The number of disciplinary probation cases referred to Ohio University’s Office of Community Standards has decreased in the past four years.

In the 2014-2015 academic year, the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility had 2,389 probation cases. In the 2017-2018 academic year, there were only 1,893 cases.

The sources that report the most are Housing and Residence Life and the Ohio University Police Department, Martha Compton, director of Community Standards, said. The office also receives reports from Athens Police Department, university employees and the liquor control part of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

The most common charge is for unauthorized use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages. In the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 808 cases, down from 1,326 in the 2014-2015 academic year.

The least common violation is for discrimination. In the last four years, there was only one case in the 2015-2016 academic year.

In the 2017-2018 academic year, over 80 percent of cases were solved with a Community Standards Conference, a slight increase from the 2014-2015 academic year. This is a conversation between a member of Office of Community Standards. The student either accepted the responsibility of the violations or the staff member determined that the case should be dismissed.

Cases can also be solved by the university hearing board and an administrative hearing. A university hearing board is comprised of two students and a faculty or staff member. In an administrative hearing, the person deciding is an administrator who serves as a hearing officer. 

The other difference between these two is that during an administrative hearing there is no chance that the student will be suspended or expelled. However, it is an option in a university hearing board.

At the beginning of Fall Semester, the Office of Community Standards recruits students, faculty and staff and preschedules the appointments to avoid a conflict of interest. If a hearing board member knows the alleged offender personally, they find someone else.

About 50 percent of cases in the 2017-2018 academic year put students on disciplinary probation, which is a period of time where if a student has another violation is automatically at risk for suspension or expulsion, Compton said. Probation can range from three months to a student’s entire academic career at OU.

The other type of probation is academic probation, which is solely looking at students’ grades. A student is put on academic probation as soon as their GPA dips below a 2.0.

Jenny Klein, assistant dean of Student Persistence and Success, said she expects that about 15 percent of undergraduates will be on academic probation.

Students who are on academic probation are eligible to take workshops that teaches how to compute GPAs and what students GPAs need to be removed from academic probation.