Student Conduct Process Overview

The purpose of the Student Conduct process is to promote and enforce the responsibilities that students agree to when they enroll at Minnesota State University Mankato that help students maintain a sense of integrity while keeping the campus environment safe and supportive for every student.

 
Initiation of Complaint

Any member of the University community, or other individual who has been impacted by the behavior of a student, may initiate a complaint by contacting the Office of Student Conduct.

Notification of the Student

A student alleged to have violated a Responsibility will be notified in writing of the nature of the evidence, the Responsibility(ies) allegedly violated, and the possible sanctions. The official means of University communication with students is their MavMAIL. Students are responsible for regularly checking their MavMail for important University messages to avoid missing meetings and deadlines.

Informal Conduct Meeting

The alleged student will be offered an opportunity to meet with a conduct officer to resolve the violation at an informal meeting. During the meeting the conduct officer will review the complaint with the student and allow the student to refute or acknowledge the complaint. 

Formal Hearing

A student who is subject to a sanction of expulsion or suspension (except summary suspension) for more than nine days may accept the outcome of the informal meeting or request a formal hearing prior to the imposition of sanctions. The University reserves the right to choose whether to assign the student to a formal administrative hearing or to a University Student Conduct Board hearing.

 

Rights and Responsibilities

You have the right to receive:
  • Written notice of University Policies in addition to alleged misconduct.
  • An explanation of the complaint against you.
  • A chance to share your side of the story and present witnesses, if desired.
  • The option of being accompanied by a support person who can advise you, but not participate directly.
  • Written notice of the decision.
  • A timeframe and instructions for appealing in accordance with applicable grounds, if you are found responsible for some or all of the allegations.
You have the responsibility to:
  • Be truthful. Information disclosed is voluntary. You are encouraged to share information to help the conduct officer fully understand your perspective. Providing false or misleading information is grounds for more severe disciplinary action.
  • Understand and follow the Statement of Student Responsibilities.
  • Read and ask questions about all correspondence from the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Fulfill sanctions in a timely manner.
Confidentiality

Student disciplinary files are considered “education records” protected by federal and state data privacy laws. Education records cannot be released to a third party, including parents, without the student's signed release of information or a court issued subpoena. Exceptions under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) include University officials with a “need to know” as part of their job duties.

 

Impositions of Sanctions

The alleged student shall be notified of the date that sanctions go into effect. When a student is found responsible for a violation of the Statement of Student Responsibilities, based on preponderance of evidence, students may be given a disciplinary action or placed on a disciplinary warning or probation that can be found in the Statement of Student Responsibilities.

Appeals
An appeal opportunity is afforded to students disciplined for an alleged violation of the Statement of Student Responsibilities. The student must submit a Letter of Appeal by the deadline noted in the hearing outcome letter. A Letter of Appeal documents serious error in the disciplinary process that substantially affected the outcome. Acceptable grounds for appeal are:
  • New information not available at the time of the conduct meeting.
  • Documentation of a procedural error serious enough to impact the outcome.
  • Evidence that the sanction is excessively severe.

Grounds for appeal do not include:

  • Failure to read conduct letters.
  • The expense and inconvenience of relocation.
  • Contract termination or suspension.
  • Disruption to studies.
  • Cost of educational sanctions.
  • Separation from friends.
  • Lack of familiarity with rules.
  • Good character.
  • Apersonal commitment to behaving better in the future.

Appeal letters will be reviewed promptly, and the appeal officer will determine if an appeal will be scheduled based on the reasons cited in the letter and the quality of the materials submitted. Possible appeal outcomes include:

  • Upholding or overturning the previous decision.
  • Decreasing or increasing the sanction.
  • Referring the case for a new conduct meeting.

Suspension or Expulsion

Students facing suspension or expulsion may request a formal conduct hearing by contacting the Office of Student Conduct within two business days of receiving the outcome of the informal hearing. Students participating in a formal conduct hearing retain the right to appeal to the Office of the President. Students suspended longer than ten (10) days or expelled have the right to request a contested case hearing under Minnesota law (Chapter 14, MSA) if their campus appeal is denied. All sanctions and restrictions go into effect immediately regardless of whether a Chapter 14 hearing is pending or in progress.