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Frequently Asked Questions

The following list of questions are those that we get most often. If you have a question that isn't answered below, please feel free to contact us, either in person, or by calling (801) 581-7066.

Parents & Families

If you cannot find or contact your student and are concerned for his or her safety or well being, please contact the University’s Department of Public Safety (campus police) at 801-581-COPS (2677) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a US federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. For more information see http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.

The student accused of the violation is who is contacted when we receive a report or complaint. Under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the University is allowed (but not required) to contact parents or guardians if the student is younger than 21 years old and has been involved in an alcohol or drug violation.

In general, no. A parent may receive access to that information is if there is a signed release of information on file with the Office of the Dean of Students or if the Behavioral Intervention Team decides to contact the emergency contact on file and that person is a parent. An exception might be if the student lives with the parent, and the team decides to do a wellness check, or if there is a health or safety concern and it is deemed to be in the best interest of the student to make contact with family members.
The student conduct process is not a court of law. Attorneys can serve as advisers but we prefer to communicate directly with our students and attorneys are not required.  Students may have an adviser of their choice throughout the student conduct process (attorney, family member, University faculty or staff member, etc.) but will need to sign a release of information form allowing us to share private disciplinary information with them. 
The fraternity and sorority community can help provide leadership and social networking experiences to support your student throughout their college experience.  There may be some questions you would like answered so you can better support your student in their choice to join a fraternity or sorority.  The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life (801-581-8061) oversees this community and some frequently asked questions can be found here.

 

Student Behavioral Misconduct

When the Office of the Dean of Students is made aware of a possible violation of the Student Code, we first contact the accused student through their official UMail account and request a meeting to discuss the issue. You need to set up an appointment to meet with the hearing officer assigned to the case as a "registration hold" could be placed on your record, preventing you from registering for classes or obtaining an official transcript.

The student who is accused of a possible violation of the Student Code meets with a student conduct officer who has been appointed by the Dean of Students in his or her office in 270 Union. This meeting is an opportunity for the student to tell his/her side of the story and answer the conduct officer’s questions about the details of the case. The investigation of the issue may require more than one meeting and at the conclusion, the conduct officer determines if he/she believes that there has been a violation of the Student Code.

If the conduct officer finds that the student has not violated the Student Code, the complaint is dismissed and the matter is closed. If the conduct officer finds that the student has violated the Student Code, the conduct officer may offer appropriate resolution/sanctions to be agreed to by the responding student. If the student agrees to the informal resolution and complies with the terms and conditions set out by the conduct officer, the matter will be closed. If an informal resolution is inappropriate, or the responding student declines to agree to the informal resolution offered, the complaint will be submitted to the Student Behavior Committee.

The Student Bill of Rights can be found under Section II. of the Student Code, http://www.regulations.utah.edu/academics/6-400.html.

 The hearing officer investigating a case asks questions of the accused student, the person or department making the complaint of the possible violation, police reports, incident reports, witnesses, and others who might have information on what happened. The hearing officer uses all of this information to determine if more likely than not a violation of the code occurred.  

If the conduct officer finds that the student has not violated the Student Code, the complaint is dismissed and the matter is closed. If the conduct officer finds that the student has violated the Student Code, the conduct officer may offer appropriate resolution/sanctions to be agreed to by the responding student. If the student agrees to the informal resolution and complies with the terms and conditions set out by the conduct officer, the matter will be closed. If an informal resolution is inappropriate, or the responding student declines to agree to the informal resolution offered, the complaint will be submitted to the Student Behavior Committee.

 Sanctions are intended to provide an appropriate response to the student misconduct and a learning opportunity for the parties involved with the conflict. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, educational requirements (i.e. required attendance at a training or workshop), the payment of restitution, community service, probation, suspension or dismissal from the University. Suspensions and dismissals are reflected on a student’s transcript.

Sanctions that require action on the part of the responding student will be assigned a deadline for completion and should be fully understood. Where appropriate, the hearing officer may grant a responding student’s request for minor alterations to the sanctions (i.e. a deadline for completion could be extended due to mitigating circumstances).

 Suspensions and dismissals are the most serious sanctions for violations of the Student Code. The sanctions of suspension or dismissal from the University for behavioral misconduct may be imposed: (1) if agreed upon in informal resolution between the responding student and the dean of students or designee; (2) if recommended by the Student Behavior Committee to the vice president for student affairs or designee; (3) by the vice president for student affairs or designee notwithstanding the recommendation of the Committee; or (4) by the president notwithstanding the decision of the vice president for student affairs. A student who has been suspended or dismissed from the University shall be denied all privileges accorded to a student.

Suspension from the University shall be for a minimum time of one semester following the semester the student is found responsible for the behavioral misconduct. The office of the dean of students shall notify the student in writing of the suspension, conditions for reinstatement, and of the obligation of the student to petition for reinstatement. Notice of the suspension shall also be provided to the student’s department chair. Petitions for reinstatement shall be submitted to the office of the dean of students and shall explain how the conditions for reinstatement have been met. The office of the dean of students shall consider the petition and shall issue a decision regarding the student’s reinstatement within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of the petition. The office of the dean of students may grant conditional reinstatement contingent upon the student meeting written requirements specified by the office of the dean of students or by the chair of the Student Behavior Committee in the original sanction to the extent that such conditions pertain to the original offense in the original sanction.

Dismissal from the University is final. A student dismissed from the University for behavioral misconduct may not petition for reinstatement. Permanent records of dismissal shall be kept in the Office of the Dean of Students. The dismissed student’s transcript will reflect his/her dismissal. Dismissal is reserved for only the most egregious of offenses.

The student may have an adviser of their choice with them during a meeting with a conduct officer or a hearing of the Student Behavior Committee. 

Each case of a student conduct violation is considered individually with information from all parties involved. Appropriate sanctions are determined on a case-by-case basis to provide a relevant learning opportunity for the parties involved in the violation, so they can be different for each student and situation.

Complaints dismissed by a conduct officer and informal resolutions are not eligible for appeal.

If the conduct officer offers an informal resolution with which a student does not wish to agree, the complaint will be submitted to the Student Behavior Committee. The findings and recommendations of the Student Behavior Committee are presented to the Vice President for Student Affairs who will issue a decision on the matter.

Within ten business days of the vice president's decision, any party involved in the complaint may appeal that decision by filing a written notice of appeal with the University President. The decision of the president is final.

Behavioral Intervention

With students facing high levels of stress in their lives, faculty and staff may encounter students whose behaviors are concerning, disruptive, or threatening towards themselves or others. In an effort to respond to the safety needs of the campus, the University of Utah has established the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). It is an interdisciplinary team of staff and faculty who take referrals of concerns about students and reach out with intervention strategies to assist.

Yes. It is important to respond to any outreach by a University of Utah official. Failure to do so in a timely fashion may result in additional actions being taken to ensure that the student is safe and a referral to Student Conduct.

Yes.  The BIT understands that we may not have all of the correct information. Students have the right to share their perspective, and this will be taken into consideration when determining an appropriate course of action.

A student’s privacy is valued; however, some information is disclosed to the BIT, which is comprised of team of University administrators. BIT leadership, including the Assistant Dean of Students for Behavioral Intervention & Education and the case manager, will handle most of the information.

Sexual Misconduct and Title IX 

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Per University Rule R1-012, Sexual Misconduct is a broad term used to encompass a range of behaviors including Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Exploitation, STalking, Nonconsensual Sexual Contact, and Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration.  Sexual Misconduct also includes the crimes of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking as defined by state and federal law.  Sexual Misconduct is a form of Sex Discrimination.  

Sexual Harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

 1.        Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a university activity;

2.        Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a university activity; or

3.        Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a university activity.

As per University Rule 1-102, consent means affirmative, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement.  
Many people are familiar with the advice that "no means no" when it comes to sexual contact with another.  This is true, but we believe that even better advice is to always consider "yes means yes" and would advise not proceeding with sexual contact of any kind without this affirmation.  Note that an individual cannot give consent if they are asleep or incapacited, and that consent is not voluntary when given under threat. 

  • Stalking, per Utah Code 76-5-106.5, refers to repeated harassment that reasonably terrorizes or induces fear for a specific person.
  • Dating/Domestic Violence, per Utah Code 77-36-1, is an ongoing pattern of controlling and abusive behaviors that individuals use against a cohabitant or their intimate partners, which include physical, sexual, economic, or emotional attacks/control.
  • Forcible sexual abuse or sexual assault, per Utah Code 76- 5-404, refers to the touching of private areas and/or taking indecent sexual liberties with another, without consent, which causes emotional or physical pain.
  • Rape, per Utah Code 76-5-402 occurs when an individual has sexual intercourse with another person without the person’s consent. This code applies whether or not the actor is married to the victim.
  • Other sexual conduct prohibited by Utah State law: 76-5-401.1 Sexual abuse of a minor
  • 76-5-401.2 Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year- old.
  • 76-5-402.1 Rape of a child

Further information on the Utah code can be found at https://www.utah.gov/residents/utahlaws.html

Don’t ignore it. Early efforts to control a potentially harassing situation are important. Sometimes you can stop such behavior by telling the person directly that you are uncomfortable and want it to stop.

Report it. If you are uncertain about whether or not you are experiencing sexual harassment or stalking, are hesitant to tell the person you are uncomfortable yourself, or if efforts to stop a problem have not worked, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (801-581-8365) or the Office of the Dean of Students (801-581-7066). These are University offices that may conduct impartial investigation to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation. An investigation may be able to resolve matters of sexual harassment through an alternative resolution process or a formal complaint process as outlined by University policies including the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities.  You may also report it to the Department of Public Safety (police; 801-585-COPS(2677).

You are also welcome to seek support services from a campus victim advocate in our Center for Student Wellness (http://advocate.wellness.utah.edu/

Faculty and staff members have a legal responsibility to stop prohibited discrimination and sexual harassment.  If you become aware of potentially sexually harassing conduct, even if the individual involved does not wish to take any action, note the following obligations under University policy and federal law:

  • You must advise the student of the of the  the OEO/AA or Dean of Students Office and the availability of the University complaint process.
  • University Rule 1-012 requires that you advise the Office of Equal Opportunity of any information you have regarding allegations of illegal discrimination or sexual harassment.
  • If you receive information about a crime on campus that you     believe has been provided in good faith, you must report it to the Department of Public Safety to be disclosed in the annual Clery Report.  It is not necessary for the crime to have been investigated nor must a finding of responsibility have been made to disclose the statistic. Call 801-585-COPS (2677). 

Students. It is more likely for students who have experienced sexual misconduct to tell a friend or family member before reporting the incident to an authority or institution.  If another student discloses a situation like this, listen without judgment and ask how you can be supportive to them.  Let them know of resources including the victim advocates and that they have the right to report it to the University's Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action.  We encourage you to get the person's permission, but regardless you may also report what you know to initiate University outreach to the student with information about rights and resources.  This can also be done anonymously.  

The privacy of all parties involved in a complaint process shall be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University's legal obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct, to take appropriate action, or as otherwise provided by law.  University staff and faculty members are required to report information they receive about sexual misconduct to the Office of Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action so that the University can provide appropriate support and notify complainants of their rights to file a complaint and their options for adjudication.

However, as per University Rule 1-012B, the University has several staff members who can be confidential with information that is reported to them.  This means that disclosure of an allegation of sexual misconduct will not result in a University investigation without the complainant's agreement.  These resources include professional counselors and advocates in the Victim Advocacy Office, Center for Student Wellness, University Counseling Center, Women's Resource Center, and University Hospital Chaplains. 

Campus Police
Department of Public Safety 1735 East South Campus Dr

Emergency: 911 Non-emergency: 801-585-2677 (COPS)
dps.utah.edu

Office of Equal Opportunity/Afirmative Action
Sherrie Hayashi, Title IX Coordinator
135 Park Building
801-581-8365
oeo.utah.edu

Center for Student Wellness, Campus Victim Advocate 
Student Services Building Room 330
801-581-7779
advocate.wellness.utah.edu

University Counseling Center 
Student Services Building Room 426
801-581-6826
counselingcenter.utah.edu

Student Health Center
555 Foothill Drive
801-581-6431
studenthealth.utah.edu

University Hospital, Emergency Medicine
50 North Medical Drive
9-1-1
healthcare.utah.edu/hospital

Women’s Resource Center 
Union Building Room 411
801-581-8030
womenscenter.utah.edu

Getting Involved

The University of Utah is a large institution and getting involved can help it feel a bit smaller. Being involved in the campus community gives you the opportunities to meet new people, get friends from diverse back grounds, gain transferable skills, exercise your passion, develop a sense of belonging, and most of all have fun. To get more information about involvement across campus, visit the Student Leadership & Involvement website

There are over 600 student organizations ranging in interests such as academic, cultural, religious, performing, sports, and everything in between. To see the full listing of student organizations, go to ASUU website.

To start a student organization, all you need to do is to register three officers and a consitution. By registering your student organization, it allows your group to be searched for and seen by any potential members who want to join. It also allows you access to possible funding, free tabling events and reduced-cost advertising.  Register at ASUU (https://asuu.utah.edu/find-a-group). 

The best way to determine which organization is right for you is to spend time with each organization during recruitment and decide for yourself where you feel you belong. Each chapter varies in size, mission and culture and so it is important that you get the opportunity to feel out each chapter in order to determine the right fit for you. For information see http://fraternityandsororitylife.utah.edu/

On a campus as large as this, there is always something going on. The best way to find out about events is to follow the  University Events Calendar, as well as some of your favorite departments and student organizations on social media.

Last Updated: 2/16/17