Summary of Process

The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities upholds the University's Student Code of Conduct. Students are generally referred for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Any member of the university community may submit a referral of a possible violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Additionally, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities may initiate a referral if information regarding alleged misconduct is reported through other venues.

The Process

Upon receipt of the referral, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will conduct an Initial Review involving the students involved in the possible policy violation, complainant/victim, and any applicable witnesses. the purpose of this process is to determine whether enough information exists to support the alleged charge(s) being moved forward as formal charge(s) in the student conduct process.

Once the Initial Review is complete, the Initial Review Officer will issue a Disposition Letter to the involved student. The involved student will receive this information in writing, via their official USF student email address. Should formal charges move forward, the charged student will be provided three business days to decide whether they are accepting responsibility for all of the charges and the suggested educational sanctions within the letter. If the charged student does not want to accept responsibility for the charges and/or disagrees with the suggested educational sanctions, the charged student may request a Formal Hearing.

If the student elects to accept responsibility for the charge(s) indicated in the Disposition Letter, the conduct process will end, and the decision will become the final decision of the case. Please note, if the student does not respond to the Disposition Letter within the allotted time frame, the decision becomes final and all accompanying sanctions are in effect. Students should accept responsibility utilizing the link located within their Disposition Letter.

If the student elects to have a Formal Hearing, they must do so by submitting their request via the link provided in the Disposition Letter. The student will have the opportunity to select the choice of Formal Hearing body from one of the following:

Administrative Officer - One full-time University faculty or staff member; or

University Conduct Board - A panel composed of faculty/staff and at a minimum, 50% students.

Both hearing options follow the same agenda and provide the opportunity for the charged student to hear all information presented and to present information regarding the alleged incident to the hearing body. The Formal Hearing process not only examines the charge(s) that have moved forward from the Initial Review, but it also provides the student with a venue of Formal Review which can result in a finding of responsible or not responsible for violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

After the hearing, the student will be notified of the outcome of the hearing through their USF student email account within five business days after the hearing. Should the charged student be found responsible for the formal charge(s), the student will receive notification of the educational sanctions assigned in their Formal hearing decision letter.

The student may appeal the Formal Hearing decision through the link provided in the Decision Letter within five business days of the date of the letter. On the appeal form, the student must state the reason(s) for appeal, supporting facts, and the recommended solution. The appeal is written to the Dean of Students or designee.