UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Living in the Halls

Conduct Procedures

The UW-River Falls Residence Life conduct system exists to address any inappropriate and/or illegal behavior. The goals of the Residence Life conduct system are to:

  1. Protect the rights of all residents to have a living environment where they can feel safe and welcomed.
  2. Maintain and reinforce community standards.
  3. Provide an opportunity for a resident to make a formal complaint about another resident's behavior that may be a violation of Residence Life policies.
  4. Investigate complaints and learn from all parties involved about what may have occurred.
  5. Hold residents accountable for their behavior.
  6. Encourage students to reflect on their behavior, how it affects both them and their community, and to change the behavior.

 

Resident's Rights and Responsibilities related to the Residence Life Conduct Process

Residents involved in the conduct process have the following rights:

  1. To review the complaint.
  2. To meet with a Residence Life staff member to discuss any information they would like to share about the complaint.
  3. To bring individuals (witnesses) to the meeting that may provide further clarification on the situation. The person cannot also be named in the complaint.
  4. To bring an advisor (parent, guardian, confidant) to provide the resident with emotional support and help them navigate the Residence Life conduct process.
  5. To appeal the decision the Residence Life staff member made.

Residents involved in the conduct process have the following responsibilities:

  1. Be honest and respectful throughout the conduct process.
  2. Comply with all agreements reached or decisions rendered.

 

Residence Life Conduct Process

Residence Life conduct procedures will be applied only to students living in UWRF residence halls. Students residing off campus who are involved in residence hall incidents will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for review. In serious offenses, off-campus students and other individuals may be banned from visiting residence halls for a specified period or indefinitely.

After a complaint is received by a Residence Life staff member, they will review the complaint and identify possible policy violations. Residents allegedly in violation of a policy will receive an email via their UWRF email account requesting they meet with the Residence Life staff member to discuss the situation. The email will outline the date and time of the meeting, and the policies that will be discussed. In incidents where multiple individuals are involved, meetings will be held for each resident, unless the Residence Life staff member allows otherwise.

During the meeting, which is referred to as a Conduct Conference, the Residence Life staff member will discuss the policies as outlined in the meeting request email and review the complaint with the resident. The complaint may include student/staff information report(s), police report(s), and/or other documents that contain additional information.

If a resident chooses not to attend the meeting, a decision will be made without the resident's perspective, based on the information available.  The resident will receive the Residence Life staff member's decision via their UWRF email.

If a resident brings a witness or witnesses, the witness(es) will be met with separately at the appropriate time. When a witness is excused, the individual will leave the meeting, but may not discuss the case with other witnesses who have yet to share their story. Other persons who are allegedly involved in the situation cannot be a witness.

The resident may have an adviser present at the meeting, who may remain through the meeting and serve only in a consulting capacity to the resident. The adviser may not address the Residence Life staff member or speak for the student. The resident may consult with the adviser at any time during the meeting. 

The Residence Life staff member will determine if the student is "responsible" or "not responsible" of violating a Residence Life policy. In all proceedings, the student will be presumed "not responsible" until it is determined that a violation of a residence hall policy occurred based on preponderance of evidence.

A preponderance of evidence is reached when a Residence Life staff member determines, based on all the information available, that it is more likely than not that the alleged violation occurred.

 

Appeals

Residents have the option to appeal a decision. Reasons for an appeal do not include the stress, expense, or inconvenience of relocation or contract termination; cost of education sanctions such as Restorative Justice; separation from friends; lack of familiarity with rules or good character. 

An appeal is not a rehearing of the case, but a reexamination of the material in the case file and any additional information the student can provide. Appeal decisions will take into consideration:

  • New information pertinent to the case that was not available at the time of the original meeting;
  • Information that established conduct processes were not followed;
  • Findings of responsible that did not fully take into consideration all the information available; or
  • Sanctions that are too severe because they are inconsistent with similar outcomes and cases.

Possible outcomes include upholding the previous decision and/or sanctions, changing the violations and/or sanctions, or referring the case back to the staff member who originally met with the resident for a new conduct conference.

To request an appeal, complete the appeal form. Upon receiving an appeal, a Residence Life staff member will contact the resident to schedule a meeting.

 

Sanctions

A sanction is a consequence placed upon any student who is found in violation of Residence Life policy. Sanctions help define the student’s relationship with Residence Life in the context of current and potential future behavior.

The sanctions listed below are assigned based on the severity of the incident and/or past conduct history. The list is not meant to be a progression that residents go through:

Policy Reminder: A meeting was held to discuss the behavior and the student was reminded of the policy.

Residence Life Warning: A warning that exhibiting similar behavior(s) may result in more severe sanctions and conditions. To continue to live in the residence halls, it will be important that the resident abide by Residence Life policies as outlined in their Residence Hall contract.
 
Residence Life Probation: An official written notice that a resident may continue to live in the residence halls with the understanding that any further violation of University/Residence Life policies or disregard for community and/or individual rights of others in the residence hall will result in more serious action such as residence hall reassignment or contract termination. 

Residence Hall Contract Termination Warning: An official written notice that a resident's removal from the residence hall and/or referral to the university disciplinary process will occur if found responsible for another violation of policy.

Residence Hall Contract Termination: It was determined that the severity of the incident or the repeated violations of the individual is in direct conflict with the purpose of the residence halls and the removal of the student is in the best interest of the student and/or the community. When a residence hall contract is terminated for conduct reasons, the student will:

  1. Forfeit their housing deposit;
  2. Be financially responsible for 100% of the remaining cost of their contract; and
  3. Be restricted from entering any residence hall for a determined period.

 

Conditions

With each sanction, conditions and/or restorative actions may be assigned. In addition, notifications may be given to other university officials as necessary. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

Community Service: A resident is required to complete a specific number of hours of community service. The community service location is typically assigned by the Residence Life staff member.

Restitution: A resident is required to pay financial compensation in cases such as theft or destruction of property. The assessed cost to be paid may be in addition to other sanctions. Billing for physical damages, clean-up and/or repairs will be assessed by Residence Life and charged to the student’s university account.

Educational Assignment: A resident is assigned an educational project. The type of project will be determined by the Residence Life staff member. In cases involving alcohol or other drugs, a student may be referred to an alcohol and other drugs counselor for an assessment.

Reassignment to Another Residence Hall: A resident is required to live in a different hall because they may benefit from living in another residence hall environment or that the community may benefit from their removal.

Restricted Access: A resident is restricted from visiting a specific residence hall because it has been determined that an individual’s presence within a community is such a disruption that the community may benefit from their removal.

 

Residence Hall Contract Suspension

It may be determined that the severity of an incident is in direct conflict with the purpose of the residence halls and the temporary removal of the student is in the best interest for the safety of other community members. The duration of the residence hall suspension will be until the conclusion of the university conduct process.

 

No Contact Directive

It may be determined, due to the severity of an incident, the students involved must have no contact with one another. No contact includes, but is not limited to, contact in person, in writing, by computer, by telephone or through another person (with the exception of law enforcement or the courts). At times a No Contact Directive may mean a student will need to move temporarily to another residence hall environment. No Contact Directives will be given to the students in writing by a university staff member.

 

Student Conduct and Community Standards Referrals

Depending on the severity of the alleged violation or persistent violation of residence hall policies, residents may be referred to Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) for adjudication through the university conduct system. Some referrals may also result in the student’s residence hall contract being terminated. These behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Possessing, using or intending to deliver narcotics including marijuana. The use or possession of controlled substances as defined in Chapter 961 Wis. Stats. are prohibited on all university property. Wisconsin  Administrative Code, UWS 18.10.
  • Setting fires. Violations of this policy includes setting fire to items on a room door or bulletin board or any other flammable material in the halls and fires caused by a lit candle or cigarette.
  • Assault/battery against another individual. Violations of this policy include, but are not limited to, threatening another person with physical harm verbally, physically or touching another person, with or without a weapon, in a manner that is aggressive and threatening.
  • Possessing and/or using firearms (guns – include pellet guns, BB guns, airsoft guns), bows and arrows, swords or any other dangerous weapons. Individuals may not display or portray as real any object that resembles a weapon.
  • Harassment. Harassment is defined as a verbal threat, intimidation, or conduct which tends to cause or incite a breach of the peace; or is severe or pervasive enough to substantially interfere with a reasonable student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being and which actually do so interfere. The presentation of any idea, regardless of the idea’s nature or perceived value, may not be considered harassment unless it is accompanied with verbal threats, intimidation, or conduct as previously defined.
  • Sexual assault/harassment regardless of the degree.
  • Theft from roommate or community.
  • Being on the roof of any university building without the proper authorization.

 

Communication

Residence Life’s official means of communication with current residents is through their UWRF email. Residents are expected to check their UW-River Falls email account frequently and consistently. A resident’s failure to monitor their UWRF email account will not exempt them from adhering to the information and deadlines communicated.

 

Parental Notification

Residence Life will contact parents or legal guardians in the event of health and safety concerns or when their student is under 21 years of age and has violated the alcohol or drug policy.

 

Conduct Process File Management

Students involved in residence hall incidents, whether found responsible or not, will have a record of the incident and summary of all actions on file while the student is enrolled at UWRF and for seven years past their last date of attendance. Some records may be held longer depending on the nature of the incident. A student’s file will be available only to the student, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS), and Residence Life.

Contact Us

Department of Residence Life
reslife@uwrf.edu
715-425-4555
M-F, 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
B3 East Hathorn Hall
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