Accused Students

Responses apply to university student conduct proceedings only. Questions regarding charges in civil or criminal court should be addressed to the district judge, borough police, or student legal services.

What is an Incident Review Meeting?

An Incident Review Meeting is an informal resolution to allegations of violations of the Code of Student Conduct. An IRM will take place between the accused student and a hearing officer. The outcome is not able to be appealed, but the outcome must be agreed upon by the hearing officer and the accused student.

My alleged violation was off campus, why is the university contacting me?

All student actions reflect upon the IUP community as a whole, regardless of where those actions take place. For that reason, IUP addresses student behavior that occurs both on and off campus.

Do I have to show up to this meeting?

Although you are not required to attend, you are strongly encouraged to do so. The Office of Student Support and Community Standards schedules your meeting around your class schedule. If you choose not to attend your IRM, you will be found in violation of all of the alleged charges and you will be sanctioned appropriately.

What is going to happen at this meeting?

You will be presented with information concerning your alleged policy violation. You will then be given the opportunity to convey what happened during the incident. From this information, the hearing officer will determine if it is more likely than not that you are either in violation or not in violation of the alleged charges. If you are found to be in violation, the hearing officer will seek agreement with you regarding the appropriate sanctions. If you are found not in violation, no sanctions will be applied.

With whom will I be meeting?

You will meet with the director or a graduate student from the Office of Student Support and Community Standards.

Should I bring anything to the IRM?

You do not need to bring anything unless you feel it pertains directly to the incident being discussed.

Do I need a lawyer?

No, but you may bring an advisor to help remind you of details pertaining to the alleged incident and/or to provide moral support. The advisor is allowed to provide private consultation to you, but may not speak to the university official.

Can I be suspended if I am found in violation?

You can be suspended as a result of an IRM; but remember, you would have to agree to that being the sanction. Most often, students are suspended in either Administrative Hearings or Board Hearings.

I already have a hearing in the borough court system. Do I still need to attend the IRM?

Yes. The university procedures are completely separate from the borough procedures. You should attend both.

How do I prepare for a student conduct hearing?

The most important preparation is to familiarize yourself with the Code of Student Conduct and Procedures. It can also be helpful to review the incident and any evidence, identify an advisor and inform the OSSCS of your advisor, identify any witnesses and inform the OSSCS of any witnesses, prepare questions for the referring party, and prepare an initial and final statement. If you have question about the process, please contact our office.

How many witnesses should I bring?

Bringing a large number of witnesses does not guarantee a stronger case. Only person(s) who were witness to the actual incident, or to related circumstances, may provide information. It is best to ask one or two eyewitnesses to accompany you. Generally speaking, character witnesses are not permitted to provide information. If you have an addition to the witness list, you should notify the Office of Student Support and Community Standards at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing.

What if I don't attend the hearing?

If you do not attend the hearing, the case will be decided based on information presented at the scheduled hearing, and you will be notified in writing of the outcome.

May I bring an advisor to the hearing?
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Will my parent(s)/guardian(s) find out about this?

As outlined in the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, dependent students under the age of 21 who are found in violation of the university alcohol or drug policies will have notice sent to their parent(s)/guardian(s). Notifications of outcome are sent to parent(s)/guardian(s) after the student is notified.

Will the hearing outcome affect my financial aid or scholarship?

Sanctions other than suspension or expulsion are not likely to impact your financial aid or scholarship. Financial aid is very date-specific and is impacted by the date of your last documented attendance at IUP. Please contact Student Financial Services (724-357-2218) to discuss your situation.

Will the hearing outcome affect my major?

It depends on the sanction and your major. Criminology and education majors may be impacted. Talk with your academic advisor about this issue.

Why does the university adjudicate behavior that occurs off-campus?

The university is concerned with students' decisions affecting others, including the local community.

What rights do I have in the hearing process?

All accused students have a right to due process. You have the right to know the charges against you and to have the opportunity to respond to these charges. The accused student is presumed not to be in violation unless the information at the hearing indicates that it is more likely than not that the student violated the policy. A past student conduct record may not be used to establish violation of current allegations. However, once the accused student is found in violation of one or more policies, a past student conduct record may be used to determine the appropriate sanctions.

What information is used to find a student in violation?

First-hand information related to a specific charge must exist in order for there to be any determination of a student being found in violation of that charge. Rumors or hearsay are able to be considered, but must be corroborated in some way by first-hand information.

What kind of sanctions can I expect?

If you are found in violation of a charge, the hearing body will determine one or more sanctions. When determining a sanction, your previous involvement in the university student conduct system will be considered. Sanctions are imposed to foster responsibility and developmental growth and to protect the university community. Sanctions include, but are not limited to: a disciplinary warning, an educational task, disciplinary probation, removal from university-owned/operated housing, loss of eligibility for university-owned/operated housing, restitution, suspension, or expulsion.

What if I cannot complete an educational task on time?

You may contact your hearing officer or student conduct board chairperson to explain the situation and request an extension. He or she will decide whether to extend your deadline.

What happens if I am suspended or expelled?

You have the opportunity to appeal the decision in writing to the vice president for Student Affairs within five calendar days of receiving the decision. If you are suspended or expelled, a “W” will appear on your academic transcript. No notation of the suspension or expulsion is made on the academic transcript.

Can I appeal a decision or sanction?

Yes. If you would like to appeal a decision, there are three possible reasons for appeal. First: there was a procedural error that likely impacted the hearing outcome. Second: there is new information which could not legitimately be presented at the original hearing. Third: the sanctions imposed are arbitrary and capricious. All appeals must be submitted to the Office of Student Support and Community Standards within five (5) calendar days as determined by the date of the decision letter by using the form on the IUP Student Support and Community Standards website. Please understand there is no guarantee that you will speak with the person reviewing your appeal. It is important that you include everything you wish to convey in your written appeal.

Who has access to a student conduct file?

The Office of Student Support and Community Standards maintains student conduct files. Within IUP, university administrators who are involved with student conduct functions have access to a student's conduct file. The university will not release a student's conduct record outside IUP without written consent of the student. The only exceptions to this guideline are those outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

How long does a student conduct file stay on record?

Student conduct files are maintained for seven (7) years following the ending date of the last sanction. For cases of suspension or expulsion, the files may be maintained for a longer period of time. The university reserves the right to retain all student conduct files for longer than seven (7) years, as deemed necessary.

Will my academic program be notified of the hearing outcome?

The Honors College and Police Academy will be notified of any student conduct sanction imposed on students in the program. Other academic programs are notified if you are suspended or expelled from the university.

Can I attend other schools while I am suspended or expelled from IUP?

Yes, if the school accepts you upon application.

Can I get a copy of my student conduct file?

Yes. You may obtain a copy of your student conduct file by submitting a written request to the Office of Student Support and Community Standards. Please allow one week for your file to be copied and available for you.

Whom do I contact for more information?

The Office of Student Support and Community Standards is in Ruddock Hall, Suite G11. You may reach the OSSCS at 724-357-1264, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-noon and 1:00-4:30 p.m. Summer office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-noon and 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Do I have to dress formally for a hearing?

No. You may wear what you want, as long as it does not distract from the proceedings. Of course, it never hurts to be well-groomed and neatly dressed. However, a suit or dress is not required.

Is a university student conduct hearing like a court hearing?

No. A university student conduct hearing is less formal, and you will not be sworn in as in a court hearing. In this hearing, you will be asked to tell what you saw or heard truthfully and to the best of your recollection.

How long will the hearing last?

Length of a hearing depends on several factors, such as complexity of the case, number of questions, and the number of people involved.

Do I have to answer all the questions at a hearing?

As an accused student, you have the right to answer or refuse to answer the questions you are asked.