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Office of Student Conduct
218 Hullihen Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: (302) 831-2117
Fax: (302) 831-8191
Office Hours: 8am - 5pm
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Frequently Asked Questions By Students

  • Click here for questions frequently asked by parents
  • Click here for questions frequently asked by presenting parties
  •  

    How do students find themselves in the Office of Student Conduct?
    What is a pre-hearing?
    What is an administrative hearing?
    What is a sanction?
    Can I receive more than one sanction at a time?
    Can a decision of "responsible" be appealed?
    Can students be represented by legal counsel during the University student conduct process?
    Are off-campus violations reported to the University student conduct system?
    I received Probation Before Judgment, which means nothing is on my official record. Why does the University charge me for that? And isn't that double jeopardy?
    Will my disciplinary record affect my future plans?
    Will my financial aid package and/or scholarships be affected if I am responsible for a Code of Conduct violation?
    If I don't like the proposed sanctions, can I plea bargain something less?
    Can I be held in violation if something's posted on-line (like a picture on Facebook.com)?
    If my friend and I are both drunk and I believe he needs help, if I call for medical attention for him, will I get in trouble, too?
    If I believe I was sexually assaulted after consuming alcohol, will I be charged with violating the Alcohol Policy if I report the sexual assault?


    How do students find themselves in the Office of Student Conduct?
    Any member of the University community may initiate a complaint against an undergraduate student with the Office of Student Conduct. If the circumstances surrounding the complaint indicate that a violation of the Code of Conduct may have occurred, disciplinary charges will be brought against the student. Alleged Code of Conduct violations are generally reported to the Office of Student Conduct by Residence Life staff members, University of Delaware Police officers, faculty, staff from the Information Technology Center, and the Newark courts. Students will know that they have formal charges pending against them because they will receive electronic notification (sent to their University e-mail account) which will include a list of the pending charges, a short description of the incident and instructions for completing a pre-hearing.

     

    What is a pre-hearing?
    A pre-hearing is the first stage of the student conduct process and is a pivotal component of the student conduct system. During the pre-hearing meeting, students are invited to review and discuss information contained in their disciplinary file. They are encouraged to ask questions concerning all charges against them as well as options available within the student conduct system. If a student accepts responsibility for the violation(s) and accepts the sanctions described (by signing a statement acknowledging this) the pre-hearing officer applies the sanction(s) and the case is closed. If a student accepts responsibility for the violation(s), but disputes the sanctions described, the student may submit a Request for Consideration of Sanctions to the Appellate Board. If a student denies responsibility for the violation(s) and/or rejects the described sanctions, the case is forwarded to an administrative hearing.

     

    What is an administrative hearing?
    An Administrative Hearing is the second step of the student conduct process. Students who deny responsibility for one or more of the pending violations, the case will be resolved through a hearing. Students alleged to have violated a policy are entitled to appear in person and present information on their own behalf. They may call direct witnesses, and ask questions of others present at the hearing. A University appointed Hearing Officer presides over the case. If the Hearing Officer determines, based on a preponderance of the information presented, that the Code of Conduct has been violated, the student will then receive sanctions.

     

    What is a sanction?
    A sanction is a consequence that a student receives upon accepting responsibility or being found responsible for violating University policy. Sanctions can include, but are not limited to, the following: fines and restitution; educational workshops, papers and projects; periods of observation and review; suspension from the residence halls or University; and expulsion from the University.

     

    Can I receive more than one sanction at a time?
    Yes. Sanctions are reflective of the nature and severity of an incident and factors taken into consideration when deciding the appropriate sanctions for a specific case include the number of charges applied in an incident, the severity of each policy violation and the impact of the student's behavior on the University community.

    Also taken into consideration are the nature and timing of any prior cases. For example, a student who has had two alcohol violations within the same semester would receive different sanctions for the second case than a student who has two cases (one alcohol-related, one not) two years apart.

    In all cases, education is the primary goal of any sanction applied. It is hoped that students will reflect upon the choices and decisions made in the situation, realize the impact these impacts had on both themselves and the community and determine changes that will ensure subsequent violations do not occur.

     

    Can a decision of "responsible" be appealed?
    Yes and no. A student who is found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct in a hearing may submit an appeal in writing within five business days of receipt of the written decision. The Appellate Board will review the appeal and decide on the outcome. The decision of the Appellate Board is final. A student who accepts responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct in a pre-hearing waives the right to appeal.

     

    Can students be represented by legal counsel during the University student conduct process?
    In general, no. The student conduct process at the University of Delaware involves an administrative hearing. It is not a criminal or civil proceeding. Students who request that their case be considered at a hearing may be assisted by an advisor from the University community. Students who are charged with violations that constitute a felony in law may be accompanied at the hearing by legal counsel, but the attorney's involvement in the hearing will be limited to advising the charged student on whether to answer a question posed during the hearing. In such cases, the University may also have counsel present.

    Students may consult a student conduct advisor if they have questions or concerns about the disciplinary process. A student conduct advisor is a member of the University community (typically a faculty or staff member). A list of our current, trained student conduct advisors is available here.

     

    Are off-campus violations reported to the University student conduct system?
    Violations of local, state, and federal laws are reported to the University student conduct system through the local court. Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the law and may be subject to University action.

     

    I received Probation Before Judgment, which means nothing is on my official record. Why does the University charge me for that? And isn't that double jeopardy?
    Accepting Probation Before Judgment requires a student to plead guilty or no lo contendere. With both these pleas, the person is accepting responsibility for the violation, in essence agreeing that the violation DID occur. While ultimately there is the possibility that a conviction record will not exist, the arrest record will still exist even after the Probation Before Judgment period. For more information regarding the Probation Before Judgment program, please click here.

    This is not a situation of double jeopardy, which prohibits a person from being tried twice in a court of law for the same crime, for two reasons: 1) an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct (the Off Campus Violation Policy) is not a crime; and 2) the student is being held accountable for his or her behavior through an administrative hearing process, not a criminal trial. While both the criminal charges and the Code of Conduct violation have both stemmed from one incident, the jurisdiction, procedures, and penalties for each are distinct and separate.

     

    Will my disciplinary record affect my future plans?
    Except in cases of suspension or expulsion from the University, a student's disciplinary record remains on file at the Office of Student Conduct until that student graduates. If a student gives an employer or graduate or professional school permission to access his or her disciplinary record prior to graduation, information about the student's violation(s) will be shared. The Office of Student Conduct maintains records of suspended students for five years past the actual or expected graduation date, whichever occurs later; records of expelled students are maintained indefinitely.

     

    Will my financial aid package and/or scholarships be affected if I am responsible for a Code of Conduct violation?
    The answer to this question depends upon the type of violation and the level of sanction applied. You should check with the Office of Student Financial Services for further information about your specific situation. Once a semester, information regarding students who have been suspended is forwarded to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for their review.

     

    If I don't like the proposed sanctions, can I plea bargain something less?
    Plea bargaining is not something the Director of the Office of Student Conduct, office staff or pre-hearing officers condone or consider. The sanctions described in the pre-hearing are based on the initial report submitted from the reporting party as well as any past student conduct cases you may have. If you do not dispute any of the charges, but think the sanctions are inappropriate, you may appeal the sanctions only and submit a Request for Reconsideration of Sanctions. If you disagree with some of the charges (“Yes, I was disruptive, but I was not drunk”), your only option is to attend a hearing and present information regarding your involvement in the situation. The Hearing Officer will first make a decision about your responsibility on each of the charges, then decide what sanctions are appropriate for the charges you were found to have violated.

     

    Can I be held in violation if something's posted on-line (like a picture on Facebook.com)?
    Information posted to sites such as Facebook.com, mySpace.com and the like can be very damaging to a student’s reputation and may show the student in an unflattering light. The Office of Student Conduct does not search on-line for pictures, video, postings, etc. of students violating policies, nor does the Office charge students solely on such on-line information. However, if a member of the University community brings information of alleged violations to the attention of the Office of Student Conduct, it is possible that this information will be forwarded to the appropriate University office for further investigation. If that subsequent investigation determines signs of a violation, then charges may be applied and the information originally sent to the Office of Student Conduct could be used as part of the information presented during a hearing.

     

    If my friend and I are both drunk and I believe he needs help, if I call for medical attention for him, will I get in trouble, too?
    This is often referred to as a “Medical Amnesty/Good Samaritan” policy.

    Student health and safety are of primary concern at the University of Delaware. In cases of extreme intoxication and/or alcohol poisoning, you are strongly encouraged to seek medical assistance for yourself or others.

    If you seek medical attention (meaning you call 9-1-1) due to your level of intoxication, the Office of Student Conduct may not pursue conduct sanctions against you for a violation of the Alcohol Policy.

    The Dean of Students Office staff may issue educational requirements such as an alcohol education class and/or an alcohol and substance abuse assessment.

    If you assist an intoxicated friend in obtaining medical attention (meaning you call 9-1-1), you may not receive student conduct sanctions for violations of the Alcohol Policy.

     

    If I believe I was sexually assaulted after consuming alcohol, will I be charged with violating the Alcohol Policy if I report the sexual assault?
    No. If you report an alleged sexual assault, you will not be charged for violating the Alcohol Policy if you had been drinking. For more information about victims' rights, please click here then scroll down to item #2. For more information about support for sexual assault victims, please visit the Sexual Assault Resource page or contact SOS (Sexual Offense Support).