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Student Conduct Process FAQ's

Frequently Asked Conduct Questions

I was involved in an incident and have been referred to the Dean of Students Office; what does that mean?

The Dean of Students Office receives written reports from members of the University community including faculty, University Police, and Housing & Residential Education if a student is accused of violating the Standards for Student Conduct. You will receive a letter and/or email to your CSUSM account from our office mandating that you call our office to schedule a disciplinary conference to discuss the allegation(s). This one-on-one conference with a Student Conduct Administrator provides you with an opportunity to explain what happened from your perspective.

I am a resident of the University Village Apartments or The QUAD and I was involved in an incident. I have already met with a Resident Director about the incident; why am I being referred to the Dean of Students Office too?

If you live on campus and are found in violation of housing policies, you may also be in violation of the CSU Standards for Student Conduct. The Dean of Students Office works closely with Housing & Residential Education to determine the cases and students that must be referred for university conduct proceedings. It is important to know that the housing conduct process and the university conduct process are separate, so students may have to go through both depending on the severity of the incident. Your behavior in the University Village Apartments and The QUAD may impact both your housing and student status at CSUSM. 

What if I am accused of academic dishonesty?

If you are accused of academic dishonesty, you will have an opportunity to speak to your instructor about the allegation. If you understand that you have committed an act of dishonesty, it is best to admit to doing so and to apologize to the professor. It will not prevent the instructor from assessing a lower academic grade; however it is the honorable thing for you to do. Under the University policy on academic honesty, the professor may assess a sanction ranging from an oral reprimand to an “F” in the course. The professor will also refer the matter to the Dean of Students Office. The grading process and conduct process are handled separately and will not inform the other.

What happens if I fail to respond to the request for a disciplinary conference with the Dean of Students Office?

If you fail to comply with the request to schedule a disciplinary conference, the Student Conduct Administrator may place a hold on your record prohibiting you from dropping or adding classes or obtaining a transcript. You may also be scheduled for a Formal Hearing. It is important for students to respond to letters from the Dean of Students Office regardless of plans to continue enrollment at CSUSM in the future.

Can someone attend the disciplinary conference with me?

Yes, you may ask another person to accompany you to the disciplinary conference to serve as an advisor. An advisor is there to provide the student with support, however, may not speak on the student’s behalf. If you invite another person into the disciplinary conference you are providing authorization for that person to hear information about the allegation. You must be aware that separate disciplinary conferences are scheduled for any students involved in the same disciplinary matter, including those who have been referred to the Dean of Students Office and/or who may have witnessed an incident being investigated by the Dean of Students Office. To learn more about the role of the advisor, review Executive Order 1098, Article III, Section B (Advisors).

Can I have an attorney serve as my advisor?

Under current University policy, the advisor may not be an attorney except in cases where expulsion is a proposed sanction. However, nothing precludes you from consulting with an attorney prior to the disciplinary conference. Students are encouraged to review Article III, Section D (Attorneys) of Executive Order 1098 to learn more about the role of attorneys in the Student Conduct process.  

Can my parents or another 3rd party obtain information from the Dean of Students Office about my case?

Your disciplinary proceedings are confidential and protected by University policy based on federal law (for more information, see FERPA). If a parent or another 3rd party contacts our office concerning a disciplinary matter, they will be referred back to you for clarification.

Our office will provide disciplinary information to your parents or another 3rd party if you have signed a release to do so. Contact the Dean of Students Office for more details.

Who has access to my disciplinary record?

Your disciplinary record is considered confidential. However, information concerning your disciplinary record may be available to appropriate University officials, faculty and/or staff who have a legitimate educational interest in such information. In addition, information regarding your disciplinary record may be released to other individuals or entities upon your written request or in accordance with state and federal law. CSU policy states that most disciplinary records must be kept for seven years.

May I request information regarding my case over the telephone?

As a general rule, we do not provide such information over the phone because information regarding disciplinary matters is highly confidential, and we must be sure that we are providing the information to the correct person. If you have not already scheduled a conference with a Student Conduct Administrator, you may call (760) 750-4935.

If I am placed on disciplinary probation, can I still hold office in a student organization?

Students who are found in violation of the Standards for Student Conduct are subject to a range of sanctions, including disciplinary probation. Disciplinary probation may prevent you from participating in select co-curricular leadership opportunities. Please refer to Student Life and Leadership for more information about qualifications.

How long will my disciplinary record be maintained?

Most disciplinary records are maintained for at least seven years. Some records, however, are kept permanently, including those in which sanctions assessed include suspension of more than one year, expulsion, denial or revocation of a degree, and/or withdrawal of a diploma.

If the violation also involves an alleged crime, can I be prosecuted through the criminal courts as well as being referred to the Dean of Students Office?

Yes, the violation may result in an investigation by both the University and the court, however, criminal and administrative processes are separate.

How can I have a hold lifted from my record?

If you have a hold, you have likely failed to fulfill obligations concerning a disciplinary case including not scheduling a disciplinary conference or completing mandated sanctions. You will need to call the Dean of Students Office at (760) 750-4935.

What steps do I take to complete questions on applications or reference forms about disciplinary records?

You will need to bring the form to the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office is located in University Student Union 3500. You will need to bring an official photo ID, the signed form, and a stamped, addressed envelope. If the form does not have a signed release allowing us to provide information of that nature, you will be asked to sign a release in our office. Generally, these forms are processed within 72 hours.

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

We will only release information when required to do so by state or federal law and Executive Order 1098.

Where may I find out more information about the Student Conduct process?

Please see California State University Executive Order 1098.