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Frequently Asked Questions

Community Standards Intake Meetings

What does a Community Standards letter mean? 

If the Community Standards Office receives information that there may have been a potential policy violation, then we need to follow up on that information. This letter is a way to let you know what the alleged policy violations are. It also highlights information in the student handbook that may be helpful to you. This letter does not mean you are automatically responsible for a violation, but there is information that needs to be discussed. 

Why is this situation going through Community Standards instead of another form of follow up?

Other options are for lower-level, first time incidents. The following are typical reasons for Community Standards follow up: severity of incident, previously had other actions taken or previous Community Standards incidents, higher level alcohol incident (i.e, amount, hosting), failure to comply, or other similar circumstances. 

What happens next? 

You will have an intake meeting with a Community Standards Representative. This meeting allows you the opportunity to ask questions, clarify information, describe circumstances, and accurately share information related to this incident. 

What will we talk about in this meeting? 

First, the staff member will review the Community Standards process with you so you know what options you have and can make informed decisions. Second, you have an opportunity to hear the reports associated with the incident. Third, you will have a conversation about the alleged policy violation and issues surrounding this incident. Finally, you will be asked to either admit or deny violating the policy. 

How should I prepare for this meeting? 

It is recommended that you review the student handbook for Community Standards information (pgs 15-28). If you have further questions before your meeting, you can also call the Community Standards Office at 765-658-4270. We encourage you to take ownership for the choices you have made and be honest about your involvement in a situation. An open dialogue allows an opportunity for mutual respect between you and the staff member. 

What happens if I admit violating a policy? 

The staff member you are meeting with will determine the appropriate sanction using the guidelines in the student handbook. 

What happens if I deny violating a policy? 

You will have the opportunity to share more information with the Community Standards Review Board. You will have two business days to submit a written denial statement and/or evidence for the Community Standards Review Board to consider. After reviewing your additional information, the Community Standards Review Board will determine if there is a preponderance of evidence if you are responsible for the Code of Conduct violation.

If I deny, do I have to automatically submit additional information? 

If the information in your initial meeting clearly shows that you are not responsible, then charges can be dropped or alternative actions may be taken. All other situations will be reviewed by the Community Standards Review Board after reviewing your additional submitted materials. 

Are all sanctions punitive? 

It is our hope that the Community Standards process is an educational experience. The conversations you will have are intended to address campus expectations and discuss educational concepts related to accountability. As a student at DePauw you have many rights and freedoms, as well as increased responsibility. Sanctions are designed to address educational issues as well as support campus standards. 

How are sanctions determined? 

The student handbook (page 21) provides general sanctioning guidelines. Specific sanctions are determined based on the severity of the incident, the presence of any previous violations, and the specific details of your incident. Sanctions are tailored to address the individual circumstances of your incident. 

What if I feel I am not responsible for violating this policy? 

Then share this perspective at your initial meeting, clarify what the allegations mean, and ask questions about the policy. One of the reasons to have a Community Standards system is to provide students a process that offers them procedural rights and a mechanism to hear their perspective. 


Tenets of the Community Standards Program 

  • To regard each student as an individual, deserving individual attention, consideration, and respect 
  • To consider the facts fully and carefully before resolving any case 
  • To speak candidly and honestly to each student 
  • To hold each student to a high standard of behavior, both to protect the campus community and to promote student moral development 
  • To recognize the reality of human fallibility, as well as the stresses associated with collegiate life, and to demonstrate compassion and understanding 
  • To contribute to the educational mission of the University by upholding policies, conducting programs, and offering instruction that contribute to the intellectual and moral development of students