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FAQ

To assist in answering your question(s), select from the following categories:

Process

1. What is the student conduct process?

The process by which individuals and/or recognized student organizations discuss with university officials alleged violations of university policies in a structured manner. The process is designed to be an educational experience not an adversarial one.

2. Is there a way to resolve an incident without the formal student conduct process?

Yes, it is possible to resolve a dispute with another student through mediation, as opposed to going through a conduct board process. Alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct requires the use of the formal conduct process. It may not be necessary to go all the way through the process and have a full conduct hearing. It is possible to resolve conduct violations with a one-on-one meeting between a student conduct administrator and a student.

3. How does the student conduct process work?

4. What happens if I miss my preliminary conference or conduct board hearing?

We notify students electronically about preliminary conferences and hearings. It is the responsibility of each student to check his or her student email address. As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct if you miss a preliminary conference or student conduct hearing, the process will continue in your absence. When a cellular telephone number is available, Student Conduct sends a text message to a student once an email has been sent to the student.

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Appeals

1. How can I appeal?

Request for appeals must be submitted in writing to the appropriate person or office, as outline in the Student Code of Conduct.

2. What can I appeal?

You may appeal the decision of the board (finding of responsibility) and/or the sanctions imposed by a hearing officer or conduct board.

3. To whom must I appeal?

For cases heard by the residence hall conduct board appeals must be submitted to the executive director of Housing & Residential Services, or his/her designee.

For cases heard by the Student Conduct Hearing Board or Organizational Conduct Hearing Board letters of appeal should be submitted to Student Conduct.

4. How long do I have to appeal?

You have five (5) business days from the date of receipt of the decision letter. The date of receipt is defined as the date on which the notification letter was delivered to your physical mailbox or to your student e-mail.

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Sanctions

1. Who determines sanctions?

Recommendations are initially determined by the student conduct administrator.

If a student accepts responsibility, the recommended sanctions then go into effect as indicated. If the student doesn't accept responsibility or the sanctions, then a Student Conduct Board will make a determination regarding the sanctions imposed.

2. What are the standard sanctions?

Sanctions are determined based on the facts of the particular case and if a student or recognized student organization has any prior conduct history.

3. What are deferred sanctions?

Deferred sanctions are not immediately applied to the student. Deferred sanctions become the recommended sanctions if a student admits responsibility for or is found responsible for another violation.

4. What is the range of fines?

Fines range from $50-$200 for individuals and Recognized Student Organizations.

5. What is the $25 user fee?

Students who admit responsibility for a violation, or who are found responsible in a conduct hearing are assessed a $25 user fee. This administrative fee is used to offset the costs associated with the student conduct process. These fees are used to help provide funding for programming and publicity about the student conduct process. Students who are found not responsible or whose cases are dismissed are not charged the $25 user fee.

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Notification

In most cases notification is made electronically to your student email (Z-ID email). Only in rare instances will you be notified via U.S. Mail. It is your responsibility to check your Z-ID email.

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General

1. What is the purpose of Student Conduct?

Student Conduct coordinates the university student conduct system, which provides an opportunity to confront and resolve academic, residential, student conduct and disciplinary conflicts.

2. If I am called into the office am I in trouble?

No, not necessarily. Students are contacted by our office for a variety of reasons. You may be a witness to an incident. Your name may have come up during the course of our investigations. You may be the one reporting the alleged violation. However if you are contacted by our office, it is your responsibility to respond to the communication.

3. Will my parents be contacted if I am called into Student Conduct?

Your parents will not be contacted unless that is part of the recommended sanction by the Student Conduct Administrator or by the Student Conduct Board.

4. If I am found responsible or admit responsibility to a violation how long will this record remain?

Student conduct records will be maintained by Student Conduct indefinitely.

5. Will this information be put on my academic transcript?

Currently information from Student Conduct is not placed on your academic transcript.

6. When can the information in my Student Conduct record be released?

Student Conduct can release information from your record under the following conditions:

7. Can I bring a lawyer?

Under our Student Code of Conduct, lawyers are not allowed to participate in the Student Conduct process. You may have an attorney serve as your advisor, but the role of the advisor is to confer with you, as the advisee. The advisor is not allowed to speak on your behalf. Questions from lawyers should be directed to the Office of General Counsel at 815-753-1774.

8. Who may I have as an advisor?

Any student who is involved in the conduct process may have an advisor. The advisor may or may not be related to the institution. Student Conduct maintains a list of trained advisors.

9. Can I bring witnesses to a hearing or preliminary conference?

Yes, a preliminary conference and a hearing is an opportunity for you to present your side. If you have witnesses, this is your opportunity to bring them.

10. What is the difference between state law and the Student Code of Conduct?

State law is a legal requirement passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by the Illinois governor. The Student Code of Conduct is a governing document of Northern Illinois University. The code outlines the policies all students are expected to abide by. Additionally, it outlines the process by which students and Recognized Student Organizations are entitled to when a complaint is filed against them alleging a violation.

11. What is the burden of proof in a student conduct hearing?

The burden of proof in a student conduct hearing is called preponderance of the evidence. This means that based on all of the evidence, it is more likely than not, that the student or Recognized Student Organization committed the alleged violation. This is a lower standard of evidence than in a criminal trial.

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Jurisdiction

1. When can I refer a case to Student Conduct?

Any member of the university community may generate an incident report at any time if they believe a policy violation has occurred. Please complete the online incident report.

2. Who do I inform about incidents involving students who live in a different building than me?

You may inform either Housing & Residential Services staff and/or Student Conduct.

3. I was involved in an incident off campus, why is Student Conduct contacting me about this incident?

Student Conduct receives reports from a variety of entities and agencies both on and off campus. With concurrent jurisdiction you may be charged both criminally and in the university student conduct process.

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Illegal File Sharing

1. What is illegal file sharing?

Illegal file sharing is the unauthorized transmission (uploading or downloading) of any copyrighted material without the permission of the author.

2. What happens in illegal file sharing cases?

In all copyright infringement cases you are notified electronically by DoIT. For first time copyright infringement cases you will meet with a computer abuse investigator in DoIT. For subsequent copyright infringement cases you will initially be contacted by DoIT and subsequently contacted by Student Conduct.

For more information please view the DoIT acceptable usage policy and/or contact DoIT at 815-753-8100.

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Contact Info

Student Conduct
Campus Life Building, Room 280
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 753-1571
Fax: (815) 753-9289
Email: judicial@niu.edu

NIU Student Conduct Blog