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Early Resolution Option

The Early Resolution Option (ERO) is available for uncontested Honor Code and Fundamental Standard cases. ERO allows students to waive their right to a hearing and reduce the amount of time involved.

When the Early Resolution Option May Be Used

Certain circumstances are required for use of the ERO.

Circumstances that may justify the Early Resolution Option:

  • Uncontested cases where a student has been charged with violating the Honor Code; and
  • For Honor Code cases: the Standard Sanction (one quarter suspension, 40 hours of community service) would be appropriate. Even when it is appropriate, the Standard Sanction may not be assigned.

Circumstances in which the Early Resolution Option would not be offered:

  • A responding student contests the allegations/charges against them;
  • A responding student, complainant, or victim prefers the case go before a Judicial Panel hearing;
  • The allegations/charges against a student do not have a standard sanction and/or sanction of precedent;
  • The student has previously had a Judicial Affairs hearing or previously accepted the Early Resolution Option; and
  • The Office of Community Standards determines a Judicial Panel hearing is the appropriate resolution.

If these circumstances are met, there are additional requirements:

  1. Matters eligible for the Early Resolution Option must also have standing to go forward through a Judicial Panel Hearing; that is
    1. the matter must be timely under the Judicial Charter's statute of limitations
    2. the matter with all facts of the Complaint taken as true must rise to the level of an Honor Code violation.
  2. The Responding Student must request to waive her/his right to a Judicial Panel hearing and opt to participate in the Early Resolution Process; if all parties agree to waive their right to a full hearing, then the option will be offered.
  3. The Office of Community Standards will exercise reasonable discretion to determine whether a matter is appropriate for the Early Resolution Option.
  4. Even where a matter does meet the above criteria for the Early Resolution Option, the Office of Community Standards may determine that a Judicial Panel hearing is the appropriate resolution.
  5. The Office of Community Standards' decision about the appropriate venue for the charge to be resolved is final.

Obligations of Participants

Stanford community members are expected to cooperate fully and participate in the Judicial Affairs process, although efforts will be made where possible to accommodate schedules to reduce the burden of participation on parties and witnesses. The Responding Student may choose to waive her/his right to a full Judicial Panel hearing, and instead opt for the Early Resolution Option.

Rights of Responding Students, Reporting Parties, and Witnesses in the Early Resolution Option

All participants in the Early Resolution Option have all the same rights under the Student Judicial Charter as those who elect to use the regular Judicial Process.

Sanctioning Guidelines for the Early Resolution Option

In May 2013, the Board on Judicial Affairs (BJA) adopted the 2012 Internal Review Panel Report’s recommendation to apply the following sanctions to cases resolved through the Early Resolution Option (ERO): probation—a period of observation and review—until conferral the terminal degree, a one-quarter suspension held in abeyance, and 40 hours of community service, and an online training on academic integrity. After three years, based on feedback from the Stanford community and the Office of Community Standards staff, the BJA voted to adopt the following amendment to the Student Conduct Penalty Code on May 25, 2016 which determines that the Office of Community Standards should use the following guidelines in determining sanctions for ERO agreements.

All cases resolved through the ERO shall include probation—a period of observation and review—until conferral the terminal degree and a one-quarter suspension held at abeyance.

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For all cases, the Judicial Officer shall determine additional sanctions that appropriately address the violation for which a student is charged, including, but not limited to, at least one of the following:

  • An educational component (e.g., academic integrity seminar, sessions through the Hume Writing Center, assigned reading or reflection essays);
  • A community service component;
  • A restorative justice component;
  • Restrictions on or revocation of privileges; or,
  • Restitution to a victim or the community.

All involved parties (Responding Student, Reporting Party, and Judicial Officer) must agree to the determined sanctions in order for a case to be resolved through the ERO.

In Spring 2018, the BJA determined that all cases resolved through the ERO for graduating students shall include a one-quarter delay of degree conferral; amended from the previous sanction of a two-quarter delay of degree conferral.

Appeals

A student who has agreed to both the Early Resolution Option and the assigned sanction has waived her/his right to file an appeal.

Record Retention Policy Bylaw

The Office of Community Standards (OCS) shall maintain permanent confidential files on cases that are found by the Student Title IX Process, the previous Alternate Review Process (ARP) Reviewers, or a Judicial Panel to constitute a violation. Beginning with Academic Year 2017-2018, the OCS shall maintain confidential files for all cases resolved by the Early Resolution Option (ERO) for only seven years, provided the responsible student commits no subsequent violation.

Rational: This policy is consistent with the retention policies of Stanford’s peer institutions, and has been reviewed by the Office of General Counsel.

(Adopted Spring 2017)