Residential Review Process & Policies

2019-2020 USC Housing and Hospitality Services Contract & Living Agreement

 

Residential Education Conduct Procedures

Residential Education Review will address violations of behavioral standards or policies outlined in the Housing & Hospitality Services Contract & Living Agreement. Residential Education Review will be conducted by a Residential Education staff member and is a process which utilizes procedures in lieu of the procedures contained in the USC Student Handbook (SCAMPUS.)

The Residential Education Review process should be informal, fair, and expeditious. The procedures of criminal and civil courts do not govern Residential Education Review proceedings and formal rules of evidence are not applicable. Deviations from prescribed procedures will not invalidate a proceeding or decision, unless significant prejudice to a student or to the university may occur.

The Residential Education Review process uses the preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) standard when determining whether or not a student is responsible for a policy violation.

Questions concerning the process should be addressed to the Office for Residential Education and/or the Office of Student Judicial and Community Standards (SJACS). Please note that each situation is handled individually and that some of the procedures outlined below may not be necessary in every case.


Residential Education Review Process

  1. The Office for Residential Education receives information regarding an alleged violation of policy.
  2. The Residential Education Review process begins with an email sent by a Residential  Education staff member. This email contains information about the alleged policy violation and a request is made for the student to call and make an appointment with the staff member within 3 business days from the date of the letter.
  3. The student schedules a meeting with the Residential Education staff member to discuss the alleged policy violation.
  4. After meeting with the student, the Residential Education staff member makes a decision based on the conversation with the student and based on the information that was included in the incident report.
  5. The outcome of the meeting is emailed to the student. This email may include instructions on how to complete any sanctions.
  6. The decision may be appealed within 3 business days from the date on the outcome letter.

Student Rights in the Conduct Process

Students have the following rights in the Residential Education Review process:

  1. To have notice of the allegations before the meeting and to have the allegations explained clearly and fully.
  2. To attend a meeting with a Residential Education staff member.
  3. To review documentation concerning the allegations during the meeting.
  4. To refute information provided by witnesses.
  5. To be advised of the appeal process.
  6. At all steps of the initial review and in preparing an appeal, the student may have an adviser of their choice present. The adviser may be a practicing attorney only for cases in which criminal charges are pending or the recommended sanctions include expulsion, suspension, revocation of degree or revocation of admission. Advisers must request and review a copy of guidelines for their role in the respective review process from the Office of Residential Education prior to the meeting in question. In all reviews, whether or not an adviser is present, the primary conversation shall be with the student.

Community Accountability
Policies found in the Housing & Hospitality Services Contract & Living Agreement reflect the values of USC’s Office for Residential Education. These policies were established to uphold our mission to foster the holistic development of residential community members.

As a member of the USC Housing community it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these policies and to abide by them. Violation of policies jeopardizes your housing contract, violates the University Student Conduct Code 11.50A, and may result in University sanctions or legal prosecution.  These policies apply to all USC Housing students and their guests when they are in any of the USC Housing and/or Residential Dining facilities and are also enforceable while participating in USC Housing and Residential Education sponsored activities on or off campus. Please consult USC Housing or the Office for Residential Education should you have any questions regarding the policies outlined in the Housing & Hospitality Services Contract & Living Agreement.

Your rights as a resident include:

  • The right to read and study in your room free from undue interference.
  • The right to expect that your roommate(s) and other residents will respect your personal belongings.
  • The right to be free from intimidation, physical, and emotional harm.

Your responsibilities as a resident include:

  • Demonstrating respect for all members of the community and yourself.
  • Examining your own behavior when confronted by another and to work toward resolving conflicts amiably.
  • Compliance with the policies outlined in the Housing & Hospitality Services Contract & Living Agreement.

Complicity
Part of being a responsible student within USC Housing includes being aware of your surroundings. USC Housing and the Office for Residential Education expects students who anticipate or observe a violation of policy to remove themselves from the situation; failure to do so may result in being charged for the policy violations being observed.


Appeals

If you would like to appeal a decision, you must file a written notice of appeal to the Assistant Director of Residential Community Standards. The appeal must be submitted to the Office for Residential Education (STU200) within 3 business days from the date on your Outcome Letter.

A decision may be appealed for the following two reasons only: (1) New evidence has become available which is sufficient to alter the decision and which the appellant was not aware of or could not have reasonably obtained at the time of the original hearing. (2) The sanction imposed is excessive or inappropriate.

Your appeal letter must state supporting arguments for the grounds cited above.  Supporting documentation and any other relevant information may be submitted along with your letter.


Access to Records
If the student wishes to review the report cited in the written notification, the student must make a written request to do so 24 hours in advance of the day you wish to review the report. Written requests may be submitted by email to the hearing officer.


Confidentiality

The Office for Residential Education is committed to respecting the right to privacy of each student involved in our student conduct process. In general, all students have the right to personally review their own records for information and determine the accuracy of these records. If a student wants to assign those rights, there is a record waiver form available in our Office.

Except in very limited cases, the contents of your student conduct record are kept separate from your academic records. Please reference the following two sections and SCampus for more information.

Confidentiality Waiver

Guidelines for Student’s Advisor


FERPA Information

The University of Southern California maintains the privacy of student education records and allows students the right to inspect their education records consistent with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

It is the University’s intention and practice that the following policy and procedures observe students’ privileges and obligations as independent, responsible, adult members of the University community to the fullest degree possible allowable within the requirements of FERPA.