Judicial Policies

Myths and Facts about Student Conduct

Myth #1: If I violate a university policy, I’ll most likely receive a warning the first time.

Fact: The Standards for Student Conduct is your warning. All students are expected to read and know the Standards for Student Conduct. In addition, all Greeks are expected to know and abide by the policies set forth in the Student Organization Handbook. When you agree to become a member of the university community, you agree to abide by all university policies whether you have read them or not. Therefore, if you violate the Standards for Student Conduct, you will most likely be placed on Probation, Suspension, or Expulsion for a first violation.

Myth #2: Most universities have a “three strikes” policy regarding alcohol; therefore, I’m pretty sure I won’t get suspended or expelled on a first or second violation.

Fact: Although most first time alcohol violations will result in being placed on university probation and required participation in an alcohol intervention program, first time alcohol violations may result in suspension or expulsion. A second alcohol violation will most likely result in suspension from the university for a minimum of one semester.

Examples of first time violations that may result in suspension or expulsion include:

  • Hosting a party where underage drinking is occurring
  • Providing alcohol to minors
  • Being in possession of a large amount of alcohol
  • Any physical violence while under the influence of alcohol
  • Any alcohol violation that puts someone’s health or safety in danger (including yourself)

Examples of second violations that may result in suspension after two violations include:

  • A student responsible for an alcohol violation in the residence halls then receives a “Minor in Possession” citation for having a can of beer on Montezuma Road
  • A student responsible for drinking underage at Fraternity Row and then is cited for being drunk in public at a San Diego State University football game at Qualcomm stadium
  • A 21-year-old student responsible for driving under the influence of alcohol and then is drunk and disorderly at an off-campus party

Myth #3: I will be placed on probation for a first time drug policy violation.

Fact: A student may be suspended or expelled for a first time drug policy violation. Some examples of drug violations that will result in suspension or expulsion include:

  • Possession of a large amount of marijuana or possession of other controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, etc.
  • Sharing illegal or prescription drugs with other students
    The sale or distribution of illegal drugs

Myth #4: I will not get in trouble for fighting if someone else started the fight.

Fact: Almost all instances of physical violence will result in suspension from the university for a minimum of one semester or expulsion from the university.

Myth #5: My fraternity or sorority can be held responsible by the university for hazing but I won’t be, especially if my organization made me do it.

Fact: All members of a student organization can be held individually responsible for their involvement in fraternity and sorority events and activities where the Standards for Student Conduct are violated. If you know that members of your organization are violating university policies, not only will your organization be held responsible, but you can, too. All new members are strongly encouraged to report all instances of hazing. Members also have a responsibility to walk away from an activity or event that violates university policies no matter what their position is within an organization. If a new member chooses to be hazed by their organization, they can be held accountable for the hazing as those that have initiated and/or participated in the hazing.

Myth #6: If I withhold information, distort the facts, or lie during a university investigation of a Greek organization or its members, nobody will ever know.

Fact: As a member of the university community, you are responsible for complying with requests and providing truthful and accurate information during any university investigation or to any university official including the police. If it is believed that you have not fully cooperated with any university official, you will be charged with a violation of the Standards for Student Conduct. If you are found responsible for the violation, you may be suspended or expelled from the university. Remember, what good will it do you to protect your “organization” if you’re no longer able to attend the university and enjoy the benefits of membership?

Myth #7: If I’m documented for a university policy violation, I’ll just deny it. Won’t the university have to prove my involvement beyond a reasonable doubt?

Fact: Decisions regarding policy violations are based on the preponderance of the evidence standard. The preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its accuracy and truth, and not on the amount of evidence. Therefore, the judicial officer must believe that it was more likely than not that a policy violation occurred based on the weight of the evidence.

Myth #8: I can’t get in trouble with the university if I drink underage at a fraternity party.

Fact: Students will be held accountable for drinking underage at fraternity parties. The Standards for Student Conduct can be enforced on or off campus.

Standards of Conduct

The Standards for Student Conduct can be found in the General Catalog as well as on the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities website at http://csrr.sdsu.edu


Question: The only members of a fraternity or sorority who will be held accountable for hazing are those who are personally engaged in hazing other students.

  • True
    True is incorrect
  • False
    False is correct! All students who are present when hazing occurs can be held responsible can be held accountable. Additionally officers who were aware that a hazing activity was planned can be held responsible, whether or not they were present.