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Common Terminology

Aggravating Factor - Any element of a charge that adds to the seriousness of the situation (e.g. violence or dishonesty)

Alcohol Education - An educational sanction. It involves an initial meeting with a counselor, a class, and a follow-up meeting.

Alcohol Fine - Any student found responsible for an alcohol violation is subject to a mandatory fine of $50 for a 1st offense and $100 fine for subsequent offenses.

Appeal - The process of having a hearing decision reviewed by another designated university official. Grounds for appeals may be: 1) new evidence, 2) lack of sufficient evidence, 3) inappropriate sanction, or 4) procedural error. Appeals are administrative and do not include an additional hearing.

Appeal Officer/Board - Designated volunteer(s) who reviews decisions and sanctions from a formal hearing.

Choices Program - Sanction option utilizing an experiential education model to foster student growth and development, particularly in the area of decision-making.

Complainant - A community member (hall director, apartment manager, police officer, etc) who documents a student alleging that the student violated university code of conduct.

Dismissal - The most severe university disciplinary sanction which involves permanent separation from the university.

Eviction from University Housing - A disciplinary sanction in which a student must vacate his or her room or apartment by a given date (usually within a week). Eviction is only imposed in a formal hearing and is appropriate for more serious code of conduct violations such as hosting an alcohol gathering or narcotics use and possession.

FERPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; this dictates that in order for the university to reveal any information related to a student's disciplinary record, a signed release of information must be provided by the student.

Guest - A guest may be either: any non-student on University premises under a student's supervision or any UNH student present in a student's room or apartment. Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests and may be held accountable for their actions.

Hearing Board - A hearing body consisting of 2 faculty/staff and 1 student member, designated to determine whether or not a student is responsible code of conduct violations.

Hearing Officer - A university faculty or staff member volunteer designated to determine whether or not a student is responsible for code of conduct violations and to determine sanctions if a student is found responsible for violations.

Hosting an alcohol gathering: Occurs when one or more individuals who are not the assigned residents of a room or apartment are present where prohibited drinking and/or drug use has occurred. (see SCC C.12.g and C.11.f)

Incident Report - A document written by a complainant outlining the alleged charges and a narrative of the incident in question.

Mediation - A way to settle disputes between two people through the use of a neutral third party. Mediation services are free for members of the UNH community.

Mitigating Factor - Any element of a charge that decreases its seriousness. Mitigating factors do not justify an excuse for the conduct, but may be taken into consideration during sanctioning.

No Response (plea) - The response given when a respondent does not understand the charges against him or her. Respondents may also give no response to protect their rights under the 5th Amendment.

Not Responsible (plea) - The response given when a respondent does not believe he or she is responsible for the charges against him or her.

Preponderance of Evidence - the standard of evidence required in the conduct process. Preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. Preponderance of the evidence is required in a civil case and is contrasted with "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is the more severe test of evidence required to convict in a criminal trial.

Probation - A disciplinary sanction more severe than a warning that is imposed to remind students that they must be in compliance with the university code of conduct or more severe sanctions will ensue. Being on probation may impact scholarships and participation in some organizations and activities including study abroad.

Prohibited Drinking - Individuals under the age of 21 may not consume or possess alcohol. Individuals 21 years or older may not consume alcohol in a room or apartment where the residents who are assigned and present in that room or apartment are under 21.

Release of Information - A document signed by a student giving permission for the university to disclose information related to their disciplinary record to specified individuals. Available Here.

Respondent - In a Conduct Hearing, the student who is alleged to have violated the university code of conduct.

Responsible (plea) - Response given when a respondent believes he or she is responsible for the charges.

Review Process - Form of appeal in which a student completes a review petition to have someone reconsider the decision made on a violation form where probation was imposed.

Sanction - disciplinary or educational outcome imposed when a student is responsible for violating the code of conduct . Sanctions may be imposed by a hearing officer or complainant.

Student Advisor - Volunteer assigned as a resource to a respondent in preparing for a hearing. The advisor does not serve as an advocate in the hearing process.

Student - Any person taking classes through the University System of New Hampshire, or any person with a continuing relationship with USNH (e.g. a student who has been suspended).

Student Code of Conduct - The rules that students must abide by as part of the University community. It is a part of the Students’ Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities Handbook.

Suspension - A sanction in which the student is unable to attend UNH for a specified period of time. During this time, the student is banned from the UNH campus and will not be able to attend other University System of New Hampshire institutions.

University Community - Includes but is not limited to: students, faculty members, other university employees, university properties, and proximal properties. Community at UNH is viewed as anyone or anything that is connected to the university in a way that violations of the Student Code of Conduct may affect him/her/it.

University Official - Any employee of the University performing assigned administrative or professional duties. This includes faculty, full-time staff and student staff including resident and community assistants.

University Premises - Any property owned by the university.

Violation Form - Some first offenses may be resolved informally on a violation form. No separation sanctions may be imposed on a violation form. Students placed on probation through the violation form may request a review of their case.

Warning - Lowest level of disciplinary sanctions. A reminder that a student needs to be in compliance with the university code of conduct.

Witness - Anyone who has first-hand knowledge of events related to a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Character witnesses without first-hand knowledge of the incident are not allowed to take part in Judicial Hearings.

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