Part 7. Residential Policies Accountability Process

All complaints alleging violations of the Code of Student Conduct are forwarded to Community Standards for review. Complaints that may implicate violations of the Terms and Conditions and/or Residential Policies and the Code of Student Conduct or other University policies may be retained by Community Standards for further process or reassigned to Student Living for processing. Complaints that only allege violations of the Terms and Conditions or Residential Policies will be forwarded to Student Living for processing, absent extenuating circumstances or significant repeat violations.

Student Living will determine whether the complaint demonstrates sufficient information of wrongdoing to warrant further investigation and/or commencement of the Residential Policies accountability process. Student Living reviews all filed complaints that it will resolve through its processes as well as the proposed charges; the office reserves the right to modify charges based on the information presented in the complaint or by the student(s) accused of the violation, also known as the “respondent.”

The standard of proof applied within the Residential Policies accountability process is a preponderance of the evidence, which requires a demonstration that it is “more likely than not” that the respondent has violated the Terms and Conditions and/or Residential Policies.

a. Investigations. Some allegations of student misconduct require investigation prior to determining whether the Residential Policies accountability process are warranted. As appropriate, the University will conduct an investigation concerning the allegations. The investigation may be conducted by Student Living, the Department of Public Safety or another appropriate University office or representative, or inter-departmental investigative teams. In cases where an investigation reveals alleged criminal conduct, the Department of Public Safety will be notified. In cases where an investigation reveals alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct or other University policies, the Student Conduct Investigator in Community Standards will be notified.

An individual may be permitted to withdraw a complaint subsequent to filing if Student Living is satisfied that the complainant’s decision has not been influenced by pressure or intimidation. In the event that the complainant is determined to have been influenced by pressure or intimidation, or in other extenuating circumstances, or where the University’s interests would be served by continuation of the case, Student Living will consult with Community Standards for appropriate process.

The Residential Policies accountability process is confidential and closed to persons not directly related to the case. All parties involved are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the process and proceedings.

b. Procedural Advisors. Complainants and respondents may be advised throughout the Residential Policies accountability process by a procedural advisor. Persons who may serve as procedural advisors are limited to full-time students, faculty, and staff of Syracuse University. Parents/guardians are not permitted to serve as procedural advisors. Complainants and Respondent may not be advised by attorneys.

The Dean of Students Office maintains a pool of trained University community members who may be available to provide procedural advice and support to complainants and respondents in cases. Assignment of a procedural advisor from the Dean of Students Office is based on availability and is not guaranteed. You  may contact the Dean of Student Office at dos@syr.edu or visit the Procedural Advisement page on Community Standards webpage.

c. Requests for Accommodation. Requests for disability accommodations should be made to Student Living. Students may also work directly with the Center for Disability Resources (CDR). Since accommodations may require early planning and are not provided retroactively, students should contact Student Living regarding accommodation needs or the Center for Disability Resources at disabilityresources@syr.edu as soon as possible.

d. Resolution Process. Upon determining that the complaint is appropriate for further processing, Student Living will contact the student or student organization and provide notice of the allegations and potential policy violations. There are two possibilities for resolution at this stage:

  1. The respondent will be offered an opportunity to participate in a resolution meeting with an Office of Student Living staff member to discuss and respond to the allegations; or
  2. The respondent will be offered a resolution in writing and provided an opportunity to respond in writing.

There are three possible results at this stage following the informal meeting or written resolution offer:

  1. The respondent is found to have no responsibility and/or that there is insufficient basis to proceed against the respondent. If that occurs, an outcome letter will be issued and the case will be considered resolved; or
  2. The respondent accepts responsibility and appropriate sanction(s) is/are agreed upon. If that occurs, an outcome letter will be issued, and the case is considered resolved; or
  3. The respondent does not accept responsibility and Student Living staff member determines that the complaint warrants further process. In such cases, the respondent may have the opportunity to attempt resolution with an Office of Student Living assistant director or to be referred to Community Standards for further process.

Recording devices (audio and/or video) of any kind are not permitted for use during resolution meetings.

If a student does not attend the meeting without prior notice to Student Living, or does not respond to the written resolution offer, a decision may be rendered in the student’s absence. Complainants do not attend resolution meetings with the respondents but are informed of the outcome of these meetings or resolutions to the extent legally permitted.

Once a resolution is reached, or when a respondent is issued a determination, the decision is final and will only be revisited based on one or more of the following:

  1. new information not reasonably available at the time of the informal resolution, the absence of which can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the informal resolution;
  2. procedural error that can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the informal resolution;
  3. errors in the interpretation of University policy so substantial as to deny fair informal resolution;
  4. grossly inappropriate sanction having no reasonable relationship to the charges.

In such a case, the student may submit a written petition for reconsideration of the case to the Director of Residence Life , or designee, within three (3) business days of the resolution outcome letter. Requests for review must be written and signed by the student and may be no more than ten (10) pages, double-spaced, using 12-point font and one-inch margins (not including attachments). If the sanction(s) from the resolution includes relocation from a current room assignment, the student may stay in his/her current room assignment during the appeal process, unless the situation warrants an immediate relocation. The decision of the Director, or designee, upon reconsideration is final.

e. Residential Sanctions. Sanctions for violations of Residential Policies are issued by Student Living, or Community Standards. They are designed with the primary goal of the accountability process to be educational for the student. Failure to comply with sanctions or with specific conditions related to the safety and security of any persons or property while a case is pending, may result in immediate suspension or expulsion from University housing without the benefit of further process.

Consistent with the Syracuse University Student Conduct Process, sanctions are assigned based on the context and nature of the behaviors and the status of the respondent. Student Living staff will consider the following:

  1. the extent of harm caused to or impact on individuals and the community (i.e., living environment, University community, and the surrounding community) including the level of intervention necessary;
  2. the potential for ongoing risk to the student, other individuals, the community, or property;
  3. a student’s disciplinary record and history of past conduct status sanctions;
  4. level of intent, remorse, cooperation, and willingness to take responsibility;
  5. evidence that the student’s conduct was motivated by bias regarding an individual or group’s real or perceived race, color, creed, religion, political or social affiliation, sex, gender, reproductive health decisions, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and/or veteran status;
  6. whether the student engaged in help-seeking behavior (i.e., calling for assistance, remaining with another student while help arrived); and,
  7. sanctions issued in prior similar University conduct/Residential Policies cases.

The following sanctions, or any combination thereof, may be applied to any individual or group of students for violations of Residential Policies, and may be combined with Disciplinary Statuses when violations of the Code of Student Conduct have been determined to occur:

  1. Residential Warning. This status is a formal admonition on behalf of the residential living program and is intended to clearly document in a student’s disciplinary file that the student’s behavior has been deemed unacceptable.
  2. Residential Probation. This status indicates that a student is no longer in good standing within the University’s residential living program. Further violations may result in the immediate loss of eligibility to live in or visit the University’s residence halls, apartments and/or dining facilities.
  3. Residential Relocation/Suspension. These statuses indicate that a student is not eligible to live in or visit some or all of the University’s residence halls, apartments, and/or dining facilities. A residential relocation involves the reassignment of a student’s living unit within University housing and usually prohibits the student from returning to the residential area associated with the former living assignment. A residential suspension or expulsion involves the student’s removal from housing altogether. These statuses may extend for a specific period of time, until the completion of specific conditions, or permanently. These statuses may be limited to a specific facility or applied to all facilities.
    • A student suspended from University housing is prohibited from any presence or activity in University-owned, operated, or controlled housing facility. A student placed on residential suspension is permitted, after a minimum period of separation, to submit a petition to return to University housing indicating how they will make positive contributions to the residential life of the campus community.
    • Individual petitions are required to submit a personal essay that includes the following: (1) a personal essay evidencing the learning the student has gained from the incident(s) that led to the residential suspension; (2) the ways in which the student has contributed to the living community of which they were a part during their residential suspension; and, (3) the commitments they will make to contribute positively to the residential community if offered the opportunity to return to University housing. The petition is reviewed by the Sr. Director of Student Living, or designee, who determine whether and under what conditions the student may apply for University housing for a future semester.

Cases resulting in a finding of responsibility may have an educational project or assignment, guest or visitation restriction, or residential relocation included as requirements. In cases that do not result in a finding of responsibility, OSL may mandate or provide education.

  1. Educational. Student Living staff may design sanctions that are specific to an individual case when it is determined that educational value may result and the interests of the residential community are maintained. Examples of educational sanctions include, but are not limited to: community service, community involvement assignments; decision-making assignment; residential community activity development; restitution; and research and writing assignments.
  2. Guest/Visitation/Entry Restrictions. This indicates that a student has had their privilege of hosting guests, visiting others in University housing, and/or entering another University housing facility restricted for a specified period of time, up to and including permanent restriction.
  3. Residential Location Restriction. This restriction prevents a student from entering a specific residential building(s) and/or residential area of campus for a specific period of time, up to and including permanent restriction.

RESIDENTIAL SANCTIONING GUIDELINES

Residential Sanctioning Guidelines have been adopted by Student Living to respond to behavioral concerns that disrupt the residential living environment and/or pose risks to the safety and well-being of the individual student and/or the residential community as a whole. Residential Sanctioning Guidelines are intended to alert students and other members of the residential community to the seriousness of community disruptions and safety violations; provide meaningful consequences for violations of University expectations; and, ensure that students are provided opportunities to access education, counseling, and support.

In all cases the appropriate sanctions will be determined on a case-by-case basis in light of all the circumstances. The presence of substantial mitigating or other appropriate circumstances may result in the reduction or augmentation of sanctioning guidelines; similarly, aggravating circumstances may result in the increase of sanctioning guidelines.

CategoryFirst ViolationSecond ViolationThird Violation
Alcohol ParaphernaliaResidential Warning and educational activities including:

Reflection paper and/or other educational projects
Residential Probation and educational activities including:

Decision-Making Assignment, Community Involvement, Options Education, and/or other educational project(s)
Referral for Code of Student Conduct charges and associated process
AppliancesResidential Warning and educational activitiesResidential Probation and educational activitiesResidential Probation, Residential Relocation, Additional Periodic Health and Safety Inspections, and educational activities
Candles (not burning)Residential Warning; Fire Safety Video and PaperResidential Probation and additional educational activitiesResidential Probation, Residential Relocation, Additional Periodic Health and Safety Inspections, and educational activities
Courtesy HoursResidential Warning and reflection paper on community impactResidential Warning and educational activities including:

Decision-making workshop/assignment, residential community program development/assistance, and/or other educational project(s)
Residential Probation, Residential Relocation, and other educational activities
Extension Cords/Light StrandsResidential Warning and reflection paperResidential Probation; Fire Safety Video and Paper and/or and additional educational activitiesResidential Probation, Residential Relocation, Additional Periodic Health and Safety Inspections, and educational activities
Grills (not burning)Residential Warning and educational activities including:
Fire Safety Educational Program/Project and/or other educational project(s)
Residential Probation, additional periodic health and safety inspections, and other educational activitiesResidential Probation,
Residential Relocation from apartment to residence hall for South Campus residents, and educational activities including:

Decision-Making assignment and/or other educational project(s)
GuestsResidential Warning and educational activities including:

Decision-Making Assignment and/or other educational project(s)
Residential Probation,
Guest Privilege Restriction and other educational activities
Residential Probation, Residential Relocation, Guest Privilege Restriction and other educational activities;

Residential Suspension
In the presence of alcoholResidential Warning and other educational activities Residential Probation and educational activities including:
Decision-Making Assignment, Decision-Making Workshop, and/or other educational project(s)
Residential Probation, Residential Relocation and other educational activities;

Referral for Code of Student Conduct charges and associated process
In the presence of drugs-in-useResidential Warning and educational activitiesResidential Probation and educational activities including:

Decision-Making Assignment/Workshop, Options Education, and/or other educational project(s)
Referral for Code of Student Conduct charges and associated process
Illegal Room ChangeResidential Warning, relocation to original housing assignment, and educational activitiesResidential Probation, relocation to original housing assignment, and educational activitiesReferral for Code of Student Conduct charges and associated process
PetsResidential Warning, Additional Periodic Health and Safety Inspections, and educational activitiesResidential Probation, Additional Periodic Health and Safety Inspections and educational activitiesResidential Probation, Residential Relocation, Additional Periodic Health and Safety Inspections, and educational activities;

Residential Suspension
Quiet HoursResidential Warning and reflection paper on community impactResidential Warning or Residential Probation and educational activities including:

Decision-making workshop/assignment, residential community program development/assistance, and/or other educational project(s)
Residential Probation, Residential Relocation, and other educational activities
SmokingResidential Warning and educational activities including:

Reflection paper on community impact
Residential Probation and educational activities including:

Fire Safety Video/Paper and/or other educational project(s)
Referral for Code of Student Conduct charges and associated process
Storage of Empty Alcohol ContainersResidential Warning and educational activitiesResidential Probation, Additional Periodic Health and Safety inspections, and educational activities including:

Options Education and/or other educational project(s)
Residential Probation, Residential Relocation, Additional periodic health and safety inspections, and educational activities;

Referral for Code of Student Conduct charges and associated process
Wall CoveringsResidential Warning and educational activities including:

Fire Safety Video/Paper and/or other educational project(s)
Residential Probation and educational activities including:

Decision Making Assignment/Workshop and/or other educational project(s)
Residential Probation, Residential Relocation, Additional Periodic Health and Safety Inspections, and educational activities