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Conduct Process FAQ


What happens when I am “doc’ed?”

An incident report (IR) will be completed by a TCNJ staff member.  Either Student Conduct or Residential Education and Housing staff will receive the incident report, review it and determine if an investigation needs to take place OR what charges or Violations of Expectations of Student Conduct, are most appropriate. You will receive an email about next steps from TCNJ – Advocate System (Please check spam).


I received a notification about a Conference Meeting. What is this?

A Conference Meeting is the first step of the conduct process for the Student Conduct Code and the Recognized Student Organization Privileges and Responsibilities Policy. If you have received this notice you or your organization was reported in an incident and have been charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code or Recognized Student Organization Privileges and Responsibilities Policy.

During a Conference Meeting you can:

  • Have an advisor present (please see information about the role of the advisor here: link)
  • Ask questions
  • Provide information on your behalf
  • Not make any statement

During a conference meeting you will:

  • Be treated with dignity and respect
  • Go over all steps of the conduct process
  • Be informed of your rights as an individual student or as a Recognized Student Organization
  • Review the relevant information available to the College
  • Review the charges of the alleged violation and why you have been charged
  • Select the hearing option that works best for you.

What is a student conduct hearing?

During the Conference meeting, the responding student will have the opportunity to select the type of hearing they wish to have: informal or formal.  The hearing is where it is determined if a student is Responsible or Not Responsible for the charged violation.


What’s the difference between an informal and formal hearing?

  • The sanction range for both an informal and formal hearing will remain the same; however, the formal hearing allows the responding student to be present when all information is provided by witnesses and indirectly ask questions of the witnesses..  
  • All formal hearings are audio recorded which can be subpoenaed in court.  
  • A student can select an administrative hearing with a trained administrator or the Community Standards Board (CSB). The CSB is comprised of three to five trained student members, with the Assistant Director of Student Conduct as the advisor.  The administrator or the board will make a determination of responsibility and, if necessary, determine appropriate sanctions, within the range provided by the original conference meeting administrator. 
  • If the Responding student chooses an informal hearing, the administrator conducting the Conference meeting will typically hear the case immediately following the conference meeting.  The student is allowed to give the hearing administrator names of relevant witnesses and/or submit any supporting materials; however, the responding student is not present if the hearing administrator is meeting/speaking with the witnesses.  
  • The informal hearing is not audio recorded. The administrator will make a determination of responsibility and determine appropriate sanctions, if any, and follow up with a decision. The student will receive a decision via email through TCNJ Advocate. 
  • If a student would like to hear the character statement(s) they should tell the informal hearing administrator and get a deadline for submission

What does it mean to be a witness in a conduct process?

  • Witnesses are people who have direct information related to an incident. A witness can be a student, staff member, or faculty. Witnesses may have been present for the incident, spoken to the student about the incident, etc. Any student or organization going through an investigation or conduct process may provide names of individuals they believe may be able to provide information or context to a report.
  • Witnesses may be called to provide a statement during an investigation process or during a hearing. You are not obligated to participate as a witness and the College maintains a retaliation policy for students who participate in an investigation or hearing process in good faith.
  • Witnesses cannot be anonymous for incidents which fall under violations of the Student Conduct Code.

What is Amnesty?

If a student(s) or organization is concerned for the safety and well-being of a student who has consumed alcohol or drugs and call to get that student help the College will not charge with a violation under the Student Conduct Code or Recognized Student Organization Rights and Responsibilities Policy if the following occur:

  • The student(s)/Organization call for help to 911, Campus Police, staff member from Residential Education or Campus Town.
  • The students/Organization remain on scene with the student getting help
  • The students/organization are helpful to responders including providing any information they may have regarding the student’s consumption of alcohol/drugs or other relevant information.
  • Amnesty applies to both the student who received help as well as the caller(s). Students/Organizations that qualify for Amnesty will be required to complete an education program assigned by the College but will not face conduct charges.
  • Typically students who are transported will have a “return to campus” meeting scheduled for the first business day following the incident.  During that meeting, the Director of Student Conduct, Director of Residential Education, or other administrator will determine if the student qualifies for amnesty on campus.
  • If the student has been issued a citatio/summons from police, it will be determined in court if the incident qualifies under the NJ 911 Lifeline Legislation (P.L. 2009, c.133). This process is separate from the College’s Amnesty process.

Am I innocent until proven guilty?

The conduct process uses the terms “Responsible” and “Not Responsible” when determining if a student or organization violated the Student Conduct Code or Recognized Student Organization Rights and Responsibilities Policy. The conduct process is viewpoint neutral- we have not made an assumption of responsibility one way or the other prior to meeting. Students and Organizations have an opportunity to provide information on their behalf to be considered in determining responsibility.


What is the basis for decision in a conduct process?

A basis of whether it is more likely than not or “Preponderance of Evidence” is used to determine whether a student has violated the Student Conduct Code.


What if I believe I am/the organization is not responsible for the charge?

You will have an opportunity to share information on your behalf during a hearing process whether that is informal or formal. Students/Organizations can be found Not Responsible through a conduct process. If found responsible for a violation, you/the organization may appeal the decision within 5 business days of receipt of the decision notification.


How can I utilize an advisor?

Reporting and Responding students are welcome to utilize an advisor at any point during the conduct process, including investigations, conference meetings and conduct hearings. All students are entitled to an advisor.  The advisor may provide you with support and guidance; however, they are not permitted to participate directly in any proceedings. You may choose an advisor you know personally, or select one from the list of trained faculty and staff at the College.  To request a trained TCNJ advisor, you may email them directly from this list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18x0lBnVUt7ZXnYip5gxKv1IbhEuIlQdWcnYuAln5zgE/edit?usp=sharing. 

Keep in mind, meetings regarding the incident are not scheduled around the advisor’s schedule.  


Can I appeal a hearing decision?

The Responding student is allowed one appeal of the hearing decision and/or sanctions.  That student has five business days to submit an appeal after receiving their decision letter.  Appeal information is provided in the decision letter.  

In 03.Personal Abuse cases, the Reporting student may also appeal the hearing decision and/or sanctions. That student has five business days to submit an appeal after receiving the decision letter. Appeal information is provided in the decision letter sent to the reporting student.


What is a Residential Education Conversation (REC)?

RECs are utilized by Residence Directors to have conversations with students who may be in violation of the Behavioral Expectations & Regulations.  While students may not be charged with violations of expectations for student conduct, failing to attend REC meetings may result in charges for failing to comply with directives. Outcomes in RECs may be used as an aggravating factor in sanctioning in future cases.


What is an admonishment?

Admonishment letters may be sent to students who are in violation of the Behavioral Expectations and Regulations.  Typically, these letters are sent when the resident is found to be in possession of a prohibited item. Failing to remove the item promptly may result in charges  for failing to comply with directives.


Will my parents be notified?

  • The College does not report violations to parents or legal guardians with the exception of Alcohol or Drug violations resulting in Probation and/or Pending Termination of Housing or higher when a student is under 21 and/or considered a financial dependent.
  • In order to discuss specifics of a disciplinary incident, process, or outcome with a parent or legal guardian the student needs to provide a written waiver to the Office of Student Conduct.However, all notifications go through your TCNJ e-mail. If your parents have access to your e-mail login they may see any notifications sent to you.

Will this be on my permanent record?

The College maintains disciplinary records for 5 years after a student graduates or separates from the College unless the students was suspended or expelled. In cases of suspension or expulsion the College maintains a permanent record of that file.


Am I eligible for administrative deletion of my conduct record?

Some students may be eligible to petition for administrative deletion of their disciplinary record.  You may petition for an administrative deletion no sooner than one year after the date of the most recent finding of responsibility, or one calendar year prior to your graduation, whichever is later. Not all disciplinary records will be eligible for administrative deletion, including those that result in a sanction of suspension or expulsion.  The request must be made in writing to the Dean of Students by submitting the following form [insert link to form].


How will a disciplinary file affect my employment/grad school application, etc?

The College does not disclose any disciplinary record without written consent from the student in question. Additionally, the College does not report violations which resulted in a warning. If you were placed on disciplinary probation or higher the College reports all incidents the student was found responsible for including: the date of violation, nature of violation, related sanctions, and if you completed the sanctions.


What is the Community Standards Board (CSB)?

The Community Standards Board is a student board chaired by a student representative and advised by the Assistant Director of Student Conduct. The Community Standards Board is comprised of four voting members; the student chair votes only in the case of a tie. The advisor to the board does not vote nor participate in deliberations, but may answer questions regarding procedural standards, policy, or sanctioning practices. A student may appeal the board’s decision to the Director of Student Conduct. The Community Standards Board will not hear cases that may result in suspension or expulsion should the accused student be found responsible for any charges. If you are interested in getting involved contact conduct@tcnj.edu


Why do I need to report an off-campus arrest or citation?

The College may investigate whether or not the circumstances of the arrest/citation also constitutes a violation of the Student Conduct Code.

If you are arrested or issued a citation off campus during your time as a student at the College, you have an obligation to report the arrest or citation to the Office of Student Conduct within 30 calendar days.  Failure to report an arrest or citation within 30 calendar days may result in charges for violation of the Student Conduct Code. You should use the following link to provide information regarding the date, location, and nature of the arrest/citation: 

If you have questions, please email conduct@tcnj.edu.


How can I report an incident?

Students may report an incident during which there has been a violation of Expectations for Student Conduct.  Students may communicate with their Community Advisor or Residence Director, or fill out the report themselves: (insert link)


Why is there a hold on my PAWS account?

Typically a hold from Student Conduct is due to incomplete sanctions from a hearing where you were found responsible.  Check your e-mail to see if you missed a notification letter. You can also contact conduct@tcnj.edu for more information.



How do I Request a Background Check?

You may be asked to provide information on your disciplinary history at the College when applying for a job or pursuing higher education. The Office of Student Conduct can provide disciplinary records for you. Please following the proceeding steps in order to obtain your disciplinary records:

Applying for a job?

    1. Send us a release form
      1. Print, sign, and scan OR
      2. Print, sign, and mail a Disciplinary Background Release Form
    2. Send it to either the following email address: conduct@tcnj.edu, or the following mailing address:

The College of New Jersey Student Conduct & Off Campus Services

2000 Pennington Rd, #7718

Ewing, NJ 08628

  1. Include in your message to us a detailed address list of the places and people to whom the records must be sent.

Applying to transfer or to graduate school after your time at the College?

  1. If you are requesting disciplinary records through the Office of Records and Registration, you need not send us a separate request. Records and Registration will send your information to us, and we will process them for you.
  2. If you are not going through the Office of Records and Registration, you will need to follow the steps previously detailed under “Applying for a Job?”

How do I Remove a Disciplinary Hold?

Before you register for classes, be sure that you have no disciplinary holds remaining on your account, or you will not be allowed to do so.

1) Is your hold a disciplinary hold? If so, we will be able to help you. Search your e-mail for “Sanction Deadline Missed” This email will note your missed assignment, how to complete, and the original deadline.

2) Send your completed assignment (or confirmation of attendance from an ADEP assignment) to your original hearing administrator and conduct@tcnj.edu.

3) If you cannot find a “Sanction Deadline Missed” email or are not sure why you have a hold on your account please email us at conduct@tcnj.edu from your TCNJ email account. Your administrator will be able to help you resolve unfulfilled sanctions or work out any other issues.

Please note: the general timeline to remove a hold is 2-3 business days upon receipt of your assignment in order to review the assignment for completeness.


How do I Submit a Petition for Administrative Deletion?

Submit a Petition


How do I Report an Arrest?

Please follow the link to the Public Report Form, and select the option to report an arrest. Proceed with the form and attach any relevant documents/audio/recordings/etc.
Submit a Report


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