Conduct Process

Students and recognized organizations accused of violating the Code of Conduct have the right to a meaningful resolution process and to have their case adjudicated by impartial factfinders, including the right to challenge factfinders for bias or any conflicts of interest with the potential to undermine the integrity of the conduct process. Each case is evaluated for complexity, severity, and community impact to determine the appropriate forum of resolution.

Generally the student conduct process results in a finding of responsibility (responsible or not responsible) for violations of the Student Code and, if found responsible, accompanying sanctions.


Forums of Resolution

Students who are charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct can expect to engage in one of the resolution paths outlined below. Each resolution option offers the student due process and an opportunity to be heard. Students will be contacted with additional details specific to the resolution path(s) available to them.

  • RESOLUTION AGREEMENT. An expedited method to resolve a conduct case whereupon the respondent accepts responsibility for all charges, agrees to specific sanctions and waives their right to an appeal.
  • CONDUCT CONFERENCE. A one-on-one meeting with a trained Conduct Officer, designated by Community Standards, who will resolve cases of non-academic student misconduct and when appropriate, impose sanctions up to disciplinary and/or housing probation.
  • UNIVERSITY HEARING. A mechanism for resolving cases of academic and non-academic misconduct when outcomes could reasonably result in university housing removal (for a period of time or indefinitely), university suspension, or university dismissal. Decisions regarding the responsibility for violations and the sanctions, in a University Hearing, are made by a Panel or a single Administrative Hearing Officer.

The student conduct process, unlike the criminal and civil legal systems, is part of the University’s educational programs designed to address the student’s relationship to the institution and its behavioral standards and policies. While the process may involve situations that overlap with criminal laws (e.g., theft, drugs, or sexual assault) and civil statutes (e.g., fraud, social host laws, and other neighborhood issues), campus policies and processes are intentionally and appropriately different. The student conduct process focuses on assessing the impacts of an individual’s behavior on the learning and living environment around them. If a student is undergoing civil or criminal action for the same behavior which forms the basis of alleged prohibited conduct as described in the the Student Code, the University may administer the conduct process concurrently. Formal rules of civil procedure and technical rules of evidence do not apply to these proceedings, though principles of fairness and predictability inherent in such rules inform and provide guidance. 

The table below illustrates some (but not all) varying aspects of criminal/civil proceedings with the University's process.

 

Criminal and Civil Proceedings
University Disciplinary Process

Goal 

Public safety, deterrence, punitive in nature, enforce the law 

Educational, rehabilitative, uphold communal behavioral expectations, prepare students to be ethical and responsible global leaders 

Governing Law 

New Hampshire state law, penal code 

SRRR & Code of Conduct, FERPA, due process, Clery Act, Title IX Regulations 

Investigator
or Decision-Maker  

Law enforcement officers, Judge 

Single Administrator or Panel designated by Community Standards 

Evidentiary Standard 

Beyond a reasonable doubt or “no other reasonable or logical explanation that can derive from the facts presented” (criminal), clear and convincing or “substantially more likely than not to be true” 

Preponderance or “more likely than not” 

Roles 

Plaintiff, Defendant, Prosecutor

Complainant, Respondent, Advisor 

Forum 

Trial 

Conference or University Hearing 

Findings 

Innocent or Guilty 

Responsible or Not Responsible 

Determination 

If a citizen committed a crime 

If a student’s behavior violated policy 

Highest Mode of Discipline

Incarceration 

University Dismissal