Student Conduct Code - Section 4. Communication and Reporting

4.1 Communication

The University’s relationship is with the student and the conduct process is designed with the purpose of being an educational process that promotes the student assuming responsibility for the management of their own affairs. Having anyone else take on this role detracts from the learning opportunity for the student. University staff will only interact with the student and, in some cases, their parent/guardian to the degree that is appropriate and permissible under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Legal counsel cannot represent a student in a conduct matter at the University and are not eligible to be present for students’ conduct meetings.

The University’s primary form of communication will be through the official student assigned email account (Dons E-mail). At the University’s discretion, students may receive communication through the information provided in the student’s account (U.S. Mail, hand delivery, etc.). Students should assume responsibility for updating their account information regularly. Students should also assume responsibility and are held accountable for retrieving communication from the University. Failure to do so is not an acceptable excuse for delaying conduct processes.

For details of the student email policy, see the Electronic Communications Policy.  

4.2 Reporting

Anyone may seek resolution of violations of the Code committed against them by members of the USF community. Student information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); therefore, the university may not be able to communicate outcomes to reporting parties who are not victims of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense or who do not have an educational need to know, except to confirm receipt of the report.

The university may report relevant outcomes to victims of misconduct when such outcomes have a direct impact on the victim. The university may reach out via phone to reporting parties and/or victims to gather additional information. All official OSCRR communications will be in writing, and almost always via email.

To increase safety, security, and accountability and to preserve the educational environment, the university encourages community members to report known instances of alleged misconduct, as outlined in Section 5, to OSCRR. There is no set or defined time limit on reporting violations of the Code; however, the longer someone waits to report an incident, the harder it becomes for university officials to obtain information and witness accounts and to make determinations regarding alleged violations.

The university will accept complaints from parties who do not wish to be identified; however, in order to provide full due process to a respondent, the university may be limited in its ability to investigate and respond to such a complaint. OSCRR is also willing to consult with individuals or groups that have witnessed or otherwise been impacted by disruptive or concerning behavior to provide applicable resources and help identify which pathways for resolution are most appropriate.