The formal resolution of student conduct cases will take place through a hearing before an individual hearing officer or a student conduct hearing board. The student charged with misconduct will work with the Director of Student Conduct, the Coordinator of Student Conduct, or the Residential Life Coordinator of Student Conduct to identify the most appropriate formal hearing option to resolve the student’s case. The Director of Student Conduct determines the composition of all of the Student Conduct Hearing Boards and decides which Student Conduct Hearing Board, Student Conduct Administrator, or Appeal Board will be selected to hear each case. Conduct Hearing Officers will be appointed from the faculty members within the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of Residential Life, Housing and Food Services and will be responsible to the Director of Student Conduct, and ultimately to the Vice President for Student Services, for all student conduct activities and decisions. The University Student Conduct Hearing Boards, including boards for the Residence Halls Community, the Greek Community, and the general student community, may be designated by the staff members within Residential Life and Student Conduct to hear cases specifically related to their community members and their respective student organizations. All of the members of the University’s Student Conduct Hearing Boards may be selected to serve as a member of the Student Conduct Appeals Board, to provide representation of their community on an individual student appeal of a student conduct decision.
Students charged with violations of university and/or residence hall regulations may be subject to disciplinary action, Students violating the policies and regulations established for social Greek Organizations (for fraternities and sororities) may be referred for resolution to the Greek Student Conduct Board upon the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct. Students living in the residence halls may also participate in an administrative review process related to their residency concerns and the concerns of the residence hall community.
It is the position of the university that the disciplinary proceedings should have an educational outcome, while accomplishing the goal of resolution of the problematic behavior.
A. Resolution of Student Conduct Concerns:
- Complaint of Student Misconduct
Any member of the university community may file a complaint against a student for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The complaint shall be prepared in writing and directed to the Director of Student Conduct. Any complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the incident takes place.
- Informal Resolution of the Complaint:
The Director of Student Conduct or a member of the Office of Student Conduct staff may conduct an investigation to determine if the complaint has merit.
The student will receive a letter outlining the complaint, the circumstances of the incident in question, and notification of the process of informal resolution through a conduct conference. The student shall attend this conference and work with the Office of Student Conduct staff member on a fair resolution of the charges.
In some cases, the student conduct administrator will determine that the best course of action to take is to informally resolve the complaint through mediation, conflict resolution, or an educational conference. However, the student has the right to request a hearing before a hearing board as the means to resolve the complaint.
- Formal Resolution of the Complaint:
If the student does not accept responsibility for the violation, or if the sanctions proposed are not agreed to by the student; then the matter will be addressed through a formal resolution process that involves a hearing before a student conduct board or a student conduct hearing officer.
For formal resolution, a time shall be set for a student conduct hearing to occur within a reasonable time from this notification, yet not more than twenty-five days from the date of the decision to proceed with formal resolution of the complaint. Maximum time limits for scheduling of student conduct hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct. The university student hearing boards are:
Residential Student Conduct Board – This student board hears cases involving incidents occurring in or around the University Residence Halls involving student residents.
Greek Student Conduct Board – This student board hears complaints against Greek organizations for incidents occurring at events or activities sponsored by the Greek organization or on their respective chapter property. In addition, this student board hears cases involving individual members of Greek organizations who are charged with a violation of student conduct standards while acting as a member of the Greek student community.
Campus Student Conduct Board – This student board hears cases involving students accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct on campus, at university-sponsored events, and off campus when the alleged misconduct negatively impacts the university community. This board also hears cases of alleged misconduct by student organizations or groups.
University Student Conduct Board – This University-wide board hears cases involving students that involve Academic Standards Policy violations, issues surrounding student conduct within the instructional setting, and other serious university-level issues that impact the university community as a whole. Faculty members and students are both represented on this conduct board.
Student Conduct Appeals Board – This student conduct board is comprised of representatives from any of the four boards, with membership selected for student appeals based upon the circumstances of the complaint.
- Student conduct hearings shall be conducted by one of the student conduct boards or a student conduct hearing officer according to the following procedures:
- The accused student(s) and advisors, if any, along with the complainant (representing the university community) shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the hearing, at which information is received, excluding the time of deliberations. Admission of any other person to the student conduct hearing shall be at the discretion of the student conduct board or hearing officer and/or the student conduct administrator.
- In student conduct hearings involving more than one accused student, the student conduct administrator, in his or her discretion may permit the student conduct hearings concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
- Student conduct hearings shall be conducted in private, unless the accused student requests an open hearing.
- The accused student has the right to be assisted by an advisor, as does the complainant (if he/she is not a student conduct administrator), if desired. The advisor serves as a supporter and advisor during the conduct hearing. The accused student and the complainant are both responsible for presenting his or her own information, introducing witnesses, and answering questions throughout the hearing. When a student selects an advisor, in this process the advisor has no right to speak during the hearing. The advisor may be an attorney. The director of student conduct has sole discretion to allow for a delay in the hearing to allow for the scheduling conflicts of an advisor. The hearing will run according to the university schedule and will not be delayed by another process off campus.
- The accused student must notify the director of witnesses within two college work days of the hearing. The University will arrange for the attendance of potential witnesses who are members of the University community, and who are identified by the accused student and/or complainant at least two college work days prior to the hearing. Witnesses will provide information to, and answer questions from, the student conduct board or hearing officer. The accused student and/or complainant for the witnesses may suggest questions. These questions will be directed to the chairperson of the conduct board or the hearing officer, who will question the witness directly. The chairperson of the conduct board or the hearing officer will decide on the specific course of questioning and/or information sharing throughout the hearing.
- The student may present pertinent written statements, records, or other information to the student conduct board or hearing officer, and may work with the representative of the Office of Student Conduct or Office of Housing, & Residential Life who is assisting in the scheduling and planning of the hearing in order to provide this information in a timely manner.
- The chairperson of the student conduct board or the hearing officer decides procedural questions or concerns.
- The members of the student conduct board or the hearing officer deliberates independently after the hearing has concluded, and shall determine whether or not the accused student has violated each section of the Student Code that the student is charged with having violated. This determination is made through consensus when possible, and if not possible, then by a simple majority vote for the board members.
- The student conduct board or hearing officer’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- If the accused student is not found responsible for a violation, then the hearing is concluded. If the accused student is found responsible for one or more violations of the Student Code of Conduct, then the student conduct board or hearing officer will discuss possible sanctions for the student after being informed of the student’s conduct status with the University. Possible sanctions to impose appear in the next section: “Sanctions”. A recommendation for expulsion requires a finding of substantial evidence of wrong-doing..
- The student conduct board chairperson or the hearing officer will provide the board’s decisions on responsibility for the violation and for sanctions to the director of student conduct. This written decision will be submitted within seven calendar days of the hearing date. The director will provide the student with the final written decision within fourteen calendar days of the hearing date. The director of student conduct will apprise student victims of sexual assault or other serious physical assault of the outcome of the hearing.
- The Office of Student Conduct will be responsible for monitoring the student’s progress in successfully carrying out any/all sanctions imposed as the resolution of the conduct process.
- The formal rules of evidence in court shall not apply in student code of conduct proceedings.
- The hearing, except for deliberations, shall be tape or digitally recorded. Upon request by the student, a written transcript will be provided at the student’s expense. Personally identifiable will be removed. The record shall be the property of the University of Nevada, Reno, and will be maintained with the student’s conduct records within the Office of Student Conduct.
- If an accused student, with notice, does not appear at a student conduct hearing, the information in support of the complaint shall be presented, considered, and acted upon even if the accused student is not present. Failure of the student to appear is not evidence that the student was responsible for the charge of misconduct.
- All student conduct boards, hearing officers, or student conduct administrators, may accommodate concerns for personal safety, well-being, and or fears of confrontation, by the complainant, the accused, and/or witnesses, during the hearing or during the informal resolution process by providing the opportunity for the hearing body or student conduct administrator to receive the pertinent information and conduct conversations for the resolution of the case using methods other than requiring both parties to be present in the same room at the same time. Such options include: use of a visual screen, participation by videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, where and as determined by the director of student conduct or the student conduct administrator overseeing the scheduling and conducting of the hearing.
- A decision on student responsibility for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and/or an associated sanction for the violation may be appealed by the accused student(s) or student organization within ten college workdays of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and delivered to the Director of Student Conduct or his or her designee. Grounds for an appeal are:
- Deviations from procedures set forth which results in significant prejudice.
- The decision reached regarding the accused student was not based on a decision that it was more likely than not that the accused student violated the Code.
- The sanction(s) imposed were not appropriate for the violation of the Student Code of Conduct which the student or student organization was found to have committed.
- New information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not in the original conduct resolution.
- The Director of Student Conduct shall review the appeal and direct it, along with any information the director deems necessary, to the University Student Conduct Appeals Board.
- The Student Conduct Appeals Board shall review the recording of the hearing and the written complaint, recommendation and decision, along with any information and evidence that was part of the decision-making in the resolution of the conduct case, and will decide whether or not the appeal should be upheld. The Student Conduct Appeals Board may uphold the decision, may refer the case back or may hear the case as a new hearing board. If the appeal board rehears the case, the decision is final. If the original board or officer rehears the case, that decision is also final.
Disciplinary sanctions are those actions imposed through informal resolution by a student conduct administrator or through formal resolution by a student conduct hearing officer or a student conduct board as a consequence of violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The purpose of a sanction is to educate an individual student on: the impact of conduct violations on others in the University community the importance of taking responsibility for resolving any concerns arising from the misconduct, and the needs of the community for resolution of the misconduct. Educational activities may be assigned to the student as a condition of his or her successful resolution of the incident of misconduct. The educational purpose of sanctioning will ordinarily be the guiding force behind imposition of sanctions within the university disciplinary process. In some instances, however, the community’s need to properly function outweighs the university’s ability to so educate an individual. In such a case, for the benefit of both the student and the community, suspension or expulsion from the university may result.
- The following is a summary of the types of disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed on a student found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- Warning. A notice, oral or written, that the student has violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- Reprimand. A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations.
- Restitution. Compensation for loss, damage, theft or misappropriation of property, or injuries sustained in an incident of student misconduct. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Probation. Probation consists of a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
- Loss of Privileges. Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Discretionary and Educational Sanctions. Participation in specific educational programs, such as: alcohol and/or other drug educational intervention conferences, assessments, educational activities, such as: on-line instructional workshops; and work assignments or service to the university or the surrounding community; and other related discretionary assignments
- Residence Hall Suspension. Separation of the student from the residence halls for a period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. The minimum period of suspension is one semester and the maximum period is two semesters. Conditions for readmission may be specified upon suspension.
- Residence Hall Permanent License Cancellation. Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
- University Suspension. Exclusion for a definite period of time from attending classes and from participating in other activities of the System, as set forth in a written notice to the student. The official transcript of the student shall be marked “DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION EFFECTIVE ____TO___.” The parents or legal guardians of minor students shall be notified of the action.
A student who is enrolled in his or her last semester before graduation or is not currently enrolled in the System and who was not registered during the previous semester or who graduated at the end of the previous semester may request that the notation of the disciplinary suspension be removed from the official transcript when two years have elapsed since the expiration of the student’s suspension. Such request must be submitted in writing to the president or his designee in accordance with 6.3.8. If the request is not granted, the student at yearly intervals thereafter may submit a request for removal of the notation.
- Deferred University Suspension. Deferred separation of the student from the university until the close of the current semester or some other time frame for review of student progress in addressing the conduct concern. This sanction is most often utilized for cases in which the student does not pose a safety concern for self or others and is participating in a university-designated intervention.
- Medical Leave of Absence. A withdrawal from the university for medical, psychological or other treatment needs, in which the student agrees to provide documentation of successful resolution of the medical concern and/or treatment program prior to reenrolling in the university.
- University Expulsion. Termination of student registration and status for an indefinite period of time. Permission of the president shall be required for readmission. The official transcript of the student shall be marked “DISCIPLINARY EXPULSION EFFECTIVE ____.” The parents or legal guardians of minor students shall be notified of the action. A student who is enrolled in his or her last semester before graduation or is not currently enrolled in the System and who was not registered during the previous semester or who graduated at the end of the previous semester may request that the notation of the disciplinary expulsion be removed from the official transcript when four years have elapsed since the expiration of the student’s expulsion or termination. Such request must be submitted in writing to the President or designee in accordance with 6.3.8. If the request is not granted, the student at yearly intervals thereafter may submit a request for removal of the notation.
- Revocation of Admissions and/or Degree. Admission to or a degree awarded from the university may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violations of university standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
Please note: Students found responsible for an academic dishonesty violation may be subject to additional academic sanctions as stated within the Academic Standards Policy; and student organizations may be subject to sanctions as stated in the section on Student Organizations that follows.
- More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
- Other than university expulsion, revocation, or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Upon graduation, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than residence hall expulsion, university suspension, university expulsion, revocation or withholding of a degree, upon application to the Director of Student Conduct and approval by the president.
In certain circumstances, the president, or a designee, may impose a University suspension prior to the resolution of a charge of student misconduct. This emergency removal includes the immediate removal from campus of a student for an interim period whenever the president determines that this is required to:
(1) ensure the safety and well-being of members of the university community;
(2) protect University property;
(3) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
(4) if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the university.
The student shall be denied access to the campus, including classes and/or to all other university activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the President or his/her designee may determine to be appropriate. During the time of the removal from campus, the student may not come onto university property for any reason other than meeting with the appropriate university official(s) regarding resolution of the emergency removal and the student conduct resolution.
Any student so removed shall be afforded an opportunity to a hearing on the emergency removal no later than 10 college working days following the removal unless the student agrees to delay the hearing to a later time. A student conduct hearing officer shall hold the hearing under the hearing procedures of the Student Code of Conduct. The president’s decision upon the hearing officer’s recommendation shall be final.
The emergency removal does not replace the regular disciplinary process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through a student conduct hearing, if required.
In circumstances where the student is removed for his or her own emotional and personal safety, a resolution on the decision regarding the student’s removal from campus will be addressed within an informal meeting with the Director of Student Conduct, with the goal of the meeting being a plan for most effectively meeting the student’s personal and scholarly needs as a continuing student.
D. Student Organizations:
Student organizations, either recognized through ASUN, the Graduate Student Association, or university departments, are expected at all times to conduct themselves in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. A student organization believed to be involved in any of the activities identified in these regulations or policies as misconduct may be reported to the Office of Student Conduct for an investigation of the activity in question.
Procedure for Student Organizations - The procedure for addressing a complaint filed through the Office of Student Conduct against a student organization is as follows:
- The complaint is made with the Director of Student Conduct.
- A faculty member in the Office of Student Conduct investigates the complaint.
- After the investigation of the complaint, the faculty member will determine whether the evidence supports the allegation of misconduct.
- The Director may impose interim suspension of the organization’s activities until the conclusion of the investigation and resolution of the complaint.
- The student organization and the faculty member in the Office of Student Conduct may proceed with informal resolution of the complaint, including the imposition of any of the sanctions listed below.
- The student organization may accept the decisions on responsibility for organizational misconduct and the sanction(s) for resolution of the misconduct or may request a hearing in front of a Student Conduct Hearing Board.
- The hearing board will meet to make findings of fact if these have not been agreed upon prior to the referral to formal resolution, and if responsibility is established for the misconduct as charged, will determine recommended disciplinary sanctions.
Sanctions for Student Organizations include all those stated under “Sanctions”, in addition to:
- Probation for up to one academic year;
- Prohibition from participating in university events, including but not limited to orientation, intramurals, and other campus activities.
- Denial of use of university facilities.
- Loss of recognition of the organization.
E. Interpretation and Revision
Any question of interpretation or application of the Student Code of Conduct shall be referred to the director of student conduct or his or her designee for final interpretation.
The Student Code of Conduct shall be reviewed every four years under the direction of the Director of Student Conduct.
APPENDIX I: Definitions
- The term University means the University of Nevada, Reno.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the University of Nevada, Reno, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate or professional studies. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University of Nevada, Reno, or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered “students”. This Student Code of Conduct applies to all locations of the University of Nevada, Reno, including campus properties located in the cities of Reno and Sparks, and in Washoe and Douglas Counties.
- The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, staff, or University official or any other person employed by the University. The Director of Student Conduct shall determine a person’s status in a particular situation.
- The term “University premises” includes all land, building, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the University (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
- The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition/registration.
- The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to: use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; and/or the use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, take-home exams or carrying out assignments.
- The term “plagiarism: includes, but is not limited to: the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment of the use.
- The term “complainant” means any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated the Student Code of Conduct. For the purposes of resolution of the allegations, if the case is pursued by the Director of Student Conduct and goes to formal resolution, than the complainant participates as a witness and as the initiator of the referral of the incident.
- The term “accused student”, or “accused student organization or student group” means any student, student organization or student group accused of violating this Student Code of Conduct.
This New Student Code of Conduct follows the format, design, and wording of much of the “Model Student Conduct Code”, as devised, published and provided to college and university student conduct administrators in the United States by Edward N. Stoner II and John Wesley Lowery. This model code is officially titled: “Navigating Past the ‘Spirit of Insubordination’, The version of this Model Student Conduct Code” utilized for the new University of Nevada, Reno, Student Code of Conduct appears in the Journal of College and University Law, Volume 31, No 1: 2004, as published by the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Notre Dame Law School. This document is available for review in the Office of Student Conduct, University of Nevada, Reno, at: 784-4388.