OCS Philosophy

Our Philosophy

The University of New Hampshire Conduct System is governed by three principles:

Community | Fairness | Responsibility


Image of Scale of justice with people holding hands surrounding scale.

Community…a unified body of individuals; an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location; a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society.

All students come to the university for academic and social experiences that will teach them valuable lessons about being part of a community.  Students learn that an individual’s behavior often affects the well being of others in the community.  Our community expects civility and respect at all times, while upholding an individual’s right to engage in meaningful debate about ideas.  Our community created and adopted the Student Code of Conduct, which sets the standard for behavior.

Fairness…free from favor toward either or any side; elimination of personal feelings, interests or prejudices so as to achieve a proper balance of conflicting needs, rights or demands; equity.

Our system is designed to respect the rights of students, and to provide a fair process for resolving allegations involving student misconduct.  Fairness mandates that the judicial system safeguard the due process rights of accused students.  “Due process” ensures that the student’s constitutional rights are protected and requires the decision-maker to weigh carefully the interests of the accused student as well as the interests of the community.  Students are always afforded written notice of the charges and the identity of the complainant, an opportunity to present his/her story, and a guarantee that no disciplinary action will be taken unless the complainant proves by preponderance of evidence that the accused student is responsible for the charges.  Understanding due process principles enables us to act justly while upholding the community’s expectations and standards of behavior.

Responsibility…moral, legal, or mental accountability; trustworthiness.

The judicial system teaches students about choices and consequences.  When students make choices to violate the Student Code of Conduct, they must accept responsibility for their actions.  Our system requires honesty - an honest explanation of the incident and an honest acknowledgment of responsibility.  As members of the community, we must be willing and able to hold one another accountable for unacceptable behavior.