Residence Life Handbook

Student Conduct Guidelines

When many people live in a small area, it is very important to have rules and consequences. The Student Conduct Guidelines spell out what will happen if a student violates the rules. These guidelines are essential to maximize everyone's freedom while still maintaining necessary order. The guidelines incorporate actions that support the precept of promoting student success through personal growth and understanding while not primarily focusing on penalizing students for misconduct.

The Residence Life Student Conduct Guidelines are designed to help students practice behavior that is appropriate in the residence hall community. The procedures do not have the sophistication of civil law, but do provide the students with basic civil rights, including a fair hearing before a board composed of their peers. Appropriate due process safeguards have been incorporated including appeal procedures.

 

Depending on the nature of the violation or inappropriate behavior, the student will be subject to disciplinary sanctions as determined through these guidelines. Through the disciplinary process, actions are taken to support student success, to promote student growth and understanding and to develop behaviors that are appropriate to our living and learning community. The disciplinary process consists of three levels.

Level 1 - Verbal Warning

Level 2 - Written Warning

Level 3 - Referral to a Hall Director

Level 4 - Referral to the Student Conduct Office

 

At all levels, the accused student has the right to appeal. The accused student must make his or her appeal in writing and to the appropriate person (see each Level for specifics). The letter of appeal must be submitted to the appropriate person(s) within five (5) working days (excluding holidays) of receipt of notification of disciplinary action. The written appeal must state specific criterion explaining why the student believes he or she should not be held accountable.

 

Level 1 – Verbal Warning
If a residential student violates a residence hall or university policy or regulation, or exhibits inappropriate behavior and if the violation or behavior is not of a serious nature (serious violation include, but are not limited to drugs, assault, visitation, thefts, arson, tampering with fire equipment, physical or verbal abuse, etc.), Residence Life staff will inform the student that they have been verbally warned they have been documented as not complying with policies/procedures.  ResLife staff will also complete an information report or log the incident in the duty logs.

 

Examples of this level policy violation include a first offense of the following:

  • Quiet hours

  • Smoking in smoke free areas // tobacco use (smoking or chewing) in tobacco free areas

  • Failure to remove refuse/trash properly

A verbal warning is merely a documented conversation between a staff member and a student regarding the student’s behavior in the residence halls.  The purpose of the verbal warning is simply to explain the violation or inappropriate behavior and to inform the student of the probable consequences that may result from future violations or inappropriate behavior. The accused student has the right to appeal the verbal warning in writing to the Residence Life Student Conduct Board within five (5) days of the actual warning (address your appeal to Lillian.Bruckner@sdsmt.edu).

 

Level 2 – Written Warning
If a residential student violates a residence hall or university policy or regulation, or exhibits inappropriate behavior and if the violation or behavior is not of a serious nature (serious violation include, but are not limited to drugs, assault, visitation, thefts, arson, tampering with fire equipment, physical or verbal abuse, etc.), Residence Life staff will complete an information report or log the incident in the duty logs. The Hall Director will issue a written warning.  This warning will be documented in the residence hall discipline logbook and may result in a follow up meeting with a Hall Director.  A minor violation warning becomes a part of a student’s discipline file for the remainder of the academic year.  Your Hall Director may at any time, refer a student to the next level, if in his or her judgment, the violation or behavior justifies surpassing a minor violation.

 

Examples of this level policy violation include a first offense of the following:

  • Previous Level 1 violation

  • Incense/Candle Burning

  • Possession of illegal electrical appliances

  • Escort Policy violations

  • Visitation violations

  • Cooking policy violations

  • Possession of illegal pets

  • Possession of unapproved sleeping loft

 

A written warning is an emailed reminder to the student from their hall director or apartment manager reminding them of the need to abide by policies within university housing.  The purpose of the written warning is simply to explain the violation or inappropriate behavior and to inform the student of the probable consequences that may result from future violations or inappropriate behavior. The accused student has the right to appeal the written warning in writing to the Residence Life Judicial Board within five (5) days of the actual warning (address your appeal to Lillian.Bruckner@sdsmt.edu).

 

Level 3 – Referral to a Hall Director
If a residential student is involved in a previous level 2 violation(s) of residence hall or university policy or inappropriate behavior or if the incident is of a serious nature, responding Residence Life staff will complete an information report and refer the student to a Hall Director. Level 3 violations also become a part of the student’s discipline file for the remainder of the academic year. The Hall Director has the authority to issue a level 3 violation based on previous level 2 violations.  Alcohol and Drug policy violations remain in a student’s discipline file for the entirety of his or her enrollment at SD BOR institutions. Any further violation of policy by a student with a Level 3 policy violation will result in a Level 4 Referral to the Student Conduct Office. Your Hall Director may, at any time, refer a student to the next level, if in his or her judgment, the violation or behavior justifies surpassing Level 3.

 

Examples of this level policy violation include a first offense of the following:

  • Previous level 2 violation(s)

  • Failure to comply (as initial charge)

  • Misuse of SDSM&T property (including but not limited to misuse of windows, roof, etc. This does not include computer hardware or software misuse or abuse.)

  • Possession of or use of fireworks, or other explosives including but no limited to flammable liquids.

  • First offense of alcohol policy violations.

  • Tampering with fire equipment.

  • Damage or destruction of property belonging to others or SDSM&T.

Upon the student’s referral, the Hall Director will explain to the student his or her options for adjudication of the case and of his or her rights in the disciplinary proceeding. At this time, the student may choose one of two options:

  • A hearing before the Residence Life Student Conduct Board, or

  • Admit involvement and responsibility, waive a hearing and resolve through mutual consent with the Hall Director.

If a student chooses a hearing before the Residence Life Student Conduct Board, the following procedure will be adhered to:

  • Residence Life Student Conduct Board members will be notified that a hearing will take place in order to review the Information Reports and schedule a meeting.

  • The Board will notify the students involved at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing date, time and place in writing.

  • During the hearing, the Board will review the presented information, be given the opportunity to question student(s) involved, explore motivation for the behavior, and let the student make any concluding remarks or ask questions.

  • Following the hearing, the Board will determine the extent of the student’s responsibility and determine the sanctions.

  • The Board will make recommendations to the ResLife SC-Board Advisor (a hall director). The SC-Board Advisor will then notify the student in writing of the decision and any subsequent sanction(s) within 48 hours of the hearing.

The student has the following rights during the hearing process:

  • The student may waive his or her right to be present at his or her hearing. If the student waives this right or fails to appear, the Board will continue the hearing process, including determining recommended sanctions.

  • The student will have the opportunity to hear all information, which the board may use in making a decision.

  • The student may object to the presence of up to one member of the Residence Life Judicial Board, who will have not participation in the discussion.

  • The student may have others speak on his or her behalf.

  • The student has the right to a closed hearing.

  • The student may submit evidence.

  • The student may call witnesses.

  • The student must receive written notice of the decision.

  • The student may appeal the decision.

If the student is found responsible for violation of residence hall or university policy, the Residence Life Student Conduct Board (SC-Board) may recommend imposition of one or more of the following sanctions to the ResLife Student Conduct Board Advisor (an appointed HD) who will issue a letter of discipline.

  • Restriction of privileges (visitation, use of common areas of the hall, use of stereo, TV, et cetera)

  • Special action (performance of a special project to improve Residence Life—may include, but not limited to, custodial or maintenance work assignment, required counseling, behavior contract, letter of apology, planned programming, community service project)

  • Hall probation

  • Restitution

  • Change of hall or room assignment

  • Referral to the Director of Residence Life.

If the student admits responsibility for the violation and waives the right to a hearing, he or she will work with the Hall Director to determine a mutually agreed upon sanction of one or more of the following options:

  • Restriction of privileges (visitation, use of common areas of the hall, use of stereo, TV, et cetera)

  • Special action (performance of a special project to improve Residence Life—may include, but not limited to, custodial or maintenance work assignment, required counseling, behavior contract, letter of apology, planned programming, community service project)

  • Hall probation

  • Restitution

  • Change of hall or room assignment

  • Referral to the Student Conduct Office.

Failure to comply with sanctions determined through mutual consent will result in the student being referred to the Student Conduct Office for further disciplinary action.

 

The accused student has the right to appeal the sanction determined through mutual agreement with the Hall Director or the decision and sanction assigned by the Residence Life Student Conduct Board to the Student Conduct Office.

 

Violation of certain policies will automatically be referred to this Level. These include but are not limited to policies pertaining to first alcohol policy violation, extreme disregard for quiet hours, escort policy or the visitation policy. The Hall Director, in certain situations, may deem it necessary to automatically refer the student(s) to the Student Conduct Office.

 

Level 4 – Referral to the Student Conduct Office
If a residential student violates a residence hall or university policy or regulation or exhibits inappropriate behavior in an extremely serious nature or has been involved in a Level 4 violation, the reporting Residence Life staff member will complete an information report and the Hall Director will refer the student to the Student Conduct Office. The Hall Director has the authority to issue a level 4 violation based on previous level 1, 2 or 3 violations.  The Student Conduct Office will determine appropriate actions, per Board of Regents policy.

 

Examples of this level policy violation include a first offense of the following:

  • Previous level 3 violation(s)

  • Possession of or use of ammunition, or dangerous or deadly weapons.

  • Drug policy violations

  • Misuse or abuse of SDSM&T computer hardware or software

  • Pulling a fire alarm

  • Violation of all other Board of Regent policies other than as noted in Levels 1, 2, and 3.

The accused student has the right to appeal the decision of the Student Conduct Office to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of students.

 

The listed sanctions for each level are a minimum, and additional actions can be taken at any level if deemed appropriate. The university may, in addition to action it takes, turn the information over to civil authorities. Referral of a matter to law enforcement will not require suspension of disciplinary proceedings nor delay imposition of discipline.

 

In order for the Residence Life Student Conduct Guidelines to work effectively, students and staff must cooperate and fulfill their responsibilities. A student who fails to appear before a member of Residence Life staff or other judicial agency in a situation involving the investigation or processing of an alleged violation of university policy after clear and repeated notice may be subject to severe disciplinary action as determined by the Student Conduct Office. Failure of a student having pertinent testimony regarding a disciplinary matter to provide such information (except as it may incriminate them) may likewise result in severe disciplinary action.

 

Residence life will record documented violation of policy in an electronic discipline log kept by the Hall Director. The logbook will be used to determine a student’s status within the Student Conduct Guidelines system of levels. The Student Conduct Office and the Dean of Students will have access to information contained in the discipline electronic logs.