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University of Houston-Victoria

Student Rights and Responsibilities

UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON-VICTORIA

 

STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT 

Introduction

The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV), as an educational institution, has a special set of interests and purposes essential to its effective functioning. These include: (a) the opportunity for students to attain their educational objectives, (b) the creation and maintenance of an intellectual and educational atmosphere throughout the University, and (c) the protection of health, safety, welfare, property, and human rights of all members of the University, and the property of the university itself.  In the area of student conduct, the University has a clear responsibility to protect and promote the pursuit of its goals.  The Student Code of Conduct emphasizes the University’s commitment to promote the freedom, intellectual development, and personal responsibility of its students.

The Student Code of Conduct sets forth those acts that constitute unacceptable conduct for students of the University.  All alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct might result in referral to the Director of Student Life and Services for disciplinary action.

The University of Houston-Victoria supports the concept of educational discipline – educating the student through appropriate sanctioning when circumstances permit; but should the student demonstrate an unwillingness to obey the rules governing conduct, the students will be treated in the same manner as one who has failed academically.  Students are expected to adhere to, and will be held accountable for adhering to, all federal, state, and local laws in addition to all University policies and regulations not mentioned herein.

A student admitted to the University of Houston-Victoria accepts the responsibility to conform to all UHV rules and regulations.  Proven failure to meet this obligation will justify appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, expulsion, suspension, disciplinary probation, reprimand or warning.  Although the University will make every reasonable effort to make the rules and regulations available, students are responsible for becoming familiar with them on their own accord.

The University of Houston-Victoria student conduct process is the responsibility of the Director of Student Life and Services.

Policy

1. Application and Jurisdiction

    1.  Students are subjected to applicable federal, State, and local laws; University of   Houston System rules, regulations, and policies, including those set forth in the UH System Administrative Memoranda.

    2.  Students may be disciplined by the University for violating any of the conduct standards on University grounds or off University grounds when the incident occurs in connection with a University sponsored or affiliated activity or program, when the incident has a substantial connection to the interests of the University, when the incident poses a threat of serious harm to any member of the University community, or when the behavior is prohibited by University policy regardless of where it occurs, even if the student is or may be penalized by civil or criminal authorities of the same act.

    3.  University disciplinary action may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both criminal law and University policy without regard to pending civil litigation or criminal arrest and prosecution.  At the discretion of the Director of Student Life and Services, University disciplinary proceedings will not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts that resulted in the violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against a criminal defendant.

    4.  Students are subject to University disciplinary action for prohibited conduct that occurs while the student is participating in off-campus activities sponsored by or affiliated with the University including, but not limited to, field trips, retreats, and study abroad programs.

    5.  Students are subject to University disciplinary action if the student withdraws from classes while a conduct matter is pending.

    6.  Any conduct that is a potential violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy or Discrimination and Harassment Policy will be exclusively processed, investigated and addressed pursuant to those policies and not this Student Code of Conduct, except as provided herein if the Office of Equal Opportunity Services (EOS) has reasonable cause to believe that a student’s presence on University premises or at a University-related or registered student organization activity poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the safety or security of any member of the University community or to property, EOS may request the issuance of an interim suspension pursuant to the Interim Suspension section of this Student Code of Conduct.  If a student is found to be in violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy or Discrimination and Harassment Policy, and s/he wishes to appeal and sanction(s) imposed by the Department of Student Life and Services, his/her appeal shall be brought pursuant to the appeal section of this Student Code of Conduct.

2.  Definitions

2.1 “Appellate Officer” includes the Director of Student Life and Services and Director of Residence Life and University Commons.

2.2 “Board” means the University Hearing Board.

2.3 “Business Day” means Monday through Friday during regular University business hours.

2.4 “Code” refers to the UHV Student Code of Conduct.

2.5 “Handbook” means the official UHV Student Handbook.

2.6 “Hazing” means those activities defined in the Texas Education Code Sec. 37.151 et seq., the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct regarding Hazing.

2.7 “Hearing Officer” includes the Director of Student Life and Services, Director of Residence Life and University Commons, Assistant Director of Programming, Residential Life Graduate Coordinators, and the University Hearing Board.

2.8 “Notice” means correspondence sent to the addressee by means identified in Section 5 of the Student Code of Conduct regarding Notice.

2.9 “Preponderance of the evidence” is the standard of review in the student discipline process, which evaluates whether it is more likely than not that the student did violate a Code provision and/or University policy.

2.10 “Procedures” means the Student Disciplinary Procedures.

2.11 “Record” means correspondence referenced herein relating to the Student Disciplinary Procedures and all hard copy or electronic documents, forms, copies, reports, statements, recordings, or tangible evidence presented in a disciplinary hearing or conference.

2.12 “Referral Notice” refers to the notice initiating disciplinary action.

2.13 “Respondent” means accused student.

2.14 “Sanction” means penalty for violation of the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct.

2.15 “Student” means a person who: (a) is currently enrolled at the University; (b) is accepted for admission or readmission to the University; (c) has been enrolled at the University in a prior semester or summer term and is eligible to continue enrollment in the semester or summer term that immediately follows; (d) is attending an additional program sponsored by the University while that person is on campus; or (e) has engaged in prohibited conduct at a time when s/he met the criteria of (a), (b), (c), or (d).

2.16 “University” means the University of Houston-Victoria.

2.17 “University officials” means those persons in an official university capacity or those who have been given the authority and the responsibility by appropriate agency or person, including regents, officers, faculty, and administrative staff.

2.18 “University grounds” means property owned, leased, controlled, used, or occupied by the University including property physically removed from campus.

2.19 “Will” and “shall” are used in the imperative sense.

3. Prohibited Conduct

The following examples of prohibited conduct are defined by the University to be unacceptable.  Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol does not diminish or excuse a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  The list should not be viewed as all-inclusive or exhaustive.  Further, the University expects its students to exhibit a higher standard of conduct than the minimum needed to avoid discipline.

3.1  Aiding and Abetting – Assisting, hiring, or encouraging another person to engage in a Code violation.

3.2  Complicity – A student shall not, through act or omission, assist another student, individual, or group in committing or attempting to commit a violation of this Code of Conduct.  A student who has knowledge of another committing or attempting to commit a violation of the Code of Conduct is required to remove him or herself from the situation and failure to do so when reasonable under the circumstances may be the basis for a violation of this policy.

3.3  Destruction of Property – Intentionally or recklessly damaging, destroying, defacing, or tampering with University property or the property of any person or business on campus.

3.4  Discrimination – Intentional discrimination against a person or group of people on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation except where such distinction is allowed by law.

 3.5  Disruption/Obstruction – Obstructing or interfering with University functions or any University activity.  Disturbing the peace and good order of the University by, among other things; fighting, quarreling, excessive noise, or any behavior that causes or threatens to cause a material disruption to the residential, business or academic functions of the University, including but not limited to, a material disruption by the use of all types of cameras, electronic tablets, cell phones, and/or communication devices.

3.6  Disruptive Classroom Conduct – Disruptive classroom conduct means engaging in behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor’s ability to teach or student learning.  The classroom extends to any setting where a student is engaged in work toward academic credit or satisfaction of program-based requirements or related activities.

3.7  Failure to Appear – Failing to appear at the request of any Hearing Officer or failure to schedule an appearance with a Hearing Officer as directed by University police or any other University official.

3.8  Failure to Comply or identify – Failure to comply with directions of University officials, police, or any other law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties, or failing to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.

3.9  Failure to Report or Respond – Failure to report or respond as directed by the Director of Student Life and Services or designee on any matter including, but not limited to, a request to meet concerning an issue or notice alleging a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

3.10  False Conduct Allegation – Making a prohibited conduct allegation against a        member of the University community that is knowingly false.

3.11  False Report of Emergency – Causing, making, or circulating a false report or warning of a fire, explosion, crime, or other catastrophe.

3.12  False Statements – Being party to falsification; giving or providing false statements, written or oral; and/or providing false information during any University proceeding or to any University official.

3.14  Falsification of Records – Altering, tampering, forging, or knowingly using falsified documents or records of the University, including, not limited to, UHV parking permits and student IDs.  Falsifying, attempting to falsify, conspiring to falsify or knowingly using falsified academic records including, but not limited to, altering or assisting in the alteration of any official record of the University and/or submitting false information or omitting information that is required for or related to any academic record.  Academic records include, but not limited to, applications for admission, application for the awarding of a degree, registration materials, and grade change forms, and other documents or forms used by the Office of the Registrar.  A former student who engages in this prohibited conduct may be subject to a bar against readmission, the revocation of a degree, and/or the withdrawal of a diploma under the Student Disciplinary Procedures.

3.15  Forcible Entry or Trespass – Forcible or unauthorized entry to any University building, structure, or facility and/or unauthorized entry to or use of University grounds.

3.16  Gambling, Wagering, and/or Bookmaking – Gambling, wagering, and/or bookmaking as defined by federal, state, and/or local laws on University grounds or by using University equipment or services.

Hazing – Any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the University campus, by one or more person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include students or the University.

3.17  Mental or Bodily Harm – (a) Intentionally inflicting mental or bodily harm upon any person; (b) taking any action for the purpose of inflicting mental or bodily harm upon any person; (c) taking any reckless, but not accidental, action from which mental or bodily harm could result to any person; (d) engaging in conduct, including, but not limited to stalking, that causes a person to believe that the offender may cause mental or bodily harm; (e) communicating a threat to cause mental or bodily harm to any person; (f) any act which demeans, degrades, or disgraces any person and that causes, or would be reasonably likely to cause, mental or bodily harm. “Any person” as used in this section may include oneself.

3.18  Misuse of Identification – Transferring, lending, or borrowing University identification.

3.19  Misuse of Safety Equipment – Unauthorized use or alteration of firefighting equipment, safety devices, or other emergency equipment.

3.20  Misuse or Abuse of Computers – Unauthorized use or misuse of any University computer, computer system, service, program, data, network, cable television network, or communication network.  The inappropriate or disproportionate use of an information technology resource owned or controlled by the University or use of an information technology resource for an illegal threatening, harassing, abusive, or intentionally destructive purpose.  Failure to comply with laws, license agreements, and contracts governing network, software and hardware use.  Abuse of communal resources. Use of computing resources for unauthorized commercial purposes or personal gain. Breach of computer security, harmful access or invasion of privacy.

3.21  Photographing and Videotaping – Photographing, videotaping, filming, digitally recording, or by any other means, secretly viewing with or without a device, another person without that person’s consent in any location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, or in a manner that violates a reasonable expectation of privacy. This section does not apply to lawful security surveillance filming, or recording that is authorized by law enforcement or authorized University officials.

3.22  Possession of Dangerous Weapons – Unauthorized possession of any weapon prohibited by the Texas Penal Code including, but not limited to, firearms, illegal knives, tire deflation devises, dangerous chemicals, or any explosive device of any description such as compressed air guns, pellet guns, BB guns, shotguns, or the ammunition of any firearm or other dangerous weapon or explosive on University grounds. Possessing a dangerous weapon in your vehicle constitutes a violation of this section; however, it shall not be a violation of this section if an individual, who possesses a concealed handgun license, stores or transports his or her licensed and lawfully possessed handgun and/or ammunition in his or her own locked privately owned or leased vehicle.

3.23  Possession of Stolen Property – Possessing property known to the possessor to be stolen and that may be identified as property of the University or any other person or business.

3.24  Public Intoxication – Presenting a threat to oneself or others due to being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or other drugs.

3.25  Sexual Misconduct – Violation of the University of Houston System Sexual Misconduct Policy including, but not limited to, engaging in or attempting to engage in sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation, and/or sexual harassment.

3.26. Theft – Theft, or attempt theft, of property or services from any person or any business on University grounds.

3.27  Unauthorized Use of Alcoholic Beverages ­ Possession, distribution, or consumption of alcoholic beverages except during events or in circumstances authorized by University officials and/or failure to comply with state or University regulations regarding the use or sale of alcoholic beverages.

3.28  Unauthorized Use of Property or Service - Unauthorized use of property or services or unauthorized possession of University property or the property of any other person or business.

3.29  Unauthorized Use of University Keys – Unauthorized use of property or services or unauthorized possession of University property or the property of any other person or business.

3.30  Use, Manufacture, Distribution, Sale, Offer for Sale, or Possession of Controlled Substances or Drug Paraphernalia ­ The use, manufacture, distribution, sale, offer for sale, or possession of any controlled substances, including but not limited to, barbiturates, hallucinogens, amphetamines, cocaine, opium, heroin, or marijuana. Texas law defines Controlled Substances and Drug Paraphernalia.

3.31  Violation of Campus Recreation Policies - Violation of the published policies, rules, and/or regulations as it pertains to Intramural Sports events.

3.32  Violation of University Policies and Procedures ­ Violation of University policies and procedures including, but not limited to, those published in the UHV Student Handbook.

3.33  Violation of Probation ­ Violation of the Code while on disciplinary probation, or violation of the terms of disciplinary probation.

3.34  Violation of Student Housing and Residential Life Policies, Procedures and/or License Agreements - Violation of the terms of a University housing License Agreement or the published policies, rules and/or regulations of the Department of Student Housing and Residential Life including, but not limited to, the following:

a.  Access – Residents found climbing over a fence, gate, or door, for any reason, will violate their housing agreement.  Any person who is not a resident found climbing the fence or walking unescorted through the community is criminally trespassing. Do not block doors, causing them not to lock properly.  Report blocked and/or unlocked entrances, or individuals tampering with the doors, to an RA or the Professional staff.  Disciplinary action will be taken against those who violate this policy. Violation of this policy puts yourself and other residents at risk of potential danger by giving non-residents access to community buildings.

b.  Alcohol - Alcoholic beverages are not permitted anywhere at Jaguar Village (regardless of age). Alcohol consumption in public areas, hallways or any part of the grounds is strictly prohibited and enforced by DRL Staff, University of Houston-Victoria and Texas State laws.

c.  Bicycles - No bicycles are allowed in the living space, nor may they be operated within the residence halls.  All bicycles must be parked in one of the bicycle racks.  Any bicycle found within the residence hall (whether in a hallway, common area, or living space), or any bicycle found attached to any railing, pillar, light pole, tree, fence work, will be subject to impoundment and the resident responsible for said bicycle can be charged for the impoundment.

d.  Damages & Vandalism - Residents are held judicially accountable and financially liable for vandalism or damages they cause to Jaguar Village property (including, but not limited to, damages caused by electrical appliances or other personal equipment and belongings, and those caused by adhesives, nails, tacks, etc.)

e.  Fire Equipment - Residents who tamper with fire equipment are subject to possible prosecution and a possible fine, per State law. Tampering with smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire hoses, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers is strictly prohibited. Tampering with any of the above, which will result in a response from the local fire department, is in violation of state and local ordinances.

f.  Furniture - Room furniture is not to be removed, transferred or interchanged among other rooms or public areas. Room furnishings provided may be arranged in any reasonable manner that does not endanger resident safety. Waterbeds are prohibited. Common area furniture is not to be removed from its assigned location to any other location at any time.

g.  Inappropriate Behavior - Behavior or acts that are unreasonably disruptive to orderly community living are prohibited. These include, but are not limited to, the following: Inappropriate calls or requests of fellow residents and/or residential staff. Disorderly conduct that is disruptive, or may cause personal or physical injury to themselves or others, including but not limited to: physical altercations, bouncing balls on the floor/hallways, profanity in the hallways, preventing others from studying or sleeping, water or shaving cream fights, playing indoor/outdoor sports inside the buildings (including skateboarding, rollerblading, riding bikes, scooters, throwing Frisbees, etc.). Inappropriate language (curse words, racial slurs, jokes about ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious background, etc.) in public areas (lobby, TV lounges, etc.)

h.  Keys - Keys are issued to the assigned occupants of a living space, including room key (access card) and mailbox key.  You are to keep your room key and PawPass in your possession at all times.  You may not issue your keys and/or access card to anyone. Lost or missing keys/access cards must be reported as soon as possible to the Residence Life staff. Keys shall not be duplicated. All keys must be surrendered to the Residence Life staff upon termination of the Housing Agreement.

i.  Living With Roommates - For most college students, sharing a residence hall room is a new experience. Your new roommate may be an old high school friend, distant cousin, friend of a friend, somebody’s sister or brother, or a total stranger. The Department of Residence Life does not expect roommates to be “best friends,” but to be able to live together in a respectful environment.  Roommate changes are not granted the first two weeks of each semester and are viewed as a last resort, not first alternative. If one student infringes upon the rights of another, we expect the two students to work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect to resolve their differences. If you are experiencing trouble with another resident that you cannot resolve, follow the process outlined below. If you need assistance, contact your RA. If you are experiencing a roommate or neighbor issue you need to first approach, your roommate or neighbor about the problem.  However, if you feel uncomfortable addressing your concerns with, your roommate or neighbor, feel free to ask your RA for assistance. If talking to your roommate or neighbor does not bring about a solution to your problem, then your next step is to get your RA involved.  RA’s are trained in mediation and will meet with both parties separately and then together as a group.  The RA can set up a roommate contract or neighbor contract, which can help alleviate issues. If mediation with your RA does not help the situation between you and your roommate, or your neighbor, a meeting will be set up with a member of the Professional staff. The Professional staff member will meet with both parties and the RA to mediate solutions for the problems between the parties.  If resolutions to the problem(s) cannot be met, the DRL Professional Staff may grant a room change.

j.  Modifications and Alterations to Living Space - No alterations or modifications are to be made to either the interior or exterior surfaces of the rooms, doors, hallways, or building without the prior written approval of a Professional Staff member.  Alterations or modifications include, but are not limited to the following: putting mirrors on the closet or bathroom door, putting up shelves permanently mounted to the wall, installing additional or replacement locks on the doors.  This is not an exhaustive list and approval should be sought for any questionable alterations or modifications. No self-adhesive stickers (bumper stickers, etc.) may be placed on the walls or doors.  Thumbtacks, poster putty, 3M Command strips, or small nails (7/8” long or smaller) may be used to hang posters and pictures; however, use of double-sided sticky foam tape is prohibited.  Curtains may be hung, as long as the holes do not exceed the above standards.  If you have any questions, contact DRL before applying any decorations to the unit walls. Residents will be held accountable for damages not documented on move-in condition forms.

k.  Noise - In order to facilitate an environment conducive to academic growth, Jaguar Village has a 24-hour courtesy policy.  Any behavior or noise that may be disturbing to another resident at any time must be ended upon the request of said resident or any member of the Residence Life staff.  In addition, Quiet Hours will be in effect for the following hours: 10:00 P.M. - 8:00 A.M. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 P.M. - 9:00 A.M. Friday and Saturday. These policies apply to all areas of the Jaguar Village property, including, but not limited to, parking lots, breezeways, hallways, common areas, and units.  Although the 11:59 Lounge does not have quiet hours, residents still need to be respectful of others. Any resident or resident’s guest(s) found violating these policies will be asked to immediately conform to them, and repeat offences may result in disciplinary action. In keeping with these policies, the use of amplified musical instruments within the complex, unless they are being used with headphones, is prohibited. If a neighbor is being noisy, first approach them and ask them to please hold down the noise.  If this does not work, call the Front Desk and ask them to contact the Resident Assistant on duty, who will address the matter with the other residents. The Department of Residence Life reserves the right to adjust “Quiet Hour” privileges at any time.

l.  Parking - All residents wishing to park a vehicle at Jaguar Village MUST have and display a valid UHV parking permit and register their vehicles with UHV Parking.  To do this, complete the Vehicle Registration Form at Check-In. Vehicles without a valid tag will be subject to parking fines or towed at the vehicle owner’s expense.  Vehicles illegally parked in fire zones or reserved spaces can and will be towed at any time. Parking permit stickers must be affixed to the driver side rear window.  Parking permit stickers may not be taped to the inside of the window.  Improper placement, including the use of tape, is considered a violation and is subject to a citation. Lack of space is not considered a valid excuse for violation of the University’s parking regulations. Parking is prohibited in any place that will mar the landscaping of Jaguar Village, inconvenience or endanger anyone, create a hazard or interfere with the use of University facilities by others. A parking permit may not be used for more than one vehicle.  Only one vehicle may be parked at campus housing. Residents are permitted to register one vehicle only. The University of Houston-Victoria disclaims all responsibility for losses or damage to vehicles operated or parked in Jaguar Village or on main campus, and is not responsible for losses or damage to any vehicle towed from Jaguar Village or main campus.

m.  Personal Property - If any prohibited items are found, they will be subject to confiscation. Extension cords may not be placed wrapped around metal fixtures or furniture, run under carpet, or taped to the carpet. Paper, fish nets, parachutes, flags, tapestries or other combustible items may not be hung from or attached to the room ceiling or cover the ceiling or fire detector.  Covering the ceiling or fire detector with these or other such items constitutes a fire hazard. No  obscene or inappropriate items, signs, or posters may be hung on the windows.  Painting on windows is also prohibited. No nails or stickers may be used on the door.  Please use masking tape, 3M Command Strips, poster putty, or magnets. DRL  has the authority to remove any offensive or inappropriate items displayed on student doors or windows.

n.  Pets - Only pets required for the assistance of an individual with a disability are allowed at Jaguar Village.  Guests are not allowed to bring their pets into the premises at anytime.  Pets include mammals, reptiles, etc.

o. Prohibited Items - According to your Housing Agreement and the state and university fire safety codes, you should not have any of the following items in your unit: Candles (with or without wick) or incense; not even for decoration. Extension cords; use power strips with surge protectors instead. Halogen lamps. Excessive amounts of paper or flammable material. Dangerous/ combustible substances and chemicals. Any other items that may be considered a fire hazard, i.e. potpourri pots, multi-plug adapters, air fresheners with attached plugs as an extra outlet. Microwaves. Refrigerators exceeding 4.0 cubic feet.

p.  Smoking - Smoking is not permitted in the units, any indoor common areas, or breezeways at anytime. There are designated smoking areas at Jaguar Village where you may smoke. Please dispose of cigarette butts in the appropriate cigarette receptacles.

q.  Trash - We ask that residents remove trash and garbage from their rooms daily and place it in the dumpster, located in the parking lot. Trash left outside of any residents’ room door will be picked up and the residents of that room will be charged $25 per bag of trash. Multiple violations will result in disciplinary actions.

r.  Unauthorized Entry - Guests, contractors, etc. are prohibited from entering into Jaguar Village rooms without checking in at the office and going through the proper procedures. It is prohibited to enter any Jaguar Village room that has not been assigned to you without the written permission of the resident assigned to that room.

a.  Check In/Out Procedures

i.  Students are required to check into their residence hall space but presenting a photo ID or their Jaguar Card to the Residence Life staff. Upon checking in, students will receive a room condition report, room key, and mailbox key.

ii.  At checkout, the student must schedule a time to meet with a staff member who will check the student out of their room. The student’s room key and mailbox key must be returned at checkout. Residents will be responsible for returning their room to the original condition at checkout (i.e., floors mopped, dusted or vacuumed, furniture back in place and dusted, and trash removed).

iii.  Residents will be responsible for damages and will be assessed charges, as applicable.

iv.  Residents who vacate the halls are responsible for removing from the building and premises any property which they own or used during their occupancy. Failure to remove excess property will result in improper checkout charges, plus charges for removal by the university, and potentially storage charges at the discretion of DRL. In addition to regular cleaning charges, which are assessed for a dirty room at checkout, removal charges will be assessed for property such as tables, chairs, sofas, refrigerators, street signs, bricks, lumber and similar items that by their nature cannot be disposed of through the normal university trash disposal system or require extra effort to remove.

s.  Visitors/Guests - The number of guests is limited to two per resident. If the number of people in one apartment is larger than that number, a Residence Life staff member reserves the right to disperse the group. You are to escort your guests at all times. Your guests require your presence for access into the residence halls. No guests are allowed between 12AM and 8AM (SUN-THURS) and 2AM to 8AM (FRI-SAT). Overnight visitation cannot exceed 48 hours and is only allowed 3 times per semester. Per the housing agreement, “only you can live in the Premises. You may not permit another person to live in the Premises or in the Apartment.” DRL reserves the right to adjust visitation privileges at any time.

Student Disciplinary Procedures

The purpose of these procedures is to provide for the orderly administration of the Student Code of Conduct consistent with the principles of due process of law. Reasonable deviations from these procedures will not invalidate a decision or proceeding.

4. Disciplinary Action Initiated

Any member of the University community may submit a written allegation of violation of the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct.  The individual alleging a violation must include sufficient facts, which would enable the Director of Student Life and Services or designee to decide if further fact-finding is necessary.  An allegation of violation must include the name of the complainant and should include pertinent facts including, but not limited to, a description of the alleged violation, the date of the alleged violation, the name(s) of the students involved, the time that the alleged violation took place, and the location of the alleged violation.

5. Notice

5.1 Students who are the subject of prohibited conduct allegations will be notified by the appropriate Hearing Officer.  Such notice will contain information regarding the student conduct involved and a statement of the Code provision(s) and/or University policy alleged to have been violated.

5.2 All written notices to students will be considered received upon the occurrence of one or more of the following:  placing the written notice addressed to the student’s current local or permanent address as listed in the Registrar’s records in the United States Postal Service mail or campus mail, sending written correspondence to the student’s official University email address, or hand delivering written notice to the student.  Receipt will constitute full and adequate notice.

5.3  The student’s failure to provide and maintain current addresses with the Registrar, refusal to accept delivery of a letter, or failure to receive an email message because the mailbox is full or the message is inappropriately forwarded will not constitute good cause for failure to comply with written notices.

5.4 Failure to respond to notices delivered via Item 5.2 shall constitute a separate violation of this Code.  Failure of the accused student to respond to the initiation of charges or schedule a procedural interview shall in no way prevent the University from scheduling and conducting a University Hearing Board hearing or a Disciplinary Conference with the Hearing Officer in the absence of the accused student. Disciplinary Conference with the Hearing Officer in the absence of the accused student.

5.5 The Director of Student Life may bar or cancel the enrollment of a student who fails to comply with notices sent in accordance with Item 5.2.

6. Procedural Interview

6.1 Students alleged to have violated the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Code must contact the Hearing Officer to schedule a Procedural Interview within five business days of receiving written notice.

6.2 Students who fail to contact the Hearing Officer to schedule the Procedural Interview within the five business day period outlined in Item 6.1 will be considered to have elected to proceed with a Disciplinary Conference under the Student Disciplinary Procedures.  Students who fail to appear for a scheduled Procedural Interview will be considered to have elected to proceed with a Disciplinary Conference.

6.3 Copies of the following documents will be made available to the student at the time of the Procedural Interview:

a. A copy of the Student Code of Conduct.

b. A copy of the referral notice and/or incident report.

c. A copy of the Students’ Rights and Responsibilities Respondent Information and Acknowledgement Form.

Students who fail to contact the Hearing Officer to schedule the Procedural Interview or who fail to attend a scheduled Procedural Interview will be provided access to copies of these documents in advance of the Disciplinary Conference.

7. Hearing Selection

7.1 Within five business days of the Procedural Interview, the student shall choose either a hearing before the University Hearing Board or a Disciplinary Conference with the Hearing Officer. The student shall indicate their choice of hearing in writing to the Hearing Officer.

7.2 The Hearing Officer shall notify the student of the time, date, and place of the Disciplinary Conference or hearing before the University Hearing Board.

7.3 Students who fail to select either a hearing before the University Hearing Board or a Disciplinary Conference with the Hearing Officer within the five business day period outlined in Item 7.1 will be considered to have elected to proceed with a Disciplinary Conference.

8. Disciplinary Conference

The following procedural guidelines shall be applicable in Disciplinary Conferences with the Hearing Officer:

8.1 Written notice of the alleged violation(s) at least five business days prior to the scheduled conference, unless the respondent requests to proceed with the Disciplinary Conference at an earlier time.

8.2 The respondent is entitled to be accompanied and assisted by an advisor. An advisor may be an attorney, but who sits in an advisory capacity and who addresses the Hearing Officer only upon permission of the Hearing Officer. Respondents who wish to have an attorney attend the Disciplinary Conference as their advisor shall notify the Hearing Officer of the attorney’s name and contact information at least three business days prior to the Disciplinary Conference. If the respondent’s advisor is an attorney, the University may have a University attorney present at the Disciplinary Conference. An advisor may not appear in lieu of a respondent.

8.3 The right to have access to the case file at least three business days prior to and during the conference.

8.4 If a respondent fails to appear for a scheduled Disciplinary Conference, the Hearing Officer will proceed with investigating the complaint.

8.5 The Hearing Officer will investigate the complaint, including but not limited to; reviewing incident reports, reviewing witness statements, and interviewing witnesses. Before a decision is rendered, the respondent will be given an opportunity to respond to any new information obtained by the Hearing Officer during the investigation.  If a respondent fails to appear for this meeting, the Hearing Officer will decide the case based upon the information obtained in the investigation.

8.6 The Hearing Officer will notify the respondent of the decision in writing within ten business days of the close of the investigation.  The Hearing Officer will also make a copy of the decision available to the respondent in the Director of Student Life and Services Office.

9.  University Hearing Board

9.1 The University Hearing Board shall be composed of five students appointed by the Student Government Association and five faculty/staff appointed by the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

9.2 There will be at least five alternate members: at least three student alternates appointed by the Student Government Association, at least two faculty/staff alternates appointed by Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

9.3 A quorum shall consist of five persons, at least three of which shall be students and one shall be faculty or staff.  If a quorum is not met and at least three people are present with one being a student, the respondent may request that the hearing proceed with those members present.

9.4 The Chair must be a selected from the student members present at a scheduled hearing. The student selected by the Board to serve as Chair shall serve for the duration of the scheduled hearing.

9.5 All members of the board must be in good standing with the University.

9.6 The Director of Student Life and Services may remove a Board member for justifiable cause. A Board member may appeal their removal to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

9.7 If a Board member resigns, cannot serve, or is removed from office, the Director of Student Life and Services will select one of the alternates to fill the vacancy.

10. Hearing Procedures

The following procedural guidelines shall be applicable in disciplinary hearings:

10.1 At least three business days prior to the hearing, the Hearing Officer will make available to the respondent(s) copies of documents relevant to the case and a list of witnesses.

10.2 The respondent is entitled to be accompanied and assisted by an advisor. An advisor may be an attorney, but who sits in an advisory capacity and who addresses the Board only upon permission from the Chair. Respondents who wish to have an attorney attend the hearing as their advisor shall notify the Hearing Officer of the attorney’s name and contact information at least three business days prior to the hearing. If the respondent’s advisor is an attorney, the University may have a University attorney present at the disciplinary hearing. An advisor may not appear in lieu of a respondent.

10.3 In the event that the University chooses to proceed through legal counsel, the respondent will be notified at least three business days prior to the hearing and shall also have the right to proceed through counsel. Counsel for a respondent may not appear in lieu of the respondent.

10.4 Hearings of the University Hearing Board will be closed to the public except when the respondent requests an open hearing and such a request is approved. This request must be made in writing to the Hearing Officer at least three business days prior to the hearing.

10.5 If a respondent fails to appear, the University Hearing Board will decide the case in the charged student’s absence.

10.6 The Hearing Officer or designee may present the case for the University or the complainant.

10.7 Prospective witnesses, other than the complainant and respondent, will be excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses. All participants shall be excluded during Board deliberations.

10.8 The hearing will be held in two parts:

a. Determination of violation.

b. Determination of sanction; if a finding of “in violation” is determined.

10.9 The Chair will exercise control over the proceedings. Any person disrupting a hearing or who fails to adhere to the rulings of the Chair may be removed or excluded from the proceedings.

10.10 Any party may challenge a Board member on the grounds of personal bias. Board members may be disqualified upon a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board. Disqualification votes must be conducted by secret ballot.

10.11 The burden of proof shall be on the complainant or University, whichever is applicable, to prove the case by a preponderance of the evidence standard.

10.12 The Chair shall determine what evidence is admissible. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply.

10.13 The respondent, the complainant, and/or the Board members may examine the written evidence offered and may question all witnesses.

10.14 The respondent will not be forced to testify against him or herself and their silence shall not be used to their detriment.

10.15 Individuals referred to in any written statements or testimony of respondent, complainant, and/or witnesses may be called as witnesses by the University Hearing Board.  The Chair shall determine the length of any such witness testimony and when it shall be heard during the hearing.

10.16 At the conclusion of the presentations, the Board shall deliberate the violation stage of the proceeding in closed session. After deliberation and a vote, the decision of the Board will be announced to the participants.

10.17 The Board may hear evidence concerning sanctioning if the respondent is found to have violated the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct. The Board may consider the respondent’s prior disciplinary record during the sanctioning phase of the proceedings in order to recommend the appropriate sanction(s).

10.18 Decisions by the Board shall be by majority vote. In the event of a tie, the Chair will vote to break the tie.

10.19 Hearings will be recorded and, upon written request, the respondent will be afforded access to the recording of the hearing. The only recording devices allowed in the hearing are those provided by the Hearing Officer.

10.20 The Board’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Hearing Officer for further action. The Hearing Officer will notify the respondent of the decision in writing within seven business days of the hearing.  The Hearing Officer will also make a copy of the decision available to the respondent in the Director of Student Life and Services Office.

11.  Sanctions

Factors to be taken into consideration when issuing sanctions include, but are not limited to: the respondent’s motivation for displaying the behavior; the respondent’s disciplinary history; the extent to which the behavior jeopardizes the safety and security of the University of Houston-Victoria community; and, the likelihood of the behavior occurring again. Upon written request, the Hearing Officer will disclose the results of campus disciplinary proceedings to the victim of a non-forcible sex or a violence related policy violation.

Upon a finding of a violation of the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct, one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed:

11.1 Expulsion permanently separates the student from the University and prohibits the student from ever attending the University, enrolling in any University courses and/or from being present on University grounds without the permission of the Director of Student Life. Expulsion will be noted on the student’s permanent record. A student who has been expelled from any University of Houston System component shall be ineligible to enroll at any other system component during the period of expulsion.

11.2 Suspension prohibits the student from attending the University, enrolling in any University courses and from being present on University grounds without the permission of the Director of Student Life and Services for a specified period of time.  A student suspended for prohibited conduct is not guaranteed readmission to the University, but shall petition the Director of Student Life and Services to review the student’s eligibility for readmission. Suspension will be noted on the student’s permanent record.  A student who has been suspended from any University of Houston System component shall be ineligible to enroll at any other system component during the period of suspension.

11.3 Deferred Suspension allows a sanction of suspension to be deferred to a specific date in the future. If a student is found in violation of any University rule while under the sanction of deferred suspension, the suspension sanction may be implemented immediately and additional conduct sanctions appropriate to the new violation(s) may be imposed.  Students under the sanction of deferred suspension may be subject to additional restrictions identified by the Director of Student Life and Services. Failure to comply with the additional restrictions established by the Director of Student Life and Services will be considered additional conduct violations.   

11.4 Disciplinary Probation is a sanction in which students are considered “not in good standing” with the University. Any further misconduct while on probation may result in additional disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University. Students under the sanction of probation may be subject to additional restrictions identified by the Director of Student Life and Services.  A sanction of probation is imposed for a definite period of time. Probation will be noted on the student’s permanent record during the period of probation.

11.5  Revocation of Admission and/or Degree may be imposed for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violations of University rules in obtaining admission or a degree, or for other serious violations committed by an applicant or by a student prior to the awarding of the degree.

11.6 Educational Programs or Assignments are sanctions designed to develop and/or expand a student’s understanding of a University rule or policy and/or support the student’s learning in relation to the rule or policy that was violated.

11.7 Reprimand is an official written notification retained in a student’s disciplinary file designed to inform the student that their behavior has been unacceptable.

11.8 Restitution or compensation for loss, theft, deception, damage or injury, which may take the form or appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement. 

11.9 Warning is a sanction, which advises a student that they have engaged in behavior that is unbecoming of a member of the University community.  This sanction remains in effect for a specified period of time, after which, it may be removed from the student’s conduct record at the student’s request.  Any further misconduct during a sanction of warning may result in additional disciplinary action.

11.10Other Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, disenrollment, imposition of mandatory counseling requirements, referral for mandatory assessment by a qualified licensed professional, no contact orders, restrictions from specific areas in University buildings and/or on University grounds, restrictions from participating in intercollegiate athletics, extracurricular activities, and residential life activities; monetary fines; community service; disciplinary room change for residence students, and/or ban or removal from University housing facilities. Students may also be required to meet periodically with a person designated by the Hearing Officer.

12. Interim Suspension

12.1 The Director of Student Life and Services or designee may immediately suspend a student on an interim basis prior to a hearing  when the Director of Student Life and Services or designee has reasonable cause to believe that the student's presence on University premises or at a University-related or registered student organization activity poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the safety or security of any member of the University community or to property, the student may be immediately suspended from all or any portion of University premises, University-related activities or registered student organization activities.  This temporary suspension will be confirmed in writing and shall remain in effect until the conclusion of a Disciplinary Conference or Hearing Board hearing, without undue delay, in accordance with the Student Disciplinary Rules.

12.2 The Hearing Officer will notify the student(s) of the interim suspension by issuing notice of interim suspension. This notice  will include a statement of the regulation(s) that the student allegedly violated, a specific statement of the facts constituting the alleged violation, and will direct the student(s) to contact the Director of Student Life and Services to schedule a Procedural Interview with the Hearing Officer within five business days of the notice. The notice will also include a copy of the Student Code of Conduct and/or the web address of the code.  The Campus Police Officer or designee may issue the notice of interim suspension initially when there is reasonable cause to believe that the student(s) poses an immediate threat to the University community.  In such cases, the Hearing Officer will subsequently issue notice of interim suspension pursuant to this section.

12.3 An extension to the requirement to schedule a meeting with the Hearing Officer within a five business day period may be granted by the Hearing Officer for good cause.

12.4 Students who fail to schedule the Procedural Interview within the five business day period outlined in Item 6.1 will be considered to have elected to proceed in the Student Disciplinary Procedures with a Disciplinary Conference.

12.5 If the sanction for a confirmed violation of the Code of Conduct is to suspend or expel the student, the sanction takes effect from the date of the interim suspension.

13. Interim No Contact Orders

The Director of Student Life and Services or designee may immediately issue a no contact order on an interim basis prior to a hearing if it is believed necessary to protect a person’s safety and/or preserve a safe environment. A no contact order prohibits a student’s or a student organization’s contact with a specific individual or individuals.

14. Withholding of Transcripts, Grades, Diploma, or Degree

The Director of Student Life and Services or designee may withhold an official transcript, grade, diploma, or degree of a student alleged to have committed a violation of a University of Houston-Victoria rule and/or the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct.  The Director of Student Life and Services or designee may take such action pending a Hearing Board hearing or Disciplinary Conference, and/or the exhaustion of the student’s appellate rights.

15. Counseling Referrals  

The Hearing Officer may refer any student who is the subject of prohibited conduct allegations to the University Counseling Center. The Counseling Center may, with written permission of the student, discuss the results of the referral with the Hearing Officer. The student may refuse to attend a session with the Counseling Center without penalty at which time the disciplinary process will continue as if no referral were made.

16. Reporting at the Request of the Director of Student Life and Services

A request to meet with or respond to the Director of Student Life and Services or designee shall be heeded by all students. The request of the Director of Student Life and Services or designee shall have priority over all other duties of the student. The student will respond at the time and place set by the Director of Student Life and Services or designee unless arrangements are made because of extraordinary circumstances. Failure to report or respond as directed by the Director of Student Life and Services or designee on any matter shall constitute a separate violation of this Code and may result in disciplinary action.

17.  University Hearing Board Appearances

The Director of Student Life and Services or designee shall have the authority to require a student to appear before the University Hearing Board at a designated time and place when the student’s presence is necessary to resolve a question which is before the Board. The Director of Student Life and Services or designee shall have the authority to require the student to produce such items as are relevant to the adjudication.

18.  Official Withdrawal from the University of Houston-Victoria

The Director of Student Life and Services may place a disciplinary hold on the records and future enrollment of any student who withdraws from the University prior to the resolution of pending disciplinary action. The Director of Student Life and Services may also place a notation on the student’s official transcript indicating that, “Disciplinary proceedings are pending at the University of Houston-Victoria.”  Students remain subject to the jurisdiction of the Student Disciplinary Procedures even if they withdraw from the University while disciplinary proceedings are pending. 

19. Appeals

19.1 An appeal is not an opportunity to re-hear the original conduct case and will not be granted based on a respondent’s disagreement with the outcome of the original conduct case. 

19.2 An appeal may only be based upon the following grounds:

a. New information, not available at the time of the original hearing, was discovered and such new information could affect the decision rendered in the original conduct case.

b. Procedural error that resulted in material harm or prejudice to the student (i.e., by preventing a fair, impartial, or proper hearing). Deviations from the designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless material harm or prejudice results.

c. The sanction imposed as the result of the original hearing was excessively severe in relation to the violation that the student was found to have committed.  Appeals submitted on a claim that the sanction was excessively severe do not have bearing on the finding of “in violation” and relate only to the sanctions imposed.

19.3 The Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, or designee, will serve as the Appellate Officer for all conduct cases in which a sanction of expulsion, suspension, eviction, and/or revocation of admission or degree were issued as a result of the original conduct hearing. 

19.4 The Appellate Officer will review requests for appeal to determine if acceptable grounds for appeal have been demonstrated.

19.5 Respondents may appeal the decision of the Hearing Officer by filing a written appeal, including a detailed explanation of the reason for the appeal consistent with the grounds for appeal outlined in Section 19.2, with the appropriate Appellate Officer within ten business days after receiving written notification of the decision.

19.6 The Appellate Officer will render a decision and notify the respondent in writing within ten business days of receipt of the appeal.

19.7 The decision of the Appellate Officer shall be final.

20.  Disciplinary Records

20.1 The University shall maintain a permanent written disciplinary record for every student assessed a sanction of suspension, expulsion, denial or revocation of a degree, and/or withdrawal of diploma. 

20.2 A disciplinary record shall reflect the nature of the charge, the disposition of the charge, the sanction assessed, and any other pertinent information.  The Director of Student Life and Services Office shall maintain disciplinary records.  Disciplinary records will be treated as confidential and shall not be accessible to or used by anyone other than the Director of Student Life and Services or University officials with legitimate educational interests; except upon written authorization of the student or in accordance with applicable state or federal laws or court order or subpoena.

20.3 Disciplinary records of students who were not assessed a sanction of suspension, expulsion, denial or revocation of a degree, and/or withdrawal of a diploma will be maintained by the Director of Student Life and Services Office for six years after the final disposition of the case in accordance with the University’s Records Retention Schedule.

20.4 Disciplinary warning records are maintained as active conduct records by the Director of Student Life and Services Office for the specified period of warning.  Students issued a warning sanction may request that the record be expunged once the period of warning has expired or when they have graduated from the University.

21.  Student Groups and Registered Student Organizations

21.1 Student groups and registered student organizations are subject to the same behavioral expectations as individual students and as such, may be charged with violations of the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct. The same Student Code of Conduct procedures afforded individual students are applicable to student groups and registered student organizations.

21.2 Student groups and registered student organizations, their members, as well as other students may be held collectively and/or individually responsible for violations that occur on University grounds, on premises used or controlled by the group or organization, and/or at University sponsored activities on or off campus.  The disciplinary jurisdiction set forth in Item 1.1 applies to individual students, student groups and registered student organizations.

21.3 Student groups and registered student organizations and their officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible for violations of the Code when the organization’s leaders, officers, or spokespersons have given tacit or overt consent or encouragement for the prohibited conduct.

21.4 Student group and registered student organization leaders, officers, and/or spokespersons may be directed by the Director of Student Life and Services or designee to take action to prevent or end violations of the Code by members of the organization or by any persons associated with the organization.  Failure to make reasonable efforts to comply with the directives of the Director of Student Life and Services or designee shall be considered a violation of the Code by the leaders, officers, and spokespersons of the organization as well as by the organization.

21.5 Sanctions for student group and/or registered student organization misconduct may include revocation or denial of registration as well as other appropriate sanctions cited in Sections 11 and 12 of the Code.

 

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