Student Rights and Responsibilities – Housing and Residence Life Conduct Process
The Office of Housing and Residence Life has been identified by the Dean of Students as a designee to enforce the Student Code of Conduct and the Standards of Residence in NAU-owned residence halls and apartments.
This section features information intended to assist students in navigating the Housing and Residence Life student conduct process. For the original wording of student disciplinary process, created by the Arizona Board of Regents, please refer to the Office of Student Life.
1. Housing and Residence Life (HRL) staff will decide if there is enough information to indicate that a resident violated the Student Code of Conduct and/or the Standards of Residence. HRL staff may decide to interview students affected by the potential policy violation or to request additional information from anyone who may have been present.
2. If HRL staff have reason to believe a policy violation did occur, the staff will notify residents who may have been involved. This notification will include a list of the policies the staff believes may have been violated (known as “charges”), based on the initial information about what took place. HRL staff may continue to gather information about the incident; members of the University community are expected to comply with any request from HRL staff related to the conduct process if they are reasonably able to do so.
3. A resident who is accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct and/or the Standards of Residence will have an opportunity to meet with an HRL staff member about the situation. This meeting is called a conduct hearing. A resident can attend the hearing or can submit a written statement with any information they wish to share about the incident. If the resident chooses not to attend the hearing and does not submit a written statement before the hearing time, the resident will not have the opportunity to share their perspective on what took place. In that case, the HRL staff will proceed as described in paragraph 6.
4. During the hearing, the resident can share with the HRL staff member any information they have about what took place and can also invite any witnesses to do the same. The hearing is meant to be informal in nature, so it will not involve a formal presentation process (the way that a court hearing typically would).
5. During the conduct hearing, the resident will be provided with the following:
a. An explanation of the charges (possible policy violations), which were listed in the hearing invitation letter
b. A summary of the information the HRL staff member has so far
c. An opportunity for the resident to reflect on the possible policy violations and also to respond and share their perspective on what occurred
d. An explanation of the rest of the conduct process, which includes possible outcomes from the situation (called sanctions) and the resident’s right to appeal if the outcome is termination of their housing contract
Residents are not required to attend the conduct hearing and are also not required to answer any questions during the hearing if they do attend. Choosing not to attend the hearing or choosing not to answer questions will not automatically result in the resident being considered responsible for a policy violation. If a resident does not attend the hearing or does not answer any or some questions, the HRL staff member will make a decision based on the information they do have.
Residents may choose to bring one person for their consultation or support to the conduct hearing. This person may not speak on behalf of the resident and may not be someone who is also involved in the conduct incident. Residents should notify the appropriate HRL staff member at least 24 hours in advance if they plan to have a support person attend the hearing with them.
6. After the hearing, the HRL staff member may need to gather more information about the situation. If so, the staff member will provide any new information to the resident and will give the resident an opportunity to respond to it.
7. Based on all of the information the HRL staff member has about the incident, the staff member will decide if the resident did or did not violate the Student Code of Conduct and/or the Standards of Residence. The staff member will base this decision on a standard known as a preponderance of evidence, which means “more likely than not”.
If a resident is found responsible for a policy violation, there will likely be outcomes known as sanctions. A sanction may be related to a resident’s status within housing (such as Contract Probation) or the university (such as University Probation) or may require follow-up action on the resident’s part (such as a referral to Counseling Services for alcohol or drug education).
For more information about sanctions, please refer to: Sanctions
8. The HRL staff member will notify the resident of the decision in the conduct case. The resident will be notified within seven (7) business days of their last opportunity to respond to the possible policy violations; an “opportunity to respond” is typically in the form of a conduct hearing, a follow-up meeting or conversation, or the final conduct hearing with any resident involved in the same situation. The decision notification will most often come in the form of an e-mail to the resident’s NAU e-mail account, but can also include an in-person meeting if the resident or the staff member prefers or requests it.
9. The written decision will include the following:
a. The decision as to whether or not the resident was found responsible for any violation
b. A statement of the policies the resident was found to have violated
c. Any sanctions (follow-up steps) assigned to the resident
This decision is final, unless the resident has been evicted; in the case of eviction (or contract termination), the resident has the right to one (1) appeal.
APPEALS PROCESS – HOUSING AND RESIDENCE LIFE
A resident has the right to appeal a housing conduct decision resulting in contract termination. All appeals of Housing and Residence Life decisions are made online. To appeal, the resident selects the “Appeals Link” in their official sanctions letter (described in paragraph 9 above). The resident has 48 hours (2 business days) from the notice of sanction to appeal. The online appeal must specify in detail the grounds on which the appeal is based. The grounds are outlined in this section. This is the only opportunity for appeal.
In the event that any technical problems prevent online appeal submission, the resident is responsible for submitting a written appeal to Housing and Residence Life within in that 48-hour (2 business days) window for an appeal. The resident can bring a hard copy of their appeal statement to North Hall or email the appeal statement to NAUconduct@nau.edu in the event of technical difficulty.
After submitting an appeal, the resident will be contacted to arrange an appeals meeting with a member of the HRL senior staff. The resident may present documents and to bring witnesses to present statements to the person hearing the appeal. The proceedings are designed to be informal in nature, and no formal rules of evidence or procedure shall apply.
In cases involving alleged sexual misconduct, the reporting party will also have the opportunity to appeal the conduct decision. The reporting party will be notified in writing of the conduct decision by the Housing and Residence Life staff member who heard the case. The staff member will provide the reporting party with directions about how to appeal the conduct decision at that time.
The following table outlines the staff members who hear appeal cases:
|Staff Member – Made Decision ||Staff Member – Hears Appeal |
|Residence Hall Director||Residential Student Conduct Coord. or designee|
|RSC Coordinator or Assistant Director||Associate Director of Residence Life or designee|
|Associate Director of Residence Life||Director of Residence Life or designee|
|Director of Residence Life||Executive Director of HRL or designee|
|Office of Student Life staff||Director of Residence Life or designee|
A decision or judgment may be appealed on the following grounds:
1. To determine whether the original hearing was conducted according to the procedures described in the Student Code of Conduct (and summarized in the “Student Rights and Responsibilities” section on this page).
2. To examine new information that was not known or available at the time of the original hearing sufficient to alter the original decision.
3. To determine whether the decision was based on a preponderance of evidence (or “more likely than not”) standard; that is, whether the information presented was sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct occurred.
4. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate to the respondent’s present violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct and to any previous student conduct history.