How the Process Begins

Judicial procedures begin when a formal concern is filed with the Office of Community Standards (OCS) alleging that a Stanford student has violated the Honor Code, Fundamental Standard or other applicable University student conduct policies.

OCS typically notifies the responding student within a week of the formal concern being filed.  The notification from OCS will provide information about the nature of the concern and next steps in the process.

Begin by reviewing the concern, the "Overview of the Judicial Process for Responding Students" presentation, and the Student Judicial Charter of 1997.

OCS Processes for Handling Concerns

Most concerns are handled through the judicial process described in the Student Judicial Charter of 1997, but there are other processes that may apply to your situation. You may discuss these when you talk with your Judicial Advisor.

Process Applies To Key Features
Early Resolution Option (ERO) All cases involving uncontested first-offense Fundamental Standard, Honor Code, and policy violations where, in the opinion of the Office of
Community Standards, there is precedent from which to determine a reasonable sanction.


  • Optional process
  • Charges are resolved without a Judicial Panel Hearing (hence, process is shorter)
  • Responding student waives right to appeal
  • Responding student must accept responsibility for charges and accept sanction
  • Responding student may return to standard judicial process if s/he changes his/her mind
Dean's Alternate Review Process (ARP Cases involving:
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Dating violence
  • Stalking
  • Rights accorded to the responding student and impacted party are different than in the standard judicial process
  • If charges are filed, different process for review of information and determination of outcome than in the standard judicial process
Restorative Justice (RJ) Circle Fundamental Standard and similar cases in which the harmed party, responding student, and Office of Community Standards agree to this resolution model.
  • Dialogue among responding student, harmed party, and other community members led by trained co-facilitators
  • Participants in the RJ Circle determine together the appropriate ways to repair the harm that occurred

Preparing Your Response and Documentation

Because memories can fade, a good first step is to write down everything you can recall about the incident described in the concern. 

For Honor Code concerns, keep all of your work from the class (e.g., notes, research, other work, exams, etc.).  Write down everything you can remember about how, when, where, and with whom you completed the work in question. Include information about potential witnesses (e.g., if the concern is about an in-class exam, try to remember where you sat, who sat around you, etc.).

Meeting with the Judicial Advisor

Contact OCS to schedule an appointment with the Judicial Advisor (JA) for the concern to review the judicial process and your rights therein. You can view the checklist that is reviewed with responding students during their initial meeting with the JA here. You are encouraged to ask the JA questions about the process in general and specifically as it relates to your situation.

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Common Concerns

Advisers and Support Person(s)

You have a right to have a person of your choice (e.g., friend, family member, attorney, etc.) accompany you throughout the investigative and adjudicative process (i.e., to join you at any meetings or hearings).


The Office of Community Standards is committed to maintaining students' confidentiality in judicial processes. One of the rights of the responding student is "to be assured that their identity and the circumstances of allegations against them will be kept confidential, except in specific circumstances identified in the bylaws of the Board on Judicial Affairs." Likewise, the Office of Community Standards has hearing accommodations available to protect the privacy of individuals who have brought forward a concern, to the greatest extent possible. Students with specific questions about the policies regarding confidentiality should talk with a Judicial Advisor.

The Office of Community Standards maintains a confidential file on cases that are found by a Judicial Panel, the Early Resolution Option (ERO), or Alternate Review Process Reviewers to constitute a violation. Limited information pertaining to a student's disciplinary record may need to be disclosed without the student's permission under specific circumstances. Otherwise, the contents of this file are disclosed only with the student's signed consent. Additionally, the Charter stipulates that responding students have the right "to be assured that no record of any violation or alleged violation will be placed on their transcript. Where the sanction of an Honor Code violation is modification of a grade, no reference will be made to the cause of the grade change."

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