Student Conduct

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Student FAQ's

Why are students required to come to the Office of the Assistant Dean of Students for student conduct?
Alleged violations of the  Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities (The Code) are reported to the Office of the Assistant Dean of Students by Residential Life staff members, USD Public Safety Officers, faculty, staff, and the San Diego Police Department. Any member of the University community may initiate a complaint against a student with the Department of Public Safety. If the circumstances surrounding the complaint indicate that a violation of The Code may have occurred, conduct allegations will be brought against the student.

I was written up by an RA. What happens now?
Incident reports are reviewed by the Assistant Dean of Students and/or the Director of Student Conduct. If he or she feels the report alleges misconduct then they may require the student to attend a conduct hearing. Students will know that they have formal allegations brought against them because they will receive a letter which will include a list of the alleged violations, date and location of the incident and instructions for completing a conduct hearing. Letters are typically available within 2-4 business days. If it has been longer please feel free to contact the Office of the Assistant Dean of Students at 619-260-4590.

What is an Administrative Hearing?
During an Administrative Hearing students are invited to review and discuss information contained in their conduct file. They are encouraged to ask questions concerning all allegations against them. If the hearing officer determines that based on a preponderance of the information presented that The Code has been violated, the student will then receive sanctions. The goal of this process and any subsequent sanctions is for the student to reflect on their behavior and choices during the incident and consider what learning is available for the student as a result.

I have to meet with the Peer Review or Critical Issues Board. What should I expect?
The Peer Review Board is a group of three students with a staff adviser. The Critical Issues Board is made up of a one faculty, one administrator and one student. All members of each board have attended training on university conduct policies and procedures. You will be asked to give your perspective on the incident, and then the board members will ask you questions. The board then determines if you are responsible for violating The Code and if so, what sanctions to recommend. Prior to meeting with either board you have the right to sit down with the board adviser to discuss the format and how to prepare. This appointment can be scheduled by calling the Office of the Assistant Dean of Students at 619-260-4590.

What is a sanction?
A sanction is a consequence often combined as a set of consequences that a student receives upon accepting responsibility or being found responsible for violating University policy. Possible sanctions can include the following: warnings, educational projects or classes, fines, restitution, work programs, loss of privileges such as housing and driving on campus, university probation, suspension and expulsion. The goal of any sanction is to provide opportunity for student education and reflection regarding the incident. If a student fails to complete an assigned sanction this may result in further violations of The Code.

Can a decision of "responsible" be appealed?
Conduct appeals are only permitted for decisions made by the Critical Issues Board. Request for appeal must be submitted by the student in writing to Dean of Students within five (5) business days of mailing the letter notifying the accused student of the findings and imposed sanctions of the Critical Issues Board. Failure to appeal within the allotted time will render the original finding and imposed sanctions final and conclusive.

Are off-campus violations reported to the University student conduct system?
Violations of local, state, and federal laws may be reported to the University student conduct system through the San Diego Police Department or other law enforcement agency. Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the law and may be subject to the University conduct process.

Will my conduct record affect my future plans?
A student’s conduct record remains in the Office of the Assistant Dean of Students for 7 years after graduation or last date of attendance (where the sanction included university probation, suspension, or removal from university housing.) It is permanent (where the sanction included expulsion or withdrawal pending a disciplinary action.)  Most records are maintained 1 year after graduation or last date of attendance (where the sanction did not include expulsion, university probation, suspension, removal from university housing, or withdrawal pending a disciplinary action.) If a student gives an employer or graduate or professional school permission to access his or her conduct record prior to this point, information about the student's violation(s) will be shared.

A student’s conduct record may impact their ability to gain approval to study abroad or transfer to another university.

Will my financial aid package and/or scholarships be affected if I am responsible for a Code of Conduct violation?
You should check with the Financial Aid Office or your scholarship provider for further information about your specific situation. Typically though, student conduct violations do not impact financial aid or scholarships.

Can I be held in violation if something's posted on-line (like a picture on

Information posted to sites such as Facebook, twitter, instagram, and the like can be very damaging to a student’s reputation and may show the student in an unflattering light. The Office of the Assistant Dean of Students does not regularly or actively search on-line for pictures, video, postings, etc. of students violating policies. However, if information of alleged violations such as harassment, substance abuse, or hate and bias motivated incidents are brought to the attention of the Office of the Assistant Dean of Students then allegations could be filed using online information. Students are encouraged to remember that social networking sites are public and their behavior on these sites should reflect the expectations of a USD student.

Will I be allowed to study abroad with a student conduct violation?
Study Abroad programs, including every program through USD, generally require a check of the student’s conduct history. With the knowledge of the student, the Office of the Assistant Dean of Students will notify the appropriate office or program of any conduct history. The Office sponsoring the program decides whether or not the conduct history precludes a student from participating. In general, students who have had multiple violations or who are currently on housing or university probation may very likely be declined acceptance.

Didn’t see your question and want more information? Feel free to call us at 619-260-4590 or email us at Be sure to leave your contact information so that we can follow up with you.