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Filing Student Code of Conduct Charges

Overview

In a community as dynamic as a college campus, conflicts occasionally arise when students exhibit inappropriate behavior. It is advantageous that such problems be addressed in a fundamentally fair and timely manner. To that end, the purpose of this guide is to highlight the process that students, staff or faculty can avail themselves to if they are victims of or witnesses to, inappropriate student conduct.    

File charges or mediation?

If you are experiencing problems the Office of Student Conduct may be able to assist you without filing formal charges. Contact the office to make an appointment to discuss options such mediation to resolve a dispute.  However, members of the campus community have the right to file Student Code of Conduct charges when they feel they have been subject to inappropriate conduct.

Filing Charges

The Student Code of Conduct outlines behavioral expectations of students.  This code is published in the student handbook The KeyStudents and staff should familiarize themselves with these policies and procedures before filing a charge against another student.  A student, staff or faculty member who charges a student with a violation is also expected to present testimony at a student conduct hearing should the need arise.

How do I file charges?

In order to file conduct charges against another student an Incident Report must be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct in room 262 of the McFarland Student Union.  Refer to the Student Conduct Office within the Dean of Students Office for reporting options and forms. 

Submitting an Incident Report 

The following information is generally needed to accurately file an Incident Report: 

  • Name, local address, and gender of the accused student
  • Date and time of incident
  • Location of incident including the address, building name/number, floor number, wing, room number, etc.
  • The specific violation that occurred
  • Description of any damage
  • Any evidence that was observed, collected, or documented.
  • Names of witnesses and other individuals involved in the incident
  • Name of the person submitting the report.

The description of the incident should be brief, precise, specific and chronologically accurate. Profanity and/or abusive language should be indicated. Hearsay and opinion are not appropriate inclusions for a report.

It is also important to note that the burden of proof falls on the complainant or the person bringing the charge against a student. In other words, it is the responsibility of the party filing the report to present evidence to substantiate his or her charges that a violation occurred.  Keep this in mind when writing a report. 

What happens next?

In most instances, the Office of Student Conduct will review a report within a few days of receipt.  If sufficient evidence is presented, the Respondent (accused student) will receive an email or letter requesting that s/he contact their assigned case officer to schedule an appointment for a preliminary briefing to discuss the incident and explain the student conduct process.

When is a hearing necessary?

When a student denies responsibility and requests formal resolution, a hearing will be scheduled in approximately two to three weeks. This hearing is generally with the University Conduct Board or UCB which consists of a faculty member, an administrator and a student. An independent Process Administrator will preside over the hearing. 

How will the problem be resolved?

After hearing all relevant testimony and examining any evidence, the appropriate hearing authority will meet to determine whether the Respondent is responsible for a violation. If so, sanctions are assigned as appropriate.

Need help preparing for a hearing?      

The graduate assistant for student conduct serves as the Student Conduct Advocate and can assist students navigate the student conduct process.  The Student Conduct Advocate can help educate students about the conduct process, review hearing and appeal procedures, and assist students with general hearing preparation.  Most importantly, the Student Conduct Advocate will help students feel comfortable and confident going into a hearing.  To meet with the Student Conduct Advocate, email studentconduct@kutztown.edu for additional assistance or call 610-683-1320.