Appeal Information & Process

A student who is found responsible for a violation and assessed a sanction has five (5) university business days from the date of notification of the sanction to file an appeal with the Galveston Aggie Honor System Office.

Appeal Information

Bases of Appeal

There are four bases of appeal:

  • Substantial new evidence not available at the time of the original hearing: To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
  • A violation of due process rights: To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present rebuttal of allegations.
  • The sanction is not commensurate with the violation: To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Honor System Rules which the student was found to have committed.
  • The finding of responsibility is inconsistent with the facts presented in the hearing: To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on a preponderance of the evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Honor System Rules occurred.

Format

Appeals should be submitted using the Student Appeal Form. In the event that additional documentation needs to be submitted, the student must contact the Galveston Aggie Honor System Office for further guidance.

Evaluation

An evaluation of the written appeal by the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs will determine whether an appeal hearing is warranted. For an appeal to be considered valid, one or more basis of appeal must be cited and appropriately supported in the written appeal. The decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs is final.

Appeal of Sanctions Other Than Separation from the University

If the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs finds that there is adequate basis for an appeal, he/she will appoint a subcommittee of the Honor Council to hear the appeal. The members of the Appeals Subcommittee shall not have participated in any proceeding or investigation related to any appeal that they consider. Its decisions are final. A course grade assigned as the result of a sanction cannot be appealed through the grade dispute process described in Student Rule 48 - Grade Disputes.

Appeal of Separation from the University

A student who has been assessed a disciplinary sanction of expulsion or suspension from the University by the Honor Council may file an appeal with the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. If the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs finds that there is adequate basis for an appeal, he/she will forward the request to the chair of the Honor System Separation Appeals Panel.

The Honor System Separation Appeals Panel shall be made up of faculty, staff, and students appointed by the Provost or her/his designee. Its members shall be independent of the Honor Council. Its decisions are final.

Disciplinary Action Pending Appeal

Following the notification of intent to appeal and pending the appeal hearing, any disciplinary action taken by the instructor or Honor Council shall be stayed until the appeal process is complete unless the university has determined in a case involving suspension, dismissal, or expulsion that the continued presence on-campus of the charged student poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process.

Limits Per Case

Students are limited to one appeal per case filed against them.

Honor Council Assistance

The Galveston Aggie Honor System Office will provide assistance, to students who request it, in completing appeal documentation.

Appeal Process

The following process shall apply to every appeal, whether an appeal to the Honor Council for a sanction not involving separation from the university, or an appeal of a decision of separation.

A student found responsible for a violation has five (5) university business days to file an appeal to the Galveston Aggie Honor System Office using the Student Appeal Form.

An evaluation of the written appeal by the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs will determine whether an appeal hearing is warranted. The decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs regarding the merit of an appeal is final. Students will be given opportunity to have one appeal and can get assistance from the Galveston Aggie Honor System Office when completing the Student Appeal Form.

The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs has the option of extending any deadline for extenuating circumstances.

The following are the only accepted basis for appeal:

  • Substantial new evidence not available at the time of the original hearing: To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
  • A violation of due process rights: To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present rebuttal of allegations.
  • The sanction is not commensurate with the violation: To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Honor System Rules which the student was found to have committed.
  • The finding of responsibility is inconsistent with the facts presented in the hearing: To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on a preponderance of the evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Honor System Rules occurred.

Upon receipt of the written request for a hearing and approval from the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs for an appeal hearing to proceed, the case manager shall set a time and place for the hearing as soon as practicable.

The Chair shall sit as a hearing officer and shall not take part in the vote or otherwise participate in the deliberations of the panel except to cast the tie breaking vote.

The proceedings of the appeal process shall be informal in nature and need not comply with the formal processes associated with the criminal and civil courts.

The student shall have the right to have one person serve as a personal advisor/counselor to consult during the student proceedings. (Students who are charged in the same fact pattern, or who are not in good standing with the university are not eligible to serve as an advisor/counselor at proceedings). A personal advisor or counselor (who may be an attorney) may appear at the proceedings with the accused student to provide advice, but may not represent the accused student or directly question or cross-examine witnesses, except in a case where the university is represented by an attorney. There is no restriction on who a student may consult or seek advice from, this restriction only pertains to the Honor Council and appeals proceedings.

An Honor System representative and the appealing student shall be afforded the opportunity for a reasonable oral presentation and shall be permitted to file typewritten or reproduced material.

The Chair shall cause all portions of the hearing to be recorded, except for the panel’s deliberations. The appealing student may obtain a copy of the recording at his/her own expense.

The panel may take any of the following actions in response to an appeal: it may review the case and uphold the findings and/or sanctions from the previous level; it may review the case and reverse a finding of responsibility for any or all charges; it may review the case and reduce the sanction(s); it may review the case and require that it be heard again by the original hearing body.

After hearing an appeal, the panel will go into closed session to deliberate. Upon conclusion of its deliberation, the panel shall inform the student of its decision. A letter outlining the decision of the panel shall be sent to the appealing student through email.

File an Appeal

Click HERE to file an appeal.