Common Violations & Sanctions

The most common violations of the university’s Code of Student Conduct involve academic integrity (e.g. cheating, plagiarism, or impermissible collaboration) and alcohol or substance use.

When students are found to have violated the Code, a conduct officer will propose sanctions (e.g. penalties or corrective actions) designed to (1) remedy harmful impacts on the University community (2) educate students about risks related to their choices, and (3) deter future misconduct.

Conduct officers seek to be consistent in the application of sanctions for similarly-situated students and similar acts of misconduct. Consistency is important and so is the commensurateness of the sanction to the severity of the misconduct. Conduct Officers have discretion to consider mitigating and aggravating circumstances in determining the intensity/duration of sanctions.

Standard Sanctions

Sanctions for the most common violations are depicted in the following table:


Alcohol Violations

(MIP, Public Intoxication, Disorderly House)


  • Warning or Probation (6 to 18 mo.)
  • Financial Recoupment ($100 fee/incident)
  • Mandatory Risk-Reduction Education ($65)
  • Parental Notification**

Drug Violations

(Possession, Distribution, Paraphernalia)


  • Warning or Probation (6 to 18 mo.)
  • Financial Recoupment ($100 fee/incident)*
  • Mandatory Risk-Reduction Education ($65)
  • Parental Notification**

Academic Integrity Violations

(Plagiarism, Impermissible Collaboration)


  • Warning or Probation (6 to 18 mo.)
  • Financial Recoupment ($100 fee/incident)
  • Mandatory Risk-Reduction Education ($100)

*Student Conduct & Community Standards (SCCS) imposes an administrative fee for students found responsible for violating the Code to recoup costs associated with managing the disciplinary system. Those students creating the need for the conduct office should assume a greater burden than students who do not. If students are able to demonstrate they are (1) eligible for Pell grants and (2) experiencing financial hardship not of their doing, SCCS will permit them to perform ten (10) hours of community service in lieu of paying the fee.

**Parents or guardians are notified when students violate the prohibition for possessing illegal drugs or misusing legal substances such as a prescription. Students that objectively demonstrate parental contact is likely to cause them physical or extreme emotional harm may not be subject to this sanction. Underage students may have parents contacted for possessing or consuming alcohol if their BAC exceeds 0.15, are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others by law enforcement, or are disciplined for a subsequent violation (2nd or 3rd offense).

Reduced Probation

Students may elect to participate in resilience-promoting activities to reduce the duration of their probation. Uncompleted probation can have adverse impacts on students’ eligibility to:

  • retain some scholarships,
  • study abroad,
  • hold some internships,
  • participate in some student activities (e.g. fraternity bid cards),
  • receive some University honors, or
  • hold an appointed or elected office in student government.

We recognize that students will make regrettable choices and mistakes as they develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and ethically. Students can learn from most choices and mistakes as they become the catalyst for personal change and growth. Probation-reducing and resilience-promoting activities are designed to help students:

  • a. connect with campus community members that are passionate about a positive and healthy concept, idea, or practice (campus network building);
  • b. thoughtfully reflect on how choices can adversely impact themselves and others while simultaneously encouraging subsequent choices that can invite personal growth through accountability and lead to reconciliation with the campus community;
  • c. introduce mutually-beneficial and productive alternatives and outlets for their energy and time;
  • d. demonstrate their willingness and commitment to overcome their past.

These activities also enable the quick recovery from the regrettable choice or mistake by reducing or eliminating probation all together:

Transformational Experience
Corresponding Reduction in Probation
Transformational Experience
Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching & Study of Applied Ethics

Students can engage the Kutak Center in three ways: (1) participate in a 1-hour conversation with the Assistant Director about the ethical dimensions the student’s choice that violated the Code of Conduct; (2) attend a brown bag luncheon; or (3) join the Ethics Bowl team and participate for a semester.

Corresponding Reduction in Probation

For a 1-hour conversation, the student will receive a 1-month credit against the duration of probation (6 months will become 5 months).

For attendance at a brown bag luncheon student will receive a 1-month credit against the duration of probation.

For joining ethics bowl, the student will receive a 3-month credit against the duration of probation.

Transformational Experience
Big Red Resilience & Well-being

Students can complete three, 1-hour sessions of well-being coaching. Well-being coaching is facilitated by a trained peer coach to help students integrate well-being practices into their lives and routines. Students also can apply, be accepted, and trained as a peer coach or well-being ambassador.

Corresponding Reduction in Probation

For three (3) sessions of well-being coaching, students will receive a 3-month credit against the duration of probation.

For becoming a peer-coach or well-being ambassador a student will receive a 6-month credit against the duration of probation.

Transformational Experience
Center for Civic Engagement

Students can design/select and complete a community service project and an accompanying reflection artifact that demonstrates learning and growth from the service. Students must follow all steps necessary to perform the service (e.g. complete background checks, releases or waivers, etc.)

The service project must meet two criteria: (1) the project must be something the student has an interest or passion for; and (2) it must strengthen a community.

To arrange community service, please visit the Center for Civic Engagement and request a service consultation.

Corresponding Reduction in Probation

For every 5 hours of completed and documented community service, a student will receive 1-month credit against their probation.

  • 5 hours = 1-month credit
  • 10 hours = 2-month credit
  • 15 hours = 3-month credit
  • 20 hours = 4-month credit
  • 25 hours = 5-month credit
  • 30 hours = 6-month credit

Any community service project that exceeds 50 hours of service will eliminate the probationary period.

GivePulse Impact Summary is verification.
Transformational Experience
Clifton Strengths Institute

Students can complete the Gallup Strengths Finder and two (2) strengths coaching sessions with a peer strengths coach. The cost associated with completing the Strengths Finder is $11.99.

Corresponding Reduction in Probation

For completing the Strengths Finder and two coaching sessions, a student will receive a 3-month credit against the duration of their probation.

Verification is completed by: (1) providing the conduct officer with your strengths report; (2) coaching sessions are recorded in MyPlan so your conduct officer will check to see two sessions appear; and (3) submit copies of your “Name it, Claim it, Aim it” and Gallup Strada to your conduct officer.

Transformational Experience
PREVENT & CARE/Ally

Students can participate in up to four (4) educational programs facilitated by PREVENT and the Center for Advocacy, Response & Education with the intent of becoming an active bystander on the campus community. Educational sessions facilitated by PREVENT include: (a) Consent, (b) bystander intervention, (c) healthy relationships, (d) supporting a friend who discloses victimization.

Corresponding Reduction in Probation

For each 1-hour educational session completed, the student will receive a 1-month credit against their probation.

Up to a 4-month credit

Join and participate in PREVENT and you can earn an additional 1-month credit.

Transformational Experience
Emeritus Faculty/Staff Mentorship

Connect with an emeritus member of the UNL faculty or staff, and undertake two sessions of mentoring.

Corresponding Reduction in Probation

2 mentoring sessions will provide a 2-month credit against probation.

Transformational Experience
Restorative Justice Exercise

Students can prepare and participate in a restorative justice activity for their violation that resulted in their sanctions. A restorative justice activity situates the offending student in their community, and requires them to account for and seek reconciliation with the members of the community that were harmed by the offending students conduct. Restorative activities are facilitated by a professional staff member. They include mediation, facilitated dialogue, and peace circles.

Corresponding Reduction in Probation

Undertaking a restorative justice program will eliminate probation upon completion. Restorative justice exercises can take months to prepare for and facilitate. Students desiring to participate in a restorative practice will need to work with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) and SCCS to prepare for the experience.

Verification is automatically recorded by SCCS as restorative exercises are facilitated by a conduct officer.

Transformational Experience
Collegiate Recovery Community

Students that have been held accountable for a drug or alcohol violation AND they believe they need social support to sustain sobriety, can become a member and champion for the Collegiate Recovery Community. The recovery community is comprised of students overcoming substance dependence, and is in need of student members to thrive.

Contact Connie Boehm at constance.boehm@unl.edu to join and participate in the Recovery Community.

Corresponding Reduction in Probation

Participation in the Recovery Community will earn a student a 6-month credit against the duration of their probation.

Verification is provided by Connie Boehm via email to the conduct officer.

Finally, students who refrain from future misconduct and show the willingness and commitment to overcome their mistakes, by pursuing at least one (1) resilience-promoting activity, are positioned to take advantage of the university’s non-disclosure privilege. This means that the University will not disclose the Code violation to most third-party inquiries (e.g. most employers, graduate or professional schools, or foundations/organizations conferring awards). View details on non-disclosure requests.