The student conduct process begins when Student Conduct Services receives a written account of an incident. These reports include but are not limited to police reports, investigation reports from the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity, or incident reports from faculty, staff, or students. A Hearing Officer will review the information available to decide next steps.
If a Hearing Officer reviews a report and determines that misconduct did not occur, no action will be taken. If, however, it appears the student may have engaged in prohibited conduct as identified in the Student Conduct Code, a Hearing Officer may assign charges from the Student Conduct Code and schedule a student conduct hearing or pursue an alternative resolution process. In cases where a student organization is alleged to have engaged in misconduct, the incident will first be reviewed by the Lead Team to examine the alleged violations and make a recommendation to the Director or their designee on next steps which may include but are not limited to: Rams Taking Responsibility, a hearing with the Director or their designee, or a hearing conducted with the AUHB.
In some cases, a Hearing Officer may offer a resolution option other than a student conduct hearing (e.g., educational workshop, conflict coaching, mediation, restorative justice). If the student or organization chooses to participate in an alternative resolution process, and complies with all requirements of that process and its resolution, that incident will not be maintained as part of a reportable student conduct record.
When offering a resolution outside of a student conduct hearing, the Hearing Officer will consider the severity of the case, the conduct record of the individual student or student organization, and the educational outcomes available. The student or organization will receive in writing the resolution opportunity available to them. If the student or organization does not wish to participate in the alternative resolution opportunity, they may request a student conduct hearing. Alternative resolution processes are binding and not subject to appeal. If the student or organization does not complete the alternative resolution process, they may face additional disciplinary action.
Alternative resolution processes include but are not limited to:
Responsible Action Exemption: The University has adopted a Responsible Action Exemption policy for students seeking medical assistance for themselves or others for emergency situations that result from alcohol and other drug abuse.
Students or organizations, both on and off campus, who seek medical attention for themselves or on behalf of another student related to the use of drugs or alcohol will not be charged with violations of the Student Conduct Code related to that incident, provided that the student completes an assessment and any recommended treatment by the Hearing Officer. If a student is under 21 years of age, parents may be notified. A student organization must also cooperate with University officials and provide training or educational programs for its members as required by the Hearing Officer. The University reserves the right to adjudicate any case in which the violations are egregious. Students in need of medical assistance can only receive one (1) exemption, regardless of who calls for assistance.
The University may consider all prior exemptions granted to student organizations in determining whether additional exemptions should be granted. If it is determined that a student organization is engaging in repeat, similar conduct that results in alcohol or drug related incidents that negatively impact the campus or community, exemptions may be denied. No exemptions will be provided related to any activities that may constitute hazing in violation of the Student Conduct Code or Colorado law. Failure to complete an assessment and treatment may result in charges filed by Student Conduct Services.
If a student/organization believes they qualify for a responsible action exemption, the following steps must be completed:
- The student/organization must make initial contact with the appropriate resource (i.e. law enforcement, medical personnel or University staff) as a result of their actively seeking out medical assistance for themselves or on behalf of another individual.
- The student/organization seeking assistance for an intoxicated student must give their name to law enforcement or staff, remain on scene, and cooperate with medical personnel, law enforcement, or University staff.
- The student/organization seeking an exemption must meet with Student Conduct Services staff and complete an assessment, educational program, or any additional treatment requirements of the Hearing Officer. Verification of completion must be provided to the Student Conduct Services.
Option Letter: When a report of an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code is received, a Hearing Officer may assign charges and offer a student the option to resolve the situation by forgoing a student conduct hearing. The option letter will be sent to the student’s current email address on record with the University and will include the applicable Student Conduct Code charges along with a finding of responsibility. Additionally, the Hearing Officer will impose one (1) or more discretionary outcomes but will not apply a disciplinary standing. Documentation of the alleged violations may be included with the option letter. If the student agrees with the finding(s) and sanction(s) and chooses to complete all discretionary outcomes assigned by the Hearing Officer, the incident will not be maintained as part of the individual student’s reportable conduct record. If the student disagrees with the finding(s) and sanction(s) they can choose to schedule a student conduct hearing and all of the procedures in the Student Conduct Hearing section of this code will apply. If the student does not contact the Student Resolution Center within ten (10) business days after the option letter is sent it will be assumed that the student accepts responsibility for the charges and will complete all of the discretionary outcomes by the assigned deadlines.
Rams Taking Responsibility: When an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code involves a student organization, an alternative resolution process may be granted at the discretion of Student Conduct Services. Student organizations may be offered the opportunity to participate in Rams Taking Responsibility which is an accountability process where the organization conducts its own investigation to identify areas of concern, growth opportunities, and required educational programming to mitigate these concerns. By participating in Rams Taking Responsibility, the organization must comply with all requirements of that process and its resolution which are binding and not subject to appeal. The incident will not be maintained as part of the organization’s reportable discipline record though other notifications may be required. If the student organization does not complete the alternative resolution process, they may face additional disciplinary action.
A student conduct hearing is facilitated by a Hearing Officer authorized by the Director of the Student Resolution Center. When the Responding Party is a student organization, the hearing will be conducted either by the Director (or designee) or by the All University Hearing Board (AUHB). The purpose of the student conduct hearing is to discuss alleged violations of behavioral expectations as identified in the Prohibited Conduct section of the Student Conduct Code. As part of this process, students or organizations will be asked to share their perspective related to the alleged violations and discuss personal responsibility as well as community impact. Those charged with engaging in prohibited conduct will have the opportunity to receive a fair hearing. The formal rules of process, procedure and evidence used by the criminal justice system do not apply to the student conduct process.
Standard of Proof: In order to find that a student or organization has engaged in prohibited conduct, the standard of proof required is a preponderance of the information contained in the record. The information must demonstrate that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred.
Support Persons/Advisors: A Responding Party and any Impacted Party may bring a support person/advisor to the hearing, at their own expense. The support person/advisor may be an attorney. The support person/advisor may not speak on the student or organization’s behalf or participate directly in the hearing. The support person/advisor may not serve in a dual role as a witness in the hearing. In cases involving alleged violence (including domestic violence and dating violence), sexual misconduct, or stalking a support person/advisor may not be another student except for extraordinary circumstances and approved by a Hearing Officer.
Recordings: All student conduct hearings may be recorded. If the student or organization wishes to have their hearing recorded a request must be made prior to the hearing. If the student or organization requests a copy, the recording of the hearing will be transcribed at the expense of the student/organization and prepared by a credentialed transcriptionist. Alternatively, the recording may be made available to the Responding Party and any Impacted Party for viewing at the Student Resolution Center. Reproduction of the recording in any way by a Responding Party, Impacted Party, or Support Persons/Advisors is prohibited.
Witnesses: The Responding Party and any Impacted Party may bring or request relevant witnesses. A request for witnesses must be made at least one (1) business day prior to a scheduled hearing. Witnesses may be present only when they are giving information. Witnesses may not serve in the dual role as a support person. Only the Hearing Officer may ask questions; the Responding Party or Impacted Party may suggest questions for each other or witnesses. The Hearing Officer has the discretion to ensure questions are relevant to the case.
Missed Hearings: If the Responding Party misses the scheduled hearing, the Hearing Officer may proceed in the student’s absence and will make a decision with the information available on record.
Accommodations: Student Conduct Services is committed to providing necessary accommodations to ensure a fair and safe process for participants. Accommodations will take into consideration disabilities, personal safety and language differences.
The Hearing Officer determines the finding of responsibility for each charge based on the preponderance of information standard—whether it is more likely than not that the Responding Party engaged in prohibited conduct. If found responsible for engaging in prohibited conduct as outlined in the Student Conduct Code, the Hearing Officer will determine appropriate sanctions based on the incident’s severity, impact on others, and the Responding Party’s student conduct record. A Hearing Officer has ten (10) business days from the date of the hearing to provide a decision to a Responding Party. The number of days may be extended at the discretion of the Hearing Officer, who will notify all parties of any delay. The hearing outcome will include the findings of responsibility, rationale for the findings, sanctions (if applicable), and information on the appeal process. In cases involving an Impacted Party, they will also be notified of the Hearing Officer’s decision. A copy of the decision may be shared with appropriate University offices.
The student conduct process is based on an individual review of each case. The Hearing Officer will consider the totality of information in each case when determining appropriate sanctions. This includes but is not limited to the severity of the incident, the student/organization’s student conduct record, demonstrated understanding of the impact of their behavior, and the role that alcohol and drugs may have played in an incident. The Hearing Officer may impose one or more sanctions as appropriate for student development and community well-being. More than one sanction listed below may be imposed for any single violation. If the student or student organization fails to complete sanctions by the stated deadline, a “hold” will be placed on the student’s registration status. A student or organization could face additional disciplinary action for failure to comply with sanctions. The following sanctions may be applied when appropriate.
Disciplinary Standings: A Hearing Officer may apply a disciplinary standing as a sanction for violating the Student Conduct Code.
Disciplinary probation is for a designated period of time during which a student or organization is expected to show appropriate changes in behavior. A violation of the Student Conduct Code while a student or organization is on disciplinary probation or any subsequent misconduct, may result in further disciplinary action, including loss of good standing, suspension, or expulsion.
Loss of Good Standing
Loss of good standing is for a designated period of time during which the student or organization is expected to show appropriate changes in behavior. A student or organization who is not in good standing with the University and is prohibited from:
- representing the University through official events
- serving on a University committee
- participating in intercollegiate or sports club athletics
- holding office in a student organization
A violation of the Student Conduct Code while a student or organization is not in good standing or any subsequent misconduct, may result in further disciplinary action, including suspension, or expulsion. A student or organization may be given the option of earning back their good standing at the discretion of the Hearing Officer.
Suspension is for a designated period of time during which the student may not attend classes, access any University premises, participate in University activities, or be employed by the University. In some instances, the student must fulfill specified conditions before the University will consider re-admission. Disciplinary suspension is noted on the student’s official transcript during the period of suspension and until all other sanctions or conditions for re-admission have been completed.
Deferred Disciplinary Suspension
Disciplinary suspension is deferred while the student participates in a designated program. The student may remain enrolled as long as the student is compliant with the designated program.
The student is permanently separated from the University and may not return. The student may not attend classes, access any University premises, participate in University activities, or be employed by the University. The expulsion is permanently noted on the student’s official transcript.
Loss of Student Organization Recognition
The AUHB or Hearing Officer may recommend to the Dean of Students that a student organization lose recognition after a student conduct hearing. Approval of this action deprives the student organization of the use of campus resources, the use of the University’s name, and the right to participate in campus sponsored activities or recruit Colorado State University students. This loss of recognition may be for a specific period, for an indefinite period of time, or until stated conditions are met. Should the Dean of Students approve this action, an official request will also be sent to the national office that the local student organization’s charter be revoked.
Discretionary Sanctions: A Hearing Officer may require the student or organization to complete or comply with discretionary sanctions. Discretionary sanctions include but are not limited to:
- Academic Penalties: Instructors may impose a “grading penalty” upon a finding that a student has, either intentionally or unintentionally, committed academic misconduct. The minimum is reduced credit on the assignment and the maximum is course failure, regardless of academic performance. The instructor may also remove the repeat/delete option for a student.
- Academic misconduct transcript notation: The “AM” notation by a course grade as a result of academic misconduct may only be added to the official transcript with agreement of both the course instructor and a Hearing Officer. That negative notation is generally permanent.
The University may revoke a student’s admission to the University for fraud, misrepresentation, or for other serious violations committed by the student prior to matriculation.
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Drugs, Alcohol, and You (DAY) Programs at the CSU Health Network provides a continuum of services including assessment, educational workshops, and treatment that student may be required to complete.
- Conflict Coaching: Students have the opportunity to talk about conflict and gain skills to handle conflict in a supportive and confidential environment. Conflict Resolution staff assist students in identifying goals, developing clarity, and managing conflict in the future.
- Mediation: Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process where a neutral third-party facilitator helps two or more people in conflict have a constructive conversation about important issues. The mediator does not take sides, give advice, or tell parties what to do. The SRC staff will mediate small group disputes (i.e. roommate conflicts) and will also facilitate large-scale discussions involving multiple parties.
- Restorative justice: A restorative justice conference brings together those who were impacted by an offense, including those who were harmed, those who were responsible for causing the harm, and impacted community members. Through a facilitated dialogue, they discuss what happened and determine the best ways to repair harm and improve relationships.
- Impact Circles: Impact circles are a form of Restorative Justice that brings together small groups of students, who have been found responsible for similar types of offenses, with relevant community stakeholders. Through answering questions about their specific incidents and hearing others’ stories and perspectives, students gain a better understanding of the impacts of their behaviors on the larger community.
- Withholding degree: The University may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the student conduct process, including the completion of sanctions imposed.
- Revocation of degree: The University may revoke a degree for serious violations of the Student Conduct Code committed by the student prior to graduation. Only the Board of Governors may authorize the revocation of a degree.
Students may be required to participate in one or more of a variety of workshops designed to address specific knowledge or skill areas. These workshops are intended to help a student learn more about themselves and our shared communities.
- Residential reassignment: A student may be reassigned to another residence hall room or building for disrupting the residential community or to appropriately separate persons.
- Residential expulsion: The student is permanently banned from all residence halls.
A student may be required to complete an evaluation and recommended treatment.
Loss of Privileges
Privileges afforded to student organizations may be temporarily restricted in relation to the severity of the behavior and the relevant conduct history of the organization. These restrictions may include, but are not limited to:
- Restrictions on social events, including but not limited to restriction of the presence of alcohol at social events.
- Restrictions on recruitment of new members into the organization for a designated period of time.
- Restrictions on the organization’s ability to participate in meetings or events.
The University may notify parents/guardians when a student under the age of 21 is found responsible for violations of the Student Conduct Code involving alcohol, drugs, or violence. Parental/guardian notification may also be made when a student is suspended or expelled from residence halls or the University.
Monetary compensation for loss or damages to University property.
Appeal of a Disciplinary Decision for an Individual Student:
A Responding Party may appeal a Hearing Officer’s decision. In cases where an Impacted Party has been identified by a Hearing Officer, that individual also has a right to appeal the Hearing Officer’s decision. An appeal must be submitted online within ten (10) business days after the Hearing Officer’s decision is sent to the involved parties. A Hearing Officer’s decision is considered final if an appeal is not submitted within the specified time. Appeals submitted by another party on a student’s behalf will only be accepted when a student acknowledges and affirms that the appeal represents their position. Once an appeal is submitted it is reviewed by the Chair of the Appeal Committee. While an appeal is pending, the Responding Party must comply with all sanctions and restrictions from the Hearing Officer’s decision, unless otherwise specified by the Hearing Officer.
An appeal is limited to a review of the record of the hearing and supporting information that was evaluated in the decision making process. New information will only be considered if the Chair determines that the information was not available at the time of the hearing. The appeal will only be granted on one or more of the following grounds:
- The hearing was not conducted fairly, giving the Responding Party or any identified Impacted Party the opportunity to present relevant information. Minor deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for supporting an appeal unless there is an adverse effect on the outcome of the hearing.
- The information presented in the case, if believed by the Hearing Officer, was insufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Conduct Code occurred.
- The sanction(s) imposed were not appropriate based on totality of the circumstances.
- There is new information not available at the time of the original hearing that may be relevant to the final decision.
The Chair of the Appeal Committee will review the appeal and the record of the hearing to determine one of the following actions:
- Deny the appeal.
- Send the case to the Director of the Student Resolution Center (or designee) to review the record, make any necessary modifications, and render a final decision. When the Director served as the original Hearing Officer, the Chair of the Appeal Committee will send the appeal to the Dean of Students (or designee) to review the record of the case, make any necessary modifications and render a final decision.
- Grant the appeal and convene the Appeal Committee to review the record of the case. New information will be considered at this time.
If the Appeal Committee is convened, upon conclusion of its review, will do one of the following:
- Affirm the findings of responsibility and sanctions. Decisions affirmed by the Appeal Committee are final. Written notification will be provided to the Responding Party and any Impacted Party.
- Affirm the findings of responsibility and return the case to the original Hearing Officer or Director of the Student Resolution Center (or their designee) with recommendations to modify the sanctions. Decisions made after review of the recommendations are final and written notification will be provided to the Responding Party and any Impacted Party.
- Recommend reversal of the findings of responsibility if the Appeal Committee disagrees with the Hearing Officer’s evaluation of information in the record and does not believe sufficient information exists to support a violation of the Student Conduct Code. If the Appeal Committee recommends a reversal, the Chair will submit a recommendation in writing, as follows:
- In all cases involving suspension or expulsion from the University (whether imposed by the original Hearing Officer or recommended by the Appeal Committee after review), the Chair of the Appeal Committee will make a recommendation in writing to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and the Vice President of Student Affairs for a final decision.
- In all cases involving any form of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, the Chair of the Appeal Committee will make a recommendation in writing to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Vice President of Student Affairs, who may also consult with the Director of Equal Opportunity for a final decision.
- In all other cases involving individual student violations of the Conduct Code, the Chair of the Appeal Committee will make a recommendation in writing to the Dean of Students (or designee) who will make a final decision.
If the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Vice President of Student Affairs are unable to agree on the action to be taken, the decision will be referred to the Executive Vice President/Provost for final action.
Composition of an Appeal Committee for an Individual Student:
In most circumstances the Appeal Committee will be comprised of a Chair who will be either a faculty or staff member, one (1) additional faculty or staff member, and one (1) student appointed by the Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU). In cases involving academic misconduct the Appeal Committee will be comprised of a Chair who will be a faculty member, one (1) additional faculty member, and one (1) student appointed by ASCSU. In cases involving interpersonal violence (including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual misconduct, or stalking) the Appeal Committee will be comprised of a Chair who will be either a faculty or staff member, two (2) additional faculty or staff members, and the Director of Equal Opportunity (or designee), as a non-voting member.
When an appeal is granted, a list of Appeal Committee members is provided to the Responding Party and any Impacted Party. If the Responding Party or Impacted Party believes there is a conflict of interest and provides rationale to the Chair of the Appeal Committee, they may request the removal of a member. The Chair decides whether sufficient reason exists to remove a member. Members of the Appeal Committee are expected to recuse themselves if they have a conflict of interest. If the Chair of the Appeal Committee is recused, has an identified conflict of interest or is unavailable within a reasonable period of time, the Director of the Student Resolution Center (or designee), will appoint another faculty or staff member to serve as Chair. When a member is removed, they will be replaced by another representative from the pool.
Appeal of a Disciplinary Decision for a Student Organization:
A student organization may appeal the decisions made by the All University Hearing Board (AUHB) or a Hearing Officer. In cases where an Impacted Party has been identified by a Hearing Officer that individual also has a right to appeal the decision. An appeal must be submitted online within ten (10) business days after the decision is sent to the involved parties.
The Director of the Student Resolution Center (or designee) serves as the Appellate Officer for review of decisions made by the AUHB or a Hearing Officer. If the Director serves as the original Hearing Officer, the Vice President of Student Affairs will appoint a three (3) person Student Organization Appeal Committee to consider the appeal. The Committee will then make recommendations to the Vice President of Student Affairs, who will make the final decision regarding the appeal. A Hearing Officer’s decision is considered final if an appeal is not submitted within the specified time. While an appeal is pending, the student organization must comply with all sanctions and restrictions from the decision unless otherwise specified by the Hearing Officer or AUHB.
An appeal is limited to a review of the record of the hearing and supporting information that was evaluated in the decision making process. New information will only be considered if the Director or committee determines that the information was not available at the time of the original hearing.
The appeal request may be granted based on one or more of the following grounds:
- The original hearing was not conducted fairly, or did not give the Responding Party organization or Impacted Party the opportunity to present relevant information.
- The decision was not based on substantial and sufficient information.
- The sanction(s) imposed were not appropriate based on the totality of the circumstances.
- There is new information not available at the time of the original hearing that may be relevant to the final decision.
After reviewing the appeal, the Director of the Student Resolution Center (or designee) or the Vice President of Student Affairs will take one of these actions:
- Deny the appeal.
- Grant the appeal to review the record of the case. New information will be considered at this time. While the case is being re-considered, the student organization must continue to abide by any stated conditions imposed by the original Hearing Officer or AUHB.
The Director of the Student Resolution Center (or designee) may make one of the following decisions:
- Affirm the decision.
- Reverse the decision.
- Amend the decision to clarify sanctions or offer additional resources to support the Responding Party student organization.
The Director (or designee) will communicate the decision to the student organization in writing which will be considered the final outcome.