Code of Conduct violations on par with FY 2016, academic dishonesty violations increase

Student Code of Conduct violations increased in the category of academic dishonesty for the 2017 fiscal year, while other categories decreased or were consistent with FY 2016 violations, according to information released by the Dean of Students office.

In FY 2017, the Dean of Students office dealt with 379 cases, 59 of which were academic dishonesty violations. In FY 2016, students were found in violation for 38 cases. Other common areas of conduct violations decreased in frequency over FY 2017, with “disruptive behavior” cut nearly in half at 34 violations. “Misuse of alcohol” decreased from 115 violations to 86.

“The number for FY 2017 is roughly equivalent to the level of FY 2016,” said Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct and Ethical Development Michael Votava. “That’s what you would expect to see, you would expect to see the numbers plateau off at a certain point and eventually start to decline suddenly. You notice if you compared this chart to the increase in care reports to the number of cases of student misconduct, the number of student misconduct cases has gone down, which I think is another good indicator.”

A care report is a referral sent to the UAA Care Team which uses referrals to study concerning behavior along with evaluating and supplying resources to referred students. Care team reports saw no significant change from FY 2016 with 587 referrals this year. Care increases as conduct violations decrease, Votava said.

“Sometimes the Care Team is able to de-escalate a situation so that a student conduct response is unnecessary,” he said.

There were 120 violations of Regents’ Policy, University Regulation or UA Rules or Procedures last year.

“Violation of rules would be students who are in possession of a pet, students that failed to evacuate during a fire alarm, students that have an empty alcohol container collection, students that bring food into a computer lab. There’s a rule posted that prohibits bringing in food,” Votava said.

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The residential community saw the highest number of misuse of alcohol violations, with the majority of cases occurring at East Hall (29) and North Hall (17) and only four violations occurred on the main campus. There were also 34 misuses of drug violations, with marijuana cases accounting for 32 of the total. There were two prescription drug violations.

“In FY 2016, 94 percent of violations involving alcohol and 100 percent of all violations involving drugs or other intoxicants occurred in the residential community,” Votava said. “I find that to be consistent. It’s usually around 93 percent of misuse of alcohol incidents that occur in the residential community. The remaining 7 percent occur at events that occur off campus, such as homecoming dances or dances that USUAA government holds in the spring semester. Occasionally, there’s an incidence where students bring alcohol on campus.”

Ryan-Jasen Henne, director of Residence Life, said the department does not actively seek out violations but that part of living in the residential community is to be under more supervision than commuter students.

“The reality is that we are a controlled environment that’s managed by the University, to live on campus it is a privilege and it’s not a guarantee,” Henne said. “To live on campus, we have a set of community standards that you are expected to uphold yourself to, as well as you are expected to hold other people to.”

Another big change between FY 2016 and 17 is the arrival of the new Dean of Students, Ben Morton. One metric he gauges his office’s success by is the change in conduct violations.

“To me, the way to have a great student conduct process is to continually have your numbers kind of declining and to be able to show and assess that those numbers are declining, not because you’re not paying attention, but because you are doing a better and more proactive job of educating people on the front end,” Morton said.

Other violations of the student code of conduct saw little to no change, including endangerment (31) and failure to comply (19). Additional violations in FY 2017 include: theft of property or services (4), damage or destruction of property (5), Forgery, Falsification, Alteration, of Misuse of Documents, Funds, Property, or Electronic Records (16), Gender-based or Sexual Misconduct (4). There were seven suspensions in FY 2017 and one expulsion.