Frequently Asked Questions for Student Conduct

Allegation and Hearing Process

Who may address student behavior?

While in college, you will be confronted with multiple decisions regarding your conduct. At Washington University, there are multiple administrators who may address behavior that does not meet our expectations.

The following administrators routinely address inappropriate student behavior:

  1. Academic Advisers
  2. Athletic Department
  3. Sorority and Fraternity Life
  4. Student Conduct Administrator
  5. Office of Student Activities
  6. Residential Life
  7. WashU Police Department
  8. Work-Study Employer/Supervisor+

I got an initial complaint letter from the student conduct administrator. What should I do?

Don’t ignore it! Ignoring it can result in additional charges being filed. The Office will place a hold on your record. A hold will prevent you from registering for or dropping courses, and from obtaining an official university transcript.

What do I need to do to prepare for my meeting with the student conduct administrator?

  1. Be prepared to fully discuss the allegations set forth. If you want to prepare a written statement, that is also helpful.
  2. If you have any evidence, bring it with you.
  3. If you have witnesses, bring their contact information with you to the meeting:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Email address

Failure to be truthful in your meeting with the student conduct administrator may result in additional charges being filed.


What types of sanctions might be imposed upon me?

  • Warning– Notice of a finding. An offense has been committed and that continuation or repetition of such violation will result in more severe sanctions.
  • Deferred Penalty and Probation– Any of the listed sanctions may be deferred by the adjudicatory body or person for a specified time period, not to exceed two (2) calendar years. Should the student, during the period of probation, be determined to have committed another violation of this code, the deferred penalty shall take effect, in addition of the sanction imposed for any new offense.
  • Restitution– Reimbursement for actual damage or loss caused by the violation.
  • Fine– A monetary penalty of not more than $750.
  • Educational Remedies– Meetings with university officials or others, service work for the university community, or other educational assignments. These possibilities include: referrals to Habif Health and Wellness Center, attendance at workshops or panel discussions, letters of apology, reflective essays or unpaid service.
  • Mandatory Drug Testing– A violation involving drug use may require the student to participate in drug screening on a scheduled or random basis. The student is responsible to pay all the costs for the screenings.
  • Disciplinary Activity– Ineligibility for participation in any or all elected and appointed positions within the university; also ineligibility for participation in all forensic, athletic, dramatic, musical, social or other university-recognized activities.
  • Denial of Access to Certain University Facilities– Exclusion from university owned, rented, managed or leased facilities.


  • Temporary Removal from University Housing
  • Permanent Removal from University Housing
  • Suspension
  • Explusion

Can more than one university official impose a sanction on me?

Yes. If you reside in university housing, are a member of a Sorority/Fraternity organization or an athlete, you may have a student conduct case and consequences imposed by your residential college director, director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, the Campus Life Office, and the Athletic Department.

What if I fail to comply with my sanctions?

Failure to comply with your sanctions by the prescribed deadlines will result in a hold being placed on your student record and further disciplinary action.

What is a “student conduct hold”? What does it mean?

A student conduct hold is an administrative notation on a student’s internal record. It freezes a student’s record, preventing him or her from registering for classes, dropping and adding courses, and obtaining an official transcript.

The student conduct administrator places a hold on a student’s record when that student fails to schedule an appointment, or fails to complete his or her sanctions by the prescribed deadlines. A hold may also be placed when a student has a matter pending before the University Student Conduct Board.

What happens to the fine money I pay?

Fine money is put into a separate university account which provides for the funding of a variety of student initiatives and special projects surrounding student conduct.

Over the years, the fund has been used for: LIVESARAH, Sorority and Fraternity Life projects, ResLife projects, Campus Life events, guest speaker fees, undergraduate student attendance at conferences, alcohol and drug education initiatives and more.

What if I think my judicial sanctions are too harsh?

You may file an appeal if you believe your hearing was unfair or the sanctions are insufficient or excessive given the offense(s) committed. For more detailed information, consult the University Student Conduct Code. Appeals must be made within 14 days of decision.

Privacy and Reporting

Will my parents or legal guardians be notified about my student conduct case?

Possibly, depending on the case. Each student conduct case is handled on an individual basis. Parents are not routinely contacted, but in more serious matters, the student conduct administrator can and will notify them. Ordinarily, a student is informed prior to parental notification.

Will my dean, academic advisor, professor, RCD, Sorority and Fraternity Life advisor, coach and other administrators be notified?

In most cases, yes. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is concerned about each student’s academic and personal success. To help students be successful, there are times when consultation with other university officials may be appropriate.

What is a “disciplinary file”? How long does it last? Can I do anything to erase it?

A disciplinary file, also known as a student conduct record, judicial file or student file, contains all the information about any instance of an alleged violation the Student Conduct Code or any university policy, rule or regulation.

The student conduct administrator’s disciplinary files are maintained for 10 years from the date the adjudication and sanctioning process is completed. Records of academic integrity policy violations and of cases adjudicated by the University Student Conduct Board are maintained indefinitely.

Under no circumstances can your record be prematurely erased. Student Conduct records are not equivalent to “points on a driver’s license.” Neither the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards nor the University Student Conduct Code have an expungement policy with respect to student conduct records. The code has a specific section entitled Record Retention which explains this.

What goes on my official transcript?

Your student conduct outcomes do not appear on your official transcript. The only two student conduct notations that appear on transcripts are suspensions and expulsions.

Undergraduate students may be suspended or expelled only after a hearing before the University Student Conduct Board or by an agreement reached with the university.

What do I have to disclose on my graduate and professional school applications?

Each application is different, and it is your responsibility to truthfully answer all graduate and professional school questions concerning disciplinary action.

If you apply to another school and it asks WashU about your disciplinary record, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will provide general information concerning your case.

Many students with student conduct matters have gone on to graduate or professional school, particularly when they can demonstrate that they have matured since the incident.

How do I get dean certification or various other background checks as requested by a graduate or professional school, future employer or other?
See Student Conduct Records.
I have a hold on my student account?

A hold may be placed on your student account when you have failed to complete sanctions/obligations that have been assigned to you through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or the Office of Residential Life. These holds are also placed when a student’s case is referred to go through the Student Conduct Board (SCB) process. For more information regarding your hold, please contact the Office of Student Conduct.

City, State and Federal Laws

Can I face both criminal and student conduct charges?

Yes. Every member of the university community must comply with university rules, regulations and policies as well as with federal, state and local laws. If you violate the law, you may face criminal charges and/or university student conduct charges. This does not constitute double jeopardy.

I am an international student. How does a student conduct sanction impact my visa status?

Depending on the type of visa you have, the personnel in the university’s Office for International Students and Scholars must notify the U.S. government once you have been out of school for a specified number of days.

As a result, you may be deported, you may not be permitted back in the U.S., or you may not be permitted to immediately return to the U.S. These penalties will halt or seriously delay your studies.

Please consult with the international office for more detailed information.

For questions, contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or call 314-935-7296.