Student Conduct FAQs: For Advocates and Attorneys
Students have the right to be accompanied at a hearing by one advocate of their choice. An advocate may be present, but is not permitted to represent any student at a University hearing, present the case, or question any parties, witnesses or hearing officers. A written request for an advocate to be present must be done so in writing a minimum of three (3) business days before the scheduled hearing.
The advocate cannot actively participate in the hearing or ask questions of the witnesses or the hearing body. The advocate’s role is to advise the student and observe the process. For non-Title IX/ Civil Rights cases, students who are charged in the same fact pattern, or who are not in good standing with the University are not eligible to serve as an advocate at conduct proceedings.
An assigned hearing authority convenes to address cases in which a policy violation is contested and attempts to find out what happened, figure out whether any policy violations took place, and decides what to do regarding the possible policy violation.
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 within five (5) business days, or longer depending on extenuating circumstances. 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.
The University addresses cases involving violations of Texas A&M- San Antonio policy only. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of law. Depending on circumstances, students may have to go through one channel or the other, or in some cases, may be subject to both. Regardless, they are separate and distinct from one another.
A listing of A&M-SA’s policies and procedures can be found in The Student Handbook Section 13: Student Code of Conduct.
The Student Code of Conduct states that students have the right to have one person serve as an advocate to consult during the student conduct proceedings. The availability of an advocate must not hamper the timeliness of the conduct proceedings. An advocate (who in some cases may be an attorney) may appear at student conduct proceedings with the accused student to provide advice, but may not represent the accused student or directly question or cross-examine witnesses, except in a case where the university is represented by an attorney. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will correspond at all times directly with the student, and not through any third party, unless special circumstances exist.
It is the responsibility of the student to inform the university that you will be serving as an advisor. This notification must happen a minimum of three (3) business days prior to your involvement in the student’s case.
OSRR may be able to accommodate students if they notify OSRR within 24 hours of their hearing that they will not be able to attend due to extenuating circumstances. The availability of an advocate must not hamper the timeliness of the conduct proceedings. If a student does not notify OSRR within 24 hours through a call or email, 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 M. 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.
The student conduct process at A&M- San Antonio 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 University rules and regulations. Since the university student conduct proceeding is separate from the criminal court proceeding and the outcome of a criminal court case has no bearing on the outcome of a university student conduct proceeding, the university will not delay a conduct proceeding from this reason.
Students have a right not to respond or participate in the process. However, the process will continue with or without the student's involvement and a decision will be reached based on the information that is provided to the hearing panel or administrator. A student's decision not to participate in the process is not held against them; decisions are made based on the presented evidence in relationship to the policy or conduct standards in question. However, the student may not use their refusal to participate as grounds for appealing a decision.
No. All student conduct matters are subject to lawful subpoena.
Texas A&M- San Antonio reserves the right to address off campus behavior for acts that take place off campus as outlined in Article I: Jurisdiction of the Student Code of Conduct. The university will determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not an individual's alleged conduct represents a substantial university interest. Citations issued or arrests made by local law enforcement represent a substantial university interest and may be addressed by the university.
Decisions with respect to student responsibility for alleged actions are made based on a preponderance of the evidence; that is, the hearing panel or administrator will determine what is "more likely than not" to have taken place. The student conduct meetings at A&M- San Antonio are not criminal proceedings, nor do they follow the same guidelines as a criminal proceeding.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (US Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). Student disciplinary records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. For information, visit the A&M- San Antonio FERPA page.
A complete listing of rights that students have in the University’s student conduct process can be found in Article IV: Judicial Authority of the Student Code of Conduct.
According to the Student Handbook, all university communication will be sent directly to the student’s university email address. OSRR does not contact a student’s advocates; only students are directly contacted.
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.
For security and confidentiality reasons, we do not provide information on a student’s conduct file over the phone or make any copies. If your student would like to review their conduct file with OSRR, they can schedule a meeting by calling (210) 784-1353.
If you want a copy of your student’s 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.