FAQ's 

Frequently Asked Questions for Texas A&M University-

San Antonio Conduct Process

 

 

What is the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR)?

The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) is part of the Division of Student Engagement and Success at Texas A&M University- San Antonio. The main role of OSRR is to oversee the student conduct and grievance process, uphold the Student Code of Conduct, and be an advocate for student who may have questions regarding community standards.

The missions of OSRR is to promote a campus environment of student success that balances student rights and responsibilities through a fair and objective due process, while upholding the highest academic and behavioral standards articulated in the Student Code of Conduct.

The Office is located on the main A&M-SA campus in the Sen. Frank Madla Bldg., Room 125.

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What is the Student Code of Conduct?

The Student Code of Conduct is the document that provides the standards of conduct expected of all university students accepted into the university. It outlines the administrative due process afforded to students and students’ rights and responsibilities on campus.

The Code of Conduct is located in the Student Handbook. A copy of the Handbook is given out to students at the beginning of each semester and can be accessed in various Student Engagement and Success Offices, including OSRR. All students can also access the handbook online at the OSRR website at the following link: http://www.tamusa.edu/uploadFile/folders/fcestrad/Pdf/Pdf-635767864704349879-10.100.150.124.pdf.

Who do I talk to if I have questions regarding the Student Code of Conduct?

If you have general questions regarding the Code of Conduct, potential violations, the conduct process, or student’s rights and responsibilities, please contact the OSRR office by phone at (210) 784-1377 or by email at studentrr@tamusa.edu.

 

What should I do if I suspect someone has allegedly violated the Code of Conduct?

Students are expected to report personal knowledge of any alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. If you have a reason to believe that a student may have violated University rules, you may contact the OSRR (210) 784-1377. You can also file a report through our online Reporting database, Advocate: https://tamusaadvocate.symplicity.com/public_report/index.php/pid732494?#Stu#Student%20Conduct%20Report.

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Can problems in the classroom result in a student being referred to OSRR?

Students can be reported to OSRR for in class behavior that is viewed as disruptive or disorderly according to the Code of Conduct. Students are also reported to OSRR for academic misconduct, which includes cheating and plagiarism.

 

I received a notice to appear email. What should I do?

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.

 

What if I was not aware of a rule and I didn’t know I was breaking it?

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.

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How long is a conduct meeting for a conduct violation?

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.

 

What happens if I am not able to attend a conduct meeting?

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 K. 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.

 
What do I do if I have class during the time my student conduct meeting is scheduled?

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.

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I require certain accommodations. What should I do?

Please notify OSRR prior to the scheduled conduct meeting regarding the accommodations you would require.

 

What are my rights as a student in the conduct process?

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.

 

What is the burden of proof used during a conduct meeting?

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.

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What happens during a student conduct meeting with OSRR?

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.


How will OSRR communicate with me regarding the conduct process?

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.

 

Other students were involved in the same violations. What about them?

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.

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Can I bring an advisor to the conduct meeting?

Students have a right to be accompanied by one advisor/counselor as stated in the Student Rights in the Conduct Process and in the Student Handbook. Attorneys, counselors, and advisors are not permitted to represent on the student’s behalf at a University conduct meeting. The selected individual/advisor 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 advisor 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.

 

Is it acceptable for a lawyer to represent me? 

An accused student has the right to consult an advisor 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 advisor 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.

 

Will I be able to know the outcome of another student’s disciplinary matter?

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.

 

What sanctions could I receive if found responsible/ accept responsibility for a code violation?

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:

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      • 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 V: Sanctions for a complete list of sanctions that may be imposed for a violation of the Student Rules.

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Why does OSRR sanction students?

It is the goal of OSRR to turn violations of the Code of Conduct into and educational experience and to promote positive behavior and personal responsibility.

 

What if I do not agree with the sanction?

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 four factors:

1)     Substantial new evidence not available at the time of the original findings of

Responsibility;

2)     Violation of due process;

3)     The sanction is not commensurate with the violation;

4)     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.

 

What happens if I do not complete the assigned sanctions?

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.

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How can I have a conduct hold removed from my record?

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) 784-1377 to make an appointment.

 

I was found responsible for academic misconduct and received a “0” on the assignment/ in the course. Can I appeal the grade with OSRR?

OSRR does not review or pursue academic performance issues. All students are encouraged to directly discuss grade concerns with their course instructor. Please view the Student Handbook regarding grade appeals for more information.

 

I would like to see my conduct file. How do I request this information?

For security and confidentiality reasons, we do not provide information on a student’s conduct file over the phone or send copies of a file through email. If you would like to review your conduct file with OSRR, please schedule a meeting by calling (210) 784-1377.

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.

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Can parents or guardians be given information about a conduct file?

According to Federal regulations, the son or daughter 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.

 

Who has access to my disciplinary record?

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.

 

Will the conduct information be placed on my academic records/ transcript?

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.

 

Will my financial aid be affected by the sanction I receive?

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.

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For any questions relating to Student Conduct, please visit the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) in our Office at Sen. Frank Madla Bldg., Room 125 or contact us through email at studentrr@tamusa.edu