General Misconduct

What does this mean?

General Misconduct refers to behaviour that:

  • Is disorderly/offensive; and/or
  • Is detrimental to the functioning of the University, its facilities, property or services; and/or
  • Allows unlawful access to IT equipment or systems; and/or
  • Harms (or has the potential to harm) others physically or psychologically; and/or
  • Brings the University into disrepute

A full range of behaviours that may be classed as General Misconduct are listed in the Student Misconduct Procedure.

For Academic Misconduct, please head to our dedicated webpage.

The University takes all forms of misconduct very seriously, and there can be significant penalties if misconduct allegations are upheld. However, you always have the right to respond to and contest allegations of misconduct, and Student Advocacy can help you to do this. In most instances, if you are alleged to have engaged in General Misconduct, you will be sent a letter and invited to a hearing to discuss the matter. However, students may be immediately excluded from campus and/or University activities without hearing if:

  • There is a reasonable expectation that others will come to harm as a result of the behaviour
  • The behaviour seriously disrupts the conduct of University business
  • The matter has been, or will be referred to the police

What can I do?

If you have been accused of General Misconduct, here are some steps you can follow. Please click on each heading to expand the section. Prefer all the steps on a single page? Click here.

Make sure you understand what you are being accused of. If no evidence is provided for the charge, or the evidence appears unclear or incomplete, you should reply to the email to ask questions and request further evidence. In most instances, General Misconduct is dealt with within your Institute, unless:

  • The allegation is so severe that it may result in exclusion or suspension (In which case it will be heard by the Student Misconduct Committee); and/or
  • One of the criteria for immediate exclusion has been alleged.

Student Advocacy can support you to appeal the charge. We can:

  • Help you to understand what you're being accused of
  • Help you write a response - we can give you initial advice, review a draft and give you feedback before you submit it
  • Help you prepare for a hearing
  • Attend the hearing with you as a support person

Please complete our appointment form to discuss this with one of our Advocates.

Depending on the circumstances, your response may be written to either contest the allegation, or to reduce the penalty, and we can help you to put this together. If the matter relates to potentially illegal behaviour under civil or criminal law, please seek external legal advice before responding. Anything you write or say in response to the charge may impact further legal proceedings and so it is critical that you understand the legal implications of this process.

You have the right to take a support person to any hearing related to misconduct. This person cannot be acting as a legal professional, and cannot speak unless invited to do so by the chair, but it can be very helpful to have someone there to take notes and debrief with you afterwards. We strongly recommend that students take a support person - one of our Advocates can attend with you, or you can take a friend or family member if you prefer.

A hearing is like an interview, and may be conducted by a single person, or a committee. A committee will include relevant University staff and, if it is heard by the Student Misconduct Committee, may include a Federation student and/or external members of the community. No-one who has been involved in the case prior to the charge should be part of the decision-making process, and if you'd like to discuss this, please get in touch with us. The hearing chair will explain the charge and ask you questions. You have the right to answer their questions  (or to not answer them), make any additional points you think are relevant and to ask questions of them. One you have left the hearing, the outcome will be communicated to you via your student email at a later date. Possible penalties if the charge is upheld are listed in the Student Regulation (Section 52).