The Office of the Dean of Students receives and reviews a written complaint or incident report alleging a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Upon initial review, the Associate Provost/Dean of Students or their designee may dismiss the complaint due to a lack of actionable information, have a preliminary conversation with the individual(s) involved or ask Public Safety or Housing and Residence Life staff to further investigate the incident.
If there is a possible violation of the Code of Student Conduct, the case will be referred to either a Conduct Administrator (a single staff member) or a Review Board (made up of a number of faculty and staff) for resolution.
The Conduct Administrator will review the report or complaint, determine the nature of potential violation(s), and send the Student(s) (sometimes called a "Respondent") a notification letter via email within ten days of the date of the incident report. The notification letter generally includes the time, date, location, and alleged conduct described in the incident report or complaint. Student(s) will be given at least three business days, written notice, by email, prior to a scheduled meeting.
Students and/or student organizations referred to the Integrity Formation may ask for or be offered an opportunity to resolve their case without a formal meeting. Cases may be resolved through an Alternative Resolution if the Student(s) agree to this method.
Student(s) agreeing to an alternative resolution must understand that by accepting and participating in the alternative resolution that they are waiving their rights to a formal meeting and process, as well as any further appeal. If the alternative option is declined by the Student or no agreement is reached, the matter will proceed to an Integrity Formation meeting.
An integrity formation meeting, also called a "hearing", is a meeting between the Student and the Conduct Administrator or Review Board. Meetings shall be conducted in private. At most meetings, the Student, their Advisor (if they bring one), and a Conduct Administrator are present. Admission of any other person, including Witnesses, to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Conduct Administrator.
When a case is resolved with a Review Board, the members of the board are also present in the meeting.
The Conduct Administrator or Review Board will then determine whether the Student violated the Code. We use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard of proof at Seattle University. There must be evidence to conclude the Respondent “more likely than not” violated the Code.
The Student is then notified by SU email whether they were found Responsible or Not Responsible for each alleged violation. If found Responsible for a violation, the Conduct Administrator or Review Board Chair will identify appropriate sanctions.
Sanctions typically include are educational activities (papers, educational workshops) and reflective opportunities (reflection papers, discernment projects), as well as disciplinary statuses (such as a disciplinary warning or a period of disciplinary probation).
In some cases, students may be asked to pay a fee associated with an educational activity or charges in the form of restitution when the alleged violation includes damages to property. Rarely, the University may impose a limitation on specific privileges, such as access to spaces or use of resources, when this limitation is necessary to protect the University community.
Please visit the Sanctions page for more information regarding the types of sanctions at Seattle University.
After a decision has been made in the conduct meeting and the Student receives the decision letter, the Student may file an appeal by 3:30pm within 5 business days from the date of the decision letter. Appeals are not re-hearings, and they are not granted based on disagreement with the original decision. An appeal must meet specific criteria to be granted (detailed in Section 3.3 of the Code). Please visit the Appeal Process page for more information regarding the appeal process.
In rare cases, Students choose not to complete their assigned sanctions. If a Student does not complete sanctions on time, the Conduct Administrator will send a letter through SU email letting the Student know that they are not in compliance. When this happens, a $50.00 fine is issued in addition to the original sanctions. The Student then has one more week to finish the sanctions.
If sanctions are not done one week after a Student receives an incomplete sanctions fine, the Office of the Dean of Students places a hold on the Student's student account. This hold could prevent registration or other University business until the sanctions are completed successfully. Most Students will not reach this step.