Residential Education Conduct Procedures
All issues pertaining to possible violations of the Residential Education Policies, as listed in the USC Housing contract, will be handled according to the procedures outlined. The following procedures represent the steps that may be employed to reach a resolution in cases of alleged misconduct by students or student organizations violating the policies outlined in the USC Housing and Hospitality Living Agreement. Questions concerning these procedures should be addressed to the Office for Residential Education and/or the Office of Student Judicial and Community Standards (SJACS). Please note that each case is handled individually and that some of the procedures outlined below may not be necessary in every case. In this section any references to “student” or “students” can also be understood to mean “student organization” or “student organizations,” when applicable.
- A “respondent” is defined as a student who is alleged to have violated the Residential Education policies and/or Community Standards.
- A “complainant” is defined as the individual responsible for submitting a written report alleging a student violated the Residential Education policies and/or Community Standards.
Proceedings conducted pursuant to the Residential Education Review process shall be informal, fair, and expeditious. The procedures of criminal and civil courts do not govern conduct proceedings. In these proceedings, formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable, nor shall deviations from prescribed procedures invalidate a proceeding or decision, unless significant prejudice to a student or to the university may result. In any hearing, the person (university or accusing party) bringing the complaint shall bear the burden of establishing the occurrence of a violation of the code by the standard that the violation was more likely than not to have occurred.
Student Rights in the Conduct Process
Students have the following rights in the residential conduct process:
- To have notice of the allegations before the meeting and to have the allegations explained clearly and fully at every level of the review.
- To attend a meeting with a Residential Education staff member.
- To review documentation concerning the allegations during the meeting.
- To refute information provided by witnesses.
- To be advised of the appeal process.
- At all steps of the initial review and in preparing an appeal, the accused student and complainant 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.
The following policies reflect the values of USC’s Office for Residential Education and were established to uphold our mission to foster the holistic development of members within the USC residential community. 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 any of the following 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 sections below.
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 this document.
Part of being a responsible student within USC Housing includes being aware of your surroundings. Housing and 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.
If you want to appeal a decision, you must file a written notice of appeal to Ko Kashiwazaki, the Assistant Director of Residential Community Standards. The appeal must be submitted within 3 business days from the date on your Outcome Letter. Ko Kashiwazaki’s office is located inside the Office for Residential Education (STU 200).
A decision may be appealed for the following two reasons: (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.
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.
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.