FAQ's for Advocates

Student Conduct FAQs:

For Advocates and Attorneys

Students have the right to be accompanied by one advocate of their choice at a hearing. 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 reported in writing three (3) business days before the scheduled hearing.

The advocate cannot actively participate in the hearing or ask the witnesses or the hearing body questions. 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.

What is a student conduct hearing? What is its purpose?

An assigned hearing authority convenes to address cases in which a policy violation is contested and attempts to determine what happened, determine whether any policy violations took place, and decide what to do regarding the possible policy violation.

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 meets 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. The student must bring any materials/ evidence about 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 regarding the incident and will write the student's answers. The student can also offer any witnesses or additional supporting information about the incident.

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

The Student Conduct Officer will conclude the student conduct meeting. A follow-up email regarding the conduct meeting outcome will be sent to the student within five (5) business days, depending on extenuating circumstances. An Outcome Notice letter will be sent to the student's university email address. It 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, 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.

What types of policy violations does the student conduct process handle?

The University only addresses cases involving Texas A&M- San Antonio policy violations. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of law. Depending on the circumstances, students may have to go through one channel or the other or, in some cases, be subject to both. Regardless, they are separate and distinct from one another.

Where can I find a listing of Texas A&M- San Antonio’s conduct policies and procedures?

A listing of A&M-SA's policies and procedures can be found in The Student Handbook Section 13: Student Code of Conduct.

I have been asked to serve as an advocate in a student conduct proceeding. How do I establish this with the University?

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 an attorney represents the university. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will correspond at all times now with the student and not through any third party unless exceptional circumstances exist.  

The student is responsible for informing the university that they will be serving as an advisor. This notification must happen at least three (3) business days before your involvement in the student's case.

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

OSRR may be able to accommodate students if they notify OSRR within 24 hours of their hearing that they cannot 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 violating 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 attends the conduct meeting before being allowed to register for future semesters.

Can my student get the proceedings delayed until a pending criminal matter is resolved?

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 result of a university student conduct proceeding, the university will not delay a conduct proceeding for this reason.

What will happen if my student refuses to participate in the student conduct process?

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 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 relation to the prelationduct standards in question. However, the student may not use their refusal to participate as grounds for appealing a decision.

What if my student chooses to participate in the process? Are they granted any immunity in the criminal process?

No. All student conduct matters are subject to a lawful subpoena.

The incident took place off campus. What interest does the University have?

Texas A&M- San Antonio reserves the right to address off-campus behavior for acts that occur 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 considerable university interest and may be addressed by the university.

What is the standard of proof used in the student conduct process?

Decisions concerning student responsibility for alleged actions are made based on a preponderance of the evidence; the hearing panel or administrator will determine what is "more likely than not" to occur. The student conduct meetings at A&M- San Antonio are not criminal proceedings nor follow the same guidelines as a criminal proceeding.

What is FERPA? How does it apply?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law protecting student education records privacy. The rule 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.

What other rights are afforded in the Student Conduct process?

A complete listing of students' rights in the University's student conduct process can be found in Article IV: Judicial Authority of the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct can be found online in the Student Handbook. 

How will OSRR communicate with me regarding the conduct process?

According to the Student Handbook, all university communication will be sent directly to the student's email address. OSRR does not contact a student's advocate; only students are directly contacted.

 Students must regularly check their university email for updates or official university notifications. Not checking email is not an excuse to miss a scheduled conduct meeting.

I would like to see my student’s 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 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 here