Part B: Non-Academic Discipline Procedure

 

1.            Triage

1.1          Unless the breach is a breach of academic and professional integrity (General Regulations 13–23 inclusive, with the exception of Regulation 16 which shall be treated as a non-academic discipline matter), any incident which may breach the University’s Regulations shall in the first instance be referred to:

1.1.1.    The Deputy Accommodation Manager (where the alleged breach may constitute a breach of a licence to occupy University Residences or an Assured  Shorthold Tenancy Agreement in respect of a University and therefore a breach of Regulation 9); or

1.1.2.     The Disciplinary Triage Panel (where the alleged breach is of any other Regulation or a combination including Regulation 9).

1.2.       The Disciplinary Triage Panel will consider referrals for disciplinary consideration, determine whether they are disciplinary or not in their nature, undertake a risk assessment, consider any mitigating actions that need to be put in place, and determine whether the matter requires further investigation.    

1.3.         The Head of Accommodation Services will consider allegations and determine whether they should be considered as a breach of the licence to occupy or as a disciplinary matter in relation to General Regulation 9. Incidents which comprise multiple potential breaches of different levels of seriousness can be considered together.  The penalty will be determined on the basis of the most serious breach.

1.4         Matters that are not considered to be disciplinary in nature will be referred appropriately for support and guidance or referred for consideration in a separate process such as Fitness to Study or Fitness to Practice.

 

2.            Low and medium level incidents

2.1.         Where all of the alleged incident(s) can be characterised as low or medium level, the Student Life Manager or Deputy Accommodation Manager will investigate the matter. The investigation may include:

2.1.1.     Meeting with the people, such as you, alleged to have been involved in the incident.

2.1.2.     Obtaining further information from any attending Security Officer, Warden, complainant and any witnesses.

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

2.2.         Following their investigation, the Student Life Manager or Deputy Accommodation Manager will decide whether 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 is also a breach of Regulation 9), or a breach of another Regulation, and either:

2.2.1.     Determine that you should receive advice about the implications of breaching Regulations and/or the terms of your licence or tenancy and potential steps that may be taken in the event of further breaches; or

2.2.2.     Apply an appropriate penalty or penalties as listed in Part G (Penalties); or

2.2.3.     Refer the matter for informal resolution in accordance with paragraph 10 of this Part B.

2.2.4      Refer the matter to the Disciplinary Triage team recommending further investigation. 

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

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

 

3.            Appeals from a decision of the Student Life Manager or Deputy Accommodation Manager

Appeals from a decision of the Student Life Manager or Deputy Accommodation Manager (on the facts or on the penalty or both) shall be heard in accordance with Part H (Appeals).

 

4.            Alleged breaches of General Regulations (except for 13,14,15 and 17-23 requiring investigation

  1.  

4.1        Where some or all of the alleged incident(s) can be characterised as requiring investigation, the matter must be referred to a University Disciplinary Officer.

4.2         The University Disciplinary Officers are appointed by the Senate and have 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.

4.3          All such investigations will be undertaken by the University Investigative Team and may involve:

4.3.1      meeting  with the people, such as you, alleged to have been involved in the incident.

4.3.2.     obtaining further information from any attending Security Officer, Warden, complainant and any witnesses and any other relevant information such as from the UEA records system or from the Police

4.3.3       documenting any evidence and/or mitigation submitted by you and others being investigated.

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

4.5           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:

4.5.1        decide that there is no case to answer; or

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

4.5.3         decide to summon you to a hearing before them; or

4.5.4         decide that instead of reaching a decision themselves on whether you have breached the Regulations the University Disciplinary Officer may refer the matter to Senate Student Discipline Committee

5.            Hearings by the Disciplinary Officer

5.1.         If the University Disciplinary Officer wishes to speak to your 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:

5.1.1.     the alleged breaches of regulations

5.1.2.     the nature of the alleged breach

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

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

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

5.1.6.     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).

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

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

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

 

6.            Your options on receipt of a summons

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

6.2.         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 7 below).

6.3.         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.

6.4.         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.

 

7.            At the hearing

7.1          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 member of Student Support Services, will be present at the hearing.

7.2          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.

7.3          You must tell the University Disciplinary Officer no later than 2 working days before the hearing of the identity and status (for example Student Union Adviser or fellow student) of the Companion. 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.

7.4          The Companion may present the case on your behalf and help and support you. However, they cannot answer questions on your behalf, or attend the hearing in your absence.

7.5          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.

7.6          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.

8.            The University Disciplinary Officer’s decision

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

8.1.1.     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

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

8.2.         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 your Head of School and recommend that they trigger the Fitness to Study procedure at level two or level three.

8.3.         If the University Disciplinary Officer thinks that it is important that the Fitness to Study process be used even if the School is not sure, they can ask the SSDC Chair to exercise Chair’s powers (Part D paragraph 4) to require the School to commence Fitness to Study proceedings. Apart from that, no referral to SSDC should take place.

8.4.         The University Disciplinary Officer may impose a penalty or penalties in addition to a referral to Fitness to Study but such penalty must be carefully considered.

 

9.            After the hearing

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

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

9.1.2.     advise you of the appeal mechanism.

9.2.         Depending on the nature of the breach, copy the notification to your Head of School or (in the case of postgraduate research students) your supervisor.

 

10.          Informal resolution

10.1.      Where a student complains that they are a victim of a breach of the Policy on Student Harassment and Sexual or Physical Misconduct, that student may request that the matter be dealt with outside the disciplinary process. Informal resolution consists of the Student Life Manager meeting with the alleged offender and discussing with them the potential implications were a disciplinary procedure to be followed.

10.2.      The Student Life Manager will discuss with the complainant what support the complainant can be offered.

10.3.      The Student Life Manager will then determine whether the matter should be dealt with informally based on the following criteria:

10.3.1.   the alleged victim’s wishes: under no circumstances should an informal resolution take place without the express consent of the alleged victim, freely given;

10.3.2.   the University’s safeguarding obligations;

10.3.3.   the risk the alleged misconduct, if true, would pose to the alleged victim; 

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

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

 

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