Student FAQ

Below are answers to common questions involving our office, the student conduct process, and student records.

General

  • Should a student choose to violate the Student Code found in the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities any member of the University community may initiate a complaint with the Community Standards (CS) office.
  • Staff members in Residential Life and Housing, such as RAs, CAs, AHDs, Apartment Managers, and Residence Hall Directors, also address and report incidents of possible conduct violations.
  • If the circumstances surrounding the complaint indicate that a violation of the Student Code may have occurred, disciplinary charges will be brought against the student.
  • Students will know that they have formal charges pending against them because they will receive electronic notification (sent to their University e-mail account) in the form of a notice of allegations. This notice will include a list of the pending charges, a summary of the incident, recommended/possible sanctions and procedures to resolve the matter.
  • For more serious cases a Preliminary Meeting (cases with Level 2 and Level 3 sanctions) is the first stage of the student conduct process where students are invited to review and discuss the information contained in their incident report.
  • Students are encouraged to ask questions concerning all charges against them as well as options available within the student conduct system. If a student accepts responsibility for the violation(s) and accepts the sanctions described (by signing a statement acknowledging this) the information is forwarded to CS where the information is reviewed, and if approved, the sanction(s) are applied and the case is closed.
  • If a student accepts responsibility for the violation(s), but disputes at least one of the sanctions described, the student may request a sanction hearing where a hearing officer will determine sanctions. 
  • If a student denies responsibility for the violation(s) the student may request a formal responsibility hearing (for cases with Level 3 sanctions)  where a hearing panel will weigh all of the information presented and decide on responsibility and then sanctions if applicable.
  • If you choose not to attend your Preliminary Meeting the complainant in a case with a Level 2 sanction you will not have the ability to request an appeal.  If you choose not to attend the Preliminary Meeting with the complainant for cases with a Level 3 sanction your case will be forwarded CS and a formal responsibility hearing will be scheduled.  
  • Generally, no. 
  • In cases where there are, or the potential for, criminal charges filed in a criminal court a student may be accompanied by legal counsel.
  • The student conduct process at the University of New Hampshire is an educational administrative process, not a criminal or civil proceeding. 
  • As any information shared in a conduct hearing may be subpoenaed by a court the role of an attorney in the conduct process will be limited to protect a student’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. 
  • The attorney may only advise the charged student on what information to provide and whether or not they should answer a question posed during the hearing.
  • Students may consult a student advisor if they have questions or concerns about the disciplinary process.
    • A student advisor is a member of the University community and may be fellow students.  Occasionally, CS may appoint faculty, or staff member to be an advisor if the need exists.  
  • Violations of local, state, and federal laws may be reported to the University student conduct system.
  • Students are expected to conduct themselves by the law and may be subject to University action should they choose to violate local, state, or federal laws.
  • Generally, no.
  • It will be up to you to contact the study abroad program you are interested in and the Dean of your College.
  • These individuals will provide you with the correct information for your situation.
  • Potentially. 
  • For cases resulting in sanctions less than residential expulsion and suspension from the University a disciplinary record is kept on file for three years from the date of the incident. After three years the record is completely expunged. 
  • For cases involving residential expulsion and suspension from the University, a disciplinary record is kept on file for five years from the date of the incident.  After five years the record is completely expunged. 
  • In cases of University dismissal, the record is kept on file indefinitely and will not be expunged.
  • If a student gives an employer permission to, or a graduate or professional school requests access to his or her disciplinary record before the record being expunged, information about the student's violation(s) and sanction(s) will be shared.
  • The answer to this question depends upon the type of violation and the level of sanction applied.
  • You should check with the Financial Aid Office or scholarship originator for further information about your specific situation. 
  • The information posted to social media outlets can (and has been) be very damaging to a student’s reputation and may show the student in an unflattering light.
  • The Community Standards office does not search online for pictures, videos, postings, etc. of students violating policies, nor does the office charge students solely on such online information.
    • However, if a member of the University community brings information of alleged violations to the attention of Community Standards, this information may be forwarded to the appropriate University office for further investigation.
    • If that subsequent investigation determines signs of a violation, then charges may be applied and the information originally sent to CS could be used as evidence presented during a hearing.
  • Student health and safety are of primary concern at the University of New Hampshire. In cases of extreme intoxication and/or alcohol poisoning, you are strongly encouraged to seek medical assistance for yourself and/or others.
  • When a student acts on behalf of another student and calls for help to emergency personnel or a UNH staff member for a condition stemming from the use of alcohol, both the student(s) offering assistance and the student in need of medical attention have the option of filing for medical amnesty. If Medical Amnesty is determined to be applicable, the student involved would have to attend an alcohol awareness course provided by UNH Health & Wellness. Pending completion of the alcohol awareness course the student will be found not responsible for violation of the Student Code.

University Hearings

  • There are two types of conduct hearings: Responsibility Hearings & Sanction Hearings.
  • Responsibility Hearing takes place to determine whether a student is responsible for violating the Student Code. If you disagree with the complainant’s account of what happened or what you are being charged with, then it would be in your best interest to request a responsibility hearing. If you are found responsible for any charges in the responsibility hearing, the hearing officer will then decide the appropriate sanctions.
  • Sanction Hearing takes place if you and the complainant are in agreement about the details of the incident and violations but disagree on the proposed sanctions.
  • Responsibility Hearing is the second step of the student conduct process in more serious cases.
  • The hearing is an administrative process – it’s not like a court of law. 
  • For students who deny responsibility for one or more of the pending violations, the case will be resolved through a hearing.
  • Students alleged to have violated a policy are entitled to appear in person and present information on their behalf.
  • Students may call direct witnesses and ask questions of the complainant, their witness, and the complainant’s witness.  A University appointed Hearing Panel presides over the case.
  • If the Hearing Panel determines, based on a preponderance of the information presented, that the Student Code has been violated, a finding of responsibility will be made and the student will then receive sanctions.
  • While CS does not recommend missing your hearing, it is entirely your choice to attend. 
  • If you choose not to attend your hearing the hearing will progress without you being present, a finding of responsibility may be made based on the information presented by the complainant without your perspective and sanctions will be imposed if there is a finding of responsibility made. 

Sanctions

  • A sanction is a consequence that a student receives upon accepting responsibility or being found responsible for violating University policy.
  • Sanctions can include but are not limited to: fines and restitution; probation; mandated attendance at educational programs; research and reflection papers and projects; eviction or expulsion from University housing; suspension or dismissal from the University.
  • Yes.
  • Sanctions are reflective of the nature and severity of an incident and consider if the student had prior misconduct.
  • In all cases, education is the primary goal of any sanction applied. It is hoped that students will reflect upon the choices and decisions made in the situation, realize the impact these impacts had on both themselves and the community and determine changes that will ensure subsequent violations do not occur and their success at UNH.
  • Sometimes, but not always.  While each conduct case is heard individually by Hearing Panels, as a matter of fundamental fairness to all UNH students, cases with similar factors will have similar sanctions – or outcomes.  A hearing officer has to maintain a perspective of history and there may be times when a hearing officer will impose seemingly more serious sanctions than what is being recommended by a complainant and respondent.  The Hearing Panel will utilize the Sanction Guidelines when determining sanctions.  

Appeals

  • Yes.
  • A student who is found responsible for violating the Student Code in a responsibility hearing may submit a Petition for Review based on four very specific criteria, in writing to CS.
    • An Appeal Officer will review the petition and decide on the outcome. 
    • The appeal may be denied, the hearing decision may be modified or overturned, or the case may be reopened.
    • The decision of the Appeal Officer is final.
  • A student who accepts responsibility for violating the Student Code and has a sanction hearing may appeal based on two very specific criteria. 
    • The review may be denied, sanctions may be modified, or the case may be reopened. 
    • The decision of the Appeal Officer is final.
  • A student who accepts responsibility for violations and sanctions in an informal meeting waives their right to a hearing and review and the decision is final.