By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Summer Wildcat

An increasing number of UA students are violating the rules outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, according to information from the UA Dean of Students office.

Based on preliminary figures for the 1993-94 year, UA students committed 579 Code of Conduct violations, said Veda Hunn, coordinator of campus judicial affairs. The year before, 398 violations were committed, she said.

Alcohol possession and use was the most common violation during the 1993-94 year, Hunn said, followed by marijuana use and theft.

By comparison, Arizona State University students committed 309 Code of Conduct violations during the 1993-94 year, said David Swain, ASU student life assistant dean of conduct.

But he said most violations that occur in ASU's residence halls are handled through a separate system and are not reflected in these numbers.

Alcohol and drug violations were also the most common violations at ASU, Swain said.

Most of the UA students who violate Code of Conduct rules are freshmen and are not repeat offenders, said Dean of Students Melissa Vito.

Other violations of the UA Code of Conduct include academic dishonesty, hazing, engaging in harassment or discriminatory activities, furnishing false information to the university, forgery and damaging university property, among other things.

When the Dean of Students office receives an allegation of misconduct, the accused student must talk to someone in the office and a temporary hold is put on the student's records until they do so, Hunn said.

Possible sanctions include a written warning, removing the student from good disciplinary standing for a probationary period, suspension or expulsion from the university, the code states.

Vito said that in most cases that involve drugs or alcohol, students are required to perform community service and attend alcohol and drug counseling at the Student Health Center.

Violations that may result in suspension or expulsion include anything that "presents danger to the rest of the campus" and repeat offenses that get progressively worse, Vito said.

She said if a student is unhappy with Hunn's decision he or she can appeal to her.

If the student is still dissatisfied with the decision, he or she can request a hearing, Vito said. However, hearings are rarely held and in fact, none were held during the 1993-94 year, Hunn said.

When a hearing is requested, a hearing board comprising two students, two faculty members and one staff member hears the case and determines by a majority vote whether or not a violation has occurred.

During a hearing, the Dean of Students and the accused student both give opening and closing statements, question witnesses under oath and can introduce written and physical evidence. The Dean of Students and hearing board members can also question each witness. The student is entitled to have a lawyer during the hearing.

The Vice President for Student Affairs then issues a written decision within 10 days after the hearing, which may then be appealed.

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