2015-2016 Housing Handbook, including the Standards of Residence
The Residential Conduct Process
When a student is charged with a violation including of housing policy, they can expect the following process to be available.
- be notified via their pdx.edu email address of their possible violation of applicable policies;
- have those charges heard by a UHRL Hearing Officer or Peer Conduct Board in a conduct meeting, which will be held in an impartial and competent manner;
- have the opportunity to hear the evidence against them; and
- have the opportunity to present information on their behalf in an orderly way.
Students must read their email or other conduct notice in order to understand the details of the charges as well as the time/location of their hearing. It is a student’s responsibility to attend the hearing in order to hear evidence supporting the charges, respond, and present new information relevant to the charges.
If a student feels that they need more time to prepare for a hearing or have a time conflict, they may request to reschedule the hearing. Reasonable requests for rescheduling of a hearing will often be honored, so long as there are compelling reason to postpone the hearing. However, UHRL reserves the right to choose the time/location of the hearing.
Students may contact the Housing and Residence Life Student Services office at 503-725-4375 or email@example.com at least 24 hours before their hearing time to reschedule their meeting. If a student fails to appear at the hearing, the hearing body may make a decision on the case in their absence. When the hearing body decides a case in the student’s absence, it will wait at least 15 minutes after the assigned hearing time to establish that the student is not coming, rather than simply running late.
Student conduct meetings, also referred to as conduct hearings, are an administrative review of the evidence relevant to the charges. Students alleged to have violated a policy will be invited to attend these meetings to respond to, verify, and/or deny the charges or the relevant evidence. If a student does not attend a meeting, the case may be heard in the student’s absence with the information available at the time of the hearing.
These meetings seek to determine whether or not a student is responsible for the charged violations by collecting and reviewing the available information. The conduct officer or peer conduct board will look at available information and determine the outcome of the case by a preponderance of the evidence (what more likely than not happened). Note that this threshold is different than the “beyond reasonable doubt” burden of proof that the criminal justice system works under.
A hearing officer or body will seek to decide the outcome of a case in the hearing when possible. If the hearing officer needs to verify information, interview additional witnesses, or corroborate accounts, the hearing officer may defer the outcome decision to a later time.
A sanction is an administrative and/or educational consequence that is imposed by the University. If a student is found responsible for a violation, the conduct officer or peer conduct board will assign a sanction and deadline; these will be outlined in a decision notification letter sent to the student’s pdx.edu email account. The conduct process seeks to identify educational opportunities for students who have violated policy. Sanctions include warnings, restitution and/or fines, loss of privileges, educational assignments, reassignment, contract probation, contract termination, refusal of entry, and other actions that can affect your status as a PSU student.
Conduct Administrative Fee
Fees pay the costs relating to the investigation, adjudication, and follow up of conduct cases, rather than increasing the room rates for all students. Only students found responsible for a violation will be assessed a fee. The fee, if applicable, will be determined by the nature of the offense, will be considered at the conclusion of the conduct process, and will not be a factor influencing the outcome of a hearing.
- For a Low-Level Offense, the first violation will result in a $10 fee, a second violation of the same or similar nature will result in a $20 fee, and the fee will increase by an additional $10 for each subsequent violation of the same or similar nature. A “Low-Level Offense” is any violation that is not a High-Level Offense or a Drug or Alcohol Offense.
- For a Drug or Alcohol Offense, the first violation will result in a $50 fee, a second violation of the same or similar nature will result in a $75 fee, and the fee will increase by an additional $25 for each subsequent violation of the same or similar nature. A “Drug or Alcohol Offense” is any offense that is not a High-Level Offense that includes the use or possession of drugs or alcohol in violation of the Code.
- For a High-Level Offense, the first violation will result in a $75 fee, a second violation of the same or similar nature will result in a $100 fee, and the fee will increase by an additional $25 for each subsequent violation of the same or similar nature. A “High-Level Offense” is any offense that presents a potential health and safety risk or a serious disruption to the living and learning environment.
The Senior Conduct Officer may waive the imposition of a fee in unique and compelling circumstances. All fees will be assessed to the University account of the responsible resident.
Appeal Request Form (*.pdf)
A student may appeal the outcome of a hearing by filing a written notice of appeal to the Director of Housing and Residence Life. A written notice must be filed within 72 hours of the notice of sanction and must specify in detail the grounds upon which the appeal is based. An appeal request form is available above.
Appeals can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off at the Dean of Student Life Office in Smith Memorial Student Union Room 433. The request for an appeal should include:
- Your name and PSU ID number
- Contact information (address, phone, email)
- The date of incident
- Date of hearing
- Hearing officer’s name
- Violation(s) found responsible for
- Information demonstrating why an appeal is required – Such justifications may include the below criteria:
- There was an error in the process that had a material effect on the outcome.
- There is new information that was previously not available at the time of the hearing AND it would have a material effect on the outcome.
There is only one opportunity for appeal. Failure to file the above-mentioned notice within the prescribed 72 hours will constitute a waiver of the right to appeal.
The appeal process is an administrative review of the appeal request and available information. It is designed to be informal in nature with the objective of assuring that fundamental fairness was applied to a conduct case; no formal rules of evidence or procedure will apply.
An appeal is not a re-hearing of the case or a second opinion. If an appeal is approved, the review officer, the Director of Housing and Residence Life or designee, will determine the next steps for the case. Sanctions determined at the time of hearing remain in effect unless Appeal Officer determines otherwise.
Safety and Security Statement
Students contracted to live on campus agree to take primary responsibility for their own personal safety and security, and to support the safety and security of fellow residents, the buildings, and shared spaces. The University and UHRL will work cooperatively with students to promote a safe and secure environment, although safety cannot be guaranteed. Students agree to read and abide by security policies and precautions stated in this publication and in all other University publications.
All PSU students are expected to follow all University Policies and Rules, which can be found here. Students may submit a complaint at this website or by contacting a Residence Life Staff member. PSU students are encouraged to register with the PSU Alert Emergency Notification System.
Your Personal Conduct and Passive Involvement
Being a member of a community means understanding and adhering to community standards and policies. It also means taking an active role in the development and well-being of that community. One community role residents play is to ensure that community standards are upheld. As a community member, you are responsible for your behavior and the choices that you make. It is our hope that you will choose to abide by all university and housing policies (and most students do) as well as community standards. If you are ever in the presence of a policy violation, you have some choices:
- You may attempt to stop the violation or;
- You may contact residence hall staff or;
- You may remove yourself from the situation.
If you choose to remain at the scene of a policy violation, you may be included in the incident report and may be held accountable for a policy violation. In addition to these choices, some policies request that you make specific choices to help manage the situation correctly. Please make sure you understand the content of the policies contained in the Standard of Residence.
Students who fail to report knowledge of a dangerous or unlawful item may be held accountable under this policy or the collusion policy.
Peer Conduct Board
Peer Conduct Board (PCB) is a hearing body that helps facilitate the residential student conduct process for select cases. In Peer Conduct Board cases, a group of students living in UHRL residence halls facilitate conduct meetings and determine the outcome of incidents.
Board members will interpret and apply the policies in the Housing Handbook to the cases they see. Members of this board receive training on student record privacy, ethics and professionalism, conduct philosophies and processes, UHRL policies, and consistency.
The assignment of the cases to the Peer Conduct Board is based on availability, as well as the nature of the incident. Assignment of cases is at the discretion of the Student Conduct and Community Standards Coordinator.
Recruitment, selection, and training for Peer Conduct Board members typically occurs at the beginning of Fall Term, but further consideration for membership may occur throughout the year. If you have interest in participation, talk to a Resident Assistant or Learning Community Assistant, or fill out an application here.