What To Expect
The Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity staff will set a date, time and
location for your hearing and then notify you through your university email.
Types of Carolina Judicial Council Hearings
Request this hearing if you would like your entire case heard from start to finish because you disagree with both the findings and the outcome/sanctions, or because there is a significant question of fact.
Request this hearing if you agree with being found responsible, but disagree with your outcome or sanctions.
After meeting with a staff member, you can request to have your case heard by the Carolina Judicial Council by completing the Carolina Judicial Council request form. This form will ask you to briefly explain why you'd like your case heard by the judicial council and what type of hearing you are requesting.
Students or student organizations who are alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct may bring one advisor with them to both administrative conferences and Carolina Judicial Council hearings. This advisor can be a parent, friend, or attorney. This advisor is meant to support the student as they go through the conduct process, not speak for the student. The student will need to fill out a Consent to Release Information Form for anyone who will attend their meetings with them. It is the responsibility of the student to inform their advisor of the date, time and location of the hearing.
Please understand that the University conduct process is different from the criminal judicial system. We have worked with our legal counsel to make sure that our policies and practices are consistent with state and federal laws that pertain to due process protections in college disciplinary cases. Our system is an educational process designed to help students reflect and grow through honest conversations about values and decision making. Consequently, only the student can speak to these issues and first hand to what happened. The University’s process is meant to be non-adversarial. We do realize that advisors have a role in assisting their clients and we typically have no issue with permitting a break so that students may consult with their advisors during the process.
The University uses the preponderance of evidence standard when determining if a student is responsible or not responsible for an alleged conduct violation (i.e., that it is more likely than not that the alleged violated the Code of Conduct).
The conduct process at the University of South Carolina 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 of Conduct. Therefore, this administrative process is not directly affected by outcomes in the criminal justice system.
- Consult with the student prior to their administrative conference with the Office
of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. This can include:
- reviewing the incident report or police report submitted with the student.
- assisting the student in preparing a statement regarding the alleged involvement or questions to ask during their meeting.
- The student should remain the main point of contact for the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity until their case is resolved. The University will typically communicate with the student, not additionally with every student’s advisor. Information regarding the student’s case will be sent to the student directly (via phone or email). The student may then choose to forward any communication with their chosen advisor.
- Based on FERPA, the Office of Student Conduct cannot discuss a student’s education record, including details involving Code of Conduct alleged violations, without the student’s written consent. In order for information to be shared with a student's advisor, the student needs to fill out a Consent to Release Information Form.
Your hearing will be closed and confidential, and you will not be permitted to discuss the case outside of the hearing. Video and audio recordings are not permitted by anyone other than the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. We will keep the recording until all appeals are concluded. You may request the recording via email to email@example.com.
The hearing can last between one and four hours. At the end of the hearing process, the council will have provided you with a verbal outcome for your case. A written outcome will be emailed shortly after the hearing concludes. Hearings will either occur in person in our office suite, or due to space restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, hearings will occur online through Blackboard Collaborate.
Your hearing will follow a script and witnesses will only be present when they are being questioned. Review a sample script [pdf]. The student, council members and university representative(s) will all have the opportunity to ask questions.
Academic integrity hearings are comprised of a panel of faculty and student members. Student conduct hearings are comprised of a panel of three students and two faculty or staff members.
For cases related to the Code of Conduct
The charged student may submit relevant documents up to three business days (72 hours) in advance to be considered for the hearing packet.
Documents submitted less than 72 hours prior to the hearing cannot automatically become part of the hearing packet since 72 hours is the minimum time frame for Council members/hearing participants to be able to carefully review all information and formulate questions. Information submitted within 72 hours of the hearing will be reviewed by the hearing chairperson or an OSCAI staff member who will determine whether or not the document(s) substantively add to the current evidence and should be considered.
For cases related to the Honor Code
The charged student may submit relevant documents and any other supplemental information up to two business days in advance of the hearing to be considered for the hearing packet.
The university representative and student can both call witnesses to present information during the hearing. Witnesses must be limited to presenting facts regarding the case. Character witnesses are not permitted.
If witnesses are unable to attend a scheduled hearing, a written statement may be submitted in advance. If the witness is a victim of sexual assault or interpersonal violence, a written statement may also be used during the hearing. A faculty member or instructor may serve as a witness.
After all information has been presented, the council will meet in private to reach a decision, and, if appropriate, determine sanctions. Decisions of the council must be a majority vote. If you are found responsible, the council may review any of your prior conduct records to determine the appropriate outcome.
After a decision is made, the council will share the results with you. A university representative will send an outcome letter to your university email that will include:
- any sanctions
- a statement regarding your right to appeal.
If you choose to not attend your hearing, the original findings and sanctions will be upheld or the hearing may occur without your participation.
How to Prepare for Your Hearing
1. Review your hearing packet.
Read through all the information. You should receive a:
- copy of the incident report
- sample hearing script
- copy of the official policy
A meeting with a staff member will be scheduled for you to review the hearing process. If you have questions about this meeting please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Decide how you want to present your perspective.
Think through your incident:
- How did your actions affect others?
- What have you learned as a result?
- How did your actions relate to the Carolinian Creed?
- What outcome would be appropriate and educational?
Prepare questions to ask witnesses and practice closing remarks. When you get to the hearing, be sure to introduce yourself to the hearing chair.
3. Dress appropriately.
The hearing will be formal. Please wear business casual attire.
4. Hearings may occur virtually.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all hearings will take place virtually through Blackboard Collaborate. You will receive a link to access the hearing and additional instructions via email. It is best if you are able to utilize video during the hearing, however, video capability is not required.
How to Contest Your Hearing
Decisions from the Carolina Judicial Council are the final and highest level of case resolution. An appeal is only allowed if there has been a procedural error or if there is new evidence that could not have
been available at the time of the hearing.
More about appeals »