Conduct meetings and what to expect
The student conduct process
As a part of an institution of learning, the student conduct process is designed to be an educational opportunity in which students are encouraged to reflect on and learn from their behavior. The student conduct meeting is an informal discussion in which the disciplinary process will be explained to the student, and the student will be asked to respond to the allegations against them.
Students are entitled to all rights specified in university policies. These rights include:
- Knowing the allegations against the student and the evidence that has been provided to the Office of the Dean of Students in support of those allegations.
- Receiving assistance from an advisor of choice. This advisor may be a parent, guardian, attorney, friend, counselor, or any other support person chosen by the student who is not otherwise a party or witness to the conduct under investigation.
- Having relevant witnesses speak on their behalf.
- Reviewing their case file upon submission of a written request to the Office of the Dean of Students.
- Appealing the final decision of the hearing officer if the decision results in an eviction from university housing, or suspension or expulsion from the university.
During the conduct meeting, the Student Life staff member will:
- Review the Student Code of Conduct Procedures and the student’s rights in the process.
- Review the allegations against the student.
- Ask questions about the information provided to the Office of the Dean of Students and the allegations.
- Review the information discovered in the investigation.
- Invite comments from the student.
- Refer the student to support resources on campus and in the community, as applicable.
Note that if the student does not attend the conduct meeting, a decision on the case may be made without the student’s input, and the student will be responsible for complying with any sanctions, if applicable.
Standard of proof
The standard of proof used to determine responsibility for student conduct violations is known as “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that based on all the available evidence and its probably truth or accuracy, as determined by the decision-maker, the student is more likely than not responsible for the alleged violation. Alternatively stated, preponderance of the evidence means proof by information that, compared with that opposing it, leads to the conclusion that the fact at issue is more probably true than not.
At the end of the conduct meeting, the staff member may determine one of the following:
- Further investigation is necessary before fully resolving the case.
- The evidence is insufficient to meet the standard of proof, and therefore, the student will not be found responsible for the alleged violation.
- The evidence shows that an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Standards of Residence, or another applicable student conduct policy occurred and the student is responsible for the alleged violation.
If the student is found in violation, sanctions will be applied and explained to the student. The sanctions are designed to encourage a student to learn from the violation. Additionally, a letter will be sent to the student after the meeting that explains the violations and sanctions in more detail.
Only student conduct cases resulting in the following outcomes may be appealed:
- Temporary suspension from the university
- Permanent expulsion from the university
- Degree revocation
- Removal from university housing
- Additionally, in cases resolved pursuant to the Student Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures, both the complainant and the respondent may appeal either a finding of responsibility, a finding of no responsibility, and/or any resulting administrative actions, educational interventions, or disciplinary sanctions as either excessive or insufficient.
All other student conduct case outcomes are final and may not be appealed.