Students Defending Students

Ohio University (OU) is known for many things. And, unfortunately, partying is one of them. Underage and binge drinking is a reoccurring problem at OU. In the past, students have gotten in trouble while intoxicated walking on Court Street, getting sick at a concert or fighting someone at a bar. All of those actions violate the Student Code of Conduct. But what happens after that?



  1. The student commits an alleged violation (can occur on or off campus) of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct.
  2. A report is filed and the Office of Community Standards selects charges and responsibility based upon the information in the report.
    1. The report could come from a Resident Assistant, Ohio University Police Department, Athens City Police or another student.
  3. The student is notified of the charges in a Referral form from the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility.
    1. The Referral will arrive in the student’s CatMail account.

                     i.     The Referral contains: the charges and a description of the charges bring filed against the accused student

                     ii.     The time and date for the student’s Procedural Interview

                     iii.     The time, date and location of the alleged violation

                    iv.     A description of any physical evidence, the events surrounding the alleged violation and the rights and options of the accused student.

  1. Time is given for the student to prepare for the Procedural Interview.
    1. This is where students can talk to a Students Defending Students (SDS) representative for help.
  2. The student has his or her first meeting with someone from the Office of Community Standards.
    1. This meeting is called a Procedural Interview (PI).
  3. If the case is not resolved in the PI, it advances to a Hearing.
  4. If necessary, a sanction will be given to the student.
  5. After the first phase of the process has completed, the student is given the opportunity to appeal the decision made by the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility.

It’s important to know the process and how to seek help if you find yourself in an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. “I think it’s important to have an organization like this in a campus because our Code of Conduct provides students with the right to an adviser, but without an organization of people who witness the process frequently, there would be a lack of experienced people to serve as advisers,” said Katlyn Patton, the Director of SDS.

“The best advice I have for incoming freshman to stay out of trouble would be to avoid making decisions that violate the Code, but that’s not necessarily realistic,” said Patton. “My second best advice would be to make smart decisions about where you are, who you surround yourself with and familiarize yourself with the Code and the potential outcomes of common violations.”

SDS was formed in 1976 and is a non-profit organization composed of an all-volunteer staff of students.

For more information on SDS: visit their website, Facebook or Twitter.

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