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What Happens in the Conduct Process (2023 Charter)

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Here you can learn about the typical steps in the conduct process.

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Typical Steps in the Conduct Process

Concern Reported

The process begins when someone files a concern with the Office of Community Standards (OCS).

Responding Student Notified

Each matter is assigned a Conduct Advisor (CA). The CA contacts the student involved to share information about the concern and request that the student schedule appointments with the CA. 

Meeting with Conduct Advisor (CA)

Responding Student (RS) meets with the CA to learn about the process and their rights. 

Position Statement for Withdrawal 

The RS is also given the opportunity to provide a statement to the Reporting Party (RP) to request that the concern be withdrawn. The position statement may include their rationale for withdrawal and any additional information they would like to communicate to the RP. The position statement would be sent to the CA who will then provide the RS with a response from the RP. 

If the RP withdraws the concern, the case is closed. If the RP does not withdraw the concern, the Responding Student may accept responsibility for the violation or continue to contest and be assigned a Conduct Investigator (CI). 

Meeting with Conduct Investigator (CI)

A RS who wishes to contest the allegations against them will be assigned a CI to discuss the next steps in the investigation, including potential witnesses and the gathering of relevant evidence.

Charge Decision

Unless the concern is withdrawn by the RP or referred by the CI for a different resolution, the CI determines if there is sufficient evidence for charges to be filed. If there is sufficient evidence, a charge is filed. The RS can then choose to accept responsibility or have a hearing scheduled if contesting. The applicable standard of proof for a charging decision is dependent on the level of review. The standard of proof in a Mid-Level Review for bringing charges is clear and convincing evidence. The standard of proof in a High-Level Review for bringing charges is beyond a reasonable doubt.

Hearing Panel

A panel of three members (Mid-Level Review) or five members (High-Level Review) may 1) dismiss the case for insufficient evidence, 2) find that no violation occurred, or 3) find that a violation did occur. If the Panel finds that a violation did occur, they may also impose appropriate sanctions.

Sanction Review

The Dean of Students reviews the Hearing Panel’s sanction for general conformance with precedent and the Student Conduct Penalty Code.

Student Notified

The RS is notified of the outcome of the sanction review.

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Key Figures in the Judicial Process


Responding Student (RS)

A student about whom a concern has been submitted to the Office of Community Standards.

Reporting Party (RP)

An individual who has submitted a concern to the Office of Community Standards.

Conduct Advisor (CA)

OCS staff member who serves as a neutral party in the process; advises on conduct procedures to all involved parties.

Conduct Investigator (CI)

OCS staff member who thoroughly reviews all evidence to determine whether charges should be filed; presents evidence at Conduct Panel hearings.

Conduct Panelists

Trained Stanford students, faculty, and staff who serve on Hearing Panels and determine whether a violation occurred.If the Hearing Panel determines there has been a violation under the applicable standard of proof, the Hearing Panel also decides the sanctions.

Conduct Counselors (CC)

Trained volunteers who provide confidential assistance to participants at any point in the process. They are usually Stanford faculty or staff.

Support Person/Advisor

An individual that any party (i.e., RP, RS, witness) chooses to have accompany them throughout the conduct process. May not speak on the behalf of the involved party. 


Individuals with information relevant to the facts and issues of the case.