You’ve received a call or email from the Office of Student Conduct (OSC), letting you know you must attend a mandatory conference with a case manager. This means that OSC has received a report about an incident in which you may have been involved as a participant or a witness. Here are some guidelines about what you can expect and how you should prepare for a conference.
I am an accused student.
- What are the conduct procedures?
- What is a conference?
- What happens at a conference?
- How do I prepare for a conference?
- Who can come with me to my conference with OSC?
- What do I need to wear, or bring with me, to a conference?
- What if I don't show up?
I am a witness.
I am a victim.
What are the conduct procedures?
The procedures document outlines the standard procedures and practices of the University discipline process. Students are encouraged to review all of the procedures.
What is a conference?
Conferences are informal, one-on-one, educational meetings with an OSC case manager. A conference is scheduled when the Office of Student Conduct receives a report that the student has been involved in an incident that could be a violation of the Code of Conduct. Conferences are scheduled in hour-long time slots, although the entire hour may or may not be used. The case manager may also require more than one session to complete the business at hand, so you may be scheduled for follow-up appointments at a later date and time, beyond the initial one-hour session.
What happens at a conference?
A case manager meets with the student to to explain the conduct process and discuss the incident. At the meeting, the case manager will be interested to hear from you your perspective of what occurred and what effect the incident has had on you. The case manager may use this phase to gather additional information, if needed, from the student and other sources (e.g., witnesses, police officers, other University staff). The case manager will determine what, if any, Code violation(s) occurred, and, if appropriate, will assign official University charges and sanctions. The student then has the ability to accept the charges and sanctions, or to contest them by requesting a hearing or sanction review. See "Terms to Know" for definitions of terms. If, at the conclusion of a discipline conference, the student believes that he or she is not responsible for one or more of the University charges issued, the student may contest the charge(s) and request a hearing. Likewise, if the student believes that one or more of the sanctions that were assigned are not justified by the nature of the violation or are not within the guidelines of the University for the charge, the student may contest the sanction and request a sanction review.
Requesting a Hearing
A student denies responsibility for the charges that were assigned to him or her by the case manager in the discipline conference, he or she may contest the charges and request a hearing. If the administrative sanction was Disciplinary Suspension or higher, a University Conduct Board Hearing (UCB) is arranged. A UCB board is made up of five individuals, including staff, faculty, and students. The UCB will hear relevant information and determine if a violation of the Code of Conduct has occured. If the student is found responsible, the UCB will assign appropriate sanctions. If the administrative sanction assigned in the discipline conference is lower than suspension, an Administrative Hearing is arranged. This means that a single hearing officer, who is a trained staff or faculty member, will conduct the hearing.
Requesting a Sanction Review
When a student accepts responsibility for the Code of Conduct violation(s) in a disciplinary conference, but contests the sanction(s) assigned by the case manager, the student may request that the assigned sanction be reviewed. The Sanction Review will ordinarily be a review of the written record of the case, unless otherwise determined by the person reviewing the sanction. The student will compose a written explanation of the rationale for contesting the sanction and will submit this statement to the Office of Student Conduct case manager. The statement, as well as a memo from the case manager, will be forwarded with the student’s file to the sanction reviewer. The sanction reviewer has the ability to sustain or modify the sanctions. The student is then notified by the case manager once a decision has been reached.
How do I prepare for a conference?
- Inform yourself about the Code of Conduct. Sanctions are assigned based on the nature of the incident as well as past discipline history. The website you are using is an excellent resource for gathering information about the conduct process.
- Think about whether you would like an advisor to attend with you. Trained advisors who are familiar with the student conduct process are available to support you. Please call ahead to let OSC know that you will be accompanied by an advisor so arrangements can be made for space.
- The case manager will be interested to hear from you your perspective of what occurred and what effect the incident has had on you. While you are not required to participate actively in the meeting, know that charges and sanctions can be assigned without your participation based on the information already available to the case manager.
- Explore information about student rights in the conduct process.
Who can come with me to my conference with OSC?
You may bring any person you would like with you to your conference. Please call ahead to let OSC know if you will be accompanied by anybody, so arrangements can be made for space. Most students come alone, though some students prefer to bring along a parent or other support person. However, students are expected to speak for themselves in the conference and may not have an intermediary speak on their behalf. Trained advisors are available to accompany students through the conduct process. Attorneys may also be present at the student’s request; however, attorneys are not permitted to speak on the student’s behalf or disrupt proceedings in any way. Attorneys can be asked to leave at the discretion of the case manager.
What do I need to wear, or bring with me, to a conference?
Conferences are informal and you may attend in your typical, everyday clothing. All the official documents you will use will be provided in the meeting, but it may be useful to bring a datebook or calendar so you can schedule follow-up appointments if needed.
What if I don’t show up?
We encourage students to be present to provide information that is important to the case. However, if you fail to appear, charges and sanctions may be issued in your absence or a hold may be placed on your University account preventing you from performing any official University action (e.g, registration).
As a witness, what is my obligation?
If you have information about an incident involving others, you can be required to participate in conduct proceedings against another student. You may be in violation of the Code of Conduct if you fail to comply. It is important to present your knowledge of the facts honestly. Providing false information during any part of the process is a violation of the Code.
As a victim, what are my choices and rights?
If you are a victim of another student’s misconduct, you will have the choice to participate or not participate in conduct proceedings against the other student. You can also provide information without committing yourself to participating in the process. You can learn more information about victim's rights through the Office of Student Conduct.