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Community Standards of Conduct

As in any group setting, residence halls have rules and regulations that establish the standards and rights of membership. When members of residence hall communities choose to violate policies, residence halls become unpleasant places in which to live.

The residential student conduct process has jurisdiction over all residence halls and their surrounding properties. In addition to its contribution to the academic mission of the University, the student conduct process is also designed to support community standards, while allowing students to make decisions in line with their individual lifestyles and value systems. Although policies and processes may appear and feel restrictive, there is no intent to deprive students of the opportunity to make independent decisions. Nevertheless, policies have been established in accordance with other University regulations, local, state, and federal laws, and input from previous residents. Overall, the policies set in place have proven to be in the best interest of the residence hall community at large.

The residence hall policies of West Virginia University are designed to protect the individual within an environment that promotes personal and academic success. The following policies, procedures, and guidelines for student behavior are designed to enhance your living and learning environment. Violations of any rule or regulation will lead to student conduct administrative action. Where such action is necessary, students may also face civil liability or criminal prosecution. Students are responsible for becoming familiar with and acting upon their rights and responsibilities as outlined herein. Students should also familiarize themselves with the University Campus Student Code.

Matters of safety and security are of primary importance to the residence hall community. Students who are careless may jeopardize the welfare of everyone within the larger community. Students are expected to forego personal convenience in the interest of community safety.

In accordance with the housing contract, Housing and Residence Life reserves the right to inspect all areas of a student’s room if there is information that indicates University policies are being violated or if the condition of the room is thought to present a health and safety concern. Housing and Residence Life reserves the right to initiate administrative moves made in the best interest of the residential community. Also, roommates who cannot resolve issues or come to a mutual understanding may be administratively moved to different rooms, floors, and/or residence halls.

The residential student conduct process is designed to be educational and encourage responsible behaviors. It is expected that residents/students and their guests do not allow themselves to be present for situations that may potentially disrupt the larger residential community. If you or your guest(s) are present for policy violations, or violations occur in your assigned room, you will typically be held responsible for the violations, and appropriate behavioral plans will be imposed. It is expected that students will immediately separate themselves from policy violations, and report violations to appropriate staff members. If information supports that students or their guests are aware of a policy violation(s) and fail to report the incident and immediately separate themselves from the situation, students will most likely be found responsible for the alleged policy violation(s) and the minimum behavioral plans outlined in this section will be imposed.

Alleged violations of University Policy may be referred to the West Virginia University Office of Student Conduct; you may also view the full University Code of Conduct at their site. 

Heightened Security

For your safety during certain events or time periods (i.e., sporting events, FallFest, emergencies, etc.) the residence halls will be placed under increased security measures. During this heightened security, visitors will not be permitted in the building, all exterior doors will be locked, and all residents must enter through the main door and present their Mountaineer Cards (Student Identification Card) for admittance.

RESIDENCE HALL STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS

Documentation of Incident or Event

Residence Life staff members are required to document any event that occurs in University housing. Usually, an event is recorded as an “information report.” An information report is an account of an event or situation by the person who has the earliest and most direct involvement with the incident. Allegations of policy violations originating from an information report are considered alleged pending completion of the student conduct process. Any member of the residence hall and University communities can confront and record any behavior that is inconsistent with community standards. Any complaint should be directed to the Residence Hall Coordinator if the alleged misconduct occurred in or around a residence hall. When behavior is recorded, the student conduct process is set in motion.

Administrative Process

All student conduct procedures are designed to minimize disruption to the residential learning communities. The residence hall student conduct process is as follows:

Student Conduct Meetings

When a policy violation has occurred, students have a right to a student conduct meeting. A Residence Hall Coordinator or other University staff member will conduct a student conduct meeting. During the meeting, all relevant information, witnesses, and evidence should be presented to the student conduct administrator. The technical rules of evidence applicable to civil and criminal cases shall not apply. The student conduct administrator has authority to limit the number of witnesses. Student conduct decisions are based on a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., the allegations more likely than not occurred as charged.

Note: In certain circumstances, a student may be removed from the residence halls before a student conduct meeting has been held or following a student conduct meeting where removal was imposed and an appeal is pending. An interim removal may be imposed to ensure the health, safety, or well-being of members of the residential community or to preserve property.

YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

All student conduct processes and procedures shall be fair and reasonable keeping with the fundamental concept of due process, along with the rights to privacy and protection against discrimination guaranteed to all West Virginia University students. If you are accused of violating a  policy, you will also have the rights outlined below.

Rights of the Accused

Rights of the Victim

In some situations, not only does a student’s conduct violate a policy, but also victimizes another member of the University community. The University community includes but is not limited to students, staff, faculty, parents, campus neighbors, campus visitors, and any agency that is engaged in a legitimate business transaction with the University (e.g., vendors). When someone is identified as a victim, the student conduct process affords them certain rights.

When a complaint is filed against a student, it is important to remember that the student is being charged with violating a specific University or Housing and Residence Life policy; therefore, the University is ultimately responsible for determining what allegations are appropriate, and the appropriate student conduct administrator. If a victim withdraws the complaint, the University may still proceed with the case.

Victims are entitled to the following rights:

Appeals

Students may submit an appeal request for each incident; however, requests should not be submitted just because a student does not agree with the decision of the student conduct administrator. Requests for an appellate review must be made within five business days of receipt of the outcome letter. An appellate review is limited to a review of the proceedings before the student conduct administrator and any evidence that first became available after the student conduct meeting. An accused student shall not be at risk of more consequences simply by exercising his/her right to an appellate review.

While an appellate review is pending, behavioral plans are suspended until the Appellate Reviewer has acted upon the request and a final resolution has been reached. An exception may occur to ensure the health, safety, or well-being of members of the residence hall community or to preserve property.

A student’s request for an appellate review will generally be granted if at least one of the following conditions is met:

  1. New information that was unavailable at the student conduct meeting can be presented that would change the outcome of the case.
  2. Established student conduct meeting procedures were not followed and these errors affected the outcome of the case.
  3. The outcome of the case is not supported by a preponderance of the evidence.

The Appellate Reviewer may:

  1. Uphold or modify the original decision;
  2. Uphold or modify the behavioral plan(s); and/or
  3. Remand the case back to be reheard or reconsidered in cases where there is new information or a procedural error.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS

In order to protect your rights as a resident and University student, the Residence Life Office will maintain records of any student conduct administrative action(s). Access to these records is restricted to the student and will only be released in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please note that letters or phone calls may be sent/made to parents or legal guardians within established FERPA guidelines. For more information regarding FERPA please visit ferpa.wvu.edu.

BEHAVIORAL PLANS

When determining appropriate behavioral plans, the student conduct administrator will consider the following: willingness to accept responsibility for one’s behavior, previous student conduct history, and severity of the incident.

BEHAVIORAL ITEMS DEFINED

Notice of Policy Violation/Written Warning—Given to inform the student that a specific behavior does not meet minimum expectations for residence hall living. It is generally imposed following isolated and less serious incidents of misconduct or contract violations. (It is not imposed for a specific length of time, but further misconduct may lead to other consequences.)

Behavioral Contract — A document that stipulates specific behavioral expectations and consequences for failure to adhere to those expectations.

Community Service — Mandated service assignments.

Fines — Fines will be imposed for failing to complete assigned behavioral items. Any fines imposed will be assessed to your WVU student account. Fines not paid may result in a hold being placed on the student’s account, preventing him or her from registering for classes.

Restitution — Compensation for loss, damage, etc., which may include monetary or property replacement.

Referral — A consequence which may require coordination with the counseling center, WELLWVU Student Assistance Program (alcohol and drug referrals, online educational activities, assessments, and individual or group sessions); University Student Conduct Office; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office; or other appropriate offices or University resources.

Suspension of Privileges — A resident may lose residence hall privileges. This includes but is not limited to loss of visitation, (computer) network access, etc.

Residence Hall Probation — A resident is not considered in good standing with Housing and Residence Life. Any further violation may result in additional consequences. Residence hall probation will be imposed, minimally, until the end of the academic year.

Deferred Removal — Stipulation that subsequent disturbances to the residence hall community will typically result in removal from all University-supervised housing. Students will not be eligible to return to the residence halls in subsequent academic years. Deferred removal will be imposed, minimally, until the end of the academic year.

Parental Notification — Notification of a policy violation, student conduct meeting outcome (i.e., finding of responsibility), behavioral plan, etc., to a parent, guardian, or other designated contact in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Reflection or Educational Exercise — An exercise designed to allow the student to reflect on residence hall violations and the impact those violations have on oneself and others. Other educational exercises may be required such as researching a specific topic, designing and/or presenting community awareness programs, hall presentations, bulletin boards, or making restitution for damages through restorative work. The student conduct meeting administrator will review assignments to determine if the student has successfully met the educational goals of the assignment.

Residence Hall Ban — A restriction or ban from a particular area, floor, building, or complex as a result of inappropriate behavior or disruption to the residential community.

Residence Hall Reassignment — A mandatory change of room assignment within University-supervised residence halls for inappropriate behavior or disruption to the residential community. Further behavior will generally result in more serious action including residence hall removal.

Residence Hall Removal — Removal from the University residence hall community for conduct which is a serious violation of residence hall rules or regulations. Removal may also result from less serious but repeated incidents of misconduct. Serious violations are generally considered those behaviors that are dangerous or highly disruptive. Separation may range from the remainder of a given semester (regardless of the days remaining) to permanent removal. The housing contract states, “If a student moves from a residence hall for any reason other than withdrawal from the University, the student will be held accountable for 100 percent of the room rent and 100 percent of the food service portion of the contract for the remainder of the academic year.”

Discretionary Behavioral Items — Other behavioral items may be imposed to achieve specific educational outcomes.

Recommendation for Other University Behavioral Plans — Students who commit serious and/or chronic violations of the residence hall policies will be referred to the West Virginia University Student Conduct Office for further action.

Note: Students are responsible for completing assigned behavioral items regardless of whether or not they are separated from West Virginia University at the time the behavioral item is due (i.e., the student withdraws from West Virginia University or University housing prior to the behavioral item deadline).

DESCRIPTION OF POLICIES AND TYPICAL BEHAVIORAL PLANS

The Community Standards of Conduct consists of Housing and Residence Life policies and policies from the University Campus Student Code. For the complete Campus Student Code, visit https://studentconduct.wvu.edu/campus-student-code .

The behavioral plans listed below represent the behavioral plans typically imposed if a student is found responsible for violating a particular residential policy as defined below. Depending on the severity of the offense, and/or a student’s previous conduct involvement, the student conduct administrator may impose additional behavioral items. Behavioral plans are imposed at the discretion of the student conduct meeting administrator and will be done so in a manner consistent with the policy violation(s), potential or realized disruption to any individual, and potential or realized disruption to the larger residential community. In conjunction with the residential student conduct process, students may also be referred to the West Virginia University Student Conduct Office.

Note: During the last two weeks of each semester, additional consequences may be imposed for disruptive behaviors that impact other residents during their preparation for final exams.

Alcohol Related Conduct

(Campus Student Code 6.2, b)

Prohibited alcohol related conduct. “Prohibited alcohol related conduct” means violating West Virginia University Board of Governors Policy 18 (or its successor) or being a student (1) under the age of twenty-one, who consumes or possesses alcohol; (2) who gives alcohol to a person under the age of twenty-one; (3) who drives or operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol; (4) who is in public or on University premises in an intoxicated condition; (5) who possess an open container of alcohol, regardless of their age, in or on any public sidewalk, street, or other place; or (6) failure of a student organization to take all necessary steps to ensure that no person under the legal drinking age is provided alcoholic beverages at a function it sponsors or within any property or transportation it owns, operates, or rents. 

Alcohol Containers

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Retail vessels used for alcohol are not permitted in the residence halls. This includes but is not limited to wine bottles, boxed wine, liquor bottles, beer cans, etc..

Alcohol Related Conduct for Persons Age 21 or Older

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Consumption and or possession of alcohol is prohibited in Residence Halls or on Residence Hall property. This includes individuals who are 21 years of age or older.

Alcohol / Drug Substance Abuse-Related Behavior

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Residents and their guests may be held responsible for behaviors related to the consumption of alcohol or illicit drug use regardless of where the alcohol or drugs are consumed. This includes but is not limited to underage consumption of alcohol, public intoxication, and any behaviors that disrupt the residential community.

Drug Related Conduct

(Campus Student Code 6.2, b)

“Prohibited drug related conduct” means (1) possessing; (2) manufacturing; (3) producing; (4) distributing; (5) selling; (6) possessing with the intent to distribute or sell; or (7) being under the influence of any illicit drug, synthetic drug, or other controlled substance. It also means (8) using any prescribed drug in a manner inconsistent with the prescription; (9) driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of any illicit drug, synthetic drug, or other controlled substance; or (10) intentionally or recklessly inhaling, ingesting, or using in any manner inconsistent with its purpose any chemical, liquid, substance or other compound. 

Drug Paraphernalia

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Possession of drug paraphernalia is prohibited on residence hall property. This includes but is not limited to bongs, pipes, hookahs, water pipes, or any items modified or adapted so that it can be used to consume/use illegal substances.

Computer or Electronic Activity

(Campus Student Code 6.2, p)

Prohibited computer or electronic activity. “Prohibited computer or electronic activity” means (1) unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, change the contents, or other purpose; (2) unauthorized transfer of a file; (3) unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password; (4) use of a computer or other electronic device to unreasonably interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or University official; (5) use of a computer or other electronic device to send obscene or abusive messages; (6) use of a computer or other electronic device to unreasonably interfere with the normal operation of the University’s network; or (7) use of a computer or other electronic device in violation of copyright laws. 

Damage, Vandalism, or Misuse of Property

(Campus Student Code 6.2, o)

Deadly Weapons or Destructive Devices

(Campus Student Code 6.2, bb)

Possession of deadly weapons or destructive devices. “Possession of deadly weapons or destructive devices” means possessing or using any type of deadly weapon, firearm, imitation firearm, ammunition, explosive, firework, dangerous chemical, or other destructive device while on University premises. “Firearm” means any item which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. “Deadly weapon” means any device, instrument, material, substance, or object, whether animate or inanimate, designed to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death or is readily adaptable to such use. This provision does not apply to those individuals specifically permitted by University policy or procedure to possess such items.

Disruption and or Interference with Personal Rights and Freedoms

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Actions that unreasonably infringe upon the rights, identities and/or freedoms of other individuals are prohibited, regardless of intention behind the actions. Such actions include, but are not limited to intimidation, coercion, and threats. Behavior that unreasonably obstructs, disrupts, or interferes with another person’s free exercise of academic or residential activity is also not permitted. This includes conduct that is loud, indecent, or disorderly, or behaviors that may be construed as a nuisance and thereby disrupt the residential community. This may also include odors created by not maintaining a hygienic environment. Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day. Therefore, any disruptive behavior, regardless of when it occurs, will be treated as a violation of the Disruption policy.

Uncooperative Behavior and/or Dishonesty

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Residents and their guests may not interfere or be uncooperative with residence hall staff or other University officials in the performance of their duties and/or disregard a reasonable request of any University official. This includes but is not limited to utilizing abusive, threatening or combative language (written or verbal), intentionally hiding, or refusing to provide proper identification when requested by a residence hall staff member or other University official.

Presentation of false information to Housing and Residence Life staff or other University employees in the performance of their duties, or during student conduct meetings, is prohibited.

Failure to Honor Student Behavioral Plan

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Failure to complete an assigned student conduct behavioral plan will result in fines. Failure to complete assigned community service, reflection or educational exercises, or failure to complete a mandated alcohol/drug class or assignment, assessment, and/or any other referral will result in additional consequences and/or residence hall fines. Fines vary based on the type of referral and service costs associated with the referral.

False Alarms

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Residents and guests may not falsely report a fire or any other emergency, including bomb threats or serious injury; pull or tamper with a fire alarm pull station when no fire is present; cause a smoke detector to activate when no fire is present; cause a sprinkler to activate when no fire is present; engage the stop button or activate an elevator alarm when there is no emergency, or exit an alarmed exit door and/or allow another person to enter or exit through an alarmed door.

Note: Falsely reporting an emergency will typically result in residence hall removal and a referral to the West Virginia University Conduct Office for further action.

Keys or Other Access Devices

(Campus Student Code 6.2, dd)

Unauthorized Use of Keys or Other Access Devices. “Unauthorized use of keys or other access devices” means to possess, duplicate, or use a key or other access device, including an electronic keycard or other device used to grant access, to any building, room, structure, facility, vehicle, construction area, roof top, or other related premises without proper authorization. 

Littering

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Residents and their guests may not dispose of trash, food, cigarette butts, etc., anywhere other than designated areas, or “spit” on personal or public property. This includes disposing of personal trash in areas or receptacles not intended for such use. 

Pets

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Pets of any kind are not permitted in the residence halls. Housing and Residence Life reserves the right to remove any pet from University housing.

Room Responsibility

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

 Safety and Security

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

 Fire Safety

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

Smoking, Vaping and/or Tobacco Use

(Board of Governors Policy 57—Tobacco-Free Campus).

The use of Tobacco Products and any form of Smoking, including the use of Electronic Smoking Devices and vapor products, is prohibited on University property.  (Board of Governors Policy 57—Tobacco-Free Campus).

To review this policy in its entirety, visit https://policies.wvu.edu/finalized-bog-rules/bog-finance-and-administration-rule-5-6-tobacco-and-smoke-free-campus .

Residence Life Application

Students who leave cigarette butts, or other tobacco products or parts of those products (i.e., chewing tobacco waste, etc.) will be charged with littering. The possession and use of hookahs are not permitted in the Residence Halls. Additionally, the use of electronic smoking devices (i.e., electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, heat liquids, etc.) is not permitted on residence hall property.

Removing, covering up, and/or tampering with fire safety equipment (i.e., smoke detectors) is not permitted. Please review the Fire Safety Policy for more details.

Theft

(Campus Student Code 6.2, n)

“Theft” means the taking of possession of the property of another without consent.

Unauthorized Entry or Use

(Campus Student Code 6.2, cc)

Unauthorized Entry or Use. “Unauthorized Entry or Use” means to enter or remain without consent or lawful purpose in any building, room, structure, facility, vehicle, construction area, roof top, or other premises.

Violation of University Policies, Rules and Regulations

(Campus Student Code 6.2, h)

Violation of West Virginia University Board of Governors policies, institutional rules and regulations, or campus rules and regulations. “Violation of West Virginia University Board of Governors policies, institutional rules and regulations, or campus rules and regulations” means engaging in conduct that violates West Virginia University Board of Governors policies, institutional rules and regulations, or campus rules and regulations, including any violation of published University housing and residence life rules or policies. A charge alleging a violation of a University policy, rule, or regulation shall identify the policy, rule, or regulation violated. 

Violation of Federal, State, or Local Law

(Campus Student Code 6.2, i)

Violation of federal, state, or local law. “Violation of federal, state, or local law” means engaging in conduct that violates federal, state, or local law whether such conduct takes place on campus or off campus or whether civil or criminal penalties may also be imposed for such conduct. A violation of this provision is not predicated upon a final determination by a court of law. In other words, it is not necessary for a student to have been actually found to have violated a federal, state, or local law by a court of law in order to be disciplined under this Campus Student Code. It is only necessary that a student be found to have engaged in such prohibited acts by processes under the Campus Student Code. It is specifically noted here that the standard of proof in the Campus Student Code process is distinct and different from what is applied in criminal federal, state, and local law violations. A charge alleging a violation of a federal, state, or local law shall identify the federal, state, or local law violated

Visitation

(Housing & Residence Life Policy)

In order to provide safe and secure communities, residents are required to register their guests/visitors. Visitation is a privilege, not a right. Housing and Residence Life reserves the right to refuse, restrict, and/or revoke visitation privileges. Failure to register a guest or be registered as a guest, attempting to give access to a person not properly registered, or failure to be with an assigned host is prohibited regardless of the date or time the violation occurs (i.e., regardless of whether the alleged violation occurs before or after formal guest registration begins). Residents are also not permitted to give access to others who have been banned from that residence hall or served trespassing papers.

When a resident registers a visitor, the host assumes full responsibility for the visitor’s behavior and well-being and must always accompany the guest. Therefore, any violation committed by a guest will be the responsibility of the host. If the guest is a current WVU Student, the guest will also be held accountable for their actions.  Each resident is only permitted to register two guests at one time. You should consult with your roommate(s) prior to registering a guest. Please keep in mind that we want to make our halls as secure as possible 24 hours a day. The policy exists for the safety of you and your fellow residents.

Visitors will not be permitted to register or enter a residence hall if one or more of the following conditions apply:

This list is not all-inclusive. Housing and Residence Life reserves the right to deny visitation privileges if it believes such action is in the best interest of the residential community.

Note: For your safety during certain events or time periods (i.e., sporting events, FallFest, emergencies, etc.) the residence halls will be placed under increased security measures. During this heightened security, visitors will not be permitted in the building, all exterior doors will be locked, and all residents must enter through the main door and present their Mountaineer Cards for admittanc