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Respondents Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A respondent is an individual about whom an incident or complaint has been brought forth. Not you? [Home]

Conduct Language Guide

Complaintant: the individual(s) or organization which brought forward the alleged charge. The University may also act as the complainant.
Respondent: the individual(s) or organization that is facing charges for allegedly violating the Student Conduct Code.
Charge: a portion of the Student Conduct Code allegedly violated.
Hearing: an educational conversation about an incident or complaint.
Sanction: the outcome of a determination of responsibility.



The student conduct process is comprised of the following three levels:

  • Informal Hearing - Level I
  • Formal Hearing - Level II
  • Appeals Process - Level III
  • Sexual Assault & Harassment

During the administrative meeting, the incident report and the rights and responsibilities of the respondent are reviewed. Questions regarding the conduct process are answered. A respondent may then:

  1. Accept responsibility and request the hearing officer take appropriate action.
  2. Accept responsibility and request a hearing panel to determine appropriate sanction(s).
  3. Not accept responsibility and request a hearing panel to determine responsibility and, if necessary, appropriate sanction(s).

NOTE:  Failure to attend an administrative meeting may result in (1) a hold being placed on the respondent’s account, and/or (2) a decision rendered in the respondent's absence.

The Student Hearing Panel (SHP) is the formal hearing body at UMD.  SHP assists in implementing the Board of Regents Student Conduct Code and University Policy.  SHP is comprised of trained students, staff, and faculty.  Members are appointed by OSC.  This is done through referrals and selection with appointments made for a semester or longer, as well as ad-hoc.  The hearing panel is chosen for each hearing based on its availability in scheduling.  The chairperson may be a student, staff, or faculty.  The Director for the Office of Student Conduct, or designee, serves as advisor to SHP in order to provide procedural clarity and direction, but is not a voting member in the deliberations. 

If a student requests a hearing, the case will be referred to SHP.  The accused student has the right to:

  • Hear all information against him/her;
  • Present his/her own response, including calling witnesses;
  • Be accompanied by an advisor in a non-participatory role;
  • Question participants and information presented;
  • Receive written notice of the hearing committee’s decision;
  • Appeal if responsibility is determined and if there are grounds for an appeal. 

A notice of hearing will be provided to the complainant and respondent at least 5 class days in advance of the hearing.  The hearing is closed.  Parties may have one support person present but the support person cannot actively participate in the hearing process.    

In order to acquire the best information upon which to base decisions, it is important that both the respondent and the complainant be present for and fully participate in the hearing.  The respondent may choose not to appear at the hearing, but the hearing will be held in the respondent’s absence.  In contrast, should the complainant fail to appear at the hearing, the hearing body may postpone or dismiss the case.

The respondent is expected to provide the hearing panel with the following at least 24 hours prior to the hearing:  the names of witnesses, if any, and the respondent’s intentions relative to appearing at the hearing.

If the respondent admits to violations, the panel determines appropriate sanctions.  If the respondent does not admit to violations, the panel determines a finding of not responsible or responsible with appropriate sanctions.  The Student Hearing Panel has autonomy in their decisions, through suspension.  Expulsions must be made in the form of recommendations to the Vice Chancellor for Student Life & Dean of Students.

For more information, visit the Student Hearing Panel page.

After a decision is made by the hearing officer or Student Hearing Panel, the respondent has the right to file an appeal. In cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment, both the complainant and respondent have the right to an appeal. The Student Appeals Panel (SAP) is responsible for making a deliberative judgment regarding the specific grounds appealed - not to rehear the complaint. The hearing panel may uphold, reduce, or increase the sanctions imposed by the prior hearing party.

  1. Appeals must be made in writing within 5 class days of the date of the hearing outcome letter. Appeal Petition. Appeals may be based on the following grounds:
    • New information became available that was not known at the time of the hearing;
    • Applicable procedures for the hearing were not followed, or;
    • The sanction assigned was inconsistent with current sanctioning.
  2. Once an appeal has been received by OSC, the Student Appeals Panel (SAP) will convene to review the case.  SAP, as designated by the Chancellor, is the only appeal review entity to review appeals on campus. The role of SAP is to deliberate judgment regarding the specific grounds appealed and not to rehear the complaint. The panel may uphold, reduce or increase sanctions imposed by the prior hearing party or remand the case to be heard by a new hearing body. SAP has autonomy through suspension, with expulsions made in the form of a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Student Life.
  3. Membership of SAP is comprised of students, faculty and staff per the regulations defined by the UMD Campus Assembly.

University of Minnesota Policy Statement

As a University and as a community we strive to assure the safety and to respect the dignity of each student, staff, and faculty member. Sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking are prohibited at the University of Minnesota. Sexual assault and relationship violence, including threats of sexual assault and related relationship violence, are attacks not only on a person’s body, but also on the person’s dignity, and are not tolerated. To foster a community free from sexual assault and relationship violence, the University provides reporting options for responding, including the police department; victim/survivor assistance; internal mechanisms for discipline and dispute resolution; prevention training; and other related services.

Sexual assault is a violation of the University of Minnesota Student Conduct Code, Section VI., Subdivision 8 (Sexual Assault). An allegation of sexual assault is a serious violation. Should the complainant choose to file a report (whether or not he/she presses criminal charges), an investigation will be conducted by the UMD Title IX Investigator, University police, or local law enforcement. The University can pursue disciplinary action, even if criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute.

The Office of Student Conduct is responsible for investigating charges against students.  The staff will send the respondent a charge letter requesting to schedule a meeting within one week. The respondent will be treated fairly and given an opportunity to state his/her side of the story.  If found to be responsible, sanctions can be as serious as a suspension or a permanent expulsion from the University of Minnesota. The Office of Student Conduct assures that all parties be granted and receive full due-process rights. For more information, contact the Office of Student Conduct at (218) 726-7255.

Sexual Assault Resources

UWide Sexual Assault Policy

UWide Sexual Assault Procedure

The Complainant
The rights of the complainant include, but are not limited to:

  • have your incident taken seriously and to be treated with dignity
  • be assured that you are not responsible for the crime against you
  • have an advocate or support person with you during all meetings or hearings
  • receive referrals for confidential medical and counseling services
  • receive information on victim/survivor advocate support
  • be notified of options for changing academic and living situations
  • be informed of options to notify University and/or law enforcement officials
  • have your report investigated and responded to in a timely manner
  • receive information on how the reporting and investigation will proceed
  • not be coerced into filing a formal police report
  • be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding against the respondent

The Respondent
The rights of the respondent include, but are not limited to:

  • receive timely notice of the charges
  • have an opportunity to tell his/her side of the story
  • be treated fairly and with respect
  • have an advocate or support person with him/her during all meetings or hearings
  • know the name of the complainant – but, you do not have the right to confront your accuser by any means (e.g., in person, phone, text messaging, e-mail, etc.)
  • receive information on how the reporting and investigation will proceed
  • be informed in writing that you may reject the sanction imposed by the hearing party and request a formal hearing
  • receive referral for counseling

Outcome of charges

In cases that involve policy violation(s) in which the outcome is subject to disclosure under The Clery Act (1990, as amended) or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Office of Student Conduct shall notify the Respondent or Complainant (in cases of Sexual Misconduct) of the outcome of the proceedings.

Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Appeals

In sexual assault and sexual harassment cases both the respondent and the complainant have the right to appeal.

Student Rights

Students accused of violating the Student Conduct Code have the right to:

  • Notification of alleged violations and the information that supports the charge;
  • An opportunity to be heard in a fundamentally fair hearing, and;
  • An appeal.

This reflects the University's dedication to both substantive and procedural due process.


A sanction is the outcome of a determination of responsibility. In most cases, two sanctions are issued. First, a status-based sanction is decided upon. This could include a warning, probation, suspension, expulsion, or others. Then, an educational sanction is imposed. Educational sanctions are unique to each case and attempt to best suit each individual's needs. Read more...

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Last modified on 01/25/14 02:30 PM
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