Discipline Process


Any University student, staff, or faculty member may bring a complaint against a residence hall resident based on an alleged violation of policies. Regulation 13 of the Code of Student Life requires that students observe the conduct rules. Therefore, a violation of the Residence Hall Policy also violates the Code of Student Life. Complaints are investigated by the hall coordinator responsible for the building where the alleged misconduct occurred.  A student who has a complaint may speak with the Resident Assistant on their floor about the complaint process.

In some cases, a student sanctioned in accordance with university disciplinary policies may also face criminal charges filed under local, state and federal laws. A student's residence hall status is a separate matter from the question of criminal responsibility. When a student is charged by the police, disciplinary complaints that arise out of the circumstances which led to the arrest are adjudicated according to the standard administrative procedure without delay and without reference to criminal procedure. A student found not guilty in court of a criminal charge may still face administrative sanctions if disciplinary policies were violated.

In order to maintain an environment conducive to learning, the disciplinary process is guided by the principle of progressive discipline. A student will be held accountable for their actions and given a sanction appropriate to the gravity of the violation.  More serious sanctions are imposed in the event of a subsequent offense. In some cases, a student’s housing contract will be canceled or the student will be suspended from the University altogether.

The following violations could result in a housing contract cancelation even if there are no prior sanctions on record: possession of illegal drugs, possession of large quantities of alcohol, sounding a false alarm, violation of the open flame policy, or possession of weapons, knives, or explosive materials. These examples are not intended to be a complete list. Other types of violations could also lead to contract cancellation, such as misconduct by a resident with a prior disciplinary record. Students found to be responsible for aggravated assault, sexual abuse, or selling illegal drugs may face suspension or expulsion from the University.


The staff member assigned to investigate the complaint will gather relevant evidence to determine whether or not there is a reasonable basis for believing that policies were violated. A student accused of misconduct has the right to present their side of the story to the investigator and present witnesses and evidence on their behalf. If the accused student fails to respond to a request for a meeting, a decision will be made in their absence.

During the period of investigation, the investigator may impose an Administrative No-Contact Order, an Administrative Building Prohibition Order, or a Disciplinary Room Transfer on an interim basis pending the final outcome of the investigation. Interim sanctions will remain in effect until the complaint is resolved.

Depending upon the outcome of the investigation, the complaint may be dealt with in one of five ways:

  1. Dismissal of Complaint. The investigator may determine that sanctions are not warranted and dismiss the complaint.
  2. Deferred Judgment. The investigator may elect to postpone a decision on the merits of a complaint with the option to reopen the investigation later. If no further complaints are made during the remainder of the academic year, then the original complaint will be dismissed.
  3. Policy Reminder Letter. The investigator may elect to remind the accused student, in writing, of residence hall policies and issue a general warning that a violation will result in sanctions. A copy of the reminder letter will be placed in the student’s disciplinary file but will not be considered a finding of responsibility or a formal sanction.
  4. Finding of Responsible and Disciplinary Sanctions. The investigator may find the student responsible for violating policy based on a preponderance of evidence standard.  The investigator may then impose any one or a combination of the disciplinary sanctions listed in the following section. A record of each residence hall violation is maintained in the Student Conduct Office database for a period of seven years.
  5. Referral to the Office of the Dean of Students. The investigator may refer the matter to the Office of the Dean of Students for resolution. Under the Student Judicial Procedure [http://dos.uiowa.edu/student-judicial-procedure], the Dean may cancel a student’s housing contract and/or suspend the student from campus for one semester or longer. University Housing & Dining reserves the right to refer cases that arise late in the semester directly to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Sanctions Imposed by Residence Hall Staff

The Associate Director or their designees are authorized to impose one or more of the following sanctions upon students found responsible for misconduct.

STATUS SANCTIONS:  One of these sanctions will always be imposed when a student is found responsible for a policy violation. 

  1. Written Warning: A strongly written warning stating that if there is a repetition of the same action or any other action in violation of the rules and regulations of residence halls, the student can expect additional disciplinary action. A record of the disciplinary warning is kept on file in the Student Conduct Office database.
  2. Disciplinary Reprimand: A written notice to the student explaining that the student’s violation of institutional regulations warrants an official record be kept in the Student Conduct Office database.  Any further violation may lead to a Housing Contract Cancellation.  This sanction is considered a Step 1 University sanction for purposes of progressive university discipline.  A student charged with a subsequent violation inside or outside of the residence halls may face a Step 2 or Step 3 sanction. A student who has received a Disciplinary Reprimand is not ordinarily eligible for employment with Housing & Dining and is not ordinarily eligible to hold office in residence hall organizations.
  3. University Probation:  A written admonishment for a violation of specified regulations. With respect to the non-academic disciplinary system, a student on disciplinary probation is not considered to be in good standing for a designated period of time. If the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period, more severe disciplinary sanctions may be imposed. Once the designated period of time has elapsed, the student will be considered in good standing; however, a record of the sanction will be kept in the Student Conduct Office database.
  4. Housing Contract Cancellation: A student may be involuntarily separated from the residence halls on a permanent basis or for a stated period of time after which readmission is possible. Students removed from living in a University residence hall shall automatically forfeit residence hall privileges, be assessed a Contract Recovery Charge, and may be excluded from University activities and University facilities. A Housing Contract Cancellation is considered a Step 2 University sanction for purposes of progressive discipline.  A student removed from the residence halls involuntarily is not in good standing with the University and is considered on non-academic probation. A student on probation who is charged with a subsequent Code of Student Life violation, in the Residence Halls or outside of the Residence Halls, may face a Step 3 sanction (i.e., suspension or expulsion from the University).

ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS:  These sanctions may be paired with any of the above sanctions: 

  1. Disciplinary Room Transfer: A student may be transferred to a different area of the residence halls.
  2. Restitution: A student may be assessed reasonable expenses related to the misconduct. This assessment may include, but is not limited to, the repair/replacement cost for any damage they cause to residence hall property or medical or counseling expenses incurred by the victim.
  3. Fines: In cases involving violations of the alcohol or drug policies, fines ranging from $200 to $700 will be imposed. Fines are assessed based on the amount of harm to self and others.  Hard liquor is assessed fines at a higher level than beer.  Funds from fines will be used to support the University's alcohol and drug education and awareness programs and provide social programs for residence halls.
  4. Educational Sanction: A student may be required to provide a specific service or participate in a specific program, receive specific instruction, or complete a research assignment. Students are often referred to Health Iowa for substance abuse education or counseling. The student is responsible for related expenses, including expenses for education, counseling, or treatment, if any expense is entailed.
  5. Administrative Building Prohibition: A student may be prohibited from entering a specific building(s) or area.
  6. Administrative No Contact Order:  A student may be prohibited from contacting a student(s).

Sanctions Imposed by Dean of Students

In the event that the complaint is referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for resolution, students found responsible for misconduct prohibited by the Code of Student Life are subject to the following sanction in addition to the sanctions listed above:

  • Suspension or Expulsion: A student may be involuntarily separated from the University permanently or for a stated period of time after which re-admission is possible.

Compliance with University Officials

Students requested to meet with residence hall staff members regarding a disciplinary complaint are expected to comply with the request in timely and cooperative manner. Furthermore, students who have been disciplined are expected to comply in a timely manner with the sanctions imposed. Non-compliant students are subject to additional disciplinary action, including the possibility of suspension from the residence halls or from University classes.

Review of Actions Taken by the Investigator

Any student who receives sanctions from a University Housing & Dining staff member under the procedures set forth above may appeal by filing a written petition within ten calendar days following the Investigator's decision. The appeal should specify the grounds for the appeal.  In the event that a timely appeal is filed, an administrator will review the contents of the student’s disciplinary file.

In cases where University procedures were not followed or substantial rights of the student have been prejudiced, the administrator conducting the review may reverse or modify the sanction(s) imposed. In the alternative, the administrator may sustain the Investigator's decision, impose a more serious sanction, or refer the complaint to the Office of the Dean of Students. A meeting with the student is not required.

Students with any questions about the disciplinary process may contact the Associate Director for Residence Education at 319-335-3700.

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