FAQs about the Student Disciplinary Process
- What exactly is the campus policy on sexual misconduct?
You can find the campus Sexual Misconduct Policy and additional information on campus policies and procedures here.
- What is the difference between the student disciplinary process and the criminal process for responding to sexual misconduct?
The Office for Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR) investigates alleged violations of the Student Code, whereas the police investigate alleged violations of the law. These investigations follow different procedures, are conducted by different individuals, and use different standards of proof. The standard of proof in the student disciplinary process is the preponderance of information standard, which means whether it is more likely than not sexual misconduct occurred. Criminal trials use a higher evidentiary standard, and the defendant's guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Although the police and the University may share information discovered in their investigations, they proceed independently, and the decisions reached in one do not necessarily impact those reached in the other.
- Can the University discipline a student for sexual misconduct even if the student is not convicted of a crime?
Yes. The student disciplinary system and the criminal justice system operate independently. The outcome in one does not determine the outcome in the other. In fact, OSCR may proceed with a case within the student disciplinary system even if the matter is never reported to the police.
- What are the rights of the parties during the student disciplinary process?
Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to receive email notice, to identify witnesses and provide relevant information, to review and respond to evidence, to participate in any hearing before the Subcommittee on Sexual Misconduct, to receive a timely written decision, and to appeal that decision. In addition, both the complainant and the respondent may have an advisor of their choice accompany them to any meeting or hearing to which they are invited and may choose not to answer any question during the investigation. For a complete list of rights, please review Appendix D, Student Conduct Protocol for Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Stalking, Dating Violence, and Domestic Violence of the Student Disciplinary Procedures.
- Is there a way to protect myself from retaliation if I participate in the student disciplinary process?
The campus Sexual Misconduct Policy expressly prohibits retaliation. You can raise any concerns you have about retaliation with OSCR staff. You are encouraged to report any retaliation you experience during or after the investigation. The University takes reports of retaliation very seriously and investigates them as violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- What happens if I report sexual misconduct, but later decide I do not want any investigation or disciplinary proceeding?
The Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with OSCR staff, will consider any complainant request that the university not proceed with an investigation or discontinue an existing investigation. If OSCR has received the complainant's report but has not yet started an investigation, then the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with OSCR, will determine whether concerns for campus safety require that the investigation proceed without the complainant's participation. OSCR will communicate the results of that evaluation to the complainant.
If OSCR has already started an investigation, then OSCR may continue the investigation according to the student disciplinary procedures. However, the complainant is never required to participate in the investigation or the remainder of the disciplinary proceeding.
- What will happen if a student is found in violation of the campus Sexual Misconduct Policy?
Any student found in violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy will be assigned a formal sanction. Formal sanctions range from a University reprimand to dismissal from the University. Furthermore, most respondents will also be assigned one or more educational sanctions. Finally, the University may restrict a respondent's behavior in other ways. For instance, the University can issue a no contact directive prohibiting a respondent from having contact with a specific individual or from going to a particular location. Please review Actions Possible in Individual Student Disciplinary Cases for more information.
- Does the University provide advisors to students who are involved in the student disciplinary process?
The Women’s Resources Center can provide an advisor to assist any complainant through the student disciplinary process. And any student respondent may request a trained volunteer advisor by calling the Office for Student Conflict Resolution at (217) 333-3680, but this assistance is subject to volunteer availability. Additionally, Resources for Students can provide additional support depending on your needs.
- What is the role of an advisor in the student disciplinary process?
Students participating in the student disciplinary process have a right to an advisor of their choice. An advisor provides the advisee with support and guidance throughout the student disciplinary process and may accompany the advisee to any meetings with OSCR staff or any formal hearings. However, advisors may not directly participate in the dialogue between the advisees and OSCR staff, they may not speak on behalf of the advisee, and they may not serve as witnesses.
- Will the use of alcohol and/or other drugs affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint?
Information regarding alcohol and drug use may be relevant for determining whether consent was provided in a particular case. However, a complainant will not face disciplinary action due to the use of alcohol or other drugs at or around the time of the reported incident. Please review the Statement on Medical Amnesty and Good Samaritan Procedures for more information.
- Will I ever need to be in the same room as the other party as part of the student disciplinary process?
If your case proceeds to a formal hearing before the Subcommittee on Sexual Misconduct, both you and the other party will both be invited to participate. However, OSCR staff can make accommodations for one party to participate remotely (via video conference).
- Who determines the outcome of the student disciplinary process?
For sexual misconduct cases, a panel of three members of the Subcommittee on Sexual Misconduct, a group of trained faculty, staff, and students, renders a decision following a formal hearing and a thorough review of the evidence.
For an appeal of a panel's decision, three members of the Senate Committee on Student Discipline will consider the appeal.
- What is the time frame for resolution of a sexual misconduct case in the student disciplinary process?
The anticipated duration of a sexual misconduct investigation is approximately 40 business days following notification of the allegations, but the actual duration of each investigation may vary depending on the complexity of the investigation, the severity and extent of the allegations, the number of witnesses, and the possibility of interruption by break periods. OSCR estimates that the subcommittee will issue a decision within 20 business days of the conclusion of the investigation. If either party submits an appeal of the subcommittee’s decision, the appeal process will take approximately 15 business days.
Resources & Support
- Counseling Center
- McKinley Health Center
- Women's Resources Center (Confidential Advisors)
- Rape Advocacy Counseling & Education Services (R.A.C.E.S.)
- Courage Connection (Domestic Violence)
- Champaign, Urbana, or University Police Departments
(217) 333-8911 (Non-Emergency)
- Office for Access & Equity
- Student Assistance Center
(Office of the Dean of Students)
- Office for Student Conflict Resolution