Frequently Asked Questions for Students
1. What is the Student Code of Conduct?
Rules and regulations are in place to support the university’s educational mission and to provide a safe living, learning and working environment where all can concentrate on the education process without undue interference. The Student Code of Conduct informs students of the standards of behavior expected, the processes in place for enforcing the rules and the university’s response to violations. The Student Code of Conduct also gives information about the rights of students and procedures to follow should students believe they are being treated in a discriminatory manner by other students. The Student Code of Conduct also contains various policies containing information which universities are required to provide to students.
2. Why does OSU have a Student Code of Conduct?
The Student Code of Conduct and related processes serve to educate students about their civic and social responsibilities as members of the OSU academic community and to hold them accountable for their behavior. In summary, the Student Code of Conduct expects students to:
- Follow the policies, rules and regulations of the university.
- Use the Golden Rule as a guide in your relationships and interactions with others ("treat others the way you want to be treated").
- Be honest in academic work and other activities.
- Be law abiding.
Having a Student Code of Conduct is necessary in order to strive for a safe campus community and to make it possible for all community members to successfully pursue their educational interests.
3. What are some examples of possible violations?
Alcohol violations (e.g., underage drinking, public intoxication, drinking and driving), computer misuse, damaging other’s property, fighting, harassment, hazing, intimidation, physical abuse, sexual misconduct, stalking, theft, threats and possession of weapons on campus.
4. Who can file a complaint in Student Conduct Education and Administration?
Any member of the university community (faculty, staff or student) or any person who is unaffiliated with the university who has knowledge of an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct may file a complaint against a student alleging that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred. The university itself may initiate a complaint.
5. How can a complaint be filed?
A complaint shall be filed as soon as possible but within 180 calendar days of the alleged violation. A late complaint may be accepted with the approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Coordinator of Student Conduct Education and Administration or a designee. The complaint must be signed and should include the details of who, what, when, where and how, and include contact information for any witnesses. A complaint can be completed online.
6. Who can I talk to if I’m unsure about filing a complaint or have questions about the process?
An appointment can be scheduled with the Coordinator of Student Conduct Education and Administration to discuss the issue and to learn about the process. The phone number is 405-744-5470.
7. What happens when I am called in to meet with a university conduct officer?
You will be given an explanation of the conduct process, additional information related to the alleged violation will be shared, and you will be given the opportunity to share your version of what happened. Generally, a resolution is reached during this meeting.
8. What are some of the ways in which students can be held accountable?
If found responsible, students are given a comprehensive action plan as an accountability measure. Some examples of action plan items include reprimand, requirements to complete an education program, assigned community service, restitution for damages, conduct probation, or suspension or expulsion from the university. The action plan can include one or multiple assignments and is determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the student’s needs, his/her conduct history, and the impact of his/her behavior on the community.
9. What will happen if I don’t schedule or keep an appointment or complete the action plan assignments?
In most cases an enrollment hold will be placed on your account, preventing you from enrolling for subsequent terms at OSU. In the case of a missed meeting, in some cases a decision could be made about responsibility for a violation and, if appropriate, an action plan could be developed.
10. In what circumstances can a student be held accountable for off-campus behaviors?
Off-campus behaviors which affect the educational mission of the university or which impact other students' ability to continue with their education at OSU may be subject to review and conduct action. Examples of off-campus behaviors include: selling or providing alcohol to underage students; selling or distributing illicit drugs; sexual violence; hazing; actions which result in serious injury or death of another person; and repeat alcohol/drug violations.
11. Will my parents be notified when I’m called in by Student Conduct Education and Administration?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that prohibits educational institutions from releasing information about a student’s educational record to third parties, including parents, without the consent of the student. Discipline records are classified as “education records.” Some exceptions in the law do exist. The law does permit educational institutions to notify parents of students under age 21 when a student has been found responsible for an alcohol and/or drug-related violation. Students are generally notified when parents will be contacted. If a student wants university officials to discuss his/her discipline records with a parent or parents, the student can sign an authorization for release of information form granting such permission and submit the signed form to Student Conduct Education and Administration.
There are some other exceptions related to the release of information to other parties from individual student discipline records. Please read the university's policy, under OSU Policy and Procedures Letter No. 2-0701, for a better understanding of the exceptions.
When students do not give the university a local address or keep the local address current, letters can be sent to a student’s permanent address, which is usually a parent’s address. If you do not want such mail sent to a permanent address, keep your local address current on the SIS system.
12. I am also going to court for the offense for which I got a letter from Student Conduct. Isn't this double jeopardy? Can my campus proceedings be delayed until the criminal process has concluded?
Students may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties in addition to campus sanctions. Student Conduct Education and Administration is obligated to proceed with disciplinary matters as soon as sufficient information to do so has been collected. The most educational value is derived when discipline occurs relatively contemporaneously with the offense. The university is not required to defer to timelines imposed by the criminal justice system. Campus resolution may proceed before, during or after civil and/or criminal actions are concluded and is not subject to challenge based on the action or inaction of civil authorities. Student Conduct Education and Administration does not attempt to determine whether or not a student committed a crime, but only whether or not it is more likely than not that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct occurred.