Student Conduct

Information for Faculty and Staff

On this page:

Dealing with Violations of the Conduct Code

This part of our website is designed to give you information about the types of behavior that are in violation of the UH Hilo Student Conduct Code and the procedures to follow if you believe a violation has occurred.

The following links lead to specific sections of the Student Conduct Code:

The following links lead to suggestions and resources for working with students and handling plagiarism and disruptive student behavior:

COVID-19 Considerations around Student Compliance

Quick Visual Guide (PDF)

The following guidelines are suggestions/considerations for student compliance with COVID-19 protocols:

Step 1: Classroom Behaviors

  • Not wearing an appropriate mask or other cloth face covering or not wearing it properly (such as covering the mouth and nose)
  • Not maintaining physical distancing or sitting in designated seating as outlined by protocols
  • Not practicing proper hygiene, e.g., coughing or sneezing repeatedly into one’s hand or into the air; not properly cleaning laboratory space
  • Showing up in class with visible symptoms
  • Violating quarantine

Step 2: Considering Next Steps

  • If the behavior violates COVID-19 protocols then it must be addressed.
  • Ensure that you are addressing things consistently and equitably with all students who are violating the protocols
  • If you are ambivalent or hesitant due to (a) resistance from the student, (b) saying the wrong thing, or (c) disrupting the rhythm of the class, please remind yourself that (a) most students are likely feeling the same way and some may be hoping you’ll say something and (b) the student’s noncompliance may not reflect ill-intent or overt resistance (and may just need to be reminded)

Step 3: Taking Action

Begin approaching the situation in a de-escalating manner where you are clear about the guidelines but considerate in the approach. In general, consider:

  • Group-level Reminder: "I am going to pause here for a second to remind everyone to wear your masks properly at all times. That means having them cover your nose as well as your mouth. Thank you.”
  • Direct Individual Request: “Excuse me, I see that you are not wearing a mask. Do you have one with you? Do you need one?” Assuming that the student complies, you may want to consider following-up with them to reiterate your expectations and ask them if they understand your expectations. You can also explain that while you will assume that the behavior will not continue, you may need to take additional steps if it does (such as not allowing the student to attend class in-person.)
  • Progressive Pressure: "If the [problematic behavior] persists, I may need to stop class until we can all be in compliance." If the focus comes to one student, remind the student that if they do not comply, you will need to ask them to leave the class, and that if you do, you will need to report them to the Dean of Students through an incident report (student conduct). Emphasize that you are giving them a choice.

Always allow a moment for a student to comply, but if they do not, ask them to leave. If they refuse, then you can cancel class, and call for outside assistance (if needed).

  • Outside Assistance: Departments may want to consider developing an internal protocol for what to do if a student resists and becomes oppositional. When navigating issues of noncompliance, the first priority should be working with students collaboratively to reach a solution and avoid moving to outside involvement (Campus Security, Dean of Students) unless deemed absolutely necessary.

As previously mentioned, it is essential to acknowledge the ways in which implicit bias can shape perceptions of, attitudes toward, and reactions to student behavior, and how decisions to escalate to outside involvement may differentially affect Black, Indigenous, and other students of color due to systemic racism.

If a student becomes confrontational, or otherwise disrupts your ability to teach, and all other attempts at a resolution fail, you may need to tell student that if they continue acting in that manner you will have to call Campus Security.

Step 4: Follow-up

If a student has engaged in problematic behavior that has required you to address it directly or indirectly (but which has not led you to file an incident report or contact Campus Security ), keeping a record of the behavior will help you assess whether the behavior becomes a pattern. Note the dates, the behavior, the action you took, and the student’s response. This information will be useful if a report to the Dean of Student or Security does become necessary later.

After a low-level incident or a series of difficult exchanges with a student, it may be helpful to have a third party facilitate a discussion between you and the student (with the goal of having the student take responsibility for their behavior and reintegrate into the class, if appropriate). The Dean of Students Office can assist you in this facilitation.

If you are concerned about the student’s mental health or well-being, please contact Counseling Services and/or refer to the Care Team.