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Student Conduct FAQ: For Complainants

Who is a Complainant?     

The Complainant refers to the individual student, faculty member, staff member, department, or university entity that is bringing charges against a student for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Who is a Respondent?

The Respondent refers to the individual student who is accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct and/or other university policies. 

Who is permitted to report a violation of policy?  

Any student, faculty or staff member of the KU community can report a policy violation. In order to do this, an Incident Report must be submitted to the Student Conduct Office within the Dean of Students Office.  If you are a residential student, speak with your Community Assistant regarding this. If you're a non-resident student, faculty member or staff member, contact the Student Conduct Office.

Who can be accused of a Student Code of Conduct violation?

Any student attending on a part-time or full-time basis is expected to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the university and is subject to disciplinary action in the event that a policy violation occurs.  This also may include a student who is not currently enrolled but is maintaining his or her enrollment status with the university (e.g. summer break, semester off, etc.).  Both students living on and off campus are expected to abide by KU's policies.

Where do I go or who do I see if I want to report a policy violation?

An Incident Report can be submitted by any member of the campus community. To access the form and submit a report go the Student Conduct main page. If you live in the residence halls, consider talking to your Community Assistant and he/she can refer you to a professional staff member with in Housing, Residence Life & Dining Services department. If you live off-campus, contact the Student Conduct Office.

Where can I find a listing of KU's conduct policies and procedures?

The Key contains two very important documents outlining the university's behavioral expectations and student conduct process, namely the Student Code of Conduct and Document on Student Rights and Welfare.  The Student Conduct website also has listing of Policies & Procedures that may be helpful. 

Is it mandatory for me to have witnesses at the hearing?

No. Witnesses are not mandatory although they are recommended (if applicable) to help legitimize and bolster your case. The purpose of calling and questioning witnesses is to find the truth of the case, clarify testimony contained in an incident report and support your position.

What is a student conduct hearing? What is its purpose?  

An assigned hearing authority convenes to address cases in which a policy violation is contested and attempts to find out what happened, figures out whether any policy violations took place and decides what to do regarding the possible policy violation.  There are several types of hearing authorities on campus including the: University Conduct Board, Student Faculty Review Board, and individual administrative hearing officers.

What is the University Conduct Board? What is its purpose?

The University Conduct Board (UCB) is a three-person panel consisting of one representative from each of the following groups: student body, faculty and administration. For each UCB hearing, one representative from each of those three groups serves on the board for each case. The UCB convenes to adjudicate most cases in which a policy violation is contested and attempts to find out what happened, figures out whether any policy violations took place and decides what to do regarding the possible policy violation.

What is the Student Faculty Review Board? What is its purpose?

The Student Faculty Review Board (SFRB) is comprised of five faculty members, four student representatives and the Dean of Students.  The SFRB serves as the appeals committee for the student conduct process and also is the hearing authority responsible for academic dishonesty hearings. 

Is there anyone available to assist me with preparing for a conduct hearing?

The Student Conduct Advisor (SCA) can assist students navigate the student conduct process.  The SCA can help educate students about the conduct process, review hearing and appeal procedures, and assist students with general hearing preparation.  Most importantly, the SCA will help students feel comfortable and confident going into a hearing.  For more information refer to the Student Conduct Advisor Program website.

Isn't going through the local court and going through the student conduct process the same thing?

No. The University addresses cases involving violations of KU policy. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of law. Depending on circumstances, students may have to go through one channel or the other. In some cases, they may be subject to both.  Regardless, both systems are separate and distinct form one another; an outcome in one process does not equate to the same outcome in the other process. 

Is there a dress code I need to follow if I am going through the hearing process?

No, but it is important to maintain a sense of professionalism at a hearing or preliminary briefing.  It is recommended that you refrain from wearing ripped jeans, t-shirts with logos, athletic apparel, sleepwear, etc. Hats or bandanas should not be worn in the hearing.

Can the Respondent (accused student) appeal a decision made in the student conduct process?

Yes. After being informed of a decision by a hearing authority, Respondents (as well as Complainants) have the option of filing an appeal challenging the outcome of their case.  Appellants have five (5) days to request an appeal and all appeals must follow the appeal procedure defined in Document on Student Rights & Welfare, as found in the student handbook The Key.  

What's going to happen to the Respondent (accused student) if he/she is found responsible for a conduct violation?

If the Respondent is found responsible for a violation, a hearing authority determines the sanction for him/her based upon a review of incident and a student's disciplinary record.  Factors that help to determine the level of sanctioning include severity of the violation, previous violations (if any) and the discussion between the hearing authority and the student. 

If I am a Complainant will this fact show up on my transcripts or personal records at all?

No. Since you are not the one being accused of violating a University policy, the incident does not show up on your records.

What is the standard of evidence used in the student conduct process?

Decisions with respect to student responsibility for alleged actions are made based on a preponderance of the evidence; that is, the hearing authority will determine what is "more likely than not" to have taken place.

What is FERPA? How does it apply?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (US Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). Student conduct records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. For information, visit the KU FERPA page.