All students at the University of Northern Colorado are bound by the Student Code of Conduct (BEAR Code). The BEAR Code serves to outline student rights and responsibilities as well as behavioral expectations. If a potential violation of the BEAR Code is brought to our attention, you may be asked to meet with a hearing officer to address the situation.
- What to Expect from the Conduct Process
- Student Rights and Responsibilities Receives report and assigns a Hearing Officer to the case. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities receives information from several sources including local and university law enforcement agencies, UNC community members, other universities and colleges, and additional individuals or agencies. The office reviews this information and determines whether or not the reported behavior may violate the BEAR Code.
- The Hearing Officer reviews the report, generates and e-mails hearing notice to student. All hearing notices are sent to the student's official University of Northern Colorado e-mail (Bearmail) account. The hearing notice outlines what provision of the BEAR Code the student allegedly violated, information on their scheduled meeting time and location, and their rights and responsibilities in the hearing.
- The hearing is a time for the student to respond to the alleged violations of the BEAR Code. The student has the right to have an advisor present at the hearing.
- Additional investigation and follow-up may occur if necessary. This may include contacting witnesses, police officers, business owners, and others who may have information on the incident.
- The student is found responsible or not responsible for violating the BEAR Code. A letter outlining the Hearing Officer's decision is e-mailed to the student's Bearmail account.
- If the student is found responsible for violating the BEAR Code, sanctions will be assigned. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, alcohol and/or drug education classes, involvement/attendance at UNC events, community service, and research/reflection papers, probation, suspension, and in extreme cases, expulsion.
- Students may have an opportunity to appeal the decision/sanctions. Not all cases can be appealed. The appeal must be submitted by the deadline specified in the decision letter and must comply with the other requirements of the BEAR Code.
- Student completes sanctions. It is the student's responsibility to complete sanctions and to provide proof of completion to our office by the due date prescribed in the decision letter.
- Conduct records will be retained and may be reviewed. With the exception of cases in which the university has federally mandated reporting requirements and cases involving probation, suspension, or expulsion, records will be kept until the student has graduated from or permanently withdrawn from the university. Every student may review, upon request, all non-confidential contents of his/her conduct file, to the extent permitted by law and University policy.
- Parent Notification
The University reserves the right to notify the parents/support people of alcohol and drug violations for students under the legal age of 21. Parental notification may also be utilized discretionarily by administrators when permitted by FERPA or with consent of the student.
The notification letter will inform parents and support people that their student was involved in an alcohol or drug incident.The goal of the letter is to spark an open dialogue.
Your student record is protected under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA does not allow us to share information regarding your disciplinary record unless you provide written consent to do so. There are few exceptions to this rule such as if there is an imminent threat or danger present or a legitimate “educational need-to-know” regarding your file.
- Background Clearances
If you are applying to study abroad, graduate school, transfer to a different college or university, or for certain jobs, you may be asked to consent to a background clearance. In order for the Office of Communtiy Standards and Conflict Resolution to check your record on behalf of another department or agency, you need to sign a waiver with that department or agency. No one may have access to your disciplinary record without your written consent unless there is an immediate threat or danger or a legitimate "educational need-to-know" present.
- Frequently Asked Questions
I just received a notice that I have to attend a meeting with the Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution. What should I expect?
You will have the opportunity to meet with a Resolution Coordinator at the date and time on your Meeting Notice letter. In that meeting, you will have the opportunity to discuss the alleged violation(s).
What happens if I don’t show up for my meeting?
Attending your hearing is an opportunity for you to share your experience and perspective regarding the incident. If you choose not to attend, a decision may be made in your absence based on the information available to us.
I received a citation off campus and am going through a legal process in court. Why does the school need to be involved?
By choosing to be a member of the University community, you agree to uphold the code of conduct on and off campus. The court process and the student conduct process are independent of one another. The court process determines what criminal statutes were violated as well as any penalties. The student conduct process addresses university behavioral expectations for students as outlined in the Student Conduct of Conduct (BEAR Code).
Are my parents going to find out?
The University reserves the right to notify the parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any conduct situation, and regularly communicates about alcohol and other drug violations. The University may also notify parents/guardians of non-dependent students who are under the age of 21 of alcohol and/or other drug violations. Parental notification may also be utilized discretionarily by administrators when permitted by FERPA or with consent of the student.
What if I didn’t realize or know that I was breaking a student conduct code regulation?
As a responsible member of the University of Northern Colorado community, you are expected to familiarize yourself with the BEAR Code. We do not recognize lack of knowledge as an excuse for violating a policy. Reasonable and appropriate behavior will generally help you to avoid violating University policies.
Will I be suspended?
Most students found responsible for violating the code of conduct are not suspended; however, suspension is most likely to result from behavior that is severe, recurrent, and/or threatening to the safety of our community.
What are the potential consequences for my incident?
If you are found responsible for violating the BEAR Code, you will be asked to complete a series of educational sanctions. These sanctions are designed to help you succeed in the future, to allow you space and time to reflect on your decisions, to connect you with appropriate resources, to learn something new, and to protect the university community.
What happens if I don’t complete my sanctions?
If you choose not to complete your sanctions, a hold may be placed on your account preventing you from registering and/or accessing your transcript. Additionally, you could be found responsible for failing to comply with directions of University officials. If you have questions regarding your sanctions, contact our office.
Will this appear on my transcript?
Only incidents resulting in suspension or expulsion will appear on your academic transcript. You may be required to disclose disciplinary items not on your transcript as part of an application for Graduate Programs and/or employment.
How long will this be on my record?
The University is required by law to retain discipline records for a minimum of seven years, and indefinitely in the case of expulsion.
Will this experience impact my admission into a graduate program?
It depends on the policy of the particular program or institution to which you are applying. Often colleges and universities will request written consent to receive discipline records; however, our office may, in accordance with FERPA, provide discipline records without written consent to institutions where students seek or intend to enroll.
Can my parent/guardian/attorney come with me to my Student Conduct Hearing?
You are allowed to bring one advisor to your hearing. Your advisor may be a parent, friend, counselor, professor, attorney, or another trusted party. The role of the advisor is very specific. The advisor is limited to counseling the student and may not act as a representative of the student, speak on the student's behalf, or participate directly in any hearing. Advisors may not serve in a dual role as a witness in the hearing. University Hearing Officers may also consult with or choose to have University Counsel, in an advisory capacity, present at a hearing. If an advisor becomes disruptive to the process, s/he may be dismissed from the hearing.
Who has access to my conduct record?
According to FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act), only you have access to your conduct record unless there is an immediate threat or danger or there is a legitimate "educational need-to-know". You may sign a Release of Information to allow someone else to inquire about and review your record.
I want to appeal my decision, how do I do this?
Appeals must be filed in writing with the Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution within five (5) business days of the notice of the outcome to the conference, barring exigent circumstances. For more information about the appeal process, including the criteria for appeal please see the appeal section of the BEAR Code.
I want to review my conduct record, how do I do that?
You may request to review your record by filling out and submitting a Records Review Request. After we have received your request, by law we have 45 days to allow you to view your record. Records will be reviewed in the presence of a staff member. You may bring an advisor to view your record. You may not make copies or take photographs of your record, but you may take notes.
If you have additional questions, please contact our office at 970-351-2001.
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