Syracuse UniversityOffice of Student Rights and Responsibilities

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Preparing a Petition for Reconsideration or a Formal Appeal

For conduct cases resolved through an informal resolution, the Respondent has an opportunity to submit a Petition for Reconsideration of an Informal Resolution Agreement within the timeframe identified in the outcome letter. The petition process is a request for the Assistant Dean/Director to review the agreement and determine if a different outcome or process is appropriate.

For conduct cases resolved through the formal University Conduct Board hearing process, both complainants and respondents have an opportunity to appeal the outcome within the timeframe identified in the outcome letter. This is accomplished by submitting a formal appeal for the University Appeals Board to consider. 

The petition/appeal process requires you to adhere to specific deadlines. It is important that you following all deadlines and to provide any requested information. Failure to meet the deadlines or submit information that meets the grounds for the filing of your petition/appeal may impact your ability to participate in the petition/appeal process.

The information below provides both complainants and respondents with some things to consider as you write your petition/appeal. 


  1. Information for Respondents on Preparing a Petition or Appeal

    Respondents in a conduct case have an opportunity to appeal an outcome, either by submitting a petition for reconsideration of an informal resolution or a formal appeal of the Outcome of the University Conduct Board hearing. When submitting a petition/appeal, the appealing party must indicate on which grounds they are basing their petition/appeal. The decision reached in the informal resolution/hearing will only be revisited when the appealing party demonstrates one or more of following grounds for the petition/appeal:

    1. New information not reasonably available at the time of the informal resolution, the absence of which can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the informal resolution/hearing;
    2. Procedural error that can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the informal resolution/hearing;
    3. Errors in the interpretation of University policy so substantial as to deny fair informal resolution/hearing; and/or,
    4. Grossly inappropriate sanction having no reasonable relationship to the charges.

    The information below is designed to assist you in understanding the types of information that is consistent with these conditions as well as what types of information are not covered by these four grounds.

    1. “New information not reasonably available” does not mean supplying a statement from a factual witness if this witness was known to you or previously identified in the supporting documentation at the time of the informal resolution meeting or hearing. Lack of asking a witness to testify at the hearing and then presenting their statement in an appeal is not sufficient for this ground. Your role in sharing your information for an informal resolution and presenting your information at a hearing is to be prepared with all information at the time of your informal resolution meeting or hearing. 
    2. Being unhappy or disagreeing with an outcome is not grounds for a petition/appeal and does not demonstrate a grossly inappropriate sanction. Certainly, you may be upset with a decision and disagree with it. However, in order for something to be “grossly inappropriate,” the sanction must have been extreme or excessive when compared to both the behavior and any past Code of Student Conduct violations that may have impacted the sanction issued. Additionally, if a sanction is part of a standard sanction for a specific behavior identified in the Student Conduct System Handbook, then such a sanction is not “grossly inappropriate.” The University has already determined that standard sanctions are appropriate for the behavior associated with them.
    3.  A petition/appeal is not an opportunity to reargue the case. The petition/appeal process provides an opportunity for you to make an argument than demonstrates one or more of the four grounds identified above. The goal is to construct an argument explaining how the information you are submitting satisfies the conditions under which you are submitting the petition/appeal.
    4. Failure to obtain a procedural advisor or the inability of the Office of Student Assistance to assign a procedural advisor does not constitute a procedural error. You have the right to be advised by a procedural advisor throughout your conduct proceedings, as described in Parts 7.6, 7.7, and 10.11 of the Student Conduct System Handbook. In addition, the Office of Student Assistance maintains a pool of University community members that have volunteered and have been trained to provide procedural advice and support to students. However, the assignment of a procedural advisor from the Office of Student Assistance is based on availability and is not guaranteed.
    5. We believe that you are a good person. However, providing information in an appeal pertaining to your character must be relevant to who you are as a student at Syracuse University. Providing report cards from elementary school or attendance records from high school, while important to you, will not impact the decision made regarding your petition/appeal. If you intend to submit character references, they need to be able to talk about your development, maturity, and/or contributions as they relate to you as a student at Syracuse University.

    The petition/appeal must be written by the actual complainant or respondent, not by a parent, attorney, or procedural advisor. The Assistant Dean/Director (for petition reviews) and the University Appeals Board (for appeals of hearing outcomes) are most interested in reading your thoughts on why an outcome of the process should change. Remember, the petition/appeal process is conducted as a file review, not an additional meeting or hearing. You need to be sure that all of your information is included in your written documentation.

    If you have any questions on the petition/appeal process, contact our office.

  2. Information for Complainants on Preparing an Appeal

    Complainants in a conduct case have an opportunity to appeal an outcome of a University Conduct Board hearing. When submitting an appeal, the complainant must indicate on which grounds they are basing their appeal. The decision reached in the hearing will only be revisited when the appealing party demonstrates one or more of following grounds for the appeal:

    1. New information not reasonably available at the time of the informal resolution, the absence of which can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the hearing;
    2. Procedural error that can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the hearing;
    3. Errors in the interpretation of University policy so substantial as to deny fair hearing; and/or,
    4. Grossly inappropriate sanction having no reasonable relationship to the charges.

    The information below is designed to assist you in understanding the types of information that is consistent with these conditions as well as what types of information are not covered by these four grounds.

    1. “New information not reasonably available” does not mean supplying a statement from a factual witness if this witness was known to you or previously identified in the supporting documentation at the time of the informal resolution meeting or hearing. Lack of asking a witness to testify at the hearing and then presenting their statement in an appeal is not sufficient for this ground. Your role in presenting your information at a hearing is to be prepared with all information at the time of your hearing. 
    2. Being unhappy or disagreeing with an outcome is not grounds for an appeal and does not demonstrate a grossly inappropriate sanction. In order for something to be “grossly inappropriate,” the sanction must meet one of the following two criteria:
    3. The sanction must have been extreme or excessive when compared to both the behavior and any past Code of Student Conduct violations that may have impacted the sanction issued.
    4. The sanction may appear to be too lenient or not serious enough for what you believe is appropriate given the behavior of the respondent.

    Please note that if a sanction is part of a standard sanction for a specific behavior identified in the Student Conduct System Handbook, then such a sanction is not “grossly inappropriate.” The University has already determined that standard sanctions are appropriate for the behavior associated with them.

    1. An appeal is not an opportunity to reargue the case. The appeal process provides an opportunity for you to make an argument than demonstrates one or more of the four grounds identified above. The goal is to construct an argument explaining how the information you are submitting satisfies the conditions under which you are submitting the appeal.
    2. Failure to obtain a procedural advisor or the inability of the Office of Student Assistance to assign a procedural advisor does not constitute a procedural error. You have the right to be advised by a procedural advisor throughout your conduct proceedings, as described in Parts 7.6, 7.7, and 10.11 of the Student Conduct System Handbook. In addition, the Office of Student Assistance maintains a pool of University community members that have volunteered and have been trained to provide procedural advice and support to students. However, the assignment of a procedural advisor from the Office of Student Assistance is based on availability and is not guaranteed.

    The appeal must be written by the appealing party, not by a parent, attorney, or procedural advisor. The University Appeals Board is most interested in reading your thoughts on why an outcome of the process should change. Remember, the appeal process is conducted as a file review, not an additional hearing. You need to be sure that all of your information is included in your written documentation.

    If you have any questions on the appeal process, contact our office.