When you first enrolled at Washington State University, you weren't expecting any allegations of misconduct in your future. You flipped through your school's code of conduct and, perhaps, idly glossed over the disciplinary section—not thinking that those procedures would ever apply to you.
Now, Washington State University is investigating you for alleged academic misconduct. There might be a thousand thoughts reeling through your head: Why did someone accuse you of this? What's going to happen to your grades or your student status? Is there any way out of this with your head held high?
Fortunately, there is—and that's where we can help. At the Lento Law Firm, we're here to make sure that you're able to enjoy the future you've worked hard for.
But first, you need to get to work. Here's what you need to know.
What Constitutes Academic Misconduct at Washington State University?
Washington State University has an academic integrity policy that outlines many different expectations the school has of its students. To cultivate WSU's intended culture of honesty, the school has decided to prohibit many actions, including:
Plagiarism. In any case where a student uses another person's thoughts, words, ideas, or work without proper citation, that student plagiarizes. It is possible to self-plagiarize and plagiarize accidentally. All cases of plagiarism merit punishment.
Unauthorized Assistance. If a student receives any illicit help on a test, quiz, or examination through any means, that student merits punishment. One such example is any method of cheating. If one student helps another achieve an unfair advantage, both students are at fault.
Fabrication. If a student fakes information or data during or related to an academic practice, that student merits punishment. This prohibited behavior could range from making up results during a scientific experiment to providing false documentation about internships or other experiences that did not occur.
What Happens After an Allegation of Academic Misconduct at Washington State University?
Whether a teacher or a fellow student decides to bring an allegation of academic misconduct against you, the process will be similar. You will go through the school's academic integrity process, which begins with an instructor. So, if a student has concerns about your behavior, they will start by meeting with your instructor.
Once an instructor believes that you may be guilty of misconduct, that instructor will schedule a meeting with you. At this meeting, the two of you will discuss what happened. If your instructor decides that no further action is necessary, the issue will be closed. However, if your instructor determines that the school needs to investigate the matter further, it's time to find an advisor if you don't have one already. WSU will offer you an advisor. However, this advisor may not be an expert in student defense or even a lawyer. It's crucial to find an attorney of your own that you can trust.
After this, WSU will work with your instructor to determine your responsibility in the alleged incident. If your instructor believes that you are guilty and you disagree, you will have the ability to submit an appeal.
- Your instructor will send you an email summarizing and confirming their decision. After receipt of this email, you have 21 calendar days to submit an appeal.
- During those 21 days, WSU asks that you remain in your class and continue completing all assignments and meeting all class requirements.
- WSU's Center for Community Standards will perform an independent assessment of your alleged guilt, as well as your instructor's recommended discipline.
- WSU will invite you to a hearing (giving you at least one full week's notice). At this hearing, your instructor and any reliable, relevant witnesses will be present. You will have the chance to invite an advisor. You will also have the opportunity to tell your side of the story.
- At the end of this hearing, your punitive measures will be final. WSU will recommend a range of sanctions, from a lowered grade for the course to probation or even suspension and expulsion.
In any case, WSU will make a notation on your transcript regarding your allegations and your disciplinary hearing. This may not seem like a big deal, particularly compared to the other punishments you may face. However, a note on your transcript can make your life very difficult for you. When future schools or employers see that note, they will think twice before offering you opportunities.
You have to step up and take action now to make sure that these misconduct allegations do not wreak havoc on your entire future.
A Student Defense Attorney Ready to Help You at Washington State University
Whether you're already involved in an academic misconduct case, or you think you might soon be, you've got to get ahead of the situation. There's simply too much at stake. While it can be tempting to let matters run their course and hope that this stressful predicament will blow over, that's not the best strategy. Any academic misconduct allegation, even one that's the result of a miscommunication or misunderstanding, has the potential to wreak havoc on your future.
That means that you need to get started—now. You need to unearth evidence that supports your innocence. You need to draft persuasive arguments and present them to your school convincingly. You need to become innately familiar with your school's code of conduct and hold your school to its word confidently.
You need to reach out to attorney Joseph D. Lento. Joseph D. Lento is an aggressive, strategic, and empathetic student defense attorney who will work hard for you. He has helped countless students in your exact situation protect their futures. He will be able to help you do the same.
Don't stress over your misconduct allegations; reach out and start strategic action today. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn more about how we can help you.