When is a Student a Student?
Choosing to join the Oregon State University community as a student obligates you to a code of responsible behavior. For the purposes of administering the Code of Student Conduct, a “student” is an admitted person demonstrating acceptance of admission through participation in orientation programs or early start programs; a person who is enrolled or dually enrolled; a person enrolled online; a person between academic terms; a graduate awaiting a degree; a person on an approved educational leave; a person currently serving a suspension, including administrative suspension; a person who is not currently enrolled but can register without re-applying; a person who withdraws while a disciplinary matter, including an investigation, is pending; and, a person who is eligible to receive any of the rights and privileges afforded a person who is enrolled.
Preponderance Standard, Notice, Hearings, Sanctions
Standard of Proof
The University will use a preponderance of the evidence standard when making determinations about whether a Student or Student Organization is or is not responsible for violations of the Code of Student Conduct. A preponderance standard of evidence means that a violation of the Code of Student Conduct is based on a determination that the prohibited behavior was more likely than not to have occurred.
Notice of Charge
The goal of the student conduct process is to determine whether a student is responsible or not responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct; therefore, when issuing a notice of charge, the University does not make an assumption either way but rather reviews all of the evidence available to make a determination of responsibility. Students invited into the process provide important evidence, context, and perspective so that an informed decision can be made. Students/Student Organizations are strongly encouraged to directly participate in all stages of the student conduct process.
If SCCS receives a complaint, report, or conducts an investigation and determines that sufficient information exists to indicate that a Student or Student Organization may have violated the Code of Student Conduct, the Director of SCCS or designee will notify the Student/Student Organization in writing in a Notice of Charge of the alleged violation(s). The Notice of Charge will identify the alleged behaviors, the approximate date, time, and location of the alleged behavior, the Code of Student Conduct sections that are alleged to have been violated and which hearing body will review the matter.
The notice of charge will instruct the student to contact SCCS within three (3) business days to schedule a hearing date and time. Students or Student Organizations who fail to schedule a hearing, or miss a scheduled hearing without notifying the appropriate hearing body, will likely have a hearing date and time set for them and possibly have their case heard in their absence. If the case is heard in their absence, the notice of decision will be sent to the student or student organization via email. The hearing body may also choose to place a hold on the student’s registration until such time as the student participates in a hearing.
Administrative Conferences and Committee Hearings
Conduct violations that are non-academic in nature are generally resolved through an administrative conference with a hearing officer. The purpose of an administrative conference is to provide an equitable forum for the review of the available information regarding an alleged incident of misconduct. The hearing officer will decide by a preponderance of the evidence whether or not the accused Student/Student Organization is found responsible for the allegation(s). The hearing officer has the ability to recommend all possible sanctions, up through and including suspension or expulsion from the University or degree revocation. The following procedures will be used in the administrative conference process.
- After a report of alleged misconduct is received, a notice of charge will be emailed to the accused Student/Student Organization informing them of the allegation. The Student/Student Organization will be instructed to respond within three business (3) days to schedule an administrative conference. Accused Students/Student Organizations who fail to schedule a conference, or miss a scheduled conference without notifying the hearing officer, will likely have a hearing date and time set for them and possibly have their case heard in their absence. If the case is heard in their absence, the notice of decision will be sent to the student /student organization via email. The hearing officer may also choose to place a hold on the student’s registration until such time as the student completes the administrative conference.
- The hearing officer will communicate the final decision of responsibility and, if appropriate any sanctions in a notice of decision to the Student/Student Organization via email. The notice of decision will also include information on a Student/Student Organization’s rights to appeal (see section 8 for more information).
- The hearing officer will determine if the accused Student/Student Organization is “responsible” or “not responsible” for violating each of the policies alleged using the preponderance standard as outlined in Section 5.2, or may also reach a finding of no determination. If the hearing officer determines the Student or Student Organization is responsible, they will consult with the Director of SCCS to determine appropriate sanctions.
- During the administrative conference the student has the opportunity to explain their account of what happened before, during and after the incident and to provide additional information, witnesses, and context relevant to the report or allegation.
- Students are afforded the opportunity to bring an advisor or support person in accordance with Section 5.5.
At the election of the Student/Student Organization (committee hearing request), or the Director of SCCS, or their designee, a case may be referred to a Committee Hearing as opposed to an administrative conference. The purpose of a SCCS Committee hearing is to provide an equitable forum for the review of the available information regarding an alleged incident of misconduct. The SCCS Committee will decide by a preponderance of the evidence whether or not the accused Student/Student Organization is found responsible for the allegation(s). The SCCS Committee have the ability to recommend all possible sanctions, up through and including suspension or expulsion from the University or degree revocation. The following procedures will be used in a Committee Hearing process:
- After a report of alleged misconduct is received, a notice of charge will be emailed to the accused Student/Student Organization informing them of the allegation. The accused Student/ Student Organization will be instructed to respond within three (3) business days to schedule a committee hearing. Accused Students/ Student Organizations who fail to schedule a conference, or miss a scheduled conference without notification, will likely have a hearing date and time set for them and possibly have their case heard in their absence. If the case is heard in their absence, the notice of decision will be sent to the accused Student/ Student Organization via email. When a SCCS Committee hearing is called, the accused Student/ Student Organization will appear before a trained three- member panel, composed of at least one (1) faculty or staff member and at least one (1) student.
- All SCCS Committee Hearings are closed to those other than Committee members, SCCS staff or designees with a role in the hearing proceedings, accused parties and their advisor, and any witnesses approved by the Committee Chair (see 5.9, number 6). The hearing is informal and does not follow administrative contested case or courtroom procedures.
- If the Student/Student Organization has been properly notified and does not appear, the SCCS Committee may proceed with the hearing and conduct action may be taken without the participation of the accused Student/Student Organization.
- Students involved in a Committee Hearing are afforded the opportunity to bring an Advisor or support person in accordance with Section 5.5.
- During the hearing, the Student/Student Organization has the opportunity to offer information, witnesses and testimony on their own behalf. The Student/Student Organization also has the opportunity to review and respond to all information, statements, or evidence presented to the Committee.
- The Hearing Committee will select a Chair, who will lead the Committee. The chair can be a faculty or staff member, or a student. The Chair has the authority to pause, adjourn, and reconvene the Committee as needed. For example, if the Chair determines that an essential person or piece of information is missing or otherwise identifies it to be essential to pause or adjourn the hearing, the Chair may decide to reconvene the hearing at the earliest practical time available.
- After the Chair has determined that all necessary and relevant information has been presented and reviewed, the Committee will go into closed executive session and all participants will be excused. The Committee will determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether or not they believe the accused Student/Student Organization is responsible for the alleged violation (s) of the Code of Student Conduct.
If the Committee determines that a Student/Student Organization is responsible for the alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct, the Committee will reconvene with the accused Student/Student Organization and a representative of SCCS to consider what sanctions may be appropriate. The accused Student/Student Organization may waive their right to be present. The Committee may consider:
- Evidence of any mitigating circumstances;
- Evidence of aggravating circumstances; and
- Other relevant information, including but not limited to, evidence of prior violations of the Code of Student Conduct, analysis of victim/community impact, or demonstrated learning or restorative efforts relevant to the incident or behavioral history.
- The Committee will conclude the hearing and proceed in closed executive session to compose written recommendations to the Director of SCCS for responsibility and sanctioning.
- The Director will review the recommendations of the Committee and, if necessary, any information presented in the evidence packet and the conduct history of the accused Student/Student Organization to inform the final outcome.
- The Director of SCCS will communicate the final decision of responsibility and, if appropriate, any sanctions in a notice of decision to the accused Student/Student Organization electronically. The notice of decision will also include information on an accused Student/Student Organization’s rights to appeal (see section 8 for more information).
The University utilizes an educational and restorative sanctioning model. The sanction applied will be proportionate with the violation committed and become progressively more demanding or severe if the Student or Student Organization repeats violations, or otherwise demonstrates that learning has not taken place. Multiple or on-going violations may therefore result in severe sanctions such as deferred suspension, suspension, or expulsion. Violations that negatively affect the health, safety and wellbeing of the community are deemed the most severe and may result, upon the first violation, in suspension or expulsion.
Students or Student Organizations who receive probation, deferred suspension, suspension or expulsion sanctions, or Students or Student Organizations who fail to complete sanctions are considered not in good standing with the University. Any sanctions will be tracked by the hearing officer, SCCS office, or designee until completion. Failure to satisfactorily complete sanctions as assigned will likely result in a registration hold that will prevent a student’s registration-related actions until conditions of sanctions are met.
Students or Student Organizations exhibiting behavior that violates any part of the Code of Student Conduct are subject to one or more of the following:
- Warning: Official notice to a Student or Student Organization exhibiting behavior that violates any part of the Code of Student Conduct. The continuation of such behavior may result in further conduct action.
- Required Educational Activities: Mandatory participation in educational activities. Such educational activities include but are not limited to completion of a report or attendance at a seminar or other educational program or presentation.
- University/Community Service Work Hours: Requirement to complete a specified number of hours of service to the University or general community.
- Behavioral Expectations: A written list of specific behavioral expectations the University has for the Student in order for the Student to continue at the institution.
- Restitution: A requirement that a Student or Student Organization provide reimbursement by dollar amount, by transfer of property, or by provision of services to the University or a member of the community in accordance with the nature of the violation and in an amount not in excess of actual expenses, damages, or losses incurred.
- Restriction/Exclusion: Restrictions on participation in meetings, denial of entry to specific University facilities, prohibition of presence in certain areas, or other restrictions consistent with the violation committed. For a Student Organization, restrictions may include denial of specific University privileges including, but not limited to, sponsored social activities, sponsored parties or philanthropy, participation in intramurals, representing the University and any travel in connection with such representation, recruitment, membership or representation on a governing council, use of university space for a meeting or event, participation in competition and events, and receipt of institutional funding.
- No Contact Directive: A directive to a Student to refrain from any intentional contact, direct or indirect, with one or more designated persons through any means, including personal contact, e-mail, telephone, social media, or third parties.
- Academic Sanction: Students whose behavior is found to constitute Academic Misconduct as defined in Section 4.2 are subject to additional academic sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, failing the course, restriction from course withdrawal, grade replacement provisions, or removal from an academic department, college or program. Students may also be sanctioned to complete the online Academic Integrity Course.
- Removal from a Class: A Student’s removal from a class may be temporary or permanent. Permanent removal from a class may be authorized by the Director of SCCS with concurrence from the Dean of the College in which the class is offered. A Student who is permanently removed from a class will receive a “W” (Withdrawal) on the academic transcript, unless removed in conjunction with an academic misconduct violation that warrants an “F” grade for the course, in which the student will receive an “F” on the academic transcript. In instances where a student is removed from class due to a finding of responsibility for under this Code, no automatic refunds for tuition or other class fees will be made.
- Residential Disciplinary Probation: Applies to students who have a contract with University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS). Residential disciplinary probation means that the student is not in good standing with UHDS, and any further violations may result in relocation or cancellation of a student’s housing contract.
- University Conduct Probation: Placement on probationary status during which there is review of behavior and the Student or Student Organization must demonstrate compliance with the Code of Student Conduct. Terms of the conduct probation will be determined at the time the probation is imposed and may include additional sanctions including but not limited to loss of privileges, restrictions, restitution, and/or required educational activities. University conduct probation means that the student is not in good standing with the University, and any further violations may result in the Student or Student Organization’s suspension or expulsion from or loss of recognition with the University.
- Deferred Suspension: Deferred suspension is applied when it is determined that the actions and behavioral pattern warrant separation from the Institution, but the hearing body and sanctioning authority deems it allowable for the student to remain enrolled, contingent on completion of and adherence to all terms of sanctions assigned and all University policies and rules. Failure to complete sanctions as assigned or meet identified conditions of continued enrollment or another violation of the Code of Student Conduct during a period of deferred suspension, will result in immediate suspension when substantiated either through a Student/Student Organization taking responsibility for the behavior or through an additional student conduct process. Further violation(s) may increase the period of suspension or subject the accused to further sanctions such as expulsion or degree revocation.
- Student - Suspended Students are denied the privileges and services provided to currently enrolled Students, including residing in University-owned or recognized Student housing, attending class, or using other University services or facilities. A sanction of suspension carries with it exclusion from the University and all University property for a specific period of time, unless otherwise noted. Suspension is generally for at least one year; however, the period of Suspension may be specified for any period of time.
- Student Organization – Loss of University recognition or registration for a specified period of time. A suspended Student Organization may not use University resources or participate in University activities in a manner that emulates the activities of a recognized Student Organization, including but not limited to recruitment, initiation, or group participation in service, philanthropy or events. The Organization must comply with all sanctions prior to being registered or recognized again.
- The conditions of Suspension take effect immediately when the Student or Student Organization is informed of the outcome in a notice of decision. If a suspended Student files an appeal, the imposition of the Suspension will be stayed until the conclusion of the appeal process as long as the Student is not excluded from the campus under Administrative Suspension (See Section 9).
- If a pending conduct hearing or appeal may result in Suspension, awarding of a Student’s academic degree will be postponed pending the outcome of the conduct proceedings.
Expulsion: Removes the student from their academic program and separates the student from the University without the opportunity to graduate or reenroll in the future. Expelled Students will also be excluded from the University and all University property, unless otherwise noted.
- The conditions of Expulsion take effect immediately when the Student is informed of the outcome in a notice of decision. If an appeal is filed, the imposition of the Expulsion will be stayed until the conclusion of the appeal process as long as the student is not excluded under Administrative Suspension (See Section 9).
- If a pending conduct conference, hearing or appeal may result in Expulsion, awarding of a Student’s academic degree will be postponed pending the outcome of the conduct proceedings.
Student Organization Recognition Revocation: Permanent revocation of University recognition of a Student Organization. The conditions of Loss of Recognition take effect immediately when the Student Organization is informed of the decision. If an appeal is filed, the imposition of the Loss of Recognition continue to be in effect pending the outcome of the appeal.
A degree awarded from the University may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of University standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious conduct violations committed by a student prior to graduation. The Office of the Registrar maintains the authority to revoke academic credit and degrees awarded in error. Therefore, in instances where an investigation as outlined in this Code would result in a recommended sanction of degree revocation, such a recommendation will be made to the Office of the Registrar by SCCS. For more information about degree revocation, please see Oregon State University Credit and Degree Revocation Policy.
Translation and Accommodations (how to make a request)
SCCS is committed to making the student conduct process as accessible as possible for all students. Students unable to participate in person may request arrangements to participate in other ways (including by providing written statements, through telephonic or online means, etc.).
Non-native English speakers may request translation services. Students with disabilities have the right to reasonable accommodation.
Students who require a disability accommodation, language support, who are off campus or otherwise indisposed, or who may have other factors that could impact their ability to participate in the student conduct process should contact SCCS at least 3 days prior to a meeting, conference or hearing at email@example.com to make a request, which will then be reviewed by SCCS. SCCS’s ability to meet requests may be limited without enough advance notice.
Victim Support and Reporting
WARNING! Your Internet activity can be tracked. If the person who is harming you has access to your computer, please consider using a more secure computer such as those at the library. If you need immediate assistance, call 9-1-1.
The Student Conduct and Community Standards office acknowledges how difficult it can be for anyone who experiences unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment to make a disclosure. If you are an OSU student and a survivor of unwanted sexual contact/sexual harassment or are involved in any other form of misconduct brought about by another OSU student or students, you are encouraged to disclose the incident. The Student Conduct and Community Standards office can offer a variety of options and outcomes and will connect you to resources that maintain confidentiality.
Oregon State University encourages all community members to report behavior associated with sexual harassment and sexual assault (section 4.4). To support such reporting, the University will not pursue student conduct proceedings against a reporting student, a complainant, a respondent or witness for personal use of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs at or near the time of the incident provided their use did not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. Oregon State University may however, initiate an educational discussion with any student regarding their personal use of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.
The University WILL NOT pursue any conduct violation against a survivor for substance use, including alcohol, at the time of sexual assault/harassment if the sexual assault/harassment is reported to Student Conduct and Community Standards or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.
- Survivor Advocacy and Resource Center 541-737-2030, 311 Plageman Building: SARC offers 24/7 confidential support for all OSU community members affected by sexual harassment, including sexual assault, unwanted sexual experiences, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
- Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDVA) 541-754-0110 or 800-927-0197: Provides 24-7 confidential crisis response, hospital and legal advocacy, hotline support, and support groups.
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) 541-737-9355, Plageman Building: Provides confidential survivor-focused on-campus health care for any OSU student who has experienced unwanted sexual contact.
- Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service (www.mvwcs.com): For support in Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and traditional Chinese.
A safety plan is a practical guide that includes information specific to you and your life that will help keep you safe. A good safety plan helps you think through lifestyle changes that will help keep you as safe as possible on campus, in the residence halls, and other places that you go on a daily basis. [Adapted from loveisrespect.org]
Examples of a safety plan include having the number for OSU Public Safety readily accessible on your phone, and making sure people know where you are and when you are returning. For more information on safety planning, and creating your own safety plan, please click on the following link: A College Student's Guide to Safety Planning.
- Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA) 541-737-3556, 330 Snell Hall: Accepts inquiries, formal, and informal reports of unwanted sexual contact/sexual harassment.
- Oregon State Police (OSP) 541-737-3010, 200 Cascade Hall: Responds to safety concerns and to violations of Oregon law, which may lead to civil or criminal court proceedings.
- Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) 541-737-3656, 150 Snell Hall: Responds to safety concerns and to violations of the Student Conduct Code, which may lead to an internal university disciplinary process when the alleged perpetrator is an OSU student (separate from civil or criminal court proceedings). Administers no contact restrictions between students.
To maintain safe, equitable and successful learning environments in the varied and far-reaching places that OSU students gain, contribute and apply knowledge, the code calls for accountability where ever you are.
The Code of Student Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on University property or in online, extended or distance learning environments, including in social media, applications, or other electronic communications; at University-associated events; and off campus when the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards or designee determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial University interest. A substantial interest could include but is not limited to harm or threats of harm to health or safety, behavior that causes significant community disruption, or behavior that is detrimental to the educational mission or interests of the institution. Oregon State University does not regularly search for this information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of the University.
If sanctioned or requested to participate in a student conduct process or investigation, a hold may be placed on the students ability to re-enroll, graduate, or obtain official transcripts until sanctions and/or participation expectations are satisfied. The best way to avoid a registration hold is to meet all deadlines to schedule a meeting or complete sanctions as outlined in the notice you receive from Student Conduct and Community Standards in your onid email. Students can check for registration holds on their account by logging into >myosu.
Reenrolling After Suspension
A Student suspended for misconduct and wishing to return to the University after the suspension period must notify the Director of SCCS in writing. The notification should include a description of the Student's activities since the suspension went into effect. If the Director of SCCS determines that the terms of suspension have been met, and no further information exists that would prevent enrollment, the Student may apply for readmission through the regular process.
Requesting a No Contact Order
OSU administrators are authorized to issue a No Contact Directive that prohibits contact between students when a student is the recipient of threats, persistent unwanted or harassing contact. This directive is outlined in the Code of Student Conduct and is designed as a protective measure to mitigate potential problematic interactions in the future. A student considering requesting a No Contact Directive may discuss the situation with a staff member of Student Conduct and Community Standards or Equal Opportunity and Access.
A directive that describes the set of expectations given between two or more parties to not contact or communicate with each other, including directly, through third parties, or online. No contact directives are usually reciprocal and generally cannot be lifted without the express consent of all named parties.