Student conduct process – attorney FAQs

Students going through the student conduct process at Western may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice and at their own expense. A student alleged to have violated the Student Conduct Code, known as the Respondent, should select as an advisor a person who is not involved in the same complaint and whose schedule allows attendance at the date and time for the scheduled meeting or hearing. The scheduling conflicts of an advisor are not considered good cause for delay.  

In an effort to educate and prepare advisors we have compiled some information regarding our process. Please keep in mind that Western’s student conduct process is very different from the civil or criminal court process. The student conduct process at Western is designed to be a learning process that promotes an understanding of students’ responsibilities as members of the university community. The objectives of the student conduct system, as set forth in this code, are twofold: to ensure that students act in a manner consistent with high standards of behavior, and to maintain the safety and well-being of all members of the university community. 

The student conduct process at Western is codified in Washington Administrative Code and is an administrative process that is independent of the criminal justice system. As such, the student conduct process at Western uses the preponderance of the evidence standard, known as “more likely than not” when determining whether a violation of the student conduct code has occurred.   

For information on the Student Conduct Code and the student conduct process at Western please see the general process and general FAQ pages from the drop-down menu above.  

Below we have compiled some common questions advisors have regarding the student conduct process and their role as an advisor.   

Yes, a student may by accompanied through the student conduct process by an advisor of their choice and at their own expense.  

An Advisor’s role in the student conduct process is one of support to the student. Within the student conduct meeting, a student may seek support or advice from their Advisor. As an Advisor you are not an active participant in the conversation with the conduct officer, but there to support the student.  

The Office of Student Life is available to discuss general questions about the student conduct process, however, in compliance with FERPA and University Policy staff will not discuss the particulars of any case with an attorney. If a student has questions about their case they should contact the conduct officer directly.  

Proceedings under the code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously, or following civil or criminal proceedings in the courts. Since the standard of proof under the code (preponderance of the evidence) differs from the of criminal law, decisions made through the student conduct process are not subject to challenge on the grounds that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced by a court of law.