Some students approach the Initial Conference like it is a criminal proceeding, and believe that they have a right to avoid self-incrimination. The student conduct process is educational in nature and students are encouraged to participate by being forthright and honest. However, a student can choose not to share information they believe to be against their interest. Students who pursue this strategy to avoid being found responsible should know that their silence will not prevent the student conduct officer from making a determination that could be unfavorable to them.
Unlike criminal proceedings, the standard of information (evidence) in the student conduct process IS NOT "beyond a reasonable doubt." Rather, the standard for the conduct process is the "preponderance of the information." This means the student conduct officer is trying to determine if it is "more likely than not" that the student engaged in the alleged misconduct. This is a much lower burden for the conduct officer to meet and ascertain through the information presented to him or her.