Student Rights

When a member of the student body is accused of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or has experienced an incident of sexual and interpersonal misconduct, they are afforded rights.  

Due Process Rights

Students should expect that disciplinary proceedings will be handled fairly. All SUNY Cortland students accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct shall be granted the following due process rights:

  1. A student has the right to a hearing by an unbiased student conduct body.
  2. A student has the right to have an advisor present at the hearing.
  3. A student has the right to written notice of the charges that indicates the date, time and location of the hearing. Proper written notification shall be defined as delivery of mail to a student's on-campus mailbox, hand-delivery by campus staff, delivery of information via electronic message to a student’s assigned campus e-mail account, or delivery by the U.S. Post Office to a student's local off-campus address. Students shall be held responsible for the contents of mail for which they have refused receipt.
  4. A student has the right to review the written report or narrative stating the circumstances and allegations involved. The report will generally be reviewed in the initial Incident Review Meeting, however, further review can be requested through the Student Conduct Office prior to a formal hearing if one has been requested. A time must be scheduled during normal business hours to review the report.
  5. A student has the right to object to a Board/Panel member or Hearing Officer who is serving in the capacity of student conduct body. The Student Conduct Hearing Advisor will determine the validity of the objection.
  6. A student has the right not to present information against themselves.
  7. A student has the right to request a continuance of no more than 5 business days.  The Director of Student Conduct will determine the validity of the request. 
  8. A student has the right to hear and respond to all information presented against them. This includes the right to question any witnesses present.
  9. A student has the right to present information and witnesses on their behalf.
  10. A student has the right to written notification of the results of a hearing no later than ten school/business days after the hearing.
  11. A student has the right to appeal the outcome of a hearing, as described in Section Thirteen, Appeals. A student must be informed of their right to appeal, and the process by which to do so.
  12. A student has the right to revoke their agreement in an Incident Review Meeting within three school/business days of the meeting and request a formal hearing.
  13. Conduct charges will be filed against the student within 30 school days of receipt of a report by the Student Conduct Office of misconduct. Exception: Title IX/VAWA/NYS Education Law 129b related complaints as investigations of this nature may take longer to complete.

Students' Bill of Rights

The State University of New York and SUNY College at Cortland are committed to providing options, support and assistance to victims/survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking to ensure that they can continue to participate in College-wide and campus programs, activities, and employment. All victims/survivors of these crimes and violations, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction, have the following rights, regardless of whether the crime or violation occurs on campus, off campus, or while studying abroad:

  1. Make a report to local law enforcement or state police.
  2. Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault treated seriously.
  3. Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the conduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressures from the institution.
  4. Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard.
  5. Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services where available.
  6. Be free from any suggestion that the reporting individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations.
  7. Describe the incident to as few institutional representatives as practicable and not to be required to       unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident.
  8. Be free from retaliation by the institution, the accused, and/or the respondent, and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the institution.
  9. Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination which shall be considered by a panel, not a single person.
  10. Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise a reporting individual, accused, or respondent throughout the conduct process including during all meetings and hearings related to such process.
  11. Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or conduct process of the College.

 For more information on the services provided by the Title IX Office, please see the Title IX web page.