Temple University governs its student body through an all-encompassing Student Conduct Code, that sets expectations for student conduct as well as specific community standards. The code is upheld and enforced by Student Affairs. Students who are accused of committing a code violation will be subject to the University's hearing process. If they are found responsible for a violation, they will face sanctions imposed by the University.
Anyone who has suspicion that a student has violated the Student Conduct Code can file a complaint to the Assistant Dean of Students for Student Conduct and Community Standards. When a complaint is filed against a student, the student will be given a date and time to meet with a Student Conduct Administrator. This meeting is known as a Process Review Meeting, and it is meant to advise students of what they may encounter in hearings, as well as the charges and sanctions they face. It is also meant to give the Student Conduct Administrator the ability to determine whether a hearing will be necessary, or if other resolutions can be sought out.
Temple University Hearings
Hearings will be held in front of the Student Conduct Board, which can be likened to a jury. Hearings will be led by a Chairperson, who can be likened to a judge. At the start of the hearing, the accused student or complainant will be able to make a request for the removal of any board members who they feel will not be able to act impartially; the Chairperson will make the determination on any requests for removal of a board member. The hearing will proceed with all parties, including the Student Conduct Officer, if present, able to present evidence and witnesses to the Board, although character witnesses are not typically allowed until the sanctioning phase.
Questioning will be done by the Student Conduct Board. To prevent the creation of an adversarial environment, accused students and complainants alike must suggest questions to the Board, rather than directly questioning the witness themselves. Accused students will not be forced to testify, and the Board is not to draw any inferences from their silence. After all presentation of evidence and witnesses has concluded, the Board will move on to deliberations. The decision will be made by majority vote with each member applying the standard of "more likely than not." After a decision has been made, the Board will notify the student of any sanctions and close the hearing.
Accused students are welcome to the presence of an attorney at their hearing. Attorneys will make students feel as though someone is on their side and willing to understand their version of the events, unlike what they will encounter at a hearing. Counsel from an attorney will also help students select and present strong evidence for their case.
Temple University Sanctions
Temple University will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student is found responsible for violating the University's Student Conduct Code. More than one of the sanctions listed below may be imposed for a violation, and the full range of sanctions is available depending on the nature and severity of the violation. Possible sanctions include:
- Letter of Reprimand
- Loss of Privileges
- Other Sanctions (as deemed appropriate)
- University Housing Suspension
- University Housing Expulsion
- University Suspension
- University Expulsion
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree
- Academic Sanctions
- No Contact Order
In addition to any of the above sanctions deemed appropriate, Temple University will impose mandatory minimum sanctions for alcohol and drug violations.
Regretfully, some Temple University students, despite their and their parents' best intentions, proceed with the University disciplinary process without a full understanding of the possible consequences, both immediate and long-term. Those unfamiliar with the realities of the disciplinary process often do not realize until it may be too late that Temple University imposes suspensions and expulsions as a sanction more often than would be expected; even in disciplinary matters that may seem to be less serious. The stakes are very high, and some consequences are unforeseen; even sanctions lesser than suspension or expulsion can greatly jeopardize a student's academic and professional goals.
Temple University sanctions for Title IX sexual misconduct violations, which include sexual harassment and sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence, will always be severe, and Title IX sexual misconduct violations can have lifetime consequences. Temple University will also promptly impose interim measures as deemed necessary to protect the complainant before the final outcome of a Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceeding involving Dating, Relationship or Sexual Misconduct or Violence.
Experience Matters - An Experienced Attorney's Role When Representing a Temple University Student
Temple University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Student Conduct Code disciplinary violations and/or academic misconduct charges are filed in certain instances. If charges have already been filed against a student, the accused student's attorney, also in certain instances, will be able to serve as an advocate between Temple University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Student Conduct Code charges and/or academic integrity charges are filed, in working towards the prospect of an agreeable resolution, the extent of an attorney's involvement will be at the discretion of Temple University. Every student's case is unique; an experienced attorney will understand what the University may be receptive to, and will approach the matter accordingly.
An attorney's involvement at Temple University in matters involving Student Conduct Code charges and/or academic integrity charges should not be confused with Temple University disciplinary cases involving Title IX sexual misconduct allegations. In Title IX student disciplinary proceedings, an experienced attorney must work both as the point of contact between the accused student and Temple University as well as behind the scenes to defend against sexual misconduct and sexual assault allegations.
An experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Temple University.
Temple University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have 5 business days from the decision to make an appeal. In cases involving sexual violence or Title IX violations, both parties can make an appeal.
The grounds for appeal are either procedural defects that affected the outcome, or new evidence to be considered that would have affected the outcome. Successful appeals will result in a new hearing. Decisions do not become final until all appellate procedures have been resolved.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Temple University, contact university student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today.