Frequently Asked Questions


What is the student conduct process?

The process by which individuals and/or recognized student organizations discuss with university officials alleged violations of university policies in a structured manner. The process is designed to be an educational experience not an adversarial one.

Is there a way to resolve an incident without the formal student conduct process?

Yes, it is possible to resolve a dispute with another student through mediation, as opposed to going through a conduct board process. Alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct requires the use of the formal conduct process. It may not be necessary to go all the way through the process and have a full conduct hearing. It is possible to resolve conduct violations with a one-on-one meeting between a student conduct administrator and a student.

What happens if I miss my preliminary conference or conduct board hearing?

We notify students electronically about preliminary conferences and hearings. It is the responsibility of each student to check his or her student email address. As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct if you miss a preliminary conference or student conduct hearing, the process will continue in your absence. When a cellular telephone number is available, Student Conduct sends a text message to a student once an email has been sent to the student.


What can I appeal?

You may appeal the decision of the board (finding of responsibility) and/or the sanctions imposed by a hearing officer or conduct board.

To whom must I appeal?

For cases heard by the Student Conduct Hearing Board or Organizational Conduct Hearing Board, letters of appeal should be submitted to the Dean of Students office, via the online form.

Cases resolved from a Housing Conduct Administrator should be appealed to the Senior Director of Housing and Residential Services, using the appeal request form.

How long do I have to appeal?

You have five (5) business days from the date of receipt of the decision letter. The date of receipt is defined as the date on which the notification letter was delivered to your physical mailbox or to your student email.


Who determines sanctions?

Recommendations are initially determined by the student conduct administrator.

If a student accepts responsibility, the recommended sanctions then go into effect as indicated. If the student doesn't accept responsibility or the sanctions, then a Student Conduct Board will make a determination regarding the sanctions imposed.

What are the standard sanctions?

Sanctions are determined based on the facts of the particular case and if a student or recognized student organization has any prior conduct history.

What are deferred sanctions?

Deferred sanctions are not immediately applied to the student. Deferred sanctions become the recommended sanctions if a student admits responsibility for or is found responsible for another violation.


How am I notified?

In most cases notification is made electronically to your student email (Z-ID email). Only in rare instances will you be notified via U.S. Mail. It is your responsibility to check your Z-ID email.


What is the purpose of Student Conduct?

Student Conduct coordinates the university student conduct system, which provides an opportunity to confront and resolve academic, residential, student conduct and disciplinary conflicts.

If I am called into the office am I in trouble?

No, not necessarily. Students are contacted by our office for a variety of reasons. You may be a witness to an incident. Your name may have come up during the course of our investigations. You may be the one reporting the alleged violation. However if you are contacted by our office, it is your responsibility to respond to the communication.

Can I bring a lawyer?

Under our Student Code of Conduct, lawyers are not allowed to participate in the Student Conduct process. You may have an attorney serve as your advisor, but the role of the advisor is to confer with you, as the advisee. The advisor is not allowed to speak on your behalf. Questions from lawyers should be directed to the Office of General Counsel at 815-753-1774.

Who may I have as an advisor?

Any student who is involved in the conduct process may have an advisor. The advisor may or may not be related to the institution. Student Conduct maintains a list of trained advisors.

What is the difference between state law and the Student Code of Conduct?

State law is a legal requirement passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by the Illinois governor. The Student Code of Conduct is a governing document of Northern Illinois University. The code outlines the policies all students are expected to abide by. Additionally, it outlines the process by which students and Recognized Student Organizations are entitled to when a complaint is filed against them alleging a violation.

What is the burden of proof in a student conduct hearing?

The burden of proof in a student conduct hearing is called preponderance of the evidence. This means that based on all of the evidence, it is more likely than not, that the student or Recognized Student Organization committed the alleged violation. This is a lower standard of evidence than in a criminal trial.


Illegal File Sharing

What is illegal file sharing?

Illegal file sharing is the unauthorized transmission (uploading or downloading) of any copyrighted material without the permission of the author.

What happens in illegal file sharing cases?

In all copyright infringement cases you are notified electronically by DoIT. For first time copyright infringement cases you will meet with a computer abuse investigator in DoIT. For subsequent copyright infringement cases you will initially be contacted by DoIT and subsequently contacted by Student Conduct.

For more information please view the DoIT acceptable usage policy and/or contact DoIT at 815-753-8100.

Contact Us

Student Conduct
Peters Campus Life Building 280
815-753-9289 (Fax)

Office Hours

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.