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. Please note that if there is a hearing under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Procedures and a party does not have an advisor for the hearing, one will be provided at no cost or charge to the student. For a complete list of rights, please review Appendix D, Student Conduct Procedure for Allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment of the Student Disciplinary Procedures (for Title IX-related allegations) and Case Coordinator and Subcommittee Hearing Procedures (for non-Title IX prohibited sexual misconduct allegations).
- 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?
Under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Procedures, the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with OSCR staff, may dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations if a complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations. 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. The result of that evaluation will be communicated to the parties as appropriate.
Under Case Coordinator and Subcommittee Hearing Procedures (for non-Title IX prohibited sexual misconduct allegations), 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?
A complainant and respondent may have an advisor of their choosing during any part of a disciplinary process. The Women’s Resources Center can provide an advisor to assist any complainant through the student disciplinary process. Additionally, Resources for Students can provide additional support depending on your needs. Please note that if there is a hearing under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Procedures and a party does not have an advisor, one will be provided at no cost or charge to the student.
- What is the role of an advisor in the student disciplinary process?
An advisor provides a respondent or complainant support, guidance, or advice. Respondents and complainants may be accompanied by an advisor of their choosing to any meeting with an investigator or to any proceeding to which the advisee is invited. Under Title IX Sexual Harassment Procedures, during the cross-examination, an advisor of the student’s choosing needs to be present to conduct the cross-examination, i.e., to ask the other party and any witnesses relevant questions and follow up questions. Please note that if there is a hearing under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Procedures and a party does not have an advisor, one will be provided at no cost or charge to the student.
- 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?
Complainants and Respondents have a right to a timely investigation and decision. The anticipated duration of a sexual misconduct investigation is approximately 40-60 business days following notification of the allegations. The investigator may extend this timeframe in increments of 10 business days for good cause provided the investigator or their designee notifies both parties in writing of the delay and the reason for the delay. Acceptable reasons include, but are not limited to, the complexity of the investigation, the number of witnesses, the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities, and the possibility of interruption by break periods.
The anticipated duration of the appeal process, from the written notification of the Panel’s decision to the notification of the Appeal Committee’s decision, is no more than 25 business days, but the Director may extend this timeframe in increments of 10 business days for good cause provided the Director or their designee notifies both parties in writing of the delay and the reason for the delay.
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