University can act on off-campus violations

Jennie Kushner

Students charged with alcohol or drug-related violations off campus may face repercussions on campus.

“If a student is involved in an alcohol or drug-related incident off campus, the law enforcement agency that handles the incident may notify the University,” said UA spokeswoman Cathy Andreen.

She said such violations could involve the Office of Student Judicial Affairs.

“If the Office of Student Judicial Affairs is made aware of an incident that adversely affects the University through law enforcement channels, Judicial Affairs will generally meet with the student,” she said.

According to the Judicial Affairs website, disciplinary action may be taken against students with an off-campus violation of federal, state or local laws.

Sanctions can be imposed for misconduct which is detrimental to or demonstrates disregard for the University community or its pursuit of University objectives, the website said.

If a student is turned over to Judicial Affairs, the charges will be investigated and a hearing can be held, according to the site. There are several sanctions that may be imposed upon any student who is found to have violated the student code.

Those sanctions include warning, probation, loss of privileges, fines, restitution, discretionary sanctions, residence hall suspension, university suspension and expulsion.

If a student is sanctioned to expulsion, he or she has no right to request a review, the website said.

Jacob Monroe, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, said he understands the University’s tough laws but thinks a student deserves more privacy.

“I understand why the University feels like they should know everything about students legally, but I think if they get in trouble off campus, it should be handled off campus,” he said. “If a student gets in trouble off campus, they will have to face the consequences; I just don’t understand why the University would want to get involved and fuel the fire.”

Monroe said he has several friends who got in trouble off campus, yet the jurisdiction did not turn in the student.

“I have had several friends get things like MIPS off campus, and I have never heard of the police turning them in to the school,” he said. “They did get in trouble out of state, so that may have been why, too.”

Sarah Jenkins, a junior majoring in fashion retailing, said she thinks the University reserves the right to know a student’s legal standing.

“What if a student gets in trouble for doing heavy drugs such as meth?” Jenkins said. “The University needs to know to help protect the fellow community of students. The University should be able to know if a student has a drug problem or gets in trouble for drugs because that person could flip out and hurt other students.”

Jenkins said she thinks the University has done a good job protecting students thus far and hopes they will continue.

“Words cannot express how thankful I am that we have not had a shooting or something bad happen like at Virginia Tech a few years ago,” Jenkins said. “I think that is due in part to the University regulating students. That would only be possible if they reserve the right to know about us.”