Questions Frequently Asked by Parents and Guardians

Note: 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.

How can I help my student prepare for his/her student conduct hearing?

You may help your student prepare for a hearing in several ways. First, talk with your student about the incident and help her/him determine the best way to share their information about the incident. You may also assist your student in preparing his/her final statement. If you would like to learn more about the hearing procedures, view the student code of conduct and student conduct procedures.

May I attend the university student conduct hearing?

Yes. If your student wishes to have you present, one parent/guardian may attend a student conduct hearing as an advisor. In the role of advisor, you are not permitted to speak during the hearing, but may privately advise (communicate with) your student.

Should I hire a lawyer? If so, can he or she attend the student conduct hearing?

It is your decision whether you want to hire a lawyer to act as an advisor. Only one advisor is permitted at a student conduct hearing. As a reminder, a student conduct hearing is not a court; thus, a lawyer would only be permitted to privately advise (communicate with) your student.

Will I be notified of the outcome of the hearing? If so, in what time frame?

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.

What evidence is used to find a student “in violation”? Is this different from a court of law? If so, how can it be different?

The standard of evidence is a preponderance of the evidence or “more likely than not” based on the information presented at the hearing. This is lower than in the criminal courts, but similar to civil proceedings. In order to find a student in violation, first-hand information must exist. Hearsay evidence is permitted to be presented and must be corroborated by first-hand accounts presented at the hearing.

If my student is found “in violation,” what kinds of sanctions can he or she expect?

If your student is found “in violation” of one or more policies, the hearing body will determine one or more sanctions. When determining sanctions, your student's previous involvement in the university student conduct system will be considered. 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.

Can my residential student be removed from university-owned/operated housing? If so, how quickly would this happen?

Yes, a student may be removed from university-owned/operated housing depending on the severity of the policy violation(s). A student found “in violation” can be removed from university-owned/operated housing immediately if he or she is a danger to others. If the student is not an immediate threat, the student will have a student conduct hearing and must leave within ten (10) days of the decision unless she/he files an appeal.

I have heard about something called an IRM that some students have experienced when accused of a policy violation. Why can't my student's situation be handled that way?

An IRM is conducted only for first-time, uncomplicated, minor situations where the student admits to violating all listed charges. Some cases require a more thorough examination of all information.

What happens if my student is suspended or expelled?

Your student has the opportunity to appeal the decision to the vice president for Student Affairs within five calendar days of receiving the decision. A “W” will appear on his/her academic transcript, as if he or she had withdrawn. No specific suspension or expulsion is indicated on an academic transcript.

What is the difference between suspension and expulsion?

Suspension occurs when a student is removed from the university for a specified period of time. Expulsion is the permanent removal of a student from the university.

Can my student appeal a decision or sanction?

Yes. If a student 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 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 your student will speak with the person reviewing their appeal. It is important that they include everything they wish to convey in their written appeal.

Who has access to my student's disciplinary file?

At IUP, university administrators who are involved with student conduct functions have access to a student's disciplinary file. Your student may access the file as well as any agency or other institution to which your student gives written permission.

How long does my student's disciplinary 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.

Can my student attend other schools while he or she is suspended or expelled from IUP?

Yes, if the school accepts your student.

Can I get a copy of my student's disciplinary file? If so, how do I obtain it?

Yes. You may receive a copy of your student's student conduct file with her/his written permission. Contact the Office of Student Support and Community Standards, G11 Ruddock Hall, 724-357-1264 for information on how to obtain a copy.

Whom do I contact for more information?

If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact the Office of Student Support and Community Standards, Ruddock Hall, Suite G11, at 724-357-1264, 8:00 a.m.-noon and 1:00-4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Why does my student have to go to court and a university hearing?

The court system addresses your student as a citizen of Indiana Borough. The university student conduct hearing addresses her/him as a student of IUP.

My student must face the same charges brought by the university student conduct system and a court of law within the local community. This is double jeopardy, isn't it?

No. Double jeopardy applies only if a person is charged twice for the same crime in the court system. Although the charges may sound alike, the court of law addresses criminal charges while the Office of Student Support and Community Standards addresses alleged violations of university policy.

Where can I find information that explains the university student conduct system in its entirety?

You may access the Code of Student Conduct and Procedures on the IUP Office of Student Support and Community Standards website.

Whom do I contact for questions about a court hearing?

If you have any questions about your student's court hearing, you should contact the Indiana County Pennsylvania District Judge's Court at 724-463-8781.

If my student is placed on sanction, will it affect her/his financial aid or scholarship?

Sanctions other than suspension or expulsion from IUP are not likely to impact your student's financial aid or scholarship. Financial aid is very date-specific and is impacted by the last documented date of your student's attendance at IUP. Your student should contact Student Financial Services at 724-357-2240 to review her/his case.

Will the hearing outcome affect my student's major?

Possibly. Your student should speak with his/her academic advisor about this issue.

Is my student's advisor or anyone else at the university notified of any sanctions?

If a student is suspended or expelled, the student's college dean is notified. The Honors College and Police Academy are informed of all disciplinary sanctions for their students. Any university official involved in implementing student conduct sanctions will also be notified.