Code of Conduct
The Buena Vista University community subscribes to and strongly supports the rights of each student to study and interact in a quiet, respectful and nonviolent atmosphere that supports the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge. Each member of the University community is expected to assume responsibility for creating an environment conducive to fulfilling such a goal.
Buena Vista University is an independent institution of higher education affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The University Student Code of Conduct policy is based on academic and social rights and responsibilities. One of the objectives of higher education is to help students achieve self-reliance and desirable and acceptable habits of conduct.
By attending Buena Vista University, students voluntarily indicate their decision to behave within the norms set forth by the University. Any person not willing to live within these norms should expect disciplinary action by the University and/or criminal prosecution.
- The term University means Buena Vista University.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the University, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate or professional studies. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered "students" as are persons who are living in University residence halls, although not enrolled in this institution. Students who have finished all course work, but have yet to receive their diplomas are also considered "students." This Student Code of Conduct applies at all locations of the University, including the Storm Lake campus and Graduate Professional Studies (GPA) sites.
- The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the University to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the University to be a member of its faculty.
- The term “University official” includes any person employed by the University performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
- The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, university official or any other person employed by the University. A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the President of the University.
- The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the University (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
- The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for university recognition/registration.
- The term “Student Conduct Board” means any person or persons authorized by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (may be referred to as VPSA/Dean of Students) to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and to recommend sanctions that may be imposed when a rules violation has been committed.
- The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
- The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students is that person designated by the President of the University to be responsible for the administration of the Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “policy” means the written regulations of the University as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct, Student Handbook, Residence Life Handbook, the University Web Page and Computer Use policy, Graduate and Undergraduate Academic Catalogs.
- The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, test, or examinations; (2) use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments; (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff; (4) engaging in any behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion.
- The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
- The term “Complainant” means any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Student Code of Conduct. When a student believes that she/he has been a victim of another student’s misconduct, the student who believes she/he has been a victim will have the same rights under this Student Code of Conduct as are provided to the Complainant, even if another member of the University community submitted the charge itself.
- The term “Accused Student” means any student accused of violating this Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “Accessory” means any student who aides, abets, incites or cooperates with another person in the commission of a violation of this Student Code of Conduct.
- Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals. Student organizations have similar responsibility for maintaining good conduct among their members and guests and at activities that they sponsor. All members of the campus community are expected to use reasonable judgment in their daily campus life and to show due concern for the welfare and rights of others.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs/ Dean of Students is vested with the responsibility for the Student Code of Conduct. This responsibility includes formulating and implementing operating procedures for the consideration of conduct violations and the imposition of sanctions in an efficient, consistent, fair, legal, and educational manner. The Vice President for Student Affairs/ Dean of Students delegates the daily operation of the Student Code of Conduct to the Assistant Dean of Students or appropriate designee hereto referred to as Assistant Dean/designee.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students of Buena Vista University is authorized to assign disciplinary cases to special conference committees or officers as that are deemed appropriate.
- The Assistant Dean of Students/designee may determine the appropriateness of cases to be adjudicated through the student conduct system or through appropriate alternatives.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs /Dean of Students and the Assistant Dean of Students/designee are vested with the authority to adjudicate all violations of the Student Code of Conduct. If it is determined that circumstances warrant different procedures, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students and/or the Assistant Dean of Students/designee may follow procedures other than those outlined below. In all cases, due process shall be afforded any student accused of misconduct.
- The Student Code of Conduct and the discipline process covers all persons taking courses through the University, both full and part-time, pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies, and any person residing in university housing. The University may take jurisdiction over any violation of the Student Code of Conduct committed during the time in which the student is enrolled, including incidents off campus, time between semesters, during breaks, semesters abroad, and during leaves of absences. If a student, allegedly involved in a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, separates or graduates from the University prior to resolution, the student conduct process can continue at the discretion of the University. If a conference or hearing is not pursued upon separation of the student, the pending charges will be resolved, at the discretion of the University, prior to any future readmission. The University reserves the right to take the appropriate action when behavior of an individual or individuals presents a danger to the health, safety, and well-being of themselves and/or others in the community. It is expected that students will conduct themselves in a manner that demonstrates their respect for the rights of others. Also, individuals engaging in activities off campus have responsibility to conduct such activities within the laws and ordinances of the community.
- Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which reflects favorably for them and the University. Students shall be held accountable for unfavorable conduct through this Student Code of Conduct.
- The University
Buena Vista University is a community of learning characterized by mutual responsibility and the active concern of each for the good of all, in common pursuit of wisdom. This responsibility includes regard for the safety, security and health of others. It also includes respect and care for what we share in common and hold in trust for the educational mission of the University: tangible goods like the physical facilities of the University; intangible goods like traditions of mutual respect and civil behavior.
Buena Vista University students are encouraged to speak freely, to assemble peacefully and to petition. They may expect freedom from personal force and violence, threats of violence and personal abuse. As members of an academic community, students should conduct themselves within limits established by Buena Vista University for maintaining a learning environment.
At BVU, the student’s academic and social freedoms are largely unrestricted — until the choices made begin to interfere with the freedom and rights of other members of the campus community. However, responsibility does not simply end where the regulations begin. It is also the student’s responsibility, as a member of the University community, to work to improve the conditions for learning and living on the campus.
A function of Buena Vista University is to facilitate the learning and development of persons within the University community. This purpose carries with it the responsibility to regulate conduct and behavior so that the achievement of educational and other goals is not impeded, obstructed or threatened. Ultimately, university authority in matters of student conduct resides with the President of the University and the person(s) to whom immediate authority and responsibility has been delegated, namely, the Vice President for Student Affairs and his/her staff. Student conduct, which evidences good intentions, mature considerations for reasonable and foreseeable consequences, and respect for others will support the standards of the University community.
If a student is involved in misconduct, the University may impose sanctions. In general, the University is concerned with violations of campus rules and policies. However, civil or criminal infractions may be of such a nature or severity that there is a legitimate reason for concern for the safety, property, well-being and reputation of the University or the safety, property and well-being of members of the University community.
Student organizations and groups are expected to adhere to all applicable institutional regulations. Officers of organizations are responsible for assuring compliance and, if appropriate, for representation when disciplinary proceedings are initiated.
- Respect for the Dignity of the Person
At BVU we strive to create an environment where respect and dignity of each person is recognized as a core value. It is particularly necessary that this respect encompasses diversity and differences of opinion. Offenses against persons because of their race, religion, ethnicity, ability, gender or sexual orientation are especially intolerable in view of the University’s commitment to respect for the person. The regulations and prohibitions in this Student Code of Conduct protect the dignity of the whole person.
- Personal Integrity
The education offered by Buena Vista University is an education that instills in its students the virtues of humility, civility, integrity and respect. Especially appropriate in a University community are virtues for truthfulness, honesty and personal honor. Misrepresentation of any kind, whether inside or outside of the classroom, is a violation of truth. Buena Vista University believes that students must accept their responsibility as citizens to obey local, state and Federal laws. For the sake of their own self-respect and well-being, it is incumbent on all students to exercise temperance in the consumption of alcohol. Only students who are twenty-one (21) years of age or older are permitted to possess or consume alcohol. Students will not be excused from responsibility for actions committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The regulations and prohibitions that follow ensure the personal integrity expected of every student of Buena Vista University.
- Good Samaritan Policy
The health and safety of students is the primary concern of the BVU community. Consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol or controlled substances can place a person at risk of serious illness or even death. When an on-campus student believes that assistance for an intoxicated/impaired student is needed, they are expected to contact Campus Security for assistance. Campus Security officers are trained in first aid and will assess intoxicated/impaired individuals to provide assistance, and if necessary, facilitate transport to the appropriate medical facilities for treatment. Students who contact Campus Security to obtain aid for another person in need of assistance will be given consideration based on the circumstances of the incident.
- Campus Expression
Students enjoy freedom of speech and expression on campus and at University sponsored off campus events or activities. Civil discourse, characterized by mutual respect for individuals and for opposing viewpoints, is an inherent responsibility of all members of the University community.
Free speech and expression does not include illegal activity or activity that endangers or threatens to endanger the safety of any member of the community, or any of the University’s physical facilities, or any activity that disrupts or impedes the functions of the University or threatens such disruption or hindrance.
Offensive expression on matters including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, ability, or sexual orientation is inappropriate in the BVU community and will be treated as harassment.
- Classroom Expression
Students enjoy freedom of speech and research, of legitimate classroom discussion, and of advocacy of alternative opinions to those expressed in the classroom. Students will be evaluated on knowledge and academic performance and not on the basis of personal or political beliefs.
- Public Speakers
Students may invite and hear speakers of their choice on subjects of their choice, subject to the limitation that the University may withhold approval of an event or a speaker if holding such an event or providing a forum for the speaker is determined to be contrary to the mission of the University.
- Campus Publications and Communications
The student press, television and radio station enjoy reasonable editorial freedom. This freedom carries with it the obligation to operate responsibly according to journalistic and broadcast ethics, consistent with the University’s mission and any applicable legal regulations. Student editors and managers will not be suspended because of student, faculty, administration, alumni or community disapproval of reasonable editorial policy or content.
- Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained search for truth. Freedom for the individual is defined as the right to act or speak, so long as it does not adversely affect the rights of others. Believing in this concept, Buena Vista University will protect freedom of action and freedom of speech for students, so long as it is not of an inflammatory or demeaning nature, is truthful and accurate and does not interfere with the students’ living and learning environment. It shall constitute a disruptive act for any member of the campus community to engage in any conduct which would substantially obstruct, interfere with or impair instructions, research, administration, authorized use of University facilities, the rights and privileges of other members of the BVU community, or student conduct proceedings.
The following constitutes the official record of general violations of conduct rules and regulations of Buena Vista University. Students and student organizations are expected to abide by these regulations. These regulations are not designed to define prohibitive conduct in exhaustive terms. Additional rules and regulations may be adopted and will be communicated through campus email and web sources. A student or student organization that is responsible for misconduct or is responsible for being an accessory to misconduct shall be subject to sanctions authorized by this code. Areas of misconduct include:
Buena Vista University believes that personal integrity and academic honesty are fundamental to scholarship. We strive to create an environment where the dignity of each person is recognized and an atmosphere of mutual trust exists between instructors and students. Accordingly, honesty in all academic matters is expected from all students. Actions contrary to academic integrity will not be tolerated. Any attempt to cheat, misrepresent someone else's work as one's own, receive credit for work one did not do, obtain an unfair advantage over other students, or aid another student to do the above will be considered a breach of academic integrity. The faculty has confidence in the integrity of students and encourages students to exercise good judgment in fulfilling this responsibility.
Activities that have the effect or intention of interfering with learning or fair evaluation of a student's work or performance are considered a breach of academic integrity.
Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to:
Cheating: (intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized material, assistance, or study aids in any academic work). For example, using a cheat sheet for a test, looking at another student's paper during an exam, stealing or buying all or parts of an exam or paper, altering and resubmitting work for a better grade without prior approval to do so, etc.
Cheating includes but is not limited to:
1. use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations;
2. use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments;
3. the acquisition, without permission, of test or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff;
4. engaging in behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion.
Plagiarism: representing another's ideas, words, expressions, or data in writing or presentation without properly acknowledging the source. This includes, but is not limited to, misrepresenting another's work as one's original work, using someone else's idea without giving proper credit, failing to cite a reference or failing to use proper documentation, using works of another gained over the Internet and submitted as one’s own work, etc. The term “plagiarism” includes but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without clear acknowledgement. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
- Falsification and/or misrepresentation of data: submitting contrived or made up information in any academic exercise. This includes, but is not limited to making up data, citing non-existent sources, etc.
- Facilitating academic dishonesty: knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any provision of the academic honesty policy. This includes, but is not limited to, working together on a take home exam or other assignment when the option has not been made available, giving your paper/assignment to another student for his/her use, etc.
- Computer crimes: damaging or modifying computer programs without permission. This includes, but is not limited to, software piracy, hacking, constructing viruses, knowingly introducing viruses into the system, copying programs and/or data belonging to others, etc.
- Multiple submission: submitting, without prior approval from the instructors involved, any work submitted to fulfill academic requirements in another class. This includes, but is not limited to, submitting the same paper for two different classes, etc.
- Misrepresentation of academic records: knowingly misrepresenting or tampering with any portion of official records of the University or transcripts. This includes, but is not limited to, forging a change of grade slip or registration form, tampering with computer records, etc.
- Unfair advantage: trying to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students. This includes, but is not limited to, gaining or facilitating unauthorized access to exam materials (past or present); interfering with another student's efforts in an academic exercise; lying about the need for an extension on a paper or assignment; destroying, hiding, removing or keeping, library materials, etc.
Any violation of this policy will be treated as a serious matter. The instructor has primary responsibility over classroom behavior and maintaining academic integrity. Instructors are encouraged to specify clearly at the beginning of each course what constitutes violations of academic honesty and the consequences for academic dishonesty. In cases of repeated or flagrant violations, a student may be dismissed from the University. Depending on nature and severity of the offense, the University reserves the right to exact maximum penalty, even in the case of a first offense. See the University catalog for the complete policy of Academic Honesty
All students and student organizations are subject to the judicial procedures prescribed in this code.
- Initiation of Charges. The Assistant Dean of Students/designee bears the responsibility for the initiation of student conduct procedures against a student for alleged misconduct. The Assistant Dean of Students/designee will review instances of reported misconduct to determine if the student conduct process should be initiated. Any member of the University community may register a complaint in writing with the Assistant Dean of Students/designee against a student for alleged violation of University policy. In the absence of sufficient information as determined by the Assistant Dean of Students, a complaint will be dismissed.
- Notification of Charges. Once it is determined that student conduct proceedings will be initiated, all charges will be issued to the charged student. All charge notices will be (a) emailed to the student’s University e-mail account, (b) mailed to the on-campus address of the charged student, (c) mailed by certified, return receipt requested mail to the off-campus address on file in the University Registrar’s office, or d) hand delivered by a member of the student affairs staff and/or student staff. Notices sent by these methods will be presumed to be delivered unless returned as undeliverable. Students are responsible for ensuring that their mailing address of record is current and complete. Students are also responsible for checking their University assigned e-mail account. In some cases, the Assistant Dean of Students/designee may notify a student of charges in person.
- Failure to Respond. The student will be considered properly notified when the formal charge letter scheduling a conference has been (a) e-mailed to the student’s University e-mail account, (b) mailed to the on-campus address of the charged student, (c) mailed by certified, return receipt requested mail to the off-campus address on file in the University Registrar’s Office, or d) hand delivered by a member of the student affairs staff and/or student staff. If the charged student has been properly notified of the charges and the student conduct conference date, and still does not attend the scheduled conference, a decision of responsibility will be made based upon the available information. No recommendation for the imposition of sanctions may be based solely upon the failure of the accused student to answer charges or appear at the conference.
- Student Conduct Conference Procedures
- The Assistant Dean of Students/designee is responsible for scheduling, coordinating, and presenting all cases. The Assistant Dean of Students/designee and Vice President of Student Affairs/designee shall determine if the alleged misconduct requires a hearing by the Student Conduct Board or an individual conference with the Assistant Dean of Students/designee.
Options for Resolution of Student Conduct Charges. It should be clearly understood that there is a fundamental difference between the nature of student discipline and that of criminal law. Regardless of the options exercised for resolution of charges the discipline of students within the University community must be consistent with the educational mission of the institution. At the conference with the Assistant Dean of Students/designee, the charged student will have all the resolution options outlined below fully explained:
a. Accept responsibility for the charge(s) and elect for the Assistant Dean of
Students/designee to determine appropriate sanction(s).
b. Enter a statement of not responsible to the charge(s) and present evidence and
testimony relevant to the charged student’s alleged violation and/or misconduct.
The Assistant Dean of Students/designee will exercise control over the conference to avoid needless consumption of time, repetition of information, and/or prevent the harassment or intimidation of participants. The conference can be recessed at any time by the Assistant Dean of Students/designee.
All conferences shall be conducted in an informal manner and technical rules of evidence will not be applied. Responsibility can only be determined if the Assistant Dean of Students/designee finds that it is more likely than not (based on a preponderance of evidence) that the accused is responsible.
Upon completion of the conference, the Assistant Dean of Students/designee shall, within a reasonable time [usually five (5) school days] make findings of fact and conclusions for the disposition of the case and sanctions to be imposed, if any. The student will be notified of the disposition of the case, sanctions and appeal process by (a) e-mail to the student’s University e-mail account, (b) mailed to the on-campus address of the student; or (c) mailed by certified, return receipt mail to the office campus address on file in the University Registrar’s office.
The Assistant Dean of Students/designee may impose sanctions up to and including Residence Hall Separation.
STUDENT CONDUCT BOARD
This student conduct process is confidential, but the decision is not necessarily confidential. The student may appeal this decision to the appropriate administrator (see “Appeals Process” within the Student Conduct section). In special cases requiring immediate action, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or a designee may impose certain actions for the safety and welfare or the community. These actions will be temporary until the Student Conduct Board can be convened and a final outcome is determined. Such temporary actions must be reported to the Student Conduct Board and other appropriate administrators.
The Assistant Dean of Students/designee shall present the case for the institution at the Student Conduct Board hearing. Any student charged with a violation will receive written notification of the charges, and the nature of the evidence. Hearings are non-adversarial (i.e. no attorneys), confidential, and shall not be considered analogous to court proceedings. Hearings will be conducted with simplicity and fairness, and will not be restricted to technical rules of substantive or procedural law. While the proceedings of the Student Conduct Board are confidential, its decision is not necessarily confidential.
1. The Student Conduct Board shall consist of the following voting members:
- Six (6) faculty members (appointed by the chair of the Faculty Senate). These six shall elect one member to serve as chairperson for the academic year. This chairperson will preside at all hearings and shall vote only in the case of a tie.
- Six (6) student members (appointed by the president of Student Senate)
- One student (1) representing Pierce, White and Swope Halls
- One student (1) representing Grand and Liberty Halls
- One student (1) representing Briscoe, Constitution, McCorkle Halls
- Three (3) at large members
*Student members must be in good standing with Buena Vista University. Good standing means that the student may not be currently on disciplinary probation or have been previously on disciplinary probation within the last academic year. During the term of appointment if the student conduct board member has a change in status, he/she will be removed from the position and the president of the Student Senate will appoint an alternate to fill the vacancy.
It is encouraged that one (1) of the at-large positions be held by an off-campus student. The Student Senate president may represent one (1) of the student groups. Students in their first semester at Buena Vista University are not eligible. All faculty and students are appointed to the Student Conduct Board on an annual basis.
The chairperson shall select one faculty member and three students to serve at each hearing. This list shall be presented to the accused and to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee. Each may strike one member from the list. A member of the Board involved as a witness or in close relationship with the accused may not serve as a member of the hearing panel. The chair will then arbitrarily select a replacement from the existing constituent board members. The chairperson shall act as the fifth member of the hearing board and shall be in charge of the proceedings. The final list of hearing board members must then be sent to the accused and to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee for final signature.
Emergency changes in membership may be made so long as both parties agree in writing. Should an agreement not be reached between the parties, the hearing may be postponed by the chairperson for a reasonable time, usually five (5) school days. If no agreement has been reached, the chairperson will make appointments to the membership from the existing pool.
- The charged student is entitled to:
1) Appear in person, hear all information presented and present any relevant information, have
an advisor present, and call witnesses.
- A witness must be a person who has firsthand knowledge of the event or actions in question.
- Witnesses who wish to testify to the character of the student charged with the violations may not be called at this stage of the process.
- The charged student must submit in writing the names of any witnesses that he/she wishes to give testimony. The list of witnesses must be submitted to the Assistant Dean of Students/designee at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled conference.
- An advisor is a current member of the University faculty or administration. The role of the advisor will be to consult with the accused at reasonable intervals during the course of the conference. The advisor may not address the Conduct Board or other persons at the hearing unless permitted to do so by the chair of the hearing board. Attorneys are not permitted in the hearing regardless of their relationship to the University. Parents, guardians, or other family members may not serve as advisors or attend a formal student conduct hearing unless approved as a rare exception at least 48 hours in advance by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
- If a charged student elects not to appear at the hearing, the hearing shall be conducted in the accused student’s absence.
- If a charged student refuses to answer any questions or make a statement, the conference authority shall make its decision on the basis of information available at the time of the conference.
- All conferences shall be conducted in private session. All statements, information, or comments given during the conference will be held in the strictest confidence by the student, the conference authority, the University staff, witnesses and advisors before, during and after deliberation.
- The proceedings shall be preserved by means of written and audio records. The audio record shall be destroyed six (6) months after the case has been resolved.
- The chairperson has the authority to maintain order and control of all persons at the hearing. The chairperson may expel persons from the hearing whose conduct interferes with the proper procedures of the Board. In such an event, the hearing will continue without the expelled person(s).
The Assistant Dean of Students/designee shall call for meetings of the Judicial Board. The Assistant Dean/designee will inform the accused of the convening of the Student Conduct Board meeting in a timely manner. After the hearing, the Conduct Board shall, within a reasonable time [usually five (5) school days] make findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations for the disposition of the case and sanctions to be imposed, if any, and forward to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
Within ten (10) days following receipt of the conduct board recommendations the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students shall review the findings and recommendations of the conduct board. The Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students is responsible to determine the final outcome of the case and notify the student in writing of the decision.
A Secretary will be selected by the Board from its membership. This person is responsible for keeping accurate records of the case(s). These records are confidential as to specifics of the case(s) and person(s) involved, but not as to university rules or principles of conduct, whether the final decision is responsible or not responsible.
The secretary’s confidential record should include thorough notes during the hearing, summaries of the reasoning of the Board and copies of the charges, decision, and sanctions. A report, omitting all names but otherwise complete, shall become a part of the permanent record of the Student Conduct Board and be available to members of the Board so as to provide a guideline for future deliberations. The secretary must file results of the hearing with the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students within two (2) class days after the adjournment of the proceedings.
The purpose of imposing sanctions is twofold: to protect the University community from behaviors that are detrimental to the educational process of the community; and to assist students in identifying acceptable parameters of their actions and consequences of future behaviors. The severity of the sanctions imposed is intended to correspond with the severity or frequency of violation, as well as the student’s willingness to recommit him or herself to good citizenship through behaviors that fall within the conduct of regulations of the University. The following student conduct sanctions may be imposed upon a student responsible for a violation either singly and/or in combination:
A. Expulsion. Expulsion is permanent separation from the University involving denial of all student privileges. Expulsion shall be effective on the date of notice of the expulsion, or later if so stated in the notice; and may be entered into the student’s transcript. Students separated from the University may not enter University premises or University-related premises without securing prior approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students/designee.
B. University Dismissal. Dismissal is a separation from the University involving denial of all student privileges. Dismissal shall be effective on the date of notice of the dismissal or later if so stated in the notice; may be entered into the student’s transcript; and may prescribe the date and conditions upon which the student may petition for readmission. Conditions for readmission may include, but are not limited to, disciplinary probation for a specified length of time; non-residence on campus; restricted visitation to specified campus facilities; and written statement from an accredited mental health professional or medical doctor verifying the capability of the student to function successfully at the University. Readmission is at the sole discretion of the University and is not guaranteed. Students separated from the University by dismissal may not enter University premises or University – related premises without securing prior approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students/designee. The dismissal notation will be removed from the student’s permanent record, by the Registrar, upon the student’s graduation. The dismissal notation can also possibly be removed earlier by petitioning the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
C. Campus Dismissal. Campus dismissal is the loss of privilege of living and being on campus except to attend classes. The student may not be on campus or University owned property/facilities for any reason other than to attend class during the stated period of campus dismissal and is prohibited from participating in all activities sponsored by the University or an organization affiliated with the University, whether on or off campus.
D. Residence Hall Separation. Residence Hall Separation involves removal from the campus residence hall community for conduct which clearly demonstrates an inability to function appropriately in the residence hall living situation. Such separation may be permanent or for a specified number of semesters. Such separation prohibits accessibility to all or designated residence halls and associated facilities. Visitation will not be permitted without securing prior approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students/designee. In no case will separation be less than the remainder of the semester in which it takes place.
E. Disciplinary Probation. A period of review and observation during which a student has been officially notified that his/her conduct, although not serious enough to warrant dismissal, was very inappropriate. Subsequent violations of University rules, regulations or policies (even after a particular probationary period expires) could result in a more severe sanction. Disciplinary Probation is a status which may involve restrictions, conditions, or terms imposed for a definite period of time. Restrictions, conditions, or terms of probation may include but are not limited to: ineligibility to participate in campus activities or events; periodic contact with a designated member of the campus community; restrictions on accessibility to University facilities and/or housing areas; and change in housing assignment. Restrictions, conditions, and terms will be imposed for a specific length of time not to exceed the length of the probationary period. Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of sanctioned disciplinary probation or additional behavior in violation of the Student Code of Conduct during the probationary period will likely result in more serious judicial action.
F. Behavioral Conduct Notice. A Behavioral Conduct Notice is a written notice to the student indicating that specific behavior or activity was in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and that repetition of similar or other unsatisfactory behaviors would likely result in more serious judicial action. A Behavioral Conduct Notice may also involve conditions that are intended to be educational in nature.
G. Restitution. Restitution is the reimbursement for actual damage to, destruction of, or misappropriation of University property or property of any person. The Assistant Dean of Students/designee will determine the appropriate reimbursement after receiving property damage assessment or replacement costs from the appropriate University authorities. Restitution is not a fine.
H. Institutional Scholarships. Should the University determine that a student is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, it may revoke a percentage of institutionally funded scholarships. Revocation of institutionally funded scholarships is generally imposed in lieu of dismissal or more restrictive sanctions for a severe violation under the Student Code of Conduct. Once imposed, the percentage of revoked scholarship assistance will be based upon the severity of the offense as well as the student’s conduct history. The revocation of institutionally funded scholarships applies to future semester(s); however, each circumstance will be determined individually. A student may apply to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students for reinstatement of aid after successful completion of the revocation period and full compliance with all related sanctions and conditions.
I. Termination of the Privileges of a Registered Student Organization. Termination of the Privileges of a Registered Student Organization is the loss of any or all privileges granted to University approved organizations. Imposition of this sanction does not preclude student conduct charges against individual members of the organization.
J. Termination of the Registration of a Registered Student Organization. Termination of the Registration of a Registered Student Organization is the discontinuation of the registration of the organization. This means the organization can no longer function or represent itself as an approved student organization of the University. Imposition of this sanction does not preclude student conduct charges against individual members of the organization.
K. Parental Notification for Violating the University’s Drug or Alcohol Policy. When found responsible for violations of these conduct standards, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students/designee can notify the responsible student’s parents or legal guardians of these violations as allowed by Federal law. This will occur only after the Assistant Dean of Students/designee has discussed this possible notification with the student and the student is under the age of twenty-one (21).
L. The following sanctions may be imposed, for any charged student found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct. Sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- Attendance at or participation in alcohol and/or other drug education program.
- Financial restitution for any loss sustained or incurred by the institution or member(s) of the University community.
- Community restitution.
- Mandatory session with Counselor.
- Mandatory meetings with designated faculty/staff for accountability purposes.
- Educational project/presentation.
- Suspension of computer account/Internet use.
- Restriction from specific University buildings, areas, or facilities.
- Restriction or denial of campus driving privileges for student conduct violations involving the use or registration of motor vehicles and parking permits.
- No contact with designated persons.
- Residence Life housing reassignment or loss of ability to re-contract or reapply for on-campus housing.
- Loss of points for participation in the room draw.
- Monetary fines.
- Loss of University privileges, including, but not limited to, guest privileges, athletic privileges, housing privileges, co-curricular privileges, party reservation privileges and facility use privileges.
- On campus suspension for particular week-end(s); dates to be set by the Assistant Dean of Students.
- Restorative Justice Hours.
Appeals must be presented in writing via electronic email by the student, specifically described to the next level of authority such as the Assistant Dean of Students, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designated authority, or the President of the University (see chart at the end of this section). An appeal is not a new conference or hearing. It is a review of the record of the original conference or hearing. An appeal may be dismissed if not sought on proper grounds. If an appeal is upheld, the case with the procedural specifications shall be referred to the original conference authority. Any sanction imposed as a result of a conference may remain in effect during the process of the appeal. The appeal officer has the authority, to defer the imposed sanction while an appeal is in process. In any event, sanctions may not be increased as a result of an appeal. An appeal may be sought by the student on the following grounds:
A. On a claim of error in the conference or hearing board procedure: appeals on such grounds must be presented, specifically described, in writing within five (5) calendar days of the announcement of the decision.
B. On a claim of new evidence or information material to the case which was not available at the time of the conference: Appeals on such grounds must be present, specifically described, in writing within five (5) of the new evidence having been discovered.
C. A reasonable claim that the sanction imposed is disproportionate to the gravity of the misconduct or history of misconduct. Appeals on such grounds must be presented, specifically described, in writing within five (5) calendar days of the announcement of the decision.
The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students reserves the right to assign appeals to the appropriate conference authority. The following are the University Conference and Appeal Authorities:
Conference Authority Appeal Authority
Residence Hall Director Director or Residence Life
Director of Residence Life Assistant Dean of Students
Assistant Dean of Students VPSA/Dean of Students
VPSA/Dean of Students President of the University
A. Summary suspension is an action which requires a student to immediately leave University property, and not return during the suspension period, and/or comply with other stated conditions for a specified period of time. Summary suspension may be imposed upon a student by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or the President of the University when there is reason to believe, based on available facts, that the student represents an immediate threat to the safety, health, or welfare of himself/herself, other persons, or property. This summary action is warranted by potential or threatened danger or disruption, but is used when the serious nature or immediacy of the incident makes it impractical or unsafe to follow normal disciplinary procedures. Summary actions authorized by this policy include:
- Temporary suspension of a student’s eligibility for enrollment or attendance, and denial of the student’s access to University facilities or property. A student may be summarily suspended for a specified period of time or the suspension may be scheduled contingent upon certain events or conditions.
- Temporary suspension or limitation of a student’s eligibility to enjoy certain privileges, or participate in or attend certain events without the suspension of enrollment status. This summary action may prohibit a student’s presence on University property or certain facilities, or impose conditions which must be met in order for that student to enjoy certain privileges, participate in activities, or attend events.
B. When a student is summarily suspended, she or he will be given a verbal or written explanation, the reason for, and duration of the suspension, as well as any conditions that may apply. A student notified of such summary action shall, upon written request, be given an opportunity to meet with the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students/designee within seven (7) business days from the date of the request. This meeting shall be held to consider only the following issues related to the summary action:
- The reliability of information alleging a student’s misconduct, and
- Whether the conduct or surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate the student’s presence on campus or continued unrestricted participation in campus affairs would pose an immediate threat to the safety, health, or welfare of persons or property.
C. Following the imposition of summary suspension, standard University disciplinary procedures shall be provided as expeditiously as possible. Unless circumstances render the implementation of standard disciplinary procedures impossible or unreasonably difficult, these procedures shall be initiated within 10 business days from the effective date of the summary action.
D. Any student who is summarily suspended and returns to campus or University property and/or violates other stated conditions during the specified period shall be subject to further separate action and may be treated as a trespasser. Permission to be on campus for a specific purpose (e.g. to take an exam, to consult with the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students/designee, or to participate in disciplinary procedures) must be requested and obtained in writing or by telephone prior to any conduct contrary to the suspension or conditions, and may be granted by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students/designee.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, is a federal law which states that a written institutional policy with respect to student records must be established and that a statement of adopted policy procedures covering the privacy rights of students be made available annually. The law provides that the University will maintain confidentiality of student records. The general requirements of this law with respect to student discipline records are covered in the information that follows.
Any student has the right to inspect her/his own student conduct file. The information contained therein will be made available to the student by the Assistant Dean of Students upon written request. After a request is received, a copy of the file (excluding other student’s personal information) will be made available within 72 hours of receiving the written request. No one outside the institution shall have access to the student’s records nor will Buena Vista University disclose any information from these records without the written consent of the student except in those cases permitted by FERPA. Students are advised that employers and graduate schools may request information on disciplinary standing. It is the student’s right to deny access. Only when a signed permission form is presented to the Assistant Dean of Students will any information be made available. Within the University community, only those members individually or collectively, acting in the student’s educational interest, are allowed access to records. It shall be the responsibility of the Assistant Dean of Students to provide an explanation in writing if necessary, as to the nature and severity of any violation in which the student in question has been sanctioned when an authorized inquiry to inspect the record of any student is made.
When a student is found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct, a student conduct file is created. This file contains all the information pertinent to the disciplinary process in which the student has been involved. Each subsequent time a student is found responsible for violations, her/his record is used in determining sanctions. The records of any student contained in the disciplinary file shall be maintained by the Assistant Dean of Students until three (3) years following graduation of the student from the University at which time it will be destroyed. In the case where the student either withdraws or is dismissed/expelled, the student’s file will be maintained permanently and may have a notation of “Withdrawn” (for withdrawal and suspension) or “Dismissal” may become a part of the student’s academic record.
Under normal circumstances, a student is not allowed to withdraw with a disciplinary action currently pending. Where, for good cause, a student is allowed to withdraw, the University may maintain a continuing interest in a final resolution and the matter is not automatically rendered moot.
A disciplinary record may be expunged and/or a transcript notation removed for good cause by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students. A “Petition to Expunge” shall be submitted in writing by the Student Petitioner to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students. Factors to be considered shall include the following:
- the present demeanor of the Petitioner;
- the conduct of the Petitioner since the violation;
- the nature and severity of the violation; and
- the nature and severity resulting from the misconduct.
Disclosure of Adjudication Outcome Policy
The University may disclose the final results of a student conduct conference/hearing (specifically the name of the student, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed by the University against the student) only to the Respondent and the Complainant or other individual who is the victim of the alleged violation in cases where the facts alleged constitute a crime of violence or a violation of BVU’s sexual misconduct policy (in accordance with FERPA).
Any recommendation for modification of any aspect of the Student Code of Conduct shall be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students for approval and be subsequently approved through the University’s shared governance process.