I just received a letter charging me with a violation of the Student Code, what is going to happen? What are my rights?
What constitutes a violation of the Student Code?
The acts prohibited by Western Michigan University are listed in the Student Code under Article IV, Proscribed Conduct. Western Michigan University prohibits the use or possession of alcohol (except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations), credit card misuse, any acts of dishonesty, disruptive behavior, drug possession or use, identification misuse, judicial system abuse, physical or verbal abuse, sexual misconduct, theft/destruction of property, abuse of university computing services, violation of the law, violation of university policies, weapon possession or use, etc.
A sanction is the expression of disagreement with the acts committed by a student, which may contradict with the expected behavior. A sanction is meant to indicate that the behavior must stop completely and that corrective measures need to be taken. All sanctions are meant to be educational in nature.
Will my parents be notified of any sanctions I receive?
Not necessarily. A student’s conduct record is considered to be a part of the student’s educational record and therefore is protected to the student under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under FERPA, conduct records may not be released or disclosed without the expressed written permission of the student whose conduct record is being sought, unless provided by law.
If I am involved in an incident that occurs off campus, will I be charged for violating the Student Code?
Why? Possibly. Generally, University jurisdiction and discipline shall be limited to conduct which occurs on University premises. The University may take action in off-campus situations involving: student misconduct demonstrating flagrant disregard for any person or persons; or when a student’s or student organization’s behavior is judged to threaten the health, safety, and/or University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives.
A conduct hearing is the opportunity for a student who has allegedly violated the Student Code to discuss the incident with a hearing body. The hearing body determines responsibility or lack thereof and sanctions. The student describes the incident in which he/she played a certain role and the hearing officer asks questions.
How is a student conduct hearing different from the criminal court? A hearing conducted on campus, by the OSC, is designed to determine responsibility, or lack thereof, for violations of the Student Code only, not guilt or innocence relative to criminal matters. The university conduct process is informal in nature and is not bound by legal jargon, court-like proceedings, or legal definitions, which are the province of the criminal courts.
I have been found to be responsible for a violation of the Student Code and wish to appeal the sanctions assigned to me. What do I need to know?
What is the role of the Office of Student Conduct?
The Office of Student Conduct assists university officials and students in creating a positive, disciplined, and safe environment, in which students can live and grow.
What is the Student Code?
The Western Michigan University Student Code is a guideline for students’ behavior, containing their rights and responsibilities, defined by Western Michigan University.
How can I avoid being charged with violating policies outlined in the Student Code?
By making yourself familiar with the rights and responsibilities described in the Student Code, behaving within the standards of conduct promoted by the university, and engaging in acts, which demonstrate you are a responsible member of your community.
Where will my case be adjudicated (in the residence halls or the Office of Student Conduct)?
Cases involving students living in the residence halls are mostly handled through the Office of Residence Life. Cases involving all other students are handled through the Office of Student Conduct.
Will there be a student conduct record maintained if I am found not responsible for a violation?
How will I pay the fees for sanctions such as the alcohol and drug education program?
The fee is paid upon arrival to the program. The only methods of payment are cash and checks. Debit and charge cards are not accepted and the cost of the program cannot be charged to the student account. Other restitution fees can be paid at the registrar’s office or be charged to the student account.
I need to do community service for the city of Kalamazoo. Can I use these service hours to satisfy my sanctions for the Office of Student Conduct?
No. University sanctions are separate from those issued by the Municipal Court.