Office of Student Conflict Resolution

I just received a letter scheduling me for an appointment with you. Am I required to attend?

You are encouraged to attend or to contact OSCR to reschedule at a time that’s more convenient for you. The meeting is an educational one to give you information and options.

Under the Statement OSCR is obligated to ensure that the University’s conflict resolution process is administered in a timely manner and in a way that protects the rights of complainants and respondents, while safeguarding the community. Therefore the resolution process may go forward even if you opt not to participate or respond.

I’ve just received a letter from you regarding a complaint alleging I violated the Statement. What does this mean and what do I need to do?

Someone at the University has filed a complaint against you alleging behavior that is inconsistent with the University’s standards of conduct. You should meet with an OSCR staff member to learn more about your rights and responsibilities in responding to the allegations. Your first meeting at OSCR is simply an informational one in which a staff member will review what your rights are as a University student, explain the resolution process and your available options, and answer any questions you have.

How can I resolve a complaint filed against me?

Respondents are given an opportunity to review the complaint and choose one of the following pathways of conflict resolution: accept responsibility and enter into an agreement; contest responsibility and pursue resolution through an arbitration hearing; or if all persons personally and directly affected by the conflict agree to resolve the complaint through an Adaptable Conflict Resolution pathway such as mediation, and if the Resolution Coordinator believes that the ACR pathway is an appropriate form of resolution, then the respondent and complainant may pursue resolution through that pathway.

Can I file a counter-complaint against someone who filed a complaint against me?

Yes.  Any student may submit a complaint alleging a violation of the Statement.  Note that per the Statement, a Resolution Coordinator (RC) may dismiss any complaint at any time “if the RC reasonably believes that the complaint is baseless or otherwise unsupported by the available evidence, or that the underlying grievance or problem is best resolved in a different manner.”  

When a complaint is filed, will OSCR investigate?

OSCR will thoroughly review all information provided by all parties. OSCR will not conduct an inquiry or require people to participate or submit information.

While at the initial stages of a case, OSCR may dismiss a complaint as baseless or otherwise unsupported by the evidence, or determine that the alleged behavior does not fit within the purview of the Statement. Beyond this initial review, OSCR’s role is to ensure that the Resolution Process is followed. 

What role do complainants and respondents have in the process?

For educational purposes, the Statement demands an active role of both complainants and respondents. This means that complainants are responsible for supporting their complaint and respondents are responsible for providing their response. Complainants and respondents both are provided substantial information and notice regarding opportunities to present information and engage in the process. See section VI in the Statement for additional information.

Do I have the right to an appeal an outcome?

If your case is resolved through an arbitration hearing, an appeals process is available to each party. You can learn more about the appeals process in Section VI of the Statement.

I was given an MIP while off-campus.  Why did the University get involved with this incident?

Alcohol and other drug use may constitute a significant health risk with consequences for student academic and personal success.  As described in the Statement, University students are expected to uphold institutional values and maintain a high standard of conduct both on and off-campus.  The University believes it is essential that students involved in alcohol or drug-related incidents learn about resources designed to support their healthy decision-making, well-being, and success. 

I’m involved with the court system already and now I’ve gotten a letter from you. Isn’t this “double jeopardy”?

The Statement is one of the University's administrative procedures and should not be equated with procedures used in civil or criminal court. “Double Jeopardy” is a legal concept that applies to the criminal justice system, not to the University’s educational and administrative conflict resolution process. The resolution process may go forward even if the criminal charges triggered by your alleged behavior are reduced or dismissed.

Per the Statement: “When students choose to accept admission to the University, they accept the rights and responsibilities of membership in the University's academic and social community. As members of the University community, students are expected to uphold its previously stated values by maintaining a high standard of conduct. Because the University establishes high standards for membership, its standards of conduct, while falling within the limits of the law, may exceed federal, state, or local requirements.”

“[S]chool regulations are not to be measured by the standards which prevail for criminal law and for criminal procedure.” 

-- Harry A. Blackmun, then Eighth Circuit judge, later, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Esteban v. Cent. Mo. State Coll., 415 F.2d 1077, 1090 (8th Cir. 1969), cert denied 398 U.S. 965 (1970), aff g 290 F. Supp. 622 (W. D. Mo. 1968), following new hearing order, 277 F. Supp. 649 (W. D. Mo. 1967)

“The voluntary attendance of a student in [a tax supported educational institution of higher learning] is a voluntary entrance into the academic community. By such voluntary entrance, the student voluntarily assumes obligations of performance and behavior reasonably imposed by the institution of choice relevant to its lawful missions, processes, and functions.

These obligations are generally much higher than those imposed on all citizens by the civil and criminal law. So long as there is no invidious discrimination, no deprival of due process, no abridgement of a right protected in the circumstances, and no capricious, clearly unreasonable or unlawful action employed, the institution may discipline students to secure compliance with these higher obligations as a teaching method or to sever the student from the academic community.” 

-- Judges for the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. General Order on Judicial Standards of Procedure and Substance in Review of Student Discipline in Tax Supported Institutions of Higher Education. 45 F.R.D. (W. D. Mo. 1968) (en banc) supra note 2, at 141. 

I’m involved with the court system and have been advised not to talk to you as it may affect my case. Can I put off meeting with you until after I have resolved my case in the court system?

You are encouraged to meet with OSCR staff at your earliest convenience.  You are not required to make any statements during your meeting, and your first meeting is simply an informational one in which an OSCR staff member will review what your rights are as a University student, explain the University’s resolution process and your available options, and answer any questions you may have, like how to request a delay in Statement proceedings.

You have the right to request a delay in Statement proceedings if you are undergoing civil or criminal action for the same behavior which forms the basis of a complaint under the Statement. Requests for delays must be made in writing, and must specify the exact duration of the delay being requested by giving a specific date.

What will happen if I ignore all of your correspondence to me?

Under the Statement OSCR is obligated to ensure that the University’s conflict resolution process is administered in a timely manner and in a way that protects the rights of complainants and respondents, while safeguarding the community. Therefore the resolution process may go forward even if you opt not to participate or respond, and you will be bound by any determinations made.

If you have an open file in our office and you ignore correspondence from OSCR, future employers, graduate schools, or professional organizations making an inquiry with OSCR may be informed, as allowed by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, that you have an open disciplinary case in our office and that you failed to complete your sanctions. Also note that OSCR has placed judicial holds on students’ academic records, preventing the release of transcripts and degrees.


Additional Information

The Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities