This online handbook gives detailed information regarding the procedures and sanctions that can be applied under Regulation 27.
Regulation 27 applies to all students living in University on campus accommodation. Students also need to read and understand their responsibilities in relation to:
- the University's Student Disciplinary Offences (Regulation 23)
- the University's Fitness to Attend protocol (under Regulation 36 Section 4 (5))
- the Payment of Annual Fees, Residential Charges and Other Debts (Regulation 45)
It should be noted that membership of the University or residence in any University accommodation offers no special protection against the law of the land. The University continues to be prepared to use the normal procedures of the law in the event of offences such as violence, sexual harassment, theft or illegal drug possession, use and/or supply.
In addition students should also read and comply with the on campus accommodation contract and the associated online Residential Handbook Life in Halls. These contain important information about the following:
- the relevant letting period, associated accommodation fees and the expected payment schedule
- the conditions under which a residential on campus accommodation contract can be terminated, including required notice periods to leave University accommodation and penalties should this be prior to the close of the contract agreed by the student when agreeing the contract
- the conditions under which the University can enter and/or search on campus residential accommodation, individual rooms and communal areas
- the circumstances where additional administrative charges may be levied
- a student's responsibility for the conduct of any invited visitor(s)
During the period of the COVID-19 pandemic the University has introduced additional behavioural responsibilities for the University community. These rules aim to keep campus and the University community safe. Breaches of the health and safety rules with regard to COVID-19 measures will be subject to a streamlined disciplinary process and a COVID-19 disciplinary sanctions framework.
- Balance of probability
- Living as a Community
- Rules during the pandemic
- Illegal drugs and alcohol
- Regulation 27: 3 - Disciplinary offences within the vicinity or the confines of and precincts of on campus residential accommodation
- Disciplinary Process
The standard of proof is the level of proof required to determine whether or not an incident occurred. In the civil law the standard of proof is based upon the ‘balance of probability’. This is the standard of proof used by the University.
Balance of probabilities means that the University is satisfied that an event is more likely to have occurred than not. Decisions are based on all available evidence and not simply a belief that something is likely to have happened.
The University may vary any part of this Regulation in order to comply with its duty to make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities.
The University seeks to ensure its values are embedded in a way which supports an inclusive and dynamic culture that creates the conditions for our students and staff to succeed. All members of the University are expected to recognise their responsibilities and:
- behave in a way that respects the rights and dignity of others
- treat others fairly
- use each social interaction to display courtesy and good manners
- value differences in others and the contribution they make
- study, live and socialise within the University in a co-operative, inclusive way
- demonstrate a commitment to upholding the University's policies on sexual violence and on equality, inclusion and diversity.
The University has introduced a COVID-19 disciplinary framework during the period of the pandemic. This supports the University's stated Community Responsibilities to create a COVID-19 safe campus environment and to support the UK Government with guidelines and rules on social distancing, self-isolation, etc.
From Friday 13th November 2020 this framework was extended to incorporate disciplinary actions relating to COVID-19 social distancing and self-isolation breaches under Regulation 27 3.1.4 Activity endangering the health, safety and wellbeing of others. This enables members of the Residential Life Team to:
- undertake disciplinary action using a streamlined process
- use the sanctions as outlined in the COVID-19 disciplinary framework
There is a zero tolerance policy regarding the possession and use of illegal drugs and psychoactive substances at the University. We remind students that possession of illegal substances is a criminal offence and possession with intent to supply is a more serious offence. Students found to be using or in possession of, or knowingly allowing any illegal substance including cannabis to be used, are in contravention of this policy and will face disciplinary action.
The Campus Security team have been trained in identifying different types of drugs and they may enter your room and search it, following an agreed search procedure, if they believe you may be in possession of, or using illegal drugs.
You need to be aware that if you allow any guests or visitors to use any illegal substances in your room then this is still an illegal activity and you will face disciplinary action.
The University is also mindful of the impact that other types of substance abuse may have on the residential community. Alcohol in moderation is not an issue, however, antisocial behaviour due to excessive alcohol intake or use of illegal drugs or psychoactive substances will not be tolerated. For safety reasons nitrous oxide canisters are also not allowed in residential halls.
Please read the University's Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Policy. The University has developed an online module to help students understand more about their responsibilities, recommended alcohol consumption limits, information on alcohol and others drugs as well as how to find support.
If you are a student who is in recovery in relation to former use of alcohol and/or drugs you may wish to contact the University's Wellbeing Support Services for further guidance and confidential advice.
Regulation 27: 3 - Disciplinary offences within the vicinity or the confines of and precincts of on campus residential accommodation
Section 3 of Regulation 27 sets out the general disciplinary offences that can be dealt with. The list below gives more detailed examples of the types of offences. Students should also note that any repeated offence(s) may be also dealt with under Regulation 23 or Regulation 45.
Examples of anti-social behaviour within University residences or its immediate confines are:
- (a) disorderly conduct (including drunkenness)
- (b) unnecessary noise e.g. selfish use of noise emitting equipment
- (c) playing recreational games in close proximity to residences
- (d) disregard of quiet and visiting hours as published for the relevant residence
- (e) any behaviour causing a nuisance, inconvenience, or annoyance to other residents, particularly where the complaint is made by one or more other residents
Any behaviour where the seriousness of the offence warrants it, for example (but not limited to), sexual misconduct or racism are immediately escalated and dealt with under Regulation 23 Student Disciplinary Offences.
- (a) changing rooms without formal agreement of the appropriate member of the Residential Life Team
- (b) subletting, unauthorised shared occupancy of rooms or having visitors stay overnight without the express agreement of the appropriate member of the Residential Life Team
- (c) holding parties or gatherings in residential rooms and/or shared spaces in or immediately outside residences without the express agreement of the appropriate member of the Residential Life Team
- (d) keeping a pet within residences or in the immediate vicinity of the residences
- (e) installing any additional electrical wiring, computer cabling, telephones, space heaters, TV or radio aerials on the roofs or in the loft spaces of residences without the express permission of the appropriate member of the Residential Life Team
- (f) changing locks on doors
- (g) using residential rooms for purposes other than private living accommodation or for study
Students are responsible for their study bedrooms and the shared spaces they use in residential halls (such as the kitchen and corridor areas). Any damage to or loss of property, fixtures, fitting or furnishings will be charged. Students are required to pay a fair and reasonable proportion of the cost of repairing the damage or reinstating the loss including an administration fee. The administration fee for the 2020-21 academic year is £25 (2019-20: £25 and 2018-19: £25). This additional administration fee reflects the cost of processing the damage charge and collection of payment.
A charge for damage is not a fine. It is the cost to make good or reinstate and therefore is not subject to the disciplinary appeals process.
Damage charges are included as a clause in the on campus accommodation contract under clause 1.10.
The following are some examples of health, safety and wellbeing offences:
- (a) inappropriately setting of a fire alarm
- (b) misuse of or tampering with fire or other safety equipment
- (c) covering blocking, damaging or removing fire sensor equipment
- (d) blocking a fire exit or propping open/damaging a fire door
- (e) smoking and/or lighting candles, incense or similar within residences
- (f) late evacuation of a building or attempting to re-enter a building during a fire alarm
- (g) any other breach of health and safety requirements that occurs within or is related to on campus residential accommodation
If a student isn't following the advice and guidance given as a health and safety measure at this time of COVID-19, then there may be disciplinary action taken. These incidents will be considered using a streamlined process and following the University's COVID-19 disciplinary framework. Depending on the severity of the breach, the incident(s) may be escalated for consideration under Regulation 23.
Aside from breaches of the expected Community Responsibilities with regard to COVID-19 (which is a streamlined process) the following discipline process is followed when investigating any general breach of Regulation 27.
The invitation to any investigation meeting held under Regulation 27 will outline the incident(s) and alleged breach to be discussed and will highlight where independent advice and support can be found. The student may bring with them to the meeting another student of the University (not witness to or involved in the case) or a member of staff from the University or the Students' Union in support. The student will have the opportunity to present their views in writing and/or in person and supply any evidence in mitigation prior to any decision and sanction being assigned. The student will normally be expected to present their own case and speak on their own behalf.
In order to be able to maintain social distancing and as part of the University's COVID-19 safety measures, University disciplinary meetings under Regulation 27 will be held online.
The student will be informed of the outcome of the investigation and any related proceedings. They will be told if their case has been referred to the Student Disciplinary Review Group to be considered under Regulation 23 on Student Disciplinary Offences or the Registrar under Regulation 36 on continuation of student registration. The outcome will include any sanction or fine imposed. This will normally be done in writing within 30 University working days of the date of the incident or latest disciplinary breach if a case is being brought for multiple breaches. Should there be exceptional reasons why this cannot be the case, the student will be kept informed of the expected timescales.
Where an incident or allegation under Regulation 27 involves more than one student, the relevant member of the Residential Life Team is permitted to undertake only one investigation however, the determination and outcome will typically take into account the evidence and involvement of each individual together with any individual mitigation that is put forward by each student.
Aside from breaches of the expected Community Responsibilities with regard to COVID-19 (which has a separate sanctions framework) then the general Regulation 27 sanctions framework is outlined in section 5 of Regulation 27.
The sanctions that can be assigned individually - or in combination - range from a written reprimand to removal from campus residential accommodation. The range of fines for examples of common breaches applied by members of the Residential Life Team are published online and reviewed annually. It should be noted that individual circumstances will be taken in to account when deciding what sanction or fine to impose on an individual student. The types of sanction available are:
- a written reprimand
- a verbal or written warning as to future conduct including, where appropriate, signposting to relevant support available
- a requirement to apologise in person or in writing either directly or indirectly to specific individuals impacted by the disciplinary offence
- a fine in line with the University's schedule of tariffs that is approved and reviewed annually
- a requirement to undertake community service, including volunteering in a local organisation with whom the University has an agreement for such activity (in line with related University protocols and health and safety requirements)
- a requirement to move to a different on-campus residence or other University managed residential accommodation
- temporary removal for a specific time of residential accommodation privileges (e.g. ability to request visitors, ability to request holding a party/gathering)
- a requirement to remove any posting made on social media (if appropriate)
- a requirement to undertake training, courses or rehabilitation relevant to the offence
The sanctions and fines for Class B and Class C are set out in the fine tariff table.
A request will also be made that the student seeks an appointment with Wellbeing Support Services (or an appropriate external support service) to explore any issues that may have relating to the use of illegal substances.
Any student whose continued presence in halls of residence is deemed by the Senior Wardens and the Director of Student Discipline and Resolution to be detrimental to the wellbeing of the community, or who has significantly or repeatedly breached the Disciplinary Regulations may be required to leave the accommodation.
A student required to vacate their accommodation shall be given four weeks' notice, except:
- if the end of the letting period is less than four weeks away the student shall be required to leave at the end of that period
- a student whose registration as a student of the University is for any reason terminated may be required to leave with effect from the date of the termination
- in exceptional circumstances, and only with the approval of the Registrar, a shorter notice period may be applied
Any student required to vacate their accommodation shall be informed that they may appeal against such a decision.
When a disciplinary outcome is issued under Regulation 27 by a member of the Residential Life Team, students have the right to appeal. There is more detailed guidance about the appeals process and an online appeal consideration form.
Appeals against decisions and sanctions made under Regulation 27, can be made only on one or more of the following grounds:
- (a) that there was a material irregularity or failure in procedure in the conduct of the original decision making process
- (b) that there appears to be evidence of prejudice or of bias in relation to the original decision making process
- (c) that relevant evidence has come to light that the student was unable to present to the member of the Residential Life Team who originally made the determination in the case which may have made a material difference to the sanction applied
- (d) that the sanction imposed by the member of the Residential Life Team who originally made the decision in the case is excessive and not proportionate to the offence
The student must appeal to the Senior Warden in writing within ten University working days of receipt of the original outcome letter, stating the grounds on which the appeal is brought and providing any evidence to substantiate the appeal - including any new evidence.
The Senior Warden (or their nominee) will determine whether there are sufficient grounds in line with Regulation 27 Section 7 for the appeal to be made based on the case submitted by the student. If the Senior Warden made the determination in the original case then the Director of Student Discipline and Resolution will determine if there are sufficient grounds.
The residential appeals panel will be made-up of the convenor together with two students and two members of the Residential Life Team not involved in the original incident.
The residential appeals panel can reject, confirm or vary the decision made by the original member of the Residential Life Team, including assignment of any sanctions or fines available under Regulation 27 Section 5.
Where a student admits the charge of being knowingly in possession of and/or using a Class B or C illegal substance, they may only appeal the sanction given by a member of the Residential Life Team under Regulation 27 by submitting their appeal to the Director of Student Discipline and Resolution, together with the additional evidence within 10 University working days of the penalty being communicated.