As a student who has been asked to attend a meeting with Student Conduct, you may have a number of questions about the conduct process at Virginia Tech, your rights, and your responsibilities. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and provided the answers in an easy to understand Q & A format. Feel free to read them all or click on your question below. Additional information can be found in the Conduct Meeting and Formal Hearing Information section.
The University Student Conduct System affects and applies to all currently enrolled students and to student organizations officially listed with the Student Centers and Activities Office. Its major purpose is to help create a fair, just, and disciplined university community. The university conduct system supports the educational mission of the university by educating students about appropriate behavior and by fostering a community where academic success can occur.
The mission of Student Conduct is to promote a civil learning environment that fosters personal growth and the development of life skills by holding students and student organizations accountable for conduct inconsistent with the expectations of the university community.
Annually published, the University Policies for Student Life contains current information about university rules and regulations that apply to all students. The most current version of the UPSL is available in the Hokie Handbook.
Any person who has accepted an offer of admission as an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student who has not yet graduated or officially transferred to another institution is a student. A student’s enrollment must lapse for more than one calendar year before he or she is no longer subject to disciplinary action.
Virginia Tech has always had the right to enforce policies off campus; however, staff members do not always do so. You are a Virginia Tech student regardless of whether the alleged misconduct takes place on the campus, across the street from campus, or across town. Virginia Tech is particularly concerned about high-risk drinking and drug use by students due to the threat these behaviors pose to student health, safety, and academic success. Conduct referrals will be accepted from anyone, and our office will determine if university policies have potentially been violated before inviting a student to into the conduct process.
A "C.R." is simply the document (written statement) that alleges a student’s involvement in a violation of university policy. Having a C.R. written does not mean you are "in trouble." A conduct meeting or a formal hearing is held to determine whether a policy violation occurred. C.R.'s can be written by any member of the campus community, or anyone outside of the community as well.
The information in the conduct referral will be reviewed by a professional staff member in Student Conduct. If there is the potential that a policy was violated during the incident, students will receive an email notice to check their Hokie SPA. Each student has a link to Student Conduct information. By checking your Student Conduct Information in Hokie SPA, you will see a date, time, and location for a meeting to discuss the incident in question. At that meeting, you will be able to describe what happened during the incident in question. You can resolve your case immediately through an agreed resolution or schedule a formal hearing.
Your conduct meeting will take place with either an administrative hearing officer or student conduct committee. Students can have an advisor present at the conduct meeting. The advisor is there to support the need of the student, and does not take an active role other than to "silently" assist the student. For more information about obtaining an advisor, please contact Student Conduct. Witnesses may be asked to attend the meeting by both the student and Student Conduct.
You can expect to "be heard." The meeting or hearing is not an opportunity to "defend yourself." Nor, are you "presumed guilty". The C.R. represents only a portion of what took place in the incident, you are being asked to attend to describe your involvement (if you choose). The hearing officer or committee will ask questions regarding the incident and discuss with you how the conduct affects you and the community. Once all information has been shared, the hearing officer or committee will make a decision regarding the policies and if appropriate, issue sanctions.
Student Conduct renders decisions regarding the violation of university policy, and not local, state, or federal laws. In some incidents there may be an overlap of policy and laws, but the priority for Student Conduct is to determine if your conduct is at odds with the University Polices for Student Life. It is a personal decision to seek legal assistance to manage your criminal/civil proceedings, and we would recommend that you speak with Student Legal Services. Should you ultimately choose to have an attorney present, they would attend as your advisor, and would not have a speaking role other than to confer with you.
Records on all conduct proceedings involving students are maintained in the Student Conduct office for five years from the date of incident. After this date, the record is destroyed. Your conduct record is not part of your academic transcript, unless you are suspended or permanently dismissed from the university. Notations involving suspension can be removed after the suspension period has passed at the written request of the student. Records on student organizations are maintained for the same length of time.
A student’s conduct file is kept for internal record-keeping purposes and to provide some insight into a student’s past behavior if additional problems arise. Past decisions that resulted in a finding of responsibility will be considered in subsequent conduct meetings or hearings when sanctions are determined. These records are released to no one other than university officials at Virginia Tech who have a legitimate need to know and others as permitted by law. In cases involving violent behavior, the accuser may be notified of the outcome of the hearing. This single exception is in keeping with the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (1998) and the Students’ Right to Privacy Act, as amended. Discipline records are maintained for five years from the date of an incident. Students and alumni may authorize record releases. Record release forms can be completed in the Student Conduct office.
In most cases, no. However, If you are under 21 and you are found responsible for an alcohol/other drug violation then your parents will be notified. Notification takes place via letter after your case is closed. Parents will be sent a copy of the decision issued to the student. If parents wish to know additional details regarding the incident, or other conduct resulting in lesser, or no sanctioning, the student will need to provide consent for release of information - unless, the student has pre-authorized a release to their parents in Hokie SPA.
It is recommended that students inform their parents of all incidents that result in conduct sanctions. Keeping this type of information from parents can make matters worse if additional violations occur. Records on violations involving student organizations are not confidential and may be released.
Yes! We have student volunteers who work a few hours each week as peer advisors to assist students in case preparation. These students are both undergraduate and graduate members of the community who have previously participated on our student conduct committees or been administrative hearing officers. They are well versed in university policy and case precedent. Additionally, they can provide helpful hints for organizing your thoughts.
The DMCA coordinator, per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, within Communication Network Services will forward take notices to students who have been implemented in copyright infringement. The email will be forwarded to students, and a copy will be sent to Student Conduct. Students are encouraged to respond to the email sent by the DMCA coordinator to avoid disruption of network access. Once all students have responded, Student Conduct will review the information the case will likely be processed as a potential violation of the acceptable use policy. The student(s) involved will be notified regarding resolution of the case.