Frequently Asked Questions

Complaints Against Faculty or Staff

1. Suppose I have a problem with a faculty, staff or administrative person. Do I file a complaint with Judicial Affairs?

Criminal Allegations

1. If my incident involves a violation of law, can I be prosecuted criminally AND also be referred to Judicial Affairs?
2. If my attorney has my case delayed in the courts, isn't the University obligated to wait and see what happens?
3. If my attorney gets my case dismissed in the courts, doesn't Baylor University automatically dismiss my case as well?

Hearing

1. If I deny the charge and select a hearing, how can I prepare for a hearing?
2. What are the differences between the two hearing formats?
3. What is the Standard of Proof used in a hearing?
4. Will the Student Conduct Board be aware of a student's previous disciplinary history?
5. Can I bring an advisor, such as a parent or lawyer, to the administrative hearing or the Student Conduct Baord hearing?
6. What about witnesses?
7. How are decisions of guilt or innocence made?
8. What happens after a decision is made?
9. Will my parents be told?

Off-Campus Violations

1. Can a Baylor student be charged for misconduct occurring off-campus?

Preliminary Meeting

1. Where do I go for my preliminary conduct hearing?
2. What will happen during the preliminary conduct hearing with Judicial Affairs?
3. Can I bring an advisor, such as a parent or lawyer, to my preliminary conduct hearing?
4. Since I am not under oath during the preliminary conduct hearing, I cannot be charged with perjury, right?
5. Even if I am not responsible for the misconduct, is it not easier to just admit to the violation and get it over with?
6. What is my best option if I am responsible for the alleged misconduct?
7. If I admit to a violation, will this not ruin my chances of going to professional or graduate school or from getting a job!

Responding to a notice of alleged violation

1. I received a letter from Judicial Affairs stating that I am accused of misconduct. What does this mean?
2. Am I required to respond to my notice of alleged violation?
3. What if I was not aware my actions were against Baylor policy, and I did not mean to do anything wrong?
4. What if I did nothing wrong?
5. Since I did nothing wrong, why should I attend the preliminary conduct hearing with Judicial Affairs?

Rights and Responsibilities

1. What are my rights under the Baylor University Student Conduct Code?
2. What are my responsibilities under the Baylor University Student Conduct Code?

Sanctions

1. What are some typical sanctions?
2. Will I be suspended or expelled?
3. Can a student be suspended or expelled from Baylor University on an interim basis?
4. What happens if I do not complete a sanction by the required deadline?
5. Will I have a record with the Judicial Affairs office?
6. Will this infraction affect my financial aid or scholarship?




Complaints Against Faculty or Staff

1. Suppose I have a problem with a faculty, staff or administrative person. Do I file a complaint with Judicial Affairs?
It depends on the nature of the complaint. In general, Judicial Affairs has jurisdiction over student misconduct both on and off campus. However, if you are unsure about where to start regarding a concern you have, please give us a call in the Judicial Affairs office 254-710-1715. You may also want to refer to the following policies and resources:

Policy On Civil Rights

Academic Appeals Policy & Procedure

Ombudsman to Students

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Criminal Allegations

1. If my incident involves a violation of law, can I be prosecuted criminally AND also be referred to Judicial Affairs?
Yes. Violations of federal, state, or local laws are adjudicated by a court of law. The Judicial Affairs Office adjudicates violations of university policy and breaking any law is a violation of university policy. To illustrate this better, please consider the following example: a student who is caught selling narcotics could be suspended immediately from Baylor (Baylor University Student Conduct Code) and face criminal charges (Governmental Prosecution) as well.

2. If my attorney has my case delayed in the courts, isn't the University obligated to wait and see what happens?
No, remember that the two processes: governmental prosecution (the courts) and Baylor University Student Conduct Code (Judicial Affairs) are generally separate and distinct. The University has no obligation to await the outcome of governmental prosecution before taking its own disciplinary action.

3. If my attorney gets my case dismissed in the courts, doesn't Baylor University automatically dismiss my case as well?
Not necessarily. The standard of proof used in the courts is different from the standard of proof used by the University. The standard of proof used in criminal trials is: Beyond a reasonable doubt. The standard of proof used by the University is: Preponderance of the evidence. Therefore, it is possible for the two processes to come to different conclusions regarding responsibility.

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Hearing

1. If I deny the charge and select a hearing, how can I prepare for a hearing?
Judicial Affairs will work with you to schedule a date and time for the hearing. Keep in mind that a hearing is not a legal proceeding, and hearings are not intended to be adversarial. Before the hearing, think through how you will present your side and gather all relevant supporting documentation. Try to anticipate any questions you may be asked and think about how you would answer these questions. If you plan to bring witnesses, contact them as soon as possible to let them know about the hearing. Also, make sure your witnesses have firsthand knowledge of the incident. Character witnesses are not permitted.

2. What are the differences between the two hearing formats?
There are two different hearing formats in the Baylor University Disciplinary Procedure. They are: The Administrative Hearing and The Disciplinary Committee Hearing. Both are formal hearings where witnesses may be asked to attend. In an Administrative Hearing, the case is heard by a Judicial Affairs official. In the Disciplinary Committee Hearing, a panel of faculty and students, known as the Disciplinary Committee, hears the case. The case is presented to the committee by the Judicial Affairs official and the accused student. The outcome of the hearing does not vary according to the type of hearing selected. The only purpose a hearing serves is to make a determination regarding the student's responsibility. In other words, the only outcome of either hearing is: guilty or not guilty for the alleged misconduct.

3. What is the Standard of Proof used in a hearing?
The standard of proof refers to the quantity or level of the evidence needed to make a decision. The standard of proof used by Baylor University is the preponderance of the evidence.

The formal definition is: A preponderance of evidence presented at a hearing means such evidence as, when considered and compared with that opposed to it, has more convincing force and produces in the mind of the person or persons hearing the case, the belief that the alleged act of misconduct more likely occurred than not.

In other words, is it more likely than not that the student did violate a university policy based on the evidence presented. The preponderance of the evidence is the standard of proof used in civil matters.

4. Will the Student Conduct Board be aware of a student's previous disciplinary history?
The Board is not made aware of a student's judicial or disciplinary history during the hearing unless evidence from past misconduct shows a pattern of behavior that has bearing on the case being heard.

5. Can I bring an advisor, such as a parent or lawyer, to the administrative hearing or the Student Conduct Baord hearing?
You can bring an advisor with you but they cannot be part of the actual process or be present in the hearing. In other words, your advisor cannot represent you.

6. What about witnesses?
You are encouraged to bring witnesses to either type of hearing as long as they have first hand knowledge of the incident. Character witnesses are not allowed. It is your responsibility to make sure your witnesses are present and on time. Witnesses will be allowed to make their statements at the appropriate time, answer questions and then be dismissed from the hearing. Witnesses may not attend the full hearing.

7. How are decisions of guilt or innocence made?
Decisions are made based on a standard of proof. The standard of proof used in hearings is the preponderance of the evidence (see question # 3 in this section).

8. What happens after a decision is made?
It depends on the decision. If you are found not guilty for the misconduct stated in your Charge Letter, then the charges against you will be dropped. You will receive an official letter from Judicial Affairs stating "Charges Dropped." If you are found guilty, you will be sanctioned (see the following section). You will receive a Sanction Letter that explains each sanction in detail.

9. Will my parents be told?
If you have violated the University's alcohol or drug policy, your parents may be notified if you are less than 21 years of age. Your parents will not be informed about other violations that are not related to the University's alcohol or drug policy.

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Off-Campus Violations

1. Can a Baylor student be charged for misconduct occurring off-campus?
Yes. Personal misconduct either on or off the campus by anyone connected with Baylor detracts from the Christian witness Baylor strives to present to the world and hinders full accomplishment of the mission of the University. As a member of the Baylor community, you can be held accountable for misconduct off-campus.

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Preliminary Meeting

1. Where do I go for my preliminary conduct hearing?
All preliminary conduct hearings are held in the Judicial Affairs office, which is located in Clifton Robinson Tower suite 270. You should schedule an appointment by calling the Judicial Affairs office at 254-710-1715.

2. What will happen during the preliminary conduct hearing with Judicial Affairs?
You will meet with a Student Conduct officer. You will be asked to explain what happened from your point of view. The Student Conduct officer will ask you follow-up questions so he or she may develop a clear understanding of what occurred. The important thing to remember is to tell the truth.

3. Can I bring an advisor, such as a parent or lawyer, to my preliminary conduct hearing?
A parent, lawyer, or even a friend may accompany you to the Judicial Affairs office. However, only the Student Conduct officer and the accused student may attend the preliminary conduct hearing to admit or deny the charge. You may talk with your advisor and the Student Conduct officer BEFORE the actual preliminary conduct hearing.

4. Since I am not under oath during the preliminary conduct hearing, I cannot be charged with perjury, right?
Perjury is lying under oath, so Judicial Affairs cannot charge you with perjury. However, lying is a form of misconduct stated in the Baylor University Student Conduct Code. If it is determined that you lied in your preliminary conduct hearing or in a hearing, you could face additional charges resulting in the sanction of suspension or expulsion depending on the severity of your dishonesty and misconduct. Please keep in mind that most lies do not hold up well under scrutiny, even if several people are trying to cover each other. By telling the truth, you don't have to worry about keeping your story straight.

5. Even if I am not responsible for the misconduct, is it not easier to just admit to the violation and get it over with?
No, there is no purpose served in sanctioning a student who did not violate a policy. We do not recommend falsely admitting to a violation. All we ask is that students be completely honest in the process. This is a fundamental ethical principle and students are expected to live up to this standard.

6. What is my best option if I am responsible for the alleged misconduct?
Your best option is to tell the complete truth. We know that it is not easy to admit mistakes, but having enough courage and personal integrity to admit your mistake is the first indication that you have already learned something. Telling the truth will not eliminate the consequences that will result from the misconduct; however, not telling the truth in order to misrepresent the incident can result in greater consequences. In short, if you are wrong, admit it, learn from it, and move forward.

7. If I admit to a violation, will this not ruin my chances of going to professional or graduate school or from getting a job!
A primary goal of Judicial Affairs is to 'restore the offender' by helping students learn from their mistakes. Disciplinary records are confidential and generally cannot be released to others without the student's written consent. Disciplinary records are kept separate from Academic records.

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Responding to a notice of alleged violation

1. I received a letter from Judicial Affairs stating that I am accused of misconduct. What does this mean?
It means that you are alleged to have been involved in some type of behavior or misconduct that is in violation of Baylor University policies. This letter is commonly referred to as a Charge Letter because it states the official charge against the student.

2. Am I required to respond to my notice of alleged violation?
No, you are not required; HOWEVER, if you do not respond, the student conduct officer has only one side of the incident. Therefore, in cases where the student does not respond, the student is almost always found "guilty" for the misconduct. In contrast, last year (2017- 2018) 33 alleged violations were dropped due to students responding and telling their side. So, it is in your best interest to call the Judicial Affairs office and schedule an appointment by the deadline stated in the Charge Letter.

3. What if I was not aware my actions were against Baylor policy, and I did not mean to do anything wrong?
Every student is responsible for knowing the policies. Students are always encouraged to share their thoughts or rationale about a violation even though ignorance of a policy will not suffice as justification for a violation. If you find yourself worrying about whether your conduct is OK or not, don't ignore your instincts----ask for clarification BEFORE you act.

4. What if I did nothing wrong?
Call and schedule an appointment by the deadline stated in your Charge Letter and during your preliminary conduct hearing, just relax and tell the truth about what you know and what happened. During the 2017-2018 school year, Judicial Affairs dropped the charges on 33 cases after students told their side of the story.

5. Since I did nothing wrong, why should I attend the preliminary conduct hearing with Judicial Affairs?
Once you are charged with misconduct, a decision must be made with or without you. If you choose not to respond, your side of the story will not be heard or taken into account. By not responding to your Charge Letter, you waive your right to a hearing. Should you choose this option and be found responsible for the misconduct, your only recourse at this point is to appeal your sanctions.

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Rights and Responsibilities

1. What are my rights under the Baylor University Student Conduct Code?
You have the right to the process that is due in the Baylor University Student Conduct Code.

If you are found guilty for misconduct in a hearing, you have the right to appeal the decision regardless of the type of hearing. If you admit in the preliminary meeting, you may not appeal your own admittance.

If you are sanctioned (either after your admittance or after being found guilty in a hearing) you have the right to appeal any or all of the sanctions levied against you. In other words, regardless of how you are sanctioned, you have the right to appeal the sanctions.

2. What are my responsibilities under the Baylor University Student Conduct Code?
You are responsible for knowing the General Expectations for Baylor Students and for abiding by the policies and procedures of Baylor University.

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Sanctions

1. What are some typical sanctions?
The full range of sanctions is: Warning, Reprimand, Probation, Restitution, Eviction, Suspension, Expulsion. More detail about each sanction is listed below:

A. Warning: Oral warning regarding the misconduct.

B. Reprimand: Written warning regarding the misconduct.

C. Probation: Written notice outlining the terms of the probationary period. It is possible for the terms of probation to include other requirements or restrictions including, but not limited to, assigned work hours, educational classes, recommended counseling, restricted access to facilities or student privileges for a period of time, and/or prohibition from participation in co-curricular activities.

D. Restitution: Requirement to reimburse or compensate another for damage or loss of property resulting from a student's misconduct.

E. Eviction: Restriction or removal from residence halls or other campus facilities.

F. Suspension: Termination of student status at the University for a specified period of time.

G. Expulsion: Termination of student status at the University permanently or for an indefinite period of time.

2. Will I be suspended or expelled?
It depends on the offense committed. When your behavior of misconduct is determined to be harmful to the University community (including self) or interrupts the educational or administrative processes of the University, suspension or expulsion may be an imposed sanction. Repeat offenses, such as repeat alcohol offenders, cases involving illegal drugs, sexual misconduct, assault, and theft are some examples of offenses that may result in suspension or expulsion.

3. Can a student be suspended or expelled from Baylor University on an interim basis?
Yes, if you are arrested for a Class A misdemeanor or higher charge, you may incur an interim suspension or expulsion prior to your preliminary conduct hearing with Judicial Affairs. Furthermore, a student may be suspended or expelled on an interim basis if in the sole opinion of the Vice President for Student Life, the student's continued presence on the campus might create a danger of physical or mental harm to self or another person; or the student's continued presence on the campus might disrupt the educational process of the university. In either case, you still have the right to the process that is due as outlined in the Baylor University Student Conduct Code. However, your student status is suspended until your conduct case (Judicial Affairs case---not the courts) has been adjudicated and brought to resolution.

4. What happens if I do not complete a sanction by the required deadline?
A registration hold will be placed on your student account. You will not be allowed to register for classes until your sanctions are complete. In some cases, a transcript hold may be placed on a student's account which means Baylor University will not issue the student a transcript until all sanctions are completed.

5. Will I have a record with the Judicial Affairs office?
If you are found responsible for misconduct, you will have a disciplinary record. Disciplinary records are kept separate from Academic records. Disciplinary records are kept for a period of 7 years after the final disposition of your case, but may be kept longer due to special circumstance (such as suspension or expulsion) or as deemed necessary by the Associate Dean of Judicial Affairs.

6. Will this infraction affect my financial aid or scholarship?
Usually not. However, some financial aid or scholarships depend on a student remaining in good standing with Baylor University. You should contact the Office of Academic Scholarships and Financial Aid at 254-710-2611 with any questions you may have regarding your particular situation.

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