Your guide to the disciplinary process
Residence Life is responsible for investigating any alleged misconduct if this misconduct relates to (or occurs on) University owned or managed property. If you are asked to attend a disciplinary meeting with Residence Life staff then please cooperate with the process, this will only ever work in your favour. If you are asked to attend a disciplinary meeting please be aware that the initial part of the meeting will be investigative. You will be asked to review any evidence presented about your conduct and Residence Life staff will ascertain what your involvement is (if any), and whether or not this is considered to be misconduct.
If you cannot attend the scheduled meeting then please get in touch with the relevant staff, as outlined in communication from Residence Life, failure to engage with the disciplinary process would be considered an aggravating factor to any misconduct that is found to have occurred. You may also be asked to provide a written statement or a witness statement, if these relate to other students then the information (including your name) may be shared with them, this is to ensure transparency and fairness in the disciplinary process. For independent guidance about the delegated powers of Accommodation and Commercial Services, the process that is followed during the disciplinary meeting, how to prepare for any meeting, and the possible outcomes, please visit the Student Advice Centre website: https://yoursu.sheffield.ac.uk/student-advice-centre/academic/discipline/how-to-prepare-for-a-disciplinary-meeting
Disciplinary Fines - what happens to the money? Financial fines are one of the possible penalties imposed if Residence Life staff find misconduct to have occurred. All of the money which results from ACS/Residence Life disciplinary fines is donated to charitable causes in and around the Sheffield area. Fines imposed for Breaching the Smoke Free Policy are donated to the Sheffield Weston Park Cancer Charity (Registered Charity No. 509803), more about them can be found here: www.westonpark.org.uk/. Other fines are donated to local charities supported by Residence Life, and to the Student Hardship Fund which helps students in unforeseen financial difficulty. More information about the funding help available to students can be found here: www.sheffield.ac.uk/
Support Available to students when going through the Residence Life Disciplinary process:
We understand that receiving an email regarding a disciplinary meeting and attending said disciplinary meeting can be worrying for students, and in some cases a stress that can impact your studies. Therefore, please do access support if you need it, there are lots of support services available to students at The University of Sheffield, here are a few that may be helpful:
- The University's Central Welfare and Guidance team (CWaG) liaise with a range of departments, including Residence Life, to provide support to our students. They work with a variety of services, internally and externally, and can support you should you have difficulties in your personal life, including those that may impact on your studying. For more information please call CWaG directly on (0114) 222 4321, email the team at email@example.com, or visit their website at https://www.sheffield.ac.
- Speak to your Residence Life Mentor when they visit, or speak to a Residence Life Mentor at one of the Drop-in sessions every evening during term-time if you have any questions or concerns, or are worried about the disciplinary process.
For more information about other support available please see: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/
Glossary of Terms
Investigative: The disciplinary meeting with Residence Life staff is to investigate your involvement with certain incidents or alleged misconduct. You will not be ‘charged’ in advance of the meeting, instead these meetings offer you the opportunity to explain your involvement in the alleged misconduct (or lack of involvement if this is the case). Any misconduct that is found to have occurred will then be discussed with you alongside any relevant penalties that will be imposed.
Misconduct: Misconduct would be considered any behaviour which breaches one of more of the University Regulations relating to the Discipline of Students paragraphs 2(a) - (p). These Regulations can be found here – https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.743223!/file/29_Reg_XXII_Regulations_relating_to_the_Discipline_of_Students.pdf
Aggravating factor: Behaviour, attitude, lack of remorse or uncooperative behaviour would all be examples of factors which are seen as further aggravating any misconduct found to have occurred. Drinking alcohol or using substances which change your behaviour would also be seen as aggravating factors.
Mitigating factor: A lack of awareness that your behaviour impacted others or making an honest mistake could both be considered mitigating factors. These factors do not excuse any misconduct that has occurred but they suggest that education and cooperation can play a substantial part in preventing repeat misconduct.
Friend or Representative: If you are invited to a conduct meeting you may bring a friend or representative to attend with you. Any friend or family member can be brought to accompany you and give you support; they are not invited in order to contribute to the discussion or speak on your behalf. Questions will still be directed to you and your response alone will be considered. If you wish to provide further information (eg. details of other witnesses) then this should be done in writing more than 24 hours prior to the meeting. A Representative would be someone invited to speak on your behalf and explain your involvement in any incident or alleged misconduct, this could be an advisor from the Student Advice Centre. They are experienced at advising on the University’s disciplinary process and can explain the process being followed.
Witness statement: These are statements from other students, residents, members of the public, or staff. They should be concise and detail only incidents where misconduct is alleged, giving names and details. Any witness statement that is provided will be shared with individuals who are alleged to have been involved in misconduct, your name will not be kept confidential as it is important that the process is transparent and individuals can respond to allegations made against them.
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