Community Standards-Student Affairs - Carnegie Mellon University


Community Standards

Carnegie Mellon Code

Students at Carnegie Mellon, because they are members of an academic community dedicated to the achievement of excellence, are expected to meet the highest standards of personal, ethical and moral conduct possible.

These standards require personal integrity, a commitment to honesty without compromise, as well as truth without equivocation and a willingness to place the good of the community above the good of the self. Obligations once undertaken must be met, commitments kept.

As members of the Carnegie Mellon community, individuals are expected to uphold the standards of the community in addition to holding others accountable for said standards. It is rare that the life of a student in an academic community can be so private that it will not affect the community as a whole or that the above standards do not apply.

The discovery, advancement and communication of knowledge are not possible without a commitment to these standards. Creativity cannot exist without acknowledgment of the creativity of others. New knowledge cannot be developed without credit for prior knowledge. Without the ability to trust that these principles will be observed, an academic community cannot exist.

The commitment of its faculty, staff and students to these standards contributes to the high respect in which the Carnegie Mellon degree is held. Students must not destroy that respect by their failure to meet these standards. Students who cannot meet them should voluntarily withdraw from the university.

Expectations

It is the responsibility of each member of the Carnegie Mellon community to be familiar with university policies and guidelines. The following resources are available to assist you in understanding community expectations.


Non-Academic University Policies

The Non-Academic University Policies section provides a list of policies related to university living. Students are expected to be familiar with these policies. Additional regulations may be established as necessary during the course of the academic year. Guidelines become effective immediately after promulgation by posting on university bulletin boards and by publication in the student newspaper.

Community Standards

The university is not limited by this list or other published regulations when it initiates disciplinary actions since it is not possible to anticipate all of the behavior of a college population. Students who are exploring the university experience may involve themselves in actions that compromise the necessary concern of the university for life, safety, the freedom to engage in learning, the enjoyment of the proper privileges of the academic community and the integrity of the university. Such actions cannot be taken lightly and will properly elicit a disciplinary response.

Following are groups of offenses that constitute misconduct for which members of the campus community may be held accountable. This list references policies that are outlined in greater detail in this on-line handbook. It should be understood that this list is not intended to be exhaustive, and further that any violation of university policy or applicable laws necessarily violates community standards.

Students at Carnegie Mellon are members of an academic community dedicated to the achievement of excellence. Therefore, students are expected to meet the highest standards, academically and otherwise. Failure to meet the expectations of high standards of integrity will be addressed through the university community standards process.

Examples of violations of community standards in relation to integrity include, but are not limited to:

  • Cheating and plagiarism
  • Destruction of another person's work, specifically through the use of computer facilities
  • Reverse engineering software or hardware without permission of the intellectual property owner
  • Misrepresentation of research data
  • Falsification of data
  • Altering or misuse of university documents
  • Invasion of or accessing personal files or a computer account other than one's own
  • Misuse of computer facilities
  • Violation of copyright laws including computing or Web-related documentation
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University Computing Policy
  • Using a message system for obscene, libelous or defamatory purposes
  • Other acts that compromise the integrity of the academic process
  • Theft
  • Conduct unbecoming a Carnegie Mellon University student
  • Providing false information to a university official
  • Intentional misrepresentation of another individual through electronic communication or any other means

Carnegie Mellon University holds as the highest priority the welfare of its community members. Any behavior that places individuals in any kind of risk will be addressed through the university community standards process. The sanctions that may result from this type of behavior may be severe.

Examples of violations of community standards in relation to the welfare of others include, but are not limited to:

  • Assault
  • Tampering with or alteration of life support systems
  • Harassment of any kind
  • Unreasonable noise
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University policies of non-discrimination
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University Policy against Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University policy on HIV/AIDS
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University policy on hazing
  • Hosting a disorderly event
  • Endangering the welfare of others
  • Dating Violence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Stalking 
  • Failure to enact the Alcohol Medical Assistance Procedure (AMAP)

The care and upkeep of our campus buildings, grounds and facilities are critical to providing students, faculty and staff with an environment that is conducive to learning. Any behavior that jeopardizes the maintenance of the campus or an individual's property will be addressed through the university community standards process.

Examples of violations of community standards in relation to property include, but are not limited to:

  • Repairing and storing vehicles, motorized or otherwise, in unauthorized university spaces
  • Improper possession of university property
  • Improper placement of posters/banners
  • Trespassing on roofs, parapets, and other non-public areas
  • Propping open doors that are kept locked for security purposes
  • Unauthorized possession of keys
  • Unauthorized tapping into or altering university utility lines
  • Operation of vehicles in restricted areas
  • Theft or irresponsible use of university property or services
  • Destruction, mutilation, or defacement of university property
  • Willful destruction of, disabling, or damaging computer facilities, equipment or software
  • Willful mutilation, destruction, or illegal possession of library materials
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University Library Policies
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University Housing and Dining policies (found in the Housing & Dining Services on-line handbook Student Guide to Housing and Dining)

Carnegie Mellon has established basic guidelines that have been approved by students, staff and faculty. These policies ensure the safe and functional operation of the university. Students are expected to abide by these policies at all times. Failure to abide by these guidelines will be addressed through the university community standards process.

Examples of violations of community standards in relation to health, safety and security include, but are not limited to:

  • Harboring of pets
  • Failure to comply with a request to produce identification
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University Smoking Policy
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Failure to comply with a reasonable request of a university official
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University Alcohol and Drug Policy
  • Unauthorized use of appliances
  • Tampering with or misuse of fire safety equipment
  • Failure to evacuate for scheduled fire drills and alarms 
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University Policy on Deadly Weapons
  • Unauthorized entry into secured spaces
  • Installation of a private locking system
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University bicycle/ wheeled transportation policy
  • The use of pyrotechnics, fireworks or hazardous devices
  • Improper storage of chemicals, gases or hazardous materials
  • Violation of the Carnegie Mellon University Housing and Dining policies (found in the Housing & Dining Services on-line handbook Student Guide to Housing and Dining)

Procedures for Dealing with Violations of Community Standards

Violations of these standards by students are handled by the dean of student affairs or designee. The following forums exist for formal resolution of violations:

  • Administrative Resolution Meeting with a university community standards adjudicator
  • The University Disciplinary Committee (UDC)
  • Academic Review Board
  • The Greek Community Standards Board

For incidents that pose immediate concerns for the safety and welfare of the campus community, during the pendency of university disciplinary proceedings, the dean of student affairs or designee may take summary action or implement interim measures that limit a student's ability to be present on campus, engage in coursework, and/or interact with specific members of the university community until resolution is reached.

Additionally, the Dean of Student Affairs or designee may direct that a degree not be certified by the university registrar and therefore not awarded pending the outcome of university disciplinary proceedings.

Initiating the Community Standards Process

Community Standards review is initiated by filing a written complaint with student affairs or filing a report with University Police providing information that substantiates the facts and circumstances of the complaint. Complaints to student affairs may be directed to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, the Office of Student Activities, or the Student Life Office. Such a complaint may be filed by a student, a faculty or staff member, or a community member at large when the individual believed to have violated university policy is a student of Carnegie Mellon.

The university community standards process may not be used for the adjudication of cases involving the relationships between two students except as such cases involve violations of community standards that make the university a party to them.

Important Definitions

Adjudicator - University official authorized to resolve allegations or impose sanctions for students alleged to have violated community standards. This person is usually a housefellow or college liaison, but the dean of student affairs or designee may also act as an adjudicator.

Complainant - The person(s) or group bringing allegations forward. In cases where there is no individual community member bringing forward an allegation, the university will act as complainant. Further, in cases where there is a community member bringing forward an allegation, a university official may serve as co-complainant where the university determines that a broader interest exists to safeguard the welfare of the university community and when the potential outcome in such a case could include separation from the university.

Moderator - The Student Affairs staff member who facilitates a University Disciplinary Committee hearing.  The hearing runs at their discretion.

Process Advisor - The Student Life Office staff member who is responsible for the logistics of convening a University Disciplinary Committee.  The Process Advisor schedules the hearing, assembles the hearing board, prepares the complainant(s) and respondent(s) for the hearing, and manages other administrative tasks.

Respondent - The person(s) or group alleged to have violated community standards.

Citations

Some infractions of university policy are of a nature that requires immediate disciplinary response. In these instances, an internal citation will be issued at the time of the incident by a university police officer to the individuals involved. Ordinarily, response to citations will be handled by a university adjudicator (a housefellow or college liaison) through the university community standards process. However, in more severe cases as determined by the dean of student affairs at his/her discretion, referral to the University Disciplinary Committee may be warranted.

State citations are also issued by University Police for violations of state law. While these citations are handled through the criminal justice system, students may also be expected to meet with a university adjudicator to determine if a violation of community standards has also occurred.

Student Organizations

Student Organizations, as members of the academic community, are to be held accountable to the university policies.  Incidents of policy violation associated with a student organization may constitute disciplinary action against the individual student and the organization.  Student organization sanctions will be determined on a case-by-case basis where the action of an individual is representative of the organization as a whole.

Review After a Conviction of a Crime

The university may review the case when a student has been convicted in public court of the following serious crimes in circumstances that constitute a potential threat against the university's ability to function in whole or in part.  In such a review, the University Disciplinary Committee will be tasked with determining whether the student's presence at the university will endanger the university community:

  • Murder or manslaughter
  • The manufacturing, selling or possessing to sell any drug on the prescribed list subject to the criminal code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Aggravated assault
  • Criminal mischief
  • Arson
  • Rape
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Theft

Withdrawal With Pending Allegations

Students who withdraw from the university with unresolved community standards allegations should expect the university to adjudicate the matter to bring the matter to close and uphold the university's obligation to expressly articulate eligibility to return to the university. If a good faith effort to participate in the appropriate process is not exhibited by the respondent, the university may elect to resolve the matter without that student's participation.

The Community Standards Process

In all cases involving infractions of community standards the following procedures will be used:

  1. A student respondent will be contacted by a university adjudicator and will be presented with the allegation(s). The student, after notification, may accept or deny responsibility for the infraction.
  2. Disciplinary action is determined through an Administrative Resolution Meeting with a university adjudicator. Students will be notified in writing of the determined action.
  3. A student who is alleged to have violated one or more community standards or policies may request a review of the allegation before the appropriate hearing board.
  4. A student respondent who is alleged to have violated one or more university standards or policies for which the University Disciplinary Committee is assigned original jurisdiction will:
    • be notified in writing by a representative of the Student Life Office of the allegation(s);
    • have access to all information referring the case to the Student Life Office and all supporting documents (appropriately redacted), and;
    • be informed about the scheduled time and place of the meeting of the University Disciplinary Committee for review of the case.

Administrative Resolution Meeting

Upon notification of an alleged violation of community standards, a student will be asked to meet with a housefellow or college liaison to resolve the situation. Resolution of the incident may take place during this meeting. If a student accepts responsibility for a violation of community standards, action will be agreed upon and imposed after the approval of the Resolution Review Board. The student will receive notification in writing confirming the determined action. If agreement on the appropriate action cannot be reached the student or adjudicator may request that the appropriate hearing board review the case.

Hearing Boards

Community standards are an important part of a student's education, and this is especially true in group living situations. Non-academic community standards action involving resident students is generally handled by the Student Life Office, an office within the Division of Student Affairs. The Student Life Office has responsibility for the conduct of life in the residence halls, the authority to investigate all violations of university standards and policies and regulations that involve residential, non-residential or Greek students, and the duty to take any appropriate action.

Complaints against a student may come from many possible sources, including: University Police; a housefellow or house staff member; members of the Housing and Dining staff or facility coordinator; members of the Carnegie Mellon community; or members of the community at large. If the complaint is a violation of university community standards, the dean of student affairs or designee will choose the appropriate forum for reviewing the charges. The violation and potential sanction will often dictate a forum for resolution. Forums for resolution include summary action, administrative resolution, or Greek Community Standards Board or the University Disciplinary Committee.

No matter what forum is selected for hearing the case, the community standards process is governed by the rules of procedure outlined below. In addition, each student is guaranteed certain privileges, including the opportunity to appeal the decision if circumstances warrant.  The following are detailed descriptions of the appropriate uses and processes of the Carnegie Mellon hearing boards that serve in cases of alleged student misconduct. The boards are:
  • The University Disciplinary Committee (UDC)
  • Greek Community Standards Board

Appropriate Use of University Disciplinary Committee

The University Disciplinary Committee has jurisdiction in the following cases:

  1. Any cases of alleged violations of university standards and policies that the dean of student affairs or designee, deems sufficiently serious in nature.
  2. Any cases of alleged violations of university standards and policies in which one student(s) is filing allegation against another student(s) that cannot be appropriately resolved through the administrative resolution process.
  3. Appeals from penalties imposed by a university adjudicator or university staff members taking summary actions (for example, University Library action according to written policy).
  4. Cases in which the facts of the situation are in dispute.
  5. Alleged violations for which administrative resolution is deemed by the dean of student affairs or designee to be an inappropriate means of resolution or instances when administrative resolution has not been successful.

Composition of the University Disciplinary Committee

The University Disciplinary Committee consists of two trained faculty board members, one trained staff/administrator board member and two trained student board members. In addition, the associate dean of student affairs or designee will serve as the moderator for the hearing.
The faculty members will be appointed by the Faculty Senate.  The staff/administrative members will be appointed by the Staff Council. The student members will be appointed with the concurrence of the Undergraduate Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly.  All board members will be appointed for a term of up to three years which may or may not be followed by reappointment.

Members participating in a given hearing will be selected based upon availability and disinterestedness in the hearing subject or parties. No one who has prior substantial knowledge of the student involved or the event leading to allegations or who has substantial interest in the student or the case involved or who may appropriately be a witness in the case may sit on the committee.

Conduct of University Disciplinary Committee Hearings

The university attempts to ensure fair, timely and orderly procedures in all disciplinary reviews. To provide for this, the university has adopted the following procedural protections for the rights of students. The moderator will remind all persons present at the opening of each disciplinary hearing that the purpose of a University Disciplinary Committee is to determine an appropriate response, through a deliberative process, when a member of the university community believes that a violation of policy, standard or regulation has taken place. The following is a list of procedures that govern the University Disciplinary Committee process:

  1. A student respondent must be afforded a prompt hearing. The student must be notified in writing of the specific policy, standard or regulation the student has allegedly violated. Such notification is normally made at least seven calendar days before the hearing.
  2. Throughout the disciplinary process, the student respondent will receive full notification of complaint, notification of any hearing and notification of disposition of the charge and will have the right to be present throughout the hearing process.
  3. The complainant will receive full notification of the complaint, notification of any hearing, and will have the right to be present throughout the hearing process. In cases that involve crimes of violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and other Title IX violations the complainant will receive notification of disposition of the charge as applicable.
  4. In advance of the hearing, the members of the hearing board will be provided a pre-read packet, which may include, among other relevant items: the initial complainant report; any investigation reports and/or witness statements; a statement from the complainant(s) to the board; and a statement from the respondent(s) to the board.
  5. Complainant(s) and respondent(s) may submit up to three written character references as part of the hearing process. Letters received in advance of the hearing will be included in the pre-read packet; those submitted at the hearing will be offered to board members and opposing party for their review during the formal hearing.
  6. The complainant(s) and respondent(s) are provided a full copy of all materials provided to the hearing board as pre-reads for the purpose of preparing for the hearing. These documents may not be duplicated nor utilized for any other purpose. All materials provided to the complainant(s) and respondent(s) must be returned to the process advisor at the conclusion of the hearing.
  7. During the actual hearing before the board, a student has the right to be present when evidence relative to the case is being presented. In the disciplinary process, a student who is charged with a violation has the right to remain silent.
  8. Counter-allegations. After having been properly notified of the violations with which the respondent has been charged, the respondent may file in writing counter-allegations against the complainant. Counter-allegations must be raised within a reasonable time (normally within two business days) of the notification of the original hearing and must detail the university regulation or policy that the respondent believes has been violated in connection with the incident(s) currently under review by the UDC and provide information that substantiates the facts and circumstances. The dean of student affairs will determine if the counter-allegations will be heard by the UDC.
  9. Prior to the hearing, the individuals involved will be asked if they believe that the potential hearing board members are biased toward or against them. If a perceived bias is reasonable, replacements will be chosen for the board.
  10. Advisors. Both the complainant and respondent have the right to have one person of their choice appear at any hearing as their advisor. Both parties are required, however, to notify the hearing group at least three days in advance if legal counsel will be present so that the hearing group may determine whether it wishes to obtain legal advice in connection with the hearing. Legal counsel or any other advisor, if present, will not be permitted to participate in the proceedings but may advise the respondent or the complainant or be present at a hearing at the request of the dean of student affairs. In the event that one party to a case appears represented by legal counsel without advance notice, a hearing may be postponed until all parties to the case have had an opportunity to have counsel present.
  11. In scheduling a hearing, consideration should be given to allow that witnesses significant to the case being heard are available to the hearing group. If a witness is not available to be called by the hearing group in person or via telecommunication, they may submit a written statement to the process advisor to be reviewed if the board requests information from the witness. It is within the discretion of the board to determine whether they wish to hear from suggested witnesses.  Witnesses will be questioned one at a time by the hearing group and subsequently dismissed. They should only be present in the room when providing information to the board.
  12. All proceedings before a hearing group, except the deliberation of the group, will be recorded. Recordings will be kept in accordance to student conduct records retention practices.
  13. The complainant(s) and respondent(s) will each be limited to ten minutes for opening statements and five minutes for closing statements.
  14. Following closing statements, the board will enter closed deliberations. A preponderance of the evidence standard (more likely than not) will be used to determine if a university policy, standard or regulation was violated. If responsibility is determined the board will make a recommendation for appropriate outcomes.
  15. No information about a respondent's prior disciplinary record will be shared with the hearing board until a determination of responsibility has been made. If a respondent(s) has a prior disciplinary record and is found responsible by the hearing board that student will be recalled before the board to discuss his/her prior violations and sanctions prior to the hearing board making a recommendation for appropriate sanctions for the present case.
  16. A representative of the Student Life Office will be responsible for notifying the dean of student affairs in writing of the recommendation of the hearing group regarding responsibility and any sanctions deemed appropriate.
  17. After reviewing the recommendations, the dean of student affairs or his/ her designee will notify the respondent(s) in writing of his/her final decision.
  18. University Disciplinary Committee hearings are confidential. All materials related to any disciplinary process will be provided for review to the following parties where appropriate: the complainant(s), the respondent(s) and members of the University Disciplinary Committee, consistent with the privacy rights of those involved. These materials are to be kept confidential and may be shared only with those necessary, and to the degree necessary for the development of either side of the case.
  19.  Records of disciplinary proceedings are confidential and are not released without the consent of the student charged or as otherwise required or authorized by law. With the exceptions as noted below, records of disciplinary proceedings are retained for either seven years after the date of incident or three years after final separation from the university, whichever is longer, and then are subsequently destroyed.  For purposes of community standards record checks, information from these records is only provided, with appropriate authorization as necessary, for three years after final separation from the university provided the student has fulfilled all obligations to the university. Records of disciplinary action resulting in the expulsion of a student will be maintained and reported indefinitely.
  20. Parents of a student normally will not be notified of any disciplinary action.
  21. Disciplinary actions will normally be recorded only in the student's personal file in the Student Life Office except as they affect eligibility for enrollment, in which cases appropriate notation on other university records will be made. Suspension or expulsion will be recorded on the official student records of the university with the University Registrar's Office.  They will not be released as a part of the official transcript of the academic record of a student.
  22. It is the responsibility of the Student Life Office to ensure that times set for hearings are reasonable and that necessary accommodations have been offered to both the complainant and respondent whenever appropriate.  In turn, both the complainant and respondent will be expected to demonstrate good faith efforts in their participation with this process, particularly in relation to the scheduling of the hearing. In a case involving exigent circumstances that prevent the complainant or respondent from participating in a scheduled hearing, the hearing will be rescheduled.
  23. In the rare circumstance where a respondent fails to make a good faith effort to participate in the process, the university (having made reasonable attempts to accommodate the respondent) may elect to schedule and conduct a hearing without that student's participation.
  24. Classroom attendance, except for scheduled examinations, will not be a reasonable excuse for delaying a hearing.    

Cases Involving Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking and Other Title IX Violations

Carnegie Mellon University is committed to managing all cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and other Title IX violations with appropriate care and sensitivity. In these cases, the university may vary from the procedural provisions set forth in this policy as necessary to comply with the requirements of Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act and other applicable laws, as well as to ensure that the university appropriately addresses issues related to sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking for all community members.
 
In cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and other Title IX violations, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. In cases where an alleged victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or other Title IX violations chooses not to serve as a complainant in a community standards proceeding, the university may act as a complainant when there exists a concern for the safety and welfare of the campus community or community at large. In such cases, the university will afford to the alleged victim all of the rights customarily afforded to a complainant. Notwithstanding the fact that he or she wishes not to serve as complainant, alleged victims may nevertheless act as a witness in a University Disciplinary Committee hearing.
  2. Mediation between an alleged victim and respondent will not be pursued in cases involving sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  3. A preponderance of the evidence standard (e.g., more likely than not) will be used to determine if a university policy, standard, or regulation has been violated.
  4. Alleged victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking or other Title IX violations will be provided a full copy of all materials provided to the hearing board before or during the hearing, even in cases where he or she is not serving as a complainant. These documents may not be duplicated nor utilized for any other purpose, and must be returned to the process advisor at the conclusion of the hearing.
  5. The university is committed to resolving cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking  and other Title IX violations in a timely manner. Typically, an investigation will be completed within approximately sixty calendar days following the university's receipt of a complaint. Where circumstances prevent resolution in this timeframe, the university will endeavor to minimize delay. Complainants, respondents, and victims will receive periodic status updates related to the timeline for resolution of the case, as well as specific information when there will be a deviation from the typical sixty day timeline.
  6. Unless a different timeline is set forth in this section or required by law, previously described timelines for a University Disciplinary Committee hearing and notification of a decision will be followed in cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and other Title IX violations.
  7. In cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and other Title IX violations a victim will receive notification of disposition of the charge as appropriate, regardless of the role he or she plays in the community standards proceeding.
  8. In cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and other Title IX violations a victim has the right to submit an appeal.
  9. Appeals will be decided by the appeal officer in a timely manner. There may be particular circumstances, however, that necessitate additional time for the appeal officer to reach a decision. While an appeal is pending, the appeal officer will update the respondents and/or complainants as necessary about the timeline. Complainant(s), respondent(s), and victims will all be notified of the final decision, as appropriate.
  10. Administrative resolution meetings and University Disciplinary Commitee hearings will be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

Appeals

When informing the respondent (and the complainant in cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, other Title IX violations and crimes of violence) of the decision of the dean of student affairs or designee, the administrator responsible shall both verbally and in writing inform the student(s) of the channel of appeal available.

An appeal of a decision delivered through university disciplinary action must be submitted in writing to the president of the university by the respondent or complainant (where notification of the disposition of the charge to the complainant is permitted) within seven calendar days of the official notification of the decision to the student.

The basis of an appeal will be limited to one or more of the following cases:

  • A gross error in procedural process;
  • The sanction(s) imposed were not appropriate for the violation(s) of community standards for which the respondent(s) were found responsible;
  • The decision was unsupported by any substantial evidence at the hearing;
  • New information, which was unavailable at the time of the hearing that merits re-consideration of the final disposition.

The appeal officer (as designated by the president) will review the written appeal and determine whether to hear the appeal. Where the appeal officer has decided to hear the appeal, s/he, at his or her discretion, will meet with the complainant(s), respondent(s), board members or witnesses, as well as review any written and electronic materials that are part of the hearing record. In the event of an appeal, sanctions will normally be held in abeyance pending the outcome of the appeal, except in cases where the university determines there may exist a threat to the safety and welfare of the campus community, in which case sanctions will take immediate effect.
Appeals will be decided by the appeal officer in a timely manner. There may be particular circumstances, however, that necessitate additional time for the appeal officer to reach a decision. While an appeal is under review, the appeal officer will update the respondent(s) and/or complainant(s) (if applicable) as necessary about the timeline.

Greek Community Standards Board

The Greek Community Standards Board serves as an investigator and adjudicator for the Fraternity and Sorority community. The Greek Community Standards Board promotes accountability and encourages shared governance of organizations within the Carnegie Mellon community.

Additional Information about the Greek Community Standards Board can be found on the Carnegie Mellon Fraternity and Sorority Life website.

Sanctions and Resolutions

The disciplinary sanctions defined below comprise a range of official action that may be imposed by the university for violations of community standards. One or more of these actions may be imposed in response to a given situation. This list is not comprehensive, as other sanctions may be utilized as appropriate.

When sanctions are decided as part of the community standards process, the educational and developmental needs of the involved student will be considered with utmost importance. Educational and developmental sanctions may accompany additional administrative sanctions with the university.

Non-compliance with sanctions may result in further action through the community standards process.

The determination of sanctions will be guided by the following considerations: the interests of the community, the impact of the violation on the victim(s), documented disciplinary history (see Prior Violations and Repeated Violations in this document), and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

  • Warning: For minor infractions, a student may be issued a written warning. The warning will be noted in the event of any further infractions of community standards and may justify consideration of more severe sanctions.
  • Residence Hall Probation: An official notice to a resident student that conduct with regard to residence hall regulations or policies has been unacceptable and that future violation of university regulations may result in more serious disciplinary action, including the possible loss of campus residency. Probation lasts for a stated period of time.
  • Disciplinary Probation: For a second infraction or for a single offense of a more serious nature, a student may be placed on disciplinary probation for a designated period of time. Probation may entail specific requirements to be met. When a student is on disciplinary probation they are vulnerable to suspension or expulsion in the event of further infractions of community standards.
  • Community Service: The university may require uncompensated service (a specified number of hours) to the university or an off-campus, non-profit organization as a sanction. The particular assignment of duties must be pre-approved through the appropriate university adjudicator. Students must provide appropriate documentation verifying their completed community service. Failure to complete the service satisfactorily within the specified period of time may result in further action through the community standards process.
  • Fines: Any fines imposed are payable to the general funds of the university and may not directly benefit any person or persons bringing charges. Fines not paid within one month my become a charge payable to the university through the student's account and are enforced in the same way all other financial obligations to the university are enforced. In other cases, fines are normally applied to the general programming efforts to improve the educational environment in the residence halls.
  • Restitution: In cases where a student is found responsible for damaging or misappropriating property, the student may be responsible for reimbursing the property owner for all or some of the cost.
  • Room Reassignment: An action where a student is assigned to either another room in the same house community or a room in another house community. When a student is assigned to another house community, specific restrictions concerning the previous community may be invoked.
  • Loss of Residency in University Housing: An action that excludes a student or student group from residence in university housing for a stated period of time. A student who loses residency in university housing shall be considered for future housing accommodations, as space permits.
  • Suspension: A student may be barred from enrollment for a designated period of time. Students who have been suspended are required to absent themselves from the campus (including university housing and fraternity or sorority houses) within a maximum of two days after the action and to remain off the campus for the duration of the time specified. This action includes debarment from part-time or summer courses for the duration of the period of the action. The policy governing suspensions is available on-line at http://www.cmu.edu/policies/documents/Suspension.html and more information is available in the section of this handbook pertaining to Student Suspension. A student who has been suspended is not eligible for student employment by the university during the period of suspension.
  • Expulsion: The student is required to sever entirely his or her connection with the university. Students who have been expelled are required to absent themselves from the campus (including university housing and fraternity or sorority houses) within a maximum of two days after the action and to remain off the campus permanently, unless otherwise specified.
  • Withholding A Degree: Because a degree from the university signifies not only successful completion of academic requirements but also compliance with the university's standards and good standing as a member of the university community, the university may withhold a degree entirely as a sanction for a violation of community standards, or may impose further conditions on the certification of a degree, e.g., compliance with other sanctions imposed as a pre-requisite to the certification of the degree.

Repeated Violations

Students with two (2) community standards violations within an academic year may immediately be placed on disciplinary probation. Students involved in three (3) violations within an academic year may be referred to the University Disciplinary Committee.