Judicial Process

Part of the goal of a college education is to increase one's awareness and appreciation of the ideals of human life, by fostering the ability to consider the long run consequences of one's acts and the degree to which one must assume responsibility for his or her own actions and way of living. Drury seeks to encourage serious moral thinking by its students and to provide an atmosphere of freedom in which moral autonomy can be developed.

Students are expected to observe minimum standards of conduct designated to ensure maximum freedom for all. They are subject to discipline if one or more of the Drury University Policies, Guidelines, or Codes of Conduct are violated. (For a complete list of student policies and sanctions, view the current Student & Parent Handbook).

Off-campus violations of civil law will be left to the jurisdiction of the appropriate civil authorities. Drury University reserves the right to prosecute students in the civil courts for on-campus violations of civil law. University authority will never be used to duplicate the function of civil laws.

The Judicial Process begins when information and/or documentation is submitted to the appropriate office regarding an incident involving a student. This documentation can be from a faculty or staff member, a member of the community, or a Drury University security report.

The appropriate office will review documentation, check for previous incident files, and assess further steps that need to be taken in the judicial process. An incident file for the student is kept on hand until the file is complete, and then turned in to the permanent file.

Students are contacted within 5 working days of the incident/receipt of documentation to schedule a meeting with the appropriate office. The contact will be made via email and an official Drury letter to the involved student. If the student does not respond within 5 working days after efforts to contact them have been made, information will be reviewed and a determination will be made regarding the incident.

The student will be given the Student Conduct Process Form as a guide for the meeting. They will initial each section as it is reviewed and understood, and be advised on the nature of the alleged violation and their options and responsibilities. Options are to:
  1. PROCEED: Proceed with the informal disposition process. The incident and relevant information will be discussed with the student. The student will have the opportunity to review the documentation and present any relevant information. A decision is made either at meeting, after deliberation, or after any additional investigation deemed necessary at the meeting.
  2. APPEAL: Instead of participating in this meeting, students have the right to immediately appeal to a formal review by the Drury University Student Judicial Board. The Board will review all relevant information at their next scheduled meeting and reply with recommended findings.

Students will be notified of the decision in writing by e-mail and an official Drury letter. The letter will indicate specific charges and violations, including date, time, location and nature. It will also indicate the decision, findings, and sanctions (if appropriate), with any relevant information such as specificity and deadlines. Finally, it may include recommendation of parental notification (if appropriate).

The student has 24 hours following receipt of letter to respond to Informal Disposition Letter via signature and return to the appropriate office. The student has the right to:
  • ACCEPT: Accept decision and sanction(s). The appropriate office will monitor the completion of the sanctions. The incident file closes after completion of the sanctions.
  • REJECT: Reject decision and/or sanction(s). Students have the right to invoke a hearing at the next level with the Drury University Student Judicial Board. Typically petitions for review should but are not required to be based upon one or more of the following:
i. Sanctions inconsistent with the level of the violation
ii. An error in the student conduct procedures
iii. New information relevant to the incident
iv. Severity of incident
  • NO RESPONSE: No response after 24 hours indicates acceptance of the decision and sanction(s).

The Drury judicial board is composed of three faculty/staff members and six students who are selected based on their involvement with Governing Student Organizations (RLA, IFC, Panhellenic Council). The Dean of Students will serve as ex-officio and Judicial Board Coordinator.

Neither a faculty member nor a student involved in the formulation of policy relating to student life will be eligible to serve on the judicial board.

Members of the judicial board shall continue to serve for a period of two years or until they leave Drury University.

The decision of the Judicial Board is final, unless otherwise subject to the right of appeal to the president or ultimately to the governing board of the institution.

Based on the nature of the incident, the following sanctions may be imposed on students:
  • COMMUNITY SERVICE: Community service hours selected based on the nature of the incident and monitored by the site supervisor.
  • DISCIPLINARY PROBATION: Exclusion from participation in privileged or extracurricular institution activities for a period of time not exceeding one academic year.
  • DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION: Termination of student status for a determined period of time. The condition of readmission, if any, will be stated in the notice of suspension.
  • EDUCATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS: Learning-outcome projects, classes or tasks based on the nature of the incident that provide an educational opportunity for individuals or groups involved.
  • FINES: Monetary charges to the individual or group involved.
  • PARENT NOTIFICATION: Written notification to parents or guardians reviewing the incident and the judicial process.
  • RESTITUTION: Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. This may take the form of appropriate service or other compensation.
  • WARNING: Notice, orally or in writing, that continuation or repetition of the conduct found wrongful within the period of time stated in the warning may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.

For a more complete listing of Drury University sanctions, refer to the current "Parent & Student Handbook."

There are significant differences between the campus judicial and civil/criminal justice procedures.
  • Overall, the campus judicial process is much less formal than criminal proceedings. Students will find that more serious charges tend to be accompanied by a more formal process in an effort to protect the students' rights.
  • The decision process in campus judicial processes is that of a hearing, not a trial. Students should expect a supportive and non-adversarial environment during the hearing process.
  • The campus judicial process is intended to be educational, not punitive. Our goal is to help the student to better understand the impact of his or her actions and to help him or her take steps towards repairing the harm done to the University community. Sanctions are not always predetermined, in such a case a sanction will be designed to accommodate the individual circumstances.
  • It is a privilege to attend Drury University, not a right. As such, removal of a student from campus through a sanction of suspension or dismissal is a possibility in certain circumstances in which the student has endangered the University community or engaged in repeated violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
  • Findings of guilt in the campus judicial process will not result in any criminal record, but will be placed in the student's permanent Drury University file.
  • The standard of evidence in determining a student in violation is not as high as that of the criminal process. At Drury University, we use a level of "preponderance of evidence", as opposed to "beyond a reasonable doubt".
  • Legal rules of evidence, i.e. whether something is "admissible", do not apply in campus judicial cases. The hearing officers will gather and utilize any information that they deem is relevant, including hearsay or third party testimony.
  • Campus judicial cases are confidential, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law.
  • While students are entitled to an advisor (friend, parent, attorney, any person of their choosing), that advisor may not represent that student. Students are expected to speak for themselves at all times during the process. Any advisors disregarding these rules will be asked to leave any meeting or hearing.