FAQ's for Parents and Guardians

My student has received a Notice to Appear email. What does it mean?

If a student receives a Notice to Appear Email from OSRR, an alleged violation(s) occurred within the Student Conduct of Conduct. This letter states which rules may have been violated and briefly describes how the rule was allegedly infringed. This letter also indicates the time, date, and location of the student conduct meeting with OSRR. The student must attend their scheduled conduct meeting. If two or more students were involved in the same incident, separate conduct meetings would be held for each student.

What are my student’s rights in the conduct process?

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

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 or witnesses that may pertain 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 regarding the incident and document 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 assigned charges, 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. 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), 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 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 50.01%. This is a different evidence standard than 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.

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

Several factors 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, and Article VII: Sanctions for a complete list of sanctions that may be imposed for violating the Student Rules.

Can the University tell me the specifics of the incident my student was involved with?

Your student is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99)

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Your student may discuss their case with anyone of their choosing. The university is restricted to discussing the issue with your student, those your student designates that we can communicate with, and those with an educational need to know, such as University administrators. If you want to speak with us concerning the specifics of your student’s case, please have a conversation with your student. They may sign a FERPA waiver to allow us to speak with you.

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.

How will OSRR communicate with me regarding the conduct process?

Parents or guardians may be contacted only if there is a case of emergency, which may include hospitalization, criminal actions leading to jail time, incapacitation, death, etc.

Parents or guardians are not contacted regarding allegations of the Code of Conduct. OSRR only directly gets the student through university email and those who may be directly involved. The student decides to provide that information to their parents or guardians. If the student signs a FERPA waiver with the university and the parent or guardian directly contacts OSRR, we may be able to provide information regarding alleged violations.

I require certain accommodations. What should I do?

Please notify OSRR three (3) days before the scheduled conduct meeting regarding the required accommodations.

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

Your student’s conduct conference focuses on your student and their behavior during a particular incident. The incident in question will be the main focus of the conduct conference. Still, the student must report any other student(s) involved in a possible code violation. Any student can be brought in again if an investigation finds additional information or another conduct violation allegedly occurred.

Can I attend the conduct meeting?

Students have a right to be accompanied by one advocate, as stated in the Student Rights in the Conduct Process and the Student Handbook. The request must be provided in writing at least three (3) business days before the scheduled hearing to have an advocate present, and the student must sign a release form. The availability of an advocate should not hamper the timeliness of the conduct hearing.

According to the Advocate Request Form attached in the Notice to Appear, advocates are not permitted to represent on the student’s behalf at a University conduct meeting. Except in Civil Rights or Title IX Cases, the selected individual may not be an individual and/or student that is or may be charged due to the same or similar fact pattern. The advocate is limited to advising the student and may not present the case, question relevant parties, or make statements during the proceedings.

I would like attend the conduct meeting but am out of town. What can I do?

The conduct office could make electronic accommodations if the student wants to move forward with having you as an advocate during the conduct hearing. Based on the technology available, this could include telephone conferences, Webex, or zoom. The stipulations of having an advocate are the same through technology as in person. The availability of an advocate should not hamper the timeliness of the conduct hearing.

What happens if my student has a pending student conduct incident and a pending criminal citation?

Your student will need to resolve both issues separately. Students have a different relationship with the university, separate from their responsibilities as citizens in the larger community. The student conduct meeting will only resolve conflicts with University Rules.

What if I do not agree with the sanction or outcome of the conduct meeting?

Your student can appeal a conduct decision within five (5) university business days from when the conduct outcome notice email was sent. An appeal of the conduct decision must be based on four factors:

  • Substantial new evidence was not available at the time of the original findings of responsibility;
  • Violation of due process;
  • The sanction is not commensurate with the offense;
  • The result of guilt 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. The findings and sanctions will stand if the student does not appeal the conduct decisions.

How can my student have a conduct hold removed from their 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) 784-1353 to make an appointment.

Will conduct information be placed on my student’s academic records/ transcript?

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

Will my student’s financial aid be affected by the sanction they receive?

A student’s financial aid can be affected due to expulsion or suspension. For more information regarding your financial assistance, please get in touch with the Office of Student Financial Aid at (210) 784-1300.