Students of Valley City State University are entitled to fair and equal treatment in access to the program, facilities, and activities of the university, in accordance with the constitution and laws of the United States, the constitution and laws of North Dakota, and the policies of the State Board of Higher Education. Students of the university are entitled to competent academic instruction and fair treatment in academic evaluation. In matters of campus discipline, students are entitled to prompt and fair procedural due process.

Valley City State University is committed to the view that an important purpose of higher education is to develop mature responsible adult citizens and community leaders. Likewise, the university expects that, on or off campus, students will conduct themselves with courtesy, truthfulness, respect for law, and a thoughtful concern for the rights of others.

The VCSU Code of Student Conduct is in effect for behavior occurring on campus, in off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by VCSU, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

1. BEHAVIOR SUBJECT TO UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINE

1.1 Infringement of the rights of other persons:
  • 1.1.1 Threatening, abusive or provocative behavior, whether by words or action.
  • 1.1.2 Behavior infringing upon the health or safety of other persons.
  • 1.1.3 Obscene or defamatory language or gestures.
  • 1.1.4 Creating a public disturbance, or interfering with teaching, study, social activities, or recreational activities.
  • 1.1.5 Assault or fighting.
  • 1.1.6 Hazing, on the part of individuals or campus organizations. Hazing is an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or results in the destruction or removal of public or private property, or which causes physical or psychological discomfort, embarrassment, or humiliation, for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, or confirming any form of affiliation, or continued membership in a student organization regardless of a student's willingness to participate in the activity.
  • 1.1.7 Theft or misappropriation of personal property.
  • 1.1.8 Acts of intolerance which are motivated by prejudice towards someone's race, gender, ethnic background, or sexual orientation.
  • 1.1.9 Rape or sexual assault.
1.2 Abuse or misuse of substances:
  • 1.2.1 Possession, consumption, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages on the campus or in connection with University-sponsored events, except as permitted by law.
  • 1.2.2 Use, possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances or illegal drugs.
  • 1.2.3 Behavior while in a state of intoxication that is loud, disruptive, potentially injurious to the health or safety of others or affecting the cleanliness or maintenance of university facilities.
1.3 Interference with university business, academic processes, or student activities.
  • 1.3.1 Obstruction of teaching, disciplinary procedures, social activities, or other scheduled events.
  • 1.3.2 False use of, or misleading or false statements on admission, registration, identification, or other official papers or permits involving the university.
  • 1.3.3 Theft, misappropriation, or misuse of university property.
  • 1.3.4 Unauthorized entry into, or presence within, a university building.
  • 1.3.5 Tampering with, or misuse of, fire alarms or fire protection equipment.
  • 1.3.6 Failure to comply with published instructions, rules or regulations of the university or with the written or verbal instructions of an authorized university official.
1.4 Violation of public laws:
  • 1.4.1 Violation of local, state, or federal law may be treated as a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
  • 1.4.2 Behavior which occurs off-campus and not involving university controlled property or university sponsored events may be in violation if the behavior poses an obvious threat or harm to any member of the university community.
1.5 Violation of university residence hall rules and regulations.

1.6 Violation of VCSU Computing Resources Contract.

1.7 Students at Valley City State University have the responsibility to respond to policy violations and may be held responsible if found to be in presence of a policy violation and fail to do one of three things:
  • a. Leave the area where the violation is occurring
  • b. Intervene or confront the violation
  • c. Contact appropriate VCSU staff members
2. UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

2.1 Citation:
  • 2.1.1 A student may be cited for violation of Student Code of Conduct by another student or by a faculty or staff member of the university.
  • 2.1.2 The complaint will be filed with the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs on the form supplied by the Vice President's Office.
  • 2.1.3 The complaint citation form will be signed by the person entering the complaint. Anonymous citations will not be accepted for entry into the disciplinary process.
  • 2.1.4 Any student cited for violation of the Code of Student conduct will be assumed innocent until a properly constituted hearing process determines otherwise.
2.2 Citations filed in a university residence hall:
  • 2.2.1 Citations filed in a university hall may be initially filed with the Head Resident. The Head Resident, after discussion with both parties and any witnesses in the matter may:
  • a. dismiss the allegation
  • b. assess the appropriate sanction or,
  • c. refer the matter to the Vice President for Student Affairs
  • 2.2.2 Any student who receives an official sanction from a Head Resident may request a hearing before the Vice President for Student Affairs (see 2.2).
2.3 Responsibilities of the Vice President for Student Affairs:
  • 2.3.1 When a complaint citation has been filed, the Vice President for Student Affairs will interview both the complainant and the student cited in the complaint.
  • 2.3.2 The Vice President for Student Affairs, after discussion with both parties and any witnesses in the matter may:
  • 2.3.2.1 dismiss the allegation.
  • 2.3.2.2 assess the appropriate sanction or,
  • 2.3.2.3 refer the matter to the University Judicial Council.
  • 2.3.3 The Vice President for Student Affairs will maintain complete records of all formal disciplinary proceedings.
  • 2.3.4 The Vice President for Student Affairs will organize formal hearings of the University Judicial Council.
2.4 University Judicial Council
  • 2.4.1 Any student who receives an official sanction from the Vice President for Student Affairs may request a hearing before the University Judicial Council to appeal the Vice President's decision.
  • 2.4.2 The Vice President may, after reviewing a complain citation, refer the matter directly to the University Judicial Council without making a decision on the complaint.
  • 2.4.3 The University Judicial Council will consist of two faculty members appointed by the President and three students appointed by the Student Senate. The University Judicial Council will elect one student to chair the committee.
  • 2.4.4 Hearings of the University Judicial Council shall proceed as follows:
  • 2.4.4.1 The Chairperson of the Judicial Council will schedule the meeting and will notify members of the committee and the student(s) involved of the time and place of the meeting.
  • 2.4.4.2 No member of the University Judicial Council who has a personal interest or involvement in a particular case may sit in judgment in that meeting.
  • 2.4.4.3 The Vice President for Student Affairs will attend the hearing and will present the statement of complaint and the supporting evidence.
  • 2.4.4.4 In connection with presenting the case, the Vice President may present witnesses.
  • 2.4.5 When the case has been presented, the student may respond and may present witness in his or her behalf.
  • 2.4.6 Members of the council may ask questions of any witness.
  • 2.4.7 Hearings of the University Judicial Council shall be closed to the public. Only members of the Judicial Council, the student, the Vice President for Student Affairs and the witness currently testifying may remain in the hearing room. The student and the witness are entitled to be accompanied by one personal advisor during the hearing. The personal advisor may not participate in the hearing. At the request of the Judicial Council, a member of the university counseling staff may attend the hearing as a non-voting member.
  • 2.4.8 The standard of evidence used in Judicial Hearings shall be that of a "preponderance of evidence" or evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing that the evidence which is offered in opposition. In determining whether a student is responsible or not responsible for a violation, it is not necessary for evidence to meet the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt".
  • 2.4.9 At the conclusion of the hearing, the council will meet privately to consider a decision and will notify the Vice President for Student Affairs and the students involved within twenty-four (24) hours of its decision.
  • 2.4.10 The decision of the council will include the recommended sanction.
3. SANCTIONS

3.1 Definition and purpose:
  • 3.1.1 Sanctions are those penalties which may be imposed by the University upon persons who, in proper hearing processes, have been found to have committed violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
  • 3.1.2 Sanctions are intended to teach students that certain kinds of behavior are unacceptable in the University community, or among educated persons generally. The teaching purpose, rather than punishment, should guide the assignment of sanctions for particular offenses.
  • 3.1.3 Consistent with the teaching purpose of sanctions, students should expect that sanctions will become more severe for repeated offenses.
3.2 Sanctions which may be imposed by the University and assigned by the procedural hearing bodies established by Section 2. of this Code are:
  • 3.2.1 Reprimand. Reprimand may be delivered either verbally or in writing. If the reprimand is in writing, a copy shall be retained on file in the office of the Vice President of Student Affairs.
  • 3.2.2 Conduct probation. Conduct probation indicates that further violation may result in suspension. Conduct probation may not be imposed for more than one year.
  • 3.2.3 Suspension. A student who is suspended may not enroll for classes for a determined length of time.
  • 3.2.4 Expulsion. A student who is expelled from the university is permanently barred from the university.
  • 3.2.5 Sanctions including but not limited to counseling, evaluation, restitution, community service, and compensation for theft and damage to person or property may be imposed along with an official university sanction.
3.3 The university reserves the right to suspend immediately and remove from campus without hearing, any student that poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of persons on campus. A properly constituted hearing on the matter will take place as early as possible.

3.4 Registration for subsequent terms or the conferral of academic degrees may be withheld pending the resolution of allegations of student misconduct or until sanctions have been concluded and any conditions imposed by the university have been fulfilled.

4. LACK OF COOPERATION

4.1 If the student absents him/herself from campus or does not respond when requested to participate in the disciplinary process, the following steps will be taken.
  • 4.1.1 The Vice President for Student Affairs shall make every reasonable effort to locate the student through ordinary channels.
  • 4.1.2 If the student cannot be located or does not respond, the Vice President for Student Affairs will initiate the normal disciplinary procedures in the student's absence.
5. STUDENT APPEALS

5.1 Students have the right to appeal a disciplinary action of the University Judicial Council to the University Hearing and Appeals Board. The University Hearing and Appeals Board shall not repeat the duties of the University Judicial Council. The appeal shall be limited to a review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and supporting documents (except as required to explain the basis of new evidence) for one or more of the following purposes:
  • a. To consider new evidence which may alter the decision
  • b. To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly and in accordance with published procedures
  • c. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation.
6. CONDUCT RECORDS

6.1 Conduct records are kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. All conduct records are confidential and may not be disclosed in whole or in part except as provided by law, or by the written authorization of the student. Conduct records shall be retained separately from the student's educational record. The only disciplinary actions reflected on an official transcript shall be suspension or expulsion.

6.2 Conduct records containing violations that resulted in sanctions of less than suspension or expulsion are retained for a period of three years after a student graduates, withdraws or transfers. In cases where students receive a sanction of suspension or expulsion, records may be retained indefinitely.


Sponsored by: Vice President for Student Affairs
Reviewed: Winter 1996
Reviewed: Winter 2004
Revised Number: February 2010