Disciplinary Process Overview
In short, YOU! The Respondent refers to the student accused of violating the Texas Southern University Student Code of Conduct. You are responsible for responding to the complainant's alleged conduct violations.
The Complainant refers to the individual student, faculty member, staff member, or department (such as Department of Public Safety, University Housing, etc.) that is bringing charges against you. A representative from the Office of Student Conduct office may present the case on behalf of the University.
Any student who: (a) Is currently enrolled at the University (b) Is accepted for admission or readmission to the University; (c) Has been enrolled at the University in a prior semester or summer term and is eligible to continue enrollment in the semester or summer term that immediately follows; (d) Is attending an additional program sponsored by the University while that person is on campus; or (e) Has engaged in prohibited conduct at a time when he/she met the criteria of (a), (b), (c), or (d). Students may be disciplined by the University for violating any of the conduct standards or participating in any of the items outlined in the Code of Conduct as “Prohibited Conduct on or off University grounds when the incident occurs in connection with a University sponsored or affiliated activity or program, when the incident has a substantial connection to the interests of the University, when the incident poses a threat of serious harm to any member of the University community, or when the behavior is prohibited by University policy regardless of where it occurs, even if the student is or may be penalized by civil or criminal authorities for the same act. Students are subject to University disciplinary action for prohibited conduct that occurs while the student is participating in off-campus activities sponsored by or affiliated with the University including, but not limited to, field trips, retreats, and study abroad programs.
If sufficient information is presented in the Incident Report, a letter citing the alleged violation(s) stemming from the incident will be emailed to your Texas Southern University email address. This letter will provide instructions on how to set up the initial meeting, known as a Procedural Interview. Notice is considered “received” upon sending this correspondence to the student’s official Texas Southern University e-mail address. Failure to provide and maintain current addresses with the Registrar or failure to receive an e-mail message because the mailbox is full, or the message is inappropriately forwarded will not constitute good cause for failure to comply with written notices.
You will be scheduled a Procedural Interview (PI) with your designated Hearing Officer to review the allegation. At the procedural interview the Respondent is provided a copy of the Student Code of Conduct, a copy of the incident report, and a copy of the Students’ Rights and Responsibilities Respondent Information and Acknowledgment Form. While at the PI, or within forty-eight-hours of the PI, you shall choose either a hearing before the University Hearing Board or a Disciplinary Conference with the Hearing Officer. The University Hearing Board is comprised of about ten individuals (five students, two staff members and two faculty members) and aims to adjudicate cases within the jurisdiction of the Board and to ensure that all persons appearing before the Board receive a fair and impartial hearing. Similarly, a Disciplinary Conference is a one-on-one meeting aiming to adjudicate the case, but between you and your Hearing Officer. Students who fail to select either a hearing before the University Hearing Board or a Disciplinary Conference with the Hearing Officer within the forty-eight-hour period will be considered to have elected to proceed with a Disciplinary Conference.
You are entitled to be accompanied and assisted by an advisor. An advisor can be a non-involved student, attorney, parent, faculty member or administrative staff member. An advisor may be an attorney, but one who sits in an advisory capacity. The attorney addresses the Board only upon permission from the Hearing Officer/Chair. If you wish to have an attorney attend the hearing as their advisor shall notify the Hearing Officer/Dean of Students office of the attorney’s name and contact information at least three business days prior to the hearing. If your advisor is an attorney, the University may have a University attorney present at the disciplinary hearing. Failure to provide the attorney’s name and contact information three days prior to the hearing will preclude their participation from the hearing. An advisor may not appear in lieu of a respondent.
No. If a you fail to appear; the University Hearing Board or Hearing Officer will decide the case in your absence. It is recommended that you attend your hearing even if you choose not to present statements or answer questions from the Board.
Yes. You are responsible for presenting your own case at a hearing. Although you may have an advisor present to serve as an advocate at your conference/hearing they cannot represent you or speak on your behalf at conference/hearing.
No. You have the right to not speak at the conference/hearing. If the respondent chooses not to speak, the investigation will proceed, and their silence will not be used to their detriment.
Your failure to respond to the initiation of charges or attend your procedural interview shall in no way prevent the University from scheduling and conducting a University Hearing Board hearing or a Disciplinary Conference in the absence of the accused student. Your decision not to participate in the process is not held against you; decisions are made based on the presented evidence in relationship to the policy standards in question.
The standard of evidence in the student conduct process is based on the preponderance of evidence standard. The preponderance of evidence standard is the burden of proof requirement that is used to determine whether it is more likely than not that the you violated a Code provision and/or University policy. The burden of proof shall be on the complainant or University, whichever is applicable.
The University addresses cases involving violations of Texas Southern University policy. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of law. Depending on circumstances, students may have to go through one or both channels. In some cases, they may be subject to both. Regardless, both systems are separate and distinct form one another; an outcome in one process does not equate to the same outcome in the other process, nor will it impact the decision of them.
A disciplinary record shall reflect the nature of the charge, the disposition of the charge, the sanction assessed, and any other pertinent information.
Disciplinary records of students who were not assessed a sanction of suspension, expulsion, denial or revocation of a degree, and/or withdrawal of a diploma will be maintained by the Dean of Students Office for seven (7) years after the final disposition of the case in accordance with the University’s Records Retention Schedule. The University shall maintain a permanent written disciplinary record for every student assessed a sanction of suspension, expulsion, denial or revocation of a degree, and/or withdrawal of diploma.
Yes. You may appeal the decision of the Hearing Officer by filing a written appeal, including a detailed explanation of the reason for the appeal consistent with the grounds for appeal outlined in Section IX of the Student Code of Conduct, with the appropriate Appellate Officer within five business days after receiving written notification of the decision. An appeal may be granted on the following: a) New information, not available at the time of the original hearing/conference, was discovered and such new information could affect the decision rendered in the original conduct case. b) Procedural error that resulted in material harm or prejudice to the student (i.e., by preventing a fair, impartial, or proper hearing). Deviations from the designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless material harm or prejudice results. c) Appeals submitted on a claim that the sanction was excessively severe do not have bearing on the finding of “in violation” and relate only to the sanctions imposed. An appeal is not an opportunity to re-hear the original conduct case and will not be granted based on a respondent’s disagreement with the outcome of the original conduct case.
You can submit your appeal here:
You are responsible for knowing the rules and will be held accountable for violations despite a lack of awareness of a particular policy. A student admitted to the Texas Southern University accepts the responsibility to conform to all Texas Southern University rules and regulations. Proven failure to meet this obligation will justify appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, expulsion, suspension, disciplinary probation, or warning. The University will make every reasonable effort to make the rules and regulations available. You are responsible for becoming familiar with them.
Failure to report or comply with the Dean of Students or designee on any matter may constitute a separate violation of the Code and may result in further disciplinary action, such as a disciplinary hold being assessed to your student account. A disciplinary hold restricts a student’s ability to enroll in classes.
Yes. You will still be subject to the student conduct process at Texas Southern University because they are accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct. Remember that the Texas Southern University’s policy and procedures are separate from local, state, and federal laws. The outcomes between Texas Southern University’s disciplinary process and the court’s proceedings may vary because the standard of evidence is different.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects a student’s right to privacy concerning their academic records and information. Student conduct records are considered educational records governed under FERPA. The Texas Southern University will not disclose any information without your written consent, with some exceptions as stated by FERPA. The University may, without the student’s permission, release certain information to parents or guardians of students under the age of 21 found responsible for violating any law, rule or university policy pertaining to drugs or alcohol. A FERPA authorization form can be found at FERPA Authorization Form on the Office of the General Counsel’s website