If you were arrested and your arrest was reported to your college or university, or if you are under investigation for a violation of FSU’s student code of conduct, then you need an attorney to advise you about how to prepare for your possible student conduct hearing. Attorney Williams has successfully represented students during disciplinary proceedings and he can help you through your hearing as well. If you want to speak to an attorney about what to do in your student conduct disciplinary hearing, give Attorney Williams a call now for a free consultation.
Florida State University Disciplinary Process
Any student who allegedly violates the Student Conduct Code will receive a charge letter from the University. The letter will inform the student that the disciplinary process is being initiated and it will advise the student to call the office of Student Rights and Responsibility within five class days of receiving the charge letter in order to set up an appointment for an information session.
Any student accused of violating the Student Conduct Code can choose to have either a formal hearing or an informal hearing, and they also choose their hearing body.
Informal Hearing – Occurs when there are little or no factual issues in dispute. FSU does not call witnesses but the student may call witnesses in their defense.
Formal Hearing – Occurs when there are factual issues in dispute and the hearing body plans to call witnesses. All formal hearings are recorded and they are held no sooner than five class days after notice is given to the charged student.
If your organization is charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code then the hearing will be public and the organization’s President will represent the organization. If you’re a member of a Greek organization then the Greek Judicial Board will serve as the hearing body for the hearing. The Student Judicial Board serves as the hearing body for all other student organizations.
After the hearing, the hearing body will rule whether the student or organization is “responsible” or “not responsible” for each charge. If the student or organization is found responsible, then the hearing body will come up with educational sanctions for the student or organization to complete in order to complete the conduct process. Failure to complete the sanctions can result in a hold being placed on the student or the organization’s records or ability to remain active on campus.
Appeals can be requested and must be submitted within five class days of a student receiving a decision. The FSU Conduct Code lists the limited basis for appeal as follows:
- Due process errors involving violations of a responding party’s fundamental due process rights or a reporting party’s rights that substantially affected the outcome of the initial hearing;
- Demonstrated prejudice against any party by the person presiding over the hearing. Such prejudice must be evidenced by a conflict of interest, bias, pressure, or influence that precluded a fair and impartial hearing;
- Newly discovered, relevant information that was not reasonably available at the time of the original hearing and that would have substantially affected the outcome of the original hearing;
- A sanction that is extraordinarily disproportionate to the violation committed;
- The preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing does not support the finding with regard to responsibility. Appeals based on this consideration will be limited solely to a review of the record of the first-level hearing, except newly discovered evidence under the sub-bullet above may also be considered.
If you were arrested for a criminal offense, or if you are under investigation for a violation of the Student Conduct Code, you need an attorney who can explain your rights, represent you at your hearing and ultimately protect your future. Give Attorney Williams a call now for advice on what to do at your student conduct hearing. The consultation is free.
When can I violate the Student Conduct Code
Florida State University has extremely wide jurisdiction over your conduct, meaning you can be disciplined for anything you do, even if you are off-campus. FSU’s Code of Conduct states “jurisdiction regarding student conduct is generally limited to the conduct of any student regardless of location, when that conduct may adversely affect the student, the University community, its international programs, or any University-affiliated programs.”
How Can I Violate
According to FSU’s Student Code of Conduct, acts that constitute violations include:
Sexual Misconduct – sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, dating violence or relationship violence, domestic violence, sex discrimination, retaliation and complicity.
Endangerment – defined as physical violence towards another person or group, action(s) that endanger the health, safety, well-being of another person or group, and interact with the freedom of another person to move about in a lawful manner.
Harassment – Conduct, not of a sexual nature, that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person, including action(s) or statement(s) that threaten harm or intimidate another, acts that invade the privacy of another person, bullying behavior, or stalking not of a sexual nature.
Hazing – Defined as “any group or individual action or activity that endangers the mental or physical health or safety or which may demean, disgrace, or degrade any person, regardless of location, intent, or consent from participants.”
Remote Controlled Aircraft – Unauthorized on-campus use of any remote-controlled aircraft or vehicle (such as drones) or failure to comply with established guidelines for authorized use of remote-controlled aircraft.
Weapons – On-campus possession or use of firearms, antique firearms, ammunition, destructive devices, or other weapons or dangerous articles or substances, including but not limited to non-lethal weapons such as pellet guns, bb guns, paintball markers, slingshots, crossbows, stun guns, tasers, metallic knuckles, archery equipment, or any dangerous chemical biological agent.
Fire and Safety – Inappropriate activation of any emergency warning equipment or the false reporting of any emergency; unlawful possession, or removal of, damage to, or tampering with fire safety or other emergency equipment; failure to evacuate a University building or facility within a reasonable amount of time after a fire alarm is sounded; or arson, or the setting of any unauthorized fire in or on University property.
Alcohol, Controlled Substances, and Illegal Drugs – Includes unlawful possession or use of controlled substances; possession or use of illegal drugs; purchase of illegal drugs or controlled substances; distribution, delivery, or sale of illegal drugs or controlled substances; possession or use of drug paraphernalia; possession or consumption of alcohol when under the age of 21; providing alcoholic beverages to an individual who is under the age of 21 as specified by the State of Florida; driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances; intoxicated behavior; open party (defined by the University); any other violation of the University Alcohol Policy, FSU RegulationFSU6.012.
Disruption – Includes failure to comply with a lawful order of or providing false information to a University official or to a non-University law enforcement official (as defined by the University).
Misrepresentation or Misuse of Identity or Identification – Permitting another person to use identification; inappropriate use of another person’s identification; impersonation, or misrepresenting the authority to act on behalf of another or the University; forgery, alteration, or misuse of identification, documents, records, keys, or access codes; manufacture, distributing, delivery, sale or purchase of false identification; or possession or use of false identification.
Property – Damage or destruction of public or private property; theft; misappropriation; receipt, possession, sale, or purchase of property or services that are known or should have been known to have been stolen; entering or using the property or facilities of the University or another person without proper consent or authorization.
Computers – Includes unauthorized access or entry into a computer, computer system, network, database account, software, or data; unauthorized alteration of computer equipment, software, network or data; unauthorized downloading, copying, or distribution of computer software or data; or any other that violates Florida law or the Florida State University Policies and Responsibilities for use of Campus Computer and Network Resources.
Recording of Images without Consent – Defined as using electronic or other means to make a video or photographic record of ant person where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy without the person’s consent.
Recording of Oral Communications without Consent – Defined as using electronic or other means to make a record of any person when such oral communication is uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation, and the person has not given consent to the acquisition or recoding of the communication.
Publication of Explicit Images – Publication of an explicit image of a person that conveys personal identifying information of that person on a website, via social media, or other means without the depicted person’s consent, even if the depicted person originally consented to the creation of the image or voluntarily provided it to the person responsible for the publication.
Gambling – Defined as engaging in or offering games of chance for money or other gains in violation of the law of the State of Florida.