Whether Florida Gulf Coast University was your first choice or your safety school, you now get to spend a significant part of your year here in beautiful Fort Myers, Florida. Once settled in, you make friends and begin socializing. This may mean going to parties where alcohol and drugs are present. You may also find yourself in the middle of an argument that becomes physical or any number of situations in which police become involved.
Regardless of the reason, you may end up under arrest and may face criminal charges. Just because you face charges, however, that does not mean you will face a conviction. However, you will more than likely end up facing the FGCU student conduct process.
The basics of the process
The process will go something like this:
- The Dean of Student's Office receives notification of the incident.
- The case may be either investigated or dismissed.
- You could face an interim suspension during the process, which you may appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs or a designee.
- You receive notification of a meeting date to discuss the alleged violations outlined therein.
- At your meeting, you may choose either an administrative hearing or a committee hearing.
- If you choose an administrative hearing, you waive your right to a committee hearing. This hearing involves you and the hearing officer only.
- If you choose a committee hearing, you will go before a panel of students, staff and faculty.
- If the hearing officer or panel finds you responsible for the violations, you could face the following repercussions:
- Disciplinary probation
- Restorative service hours
- Counseling assessment
- Educational activity
- You will receive notification of the outcome
You may either accept the decision or appeal it. Considering the fact that you could face expulsion or suspension from school, you may want to take this process seriously. It doesn't follow the same rules as a criminal proceeding does and does not follow typical evidentiary rules either. FGCU will not tell you that you may consult with an attorney regarding this process.
In fact, you have the right to bring an adviser to your hearing whether it is with a hearing officer or before the panel. If you do face criminal charges as well, you will need to be sure not to jeopardize that case with anything you say or do at the school. It may be possible to get your life back on track, but it may require you to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you with both the criminal and the FGCU student conduct processes.