Frequently Asked Questions
I received a hearing notification letter from the Dean of Students’ Office/Residence Life Office, what do I do now?
Review all the information on both pages of the letter, including the date, time, and location of the hearing. The second page of the letter provides a summary of the incident and what you are charged with allegedly violating. For a detailed list of the Code of Conduct, click here.
Can I be charged with a Code of Conduct Violation for something that happens off campus?
As long as you are an enrolled student at Bellarmine University, including during University breaks, you are responsible for the code of conduct as a representative of the institution. When alleged violations of the University code or federal, state or local laws take place off campus and come to the University’s attention, the University reserves the right to take appropriate action.
Who will be present at the hearing?
Your hearing will take place with either a student conduct officer or student conduct panel. Students are entitled to have a support person present at the hearing. The support person can be any Bellarmine faculty, staff or student who is not associated or related to anyone involved in the case, is there to support the need of the student, and does not take an active role other than to "silently" assist the student. Witnesses may be asked to attend the hearing by both the student and the University. In some cases, the individual who submitted the incident report may be asked by the Dean of Students’ Office to attend the hearing and read their report. The name(s) of support persons or witnesses must be provided to the Dean of Students’ Office at least 24 business hours in advance of the hearing. The Dean of Students and Student Life Coordinator, or their designee, will be present during student conduct panels to serve as advisors and recorders to the case. If the case involves public safety or residence hall staff, they may be present as well.
What can I expect at the hearing?
You can expect to "be heard". The hearing is not an opportunity to "defend yourself". Nor, are you "presumed guilty" prior to the hearing. An incident report represents only a portion of what took place in the incident, you are being asked to use the hearing to personally describe your involvement if you choose. The student conduct officer or panel will ask questions regarding the incident and discuss with you how the conduct affects you from a personal and institutional perspective, and the community. Once all information has been shared, the student conduct officer or panel will make a decision regarding the policies, and, if appropriate, issue sanctions.
Is there anyone I can speak with in preparation for my hearing?
Yes! You can schedule an appointment with the Student Life Coordinator by calling 502-272-8150. At this appointment, you can review your student conduct file, obtain clarification about the violation(s) you are accused of committing and ask questions about the student conduct process.
What sort of information is contained in my student conduct file?
When a student is charged with committing a violation of the student code of conduct, a student conduct file is created. This file contains all the information pertinent to the student conduct proceedings in which a student has been involved. This includes, but is not limited to: incident report(s), witness statement(s), police report(s), hearing results, and sanction letter(s).
If a student is found responsible for violating subsequent charges, his/her record is used by a Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel to determine sanctions.
Do I need legal representation?
Legal representation is not permitted in student conduct proceedings. The student conduct process renders decisions regarding the violation of university policy, and not local, state, or federal laws. In some incidents there may be an overlap of policy and laws, but the priority is to determine if your conduct is contrary to University polices.
How does a Student Conduct Officer/Hearing Panel decide if a student is “responsible” or “not responsible” for an alleged violation of the University Code of Conduct or Residence Hall Community Standards?
The standard of proof used in the Bellarmine Student Conduct system is “preponderance of evidence.” In other words, is it more likely than not that the student committed the violation? If so, then the student is responsible for the violation(s). If not, then the student is not responsible. This is very different than the standard of evidence used in a court of law called “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Will my parents find out?
In most cases, no; however, if you are under 21 and you are found responsible for an alcohol violation or any drug violation then your parents may be notified. BU also may inform parents/guardians if you are found responsible for a violation and receive a sanction of University Probation or higher. Notification takes place via letter after your case is closed and includes the sanctions that resulted from the incident. If parents wish to know additional details regarding the incident, or other conduct resulting in lesser or no sanctioning, the student will need to provide consent for re-lease of information to the appropriate University personnel.
Students are encouraged to tell their parents of all incidents that result in student conduct hearings, especially those that result in sanctions. Keeping this type of information from parents can make matters worse particularly if additional violations occur.