Student Handbook (PDF)
Contacts and directories
Life at Highlands
Campus Computers and E-mail Information
Institutional Policies and Codes of Conduct
Equal Opportunity Policies
A letter from President Minner
Roots and branches. Our roots stem from what our parents and family members taught us, our traditions, and our cultural heritage. Strong roots sustain us throughout life and are the foundation for the future. From roots grow branches, reaching outward and upward. They are our goals. Our dreams. Here at Highlands, we honor and respect the roots of all of our students and we also support strong and tall branches. We want our students to dream big dreams, set high goals, and achieve great and beautiful things. What are your dreams? Are you seeking a certain job? A particular kind of life? Do you hope to travel the world? All of these branches – these dreams – are possible. Do not allow anyone to tell you otherwise. And, an important path to your dreams runs through the middle of the campus of New Mexico Highlands University, Northern New Mexico’s oldest and most distinguished institution of higher education. As the president of this wonderful institution, it is a special privilege for me to be an even small part of your dreams, and I thank you for that opportunity. It is one my colleagues and I do not take lightly.
Our goal at Highlands is to assist you in every way we can to build upon your roots and make your dreams come true. The faculty and staff of Highlands help make that happen by supporting you in your professional and personal endeavors and helping you develop important leadership skills to support whatever path you might take. In some cases, we help you see life possibilities, new branches if you will, you have never considered nor thought about.
As you prepare yourself to achieve your dreams at Highlands, I do have some advice:
- Try hard. Good grades matter to employers, graduate deans and others who make important decisions about admission to graduate programs. However, good grades signal much more than high performance in a particular class. They signal that you have high standards and a good work ethic. They are tangible proof that you are an individual with high expectations and a willingness to work hard to achieve them.
- Focus on intellectual and personal growth in and outside of classes. The skills you gain working with peers in clubs, the intramural or athletic field, labs and studios, and other extracurricular activities are incredibly important. Many successful people speak of the importance of the leadership, communication, and life lessons they acquired outside of formal university classes. I urge you to get involved in these activities. Those lessons will help you so much in the future.
- Be bold. Successful people take risks and forge new paths. As a Highlands student, this means meeting new people with different ideas and learning from them. It means learning new things about the world and about yourself.
Do these things and verdant and strong branches will grow from your roots.
Best of luck in this great adventure!
Sam Minner, President
New Mexico Highlands University
First Day of Class/College Life
On your first day of class, you’ll get some introductory information, but then it’s down to business. If you have any questions about the structure of the course, the grading systems, when papers are due, when tests will be given or anything else, this is the time to ask! Your instructors should cover the following topics on the first day of class. If they don’t, ask them about:• required textbooks,
- other required class materials,
- the syllabus (an outline of the material covered in the course),
- the schedule of tests, papers and/or projects,
- supplementary reading lists,
- their grading system,
- their office hours,
- their policy on attendance and class participation, and
- check Brightspace to see if there are supplementary materials for any of your classes.
If you get ahead of the game on the first day, chances are you’ll stay ahead – and finish ahead.
Think of the student-professor relationship as a partnership with a common goal: your success. Here are a few tips to keep your relationship with the instructor on track:
- Introduce yourself to your professor. The first day of class is sometimes as awkward for teachers as well as students.Be on time for your class, and give your professor your full attention. Show you’re serious about your studies.
- Participate in class discussions and volunteer answers to questions. Show you’re interested and willing to work.
- Accept corrections and criticism as part of the learning process. We often learn more from our failures than we do from our successes.
- Ask questions. Instructors aren’t mind readers; they need to know if something isn’t clear.
- Make an appointment to talk to your professor if you’re having trouble with the coursework. Don’t wait until you’re completely lost to ask for help.
Life in college is a little different than it was in high school. College courses nearly always require more reading, more homework and more of your time than your high school courses did.
It doesn’t mean you’re an alien from outer space if you:
- can’t decide on a major.
- change your major (even several times).
- want to have more than one major.
But if you’re having trouble clarifying your goals, see an adviser in Academic Support. Find out what’s beyond the classroom. Highlands University offers a lot of support services that are yours, free, just for the asking. It’s your life. Look to professors, advisers and college staff for support, but not for decisions. Decisions are your responsibility.
Major in what you like, and success will come. Don’t study something because your mother, father or friend thinks you should. Put your heart into it!
Here are some hints on asking for help: Talk to your professor right away if you’re having trouble in class, or make an appointment with an adviser in the Academic Support Office if stress is getting in the way of success.
Learning is lifelong. You’re never too old, too young, too nervous, or too inexperienced for college.
The Division of Academic Affairs is responsible for the instructional program of the university. This division includes a vice president, associate vice president, academic deans, department heads, and faculty. Students may contact one or more of these individuals for information specific to academic programs.
Office of Academic Affairs
Dr. Roxanne M. Gonzales, Provost/VPAA
Rodgers Administration Building 225
Dr. Ian Williamson
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Grants, and Contracts
Rodgers Administration Building 223
Office of Graduate Studies
Dr. Ian Williamson, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies
School of Business, Media Arts and Technology
Dr. D. Veena Parboteeah, Dean
235 Sininger Hall, 505-454-3344
Dr. Rodney Sanchez, Interim Department Chair, Business Administration
Professor Miriam Langer, Department Chair, Media Arts & Technology
Trolley Building 136, 505-454-3390
Facundo Valdez School of Social Work
Cristina Durán, Dean and Director of BSW Program
5041 Indian School Rd, Ste. 100, Albuquerque, NM
College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Brandon Kempner, Dean
136 Douglas Hall, 505-454-3080
Dr. David Sammeth, Department Chair, Chemistry
232 Ivan Hilton Science Technology Building
Dr. Jesus Rivas, Department Chair, Biology
327 Hilton Science Technology Building
Dr. Gil Gallegos, Department Chair, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
292 Ivan Hilton Science Technology Building
Dr. Lauren Fath, Department Chair, English and Philosophy
142 Douglas Hall
Dr. Jay Lee, Interim Department Chair, Exercise and Sports Sciences
PE 233 Wilson Complex
Dr. Elaine Rodriguez, Department Chair, History and Political Science
248 Douglas Hall
Dr. Eric Romero, Interim Department Chair, Languages and Culture
235 Douglas Hall
Dr. Joshua Sloan, Department Chair, Forestry
335 Ivan Hilton Science Technology Building
Dr. Jennifer Lindline, Department Chair, Natural Resources Management
Ivan Hilton Science Technology Building
Dr. Jeanie Flood, Director, Nursing
101 Engineering Building
Dr. Gloria Gadsden, Department Chair, Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
245 Lora Shields Building
Dr. David Pan, Department Chair, Psychology
249 Lora Shields Building
Professor Todd Christensen, Department Chair, Visual and Performing Arts
109D Burris Hall
School of Education
Dr. Mary Earick, Dean
Dr. Geri Glover, Department Chair, Counseling and Guidance
Dr. Ann Wolf, Department Chair, Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Robert Karaba, Department Chair, Educational Leadership
Dr. Paul “PJ” Sedillo, Interim Department Chair, Special Education
Dr. Elisabeth Valenzuela, Interim Department Chair, Teacher Education
Felix Martinez Building, 505-454-3188
The Office of Academic Support offers an array of services with special emphasis on academic advisement. The academic support staff is available to ensure you receive assistance in assessing your interests, skills and abilities and point you in the right direction to help get you through college. The department provides assistance with peer advising, academic and social workshops, accessibility (physical, mental, and emotional disability related issues) and testing services, retention and intervention, academic advisement and new student orientation.
Accessibility Services is responsible for coordinating services to students with physical, learning, and psychological disabilities under the auspices of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. At the university level, the student bears primary responsibility for registering his or her disability, following procedures, and following through on the implementation of their accommodations. Students requesting reasonable accommodations should provide written documentation of their specific disability and follow all the policies and procedures outlined in the Accessibility Services Handbook, available separately at the above address. Official accommodations cannot be provided to students with disabilities without prior approval from the Accessibility Services. To ensure accommodations are in place, students are strongly encouraged to contact this office as soon as possible about their disability. Students who have specific request for housing due to a disability must contact Accessibility Services.
Academic Enrichment Programs
210 Douglas Hall, 505-454-3071
The goal of Academic Enrichment Programs is to develop engaging programs focused on student success through community building and experiential learning. The office is responsible for overseeing the First Year Experience Learning Communities which support first-year students in building supportive relationships, applying academic content to real-world situations, and having an enjoyable college experience.
ARMAS in Education
Engineering Building, 505-426-2010
The goal of the ARMAS Center is to provide comprehensive support to students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines as they work toward their academic and professional goals. Services include supplemental instruction in STEM gateway courses, math tutoring during all center hours, a math and science textbook library (for use at the center), computer lab and printing, local STEM internships and research fellowships. All students are welcome to participate in the support services offered by ARMAS, regardless of major, and our services are free. Please drop by to meet our staff and learn more about the resources ARMAS offers. During the fall and spring semesters, ARMAS is open from 8 am to 10 pm on Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m.
Students will make the Highlands Bookstore their first stop each semester, as the bookstore stocks the required course textbooks. The bookstore also offers supplies, gifts, novelty items and access to a fax machine. Regular business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours of operation are extended during early semester rush periods.
The Business Office offers and array of services including student payment plans, disbursement of payroll and financial aid checks. Located at the Mass Communications Building West, we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. See Page 23 for more information.
Mass Communications Building West, 505-454-3440
Located at the Mass Communications Building West, this office disburses student payroll checks and financial aid checks, check cashing (with NMHU identification), and student payments to the university. Valid Identification (State issued ID/DL, Passport or NMHU ID) is required for all transactions at the Cashier’s Office.
301 Student Union Building, 505-454-3123
Located in the 1st floor of the SUB, the game room is the perfect retreat on campus to relax and de-stress between classes or after a long day. Here, you will find everything from billiards to the latest Xbox games. Unwind, hang out with friends, and explore everything we have to offer. The game room includes the latest games for Playstation and Xbox, table tennis, billiards, more than 35 board games, a pop a shot, and corn toss. And all you need to get access is your NMHU ID.
Routine calls: 505 454-3278/3274
From on-campus phones: 5555
Emergency calls: 9-911
The campus police are responsible for enforcing university regulations, city ordinances and state and federal laws. Police are trained in first aid and other emergency procedures. The department maintains the lost and found, and weapons safekeeping. Police are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the Police and Information Center at Eleventh and Baca. During nonbusiness hours and holidays, police answer telephone calls made to the university.
Center For Advocacy Resources Education and Support (CARES)
306 Student Union Building, 505-454-3529, email@example.com
The Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES) provides collaborative services and support to students who have experienced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. NMHU CARES also provides services and support for students who struggle with suicide or have had past suicidal ideation. Our program also supports students who are facing substance abuse issues. Services include advocacy, counseling referrals, academic and housing assistance, and student discipline advocacy. Resources and guidance are provided to those who are supporting others. The NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES) provides educational outreach and coordinates trainings for the campus community. Please see Page 71 for more information.
Career Services Center
Felix Martinez Building Room 230, 505-454-3048
The Career Services Center offers current students a variety of career planning services including job search strategies, résumé preparation, interview skills, career fairs, job listings for summer jobs/internships/research programs and career opportunities, employer information sessions, workshops, and on-campus recruitment. These services are also directly available online at www.nmhu.edu/careerservices. All students, including freshmen, are encouraged to utilize these services early in their education. Paid internships offer students the opportunity to gain work experience related to their field of study while in college.
Student Employment On-Campus
Felix Martinez Building Room 230, 505-454-3048
Career Services Center, Felix Martinez Building, Room 230, 505-454-3048
Career Services advertises on-campus student jobs and teaches students effective strategies on how to apply and interview for these jobs as well as how to write résumés and interest letters. Student employment is a great way for you to earn money to help pay for school as well as to get a jump-start on your career track. Student employment allows you to acquire work experience, transferable job skills, self-confidence, and develop a network of professional contacts for your future career. On-campus jobs include departmental, federal/state work-study and graduate assistantships. For a current list of student jobs, go to www.nmhu.edu/studentjobs. Questions about work-study eligibility should be address to the Financial Aid Office and questions about hiring documents and payroll should be addressed to the Human Resources Office.
Summer Jobs, Internships, Career Opportunities
Career Services Center, Felix Martinez Building, Room 230, 505-454-3048
Provides employment listings for summer jobs, paid internships, summer research opportunities for students seeking to gain work experience related to their fields of study. Full-time career opportunities for graduating students are also posted and updated daily on the Career Services website. Job postings are available throughout New Mexico, nationwide, and internationally.
Counseling – Individual and Group
Teacher Education Building (TEC), 505-454-3564
Highlands University offers free counseling for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families to help with problems related to abuse, addictions, self-esteem, relationships, anger, and other areas of life. The services are confidential and private and are conducted by graduate interns of Highlands’ Counseling and Guidance Program and supervised by a licensed professional counselor on the faculty.
117 Student Union Building, 505-426-2153 / 505-426-2139
Students will have access to the dining hall throughout the day with meals deducted from their NMHU Student ID card. To-go boxes can also be purchased from the dining area for meals on the go. Student meal plans come with options of Flex Dollars that will also allow students to make purchases at the Purple Brew and the Convenience Store. For the hours of operation please contact the Sodexo Office at 454-2153/2139
Toll-free 800-379-4038. (Calls made on this number cannot be transferred or forwarded.)
This office offers financial assistance to eligible Highlands students in the form of grants, student loans, scholarships and student employment. It is important that students interested in financial aid maintain an acceptable grade point average and apply for aid early.
First Year Experience Learning Center
150 Felix Martinez, 505-454-3189
The First Year Experience Learning Communities program serves first-year students by providing an engaging experience focused on supporting student success through community building and experiential learning, as well as supporting personal growth. The FYE LC Study groups assist students in organizing lecture and textbook notes, as well as providing a listening ear. Visit https://www.nmhu.edu/first-year-experience-learning-communities/ for more information.
Highlands Foundation is responsible for raising private-sector funds for student scholarships and assisting the university administration with special projects. The foundation also acts as fiduciary agent for the funds of university departments and student organizations. The Alumni Affairs Office maintains correspondence and contact with Highlands graduates. It maintains the alumni database, publishes the alumni newsletter and sponsors alumni events such as homecoming and regional gatherings. The Alumni Office is charged with promoting goodwill between the university and its alumni.
301 Student Union Building, 505-454-3123
Located in the 1st floor of the SUB, the game room is the perfect retreat on campus to relax and de-stress between classes or after a long day. Here, you will find everything from billiards to the latest Xbox games. Unwind, hang out with friends, and explore everything we have to offer. The game room includes the latest games for Playstation and Xbox, table tennis, billiards, more than 35 board games, a pop a shot, and corn toss. And all you need to get access is your NMHU ID.
The Student Health Center provides primary medical care to Highlands students and their dependents. The center posts a regular schedule with reduced hours during the summer semester. Highlands students may take advantage of the many services provided by the Health Center, which include prescription discounts and a small per-visit fee for dependents of eligible students. The Health Center accommodates walk-ins, but scheduled appointments are preferred.
Life in the residence halls is often an important part of the total college experience. Students interested in making new friends, being close to classes, the library and on-campus activities, should really consider living on campus in the residence halls. Students have a variety of choices when considering an on-campus residence. There are suite-style residences and more traditional halls with both private and shared rooms–something for everyone. Students who have specific request for housing due to a disability must contact Accessibility Services.
Apartments are available for students with families and, on a limited basis, to graduate, nontraditional and students 21 and older. All of our residences are equipped with Internet connection, in addition to the WiFi available throughout campus. Laundry facilities, lounge space and gaming areas are also a part of residential life at Highlands. See Page 42 for more information.
301 Student Union Building 505-454-3590
Photo identification cards are made on the third floor of the Student Union Building and are required for admittance to university events. There is no charge for the first identification card, but a fee $25 fee is assessed to replace a stolen or lost card.
900 University Ave.
The university’s Ilfeld Auditorium is the place for entertainment on campus. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 727-seat auditorium is home to concerts, lectures, free movies and the annual Homecoming Pageant. A list of each month’s upcoming events is online.
Information Technology Services
Donnelly Library Ground Floor, 505-426-2215
Information Technology Services is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and security of computers, software, telephones, and the network on campus. ITS maintains a help desk to address problems with access to university computer recourses or to report problems with university computers.
101 Field House, 505-454-3368
Highlands University is a member of the NCAA Division II and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The following programs are available at Highlands:
Men – football, cross country, basketball & wrestling, and baseball.
Women – volleyball, cross country, basketball, soccer, softball, indoor and outdoor track & field.
International Education Center
Student Union Building, 505-454-3372
The International Education Center acts as a liaison with federal agencies on issues related to immigration; provides international student orientations; advises the university’s International Club; coordinates study and research exchange programs; and assists international students at Highlands.
Outdoor Recreation Center, 505-454-3050
Students interested in intramural competition should contact the Office of Outdoor Recreation. Highlands University intramural competition is available in flag football, volleyball, basketball, dodgeball, and ultimate Frisbee. University resources for both intramural and intercollegiate athletics include an indoor swimming pool, basketball courts, athletic fields, and a nine-hole golf course.
Reference Information Desk: 505-454-3401.
The Thomas C. Donnelly Library offers the following services to Highlands students, staff and faculty: access to computers, e-mail and Internet, Ray Drew Gallery, loan of books and other materials, interlibrary borrowing, microfilm copying and printing, photocopying, scanning, public access catalog, reference services, special collections, study facilities. The library is located just off 8th Street on National Avenue adjacent to the student union building. A valid Highlands ID is required to check out materials.
Native American Services
Student Union Building, 505-426-2049
Native American Student Services provides targeted support services for Native American students, including academic and financial aid advisement, collaboration with tribal educational offices, and sponsorship of the university’s Native American Club and American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
NMHU Emergency Food/Basic Needs Pantry
Must present valid HU ID.
Packages are pre-boxed.
You may visit the bank no more than twice a month.
If you are found to be abusing the program, you will no longer be allowed to request assistance.
NMHU’s Emergency Food/Basic Needs Pantry is open Sunday through Monday from 12 noon until 11 p.m. and is located in the Student Union Building Game Room.
Donations accepted daily. Drop-off box located in the SUB Game Room.
Items to be accepted:
Non-perishable food items (pasta, cereal, boxed foods)
Condiments (oil, spices, seasonings)
Non-food items (bar soap, shampoo, tissue, toothpaste, diapers, wipes)
Office of Compliance
Rodgers Administration Building Rm 205, 505-454-3363
This office conducts internal investigations based on student or employee reports of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or a violation of a Federal workplace law. Please contact this office if you believe that your educational or employment opportunities have been reduced by discrimination, unlawful refusal of a disability accommodation, or other similar unlawful conduct affecting the educational environment or work environment. Any student or employee may make a report directly to the Office of Compliance.
Office of the Dean of Students
Student Union Building, Room 324 505-454-3020
The Office of the Dean of Students answers questions or concerns related to academic advising, athletics, career services, disability services, financial aid, health services, housing, registration, etc. Questions and concerns, however, should be addressed first to the office responsible for the particular service. If the initial contact fails to bring about a satisfactory response or resolution, a student may want to present the concern to the dean of students. A written statement of the concern and an indication of the expected outcome are desirable. The dean of students or a designee will address the student’s concern within 30 days.
In addition to handling student concerns, the dean of students works to improve campus and community life by serving as a student advocate, assisting in campus emergencies, distributing and enforcing the NMHU Code of Student Conduct, and supervising the student affairs staff. To schedule an appointment with the dean of students, call 454-3020.
Office of Student Recruitment and Undergraduate Admissions
Felix Martinez Building, Room 110, 505-454-3394
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Office of Student Recruitment & Undergraduate Admissions is responsible for assisting prospective students and new students with the undergraduate college admissions process. We help guide students through the undergraduate application process, and evaluate all high school and college transcripts for new incoming undergraduate students. We admit first time freshmen, transfer and non-degree undergraduate students. We also support parents and/or high school counselors navigate the college admissions process as well. We offer campus tours M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., by appointment. Our team at NMHU is dedicated to providing the highest standards of service and professional guidance.
Office of the Title IX Coordinator
Rodgers Administration Building Rm 205, 505-454-3363
This office conducts internal investigations when students or employees report discrimination on the basis of gender under Title IX of the Education Act of 1972. This includes allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence, stalking, domestic or dating violence, and unequal treatment on the basis of gender. All students, regardless of gender, may report sexual misconduct affecting themselves or others directly to the Title IX Coordinator.
Student Union Building, 505-454-3358
Services offered by the Highlands Post Office include mailbox rental and a drop-off for all on- and off-campus mail. Box rentals are available to faculty, staff, and students at a cost of $20 per semester. Key deposit is $20 (one time).
Purple Pub Computer Lab
Student Union Building, 505-426-2225
The Purple Pub Computer Lab is a student-only lab located in the Student Union Building. Computers are available and equipped with Windows 10. Additionally, the lab offers laptop rental to students. Internet access is also provided. Two computers are designed and equipped for use by individuals with disabilities. The lab is open year-round and offers extended, evening and weekend hours. Hours may vary from semester to semester. Call the lab or ITS for information.Valid Highlands IDs are required.
Ray Drew Gallery
First floor, Donnelly Library
The Ray Drew Gallery showcases the best regional artists in revolving exhibitions throughout the year. The gallery’s popular Northern New Mexico Devotional Art Exhibition is an annual event highlighting the area’s unique religious folk art. The gallery is open 8 a.m.– 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 1 -5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday when classes are in session.
Felix Martinez Building, Suite 120, 505-454-3438
The Registrar’s Office assists both undergraduate and graduate students with the following academic procedures: catalogs, checks on academic progress, degree application, evaluation of transfer credits, grade reports, graduation audits, registration for classes – in person, and online, commencement, VA students, class schedules, degree checks, student waivers, name/address/social security number changes, grade changes and mailers, class schedules/agendum, scheduling of classrooms, sending of transcripts, student records, verification of enrollment in class.
Student Government – ASNMHU
324 Student Union Building, 505-454-3594
New Mexico Highlands University student government consists of the Associated Students of New Mexico Highlands University (ASNMHU) Members of ASNMHU are elected at large. ASNMHU is the organization that serves as the voice of the student body. Senate officials serve on a variety of decision-making committees on campus. ASNMHU is responsible for managing budgets that fund student-organized activities. If you are interested in becoming part of ASNMHU, please call the numbers listed above, attend a meeting, or stop by student government offices.
Swimming Pool (Natatorium)
Ninth Street and Baca, 505-454-3073
The swimming pool hours are posted each semester. However, these hours may be modified for special events, such as swim competitions and water shows.
Felix Martinez Building, 505-454-3252, TestingServices@nmhu.edu
The Office of Testing Services is responsible for overseeing the COMPASS placement exam and a few departmental exams. Other tests offered include the ACT, LSAT, and GED. Some other exams may be offered on an ad-hoc basis. Please contact the office for listing of scheduled exams.
The Office of University Relations serves as the official voice of the university administration and acts as a liaison between New Mexico Highlands and the public, the media, and the surrounding community. It also assists in facilitation of communications on campus, helps promote university-sponsored events and coordinates marketing and advertising for the university. University Relations also oversees Highlands’ website and social media pages. The Office of University Relations reviews all university-related materials produced for distribution to the public.
Highlands University’s website contains helpful information to the campus community and the public (campus directory, campus calendar, and online document for forms and information). To access MyNMHU Portal from the NMHU Website, click on MyNMHU Portal. You will have access to various resources. To receive help with using computers or setting passwords go to NMHU.edu > my nmhu > Student Technical Help.
You can also view your class schedule and upperclassmen can add or drop classes, change your address and other things in Self Service Banner. As students, you can also access your student e-mail, which is used for official communications mechanism. University Relations maintains the university’s official web pages and ITS maintains the MYNMHI Portal.
131 Wilson Complex, 505-454-3122
Students interested in assessing and improving their health and fitness can call the Wellness Program or stop by the program office located in the Wilson Physical Education Complex.
The NMHU Writing Center serves the campus community by supporting undergraduate writers of all disciplines in identifying and developing tools and strategies to meet goals for their writing in and out of the classroom. The Writing Center provides tutoring in a non-evaluative, supportive environment centered on the belief that all writers benefit from sharing work in progress with informed, attentive readers. During sessions, students plan, write, or revise with the guidance of a trained tutor. Our collaborative, flexible methods reflect our respect for the individual writer, whose voice and goals are central to all our endeavors. Contact the Center for an appointment.
Our tutors are experienced writers, often with professional publications. They are professors, instructors, and English graduate students skilled in advanced tutoring techniques and dedicated to the empowerment of independent thinkers and writers.
What’s here for you?
• Tutoring in writing, reading, and Internet research.
• A library of resources on writing and research documentation (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).
• Computers for word processing and research (available to students participating in our tutoring).
• A welcoming place to craft your writing.
Open weekdays all day long with evening and Sunday hours. Make an appointment or just drop in for tutoring!
Find us in Room 115, main floor of Douglas Hall, across the street from the Felix Martinez parking lot. Highlands University is an equal-opportunity institution. For individuals with disabilities who need access or services, call 505-454-3188.
Business Office Information
Payment Plans: New Mexico Highlands University Business Office offers students the following payment options:
Fall 2020 Semester:
Two-payment plan option: Due dates September 1, October 1
Three-payment plan option: Due dates September 1, October 1, and November 1
Four-payment plan option: Due dates August 1, September 1, October 1, and November 1
Spring 2021 Semester:
Two-payment plan option: Due dates February 4, March 4
Three-payment plan option: Due dates February 4, March 4, and April 4
Four-payment plan option: Due dates January 4, February 4, March 4, and April 4
Student must pay their account in full by the final due date or make adequate financial arrangements. A $25 non-refundable billing fee and account hold will be assessed to the student’s account if the account is not paid in full by the final due date of November 1 for Fall 2020 and April 4 for Spring 2021.
Payment plans must be set up online through TouchNet via Self Service Banner. Plan registration ends the day the first payment is due.
If you require assistance with Payment Plans, please contact the Student Helpline at 505-454-3444 or e-mail email@example.com
E-statements are sent monthly to your NMHU Live student email. Go to the website and MyNMHU Portal to view the statements.
E-mail notifications are sent to your NMHU e-mail address from SAR@nmhu.edu when a reimbursement check is available for pick up at the Cashier’s Office in Las Vegas. Any reimbursements not picked up will automatically be mailed to the mailing address (MA) on Tuesday of the following week. E-mail notifications are sent to your NMHU e-mail address from SAR@nmhu.edu when a direct deposit reimbursement has been issued to your bank.
Direct Deposit: Your financial aid disbursements may be sent to your financial institution via direct deposit. If you would like to enroll in this service, please complete and submit the direct deposit enrollment form no later than August 31, 2020 for Fall 2020 and January 31, 2021 for Spring 2021. Forms are available through the Business Office.
Complete School Withdrawals: Fall 2020, any student who is enrolled after August 19, 2020 will be liable for all tuition charges assessed as of August 19, 2020 even if the student reduces the number of credit hours after this date.
Refund of tuition and fees (except for special fees and course fees) is made in cases of timely, complete, and official withdrawal from the university. Students who withdraw from the university with official approval may have all or part of their tuition refunded according to the University refund schedule. The summer refund schedule varies according to the session. See a Business Office representative for details or questions.
Students who find it necessary to withdraw from the university and do so with official approval, may have all or part of their tuition refunded according to the following schedule:
100%- August 19, 2020
90%- August 20–August 23, 2020
50%- August 24–August 28, 2020
25%- August 29 –September 2, 2020
Thereafter, no refund.
Complete School Withdrawals: Spring 2021, any student who is enrolled after January 20, 2021 will be liable for all tuition charges assessed as of January 20, 2021 even if the student reduces the number of credit hours after this date.
100%- January 20, 2021
90%- January 21– January 24, 2020
50%- January 25– January 29, 2020
25%- January 30 – February 3, 2020
Thereafter, no refund.
Refund schedule for short-term courses:
8- to 11-week courses
First day: 100%
Second through 5th day: 90%
6th through 10th day: 50%
11th through 15th day: 25%
After 15th day: no refunds
4- to 7-week courses
First day: 100%
Second through 3rd day: 90%
4th through 5th day: 50%
6th through 7th day: 25%
After 7th day: no refunds
1- to 3-week courses
First day: 100%
Second day: 90%
Third day: 50%
Fourth day: 25%
After 4h day: no refunds
Please call us at 505-454-3444 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions regarding withdrawal dates and course refund schedules.
Financial Aid Information
New Mexico Highlands University is committed to helping all students attain an affordable education. The philosophy of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is to award funding to as many qualified students as possible. The office tries to distribute resources equitably and makes sure every student in need has the necessary resources to go to school. Using a combination of family support, grants, loans, work programs, and scholarships, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships works so that each student has a personalized financial aid package. Students apply for federal and state student aid programs, including Federal Pell grant, Federal TEACH grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity grant and state supplemental grants, federal Perkins loans, and federal Direct Stafford loans by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FAFSA. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships also awards the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship for all eligible current graduates of New Mexico high schools and GED recipients as applicable, as well as other state, Highlands Foundation and university scholarships.A financial aid package is prepared for you after all components of your application are reviewed by a financial aid adviser. Your package might be different from another’s, as the financial aid process is individualized based on your particular living and financial circumstances. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will ensure you have a financial aid package that best fits your situation. Once the semester is underway and you are registered for all your classes, the awards in your financial aid package will be credited to your student account in the Business Office to offset the charges of tuition, fees, on-campus housing, meal plan and other charges (i.e. bookstore charges). This will take place the third Friday of the semester. Amounts that exceed your charges will be reimbursed to you. Use these funds wisely, as they are intended to help you for the duration of the semester. Plan a budget ahead of time. Please note that direct deposit is available for student reimbursements, contact the Business Office at email@example.com for more information on how to set this up.Applying for financial aid is simply a matter of accurately completing forms and getting paperwork submitted. You can get help with the process, so do not let the application forms scare you away. Remember, the process is largely created through paperwork; therefore, you should keep copies of everything you send or deliver and records of the relevant dates. Do not give the Financial Aid Office the originals of income tax forms or other important documents. Make copies and have the copies dated by the Financial Aid Office for additional assurances that materials have been received. Make sure all documents are complete, accurate and signed by all required to sign.
An education is a privilege and your responsibility. Therefore, you are expected to contribute toward your education to the best of your abilities as well as the help of your family, if applicable. Financial aid is only a supplement to help meet some of the costs associated with your education. The following are tips to help you along the way:
Financial aid advisers are here to help; utilize this great resource!
Read and be aware of financial aid programs and processes. Visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to obtain these written documents or access them at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Understand your rights, responsibilities, and the implications of all forms your sign.
Keep copies of all documents submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and note the dates submitted.
Take responsibility for your part in the financial aid process, to ensure the most aid possible by being prompt, organized and alert.
Read the university catalog and course schedule thoroughly. Know and understand policies regarding registration, tuition and fee charges, refunds, course changes and financial aid disbursements.
You have the right to know…
- what financial aid programs are available at Highlands University,• what financial aid programs are available at Highlands University,
- the deadlines for submitting applications for each of the programs,
- how financial aid is distributed, how decisions on distributions are made, and the basis for these decisions,
- how your financial need was determined,
- how your cost of attendance was determined (e.g. tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, personal, and miscellaneous expenses),
- what resources (current assets, family contribution, other financial aid, etc.) are considered in the calculation of your need,
- how much of your financial need, as determined by Highlands University, has been met,
- the details of the various programs in your student aid package,
- Highlands University’s refund policy
- what portion of the financial aid you receive must be repaid and what portion is grant aid. If the aid is a loan, you have the right to know the interest rate, the total amount that must be repaid, the payback procedures, the length of time you have to repay the loan, and when repayment is to begin,
- how Highlands University determines if you are making satisfactory academic progress and what happens if you are not,
- policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement,
- Highlands University’s Drug and Alcohol Policy,
- Highlands University’s Crime Awareness Policy and access to the Campus Security Report,
- NMHU’s three-year cohort default rate for FY12 is 16 percent, the national average is 11.8 percent.
- Highlands University’s retention rates and graduation rates,
- Job placement information, and
- Highlands University’s statistics regarding student body diversity.
Many of the above statistics regarding the Highlands University can be found on the College Portrait website.
In accepting your responsibilities, you must…
- complete all application forms accurately and submit them on time to the proper place,
- provide correct information. Misreporting information on financial aid applications could result in indictment under the U.S. Criminal Code and/or fines,
- return all additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the
- Financial Aid Office or the agency to which you submitted your application,
- be responsible for reading, understanding and keeping copies of all forms you sign,
- live up to all agreements you sign,
- perform the work agreed upon when accepting work-study assignments,
- be aware of and comply with Highlands University policies and procedures,
- report all changes in name, address, telephone number, and enrollment status to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the Office of the Registrar.
Federal Pell Grant
Qualification: Undergraduate students only, first bachelor’s degree.
Annual amount for 2016-17 up to $5,815
Deadlines and application: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each academic year. The priority deadline is March 1 prior to fall enrollment. We continuously process FAFSAs throughout the academic year; however, all documentation must be submitted no later than the week before final exams of the spring semester.Description: Pell Grants are awarded to eligible in-state and out-of-state undergraduate students with established financial need. To qualify, you must also have a high school diploma or GED and be enrolled at the university in a degree-seeking program. Check for other specific qualifications in The Student Guide, Financial Aid, from the U.S. Department of Education. The Financial Aid Office has hard copies available.Federal Pell Grants do not have to be paid back. Students with the greatest need receive Pell Grants. The maximum amount depends on what the U.S. Department of Education authorized for the year, the cost of tuition, fees and other expenses at Highlands University, the number of hours you take, and whether you attend one or two semesters. The annual maximum amount is $5,815 for full-time students (12 or more credit hours) with a zero expected family contribution (EFC) and enrolled full-time in both regular semesters. Grants are prorated based on enrollment status. To continue to receive Pell Grant (if eligible), recipients must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress (SAP), with a minimum grade point average of 1.75 for freshmen and 2.0 for sophomores, juniors, and seniors and other criteria such as pace of progression and be within the maximum timeframe allowed to complete your degree. Effective with the 2012-13 award year; students will not be eligible for Pell Grant beyond 600 percent.
Teach Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program
Qualification: Undergraduate and graduate students. Non-need based, however, cannot exceed cost of attendance. U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. Cumulative GPA of 3.25 (including transfer GPA). Must be enrolled in a high-need field as identified by the Federal Department of Education or the State of New Mexico. Funding up to $4,000 per academic year for full-time enrollment (less than full-time will be pro-rated accordingly). Recipients must be demonstrating satisfactory academic progress and must be progressing in the designated high need field of study. Effective October 1, 2013, due to sequestration, new TEACH grant awards must be reduced by .89 percent; therefore, the maximum award will be $3,964.40 for full-time enrollment (less than full-time enrollment will be prorated).Deadlines and Application: FAFSA and NMHU TEACH Form approved through the
NMHU School of Education each academic year. Students must be fully admitted to the School of Education to be eligible.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Qualification: Undergraduate students only (must be Pell Grant eligible)
Annual amount: Up to $2,000Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal student Aid (FAFSA); April 15 complete file
Description: Similar to Pell Grants, FSEOG are given to students with high financial need who qualify for Pell Grants. No application is necessary other than the early completion of the FAFSA. This award is a grant and does not have to be repaid.Unlike Pell Grants, the university is given a set amount for FSEOGs, and all qualified applicants are not guaranteed funding. They are given on a first-come, first-serve basis to those who have qualified for Pell Grants and, by preference, to out-of-state students. This preference is because the State Student Incentive Grants (SSIG), funded by both federal and state sources are identical to the FSEOGs in amount, but are reserved for New Mexico residents only. FSEOG maximum is $2,000 for single parents with zero EFC and prorated thereafter based on your EFC and availability of funding. Award will be pro-rated based on enrollment status, must be at least half-time status.
State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG)
Qualifications: Undergraduate students only (must be Pell Grant eligible). New Mexico resident.Annual amount: Up to $2,000.
Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal student Aid (FAFSA); April 15 complete file
Description: Similar to Pell Grants, SSIGs are given to students with high financial need who qualify for Pell Grants. This award is a grant and does not have to be repaid.
Unlike the Pell Grant, the university is given a set amount by the state for SSIGs, and all qualified applicants are not guaranteed to receive one. They are given on a first-come, first-serve basis to those who have qualified for Pell Grants and, by law, to state residents. They are identical to the FSEOGs in amount, with a $2,000 maximum for single parents with zero EFC and prorated thereafter based on your EFC and availability of funding. Award will be prorated based on enrollment status, must be at least half-time status.
College Affordability Grant
The purpose of the College Affordability Grant is to encourage New Mexico students with financial need, who do not qualify for other state grants or scholarships, to attend and complete educational programs at a public New Mexico college or university.
Eligibility requirements: New Mexico residents, undergraduate, must demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may not be receiving any other state or federal grants (other than federal Pell Grant) and scholarships. Award will be prorated based on enrollment status. You must enroll at least half time (6 credit hours).
Amount: Maximum of $1,000 per semester (prorated for those enrolled less than full time). Renewable if student maintains satisfactory progress and is Pell eligible.
Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and April 15 complete file.
Federal Perkins Loan
Qualifications: Undergraduate and graduate students; need based.
Annual amount: Up to $3,000 undergraduates; Up to $5,000 graduates.
Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and April 15 complete file.
Description: Perkins Loans are given to undergraduates and graduates, in-state and out-of-state students, with financial need.
Students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree or educational/professional licensure are also eligible for Perkins Loans at the undergraduate loan limit.
Funds for Perkins Loans come from previous borrowers in repayment and are limited. Make sure your FAFSA is submitted by March 1, and file is completed by April 15 for award consideration.
Perkins Loans are repaid to the university through a third party servicer, New Mexico Student Loan. Interest of 5 percent and payments are deferred until nine months after graduation, after you leave school or drop below six credit hours (called a grace period). The repayments of previous loan recipients create the money for current ones. The university, thus, has a revolving account of loan repayments that are then re-awarded to current eligible students.
In certain circumstances, your Perkins Loan repayments may be deferred, postponed, or cancelled. Some of these circumstances include becoming a teacher, nurse or health care professional, law enforcement officer, Peace Corps volunteer or member of the armed forces. For more information on these options, go online to www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/ Students/repayment/teachers/.
A Perkins Loan is part of your financial aid package. Each academic year, you will sign a promissory note. Funds will be posted to your student account receivable on the second Friday of the semester.
Each year you must complete an entrance counseling session before funds will be disbursed. Contact the financial aid office for further guidance on completing the entrance counseling for Perkins.
Student loans, unlike grants, are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Loans are legal obligations, so before you borrow a student loan, think about the amount you’ll have to repay over the years as well as the kind of job you will be pursuing to be able to afford this repayment of your student loans.
Important Recent Changes to Federal Direct Student Loans:
Effective July 1, 2012, as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, subsidies for graduate and professional students will be eliminated as well as the upfront rebate fee. Effective July 1, 2013 the 1 percent origination fee will increase to 1.051 percent for subsidized and unsubsidized loans and a 4.204 percent origination fee for Federal Direct PLUS loans.Loans disbursed after October 1, 2014 and before October 1, 2015, will be subject to a 1.072 percent loan fees on direct subsidized and unsubsidized and a 4.288 percent fee on a Direct PLUS loan.The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 initiated Federal Direct Subsidized loan interest to begin accruing during the six-month grace period for all loans originated from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014.
Effective July 1, 2013 as a result of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21); first time direct Stafford subsidized borrowers will be subject to a subsidized loan usage limit that cannot exceed 150% of the borrower’s educational program.Expect that loans may take up to eight weeks to fully process and this process largely depends on you. Once the loan data form is submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (your FAFSA must be complete and reviewed), then your loan is originated in our office, you must complete an entrance counseling session online and sign your master promissory note before loan money will be released to Highlands University. It is best to turn in your Loan Data Form when you submit your FAFSA. Otherwise, you can choose to wait for your award letter in early June to determine how much, in addition to your current awards, you might require. The maximum amount of what you may borrow using a Stafford Loan depends on other aid you may have in your financial aid package. It also depends on your student classification, expected family contribution and the cost of attendance established for the academic year or term requested. Loans based on financial need and dependency status are subsidized, which means that interest will not be charged until you graduate or leave school and begin repayment.
Interest on Stafford loans will not exceed 8.25 percent and will vary according to economic conditions.
Note: You do not want to borrow any more than you need. Remember this is a loan that must be repaid with interest. For example, you may have $3,500 available to you; however, you may choose to borrow only $200, based on the amount that you need. Also, remember the maximum annual loan amount is the total available to you in an academic year: fall, spring and summer semester (if you plan to attend year round). You will need to budget yourself a certain amount from this total to cover each semester.A financial aid adviser can help you understand the details of a Stafford Loan.
Borrowers at Highlands University must complete an online loan entrance counseling session each year before their loan will be processed. Go to Direct Loans at www.studentloans.gov after your loan is certified by the university, originated and approved in order to sign a master promissory note. One master promissory note will allow you to continue to borrow direct loans through your undergraduate and/or graduate education if you borrow continuously for a maximum of 10 years (after a period of 10 years, the note will expire).You will receive Stafford Loans in two disbursements. For a two-semester loan, you will receive the first credit to your student account receivable (SAR) on the third Friday of the fall semester and the second disbursement on the third Friday of the spring semester. Loan amounts that exceed your charges will be reimbursed to you on the third Friday after classes begin each semester. For a one-semester loan, you will be credited with the first disbursement on the third Friday of the term, and the second disbursement at midterm. First-time borrowers will not receive their first disbursement until 30 days after classes have begun.
Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
Qualifications: Undergraduate students only; need based. Annual amount: $3,500 to $5,500, depending on grade level (maximum).
Deadlines and applications: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) & Loan Data Form. Deadline: No later than two weeks prior to the end of semester. Otherwise, release will be subject to satisfactory academic progress for late disbursement.
Description: To be eligible for Stafford Loans as well as other federal financial aid, fill out the FAFSA. Also complete a Loan Data Form at the Office of Financial Aid or online (download and print).
Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Qualifications: Undergraduate and graduate students. Non-need based.
Annual amount: $2,000s to $20,500, depending on grade level (maximum amounts).
Deadlines and application: Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); Loan Data Form. Deadline: No later than two weeks prior to the end of semester. Otherwise, release will be subject to review of satisfactory academic progress for late disbursement.
Description: To be eligible for Stafford Loans as well as other federal financial aid, fill out the FAFSA. Also complete a Loan Data Form at the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or online (download and print).
Federal PLUS Loans
Qualifications: Available to parents of dependent undergraduate and graduate students. Non-need based; however, are based on credit worthiness.
Annual amount: Cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. This loan cannot exceed cost of attendance in combination with other expected financial aid.
Deadline and applications: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and PLUS Loan Application pre-screening form.
Deadline: No later than two weeks prior to the end of semester. Otherwise, release will be subject to review of satisfactory academic progress for late disbursement.
Description: This is a parent loan. Eligibility is based on credit worthiness and approval from the Federal Department of Education. Repayment is required.
Undergraduate students with grade point averages of 2.5 and above should apply for state, university, and Highlands Foundation scholarships by completing the Highlands Scholarship Application by application priority consideration timelines (March 1 for freshmen; May 1 for continuing and transfer students).
Graduate students with a GPA of 3.0 and above are encouraged to apply for the Graduate Presidential Scholarship. Complete the Highlands Scholarship Application by May 1.
Graduate assistantships are processed through the Office of Graduate Studies and in the academic units that offer graduate degrees.
Regardless of funding variables, if you are an academic high achiever, it is always worth your while to apply for scholarships at the university. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships also keeps information regarding scholarship listings that are available outside of the university. External scholarships require a separate application and have different (earlier and later) deadlines than the university. Be sure to examine these listings and also to investigate other resources.
To apply for external scholarships, we recommend using the scholarship search engine at www.fastweb.com to help facilitate the scholarship search process. Note: these scholarships are external to Highlands University scholarships and Highlands has no jurisdiction over the awarding of these scholarships. If you do receive outside scholarship support, it must be reported to Highland’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to be included as part of your financial aid package.
Scholarship guidance: Scholarships are awarded first in the completion of a financial aid package. If you receive financial aid, your scholarship aid will be awarded before you are considered for grants, loans, or a work-study program. If you receive scholarships from other sources than the university or state, those awards will also be considered in your total financial aid package. You may not receive more aid than the total cost of attendance at Highlands during a year. This amount is calculated by adding tuition and fees to an estimated average for room and board, books, personal items, and transportation.
Many state scholarship awards are based on academic achievement and on state residency. Private scholarship awards are given by the contributions of individuals. Donors may designate awards for students from certain schools or areas in New Mexico, with certain majors, or with financial need. In addition, there may be particular specifications for the personal essays and letters of recommendation submitted. If you are interested in a specific scholarship, be sure to check the scholarship’s qualifications for application.
Students who earn relatively high GED scores are eligible for certain scholarships.
Nontraditional students returning to school may also qualify for certain scholarships.
Recent ACT or SAT test scores will help establish a comparable status to other students. In these cases, personal statements and letters of recommendation will be especially important.
The number of scholarships available varies with changes in state and private funding and the economy. Endowed scholarships are funded through the interest paid by investments, and that amount is always changing. The amount of individual scholarships awards may also vary given increases in tuition and fees and other variables.
Highlands University participates in the federal and state work-study programs. Federal work-study is dependent upon your need as determined by the FAFSA and your request to be considered for work-study on the FAFSA form. The state work-study program allows students with and without need to be hired by Highland’s employers, but you must still have a completed FAFSA on file in the Financial Aid Office. Students with need cannot earn more than their calculated cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books, room and board, etc.), and all students cannot earn more than the maximum limits set under the federal and state work-study program established in the student’s award.
March 1 is the deadline for submitting the FAFSA that determines work-study and other available financial aid. The amount that you are eligible to earn for either state or federal work-study programs is determined after March 1 for the earliest applicants. Work-study awards will continue to be allotted to students if funds are available, but work-study funds are generally completely allotted for the next academic year in the spring. Funds only become available again as students drop out of the program and funds are returned to the work-study budget.
Work-study positions are only available if funds still exist in the federal or state programs. Even if funds are allotted to qualified students, jobs might not be available. In this case, you may request that your financial aid package be reevaluated, and loan monies may be available to you.
The work-study hiring process is one in the employer usually posts a job opening with the Career Services Office. Students must pursue the jobs and be hired by employers to receive work-study award. Students can check for postings or may hear of a potential job and can call or visit the individual who is the work-study hiring contact. The student interviews for the job, and the employer chooses the best applicant. The student picks up a Student Hire Form from the hiring supervisor or off the Highlands website or from the Human Resource Office.
Students then arrange their working hours with their employers, considering the number of hours they are allowed to work in order to earn the maximum wages available through their financial aid package and the work-study program. Students complete timesheets every two weeks and are evaluated by their employer at the end of each semester.
Remember, the department has the authority not to rehire you based on poor performance. This may be one of your first opportunities to develop good work ethics, so take your work-study position seriously. This employment can also be used in building your resume for future professional employment.
For details regarding pay schedules, see the Human Resource Office.
Qualifications: Undergraduate and graduate students; need based
Annual amount: Wage and grade scales apply. Recipients may only work 20 hours per week maximum during regular semesters.
Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); April 15 complete file.
Description: Work-study programs allow students with need to pay for some of their college expenses by working.
The obvious advantage is that students finish their education owing less in loans. There is also a financial advantage for the university in that these earnings are federally or state subsidized, with the university paying a percentage of the total earnings of students under this program.
Qualifications: Undergraduate and graduate students; both need and non-need based.
Annual amount: Wage and grade scaled apply. Recipients may only work 20 hours per week maximum during regular semesters.
Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); April 15 complete file.
Description: Work-study programs allow students with need to pay for some of their college expenses by working. The advantage is that students finish their education owing less in loans. There is also a financial advantage for the university in that these earnings are federally or state subsidized, with the university paying a percentage of the total earnings of students under this program.
The work-study hiring process is one in which the employer usually posts a job opening with the Career Services Office. Students must pursue jobs and be hired by employers to receive work-study. The student checks for postings, or hears of a potential job and calls the individual who is the work-study contact. The student interviews for the job, and the employer chooses the best applicant. The employer will submit a student employment form to Human Resources.
Work-study paychecks are on a one-week lag period. This means your first paycheck is ready one week after your timesheet is submitted. Pick up a pay schedule at the Human Resources Department. Your checks will be available at the Cashier’s Office. Be sure to bring your I.D. Students can also sign up for payroll direct deposit, see the Human Resource office for more information. r I.D. Students can also sign up for payroll direct deposit, see the Human Resource office for more information.
Financial Aid Reimbursements
Financial aid reimbursements will be available starting the third Friday of the semester. Reimbursements are determined after financial aid credits are posted to offset student charges on your student account receivable (i.e. tuition and fees; on-campus room and board; bookstore charges, etc.). If your financial aid exceeds your charges, you will be issued a reimbursement check. Reimbursement checks are issued every Wednesday and Friday throughout the semester for those who apply or complete the verification process late. Direct deposit is also available for student credit balances (reimbursements); see the Business Office to sign up.
Student Extreme Hardship Fund
The Student Extreme Hardship Fund has been established to help provide financial assistance to New Mexico Highlands University students who may face financial hardship due to a catastrophic event.
Currently, existing clubs/organizations are required to charter by September 15 of each academic year. (New clubs/organizations may charter at any time during the fall semester of each academic year.)
Should an existing club not submit a complete charter application by the deadline, said club will be placed on “suspension” and any monies in their club account at the Foundation Office will also be placed on hold until the following academic year. In the event said suspended club fails to charter again by the following academic year, their charter will be revoked and any monies left in their Foundation account will be transferred to the Student Extreme Hardship Fund.
These monies will then be used to aid students, who during the course of the academic year are faced with an exceptional and/or unexpected hardship. Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Fund committee. The following are examples of circumstances to be considered:
• Travel related to a death in the immediate family,
• Unusual uninsured medical expenses caused by severe illness or accident
• Uninsured losses caused by fire, crime, flood, loss of income or other disasters
• Unusual uninsured expenses for the care of a sick immediate family member (son, daughter, husband, wife) who resides with you
• Job loss
Each case will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with appropriate documentation required for consideration. Applications will be considered on the basis of a student’s income and expenditures. Applicants must also demonstrate that they have insufficient funds to cope with the unexpected circumstance. This aid is NOT to be counted as part of a student’s financial aid package in that it is an unexpected/exceptional circumstance.
Who is eligible to apply:
*Graduate and undergraduate students enrolled at NMHU for a minimum of six (6) credit hours who do not have current or pending disciplinary actions within the 12 months prior to the submission of an application.
The maximum award amount is $250 per event, subject to the availability of funds and the extent of the need. (The committee reserves the right to increase the amount of the award based on documented circumstances.) Students may receive one award per rolling twelve month period.
Completed applications may be submitted and will be considered at any time during the academic year, based on the availability of funds.
Student Hardship Request form (PDF)
The following procedures are in place to ensure a safe and positive environment:
- MUST PRESENT NMHU ID – NO EXCEPTIONS.
- Respect the facility and other people
- No swearing, foul or offensive language.
- No alcohol, drugs or tobacco/spitting
- Students/faculty must wear proper attire
- Shirts must have sleeves
- No cut-off jean shorts
- No tank tops
- No clothing depicting drugs or alcohol
- Please do not drop or bang the equipment
- Put weights/DB’s back in proper location
- Wipe down strength equipment after usage (Flat benches, incline sit-up, back extension, etc)
- No drinks on or by the cardio equipment
Monday 8 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. Open
2 – 3 p.m. Closed for Class
3 – 9 p.m. Open
Tuesday 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Open
10 – 11 a.m. Closed for Class
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Open
Wednesday 8 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. Open
2 .– 3 p.m. Closed for Class
3 – 9 p.m. Open
Thursday 8 a.m.– 9:50 a.m. Open
10 – 11 a.m. Closed for Class
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Open
Friday 8 – 5 p.m. Open
Information Technology Services (ITS) is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and security of computers, software, telephones, and the network on campus. ITS maintains a Help Desk to address problems with access to university technology resources or to report problems with university computers.
Once you are accepted to NMHU, you will receive a welcome letter from NMHU, which will contain instructions for setting up your account and logging in for the first time. Your account gives you access to NMHU resources such as Self-Service Banner, Email, Brightspace, Zoom, NetTutor, campus computers, and library remote resources. NMHU email is the official method of communication between NMHU faculty, staff, and students. You are also issued a Banner ID, which takes the place of your Social Security number. Please memorize your Banner ID.
Your new password must contain at least 8 characters, including at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one number. It must not contain your first or last name. If applicable, it must be different from your previous 5 passwords. Special characters are allowed. Your password should be easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Do not share your password with anyone!
How to look up your username or reset your password:
If you have configured your Account Recovery settings, go to MyNMHU Portal from our main website, and select the Forgot Username and/or Forgot Password.
If you have NOT configured your Account Recovery settings, please contact the ITS Help Desk.
How to log in to university computers:
To access a university computer, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and enter your email address and password. Press Enter. If you have not changed your temporary password from your date of birth, you will be prompted to do so.
How to access wireless at NMHU:
Wireless access on campus is available by connecting to SSID NMHUPublic.
A Brief Overview of NMHU Online Resources
All online resources are accessible through MyNMHU Portal. To access the portal, go to my.nmhu.edu and log in with your username (not entire email address) and password.
Self-Service Banner (SSB): At the MyNMHU Portal welcome page, click on Self-Service Banner.
Self-Service Banner (SSB) makes it possible to:
- Register for classes or drop them
- View class schedule
- View midterm and final grades
- View unofficial transcripts
- Submit course evaluations
- View amount due and make On-Line Payments
- View status of your Financial Aid awards
- View and update mailing addresses
- View Degree Audits and much more …
Student Email: At the MyNMHU Portal welcome page, click on Microsoft Office 365 and then click on Outlook. Please note that you are not issued an Email account until 4-24 hours after you have been admitted to NMHU.
Your Email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
NMHU email is the official method of communication between NMHU faculty, staff, and students. You are responsible for reading your email and deleting old messages.
Microsoft Office 365 includes more than just email. Be sure to learn about all its features, including 5 licenses for Office Pro Plus, which you can install on your personal devices.
How to set up your smartphone or other device to receive NMHU Email:
- Download the Microsoft Outlook app.
- Enter your NMHU Email address. Click Continue. You will be re-directed to the NMHU login page.
- Enter your NMHU password. Click on Sign In.
Donnelly Library Remote Resources: At the MyNMHU Portal welcome page, click on Libraries to get to the Library’s online resources.
Access to some Library resources from off campus requires you to be a currently enrolled student and to enter your username and password.
Brightspace: At the MyNMHU Portal welcome page, click on Brightspace.
Requirements for your class may vary. You may be required to have a microphone and speakers in order to participate in your class. Be sure to check your course syllabus or contact your instructor for more information. Brightspace also gives you access to activate your Zoom account, and access to NetTutor.
Need more information?
Call or email us! Contact the ITS Help Desk at 505-426-2215 or email@example.com
Pay us a visit! We are located on the Ground Floor of the Donnelly Library
The residence hall room and board contract is for the academic year (August-May), and a student’s signature indicates an agreement to live in the halls for the entire academic year. Apartment contracts require a 30-day notice. Housing and Student Conduct will accept written appeal requests for contract release charges only for medical reasoning that is supported by appropriate medical documentation and for a life-changing event that is catastrophic in nature and supported by appropriate documentation (please see contract release form for details). Financial and community behavior based requests will not be considered. All approved cancellations are subject to the cancellation refund schedule.
Fall 2020 Room Refund Schedule Spring 2021 Room Refund Schedule
100% through August 18th 100% through Jan 12th
75% August 19 through September 10th 75% January 13th through January 20th
50% September 11th through September 24th 50% January 21th through February 3rd
25% September 25th through October 30th 25% February 4th through February 16th
Thereafter – No Refund Thereafter – No Refund
The university offers a number of meal plans to students living on campus. A meal plan is required for all students living in the residence halls. Once meal service has started for a given semester, students wishing to terminate the meal plan must petition the food service director or his or her designate for approval of meal plan cancellation. Financial-based requests will not be considered and ALL medical requests must be supported by appropriate medical documentation (please see cancellation form). An application is available at the Office of the Dean of Students.
Failure to participate in the meal plan does not release the student from this contractual obligation. All approved cancellations of the meal plan will be subject to the refund schedule. Please refer to the cancellation refund schedule for charges that you are liable for if your cancellation is approved. A schedule of room, apartment and meal plan rates can be obtained from the Housing and Student Conduct office and online. Students interested in living on campus should write the Department of Housing and Student Conduct at Box 900, Las Vegas, NM 87701 or e-mail us at Housing@nmhu.edu.
Fall 2020 Meal Plan Refund Schedule Spring 2021 Meal Plan Refund Schedule
100% through August 18th 100% through January 12th
85% August 19th through August 25th 85% January 13th through January 19th
70% August 26th through September 2nd 70% January 20th through January 26th
55% September 3rd through September 9th 55% January 27th through February 2nd
40% September 10th through September 16th 40% February 3rd through February 9th
25% September 17th through September 23rd 25% February 10th through February 16th
10% September 24th through September 30th 10% February 17th through February 23rd
Thereafter – No Refund Thereafter – No Refund
All Highlands residence halls are alcohol and tobacco free.
New Mexico Highlands University
The transition from high school to college is a major milestone, and studies show that freshmen who live on campus will typically be more successful in their courses, will meet more of their fellow students, and will be more involved in the several educational enrichment, recreational, work, and study opportunities available on campus. Full-time freshmen are required to live in one of the campus residence halls and to purchase one of the meal plans. Not having to cook and being able to sleep in a bit longer are just two of the additional advantages of living on campus.Full-time freshmen who qualify under one or more of the following situations may submit a Residential Living Waiver Form and appropriate documentation to the Housing Office in room #328 of the Student Center in order to request an exemption from the residency requirement.
- Live with your family within a 45-mile radius of Las Vegas, NM
- 21 or more years of age
- Married and prefer to live off campus
- Have one or more children
- Have completed 30 or more college credits since finishing high school
- Two or more years of military service
- Special medical needs that require other accommodations
- Other unique circumstances
Exceptions are not automatic and freshmen should not enter into an off-campus lease or make other arrangements for alternative housing until they are notified in writing that an exemption has been granted. Entering into an off-campus lease will not by itself be grounds for receiving an exemption and students will be responsible for payment of the campus housing contract and any associated fees and charges. Students who become eligible to apply for an exemption during the semester, will typically be expected to complete that semester before an exemption will be effective.
All F-1 and J-1 students are required by Highlands to have health insurance coverage that meets specific requirements (Highlands has secured a health insurance plan that will meet these requirements). Once you enroll at Highlands your student account will be assessed the cost of the health insurance plan.
All Highlands international students, on any visa, must adhere to the immigration regulations set forth by the visa the student has in their passport.
Below is general information regarding the U.S. immigration laws you must adhere to as an F-1 or J-1 student while studying in the United States.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND RULES FOR F-1 AND J-1 STUDENTS THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED TO LEGALLY REMAIN IN THE UNITED STATES.
International students are required by United States law to abide by immigration regulations throughout their stay in the U.S. and are admitted to the U.S. for the sole purpose of being a full-time student. Participation by students in any other activity in the U.S., from employment to vacation, is considered to be a privilege and is only allowable in accordance with strict Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rules. Penalties for violations of immigration law can be severe and can include deportation and a 10-year bar from reentry to the U.S. It is essential for students to understand their responsibilities. Listed here are the rules students MUST follow to maintain legal student status and the documents they must have to enter the U.S. and legally remain . It is the STUDENT and not the university who is responsible for knowing and abiding by all immigration rules and for maintaining legal student status. The university must report updated information and violations of student status to the government via an electronic tracking system (SEVIS) within 21 days of the violation, SO KNOWING THESE RULES IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL TO YOUR ABILITY TO REMAIN IN THE U.S. AND TO COMPLETE YOUR ACADEMIC PROGRAM! Changes in student requirements are expected in the next two years so please continue to read information sent to your e-mail account from the International Education Center which can include e-mails from IEC staff members.
II. DOCUMENTATION OF LEGAL STUDENT STATUS IN THE US
International students are normally admitted to the U.S. for “Duration of Status” (D/S). This means that they are allowed to remain in the U.S. for as long as they maintain legal student status, NOT for the length of time listed on their visa or I-20/DS-2019 form. If you fail to follow all the rules of legal student status, your stay expires on the day the violation occurs. The information below lists the documents that students MUST have while they are residing in the U.S. to remain legally present. You should make copies of each of these documents and keep them in a safe place separate from the originals in case they are lost or stolen.
The passport is the legal document issued by your country of citizenship. It must be valid for six months into the future upon your entry into the U.S. and remain valid at all times during your stay. The passport can usually be renewed through your embassy or one of your consulates in the United States. If you have been issued a Travel Document in Lieu of a Passport by the government of the country of which you are a resident, the information
above, regarding passports, applies to Travel Documents.
I-20 & DS-2019 – “Certificate of Eligibility”
The I-20 (for those with F-1 status) or DS-2019 (for those with J-1 status) is the document which you must present to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to obtain a visa and which you present to immigration officials to enter the U.S. each time you travel abroad and return; for NMHU students, the I-20 or DS-2019 is issued by the university through the NMHU International Education Center. Some J-1 students have documents issued by an outside agency. You should keep all of these and any other immigration documents for your records even if you get updated documents in the future. The I-20 and DS-2019 are issued via the SEVIS government tracking system and have a bar code and ID number in the top right corner. If any of the information on these documents changes, you MUST come to the International Education Center immediately to apply for a new document. Once again, the expiration date on the I-20 or DS-2019 is just an estimate. For F-1 students, your permission to stay in the U.S. ends 60 days from the date you complete the last requirement for your degree. For J-1 students your permission to stay ends within 30 days of completion of the last requirement. If you fail to follow all the rules of legal student status, your stay expires on the day the violation of status occurs.
I-94 Departure Record
The I-94 is the unique immigration number assigned to you by the U.S. Port of Entry Immigration Officer once you enter the United States. The I-94 will be printed and inserted into your passport by the international student adviser at NMHU. This is the document that authorizes you to be in the U.S. as a student (F-1 or J-1) for a specified period of time, for the specified program of study, at the institution specified on the I-20/DS-2019. Two dates appear on the I-94; the date of entrance into the U.S. and the date of expiration of your permission to stay. For F-1 and J-1 visa holders, the expiration date should be written as D/S (duration of status), which implies the date of program completion (not always the same date as graduation). The I-94, like the passport, must be valid at all times. The I-94 should be kept in the passport. Your exit from the United States will be recorded when you travel outside the U.S. and a new I-94 number will be issued upon re-entry into the U.S. The number at the top of the I-94 card that you receive upon your initial entry is called your “admission number” or “I-94 number.” Once again, if you fail to follow all the rules of legal student status, your stay expires on the day the violation occurs.
The entry visa is a sticker with a photograph on a page of your passport that permits you to enter the United States. Only Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S. Individuals entering as students will have either an F-1 or J-1 entry visa. The visa may expire while you are in the U.S. You cannot and need not renew it while you are in the United States, however a new entry visa will be required if the original expires and you travel out of the U.S. and then wish to re-enter. You must present a valid SEVIS form I-20 (F-1) or DS- 2019 ( J-1) from the school you will attend to the U.S. consular officer to obtain your entry visa. You may be able to travel to and return from Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands (except Cuba) without a valid visa if you will be staying less than 30 days (check with an adviser for current regulations). Remember, the visa does not indicate how long you are permitted to stay in the U.S. Your permission to stay ends once you complete your program of study (plus grace period) or when you fail to maintain legal student status.
III. REQUIREMENTS FOR “MAINTAINING LEGAL STUDENT STATUS”
You must always:
1. Attend the school you are authorized to attend by DHS (you are authorized to attend the school whose name appears on your I-20 or DS-2019 – in some cases, the DS-2019 may be from a different sponsor.)
2. Provide proof of an updated local address within 10 days of any change. You must notify the International Education Center in person as to your physical and mailing address, so that it can be reported to the U.S. government, through the SEVIS system. (Accepted forms for proof of physical residence are: lease agreement, NMHU housing contract.
3. Maintain registration as a full-time student throughout every fall and spring semester (undergraduate students: 12 credit hours, graduate students: 9 credits (or 6 credits with an assistantship with department approval). NO STUDENT may drop below the required number of credits in fall and spring except under extremely limited circumstances that are allowed by the U.S. government. Any such schedule changes must be authorized in advance by an international student adviser. Getting a grade of W, is considered a drop (i.e., does not count toward your full-time minimum) even if you completed all course requirements. Classes which are taken as audit also do NOT count toward the full-time credit requirement. Summer is considered your annual vacation unless you are beginning your studies in summer. In addition, only three credit hours of online or distance education courses can be counted toward the minimum full-time requirement for every semester enrolled. While students are permitted to take more online courses, only three credits can be counted toward full time. If you have questions about these requirements ask an international adviser.
4. Keep your certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019 form) correct and valid at all times and apply for extensions of stay at least one month before the document expires; see an adviser for a new I-20/DS-2019 if any information changes.
5. Maintain a valid passport throughout your stay in the United States. Your passport must be valid for six months into the future to enter the United States, and you must bring updated passports to the International Education Center immediately so we can report the new information when required. If your passport expires, you will not be able to be employed or continue with employment at NMHU until you have shown proof of seeking a passport renewal from your country. Please speak with an international student adviser for guidance on passport renewals.
6. Complete necessary immigration transfer procedures if changing from one school to another in the U.S. (even if you completed the program at the prior school); contact an international adviser for details.
7. Observe the grace period upon completion of studies. This means that if you are F-1, you have 60 days and if you are J-1 you have 30 days from the end of your program to do one of the following:
a. Leave the U.S.
b. Get a new certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019 form) for a new program or school and enroll in the next possible semester (consult an international adviser for details).
c. Apply for off-campus work authorization following completion of your program (OPT for F-1, academic training for J-1). Because of application deadlines and other restrictions, you must speak with an adviser before completing your program in order to get this benefit.
d. Apply for a change to another immigration status.
If you leave before completing your program, you do NOT have this grace period. Please speak with an adviser for details.
You must never:
1. WORK OFF CAMPUS unless you have written authorization from the international adviser in advance (consult the international adviser for details. For F-1 students the work authorization must be noted on Page 3 of your I-20).
2. WORK ON CAMPUS more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.
3. Take a leave of absence, withdraw from classes, or drop below the required number of credits without FIRST checking with an international adviser at the International Education Center. Students who terminate their program or otherwise fall out of legal status before completing do not have a grace period to leave the U.S.; they must leave immediately.
IV. OTHER LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:
• Once you have completed or terminated your program or have failed to maintain legal student status, you may no longer legally enter the U.S. with your I-20 or DS-2019 form, and the staff of the International Education Center can no longer sign those forms (this means that you should NOT plan to travel out of and return to the U.S. with your current I-20/DS-2019 after you have finished your program).
• All international students are required to complete and submit U.S. tax forms to the federal government every year regardless of whether they earned any income in the U.S.
• All F-1 and J1 students are required by New Mexico Highlands University to have health insurance coverage that meets specific requirements (NMHU has secured a health insurance plan that will meet this requirement and your student account will be assessed the fee for the policy upon enrollment).
• All F-1 and J-1 visa holders must attend International Orientation. The date for this orientation will be e-mailed to you once you have enrolled and reported to NMHU. If you secure employment at NMHU, employment approval will not be granted until you have attended International Orientation.
Highlands University Policies
New Mexico Highlands University is committed to taking swift and appropriate action against any of its official, employees, or students who violate any portion of this policy. The information obtained as a result of this policy is confidential and will not be disclosed except to personnel with a legitimate need to know or by order of a court. Students experiencing sexual or other forms of harassment should report incidents to the Office of Student Affairs, Student Union Building, Room 324, 505-454-3020.
Equal Educational Opportunity Policy Statement
New Mexico Highlands University strives to maintain diversity in its student body and provides equal educational opportunities to all students. This policy is intended to further New Mexico Highlands University’s efforts, as well as comply with its obligations under state and federal law.
Equal Educational Opportunity
It is the policy of NMHU to prohibit unlawful discrimination and harassment against its students and applicants for admission on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans status or any other basis prohibited by applicable law. This policy applies to all aspects of the educational process, including admissions, recruitment, extracurricular activities, financial assistance, housing, counseling, guidance, and course offerings.
Similarly, NMHU prohibits unlawful discrimination against employees on all the same categories listed above. This includes student-employees under the Federal work-study program, Graduate Assistants, and any other student who is also an employee.
Any student who feels that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans status or any other basis prohibited by applicable law should report their concerns to the Office of Compliance and Title IX Coordinator. Alternatively, they may report them to the President, Director of Human Resources, the Dean of Students, the Student Relations Coordinator, or an Academic Dean.
The current EEO Officer is Ruth Mariampolski, the Director of the Office of Compliance and Title IX Coordinator. Contact her at 505-454-3363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Title IX Complaints: What They Are
New Mexico Highlands University prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in its education programs and activities, in accordance with a federal law known as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”). Title IX states:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Discrimination on the basis of sex includes being treated differently because of your sex or gender by individuals or the institution, and it also includes sexual harassment that occurs on campus or in relation to campus activities. Title IX’s definition of “sexual harassment” includes sexual misconduct such as sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and dating or domestic violence.
- General Complaints
A student or employee who believes they have been subjected to discrimination described by Title IX can file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator and request an investigation. The contact information for the Title IX Coordinator is Ruth Mariampolski, Ruthm@nmhu.edu, 505-454-3363
- Sexual Harassment Complaints
If your complaint is specifically about sexual harassment as defined by Title IX, there are special rules that apply. In that case, you must file a formal complaint.
Filing a formal complaint
Formal complaints legally must meet certain requirements:
- Must be in writing, either as a physical document or an electronic submission, such as an email
- Must contain your physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that you are the person filing the formal complaint
- Sending this communication through your student email would meet both these requirements
- Must allege sexual harassment against one or more alleged harasser(s)
- Must request that the University investigate the allegation(s)
- Must state the name or names of the alleged harasser (if known)
- Must provide as detailed information as possible, including the date and place of the incident(s) and a description of what happened
- Must be in your own words, and may not be authored by others, including family members, advisors, or attorneys
- Should have an attached list of any additional sources of information that the you believe may be relevant to the investigation. These can include names of witnesses, text messages, photos, social media posts, emails, or police reports/other official records. You should still submit your complaint even if these sources of information are unknown or unavailable
- At the time of filing your Formal Complaint, you must be a NMHU student or a prospective student or otherwise participating in an education program or activity of the University.
Formal complaints should also be sent to the Title IX Coordinator. The contact information for the Title IX Coordinator is Ruth Mariampolski, Ruthm@nmhu.edu, 505-454-3363
- What if I’m not sure if I want to make a formal complaint or not?
The Title IX Coordinator cannot advise you on how to proceed. It is a personal decision.
The Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (“HU-CARES”) program provides services that include advocacy, support services, and connection with campus and community service providers. They are available to help you make a decision that’s right for you on a completely free and confidential basis. HU-CARES does not share what you tell them with the Title IX Coordinator unless you agree.
The contact information for the HU-CARES main office is 505-454-3529
24-hour crisis line (call or text)
505-429-4505 or 505-795-3665
Questions and answers about formal complaints
Is there any time limit on my right to make a formal complaint?
Yes. Your right to make a formal complaint lasts as long as you are “participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the University.” For most people, that that means that it lasts as long as you are an enrolled student, prospective student, or otherwise participating in some program offered by NMHU. If you graduate or withdraw you may lose your right to make a formal complaint.
Keep in mind that a long delay in making a complaint may lessen the credible evidence that is available to prove your case. For example, if an incident occurred in your freshman year, and you do not report it until your senior year, witnesses may no longer be available or may no longer have a clear recollection about what happened.
Can I make a formal complaint anonymously?
If I make a formal complaint, is the person I’ve accused presumed guilty?
The person who is alleged to commit a violation of Title IX is called the “respondent.” The respondent is presumed innocent and in order to impose any penalty, there must be enough evidence to demonstrate that the person is responsible for the conduct you alleged.
The standard used in determining responsibility in an internal Title IX complaint is different than in a criminal court. In a criminal court all charges must be proven “beyond reasonable doubt.” Whereas in an internal Title IX complaint, the standard of evidence is “by preponderance of the evidence” which means, essentially 51% of the evidence points to responsibility or it is “more likely than not” the conduct occurred as alleged.
Policies for Reporting and Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment
Students are encouraged to read:
1. Policy Statement Regarding the Prevention of and Response to Sex Offenses, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking
2. Student Grievance Procedures.
Both are found within this official Student Handbook.MHU has policies in place for reporting and resolving complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Both are found within this official Student Handbook.
Academic amnesty will benefit undergraduate students who once attended New Mexico Highlands University but did not continue due to poor grades, which resulted in academic probation or dismissal. A student may return to Highlands University; and, once granted amnesty, his or her earlier academic record will not be used for computation of the grade point average (GPA). Academic amnesty makes it possible for a student to attain an acceptable GPA for graduation from college. Academic amnesty is not available to students who were expelled from Highlands University because of violation of the Student Code of Conduct, University regulations, or federal, state, or local laws. Students should consult with the Office of Financial Aid to determine if they will qualify for financial assistance during the academic amnesty period.
A student must meet all of the following conditions to be granted academic amnesty:
- Took courses from Highlands University and then stopped matriculation for five years or more because of poor grades (GPA less than 2.0), academic probation or dismissal.
- Applies for academic amnesty through the Office of the Registrar. A student can apply for academic amnesty only once. A student is readmitted to Highlands University on academic probation after application for amnesty is approved.
- Completes the first 24 credit hours at Highlands University with a GPA of 2.0 or better.
Once the first 24 credit hours are successfully completed, the academic amnesty is granted, and all course taken during the earlier matriculation at Highlands University, even courses with a C or better grade, will be excluded from GPA calculation; courses with a grade of C or better from the initial matriculation period can be carried forward as earned credit and used to meet degree requirements; courses from the earlier matriculation period remain on the student’s Highlands University transcript, but the transcript will bear the statement “Academic Amnesty Granted.” A student will be academically dismissed from Highlands for failure to attain a GPA of 2.0 in the first 24 credit hours after application for academic amnesty.
Instructors may not permit students to attend classes without being registered for them. Students whose names do not appear on class rosters are to contact the Office of the registrar to resolve the matter.
Students are expected to attend all class meetings. Those who are absent because of circumstances beyond their control may be required to make up work that was missed during the period of absence. Excessive absences may be expected to affect a student’s grade adversely or even result in an F. Instructors should make the policies on attendance in each class available in writing to students. Instructors typically include language related to class attendance and participation in their course syllabi.
If a student’s conduct in class interferes with others, is disruptive of teaching, or is contrary to the established class practices, the instructor may ask the student leave class and such cases are treated as unexcused absences.
University-sanctioned absences include those absences related to student participation in university-sponsored activities such as field trips, conferences, intercollegiate competition, etc. As soon as practical, students participating in these events are required to submit a notice, signed by the event sponsor, documenting the dates of these absences to each of their instructors. If a faculty member believes that excessive absences may inhibit a student from successfully completing the course, the faculty member should promptly inform the student and the appropriate university sponsor of the event so that the student can decide whether or not to remain in the course. If any changes to the academic schedule are necessary, the student should consult with his or her academic adviser.
University-sanctioned absences do not absolve students from any missed class assignments, exams, deadlines, etc. Therefore, prior to each absence, student should remind their professors of these absences and make arrangements for nay class assignments or make-up work that might be required.
In order to validate absenteeism due to any university-sanctioned absences, sponsors of university events will submit a university-wide notice listing names of students whose activities require being absent from class at least 24 hours before departing from campus.
Class Attendance Policy
Three basic rules apply to all excused absences, whether excused because of a University policy or at the instructor’s discretion:
- Course instructors shall make final determinations regarding excused absences and any accommodations afforded to students surrounding make-up work, extension of deadlines, etc.
- Students must still meet all class requirements.
- Instructors are encouraged to offer reasonable assistance in making up missed work (e.g., making arrangements for attendance at labs or discussion sessions which meet at other times; providing makeup exams or labs where feasible).
Required participation in athletic events which conflict with scheduled classes is verified by the Athletic Department. Rosters listing students who are excused because of intercollegiate athletic competition are sent to faculty/staff indicating dates of competition/travel at least 24 hours in advance. Student-athletes should inform instructors at the beginning of a course (by the first week of the semester) that they may be absent for sport-related activities and that faculty can check travel rosters. Similarly, student-athletes should inform instructors during the athletic season, as soon as possible, of an event for which they will be absent from class. An excused absence for an athletic event is limited to in-season competitions, both home and away. Practices are not covered by this policy, nor are out of season competitions or training room appointments. Medically-related reasons for missed class are listed under the “health reasons” section below and may require documentation.
Field Trips, Conferences, Performances
Field trips, conference attendance, and performances can be verified by the department requiring or sponsoring a student to participate. Other scheduled activities for students are usually verified by the office or department scheduling the activity. Students should inform instructors of pending absences as soon as they are aware of the schedule conflict.
Absences Not Related to University-Sanctioned Absences
Health Reasons: For students treated by medical providers, instructors may require written verification, within the limits of the health care provider’s policy, from the health provider. Where possible, students should notify faculty in advance if they will miss a class because of illness, injury, or medical treatment/appointment.
Students should be made aware that they can leave a message at a department office or on an instructor’s voice mail or e-mail to explain an absence the day it occurs, if possible.
Other Extenuating Non-Academic Reasons
This category includes other valid excuses for missing class, including family illness or death, personal problems or unforeseen circumstances (e.g., automobile accident). While this policy states that instructors have the right to require written verification of students’ absences for such reasons, this is difficult to achieve in many circumstances. We offer several suggestions to cover a number of potential excuses. For court appearances, jury duty, or other legal activity, a copy of the appropriate legal document (such as a court summons) should be provided.If an absence is attributed to the death of a person close to the student, an instructor can request a copy of the obituary or death notice, and some evidence of the student’s relationship to the deceased. (Instructors should be aware, however, that in a situation of genuine grief and loss, this request is usually perceived as quite callous, or even outrageous, though this is not the instructor’s intent.)
Many extenuating non-academic reasons for absence are not documentable, and instructors have to use their best judgment in evaluating student excuses. When students are unable to contact their faculty and instructors directly, students or family members may notify the Dean of Students Office regarding absences and the Dean of Students Office will provide notification to instructors. If instructors have concerns about a particular case and need advice on how to handle it, they may contact the Dean of Students Office.
Class Absence for Religious Observances
Students planning to be absent from classes due to religious observance must notify their instructors in writing as early in the semester as possible, but no later than one week in advance of the absence, with the exception of holidays falling during the first week of the academic year.
Official Absence Notification
The absence notification is simply that, notification that the student was absent for seemingly legitimate reason(s). It is NOT authorization for an excused absence. Only the instructor on record can make a determination regarding excused or non-excused absences as well as extended deadlines or make-up work.
For inclusion in the student handbook in the section relevant to class attendance, as well as on the university website, and as a point of emphasis in faculty training and student orientations, the following procedures outline official absence notifications not related to university-sanctioned absences.
Class attendance has always been considered an academic matter within the purview of individual faculty members. Even when official absence notifications are sent, students are encouraged and advised to communicate with instructors regarding absences, preferably before missing class, if not, as soon as possible after an absence.
Communication between student and instructor is the key, and it is entirely up to the instructor regarding counting the absence as excused or not. Moreover, any extended deadlines, make-up work, etc. is at the discretion of the course instructor.
An official absence notification can be sent to instructors from the Dean of Students Office at a student’s request for documentation purposes only. The student shall provide supplemental documentation when available regarding the extenuating circumstance(s) that resulted in having to miss class. A student may submit documentation and request that notification be sent to instructors by visiting the Dean of Students Office, 324 Student Union Building, 800 National Avenue, Las Vegas, NM 87701. An official absence notification is sent via e-mail to the instructor on record that includes the student’s name, student ID number, the date(s) of absence(s), the reason for the absence, and any supporting documentation.
Student Academic Integrity Policy
Highlands University is an academic community and, as such, is dedicated to the principles of truth and academic honesty. When a student commits academic dishonesty, the integrity and reputation of the University is undermined.
Academic dishonesty occurs when a student engages in any of the following activities on any graded exercise or examination:
- Academic Dishonesty: Any behavior by a student that misrepresents or falsifies the student’s knowledge, skills, or ability.
- Plagiarism: The process of using the ideas, data, written work or language of another person, and claiming it as original or without specific or proper acknowledgement, including, but not limited to, copying another person’s paper, article, computer or other work and submitting it for an assignment; or copying someone else’s ideas without attribution; or failing to use quotation marks where appropriate; or copying another person’s idea or written work and claiming it as original without acknowledgment of the original author or creator.
- Cheating: A student’s use of, or attempt to use, unauthorized notes, texts, visual aids, electronic devices, assistance, copies of tests, material or study aids in examinations or other academic work to misrepresent his or her knowledge, skills, or abilities.
- Collusion: Secret cooperation between students in order to cheat or plagiarize.
- Facilitation: One student knowingly helps or attempts to help another student to violate any provision of this policy.
- Fabrication: A student submits contrived, altered or false information in any academic work product, exercise or examination.
- Multiple Submissions: A student submits, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement.
- Falsification of Records: A student alters a transcript or academic record, without authorization, or misrepresents information on a resume, either before or after enrolling as a student in the University, to unfairly improve his or her grades or rank or those of another student.
At Highlands University, academically dishonest students are subject to a number of punitive measures by instructors or the University. These punitive measures must be supported by documentation and evidence. A student who has had an academic dishonesty penalty imposed as a result of an alleged violation of this policy and who disagrees with the allegation of academic dishonesty or with such penalty may appeal following the Academic Petition Procedure of the Academic Affairs Committee. Students found to practice academic dishonesty are subject to expulsion from Highlands University. Further guidance on academic dishonesty is available in the student and faculty handbooks.
Student Educational Records
Under the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), New Mexico Highlands University students have the following rights in regards to their educational records:
The right to inspect and review their educational records within a reasonable time, not to exceed 45 days, upon making an official request and obtaining an appointment to do so.
The student may challenge inaccuracies or misleading statements contained in their educational records. Challenges must be made in writing and forwarded to the registrar.
The right to consent to disclosure of personal identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes exceptions without consent. Exceptions are a school official with a legitimate educational interest; compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena; official audit or evaluation purposes; and emergency involving the health or safety of a student or other person; and directory information.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints may be forwarded to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Directory information at New Mexico Highlands is student’s name, field of study, class standing, dates of attendance, honors and degrees awarded, full-time or part-time status, date and place of birth, home town, previous school attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and height and weight of athletic team members. As with other directory information, any student may request that his or her information be restricted in its access. Written requests from a student to have directory information withheld must be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office by the last day of registration and will be maintained for the remainder of the academic year.
Weather Hotline: Las Vegas: 505-426-2297
Outside the Las Vegas area: 866-231-2366
New Mexico is blessed with four seasons, and significant snow storms occur nearly every year that can result in either a delayed opening or a cancellation of classes. Decisions to delay or cancel classes are primarily based on local conditions and, in Las Vegas, whether Facilities personnel can open the campus. However, even if campus streets, parking, and sidewalks are generally passable, it is impossible to remove all traces of snow and ice and everyone is advised to use appropriate caution.
In general, it is the policy of New Mexico Highlands University to remain open during regularly scheduled hours. However, if any students, faculty, or staff believe that weather conditions prevent their traveling safely to the university, they may choose to remain at home. In such cases, students who miss class will be responsible for making up any work missed, and faculty should be reasonable in dealing with individual student situations. Employees should consult with their supervisor and arrange for taking annual leave.
If a two-hour delay is announced for the main campus, courses originating from the main campus starting prior to 9:30 a.m. are cancelled. Courses normally starting at 9:30 a.m. will begin at 10 a.m. Courses beginning at 10 a.m. or later will begin on a normal schedule. Online courses will take place at the discretion of the course’s professor.
- The Center Director will make the determination for delays and closures for NMHU-Rio Rancho.
- Courses and offices at NMHU-Santa Fe will correspond with Santa Fe Community College delays and closures.
- Courses and offices at NMHU-Farmington will correspond with San Juan College delays and closures.
- School of Social Work Albuquerque courses and offices will correspond with CNM Main Campus delays and closures.
In the event of a delay or closure at a Center, Center Directors should contact the Director of University Relations to coordinate appropriate announcements.
Weather delays and cancellations are also announced on:
- The university’s website, www.nmhu.edu
- The university’s weather hotline: 505-426-2297 (866-231-2366 outside of Las Vegas)
- The university’s Facebook page
- The university’s Twitter account
- KOB, KOAT, and KRQE news stations (NMHU-Las Vegas, NMHU-Rio Rancho)
- Local radio stations if applicable
- For the main campus, a text alert will also be sent to those students, faculty, and staff who have registered their cell phones with the text alert system. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to register their cell phones to receive weather and other emergency alerts. (To register your cell phone for emergency alerts, log on to “My NMHU” from the university’s website and follow the prompts.
General Guidelines and Conditions
Predicting the weather and the amount of snow yet to fall remains an inexact science and can vary greatly even from one part of town to another. Therefore, based on the latest information available, decisions regarding delays or cancellations will take into consideration the following general guidelines and conditions:
- Four or more inches of snow on campus (Melody Park) as of 5 a.m.
- Less than four inches of snow on campus but heavy snow continuing to fall and radar indications that it will continue.
- Extreme wind and temperature conditions as of 5 a.m. and predicted through the day.
- Heavy snow and/or other conditions on campus the night before and National Weather Service forecasts for the following day.
Cancellations and Early Dismissals:
- The conditions that led to a two-hour delay continue or seem likely to continue through the day.
- Four or more inches of snow on campus as of 5 a.m. with heavy snow continuing to fall and radar indications that it will continue.
- Extreme wind and temperature conditions combined with significant snowfall.
- National Weather Service blizzard warning for the Las Vegas area.
- Heavy snow and/or other conditions on campus the night before and National Weather Service forecasts for the following day.
In the event of a snowfall overnight, Campus Police will measure the amount of snow at Melody Park before 5 a.m. and notify the Facilities Director. If conditions warrant, the Facilities Director will notify the President, who will decide by no later than 6 a.m. whether a delay or closure is needed. If a decision to delay or cancel is made, the Facilities Director will notify the Director of University Relations who will implement procedures for notification as outlined above. The Facilities Director will also inform Facilities staff of the decision and plans for snow removal.
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Policies
The university is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment that fosters mutually beneficial interpersonal relations and a shared responsibility for the welfare and safety of others.
- The acquisition, distribution, possession, or consumption of alcohol by members of the Highlands community must be in compliance with all local state, and federal laws.
- Non-alcoholic beverages must be provided at events where alcoholic beverages are served.
Tobacco Use Policy
In compliance with the New Mexico Clean Indoor Act, as amended, smoking of tobacco products and e-cigarettes is prohibited in university buildings, facilities and vehicles. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas.
The Smoking Policy stipulates:
- Smoking is prohibited except in designated areas. Those areas will be well posted and will not be near air conditioning or other ventilation systems that can carry the smoke to other sites.
- Ashtrays are provided in smoking sites.
- Smoking is prohibited in university vehicles.
- Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of any building.
- Smoking is prohibited near windows or air intakes.
- Smokeless tobacco is prohibited in university buildings, facilities and vehicles.
This policy applies to all university visitors, students, and employees. It is the responsibility of every member of the university community to conduct himself or herself in compliance with this policy.
Enforcement is the shared responsibility of the entire campus. The success of this policy depends upon the courtesy, respect and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers of the NMHU community.
Alcohol and Illegal Drugs
Highlands is committed to maintaining an environment of teaching and learning that is free of illicit drugs and alcohol. The university has in place a policy to assist those with substance abuse, and a list of agencies available to support faculty, staff, and students.
The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 require that New Mexico Highlands, as a recipient of federal funds including federally provided student financial aid, notify its students and employees annually that the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on university property is prohibited.
In compliance with the requirements of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, all students and employees of NMHU are notified of the following:
- The unlawful possession, use, and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on the university campus or during university-sponsored activities are prohibited.
- Students and employees who are found to be in violation of this stated prohibition may be subject to arrest and conviction under the applicable criminal laws of local municipalities, the State of New Mexico, or the United States. Conviction can result in sanctions including probation, fine and imprisonment.
- Students who are found to be in violation of this stated prohibition are subject to discipline in accordance with the procedures of the Student Conduct System. Discipline may include disciplinary probation or dismissal from the university.
In addition to the above requirements, and in accordance with the requirements of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, all employees are notified that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance by university employees on university premises or off our premises while conducting university business is prohibited violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination and may have further legal consequences.
New Mexico State Laws
The legal drinking age in New Mexico is 21. If you are under 21, it is illegal to:
- have in your personal possession any alcoholic beverages,
- misrepresent your age for purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages,
- drive in a car having alcoholic beverages except when accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse 21 years of age,
- be in an area where alcoholic beverages are served unless accompanied by person 21 years of age,
- be intoxicated by consumption of an alcoholic beverage (alcohol concentration of .02 or more is evidence of intoxication).
Penalties include fines and/or jail sentences.
It is illegal for anyone to:
- sell, give away or procure alcoholic beverage to a minor or individual who is intoxicated,
- charge for alcoholic beverages without a license,
- manufacture, sell, possess or use a falsified ID,
- to lend a driver’s license to be used for unlawful purpose.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
If you have been charged with refusal to submit to a breath or blood test, or if you provided a breath sample with a B.A.C. of .08 or higher if over 21 year of age, or .04 or higher of driving a commercial vehicle, or .02 or higher if under 21 years of age, your driver’s license or privilege to drive will be revoked 20 days after your arrest, unless you make a written request for a hearing within ten (10) days of your arrest.
An alcohol offense that applies specifically to individuals age 18-21 is the prohibition in the Liquor Control Act commonly known as “minor in possession.” 60-7B-1. As used in the Liquor control Act, “minor” means a person under age 21. Section 60-7B-1(C) makes it illegal for minors to buy, attempt to buy, receive, possess or permit themselves to be served with alcoholic beverages. This offense is a misdemeanor.
- Emergency Medical Services: 911
- Poison Control: 800-222-1222
- Alcohol & Drug Treatment Help & Referral Network: 800-996-DRUG (800-996-3784)
- Alcoholics Anonymous: 505-327-0731
- Family Crisis Center: 505-564-9192
- Presbyterian Medical Services: 505-327-4796
- Sexual Assault Services of Northwest New Mexico: 505-326-4700
- Narcotics Anonymous: 800-777-1515
- National Cocaine Hotline: 1-800-COCAINE (800-262-2463)
- National Institute on Drug Abuse/Treatment Hotline: 800-662-4357
- AIDS Information Hotline: 800-342-AIDS (800-342-2437)
- National STD Hotline: 800-227-8922
- Federal Drug, Alcohol and Crime Clearinghouse Network: 800-788-2800
- AGORA Crisis Center: 505-277-3013
- Alcoholics Anonymous: 505-425-3577
- San Miguel County DWI Council: 505-425-7998
- Tri-County Family Justice Center of Northern New Mexico: 575-718-7300
- Crisis Line: 866-575-7233
- San Miguel/Mora Community Based Services: 505-454-5100
- Crisis Line: 505-425-1048
- Alta Vista Regional Hospital: 505-426-3500 ER: 505-426-3502
- Las Vegas STAT Care (Urgent Care Center – after hours): 505-425-6283
- Las Vegas Quick Care (Urgent Care Center): 505-454-1109
- Alcoholics Anonymous: 505-266-1900
- Presbyterian Medical Services: 505-564-4804
- Community Counseling Center: (325-0238)
- Davis, Rosalie LPCC: 505-881-0404
- Alcoholics Anonymous: 505-982-8932
- Santa Fe Rape Crisis Center: 800-721-7273 / 505-988-1951
- The Life Link: 505-438-7705
- The Santa Fe Recovery Center: 505-471-4475
- Alcoholics Anonymous: 505-292-1067
- Sunrise Counseling Services: 505-891-1001
- Realistic Counseling Services: 505-220-0325
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Survey
Have you ever……………
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Survey
Have you ever…………… Yes No
1. Done poorly on a test or important project because of your use? ___ ___
2. Been in trouble with parents, RA or authorities because of your use? ___ ___
3. Damaged property, pulled a fire alarm etc., when under the influence? ___ ___
4. Had a hangover? ___ ___
5. Got into an argument or fight when under the influence? ___ ___
6. Missed a class because of your use? ___ ___
7. Been taken advantage of sexually? ___ ___
8. Taken advantage of another when under the influence? ___ ___
9. Tried unsuccessfully to stop using? ___ ___
10. Seriously hurt someone or been hurt when under the influence? ___ ___
11. Thought about suicide? ___ ___
If you can answer yes to three or more questions for yourself or someone you know, it would be good to seek professional help.
Assistance Animals Policy and Agreement
New Mexico Highlands University (“NMHU” or “University”) recognizes the importance of “Service Animals,” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (the “ADAAA”), and the broader category of “Assistance Animals,” under the Fair Housing Act, that provide physical and/or emotional support to individuals with disabilities. NMHU is committed to allowing individuals with disabilities the use of a service animal on campus to facilitate their full-participation and equal access to the University’s programs and activities. NMHU is also committed to allowing assistance animals necessary to provide individuals with disabilities equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing. This Policy explains the specific requirements applicable to an individual’s use of an assistance animal in University housing. NMHU reserves the right to amend this Policy as circumstances require. This policy applies solely to “Assistance Animals” which may be necessary in University housing. It does not apply to “Service Animals” as defined by the ADAAA and the University’s Service Animal Policy.
Although it is the policy of NMHU that animals of any type, other than service animals, are prohibited in University housing, NMHU will consider a request by an individual with a disability to allow an assistance animal in University as a reasonable accommodation. However, no assistance animals may be kept in University housing at any time prior to the individual receiving approval as Accommodations Provided pursuant to this Policy.
“Assistance Animals” are animals that work, provide assistance, or perform physical tasks, for an individual with a disability and/or provide necessary emotional support to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability that alleviates one or more identified symptoms of an individual’s disability, but that which are not considered “Service Animals” under the ADAAA and NMHU’s Service Animals Policy. Some Assistance Animals are professionally trained, but others provide necessary support to individuals with disabilities without any formal training or certification. Dogs are commonly used as Assistance Animals.
The “Owner” is the individual who has requested the accommodation and has received approval to bring an Assistance Animal into University Housing.
The Office of Accessibility Services
The Office of Accessibility Services collaborates with individuals, faculty, and staff to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to all NMHU programs and activities.
Procedures for Requesting Assistance Animals in University Housing
The procedure for requesting Assistance Animals follows the general procedures set forth
1: It is important to note that animals that may be needed because of a disability may be identified by various names. For example, an Owner may identify the animal as a companion animal, comfort animal, therapy animal, or emotional support animal. The question in determining if an Assistance Animal will be allowed in University housing is whether or not the Assistance Animal is necessary because of the Owner’s disability to afford the Owner an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing and its presence in University housing is reasonable. However, even if the Owner establishes the need for an Assistance Animal and it is allowed in University housing, an Assistance Animal is not permitted in other areas of the University (e.g. dining facilities, libraries, academic buildings, athletic building and facilities, classrooms, labs, individual centers, etc.).
In the Accommodations Provided section of the Accessibility Services Handbook and the requirements set forth below. However, to the extent the requirements and procedures in this Policy conflict with the Accommodations Provided policy, this Policy shall control.
III. Criteria for Determining If Presence of the Assistance Animal is Reasonable
- University housing is unique in several aspects including the mandatory assignment of roommates for many individuals and the mandate that individuals must share a room or suite in certain residence halls. To ensure that the presence of assistance animals is not an undue administrative burden or fundamental alteration of University housing, NMHU reserves the right to assign an individual with an Assistance Animal to a single room without a roommate.
- For all requests for Assistance animals, Accessibility Services shall consult with Housing and Student Conduct to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether an Assistance Animal in University Housing is reasonable. A request for an Assistance Animal may be denied as unreasonable if the presence of the animal: (1) imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden; (2) fundamentally alters University housing policies; and/or (3) poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial property damage to the property of others, including University property.
- NMHU may consider the following factors, among others, as evidence in determining whether to grant the Owner’s request for and accommodation or in the making of housing assignments for Owners of Assistance Animals:
- Whether the animal is too large for available assigned housing space;
- Whether the animal’s presence would force another individual from individual housing (e.g., serious allergies);
- Whether the animal’s presence otherwise violates other individuals’ right to peace and quiet enjoyment;
- Whether the animal is housebroken or able to live with others in a reasonable manner;
- Whether the animal’s vaccinations are not up-to-date;
- Whether the animal poses or has posed a direct threat to any person such as aggressive behavior towards or injury to any person; or
- Whether the animal causes or has caused excessive damage to any property beyond reasonable wear and tear.
NMHU will not limit room assignments for Owners to any particular building or buildings because the Owner needs an Assistance Animal.
Access to University Facilities by Assistance Animals
An Assistance Animal must be contained within the individual living unit assigned to the Owner (e.g., room and apartment) except to the extent the Owner is taking the Assistance Animal out for natural relief. When an Assistance Animal is outside the Owner’s individual living unit, it must be in an animal carrier or controlled by a leash or harness. Assistance Animals are not allowed in any University facilities other than University residence halls (e.g. dormitories, suites, apartments, etc.) to which the Owner is assigned.
Dominion and Control
Notwithstanding the restrictions set forth herein, the Assistance Animal must be properly housed, restrained and under the control of the Owner at all times. No Owner shall permit the Assistance Animal to be loose or run at large. If an Assistance Animal is found running at large, the Assistance Animal is subject to capture and confinement and immediate removal from University housing.
Owner’s Individual Responsibilities for Assistance Animal
The Owner is solely and individual responsible for the custody and care of the Assistance Animal and must meet the following requirements:
The Owner must abide by current city, county, and state ordinances, laws, and/or regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination, and other requirements for animals. It is the Owner’s responsibility to know and understand these ordinances, laws, and regulations. The University has the right to require documentation of compliance with such ordinances, laws, and/or regulations, which may include a vaccination certificate. The University reserves the right to request documentation showing that the Assistance Animal has been licensed.
- The Owner is required to clean up after and properly dispose of the Assistance Animal’s waste in a safe and sanitary manner and, when provided, must use animal relief areas designated by NMHU.
- The Owner is required to ensure the Assistance Animal is well cared for at all times. Any evidence of mistreatment or abuse may result in immediate removal of the Assistance Animal and/or discipline for the Owner.
- NMHU will not ask for or require an Owner to pay a fee or surcharge for an approved Assistance Animal.
- An Owner may be charged for any damage caused by his or her Assistance Animal beyond reasonable wear and tear to the same extent that it charges other individuals for damages beyond reasonable wear and tear. The Owner’s living accommodations may also be inspected for fleas, ticks or other pests if necessary as part of the University’s standard or routine inspections. If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a University-approved pest control service. The Owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond standard pest management in the residence halls. The University shall have the right to bill the Owner‘s account for unmet obligations under this provision.
- The Owner must fully cooperate with University personnel with regard to meeting the terms of this Policy and developing procedures for care of the Assistance Animal (e.g., cleaning, feeding/watering, designating an outdoor relief area, disposing of feces and other waste).
- Assistance Animals may not be left overnight in University Housing to be cared for by any individual other than the Owner. If the Owner is to be absent from his/her residence hall overnight or longer, the Assistance Animal must accompany the Owner. The Owner is responsible for ensuring that the Assistance Animal is contained, as appropriate, when the Owner is not present (e.g., while attending classes or other activities).
- The Owner agrees to abide by all equally applicable residential policies that are unrelated to the Owner’s disability such as assuring that the Assistance Animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence or cause difficulties for individuals who reside there.
- The Assistance Animal is allowed in University housing only as long as it is necessary because of the Owner’s disability. The Owner must provide the Office of Accessibility Services documentation each academic year demonstrating the need for the Assistance Animal. The Owner must notify the Office of Accessibility Services in writing if the Assistance Animal is no longer needed or is no longer in residence. To replace an Assistance Animal, the new animal must be necessary because of the Owner’s disability and the Owner must follow the procedures in this Policy and the Accommodations Provided policy when requesting a different animal.
- NMHU personnel shall not be required to provide care or food for any Assistance Animal including, but not limited to, removing the animal during emergency evacuation for events such as a fire alarm. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the Assistance Animal and may not be held responsible for the care, damage to, or loss of the animal.
- The Owner must provide written consent for Accessibility Services to disclose information regarding the request for and presence of the Assistance Animal to those individuals who may be impacted by the presence of the animal including, but not limited to, Housing and Student Conduct, Facilities Services and Campus Safety and Security personnel and potential and/or actual roommate(s)/neighbor(s). Such information shall be limited to information related to the Assistance Animal and shall not include information related to the Owner’s disability.
Removal of Assistance Animal
The University may require the Owner to remove the Assistance Animal from University housing if:
1) the Assistance Animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or causes substantial property damage to the property of others;
2) the Assistance Animal’s presence results in a fundamental alteration of a University program;
3) the Owner does not comply with the Owner’s Responsibilities set forth above; or
4) the Assistance Animal or its presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference with the University community.
The University will base such determinations upon the consideration of the behavior of the particular Assistance Animal at issue, and not on speculation or fear about the harm or damages an animal may cause. Any removal of the Assistance Animal will be done in consultation with Coordinator of Accessibility and Testing and may be appealed to the Dean of Students. The Owner will be afforded all rights of due process and appeal as outlined the grievance procedures outlined in the official Highlands Student Handbook.
Should the Assistance Animal be removed from the premises for any reason, the Owner is expected to fulfill his/her housing obligations for the remainder of the housing contract.
VII. Non-retaliation Provision
NMHU will not retaliate against any person because that individual has requested or received Accommodations Provided in University housing, including a request for an Assistance Animal.
By my signature below, I verify that I have read, understand and will abide by the requirements outlined here and I agree to provide the additional information required to complete my Request for a Accommodations Provided under the University’s Assistance Animal Policy for University Housing.
Acknowledgement and Release of Information Consent Form
I have read and understand the Assistance Animal Policy and Agreement and I agree to abide by the requirements applicable to Assistance Animals. I understand that if I fail to meet the requirements set forth in the Policy, NMHU has the right to remove the Assistance Animal and I will be nonetheless required to fulfill my housing, academic, and all other obligations for the remainder of the housing contract.
I furthermore give permission to the Office of Accessibility Services to disclose to others impacted by the presence of my Assistance Animal (e.g., Housing and Student Conduct, Facilities Services, Campus Safety & Security staff, potential and/or actual roommate(s)/neighbor(s) that I will be living with an animal as an accommodation. I understand that this information will be shared with the intent of preparing for the presence of the Assistance Animal and/or resolving any potential issues associated with the presence of the Assistance Animal.
I further recognize that the presence of the Assistance Animal may be noticed by others visiting or residing in University Housing and agree that staff may acknowledge the presence of the animal, and explain that under certain circumstances Assistance Animals are permitted for persons with disabilities.
Individual Signature Date
Coordinator of Accessibility and Testing Date
Housing and Student Conduct Representative Date
To request an assistance animal:
- Provide necessary support documentation from a licensed health care or mental health provider. Please send all documentation to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. The health care provider must be reliable qualified to make the requested assessment and must submit a signed letter on professional letterhead that states the following:
- Provider’s diagnosis of the nature of the resident’s disability
- Provider’s opinion that the condition affects a major life activity.
iii. Provider’s professional opinion that the assistance animal is necessary to provide emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.
- Provider’s assessment of the relationship between the disability and the assistance or relief that the animal provides
- Provide current vaccination and licensing documentation. Please send all documentation to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
In accordance with all local ordinances and regulations, the animal must be vaccinated against disease.
- Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and distemper and wear a collar and rabies vaccination tag. Dogs must receive the following: DHLLP shot (yearly, or as recommended in writing by a veterinarian), heartworm test (yearly), rabies shot (every three years), and bordetella short (yearly), and regular flea treatments (as recommended by a veterinarian).
- Cats do not require licensing, but must receive distemper, rhinotraceitis, calcivirus and pneumontisis vaccinations. They must also receive a rabies shot and regular flea treatment (as recommended by a veterinarian).
iii. Dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered.
Other animals must be in good health, have completed all vaccinations ordinarily required for a healthy animal and have documentation from a licensed veterinarian dated within the past year stating that the animal is in good health.
Local licensing requirements must be followed. The university reserves the right to request removal of the animal if proper documentation is not up to date. NMHU residents should know the specific requirements for licensing and vaccinations for the State of New Mexico.
Administrative Policy for the Campus Post Office
The NMHU Campus Post Office is the mail processing facility for New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) main campus, and is responsible for processing incoming, outgoing, and inter-campus mail in a timely and responsible way in accordance with the rules and regulations of the U.S. Postal Service and the University. Mail is received and distributed on schedules established by the NMHU Campus Post Office based on a structured route system. Due to frequent changes in technology, terminology, rules, and regulations current U.S. Postal Service information may be obtained by visiting the U.S. Postal Service website at www.usps.com.
University Campus Mail
Campus mail is interdepartmental mail addressed by campus senders to campus recipients. Campus mail must be properly addressed with name and department. Envelopes for interdepartmental mail are reusable and should not be sealed. If contents are confidential, tape or staples may be used for sealing. If a regular envelope is used, “Campus Mail” should be noted clearly on the envelope.
Departments wishing to inform campus personnel or a segment of campus personnel about official university business may do so by making arrangements directly with the NMHU Campus Post Office. Information to be distributed is limited to university-related business only and is subject to approval by the NMHU Post Office Manager. The NMHU Post Office is not responsible for production or copying of materials. Only trained personnel of the NMHU Campus Post Office are authorized to be in designated areas. Only trained personnel of the NMHU Campus Post Office are allowed to distribute mail and materials to student or university mail boxes.
Chartered Clubs and Organizations
Student clubs and organizations chartered through the Center for Professional Development and Career Readiness are allowed to similarly inform campus departments and individual box holders about University-related activities and events without having to pay postage fees. Announcement flyers are restricted to 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch paper and must comply with graphic and design standards adopted by University Relations. The NMHU Campus Post Office is not responsible for production or copying of materials. Material distributed by campus clubs and organizations may not promote the use of alcohol or drugs. Obscene or derogatory language or images are prohibited and will be reported to the Dean of Students Office. Anonymous materials or those not expressly endorsed by a campus club/organization or department will not be allowed to be distributed. All materials are subject to approval by the Student Employee Coordinator. Student-employees are not authorized to grant approval.
Incoming U.S. Mail
NMHU Campus Post Office receives incoming U.S. mail from the U.S. Postal Service Mail Branch every business day and some holidays. There are no weekend services at the NMHU Campus Post Office although the lobby remains open at all times.
Upon receipt of the University’s mail from the U.S. Postal Service, the University assumes ownership and University policies determine the treatment and handling of the mail. NMHU delivers all mail received from the U.S. Postal Service to the designated campus post office boxes. Campus mail and U.S. mail received after posted hours will be delivered the next business day. Individual departments are responsible for picking up their mail as the NMHU Campus Post Office does not deliver directly to department offices.
Once mail is picked up by departmental employees, it is the department’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that each departmental employee receives mail that is intended for that employee. All individual U.S. mail to employees on extended leave and to all faculty and staff who have left the department should be forwarded immediately upon receipt. It is a violation of this policy to mishandle, tamper with, or deliberately delay the delivery of mail, and to do so may be cause for disciplinary action. This includes all classes of U.S. Postal Service mail and all campus mail.
Accountable mail such as Express, Registered, Certified, and Insured mail is delivered to and signed for by the NMHU Post Office employee who has been designated to receive the mail. A log is kept at the NMHU Post Office to indicate who, from the department level, picked up and signed for the accountable mail. The departmental employee is responsible for prompt delivery to the addressee upon signing for the accountable mail.
Student Residence Mail
Student residents are responsible for informing their correspondents of their appropriate mailing address which should include the student’s name and box number. The U.S. Postal Service delivers to the NMHU Campus Post Office, which is responsible for distributing the mail to student boxes. Accountable mail is signed for by an employee(s) designated by the NMHU Campus Post Office. Packages addressed to students are also logged in. Students must present a valid I.D. in order to pick up their package(s). Students are not allowed to share mailboxes unless they reside in family housing.
The NMHU Campus Post Office attempts to determine a point of delivery for all incoming mail. Incoming mail will only be returned to the sender if all avenues for determining a correct delivery point have been exhausted.
Outgoing U.S. Mail
Outgoing U.S. mail should be left at the NMHU Campus Post Office. The proper addressing, packaging, and classifying of mail is the responsibility of the department/employee sending the mail. All outgoing mail must bear a valid return address and a valid account number. Current postal requirements, services, rates, and preparation procedures can be found at www.usps.com.
Classes of Mail
According to U.S. Postal Service regulations, classes assigned to departmental mail vary with the material enclosed. The sender is responsible for determining the class assigned and for ensuring that the contents and preparation comply with the desired class. Departments should be aware that the higher the class of mail service requested, the higher the resulting cost to the department. Items sent to the NMHU Campus Post Office will go at the lowest class allowable by U.S. Postal Service regulations unless another higher class is indicated on the envelope or parcel.
Extra Services (Outgoing Accountable Mail)
Departments requesting extra services for purposes such as tracking, insuring, securing, obtaining a signature, or confirming delivery of a mail piece must make the request at the NMHU Campus Post Office and be prepared to be charged fees for extra services in addition to postage. Departments requesting extra services must complete all required U. S. Postal forms in accordance with applicable rules and regulations.
Departments mailing packages must ensure that wrapping is sufficiently strong to retain and protect contents. Reinforced (strapping) tape should be used. If the parcel contains liquid, the sender must include sufficient packing to absorb all of the liquid in case of breakage. Parcels containing liquids should be clearly marked “Fragile.”
Departments are charged for all postage including extra services described. There is no charge for campus mail. Departments who need to know the cost of postage before mailing may bring the article to the NMHU Campus Post Office to determine the postage expense.
Postage rates to foreign countries vary with each country. Specific information on foreign rates may be obtained from the NMHU Campus Post Office. International mail must be bundled separately from all other campus and domestic outgoing mail.
Any department using an off campus mail processing vendor must work with both the NMHU Campus Post Office and the vendor to ensure all U.S. Postal Service regulations and University rules are followed. Mailings presented to the NMHU Campus Post Office without the required information may be refused.
Outgoing Personal Mail
Personal mail may be deposited by the sender with official University outgoing U.S. mail only if the proper postage is affixed at the expense of the sender. All letters bearing the sender’s home address as the return address are assumed to be personal mail. NMHU Campus Post Office will not accept stamped mail weighing thirteen (13) ounces or more due to U.S. Postal Service restrictions.
Postage rates are subject to change by the U.S. Postal Services. The NMHU Campus Post Office rates are consistent with U.S. Postal Service rates and, as such, are also subject to change.
Prepaid Reply Mail
Departments must consult with the NMHU Campus Post Office when Business Reply Mail is needed. All reply mail postage will be billed back to the department of origin.
Campus mail or U.S. mail sent at university expense may not be used:
- for political purposes;
- for the business of an organization unaffiliated with the University to which an employee or student may belong;
- for personal purposes by an employee or student; or
- for the distribution of materials which are not related to the current business of the University.
Individuals are prohibited from distributing political campaign materials through campus mail unless it has been received by a federal post office and is properly postmarked.
Incidental Personal Use by Employees
Employees may receive personal mail at the university for emergency or extenuating circumstances. In addition, employees may receive personal mail at the university as long as it is limited to incidental personal use which is defined as infrequent, limited, and nonroutine use that does not:
- interfere with an employee fulfilling his or her job responsibilities;
- consume significant time or resources;
- become excessive as determined by NMHU Campus Post Office; or
- otherwise violate any federal or state laws, any individual college or departmental policies or codes of conduct, or university policies.
All postage must be paid by the employee and can never be sent at the University’s expense. Employees must not forward personal mail to the university through the U.S. Postal Service; doing so will result in the mail being returned to the sender. Employees cannot have large or heavy personal packages sent to the university. NMHU Campus Post Office may require that other types of personal packages be picked up by the recipient at the Campus Post Office.
Missing Student Policy
In compliance with the Missing Student Procedures 20 USC 1092 (j) (Section 488 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008), it is the policy of New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) to investigate any report of a missing student who resides on-campus at New Mexico Highlands University.
This policy, with its accompanying procedures, establishes a framework for cooperation among members of the university community aimed at locating and assisting students who are reported missing. This policy extends to students of the university who do not reside on-campus (including NMHU Centers) to the extent that it involves cooperating with local law enforcement agencies and sets forth parameters for communicating with third-parties as allowed under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
A student shall be deemed missing when he or she is reported absent from the University for more than 24 hours without any known reason. All reports of missing students shall be directed to NMHU Campus Police which shall investigate each report and make a determination whether the student is missing in accordance with this policy and guiding statutes.
For a student who resides on the main campus, if a member of the university community has reason to believe that a student is missing, he or she must immediately notify Campus Police at 505-454-3278. Campus Police shall generate a missing person report and initiate an investigation, and if the person is determined to be missing, will initiate the required notifications as per federal and state laws.
At any of the university statewide centers, or for a student enrolled at the main campus but living off campus, if a member of the university community has reason to believe that a student is missing, he or she should immediately notify a local law enforcement agency (such as local police and campus security/police departments of partnering institutions), followed by an alert to the NMHU Campus Police.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
Federal law requires that the University establish a policy on reporting a student missing from on-campus student housing, how students can designate a missing person contact person, and how the missing person contact information will be used.
Who Approved This Policy: NMHU Board of Regents
Who Needs to Know This Policy: NMHU faculty, staff, and students.
If you have any questions on the policy or procedure for missing students, you may:
- Call Campus Police at 505-454-3278;
- Call the Dean of Students Office at 505-454-3020
- If any person believes or receives notice that an NMHU student has been missing, the person must immediately make a report to Campus Police at 505-454-3278.
- Campus Police accepts any report, including a telephone report, of a missing student. If Campus Police determines that a student for whom a missing person report has been filed has been missing for 24 hours, then, no later than 24 hours after the student has been determined to be missing, Campus Police will:
- Notify the individual(s) identified by the student to be contacted in such circumstances.
- Notify a parent or guardian if the student is less than 18 years old and not emancipated.
- Notify appropriate law enforcement agencies in compliance with all statutory requirements.
- Notify the Dean of Students
- The student-provided missing person contact information will be registered confidentially and will be accessible to authorized campus officials (such as Campus Police, Housing and Student Conduct, Registrar, Center Director and Dean of Students) and may not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation.
- In the event of a missing student determination by Campus Police, Campus Police will investigate and follow procedural protocols outlined in Campus Police’s internal Missing Persons procedure.
- Each fall the Registrar will remind students of the opportunity to register a missing person contact and provides directions on how to do so. The Registrar may issue additional registration reminders at his/her discretion.
- The Registrar maintains student provided emergency and missing contact information. The Registrar is responsible for maintaining missing student contact notice documentation in accordance with record retention requirements outlined in the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC 1092(f)).
- Regardless of whether the student has named a confidential missing student contact person under this Policy, Campus Police will notify any appropriate law enforcement agencies in compliance with all statutory requirements and in no event later than 24 hours after the time the individual is determined missing.
Campus Communication about Missing Students
In cases involving missing persons, law enforcement personnel are best suited to provide information to the media that is designed to elicit public assistance in the search for a missing person. Therefore, all communications regarding missing students will be handled by the responding law enforcement agency, who may consult with the University Relations Office. All inquiries to the university regarding missing students, or information provided to any individual at the university about a missing student, shall be referred to NMHU Campus Police, who may refer such inquiries and information to the investigating law enforcement authorities and university officials.
Prior to providing the university community with any information about a missing student, the University Relations Office shall consult with the NMHU Campus Police and with the appropriate law enforcement agency to ensure that communications do not hinder the investigation.
Communication to and from university officials and third-parties (including family members of the missing student) shall be limited to the Dean of Students Office (or designee) and individuals listed on file as emergency contacts.
Form A contains the following options:
Each student has the option to identify an individual to be contacted by the university no later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined missing in accordance with official notification procedures established by NMHU.
Each student has the option to register confidential contact information in the event that the student is determined to be missing for a period of more than 24 hours. Authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation may have access to this information.
Each student over the age of 18 has the option of opting out of the Missing Student Policy as per the Missing Student Procedures 20 USC 1092 (j) (Section 488 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008), through signing a waiver on the Missing Student Policy Form.
If a missing student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, the university is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian of the missing student not later than 24 hours after the determination by University Police that the student is missing.
Campus Police may also notify other local law enforcement agencies no later than 24 hours after it determines that the student is missing, even if a student has not registered a contact person.
In keeping with trends across the nation, NMHU Student Housing is configured for both traditional residential halls as well as apartment-style living and therefore may not adhere to regular or prescribed timelines for monitoring students. Student welfare and safety is paramount to the institution; however, the university recognizes and makes known its limitations in obtaining accurate and timely information on the whereabouts of students.
Any report of a missing student on the Main Campus, from whatever source, should immediately be directed to NMHU Campus Police at 505-454-3278.
A report of a missing student at a Center Campus should immediately be directed to a local law enforcement agency (to include, but not limited to, security services associated with a partnering institution) followed by an alert to the NMHU Campus Police Department listing the name and contact information of the investigating officer.
When a student is reported missing, Campus Police shall:
a. initiate an investigation to determine the validity of the missing person report and/or assist law enforcement agencies with investigation of the missing student;
b. contact the dean of students;
c. make a determination as to the status of the missing student;
d. notify other appropriate law enforcement agencies within 24 hours after determining that the student is missing.
When contacted by Campus Police, the dean of students shall:
a. notify the director of student housing (if the missing student is a campus resident); NMHU center director (if the missing student attends one of the centers); the vice president of academic affairs, and the President’s Office;
b. if, upon investigation of the official report, Campus Police determines that the student is missing, the dean of students (or designee) shall notify the individual identified by the missing student as the emergency contact within 24 hours of making the determination that the student is missing;
c. if the missing student is under the age of 18, and not an emancipated individual, the dean of students (or designee) shall notify the student’s custodial parent or guardian as contained in the records of the university within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing. The dean of students shall initiate whatever action he or she deems appropriate under the circumstances in the best interest of the missing student.
Student Contact Information:
Students will complete the Contact Information Form (Form A) at New Student Orientation or when they move into campus housing. This form must be completed at the beginning of each lease term. It is the responsibility of the student to update any changes to contact information.
Student Notification of This Policy:
- Included in NMHU Student Handbook, Housing Handbook, and university website;
- Discussed during Student Orientation conducted for freshmen, transfer, or center students);
- Discussed during mandatory housing meetings.
- Included in the annual Campus Security Report.
- Notices sent out to all residents by campus housing.
Policy on Emergency Contact
If university staff members have reasonable cause to believe a student is a danger to himself or herself or others, contact may be made with the person(s) designated by the student as the emergency contact. This information may be taken from the housing application or any other university document requiring the student to list an emergency contact person.
Policy Regarding the Prevention of and Response to Self-Destructive Behavior
Purpose of Policy
Suicide, attempted suicide, suicidal gestures, and self-destructive behavior have detrimental effects on both the involved student and other students in the campus community. The purpose of this policy is to highlight preventive measures taken by New Mexico Highlands University to create awareness and education on these issues and to outline the protocol for reporting incidents involving self-destructive behavior. Self-destructive behavior shall be understood to mean and include attempts or threats on the part of an individual to end his or her life, or to inflict serious bodily harm on himself/herself by any means capable of producing such results.
Statement of Policy
New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) strives to create a campus community that is free from personal abuse, directed at oneself or others. NMHU commits resources to the following: 1) to educate and promote discussion about self-abuse and violence and 2) to coordinate crisis intervention. NMHU – typically through prevention initiatives, personal counseling, Campus Police, and/or the dean of students – will attempt to respond to incidents of self-destructive behavior quickly and through referral to campus behavioral health services and/or local care facilities. If behavior of concern warrants, campus police and/or local law enforcement will be contacted.
Prevention: The goal of educational programming offered by the NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES) is to promote an understanding of the dynamics of suicide and self-destructive behavior and to recognize behaviors that may signal suicidal or self-destructive intent. Periodic programming will be provided regarding depression, general principles about mental health, stress, and related topics to students of concern. NMHU CARES provides educational programs and materials for students, staff and faculty about suicide, specifically through the following programs:
- New Student Orientation; and
- Educational outreach and trainings for students, faculty and staff.
Reporting: Because suicide attempts or other self-destructive behavior might result in death, early identification of students at risk for suicide or other self-destructive behavior is essential. Help should be sought from Campus Police and/or the NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES) when students are talking about suicide or have taken any actions that could be interpreted as leading to a possible suicide attempt.
Parental notification: Suicide and other self-destructive behavior are considered emergency exceptions to confidentiality. Appropriate family members may be contacted, under direction of the Dean of Students. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, 34 CFR 99.36) provides for the release of normally protected student data when it is believed the student represents a health or safety risk to self or others.
This policy considers suicide to be defined as the purposeful act of causing one’s own death. Attempted suicide is considered to be a person engaging in life threatening behavior(s) intended to jeopardize his/her life through an act, threat, or gesture.
When learning a student has threatened or attempted suicide:
- In the event of an emergency, call 911 and local law enforcement will dispatch assistance as appropriate. The emergency number for Campus Police is 5555.
- In a non-immediate threat situation contact the NMHU Campus Police Department 505-454-3278.
- The NMHU Campus Police Department may (depending on the situation):
a. Complete an emergency involuntary hold if officers believe that the student poses a threat of harm to self or others.
b. Contact the NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES) for crisis response.
- The Dean of Students shall be notified by NMHU CARES, Campus Police, or Housing staff of a situation involving self-destructive behavior.
- The family of the student who threatened or attempted suicide may be contacted by the Dean of Students at the appropriate time.
- Prior to returning to campus to resume studies, a student who has attempted or threatened suicide may be asked to provide a release form authorizing use or disclosure of information. In these cases, a form will be provided to the student by the NMHU Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team (SBIST) and/or the student’s health care provider. The release form authorizes transfers of information between health care providers including external mental/behavioral health care providers and the NMHU Student Health Center. Appropriate HIPPA and FERPA regulations, which balance individual privacy rights and university need-to-know considerations shall be followed and written consent from the student/patient will be obtained before information is shared. The release form details what information the provider will share and who it will share the information with.
Access to shared information is used in a supportive context since the university behavioral health counselor is a member of the SBIST. SBIST objectives include the coordination of follow-up activities with students to ensure that recommended services, support, and resources are deployed effectively. The SBIST helps facilitate an integrated approach to mental health care between third-party providers and university behavioral health care providers.Per the NMHU Policy Statement on the Prevention of and Response to Students of Concern (NMHU Handbook Page 71 the NMHU Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team’s mission is to provide a proactive and supportive multidisciplinary and systematic team approach to prevention, assessment and intervention of situations or students showing signs of serious distress or engaging in harmful or disruptive behaviors. The overall mission of the SBIST is to promote improved and continuous student success through support and empowerment.Goals of the NMHU SBIST include centralizing the process of assisting students of concern; developing a coordinated plan to help students in crisis, mitigate risk, facilitate intervention and protect and maintain campus safety; coordinating follow-up with the student to ensure that recommended services, support, and resources are deployed effectively.
- In addition to support from the Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team and the Student Health Center, NMHU may provide information to students regarding behavioral health services available through other community agencies and providers.
If you have any questions about this policy or would like more information regarding suicide, please contact the NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES) at 505-454-3529 or email@example.com or view available resources online.
Suicide Prevention and Response
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. College life is a time of transition and new challenges that can be difficult for students throughout their college years. Leaving home, new social relationships and academic challenges in addition to being away from the support of family and friends can be stressful and overwhelming. The lack of support can create feelings of depression, hopelessness, despair, and isolation. Students may be unable to cope with, feelings and stressors, which can contribute to thoughts of suicide.
Know the warning signs:
Primary Warning Signs
- A previous suicide attempt
- Current talk about suicide
- Preoccupation with death
- Giving away prized possessions
- Displaying signs of serious depression: moodiness, hopelessness, withdrawal
Secondary Warning Signs
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Recent suicide of a friend or family member
- Ready access to firearms
- Impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
- Recipient of repeated bullying
- Lack of connection to friends or family
- Intense ongoing family conflict
- Recent breakup
- High or low academic achievement
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these warning signs, please contact:
- NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES) – 505-454-3529
- 2. Dean of Students – 505-454-3020
- Campus Police – 505-454-3278
- NMHU Student Health Center – 505-454-3218
- NMHU Counseling Training Center – 505-454-3564
- Crisis assistance Listening Line (CALL) – 1-866-314-6841
- The National Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Or, in case of emergency, dial 911
Policy Statement Regarding the Prevention of and Response to Sex Offenses, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking
Members of the NMHU community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from all forms of violence, including sex offenses, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not interfere with the rights of others. NMHU believes that sex offenses, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking prevent their victims from being able to have full access to their education, and as a result, prevent victims from benefiting from the full range of opportunities that come with higher education. Therefore, NMHU has no tolerance for sex/gender-based violence or misconduct. When an allegation of violence or misconduct is brought to the attention of NMHU faculty or staff, an administrator will be notified immediately and measures will be taken to ensure that an investigation is conducted and discipline issued to the perpetrator when appropriate. Discipline include sanctions, up to and including expulsion, when a respondent is found to have violated this policy.
For the purposes of this policy, the term sex offense will be used to include dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, non-consensual sex offenses, and sexual harassment.
This policy is developed in order to reaffirm NMHU principles and beliefs and provide a method of recourse for individuals whose rights have been violated.
Title IX Coordinator
NMHU has a Title IX Coordinator who oversees compliance with all aspects of the sex/ gender-based violence and misconduct policy. If you have questions about this policy, contact the Title IX Coordinator. Reports of sex/gender based violence and/or misconduct should be made directly to the Title IX Coordinator:
Director of Compliance and Title IX Coordinator
Address: Rodgers Administration Building Room 205
Phone Number: 505-454-3363
In the event that an incident involves alleged misconduct by the Title IX Coordinator, reports should be made directly to the President of the University.
NMHU strives to educate students, staff and faculty about domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or a forcible or non-forcible sex offense, including sexual assault, rape and acquaintance rape, through the following programs:
- New Student Orientation; and
- NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES), which provides educational outreach and coordinates trainings for students, faculty and staff.
First, if you are a victim/complainant of a sex offense, get to a safe place. Then, obtain necessary medical and behavioral health treatment.
Next, NMHU strongly encourages victims/complainants of a sex offense to report the incident in a timely manner. Time is a critical factor for collection and preservation of evidence.
Confidential Reporting Options:
A sex offense of any kind should be reported confidentially to one or more of the following:
- NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES) 505-454-3529 or 505-795-3665 (after-hours)
- Student Health Center 505-454-3218
- NMHU Counseling Center 505-454-3085
Additionally, anyone who holds a license to provide counseling, or is a religious or pastoral counselor, and is acting in that capacity, is a confidential person to whom you may report. While confidentiality can be maintained at one of the designated confidential reporting places or persons, aggregate data shall be submitted to be included in NMHU’s Annual Security Report. If the incident warrants an emergency notification to the campus, notice shall be given through the standard emergency notification protocol.
Non-Confidential Reporting Options
A sex offense of any kind should be reported to one or more of the following:
- Title IX Coordinator
- On-Campus Emergency Number (Campus Police) 505-454-3278/5555
- Off-campus emergency number 911
- New Mexico State Police 505-425-6771
- Las Vegas Police Department 505-425-7504
- After-Hours Rape Crisis (off campus) 505-425-1048
- Dean of Students 505-454-3020
- Residence hall staff in any residence hall
- Student adviser
If a reporting party requests confidentiality, a written request shall be made to the Title IX Coordinator. A decision to grant or deny the request will be made by the Title IX Coordinator. The University shall take all reasonable steps to respond and investigate consistent with the request so long as the University is not prevented from responding effectively and stopping the harassment of any member of the campus.
Making a report to law enforcement does not obligate a victim/complainant to pursue the matter through the criminal justice system. However, in certain circumstances, the state may bring charges against the perpetrator without the cooperation of a victim. Regardless of whether a victim pursues the matter through the criminal justice system, the victim of a sex offense is encouraged to obtain an exam to collect evidence that might not be available later and could assist the victim and law enforcement in any subsequent prosecution. Ideally, a victim of a sex offense should not wash, douche, use the toilet or change clothing prior to an exam.
Once a report is made to NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES), Student Health Center, Dean of Students, student adviser or residence hall staff member regarding an incident involving a sex offense, the victim shall be informed of the following rights:
- The victim/complainant’s option to notify law enforcement and to receive assistance from NMHU personnel in doing so. NMHU shall comply with a victim’s request for assistance in notifying law enforcement.
- Access to opportunities for counseling, mental and behavioral health, and services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sex offenses, including sexual assault, both on campus and in the community. The list of available resources is attached to this policy and is also available online at www.nmhu.edu/prevention.
- If the victim/complainant is a student, the option to change the student’s academic, on-campus living situation, transportation, and/or work schedule if requested, and if the changes are reasonably available.
- The victim/complainant’s option to request an order of protection and to receive assistance from NMHU personnel in doing so. NMHU shall comply with a victim’s request for assistance in requesting an order of protection.
Incidents Involving Students
If NMHU is notified of an incident involving a sex offense committed by a student, NMHU shall investigate the matter promptly and appropriately and take action pursuant to NMHU’s Student Code of Conduct. Pursuant to the NMHU Student Code of Conduct, the standard of evidence used in administrative responses/investigations of alleged nonacademic misconduct is “preponderance of the evidence.” In other words, when examining and assessing evidence, the dean of students and/or designee shall consider whether the incident is more likely than not to have occurred. If determined by preponderance of evidence to have occurred, the dean of students and/or designee shall decide whether the student code of conduct or other University policies were violated and follow the student discipline process in determining disciplinary measures or sanctions to be imposed in response to and as a consequence of the offense. NMHU’s Student Code of Conduct is found in the Student Handbook.
At any disciplinary hearing pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct, both the complainant and the respondent student have the right to have an adviser or support person of his/her choosing present during any meeting and hearing. The adviser/support person may not participate in the hearing itself, unless asked to do so by the hearing committee. Both the Complainant (or next of kin if Complainant is deceased) and Respondent shall be notified in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a crime of sexual violence as defined under this policy. The notification shall only include the name of the Respondent, the violation alleged, and the sanction(s), imposed by NMHU on the Respondent. Compliance with these provisions does not constitute a violation of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 USC 1232g), also known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Discipline imposed on a student who is found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct may include:
- Withholding Diploma
- Transcript Notation
- Organizational Sanctions
- Disciplinary Reprimand, and
- Other Actions listed in the Student Handbook, Page 91-92
Both Complainant and Respondent have the opportunity to appeal the result of an institutional disciplinary proceeding pursuant to the appeal process outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
Incidents Involving an NMHU Employee:
If NMHU is notified of an incident involving a sex offense committed by an employee, faculty or staff member, NMHU shall investigate the matter and take action as appropriate pursuant to NMHU’s policies and the Collective Bargaining Agreement, if applicable. The Complainant and the Respondent shall have the right to have an adviser of his/her choosing throughout the process and shall be notified of the outcome of the process.
Sanctions for an employee found to have violated NMHU policy include:
- Warning – Written or Verbal
- Performance Improvement Plan
- Required Counseling
- Required Training or Education
- Loss of Annual Pay Increase
- Suspension without Pay
- Suspension with Pay
- Revocation of Tenure
- Other Actions listed in the Employee Handbook, Policy 425
Violations of Policy and the Law
The administrative investigation and administrative hearing is separate from any and all criminal proceedings. They may run parallel to one another, but the administrative process is not dependent on whether or not a criminal investigation is initiated, criminal charges are filed, and adjudication through the courts occurs. The standard of evidence in criminal proceedings is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Respondents may be accountable to both law enforcement authorities and to the University for acts that constitute violations of the law and of University policies. Those accused of violations are subject to University disciplinary proceedings despite any pending civil or criminal proceedings or any other University proceedings regarding the same conduct. Accused individuals may not challenge the University disciplinary proceedings on the grounds that criminal charges, civil actions, or other University proceedings regarding the same incident are pending or have been terminated, dismissed, reduced, or not yet adjudicated. Likewise, the imposition of discipline through the University, in addition to criminal or civil penalties, does not constitute double jeopardy. The University will refer matters to federal and/or state authorities for prosecution when appropriate.
Administrative investigations and administrative hearings in cases involving a sex offense committed by a student shall be conducted by officials who, at a minimum, receive annual training on the issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, as well as how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. Administrative investigations and administrative hearings in cases involving a sex offense committed by an employee will be conducted pursuant to the Collective Bargaining agreement, when applicable.
If you have any questions about this policy or would like more information regarding domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or a forcible or non-forcible sex offense, including sexual assault, rape and date rape, please contact the NMHU Center for Advocacy Resources Education & Support (CARES) at 505-454-3529 or firstname.lastname@example.org or view available resources online at www.nmhu.edu/prevention.
The President or his/her designee is authorized to and shall prepare procedures to implement this policy statement.
New Mexico Highlands University main campus and center campuses adopt, for the purpose of this policy, the following definitions for offenses:
Sexual harassment may take many forms, including unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and conduct that is not necessarily sexual in nature, but which is unwelcome and directed at a person because of his or her gender.
- Sexual harassment involving unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature can include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
- Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the employee; or
- Such conduct is so severe or pervasive that it affects an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive working environment.
- Sexual harassment is distinguished from voluntary sexual relationships because the conduct directed toward you is unwelcome. Conduct of a sexual nature is unwelcome when you did not request or invite the conduct and view the conduct as offensive and undesirable.
- Conduct of a sexual nature can include, but is not limited to:
- Verbal, non-verbal or physical sexual advances,
- Pressure for sexual favors,
- Touching of a sexual nature,
- Sexual assault,
- Sexual gestures,
- Sexual or “dirty” jokes,
- Offensive personal jokes and comments of a sexual nature,
- Displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures and written materials.
- Sexual harassment can also involve acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature, when such conduct is so severe or pervasive that it affects a student’s/employee’s ability to work, participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment. Such conduct can include, but is not limited to:
- Offensive jokes or comments, not necessarily sexual in nature, but directed at a person because of his or her gender or sexual orientation,
- Threats or insinuations that lack of sexual favors will result in reprisals, withholding support for promotions or transfers, change of assignments, or poor performance reviews,
- Sexual harassment against an employee/student can involve any member of the New Mexico Highlands University community, including faculty, staff, employees, students, guest speakers, visiting students or contractors.
The University’s Sexual Harassment Policy can be found in the Student Handbook on page 84 and in the Employee Handbook under Policy 350.
Sexual assault is any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent; including anal and oral intercourse; the use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person; and the inappropriate touching or fondling of another’s intimate areas.
Consent: is an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is voluntary meaning that it must be given without coercion, force, threats, or intimidation. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Consent to sexual activity in one occasion is not consent to engage in sexual activity on another occasion. Even when in a relationship, there must be mutual consent for sexual activity. Consent must be given and received on-going. Once consent is revoked, the sexual activity must stop immediately. Consent cannot be granted if a person is incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs; is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness, asleep or physically helpless, or suffers from a mental condition that does not allow him/her to understand the nature of the act.
Dating violence is behavior that includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse by a current or former spouse, by a person who the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who has or is cohabitating with the complainant, or any other person who is protected under the domestic violence laws.
Abuse: means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury to themselves. Abuse may include:
- Physical abuse involves hitting, slapping, pushing, punching, kicking, and choking. It could involve the use of a weapon or object to hurt or threaten to hurt someone. It also includes throwing, smashing, or breaking personal items and hurting or killing pets.
- Sexual abuse involves pressuring or forcing someone to engage in nonconsensual acts, including producing pictures or videos.
- Verbal abuse involves put downs, name calling, yelling, or swearing.
- Emotional abuse involves ignoring someone or using looks or actions or speaking in ways that are threatening.
Dating violence is behavior that includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse by a person who is or has been in a relationship that is romantic or of an intimate nature with the complainant. (The definition of abuse is reflected in the section above)
Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking can include repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communication from the perpetrator by phone, mail, and/or email; repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers; following or lying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work or recreation place; making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, friends, family, or pets; damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property; harassing victim through the internet and/or posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth; and obtaining personal information about the victim.
Pattern of conduct: means two or more acts, on more than one occasion, in which the alleged stalker by any action, method, device or means, directly, indirectly, or through third parties, follows monitors, surveils, threatens or communicates to or about a person.
Highlands University recognizes the harm caused by sexual violence and the need to provide services to students and to educate the University community regarding this issue. Educational programs and local resources for the main and center campuses can be viewed at http://www.nmhu.edu/campus-life-2/hu-cares/
Student Code of Conduct
The Code of Student Conduct (“Code”) is New Mexico Highlands University’s (“University”) policy related to nonacademic misconduct by students. Academic misconduct by students is not covered by this Code, but, rather, falls on the responsibility of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
New Mexico Highlands University is a diverse community of learners. The University has the right and obligation to protect students and provide equal opportunity for all students to pursue an education in a safe and comfortable environment. Therefore, it is the University’s responsibility to establish standards of conduct that ensure appropriate classroom behavior, safety and orderliness in campus life, and the rights and privileges held by all members of the University community. The Code should be read broadly. It does not define nonacademic misconduct in exhaustive terms. The purposes of the University’s Code of Student Conduct is to inform NMHU students of prohibited nonacademic conduct; to protect and preserve the quality of the educational environment at NMHU; and to outline the due process procedures that will be followed in cases of student misconduct.
3. Violations of the Law and of the Code
Students may be accountable by both civil authorities and the University for acts constituting violations of the law and of this Code. Those accused of violations are subject to University disciplinary proceedings as outlined in this code, despite any pending civil or criminal proceedings, or any other University proceedings regarding the same conduct. Accused students may not challenge University disciplinary proceedings on the grounds that criminal charges, civil actions or other University proceedings regarding the same incident are pending or have been terminated, dismissed, reduced or not yet adjudicated. The University can and will refer matters to federal and/or state authorities for prosecution when appropriate, in addition to taking any and all discipline through this Code, which is deemed appropriate.
4. Nonacademic Misconduct
The following actions/behaviors occurring on University property or at University-sponsored events constitute violations of the Code. Students violating this Code may be subject to disciplinary action including expulsion or any lesser sanction authorized by the Code. Students must take action to ensure their compliance with University regulations. Students are responsible for both their own conduct and the conduct of their guests. Failure to ensure that guests comply with this Code may result in disciplinary and/or legal action against a student. Students are expected to know and understand the Code. A student’s failure to know the regulations contained herein will not be considered adequate as a defense against allegations that the Code was violated by the student. Prohibited actions are as follows:
A. Violation of University Regulations. Violating any University or Board of Regents policies, rules and regulations including, but not limited to housing regulations, regulations of University departments and offices, University policies on sexual harassment or assault, smoking regulations, regulations related to entry (opening and closing hours), traffic and parking regulations, and misuse of identification cards.
B. Violation of Federal, State or Local Laws. Violating federal, state or local laws on University premises or while in attendance at any University-sponsored or supervised events or committing off-campus violations of federal, state, or local law, which are deemed to threaten the educational mission of the university or the health and safety of any member of the university community.
C. Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances. NMHU prohibits the illegal and/or unauthorized use of alcohol, controlled substances or illegal drugs. The use and possession of alcohol is strictly prohibited on NMHU property, except as authorized in the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual: Use and Possession of Alcohol on New Mexico Highland’s University (NMHU) Property. This prohibition includes the illegal and/or unauthorized consumption, possession or distribution of any form of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, narcotics, controlled substances or drug paraphernalia at any university sanctioned or related activity, whether on or off campus, as well as, any NMHU business, activity or event.
Additionally, students receiving federal loans and grants do so on the condition that they will not engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance during the period covered by the federal funding. Students in violation of the code of conduct are subject to losing grants, and other financial aid, i.e. Workstudy, etc.
Possession is defined as, but is not limited to, alcohol, controlled substances or drug paraphernalia found on a person, in his or her clothing, in or around a vehicle on university property or at a University-sanctioned event. Additionally, this includes any individual appearing on University premises or at a University-sponsored activity under the influence of a controlled or intoxicating substance in violation of NMHU policy, and/or to a degree warranting concern by NMHU authorities about danger to self, others or property. The University will enforce federal, state, and local laws, as well as its own alcohol and drug policies, and follow procedures supporting the enforcement of these laws. The University reserves the right to remove or refuse admittance to any NMHU property or University-sanctioned event of any individual deemed to be under the influence of a controlled or intoxicating substance. Should the University remove or refuse admittance for violation of NMHU policy, the individual(s) removed will not be reimbursed for the cost of admission to the event or any fees associated with the removal or refusal of admittance. The University reserves the right to contact local law enforcement for assistance with violations of this policy.
D. Damage to Property. Be a party to acts of unauthorized use, removal, defacing, tampering, damage or destruction of student, staff, faculty, visitor or University property, equipment, or programs on University premises, at University-sponsored activities, or from University organization(s), group(s) or individual(s). This may include directly causing damage to property, but may also include and is not limited to, acting in concert with the perpetrators, playing a part in the damage, including even a minor part, associating and/or affiliating with the perpetrators, etc.
E. Disorderly Conduct. Engaging in loud behavior, physical fights or disruptive behavior. For purposes of this code, disorderly conduct is defined to include, but is not limited to, acts that breach the peace, disrupt others or interrupt University operations.
F. Disruption of University Operations. Interrupting, disturbing or interfering with normal University functions, University-sponsored activities, or any function or activity on University premises including, but not limited to, studying, teaching, public speaking, research, University administration, judicial proceedings, residing, fire, police or emergency services or committing intentional or negligent acts that obstruct, disrupt, or physically interfere with the use of University premises, buildings or passages.
G. Explosives and Weapons. Possessing, using, storing or distributing dangerous weapons, explosives, firearms, noxious materials or devices or other hazardous objects, materials or substances. These items are strictly forbidden on all University premises including, but not limited to, the rooms of residential students, classrooms, at University-sponsored or supervised events, in or around any vehicle parked on University property, and in or on any person’s clothing.
H. False Complaints. Intentionally or negligently filing a false complaint or claim under this code.
I. False Reports. Initiating, making or causing any false report, threat of fire, explosion or other emergency or dangerous condition on University premises or at a University sponsored activity. Conversely, failing to report a fire, or interfering with the response of University or municipal officials to emergency calls falls under this Code and is prohibited.
J. Hazing. Planning, directing or committing acts of hazing. Hazing is defined as any activity which willfully, negligently or recklessly endangers the mental or physical health of an individual(s) and/or subjects a person(s) to forced consumption of alcohol or drugs, ridicule, humiliation, embarrassment, or any unlawful activity for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in any group or organization.
K. Indecent Behavior. Lewd, indecent or obscene behavior or remarks, as well as, intentionally exposing buttocks, breasts or genitals in any public or common areas on University premises and/or during University sponsored activities.
L. Failure to Obey. Refusal or failure to comply with the directives of University officials, staff, faculty or representatives, including campus police officers and residence hall staff members who are acting in the performance of their duties. Failing to positively identify one’s self to a University official when requested to do so is also included as failure to obey. (Students should make every attempt to carry a current, valid University identification card on their person at all times.)
M. False Information. Knowingly or negligently providing misinformation or furnishing false information to the University and/or University officials.
N. Forgery. The fraudulent alteration, misrepresentation, counterfeiting, or misuse of any University and/or other documents, with knowledge of the false nature of the document, and including the use of instruments of identification, i.e. driver’s license and/or student identification cards, or the use of access devices, including, but not limited to, computers, tablets, laptops, and smart phones
O. Physical Harm or Threatening Remarks. Taking any action, making any threatening remarks or creating any situation on University premises or at University-sponsored activities that intentionally, negligently or recklessly endangers the mental or physical health of others.
P. Misuse of University Computer Privileges. Engaging in acts of theft of computers or abuse of computer privileges, including but not limited to:
- improper and/or unauthorized access to university computer files and systems; unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of University computer systems or material; unauthorized entry into a file to use, read or change its contents;
- unauthorized transfers of a file or files,
- unauthorized use of another person’s identification or password,
- use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, staff or faculty member,
- use of computing facilities to view or send threatening or obscene messages,
- intentional disruption of University computer systems,
- violation(s) of copyright or proprietary material restrictions connected with University computer systems, programs or materials.
Q. Misuse of the Judicial System. Engaging or participating in abuse of the University judicial system, including but not limited to:
- falsifying or misrepresenting information before a judicial body,
- disrupting or interfering with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding,
- instituting a judicial complaint without cause,
- attempting to discourage or intimidate an individual from participation in, or use of, the judicial system,
- attempting to influence a member of the judicial body prior to, during, and/or after a judicial proceeding,
- harassing (verbal or physical) and/or intimidating a member of a judicial body, prior to, during and/or after a judicial proceeding,
- influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit any abuse of the judicial system.
R. Noncompliance with Disciplinary Sanctions. Failure to comply, in any manner, with the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with this code.
S. Stalking, Harassment or Persistent Torment. Engaging in conduct directed at specific person(s) on University premises or at University-sponsored activities that seriously alarms or intimidates such person(s), and which the University deems can serve no legitimate purpose. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, explicit or implicit threats, including gestures that place a person in reasonable fear of unwelcome physical contact, harm or death; following a person about in a public place or to or from his or her residence; making remarks to a specific person(s) that are perceived lewd or obscene; or communicating anonymously by voice, text message or graphic means or making a telephone call anonymously whether or not a conversation ensues, or posting any derogatory, lewd, sexually explicit or inflammatory comments or photos on social media sites, whether or not comments specifically name individuals as subjects or targets of posts. Torment or intimidation based on ability, age, ethnic heritage, national origin, gender, gender identity, lifestyle, race, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, political, social, or other affiliation or disaffiliation is forbidden.
T. Tampering with Safety Devices. Committing acts that endanger the University community or cause damage to University property including, but not limited to, altering, misusing or damaging any firefighting equipment, fire alarms, safety equipment alarms or emergency devices.
U. Theft. Unauthorized use or removal of property, materials or services from the University, University-sponsored activities, University organization(s), group(s), student(s) or any University community member, guest, visitor, vendor or contractor on University premises; or knowledge of, and failure to report, possession of stolen property or use of stolen services on University premises, at University-sponsored activities, or from University organization(s), group(s) or individual(s).
V. Unauthorized Entry or Use of Keys. Possessing, duplicating or using keys to any University building or facility without permission and/or authorization from appropriate University officials, or committing or permitting an act of unauthorized entry into or use of University buildings and/or facilities.
W. Unauthorized Use of Facilities or Property. Unauthorized presence on or use of University premises, facilities or property including camping, building a fire or use of unauthorized heating, cooking or electrical device(s) without advanced permission and approval from designated University personnel.
X. Academic Integrity. A violation of the NMHU Academic Integrity Policy constitutes a violation of this policy. Please see the NMHU Academic Integrity Policy (below) for more information.
Y. Classroom Conduct. While each individual faculty member is responsible for establishing classroom standards, there is a generally accepted standard of classroom conduct that must be adhered to in all classes. Students are members of a community devoted to learning and are expected to behave responsibly and respectfully toward other students and other members of the University community. Any behavior that disrupts others from learning or interferes with the efforts of a faculty member to instruct a class is prohibited. Unless a faculty member makes an exception, on a case by case basis, the following rules will apply:
- Students are required to attend all classes and be prepared for class.
- Guests, including children, are not permitted in class.
- Food and drink may not be consumed in classrooms.
- Use of electronic devices such as cell phones, smart phones, and gaming devices are prohibited while class is in session. Students should ensure that these types of devices are turned off or placed in silent mode. The use of earphones is also not allowed during class. Students are expected to use their electronic devices in a manner that is not disruptive to others in common areas, computer labs, the library and classrooms. Students must turn off all electronic devices or turn them to silent mode during all classes and laboratories. The use of electronic devices during examinations is prohibited. Faculty may modify this policy as required for individual circumstances.
- Laptops, or other devices such as electronic tablets, may be used for note taking and other academic related activities only. Faculty may establish limitations on the use of computers in the classroom, to include, but not be limited to, restrictions for surfing the Internet and/or browsing social media sites during class.
Faculty are authorized to establish additional rules in order to maintain appropriate conditions for learning in their classrooms.
Z. Skateboards. Skateboards are permitted as a mode of transportation on University property. However, skateboarders must be respectful of pedestrians at all times. Skateboarders may ride in permitted areas only and are prohibited from using University property for performing stunts, i.e. riding rails. Recreational skateboarding is not permitted on campus.
5. Reporting an incident of nonacademic misconduct
Anyone wishing to report an alleged incident of prohibited nonacademic conduct may make a report in writing to the Dean of Students (Office of Student Affairs) or the Department of Housing and Student Conduct (Report forms are available in both offices and online). The Dean of Students and/or designee will conduct an investigation and determine whether any action should be taken in response to the report. In administrative responses/investigations, strict rules of evidence do not apply. The standard of evidence for administrative responses/investigations of alleged nonacademic misconduct is preponderance of the evidence, which is a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard used in civil and criminal proceedings and not applicable to an administrative proceeding in a University setting. In examining and assessing evidence, the Dean of Students, or designee, considers whether the incident is more likely than not to have occurred. If determined by preponderance of evidence to have occurred, the Dean of Students, and/or designee, shall decide whether the Student Code of Conduct or other University policies have been violated. Based on this determination, the Dean of Students/designee shall follow the student discipline process in determining which, if any, disciplinary measures or sanctions are appropriate and may be imposed under the circumstances.
6. Disciplinary measures or sanctions
Disciplinary Reprimand. A written warning to the student that the cited behavior is not acceptable by University standards. The student is warned that further misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.
Disciplinary Restrictions. Limiting certain privileges or practices of the individual(s) involved in the offense for a specified period of time. The student may be restricted from certain areas of the campus; from contacting or communicating with specified individuals within the campus community; and from privileges or practices including being prohibited from a University event or extracurricular activity.
Restitution. The student may be required to make payment for the loss or damage to the University or to an individual(s), group(s) or organization(s). Arrangements for restitution can be made through the Dean of Students’ Office for direct payment, or charges maybe assessed or garnished through the student’s business office account. Failure to make restitution as ordered by the Dean of Student may result in the having registration, diploma and/or transcripts withheld.
Disciplinary Probation. A specified period of time during which the student is expected to comply with University regulations. If the student violates University policy within the given time frame, more severe disciplinary action may occur.
Expulsion from University Housing Facilities. Removal from University housing. Emergency Suspension and/or Restrictions. To protect the safety of the University community, it may be necessary to suspend a student(s) from class, campus facilities, University premises or University-sponsored functions, etc. The Dean of Students shall have the authority to immediately suspend and have removed from campus, students who present an immediate threat to the health, safety or security of other students, or to the faculty and employees of New Mexico Highlands University or to University property. Emergency removal may not exceed ten days, during which time the student must be given a disciplinary conference, as described below. An emergency suspension may only extend beyond ten days if the University President determines an extension is necessary to protect the health, safety of the University community. In such circumstances, unless waived in writing by the student, the Office of Student Affairs shall develop a timetable for the procedures as described below in Section 7, so that the entire process is completed within 30 calendar days of the disciplinary conference.
Disciplinary Suspension. Disciplinary Suspension is defined as temporary exclusion from the University for a specified period of time. Suspension includes restrictions from University property during the specified time, including areas of campus that are open to the public, such as the library, retail and residential dining facilities, University bookstore, Ilfeld Auditorium and University athletic facilities. Individuals on disciplinary suspension are prohibited from enrolling in classes, residing in University residence halls, and participating in any University event or activity during the specified time. Disciplinary suspension does not appear on University transcripts, but disciplinary suspension on a student’s record may affect participation in University-sanctioned or sponsored activities including, but not limited to, clubs/organizations, intercollegiate athletics, student employment, and student government.
Disciplinary Expulsion. Disciplinary Expulsion is defined as indefinite separation from the University. Expulsion includes restrictions from University property and activities. Individuals who have been expelled from the University are prohibited from enrolling in classes. Expelled students are prohibited from coming onto campus for any reason and from participating in University events or activities. The restrictions include areas of campus that are open to the public such as the library, retail and residential dining facilities, University bookstore, Ilfeld Auditorium and University athletic facilities. Disciplinary expulsion appears on the student’s University transcripts.
Individuals expelled from the University may request to have their expulsion status reviewed for possible modification no less than five (5) years after the expulsion notice was issued, readmission is not guaranteed at any time. Such requests should be made in writing to the Dean of Students’ Office. Expelled individuals are also subject to admission requirements of the academic programs and units within the University in effect at such time readmission is granted.
Upon receipt of the request to review/modify expulsion status, the Dean of Students shall refer the matter to the Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team (which includes representatives from Campus Police, Housing and Student Conduct, Academic Support, HU-CARES, and Mental Health Services) or a similar committee to review the request and materials submitted. This committee reserves the right to request input on the review from those who may have been affected by the behavior resulting in the student’s expulsion. This includes seeking input from students, faculty, staff, University departments, etc.
Materials submitted with requests for modification of disciplinary expulsion shall include:
- A written statement from the expelled individual that refers to the date and reasons disciplinary expulsion sanctions were issued and why the disciplinary expulsion should be modified;
- Documentation supporting the request to modify the expulsion sanction, such as official transcripts from other institutions demonstrating satisfactory academic progress and good disciplinary standing, commendations from employers, reference letters that demonstrate satisfactory behavior, etc.;
- Expulsion from the university is often a result of behavior that also constituted a violation of civil or criminal laws. In such cases, the expelled individual shall provide information related to how the case was adjudicated in a court of law;
- Expelled individuals shall include a written consent statement authorizing the University to conduct a criminal background check;
- Expelled individuals shall complete and submit an Authorization for Use or Disclosure Form provided by the University which authorizes New Mexico Highlands University to have access to information related to mental/behavioral health services received by the expelled individual;
- Expelled individuals shall consent to any mental/behavioral health evaluations requested by the University at the medical care provider of the University’s choice.
Failure or refusal to produce any of the information requested by the University will result in the student’s request for review of expulsion status to be denied. The University reserves the right to require an expelled individual to appear in person before the Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team or appointed committee reviewing the matter. Failure to appear in person upon request will result in the student’s request for review of expulsion status to be denied.
The committee shall make a recommendation to the University President within 30 days of receipt of review materials. The President can accept, reject, or modify the committee’s recommendation. The President’s decision will be final and is not appealable.
A decision shall be communicated to the expelled individual in writing within thirty (30) working days of the President’s receipt of the committee’s recommendation. Notice may also be provided to any complainants, victims, or University departments affected by the behavior which gave rise to the disciplinary expulsion.
Upon a successful appeal in which the individual is allowed to re-enroll at NMHU, the student’s disciplinary status with the University will include automatic and indefinite disciplinary probation, in which the student must comply with all University regulations. Any violation of the Student Code of Conduct may result in permanent disciplinary expulsion from the University. NMHU also reserves the right to require the student to meet regularly with the Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team and to impose any disciplinary restrictions (from specified privileges, certain areas of campus, or from contacting specific individuals) deemed necessary to protect the health, safety, and quality educational environment of students, faculty, and staff.
If the decision involves no modifications or changes to the expulsion status, disciplinary expulsion will remain on the individual’s transcript. If the expulsion status is modified and the individual is allowed to re-enroll at NMHU, disciplinary expulsion may be removed from the individual’s transcript after two (2) semesters of satisfactory academic performance and good disciplinary standing or upon meeting all degree requirements. If these conditions are met, the student may make a written request for the removal of the expulsion from his or her transcripts. This request should be made directly to the President of the University. The decision to remove disciplinary expulsion from transcripts shall be made solely by the President of the University/designee and communicated in writing to the Registrar.
Emergency Suspension and/or Restrictions. To protect the safety of the University community, it may be necessary to suspend a student(s) from class, campus facilities, University premises, University-sponsored functions, etc. The Dean of Students shall have the authority to immediately suspend and remove from campus any students who present an immediate threat to the health, safety or security of other students, faculty and employees of the University or to University property. Emergency removal may not exceed ten (10) days, during which time the student must be given a disciplinary conference, as described below. An emergency suspension may only extend beyond ten days if the University President determines an extension is necessary to protect the health and safety of the University community.
In such circumstances, unless waived in writing by the student, the Office of Student Affairs shall develop a timetable for the procedures as described below in Section 7, to ensure that the entire process is completed within 30 calendar days of the disciplinary conference.
Other Disciplinary Measures. Other sanctions may be imposed instead of, or in addition to, those outlined above, including, but not limited to, the following: educational assignments or research projects; letter of apology to those involved; mandated counseling or therapy (to be paid for by the student if off-campus services are desired or required); relocation to another University living area; restriction from specified campus facilities; loss of specified University privileges; removal or administrative withdrawal from individual courses; fines; community or campus service; or the loss of institutional financial aid. Disciplinary sanctions will be appropriate and related to the nature of the violation.
7. Procedural Guideline
The essential safeguards for fair treatment will be provided for students charged (“Respondent”) with violating University regulations. The following shall serve as procedural guidelines.
A. Written Notification. The Office of Student Affairs will inform the respondent with a written Notice of Charge (“Notice”) that she or he is accused of a violation of a University regulation(s). Such written notice will be sent to the Respondent’s most recent address of record. Notice will include the alleged violation, the Code of Student Conduct regulation(s) alleged to be violated; and the consequences for not responding appropriately to the Notice. Included with the Notice will be a Response to Charge form and a link to the NMHU Code of Student Conduct, which includes specific rights, responsibilities, disciplinary conference and administrative hearing procedures.
B. Student Response. Within five working days of receipt of the Notice, the respondent must reply to the Office of Student Affairs using a copy of the Response to the Charge form. A working day is any day in which University administrative offices are open for business. If the Respondent chooses not to complete the form by the given deadline, this failure to respond will be deemed an admission of guilt. A ruling will then be made based on that admission. On the Response to Charge form, the Respondent should indicate whether she or he requests a disciplinary conference on the charges.
C. Disciplinary Conference. Within five working days of receipt of the Response to Charge, the Dean of Students shall schedule a disciplinary conference, if requested by Respondent. A disciplinary conference is a private meeting between the Dean of Students/designee and Respondent. Respondent has an opportunity to respond to the charges against her or him during this conference. Respondent may request that one advisor attend the disciplinary conference as a support person. The Dean of Students reserves the right to limit the advisor’s participation during the disciplinary conference.
D. Imposition of Discipline. Within five working days of the disciplinary conference, or if no disciplinary conference was requested, within five working days of receipt of the Response to Charge, the Dean of Students shall provide Respondent with a written Notice of Disciplinary Action. If the disciplinary action taken is suspension or expulsion, Respondent has the right to a hearing prior to the discipline being imposed. However, the University and the Dean of Students reserves the right to take any intermediate action deemed necessary to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the Complainant and the University community. Intermediate action may include, but is not limited to, emergency suspension, no contact orders, or other restrictions as deemed necessary. If discipline is not suspension or expulsion, and unless otherwise stated in the Notice of Disciplinary Action, the discipline takes effect immediately, is final and not appealable.
However, incidents involving allegations of the perpetration of a sex offense, as outlined by the Policy Statement on the Prevention and Response to Sex Offenses, require that the Complainant be notified of the results of the disciplinary conference held in response to their complaint. Complainant reserves the right to appeal disciplinary sanction regardless of the discipline imposed. The policy further allows the Complainant the opportunity to appeal the result of the disciplinary conference pursuant to the appeal process outlined in Section F. Hearing-Complainant Requested. If the Complainant appeals the results of the disciplinary conference, the Respondent’s discipline will continue as ordered by the Dean of Students until after the appeal hearing is held.
E. Hearing-Respondent Requested.
1. If the Dean of Students imposes discipline of suspension or expulsion, the Respondent may request, within five working days of receipt of the Notice of Disciplinary Action, that a hearing be held before the disciplinary action is imposed. The request must be in writing and submitted to the Dean of Students. The appeal request shall be referred to a Hearing Committee consisting of members of the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate. This Committee may include student representation.
2. Within five (5) working days of receipt of the request by the Respondent to the Dean of Students, the hearing shall take place within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request for a hearing, unless the Dean of Students, in his or her sole discretion, extends the time for the hearing.
3. Respondent(s) and the Dean of Students shall be given a minimum of five working days written notice prior to the date of the hearing.
4. Two working days prior to the hearing, the Respondent and Dean of Students shall submit to the Hearing Committee Chairperson and to the other party, a list of witnesses, and copies of any documents to be submitted as evidence at the hearing. Statements of absent witnesses may be submitted in lieu of testimony at the hearing, so long as the other party is notified at least three working days prior to the hearing of the name of the witness, and that witness makes himself or herself available for an interview by the other party and additional statement, if requested.
5. If two or more students are charged in the same incident, and two or more request a hearing as a result of the discipline imposed, the Hearing Committee may hold a joint hearing in the matter.
6. The hearing will be closed. The Respondent and Dean of Students may attend the hearing. Witnesses will attend only for the purposes of their testimony and are not permitted to hear the testimony of other witnesses.
7. The hearing will be informal in nature; strict rules of evidence do not apply. However, the Hearing Chairperson will maintain order and the efficient management of the proceeding. Therefore, evidence that the Hearing Chairperson deems irrelevant or duplicative may be excluded.
8. The Dean of Students has the burden of proof at the hearing to demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the violation of the student Code occurred and that the discipline imposed was reasonable.
9. The Respondent(s) and Dean of Students have the right to the following:
- Be present at the hearing; however, if either or both the Respondent and Dean of Students fail to appear at the hearing, the hearing will be held in either or both of their absences.
- Present evidence by their own testimony, by witness, or by official written statement from a witness, if that witness is unable to attend the hearing (as per the conditions stated above). It is the responsibility of both the Respondent and the Dean of Students to notify their witnesses of the date, time and place of the hearing. If witnesses fail to appear, the hearing will be held in their absence.
- Bring one adviser to the hearing. The adviser; however, may only participate in providing advice directly to the Respondent of Dean of Students. The adviser may not participate in the hearing, conduct examinations of witness, or present information or materials to the hearing committee. It is the responsibility of the Respondent and the Dean of Students to notify the adviser of the date, time and place of the hearing. If an adviser fails to appear, the hearing shall take place in his or her absence.
- Question all witnesses.
10. The following procedures shall be followed during administrative hearings:
- Welcome by the hearing committee chairperson.
- Recognition of the parties present.
- Reading of allegations.
- Opening statement by the Dean of Students.
- Opening statement by the Respondent.
- Testimony of the witnesses on behalf of the Dean of Students. Witness will be exhausted by both parties during the time they appear and will not be called back to the hearing, unless requested to do so by the Hearing Committee. While testifying, witnesses will be questioned by both parties, including cross-examination by the Respondent, and questioning by Hearing Committee members.
- Testimony of the Respondent’s witnesses, including cross-examination by the Dean of Students and questioning by Hearing Committee members.
- Rebuttal evidence presented by the Dean of Students, if necessary, to address issues raised by Respondent’s witnesses.
- Rebuttal evidence presented by Respondent, if any, to address issues raised by the Dean of Student’s rebuttal evidence.
- Closing remarks from the Dean of Students.
- Closing remarks from Respondent.
- Closing statements by the Hearing Committee chairperson.
- Adjournment of the hearing.
A verbatim record (either by written transcript or recording) shall be made of all evidence introduced at the hearing. This verbatim record shall be maintained for a period of one year after hearing. This record shall be maintained for a longer period of time if the allegations leading to the hearing include criminal or civil charges or if the University was served with a Notice of Pending Litigation.
11. The hearing committee shall hold deliberations following the hearing.
Unless there is reasonable cause for delay, a written copy of the committee’s recommendation, and the record, will be sent to the University President within five working days. The recommendation shall be copied to Respondent and the Dean of Students. The student may request a copy of the record, which will be provided at Respondent’s expense. The University President shall receive the recommendation of the hearing committee and has the option to either accept it, modify it or reject it. The President shall notify the Respondent, Dean of Students and the Hearing Committee Chairperson of his decision in writing. If the discipline imposed by the President is a suspension or expulsion, the Registrar shall also be copied on the decision. The President’s decision shall be final and is not appealable.
F. Hearing-Complainant Requested.
1. If the Dean of Students imposes any discipline in an incident involving sex offenses, as defined in the Policy Statement on the Prevention and Response to Sex Offenses, the Complainant may request, within five working days of receipt of the Notice of Disciplinary Action, that an appeal hearing be held before the disciplinary action is imposed. The request must be in writing and submitted to the Dean of Students. Upon receipt of request for appeal from Complainant, the Dean of Students shall give notice to the Respondent of the appeal request. The appeal request shall be referred to a Hearing Committee consisting of members of the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate and may include student representation.
2. The Respondent must notify the Dean of Students and the Hearing Committee Chairperson, within five working days of receipt of the request for appeal hearing, as to whether or not they will present evidence on their behalf at the hearing. If the respondent chooses to present evidence, the procedures as outlined in Section E-Appeal Respondent Requested shall be followed. If the Respondent chooses not to present evidence, the procedures outlined below shall be followed.
3. Within five working days of receipt of the request for hearing to the Dean of Students, the hearing shall be scheduled. The hearing shall take place within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request for a hearing, unless the Dean of Students, in his or her sole discretion, extends the time for the hearing.
3. When a hearing is held, the Complainant, Respondent, and the Dean of Students shall be given a minimum of five working days written notice prior to the hearing date.
4. Two working days prior to the hearing, the Dean of Students shall submit to the hearing committee chairperson a list of witnesses, and copies of any documents to be submitted as evidence at the hearing. Statements of absent witnesses may be submitted in lieu of testimony at the hearing, so long as the other party is notified at least three working days prior to the hearing of the name of the witness, and said witness makes himself or herself available for an interview by the other party and an additional statement, if requested. Complainant may be called as a witness during this proceeding.
5. If two or more students are charged in the same incident and two or more request a hearing as a result of the discipline imposed, the Hearing Committee may hold a joint hearing in the matter.
6. The hearing will be closed. The Dean of Students will attend the hearing. Witnesses, including complainant, will attend only for the purposes of their testimony.
7. The hearing will be informal in nature; strict rules of evidence do not apply. However, the Hearing Chairperson will maintain order and the efficient management of the proceeding. Therefore, evidence that the Hearing Committee Chairperson deems irrelevant or duplicative may be excluded. However, the Hearing Committee Chairperson reserves the right to call additional witnesses if deemed necessary to the proceedings (see paragraph 4 for procedures for absent witnesses).
8. The Dean of Students has the burden of proof at the hearing to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence whether or not a violation of the student code occurred and that the discipline imposed was reasonable.
9. The Dean of Students has the responsibility to do the following:
- Be present at the hearing.
- Present evidence by their own testimony, by witness, or by official written statement from a witness, if that witness is unable to attend the hearing, (based on the conditions stated above). It is the responsibility of the Dean of Students to notify their witnesses of the date, time and place of the hearing. If witnesses fail to appear, the hearing will be held in their absence.
- Question all witnesses.
10. Additionally, the Dean of Students has the right to bring one adviser to the hearing. The adviser, however, may only participate in providing advice. The adviser may not participate in the hearing, examine witnesses, or the present information or materials to the hearing committee. It is the responsibility of the Dean of Students to notify the adviser of the date, time and place of the hearing. If an adviser fails to appear, the hearing shall take place in his or her absence.
11. The following procedures shall be followed in administrative hearings:
- Welcome by the Hearing Committee Chairperson.
- Recognition of the parties present.
- Reading of allegations.
- Opening statement by the Dean of Students.
- Reading of Complainant’s appeal statement by Hearing Chairperson.
- Testimony of the Dean of Students’ witnesses.
- Opportunity for witness questioning by Hearing Committee, following the testimony of each witness.
- Closing remarks from the Dean of Students.
- Closing statements by the Hearing Committee Chairperson.
- Adjournment of the hearing.
A verbatim record (either by written transcript or tape recording) shall be made of all evidence introduced at the hearing. This verbatim record shall be maintained for a period of five years after the hearing. This record shall be maintained for a longer period of time if the allegations leading to the hearing include criminal or civil charges or if the University was served with a Notice of Pending Litigation.
12. The hearing committee shall hold deliberations following the hearing. Unless there is reasonable cause for delay, a written copy of the committee’s recommendation, and the record, will be sent to the University President within five working days. The recommendation shall be copied to Respondent, Complainant, and the Dean of Students. The Respondent may request a copy of the record, which will be provided at Respondent’s expense. The University President shall receive the recommendation of the hearing committee and has the option to either accept it, modify it or reject it. The President shall notify the Respondent, Complainant, Dean of Students and the Hearing Committee Chairperson of his decision in writing. If the discipline imposed by the President is a suspension or expulsion, the Registrar shall also be copied on the decision. The President’s decision shall be final and is not appealable.
8. Disciplinary measures for NMHU student organizations
The Student Employee Coordinator shall be responsible for monitoring the actions of members of NMHU student organizations. Members representing such organizations or groups are accountable for their actions and may be charged with violations to the Code of Conduct both as individuals, as an organization or as a student group.
9. Disciplinary records
The Dean of Students (and/or designee) shall maintain disciplinary records and shall not release them unless required to do so by the law or University policy. Student disciplinary records are retained for five years after the most recent University disciplinary action has been completed with the exception of cases of expulsion. Records of students expelled from the University are maintained permanently and are posted on the academic transcripts (refer to the Disciplinary Expulsion portion of the handbook).
••In addition to adhering to the NMHU Student Code of Conduct, students attending classes on another college or university campus are required to follow the Student Code of Conduct for that respective campus.
Resolution to Student Concerns
There might be times when there is a misunderstanding, disagreement or conflict among students, or between a student and a staff member or faculty member. When this occurs, the student is encouraged to follow the steps outlined below to seek informal resolution of his or her concern.
However, if the misunderstanding, disagreement or conflict is as a result of a violation of university policy or procedure, the student has the option of pursuing the steps outlined below, or following the Student Grievance Procedure. If a student believes that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed, or if he or she believes that a fellow student has been discriminated against or harassed, he or she should report that discrimination or harassment to the EEO officer, a department chair, a student adviser, a director, a dean, or campus police.
To resolve a concern, students are encouraged to:
- Write out the problem to help clarify the issue.
- Check with resource people or materials to help clarify the issue.
- Approach the person involved and politely describe their concern(s).
- If the conflict or concern cannot be resolved after talking with the person, take the following steps.
A. For conflicts and concerns related to coursework, the student should:
Step 1. Approach the faculty member involved in the issue and discuss the concern using the necessary documents (i.e. assignments, syllabi, assessments, etc.). If the concern cannot be resolved after discussing the issue with the faculty member, the student may decide to take Step 2.
Step 2. Write a letter to the chair of the department. In the letter, carefully describe the concern or conflict. Also, include appropriate documentation and an explanation of the preferred outcome. If the department chair does not respond within a week, schedule a meeting with the department chair. If the issue cannot be resolved after discussing it with the department chair, consider using Step 3.
A. Students attending NMHU Centers (Farmington, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho) are encouraged to address/document their concern to the center director. In the letter, carefully describe the concern or conflict. Also, include appropriate documentation and an explanation of the preferred outcome. If the center director does not respond within a week, schedule a meeting with the center director. If the issue cannot be resolved after discussing it with the center director, consider using Step 3.
Step 3. Write a letter to the school or college dean. Carefully explain the conflict or concern. Include documentation with the letter and a description of the preferred outcome. If the school or college dean does not respond within a week, schedule an appointment to discuss concerns with the school or college dean. If the issue cannot be resolved by talking with the school or college dean, the student may choose to pursue Step 4.
Step 4. Write a letter to the vice president for academic affairs. Carefully outline the conflict or concern; include the necessary documentation. If the vice president for academic affairs does not respond within a week, schedule an appointment to see the vice president. The decision of the vice president for academic affairs will be final.
Students who are not satisfied with a grade received should use a Student Grade Appeal Form available in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and in the school and college dean’s offices.
B. For conflicts or concerns that are not academic in nature, the student should:
Step 1. Approach the student, staff or faculty member involved and discuss the concern using any needed documents. If the issue cannot be resolved after talking with the person involved, consider taking the next step.
Step 2. Write a letter to the direct supervisor of the person(s) involved in the dispute. In the letter, carefully describe the situation and include appropriate documentation. If the supervisor does not respond within a week, schedule an appointment with the supervisor to discuss the matter. If the conflict or concern cannot be resolved by discussing it with a supervisor, consider taking the next step.
A. Students attending NMHU Centers (Farmington, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho) are encouraged to address/document their concern to the center director. In the letter, carefully describe the concern or conflict. Also, include appropriate documentation and an explanation of the preferred outcome. If the center director does not respond within a week, schedule a meeting with the center director. If the issue cannot be resolved after discussing it with the center director, consider using Step 3.
Step 3. Write a letter to the dean of students. Carefully explain the conflict or concern and include appropriate documentation. The dean may refer the issue to an advisory group. Nonetheless, the decision of the dean of students will be final.
C. For concerns related to campus clubs
Step 1. Meet with the student group involved with the issue. Discuss the concern and support it with related documentation. If the conflict cannot be resolved by talking it over with the group members, consider Step 2.
Step 2. Write a letter to the director of Student Employee Coordinator and carefully describe the conflict or concern. Include appropriate documentation with your letter. The Student Employee Coordinator may make recommendations or impose sanctions on the registered student group.
Step 3. If the concern is not resolved using the first two steps, write a letter to the dean of students. If the dean of students does not respond within a week, schedule an appointment. The decision of the dean of students will be final.
D. What can I do if I am still not satisfied?
Student complaint process for non-distance education students
The New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) has authority to help facilitate resolution to student complaints, only after the student has utilized all internal complaint procedures at the educational institution. Please visit http://www.hed.state.nm.us/students/hed-student-complaint-form.aspx for more information about NMHED’s Student Complaint Process for non-distance education students. Complaints regarding grades and student conduct violations shall not be reviewed by NMHED.
Student complaint process for distance education students
The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that sets national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance education courses and programs. New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) is a NC-SARA approved institution and the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) is the NC-SARA Portal Entity for New Mexico. Distance Education students attending NMHU who would like to resolve a grievance should follow NMHU’s established Student Complaint Process. However, if an issue cannot be resolved internally, you may file a NC-SARA complaint with the New Mexico Higher Education Department. Complaints regarding grades and student conduct violations shall not be reviewed by NMHED. Please visit https://hed.state.nm.us/students-parents/nc-sara for more information.
Worker’s Compensation Procedures
An employee or supervisor must notify the Office of Human Resources immediately of any accident or injury.
1. If an employee is in need of emergency care, he or she must be sent to Alta Vista Regional Hospital. The employee should inform hospital personnel that the injury is work related. (The hospital has our billing information).
2. As soon as practical, the employee must visit with Human Resources so that all necessary paperwork can be completed. Employee should bring all paperwork related to the accident to Human Resources.
If a prescription needs to be filled, employee should have the prescription filled at Plaza Drugs so that there is not a charge. Employee must either keep a copy of the prescription or of the patient instructions attached to the prescription.
Off-Campus NMHU Employees: In case of emergency care, please inform the hospital that this is a worker’s compensation claim (do not give your medical insurance information). Please advise the hospital to contact HR for further instructions. For prescriptions, you will need to pay the copayment and submit the receipt to HR for reimbursement.
Any non-employee injured or involved in an accident on the Highlands campus must be sent to the Purchasing Department as soon as possible to complete all necessary paperwork.
Stolen Items and Other Insurance Claims
Please submit information regarding these claims to the Purchasing Department.
Certificate of Coverage
Request this information from the Purchasing Department.
Student Grievance Procedure
Objective: To provide the timely review of student complaints of a violation of university policy or procedure, including claims of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
1. General Provisions
1.1 The university’s Office of Student Affairs will advise students using this grievance procedure by explaining policies and procedures, providing objectivity to the process, assisting in preventing delays in the process and resolving grievances between the parties, if possible. Where a grievance is based on a claim of discrimination, the affirmative action/EEO officer shall provide such assistance to the grievant.
1.2 Except as provided in Paragraph 2 below, a grievance filed pursuant to this Grievance Procedure shall be in writing and contain a precise statement of the conduct giving rise to the grievance, the policy or procedure that the grievant alleges has been violated, and the specific remedy that the grievant is seeking. The Office of Student Affairs shall only permit the amendment of such written grievance if it determines that the amendment will not prejudice the respondent’s ability to respond to the grievance.
For purposes of this procedure the following definitions will apply:
1.3 The term “grievance” means an allegation that the grievant has been directly affected by a violation of university policy or procedure. If a student has a concern or conflict that does not rise to a violation of university policy or procedure, the student should use the resolution of concerns procedure. A grade appeal is not a “grievance” for the purposes of this grievance procedure. Grade appeals are covered under The Resolution Student Concerns Section A.
1.3.1 The term “grievant” means a person who was a student at the time the conduct giving rise to the grievance took place. A student employee whose complaint arises from conduct taking place during the student’s employment, is not a “grievant” for the purposes of this grievance procedure.
1.3.2 The term “respondent” means another student, a faculty member, a staff member, or the university’s administrative unit against whom a grievance is filed.
1.3.3 The number of “working days” indicated shall mean those days when those administrative offices of the university are open.
1.3.4 Grievances will be handled with reasonable promptness in both the submission and the processing. If the grievant fails to act within the time limits provided herein, the university shall be deem the grievance withdrawn. Time lines may be waived or otherwise established by mutual agreement of the parties or for other justifiable reasons, in the sole discretion of the Office of Student Affairs.
1.3. If a grievance is filed against an employee in the Office of Student Affairs, the president shall designate another employee to fulfill the role of the Office of Student Affairs in paragraphs 3 and 4 below.
2. Reporting Discrimination or Harassment
University policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of a person’s sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
2.1 Persons Who Should Make a Report of Discrimination or Harassment
2.1.1 A student who believes that he or she is being subjected to discrimination or harassment should report the discrimination or harassment.
2.1.2 A report should also be made by any person, including staff, faculty or another student, if that person believes that a student is being subjected to discrimination or harassment.
2.2 Persons to Whom Discrimination or Harassment Should Be Reported
2.2.1 Reports of discrimination or harassment should be reported to the university’s EEO officer, a department chair, a student adviser, a director, a dean, or campus police.
2.2.2 Any department chair, student adviser, director, dean, campus police officer or other employee who receives a complaint of discrimination or harassment must report the complaint to the EEO Officer as soon as possible. The EEO Officer is responsible for coordinating the university’s response to reports of discrimination or harassment. The current EEO Officer is: Ruth Mariampolski, Director of Compliance, 505-454-3363 or email@example.com.
The timeframe for reporting discrimination or harassment shall be 90 calendar days from the date of the discrimination or harassment, not 15 working days as described in Subparagraph 4.2.1 below. Even if this timeframe has passed, the university encourages reports of discrimination or harassment, even if they are no longer eligible to be processed as grievances under this grievance procedure. In addition, the time frames for filing a grievance on the basis of discrimination or harassment may be waived by the EEO Officer for good cause.
Even if this timeframe has passed, the university encourages reports of discrimination or harassment, even if they are no longer eligible to be processed as grievances under this grievance procedure. In addition, the time frames for filing a grievance on the basis of discrimination or harassment may be waived by the AA/EEO officer for good cause.
The university, in its discretion, reserves the right to conduct an investigation into a report of discrimination or harassment, even when the student being discriminated against or harassed requests that the university take no action or refuses to cooperate in the investigation. However, the university’s ability to deal with a report in such circumstances may be limited. In addition, the university may waive the requirements of this grievance procedure or portions of the procedure in cases of discrimination and harassment, including by accepting oral grievances based on discrimination or harassment, and to take immediate and appropriate corrective action as deemed appropriate or necessary. In processing a grievance based on discrimination or harassment, the AA/EEO officer shall fulfill the role of the Office of Student Affairs in the procedures outlined in Paragraph 4 below.
The university will keep its investigation into the report of discrimination or harassment as confidential as possible. The student who might have been discriminated against or harassed, the respondent and individuals interviewed, as part of any investigation will be told that they are to keep the matter confidential.
A student who might have been discriminated against or harassed may request that his or her name not be disclosed to the respondent. A request of this type may limit the university’s ability to respond to the report. However, the university will do its best to honor the request, to the extent possible.
3. Retaliation Prohibited
It is a violation of university policy for any person to retaliate in any way against a student for filing a grievance pursuant to this grievance procedure. Any such retaliatory action should be reported immediately to the Office of Student Affairs. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any person found to have retaliated against a student for filing a grievance pursuant to this grievance procedure.
Prior to the initiation of the grievance process, a student may wish to discuss the conduct giving rise to the grievance on an informal basis. The student may use the process outlined in the Resolution of Student Concerns for this purpose, or consult with the Office of Student Affairs regarding informal conflict resolution.
4.2 Filing a Grievance
4.2.1 Time for Filing. A grievance must be filed in writing on a form provided by the Office of Student Affairs. The grievance should be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs within 15 working days of the date on which the grievant knew or should have known of the conduct giving rise to the grievance.
4.2.2 Content of Grievance. The grievance shall be in writing and contain a precise statement of the conduct giving rise to the grievance, the university policy or procedure that the grievant alleges has been violated, and the specific remedy that the grievant is seeking. Documentation, in the form of facts, circumstances, and the names and addresses of witnesses having information pertinent to the grievance must also be a part of the written grievance.
4.2.3 Response to Grievance. The respondent will submit a written response to the grievance, which addresses each allegation in it and will include any pertinent information supporting his or her response. The respondent’s written response will be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs within ten (10) working days of receipt of the grievance. If the respondent does not submit a written response, the matter will proceed to the investigation stage.
4.2.4 Investigation. The Office of Student Affairs will conduct an investigation into the grievance, or appoint a committee to do so. The investigation will include a review of the materials submitted by parties, witness interviews, if appropriate, and review of any additional materials, either gathered by the investigator or requested from the parties. The grievant and respondent may have an adviser present during any interviews. The adviser may be an attorney. The adviser may not participate in the interview, but may advise the grievant or respondent.
4.2.5 Findings and Recommendations. Upon completion of the investigation, a report will be prepared by the Office of Student Affairs or the committee, that should contain a summary of the information and documents considered during the investigation, findings and recommended actions, if any. The report will be prepared as quickly as possible, preferably within thirty (30) working days after notice is given to the respondent that a complaint has been filed.
4.2.6 Final Decision. The report will be forwarded to the appropriate vice president/Dean of Students or his or her designee for a final decision.
- When the respondent is a student, the report will be forwarded to the dean of students or his or her designee,
- When the respondent is a staff member, the report will be forwarded to the vice president of finance or his or her designee; and,
- When the respondent is a faculty member, the report will be forwarded to the vice president for academic affairs or his or her designee.
The vice president/Dean of Students or his or her designee may accept, modify or reject any findings or recommendations in the report.
If the vice president/Dean of Students decides that disciplinary action against the respondent may be appropriate, the disciplinary action shall be imposed pursuant to the discipline procedures applicable to the respondent.
4.2.7 The grievant and the respondent will be advised of the outcome of the investigation into the grievance after the decision is made by the vice president/Dean of Students or his or her designee.
4.2.8 The timelines in this policy may be extended by the Office of Student Affairs in its sole discretion.
4.2.9 The Office of Student Affairs will maintain the records of the investigation. Other than as required by law, no records, documents or other materials gathered or created during the investigatory process will be released to anyone, including the grievant or respondent.
The decision of the appropriate vice president/Dean of Students is final regarding the merits of the grievance. A respondent may appeal disciplinary action taken against the respondent only as provided for in policies applicable to the respondent.
NMHU Policy on No-Trespass Orders
New Mexico Highlands University generally allows the public at large to use and enjoy the grounds, sidewalks, and certain facilities during posted hours of operation. This general policy is subject to restrictions against trespassing in certain University buildings, athletic fields, and service and maintenance areas. Specific activities such as bicycling, skateboarding, smoking, having pets, and the erecting of symbolic structures may also be restricted by the terms of other specific University policies or rules. In addition, access may be denied to persons or groups seeking the use of space already reserved for the use of others or space reserved by the University for non-public purposes. When a person’s or group’s actions violate civil or criminal laws or University policy or pose a threat to the health, safety, welfare, or academic experience of members of the University community, that person or group may be denied access to all or part of campus through issuance of a written No-Trespass Order.
Reason for the Policy
The University does not condone behaviors that violate civil or criminal laws (e.g., laws governing disorderly conduct, harassment, stalking, excessive noise), nor does the University condone behaviors that pose a threat to the health, safety, welfare, or academic experience of members of the University community. Individuals who, through their behavior or words, create significant disruption or engage in or threaten personal harm or the destruction of property may have their access to University property, buildings, equipment, or campus areas restricted or denied.
This policy supports the following goals and objectives in the University’s Strategic Plan:
- Strategic Goal II: Promote a respectful and stimulating living and learning environment.
- Objective II.A Maintain an environment at NMHU that fosters integrity, respect, tolerance, inclusion, and fairness.
- Objective II.B. Create a safe and secure work and learning environment
- Objective II.B.6. Establish a central clearinghouse for all security/safety related procedures.
- Strategic Goal IV: Develop effective and efficient academic and administrative processes, systems, and structures that support continuous improvement.
- Objective IV.A: Implement a process of continuous academic and administrative improvement to attain the highest possible level of performance, program delivery, and productivity from University personnel.
Applicability of the Policy
This policy governs exclusion from all University premises, including land, buildings, facilities, and other property owned or leased by New Mexico Highlands University as well as exclusion from university-sponsored activities.
The NMHU Student Handbook allows for disciplinary restrictions to be imposed as part of the student disciplinary process. To the extent possible, restrictions from campus, activities, or privileges pertaining to students (whether entirely or for specific areas of campus and/or for a specified timeframe) shall be communicated in notices of disciplinary action to students for cases adjudicated through the student disciplinary process involving the Dean of Students Office. Similarly, separation from the university for employees who violate University policy may involve language in the separation letter that provides restrictions or prohibitions from University premises. This policy allows for such communication to take place independent of a No-Trespass Order as well as for No-Trespass Orders to be issued along with other notices.
There may be instances where it is necessary to issue a No-Trespass Order to individuals who have no apparent connection to the university. The University reserves the right, through authorized officials, to issue No-Trespass Orders to any individual, whether or not they are affiliated with the university. This policy is applicable, then, to all persons including faculty, staff, former staff, students, former students, visitors, and guests.
The following are examples of behaviors that may result in the issuance of a No-Trespass Order. In most instances, the No-Trespass Order can be issued regardless of whether or not the offensive behavior or violation of law occurred on campus since even off campus incidents can cause a hostile environment on campus. Examples e and f below necessarily involve on-campus incidents.
a. Offenses Against Persons (e.g., physical harm, non-physical abuse, sexual assault, stalking).
b. Public Order/University Order Offenses (e.g., possession, use, display or threatened use of weapons, creating a safety hazard, indecent exposure).
c. Violations of law or University Policies (e.g., possession, consumption, and/or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol).
d. Property Offenses (e.g., destroying or vandalizing property, unauthorized access of property, unauthorized or inappropriate use of property).
e. Individuals with no university affiliation who are disorderly or who disrupt university operations (community members not enrolled at the university who are disorderly on university premises; a fan at a university-sponsored athletic event who is unruly with players, coaches, officials or other fans).
f. Individuals who have been separated from the university for academic, disciplinary, or job-related reasons (e.g. a student that has been expelled for violating the student code of conduct, an employee who has been terminated for violating university policies).
A No-Trespass Order is a written directive sent by authorized University officials by letter or e-mail that notifies an individual that he or she is prohibited from entering the University campus or some particular portion of it. The order may also be hand-delivered to an individual by the University’s Campus Police Department, notifying that individual that he or she is prohibited from entering the University campus or some particular portion of it.
Authorized University Officials means those officials who are authorized to issue a No-Trespass Order by virtue of their institutional responsibility. For the purposes of this policy, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, Dean of Students, are authorized to issue No-Trespass Orders at New Mexico Highlands University. In addition, Center Directors are also recognized as authorized university officials allowed to issue No- Trespass Orders at their respective Centers.
Trespassing occurs when a person enters or remains on University premises after an authorized University official or sworn police officer notifies that person orally or in writing that his or her entry or presence is prohibited. Trespassing also occurs when a person enters or remains on University premises bearing a posted sign or placard prohibiting that person’s presence in that place.
Designation of Restricted Areas
University departments seeking to restrict access to University property or facilities under their control should contact Campus Police for issues relating to use and access, and/or the Facilities Department for appropriate signage.
Reporting a Potential Instance of Threatening or Disruptive Behavior
University officials may ask individuals or groups to leave University premises if they engage in behavior that warrants removal under this policy. Those officials may call Campus Police if the individuals or groups refuse or fail to cooperate.
Members of the campus community should contact Campus Police if they believe that a group or individual is engaging in behavior that warrants removal under this policy.
Issuance of No-Trespass Orders
The Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Dean of Students, and Center Directors are recognized as university officials authorized to issue No-Trespass Orders. The Human Resources Director, Athletic Director, and other university officials (i.e., Wilson Complex, Ilfeld Auditorium, New Student Center building managers, Library Director) or their designees may temporarily remove individuals from university property or events under their jurisdiction when violations of university policies take place. Even temporary restrictions shall be reported in writing to the Dean of Students if the incident involves a student or to the Vice President of Finance and Administration for all others. If the building manager or administrator wishes to make the removal permanent, they shall notify an authorized official (VP for Finance and Administration, Dean of Students, or Center Director) and provide justification for the temporary removal to become a No-Trespass Order. The authorized official will decide if a formal No-Trespass Order shall be issued. Once again, the No-Trespass Order shall be issued by authorized university officials in writing and will require individuals or groups to vacate University premises because of behavior that violates civil or criminal laws or University policy or poses a threat to the health, safety, welfare, or academic experience of members of the University community.
Each No-Trespass Order shall be in writing and specify the reason for the prohibition, the specific alleged violation of law or policy leading to the Order, the scope and duration of the prohibition/restriction, the potential consequences of the violation of the prohibition, and the appeal avenues (if any) available to the excluded individual.
The scope and other stipulations of the No-Trespass Order shall be proportional to the underlying misconduct and can be broadly tailored to protect the University community from that misconduct. Typically, unless stated otherwise in the Order, duration of the No-Trespass Order is such that the Order shall remain in full effect until modified in writing by the President, Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Dean of Students, or Center Director.
Copies of all No-Trespass Orders shall be kept on file with Campus Police and the University President’s Office. Informal notices of No-Trespass Orders issued shall be provided to building managers and administrators by authorized university officials that clarify who is restricted from campus and what steps should be followed for suspected violations of the No-Trespass Orders. Similarly, modifications or dismissals of No-Trespass Orders shall also be communicated by authorized university officials.
Issuance by Police
Sworn officers from Campus Police may ask individuals or groups to vacate University premises because of behavior that violates civil or criminal laws or University policy or poses a threat to the health, safety, welfare, or academic experience of members of the University community at any time during the course of their normal duties without having to obtain a formal written No- Trespass Order as outlined above. In addition, Campus Police Officers who have detained or removed a person from campus in the course of their legitimate law enforcement activities may consult with the Chief of Police, who will then recommend to an authorized official if a No-Trespass Order should be issued and documented on file.
Individuals may appeal No-Trespass Orders issued by authorized officials (VP for Finance and Administration, Dean of Students, and Center Directors) by submitting a written appeal request to the authorized official who issued the No-Trespass Order within five working days of receipt of the No-Trespass Order. Because restrictions to campus are in place, individuals must submit their written appeal request remotely (either e-mail or regular mail). Appeal requests received after five working days will not be considered and the No-Trespass Orders shall remain in full effect. The authorized official shall refer the appeal to the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate within five working days of receipt of the appeal request.
In the written appeal request, the basis of the appeal should be stated as precisely as possible. The following bases of appeal may be considered:
- A compelling reason (e.g., to attend class) for needing access to the specific area from which one has been excluded. In the letter of appeal, the location and time of desired access, the reason for access, and the name (if applicable) of a University contact person to verify the need for access should be included. For example, a student issued a No- Trespass Order for misconduct in the Wilson Complex during intramurals and who is taking a class in the Wilson Complex, may appeal to modify the Order to allow him or her the opportunity to access the Wilson Complex for purposes of attending that class.
- A clear abuse of discretion by the official who authorized or issued the No-Trespass Order.
- New information or evidence related to the incident or circumstances around the issuance of the No-Trespass Order.
- When an appeal request is referred by an authorized university official to the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate, a Hearing shall be scheduled within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request for an appeal.
- When a hearing is held, the restricted individual and the authorized university official who issued the No-Trespass Order shall be given a minimum of five working days written notice prior to the hearing.
- Two working days prior to the hearing, the restricted individual and the authorized university official shall submit to the hearing committee chairperson and to the other party, a list of witnesses, and copies of any documents submitted as evidence at the hearing. Statements of absent witnesses may be submitted in lieu of testimony at the hearing, so long as the other party is notified at least three working days prior to the hearing of the name of the witness and that witness makes himself or herself available for an interview by the other party and additional statement, if requested.
- If two or more individuals are issued a No-Trespass Order in the same incident and two or more request a hearing as a result of the No-Trespass Order imposed, the Hearing Committee may hold a joint hearing in the matter.
- The hearing will be closed. The restricted individual and the authorized university official may attend the hearing. Witnesses will attend only for the purposes of their testimony.
- The hearing will be informal in nature; strict rules of evidence do not apply. However, the hearing chairperson may exclude evidence that is irrelevant or duplicative.
- The authorized university official who issued the No-Trespass Order has the burden of proof at the hearing to demonstrate that the No-Trespass Order imposed was reasonable.
- The restricted individual and the authorized university official have the right to the following:
- Be present at the hearing; however, if either or both the restricted individual and the authorized university official fail to appear at the hearing, the hearing will be held in either or both of their absences.
- Present evidence by their own testimony, by witness, or by official written statement from a witness, if that witness is unable to attend the hearing, under conditions stated above. It is the responsibility of the restricted individual and the authorized university official to notify their witnesses of the date, time and place of the hearing. If witnesses fail to appear, the hearing will be held in their absence.
- Bring one adviser to the hearing. The adviser, however, may only participate in providing advice. The adviser may not participate in the hearing itself, examinations or the presentation of information or materials to the hearing committee, unless asked to do so by the hearing committee. It is the responsibility of the restricted individual and the authorized university official to notify the adviser of the date, time and place of the hearing. If an adviser fails to appear, the hearing shall take place in his or her absence.
- Question all witnesses
9. The following procedures shall be followed in administrative hearings:
- Welcome by the hearing committee chairperson
- Recognition of the parties present
- Reading of allegations
- Opening statement by the authorized university official
- Opening statement by the restricted individual
- Testimony of the authorized university official’s witnesses, including cross-examination by the restricted individual and questions by hearing committee members
- Testimony of the restricted individual’s witnesses, including cross-examination by the authorized university official and questions by hearing committee members
- Rebuttal evidence presented by the authorized university official, if any, to address issues raised by the restricted individual’s witnesses
- Rebuttal evidence presented by the restricted individual if any, to address issues raised by the authorized university official’s rebuttal evidence
- Closing remarks from the authorized university official
- Closing remarks from the restricted individual
- Closing statements by the Hearing Committee chairperson
- Adjournment of the hearing
A verbatim record (either by written transcript or tape recording) shall be made of all evidence introduced at the hearing. This verbatim record shall be maintained for a period of one year after hearing.
10. The hearing committee shall deliberate following the hearing.
Unless there is reasonable cause for delay, a written copy of the committee’s recommendation and the record will be sent to the university president within five working days. The recommendation shall be copied to the restricted individual and the authorized university official.
The university president shall receive the recommendation of the hearing committee and may either accept it, modify it or reject it. He or she shall notify the restricted individual, the authorized university official and the hearing committee chairperson of his decision in writing. If the No-Trespass Order is upheld, a copy of the No-Trespass Order shall be provided to Campus Police. The president’s decision shall be final.
Disclosure to Affected Parties
If the original No-Trespass Order included a condition of no contact with a particular individual or particular area of campus and there is a modification to or repeal of the No-Trespass Order on appeal, the aggrieved person or persons and other University officials as appropriate will be notified of the appeal decision.
Reporting a Potential Violation of a No-Trespass Order
Members of the University community should contact Campus Police if they believe that an individual or group is present on campus in violation of a No-Trespass Order.
Consequences of Violation of a No-Trespass Order
A current University student or employee who violates a No-Trespass Order may face disciplinary consequences up to and including dismissal. Disciplinary procedures shall be as set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, the applicable staff or faculty handbook, or the applicable collective bargaining agreement for represented employees. All persons who violate No-Trespass Orders may also face prosecution for unlawful trespass under New Mexico law, NMSA 1978 Section 30-14-1 and 30-20-13, punishable by imprisonment or a fine or both.
Students may not be solicited, nor solicit, at any time during working hours, except when it is conducted by a University Organization. For the purpose of this policy, solicitation includes, but is not limited to, electioneering of any king.
Policy for use of Campus Facilities
The purpose of this policy is to explain when and how university and non-university individual(s)/organizations(s) may arrange for the use of University property and facilities.
This policy applies to the use of University facilities, grounds and property that the university holds jurisdiction, title, or right.
Limitations for Use of University Facilities
The University’s primary mission is to provide access to its facilities for students, faculty, staff and on occasion the general public. The University shall take all appropriate steps to reduce the risk to property and persons. Therefore, at the sole discretion of the University, the university may deny the use of university facilities for any reason up to but not limited to the following reasons:
- The event poses undue risk to the facilities, property
- The projected occupancy of the event exceeds the capacity of the requested facility
- May result in the violation of University policies, federal and state laws or local ordinances
- And any other risk that could result in potential harm to the health, safety and wellbeing of participants, student, faculty, and staff
General Administrative Guidelines
The Office of University Relations is the first point of contact for the use of all University facilities, including classrooms and is authorized to grant approval. To reserve facilities contact the Community Liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 505-454-3387 (Do not contact the Registrar’s Office or a specific department to reserve a classroom.)
Interested parties may arrange to have their event catered by NMHU’s food service vendor, or parties may elect to have an event catered by an off-campus licensed food service vendor.
Process for Requesting a Facility
All individual(s)/organization(s) interested in using university facilities are required to complete a Facilities Request (FR) Form. The individual signing the form must have authority to bind the individual(s)/organization(s) into the terms and conditions of the FR form, NMHU’s policies and procedures, federal, state, and local ordinances. A signed FR form does not guarantee the facility is reserved or that the proposed dates are secured until the form has been reviewed and duly authorized by NMHU personnel. It is incumbent that the authorizing individual(s)/organization(s) reads and acknowledges the terms and conditions of the FR form. NMHU has the right to request additional information in order to duly commit the University to the agreement. Misrepresentation of any event information may result in the denial of any future requests.
All individual(s)/organization(s) must submit a completed application, proof of liability insurance if applicable, together with the rental fee at least 14 calendar days prior to the scheduled event. Failure to submit a complete application, as stated above, may result in the loss of the reservation. A late fee will be assessed to all on and off-campus individual(s)/organization(s) that do not file the completed application on time.
If the requester decides to cancel an event after having completed the application and submission of the rental fee, written notification of the cancellation must be provided to the Office of University Relations Community Liaison. If the reservation is not cancelled 14 calendar days prior to the scheduled event, the requester forfeits the rental fee.
At the sole discretion of the University, the university has a right to cancel the agreement in whole or in part 45 calendar days prior to the event, with or without cause, with no obligation to reimburse the organization for any cost or expenses incurred as a result of cancellations or other acts by NMHU employees, except for an earnest payment(s).
The University reserves the right to assess facilities use fees. Current facilities use fees can be found directly from Community Liaison at email@example.com or by phone at 505-454-3387, and on the Request for Use of University Facilities page.
Waiver of Facilities Usage Fees
Only NMHU chartered groups/organizations, faculty/staff, and/or departments are allowed to use facilities free of charge. Their right to use facilities free of charge is limited to academic events or other uses that are directly related to the university’s mission. University organizations and departments are not allowed to extend their allowance to use facilities free of charge to non-university Individual(s)/organization(s) by cosponsoring events, unless the event is clearly related to the university’s mission.
Responsibilities of the User(s)
All parties using university facilities are responsible for cleaning the facilities and equipment after use. Failure to abide by these provisions may result in the assessment of additional fees.
The Office of University Relations, in consultation with the Dean of Students, is authorized to develop procedures to implement this policy. Procedures are subject to change.