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Judicial Policies

Student Conduct Code 

Introduction

As an institution of higher education, The Boston Conservatory provides academic programs within an environment that enhances students’ professional and personal development, preserves the rights of individuals and organized groups and encourages individuality while affirming a commitment to the community dimensions of campus life.

All members of The Boston Conservatory community are responsible for preserving an environment conducive to the pursuit of the Conservatory’s mission and programs.

As with any community, rules and regulations are necessary to maintain order, protect the rights of individuals and the institution, and assure a healthy atmosphere for education and personal growth. The Boston Conservatory also exists in a larger society, and therefore, local, commonwealth and federal laws will be upheld.  While Conservatory officials and representatives do not view their roles as law enforcement officers, they may inform the appropriate authorities if they learn of or observe violations of Conservatory policies.

We expect each student at The Boston Conservatory to read, understand and uphold the standards of conduct outlined in this and other official Conservatory communications to students, to vigorously protect the rights of others, and to share with Conservatory officials and the Student Government Association ideas and concerns regarding these policies and their implications.

Applicability

The following policies and judicial procedures apply to all students enrolled in any course or program at The Boston Conservatory regardless of whether they live on or off campus.  The Conservatory campus includes owned and leased buildings and Conservatory-sponsored events or performances held off campus.

In addition, The Boston Conservatory strives to be a good neighbor and recognizes the importance of maintaining amicable relations with local residents and businesses.  Therefore, students should be aware that the jurisdiction of the Conservatory extends beyond the physical boundaries of the campus. Activities that harm the reputation of The Boston Conservatory, cause problems for members of the greater community, or suggest that an individual may pose a threat to others will result in judicial action. 

With respect to allegations of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, the Student Conduct Code will enforce the Conservatory’s harassment policy as set forth in the Student Handbook in compliance with Title IX regulations.

Judicial Policies for Non-Academic Code Violations 

Initiation of Charges

Any member of The Boston Conservatory community may register a complaint with a Judicial Officer or the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students against a student for alleged violation of Conservatory policy. (For violations concerning academic and artistic integrity, see the Judicial Process Concerning Violations of Community Standards for Academic and Artistic Integrity.) Judicial Officers bear the responsibility for the initiation of all charges for violation of The Boston Conservatory Student Conduct Code. 

The complainant’s option to pursue a criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue the Conservatory’s disciplinary process, or to pursue both processes simultaneously is the complainant’s decision.

In an effort to be as fair as possible to the accused and complainant, the Judicial Officer reserves the right to modify the disciplinary process as deemed necessary or appropriate.

Notification of Charges

Once it is determined that disciplinary proceedings will be initiated, written notification of charges will be sent to the accused student.  Notification will specify the alleged violation of The Boston Conservatory policy and advise the accused student to arrange a pre-hearing interview with the Judicial Officer that sent the notification of charges.

Imminent Danger/Alteration of Student Status

In cases where there are grounds to conclude that the safety or well-being of a student, other persons or The Boston Conservatory property may be in jeopardy, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his or her designee will notify a student so charged of the reasons why the student will be suspended from The Boston Conservatory or residence hall or otherwise have status alterations pending the initiation and conclusion of formal proceedings.

The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his or her designee may issue a “no contact” order in writing to the complainant and the accused after The Boston Conservatory receives notice of a complaint.

Pre-hearing Interview

Upon written notification of charges, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange a pre-hearing interview with the Judicial Officer that sent the notification of charges. The purpose of the pre-hearing interview is to acquaint the student with the disciplinary process.  If the student does not initiate the pre-hearing interview within the time period specified in the notification, he or she waives the right to a pre-hearing interview and will be notified of the date and time of the hearing in writing.  The witnesses’ names, addresses and telephone numbers must be submitted prior to the hearing.  

Jurisdiction

Some policy violations not punishable by separation from the residence halls or The Boston Conservatory may be heard by a Judicial Officer at his or her discretion. In these cases, a hearing with the Judicial Board will not be necessary. Hearings for students in violation of Judicial Policies for Non-Academic Conduct Code violations may be conducted by the All-Conservatory Judicial Board.  Board membership will consist of student(s) and faculty or staff member(s).  One of the faculty or staff member(s) will serve as chairperson at each hearing and will vote only in the case of a tie.  The Judicial Officer will convene hearings and report decisions to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students. Appointments to the board are made annually by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

Hearing

Standard hearing proceedings are as follows:

  1. All persons are introduced.
  2. Charges are read and evidence is presented.
  3. A statement is made by the accused student (optional).
  4. Witnesses are questioned.

Other Procedures

  1. Witnesses will appear only to present their own testimony and answer questions and will then be asked to leave the room.
  2. The accused student may be present throughout the hearing.
  3. The accused student and the complainant may be advised by a person of their choosing from The Boston Conservatory community. The advisor is not entitled to address the Judicial Board.
  4. The Judicial Officer may choose to delay or change the date and time of the hearing with good cause.
  5. If the accused student and/or the complainant fail to attend the hearing, it will take place in his or her absence.
  6. The hearing procedures may be modified based on the individual circumstances at the discretion of the Judicial Officer. For example, the Judicial Officer may accommodate concerns for personal safety, well-being or fears of by providing alternate means of communication. 
  7. In hearings under the Student Conduct Code, the Judicial Board will use the preponderance of evidence standard.

Notification of the Decision

The Judicial Board will determine whether the student is responsible or not responsible and will impose sanctions in consultation with the Judicial Officer.  A student will receive written notification of the results of the hearing from the Judicial Officer. Except in extraordinary circumstances, a hearing will be held and the decision communicated to the accused student within 60 business days.

Parental Notification

At the discretion of the Judicial Officer or the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, parent(s) may be notified of the outcome of hearings where the offense is deemed to be of a serious nature and jeopardizes or changes the student’s status as a resident or student at The Boston Conservatory.  In such cases, a copy of the sanction letter will be sent to the student’s parent(s).

Parent(s) will not be notified if a student can prove financial independence from his or her parent(s).  However, in the case of financially independent students under the age of 21 who have been found responsible of violating drug and alcohol policies, parent(s) may be notified as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, at the discretion of the Judicial Officer or the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

Disciplinary Sanctions

When a student is found responsible for violating The Boston Conservatory policies, sanctions will be imposed either individually or in combination from the following list:

  1. A fine;
  2. Reimbursement to the Conservatory or to other individual(s) for damages;
  3. Reimbursement in the form of labor;
  4. Letter of apology to appropriate individual(s);
  5. Revocation of specific privileges for use of Conservatory facilities or equipment for a specified period of time;
  6. Rehabilitative or educational activities;
  7. Disciplinary warning;
  8. Disciplinary probation from the residence halls or from the Conservatory;
  9. Suspension or dismissal from the residence halls or from the Conservatory;
  10. Other sanctions asdeemed appropriate by the Judicial Officer (or designee) or the Judicial Board.

The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students has the ability to reverse a Judicial Board decision or alter the sanction(s).  In compliance with Title IX regulations, in cases involving sexual assault and/or sexual harassment, the Associate Dean for Academic Operations has the ability to reverse a Judicial Board decision or alter the sanction(s).

Appeal

If the accused student or complainant can demonstrate to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students that there is substantial new evidence or a serious breach of reasonable procedures, he or she may reconsider the case. In compliance with Title IX regulations, in cases where sexual assault and/or sexual harassment is involved, the appeal must be submitted to the Associate Dean for Academic Operations.  The type or severity of the sanction(s) imposed is not grounds for an appeal.

An appeal must be in written form, received by the appropriate Dean within five business days after receipt of the Judicial Board’s decision and contain the following information:

  • The name, address and telephone number of the accused student;
  • A clear statement explaining the procedural defect in the disciplinary process that had a significant effect on the outcome, and/or, the discovery of substantive new information which was unknown or unavailable to the student at the time of the hearing and would have had a significant effect on the outcome; 
  • The names, addresses and telephone numbers of new witnesses, if applicable.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, appeals will be decided and communicated to the accused student within 20 business days of the appeal request.

Judicial Process Concerning Violations of Community Standards for Academic and Artistic Integrity

Charges of Academic or Artistic Dishonesty

Any member of The Boston Conservatory community may register a complaint with the Associate Dean for Academic Operations against a student for alleged academic or artistic dishonesty. The Associate Dean reviews the evidence submitted and decides if it is substantive enough to warrant initiation of a judicial process. Absent sufficient evidence, the complaint is dismissed. When the individual bringing forward a complaint is a member of the faculty, he or she is expected to speak personally with the student involved concerning his or her perception of plagiarism or other forms of cheating before or at the same time as registering the complaint.

Notification of Charges

Once it is determined that disciplinary proceedings will be initiated, written notification of charges will be sent to the accused student.  Notification will specify the alleged violation and request that the student meet within the next few days with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs/Judicial Officer for a pre-hearing interview.

Pre-Hearing Interview

Upon written notification of charges, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange a pre-hearing interview with the Assistant Dean for Students Affairs/Judicial Officer. If the student does not initiate the pre-hearing interview within the time period specified in the notification, he or she waives the right to a pre-hearing interview and will be notified of the date and time of the hearing in writing. If the accused student fails to attend that hearing, it will take place in his or her absence.

At the pre-hearing interview, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs/Judicial Officer will make certain that the student is aware of all elements of the judicial process. He or she will discuss the nature of the charge with the student as well as the evidence submitted in support of the charge. If any of the evidence involves documents, copies of them shall be provided to the student. The hearing itself will take place no earlier than a week after the interview.

Academic Judicial Board

Hearings for students in violation of Boston Conservatory policy concerning academic or artistic integrity will be conducted by the Academic Judicial Board which is convened by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs/Judicial Officer. All members of the Board are appointed by the Associate Dean for Academic Operations and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs/Judicial Officer in consultation with the Directors of the academic Divisions. Board membership will consist of a total of at least four faculty members who represent no fewer than three of the Conservatory’s academic units, a student representative, and a member of the Conservatory’s administrative staff who will serve as the Chairperson at each hearing. The Chairperson will vote only in the case of a deadlocked board.

Hearing

Standard hearing proceedings are as follows:

  1. All persons are introduced.
  2. Charges are read and evidence is presented.
  3. A statement is made by the accused student (optional).
  4. Witnesses are questioned.

Other Procedures

  1. Witnesses will appear only to present their own testimony and answer questions and will
    then be asked to leave the room.
  2. The accused student may be present throughout the hearing.
  3. The accused student and the complainant may be advised by a person of their choosing from The Boston Conservatory community. The advisor is not entitled to address the Judicial Board.
  4. The Judicial Officer may choose to delay or change the date and time of the hearing with good cause.
  5. If the accused student and/or the complainant fail to attend the hearing, it will take place in his or her absence.
  6. The hearing procedures may be modified based on the individual circumstances at the discretion of the Judicial Officer. For example, the Judicial Officer may accommodate concerns for personal safety, well-being or fears of by providing alternate means of communication. 
  7. The Academic Judicial Board will use the preponderance of evidence standard.

Notification of the Decision

The Academic Judicial Board will determine whether or not the student is found responsible or not responsible for the charge(s) made, and in consultation with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs/Judicial Officer, will impose sanctions. A student will receive written notification of the results of the hearing within three business days from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs/Judicial Officer.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Dishonesty and cheating is always a serious breach of faith deserving of harsh punishment. On the other hand, the Academic Judicial Board will consider many factors before arriving at the appropriate sanction in any individual case. Students found guilty of plagiarism or cheating by the Academic Judicial Board shall receive punishments ranging from an "F" on the assignment or examination in question, to an "F" in the course, to sanctions as severe as academic suspension or dismissal.

If the student charged is found responsible on a second charge of plagiarism or cheating, the sanction imposed shall always be at least academic suspension.

Parental Notification

At the discretion of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs/Judicial Officer or the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Conservatory, parent(s) may be notified of the outcome of hearings where the offense is deemed to be of a serious nature and jeopardizes or changes the student’s status as a resident or student at The Boston Conservatory.  In such cases, a copy of the sanction letter will be sent to the student’s parent(s). Parent(s) will not be notified if a student can prove financial independence from his or her parent(s).  

Appeal

If the accused student can demonstrate to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Conservatory that there is substantial new evidence or a serious breach of reasonable procedures, he or she may reconsider the case.

An appeal must be in written form, received by the Vice President for Academic Affairs/ Dean of the Conservatory within 10 business days after receipt of the Judicial Board’s decision, and contain the following information:

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the accused student
  • A clear statement explaining the nature and circumstances of the appeal, citing the new evidence and/or the specifics of the perceived breach of procedures
  • The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of new witnesses, if any.







 



 



 



 

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