Filing a Complaint
- Who can file a complaint? Any person with relevant information concerning a possible violation of the Code of Student Conduct may file a complaint. Although the Student Conduct process can operate parallel to criminal or civil justice processes, it is not the forum to rely on if you hope to recover money damages or otherwise seek a judgment in your favor. You may have remedies at law you to consider. Our office cannot advise you on those options. Enrolled Ohio State students (who did not waive the associated fee) should contact Student Legal Services at 614-247-5853 to consult with an attorney.
- How do I file a complaint? You can report a complaint by submitting information through our online complaint form.
- What happens after I submit a complaint to Student Conduct? Student Conduct will review all reports received for possible investigation. An investigation may involve interviewing those involved in the incident, consulting with police or other University officials who are co-investigating, or collecting materials relevant to the situation. Students who are the subject of reports alleging misconduct will meet with a hearing officer in Student Conduct in a preliminary conference. This is the student’s opportunity to learn about the disciplinary process, make an initial statement regarding his/her involvement in the reported incident, and to ask any questions of the hearing officer.
- What is my role in the disciplinary process after I file a complaint? You are not responsible for "prosecuting" or presenting the case. You may be asked to meet with a hearing officer to provide additional information, answer any questions the hearing officer may have about the incident, and/or testify in a hearing. If you choose not to be involved in the disciplinary process once you have filed a complaint or report, the process will continue if there is sufficient information. In some cases, there may not be sufficient information to sustain charges.
- May I have a support person with me? You may have a support person with you throughout the process. The person serves in an advisory and supportive role, and may not speak for you. Your support person cannot be a witness in the case. For more information, please review our Advisor Information page.
- Am I required to attend a hearing of the accused student? We strongly encourage the complainant to participate fully in the disciplinary process, including attending a hearing of the accused if necessary. If you are unable to attend a hearing, you may provide a written statement. If you are uncomfortable with attending a hearing, please ask to speak with your hearing officer. There may be options available that address your concerns, such as testifying from a separate room. The accused student will have the right to ask questions of you, but the hearing officer or board coordinator can determine how this will occur. We make great effort to keep the questioning from being done in an inappropriate manner and to make the environment feel as safe as possible.
- Can I choose to stop the process from happening? That depends on the nature of the allegations. In some cases, you can choose to stop the process. In some others, if there is an issue of safety for you or members of the OSU community, the university may have to take action, even if you do not want it to. You may discuss your concerns and preferences with the hearing officer who is handling the case and/or the Director.
- Can I submit a complaint anonymously? Yes, but our ability to start or complete an investigation may be limited without knowing the source of the complaint.