Conduct Procedures

  1. Conduct Procedures
  2. Student Conduct Procedures for Allegations of Sexual and Interpersonal Violence
  3. Appeal Process for Cases Involving Sexual and Interpersonal Violence
  4. Sanctions

Any member of the College community may file charges against a student or student organization for alleged misconduct.  A non-member of the SUNY Oswego community may submit a complaint of suspected misconduct by a student to the Assistant Dean of Students for determination.  The College will undertake, where feasible, an investigation.  In instances where it is determined that charges should be brought against the student or student organization, certain procedures and standards will apply. 

Students, as citizens, must abide by local, state, and federal laws.  Consequently, a student who violates the law, whether on or off-campus, is subject to legal prosecution.  In addition, a violation of the Code, whether on campus or off, will subject the student involved to College disciplinary action.  Whether College disciplinary action precedes, is concurrent with, or follows legal prosecution depends upon whether the legal prosecution coincides with the process outlined in the Code.  It has been well established by Student Conduct rulings that the concurrence of legal prosecution and College disciplinary action does not constitute double jeopardy.

A. Filing complaints

The complainant(s) shall submit in writing to the Assistant Dean of Students, 501 Culkin Hall, a statement of the alleged violation(s), including the facts supporting such allegations and the provision(s) of the Code allegedly violated.  In general, complaints shall be submitted within twenty (20) class days of the date of the incident(s) or within twenty (20) class days of the identification of a respondent to an administrative officer of the College, excluding days when the College is not in session.  There is no time limitation on filing complaints regarding incidents that are alleged violations of 43.D.

B. Notice of charges

The Assistant Dean of Students or designee shall then provide written notice to the accused student or student organization (respondent) of the complaint and charges presented (Statement of Charges).  Failure to respond to the notice of the charges by the time designated in the notice letter shall result in the Assistant Dean of Students scheduling a hearing without the benefit of the respondent’s choice of hearing option.

C. Election of Hearing Forum

The following hearing forum options are available for College level hearings when not on disciplinary probation or deferred suspension: 

  1. Hearing before the Student Conduct Committee, or a hearing before the Dean of Students or designee, when the Student Conduct Committee is not available.

  2. Written waiver to the Assistant Dean of Students of the right to any hearing.  In the event that the respondent elects to waive the right to a hearing, evidence in support of the charges shall be presented to the Dean of Students or designee, and a decision will be made based upon a preponderance of evidence.

  3. Written waiver to the Assistant Dean of Students admitting to a violation of the Code as written in the Statement of Charges and requesting a hearing with the Dean of Students.  In the event that the respondent elects to meet with the Dean of Students or designee, and accepting responsibility for violating the Code, the Dean of Students or designee will consider the nature and severity of the incident and determine an appropriate sanction.  The Dean of Students or designee will discuss the incident with the complainant(s).  The Assistant Dean of Students or designee will convene a hearing with the respondent(s) and respondent(s)’ advisor to provide an opportunity for the respondent(s) to address the incident.

D. Notification of a Hearing Date

The purpose of this section is to insure a prompt hearing of disciplinary charges which is in the best interest of the respondent and the College.  The College retains the right to establish a hearing date and to alter the hearing calendar for cause, with notice.

If the respondent requests a hearing, a time shall be set for that hearing as soon as practicable, but not less than five (5) class days nor, whenever possible, more than twenty (20) class days after the respondent’s selection of a hearing option.  The respondent will be notified in writing of the hearing time and place at least four (4) class days prior to the date of the hearing.

Alteration of the time limits may occur at the discretion of the Assistant Dean of Students only when the parties can demonstrate good cause.

E. Conduct of Hearings

  1. Hearings shall be closed and open only to members of the College community that is students, faculty, and staff. A member of the staff of the Dean of Students may be present during all hearings.

  2. Hearings shall be conducted in such a manner as to do substantial justice according to the hearing agenda provided by the Assistant Dean of Students.  Evidence in support of the charges, including statements of witnesses and documents, shall be presented by the complainant.  Evidence which is relevant and material may be introduced by either party.  Hearings shall proceed in a manner which permits the respondent and complainant to present evidence, witnesses and statements on their own behalf.   Witnesses are subject to cross questioning by the other party and the student conduct body/officer.  The technical requirements of court procedure, especially as they relate to the admissibility of evidence, need not be followed.  Student conduct bodies may hear or receive any testimony or evidence which is relevant and material to the issues presented in the Statement of Charges.  Questions concerning the appropriateness of evidence shall be addressed to the Assistant Dean of Students or designee who will decide whether the evidence is admissible.

  3. The respondent and complainant may be assisted by an advisor of their choice who is a faculty member, member of the administration or a current student.   The respondent and complainant may present witnesses and may produce other evidence for consideration by the student conduct body.  The respondent and complainant are responsible for presenting evidence on their own behalf.  Advisors may speak privately to their advisee, respondent or complainant, during the proceeding.  Either party may request a brief recess to consult with their advisor which will be granted at the discretion of the Assistant Dean of Students or designee.  Advisors for the respondent and complainant may not present evidence or cross-question witnesses. 

  4. Student conduct hearing bodies/officer(s) shall determine that a preponderance of evidence exists - whether it is "more likely than not" that the violation occurred. If the evidence presented meets this standard, then the respondent must be found responsible.  No recommendation for the imposition of sanctions may be based solely upon the failure of the respondent to answer the charges or to appear at the hearing.  In such a case, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.

  5. Normally, five (5) members (three students, one faculty, and one administrator) of the Student Conduct Committee will comprise the student conduct body for any hearing.  Three (3) members (one student, one faculty, one administrator) of the Committee will constitute a quorum for the hearing of charges and the transaction of business.  A simple majority of the Student Conduct Committee members present for a hearing shall be sufficient for a finding of fault and the imposition of a sanction. In the case of an individual hearing officer, the hearing officer will determine fault and impose a sanction.

  6. Following the presentation of information and witnesses, the student conduct body will deliberate and make a recommended finding on the charges. No recommendation  for the imposition of sanctions may be based solely upon the failure of the respondent to answer the charges or to appear at the hearing.  In such a case, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.

    If the recommendation is that the respondent be found in violation of one or more charges, the conduct body will also recommend appropriate sanctions to be imposed,may seek and hear additional information, including the respondent’s prior conduct record, if any, and any further comments from the respondent before doing so.

    The conduct body engages in its deliberations in closed session.

    The Assistant Dean of Students will forward the conduct body’s recommendations to the Dean of Students for review and final determination.

  7. The Dean of Students may, on the basis of the record, accept, modify, or reject the conduct body’s recommendationsNotification of final determination will be made by letter sent to the respondent’s SUNY Oswego e-mail account.

  8. The Assistant Dean of Students may adopt additional procedures for the conduct of hearings which do not contravene these procedures.

F. Notification of Findings

Within five (5) class days after the adjournment of the hearing, the Assistant Dean of Students shall submit written findings of the fact, conclusions regarding the charge(s), and imposition of a sanction, if any, to the respondent and any College official who is determined to have a legitimate interest in the result, notification of the final determination will be made by letter sent to the respondent’s SUNY Oswego e-mail account. 

In the case of violations involving physical violence, notice of findings and sanctions imposed directly related to the complainant/reporting party shall be received by the complainant/reporting party.

In the case of sexual assault (Section 43.D.), notice of findings and sanctions imposed shall also be received by the complainant/reporting party. For sexual harassment cases, the notice of outcome and only sanctions that directly relate to the complainant/survivor of record will be shared.

Documentation concerning any prior violation(s) of the Code by the respondent may be presented by the Assistant Dean of Students to the student conduct body/officer only after a finding of responsibility has been reached.

G. Appeals

Appeals for Sexual Misconduct cases, refer to Section 48, Appeal process for cases involving sexual and interpersonal violence.

  1. Appeals may be taken from the final determinations of the Dean of Students on charges heard and determined by a Conduct Body or Officer only if suspension or expulsion has been imposed as a sanction and not deferred, and only if the charges were not initially heard and determined in a disciplinary conference.

    Any such appeal may be made only on one or more of the following grounds:
    • There was significant procedural error of a nature sufficient to have materially and detrimentally affected the outcome.
    • There is significant new evidence of which the appellant was not previously aware, that the appellant could not have discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the absence of which was sufficient to have materially and detrimentally affected the outcome.
    • The sanction(s) imposed are grossly disproportionate to the charges found to have occurred.

  2. Appeals from the decision of a College level student conduct body/officer (i.e., Student Conduct Committee or Dean's level hearing) shall be directed in writing to the Assistant Dean of Students by respondent within five (5) class days of the respondent's receipt of the written decision. The Appellate Hearing Committee shall review the decision on the basis of consideration of procedural error, significant new evidence, and or grossly disproportionate sanction, and shall provide the Assistant Dean of Students with written explanation of any modification of the decision. In the absence of a timely appeal, the Dean of Students' determination will be final and conclusive.

    Upon receipt of an appeal that complies with these requirements, the Appellate Hearing Committee may decide it on the basis of the statement of appeal and the record, consult with Dean of Students, Student Conduct Committee, or other persons deemed appropriate; and/or grant the appellant a conference to explain appeal in person. The Appellate Hearing Committee may accept, modify, or reject the Dean of Students' determination and/or may hear the case for further or new proceedings.

    Notification of the Appellate Hearing Committee's resolution of the appeal will be made by letter sent to the appellant's SUNY Oswego email account by the Assistant Dean of Students. The respondent may request a review of the case by the President by submitting a request in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. However, whether or not the case will be reviewed is the prerogative of the President. This appeal is final within the campus Student Conduct system.

  3. The submission of an appeal does not by itself prevent or defer implementation of the sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students. However, at the request of the appellant, the Dean of Students, in discretion and for good cause, may defer implementation of some or all of those sanctions during the pendency of the appeal.

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Student Conduct Procedures for Allegations of Sexual and Interpersonal Violence

In general, the procedures listed in section 46 of this code (student conduct procedures) will be followed with some notable differences specific to cases of sexual discrimination as listed here.

Conduct proceedings are governed by the procedures set forth in the SUNY Oswego Student Handbook (http://www.oswego.edu/student/handbook.html) as well as federal and New York State law, including the due process provisions of the United States and New York State Constitutions. Reporting individuals (victim/survivors) can request that student conduct charges be filed against the accused/respondent.

Throughout conduct proceedings, the accused/respondent and the reporting individual will have:

  • The right to a prompt response to any complaint and to have their complaint investigated and adjudicated in an impartial, timely, and thorough manner by individuals who receive annual training in conducting investigations of sexual violence, the effects of trauma, impartiality, the rights of the accused/respondent, including the right to a presumption that the accused/respondent is “not responsible” until a finding of responsibility is made, and other issues related to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
  • The right to an investigation and process conducted in a manner that recognizes the legal and policy requirements of due process (including fairness, impartiality, and a meaningful opportunity to be heard) and is not conducted by individuals with a conflict of interest.
  • The right to receive advance written or electronic notice of the date, time, and location of any meeting or hearing they are required to or are eligible to attend. Accused individuals (Respondent) will also be told the factual allegations concerning the violation, a reference to the specific code of conduct provisions alleged to have been violated, and possible sanctions.
  • The right to have a conduct process run concurrently with a criminal justice investigation and proceeding, except for temporary delays as requested by external municipal entities while law enforcement gathers evidence. Temporary delays should not last more than ten (10) days except when law enforcement specifically requests and justifies a longer delay.
  • The right to offer evidence during an investigation and to review available relevant evidence in the case file (or otherwise held by SUNY Oswego).
  • The right to present evidence and testimony at a hearing, where appropriate.
  • The right to a range of options for providing testimony via alternative arrangements, including telephone/videoconferencing or testifying with a room partition.
  • The right to exclude prior sexual history with persons other than the other party in the conduct process or their own mental health diagnosis or treatment from admittance in college disciplinary stage that determines responsibility. Past findings of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault may be admissible in the disciplinary stage that determines sanction.
  • The right to ask questions of the decision maker/hearing officer/code administrator and via the decision maker/hearing officer/code administrator indirectly requesting responses from other parties and any other witnesses present.
  • The right to make an impact statement during the point of the proceeding where the decision maker is deliberating on appropriate sanctions.
  • The right to simultaneous (among the parties) written or electronic notification of the outcome of a conduct proceeding, including the decision, any sanctions, and the rationale for the decision and any sanctions
  • The right to written or electronic notice about the sanction(s) that may be imposed on the accused/respondent based upon the outcome of the conduct proceeding. Students who are found responsible for sexual assault will be suspended (with additional requirements) or expelled.  Students found in violation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual harassment or stalking will be either placed on disciplinary probation, placed on deferred suspension, suspended or expelled.  Students that are placed on disciplinary probation, deferred suspension or suspended may be sanctioned intervention services, restrictions from accessing college or community buildings, and educational programs.  For more information, review the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.
  • Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination before the Appellate Hearing Committee, which may include one or more students, that is fair and impartial and does not include individuals with a conflict of interest.
  • The right to have access to a full and fair record of a student conduct hearing, which shall be preserved and maintained in the Student Conduct office for at least five years.
  • The right to choose whether to disclose or discuss the outcome of a conduct hearing.
  • The right to have all information obtained during the course of the conduct process be protected from public release until the appeals panel makes a final determination unless otherwise required by law.
  • The burden of proof in all cases is “the preponderance of the evidence” - whether it is “more likely than not” that the sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence or dating violence occurred. If the evidence presented meets this standard, then the Respondent must be found responsible.
  • All deadlines and time requirements in the Code may be extended for good cause as determined by the Assistant Dean of Students.  Both the respondent and the complainant will be notified in writing of the delay, the reason for delay, and provided the date of the new deadline or event. Extensions requested by one party will not be longer than five (5) class days.

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Appeal Process for Cases Involving Sexual and Interpersonal Violence

Either party may submit an appeal within five (5) class days of the hearing outcome notification for the following reasons:

A. There was significant procedural error of a nature sufficient to have materially and detrimentally affected the outcome.

B. There is significant new evidence of which the appellant was not previously aware; that the appellant could not have discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence; and the absence of which was sufficient to have materially and detrimentally affected the outcome.

C. The sanctions(s) imposed are grossly disproportionate to the charges found to have occurred.

Appeals from the decision of a College level student conduct body/officer (i.e., Student Conduct Committee or Dean's level hearing) shall be directed in writing to the Assistant Dean of Students by either party within five (5) class days of the Respondent’s receipt of the written decision. If an appeal is submitted by one party, the non-requesting party will receive notice of the appeal and within five (5) class days of receipt of notice of an appeal, may submit to the Assistant Dean of Students a statement of his or her position regarding the decision of the hearing body. This individual will not have access to the appealing party's letter of appeal. The party initiating the appeal of the decision of the hearing body will also receive notice of the five-day period indicating an opportunity to amend or add to his or her submitted appeal. Final submissions will be due concurrently at the end of the designated five-day period.

The Appellate Hearing Committee shall review the decision on the basis of consideration of procedural error, significant new evidence and or grossly disproportionate sanctions. The Committee shall provide the Assistant Dean of Students with a written explanation of any modification of the decision. In the absence of a timely appeal, the Dean of Students determination will be final and conclusive. Upon receipt of an appeal that complies with these requirements, the Appellate Hearing Committee may decide it on the basis of the statement of appeal and the record; consult with Dean of Students; the Student Conduct Committee; other persons deemed appropriate; and/or grant the Appellant a conference to explain the appeal in person. The Appellate Hearing Committee may sustain, reverse, or modify the Dean of Students’ determination and/or may hear the case on appeal.

Notification of the Appellate Hearing Committee's resolution of the appeal will be made by letter sent to the appellant's SUNY Oswego email account by the Assistant Dean of Students. The complainant/reporting party will also receive notice of the decision. The respondent or complainant/reporting party may request a review of the case by the President by submitting a request in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. However, whether or not the case will be reviewed is the prerogative of the President. This appeal is final within the campus Student Conduct system.

The submission of an appeal does not by itself prevent or defer implementation of the sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students. However, at the request of the appellant, the Dean of Students, in discretion and for good cause, may defer implementation of some or all of those sanctions during the pendency of the appeal.

For more information see Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Prevention, Policies and Procedures. Approved by college council on February 6, 2015 and in accordance with NY Education Law Article 129-B.

For more information, contact:

Becky Nadzadi, Assistant Dean of Students, Title IX Investigator, Dean of Students Office, 501 Culkin Hall, 315.312.3378

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Sanctions

 After a finding that a violation of the Code has occurred, a record of previous disciplinary sanctions together with a finding of misconduct in a current charge will be taken into consideration by the student conduct body to determine the appropriate disciplinary sanction.  Repeat violators shall be subject to more severe disciplinary sanctions.

One or more of the sanctions listed below may be imposed upon a finding of misconduct:

  • Restitution: Respondent is held responsible for reimbursement for destruction of, damage to, theft of, or misappropriation or misuse of College property or personal property of others, or costs related to personal injury or loss.Restitution may not always be in monetary terms, but may take the form of service or work.

  • Warning: Respondent receives official notice, in writing, of misconduct and attendant sanctions together with the admonition that further misconduct may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.

  • Disciplinary probation: The respondent will receive official written notice of misconduct, with the additional admonition that further violation of the Code, within a stated period of time, not to exceed one calendar year, shall constitute reason for consideration of the most severe disciplinary action, namely suspension or expulsion.  Disciplinary Probation may carry with it certain conditions or terms appropriate to the violation, such as suspension from participation in specific campus activities (e.g., athletics, extracurricular and social activities, programs or services provided by the College, employment within the College), restrictions on the entry and use of campus facilities, and prescribed conduct such as service or work to benefit the College community or participation in referral and assessment programs or services.

  1. A student or student organization charged with a violation of the Code during a term of Disciplinary Probation will be subject to a disciplinary hearing before the Dean of Students or designee and will be charged with violation of Section 43.G. and 44.C. as well as charges that attend to the specific allegation of a violation(s) of the Code.
  2. A student or student organization charged with a violation of a condition(s) of Disciplinary Probation will be subject to a disciplinary hearing before the Dean of Students or designee.  The subject of the hearing will be limited to the issues surrounding whether or not the condition(s) of disciplinary probation has been met.
  3. Students or student organizations denied access to specific grounds and facilities of the College as a result of disciplinary action who violate the terms of access may be subject to arrest for trespass and further disciplinary action.

D. Deferred suspension: The implementation of suspension may be deferred during further good behavior.  Any such deferral will be lifted and the deferred sanction implemented automatically upon further similar misconduct or other serious misconduct by the respondent.

E. Suspension:  The respondent’s status as a student at the College and all attendant privileges is terminated for a specific period of time not to exceed two calendar years.  At the end of the specified period, the student may apply for readmission to the College. Conditions for application for readmission may be imposed by the hearing body/officer or readmitting officer.

All students suspended from enrollment as a result of student disciplinary action must meet with the Dean of Students or designee prior to applying for academic reinstatement or readmission to the College.

F. Expulsion:  The respondent’s status as a student at the College, and all attendant privileges, is terminated for an indefinite period of time.  Conditions for readmission, if any, shall be stated in the written notice of expulsion. 

G. Sanctions may carry with it certain conditions or terms appropriate to the violation, such as suspension from participation in specific campus activities (e.g., athletics, extracurricular and social activities, programs or services provided by the College, employment within the College), restrictions on the entry and use of campus facilities, and prescribed conduct such as service or work to benefit the College community or participation in referral and assessment programs or services. 

Students or student organizations who enter the grounds and facilities of the College after access to the campus has been revoked as a result of a disciplinary hearing may be subject to arrest for trespass and further disciplinary action.

Academic disqualification may occur as a consequence of a disciplinary action, in which case, the student may contact his/her academic dean’s office concerning College policies related to academic reinstatement.

A respondent who withdraws from SUNY Oswego while a disciplinary action is pending is prohibited from access to College facilities and grounds and College-sponsored activities and events pending the outcome of said disciplinary action.  Students may not be reinstated nor readmitted to the College until the disciplinary action is completed and related sanctions, if any, are satisfied, or terms of completion of the related sanctions are approved by the Dean of Students or designee.

Students who are dismissed for academic or disciplinary reasons prior to the end of an academic term shall be liable for all tuition and fees due for that term, in accordance with SUNY Policy on Billing, Refunds, Collection and Write-offs for Tuition, Fees and Other Charges, Section II. B. 2.


Appeals from the decision of a College level student conduct body/officer (i.e., Student Conduct Committee or Dean's level hearing) shall be directed in writing to the Assistant Dean of Students by respondent within five (5) class days of the respondent’s receipt of the written decision. The Appellate Hearing Committee shall review the decision on the basis of consideration of procedural error, significant new evidence, and or grossly disproportionate sanction, and shall provide the Assistant Dean of Students with written explanation of any modification of the decision. In the absence of a timely appeal, the Dean of Students’ determination will be final and conclusive.

Upon receipt of an appeal that complies with these requirements, the Appellate Hearing Committee may decide it on the basis of the statement of appeal and the record, consult with Dean of Students, Student Conduct Committee, or other persons deemed appropriate; and/or grant the appellant a conference to explain appeal in person. The Appellate Hearing Committee may accept, modify, or reject the Dean of Students’ determination and/or may hear the case for further or new proceedings.

Notification of the Appellate Hearing Committee’s resolution of the appeal will be made by letter sent to the appellant’s SUNY Oswego email account by the Assistant Dean of Students. The respondent may request a review of the case by the President by submitting a request in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. However, whether or not the case will be reviewed is the prerogative of the President. This appeal is final within the campus Student Conduct system.


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