SanctionsWhen a student or student organization is found in violation of the Code of Conduct, any of the following types of sanctions may be assigned. Sanctions should be appropriate to the policy violation(s) for which they are assigned. When considering the sanctions to be imposed, a range of factors may be considered, including the:
- nature, context, and severity of an incident,
- developmental needs of the student/student organization,
- level of accountability and responsibility taken by the student/student organization,
- need to stop the misconduct and prevent its recurrence,
- impact of the conduct on the reporter when one exists,
- impact of the conduct on the community or the University,
- need to remedy and address the impact or effects of the conduct on others,
- disciplinary history of the student/student organization*,
- best interests of the University community, and
- any other aggravating, mitigating, or relevant factors.
*For student organizations, the deciding body will review the group's history for the three years prior to the incident date.
A student’s use of alcohol or other drugs prior to or in connection with an incident – even if lawfully consumed – will generally be viewed as an aggravating factor. Participation in high risk drinking or drug behavior, including, but not limited to: the participation in drinking games or other excessive abusive or irresponsible patterns of consumption's are generally seen as additional aggravating factors.
The Four Types of Harm
In an effort to understand the context related to the three sanctioning factors related to impact – impact to the reporter, impact to the community, and the need to remedy and address those impacts – the parties and the University may choose to 1. For student organizations, the deciding body will review the group’s history for the three years prior to the incident date reflect on or consider distinct types of harm resulting from an incident. Northwestern’s conduct process is not a fully restorative one but does incorporate restorative practices such as the four types of harm (Karp & Armour, 2019) for the purposes of sanctioning.
- Emotional/Spirtual harms involves incidents that create emotional or spirtual strife for another individual.
- Material or Physical harms occur when a behavior results in something broken or it creates a financial cost to another individual.
- Communal or Relational harm arises when behaviors damage the relationship between parties.
- Structural or Historcal harm result from incidents that replicate historical or structural harms within a community.
For more information on the four types of harm, visit https://www.northwestern.edu/communitystandards/student-handbook/sanctions/index.html.*Karp, D. R., & Armour, M. (2019). The little book of restorative justice for colleges and universities: Repairing harm and rebuilding trust in response to student misconduct. Good Books.
Additional Sanction Considerations/Information
Where it is reasonably believed that a violation of any University policy has been committed against any person or group because of the person’s or group’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, genetic information, or any other classification protected by law or policy, or because of the perception that a person or group has some such characteristic, sanctions may be enhanced up to and including separation from the University (e.g., University Suspension, Degree Revocation, Expulsion, or Group Dissolution).
Compliance with all assigned sanctions within the time allocated is mandatory. Failure to complete or comply with any assigned sanction, or failure to meet an assigned deadline (if applicable) may result in further disciplinary action, and/or the placement of a hold on a student’s University account. If a student withdraws or takes a leave from Northwestern prior to the completion of their sanctions, they must complete all assigned sanctions before they will be able to reenroll.