Frequent Questions

Try to be as clear as you can, and, if possible, include the following information: names of anyone involved and any witnesses; whether the incident was reported to any law enforcement official; a timeline of events and relevant background information; specific time, dates, and statements made; and, if any injuries were incurred, describe those injuries and whether any medical treatment was sought.

The Office of Student Conduct will investigate each complaint by reviewing the submitted report, gathering other information, and speaking to parties involved. If there are reasonable grounds to conclude there were violations of the Student Code of Conduct, charges will be brought against the respondent. If there are no reasonable grounds to conclude there were violations of the Student Code of Conduct, then the complaint may be sent to be resolved through informal channels, or dismissed.

Make sure to share as much detail in your report as possible. If the report is not clear or has insufficient information, you will most likely be contacted by the office for further information. Anonymous reports make this difficult to do, as well.

If you were documented (by Marshall University’s Office of Public Safety, Housing and Residence Life, faculty or anyone else) as being involved in an incident, expect a Notice of Charge letter that will include your appointment date/time with a conduct officer. Please reply to confirm your attendance. You should also consider reviewing the Student Code of Conduct and specifically the policy in question and the procedure. If you did violate the Code, you are encouraged to take responsibility for your actions. If you did not do anything wrong, understand that the process is fair and that your side of the story will be heard.

Sometimes there are mix-ups and students find themselves ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ You will be treated fairly and given an opportunity to explain what happened. Experienced staff and a highly trained University Conduct Board (made up of faculty, staff and fellow students) make determinations about what occurred. The process, at its core, is educational and that will be the focus when meeting with you.

If you do not show up to your scheduled meeting, or ignore the charge letter and take no action, a hold may be placed on your account, and the meeting will proceed on with only the information available to the hearing officer.

If you are in violation of the Code, sanctions can range from a disciplinary reprimand (a written warning) or suspension and expulsion for more serious or repeat violations. Also, there are additional educational sanctions that could be assigned dependent on the case. If you are not in violation or charges are withdrawn, there would be no sanctions and no conduct record.

Conduct records are confidential and cannot be released without the written consent of the student. Many graduate, law, and medical schools and employers with sensitive information (like the United States government) often ask for a release of the applicant’s conduct record. Files are retained for at least seven years after the date of the incident; expulsion files are retained indefinitely. The following formal sanctions are recorded on the academic transcript.

  • Probationary Suspension
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) keeps university students’ academic records (including grades and conduct) confidential. Parents and families may call our office to seek answers to general questions about university procedures, student rights and responsibilities, and other related questions. However, we will not discuss students’ individual educational record without an Authorization to Release Information, except under limited exceptions, including Parent Notification.

If a student accepts responsibility, or is found responsible for violating a Standard of Conduct involving drugs or alcohol, and that student is under twenty-one years of age, West Virginia state law requires the University to inform the parent/guardian of that student of the violation. Parent Notification is completed through postal mail, and is sent to the parent/guardian address on file with the Marshall University.

Learn More about FERPA
The staff tries to resolve cases as soon as possible, but sometimes there are delays. It may take a while to get a completed investigation report or we may be backed up with other cases. If your case is going to the University Conduct Board, it may also take time to coordinate everyone’s schedules. Rest assured that we are moving as efficiently as we can.

Students’ rights include the assistance of an advisor, the right to review the complaint made against them, the right to have witnesses, and the right to appeal.

Learn More about Your Rights
If you or your family wishes to be advised by an attorney, this is a personal decision to be made only by you. Unless you can provide documentation that there are concurrent criminal charges pending, lawyers are permitted to participate in the conduct process as advisors. They may not be witnesses or provide testimony. You are always permitted to have an advisor, and a list of those internal advisors to Marshall University can be made available to you upon request. Our office has a list of faculty and staff members who are well-versed in process and can help students prepare their cases.

If sexual misconduct occurs outside of campus property, then it does not fall underneath the jurisdiction of Title IX, and instead falls underneath the jurisdiction of the Office of Student Conduct.

View Sexual Misconduct Quick Facts


Important Definitions

The person directly impacted by the alleged violation of the university policy.
The person reportedly accused of violating university policy.
An individual from within the university community (faculty, staff, student) or outside the university community who advises involved parties or student/campus organization.

Learn More about Advisors
Any person who has direct information regarding an alleged incident; and/or a professional with demonstrated experience, such as a a University Police Officer, who has important information to share about the alleged violations and charges.
A group of Marshall students, faculty, and staff that hear cases involving alleged student misconduct. The Board is trained to evaluate the information regarding a case, ask questions, and determine whether or not a violation has occurred. They also recommend sanctions. The University Conduct Board also hears appeals.

The standard in determining if a student or student organization is responsible for a violation; evidence must show that it is “more likely than not” that the alleged behavior occurred and was in violation of university rules, regulations, or policies.
The purpose of a sanction, in addition to protecting others, is primarily to educate an individual by increasing his/her awareness of the importance of responsibility to the University community for one’s actions.
The student is warned that further misconduct shall result in more severe disciplinary action. This is the lowest sanction available.
A specific period of time during which the University provides the student with the opportunity to prove that they will contribute in a positive manner to the University community. Should a student violate University policies while on Disciplinary Probation, more severe sanctions shall be imposed.
Serves as a final warning to a student that if they are again found in violation of any University policy, the University is obligated to consider suspension as a primary response.
Suspension is withheld pending careful evaluation of a student’s behavior during a probationary period, not to exceed one year. If the student is involved in any further offense, or if otherwise warranted, this suspension of disciplinary action may be revoked by the Vice President of Student Affairs or their designee and the full sanction of suspension enforced subject to appeal to the Hearing Board. While a student is on Probationary Suspension, any of the conditions under probation may be imposed.
A separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time. A suspended student will be withdrawn from all courses and may not attend classes, take exams, receive grades, maintain a position as a co-op student, hold a leadership position or be on University premises. A student may return to Marshall University after the suspension period is completed.
A permanent disaffiliation between the student and the University. An expelled student shall not be permitted on University property.
A notice sent by that Office of Student Conduct which states that a student or student organization may have no direct or indirect contact with another person, student organization, or student organization member (including by another person on behalf of the person to whom the order was issued); prohibited contact includes but is not limited to making a contact by way of personal (verbal or non-verbal), physical, phone, and/or electronic means including social media.