Non-Academic Misconduct FAQ
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding Student Conduct. If you have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact the Office of Student Conduct!
If you are requested to schedule a preliminary interview, you have been referred to our office because you *may* have violated the Code of Student Conduct. During the preliminary interview, you will meet with an Office of Student Conduct staff member to review the allegations and learn more about the student conduct process. There is no obligation to resolve your case during this meeting, although in some situations, you may be able to. There are three possible outcomes to this meeting:
- The charges may be dismissed;
- Your case may be resolved informally by the staff member in a disciplinary conference; or
- You may be referred to a hearing board for the resolution of the charges.
The student conduct process, as outlined in the Code, will continue in your absence. The preliminary interview is an informational meeting, therefore there is no benefit to not attending. You also miss the opportunity to carefully discuss the disciplinary process with a member of the Student Conduct staff. If you do not attend the preliminary interview, your case will most likely be referred to a staff member or hearing board for resolution. In the meantime, our office may also place a "block" your student account; which could prevent you from registering for classes or obtaining a transcript. The block may remain on your account until the case has been resolved and, if necessary, sanctions have been completed.
Hearings and other proceedings at an educational institution do not follow the same procedures used in courtrooms. The university does not employ lawyers to "prosecute" students or apply the rules of evidence used in civil or criminal trial. Instead, charges are investigated and resolved in an atmosphere of candor, truthfulness, and civility. When facing allegations, however, some students find it helpful to have the expertise of a representative from the Student Legal Aid Office located in the South Campus Dining building. Student Legal Aid is familiar with our process and may prove helpful to you in some circumstances. This is a free service offered to all University of Maryland students. A Student Legal Aid brochure can be requested by you during the preliminary interview. You may have an attorney present to advise you if desired, but you are not required to have an attorney as they are not able to speak on your behalf.
In Conduct cases, attorneys may only serve in an advisory role and may not address the board.
In Code of Student Conduct cases, if a student is not facing dismissal from the University or housing, a staff member can resolve a case through an administrative meeting called a " disciplinary conference" and this will usually occur immediately after the preliminary interview or during a separate scheduled meeting. The complainant may not be present during this meeting unless deemed necessary. However, students who are facing dismissal from the University will be able to choose between a disciplinary conference or a hearing.
A hearing before the Central Board or Resident Board is a more formal process for resolving a complaint. The student and the complaining party generally present their cases before a panel of University Student Judiciary members who renders a decision. If a student is found "responsible" for the alleged violation(s), the Board will recommend appropriate sanctions, which may include suspension or explusion from the University. For a more in depth description of these processes, please ask for a copy of the Code of Student Conduct.
Not necessarily. Disciplinary proceedings conducted by the university are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Generally, under FERPA, disciplinary records may not be released or disclosed without the expressed written permission of the student whose disciplinary record is being sought unless provided by law. Release of student disciplinary records is permitted without prior consent to university officials with legitimate educational interest; victim/s of an alleged crime of violence or of an alleged sexual assault; and parents of a student who can provide written documentation that the student is financially dependent.
However, it is our office's practice to have a parent or guardian contact the Office of Student Conduct if their student is facing dismissal from the University.