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Office of Student Conduct

I Want to File an Appeal

After you have received written notification of the outcome of your case before the Central Judicial Board, Student Honor Council, or Resident Judicial Board, you have the opportunity to appeal the outcome of your case.

In preparation for filing an appeal, you may listen to the CD recordings of the hearing (Request a copy of the hearing from the Office of Student Conduct for $10. Please allow 7-10 business days to process your request), examine the documents in your file, review the Code of Student ConductCode of Academic Integrity, or Resident Life Handbook, and obtain a sample brief from the Office of Student Legal Aid.

If you want to request assistance in preparing an appeal, you may contact the Office of Student Legal Aid (3125 South Campus Dining Hall; 301-314-7756) or a private attorney. The Office of Student Legal Aid is often able to help prepare an appeal even if they did not represent you in a hearing.

  1. Give written notice of your intent to file within seven business days of the date of your notification letter; and
  2. Provide a written "brief" in which you make your arguments about why your case should be reconsidered and on what grounds.

All briefs must be typed. This must be submitted within ten business days of the date of your notification letter.

What is an Appeal?

An appeal is NOT a rehearing of your case.

In an appeal, you may request a review of the decision in your case and/or the assigned sanctions.

In order to submit an appeal, you must provide a "brief". A brief is a point-by-point discussion of the issues which you want to raise about your case and/or the sanction(s) you were assigned.

There is no maximum or minimum length for a brief. In general, it should be carefully prepared and documented, being as specific and organized as possible.

What can I Appeal?

In filing an appeal, you need to establish that the hearing panel erred in making its determinations or that the sanctions were too harsh.

There are two things that are appealed:

  1. the findings in the case (factual determinations by the hearing panel) and
  2. the assigned sanctions (suspension, "XF", housing termination, etc.)

In the case of a Resident Life hearing, it may be necessary to file two appeals: one through Resident Life to address your housing status and one through the Office of Student Conduct to address any other disciplinary sanctions which may have been assigned.

Generally, there are four issues that can be the focus of your appeal:

  1. The decision was "arbitrary and capricious." The Code of Student Conduct explains that this means the hearing panel's decision was "unsupported by any evidence."
  2. There were procedural errors in the case or in the interpretation of University regulations so severe as to deny you a fair hearing.
  3. The assigned sanctions were "grossly disproportionate" to the offense.
  4. New evidence
Non-Academic Appeal Cover Sheet
What Happens Next?

After your written brief has been received, it will be forwarded to a Campus Advocate, Resident Life, or Office of Student Conduct representative for a written response to the issues raised in your appeal. You may request a copy of the written response to your appeal from the Office of Student Conduct.

After all the documents have been collected, your appeal, the "Findings of Fact" from your hearing, the response to your appeal, and any relevant supporting documentation will then be forwarded to the appropriate appeals committee for review.

All cases resulting in suspension or expulsion are appealed through the Campus Senate Committee for Student Conduct. Central and Resident Board cases are reviewed by the University Appellate Board. Honor Council appeals are sent to the Honor Council Executive committee. In order to appeal housing termination, you must submit a separate request to the Director of Resident Life.

What Happens after the Review?

After reviewing your appeal; the response from the Campus Advocate, Resident Life, or Office of Student Conduct representative; and the information from your file, the appellate body has four options:

  1. Dismiss the case against you, if the hearing panel's decision has been determined to be "arbitrary and capricious."
  2. Send the case back to the appropriate board (Central, Honor Council, or Resident Board) for a new hearing if there were errors in procedures or interpretation in University policies or if new evidence needs to be considered.
  3. Lessen the sanctions imposed if they are "grossly disproportionate" to the offense.
  4. Uphold all decisions made by the hearing panel.

Following the appellate body's decision, you will be notified in writing of the final outcome of your case. All decisions rendered by appellate bodies are recommendations to the Director of Student Conduct and the Vice President for Student Affairs. Suspensions are approved by the VP for Student Affairs. Expulsions must be approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs and the President of the University.

This document is designed to be an informal introduction to the Student Conduct Process. It does not modify or abrogate any policies or procedures set forth in the Code of Student Conduct.