Attorney & Non-Attorney Advocate FAQs
What is the University’s standard of proof?
The University must establish that the Respondent is responsible for the alleged violation(s) by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., that it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated this Code.)
Can I request that the hearing be postponed?
The student may request a postponement, but pending criminal proceedings will not ordinarily serve as a basis to postpone a student’s disciplinary proceeding. The student should make the request at least two (2) calendar days prior to the hearing and will generally only be granted in cases of serious illness, family emergency, or when a student has a scheduled exam that directly conflicts with the scheduled time. Additional information can be found in 5.4.2 of the Code.
Does the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities address off-campus violations?
Yes. Additional information can also be found in Section 1.3.1 of the Code.
My client is charged with a crime off-campus. Can I get the proceedings delayed until the criminal matter is resolved?
The conduct process at ECU is not attempting to determine whether or not a student has violated the law; the University is trying to determine whether or not a student violated the Code. The procedures in this Code are not intended to be equivalent to the process of federal, state, or local laws and do not determine whether criminal conduct has occurred. Criminal procedures do not address the educational mission of the University.
What will happen if my client refuses to participate in the University’s conduct process?
The process will continue with or without the student’s involvement. Respondents who fail to appear at a hearing after proper notice will be deemed to have answered “not responsible” to the pending charges. The student may not use their refusal to participate as grounds for appeal.
Is the hearing recorded? Can I get a transcript?
All conduct board hearings are recorded. The recording will serve as the verbatim record of the proceedings, and a copy of these proceedings will be included with the disciplinary record in the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The University retains the sole right to record the hearing. No other recordings may be made of the hearing. Students who wish to review the recording may schedule an appointment to do so with the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Is the hearing outcome confidential? Can information provided during the hearing regarding my client be made available to the prosecutor’s office if they choose to participate in the student disciplinary process?
All disciplinary records are confidential and shall not be released without the student’s consent, except as otherwise provided by law. Pursuant to FERPA and the Clery Act, the University may disclose disciplinary records (a) to University officials who have a legitimate educational interest, (b) to parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of students under the age of twenty-one who are claimed as dependents for income tax purposes, the outcome of any drug-or alcohol- related violation of this Code, or (c) to an alleged victim, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding conducted with respect to an alleged crime of violence or act of sexual misconduct. The University may also be required to produce disciplinary records in accordance with a lawfully issued subpoena. Limits to disclosure shall be governed by appropriate federal law, including FERPA and the Clery Act.
Isn’t the student disciplinary process double-jeopardy for someone also facing criminal charges?
Some violations of the Code are also violations of federal, state, or local law. Students may face both criminal charges and University disciplinary action. This does not constitute double jeopardy.
ECU’s disciplinary process is not a criminal process. In other words, its process is separate from, and does not involve, legal proceedings. Consequently, holding students accountable for off-campus violations of the Student Code of Conduct is not considered double jeopardy.
Why isn’t my client being afforded the same protections that he or she would receive in the criminal process?
The conduct process at East Carolina University is not attempting to determine whether or not a student has violated the law; the University is trying to determine whether or not a student violated the Code. The procedures in this Code are not intended to be equivalent to the process of federal, state, or local laws and do not determine whether criminal conduct has occurred. Criminal procedures do not address the educational mission of the University.
Citation: Portions of this guide is modeled after those developed by University of Georgia, Illinois State University, Towson University and Rutgers University Guide for Attorneys.