Have you witnessed a code of conduct violation? Whether an incident occurred on or off campus, the university has an obligation to respond.
Reasons for a Conduct Hearing
Someone has reported you for a code of conduct violation. Examples of violations include:
- Alcohol and drug misconduct
- Dangerous behavior
- Disorderly conduct
- Disruptive activity
- Abusive conduct
- Dishonesty and theft
- Misuse of identity
Read the Official USC Code of Conduct.
What to Expect
You will meet with the hearing officer for 30-60 minutes. This is typically an informal, one-on-one discussion.
Students or student organizations who are alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct may bring one advisor with them to both administrative conferences and Carolina Judicial Council hearings. This advisor can be a parent, friend, or attorney. This advisor is meant to support the student as they go through the conduct process, not speak for the student. The student will need to fill out a Consent to Release Information Form [pdf] for anyone who will attend their meetings with them.
Please understand that the University conduct process is different from the criminal judicial system. We have worked with our legal counsel to make sure that our policies and practices are consistent with state and federal laws that pertain to due process protections in college disciplinary cases. Our system is an educational process designed to help students reflect and grow through honest conversations about values and decision making. Consequently, only the student can speak to these issues and first hand to what happened. The University’s process is meant to be non-adversarial. We do realize that advisors have a role in assisting their clients and we typically have no issue with permitting a break so that students may consult with their advisors during the process.
The University uses the preponderance of evidence standard when determining if a student is responsible or not responsible for an alleged conduct violation (i.e., that it is more likely than not that the alleged violated the Code of Conduct).
The conduct process at the University of South Carolina is not attempting to determine whether or not a student has violated the law. The University is trying to determine whether or not a student violated the Code of Conduct. Therefore, this administrative process is not directly affected by outcomes in the criminal justice system.
- Consult with the student prior to their administrative conference with the Office
of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. This can include:
- Reviewing the incident report or police report submitted with the student.
- Assisting the student in preparing a statement regarding the alleged involvement or questions to ask during their meeting.
- The student should remain the main point of contact for the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity until their case is resolved. The University will typically communicate with the student, not additionally with every student’s advisor. Information regarding the student’s case will be sent to the student directly (via phone or email). The student may then choose to forward any communication with their chosen advisor.
- Based on FERPA, the Office of Student Conduct cannot discuss a student’s education record, including details involving Code of Conduct alleged violations, without the student’s written consent. In order for information to be shared with a student's advisor, the student needs to fill out a Consent to Release Information Form.
Since our process is designed to be educational, we encourage your participation. If you fail to attend your first scheduled meeting, a few things may happen:
- A registration hold will be placed on your records.
- You will be unable to register for classes or make changes to your schedule.
- A new meeting will automatically be scheduled for you.
If you again do not attend, a decision will be made without you present, based on the information available. You will receive a letter via your university email outlining the decision.
If You Agree with the Hearing Resolution
If you are found responsible for violating university conduct policies, you will be assigned sanctions. Possible sanctions include:
- Educational actions (including classes, papers and interviews)
- Restitution or fines
- Removal from university housing
If You Disagree with the Hearing Resolution
You may ask for a hearing with the Carolina Judicial Council if you wish to contest the findings of your initial hearing or if you believe you would be more fairly heard by a panel of your peers.
The health and safety of our students is our top priority. Any potential alcohol-related conduct outcomes or sanctions come second, and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
If you are in violation of the alcohol policy but call to help a peer who is grossly intoxicated you will receive a For Information Only (FIO) finding for the alcohol violation.
FIO findings indicate that the record will not be shared with anyone outside the USC system. This may or may not carry fines and/or educational sanctions.
We will notify you of our intervention process if you are transported to the hospital for an overdose of alcohol or drugs. You are required to complete an assessment and will be given an individualized treatment plan with recommendations that must be followed.