The system seems rather concrete; is this really the case?
It depends. If a student is found responsible for the specific violation, then the proscribed points will be assessed. However, it is important to note that students may be documented – as they currently are – and the facts of the case are more complex than what is noted on an incident report. This is the reason for administrative hearings and in these hearings, students have an opportunity to respond and explain a situation. Where the facts are less clear and/or when a student provides their account such that it provides greater clarity, a different outcome may be reached. In such a case, it is possible the student could be found not responsible or responsible for a different violation.
In the end, the administrative hearing process is designed to provide an opportunity for the student and the administrative hearing officer to have a conversation about what allegedly took place and to resolve whether something "more likely than not" took place.
So, if the violation is only a violation of the Policy on Alcohol and Drugs, there is no disciplinary sanction?
Yes, in such cases students would be assessed the points associated with the violation and there would not be the assessment of a sanction such as Disciplinary Warning or Disciplinary Probation.
In some cases, there may be the possibility of disciplinary action and students should review the points schedule carefully to understand the circumstances under which such a sanction may be assessed.
How are multiple violations in one incident handled?
If a student is documented for multiple violations in one incident, they will receive the points associated with the highest point violation.
For instance, if a student is documented for hosting a prohibited event where alcohol is served (four points), possession of hard alcohol under the age of 21 (three points) and possession of a fictitious ID, fraudulent ID or another person’s drivers license (one point) and is found responsible for all three – the points they would carry from the incident are four.
Please note that any corollary points that may be applicable in a situation would be added to the highest point assessment that carries forward. Using the above example, if a student were found to have failed to comply with a University official or local law enforcement professional in the course of documenting the incident, two corollary points would be assessed, resulting in six points for the incident.
How will two separate incidents be addressed?
If a student is documented for two separate violations (for instance, one on Friday evening and another on Sunday afternoon) and prior to the student having a hearing, if they are responsible for the violations documented in each incident they will receive the respective points for both. This would include the additional one point (corollary point) for a second violation in a semester.
I was documented for attending a prohibited event where alcohol was served (drinking games). What happens if I just got "there"?
The key point is you were there. That is, attending a prohibited event where alcohol is served (drinking games) carries a two-point assessment. It does not matter how long you were there. Please use your judgment when making a decision to attend such an event.
Are off-campus violations subject to the points system?
Yes, if incidents are reported to the university through Campus Safety – like all violations. The violations identified in the points grid are those that would be applied for off-campus violations. Additionally, it is likely that corollary points would also be assessed depending upon the nature of the violation.
Can incidents be referred to the Conduct Board for review? How will they make decisions?
Yes. Cases may be referred to the Conduct Board for review. In such instances it is likely that there are other factors beyond the violation of the Policy on Alcohol and Drugs. Any findings of being responsible of violations for the Policy on the Alcohol and Drugs would be guided by the points system. Other violations would be subject to the assessment of corollary points or disciplinary sanctions.
Information regarding the Conduct Board and hearing process can be found in the student handbook.
Can I appeal a points assessment?
In general, there would be no appeal of a points assessment as in most cases this would follow an administrative hearing in which a student accepted responsibility for the violation(s). The process does not provide for appeals in an administrative hearing when a student accepts responsibility.
If you do not accept responsibility for a violation, you can opt for a hearing before the University Student Conduct Board. If you are found responsible by the Board and the outcome is the point assessment associated with the violation, there would be no basis for an appeal as determined by the appeal process for Board hearings.
What is reported if a student’s disciplinary history is requested?
When we provide information related to a student’s disciplinary record, we must always ensure we are answering the question that is asked in an honest way. Our goal with the points system was to find a way that could mitigate isolated incidents that would otherwise have been reported so that a student’s good decision making following the incident is what would be reflected.
Thus, rather than having a sanction of disciplinary probation for an incident impact a student’s application for study abroad or a medical or law school application, the points system would provide, in most instances, an opportunity for the violation to be non-reportable (except in instances where a question would require the university to disclose the information).
We want our students to be successful when they pursue opportunities as identified above and when a student has made the necessary adjustments so that they are in alignment with the university’s expectations of them, we don’t believe the weight of an isolated incident should negatively influence such opportunities.
Students should be aware of the university’s practice in reporting disciplinary records when such information is requested. Most typically, this takes place during the application process for an off-campus study-abroad experience and post-graduate programs in law and medicine. Sanctions of disciplinary probation and above are noted by the students’ administrative adviser to the requesting institution in addition to a student’s points history if they have 6 or more points at the time of disclosure. In addition, students should be aware that the university cannot control the types of questions posed to it in such situations. As a result, the university must necessarily reserve the right to disclose point totals of less than 6 and/or the underlying violations if such disclosure is necessary to make the response truthful.
I am concerned my roommates may expose me to points - what can I do?
We would encourage you to have a conversation with your roommates and share with them your concerns. Direct communication is often the best route for you to take, yet we understand there may be factors that make this less than ideal. If this is the case for you, we would recommend you meet with your residential adviser (apartment manager or community coordinator) to see if they can help facilitate a conversation. If this option does not work, you can seek additional alternatives following this initial conversation.
I am concerned about a friend, what can I do?
We appreciate the care you have for a friend and we would encourage you to talk with someone who is in a position to help. It may simply begin with talking with your friend. You may also want to seek guidance from someone prior to talking with your friend or perhaps accompanying your friend to meet with someone.
People who can help include the Counseling Center staff, Health Center staff and Administrative Advisers.
Who will know my point totals?
Your administrative adviser and the department of athletics (for Division I athletes) are notified on all outcomes related to administrative and University Student Conduct Board hearings. Additionally, your information will be disclosed to parents or disclosure to other parties for specific purposes if you accumulate points that require such notification.
The disclosure of information will take place as and to the extent permitted under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
Will my prior disciplinary record be translated to points?
No, all students begin the 2016-2017 academic year with a clean, zero-point history.