Bethel has adopted the following appeal procedures to ensure that a fair process for review is available to any student facing the imposition of a disciplinary response to the student’s conduct. When a disciplinary response is made, the student is informed, verbally and in writing, of the nature of the conduct that constitutes the violation in question, the disciplinary response that will be made, and the student’s right to appeal that response to the appropriate student life personnel. In the case that a student’s behavior rises to the level of concern resulting in a written warning, behavioral agreement, or a notice of behavioral probation, parents/guardians are notified by the student. Appeals will be considered on one or more of the following grounds:
- New information or evidence, not available or not previously considered in the disciplinary process, that suggests the student did not commit the acts in question.
- The disciplinary response taken by the Office of Student Life is disproportionate to the behavioral violation.
- Disciplinary procedures were not followed as outlined in the written disciplinary policy. Appeals of disciplinary responses made by the dean of student programs and or/through the Student Care and Concerns processes in student life will be addressed to the Vice President for Student Life.
If a student chooses to appeal a disciplinary response, the student must submit, in writing before 4:30 p.m. on the business day following written notification of the university’s disciplinary response, a letter to the Vice President for Student Life stating: (1) the student’s desire to appeal the decision; (2) specific objections to the previous decision; and (3) any material relevant to the objections (see the three grounds for appeal listed above). The Vice President for Student Life may respond in one or more of the following ways:
- Deny the appeal if it does not meet the grounds for appeal
- Review documentation in student’s Student Life file
- Request a meeting with the student to gather additional information
- Meet with the staff member that made the initial decision
- Make an appeal decision based solely on the merits of the appeal as presented in the student’s letter
- The Vice President for Student Life is the final authority for all Student Life disciplinary appeals, with the exception of suspension or expulsion from the university, which may be appealed to the University Provost.
In order to appeal a suspension or expulsion for disciplinary purposes from the university, a student must first follow the above appeal process with the Vice President for Student Life.
If the student chooses to appeal the decision made by the Vice President for Student Life, the student may submit, in writing before 4:30 p.m. on the business day following written notification from the Vice President for Student Life upholding the suspension or expulsion decision, a letter to the University Provost stating: (1) the student’s desire to appeal the decision; (2) specific objections to the previous decision; and (3) any material relevant to the objections (see the three grounds for appeal listed above). The Vice President for Student Life shall transmit to the University Provost the record of the case maintained by the Office of Student Life, as well as other materials deemed relevant to the appeal. The University Provost shall decide the appeal on the basis of the written materials submitted by the student and the record submitted by the Office of Student Life. The Provost may also interview the student, at the Provost’s sole discretion. Upon deciding the appeal, the Provost shall notify the student and the Vice President for Student Life of the decision in writing within a reasonable time after receipt of the record of the case. The decision of the University Provost is final and not subject to further appeal. Pending final appeal decisions, the student may continue to attend classes and reside in on-campus housing, unless one of the student life deans determines that to do so, would be detrimental to the health or safety of members of the Bethel community.