The mission of the Office of Student Housing is to provide a safe, secure, and stimulating living/learning environment for members of the University Community. Residence Hall policies have been designed to allow for maximum individual freedom while at the same time preserving a community environment conducive to study so that all residents have an opportunity to strive toward their maximum scholastic potential. It is the responsibility of all residents to protect and support the community atmosphere in the residence halls.The residence hall judicial process is intended to be an educational response to inappropriate behavior. Sanctions are applied to assist the student in understanding why their behavior was not consistent with community expectations, and to prevent similar behavior in the future.
Violations of residence hall or University policies are considered a breach of the Housing and Dining Lease Agreement and therefore may be subject the student to cancellation of the agreement.
Housing Staff is required to report any “out of the ordinary” incident on an Incident Report Form. This could be a medical emergency, a weather related emergency, an accident causing damage, or an alleged policy violation. If a resident’s name appears as a primary participant on an Incident Report Form, he or she will be asked to sign the report and will be issued a copy of the report. The signature simply means that the student has seen the report. The signature does not necessarily indicate agreement with the contents of the report.
The Executive Director of Housing will administer the judicial system in campus housing for non-academic offenses. The Executive Director of Housing has authority up to cancelling a lease and removing a student from residence. The Hall Directors are designated by the Executive Director of Housing to adjudicate minor level concerns within the residence halls. Repeat offenses or offenses that could result in removal from residence are referred to the Executive Director of Housing.
The Executive Director will receive all Incident Report Forms and copies of police reports written by Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers pertaining to campus housing. Depending on the nature of the report, the Executive Director of Housing will either summons the student for a conference or refer the case to the Hall Director who will summons the student for a conference. If the student fails to respond to the summons, the Executive Director of Housing or designee (Hall Director) will choose one of the following responses:
- Suspension of visitation privileges for up to 48 hours to allow the student a final opportunity to respond.
- Flag the student’s account barring any activity pending response.
- Determine responsibility and apply sanction without the student’s input.
If the student does respond and attends the conference, he/she may expect the following conditions:
- To be explained his/her rights and responsibilities.
- To be given ample opportunity to present his/her side of the case.
- To question any witnesses who may be present.
- To know that the staff member who wrote the report will most likely be called into the meeting.
- Depending on the nature and severity of the case, may be offered information adjudication (the student admits responsibility and feels the Executive Director or designee can be objective).
- To have input regarding sanctioning.
- To receive a copy of the “Incident Resolution Form” indicating findings and sanctions.
Sanctions will most likely include an educational response (see below), as well as punitive response such as an official letter of warning or reprimand, probation, or removal from residence. The sanctioning process is cumulative, in that sanctions are progressively more severe for repeat offense. Sanctions are intended to be relevant to the violation. Failure of a student to comply with a sanction is, in itself, a violation of the Student Code which will subject the student to further disciplinary action and a flag being placed on the student’s account barring re-enrollment until the sanction is completed. Failure to complete a sanction is also grounds for removal from residence.
Definition of Sanctions
- Community Service – most often work to be done by the student such as trash removal, sweeping, raking, working with school children, volunteering for the Disability Resource Center, or other community engagement.
- Loss or Restriction of Privilege – restriction from certain areas of the building such as the recreation rooms or TV rooms; or suspended visitation for a period of time.
- Referral for Counseling – the student may be required to schedule at least one appointment with a professional counselor or specialist on campus.
- Restitution – refers to repayment for charges incurred for such things as damage, repair, replacement, cleaning, or reimbursement.
- Workshop Attendance and Written Assignments – assignments may include required attendance at an alcohol education, anger management, ethics, or other educational seminar or viewing of a related film. Housing also uses an electronic tool called Judicial Educator which contains a series of educational presentations on various topics. Other assignments may include research papers, library assignments, interviews, or written reviews and response papers.
- Mandatory Move – involves reassigning the student to another housing space.
- Removal from Residence – cancellation of the Housing and Dining Lease Agreement; the student will have 24 hours to vacate the residence hall.
- Ban from Housing – residents who have been removed from housing, as well as visitors whose behavior is not consistent with University expectations will be restricted from campus housing buildings, grounds, and parking areas. Every effort will be made to notify the person of the ban. Individuals who violate the ban are subject to arrest for criminal trespass.
- Immediate Removal – in some circumstances, the Executive Director of Housing may be convinced that the conduct of a resident student significantly distracts from the educational environment of the residence halls, or constitutes a clear danger to the safety of other persons or property in the hall. In this case, the Executive Director may immediately remove the student from campus housing and restrict the student from the building and grounds until final resolution of the case.
Appeal of Sanction
If a resident student strongly believes a sanction imposed is inappropriate for the violation, the student may request a review of the sanction. A “Request for Sanction Review” form is available from the Housing Office. If the sanction was imposed by a Hall Director, the form should be submitted to the Housing Office for review by the Executive Director of Housing. If the sanction was imposed by the Executive Director of Housing, the appeal form should be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students (Donaghey Student Center, Room 205) within five class days of the decision. The student will be notified in writing of the result of the review.