Complaints

Under the Student Code of Conduct, any member of the University community or interested person may file a complaint of a possible violation of the Student Code of Conduct or other non-academic University policy against a student. Complaints should be made to the Office of Student Conduct or any hearing officer and include as much specific information as possible such as a details of the behavior with times and date(s), names of those involved, and location. Complaints will be evaluated for merit prior to Student Conduct starting an investigation. A person filing a complaint can be accompanied by an advisor of their choice to any conduct-related meeting. A meeting can be conducted prior to the filing of a complaint to discuss situations, possible approaches and available support, although the University is obligated to investigate any report involving certain topics such as sexual harassment, assault or child abuse.

Some actions that violate the Student Code of Conduct may also violate local, state or federal law. Such incidents should be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency in addition to the Office of Student Conduct. Due to the administrative nature of the student conduct process, there is no double jeopardy standard for students going through the conduct process and the legal system for the same incident. Complaints involving sexual violence, harassment or discrimination may also be reported to the Office of Social Equity. Hearing Officers can assist students in making these reports if requested.

Immediate threats or concerns should be directed to the appropriate police agency. Local police departments include University Police at 724-938-HELP (4357) and California Borough Police at 911. Concerns about potential acts of violence should be directed to the T.R.A.I.T. Team.

What If a Complaint is Filed Against Me?

A student will be notified if a complaint is filed against them, including the specific part of the code potentially violated and other appropriate information. A meeting will be scheduled with the assigned hearing officer to review the complaint details, discuss the conduct process and answer any questions. The student, or respondent, can be accompanied to any conduct-related meeting by an advisor of their choice.

During the conduct process, the respondent will have an opportunity to review the complaint, present their side, provide names of possible witnesses, and offer information and physical evidence about the situation. If the hearing officer believes there is sufficient information to support the allegation that a violation occurred, the respondent may be able to accept an administrative resolution with the hearing officer or request a conduct board hearing as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, Section IV, Subsection B. The respondent may request time to gather information or consider their options prior to discussing a complaint or deciding whether to accept an administrative resolution or request a board hearing.

Sanctions

Sanctions are imposed after it has been determined a student violated the code of conduct or other behavioral expectations. Sanctions are intended to assist students in learning from the incident, including developing a better understanding of why certain behaviors are unacceptable, stronger decision-making skills and/or a better understanding of how actions can impact themselves or others. More serious sanctions are intended to be used with repeat violators, serious incidents or protect the University community from further harm.

The Student Code of Conduct outlines the range of sanctions available. The specifics of some sanctions - such as educational activities or conditions of probation - may be determined by the hearing officer or board depending on the circumstances of the violation. Hearing officers may impose sanctions not included in the code if they feel it is something that will support a student learning from the situation.

Parental Notification

Written notification will be sent to parents or guardians of financially dependent students under the age of 21 who have been found responsible for violating the code of conduct’s drugs or alcohol rules. The notification will be sent after the conduct process has been completed and a final decision made. This process is in place so families will be able to support students in making appropriate choices in regards to substance use. Other conduct-related information is confidential and can only be released with a student's written consent.