The Student Code of Conduct and Judicial Process

The Student Code of Conduct and Conduct Process from the UNH Student Rights, Rules & Responsibilities

Preface

Community standards of behavior are intended to preserve and protect the University’s educational mission of teaching, research, and public service, as well as promote every student’s academic achievement and personal devel­opment. To attain these aspirations, students must live, work, and learn in an environment of civility and respect where both rights and responsibili­ties are deeply valued and highly cherished. For the University community to thrive, the rules of conduct under which we operate must be clear and understood by our members. The Student Code of Conduct attempts to cod­ify and explain our standards of behavior and responsibility, as well as the rights and remedies accorded to all members of our community.

Article I: Definitions

1. The term “University” means The University of New Hampshire (UNH).

2. The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at UNH, both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies, those enrolled through the Office of Outreach Education and Summer Studies, and those who live in campus residence halls. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University are considered “students.”

3. The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the University to conduct classroom activities.

4. The term “University official” includes any person employed by UNH, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.

5. The term ”member of the University community” includes any person who is as student, faculty member, University official or any other person employed by the University.  A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Vice President for Student and Academic Services or designee.

6. The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by UNH, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.

7. The term “organization” means any number of persons who have com­plied with the formal requirements for University recognition.

8. The term “Judicial Board,” hereinafter “Hearing Board,” refers to a group of persons designated by the Vice President for Student and Academic Ser­vices or designee to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Con­duct and, if so, recommend sanctions.

9. The term “University Judicial Officer,” hereinafter “Hearing Officer,” means a University official designated by the Vice President for Student and Academic Services or designee to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and impose sanctions.

10. The term “Appellate Board” or “Appellate Officer” means any persons or person authorized by the Vice President for Student and Academic Services or designee to consider an appeal from a Hearing Officer’s or Hearing Board’s determi­nation that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct or from the sanctions imposed.

11. The term “Procedural Advisor” means any person selected by the Vice President for Student and Academic Services or designee to advise hearing officers, hearing boards, and complainants on procedural issues related to adjudication of the Student Code of Conduct12. The term “Student Advisor” means any student, faculty or staff member selected by the Office of Community Standards to advise a Respondent in the conduct process.

12. The term “Complainant” means any University community member who submits a charge alleging that a student violated the Code of Conduct.

13. The term “Respondent” means any student accused of violating the Code of Conduct.

14. Witnesses - A witness is a person who has personal knowledge of the incident in question. Character witness testimony is considered irrelevant and will not be permitted.

15. The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.

16. The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.

17. The Vice President for Student and Academic Services or designee that person des­ignated by the University President to be responsible for the administration of the Student Code of Conduct

18. The term “policy” is defined as the written regulations of the University as found in, but not limited to, the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsi­bilities publication, the University Room and Board Agreement, and the Graduate/Undergraduate Catalogs.

19. The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any unau­thorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assign­ments; or (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff.

20. The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by para­phrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement. It also includes the unac­knowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.

21. The term “aggravating factor” is defined as a circumstance(s) attend­ing the commission of misconduct that adds to its seriousness. Examples may include, but are not limited to, violence, violation of a trust or duty, premeditation of a violation, use of force, or a previous conduct violation.

22. The term “mitigating factor” is defined as a circumstance(s) that may be taken into consideration to reduce a sanction. A mitigating factor does not constitute a justification or excuse for the misconduct in question.

23. The term “hosting” is defined as having a gathering consisting of one or more individuals who are not the assigned residents of a University Housing residence hall room or apartment where the gathering is occurring.

Article II: Judicial Authority

1. The Director of the Office of Community Standards or designee shall determine the composition of Hearing Boards and Appellate Boards.

2. The Director of the Office of Community Standards and the Dean of Students or their designees shall develop policies for the administration of the University stu­dent conduct system and procedural rules for the conduct of hearings. Poli­cies and procedures shall be approved by the Vice President for Student and Academic Services or designee after consultation with appropriate faculty, students, and staff.

3. Written decisions made by a Hearing Board and/or a Hearing Officer shall be final, pending the normal appeal process.

Article III: Proscribed Conduct

A. Jurisdiction of the University

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

B. Violation of Law and University Discipline

1. University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a law which is also a violation of this Student Code of Conduct; for example, if both violations result from the same factual situ­ation, without regard to pending civil litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal pro­ceedings off-campus.

2. When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a vio­lation of law, the University will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also the subject of a proceeding before a Hearing Officer or Hear­ing Board under the Student Code of Conduct, however, the University may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Student Code of Con­duct and of how such matters will be handled internally within the Univer­sity community. The University will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators. Individual students and faculty members, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives, as they deem appropriate.

3. The University Conduct System is an administrative process. It is not a criminal law process, nor is it intended to resemble one.

C. Conduct Rules and Regulations

Any student found to have committed the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV:

1. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:

a. Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty. See Academic Policies, 09.7, Procedures for Dealing with Academic Misconduct. These take precedence over the Code of Conduct.

b. Furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member or office.

c. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, or instrument of identification.

d. Tampering with the election of any University recognized student organization.

2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disci­plinary proceedings, other University activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-University activities, when the act occurs on University premises.

3. Conduct which results in:

a. Physical harm,

b. Threatening or endangering the health or safety of any person;

c. Intimidation (implied threats)

d. Coercion (pressuring another unreasonably until an act is not truly voluntary)

e. Harassment

f. Unwelcome physical contact.

4. Discriminatory harassment. See p. 24 Administrative Policies, 10.2, 10.3.

5. Stalking, defined as repetitive, menacing pursuit, following, harassment, and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community.

6. Relationship abuse, which is here defined as the act or attempt to commit any of the above violations listed in paragraph 3, 4, or 5 above by a current or former sexual or intimate partner, under circumstances that constitute a threat to the victim’s safety.

7. Unwanted sexual contact, which includes but is not limited to any sexual contact as defined by RSA 632-A:1 (IV) without seeking and receiving expressed permission.  Unwanted sexual contact includes sexual contact when a person’s ability to give expressed permission is compromised due to mental/physical disability and/or mental /physical incapacity due to substance ingestion.  Substances can include legal or illegal drugs and alcohol or any combination of these.

8. Sexual misconduct, which includes, but is not limited to, any sexual activity as defined by RSA 632-A:1 (V) without seeking and receiving expressed permission. Sexual misconduct includes sexual activ­ity when a person’s ability to give expressed permission is compromised due to mental/physical disability and/ or mental/physical incapacitation due to substance ingestion. Substances can include legal or illegal drugs and alcohol or any combination of these.

9. Attempted or actual theft of or possession of stolen property of the Univer­sity or property of a member of the University community or other per­sonal or public property.

10.  Intentional or reckless damage to property of the University or property of a member of the University community or other personal or public property.

11.  Fire safety violations including, but not limited to:

a. Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire which damages University or personal property or which causes injury.

b. Failure to evacuate a University controlled building during a fire alarm.

c. Improper use of University fire safety equipment.

d. Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment while on University property.

 

12. Hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private prop­erty, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.

13. Failure to comply with directions of University officials or law enforce­ment officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to iden­tify one-self to these persons when requested to do so.

14. Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any University premises or unauthorized entry to or use of University premises.

15. Violation of any approved University policy, rule, or regulation, published in hard copy or available electronically or on any official university Web site, including but not limited to the University Room and Board Agreement, Fire Safety Regulations, University Dining Policies, and University Alcohol and Drug Policies. The breakdown follows:

a. Violation of published policies: housing (overnight guests)

b. Violation of published policies: housing (solicitation),

c. Violation of published policies: housing (pets),

d. Violation of published policies: housing (prohibited items)

e. Violation of published policies: housing (rights of others/noise),

f.  Violation of published policies: housing (hall sports),

g. Violation of published policies: housing (other),

h. Violation of published policies: affirmative action,

i.  Violation of published policies: other.

16. Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law. (See Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Policies, page 11, and pages 44ž47.) The break­down follows:

a. Use of narcotic or other controlled substances

b. Possession of narcotic or other controlled substances

c. Distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances

d. Possession of drug paraphernalia, including but not limited to, bongs, pipes, or one-hitters.

e. Hosting a gathering where the use of narcotics or other controlled substances has occurred/common sources

f.  Manufacturing of narcotic or other controlled substances

17. Use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations. The breakdown follows:

a. Use/possession/distribution of alcohol by individual under legal age,

b. Public intoxication,

c. Excessive consumption of alcohol,

d. Alcohol in common area of residence halls/apartment areas,

e. Possession/consumption of alcohol in room of individual under legal age,

f.  Providing underage people with alcohol,

g. Hosting a gathering where prohibited drinking has occurred/common sources,

h. Under the influence of alcohol resulting in injury/illness,

i.  Violation of UNH alcohol policy. (See Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Policies, page 11, and pages 45–49.)

18. Guest responsibility means that all UNH students are responsible for the behavior of their guests when on University property and may be held accountable for violations of any University rule by their guests. The defini­tion of “guest” includes, but is not limited to, any person(s) a student invites into his/her room or apartment building or to the campus, and/or any person(s) involved in activity in his/her room or apartment which violates any provision of the Student Code of Conduct.

19. Illegal or unauthorized possession, or use of firearms, explosives, fire­works, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals. See USNH Online Policy Manual (OLPM) UNH.111.J.1-5.

20. Participation in a campus demonstration which disrupts the normal operations of the University and infringes upon the rights of other mem­bers of the University community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area, or in or around public ways in the town of Durham, failure to disperse when so directed by police or university officials; intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, on University premises or at University sponsored or supervised functions, or in or around public ways in the town of Durham.

21. Conduct that is unacceptable because the behavior is one or more of the following:

a. Disorderly

b. Lewd

c. Obscene

d. Breach of peace

e. And/or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on University premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by, the University.

22. Theft or other abuse of computer time, including but not limited to:

a. Unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.

b. Unauthorized transfer of a file.

c. Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password.

d. Use of computer and/or computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or University Official.

e. Use of University computer facilities and/or computing technology to send or post obscene, harassing, or abusive messages.

f.       Use of computer and/or computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the University computing system.23. Abuse of the Conduct System, including but not limited to:

a. Failure to obey the summons of a University official who has responsibil­ity for any aspect of the conduct system.

b. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a Hearing Board or University Hearing Officer.

c. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a conduct proceed­ing.

d. Instituting a student conduct proceeding knowingly without cause.

e. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the conduct system.

f.  Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Hearing Board prior to, and/or during the course of, the conduct proceeding.

g. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a judicial system prior to, during, and/or after a judicial proceeding.

h. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code of Conduct.

i.  Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the conduct system.

24.  Knowingly assisting in the violation of any of the provisions of this Code.

25. Criminal convictions of or violations of local state or Federal laws otherwise not covered under this Code.

Article IV: Conduct Policies and Administrative Procedures

A. Charges

1. Any member of the University community may file charges against any student for misconduct. Charges shall be prepared in writing and directed to the Director of the Office of Community Standards or designee who is responsible for the administration of the University conduct system. Any charge shall be submitted no later than twelve (12) months after the occurrence of the alleged incident and the discovery of the identity of the student(s) involved. Complainants are encouraged to file charges as soon as possible after the alleged incident to ensure witness and evidence availability. If a student has withdrawn or withdraws after the filing of such charges, either (1) a “hold” will be placed on the student’s academic record and the student notified that disciplinary action may be initiated upon the student’s application for read­mission, or (2) the University may proceed to resolve the disciplinary action.

2.  Investigation: The Director of Community Standards or designee may conduct an investigation to determine if there is sufficient evidence to file charges and/or if they can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the Director or designee. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, or if they are found by the Director of Community Standards or designee to require a hearing a formal conduct hearing shall be scheduled.

3. Any student ineligible to register for or attend classes at any one USNH institution because of a pending student disciplinary charge shall be ineligible to register for or attend classes at any other USNH institution for as long as the charge remains pending.

4. Members of a recognized student organization may be charged as an organization and/or individually with violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct. Guidelines for Charging Student Organizations:

a. One or more officers or authorized representatives acting in the scope of their capacities, commit the violation.

b. One or more members commit the violation after the action that consti­tutes the violation was approved by a vote of the organization or was part of a committee assignment of the organization.

c. The violation is committed at an activity funded by the organization.

d. The violation occurs as a result of an event sponsored by the organization.

e. One or more members of an organization or its officers permit, encourage, aid or assist in committing a violation.

f.  Members of an organization fail to report to appropriate University authorities knowledge or information about a violation.

5. Medical Amnesty - When a student acts on behalf of another student and request help to emergency personnel or a UNH staff member for a condition stemming from the use of alcohol or other drug, both the student(s) offering assistance and the student in need of medical attention have the option of filing for medical amnestyIf medical amnesty is determined to be applicable, the student involved would have to attend an alcohol or other drug awareness course provided by the Office of Health Education and Promotion at Health Services.  Pending completion of the alcohol or other drug awareness course the student will be found not responsible for violation of the Code of Conduct. Guidelines for Medical Amnesty:

a.  Medical amnesty may be granted for the student needing medical attention once per student as long as the student is enrolled at UNH.  A student acting on behalf of another student needing medical attention can apply for medical amnesty without limitation.

b. Students who wish to apply for medical amnesty will have to do so within two business days after meeting with the complainant.  The student must have proof that professional help was requested.            c. Prior alcohol violations could reduce a student's likelihood of being granted medical amnesty.             d. Parents or legal guardians of the student applying for medical amnesty will be notified of the student’s arrest by the police as per normal process.  Parents or legal guardians will be notified of the student’s conduct violation(s) through the Office of Conduct and Mediation as per normal process allowed under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).                                                                                

e. The student applying for medical amnesty will assume the costs associated with the alcohol or other drug awareness course.                                                                                                                                                             f. Recognized UNH Student Organizations are not eligible to apply for medical amnesty.                         g. If arrested, students may want to seek legal advice before applying for medical amnesty.  Application can be made at the arresting police department.

 

B. Informal and Formal Action

Informal Action

In some cases of student misconduct a disciplinary hearing may not be neces­sary. This is most often true when the student admits responsibility and the violation typically results in a sanction up to probation, rather than a separa­tion sanction.

1. In this case, the student might receive a Violation Form from a Hall Direc­tor, the University Police, or other faculty or staff member. The Violation Form will contain information about the alleged violation; including date, location, and nature of the incident. The student may choose to resolve the matter at this level by accepting responsibility and prescribed sanctions. If the student wishes to discuss the incident and prescribed sanctions with the person who prepared the notice of conduct violation, s/he must contact that person within 48 hours of receiving the Violation Form. A meeting will then be held to finalize facts around the incident and sanctions. Following that meeting, the person who prepared the Violation Form will decide the appro­priate resolution of the complaint. Decisions made in meetings are final if sanction is less than probation. In the event that the complainant is the first hand observer of the incident, and a meeting is requested, then an alternate staff member will conduct the meeting. A summary of the resolution will be filed in the Office of Conduct and Mediation and becomes part of the respon­dent student’s disciplinary file.

2. If one of the sanctions includes probation, the respondent may request a review. The scope of the review is limited to a) affirm or reduce the sanction, and b) determine if a preponderance of the evidence supported the finding of responsibility. The respondent is eligible for a review only after s/he meets with the complainant. A written request for review must be delivered to the Office of Community Standards within two business days after the Violation Form is finalized between the complainant and respondent. In the event the student chooses not to return the completed form within two business days, then reso­lution of the case becomes final.

3. If a student is charged with a second violation which does not rise to the level of a separation sanction then the complainant and respondent can meet infor­mally to resolve the case. This meeting is an opportunity for the respondent to discuss the allegations of misconduct with the complainant, which may be a Residence Hall Director, UNH Police Officer, or other University pro­fessional staff member, or University student. During the Informal Meeting, the respondent will be invited to discuss and review information contained in the incident report, and will be encouraged to ask questions concerning all charges against him or her, as well as the available options for resolution within the UNH student conduct system. If an agreement is reached at the Informal Meeting, it will be summarized in a written formal agreement con­taining the violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct for which the respon­dent has accepted responsibility, and the agreed upon sanctions. All agreements on responsibility and sanctions are subject to final approval of the Director of Community Standards or designee.  This written agreement becomes part of the student’s disciplinary file that is maintained in the Office of Community Standards.

 

Formal Action

Hearings. Disciplinary Hearings (for Hearing Procedures, see Section C). In cases involving serious violations of the Student Code of Conduct, or in the event that the new violation could result in a separation sanction the respondent shall have the right to a hearing to determine responsibility for the charges and impose the appropriate sanctions. For potential eviction cases responsibility and sanctions shall be decided by a hearing officer only. For violations that could result in suspension or dismissal the student may ask for a hearing before a hearing officer or hearing board. A serious violation is defined as misconduct containing one or more of the following conditions:

a. Misconduct that caused physical harm to others

b. Misconduct that jeopardized the safety and/or wellbeing of others

c. Misconduct that caused an adverse impact to the residential or University community

d. Misconduct that caused serious damage to University property or the property of others

e. Misconduct that violates conditions of probation or indicates repeated violations

f.  Misconduct that involves hosting a gathering where prohibited drinking has occurred/common sources

g. Misconduct that is a violation of the University Drug Policy

h. Misconduct that harms others because of their particular race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other category protected by law or university policy.

i. Misconduct that is a felony under State or Federal Law.

j. If a student is found guilty or responsible for three violations, which can involve court or conduct, within a calendar year, the sanction of one semester suspension will normally be recommended by the complainant.  This includes criminal violations that normally occur in the town of Durham, NH. 

 

C. Hearing Procedures

1. Notice of charges: The Office of Community Standards shall present a notice of all charges to the respondent in written form.  The notice shall include a copy of t6he complaint, together with the hearing date, time, and place. The respondent and complainant (if a student) may request in writing the names of Hearing Board members, or Hearing Officer. The date set for a hearing, shall not less than three nor more than fifteen calendar days after the respondent has been notified of the hearing date by the Office of Community Standards. The respondent may waive the three calendar day notice. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Director of the Office of Community Standards or designee.

2. Adjudicatory Standard - The Hearing Officer/ Hearing Board will deter­mine whether the respondent is “responsible” or “not responsible” for the alleged violation(s). The respondent will be presumed “not responsible” until determined otherwise by a preponderance of evidence. A preponder­ance of evidence is reached when the Hearing Officer/Hearing Board deter­mines that it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the Student Code of Conduct as alleged in the charges.

3. Hearings shall be conducted by a Hearing Officer or Hearing Board according to the following guidelines:

a. Hearings normally shall be conducted in private. The respondent or complainant, if a student, may file a written request to allow other persons to attend the hearing. The request may be granted, in the discretion of the officer or board, if it is found that the presence of third parties is unlikely to disrupt the proceedings, intimidate the either party, intimidate any witness or result in the unlawful disclosure of student record information.

b. In hearings involving more than one respondent, the Hearing Board Chairperson, or Hearing Officer, at his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.

c. Advisors: When the complainant and/or the respondent are students, they have the right to be assisted by a student advisor. The complainant and/or the respondent are responsible for presenting their own cases. The primary role of a student advisor who is a volunteer trained by the Office of Community Standards is to offer guidance to respondents (and complain­ants if they are students) before, during, and after a hearing. The student advisor does not represent a respondent at any point during the student conduct process. When criminal charges are pending or have the potential to be pending, the respondent may have an attorney present. The attorney may not participate in the hearing.

d. Testimony: The complainant the respondent and/or the Hearing Board or Hearing Officer shall have the privilege of presenting their case subject to the right of questioning by the Hearing Officer or Hearing Board.

e. Documentary Evidence: Either party may submit records, exhibits, and written statements as evidence.  Documents may be received for inclusion in the hearing record if the Hearing Officer or Hearing Board Chairperson finds that they meet guidelines for admitting evidence. 

Guidelines for Evidence:  The system does not apply formal rules of evidence, but the presiding person at the hearing may exclude evidence on the ground that it is unduly cumulative, irrelevant, constitutes character evidence or would waste the fact-finder’s time.  Written or oral statements with re3spect to someone’s good or bad character are not admissible.  The conduct process is not tasked with judging an individual’s character. 

f. Procedural Rulings: All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Hearing Officer or Hearing Board Chairperson or procedural advisor.

g. Non-attendance:  If a complainant or respondent chooses not to attend a hearing the officer or board shall

   proceed with the hearing.  The hearing officer or hearing board, if applicable, will determine responsibility and

   assign sanctions.  The non-attending party shall be bound by the outcome of the hearing as if that person

   were present at the hearing.  Except in the case of a student charged with failing to obey the directions of a

   Hearing Board, Hearing Officer, or University official, no respondent may be found to have violated the

   Student Code of Conduct solely because the respondent failed to appear before a hearing body and no

   complaint may be dismissed solely because the complainant failed to appear. In all cases, the evidence in

   support of the charges shall be presented and considered.

h. Determination: Any hearing heard by a Board shall determine, by majority vote whether the student has violated each section of the Student Code of Conduct with which the student is charged. A tie vote results in a finding of “not responsible” for the charge(s) in ques­tion. The Hearing Board may also recommend sanctions according to the procedures discussed in section D.

i.  Hearing Board or Officer: In cases where a separation sanction of suspension or dismissal from the University may be a likely outcome, respondents have the right to choose a Hearing Board to resolve the charges. In all other cases, the respondent will have a Hearing Officer determine responsibility and sanctions for the charges.

j.  Hearings scheduled to occur at the end of an academic semester, including, but not limited to reading days and final exams, and during the summer, and over winter break, shall be assigned to a Hearing Officer, regardless of the severity of the charge.

k. The respondent is bound by their election of a board or officer, which appears on the Summary of Informal Meeting Form and is thereafter barred from requiring a different adjudicator.

Record: There shall be a single verbatim record, such as an audio recording, of all hearings before a Hearing Board or Hearing Officer. Deliberations of Hearing Boards shall not be recorded.  The record shall be the property of the University.  Recordings of the hearing are kept only for the length of the appeals process, at which time they are deleted.

5. Finality: If a respondent is found not responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, and the finding is upheld by the Appellate Board or Appellate Officer, the student may not be charged again for the same incident unless there is a preponderance of new evidence that could not have been found at the time of the first hearing and the Director of Community standards or designee determines that the interests of justice and harmonious community life require that the subsequent complaint be accepted. The Director of community Standards or designee may dismiss any complaint if it is found that the complaint arises from substantially the same facts as a previously adjudicated complaint or has been filed for the principle purpose of interfering with the respondent’s return from a period of suspension.

6. If the respondent is a graduate student, the Hearing Board or Appellate Board shall include a student from the Graduate School.

D. Sanctions and Sanction Process

In recommending and determining sanctions, a Hearing Board or Hearing Officer may consider the student’s present demeanor and past disciplinary record, the nature of the offense, the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting therefrom, and other factors.

1. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct:

a. Warning—A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.

b. Disciplinary Probation—A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulations(s) during the probationary period. Probation can also impact a student’s ability to participate in university programs, study away and university scholarships.

c. Loss of Privileges—Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time, including but not limited to, participation in University athlet­ics, membership in recognized student organizations, and use of specified University facilities.

   (1) Banned from Entry—Prohibited presence in specific buildings or group of buildings on campus (including residence halls) for a definite period of time. Time period must be specified.

   (2) Prohibition Against Personal Contact—Prohibited contact or presence near a specific person for a definite period of time. Time period must be specified.

d. Fines—Previously established and published fines may be imposed. For more information on fines, please visit the Office of Community Standards Web site: www.unh.edu/ocs

e. Restitution—Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement

f. Educational Sanctions—Reflection papers, Ethics, Anger Management, or Alcohol/Drug Awareness Classes, service to the University, or other related educational assignments (such assignments must have the prior approval of the Director of Community Standards or designee).

g. Deferred Housing Eviction – Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time,

   after which the student is eligible to return.  Eviction will commence the semester immediately following the

   conclusion of the conduct process

h. Housing Eviction—Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.

Housing Expulsion—Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.

j. Deferred University Suspension – Separation of the student from the University for a definite period of time

   after which the student is eligible to return.  Suspension will commence the semester immediately following

   the conclusion of the conduct process.

k. University Suspension—Separation of the student from the University for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Con­ditions for readmission may be specified. Students are banned from cam­pus for the duration of their suspension. Readmission to the University requires application and acceptance through the Office of Admissions. A student ineligible to register for or attend classes at any one USNH institu­tion because of suspension entered upon a finding(s) of responsibility for violation(s) of the institution’s Student Code of Conduct shall be ineligible to register for or attend classes at any other USNH institution during the entire period of suspension.

University Dismissal—Permanent separation of the student from the University. Students may conduct administrative business on campus with prior notice to University Police. A student ineligible to register for or attend classes at any one USNH institution because of permanent dismissal entered upon a finding(s) of responsibility for violation(s) of the institution’s student code of conduct shall be ineligible to register for or attend classes at any other USNH institution for a period of two years following the date on which the student was permanently dismissed.

2. More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.

3. The minimum sanction for those found responsible for sexual misconduct that includes sexual penetration as defined by RSA 632-A:1,V, is suspension for one year or until the survivor graduates or otherwise leaves the University for an indefinite period of time, whichever is longer. .

4. When a student has been found to have violated the Code of Conduct and the Hearing Officer or Board finds facts demonstrating that the respondent has directed his or her behavior towards someone because of that person’s actual or perceived particular race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, veterans’ status, marital status, or other category protected by law or UNH policy, the Board or Officer may recommend enhanced sanctions and the sanction­ing Hearing Officer may impose enhanced sanctions as s/he deems appropri­ate within the Code.

5. Other than University dismissal, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s confidential record. Disciplinary records may be voided by the Director of the Community standards or designee for good cause, upon writ­ten petition of respondents. Factors to include: a. the present demeanor of the petitioner, b. the conduct subsequent to the violations, c. nature of the violation and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than housing expul­sion, University suspension or University dismissal shall be expunged from the student’s confidential record three years after final disposition of the case.  Cases of housing expulsion and University suspension shall be expunged from the student’s confidential record five years after the final disposition of the case.  Cases of dismissal will be held permanently.

6. The following sanctions may be imposed upon organizations:

a. Those sanctions listed above in Section D 1. a. c. d. e. and f.

b. Disciplinary Probation - a written reprimand for violation of specific reg­ulations. Specific terms of the probation may include loss of privileges, or other discretionary sanctions as described in Article IV.D.1.f. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the organization is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.

c. Organization Suspension - loss of privileges which may include loss of University recognition, for a specific period of time. Organization Suspension may also include other discretionary sanctions which are imposed for the purpose of assisting the organization in bettering itself, and with expectation that the organization completes these sanctions by the imposed timelines, regardless of University recognition status.

d. Organization Dismissal - permanent loss of all privileges including Uni­versity recognition.

e. Members of a recognized student organization may be charged collec­tively as an organization and/ or individually with violations of the Stu­dent Code of Conduct.

7. In order to consider imposing one of the following sanctions, Residential Eviction, Residential Expulsion, University Suspension or Dis­missal or Organization Suspension or Organizational Dismissal, one or more of the following conditions must be present:

   (a) Misconduct that caused physical harm to others.

   (b) Misconduct that jeopardized the safety and/or wellbeing of others.

   (c) Misconduct that caused an adverse impact to the residential or Univer­sity community.

   (d) Misconduct that caused serious damage to University property or to the property of others.

   (e) Misconduct that violates conditions of probation or indicates repeated violations.

   (f) Misconduct that harms others because of their particular race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other category protected by law or university policy.

   (g) Misconduct that involves hosting a gathering where prohibited drinking has occurred/common sources.

   (h) Misconduct that is a violation of the University drug policy.

8. If a student or organization fails to comply with sanctions imposed in a University judicial case, the student or organization may be sanctioned with University suspension.

9. Written Decision Hearing Officer:  When a Hearing Officer is selected by a respondent to hear a case and when that hearing Officer determines that the evidence and testimony of a case violate the Student Code of Conduct and warrant a penalty, the Hearing Officer shall impose an appropriate sanction(s). The Hearing Officer shall include a written summary of testimony, finding of fact, sanction(s), and the reasons therefore, which shall be included in the record.

10. Written Decision Hearing Board:  When a Hearing Board determines that the evidence and testimony of a case violate the Student Code of Conduct and warrant a penalty, it shall recommend a sanction(s) to a Hearing Officer.

The Hearing Board shall include a written summary of testimony, find­ings of fact, recommended sanction(s), and reasons therefore, which shall be included in the record. The entire record shall be forwarded if possible within one business day, to a Hearing Officer.

The Hearing Officer shall, within three business days after receiving the Hear­ing Board’s recommended sanction(s), render a written decision and rea­sons therefore, which shall be included in the record The Office of Community Standards shall send a copy of the decision to the respondent(s). Within the three business days period, the Hearing Officer may request the Hearing Board to clarify its recommendation and, upon receipt of clarification, may proceed to decide the matter. Any decision shall be based solely on the record of the Hearing Board, as may be clarified.

E. Appeals

1. A decision reached by the Hearing Board\ or Hearing Officer a sanction imposed by a Hearing Officer, may be appealed by the respondent(s) or complainant(s) to an Appellate Board or Appellate Officer within two business days after the written hearing decision is distributed Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Office of Community Standards.

2. Except as required to explain the basis of new evidence, an appeal shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:

a. Procedural Integrity: To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to pre­pare and present evidence that the Student Code of Conduct was violated, and giving the respondent a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.

b. Preponderance of Evidence: To determine whether the decision reached regarding the respondent was based on a preponderance of evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that it is more probable than not that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct occurred.

c. Sanction: To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed was appropriate for those cases that resulted in probation, eviction, residential expulsion, suspen­sion and/or dismissal. The Appellate Board or Appellate Officer shall not increase the sanction(s) imposed by a Hearing Officer.  In cases of misconduct that constitutes crimes of violence or non-forcible sex offenses, the Appellate Board or Appellate Officer in deciding any appeal, may increase the sanction(s) imposed by the Hearing Officer.

d. New Evidence: To consider new evidence, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing and could not reasonably have been discovered at the time of the hearing.

3. If an appeal is granted by the Appellate Board or Appellate Officer based on new evidence or procedural error, the case shall be remanded to the original Hearing Board or Hearing Officer for reopening of the hearing. If an appeal is granted based on inappropriate sanction or lack of a preponderance of the evidence, the Appellate Board or Appellate Officer shall render the appropriate determina­tion and/or sanction.

F. Interim Restrictions

In certain circumstances, the Dean of Students or designee may impose interim restrictions such as University sus­pension or residence hall eviction or relocation prior to the hearing before a hearing body. Interim restrictions are effective immediately without prior notice. Interim restrictions for organizations include, but are not limited to, ceasing all activities, meetings, and/or events.

1. Interim restrictions may be imposed only:

a. To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University commu­nity or preservation of University property;

b. To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or

c. If the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University.

2.       During the interim restrictions, students shall be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Dean of Students or designee may determine to be appropriate.

3.       The Dean of Students or designee shall notify the Associate Dean of the student’s college who will in turn notify the student’s faculty of the interim restriction(s).

4.       A student restricted on an interim basis shall be given an opportunity to appear personally before a Hearing Officer as soon as practicable, but within ten calendar days from the effective date of the interim restriction, to dis­cuss the following issues only:

a. The reliability of the information concerning the student’s conduct, and

b. Whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student on University premises poses a threat to the safety and well-being of members of the University community.

G. Rights of All Parties in the Conduct Process

1. Respondent’s Rights. Students and organizations that are charged with alleged violations of any University rules have the right to the following:

a. Fair notice of charges, including time and place of the alleged violation so that he/she understands the charges being made against him/her.

b. At least three calendar days notice before a hearing.

c. Knowledge of the name(s) of the person(s) bringing charges and the time and place of the hearing.

d. A formal hearing, if the situation is not resolved in an informal meeting or if the charges are determined by the Director of the Office of Community Standards to have merit as outlined in Article IV, A. Charges, 2. which includes an opportunity to respond to charges.

e. The opportunity to have the assistance of a trained student advisor in preparing for a hearing and during a hearing as defined by conduct sys­tem policies. Only students selected, trained, and supervised through the Office of Community Standards may serve as a Student Advisor. In the case of crimes of violence or non-forcible sex offenses the office may provide a faculty or staff member the University to serve as the respondent’s advisor.

f.  Request an appeal of a decision of the Hearing Board/Hearing Officer by an Appellate Board or Appellate Officer.

g. Notice of the results of formal hearings and appeals.

h. Resolution of charges in accordance with conduct system policies.

i.  To be assumed not responsible until complainant has demonstrated, through evidence, that the respondent more likely than not violated the rule(s) of conduct.

j.  Right to remain silent: A student or student organization against whom charges have been made may choose not to testify in his/her own defense. This choice shall neither preclude the right to present and question witnesses nor consider other evidence, nor shall it be regarded as an admission of responsibility.

k. The right to an attorney’s counsel if criminal charges are pending or likely.

2. Complainant’s Rights. The person reporting a violation of University rules has the right to the following:

a. A formal hearing, if the situation is not resolved in an informal meeting.

b. At least three calendar days notice of the time and place of a formal hearing in order to prepare for that hearing.

c. The advice in preparing for a hearing of a student advisor chosen from the pool of trained student advisors (available through the Office of Community Standards) when the complainant is a student.

d. Request an appeal of a decision of a hearing body.

e. Notice of results of formal hearings and appeals.

Additional Rights of Respondent’s and Victim’s in Cases of Discriminatory Harassment, Crimes of Violence and Non-forcible Sex Offenses.

a. The opportunity for concurrent written notification with respect to hearings, hearing outcomes, and appeal decisions.

b. The opportunity to participate in the formal hearing in person with or without a screen separating both parties, or by telephone or video conferencing from separate locations.

c. The opportunity to have the assistance throughout the entire conduct process of any advisor of their choice. If the respondent or victim does not select their own advisor, the Director of Community Standards or designee will appoint a faculty or staff member to serve as their advisor.

d. In the case of the victim, the opportunity to participate in the hearing as a co-complainant or a witness.

e. The opportunity to have another individual in addition to the advisor present at the hearing.

f. Both parties have a separate right of appeal regardless of the outcome of the hearing.

 

 

Article V: Discriminatory Harassment Procedures

The Director of Community Standards or designee may appoint an inde­pendent investigator to investigate allegations of student misconduct involv­ing discriminatory harassment. The independent investigator will provide recommendations to the Director of Community Standards regarding whether conduct charges should be filed. All informa­tion and relevant documentation gathered by the independent investigator shall be given to the Director of designee and may be used as evidence in a student conduct case.

Article VI: Interpretation and Revision

1. Any question of interpretation regarding the Student Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Vice President for Student and Academic Services or designee for final determination.

2. The Student Code of Conduct shall be reviewed every three years under the direction of the Dean of Students and the Director of Community Standards. The review should involve faculty, staff, and student representation.

3.  The official edition of the Student Code of Conduct is the one published on the Office of Community Standards website, http://www.unh.edu/ocs.

 

August 22, 2014