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Touro College Code of Conduct Violations: Procedures, Discipline & Appeals

While most students and faculty see violations of a college’s or university’s code of conduct as one involving Title IX, Touro College, like all other New York educational institutions, have a much broader interpretation of what behavior is permissible or sanctionable. As experienced New York college disciplinary hearing lawyers and code of conduct attorneys know all too well, if you are accused of violating a conduct policy you should prepare yourself for a potential trench fight to best ensure you are not suspended or expelled. Touro College, and its code of conduct, should be treated no differently especially where your exposure may also thrust you into the criminal justice system.

Touro College Code of Conduct: The Violations

Not a complete list, the following actions by a student or member of the Touro College staff violates the Touro College Code of Conduct. While there are procedures to relatively ensure consistency and due process, “relatively” being the operable word, the consequences of a “conviction” can be dire. Some of these violations are:

  • Theft or any damage to Touro property, intentional or otherwise
  • Unauthorized use of Touro property from student ID cards to office space
  • Conduct interfering with or obstructing members of the Touro community
  • Sexually harassing or abusing a member of the Touro community. This type of infraction may also violate Title IX and must be reported as such
  • Causing any type of physical or emotional injury to a member of the Touro community or threatening to do the same. This type of infraction must also be reported to the Chief Security Officer
  • Behavior in a classroom that is disorderly, disruptive or abusive
  • Forging signatures on Touro documents
  • Unauthorized sale, distribution or consumption of alcohol on Touro premises
  • Any type of gambling on Touro premises
  • Possession of weapons on Touro premises
  • Sexual, racist, ethnic and other written or verbal statements intended to hurt members of the Touro community
  • Abusive actions including harassment directed at those in the Touro Community based on, among other things, their actual or perceived sexual orientation, religion or race
  • Conviction of any felony, in New York State or elsewhere, during enrollment at Touro
  • Academic dishonesty

Again, the above is not inclusive of all prohibited behaviors that can, and often do, result in disciplinary actions due to a Touro College Code of Conduct infraction.

Touro College Code of Conduct: The Adjudication Process

The first step in pursuing a violation of the Touro Code of Conduct is to draft and submit a written statement to the Office of the Dean of Students. As per the Code of Conduct, a petitioner or accuser must do so within ten school days, not calendar days, of the alleged incident. Alternatively, if the complainant became aware of the infraction at a later time, ten school days from when he or she learned of the misconduct. Whichever date is adhered to, a victim must submit their perceived abuse within three months of its occurrence.

Upon receipt, the Dean of Students, or a person whom he or she assigns to investigate, will reach out to the accused, aka, the defendant, to advise of the alleged offenses and to set up a meeting. After doing so, this agent will conduct an initial review and investigation to best ascertain the trajectory of the case and what, if any, disciplinary action is required. During this stage, the parties may be brought together, with supervision, to discuss potential mediation, sanctions other than expulsion or a demand for restitution can be imposed, referral of the matter to the Student Affairs Committee for a disciplinary hearing can occur, or the case in its entirety may be dismissed. Whatever the scenario, make sure to consult with a New York college misconduct and disciplinary attorney to protect your rights and future.

Touro College Code of Conduct: The Disciplinary Hearing and Possible Sanctions

If Touro’s Dean of Students determines that disciplinary hearing is necessary, the Code of Conduct infraction case can be referred to the Student Affairs Committee. The Dean of Students must do so within fourteen days on the school calendar. The Student Affairs Committee then has twenty-one days to commence a hearing and an additional ten days to complete the same.

Upon the completion of the disciplinary hearing, The Student Affairs Committee can resolve the allegations in numerous ways. For the accused and his or her college code of conduct lawyer, the best outcome is clearly a dismissal of the charges. However, more “insidious” options are available. These can include the lesser, but still potentially significant, warnings and disciplinary probation to the more significant sanctions of suspension and expulsion. Keep in mind that Touro’s Student Affairs Committee can also require restitution and counseling if, and where, appropriate. Regardless of its determination, the Student Affairs Committee may also require that you pay a fine, complete community service, be reported to the NYPD or other police agency, or seek your punishment as it subjectively believes is fair and reasonable. A possibility of such a referral may necessitate retaining a criminal defense attorney.

Touro College Code of Conduct: Appealing Disciplinary Sanctions

Within ten school days of any disciplinary action taken by the Touro Dean of Students, you, with the assistance of your student disciplinary attorney, can appeal an adverse decision related to your Touro Code of Conduct violation. This is not an oral appeal but is submitted in written form. Upon receipt of your appeal, the Touro Student Affairs Committee will calendar a date and time for a hearing. Within thirty days thereafter, the committee will render a decision on your appeal in writing. It is critical to recognize that that basis for an appeal is limited in scope. That is, the Student Affairs Committee will not grant your appeal barring your demonstration that the Dean of Student’s rendered an “erroneous, arbitrary or capricious” decision.

Similar to the above appellate process, where the Touro Student Affairs Committee implements a disciplinary punishment, in lieu of filing a written appeal to this body, you, the “convicted” must adhere to the same timeline but submit to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will then appoint a Special Appeals Panel made up of full time faculty (three) and one staffer from Student Affairs to conduct a hearing.

Touro College Code of Conduct: Other Relevant Information

No matter whether your hearing is before the Dean of Students, Student Affairs Committee or the Special Appeals Panel at Touro College and University System, the rules governing this process are the same. That is, hearings are not public, in order to proceed a majority or quorum of committee membership is mandated, your attorney cannot be present physically in the hearing, but can advise, prepare you and remain outside the hearing room, witnesses may be called, questions asked, and opening and closing statements given, and all deliberations will be private.

Remember, while your New York student disciplinary hearing attorney cannot stand by your side as he or she can in a criminal proceeding, because you may be exposed to prosecution in a future or collateral case, it is essential to be guided by your attorney before ever stepping foot into the hearing room. Whether your counsel is drafting your submissions, preparing you to testify, interviewing and preparing your witnesses, or drafting your questions, opening, and closing, what you do or say in a Touro College Code of Conduct or other disciplinary hearing can, and will, have implications elsewhere. Even if you have no secondary issues, because a finding of guilt is based on the low legal standard of a preponderance of the evidence, a compelling, balanced, and evidentiary based approach is central to your success or failure.

Make no mistake and have no misgivings. The consequences of a negative finding on your academic and collegiate future, as well as your life and career, are all in jeopardy when you are accused of a code of conduct violation at any New York college or university. Whether or not there are any potential criminal issues or implications to your legal status as a foreign national studying in the United States, retain counsel that can protect you today and well beyond tomorrow.

Call our New York criminal defense attorneys and disciplinary hearing lawyers at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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