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parents frequently Asked questions

Below are common questions parents often have about the conduct system. If you have questions or concerns not addressed here, please contact the Office of Judicial and Mediation Programs Office directly at 603-862-3377 or email: george.oconnell@unh.edu

Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the Conduct Process Terminology as well.

Are parents notified by the Office of Conduct & Mediation when a student is charged through the University Conduct System?

Not always. A Standard Parent Letter will be sent when a financially depended student is charged with a violation of the university alcohol or drug policies. For any other conduct violations it is up to the student to notify parents about what is happening. Financially independent students who wish to prevent having a letter sent are responsible for contacting the Office of Conduct & Mediation and providing written documentation verifying their financial status.

I want to talk to someone about my son or daughter's conduct case. Who can I speak with?

George O'Connell, our Judicial Program Coordinator is available at 603-862-2509 to talk with students and parents who have questions about the conduct process. However, due to FERPA confidentiality laws, any student over 18 years of age must complete and submit a Release of Information Form to the Office of Conduct and Mediation in order for staff to be able to discuss the specifics of the case with anyone other than the student. Without a signed Release, Conduct Office staff may still answer general questions about the conduct process.

What is my role in the conduct system? How can I assist my son or daughter?

The parental role is limited in the actual conduct process. Prior to coming to campus, we strongly recommend that all parents talk with their students about the expectations set by the university. If your student is charged through the conduct process, encourage them to make sure they understand the process and ask questions if they're unsure of anything.

Can I be present in the formal hearing?

We allow parents to be present in the waiting area to support their son or daughter during recesses, but we do not allow parents into the hearing itself. This is typically a challenging process so we limit witnesses to people who can provide direct information pertinent to the case or volunteers and staff observing a hearing for training purposes.

Should I hire an attorney to assist my son or daughter?

Students may have an attorney present if there are also likely criminal charges pending as a result of the incident in question. An attorney may not activitely participate in the formal hearing. The attorney can advise the respondent to not answer certain questions and may request a recess to speak with the respondent.

What resources are available to help my student prepare for a hearing?

Students participating in a formal hearing will be assigned a volunteer advisor to help them prepare. The advisor is mainly to answer questions and explain the conduct process. Their role is not to serve as a representative or advocate for the student being charged. The student can also contact the Conduct Office directly and speak with a professional staff member if they have questions not answered by the advisor.

Who decides what will happen to a student who is charged through the conduct system?

For less serious cases such as noise violations or minor alcohol violations, the decision is made by residence hall or apartment staff informally. For more serious cases where eviction from housing or suspension from UNH is a possible outcome, the decision is made in a formal hearing by a volunteer hearing officer or hearing board.

What are possible consequences my son or daughter could face for violating the Code of Conduct? How are conduct sanctions decided?

If a student is found to be responsible for violation of the code of conduct, disciplinary sanctions will be imposed. The severity of the sanctions will depend on a number of factors in the conduct case. A number of factors go into determining conduct sanctions for each student. The seriousness of the incident, mitigating or aggravating factors, and prior misconduct are all factored into the decision. Sanctions range from a written warning to dismissal from the university.

What could get a student evicted from University Housing?

In order to consider imposing a maximum sanction such as Eviction from housing, at least one of eight specific factors cited in the Code of Conduct must be present. (UNH Code of Conduct, Article IV, Section D.7)

Although not a comprehensive list some of the more common charges that may lead to eviction include:

Remember that although a charge may not be listed above, if an incident is serious enough and/or causes enough of an impact to the community, a student may be removed from housing.

My student was placed on Disciplinary Probation. What does that mean?

Disciplinary Probation is a serious warning and reminder that further conduct could lead to more serious sanctions such as eviction from housing, suspension from the university, or in rare cases, dismissal from the university.

My student was evicted from University Housing. What now?

Once a case has been decided, a student is given five calendar days (including weekend days) to move out of university housing. If the student decides to appeal the decision, this deadline will be held until the appeal decision has been rendered. If the appeal is denied, a new deadline will be imposed five days from the date the appeal decision is sent out. It is in the student's best interest to start looking for campus housing even if appealling the decision. Resources for Recently Evicted Students are available on this site and as in a hard copy pamphlet in our office.

My student was evicted from University Housing. Will they ever be able to get on campus housing again? Can they still visit their friends there?

Normally eviction is imposed for two semesters (the remainder of the current semester and the following one). In more egregious incidents a longer duration eviction or permanent expulsion from housing may be imposed. As the end of the eviction time approaches a student may reapply for university housing. However, readmissions to housing is not guaranteed and based on space available by the UNH Housing Office. During the duration of the eviction, students may visit friends still living in the residence unless the student is specifically banned from entry by the hearing officer/hearing board.

Can my student appeal a hearing decision?

In many cases an appeal is available if the student disagrees with some part of the hearing decision. When the hearing decision is sent out, an appeal petition will be provided if an appeal is possible.

How will having a disciplinary record impact things like getting into graduate school?

It depends on the seriousness of the conduct violation and how much emphasis the other institution places on misconduct. Major alcohol or drug violations will typically have more of an impact than a single noise violation. Staff are available to talk with students about their particular case and how seriously other institutions may view it.

Can disciplinary records ever be expunged?

Yes. In most cases records are automatically expunged after three years from the date of the incident. For more serious cases that lead to suspension or dismissal from the university this could be longer. Students may also petition the Director of the Office of Conduct and Mediation in writing to request that the record be expunged. Petitions will be considered if it is close to three years since the time of the incident and no other misconduct is on record.

If an incident happens off campus, can my son or daughter still be charged through the University Conduct System?

Yes. According to the UNH Code of Conduct (Article III Section A):

Generally, University jurisdiction and discipline shall be limited to conduct which occurs on University premises or which adversely affects the University Community and/or the pursuit of its objectives.

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