Conduct Process Settings

Utilizing the preliminary information received about the conduct in question, the Office of Community Standards decides whether to proceed with a given report through the University Conduct Process. Reports addressed through the University Conduct Process will be managed in either a Meeting, Conference, or a Hearing. For incidents involving alleged sexual misconduct (including sexual assault), dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, the University has a separate process managed by the University's Title IX Services staff.

In addition to these three settings, the Office of Community Standards may meet with students informally in order to gather more information about an alleged incident, to clarify a student's involvement, and/or to determine whether the University Conduct Process is the appropriate means through which to resolve the matter.

The Office of Community Standards may elect to meet with students to facilitate resolution of a conflict or to address behavioral concerns. The Office of Community Standards may also designate faculty or administrators to facilitate such processes and assist students with reaching a resolution. In these cases, the Office of Community Standards will document the terms of the meeting (and resolution, if applicable) and maintain this documentation for internal purposes during the time of a student’s enrollment at the University.

Generally, a student may not withdraw or take a leave of absence from the University after the Office of Community Standards receives a report of an alleged violation of the University’s Standards of Conduct. The University reserves the right to proceed with the University Conduct Process regardless of a student’s request for a withdrawal or for a leave of absence from the University. At any time, the University may place an administrative hold on the student's University academic transcript, make a transcript notification, or withhold the award of a student's degree. In cases where the University permits a student to withdraw from the University while the University Conduct Process is pending, this withdrawal may be considered permanent and the student’s academic transcript may be held or noted “withdrawal pending investigation.” Even if a student withdraws from the University, the Office of Community Standards may decide to proceed with the University Conduct Process. At the conclusion of the University Conduct Process, the student’s transcript will be updated with the appropriate notation or removal of notation as prescribed by the University’s Conduct Records Reporting Policy.

Qualified students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations to participate in the University Conduct Process must promptly notify the Office of Community Standards of their need for an accommodation.  The Office of Community Standards will coordinate through the Sara Bea Disability Services staff to determine appropriate accommodations. Accommodations are not granted retroactively.

Meeting

Meetings are intended to allow for the discussion of alleged violations of University Standards of Conduct. Alleged violations involving students residing in a University housing facility will be referred to the student’s rector. Alleged violations involving students who do not reside in a University housing facility will be referred to an appropriate University administrator. 

Outcomes from Meetings are formative by design and tailored to meet the developmental needs of the student. The results of Meetings are documented, and this record may be used to establish a student’s conduct history at the University.

If the rector or administrator conducting a Meeting receives information that suggests a Conference or Hearing would be a more appropriate setting or if the rector or administrator conducting a Meeting receives information that suggests an alleged incident involving sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and/or conduct that creates a hostile environment, the rector or administrator will stop the Meeting. The Office of Community Standards will proceed by either:

  • scheduling a Conference or Hearing in accordance with the procedures outlined on this page, or
  • referring the matter to the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Conference

Conferences are intended to allow for the investigation, discussion, and resolution of alleged violations of University Standards of Conduct. Conferences are ordinarily conducted by one or two staff members from the Office of Community Standards and/or their designee. 

The student will be notified of the Conference via written notification, which will include information about how the Conference will be administered.

A student can, upon request, receive an excused absence from University obligations (including class and extra-curricular activities) in order to attend a Conference. A student can also, upon request, re-schedule a Conference to accommodate a student’s participation in University obligations.

The student may invite a University Support Person to attend the Conference. A University Support Person may be any University of Notre Dame student, faculty or staff member, with the exception of parents and attorneys. The University Support Person may not also serve as a witness. The role of the University Support Person is not intended to be a character reference. The role of the University Support Person is to provide moral support for the student and to share insight about the student’s learning and growth related to the incident.

The student’s rector will be invited to attend the Conference if the student resides in a University housing facility. An assistant rector or resident assistant may attend in place of a rector. The role of the rector (or hall staff) is to provide pastoral and moral support for the student and to share insight about the student’s learning and growth related to the incident. A student who lives off campus may invite his/her former rector or assistant rector to attend the Conference.

The student will have the opportunity to present witnesses to the incident during the Conference. The names of any witnesses invited to the Conference by the Office of Community Standards will be provided to the student upon request.

The student will be provided the opportunity to submit a Reflection after the Conference by a deadline prescribed by the Office of Community Standards. The purpose of the Reflection is to allow a student to demonstrate his/her learning and growth related to the incident.

The decision reached by the Office of Community Standards or designee will be communicated at a separate Decision Meeting. In addition to the Decision Meeting, the student will be provided notification via written notification of an explanation for the decision and any Conduct Process Outcomes assigned.

With the exception of dismissal from the University, any of the Conduct Process Outcomes may be assigned if a student is found responsible for a violation of the University’s Standards of Conduct as a result of a Conference.

The results of Conferences are documented, and this record may be used to establish a student’s conduct history at the University.

In the event a student receives notice and fails to appear for a Conference, the Office of Community Standards or designee reserves the right to render a decision in the student’s absence. 

If an Office of Community Standards staff member or designee conducting a Conference receives information that suggests a Hearing would be a more appropriate setting or if the staff member or designee conducting a Conference receives information that suggests an alleged incident involving sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and/or conduct that creates a hostile environment, the staff member or designee will stop the Conference. The Office of Community Standards will proceed by either:

  • scheduling a Hearing in accordance with the procedures outlined below, or
  • referring the matter to the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

The Office of Community Standards reserves the right to allow for the presence and participation of a complainant in Conferences that involve harm to others which are not covered by the University’s Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and/or Hostile Environment Policies (e.g. physical violence, discriminatory harassment, etc.). The degree of participation by the complainant will be communicated to the student at least three (3) calendar days in advance of the Conference by the Office of Community Standards. Participation by the complainant may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • the opportunity for a complainant to be present in the room where the Conference is held or be provided reasonable alternative arrangements;
  • the opportunity for a complainant to clarify information that is presented at the Conference;
  • the opportunity for a complainant to have a residence hall staff member and/or University Support Person present; and/or
  • the opportunity for a complainant to submit in writing questions that may be considered and asked by the Office of Community Standards.

Hearing

Hearings are more formal in nature than Meetings and Conferences. Hearings are ordinarily scheduled when the seriousness of the incident is such that a finding of responsibility for a violation of the University's Standards of Conduct could result in the student’s dismissal from the University. Hearings are scheduled and conducted before a panel of two or more Office of Community Standards staff members or designee(s). In a Hearing, the student is entitled to the following:

  1. The student will receive written notification of the date, time and location of the Hearing and a list of the alleged policy violations to be addressed at least seven (7) calendar days before the Hearing will be held. The Office of Community Standards reserves the right to provide less than seven (7) calendar days’ notice when information about an alleged violation is received by the Office of Community Standards after the last class day of the semester. 
  2. The student can, upon request receive an excused absence from University obligations (including class and extra-curricular activities) in order to attend the Hearing.
  3. The student will have the opportunity to have a meeting in person or by telephone with a representative from the Office of Community Standards before the scheduled Hearing to learn about the Hearing process and ask procedural questions. If the student elects to attend the informational meeting in person, the student will be provided an opportunity to inspect the report which will be discussed at the Hearing.
  4. The student will have the opportunity to invite witnesses to the incident to participate in a portion of Hearing.
    1. “Witnesses to the incident” are defined as individuals who had direct contact with at least one of the individuals involved in the incident before, during or after the incident occurred. Character witnesses are not permitted.
    2. The participation of any witness is at the sole discretion of the Hearing Panel.
    3. The student must notify the Office of Community Standards at least five (5) calendar days before the scheduled Hearing of any witnesses the student requests for participation at the Hearing The Office of Community Standards will notify the witnesses of their scheduled time for their participation in the Hearing. The Office of Community Standards will provide an excused absence from University obligations (including class and extra-curricular activities) in order for witnesses to attend the Hearing.
    4. The student may ask questions of witnesses at the Hearing through the Hearing Panel. Any questions asked to witnesses will be at the sole discretion of the Hearing Panel.
    5. A complete list of any witnesses invited to the Hearing will be communicated to the student at least two (2) calendar days before the scheduled date of the Administrative Hearing.
  5. The student will have the opportunity to hear and respond to all information presented during the Hearing.
  6. The student may be accompanied, but not represented, by a University Support Person at the Hearing. A University Support Person may be any University of Notre Dame student, faculty or staff member, with the exception of parents and attorneys. The University Support Person may not also serve as a witness. The role of the University Support Person is not intended to be a character reference. The role of the University Support Person is to provide moral support for the student and to share insight about the student’s learning and growth related to the incident.
  7. The student’s rector will be invited to attend the Hearing if the student resides in a University residential community. An assistant rector or resident assistant may attend in place of a rector. The role of the rector (or hall staff) is to provide pastoral and moral support and to share insight about the student’s learning and growth related to the incident. A student who lives off campus may invite his or her former rector or assistant rector to attend the Hearing.
  8. The student may not proceed through an attorney or any other third party. The Office of Community Standards staff members and/or their designee(s) will communicate directly with the student and not through any third party.
  9. The Hearing Panel will not make a final decision about a finding of responsibility or assignment of a Conduct Process Outcome until after the Hearing process is complete.
  10. The student will be provided the opportunity to submit a Reflection after the Hearing by a deadline prescribed by the Hearing Panel. The purpose of the Reflection is to allow a student to demonstrate his/her learning and growth related to the incident.
  11. Once the Hearing Panel has reached a decision (which includes a review of the student’s Reflection, if submitted by the prescribed deadline), the student will be contacted to schedule a Decision Meeting.   The decision reached by the Office of Community Standards or designee will be communicated at the Decision Meeting. 
  12. In addition to the Decision Meeting, the student will be provided written notification of an explanation for the decision and any Conduct Process Outcomes assigned by the Hearing Panel.
  13. The student will have the opportunity to request a Case Review upon the completion of the Hearing process as prescribed by the Conduct Case Review Procedures

Hearings are closed to all but principal parties, witnesses, University Support Persons (as described above at 6.), appropriate residence hall staff (as described above at 7.), and the Hearing Panel. Should the student fail to attend a Hearing after being notified of the Hearing date, time, and location by the Office of Community Standards, the Hearing may proceed and a decision may be made in the student’s absence. A representative may not appear in the place of the student. 

Any Conduct Process Outcomes, including dismissal from the University, may be assigned from a Hearing if the student is found responsible for a violation of the University’s Standards of Conduct. The results of Hearings are documented and may be used to establish a student’s conduct history at the University.

If the Hearing Panel receives information of an alleged incident involving sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and/or conduct that creates a hostile environment, the Hearing Panel will stop the Hearing. The Office of Community Standards will proceed by referring the matter to the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

The Office of Community Standards reserves the right to allow for the presence and participation of a complainant in Hearings that involve harm to others which are not covered by the University’s Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and/or Hostile Environment Policies (e.g. physical violence, discriminatory harassment, etc.). The degree of participation by the complainant will be communicated to the student at least three (3) calendar days in advance of the Hearing by the Office of Community Standards. Participation by the complainant may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • the opportunity for a complainant to be present in the room where the Hearing is held or be provided reasonable alternative arrangements;
  • the opportunity for a complainant to clarify information that is presented at the Hearing;
  • the opportunity for a complainant to have a residence hall staff member and/or University Support Person present; and/or
  • the opportunity for a complainant to submit in writing questions that may be considered and asked by the Hearing Panel.