Student Conduct FAQs: For Accused Students

 


If a student receives a Notice to Appear letter from OSRR, it means that an alleged violation(s) occurred with the Student Conduct rules. This letter states which rules may have been violated and includes a brief description of how the rule was allegedly violated. This letter also indicates the time, date, and location of the student conduct meeting with OSRR. It is imperative that the student attend their scheduled conduct meeting. If two or more students were involved in the same incident, then separate conduct meetings will be held for each student.


The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities receives reports from Residence Life, Academic Affairs, the University Police Department, and the community at large.


Lack of knowledge of a rule is not an excuse for misconduct. Every student is responsible for knowing the rules and regulations of the university, so it is important for you to read the Student Handbook. If you are unsure about any policies, ask OSRR for further clarification.


The length of a conduct meeting may depend on the severity and/or complexity of the alleged violation(s). A conduct meeting usually takes 30-60 minutes, but any student can be brought in again if an investigation finds additional information or finds another conduct violation allegedly occurred.


Lack of knowledge of a rule is not an excuse for misconduct. Every student is responsible for knowing the rules and regulations of the university, so it is important for you to read the Student Handbook. If you are unsure about any policies, ask OSRR for further clarification.


If a student does not notify OSRR within 24 hours through a call or email that they could not attend the conduct meeting due to substantiated reasons, then a decision will be made in the student’s absence based on the contents of the conduct file. The student may also be charged with a violation of The Student Conduct Rule Article III, Section L. Failure to Appear. Typically, OSRR will place a hold on future registration and mandate that the student attend the conduct meeting before being allowed to register for future semesters.


OSRR does their best to avoid scheduling student conduct meetings during class times. If a conduct meeting is scheduled during a student’s class, please contact our office as soon as possible to inquire about the possibility of rescheduling the student conduct meeting.


Please notify OSRR three (3) days prior to the scheduled conduct meeting regarding the accommodations you would require.


Student rights during the conduct process can be found in the Student Handbook under Student Code of Conduct, Article II: Judicial Authority. An attachment of the Student Rights in the Conduct Process will be sent with the Conduct Notice to Appear Email to the student’s university email address. Students are advised to read over the rights as an accused student before the official conduct meeting with OSRR.


The burden of proof during the student conduct process relies on the standard of “preponderance of the evidence,” which means more likely than not that an incident occurred, or at least 50%. This is a different standard of evidence than is used in the criminal court system standard of “without a reasonable doubt.” The student conduct conference is not a criminal proceeding, nor does it follow the same guidelines as a criminal proceeding. A University conduct hearing is not a trial or Court of Law. Any attempt to make the hearing something else would seriously impair the educational function of the hearing, which requires open discussion rather than adversarial debate.


The conduct process at Texas A&M University-San Antonio is considered a formal process. This entails that the student meet with the Student Conduct Officer during the assigned conduct meeting time to review the alleged violations, briefly review the student’s rights in the conduct process, explain the range of sanctions that could be imposed, and answer any questions the student may have. It is the student’s responsibility to bring any materials/ evidence pertaining to the incident to the scheduled conduct meeting.

The student will then have an opportunity to explain their perspective on the specific incident that has been documented. During this time, the Student Conduct Officer can present questions in regards to the incident and will document the student’s answers. The student will also have the opportunity to present any witnesses or additional supporting information that pertains to the incident.

At the end of the conduct meeting, the student may accept responsibility or not accept responsibility for the charges that have been assigned to the incident. If the student chooses to not accept responsibility, they may still be found responsible by OSRR based on preponderance of evidence. If the student accepts responsibility or is found responsible for the charges assigned, then they will be issued an appropriate sanction(s).

The Student Conduct Officer will conclude the student conduct meeting and a follow-up email regarding the conduct meeting outcome will be sent to the student usually within 1-2 business days, but no later than five (5) business days. An Outcome Notice letter will be sent to the student’s university email address and will review the incident, the finding(s) of the student conduct conference, any assigned sanction(s) (if any), and the appeals process. If OSRR needs to investigate the matter further, then the student may be requested to appear again for a follow-up meeting.

The Student Conduct Officer will then answer any last questions the student may have before concluding the student conduct meeting.


According to the Student Handbook, all university communication will be sent to the student’s university email address. It is the student’s responsibility to regularly check their university email for any updates or official university notification. Not checking email is not an excuse to miss a scheduled conduct meeting.


The focus of your student conduct conference is regarding YOU and YOUR behavior during a particular incident. The incident in question will be the main focus of the conduct conference, but it is the student’s responsibility to report any other student(s) who are involved in a code violation. Any student can be brought in again if an investigation finds additional information or finds another conduct violation allegedly occurred.


Students have a right to be accompanied by one advocate as stated in the Student Rights in the Conduct Process and in the Student Handbook. Advocates are not permitted to represent on the student’s behalf at a University conduct meeting. The selected individual may not be an individual and/or student that is or may be charged as a result of the same or similar fact pattern. The advisor is limited to advising the student and may not present the case, question relevant parties, or make statements during the proceedings. A request for an advocate to be present during at conduct meeting must be done so in writing a minimum of three (3) business days before the scheduled hearing and the student must sign a release of authorization due to confidential information.


An accused student has the right to consult an advocate of their choice, including a lawyer at the student’s expense. An attorney may attend and advise the student, but are not permitted to represent on the student’s behalf at a University conduct meeting. The advisor is limited to advising the student and may not present the case, question relevant parties, or make statements during the proceedings. A request for an advocate to be present during at conduct meeting must be done so in writing a minimum of three (3) business days before the scheduled hearing and the student must sign a release of authorization due to confidential information.


The University will only release information about the outcome of another student’s disciplinary matter upon his/her written consent or when required by state or federal law. This does not include Title IX Cases.


There are several factors that are taken into consideration by OSRR when determining what an appropriate sanction(s) for a student would be. The student conduct officer will examine the following:

  • The nature of the violation
  • Previous conduct history
  • Aggravating or mitigating circumstances surrounding the violation
  • Motivation for the behavior
  • The developmental and educational impact of the sanction

Please refer to the Student Handbook, Student Code of Conduct, Article VII: Sanctions for a complete list of sanctions that may be imposed for a violation of the Student Rules.


A student has the right to appeal a conduct decision within five (5) university business days from the date the conduct outcome notice email was sent. An appeal of the conduct decision must be based on one or more of these four factors:

  • Substantial new evidence not available at the time of the original findings of Responsibility;
  • Violation of due process;
  • The sanction is not commensurate with the violation;
  • The finding of responsibility is inconsistent with the factors presented by the respondent.

The appeals process information will be shared with the student in the conduct meeting outcome email. If the student does not appeal the conduct decisions, then the findings and sanctions will stand.


If a student does not complete assigned sanction within the given time frame, a conduct hold will be placed on the student’s account which can block future course enrollment.


Generally, a conduct hold means that a student failed to respond to a conduct letter or is pending to fulfill some other obligation concerning disciplinary/ academic matters such as assigned sanctions. The student can contact OSRR at (210) 784-1353 to make an appointment.


For security and confidentiality reasons, we do not provide information on a student’s conduct file over the phone or make any copies. If you would like to review your conduct file with OSRR, please schedule a meeting by calling (210) 784-1353. If you want a copy of your file, you may submit a Public Information Request to the Public Information Officer at the following website link: http://www.tamusa.edu/universitycommunications/publicinformationrequest.html . Please note that this process can take up to 10 business days to fully process.


According to Federal regulations, the student must sign a release of information before it is legal to share information about the case in question to a parent or guardian. This information will only be released in person. Drug and alcohol violations by minors allow the University to inform parents and guardians of violation.


Your conduct record is considered confidential. However, information concerning your disciplinary record may be made available to appropriate University officials, faculty, and/or staff members who have a legitimate educational interest in such information. In addition, information regarding your conduct may be released to other individuals or entities upon your written request or in accordance with state and federal law.


Suspension and expulsion are currently the only two sanctions assigned by OSRR to appear on your academic record. All other sanctions are kept on record in the student’s folder in the OSRR.


A student’s financial aid can be affected due to expulsion or suspension. For more information regarding your financial aid, please contact the Office of student Financial Aid at (210) 784-1324.