Policy Student General Misconduct Procedures

Student General Misconduct Procedures


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Intent

This procedure outlines the University’s management of an allegation of conduct which contravenes the obligations and expectations identified in the Student Code of Conduct. Allegations of Professional, Academic or Sexual Misconduct are excluded from this procedure as they are dealt with under separate procedures.

Scope

All students undertaking study or research with James Cook University in respect of all actions and activities (including inaction or inactivity) relating to or impacting on the University or its students, staff, volunteers, contractors visitors, or members of the public. The scope of this Procedure includes conduct that may occur at or in connection with (but is not limited to):

  • the University’s Australian campuses and study centres;
  • managed Student accommodation (including University owned or operated accommodation, and privately owned or operated accommodation, and regardless as to whether the accommodation is within or outside a University campus);
  • sporting and recreational clubs and facilities to the extent that they fall within the University Community;
  • managed digital environments (including the use of information technology and other University-operated digital platforms); and
  • conduct and activities  related to the University’s business that are not conducted on University’s premises, including (but not limited to):
    • ‐ field trips
    • ‐ conferences
    • ‐ Student camps
    • ‐ inter-University events
    • ‐ parties and other social functions.

Definitions

Except as otherwise specified in this Procedure, the meaning of terms used in this procedure are as per the Student Code of Conduct. Other terms used in this procedure may also be found in the Policy Glossary.

Procedure

1.         General

1.1       Any staff or student or member of the University community or public may immediately refer an instance of suspected criminal conduct to the Police.

1.2       Where the alleged inappropriate conduct concerns a student who is also a resident and the conduct is in connection with a residential College activity or taking place within the boundaries of the JCU Halls of Residence, other University-managed or associated student residences or Affiliated Colleges, will be referred to the Manager/Head of Halls of Residence/ Affiliated College for appropriate action in accordance with Hall/College procedures (except for Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault).

1.3       Conduct on the part of students as part of JCUSA Clubs or Societies activities that may occur on campus or off campus will be referred to the relevant Club or Society for appropriate action in accordance with the constitutions of said Clubs or Societies (except for Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault).

2.         Referral of allegations of Student Misconduct to Director, Student Services

2.1       Any staff, or student, or member of the University community or public may refer an instance of suspected Student Misconduct to the University.

2.2       The Chair of the University’s Behaviour Risk Group (Chief of Staff) may refer an allegation of Student Misconduct where a pattern of behaviour has escalated to Student Misconduct to the Director, Student Services in accordance with their Terms of Reference for high risk or escalating inappropriate behaviours.

2.3       All other allegations of Student Misconduct shall be lodged with the Director, Student Services who will conduct a preliminary evaluation of the allegation as presented. The Director, Student Services may:

  • dismiss the matter if the evidence is insufficient, or the allegation(s) is deemed to be unfounded or trivial, and send written advice of the dismissal and reasons for the dismissal to the referring person; or
  • refer all or part of the matter to the relevant College Dean or other authorised delegate for appropriate action; and/or
  • where appropriate, refer the matter to the Police or other relevant external authority, and/or
  • if sufficient detail and evidence is obtained to enable an allegation to be put to the student the Director Student Services may do so under clause 2; and/or
  • impose particular requirements as a condition of the student’s continued attendance at University under clause 3; and/or
  • suspend the student under clause 3.

3.         Misconduct Allegations

3.1       The Director Student Services will notify the student in writing that an allegation of Misconduct has been made against them. The student will be provided with sufficient detail including supplying any evidence provided, to enable them to understand the precise nature of the allegation, and will be asked to provide a written response to the allegation(s) within timeframes determined by the Director, Student Services. Due consideration will be given to the nature of the allegation(s), but normally the written response will be required within ten (10) working days.

3.2       A student who receives notice of allegation(s) is to respond in writing and may attend a meeting with the Director Student Services to address the allegation(s). An administrative support person will attend all such meetings to record the discussion and outcomes (see clause 8 below).

3.3       A student may be assisted by a support person or representative (such as a JCUSA Student Advocate) to prepare his or her written Response to the allegation(s) or when attending any relevant meetings with the Director Student Services.

3.4       If the student does not respond within ten (10) working days of the notification, or otherwise refuses to engage in the process, this does not halt the misconduct process, and the authorised delegate will move to clause 3.5.

3.5       The Director Student Services will then make findings about the known facts, after considering:

  • the materials provided by the person alleging the Student Misconduct weighing up the sufficiency and reliability of various evidence;
  • any oral and/or written testimony provided by  the student or others who may have information or evidence relevant to the allegation; and
  • then determine whether the allegation is proven or not proven on the balance of probability.

3.6       Within five (5) working days (or as otherwise negotiated with the student) of receiving the Response to Allegations, the Director Student Services will notify the student of the decision regarding the allegations and, if the allegation(s) of misconduct are proven, the penalty applied (referring to the Student Code of Conduct appendices).

4.         Suspension, restrictions or conditions placed on enrolment

4.1       At any time throughout the process, the College Dean or Chief of Staff where they are involved in the process, may recommend to the Director Student Services to immediately suspend the student, or place restrictions or conditions on the student’s enrolment if necessary for the University to discharge its duty of care to its students, staff or Placement Partners until the matter is finalised, and there is prima facie evidence supporting the allegation(s).

4.2       This may involve conditions or restrictions on access to the Campus, specific workplaces/areas of the University may be suspended; and/or directions regarding communication with the University, its staff, students or affiliates. Any immediate suspension, restriction or condition will be placed on the students file, a sanction applied in the Student Management System and relevant officers in the University will be notified noting clause 9 below.

4.3       Restrictions on a student under clause 4 may be revoked or revised by the Director, Student Services, should additional relevant information be presented at any time prior to the matter being finalised.

5.         Withdrawal or referral of allegations

5.1       At any stage the person who referred the allegation of Student Misconduct to the Director Student Services may withdraw the allegation. All parties will be notified in writing that the allegation(s) has been withdrawn. In most instances, the University will then deem the matter resolved.

5.2       In certain circumstances, the University may deem the matter serious enough to continue the Misconduct process or refer the matter to an external agency (such as the Police).

6.         Appeal against a decision of the Director, Student Services

6.1       A student who remains dissatisfied with a University decision regarding misconduct should refer to the Student Appeal Policy and Procedures. Where the Director Student Services would normally determine whether an appeal has legitimate grounds for appeal, the DVC Students will fulfil that role under the “one up rule”.

7.         External Appeal

7.1       A student who remains dissatisfied after the internal appeal process has been completed can make a formal complaint to an external body including the Queensland Ombudsman, the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland or the Australian Human Rights Commission.

8. Record keeping

8.1       Notes and documentation must be kept at all stages of the Student Misconduct process including records of meetings, discussions, and precautionary actions proposed or taken. These documents may be used in Appeal processes.

8.2       All records and notes produced and documents considered must be stored in an appropriate, confidential University file. The file must be created and stored in line with University policy.

8.3       No record of any misconduct allegation or proceedings brought against a student will be included on the student’s academic transcript.

9.         Confidentiality

9.1       All parties involved in a student misconduct complaint are to maintain confidentiality. Information and records about a misconduct matter are divulged to those with direct involvement with the following exceptions:

  • where there is risk of harm to a person or persons, it may be necessary to share information;
  • where the matter is subject to legal proceedings or other action which require the presentation of JCU-held records by way of subpoena or similar;
  • where a student lodges a complaint or appeal regarding a decision under these procedures; or
  • where there is a clear public interest or obligation to share information (such as a duty to disclose information to a professional accreditation board, or a duty to report under legislation).

Related policy instruments

Risk Management Policy

Incident Management Policy

Health, Safety and Environment Policy

Compliance Policy

Student Code of Conduct

HDR Code of Practice

Review of a Student’s Suitability to Continue a Course Involving Placement Policy

Social Media Policy

Bullying, Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy

ICT Acceptable Use Procedure

Library Use Policy

Student Complaint Management Policy and Procedure

Student Appeal Policy

Student Appeal Procedure

Related documents and legislation

The listing below is not meant to be exhaustive and contains key legislation and standards as updated from time to time:

Work Health and Safety Act

Fire and Emergency Services Act

Police Powers and Responsibilities Act

Security Providers Act

Administration

NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Procedure Sponsor/s

DVC Students

Approval Authority

DVC Students

Date for next review

09/05/2022

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

19-1

09/05/2019

09/05/2019

Procedure established

Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Keywords

conduct, behaviour, discipline, student misconduct