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Students on Morgan's Walk

13 September 2022

‘It’s up to everyone’: Dean of Students Lisa Hanna on how to do the right thing at Deakin

We want the Deakin experience to be positive for everyone. Just as you have the right to feel safe while you’re studying, you’re also expected to behave courteously and responsibly when interacting with others.

Your rights and responsibilities as a student are covered by several formal codes and policies, including the Student Code of Conduct, and we encourage you to read these guidelines.

But we know that these kinds of policies aren’t always easy to understand, so we’ve done the hard work for you by asking Professor Lisa Hanna, your Dean of Students, how you can do the right thing and avoid any instances of student misconduct.

Professor Lisa HannaWhat is ‘student misconduct’ and when is it used?
If a student breaches our Student Code of Conduct in some way, the University can take action. The Deakin Student Misconduct procedure allows the Office of the Dean of Students, on behalf of the University, to investigate poor behaviour and take steps to ensure the best outcome for our whole community.

Examples of student misconduct include behaviour like posting inappropriate content online on a Deakin-affiliated site, using threatening or abusive language, or otherwise behaving inappropriately in a residential or teaching space.

Only a very small number of students are dealt with under the Student Misconduct procedure, and most won’t ever have to worry about it. But all students should be aware of their responsibility to keep Deakin a safe, respectful and inclusive place.

What happens if a student faces an allegation of misconduct?
It’s important to know that students aren’t ‘charged’ under the Student Misconduct procedure – it’s not a legal process. However, Deakin has an institutional responsibility to uphold the collective wellbeing of our community, so if we receive a report of poor behaviour by a student we need to take action to address that behaviour.

We’ll work closely with both them and the person who made the report to help resolve the incident. If appropriate, we’ll do this as informally and as educatively as possible.

In instances of more serious student misconduct, we may hold a more formal process. The student will receive a letter of allegation and be invited to provide information and attend a Student Misconduct Committee hearing.

Read about the process in more detail in the Student Guide to Student Misconduct.

Can students access representation or an advocate to support them?
Students absolutely can use representation to support them. The DUSA Student Advocacy and Support Service is a free and confidential resource that can help students to respond to any allegations and attend any hearings if needed.

What happens if an allegation is substantiated? How does this affect the student’s degree?
A substantiated misconduct allegation will have different outcomes depending on its severity. These can range from a simple apology from the student or the requirement to access education or training to help them understand and improve their behaviour, to limiting their access to campus facilities or contact with other individuals.

In the most severe cases, the student may be excluded from the University. But this happens very rarely.

Is there an appeals process?
Yes, absolutely. As a Deakin student, you can appeal certain faculty or University decisions that impact your studies. The University Appeals Committee hears and determine student appeals.

The DUSA Student Advocacy and Support Service can help students navigate the appeals process.

Where can students find more information or talk to someone?
I encourage all students to look at the information on the Dean of Students webpage, which links to information about student conduct, as well as the student complaints and student appeals processes at Deakin.

It also includes information about who to contact if you’d like to talk to someone about a student conduct issue, or what to do if you’d like to report concerning student behaviour that you’ve seen or experienced.

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