As you may expect, there are regulations that all students agree to abide by when they join as members of the University. These set out codes of behaviour that students are expected to adhere to, and the methods the University can use to sort out any problems that arise as a result of student conduct.
There are a number of specific regulations relating to use of, for example, University Accommodation; and the University Library. Students are expected to be familiar with the regulations.
Whether due to academic misconduct such as plagiarism or collusion, a Halls party that got out of hand, or an argument with a friend that went too far, finding yourself the subject of a disciplinary hearing can be stressful and intimidating.
However, the procedures are actually relatively straightforward, and the Advice Hub is here to support you through it.
Stage 1 and Minor Offences
Minor offences are dealt with by Disciplinary Officers (e.g. Heads of Department/School, Accommodation Services Manager, Executive Dean, Directors). If you have been sent a letter by a Service Director, Dean, Head of Department or similar, then this is the stage you will currently be at.
Once you have been advised of the investigation, you will be given a date for a hearing with a minimum of 5 working days’ notice. You will be advised of your right to submit a written statement regarding the allegation. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to admit to or deny the accusation, and to give any mitigating circumstances that apply to your conduct.
Hearings are stressful, and it can often be helpful to prepare a written statement in advance of the hearing. If you submit this to the hearing in advance, they will know what you want to say, and can ask any further questions they have. You can also then be sure that they have a record of all of the points you want to make.
The Advice Hub can help you to prepare a statement and can accompany you to the hearing if you wish.
Stage 2 and Major Offences
If the Disciplinary Officer thinks that the offence is more serious than they can deal with, it will be referred to the Chief Operating Officer of the University. If they agree that the breach of discipline is a major one, it will be referred to the Senate Discipline Committee.
A hearing of the Senate Discipline Committee will be held within six weeks of the referral being made, and you will be given at least ten working days’ notice of a hearing being held. As with hearings for minor offences, you have the opportunity to attend the hearing and give your side of the story. Again, it can be very useful for you to prepare a personal statement in advance of the hearing and Advice Hub staff can help you to put this together.
The Senate Discipline panel usually has 5 members. Wherever possible (and it usually is), none of these will be a member of your Faculty. There will also be a clerk to the panel, and a representative member of your Department or School will be invited to the hearing to present their case.
There is a list of the penalties that the Disciplinary Committee can impose in the Student Discipline Procedure, at section 6.1.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of a Senate Disciplinary Committee hearing, you may be able to appeal to the Senate Discipline Appeals Board. The Advice Hub can advise and assist you with submitting an appeal.
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