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Student disciplinary procedure 2021/22

1. Introduction

1.1 St Mary's University's mission is to prepare its students for flourishing lives, successful careers and social commitment through excellent, research-enriched teaching in a strong community of mutual respect, based on our Catholic ethos and identity.

1.2 St Mary's Student Partnership Agreement (the Charter) sets out in general, the standards of service which students can expect to receive from the University and the responsibilities which students are expected to assume as members of St Mary's University:

1.3 The Student Disciplinary Procedure is set out to deal effectively with student discipline in a manner which is fair and appropriate to the behaviour involved. These procedures adhere to the core principles laid out in the good practice framework provided by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) that the procedures will be; accessible, clear, proportionate and they will be administered fairly, independently and confidentially in order to improve the student experience.

1.4 Authority: With authority from the Board of Governors, the Vice-Chancellor delegates responsibility to carry out these procedures in relation to Misdemeanors to members of the Senior Management Team, Directors of Service and Head of Institutes (known as Authorised University Officers (AUO)). The list of AUO is at Appendix 8. For those incidences that constitute Misconduct or Gross Misconduct a Student Disciplinary Panel may be convened by the Student Complaints Manager with an AUO as the Chair.

1.5 Oversight: The Registry Student Conduct and Complaints Manager will oversee training and composition of panels on behalf of the University. The Head of Registry Services is available to attend any panel in order to advise on the procedures. The Director of Student Operations will authorise the selection and constitution of each Student Disciplinary Panel. The University Legal Counsel can offer advice on how this procedure interacts with legal and regulatory frameworks if required.

1.6 Scope: These procedures deal with student conduct within the University and the wider community. The University reserves the right to investigate allegations of non-academic misconduct that occur both on and off its premises where the non-academic misconduct poses risks or disruptions to the University or members of the wider community.

1.7 This procedure is referenced within several supporting University policies. These include; the University Academic Regulations, University Social Media policy, University Policy on Initiations and also the University Accommodation Licence. The Disciplinary Policy is distinct from any actions taken under the University Fitness to Study Policy.

1.8 This procedure is applicable to all students of St Mary’s University at all levels of study. Adherence with the University Disciplinary policy should also be considered as part of any negotiation with a collaborative partner.

1.9 This procedure does not relate to the academic performance or capability of a student. These matters are dealt with separately under the University's Academic Regulations.

1.10 However, in some cases, these procedures may be invoked as a result of specific evidence arising from the Academic Misconduct process or breach of the academic regulations:

1.11 Students should also be aware that they may be subject to the codes of practice of professional bodies alongside these procedures. The University may decide to inform professional bodies of breaches of their codes as a result of evidence arising from these procedures.

1.12 The Students' Union will normally be responsible for the disciplinary procedures of students as laid out in the Students' Union Constitution. Byelaw 13 states that students “shall be entitled to complain about unfair or unreasonable treatment by or within the physical space or activities of the Union.” However, in some circumstances, the SU may refer disciplinary matters to the University's disciplinary procedures through the Head of Registry Services.

1.13 This set of procedures should be read in conjunction with other University's policies and the Fitness to Practice regulations. Students should also consider the University guidance and policies around sexual harassment:

2. General Principles

2.1 The University expects its students to act in a responsible manner to the mutual benefit of the University, its neighbours and the wider community. Students are expected to behave in a way that does not interfere with, or cause disruption to, the normal operations of the University and community.

2.2 All University staff are expected to play their part in maintaining student discipline. They may do so by advising students on their behaviour, mediating in disputes and providing the University with written reports of incidents and allegations.

2.3 Allegations or complaints regarding student conduct may be brought to the University's attention by any member of staff or student(s) of the University or by third parties. Anonymous reports will not normally be accepted.

2.4 Burden of Proof: The University will operate using the balance of probabilities, that is, it is more likely than not that something happened. Although the “balance of probabilities” standard is lower than “beyond reasonable doubt”, decisions must still be supported by evidence. The standard is higher than simply believing that something is likely to have happened

2.5 The University has a legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that steps are taken to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act. Under the terms of the Act, every student is personally liable for their own actions.

2.6 Where there is reason to believe that a student may have committed a criminal offence, the University is committed to informing the police in most circumstances. The University reserves the right to defer any disciplinary proceedings until the police have completed their investigations, and the matter has been concluded by the police or by a court of law. The University will not normally contact the police in alleged cases of sexual violence without the consent of the complainant.

2.7 The University takes all incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence very seriously. The University is committed to promoting a culture in which any incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence will not be tolerated and will be thoroughly addressed to ensure the preservation of a safe work and study environment. Any reported incidents will be considered in accordance with the provisions of this procedure;

2.8 Students are responsible for their visitors to the University (including Halls of Residence and social venues) and will be held liable for their behaviour on campus which may result in fines and damages levied against the student.

2.9 Recovery of costs for damages may be invoiced directly to students without a formal hearing and only after the student has been informed.

2.10 There is a range of sanctions that may be applied based on the category of misconduct offences. When aggravating factors are present, the category of an offence may be increased and therefore subject to more severe sanctions. Where mitigating factors are present, this may lead to the category of an offence being reduced and therefore subject to less severe sanctions or the category of offence may remain the same but less severe sanctions that are permitted within that category may be applied.

2.11 Precautionary action: The University reserves the right to implement precautionary action. Where an allegation arises that a student has breached the Student Charter, the University has the power to take immediate precautionary action pending consideration of the allegation under these regulation or any other relevant University regulations, policy or procedures. Precautionary action may also be taken by the University pending consideration of an allegation by a third party such as the police, CPS or other official authority.

2.12 Precautionary action is a neutral act. It is not a penalty or sanction and will not be used as evidence that a student has breached the University’s rules. Any precautionary action taken will be for a specified period, but the University reserves the right to extend this period following a review of the circumstances with respect to the criteria outline in Paragraph 2.13. Examples of Precautionary action include (but are not limited to):

  • 2.12.1 Withdrawal or limiting of access to University Services.
  • 2.12.2 Temporary suspension.
  • 2.12.3 Temporary exclusion from accommodation.

2.13 Precautionary action may be taken if the University is satisfied that one or more of the following apply:

  • 2.13.1 The individuals concerned in the allegation are a risk to themselves or others;
  • 2.13.2 The allegation represents a potential or actual threat to the safety, security, health, well-being, good order, or reputation of the University, its members, an external organisation or placement provider, or members of the public; or
  • 2.13.3 Any delay in acting may result in a further breach of the Student Code of Conduct.

2.14 Any precautionary action taken should be both reasonable and proportionate and, as far as is reasonably practicable, balance the rights of all parties involved including the University. Where possible, mitigating steps will be taken to minimise the impact of the precautionary action on all students affected. Effective and timely communication will be coordinated through Registry Services in line with the principles outlined in 2.17.

2.15 Authority to take precautionary action is retained at Senior Leadership Team level. The process will be coordinated by the Student Conduct and Complaints Manager.

2.16 A student subject to precautionary action will be given the opportunity to request a review of the decision. The review will be conducted by a member of the Senior Leadership Team as specified in Appendix 7.

2.17 Where precautionary action is taken, the student may be notified in person or in writing. Where originally notified in person, the student should also be informed in writing normally within 48 hours.

2.18 In all cases, the student should be informed in writing of the type of action that has been taken and the reasons, how long the conditions will be in place for and whether they may be extended, how they can request a review of the decision, and the support services that are available to them. Registry Services will standardise the communications using a template.

2.19 The member of staff who has taken precautionary action should contact the Student Conduct and Complaints Manager immediately. Where possible, the Student Conduct and Complaints Manager should be contacted for advice prior to any precautionary action being taken.

2.20 In all circumstances where precautionary action is taken, the original decision-maker should continue to review the conditions in place on an on-going basis.

3. Procedures dealing with Misdemeanours (see Appendices 1 and 2)

These procedures may be invoked for minor breaches of discipline. A list of examples can be found in Appendix 1:

3.1 An AUO will be appointed by the Student Conduct and Complaints Manager to oversee the procedure. In order to comply with the OIA guidance relating to proportionality the authority to deal with Misdemeanours in a residential setting may be delegated to Residence Managers operating under the oversight of Student Services. The AUO must authorise such a delegation and any subsequent sanction.

3.2 Where the Misdemeanour does not relate to behaviours in Residences, then the relevant AUO (1.4) may need to appoint a trained member of staff to investigate the matter. After investigation, one or more sanctions may be imposed by the AUO as set out in Appendix 2.

3.3 When the sanction is decided, the Student Conduct and Complaints Manager will inform the student, record in writing the penalty or service imposed, and arrange for a copy of the record to be sent to conduct@stmarys.ac.uk, any live sanctions may be considered. This record may be used in future disciplinary hearings and will be kept on record for the remainder of the academic year

3.4 The student may appeal in writing to the Student Conduct and Complaints Manager within seven working days on one or more of the following grounds. The Student Conduct and Complaints Manager will appoint a different AUO to hear the appeal. The grounds for appeal are:

  • Procedural irregularity;
  • There is new evidence to support the appeal that could not, for good reasons, be presented at the time;
  • The penalty was disproportionate to the available evidence.

3.5 If the AUO hearing the appeal decides to change the original decision, then the record will be amended in the file and appropriate departments informed. The student will usually be informed of the decision within seven (7) working days of receipt of the appeal. This decision will be final and a letter of Completion of Procedures (CoP) will be issued.

3.6 The Student Conduct and Complaints Manager will act as the primary point of contact for all parties affected by the action. Should another student be involved in the case working with Student Services appropriate communication to the affected party will be issued in line with the core principles outlined in the OIA good practice framework.

4. Procedures dealing with Misconduct (see Appendices 3 and 4)

4.1 These procedures may be invoked where the alleged breach of discipline is deemed by the AUO (1.4) as more serious than outlined in 3.1. A list of examples can be found in Appendix 3.

4.2 An AUO will be appointed by the Student Conduct and Complaints Manager to investigate the matter. The AUO will investigate the alleged misconduct as quickly as possible. Written reports (from staff, students and witnesses) of the incident(s) will be required for any subsequent hearing. On completion of the investigation, the AUO will make a recommendation to the Student Conduct and Complaints Manager on whether to convene a panel.

4.3 The Student Conduct and Complaints Manger will appoint a different AUO to chair the panel and call the student to a Student Disciplinary hearing which will consist of a panel of no less than two members of staff (it is good practice to include a student representative where possible noting potential conflicts of interest). The student has the right to be accompanied by a fellow student, an officer of the Students' Union (e.g. a sabbatical officer or a member of the Students' Union Executive committee or Council). The student should inform the Registry if they intend to be accompanied.

4.4 If the student fails to attend the hearing on time or not at all, the panel may proceed with the evidence presented, unless justifiable notice and a satisfactory explanation is received.

4.5 The Chair will outline the procedure and the allegations. The student will be expected to respond personally to the allegations. The accompanying friend or an officer of the Students' Union may make a supporting statement on the student's behalf. Members of the panel may question the student and other witnesses on the alleged behaviour in order to clarify or amend the report(s). Notes will be kept of the meeting and any decisions made.

4.6 The panel will consider its decision in private and may decide on one or more of the sanctions set out in Appendix 4. These sanctions will be recorded in writing by Registry Services and a written record should be sent to conduct@stmarys.ac.uk. The record should remain on the student's file for one year unless otherwise specified. Any live sanctions may be produced as evidence in further disciplinary hearings involving the student during that period.

4.7 Under normal circumstances, the student will be informed of the panel's decision in writing within five (5) working days. The student will be informed of his or her right of appeal.

4.8 Following the decision of the panel, the student has the right to appeal to the Chair of the Panel within seven (7) working days. The appeal must be made in writing, clearly stating the reasons. The grounds for appeal are:

  • Procedural irregularity;
  • There is new evidence to support the appeal that could not, for good reasons, be presented at the time.
  • The penalty was disproportionate to the available evidence.

4.9 Decisions of the panel will stand until the appeal process has been concluded.

4.10 The AUO will review the documentation but will not normally hold a re- hearing of the case, they can ask for an Appeal Panel to be convened to review their decision.

4.11 If the AUO upholds the appeal, the sanction(s) will be rescinded, and the student's file amended. The student will usually be informed within five (5) working days.

4.12 If the AUO rejects the appeal, the student will be given the reasons in writing within five (5) working days under normal circumstances.

4.13 If the AUO modifies the sanctions imposed, the student will be given the reasons in writing within five (5) working days under normal circumstances.

4.14 The AUO decision on this matter shall be final and will be communicated to the student within five (5) working days under normal circumstances.

4.15 The relevant University departments (e.g. Security and Student Services) will be informed of the decisions.

4.16 The letter of decision will serve as the Completion of Procedures (CoP) letter and will be stated as such in the letter.

5. Procedures dealing with Gross Misconduct (see Appendices 5 and 6)

5.1 These procedures may be invoked for more serious breaches of discipline or persistent misconduct. A list of examples can be found in Appendix 5.

5.2 Suspension: The use of precautionary action (outlined in 2.11-2.20) may be useful in these circumstances. The authority to use Precautionary Action is lodged with members of the Senior Leadership Team.

5.3 The student will be informed by an appropriate member of staff in the first instance. This will usually be confirmed in writing within five (5) working days.

5.4 The AUO will act as an investigator for cases of Gross Misconduct and is able to gather evidence in either written or verbal form.

5.5 On completion of the investigation, the AUO will make a recommendation to the Student Complaints Manager on whether to convene a panel.

5.6 NOTE: additional evidence may come to light in the investigation and may be included in the statement of allegation.

5.7 If the AUO decides that after the investigation, the matter does not require further action, the suspension will be lifted immediately, and the student informed as soon as possible.

5.8 Following the investigations, if there is reason to believe that Gross Misconduct may have occurred (see appendix 4), the matter will be referred to a Student Disciplinary Panel chaired by a different AUO which will normally hold a hearing within thirty (30) working days of receipt of full reports of the investigation.

6 Student Disciplinary Panel Hearing (Gross Misconduct)

6.1 The Student Disciplinary Panel hearing will be chaired by a trained AUO. The composition of the panel will be approved by the Director of Student Operations or the Chief Operating Officer. It will include at least one AUO and where possible an independent representative of the Students' Union (usually a sabbatical officer or a member of the Students' Union Executive Committee, Student Council)1. The Registry Services Conduct and Complaints Manager (or a nominee) will be in attendance to take notes of the hearing. Others may be requested to attend.

6.2 The student will be invited to attend the hearing (with the time and place specified) by the Registry Services Conduct and Complaints Manager. The student has the right to be accompanied by a fellow student, a friend or an officer of the Students' Union (e.g. Sabbatical officer or a member of the Students' Union Executive Committee or Council). The friend may not be a lawyer or another professional acting in a professional capacity.

6.3 The panel will receive the Statement of Particulars of Alleged Gross Misconduct, written reports about the allegations, new evidence from the investigation and any relevant live written warnings or other sanctions.

6.4 The student will receive all the papers given to panel and any subsequent papers, no less than five (5) working days before the panel meets or as soon as is practicable.

6.5 The student may submit a written response to the allegations within three (3) working days of receiving the allegations, which then will be forwarded to the panel.

6.6 If the student fails to attend the Student Disciplinary Panel hearing on time or not at all, the members may proceed with the evidence presented.

6.7 At the hearing, the chair of the panel will outline the allegations in the report(s) and any relevant live written warnings or other sanctions imposed by previous disciplinary hearings.

6.8 The student will be expected to respond personally to the allegations. The accompanying fellow student, friend or independent representative of the Students' Union may make a supporting statement on the student’s behalf. Members of the panel may question the student on the alleged behaviour in order to clarify or amend the report(s).

6.9 The panel will consider its decision in private after all the evidence has been heard. The decision will be communicated by the chair to the student in writing usually within five (5) working days of the hearing. Other appropriate University departments (e.g. Security) will be informed of the decision.

6.10 The panel may decide to impose one or more of the sanctions set out in Appendix 6. These sanctions will be recorded in writing and retained by Registry Services. A written record will be sent to conduct@stmarys.ac.uk. The record should remain on the student's file but only in line with GDPR guidance. Any live sanctions may be produced as evidence in disciplinary hearings involving the student during that period.

6.11 The notes of the hearing, written reports and decisions will be retained by the Registry Services Conduct and Complaints Manager in line with GDPR guidance.

6.12 In exceptional circumstances, where there is a conviction for a serious crime2, an AUO may exclude permanently, a student whose conviction is deemed to be gross misconduct. The student will be notified of this decision in writing. The student has a right to appeal against any decision made by the AUO under this section as set out in Section 6.13.

Appeal

6.13 The student has the right to appeal against any decision by a Student Disciplinary Panel. The student will be informed about his/her right of appeal, which must be made in writing to the Vice Chancellor within seven (7) working days stating the grounds for the appeal. The grounds for appeal are:

  • Procedural irregularity;
  • There is new evidence to support the appeal that could not, for good reasons, be presented at the time;
  • The penalty was disproportionate to the available evidence.

6.14 Decisions made by the Student Disciplinary Panel will stand until the appeal process has been concluded.

6.15 The Vice-Chancellor will typically appoint an Appeal Panel Chaired by a member of the Senior Leadership Team to review the case and provide a recommendation.

6.16 If the Appeal Panel upholds the appeal, one or more of the sanctions(s) will be rescinded and the record removed from the student’s file.

6.17 The Appeal Panel may decide to uphold the decision of the Student Disciplinary Panel and the original sanction(s).

6.18 In the light of new evidence, the Appeal Panel may decide to uphold the decision of the Student Disciplinary Panel and increase the penalty if warranted.

6.19 The decision of the Appeal Panel will be communicated to the student and other appropriate University authorities (e.g. Security) in writing within fourteen (14) working days of receipt of the appeal or as soon as is reasonably possible.

6.20 Any written reports and decisions will be held in Registry Services. A written record will be sent to conduct@stmarys.ac.uk. The decision of the Appeal Panel in this matter will be final and completes the University's Student Disciplinary Procedures. The letter of decision will serve as the Completion of Procedures (CoP) letter.

7 Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)

If a student believes that the internal appeal process has been incorrectly conducted or feels that the outcome is unreasonable in relation to the evidence, then they have the right to raise the matter for external and independent review by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). Information on the process may be obtained directly from the OIA and will be included in the letter of completion.

Any cases referred to the OIA will be dealt with by the Head of Registry Services in the first instance.


Appendix 1

Examples of Misdemeanors

(NB. These are examples only and not an exhaustive list. They also apply to students on study abroad programmes and may apply to students on collaborative programmes)

i. Minor breaches of the Campus Accommodation Licence Agreement in the Hall of Residence. 
ii. Minor breaches of the IS and LRC codes of conduct.
iii. Minor disturbance within the premises, grounds and precincts of the University College (e.g. adjoining roads or streets) or in the learning zones which do not impinge on the reputation of the University;
iv. Minor disturbance during taught sessions or in learning zones;
v. Minor disturbances during professional placements which do not impinge on the reputation of the University;
vi. Minor damage to University property.


Appendix 2

Examples of Misdemeanors

Sanctions following procedures dealing with Misdemeanor

a) A verbal reprimand;
b) A written warning
c) The payment of a fine (e.g. related to the Library, fire safety equipment, disturbance, etc.)
d) Payment for damages
e) A suitable form of short "community service"
f) A fine issued by the University for Anti-social behaviour 

Note: All damages to University property will have to be paid for. They will be determined by Estates and Facilities, the Health and Safety Officer, or other authorities in the University as appropriate. Unpaid fines may result in more severe penalties including suspension and withholding certificates.


Appendix 3

Examples of Misconduct

(NB. These are illustrative examples only and not an exhaustive list. They also apply to students on Study Abroad programmes and may apply to students on collaborative programmes.)

i. Disruption of, or improper interference with the academic, administrative, sporting, social or other activities of the University, whether on the University premises or elsewhere;
ii. Obstruction of, or improper interference with, the functions, duties or activities of any student, member of staff, or other employee of the University or any authorised visitor;
iii. Unauthorised possession of University property or property of another member of the University or guest;
iv. Unauthorised possession of public property (e.g. road signs);
v. Minor bullying or harassment of students or staff (including cyber-bullying);
vi. A false or malicious accusation against staff or students;
vii. Misuse or unauthorised use of University premises or items of property, including computer misuse;
viii. Breaches of the provisions of the University's Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech;
ix. Conduct that damages or destroys the property of other institutions to which students have access (including sporting venues);
x. Behaviour that may be offensive or cause a nuisance to local residents, students; families and visitors;
xi. Behaviour that may be offensive to partner schools or placements, study abroad partners, employers participating in workplace learning;
xii. Inappropriate use of internet, internet social networking sites (e.g. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.), Whatsapp and text messaging;
xiii. Knowingly making a false statement to any University employee or agent on a University related matter;
xiv. Failure to disclose name and other relevant details to an officer or employee of the University in circumstances when it is reasonable to require that such information be given (e.g. security officers investigating an incident);
xv. Conduct that damages University property or attempts to damage University property or property which belongs to other members of the University or visitors to the University;
xvi. Persistent serious misconduct or disregard of a previous live written warnings;
xvii. For students who are resident in University owned or managed accommodation: serious or persistent breach of the Terms of Occupancy;
xviii. Failure to comply with a previously-imposed penalty under these procedures;


Appendix 4

Sanctions following procedures dealing with Misconduct (Section 4)

One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed by the panel (note that other reasonable sanctions related to the misconduct may be taken). Please note this is not an exhaustive list:

a) Termination of the Accommodation Licence Agreement;

b) A ban from entering the Halls of Residence and precincts for a stated period;

c) A ban from all areas of the campus for a specified period;

d) A ban from all areas of the campus except learning and teaching facilities for a specified period;

e) A ban from the libraries and other specified learning zones (e.g. computer labs etc.) for a specified period;

f) A suspension of the student's account in the Library;

g) A ban from a specified area of the campus (e.g. the University bar, Halls of Residence, sports facilities, etc.) for a specified period;

h) A suitable form of community service for a specified period;

i) Withholding of a certificate until specified conditions have been met;

j) A ban from attending the Graduation Ceremony;

k) A written warning placed on file for a specified period (normally one year);

I) Payment of damages determined by Estates and Facilities or a person authorised by the University;

m) Payment of fines determined by the University or by a disciplinary panel;

n) Payment of fines in relation to the offence determined by a disciplinary panel;

o) A requirement on the student to give an undertaking as to his/her future conduct within the University;

p) Another appropriate measure related to the offence (e.g. a letter of apology).

These sanctions will be recorded in writing by the department I school. A written record should be sent to conduct@stmarys.ac.uk. The record should remain on the student's file for one year, normally. Any live sanctions may be produced as evidence in disciplinary hearings involving the student during that year.

Note: All damages to the University property will have to be paid. They will be determined by Estates and Facilities, the Health and Safety Officer, or other authorities in the University as appropriate. Unpaid fines may result in more severe penalties including suspension and withholding certificates.


Appendix 5

Examples of Gross Misconduct

(NB. These are examples only and not an exhaustive list. They also apply to students on study abroad programmes and may apply to students on collaborative programmes)

i. Fraud perpetrated against the University or its staff or students;

ii. Theft of University property or the property of its staff, students or visitors;

iii. Criminal damage of University property, the property of another student or of a neighbour;

iv. Falsely misrepresenting the University;

v. Misleading the University (e.g. academic qualifications, criminal involvement, etc.);

vi. Not complying with reasonable requests for important information (e.g. academic qualifications, information pertaining to incidents, etc.)

vii. Intentional or reckless behaviour that constitutes a threat to the personal safety of staff and students of the University or visitors to the University;

viii. Aggressive and threatening behaviour against members of staff, students or visitors;

ix. Discriminatory acts by conduct, spoken or written language;

x. Acts of sexual harassment or sexual violence.

xi. Acts of homophobic/sexist/misogynist behaviour

xii. Acts of indecent behaviour;

xiii. Using language directed at an individual or group which demean those individuals or groups or create an intimidating, hostile or demeaning environment;

xiii. Continuous or serious bullying or harassment of students or staff (including cyber-bullying and behavior that could be perceived as a hate crime);

xiv. Persistent or grossly inappropriate use of internet social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and text messaging which demean individuals or groups or contribute to a hostile environment;

xv. Persistent or grossly inappropriate use of internet sites (e.g. websites, blogs, etc.) that demean individuals or groups or contribute to a hostile environment;

xvi. Persistent or grossly inappropriate use of internet sites (e.g. Facebook, website, blogs, etc.) that adversely affects the reputation of the University;

xvii. Inappropriate use of the University's virtual learning environment and email to demean individuals or groups, or contribute to a hostile environment;

xviii. Reasonable suspicion of illegal drug dealing or use on University premises;

xix. Possession, dealing or use of illegal drugs on University premises;

xx. Assaulting or threatening to physically assault any member of the University or visitor to the University, whether on University premises or elsewhere;

xxi. Possession of any offensive weapon (e.g. replica weapon, knife, etc.), firearm or imitation firearm on University property;

xxii. Behaviour which brings the University into disrepute or which damages the good name of the University (e.g. antisocial behaviour in the neighbourhood, etc.);

xxiii. Acts which violate the provisions of the health and safety rules, and regulations of the University or our Study Abroad or Collaborative Partners;

xxiv. Knowingly making a false accusation against a member of staff or a fellow student;

xxv. Failure to comply with a previously imposed penalty under these procedures;

xxvi. Persistent serious misconduct or disregard of a previous live written warning;

xxvii. For students who are resident in University owned or managed accommodation: serious or persistent breach of the On-Campus Student Accommodation License Agreement;

xxviii. Conviction for a criminal offence which affects the University's life and reputation.

xxix. Conduct judged by the Senior Management as serious.

Note: Where there is reason to believe that a student may have committed a criminal offence the University is committed to informing the police. The University reserves the right to defer any disciplinary proceedings until the police have completed their investigations, and the matter has been disposed of by the police or by a court of law.


Appendix 6

Sanctions following procedures dealing with Gross Misconduct (section 5)

The Student Disciplinary Panel may decide to impose one or more of the following sanctions (these are not exhaustive):

a) Termination of the student’s Accommodation Contract (in accordance with the Campus Accommodation Licence Agreement);

b) Exclude the student permanently from the University and from all its facilities and services including academic;

c) Exclude the student from a specified area of the campus (e.g.the University bar, Halls of Residence, etc.) for a specified period;

d) Exclude the student from all areas of the campus for a specified period;

e) Exclude the student from Halls of Residence for a specified period of time;

f) Exclude the student from all areas of the campus except learning and teaching facilities for a specified period;

g) Exclude the student from the Libraries and other specified learning zones (e.g. computer labs etc.) for a specified period;

h) Exclude the student from University events (e.g. The Graduation Ceremony);

i) Issue a final written warning;

j) Require the student to give an undertaking (in writing) as to his/her future conduct in the University;

k) Determine a suitable form of community service for a specified time;

I) Payment of damages determined by Estates & Facilities or competent authority in the University;

m) Payment of fines according to the tariffs published by the University or determined by the disciplinary panel;

n) Payment of fines determined by the panel in relation to the offence;

o) Withholding of an award certificate;

p) Any other sanction judged reasonable by the Student Disciplinary Panel.

Note: All damages will have to be paid for. They will be determined by Estates and Facilities or other competent authorities in the University. Unpaid fines may result in more severe penalties e.g. suspension, withholding of certificates, etc.


Appendix 7

Authority to approve sanctions / Precautionary action

Type of action:

  • Exclude a student from the University - Can be taken by: Senior Leadership Team. Can be reviewed by: Vice-Chancellor.
  • Exclude a student from academic University spaces (including lecture halls and the Library) - Can be taken by: Authorised University Officer (AUO). Can be reviewed by: Senior Leadership Team.
  • Exclude a student from University accommodation - Can be taken by: Authorised University Officer (AUO). Can be reviewed by: Senior Leadership Team.
  • Require a student to move University accommodation - Can be taken by: Authorised University Officer (AUO). Can be reviewed by: Senior Leadership Team.
  • Exclude a student from non-academic University spaces (except accommodation), including imposing a curfew on access - Can be taken by: Authorised University Officer (AUO). Can be reviewed by: Senior Leadership Team.
  • Exclude a student from University and College events/social spaces, including the University gym - Can be taken by: Authorised University Officer (AUO). Can be reviewed by: Senior Leadership Team.
  • Require a student to sign in and out of campus - Can be taken by: Authorised University Officer (AUO). Can be reviewed by: Senior Leadership Team.
  • Require a student not to contact another student - Can be taken by: Authorised University Officer (AUO). Can be reviewed by: Senior Leadership Team.
  • Require a student to change seminar/lecture groups - Can be taken by: Authorised University Officer (AUO). Can be reviewed by: Senior Leadership Team.
  • Exclude a student from SU events - Can be taken by: St Mary's Students' Union. Can be reviewed by: St Mary's Students' Union CEO.

Appendix 8

List of Authorised University Officers

  • Provost - reporting chain through: VC
  • PVC (Global Engagement) - reporting chain through: VC
  • Chief Operating Officer - reporting chain through: VC
  • Chief Financial Officer - reporting chain through: VC
  • Deputy Provost - reporting chain through: Provost
  • Dean of Faculty - reporting chain through: Provost
  • Dean of Centre for Teaching Excellence Student Success - reporting chain through: Provost
  • Director of Institute of Theology - reporting chain through: Provost
  • Director of Institute of Education - reporting chain through: Provost
  • Chief Information Officer - reporting chain through: COO
  • Director of Student Operations (Process owner) - reporting chain through: COO
  • Director of Human Resources - reporting chain through: COO
  • Director of Strategic Planning - reporting chain through: CFO
  • Director of Estates and Campus Services - reporting chain through: COO
  • Director of Enterprise - reporting chain through: CFO
  • University Secretary (Appeal conduit) - reporting chain through: VC

Appendix 9

Code of Practice: Controlled Drugs

  1. The purpose of this code is to ensure that students are aware of the law regarding the supply, use and possession by students of controlled drugs, with the overall objective of minimising the harmful effects of these substances.
  2. The University does not allow, in any way, the use of controlled drugs. The possession of controlled drugs is a criminal offence and the possession with intent to supply is a more serious offence. The University would break the law if it permitted controlled drugs to be used or supplied on its property. 
  3. The University will not tolerate the use of, or dealing in, controlled drugs on its property. Any students found to be using or in possession of any controlled drug, including cannabis, on University premises will be subject to its disciplinary procedures and the police will be informed. 
  4. The University will inform the police of any student suspected of dealing in drugs. We also reserve the right to inform the police about students found to be using or in possession of drugs.

University Disciplinary Procedures

  1. The University's disciplinary procedures describe examples of Gross Misconduct under Appendix 5. Included are specific scenarios involving the possession and dealing of drugs as well as activity that brings the University into disrepute. 
  2. The University may choose to exercise the use of Precautionary Action in relation to offences relating to drugs and in line with our accommodation agreements reserves the right to inspect. 
  3. The University cannot and will not condone any controlled activity committed on University premises but it will endeavor to respond considerately to students who accept that they are having problems related to the use of controlled drugs, provided that the individual concerned co-operates with such treatment and care plans as may be developed for them by health care professionals or other appropriate agencies.