FAQ for Advisors

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The information provided on this page is intended to assist those who have been asked to serve as an advisor to a student in a student discipline case. We make every effort to update the information in a timely manner, but please be aware that, in any conflict between this information and the Student Disciplinary Procedures, the procedures will prevail.

Please note that the answers provided here may not apply if you are advising a student who has been accused of Title IX Sexual Harassment. Advisors in such cases do have the ability to conduct cross-examination in the formal hearing but are otherwise not authorized to speak on behalf of the advisee. For more information about your role in such cases, you should review the Student Disciplinary Procedures and/or contact the assigned investigator.

As an advisor, you are present to support the student and to assist them only in ways with which you are comfortable. You may not actively participate in the meeting/hearing, but you may whisper to the student, pass them written notes, etc. The student may also request, within reasonable limits, to pause the meeting to confer with you.

A student may choose any willing person to serve as their advisor.

No. Students are expected to speak for themselves in all student disciplinary proceedings. Advisors are not allowed to speak directly to the case coordinator or to committee members, nor are they allowed to ask questions. If you have valuable, first-hand information about the incident, you should serve as a witness and should encourage the student to choose another advisor.

The Office for Student Conflict Resolution will correspond directly with the individuals involved, so your best source of information about the incident will be the student. If you have general questions about the process or about your role as an advisor, you should schedule an appointment to speak with the assigned case coordinator (your advisee will know who this is) by calling (217) 333-3680.

If you and your advisee are meeting with a case coordinator in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution, your advisee is responsible for taking your availability into account when scheduling the appointment. Although the student may call to reschedule an appointment for good cause, repeated rescheduling could lead to a registration hold or a decision being made in your advisee’s absence.

The Office for Student Conflict Resolution schedules formal hearings based on the availability of committee members and notifies student participants at least one week in advance.

If you are unavailable during the meeting window provided by your advisee’s case coordinator or for a scheduled formal hearing, you should encourage the student to choose another advisor.

We encourage all advisors to review the relevant sections of the Student Code and Student Disciplinary Procedures and to contact the assigned case coordinator with any questions as early as possible.

Students have shared with us that they appreciate discussing the incident, going over potential questions, and reviewing their statements with their advisors. Students have also stated that having someone with them who supports them is itself valuable.