As part of the URISE model, our conduct system is a transformative learning and educational process, fostering reflection on cultural community wealth, student strengths and the application of community-based learning.
- We seek to balance the educational needs of the student and the WWU community.
- We accept mistakes as a normal part of learning, and we do not take them personally. Nor do we ignore them.
- Our response to behavior is proportional and escalates if misconduct continues.
An Educational Process
Inclusive Community Building
1.1. Students foster a sense of belonging and shared responsibility for a safe, welcoming and intentional living environment.
1.2. Students experience scaffolded learning opportunities grounded in a sequential strengths-based approach that challenges them to understand their own cultural wealth and celebrate that of others.
2.1. Students identify appropriate resources to meet individual needs through intentional conversations.
2.2. Students take ownership of choices and behaviors to demonstrate a willingness to make a positive change in alignment with personal and professional goals.
3.1. Students engage in behaviors promoting healthy relationship building within their residential and campus community.
3.2. Students identify coping skills to adapt individual choices in the formation of healthy behaviors and decisions.
When a Violation Occurs
- Incident Report: An incident report is written to document a situation that may be in violation of a University policy. Being listed in an incident report does not constitute a policy violation. No decision about a violation occurs until those directly involved have an opportunity to meet with a conduct officer.
- Student Notification: The student(s) involved will receive notification via their University email account regarding a meeting with their Resident Director (RD). The RD may refer an incident to another RD, Assistant RD, Assistant Director of Residence Life, or the University Conduct Officer, who will then serve as the conduct officer.
- Conduct Meeting: Conduct officers will meet with students individually or in small groups and ask for their perspective on the specific incident, review the incident report and discuss any other relevant information. Be honest with the conduct officer; the conduct system is educational in nature, so expect your meeting to be a conversation. Conduct meetings and decisions take place whether the student is present or not. If you are unable to attend your conduct meeting, it is your responsibility to notify the conduct officer to request rescheduling.
- Conduct Decision: After reviewing the available information, the conduct officer determines whether a violation has occurred, the student's responsibility for the violation, and appropriate sanction(s).
- Decision Letter: The student receives notification of the decision in the form of a conduct letter via their University email account within seven business days of the conduct meeting. The student will be notified if there are extenuating circumstances that delay the letter beyond seven days.
- Conduct Referral: A student who voluntarily moves out of University Residences or withdraws from the University prior to the proceedings is not excused from pending conduct action.
Rights of Residents
Within the conduct process, students have the right to:
- A fair and thorough conduct meeting.
- Be informed of all potential policy violations prior to the conduct meeting.
- An alternate conduct officer in the event of obvious and/or significant bias.
- Review the incident report(s) and sanction letter(s).
- One level of appeal within the University Residences conduct system.
- Have a support person present at any conduct meeting pertaining to student conduct.
- The support person serves as an advisor to the student, not a representative, and may be a student, faculty or staff member, family member, or another person unaffilated with the University.
- Resident Advisors may not serve in the support person role due to potential conflict of interest; however, the RA can serve as a resource for students before and after the conduct meeting.
- The support person may not have a conflict of interest with the situation in question.
Standard of Decision Making
The Conduct Officer uses the available information to determine whether or not a student violated University Residences policy.
Consistency & Fairness
All proceedings, including the initial conduct meeting, are carried out in a manner that is informal and assures fundamental fairness. Sanctions vary from student to student, even when similar violations occur. Multiple factors are considered when determining the sanction for the student, including, but not limited to, the details of the current incident, the student's previous conduct history, their behavior during the incident and at the conduct meeting, and the intended and potential impact of their behavior in the community.
When a student has been found responsible for violating a policy, one or more disciplinary actions may result. Disciplinary actions are intended to hold students accountable for policy violations, and serve as a means to educate students.
In some cases, interim sanctions may be imposed. An interim sanction is not an indication of a violation; it is simply a community safeguard until the conduct process is completed. If an interim sanction is violated, the resident may be removed from the halls and referred to the University Conduct Officer for further action. Behavior that violates local, state or federal law (e.g. theft, assault, rape, illegal drug activity, etc.) is referred to University Police, in addition to possible sanction.
A warning is a written reprimand documenting a violation of policy and future violations will result in more severe disciplinary actions.
Individual Alcohol/Drug Assessment (ADCAS):
In an individual assessment, a student will be able to identify personal use patterns of alcohol and make decisions about personal use. Assessments are based on detailed feedback of:
- Comparison of personal use with WWU norms
- Amount and severity of alcohol consequences experienced
- Personal risk factors present
- Personal values about alcohol
- Beliefs about future alcohol related behavior.
Other options may include alcohol skills assistance or referral to support/treatment services as appropriate. Individual Alcohol or Drug Assessments may take from 1 to 3 sessions depending on the situation and the student's history of use and consequences.
Referral to Campus Resources:
In a Referral to Campus Resources, a student must meet or connect with specified individuals or resources around campus. Examples include, but are not limited to, the Counseling Center, Student Health Center or Academic Advising Center.
Educational Assignments are specific to a particular incident, such as creating an informative flyer to be placed on a bulletin board or writing a reflective paper.
Restitution may be imposed whether the action was intentional or accidental to compensate for loss, damage, or injury, in the form of service and/or monetary or material replacement.
Community Service sanctions require the completion of a work project, thereby giving something back to the community, with the intention that learning will occur. Whenever possible, there will be a logical relationship between the misconduct and the assigned community work.
Relocation to Another Hall:
Relocation to Another Hall is a mandatory transfer to a residence hall or apartment within University Residences, with the intention to give the student a fresh start in another residential community. The conduct officer may require the student move to a specific community and the student may lose privileges to visit their former hall.
Disciplinary Probation serves as a notice that additional policy violations may result in eviction from University Residences.
Deferred Eviction is a notice constituting further violations of policy may result in eviction from University Residences. Any further violations following this sanction will receive a referral to the University Conduct Officer for action that may impact the student's enrollment at WWU.
Eviction from University Residences:
Eviction from University Residences is a mandatory cancellation of occupancy in University Residences. This sanction is typically reserved for students who demonstrate an unwillingness or inability to live within the parameters established by and for University Residences. This sanction may include restriction of visitation to one or more communities, payment of a contract breakage fee, and referral to the University Conduct Officer for action that may impact the student's enrollment at WWU.
Additional Considerations for Specific Violations
Progressive, educational sanctioning is preferred; however, some violations may warrant increased sanctions:
- Policy violation while on disciplinary probation
- Failure to complete a sanction within the designated time frame
- Fire safety equipment vandalism or misuse
- Behaviors that puts the community at risk
- Bias-related incidents, harassment, or sexual misconduct
- Possession of a common-source container for alcohol, full or empty
The Conduct Appeal Process
Students have the right to appeal a conduct decision within five business days of the decision letter. The meeting for the appeal does not need to occur within those five days. A link to the conduct appeal form is included in every conduct decision letter. The Associate Director, Residence Life and designees serve as appeal officers. Students may submit an appeal if they believe either of the following has occurred:
- An incorrect decision was made
- The sanction is disproportional
Decision Making Standards for Appeals
When a student initiates an appeal, the student must demonstrate to the Appeal Officer that the initial conduct decision was incorrect or inappropriate. (Failure by the student to have attended the initial conduct meeting is not a valid reason to appeal a conduct decision.) The Appeal Officer will review the written appeal, the incident report, and the related conduct letters. The Appeal Officer may request to meet with the student to further discuss the appeal. Within seven business days, the student will receive written notification of the final decision. The original conduct decision may be upheld, modified, or reversed, and sanctions may be removed, added, and/or changed. Decisions made by the Appeal Officer are final.
All records resulting from conduct proceedings are maintained by Residence Life, including incident reports, conduct letters, emails and appeals. Records are not available to any member of the public without written consent of the student involved, except as noted within applicable laws. For example, when information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other persons, certain exceptions are authorized under WAC 516-26-085, Release of Information in Emergencies.
The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) was amended in 1998, giving universities the right to inform families of dependent students who have violated drug or alcohol policies. WWU notifies parents/guardians when a student's housing is in jeopardy due to a drug or alcohol violation, including probation, deferred eviction or immediate eviction. Students are told in advance that their families will be notified, and they are urged to initiate first contact. Please talk with your Resident Director if you have questions or concerns.