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Red Barn after renovation. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Writing a Statement (2023 Charter)

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A Responding Student (RS) can choose to write a statement that outlines their position in response to the concern. If the RS chooses to write  a statement to ask for withdrawal of the concern, the Conduct Advisor (CA) will submit the statement to the Reporting Party (RP) and provide the RS with the RP’s response. 

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To assist responding students in drafting a position statement, the Office of Community Standards offers suggestions below for what to address or include. It is important to keep in mind that each student's position statement will be unique to the specific concerns and their personal circumstances. 

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Key Points about Position Statements

  • The position statement is usually the RS’s first opportunity to respond to the concern.
  • If a case is charged and proceeds to a Hearing Panel, the panelists will receive the position statement along with the charge letter, concern and other evidence in advance of the hearing. 
  • If a case is charged and proceeds to a Hearing Panel, a detailed position statement helps the panelists focus their questions during the hearing. All materials submitted by either a RP or RS during the course of the investigation (the position statement and any supporting documents) generally should not exceed 30 pages total.
  • If a case is charged and proceeds to a Hearing Panel, the RP and RS will be required to verify that all written and oral materials used in the conduct process are their own original work.
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Suggestions for Position Statements

  • Address the issue(s) outlined in the RP's concern.
  • Provide a specific, detailed and factual account of what occurred (e.g., in an Honor Code concern, how the work was completed).
  • Include circumstances surrounding the event that are relevant to the facts and issues of the case.
  • If contesting the allegations, explain what is being contested. For example, if there is a disagreement with what the RP alleges happened, provide a different account. If there is agreement with the facts but disagreement that those facts constitute a violation of the Honor Code or Fundamental Standard, explain why their actions were not a violation of policy.
  • If not contesting the allegations, explain what has been learned from the process or what might be done differently in similar circumstances. 
  • Offer any extenuating factors that should be considered while the CI makes a decision about charging the case formally and/or a Hearing Panel makes its decision on a case that goes to a hearing.
  • Explain any aggravating factors present in the case.