As an institution interested in the intellectual, physical, and psychological well-being of the campus community, the University of Houston deems it important to curtail the abusive or illegal use of alcoholic beverages. All members of the University of Houston community and guests are required to comply with federal, state, and local laws regarding the distribution, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Such laws include the following:
- An individual under 21 years old commits an offense if he purchases, consumes, or possesses alcohol.
- A person commits an offense if he purchases, gives, or knowingly makes alcohol available to an individual under 21 years.
- A person under 21 years commits an offense if he falsely states that he is 21 years of age or older or presents any document that indicates that he is 21 years of age or older to a person selling or serving alcoholic beverages.
- A person commits an offense if he appears in public under the influence of alcohol to the degree that the person may endanger himself or another.
- A person commits an offense if he is intoxicated while driving or operating a motor vehicle in public.
- The sale of any type of alcoholic beverage is prohibited unless the seller possesses a valid license or permit. Selling includes, but is not limited to, including the price of alcoholic beverages in the admission price, and/or giving away the alcoholic beverage but charging for the food.
- Civil liability may attach to a social host serving alcohol to an intoxicated individual who later injures himself or another.
(For a detailed compilation of relevant laws, contact the Dean of Students Office.)
- Events for students (including events planned by staff or faculty for students and events sponsored by students or student organizations) authorized by the Dean of Students Office in accordance with the Alcohol Distribution Policy in the official UH Student Handbook.
- Faculty/staff events authorized by the President, Vice Presidents, Associate or Assistant Vice Presidents, Deans or Academic Department Chairs; and
- The Hilton University of Houston Hotel and on-campus restaurant or food service areas where alcohol is legally distributed or sold. The term public area is defined as campus parking lots, campus grounds or any outside enclosed area or portion thereof, to which the public is invited or given general unrestricted access, as well as the inside classrooms, lobbies, lounges, corridors and restrooms of the campus buildings.
An individual or group which sponsors an event at which alcoholic beverages are made available is responsible for adherence to the applicable laws and applicable university policies.
Amendment of Student Life Policies
Student Life Policies may be established, deleted, or amended by the approval of a university bill in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the Student Government Association. In addition to the provisions of the Constitution and laws of the Student Government Association, the following shall apply to the process for considering Student Life Policy bills:
- The Senate may take action on the bill only after adequate notice has been given to the university community by the following means:
- The speaker shall, within two class days of the introduction of the bill, post a copy of the bill in a visible location outside the offices of the Student Government Association.
- The speaker shall, within five class days of the introduction of the bill, place a notice in The Daily Cougar announcing the introduction of the bill and other pertinent information concerning the bill and its consideration by the Senate.
- The speaker shall, within two class days of the introduction of the bill, provide the Faculty Senate and the Staff Council with copies of the bill. The Faculty Senate and Staff Council, or their designated committees, shall have a period of no less than 20 class days from the time of the bill’s introduction to provide the Student Senate with its recommendations regarding the bill.
- If approved by the Student Government Association, the bill shall be sent to the President for approval via the Dean of Students and the Vice President for Student Affairs, with copies sent to the Chairs of the Faculty Senate and Faculty Senate Campus Life Committee.
ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF BOTH PUBLIC LAW AND STUDENT LIFE POLICY: UNIVERSITY ACTION TO BE TAKEN
In all cases involving public law, statutes, ordinances, student life policies, or university regulations, university action may be taken.
Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages
Recognizing an educational responsibility, the University has developed these and other regulations to promote students’ responsible decision-making and behavior relative to the use of alcoholic beverages. Distribution procedures must be followed for on-campus events by student organizations and others sponsoring the events for students. The Dean of Students is responsible for interpreting these procedures and for developing guidelines for its implementation. Registering to distribute alcoholic beverages on the campus of the University of Houston is a privilege granted to registered student groups and departments. Failure to adhere to university procedures may result in the denial of future registration and disciplinary action.
Procedures for Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages at Student Events
- Departments or registered campus organizations desiring to serve or consume any type of alcoholic beverage on campus must register their event in advance by means of the Registration of Alcoholic Beverage Distribution Form. Forms may be obtained from the Dean of Students Office and must be completed and filed in the Dean of Students Office at least 15 business days in advance of the event in order to permit time to clarify issues and to distribute copies of the registration to other university officials. Registration forms must be reviewed by the Dean of Students or designate. A signature from the Dean of Students or designate must be received prior to advertising the event. Individuals within the department or organization must identify themselves as responsible for compliance with the University of Houston’s policies on the distribution of alcoholic beverages as well as federal, state and local laws. A copy of the signed registration form for alcoholic beverage distribution must be available at the event as proof that registration was made.
- Alcoholic beverages may be distributed in areas approved for programming within designated hours. Space and facilities for the event must be reserved through the appropriate university channels. Alcoholic beverages may be dispensed at campus events between 5 p.m. and 12 a.m. on Monday through Friday and between noon and 12 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For special campus-wide events, the Dean of Students or designate may permit earlier distribution.
- Any event at which alcoholic beverages are to be consumed pursuant to this policy may not have that consumption be the main focus of the event. Any publicity for the event may refer to such beverages only as incidental to the event. Advertising will not portray drinking as a solution to personal or academic problems. Also, it may not promote gimmicks or games (i.e., “one charge for all you can drink,” “chugging contests,” “drink and drown contests,” ” beer pong,”etc.), which enhance irresponsible drinking.
- Persons responsible for distributing alcoholic beverages must:
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Check a valid driver’s license or Texas ID for proof of age and identify legal age drinkers by the use of a hand stamp or a wristband.
- Post a sign at the point of distribution indicating “No alcoholic beverages may be consumed by anyone under age 21.”
- Have nonalcoholic beverages available and displayed throughout the event as prominently as the alcoholic beverages. If the alcoholic beverages are being distributed free, a nonalcoholic beverage other than water must be available at no charge.
- Stop serving alcoholic beverages one hour before the event’s scheduled conclusion or at 12 a.m., whichever is the earlier time.
- Cease serving alcoholic beverages to any person who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance, to the degree that he or she may endanger himself or another.
- Take other appropriate steps they may identify to encourage the responsible use of alcoholic beverages at their event.
- Post a sign announcing their willingness to call a cab for those under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance.
- Provide food items in sufficient amounts for the number of persons attending the function.
- Students shall not:
- Use false identification cards in order to receive alcoholic beverages;
- Provide alcoholic beverages to a minor;
- Consume alcoholic beverages on campus except in approved food establishments, at events where such beverages are being distributed legally and in approved areas in the residence halls;
- Bring alcoholic beverages into or out of an event where such beverages are being distributed legally.
Students will be held responsible for their guests’ compliance with university regulations.
The Executive Director of Student Housing and Residential Life and the Director of the University Centers may impose additional regulations in the residence halls and in the University Center and UC Satellite respectively.
For additional information, including a summary of state law, resources for assistance, and educational guidelines or programming, contact the Center for Student Involvement , the UC Conference and Reservation Services (CARS) Office, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), UH Wellness, or the Dean of Students Office.
The Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages Policy does not apply to football game tailgating activities. Football tailgates are governed by the General Rules for Tailgating administered by the Athletics Department. Tailgate sponsors should register with and secure the General Rules for Tailgating from the Athletics Department.
Distribution of Food on Campus
Food and beverage may be sold or distributed on campus only through registered student organizations and university departments. The sponsoring group must secure a Temporary Food Dealer’s Permit from the Department of Public Safety Fire Marshal’s Office, UH Police Department building, 3869 Wheeler, Room 107, 713-743-1635.
This approved permit must then be submitted to the UC Conference and Reservation Services (CARS) Office prior to receiving confirmation for an event. An organization may conduct a food or beverage sale no more than twice a month.
Enforcement of University Policy Jurisdiction
All alleged violations of Student Life Policies contained herein, unless otherwise specified in this section, shall be under the jurisdiction of the Dean of Students Office and the University Hearing Board.
The UH Police Department shall coordinate the investigation of criminal incidents, as necessary, for processing through the criminal court system. However, the University reserves the right to investigate and prosecute any alleged violations of the Student Life Policies and when appropriate enforce sanctions.
Violations of the Organizations Policy shall be under the jurisdiction of the University Hearing Board.
University of Houston traffic citations will be evaluated and resolved by Parking and Transportation. Students may appeal parking and traffic citations to the Student Traffic Court.
Violations occurring within the residence halls may be resolved by the appropriate residence halls staff and/or referred to the Dean of Students Office.
Expectations of Students for a Conducive Learning Environment
Respect the learning/classroom environment and the dignity and rights of all persons. Be tolerant of differing opinions.
Extend courtesy in discourse. Please do not interrupt speakers. Avoid distractions such as cell phones, beepers, and irrelevant discussions. Do not eat or drink in class without permission.
Exhibit concern for others and promote a caring environment. Think about how your behavior affects others. Help distressed peers find appropriate resources/assistance.
Familiarize yourself with the course and instructor expectations. Read the course syllabus.
Be Honest and Fair
Grades should reflect individual work, unless group work is authorized. Maintain the code of academic honesty.
Mentally prepare yourself for listening. Resist distractions, emotional reactions, or boredom.
Attend classes regularly and on time. Instead of closing your notebook early, listen carefully to information given near the end of class; summary statements and instructions may be important. Moreover, leaving class early distracts from a lecture.
Prepare for class by completing readings and assignments. Avoid procrastinating and set realistic goals.
Contribute and participate in class discussions; display interest during class by raising thoughtful and relevant questions that enrich discourse. Get involved in campus life.
Interact with the instructor and discuss assignments, grading and subject matter. Express complaints and concerns in a calm and respectful manner.
Enjoy the educational experience. Seek ways to make your coursework meaningful and relevant. Give your best effort.
Show initiative and desire to excel and make your studies a priority. Avoid over-committing your time to activities that do not support your goals.
Freedom of Expression Policy
The University of Houston is committed to fostering a learning environment where free inquiry and expression are encouraged. The University expects that persons engaging in expressive activities will demonstrate civility, concern for the safety of persons and property, respect for University activities, respect for those who may disagree with their message, and compliance with University policies and applicable local, state, and federal laws. The University of Houston maintains its right to place reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on expressive activities. Additionally, any activities that are unlawful or disruptive to the normal operations of the University including classes and University business activities will not be tolerated. The purpose of the University of Houston Freedom of Expression Policy (MAPP 13.01.01) is to provide for organized expressive activities to be conducted on the grounds of the University in a manner consistent with these principles. Groups or individuals engaging in disruptive activities or failing to comply with University policies and applicable local, state, and federal laws may face immediate removal from the campus and other appropriate actions by University officials and University police.
The Freedom of Expression Policy is applicable to University of Houston students, faculty and staff, who wish to engage in extracurricular, organized expressive activities (as defined in MAPP 13.01.01) including public speaking, literature distribution, poster displays, sign displays, any other type of graphic exhibitions, expressive performances, petitioning, or similar noncommercial activities at locations on University property. This policy does not apply to official University activities. University grounds and buildings are reserved for use by University of Houston students, faculty, and staff, except as otherwise permitted by policies of the University. Expressive activities permitted under this policy do not imply official endorsement by the University. Groups or individuals engaged in expressive activities are responsible for the content of the expression.
A copy of the University of Houston Freedom of Expression Policy may be obtained in the Dean of Students Office, and is available on the University of Houston Manual of Administrative Policies and Procedures Web Pages at www.uh.edu/mapp/.
Students incur charges for a variety of services provided by the University. It is an expectation, as well as a condition of enrollment at the University of Houston, that students satisfy their financial responsibilities in a timely fashion. Individuals who fail to do so will incur the sanctions outlined in this section.
Students who illegally enroll at the University of Houston by:
- failing to pay past due balances at any other University of Houston System campus,
- providing the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid with false information for purposes of obtaining financial assistance, or
- submitting a check (whether electronic or paper) for enrollment expenses that is returned by the University’s bank will have 10 calendar days (or, in the event this is the first installment, until the 20th class day, whichever comes first) to legitimize their enrollment. The 10 days will begin on the date the University provides notification to the student specifying what action the student must take to correct existing deficiencies. Failure of a student to respond within the 10-day period to a notice of a returned check for the initial fee payment will result in the student being financially disenrolled from the University. Students who write two bad checks (unless due to bank error) to the University for tuition and fees or for any other university obligation forfeit check-writing privileges for one year and must petition for future eligibility. In addition, a student who has tendered to the University a check returned unpaid by the bank will be assessed a $20 service charge. In the event an e-check is returned unpaid the student will also be assessed a $20 service charge. Students who fail to make their first payment by the due date as stated in their online bill will be financially disenrolled, and their records will reflect no enrollment. Anytime payment is not made by the due date indicated, a late fee will be assessed. Students who fail to make subsequent payments by the final payment deadline provided will be subject to the following sanctions:
- A $50 severance of service fee will be assessed.
- Financial stops/service indicators will be placed preventing further enrollment until cleared by the Student Business Services Department.
- No degree will be conferred to a student or former student until financial obligations have been satisfied.
- University housing may be denied.
- Transcripts or statements regarding courses or prior credits will not be provided to or on behalf of a student who is in default on any payment to the University.
- Non-payment by the end of the semester, defined as the last day of scheduled classes prior to the beginning of finals, will result in transfer of the student’s account to the Collections Office and assessment of a collection fee of at least 25 percent of the outstanding balance and the loss of any future enrollment.
Grade changes as a result of non-payment, dropping courses or withdrawing from the University will not relieve the student of unmet financial obligations to the University.
Appeal of any of these actions may be made in writing to the Student Business Services Department. The department is required to consider all information relevant to the appeal before making a final decision.
(Editor’s note: Students should read the section on Financial Information of this publication.)
UH Philosophy Regarding Hazing
- The University of Houston believes that true human development can best occur in an atmosphere of social and ethical responsibility.
- The University views responsible pre-initiation activity as a positive educational approach to preparation for student organization membership.
- The University views hazing activities as not contributing to the positive development or welfare of the individual.
- Therefore, the University of Houston recognizes acts of hazing as irresponsible, intolerable and inconsistent with the principles of higher education and basic human development and may be illegal.
UH Hazing Policy
I. Hazing Defined
Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created which, regardless of intent or consent of the participants:
- Produces or is reasonably likely to produce, bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright, humiliation or ridicule, or otherwise compromises the dignity of an individual;
- Compels an individual to participate in any activity which is unlawful and/or contrary to the rules, policies and regulations of the University;
- Will, unreasonably or unusually, impair an individual’s academic efforts, and/or
- Occurs on or off campus.
All students are strictly prohibited from engaging in any hazing activity.
II. Examples of actions and activities which are explicitly prohibited include but are not limited to the following:
- Compelling individuals to consume alcohol or drugs.
- Paddling in any form, shoving or otherwise striking individuals.
- Compelling individuals to wear or carry unusual, uncomfortable, degrading or physically burdensome articles or apparel.
- Compelling individuals to engage in sexual behaviors, sexual or racial harassment or slurs or exhibitionism.
- Depriving individuals of the opportunity for sufficient sleep, decent edible meals or access to means of bodily cleanliness.
- Activities which impair an individual’s academic efforts by causing exhaustion, loss of sleep or reasonable study time, or by preventing an individual from attending class.
- The creation of excessive fatigue by participation in physically demanding activities (calisthenics, runs, etc.).
- Compelling individuals to eat or drink unusual substances or compelling the consumption of undue amounts or odd preparations of food.
- Having substances thrown at, poured on or otherwise applied to the bodies of individuals.
- Morally degrading or humiliating games or any other activities which make an individual the object of amusement, ridicule or intimidation.
- Transporting individuals against their will, abandoning individuals at distant locations, or conducting any “kidnap,” “ditch” or “road trip” that may in any way endanger or compromise the health, safety or comfort of any individual.
- Causing an individual to be indecently exposed or exposed to the elements.
- Requiring an individual to remain in a fixed position for a long period of time.
- Compelling an individual to be branded or tattooed.
- “Line-ups” involving intense shouting of obscenities or insults.
- Compelling individuals to participate in activities (pranks, scavenger hunts, etc.) which encourage the defacement of property; engage in theft; harass other individuals, groups of individuals or organizations; or disrupt the normal activities of the University.
- Tests of courage, bravery, stamina or sexuality.
- Intentionally deceiving members, prior to initiation, to make them believe they will not be initiated.
- Intentionally deceiving new members (pledges, associates, initiates, etc.) to make them think they will be struck or hurt.
- Excluding an individual from social contact for prolonged periods of time.
- Compelling an individual to engage in acts of personal servitude.
III. Consent Is No Defense
Any of the activities described above upon which the initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, or continued membership in an organization is directly conditioned, shall be presumed to be “compelled activities;” the willingness of an individual to participate notwithstanding.
IV. Burden of Acceptability
The burden to ensure that student organization activities are acceptable under this policy rests with the student organization. This is a preliminary test for hazing: If you are not sure whether an activity is hazing, it probably is. Therefore, the activity should be dropped or discussed with the appropriate University official. Questions regarding the acceptability of a proposed student organization activity should be discussed with an activities advisor in the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life or the Center for Student Involvement.
V. Applicability of Community Standards
The terms and concepts (e.g., humiliating, degrading, unusual, uncomfortable, embarrassing, demeaning, etc.) cited in this policy shall be interpreted by university officials in relation to acceptable and applicable community standards.
- The President or Chair of each registered student organization is responsible for informing the members (pledges, associate members, initiated members, affiliates, etc.) of the organization of the UH policy regarding hazing. It is suggested that the President or Chair read and distribute a copy of this policy to each member of the organization during the first meeting of each semester.
- The President or Chair of each registered student organization is responsible for informing guests and alumni members of this policy and is additionally responsible for controlling the actions of guests and alumni members relative to this policy.
- It is the responsibility of any and all individuals who have firsthand knowledge of the planning or actual occurrence of a hazing activity to promptly report said knowledge to the Dean of Students Office.
Summary of the Texas Education Code Regarding Hazing
I. Definition of Hazing
Hazing means any intentional, knowing or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or included students at an educational institution.
The term includes but is not limited to: any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body or similar activity; any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk or harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student; any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug or other substance which subjects the student to an unreasonable risk or harm or which adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student; any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame or humiliation, or that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student or discourages the student from entering or remaining registered in an educational institution, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the institution rather than submit to acts described in this subsection; any activity that induces, causes or requires the student to perform a duty or task which involves a violation of the Penal Code.
II. Personal Hazing Offense
A person commits an offense if he or she engages in hazing; solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing; recklessly permits hazing to occur; or has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution, or firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly fails to report said knowledge in writing to the Dean of Students Office or other appropriate official/office of the institution.
- Failure to report hazing - fine up to $2,000; jail up to 180 days; or both.
- Hazing without serious bodily injury - fine up to $2,000; jail up to 180 days; or both.
- Hazing with serious bodily injury-fine up to $4,000; jail up to one year; or both.
- Hazing resulting in death-fine up to $10,000; jail not less than 180 days nor more than two years; or both.
*In cases which do not result in death, community service may be imposed in lieu of a jail sentence.
III. Organization Hazing Offense
An organization commits a hazing offense if the organization condones or encourages hazing or if an officer or any combination of members, pledges or alumni of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing.
- Hazing that does not result in personal injury, property damage or loss: fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000.
- Hazing that results in personal injury, property damage or loss: fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than double the amount lost or expenses incurred because of such injury, damage or loss.
IV. Consent Not A Defense
It is not a defense to prosecution of an offense that the person against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity.
V. Immunity From Prosecution
The court may grant immunity from prosecution to each person who is subpoenaed and does testify for the prosecution. Any person reporting a specific hazing incident to the Dean of Students Office or other appropriate official/office and/or participates in any judicial proceeding as a result of the report is immune from liability, civil or criminal. Medical practitioners reporting treatment of students who have been subjected to hazing activities shall be immune from civil or other liability. Persons reporting in bad faith or with malice are not protected.
VI. Offenses In Addition To Other Penal Provisions
The educational institution may enforce its own penalties against hazing.
University of Houston Student Organization Hazing Policy Violations
The following UH student organizations have been found in violation of the UH Hazing Policy within the previous three years:
- Alpha Rho Chi Architecture Organization:
Disciplinary suspension February 20, 2012 through August 26, 2012, new member education program review, hazing/risk management program development.
Students are required to obtain and show proof of a valid “Cougar 1Card” and present it upon request of a university official.
- General Posting Policies
- All materials must be sponsored or cosponsored by a registered student organization or a university department.
- All materials must include the full name of the sponsoring department or student organization, and all content must be printed or translated in English.
- Materials may not be posted on any undesignated areas, including doors, glass, walls, car windshields, or over previously posted materials.
- Materials may not include advertising for personal or commercial gain.
- Materials from other campuses, non-profit organizations or those not affiliated with the University which advertise student, university, or community programs and are cosponsored with a university department or registered student organization may be posted with special approval from the Director of the Center for Student Involvement (CSI).
- Failure by a student organization to comply with regulations in this policy may result in suspension of posting privileges for one semester (15 school weeks). Continuing to post while privileges are revoked can result in the suspension of the student organization.
- Special Requirements for Posters and Flyers
- A “poster” as used here is any printed or pictorial matter displayed on university property inclusive of, but not limited to, flyers, table tents, etc.
- Posting is permitted on general university bulletin boards. Use of departmental or special area boards requires that permission be obtained from the related office.
- All general University bulletin boards are cleared before 2 p.m. on the first and third Friday of each month.
- Poster size cannot exceed 14 inches by 22 inches.
- Only one posting per event, idea or product is allowed per bulletin board.
- The University may remove and discard any posters displayed on campus property which are in violation of these policies.
- With prior approval from Student Housing and Residential Life, signs may be posted within designated areas in university residence hall locations by Student Housing and Residential Life staff members. Poster size in the residence halls may not exceed 8-1/2 inches by 14 inches and all materials can be dropped off in the Housing Services office, located on the ground floor of Moody Towers. (Questions, please call Student Housing and Residential Life X36000).
- In case of shortage of bulletin board space, the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) shall assign priority and determine removal date.
- The Director of the Center for Student Involvement may, in certain instances, authorize extended posting periods for certain items of an academic or administrative nature. Items approved for extended posting must be stamped by CSI. These are the only postings that will not automatically be removed on the first and third Friday of each month.
- Special Requirements for Banners
- A “banner” as used here is defined as paper, cloth or vinyl advertising matter displayed on university property.
- Banners are permitted outside of the UC Satellite with a confirmed reservation from the University Center’s Conference and Reservation Services (CARS) Office.
- The UC CARS Office will issue a confirmed reservation for all banners to be displayed at the UC Satellite. All banners are required to have the group’s name clearly printed on the banner. UC CARS does not oversee the approval process for banners to be posted in other buildings or locations. To obtain permission for other areas, see the appropriate dean or area coordinator for that building.
- Maximum posting period for event banners (unless exception granted for extension as noted above) will be limited to 10 business days prior to a scheduled event (includes the actual event date).
- Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Registered student organizations may post up to two banners at one time if the organization has two separate events planned.
- A banner’s dimensions cannot exceed 3 feet tall by 15 feet wide in the UC Satellite.
- The standard two-week posting period may be extended through approval during non-peak posting times of the year. Extensions should be requested in advance of initial posting dates in the original request. Banner reservations may be renewed, subject to space availability, every 2 weeks by submitting a new reservation request form.
- Student organizations are responsible for removing banners on the expiration date. Failure to remove banners on due date may result in revocation of banner posting privileges.
- The University Center does not assume responsibility for loss or destruction of banners.
- The University Center may remove and discard any banner without a current reservation.
For more information regarding banner reservations, contact the UC Conference and Reservation Services (CARS) Office at UC South 237, call 832-842-6167, or on the web at www.uh.edu/uc, click on Event Services.
Complaints regarding alleged violations of the posting policy are handled by the Director of the Center for Student Involvement or designate. Grievances may be submitted in writing to the Director of the Center for Student Involvement. Appeals of decisions by the Director of the Center for Student Involvement should be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students.
Literature distribution by University and Non-University affiliated individuals or groups are provided for in the Freedom of Expression Policy (MAPP 13.01.01). A copy of the University of Houston Freedom of Expression Policy may be obtained in the Dean of Students Office, Room 252, University Center and is available on the University Manual of Administrative Policies and Procedures Web Pages at www.uh.edu/mapp/.
Online Social Networks Points of Caution
Using commonly used online social networks can be a great way to make new friends and keep track of the old. Commonly used online networks are targeted to high school and college students and are accessible to anyone with an .edu e-mail address. The ease of acquiring access to these networks may mean that the information you post may be available to more people than you may think.
We at the University of Houston want you to have a full and rewarding university experience in and out of the classroom. To educate students against identity theft, harassment, stalking, and other potentially dangerous or criminal activity, we are offering the following points of caution about online social networks.
CAUTION: You may have limited control online.
Your privacy settings may block some access to your profile, but it does not mean your postings are one hundred percent secure. Because some sites may not use secure encryption to protect your information, there is a chance unauthorized individuals may gain access to information in your profile through the use of malicious software and use such information for harm.
CAUTION: Deleting may not be enough.
Deleting potentially incriminating or personal information about yourself does not always mean you have removed it from cyberspace. If you shared it with other people who have printed or saved your profile or pictures, your information may still be accessible to others. Additionally, many internet service providers and servers back up or duplicate the information, retaining it indefinitely.
CAUTION: Employers use online social networks.
Reportedly, many employers have begun looking at online profiles of potential candidates before granting interviews or extending job offers. Some images may be available for view by simply “googling” a name and not necessarily registering for a site.
CAUTION: Police use online social network sites.
Police departments are increasingly using online social network sites as tools to identify potential suspects in crimes. In some circumstances, an investigation has been started solely on the basis of information obtained on the Internet. If your site contains language or images that indicate you have engaged in a violation of law, appropriate action may be taken against you.
CAUTION: Predators may be lurking.
Be aware that posting personal information online may make it available to people who may not have the best intentions. There have been instances of stalking and harassment that have originated from online websites. Protect your personal information by not posting it.
CAUTION: Responsibility rests with you.
Just as you are responsible for the content of your résumé and your public image, you are ultimately responsible for your profile. You may have some control over who sees your online information and you can take action to influence how others perceive you. Many sites allow you to restrict the availability of your profile to certain individuals. While these settings provide no guarantees, they can be a useful tool in gaining some control of your private information, including photos.
CAUTION: You are who your profile says you are.
Your online profile may be the only impression someone has of you. Make sure the image you are projecting online is one that accurately represents you.
1. General Statement of Purpose
The University recognizes:
- the importance of organized student activities as an integral part of the total educational program of the University;
- that college learning experiences are enriched by student organizational activity; and
- that organizations provide a framework for students within which they may develop their own special talents and interests.
Inherent in the relationship between the University and organized student groups is the understanding that the purposes and activities of such groups should be consistent with the main objectives of the University.
All student organizations must register annually with the Center for Student Involvement and must then comply with the procedures and policies regarding registration as set forth.
The Dean of Students Office recognizes the role of Greek Coordinating Councils in establishing and upholding policies for member groups. However, membership in said councils does not exempt fraternities and sororities from judicial referrals to the Dean of Students Office for violations of Student Life Policies, including Organizations Policies.
The University Hearing Board, with the approval of the Dean of Students, delegates to Greek coordinating councils general supervision over those chapters of social sororities and fraternities which choose to be members of these councils.
The term “general supervision” shall include all the duties, powers and responsibilities exercised by the Greek coordinating council prior to the adoption of this policy, with the provision that membership in the Greek coordinating councils is optional with the local chapter.
It is understood that the Greek coordinating councils and their member groups will operate under the provisions of the Student Life Policies, including the Organizations Policy.
2. Procedure for Registration of New Organizations
- Permanent Organizations
- The group will file its name, statement of purpose, constitution or statement regarding its method of operation, faculty/staff advisor (if applicable), and the names of its officers or contact persons with the Center for Student Involvement.
- In cases where a potential faculty/staff advisor is unknown to the group, the Center for Student Involvement will assist in identifying a university faculty or staff member who may wish to serve as an advisor. Organizations are encouraged to have a faculty/staff advisor.
- Should the group not have elected its officers or completed other work connected with its formation at the time they initially see the Center for Student Involvement staff, the Center for Student Involvement staff shall make arrangements for them to use university facilities for organizational purposes on a meeting-to-meeting basis until the organizational process is completed and the required information can be filed.
- At the time of filing, three officers or contact persons for the organization will sign a statement indicating that they are familiar with and will abide by the aforementioned responsibilities of student organizations. They will also sign the standard hazing and discrimination disclaimer required of all student organizations.
- Having ascertained that the group’s purpose is lawful and within university regulations and that the group has filed the required forms and disclaimers, the Director of Center for Student Involvement, or designate, will sign the application. Appropriate university personnel are notified by Center for Student Involvement that the group is then eligible for all of the rights of student organizations.
- Should the staff feel that the organization does not meet the requirements for registration, a written copy of the decision and reasons will be furnished to the applying organization. The group may appeal the decision to the Dean of Students.
- The Center for Student Involvement staff shall make arrangements for the group to use university facilities on a meeting- to-meeting basis until the appeals process is completed.
- Decisions of the University Hearing Board may be appealed to the Dean of Students.
- Registration for a Limited Purpose: Temporary Status
In some cases, groups will organize with some short-term (one which can be accomplished in less than one academic year) goal in mind such as the passage of some particular piece of legislation or the holding of some particular event. The organization’s structure will expire on the date indicated on the registration form. Requests for extension of Temporary Status may be made to the Director of Center for Student Involvement.
- Membership Regulations
- Registered student organizations have freedom of choice in the selection of members, provided that there is no discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.
- Membership in registered student organizations is restricted to currently enrolled University of Houston students, faculty, staff and alumni.
- Hazing-type activities of any kind are prohibited.
- Officers Regulations
- Student organizations are free to set qualifications and procedures for election and holding office, with the following provisions:
- All officers must be regular members of the organization.
- There is no discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation except where such discrimination is allowed by law.
- Religious student organizations may limit officers to those members who subscribe to the religious tenets of the organization where the organization’s activities center on a set of core beliefs.
- Persons not currently enrolled at the University of Houston may not hold office or direct organizational activities.
All registered student organizations must maintain the following records in the Center for Student Involvement Office:
- An organizational information form listing the current officers and faculty/staff advisor (if applicable) is due at the beginning of each school year. Any changes during the year, other than membership, are to be recorded within 10 days with the Center for Student Involvement.
- A copy of the organization’s current constitution, or statement of purpose and statement regarding its method of operation, is to be filed with the Center for Student Involvement.
3. Rights and Responsibilities of Registered Student Organizations
Registered student organizations exist on the university campus on the assumption that their activities and programs contribute to the educational, civic, and social development of the students involved. Registration of a campus organization does not imply university sanction of the organization or its activities. Registration is simply a charter to exist on the university campus and may be withdrawn by the University Hearing Board if the organization is found in violation of any federal, state or local laws, or university regulation or policy.
- Use of the University’s Name-Organizations may not use the name of the University of Houston or an abbreviation of the name of the University of Houston as part of its name, except to designate location or chapter, nor advertise or promote events in a manner which suggests that the function is sponsored or sanctioned by the University unless the event is formally cosponsored with an administrative or academic unit of the University.
- Rights-Registered Student Organizations may:
- Use university facilities (subject to pertinent regulations, proper scheduling procedures, and prior needs of the University itself);
- Invite off-campus speakers and artists to appear for regularly scheduled meetings and assemblies. Meetings and speakers must be scheduled in accordance with proper procedures and university policies;
- Distribute literature relating to the organization’s purpose and activities in those areas authorized by the current posting policies;
- Sponsor profit-making activities and solicit funds for organizational activities in accordance with university regulations.
- Apply for office/carrel space. Applications will be made available to registered student organizations in the spring of each year;
- Request funding for an organizational event or program. (Subject to the rules and regulations of the appropriate funding and programming board.)
- Responsibilities-It is the responsibility of every registered student organization and/or its representatives to:
- Carry out its activities and conduct itself and/or himself/herself within the student organization’s own constitution, all applicable local, state, and federal laws, and all university regulations and policies;
- Anticipate, provide for, and promptly meet its legitimate financial obligations;
- Act accordingly in the best interests of its members and the University;
- Comply with all organization information distributed through Center for Student Involvement mailboxes;
- Take reasonable precautions for the safety and comfort of participants at organization events; and
- Notify the appropriate advisor in the Center for Student Involvement of any and all changes in the organization’s officers/contact persons, addresses, telephone numbers, or constitution.
4. Conduct of Student Organizations
Student groups and organizations may be charged with alleged violations of local, state, and federal laws and/or university policies. A student group or organization and its officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when alleged violations occur either during an event sponsored by the organization or by an individual representing or associated with that organization or group. See Section 21 of the Code of Conduct .
5. Changes in Organizations Policy
The Organizations Policy is an official policy of the University of Houston dealing with student organizations and their relationship to the university community.
The University Hearing Board is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Organizations Policy. The board’s composition and specific powers, duties and responsibilities are described elsewhere in the policy.
- Proposals for changes in the Organizations Policy shall be initiated and considered by the University Hearing Board.
- After approval by the University Hearing Board, the proposed change(s) in the Organizations Policy must be approved by the Student Government Association Senate. Unless otherwise stated in the change, it shall take effect immediately upon approval by the Student Government Association Senate, the Dean of Students, and the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- Any member of the university community may propose changes in the Organizations Policy to the University Hearing Board.
- Upon request by a person or organization directly affected, the University Hearing Board will consider the waiver of any provision of the Organizations Policy for a specific time period.
- All parts of the Organizations Policy and all procedures and operations of the University Hearing Board must be in compliance with the Student Life Policies and all other university regulations.
Parking and Traffic Regulations
Students who operate vehicles on the university campus must abide by the parking and traffic regulations posted on the Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) website (www.uh.edu/parking). Students who use parking facilities on campus must display a valid UH parking permit issued by PTS. This permit is assigned to the student and not to a vehicle. The student is responsible for all parking violations and subsequent citations written against that permit.
Citations issued to vehicles not displaying a valid permit will be the responsibility of the vehicle’s registered owner. PTS will verify registration information with the Texas DMV and try to associate the vehicle with a student through last name and address. In cases where an association can be made, the citation(s) will be assigned to the student. Students have the right to appeal parking citations within 14 days of issuance. Appeals can be entered online from the PTS website. In instances of driving violations, student drivers may be issued university tickets or county tickets. University tickets issued through the UH Police Department may be appealed to the Appeals Board.
Posting Policies and Literature Distribution
These regulations are designed to permit maximum orderly use of university property by University of Houston students, faculty, staff, alumni, university departments, and registered student organizations for publicity purposes. Additional regulations may apply to Student Government Association elections, which are governed by the Student Election Code.
Student Life Policies
Like many urban universities, the University of Houston is growing disproportionally faster than its city setting. The University of Houston continues to strive for a spirit of community, an atmosphere that is essential for intellectual growth and achievement. This spirit of community has not been the particular concern of any one person or of any single group. It has gradually evolved from the deepening loyalties of faculty, students, and organizations in the city and throughout the state.
With the spirit of community, the university has nurtured a climate of academic freedom and of freedom of inquiry. Insofar as possible, this climate should enable the University of Houston to solve its own problems, to the extent that they are peculiar to the nature of a university, in an atmosphere of considered deliberation in which all interested parties can participate by means of legitimate representation. This is the purpose of the Student Life Policies. In these policies are found-as clearly defined as possible-the distribution of authority, the identification of rights and responsibilities, the determination for accountability, the application of sanctions, and the mechanisms and guidelines for conflict resolution. These policies are intended to stimulate intellectual excellence in an atmosphere of freedom and to protect the integrity of the university community.
Members of the university community share the same responsibilities of citizenship as other members of the broader community. Students, faculty, and staff members are all subject to the same laws and ordinances. The university does not stand between national, state, or local law enforcement agencies and persons who break the law. Persons who break the law on the campus are subject to action by these agencies and, when appropriate, to the university’s internal discipline procedures.
There will be no retroactive application of any changes in the Student Life Policies. However, future change may supersede policies published herein. Alterations to the policies are published on the Dean of Students’ Website at www.uh.edu/dos.
Policies included herein apply to the University of Houston.
Student Academic Bill of Rights
Article 1: Academic Discrimination
Section 1: Students shall have the right to a learning environment that allows for free inquiry and expressions. (Student Handbook, University Policies, Freedom of Expression Policy)
Clause 1: Students shall have the responsibility to demonstrate civility; concern for the safety of persons and property, respect for University of Houston activities including understanding that activities that are unlawful or disruptive to the normal operations of the University such as classes and University business activities will not be tolerated, respect for those who may disagree with their message, and compliance with University policies and applicable to local, state, and federal laws. (Student Handbook, University Policies, Freedom of Expression Policy)
Clause 2: Expressive activities shall include public speaking, literature distribution, poster displays, sign displays, any other type of graphic exhibitions, expressive performances, petitioning or similar noncommercial activities.(Student Handbook, University Policies, Freedom of Expression Policy)
Section 2: Students shall have the right of religious observances even though they may conflict with university class meetings, assignments, or examinations. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Religious Holidays )
Clause 1: Students shall have the right to be excused from classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Religious Holidays )
Clause 2: Students shall have the right to be treated consistently with the instructor’s policies and procedures related to other excused absences and shall be entitled the opportunity to makeup work and examinations. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Religious Holidays )
Clause 3: Students shall have the responsibility to inform instructors about upcoming religious holy days early in the semester to enable better planning and coordination of work assignments (and examinations.) (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Religious Holidays )
Clause 4: Students shall have the right to appeal to the Office of Academic Program Management any disagreement between the student and instructor about whether the absence is for the observance of a religious holy day, or if they disagree about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Religious Holidays )
Section 3: Students shall have the right to have equal treatment and opportunity in education services. (Student Handbook, University Policies, Equal Education and Employment Opportunity ; Student Handbook, University Policies, Title IX Grievances and Other Discrimination Complaints)
Clause 1: Students shall have the right to be not discriminated against based on race, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression except where such a distinction is allowed by law.
- Gender identity or expression shall be defined as having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self image, appearance, behavior or expression whether or not that gender identity, self image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.
Section 4: Students who have disabilities shall have the right to accommodations, including exam accommodations, interpreters, note-taking assistance, etc. (Student Handbook, Accommodations for Students Who Have Disabilities )
Clause 1: Students who have disabilities shall have responsibility to contact the Justin Dart, Jr. Center for Student with DisABILITIES (CSD) and discuss the process of obtaining such accommodations. (Student Handbook, Accommodations for Students Who Have Disabilities )
Clause 2: Students who have disabilities shall have responsibility to register with the Justin Dart, Jr. Center for Student with DisABILITIES (CSD) as early as possible in their academic career. (Student Handbook, Accommodations for Students Who Have Disabilities )
Article 2: In Class Practices and Procedures
Section 1: Students shall have the right to receive a syllabus for each class at the first or second class meeting. (Faculty Handbook, Academic Personnel Policies and Procedures, Expectations of Faculty with Teaching Responsibilities)
Clause 1: Syllabus shall include the content, objectives, and standard for evaluation (including the importance assigned to various factors considered in the academic evaluation) in a course. (Faculty Handbook, Academic Personnel Policies and Procedures, Expectations of Faculty with Teaching Responsibilities; Student Handbook, Academic Policies )
Section 2: Students shall have the right to access their graded tests, quizzes, and homework assignments. (Faculty Handbook, Responsibilities to Students)
Clause 1: Students shall have the right to confidentiality if their grades are posted. (Faculty Handbook, Classroom Protocol, Responsibilities to Students, Posting of Grades/Distribution of Student Work)
Clause 2: Students shall have the right to not have their grades posted with their name, social security or PeopleSoft numbers or other information that would allow someone other than the student to identify the owner. (Faculty Handbook, Responsibilities to Students, Classroom Protocol, Posting of Grades/Distribution of Student Work)
Article 3: Administrative Practices and Procedures
Section 1: Students shall have the right to access their professors, instructors, and teaching assistants, who are involved in the instruction of their university course, whom shall offer regularly scheduled office hours (Faculty Handbook, Academic Personnel Policies and Procedures, Policies and Procedures Governing Specific Faculty, Graduate Student Assistantships, Definitions, Definition of Student Contact)
Clause 1: Professors, instructors, and teaching assistants shall be available for consultation by any student enrolled in such course at said office hours. (Faculty Handbook, Academic Personnel Policies and Procedures, Policies and Procedures Governing Specific Faculty, Graduate Student Assistantships, Definitions, Definition of Student Contact)
Section 2: Students shall have the right to access academic advisors who assist students that are in compliance with university policies and are making appropriate decisions about their academic programs. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Academic Advising)
Clause 1: Students shall have the responsibility to take full advantage of academic advising services through the Undergraduate Scholars at UH (UScholars) Advising Center or the college or department of their majors. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Academic Advising)
Clause 2: Students who have not declared a major shall have the right to be offered assistance through UScholars that will help them later make an informed decision about a major field of study. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Academic Advising)
Clause 3: UScholars students shall have the responsibility to declare a major in the beginning of their sophomore year (30 credit hours), if not before. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Academic Advising)
Section 3: Students shall have the responsibility upon completing 60 credit hours to see an advisor in their college to file a degree plan, a blueprint of the courses required for graduation. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Degree Plan )
Clause 1: Students shall have the responsibility of insuring copies of their degree plans are on file in the college Dean’s office and in the Office of the University Registrar, Rm. 128 Welcome Center before being certify for graduation. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Degree Plan )
Clause 2: Students shall have the responsibility to meet with their academic advisor at least once a semester for consultations to help students enroll in courses applicable toward their degree. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Degree Plan )
Section 4: Undergraduate Students shall have the right to drop or withdraw from courses to ease the academic load. (Student Handbook, Dropping a Course )
Clause 1: Students shall have the responsibilities for verifying whether they have been dropped from a course. (Student Handbook, Dropping a Course )
Clause 2: Before dropping courses, international students shall have the responsibility to see an international student counselor, financial aid recipients speak with a financial aid officer. (Student Handbook, Dropping a Course )
Clause 3: Before dropping courses, student-athletes shall have the responsibility to see their athletics counselor to discuss eligibility implications of withdrawing. (Student Handbook, Dropping a Course )
Clause 4: Students shall have the responsibility to see the online academic calendar for the exact date for deadlines to drop a course without receiving a grade and withdraw from a course with a grade of W. (Student Handbook, Dropping a Course )
Clause 5: Students shall have the right to use the withdrawals at any time during their college career to drop a course up through the last day to drop a course or withdraw from all courses. (Student Handbook, Dropping a Course )
Clause 6: When these 6 Ws have been used, the student shall have the responsibility to complete all subsequent courses. (Student Handbook, Dropping a Course )
Clause 7: When students take a class which includes a lab (or recitation) concurrently, the students shall have the right to drop both the class and lab (or recitation) and have it count as only one withdraw if both the class and lab were dropped simultaneously. (Student Handbook, Dropping a Course )
Clause 8: Students shall have the responsibility to know their enrollment caps or maximum hours they are permitted based on the number of hours in which a student is enrolled by the official reporting day for each term regardless of whether the student drop the course afterward. (Student Handbook, Dropping a Course )
Article 4: Academic Appeals (Academic Dishonesty, Academic Accountability)
Section 1: Students shall have the right to a fair and impartial appeals process regarding course requirements and classroom procedures. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Undergraduate Grievances )
Clause 1: Students shall have the responsibility to first resolve amicably and informally with the professor on most issues. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Undergraduate Grievances )
Clause 2: In the event that an informal resolution is not possible, students shall have the right to file a written grievance on a General Petition form, available in departmental and college offices, and online. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Undergraduate Grievances )
Clause 3: Students shall have the responsibility to fill out the General Petition form with the professor within 90 calendar days of the posting of the final grades for the course. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Undergraduate Grievances )
Clause 4: Appeals may be considered at the following levels, as necessary: professor, departmental chair, college dean, senior vice president for academic affairs (or designated representatives at all levels.) (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Undergraduate Grievances )
Clause 5: Grades may be appealed only if violations of university, college, or department academic policies or procedures can be shown to have affected that grade or evaluation. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Undergraduate Grievances )
Article 5: Student Records and Privacy
Section 1: Students shall have certain rights with respect to their education records as afforded by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Student Records: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act )
Clause 1: Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the university receives the request. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Student Records: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act )
Clause 2: Students have the right to request amendment of their education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Student Records: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act )
Clause 3: If the university denies a student requested amendment, the student has the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment to his/her educational record. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Student Records: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act )
Clause 4: Students have the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Student Records: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act )
Clause 5: Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Such complaints may be sent to the Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605. (Student Handbook, Academic Policies, Student Records: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act )
Article 6: Student Academic Bill of Rights Amendments
All amendments for the University of Houston Student Academic Bill of Rights must be made through the procedures outlined in the University of Houston Student Government Association Constitution.
Article 7: Distribution
The University of Houston Student Academic Bill of Rights shall be printed in the University of Houston Main Campus student handbooks.
Student Code of Conduct
The University of Houston, as an educational institution, has a special set of interests and purposes essential to its effective functioning. These include; (a) the opportunity for students to attain their educational objectives, (b) the creation and maintenance of an intellectual and educational atmosphere throughout the University, and (c) the protection of the health, safety, welfare, property, and human rights of all members of the University, and the property of the university itself. In the area of student conduct, the University has a clear responsibility to protect and promote the pursuit of its goals. The Student Code of Conduct emphasizes the University’s commitment to promote the freedom, intellectual development, and personal responsibility of its students.
The Student Code of Conduct sets forth those acts that constitute unacceptable conduct for students of the University. All alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct may result in referral to the Dean of Students Office for disciplinary action.
The University of Houston supports the concept of educational discipline - educating the student through appropriate sanctioning when circumstances permit; but should the student demonstrate an unwillingness to obey the rules governing conduct, the student will be treated in the same manner as one who has failed academically. Students are expected to adhere to, and will be held accountable for adhering to, all federal, state, and local laws in addition to all University policies and regulations not mentioned herein.
A student admitted to the University of Houston accepts the responsibility to conform to all University of Houston rules and regulations. Proven failure to meet this obligation will justify appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, expulsion, suspension, disciplinary probation, reprimand or warning. Although the University will make every reasonable effort to make the rules and regulations available, students are responsible for becoming familiar with them.
The University of Houston student conduct process is the responsibility of the Dean of Students Office. The Associate Dean of Students, under the direction of the Dean of Students, will supervise the implementation of the student conduct process and procedures.
1. Application and Jurisdiction
- Students are subject to applicable federal, State, and local laws; University of Houston System rules, regulations, and policies, including those set forth in UH System Administrative Memoranda.
- Students may be disciplined by the University for violating any of the conduct standards on University grounds or off University grounds when the incident occurs in connection with a University sponsored or affiliated activity or program, when the incident has a substantial connection to the interests of the University, when the incident poses a threat of serious harm to any member of the University community, or when the behavior is prohibited by University policy regardless of where it occurs, even if the student is or may be penalized by civil or criminal authorities for the same act.
- University disciplinary action may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both criminal law and University policy without regard to pending civil litigation or criminal arrest and prosecution. At the discretion of the Dean of Students, University disciplinary proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal proceedings. Determinations made and/or sanctions imposed as a result of University disciplinary proceedings will not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts that resulted in the violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against a criminal law defendant.
- Students are subject to University disciplinary action for prohibited conduct that occurs while the student is participating in off-campus activities sponsored by or affiliated with the University including, but not limited to, field trips, retreats, and study abroad programs.
- Students are subject to University disciplinary action if the student withdraws from classes while a conduct matter is pending.
- Any conduct that is a potential violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy or Discrimination and Harassment Policy will be exclusively processed, investigated and addressed pursuant to those policies and not this Student Code of Conduct. However, if a student is found to be in violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy or Discrimination and Harassment Policy, and s/he wishes to appeal any sanction(s) imposed by the Dean of Student’s Office, his/her appeal shall be brought pursuant to the appeal section of this Student Code of Conduct.
Sexual Misconduct SAM 01.D.08.
- “Appellate Officer” includes the Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students, Associate Director of Residential Life and/or their respective designees.
- “Associate Dean” means the Associate Dean of Students.
- “Assistant Dean” means the Assistant Dean of Students.
- “Board” means the University Hearing Board.
- “Business Day” means Monday through Friday during regular University business hours.
- “Code” refers to the UH Student Code of Conduct.
- “Handbook” means the official UH Student Handbook.
- “Hazing” means those activities defined in the Texas Education Code Sec. 37.151 et seq., the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct regarding Hazing, and the UH Hazing Policy.
- “Hearing Officer” includes the Associate Dean of Students, Assistant Deans of Students, the Associate Director for Residential Life, the Assistant Director for Residential Life, Residence Life Coordinators, and the University Hearing Board.
- “Notice” means correspondence sent to the addressee by the means identified in Section 5 of the Student Code of Conduct regarding Notice.
- “Preponderance of the evidence” is the standard of review in the student discipline process which evaluates whether it is more likely than not that the student did violate a Code provision and/or University policy.
- “Procedures” means the Student Disciplinary Procedures.
- “Record” means correspondence referenced herein relating to the Student Disciplinary Procedures and all hard copy or electronic documents, forms, copies, reports, statements, recordings, or tangible evidence presented in a disciplinary hearing or conference.
- “Referral Notice” refers to the notice initiating disciplinary action.
- “Respondent” means accused student.
- “Sanction” means penalty for violation of the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct.
- “Student” means a person who; (a) is currently enrolled at the University; (b) has been enrolled at the University in a prior semester or summer term and is eligible to continue enrollment in the semester or summer term that immediately follows; (c) is attending an additional program sponsored by the University while that person is on campus; or (d) has engaged in prohibited conduct at a time when he/she met the criteria of (a), (b), (c), or (d).
- “University” means the University of Houston.
- “University officials” means those persons in an official university capacity or those who have been given the authority and the responsibility by the appropriate agency or person, including regents, officers, faculty, and administrative staff.
- “University grounds” means property owned, leased, controlled, used, or occupied by the University including property physically removed from campus.
- “Will” and “shall” are used in the imperative sense.
3. Prohibited Conduct
The following examples of prohibited conduct are defined by the University to be unacceptable. Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol does not diminish or excuse a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The list should not be viewed as all inclusive or exhaustive. Further, the University expects its students to exhibit a higher standard of conduct than the minimum needed to avoid discipline.
- Aiding and Abetting - Assisting, hiring, or encouraging another person to engage in a Code violation.
- Complicity - A student shall not, through act or omission, assist another student, individual, or group in committing or attempting to commit a violation of this Code of Conduct. A student who has knowledge of another committing or attempting to commit a violation of the Code of Conduct is required to remove him or herself from the situation and failure to do so when reasonable under the circumstances may be the basis for a violation of this policy.
- Destruction of Property - Intentionally or recklessly damaging, destroying, defacing, or tampering with University property or the property of any person or business on campus.
- Discrimination - Intentional discrimination against a person or group of people on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation except where such distinction is allowed by law.
- Disruption/Obstruction - Obstructing or interfering with University functions or any University activity. Disturbing the peace and good order of the University by, among other things; fighting, quarreling, excessive noise, or any behavior that is a material disruption to the business or academic functions of the university, including but not limited to, a material disruption by the use of all types of cameras, electronic tablets, cell phones, and/or communication devices.
- Disruptive Classroom Conduct - Disruptive classroom conduct means engaging in behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor’s ability to teach or student learning. The classroom extends to any setting where a student is engaged in work toward academic credit or satisfaction of program-based requirements or related activities.
- Failure to Appear - Failing to appear at the request of any Hearing Officer or failure to schedule an appearance with a Hearing Officer as directed by University police or any other University official.
- Failure to Comply or Identify - Failure to comply with directions of University officials, police, or any other law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties, or failing to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
- Failure to Report or Respond - Failure to report or respond as directed by the Dean of Students or designee on any matter including, but not limited to, a request to meet concerning an issue or a notice alleging a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- False Conduct Allegation - Making a prohibited conduct allegation against a member of the University community that is knowingly false.
- False Report of Emergency - Causing, making, or circulating a false report or warning of a fire, explosion, crime, or other catastrophe.
- False Statements - Being party to falsification; giving or providing false statements, written or oral; and/or providing false information during any University proceeding or to any University official.
- Falsification of Records - Altering, tampering, forging, or knowingly using falsified documents or records of the University, including, but not limited to, UH parking permits and student IDs. Falsifying, attempting to falsify, conspiring to falsify or knowingly using falsified academic records including, but not limited to, altering or assisting in the alteration of any official record of the University and/or submitting false information or omitting information that is required for or related to any academic record. Academic records include, but are not limited to, applications for admission, application for the awarding of a degree, registration materials, grade change forms, and other documents or forms used by the Office of the Registrar. A former student who engages in this prohibited conduct may be subject to a bar against readmission, the revocation of a degree, and/or the withdrawal of a diploma under the Student Disciplinary Procedures.
- Forcible Entry or Trespass - Forcible or unauthorized entry to any University building, structure, or facility and/or unauthorized entry to or use of University grounds.
- Gambling, Wagering, and/or Bookmaking - Gambling, wagering, and/or bookmaking as defined by federal, state, and /or local laws on University grounds or by using University equipment or services.
- Hazing - Any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the University of Houston campus, by one or more person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include students of the University.
- Mental or Bodily Harm- (a) Intentionally inflicting mental or bodily harm upon any person; (b) taking any action for the purpose of inflicting mental or bodily harm upon any person; (c) taking any reckless, but not accidental, action from which mental or bodily harm could result to any person; (d) engaging in conduct, including, but not limited to stalking, that causes a person to believe that the offender may cause mental or bodily harm; (e) any act which demeans, degrades, or disgraces any person and that causes, or would be reasonably likely to cause, mental or bodily harm. “Any person” as used in this section may include oneself.
- Misuse of Identification - Transferring, lending, or borrowing University identification.
- Misuse of Safety Equipment - Unauthorized use or alteration of fire fighting equipment, safety devices, or other emergency equipment.
- Misuse or Abuse of Computers - Unauthorized use or misuse of any University computer, computer system, service, program, data, network, cable television network, or communication network. The inappropriate or disproportionate use of an information technology resource owned or controlled by the University or use of an information technology resource for an illegal, threatening, harassing, abusive, or intentionally destructive purpose. Failure to comply with laws, license agreements, and contracts governing network, software and hardware use. Abuse of communal resources. Use of computing resources for unauthorized commercial purposes or personal gain. Breach of computer security, harmful access or invasion of privacy.
- Photographing or Videotaping - Photographing, videotaping, filming, digitally recording, or by any other means, secretly viewing with or without a device, another person without that person’s consent in any location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, or in a manner that violates a reasonable expectation of privacy. This section does not apply to lawful security surveillance filming, or recording that is authorized by law enforcement or authorized University officials.
- Possession of Dangerous Weapons - Unauthorized possession of any weapon prohibited by the Texas Penal Code including, but not limited to, firearms, illegal knives, tire deflation device, dangerous chemicals, or any explosive device of any description such as compressed air guns, pellet guns, BB guns, shotguns, or the ammunition of any firearm or other dangerous weapon or explosive device on University grounds. Possessing a dangerous weapon in your vehicle constitutes a violation of this section; however, it shall not be a violation of this section if an individual, who possesses a concealed handgun license, stores or transports his or her licensed and lawfully possessed handgun and/or ammunition in his or her own locked privately owned or leased vehicle.
- Possession of Stolen Property - Possessing property known to the possessor to be stolen and that may be identified as property of the University or any other person or business.
- Public Intoxication - Presenting a threat to oneself or others due to being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or other drugs.
- Sexual Misconduct - Violation of the UH Student Sexual Misconduct Policy including, but not limited to, engaging in or attempting to engage in sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation, and/or sexual harassment.
Sexual Misconduct SAM 01.D.08.
- Theft - Theft, or attempted theft, of property or services from any person or any business on University grounds.
- Unauthorized Use of Alcoholic Beverages - Possession, distribution, or consumption of alcoholic beverages except during events or in circumstances authorized by University officials and/or failure to comply with state or University regulations regarding the use or sale of alcoholic beverages.
- Unauthorized Use of Property or Service - Unauthorized use of property or services or unauthorized possession of University property or the property of any other person or business.
- Unauthorized Use of University Keys - Unauthorized use, distribution, duplication, or possession of any key(s), access card(s), or access code(s) issued for any building, laboratory, facility, room, or other University property.
- Use, Manufacture, Distribution, Sale, Offer for Sale, or Possession of Controlled Substances or Drug Paraphernalia - The use, manufacture, distribution, sale, offer for sale, or possession of any controlled substances, including but not limited to, barbiturates, hallucinogens, amphetamines, cocaine, opium, heroin, or marijuana. Controlled Substances and Drug Paraphernalia are defined by Texas law.
- Violation of Campus Recreation Policies - Violation of the published policies, rules, and/or regulations of the Department of Campus Recreation.
- Violation of University Policies and Procedures - Violation of University policies and procedures including, but not limited to, those published in the UH Student Handbook.
- Violation of Probation - Violation of the Code while on disciplinary probation, or violation of the terms of disciplinary probation.
- Violation of Student Housing and Residential Life Policies, Procedures and/or License Agreements - Violation of the terms of a University housing License Agreement or the published policies, rules and/or regulations of the Department of Student Housing and Residential Life including, but not limited to, the following:
- Alcohol - Violation of Student Housing and Residential Life policies regarding the possession, distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages including:
- Consuming or transporting open alcoholic beverages in residence hall common areas including, but not limited to, hallways, balconies, lounges, stairways, courtyards, and/or community bathrooms.
- Possessing alcohol paraphernalia including, but not limited to, empty alcoholic beverage containers, beer bongs, and/or kegs.
- Providing open access to alcohol including, but not limited to, access to bulk or common source alcohol containers, access to more open containers present than the number of legal age persons present, or access to devices or games used in or intended for the rapid consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- Smoking - Smoking in a residence hall or in violation of the UH Tobacco Free Campus Policy.
- Health and Welfare - Failing to maintain living space and common areas in original condition; clean, unaltered, hazard-free.
- Unauthorized Occupancy/Use of Residential Facilities - Unauthorized occupancy of a living space or use of residential facilities including, but not limited to; cohabitation, subletting, altering the physical structure of the room/apartment without approval, remaining present if maintenance work is occurring after temporary space has been assigned, and/or providing laundry facility access to non-residents.
- Pets/Animals - Possession of a pet, with the exception of a fish, service animal, or comfort animal.
- Trash/Recycling - Improperly storing or disposing of trash and/or recycling.
- Wheeled Transportation - Unauthorized parking, securing, storing, indoor transport, use, or abandonment of a skateboard, bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter.
- Decorations - Displaying obscene (as defined by Texas or federal law) or discriminatory information/materials that cause, or would be reasonably likely to cause, mental harm to another or that is in violation of University policies.
- Gatherings - Assembling ten (10) or more people (residents included) in a residential room, suite, or apartment.
- Guests - Unauthorized, unattended, and/or hosting an excessive number of guests; failure of guests to comply with University policies and procedures.
- Hall Sports - Engaging in games and sports intended for outdoor play including, but not limited to, water guns/balloons, rollerblading, and bouncing and throwing balls.
- Living with Roommates - Failing to follow a Roommate Agreement, creating an inhospitable environment, or not maintaining personal care.
- Courtesy/Quiet Hours - Making excessive noise and/or engaging in disruptive behavior that causes sound to be heard beyond the confines of a room, suite or, apartment.
- Posting/Advertising - Unauthorized display, distribution, or removal of flyers, posters, banners, or other advertisements.
- Soliciting/Operating a Business - Operating a business, selling or promoting a service or product from a residence hall room, suite, apartment, or common area.
- Fire Alarm Activation - Intentional false activation of the fire alarm system, or activation through forbidden activity (e.g. smoking, candles, open flame cooking equipment).
- Fire Evacuation Procedure - Failing to evacuate after the activation of the fire alarm and/or following the directives of University and/or emergency personnel.
- Open Flames, Burning Embers & Flammable Materials - Possession of, but not limited to, candles, incense, marijuana smelling smoking substances, smoking, fireworks, “Christmas Trees” (live or cut down), lighter fluid, gas/propane, charcoal briquettes, and/or burning of any materials.
- Projectiles - Throwing, dropping, or projecting, objects from a residential structure.
- Appliances, Electronics, and Furniture - Possessing an appliance with an open heat source and/or no thermostat control (i.e. toaster ovens, hot plates, space heaters, etc.); using a multi-outlet extension cord; unauthorized movement of University furniture, and/or possessing a waterbed or self-manufactured loft.
- Violation of University Center Policies - Violation of the published policies, rules, and/or regulations of the University Center.
Student Disciplinary Procedures
The purpose of these procedures is to provide for the orderly administration of the Student Code of Conduct consistent with the principles of due process of law. Reasonable deviations from these procedures will not invalidate a decision or proceeding.
4. Disciplinary Action Initiated
Any member of the University community may submit a written allegation of violation of the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct. The individual alleging a violation must include sufficient facts which would enable the Dean of Students or designee to decide if further fact finding is necessary. An allegation of violation must include the name of the complainant and should include pertinent facts including, but not limited to, a description of the alleged violation, the date of the alleged violation, the name(s) of the students involved, the time that the alleged violation took place, and the location of the alleged violation.
- Students who are the subject of prohibited conduct allegations will be notified by the appropriate Hearing Officer. Such notice will contain information regarding the student conduct involved and a statement of the Code provision(s) and/or University policy alleged to have been violated.
- All written notices to students will be considered received upon the occurrence of one or more of the following: placing the written notice addressed to the student’s current local or permanent address as listed in the Registrar’s records in the United States Postal Service mail or campus mail, sending written correspondence to the student’s official University email address, or hand delivering written notice to the student. Receipt will constitute full and adequate notice.
- The student’s failure to provide and maintain current addresses with the Registrar, refusal to accept delivery of a letter, or failure to receive an email message because the mailbox is full or the message is inappropriately forwarded will not constitute good cause for failure to comply with written notices.
- Failure to respond to notices delivered via Item 5.2 shall constitute a separate violation of this Code. Failure of the accused student to respond to the initiation of charges or schedule a procedural interview shall in no way prevent the University from scheduling and conducting a University Hearing Board hearing or a Disciplinary Conference with the Hearing Officer in the absence of the accused student.
- The Dean of Students may bar or cancel the enrollment of a student who fails to comply with notices sent in accordance with Item 5.2.
6. Procedural Interview
- Students alleged to have violated the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Code must contact the Hearing Officer to schedule a Procedural Interview within five business days of receiving written notice.
- Students who fail to contact the Hearing Officer to schedule the Procedural Interview within the five business day period outlined in Item 6.1 will be considered to have elected to proceed with a Disciplinary Conference under the Student Disciplinary Procedures. Students who fail to appear for a scheduled Procedural Interview will be considered to have elected to proceed with a Disciplinary Conference.
- Copies of the following documents will be made available to the student at the time of the Procedural Interview:
- A copy of the Student Code of Conduct.
- A copy of the referral notice and/or incident report.
- A copy of the Students’ Rights and Responsibilities Respondent Information and Acknowledgement Form.
Students who fail to contact the Hearing Officer to schedule the Procedural Interview or who fail to attend a scheduled Procedural Interview will be provided access to copies of these documents in advance of the Disciplinary Conference.
7. Hearing Selection
- Within five business days of the Procedural Interview, the student shall choose either a hearing before the University Hearing Board or a Disciplinary Conference with the Hearing Officer. The student shall indicate their choice of hearing in writing to the Hearing Officer.
- The Hearing Officer shall notify the student of the time, date, and place of the Disciplinary Conference or hearing before the University Hearing Board.
- Students who fail to select either a hearing before the University Hearing Board or a Disciplinary Conference with the Hearing Officer within the five business day period outlined in Item 7.1 will be considered to have elected to proceed with a Disciplinary Conference.
8. Disciplinary Conference
The following procedural guidelines shall be applicable in Disciplinary Conferences with the Hearing Officer:
- Written notice of the alleged violation(s) at least five business days prior to the scheduled conference, unless the respondent requests to proceed with the Disciplinary Conference at an earlier time.
- The respondent is entitled to be accompanied and assisted by an advisor. An advisor may be an attorney, but who sits in an advisory capacity and who addresses the Hearing Officer only upon permission of the Hearing Officer. Respondents who wish to have an attorney attend the Disciplinary Conference as their advisor shall notify the Hearing Officer of the attorney’s name and contact information at least three business days prior to the Disciplinary Conference. If the respondent’s advisor is an attorney, the University may have a University attorney present at the Disciplinary Conference. An advisor may not appear in lieu of a respondent
- The right to have access to the case file at least three business days prior to and during the conference.
- If a respondent fails to appear for a scheduled Disciplinary Conference, the Hearing Officer will proceed with investigating the complaint.
- The Hearing Officer will investigate the complaint, including but not limited to; reviewing incident reports, reviewing witness statements, and interviewing witnesses. Before a decision is rendered, the respondent will be given an opportunity to respond to any new information obtained by the Hearing Officer during the investigation. If a respondent fails to appear for this meeting, the Hearing Officer will decide the case based upon the information obtained in the investigation.
- The Hearing Officer will notify the respondent of the decision in writing within ten business days of the close of the investigation. The Hearing Officer will also make a copy of the decision available to the respondent in the Dean of Students Office
9. University Hearing Board
- The University Hearing Board shall be composed of five students appointed by the Student Government Association, five students appointed by the Residence Halls Association, three faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate, and three staff members appointed by the Staff Council.
- There will be at least ten alternate members: at least three student alternates appointed by the Student Government Association, at least three student alternates appointed by the Residence Halls Association, at least two faculty alternates appointed by the Faculty Senate, and at least two staff alternates appointed by the Staff Council.
- A quorum shall consist of five persons, at least three of which shall be students and one shall be faculty or staff. If a quorum is not met and at least three people are present with one being a student, the respondent may request that the hearing proceed with those members present.
- The Chair must be a selected from the student members present at a scheduled hearing. The student selected by the Board to serve as Chair shall serve for the duration of the scheduled hearing.
- All members of the board must be in good standing with the University.
- The Associate Dean of Students may remove a Board member for justifiable cause. A Board member may appeal their removal to the Dean of Students.
- If a Board member resigns, cannot serve, or is removed from office, the Associate Dean of Students will select one of the alternates to fill the vacancy.
10. Hearing Procedures
The following procedural guidelines shall be applicable in disciplinary hearings:
- At least three business days prior to the hearing, the Hearing Officer will make available to the respondent(s) copies of documents relevant to the case and a list of witnesses.
- The respondent is entitled to be accompanied and assisted by an advisor. An advisor may be an attorney, but who sits in an advisory capacity and who addresses the Board only upon permission from the Chair. Respondents who wish to have an attorney attend the hearing as their advisor shall notify the Hearing Officer of the attorney’s name and contact information at least three business days prior to the hearing. If the respondent’s advisor is an attorney, the University may have a University attorney present at the disciplinary hearing. An advisor may not appear in lieu of a respondent.
- In the event that the University chooses to proceed through legal counsel, the respondent will be notified at least three business days prior to the hearing and shall also have the right to proceed through counsel. Counsel for a respondent may not appear in lieu of the respondent.
- Hearings of the University Hearing Board will be closed to the public except when the respondent requests an open hearing and such a request is approved. This request must be made in writing to the Hearing Officer at least three business days prior to the hearing.
- If a respondent fails to appear, the University Hearing Board will decide the case in the charged student’s absence.
- The Hearing Officer or designee may present the case for the University or the complainant.
- Prospective witnesses, other than the complainant and respondent, will be excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses. All participants shall be excluded during Board deliberations.
- The hearing will be held in two parts:
- Determination of violation.
- Determination of sanction; if a finding of “in violation” is determined.
- The Chair will exercise control over the proceedings. Any person disrupting a hearing or who fails to adhere to the rulings of the Chair may be removed or excluded from the proceedings.
- Any party may challenge a Board member on the grounds of personal bias. Board members may be disqualified upon a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board. Disqualification votes must be conducted by secret ballot.
- The burden of proof shall be on the complainant or University, whichever is applicable, to prove the case by a preponderance of the evidence standard.
- The Chair shall determine what evidence is admissible. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply.
- The respondent, the complainant, and/or the Board members may examine the written evidence offered and may question all witnesses.
- The respondent will not be forced to testify against himself or herself and their silence shall not be used to their detriment.
- Individuals referred to in any written statements or testimony of respondent, complainant, and/or witnesses may be called as witnesses by the University Hearing Board. The Chair shall determine the length of any such witness testimony and when it shall be heard during the hearing.
- At the conclusion of the presentations, the Board shall deliberate the violation stage of the proceeding in closed session. After deliberation and a vote, the decision of the Board will be announced to the participants.
- The Board may hear evidence concerning sanctioning if the respondent is found to have violated the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct. The Board may consider the respondent’s prior disciplinary record during the sanctioning phase of the proceedings in order to recommend the appropriate sanction(s).
- Decisions by the Board shall be by majority vote. In the event of a tie, the Chair will vote to break the tie.
- Hearings will be recorded and, upon written request, the respondent will be afforded access to the recording of the hearing. The only recording devices allowed in the hearing are those provided by the Hearing Officer.
- The Board’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Hearing Officer for further action. The Hearing Officer will notify the respondent of the decision in writing within seven business days of the hearing. The Hearing Officer will also make a copy of the decision available to the respondent in the Dean of Students Office.
Factors to be taken into consideration when issuing sanctions include, but are not limited to: the respondent’s motivation for displaying the behavior; the respondent’s disciplinary history; the extent to which the behavior jeopardizes the safety and security of the University of Houston community; and, the likelihood of the behavior occurring again. Upon written request, the Hearing Officer will disclose the results of campus disciplinary proceedings to the victim of a non-forcible sex or a violence related policy violation.
Upon a finding of a violation of the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct, one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed:
- Expulsion permanently separates the student from the University and prohibits the student from ever attending the University, enrolling in any University courses and/or from being present on University grounds without the permission of the Dean of Students Office. Expulsion will be noted on the student’s permanent record.
- Suspension prohibits the student from attending the University, enrolling in any University courses and from being present on University grounds without the permission of the Dean of Students Office for a specified period of time. A student suspended for prohibited conduct is not guaranteed readmission to the University, but shall petition the Dean of Students to review the student’s eligibility for readmission. Suspension will be noted on the student’s permanent record. A student who has been suspended from any University of Houston System component shall be ineligible to enroll at any other system component during the period of suspension.
- Deferred Suspension allows a sanction of suspension to be deferred to a specific date in the future. If a student is found in violation of any University rule while under the sanction of deferred suspension, the suspension sanction may be implemented immediately and additional conduct sanctions appropriate to the new violation(s) may be imposed. Students under the sanction of deferred suspension may be subject to additional restrictions identified by the Dean of Students Office. Failure to comply with the additional restrictions established by the Dean of Students Office will be considered additional conduct violations.
- Disciplinary Probation is a sanction in which students are considered “not in good standing” with the University. Any further misconduct while on probation may result in additional disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University. Students under the sanction of probation may be subject to additional restrictions identified by the Dean of Students Office. A sanction of probation is imposed for a definite period of time. Probation will be noted on the student’s permanent record during the period of probation.
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree may be imposed for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violations of University rules in obtaining admission or a degree, or for other serious violations committed by an applicant or by a student prior to the awarding of the degree.
- Educational Programs or Assignments are sanctions designed to develop and/or expand a student’s understanding of a University rule or policy and/or support the student’s learning in relation to the rule or policy that was violated.
- Reprimand is an official written notification retained in a student’s disciplinary file designed to inform the student that their behavior has been unacceptable.
- Restitution or compensation for loss, theft, deception, damage or injury which may take the form or appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Warning is a sanction which advises a student that they have engaged in behavior that is unbecoming of a member of the University community. This sanction remains in effect for a specified period of time, after which, it may be removed from the student’s conduct record at the student’s request. Any further misconduct during a sanction of warning may result in additional disciplinary action.
- Other Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, disenrollment, imposition of mandatory counseling requirements, no contact orders, restrictions from specific areas in University buildings and/or on University grounds, restrictions from participating in intercollegiate athletics, extracurricular activities, and residential life activities; monetary fines; community service; disciplinary room change for residence students, and/or ban or removal from University housing facilities. Students may also be required to meet periodically with a person designated by the Hearing Officer.
12. Interim Suspension
- The Dean of Students or designee may immediately suspend a student on an interim basis prior to a hearing when the Dean of Students or designee has reasonable cause to believe that the student’s presence on University premises or at a University-related or registered student organization activity poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the safety or security of themselves, others, or to property, the student may be immediately suspended from all or any portion of University premises, University-related activities or registered student organization activities. This temporary suspension will be confirmed in writing and shall remain in effect until the conclusion of a Disciplinary Conference or Hearing Board hearing, without undue delay, in accordance with the Student Disciplinary Rules.
- The Hearing Officer will notify the student(s) of the interim suspension. This notice will include a statement of the regulation(s) that the student allegedly violated, a specific statement of the facts constituting the alleged violation, and will direct the student(s) to contact the Dean of Students Office to schedule a Procedural Interview with the Hearing Officer within five business days of the notice. The notice will also include a copy of the Student Code of Conduct and/or the web address of the code. The notice of interim suspension may be issued initially by the Chief of Police or designee when there is reasonable cause to believe that the student(s) poses an immediate threat to the University community. In such cases, the Hearing Officer will subsequently issue notice of interim suspension pursuant to this section.
- An extension to the requirement to schedule a meeting with the Hearing Officer within a five business day period may be granted by the Hearing Officer for good cause.
- Students who fail to schedule the Procedural Interview within the five business day period outlined in Item 6.1 will be considered to have elected to proceed in the Student Disciplinary Procedures with a Disciplinary Conference.
- If the sanction for a confirmed violation of the Code of Conduct is to suspend or expel the student, the sanction takes effect from the date of the interim suspension.
13. Interim No Contact Orders
The Dean of Students or designee may immediately issue a no contact order on an interim basis prior to a hearing if it is believed necessary to protect a person’s safety and/or preserve a safe environment. A no contact order prohibits a student’s or a student organization’s contact with a specific individual or individuals.
14. Withholding of Transcripts, Grades, Diploma, or Degree
The Dean of Students or designee may withhold an official transcript, grade, diploma, or degree of a student alleged to have committed a violation of a University of Houston rule and/or the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct. The Dean of Students or designee may take such action pending a Hearing Board hearing or Disciplinary Conference, and/or the exhaustion of the student’s appellate rights.
15. Counseling Referrals
The Hearing Officer may refer any student who exhibits behavior that interferes with the student’s normal functioning to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or the University Health Center. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or the University Health Center may, with written permission of the student, discuss the results of the referral with the Hearing Officer. The student may refuse to attend a session with CAPS or the University Health Center without penalty at which time the disciplinary process will continue as if no referral were made.
16. Reporting at the Request of the Dean of Students
A request to meet with or respond to the Dean of Students or designee shall be heeded by all students. The request of the Dean of Students or designee shall have priority over all other duties of the student. The student will respond at the time and place set by the Dean of Students or designee unless arrangements are made because of extraordinary circumstances. Failure to report or respond as directed by the Dean of Students or designee on any matter shall constitute a separate violation of this Code and may result in disciplinary action.
17. University Hearing Board Appearances
The Dean of Students or designee shall have the authority to require a student to appear before the University Hearing Board at a designated time and place when the student’s presence is necessary to resolve a question which is before the Board. The Dean of Students or designee shall have the authority to require the student to produce such items as are relevant to the adjudication.
18. Official Withdrawal from the University of Houston
The Dean of Students Office may place a disciplinary hold on the records and future enrollment of any student who withdraws from the University prior to the resolution of pending disciplinary action. The Dean of Students Office may also place a notation on the student’s official transcript indicating that, “Disciplinary proceedings are pending at the University of Houston.” Students remain subject to the jurisdiction of the Student Disciplinary Procedures even if they withdraw from the University while disciplinary proceedings are pending.
- An appeal is not an opportunity to re-hear the original conduct case and will not be granted based on a respondent’s disagreement with the outcome of the original conduct case.
- An appeal may only be based upon the following grounds:
- New information, not available at the time of the original hearing, was discovered and such new information could affect the decision rendered in the original conduct case.
- Procedural error that resulted in material harm or prejudice to the student (i.e., by preventing a fair, impartial, or proper hearing). Deviations from the designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless material harm or prejudice results.
- The sanction imposed as the result of the original hearing was excessively severe in relation to the violation that the student was found to have committed. Appeals submitted on a claim that the sanction was excessively severe do not have bearing on the finding of “in violation” and relate only to the sanctions imposed.
- The Dean of Students will serve as the Appellate Officer for all conduct cases in which a sanction of expulsion, suspension, eviction, and/or revocation of admission or degree was issued as a result of the original conduct hearing.
- The Associate Dean of Students or designee will serve as the Appellate Officer for all conduct cases occurring outside of the areas under the control of Student Housing and Residential Life in which a sanction other that expulsion, suspension, eviction, and/or revocation of admission or degree was issued as a result of the original conduct hearing.
- The Associate Director for Residential Life or designee will serve as the Appellate Officer for all conduct cases occurring in areas under the control of Student Housing and Residential Life in which a sanction other that expulsion, suspension, eviction, and/or revocation of admission or degree was issued as a result of the original conduct hearing
- The Appellate Officer will review requests for appeal to determine if acceptable grounds for appeal have been demonstrated.
- Respondents may appeal the decision of the Hearing Officer by filing a written appeal, including a detailed explanation of the reason for the appeal consistent with the grounds for appeal outlined in Section 18.2, with the appropriate Appellate Officer within ten business days after receiving written notification of the decision.
- The Appellate Officer will render a decision and notify the respondent in writing within ten business days of receipt of the appeal.
- The decision of the Appellate Officer shall be final.
20. Disciplinary Records
- The University shall maintain a permanent written disciplinary record for every student assessed a sanction of suspension, expulsion, denial or revocation of a degree, and/or withdrawal of diploma.
- A disciplinary record shall reflect the nature of the charge, the disposition of the charge, the sanction assessed, and any other pertinent information. Disciplinary records shall be maintained by the Dean of Students Office. Disciplinary records will be treated as confidential and shall not be accessible to or used by anyone other than the Dean of Students or University officials with legitimate educational interests; except upon written authorization of the student or in accordance with applicable state or federal laws or court order or subpoena.
- Disciplinary records of students who were not assessed a sanction of suspension, expulsion, denial or revocation of a degree, and/or withdrawal of a diploma will be maintained by the Dean of Students Office for six years after the final disposition of the case in accordance with the University’s Records Retention Schedule.
- Disciplinary warning records are maintained as active conduct records by the Dean of Students Office for the specified period of warning. Students issued a warning sanction may request that the record be expunged once the period of warning has expired or when they have graduated from the University.
21. Student Groups and Registered Student Organizations
- Student groups and registered student organizations are subject to the same behavioral expectations as individual students and as such, may be charged with violations of the Prohibited Conduct Section of the Student Code of Conduct. The same Student Code of Conduct procedures afforded individual students are applicable to student groups and registered student organizations.
- Student groups and registered student organizations, their members, as well as other students may be held collectively and/or individually responsible for violations that occur on University grounds, on premises used or controlled by the group or organization, and/or at University sponsored activities on or off campus. The disciplinary jurisdiction set forth in Item 1.1 applies to individual students, student groups and registered student organizations.
- Student groups and registered student organizations and their officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible for violations of the Code when the organization’s leaders, officers, or spokespersons have given tacit or overt consent or encouragement for the prohibited conduct.
- Student group and registered student organization leaders, officers, and/or spokespersons may be directed by the Dean of Students or designee to take action to prevent or end violations of the Code by members of the organization or by any persons associated with the organization. Failure to make reasonable efforts to comply with the directives of the Dean of Students or designee shall be considered a violation of the Code by the leaders, officers, and spokespersons of the organization as well as by the organization.
- Sanctions for student group and/or registered student organization misconduct may include revocation or denial of registration as well as other appropriate sanctions cited in Section 11 and Section 12 of the Code.
Approval: January 20, 2015
Dr. Richard Walker; Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Student Affairs
Annually by Dr. William F. Munson; Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Student Travel Policy
The Student Travel Policy contains required procedures and guidelines for students travelling to a university event that is further than 25 miles from the campus in which the travel is either funded by UH or required by a UH student organization. The complete policy is contained in System Administrative Memorandum (SAM) 03.E.08 - Travel by Student to Component University Funded Activity and can be reviewed on the web at http://www.uh.edu/af/universityservices/policies/sam/3FicsalAffairs/3E8.pdf.
Search and Seizure
Students may be subjected to searches and seizures as authorized by university policies and federal, state and local laws.
Soliciting of Funds, Selling of Nonfood Items
Persons wishing to solicit funds, sell printed matter or other nonfood items, or distribute or post advertising dealing with noncommercial items or services must seek approval in advance from the Dean of Students’ designate, the UC Conference and Reservation Services (CARS) Office, University Center South 237.
Except for newspapers, these activities must be sponsored by the University or a registered student organization, and the individuals engaged in these activities must be currently enrolled at the University. State law prohibits the University from permitting its facilities and grounds to be used for personal gain.
The distribution or posting of commercial literature and/or other items for personal gain on campus is prohibited.
Events may be sponsored only by registered university organizations and must be scheduled in accordance with the last section of this policy. It is the policy of the University to permit the expression of a full range of ideas as long as violation of state and federal laws is not involved.
- University-Sponsored Events Defined
- Any event on campus sponsored by a registered university organization;
- Events off-campus funded by university monies or sponsored by registered university organizations funded by university monies.
- Responsibility-Individual students as well as registered student organizations are subject to disciplinary action if found in violation of student life policies at a university sponsored event.
- Reservations for Events-University properties utilized for all events other than credit instruction must be reserved with the UC Conference and Reservation Services (CARS) Office in the University Center. Questions raised regarding the use of and policies that pertain to university facilities will be answered in accordance with the paragraph above. Events on and off campus may (and should, for information-publicity purposes) be placed on the university calendar at the time of facility reservation.