Jun 20, 2018  

Student Conduct Intervention (Disciplinary) Processes

Return to: Student Handbook  

The student conduct intervention (disciplinary) processes at Andrews University are designed to provide fair and fundamental processes to the accused student. The president is responsible for the enforcement of the policies and regulations of the University.

  • The president delegates authority to the provost for the application of the academic and non-academic (student conduct) policies.
  • The provost along with the academic deans applies academic policies.
  • The provost delegates to the vice president for Campus & Student Life the application of non-academic policies relative to student conduct.
  • The vice president for Campus & Student Life may delegate to Student Life personnel or other designee the application of consequences for violations of the Code of Student Conduct.

Reporting Violations of the Code of Student Conduct
Students and staff are encouraged to share reports of violations of the Code of Student Conduct directly with a Student Life administrator, Student Life dean or residence hall dean and trust that careful consideration, discretion and investigative processes will be taken to determine the best course of action. Anonymous reporting is discouraged, as it will seriously limit the University’s capacity to investigate the report.

Student Conduct Processes
When a report is made regarding a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, the Student Life dean or designee of the vice president for Campus & Student Life initiates a hearing and an initial investigation. The Student Life dean or designee meets with the student to (a) share the report of the alleged violation, (b) provide an opportunity for the student to give their own account of the events, verbally as well as in writing, (c) seek relevant information in order to establish a factual pattern and (d) offer care, insight and the facilitation of the restorative and intervention processes.

Student Conduct Intervention Responses
In determining an appropriate response to a violation, consideration will be given to the nature of the incident, the results of the hearing and investigation, and the student’s conduct record and influence on campus, as well as to established University protocols and responses.

Minor misconduct is usually assessed informally, and established protocols are applied. If it is determined that there has been a serious violation of a University regulation, decisions for probation, suspension and dismissal are generally made by the Student Life Deans Council or designee acting by authority of the vice president for Campus & Student Life. The vice president for Campus & Student Life will be consulted before all major student conduct suspensions of one semester or more are finalized. The vice president for Campus & Student Life will consult with the provost before a dismissal is finalized.

Students facing an off-campus suspension or dismissal may be given the opportunity to select an advocate. Advocates will generally be individuals from within the University’s faculty or staff, as long as they are not a relative of the parties involved. If the student is provided an additional hearing with the Student Life Deans Council, the advocate may accompany the student but may not direct questions to or otherwise address the Council. However, the advocate may consult with the student that they are assisting throughout the processes.

University processes are not legal criminal judicial proceedings. Criminal courts make a determination of guilt or innocence of an accused. The conduct processes at Andrews University make a determination of responsibility. Some students may elect to seek counsel from an attorney at their own expense. However, attorneys are not permitted to speak or otherwise participate in formal University proceedings.

Standard of Proof
A standard of proof is the measure of how convinced a decision-maker must be about the facts of a case to reach a decision. If there is lack of clarity or confirmation regarding the alleged report, University personnel will further investigate the situation, making reasonable efforts to gather all relevant evidence.

While criminal courts use a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of proof, University student conduct processes use a lower “preponderance of evidence” standard. This means that it is on the basis of “more likely than not” that a determination is made that a student is responsible for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Therefore a student may be found responsible for violating a University policy and there be insufficient evidence to be prosecuted in the criminal justice system.

Outcomes to student conduct processes are generally not disclosed to the public except as may be permitted by FERPA, such as in times of violence. Andrews University may inform the academic dean and an undergraduate student’s parent/guardian of more serious violations of the Code of Student Conduct and the resulting consequences. Every effort is made to first encourage students to inform their parents as well as their teachers, advisor and academic dean.

Professional Program Standards
In addition to a response from the Student Life Intervention process regarding their status as a student-at-large, students may receive an additional response to a violation of the Code of Student Conduct according to the professional program standards of their academic department.

Types of Responses
Depending on the severity of the situation, the University’s response may include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • Conversation with the student and appropriate staff, faculty or administrators to clarify issues and provide an opportunity for learning to take place
  • Counsel, written or oral
  • Warnings, written or oral
  • Citizenship probation (see below)
  • Suspension (see below)
  • Dismissal (see below)
  • Participation in an educational experience such as attending educational classes and writing a reflective or research paper
  • Participation in a professional assessment and/or counseling session(s) through the University’s Counseling & Testing Center
  • Participation in a support or counseling component (examples that may be selected by the student could include the Counseling & Testing Center, a pastor, a chaplain or a faculty or staff member, as deemed appropriate)
  • Participation in a student success plan or voluntary service work, on- or off-campus
  • “No contact” order
  • Fines
  • Restitution
  • Separation from all classes and organized campus activities
  • Separation from the campus property under the terms of a campus ban (violation of a campus ban may include legal consequences)
  • Additional academic consequences, up to and including dismissal from an academic program

Citizenship Probation
A student may be placed on citizenship probation for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct for a designated period of time that generally spans 15 weeks. The probation may also be a part of a response that also includes suspension. As part of a probationary status, privileges such as student leadership offices and/or participation in campus activities are usually removed. Honor, curfew and overnight leave privileges may also be removed for residence hall students. In general, a student on citizenship probation should expect that any further disregard of the Code of Student Conduct will result in a more serious response including suspension, withdrawal and dismissal.

At the discretion of the University or the Student Life Deans Council, there are several types of suspensions and timeframes involving separation from classes, activities and the University.

Timeframes. The suspension timeframe may be as follows:

  1. Definite
  2. Indefinite
  3. Interim, pending the outcome of an investigation or until a specified condition is met. In special circumstances, such as to facilitate the safety or wellbeing of members of the University community, an interim suspension may be activated without a determination of responsibility
  4. A deferred suspension may be for a definite period of time that is served at a later period of time

Locations and restrictions. The terms of suspension may be as follows:

  1. Off-campus Suspension Components
  • Longer-term (ranges from one week to two or more years)
  • Suspension is served at student’s off-campus home or off-campus location
  • Suspension from attending classes, campus activities and work; may include a campus ban
  • If a suspension for the remainder of the semester occurs prior to the last scheduled date to withdraw from classes, the student may complete the formal exit/withdrawal process to receive “W”s for their classes. Receiving grades, incompletes or deferred grades is not an option. Partial tuition refunds are potentially available only early in the semester as established in the “Andrews University Bulletin.”
  • Citizenship Probation
  • Other restorative and educational interventions
  1. On-campus Suspension Components
    • Out-of-Class Suspension
      • Shorter-term (ranges from 3–5 days within a semester)
      • Suspension is served while student remains at their current residence
      • Suspension or separation from attending classes, campus activities, work, etc.
      • Citizenship Probation
      • Voluntary service
      • Other restorative and educational interventions
    • In-Class Suspension
      • Shorter-term (two weeks within a semester)
      • Suspension is served while student remains at their current residence
      • Student is required to attend classes, but a portion of their time and activities is suspended to facilitate a student success and intervention plan
      • Voluntary service or supervised academic success program (and related fees)
      • Citizenship Probation
      • Mentoring with a Student Life dean for a minimum of six weekly sessions
      • Other restorative and educational interventions

Further disregard of University expectations could result in a student being dismissed.

A student who is dismissed for student conduct violations is generally permanently separated from the University as well as from the academic program in which they are enrolled. This means that the student would not be eligible for readmission to any academic program and may also be issued a ban from visiting the campus for any purpose.

Appeal Processes for Student Conduct Intervention (Disciplinary) Responses
An appeal is not granted in response to general dissatisfaction with the outcome of a disciplinary case. 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

Responses to violations of the Code of Student Conduct that are at the level of probation or below are not eligible for the formal appeal process.

Request for an Appeal
The formal request for an appeal to student conduct intervention responses should be directed to the vice president for Campus & Student Life within five business days of receiving notice of the decision. The request for an appeal must consist of a concise written statement outlining the grounds for the appeal as described above. The vice president will review the request in consultation with University administration. The student will be notified by the vice president if the request for an appeal has been denied based on insufficient grounds. At their discretion the University may choose to implement the original University response during the appeal process.

The Appeal Process
If the appeal process is granted, the vice president for Campus & Student Life will facilitate and coordinate the process. The vice president for Campus & Student Life will generally direct appeals regarding serious disciplinary action to the Citizenship Appeals Committee—which is a broadly representative group comprised of faculty/staff. The vice president serves as the ex-officio secretary and non-voting member and appoints one of the faculty/staff members as chairperson. In cases of sexual misconduct, the assistant vice president for Campus & Student Life serves as the ex-officio secretary.

Given that the student in most cases has already had a face-to-face hearing with a Student Life dean and/or the Student Life Deans Council, the appeal process does not provide a second opportunity for a face-to-face hearing nor does it provide a rehearing of the facts or a repeat of the investigative processes. An appeal is generally limited to review of a student’s written appeal request, University record and/or summary reports. The role of the members of the Citizenship Appeals Committee is not to substitute judgement for the original decision and will remain focused on the specified grounds for the appeal.

The appeal process may be returned to the Student Life Deans Council, especially in cases where there is new and relevant information of a substantive nature.

The Citizenship Appeals Committee can uphold the original decision, alter the original decision, and/or alter the University (disciplinary) response. The decision of the Citizenship Appeals Committee will be final.

University Authority and Civil Penalties
The University will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of the law and the conditions imposed by the courts. When a student is charged by federal, state or local authorities with a violation of a law, the University will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status or former status as a student. If the offense is also subject to a sanction for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, however, the University may elect to advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Code of Student Conduct and how such matters are generally handled internally within the University community. Individual students, faculty and staff members, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they deem appropriate.

A student who is charged with violating the law may incur penalties prescribed by the University in addition to those prescribed by the civil authorities when the Code of Student Conduct has been violated. Depending on the circumstances, the University may proceed with, or postpone, its inquiries or investigations while a criminal investigation is underway. The University reserves the right to proceed in a manner which best protects its students or its interests.

If a residence hall student is accused of violating a federal, state or local law, when requested by the student’s parents and legally permissible, after consultation with the vice president for Campus & Student Life, a short-term loan of up to $500 may be acquired for a bond.