University Housing

Housing Judicial Process

About the Judicial Process

The Purpose of a Judicial Process

It is the hope and expectation of the Student Housing community that residents will exercise self-control and self-discipline. At times, Student Housing Staff members must step-in to facilitate a process that ensures that residents take responsibility to abide by the policies and procedures. This process is referred to as the judicial process. The University Community worked together to design these procedures that protect the rights of all residents in the community. The process has pre-determined steps that help to make it predictable and consistent.

Residents’ Rights in the Judicial Process

Residents have the right to:

  • Have all charges clearly explained to them during the judicial process
  • Have an opportunity to refute statements
  • Have an opportunity to submit statements and names of witnesses
  • Receive a fair and prompt hearing
  • Have notification of the hearing results
  • Be advised of the appropriate appellate process

Residents’ Responsibilities in the Judicial Process

The University expects residents to assume responsibility in the judicial process. Residents are strongly encouraged to attend judicial meetings and provide information to aid in this process. If a resident does not attend the initial meeting, the case will be based on the information obtained before the meeting by the Reviewing Officer hearing the case.

Throughout the judicial process, the resident has the responsibility to present truthful information. Any resident found to have willfully presented false or misleading information will be subject to additional disciplinary actions.

Residents are expected to comply with the sanctions administered at any point in the judicial process. Residents are responsible for following through every step of the disciplinary process and meeting the established deadlines. Refusing to follow or ignoring the process/sanctions will result in disciplinary action in addition to the sanction(s) from the original violation.

Any resident who harasses or intimidates any one connected to a case will be subject to immediate removal from Student Housing. Harassment of Housing personnel and/or other residents will not be tolerated.

Staff Responsibilities/Guidelines for Handling Violations

Housing staff has a responsibility to be fair and consistent with the enforcement of all University and Housing policies. Staff members are responsible for accurately and thoroughly documenting the alleged infraction. Responses to policy violations will be documented by the staff involved. The staff will submit the documented report of the incident to the Reviewing Officer. If deemed necessary, the Reviewing Officer will contact the student(s) for a follow-up meeting regarding the alleged infraction. Minor policy violations, such as being asked for the first time to turn down a TV, may simply be noted and will not require further follow-up from a Reviewing Officer.

Due Process

Due process ensures that all residents are given a fair hearing for conduct alleged to be in violation of University or Housing policy. Due process ensures that a student will have the opportunity to know what charges are being brought against them and he/she will have the opportunity to defend him/herself in a fair and equitable manner.

UH Hilo Housing & Residence Life Judicial Process

Incident Reports

An incident report about the alleged violation(s) is submitted to a Reviewing Officer. Notice of an alleged violation can be submitted by anyone in the Student Housing Community. An incident report should include the following:

  1. A clearly written statement
  2. Names of the person(s) alleged to be involved
  3. A clear description of the alleged violation
  4. The date, time and location of the alleged violation
  5. The date of submission
  6. The printed name and contact information of the person submitting the statement

An incident report may also include pictures of resident(s) and/or guests alleged to be violation of a policy. It may also include pictures to document the evidence of an alleged policy violation.

Initial Review

Upon receipt of an incident report, which alleges that a policy violation has occurred, a Reviewing Officer will review the report for possible follow-up or dismissal of the allegations.

Notification and Fact Finding

If the review indicates that the allegation has merit, the reviewer will contact the involved residents and other involved parties in writing to inform them of the allegation(s). The Reviewer will provide them the opportunity to submit a statement regarding the alleged incident and/or participate in a meeting to discuss the matter. The primary intent of the Reviewer’s letter is to gather additional information and/or seek clarification from alleged violators. The resident has a right not to provide any information, and this by itself will not be deemed as an admission of guilt. This written notification will include the following:

  1. A request for a conference/meeting by a specific deadline
  2. A description of the alleged behavior or situation
  3. Explanation of alleged policy violation(s)
  4. The purpose of the meeting

Initial Meeting

A Reviewing Officer will conduct an Initial meeting. Students are encouraged to attend this meeting. If the student does not attend the initial meeting, the case will be based on the information that the Reviewing Officer has obtained before the meeting. At the meeting the Officer will:

  1. Explain the charges
  2. Accept witness statements and information provided by the student
  3. Request a plea from the student
  4. Determine if further action is warranted

Decision Making

The following options are available to the Reviewing Officer:

  1. Dismiss the case. A decision letter will be sent to the student to confirm this decision.
  2. Sanction the student. An appropriate sanction may be determined during or after the meeting. A decision letter outlining the sanctions will be sent to the student.
  3. Refer the case to an alternate Reviewing Officer due to the nature and/or seriousness of the alleged violation.

Appeals Process

Residents and/or others who wish to appeal a decision rendered by the Reviewing Officer must submit a written appeal to the Assistant Director of Residence Life or designee within two (2) business days from the date the decision letter was received. The written appeal must include a “Residence Life Disciplinary Decision Appeal Form” (available on the UH Hilo Housing website). This form provides the format, specific information and required supporting documentation necessary for filing an appeal.

The right to an appeal must be based on one of the following categories:

  • A procedural error has occurred in violation of the student’s rights during the original disciplinary process.
  • New evidence, relevant to the case, was discovered and was verifiably not available during the original disciplinary proceedings.
  • At the Housing Director’s discretion, appeals may be considered due to special circumstances, which must be documented by the student.

The Assistant Director of Residence Life or designee will serve as the Appeals Officer. The Appeals Officer will review the appeal request and make a determination of whether valid grounds exist for an appeal. If such grounds do exist, the Appeals Officer will facilitate the case personally, or will designate an Administrative Officer to facilitate the judicial review. The Appeals Officer will notify the resident in writing within ten (10) business days after receipt of the appeal, whether or not an appeal will be granted and the decision reviewed.

The Appeals Officer may uphold the original sanction, revise the sanction, or rescind the original sanction. The decision of the Appeals Officer is final.

Disciplinary Sanctions

The Reviewing or Appeals Officer may impose the sanctions listed below for violations of Housing and/or University policies while taking into account the student’s educational needs and prospects for improvement. Sanctions are issued based on the circumstances and activities pertaining to the incident. They are designed to educate and hold students accountable for their actions/behaviors and to protect the members of the Housing community.

Failure to comply with issued sanctions may result in further disciplinary action, which may include eviction from Housing and/or expulsion from the University. One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed:

Verbal Warning

An official verbal warning intended to “educate” the resident that a violation of Housing or University policies has occurred. Housing staff will provide a verbal explanation to the resident as to what the policy violation is, ways to avoid further infractions, and the possible consequences of further violations.

Written Warning

Written warnings are stern warnings issued in response to a violation of Housing policy.

Community Service

Community Service sanctions may be required. Examples of community service include, but are not limited to: planning educational programs, creating bulletin boards, assisting at off campus community agencies and on-campus service projects.

Counseling and/or Referral to an Intervention Program

A counseling referral to another University department or community service agency may be issued to students for substance abuse, alcohol education, disruptive behavior or mediation. Students may also be referred to an intervention program. The student may be required to attend or participate in a workshop, program, or creative sanction. Refusal on the part of the student may result in further disciplinary action.

Alcohol Education

Residents involved in an alcohol violation may be sanctioned to participate in an online alcohol educational program. This sanction will be in addition to any alcohol or substance counseling requirement. There is a mandatory monetary cost to participate in the program that will be charged to the sanctioned student’s University account.

Residence Transfer

A student may be required to move from one living unit or building to another assigned space.

Student Housing Probation

Housing probation may be issued to residents who have past written warnings or who have been found responsible for serious violations of University or Housing policies. Housing probation places the student on notice that further involvement in incidents that violate Housing and/or University policy will result in more serious action or eviction. Probation will be issued for the student’s entire stay in Housing or for a period specified by the Reviewing Officer, and may include specific restrictions on the student.

Loss of privileges

Loss of privileges or limiting access to facility areas may be imposed. For example, residents may lose their privilege to consume alcohol on Housing property or their privilege to host social gatherings. The resident may also be banned from certain areas of Housing.

Eviction

Evictions are issued based on actions and behaviors not conducive to the community. A resident may also be evicted for failure to pay rent. A resident must vacate their assigned unit within 24 hours or a period specified by Housing personnel. No refunds will be made to residents evicted from Housing. Evicted residents may be trespassed. Trespassed residents may lose the privilege to eat in the Hale Kēhau Dining Hall and will not be permitted to park in any Housing zones.

Behavior deemed by Housing to be a threat to the well-being and safety of the community may result in immediate eviction from the Housing. Based on the seriousness of the violation, a decision to immediately remove the student will be made by Housing personnel.

Trespass Notice

Trespass sanctions are issued to evicted residents and non-residents who are no longer welcome in Housing. A trespassed individual will not be permitted on Housing property, including all halls, walkways, covered areas, Housing parking zones, grass areas, and the Hale Kēhau Dining Hall. At the end of the time-period indicated on the trespass notice, the student may submit a written request to the Director of Housing to return to Housing Property. Everyone who is trespassed will have their picture taken and submitted to Campus Security.

Assessment for Restitution

Payment for the restoration of damaged property may be required. Failure to meet payment deadlines could result in further actions and/or sanctions by Housing or the University.

Fines

Students may be required to pay a reasonable sum of money as part of a sanction. A monetary fine may be assessed for a written warning, minimally $30.00. Fines for subsequent warnings are minimally $60.00. Fines may be assessed in addition to costs related to the damage, removal, loss or theft of University property.

Students may request additional community service in lieu of fines. During the last month of the semester, students found responsible for a policy violation and who would not be able to complete the terms and conditions of their judicial outcome and/or who are not returning to Housing the following semester may receive additional fines in lieu of non-monetary sanctions.

Payment of Monetary Fines and Financial Restitution

Students assessed a monetary fine may go to the Business Office and pay with cash, check or credit card. Students may also log-on to their MyUH Services online account and pay by credit card.

When assessed a fine by Housing, students will have a financial obligation on their account. Students who have a financial obligation to the University will be unable to register for classes and receive transcripts. They may have other restrictions placed on their University account.

Consistency and Fairness

Reviewing Officers are trained to adjudicate cases and determine appropriate sanctions. Every case has individual factors that must be considered. As a result, a sanction for one student may differ from one of another with “similar” policy infractions. The Reviewing Officer may consider multiple factors, including the details of the current incident, the student’s previous conduct history, attitude, and other factors before making adjudications.

Concerns and Complaints

Residents who have concerns or complaints about policies, procedures, or services provided by Housing may contact hall staff for assistance. For further assistance, the Housing Director can be contacted at (808) 932-7407 or uhhhouse@hawaii.edu.

Changes in Policies and Dates

Management has the right to initiate changes in policies at any time.

Although every effort has been made to verify dates and times printed in this handbook, there is the possibility of encountering errors, omissions or changes. It is the responsibility of each individual using this document to confirm dates and times from other sources.

The UH Hilo Student Housing Policies and Judicial Process are available online at the UH Hilo Housing website.

UH Hilo Housing Judicial Process