FAQ about student conduct

Are the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, student disciplinary rules and process similar to those of other colleges?

The Standards for Student Conduct are the same at all 23 California State Universities and are authorized according to Section 41301, Title V, California Code of Regulations. The CSU student conduct procedures are authorized by Executive Order 1073, issued by the Office of the Chancellor. All colleges and universities have some type of student disciplinary process. Our overview of the process can be found here.

Can I consult an advisor during the disciplinary process?

A student may confer with advisors at any stage in the disciplinary process.  Both Complainant and Student Charged may elect to be accompanied by an advisor to any meetings.  The advisor's role is limited to observing, consulting with, and providing support to Complainant or Student Charged.  An advisor may not speak on behalf of Complainant or Student Charged. 

Can an attorney serve as an advisor?

After appropriate consultations on campus, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, has chosen to permit students to have attorneys as advisors during pre-hearing conference and hearing proceedings.  Attorneys serving in this advisory capacity may not otherwise participate in the conference or hearing in a representational or advocacy role.  Appropriate witnesses with attorney status may testify during hearing proceedings but may not otherwise participate at the hearing in a representational or advocacy role.  

Should a student wish to have his or her attorney present at a pre-hearing conference or hearing, the student must notify the Student Conduct Administrator in the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities in writing at least five working days prior to the conference or hearing. 

Does OSRR have off-campus jurisdiction?

In some circumstances, OSRR does have off-campus jurisdiction. "Conduct that threatens the safety or security of the campus community, or substantially disrupts the functions or operation of the University is within the jurisdiction of this Article regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus" [Title 5, Article 2, Sec. 41301 (d)].

FAQ about the Process

How does the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities decide to contact me?

A complaint or allegation of a possible violation of the Standards for Student Conduct is received by OSRR, usually in the form of a report from faculty, students, or staff. OSRR completes an initial investigation of the allegation, and if there is supporting evidence, initiates the student disciplinary process by emailing information about the charges to the student and directing the student to call the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities to schedule an appointment to discuss the charges. 

What standard of proof is used to determine if a student is responsible for a violation of the Standards for Student Conduct?

It is the University's burden to show that it is "more likely than not" that a student violated the Standards for Student Conduct. The University's charge must be sustained by a preponderance of the evidence but not "beyond a reasonable doubt." 

What happens at the first meeting?

The first meeting is an informal meeting between the OSRR Director and the student charged. It is a chance for the Director to explain the disciplinary process to the student and the student's rights within that process. The Director also shares with the student the information contained in the complaint. The student then has an opportunity to respond to the information and provide any information that he or she feels is relevant. This meeting is an opportunity for the Director and the student charged to have an open and honest discussion about the incident. Usually, as a result of this meeting, the student and the Director agree on a mutually acceptable resolution to the incident.

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