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FAQs for Accused Students

Frequently Asked Questions: Student Accountability for Accused Students


I have received a letter from the Office of the Dean of Students. What does it mean?

When the Office of the Dean of Students is made aware of a possible violation of the Student Code, we first contact the accused student through their official UMail account and request a meeting to discuss the issue. You need to set up an appointment to meet with the hearing officer assigned to the case as a "registration hold" could be placed on your record, preventing you from registering for classes or obtaining an official transcript.

What will happen during my meeting with a Conduct Hearing Officer?

The student who is accused of a possible violation of the Student Code meets with a student conduct officer who has been appointed by the Dean of Students in his or her office in 270 Union. This meeting is an opportunity for the student to tell his/her side of the story and answer the conduct officer’s questions about the details of the case. The investigation of the issue may require more than one meeting and at the conclusion, the conduct officer determines if he/she believes that there has been a violation of the Student Code.

If the conduct officer finds that the student has not violated the Student Code, the complaint is dismissed and the matter is closed. If the conduct officer finds that the student has violated the Student Code, the conduct officer may offer appropriate resolution/sanctions to be agreed to by the responding student. If the student agrees to the informal resolution and complies with the terms and conditions set out by the conduct officer, the matter will be closed. If an informal resolution is inappropriate, or the responding student declines to agree to the informal resolution offered, the complaint will be submitted to the Student Behavior Committee.

What are my rights as a student?

The Student Bill of Rights can be found under Section II. of the Student Code, http://www.regulations.utah.edu/academics/6-400.html.

How is it decided if I violated the Student Code?

The hearing officer investigating a case asks questions of the accused student, the person or department making the complaint of the possible violation, police reports, incident reports, witnesses, and others who might have information on what happened. The hearing officer uses all of this information to determine if more likely than not a violation of the code occurred.

If the conduct officer finds that the student has not violated the Student Code, the complaint is dismissed and the matter is closed. If the conduct officer finds that the student has violated the Student Code, the conduct officer may offer appropriate resolution/sanctions to be agreed to by the responding student. If the student agrees to the informal resolution and complies with the terms and conditions set out by the conduct officer, the matter will be closed. If an informal resolution is inappropriate, or the responding student declines to agree to the informal resolution offered, the complaint will be submitted to the Student Behavior Committee.

If I did violate the Code, how will I be punished?

Sanctions are intended to provide an appropriate response to the student misconduct and a learning opportunity for the parties involved with the conflict. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, a written reprimand, the imposition of a fine or payment of restitution, community service, probation, suspension or dismissal from the University. Suspensions and dismissals are reflected on a student’s transcript.

Sanctions that require action on the part of the responding student will be assigned a deadline for completion and should be fully understood. Where appropriate, the hearing officer may grant a responding student’s request for minor alterations to the sanctions (i.e. a deadline for completion could be extended due to mitigating circumstances).

What's the worst thing that can happen?

Suspensions and dismissals are the most serious sanctions for violations of the Student Code. The sanctions of suspension or dismissal from the University for behavioral misconduct may be imposed: (1) if agreed upon in informal resolution between the responding student and the dean of students or designee; (2) if recommended by the Student Behavior Committee to the vice president for student affairs or designee; (3) by the vice president for student affairs or designee notwithstanding the recommendation of the Committee; or (4) by the president notwithstanding the decision of the vice president for student affairs. A student who has been suspended or dismissed from the University shall be denied all privileges accorded to a student.

Suspension from the University shall be for a minimum time of one semester following the semester the student is found responsible for the behavioral misconduct. The office of the dean of students shall notify the student in writing of the suspension, conditions for reinstatement, and of the obligation of the student to petition for reinstatement. Notice of the suspension shall also be provided to the student’s department chair. Petitions for reinstatement shall be submitted to the office of the dean of students and shall explain how the conditions for reinstatement have been met. The office of the dean of students shall consider the petition and shall issue a decision regarding the student’s reinstatement within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of the petition. The office of the dean of students may grant conditional reinstatement contingent upon the student meeting written requirements specified by the office of the dean of students or by the chair of the Student Behavior Committee in the original sanction to the extent that such conditions pertain to the original offense in the original sanction.

Dismissal from the University is final. A student dismissed from the University for behavioral misconduct may not petition for reinstatement. Permanent records of dismissal shall be kept in the Office of the Dean of Students. Notice of the dismissal shall be provided to the student’s department chair. The dismissed student’s transcript will reflect his/her dismissal. Dismissal is reserved for only the most egregious of offenses.

Can I have someone with me during the meeting with a conduct officer?

The student may have an adviser with them during a meeting with a conduct officer or a hearing of the Student Behavior Committee. However, the adviser does not speak for the student or represent the student in the process. It is up to the student if they wish to have a parent or family member present.

I know others did the same thing but did not get caught or were assigned a different sanction. What about them?

All campus community members are encouraged to report violations of the Code to the Office of the Dean of Students. We cannot initate a possible violation without credible information.

Each case of a student conduct violation is considered individually with information from all parties involved. Appropriate sanctions are determined on a case-by-case basis to provide a relevant learning opportunity for the parties involved in the violation, so they can be different for each student and situation.

Can I appeal the decision?

Complaints dismissed by a conduct officer and informal resolutions are not eligible for appeal.

If the conduct officer offers an informal resolution with which a student does not wish to agree, the complaint will be submitted to the Student Behavior Committee. The findings and recommendations of the Student Behavior Committee are presented to the Vice President for Student Affairs who will issue a decision on the matter.

Within ten business days of the vice president's decision, any party involved in the complaint may appeal that decision by filing a written notice of appeal with the University President. The decision of the president is final.

Last Updated: 8/1/19