The information below is meant to provide a broad overview of the student conduct process. Please refer to Daniel’s Dictionary for a more comprehensive description of the process.

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is responsible for administering a fair, impartial process to address student misconduct. Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to the policies contained within the University’s student handbook, known as Daniel’s Dictionary.

When Student Conduct and Community Standards staff review reports of misconduct by students, a determination is made as to whether that behavior constitutes a potential violation of University policy. Staff will then begin the process by referring the case for appropriate action.

In most cases, students will be notified, via e-mail, to attend an Administrative Meeting with a student conduct officer. In cases where a student may face removal from the residence halls or suspension/expulsion from the University, a student will have a choice of one of two types of student conduct proceedings. An Administrative Meeting is with one conduct officer and a Student Conduct Board Hearing is with three members of the University community and a convener. It is important to remember that all student conduct proceedings are administrative in nature and are informed by the fundamental educational mission of the University; they are not legal court proceedings.

The purpose of any student conduct proceeding is for the conduct officer or board to discuss the allegations with the involved parties and evaluate all available information in order to determine if the accused student is “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” for violating University policy. In order to reach this finding, the conduct officer or Board will apply the “preponderance of the evidence” standard in deciding if a violation occurred. In other words, is it more likely than not that a policy was violated.

Students found “Responsible” for violations will be assigned sanctions, as appropriate to the underlying conduct, course of conduct, and overall student conduct history. Sanctions range from less stringent measures such as warnings to more severe penalties such as suspension or expulsion from the University. The purpose of sanctions is typically educational and rehabilitative, but some matters will necessitate sanctions that protect the Drew community.

The following link provides a visual model of the process, from the time an incident is reported to the completion of sanctions:

 View Student Conduct Process Flowchart

Understand Your Role in the Process

Click on the tabs below for tips on participating in the process.

Accused Student

  • Read Daniel’s Dictionary prior to your student conduct proceeding to fully understand the student conduct procedures.
  • Decide whether you plan to accept responsibility for the allegations or contest them.
    • If you are accepting responsibility, be prepared to share any mitigating factors or information that the conduct officer or board may not know.
    • If you are contesting the allegations, be prepared to share why you disagree with the complaint and clarify any misinformation.
  • Plan ahead for what you want to say during your proceeding; consider preparing a statement or an outline with key points.
  • Anticipate questions that may come up and prepare concise and direct answers.
  • Be respectful. The conversation may be challenging at times, but it is not meant to be an adversarial process.
  • Be attentive to any communication, especially e-mail, from Student Conduct and Community Standards staff.
  • Choose an advocate to serve as your silent supporter through the process, if needed.
  • Show up to your scheduled student conduct proceeding. If you do not, you will not have the opportunity to respond to allegations before a decision is made.
  • If the situation calls for it, present evidence or witnesses in advance to support your claims.
  • Remember, lack of awareness of a policy is not an acceptable defense.
  • If you are required to complete any sanctions or follow any dictates, comply fully so that you can move forward from the situation.

Complainant

  • Read Daniel’s Dictionary prior to the student conduct proceeding to fully understand the student conduct procedures.
  • Be sure you fully understand the policy that the accused student is alleged to have violated.
  • Be prepared to identify a sequence of events, clarify discrepancies between your story and the accused student’s story, and explain any details that may not otherwise be known.
  • Plan ahead for what you want to say during your proceeding; consider preparing a statement or an outline with key points.
  • Anticipate questions that may come up and prepare concise and direct answers.
  • Be attentive to any communication, especially e-mail, from Student Conduct and Community Standards staff.
  • Choose an advocate to serve as your silent supporter through the process, if needed.
  • If the situation calls for it, present evidence or witnesses in advance to support your complaint.

Witness

  • Read Daniel’s Dictionary prior to the student conduct proceeding to fully understand the student conduct procedures.
  • The purpose of a witness is not to take a side, it is to participate in good faith to provide accurate information about an incident.
  • Character witnesses are not permissible in the process because they do not provide relevant information in deciding whether a violation occurred.
  • Focus on matters directly related to the incident being addressed.
  • Be clear and focus on details in explaining what you saw, heard, and/or did in the situation that you witnessed.

Student's Silent Supporter

  • Review Daniel’s Dictionary with the student to understand the student conduct process.
  • Make sure the student understands the allegations.
  • Help the student remain calm and in control.
  • Provide moral support and be there to listen.
  • Take notes during any meetings.
  • Help the student access appropriate University resources.
  • Anticipate questions that may be asked and help the student clarify discrepancies.
  • Help the student prepare a statement of his/her understanding of the events related to the incident.
  • As you begin to understand the events, help the student identify any relevant evidence or witnesses.
  • Identify questions that the student may have about the incident for any witnesses or the conduct officer.
  • Assist in preparing written statements or outlines to ensure major points are not forgotten.

This information is provided as a resource for participants in the student conduct process.  Please refer to Daniel’s Dictionary for a more comprehensive description of the process.  If you have any concerns or questions about your role in the process, please direct them to the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards.