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Understanding a College Park University’s Code of Conduct

The Office of Student Conduct at College Park oversees the administration of different codes and policies involving student conduct. These codes include the Code of Academic Integrity, the Code of Student Conduct, and the Gold Code.

Various additional university policies address issues such as sexual misconduct, the acceptable use of information technology resources, hazing, drugs, alcohol, residence hall rules, and other issues.

Understanding a College Park university’s Code of Conduct is among the most crucial concerns facing many students. Violations of the Code may result in severe sanctions. If you are facing serious charges under the Code of Conduct, consider retaining an experienced attorney.

Purpose of the University Code of Conduct

College Park officials established the Code of Conduct to “ensure the safety and security of the University community.” Although the University seeks to help students achieve academic and personal goals, at the same time, administrators want to make sure that students take responsibility for their actions.

Through the code, the University tries to balance the responsibilities and rights of all and create a climate that fosters University values.

Understanding a College Park university’s code of conduct includes recognition that the Code of Conduct does not address academic integrity matters such as cheating. Moreover, the Code of Conduct does not govern issues involving sexual misconduct.

Instead, the Code of Conduct describes other types of prohibited conduct, explains students’ rights and responsibilities, and outlines student conduct disciplinary procedures.

Conduct Prohibited by the Code

The types of prohibited behaviors described in the Code of Conduct are meant to be considered examples of violations. Understanding a College Park university’s code of conduct involves a realization that the proscribed conduct is not an exhaustive list.

Offenses are grouped according to categories which include:

  • Offenses against persons
  • Alcohol and drug offenses
  • Property offenses
  • Community offenses
  • Offenses against University operations
  • Other offenses

Offenses against persons include actions such as intentionally or recklessly causing harm to others, or intentionally interfering with others’ freedom of expression. Actions classified as property offenses include vandalism, theft, possession of stolen property, and trespass.

Examples of community offenses include unauthorized possession of weapons, setting off false fire alarms, engaging in disorderly conduct, and urinating in public. Offenses against university operations include possession of falsified University documents, intentionally furnishing false information, and failure to comply with the directives of University officials.

The Disciplinary Process

Whenever someone reports an individual or group suspected of violating the Code of Conduct, the Office of Student Conduct reviews matters to determine whether there is reasonable cause to find a violation. The Code permits administrators to take interim measures such as suspension or a cease and desist order until proceedings are finalized.

After a finding of reasonable cause, the Code provides for a preliminary interview to review the allegations and explain the student conduct process. Information revealed during this meeting could become part of the case file.

Hearing or Conference

If the alleged violation of the Code of Conduct could result in suspension or expulsion from the University or termination of housing, then the accused student has the right to request a hearing before a conduct board.

If they waive the right to a hearing and choose to have the matter decided through a Disciplinary Conference, they lose the right to appeal the decision. Students who are not facing expulsion or suspension may not request a hearing but will have the matter decided through a Disciplinary Conference.

Rights During the Process

Regardless of whether a case is resolved through a hearing or a conference, accused students should understand that the College Park university’s code of conduct allows them reasonable access to the case file and the opportunity to present evidence, witnesses, or information to support their response to allegations.

Assistance Understanding a College Park University’s Code of Conduct

Much of the Code of Conduct concerns the details for Student Conduct Board hearings. These details include the composition of a conduct board, hearing procedures, burden of proof, and the imposition of sanctions.

Students facing conduct proceedings, particularly those with the right to a hearing, are advised to gain a thorough understanding of a College Park university’s code of conduct. An attorney experienced in Code of Conduct proceedings could provide appropriate guidance.