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Student Conduct Sanction FAQ's

As part of a Resolution Agreement or Hearing with the University over a student conduct matter, you may have been assigned a variety of sanctions. The information provided here is meant to answer frequently asked questions about these sanctions and how it may affect you as a student. 

Feel free to contact the Dean of Students Office by calling (760) 750-4935, sending an e-mail to, or visiting the office in Administrative Building 1200 for further information.

  • What are the sanctions that I might receive for violating Standards for Student Conduct?
    You can receive the following sanctions: Disciplinary Probation, Suspension, or Expulsion. You may also be assigned to complete a variety of educational sanctions that may include writing a reflection paper or apology letter, attending an event, interviewing or meeting with a staff member.
  • How are sanctions determined?
    Sanctions are determined based on a number of factors including but not limited to: the severity of the incident, the student's level in school, the number of times the student has been referred to the Dean of Students Office, and the level of accountability and learning the student is willing to articulate during the disciplinary conference.
  • What does disciplinary probation mean?
    Disciplinary probation is an administrative sanction that may be assigned as part of a student conduct resolution. It is considered more serious than a Formal Warning, but less serious than a Suspension. While it will temporarily appear on your formal transcript during the active term of the probation, it is part of your Student Conduct Record and may be reported on Student Conduct Record checks. Additionally, if you are documented for a new incident, you potentially violated your probationary status and may be assigned more significant sanctions for the new incident.
  • Can I still take classes if I'm under disciplinary probation?
    Disciplinary probation (behavioral) is different than Academic Notice (GPA/Grades) and students may continue - and are encouraged to continue - taking classes.
  • Will my disciplinary probation be part of my permanent record?
    Your disciplinary probation will be noted on your transcript during the probationary period and will be removed at its successful conclusion. The term "disciplinary probation" will appear, but not the reason why. This information is available to anyone who has reason to access your transcript or those with whom you choose to share it, such as potential employers, scholarship sources, or other universities. The file that contains information about your situation will remain in the Dean of Students Office, typically for seven years following the conclusion of your probation.
  • Will probation affect my eligibility to get involved in student leadership positions?

    You are able to join clubs as a new member; granted that it is not an "Executive Board" position. However, Disciplinary Probation does limit your eligibility in applying to be an O-Team Leader, Resident Advisor, ASI Student Government position, and applying to be a new Greek Life Member (only for the period of time that you are on disciplinary probation). Check with the student organization you are interested in to see what their eligibility requirements are.

    While this may be a temporary hindrance, you will be eligible once the disciplinary probation ends and you are back in "good student standing" with the University. This requirement is not only a CSU-wide policy for many Student Organizations, but also was reiterated by the CSUSM Fraternity & Sorority Life student leaders who voted for student standing verification to be an eligibility requirement for new members to uphold the values of all of our Greek Life organizations.

  • What happens if I do something wrong while on disciplinary probation?
    In legal terms, your probation will be revoked. In reality, it means that you have chosen to demonstrate that your membership in the Cal State San Marcos community is less important to you than your actions. Hence, you may be separated from the community, usually by suspension for a minimum of one semester. The general period of suspension is one academic year, or two semesters, with suspension beginning immediately, regardless of the time of the academic semester. This means that if you are suspended after the refund or add/drop period, you will receive no academic credit for the semester or refund of your tuition fees. In addition, you may need to repay any financial aid already awarded for the semester.
  • What does suspension mean?
    Suspension (from the Latin for "to hang up") means that your status as a student at Cal State San Marcos has been temporarily stopped. You may not take classes either here or at any of the campuses of the California State University system during your suspension. In some cases, your suspension will be extended to deny you permission to even be on any of the campuses without prior approval. Certain conditions might apply to when you return to campus, such as proof of counseling, completion of certain activities, or the like. Your disciplinary suspension will be noted on your transcript during the suspension period and will be removed at its successful conclusion. Students who are suspended for a year or more will need to reapply to attend CSUSM once the suspension is over. Suspensions of a year or more are permanently noted on a transcript.
  • What happens if I do something wrong after I'm no longer on disciplinary probation?
    When the probationary period ends, it is not as if the slate has been wiped clean. A second violation will be treated as a repeat offense whether you are on probation or not. The difference is generally in the severity of the sanction, such as duration of the probation or suspension, when it begins, and what conditions might be included.
  • What happens if I do something wrong after I've finished my suspension?
    Students who continue to choose to violate the University's rules and policies will be permanently separated from both the campus and the system by means of expulsion. Expulsion (Latin for "forcibly ejected") is a permanent sanction and means that you are prohibited from returning to this or any other CSU Campus of the California State University system as a student. Expulsion is permanently noted on the academic transcript.
  • What does a warning mean?

    While a warning is not considered a formal sanction, it will come in the form of a formal written letter cautioning you to adhere to the Standards for Student Conduct and adjust behavior accordingly. Violation of the Standards for Student Conduct may impact your standing with the University and risk your ability to continue as an active student. Any additional violation of the Standards for Student Conduct for which a student is found responsible will be regarded as a second offense and more severe sanctions are likely for repeated violations.