Frequently Asked Questions
The University and the Office of Community Standards & Civility
The Office of Community Standards & Civility educates the campus community about the policies and procedures that support our core values. In addition, the Office facilitates the process of holding community members accountable for their actions under the WSSU Students’ Code of Conduct and assists Academic Affairs with application of Academic Integrity Policy violations when asked.
The Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina, of which Winston-Salem State University is a member institution, supports the right to academic freedom for every student in pursuit to his or her education. This includes the freedom to learn, freedom to teach, and the freedom to speak the truth, all which should be done in atmosphere of mutual respect.
How does the University define possession of a controlled substance (alcohol and illegal drugs) or weapon?
"Possession" can be defined as having actual knowledge of an illegal substance or illegal property or being in such close proximity to the substance or property that it a reasonable persons might presume that the student(s) had knowledge of the illegal substance or illegal property.
If you are in the presence of a policy/infraction violation and are not actively involved, you have three choices: 1) leave the situation; 2) ask the student(s) to stop the behavior and/or take it out of the room; or 3) seek assistance from a University staff member (Resident Assistance/Housing & Residence Life Staff, Staff, Faculty, or Campus Police). If you choose not to do any of the above, you can be held responsible for the policy/infraction violation of Aid and abet the violation of the Code.
Students should initially attempt to resolve the matter by bringing concerns to the individual with whom he or she has an issue, or that person's immediate supervisor. Other options include: filing a grievance with the leadership of the division, program or school (follow the procedures in the Undergraduate Catalogue or program manual).
Behavior, Rights and Infractions
Students have the right to a fair and timely hearing, full knowledge of accusations, the opportunity for secure an Advisor, and confidentiality under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
If you are a student, administrator, faculty, or staff member, or a non-WSSU community member who needs to report an infraction of the WSSU Students’ Code of Conduct, enter the information on the Incident Reporting Form and submit. The information will be processed and handled accordingly.
Yes. The WSSU Students’ Code of Conduct may be invoked against students whose off-campus behavior potentially harms the interest of the University or threatens the well-being of students or employees. The University addresses cases involving violations of WSSU policy only. The court system adjudicates cases involving violations of local, state, and/or federal law. Depending on circumstances, students may have to go through one channel or the other, or in some cases, may be subject to both.
Conduct process and Hearings
Decisions with respect to student responsibility for alleged actions are made based on a "preponderance of the evidence"; that is, the hearing panel or administrator will determine what is "more likely than not" to have taken place. If a student is found responsible for his or her infractions within the process but not within the court system, as they are two separate entities, this will not be seen as "Double Jeopardy" due to the two different levels of standard of proof.
At the PHC, students who are going before the Community Standards & Civility Council will have an opportunity to review allegations and gather information. The PHC allows the respondent student to review fundamental fairness procedures, ask questions, and make decisions about how he or she intends to proceed with the case. Students will receive their PHC Notifications via their official university email account and a hard-copy sent to their residential hall.
During the AH, the hearing officer will have a conversation with the student(s) about the incident. The student will explain their version of the events in question, why the infraction did or did not occur, accept or deny responsibility, and measures to take to ensure that the behavior will not happen again. Following the conversation, sanctions are assigned that are designed to help the student learn from the experience. Students will receive their AH Notifications via their official university email account and a hard-copy sent to their residential hall.
Yes, but only in the capacity of an Advisor/Civility Advisor. Attorneys may not attend a hearing in place of the student, but they are permitted to advise them. If an Attorney is hired it is at the student's own expense.
I have chosen to have a licensed Attorney be my Advisor/Advocate. How do I inform the Office of Community Standards & Civility?
A Conduct Officer is a university administrator who facilitates the process by managing all steps. Students are responsible for attending their hearing. The student may have an Advisor/Civility Advisor provided by the Office of Community Standards & Civility (a list of Civility Advisor will be provided with paperwork informing student of their hearing) or of their own choosing. An Advisor be an administrator, faculty, staff, or adult that may assist the respondent student in preparation for their defense. Students may also ask the Conduct Officer for assistance with clarifying policies.
The Administrative Hearing Officer and CSCCH Chair will allow evidence if it is relevant to the case.
Appeals must be submitted in writing within ten (10) calendar days of the findings as directed in the Administrative Hearing Decision Letter and/or the CSCCH Decision Letter. An appeal must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- a violation of due process, or
a material deviation from Substantive and Procedural Standards for student disciplinary procedures, Section 700.4.1of the UNC Policy Manual
Yes. The University may pursue conduct action even if the criminal charges are incomplete, reduced, or dismissed. The University conduct system is educational and completely separate from the criminal court system.
A Conduct Disciplinary Hold will be placed on the student's records if he or she withdraws from the University with a pending conduct violation or without completing the requirements of the student's conduct process (i.e., failure to fulfill a sanction). This "hold" prevents, among other things, registration, enrollment, transferring, or the awarding of a degree.
Conduct records are maintained in the Office of Community Standards & Civility. They are accessible to the respondent student and others as provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
Conduct Record and Sanctions
Yes. Records are created for all student cases in which charges are alleged. If you are found "not responsible" the records will reflect that finding.
Files are purged five (5) to seven (7) years after graduation or the student's last attended date at the University. Information about suspension or expulsion is maintained permanently in the student's conduct record.
Sanctions are typically the same, regardless of which process the student engages. However, if a student does not show for their hearing, it will be heard in their absence based off of the information from the evidence (ex. Incident Report, photos, Campus Appearance Ticket, etc.) and a Conduct Disciplinary Hold will be placed on the student's account. If any other issues surface during the hearing process, additional sanctions will be applied.
Will I have to pay for any substance programs and/or substance abuse assessments if I am sanctioned with one?
Yes. You are required to cover expenses related to your sanctions, but only if applicable.