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Office of Student Conduct

Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of questions that students who have been referred to our office have asked. The list is continually updated, if the answer to your question is not here, please e-mail it to us at

I received a letter from the Office of Student Conduct requesting a preliminary interview (PI). What is the purpose of this meeting?

If you are requested to schedule a preliminary interview, you have been referred to our office because you *may* have violated the Code of Student Conduct. With your letter, you will find a copy the allegation(s). During the preliminary interview, you will meet with an Office of Student Conduct staff member and be given the opportunity to respond to the allegation(s). The staff member also will provide information about the disciplinary process. There are three possible outcomes to this meeting.

During the preliminary interview for Code of Student Conduct cases, 1) the charges may be dismissed; 2) you may be referred to a hearing board for the resolution of the charges; or 3) your case may be resolved informally by the staff member.

What happens if I refuse to attend the preliminary interview?
Refusing to attend a preliminary interview means your voice isn't heard in the matter. You also miss the opportunity to carefully discuss the disciplinary process with a member of the Student Conduct staff. In addition, your case will most likely be referred to a judicial board for resolution. In the meantime, our office may place a "block" your student account; this may prevent you from registering for classes. The block may remain on your account until the case has been resolved and, if necessary, sanctions have been completed.
Do I need an attorney?

Hearings and other proceedings at an educational institution do not follow the same procedures used in courtrooms. The university does not employ lawyers to "prosecute" students or apply the rules of evidence used in civil or criminal trial. Instead, charges are investigated and resolved in an atmosphere of candor, truthfulness, and civility. You may have an attorney present if you desire, but you are not required to have an attorney. When facing serious allegations, however, some students find it helpful to have the expertise of an attorney in responding to allegations. Other students seek the assistance of the Student Legal Aid Office located in the Stamp Student Union. Student Legal Aid is familiar with our process and may prove helpful to you in some circumstances. This is a free service offered to all University of Maryland students. A Student Legal Aid brochure can be requested by you during the preliminary interview.

In Conduct cases, attorneys may represent students in hearings, but in Academic Integrity cases, attorneys may only serve in an advisory role and may not address the board.

What is the difference between a "conference" and a "hearing"?

In Code of Student Conduct cases, a staff member can resolve a case through an administrative meeting called a " disciplinary conference" and this will usually occur immediately after the preliminary interview. It is important to note, however, that a student may not be suspended or expelled during a disciplinary conference.

A hearing before the Central Judicial Board is a more formal process for resolving a complaint. The student and the complaining party generally present their cases before a panel of student judiciary members who renders a decision. If a student is found "responsible" for the alleged violation, the board will recommend appropriate sanctions. Only hearing boards may impose the penalty of suspension or expulsion unless the student agrees to the suspension. For a more in depth description of these processes, please ask for a copy of the Code of Student Conduct.

Will my parents be notified of any sanctions I receive?
Not necessarily. Disciplinary proceedings conducted by the university are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Generally, under FERPA, disciplinary records may not be released or disclosed without the expressed written permission of the student whose disciplinary record is being sought unless provided by law. Release of student disciplinary records is permitted without prior consent to university officials with legitimate educational interest; victim/s of an alleged crime of violence or of an alleged sexual assault; and parents of a student who can provide written documentation that the student is financially dependent.

However, it is our office's practice to have a parent or guardian contact the Office of Student Conduct if their son/daughter is facing dismissal from the University.