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Conduct Process

This section outlines the Student Conduct Process. Also refer to the Student Code of Conduct for specifications of each process.

Notice of Alleged Violations

A notice of alleged violation(s) is the document that a student, student organization, or student group will receive if they have allegedly violated the Student Conduct Code or Student Organization Conduct Code. This notice will include the date, time, and location to attend an information session which will discuss the alleged violations as well as the student conduct process.

Information Session

An information session is an informal meeting with a representative from the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards who will explain to a responding student or reporting individual their rights, discuss hearing options, and answer any questions. It is NOT a hearing, but an opportunity for a responding student or reporting individual to become more informed of the conduct process.

 

Resolution Options

Typically, students may choose both their hearing type and hearing body, however, the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards may pre-select either the hearing type and/or the hearing body. The Student Conduct Code provides for two distinct types of hearings, informal and formal.

Alternative Resolution

If deemed appropriate by the University, affected/reporting individuals and responding students can agree to forego the student conduct process in favor of reaching a mutually agreed upon resolution. The University adopts the resolution of the Alternative Resolution process in lieu of adjudicating a student conduct case. Failure to adhere to the agreed-upon resolution by any individual may result in further student conduct action.

Informal Resolution

When a responding student accepts responsibility and outcomes for alleged violation(s) of the Student Conduct Code. This resolution is noted as a finding of responsibility and results in a student conduct record for the responding student.

Informal Hearing

Informal hearings are best suited for cases involving few questions of fact. They can typically be scheduled quickly, at the convenience of both the responding student and the hearing body. In an informal hearing, the University does not automatically call witnesses to support the alleged violations. However, the responding student may call witnesses and present information. The hearing body may gather any additional information needed, including calling witnesses. If additional information is needed, the responding student will be notified.

Formal Hearing

Formal hearings are most appropriate for cases involving more serious alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code. Formal hearings require the hearing body to call appropriate witnesses to provide information relevant to the alleged violations. Formal hearings are held no sooner than five class days after notice is given to the responding student. The hearings are recorded and this recording serves as the official record of the proceedings.

Outcomes-Only Hearing

May be deemed appropriate to resolve a student conduct issue when a student is found guilty or at fault in a criminal or civil court based on a preponderance of the evidence or higher standard.

Advisor

The Student Conduct Code affords all students involved in the University conduct process the right to an advisor (see section (7)(c)3). An advisor can be a friend, family member, faculty member, attorney, or anyone a student chooses. Student Government sponsors a Student Defender who can also advise students going through the conduct process. Regardless of who a student chooses to advise them, the advisor cannot speak for a student in the hearing unless authorized by the hearing body. Students will need to complete and submit the Role of Advisor form to the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards two class days prior to their hearing in order for an advisor to be present at the hearing.

SCCS can connect students navigating the conduct process with a trained University administrator who can serve as an advisor. To request a University administrator advisor, please email sccs@fsu.edu.

Individual's Rights

As participants in a student conduct process, individuals have the right to:

  1. Present information on their behalf.
  2. Choose not to answer any and all questions posed by a hearing body.
  3. Be accompanied by an advisor.
  4. Submit questions for witnesses.
  5. Have hearings conducted in private, unless the student requests a public hearing. Requests for a public hearing must be submitted in writing to the appropriate Student Conduct Authority (or designee) at least three (3) business days prior to the scheduled hearing.
  6. Have hearing decisions communicated in writing.
  7. Request reasonable accommodations from the office adjudicating their student conduct case.

Accommodation requests must be made three (3) business days in advance of the scheduled hearing to the appropriate Student Conduct Authority.

Witnesses

  • University is only required to call appropriate witnesses in formal hearings.
  • Witnesses in formal hearing must be submitted to SCA by the information session.
  • No character witnesses.
  • Witness Rights
    • Advisor
    • Choose not to answer.

Outcomes

In light of the facts and circumstances of each case, the following outcome, or combination of outcomes (with or without appropriate modifications) may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Conduct Code. Certain outcomes may incur a financial cost.

  • Reprimand (written or verbal).
  • Parental Notification Letter.
  • Service Hours – completion of tasks under the supervision of a University department or outside agency.
  • Educational Activities – attendance at educational programs, interviews with appropriate officials, planning and implementing educational programs, or other educational activities.
  • Counseling Assessment – referral for assessment at a counseling center for alcohol/drug dependence, general mental health, or other counseling issues.
  • Restitution only in cases involving University property. Restitution must be submitted to the appropriate University department in a manner that is approved by that University department.
  • Disciplinary Probation – During this probation any further violation of the Student Conduct Code will place your status with the University in jeopardy. If you are found "responsible" for another violation of the Code during the period of Disciplinary Probation, serious consideration will be given to imposing an outcome of Suspension or Expulsion from the University.
  • Change in University Housing assignment.
  • Exclusion (either temporary or permanent) from University Housing.
  • Suspension – separation from the University for a specified period, not to exceed two years. This may include restricted access to campus and/or other specified activities.
  • Expulsion – separation from the University without the possibility of readmission. This may include restricted access to campus and/or other specified activities.
  • Withholding of diplomas, transcripts, or other records.
  • Transcript Notations – a written notation indicating that disciplinary action was taken. 
  • Restrictions on contact with specified people.

Hearing Decision

Upon conclusion of the hearing, the hearing body will make a determination of “responsible” or “not responsible” for each alleged violation. If a decision of responsible is reached, the hearing body will craft a set of educational outcomes for the student to complete in order to fulfill the conduct process. These outcomes will be detailed in the decision letter along with a deadline for completion. If the deadline is not met, a student conduct hold may be placed on a student’s University records.

Appellate Process

The presumption is the investigation and hearing process were appropriately conducted. An appeal may be requested on any hearing decision, provided that one or more of the reasons for appeal listed in “Appeal Requests” is relevant to the case. On appeal, the burden of proof rests with the individual requesting an appeal to show the appeal has merit. The appropriate Student Conduct Authority (or designee) may choose to deny an appellate request if it is determined after a full review of the request the basis for the appeal has no merit. The appellate body varies depending on the hearing body and is outlined below. All appellate decisions are considered recommended decisions to the Vice President (or designee).