1. What kinds of issues/problems/complaints fall under the jurisdiction of the Office of University Judicial Affairs?
The Office of University Judicial Affairs (OUJA)is responsible for adjudicating alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct (SCOC). Both Academic and Nonacademic misconduct are adjudicated through the Student Code of Conduct.
2. What is the Student Code of Conduct?
The SCOC defines prohibitive behavior for all University of Cincinnati students and organizations. Behavior considered misconduct is defined. Sanctions are outlined.
3. Who can submit a complaint?
Anyone can submit a complaint to the OUJA. OUJA acts on reports of alleged violations from: 1) students, 2) law enforcement, 3) faculty and staff, 4) or others.
4. I am having a problem with a fellow student. Can I report him/her to your office?
Yes! A staff member from the OUJA can consult with you to discuss options on responding to your problems.
5. What can I do if the OUJA does not follow through on my complaint?
The OUJA follows through on every complaint filed. There are several reasons why a student may not receive sanctions: the alleged behavior was not a violation of the SCOC, the student was found not responsible, or there was not enough evidence to show that the incident occurred or the accused student was involved.
6. I received an "Allegation Letter"in the mail. What does this allegation letter mean?
The OUJA received a complaint documenting that you may have allegedly been involved with an incident in which there may have been a violation of the University SCOC, University Policies & Procedures, or Federal, State law or local ordinance. The letter is to inform you that the University will review the matter and may take action against you.
7. After receiving an allegation letter, what do I do first?
Familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities. Most reports that come to our attention are resolved at the procedural review. Included in the allegation letter is a scheduled day and time for you to meet with a Judicial Affairs staff member. Appointments usually last 30-45 minutes. Attendance at this meeting is required, and it is your opportunity to review the alleged violation and share your point of view, so be on time and prepared.
8. Who "hears" my case?
A procedural review is conducted by a Judicial Affairs staff member. An Administrative Review hearing is heard by an Administrative Review Committee.
9. How do I prepare for the meeting?
Write a description of the incident in which you were said to have been involved, including: Date and time, location, others involved or witnesses, other details that may indicate whether or not you were responsible, and whether or not alcohol or other substances were involved.
10. What are my rights during this process?
You have the right to:
- be accompanied by an advisor at the hearing
- receive a copy of the filed report by the complainant
- challenge the statements of others and present information on your own behalf in a fair and impartial hearing
- to be notified in writing of the outcome of the hearing
- to appeal the results as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct appeals procedure
11. What if I fail to meet with the Office of Judicial Affairs staff?
Your attendance at all scheduled resolution hearings is mandatory. Failure to attend a procedural review will result in the scheduling of a Administrative Review Committee hearing or possiblty a block on your registration. Failure to attend a Administrative Review Committee hearing will result in the ARC deciding in your absence. If there is a conflict with a class schedule, it is your responsibility to call and reschedule before the hearing date.
12. What will happen during my Procedural Review Hearing?
You and the staff member will meet in a private area. The staff member will explain your rights and responsibilities, the hearing procedures and the University's policies. The alleged incident and responses will be reviewed. At that point, you will have the opportunity to choose your response. The incident will be discussed. Even if you are accompanied by an advisor or another person, you must speak for yourself during the meeting. A decision will be made on whether or not a violation occurred based on the preponderance of the evidence.
13. What should I wear to my hearing?
If you have class on the day of your hearing, you can wear whatever you wore to class. The appearance you present is entirely up to you. You should be comfortable and in appropriate attire to meet with a University administrator. Rolling out of bed in your pajamas might not be appropriate.
14. Can I bring a witness to my hearing?
At a Procedural Review hearing, you may bring a witness or notorized witness statement if you wish. At a Administrative Review Committee, you may bring a witness. As you will be taken at your word, there is no need to present character
15. Can I bring a lawyer?
You can have an advisor present at any judicial hearing. Should you decide to bring an attorney, it is with the understanding that they may only serve in an advisory capacity (not for representation purposes) to you. You must notify the OUJA 24hrs prior to the hearing if the Advisor is an attorney.
16. What is a Administrative Review Committee?
If the allegation is not resolved at a Procedural Review or is not possible due to the nature or severity of the misconduct, an Administrative Review Committee ("ARC") is convened without unnecessary delay. The committee will hear all facts related to the reported violation and make a determination of responsibility and an appropriate sanction. The sanction is then submitted to the Dean of Students/AVP Student Life for final approval.
17. Who participates in the ARC hearing?
- The Student Charged with violating the SCOC (the student may be accompanied by an advisor)
- Witnesses to the alleged violation
- Administrative Review Committee: Hearing Officer, Two faculty or staff representatives (a quorum is permitted with only one), and four student representatives (a quorum is permitted with three).
18. If I am found responsible, what types of sanctions can be imposed in my case?
You may be assigned a sanction which could include educational activities, restitution, restrictions, community service, etc. Please refer to the possible sanctions for misconduct in the SCOC.
19. Can I get kicked out of school for this?
If the outcome of your hearing result in suspension or dismissal, then yes, you would not be allowed to attend the University of Cincinnati.
20. What do I do if I think the outcome isn't fair?
If, after a Procedural Review, the student does not accept responsibility or accepts responsibility but does not accept the sanction, the matter goes on to a Administrative Review Committee hearing.
If, after a Administrative Review Committee hearing, the student does not agree with the outcome, an appeal may be heard if new information is available, there was a procedural error, or if the sanction of dismissal or suspension is not commensurate with the violation. Not agreeing with the outcome or not liking the decision is not a ground for suspension or dismissal an appeal.
21. How do I proceed with an appeal?
Submit a written statement of appeal to the Office of Judicial Affairs within ten days of receipt of the sanction decision letter.
22. What can I (as the complaining witness) do if I don't like the results of the resolution?
The results of a resolution are final unless the student charged with violating the SCOC moves on to a ARC hearing or the appeals process.
23. What happens if I don't complete a condition of my sanction?
Failure to complete a condition of a sanction may result in an administrative registration block being placed on your record. It may also result in an additional code of conduct violations (failure to comply with sanction). If there is an administrative block on your records, you may not register for classes, drop or add classes, receive your grades, or receive transcripts from the University.
24. What happens if I get in trouble again?
It depends. It will depend on what your previous violation(s) were, your previous outcomes (decision) and if you are currently on disciplinary probation. If you have completed any conditions associated with your previous sanction, and you are currently in good standing, your previous history may not matter. However, of that probation will be cause for additional sanctions. Further, any evidence that your violations indicate a "pattern of behavior" may result in harsher sanctions.
25. I've already been to court about this incident. Do I still have to meet with someone? Isn't that double jeopardy or something?
If you've already been to court for the alleged incident, then you have fulfilled your obligation to any violation of LAW. You have met the requirement set forth under Ohio Law for Hamilton County. You have not, however, met your obligation for University of Cincinnati policy. Even if the courts found you "not guilty" or determined there wasn't sufficient evidence to even "hear" your case in court, you must still meet with a Judicial Affairs staff member. The University judicial process runs separately and concurrently to any process the law requires, and determines responsibility based on the preponderance of evidence.
26. Are you going to call my parents?
The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act guarantees that your educational records are kept confidential, unless you choose to waive those rights in writing. If you want your parents to become involved in this process, you would have to waive those rights in writing to have a Judicial Affairs staff member speak with them. An exception to this was facilitated by the 1998 Higher Education Amendment, which allows Colleges and Universities to contact parents of students who are under the age of 21 and found responsible for violating the alcohol policy. Additionally, any time students are found in violation of the University drug policy, parents can be contacted.
27. How will this process affect my status as an athlete? Will my coach be notified?
It depends. The decision to notify a coach is at the discretion of the Director of Judicial Affairs. Further, the need to notify them may be affected by the possible overlap of sanctions and athletic events.
28. Who will know I've been charged?
Unless you waive your rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, only you (the student charged with the violation) and the staff members of the University Office of Judicial Affairs will know that you have been charged with a conduct violation. For violations considered crimes of violence, the victim is notified of the Judicial outcome only.
29. Will the outcome of the Judicial Affairs process go on my transcript or in my student records?
Currently, the University of Cincinnati does not note judicial outcomes on student transcripts. Judicial decisions are kept in your judicial file.
30. What other services does your office offer?
The OJA offers consultation with students about campus resources, time management, housing and campus concerns. The OJA can be utilized as a resource to assist students in creating a just, comfortable, and conducive environment to attain their education.