Cases related to violation or noncompliance of the norms, regulations, and oral or written orders, regulatory provisions, by-laws, and rules of conduct for students of the institutions shall be classified as minor or grave faults.
A minor fault is one committed by a student and which, in the judgment of a member of the faculty, officer, or institutional staff, partially affects institutional order. This type of fault may be sanctioned by the professor, official or staff in front of whom it was committed, by a reprimand or corrective measures.
A grave fault is one committed by a student and which affects institutional order adversely, requiring a sanction greater than a reprimand or corrective measures. It shall be considered a grave fault to act, or conspire to act, or intend to act as follows:
- Physical Aggression
- Damage, destruction, unauthorized appropriation or use of institutional or third-party property.
- Noncompliance with an express order or regulation transmitted orally to the student by a member of the faculty, official, or institutional staff, such order having been previously published.
- Disrespect by means of expression, action or omission in the presence of the offended person, to a member of the faculty, official, or institutional staff;
- use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages, narcotics, controlled substances, or hallucinogens, or carry out other activities harmful to physical or mental health.
- Political propaganda.
- Interruption of teaching or study work, or personal, social, cultural or other activities.
- Fraud in the handling of student funds.
- Fraud in academic tests; lack of honesty.
- Any act classified by law as a misdemeanor or felony;
- any other act that alters institutional order;
- violation of the Norms of Institutional Order outlined in Article V herein.
In every case related to one or more grave faults a Disciplinary Council shall be constituted to analyze the case initially.
The Disciplinary Council shall be composed of two representatives from the administrative area, one from the academic area (Professors) and one student. The members shall be recommended by the Campus Director and named by the Chancellor at the beginning of the academic year.
The Disciplinary Council shall be guided in all its actions by the provisions of these Regulations. The members shall be convened to their first meeting of the academic year by the Campus Director, no later than two weeks after the start of the academic year. Three (3) members of the Council shall constitute quorum. At this first meeting they shall choose a chairperson and a recording secretary.
The Campus Director may initiate a prior investigation of facts and receive an oral report from a member of the faculty, official, institutional staff, or student about any act committed and deemed a grave fault.
The disciplinary process shall be initiated with the oral or written presentation of the complaint that gives rise to the intervention of the Disciplinary Council, Campus Director before the Chair of the Council, with copy of the written notification or oral report to the student involved. Such notification shall contain: 1) the act imputed; 2) the section or sections of the regulations alleged to have been violated; and 3) the nature of the evidence in the hands of the Campus Director to support the imputed acts. The Campus Director may provisionally suspend any student against whom a formal complaint is filed, but such provisional suspension shall not exceed twenty (20) working days.
The Chair of the Disciplinary Council shall convene a meeting of the Council no later than the fifth working day after the filing of a formal complaint, to inform the members of the content.
The Disciplinary Council shall hold a administrative hearing on the complaint filed by the Campus Director, in the presence of the student or students involved. The student may attend with legal counsel, who shall be advised that it is an administrative hearing not governed by procedures or evidentiary rules applicable to judicial hearings. At such hearing the Campus Director and/or his/her legal representative shall offer all evidence obtained, tending to demonstrate the commission of the alleged fault, including the presentation of witnesses or documentary or physical evidence. The student shall be offered the opportunity to confront the existing evidence and to offer witnesses or documentary or physical evidence to support his defense and version of the imputed facts. After the administrative hearing, the Disciplinary Council shall make a determination in accordance with the proof presented and admitted and the case file.
Should the determination be that a grave fault was committed, the Disciplinary Council shall draft a resolution with a brief narration of the proven facts and shall notify the Campus Director their recommendation on the corresponding sanction. The Campus Director, shall notify the student in writing with return receipt requested of the determination by the Disciplinary Council and the sanction imposed, advising him/her of his/her right to appeal before the Academic and Student Affairs Commission within the time limits established by Regulations.
The Chair of the Council shall notify the student intervened and the Campus Director of the final determination of the Disciplinary Council. The Campus Director shall notify all other parties with an interest in such determination. In case the Disciplinary Council determines the commission of a fault was not proved, the case shall be filed and any provisional suspension adopted shall be declared without effect.
The sanctions for a grave fault may be:
- Written reprimand.
- Establishment of a probationary period for a defined term.
- Suspension from some or all classes for a period of time established by the Campus Director during the current semester until such time as an adequate excuse is given to the affected persons or institutions.
- Suspension of all or some of the rights as a student for a fixed term, during the current semester.
- Suspension for the current semester.
- Suspension for the academic year or for a longer period.
- More than one of the sanctions listed above.
- Expulsion from the institution. A notation shall be made in the academic file and recommendation by Academic and Student Affairs Commission to deny further enrollment.
Recidivism in actions that led to suspension for a semester or for the academic year shall constitute sufficient foundation for permanent expulsion.
By unanimous vote, the Disciplinary Council may recommend the suspension of sanctions contained in the drafted resolution. In such cases, the student may receive probation, which may be revoked without prior hearing by the Campus Director, if the student were not to comply with the specific conditions of his/her probationary period.
The decision by the Disciplinary Council shall be final and may be appealed by the student, within twenty (20) calendar days after being notified of the resolution, before the Academic and Student Affairs Commission of the institution, sending a copy of such appeal within the prescribed period to the Campus Director and the Disciplinary Council. The decision by the Academic and Student Affairs Commission shall be final, firm and not subject to appeal.