Florida State University
In 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 1076 (SB 1076), designating Florida State University (FSU) as one of two "preeminent" universities in the Sunshine State. Preeminent universities are institutions which meet 11 out of 12 metrics, including having a freshman retention rate of 90 percent, a six-year graduation rate above 70 percent, total research expenditures exceeding $200 million, a ranking within the Top 100 nationally for research expenditures and $500 million or more in endowments.
As such a reputable institution of higher learning, FSU students are expected to abide by university's code of conduct, and any alleged violation of the conduct code can have very damaging consequences for a student's academic career. Depending on the nature of an alleged violation, a student could possibly be suspended or even expelled from FSU.
Lawyer for Florida State University Disciplinary Hearings
Were you arrested for an alleged criminal offense or do you think you might be under investigation for a different alleged violation of the FSU Conduct Code? Speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your next steps can be helpful.
Dean Galigani and the criminal defense attorneys of Galigani Law Firm assist students at many different colleges in Florida.
Call (352) 375-0812 right now to have our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Florida State University Student Conduct Code Violations
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Types of Student Conduct Code Violations at Florida State University
The FSU Student Conduct Code states that the university’s "jurisdiction regarding student conduct is generally limited to the conduct of any student regardless of location, when that conduct may adversely affect the student, the University community, its international programs, or any other University affiliated programs."
Authority for student discipline ultimately rests with the President of FSU and the FSU Board of Trustees, who delegates this authority to the Vice President for Student Affairs, who delegates this authority to the Dean of Students and to the Executive Director of University Housing.
Acts that constitute violations of the FSU Student Conduct Code include the following:
- Sexual Misconduct — Includes sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, dating violence or relationship violence, domestic violence, sex discrimination, retaliation, and complicity.
- Endangerment — Defined as physical violence towards another person or group, action(s) that endanger the health, safety, or well-being of another person or group, and interference with the freedom of another person to move about in a lawful manner.
- Harassment — Conduct, not of a sexual nature, that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person, including action(s) or statement(s) that threaten harm or intimidate another, acts that invade the privacy of another person, bullying behavior, or stalking, not of a sexual nature.
- Hazing — Defined as "any group or individual action or activity that endangers the mental or physical health or safety or which may demean, disgrace, or degrade any person, regardless of location, intent, or consent of participant(s)."
- Remote Controlled Aircraft — Unauthorized on-campus use of any remote controlled aircraft or vehicle (such as drones) or failure to comply with established guidelines for authorized use of remote controlled aircraft.
- Weapons — On-campus possession or use of firearms, antique firearms, ammunition, destructive devices, or other weapons or dangerous articles or substances, including but not limited to non-lethal weapons such as pellet guns, bb guns, paintball markers, slingshots, crossbows, stun guns, tasers, metallic knuckles, archery equipment, or any dangerous chemical or biological agent.
- Fire and Safety — Inappropriate activation of any emergency warning equipment or the false reporting of any emergency; unlawful possession, or removal of, damage to, or tampering with fire safety or other emergency warning equipment; failure to evacuate a University building or facility within a reasonable amount of time after a fire alarm is sounded; or arson, or the setting of any unauthorized fire in or on University property.
- Alcohol, Controlled Substances, and Illegal Drugs — Includes unlawful possession or use of controlled substances; possession or use of illegal drugs; purchase of illegal drugs or controlled substances; distribution, delivery, or sale of illegal drugs or controlled substances; possession or use of drug paraphernalia; possession or consumption of alcohol when under the age of 21; providing alcoholic beverages to an individual who is under the age of 21 as specified by the State of Florida; driving while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances; intoxicated behavior; open party (defined by the University); any other violation of the University Alcohol Policy, FSU RegulationFSU-6.012.
- Disruption —Includes failure to comply with a lawful order of or providing false information to a University official or to a non-University law enforcement official (as defined by the University).
- Misrepresentation or Misuse of Identity or Identification — Permitting another person to use identification; inappropriate use of another person’s identification; impersonation, or misrepresenting the authority to act on behalf of another or the University; forgery, alteration, or misuse of identification, documents, records, keys, or access codes; manufacture, distribution, delivery, sale, or purchase of false identification; or possession or use of false identification.
- Property — Damage or destruction of public or private property; theft; misappropriation; receipt, possession, sale, or purchase of property or services that are known or reasonably should have been known to have been stolen; or entering or using the property or facilities of the university or of another person without the proper consent or authorization.
- Computers — Includes unauthorized access or entry into a computer, computer system, network, database account, software, or data; unauthorized alteration of computer equipment, software, network, or data; unauthorized downloading, copying, or distribution of computer software or data; or any other act that violates Florida law or the Florida State University Policies and Responsibilities for Use of Campus Computer and Network Resources.
- Recording of Images without Consent —Defined as using electronic or other means to make a video or photographic record of any person where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy without the person's consent.
- Recording of Oral Communications without Consent — Defined as using electronic or other means to make a record of any person when such oral communication is uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation, and the person has not given consent to the acquisition or recording of the communication.
- Publication of Explicit Images — Publication of an explicit image of a person that conveys personal identifying information of that person on a website, via social media, or other means without the depicted person’s consent, even if the depicted person originally consented to the creation of the image or voluntarily provided it to the person responsible for the publication.
- Gambling — Defined as engaging in or offering games of chance for money or other gain in violation of the laws of the State of Florida.
Violations can also include any alleged violations of federal or State law, local ordinance, any Florida Board of Governors Regulation, the Academic Honor Policy, or any other University regulation or policy as described in the FSU General Bulletin, University Housing contract, University Housing Publication - Graduate / Undergraduate, The Guide to Residence Living, other University Housing publications, the FSU Online Student Policy Hand book, the official FSU website, Student Activities and Organizational Policies (Student Organizational Manual or other University policies and Student Organization Advisor's Manual), or other University policies directly related to departments, organizations or clubs. If a student aids, abets, conspires, solicits, incites, or attempts to commit, any other violation of federal law, State law, or local ordinance, that can also constitute a violation.
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Florida State University Disciplinary Process
When a student allegedly violates the Student Conduct Code, he or she will receive a charge letter. The student must call the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities within five class days of receiving the charge letter in order to set up an appointment for an information session.
Students accused of violating the Student Conduct Code can choose both their hearing type and hearing body. The Student Conduct Code provides for two types of hearings:
- Informal Hearing — FSU states that informal hearings are "best suited for cases involving few questions of fact." The University does not automatically call witnesses to support the charges at an informal hearing, but students may call witnesses and present evidence.
- Formal Hearing — Formal hearings are held no sooner than five class days after notice is given to the charged student and require the hearing body to call appropriate witnesses to provide information relevant to the charges. The hearings are recorded for official record of the proceedings.
Organizations charged with alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code are represented in the conduct process by the presidents of the organizations, and all hearings for student organizations are public. The Greek Judicial Board serves as the hearing body for Greek organizations, and the Student Judicial Board serves as the hearing body for all other student organizations.
Once a hearing has concluded, the earing body makes a determination of “responsible” or “not responsible” for each charge. When a decision of responsible is reached, the hearing body crafts a set of educational sanctions for the student to complete in order to fulfill the conduct process. Failure to complete the sanctions by an established deadline can result in a judicial hold being placed on the student’s University records.
Appeals can be requested on any first-level decision, and an appeal request form must be submitted within five class days of a student receiving the decision. Students are required to list the basis or bases they are appealing on, and the FSU Student Conduct Code establishes that appeal considerations are limited to:
- Due process errors involving violations of a responding party's fundamental due process rights or a reporting party's rights (see “Procedures”) that substantially affected the outcome of the initial hearing.
- Demonstrated prejudice against any party by the person presiding over the hearing. Such prejudice must be evidenced by a conflict of interest, bias, pressure, or influence that precluded a fair and impartial hearing.
- Newly discovered, relevant information that was not reasonably available at the time of the original hearing and that would have substantially affected the outcome of the original hearing.
- A sanction that is extraordinarily disproportionate to the violation committed.
- The preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing does not support the finding with regard to responsibility. Appeals based on this consideration will be limited solely to a review of the record of the first-level hearing, except newly discovered evidence under the sub-bullet above may also be considered.
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Florida State University Student Conduct Code Resources
Conduct Codes | FSU | Dean of Students — Visit this section of the FSU website to access the conduct codes for students and student organizations. You can also view the university's Academic Honor Policy,
Equal Opportunity & Non-Discrimination Statement, and Title IX Statement. The website also has answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Florida State University Academic Honor Policy — View the full text of FSU's Academic Honor Policy. The policy outlines the eight Academic Honor Violations, which include plagiarism; cheating; unauthorized group work; fabrication, falsification, and misrepresentation; multiple submission; abuse of academic materials; complicity in academic dishonesty; and attempting to commit any of these violations. You can also learn about student rights and procedures for resolving cases.
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Galigani Law Firm | Florida State University Student Conduct Code Violation Defense Attorney
If you are an FSU student who could be under investigation for an alleged code of conduct violation or has already been arrested for an alleged criminal offense, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. Galigani Law Firm represents individuals enrolled at institutions of higher learning all over the Sunshine State.
Dean Galigani is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Gainesville who is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar. You can have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation as soon as you call (352) 375-0812 or submit an online contact form today.
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