Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University governs its student body through a set of Community Standards. These standards stem from the Carnegie Mellon Code, which is based upon the idea of a communal respect between University Community members. Failure to uphold Community Standards may result in a student being accused of a violation. Violations will subject students to the Student Conduct Process. Students who are under suspicion of committing a violation will be known as "respondents" throughout the Student Conduct Process.

Carnegie Mellon University Student Conduct Process

The Student Conduct Process is a multi-step process dedicated to disciplinary action for students who may have committed a violation of Community Standards. The process applies to both academic and behavioral violations alike.

Administrative Resolution Meeting

The first step in the Student Conduct Process is an Administrative Resolution Meeting. This is a meeting with a single adjudicator to discuss what the student will face in the Student Conduct Process. The adjudicator will offer the student a chance to either accept responsibility and sanctions for their actions, or the student can request a review by a hearing board.


Depending on the nature of the case, hearings will be held by the University Disciplinary Committee or the Greek Community Standards Board. Hearings will proceed in the same fashion regardless of which authority is presiding.

Prior to the hearing, either the complainant or the respondent can elect to reject members of the board or committee that they believe may hold a potential bias. At the hearings, both the complainant and the respondent will be given a brief period of time for introductory statements. Following this, evidence and witnesses will be presented and be discussed. After this, the presiding party will offer the complainant and the respondent another brief period of time for summary statements. Following the summary, the board or committee will begin their deliberations to reach a decision. They will deliberate using the standard of a "preponderance of evidence." Prior records will not be included in reviewing evidence, but they will be a factor in determining sanctions.

Students involved in the Student Conduct Process are welcome to the presence of an attorney. Counsel and advice from an attorney will be incredibly beneficial to students facing disciplinary action. Attorneys can provide key suggestions on what evidence to present, and how to present it. Additionally, students with an attorney at their side will feel more confident and secure in their case.

Carnegie Mellon University Appeals

In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students can make an appeal to the President of the University. Appeals must be made within 7 calendar days of the official notification of the hearing decision. All appeals must be on the following grounds: an error in the procedural process, inappropriate sanctions, the original decision was unsupported by substantial evidence, or new information to be considered. Appeals can either reduce or increase sanctions. In the case of a Title IX violation, complainants may appeal the decision.

If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Carnegie Mellon University, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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