August 1995

University Management Letter 95-10

How to File a Complaint against a Student(s) or a Student Club(s)

Students at Humboldt assume the responsibility for conducting themselves in a manner compatible with the university's function as an educational institution and in a way that will not impair achievement of the university's education mission. Inappropriate conduct by students or applicants for admission is subject to discipline as provided in sections 41301 through 41304 of article 1.1, Title 5, California Code of Regulations.

Examples of inappropriate conduct cited in section 41301 of Title 5 include:

  • cheating or plagiarism in connection with an academic program at a campus;
  • forgery, alteration, or misuse of campus documents, records, or identification, or knowingly furnishing false information to a campus;
  • misrepresentation of oneself or of an organization to be an agent of a campus;
  • obstruction or disruption, on or off campus property of the campus educational process, administrative process, or other campus function;
  • physical abuse, on or off campus property, of the person or property of any member of the campus community or of members of his or her family,   or the threat of such physical abuse;
  • theft of, or non-accidental damage to, campus property or property in the possession of, or owned by, a member of the campus community;
  • unauthorized entry into, unauthorized use of, or misuse of campus property;
  • on campus property, the sale of or knowing possession of dangerous drugs, restricted dangerous drugs, or narcotics, as those terms are used in  California statutes, except when lawfully prescribed pursuant to medical or dental care or when lawfully permitted for research, instruction, or analysis;
  • knowing possession or use of explosives, dangerous chemicals, or deadly weapons on campus property or at a campus function without prior authorization of the campus president;
  • engaging in lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior on campus property or at a campus function;
  • abusive behavior directed toward, or hazing of, a member of the campus community;
  • violation of any order of a campus president, notice of which had been given prior to such violation and during the academic term in which the violation occurs, either by publication in the campus newspaper or by posting on an official bulletin board designated for this purpose, and which order is not inconsistent with any of the other provisions of this section;
  • soliciting or assisting another to do any act which would subject a student to expulsion, suspension, or probation pursuant to this section

Jurisdiction

Humboldt State University has authority to take disciplinary action against a student in all cases where the actions committed have occurred: a) on campus; b) off campus at a university related function; or c) if the off-campus conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a campus community member's work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment. (In order for (c) to be applicable, a business, service or professional relationship must exist between the individuals in the context of Humboldt State University; the status of the individual as a student alone is not sufficient to create jurisdiction for actions which occur off-campus at non-university related functions.)

Use of Attorneys

As provided in Article III, Section I of Executive Order #1043 (PDF, req. Adobe Reader), each campus president must determine whether attorneys will be used in the campus student disciplinary proceedings. Humboldt State University does not permit attorneys in disciplinary conferences or hearings. However, this does not prohibit the campus or the student charged from consulting an attorney for advice.

Complaint Procedures against Individual Student(s)

Any member of the campus community who believes that a student(s) has violated section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations may discuss the matter with the Coordinator(s) of University Student Discipline located in the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities. The Coordinator(s) may assist in resolving a dispute by informal means when appropriate.

Filing of Formal Complaint

A complaint alleging that a student(s) has violated the Student Code should be submitted in writing to the Coordinator(s) of University Student Discipline, located in the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities. Complaint(s) should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place and include a specific detailed description of the grounds of the complaint including names, dates, places, times and other information necessary for complete understanding.

Summary of the Disciplinary Proceedings as Outlined in Executive Order #1043

(For a more complete and detailed description of the proceedings, please see Chancellor's Executive Order #1043 (PDF, req. Adobe Reader); copies are also available from the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.)

Step 1: A complaint is filed with or information is obtained by the Coordinator of University Student Discipline.

Step 2: The Coordinator conducts or directs the appropriate party (e.g., Office of Public Safety) to conduct an investigation.

Step 3: The Coordinator holds a conference with the student charged.

If a resolution is reached during the conference and the student charged accepts the recommended sanction stated in the conference, the resolution and recommended sanction are put in writing and signed by the Coordinator and the student charged. This ends the proceedings.

If a resolution is not reached during the conference, proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: The Coordinator sends the student charged a Notice of Hearing.

If the student charged accepts the recommended sanction stated in the Notice of Hearing, the acceptance of the recommended sanction is put in writing and signed by the Coordinator and the student charged. This ends the proceedings.

If the student charged does not accept the recommended sanction, proceed to Step 5.

Step 5: A formal hearing is held and conducted according to the following:

  1. The President appoints a campus official(s) to serve as a formal hearing  officer(s)
  2. Hearings are closed to all persons other than the person conducting the hearing, the student charged, the Coordinator of University Student Discipline, a single advisor for the student charged, a single advisor for  the Coordinator of University Student Discipline, the person designated to record the hearing and witnesses while they are testifying.
  3. The student may be accompanied by one advisor of his or her choice, who may act on his or her behalf. The advisor may not be an attorney.
  4. The Coordinator of University Student Discipline representing the campus may be accompanied by one advisor of his or her choice. The advisor may not be an attorney.
  5. The campus and the student charged shall have the opportunity to present witnesses, subject to the right of cross examination as well as questioning by the Hearing Officer. If the student charged elects to testify, he or she shall be subject to cross examination and questioning by the Hearing Officer.
  6. Where the person testifying is an alleged victim of sexual or physical assault, which is the basis for the disciplinary action, that person may be accompanied at the hearing by another person. The other person is not permitted to speak or to participate directly in the hearing. Cross examination of the alleged victim shall be limited to the alleged incident leading to the charge and the events surrounding the charge.

Step 6: The Hearing Officer submits his or her recommendation to the President.

Step 7: After reviewing the Hearing Officer's recommendation, the President makes the final decision regarding disciplinary action.

Step 8: The President notifies the student charged of his or her decision. 

Step 9: If the matter involves sexual assault or physical abuse, the Coordinator notifies the alleged victim of the results of the disciplinary process.

Step 10: If the matter involves a "crime of violence," as that term is defined in Executive Order No.#1043 (PDF, req. Adobe Reader), the Coordinator may notify the alleged victim of the results of the disciplinary process.

Complaint Procedures against Student Clubs

Recognition by the University of a student club is a privilege, not a right. This privilege carries with it certain responsibilities. Listed below are the responsibilities of University recognized Clubs:

  • appointment of a university faculty or staff advisor;
  • adherence to all university rules and regulations including those pertaining to hazing, alcohol, publicity, posting, sale of food and merchandise, drawings, use of campus equipment, and dances;
  • compliance with the club's own constitution and by-laws; and, when applicable, constitutions and by-laws of affiliated national organizations;
  • avoidance of any act of dishonesty, breach of law or University regulation, or any public or private act that brings discredit to the University;
  • avoidance of activities that pose undue risk to the safety of individuals or which create liability for the club and the university;
  • a club may be held accountable for the actions of its members if the behavior is related to the activities of the club. Individuals who commit acts which are a violation of section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations may be referred to the Coordinator(s) for University Student Discipline for further University sanctions. Club(s)

Filing of Formal Complaint Against Student Club(s)

Complaints regarding alleged violations of the above mentioned responsibilities by a student club(s) should be directed to the Coordinator of Clubs and Orientation Programs. Complaints must be submitted in writing within sixty calendar days of the alleged infraction and include a specific, detailed description of the grounds of the complaint including names, dates, places, times and other information necessary for complete understanding.

Summary of Disciplinary Proceedings as Outlined in Responsibilities and Privileges of a University Recognized Club

(For a more complete and detailed description of the proceedings, please see Responsibilities and Privileges of a University Recognized Club; copies are available from the Clubs and Orientation Programs Office)

Step 1: A complaint is filed with or information is obtained by the Coordinator of Clubs and Orientation Programs.

Step 2: The Coordinator for Clubs and Orientation Programs conducts an investigation.

Step 3: The Coordinator of Clubs and Orientation Programs may hold a conference with the officers of the club(s) charged.

If a resolution is reached during the conference and the club(s) charged accepts the recommended sanction stated in the conference, the resolution and recommended sanction are put in writing and signed by the Coordinator of Clubs and Orientation Programs and the club(s) charged. This ends the proceedings.

If a resolution is not reached during the conference, proceed to Step 4. 

Step 4: A formal hearing is held and conducted according to the following:

  1. The Director for Student Activities and Housing appoints a campus official(s) to serve as a formal hearing officer(s).
  2. The Director for Student Activities and Housing sends the club(s) charged a Notice of Hearing.
  3. Hearings are closed to all persons other than the person(s) conducting the hearing, the officers of the club(s) charged, the Coordinator of Clubs and Orientation Programs, the club(s) advisor, and witnesses while they are testifying.
  4. Club(s) and the University may not be represented by attorneys during the hearing process.
  5. The Club Hearing Officer may ask questions of the representative(s) and allow for presentations to be made.

Step 5: The Club Hearing Officer submits his or her recommendation to the Director of Student Activities and Housing.

Step 6: After reviewing the Club Hearing Officer's recommendation, the Director of Student Activities and Housing makes the final decision regarding  disciplinary action.

Step 7: The VP of Student Affairs notifies the club(s) charged of his or her decision.

Definitions

The term behavior includes conduct and expression.

The term campus means a campus of the California State University.

The term member of the campus community is defined as meaning CSU trustees, academic, nonacademic, and administrative personnel, students, and other persons while such other persons are on campus property or at a campus function.

The term campus property includes:

  • real or personal property in the possession of, or under the control of, the board of trustees of the California State University, and
  • all campus eating, retail, or residence facilities, whether operated by a campus or by a campus auxiliary organization.

The term Coordinator of University Student Discipline means a campus official or officials assigned by the President to be in charge of the administration of the discipline procedures outlined in Chancellor Executive Order #1043 and to perform the duties prescribed in Executive Order #1043.

The term deadly weapons includes any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slingshot, billy, sandclub, sandbag, metal knuckles, any dirk, dagger, switchblade knife, pistol, revolver, or any other firearm, any knife hiving a blade longer than five inches, any razor with an unguarded blade, any metal pipe or bar used or intended to be used as a club.

The term hazing means any method of initiation into a student organization, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with regard to such an organization, which causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical or emotional harm to any member of the campus community. The term hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions.

The term Club Hearing Officer means a person or persons appointed by the Director of Student Activities and Housing to determine whether a club(s) has violated the Responsibilities of a University Recognized Club.

The term hearing officer means a person or persons appointed by the President to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code and to recommend imposition of sanctions.

The term President refers to the chief executive officer of a campus or that person's designee.

The term student means any person taking courses at a campus, both full-time and part-time, including summer session, special session and Extended Education.

The term Student Code is defined as the causes for discipline listed in Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.