Skip to content

What should I expect?

Many commonly asked questions about what happens when you are referred to the Office of Community Expectations (OCE) are answered below. This section is intended to provide general answers to general questions. Please always refer to the Student Handbook for detailed information on our policies. 

OCE receives reports from all areas of the university community such as Residential Education staff, the Department of Public Safety, faculty and staff. Reports are reviewed by OCE Staff and if the circumstances surrounding the complaint indicate there are is a potential violation of the Student Handbook, allegations of a violation of policy may be brought against the student. Students are notified by a letter sent to them through their USC email account indicating the date, location, and brief description of the incident. The letter will also provide the student an opportunity to meet with an OCE staff member.

When you meet with an OCE Coordinator you will be asked about the alleged violation and given the opportunity to present any relevant information, documents, or contact information for witnesses. Honesty is important, and will be used as a factor in the decision making process. Meetings are scheduled for one hour. Please familiarize yourself with the Student Community Expectations and the review process prior to your meeting.

Please see the section titled Non-Academic violations review process or Academic Review process for a full description of the process.

While OCE can answer any general process questions by telephone, privacy concerns do not allow us to discuss individual cases. 

Yes. Students have the right to inspect documents and/or relevant information on file during the review. In order to maintain standards of confidentiality, personally identifiable information of other persons listed in the report will be redacted. See Student Education Records Policy in The Student Handbook for complete details.

Student will have a one-on-one meeting with an OCE Coordinator.

For allegations resolved through OCE, students/organizations may have an advisor of the student’s or organization’s choosing present at any meeting with staff in OCE or at a review panel. The advisor may not be a witness or have any conflicting role in the process or with a party. The role of the advisor is to provide support and assistance to the student/organization in understanding and navigating this process. To protect the privacy of those involved, all advisors are required to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to attending a meeting with OCE staff or otherwise participating in the university’s process. The university’s focus is on the student/organization, not the advisor. All communication is made directly with the student/organization. The process will not be unreasonably delayed to accommodate the schedule of the advisor. An advisor must be familiar with university policy and may be required to meet with OCE staff in advance of participation in university proceedings. The advisor may only quietly confer with the student/organization during any meeting with OCE staff or in an administrative review or review panel, may not author written submissions, and cannot disrupt the process. OCE staff members have the right to determine what constitutes appropriate behavior of an advisor and take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with this policy. 

Confidentiality Waiver
Advisor Guidelines

For allegations resolved through OCE, students/organizations are encouraged, but are not required to be present at an administrative review or review panel. The university reserves the right to proceed with the disciplinary process in absentia when a student/organization fails to respond after proper notice has been given or after the university has exercised reasonable effort to notify the student/organization of the allegations. As such, you are strongly encouraged to attend the administrative review or review panel and discuss the case with an OCE staff member or a review panel.

Per the Student Handbook, email is the primary mechanism for sending official communications to students at the University of Southern California. Students, therefore, must check email regularly in order to stay updated on important messages and notifications. Failure to read official university communications sent to students’ official email address does not absolve students from knowing and complying with the content of official communications.

The issue in question is between the student and the University. Your disciplinary proceedings, and the files that accompany them, are confidential and protected by university policy based on federal law. If a parent calls the OCE about a disciplinary matter, the parent will be referred back to the student for clarification. You can sign a confidentiality waiver with OCE to allow non-involved parties (such as your parents, advisor, or employer) access to your disciplinary records and proceedings.

Release of records is permitted without prior consent in certain circumstances. Departments within the university who demonstrate an educational interest can request information regarding a student’s disciplinary file. Examples of valid educational interest include departments reviewing applicants for study abroad programs, and Resident Advisor applicants. Please see the University Student Records Policy in the Student Handbook for complete details.

It depends. Most violations are not displayed on your academic record, but are maintained in a separate disciplinary record. Disciplinary files are maintained in The Office of Community Expectations for up to seven years. At the end of the seven years this file is destroyed. However, if you are suspended, expelled, or your admission or degree is revoked, a permanent notation will appear on your academic record, and your disciplinary file is maintained indefinitely in the OCE. Please see the University Student Records Policy in the Student Handbook for complete details.

Yes. Students have a separate relationship to the university that is different from their responsibilities as citizens.

If the student/organization accepts responsibility for the alleged violation(s) and reaches an agreement during the administrative review as to (an) outcome(s), the matter is considered resolved and no appeal is available. 

Otherwise, the student/organization may appeal the decision issued by OCE staff or by a review panel. Students may submit a written appeal on one or more of the following grounds:

  • New information that is sufficient to alter the determination of responsibility, and which the student/organization was not aware of or could not have reasonably obtained at the time of the initial review. 
  • Procedural error(s) that materially impacted the determination of responsibility. (Procedural or technical irregularities will not be sufficient to sustain an appeal unless found to have affected the determination of responsibility.)
  • The outcomes assigned are disproportionate to the determination of responsibility.

A written appeal must be submitted to the Appeal Manager within 10 business days from the date of issuance of the written decision. If an appeal is not submitted by the deadline, then the decision will be considered final. As the appeals are based on documentary reviews by the Vice President for Student Life or their designee, written submissions should be as complete as possible and no longer than five (5)  single-spaced typed pages with a font no smaller than a size of 10 point. For more information about the appeal process, you may review the Student Handbook.

This past year, the University completed the task of connecting our reimagined Integrity and Accountability Code with our Unifying Values. A result of this process was the sunsetting of the Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards (SJACS) office and the creation of two new offices: The Office of Community Expectations (OCE) and the Office of Academic Integrity (OAI). The OCE will work with all non-academic alleged policy violations and the OAI will work with all academic integrity matters.

Another result of the University’s process was the sunsetting of SCampus and the creation of Living Our Unifying Values: The USC Student Handbook; simply, the Student Handbook. The Student Handbook was created in a way that makes it more accessible to our community and includes some new policies and procedures designed to emphasize the core priorities of OCE and OAI: the education and development of our student community.

You are still responsible for responding to and engaging in the process. Contact the person who sent you the letter in late Spring 2022 semester to confirm your engagement, or the Office of Community Expectations for additional assistance. They will be able to provide you with the information you will need.

It depends.  Most violations are not displayed on your academic record but are maintained in a separate disciplinary record by the Office of Community Expectations (OCE) for non-academic misconduct, and the Office of Academic Integrity (OAI) for academic misconduct for up to seven years after the most recent student conduct incident, except for records made as part of the student’s academic records (i.e., notations on a transcript of suspension, expulsion, and/or revocation of admission or degree), in which case records of student disciplinary history are kept indefinitely. See Student Records for complete details.

Please allow up to 5-7 days for your request to be reviewed and processed once all information and any required documents have been received.

Please email the form to Make sure to sign the waiver release and we will send the completed form to the organization unless otherwise requested. To ensure a complete disciplinary check, please also contact the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (, as we do not have access to their records. 

Internal offices at USC may ask for and be given student disciplinary history as part of evaluating student eligibility for study abroad, leadership opportunities, awards, admission to a USC program, etc. A student’s disciplinary history for purposes of internal sharing includes all incidents in which a student was found responsible for a violation of policy, and includes cases resolved through the Health and Safety Intervention Policy and Informal Resolution process. Release of these records is permitted without prior consent.

Law Certification, Bar Examiners forms, and Dean’s Letters can be requested by email at Include the nature of the request and contact person, institution, and mailing information where the letter needs to be sent. Please also make sure to include your contact information, along with your USC identification number in your request.

Please contact Pre-Health Advising, at (213) 740-4844 for assistance with completing form. Forms may also be emailed to Nathalie Zuletta/

You may email your request to Make sure to sign the waiver so we may conduct the disciplinary check. Please allow 2 weeks for processing and state if you would like the form to be sent directly or held for pick-up.

Please email a written request to stating the nature of the request, the name, and the USC ID of the student.  Your request will be processed, and you will receive an email response upon completion. To ensure a complete disciplinary check, please also check the student’s name with the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (, as we do not have access to their records.

Please email a written request to stating the nature of the request, a list of names, including USC ID, and a general time frame of request completion.  Based on the time of year and caseload, requests involving 50 or more students may take up to 3 weeks to complete. To ensure a complete disciplinary check, please also check the student’s name with the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (, as we do not have access to their records.

Learn About Our Process

Back to top