Adjudication and Student Rights & Responsibilities

Community Accountability

The following applies to violations of the Code of Conduct. However, process statements under Belmont’s Academic Honor Code and Sexual Misconduct Policies may differ from statements in this section. Those differences supersede the information provided here.

Accountability Procedures

A full description of the process can be found in the Bruin Guide. Information in the Bruin Guide supersedes information presented on the website.

When an incident has occurred, a student will be provided a "Notice" of the incident via their Belmont email. A Notice is considered to provide the student with notice of the Incident. In accordance with University policy, students are expected to check their e-mail daily.

Failure or refusal to respond to Notice (i.e., not checking campus mail, avoiding attempted contact efforts by University officials, etc.) may result in an Inquiry being conducted in the student’s absence and Consequences being assigned (see Pre-Inquiry).

Once Notice has been provided, a student should contact the University Representative indicated on the Notice letter within the two business days following the issue date of the Notice to schedule an information session and/or inquiry.

University Representatives reserve the right to schedule an Inquiry time, date, and location at their sole discretion and may take under consideration such factors as the student’s schedule, Accountability Officer(s) schedule, prejudice to the student of delaying the Inquiry date, the time necessary to collect information, nature of the alleged violation(s) and other factors. Information sessions and inquiries may be conducted on the same day.

A student’s failure or refusal to contact the appropriate University Representative within the allotted two business days will be treated as the student’s acceptance of responsibility for all alleged violations, will waive any privilege to an Information Session, and will result in an Inquiry being scheduled and conducted in the student’s absence.

An Inquiry is a closed meeting involving only those with information regarding what happened, the optional Advisor, and those responsible for the Accountability Process.

During an Inquiry, the student will have the opportunity to challenge or clarify University Information related to the Incident and present their own Information related to the Incident.

The Accountability Officer(s) will determine whether Information is relevant to what happened during an Incident and may redirect a person if Information is determined to be irrelevant.

The Accountability Officer(s) may take action against a person or Advisor who is interfering with the Inquiry at their sole discretion. Such action includes—but is not limited to—halting the Inquiry, rescheduling the Inquiry, or removing the person or Advisor from the Inquiry and proceeding in their absence.

Decisions regarding responsibility and Consequences, if any, will be delivered to the student in writing through the student’s Belmont e-mail address. The student is considered to have received the Outcome Letter upon the letter being sent via e-mail.

Accountability Officer(s) decisions related to responsibility or Consequences can be appealed, provided that one or more of the reasons for appeal is relevant to the case. A written request should be completed and submitted to the Director of Community Accountability within two business days of the student receiving the Outcome Letter. The appeal request form is attached to the outcome letter.

The Director of Community Accountability will review the request to determine if the request meets the grounds for an appeal. The request should state the reason(s) for the appeal and the supporting facts. For an appeal to be considered valid, the request and supporting facts must be directly connected to one or more of the reasons(s) for the appeal. If the appeal fails to meet the reason(s) for appeal, then the appeal will be denied. Student(s) will be notified that their appeal was denied due to failure to connect their request to one or more reasons(s) for appeal.

The reasons for appeal are limited to:

  1. Procedural error, which had a bearing on the original decisions.
  2. New information that was not available at the time of the Inquiry which had a bearing on the original decision(s).
  3. Information demonstrating that there is no way a reasonable person could have arrived at decisions similar to the original decisions absent bias.

If the appellate officer grants an appellate review, they will review the request within 15 business days. The Appellate Officer can affirm the original decision(s) regarding responsibility and Consequences, affirm the original decision(s) regarding responsibility and modify the Consequences, or reverse the original decisions regarding responsibility and Consequences. All appellate responses are final.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

  • Students/Organizations participating in the inquiry may be accompanied by an advisor (optional); however, they must be a member of the Belmont community (i.e., faculty, staff, or student). Parents and/or attorneys are not allowed to participate in the adjudication process. Advisors are not allowed to speak on a student’s behalf; they are merely there for support and may be removed if they become disruptive.
  • Students/Organizations may bring witnesses with relevant information for the incident. We do not allow character witnesses. The witness(es) name(s), BUID number, phone number, and a summary of their involvement or role in the incident need to be submitted to the Director of Community Accountability at least 24 hours before the inquiry.
    • The director has the right to approve or deny witnesses to participate in the inquiry. The student/organization will be notified by email if witnesses are approved. It is the responsibility of the student/organization to get the witness to the inquiry on time.
  • Students will have an opportunity to question each individual that provides information during the inquiry.
  • Students may choose not to answer any or all questions; however, a decision will be rendered regardless of participation. If students withhold information during the inquiry (that was available at the time of the inquiry), they cannot file an appeal based on new information, and a decision will be made based on the information that was gathered at the inquiry.
  • All inquiry decisions will be communicated in writing and sent to their Belmont email address.
  • The standard review of all inquiry decisions is based on the preponderance of the evidence, which means "more likely than not" a violation did or did not occur.
  • If students/organizations fail to appear that their inquiry, they will waive their right to present information, and the inquiry will be held in their absence. Also, they will be ineligible to file an appeal.
  • If students/organizations attempt to cancel their inquiry, they must provide documentation and a valid reason for needing to cancel. This must be done before the inquiry. The Director will review the information and inform the student of the decision by email/phone.