Student FAQs

Welcome, students! This page holds the answers to many common questions from students about the conduct process in Housing and Residence Life. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please contact the student conduct staff at NAUconduct@nau.edu or (928) 523-7616. You are also encouraged to talk with your Residence Hall Director or the staff member you are scheduled to meet with for your conduct hearing, if applicable. 

I was documented/written up for an incident. What is an Incident Report? What happens next?

What is an Incident Report?
An Incident Report is a form generated when a University official documents a situation, often involving a possible policy violation. Incident reports can be documented by Resident Assistants, Residence Hall Directors, and other housing or university staff. Policy violations may also be reported by students, faculty, and community members here: http://nau.edu/Student-Life/Student-Conduct-Safety/ 

• What happens next?
Check your NAU student e-mail account on a regular basis. You may be receiving an emailed letter to schedule a meeting about the documentation. This email will inform you of a scheduled conduct hearing meeting (date, time, location) and list possible policy violations. Please attend your scheduled hearing to discuss what happened.

I didn't know that I was breaking a policy, so how can I be held responsible?
Lack of knowledge of a rule is not an excuse for violating the policies. Every student is responsible for knowing the Standards of Residence and the University Code of Conduct. By signing your housing contract and enrolling for classes, you have agreed to abide by these policies.
Why was I documented if I wasn't there when the situation happened?
There are some incidents that occur where responsibility cannot directly be tied to an individual and all roommates may be called in for a hearing. For example, if staff knock on a resident room and no one answers, we may invite all of the residents of that room to a conduct hearing to get more information about the situation.  
What’s the purpose of my conduct hearing?
The purpose of the hearing is to allow you to share your account of the incident that occurred and determine your responsibility in the incident. Your hearing officer will explain the conduct process and the possible policy violations. Our hope is that the hearing can be a time of conversation and reflection, with a focus on how to take positive next steps and be a positive member of the NAU community. 
How am I notified of my conduct hearing?
You are notified of the date, time, and location of your hearing via email to your NAU email account (abc123@nau.edu). This is the official method for university communications and the primary method by which Housing and Residence Life delivers conduct-related information. 
What is a “hearing officer”?
A hearing officer is the university official that you will meet with to discuss the incident. For Housing and Residence Life hearings, you may meet with a Graduate Assistant, a Residence Hall Director, an Assistant Director, or the Student Conduct Coordinator. Your hearing officer is assigned based on who is available to meet with you and the severity of the situation.  
Will I be able to review the Incident Report(s) and other information?
Yes, you have the right to review the incident report(s) and other evidence during the meeting with your hearing officer. If you think the incident report is incorrect, be sure to discuss the incident and any discrepancies with the hearing officer. 
Can I bring someone to my conduct hearing with me?
Students have the right to bring someone (friend, parent, student, etc.) to a hearing to provide personal support. However, your guest may not participate in the hearing in any way, other than to privately advise the student and provide personal support.
Can I bring a witness to my conduct hearing?
Witnesses may also be presented to the hearing officer if they have information about the incident. Please be sure to inform your hearing officer in advance if you will be bringing any individual to a hearing. Character witnesses will not be allowed to participate in the conduct hearing. 
What happens if I do not attend my conduct hearing?
If you do not attend your hearing, please contact the hearing officer listed in your call-in letter as soon as you are aware that you missed your hearing. After missing a hearing you should receive a “No Show Letter” from your hearing officer to reschedule the missed hearing.

If you do not attend your hearing and do not contact the hearing officer in a timely manner, the officer may make a decision regarding your case in your absence. That decision will be based upon the incident report and any other evidence that has been provided.
How do I reschedule my conduct hearing?
To reschedule your hearing, please contact your hearing officer prior to your scheduled meeting. Contact information for your hearing officer is listed in your call-in letter. 
What does a “preponderance of evidence” mean?
It means that if a hearing officer believes it is “more likely than not” that a student violated the Standards of Residence or Code of Conduct, they will find the student responsible for the violation and issue appropriate sanctions. The preponderance of evidence standard is the same at NAU as it is at many colleges and universities across the country.  
What does it mean to be “in the presence of ”?
If you are present in a room or area where a policy violation is occurring, you may be violating a policy as well. For example, if you are under 21 and are the in the presence of others drinking alcohol, you are considered in violation of policy even if you are not drinking.

If you realize you are in the presence of a policy violation (or reasonably could be expected to know that you are), you must leave the area immediately and should consider contacting the appropriate housing staff.
 
What is a sanction? What sanction will I be assigned?
 Housing and Residence Life's conduct process is educational in nature; all outcomes from the conduct process are intended to further personal reflection and growth. Consequences, or sanctions, are assigned when a student is found responsible for violating the Standards of Residence or Code of Conduct. Sanctions are intended to help students learn and each subsequent violation/sanction may build upon the last. Examples of possible sanctions can be found on the Sanctions page.
How long can I be on probation or suspended from the university?
Depending on the incident and your previous conduct, you may be placed on probation anywhere from one semester to the remainder of your tenure at NAU. All suspensions occur through the Office of Student Life; if you are documented in a suspension-level incident, it is likely you will meet with a hearing officer in Student Life.
What happens if I do not complete my sanctions?
Your current sanctions may be extended or new sanctions may be added. Typically Contract and University Probation are extended or added to your existing sanctions. Depending on the nature of the incomplete sanctions, a hold may also be placed on your student account. 
When will I receive the decision from my Hearing Officer?
Typically, you should receive a decision letter via email from your hearing officer within seven business days of the hearing. Your hearing officer will remain in contact with you if there are multiple individuals involved, as you may receive your letter within seven days of the last hearing in the conduct case. The decision letter will contain a brief summary of the meeting, the charges you have been found responsible for, and the assigned sanctions.
How do I appeal the decision from my conduct hearing?
You will only qualify for an appeal if your sanctions include contract termination (eviction). If you would like to appeal contract termination, please follow the directions in the email you received notifying you of your eviction. For more information about the appeals process, refer to the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of this site.
What is the difference between a legal process and the student conduct process at NAU?
A student can be involved in a legal process or criminal investigation if they violate the law and are cited or arrested by the police. The legal process exists separately from the student conduct process and is not overseen by NAU staff. Depending on the specific situation, a student may be involved in a legal process, the student conduct process, or both at the same time.

When individuals become students at Northern Arizona University, they agree to follow the Code of Conduct, and students in the residence halls also agree to follow the Standards of Residence set forth by Housing and Residence Life. When a student violates the Code of Conduct or Standards of Residence, they are subject to the student conduct process in which responsibility for a violation of these rules is determined.
 
Where can I get free legal advice?
The Student Legal Counsel Office is located in the University Union, please call 928-523-4971 or refer to the office’s website: http://nau.edu/Student-Orgs/ASNAU/Student-Legal-Counsel-Office/. You may consider meeting with the Legal Counsel Office if you have been cited or arrested for a crime, have questions about landlord-tenant disputes, or have general questions about legal matters. (Please note that the staff there cannot represent you in court.)The services provided by the office are already paid for by your student fees.
Does being included in an Incident Report mean I can’t be a Resident Assistant or a Community Mentor?
To remain eligible for a Resident Assistant or Community Mentor position, you must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with Housing and Residence Life and with the university. Therefore, you cannot be on University or Contract Probation at the time of your application or during the course of your employment. Simply being included in a report or having past conduct history does not automatically disqualify you from holding an RA or CM position.
How does this incident/conduct issue relate to my academic record?
A student’s conduct record is independent from their academic record, unless you are suspended or expelled from NAU due to misconduct. All cases involving suspension or expulsion are overseen by the Office of Student Life; Housing and Residence Life hearing officers do not have the ability to suspend or expel a student.
If I have questions about the student conduct process, where should I go?
To contact the Housing and Residence Life conduct staff directly, email NAUConduct@nau.edu or call us at 928-523-7616. You may also click on the links below for more information.
http://nau.edu/Residence-Life/Life-on-Campus/Rules-Regulations/
http://nau.edu/Student-Life/Student-Conduct-Safety/