The conduct process can seem like a mysterious, sometimes scary, process. Below are some of the most common questions asked by students about conduct and alleged policy violations. If you have other questions or concerns about your particular case, you are always welcome to contact the Office of Community Standards for help. We are here to be a student resource. It is our mission to be as open, fair, and transparent as possible.
The meeting notice is the beginning of the conduct process. The conduct hearing is your opportunity to speak about your viewpoint and it is very important for the hearing officer to gather as much information as possible in order to make a decision about if a policy was violated or not. At the meeting you will have an opportunity to ask questions about the conduct process, learn about your rights and responsibilities as a student, and share your experience of the situation or incident.
Your conduct letter contains the following information:
- The alleged violation (what part of the student conduct code you may have broken)
- Time, date, and place of your scheduled conduct meeting (where you will discuss the event and share your side of the story)
- Contact information for the Conduct Officer who you will be meeting with, if you have any questions or concerns.
It is important that you pay close attention to the information in the letter. Do not just avoid the letter and hope it will go away. If you do not show up to your scheduled meeting, the conduct officer has the right to come to a decision without your input. Also, you then become responsible for failure to comply, which is an additional violation.
Student disciplinary records are kept separate from other student records. However, holds (or blocks) may be placed on your academic records if you fail to honor the conduct process, which may affect your ability to register for classes or graduate. Information is only shared internally on a need-to-know basis and in situations where restrictions have been implemented. Records are kept for six years and require your written permission to be released.
If you are found responsible for violating any college rule, one or more sanctions will be imposed. These are consequences for the violation and sanctions vary. From a verbal warning, to dismissal from school. For first time violations, common sanctions will include some sort of restorative activity related to the broken rule. For example, if you are found responsible for plagiarism, you might be asked to research copyright law and write a brief essay. If you are caught smoking outside of designated areas, you might be sanctioned to pick up cigarette butts. If you are found responsible for failure to comply, you may be sanctioned to job shadow a student leader or safety officer. Every case is different.
Students have the right to appeal any decision made by the Student Conduct Officer. While the attached document takes you through the general appeals process, consult the conduct code for specific policies and procedures.
We encourage students to resolve their disputes at the lowest possible level before coming to our office. Conflict resolution is a valuable skill and we encourage your to use direct, assertive, respectful language to address a concern or dispute directly with the other person. The best resolutions are achieved when everyone involved takes the time to listen to each other and compromise on a solution. However, if you fear for your safety, or the safety of others, or direct communication does not work, the following steps can be taken:
You may be accompanied by a support person of your choosing. However, that support person may not speak for you or ask direct questions of the Conduct Officer.
Due to FERPA regulations, your conduct records will not be shared with anyone who does not have the legal “right to know”. If you want your parents to have access to some of your student records, you must file a FERPA release form with the registration and records office. If a situation arises where we have a concern for your health or safety, we may choose to contact a parent/guardian if deemed necessary.
Legitimate complaints about academics (grading, arbitrary or capricious treatment) may be processed by accessing the Student Complaint Process. Similar to the student conduct process, the complaint process emphasizes resolution at the lowest level possible and encourages open dialogue and problem solving between you and your professor. If you have questions about the Student Complaint Process, please contact The Office of Instruction at 360-383 -3230.
Complaints regarding harassment or discrimination of a protected category must follow our Discrimination and Harassment Procedure.
Generally, no. The student conduct process is designed to be educational and conduct records are kept separate from student records, with few exceptions. Detailed information about when legal counsel can be present / involved can be found at Student Rights / Responsibilities.