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Community Guidelines and Conduct

In any community setting, the actions of one person or group may directly affect the lives of others. Grace, consideration, and sensitivity to the rights and needs of others are, therefore, necessary ingredients for a supportive and successful community. Self-discipline and an acceptance of one’s responsibility to the community, as well as for one’s own actions, not only serve the larger group but also promote maturity and self-respect in each individual.

A healthy and supportive community is essential to, and in many ways dependent upon, the development of each community member. This bond between the larger group and the individual is especially vital in a community dedicated to education and scholarly pursuits. To realize each individual’s potential and to fulfill the mission of the University of Alaska Southeast residential community, behavioral standards have been set.

The primary purpose of regulations and discipline in a university are to protect the well-being of the community and to advance its mission by defining and establishing certain norms of behavior. At UAS, disciplinary proceedings have a role that is subordinate to positive guidance, rational admonition and reasonable appeal to members of its community to observe its stated norms. The disciplinary system establishes procedures for a fair hearing — including advising a person fully of the charges against him or her, affording him or her ample opportunity to speak on his or her own behalf, and requiring a clear explanation of his or her rights of appeal. Disciplinary proceedings are instituted only for violations of standards of conduct defined in advance and published or for actions that can be reasonably deduced as violations in light of those specifically defined as such.

Disciplinary or counseling procedures may be the necessary consequence of misconduct occurring on campus. Whenever a student’s behavior becomes disturbing to other members of the residential university community or hinders the community in its basic functions, Residence Life staff may be required to initiate advising and/or disciplinary procedures.

The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to change or modify its rules, regulations and policies so as to ensure the effective functioning of the department. Such changes will be published as they occur. All students are also expected to uphold the UAS Code of Conduct and other policies as outlined in the UAS Student Handbook.

Reports and Hearings

The steps followed by the Residence Life staff to resolve formal disciplinary matters make up the conduct process. This system exists to assure that basic due process is granted to all students of our community who find themselves in conflict with the community’s standards. All such conflicts are resolved by members of the UAS residential community in a system which, though avoiding the formalities and complexities of a legal process, nevertheless aim to respect the dignity of the individual as well as personal and community rights. With heavy reliance on the honesty of all participants, it is assumed that reasonable people, properly informed, can and will make judgments in the best interest of the residential university community. Decisions will be made based on the “preponderance of evidence.” 

Pre•pon•der•ance
1: a superiority in weight, power, importance, or strength
2: a superiority or excess in number or quantity

The following conduct structures and procedures have been set in place and are to be considered binding on all parties:

The formal responsibility for discipline of housing residents rests with the Residence Life Office. All possible disciplinary matters begin with an incident report submitted by a member of the Residence Life staff (Residence Life Manager, Residence Coordinator, Community Advisor, etc.) or a formal complaint filed by any member of the residential community. Each complaint is investigated and, if formal disciplinary action seems called for, then the student or group alleged to have violated Residence Life or university policy is notified by a professional staff member of the Residence Life Office that the matter will be addressed through the conduct process.

Incident Reports

Community Advisors, Peer Advocates, and other staff are mandated to document any incidents, including safety issues, wellness concerns, altercations, or policy violations, that are brought to their attention inadvertently or directly. Incidents may be reported openly or discreetly by another resident, or be observed or encountered by the staff member. The incident report shall document the name of individuals involved; time, place, and location of the incident; a detailed description of the incident and student-staff interactions during the incident, and the conclusion or resolution of the incident. Incident reports do not necessarily indicate impending conduct action, but rather serve to report and document potential issues that may require the attention of the professional staff or incidents that need to be recorded in case of further developments or repeated offenses.

Incidents which report policy violations and that may result in conduct action will be submitted to an administrator to be revised and edited. As a courtesy, the report’s author will make a reasonable number of attempts to bring the report to the involved residents so that they have a chance to read and sign the report. Because review of the report by the resident(s) is offered only as a courtesy, refusal of the resident to sign the report does not release him or her from responsibility in the incident. Residents are encouraged to write any additional details or disagreements with the report on the back of the form for the administrator to read. The Community Advisor who completes the report will document failed attempts to contact involved residents before returning the report to the administrator who would officiate any pending conduct hearings.

Hearings and Adjudications

All cases involving student infractions of residence life policies and regulations will be adjudicated by:

  1. A Residence Coordinator. Either administrator may hear cases of the other in one’s absence or if the case is referred by one administrator to the other.
  2. The Residence Life Manager, in cases that may lead to eviction, including assault, hazing, severe harassment, sexual assault, severe vandalism or theft, illegal weapons possession, third hearings for alcohol, and second offenses for drugs. In the absence of this administrator, such cases may be heard by the Director of Auxiliary Services.
  3. The Campus Conduct Officer, which will hear all disciplinary cases where the infractions are academic in nature or of such a serious nature that suspension or expulsion of the student or group is possible. The exception is when the allegation involves sexual assault/misconduct.

Conduct decisions by the above will be based on the “preponderance of evidence.”

Rights and Responsibilities of Students Subject to Disciplinary Hearings

Regardless of whether a student or group has the disciplinary issue heard by a staff member acting as a hearing agent or by any conduct committee, they are assured the following rights:

  1. Student(s) shall be presented the charges brought against him/her/them in writing at least 24 hours before the hearing is scheduled. Any such notice shall also state that if the student fails to appear before the committee without just cause, the hearing shall be heard in his/her/their absence.
  2. The student shall be entitled to be present at the hearing during the presentation of any matter on which a decision may be based.
  3. The student shall be entitled to present his or her case through statements, questions, witnesses and other forms of evidence.
  4. The student shall be entitled to refuse to answer questions, though witnesses shall be required to answer all questions asked of them unless their answers would tend to incriminate them under any provisions of university policy.
  5. The decision of the hearing agent shall be made only on the basis of matters presented at the hearing and in the incident report.
  6. The department/student shall be entitled to make a written or taped record of the events of the hearing. The Office of Residence Life will require that all such records remain in its custody; provided, however, that the student has access to the record for all purposes relating directly to hearings and their appeals.
  7. The student shall be entitled to a written notice of the results and findings of the hearing and to an explanation of the decisions rendered against him or her.
  8. If the student’s continued presence in Student Housing is viewed as disruptive or dangerous, the Residence Life Manager may ask the student to leave the residential complex during the period of time that the hearing/appeal is being processed.
  9. The student shall have the right to appeal the decision of the hearing agent. Should he/she appeal, any action based on such decisions shall be held in suspense until acted upon by the Residence Life Manager  or the Director of Student Life. (See appeal tab)
  10. All disciplinary hearings are closed to the public. Persons in attendance at closed hearings shall be limited to:
    1. the hearing agent or members of the conduct committee
    2. the student and his/her counsel
    3. the witnesses. Witnesses will be asked to withdraw after their statements have been received.
  11. If a student or group of students is asked to appear before a conduct hearing agent and if he/she/they fail to appear for the hearing or investigation without just cause, this will be considered a violation of residence life policy and such students will be subject to further disciplinary action.

Conduct Sanctions

The following sanctions may be imposed by any hearing agent. In selecting any of these sanctions, the hearing agent must consider the seriousness of the offense, the maturity and needs of the individual or group found guilty of the offense, the needs of the community and the current disciplinary status, if any, of the offender(s). Sanctions are imposed to:

  1. Assist the individual or group involved in learning how to live more suitably within the opportunities and limitations created by the department’s or the university’s standards
  2. Protect the excellence of the educational environment
  3. Provide a vehicle for the rectification or correction of any damages resulting from misbehavior. Sanctions may be imposed only after a specific violation of residence life policy has been established. Failure to fulfill imposed sanctions within the specified time will be cause for further disciplinary action or monetary fines.

Written Warning: A written statement will be issued to the student(s) stating that he/she or they have violated residence life or university policy and that more stringent disciplinary actions are likely to be established for further violations of policy. A copy of this statement will be placed in the student’s housing file in the Residence Life Manager’s Office. 

Fines: Monetary penalties may be imposed for violations of departmental regulations.

Restitution: Student(s) may be held responsible for reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property.

Educational Sanctions: Student(s) may be required to complete an education program or training, such as the PRIme For Life substance use education program and similar presentations.

Mandatory Referral: Student(s) may be referred to the Counselor or off-campus clinical agencies for mandatory assessment, counseling, or treatment centers.

Community Service Work Assignments: Student(s) may be assigned selected jobs of a reasonable nature which relate to the offense for a given period of time. Uncompleted work hours will be billed to the student’s account at the rate of $7.50 per hour.

Disciplinary Probation: This confers upon a student or group a probationary status for a specific period of time not to exceed one academic year of enrollment. During this time, if they are found responsible for further violations of residence life policy or fail to abide by any conditions established as part of their probation, then more severe sanctions are likely to be imposed.

Sanction Guidelines

  1. Since the sanctions of Written Warning (WW), Warning Probation (WP) and Disciplinary Probation (DP) are considered a warning that further action may be necessary for another violation of residence life policy and serve little other function, they will rarely be used without additional sanctions.
  2. Fines and/or community service (CS) in addition to a written sanction will be imposed for most violations. If the seriousness of the violation does not warrant a fine and community service, a fine will probably be imposed before community service.
  3. Fines will be charged to the student’s account after the date of the hearing unless other arrangements are made between the fine recipient and the Residence Life Manager (RLM) or the Campus Conduct Officer (CJO).
  4. The deadline for completing community service hours will be set by the hearing agent after considering the circumstances of all parties involved, but will never be less than one month from the date of the hearing. Community service hours will be monitored by the hearing agent through the appropriate supervisor such as, but not limited to, UAS staff and faculty or pre-approved community officials. A formal log of work hours will be submitted to the hearing agent and include the signature of the pre-approved service supervisor and a description of the work performed within one month of the conduct hearing, or within another specified time period approved by the hearing agent. Community service work hours must be performed on the UAS campus or within the community of Juneau unless otherwise specifically approved by the hearing agent.

Standardized Sanctions for Common Infractions

  1. 1st Alcohol violation: $100-$150 fine*, 4-6 hours CS.
  2. 2nd Alcohol violation: $100-$150 fine*, 6-8 hours CS, substance use education, possible parental notification for students under the age of 21.
  3. 3rd Alcohol violation: Eviction. In special cases, granted appeals of this decision may change this sanction to a $250 fine, parental notification for students under the age of 21, clinical assessment (at the cost of the student), and student agreement to submit to random alcohol and/or drug testing at the request of the RLM.
  4. 1st Drug offense: $150 fine, 6-8 hours CS
  5. 2nd Drug offense: eviction. In special cases, granted appeals of this decision may change this sanction to a $250 fine, parental notification for students under the age of 21, clinical assessment (at the cost of the student), and student agreement to submit to random alcohol and/or drug testing at the request of the RLM.
  6. Failure to comply with a CA or other staff member $50 fine*/ 5 hours CS
  7. Other serious violations $100-$200 fine*/ 4-10 hrs. CS, DP
  8. Further repetition of regular violations $150-$250 fine*/ 10-20 hrs. CS, DP

* Indicates that the conduct Officer will determine the exact amount based on circumstances of the Individual conduct case.

The steepest sanction imposed by the Office of Residence Life $250 fine*/ 25 hrs. CS, DP

Extreme violations where the offender is considered a major threat to the cohesiveness and safety of the UAS community will be referred to the Campus Conduct Officer or the Vice Chancellor of Student Services.

The Residence Life Manager’s or Campus Conduct Officer’s actions on similar cases may also be considered when determining the appropriate sanction. The CJO will impose different, more appropriate sanctions when it is determined that those sanctions would be more beneficial to the offender and the student housing community. These guidelines can be amended at any time by the RLM or the Director.

Sanctions Imposed by the Residence Life Manager or Campus Conduct Committee for Serious Infractions: These sanctions may be imposed after a specific violation of university or Residence Life policy has been established in student housing or elsewhere on the UAS campus, including, but not limited to: repeated substance abuse violations, harassment, sexual assault or misconduct, assault or violence, theft or vandalism, severe noncompliance with university officials, weapons policy violations, etc..

Eviction: This action terminates a person’s housing agreement immediately, requiring him or her to vacate the rental unit within a time specified by the university administration. Eviction may or may not be accompanied by a notice of criminal trespass.

Suspension: This action terminates a person’s status as a student at UAS or a group’s status as a recognized organization for a specific period of time not to exceed one calendar year.

Expulsion: This action terminates a person’s status as a student or a group’s status as a recognized organization for an indefinite period of time. When the sanctions of suspension or expulsion are imposed, the individual or group will be required to leave the campus. Written permission must be requested in advance from the Vice Chancellor of Student Services before a suspended or expelled student may return to the campus. Organizations or groups who receive either status will cease using university facilities and lose all privileges granted to recognized organizations on campus. At the time that these sanctions are imposed, stipulations controlling the conditions to be met to permit an individual to re-enroll or a group to re-register as a UAS student organization may also be established.

Conditions which are reasonably related to the original offense and are believed necessary to facilitate the reasons for imposing the sanctions, may be attached to any sanction. Examples of such conditions include, but are not limited to: monetary penalty; restitution for damage, theft, or loss; loss of privileges such as use of alcoholic beverages, visitation or use of a motor vehicle; counseling; loss of financial aid; or service and/or work assignments. Any condition attached to a sanction must be met within the duration of the sanction.

Conduct Appeal Process

Appeals of disciplinary decisions are reviewed only if they are submitted in writing. Three types of appeals are possible:

  1. Appeals seeking a review of the procedures
  2. Appeals seeking a review of penalties
  3. Appeals based on new evidence not presented at original hearing.

All conduct appeals must:

  1. Be submitted to the Residence Life Manager, or to the Director of Auxiliary Services if the student wishes to appeal a conduct sanction imposed by the Residence Life Manager, no later than 48 hours after the student(s) or group has been notified of a decision, or prior to the expressed vacate deadline, whichever comes sooner.
  2. Specify whether the appeal is seeking a review of procedures and/or the severity of the penalty or presenting new evidence.
  3. Provide the necessary detailed information to support their position. Appeals of disciplinary decisions made by the Campus Conduct Officer/Committee must be submitted to the Vice Chancellor of Student Services, who may then submit the appeal and all other information to the Chancellor for final action. Based upon his/her review, the hearing officer of the appeal may:
    a. confirm the original decision;
    b. return the case to the original hearing officer or Campus Conduct Committee for a new hearing;
    c. change the sanction(s) and/or the condition(s) originally imposed.

In all cases, the hearing officer of the appeal will provide those concerned with the appeal with a written rationale for his/her actions.

Conduct Records

Disciplinary records are kept in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended. Thus, disciplinary actions are recorded on the student’s “personal record” and are not placed on the student’s transcript. These disciplinary records are retained for a period of no less than seven years. After one academic year or thereafter, when the department of Residence Life deems appropriate, all disciplinary records may be considered absolved, or inactive, and returning residents will usually begin subsequent academic years of residency with a “clean slate,” unless probationary terms of conduct sanctions are specifically dated to expire in subsequent semesters.

At all times, these personal records are confidential and are not available to outside investigation agencies unless permission has been granted in writing by the student whose record has been requested or records are subpoenaed by a court of law. However, in cases of minors under the age of 18, parents will be notified of all disciplinary action.

 
 

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