(Office of Community
UNH students often find themselves being "written up" by the Resident Assistant, Hall Director or Dean of their college for violating the rules of the University. The disciplinary process at UNH can happen very quickly. In a whirlwind students can find themselves on probation, kicked out of the dorms or even suspended from the University. It is important when an incident on campus occurs to familiarize yourself with the University disciplinary process. The Rights Rules and Responsibilities Handbook can be found on the Office of Community Standards website. The disciplinary process can happen differently every semester if the rules have been changed and each situation can be handled unquietly depending on the facts and circumstances. It can be helpful to get legal assistance, especially if you think a suspension or expulsion might occur.
Typically, UNH students who have violated the University rules will be given an incident report that outlines the rules they are alleged to have violated, the synopsis of the incident and the name of the complainant (the person bringing the charge.) The complainant will often request that you contact them within a short period of time to schedule what is called an “informal meeting”. Many disciplinary issues can be resolved at the informal meeting by the student taking responsibility for the charges and accepting the proposed punishment. For most minor infractions the punishment will often be probation and perhaps some educational sanctions like an alcohol education class. For more serious infractions, like possession of drugs, the informal meeting will be informational only and the case will be sent to the Office of Community Standards for a full disciplinary hearing. The more serious offenses usually have more serious consequences like eviction from the dorms or suspension from the University. A careful reading of all the information on the Office of Community Standards website can give you a very good idea of what you may be facing. Legal guidance through the process may be helpful and Attorney Stella can be contacted for assistance.
If you have been charged by the UNH Police or any other police department AND you have or expect to have criminal charges it is important to get legal advice right away. Criminal Defense Attorney Joanne M. Stella has represented over 9,000 UNH students and has been practicing law in the UNH/Durham community for over 18 years.
In addition to the possibility of a formal disciplinary action, if your name appears on the local arrest logs you will be required to attend a Dean’s meeting. A first meeting with your Dean is intended to be mostly a warning; advising you that if you continue to get in trouble, after three arrests, your Dean would pursue available remedies through the Office of Community Standards for a suspension from UNH. The Dean’s meeting and the “three strikes and you’re out” policy are not necessarily a part of the formal disciplinary process through the Office of Community Standards. The first and second warning meetings with a Dean can occur as a result of your name appearing on the police logs without there ever being formal disciplinary charges.
If you have a Dean’s meeting as a result of being arrested or if you have formal disciplinary charges through the Office of Community Standards, then it is possible you could have scholarship money taken away and be denied permission to study abroad for one year. (The scholarships affected are the Dean’s, Director, Presidential, Tyco or Hamel as of September 2015. A first infraction is usually a $500.00 deduction and a second infraction can result in a loss of the scholarship entirely.)
Attorney Joanne M. Stella has represented thousands of UNH students. Contact her if you think she can help you.