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Student FAQ

The DSCE is committed to providing transparency about the conduct process. The following are common questions about the process for WCU students who have been contacted by DSCE.

Please note that unless you consent, we cannot disclose the details of individual cases with third parties, including family members. If you would like for DSCE staff to discuss your case with a third party, please complete and sign the FERPA Waiver, which will allow DSCE to discuss your case with your parent, guardian or other third party.

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Did you just receive a letter for initial meeting request about an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct (the Code)? Let’s go over what happens next!

  • Read all the information in the letter thoroughly. This is where you will receive your Hearing Officer’s contact information and instructions on how to schedule your meeting.
  • You have five (5) days to respond to the initial meeting request, so please contact your Hearing Officer listed in the letter immediately.
  • Fill out the Student Confirmation of Initial Meeting Request ("SCIM") form linked in your letter before your initial meeting. You will go through the responses with your Hearing Officer at the beginning of your meeting to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student of WCU.
  • If you have any questions, please reach out directly to your Hearing Officer. Your Hearing Officer's contact information is listed in your letter.

Most violations will be addressed through a meeting with a Hearing Officer. Your Hearing Officer will reach out to you via letter from Maxient to request an initial meeting. You will meet with your Hearing Officer to share your perspective on what took place. Your Hearing Officer will ask further questions to make sure all information is received from all involved parties.

At the conclusion of the meeting, you will review policies in the Code of Student Conduct that were allegedly violated in the incident. After you review the policies, you and the Hearing Officer will go through the mutual resolution process where you can agree or disagree with the outcome. If a mutual resolution cannot be reached, you can choose to have a Hearing Body decide the outcome. This process is also outlined in the WCU Code of Student Conduct in Article VI, Sections 6.06 through 6.12.

Should your conduct incident be addressed through a Conduct Hearing Board, a Student Conduct Administrator will provide additional details regarding the process and timeline.

DSCE's office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Meetings cannot be scheduled outside of these hours.

Students who need urgent assistance outside of these hours can contact:

  • WCU Police (Emergency): 828.227.8911 or 911
  • WCU Police (Non-Emergency): 828.227.7301

Students can meet virtually with their hearing officers. DSCE uses Microsoft Teams to conduct virtual meetings. Students who choose a virtual meeting will receive detailed instructions on accessing the meeting. Students can access Teams meetings on computers and mobile devices.

Downloading the Microsoft Teams app is recommended, but not necessary. Students can access their virtual meetings via the app or the Teams web platform.

If you need support as you are going through the conduct process, we encourage you to reach out to the variety of support services that are available on campus.

The sanctions range from a Disciplinary Warning to an Expulsion based on the nature of the incident and the violation. Please refer to Article X of the WCU Code of Student Conduct.

After you have an opportunity to share your perspective and the Hearing Officer has reviewed the report regarding alleged violations, you and your Hearing Officer will attempt to reach a mutual resolution on whether your behaviors violated the Code of Student Conduct. You can choose to take your case to a Hearing Board if you do not wish to mutually resolve.

We strive to make this process as educational as possible for students. We hope that through conversations with your Hearing Officer and through educational sanctions, you will have an opportunity to reflect on your behavior and understand the impact of your behavior on those around you and on the entire WCU community.

Please see the list of possible sanctions for more information.

Yes! A student, student group or recognized student organization alleged of violating the Code may choose to have an attorney or non-attorney represent them during any subsequent disciplinary procedure, except when the allegation involves a violation of academic integrity as defined in the WCU Code of Student Conduct. You can read more about attorneys and non-attorney advocates in Section 6.07 of the Code.

Should you need to reschedule a conduct meeting in order to have your support person/advisor present, you should contact your Hearing Officer as soon as possible. Your Hearing Officer will make accommodations if possible. If you decide to go through the Hearing Board process, the hearing cannot be rescheduled to accommodate a support person or advisor. You are not required to have a support person or advisor, and conduct meetings and hearings will proceed with or without an advisor.

If you choose to go through the Hearing Board process, you will be contacted by an administrative staff member from the Department of Student Community Ethics. The staff member will send you the following information:

  • the date, time and location of the Hearing Board
  • the details of participating Hearing Board members

The staff member will also set up a Hearing Board preparation meeting with you to explain each step to make sure you are fully prepared for the Hearing Board.

If you have any questions before the hearing takes place, you should reach out to the administrative staff member for your case.

Student records are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA. DSCE does not disclose student records to anyone without prior consent from the student.

An exception applies when the student is found responsible for violating drug or alcohol policies. As outlined in University Policy 72 - Family Educational Rights and Privacy, the University may notify the student's parents about a violation of drug or alcohol policies.

DSCE staff cannot speak to anyone about your case without your written consent. If you would like for a staff member to speak with your parent or guardian, you must complete and sign a FERPA waiver indicating that you consent to us speaking with your parent.

Student participation in the conduct process is completely voluntary. You have the right to share information or not to share information with the Hearing Officer. Should you choose not to participate, the process will continue and the Hearing Officer will make a decision based on the information that is available.

If you decide not to answer the Initial Meeting Request by the deadline given, the conduct meeting will take place in absentia and a decision will be made based on the information that is available to the Hearing Officer. Decisions made in absentia may be eligible for an appeal for a substantive error of due process as stated in the WCU Code of Student Conduct under Article VI, Section 6.05.

As a student at WCU, you have agreed to abide by the Code of Student Conduct both on and off campus. Therefore, if we are notified regarding an incident that occurred off campus, we will address the alleged violations. The information regarding authority and jurisdiction of the Code can be found under Article III, Section 3.02 of the WCU Code of Student Conduct.

If you do not complete your sanctions by the deadline provided to you in your conduct meeting, the DSCE will refer the sanction to the Division of Student Affairs, which can lead to an Incomplete Sanction Assessment of $75.00 being added to your account for each sanction that is not completed.

If you need to request an extension, you can reach out to your Hearing Officer before the deadline. Extension is not guaranteed, and you are expected to complete the assigned sanctions by the deadline given.

If you would like to request an extension of time to complete your sanction(s), you should contact your Hearing Officer before the given deadline. An extension is not guaranteed, and you are expected to complete your sanction(s) by the given deadline(s).

Each program and scholarships have different requirements to remain in good standing with the Department of Student Community Ethics. If you do not meet those requirements, then it may impact your status. However, if you still meet those requirements and expectations, academics and scholarships will not be impacted. 

WCU prohibits retaliatory behavior against any individual for participating in the student conduct process in any role. If you feel you are experiencing retaliatory behavior, report it to your Hearing Officer or to a student conduct administrator immediately. If you are in any physical danger, contact Campus Emergency Services at 828.227.8911 or call 911.

If you need support, we encourage you to reach out to different support services available on campus.

Fees assessed by DSCE are called Educational Outreach Assessments. A fee will appear on your account if your Hearing Officer assigns it as part of your sanctions. This fee is assigned when you are required to complete educational sanctions such as AlcoholEdu or Marijuana 101.

Fees will also be assessed if you fail to complete your assigned sanctions by the deadline given. In these cases, the Dean of Students Office assesses Incomplete Sanction Assessments of $75.00 for each incomplete sanction.

Cases heard by a Hearing Board and cases heard in absentia may be appealed. Students found in violation before a Hearing Board may only appeal if they claim that their right to due process was violated or that the UNC System’s Substantive and Procedural Standards were breached during the conduct process, pursuant to Article XI, Section 11.02 of the WCU Code of Student Conduct.

Reviewed March 3, 2023

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