We strive to hold students accountable for their actions and to address all behavioral concerns with students in a manner which fosters self-reflection, a greater awareness of their obligations within the larger communities to which they belong, and a greater sense of the personal responsibility they have for their choices, the consequences of those choices, and the direction of their lives.
The Code of Student Conduct is intended to provide guidelines and to outline community expectations as our means of enforcing our commitment to those goals and values outlined in the University Mission Statement.The Code of Student Conduct outlines the standards of behavior that students are expected to follow at St. Mary’s University.
Incident Reviews: The Judicial Advisor/Officer reviews all reports and information received from University departments, staff, officials or community members to determine if there is sufficient information to indicate the Code of Student Conduct has been violated. If the Judicial Advisor/Officer concludes that this standard has been met, the student will then receive a notice from the Office of Judicial Affairs containing the university rules that are alleged to have been violated during the documented incident.
The Charge Letter: The charge letter outlines the alleged violations in a brief narrative and behavioral description of the incident and summons the student to a meeting with the Judicial Advisor or Judicial Officer.
The Conduct Decision: The conduct decision determines whether the student is “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” instead of “Guilty” or “Innocent.”
There are two types of conduct meetings available to the student to resolve judicial matters:
Students and student organizations (including fraternities and sororities, student-athletes, and other leadership organizations) charged through the Office of Judicial Affairs may choose from the following conduct review forums:
The Information Session is informal and is conducted by the Judicial Advisor or the Judicial Officer. This session is an opportunity for the Judicial Advisor and/or the Judicial Officer to meet with the student to discuss the incident as a means of gathering the student perspective on information contained in the incident report.
This informal meeting is conducted by the Judicial Advisor or Judicial Officer. The student accepts responsibility for his/her actions and is notified of their sanctions during this meeting.
This is a formal conduct meeting held in front of a University Student Judicial Board panel composed of faculty, staff and students who have been trained to review student conduct issues. The Board examines all available information about the specific conduct incident and them provides their finding of responsibility and recommended sanctions to the Dean of Students for review and enforcement.
If the student or organization rejects an informal conduct meeting and disputes the investigative findings that any violations have been committed, the incident shall be reviewed through the University Student Judicial Board. A complete guide to the Judicial Board review procedures can be found in the Student Handbook and Code of Student Conduct, Article V: Judicial Charges and Hearings.
If a student or organization is found to be responsible through either informal or formal conduct meeting forums, educational sanctions may be imposed for violations of the Code of Student Conduct (non-academic). These sanctions may include reprimands, service work hours, educational activities, counseling and behavioral assessments, residence hall restrictions, restitution, fines, loss of privileges, suspension, and/or expulsion. (Note: Expulsion is the only sanction noted on the student’s academic transcript).
The accused student may request an appeal of the decision(s) reached by the University Student Judicial Board or of the sanctions imposed by the Judicial Advisor within five (5) business days of the receipt of the decision. Such request for an appeal shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Judicial Advisor or his or her designee. A complete guide to the Appeal Process can be found in the Student Handbook and Code of Student Conduct, Article VII: Sanctioning Procedures.
Conduct Records and Files: All disciplinary cases are maintained in the Student Life Office. The release of student disciplinary records will be governed by the applicable federal and state laws regarding privacy of educational records. Students can arrange to review their conduct file by contacting the Student Life Office.
Every student who has reportedly violated the University Code of Student Conduct has the basic right to be informed of their alleged conduct violations and then provided with an opportunity to address these violations through the St. Mary’s University conduct process. Additional due process rights for St. Mary’s University students include:
You have the right to appeal any finding of responsibility or any sanction assigned to you for violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
A student found responsible for University misconduct may submit a written request to the Dean of Students for an appeal of the decision or of the sanctions imposed by the University within five (5) business days of the student’s receipt of the decision. The Office of Student Life will not accept student appeal requests submitted after the end of this five-day window.
A survivor of sexual assault in a misconduct case which has been adjudicated through the University’s judicial process also reserves the right to appeal any findings of responsibility or sanctions assigned to the reported student aggressor in the incident. A complete guide to the Appeal Process can be found in the Student Handbook and Code of Student Conduct, Article VII: Sanctioning Procedures.
Yes. Violations of federal, state, or local laws are adjudicated in an appropriate court of law using a legal procedure run by sworn officers of the court. Violations of university policy are reviewed on campus using an administrative procedure run by appointed University officials. While a student who violates University Student Rules may have also broken federal, state, or local laws at the same time, the fundamentally different aspects of these two systems allow each of them to independently review the same conduct through their respective adjudication processes.
No, St. Mary’s University has no obligation to wait for the outcome of a governmental prosecution before initiating its own administrative conduct review on behalf of the University community.
Not necessarily. The Beyond a Reasonable Doubt standard of proof used in the courts is different from the Preponderance of The Evidence standard of proof used by the University. Therefore, it is possible for the two processes to come to different conclusions about whether a student’s actions violated University Rules as well as federal, state of local laws.
The accused student may request an appeal of the decision(s) reached by the University Student Judicial Board or of the sanctions imposed by the Judicial Advisor within five (5) business days of the receipt of the decision.
Such request for an appeal shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Dean of Students or his or her designee. A complete guide to the Appeal Process can be found in the Student Handbook and Code of Student Conduct, Article VII: Sanctioning Procedures.
Are there any legal resources available for students through The Office of Student Life?
No. The Office of Student Life does not provide legal representation for students facing civil or criminal charges and cannot provide legal advice to students regarding their pending civil or criminal case.
I have a problem with a faculty, staff or another member of the University community. Do I file a complaint with Judicial Affairs?
The primary function of the St. Mary’s University judicial process is to address issues of student misconduct within the University community. A student who believes that a University decision, act or condition affecting him or her is illegal, unjust, or creates an unnecessary hardship is encouraged to contact the Dean of Students office at 210-436-3714 to learn more about the University process for addressing their concerns.
The Dean of Students can assist students with issues such as academic problems; mistreatment by any university employee; wrongful assessment of fees; records and registration errors; student employment; and discrimination because of race, national origin, sex, marital status, religion, age, or disability.