Syracuse UniversityOffice of Student Rights and Responsibilities

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Frequently Asked Questions

Feel free to review the following items if you have a question regarding student conduct at Syracuse University. If you have a question that is not anwered here, feel free to contact us at 315.443.3728.
  1. How do I file a complaint?

    A Student Conduct System complaint can be filed against any student or student organization, or any member of the University community. A student, faculty member, or staff member may file a complaint by completing the standard complaint form, which is available here.

    When filing a complaint, it is very important that all documentation and other evidence associated with the complaint (e.g., Department of Public Safety reports, police reports, or witness statements) be included with the standard complaint form and submitted to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. More than one complaint can be filed regarding the same incident.

    Once a complaint is submitted, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will process it through the Student Conduct System.

  2. What happens after I am documented?

    Once a complaint is filed with the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will determine whether or not the complaint concerns a student or student organization of Syracuse University and will also determine whether the complaint demonstrates sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to warrant further investigation and/or commencement of the conduct process.

    Upon determining that a complaint meets the technical standards required by the Student Conduct System, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will contact the accused student or recognized student organization. The accused student or recognized student organization will be invited to participate in an informal resolution meeting with a case manager to discuss the allegations and determine whether an informal resolution can be reached. An informal resolution occurs when a student or recognized student organization accepts responsibility for the alleged violation(s) and an appropriate sanction is determined. Once an informal resolution is reached, the decision is final and will be revisited only if new information becomes available that tends to demonstrate that a substantial error has occurred. In such a case, the accused student or the complainant may submit a written petition for reconsideration of the case to the Director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The decision of the Director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities on reconsideration is final.

    If an informal resolution cannot be reached, then the case will be assigned to an appropriate hearing officer or hearing board for formal resolution.  A student who chooses to withdraw from the University rather than participate in the conduct process will be classified as having been withdrawn for disciplinary reasons. This status will be noted on the student’s transcript as a University-initiated withdrawal. A student who withdraws under these circumstances is not permitted to enter onto Syracuse University owned, operated, or controlled property nor participate in any class or program offered by Syracuse University until the pending matter is resolved.

  3. I received a letter from your office. What do I do now?

    Review the letter that was sent to you by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities that states the date and time of your meeting. If you are unable to attend, or anticipate being late, it is imperative that you call the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at (315) 443-3728 to reschedule. Failure to attend this meeting during the scheduled time without prior notice may result in a decision being rendered in your absence.

    Arrive with an understanding that the intent of an informal resolution meeting is to allow yourself and the case manager to discuss the incident in which you were allegedly involved.

    Although it is understandable that you may feel some stress prior to and during your informal resolution meeting, we ask that you always make an effort to be courteous and professional throughout the process. It is important to trust the Student Conduct System process and understand that the intent in resolving discipline matters is educational rather than punitive.

    You are permitted to bring support with you to your informal resolution meeting, if needed. OSRR recommends that you obtain a procedural advisor to assist you throughout the conduct process and you may bring them with you to your informal resolution meeting.

    Additionally, if you believe that you need accommodations for a disability throughout this process, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS), 804 University Avenue, room 309 or (315) 443-4498. ODS is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations.

  4. Is there someone who can support me through this process?

    We appreciate that being accused of violating University policy is stressful and may be scary for some students. You may be advised throughout the student conduct process by a procedural advisor (PA). A PA is a full-time student, faculty, or staff member from Syracuse University or SUNY ESF. In cases where criminal or civil proceedings are also pending, you may be advised by an attorney. In cases involving sexual assault, stalking, gender-related harassment, or domestic/relationship violence, you are permitted to be advised by an advisor of your choice, which includes attorneys or parents.

    For all cases, PAs, whether a member of the Syracuse University community (as defined above), attorneys, or parents, if chosen as the advisor for the student, have no standing in University Student Conduct System proceedings. The role of a procedural advisor is to provide advice to their respective party in a quiet, non-disruptive manner. Procedural advisors, including attorneys and parents, do not represent or speak for their respective party.

    Procedural advisors can be requested by contacting the Office of Student Assistance at 315.443.4357. Please note that assignment of a procedural advisor from the Office of Student Assistance is based on availability and is not guaranteed. Please review the Student Conduct System Handbook at studentconduct.syr.edu for more detailed information on the role of attorneys and procedural advisors in the student conduct process.

    Additionally, if you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, you should contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS), located in Room 309 of 804 University Avenue, or call 315.443.4498 for an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations before you go through the student conduct process. ODS is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations. Since accommodations may require early planning and are not provided retroactively, please contact ODS as soon as possible. If you are receiving on-going supportive services from a Syracuse University office, you are welcome to discuss your case with your counselor/advocate prior to attending your initial meeting with OSRR. You may ask your counselor/advocate to serve as your procedural advisor, but please understand that counselors from the University’s Counseling Center may not be able to serve in this capacity.

  5. Why is the SRR hold on my account?

    Students may be placed on a student conduct hold if they have overdue sanctions. Students are not able to register for classes, receive a transcript or a diploma, or have a degree certified until we have received confirmation that they have completed their overdue sanction(s). Students can email completed sanctions to studentconduct@syr.edu. Once a sanction is received, reviewed, and approved, the hold will be removed.

  6. How do I get my file?

    Students have the right to receive a copy of their conduct file.   

    In order to obtain a copy of their file, a student must complete the File Request form, sign the form, and turn the form into the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 310 Steele Hall. 

    After receiving the form the Office of Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities has 45 business days to process the request.  Staff will contact the student once the file has been copied and is ready for the student to pick up from the office. 

    If a student would like a copy of their file prior to their Informal Resolution meeting with their case manager, they must submit the above request at least 3 business days prior to their meeting in order to allow staff time to copy and redact the file.

  7. How long are records kept?

    Disciplinary records maintained are retained for seven (7) years from the date of the most recent incident in the student’s file or until one (1) year after the student has graduated from the University, whichever is longer. Records of students who were suspended, expelled, prohibited from future enrollment or otherwise withdrawn for disciplinary reasons are retained indefinitely. Students are advised to consult the Academic Integrity Office with regard to the records retention policies associated with academic dishonesty cases.

  8. When do my parents find out?

    Access to disciplinary records is provided in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

    Except in unusual circumstances as determined in its sole discretion, and consistent with federal law, Syracuse University will seek to notify parents or guardians of conduct issues involving dependent students as follows:

    a. In an emergency; and

    b. After final adjudication and finding of responsibility in all alcohol and drug-related offenses; and,

    c. After final adjudication and finding of responsibility in all offenses resulting in disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion.

    A student is not a dependent student if the student:

    a. is or will be 24 years old during the academic year;

    b. is enrolled in a graduate or professional program;

    c. is married;

    d. is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces;

    e. is an international student.