The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities has compiled a list of frequently asked questions on various topics. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any specific questions you have.
- Can a professor sanction me for academic dishonesty without making a formal charge?
No, this would circumvent the procedures outlined in the Code of Academic Integrity. Students have the right to contest the charge and proposed sanction by having their case referred to a hearing panel.
- If I accept the charge, will it go on my transcript?
A transcript notation will be made if the sanction includes failure of the course, suspension, or expulsion, or is independently sanctioned.
- If the recommended sanction on the charge form tangentially fails me for the course, will that go on my transcript?
Failure of the course will only be noted on the transcript if it was sanctioned. Failure of the course as a result of failing an assignment will not be noted as academic dishonesty on the transcript. Only the final grade for the course will appear.
- Is it possible to be suspended or expelled for a single violation of the Code of Academic Integrity?
Yes, it is possible in particularly egregious cases or repeat offenses. Only an Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel can impose sanctions of suspension or expulsion
- What happens if I contest a charge or a sanction?
You have the option to accept the charge and proposed sanction, contest the charge and proposed sanction or accept the charge and contest the sanction. If you contest the charge or the sanction, the matter will be referred to an Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel.
- Am I required to attend my hearing?
No, you are not required to attend your hearing- in such a case the Academic Integrity Council would identify you as being “in absentia” and read into the record your plea and any statement. The hearing would otherwise follow its normal case procedures.
- Can the Academic Integrity Council panel change the sanction that was recommended by the faculty on the charge of academic dishonesty form?
Yes, the panel will review the case materials that have been presented and determine if the recommended sanction fits the violation.
- How was my sanction(s) determined?
Sanctions are determined on a case by case basis so that each respondent is afforded appropriate and just treatment. Additionally, the determination of sanctions are balanced by the university’s goal of providing an effective learning environment for all members.
Determination of sanctions is influenced by factors including but not limited to: the nature of the violation and the incident itself, the impact of the conduct to the individuals, and the impact or implications of the conduct on the university community.
A complete listing of factors that influence the degree and nature of sanctioning as well as a list of sanctions can found in the Code of Student Conduct (link new Code here).
In your outcome letter, a rationale should be provided for the specific sanctions assigned in your case.
- Is there any way to get my sanction deadline extended?
SRR can extend your deadline, including the possibility of setting up a payment plan (for monetary sanctions). In order to request these adjustments, contact your case manager (the SRR staff that emailed you regarding your case). Your case manager can help set up the payment plan and adjust your sanction deadline. When you contact your case manager, include the following information: your name, the sanction deadline for which you need an extension, the new date by which you can have it completed (typically no more than two weeks from the original deadline), the reason for the needed extension (e.g. illness), and your plan to complete it on time (e.g. “I have scheduled the required meeting for the day before this proposed new deadline.”) Until you hear back in writing, you should assume the original deadline is still in place.
- Are any sanctions reflected on my transcript?
- Notation of student conduct action will be made on the transcript whenever a student is expelled or suspended, or in accordance with university policies or applicable laws.
- In Academic Integrity cases, all sanctions except failure of the assignment in question shall be marked on the respondent's academic transcript with the phrase “Academic Dishonesty.”
- Will sanctions impact my study abroad plans?
It's possible. The decision about whether or not a student may study abroad is generally determined by the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) abiding by their outlined eligibility requirements. OSA does not allow students to study abroad while they are on any disciplinary probation which overlaps with the study abroad program's itinerary dates. If a student is currently on disciplinary probation and that probation is projected to end before the start of the student’s study abroad program then the student may be considered "Conditionally Eligible." Final approval to study abroad is contingent on successful removal of any probationary status. Study abroad programs operated outside of OSA may include different requirements.
- How do I complete my assigned online drug or alcohol course?
You will receive a separate email with directions on how to log in online and complete your required course or courses. This email will contain more detailed information regarding your course or courses. If you are unable to locate the email with instructions or did not receive it, please contact your case manager.
- What happens if I do not complete my sanctions?
If you do not complete your sanctions, a hold may be placed on your account. The hold would typically prevent you from registering for classes, and may also include, but is not limited to preventing you from withdrawing from classes, applying for on-campus housing assignments, or receiving copies of academic transcripts. Depending upon the nature of your case, it is possible that additional violations would be alleged for incomplete sanctions.
- Will my scholarship be affected?
Scholarship money is not typically affected, unless a student is suspended or expelled. Individual financial aid packages vary. For example, if you have a particular private scholarship, that scholarship may have particular requirements. Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for more information.
- My student called upset that they were documented by the GW Police Department. What happens next?
Most issues of non-academic student misconduct are evaluated by the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities to determine whether a student should be charged with a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Not all students are charged with a conduct violation in all circumstances; sometimes an administrative action is appropriate. Decisions whether to charge a student and with what type of violation are made on a case by case basis.
- My student is charged with a conduct violation. Do they have the opportunity to defend themselves?
Yes. Every student charged with a disciplinary violation is afforded the opportunity to provide their perspective of the incident in question and to present additional relevant information through witnesses or other means regarding their involvement.
- Why can't the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities tell me the details of my student's case?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records and prohibits educational institutions from disclosing information from a student's education record to any third party including family members without the student's consent. This federal privacy law significantly limits the access that family members may have to the education records of their student after they turn 18 or enroll in a post-secondary institution.
Students can ask that we share information regarding their conduct records by signing and submitting the Consent to Release Confidential Information form.
- If my student's records are confidential, why did I get a phone call/letter from the university about an alcohol/drug violation?
An exception to FERPA permits the university to notify parents/guardians of students in conduct cases involving drugs and alcohol. The university's parental/guardian notification policy provides for different types of contact depending on the type of violation for students under the age of 21:
- students who are transported to the hospital for drug or alcohol use
- students found in violation of an alcohol or drug policy
- students involved in other alcohol-related incidents
- My student is involved in a conduct case. Are there other considerations made by the university regarding the imposition of a sanction? Are there any refunds?
The university's student conduct system is intended to encourage students to take responsibility for their behavior. Letting the student know that a conduct violation is not the end of the world is very important. Families should encourage their student to continue to be an active member of the university community while any conduct case is pending. In these conversations between families and students, the university encourages families to strike a balance between supporting the student and challenging their decision-making process regarding the incident(s) in which the student was involved.
Factors that do not relate to the student's behavior at the time of the incident(s) (e.g. financial situation, health conditions, character statements, grade point average, involvement in student organizations, etc.) are not considered in determining the facts of the case and/or when recommending sanctions.
In accordance with the Code of Student Conduct, a student who is sanctioned with the cancellation of their Housing License Agreement, suspension, or expulsion by the university is not entitled to receive a refund of any applicable fees or tuition.