Student and Recognized Student Organization Rights
The information on this page provides a partial list of the rights of individual students and recognized student organizations. For the full list of rights, please see the NIU Student Code of Conduct.
- An accused student or recognized student organization is entitled to be notified of an alleged Student Code of Conduct violation as soon as reasonably possible.
- In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, a student may inspect and review their student conduct file upon request to Student Conduct. The process and appropriate forms are available on the Student Conduct website.
- An advisor may accompany any involved party of an incident at any time during the student conduct process. The purpose of an advisor is to assist a student in preparing for the student conduct process. Any person may serve as an advisor. The advisor need not be affiliated with the Northern Illinois University community. If any involved party elects to have an advisor, it is highly recommended that the party choose an advisor trained by Student Conduct. Student Conduct maintains a list of advisors who received training in the Northern Illinois University student conduct system. Advisors are not required to attend or participate in hearings. During a hearing, advisors will only be allowed to confer with their advisees. The advisor may not directly participate in the student conduct process on behalf of any party or as a spokesperson or advocate. A person who is involved in a particular incident, may not serve as an advisor nor observer to another involved party in the same incident.
- The accused student and the recognized student organization have the right to meet with a Student Conduct Administrator about their incident and be informed of the entire student conduct process.
- A Student Conduct Administrator will not coerce the accused student or recognized student organization into accepting either responsibility for an alleged violation of University policy or a recommended sanction.
- The accused student or recognized student organization has the right to be informed of the identity of known witnesses to the incident, as permitted by FERPA, and to examine all documents, statements, or other evidence that will be presented at the hearing, if this information is known to the Student Conduct Administrator. The identity of confidential witnesses may be redacted as required by law or as deemed appropriate by the Hearing Officer or Conduct Board Chair. The University may act as complainant for incidents including, but not limited to, those in which a complainant or victim wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.
- All parties are entitled to a fair and impartial hearing. The accused student or recognized student organization is presumed “not responsible” until proven “responsible.” The burden of proof rests with the complainant, and the standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. This means that, based on all the evidence and testimony presented in the case, it is determined that, more likely than not (50.1% of the information presented), the accused student or recognized student organization committed the alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- In any administrative hearing or Conduct Board hearing, the accused student, recognized student organization, complainant, or victim/survivor shall have the right to present their respective position by introducing information and any witness (es), making statements, and asking questions. No one shall be required to provide information that may be self-incriminating.
- Student Conduct shall notify the accused student and the victim/survivor (in student conduct incidents of sexual misconduct), of the decision of the hearing, in writing, within two (2) business days after a decision is reached.
- The accused student or recognized student organization and the victim/survivor (in student conduct incidents of sexual misconduct) that receives an adverse decision shall have the right to file a written appeal of the decision and/or sanctions of an administrative hearing or conduct board hearing.
- The University expects that students and recognized student organizations will fully cooperate with institutional investigations into alleged violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct and other applicable University policies. Students and recognized student organizations who fully cooperate with an investigation may be eligible for amnesty as defined later in this Code.
- Students receive a copy of correspondence and related materials pertaining to a student conduct case at the time that Student Conduct issues a notice of an alleged violation. Students are provided a copy of appropriate case-related correspondence throughout the time period that the case is subject to resolution during the Student Conduct process. The records will be redacted as provided for by law. For recognized student organization records, Correspondence is sent to the organization president. The records will be redacted as provided for by law.