We have represented many students facing discipline through Washington State University’s Office of Student Conduct (“OSC”). The OSC webpage can be found here.
It is critical to consult with an attorney at the earliest opportunity. An attorney can be more effective if involved early in the process. Do not wait until after you have been informed that you are being suspended or expelled to contact an attorney; by then it is often too late for an attorney to substantially affect the outcome.
The Student Conduct process may initially seem non-confrontational, but students and parents should make no mistake: the process can have severe consequences. By itself, expulsion is a drastic consequence, but expulsion can also affect a student’s ability to transfer to another school, or gain admission to graduate school. The Student Conduct process can even result in a student being trespassed from WSU property. Furthermore, if a Student Conduct violation arises out of a criminal violation, a student would be well-advised to consider whether his or her statements in the Student Conduct process can later be used in the criminal case (hint: they can!).
We would be happy to discuss the Student Conduct process with you.
UPDATE: On December 1, 2016, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued a decision that held that, in cases where a student faces expulsion or is charged with a felony of a sexual nature, WSU’s Student Conduct Process is inadequate. This decision has caused WSU to implement changes to its student conduct hearings, changes which will make the hearings more “formal” – meaning more active participation by attorneys. The case can be found here.