UO Student Conduct and Community Standards
Frequently Asked Questions
The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, a department of the Office of the Dean of Students, created this guide to assist you in helping your student navigate the student conduct process at the University of Oregon. This guide can help students filing a complaint or students accused of violating the Student Conduct Code. The University’s philosophy of student conduct is threefold: (1) to be educational, (2) to prevent future violations, and (3) to repair any harm done to the community. Whenever possible, sanctions focus on helping students learn from their mistakes and being better citizens.
- Why is there a Student Conduct Code? The Code sets the standard of personal and organizational conduct for students and groups. However, this standard is not merely a minimum expectation but also what the University community hopes each student and group aspires to be. The Code’s main purpose is to maintain and protect an environment conducive to learning.
- Where and when does the Code apply? In general, students are accountable for their behavior when it occurs on University property or University-sponsored event. Students may also be accountable for behavior off-campus. Please review the jurisdiction section of the code of conduct.
- So, what are the rules? The UO’s primary “rules” can be found at http://conduct.uoregon.edu (click on Student Conduct Code). Students must also follow other University policies, such as class syllabi, departmental policies, Information Services Acceptable Use Policy, and University Housing’s Residence Hall Contract.
- What does the University do when a violation is reported? University officials determine what, if any, violations may have occurred and then notify the student(s) of the suspected violations by e-mail. The University requires students to check their University e-mail accounts daily. The student then has 7 calendar days to schedule an appointment with a hearing officer to discuss the alleged misconduct. A hearing officer will decide the student’s responsibility without the student’s input after this 7-day time limit.
- What is the difference between student conduct violations and criminal violations? Sometimes violations can both violate the Student Conduct Code and local, state, and federal laws. However, filing a complaint with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards does not constitute filing a criminal complaint (or vice versa).
- What support can a victim or affected party get? Students can seek assistance from numerous departments and organizations on campus. A good place to start is the Office of the Dean of Students, located at 164 Oregon Hall, 541.346.3216. Administrators are available for drop-in cases from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. on business days. The Dean of Students office has a staff member specializing in victim advocacy and other staff members who can assist with safety planning. Moreover, an advocate from the Dean of Students office can attend any meetings to support the student who is a victim of a crime of violence.
- What support can an accused student get? Accused students can get support from administrators, other faculty/staff, family, and friends. Specifically, the Office of the Dean of Students, located at 164 Oregon Hall, 541.346.3216, can assist accused students. Of course, students can get support from parents. While the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards recognizes the parents’ goal is to provide support for their student, it asks you provide this unconditional support with encouragement to take responsibility for the student’s behaviors and to learn from the mistakes. Parents should know that there is a process in place to hear all the information regarding the incident, so parents should encourage the student to prepare for the process. Moreover, parents should ask questions that get the student to reflect on the student’s effect on the campus community.
- What does the University do next? University officials determine what, if any, violations may have occurred and then notify the student(s) of the suspected violations by e-mail. The University requires students to check their University e-mail accounts daily. The student then has 7 calendar days to schedule an appointment with a hearing officer to discuss the alleged misconduct. A hearing officer will decide the student’s responsibility without the student’s input after this 7-day time limit.
- What support can a student get? Students can seek assistance from administrators, faculty/staff, family, or friends. A good place to start is the Office of the Dean of Students, located at 164 Oregon Hall, 541.346.3216. Staff members are available for drop-in from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. on business days. Student Life staff members can help a student negotiate and understand the conduct process. However, students need to know that the support person is there to offer support, not to resolve the case; students are expected to speak for themselves and participate in the educational process.
- What standard is applied in determining responsibility? The UO uses the “preponderance of evidence”. This is also known as “what is more likely than not” to have occurred. This is not the same standard used in criminal cases.
- What can parents do? Some parents’ first instinct is to solve the problem for the student. However, parents staying in the background could be an important developmental step for their student. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards recommends waiting 24 hours before intervening on their behalf. Parents may find they do not need to do anything and instead allow their student to learn from their mistakes, which can be one of the most valuable lessons in higher education.
- How does the University find out about violations? Most commonly, the University officials in the University of Oregon Police Department and University Housing write reports when they witness violations of the Student Conduct Code. However, reports may also come from faculty/staff, greater Eugene/Springfield community members, the Eugene Police Department, and students.
- If a student is found responsible, what are the possible sanctions? Sanctions are assigned specific to each student and are intended to be educational in nature. Sanctions may include substance abuse education courses, counseling assessments, reflection papers, educational projects, loss of privileges, or community service. Severe cases or cases in which the student violates a policy multiple times could result in eviction from the residence halls, suspension, expulsion, or negative notation on their transcript.
- What effect does a finding of responsibility have on a student? Students may need to explain these violations on study abroad, scholarship, employment, etc. applications, but evaluators of these applications are looking for what students have learned from their violations. Moreover, most students’ conduct records are destroyed (and therefore no longer reportable) five years after the incident date.
- If a student is found responsible, what are the possible sanctions? Sanctions can vary because many factors apply: type of offense, severity of offense, attitude of the responsible student, etc. Common sanctions can include substance abuse education courses, counseling assessments, reflection papers, educational projects, loss of privileges, and community service. Severe cases or cases in which the student violates a policy multiple times could result in eviction from the residence halls, suspension, expulsion, or negative notation on the transcript.
- Will the University tell parents about these violations or hearings? No. A student must specifically waive privacy (granted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) and designates a person(s) to receive such information. Moreover, even after a student waives privacy, it is up to the designee(s) to inquire about the student’s conduct record—the University will not automatically inform a designee(s) of future violations.
- Who can act as my advisor during the student conduct process? A student can have one advisor. The student can choose anyone to be an advisor. It can be a friend or family member, a UO faculty or staff member, an attorney, or a representative from Student Advocacy.