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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Plus IconI was just documented for possibly violating the Student Code of Conduct- what should I do?

When a student's name is documented in a report by Public Safety, Center for Residence Life staff members, or other staff or faculty members, those reports come to the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. Our office determines if there should be a conversation or hearing regarding the incident. Check your student email account on a regular basis. You may receive an email letter notifying you of a hearing. The email address will be from the individual hearing officer through our software system- this is an example of what you may see as the email body:

FAQ Plus IconWhat is a student conduct hearing?

Students who have been documented in a Public Safety report or other incident report as potentially violating the RIT Student Code of Conduct will participate in a student conduct hearing with a hearing officer.  The purpose of the hearing is to understand the student’s perspective about what happened and the hearing officer’s responsibility is to determine if the Code of Conduct was violated and what an appropriate response should be from the Institute. The Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution is here to help you be successful and to help you learn from your experiences. You can review the conduct process.

FAQ Plus IconWhat is a “charge letter”?

A charge letter is a request from the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution or the Center for Residence Life for a student to have a hearing regarding their involvement in an incident. In the letter, the student is informed of the policies they are alleged to have violated based on the available documents. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your perspective about what happened.

FAQ Plus IconI received a letter from your office, what should I do?

The letter outlines everything you need to do.  Please follow the directions outlined in the letter and respond quickly with the information we need to schedule your hearing. Feel free to complete the electronic form the charge letter links to in order to request a copy of the report, a pre-hearing, an advocate, and/or witnesses. This helps us provide as much information as you as possible. If you have questions, you can always call the office at 585-475-5662 or email studentconduct@rit.edu.

FAQ Plus IconWho will be at the hearing?
Besides the hearing officer and the student, the following people may be present during the hearing:
  • Witnesses—So long as they have information directly pertaining to the incident.  Character witnesses are not permitted.
  • Advocate—The advocate’s role is to support the process, help the student to understand the situation, and facilitate the process for the student.
  • Public Safety Investigator
  • Other RIT personnel, which can include: representatives from the Center for Residence Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life Office, NTID Liaison, or interpreters. 
  • Lawyers—Only when the case has resulted in an arrest and is also being heard in a court of law.  Lawyers may NOT participate in the hearing and may only observe and give the client personal counsel.
 
FAQ Plus IconI am deaf or hard of hearing and need an interpreter. Do I need to request one?

Our office will take care of requesting an interpreter for the conduct hearing.  If you have a special interpreting need, please let us know.

FAQ Plus IconShould I have an advocate?

An advocate is a faculty or staff member who is there to help facilitate the process for the student and guide them through the entire conduct process.  Many students find that an advocate can help with preparing for the hearing and to support the student during the hearing.  It is not necessary but we do recommend it. To request a trained advocate, you can complete the electronic form that is linked in your charge letter and we will connect you with a knowledgeable advocate who is ready to assist you.

FAQ Plus IconDo I need a lawyer?

Attorneys are permitted only when the case has resulted in an arrest and is also being heard in a court of law.  Lawyers may NOT participate in the hearing and may only observe and give the client quiet counsel.

FAQ Plus IconCan I bring a witness?

You can bring a witness, however, we only allow witnesses with direct information of the incident, not “character witnesses.”  Witnesses need to be approved by the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. You can either complete the electronic form that is linked in your charge letter, or email studentconduct@rit.edu with the names and email addresses of your proposed witnesses. 

FAQ Plus IconI received a charge letter and am not sure where to begin- what can I do?

We recommend you schedule a pre-hearing with a hearing officer who can walk you through the conduct process and can explain what a hearing is like. To request a pre-hearing, you can complete the electronic form that is linked in your charge letter and we will schedule the meeting for you.

FAQ Plus IconThe situation happened off campus, why am I charged?

RIT’s philosophy is that a student represents the university both on and off campus.  Your actions off campus affect both the greater community as well as the RIT community.  We expect students to be ambassadors of RIT while off campus.

FAQ Plus IconWhat happens if I miss my hearing?

Under the RIT Student Code of Conduct, the hearing officer has the right to make a decision regarding the case should the student miss the hearing without appropriate prior notification. An absence cannot be used as a determining factor to decide whether or not you are in violation of any policy.

FAQ Plus IconWhat will happen if I am found responsible for violating policy?

If a student is found in violation of the Code of Conduct, the hearing officer will then determine an appropriate status for the student, which can include warning, probation, suspension, or expulsion.  The outcome will often include conditions that a student must complete to best learn from the incident. These education conditions may include: an intake meeting with a counselor, alcohol or other drugs assessment, community restitution hours, educational seminars, or other activities.

FAQ Plus IconWill my parents or guardian be informed of what happened?

If you are under the age of 21 and are found responsible for violating policy, we will ask you to have your parent or guardian call us to discuss the outcome of your hearing, specifically if you are removed from housing or suspended or expelled, or if you have violated the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy. For students of any age, we will ask to speak with your parent or guardian for situations where there is a concern for your health and safety. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Buckley amendment dictate what college administrators can and cannot share with parents.  For more information, feel free to contact our office.

FAQ Plus IconWill this go on my transcript?

Only when students are suspended or expelled will a notation appear on their academic transcripts for the period of time that they are separated from RIT.

FAQ Plus IconI’m applying for a job and they are doing a background check, will you tell them about my conduct history?

When our office receives a request for information related to a background check, we do share the outcomes of the conduct situations provided we have a copy of a signed release from you.  Our files are kept for six academic years from the date of the last incident.  Typically, the requests for conduct history are from governmental agencies, however, more and more companies are conducting background checks as part of their hiring process.

FAQ Plus IconHow do I appeal the decision?

Please refer to the Appeal Process Page.

FAQ Plus IconWhat happens if I don’t follow through on the conditions of the decision?

If a student does not follow the conditions of the decision, they run the risk of having a disciplinary hold which would bar them from registering from classes and housing.  Another possibility is to have an additional hearing for refusing to comply with the terms of the original outcome.  

FAQ Plus IconIs this like court?

The RIT Student Conduct Process is different and separate from the criminal process. Our process will be quicker, will be confidential, and as educational as possible. We use a standard of evidence called preponderance of evidence, or, more likely than not to determine responsibility. We also use different language than the criminal system:

RIT Conduct Process Language

Criminal System Language

Hearing: meeting to determine if a student violated code of conduct

Trial, Court

Hearing Officer, Conduct Officer: staff member who will meet with the student and decide the outcome

Judge

Charge Letter: notice of possible policy violations and hearing information

Subpoena, Warrant

Preponderance of evidence: standard to which hearing officers decide if the student violated policy (more likely than not)

Beyond a reasonable doubt, clear and convincing, etc.

Responsible, Not Responsible: findings of policy violations

Guilty, Innocent

Accused: student who is charged with a policy violation

Defendant

 

FAQ Plus IconDo I get a refund if I am suspended?
In cases of suspension or expulsion, the College's institutional refund policy will apply. Housing Operations (for on-campus students) and Financial Aid will follow their respective policies Please refer to their specific offices for more details:
 
Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
Bausch & Lomb Center
585-475-2186
Contact your counselor directly: http://www.rit.edu/emcs/financialaid/contact.html
 
Housing Operations
Grace Watson Hall
585 475-2572