Part B: Non-Academic Discipline Procedure

 

1.            Initial referrals and investigations 

1.1.         For Regulations 1-12 and 16, Any incident which may breach the University’s General Regulations for Students shall in the first instance be referred to the Disciplinary Triage Group, which shall determine whether an incident should be investigated as a potential breach of the regulations and what further actions, The Disciplinary Triage Group may receive referrals made by the Students Union. The group can also redirect any matter that does not fall under the remit of a breach 
of the General Regulations for students but may be covered under the Students Union’s Code of Conduct to the Students Union in the best interests of maintaining a 
safe environment for all staff, students and visitors.if any, should be taken to investigate and/or provide support to those involved, and who is to be responsible for  those actions. Subject to the decision of the group, it is likely that investigations will be conducted by:

1.1.1.     The Head of Accommodation Services (where the alleged breach may constitute a breach of a licence to occupy University Residences or an Assured  Shorthold Tenancy, or otherwise relates to Accommodation; or

1.1.2.     The Student Sport Operations Manager (where the allegations relate to the student’s conduct as a sportsperson or in relation to a university sporting activity or event, or while using any university sports facility; or

1.1.3    The Student Misconduct Investigative Team in all other cases, or to assist the Head of Accommodation Services or the Student Sport Operations Manager when requested to do so.

1.2    An investigation may include:

1.2.1    Meeting with anyone alleged to have been involved in the incident or with knowledge of it. 

1.2.2    Obtaining further information from any attending Security Officer, Residential Life Adviser, Student Services Resident Tutor, the Students Union, reporter, and any witnesses.

1.2.3     Obtaining any other relevant information such as from the UEA records system or from the Police or Local Authority Designated Officer

1.2.4    Considering any evidence and/or mitigation submitted by you and others being investigated.

1.3        Student Services shall ensure that (where necessary) consent is provided by the reporter to investigation and shall report to the group on the outcome of any risk assessments, precautionary measures, or support  provided. 

1.4       The triage group may refer the student to a process such as the Student Academic Engagement Process or, in the case of postgraduate research students, the PGR Procedures on Attendance, Engagement, and Progress, or the Fitness to Practise process.

Guidance: Sports clubs fall under the joint remit of the SU Code of Conduct (as they are constituted by the SU and comprise members of the SU) and these procedures (as teams comprise students bound by the General Regulations for Students and using University facilities). The SU and the Student Sport Operations Manager should seek to agree a protocol for dealing with such cases which reflects their shared interests in good student conduct and fair processes.

 

2.            Role of the Head of Accommodation Services in relation to alleged breaches of a licence to occupy or tenancy agreement and/or General Regulation 

2.1    Where a student is alleged to have breached a tenancy agreement or licence to occupy University accommodation which results only in a breach of General Regulation 9.1, the Accommodation Services may:

2.1.1   issue advice on the implications of breaching the terms of your licence or tenancy and potential steps that may be taken in the event of a proven breach. Such  advice does not necessarily constitute or exclude a finding that a breach has occurred and does not constitute a penalty.

2.1.2   decide on the balance of probabilities that no breach has been committed or that there is no case to answer.

2.1.3   following an investigation, decide that there has, on the balance of probabilities, been a breach of the terms and conditions of a licence to reside or an assured shorthold tenancy agreement in University Residences which has:

2.1.3.1          been committed by you; or

2.1.3.2          is damage committed by someone that you have allowed to damage the Residential Premises; or

2.1.3.3          been committed by someone you have invited into, or given access to the Residential Premises;

an appropriate penalty or penalties as listed in Part G (Penalties) which may include terminating your licence or applying to court to terminate a tenancy; 

2.1.4      following an investigation, decide that there has, on the balance of probabilities, been a loss caused by a breach of clause 13.1 or 13.2 of the terms and conditions of your licence but that the loss cannot be attributed to an individual licensee, hold you jointly and severally responsible for making good that loss unless you can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Head of Accommodation Services (acting on behalf of the Licensor) that on the balance of probabilities you, or your guest or visitor, were not responsible for the damage.

2.2        Where the Head of Accommodation Services believes that you may have breached the General Regulations for Students (other than General Regulation 9.1) the Head of Accommodation Services shall refer the case to the Disciplinary Officer who shall address both the alleged breach of the terms and conditions and the other alleged breaches.

2.3.         In all cases, the Student Accommodation Manager can recommend that you seek pastoral support from another member of staff within Student Services.

2.4.         In any case in which the Head of Accommodation Services believes that you may be unfit for study, they may refer the matter to the Associate Director of Student Services (Wellbeing) to determine appropriate next steps. This step does not preclude the Head of Accommodation Services from imposing a penalty or penalties where a breach has been found proven, but any such penalty must be carefully considered in light of the concerns about your wellbeing.

Guidance: In determining an appropriate penalty or whether to refer the issue to SSDC, the decision-maker may take previous breach(es) by the student into account, provided that the student is being penalised for failure to alter their conduct and is not being penalised again for the same breach(es). 

 

3.          Role of the Student Sport Operations Manager in relation to alleged breaches of non-academic General Regulations

3.1.         When the Student Sport Operations Manager determines that there is sufficient information for a disciplinary decision to be made they will decide whether there has, on the balance of probabilities, been a breach of General Regulations, and either:

3.2.1.     following or not following an investigation choose not to take action other than to issue advice on the implications of breaching the General Regulations and potential steps that may be taken in the event of a proven breach. Such advice does not constitute a finding that a breach has occurred and does not constitute a penalty.

3.2.2.     following an investigation, decide on the balance of probabilities that no breach has been committed or that there is no case to answer.

3.2.3.     following an investigation, decide that there has, on the balance of probabilities, been a breach of the General Regulations and either issue a warning about the implications of breaches and potential steps that may be taken in the event of further breaches; and/or apply an appropriate penalty or penalties as listed in Part G (Penalties).

3.3.         In all cases, the Student Sport Operations Manager can recommend that you seek pastoral support from Student Services.

3.4.         In any case in which the Student Sport Operations Manager believes that you may be unfit for study, they can refer the matter to the Head of Wellbeing who can consider whether to recommend to your School that the Student Academic Engagement procedure be started. This step does not preclude the Student Sport Operations Manager from imposing a penalty or penalties where a breach has been found proven, but any such penalty must be carefully considered in light of the concerns about your wellbeing.

3.5    Where the Student Sport Operations Manager decides that they do not have sufficient information for a disciplinary decision to be made, or the matter is potentially serious, they may refer the matter to the Disciplinary Officer instead of making a determination themselves.

Guidance: In determining an appropriate penalty or whether to refer the issue to SSDC, the decision-maker may take previous breach(es) by the student into account, provided that the student is being penalised for failure to alter their conduct and is not being penalised again for the same breach(es). 

4.            Reviews and Appeals from a decision of the Student Sport Operations Manager or Head of Accommodation Services

4.1.         Reviews and Appeals from a disciplinary decision of the Student Sport Operations Manager, or Head of Accommodation Services under 2.1.3 or 3.1.3 (on the facts or on the penalty or both) shall be heard in accordance with Part H (Appeals).

Guidance: note that if you have been served with notice to quit your licence, this period does not pause while you appeal. You should therefore use this time wisely to search for accommodation in case your appeal is unsuccessful. 

Guidance: note that the process depends on whether you had the opportunity to be heard before a penalty was applied. While this would normally be the case, there may be situations (such as where a breach of covid regulations was captured on body-worn cameras or cctv) where the penalty will be levied subject to you requesting a review. A review is an Investigation. 

5.            Referrals to the Disciplinary Officer 

5.1         The Disciplinary Officer receives referrals in relation to: allegations of breaches of intellectual property/copyright infringement; alleged breaches of the terms and conditions of accommodation where combined with an alleged breach of the General Regulations for Students; and any matter considered by the Disciplinary Triage Group to be complex or potentially serious.

5.2         The University Disciplinary Officer is appointed by the Senate and has the power to investigate, hear and determine any case which has been referred to them in accordance with these Disciplinary Procedures. They may delegate these and other responsibilities to an appointed Deputy University Disciplinary Officer and at any time more than one person may be Disciplinary Officer. They may ask the Student Misconduct Investigative Team to investigate the allegations.

5.4         A University Disciplinary Officer will consider an investigative report and request any further written information that is necessary to resolve the case fairly.

5.5         Once the University Disciplinary Officer has sufficient information on which to make a decision as to how to proceed, the University Disciplinary Officer must then:

5.5.1      decide that there is no case to answer or that you have not breached a Regulation; or

5.5.2      determine a penalty in accordance with Part G (Penalties); or

5.5.3      decide to summon you to a hearing before them, after which they will make a decision; or

5.5.4      decide that instead of reaching a decision themselves on whether you have breached the Regulations the matter should be referred to the Senate Student Discipline Committee (SSDC). In cases specifically involving a criminal conviction where the student is given a custodial sentence, the Disciplinary Officer can choose 
to refer the matter to SSDC without the need for an investigation or Hearing. This is due to the allegations having already been proven in court.

Guidance: In determining an appropriate penalty or whether to refer the issue to SSDC, the decision-maker may take previous breach(es) by the student into account, provided that the student is being penalised for failure to alter their conduct and is not being penalised again for the same breach(es) for which they have already been penalised.
 

6.            Hearings by the Disciplinary Officer

6.1.         If a University Disciplinary Officer wishes to speak to you in person before they decide the matter themselves, then they will send you, by email, a written summons to a hearing before them. The summons will state:

6.1.1.     the alleged breaches of regulations or of the terms and conditions of the licence or lease

6.1.2.     the nature of the alleged breach

6.1.3.     the date, time, and location of the meeting

6.1.4.     the fact that the University Disciplinary Officer can decide whether there has been a breach of the Regulations and apply a penalty or penalties

6.1.5.     the range of penalties available to the University Disciplinary Officer

6.1.6.     any penalty or penalties that the University Disciplinary Officer proposes to impose in the event that you are found guilty of a breach of the Regulations and do not respond to the summons (which is, in itself, a breach of Regulation 13).

6.1.7.     that instead of reaching a decision themselves on whether you have breached the Regulations the University Disciplinary Officer, having spoken with you, may refer the matter to Senate Student Discipline Committee.

6.2.         Copies of the investigative report and any written or other evidence relied upon in the drafting of the report must be enclosed with the summons.

6.3.         The summons will be sent to your University email address no fewer than 5 working days before the meeting.

 

7.            Your options on receipt of a summons

7.1.         You must respond to the summons no fewer than 2 working days before the meeting.

7.2.         If you deny the allegations, or you admit the allegations but you want the opportunity to talk to the University Disciplinary Officer about any mitigating factors, you should notify the University Disciplinary Officer that you will attend the meeting at the date, time, and location given in the summons letter, and give the name and status of anyone you are bringing with you. Any person you bring with you is called your Companion (see paragraph 8 below).

7.3.         If you admit the allegations and you do not want to meet with the University Disciplinary Officer, you can waive your right to the hearing and agree that the University Disciplinary Officer can impose the penalty or penalties that she has outlined in the summons letter without a meeting taking place.

7.4.         If you do not respond to the summons letter at least 2 working days before the meeting, or you fail to attend the meeting, the University Disciplinary Officer will deem this to be an acceptance that the allegations set out in the summons letter are true and therefore find that there has been a breach of the Regulation(s).  The University Disciplinary Officer will then either apply the penalty or penalties set out in the summons letter or determine that the allegations are so serious that the matter should be referred to Senate Student Discipline Committee.

 

8.            At the hearing

8.1          At the hearing, the University Disciplinary Officer will discuss with you whether you have breached a Regulation or Regulations. A note-taker, who will usually be a the Student Misconduct Case Coordinator, will be present at the hearing.

8.2          You have the right to be accompanied by a Companion. The Companion must have no connection with the allegations and therefore no material interest in the matter.

8.3         You must tell the University Disciplinary Officer no later than 2 working days before the hearing of your Companion’s identity and status (for example Student Union Adviser or fellow student). If you do not tell the University Disciplinary Officer within this timescale, they may decide that you are not allowed to bring a Companion at all.

8.4         The Companion may present the case on your behalf and help and support you. However, they cannot answer questions on your behalf about what is alleged to have happened or your state of mind, and they cannot attend the hearing in your absence.

8.5          It is your responsibility to tell your Companion about the date, time, and location of the hearing. If your Companion does not attend the hearing, the hearing may proceed in their absence.

8.6          Your Companion may be excluded from the hearing if they are so disruptive as to impede the conduct of the hearing. In such a case, the University Disciplinary Officer will decide whether or not to continue with the hearing even though your Companion has been excluded.

Guidance: Members of the Student Union Advice Centre are available to act as your Companion on your request.

 

9.            The University Disciplinary Officer’s decision

9.1.         Following the hearing, the University Disciplinary Officer will determine on the balance of probabilities whether you have breached a Regulation or Regulations and either:

9.1.1.     apply a penalty or penalties set out in Part G (Penalties). In determining the appropriate penalty or penalties, the Disciplinary Officer will consider any evidence of mitigation that you have provided; or

9.1.2.     decide that the allegations are so serious that the matter should be referred to Senate Student Discipline Committee.

9.1.3    decide that there is no case to answer or you have not breached a Regulation.

9.2.         If, whether or not you have been found to have breached a Regulation or Regulations, it appears to the University Disciplinary Officer that you may be unfit to study, the University Disciplinary Officer may contact Student Services and recommend that they trigger the Student Academic Engagement Process at Ability to Engage level or , in the case of postgraduate reserach students, the PGR Procedures on Attenance, Engagement, and Progress. .

9.3.       The University Disciplinary Officer may impose a penalty or penalties in addition to a referral to the Academic Engagement Process, or in the case of postgraduate research students, the PGR Procedures on Attendance, Engagement and Progress but such penalty must be carefully considered in light of the concerns about your wellbeing. 

 

10.            After the hearing

10.1.         Within 5 working days of the hearing, the University Disciplinary Officer must

10.1.1.     notify you by email letter of the decision and any penalty or penalties imposed; and

10.1.2.     advise you of the appeal mechanism.

10.1.3     depending on the nature of the breach, copy the notification to your Head of School, fitness to practise lead (if you are in a professional school) and (in the case of postgraduate research students) your supervisor.

 

11.          Informal resolution

11.1       The University recognises that not all students wish to make a formal complaint through the disciplinary process, for a variety of reasons. The informal resolution process seeks to balance the need for safeguarding and the community interest in addressing such misconduct with the wishes of the reporting student. Where a student alleges that they are a victim of a breach of the Policy on Student Harassment and Sexual or Physical Misconduct, that student (known as the 'reporter’) may request that the matter be dealt with outside the disciplinary process.

11.2       If they do so, the Student Life Manager will then determine whether the matter should be dealt with informally based on the following criteria:

11.3.1    the reporter’s wishes: under no circumstances should an informal resolution take place without the explicit informed consent of the reporter, freely given;

11.3.2    the University’s safeguarding obligations;

11.3.3    the risk the alleged misconduct, if true, would pose to the reporter; 

11.3.4    the risk the alleged misconduct, if true, would pose to the UEA community and the wider community;

11.3.5    whether the alleged misconduct is capable of constituting a criminal offence.

11.4       The Student Life Manager must explain to the reporter that some cases are so serious that they cannot be the subject of an informal resolution.

11.5       Where the Student Life Manager agrees to informal resolution, the Manager will meet with the responding student and discuss with them the potential implications of their alleged actions. This does not constitute a finding of non-academic misconduct.

Guidance: Records should be kept of informal resolution in line with the University’s Document Retention Policy.