Student Conduct Appeal Process - Benjamin Franklin Institute Of Technology

Student Conduct Appeal Process

To initiate the appeal process, students will submit their appeal, electronically, in writing to the Dean of Students (or designee). Appeals must be received by the Dean of Students within five (5) class days of the date of the outcome of the conduct meeting.

A student should submit a formal and well written appeal:

  • To appeal a “responsible” decision for one or all violations from the original verdict
  • To appeal the level sanctioning from the original hearing body

It is up to the student(s) appealing to be persuasive and professional in their appeal letter. Appeal arguments should detail any information that was not available at the time of the original conduct meeting, as well as any additional information that is provided by witnesses or character references.

The decision to proceed with the appeal submitted is up to the discretion of the Dean of Students and/or designee. If the decision is to proceed, then every effort will be made to schedule an appeal meeting within five (5) class days.

Within 48 hours of submission, students will be notified if their appeal meets the above criteria and will be scheduled for an appeal meeting or if their appeal does not meet the criteria and is denied.

Since the appeal officer is never an eyewitness, they may never have absolute proof of what really happened. The best the appeal officer/panel can do is to be persuaded of what probably happened. The preponderance of evidence is used to base a decision during the conduct system and can be defined as – the lowest level of proof which typically means more likely than not.

Since the original Conduct Officer has ruled on responsibility based on a preponderance of the evidence, the appeal is not a re-hearing of the original case. Instead, the student has the opportunity to present any new information which supports the reason for the appeal including, new information that was not previously, information regarding excessive or inappropriate sanctions, information to prove the finding was not supported by the evidence, and/or information regarding procedural errors. The appeal officer will then render a decision based on the information provided.

The decision by the appeal officer will be based any of the following criteria:

  • Procedural error
  • Finding not supported by the evidence
  • Excessive or inappropriate sanction
  • New evidence not previously available

The Appeal Officer may make the following decisions:

  • Uphold previous decision/sanctioning
  • Revise previous decision/sanctioning
  • Overturn previous decision/sanctioning
  • Refer the case back to the original Hearing Officer for a rehearing (in case of procedural errors)

The appeal may never increase any sanctions or add charges. Students should be aware that any outcome of the appeal is final. Students will be notified of the outcome of their appeal in writing within 48 hours of their appeal meeting. Students should be aware that during the appeal process, all sanctions and limitations are in effect unless otherwise noted.