SAO’s Conduct Division provides assistance to students accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct for actions including, but not limited to: academic misconduct (cheating), drug & alcohol violations, theft, sexual harassment & sexual violence, and residential hall disputes.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further assistance. Our Division contact information is available at the bottom of the page.
For allegations of sexual harassment or assault, see below.
Faculty Disposition Form
If you are facing an allegation of academic misconduct, you will sometimes be asked to sign a Faculty Disposition Form by your professor. Signing this form indicates that you accept responsibility for the alleged misconduct. If you do not feel comfortable signing it, you do not have to. In either scenario, your case will be reported to the CSC. For more information regarding Faculty Disposition Forms, visit this page and see the answers to these frequently asked questions.
Alleged Violation Letter
The CSC is an administrative body that investigates misconduct claims reported to them by any member of the University community. When an investigation is officially opened, the CSC will send you an Alleged Violation Letter (AVL). This letter explains what you have been accused of with respect to the Student Code of Conduct, including the enumerated sections that you have allegedly violated.
An AVL also includes a proposed resolution plan, which details possible sanctions that could result from the CSC investigation. You can then sign the Case Resolution Preference Form, indicating whether you would like to accept the proposed sanctions, request an informal meeting with a CSC administrator, or request a formal hearing.
One administrator from the CSC, called a Conduct Coordinator, will investigate the entirety of your Conduct case. You have the option to meet with your Conduct Coordinator to explain your side of the story and clarify any misunderstandings. Approximately 5 to 7 business days after this informal meeting, a Conduct Coordinator should follow up with an outcome, which can then be either accepted (thereby completing the Conduct process and accepting all attached sanctions) or contested through a formal hearing.
The majority of Conduct cases are resolved through informal meetings. A caseworker from the Conduct Division can prepare you for and accompany you to the informal meeting, where they may not speak on your behalf, but can serve as support and offer advice.
Our office has also put together the following Informal Meeting Preparation Packet, to help you prepare for your informal. For more individualized assistance, we still recommend working with a caseworker one-on-one by opening a case.
If you would like to contest the outcome offered after the informal meeting, or if you would like to bypass the informal process altogether, you can request a formal hearing. You can choose to have this hearing in front of a panel (usually comprised of two faculty members and one student) or the Independent Hearing Officer (IHO). These hearings are designed to uncover facts and come to a finding based on a preponderance of evidence standard––essentially, deciding what was more likely than not to have occurred.
A Conduct caseworker can help you prepare for the formal hearing, which entails assembling an evidence packet to be presented. While a caseworker may not participate in the proceedings or speak on your behalf, one can provide advice and support during the hearing.
If the hearing panel or IHO comes to a ruling that you would like to contest, you may appeal the decision to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. Appeals can be made on the basis of: a) procedural errors that occurred during the judicial process, and/or b) new and compelling evidence.
Please visit our Academic Misconduct page and/or the Center for Student Conduct’s Academic Misconduct Resource Sheet for information about what happens when a professor/GSI suspects academic misconduct, the Center for Student Conduct process, possible sanctions, and timelines.
When faced with allegations of sexual violence or sexual harassment (SVSH), you will encounter a separate investigation process conducted by the Office of Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD).
Notice of Allegations
Once an investigation is opened regarding alleged violations of sexual misconduct, you will receive a Notice of Allegations from the OPHD and Center for Student Conduct (CSC) detailing the sections of SVSH policy and the Code of Conduct that you are accused of violating. You will then be contacted by the Title IX officer investigating your case to meet for an interview.
Your Title IX officer will investigate your case for 60 business days, which may be extended depending upon OPHD resources and availability when scheduling interviews. During the investigation period, you may meet with your Title IX officer as many times as you wish to adequately express your side of the story. You may also submit a list of witnesses for the investigator to interview, as well as questions you would like them to be asked. The selection of these witnesses and questions is subject to the investigator’s discretion as to what is relevant.
You have the right to bring one advisor and/or one support person to OPHD meetings. A Conduct caseworker can fill either capacity, depending on which other person you would like to be present, if you desire one.
Once your Title IX officer has compiled all the evidence for the investigation, they will send you an Evidence Summary, including summaries of all the interviews and other relevant documents gathered. At this point, you have the opportunity to comment on the summary if you find any of the evidence itself to be mischaracterized or inaccurate.
A Conduct caseworker can assist you in sorting through the evidence and crafting your response.
Notice of Findings and Recommendations
The OPHD’s portion of the investigation is concluded with a Notice of Findings and Recommendations. This provides the investigator’s insight into a finding of responsibility, which will then be used by the CSC in determining sanctions.
At this point, you may not submit any new evidence into the investigation, but you have the opportunity to respond to the investigation report and recommendation in either a written statement or a meeting with the CSC, which will be weighed as a Conduct Coordinator comes to a decision on the outcome.
A Conduct caseworker can assist you in drafting this response, preparing for a meeting, or attending a meeting with you to ensure your response to the investigation is taken into account.
Center for Student Conduct Outcome
Within 15 business days of the Notice of Findings and Allegations, the CSC will decide on whether you are found responsible or not. If there is a finding of responsibility, there will be sanctions attached to this outcome.
If the sanctions include either suspension or dismissal, a formal hearing will automatically follow unless you expressly opt out.
The Student Code of Conduct explains in comprehensive detail the current actions considered conduct violations on campus. You can find the complete Student Code of Conduct here.
To get access to all documents the Center for Student Conduct (CSC) has on file for you, submit a Records Release Authorization form. You will be sent your entire conduct file within several business days.
The Center for Student Conduct, or CSC, is responsible for investigating student cases and determining appropriate punishments, and prosecuting cases that go to a formal hearing. The CSC:
- Consists of three officers that investigate campus related offenses, and one officer that deals solely with violations in the Residence Halls.
- Works in cooperation with local police departments (UCPD and Berkeley PD), and it also relies on other campus offices, such as Greek Affairs, Residential and Family Living, and various faculty members to report disciplinary violations to CSC.
- Is usually made aware of potential academic-related violations by a GSI or professor, and non-academic violations are generally reported by students, UCPD, or university officials.
It is important to know that anyone, regardless of status, may report alleged violations to CSC. The Center for Student Conduct can be found at 205 Sproul Hall. You can also find their website here.
The above information is meant to be a brief guide to some of UC Berkeley’s undergraduate conduct processes. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more in-depth support or for cases that relate to academics beyond the processes listed here.