The university's philosophy on student conduct is educational in nature. The Office of Student Standards and Conduct focuses on redirecting student behavior into more appropriate modes of expression. The following chart depicts the main differences between the legal system and the Student Conduct Process.


Legal System Student Conduct Process
Prosecutes criminals who violate the law Discipline students who violate institutional rules
Higher standard of proof - "beyond a reasonable doubt" Lower standard of proof - "preponderance of evidence"
"Rules of evidence" often applied in state and federal courts

"Rules of evidence" do not apply to Student Conduct meetings or hearings.The hearing officer or panel will weigh all evidence - including issues of credibility and relevance - when making a determination.

More severe punishment Educational and corrective accountability
Can imprison people Maximum consequence is expulsion
State and federal laws set minimum standards for the safe and orderly operation of society Set standards requiring ethical and moral behavior of students to create and maintain a productive University living and learning community
Legal system may choose not to prosecute a certain action or behavior Campus resolution may proceed before, during or after civil or criminal actions are concluded. Civil and criminal processes do not affect the Student Conduct process.
Punishment Educational Sanctions
"Guilty" or "Not Guilty" "Responsible" or "Not Responsible"
"Plaintiff" and "Defendant" "Complainant" and "Respondent"