The UCR Student Conduct Saga

The Student Conduct Office at UCR has a fairly terrible reputation already, but I would like to make available for everyone the exact details of their abuse in my case.

We begin with an email from Kyle McStay on August 5, subject line “Student Conduct – Notice of Interim Suspension”. Below is the text of the email:

“August 05, 2021

Nichi Yes
1181 Minerva Ct.
Riverside, California 92507

STUDENT ID # 862004338

RE: NOTICE OF INTERIM MODIFIED SUSPENSION AND NOTICE TO SCHEDULE AND ATTEND AN ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

Dear Nichi,

Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs has received a report that indicates your alleged involvement in an incident that occurred on August 02, 2021, at Bannockburn #[redacted-nichi]. A summary of the incident and the specific policies of the University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students of which you may have been in violation are listed below:

Our office received a report from UCPD which stated that you engaged in physical abuse against another student, including that you “punched” and “scratched” the other student, “causing visible injuries to right eye, left shoulder, and left chest,” and that you “spit in face.” It was further reported by UCPD that you were seen on Ring camera footage kicking and damaging a car on Campus View Drive several days ago.

Policy Allegedly Violated:

  • University Policy/102.04 – Theft of, conversion of, destruction of, or damage to any property of the University, or any property of others while on University premises, or possession of any property when the student had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge that it was stolen.
  • University Policy/102.14 – Disorderly or lewd conduct.
  • University Policy/102.08 – Physical abuse including but not limited to physical assault; threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person. 

In light of the seriousness of your behavior and the ongoing disruption your conduct poses to others in the University community, you are hereby placed on MODIFIED INTERIM SUSPENSION pending a resolution of these alleged policy violations at the direction of Dr. Brian L. Haynes, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

As a result of your alleged involvement with this incident, you must comply with the following as described in the UC Systemwide Standards of Conduct for Students: Section 105.08 – Interim Suspension.Section 105.8 defines Interim Suspension as follows:

Exclusion from classes or from other specified activities or areas of the campus, as set forth in the Notice of Interim Suspension, before final determination of an alleged violation. A student shall be restricted only to the minimum extent necessary when there is reasonable cause to believe that the student’s participation in University activities or presence at specified areas of the campus will lead to physical abuse, threats of violence, or conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person on University property or at official University functions, or other disruptive activity incompatible with the orderly operation of the campus.

A student placed on Interim Suspension shall be given prompt notice of the charges, the duration of the Interim Suspension, and the opportunity for a prompt hearing on the Interim Suspension.  If a student is found to have been unjustifiably placed on Interim Suspension, the University is committed to a policy whereby reasonable efforts are taken to assist an individual who has been disadvantaged with respect to employment or academic status.

During your Modified Interim Suspension you are not allowed to be present in any UCR Housing facilities without prior written permission from Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs. Please be aware that failure to comply with the terms of this Interim Suspension may result in further disciplinary action, including imposition of Full Interim Suspension which would likely interfere with your ability to participate in academic work or other University activities, even if offered remotely.

Until you have resolved this matter with Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Programs, you are restricted from instigating any further contact or communication (physical, verbal, written, email, Instant Message, etc.) with [redacted], also involved with this incident. This includes having others intercede on your behalf with the above-mentioned individual(s). This restriction will go into effect immediately and will remain active until you receive further notification of the removal of the restriction. Your failure to comply with this Interim Loss of Privileges may result in an additional violation of Section 102.16: Failure to Comply with the Directions of a University OfficialPlease also be aware that [redacted] has been given the same directive not to contact you in any way until this matter has been resolved. If you are contacted by that individual, please notify SCAIP immediately.

Please also note that given the nature of this incident, it may be investigated by the Title IX Office if they receive information which indicates your behavior may have violated the University’s SVSH Policy. If the Title IX Office does receive such information, they will contact you about next steps.

In an effort to clarify your involvement in this incident, you are required to schedule a meeting with me within 5 days of the date of this letter to discuss the allegations against you and to assist in the determination if further University action will be necessary. Please email your Name, Student ID #, and your availability for the week to conduct@ucr.edu and we will respond back with an appointment date and time, along with a Zoom link for the meeting. It is imperative that you attend the meeting by August 19, 2021

Should you fail to schedule and/or appear for your meeting with SCAIP, we may take unilateral disciplinary action and/or place an Administrative Hold on your academic records as described in the UCR Administration of Standards of Conduct: Section 6.00 Adjudication of Complaints – Sub-section 6.30 Unilateral Disciplinary Action. This Administrative Hold will restrict your ability to register for classes and conduct other transactions with the University. Please be advised that a Transcript Hold has been placed on your student records in accordance with PACAOS 104.81 and will remain on your records until the conduct process has been fully resolved, including the completion of any assigned sanctions. This hold will prevent you from obtaining copies of your transcripts but will not interfere in any other University processes. Please also be advised that graduating students may have an Administrative Hold placed on their records, pending the resolution of the case and/or completion of sanctions.

The facts outlined in this Notice evidence a disruption of the orderly operation of the University of California, Riverside (“UCR”) campus. Consequently, pursuant to California Penal Code Section 626.4, consent to remain on the UCR campus or other facility under the control of UCR (specifically University owned or operated Housing facilities) is withdrawn for as long as is allowable by law. Failure to abide by this notice may result in a fine and/or imprisonment.

You are also entitled to a timely review of your Interim Suspension status with Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Programs. The purpose of this meeting is to assist in the determination if the Interim Suspension will remain in place for the duration of the investigation and adjudication, or be modified in any way. If you would like to meet to review your Interim Suspension status, please email conduct@ucr.edu to schedule a meeting with Tasha Yules, Director of SCAIP.

You are encouraged to become familiar with the UCR Administration of Standards of Conduct and related policy sections available online at the Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs website at go.ucr.edu/conduct. This document also describes the University’s jurisdiction regarding students who are not presently registered. Paper copies are available upon request at Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs. This will help you prepare for your meeting(s) by providing you with information on your rights, descriptions of the policies, and possible sanctions which may be administered through the investigative and conduct process. You have the right to have an advisor with you throughout the conduct process. As a University of California, Riverside student, you are required to follow all University policies.

If you have questions about this letter, including requests for temporary removal of holds, you may contact me at conduct@ucr.edu.

Sincerely,
Kyle McStay
Assistant Director
Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs
University of California, Riverside

cc: FILE
John Freese, Interim Chief of Police, UCPD
Christine Victorino, Ph.D., Associate Chancellor
Christine Mata, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor Student Affairs / Dean of Students
Brian L. Haynes, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor Student Affairs
Tasha Yules, Director, Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs
Laurie Lee, Interim Director, Student Affairs Case Management”

I redacted the address and name of the victim for obvious reason.

Attached was this PDF:

My email, on August 11, to the conduct office:

“Greetings,

Kyle McStay has informed me of my modified interim suspension and requirement to schedule a meeting. My name, as registered, is Nichole Smith, though the email was addressed to my preferred name, Nichi Yes, my student ID # is 862004338, and I am available broadly for the following week, except for 8/16 at 1pm and 8/19 at 9am and 3pm. 

regards

Nichi Yes
University of California, Riverside
Philosophy Department, Graduate Student
Graduate Student Association, President
nichiyes.com
951-723-5089
nichi@nichiyes.com
(she/her)”

The response:

“Hello,

Just to clarify, you want to schedule a meeting with Kyle to discuss the incident? If you want to discuss the interim suspension, we will schedule a meeting with the Director, Tasha. We can also schedule for both meetings if you prefer.

Thank you,

Crystal Miller
Conduct Assistant
Student Conduct
University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
111 Costo Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

(951) 827-4208 | cmiller@ucr.edu | conduct.ucr.edu

I confirmed, and received an email in response:

“Hello,

I scheduled a Zoom meeting with Kyle on 8/17 at 11:00am.

Zoom link: https://ucr.zoom.us/my/kylemc

In a later email from Kyle McStay, on Friday September 10, subject line “Student Conduct – Notice to Schedule and Appear for an Administrative Review Meeting”, another charge was added. The text is below:

“September 10, 2021

Nichi Yes

STUDENT ID # 862004338

Notice to Schedule and Appear for an Administrative Review Meeting

Dear Nichi,

Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs (SCAIP) has received a report indicating your alleged involvement in misconduct. As a result, an Administrative Review process has begun. The Administrative Review is your opportunity to provide information which clarifies your involvement or contributes to SCAIP’s resolution of the situation. SCAIP seeks to review the University’s expectations with you, as well as to determine what outcomes may be necessary to uphold our University’s mission and to support your needs as an individual member of our community.

Date: February 22, 2021
Location: UCRPD Building
Summary of Incident(s): It was reported that you may have been the individual who vandalized the UCPD station on 2/22/21. In an email on 03/19/2021, to the Campus Safety Taskforce you made statements about the vandalism of UCRPD including details that allegedly only the suspect would know.

Alleged Violation(s) of University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students:

University Policy/102.04 – Theft of, conversion of, destruction of, or damage to any property of the University, or any property of others while on University premises, or possession of any property when the student had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge that it was stolen.

Please email conduct@ucr.edu within 3 business days of the date of this notice to schedule your Administrative Review meeting. In your response, please provide your Name, Student ID #, and your availability, with at least three specific days and times in the next two weeks, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00AM and 5:00PM, to schedule a meeting. We will respond back with an appointment date and time, along with a Zoom link for the meeting.

Conduct Administrator: Kyle McStay
Meeting Location: Until further notice, meetings will be occurring via Zoom
Meeting Deadline: September 24, 2021

While the University prefers your active participation in this process, failure to respond will result in SCAIP deciding your case without the benefit of your input or placing an Administrative Hold on your account which will prevent you from registering and conducting other transactions with the University. Please be advised that a Transcript Hold has been placed on your student records in accordance with PACAOS 104.81, and will remain on your records until the conduct process has been fully resolved, including the completion of any assigned sanctions. This hold will prevent you from obtaining copies of your transcripts, but will not interfere in any other University processes. Please also note that graduating students will have an Administrative Hold, including a degree hold, placed on their records pending the resolution of the case and/or completion of sanctions.

Please also note that we will discuss updates to your other pending conduct matter during this meeting as well.  

If you require disability accommodations, please contact SCAIP as soon as possible, at least a week before your appointment deadline. Please be aware the accommodation process may delay your appointment. For more information about the Administrative Review process and UCR’S Administration of Standards of Conduct, please refer to the attached FAQ and visit go.ucr.edu/conduct. Please note, due to the University shift to remote operation, as noted in the Administration of the Standards of Conduct 5.0.1, the Dean of Students has determined this qualifies as “unusual circumstances” and hard copy notices of letters are not being sent.

If you have any questions, need additional information, need temporary removal of holds, or have concerns regarding attending your Administrative Review, please contact SCAIP at conduct@ucr.edu.

Respectfully,



Kyle McStay
Assistant Director
Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs
University of California, Riverside

cc: FILE”

On October 22, in an email titled “Student Conduct – Case Referral to Student Conduct Committee for Review”, Kyle sent:

“October 22, 2021

Nichi Yes

STUDENT ID #862004338

RE: CASE REFERRAL TO STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE FOR REVIEW

Dear Nichi,

Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs (SCAIP) has received several reports indicating your alleged involvement in misconduct:

Date: February 22, 2021
Location: UCRPD Building
Summary of Incident(s): It was reported that you may have been the individual who vandalized the UCPD station on 2/22/21. In an email on 03/19/2021, to the Campus Safety Taskforce you made statements about the vandalism of UCRPD including details that allegedly only the suspect would know.

Date: August 02, 2021
Location: Bannockburn
Summary of Incident(s):Our office received a report from UCPD which stated that you engaged in physical abuse against another student, including that you “punched” and “scratched” the other student, “causing visible injuries to right eye, left shoulder, and left chest,” and that you “spit in face.” It was further reported by UCPD that you were seen on Ring camera footage kicking and damaging a car on Campus View Drive.

Based upon the review of the facts of the specific violation(s) you were allegedly involved in and the information you provided in your meeting regarding the incident, there is sufficient information to refer this case to the Student Conduct Committee for review for alleged violation(s) of University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students for:

University Policy/102.04 – Theft of, conversion of, destruction of, or damage to any property of the University, or any property of others while on University premises, or possession of any property when the student had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge that it was stolen.

University Policy/102.14 – Disorderly or lewd conduct.

University Policy/102.08 – Physical abuse including but not limited to physical assault; threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person.

A packet of information containing copies of all documentary evidence to be presented to the committee, as well as a summary of that evidence, will be sent to you no later than three business days prior to the hearing.

My role in the hearing will be to present the information I gathered during my investigation, and to answer questions about that information from both the committee members and you.

A Student Conduct Committee Review has been scheduled for you:
Meeting Location: Until further notice, meetings will be occurring via Zoom
Meeting Date and Time: October 29, 2021, 12:00 PM

Please contact SCAIP at (951) 827-4208 to schedule a Pre-Committee Review Conference in advance of your Committee Review date. The purpose of the Pre-Committee Review Conference is to explain and clarify your rights, the processes, and the procedures in the Student Conduct Committee Review..

If you would like to be present for your Committee Review and are unable to appear for at the scheduled date, time, and place of the Review, you may request to reschedule the Review. Requests for rescheduling a Review must be directed via email to conduct@ucr.edu with a statement of the grounds for the request and must be submitted at least two (2) working days prior to the scheduled Committee Review. The request will be considered, but rescheduling is not automatic.

If you require disability accommodations, please contact SCAIP as soon as possible, at least a week before your Review. Please be aware the accommodation process may delay your Review. For more information about this Committee Review process and the Academic Senate Bylaws Governing Academic Integrity, please refer to UCR’s Conduct Policies at https://conduct.ucr.edu/for-students/for-students.

If you have any questions, need additional information, or have concerns regarding attending your Committee Review, please contact SCAIP at (951) 827-4208.

Respectfully,
Kyle McStay
Assistant Director
Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs
University of California, Riverside”

Finally, now, we get to the hearing packet. This is the information that was presented to the committee that decided to suspend me. The email read:

October 26, 2021
Nichi Yes
STUDENT ID # 862004338

Committee Hearing Packet Attached

Dear Nichi,

The information packet which will be used by the committee at the hearing on October 29, 2021, at 12 PM is attached.

Here is the zoom information for the hearing: 

https://ucr.zoom.us/j/93363635860?pwd=QWdlRGJBQVBkazZqdVpzbW9JU3JrUT09

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs at conduct@ucr.edu.

Respectfully,
Kyle McStay
Assistant Director
Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs
University of California, Riverside

cc: FILE”

The packet is in the PDF below.

In a follow-up email, Kyle wrote:

“October 27, 2021

Nichi Yes

STUDENT ID # 862004338

Updated Committee Hearing Packet

Dear Nichi,

Attached is the updated hearing packet for use at the hearing on Friday, October 29, 2021, at 12 PM. Typically the packets begin with the referral to committee notice to help orient the committee, but I accidentally left that out of yesterday’s packet. I have added it in and updated the table of contents and page numbers to reflect that addition.

The link for the hearing remains the same: 

https://ucr.zoom.us/j/93363635860?pwd=QWdlRGJBQVBkazZqdVpzbW9JU3JrUT09

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs at conduct@ucr.edu.

Respectfully,
Kyle McStay
Assistant Director
Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs
University of California, Riverside

cc: FILE”

The attached packet is below.

Following this I had the hearing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a copy of the recording. To summarize, it was a shallow survey of the evidence, some loaded questions, and a rather odd ritual to see unfold over Zoom. They use the word “investigation” extremely loosely.

The next email was the “Unofficial Hearing Outcome” from Kyle:

“Hi Nichi,

The committee assigned Disciplinary Suspension for 3 quarters + summer 2022, to include this quarter, which would make you eligible to return in Fall 2022. There are also some other sanctions, including continuing to work with case management, but I don’t have the details on those. As I said before, nothing is official until you get the letter from the chair, and then you can begin the appeal process if you choose.  

Best,

Kyle McStay, M.A. (he/him/his)

Assistant Director, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Programs

University of California, Riverside

900 University Ave, 111 Costo Hall, Riverside, CA 92521″

On November 17 I get an email from Karen Lopez, subject line “Student Conduct – Committee Decision”. It reads:

On behalf of Helia Aval, Chair, Student Conduct Committee

CONFIDENTIAL

November 17, 2021

Nichi Yes

STUDENT ID #862004338

Re: Student Conduct Committee Decision and Sanctions

Dear Nichi,

On October 22, 2021, you were notified that your case had been referred to the Student Conduct Committee (SCC). The SCC met on October 29, 2021, to hear allegations that you had been involved in social misconduct.

A summary of the incidents and specific policies of the University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students that you allegedly violated are listed below:

Date: February 22, 2021

Location UCRPD Building

Summary of Incident(s): It was reported that you may have been the individual who vandalized the UCPD station on 2/22/21. In an email on 03/19/2021, to the Campus Safety Taskforce you made statements about the vandalism of UCRPD including details that allegedly only the suspect would know.

Date: August 02, 2021

Location: Bannockburn

Summary of Incident(s): Our office received a report from UCPD which stated that you engaged in physical abuse against another student, including that you “punched” and “scratched” the other student, “causing visible injuries to right eye, left shoulder, and left chest,” and that you “spit in face.” It was further reported by UCPD that you were seen on Ring camera footage kicking and damaging a car on Campus View Drive.

Policy # and TitlePolicy DefinitionStatement of ResponsibilitySCC Finding
102.04Theft of, conversion of, destruction of, or damage to any property of the University, or any property of others while on University premises, or possession of any property when the student had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge that it was stolenNot ResponsibleResponsible
102.14Disorderly or lewd conductResponsible with Mitigating CircumstancesResponsible
102.08Physical abuse including but not limited to physical assault; threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any personResponsible with Mitigating CircumstancesResponsible

Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Programs (SCAIP) Assistant Director Kyle McStay shared the following key points regarding these incidents with the committee:

According to the Student Incident Summary we received from UCPD on February 22, 2021, an unknown individual vandalized the UCPD building and sign by writing “Defund the Police” on the granite sign, as well as what was described as an anti-police slogan” on the glass window next to the door of the building. The same person then returned a short time later and threw rocks at the glass, causing damage. The SIS noted the suspected person “looked similar to Nichi Yes,” and that Nichi later made statements in an email thread which contained information not released to the public, leading UCPD to suspect Nichi was the person responsible.

In an email thread related to her duties as a member of the Campus Safety Taskforce on March 18 and 19, Nichi called attention to the February vandalism and attached photos of the granite sign, which she enhanced so the vandalism could be seen more clearly. In the email, Nichi wrote: “Talking with other students, I’ve gathered there was also a bunch written on the front door shaming the police. I went to see, but it looks like they must have removed both. Considerate a choice as washable marker is, it’s worrisome for the safety of the labs with valuable stealables as well as the dorms, both with much less securely-constructed buildings, that the current main campus safety defense is instead the police whose response time is presumably worse to places other than their own department.” The information that the window had also been vandalized was never released to the public, nor was any information on what was used to do the vandalism, i.e., washable marker.

In my meeting with Nichi, she stated she has no direct knowledge of the vandalism beyond what is visible in her photos. She stated she was told about the vandalism and went for a walk to see it for herself, but she did not go up to the door. She said she heard about the vandalism from students she talked to in her capacity as GSA president. Nichi also stated the individual in the PD flyer (also not released to the public) is not her. Nichi stated that her comment about washable marker is a direct response to the previous statement in the email chain, from Miriam Lam, who wrote: “Perhaps if it was in marker rather than etching, custodial staff may have already removed it.” Nichi stated she had no direct knowledge of the implement used to write the slogans.

In my meeting with John Freese, Interim Chief of Police, he stated multiple things led UCPD to believe Nichi was the responsible party: There was a task force meeting where Nichi “blew up” and recused herself from attending further meetings; the vandalism occurred that night or the next night. In the email thread, Nichi displays knowledge that the glass window was also vandalized despite that information not being released to the public and that it was removed quickly. PD feels the person in the internal flyer resembles Nichi.

You were then provided the opportunity to share your perspective with the committee. You stated that there was a meeting where another graduate student task force member recused themselves, but it was not you, nor did you do anything that constituted “blowing up.” You noted that your comment on the washable marker was you “being snarky” and was based on a comment made by another task force member directly preceding yours in the thread. As a part of the Campus Safety Taskforce, you described how you made various recommendations to UCPD and the Chancellor about how to change campus safety, and that when any given threat within any given month arose, you would let each other know about it. You clarified then that at the meeting referenced above you gave one minute “pitches” to the Chancellor summarizing your work, and you gave a “somewhat impassioned” speech about some changes to campus safety and that you recall Interim Chief Freese “tearing up,” which may have been what Freese negatively perceived as a “blow up.” You also noted that you never recused yourself nor did you stop attending meetings, and in fact you continue to attend meetings and engage in the work of the group on which you are currently serving, implementing the recommendations of the task force.

Regarding the UCPD Assault Allegation, Assistant Director McStay shared:

According to the Student Incident Summary we received from UCPD, Student A was being treated in the health center for her injuries. Student A told Cpl. Enriquez on 08/02/2021 at about 0200, she finished helping Nichi move. After the move, they decided to go to Student A’s apartment at UCR Bannockburn and celebrate with alcoholic beverages. Nichi wanted Student A to “dominate her.” Student A refused, so Nichi punched Student A and scratched them, causing visible injuries to their right eye, left shoulder, and left chest. Nichi also spat in Student A’s face. Student A stated they did not desire prosecution for the battery, and they stated they just wanted Nichi to “get help” for her substance abuse/mental health issues.

In my meeting with Student A, they said they did not want Nichi to get in trouble but did want her to get help with her alcohol abuse. They said they believe Nichi was in crisis and drunk when the assault occurred. They confirmed what was written in the SIS and added more detail about the incident and what led up to it. Student A stated that for Nichi to have assaulted them is particularly difficult for them because Nichi knows Student A’s past traumas around violence of this kind.

In my meeting with Nichi, she did not remember the assault, but also did not deny that she took the actions described in the SIS. Nichi stated Student A told her in the morning that she had punched them the night before. Nichi believed she had done this since Student A had a visible black eye. She left at Student A’s request and has not been in contact with them since, other than later that day as recounted in the narratives. Nichi stated she had to deal with the “cognitive dissonance” of having done something she did not want to do, specifically causing Student A pain through violence. Nichi also stated she had prior issues with alcohol use and had recently resumed alcohol use prior to the assault occurring.

You were then provided the opportunity to share your perspective with the committee. You stated that you had nothing to add about responsibility, but that you would elaborate more on  your mitigating circumstances at the appropriate time.

Regarding the Car Vandalism Allegation, Assistant Director McStay shared:

According to the Student Incident Summary we received from UCPD, while at the health center Shondra Scott, a Medical Assistant there, said she recognized Student A as one of the people who vandalized her son’s vehicle a day or two before on Campus View Drive. Shondra showed Sgt. Wright the Ring camera footage from her phone, in which you can see Student A and Nichi in the video. The video showed them walk by her son’s vehicle at which point Nichi kicked the vehicle causing the damage.

In my meeting with Student A, they said Nichi had been drinking before the car-kicking incident. She kicked the car out of frustration and was in crisis, “I hate my neighbors,” was not targeted at anyone in particular. That time drinking “went okay” because it was much less than during the assault.

In my meeting with Nichi, she said that kicking the car seemed like part of her pattern of behavior at the time of the incident, and confirmed she was not targeting anyone.

You were then provided the opportunity to share your perspective with the committee. You stated that you were “drunk, generally frustrated,” and most likely targeted the car because you have visual impairment which prevents you from driving and adds to your frustration with vehicles. In terms of responsibility, you clarified that you had nothing to add to the University Representative’s summary.

For the UCPD vandalism incident, University Policies 102.04 and 102.14 were charged. Regarding 102.04, the committee noted that it is unlikely you gained specific knowledge of the event through talking with other individuals and that it is unlikely Interim Chief Freese would confuse you with another student due to your longstanding time on the Campus Safety Task Force. The committee clarified that while the photos provided by UCPD were not very convincing, your knowledge of the washable marker on the front door was suspicious given it was not information released to the public. The committee found that this evidence showed more likely than not you were the one who damaged UCPD property. Regarding 102.14, the committee determined that the act of vandalizing UCPD property is a disorderly act, and therefore found you responsible.

For the assault allegation, University Policy 102.08 was charged. Your description of the events when meeting with Assistant Director McStay for your Administrative Review aligned with Student A’s description of events during their meeting. The committee noted that your admission as well as the evidence and witness testimonies make it more likely than not you engaged in physical abuse against another student, and therefore found you responsible.

For the car vandalism allegation, University Policy 102.14 was charged. Although the committee would have preferred to view the Ring camera footage shown to Sgt. Wright by Medical Assistant Sondra Scott, they similarly noted that your admission as well as the witness testimony make it more likely than not you kicked and damaged a car on Campus View Drive. The committee further determined that the act of kicking and damaging a car is a disorderly act, and therefore found you responsible.

As a result of their review of the evidence presented in this case, the SCC determined that it is more likely than not you are responsible for violating University Policies 102.04, 102.14, and 102.08.

The University Representative shared that you did not have prior disciplinary history. You then went on to describe more of the mitigating circumstances detailed in the packet. You explained that you were assaulted on June 09, 2021 and had not been “acting like yourself” since then, and you added that you began binge drinking after this incident. That month, you described that you drank at Student A’s place a few times but nothing more than getting sick had happened. You noted that you were immediately apologetic and went home after you woke up the morning of the assault allegation. You further stated that later you contacted your case manager with UCR and were connected to a therapist off-campus that you have been seeing twice weekly for the past month with a focus on alcohol use, emotional regulation, and impulse control.

You added that Student A has been assaulted before and had a series of violent encounters in the past. You imagined that knowing them, and knowing their campus apartment is their safe space, they felt very hurt that someone they trusted had hurt them. You were “horrified” that they would feel less safe in their residence. You clarified that you had no motive to hurt them, and that although they had assaulted you in the past as well, you were on good terms at the time of the incident.

You added that at the time of the incidents you were dealing with housing insecurity and that Student A had helped you move. You noted that your academics are progressing approximately “to plan” and that, due to the workload of the Graduate Student Association (GSA), you may need to use a sixth year which is within normal graduation time.

When asked what you think the university should do in response to this incident, you stated that you were not sure but something to “help you restore” and make sure you get the proper methods to prevent similar incidents. You added that you have been trying to get in contact with a psychiatrist. The committee then asked you to clarify how long you have been sober, and you stated that you stopped drinking in October of 2018 then restarted in Spring of 2020. You explained that you have talked to your therapist about your drinking and that it is more a “moderation thing” than the substance itself, and you added that you have been working on moderation with friends.

The committee was pleased to hear that you sought out on- and off-campus resources to assist in coping with your mitigating circumstances as well as these incidents. However, they felt that your circumstances did not justify the egregiousness of these violations. The committee was concerned by the aggression and violent behavior you exhibited toward Student A considering you were on “good terms” and knowing about their previous history with assault. The committee felt that they should consider the safety of the UCR community as a whole and that this aggressive behavior should not be modeled in a leadership role on campus. The committee hoped that you will use this time to focus on your development, and they encourage you to continue utilizing the resources and meeting with those you have sought out to assist you.

As a result of your actions, the sanction assigned is DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION for four quarters, effective immediately for Fall Quarter 2021 and extending through Summer 2021. Disciplinary Suspension is defined as the termination of student status at the campus for a specified period of time with reinstatement thereafter certain, provided that the student has complied with all conditions imposed as part of the Disciplinary Suspension and that the student is otherwise qualified for reinstatement. Violation of the conditions of Suspension or of University policies or campus regulations during the period of Suspension may be cause for further disciplinary action, normally in the form of Dismissal. A student may not transfer or register for courses at another campus or location of the University of California during the period of Suspension.

During your suspension, you are prohibited from access to campus, including the Student Recreation Center, UNEX, Housing facilities, classes and all University activities, or privileges for which a student might otherwise be eligible, without prior written authorization from SCAIP. Provided you are otherwise eligible to return, you will be eligible to return in Fall Quarter 2022. Well before then, you should contact your major college  and Graduate Division for specific readmission procedures and deadlines. Should you choose to appeal, the Suspension (and other sanctions) will be held in abeyance until the completion of the appeal process. However, if the original sanction is upheld, unless otherwise indicated by the Executive Committee, the Suspension will apply retroactively to the date of this letter.

Loss of student status during disciplinary suspension would also mean that you would no longer be eligible for leadership positions which are dependent on your student status, such as GSA.

Upon your return from suspension, you will be placed on DISCIPLINARY PROBATION for the remainder of your studies at the University of California, Riverside. This probation will end upon graduation. Disciplinary Probation is defined as a status imposed for a specified period of time during which a student must demonstrate conduct that conforms to University standards of conduct. Conditions restricting the student’s privileges or eligibility for activities may be imposed. Misconduct during the probationary period or violation of any conditions of the probation may result in further disciplinary action, normally in the form of Suspension or Dismissal.

In addition to being placed on Disciplinary Probation and Suspension, you are required to complete the following sanctions:

1.      105.15 Educational activity(ies): Meet with Student Affairs Case Management

Complete by: Within one month of your return to campus

You must carry out regular meetings with a Student Affairs Case Manager, starting immediately, with your meeting to be scheduled and attended within two weeks of receiving this notification. These meetings will be geared toward providing support to you as you complete the assigned sanctions and address the potential stressors brought about by personal circumstances. These meetings will occur at the frequency and duration determined by the Case Manager. It is your responsibility to provide documentation to SCAIP which confirms your attendance at meetings with three (3) business days following your meeting. You may utilize the form attached to the email version of this letter to document meetings. The Case Manager can be reached at casemanager@ucr.edu or (951)827-5000. Verification Form: http://students673.ucr.edu/docsserver/conduct/SACMVerification.pdf

2.      105.15 Educational activity(ies): Develop an Action Plan

Complete by: Within one month of your return to campus

Develop an Action Plan with your Case Manager that specifically outlines the measurable steps you will take to manage your alcohol use and avoid aggressive behavior. Items in your action plan must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. That is, you will have to be able to provide documentation, and signed releases where necessary, in order for SCAIP to verify you are complying with the plan. The plan should include specific dates and locations/providers/resources. The activities you name in your Action Plan may include, but are not limited to making and keeping counseling appointments and identifying on- or off-campus resources. The Action Plan should incorporate recommendations from your Case Manager, if any, and be approved by your Case Manager, indicative of an awareness of the contents of your plan. The Action Plan is to be submitted to SCAIP by the deadline indicated. Please submit your Action Plan Worksheet via email to conduct@ucr.edu. You will then be responsible for providing documentation indicating you are following the plan, by the deadlines and at the frequency named in your plan, until the action plan is completed.

Your Action Plan should address how you will manage your alcohol use in the future through moderation or other methods and avoiding aggressive behavior. You should have ideas for your Action Plan ready when you first visit Case Management. http://students673.ucr.edu/docsserver/conduct/ActionPlanWorksheet.pdf

3.      105.15 Educational activity(ies): Reflection Paper – Letters of Apology

Complete by: Prior to re-enrollment

The apology letter will not be sent, but it should be written as if it will be. The letter should address those involved who were impacted by your behavior, as well as anyone else you believe to have been impacted by the incident. The letter should reflect on what went wrong in these situations, what steps you have or will take to improve the situation moving forward, and any advice that you might provide to students in a similar situation. The letter should be around three (3) pages long, written in standard times new roman, 12 point font, double spaced. You may submit this completed letter to conduct@ucr.edu upon completion.

4.      105.15 Educational activity(ies): Academic Integrity Education Meeting with SCAIP

Complete by: Within one month of your return to campus

After you have completed all the above sanction assignments, you must schedule and attend an Academic Integrity Education Meeting with Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs by the indicated deadline. During the meeting, you will meet with a staff member to review your actions and choices in this incident, review the UCR Academic Integrity Policies and Definitions, and discuss how future incidents may impact your status as a student. Please email your availability, with at least three specific days and times, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00AM and 5:00PM, to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs at conduct@ucr.edu to schedule the Academic Integrity Education Meeting.

All meetings and follow-up materials must be completed and turned in to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs by the deadline(s) listed above, no later than 4:00 PM. Written sanctions or those which require documentation should be submitted either in person to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs at 111 Costo Hall or electronically to conduct@ucr.edu. All sanctions should be completed according to the following guidelines:

·         All papers must be electronically delivered to conduct@ucr.edu in Word format (.doc/.docx, .pages will not be accepted);

·         Assignments must be your own original work, include proper citation and references and comply with the UCR Academic Integrity policies; these assignments will be submitted to SafeAssign by SCAIP;

·         All papers must be types, double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins on all sides and must meet the length and/or content requirements indicated in the sanction letter;

·         All written submissions must be proofread and should contain minimal grammatical spelling, punctuation or other such errors;

·         Utilizing the paper to justify one’s own actions or to evaluate, criticize, or place blame on others is not permitted.

Be aware that failure to complete the sanctions as described above within the timeframe or guidelines provided constitutes an additional violation of Section 102.16 – Failure to Comply with the Directions of a University Official and may result in further sanctions including an immediate Administrative Hold on your records. The Administrative Hold will restrict you from making any University registration transactions, obtaining transcripts, etc. Please be advised that graduating seniors will have an Administrative Hold placed on their records pending the resolution of the case and/or completion of sanctions.

You and/or your instructor(s) may appeal this decision in writing through the Campus Social Conduct Executive Committee via written submission to me, care of Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs, 111 Costo Hall or by email to conduct@ucr.edu, within fourteen (14) calendar days, no later than December 1, 2021. All appeals must be authored and signed by the submitting party. Appeals produced by advisors or other non-parties will not be considered. The written appeal must cite specific reasons for requesting a reconsideration of the decision or sanctions assigned. Appeals must be based on one or more of the following:

·         New evidence not reasonably available at the time of the original hearing, the absence of which can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the hearing;

·         Procedural error that can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the hearing;

·         Errors in the interpretation of University policy so substantial as to deny one of the parties a fair hearing;

·         Grossly inappropriate sanction having no reasonable relationship to the charges.

Grades or degrees may be withheld pending conclusion of the appeal. Further details of the Appeals process are described in the Academic Integrity at the University of California , Riverside Policies and Procedures, available through the UCR Academic Senate website at:

http://senate.ucr.edu/senate_site/cms.php?node=academic_integrity.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact SCAIP at conduct@ucr.edu.

Respectfully,

Helia Aval

Chair, Student Conduct Committee

cc:       FILE

John Freese, Interim Chief of Police, UCPD

Christine Victorino, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor Student Affairs

Brian L. Haynes, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor Student Affairs

Tasha Yules, Director, Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs

Kyle McStay, Assistant Director, Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs

Laurie Lee, Interim Director, Student Affairs Case Management

Kara Oswood, Director, Academic Affairs, Graduate Division”

On the 24th, I received an email from Kyle:

“Hello Nichi,

In your re-issued decision letter from 11/18 (correcting the end of suspension date), incorrect information about submitting an appeal appeared. Specifically, the criteria and procedure for academic appeals was included, rather than the correct information for social appeals. I have corrected the issue and am about to resend the letter to you, this time with the correct information. The appeal grounds are different (though similar), and more importantly the deadline for appeal in social cases is 10 business days (rather than 14 calendar days) which in this case means that your actual appeal deadline is December 3, rather than December 1.

My apologies for not catching this sooner. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Kyle McStay, M.A. (he/him/his)”

They also sent an email titled “Update to Student Conduct Committee Decision Letter”. This time from Kyle, on November 24:

The notices sent on 11/17/21 and 11/18/21 contained incorrect information about the appeal process (specifically, the process outlined in those notices was the process used for academic misconduct cases). The correct information appears below, and is highlighted. The original decision date of 11/17/21 has not changed.

On behalf of Helia Aval, Chair, Student Conduct Committee

CONFIDENTIAL

November 17, 2021

Nichi Yes

STUDENT ID #862004338

Re: Student Conduct Committee Decision and Sanctions

Dear Nichi,

On October 22, 2021, you were notified that your case had been referred to the Student Conduct Committee (SCC). The SCC met on October 29, 2021, to hear allegations that you had been involved in social misconduct.

A summary of the incidents and specific policies of the University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students that you allegedly violated are listed below:

Date: February 22, 2021

Location UCRPD Building

Summary of Incident(s): It was reported that you may have been the individual who vandalized the UCPD station on 2/22/21. In an email on 03/19/2021, to the Campus Safety Taskforce you made statements about the vandalism of UCRPD including details that allegedly only the suspect would know.

Date: August 02, 2021

Location: Bannockburn

Summary of Incident(s): Our office received a report from UCPD which stated that you engaged in physical abuse against another student, including that you “punched” and “scratched” the other student, “causing visible injuries to right eye, left shoulder, and left chest,” and that you “spit in face.” It was further reported by UCPD that you were seen on Ring camera footage kicking and damaging a car on Campus View Drive.

Policy # and TitlePolicy DefinitionStatement of ResponsibilitySCC Finding
102.04Theft of, conversion of, destruction of, or damage to any property of the University, or any property of others while on University premises, or possession of any property when the student had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge that it was stolenNot ResponsibleResponsible
102.14Disorderly or lewd conductResponsible with Mitigating CircumstancesResponsible
102.08Physical abuse including but not limited to physical assault; threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any personResponsible with Mitigating CircumstancesResponsible

Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Programs (SCAIP) Assistant Director Kyle McStay shared the following key points regarding these incidents with the committee:

According to the Student Incident Summary we received from UCPD on February 22, 2021, an unknown individual vandalized the UCPD building and sign by writing “Defund the Police” on the granite sign, as well as what was described as an anti-police slogan” on the glass window next to the door of the building. The same person then returned a short time later and threw rocks at the glass, causing damage. The SIS noted the suspected person “looked similar to Nichi Yes,” and that Nichi later made statements in an email thread which contained information not released to the public, leading UCPD to suspect Nichi was the person responsible.

In an email thread related to her duties as a member of the Campus Safety Taskforce on March 18 and 19, Nichi called attention to the February vandalism and attached photos of the granite sign, which she enhanced so the vandalism could be seen more clearly. In the email, Nichi wrote: “Talking with other students, I’ve gathered there was also a bunch written on the front door shaming the police. I went to see, but it looks like they must have removed both. Considerate a choice as washable marker is, it’s worrisome for the safety of the labs with valuable stealables as well as the dorms, both with much less securely-constructed buildings, that the current main campus safety defense is instead the police whose response time is presumably worse to places other than their own department.” The information that the window had also been vandalized was never released to the public, nor was any information on what was used to do the vandalism, i.e., washable marker.

In my meeting with Nichi, she stated she has no direct knowledge of the vandalism beyond what is visible in her photos. She stated she was told about the vandalism and went for a walk to see it for herself, but she did not go up to the door. She said she heard about the vandalism from students she talked to in her capacity as GSA president. Nichi also stated the individual in the PD flyer (also not released to the public) is not her. Nichi stated that her comment about washable marker is a direct response to the previous statement in the email chain, from Miriam Lam, who wrote: “Perhaps if it was in marker rather than etching, custodial staff may have already removed it.” Nichi stated she had no direct knowledge of the implement used to write the slogans.

In my meeting with John Freese, Interim Chief of Police, he stated multiple things led UCPD to believe Nichi was the responsible party: There was a task force meeting where Nichi “blew up” and recused herself from attending further meetings; the vandalism occurred that night or the next night. In the email thread, Nichi displays knowledge that the glass window was also vandalized despite that information not being released to the public and that it was removed quickly. PD feels the person in the internal flyer resembles Nichi.

You were then provided the opportunity to share your perspective with the committee. You stated that there was a meeting where another graduate student task force member recused themselves, but it was not you, nor did you do anything that constituted “blowing up.” You noted that your comment on the washable marker was you “being snarky” and was based on a comment made by another task force member directly preceding yours in the thread. As a part of the Campus Safety Taskforce, you described how you made various recommendations to UCPD and the Chancellor about how to change campus safety, and that when any given threat within any given month arose, you would let each other know about it. You clarified then that at the meeting referenced above you gave one minute “pitches” to the Chancellor summarizing your work, and you gave a “somewhat impassioned” speech about some changes to campus safety and that you recall Interim Chief Freese “tearing up,” which may have been what Freese negatively perceived as a “blow up.” You also noted that you never recused yourself nor did you stop attending meetings, and in fact you continue to attend meetings and engage in the work of the group on which you are currently serving, implementing the recommendations of the task force.

Regarding the UCPD Assault Allegation, Assistant Director McStay shared:

According to the Student Incident Summary we received from UCPD, Student A was being treated in the health center for her injuries. Student A told Cpl. Enriquez on 08/02/2021 at about 0200, she finished helping Nichi move. After the move, they decided to go to Student A’s apartment at UCR Bannockburn and celebrate with alcoholic beverages. Nichi wanted Student A to “dominate her.” Student A refused, so Nichi punched Student A and scratched them, causing visible injuries to their right eye, left shoulder, and left chest. Nichi also spat in Student A’s face. Student A stated they did not desire prosecution for the battery, and they stated they just wanted Nichi to “get help” for her substance abuse/mental health issues.

In my meeting with Student A, they said they did not want Nichi to get in trouble but did want her to get help with her alcohol abuse. They said they believe Nichi was in crisis and drunk when the assault occurred. They confirmed what was written in the SIS and added more detail about the incident and what led up to it. Student A stated that for Nichi to have assaulted them is particularly difficult for them because Nichi knows Student A’s past traumas around violence of this kind.

In my meeting with Nichi, she did not remember the assault, but also did not deny that she took the actions described in the SIS. Nichi stated Student A told her in the morning that she had punched them the night before. Nichi believed she had done this since Student A had a visible black eye. She left at Student A’s request and has not been in contact with them since, other than later that day as recounted in the narratives. Nichi stated she had to deal with the “cognitive dissonance” of having done something she did not want to do, specifically causing Student A pain through violence. Nichi also stated she had prior issues with alcohol use and had recently resumed alcohol use prior to the assault occurring.

You were then provided the opportunity to share your perspective with the committee. You stated that you had nothing to add about responsibility, but that you would elaborate more on  your mitigating circumstances at the appropriate time.

Regarding the Car Vandalism Allegation, Assistant Director McStay shared:

According to the Student Incident Summary we received from UCPD, while at the health center Shondra Scott, a Medical Assistant there, said she recognized Student A as one of the people who vandalized her son’s vehicle a day or two before on Campus View Drive. Shondra showed Sgt. Wright the Ring camera footage from her phone, in which you can see Student A and Nichi in the video. The video showed them walk by her son’s vehicle at which point Nichi kicked the vehicle causing the damage.

In my meeting with Student A, they said Nichi had been drinking before the car-kicking incident. She kicked the car out of frustration and was in crisis, “I hate my neighbors,” was not targeted at anyone in particular. That time drinking “went okay” because it was much less than during the assault.

In my meeting with Nichi, she said that kicking the car seemed like part of her pattern of behavior at the time of the incident, and confirmed she was not targeting anyone.

You were then provided the opportunity to share your perspective with the committee. You stated that you were “drunk, generally frustrated,” and most likely targeted the car because you have visual impairment which prevents you from driving and adds to your frustration with vehicles. In terms of responsibility, you clarified that you had nothing to add to the University Representative’s summary.

For the UCPD vandalism incident, University Policies 102.04 and 102.14 were charged. Regarding 102.04, the committee noted that it is unlikely you gained specific knowledge of the event through talking with other individuals and that it is unlikely Interim Chief Freese would confuse you with another student due to your longstanding time on the Campus Safety Task Force. The committee clarified that while the photos provided by UCPD were not very convincing, your knowledge of the washable marker on the front door was suspicious given it was not information released to the public. The committee found that this evidence showed more likely than not you were the one who damaged UCPD property. Regarding 102.14, the committee determined that the act of vandalizing UCPD property is a disorderly act, and therefore found you responsible.

For the assault allegation, University Policy 102.08 was charged. Your description of the events when meeting with Assistant Director McStay for your Administrative Review aligned with Student A’s description of events during their meeting. The committee noted that your admission as well as the evidence and witness testimonies make it more likely than not you engaged in physical abuse against another student, and therefore found you responsible.

For the car vandalism allegation, University Policy 102.14 was charged. Although the committee would have preferred to view the Ring camera footage shown to Sgt. Wright by Medical Assistant Sondra Scott, they similarly noted that your admission as well as the witness testimony make it more likely than not you kicked and damaged a car on Campus View Drive. The committee further determined that the act of kicking and damaging a car is a disorderly act, and therefore found you responsible.

As a result of their review of the evidence presented in this case, the SCC determined that it is more likely than not you are responsible for violating University Policies 102.04, 102.14, and 102.08.

The University Representative shared that you did not have prior disciplinary history. You then went on to describe more of the mitigating circumstances detailed in the packet. You explained that you were assaulted on June 09, 2021 and had not been “acting like yourself” since then, and you added that you began binge drinking after this incident. That month, you described that you drank at Student A’s place a few times but nothing more than getting sick had happened. You noted that you were immediately apologetic and went home after you woke up the morning of the assault allegation. You further stated that later you contacted your case manager with UCR and were connected to a therapist off-campus that you have been seeing twice weekly for the past month with a focus on alcohol use, emotional regulation, and impulse control.

You added that Student A has been assaulted before and had a series of violent encounters in the past. You imagined that knowing them, and knowing their campus apartment is their safe space, they felt very hurt that someone they trusted had hurt them. You were “horrified” that they would feel less safe in their residence. You clarified that you had no motive to hurt them, and that although they had assaulted you in the past as well, you were on good terms at the time of the incident.

You added that at the time of the incidents you were dealing with housing insecurity and that Student A had helped you move. You noted that your academics are progressing approximately “to plan” and that, due to the workload of the Graduate Student Association (GSA), you may need to use a sixth year which is within normal graduation time.

When asked what you think the university should do in response to this incident, you stated that you were not sure but something to “help you restore” and make sure you get the proper methods to prevent similar incidents. You added that you have been trying to get in contact with a psychiatrist. The committee then asked you to clarify how long you have been sober, and you stated that you stopped drinking in October of 2018 then restarted in Spring of 2020. You explained that you have talked to your therapist about your drinking and that it is more a “moderation thing” than the substance itself, and you added that you have been working on moderation with friends.

The committee was pleased to hear that you sought out on- and off-campus resources to assist in coping with your mitigating circumstances as well as these incidents. However, they felt that your circumstances did not justify the egregiousness of these violations. The committee was concerned by the aggression and violent behavior you exhibited toward Student A considering you were on “good terms” and knowing about their previous history with assault. The committee felt that they should consider the safety of the UCR community as a whole and that this aggressive behavior should not be modeled in a leadership role on campus. The committee hoped that you will use this time to focus on your development, and they encourage you to continue utilizing the resources and meeting with those you have sought out to assist you.

As a result of your actions, the sanction assigned is DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION for four quarters, effective immediately for Fall Quarter 2021 and extending through Summer 2022. Disciplinary Suspension is defined as the termination of student status at the campus for a specified period of time with reinstatement thereafter certain, provided that the student has complied with all conditions imposed as part of the Disciplinary Suspension and that the student is otherwise qualified for reinstatement. Violation of the conditions of Suspension or of University policies or campus regulations during the period of Suspension may be cause for further disciplinary action, normally in the form of Dismissal. A student may not transfer or register for courses at another campus or location of the University of California during the period of Suspension.

During your suspension, you are prohibited from access to campus, including the Student Recreation Center, UNEX, Housing facilities, classes and all University activities, or privileges for which a student might otherwise be eligible, without prior written authorization from SCAIP. Provided you are otherwise eligible to return, you will be eligible to return in Fall Quarter 2022. Well before then, you should contact your major college  and Graduate Division for specific readmission procedures and deadlines. Should you choose to appeal, the Suspension (and other sanctions) will be held in abeyance until the completion of the appeal process. However, if the original sanction is upheld, unless otherwise indicated by the Executive Committee, the Suspension will apply retroactively to the date of this letter.

Loss of student status during disciplinary suspension would also mean that you would no longer be eligible for leadership positions which are dependent on your student status, such as GSA.

Upon your return from suspension, you will be placed on DISCIPLINARY PROBATION for the remainder of your studies at the University of California, Riverside. This probation will end upon graduation. Disciplinary Probation is defined as a status imposed for a specified period of time during which a student must demonstrate conduct that conforms to University standards of conduct. Conditions restricting the student’s privileges or eligibility for activities may be imposed. Misconduct during the probationary period or violation of any conditions of the probation may result in further disciplinary action, normally in the form of Suspension or Dismissal.

In addition to being placed on Disciplinary Probation and Suspension, you are required to complete the following sanctions:

  1. 105.15 Educational activity(ies): Meet with Student Affairs Case Management

Complete by: Within one month of your return to campus

You must carry out regular meetings with a Student Affairs Case Manager, starting immediately, with your meeting to be scheduled and attended within two weeks of receiving this notification. These meetings will be geared toward providing support to you as you complete the assigned sanctions and address the potential stressors brought about by personal circumstances. These meetings will occur at the frequency and duration determined by the Case Manager. It is your responsibility to provide documentation to SCAIP which confirms your attendance at meetings with three (3) business days following your meeting. You may utilize the form attached to the email version of this letter to document meetings. The Case Manager can be reached at casemanager@ucr.edu or (951)827-5000. Verification Form: http://students673.ucr.edu/docsserver/conduct/SACMVerification.pdf

  1. 105.15 Educational activity(ies): Develop an Action Plan

Complete by: Within one month of your return to campus

Develop an Action Plan with your Case Manager that specifically outlines the measurable steps you will take to manage your alcohol use and avoid aggressive behavior. Items in your action plan must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. That is, you will have to be able to provide documentation, and signed releases where necessary, in order for SCAIP to verify you are complying with the plan. The plan should include specific dates and locations/providers/resources. The activities you name in your Action Plan may include, but are not limited to making and keeping counseling appointments and identifying on- or off-campus resources. The Action Plan should incorporate recommendations from your Case Manager, if any, and be approved by your Case Manager, indicative of an awareness of the contents of your plan. The Action Plan is to be submitted to SCAIP by the deadline indicated. Please submit your Action Plan Worksheet via email to conduct@ucr.edu. You will then be responsible for providing documentation indicating you are following the plan, by the deadlines and at the frequency named in your plan, until the action plan is completed.

Your Action Plan should address how you will manage your alcohol use in the future through moderation or other methods and avoiding aggressive behavior. You should have ideas for your Action Plan ready when you first visit Case Management. http://students673.ucr.edu/docsserver/conduct/ActionPlanWorksheet.pdf

  1. 105.15 Educational activity(ies): Reflection Paper – Letters of Apology

Complete by: Prior to re-enrollment

The apology letter will not be sent, but it should be written as if it will be. The letter should address those involved who were impacted by your behavior, as well as anyone else you believe to have been impacted by the incident. The letter should reflect on what went wrong in these situations, what steps you have or will take to improve the situation moving forward, and any advice that you might provide to students in a similar situation. The letter should be around three (3) pages long, written in standard times new roman, 12 point font, double spaced. You may submit this completed letter to conduct@ucr.edu upon completion.

  1. 105.15 Educational activity(ies): Academic Integrity Education Meeting with SCAIP

Complete by: Within one month of your return to campus

After you have completed all the above sanction assignments, you must schedule and attend an Academic Integrity Education Meeting with Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs by the indicated deadline. During the meeting, you will meet with a staff member to review your actions and choices in this incident, review the UCR Academic Integrity Policies and Definitions, and discuss how future incidents may impact your status as a student. Please email your availability, with at least three specific days and times, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00AM and 5:00PM, to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs at conduct@ucr.edu to schedule the Academic Integrity Education Meeting.

All meetings and follow-up materials must be completed and turned in to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs by the deadline(s) listed above, no later than 4:00 PM. Written sanctions or those which require documentation should be submitted either in person to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs at 111 Costo Hall or electronically to conduct@ucr.edu. All sanctions should be completed according to the following guidelines:

  • All papers must be electronically delivered to conduct@ucr.edu in Word format (.doc/.docx, .pages will not be accepted);
  • Assignments must be your own original work, include proper citation and references and comply with the UCR Academic Integrity policies; these assignments will be submitted to SafeAssign by SCAIP;
  • All papers must be types, double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins on all sides and must meet the length and/or content requirements indicated in the sanction letter;
  • All written submissions must be proofread and should contain minimal grammatical spelling, punctuation or other such errors;
  • Utilizing the paper to justify one’s own actions or to evaluate, criticize, or place blame on others is not permitted.

Be aware that failure to complete the sanctions as described above within the timeframe or guidelines provided constitutes an additional violation of Section 102.16 – Failure to Comply with the Directions of a University Official and may result in further sanctions including an immediate Administrative Hold on your records. The Administrative Hold will restrict you from making any University registration transactions, obtaining transcripts, etc. Please be advised that graduating seniors will have an Administrative Hold placed on their records pending the resolution of the case and/or completion of sanctions.

You may appeal this decision, in writing to the Dean of Students, care of Student Conduct at 102 Costo Hall, within ten (10) business days of the date of the original decision (November 17, 2021), no later than December 3, 2021. Your written appeal must cite specific reasons for requesting a reconsideration of the decision. Your right to request a reconsideration of the decision is limited and will be based only on: 1) newly discovered evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing, 2) significant procedural error, or 3) upon other evidence or arguments, which, for good cause, should be considered. Please be aware that sanctions are typically held in abeyance until such time as the appeal is decided, though interim action may be taken as determined by the Dean of Students. Should the original decision be upheld after an appeal, the sanctions will go into effect retroactive to the date of the original decision (November 17, 2021), unless otherwise specified by the appeal officer. Grades or degrees may be withheld pending the conclusion of the appeal. Appeals may be submitted in Word or text file format via email to conduct@ucr.edu. Further details of the appeal process are described in Section 10.00 of the UCR Administration of the Standards of Conduct, found here: https://conduct.ucr.edu/policies/administration-of-the-standards-of-conduct#1000_appeal_of_student_judicial_affairs_or_student_conduct_committee_decisions. 

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact SCAIP at conduct@ucr.edu.

Respectfully,

Helia Aval

Chair, Student Conduct Committee

cc:       FILE

John Freese, Interim Chief of Police, UCPD

Christine Victorino, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor Student Affairs

Brian L. Haynes, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor Student Affairs

Tasha Yules, Director, Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs

Kyle McStay, Assistant Director, Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs

Laurie Lee, Interim Director, Student Affairs Case Management

Kara Oswood, Director, Academic Affairs, Graduate Division

Kyle McStay, M.A. (he/him/his)”

This post would be substantially shorter if their office wasn’t so incompetent at its most basic functions. Anyhow, we now get to my appeal, where I set things straight in writing:

December 2, 2021

To the Dean of Students, Christine Mata, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of California, Riverside, care of Student Conduct at 102 Costo Hall, at conduct@ucr.edu:

  • CC: Jack Clarke, Jr. (Chair), Partner, Best Best and Krieger, to corroborate the CTSF meeting record,
  • Judit Palencia Gutierrez, Graduate Student Association Vice President, idem.,
  • Mariam Lam, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, idem.; additionally as this is a DEI issue,
  • Alton Carswell, Case Manager, Student Affairs, to corroborate the CTSF meeting record; additionally as this is a Case Management issue,
  • John Freese, Interim Police Chief,
  • Kim Overdyck, Senior Investigator, Chief Compliance Office,
  • Bert Wright, Immediate Past President, UCR Black Alumni,
  • Hon. Jorge Hernandez, Riverside County Superior Court Judge,
  • Keona Henderson, President, UCR Black Alumni,
  • Sharon Oselin, Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Policy (on sabbatical during winter quarter),
  • Christine Victorino, Associate Chancellor, to corroborate the CTSF meeting record,
  • David Bergquist, Chief Campus Counsel,
  • Megan Johnson, Administrative Specialist,
  • Lu Jin, GSA Chief of Staff, advisory; for archival purpose,
  • UCR Graduate Student Body, as it pertains to everyone,
  • UCR Philosophy Faculty,
  • UCR VCSA Brain Haynes,

Appeal

Against the Decision of the Student Conduct Committee, the Sanctions thereby Imposed, the Student Conduct Office, and the UCRPD in General and Interim Chief John Freese in Particular


Introduction

Description of Correspondence

My written appeal must cite specific reasons for requesting a reconsideration of the decision. My right to request a reconsideration of the decision is limited and will be based only on: 1) newly discovered evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing, 2) significant procedural error, and 3) upon other evidence or arguments, which, for good cause, should be considered.  According to Section 10.00 of the UCR Administration of the Standards of Conduct, found here: https://conduct.ucr.edu/policies/administration-of-the-standards-of-conduct#1000_appeal_of_student_judicial_affairs_or_student_conduct_committee_decisions, appeals of a decision by Student Judicial Affairs or the Student Conduct Committee shall be addressed to the dean of students, as indicated above. Within ten (10) working days of receiving written notification of the decision, as today is, either the charged student, myself, or student organization (or Student Judicial Affairs, for cases heard by the Student Conduct Committee) may submit a written appeal to the dean of students, as I am doing now. When such an appeal is submitted by a party, the dean of students must promptly send a copy of the appeal to the other party. Within five working days of receiving the copy, the other party may submit a written response to the dean of students.

The filing of a timely appeal suspends the imposition of sanctions until the appeal is decided, but interim action may be taken as determined by the dean of students. Grades or degrees may be withheld pending conclusion of the appeal. I take this to mean after submitting this appeal, I should resume my role as student, TA, fellow, and GSA President, unless you tell me otherwise.

An appeal must be based on newly discovered evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing, significant procedural error, or upon other evidence or arguments, which, for good cause, should be considered. As this is a multifaceted case, so is the appeal. I didn’t expect the Committee to ignore my direction to the Campus Safety Taskforce website, so I will be providing further evidence here. Moreover, I will take the opportunity to point out several flaws in the reasoning of the committee with regard to the finding of responsibility in the vandalism case and to the appropriateness of the sanctions in the assault and vehicular damage case.

Response Options

The dean of students may approve, reject, or modify the decision and sanction in question, or require that the original hearing be re-opened. I am here asking for a rejection of the decision that I am responsible for the UCPD vandalism, and modification to the sanctions for the assault and vehicular damage. 

In Reference to the SCAIP Code

Section 6.10

According to Section 6.10 of the SCAIP Code, “If the student or student organization admits violating the Standards of Conduct as charged, the Office of Student Judicial Affairs (and the Office of Student Life and Leadership and/or the student organization’s faculty or staff advisor for student organizations) will meet with the student or student organization to discuss the administrative disposition of the case. Under voluntary administrative review, Student Judicial Affairs (and Student Life and Leadership for student organizations) may not impose sanctions without the student or student organization’s consent. The student or student organization is entitled to consult an advisor of choice before giving consent.” As I admit to violating the Standards of Conduct as charged, sanctions may not be imposed without my consent, and I do not consent to the stated sanctions, nor was I afforded the opportunity to consult with an advisor, of my choice or otherwise, before giving consent or at any other point.

Section 3.30

Pursuant to Section 3.30, “Student conduct that occurs off university property is subject to UCR Standards of Conduct where it 1) adversely affects the health, safety, or security of any member of the university community, or the mission of the university,” which I take the assault and vehicular damage admittedly did, “or 2) involves academic work or any records, or documents of the university.” which none of these cases do. “In determining whether or not to exercise jurisdiction over such conduct, the university shall consider the seriousness of the alleged offense, the risk of harm involved, whether the victim(s) are members of the campus community and/or whether the off-campus conduct is part of a series of actions, which occurred both on and off university property. Recommendations to extend jurisdiction will be reviewed by the assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs.” I want to emphasize the part regarding whether the off-campus conduct is part of a series of actions, as I take it that the physical assault of Student A was part of an alcohol and sleep-deprivation induced psychotic break, i.e. a complete break from my normal character that was the result of extreme circumstances. I find it quite relevant that Student A had sexually assaulted me by non-consensually urinating in my face and mouth as well as flogged me despite my repeated protests. While I had thought I was completely past these events, under the circumstances of impending homelessness, sleep deprivation, exhaustion from moving, and recovering from having been raped by a stanger who broke into my bedroom in June, some unprocessed anger came to the surface in the form of a punch in the face

With Regard to the Sanctions Imposed for the Vehicular Damage

“The University may also exercise jurisdiction over student conduct that occurs off campus where the conduct compromises university neighbor relations.” It seems just for me to make amends to the individual whose car I kicked. The proper form seems to me to be cash payment.

In Reference to Correspondence with Kyle McStay

In the email regarding the decision and sanction, Kyle McStay wrote, “In an email thread related to her duties as a member of the Campus Safety Taskforce on March 18 and 19, Nichi called attention to the February vandalism and attached photos of the granite sign, which she enhanced so the vandalism could be seen more clearly. In the email, Nichi wrote: ‘Talking with other students, I’ve gathered there was also a bunch written on the front door shaming the police. I went to see, but it looks like they must have removed both. Considerate a choice as washable marker is, it’s worrisome for the safety of the labs with valuable stealables as well as the dorms, both with much less securely-constructed buildings, that the current main campus safety defense is instead the police whose response time is presumably worse to places other than their own department.’ The information that the window had also been vandalized was never released to the public, nor was any information on what was used to do the vandalism, i.e., washable marker.” 

On the Ambiguity of “Washable Marker”

After reading the decision letter, I realized that there is an ambiguity in the term “washable marker”. If you read my email as suggesting that the vandalism was done with a specifically washable kind of marker, like the Crayola ones made for children, I could see how that’s fairly specific information to have. However, as I said in the meeting and emphasized in the hearing, my use of the term “washable marker” is using “washable” in the emphatic sense, i.e. including permanent markers as well as Crayolas, only emphasizing that ultimately any marker is washable in a way engraving and even spray paint are not. As such, I was not indicating any level of specificity beyond what graduate students are generally aware happened. While UCPD may not have announced the crime to the public, the station is in a highly walked area, and the vandal themselves likely spread the word. You’re not the only ones who can release information to the public, though you seem unaware of how much the public knows. This makes sense, as people are less likely to tell things to people who will use it to hurt people. On the other hand, my abolitionist position on policing is widely known, so people involved with people committing crimes are generally more willing to share information with me.

My point about the washable marker is incredibly clear looking at the photograph I send to the CSTF:

[Figure 1: Photograph of vandalized sign in front of UCPD and UCR. Note the purple marker above the University name, Photograph courtesy of author.]

If you look closely above the word “of” you see some thin purple writing. It says “DEFUNDTHEPOLICE”. It is obviously marker, and given it was washed off, as Mariam Lam pointed out, it was obviously washable. I don’t know why the police and conduct committee thought this was such an obscure piece of information; it is one of the first inferences one would make if one spent any time thinking about it.

Further in the email, Kyle says that John Freese said, “There was a task force meeting where Nichi “blew up” and recused herself from attending further meetings.” This is a boldfaced lie. Review the Campus Safety Taskforce website: https://chancellor.ucr.edu/task-force-campus-safety. Further, review, the Report on Campus Safety, available at https://chancellor.ucr.edu/media/1216/download

Correcting the Record on My Behavior in the CSTF Feb. 22 Meeting

Note the completion date of 2021-02-21, a day before the vandalism. On Monday, February 22, the CTSF met with Chancellor Kim Wilcox. Four of us each delivered a prepared speech, myself going last. I said: 

“I came here in 2017, and I keep up with the news. I research the important people in my life. At my previous academic institution, I saw firsthand how things go under rugs. We the graduate community are threatened daily with assault or even worse. And we are dying. I’m glad UCR’s graduate and professional students elected one of the dying among us to represent us. It’s unfortunate more attention hasn’t been paid to our dead students this year; that anyone here thinks more context is necessary should be disgusting enough. I really hope it’s a long time before anyone else in our seats have to lead through the deaths of so many students and loved ones. As someone who keeps TAing a class called Evil that invites students to share evils from their own lives, I’ve had to read and hear horrors I’m not morally at liberty to share, that you need to do more to stop. But the data is clear that money in policing does not protect our campus. Graduate students are continually sexually assaulted, physically battered, et cetera on campus, at campus events, and by campus authorities. I’ve witnessed the Director of the TItle IX Office need personal physical protection from a violent individual, and UCR went through great lengths to enable his freedom to rape, terrorize, and be credited with a degree. We would far rather be co-conspirators and benefit from your leadership and wisdom than antagonists, but first, we need to be able to trust you to stop hurting us. Stop detaining us. I’ve been detained more in grad school at UCR than in grade school, middle school, high school, and college combined. And I am in a position of power, I am luckier than many of the other graduate students here. The current system called “Campus Safety” prevents students from being safe. You can take actions to change that, and to ensure the safety of graduate students.  

I’m not being dramatic. I’m being realistic. 

So, my question: What concrete actions will you be taking this month, this quarter, this academic year, and this calendar year to replace harmful and not helpful structures with helpful and not harmful structures? Needless to remind you, but this is an emergency. We are dying. How can the research and education leader that is UC Riverside help us? And what concrete actions will we see from you so we can trust your answer?”

Chancellor’s Response

Chancellor Wilcox had a positive and affirmative response to this. 

Self-Disclosure

I also highlight, “I should note at this point that my communication disorder includes not being able to speak sometimes. My dissociative identity disorder includes amnesia and sudden changes in personality.” This negatively impacted my ability to make my case clearly during the hearing. If the conditions to make your case were not available to me given my disorders, the hearing may not be ADA-compliant.

Section 6.10 (Reprise)

Again with regard to Section 6.10, I highlight from the Safety Report, “I refused to consent to anything because I did not want to be there. That seems like a pretty straightforward reason to not consent. After I wrote “I DO NOT CONSENT” on all of the forms they demanded that I sign, they took my boots. They already had the laces, but I guess they needed to assert their dominance by degrading me a bit more.” UCR has a documented history of violating the consent of disabled persons. For example, I make available here the following screenshot:

[Figure 2: Screenshot of Facebook comment. Photograph courtesy of author.]

An additional corroborating comment:

[Figure 3: Facebook comment. Screenshot courtesy of author.]

A Hope

I hope that UCR can do better, beginning with this case.

Campus Safety Report (Reprise)

Appealing to the same logic I used here: “After I returned to campus I was referred to Case Management. If instead of calling UCPD, Bannockburn had called Alton Carswell, for example, I would not have been sexually assaulted, I would not have had my shoulder maimed, I would not have been held against my will, I would not have had so many of my basic rights violated. I might have been helped instead of battered. As it turned out, the solution to a minoritized individual feeling low because of said minoritizations’ effects is not Straight White Man with a Gun. He tried his best, and he’s a nice guy, but America is in the grips of a mass delusion that Black Lives Do Not Matter. Neither do Insane or Crazy lives, as is demonstrated ever so clearly every time I am thrown around and the staff piece together that I’m far more educated than they are, and usually I need to talk to a Doctor to realize I’m not one of “them” and I should be let out to write reports like this.” I argue that Student Conduct is the wrong office to be dealing with this case, and Case Management is the appropriate office.

Rather than “blowing up” at the meeting, I suggested, “For example, I do not think John Freese, the Interim Chief of Police, should be fired. I think he should have a different role, that involves safety but not policing. I’m loathe to say anyone should still keep badges, uniforms, and guns, but so long as those dangers exist in this world, we need to be able to deal with them. A Director of Campus Safety should direct the campus community in how to be safe.” Last I heard from Denise Woods, Dr.PH, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health, Counseling & Wellness, this is the plan for the coming quarter. I have continued to be a constructive member of the Task Force and the subsequent Workgroup. I do not know why John Freese lied about my behavior at the meeting, though I suspect under stress he confused me with Brianna Simmons, who did recuse herself from further meetings after leaving in principled protest.  

In Condemnation of the University Endowment

“The endowment funds generated by the University of California’s

wholesale theft and speculation of Indigenous lands amounted to over

$19 million, as represented in 2020 USD. As Dene scholar Glen

Coulthard argues, “settler-colonialism is territorially acquisitive in

perpetuity” (Coulthard 2014, 152). For the UC system, this “primitive

accumulation” — the outright dispossession of Indigenous peoples

from their lands — is constitutive of both its real estate investments

(the UC is also the largest landlord in California) and the initial

operating capital that seeded its historical and ongoing accumulation

and dispossession.” On these grounds I reject the legitimacy of the UCPD’s ownership of the land the building and sign is on.

Censure of University of California

“The University of California in its ignorance of the literature

surrounding policing is guilty of either:

1. Gross Academic Negligence: As an institution of higher education,

and as a research university, the UC has a duty to know and act

upon the relevant literature. Interpreting the UC as anti-racist,

rather than racist, we must assume the UC simply did not know

about the past five decades of research regarding campus safety,

policing, and racism in America, or

2. Deliberate Conspiracy to Orchestrate Racist Violence: The

research done at the UC is known by the UC. The policing done at

the UC is known by the UC. Interpreting the UC as academically

competent, as fitting for a University of its prestige, we understand

the UC to understand its implementation of UCPD as a racist

project that has resulted in mass and grave violence to students,

especially those with disabilities or who are BIPOC. As such, the

continued funding of UCPD is understood as a commitment to

ableist and racist structures and practices.” (emphasis mine)

It is on these grounds I question the very legitimacy of the investigation and the motives of the UCPD officers involved.

Reaffirmation Regarding the Use of Force

I here reaffirm that with regard to the “Use of force: Force should not be used on anyone without their consent unless necessary for the prevention of grave harm to self or others, and even then while the use of force is understood to be excusable, it remains unjustifiable, a serious cost borne by the user of force in defense of people. I add the fact that police are given legal immunity, which if force is applied unjustly not only defeats their purpose but adds to the grievances faced by the community. As such, the minimization of nonconsensual force on people should be a top priority of campus safety.”  With this reasoning and that I am not wealthy, and do not have a family that can support me if I am unemployed that I call the sanctions proposed by the committee “force” and deduce that these forceful sanctions should not be used on me without my consent, which is not had, unless necessary for the prevention of grave harm to self or others, which they are not, and even then while the use of force is here inexcusable, it is already also unjustifiable, and is an egregious use of force in motivated contempt of me. As such, the minimization of the use of forces by the police department and student conduct office should be a top priority for campus safety. 

Reaffirmation with Regard to the Community Engagement

I here reaffirm that with regard to the “Community engagement: Those employed for the good of campus safety should be engaged in all parts of community life. As this is a community of a research university, academic research and education activities should be central to this engagement.” I am employed for the good of campus safety, and should be engaged in all parts of community life, not exiled, alienated, or suspended from. As this is a community of a research university, academic research and education activities will be central to my engagement hereafter. 

Reaffirmation with Regard to the Oversight

I here reaffirm that with regard to the “Oversight: Proper oversight requires transparency and accountability. For adequate transparency, the UCR Department of Campus Safety or its equivalent will require regular external and internal review, and for adequate accountability, the provision of a variety of possible sanctions that may be levied against agents of the department by the community for misconduct.”

I suggest that the UCRPD have internal and external review in light of its potential procedural error.

Response to Updated Student Conduct Committee Decision Letter

“Date: February 22, 2021

Location UCRPD Building

Summary of Incident(s): It was reported that you may have been the individual who vandalized the UCPD station on 2/22/21. In an email on 03/19/2021, to the Campus Safety Taskforce you made statements about the vandalism of UCRPD including details that allegedly only the suspect would know.”

I was not the individual who vandalized the UCPD station on 2/22/21. In the email, my comments were easily inferable from public knowledge.

“Date: August 02, 2021

Location: Bannockburn

Summary of Incident(s): Our office received a report from UCPD which stated that you engaged in physical abuse against another student, including that you “punched” and “scratched” the other student, “causing visible injuries to right eye, left shoulder, and left chest,” and that you “spit in face.” It was further reported by UCPD that you were seen on Ring camera footage kicking and damaging a car on Campus View Drive.”

Correct.

Policy # and TitlePolicy DefinitionStatement of ResponsibilitySCC Finding
102.04Theft of, conversion of, destruction of, or damage to any property of the University, or any property of others while on University premises, or possession of any property when the student had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge that it was stolenNot ResponsibleResponsible
102.14Disorderly or lewd conductResponsible with Mitigating CircumstancesResponsible
102.08Physical abuse including but not limited to physical assault; threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any personResponsible with Mitigating CircumstancesResponsible

[Figure 4: Table of Charges]

I object to the finding of responsibility on 102.04, and the absence of mitigating circumstances on the other two.

“According to the Student Incident Summary we received from UCPD on February 22, 2021, an unknown individual vandalized the UCPD building and sign by writing “Defund the Police” on the granite sign, as well as what was described as an anti-police slogan” on the glass window next to the door of the building. The same person then returned a short time later and threw rocks at the glass, causing damage.”

This is indeed my understanding of the described events.

“The SIS noted the suspected person “looked similar to Nichi Yes,””

The photograph indicates otherwise.

 “In an email thread related to her duties as a member of the Campus Safety Taskforce on March 18 and 19, Nichi called attention to the February vandalism and attached photos of the granite sign, which she enhanced so the vandalism could be seen more clearly. In the email, Nichi wrote: “Talking with other students, I’ve gathered there was also a bunch written on the front door shaming the police. I went to see, but it looks like they must have removed both. Considerate a choice as washable marker is, it’s worrisome for the safety of the labs with valuable stealables as well as the dorms, both with much less securely-constructed buildings, that the current main campus safety defense is instead the police whose response time is presumably worse to places other than their own department.” The information that the window had also been vandalized was never released to the public, nor was any information on what was used to do the vandalism, i.e., washable marker.”

This is explained above. 

“In my meeting with Nichi, she stated she has no direct knowledge of the vandalism beyond what is visible in her photos. She stated she was told about the vandalism and went for a walk to see it for herself, but she did not go up to the door. She said she heard about the vandalism from students she talked to in her capacity as GSA president.”

Those present before the meeting can corroborate.

“Nichi also stated the individual in the PD flyer (also not released to the public) is not her. Nichi stated that her comment about washable marker is a direct response to the previous statement in the email chain, from Miriam Lam, who wrote: “Perhaps if it was in marker rather than etching, custodial staff may have already removed it.” Nichi stated she had no direct knowledge of the implement used to write the slogans.”

All plainly truthful. 

“In my meeting with John Freese, Interim Chief of Police, he stated multiple things led UCPD to believe Nichi was the responsible party:”

This list misses the motivated reasoning likely from the interim police chief to pin responsibility on an efficacious and effective police abolitionist. 

“There was a task force meeting where Nichi “blew up” and recused herself from attending further meetings; the vandalism occurred that night or the next night.”

False.

“In the email thread, Nichi displays knowledge that the glass window was also vandalized despite that information not being released to the public”

Not by the PD. Released by others. 

“that it was removed quickly.”

Check the cameras to see how many people would have seen it. 

“PD feels the person in the internal flyer resembles Nichi.”

Weird feeling.

“You were then provided the opportunity to share your perspective with the committee. You stated that there was a meeting where another graduate student task force member recused themselves, but it was not you, nor did you do anything that constituted “blowing up.” You noted that your comment on the washable marker was you “being snarky” and was based on a comment made by another task force member directly preceding yours in the thread. As a part of the Campus Safety Taskforce, you described how you made various recommendations to UCPD and the Chancellor about how to change campus safety, and that when any given threat within any given month arose, you would let each other know about it. You clarified then that at the meeting referenced above you gave one minute “pitches” to the Chancellor summarizing your work, and you gave a “somewhat impassioned” speech about some changes to campus safety and that you recall Interim Chief Freese “tearing up,” which may have been what Freese negatively perceived as a “blow up.” You also noted that you never recused yourself nor did you stop attending meetings, and in fact you continue to attend meetings and engage in the work of the group on which you are currently serving, implementing the recommendations of the task force.”

Correct. 

“Regarding the UCPD Assault Allegation, Assistant Director McStay shared:” 

“According to the Student Incident Summary we received from UCPD, Student A was being treated in the health center for her injuries. Student A told Cpl. Enriquez on 08/02/2021 at about 0200, she finished helping Nichi move. After the move, they decided to go to Student A’s apartment at UCR Bannockburn and celebrate with alcoholic beverages. Nichi wanted Student A to “dominate her.” Student A refused, so Nichi punched Student A and scratched them, causing visible injuries to their right eye, left shoulder, and left chest. Nichi also spat in Student A’s face.”

I do not deny any of this account, however Student A does have a recorded history of pathological lying and was intoxicated at the time, and so their memory may be impaired.

“Student A stated they did not desire prosecution for the battery, and they stated they just wanted Nichi to “get help” for her substance abuse/mental health issues.”

  I appreciate this attitude and find it salient to the determination of appropriate sanctions.

“They said they believe Nichi was in crisis and drunk when the assault occurred.”

I would confirm and add that I was likely in the midst of a psychotic break. 

“They confirmed what was written in the SIS and added more detail about the incident and what led up to it. Student A stated that for Nichi to have assaulted them is particularly difficult for them because Nichi knows Student A’s past traumas around violence of this kind.”

This is fair. I’m sorry, Student A.

“In my meeting with Nichi, she did not remember the assault, but also did not deny that she took the actions described in the SIS. Nichi stated Student A told her in the morning that she had punched them the night before. Nichi believed she had done this since Student A had a visible black eye. She left at Student A’s request and has not been in contact with them since, other than later that day as recounted in the narratives. Nichi stated she had to deal with the “cognitive dissonance” of having done something she did not want to do, specifically causing Student A pain through violence. Nichi also stated she had prior issues with alcohol use and had recently resumed alcohol use prior to the assault occurring.”

Correct. 

“You were then provided the opportunity to share your perspective with the committee. You stated that you had nothing to add about responsibility, but that you would elaborate more on  your mitigating circumstances at the appropriate time.”

Correct. 

“Regarding the Car Vandalism Allegation, Assistant Director McStay shared:

According to the Student Incident Summary we received from UCPD, while at the health center Shondra Scott, a Medical Assistant there, said she recognized Student A as one of the people who vandalized her son’s vehicle a day or two before on Campus View Drive. Shondra showed Sgt. Wright the Ring camera footage from her phone, in which you can see Student A and Nichi in the video. The video showed them walk by her son’s vehicle at which point Nichi kicked the vehicle causing the damage.”

Sorry about that. 

“In my meeting with Student A, they said Nichi had been drinking before the car-kicking incident. She kicked the car out of frustration and was in crisis, “I hate my neighbors,” was not targeted at anyone in particular. That time drinking “went okay” because it was much less than during the assault.”

I.e. hurting a car is less bad than hurting a human body. 

“In my meeting with Nichi, she said that kicking the car seemed like part of her pattern of behavior at the time of the incident, and confirmed she was not targeting anyone.”

Correct. 

“You were then provided the opportunity to share your perspective with the committee. You stated that you were “drunk, generally frustrated,” and most likely targeted the car because you have visual impairment which prevents you from driving and adds to your frustration with vehicles. In terms of responsibility, you clarified that you had nothing to add to the University Representative’s summary.”

Correct. 

“For the UCPD vandalism incident, University Policies 102.04 and 102.14 were charged. Regarding 102.04, the committee noted that it is unlikely you gained specific knowledge of the event through talking with other individuals”

Why? 

“it is unlikely Interim Chief Freese would confuse you with another student due to your longstanding time on the Campus Safety Task Force.”

Interim Chief Freese has seen me only from the front during the remote CSTF meetings. The photograph of the suspect is from the rear.

“ The committee clarified that while the photos provided by UCPD were not very convincing,”

The description is plainly not about me. 

“The committee found that this evidence showed more likely than not you were the one who damaged UCPD property.”

Wrong. 

“Regarding 102.14, the committee determined that the act of vandalizing UCPD property is a disorderly act, and therefore found you responsible.”

  I didn’t do it.

“For the assault allegation, University Policy 102.08 was charged. Your description of the events when meeting with Assistant Director McStay for your Administrative Review aligned with Student A’s description of events during their meeting. The committee noted that your admission as well as the evidence and witness testimonies make it more likely than not you engaged in physical abuse against another student, and therefore found you responsible.”

At this level of precision, accurate. 

“For the car vandalism allegation, University Policy 102.14 was charged. Although the committee would have preferred to view the Ring camera footage shown to Sgt. Wright by Medical Assistant Sondra Scott, they similarly noted that your admission as well as the witness testimony make it more likely than not you kicked and damaged a car on Campus View Drive. The committee further determined that the act of kicking and damaging a car is a disorderly act, and therefore found you responsible.”

Agreeable. 

“As a result of their review of the evidence presented in this case, the SCC determined that it is more likely than not you are responsible for violating University Policies 102.04, 102.14, and 102.08.”

The first is incorrect, the second two correct.

“The University Representative shared that you did not have prior disciplinary history.”

Correct. 

“You then went on to describe more of the mitigating circumstances detailed in the packet. You explained that you were assaulted on June 09, 2021 and had not been “acting like yourself” since then, and you added that you began binge drinking after this incident. That month, you described that you drank at Student A’s place a few times but nothing more than getting sick had happened. You noted that you were immediately apologetic and went home after you woke up the morning of the assault allegation. You further stated that later you contacted your case manager with UCR and were connected to a therapist off-campus that you have been seeing twice weekly for the past month with a focus on alcohol use, emotional regulation, and impulse control.”

Correct. 

“You added that Student A has been assaulted before and had a series of violent encounters in the past. You imagined that knowing them, and knowing their campus apartment is their safe space, they felt very hurt that someone they trusted had hurt them. You were “horrified” that they would feel less safe in their residence. You clarified that you had no motive to hurt them, and that although they had assaulted you in the past as well, you were on good terms at the time of the incident.”

Correct. 

“You added that at the time of the incidents you were dealing with housing insecurity and that Student A had helped you move. You noted that your academics are progressing approximately “to plan” and that, due to the workload of the Graduate Student Association (GSA), you may need to use a sixth year which is within normal graduation time.”

Correct. 

“When asked what you think the university should do in response to this incident, you stated that you were not sure but something to “help you restore” and make sure you get the proper methods to prevent similar incidents. You added that you have been trying to get in contact with a psychiatrist.”

Correct. 

“The committee then asked you to clarify how long you have been sober, and you stated that you stopped drinking in October of 2018 then restarted in Spring of 2020.” 

Correction: I restarted in Spring of 2021. 

“You explained that you have talked to your therapist about your drinking and that it is more a “moderation thing” than the substance itself, and you added that you have been working on moderation with friends.”

It’s going well. 

“The committee was pleased to hear that you sought out on- and off-campus resources to assist in coping with your mitigating circumstances as well as these incidents.”

Splendid. 

“However, they felt that your circumstances did not justify the egregiousness of these violations.”

They explain why my new pattern of better behavior can be expected to continue. Moreover it is clear that multiple chronic structural and systemic failures to my well-being resulted in an extreme psychotic state beyond my ability to be responsible for, within reason.

“The committee was concerned by the aggression and violent behavior you exhibited toward Student A considering you were on “good terms” and knowing about their previous history with assault.”

And history assaulting me! 

“The committee felt that they should consider the safety of the UCR community as a whole and that this aggressive behavior should not be modeled in a leadership role on campus.”

Expected feelings from this group. 

“The committee hoped that you will use this time to focus on your development,”

You hope that cutting off my employment, pushing me to criminal means to support myself will even allow me to have time to focus on my development? From what privileged bubble are you operating? In what fantasy world does this make any fucking sense?

“As a result of your actions, the sanction assigned is DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION for four quarters, effective immediately for Fall Quarter 2021 and extending through Summer 2022.”

I reject this. 

“Should you choose to appeal, the Suspension (and other sanctions) will be held in abeyance until the completion of the appeal process. However, if the original sanction is upheld, unless otherwise indicated by the Executive Committee, the Suspension will apply retroactively to the date of this letter.”

This hereby takes effect. 

“Loss of student status during disciplinary suspension would also mean that you would no longer be eligible for leadership positions which are dependent on your student status, such as GSA.”

It is wholly undemocratic to ignore the Constitutional process of  GSA Officer removal and democratic legitimacy of the popular vote. See https://gsa.ucr.edu/governance/. See Article III Section 18 of the GSA Constitution:

[Figure 5: Screenshot of Article III Section 18 of GSA Constitution, courtesy of author.]

I am an elected officer. Perhaps being suspended qualifies as failure to carry out my duties, or my behavior qualifies as misbehavior in my office, or failure to meet qualifications of office. At any regular or special meeting of the Council, a motion for impeachment, including the charges against me, may be introduced by any member, i.e. any graduate student. If the motion is passed, a committee shall be established by the Council to investigate the charges. The committee shall present its report, including recommendation for or against impeachment at the next regular GSC meeting. Upon establishing quorum and upon subsequent voting by all present representatives, a two-thirds vote for impeachment shall be required for removal.

“Upon your return from suspension, you will be placed on DISCIPLINARY PROBATION for the remainder of your studies at the University of California, Riverside. This probation will end upon graduation. Disciplinary Probation is defined as a status imposed for a specified period of time during which a student must demonstrate conduct that conforms to University standards of conduct. Conditions restricting the student’s privileges or eligibility for activities may be imposed. Misconduct during the probationary period or violation of any conditions of the probation may result in further disciplinary action, normally in the form of Suspension or Dismissal.”

  Suspension rejected, therefore no return from suspension.

“In addition to being placed on Disciplinary Probation and Suspension, you are required to complete the following sanctions:

  1. 105.15 Educational activity(ies): Meet with Student Affairs Case Management

Complete by: Within one month of your return to campus

You must carry out regular meetings with a Student Affairs Case Manager, starting immediately, with your meeting to be scheduled and attended within two weeks of receiving this notification. These meetings will be geared toward providing support to you as you complete the assigned sanctions and address the potential stressors brought about by personal circumstances. These meetings will occur at the frequency and duration determined by the Case Manager. It is your responsibility to provide documentation to SCAIP which confirms your attendance at meetings with three (3) business days following your meeting. You may utilize the form attached to the email version of this letter to document meetings. The Case Manager can be reached at casemanager@ucr.edu or (951)827-5000. Verification Form: http://students673.ucr.edu/docsserver/conduct/SACMVerification.pdf

I will meet with Alton, sure.

 “105.15 Educational activity(ies): Develop an Action Plan

Complete by: Within one month of your return to campus

Develop an Action Plan with your Case Manager that specifically outlines the measurable steps you will take to manage your alcohol use and avoid aggressive behavior. Items in your action plan must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. That is, you will have to be able to provide documentation, and signed releases where necessary, in order for SCAIP to verify you are complying with the plan. The plan should include specific dates and locations/providers/resources. The activities you name in your Action Plan may include, but are not limited to making and keeping counseling appointments and identifying on- or off-campus resources. The Action Plan should incorporate recommendations from your Case Manager, if any, and be approved by your Case Manager, indicative of an awareness of the contents of your plan. The Action Plan is to be submitted to SCAIP by the deadline indicated. Please submit your Action Plan Worksheet via email to conduct@ucr.edu. You will then be responsible for providing documentation indicating you are following the plan, by the deadlines and at the frequency named in your plan, until the action plan is completed.

Your Action Plan should address how you will manage your alcohol use in the future through moderation or other methods and avoiding aggressive behavior. You should have ideas for your Action Plan ready when you first visit Case Management. http://students673.ucr.edu/docsserver/conduct/ActionPlanWorksheet.pdf

 Fine.

“105.15 Educational activity(ies): Reflection Paper – Letters of Apology

Complete by: Prior to re-enrollment

The apology letter will not be sent, but it should be written as if it will be. The letter should address those involved who were impacted by your behavior, as well as anyone else you believe to have been impacted by the incident. The letter should reflect on what went wrong in these situations, what steps you have or will take to improve the situation moving forward, and any advice that you might provide to students in a similar situation. The letter should be around three (3) pages long, written in standard times new roman, 12 point font, double spaced. You may submit this completed letter to conduct@ucr.edu upon completion.”

 To whom? Why not send them?

“105.15 Educational activity(ies): Academic Integrity Education Meeting with SCAIP

Complete by: Within one month of your return to campus

After you have completed all the above sanction assignments, you must schedule and attend an Academic Integrity Education Meeting with Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs by the indicated deadline. During the meeting, you will meet with a staff member to review your actions and choices in this incident, review the UCR Academic Integrity Policies and Definitions, and discuss how future incidents may impact your status as a student. Please email your availability, with at least three specific days and times, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00AM and 5:00PM, to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs at conduct@ucr.edu to schedule the Academic Integrity Education Meeting.”

Fine. 

“All meetings and follow-up materials must be completed and turned in to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs by the deadline(s) listed above, no later than 4:00 PM. Written sanctions or those which require documentation should be submitted either in person to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs at 111 Costo Hall or electronically to conduct@ucr.edu. All sanctions should be completed according to the following guidelines:”

  Fine.

  • “All papers must be electronically delivered to conduct@ucr.edu in Word format (.doc/.docx, .pages will not be accepted);”
    .doc/.docx is Word format…
  • “Assignments must be your own original work, include proper citation and references and comply with the UCR Academic Integrity policies; these assignments will be submitted to SafeAssign by SCAIP;”
    Okay.
  • “All papers must be types, double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins on all sides and must meet the length and/or content requirements indicated in the sanction letter;”
    Okay.
  • “All written submissions must be proofread and should contain minimal grammatical spelling, punctuation or other such errors;”
    Okay.
  • “Utilizing the paper to justify one’s own actions or to evaluate, criticize, or place blame on others is not permitted.”
    Under consideration.

In Response to Evidence

Finally we arrive at the review of the evidence.

[Figure 6: Screenshot of description of internal flyer photograph, courtesy of author.]

I’m not  male, slender, and my hair isn’t long.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d0z2t7CPrP-nTV38mhSWZtgWicHJJ0RiaKhiLpuQD3k/edit?usp=sharing

best–

Nichi Yes

University of California, Riverside

Philosophy Department, Graduate Student

Graduate Student Association, President

nichiyes.com

951-723-5089

nichi@nichiyes.com

(she/her)”

One of the listed recipients of the appeal was the graduate student body, which displeased the administration. I’m not super surprised given their record of anti-transparency at every opportunity, but it did result in this December 9 email from Christine Mata:

“Dear Nichi,

I am imposing interim restrictions pending the appeal decision being issued, as per Section 10 of the Administration of the Standards of Conduct (“The filing of a timely appeal suspends the imposition of sanctions until the appeal is decided, but interim action may be taken as determined by the dean of students.”). You are restricted from utilizing the GSA email listserv for any reason. You are also restricted from physically accessing the GSA office or area. These restrictions go into effect immediately and remain in place until otherwise stated in writing from me. Failure to comply with these interim restrictions will result in further disciplinary action.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact SCAIP at conduct@ucr.edu.

Sincerely, 

Christine Mata 

CC: FILE

John Freese, Interim Chief of Police, UCPD

Tasha Yules, Director, Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs

Kara Oswood, Director, Academic Affairs, Graduate Division

Laurie Sinclair, Executive Director, Associated Students, UC Riverside (ASUCR)

Christine Mata, Ph.D.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Dean of Students 

University of California, Riverside

christine.mata@ucr.edu

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

Finally, on Friday, December 17, the utter disappointment of a formulaic non-response from a formerly-respected Dean:

On behalf of Christine Mata, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

CONFIDENTIAL

December 17, 2021

Nichi Yes


STUDENT ID # 862004338

Re: Appeal Decision Letter

Dear Nichi,

On November 17, 2021, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Programs (SCAIP) notified you that the Student Conduct Committee (SCC) found you responsible for violating the following sections of the University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students (PACAOS):

·         University Policy 102.04 – Theft of, conversion of, destruction of, or damage to any property of the University, or any property of others while on University premises, or possession of any property when the student had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge that it was stolen;

·         University Policy 102.08 – Physical abuse including but not limited to physical assault; threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person;

·         University Policy 102.14 – Disorderly or Lewd Conduct.

As a result of these findings, the Committee assigned you four quarters of Disciplinary Suspension from the University of California, effective Fall 2021 through Summer 2022, as well as Disciplinary Probation for the remainder of your studies upon your return from Suspension, and several educational sanction assignments.

On December 2, 2021, you submitted an appeal of this decision. As you have been informed, an appeal must be based on one of the following grounds:

1.       Newly discovered evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing

2.       Significant procedural error

3.       Other evidence or arguments, which, for good cause, should be considered

In your appeal materials, you did not directly state on which grounds you based your appeal, but from my review of your materials, your appeal appears to be based on all three allowable grounds. You also wrote: “I am here asking for a rejection of the decision that I am responsible for the UCPD vandalism, and modification to the sanctions for the assault and vehicular damage.”

Ground 1: Newly discovered evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing

In reviewing arguments made under Ground 1, appeal officers at UC Riverside generally consider whether the student’s appeal: 1) identifies material information that was unknown or unavailable at the time of the hearing; 2) explains how the information has become available since the time of the hearing, despite diligent efforts to provide the University with all relevant information during the review process; and 3) persuades that, when applying the preponderance of the evidence standard, the decision is unreasonable in light of all of the evidence (i.e., both the evidence included in the Administrative Review and/or Student Conduct Committee review and any newly presented evidence).

In your appeal materials, you state: “I didn’t expect the Committee to ignore my direction to the Campus Safety Taskforce website, so I will be providing further evidence here,” (in reference to the information presented regarding your behavior at the Campus Safety Taskforce meeting on the day before the vandalism at UCPD occurred). You then provided the statement you gave at the Taskforce meeting, as well as your impressions of the Chancellor’s response, and a reiteration of your belief that Interim Chief John Freese confused you with another member of the Taskforce who recused themselves.

However, in my review, I did not find any evidence which showed the information you presented in your appeal documents was unavailable at the time of the hearing; rather, you described the statement generally, but did not present the written version of your statement provided in your appeal materials to the committee at the hearing. Respondents are provided with the packet of information which the University Representative will present to the committee, at least three business days in advance of the hearing, so that, among other reasons, respondents may collect and prepare any additional information not contained in the packet and which they deem relevant, for presentation to the committee. Therefore, I find that your appeal materials do not present any new evidence that was unavailable at the time of the hearing, and I do not accept your Ground 1 argument.

Ground 2: Significant Procedural Error

In reviewing arguments made under Ground 2, appeal officers at UC Riverside generally consider whether the student’s appeal: 1) describes the error(s); 2) produces any evidence that demonstrates the error(s) were made; and 3) persuades that the error(s) was/were significant, rather than a “harmless error,” i.e. that the error(s) had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the hearing. While this is not an exhaustive list of what constitutes an acceptable argument under this ground, it serves as a general framework for considering arguments of significant procedural error.

In your appeal materials, you make several arguments which seem to fall under the procedural error ground. First, you state that Section 6.10 of the Administration of the Standards of Conduct prohibits the imposition of sanctions without the consent of the respondent, and therefore the assigned sanctions are invalid: “As I admit to violating the Standards of Conduct as charged, sanctions may not be imposed without my consent, and I do not consent to the stated sanctions, nor was I afforded the opportunity to consult with an advisor, of my choice or otherwise, before giving consent or at any other point.”

However, as is clear from the case documentation, including your own statements at the SCC hearing and in your appeal materials, you do not admit responsibility for violating the Standards of Conduct as charged, specifically University Policy 102.04. Second, Section 6.10 outlines only one of several ways allegations may be addressed by SCAIP. The Administration of the Standards of Conduct Section 4.20 states SCAIP (emphasis added): “will determine how complaints will be adjudicated based on the nature and severity of the alleged violations of Standards in accordance with these guidelines:

·         [SCAIP] will informally address cases of alleged misconduct where individual student(s) admit to violating the Standards of Conduct as charged and formally addresses non-academic violations in which a sanction of probation or less is recommended.

·         The Student Conduct Committee will hear serious and chronic cases of alleged misconduct where a sanction of suspension or dismissal of student or organizational status are possible.

As the allegations against you were determined to be serious enough to warrant consideration of suspension or dismissal, your case was referred to the Student Conduct Committee for review. Sanctions assigned by the committee do not require the consent of the respondent.

In the same statement above you also allege that you were not given the opportunity to consult with an advisor at any point in the conduct process. However, as is clear from the case documentation, you were informed of your right to an advisor prior to meeting with SCAIP. Specifically, both your August 5, 2021, interim suspension notice and September 10, 2021, charge notice were sent with an attachment titled “FAQs on Administrative Reviews,” which contains the following language about advisors: “You have the right to an advisor throughout the conduct process. Students may choose anyone as an advisor, such as a family member, friend, attorney, former coach, faculty member, etc. (as long as they are not directly involved in the alleged incident). Advisors assist in preparation for and/or provide support during meetings; however, advisors may not represent you. Only one advisor may accompany you during a meeting. More information on advisors is available in our online FAQ.”

You also stated that your hearing may have violated your rights under the ADA: “I also highlight, ‘I should note at this point that my communication disorder includes not being able to speak sometimes. My dissociative identity disorder includes amnesia and sudden changes in personality.’ This negatively impacted my ability to make my case clearly during the hearing. If the conditions to make your case were not available to me given my disorders, the hearing may not be ADA-compliant.” However, as is clear from the case documentation, you were notified in the August 5 notice referenced above, as well as in your October 8 and 22, 2021, Referral to Committee notices, that you could request disability accommodations and should do so as soon as possible: “If you require disability accommodations, please contact SCAIP as soon as possible, at least a week before your Review.” There is no information that you requested any accommodations, either prior to or during the hearing, nor do you state you did so in your appeal materials.

In your appeal materials you also wrote: “I argue that Student Conduct is the wrong office to be dealing with this case, and Case Management is the appropriate office.” However, SCAIP is clearly the correct office to adjudicate alleged violations of the Standards of Conduct and has appropriate jurisdiction to handle this case.

You also made several arguments which can be placed under the umbrella statement that the decision in the UCPD vandalism case was unreasonable based on the evidence. I reviewed the information contained in the case documentation, as well as presented in your appeal materials, and do not find the decision was unreasonable based on the evidence.

Based on all of the available information, I found no evidence of significant procedural error in this case, and therefore I do not accept your Ground 2 arguments.

Ground 3: Other Evidence or arguments, which, for good cause, should be considered

Regarding Ground 3, other evidence or arguments which, for good cause, should be considered, you stated that you feel the sanctions for the vehicular vandalism incident should be amended, specifically: “It seems just for me to make amends to the individual whose car I kicked. The proper form seems to me to be cash payment.” In reviewing this argument, I agree that paying restitution for the damage caused (if any) is an appropriate course of action. However, the committee did not assign restitution as a sanction originally, and I do not wish to add an additional financial burden which you would be required to resolve before being allowed to return from suspension. Therefore, your sanctions have not been amended to require restitution; however, if you feel strongly that restitution is something you should do, you may work with SCAIP to facilitate such restitution to the vehicle owner.

After taking all evidence and information into account, I have UPHELD the Student Conduct Committee’s decision on responsibility and sanctions, with a modification to the suspension start and end quarters detailed below. In your original committee decision letter, you were informed that the sanction would go into effect retroactive to the date of the letter, November 17, 2021, should the sanction be upheld following an appeal. However, given that the Fall Quarter is now completed, I have decided that your Disciplinary Suspension will not go into effect until December 20, 2021As this date is after the close of Fall 2021, your four quarters of Suspension will begin Winter 2021 (rather than retroactively including Fall 2021) and continue through Fall 2022. This change allows you to retain credit for any coursework/degree progress you completed during Fall quarter and prevents you having to reimburse any financial aid you may have received for Fall. Provided you are otherwise eligible to return, you will be eligible to return in Winter Quarter 2023. Well before then (at least a full quarter before), you should contact your major college and Graduate Division for specific readmission procedures and deadlines.

As a reminder, during your suspension, you are prohibited from access to campus, including the Student Recreation Center, UNEX, Housing facilities, classes and all University activities, or privileges for which a student might otherwise be eligible, without prior written authorization from SCAIP. This includes holding leadership positions in any organizations which are dependent on your student status, which includes the Graduate Student Association. Please coordinate the return of all keys and items related to your GSA Leadership position with Laurie Sinclair, via email at laurie.sinclair@ucr.edu. Note you will need permission from SCAIP before coming onto campus to return keys/other items, so make sure to notify Assistant Director McStay once a time has been scheduled.

All other sanctions remain as assigned in the Committee’s decision letter.

This decision is final and represents the conclusion of the student conduct process.

Respectfully,

Christine Mata, Ph.D.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

cc:        FILE

Kyle McStay, Assistant Director SCAIP
Tasha Yules, Director, SCAIP
Brian L. Haynes, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor Student Affairs
John Freese, Interim Chief of Police, UCPD
Christine Victorino, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor Student Affairs
Laurie Lee, Interim Director, Student Affairs Case Management
Kara Oswood, Director, Academic Affairs, Graduate Division     
Shaun Bowler, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate Division”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s