Loyola University Chicago

Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution

Division of Student Development

Parent and Family Information

The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution understands the network of support provided by parents, families, and loved ones to help their student endure through the more difficult aspects of the college experience. Circumstances that involve conflict and difficult conversations are often the moments in which students learn the most about themselves.

Below, you will find answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions. You can also review our Tips for Talking with Your Student.

The main purpose of our student conduct system is education. The goal is to leverage incidents of misconduct to create learning opportunities for students, while simultaneously repairing any harm done to the community. No one is perfect – a poor decision or “bump in the road” can often lead to positive personal growth. At Loyola University Chicago, our conduct philosophy is informed by our University’s Jesuit values. This means that a student is always treated as a complex and dynamic human being; they are not judged or made to feel less-than based on their actions. The conduct process is meant to help students make meaning of their experiences, grow as person, and consider how to best contribute to their community in the future.

The baseline expectations of Loyola students are outlined in a document called the Community Standards. The Community Standards are Loyola’s Code of Conduct, along with an explanation of procedures and resources. It is the hope of our entire university community that students will far exceed these minimum standards for just, respectful, and caring conduct towards one another. In order to realize their maximum potential, students are encouraged to care for themselves, others, and their community – we call this The Student Promise.

Reports can come from anyone – faculty, staff, students, or community members. Reports can be filed by the public on luc.edu/osccr. The form will ask the reporter to provide information regarding the time, place, and nature of the incident. In almost all cases, the University will follow up with the reporter to confirm receipt of the report. In some cases, the reporter may be asked to speak with a conduct administrator either via phone or in person in order to review the report and any additional relevant information. If you prefer to submit an anonymous report, you can utilize EthicsLine.

There are three major differences between the processes.

The campus process addresses potential violations of University policies. While some university policies overlap with the law, there are additional University policies that are intended to uphold institutional standards. At Loyola, our code of conduct for students is called the Community Standards. Loyola uses our own definitions and policies when determining if a student has violated the University’s institutional standards. For example, imagine that a student is found to be consuming alcohol underage. This is a violation of both the law and the Community Standards, but the student will only face University-related outcomes as a result of the University Conduct System. Being found responsible for violation of a campus policy generates a student conduct record, but does not give the student a criminal record or lead to a student being convicted of a crime.

A second major difference is the standard of proof. At Loyola, there must be a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., 51% or “more likely than not”) before a student is found responsible for a policy violation. This is the same standard of proof used in most civil legal cases. By comparison, the standard of proof in a criminal legal case is much higher - “beyond a reasonable doubt” (97%+). The "preponderance of the evidence" standard is utilized by most institutions in their investigation of student misconduct.

Third, the campus process is not a trial and, as such, has different procedures. Students are expected to speak for themselves; they are not permitted to have an attorney, or anyone else, speak on their behalf. This preserves the accountable nature of university disciplinary hearings – the purpose is educational, not punitive. While punitive outcomes may sometimes be assigned, they are assigned in the spirit of supporting a student's ability to make meaning of their experience. Outcomes tend to focus on repairing harm to individuals or communities, and seek to help the student reflect, learn, and grow from their experiences.

Due processes is provided to all students in the conduct process. This means that the student will be provided written notice of potential policy violations associated with their behavior, and will have the opportunity to share their perspective on the incident with an unbiased conduct administrator(s). The conduct administrator will consider the student’s perspective along with all other available information when determining a decision and any potential outcomes. If the student declines the opportunity to provide their perspective, a decision will be made based on all available information.

All conduct administrators adhere to the regulations set forth by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as Amended, regarding the dissemination of information pertaining to the student conduct process. FERPA regulations give privacy to students’ educational records, including a students’ conduct record. This means that the information cannot be released to third parties (including parents) without a signed and dated written release from the student.

All conduct meetings and records are private. Only conduct administrators or board chairs may include notes in the case file. The University reserves the right to share information regarding the case with other appropriate University parties on a need-to-know basis. Privacy applies to respondents, complainants, witnesses, advisors, conduct administrators, and members of hearing boards.

In some circumstances, the University will reach out to parents/guardians to inform them of a student's misconduct. For students under the age of 21, this occurs if there is a first drug violation, or a second alcohol violation. It also occurs in instances that present a need for elevated response from the University. Parents of students who are 21+ will not be notified about misconduct pertaining to alcohol or drugs.

For more information, see §517 (Privacy of Records, FERPA, and Release of Student Information) in the Community Standards.

The Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution does not report Loyola students to the criminal justice system or law enforcement agencies as a result of University policy violations. For example, a student that is found to be consuming alcohol underage will not engage with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) unless it is a CPD officer that made initial contact with the student, before the University. Only in the most severe cases (e.g., abuse of a child, narcotics trafficking, or serious imminent harm to someone’s life) will the University involve external law enforcement or criminal justice systems. This is an extremely rare occurrence.

The notification is requesting that the student meet with a University conduct administrator or hearing board. This meeting might be pre-scheduled, or it might be the student’s responsibility to reach out in order to schedule the meeting. Please encourage your student to cooperate with the conduct process, as it is in place so that University administration can incorporate the student’s perspective into decision-making to determine the best resolution.

The notification may also outline potential policy violations associated with the student’s behavior. If your student is willing to share that information with you, please consider reviewing the Community Standards for a comprehensive understanding of the policies in question.

The University recognizes that your goal is to provide support for your student, especially in tough times. Conduct staff ask that you provide this support unconditionally, but not blindly. Please be aware that your student may not tell you all the details of a situation. This is not a negative reflection on your relationship with your student, but simply a factor that sometimes comes into play when students and parents are navigating the conduct process together.

Administrative hearings are held in order to investigate potential policy violations, and are facilitated by a conduct administrator or hearing board that is assigned to the case. The purpose of the hearing is to understand the student’s perspective, assess the impact of an incident, and have a rich conversation about the University’s expectations. The format of a hearing includes a review of a student’s rights in the conduct process, an opportunity for the student to share their perspective, and a review of all documentation relevant to the case’s decision. The conduct administrator will likely ask the student questions about their experiences, as well as facilitate conversation about what the next steps will be in the process.

Given that the conduct process is an educational tool, administrative hearings are not adversarial in nature. Students are treated with care, dignity, and respect; they are expected to treat conduct administrators in the same fashion. While the conversations may be difficult at times, the manner of the conversation will always remain civil and student-centered.

The student conduct process is considered an educational tool. As such, the outcomes imposed tend to focus on repairing harm to the community, to victims, and to the institution as a whole. They also take into account what the student can learn about themselves, others, and the community. The process focuses on helping the student understand why a particular behavior violated the Community Standards, how misconduct affects others, and how the student can make better decisions in the future. Outcomes often seek to address underlying needs that may be hindering a student’s ability to maximize their potential at Loyola.

Examples of typical sanctioned outcomes include:

  • Alcohol/Drug education referrals
  • Educational experiences or projects
  • Monetary fines
  • Loss of University privileges
  • Restorative service hours
  • Written reflection experiences
  • Residence Hall probation, suspension, or dismissal
  • University probation, suspension, or dismissal

In most cases, students found responsible for a violation may appeal the decision, the assigned outcomes, or both. Any request for appeal must be submitted in writing, using the web link provided in the decision letter, within 5 business days of the decision notification – after 5 business days, the web link will close. An appeal statement should include the grounds for the appeal, a personal statement explaining in detail why the student is contesting the results, and any relevant documentation available that substantiates or clarifies the request for appeal.

Any request for appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. New substantive information is available that could not have been discovered by a diligent respondent at the time of the hearing and that would have likely changed the outcome of the case.
  2. A substantive procedural error or error in the interpretation of University policy occurred that denied the respondent the right to a fair hearing and decision.
  3. The finding (as to responsibility or sanctions or both) was manifestly contrary to the information presented at the hearing or to the established Community Standards (i.e., the decision was clearly unreasonable and unsupported by the great weight of information).

Appeals are reviewed by the Office of the Dean of Students. Students will be notified of the final decision within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the appellate review. For further information and details about the ground on which appeals may be filed, see the Community Standards, §409 Appealing a Student Conduct Decision.

In cases of gender-based and/or bias-motivated misconduct, either party may appeal all or part of the outcome of a hearing within 5 business days of when the decision is delivered. Once an appeal has been submitted, the University will notify the other parties involved that an appeal has been filed. The other party will have 5 business days to provide a response to the submitted appeal. After reviewing all records pertaining to the grievance, the appeal board will notify parties, simultaneously and in writing, the outcome of the appeal. For further information and details about the ground on which appeals may be filed in a gender-based or bias-motivated grievance process, see the Community Standards §506 Appealing a Grievance Finding.

This depends upon the severity of the violation. Generally, minor violations will really have no long-term impact. For students who intend to study abroad, a pattern of misconduct, University probation, or suspension may prohibit that student's acceptance to participate in a Loyola University Chicago study abroad program.

Graduate and professional schools typically look for a pattern of misconduct. While it will may be a positive component to their application, one or two minor violations will usually not have a significant impact. If a student does develop a conduct record, the best approach is to reflect upon the lessons learned from those experiences. If a student is not able to demonstrate how they have learned from those incidents and changed their behavior over time, this will more likely impact how their college experience will be considered.

The information referenced above is adapted and updated from the Association for Student Conduct Administration's: "The Student Conduct Process: A Guide for Parents" (2006)