For any community to function smoothly, its members are expected to comply with certain standards of behavior, often defined through rules and regulations. The residential community at the University of California, Berkeley is no exception. The Department of Residential and Student Service Programs recognizes that in order to achieve a smoothly functioning community, an effective conduct system cannot be punitive in philosophy. Any system designed primarily to make students "pay the price" for their actions does not alter future behavior. It thus becomes clear that the basic goal of the conduct process is educational.
As such, the conduct process promotes the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Residential and Student Service Programs' goal to develop an atmosphere conducive to learning in the residences. Such a system allows residents to exercise responsible freedom. Hearing Officers in the Conduct system have the opportunity to reinforce, clarify, and articulate community expectations, as well as educate residents regarding those standards.
Residents violating the Residence Hall Conduct Policies are subject to misconduct action. Under the applicable procedures, residents may be warned, charged for restitution of damages, assigned a special project, fined, placed on residential probation, excluded, relocated, and / or evicted from the residences and prohibited from returning to the halls in the future. Residents should be made aware that regardless of the hall in which they reside, any violation in any University residence hall will be forwarded to their respective Resident Director (RD).
Non-residents who violate Housing policy may also be subject to conduct action. In the event that a non-resident guest is a student at the University, all conduct matters will be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct. If the non-resident is a guest of a resident, the resident may be held accountable and liable for the actions of the guest.
When an incident occurs, residential staff members or other students may report the alleged policy violations to the RD. If you are alleged to be involved in a policy violation, you will be notified in writing by your RD to participate in a hearing. This notice will include the specific policies you are charged with allegedly violating. Your case may be heard in an administrative review or by the Peer Review Board. All decisions regarding policy violations require a preponderance of evidence before a resident can be found responsible.
Student Judicial Affairs Proceedings
Behavior that seriously disrupts the normal functioning of the residence hall or that threatens the health and safety of the community may be referred to Student Judicial Affairs for formal adjudication in lieu of formal proceedings by Housing. Students who violate University policies may receive a variety of sanctions including, but not limited to, warning, probation, loss of privileges, exclusion, suspension, or dismissal from the University. Violations that also constitute a violation of any city, state, or federal laws / regulations may also result in additional action by the appropriate enforcement agency.
A Step by Step Guide Through the Residential Conduct Proceedings
If you are alleged to be responsible for violating Residence Hall Conduct Policies or
the Berkeley Campus Regulations you are guaranteed certain procedural rights. This publication outlines your procedural rights under the Residence Hall Conduct Policies. The Berkeley Campus Regulations contain a separate set of procedural rights applicable to disciplinary action taken under those regulations. The following procedural guidelines apply when a case is heard by a Residential & Family Living staff member, by the Peer Review Board, or during an appeal hearing. It is your responsibility to be aware of your rights contained within these guidelines. The conduct flow-chart on the previous page is for you to follow along as you read the procedures.
1. Alleged Incident Occurs
Anyone involved in, witness to, or with information about an incident may choose to write an Incident Report to document the facts of the incident. Incident Report forms may be acquired from any Residential and Family Living Staff.
2. Incident Report is Written
Incident reports should be submitted to the RD in a timely manner. Incident Reports should be objective, complete, accurate, and should contain the names and addresses of all parties involved. When the incident report contains information regarding alleged policy violations, the students who are alleged to have violated policy are entitled to a copy of the report upon request. To request a copy of the report see your RD.
3. RD Sends Notice to Appear
Based upon the information in the incident report the RD will make a decision to send a "Notice to Appear at a Hearing" to residents who allegedly violated policy. Upon receipt of an incident report, either the "Notice to Appear at a Hearing" will be sent within five business days or the case will be referred. The "Notice to Appear" will inform the student of the policy and date of the alleged violation. It will also request that the student contact the RD or the scheduler for the Peer Review Board to schedule a hearing. Under most circumstances a hearing will be conducted within fifteen business days after you have been notified of a need for a hearing. With the Notice to Appear, the RD will also send the student a pamphlet entitled Student's Guide to the Residential Judicial Process.
4. No Letter is Sent
After reading an Incident Report, the RD may decide that there is not enough evidence to warrant a hearing, or may choose to follow up with the students involved through an informal educational meeting. In either of these situations no "Notice to Appear at a Hearing" is sent.
5. Case Referred to the Manager of Judicial Affairs and Compliance / Student Judicial Affairs
In more serious cases, Housing may decide that it is more appropriate for Student Judicial Affairs, rather than an RD, to adjudicate the case. Cases will only be referred to Student Judicial Affairs when the Campus Student Code of Conduct is violated. Cases adjudicated through Student Judicial Affairs can effect student status at the University. Either a conduct officer from Student Judicial Affairs or the Manager of Judicial Affairs and Compliance will adjudicate the case under the Campus Code of Student Conduct.
6. Student Schedules a Hearing
Once you have received notification to appear at a hearing, it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate hearing officer to schedule the hearing within five business days. Should you choose not to schedule or attend your hearing, the hearing may proceed, and conclusions may be reached, in your absence. Findings will be based on the information made available to the hearing officer or hearing body at the time of the hearing. Although you are expected to comply with all conduct procedures, your failure to respond or appear as provided in these regulations will not be construed as an admission of guilt. In cases where more than one student is alleged to be responsible for a violation of these regulations, the hearing officer or hearing body may determine that a single consolidated hearing be conducted to review and determine the matter(s) pertaining to those students. You may request to have your case heard individually.
As a resident, you may use the RHA Resident Advocate as a resource, or any of the other resources available to you as a student at the University of California. Services include the Student Advocate's Office, the Academic Ombudsman, and the Attorney for Students. Telephone numbers for these offices are available on page 68 of the Guide to Student Living in the Residence Halls.
All hearings are closed unless the student involved requests an open hearing. This request must be submitted in writing five business days before the scheduled hearing. Periodically, the Manager of Judicial Affairs and Compliance may be present at hearings.
7. Peer Review Board Hears the Case
The Peer Review Board consists of students living in the residences with a charge to maintain community standards. RDs refer cases to the PRB based on the following criteria: the impact of the incident on the community, the student1s individual needs, the degree of confidentiality involved, and whether the circumstances make it appropriate for students to hear the case.
During a hearing, you will have the opportunity to review the evidence alleging your involvement in a policy violation(s). You will have an opportunity to respond to the allegation(s) contained in an Incident Report and to present information relevant to your case as provided in these regulations. Documentary evidence and oral statements relevant to your case will be considered by the hearing officer or hearing body only when the person(s) providing that evidence or statements can be made available for examination at a hearing, unless the hearing officer or hearing body determines that it is unreasonable or impossible to enforce this requirement. You may be assisted at a hearing by an advisor. In rendering assistance to you, the advisor may only address you and not the hearing officer or hearing body. At the conclusion of the hearing, responsibility will be determined by a preponderance of evidence, meaning that the majority of evidence indicates that the student is responsible for the incident or behavior.
8. Resident Director Hears the Case
The same procedures and rights apply as noted above.
9. Hearing Body Makes a Decision, and a Decision Letter is Sent
You will be notified in writing of the final decision of the hearing officer or body after the hearing is completed. Under most circumstances, this will occur within three business days.
The decision of the hearing officer or hearing body shall constitute the written record of the hearing and shall be kept on file with the Office of Residential and Family Living for five years. All conduct proceedings under these regulations shall be closed to the public. All conduct records compiled under these regulations are subject to all applicable laws and regulations governing the privacy and disclosure of student records. The Office of Residential and Family Living shall make the final determination(s) in all disciplinary actions taken under these procedures.
10. Student May Choose to Appeal in Writing
The decision of the hearing officer or hearing body may be appealed, in writing, within five (5) business days of the date of the decision letter rendered in your case. Appeals must be submitted in writing to:
Director, Residential and Family Living
Department of Housing and Dining Services
2401 Bowditch Street
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-2272
(Please note "APPEAL" on the outside of the envelope)
Your written appeal must cite specific reasons for a reconsideration of the decision. Your right to appeal the decision is limited and may be based only on:
A. the grounds that procedural error(s) occurred at the hearing which unfairly affected the outcome of your case,
B. that compelling new evidence, relevant to the outcome of your case, was discovered and was demonstrably not available at the time of the hearing. You may submit this new evidence after the five day appeal limit; however, sanctions do take effect after the five day timeline. Thus, your appeal may or may not effect your sanctions.
C. that specific conditions exist that provide good cause for reconsidering your case. This can include unduly harsh sanctions or demonstrated bias against you during the conduct process.
The Director will designate an administrative officer to hear appeals. This appeal will
be the final step afforded the resident under these regulations. An exception to this involves cases of exclusion, which may be heard by the Director. Generally, appeal decisions will be made within ten business days of the receipt of the appeal.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you receive a notice of termination of tenancy, a three-day notice to pay room and board or quit, a three-day notice to perform covenant or quit, a three-day notice to quit, or a notice to relocate, you must adhere to the time deadlines noted in such notices and the failure to meet such deadlines will result in the University pursuing legal action.
SUMMARY OF YOUR RIGHTS
The following procedural rights apply when a student's case is heard in the Office of Residential & Family Living.
- The "Notice to Appear at Hearing" will contain a brief description of the alleged violations, date of alleged violation(s), and policy(ies) alleged violated.
- Residents may be assisted at the hearing by an advisor. The advisor must address the student only and not the hearing officer / body.
- Residents may choose not to respond to the allegations of misconduct.
- Residents will be presumed not responsible for a violation until proven otherwise by a preponderance of evidence.
- Residents will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations(s) and to present relevant information.
- The decision of the hearing officer or hearing body shall constitute the written record of the hearing. These records will be subject to all applicable privacy acts. All proceedings shall be closed.
- Residents will be notified of the final decision and of the right of appeal after the hearing is completed.
- The decision of the hearing officer or body may be appealed in writing within five (5) business days of the date of the decision letter. The student's written statement must cite specific reasons for requesting the appeal.