Student Conduct Process – A Family Member's Guide
When a staff member, resident, or any community member observes what they believe is a violation of Housing & Residential Life's Community Behavioral Standards, they will complete an Incident Statement (IS) describing the observed behavior. Residence hall/apartment complex staff will identify themselves, communicate what behavior has been observed that may be a policy violation, ensure that the behavior has ceased, and request identification from all present. If your student should find themselves in such a position, they should remember two things:
- Don't panic. The student conduct system is an educational process and is very protective of the student's rights.
- Always cooperate. The student should produce their U Card or state-issued ID immediately upon request.
When an IS is written, it will include the details of what the writer observed during the incident. Each individual involved in the incident has the right to complete an IS to provide their perspective. The Residence Director/Assistant Residence Director (RD/ARD) then reviews the IS and acts upon it, if deemed appropriate.
Your Student's Options
If after reviewing the IS and/or police reports, a Housing & Residential Life professional staff member determines that regulations have allegedly been violated, the student will receive a notification letter describing the alleged violation(s). Students are asked to attend an administrative conference with the RD/ARD to attempt to informally resolve the matter. Should a student wish to dispute the decision made during the informal resolution, the student may request a subsequent formal hearing before a board of peers or the Coordinator of Student Conduct.
Administrative Conference (Informal Resolution)
During the administrative conference meeting, the student will meet with the RD/ARD to review the incident statement reports and discuss the incident. The student will be asked if they are responsible for the alleged violation(s) and be given the opportunity to discuss their perspective on the incident. Based on the information presented, the RD/ARD will make a decision. If a student is found responsible, a sanction(s) will be imposed.
An administrative conference can be advantageous to students for several reasons. The administrative conference takes much less time and preparation than a formal hearing. Additionally, an administrative conference can feel less stressful and allow students to acknowledge mistakes they may have made with minimal negative attention. It allows for a candid, educational conversation with a professional staff member who can either dismiss the charges if inaccurate or help challenge the student to take responsibility for their actions and, if charges are accurate, learn how to better live within a community.
In accepting the outcome of an administrative conference, a student is agreeing to attempt to informally resolve the allegation without going through the full due process offered to them. Because of the fair, non-threatening, and educational manner of these conferences, 99% of students utilize the administrative conference to resolve complaints. As this is an administrative conference meeting, the student has the option to accept or reject the decision. If a student chooses to reject the decision, they must do so in writing within three business days of the decision. If a student does not request a formal resolution within three business days, the administrative conference resolution becomes official. If the student wishes to have a formal hearing, the written request for a formal hearing can be obtained from the RD/ARD or Business Operations Supervisor (BOS) and must be presented to the RD/ARD, who will then forward the request to the Coordinator of Student Conduct.
The accused student may request a formal hearing at any time in the student conduct process. Generally, a hearing is only requested when the student and RD/ARD cannot reach agreement about the facts or severity of an incident. A formal hearing gives the student the full due process to which they are entitled under the conduct system. A hearing must be conducted as part of the formal resolution. Whenever possible, a Student Conduct Board comprised of residential peer educators serves as the hearing body in formal hearings. When a Student Conduct Board is not available, the Coordinator of Student Conduct or their designee serves as the hearing officer. The Student Conduct Board will not hear cases during the first three weeks of school, over breaks, or during finals week. All hearing notes or evidence presented will go in the student’s central housing student conduct file.
Your Student's Right to Due Process
Should your student be accused of violating a residence hall/apartment complex regulation, they have the following rights:
- A timely hearing
- Presumption of innocence unless responsibility can be established by the weight of evidence
- Notification of exact nature of complaint and the time, date, and place of the hearing
- Knowledge of complainant's identity
- A hearing body of peers, when available
- Information about the range of possible sanctions
- Option to have a procedural advisor during the formal hearing
- Opportunity to question adverse testimony during the hearing
- Opportunity to present their case, including the personal or written testimony of witnesses on their behalf
- Formal notification of decision made and resulting sanctions, if applicable
- Notification of the appeal procedure (in a "found responsible" decision)
University Housing Regulations
Students are considered adults, and University-student relations are founded on this principle. The University Student Conduct Code and Housing & Residential Life's Community Behavioral Standards govern all students. The regulations that follow pertain specifically to residence hall and apartment complex living, whenever students are on the grounds or within the University Housing system.
Any behavior that would endanger the safety or wellbeing of other residents or the University housing system could result in a student’s interim suspension from University housing or relocation to another University housing assignment. An interim suspension would stand pending student conduct action at the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity.
Students are responsible for the use of their room/apartment. They are also responsible for their guests and the behavior of those guests while they are in the residence hall, apartment complex, or on University housing property. The University may bring disciplinary action against your student for their guest’s behavior.
View Housing & Residential Life's Community Behavioral Standards
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) mandates by law that college students are considered responsible adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them. Under this law, family members who want to receive information about their student’s behavioral records can only do so if their student signs a “Release of Information Form.” These waivers are available through the Residence Director in each residence hall/apartment complex.
In most cases, the University will not contact family members or provide disciplinary information without the student’s permission. In the case of an extreme emergency where the student's health is in serious jeopardy or if there is a concern that the student poses a threat to themselves or others, the University will contact the family of the student. As a general guideline, if the student is able to communicate about the situation, it is up to the student to decide whether and how to discuss the issue with family members.