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Accused Student FAQ

1. I received a Notice of Charge from the Office of Student Conduct and was asked to schedule a meeting with a Student Code Administrator. What does that mean?

A: That means that the Office of Student Conduct received a formal complaint or allegation of student misconduct that has been investigated and there are reasonable grounds to conclude that you violated the Campus Student Code and needs to meet with you to discuss the Campus Student Code, its procedures, and the options available to you.

2. How do I prepare for a meeting with a Student Code Administrator?

A: Read and review the WVU Campus Student Code (pdf) . Think about whether you are prepared to participate fully in the meeting. You are not required to participate actively, but the Student Code Administrator would like to hear your side of the story. If you do not participate and come to an Agreed Resolution, the case will continue to a Conduct Conference or a Hearing Panel.

3. What is an Agreed Resolution?

A: An Agreed Resolution is a mutually-agreeable sanction or sanctions that are imposed following your meeting with a Student Code Administrator. The agreed upon facts and sanctions will be placed and writing, and you will sign and date that Agreed Resolution document.

4. Is an Agreed Resolution final?

A. An Agreed Resolution is a final decision and will not be subject to any further proceedings, unless you provide a written objection to the Student Code Administrator within one (1) calendar day of the date it was signed.

5. What happens if the meeting does not result in an Agreed Resolution, or if I object to the original Agreed Resolution with no additional agreement?

A. In cases where neither expulsion nor suspension is sought as a sanction, your case will continue to a Conduct Conference. In cases where expulsion or suspension is sought as a sanction, your case will be referred to a Hearing Panel for formal review.

6. What is a Conduct Conference?

A: It is an informal conference between the Accused Student and the Student Code Administrator to determine responsibility and a sanction for matters that would not justify suspension or expulsion.

7. What is the Conduct Conference procedure?

A: You will have the opportunity to present evidence to the Student Code Administrator to make a determination on whether you are responsible for violating the Campus Student Code as accused.

8. How will I know the outcome of a Conduct Conference?

A: You are entitled to a written notification of the outcome (the “Outcome Letter”) of the Conduct Conference, which will plainly state the decision, the rationale for the decision, and, if found responsible for any portion of the charges, the assigned sanction.

9. What if I do not agree with the outcome of the Conduct Conference?

A: You can appeal the Outcome Letter within ten (10) days of the date that it was sent. A written appeal and supporting documents need to be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Student Life, with a copy given to the Student Code Administrator, as well. See Section 10 of the Campus Student Code for full information.

10. What is a Hearing Panel?

A: A Hearing Panel is a three or five member panel that is chosen from the University Committee of Student Rights and Responsibilities. It is composed of at least one student, but has a faculty majority. One of the faculty members on the Hearing Panel will serve as the Chair of the Hearing Panel.

11. Do I have a say as to who sits on my Hearing Panel?

A: Prior to the hearing, you will have an opportunity to review the list of University Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities members and have the opportunity to strike a maximum of two members from the potential Hearing Panel.

12. Do I have a say as to when my hearing is held?

A: When possible, a hearing will be scheduled by the Student Code Administrator no less than 10 days, but no more than 15 calendar days following the attempt to reach an Agreed Resolution. You will work with the Office of Student Conduct to coordinate your schedule with theirs.

13. Will I get notice of my hearing?

A: Yes. A Hearing Notice that lists the date, time, and location of the hearing will be provided through the University e-mail system, as well as to your on-campus or off-campus address of record.

14. How will I know of any witnesses against me?

A: The Hearing Notice will include a list of any anticipated witnesses that the University will be relying on to prove the alleged violations of the Campus Student Code.

15. What are my responsibilities after receiving the Hearing Notice?

A: At least two (2) days prior to the scheduled hearing, you need to give a list of names, contact information, and the purpose of any witness that you might use in your defense to the Student Code Administrator. Also, at least two (2) academic days prior to the hearing, you need to provide any documentary evidence that you will be presenting in your defense to the Student Code Administrator, as well.

16. Can I bring anyone with me to help me with through the hearing?

A: Yes. Both the Accused Student and the Victim may have an advisor or an attorney accompany him or her to the hearing when it involves potential suspension or expulsion. Advisors cannot participate and are only allowed to be there to provide advice. An attorney, however, can actively participate in the hearing. The attorney must be licensed to practice law in the State of West Virginia.

17. Do I have to come to the conduct conference or the hearing?

A: No. But, if you do not attend, the conference or hearing will proceed without you. For the conduct conference, the Student Code Administrator will review all of the evidence and make a determination and impose sanctions if you are found responsible. For a hearing, the panel will listen to all of the evidence and make a determination and impose sanctions if you are found responsible.

18. What is the standard of proof for a hearing?

A: The standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. That means that if it is more likely than not that you performed the acts you are accused of, you will be held responsible.

19. How will I know the outcome?

A: The Hearing Panel will make a determination and inform you of that decision the same day of the hearing.

20. Do I have a say in the sanctions that are imposed?

A: Yes. If you are found responsible, you can present any argument or evidence to the Hearing Panel to take into consideration for your sanctions. You can also suggest sanctions that you would like to see imposed. This is not to say that they will side with you on the sanctions, but it gives them a glimpse at your point of view.

21. When will I know the sanctions that are imposed?

A. You will be informed of the sanctions after the Hearing Panel deliberates the same day of the hearing.

22. Will I receive anything in writing about my sanctions?

A: Yes. You are entitled to a written notification of the outcome of the hearing. This “Outcome Letter” will state the decision, the rationale for the decision, a statement of the facts that are relied upon by the Hearing Panel if you are found responsible, a list of the assigned sanctions, and an explanation of the appeal process.

23. How long do I have to appeal?

A: You can appeal the Outcome Letter within ten (10) days of the date that it was sent. A written appeal and supporting documents need to be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Student Life, with a copy given to the Student Code Administrator, as well. See Section 10 of the Campus Student Code for full information.

24. How do I appeal?

A: You will need to write a letter of appeal with any supporting document that you need to submit to the Office of the Vice President for Student Life, with a copy to the Student Code Administrator.

25. What happens during the time it takes for the Office of Vice President for Student Life to review my appeal?

A: Normally, sanctions are withheld until the appeal is decided. If there is a perceived danger to the University, though, you may be removed from the residence hall or interim suspension may remain in place until the appeal process is complete.

26. How does the Vice President of Student Life make a decision on the appeal?

A: The Vice President of Student Life or his designee will review the record and all supporting documents to consider whether there was jurisdiction under the Campus Student Code to charge you, whether the proceeding was conducted fairly and conformed to the Campus Student Code, whether the decision reached was based on substantial evidence, and whether the sanctions were appropriate.

27. How long does the appeal process take?

A: The Vice President of Student Life or his designee must consider the appeal and deliver a decision within 30 days, unless the time period would be impracticable.

28. Can the Vice President of Student Life or his designee impose different sanctions?

A: Yes, but those sanctions cannot be more severe than the original sanctions imposed by the Hearing Panel.