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Disciplinary

The University will investigate and take disciplinary measures against any student they feel is not following the code of conduct of the University. This includes behaviour to others, behaviour in regards to actions taken on campus and in halls, and so on. Any behaviour which could bring the University into disrepute could also be investigated. The full disciplinary procedure can be found [here]. Any student accused of falling foul of the code of conduct should be given a fair opportunity to discuss what has happened.

The disciplinary process is serious, and we would encourage you to get in touch with our Advice team ahead of any disciplinary meetings to advise you on the process and offer representation at meetings.

 

allegations and investigation

 

Any member of staff or student(s) of the University can raise an allegation or complaint regarding student misconduct. Allegations or complaints mat also be made by bodies or individuals external to the University. All allegations or complaints should be brought to the attention of the Dean of Students (Student Futures). They can also be sent to the Proctor's office by emailing universityproctor@chester.ac.uk

Once an allegation is made, the Dean of Students or their nominee will investigate the claims made, and may invite the student named to attend a meeting to find out more about the complaint.

 

informal hearing

 

When following the informal procedure, the disciplinary may just go as far as the meeting named above. The initial meeting will usually be recorded, and you may request a Students' Union representative if you wish to do so. If following this meeting, the Dean of Students decides that there is some misconduct or anti-social behaviour, one or more of the following penalties may be imposed. These include:

  • A warning and/or advice about future conduct
  • A requirement upon the student to give an undertaking as to his/her future conduct within the University
  • A requirement to undertake or participate in a form of ‘restorative justice’ as determined by the Dean of Students.
  • A requirement to undertake one or more specific tasks within the University as determined by the Dean of Students
  • A fine of up to £150
  • A requirement upon the student to pay for any damage to property, he/she may have caused, or to recompense the University for any loss it may have suffered arising from the students conduct
  • A requirement for the matter to be referred to a Formal Discipline Panel.

The outcome of the meeting will be communicated by email to a University email address.

 

formal discipline panel

 

If following the Informal meeting the decision is to refer to a Formal Discipline Panel, this will be communicated via email. If a disciplinary meeting goes to the formal stage, our advisors can support by advising on any relevant documents or evidence you can forward to be included, and attend the meeting as a representative. We would be there in a procedural capacity primarily, and would not usually be permitted to talk on a students' behalf unless under certain circumstances. Ahead of a panel, you can submit to the Proctors any evidence you feel which would support you within the panel.

The panel consists of 3 members:

  • The chair - this is usually the Dean or Vice Dean of a faculty/department which the student does not study in
  • One member of academic staff (who again cannot be from the same department of study)
  • One member of the student body, or Students' Union officer.

There may also be present in the room the proctor who has investigated, and will present the case, and possibly also an administrative staff member for the purposes of note taking.

Any paperwork presented to the panel should have been sent to you ahead of the meeting so that you have time to read through it and respond if necessary. 

During the panel itself, the chair and panel members will take the opportunity to ask questions about what has happened, and provide you with the opportunity to explain your side of the story. We would always advise to attend dressed smartly, and to answer questions asked of you honestly. If you have taken time to reflect on the situation between it occurring and the panel hearing, producing a short statement based on this reflection can be beneficial for both yourself and the panel, as it gives an indication that you have understood the severity of the situation.

Once all questions have been asked, the panel will request that you and the proctor withdraw from the room so they can discuss the information they have before them. You may be called back in to give a decision, however all decisions are only confirmed once they are sent in writing to you.

 

after the panel

 

The Panel may either dismiss the case, or uphold the complaint. If the complaint is upheld, the Panel may decide that no further action is necessary; or that one or more of the following penalties be imposed. The following list is not exhaustive:

  • Expulsion of the student
  • Suspension of the student from attendance at the University for a maximum of two weeks
  • Exclusion of the student by selective restriction to certain parts of the campus for a maximum period of one semester
  • Restriction on the holding of any office or committee membership in the University, or recommendation to the SU
  • A recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor or Director of Services to terminate the student's accommodation contract for University accommodation or Head Tenancy and possession of the accommodation in accordance with the published terms and conditions of residence.
  • A written warning issued
  • Referral of the student to Student Wellbeing for advice, guidance and support
  • The imposition of a fine up to a maximum of £500, this figure to reflect the seriousness of the allegations
  • Any of the penalties stipulated in the informal part of this procedure
  • That no further action is necessary
  • Any other penalty deemed appropriate by the Panel.

Any decision made by the panel will be sent in writing to you following the hearing.

 

what if i am unhappy with the outcome?

 

You can request a review against the decision of the Panel. You have 10 working days within which to do this, by writing to the proctor's office under one of the following grounds:

  • The emergence of significant additional evidence not available at the time of the disciplinary panel hearing which could reasonably have affected the Panel's decision if disclosed at the panel hearing
  • The emergence of evidence to show that there has been mal-administration in the conduct of the disciplinary proceedings
  • The emergence of evidence, which demonstrates that the penalties imposed are too severe, or they can be shown to be inconsistent with those imposed for comparable incidents.

The review panel will look at all evidence provided and may retract or impose sanctions outlined above depending on if they deem that the original decision should be changed. 

If you are still unhappy with the outcome, you may be able to complain to the OIA regarding this.