I was documented in an incident and received a notice via email, what do I do? If you received an email from us, use the link in the email to log in and access any letters that were sent to you. If you only received notice that your name was submitted in an incident, that is ok. If we would like to speak with you, we will send you another email requesting you to make an appointment with us so we can talk with you about what you may know about the incident in question.
What if I was involved in an incident that took place off campus?
The Code and Student Conduct Process apply to the behaviors of any student and student organization regardless of location or forum that are inconsistent to the goals and mission of USF. This includes (1) conduct that may present a danger or threat to the health and/or safety of students or others, (2) conduct that adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its mission, (3) and/or conduct that violates state or federal laws. Students and student organizations are responsible for their guests and may be held accountable for their guests’ behavior.
If I accept responsibility, what happens next?
If you accept responsibility for an alleged violation, you will have the opportunity to choose a resolution option. Once a resolution option has been selected and occurs, a decision letter will be sent to your USF email containing all of the pertinent information you will need to complete any possible sanctions. This would include names of individuals you may need to contact, descriptions of assignments you may be required to complete, and deadlines by which sanctions would need to be completed.
Are the sanctions worse if I select a Formal Hearing?
When a student elects to go through a Formal Hearing, the determination of whether a student is found "responsible" or "not responsible" for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct will be made by the University Conduct Board or the Administrative Hearing Officer. Proposed sanctions are based on the judgment of the hearing officer(s) based on the report of the alleged violation, the account of the student, reports of witnesses or others involved in the case, and any prior disciplinary history.
Do I need a lawyer? What is the role of the advisor?
No, but you may have an attorney present if you choose for them to serve as an advisor. The advisor may speak with the charged student but may not speak for the charged student, act as attorney, nor otherwise participate.
Do I need witnesses?
If you have witnesses that have relevant information then you are encouraged to have them provide written statements or to be present at the hearing process. However, it is not necessary to bring character witnesses because as a student of the University of South Florida your character is not in question, only the alleged behavior. Witnesses appearing on your behalf will NOT be summoned for you. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure your witnesses are present and on time. They will be allowed to make their statements at the appropriate time and then be dismissed.
Can I appeal a decision by the University Conduct Board or an Administrative Hearing?
The charged student may appeal in writing the decision of the University Conduct Board or Administrative Hearing within five days of the decision to the Dean for Students. The decision of the Dean for Students is the final decision of the University of South Florida.
What happens if I don't show up for my Informational Meeting?
If the charged student or student organization, and in specific cases, complainant fails to attend or re-schedule an informational meeting, they will have waived their opportunity to participate in an Informational Meeting, and SCED will proceed with scheduling a Formal Hearing. The type of Formal Hearing forum will be determined by the Director of SCED, or designee, based on the severity of charges and/or possible sanctions (e.g. suspension orexpulsion).
What are my rights?
Please review the listed rights found in the Student Code of Conduct.
What kind of evidence is used to determining if I violated the Student Code of Conduct?
The standard of proof the University uses in order to determine if a violation of policy shall be "preponderance of the evidence," that is, whether it is reasonable to conclude from the information submitted that the student did commit the violation(s) for which he or she has been referred, and shall not be the strict criminal law standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
What if I did not do anything wrong?
If this is the case, then you should have nothing to worry about. Just come in and tell the truth.
To whom does the Student Code of Conduct apply?
Any student, registered organization or a person who has submitted an application for admission, housing, or any other service provided by the University which requires student status will be subject to the Student Code of Conduct for any action found in violation of the Code which occurs on University property, at University-sponsored events, or off campus if the action adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of the University's mission.
What will happen to me if I fail or refuse to complete sanctions imposed upon me?
Students failing to fulfill sanctions will have holds placed on their records, which will prevent them from obtaining transcripts, registering or withdrawing from classes.
Do student disciplinary records appear on the academic transcript?
Disciplinary actions do not appear on academic transcripts. However, if a student is suspended for a period of time, during that period a notation will appear on on the academic transcript noting that the student is suspended due to conduct issues. Once the suspension period is over, the notation is removed.
Will my disciplinary records be made public? Will the records be given to the media?
Who has access to my record?
Student Conduct and Ethical Development maintains all campus conduct records in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Their office will not comment on the identities of parties involved in the student conduct process. This confidentiality extends to all Student Conduct and Ethical Development staff, including the University Conduct Board. In cases involving alleged violent or injurious behavior Student Conduct and Ethical Development will inform the complainant, whenever appropriate, of the outcome of the conduct proceeding.
Students may choose to sign a release form granting Student Conduct and Ethical Development permission to discuss any and all information related to their disciplinary file with any individual that they designate. This form is available from Student Conduct and Ethical Development.
Additionally, any educational institution or agency requesting a disciplinary check on a current or former University of South Florida student must be done in writing.
Does Student Conduct and Ethical Development contact my parents if I am found responsible
for violating the Student Code of Conduct?
The University of South Florida is committed to the success of its students both inside and outside of the classroom. Therefore, it is our goal to maximize students' learning and development, and promote their health, safety and welfare. In this regard, USF has implemented a Parental Notification Policy in compliance with the request of the Florida Board of Education. The Parental Notification Policy permits the University to inform parents or guardians when their dependent student, under the age of 21, has been found in violation of the University's alcohol and substance abuse policy.
Students whose parents are to be notified under these guidelines will be informed before such notification occurs and given an opportunity to initiate contact with their parents.
In non-emergency situations, parents of dependent students, under the age of 21, will be notified in writing. However, in emergency situations, parents may be notified by an immediate telephone call from the Student Conduct and Ethical Development or the Dean of Students.
These guidelines do not preclude parental notification for other policy violations that may endanger the health, safety and well being of a student or other individuals in the University community. In addition, parental notification may occur in health and safety emergencies regardless of the student's age or dependent status.
Can I be tried in criminal court and at USF? Isn't this double jeopardy?
As the Code of Conduct states, "Students accused of a crime may be prosecuted under the appropriate jurisdiction and also disciplined under the Student Code of Conduct. The University may pursue disciplinary action even if criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute, and it may also act independently of the criminal judicial process." This is not double jeopardy because these are two separate bodies with separate jurisdiction.