RHA Conduct Board
The Department of Housing and Residence Life believes that residents should be held responsible for their actions. Moreover, in a community environment, peers should have a voice in addressing any individual or group behaviors that are incongruent with the policies set by the Institute and Department of Housing and Residence Life. A student conduct system has been created in which accused residents may represent themselves and community members may decide both responsibility and sanctions, if applicable. To ensure that this system is administered by residents for residents, the Department of Housing and Residence Life follows a set of procedural regulations created in conjunction with the Georgia Tech Residence Hall Association (RHA). RHA is a student organization charged with the responsibility to represent residents within the residential facilities. It is important to note that the student conduct system is not the same as the legal system and incorporates different standards and procedures. The RHA Conduct Board is a peer group, which adjudicates violations of the Housing contract and serves as the Judicial/Conduct Branch of RHA.
Composition and Selection of RHA Conduct Board(s)
- A hearing board will be formed and trained at the beginning of each academic year with ongoing training and recruitment each semester.
- A quorum will consist of six (6) Justices, one Chief Justice, and one representative of the Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life.
- Justices shall be recruited at the discretion of the Chief Justice and the Board’s Advisor.
- No member of the Conduct Board may be a standing member of the RHA Executive Board.
- Members must reside in Georgia Tech Housing.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Chief Justice
- Serve as the chief administrative officer for the Conduct Board.
- Inform Justices of upcoming hearings.
- Responsible for the attendance of the conduct board members required for quorum.
- Presides over regular hearings of the Conduct Board and will be responsible to assure that a fair, reasonable, and orderly peer hearing is conducted.
- Turns the decision report to the Advisor of the Conduct Board and maintains the confidentiality of the hearing.
- Coordinates sanctioning, writes follow up letters, and forwards the letters to all involved which may include the
- Accused, people overseeing sanction completion, and the appropriate Residence Life professional staff.
- Processes all notification forms for cases to be brought before the Conduct Board, which includes notices to the Accused, Witnesses, and reporting Housing and Residence Life staff.
- Serves as chief representative for the Georgia Tech Residence Halls in matters concerning the student conduct system and resident rights.
- Represents Georgia Tech at student and professional meetings concerning student conduct systems.
- Calls and presides over special meetings of the RHA for purposes of removal hearings for executive officers, as
- prescribed in the RHA constitution and by-laws.
- The Chief Justice will be appointed before the first Legislative Council meeting of the fall semester.
Decisions of the RHA Conduct Board
Decisions will be found by a majority vote. In the case of a tie, the Chief Justice will have the deciding vote. Decisions are recommendations to the Coordinator of Student Conduct or her/his designee.
Tenure of RHA Conduct Board Members
All RHA Conduct Board Members, including the Chief Justice, shall serve one-year terms. A member shall resign immediately upon becoming a Housing and Residence Life staff member or if s/he moves out of Georgia Tech Housing.
Decisions and Sanctions for the RHA Conduct Board
The RHA Conduct Board is convened when either the Housing and Residence Life Conduct Administrator or the Accused elects this form of resolution and used only for high-level cases. The RHA Conduct Board, after convening a hearing, recommends a decision to the Coordinator of Student Conduct or their designee. The Coordinator of Student Conduct or his or her designee, after reviewing the case, renders a decision of 1) Not Responsible, which closes the case or 2) Responsible for one or more violations with an appropriate administrative sanction and one or more from among the educational sanctions. The administrative sanction will be Housing reprimand, Housing warning, or Housing probation. The Accused, after being notified of the decision, may submit an appeal to the Assistant Director of Residence Life for Staff and Community Development or her/his designee according to appeal procedures.
Scheduling of RHA Conduct Board Hearing
After the case is forwarded to a RHA Conduct Board, the Complainant(s) and the Accused(s) will be notified of available dates and times for a hearing. The Accused may indicate preferences from among the available dates and times, which will be considered by the Coordinator of Student Conduct or department designee if received within three (3) business days. This official notice will be provided at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing and will include the time, date, and location of the hearing. In addition, the notice will specify the Complainant(s), Witnesses, and nature of the alleged misconduct. The Accused may waive the notification timeline in order to expedite the hearing process. Upon request, the Accused may meet with a Housing and Residence Life Conduct Administrator and/or the Chief Justice to review information and hearing procedures.
Hearing Participants and Attendees
- RHA Conduct Board hearings shall ordinarily be closed except for the Accused(s), the Complainant(s), Advisor(s), and Witnesses. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Chief Justice. Witnesses are allowed at the discretion of the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice may excuse any person, including the Accused, who disrupts a hearing.
- An Accused who fails to appear after proper notice will be deemed to consider themselves as not responsible to the charges against him/her and to have exercised the right to remain silent without prejudice. At the discretion of the Chief Justice, the hearing may be conducted in the absence of the Accused(s) and all the information regarding the alleged misconduct shall be presented and considered.
- The Complainant(s) and Accused(s) have the right to be accompanied by an Advisor. The Complainant(s) and/or Accused(s) should select an Advisor who can attend the hearing at the scheduled date and time. Delays are not usually granted due to the scheduling conflicts of an Advisor. The Accused(s) must notify the Coordinator of Student Conduct or department designee at least 72 hours prior to the hearing of any witnesses and/or Advisors s/he is bringing.
- Subject to the Chief Justice’s control of the hearing, the Complainant(s), Accused(s) and their Advisors, shall be allowed to attend the RHA Conduct Board hearing, but shall not be allowed to attend Board deliberations.
- In RHA Conduct Board hearings involving more than one Accused, the Coordinator of Student Conduct or department designee may permit the RHA Conduct Board hearings concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
- A maximum of two (2) character witnesses will be allowed in a hearing.
- All other witnesses must have direct knowledge or information that will assist the RHA Conduct Board in determining the facts of the case.
- The Chief Justice shall exercise control over the proceedings to achieve orderly completion of the hearing.
- Advisors are restricted to private communications with their advisee(s). Any communication by the Advisor that is audible to the RHA Conduct Board may be viewed by the Chief Justice as disturbing the hearing.
- All questions by the Complainant(s) and Accused(s) must be directed to the Chief Justice, rather than to the Witness directly. Questions of whether potential information will be received shall be resolved at the discretion of the Chief Justice.
- In addition to the investigatory packet provided by the Coordinator of Student Conduct or department designee, the RHA Conduct Board, at the discretion of the Chief Justice, may accept additional pertinent information and testimony (including impact statements). Any letters of recommendation submitted by the Accused will be admitted for consideration at the discretion of the Chief Justice and, if admitted, will be viewed only during panel deliberations.
- All procedural questions arising during the meeting are subject to the final decision of the Chief Justice.
- The RHA Conduct Board’s standard of proof shall be a Preponderance of the Evidence.
- The RHA Conduct Board in consultation with the Coordinator of Student Conduct or their designee may reasonably accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Complainant(s), Accused(s), and/or Witnesses during the meeting.
- The RHA Conduct Board shall make a summary transcription of the proceeding, which will serve as the official record of the hearing. No other recording will be permitted. The Accused or the Complainant may request a copy of the recording upon payment of the cost to reproduce the recording, or may listen to the original recording in a location designated by the Coordinator of Student Conduct or department designee at no charge. The record shall be the property of the Institute.