Horseshoe

FAQs for Students

What is the best way to contact the Office of Student Conduct?

The Office of Student Conduct may be reached by calling (803) 777-4333 or you may visit us in the James F. Byrnes Building, Suite 201. We are directly across from the Horseshoe on the corner of College and Sumter Streets. There is metered parking available on College Street.

To whom does the Code of Conduct apply and when does it apply?

The Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in the University. This includes all undergraduate and graduate, part-time and full-time, on-campus and off-campus students. The Code of Conduct outlines expectations for student behavior regardless of the location of the alleged offense. People with an educational interest in the institution (have applied to the institution) or who are between semesters (on co-op, taking a semester leave, etc) are also under the provisions of the Code of Conduct.

Why does Student Conduct enforce university policies off campus?

You are a Gamecock regardless of whether the alleged misconduct takes place on the campus, across the street from campus, or at the Carolina Cup. USC is particularly concerned about high-risk drinking and drug use by students due to the threat these behaviors pose to student health, safety, and academic success. Since anyone can submit an incident report, students should remember their status as a proud Gamecock where ever they are.

What happens if I do not show up for the meeting?

If you fail to attend your first scheduled meeting, a registration hold will be placed on your records and you will be unable to register for classes or make changes to your schedule. A new meeting will automatically be scheduled for you, and you will again be notified by e-mail. Further, you will be charged with "Failure to Comply with an Official Request". If you again do not attend, a determination on your responsibility for the alleged violation(s) will be rendered based on the information available and without the benefit of your participation. A letter outlining the decision and, if you're found responsible, a listing of your sanctions will be e-mailed to you. Again, conduct administrators would prefer to be able to talk to you about the incident and have your input in the process.

What if I have a hold on my registration?

If you have a hold on your registration, it is most likely for one of the following reasons:

  • Failure to attend a scheduled meeting with your conduct administrator/hearing officer
  • Failure to complete the sanctions assigned to you
  • You will have to attend a meeting or complete the sanction(s) before the hold is removed.

Am I going to get kicked out of housing?

There are many violations for which, if you are found responsible, permanent removal from University Housing is a possible outcome. These include but are not limited to:

  • Violation of any University Policy while already on Conduct Probation
  • Violation of the Drug Policy
  • Violation of the Sexual Assault Policy
  • Violation of the Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Possession of firearm or other weapon
  • Harm to Persons
  • Breaking the plane (including but not limited to objects or liquids being thrown off or from balconies and windows.)
  • Housing Probation Violation
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Repeated Alcohol Violations
  • Damage to Property
  • Creating a Fire Hazard
  • Tampering with Fire Equipment

If you are removed from University Housing you are still bound by your housing contract and must pay the balance of what you agreed to pay in your housing contract.

While the examples above are some of the most serious, and thus the most likely to result in permanent removal from University Housing, any violation (depending on severity, number of repeat offenses, etc.) can result in permanent removal from University Housing. Additionally, you may only receive between 48 hours and 5 days to vacate your room, depending on the circumstances. Additional information can be found in the section regarding University Housing Policies and Regulations in the Carolina Community.

Am I going to be suspended from school?

There are many violations for which, if you are found responsible, suspension from the University is a possible outcome. These include:

  • Violation of any university policy while already on conduct probation
  • Violation of the Drug Policy
  • Violation of the Sexual Assault Policy
  • Possession of firearm or other weapon
  • Harm to Persons

While the examples above are some of the most serious and thus the most likely to result in suspension from the University, any violation (depending on severity, number of repeat offenses, etc.) can result in suspension.

What if I am found responsible for violating the rules?

If you are found “Responsible” for violating the rules, you will be assigned sanctions, which could include educational activities (including classes, reflection or research papers, interviews), restitution, restrictions, community service, probation, suspension, etc. For a complete list of possible sanctions and further information, please see Section 6 of the Student Code of Conduct.

Sanctions range depending on:

  • The nature of the violation (what you did)
  • Prior violations/previous disciplinary history (what have you done before)
  • Mitigating circumstances surrounding the violation (unusual circumstances)
  • Your motivation for the behavior (why you chose to do what you did)
  • Sanctions involved in cases involving similar violations (precedent)
  • The developmental and educational impact (how is this going to affect you)

What if I disagree with the decision?

If you disagree with the decision in your Conduct Hearing, you can elect to have your case reheard by the Carolina Judicial Council. The CJC is comprised of three students and two faculty/staff members that hear the case. Students can also elect to have a case heard by the CJC simply because he/she feels it is more fair to have students or a panel decide his/her case.
There are two options if you go to a CJC Hearing:

  • Sanctions only hearing – occurs when the student agrees with the finding of “Responsible” but disagrees with the sanctions.
  • Full hearing – occurs when the student would like the entire case heard from start to finish because he/she disagrees with both the findings and the sanctions, or because there is a significant question of fact.
  • CJC decisions are the final and highest level of case resolution, and as such, a student who then disagrees with his/her CJC decision cannot again appeal based on the difference of opinion. 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, a student may appeal based on those prongs to the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Are my parents going to find out?

Federal laws (FERPA) protect your educational records (which include disciplinary records) from being accessed by others without your permission. However, there are occasions in which the federal act allows the Office of Student Conduct to notify parents of the outcome of a student’s disciplinary case. OSC may notify parents of an offense of a student under 21 years of age:

  • following a violation of university policy regarding alcohol or other drugs that places the student on housing or conduct probation (official notice that any additional offense may affect the student's ability to live on campus or attend the university), or that results in removal from University Housing or the institution (e.g. housing removal/relocation, suspension, or expulsion).
  • following the second violation of university policy regarding alcohol.
  • following any incident in which the use of alcohol has resulted in hospitalization. Notification will come from the Behavioral Intervention Team Chair or designee.
  • Because not all offenses result in this level of sanctioning, parents will not automatically be notified when their student becomes involved in the disciplinary process. However, if parents would like information regarding their student’s disciplinary history or status at the University from the OSC, they can request that their son/daughter sign a waiver of confidentiality allowing the OSC to release that information. In most cases, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects students’ judicial records as confidential educational records.

Is this going to be on my transcript?

If you are suspended from the University, a notation will appear on your transcript for the length of the term of your suspension. If you are expelled, it will be a permanent notation.

There are other situations, however, in which your disciplinary records may (with your permission) be given to other institutions. Other universities frequently make specific requests for disciplinary records when a student applies for graduate school or decides to transfer. In these situations, you will sign a waiver in the admissions process allowing the Office of Student Conduct to release your records.

The records of cases that have been resolved with a sanction less than suspension or expulsion will be maintained in the OSC for a period of six years from the end of the academic year in which the offense occurred. Records in which the discipline sanction was suspension or expulsion will be maintained indefinitely.

Why do we have fines?

The university would prefer to offer only educational sanctions, and different sanctions affect different people. But no matter what, no one wants to part with money. Fines not only serve as a deterrent, but they cover the administrative costs of creating, providing, and assessing programs related to the student conduct process.

Will I lose my scholarships because of this?

Not necessarily. Financial aid is most commonly in jeopardy when a student is cited by the police for alcohol or drugs and the outcome is a conviction. If a student’s individual scholarship provider requires a conduct clearance, you will sign a waiver permitting us to release the information and the individual scholarship provider will determine whether it affects your eligibility.

Can I bring someone with me to my hearing?

Yes. A student (or student group) can bring an advisor to a conduct hearing or CJC hearing. The advisor can be faculty, staff, student, family member, parent or attorney. During a CJC hearing the adviser may not address the CJC panel, but may consult with the charged student during the hearing. Please note that any advisor requires that the charged student signs a FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) release form allowing them access to their confidential case.

What happens if I am accused of violating the Honor Code (for cheating or plagiarism)?

If you are accused of violating the Honor Code, there are several possible outcomes. You may meet with your professor to discuss the issue and they can issue an academic penalty (the grade). You will also be referred to the Office of Academic Integrity who will investigate and determine if you did violate the Honor Code and if so, what non-academic penalty you may receive. To read the full Honor Code and the process, please go to www.sc.edu/academicintegrity.

For further information on academic dishonesty outcomes and the process, please go to The Carolina Community section on Academic Responsibility.