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Purpose

The American University of Bahrain (AUBH) has clear expectations for the behavior of its students and staff, as outlined in the Student Handbook and HR Handbook. This document provides a procedural guide for addressing behavioral misconduct allegations involving AUBH students in a fair and respectful manner.

1. Scope

This procedure applies to nonacademic misconduct arising on the AUBH campus or through one of its official channels (e.g., university e-mail, website, social media, or LMS platform) between:

  • a student and another student; or
  • a student and a faculty member; or
  • a student and a member of staff.

Examples of behavioral misconduct include/but not limited to:

  • Exchange of verbal or nonverbal offenses  
  • Harassment or bullying of others, including cyberbullying
  • Disruption or obstruction
  • Failure to comply with rules and guidelines, inside or outside the classroom
  • Threatening or retaliation
  • Theft
  • Unauthorized entry or access to restricted areas/resources
  • Unauthorized recording
  • Vandalism
  • Abuse of IT resources

The following forms of misconduct are not covered within the scope of this document and should be reported to the relevant department/committee, respectively:

  • Academic dishonesty, such as cheating or plagiarizing, should be reported to the Academic Integrity Committee Chair.
  • Minor health and safety violations should be reported to the Health and Safety Department/Officer.
  • Actions placing others under imminent danger, such as using weapons or physical assaults, should immediately be reported to the Security Office. These incidents are normally investigated by government officials but may be subject to internal investigation and disciplinary action. 

2. Definitions

The University

the American University of Bahrain

Reporting Party

the person raising the allegation

Respondent

the person alleged of an offense

Misconduct

any inappropriate behavior that negatively impacts other people whether in the University or the wider community

Minor Health & Safety Violation

inappropriate behavior that is defined within the AUBH Student Handbook and does not endanger other individuals directly, such as smoking in non-smoking areas or parking in unpermitted locations

Imminent Danger

a situation that threatens the immediate safety of the campus community where failure to provide a warning may result in serious harm

 

3. The Procedure

a. General Principles:

  1. This procedure aims to protect members of the University community by upholding appropriate standards of behavior.
  2. The University will protect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals involved in this procedure, where this does not compromise its ability to properly investigate an allegation.
  3. The University will ensure that the procedure is as objective and impartial as possible by collecting sufficient evidence before making any final judgment and mitigating conflict of interest when selecting committee members involved in the investigation.
  4. The University is only responsible for investigating incidents arising within its jurisdiction and reporting it to one of its representatives.   
  5. Respondents and reporting parties are normally expected to represent themselves at all stages of the disciplinary procedure but may have the right to be accompanied by an adviser or a family member if requested.

b. Reporting and Investigation:

  1. The Reporting Party must submit a written complaint/statement, supported by evidence as much as possible, to the Student Affairs Department through the Counselor's Office.
  2. In cases where the complaint is raised against staff member(s) from the Student Affairs Department, the issue should be raised to the President's Office, which will take charge of forming the investigation team.
  3. The Counselor will inform the Respondent about the received allegation, while keeping the Reporting Party's identity anonymous if possible, and require the Respondent to provide a written statement within three working days to defend his/her position.
  4. The Director of Student Affairs forms an investigation team comprising of three members, including at least one member of the AUBH Management Committee and one faculty member.   
  5. The investigation team must meet within 24 hrs to look into the incident and invite the Reporting Party and the Respondent for separate and private hearings (face-to-face or online).
  6. After the hearings, the investigation team may:
    1. decide that the incident is not valid for investigation/does not fall within the AUBH jurisdiction; or
    2. require additional evidence, such as going back to CCTV recordings or requesting witness testimony; or
    3. recommend a disciplinary action/penalty against the student; or
    4. report the incident and findings to the HR department to take appropriate actions against AUBH staff in accordance with the University's regulations and the labor law. 
  7. The investigation team submits a written report stating its decision with clear justification to the President's Office for approval.
  8. The President's Office directs the relevant party to take necessary action.

c. Conflict of Interest:

  1. Members of the investigation team must be impartial to the case under investigation. In other words, they should not be directly involved in the incident and/or within the reporting line of the staff involved, if any.
  2. Where faculty members are involved, the academic staff representation should come from an independent college.

d. Privacy and Confidentiality:

  1. Both the Reporting Party and the Respondent should be advised by the Counselor to refrain from discussing the incident with other students or colleagues.
  2. The members of the investigation team are required to declare any possible conflict of interest and sign a confidentiality agreement once they accept the assignment.

e. Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. The Counselor:
  • First point of contact for students and staff in relation to incidents of behavioral misconduct
  • Servs as a secretary to the investigation team
  • Safeguards the security of investigation records 
      1. The Director of Student Affairs:
  • Facilitates the investigation process
  • Advises students, as well as the investigation team, about AUBH policies and regulations as needed
      1. The investigation team: the team is expected to:
  • gather relevant evidence and information;
  • evaluate the validity of the presented evidence;
  • recommend a course of action, including possible penalties.

f. Penalties:

Examples of possible disciplinary actions that the University may impose are, but not limited to:

  • Written warning
  • Suspension of study for a period of time
  • Dismissal
  • No contact agreement
  • Forced referral to relevant support service
  • Reassignment to a different section/group

g. Appeal:

  1. The Reporting Party and/or the Respondent may appeal the outcome of the investigation by submitting an appeal request to the Provost Office, in writing, within one week of receiving the decision.
  2. The Provost will evaluate the existing reports and assess if any further investigation is needed or not.
  3. If further investigation was found to be needed, the Provost will form a new investigation team to look into the matter.
  4. The decision made after the appeal is final and cannot be subject to any further appeals.