Jun 01, 2020  

TO PROTECT: Student Rights

Right to Learn

Return to: Student Handbook  

As members of the academic community, Andrews University students are granted certain rights within the learning environment and process. These include the right to be informed of the professor’s expectations for learners, the grading procedure and the schedule by which the course will be conducted. Students also have the right to reasonable assistance from the professor or course tutor under specified conditions of availability. Within the limitations of the academic freedom afforded to professors, students should expect that they will not be unreasonably penalized by changes in course expectations or grading policy from the course syllabus.

A student should be evaluated academically on the basis of scholastic performance and other criteria relevant to the course being taught. Bias, or conduct in matters unrelated to the academic standards of the course, must not play a role in a professor’s academic evaluation. Certain programs, of course, do require evaluations of a student’s personality, character and lifestyle. Unless clearly indicated by a professor, however, these matters should not influence grades in individual courses.

Because professors are responsible for creating an environment in which each student has an opportunity to learn, a professor may suspend—temporarily or long-term—a student who fails to meet reasonable class expectations, disrupts the classroom or otherwise interferes with the educational environment. The professor should report any such class suspension to the relevant department chair, dean, vice president for Campus and Student Life and/or the University Student Intervention Team.

Right to be Free from Discrimination and Harassment

Return to: Student Handbook  

Andrews University affirms that every human being is valuable in the sight of God. The University expects students, employees and guests to treat each other and the wider community with respect and dignity and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment. Students, both male and female, have the right to supportive academic, work and residential settings that are free from conduct that could create a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment. Students and employees should report inappropriate, erratic, harassing, threatening or violent behavior, no matter how mild or severe, that may jeopardize the health or safety of an individual or the community or that disrupts the mission and/or normal processes of the University. This allows the University to address behavioral concerns in a timely manner.

Andrews University prohibits unlawful discrimination against any member of its community on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, sex, religion, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic in matters of admissions, employment, housing or any aspect of its educational programs and activities. As a religious institution, the University retains its constitutional and statutory rights to make employment, admission and educational decisions in a manner that is consistent with the University’s Code of Student Conduct (see Code of Student Conduct ) and with the tenets of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Such rights are conferred upon religious institutions by various laws, including but not limited to 42 U.S.C. 2000e-1, 2000e-2; 6-15 of Federal Executive Order 11246; 41 CFR 60-1.5(5); 34 CFR 86.21, 86.31, 86.40, and 86.57, 106.12(a)(b); 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)(3); and Porth v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo, 209 Mich. App. 630 (1995). The University further claims the right to disregard the provisions of Title IX set forth in 34 CFR Sections 86.21, 86.31, 86.40, and 86.57(b) insofar as they conflict with the teachings and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Sexual orientation is regarded by the University in a manner consistent with the position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which makes a distinction between orientation and behavior. On the basis of sexual orientation, in itself, the University does not discriminate in academic, work, residential or other campus environment matters except as the University may deem it appropriate in response to housing and residential concerns. All students are required to comply with the University’s Code of Student Conduct, which prohibits certain behaviors that are inconsistent with the University’s commitment to moral propriety as understood by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For a detailed statement on the University’s position, policies and protections regarding differences in sexual orientation, please refer to Appendix 1 (see Appendix 1: A Seventh-day Adventist Framework for Relating to Sexual Orientation Differences on the Campus of Andrews University ). This non-discrimination policy is in compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 (as amended), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (45 CFR 86 et seq., Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Section 402 of the Veterans Era Veterans Adjustment Act of 1974 and the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

Andrews University prohibits harassment of any kind whether it takes place on-campus, off-campus or in online communications.

Harassment is often based upon an intentional intolerance or disparagement of perceived or actual personal characteristics such as race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or any legally protected characteristic. Harassment occurs when a person or group engages in unwelcome conduct that is so objectively offensive and sufficiently severe, or persistent or pervasive, that it unreasonably interferes with or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from academics, work or other services and activities or it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic, work or residential environment. This definition of harassment should not be construed to infringe on the right of faculty, staff and students to discuss, inquire, express and petition within the limits described (see Right to Discuss, Inquire, Express and Petition ).

Harassing behaviors prohibited by this policy include, but are not limited to, the following: severe, persistent or pervasive use of derogatory words, jokes, slurs, epithets, statements or gestures; stereotyping activities; use of graffiti or other forms of pictorial or written messages of intimidation; threats about unwelcome physical contact; unwelcome physical contact; stalking; and bullying (repeated and/or aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person).

What to do about Discrimination or Harassment
If you witness or experience behavior which you think is inappropriate, you should do something about it. The following steps are suggestions you may want to consider. Every circumstance is different, however, and the important thing is that you do take some steps to correct the behavior.

  • Indicate assertively to the alleged harasser that such conduct is offensive and unwelcome and should be stopped immediately (studies show that most harassers will stop if they know their behavior is offending someone).
  • Document a written report of the incident noting date, time and location; identifying alleged harasser and witnesses; and giving a detailed description of the unwanted behavior incident.
  • Submit the report to one of the following: academic advisor or academic dean (if classroom-related), work supervisor or Human Resources director (if work-related), or Student Life (if peer-related or you are unsure who to report to).
  • Report any alleged retaliation. Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person participating in an investigation of discrimination or harassment. Adverse actions may include name-calling, taunting or other threatening behavior. Retaliation against an individual for alleging discrimination or harassment, supporting a party bringing a complaint, or assisting in providing information relevant to a claim of discrimination or harassment is a serious violation of University policy and will be treated as another possible instance of discrimination or harassment.

Andrews University takes seriously any reports it receives of discrimination or harassment. A process is available for an investigation to be conducted and, where necessary, for corrective action to be taken.

Any student who makes, in good faith, a complaint/report of discrimination or harassment will suffer no adverse action from the University because of that complaint/report.

Romantic and Marriage Relationships

Return to: Student Handbook  

As a Christian institution of higher learning, Andrews University believes that healthy romantic, marriage and sexual relationships must be built on biblical principles. The University views marriage in keeping with the religious beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which state that marriage is “a lifelong union between a man and a woman.” Therefore, we expect students to refrain from all premarital and extramarital sexual relationships and inappropriate displays of affection.

While relationships and appropriate demonstrations of intimacy are an important part of college student development, couples should respect the rights and interests of their companions and others by limiting displays of affection in public. In the interest of safety and propriety, couples should avoid lingering in parked vehicles, vacant rooms and secluded campus locations. Likewise, unmarried or unrelated students of the opposite sex or students who are in a romantic relationship may not live or stay overnight in the same shared dwelling.

For a detailed statement on the University’s position, policies and protections regarding differences in sexual orientation, please refer to Appendix 1 (see Appendix 1: A Seventh-day Adventist Framework for Relating to Sexual Orientation Differences on the Campus of Andrews University ).

Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Policy

Return to: Student Handbook  

Andrews University is committed to maintaining a respectful learning and living environment that is free from sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Acts of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in any form, regardless of the length of the relationship or gender of the individuals, are inconsistent with this commitment, strictly prohibited and intolerable in the Andrews community. All members of the Andrews University community share a responsibility for upholding this policy. 

This policy also addresses Andrews University’s responsibilities regarding Title IX and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013: Sec 304. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination from educational programs and activities on the basis of sex (gender) in educational programs and activities that receive federal assistance. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act expects that universities have procedures in place to respond to matters of sexual misconduct, domestic and dating violence, and stalking (collectively, misconduct).

This policy covers sexual misconduct directed at a student by another University student, staff or faculty regardless of whether the alleged misconduct occurred on- or off-campus or in online communications.

On-Campus: All on-campus violations are deemed to pose a disruption or threat to the educational environment. The campus includes the geographic confines of the University, including its land, roads and buildings, Andrews Academy, Ruth Murdoch Elementary School and University housing.

Off-Campus: Off-campus violations may pose a disruption or threat to the educational environment. Examples of misconduct that may fall within the University’s clear and distinct interest include conduct that:

  • Occurs in a private home or location
  • Occurs during a University-sponsored event (e.g., field trips, social or educational functions, University-related travel, student recruitment activities, internships and service learning experiences)
  • Occurs during a Study Abroad Program or other off-campus educational program

Online: Sexual misconduct on the Internet can occur in a variety of forums. Some of these mediums include, but are not limited to, chat rooms, forums/message boards, social networking sites, instant messaging, email, avatars, advertising, redirected/automatic linking, spam and pop-ups.

In instances where misconduct is found to have occurred, the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator(s) and other University personnel will take appropriate steps to end such misconduct, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.


Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct is any sexual penetration, sexual contact, sexual exploitation or sexual harassment that occurs without the effective consent of all individuals involved.

Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration
Non-consensual sexual penetration is any sexual penetration (vaginal, anal or oral), however slight, with any object or part of the body, with another person without that person’s effective consent.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or part of the body, with another person without that person’s effective consent.

Effective Consent

  • Effective consent is informed and freely and actively given.
  • Effective consent cannot result from force, threat, intimidation, coercion or incapacitation.
  • Effective consent cannot be given by minors, mentally disabled individuals, or individuals who are mentally or physically incapacitated (such as by alcohol or other drug use, etc.)—see below.
  • Consent can be communicated by word or action and must be mutually understandable.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent at one time does not imply consent to another time.

When incapacitated, an individual lacks the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational judgments (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interactions) and thus cannot give effective consent to sexual activity. Incapacitation may be temporary or permanent and result from mental disability as well as states including, but not limited to, sleep, unconsciousness, blackouts resulting in memory loss, etc. Incapacitation may also occur in persons who, as a result of alcohol or drug use, appear to be functional or coherent but still may not be able to make a rational decision or give effective consent. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. Keep in mind that under this policy, “no” always means “no,” but “yes” may not always mean “yes.”

The impact of consuming alcohol or drugs will vary from person to person. Evaluating incapacitation due to the use of substances requires an assessment of each individual. Warning signs that a person may be approaching incapacitation may include slurred speech, vomiting, unsteady gait, odor of alcohol, combativeness, emotional volatility, etc.

Because incapacitation may be difficult to discern, especially where alcohol and drugs are involved, students are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution; when in doubt, assume the other person is incapacitated and therefore unable to give effective consent. Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is not a defense to a charge of sexual misconduct.

In evaluating effective consent in cases of alleged incapacitation, the University asks two questions: (1) did the accused know that the other party was incapacitated? and (2) if not, would a sober, reasonable person in the same situation have known that the other party was incapacitated? If the answer to either of these questions is “YES,” effective consent was absent and the conduct by the accused is likely a violation of this policy.

Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation is taking advantage of another person without effective consent. It includes, but is not limited to, the following: causing the prostitution of another person; electronically recording, photographing or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, acts, sounds or images of another person; allowing third parties to observe sexual acts; engaging in voyeurism; distributing intimate or sexual information about another person; conduct that intentionally exposes a person’s private body parts to others; or knowingly having a sexually transmitted infection (including HIV) and failing to inform a sexual partner prior to engaging in sexual activity.

Sexual Harassment
Unlawful sexual harassment may take one of three forms: (1) quid pro quo harassment, (2) hostile environment harassment or (3) retaliatory harassment.

Quid pro quo harassment typically involves an exchange of sexual favors for some benefit, and it most often occurs where there is a power differential (e.g., professor and student or boss and employee).

Hostile environment harassment can occur when conduct is so objectively offensive and sufficiently severe, or persistent or pervasive, that it unreasonably interferes with or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the educational environment. An isolated incident, unless sufficiently severe, does not amount to hostile environment harassment.

Retaliatory harassment is any adverse action taken against a person participating in an investigation of sexual misconduct. Adverse actions may include name-calling, taunting or other threatening behavior. Retaliation against an individual for alleging sexual misconduct, supporting a party bringing a complaint, or assisting in providing information relevant to a claim of sexual misconduct is a serious violation of University policy and will be treated as another possible instance of sexual misconduct.

The following is a non-exhaustive set of behaviors which may constitute sexual harassment:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions or requests for sexual favors
  • Unwelcome or inappropriate exposure, display, touching or physical contact
  • Showing/displaying sexually suggestive, demeaning or objectifying objects, pictures, words or gestures
  • Unwelcome or inappropriate comments, questions or sexually suggestive jokes

Other unwanted verbal, written, visual, online or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of an individual’s education or employment progress, development or performance
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s ability to carry out his or her responsibilities in the University environment

Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person(s) that is unwelcomed and would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Non-consensual or unwelcomed communication, including face-to-face, phone calls, voice messages, electronic mail, online communication, written letters, etc.
  • Excessive calling or texting
  • Threatening, intrusive, frightening or obscene gestures
  • Following or pursuing
  • Surveillance or other types of observation
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism or destruction of victim’s property
  • Non-consensual touching
  • Unwelcomed gifts, flowers, etc.

Stalking is an insidious form of harassment that may initially be dismissed as harmless yet can dramatically impact the life of the person stalked and pose both physical and psychological risks.

All concerns about stalking should be taken seriously, whether or not there appears to be a level of threat and whether or not the stalker is known by the victim.

Relationship Violence
Relationship violence is a pattern of unwelcomed, abusive, coercive behaviors used to exert power and control over a current or former partner. These behaviors often increase in severity and frequency over time and may be cyclical. For the purposes of this policy, relationship violence includes domestic violence and dating violence.

Domestic Violence
Violence or abusive acts committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner to the victim by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, or by a person similarly situated to the victim as defined by the laws of Michigan.

Dating Violence
Violence or abusive acts committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of the relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic or dating violence includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Physical abuse
  • Pushing, shoving, slapping, punching, kicking or strangling
  • Restraining, holding, tying down
  • Leaving the victim in a dangerous place
  • Emotional/psychological abuse
  • Threats of harm and/or intimidation
  • Physical or social isolation
  • Sexual abuse or misconduct

A complainant is anyone who reports an incident or may be the victim of misconduct covered by this policy.

The accused is anyone who is reported and alleged to have engaged in misconduct covered by this policy.

Reminders and Resources

Preservation of Evidence and Medical Assistance
Victims of sexual misconduct are reminded of the importance of taking every precaution to preserve all evidence and to abstain from tampering with any items at the scene, changing clothes or washing any area of their body. Under some circumstances, victims should seek immediate medical attention before washing themselves or clothing. If clothes have been removed, place each item separately in paper bags. Complainants should preserve all phone call logs, emails, text messages, online communication and other evidence that is relevant to the specific complaint.

Medical assistance can be sought from any emergency room, such as the one located at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph, Michigan. Sexual assault victims may request financial assistance for hospital exam costs. Contact Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission for more information (517-333-SAFE).

In addition to the collection of evidence, hospital staff is able to check for other potential injuries and respond to the potential of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Confidentiality, Counseling and Support
The University will seek to be sensitive, supportive and respectful to all involved individuals. The University will also seek to take reasonable steps to maintain appropriate levels of confidentiality and will refrain from including in public available records the identity of the complainant. Although the University will attempt to limit the number of individuals who may learn about an allegation of misconduct, the University cannot guarantee confidentiality in all matters. To comply with certain federal laws, the University is required to report statistics regarding misconduct on its campus. Recordkeeping for this statistical report will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the complainant or witnesses to the extent permissible by law.

Counselors, pastors and chaplains have confidentiality obligations that prohibit them from reporting and activating established University processes; therefore, while these individuals are able to provide confidentiality and important support for victims, they are not the designated individuals to whom formal or informal reports should be given (see below).

Victims of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are encouraged to seek the assistance of trained counselors and support systems. On-campus services include:

  • Andrews University’s Counseling & Testing Center (located in Bell Hall, 269-471-3470)
  • Chaplains (located in the Campus Center, 269-471-3211)
  • Academic support services (located at the Student Success Center in Nethery Hall, 269-471-6096)

Community services provided off-campus include:

  • Samaritan Counseling Center, 1850 Colfax, Benton Harbor, Michigan (269-926-6199)
  • Berrien County Child & Family Services/Safe Shelter (for women and children), PO Box 8820, Benton Harbor, Michigan 49023-8820 (phone: 269-925-1725/269-925-9500, crisis: 888-983-4275/269-925-9500), cfsswmi.org/our-programs/safe-shelter.html
  • Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission, 201 S. Townsend, PO Box 30195, Lansing, Michigan 48933 (877-251-7373 for victims only or 517-373-7373)
  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (1-800-656-4673)
  • Cass/St. Joseph County Domestic & Sexual Abuse Services, PO Box 402, Three Rivers, Michigan 49093 (phone: 269-279-5122, crisis: 800-828-2023), dasasmi.org
  • S-O-S of the Family Justice Center, 533 North Niles Avenue, South Bend, Indiana 46617 (574-234-6900), Info@fjcsjc.org
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE)

Initiating a Complaint

The University encourages complainants and witnesses to report any violations of this policy to an appropriate University official. Reports are what give the University the opportunity to investigate and address any violations; they also provide the University with an opportunity to ensure that appropriate care and resources are provided for both the victim or complainant and the accused. At the same time, before a complainant reveals information (name of the accused, details, etc.), they should understand that only professional counselors, pastors and chaplains are able to retain confidentiality, and all other faculty and staff are required to notify the designated University officials.

Designated University Officials
Frances Faehner, vice president for Campus & Student Life, is the Title IX Coordinator for Andrews University (269-471-2679).

Inquiries and sex-based complaints including sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking should be referred to designated University officials as follows:

Student Complaints Regarding Another Student

Title IX Deputy Coordinator for students, R. Deborah Weithers, dean for Student Life (269-471-6684)

Student Life deans (269-471-3215)

Residence hall deans (269-471-3446, 269-471-3390 or 269-471-3360)

Office of Campus Safety (269-471-3321)


Student Reports Regarding Faculty or Staff

Title IX Deputy Coordinator for faculty or staff, Dennis Waite (269-208-2532)

Office of Human Resources (269-471-3302)

Office of Campus Safety (269-471-3321)

Local Law Enforcement
Sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking may also be criminal. Complainants may wish to inform local law enforcement agencies; upon a complainant’s request, the University will assist in making the connection between a complainant and an appropriate law enforcement agency. In Berrien Springs, the local police department can be reached at 269-471-2813. In an emergency, call 911. Complainants also have the right to decline to make a formal report to law enforcement and campus authorities.

The University’s Processes and Response

The University will take seriously all good faith reports of alleged sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. University proceedings will seek to provide a prompt, fair and impartial consultation, investigation and response by officials who receive annual training.

Because the University recognizes that such misconduct includes an attack on an individual’s dignity and self-determination rights, the University will attempt to let complainants select the process for addressing their allegations. In general, there are two main paths for addressing sexual misconduct: (1) an informal consultation pertaining to possible misconduct and (2) a formal complaint of alleged misconduct. The University will attempt to balance the complainant’s request with the moral responsibility and federal guidelines to create a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. Ultimately, and especially in cases that involve pattern, predation, threats or violence, the University reserves the right to proceed in whatever manner it deems appropriate.

Informal Consultations

  • If the complainant desires an informal consultation, he/she should consult with one of the designated University officials listed above for the purpose of exploring whether or not to submit a formal complaint.
  • The complainant may be reluctant to identify the accused; however, this will limit the University’s ability to investigate and respond.
  • The complainant may request the University to address the situation through various interim measures, informal meetings or conversations for the purpose of providing information or support or to create separation, etc. The University will seriously consider any such request.

Formal Complaint Process

  • If a student desires to make a formal report of alleged misconduct, the complaint should be submitted to the appropriate Title IX Deputy Coordinator as listed above.
  • The formal complaint should contain, at a minimum, a concise written statement of the alleged violation and a detailed statement of the facts supporting the allegation as well as the names of any witnesses.
  • The appropriate Title IX Deputy Coordinators will review the formal complaint and/or meet separately with the complainant and the accused to receive their formal statements and the names of any witnesses, review University policy and processes as well as identify support systems.
  • The Title IX and Title IX Deputy Coordinators will assess whether the allegation(s), if true, would rise to the level of misconduct to activate a formal Title IX investigation under this policy. If it is determined that a Title IX investigation is not the appropriate course of action, the complainant will be notified. In some cases where the accused is a student, the Title IX Coordinator may refer the case directly to the Student Life Deans Council to be reviewed for a general violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

Investigation and Review

  • The director of Campus Safety is generally appointed to lead the investigation and is usually assisted by the appropriate Title IX Deputy Coordinator for students or the Title IX Deputy Coordinator for faculty/staff.
  • The investigation will follow established practices and will follow the trail of evidence for the purpose of fact finding and determining if there is a “preponderance of evidence” that the alleged misconduct (more likely than not) occurred.
  • The investigator(s) will meet with the complainant and the accused, as well as with other witnesses, and review texts, emails, communications and other documentary evidence to gather facts.
  • A summary of the investigative report will be provided both to the complainant and to the accused. Both parties will have the opportunity to review the report and to provide a written response to the investigative summary report if desired. In addition, both parties will have the opportunity to present questions they would like to be addressed to the other party before a final determination is made.
  • The investigative report and recommended findings are provided to the Title IX Coordinator as well as to the assistant vice president for Campus & Student Life (where the accused is a student) and to the appointed administrative panel (where the accused is a faculty or staff).

University Response for Student Conduct Processes

  • In sexual misconduct processes, the Student Life Deans Council is chaired by the assistant vice president for Campus & Student Life and convenes to review the evidence and to meet with the investigators as needed.
  • Both the complainant and the accused will have the same opportunity to have formal and separate hearings as part of the investigative process and/or with the Student Life Deans Council.
  • The Student Life Deans Council will deliberate using the “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof to determine whether “more likely than not” the accused student is responsible or not responsible for committing sexual misconduct as outlined in this policy. Please note, as Title IX federal law requires for educational institutions, this is a lesser standard of proof than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in the criminal justice system.
  • A finding by the Student Life Deans Council that the responding student is “not responsible” does not necessarily mean the alleged misconduct did not happen, rather it may mean that there was insufficient evidence to reach a finding of responsibility.
  • Any student who is found responsible for misconduct defined in this policy will be subject to disciplinary action that includes, but is not limited to, verbal counsel, written warning, probation, suspension, dismissal, mandatory education and other remedies the University deems appropriate.
  • The Student Life Deans Council reserves the right to determine what type of disciplinary response is appropriate for the level of misconduct as well as to broaden or lessen the responses relative to the severity, persistence or pervasiveness of the behavior. Mitigating or aggravating circumstances, if they exist, may be considered, such as any previous or additional Code of Student Conduct violations.
  • The general range of recommended responses is as follows:

Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration
Any student found responsible for non-consensual sexual penetration will likely receive a disciplinary response ranging from suspension to dismissal, depending on the severity of the incident.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
Any student found responsible for non-consensual sexual contact will likely receive a disciplinary response ranging from probation to dismissal, depending on the severity of the incident.

Sexual Exploitation or Harassment
Any student found responsible for sexual exploitation or harassment will likely receive a disciplinary response ranging from warning to dismissal, depending on the severity of the incident.

Domestic Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking
Any student found responsible for domestic violence, dating violence or stalking will likely receive a disciplinary response ranging from warning to dismissal, depending on the severity of the incident.

University Response for Faculty or Staff Conduct Processes

  • The evidence developed during the investigation will be reviewed by an appointed administrative panel that includes the University’s Human Resources director, the University provost, and one to two senior administrators.
  • The appointed administrative panel will deliberate using the “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof to determine if the accused faculty or staff is “more likely than not” found responsible or not responsible for misconduct outlined in this policy.
  • If the faculty or staff member is found responsible, the administrative panel will determine an appropriate disciplinary response for the level of misconduct.
  • The right to an appeal and related processes will be as specified in the grievance processes outlined in the University’s working policies.

Amnesty, Bystander Engagement and Good Faith Reports
The welfare of students in our community is of paramount importance. The University wants to facilitate a safe and caring campus climate for all good faith reports of sexual misconduct, domestic and dating violence, and stalking. The University believes that bystanders (peers nearby) can play a key role in the prevention of misconduct. Thus the University encourages students to offer help to others in need.

In an effort to remove fears and obstacles to reporting, the University does not typically apply disciplinary action to victims or witnesses of misconduct who, in the process of helping and making a report, voluntarily report their own violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct (such as alcohol consumption, curfew violations, etc.) related to the specific reported incident. This is reflective of the established voluntary referral processes outlined in the Substance Abuse section of the “Student Handbook” (see Substance Abuse ). To foster healing and growth, complainants and witnesses making good faith reports may be asked to engage in educational opportunities.

False Complaints
The University also prohibits an individual from knowingly filing a false complaint or making misrepresentations of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault and sexual harassment). However, a complaint made in good faith is not considered false merely because the evidence does not ultimately support the allegation of sexual misconduct. Acts of knowingly filing false complaints are, by themselves, cause for disciplinary action.

Additional Information and Rights

The Counseling & Testing Center and the Student Life office provide awareness, prevention and risk reduction programs dealing with sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. On an annual basis education is provided to new students and employees, and ongoing programs are provided periodically for the wider student body and University employees. Professional counseling and support services, as well as educational materials and information, are available for all students at the Counseling & Testing Center in Bell Hall.

  • Resources—Both the complainant and the accused have the right to be notified of available resources. These resources may include chaplains, counselors at the Counseling & Testing Center, as well as community providers listed above.
  • Account of events—Both the complainant and the accused have the right to the same opportunities to present their account of events.
  • Advocate—Both the complainant and the accused have the right to have a designated advocate of their choice to assist them, advise them and be present with them throughout the process. Advocates should be selected from within the University’s faculty or staff, as long as they are not a relative of the parties involved. Advocates may accompany the student to any University proceedings. The advocate may not direct questions to or otherwise address the investigative team or Student Life Deans Council, however the advocate may consult with the student that they are assisting.
  • Legal counsel—Both the complainant and the accused may elect to seek counsel from an attorney at their own expense; however, in accordance with all University disciplinary processes, attorneys are not permitted to speak or otherwise participate in University proceedings including the Student Life Deans Council hearing.
  • Notification of outcome—Both the complainant and the accused have the right to be informed of the outcome, in writing, without undue delay between the notifications to the parties, and usually within one business day of the end of the process.
  • Appeal—Both the complainant and the accused have the same opportunity for consideration to appeal the outcome of complaints of misconduct and of any disciplinary actions. The limited grounds on which the University will consider granting an appeal are one or more of the following:
  1. New Information of a Substantive Nature: New and relevant information that was not available at the time the decision was made that could have significantly impacted the findings or the outcome
  2. Substantive Procedure Error: The original processes had a significant or relevant procedural error that may have impacted fundamental fairness
  3. Substantive Disproportionate Response: The University response was clearly disproportionate to the established range of consequences for the violation

Please see the Appeal Process as outlined in the “Student Handbook” (see Student Conduct Intervention (Disciplinary) Processes ).

  • Accommodations—Any complainant of misconduct may request accommodations in academic or work settings, changes in living situations, “no contact” orders or other support systems designed to help the student cope with the situation and meet their responsibilities. Requests are not “guaranteed,” but the University will consider carefully any such requests.
  • Interim measures—The University may also consider other appropriate interim measures including, but not limited to, housing and class reassignments, “no contact” orders, restrictions on academic or co-curricular activities, campus ban, etc., to facilitate the emotional and physical wellbeing of the parties involved, the broader community and/or the integrity of the investigative and resolution process. Interim measures are for a provisional period of time pending the outcome of an investigation or until a specified condition is met. This action does not assume the accused has been found responsible for the alleged misconduct.
  • “No contact” order—Once a “no contact” order has been issued, the accused should not attempt in any way to contact or send a message to the complainant, and the complainant should not attempt in any way to contact or send a message to the accused.
  • If the complainant or alleged victim is deceased as a result of such offense, the next of kin of such victim shall be treated as the accuser or alleged victim to receive information regarding the outcome or disciplinary disposition.

Duration of University Processes

  • If a criminal complaint has been lodged with local law enforcement by the complainant, the University’s investigation may be delayed temporarily, as requested by the criminal investigators. The University, however, may not wait on the outcome of the criminal processes and has a responsibility to begin its own investigation and to take any necessary interim protective measures.
  • A typical investigation and response from the University may take up to 60 calendar days after the University has received notice of the misconduct. The timeframe may be extended for good cause such as University breaks, etc.

Registered Sex Offender Policy Statement

Information regarding registered sex offenders is provided by the State of Michigan to the public as well as the campus community and can be reviewed at mipsor.state.mi.us.

Right to Discuss, Inquire, Express and Petition

Return to: Student Handbook  

Students are free to express their views, individually or collectively, on matters of significance to them within the parameters described in this section. They may exchange views privately with others or publicly in classrooms, discussion groups and meetings. They may also use established campus channels of printed, online or audio-visual communication. Unsolicited broadcasting of email (“spamming”) is not allowed.

In the Classroom
In class as well as online, students’ questions and commentary should be respectful of the professor and fellow students and not detract from the professor’s course objectives or teaching methods. Students are expected to express themselves with civility by refraining from personal attacks or ad hominem argumentation, listening respectfully to others, and taking care not to monopolize discussion. When appropriate, students may ask questions or express views that are at variance with the beliefs and values of the University or other class members. However, dissenting remarks ought to offer an alternative point of view, rather than attack, disparage or demean views held by others or the University. In return, each student has the right to be treated respectfully by the professor and his or her classmates. Students with concerns related to inappropriate communication in the classroom should follow the procedures outlined in the section titled Right to Appeal/Grievance .

With University Officers
Students have the right to engage in constructive dialogue about the policies and procedures of the University. Students or student groups who have concerns or points of view they wish to share, or who desire to achieve constructive changes within the University, may present their thoughts directly to University officers. They may also circulate and submit to University officers petitions for action. Furthermore, the undergraduate and graduate student associations (AUSA and AUGSA) are good vehicles for addressing student-related matters with the University administration. Students seeking to resolve personal or group differences with the University are encouraged to make use of the University’s appeal and grievance procedures. Those who turn to public forums (such as social media, media outlets, etc.) to air their concerns rather than working with the University’s established means of resolution will not be acting in good faith with the University and could be subject to disciplinary action.

By Means of Assembly
Students have a constitutional right to assemble and publicly express their views on matters of local, national or global importance. Peaceful, law-abiding demonstrations, such as rallies, marches and vigils, may be organized by students on campus or in the community, provided that these events are in harmony with the values of the University and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As with other events, organizers must submit a request for administrative approval to the Student Life office, allowing up to a week for approval. Event organizers will be guided by established University protocols with the oversight of a faculty or staff sponsor. On-campus events may not impair University functions or deprive other students of their rights and should honor campus policies. Demonstrations held in the community are to comply with local, state and federal laws and be done with the prior knowledge of local law enforcement officials. As the safety of students is of paramount concern to the University, every reasonable precaution must be taken by organizers to ensure the wellbeing and lawful behavior of students. The tenor of all public demonstrations should reflect a spirit of justice, compassion and wisdom. 

Through Student Communication Media
Student communication media such as the “Student Movement,” “Cardinal,” AUTV, etc., are aids in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of responsible discussion and intellectual exploration on the Andrews campus. They communicate the activities and interests of Andrews’ students, as well as help form student opinion. The vice president for Campus & Student Life and the Student Association general sponsor, through the Student Association, delegate editorial responsibility to the editor under the guidance of the faculty advisor and/or the Student Communications Board. Since the University administration has the ultimate responsibility for the content of student communications issued on the campus, they reserve the right—in rare circumstances—to override editorial decisions.

Access and Privacy of Student Educational Records (FERPA)

Return to: Student Handbook  

In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law that governs release of and access to student education records, Andrews University grants the rights outlined within the Act to our students.

A student has the right to inspect and review his/her educational records. A request to review these records should be made, in writing, to the appropriate University office (see table below). The student’s request will be granted within 45 days from the time the request is made. If a student believes that there is inaccurate or misleading information contained in one or more of his/her records, he/she has the right to request that the record be amended. If the record is not amended, the student has a right to submit a written response or explanation which will then become a permanent part of the record. The student may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the FERPA requirements.

A student has the right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in his/her education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with “legitimate educational interests.” A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the information from your education record is necessary in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities. A student’s parent does not have a right to access the student’s educational records unless the student is a “dependent” of the parent for income tax purposes.

A student may, of course, provide authorization for the release of records—for example, it is common to do this for parents. This can be done through your iVue by selecting “Manage FERPA Contacts” and adding them as a “New Contact.” Whenever third-party access is granted, a record should be kept in the file that shows which persons have reviewed the records, except in the cases where students grant third-party direct access to electronic files.

Andrews University has the right to disclose “directory information” without the written consent of the student, unless the student has informed the University Registrar in writing of his/her refusal to permit the dissemination of directory information. A “Request for Non-disclosure” may be obtained at the Office of Academic Records. The University has designated the following information as “directory information”: name, local address, local telephone number, Andrews University email address, gender, marital status, hometown, date and place of birth, school, academic program (degree, major and minor), enrollment status, class standing/classification (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate), participation in officially recognized activities, dates of attendance, degree(s) received, honors and awards and photographs. Even where directory information may be released, Andrews University reserves the right to withhold such information from third parties.

The student may be asked to care for the reproduction costs of copies of records requested by the student. The University is not obligated to keep and maintain all educational records and thus some student records are destroyed.

For more information, please visit the University FERPA website at andrews.edu/go/ferpa.

Location of Record Record Type
Office of Academic Records Academic records (all schools)
Office of Undergraduate Admissions Admissions records
Office of Graduate Enrollment (School of Graduate Studies and Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary) Admissions records
Office of Human Resources Student employment records
Office of Student Financial Services Student account records
Division of Campus & Student Life Student Life records
Counseling & Testing Center Achievement and Intelligence test scores, Interest inventory and Personality test scores
Department of Instruction Official folder of records, if one is kept
University Schools (Ruth Murdoch Elementary and Andrews Academy) Academic records, Admissions records (except medical records), Student Life records

Right to Appeal/Grievance

Return to: Student Handbook  

The University seeks to provide an opportunity for the redress of student grievances, consistent with biblical guidance and sound practices. If a student feels his/her rights may have been violated, or that there may be something unique about the circumstances surrounding a matter, there is a grievance process or suggested courses of action which will be appropriate in most circumstances. The student should attempt to utilize the grievance process in the most appropriate and reasonable way (e.g., on a few occasions, it may be appropriate to “skip” a step).

Academic Grievances
If a student feels that his/her academic rights have been violated, the student should speak directly with that professor. If the student is unsatisfied with the professor’s response, the student may appeal to the department chair. Following a decision by the department chair, the student (or professor) may appeal to the appropriate academic dean, followed by an appeal to the Office of the Provost.

Housing and Residence Hall Grievances
If a student has a complaint concerning an issue in a University-operated housing facility, he/she should first deal directly with the individual(s) responsible for the behavior/action that is the subject of the complaint. If the student is not satisfied with the response, he/she should go to their respective director of University Apartments (and Houses), University Towers, Lamson Hall or Meier Hall. If he/she is still not satisfied with the decision, he/she may appeal to the director of residence life (for residence hall concerns) or the assistant vice president for Campus & Student Life (for University Apartments concerns), then to the vice president for Campus & Student Life and then to the provost.

Work Grievances
If a student has a work-related concern, he/she should deal directly with the related individual, followed in order by the direct supervisor or the department director. If the student is not satisfied with the decision, he/she may appeal to the Employee Services coordinator followed by the director of Human Resources and then to the provost or president.

Student Conduct Intervention (Disciplinary) Grievances
Please see Student Conduct Intervention (Disciplinary) Processes .

Other Grievances
If a student has a grievance that is not addressed in one of the categories described above, he/she should seek counsel from a trusted member of the University faculty or staff. Typically, the appropriate course of action is to communicate directly with the individual(s) whose decision/action is the source of the complaint. If the student is unsatisfied with that individual’s response, the student may appeal along a similar path described in the other sections. If the student is unsure of the best way to proceed, he/she may start by consulting with the vice president for Campus & Student Life.

General Hints for Solving Problems
In the heavy study/work/social program at a university, students will inevitably encounter stress and problems for which assistance would be helpful. Personnel in Student Life (269-471-3215), the Student Success Center (269-471-6096) or the Counseling & Testing Center (269-471-3470) are available for counsel. Problems may be solved in consultation with the personnel listed below in the order given (where appropriate).

ACADEMIC Teacher, Advisor, Student Success Center, Department Chair, Academic Dean, Provost
FINANCIAL Statement Clerk, Student Financial Advisor, Manager for Student Financial Services, Director of Student Financial Services, Vice President for Financial Administration
SOCIAL Counseling & Testing Center, Residence Hall/Student Life Dean, Vice President for Campus & Student Life
EMOTIONAL Counseling & Testing Center, Residence Hall/Student Life Dean, Vice President for Campus & Student Life
SPIRITUAL Campus Ministries, Pastor, Residence Hall/Student Life Dean, Vice President for Campus & Student Life
WORK Work Supervisor, Employee Services Coordinator, Director of Human Resources
SUBSTANCE ABUSE Counseling & Testing Center, Residence Hall/Student Life Dean, Vice President for Campus & Student Life

In rare cases when the student has exhausted normal University procedures for resolving issues and the difficulty is still unresolved, the student is advised to contact an ombudsperson.

Ombudspersons (Ombudsman)

Return to: Student Handbook  

Purpose of the University Ombudspersons
The University ombudspersons facilitate understanding, communication and resolution of conflict among students, faculty and staff. The office serves as an impartial and confidential means of facilitating dialogue between parties on campus and as a means, apart from formal grievance procedures, of resolving differences. The office was established as part of the University’s Christian commitment to foster a courteous and considerate climate conducive to productivity and wellbeing for the University community.

The ombudspersons work independently from University administrative offices. Discussing a matter with an ombudsperson is confidential to the extent allowed by law and does not constitute notice to the University.

What an Ombudsperson May Do

  • Help resolve problems and conflicts, especially those not being adequately addressed through other channels
  • Provide informal services outside the usual review and/or appeal procedures
  • Take a nonaligned role when hearing about a problem, remaining independent and impartial
  • Recommend changes in University policies or procedures

How an Ombudsperson Can Help You

  • By listening carefully to your concerns
  • By helping analyze the situation
  • By identifying and explaining relevant University policies, procedures and problem-solving channels
  • By helping you to explore options
  • By looking into a concern, including talking with involved parties with your permission
  • By identifying other University programs and resources that might be helpful
  • By providing a safe and confidential setting where individuals feel respected and where they can be candid and forthright

When to Contact an Ombudsperson
In most cases, the ombudsperson should be contacted after you have exhausted normal University procedures for resolving issues and:

  • You want to discuss a sensitive issue in confidence
  • You want help and are unsure of where or what options are open to you
  • You have a situation requiring help with communication or negotiation
  • You are unsure which policies, procedures or regulations apply in your situation
  • You believe a policy, procedure or regulation has been applied unfairly or erroneously to you

When an Ombudsperson Does Not Get Involved

  • You want legal advice or legal representation
  • You have a non-University related disagreement or problem
  • You want to file a grievance or make a formal complaint
  • You want someone to represent you in formal University procedures

For information or to schedule a private appointment, contact the ombudspersons:

Elynda Bedney

David Sedlacek