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February 03, 2011

What a Vanderbilt Student needs to know if charged with a Student Conduct Violation or Violation of the Honor Code?

  1. Take it very seriously. Many students are consumed with their class schedule, exams, and writing assignments and fail to give these things the proper attention that they deserve. A student should consider that a violation could lead to suspension or even expulsion. Certainly they deserve as much attention as a mid-term exam.
  2. Tell your parents. I have found that many students are embarrassed by their conduct and too ashamed to tell their parents. In your early adult years, it may be hard to recognize this, but your parents have your best interest in mind. While they may at first be upset, they will want to help you avoid having a permanent mark on your personal or academic background and will try to help you as best they can. They will be informed of the result of your hearing so better to tell them while they can still help you.
  3. Prepare yourself for the hearing. You need to present all available evidence on your behalf and if you have a helpful character witness that can speak for you then you should make sure that such person can be at your hearing. If you fail to present evidence that may have been reasonably available at your hearing then you will likely not be able to present that in your appeal.
  4. Talk to an attorney or someone that will be very honest and objective with you. Your rights to appeal are limited. You need to have someone that can analyze the best way to present your case right the first time.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for a postponement of your hearing date. The worst thing that can happen is that they will deny this request. Whether it be time to make sure that an important character witness can appear at the hearing, extra time due to pending school assignments, or simply time to prepare and analyze how to present your case, a few extra days or week may make a difference in how well you present your case.