Community Standards

Preliminary Conferences

Alvernia University utilizes Community Standards Conference procedures, which reflect appropriate process and reasonable sanctions. The University’s Community Standards Conferences are not the same as criminal or civil proceedings found in the local, state, and federal court systems.  Decisions will be based on the standard of preponderance of evidence, meaning that the Conference Officer must conclude that it is more likely than not that an allegation of a violation is true.  Sanctions, if any, will be fair, reasonable, and appropriate.

Preliminary Conference (please refer to Student Handbook for additional information)

A Preliminary Conference is scheduled and held by the Community Standards Coordinator or a designee.

  • A Preliminary Conference may only be postponed and rescheduled at the discretion of the Community Standards Coordinator or designee.
  • The student is notified of the time and place of the Preliminary Conference.
  • Failure to appear at the scheduled hearing may result in sanctions being imposed without the student being present. 
  • The Community Standards Coordinator, or designee, holds a Preliminary Conference to explain the charges and the Community Standards process.
  • Upon hearing all information, evidence, statements, and the charge(s), the student has the opportunity to take responsibility, or to be found “responsible” or “not responsible”.
  • The Conference Officer has the right to end the Preliminary Conference and schedule a Formal Administrative Conference, if deemed necessary to best resolve the issue.
    • If the outcome is “Responsible.”
      • A student may contest the finding of responsibility OR contest one or more sanctions.  A student who wishes to contest a finding of responsibility may request a Formal Administrative Conference.  A student who takes responsibility or is found responsible but wishes to contest one or more sanctions may request a Reconsideration of Sanctions. The student may only request one of the above mentioned processes. The request must be made within two (2) business days of receipt of the outcome of the Preliminary Conference. 
      • Guidelines for the Reconsideration of Sanction Request and the Formal Administrative Conference Request Process Guidelines are available from the Office of Community Standards.
      • When the student takes responsibility or is found to be responsible, the conference continues and sanctioning takes place.  If possible, the student is given immediate notice of the finding and the sanctions being imposed as a result of the conference.  If such notification is not possible due to continued deliberations, written notice of the outcome will be given to the student after the Conference Officer has reached a decision, normally within five (5) business days.
      • Findings and sanctions are clearly assigned and explained to the student in writing. 
    • If the outcome is “Not Responsible.”
      • If the student is found to be “Not Responsible,” the conference ends and the student is given written notice of that finding.  This is to be done as soon as possible, but normally within five (5) business days.


Got an email request and/or door tag stating that you need to attend a Preliminary Conference? Take a moment to read these helpful tips:

Tip 1: Make sure you read and understand the email that was sent to your account. In addition please look up the policy and/or policies that were stated in email in the Student Handbook prior to attending your scheduled Preliminary Conference. You can access the Student Handbook be clicking the following link: click here.

Tip 2: Make sure that you attend your scheduled Preliminary Conference at the date, time, and location that is indicated on your email and/or door tag. If you cannot attend the scheduled meeting time, please notify Shelly Wessner at or call at 610-796-5508 as soon as possible.

Tip 3: Make sure that you are prepared to tell your side of the story. This is your chance to tell your perspective of what happened at the time of the incident. Please note, that it is an expectation of you as an Alvernia student to be open and honest at all times.

Tip 4: If you have any questions, feel free to ask them during the Preliminary Conference. 

community standards

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