Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers for many questions pertinent to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution and the student conduct process.
A case intake meeting is the first stage of the student conduct process and is a pivotal component of the student conduct process. During the case intake meeting, students are invited to review and discuss information contained in their conduct file. They are encouraged to ask questions concerning the pending charges as well as options available within the student conduct process. By the conclusion of the case intake meeting the student will make a choice on how to proceed – accept responsibility, appeal sanctions or request an administrative hearing.
Any member of the University community may submit a report regarding an undergraduate student with the Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR). (Note that reports involving sexual assault, sexual or discriminatory harassment, dating or domestic violence or stalking should be directed to the Office of Equity and Inclusion, in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct, Non-Discrimination and Title IX Policy.) If the circumstances surrounding the report indicate that a violation of the Code of Conduct may have occurred, conduct charges will be brought against the student.
Alleged Code of Conduct violations are generally reported to CSCR by Residence Life and Housing staff members, University of Delaware Police officers, other University staff, faculty and the Newark courts.
Students will know that they have a pending conduct case because they will receive electronic notification, sent to their University email account, which will include a short description of the incident, a list of the pending charges and instructions for completing a case intake meeting.
Students may also choose to become involved with CSCR by becoming members of the Appellate Board. For more information on the Appellate Board, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
A sanction is a consequence that a student receives upon accepting responsibility or being found responsible for violating University policy. Sanctions are primarily meant to help students learn from their incident, understand how their behavior impacted themselves and others and reflect on how to change behavior to positively move forward from the incident. Educational sanctions can include seminars, workshops, papers and projects. Administrative sanctions can include periods of observation and review, restitution, suspension from the residence halls or University, and expulsion from the University.
Yes. Most cases result in a combination of both educational and administrative sanctions.
Sanctions are chosen based on such factors as 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.
Education is the primary goal in all cases. By completing educational sanctions, you will be given the opportunity to reflect upon your past decisions, understand how those decisions affected you and others and develop new skills to ensure future actions and decisions do not negatively affect your continued success at the University.
In most cases, administrative sanctions will include a fee (posted to the student’s billing account) and, if financially dependent, notification sent to the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s).
Administrative fees help support the efforts of Community Standards & Conflict Resolution, as well as the University, to create and maintain a healthy, safe and academically-focused community. Fees are only applied in cases that result in outcomes of “responsible.” Students facing financial hardship can request the fee be waived.
Plea bargaining is not a part of the student conduct process. The sanctions described in the case intake meeting are based on the initial report submitted from the reporting party (and the resulting alleged policy violations) as well as any past student conduct cases you may have. However, information you share during your case intake meeting may help the case manager to tailor the sanctions to benefit you most.
If you do not dispute any of the charges, but think certain sanctions are inappropriate, you may appeal the sanctions only by submitting an Appeal 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 an administrative hearing. If you disagree with the sanctions chosen by the hearing officer, you may appeal certain ones by submitting an appeal.
Only the following sanctions may be appealed:
- Academic penalty (only applicable for cases involving violation of the Academic Honesty Policy)
- Deferred Suspension from University housing
- Deferred Suspension from the University
- Suspension from University housing
- Deferred Suspension from the University
- Expulsion from the University
Educational sanctions (seminars, papers, etc.) and administrative sanctions (including parent notification and fees) may not be appealed.
It depends. A student who is found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct as a result of an administrative hearing may submit a written appeal explaining why that student disagrees with that decision.
A student who accepts responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct in a case intake meeting waives the right to appeal that decision.
In most cases, there would be minimal impact on your future plans. Except in cases of expulsion from the University, a student’s conduct record remains on file in Community Standards & Conflict Resolution until that student graduates. (Records of expelled students are maintained indefinitely.) If a student gives a potential employer or higher education institution permission to access disciplinary records prior to graduation, information about the student’s incident(s) can be shared. Not every potential employer requests access to disciplinary records, but most institutions of higher education do.
Will my financial aid 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 Student Financial Services for further information about your specific situation. When a student is suspended or expelled, this information is shared with Student Financial Services for their review.
As noted above, records are removed upon graduation. That will expunge the records. In certain circumstances, though, prior to graduation a student can apply for a Limited Release of Records which means conduct records would only be released within the University and not shared outside of the University.
If a student has a single conduct case, and meets certain requirements (such as the type of violation, sanction applied and timeframe) then the student can apply for Limited Release of Records. If granted and the student is not found responsible for a second violation, the conduct record will not be reported to anyone outside the University.
In general, no. The student conduct process at the University of Delaware is, at its core, an educational process within the administrative structure of the University. It is not a criminal or civil proceeding. Students who are charged with violations that constitute a felony in the criminal system may be accompanied at meetings by legal counsel. However, the attorney’s involvement will be limited to advising the charged student on whether to answer a question posed during the meeting. An attorney will not be permitted to speak on behalf of the student or otherwise represent the student. 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).
An administrative hearing is the second step of the student conduct process. For students who deny responsibility for one or more of the pending charges, the case will be resolved through a hearing. The hearing is an opportunity for the student, reporting party (such as a UDPD officer, faculty member or Resident Assistant) and witnesses to share information about the incident. A University-appointed hearing officer presides over the case. After hearing all information, the hearing officer determines, based on a preponderance of the information presented, if the student is responsible for violating the Code of Conduct. If so, the hearing officer will also then determine appropriate sanctions.
I received probation before judgment as a result of my off-campus incident, which means nothing is on my official criminal 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 to the pending criminal charge. Therefore, 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.
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 Violations of Law Policy) is not a crime; and 2) the student is being held accountable for their behavior through an administrative University process, not a criminal trial. While both the criminal charges and the Code of Conduct violation have stemmed from one incident, the jurisdiction, procedures, and penalties for each are distinct and separate.
Smoking and vaping of any product (such as tobacco and marijuana) is prohibited on campus.
The use of cannabis/marijuana/CBD products with THC is prohibited on University of Delaware property regardless of means of consumption. As cannabis/marijuana is illegal at the federal level, it falls under prohibited items in the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989.
CBD products derived from industrial hemp and which contain no THC, as defined by both federal and state law, do not fall under the prohibited items and use of these products would therefore not be a violation of the Drug Policy in the Code of Conduct. However, students must ensure the use of such items does not violate any other policies within the Code of Conduct or create any disruption within the campus community.
Only medical marijuana cards issued by a Delaware-licensed physician are valid within the state and any use as permitted by such a card must also adhere to all guidelines above.
If my friend and I are both drunk and I believe my friend needs help, if I call for medical attention for that friend, will I get in trouble, too?
Student health and safety are of primary concern at the University of Delaware. In cases of a concern for someone’s health due to consuming alcohol or other drugs, you are strongly encouraged to seek medical assistance for yourself or others.
If you seek medical attention (meaning you call 911 or contact a University official), Community Standards & Conflict Resolution will not pursue conduct sanctions against you for a violation of the Alcohol or Drug Policy.
As a result of being granted amnesty, educational requirements such as an alcohol/other drug assessment will occur, but disciplinary sanctions will not. A formal conduct record (shareable outside the University) will also not occur.
If you assist an intoxicated friend in obtaining medical attention (meaning you call 911), you will not receive student conduct sanctions for violations of the Alcohol or Drug Policy.
Please see the full Amnesty Protocol.
If I believe I was sexually assaulted after consuming alcohol or other drugs, will I be charged with violating the University policy if I report the sexual assault?
No. If you report an alleged sexual assault, you will not be charged for violating the Alcohol or Drug Policy if you consumed alcohol or another drug. For more information about victims’ rights in sexual misconduct cases, please see the Sexual Misconduct, Non-Discrimination and Title IX Policy. Counseling and support for victims is also available from SOS (Sexual Offense Support).
Violations of local, state, and federal laws adjudicated through local courts (Alderman’s Court) are regularly reported to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR). Incidents which are adjudicated by other courts are not automatically reported to CSCR, but can be, depending on the circumstances. Certain off-campus circumstances that become known to CSCR (such as an article appearing in the paper or a story broadcast on the news) can also be acted upon. Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with all laws and may be subject to University action. More information is available in the Violations of Law Policy of the Code of Conduct.
I am suspended from the University but have an off-campus lease in Newark. Can I still live at my off-campus residence? Can I come to events on campus?
Yes, you may continue to live off campus and make use of all businesses and services within the city. You may not, however, be on campus or participate in any University-sponsored events or activities, including those at off-campus locations.
- Submit your re-entry portfolio.
- Contact the Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) to have your registration hold removed. View a chart of when you should call CSCR.
- CSCR will send you details regarding re-applying to the University.
- Complete the re-application process (with the Registrar’s Office) and a re-entry meeting (with CSCR).
- Wait for notification that you have been admitted to the University.
I have a conduct case pending with Community Standards & Conflict Resolution and am facing possible suspension from the University. What should I do?
Contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to discuss possible visa implications if you were to be suspended. You may e-mail ISSS, call 302-831-2115, or visit the office at Elliott Hall, 26 E. Main St., Newark, DE.
Also, be certain to check your University e-mail regularly for information from Community Standards & Conflict Resolution regarding your case and the student conduct process.
Finally, consider contacting a student conduct advisor to assist you in the student conduct process.
I received notification from Community Standards & Conflict Resolution that I have been suspended from the University and banned from campus. What should I do?
You should immediately contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to inform them you have been suspended. You may email or call 302-831-2115.
Since a student who is suspended is also banned from campus, an in-person visit is typically not possible. However, if you feel an in-person meeting is essential, please e-mail or call Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) to request permission to be on campus to visit ISSS. You must receive permission from CSCR before you can meet in-person with ISSS.
Staff in ISSS will explain your options from an immigration standpoint. They will also discuss expectations and deadlines related to your ability to remain in the United States.
I am suspended from the University of Delaware. Do I have to leave the United States? Will I be deported?
Please contact your international student advisor in International Student and Scholar Services for assistance. You may email or call 302-831-2115.
While I am suspended from the University of Delaware, can I attend another institution in the United States?
Each student’s case and situation are different. Therefore, we recommend that you contact your international student advisor at International Student and Scholar Services to discuss whether you are eligible for a transfer. You may email or call 302-831-2115.
U.S. government requirements state that international students must have a current local address on file with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Therefore, if you live on campus and are suspended from the residence halls only (not from the entire University), please update your local address with ISSS once you have moved to a new off-campus location.
What is the difference between a passport, visa, and I-20? Which of these documents is affected by my being suspended from the University?
The passport is a document issued for travel by your home country. The I-20 is a document issued by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in order for a student to apply for an F-1 visa and to maintain legal status while studying in the U.S. The F-1 visa sticker in the passport allows for entry into the U.S. as long as it is valid.
Please contact your international student advisor at ISSS to discuss your immigration documents and how suspension from the University affects your immigration status.
What criteria are considered by the University to determine whether I am re-admitted after my suspension?
Decisions regarding re-admitting students are handled by the academic college to which the student is applying for re-admission (usually the college with which the student was affiliated when they were enrolled prior to suspension). Decisions are generally dependent upon the student’s GPA. If a student was in good academic standing at the time of the suspension, the student is likely to be readmitted. For more details about criteria, you should contact the specific college to which you are interested in applying.
My suspension from the University is almost over and I want to come back to UD. What do I need to do?
- Submit your re-entry portfolio.
- Contact the Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) to have your registration hold removed. View a chart of when you should call CSCR.
- CSCR will send you details regarding re-applying to the University.
- Complete the re-application process (with the Registrar’s Office) and a re-entry meeting (with the CSCR).
- Contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to notify them you have started the re-application process.
- Wait for notification that you have been admitted to the University.
- Email ISSS to have new government documents (i.e. visa) issued to you.
Why is it important to report incidents of academic dishonesty to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution?
Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) serves as the central reporting location for academic honesty violations. Reporting incidents of dishonesty to CSCR allows for patterns and trends to be identified, whether that be for a particular student or for a certain major or department. Identifying trends might allow for training with specific departments or colleges.
Reporting allows for formal intervention by CSCR with individual students and prevents multiple instances of dishonesty across courses or semesters.
Reporting ensures the student’s due process rights, as required in the Student Guide to University Policies, are observed. Reporting also protects you as the faculty member from a grade grievance.
Reporting an incident includes first contacting Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) to inquire if the student in question has had any prior academic honesty violations. (If there have been prior academic violations, this would likely influence your next steps.) You would then determine an academic penalty for the case and which resolution option you wish to pursue. One option, as described in the Faculty Handbook would result in an academic penalty only. The other option, as described in the Student Guide to University Policies would result in additional educational and disciplinary sanctions.
You would notify CSCR of the incident and chosen option. Once the incident is reported, CSCR staff will contact the student for appropriate information-sharing and follow up. You as the faculty member will be updated as the case progresses.
If you want to gather more information from the student while you are determining if information warrants reporting to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR), then you may speak with the student. For example, if you receive two assignments from students that are very similar (or in some instances exactly the same), you might want to talk to the students to determine how the similarity came to be.
Once you submit an incident, it is recommended you inform the student that you have submitted an incident to CSCR. You do not need to go into details or discuss the academic penalty you recommended. Tell the student to expect more detailed information from CSCR. This may be done in person or via e-mail.
Beyond the notification to expect more information, communication about the case should not occur without the assistance of CSCR. If the student wants to talk about other things (regarding the course or perhaps a non-academic concern), you may speak with the student.
For incidents submitted via the Faculty Handbook process, you and the student reached a resolution, so no further options are available.
For incidents submitted via the Student Guide to University Policies process, the student has three options:
- Accept responsibility for violating the Academic Honesty Policy and accept all recommended sanctions, meaning the case is closed.
- Accept responsibility for violating the Academic Honesty Policy but reject recommended sanctions, resulting in a written appeal process.
- Deny responsibility for violating the Academic Honesty Policy, resulting in an in-person hearing and possibly a written appeal.
The timeframe depends on what option the student chooses after meeting with Community Standards & Conflict Resolution staff. If a student accepts responsibility and all recommended sanctions, the case may conclude within a week after reporting it. If a student exercises their right to a hearing or appeal, it may take an additional two to three weeks.
In most instances, yes. It is important that a student be given the opportunity to continue making progress in the course while the case is progressing. The conduct process focuses on an individual incident, rather than the overall performance of the student in the course. Not allowing the student to attend class would negatively impact their final course grade (which is a reflection of overall performance).
I don't want to ruin a student's life or career by reporting an incident. What is the impact of having a conduct record?
For most situations, consequences for violating the Academic Honesty Policy would not affect a student’s ability to remain at the University. Only severe or repeated incidents would result in removal (suspension or expulsion) from the University.
The majority of conduct records are removed upon graduation and very few cases result in anything being reflected on a transcript. Sharing information regarding a student’s conduct record is limited, and is done in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
The only academic penalty reflected in a transcript is that of an “X” (indicating the student failed a course due to academic dishonesty). The “X” can be removed if the student completes a seminar on academic integrity, which is sponsored by Community Standards & Conflict Resolution. A disciplinary sanction of a Suspension appears on the transcript during the time a student is suspended; it is removed at the conclusion of the suspension period. A disciplinary sanction of Expulsion is permanent. All other sanctions are not reflected on the student’s transcript.
You, the faculty member, would choose the academic penalty, which is based on a number of criteria, such as the extent of the dishonesty and the importance to the course grade of the affected work. You may review our Referral Guidelines, which include criteria for various penalties.
Educational and administrative sanctions are determined by Community Standards & Conflict Resolution, in concert with the academic penalty and any other prior conduct cases the student may have.
If I am uncertain about whether dishonesty occurred or uncertain about what academic penalty to choose, what should I do?
You may contact Michael Fernbacher in Community Standards & Conflict Resolution if you have questions about any aspect of an incident. You may also consult with your supervisor or department chair if you are uncertain about whether or not a student’s behavior would be considered dishonest.
Community Standards & Conflict Resolution processes approximately 2,000 cases each year. This represents less than 10% of the total student population. First-year students make up the largest portion of this total. Our recidivism is very low; only about 15% of the cases constitute a second or third violation.
Sanctions are the consequences applied in a conduct cases. In each incident where a student accepts responsibility or is found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct, that student will receive sanctions for that case. Sanctions are primarily educational, but may also have some disciplinary focus. Multiple violations of University policies may ultimately result in suspension from the University. One significant, serious incident may also result in suspension from the University. A record of all cases resulting in an outcome of responsible remains in a student’s file even after the term of the sanction has expired, and is considered when sanctioning subsequent cases of Code of Conduct violations.
While each case is looked at individually, there are some sanctions that are typically applied for certain policy violations. For example, a violation of the Alcohol Policy will usually include an educational intervention regarding alcohol use (coordinated by Student Wellness and Health Promotion). Similarly, a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy will result in an academic penalty and an educational intervention regarding academic standards and expectations. In addition, a fee is charged for most cases and notice to the student’s parents or legal guardians may also occur.
Administrative fees help support the efforts of the Community Standards & Conflict Resolution and the University to create and maintain a healthy, safe and academically-focused community. Fees are only applied in cases that result in outcomes of “responsible.” Students facing financial hardship can request the fee be waived.
While there are no absolute sanctions applied in every instance, sanctions are reflective of the nature and severity of an incident. Generally, most cases include both educational and administrative sanctions. 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.
Education is the primary goal in all cases. By completing educational sanctions, students will be given the opportunity to reflect upon their past decisions, understand how those decisions affected themselves and others and develop new skills to ensure future actions and decisions do not negatively affect their continued success at the University.
Student conduct records are cumulative over the course of their academic career and are maintained only until they graduate. In the case of an expulsion, the file is kept indefinitely. In certain circumstances, a student with only one conduct case may request that information regarding that incident not be disclosed outside the University of Delaware. For more information, please see the Limited Release of Records policy.
The ending date of a disciplinary sanction indicates the length of the “active” period of that sanction. While a sanction is active, it is most important that a student is aware of all the policies and follows them, as another violation while a current sanction is active will result in more severe sanctions for the subsequent case. However, if a significant amount of time has passed since the ending date of a sanction, that would be taken into consideration when deciding the sanctions for any subsequent violations.
For example, if a student is on active Deferred Suspension from the University and has another case, the student can expect to be suspended. However, if the student’s period of Deferred Suspension has been over for two years when another case happens, the student might be placed back on Deferred Suspension.
Sanction end dates are also important for certain University offices, who consider the student's conduct record and status of sanctions when determining if the student is eligible for employment or participation in programs sponsored by the office.
A suspension is a temporary removal (minimally one semester) from the University. Once the period of suspension is over, the student is eligible to re-apply to the University. An expulsion, on the other hand, is a permanent removal from the University. An expelled student is never eligible to re-apply to the University.
While a student is suspended, they may continue educational pursuits at another college or university. Depending on which courses are taken, they may be transferred to the University of Delaware and be counted towards the student’s graduation total. Before taking any classes at another college or university, the student should consult an academic advisor at UD to be sure these courses will be accepted.
To re-apply to the University after a suspension, the student must contact Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) and inform us of the intention to re-apply. The CSCR staff will provide the student with information about the re-application process. The student should contact CSCR approximately three weeks before the start of the semester for which the student wishes to re-enroll.
Most conduct records are NOT included on a student’s transcript, with a few exceptions.
A suspension or expulsion will be reflected with the specific dates that sanction is in place. Following the conclusion of a suspension, the transcript notation will be removed. As an expulsion is a permanent separation from the the University, this notation will always remain in the transcript.
A serious academic honesty violation, which results in a failure in the course, will be reflected with a course grade of “X” with the “X” noting that failure was due to academic dishonesty. The “X” may be removed from the official transcript (and replaced with a grade of “F”) by the student's completion of the Academic Integrity Seminar offered by Community Standards & Conflict Resolution, which must be done prior to the student’s graduation.
Generally speaking, a student conduct record does not affect scholarships, nor is conduct information on every student forwarded to Student Financial Services. However, there may be some scholarships that do include a “conduct clause” which states that students will lose a scholarship if there are any disciplinary infractions. If your student currently has a scholarship or is applying for one, be sure to read all the information carefully. Finally, the academic penalty associated with cases of violation of the Academic Honesty Policy may result in the student’s GPA's falling below the minimum needed to receive or maintain a scholarship.
When a student is suspended or expelled, this information is forwarded to Student Financial Services for their review.
While a student conduct record does not prohibit a student from applying to graduate school, it may be a factor considered when the school is reviewing the student’s application. Most graduate school applications ask about the student’s criminal or disciplinary history. Some schools request more information than others, so students should read each application carefully. Obviously, the student should be honest and accurate about any conduct history. Occasionally, a representative from a graduate school (most often law or medical schools) will contact Community Standards & Conflict Resolution to verify information included on an application or ask for more details. This information can be divulged only if the student has waived their right to privacy. Most applications include this waiver in the “fine print” and by signing the application, the student waives their right to privacy.
When looking at the disciplinary record of a graduate school applicant, the admissions officer will typically consider the type of violation, time of the event and the outcome. A simple alcohol violation during the first two weeks of freshman year would be viewed much differently than an academic honesty violation in a senior-level course. The more competitive the school to which the student is applying, the more likely a conduct record might affect acceptance to that school.
Will my student's faculty, dean's office, academic advisor, or other university administrators be informed of any student conduct proceedings?
Conduct information is not regularly forwarded to deans, advisors or faculty members (except in cases of academic honesty; in these situations, outcomes will be shared only with the reporting faculty member, so the appropriate academic penalty can be applied.) However, there are times when a dean, advisor or faculty member will contact Community Standards & Conflict Resolution inquiring about a student. When this occurs, information will be shared on a “need-to-know” basis. In most of these cases, the person is concerned about the student health or well-being and is trying to get a complete picture of the student’s behavior and participation on campus so as to best help the student.
Conduct information for varsity athletes is regularly shared with staff in Athletics. Sharing that information is done to ensure support and assistance, as needed, is provided to the athletes. Coaches may take corrective action or restrict athletes’ participation in practice and/or competition if they deem it appropriate.
Why weren't we notified earlier, such as when the incident occurred or before our student met with CSCR staff?
We believe college is an opportunity for students to grow, not just academically, but personally as well. College gives students the opportunity to begin to learn how to live in “the real world” with all the associated rights and responsibilities. Ideally your student will confide in you when a situation involving conduct violations arises, and perhaps ask you for advice and support as they go through the student conduct process. If, however, your student decides to resolve the case without your assistance, thus increasing their independence and ability to resolve situations, that’s their choice.
As permitted by the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974, in certain cases (when an outcome of responsible is reached in cases regarding alcohol, drugs or violence, or when certain disciplinary sanction are applied) parents of financially-dependent students will be notified via letter. This letter will include the charge(s) your student was responsible for violating, and a general discussion regarding the sanctions applied. If you have not already spoken to your student about the incident prior to receiving the letter, you can raise the issue with your student and offer support, advice and/or feedback.
Occasionally parents may be contacted before a case is resolved when it is believed the student is a danger to themselves or others. In these rare circumstances, the combined efforts of you, Community Standards & Conflict Resolution staff and other University officials will benefit your student in addressing the situation.
If you have factual information regarding the incident, then you will be permitted to participate as a direct witness. Otherwise, you will not be allowed into the hearing. If you wish to come to campus to offer moral support, you may certainly do so.
The student conduct process is an administrative one, rather than a legal one, so lawyers are generally not permitted. Legal procedures are different from the administrative student conduct process, and advice you receive from your attorney may be unhelpful, inaccurate or not applicable. A student may consult a student conduct advisor if he or she has questions or concerns about the conduct process. A student conduct advisor is a member of the University community (typically a faculty or staff member).
In the rare instance when a student is facing both conduct charges and felony-level criminal charges, an attorney may accompany the student to any meetings regarding the conduct process, but the attorney’s participation will be limited to instructing the student to answer questions or not.
My student was arrested in Newark and received probation before judgment from the city court. How does that work, and can it be removed?
Probation Before Judgment is a program that allows a first-time offender to avoid a permanent record. Provided a student is not arrested again during the period of PBJ, the conviction record may be expunged. Specific questions regarding eligibility for this program and the expunging of the record should be referred to Alderman’s Court #40 or a Delaware attorney. Further information regarding the PBJ program may be found at the website of the Delaware State Court system.
If a situation is being handled through the courts as well as the University, isn't that double jeopardy?
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 Violations of Law Policy) is not a crime; and 2) the student is being held accountable for their behavior through an administrative hearing process, not a criminal trial. While both the criminal charges and the Code of Conduct violation both ultimately have stemmed from one incident, the jurisdiction, procedures, and penalties for each are distinct and separate.
If a student accepts responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct during a case intake meeting, the case is closed and no further options are available. If a student is found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct in an administrative hearing, the student may exercise the right of appeal. The appeal process is handled by the Appellate Board, which is comprised of students, faculty and staff. The Appellate Board meets regularly throughout the semester to review all written information available in a case. The Appellate Board may support the outcome and sanctions determined by hearing officer, may lessen the sanctions applied by a hearing officer (but may not increase them) or may recommend the case be re-opened. In all situations, the decision made by the Appellate Board is final and no further appeal is available.
The most important thing you can do is talk with your student. Be very clear with your student about what you expect regarding learning from the experience of interacting with Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (and the incident itself) and what you hope will happen in the future. It’s also a good idea to check in regularly with your student about all things college-related – classwork, study habits, roommates, social activities. A well-rounded and academically-focused student is less likely to get into trouble. Resist the urge to jump in your car and drive to campus to “fix” every problem that arises. As was stated earlier, college is an opportunity for students to spread their wings, learn about independence and problem-solving and mature into adult citizens. Offer support and suggestions, so your student learns how to solve and resolve situations independently.
In the course of an administrative hearing, you will serve as the “presenting party” or “reporting party,” the person who observed possible violations of the Code of Conduct and documented the incident. The hearing begins with each charged student entering a choice for each charge.
As the presenting party, you will be asked to give a recollection of the incident. You may read directly from your original incident report, share your recollection from memory, or a combination of the two. It is most helpful to the hearing officer to get a full understanding of the incident and each student’s involvement. Presenting information in a chronological order and with the facts (not opinions) is best. Once you have finished, the hearing officer may ask clarifying questions to get more information. The charged student(s) will also have the opportunity to ask you clarifying questions.
The charged student(s) will then give information about the case, after which both the hearing officer and you will be given the opportunity to ask questions to gain more information. If witnesses are presented, you will be given an opportunity to ask them questions after they have shared information about the incident.
Both you and the charged student(s) will give a closing statement (if you wish) before the hearing concludes. The closing statement is an opportunity to provide a brief summary, indicate how you feel the hearing officer should decide responsibility, or suggest what possible sanctions to be applied if the student is found responsible.
You should have a copy of your initial report available. If not, speak with your supervisor or contact Community Standards & Conflict Resolution to obtain a copy. All supporting documents or materials submitted as a part of your initial report will be available to share. If you have additional documents or materials, you will be asked to submit them prior to the hearing. These will be shared during the hearing via screensharing. A tech manager will be present and available to assist with the presentation of all submitted documents and materials.
You are expected to be truthful and complete when answering questions and providing information. If you do not recall something, please say so. Writing a thorough report at the time of the incident will be helpful if it becomes necessary to attend a hearing.
The student has the right to ask you questions regarding the incident and your recollection of it. Again, you want to be honest about what you did and said. If the student tries to ask a question which is not relevant to the case, the hearing officer will intervene.
The hearing officer will not have knowledge of the case beforehand, nor will the hearing officer know of any history you may have with the charged student(s). Therefore, the hearing officer may not realize a question is not relevant to the case. If you feel a question is irrelevant, you may ask the charged student to explain the relevance of the question before you answer it.
If a charged student becomes unruly and disruptive, the hearing officer will dismiss the student from the hearing. In that case, the hearing would continue without the student. If you as the presenting party become disruptive, the hearing officer will dismiss you, the hearing will end and all charges against the student will be dropped. While both of these scenarios are rare, these guidelines are in place to ensure the hearing is civil and professional.
A charged student has the right not to appear for an administrative hearing. Should this occur, the hearing will be conducted without the student. In this situation, information will be provided only by you as the presenting party and any of your witnesses.
As the presenting party, if you fail to appear for the hearing, the charges against the student may be dropped. Your supervisor will be informed, and job action may result.
Hearings take place on regular business days, start between 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m., and are held via Zoom. Typically, hearings last for about one hour, but may be longer or shorter, depending on the number of participants or complexity of the case.
If you are required at a hearing, you will be notified via e-mail. The hearing notice will include the time, date and location of the hearing. It will also include the names of all the charged students who requested a hearing (meaning they denied responsibility for the violation(s) during their case intake meeting). If a student you documented is not listed on the hearing notice, it is most likely the student accepted responsibility during the case intake meeting.
You will be notified at least five business days before the hearing. This will give you adequate time to review the case, organize supporting materials and contact any witnesses you may want to bring. Hearings are typically scheduled within two to three weeks after the incident date.
When scheduling hearings, Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) takes into consideration your schedule (academic commitments for student staff and work schedules for staff and faculty) as well as the academic schedules of the students.
If, after being notified of the hearing, you realize you have a conflict (another work-related commitment) please contact CSCR as soon as possible, so the hearing can be re-scheduled. If the conflict is personal, you would be expected to make alternate arrangements for the personal commitment.
While it is not absolutely necessary, you might consider a witness if that person has important information that will support your recollection of the incident. If, for example, a colleague dealt with some of the students in the case, and you with others, it would be important for that colleague to appear.
It is your responsibility to determine which witnesses are needed and to inform them of the date, time and location of the hearing. If a witness has an academic conflict, that witness can give you a written statement to be read into the record. Ideally, though, all witnesses should attend the hearing in person.
You will be asked to provide the names of your witnesses so the hearing officer is aware of their participation. Details of how to provide witness names will be included in the formal hearing notice.
When scheduling a hearing, Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) assumes the person listed as “reported by” on the original incident report will be the presenting party in the hearing. It is the responsibility of the reporting party to identify and inform any witnesses of the hearing. If your colleague dealt with some of the charged students and you with others, it would be helpful to the hearing officer to have you both attend the hearing. In rare situations, there can be two reporting parties. The possibility of two reporting parties should be discussed with CSCR well before the day of the hearing (ideally during the scheduling process.)
Charged students and/or parents may come to you because they are nervous about the hearing or have questions about the hearing process. If you feel comfortable answering general procedural questions, feel free to do so; if not, you can refer them to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR). Due to privacy rights of the students, you should not share any specific information about the case or charges with parents.
If the charged students or parents contact you to encourage you to drop the case, press you about what you’re going to say in the hearing or try to influence you in any way, you should not speak with them. Again, refer them to CSCR.
You will be notified of the outcome of the hearing via e-mail at the same time as the student. The student does have the right to appeal the decision or sanctions. In that case, you will be contacted by Community Standards & Conflict Resolution and asked to respond to the student’s appeal (in writing; you would not need to participate in person again.) As with the hearing process, you should be truthful and honest when responding to an appeal.
If you have questions about the outcome of a hearing or appeal, you may contact Community Standards & Conflict Resolution for clarification. Hearing officers may be willing to talk to you about how they came to the decision they did as well as why they applied certain sanctions. This information can be helpful to you, as it can help you when observing, documenting and recalling future incidents.
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Community Standards & Conflict Resolution is part of the Division of Student Life, which advances equity and inclusion, deepens student learning and drives holistic development through education, experiences and communities.
Information posted to sites such as Facebook, Instagram and the like can be very damaging to a student’s reputation and may show the student in an unflattering light. Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) does not search online for pictures, video, postings, etc. of students violating policies, nor does CSCR charge students solely on such online information. However, if a member of the University community brings information of alleged violations to the attention of CSCR, it is possible that this information will be forwarded to the appropriate University office for further investigation. If that investigation reasonably suggests a violation, then charges may be applied and the information originally sent to CSCR could be used as part of the information presented during the student conduct process.