FAQ for Attorneys
The information provided on this page is intended to assist attorneys who have been asked to serve as an advisor to a student in a student discipline case. We make every effort to update the information in a timely manner, but please be aware that, in any conflict between this information and the Student Disciplinary Procedures, the procedures will prevail. (You may also benefit from reading our Frequently Asked Questions for Advisors.)
- I am representing a student facing disciplinary charges from the Office for Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR). How do I establish my representation with the office?
Students are expected to speak for themselves in all university disciplinary proceedings. Although a student respondent is entitled to the presence of an advisor of their choosing, the role of that advisor is limited. You may consult with the student quietly in a whisper or exchange written notes with the student, but OSCR staff will communicate directly with the student involved.
- My client was not on campus when this happened. Why is the university even involved?
The jurisdiction of the Student Code is based on an individual's relationship with the university rather than the geographic location of the offense.
- My client is also facing criminal charges for this offense. Can the university’s decision be delayed until the criminal process is complete?
We generally will not delay the discipline of students to accommodate the criminal process. The Director of the Office for Student Conflict Resolution may delay a decision, but only if doing so is in the best interest of the university.
- What will happen if my client refuses to participate in this process?
Our process will move forward even if your client does not participate, and we may make a decision in their absence. We encourage all respondents to participate and to say as much as they are comfortable sharing. Even if your client is unwilling to discuss the incident/behavior with us, they may be willing to participate in discussions regarding possible sanctions.
- Can my client just withdraw to avoid the hearing?
We will not permanently prevent your client from withdrawing with pending disciplinary charges, but our process will continue until the case has been resolved.
- Is my client granted any immunity with the prosecutor's office if they choose to participate in the student discipline process?
No. All student discipline records are subject to lawful subpoenas. This includes tape recordings, written statements, and personal recollections. However, the university has established a procedure to compel testimony, which may preclude the use of incriminating statements in a criminal proceeding. This process is based on the Garrity v. New Jersey decision and is available upon request for your review.
- What is the standard of proof in the student discipline process?
We use the preponderance of the evidence/information standard in all disciplinary decisions.
- I cannot attend the scheduled meeting/hearing time. How can I get the meeting/hearing rescheduled?
If you and your client are meeting with a dean in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution, your client is responsible for taking your availability into account when scheduling the appointment. Although the student may call to reschedule an appointment for good cause, repeated rescheduling could lead to a registration hold or a decision being made in your client’s absence.