Violation of UT’s Student Code of Conduct
If you are a college or graduate student at the University of Tampa, an accusation that you committed a crime might come with a host of serious consequences. These consequences can arise regardless of whether the incident happened on-campus or off-campus.
You might face disciplinary action regardless of whether you were formally arrested for a crime or just received a “notice to appear” in court.
After a criminal accusation, the disciplinary action is triggered if the University of Tampa’s Office of Student Conduct finds out about an incident involving a violation of the student code of conduct.
Even for an incident that occurred off campus, the local police departments in and around Tampa, including the Tampa Police Department (TPD) or the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) might forward a copy of your criminal report affidavit (CRA) to the Office of Student Conduct at the University of Tampa. In fact, anyone can report a complaint of student misconduct in writing directly to the Office of Student Conduct.
After the complaint is made, you will receive a “Notification Letter” or “Notice of Required Incident Review Meeting with Student Conduct” via email from the Coordinator of Student Conduct at the University of Tampa. You need to act quickly because you might only be notified one (1) business day prior to the scheduled incident review via your University of Tampa email account.
If you receive notice of the incident review meeting, then do these things immediately. First, tell your parents or anyone else helping you pay for your education. The disciplinary action comes with consequences that might last long after the criminal case is resolved. Your family can help you make some important decisions about how to deal with the accusations.
Second, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you fight for the best result in the criminal case and during the initial incident review meeting or any disciplinary action at UT’s Office of Student Conduct.
Attorney for UT Students with a Conduct Code Violation
Representing yourself at the incident review meeting or any disciplinary hearing that follows that meeting is not a good “do-it-yourself” project. Being kicked out of the dorms or student housing might be very expensive. Being expelled from the University of Tampa or suspended for two semesters is even more expensive.
We are familiar with a wide range of student conduct code violations including allegations of sexual misconduct or relationship violence investigations at UT, or drug and alcohol violations.
Any action taken by the Office of Student Conduct at the University of Tampa might become a permanent part of your academic record that will follow you if you transfer to another college or university, including graduate school.
Depending on how the accusation is resolved, you might also be required to disclose any disciplinary action taken by the University of Tampa if you plan on obtaining a state-issued license to become a healthcare professional (such as a nurse or physician), teacher, or certified educator, or attorney.
You might also be required to disclose the action if you plan on joining a law enforcement agency or becoming a member of the military. If you are an international student, you might also face immigration consequences if you are not a U.S. Citizen.
For all of these reasons, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney focused on representing college students to represent you during each stage of the case including any hearing by UT’s Administrative Conduct Board.
Call us at (813) 250-0500.
The Notice Letter for the Incident Review Meeting at UT
If your name is listed in an incident report that alleges that a violation of the student code of conduct occurred, then the Coordinator of Student Conduct at the University of Tampa will send you an email that acts as a “Notification Letter” or “Notice of Required Incident Review Meeting with Student Conduct.”
The Office of Student Conduct will review the incident report and assign a violation of university policy. Many of these violations concern a student conduct violation for being in possession of drug paraphernalia or drugs.
Other accusations that might trigger a disciplinary hearing include:
- alcohol offenses for possession or constructive possession (having access and knowledge to any alcoholic beverage);
- campus living policy for failing to adhere to policies listed within the Campus Liviinig Policies for any guest or visitor;
- possession of a fake identification or failing to produce Spartan ID;
- reckless driving or DUI;
- crimes of violence including battery, rape, or sexual assault.
Based on the alleged violations of misconduct, you will be scheduled for an incident review meeting in accordance with the Student Conduct Procedures listed in the Student Code of Conduct. UT’s Associate Director of Student Conduct is Amanda Berry.
During the initial review meeting, you will be asked to discuss the incident report and assigned violations. The meeting is mandatory regardless of your perceived involvement. The Univerity of Tampa will only reschedule the meeting times to accommodate your current academic schedule.
During the incident review meeting, you will be able to review the incident report and the assigned violation(s) with your incident reviewer. At this meeting, you will be able to discuss any questions you may have about the Student Conduct process with your incident reviewer. You are encouraged to review the relevant policies of the Student Code of Conduct prior to your schedule incident review.
You are not required to admit the allegations or take responsibility, but you are permitted to do so.
At the conclusion of your incident review meeting, you will complete a form indicating whether you are taking responsibility for any assigned violations or request a conduct board be established to determine responsibilities for any assigned violation(s).
If you fail to attend your incident review meeting, you may be referred directly to the appropriate hearing board for adjudication of the assigned violations.
Representation at the Individual Hearing Board
The student has the right to due process of law. Many of the procedures used at UT violate basic due process requirements, but if the student doesn’t raise the proper objections then they will be told they are not permitted to have an attorney assist them at each stage of the action.
An attorney can play an important role in helping the student present information on their own behalf at a hearing board including witnesses or written witness statements concerning the incident.
An attorney can also help the student decide whether to testify about what occurred or remain silent. Keep in mind that the hearing board might make a negative inference if you choose not to answer questions or provide information.
An attorney can also help the student prepare questions for anyone providing information to the hearing board. The questions are directed to the hearing board advisor, but if the hearing board advisor improperly excludes the questions, then that issue can be preserved for an appeal.
Basic due process requires the University of Tampa (UT) to allow the student to be assisted by an attorney during the hearing board process if the proper objections are raised.
An attorney can also help you obtain a copy of the official verbatim record from the hearing maintained by the University of Tampa if you choose to file an appeal of an adverse action in court.
Sanctions for Violations of the Student Code of Conduct at the UT
If you take responsibility for a minor violation, then after your meeting with the Office of Student Conduct to discuss the incident report, the Coordinator of Student Conduct will conduct a review of the incident report and your previous student disciplinary record, if any.
For minor offenses, including misdemeanor possession of marijuana or possession of marijuana paraphernalia, UT might make recommendations for disciplinary sanctions.
More serious offenses are handled by the Administrative Conduct Board. The decisions of the Administrative Conduct Board are based their conclusion on the preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing by a majority vote. During the hearing, the student will be asked to discuss the incident report. Prior to the hearing, the board will provide notice to the student about the assigned violations of university policy.
The violation might include: “Student Conduct/Other Behaviors Impacting the University Community.” The board takes the position that no list of behaviors can be exhaustive, and situations may arise that are not expressly addressed by university policies but are contrary to the welfare of the University Community. This category often includes an arrest that occurs off-campus
During the hearing, the Administrative Conduct Board will review the incident report, information provided by the student or other witnesses.
If you are required to complete the sections by a certain date but fail to do so, then a hold will be placed on your student account. Holds present you from conducting official business with the University of Tampa including, but is not limited to, registering for classes or changing your schedule.
The conditions imposed might include any or all of the following:
- Suspension – the termination of registration as a student at The University of Tampa can be imposed for the time listed which might be two semesters. Prior to re-enrollment the student must complete the Student Conduct Suspension Clearance Process and complete a Student Conduct Suspension Clearance Petition.
- Deferred suspension – during the period of deferred suspension, any further violations of policy may result in a recommendation for suspension. The deferred suspension is the highest form of probation at the University of Tampa. The student may also be ineligible for co-curricular activities.
- Termination of Residency/ Restricted Access – students who are terminated from University campus housing for conduct reasons will receive no refund of housing costs or deposits. You will need to vacate your room and turn in your key to the Office of Residence Life by the date indicated. This termination does not impact your current meal plan which you can cancel for a prorated refund. This sanction also includes restricted access to campus residence halls. Restricted access limits your ability to access/enter residential facilities on campus and is for the same duration as the termination of residency sanction.
- Deferred termination of residency – during the period, any further violations of policy may result in a recommendation for termination of houses. The student may also be ineligible for co-curricular activities.
- Disciplinary probation – as an official notice that your actions are of a serious nature and probation will last for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if you are found in violation of any University policies during your probation period. Any violation committed during the probation period will result in a review of your status with the University of Tampa.
- Parent notification – In keeping with the mission of the University of Tampa, The Student Conduct Office strives to provide outcomes that are educational, personalized, and developed. The Office of Student Conduct determined that parental notification is necessary for this violation of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Your parents or guardian will be notified via U.S. mail that you have been found in violation of the University’s policy.
- BASICS Feedback Alcohol and Drug Assessment – you will receive an email on the BASICS online assessment. If you do not receive an email, you must contact UT for assistance. You are to complete all requirements outlined by the Wellness Center. If any requirement makes you go beyond the deadline date, you will need to have a representative from the Wellness Center email email@example.com to extend your sanction. Failure to complete this sanction on time will result in a hold placed on your student record.
- Prevention fee – you are required to pay an amount of money to the University Bursar’s Office which is located on the 4th floor of Plant Hall. A receipt will be given to the Office of Student Conduct in order for the sanction to be marked complete.
- Community service – written reflection – you are required to complete all community service by the stated decline at an organization on or off-campus. In addition, you must complete a reflective essay of at least 500 words that must answer the following questions:
- What does it mean to you to be a part of the UT community?
- What responsibilities do you have as a member of the UT community?
- In what ways did your actions in this incident impact the UT community?
- What did you learn from completing your service?
- How does service support the mission of UT and your future aspirations?
- Marijuana 101 course – you are required to complete the Marijuana 101 course online. This course can be completed from most computers with Internet access (Google Chrome is recommended). You will need the audio from the computer so please use headphones if you are running this program in a public setting. While it may be completed in individual sections, the entire course may take up to three hours to complete. You are able to log in and out as needed. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate of completion via email that will need to be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct. Please print a copy for your records. The course fee is $35.00 and you can pay online by debit/credit card. You will receive a password immediately on the screen and by email. Once you have completed Part 1 of the Marijuana 101 course please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Anger Management Treatment – Attending counseling for anger management and impulse control.
- Discretionary Sanction/Change Your Mindset – Watch the “Change Your Mindset, Change the Game” TEDx Talk by Dr. Alia Crum. You can find this TEDx Talk. After reviewing the TEDx Talk complete the attached worksheet and reflection paper. The completed worksheet and reflection paper should be submitted to email@example.com by the listed due date listed.
- Discretionary Sanction/Small Actions: Huge Impact – Watch the “Small actions: Huge Impact” TEDx Talk by Garnet Waldrop. After reviewing the TEDx Talk complete the attached worksheet and reflection paper. The completed worksheet and reflection paper should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by the listed due date.
Appeals from the Determinations of UT’s Administrative Conduct Board
After the hearing, the student will be provided with a “Notice of Administrative Conduct Board Hearing Outcome.” The outcome letter explains that UT’s Office of Student Conduct conducted a thorough review of the incident report and the student’s disciplinary record (if applicable) before approving the recommendations for disciplinary sanction(s) recommended by the Administrative Conduct Board.
After receiving the outcome letter explaining the determination by UT’s Administrative Conduct Board and the Office of Student Conduct, the student is permitted to file an appeal if they meet either of the following criteria:
- To determine whether the original hearing was conducted in conformity with prescribed procedures. If a procedural error occurred, it needs to be sufficient to alter the determination by the hearing boarding regarding responsibility for the assigned violations.
- To consider new information, sufficient to alter a determination by the hearing boarding regarding responsibility for the assigned violations, that was not available at the time of the original hearing, because information and/or facts could not have been known to the responding student at the time of the initial hearing.
UT will provide a link that can be used to submit the appeal. The appeal must be submitted within two (2) business days from the date of this letter or the appeal will not be reviewed
and the case will be considered closed.
UT Student Code of Conduct – Visit the website of the University of Tampa (UT) to find out more about the student code procedures for Individual Students and Registered Student Organizations. Special procedures apply to allegations of sexual misconduct.
College Students in Tampa Arrested for DUI – Read more about the special issues that arise after a college student is arrested for DUI in or around the University of Tampa or the University of South Florida. Many of these cases involve a saturation patrol or DUI checkpoint on the college campus.
Finding a Lawyer for the Incident Review Meeting at UT
The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm often accompany students to the initial incident review meeting. We can help you make decisions about either accepting responsibility for the assigned violation or requesting a conduct board hearing.
We can help you present information on your own behalf at the incident review meeting. It might not be in your best interest to accept responsibility at an incident review meeting.
If you accept responsibility at the incident review meeting, then you will waive any procedural appeal rights upon accepting responsibility.
We can help you present information to the incident reviewer about the reasons that the allegations of misconduct should be dismissed by the Office of Student Conduct at the University of Tampa.
The Office of Student Conduct might reserve the right to reassign any dismissed violations if new information becomes known regarding the alleged misconduct that was not known to the incident reviewer or the Office of Student Conduct at the time of the initial incident review.
The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent students from local colleges and universities including the University of Tampa (UT) and the University of South Florida (USF) after an arrest.
Don’t face the incident reviewer or conduct board alone. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Call (813) 250-0500.
This article was last updated on Friday, October 1, 2021.