal process. No particular model of procedural process is required; however, the Appeal Committee will attempt to structure the procedure so as to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth and be fair and reasonable.

During periods other than regular semesters (summer, Christmas, Interterm), the Dean reserves the right to alter the timing of the appeals process as necessary, due to faculty/staff/student availability.

A separate appeal process is followed in cases of academic dishonesty; please see policy on “Academic Integrity." Additionally, sanctions imposed by Resident Directors cannot be appealed through this process.

For additional information and the complete policy, see the Student Handbook.

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