As students of the institution and occupants of the halls, residents are expected to follow federal, state and local law, adhere to the conduct code of the University as well as being required to abide by the restrictions listed or indicated in their housing contract. Sections of the university conduct code and specific policies relating to the residence halls are in addition to any laws or criminal statutes which may applicable to the situation.
The Office of Student Conduct has the responsibility to address violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Violations of the campus code that occur in or around the residence halls are generally addressed by Residence Life staff members, who may act on behalf of the Office of Student Conduct. Due to the standards of behavior on the university, many violations that occur in the halls are violations of both the campus code and some, the housing contract agreement. Any violations of law or state statute on or near campus property are handled as criminal matters by the University Police Department.
Violations of the housing contract are generally treated as administrative actions based upon the resident's License Agreement and Residence Hall Handbook. Residents will be required to address the issue or correct the violation as directed by the Resident Director or other Residential Life staff. Failure to comply may ultimately result in cancellation of the housing contract and removal from the halls (which often involves the application of cancellation fees and charges). Actions taken relating to the contract agreement are separate from the University's Conduct process and any city, state, or federal criminal or civil procedure.
To summarize these three separate yet overlapping systems: the housing contract relates to specific behaviors prohibited in the residence halls - as addressed by Residence Life staff. The University Conduct Code is a much broader document which deals with not only those behaviors occurring in the halls, but all student behaviors impacting the university - addressed by either by direct action or action taken under the authority of the Office of Student Conduct. Even if a student moves out of the halls and no longer subject to the housing contract, the Office of Student Conduct retains jurisdiction over the Conduct Code violation. Serious incidents which may involve violations of law or statute are dealt with by local courts after being investigated by the University Police Department.
The RLHFS conduct process is designed to encourage students to take responsibility for their actions and ensure that the rights of all members of the residence community are respected. The RLHFS conduct process includes administrative action and typically involves the following:
- Residents suspected of policy violations are documented by staff and an incident report is submitted to the Resident Director or Graduate Resident Director.
- Cases of repeat policy violations or incidents involving a potential safety risk to the resident or community may be referred directly to the Assistant Director of Conduct and Safety or the Director of Residential Life.
- Notification is sent to the resident(s) potentially involved in the policy violation of the Standards of Conduct.
- During a conduct meeting, the resident(s) will meet with the hall staff, the Assistant Director of Conduct and Safety, and/or the Director of Residential Life. The resident's involvement in the policy violation is typically decided during the conduct meeting (e.g. the resident is found "Responsible" for the policy violation in question). Once a decision has been determined, the resident is given a Conduct Conference Form outlining the result of the conduct meeting.
- If the resident is found responsible for the policy violation in question, sanctions consistent with the policy violation are assigned. Sanctions are educational assignments or tasks used to increase self-awareness and encourage appropriate behavior consistent with community living. See Typical Sanctions below.
- In serious cases involving the removal of a resident due to safety considerations, license cancellation, or situations where the health of safety of the resident or the community may be at risk, the department will reserve the right to temporarily remove a resident from the halls during the appeals process. The University and the Department of Residential Life will not be responsible for making alternative housing arrangements or for payment or reimbursement of any costs the resident may incur as a result of this action.
- If the resident disagrees with the decision made during the conduct meeting, they have the right to an appeal process.
Failure to participate in the RLHFS conduct process will result in further administrative action up to cancellation of the License Agreement and eviction from the residence halls. The RLHFS conduct process is separate from the Office of Student Conduct's process.
Students are responsible for what occurs in their room. As a result, they may be held responsible for violations occurring in their assigned room or suite, even if they are not present when the violation occurred. The process used for License Agreement and University code violations has a standard of proof often much different than previously experienced by students. For conduct purposes, the decision on whether a violation occurred in the residence hall is based upon a preponderance of information and not "reasonable doubt." If there is information (examples include, but are not limited to, what is seen, heard, or smelled) indicating a violation has occurred, the resident may be found in violation.
Accepting Responsibility for Your Actions
During the conduct meeting, the Residential Life staff member meeting with the resident will explain the process for determining responsibility. Our conduct process does not seek to punish, but instead uses the incident as an educational opportunity. When a resident accepts responsibility for a policy violation, sanctions assigned are intended to provide the resident with an educational opportunity. Sanctions are designed to provide opportunities for self-reflection, increased self-awareness, and a deeper understanding of the impact of their behaviors on themselves and others in their community.
Sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
- Residence Hall Warning: A written statement placed in the student's file, indicating that further violations will result in more severe administrative action.
- Restitution: Required repayment for damage to property, cleaning or as determined by the residential life staff member.
- Assigned Project: A task, assignment or community service undertaking, such as helping plan a hall activity or program.
- Loss of Privileges: A resident may lose certain privileges such as having guests, access to facilities, use of services, or computer network access.
- Educational Sanctions: May include writing assignments or attending a class or workshop
- Referral to Counseling: Sessions with counseling or health professionals.
- Room Change: Reassignment to a new room, floor, or hall.
- Behavioral Contract: Signed behavioral contract, written agreement, or document that sets specific standards to be met or actions required to continue as a resident in the halls
- Notification of Parents: In some situations parents or guardian may be contacted.
- Residence Hall Probation: This administrative decision is the final step before removal from the residence halls. A written notice is placed in the student's file, indicating that further violations may result in termination of the License Agreement. Probation is for a set period of time, during which the student may be ineligible to reapply for housing.
- Removal from Residence Hall System: This sanction is determined by the Director of Residential life. The student's License Agreement is terminated and a date to vacate the residence hall is provided. This decision may take effect immediately if the student's continued presence constitutes a threat to the health and safety of the residence hall community.
- Referral to the Office of Student Conduct: For violations of the University Code of Conduct, the Office of Student Conduct may issue administrative action, such as a written reprimand, probation, suspension, or expulsion from the University. Some sanctions may appear on the student's permanent transcripts.
Alcohol & Substance Violations
Sanctions for alcohol and drug related policy violations will focus on education and services (when appropriate). The University has several educational, assessment, and counseling programs in place to individually address substance use and abuse issues. The type of program to which a resident may be assigned will depend on the nature and seriousness of the violation.
Alcohol & Substance Abuse Programs
Students with substance use and abuse issues have a variety of resources and programs available on campus. These include, but are not limited to: individual substance abuse assessment by a trained counseling professional, BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening & Intervention for College Students), CASICS (Cannabis Screening & Intervention for College Students), SHIFT (Student High-risk Intervention for First Time alcohol violations), STEPSS (Substance Treatment & Education for Personal Student Success), and OnTRAC (Treatment, Responsibility & Accountability on Campus). The severity of the violation will be used in conjunction with recommendations from health care professionals and program specialists to determine which program is most appropriate for the resident.
Appeal of Decision or Assigned Sanction
After meeting with Res Life staff, it is possible the student may not agree with being found in violation of a policy, or the sanction assigned. Should this occur, the student needs to understand they can appeal the decision, but they have a limited time during which they may do so. Actions taken for violations of policy in the residence halls are administrative in nature and may affect your ability to remain as a resident of the halls. Conduct action taken relating to the campus code involves the university and may impact your status as a student.
While the processes are often combined to allow for efficiency, the Departmental of Residential Life and the Office of Student Conduct reserve the right to address the violations individually using their separate processes. For violations of university policies, the department follows the appeal procedures as outlined in the University's Student Code of Conduct. For those administrative decisions made by residential life staff that may impact the resident's housing status, a separate process is available.
Should you want to appeal being found responsible for violation of a policy or a sanction assigned as a resident, you have two working days following the conduct meeting to do so. This time line allows you to meet with the Assistant Director, Student Conduct and Safety, to discuss your appeal options and the appeal process. This is an informal meeting, which would occur before a formal hearing would be scheduled. Failure to meet this deadline may result in you not being able to appeal an administrative action taken by Residential Life and Housing.