What is an Alleged Conduct Violation Letter?
If you receive a alleged conduct violation letter, it means that Community Standards has received information about an incident in which you may have been involved. The primary purpose of an Alleged Conduct Violation Letter is to notify students that may have violated the Student Code of Conduct and they have an opportunity to attend a meeting to discuss the incident. The conduct hearing may be with an Administrative Hearing Officer (a university staff member) or the Student Conduct Committee (comprised of students, staff, and faculty). Decisions about whether or not a student is responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct are not made until the hearing. However, if you do not attend your hearing or notify Community Standards of your need to reschedule, a decision may be made based on the information available.
How is the Community Standards process different from criminal/legal court proceedings?
The university process is not a criminal or legal trial. The purpose of the hearing is to determine what transpired during the incident and whether the Student Code of Conduct was violated, and if so, by whom. The hearing process is designed to educate students and hold them accountable for their conduct and decision-making. The standard of proof that applies to all university student conduct proceedings or determinations is a preponderance of the information. A finding of a violation of the Code of Conduct must be supported by evidence that is “more likely than not” that the violation was committed.
What kind of consequences/sanctions can be imposed?
A student who accepts responsibility or is found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct will receive sanctions based on the nature and severity of the incident and violations and any prior conduct history. Sanctions are designed to promote the university's educational mission and safety of the university community. Sanctions are meant to be educational in nature and may include educational programs or writing assignments. Students who fail to complete their assigned sanctions will have a hold placed on their student account, which prevents the student from registering for courses and accessing transcripts. Some behavior may be so harmful or disruptive that more severe sanctions, such as suspension or dismissal from the university, may be imposed.
Will my parents or family be contacted by the University?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects your educational records, including disciplinary records, from being accessed by others without your permission. However, there are exceptions that permit Community Standards to notify parents/guardians of the outcome of a student’s disciplinary case. The university reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of students for incidents involving alcohol, controlled substances (drugs), and in instances in which the student may be a threat to themselves or others.
What does an "ODOS Hold" on my account mean?
An "ODOS Hold" is applied by the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) when students are not in compliance with the conduct process, typically resulting from failing to complete assigned sanctions. Students with a hold cannot add/drop classes, register for next semester, or receive transcripts from the university. If you have a hold, contact Community Standards.
Can I expect confidentiality in my interactions with Community Standards?
Privacy is a crucial component of the Community Standards program. All information shared through the conduct process (hearings, meetings, etc.) will be kept private, with two exceptions: 1) If there is mention of a serious violation of the Student Code of Conduct or law, 2) If a staff member becomes aware that someone may be in danger of serious, imminent harm. A staff member would be required to act upon this information to ensure the safety of the community.
Where can I find more information?
The Student Handbook is the document that contains all the policies and procedures relating to the student conduct process, including the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Handbook applies to all GSU students, as defined in the document. The Student Handbook is available online: www.govst.edu/handbook