Lincoln University Student Code of Conduct

For more info on the Student Code of Conduct please contact Mr. Christopher Sutton, Coordinator of Student Conduct suttonc@lincolnu.edu

Click Here for a pdf version of the Student Code of Conduct (Revised August 2013)

Click Here for a fillable version of the Student Code of Conduct Incident Complaint Form

  

Student Code of Conduct Student Code of Conduct
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  1. INTRODUCTION

     

    Lincoln University’s policies and regulations are established to protect the health, safety and daily operations of the university community. Any member of the campus community may officially report a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, university policies or housing policies. Students (persons currently enrolled at the university) are responsible for knowing and following all published policies and regulations. Any person who commits a violation

    on campus will be subject to disciplinary procedures while enrolled or upon future enrollment at Lincoln University.

    Each student who enters the university is respected as an adult and is expected to demonstrate a high level of responsibility and maturity. Student honesty and integrity are fundamental elements of responsible citizenship and are part of the basic character required for a productive academic and social career. 

    The aim of the Student Conduct System proceedings is to arrive at fair, impartial decisions which ensure that individuals assume full responsibility for their actions. When a violation of a policy, rule or regulation occurs, the university will generally strive to inform and guide students towards the development of personal responsibility, conscientiousness and ethical standards. However, the university reserves the right to suspend or remove a student from the university and/or from university managed housing if that action is necessary for the continuing operation of the campus or to ensure the health and safety of the individual and university community. 

    In cases requiring severe student discipline, such as long-term suspension for misconduct, the university is obligated to adhere to the procedural requirements of due process of law. The requirements do not demand an inflexible legal procedure for all such cases. However, three minimal requirements apply, growing out of fairness implicit in the procedural due process. 

    First, the accused student is given notice in writing of the specific ground(s) and the nature of the evidence on which the disciplinary proceedings are based. Second, the student is given an opportunity for a hearing. The third requirement is that disciplinary actions must be supported by substantial evidence. 

    Lincoln University may take disciplinary actions when a student’s off-campus behavior reflects negatively on the university community. If a student has allegedly violated an institutional regulation and is also charged by civil or criminal authorities with violations of misconduct, university disciplinary proceedings may be initiated separately from any civil/criminal case. Lincoln University Police Officers are commissioned law enforcement officers who can make arrests and initiate civil/criminal cases.  

    Students may seek to change university policies through the appropriate channels; however, they are expected to comply with existing regulations until such changes become effective. The fact that a student disagrees with university policy is not justification for disregard. Penalties are imposed based on the seriousness of the violation.

    More than one violation will be justification for increased severity of penalties.

  2. ARTICLE I: RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

     

    A student accused of violating university policies, rules and/or regulations is given the right to have his/her case adjudicated by the Judicial Officer (Coordinator of Student Development/Civic Engagement) or disciplinary committee. It is very important for students to respond to requests to meet with university officials. If a student  does not respond to requests to meet, he/she may be given sanctions without his/her input.
     
    Additional student rights and responsibilities include but are not limited to:
    • The opportunity to present a defense against the allegations filed against the accused student
    • The right to select advocates to assist in his/her defense
    • The right to present any evidence on his/her behalf including witnesses, written statements and documentation
    • The right to be found responsible or not responsible solely on the evidence presented at the hearing
    • The right to make a statement in his/her own behalf
    • The right to access all documents, statements, or printed evidence before the hearing
    • The right to a closed hearing
    • The right to be notified of the final decision within five working days of the hearing
    • The right to appeal a decision by the Judicial Officer, Disciplinary Committee, or the Vice President for University Advancement 
    Admission of Responsibility
    Students should be aware that admission of violations of university rules and regulations to university officials may result in adjudication with or without a hearing.
     
    Interpretation of the Conduct Code
    Any question of interpretation regarding the Student Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Vice President for University Advancement for final interpretation.
     
    The Student Code of Conduct is reviewed annually by the Conduct Review Committee which consists of faculty, staff and students. The Conduct Review Committee will submit recommended changes to the Vice President for University Advancement. 
  3. ARTICLE II: VIOLATIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY RULES AND REGULATIONS

     

    A. Standard of Proof

    In all cases of disciplinary adjudication, the university decides responsibility using “a preponderance of evidence” indicating that it is “more likely than not” that an incident did or did not occur.  If a student is found responsible for any of the following violations, he/she will be subject to disciplinary action through the Student Conduct System. The sanctions imposed will depend on the severity of the violation(s) and/or the student’s previous disciplinary record. If the alleged violation is judged to be severe enough by the Vice President for Advancement, the university reserves the right to impose interim suspension before a conduct hearing has occurred (see Interim Suspension).  The use of interim suspension is used when there is a threat to the health and safety of the accused student and/or other members of the university community. 

    B. Rules and Regulations

    Violations include:

    1.      Stealing: Stealing or attempted stealing, unauthorized possession, misuse or wrongful appropriation, vandalism or malicious destruction, or sale of property belonging to the university, an organization affiliated with the university, or a member of the university community (student, faculty, staff and/or campus visitor).

     

    2.      Illegal Drugs & Other Substances: Being in the presence of any drug that is prohibited by law.  The manufacture, use, possession or sale of any drug that is prohibited by law. Possessing drug paraphernalia or other paraphernalia used to facilitate illegal use, and attempting to manufacture or sell counterfeit drugs are also included in this violation.

     

    3.      False or Withheld Information: Knowingly providing false information or withholding information from a Lincoln University Police Officer(s), university official or disciplinary committee. This includes falsely reporting a fire, bomb threat or other emergency.

     

    4.      Tampering: Tampering with witnesses, evidence, the Judicial Officer and/or any other aspect of the adjudication process.

     

    5.      Disorderly Conduct: Excessively loud, lewd, indecent, obscene or inappropriate conduct for an institution of higher learning off campus, on university owned or controlled property, or at a university sponsored or supervised event. Music or other noise played excessively loud is included in this violation.

     

    6.      Obstruction: Disruption, or prevention of teaching, research, administrative disciplinary proceedings, meetings, interviews, ceremonies, emergency responses, other university activities (including public service events), or other authorized activities on university property.

     

    7.      Fighting/Battery/Assault: defined as the use of physical force against another person that places the person in danger or in apprehension of bodily harm.

     

    8.      Verbal Abuse/Threats: threats of violence directed to an individual or group, cyber bullying, intimidation, harassment, coercion.

     

    9.      Threatening Behavior: Any conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person (including oneself) on or off university property, or at a university sponsored or supervised activity. Examples: Sexual misconduct, stalking, fighting, false imprisonment, intimidation and domestic abuse

     

    10.  Weapons: Possession or use of a weapon, including, but not limited to firearms, knives, bows, arrows, BB guns, paint ball guns and air guns, dangerous chemicals, incendiary devices, or other explosive substances including fireworks, sling shots, martial arts devices or other objects classified or used as weapons with potential danger or harm.

     

    11.  Failure to comply: Failure or refusal to comply with verbal or written request/directions from a university official.

     

    A.    Each student is required to have a Lincoln University e-mail account which is considered the central communication point through which he or she may always be reached. It is the student’s responsibility to check his/her e-mail daily and respond to notices. This includes communication systems used by faculty and staff to communicate with students.

     

    B.     All students are required to have a Lincoln University identification card and to carry it with them at all times while on university property. Each student should be prepared to identify him/herself and surrender his/her student ID upon request of a university official, including but not limited to Lincoln University Police Officers, faculty/staff members and resident advisors.

     

    C.     Students must evacuate a building or residence hall during a fire alarm.

     

    12.  Unauthorized Entry or Use: Unauthorized entry or use of university buildings, facilities and equipment, including unauthorized possession and/or duplication or use of university keys.

     

    13.  Forgery: Forgery, alteration, falsification, destruction, misuse, unauthorized use or reproduction of a university document, record or identification; unauthorized use of Lincoln University stationery, seal, business cards, or logo; or misrepresenting oneself as a university official.

     

    14.  Alcohol: The possession, use or distribution of alcohol by students on university property or as a part of any university activity is prohibited. Any student who violates this standard of conduct shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions. Sanctions may include suspension and/or referral for prosecution.

     

    15.  Vandalism: Participation individually or in groups on or off university property which causes damage to public or private property. Vandalism includes misuse of, vandalism to, or tampering with fire equipment, including fire extinguishers, alarms, hoses and smoke detectors.

     

    16.  Solicitation: Of and by students or student organizations for money, goods or services without authorization from the Vice President for University Advancement. Solicitation by non-students must also be approved by the Vice President for University Advancement.

     

    17.  Fraudulent Business Transactions: Forgery or recognized student organizations failing to meet contractual obligations. This violation includes illegal sale of textbooks.

     

    18.  Computer Security Violations: Accessing without authorization a file to use, read or change contents, unauthorized transfer of a file; use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or university official; use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages; cyber bullying, intentional introduction or spreading of a computer virus to the university computing system; use of computing facilities to view any pornographic material over the internet; unauthorized use of another individual’s computer account, misuse of one’s own computer account or any violation of the policies for using computing and network resources provided by Lincoln University.

     

    19.  Disciplinary Sanction Violation: Failure to comply with sanctions imposed under the Student Code of Conduct, housing policies or university policies.

     

    20.  Policy Violations: Failure to adhere to any university policy, rule or regulation.

     

    21.  Criminal Violation: Violation of any state, federal or local law while on university property or at any university sponsored or controlled activity.

     

    22.  Gambling: Knowledge of, being in the presence of or directly involved in any form of gambling involving the exchange of currency or anything of value.

     

    23.  Hazing: Willful act occurring on or off campus directed against a student or a prospective member of a registered student organization, athletic or band program. Acts of hazing shall include the following:

     

    A.    Any activity by one student acting alone or acting with others that recklessly endangers the physical health or safety of the student or prospective member including physical brutality, whipping, beating, branding, exposure to elements, forced consumption of food, alcoholic beverages, drug or other substances, or forced smoking or chewing of tobacco products;

     

    B.     Any activity which recklessly endangers the mental health of the student or prospective member, including sleep deprivation, physical confinement or other extreme stress-inducing activity;

     

    C.     Any activity that requires the student or prospective member to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the criminal laws of Missouri;

     

    D.    Any activity by one student acting alone or acting with others that is directed against any other student for the purpose of humiliating or impairing the self-confidence of the student attacked; and

     

    E.     Any willful act by one student acting alone or with others attempting to commit any of the above acts. 

    Prohibited Conduct:

    1.      No student shall knowingly engage in hazing either as a perpetrator or a recipient.

    2.      No student shall encourage, aid or assist any other student(s) in the commission of any act of hazing.

    3.      Any violation of (1) and (2) above shall be deemed “hazing” within the meaning of university policy.

     

    PLEASE NOTE: Violations which may result in suspension from the university include, but are not limited to, the following violations:

    ·         Possession, use or intent to distribute illegal substances

    ·         Possession or use of illegal substance paraphernalia

    ·         Possession or use of a weapon

    ·         Starting a fire

    ·         Tampering with fire safety equipment

    ·         Physical assault and fighting

    ·         Harassment

    ·         Sexual misconduct, assault or rape

    ·         Theft

    ·         Computer hacking or misuse

    ·         Extensive property damage either to university or to individuals’ property on or off campus

    ·         Possession of stolen property

             Other issues/instances which could bring about suspension:

    ·         Repeat offenses

    ·         Incomplete sanctions including community services, restitution, papers etc.

    ·         Multiple violations in a single incident

    ·         Being referred for alleged misconduct while on University Conduct Probation   

  4. ARTICLE III: UNIVERSITY PROCEDURE FOR RESOLUTION

     

    A.    Filing a Complaint

    Any university official or student may file a complaint against a student. Two sequential steps must be followed to file a complaint of misconduct against a student:

     

    1.      An Official Incident Form (OIF) must be completed and signed. The form is available online at:http://www.lincolnu.edu/c/document_library/get_file;jsessionid=5D5D504A530AC95A196DFB48761272BA?uuid=8a36661b-94f5-4e7f-8cc6-b04d2606554c&groupId=28917

     

    2.      The completed and signed OIF must be submitted to the Office of Advancement located in 301 Young Hall.

     

    B.     Judicial Process for University Policy, Rules or Regulation Violations

    The University Judicial Officer has the responsibility to receive and, where appropriate, investigate complaints arising out of a claim(s) that the Student Code of Conduct, University Policies or Rules and/or Regulations have been violated. After receiving a complaint, the Judicial Officer will determine through investigation if the alleged charges have merit. Any student charged with a violation will be scheduled for a Pre-Hearing Conference meetingto begin the investigative process.

     

    C.    Pre-Hearing Conference

    At the Pre-Hearing Conference the student is:

    1.      Given an explanation of the judicial process;

    2.      Given a detailed explanation of the charges;

    3.      Given an explanation of the rights and responsibilities of the student;

    4.      Given an opportunity to ask questions regarding the judicial procedures;

    5.      Given the opportunity to enter a plea of “responsible” (admitting to having committed the offense) or “not responsible” (denying having committed the offense). If the student pleads “responsible,” then the Judicial Officer will evaluate the case and apply appropriate sanctions. If the student pleads “not responsible,” the case will be forwarded to the appropriate disciplinary committee;

    6.      Informed of his or her right to bring witnesses and evidence to the hearing;

    7.      Informed of the appeal process;

    8.      Informed of the option to waive his or her right to a hearing;

    9.      Notified of their right to access all evidence that will be used during a disciplinary hearing prior to the hearing.

    10.  Given the Student Conduct Acknowledgement Form to read and subsequently sign.

     

    Please note: Signing this form verifies that the above listed items occurred at the pre-hearing conference.

     

    If the case merits a hearing, a written notice along with a hearing date and time will be sent to the student. The student will be given the choice to waive his/her right to a hearing. If the student waives his/her right to a hearing, he/she accepts responsibility for all charges. In the event that a student waives the right to a hearing during the Pre-Hearing Conference, the Judicial Officer will examine the information available, and if the information reviewed indicates that the accused student is responsible, render a sanction. If the information available does not indicate that the accused student is responsible, the student will be found not responsible. When a student waives the right to a hearing, sanctions may be appealed to the Vice President for University Advancement. When a student waives the right to a hearing, he/she will indicate this on the Student Conduct Acknowledgement Form. 

     

    If a student fails to attend a scheduled Pre-Hearing Conference or Conduct Hearing, the Pre-Hearing and Conduct Hearing may proceed in the absence of the student. Such an absence will not be considered grounds for an appeal, unless the student provides a reasonable and compelling cause. Students may receive sanction(s) at the end of the Pre-Hearing Conference if case is minor. If this occurs, the case is closed. If the student is not pleased with the sanction, he or she can appeal to the Vice President for University Advancement. 

  5. ARTICLE IV: DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEES

     

    In the case of a Conduct Hearing, the Judicial Officer will arrange for the hearing by scheduling a meeting of the Student Life Review Committee.

    ·         Student Life Review Committee: The Student Life Review Committee (SLRC) generally hears cases that may result in suspension. The SLRC consists of a combination of faculty, staff and students. The quorum is five voting members; the chair shall not have a vote. The SLRC makes confidential recommendations for disciplinary actions to the Vice President for University Advancement. The Vice President for University Advancement imposes sanctions. Suspension sanctions may be appealed to the University President.

    ·         Residential Hall Conduct Council: The Residential Hall Conduct Council hears cases of residential hall violations.  The council consists of resident advisors, resident directors, students and staff. The quorum is five members. The council’s decisions may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The decisions of the Vice President for Student Affairs are final. 

      

  6. ARTICLE V: HEARING PROCEDURES AND SANCTIONS

     

    A.    PROCEDURES FOR CONDUCT HEARINGS

    a.       The presiding officer shall call the hearing to order, ascertain the identification of all testifying parties and readthe charges which have been filed against the student.

    b.      The student is informed of all of the evidence that will be used during the hearing.

    c.       The student may have an attorney or an advisor present for a conduct hearing; however, the attorney or the advisor may not participate in the hearing.

    d.      The oath of honesty shall be administered to all testifying parties.

    e.       The student is asked to enter a plea of “responsible” (committed the violation) or “not responsible” (did not commit the violation).

    f.       The student is given the opportunity to respond to the charges and introduce witnesses and/or evidence in support of his/her testimony.

    g.      Judicial Board committee members will question the student and any witnesses.

    h.      The student is given the name, address and telephone number of the appropriate official to contact should the student choose to appeal the decision.

    i.        The committee members privately evaluate the case and arrive at a decision of responsible or not responsible, and any appropriate recommended sanction(s).

    j.        The hearing is adjourned.

    k.      After the hearing, students will be notified in writing of the outcome.

    l.        If an appeal is filed, the student will receive in writing the final decision made by the appellate officer.

     

    There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a tape recording, of all hearings before a disciplinary committee.  The record shall be the property of Lincoln University.

     

    B.     SANCTIONS

    More than one sanction may be recommended/imposed for any single violation when deemed appropriate by the Judicial Officer or Disciplinary Committee. All disciplinary sanctions are noted in the student’s non-academic student file and may be kept for a period of three years after they leave the university. Records of suspended students are kept indefinitely.

     

    Disciplinary Warning

    A disciplinary warning is a verbal or written notice given to a student whose behavior is in violation of university policy. This sanction is often given in conjunction with other disciplinary sanctions.

     

    Disciplinary Probation

    Disciplinary probation is an intermediate sanction imposed for a specified period of time. The probation period allows a student to demonstrate acceptable behavior in order to continue enrollment at Lincoln University. Guidelines for a student’s behavior may be included as conditions of the probation. If an offense is committed during the probation period, sanctions of suspension may result.

     

    Loss of Privileges

    Denial of specific privileges (e.g., attendance at university-sponsored events) for a specific period of time.

     

    Parental Notification

    The university, in its sole discretion, may notify parents and/or guardians/sponsors regarding students in violation of campus alcohol and drug policies without the student’s consent.

     

    Restitution

    Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.

     

    Fine

    A $50 fine may be imposed per violation for students found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct.  Fines can only be recommended by a judicial hearing board and approved by the Vice President for University Advancement. Funds will be used for Student Conduct awareness and educational programs and training.

     

    No Contact

    Restriction from entering specific university buildings and activities to eliminate contact with alleged victims and/or other forms of contact with certain person(s).

     

    Other

    Work assignments, service to the university, educational projects, community volunteer services, research reports, counseling, etc., as long as deemed appropriate within the educational mission of the university.

     

    Residence Hall Transfer or Suspension

    Transfer of the student from the residence hall room to another room or housing unit or suspension from university housing. Conditions for possible readmission may be imposed.

     

    Interim Suspension

    A temporary suspension of a student while a judicial case or appeal is pending. This action will be taken if there is a threat to the health or safety of a student and/or other members of the university community.

     

    Suspension

    Suspension is an involuntary separation of the student from the university for a specific period of time. Readmission to the university may be granted after the suspension period or conditions have been satisfactorily met. Suspension for one semester shall mean the student may not re-enroll until the following semester. (The student may not re-enroll during an intervening summer term.) Reinstatement after suspension is not automatic. The student must submit a letter of reapplication to the Vice President for University Advancement for consideration. This letter should include explanation of activities pursued during the period of suspension and what measures/steps have been or will be taken to ensure that the student will not violate this or other articles of the Lincoln University Code of Conduct.

     

  7. ARTICLE VI: APPEALS PROCESS

     

    A.  When a sanction does not involve suspension from the university, the student shall have the right to request an appeal of the case by the Vice President for University Advancement if a University Judicial Officer imposed the initial sanction(s).

    B.     In the case of a suspension, a student may submit a written appeal to the President of the University.

    C.     Appeal requests must be submitted in writing within two working days following the receipt of the decision.  The letter should be clear and specific as to what new evidence is offered or what serious breach of the student’s rights transpired.

    D.    When an appeal is conducted, the President or Vice President for University Advancement shall not substitute his/her judgment for that of the original Judicial Officer or Disciplinary Committee. Rather, the scope of the review shall be limited to:

    1)      New evidence not available at the time of the hearing becomes available;

    2)      A material violation of procedure by the Judicial Officer and/or hearing committee occurs;

    3)      The decision being appealed is not supported by significant and relevant evidence in the record;

    4)      A legal right of the student has been violated; or 

    5)      The punishment imposed is arbitrary or unreasonable.