Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my student conduct process take?

Students going through a student conduct process should anticipate one or more meetings, followed by a decision letter and any educational sanctions (sanctions). Meetings will normally occur within 1-2 weeks of the incident, and educational sanctions, if used, will usually be required within 2-4 weeks. Following up on educational sanctions is critical to having closure to your conduct process.

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What is the difference between a minor and major charge? 

a) Minor charges are those which pose no significant threat to property or individuals, but which indicate a lack of regard for the rights, property, or personal privileges of individuals or groups within the university and neighboring community. Examples include damaging university grounds or disturbing the peace. 

b) Major charges include any acts that pose a significant threat to personal or university-owned property or to the physical safety or psychological security of individuals and/or groups within the university and the neighboring community. Examples include causing physical harm and theft. Also, the accumulation of several repeated minor violations can result in an individual being charged with one major violation.

(The Assistant Dean of Students makes the decision as to which charges warrant minor or major consideration.)

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I have been assigned Level I Conduct Probation as part of my sanction(s). How do I  request a waiver in order to continue participating in one or more co-curricular activities in which  I represent the university in a public fashion?

Students placed on Level I Conduct Probation who wish to continue involvement in a co-curricular activity must complete a waiver to participate. For any additional assistance with the waiver process, please contact Student Conduct at 253.879.3322 or conduct@pugetsound.edu.

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What reports are used during this process?

Reports that inform the student conduct process may include communication reports submitted by residence life staff, Security reports, and any other written narrative.

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What happens following the reporting of an alleged incident?

The Assistant Dean of Students or designee reviews all incidents and assigns them to the appropriate path in the student conduct process, which can include a) no action, b) scheduling a hearing for a potential minor violation, c) scheduling an investigation for a potential major violation.

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What if I have a conflict with the assigned time of my hearing?

Call Student Conduct at 253.879.3322 and reschedule. The hearing is your opportunity to share your side of the story, so it is in your best interest to follow through. You must reschedule the meeting no later than 24 hours prior to the time at which it is supposed to take place. If you do not do this, or you do not attend, a decision about next steps can be made without your input.

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If I don't show up for a hearing, I can't be sanctioned, right?

If you choose not to attend, the hearing will continue without you and decisions can be made without your input. Please make it to your scheduled meeting.

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What is it like having an administrative hearing with the Assistant Dean of Students or his or her designee?

As the hearing officer, he or she reviews the charges with you and gives you the opportunity to share your story. Together you discuss the situation and what you learned from it. He or she will also talk about expectations for the future.

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What is the difference between the Integrity Code Board and the Student Honor Court?

The Integrity Code Board (ICB) is a smaller and more informal setting. While the Student Honor Court's decision is considered final, the ICB makes a determination of responsibility and suggests a sanction to the Assistant Dean of Students, who then finalizes a decision about sanctions.

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Can I have a lawyer present for any of the three hearings?

No. You may have an advisor, who is not an attorney, present during Integrity Code Board hearings or Student Honor Court hearings. Your advisor is not permitted to prepare or submit documents, present arguments, or participate actively in the hearings - his or her sole role is to advise you.

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If I am sanctioned, do I now have a "record?"

Yes. Student Conduct will retain a confidential record of any student conduct process. This record is kept separate from records retained in the Registrar's office and is retained in accordance with university records retention practices.

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Who can see my record?

The record may not be disclosed by the university without the written consent of the student(s) to whom the requested information pertains, unless otherwise permitted or required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, or the Clergy Act of 1998. The alleged victim of a violent crime or sexual harassment offence will be informed of the decision and any sanction resulting from any proceeding against the alleged perpetrator with respect to that offence.

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If an incident is being handled in the courts, may Puget Sound also take action?

Yes. Students sometimes find their conduct reviewed by two or more authorities. This is not "double jeopardy", which is a legal concept regarding being tried twice in a criminal court. The college does not consider your allegation a violation of the law (as the court does), but it does consider it a violation of the Student Integrity Code and applicable policies.

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What if I am part of a conduct process, but I am not currently enrolled in the university?

Student Conduct defines open conduct as a conduct process that is temporarily halted because the case is not resolved, either because of the end of a semester, or because of a student not being currently enrolled with the university. Open conduct will be processed in accordance with the Student Integrity Code in the following manner:

Minor Violations
Each case will be decided within a reasonable length of time, at the discretion the Assistant Dean of Students or his/her designee (not to exceed one year). Students will be given the opportunity to participate, in person if possible, or by telephone if they are not able to come to campus. Should a student be found responsible for Integrity Code violation(s), sanctions may be assigned, and completion of sanctions may be required of the student prior to reenrollment and/or become effective upon reenrollment.

Major Violations
Students will be encouraged to participate in the investigation in person whenever possible. Cases will be decided within a reasonable length of time, at the discretion the Assistant Dean of Students or his/her designee (not to exceed one year). If a hearing is required, it must be completed in person, unless this requirement is waived by the Assistant Dean or his/her designee. Should a student be found responsible for Integrity Code violation(s), sanctions may be assigned, and completion of sanctions may be required of the student prior to reenrollment and/or become effective upon reenrollment.

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What are the repercussions if I call for help in relation to a peer who is ill from alcohol or another substance?

Students who ask for help when a peer is intoxicated or under the influence of a substance may be contacted for follow up by Student Conduct. The purpose of a follow up meeting is to provide the student who made the call with support, and determine if violations of the Student Integrity Code occurred.

Student Conduct at Puget Sound focuses on reflection about impacts of decisions, on learning about living with others according to community standards and expectations, and when needed, support for changes in behaviors. Conversations and outcomes are intended to assist students in meeting these learning outcomes. If violations occurred, they will be addressed with consideration for the specific situation.

If you are concerned with a friend’s health and safety, you should always ask for help! In doing so, you should know that you may be contacted by the college for follow up. Calling for help is the right thing to do. You could save a life!

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