UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Conduct Procedures

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Submit a Residence Life Incident Report

Release of Information Form

Residence Life Release of Information Form

The UW-River Falls Residence Life conduct system exists to provide students alleged of violating Residence Life policies the opportunity to meet with a member of the Residence Life staff to discuss the incident. This process is designed to address inappropriate or illegal behavior with the goal of improving future behavior for the overall benefit of our communities and the individual.

The Goals of the Residence Life Conduct System are:

  • To protect the rights of all students.
  • To provide a mechanism by which someone may bring a formal complaint of violations of Residence Life policies against a member of the residence hall community.
  • To provide an opportunity for students to explain their account of the incident.
  • To hold students accountable for their behavior.
  • To encourage students to reflect on their behavior, how it affects both them and the community in which they live, and to change the behavior accordingly.
  • To maintain and reinforce community standards.
  • To be timely in the adjudication of incidents.

Residence Life Conduct Process

Residence Life conduct procedures will be applied only to UW-River Falls students living in University residence halls. Students residing of-campus who are involved in residence hall incidents may be directed to the University disciplinary process. In serious offenses, of-campus students and other individuals may be banned from visiting residence halls for specified periods of time or indefinitely. The process works in the following manner:

  • An Incident Report is written and submitted by a student or staff member to the Department of Residence Life.
  • A Residence Life administrator reviews the incident and outlines any alleged policy violations.
  • Each student allegedly in violation of a policy will receive notice (Charges Letter) via their UWRF email account with a pre-scheduled Conduct Conference date and time and the policy(ies) they have allegedly violated.
  • A Conduct Conference is an opportunity for the student to meet with a Hearing Officer to discuss the incident, determine any responsibility, and come to a resolution on sanctions, if applicable.
    • If a student does not attend a Conduct Conference, a decision will be made without the student’s perspective, based on the information available.  The student will receive the decision via their UWRF email.
    • If a resolution could not be reached a decision will be made by the Hearing Officer. The student will receive the decision via their UWRF email.
  • If a resolution could not be reached the student will have the opportunity to appeal the decision under certain parameters.

Residence Life Conduct Conference Guidelines

Student(s) involved in a Conduct Conference process have the following rights:

  1. The right to be informed of all charges.
  2. The right to review the incident report(s).
  3. The right to present evidence and witnesses on their behalf.
  4. The right to a fair and impartial hearing.
  5. The right to appeal the decision.
  6. The right to bring an advisor.

Student(s) involved in a Conduct Conference process have the following responsibilities:

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

During the conference the Residence Life Hearing Officer will discuss charges specifically outlined in the Charges Letter. In incidents where multiple individuals are involved, Conduct Conferences will be held for each student, unless the Hearing Officer allows otherwise.

The Hearing Officer may summarize the incident as recorded on the incident report. The incident report(s), police report(s) and other documents may be presented for additional information.

Witnesses will be asked to wait outside of the conference until needed. When a witness is excused, the individual will leave the conference, but may not discuss the case with witnesses who have yet to share their story. Any other person(s) who is allegedly involved in the policy violation cannot be a witness.

The student may bring an advisor to the Conduct Conference who may remain throughout the conference and serve only in a consulting capacity to the student. The advisor may not address the Hearing Officer or speak for the student. The student may consult with the advisor at any time during the hearing.

The Hearing Officer’s finding will be “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. Preponderance is defined as “more likely than not”.

The Hearing Officer will issue a written response to the student outlining their decision and, if applicable, the assigned sanction(s) for the violation.

Preponderance of Evidence

The measure used to determine if a student violated a policy is by a preponderance of evidence. A preponderance of evidence is reached when a hearing officer determines that it is more likely than not that the alleged violation occurred.

Appeals

Students have the option to appeal a decision if a resolution could not be met in a Conduct Conference. 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 hearing
  • Information that established conduct processes were not followed
  • Findings of responsible that did not fully take into consideration all the information available
  • Sanctions that are too severe

To initiate an appeal students must email the appeal officer within 5 business days from receipt of the decision letter. Appeal requests must include:

  • the student’s name, address, telephone number
  • the subject line of “Conduct Appeal”
  • a detailed explanation of the rational to support an appeal meeting

Possible outcomes include upholding the previous decision and/or sanctions, changing the violations and/or sanctions, or referring the case back to the original hearing officer for a new conduct conference/hearing.

Upon receiving an appeal, a member of the Residence Life staff will contact the student to schedule a meeting with the appeal officer.

Grounds for appeal do not include the stress, expense, or inconvenience of relocation or contract termination; cost of educational sanctions such as Restorative Justice; separation from friends; lack of familiarity with rules or good character.

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 the Department of 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:

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

Written Reprimand: Warning that more severe disciplinary action may result should the student be found responsible for any future violations.

Residence Hall Probation: An official written notice that a student is responsible as charged and that more stringent disciplinary action, including removal from the residence hall and/or referral to the University disciplinary process, may result if future violations occur during the probationary period.

Residence Hall Contract Termination Warning: An official written notice that a student is responsible as charged and that their removal from the residence hall and/or referral to the University disciplinary process will occur if found responsible for future violations.

Residence Hall Contract Termination: It may be 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 deposits;
  2. Be financially responsible for 85% of the remaining cost of their contract; and
  3. Be restricted from entering any residence hall for no less than one year.

Conduct Terms and Conditions

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

Community Service: Student is required to complete a specific number of hours of community service. The community service location is typically assigned by the Hearing Officer.

Restitution: Student 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. Billings for physical damages, clean-up and/or repairs will be assessed by Residence Life and charged to the student’s University account.

Educational Sanction: Student is assigned to complete an educational project. The type of project will be determined by the Hearing Officer. 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: Student is required to live in a different hall because it may be determined that an individual may benefit from living in another residence hall environment or that the community may benefit from their removal.

Restricted Access: Student is restricted from visiting a specific residential community 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 suspension will be until the conclusion of the University conduct process.

No Contact Order

It may be determined, due to the severity of an incident, the residents 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 Order may mean a student will need to move temporarily to another residence hall environment. No Contact Orders 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 violation or persistent violation of residence hall policies, students 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 rule include 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 rule 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, 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

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

Parental Notification

The Department of Residence Life will contact parents or legal guardians 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 UW-River Falls 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 to the Department of Residence Life.

Contact Us

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