The Student Conduct Process
The Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility (CSSR) oversees and maintains the Student Conduct Process and upholds the Student Code of Conduct.
You may have just received notice from our office indicating that you may have violated the Code of Conduct. It’s natural to be a little nervous or uncertain. We hope that the following information will help answer any questions you have about the process.
The Student Conduct Process begins with a referral. Our office receives reports from various reporting agencies:
- Housing and Residence Life
- OHIO Police, Athens Police, Ohio Department of Public Safety
- Faculty and Staff
After a report is received, the report is reviewed for alleged Student Code of Conduct violations. Community Standards and Student Responsibility may:
- Schedule a Community Standards Conference (CSC) and begin the Student Conduct Process
- Refer the report to another office for review or further action
- Review the report for other resolution options
If there is an alleged violation, the assigned hearing officer will begin an investigation and schedule a meeting with the student. Meetings are scheduled in correlation with a student's class schedule and meetings are most often not scheduled during a time in which there would a conflict with a student’s academic schedule class time. Students will receive a scheduling letter via their university email address. The letter will come from a hearing officer facilitated by Maxient.
The scheduling letter will include a summary of the allegation, scheduled meeting time and location, and pending charges.
Community Standards Conference (CSC)
The CSC is the opportunity for the student to review the referral, discuss the reported incident, ask questions, and accept or deny the charges that have been placed against the student.
Students who miss their meeting will be rescheduled for one last attempt. Failure to attend two meetings will result in an outcome being made in the student's absence.
During the process, students are able to utilize an advisor and a support person.
- An Advisor must be affiliated with Ohio University (faculty or staff member), or a member of Students Defending Students. CSSR does not provide or facilitate the finding of an advisor.
- A support person can be anyone that is not connected to the reported incident. The role of a support person is to be present and supportive of the student going through the conduct process. A support person cannot speak for the student or ask questions during the student conduct process. A support person cannot be an advisor or a witness as well.
CSSR encourages students to review the Rights of the Respondent prior to their scheduled CSC.
During the CSC, students will have the opportunity to accept or deny charges that have been placed.
- Student accepts the charges and proposed sanctions.
- Student requests a sanction only hearing as the charges are accepted by the proposed sanctions are not.
- Student denies the charges and requests an Administrative Hearing.
- If a student is at risk for suspension or expulsion, the student can request a University Hearing Board.
- Hearing officers may also dismiss charges based on insufficient information to warrant a finding of a violation.
Sanctions and Conditions of Sanctions
CSSR uses the sanctioning process to provide meaningful opportunities for students to learn what it means to be a member of the Ohio University community, and for students to have the opportunity to reflect on their actions and impact.
If there is a finding of a violation, students are given one of the following disciplinary sanctions:
Reprimand – A written notice to students that their behavior was unacceptable, and the any further misconduct may result in more serious outcomes.
Disciplinary Probation – A warning and the opportunity for students to make different decisions that fall in line with the Student Code of Conduct. Probation can anywhere from three to nine months. Probation is not considered complete until all assigned conditions of sanction are also completed. Probation usually does not affect a student's ability to register for class or other aspects of enrollment but may impact abilities to study abroad or live in Sorority and Fraternity Housing. Students are encouraged to contact Global Opportunities and Sorority and Fraternity Life with inquiries.
Disciplinary Suspension – A separation from the university for one or more semesters. During the period of suspension, a student may not attend classes (either in person or online), or participate in University related activities, whether they occur on or off campus. Students under disciplinary suspension may not be present on University premises unless authorized in writing in advance under conditions approved by the Director of CSSR. All assigned educational sanctions must be completed prior to the conclusion of disciplinary suspension or the disciplinary suspension will remain in effect. At the conclusion of their disciplinary suspension, students must petition for re-enrollment. Re-enrollment may be granted, with further probationary status, at the discretion of the director. Students must complete a re- enrollment form through the registrar and be in good academic standing with their college and be otherwise eligible to re-enroll in order to return to the university.
Disciplinary Expulsion – Permanent removal of a student from their academic program and separates the student from the University without the opportunity to graduate or re-enroll in the future. A student under disciplinary expulsion may not be present on university premises unless authorized in writing in advance under conditions approved by the Director of CSSR. Expulsion will be noted on the student's academic transcript.
Conditions of Sanction
In conjunction with a sanction, a student found in violation of prohibited conduct may be assigned conditions of sanction that are educational in nature and reflect the nature of the violation.
Conditions of sanction include but are not limited to:
- Reflection or Research Papers
- Community Restitution
- Creative Assignment
- Follow-Up Meetings
- Campus Involvement
- Creating an Educational Resource
Failure to complete conditions of sanction by the deadline given will result in the placement of a disciplinary hold on the student's academic records. Once completed, sanctions are required to be submitted through the Sanction Submission Form.
After the student conduct process has concluded, students have the option to appeal the outcome. There are two level of appeals. The link to appeal can be found in the outcome letter.
In the appeal, the student must state the reason(s) for the appeal, the supporting facts, and the requested solution. An appeal is not a rehearing of the matter and cannot be filed simply because the student disagrees with the outcome.
An appeal may only be submitted for one or more of the following reasons:
- The sanctions and/or conditions of sanctions are extraordinarily disproportionate to the violation(s); and/or
- A procedural defect occurred that significantly impacted that outcome of the hearing; and/or
- Discovery of new and significant information that could have affected the outcome of the hearing and that was not known, or could not reasonably have been discovered and/or presented at the time of the hearing.
Students have five business days from the day the outcome letter is sent to submit an appeal. Students have five business days to submit an appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs five days after achieving the outcome from the University Hearing Board.
University Appeal Board
All appeals will be heard by the University Appeal Board. The appeal board will meet in a closed session, within a reasonable period of time, and will either grant or deny the appeal by a majority vote.
If the student alleges that the sanction was extraordinarily disproportionate to the violation and the appeal board finds the sanctions extraordinarily disproportionate, the appeal board may reduce the sanction.
In considering appeals based on a procedural defect or the presence of new information, if the appeal board finds that there was a defect in the procedure or that new information was presented which was sufficiently substantial to the outcome, the appeal board will order a new hearing or remand the matter to the original hearing authority as appropriate.
The student will be notified of the outcome of their appeal in writing by CSSR. The outcome letter will be sent to the student's university email via Maxient.
Vice Presidential Appeal
The respondent may request the Vice President for student affairs or designee review a university appeal board decision if the university appeal board denies the appeal.
An appeal to the Vice President for student affairs or designee must be submitted through the online submission form linked in the appeal board outcome letter. Students have five business days to submit an appeal to the Vice President for student affairs or designee after the appeal board outcome letter has been sent.
The appeal is limited to the grounds of the original appeal to the University Appeal Board, except in cases where the student is appealing on the basis of new evidence.
If the student alleges that the sanction was extraordinarily disproportionate to the violation and the Vice President for student affairs or designee finds the sanctions to be extraordinarily disproportionate, the vice president for student affairs or designee may reduce the sanction.
In considering appeals based on a procedural defect or new information being presented, and the Vice President for student affairs or designee finds that there was a defect in the procedure or that new information was presented which was sufficiently substantial to the outcome, the vice president for student affairs, or designee will order a new hearing or remand the matter to the original hearing authority as appropriate.
The student will be notified of the outcome of their appeal in writing by the Vice President for student affairs or designee within a reasonable period of time. The outcome letter will be sent to the student's university email via Maxient.
The decision of the Vice President for student affairs or designee is the final decision in the matter.