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What happens now that I have been charged with an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct?
You will receive written notification of the alleged violation with instructions on how to resolve the matter. It is important that you contact the Office of Student Conduct within the designated time frame if you are required to schedule a hearing. A restriction which will limit your ability to register for classes or make any changes to your current schedule will be added to your student account until the issue is resolved.
How should I prepare for the hearing?
The student conduct hearing is an opportunity for you to share your perspective of the alleged incident with College representative(s). If you have any evidence that would be helpful to fully understand the situation, please bring that with you. You are allowed to bring any witnesses to the incident who have relevant information (character witnesses are not necessary in this process).
Should I hire a lawyer?
There is no requirement for you to hire a lawyer. Since this is a College hearing, it is very different from a formal legal proceeding. You are able to have an advisor present, but this individual may not speak on your behalf. The Office of Student Conduct can assist you in understanding the role of an advisor as well as identifying an appropriate advisor.
Why do I have a restriction on my registration and transcripts?
If you have been charged with an alleged violation of the Code and required to have a hearing, the Office will place a restriction on your registration and transcripts until the matter is resolved. If there is a demonstrated need for changes to be made to your schedule and/or transcripts processed while the resolution is pending, this can be arranged on a case-by-case basis.
Will my parents be notified of my involvement with the Office of Student Conduct?
Columbus State reserves the right to notify parents/guardians for students under the age of 21, if the situation involves alcohol, narcotics, substances, and/or inhalants, or if there is an imminent health or safety risk. Outside of the above referenced situations, parents/guardians will not be notified by Columbus State Community College.
Who will have access to my disciplinary records?
Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), all your education records, including conduct records, are confidential. The College can only release confidential information with your written permission using the FERPA Release of Information form or if a College employee has a legitimate educational interest in the information. A College official has a legitimate educational interest in access to information when that information is appropriate for use in connection with: performing a task that is related to the student’s education; providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as housing, health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid; performing a task related to the discipline of a student; maintaining the safety and security of the campus; or otherwise performing a task related to the effective functioning of the University. Other exceptions to FERPA may apply; please contact the College Registrar for more specific information.
I received a citation for county court; why do I have a student conduct referral as well?
Students continue to be subject to city, state, and federal laws while at Columbus State, and allegations, charges, or violations of those laws may also constitute violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Columbus State may proceed with disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct independently of any criminal proceeding involving the same conduct and may impose sanctions for violation of the Student Code of Conduct even if such criminal proceeding is not yet resolved, or resolved in the student’s favor.
Why does the Code of Student Conduct apply to my behavior off campus?
While enrolled at Columbus State, you represent the College wherever you go. The Student Code of Conduct will apply to conduct that occurs on Columbus State premises or Columbus State property, at any location during Columbus State sponsored activities, and in off-campus buildings occupied by students by virtue of their association with a group/organization given formal registration by Columbus State. The Student Code of Conduct may also apply off-campus when the administration determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial Columbus State interest.
How will a decision be made regarding whether or not I violated the Code of Student Conduct?
The student hearing process allows for a thorough review of reports, statements, and testimonies regarding a potential violation of the Code of Student Conduct. You will not be found in violation of Columbus State policy without information showing a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that a violation has occurred.
What are my rights in the student conduct process?
You have the right to due process, including prior notice of the allegations against you in writing and an opportunity for a hearing. Columbus State will follow all published policies.
What happens if I am suspended or expelled?
Suspension refers to a complete separation between you and Columbus State. This includes services, sponsored events, buildings, etc. This separation is for a determined amount of time as outlined in your sanction. Expulsion extends this sanction to a permanent basis. If you were suspended and wish to return to the College, you will need to contact the Office of Student Conduct at 614-287-2104.
How do I appeal a decision/sanction?
If you are found to be responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct, you will have 30 days after receiving the written notice to make a formal appeal in writing. The appeal must be on the basis of:
a) The discovery of substantial facts which were unavailable at the time of the original
b) Prejudicial procedural error
c) Excessive severity of the sanction in proportion to the offense
d) Prejudicial error as to the findings of fact
e) To assess whether bias on the part of a Committee member deprived the process of impartiality
Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services.
How long does the office keep my conduct file?
All conduct records are maintained according to the College’s records retention policy, for a minimum of 7 years.
Can I attend other schools while I am suspended or expelled from Columbus State Community College?
You may attend other higher education institutions while you are suspended or if you have been permanently expelled, but you may have to disclose the circumstances of your violations of the Student Code of Conduct to your transfer institutions. The transfer institution may also require you to complete a FERPA release to allow them to access your prior conduct records.
Can I get a copy of my file?
You can obtain a copy of your file from the Office of Student Conduct. Please allow 2-3 business days after a request is made for preparation of your file.
I was the victim/witness of a violation. Do I have to participate in a hearing?
You are encouraged to participate in the hearing process to give the hearing officer or committee a full understanding of the circumstances of the case. If necessary to protect safety, victims and/or witnesses may be separated physically or through electronic means such as Skype or conference phone during questioning. However, the accused student has the right to hear all information shared with the hearing officer or committee and to present relevant questions to the hearing administrator for the victim/witness.
Will this have an effect on my financial aid?
Student Code of Conduct charges do not impact financial aid directly. However, sanctions such as failing a course, suspension, or expulsion can impact Satisfactory Academic Progress, which determine financial aid eligibility.