1. What is the role of OSCCR?
The role of OSCCR is to review all reports it receives to determine if an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct occurred. If it is determined that an alleged violation occurred, OSCCR will oversee or directly resolve complaints of this alleged violation; OSCCR does not represent either party. OSCCR may also hold informational meetings that do not bear on a student’s disciplinary history, as well as meetings with affected parties in specific cases. Our goal is to discuss choices and decision-making, assist students as they consider future behavior, and provide resources and connections to benefit a student’s growth and learning.
OSCCR also provides resources, information, and training to Faculty/Staff, Student Organizations, and students regarding the Code of Student Conduct, Conflict Resolution and Mediation, Ethics and Integrity, and Academic Integrity. This is provided through one-on-one meetings (by walk-in, phone, email, or appointment), scheduled trainings and presentations (request available on our site), programs, tabling events, and more.
2. Where can I find a copy of the Code of Student Conduct?
A hard copy of the Code of Student Conduct is provided to students at Orientation. Additionally, the Code is available on the OSCCR website. During “I Am Here” students must agree to review the Code of Student Conduct.
3. Does the Code of Student Conduct apply to students who live off campus?
Yes, the Code of Student Conduct applies on and off campus, as the University sets appropriate and clear guidelines for the behavior of its students, regardless of their location. The guidelines are established to ensure that student conduct does not adversely affect the educational mission of the University or its relationship with the surrounding community, sister institutions, or members of the University community.
4. What is a disciplinary record or conduct history?
A disciplinary record is a file maintained in the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution that details a student’s conduct history at Northeastern University.
5. How does the disciplinary process work in general?
When a report is received, Hearing Administrators review it to see if there are any potential policy violations. If we determine that there may have been, we will reach out to the student to talk with them about the incident. If the case is more complex or severe, or if the student has notable disciplinary history, the student will meet with a Hearing Administrator to review the process before meeting with a Student Conduct Board. If the case is not as complex or severe and/or there is no risk of suspension/expulsion, the student will meet one-on-one with a Hearing Administrator and a decision will be made after that meeting. If the behavior reported does not reach the threshold warranting a formal meeting, a student may be asked to attend an Informational Meeting to review expectations for community members, as well as resources and support available to assist in future positive decision making. Information Only Meetings have no charges, findings, or sanctions applied.
6. What does Disciplinary Probation mean?
Disciplinary Probation is a formal level of warning resulting in the student being out of good standing with the University. Being out of good standing means that while on this status, additional violations may result in more serious sanctions being imposed. It does not appear on a transcript, does not prevent the student from attending events and classes, or from being on campus. Disciplinary Probation is typically one term in length, depending on the nature and severity of the violation. Please refer to your decision letter for more specific information.
7. What is the length of Deferred Suspension?
This depends on the incident and circumstances of the case. Deferred Suspension, as with other inactive sanctions like Disciplinary Probation or Suspension, typically start at one term (quarter/semester). If an incident happens after the University mid-term date, Deferred Suspension (or others) would apply for that term and the full term following. If the situation is more serious, Deferred Suspension may last longer than one term. If a student is on Deferred Suspension, they cannot hold an elected or appointed position in a student organization, but may remain a member. Deferred Suspension is the highest level of formal warning, and is followed by an additional term of Disciplinary Probation.
8. Do other colleges and universities submit reports?
Yes. Reports are received from on campus areas like Residential Life, NUPD, Faculty, Staff, and students, off-campus neighbors, other colleges and universities, external law enforcement agencies, internship or co-op sites, and more.
9. Who can file a report?
Anyone who has knowledge of a potential violation of the Code of Student Conduct may file a report. There are a variety of Incident Report forms on the OSCCR website, including a general report and an Academic Integrity Report. There is also a separate report available for Title IX related incidents, available here. Reports received will be reviewed and then assigned, should follow up or additional action be determined necessary.
10. How are reports filed?
Reports of alleged inappropriate conduct may be made directly to OSCCR. Additionally, allegations that may also be violations of the law should be reported to the Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD). Resident students should contact Residential Life, and Northeastern neighbors should contact the Office of City and Community Affairs.
11. Who hears cases?
Administrative cases are heard by staff in OSCCR, Residential Life, Center for Student Involvement, N.U.in, and other designated areas who serve as Hearing Administrators.
Student Conduct Board cases are facilitated by an OSCCR staff member and heard by the Student Conduct Board members.
12. How long does it take for OSCCR to contact the student(s) named in a report?
Typically the Hearing Administrator will reach out to student(s) named in a report by email within three days of receiving the report. Some incidents require further/additional investigation before OSCCR receives a report and moves forward with a hearing. OSCCR does not typically investigate incidents, rather it relies on the Northeastern University Police Department or Boston Police Department to conduct investigations. Therefore, when further investigation is needed, a report will be put “on hold” until the additional information is received. Once additional information arrives in OSCCR, a staff member receives the case, reviews the report and begins the hearing process. For complaints involving allegations of an Academic Integrity violation, faculty will provide the investigation
13. How are policies determined?
Some policies are based on mandated requirements from Federal Agencies as well as federal, state, and local law, while others are based on the needs of our specific institution. Our University policies are created by Faculty, Staff, and students in a variety of ways. The main way that students are involved is during our Code Review. This happens every 2-3 years. The Student Government Association (SGA) (which may include Resident Student Association (RSA) representatives) seeks feedback from students about what students would like to see added, deleted, or changed in the Code of Student Conduct, and the recommendations people have for how to do that. While some things can’t be altered because of the law, OSCCR works with the Office of General Counsel, the Academic Policy Committee, Faculty groups, SGA, and more to make sure the Code is updated and inclusive of all voices that share suggestions and feedback.
14. How are charges determined?
Once the reports are received and reviewed, the staff member assigned to the case reviews the report and compares it to the Code of Student Conduct, University policies and Guide to Residence Hall Living. Based on the information in the report, the staff member determines what violations occurred and includes those as charges in the hearing notice
15. Who is permitted to participate in a hearing?
Parents/friends/lawyers do not have a direct role in the student conduct process. The Hearing proceedings are closed. Students are responsible for their behavior while enrolled at the University, and they are expected to discuss their actions and be held accountable for any violations of the Code of Student Conduct. However, a student may bring relevant witnesses and an advisor from the Northeastern University community. If parents have questions about conduct processes in colleges and universities, we recommend the following link for information: ASJA Parent information. OSCCR’s Frequently Asked Questions for parents is available here.
16. How are decisions of responsibility made?
Hearing Administrators and/or the SCB weigh all of the information presented, using a “preponderance of information” or “more likely than not” standard to determine if the student is responsible or not responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct. If the hearing body determines that “more likely than not” a student violated the Code, the student will be found responsible and receive sanctions. Both administrators and the students on the Student Conduct Board receive regular training to assist them in weighing information.
17. Why might by-standers (witnesses) be called to attend a hearing?
The SCB is comprised of Northeastern University students who share a commitment to maintaining a respectful and diverse community. Students who may have relevant information regarding an incident may be called to appear as a witness. Students are encouraged to cooperate fully and should contact the Director of OSCCR immediately with concern that participation could result in retaliation
18. Is the outcome of the Hearing Administrator or SCB final?
Students may appeal disciplinary actions based on three grounds:
• Procedural Error: The student asserts that the proscribed process was not followed and that impaired his or her right to a fair opportunity to be heard.
• New Information: Information has arisen that could not reasonably have been made available during the original hearing and may have been sufficient to alter the original conduct board/officer’s decision.
• Review of Sanctions: The student requests review of the sanction(s) because of extraordinary personal circumstances
Students must file an electronic appeal to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution within five (5) business days of the date on the decision letter. Students should refer to the Procedures for Student Appeals in the Code of Student Conduct for more information.
19. Does the Appeals Board rehear the case?
No. The Appeals Board is convened to review a Request for Appeal to determine if the criteria selected has been met. They cannot rehear the case and do not typically meet with any involved parties. As such, the request from the appealing party should include all relevant information and details. The grounds for appeal are as follows:
1. Procedural Error: An error in process occurred that prevented the appealing student from accessing a fair hearing.
2. New Information: Information that was not reasonably available during the original hearing and is also sufficient to alter the original Student Conduct Board/Hearing Administrator’s decision
3. Review of the Sanctions: The student requests a review of the sanction(s) based on extraordinary circumstances.
The Appeals Board will review the electronic appeal submitted by the appealing party, the documentation from the original case, and any other information deemed necessary by OSCCR, which may include a response from an affected party in specific cases as outlined in the Code
20. How long does it take for an appeal decision to be made?
Every effort is made to review appeals within two to three weeks of submission. The Appeals Board consists of three voting members: one representative from Academic Affairs, one representative from Student Affairs, and a member of the Student Conduct Board. Depending on their availability, timing in the term, and unexpected circumstances, the decision may be delayed.
21. If a student Accepted Responsibility for the charges, can the student still appeal?
Yes, a student always has a right to request a review of the imposed sanctions. Other appeal criteria are available if a student contests responsibility. If the sanctions cause the student a burden, undue hardship, or an extraordinary circumstance exists, the student has the right to appeal based on review of the imposed sanctions.
22. What is the Medical Amnesty policy?
The Medical Amnesty policy encourages students or organizations to call for medical assistance when self or others experience a medical emergency due to excessive consumption of alcohol and/or drugs. In most instances, neither the student who seeks medical attention for another person nor the person who receives medical attention during that alcohol or drug emergency will face disciplinary action by the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution for the possession or use of alcohol or other drugs.
In cases where an individual or organization fails to seek emergency medical assistance when it is clearly needed, disciplinary action may be taken against the individual/organization as well as the student who required the medical assistance.
Additionally, Medical Amnesty does not apply if a student is found by University officials (professional or student staff) before they seek help.
Medical Amnesty applies to alcohol or other drug-related emergencies only, and does not apply to other conduct violations such as assault, property damage, or distribution of illicit substances. If other violations occur, then a student will face disciplinary charges for those violations. The use/or abuse of alcohol or drugs is never considered a mitigating circumstance for any other violations of the Code of Student Conduct. For more information on the Medical Amnesty policy, click here.
23. Is there a limit to how many times you can get Medical Amnesty?
Medical Amnesty is granted on a case-by-case basis. The specific nature of the incident is evaluated to ensure that a student receives medical attention and follow up to assist them in moving forward. Typically, Medical Amnesty is granted only once for the person receiving a medical assessment. Students calling for assistance for others can call as many times as necessary. The main goal is to make sure students are getting resources, support, and education, which sometimes needs to include a more formal intervention.
24. How do students qualify for Medical Amnesty?
To qualify for Medical Amnesty, a student/organization must call for assistance. The emergency number for the Northeastern Police Department is 617.373.3333. That student/organization is required to remain with the student experiencing the emergency until medical assistance arrives.
The student requiring medical assistance (and possibly the referring student(s) / organization) will receive information from the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution explaining their requirements to receive Medical Amnesty. The requirements may include meeting with the Office of Prevention and Education at Northeastern (O.P.E.N). As long as the student(s)/organization complies with all directives, there will be no disciplinary action taken related to the violation of possession or consumption of alcohol or drugs and no disciplinary record of the incident kept in the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.
25. Does Medical Amnesty apply to violence/threats?
No. Medical Amnesty applies only to a drug and/or alcohol emergencies and not to other violations of the Code or the law. More information about the Medical Amnesty policy can be found here: http://www.northeastern.edu/osccr/medical-amnesty/.
26. How can I file a noise report and when is it appropriate?
There are a few ways you can file a noise complaint. You can certainly approach another room yourself if you feel comfortable and safe and let them know you are trying to rest/study. This is often effective as most people don’t realize how loud they are being. If that doesn’t work or is not an option, the easiest way if you live on campus is to contact the RA on duty, which can be done by going to your front desk/proctor station or go to the RA office during scheduled RA office hours. If you are off-campus, you can contact NUPD or BPD. You can also file a report online, for noise or any other issue, here: https://publicdocs.maxient.com/incidentreport.php?NortheasternUniv.
27. If an incident happens off campus, will I still meet with someone in OSCCR?
A student is bound by the Code from the time they apply to Northeastern to the time they graduate, including on breaks, anywhere in the world. Most often we are notified of off-campus arrests, noise violations, or disruptive gatherings, however, we do sometimes get other information from various law enforcement agencies or other colleges and universities.
28. What is a Hearing Advisor?
A Hearing Advisor is a member of the Northeastern University community who has been trained by OSCCR to assist students with the Student Conduct Hearing process. Students who receive a Student Conduct Board Hearing notice will also receive a list of trained advisors from which to choose. The advisor can explain the process and assist in preparing for the hearing. The advisor is permitted to attend the Student Conduct Board Hearing may not speak on behalf of the student. In some instances, a Hearing Advisor may also attend Administrative Hearings or the Admitted Student Responsibility hearing. More information on Hearing Advisors can be found here.
29. If a student is sanctioned to pay an OSCCR Disciplinary Fine, where does the money go? Can I request an alternative to paying the fine?
Disciplinary Fines fund the creation of programs, events, and initiatives related to drugs and alcohol research and intervention efforts. If a student cannot afford the fine or prefers to do service in lieu of the fine, a student can request mandated service hours as an alternative. Instructions for how to make this request are included in the decision letter.
30. How does a student pay an OSCCR Disciplinary Fine?
Instructions for how to complete payment of a fine are included in a charged student’s decision letter and are as follows. Please note that fines are not billed to a student’s account directly.
1. Log into myNortheastern and choose Services & Links
2. Under Billing & Financial Aid, choose Make a Payment with NUPay
3. Under the Make Payment tab, select OSCCR Disciplinary Fine and input the amount you are required to pay
31. What is a “Conduct Hold”?
OSCCR may place a “conduct hold” on a student’s record if a student fails to complete imposed sanctions by the deadline date. The hold remains on the student’s record until the sanction is received, reviewed, and approved. In addition, a student may have a hold placed on their account if they have a pending conduct case. This hold will remain in effect until the student resolves the case with OSCCR.
A conduct hold may prevent a student from registering for classes. If a student has already registered, classes will be purged unless the hold is cleared before the end of the “I AM HERE” period. Students should contact OSCCR for additional information.
32. If a student is charged with a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and faces criminal charges for the same incident, doesn’t that violate “double jeopardy”?
“Double jeopardy” is a term that applies only to successive criminal prosecutions for the same offense. Because OSCCR’s conduct process focuses on education, it does not qualify as a criminal process and does not connect to the court system.
Northeastern University’s Code of Student Conduct is an outline of the University’s expectations of behavior that promotes the safety and welfare of the community. OSCCR is responsible for the process that determines violations of the Code. This process focuses on educating the student on the impact of their choices and is separate from the court system and furthermore is not a legal process. It is possible that some of the violations in the Code of Student Conduct also violate state or federal law. Therefore, students may face both criminal charges and University conduct charges. In most instances, the findings in one area will not be an acceptable challenge to the findings in the other.
These simultaneous proceedings do not result in “double jeopardy” because they incorporate different systems and result in different outcomes.
33. Do students receive a refund for tuition if they’ve been suspended or expelled?
Students who are suspended or expelled after the third week of a full semester (Fall or Spring) or after the second week of a summer session will most likely incur a financial loss. The University Refund policy, as well as the Residence Hall and Dining License Agreement, provide more information regarding this matter.
34. How are disciplinary records maintained?
Unless the student was suspended or expelled, OSCCR maintains a student’s disciplinary record until a student graduates, at which time the file will be destroyed. If the student has been suspended or expelled, OSCCR permanently maintains the disciplinary records. The comment “Withdrawn, Expulsion” will be printed on the student’s transcript if the student is expelled.
If a student withdraws from the University, disciplinary records will be maintained until the student’s original expected graduation date. If the student re-enters the University, the records will be destroyed upon graduation.
35. If a graduate school or future employer requests a student’s disciplinary record, what do they see?
The University and OSCCR will only release conduct history when authorized by the student. If an institution or company requests conduct history, they need to produce a signed waiver to access the information. If the student has conduct history, and has permission from the student, staff in OSCCR generates a memo that includes a brief description of the incident along with any accompanying charges and sanctions. Students who have been charged with a violation and are found not responsible are considered to have no disciplinary record. Therefore, no memo will be generated and the requesting agent will be provided with a copy of our Records Maintenance policy.
36. What happens after a student is documented in an incident report?
Most incident reports involving Northeastern students are forwarded to OSCCR, where the reports are reviewed and evaluated to determine what action should be taken. If the report indicates that a violation of the Code of Student Conduct may have occurred, the student will receive a hearing notice that identifies the charges and type of hearing, along with the date, time and location of that hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to allow the student to share their account of the incident.
Depending on the severity of the alleged violation and/or the student’s conduct history, the case will be heard in either an Administrative Hearing or a Student Conduct Board Hearing. Cases that could result in suspension or expulsion from the University are typically heard by the Student Conduct Board. Incidents that occur in the residence halls that do not rise to a suspension or expulsion are typically heard by staff in Residential Life. Cases occurring outside of the residence halls are typically heard by staff in OSCCR. See the Code of Student Conduct for more information.
37. Do students have an opportunity to share their side of the story?
During the hearing, students receive an opportunity to provide their account of the incident and answer questions from the Hearing Administrator or SCB. Hearing Administrators and SCB members are trained to enter the hearing with an open mind. Students should refer to Code of Student Conduct for the specifics on policies and procedures of the hearing process.
38. Can a student choose not to attend the hearing?
If a student chooses not to attend the hearing, the Hearing Administrator has the option to dismiss the action with or without prejudice to either party, set a new hearing date, or make a decision based on the availability of the information. Students who do not attend the hearing lose the opportunity to advocate for themselves and/or provide information on their behalf.
39. What if you don’t agree with the decision?
A Hearing Administrator/Student Conduct Board will make a decision using a “more likely than not” standard based on all available information. The involved students’ perspectives are important in gathering that information. Sometimes the Hearing Administrator/Student Conduct Board and the charged student will not agree on the finding. If the student believes information was not utilized in the determination or they have questions about how a decision was determined, they can follow up with the Hearing Administrator they met with and/or request an appeal. Simply disagreeing with the decision, however, is not grounds for appeal.
40. What if I need an extension on my sanction deadline?
Every effort should be made to meet the deadline assigned to you in your decision letter. If, however, a situation arises when that cannot happen, you should contact OSCCR as soon as possible. You will be asked to provide information as to why you cannot meet your deadline and any action steps you have already taken to complete the sanction. OSCCR staff will determine if your request is reasonable, inform you if an extension has been granted, and update your file to reflect any change. As you approach the deadline for a sanction, you will receive an automated reminder that your deadline is near. If you do not complete the sanction by the deadline, you will receive a notice that you are now past the due date and that a hold will be placed should you not complete your sanction(s) promptly. Holds will not be lifted until your sanction(s) are completed.
41. What happens if a student does not complete their sanction(s)?
Students who receive sanctions must complete them by the designated deadline, or a conduct hold will be placed on their University record. Holds will be cleared once OSCCR has received, reviewed and accepted all sanctions. Please note that it may take a few business days to review and approve sanctions and remove the hold.
42. When can I request a copy of the incident report(s) from my case?
Incident reports are reviewed during an Administrative Hearing and can be requested after that review. Documents are provided to students at a pre-hearing meeting for a Student Conduct Board level case. Requests for reports must be made in writing using a form available from OSCCR.
43. If charged with an Academic Integrity violation, how does the outcome of my hearing affect my grade?
The Academic Integrity hearing process and the decision made about the grade are separate processes. OSCCR will make a determination as to whether or not a violation of the University policy occurred, while the Instructor will make a determination about the grade. The Instructor may choose to consider the OSCCR determination in making decisions about grades, but is not obligated to do so. Appeals of grades are done through each College, more information for which can be gathered from a student’s Academic Advisor. Appeals of the OSCCR process are through the OSCCR Appeals Board, the process of which students are informed through their decision letter.
44. What can I expect when an Academic Integrity violation is reported to OSCCR?
For an Academic Integrity violation, the Faculty member typically speaks with the student first (via phone, in person, or email) and then send OSCCR the report. We will review it and reach out to the student, most times with a request for a meeting. In cases reported as Information Only, the student will receive a letter outlining the concern and resources available to assist with academic work. If a formal hearing is requested, the student will be notified of a meeting during which they will discuss the situation, resources available, and the Academic Integrity Policy. The sanctions range between a written warning all the way up to expulsion (very serious or repeat cases). The decision sent by OSCCR is separate from the decision the Instructor makes for the class, which is important to note.
45. Can you be found Responsible for a simple citation error?
Typically, very basic citation errors are handled by Instructors in class, though they are sometimes referred to us. This is why we have discretion to address Academic Integrity with letters or formal hearings, and to address violations with various levels of sanctions. You can learn more about the Academic Integrity Policy here: http://www.northeastern.edu/osccr/academic-integrity-policy/.
46. What happens if your Instructor believes you plagiarized?
Our hearing process allows for a student to share their perspective on what occurred. No assumptions are made about a student or a report, and decisions are not made until a hearing has taken place. If the report does not have enough information to indicate a violation, that would be discussed through the hearing process. This is why it is helpful for the Hearing Administrator to meet with the student and hear what their experience is before any decisions are made. You can learn more about the conduct process here: http://www.northeastern.edu/osccr/conduct-process/.
Most often, Academic Integrity cases are Administrative Hearings, though more complex or severe cases may go to the Student Conduct Board.
47. How does the Writing Center work and what type of help do they provide?
The Writing Center is in 412 Holmes Hall and can serve students online or in person. Appointments can be made on their site: http://www.northeastern.edu/writingcenter/. They can help with citations, writing style, editing and grammar, planning and drafting, project development, and more.
48. Is teamwork for individual assignments considered a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy?
This depends very much on the class and the expectations of the Instructor. It is good for a student to ask before starting an assignment to be sure that there are no concerns with working with other students. If a student does work with others, they should make sure that all people contribute work to the group and turn in their assignments as directed by the Instructor, whether individual or group submissions. Unless the Instructor asks for one paper or project from the whole group, it will be difficult for them to know what each member learned if all students turn in the same work. Students can always seek out tutoring or ask general questions about how to do citations or format a paper or project from their Instructors or support offices like the Writing Center or the Library. If a student is not sure what to do, the best thing to do is ask!
49. Can you still be found responsible for a violation if you are in a room with alcohol while underage, even if it does not belong to you? Could your scholarship be taken away?
This depends on the circumstances, including whether or not a student was present when the alcohol is found. Most often, staff or law enforcement documenting an issue will include the names of all of those present in a space and let the Hearing Administrator make a determination as to whom was/was not responsible for an alleged violation. If a student is found responsible for a violation, their student status may be impacted and could, but does not always, impact scholarships. This depends on the type and requirements of the scholarship. The student should speak with their Academic Advisor, contact Financial Aid or the agency who issues the scholarship, or speak with OSCCR staff, as it is very dependent on the specific circumstances of the student, the scholarship, and the violation.
50. What happens to me if my roommate consumes alcohol/hosts a gathering with alcohol in my residence hall while I am home, but not involved?
If you are home, it is difficult for someone documenting the situation to tell in what way you were or weren’t participating. The easiest ways to address these types of situations are to inform your roommate upfront what is and isn’t acceptable in the room, let your roommate know if they are doing something that you’d like them to stop doing, ask people to leave, leave the room yourself, and/or inform your hall staff that something is happening in your room that you are uncomfortable with. If you are in the room and the room is documented, you will be included in the report and have the opportunity to explain what happened from your perspective during the hearing process. If you knew there was drinking occurring in the room and remained present, even if you weren’t participating, you could be found responsible for being in the presence of alcohol while underage.
51. Since we’re bound to the Code of Student Conduct even during breaks, can drinking in a country where the legal age is 18 or 19 get you in trouble?
The policy is written in a way that asks students to follow the law of the land. This means that if you are drinking in a country where the legal age is 19 and you are over 19, you are not violating the policy. You must respect all of that country’s laws related to alcohol, however, so while it may be legal for you to drink, it may not be legal for you to be intoxicated in public. Excessive Consumption and Endangering Behavior are still violations of the Code of Student Conduct regardless of where the incident occurs. There are some countries that have different ages for beer versus hard alcohol, purchasing alcohol to consume in your living quarters versus a bar or restaurant, and consumption/display of intoxication in public. Be sure to check in advance of travel. You can also check with the Global Experience Office (GEO) if you are planning to take classes or complete a program in another country and aren’t sure where to find this information. It is always good to learn about laws of the country you will be visiting from webpages or publications created by that country.
52. What are the consequences of a first-time alcohol violation?
While each situation is evaluated based on the specific circumstances, the most likely outcome of a first alcohol violation is one term of Disciplinary Probation, a fine or mandated service, and alcohol education with OPEN (Office of Prevention and Education at Northeastern). This may change if there were other charges for which a student was also found responsible in the same situation. More information on the alcohol policy and potential sanctions can be found here: http://www.northeastern.edu/osccr/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019-2020-UG-Handbook.pdf.
53. Does distribution of alcohol have a similar consequence to distribution of drugs?
Distribution of alcohol is slightly different than distribution of drugs. Distribution of alcohol is taken seriously because it is against the law without a specific type of license. Sanctions can and often do include suspension from Northeastern for a period of time. Providing alcohol to minors, which can be giving alcohol to a minor, purchasing alcohol for a minor, or allowing a minor to consume alcohol in a space for which you are responsible, is different than distribution of alcohol. Distribution of drugs, because it is much more serious in a legal and community sense (the risks to our community are significantly greater in terms of health and safety), typically results in permanent expulsion from the University. Review the Code of Student Conduct for more information about our alcohol and drug policies.
54. What does serving on the Student Conduct Board entail?
The Student Conduct Board (SCB) is a great leadership opportunity. SCB members go through trainings and observations before hearing cases. Once on the SCB, members read reports and hear the perspectives of those involved prior to making a decision about whether or not a student is responsible for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. If the student is found responsible, the SCB would also determine appropriate sanctions that the student must complete. The SCB is scheduled as needed for cases that are more complex or for students who may be suspended or expelled based on the violation and/or their conduct history. How many cases an SCB member hears is based on the number of cases OSCCR receives and the availability of each SCB member. It is very flexible! Learn more by joining our Engage group: https://neu.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/student-conduct-board-campus-resource.
55. What is the time commitment of the Student Conduct Board?
The time commitment varies by term depending on the number of cases we get that need to be reviewed by the Board. We typically have a 6 hour training in the spring, a 3-4 hour training in the fall, additional training for Title IX cases, and periodic refreshers. When cases are scheduled, we look at the availability of the Board members, who have the ability to say no to a case if they are really busy. It’s very flexible and still allows students to maintain other involvements on campus. Since many of our hearings are in the evening, students can remain on the Board even while on co-op. We also utilize technology to allow SCB members at other campuses or studying/doing co-op abroad to be active on the SCB regardless of location. Interested in joining? Visit this site and join us on Engage: https://neu.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/student-conduct-board-campus-resource.
56. Does counseling take place through OSCCR?
Counseling is provided through University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS), located in 135 Forsyth Hall. While we sometimes recommend counseling or mandate an assessment by a counselor as a sanction, our office does not provide the counseling itself. The staff in UHCS is great, so we always feel confident in sending students to them. Visits with their office are covered under the Northeastern University Student Health Plan or the Health Center Fee. If a student wishes to utilize outside counseling services, UHCS can assist in a referral to an off-campus counselor.
57. What is the difference between Suspension and Deferred Suspension?
Suspension is a period of time that a student would be required to spend away from the University. Suspensions are usually for a full term or the remainder of a term, depending on when an incident has occurred. During that period, the student cannot be on any University grounds, take classes at Northeastern, transfer credits in to Northeastern, or live on campus. Deferred Suspension is the highest level of warning issued by the University. Deferred Suspension allows students to remain on campus in their classes and residence halls (if they live on campus), as well as participate in events. Deferred Suspension limits students from holding leadership positions in clubs & organizations, but does not prevent involvement in those groups. The length of time usually starts at one term, followed by a term of Disciplinary Probation. Both Deferred Suspension and Disciplinary Probation serve to remind the student that should any other incident occur, more severe sanctions may result.
58. Where is your office located? How do you I know who I am meeting with? What should I expect during my administrative hearing?
In letters sent to students regarding hearings, the date, time, and location of the meeting is listed on the first page. This may be the OSCCR office (204 Ell Hall) or the Hearing Administrators office in another building (residence hall, CSI, N.U.in site building, etc.). The Hearing Administrator with whom the student will meet has their name and contact information listed in that letter, also. For Administrative Hearings, the third page of the letter outlines what will and will not happen during the meeting, as well as the Learning Outcomes for the process.
59. If I am not on campus, can I wait until I return to have my meeting? If I am unable to attend the scheduled meeting, what do I do?
Because Northeastern students live, work, and study around the globe, OSCCR staff are prepared to speak with you in person, via phone, or through video conferencing. We are available during business hours (EST) and by appointment to accommodate different time zones. We do not use WhatsApp, FaceTime, or Facebook for formal meetings. If you are away from campus and will be returning in a short period of time, staff may be able to delay your hearing slightly. If you are unable to attend a meeting scheduled for you or need to reschedule it, please follow the instructions in your notice letter and contact the Hearing Administrator with whom you are meeting to find another time.
60. I am involved with an organization, who will be notified of my conduct decision?
For Student Organizations, the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) is notified when a student leader is placed on Deferred Suspension as a sanction. CSI is not notified of students placed on Disciplinary Probation.
Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders, Athletes, Law Students, and other special programs have their direct program notified of any status. The Honors Program is notified of Honors students who are found responsible for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy.
61. Who can view my conduct history?
Only areas with a “need to know” regarding a student’s disciplinary history can request this information. Students can also request that their disciplinary history is released to specific parties or offices. In a majority of cases, students would be asked by an office to sign an application or other document releasing their disciplinary history for review by that program. Incident/Police Reports are not provided to the requesting area and only limited information about Responsible findings and related sanctions are provided.
External agencies completing background checks will ask a student to sign a waiver releasing history. Other colleges and universities to which a student is seeking transfer, as well as Graduate, Law, or Medical Schools, have a similar waiver process.
62. Does my conduct history affect my ability to go on co-op? Study Abroad?
While simply having had a previous conduct violation or even being on a status (Disciplinary Probation, Deferred Suspension) does not typically affect co-op for most Undergraduate students, some programs, particularly at the Graduate level, may have restrictions on co-op that are specific to their school or program. Program specific restrictions are not imposed by OSCCR. You can discuss this with your Hearing Administrator and/or Advisor and should also check your program requirements regarding disciplinary history and its impact on co-op eligibility. As a note, most co-op employers do not do background/disciplinary history checks in determining offers.
The Global Experience Office (GEO) does do disciplinary history reviews for all students participating in global programs. Limited information is provided to their office and GEO determines what restrictions exist for each specific program and destination country. If you have questions about your specific case, please speak with OSCCR or GEO staff.
63. Can conduct history affect a scholarship?
All scholarships are different with various requirements. Most University-based scholarships look for conduct history and disqualify a student not in good student standing. Students applying for University scholarships provide permission for a history check when completing their scholarship application. In regards to most scholarships, OSCCR does not automatically reach out to the scholarship office to report student conduct. However, for those scholarships that require the recipient to remain in good student standing, OSCCR reports conduct history.
When a student receives a sanction of suspension or expulsion, a notice is sent to the student’s college, advisor and/or co-op advisor, and Student Financial Services informing them of this sanction. This information could affect a scholarship and/or co-op opportunity. Students should refer to the terms of the scholarship or co-op for more information.
64. Do violations go away after a certain time?
OSCCR keeps a record of disciplinary history during the full length of a student’s time at Northeastern. If a student is suspended or expelled, we are required to keep a permanent record of that information. If the student’s sanctions are less than that (Deferred Suspension, Disciplinary Probation, Written Warning, Educational Sanctions), their record is expunged upon graduation (conferral of degree), or three years after a student’s withdrawal from the university. Students do not need to request anything for the expungement to occur.
65. What should I say to a prospective employer or graduate school about my conduct record?
When asked, students should tell the truth regarding conduct history. In most instances, conduct history is unlikely to prevent a student from being admitted to law school or graduate school, or keep a student from getting a job or security clearance. Providing false information is never a good idea, and these questions are asked of applicants not only to find out about their conduct history but also to assess whether they act with integrity. If the school or employer finds information relating to a conduct case that is not reported, the school or employer could take action of its own up to and including dismissal (depending on policies of the school or employer). We encourage you to consult with the Department of Career Development for guidance about handling questions from potential employers or graduate schools.
66. What is the process and timeline for receiving a history check for a transfer report, medical school application, law school application, etc?
Upon submitting a request for a history check, the request will be forwarded to the Administrative Assistant. The history check will be completed withing 48 hours of receiving the request. Please keep this timeline in mind when submitting a request, especially if there is a deadline that needs to be met.
71. How can I appeal the decision in an Academic Integrity case I reported?
As the reporting Faculty member in an Academic Integrity report, you will receive copies of both the notice letter and the decision letter for the student(s) in the case. Information about the appeals process is outlined in the decision letter. Should you wish to appeal, you would fill out the online appeal request form within five (5) business days from the date of the decision letter. Any questions regarding this process can be sent to the Hearing Administrator who facilitated the case.
72. When should I submit a report to OSCCR?
Faculty/Staff should submit reports to OSCCR any time you believe a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, including the Academic Integrity policy, has occurred. We encourage Faculty to speak with students regarding your concern prior to submitting a report and including that dialogue (whether in person, via email, or telephone, etc.) in the text of the incident report. Please include all relevant information about the concern and your observations, and attach TurnItIn reports, email exchanges, the Course Syllabus, and any other relevant documents. For incidents that you do not think were intentional or are not sure if a violation occurred, you also have the option to submit the incident as “Information Only”. If you have questions about whether or not to file a report, you may call and speak with any of the staff in OSCCR. In an effort to promptly address concerns, we encourage the submission of reports or questions to determine if a report should be submitted as quickly as possible after the incident.
73. How do I request a presentation for my class/office/group?
Presentations can be requested by completing this form: https://fs19.formsite.com/neuemsa/Presentation-Request/index.html, also available on the OSCCR website under “Connect With Us,” then “Request a Presentation.”
74. What is the typical timeframe for when a case will be resolved? Do I need to wait until OSCCR has heard the case before I make a decision about the student’s grade for the assignment and/or in the course?
OSCCR seeks to resolve all cases as quickly as possible. The specific time frame depends on the number of cases actively being resolved, the time during the term, the complexity of the case, the number of students involved, and student/Hearing Administrator availability. While we understand that many Faculty members tend to submit cases around mid-terms and finals, you are encouraged to submit reports as quickly as possible after the incident has occurred to allow OSCCR to respond immediately. Please note that mid-terms and finals are our highest period of Academic Integrity submissions due to mid-term and final assignments. You do not need to wait for the conclusion of the OSCCR process to make decisions about grades, though you may choose to do so if you believe the information will be pertinent to your decision.
75. I submitted a report and the student was still found not responsible, why?
OSCCR staff evaluates Academic Integrity reports based on the wider University policy related to academic work. In some cases, there may be a violation of course expectations, but not of the University policy. The OSCCR Hearing process also utilizes a “more likely than not” standard in rendering a decision, which may result in a not responsible finding if that level cannot be reached with the information available from the report and meeting(s) with the involved student(s). If you believe that the decision failed to include relevant information, you may submit a Request for Appeal as outlined in the student’s decision letter, on which you were copied.
76. If a student’s actions are not a violation of the Academic Integrity policy, but are disruptive to the class environment should I still submit an Academic Integrity report?
If there is a disruptive or behavioral issue occurring in class, Faculty members are encouraged to submit a General Incident Report, available here, instead of an Academic Integrity report. If you are unsure which form to complete, please contact OSCCR staff directly to discuss your concerns.