Decision Review Requests

Students have the right to request a review of decisions through the Office of the Dean of Students. Appeals should be submitted per instructions provided in the sanction letter.

Questions?

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Christina Castillo at ccastil8@trinity.edu

 

Students should submit appeals within five days of the date of the written decision.


Appeal Procedures

Continued Sanction Enforcement

The sanction(s) of the previous decision(s) will continue to be enforced while the review request is filed, except under the most unusual circumstances. Students who ask for a review will not be subject to harsher sanctions as a result of the appeal.

Appeal Review Team

One designated staff member and two students from the Student Conduct Panel (separate from the original hearing body for the case) will review the written appeal of the case. The appeal review team will review the written appeals of cases from Administrative Meetings, Student Conduct Panels, and Dean of Students Meetings. 

The members will make a decision concerning the appeal based only upon documents from, or related to, the hearing, such as:

  • The appeal
  • The written decision of the original conduct hearing body
  • Written statements by parties involved in the hearing
  • Incident reports

Grounds for Appeals

Appeals requests are generally considered based on the following grounds

 

The occurrence of a procedural or substantive error that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.)

 

The consideration of new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction (a summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included)

 

The imposition of sanctions substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation

Sharing Appeal Information between Parties

In cases involving a reporting and responding student, the appeal by one party may be shared with the other party (parties) when appropriate under procedure (e.g., if the responding student appeals, the appeal is shared with the complainant, who may also wish to file a response, request an appeal on the same grounds or different grounds). All request-related documents are shared with all parties prior to submission.

 


Appeal Guidelines

 

 

Deference to Original Decision

The original finding and sanction are presumed to be reasonable and appropriate. Changes are only made where there is clear error or compelling justification.

The burden is on the appealing party (parties) to show clear reasoning for a reversal or sanction adjustment, and the Student Conduct Panel must limit its review to the challenges presented.

 

 

Appeals Are Not Full Re-Hearings

Appeals are not an opportunity for new panelists to substitute their judgment for that of the original decision-maker.

In most cases, appeals are limited to a review of the written documentation, the record of the original hearing, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. Witnesses may be called if necessary.

Every opportunity to return the appeal to the original decision-maker for reconsideration (remand) should be pursued, with clear instructions for reconsideration.

 

Appeal Outcomes

Changes to the findings and/or sanctions of the original hearing body should be made according to permissible grounds.

Upon reconsideration, any procedural or substantive errors should be corrected, new evidence should be considered, and sanctions should be proportionate to the severity of the violation and the student’s cumulative conduct record.

Whenever the original decision making body can be shown to be unduly biased by a procedural or substantive error, a new panel will be formed to reconsider the matter, which can in turn be appealed, once.