The fact-finding process

What is the student conduct process?

Students contacted by the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards will typically receive one or more of the following communications indicating that the student has been referred to our office for possible violations outlined by the definitions of misconduct in the Code of Student Conduct:

  • Email
  • Phone

Students are required to meet with a hearing officer to begin the conduct process. Please note that Student Conduct staff will not give additional details about the alleged violation over the phone, nor will any staff member discuss your disciplinary records with anyone except the student without a signed FERPA Release of Information waiver that expressively permits such disclosure.

Parents interested in a student's disciplinary record should complete the FERPA Authorization for Parents.

What is a fact finding meeting?

A fact-finding meeting is a conversation between a student and a hearing officer in which the student will:

  • Be informed of his or her rights as a student.
  • Review the alleged violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct.
  • Be given the details of his or her file and referred incident.
  • Present his or her side of the story, ask questions and respond to the allegations.
  • Mutually reach a determination of responsible or not responsible.
  • Be assigned sanctions (when applicable) and sign a case resolution form.

During the fact finding meeting the student may also request copies of the contents of his or her disciplinary file.

What are the possible outcomes of a fact finding meeting?

There are typically three possible outcomes to a fact finding meeting:

  • Student can be found not responsible for a violation of the Code
  • Student can be found responsible for a violation of the Code and given sanctions
  • The case can be referred to the University Hearing Board

How can I prepare for a fact finding meeting?

Before attending you could:

  • Write down your recollection of the events in question.
  • Gather information you would like to present to the hearing officer (i.e. names of witnesses).
  • Outline the details you plan to present.
  • Develop a list of questions you would like to ask.

How do we determine appropriate sanctions?

A variety of factors are considered when determining what sanctions will be effective in helping students to recognize misconduct, identify potential consequences, and make informed decisions in the future.

The sanctioning considerations begin with educational opportunities and become more punitive as each factor is considered along a continuum of potential outcomes.

Right to an advisor

The complainant and the respondent have the right to have an advisor of their choice present to provide advice and counsel in any meetings or hearings held by the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards. 

The complainant and respondent shall speak and act on their own behalf. The advisor may only give counsel to their party and may not actively participate in the meeting or hearing. Any advisor who repeatedly violates the limitations imposed on advisors, or otherwise engages in disruptive behavior may be removed from the meeting or hearing.

Meetings or hearings conducted by the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards will not be scheduled around the availability of an advisor. In addition, an advisor may not attend a meeting or hearing being conducted by the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards unaccompanied by the advisee.

An advisor may be a:

  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Faculty or Staff Member
  • Attorney, hired at your own expense

Please note the same individual may not serve as an advisor and a witness; nor can the advisor of a charged student organization serve as a witness and an advisor.