My letter from the Office of Student Life says I have been charged with misconduct. What does this mean?

You received this letter or email because the Office of Student Life has been informed that you may have violated the St. Mary’s University Code of Student Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook or the Residence Life Handbook. This letter or email gives you notice of the possible rules violation(s) that have been charged to you and provides important instructions on how you can contact the Office of Student Life to respond to these charges.

Am I required to respond to my University charge Letter?

Yes! You are required to contact the Student Life Office letter by the date indicated in your charge letter so that you can meet with the Dean of Students or Director of Judicial Affairs and learn what University action will be taken in relation to these charges.

What happens if I don’t respond to my University charge Letter?

A student who does not respond to a University charge letter is essentially giving up the right to present their side of the story during the St. Mary’s University judicial process. Acts of misconduct can be reviewed by St. Mary’s University without the accused student’s cooperation, so a student’s failure to participate will not stop the University from determining a student’s level of responsibility for reported misconduct or from assigning appropriate sanctions to the student.

Can the University charge me with misconduct that happened off-campus?

Yes! St. Mary’s University reserves the right to hold our community members accountable for any off-campus misconduct that is inconsistent with the goals and values which are an integral part of the University community.

What if I did not know that my actions violated St. Mary’s University policy? I did not mean to do anything wrong.

Every St. Mary’s University student is responsible for being aware of University policies such as the Code of Student Conduct and the Residence Life Handbook that describe their rights and responsibilities as a University community member. Ignorance of a policy will not prevent a student from being found responsible for their misconduct.

What if did not nothing wrong but I received a charge letter anyway?

Any student who feels they have received a charge letter by mistake should still schedule an appointment with the Director of Student Judicial Affairs to present their side of the story. University misconduct charges are usually dropped in situations like this if it can be reasonably concluded that the student did not violate any St. Mary’s University rules or policies during the incident under review.

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