Initiating a Complaint
A student conduct action may be initiated by any member of the DePaul community (student, faculty, or staff) who feels that he/she has been adversely affected by a student's actions in violation of the Code of Student Responsibility or other policy, or who has reasonable cause to believe that a student has violated the Code of Student Responsibility or other policy.
Complaints shall be made in writing to the Dean of Students Office or other appropriate office.
Relationship Between the Student Conduct Process & Legal Proceedings
A student may be subject to the Student Conduct Process in addition to any civil or criminal proceedings. The University, in its sole discretion, will make the decision whether or not to delay the Student Conduct Process until the conclusion of any civil or criminal action associated with a complaint. If a referred student chooses not to participate in the Student Conduct Process because of a pending legal action, the hearing officer may render a decision based solely on the written documentation and/or the complainant’s testimony available at the time without the benefit of information from the referred student.
The Student Conduct Process is designed to be educational, not legal, in nature. Rules of evidence and discovery do not apply to the Student Conduct Process. Students should not draw parallel interpretations between the Code of Student Responsibility or other DePaul policies and criminal or civil law. The outcome of a legal proceeding is not determinative on the Student Conduct Process.
Delivery of Written Notices
All written notices regarding student conduct actions will be delivered personally or via the postal service or email. It is a student’s responsibility to ensure that his/her information (including address, phone number and email) is current in Campus Connect.
When the university is made aware of a potential violation of the Code of Student Responsibility, it may be necessary for appropriate staff members to conduct an investigation prior to referring the incident to the Student Conduct Process. Such investigations are either conducted by or in collaboration with the Dean of Students Office. Staff charged with conducting an investigation may gather evidence, conduct interviews, and solicit materials. Investigations will be conducted with all reasonable speed. At the conclusion of the investigation, an investigator submits all materials to the Dean of Students Office who will determine whether the Student Conduct Process will begin. A student may choose to have an Advisor at any meeting related to an investigation.
Upon a written complaint that an alleged violation has occurred, the Dean of Students Office or other designated office shall conduct an initial review.
At the time of the initial review, the student will be given the following:
- A written statement of the alleged violations in sufficient enough detail to enable the student to prepare a defense.
- Reasonable access to information specific to one’s case.
- An explanation of, and opportunity to ask questions about the Student Conduct Process, including (a) an explanation of the two hearing possibilities (Administrative Hearing and Conduct Board Hearing) and the University's determination as to which type of hearing will be conducted; (b) an explanation of "Important Aspects of the Student Conduct Process;" (c) an explanation of possible sanctions; and (d) an explanation of appeal procedures.
- Instructions on how to schedule the appropriate hearing.
- Information regarding any interim sanctions, if applicable.
The initial review will include a determination as to whether the University has jurisdiction over the violation. (See Explanation of Important Aspects of the Student Conduct Process—Jurisdiction.) This initial review could consist of requesting additional information from the complainant or referred student, or otherwise collecting additional information. This initial review is intended only to provide information pertinent to the incident under review and is not designed to result in a binding decision. The designated reviewer will take reasonable measures to ensure that the initial review is completed within five business days of the date of written complaint that a violation has occurred. However, the University reserves the right to extend this time limit, in its sole discretion, in order to ensure a proper initial review of all relevant material.
If the referred student acknowledges that a violation, or the conduct giving rise to a violation, has occurred at any time during the initial review, the process may immediately move to the sanction process. These sanctions may be appealed in accordance with the procedures detailed in the Conduct Appeals Procedures.
Initiating a Hearing
If, after the initial review, the designated reviewer determines that there is not reasonable cause to believe that the allegation has occurred, the review shall promptly cease and no record of the complaint shall be retained in the student’s conduct file.
If, after the initial review, the designated reviewer determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of policy has occurred, the Student Conduct Process will move forward.
In order to protect the health, safety, security and well-being of the University community and its members, the University reserves the right to immediately impose interim sanctions upon a student when it determines, in its sole discretion, that the continued presence of the referred student does any of the following:
- constitutes a threat to the safety or well-being of the referred student, any other member of the University community, or any invited guest;
- risks destruction of property; or
- risks disruption of classroom or other campus activities.
The University will take reasonable measures to ensure that any student suspended or otherwise sanctioned on an interim basis shall have a final determination of the charges made through appropriate hearing procedures within ten business days of such suspension. However, the University reserves the right to extend this time limit, in its sole discretion, in order to ensure proper review of all relevant material. During this time the referred student shall forfeit those rights and privileges as the University deems appropriate. Should it be found that the student did not commit the act(s), the interim sanction shall be revoked.
Prior Record of Sanctions
Because a student’s prior record of conduct will be used as a basis for more stringent conduct action, previous sanctioned violations in the student’s conduct file may be considered before assigning any conduct sanction(s). Any previously imposed sanctions may provide additional justification that more strict action is necessary to ensure that the student understands the full impact his/her pattern of behavior is having on the DePaul community.
Failure to Participate
Failure of a student to agree to, appear at, or participate in a hearing, or to otherwise disrupt the normal hearing process, may in itself constitute a violation. The University reserves the right to pursue this additional violation in the same or a separate hearing. If a referred student chooses not to have the hearing process explained, chooses not to participate in the hearing process, or otherwise fails to appear at a hearing, the hearing officer may render a decision and if appropriate, impose sanctions based solely on the information available at the time without the benefit of information from the referred student. These sanctions may be appealed in accordance with the procedures detailed in Conduct Appeals Procedures.
Standard for Hearing Determinations
The standard of “whether it is more likely than not that the alleged violation(s) has/have occurred” will be the basis for conducting any hearing and imposing any sanctions.
Additional Procedures Regarding Sexual and Relationship Violence
Please also refer to the Sexual & Relationship Violence Prevention and Response policy for additional procedural information for Student Conduct Process matters involving a potential violation of that policy.