Student Judicial Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • My alleged violation was off campus, why is the university contacting me?
    All student actions reflect upon the WIU community as a whole, regardless of where those actions take place. A student is considered a community member of Western Illinois University from the point of admission to WIU. For that reason, WIU address student behavior that occurs both on and off campus.

    Should a student facing charges of alleged violations bring a lawyer?
    Students may be accompanied by an advisor of choice during the conduct process.An advisor can be an attorney, friend, parent, faculty member or another helpful person. Students are expected to represent themselves during proceedings. Advisors may provide advice, but are not permitted to present information or arguments to the hearing body or question witnesses.

    What happens if I am accused of academic dishonesty? 
    The Student Academic Integrity Policy outlines the process for cases of academic dishonesty. In many cases, you will meet with the faculty member to discuss the situation, outcome, and next steps.

    Does this matter if I withdraw or transfer?
    Yes. The student conduct process will continue, even if you withdraw from school. In addition, there may be a hold on your records and registration that will keep you from withdrawing and obtaining transcripts. Resolving allegations of misconduct through the student conduct process is an obligation you have as a student.

    What if I do not agree with the outcome of my situation?
    A decision reached after a hearing may be appealed by the accused student. A complainant of sexual misconduct or other interpersonal violence cases may also appeal a hearing outcome. Such appeals must be submitted in writing within five calendar days. Full details on the limitations of appeals can be found under the Appeals section in the Code of Student Conduct

    Decisions agreed upon during a Disciplinary Conference and those issued when a student does not appear for their Disciplinary Conference may not be appealed. 

    If a student faces criminal charges for an incident which occurred on campus, does the person have to appear for the campus conduct process?
    Yes. The campus disciplinary process determines the status of one's continued eligibility to remain a member of the campus community. The criminal process determines the status of one's membership within the greater community. It is not uncommon for University disciplinary action to run concurrently with civil or criminal proceedings; generally, one form of adjudicatory process does not affect the other. Campus disciplinary proceedings are almost always resolved much sooner than criminal proceedings.

  • How will I be contacted about alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct?
    Communication will be sent to your WIU email address. It is the responsibility of each WIU community member to actively check their WIU email. 

    Will my parents/guardians find out?
    We encourage you to discuss the situation with your parents or guardians. The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) prohibits educational institutions from disclosing information from a student's educational record to any third party, including parents, without the student's consent. The university strictly adheres to the provisions in FERPA, but there are exceptions in the law. Parents of a student under 21 years of age may be notified by the University if their student is involved in an alcohol-related disciplinary case. Parents may be notified of drug-related infractions regardless of the student's age. If parents/guardians have access to your portal or billing, conduct fines placed can be seen.

    What if I can not make my scheduled Disciplinary Conference?
    Contact the Conduct Officer noted in your email as soon as possible to request a new meeting time. Conduct Officers review class schedules before assigning and do their best to work around obligations.

    Do student disciplinary records appear on the academic transcript?
    Student discipline records are not noted on a person's academic transcript.

    How long will this be on my student disciplinary record?
    With the exception of unresolved cases or those involving suspension, expulsion, or revocation of or withholding of a degree, disciplinary records will be expunged seven years from the final disposition of the case

  • What is a disciplinary conference?
    A disciplinary conference serves as an informal, non-adversarial method of resolving an issue of alleged student misconduct. A student accused of violating the Code of Student Conduct may be scheduled to meet with a conduct officer who has a goal of connecting student to resources and resolving an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct. You can learn more about disciplinary conferences here.

    What happens during a disciplinary conference?
    The meeting is a conversation focused on more than simply potential violations. The conduct officer and student(s) will discuss progress at Western Illinois University, involvements, coursework, and the alleged violation of the student code of conduct. Once the alleged violations are discussed, the Conduct Officer and student(s) will discuss if a violation more likely than not occurred.

    What if I do not agree with the Conduct Officer?
    The standard of responsibility is based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means a violation more likely than not occurred. If a violation is more likely than not to have occurred, the Conduct Officer will discuss what sanction(s) can be appropriate. If an agreement is reached, the student will sign their understanding and the situation is resolved after sanctions are complete. If no agreement is reached, a formal hearing will occur. Students have the right to request a formal hearing instead of a Disciplinary Conference.

    Do I have to go to my disciplinary conference?
    If a charged student or organization fails to respond to directions from a conduct officer, the case adjudicated without the involvement of the student. Furthermore, no student may graduate, receive grades, or have transcripts released until all pending discipline matter(s) are resolved. Students who do not appear for their disciplinary conference are unable to appeal the outcome.

    Do I have to dress formally for a disciplinary conference?
    Disciplinary conferences are informal and do not require set attire.

  • What is a hearing?
    Hearings are formal processes following a structured procedure. For situations unresolved in a disciplinary conference, a hearing will occur. Hearing bodies may consist of a Hearing Officer or a panel of made up of students, faculty, and staff. You can learn more about hearings here.

    How long will the hearing last?
    Length of a hearing depends on several factors such as the complexity of the case, the number of questions, and the number of people involved. If you are a witness, we recommend that you bring something to do during the time you are waiting.

    I am serving as an advisor for a hearing. What should I know?
    Advisors may provide advice, but are not permitted to present information or arguments to the hearing body or question witnesses. Advisors can provide support and advice to the student they are advising. Advisors who do not adhere to these guidelines will not be allowed to participate in the process and asked to leave.

    Should I bring a lawyer to a hearing?
    Students may be accompanied by an advisor of choice during a campus hearing. That person can be an attorney, friend, parent, faculty member or another helpful person. Students are expected to represent themselves during all proceedings. Advisors may provide advice, but are not permitted to present information or arguments to the hearing body or question witnesses.

    Is a hearing like going to court?
    While there may appear to be similarities, the processes are different. The purpose of a hearing is to determine whether a student's behavior has violated the Code of Student Conduct. Courts determine whether laws have been breached.

    Do I have to go to my hearing?
    If a charged student or organization fails to appear for their hearing, the case adjudicated without the involvement of the student(s). Furthermore, no student may graduate, receive grades, or have transcripts released until all pending discipline matter(s) are resolved.

    How else can I prepare for a hearing?
    The following steps are suggested; Read all the information sent by the Hearing Officer. Consult a copy of the Code of Student Conduct. Write a response to the charges. Compile a list of witnesses and contact them about the date and time of the hearing. Be sure to inform witnesses on details of where to attend and if they are needed to check in at a certain location. This information will be in your hearing notification letter. Decide whether you feel an advisor is needed; if so, contact that person. Make notes concerning pertinent facts. Anticipate questions that will likely be asked by the hearing body. Outline the main points of testimony.

    How will I know the outcome of my hearing?
    Students will receive an outcome letter via their WIU email address. The Associate Vice President for Student Services will review the recommendations from the hearing body and issue the letter.

    What if I disagree with the outcome?
    A decision reached after a hearing may be appealed by the accused student. A complainant of sexual misconduct or other interpersonal violence cases may also appeal a hearing outcome. Such appeals must be submitted in writing within five calendar days. Full details on the limitations of appeals can be found under the Appeals section in the Code of Student Conduct.

  • How will my student know they have been accused of violating the Code of Student Conduct?
    Students are contacted via their WIU email address. We encourage parents and guardians to remind their students on a regular basis to check and respond to their WIU email.

    My student has a conduct case. Can you talk to me about it?
    Staff members are always able to share information regarding the Code of Student Conduct and procedures. We are unable to discuss details in situations of students but can answer many procedural questions.

    What can we do to help?
    Developmentally, college is a period of exploration and testing for students. Our goal is that students have an educational experience when interacting with our office, and we find that is best achieved when the students plan an active role in their own process.

    We encourage you and your student to communicate with each other about the conduct process. We hope that as parents and/or guardians, you share our goal of developing self-sufficient individuals and that you can openly express your expectations as well as discuss Western Illinois University's expectations with your student. You can help their student by being supportive while still holding them accountable to the University's expectations.

  • May I attend the conduct hearing?
    Yes. If your student wishes to have you present, one parent/guardian may attend a hearing as an advisor. In the role of advisor, you are not permitted to speak during the hearing, but may privately advise (communicate with) your student. You can learn more about hearings here.

    Should I hire a lawyer?
    It is your decision whether you want to hire a lawyer to act as an advisor. Only one advisor is permitted at a student conduct hearing. As a reminder, a student conduct hearing is not a court, thus a lawyer would only be permitted to privately advise (communicate with) your student.

    What evidence is used to find a student “in violation”? Is this different from a court of law? If so, how can it be different?
    The standard of evidence is “more likely than not” based on the information presented at the hearing. This is lower than in the criminal courts but similar to civil proceedings. Information that is used must be from an eyewitness, related circumstances, documentation, etc. Information serves a different purpose at the university than a court of law. The student conduct process is used to review one’s status as a student.

    Why does my student have to go to court and a university hearing?
    The court system addresses your student as a citizen. The university conduct process addresses them as a student of Western Illinois University.

    My student says they do not understand the process. What information has been shared?
    Students appearing before a hearing board are offered the opportunity to attend a pre-hearing meeting to discuss the entire hearing process and answer questions. Students are contacted for this meeting via their WIU email account. Our goal is to provide students with as much information as possible so they can feel comfortable with the process. Additional information can be found here.

  • What else do I need to know?
    Our goal is to assist students in finding success at Western Illinois University. Our philosophy on student conduct is educational in nature. We care about students and aim to guide student behavior and balance the rights of individuals with that of the health and safety of the community. The student conduct process is not a legal process and is separate from local, state, and federal court proceedings. Instead, the standard of responsibility is based on a preponderance of the evidence.

    How can I learn more about the Code of Student Conduct?
    You can review the Code of Student Conduct online or request a hard copy from our office in Seal Hall.

  • Am I allowed to appeal?
    Agreements reached during a disciplinary conference between a student and Conduct Officer may not be appealed. A decision reached after a hearing may be appealed by the accused student. A complainant of sexual misconduct or other interpersonal violence cases may also appeal a hearing outcome. Such appeals must be submitted in writing within five calendar days. Full details on the limitations of appeals can be found under the Appeals section in the Code of Student Conduct.

    How do I submit my appeal?
    Follow the directions outlined in your outcome letter. You may submit your appeal here.

    What should be included in an appeal?
    Except as required to explain the basis of new information, an appeal will be limited to a review of the record of the hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:

    To determine whether the hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present information that the Code of Student Conduct had been violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present a response to those allegations. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.

    To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial information; that is, whether there were facts in the case that, if believed by the fact finder, were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Code of Student Conduct occurred.

    To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Code of Student Conduct which the accused student was found to have committed.

    To consider new information sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.

    What happens after I submit my appeal?
    After receiving an appeal and reviewing all available information, the Vice President for Student Services may elect to:

    Affirm the finding and the sanction originally determined.

    Affirm the finding and modify the sanction.

    Remand the case to the original hearing board with instructions.

    Dismiss the case.

  • What is a sanction?
    A sanction is any requirement or status imposed as a result of accepting responsibility or being found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct. You can learn more about the different types of sanctions by clicking here.

    How are sanctions decided?
    Sanctions may be imposed independently or in combination with other sanctions. Sanctions can be assigned to an individual student, group of students, and student organizations. Sanctioning is determined case by case since it reflects the needs of the individual student, the student's cumulative discipline history, and the impact of that student's behavior on the community.

    What types of sanctions can be assessed if I am found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct?
    Sanctions include, but are not limited to: a disciplinary warning, an educational project, fine(s), intervention education, disciplinary probation, removal from university-owned/operated housing, loss of eligibility for university-owned/operated housing, restitution, a letter to your parent/guardian, suspension, or expulsion. A hearing body may recommend that you be expelled. Expulsion is permanent dismissal from the university. You can learn more about sanctions here.

    Are sanctions standardized?
    No. Sanctions are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity of the charges, the behavioral background of the student, and what they provide to the Conduct Officer(s) during the conference or hearing.

  • What happens if I do not complete a sanction?
    If sanctions are not completed, a student may progress in the conduct process and/or a hold may be placed on registration.

    How do I turn in my educational sanction?
    Follow the directions outlined by your Conduct Officer for submitting your educational sanction. You can submit your sanction here. If you have any questions, please contact your Conduct or Hearing Officer.

    How do I pay a fine?
    Fines are placed directly to a student's account. You can review your account on STARS and pay the same as all other charges.

    What if I cannot complete an educational sanction on time?
    You may contact your Conduct Officer to Hearing Officer to explain the situation and request an extension. They will decide whether to extend your deadline.