Disciplinary Conference

Disciplinary Conferences are one-on-one meetings with a university administrator or a member of the University Hearing Board (UHB).  These conferences are intended to determine whether or not a student has violated university policy and to recommend an appropriate sanction, if necessary.

University Hearing Board-level Disciplinary Conferences (UHB-DCs)
According to Article 18 of the "Code of Student Conduct" a student charged with a disciplinary violation scheduled before the University Hearing Board may elect to have his or her case heard at a Disciplinary Conference instead.

UHB Disciplinary Conferences, called UHB-DCs, are proceedings where there is one Presiding Officer, instead of the panel of University Hearing Board members, who will review the case of the charged student – called the respondent.

In either type of proceeding, a member of the SRR staff will ensure the respondent is afforded all the rights guaranteed by the "Code of Student Conduct" and advise the UHB member(s) on procedural and technical matters.  Additionally, the full range of sanctions including the cancellation of a Housing License Agreement, a suspension, or an expulsion may be imposed in either type of disciplinary proceeding.

The ultimate choice between a University Hearing Board and a UHB-DC is one of personal comfort, whether or not the respondent feels comfortable having the case reviewed by the panel of University Hearing Board members or a sole Presiding Officer.   Some students prefer speaking with several people, having more eyes looking at the case; while others are more comfortable in a smaller setting and appreciate the one-on-one conversation with the Presiding Officer.

The Respondent will be informed of their ability to elect a UHB or a UHB-DC when they receive a Charge Letter for a University Hearing Board-level case.  The Respondent must complete and submit the Election of Action form to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities by the deadline listed in the Charge Letter.

Should a Respondent fail to submit to submit the Election of Action form, the Respondent will have the case heard before a University Hearing Board.

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Low & Mid-level Disciplinary Conferences (DCs)
Low & Mid-level Disciplinary Conferences, called DCs, are scheduled regarding violations of the "Code of Student Conduct" where the potential sanctions do not include cancellation of a Housing License Agreement, suspension, or expulsion. 

Low & Mid-level Disciplinary Conferences are heard by staff members of the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities. 

What to Expect:
A Low & Mid-Level Disciplinary Conference is facilitated by a sole Conference Officer.  Students appearing at a Disciplinary Conference should expect to answer questions regarding the reported violations, the level of the student’s culpability, the student’s decision-making process during the incident, and about how this incident will impact the student in the future. 

Students should maintain a respectful tone when interacting with the Conference Officer and other individuals who may be present such as witnesses, and ask and answer questions in a complete and concise manner.

Disciplinary Conference proceedings can sometimes take on an air of formality, but students are not expected to come dressed in suits or ties.  Most students wear what they would wear to class or an internship.

The order of a Low & Mid-level Disciplinary Conference is as follows:

  • Introduction to DC proceeding
  • Affirmation to be truthful to the Conference Officer
  • Statement of Alleged Violation(s) to the Respondent and plea of 'not in violation' or 'in violation'
  • Questioning of Witnesses by the Conference Officer (if applicable)
  • Respondent statement(s) and questioning by the Conference Officer
  • Respondent’s clarification statement
  • Closing information regarding notification of decision and appeals process

A student who does not appear for a scheduled Disciplinary Conference may have his or her case heard in his or her absence.

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Deliberations
DC deliberations are private and are bifurcated, or split into two parts.

The first question the Conference Officer considers is whether the respondent violated university policy by finding a student “not in violation” or "in violation" of a provision in the "Code of Student Conduct."

The second question the Conference Officer considers is what should be the university's response to the student's behavior?   This second question is where the Conference Officer considers appropriate sanctions for a student who violated University policy.  Sanction recommendations are only made after a finding of “in violation” is determined.

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Recordings of Disciplinary Conferences
Disciplinary Conferences are audio recorded. DC deliberations are not recorded. The audio recordings of conferences are accessible to the parties of the Disciplinary Conference and may be reviewed during an appeal. 

A party of the Disciplinary Conference may submit a request, in writing, to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities in order to receive a copy of the audio recording(s) the DC proceeding.

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DC Decisions
Determinations of the Conference Officer are presented in the form of the Adjudication Report to the Director of the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities or designee.  The Adjudication Report details the Conference Officer’s finding(s) of fact and, if necessary, sanction recommendations. The Adjudication Report may also include any aggravating or mitigating factors considered by the Conference Officer in making his or her decision.

The Director of the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities or designee reviews the decision to ensure the Conference Officer followed university policy, considered all the facts of the case, and if necessary, recommended appropriate sanctions.

The Parties of the Disciplinary Conference will receive a letter indicating the finding(s) and sanction(s), if any, within a reasonable amount of time from the date of the Disciplinary Conference.  Generally, letters are available within five (5) to ten (10) business days of the Disciplinary Conference.

Parties will be notified by the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities of when the outcome of Disciplinary Conference is available.   When picking up the outcome of a Disciplinary Conference, students can ask any questions he or she may have about the contents of the letter.

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Assigned Sanctions
Any sanctions assigned as a result of a violation of the "Code of Student Conduct" must be completed by the deadline(s) listed in the written hearing outcome letter.   Reasonable extensions of sanction deadlines may be granted by the Director of the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities or designee for extenuating circumstances outside a student's control.  Failure to complete a sanction by the listed deadline will result in additional disciplinary or administrative action taken by the university.

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Appeals
Parties may appeal the finding of fact of the Disciplinary Conference as indicated in the "Code of Student Conduct."  Requests for appeal must be submitted in writing to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities within five (5) business days of the written conference outcome letter.

Appeal requests should be addressed to the Associate Dean of Students or designee.  Appeals may be based on one or more of the following grounds in accordance with the "Code of Student Conduct

  • There was a material deviation from the procedures that affected the outcome of the student conduct process.
  • There is new and relevant information that was unavailable, with reasonable diligence and effort, that could materially affect the outcome. 
  • The sanction(s) was clearly inappropriate and/or disproportionate to the prohibited conduct for which the respondent was found in violation.

The imposition of sanctions will be deferred during the pendency of appellate proceedings unless, in the judgment of the Dean of the Student Experience or designee, the continued presence of the student on campus poses a substantial threat to others, to himself or herself, or to the stability and continuance of normal university functions. 

For more information regarding appeals, please read Article XII of the "Code of Student Conduct."

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