What if I get in trouble?
When a student gets in trouble, they are subject to the administrative policies as outlined in the 2017-2018 Housing Contract Terms and Conditions. This includes an administrative hearing with a hearing officer. The resident and the hearing officer will discuss the incident that occurred, and it will be decided if the student is responsible for the charges. If found responsible, then the incident will be assigned a sanction.
I have a Notice of Administrative Hearing. What does that mean?
It means that you are alleged to have been involved in a violation of one or more USI policies and that you have a meeting scheduled with a hearing officer to discuss it. The letter lists the date and time of the hearing, possible policy violations, the hearing officer your meeting is with and how to contact him or her. A redacted copy of the incident report will be available at your scheduled meeting at the Dean of Students office. Requests for report copies must be made at least 24 hours in advance of your hearing.
What will happen to me during my Administrative Hearing?
You will meet with a hearing officer. You will be given time to review the incident report(s) and the policies you are alleged to have violated. Your hearing officer may ask you some questions and provide you the opportunity to explain the situation from your point of view. The hearing officer will consider any witnesses and supporting information you may have brought. The hearing officer will make a decision based on the information available and the University standard of "More Likely Than Not" that the violation did occur. The hearing officer will assess sanctions and/or stipulations as needed.
What are my rights?
Your rights are outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Code of Student Behavior.
I received a Notice of Informal Resolution. What does that mean?
It means that you are alleged to have been involved in a minor violation of University policy. The Notice explains the policy you are alleged to have violated and a sanction that you are required to complete. If you choose to dispute your involvement in the incident, the form also lists the name of the hearing officer who sent the notice. You can contact him or her to request a full administrative hearing.
Does a Notice of Informal Resolution violate due process since I did not meet with a staff member?
A Notice of Informal Resolution is used for minor incidents where there is little additional information that the hearing officer needs to gather. These are cases that students have traditionally admitted to being in violation. Sending the student a Notice of Informal Resolution is a matter of convenience for the student, since they do not have to meet with a hearing officer. However, if you get a Notice of Informal Resolution and you wish to contest the incident, you can contact the hearing officer listed at the bottom of the form and request a full administrative hearing. The Notice of Informal Resolution is commonly used prior to breaks or at the end of a semester and when a student may not be available.
What sanctions do I face?
The student conduct process is meant to be an educational process for the students who go through it. Educational sanctions range from reflective papers to interactive classes that can provide a learning experience for the student. More severe violations come along with heavier sanctions, which can include suspension or expulsion from the University. For more information, refer to the sanction chart.
Am I going to be kicked out?
If you are involved in repeated policy violations, it may result in contract termination. Cases involving controlled substances or drugs, sexual misconduct, assault, parties, or theft may result in contract termination.
Will my parents be notified?
The University reserves the right to contact parents regarding disciplinary issues. Parents will be contacted for incidents such as alcohol and controlled substances or drugs, etc. We encourage students to contact their parents in all situations.
Will this affect my financial aid or scholarship?
It might, since some financial aid or scholarships depend on a student remaining in good standing with USI. You should contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at 812-464-1767 with any questions you may have. Suspension, expulsion and probation are generally the sanctions capable of altering a student's 'good standing'.
How does the hearing officer make his/her decision?
The hearing officer collects as much information as he or she can and determines what occurred. The burden of proof or standard of evidence is the measure used to determine one's involvement in an incident. In order for a student to be considered 'In Violation', the hearing officer must show that a student is more likely than not responsible in a violation of a policy.
If my incident involves a violation of state or local laws, could I be prosecuted criminally and through the University conduct system?
Yes, you may. Your relationship with the University is separate from your responsibilities as a citizen. Although they may stem from the same incident, violations of state, local or federal laws are regulated by a court of law. An administrative hearing adjudicates the violation of University policy. To illustrate this better, an employee who assaults a fellow employee could be fired and face criminal charges.
If I did violate the policy, can't I just lie (very sincerely) and not get in any trouble?
This is generally a bad course of action, for a few reasons. First, if it is determined that you have lied in a conduct hearing, you will face an additional charge and additional sanctions. Second, most lies do not hold up well under scrutiny, even if several people are trying to cover each other. Third, by telling the truth, you don't have to worry about keeping your story straight in the future. Ultimately, there are more long-term benefits from telling the truth and learning from the incident than from trying to cover it up. The Truth Is Out There!
What if I did nothing wrong?
Then you have nothing to worry about! So relax, attend your meeting, and tell the truth about what you know.
What if I don't attend my hearing?
A decision will be made without you. You do have the right not to attend your hearing; however, it is in your best interest to attend so you can present your view of what happened. Otherwise, the hearing officer will have to make a decision based on whatever information is available.
What is Restorative Justice and what is Social Justice?
At USI, Restorative Justice is used in conduct hearings or mediation circles that encourage individuals to take responsibility for their actions and repair harm as a result of their actions. At USI Social Justice, principles are taught to hearing officers in effort to minimize oppression and to limit systemic marginalization of student populations.