FAQ(s)

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Conduct

  • General Student Conduct FAQs

    How do I report an incident? 

    An incident report can be submitted by any member of the campus community. To access the form and submit a report, go to the Report An Incident webpage for reporting options and forms.  

    Where can I find a listing of KU's conduct policies and procedures? 

    The KU student handbook, The Key,  contains two very important documents outlining the university's behavioral expectations and student conduct process, namely the Student Code of Conduct and Document on Student Rights and Welfare. See the Policy Information page on the Student Conduct website for additional information. 

    Why aren't the terms "guilty" and "not guilty" used in the student conduct process?

    These terms are synonymous with the legal system and the student conduct process at KU is not a part of the legal system. Unnecessary legal terminology or legalese is not relevant to the student conduct process. As a result, the university uses the terms "responsible" and "not responsible" to define the outcome in a student conduct case.

    Who can access my student conduct file?

    Student conduct records are kept on file within the Student Conduct office and accessed by only those employees with a legitimate educational need to know. Records are kept confidential and are not disclosed to outside parties except by written permission of the student or through a court order. For more information about records, go to the KU FERPA page

    How long are student conduct records kept on file?

    Student conduct records will be maintained for seven (7) years; records may be maintained for a longer period if the record holder is a currently enrolled student. Student conduct records for dismissed students will be maintained permanently. When necessitated by extenuating circumstances (such as pending legal issues) the university reserves the right to keep student conduct records for longer periods as deemed necessary.

    What is a student conduct hearing? What is its purpose?  

    An assigned hearing authority (e.g. hearing board) is convened to address cases in which a policy violation is alleged to have occurred. The purpose of the hearing is to find out what happened in a particular situation, figure out whether any policy violations were committed and if so, decide what to do regarding the possible policy violation.

    Isn't going through the local court and going through the student conduct process the same thing?

    No. The university addresses cases involving violations of KU policy. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of law. Depending on the circumstances, students may have to go through one channel or the other. In some cases, they may be subject to both.

    Who can serve as an advocate?

    An advocate can be a non-involved student, faculty member, or administrative staff member. The respondent may also bring an attorney at his/her own expense to serve as an advocate.

    In Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) cases, a student can have an advisor of choice regardless of university affiliation serve as their advocate. 

    What is FERPA? How does it apply?  

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (US Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). Student disciplinary records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. For information, visit the KU FERPA page.  

  • For Complainants

    Who is a Complainant?     

    The complainant is the individual student, faculty member, staff member, department, or university entity that is alleging a student violated the Student Code of Conduct and/or other university policies

    Who is a Respondent?

    The respondent refers to the individual student who is accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct and/or other university policies. 

    Who may file a student conduct incident report?  

    Any student, faculty or staff member of the KU community can report a policy violation. In order to do this, an incident report must be submitted. Consult the Report An Incident webpage for reporting forms.   

    Who can be accused of a Student Code of Conduct violation?

    Any student attending on a part-time or full-time basis is expected to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the university and is subject to disciplinary action in the event that a policy violation occurs.  This also may include a student who is not currently enrolled but is maintaining his or her enrollment status with the university (e.g. summer break, winter break, leave of absence, etc.).  Both students living on and off campus are expected to abide by KU's policies.

    Where can I find a listing of KU's conduct policies and procedures?

    The Key contains two very important documents outlining the university's behavioral expectations and student conduct process, namely the Student Code of Conduct and Document on Student Rights and Welfare.  The Student Conduct website also has a listing of policies and procedures that may be helpful. 

    Is it mandatory for me to have witnesses at the hearing?

    No. Witnesses are not mandatory although they are recommended (if applicable) to help legitimize and bolster your case. The purpose of calling and questioning witnesses is to find the truth of the case, clarify testimony contained in an incident report and support your position.

    What is a student conduct hearing? What is its purpose?  

    An assigned hearing authority (e.g. hearing board) is convened to address cases in which a policy violation is alleged to have occurred. The purpose of the hearing is to find out what happened in a particular situation, figure out whether any policy violations were committed and if so, decide what to do regarding the possible policy violation.

    What is the University Conduct Board? What is its purpose?

    The University Conduct Board (UCB) is a three-person panel consisting of one representative from each of the following groups: student body, faculty, and administration. Generally speaking, for each UCB hearing one representative from each of those three groups serves on the board for each case. The UCB convenes to adjudicate most cases in which a policy violation is contested and attempts to find out what happened, figures out whether any policy violations took place and decides what to do regarding the possible policy violation.

    What is the Student-Faculty Review Board? What is its purpose?

    The Student-Faculty Review Board (SFRB) is comprised of five faculty members, four student representatives and the Dean of Students.  The SFRB serves as the appeals committee for the student conduct process and also is the hearing authority responsible for academic dishonesty hearings. 

    Is there anyone available to assist me with preparing for a conduct hearing?

    Non-Title IX: Students may choose to contact a Student Conduct Advocate (SCA).  SCAs assist students in navigating the student conduct process. An SCA can help educate students about the conduct process, hearings, appeal procedures, and provide general support.  

    Title IX: For Sexual Misconduct Policy cases, a student can have an advisor of choice regardless of university affiliation serves as their advisor. If a student does not have an advisor, the university will provide an advisor to assist the student at their formal hearing. 

    Isn't going through the local court and going through the student conduct process the same thing?

    No. The University addresses cases involving violations of KU policy. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of law. Depending on the circumstances, students may have to go through one channel or the other. In some cases, they may be subject to both. Regardless, both systems are separate and distinct from one another; an outcome in one process does not equate to the same outcome in the other process. 

    Is there a dress code I need to follow if I am going through the hearing process?

    No, but it is important to maintain a sense of professionalism at a hearing or preliminary briefing. It is recommended that you refrain from wearing ripped jeans, t-shirts with logos, athletic apparel, sleepwear, etc. Hats or bandanas should not be worn in the hearing.

    Can a respondent (accused student) appeal a decision made in the student conduct process?

    Yes. After being informed of a decision by a hearing authority, Respondents (as well as complainants) have the option of filing an appeal challenging the outcome of their case if they believe an error or mistake was made with their case. Appellants have five (5) days to request an appeal and all appeals must follow the appeal procedure defined in Document on Student Rights & Welfare, as found in the student handbook The Key.  

    What's will happen to the respondent (accused student) if the student is found responsible for a conduct violation?

    If a respondent is found responsible for a violation, a hearing authority or case officer will determine the sanction for the student upon a review of the incident and a student's disciplinary record. Factors that help to determine the level of sanctioning include the severity of the violation, previous violations (if any), and the discussion between the hearing authority and the student. 

    If I am a complainant will this fact show up on my transcripts or personal records at all?

    No. Since you are not the one being accused of violating University policy, the incident does not show up as a disciplinary record.

    What is the standard of evidence used in the student conduct process?

    Decisions with respect to student responsibility for alleged actions are made based on a preponderance of the evidence; that is, the hearing authority will determine what is "more likely than not" to have taken place.

    What is FERPA? How does it apply?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (US Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). Student conduct records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. For information, visit the KU FERPA page.  

  • For Respondents

    Who is a Respondent?  

    The respondent refers to the individual student who is accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct and/or other university policies. 

    Who is a Complainant? 

    The complainant refers to the individual student, faculty member, staff member, department, or university entity that is alleging a student violated the Student Code of Conduct and/or other university policies.

    Who can be accused of a Student Code of Conduct violation?

    Any student attending on a part-time or full-time basis is expected to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the university and is subject to disciplinary action in the event that a policy violation occurs. This also may include a student who is not currently enrolled but is maintaining his or her enrollment status with the university (e.g. summer break, winter break, leave of absence, etc.).  Both students living on and off campus are expected to abide by KU's policies.

    What is a preliminary briefing?

    A preliminary briefing is a meeting between a respondent and the student's assigned case officer. At a preliminary briefing, the respondent is informed of the alleged policy violations the student. The respondent's student conduct rights are review and the respondent is given an opportunity to respond to the allegation of misconduct. A respondent may either:

    • accept responsibility for a violation and be sanctioned accordingly;
    • deny responsibility and request a hearing with the appropriate hearing authority; or
    • waive the right to participate in the student conduct process.

    Can I appeal a decision made in the student conduct process?

    Yes. After being informed of a decision by a hearing authority, respondents (as well as complainants) have the option of filing a request to an appeal.  Appellants have five (5) days to request an appeal and all appeals must follow the appeal procedure defined in Document on Student Rights & Welfare, as found in the student handbook The Key.  

    What's going to happen to me if I am found responsible for a conduct violation?

    If a respondent is found responsible for a violation, a hearing authority determines the sanction for the student based upon a review of the incident as well as the student's disciplinary record. Factors that impact the level of sanctioning include severity of the violation, sanction guidelines, previous violations of record (if any) and mitigating or aggravating circumstances.  

    Who can serve as an advocate?

    Non-Title IX Cases: Students may choose to contact a Student Conduct Advocate (SCA).  SCAs assist students in navigating the student conduct process. An SCA can help educate students about the conduct process, hearings, appeal procedures, and provide general support.  

    Title IX Cases: For Sexual Misconduct Policy cases, a student can have an advisor of choice regardless of university affiliation serves as their advisor. If a student does not have an advisor, the university will provide an advisor to assist the student at their formal hearing. 

    Should I hire a lawyer to represent me?

    Although it is not necessary or required, a respondent does have the right to bring an advocate, who can be an attorney, to a student conduct meeting or hearing. However, advocates, including attorneys, may not represent or speak on behalf of a student at a conduct proceeding. The respondent has the responsibility to speak on their own behalf if the student chooses to question witnesses or present testimony at a hearing.

    What is the University Conduct Board? 

    The University Conduct Board (UCB) is a three-person panel consisting of one representative from each of the following groups: student body, faculty, and administration. Generally speaking, for each UCB hearing one representative from each of those three groups serves on the board for each case. The UCB convenes to adjudicate most cases in which a policy violation is contested and attempts to find out what happened, figures out whether any policy violations took place and decides what to do regarding the possible policy violation.

    What is the Student-Faculty Review Board? What is its purpose?

    The Student-Faculty Review Board (SFRB) is comprised of five faculty members, four student representatives and the Dean of Students.  The SFRB serves as the appeals committee for the student conduct process and also is the hearing authority responsible for academic dishonesty hearings. 

    Isn't going through the local court and going through the student conduct process the same thing?  What if I am being accused of violating local, state or federal law? 

    No. The University addresses cases involving violations of KU policy. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of law. Depending on the circumstances, students may have to go through one channel or the other. In some cases, they may be subject to both. Regardless, both systems are separate and distinct from one another; an outcome in one process does not equate to the same outcome in the other process. 

    But I was off-campus when the incident occurred. Why am I still in trouble with the University?

    Kutztown University reserves the right to address off-campus behavior for acts as outlined in Article III (Jurisdiction; Off Campus Rights & Responsibilities) of the Student Code of Conduct. The university will determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not an individual's alleged conduct represents a substantial university interest. Citations issued or arrests made by local law enforcement represent a substantial university interest and are addressed by the university. 

    I was involved in a situation that was documented in an Incident Report. What happens next?

    If sufficient information is presented in the incident report, a letter citing the alleged violations and basic details of the incident will be emailed to your official university email account. This letter, also known as a Notice of Student Conduct Charges, will provide instructions on how to set up an initial meeting, known as a preliminary briefing, where you will be informed of your student rights and the options for resolution.

    If I am charged with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, will I have a chance to prove that I am not responsible? Or am I automatically assumed to be responsible for the charges brought against me?

    At your preliminary briefing, you will have the opportunity to dispute the allegation of misconduct by pleading "not responsible" to the charge in question. By denying responsibility you are requesting to have your case decided by the appropriate hearing authority. If a student wishes to accept responsibility they will be given the opportunity to make a statement about their involvement in an incident. In all cases, students are assumed "not responsible" until proven otherwise.

    Why aren't the terms "guilty" and "not guilty" used?

    These terms are synonymous with the legal system and the student conduct process at KU is not a part of the legal system. Unnecessary legal terminology or legalese is not relevant to the student conduct process. As a result, the university uses the terms "responsible" and "not responsible" to define the outcome in a student conduct case.

    What is the standard of evidence in the student conduct process?

    Decisions with respect to student responsibility for alleged actions are made based on a preponderance of the evidence; that is, the hearing authority will determine what is "more likely than not" to have taken place.

    What if I didn't know I was breaking the rules?

    Students are expected to aware of KU's policies and procedures. Reasonable efforts are made to educate students about the Student Code of Conduct through various efforts.  Further, students are expected to have a fundamental understanding of the criminal laws as citizens, particularly law governing alcohol and other drugs. 

    Is there a dress code I need to follow if I am going through the hearing process?

    No, but it is important to maintain a sense of professionalism at a hearing or preliminary briefing. It is recommended that you refrain from wearing ripped jeans, t-shirts with logos, athletic apparel, sleepwear, etc. Hats or bandanas should not be worn in the hearing.

    What happens if I refuse to participate in the student conduct process?

    Respondents (accused students) have a right not to respond or participate in the process. However, the process will continue with or without the student's involvement and a decision will be reached based on the information that is provided or available to the hearing panel or administrator. A respondent may not use his or his choice not to participate as grounds for appealing a decision. A student's decision not to participate in the process is not held against him or her; decisions are made based on the presented evidence in relation to the policy or conduct standards in question.

    Are there any repercussions if I do not complete my sanction by the appointed deadline?

    If you fail to complete a sanction, a hold (aka service indicator) will be placed your student account in MyKU and you will be unable to register for classes or conduct any other university business until all sanction conditions are satisfied. Depending on the terms of your sanction, you may also be subject to other penalties or additional conduct charges. If you need to register for classes but are restricted from doing so because of an overdue sanction, you may turn in a Request to Lift a MyKU Student Conduct Hold to have your records temporarily unsealed; this form is optional and students must agree to terms and conditions. 

    Will my parents be notified if I am involved in an incident or am found to be responsible for a violation?

    For respondents under the age of 21, following a second infraction and finding of responsibility for violations of drug or alcohol violations, the Dean of Students Office will inform parents or legal guardians of all previous violations. At the time of the first incident, students will be strongly advised to consult with their parents or guardians regarding their behavior. For additional information on parental notification refer to Article V of the Student Code of Conduct.

    If I am found responsible for a conduct violation, how long will the incident remain on my record?

    Student conduct records will be maintained for seven (7) years; records may be maintained for a longer period if the record holder is a currently enrolled student. Student conduct records for dismissed students will be maintained permanently. When necessitated by extenuating circumstances (such as pending legal issues) the university reserves the right to keep student conduct records for longer periods as deemed necessary.

    Will being responsible for a conduct violation affect my involvement in Intercollegiate Athletics, Club Sports or other extracurricular activities?

    Students that are placed on disciplinary probation as a result of a conduct violation are considered not in good standing with the university and are ineligible to participate in any type of intercollegiate competition (including intercollegiate athletics and club sports) or hold any position of leadership within a club or student organization.

    Is there anyone available to assist me with preparing for a conduct hearing?

    Students may choose to contact a Student Conduct Advocate (SCA). SCAs assist students in navigating the student conduct process. An SCA can help educate students about the conduct process, hearings, appeal procedures and provide general support. 

    If I am suspended or dismissed from KU, may I attend another institution of higher education before returning to Kutztown University?

    There are no prohibitions against students attending other institutions while they are on suspension. 

    Do I have to be present at my conduct hearing?

    You have the right not to appear at your conduct hearing. However, your case will still be heard by the appropriate hearing authority at the appointed date and time even if you do not show up for the hearing. It is recommended that you attend your hearing even if you choose not to present testimony or present a defense.

    Do I have to speak at the hearing?

    No. As the respondent, you have the right to not participate in your hearing.  If you decide to not call yourself as a witness you will not be questioned by the hearing authority or the complainant. At the same time you will not be permitted to enter testimony unless you make yourself available to answer questions.  In all cases, the burden of proof rests with the complainant's case.

    Do I present my own case at the hearing?

    Yes. You are responsible for presenting your own personal testimony and questioning witnesses at a hearing. Although you may have a member of the university community or an attorney serve as an advocate at your hearing, they cannot represent you or speak on your behalf at the hearing.

    If a court of law finds me not-guilty or ALL criminal charges are withdrawn, am I still subject to student conduct charges?

    If you are cleared of charges brought against you in a court of law, you will most likely still go through the student conduct process at KU if you are being accused of violating university policy (e.g. Student Code of Conduct).  Remember that university policy is being applied during the conduct process, not the law.  

    I am being charged with a crime that occurred off-campus. Can I get the proceedings delayed until the criminal matter is resolved?

    The student conduct process at Kutztown University does not attempt to determine whether a student has violated the law; the university is trying to determine whether a student violated university rules and regulations. As such, the goals and the means of the criminal justice process and the student conduct process are dissimilar. Generally speaking, no delays are given to students to accommodate their interests in the criminal process. However, delays may only be granted when it is established to the satisfaction of the Dean of Students Office that such a delay is in the interest in ensuring a fair process for all those involved including the respondent, complainant and/or victims. 

    What is FERPA? How does it apply?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (US Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). Student conduct records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. For information, visit the KU FERPA page.  

  • For Faculty & Staff

    What is FERPA? How does it apply?   

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (US Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). Student disciplinary records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. For information, visit the KU FERPA page.  

    Where can I find a listing of KU's conduct policies and procedures?

    The KU student handbook, The Key,  contains two very important documents outlining the university's behavioral expectations and student conduct process, namely the Student Code of Conduct and Document on Student Rights and Welfare. See the Policies & Procedures page on the Student Conduct website for additional information.   

    How can I report a policy violation or incident?

    An incident report can be submitted by any member of the campus community. To access the form and submit a report, go to the Report An Incident webpage for reporting options and forms.  

    Isn't going through the local court and going through the student conduct process the same thing?

    No. The university addresses cases involving violations of KU policy. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of law. Depending on the circumstances, students may have to go through one channel or the other. In some cases, they may be subject to both.

    Can I serve as an advocate or counsel to a student going through the student conduct process?

    Yes. An advocate can be a non-involved student, faculty member, or administrative staff member. A respondent or student complainant may also bring an attorney at their own expense to serve as their advocate in lieu of a community member.

    One of my students is being disruptive in class and is negatively impacting class. What should I do?

    It is recommended that you address classroom disruption when it happens in a way that ends the behavior but doesn't embarrass the student. Afterward, follow up privately with the student to discuss the incident as well as your concerns and expectations to set clear boundaries. Also, addressing classroom rules and expectations at the beginning of the semester in-class as well as on your syllabus can also be very helpful when addressing inappropriate behavior later on in the semester.

    If the pattern of disruptive behavior continues or if a single incident is sufficiently severe or disruptive, faculty can file an Incident Report with the Dean of Students Office. If the disruptive behavior becomes unruly or if there are safety concerns contact Public Safety and Police Services at 610-683-4001 (x34001) and follow up with the Dean of Students Office. 

  • For Parents & Family

    My child is being accused of a policy violation at KU. What happens next?    

    Any member of the university community can make an allegation of a conduct violation towards a student. If your student is being accused of a violation then the student conduct process will commence in an effort to resolve the allegation. No one likes to be accused of something negative but the fairest way to arrive at an outcome is to provide both sides of a grievance with an opportunity to be heard and a chance to respond. Although this may be uncomfortable and inconvenient, it does provide the fairest avenue for addressing allegations of misconduct. 

    My child is involved in the conduct process, what can I do?

    As members of the KU community, each student is expected to manage his/her own disciplinary matters with the university.  Parents can provide important moral support and assist their student in understanding the process and the expectations of the university. 

    Can I attend my child's scheduled hearing?

    With the exception of Title IX cases, parents are not permitted to participate in student conduct hearings. If a student wants an advocate, they may have a member of the campus community or a private attorney accompany them to a hearing. Please refer to the Student Conduct Advocate program and Role of Advocates for additional information. 

    Are parents notified if their child is involved in an incident or is found to be responsible for a violation of university policy?

    For respondents under the age of 21, following a second infraction and finding of responsibility for violations of drug or alcohol violations, the Dean of Students Office will inform parents or legal guardians of all previous violations. At the time of the first incident, students will be strongly advised to consult with their parents or guardians regarding their behavior. For additional information on parental notification refer to Article V of the Student Code of Conduct.

    If my child is found responsible for a conduct violation, how long will the incident remain on his/her educational record?

    Student conduct records will be maintained for seven (7) years; records may be maintained for a longer period if the record holder is a currently enrolled student. Student conduct records for dismissed students will be maintained permanently. When necessitated by extenuating circumstances (such as pending legal issues) the university reserves the right to keep student conduct records for longer periods as deemed necessary.

    If I want to find out more, what resources are available to me?

    To help you learn more about the student conduct process, you can read The Student Conduct Process: A Guide for Parents, (pdf) from the Association for Student Conduct Administration.

    My child is being charged with a crime that occurred off-campus. Can the proceedings be delayed until the criminal matter is resolved?

    The student conduct process at Kutztown University does not attempt to determine whether a student has violated the law; the university is trying to determine whether a student violated university rules and regulations. As such, the goals and the means of the criminal justice process and the student conduct process are dissimilar. Generally speaking, no delays are given to students to accommodate their interests in the criminal process. However, delays may only be granted when it is established to the satisfaction of the Dean of Students Office that such a delay is in the interest in ensuring a fair process for all those involved including the respondent, complainant and/or victims. 

    What happens if my child refuses to participate in the student conduct process?

    Respondents (accused students) have a right not to respond or participate in the process. However, the process will continue with or without the student's involvement and a decision will be reached based on the information that is provided to the hearing panel or administrator. The student may not use his or his refusal to participate as a later ground for appealing a decision.  A student's decision not to participate in the process is not held against him or her; decisions are made based on the presented evidence in relation to the policy or conduct standards in question.  

    If an incident takes place off campus, what interest does the University have?

    Kutztown University reserves the right to address off-campus behavior for acts as outlined in Article III (Jurisdiction; Off Campus Rights & Responsibilities) of the Student Code of Conduct. The university will determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not an individual's alleged conduct represents a substantial university interest. Citations issued or arrests made by local law enforcement represent a substantial university interest and are addressed by the university. 

    What is FERPA? How does it apply?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (US Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). Student disciplinary records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. For information, visit the KU FERPA page.  

     

  • For Advocates

    Can I assist a student going through the student conduct process?     

    Yes, but only in the capacity of an advocate. Attorneys may not represent students at a hearing, but they are permitted to advise them. Please refer to the Role of Advocates for additional information. 

    What is a student conduct hearing? What is its purpose? 

    An assigned hearing authority convenes to address cases in which a policy violation is contested and attempts to find out what happened, figures out whether any policy violations took place, and decides what to do regarding the possible policy violation.

    What types of policy violations does the KU student conduct process handle?

    The university addresses cases involving violations of policy only. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of law. Depending on circumstances, students may have to go through one channel or the other, or in some cases, may be subject to both. Regardless, they are separate and distinct from one another. 

    Why aren't the terms "guilty" and "not guilty" used?

    These terms are synonymous with the legal system and the student conduct process at KU is NOT a part of the legal system. Unnecessary legal terminology or legalese is not relevant to the student conduct process. As a result, the university uses the terms "responsible" and "not responsible" to define the finding in a student conduct case.

    Where can I find a listing of KU's conduct policies and procedures? 

    The Key Student Handbook contains two important documents outlining the university's behavioral expectations and student conduct process, namely the Student Code of Conduct and Document on Student Rights and Welfare.  See the Policy Information & Student Conduct Procedures pages for additional information. 

    Can I speak at the hearing? 

    No. If an advocate or attorney is present at a hearing, he/she is there to serve as an advocate to the student and has no formal role in the hearing. The student is solely responsible for presenting his/her own case but may consult with his/her advocate, in private and as needed.

    I have been asked to represent a student facing student conduct charges. How do I establish this with the University? 

    Students are expected to represent themselves in all student conduct matters, regardless of whether the student is facing concurrent criminal charges for the same set of circumstances. Students may have an attorney present during all student conduct proceedings with the student's written permission. A student may complete a release allowing his or her attorney to be present at student conduct meetings.  The Dean of Students Office will correspond at all times directly with the student, and not through any third party unless special circumstances exist.  

    My client is charged with a crime that occurred off-campus. Can I get the proceedings delayed until the criminal matter is resolved?

    The student conduct process at Kutztown University does not attempt to determine whether a student has violated the law; the university is trying to determine whether a student violated university rules and regulations. As such, the goals and the means of the criminal justice process and the student conduct process are dissimilar. Generally speaking, no delays are given to students to accommodate their interests in the criminal process. However, delays may only be granted when it is established to the satisfaction of the Dean of Students Office that such a delay is in the interest in ensuring a fair process for all those involved including the respondent, complainant and/or victims. 

    What happens if my client refused to participate in the student conduct process? 

    Respondents (accused students) have a right not to respond or participate in the process. However, the process will continue with or without the student's involvement and a decision will be reached based on the information that is provided or available to the hearing panel or administrator. A respondent may not use his or his choice not to participate as grounds for appealing a decision. A student's decision not to participate in the process is not held against him or her; decisions are made based on the presented evidence in relation to the policy or conduct standards in question.

    The incident took place off campus. What interest does the University have?

    Kutztown University reserves the right to address off-campus behavior for acts as outlined in Article III (Jurisdiction; Off Campus Rights & Responsibilities) of the Student Code of Conduct. The university will determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not an individual's alleged conduct represents a substantial university interest. Citations issued or arrests made by local law enforcement represent a substantial university interest and are addressed by the university. 

    What is the standard of evidence used in the student conduct process?

    Decisions with respect to student responsibility for alleged actions are made based on a preponderance of the evidence; that is, the hearing authority will determine what is "more likely than not" to have taken place.

    What is FERPA? How does it apply?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (US Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). Student disciplinary records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. For information, visit the KU FERPA page.