College students are often bound by behavioral expectations through a student code of conduct. Students typically receive a copy of these expectations when enrolling in an institution of higher education.
Colleges and universities maintain order and safety through institutional organizations like a campus police or security department, as well as an Office of Student Conduct.
Each college maintains a specific system or process for handling issues with student misconduct. In some cases, incidents that take place off campus may result in discipline by the school, depending on the severity or nature of the behaviors. Many times, school-based discipline includes:
- Academic probation
- Revocation of a scholarship
- Revocations of special housing or campus-based privileges
- Suspension or expulsion
In addition to these consequences, certain crimes may lead to a criminal charge. While the college often bears the primary responsibility of addressing particular behaviors or incidents, victims of a crime have the ability to file a report with the local police department.
Criminal justice response
When an individual files a report of a crime to a college or university, the school must investigate whether the police are conducting their own investigation or not. Likewise, if reported to law enforcement, an investigation occurs even if the school is not handling the issue. This is the case when there is a report of a criminal offense. This is not the same as student misconduct, though some overlap occurs.
Violations of school codes could impact more than just your academic plans. Misconduct that also constitutes a criminal offense with fines or jail time can include DUI, rape, assault, theft or vandalism.