Campus from the Water

Questions? Contact Us

Kelly A. Smolinsky
Student Conduct Officer
kasmolinsky@smcm.edu

Location: The Office of Student Conduct is located in the Campus Center, Room 150.

Phone: 240-895-3181
or 240-895-4208
Fax: 240-895-4898

Sexual Misconduct Hearings

Students or student organizations charged with any violation of College policy including but not limited to sexual misconduct will be subject to the student campus conduct system regardless of any other civil or criminal charges the accused individuals may face in Maryland or any other state, criminal, or civil proceedings. The St. Mary’s College conduct process is an administrative proceeding that may occur concurrently or in sequence to other criminal and/or civil procedures.

The Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board shall hear complaints made by any student, member, student organization or guest/visitor of the College community involving violations of St. Mary’s College policy committed by a student at the College as set forth in Article II of this Code.  To initiate an action and a hearing before the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board, any member of the College community or representative of the College must report a formal complaint with Public Safety or Student Conduct. After filing the report, the complainant(s) must inform the student conduct officer of his or her desire to participate in a conduct hearing. Trained Public Safety staff and/or the student conduct officer will conduct a full investigation of the formal complaint. This full investigation is not limited to but may include the questioning of all parties involved (complainant(s), respondent(s), and direct witnesses) and evidence collection.

If an interim suspension is determined necessary at any point of the investigation by the dean of students, the respondent(s) will be informed of the decision and be escorted off campus by public safety. In a situation where an interim suspension is issued, the hearing will take place no more than four academic days following the effective date of the suspension.

Students involved in sexual misconduct incidents may request an immediate change of living situations, if an alternative is reasonably available, by contacting Residence Life at 240-895-4207 or Public Safety after-hours at 240-895-4911. The College also reserves the right to require alternative housing for the parties in certain circumstances. Support services are also available for academic accommodations by contacting Academic Services at 240-895-4388. These services may be available to students even if no formal complaint is reported.

The student conduct officer or designee will explain to both the complainant and the respondent every aspect of the Sexual Misconduct hearing process through a pre-hearing conference held prior to the scheduled hearing. At this conference, the complainant(s) as well as the respondent(s) will be informed of the scope of the sanctions for the charges, and the student conduct officer or designee will explain the hearing process including the following guidelines:

  1. The complainant(s) may request to give testimony and allow for questioning by means other than being in the same room as the respondent.  The complainant must submit this request in writing to the student conduct officer no less than 48 hours prior to the hearing.
  2. The respondent(s) and the complainant(s) have the right to be assisted by an advisor of their own choice.  Such advisors must be members of the College community.  Advisors are present as a support and have no speaking role in the hearing process.  The student conduct officer must be notified with the name of the advisor no less than 48 hours in advance of the hearing.  Students may contact the student conduct officer for an advisor referral. 
  3. The respondent(s) and the complainant(s) have the right to be assisted by an attorney.  They may do so only if they notify the student conduct officer no less than 48 hours in advance of the hearing.  The attorney may not participate in the hearing, has no speaking role, and may not address the board.   
  4. The respondent(s) and complainant(s) have the privilege of presenting a reasonable number of relevant witnesses.  The student conduct officer must be notified with the name(s) and statements of the witnesses no less than 48 hours in advance of the hearing.   Character witnesses are not permitted at hearings.  All witnesses are subject to questioning by the hearing board.  The respondent(s), complainant(s), and members of the hearing board may raise questions of discrepancies in the testimony with the board.
  5. All evidence which is reasonable and prudent may be accepted for consideration by the hearing board at its discretion. The Maryland rules of evidence or federal rules do not apply to this administrative proceeding. Examples of types of evidence include, but are not limited to, testimony of people such as the complainant(s), respondent(s), witnesses, and investigating public safety officers; pictures showing the violation(s) (such as damage or vandalism, behavior, injury, etc.), which may be from both electronic and physical sources; and other types of documentation such as hospital or doctor’s reports (Sexual Assault Forensic Exam reports), Residence Life, Public Safety, or Sheriff’s Office  reports, etc.  All evidence must be submitted to the student conduct officer no less than 48 hours in advance of the hearing.
  6. The complainant(s) and respondent(s) have appeal rights. All parties will be reminded of the option to appeal at the conclusion of the hearing. If either party submits an appeal, the other party will be notified and reminded of their option to appeal or submit an impact statement. If multiple appeals are submitted, the appeals will be reviewed and heard concurrently.
  7. During the pre-hearing conference, the student conduct officer will also inform all parties of available on- and off-campus resources. 

Public Safety and/or the Office of Student Conduct reserve the right to issue a no-contact order to any/all parties involved due to the highly sensitive and confidential nature of these types of charges and allegations. Regardless of a formal no-contact order, it is in the best interest of all parties involved and for the Hearing Board for the parties to avoid contact during the pendency of these proceedings.  Any attempts at harassment and/or intimidation of any member of the conduct body including hearing board members, complainants, respondents, and any witnesses prior to, during, or after a conduct proceeding is a direct violation of College policy and will result in the filing of additional student conduct code charges.

All incidents of sexual misconduct and/or harassment will be independently assessed and investigated by our Title IX Coordinators. For additional information on the College’s Title IX policies and procedures, please see our website at http://www.smcm.edu/titleIX/index.html.

Policy violations committed by non-students--faculty, staff or guests—are handled through the Office of Public Safety, Human Resources, Title IX Coordinators, and/or local police.

The Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board shall consist of a panel of three members including faculty, staff, and students from the College community with the student conduct officer serving as advisor.  This panel will hear violations of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, Intimate Partner Violence Policy, Stalking Policy, Sexual Harassment Policy, and related violations.  The three members of the panel will be selected from a pool of candidates specifically trained to hear conduct cases of this nature.  Once the Board has been selected,  the complainant(s) and respondent(s) shall have the opportunity to request dismissal of a member of the hearing board due to a perceived or actual personal or professional conflict that may affect his/her objectivity in the process.

 The student conduct officer is present during the hearing in a limited role. He/she shall ensure that the conduct procedures are followed and is not part of the decision-making process.

The respondent and complainant must notify the student conduct officer no less than 48 hours prior to the hearing, in writing, of the following: 
-If the complainant(s) desires to give testimony and allow for questioning by means other than being in the same room as the respondent(s)
-Name of, if any, advisor(s)
-Desire to have an attorney present, including the name of said attorney
-Names and statement of any witnesses
-Any evidence that one desires to be examined by the board
-The complainant must inform the student conduct officer how he/she wishes to be informed of the outcome of the hearing (be present in the hearing room when the board meets with respondent to inform the person of the decision or have verbal notification immediately following the meeting). The complainant will also receive the outcome of the hearing in writing following the hearing.

Any evidence, witnesses, advisors, attorneys, or changes in the means of providing testimony that the respondent(s) or complainant(s) desires to be included submitted less than 48 hours prior to the hearing will not be allowed except for extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the student conduct officer.

A.    Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board Procedures: The student conduct officer shall decide upon a chairperson.  The chairperson shall declare the purpose of the hearing, introduce all members of the hearing board, and request the names of all persons present at the hearing.  The chairperson shall then explain the following guidelines:

                1.    A respondent(s) is presumed not responsible of all charges of violations of conduct until the contrary is established by a preponderance of evidence.

                2.      The student conduct officer reserves the right to declare a case closed to non-parties.  The student conduct officer and the hearing board may remove anyone disruptive to the hearing process.

                3.    Witnesses shall be sequestered and will only be present in the hearing for their own testimony and questioning. Witnesses are instructed not to discuss their testimony with anyone during the hearing process and any appeals.

        B.    The chairperson will read the charges, and then the chairperson will ask the respondent(s) to indicate responsible or not responsible for violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct as charged. 

        C.    The complainant(s) will be asked to give an account of the incident. At the conclusion of the complainant’s testimony, the respondent(s) will be given the opportunity to ask relevant questions by directing them through the Board chair.

        D.    Witnesses for the complainant(s) will then be asked to give their accounts of the incident.

        E.     At the conclusion of the presentation of each witness,  the complainant(s) and respondent(s) will be given the opportunity to ask relevant questions by directing them through the Board chair.

        F.     The respondent(s) will be given the opportunity to give an account of the incident. At the conclusion of the respondent’s testimony, the complainant(s) will be given the opportunity to ask relevant questions by directing them through the Board chair.

        G.    Witnesses for the respondent will then be asked to give their accounts of the incident.

        H.    At the conclusion of the presentation of each witness, the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) will be given the opportunity to ask relevant questions by directing them through  the Board chair.

        I.      Any additional testimony or evidence will then be submitted or heard by the board (e.g.  public safety report).

        J.     At the conclusion of the presentation of all testimony and evidence, the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) will be given the opportunity to ask relevant questions by directing them through the board chair.

        K.    Board members reserve the right to ask questions at any time during the course of the hearing.

        L.     When all aspects of the case have been discussed to the satisfaction of all board members, the complainant(s) will be asked to give an impact statement and for input on sanctioning if the respondent(s) is found responsible.  The chairperson will clear the hearing room, with the exception of the board members and the student conduct officer, for the deliberation.

        M.   During the deliberation, the board will first determine the facts of the case.  The board will then decide whether or not the accused student or student organization is in violation of conduct regulations as charged.  If the board concludes that the respondent student(s) or student organization is responsible for the charge(s), the student conduct officer will inform the board members of past violations and sanctions to be taken into account when determining sanction(s).  All decisions and determinations of the board shall then be made by majority vote.  All aspects of the hearing and deliberations are confidential.

        N.    Each respondent will be asked to return to the hearing room, and the decision will be read.    The complainant(s) will be allowed to return to the hearing room to hear the decision if a request was submitted to the student conduct officer prior to the hearing.  If the complainant does not wish to be present at this time, the student conduct officer may notify the complainant with the results of the hearing and any sanctions imposed following the completion of the hearing.   The student conduct officer will disclose in writing the results of the hearing and any sanctions imposed on the respondent(s) to the respondent(s) and the complainant(s). If the alleged victim of such crime or offense is deceased, the next of kin of such victim shall be treated as the alleged victim and be notified of the hearing outcome.  If found to be in violation, the respondent(s) will be informed of their sanctions and their right to appeal as set forth in Article VI of this Code.  The complainant(s) will also be informed of their right to appeal as set forth in Article VI of this Code following the conclusion of the hearing. If either party submits an appeal, the other party will be notified and reminded of their option to appeal or submit an impact statement. If multiple appeals are submitted, the appeals will be reviewed and heard concurrently.

        O.    At the conclusion of the conduct session, the chairperson will remind the hearing board as to the confidentiality of the proceedings and then adjourn the board.

Recommended Sanctions 

Sexual Misconduct I: Sexual Penetration. The recommended sanctions for Sexual Misconduct I policy violations shall include disciplinary suspension with additional conditions and/or expulsion.

Sexual Misconduct II: Sexual Contact. The recommended sanctions for Sexual Misconduct II policy violations shall include, but not be limited to, alteration of schedule, restriction, housing contract revocation, disciplinary suspension, and/or expulsion.

Sexual Misconduct III: Sexual Exploitation. The recommended sanctions for Sexual Misconduct III policy violations shall include, but not be limited to, alteration of schedule, restriction, housing contract revocation, disciplinary suspension, and/or expulsion.

Intimate Partner Violence I: Physical Harm. The recommended sanctions for Intimate Partner Violence I policy violations shall include disciplinary suspension with additional conditions and/or expulsion.

Intimate Partner Violence II: Threat of Physical Harm. The recommended sanctions for Intimate Partner Violence II policy violations shall include, but not be limited to, alteration of schedule, restriction, housing contract revocation, disciplinary suspension, and/or expulsion.

Intimate Partner Violence III: Psychological/Emotional Harm. The recommended sanctions for Intimate Partner Violence III policy violations shall include, but not be limited to, alteration of schedule, restriction, housing contract revocation, disciplinary suspension, and/or expulsion.

Stalking: The recommended sanctions for Stalking policy violations shall include, but not be limited to, alteration of schedule, restriction, housing contract revocation, disciplinary suspension, and/or expulsion.

Sexual Harassment: The recommended sanctions for Sexual Harassment policy violations shall include, but not be limited to, alteration of schedule, restriction, housing contract revocation, disciplinary suspension, and/or expulsion.