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Washington State University Your Rights and Responsibilities

Your Rights and Responsibilities

When engaged with the community standards process, we want you to know your rights and responsibilities. We are here to protect the opportunities and success of all members of our Cougar community and as a WSU student, your education is our priority. We have outlined your rights and responsibilities and included links to the related Washington Administrative Codes (WAC) below. Download a printable version of these rights and responsibilities. 

Sharing your experience

You are assumed not responsible

You are assumed not responsible for the reported incident unless it is determined that you were “more likely than not” responsible at your Conduct Officer Hearing or Conduct Board Hearing. WAC 504-26-040

You do not have to self-incriminate

You get to choose what information you want to share. You do not have to share any information which may incriminate you. You will not be viewed negatively if you choose not to share specific information. WAC 504-26-045

You have access to your information

At any point throughout the process, even before you meet with your Conduct Officer, you can request to view your file with details and information related to the incident.

You can provide documentation

Sharing your information ensures that your experience is part of the conversation and is added to the conduct file. You can provide a written statement, submit additional documentation (such as text messages, emails, phone logs, etc.), and provide witnesses. 

You have a responsibility to participate

You will benefit from actively engaging in the process. We want you to be involved. If you choose not to show up or participate, the community standards process will continue in your absence.

Your available resources

Information Sessions

Information sessions are led by WSU students who are trained to clarify the community standards process from a student perspective and answer any questions you may have. These sessions help you understand your rights and responsibilities and what you can expect moving forward. View the current information session schedule. WAC 504-26-401

Trained Advisors

You may choose to have an advisor during all stages of the community standards process. Advisors are volunteers, serving for the benefit of students. View the current list of advisors.  WAC 504-26-020

Disability or Medically Related Accommodations

You can request accommodations to assist you throughout the community standards process. If you would benefit from accommodations, please contact us.

Language Interpreters

You may also contact us to request a language interpreter at no cost and at any time.

Your right to a fair and equitable process

Understand when community standards apply

Community standards apply to individuals from the time of application until awarding of a degree. The standards apply on university premises, during university sponsored activities (including transit), to online behavior, and to off-campus behavior when it negatively affects the university community. WAC 504-26-015

Confidentiality

Conduct meetings and hearings are closed to public observation. If there is a concern for your personal safety, wellbeing, or fears of confrontation, accommodations for participation can be made. WAC 504-26-025

Legal Representation

A licensed attorney or a legally licensed intern may act and speak on your behalf during Conduct Board hearings. During a Conduct Officer hearing, they can only serve as an advisor. If you choose to have legal representation, it is at your own expense. WAC 504-26-020

Request individuals to be removed from the process

If you believe your assigned Conduct Officer or a board member may have a conflict of interest, you may request to have them removed (recused) from your conduct review. WAC 504-26-125

Option to appeal decisions made by the officer or the board

You can make an appeal if you believe a hearing was conducted unfairly, if you think the information was inadequate for the outcome, if you think the assigned sanction was inappropriate, or if new and sufficient information becomes available. WAC 504-26-420

Your conduct file and record

WSU is not permitted to share your information without your written consent, except:

  • when a student under the age of 21 violates alcohol or drug standards, their parents/guardian will be notified,
  • when required by law. The community standards process is unique from the legal system and WSU generally does not share information with law enforcement unless required to do so.
  • when authorized by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

 You may also request to remove a single alcohol, drug or marijuana-related incident from your conduct record. WAC 504-26-530

 

Rights when reporting an incident

When reporting a potential violation of community standards, you also have unique rights as a "complainant".