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Cullowhee, NC 28723
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FAQs for Students about Student Community Ethics


I just got a notice that I'm being charged with something – What do I do?   [return to top]    

First please reread the notice in order to determine who you need to contact.  Contact the appropriate source to schedule an initial meeting.

What is going to happen at my initial meeting?   [return to top]

Each initial meeting follows a similar format.  The student is informed as to the alleged student code of conduct violations that will be addressed.  The staff member will inform the student of his/her rights, and the two will discuss the information relating to the case.  Ultimately, the staff member will use this information to determine if a student is responsible or not responsible for the violation of the Code of Student Conduct.  A mutual resolution will be offered, or the student has the option of proceeding to a hearing board. 

What if I disagree with what was reported (written/said) about me?   [return to top]

It is your responsibility to engage in the student conduct process. You will have the chance to tell your version of the incident when you meet with the hearing officer for your initial meeting.

What happens if I don't participate in the student conduct process?  [return to top]

  • The DSCE will send you an initial notification letter to your WCU email*. 
  • If you don't set a meeting after the 1st notification, a DSCE hold will be placed on your account and we will send you a 2nd letter to your email.
  • If we still don't hear from you, we will set a meeting time for you (based on your academic schedule) and notify you of the meeting with another letter to your email and other address(es).
  • If you do not attend this meeting, or contact us, we will move on with the information we have and decide the case in your absence.

*Note: WCU Policy #93 states that your WCU email is the official mode of communication for the University.  Please check and read it daily!

What if I disagree with the sanction reached in my case?   [return to top]

If a mutual resolution was reached, there is no appeals process.  This is defined in the Code of Student Conduct.

If the decision was made through a hearing board, the case will follow the appeals process outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.  A student appeal must be limited the following grounds: (1) a violation of due process or (2) a material deviation from Substantive and Procedural Standards adopted by the UNC Board of Governors.  This appeal will be reviewed and a decision will be reached based on the facts of the case only.   A new proceeding will not take place.

May I bring someone to my initial meeting/hearing?   [return to top]

Yes.  The student conduct process allows for advisors in initial meeting/hearing.  For more information please refer to the Code of Student Conduct Section XVII.7.

What is a mutual resolution?   [return to top]

Mutual resolution is a system in place to expedite the student conduct process.  Oftentimes, cases can be resolved during an initial meeting with a hearing officer without having to proceed to a hearing board. If the hearing officer and the accused student agree on responsibility and sanctions, a mutual resolution can be signed and there can be no appeal.

Will it help to take my case to a hearing board?  [return to top]

A hearing board has the ability to find a student responsible or not responsible and they may sanction more, less, or the same as the hearing officer as long as the sanction is in compliance with our recommended minimum sanction requirements.

  Will my parents find out?   [return to top]

This depends on a couple of factors.  The parental notification policy allows WCU to share some information relating to your case with parents if a violation of alcohol or drug policy has taken place.  Information may also be shared in any other policy or situation that leads WCU staff to believe that one is a danger to oneself or others.  In order to share detailed information with parents or guardians, a student must sign a FERPA waiver or have the FERPA pin number assigned to their parent(s) through MyCat.  These waivers and more information can be obtained in the DSCE office.

What is FERPA?    [return to top]

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is legislation that provides privacy protection for students' academic record information.  One's information may only be accessed by professionals with a "need to know" and anyone that a student grants permission to.

Will this affect my classes?   [return to top]

If your case is an alleged Academic Integrity Policy violation it may potentially affect your grades or even your enrollment at Western.  Some policy violations carry suspension or expulsion as sanctions, in these cases your academic progress may be interrupted or halted through student conduct action.  In other cases, the answer is no.

If I get in trouble off campus, will WCU find out about it?   [return to top]

The DSCE receives incident reports from anyone and this can include reports from off campus.  If the DSCE receives an off campus incident report, we will respond as necessary.

I'm dealing with the court system, why am I still being contacted by WCU?   [return to top]

The court system and the student conduct process operate independently.  Students may be held accountable through both processes.  In many cases the student conduct process is faster than the legal process. This allows WCU the opportunity to provide important and effective interventions for students.

Isn't this double jeopardy!?   [return to top]

No.  The court system deals with laws while the student conduct process deals with rules/policies.

Will my incident show up on a permanent record or transcript?   [return to top]

In general, student conduct records are not permanent and do not appear on the transcript.  However, if you are suspended or expelled from WCU your name will appear on the UNC Suspension/Expulsion database and your student conduct record(s) will be retained by the DSCE.  For more information please refer to the Code of Student Conduct Section XX.

What happens if I do not complete sanctions?   [return to top]

If you fail to complete your sanctions you may have a DSCE hold placed on your account and/or be charged with a separate violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

If I have a hold, what do I do?   [return to top]

Student Community Ethics holds can only be lifted by the DSCE office.  These holds can be placed for multiple reasons including, but not limited to, incomplete Alcohol Wise course, incomplete conduct sanctions, participation in the conduct process, etc.  Please contact the DSCE office at 828.227.7234 in order to discuss any Student Community Ethics holds on your account.

How do I file an incident report on another student?   [return to top]

To file an incident report against another student you must submit a detailed incident report. Please describe what happened, who was involved, and how you were affected by it. Submissions must include your name and current contact information.  For more information please refer to the Code of Student Conduct Section XII.

What about a staff or faculty member? Please consult with Human Resources.  Please note that depending on the nature of your report you may be referred to another department.

I see people tailgating, can I do this?   [return to top]

WCU Policy #103 governs Tailgating on the WCU campus. 



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