After meeting with a hearing officer and receiving an outcome letter, students or organizations found responsible for violations of the Student Conduct Code, have the right to appeal their outcome. Conflict Resolution staff can help provide information about the appeals process and guide the students through answering the following questions:
1) Was the hearing conducted fairly? Did you have a chance to present relevant information?
2) Was the decision reached based on substantial, sufficient information?
3) Were the sanctions appropriate for the violation?
4) Is new information available that may impact the decision?
A student may appeal a Hearing Officer’s decision. In cases where an impacted party has been identified by a Hearing Officer, that individual also has a right to appeal the decision. An appeal must be submitted online within ten (10) business days after the Hearing Officer’s decision is sent. Appeals submitted by another party on a student’s behalf will only be accepted when a student acknowledges that the appeal represents their position. Once an appeal is submitted it is reviewed by the Chair of the Appeal Committee. A Hearing Officer’s decision is considered final if an appeal is not submitted within the specified time. While an appeal is pending, the Respondent must comply with all sanctions and restrictions from the Hearing Officer’s decision, unless otherwise specified by the Hearing Officer.
An appeal is limited to a review of the record of the hearing and supporting information that was evaluated in the decision making process. New information will only be considered if the Chair determines that the information was not available at the time of the hearing. The appeal will only be granted on one or more of the following grounds:
- The hearing was not conducted fairly, giving the Respondent and any identified impacted party the opportunity to present relevant information. Minor deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for supporting an appeal unless there is an adverse effect on the outcome of the hearing.
- The information presented in the case, if believed by the Hearing Officer, was insufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Conduct Code occurred.
- The sanction(s) imposed were not appropriate based on totality of the circumstances.
- There is new information not available at the time of the original hearing that may be relevant to the final decision.
The Chair of the Appeal Committee will review the appeal and the record of the hearing to determine one of the following actions:
- Deny the appeal.
- Send the appeal to the Director of the Student Resolution Center (or designee) to review the record of the case, make any necessary modifications and render a final decision. When the Director served as the original Hearing Officer, the Chair of the Appeal Committee will send the appeal to the Dean of Students (or designee) to review the record of the case, make any necessary modifications and render a final decision.
- Grant the appeal and convene the Appeal Committee to review the record of the case. New information will be considered at this time.
An Appeal Committee is comprised of a faculty Chair, two additional faculty members and two students that are selected from a pool of individuals who have been appointed by the Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU) and Faculty Council. When an appeal is granted, a list of Appeal Committee members is provided to the Respondent and any impacted party. If the Respondent or impacted party believes there’s a conflict of interest and provides rationale to the Chair of the Appeal Committee, they may request the removal of a member. The Chair decides whether sufficient reason exists to remove a member. Members of the Appeal Committee are expected to recuse themselves if they have a conflict of interest. If the Chair of the Appeal Committee recuses themselves, has an identified conflict of interest or is unavailable within a reasonable period, the Director, or designee, will appoint another faculty member to serve in their role as Chair. When a member is removed, they will be replaced by another representative from the pool. In all cases involving sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, the Director of Equal Opportunity (or designee) will participate, as a non-voting member, in all deliberations of the Appeal Committee and may participate in other cases.
The Appeal Committee, upon conclusion of its review, will do one of the following:
- Affirm the findings of responsibility and sanctions. Decisions affirmed by the Appeal Committee are final. Written notification will be provided to the Respondent and any impacted party.
- Affirm the findings of responsibility and return the case to the original Hearing Officer or Director of the Student Resolution Center (or their designee) with recommendations to modify the sanctions. Decisions made after review of the recommendations are final and written notification will be provided to the Respondent and any impacted party.
- Recommend reversal of the findings of responsibility if the Appeal Committee disagrees with the Hearing Officer’s evaluation of information in the record and does not believe sufficient information exists to support a violation of the Student Conduct If the Appeal
Committee recommends a reversal, the Chair will submit a recommendation in writing, as follows:
- In all cases involving suspension or expulsion from the University (whether imposed by the original Hearing Officer or recommended by the Appeal Committee after review), the Chair of the Appeal Committee will make a recommendation in writing to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and the Vice President of Student Affairs for a final decision
- In all cases involving any form of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, the Chair of the Appeal Committee will make a recommendation in writing to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Vice President of Student Affairs, who may also consult with the Director of Equal Opportunity for a final decision
- In all other cases involving individual student violations of the Conduct Code, the Chair of the Appeal Committee will make a recommendation in writing to the Dean of Students (or designee) who will make a final decision
If the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Vice President of Student Affairs are unable to agree on the action to be taken, the decision will be referred to the Executive Vice President/Provost for final action.
To submit a conduct appeal, click here.