Student Conduct Code

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Introduction

The purposes of the University of Hawaiʻi are to give thorough instruction, conduct research and disseminate knowledge in and of branches of advanced learning as prescribed by its Board of Regents. The University is committed to ensuring a safe, civil learning and working environment in which the dignity of every individual is respected. All members of the University community--students, faculty and staff--share responsibility for its growth and continued welfare.

Choosing to join the University community obligates each student to abide by this code of conduct. By enrolling in the University, students accept the responsibility to become fully acquainted with the University's regulations and to comply with the University's authority. The University expects students to maintain standards of personal integrity that are in harmony with the educational goals of the institution; to respects the rights, privileges, and property of others; and to observe national, state and local laws, and University regulations.

The University views the disciplinary process as a learning experience which aims to promote growth and understanding of one's responsibilities and privileges within the University environment. To this end, the disciplinary process attempts to balance an understanding and knowledge of students and their needs with the needs of the academic community. Pursuit of a college education provides an opportunity for exploration of new ideas, experimentation, self-examination, formation of new relationships, and development of ideals and direction. However, the University does not absolve students from accepting responsibility for their behavior in their pursuit of a college education. Rather, it reaffirms the principle of student freedom that is coupled with an acceptance of responsibility for one's actions and the consequences of such actions.

Definitions

  1. The term "UH" encompasses any campus or site within the University of Hawaiʻi system.
  2. The term "student" includes all persons taking courses at the UH, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Conduct Code, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have continuing relationship with the UH or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission, are considered "students," as are persons who are living in UH residence halls, although not enrolled in the UH.
  3. The term "faculty member" means any person hired by the UH to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the UH to be a member of its faculty.
  4. The term "UH official" includes any person employed by the UH, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
  5. The term "Senior Student Affairs Officer" means the campus administrator (i.e., dean or vice chancellor or designee) who is in charge of the division of student affairs.
  6. The term "member of the UH community" includes any person who is a student, faculty member, UH official or any other person employed by the UH. A person's status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Senior Student Affairs Officer.
  7. The term "UH premises" includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the UH (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
  8. The term "organization" means any group of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for UH registration.
  9. The term "Student Conduct Board" means any person or persons authorized by the Senior Student Affairs Officer to determine whether a student has violated the Student Conduct Code, to recommend sanctions that may be imposed when a rules violation has been committed and to hear an appeal of sanctions imposed by the Student Conduct Administrator.
  10. The term "Student Conduct Administrator" means a UH official authorized on a case-by-case basis by the Senior Student Affairs Officer to impose sanctions upon any student(s) found to have violated the Student Conduct Code. The Senior Student Affairs Officer may authorize a Student Conduct Administrator to serve simultaneously as a Student Conduct Administrator and the sole member or one of the members of the Student Conduct Board. The Senior Student Affairs Officer may authorize the same Student Conduct Administrator to impose sanctions in all cases.
  11. The term "shall" is used in the imperative sense.
  12. The term "may" is used in the permissive sense.
  13. The Senior Student Affairs Officer is that person designated by the UH Hilo Chancellor to be responsible for the administration of the Student Conduct Code.
  14. The term "policy" means the written regulations of the UH as found in, but not limited to, its Policies and By-Laws of the Board of Regents, its Administrative Procedures, the Student Conduct Code, any residence hall handbooks, the UH web page and computer use policy, and school catalogs.
  15. The term "Complainant" means any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Student Conduct Code. When a student believes that s/he has been a victim of another student's misconduct, the student who believes s/he has been a victim will have the same rights under this Student Conduct Code as are provided to the Complainant, even if another member of the UH community submitted the charge.
  16. The term "Accused Student" means any student accused of violating this Student Conduct Code.
  17. The term “Appellant” means any student who appeals the decision of the Student Conduct Administrator or Student Conduct Board.

Student Conduct Code Authority

  1. This Student Conduct Code applies at all locations of the UH, including any affiliated residence hall.
  2. The Student Conduct Administrator shall determine the composition of Student Conduct Boards and determine which Student Conduct Board or Student Conduct Administrator shall be authorized to hear each matter.
  3. The Senior Student Affairs Officer shall develop policies for the administration of the student conduct system and procedural rules for the conduct of Student Conduct Board Hearings that are not inconsistent with provisions of the Student Conduct Code.
  4. Decisions made by a Student Conduct Board and/or Student Conduct Administrator shall be final, pending the appeal process.
  5. At Student Conduct Board Hearings and for purposes of any appeal, the technical rules of evidence applicable to civil and criminal cases shall not apply.

Proscribed Conduct

Jurisdiction of the UH Student Conduct Code

The UH Hilo Student Conduct Code shall apply to conduct that occurs on UH premises, at UH sponsored activities, in distance/online courses and events, and to off-campus conduct that affects the UH community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree. Conduct that occurs before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment (and even if his/her conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded), is subject to the Student Conduct Code. The Student Conduct Code shall apply to a student's conduct even if the student withdraws from school or a particular course while a disciplinary matter is pending. The Senior Student Affairs Officer shall decide whether the Student Conduct Code shall be applied to conduct occurring off- campus, on a case-by-case basis, at his/her sole discretion.

Conduct—Rules and Regulations

The following are examples of the types of behavior that conflict with the community standards that the UH values and expects of students. Engaging in, or attempting to engage in, any of these behaviors subjects a student to the disciplinary process and sanctions of each campus.

1. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:

  • Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty.
  • Furnishing false information to any UH official, faculty member, or office.
  • Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any UH document, record, or form of identification.

The term "cheating" includes but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the UH faculty, staff or student; and (4) engaging in any behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion.

The term "plagiarism" includes but is not limited to the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.

2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other UH activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or of other authorized non-UH activities when the conduct occurs on UH premises. This includes creating noise or other disturbances on campus or in student life areas sufficient to disrupt the normal functioning of campus activities including classroom instruction.

3. Any conduct or behavior which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person including but not limited to physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and stalking.

4. Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other behavior of a sexual nature that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with a person's academic or professional performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or employment environment. The behavior can be verbal, non-verbal or physical. Examples include sexual innuendo, spreading sexual rumors, sexual put-downs and jokes, remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body, offensive written notes or emails, sexual propositions, insults or threats, leering, whistling, suggestive or insulting sounds and gestures, and touching someone's body when unwelcome. The University of Hawaiʻi Executive Policy on Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct (E1.203) contains detailed information.

5. Discrimination of any person based on the UH protected classes.

6. Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the UH or property of a member of the UH community or other personal or public property, on or off campus.

7. Hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for the continued membership in a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act; both are violations of this rule.

8. Failure to comply with any directions of UH officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to provide identification to these persons when requested to do so.

9. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys, keycards, or other security mechanisms to any UH premises or unauthorized entry to or use of UH premises.

10. Violation of any UH policy, rule, regulation, contract or agreement.

11. Violation of any federal, state or local law.

12. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law. Note: State law does not permit the use of medical marijuana on school grounds.

13. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages by any person under twenty-one (21) years of age. Public intoxication is expressly prohibited.

14. Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on UH premises or use of any such item, even if legally possessed, in a manner that harms, threatens or causes fear to others.

15. Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot or activity that disrupts the normal operations of the UH and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the UH community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area.

16. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on UH premises or at UH sponsored or supervised functions.

17. Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on UH premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by, the UH or members of the academic community. Disorderly conduct includes but is not limited to any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on UH premises without his/her prior knowledge or without his/her consent, when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes but is not limited to surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom.

18. Theft or other abuse of computer and other electronic facilities and resources, including but not limited to:

  • Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents or for any other purpose.
  • Unauthorized transfer of a file.
  • Use of another individual's identification and/or password.
  • Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member of UH official.
  • Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages.
  • Online harassment of members of the UH community.
  • Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal operation of the UH computing system.
  • Use of computer facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
  • Any violation of any UH computer use policy.

19. Abuse of the Student Conduct Code system, including but not limited to:

  • Failure to obey a notice from a Student Conduct Board or UH official to appear for a meeting or hearing as part of the Student Conduct Code system.
  • Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a Student Conduct Board.
  • Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Student Conduct Board proceeding.
  • Attempting to discourage an individual's participation in or use of the Student Conduct Code system.
  • Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of the Student Conduct Board prior to and/or during the course of a Student Conduct Board proceeding.
  • Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of the Student Conduct Board prior to, during, and/or after a Student Conduct Code proceeding.
  • Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Conduct Code.
  • Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Conduct Code system.

20. Violations of residence hall regulations where the violation also involves some aspect of this Student Conduct Code may subject the student to disciplinary procedures under this Student Conduct Code.

Violation of Law and UH Discipline

  1. UH disciplinary proceedings may be initiated against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both criminal law and this Student Conduct Code (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Conduct Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings at the discretion of the Senior Student Affairs Officer. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this Student Conduct Code will not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same factual situation were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.
  2. When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, the UH will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his/her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also being processed under the Student Conduct Code, the UH may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Student Conduct Code and how such matters are typically handled within the UH community. The UH will cooperate with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators (provided that the conditions do not conflict with campus rules or sanctions). Individual students and other members of the UH community, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they deem appropriate.

Procedures

Reporting of Violations

All reports of violations of the Student Conduct Code should be submitted to the Student Conduct Administrator (SCA) in writing and signed by the complainant or reporting person. The Student Conduct Administrator at UH Hilo is typically the Dean of Students; in the absence of the Dean of Students, reports should be directed to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the event in question occurs.  In emergency or exigent situations, the SCA may proceed initially without a written report.

While an anonymous complaint may not trigger a student conduct investigation, a pattern of anonymous complaints against an individual or student organization may indicate a potential problem and the Student Conduct Administrator may take remedial action such as training, if appropriate.

Investigation of Violations

Upon receiving a report that an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code has occurred, the SCA may conduct an investigation to determine if the allegations have merit and/or if they can be resolved administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the SCA. Such disposition will be final and there will be no subsequent proceedings. The student(s) accused of the misconduct will be notified in writing of the alleged violations and provided an opportunity to meet with the SCA to discuss the alleged violations. The SCA has the authority to render a decision and impose sanctions if an accused student chooses not to respond to the alleged violations or otherwise participate in the process.

Administrative Decision

If, following the investigation, the SCA finds that the existing information fails to support the alleged violation; no action will be taken against the accused student. If the SCA determines that it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Conduct Code, the SCA will render a decision and impose sanctions as appropriate.  The accused student will be informed in writing of the decision and sanction(s). In certain types of incidents of misconduct such as sexual harassment, violent crimes and non-forcible sex offenses, the victim will also be informed in writing of the decision.

Process for Dealing with Academic Dishonesty

In cases of suspected or admitted academic dishonesty, the instructor shall attempt to discuss the matter with the student. The instructor may bring the situation to the attention of the department chairperson, the student’s advisor, division chairperson, and/or appropriate academic dean.   In cases where the student admits that s/he was responsible for an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor may, within the context of the course:

  • Require the student to re-do the assignment
  • Give a failing or reduced grade for the assignment
  • Give a failing or reduced grade for the course

If the student contests his/her responsibility, the instructor may not take action against the student but must refer the case to the Student Conduct Administrator for administrative hearing and disposition under this Code. The SCA may pursue such matters as a disciplinary action under this Code if, after a preliminary investigation, it is his/her determination that it is more likely than not that the student is responsible for academic dishonesty.

Sanctions

Sanctions may be imposed upon a student found responsible for violating the Student Conduct Code. More than one sanction may be imposed for a single violation.  When a student organization is found responsible for violating the Student Conduct Code, the University may take action not only against the individual student(s) involved, but also against the organization itself.  Sanctions imposed on student organizations may include any of the sanctions listed in this Student Conduct Code, as well as deactivation, i.e., the loss of all privileges, including University recognition, for a specified period of time. Sanctions may also be effective on another campus within the University of Hawaiʻi System.

Written Reprimand

A notice in writing to the student that s/he has violated institutional regulations and that continuation of specified behavior may be cause for more severe disciplinary sanctions.

Probation

A written notice placing the student on disciplinary probation for a specified period of time. The period of time and any conditions of the probation will be decided in each case.  If a student, while on disciplinary probation is found responsible for additional or repeated violations of this Code, the student will be subject to further disciplinary action. While on probation, the student is expected to demonstrate the ability to function as a responsible member of the campus community.

Loss of Privileges

A student or student organization is denied specified privileges normally associated with student status or student organization status, such as participation in or sponsorship of university activities, use of university facilities or services, or living in university housing.

Restitution

Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property which may take the form of direct financial compensation, service, or other forms of indirect compensation.

Other Sanctions

Work assignments, essays, and/or service to the University, counseling, participation in alcohol or other drug education programs, restorative justice activities, or other assignments imposed at the discretion of the SCA.

Suspension

Exclusion from classes and from other privileges or activities or from the campus for a specified period of time, after which the student is eligible to return.   The SCA may specify conditions for readmission that the student would need to meet or comply with in order to be eligible to return.

Dismissal

Termination of student status for an indefinite period.  The SCA may specify conditions for readmission that the student would need to meet or comply with in order to be eligible to return. 

Rescission of Grades or Degree

The cancellation of grades or the revocation of an awarded degree as the result of academic dishonesty or the discovery of a material misrepresentation relating to the completion of course or degree requirements.

Withholding Degree

Withholding the awarding of a degree otherwise earned until the completion of a Student Conduct Code process, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

Interim Suspension

In certain circumstances, the SCA may temporarily suspend a student, including from the residence halls, and/or from a particular class prior to his/her investigation and decision. Interim suspension may be implemented provided that a hearing pursuant to these procedures is conducted within a reasonable period thereafter.

  • Interim suspension may be imposed for the following reasons, including but not limited to: a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; b) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; c) if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the University; or d) to ensure the orderly business of the University.
  • During the interim suspension, a student will be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other University facilities, activities, or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the SCA determines to be appropriate.
  • The interim suspension does not replace the regular disciplinary process described in this Student Conduct Code.
  • If, after investigation, it is determined that the student did not violate the Student Conduct Code, consideration will be granted so that the student may be allowed to make up any missed academic work.

Appeal of Administrative Decision

A student may appeal an administrative decision.  An appeal must be submitted in writing to the SCA postmarked within ten (10) school days of the date of the written decision.  The appeal must be based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • New Information:  To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the investigation, because such information and/or facts were not known to the student appealing at the time of the investigation.
  • Procedural Error:  To determine whether the SCA’s investigation conformed to proscribed procedures in light of the complaint and the information presented, and in conformity with proscribed procedures. 
  • Substantive Facts:  To determine whether the decision reached was based on information that, if believed by the SCA, was sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Conduct Code occurred.

The student’s written appeal will be forwarded to the Student Conduct Board. The Board will review the appeal and determine if it meets the criteria for an appeal to be heard.  If it fails to meet one or more of the criteria, the appeal will be denied and the SCA’s decision and sanction(s) will become final. If the Board determines the appeal meets one or more of the criteria, the Student Conduct Board will hear the appeal. 

Student Conduct Board Hearings

Student Conduct Board Composition and Quorum

The Student Conduct Board shall have jurisdiction and authority to determine cause and recommend sanctions for all cases referred to it by the Student Conduct Administrator involving behavior which is alleged to be in violation of this Student Conduct Code.

  • The Student Conduct Board shall be appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and consist of five (5) voting members and shall be constituted as follows:
    • Two (2) students
    • Two (2) faculty members
    • One (1) faculty or staff member from the Division of Student Affairs
  • The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs shall designate one of the Board members to serve as the chairperson, who shall be a nonvoting member of the committee except in the case of a tie vote.
  • Three (3) members of the Student Conduct Board shall constitute a quorum.
  • If any member of the Board feels that his/her relationship with either the case or the individuals involved would affect his/her ability to render an impartial judgment, the Board member shall disqualify himself/herself. This does not relieve the Student Conduct Board of maintaining a quorum; thus it may be necessary to supplement the membership of the committee.
  • When the Chairperson determines there is a need, legal assistance may be requested from the University of Hawai`i Office of General Counsel.

Student Conduct Board Hearing Guidelines

The Student Conduct Board Hearing will be conducted by the Student Conduct Board according to the following guidelines:

  • A date and time will be set for the Hearing by the Board.  The student will be notified in writing at least one week in advance of the Hearing.
  • In a Hearing involving more than one student, the Chair, at his/her discretion may permit the Hearing concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
  • While an appeal is being reviewed, an accused student must comply with all sanctions and conditions of the original administrative decision, unless otherwise exempted by the SCA.
  • Prior to a Hearing, the student may review documentation that will be presented during the Hearing.  Personally identifiable information may be redacted. 
  • The student will be informed who the Board members are and may request alternate members if s/he can make a case for bias.  The Chair will review such requests and render a decision.  If the student presents a claim of bias against the Chair, the SCA will review the request and decide whether to appoint an alternate Chair.
  • If any member of the Board feels that his/her relationship, knowledge, or familiarity with the incident in question or the individuals involved would affect his/her ability to render an impartial decision, the Board member will recuse him/herself.
  • Board Hearings will be conducted in private.
  • The student and his/her advisor, if any, will be allowed to attend the Hearing, excluding deliberations, at which information is received. Admission of any other person to the Hearing will be at the discretion of the Chair. 
  • The student has the right to be assisted by an advisor of her/his choice, at his/her own expense.  The student is responsible for presenting his/her own information, and therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in a Hearing.  A student should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the Hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor.  An advisor may not be attorney.  However, if a student is also the subject of a pending criminal matter arising of the same circumstances, s/he may be allowed to have an attorney serve as his/her advisor, at his/her own expense, to behave in the same manner as any other advisor.
  • Relevant written statements, documents or other information such as photographs, and witnesses may be presented at the Hearing by the accused student and accepted as information for consideration by the Board at the discretion of the Chair.
  • All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chair.
  • Formal rules of process, procedure and/or technical rules of evidence, such as those applied in criminal and civil court, are not used in Board hearings
  • There will be a single verbatim record, such as an audio recording, of all Hearings before the Board (not including deliberations).  Deliberations will not be recorded.  The record will be the property of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and no copies will be made or distributed.
  • If an accused student, without out advance notice or explanation, fails to appear at a Hearing, the Hearing will not take place and the original decision of the SCA will stand.
  • In cases involving alleged sexual assault or sexual violence all opportunities provided to the accused student will be afforded to the complainant.

Student Conduct Board Decisions

After a Student Conduct Board Hearing concludes, the Board will determine (by majority vote) whether or not the accused student is responsible for the violation.  If found responsible, the Board may impose the same sanctions as imposed after the original administrative decision, or may decide to impose different sanctions, which may be less or more severe than the original sanctions.  If the student is not found responsible, the matter will be closed.  The student will be notified in writing of the decision and sanction(s), if applicable.  All decisions of the Board will be final and binding within the University of Hawai`i at Hilo.

Interpretation and Revision

Any question of interpretation or application of the Student Conduct Code will be referred to the SCA for final determination.

Student Conduct Records

Disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of a student’s permanent academic record (transcript), but will become part of a student’s disciplinary record.  Disciplinary records will be retained by the Dean of Student’s Office for a minimum of five (5) years from the date of the final disposition of the case.  After the five (5) year period has been reached, records will be purged.  Note: Statistical data may be retained but any information that would identify an individual will be removed. The Dean of Student’s Office will permanently retain cases that involve the imposition of the sanctions of residence hall expulsion, suspension, dismissal, rescission of a degree, or withholding of a degree.

Records and information regarding student disciplinary proceedings are considered confidential and are subject to the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Revised May 2012.

Endorsed by UHHSA August 7, 2012.

Approved by Chancellor Donald O. Straney August 8, 2012.