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Avoid Violations

What you do both on and off campus affects you as a student. In accordance with Sections VIII. Jurisdiction and IX. The Responsibilities of Dual Membership, the Student Conduct Code applies to students and student groups, in some circumstances, even if the behavior occurred off campus. The student conduct process is different and separate from the legal process. The legal process investigates and resolves alleged violations of law, whereas the student conduct process investigates and resolves alleged violations of University policy. When a student is charged in both a legal process, and in the student conduct process, the University will decide on the basis of its interests, the interests of affected students, and the interests of the community whether to proceed with the student conduct process or to defer action. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under the Student Conduct Code will not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts were dismissed, reduced, or resolved, in favor of the criminal law defendant. 

Below are common, though not extensive, law/ordinance infractions that will also result in a Student Conduct Code Violation.

Scholastic Dishonesty

Many incidents of scholastic dishonesty occur because a student does not know the correct way to do something (Ex. Not citing sources and copying/pasting from a web site). In other situations, students are simply making a poor decision.

The following are some suggestions to avoid scholastic dishonesty:

  • Plan ahead and use your time wisely. Mistakes can often be avoided if you are not in a rush to complete your assignment or take an exam for which you are not prepared. If you allow enough time, you can ask your professor questions.
  • Talk to your professor. If you can't make a deadline for an assignment, talk to your professor. If the professor isn't able to grant you an extension, you're better off taking a zero for the assignment than you are copying/submitting someone else's work and being charged with scholastic dishonesty.
  • Read the syllabus for every class. By reading the syllabus, you will know what the course expectations are, including scholastic dishonesty. It is to your benefit to know the expectations of the faculty member. While some faculty members may reduce your grade on an assignment/paper/quiz/test, other faculty members may give you a grade of F in the class.
  • Understand the difference between paraphrasing and plagiarism. Paraphrasing is restating text or a passage in your own words with appropriate credit cited to author for their ideas. This is acceptable. Plagiarism is using someone else's thoughts or language and presenting them as your own work. Plagiarism is scholastic dishonesty. To avoid plagiarism, correctly cite your sources. Take good notes, so you know where you got your information. When in doubt, err on the side of citing your source. If you have questions or are uncertain, talk with your professor.
  • Seek help if you need it. Your professor has office hours; make use of them. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Stop by UMD's Tutoring Center if you need extra academic support.

Alcohol & Drug Violations

The legal age to consume alcohol in Minnesota is 21. Marijuana is illegal at any age. If you choose to drink or use illegal drugs, you inherently put yourself at risk for Student Conduct Code violations as well as other negative consequences. 

How can you avoid this?

Social Host, Disturbing the Neighborhood, Disorderly Conduct

What is a social host citation?

  • In Duluth, to be cited under the social host ordinance you could have just 3 people (1 who is underage), who may be roommates, and alcohol only needs to be “available” to the underage person. 
  • See the entire ordinance under Chapter 8 - Beverages: Sec. 8-29.5 Social host allowing consumption by minor.

Why do some cities have this ordinance?

  • To promote better relationships between residences with underage guests or tenants & the community in general.
  • “Prohibiting underage consumption acts to protect underage persons, as well as the general public, from injuries related to alcohol consumption.” 

What is the difference between Disturbing the Neighborhood and Social Host?

  • The primary difference between the Social Host and Disturbing the Neighborhood ordinances is that there need not be any underage drinkers present for you and your roommates to be cited for Disturbing the Neighborhood.
  • See the entire ordinance under Chapter 34 - Offenses -- Miscellaneous: Sec. 34-5 Disturbing the Neighborhood.

How can these impact you beyond the citation?

  • Most landlords have stipulations in the lease related to the social host ordinance.
    • You may receive a fine or your security deposit may be retained.
    • Multiple violations may end in eviction since your behavior impacts your landlord's ability to keep their rental license, resulting in their rental property becoming a financial burden for them. Finding a rental after an eviction will be much more challenging than renting with a clean record and strong references.
  • Once you’ve upset your neighbors, it can be hard to repair that relationship.
    • Frustrated Neighbors are more likely to call the police, less likely to help out when you need assistance. Further, their opinion of you specifically reflects negatively on the UMD community as a whole. 

How can you avoid this?

  • Recognize that if you’re drinking alcohol, your ability to self-moderate your own noise level becomes impaired early on (for most people, judgment is impaired at a BAC of .06).
  • You are responsible for the people you invite into your home. Set clear expectations of behavior and respect for neighbors amongst guests.
  • If you are 21 or over and live with individuals who are under 21 or invite them into your home, recognize that having alcohol in the home puts you at risk for social host violations.
  • Have a conversation with your roommates about expectations around alcohol and parties. You do not need to be home, instigating the party, or participating in the party to be charged with a social host citation, anyone who is on the lease may be cited.
  • Be proactive – introducing yourself to your neighbors is a good way to start building a respectful relationship
    • Let them know that you’ll take your neighborly responsibilities seriously and that you plan to be respectful of their time and space
    • Find out if they would like to exchange contact information
    • Offer to assist them in any way you are willing and able
    • Invite them to contact you if any concerns arise

Driving While Impaired (DUI/DWI)

Know the law:

  • Minnesota Driving Under the Influence: DUI Law
  • Refusal to provide the requested sample (usually breath) is a crime in itself: see Implied Consent Law (refusal to submit to chemical test crime)
  • Minnesota law also states that you cannot have a drop of alcohol in your system and drive if you are under the age of 21
  • Being under the influence of drugs other than alcohol can also result in a DUI (even prescription and over the counter medications can be a concern -- be sure to discuss any restrictions with your doctor or pharmacist)
  • Check out this helpful information from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety: DWI Consequences

Keep things in perspective:

  • The impact of a DUI/DWI varies based on a variety of factors, but may include: nights in jail, lost jobs, transportation challenges, financial hardship (including legal bills), difficult conversations with parents and/or significant others
  • The Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution is notified of citations, even if you’re cited off campus by Duluth Police Department.
  • The cost of a DUI/DWI is expensive...
    • Cost of Finding a Ride:
      • Sober Friend = $0
      • DTA Bus to Campus with UMD ID = $0
      • DTA Bus to anywhere without UMD ID = $1.50
      • Taxi/Uber/Lyft = $5-20 (approx.)
    • Cost of a DUI/DWI = Upwards of $5000
      • Depends on the case, but most likely will exceed this amount
      • Often lose driving privileges
      • Permanently on your driving record
      • May affect employment

How can you avoid this?

  • Find a ride.
    • Uber and Lyft now operate in Duluth which is a convenient option many students choose to utilize.
    • Through Bulldog Taxi students receive 50% Yellow Door Taxi services with their student ID.
    • Students can ride the Duluth Transit Authority Buses to and from campus for free with their student IDs, otherwise the bus is still a convenient and affordable option to other locations or without a student ID.
  • Be the designated driver.
    • When going out with friends, discuss who will be the sober driver.
    • Don’t drink alcohol or use other drugs if you agree to be the designated driver
  • Know how alcohol/drugs affect you.
    • Your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) can be impacted by a number of factors including weight/size, how much food/water you have when drinking or before, other medications/substances you’ve taken, etc.
    • You may feel more sober than you actually are. Don’t rely on how you feel, but rather how much you’ve consumed. See how alcohol affects you using the Virtual Bar and BAC Calculator (download the app!).
    • There is no safe limit of marijuana to have in your system if you’re driving. 
    • Remember that if you’re under 21 any amount of alcohol in your system can result in a DUI/DWI.
  • Make a plan and stick to it. 
    • Many students cited for a DUI shared that their original plan was to take a taxi or get a ride, but then they didn’t feel drunk and decided to drive instead. 
    • Drinking affects your decision making, so before you start, plan a sober ride home. 
    • It can be helpful to give your keys to a sober driver, or leave your car at home all together.

Fake ID

Know the Law

  • Whether a fake ID is used to purchase alcohol or merely to enter an establishment that requires you to be 21 or older, here are the legalities to consider before buying, making, or possessing one:
    • Gross Misdemeanors (higher level law violations):
      • Making a counterfeit driver’s license or Minnesota ID card
      • Using someone else’s name and date of birth when asked by a police officer
    • Misdemeanors (lower level law violations):
      • Using a fake name or date of birth or otherwise lying to a police officer *notice the difference between this and the violation that’s a Gross Misdemeanor! 
      • Using someone else’s driver’s license or ID as your own
      • Allowing someone else to use your driver’s license or ID as their own
      • Having any fake or altered driver’s license or Minnesota ID card

How can this impact you beyond the violation?

  • When thinking of using, making, or possessing a fake ID, consider how a future employer might view this situation if you get caught. It’s likely that they’ll become aware of the matter through a background check. 
  • If you order a you are providing your sensitive information to non-law abiding people/companies who could take advantage of you and your identify.

How Can You Avoid this?

  • Do not use someone else’s old ID, even if they are a close friend or sibling.
  • Do not purchase a Fake ID from anyone or use one to purchase alcohol in a liquor store, bar, or elsewhere.
  • If you are caught drinking underage do not provide the police with a fake ID when asked for identification.

Theft (Shoplifting, Stealing on the Job, etc.)

Many students are on a tight budget. Oftentimes in conduct meetings, this is the reason given for a theft charge. Whether an item is needed or just wanted, theft in any form is a crime. 

Things to consider:

  • As an adult, your choices impact you now, much more than as a juvenile.
  • Peer pressure can be challenging, but how you handle it says volumes about your character. Seek counseling if you need support or ideas on how to manage this.
  • An item costing one penny is the same charge (degree of theft) as something that costs $499. 
  • A shoplifting charge will cost over $150 in court costs and can also harm your career prospects.

How Can You Avoid This?

  • If you have unmet needs, such as food or clothing there are resources available to help you: 
    • Food shelves are available including Champs Cupboard (Kirby Plaza 245)
    • Champs closet is also available for clothing, particularly for employment.
    • If you are having other significant financial challenges, you may want to visit Student Financial Assistance where you can request personal financial counseling, to include a review of your current dependency status as well as access to any emergency funding that may be available. This office is located at One Stop Student Services in 23 Solon Campus Center and is open 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, with no appointment necessary, except on Fridays from 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
  • UMD Live Like a Student (LLAS) educates students on the topics of budgeting, borrowing, and credit. Increase your confidence and decrease your financial stress with the Financial Peer Mentor Program (FPMP) or free LLAS resources.

What if you’ve already been cited?

  • Think through why this happened. Taking the time to reflect on the choices you made can help you have good conversations with a judge, a hearing officer, your parents/significant other and can also help you learn more from this experience.
  • Attend your conduct meeting with your hearing officer. Avoiding this meeting is not beneficial to you or your learning experience. Find more about the different processes at through these links:
  • Consider your legal options:
    • Talk with someone with legal expertise, a support person, and do some research online (however, do not believe everything you read: consider the source and its credibility)
    • Pay the citation or schedule your court appearance before the deadline (you may request a court date if you wish to contest the charges or request an alternate outcome. Also, some charges require you to appear in court instead of paying a set fee). 
    • Taking these actions may not change the decision or sanctions of your conduct case, but they will show that you’re being proactive and taking responsibility for the incident.

Additional Campus Resources

  • Disability Resources assists students with disabilities in identifying and overcoming barriers in the campus environment through provision of accommodations.
  • Career & Internship Services offers assistance in finding your career/academic path by identifying and aligning your strengths with professional opportunities 
  • Counseling licensed counselors offer free and confidential support with mental health as well as life’s general challenges. anything including, relationships, academic pressures, stress, alcohol/drug use, finances, and more.
  • The Respondent Resource Pool is a list of UMD staff who are trained to support student respondents through the conduct process.