Community Standards

Conduct Process

To insure the rights of both individual students and the community at large, Hofstra has developed a conduct process to address behaviors that violate the University's stated standards.


1. Complaint

Any member of the University community may initiate a complaint against a student who is believed to have violated a community standard or University policy, as soon as possible after the incident takes place, by filing a report with the Department of Public Safety or Office of Residence Life. Please refer to the Student Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct for complaints regarding violations of that policy. You may contact the Dean of Students Office for any assistance you need with filing a complaint. If there are grounds for disciplinary action, the student will be issued a charge letter or a directive requiring the student to schedule an informational meeting with a designee from the Office of Community Standards. Failure to schedule an appointment within the designated time period and/or keep a scheduled appointment will be deemed failure to comply and will carry a $100 fine, and the student will waive the opportunity for a hearing. In such cases, a decision will be made based upon the information received.

Students are responsible for following all directives outlined in the Student Conduct Process. Failing or refusing to sign the referral does not absolve the student of the responsibility for following all directives outlined. For documented emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances, a student may request one (1) postponement of the student's appointment time, provided that the Office of Community Standards is notified at least one (1) business day in advance of the scheduled meeting.

Note: The University may pursue disciplinary action against a student for violation of this code at the same time the student is facing criminal charges for the same offense, even if the criminal prosecution is pending or has been dismissed, or the charges have been reduced.

Student Organizations

Student groups and organizations may be charged with violating the Code of Community Standards. A student group or organization and its officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when violations occur. Sanctions for group or organization misconduct may include revocation or denial of registration or recognition, in addition to all appropriate sanctions provided herein. Student groups and organizations have the same rights and may appeal sanctions as described in this code for individuals. For more information, please refer to specific policies and constitutions governing student organizations and fraternity and sorority affairs.

2. Informational Meeting

During the informational meeting the student will meet with a staff member to discuss the alleged policy violation charge. Students will receive a formal notification of the charges and an outline of various resolution options as well as the student's procedural rights. The student will be encouraged to discuss and review information contained in the student's conduct file, and the allegation(s) being brought against the student. Students will answer and may ask questions regarding the allegation(s) as well as the student conduct process.

Resolution Options

During the informational meeting, the student charged will have the right to choose from the following options:

A. Accept responsibility for their actions and verify that the allegation(s) issued are correct. If this option is chosen, or if no option is selected at the conclusion of the meeting, a conduct officer will be assigned to determine the appropriate sanction, and the student will automatically waive their rights associated with a hearing (see "Rights of a Student Charged" listed below).

B. Deny responsibility for the allegation(s) and request that an Administrative Hearing Board be convened to review the case.

C. Deny responsibility for the allegation(s) and request that a Student Hearing Board be convened to review the case. (This option may be selected only during the academic year when the Student Hearing Board is in session.)

Note: The Office of Community Standards reserves the right to assign cases directly to the Administrative Hearing Board.

3. Rights of a Student Charged

If an Administrative or Student Hearing Board is convened, a student charged with a violation has the following rights:

A. The student shall be informed by the Office of Community Standards, in writing, of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The student shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time (approximately five (5) calendar days) to prepare a statement and secure supporting information. The student may choose to waive the five (5) days of preparation in order to expedite the hearing process.

B. The student charged with a policy violation shall have the right to speak on their own behalf, to present witnesses, to challenge the evidence, and to question both the accuser and the witnesses if either/both appear. If not, the student charged may challenge any written statements that were submitted. A student may, upon request, receive a written list of all witnesses mandated to attend the hearing. The student charged may call upon witnesses to speak on the student's behalf. A written list of these witnesses or any signed witness statements must be submitted to the Office of Community Standards for final approval at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing. It is the student's responsibility to notify their witnesses of the time, date, and place to appear.

C. The student charged may review evidence, documents, and reports pertaining to the incident prior to the hearing, by making an appointment with an authorized, designated University official from the Dean of Students Office. Should the student charged have any additional evidence in the form of pictures, documents or other written materials that they would like to present as evidence, the student must submit these materials to the Office of Community Standards for approval at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing. Approval of any additional materials provided by the student charged is at the sole discretion of the University.

D. The student charged may elect not to appear at the hearing. Absence shall be noted without prejudice, the hearing will be conducted in the student's absence, and a decision will be rendered.

E. The student charged has the right to request the removal of a member of the board for a conflict of interest.

F. The student must be prepared to substantiate this contention. Removal of a member of the board may be granted or denied based on the University's determination as to whether or not there is just cause.

G. The student shall have the right to seek an advisor of their choice, who may help the student prepare for the hearing, but may not speak on behalf of the student. Written notification of an advisor and an executed ADVISOR FORM must be submitted to the Office of Community Standards at least one (1) business day prior to the hearing. Advisor substitutions may be made after this point, but only if a previously submitted ADVISOR FORM is on file.

H. The student shall be entitled to one (1) adjournment with just cause, as long as the request is made at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing. The Office of Community Standards will determine if an adjournment is warranted. Adjournments cannot be made to accommodate the schedule of an advisor or other student witnesses. Any additional adjournments may be granted or denied at the University's discretion.

I. Where more than one student has been charged in the same alleged incident, the University maintains the right to conduct a group Administrative Board hearing or group Student Conduct Board hearing, when it deems it to be appropriate. In the event of a group hearing, each individual charged will have the opportunity to separately present an opening and closing statement to the board, and the responsibility of each individual charged in the incident will be determined separately.

4. Rights of the Complainant

The complainant in all cases adjudicated under this Student Conduct Process is Hofstra University, and any accusing student shall not have the right to question the defending student or the right to be present at the hearing when not directly testifying. Accusing students generally do not have access to the outcome of the proceedings, except that, in accordance with FERPA, when a student is alleged to have committed a crime of violence or non-forcible sexual offense, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding regarding that crime or offense will be disclosed to the alleged victim upon written request.

Note: The rights of the complainant in proceedings under the Student Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct are governed by that policy.

5. Hearing Process for Administrative and Student Hearings

A) The usual format of a hearing is as follows:

1. Cases are introduced, allegation(s) read, and the appropriate oaths issued by the chairperson or designated representative of the Administrative or Student Hearing Board.

2. Opening statement by the student charged.

3. Questions for the student charged from members of the board.

4. Statement(s)/report(s) from witness(es) on behalf of the University.

5. Questions for University witness(es) from members of the board.

6. Questions for University witness(es) from student charged.

7. Statement(s) from witnesses on behalf of the charged student. (No character witnesses are allowed. The acceptance and validity of witnesses and written statements are to be determined by the hearing officer. The University reserves the right to call appropriate University members to serve as witnesses and/or to offer relevant testimony to the case.)

8. Questions for student's witness(es) from members of the board.

9. Questions for student's witness(es) from student charged.

10. Final questions for the student charged from members of the board.

11. Closing statement from the student charged.

Note: During the hearing, statement reports are provided verbally. If a witness or charged student is absent, written statements pre-approved by the Office of Community Standards will be entered into the record by the hearing officer.

B) Responsibility is established based on a preponderance of evidence (i.e., it is more likely than not that the student charged was responsible). Only evidence presented at the hearing shall be considered.

C) Hearing boards are empowered to determine responsibility for an incident. The Dean of Students or designee will review outcomes of the hearing board and apply the appropriate sanction(s).

D) Final sanctions determined by the Dean of Students or designee will take into consideration the student's prior disciplinary involvement/sanctions as well as the severity of the current violation.

E) The Office of Community Standards shall communicate to the student, in writing via the student's Hofstra Pride email account, the decision and appropriate sanction(s). It is the student's responsibility to electronically retrieve the written notification of the details pertaining to the hearing from the Office of Community Standards.

F) Once a student receives the decision letter, the student may choose to appeal the decision pursuant to the section of this code titled "Appeal Procedures for Student Conduct Proceedings."