What to Expect

"Notice of Alleged Code of Conduct Violation" letter (formal complaint)

If you have received a "Notice of Alleged Code of Conduct Violation" letter or another request to schedule an appointment with a staff member in the Office of Student Conduct, you may be wondering what to expect. This letter is one of the initial steps of the student disciplinary process and should be read closely and carefully. Of particular importance is whether the alleged violations are determined to be Level 2 or Level 1 case classification.

While some students may experience a level of concern over receiving a letter from the Office of Student Conduct, one goal of the office is to provide an atmosphere of mutual respect throughout the process. While students are expected to be respectful of our staff and the student disciplinary process, students can also expect to be treated with respect by our staff.

You can also expect to be informed of any pending charges, options for resolving your case, and any potential sanctions, or consequences, for your behavior. During the hearing, you will be asked whether you admit or deny responsibility for the charges and to provide your account of the incident(s) in question. You may also be asked additional questions to further clarify understanding of the incident. Following the hearing, you will be notified of the outcome and any related sanctions if you were found responsible for violating university policy.


Level 1 and Level 2 Cases

A Level 1 case is a matter in which the sanction that may be imposed may include suspension or expulsion. Typically a Level 1 case will be heard by the Student Conduct Hearing Board (SCHB) or handled as an OSC Administrative Hearing. A Level 2 case is a matter in which it is determined that any sanction resulting from a hearing will not include suspension or expulsion from the university.


Burden of Proof in Disciplinary Cases

In all student conduct cases the office uses "Preponderance of the Evidence" as the standard for finding students responsible for violations of the Student Disciplinary Regulations.  Often this is referred to as "more likely than not" or "50% and a feather."

Preponderance of Evidence: The greater weight of the evidence, not necessarily established by the greater number of witnesses testifying to a fact but by evidence that has the most convincing force; superior evidentiary weight that, though not sufficient to free the mind wholly from all reasonable doubt, is still sufficient to incline a fair and impartial mind to one side of the issue rather than the other. [Bryan A. Garner, Editor, “Black’s Law Dictionary,” Second Edition, St. Paul, MN: West Group: 2001.]

In student disciplinary matters, this concept means both accounts of an incident are perceived evenly/equitably. Both students carry the burden of persuading the fact-finder that their claim is valid. This differs from a criminal case where the burden of persuasion always rests with the prosecution.


Need More Information?

The student disciplinary process is not intended to be a surprising experience for anyone involved. This website should serve as a resource for you as you prepare for a conduct hearing or as you search for information about student conduct and behavioral expectations at Iowa State University.

Should you have other questions or would like to talk to someone regarding the student disciplinary process, please contact our office at (515) 294-1020.

For more information related to Level 1 and Level 2 Cases as outlined in the Student Disciplinary Regulations, please review Section 5.