Cowell Residential Policies


Student Code of Conduct can be viewed online.

In order to carry on its work of teaching, research, and public service, the University has an obligation to maintain conditions under which the work of the University can proceed freely. This is done in accordance with the highest standards of quality, institutional integrity, and freedom of expression and with full recognition by all concerned of the rights and privileges, as well as the responsibilities, of those who comprise the University community. Each member of the UCSC community shares the responsibility of maintaining an environment conducive to the achievement of the University’s purpose.

The University’s standard of conduct consists of system-wide policies, campus regulations, and individual College rules. The Chancellor has delegated authority to the Provosts, College Administrative Officers, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs or their designees to impose discipline for violation of these policies, regulations, and rules.

Student Conduct Process

Philosophy of Discipline

Knowledge of the student conduct process begins with a student’s arrival to campus. You are expected to know the information in this handbook, as well as the campus policies outlined in the Student Policies and Regulations Handbook and the Terms and Conditions of Undergraduate Housing. Students are held accountable for this information, so it is each student’s responsibility to read and fully understand the campus rules and regulations. These community standards are designed to support the learning environment for every member of our University community.

For students living on campus, the residential staff is another component of the student conduct process. Staff including Community Safety Officers (CSOs), Resident Assistants (RA) and Coordinators for Residential Education (CRE) work together to communicate and model the standards of behavior.

Standards of Proof and Preponderance of Evidence

It is important to remember that the University is not a court of law. Therefore, when adjudicating a possible violation of college or university rules and regulations, college officials will utilize what is called preponderance of evidence. Simply stated, preponderance takes into account the evidence available of both sides of a case and makes a judgment in favor of the evidence which is more convincing and makes the most sense.

College Staff members take an educational approach to the judicial process. They seek to work with and educate students about the importance of following community standards and college policies to insure a safe environment for all. The educational process includes explaining expectations of student conduct and the reasons why the policies and procedures exist so that students will be aware of the repercussions of their actions.

The judicial process is a cumulative one. This means when a student is involved in a policy violation, all previous violations and judicial interactions are taken into account when determining the sanctions or outcomes of the situation. Repeated disciplinary violations may lead to cancellation of a student’s housing contract, exclusion from the college, warnings, suspension or dismissal from the University.


In concurrence with the student conduct process students found responsible for conduct violations will find themselves at some level of discipline in the conduct system, and they may be required to fulfill an educational sanction and/or pay monetary restitution. Sanctions are issued to help educate students about the rationale behind the policy they violated and to make them think about the possible consequences of their actions before repeating a policy violation. Sanctions range in severity from a warning letter to removal from the University. Philosophically, we follow a policy of using educational sanctions rather than simple punitive sanctions or monetary fines, but there are situations where restitution must be made.

Educational sanctions include presenting a program, writing a research paper, or attending an Alcohol and Other Drug workshop. Fines would be levied for vandalism or damage caused to university or personal property, and/or for finable violations (i.e. tampering with fire equipment).

Judicial Process Definitions

  • Initial Documentation - Any student, staff or faculty member can submit documentation, generally in the form of an Incident Report (IR), to the Housing and Residential Life Office to report issues of concern or violations of College or University policy.
  • Summons - An invitation to discuss incident with Adjudicating Officer (most often a CRE) and contribute to fact finding.
  • Fact Finding - An Adjudicating Officer will then proceed with determining finding of fact. This may include meetings with any students, staff or faculty involved in the situation. Additional people may be contacted if information outside the scope of the adjudicating officer is needed (e.g., contacting ITS or ResNet for computing violations).
  • Decision - From the information available and using the preponderance of evidence, a determination will be made as to whether or not a person is found responsible for a violation.
  • Responsible - If a student is found responsible, then the student will be offered a Voluntary Resolution Agreement that may include University disciplinary sanctions and/or educational sanctions to fulfill. When a student is found responsible s/he may choose to appeal the decision in accordance with the appeal process.
  • Appeal - If the student appeals, the case will be reviewed by an Appeal Officer (who will be designated in the decision letter). The Appeal Officer will hear the appeal and may choose to uphold the decision, alter the sanction, or dismiss the case.
  • Accept - If the student accepts the decision of the Adjudicating Officer, and completes any assigned sanction, the case is closed.
  • Not Responsible - If a student is found not to be responsible, the case is closed, and the student will receive a Case Dropped letter.

Appeal Process

A student may choose to appeal a decision made by a sanctioning body. The appeal must be received by the Appeal Officer designated in the student’s resolution letter in written form within five days of receiving the decision. Only one level of appeal is permitted. Reasons must be based on the following:

1.     Whether there is substantial evidence that contradicts the finding(s) of violation of University policies or campus regulations for which the discipline was imposed.

2.     Whether there is evidence that could not be adduced at the time of the original hearing that is likely to change the result.

3.     Whether there was not procedural fairness at the conduct of the hearing.

4.     Whether the sanction imposed was too harsh given the findings of fact.


Keep in mind the process is very fluid. Factors affecting the outcome of the process include but are not limited to: severity of the violation, amount of cooperation given to the staff member addressing the violation, willingness to accept responsibility for actions, or the amount of honesty or remorse shown by the person violating the policy. The range of sanction levels includes administrative resolution, warning, censure, or disciplinary probation. However, a student may be asked to leave campus housing for a first offense. There is a great deal of flexibility in the process that is up to the discretion of the Adjudicating Officer. This flexibility does not take away from the student’s right to due process. Students are given: written notice of violations in advance of a meeting with a staff member, the ability to share their information of the incident with the staff member, and the right to appeal the decision.


 Living in a residential community comes with it's own unique responsibilities, in addition to University policies, state and federal laws there are some specific expectations we have of anyone choosing to live within our residential community.   These policies can be found online at


Housing Contract

Pay attention to the provisions of your housing contract. It is a lease agreement and is a binding legal document. The goal of the University is to be a responsible landlord and we expect you to be a responsible tenant in return. Keep your copy of the Terms and Conditions of Undergraduate Housing 2020-21. If you need a copy, pick one up at the Student Life Office.


All housing contracts are issued for a period of one academic year - not a portion of a year. Students who have signed a housing contract are expected to fully honor the provisions of that contract. Entering into any other housing agreement during the period of your contract will have no effect upon the conditions of the contract, unless specifically agreed to in writing by the student and the University. The contract may be terminated for academic reasons, (graduation, withdrawal, change of college, study abroad/field quarter) or on an exceptional basis. All cancellations of Housing Contracts are not automatic unless approved by the college. If your request for cancellation is denied by the college, you may request a review by the Housing Appeal Board. Cancellation will result in a $350 cancellation-processing fee if the request is approved.


The Campus Housing Office at 104 Hahn Student Services Building handles all housing payments. They can help you establish a payment plan if quarterly payments pose a financial burden. They can be reached at (831) 459-2394.

Meal Plans

Meal Plans are required by your housing contract. You may upgrade your plan at any time. If you want to change your meal plan for the next quarter you may during the Filing Periods in November and February. Any other modifications may be approved for medical or financial reasons only.

Quarter Breaks

The period of residence between fall and winter quarters is not covered by your housing contract.

Residents are able to stay during spring break. Residents who have canceled their contracts for the end of one quarter must move out at the end of that quarter. Dining services are closed during quarter breaks and the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.


The Cowell Housing Staff does all it can to produce the best roommate matches possible. Tools we offer for healthy community living are a Roommate Agreement and Household Living Agreement Forms. These forms are a starting point for discussion and a space to come to agreements.

Conflicts between roommates do still occur. Many can be avoided through discussion. If conflict arises: talk with your roommate(s) and review or renegotiate agreements. Ask a member of the residential staff for ideas on addressing the issues or ask the residential staff to help you and your roommate(s) through a mediated discussion.

Room Changes

The College expects roommates to make positive attempts to resolve issues including a mediation with staff. If all members involved (including staff) are unable to resolve conflicts, you may go to the Housing and Residential Life Office to pick up a Room Change Request Form. Depending on available spaces and urgency, staff will relocate you as possible. Please note that during Fall quarter housing is usually full and it may be difficult to change rooms. As the academic year progresses, there is more flexibility.

At all times, Cowell College reserves the right to change your room assignment at the University’s discretion. If room consolidation is necessary, students are expected to welcome new roommate(s). Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Undergraduate Housing  for more information.

Room Condition

Your room will be your home for the next nine months. Our expectation is that your room be left in the same condition as it was when you moved in. Review the Room Condition Report in your room. Return the signed form to a Residential Staff member. This report will be used to compare the condition of your room when you leave, to the condition of it when you moved in. The Room Condition Report is for your protection and you will be thankful you filled one out. Apartment residents are required to also fill out an Apartment Condition Report. Apartments are inspected for general cleanliness and safety on a quarterly basis, while residence hall room s are inspected for safety over the winter break.

Check Out

All residents will be checked out by a member of staff. They will inspect the room with the resident and do an initial damage assessment. Residents will return keys upon completion of check out. Improper check out (including missed appointment or checking out late) will result in a $50 fee. The maintenance staff expends a considerable amount of time and energy to keep Cowell College as nice as possible and to keep housing costs as low as possible. It’s also up to the residential community to support these efforts.


Repairs due to damages to college or university property, whether accidentally or intentionally, are billed to the students. Charges for damages are based on the cost of the material and labor needed to repair damage. Missing furniture from rooms or common spaces is considered theft and billed for. (For lock-out charge information, see Safety and Security.) PDFs of the current cleaning and repair charge amounts are posted on the University Housing website.