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Student offenses dictate consequence after Code One legacy ends

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Monday, February 18, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 16:02

Most upperclass students at Miami University have heard of a Code One: it’s the former name of the violation received when a student is caught with alcohol in the residence halls. Now a "Code One" is simply called a violation. According to Susan Vaughn, director of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution at Miami, a range of consequences can follow a violation.

Any offense ranging from alcohol to sexual misconduct is considered a code violation, and the punishments for these violations vary.

“They are all critical to the success of a student,” Vaughn said. “We want students with high integrity and we value that so it’s expected that these codes will not be violated.”

The different violations listed in the Code of Student Conduct include interfering with a university function, dishonesty, sexual misconduct or other physical or mental abuse, damage or theft of university property, alcohol abuse, possession of weapons, hazing, discrimination, failure to comply or giving false reports, abuse of computing resources and unauthorized use of keys or access cards.

Guilt is determined by a more-likely-than-not approach, and punishments vary depending on the severity of the offense. Punishments can include dismissal from the university, suspension from the university, disciplinary probation or certain restrictions and written reprimands.

Alcohol, dishonesty and hazing violations have different sanctions depending on how many times the offense occurred, with a mandatory minimum sanction.

For example, for the first offense of using alcohol, the student will have to attend a two-hour substance abuse program as well as pay $150. The second offense will include a $250 comprehensive substance abuse class. The third offense will result in suspension from the university.

Similarly, the first violation of dishonesty, which includes academic dishonesty or fraud like using another student’s identification card, results in a $200 ethics class. The second offense of academic dishonesty results in suspension from the university.

In contrast, sexual misconduct violations do not have mandatory sanctions, but usually result in more severe punishment. Sexual misconduct is defined in the Code of Conduct as any sexual conduct directed against another person forcibly or against that person’s will. According to Vaughn, in cases of sexual misconduct the university consistently recommends suspension of at least one semester, possibly several years, or in some cases, expulsion from the university.

Barbara Jones, vice president of student affairs, also recognizes the importance of a student code of conduct.

“I think its important for all students to understand what the university’s expectations around student behavior are, and that’s what the code of conduct does,” Jones said.

First-year Melina Hazzard said that she is most familiar with the alcohol violations and their penalties because residence hall advisors discuss them frequently.

“I think it is important that each of the different types of violations be individualized because different actions should have different consequences,” Hazzard said.

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