Frequently Asked Questions
I’m supposed to schedule a preliminary interview. What’s that?
The university's Office of Student Conduct (OSC) generally conducts a preliminary interview to inform students of the charges they face. Depending on the circumstances, the student and OSC representative can sometimes resolve the situation informally during the preliminary interview. But you can always reserve the right to have a hearing.
I got in trouble on campus/with University Police. Will the university charge me?
Yes. The university's police will generally forward the case to the university's Office of Student Conduct.
What will my punishment be?
The punishment can vary and depends on a variety of factors. Visit the office and speak with a student defender.
I was really stressed because a lot was going on at the time — does that matter?
Mitigating circumstances are sometimes taken into account, especially during the sanctioning phase.
Should I choose a conference or a hearing?
This depends on a variety of factors. Visit the office and speak with a student defender.
Should I hire an attorney?
It's up to you. Attorneys have a somewhat limited role in academic integrity hearings. For more specific advice visit the office and speak to a student defender.
Do I have to tell my parents?
No. The office of Student Conduct might contact your parents in certain instances or send mail to your home address, but the Student Legal Aid Office will not contact your parents. If they call our office, we will only talk to them if you provide us with prior authorization.
What should I wear to my hearing/conference?
Think business casual. We generally recommend at least a collared shirt for males; a tie is optional.
Can my parents come to the hearing?
Your parents can come to the hearing to provide moral support, but they will not be able to take part in the proceedings. If you are found responsible they can act as a reference during the sanctioning phase.
I’ve been charged before — will that affect my case?
It depends on the case and whether you were found responsible in the previous instance(s). Visit the office and speak with a student defender for specific advice.
What’s the difference between probation and suspension withheld?
Suspension witheld means you are suspended from the university, but it won't go into affect as long as you stay out of trouble during the entire duration of the suspension. Probation is essentially a strongly-worded warning, but students on probation cannot represent the university in sports/extracurricular activities, or hold offices in clubs and student organizations.
Will the police officer/RA/professor/witness be at the hearing?
I didn’t mean to/didn’t realize I was doing something wrong. Am I responsible?
The most important factor is whether you should or could have known you were doing something wrong, not whether you did it intentionally. Sometimes it's complicated, though, so speak with a student defender for more specific advice.
Can you help me before my preliminary interview?
It is best to visit the office soon after your preliminary interview. If you visit before the preliminary interview we can provide generalized advice, but we are unable to provide specific advice until you know your charges and have the relevant documentation.
Can you represent me at a conference or hearing?
Yes. However, we generally cannot represent students who visit the office less than one week before their hearing or conference date. It is best to speak with a student defender as soon as you know what the charges are.
Who are student defenders? Law students?
Student defenders are undergraduate students who have completed specialized training with the Student Legal Aid Office. They are paid employees, and their sole function is to provide advice to and represent students who are facing university charges.
What should I bring when I come to the office?
Any and all relevant documentation.
How should I contact my student defender?
If you are already working with a specific student defender you can reach them via email at email@example.com
Is my case confidential?
Yes. The office maintains a high degree of confidentiality.
What if I don’t want a student defender?
You are under no obligation to utilize a student defender. We can provide advice even if you don't want representation at a hearing or conference.
What should I do to help my student defender?
The most important thing is letting the office know your hearing date as soon as it is scheduled. After that, be responsive to your student defender; they can't provide adequate representation without your assistance.
What constitutes a conflict of interest?
If multiple parties involved in the same case seek representation a conflict of interest can arrise. It is best to speak with a student defender about such a possibility.
Do I need an appointment?
No. Walk-in hours can be found in the sidebar on the right-hand side of the page.
Is this service free?
Yes. The office is funded by the Student Government Association through undergraduate student fees.
If I lose housing can I get my deposit back?
It depends how far into the semester it is. For details, visit the office to speak with a student defender.
Is there an appeal process if I’m found responsible?
Yes, although decisions can only be appealed for a few very specific reasons. Speak with a student defender for more details.
Will there still be a mark on my record if I’m found responsible?
If you receive an XF, there will be a mark on your transcript until you succesfully apply to have it removed. In some cases, students receive a permanent XF.
I’m applying to grad school. What should my answer be if it asks if I’ve been in academic trouble?