ARTICLE 34. STUDENT CONDUCT CODE

  1. Preamble - General Conduct Policy Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth.

    Freedom of the individual may be defined as the right to act or speak, so long as it does not adversely affect the rights of others. Believing in this concept, Pittsburg State University will protect freedom of action and freedom of speech for both students and employees, so long as it is not of an inflammatory or demeaning nature and does not interfere with the students living and study conditions, and the administration of its affairs. It shall constitute a disruptive act for any member of the University community to engage in any conduct which would substantially obstruct, interfere with or impair instruction, research, administration, authorized use of University facilities, the rights and privileges of other members of the University community, or disciplinary proceedings. Moreover, Pittsburg State University is committed to improving the quality of student life by promoting a diversified educational and cultural experience for all its students. Therefore, racist conduct or other acts of bigotry will not be tolerated. Rights and freedoms imply duties and responsibilities. Note should be taken that a student who exercises his or her rights as a private citizen whether individually or as a member of a group must assume full responsibility for his or her actions. All students and employees of the University must abide by local, state, and federal laws and with all published University policies and regulations. Violations of laws and regulations will subject the perpetrator to disciplinary actions by the University and/or the appropriate civil or criminal authority.
  2. Definitions
    1. The term “University” means Pittsburg State University.
    2. The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the University, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies.  Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Conduct Code, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered “students” as are persons who are living in University residence halls, although not enrolled in this institution.  The Conduct Code does apply to all locations of the University, including any location off its main campus where university activities are conducted.
    3. The term “member of the University/academic community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, official or any other person employed by the University.  A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Campus Judicial Officer.
    4. The term “organization” or “student organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for University registration.
  3. Authority and Responsibility Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals. Student organizations have similar responsibility for maintaining good conduct among their members and guests and at activities they sponsor. All members of the University community are expected to use reasonable judgment in their daily campus life and to show due concern for the welfare and rights of others. This code is promulgated by the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services in accordance with the policies of the Kansas Board of Regents as delegated through the President of the University. The President of Pittsburg State University retains the right to make final decisions on policies in accordance with the governance policy of the institution.

    The Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services, in turn, designates a Campus Judicial Officer, as directly authorized and responsible for administering the Student Conduct Code. This responsibility includes formulating and implementing operating procedures for the judicial consideration of conduct violations and the imposition of sanctions in an efficient, consistent, fair, legal and educationally meaningful manner. The Campus Judicial Officer may further delegate his/her responsibility to various judicial bodies or administrative staff and may collaborate with staff on the process.

    The nature and procedures of the disciplinary process in such cases should not be required to conform to processes of criminal law. To impose upon the academic community in student discipline the intricate, time consuming, sophisticated procedures, rules, and safeguards of criminal law would frustrate the teaching process and render the institutional control impotent. The primary goal of discipline is student development; thus, the hearings are non-adversarial and confidential. Safeguards are designed to insure due process for all students. The Campus Judicial Officer is not obligated to disclose names of complaining parties.
  4. Application of Laws and Off-Campus Activities
    Students should be aware that Pittsburg State University is not a sanctuary beyond the reach of the criminal laws of the United States, the state of Kansas, and the City of Pittsburg. While the rules and regulations of Pittsburg State University are not meant to duplicate general laws, there are some aspects in which the lawful interests of the institution as an academic community coincide with the broader public interest treated in general laws. Students, or student organizations, who commit offenses against the laws of municipalities, states, or the United States, are subject to prosecution by those authorities and may be subject to disciplinary action under University rules when their conduct violates institutional standards. Students, and student organizations, at Pittsburg State University are subject to the provisions of this Student Conduct Code while on University premises or University-related premises, or when involved with off-campus University activities. Students, and student organizations, will be held accountable to this code for their off-campus activities when it can be ascertained the off-campus act has a direct detrimental impact on the university's educational functions. Any disciplinary action imposed by the University may precede and be in addition to any penalty imposed by an off-campus authority.
  5. Prohibited Conduct
    The following statements constitute the official record of all general violations of conduct rules and regulations at Pittsburg State University. Students, and student organizations, are expected to abide by these regulations and administrators are expected to enforce them. These violations of rules and regulations should be read broadly and are not designed to define prohibited conduct in exhaustive terms. Additional rules and regulations may be promulgated during the year; announcements will be made upon adoption of the changes or additions. A student, or student organization, who is found responsible for misconduct or is found responsible of being an accessory to misconduct shall be subject to the sanctions authorized by this code.
    1. Disruption of classes, seminars, research projects, activities or operations of the University.
    2. Actual or threatened physical assault or injury to person.
    3. Violations of the University Sexual Assault policy.
    4. Harassment and/or intimidation - Conduct causing alarm or recklessly creating a risk by: threatening to commit crimes against persons or their property and violation of the University sexual harassment and racial harassment policies. Harassment or intimidation of persons involved in a University disciplinary hearing and of persons in authority who are in the process of discharging their responsibilities is prohibited.
    5. Disorderly conduct - Individual or group behavior which unnecessarily disturbs individuals or groups is prohibited. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, scavenger hunts, unwelcome physical contact, hazing, and boisterous or threatening conduct which is unreasonable for the area, time, or manner in which it occurs.
    6. Drugs - The manufacture, distribution, sale, use, offer for sale, or possession of drugs or narcotics or other controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia in as defined in Federal and state statutes.
    7. Behavior or activities which endanger the safety of one or others - This includes, but is not limited to, destructive behavior by individuals and/or groups; self-destructive behavior; arson; and tampering, damaging, or misusing fire equipment.
    8. Possession and/or use of firearms, fireworks, dangerous weapons and hazardous chemicals - The University is unwilling to allow even the mere presence of dangerous weapons. While some objects are clearly dangerous, what is used dangerously may also be considered a weapon.
    9. Damage to property - Damage, destruction, or defacement of University property or property of any person as a result of a deliberate action or as a result of reckless or imprudent behavior.
    10. Theft of property - Theft of University property or possession of stolen University property or property of any other person.
    11. Misuse of University documents - Forging, transferring, altering, or otherwise misusing any University document, including identification cards, course registration material, or other document or record.
    12. Unauthorized use of the name or insignia of the University by individuals or groups.
    13. Unauthorized presence in or forceful entry into a University facility or University related premises.
    14. Unauthorized or misuse of University property or equipment.
    15. Misuse of telephone - No student shall make or assist in making unauthorized or annoying telephone calls or otherwise misuse or abuse telephone equipment.
    16. Misappropriation or misuse of student organization funds or property - This includes, but is not limited to, overextension of the budget of a student organization; spending receipts prior to proper deposit; and unauthorized personal use of equipment.
    17. Computer abuse - This includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism of programs; misuse of computer accounts; unauthorized destruction of files; creating illegal accounts; possession of unauthorized passwords; harassment, defamation or intimidation, use of computer facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages, violations of copyright or laws to protect the intellectual property rights; and disruptive or annoying behavior on the University computer systems.
    18. Providing false information - In the application for admission, petitions, requests, disciplinary hearing or other matters of record, and transaction with officials of the University or authorized agent.
    19. False reporting of an emergency - The false report of a bomb, fire or other emergency in any building, structure or facility by means of activating an alarm or in any other manner.
    20. Failure to identify oneself when requested by persons in authority who are in the process of discharging their responsibilities.
    21. Unauthorized use or possession of keys - No one may use or possess any University key without proper authorization. No student is allowed under any condition to have a University key duplicated.
    22. Violation of any University policy or procedure is prohibited, including the General Conduct Policy (i.e. Alcohol & Cereal Malt Beverage Policy, Hazing Policy, Academic Misconduct Policy, Advertising/Sales/Solicitation Policy and poster guidelines and policies set forth in the Guide to Hall Living).
    23. Violations of any of the restrictions, conditions or terms of any sanctions resulting from a previously held disciplinary hearing.
    24. Commission of any act which is a violation of a criminal law of the United States, a state law or a municipal ordinance.
  6. Disciplinary Process
    All students, and student organizations, are subject to the disciplinary procedures prescribed in this code. If a student, allegedly involved in a violation of the Conduct Code, separates or graduates from the University prior to a hearing being held, the disciplinary process can continue at the discretion of the University. If a hearing is not pursued upon the separation of the student, the pending charge(s) will be resolved, at the discretion of the University, prior to any future readmission.
    1. Initiation of Charges The Campus Judicial Officer bears responsibility for the initiation of disciplinary procedures against a student, or student organization, for alleged misconduct. The Campus Judicial Officer will review instances of reported misconduct to determine if disciplinary proceedings should be initiated. Any member of the University community may register a complaint in writing with the Campus Judicial Officer against a student, or student organization, for alleged violation of University policy. In the absence of sufficient information, a complaint will be dismissed within five (5) working days.
    2. Notification of Charges Once it is determined that disciplinary proceedings will be initiated, the accused student, or student organization, will be provided written notification of the charge(s). Notification will specify the alleged violation of this Code. Notification will also inform the accused to arrange immediately an administrative conference with the Campus Judicial Officer or designee.
    3. Administrative Conference The purpose of the conference is to insure that the accused will be sufficiently familiar with the disciplinary process. At this meeting the accused:
      1. will be advised of the charge(s). Applicable portions of the Student Conduct Code will be cited.
      2. will be provided a copy of the Student Conduct Code and any other appropriate written material.
      3. will be advised that an advisor may be present to offer guidance. The advisor may not address the discipline officer or other persons unless permitted by the discipline officer. The role of the advisor will be to consult with the accused at reasonable intervals during the course of the conference.
      4. will be advised to consult further with the Campus Judicial Officer or designee concerning any question or interpretations of procedure.
      5. will be advised that hearings are scheduled to provide the accused a minimum of five (5) days from the date of notification of charge(s) (excluding weekends and holidays) during which to prepare a response.
      6. will be advised that any request for a delay of the hearing must be in the form of a written petition to the Campus Judicial Officer, who schedules hearings and determines whether a delay will be granted. Such a delay will not affect the accused's status.
      7. will be advised that the Campus Judicial Officer may choose to delay the hearing for good cause. Such a delay will not affect the accused's status.
      8. will be advised of options for resolutions of disciplinary charge(s).
    4. Failure to Respond If the accused does not arrange for the administrative conference a letter scheduling a hearing will be issued. If the accused has been properly notified of the charge(s), and hearing date, but does not attend the scheduled hearing, the hearing will be conducted by the Campus Judicial Officer and a determination will be made based upon the available information. The accused will be considered properly notified when the formal charge letter, the Student Conduct Code and the letter scheduling the hearing have been delivered to the address as indicated in the most current student directory.
    5. Dismissal of Charges If the Campus Judicial Officer determines as a result of the administrative conference that insufficient information exists to justify a hearing, the charge(s) will be dismissed.
    6. Options for Resolution of Disciplinary Charges At the administrative conference with the Campus Judicial Officer or a designee, the accused will have the disciplinary options to:
      1. Accept responsibility for charge(s) and elect for the Campus Judicial Officer or a designee to determine an appropriate sanction. The Campus Judicial Officer or a designee may decline to render a decision, in which case the matter must be heard by the Disciplinary Hearing Committee.
      2. Accept responsibility for the charge(s) and elect for the Disciplinary Hearing Committee to determine an appropriate sanction, if not satisfied with the Campus Judicial officer's decision.
      3. Plead not responsible to the charge(s) and have a regular hearing before the Disciplinary Hearing Committee where a determination of responsibility will be made. If held responsible by the Disciplinary Hearing Committee, an appropriate sanction will be determined.
    7. Hearing Procedures Hearings will abide by the following due process:
      1. All hearings will be closed and confidential.
      2. The accused may bring someone with them who was not involved in the case. This person's role is that of advisor, not presenter of the case. If a second party will be in attendance, 24 hours advance notification to the hearing officer (prior to the scheduled hearing) is required.
      3. The Campus Judicial Officer will present the charges against the accused.
      4. The complaining party shall present his or her account of the incident by use of witnesses and/or evidence acceptable to the Hearing Officer (the Discipline Hearing Committee Chairman). The complaining party must present a list of possible witnesses to the Hearing officer for his/her approval no less than two (2) class days prior to the hearing.
      5. The accused shall present any evidence or witnesses on his or her behalf. The accused must present a list of possible witnesses to the Hearing Officer for his/her approval no less than two (2) class days prior to the hearing.
      6. The Hearing Officer has the right to accept signed statements of witnesses if they are unable to appear.
      7. After having reviewed the incident, the hearing officer shall render a decision within 48 hours and send written notification of the decision to the accused. The notice will include the hearing date, Hearing Officer, charges, decision, and sanction imposed, if any.
      8. Failure of the accused to appear for a scheduled hearing shall result in the case being heard in his/her absence. Failure to appear at the hearing shall not be interpreted as an indication of guilt.
    8. Optional Hearing Procedures for Sexual Misconduct Cases Victims of alleged sexual misconduct behaviors may choose to use alternative processes from those outlined in Article 34, Item E, Number 7 Hearing Procedures.
      1. utilization of a Disciplinary Hearing Committee of three university faculty/administrators for adjudication of the allegations;
      2. presentation of testimony in person, through video tape, or through remote interactive distance technology;
      3. opportunity to have a support person present during the proceedings (not as a representative or presenter of information, but as an advisor); [note: the accused is afforded this same opportunity]
      4. use of a hearing room configuration which prohibits visual contact between accuser and accused. Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the outcome (decision and applicable sanctions) of the discipline proceedings.
      5. The Campus Judicial Officer will disclose to the victim and accused the final determination of a hearing with respect to the alleged sex offense and any sanction that is imposed against the accused.
  7. Disciplinary Sanctions The purposes of imposing sanctions are twofold: to protect the University community from behaviors that are detrimental to the educational process of the community; and to assist students and student organizations in identifying acceptable parameters of their activities and consequences of future behaviors. The severity of the sanctions imposed is intended to correspond with the severity or frequency of violation, as well as the accused's willingness to recommit to good citizenship through behaviors that fall within the conduct regulations of the University. The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon students, or student organizations, found responsible of a violation either singly and/or in combination:
    1. Expulsion Expulsion is permanent disciplinary separation from the University involving denial of all student privileges. Expulsion shall be effective on the date of notice of the expulsion, or later if so stated in the notice. Students separated from the University by expulsion may not enter the University premises or University-related premises without securing prior approval from the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services.
    2. Suspension Suspension is a temporary disciplinary separation from the University involving denial of all student privileges. Suspension shall be effective on the date of notice of the suspension or later if so stated in the notice, and shall prescribe the date and conditions upon which the student may petition for readmission. Conditions for readmission may include, but are not limited to, disciplinary probation for a specified length of time; nonresident on campus; restricted visitation to specified University facilities; and a written statement from an accredited mental health professional or medical doctor verifying the capability of the student to function successfully at the University. Students separated from the University by suspension may not enter the University premises or University-related premises without securing prior approval from the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services.
    3. Residence Hall Eviction Residence Hall Eviction involves removal from the University residence hall community for conduct which clearly demonstrated an inability to function appropriately in the residence hall living situation. Such separation may be permanent or for a specified number of semesters. Such separation prohibits accessibility to all or designated residence halls and associated dining facilities. Visitation will not be permitted without securing prior approval from the Campus Judicial Officer. In no case will separation be less than the remainder of the semester in which it takes place.
    4. Disciplinary Probation A period of review and observation during which a student, or student organization, has been officially notified that the conduct in question, although not serious enough to warrant suspension, was very inappropriate. Subsequent violations of University rules, regulations or policies (even after a particular probationary period expires) could result in a more severe sanction. Disciplinary Probation is a status which may involve restrictions, conditions or terms imposed for a definite period of time. Restrictions, conditions, or terms of probation may include but are not limited to: ineligibility to participate in University activities or events; periodic contact with a designated member of the University community; restrictions on accessibility to University facilities and/or housing areas; and change of housing assignment. Restrictions, conditions, and terms will be imposed for a specific length of time not to exceed the length of the probationary period. Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the probation or additional behavior in violation of this Code during the probationary period will likely result in more serious disciplinary action.
    5. Disciplinary Warning Disciplinary Warning involves written notice to the student, or student organization, indicating that specific behavior or activity was in violation of this Code and that repetition of similar or other unsatisfactory behavior would likely result in more serious disciplinary action. Disciplinary Warning may also involve conditions, such as those listed above, that are intended to be educational in nature.
    6. Restitution Restitution is not a fine; it is reimbursement for actual damage to, destruction of, or misappropriation of University property or property of any person which results from conduct in violation of this code. The Chief Judicial Officer will determine the appropriate reimbursement.
    7. Suspension of the Privileges of a Registered Student Organization Suspension of the Privileges of a Registered Student Organization is the loss of any or all privileges of a registered student organization. Imposition of this sanction does not preclude disciplinary charges against individual members of the organization. Suspension shall be effective on the date of notice of the suspension or later if so stated in the notice, and shall prescribe the date and conditions upon which the student organization may petition for reinstatement of lost privileges. Conditions for reinstatement of lost privileges may include specific requirements of the organization must demonstrate as completed and/or adhered to during the specified period of suspension.
    8. Termination of the Registration of a Registered Student Organization Termination of the Registration of a Registered Student Organization is the discontinuation of the existence and operation of the registered student organization. Imposition of this sanction does not preclude disciplinary charges against individual members of the organization. Student organizations whose registration status is removed may not be considered for reorganization and re-registration without securing prior approval from the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services.
    9. Specifically Defined Sanction Specific conditions given to the student, or student organization, examples include limitations placed on behavior, revocation of privileges, or an active obligation to complete a specified action, such as campus/community service, participate in educational programs, etc.
  8. Appeals

    A decision reached by the Hearing Officer or Campus Judicial Officer may be appealed by the accused to the Associate Vice President of Campus Life and Auxiliary Services within five (5) school days of the Hearing Committee’s decision.  Such appeal shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Associate Vice President of Campus Life and Auxiliary Services.  A student, or student organization, is entitled to only one appeal and the decision of the Associate Vice President of Campus Life shall be final.  An appeal may be sought on only two grounds:

    1. on a claim of error in the hearing procedure.
    2. on a claim of new information or information material to the case which was not available at the time of the hearing.

    The appeal shall state its grounds.  The Associate Vice President of Campus Life and Auxiliary Services has five (5) school days to make a written determination on the appeal.  Notification shall be sent to the accused, the Hearing Officer, and the Campus Judicial Officer and may be sent to the complaining party, if requested.  If the Associate Vice President of Campus Life and Auxiliary Services finds that one of the two above grounds existed, the matter shall be returned to the Hearing Officer for re-opening of the hearing to allow reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanctions.

  9. Summary Suspension
    1. Summary suspension is an action which requires a student to immediately leave University property, and not return during the suspension period, and/or comply with other stated conditions for a specified period. Suspension may be imposed upon a student by the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services (or a designee) when there is reason to believe, based on available facts, that the student represents an immediate threat to the safety, health, or welfare of herself/himself, other persons, or property. This summary action is warranted by potential or threatened danger or disruption, but is indicated only when the serious nature or immediacy of the threat makes it impractical to follow normal disciplinary procedures. Summary actions authorized by this policy include:
      1. temporary suspension of a student's eligibility for enrollment or attendance, as well as denial of the student's access to University facilities or property. A student may be summarily suspended for a specified period of time or the suspension may be scheduled contingent upon certain events or conditions.
      2. temporary suspension or limitations of a student's eligibility to enjoy certain privileges, or participate in or attend certain events (or certain kinds of events) without the suspension of enrollment status. This summary action may prohibit a student's presence on University property or certain facilities, or impose conditions which must be met in order for that student to enjoy certain privileges, participate in activities, or attend events.
    2. When a student is summarily suspended, she or he is given a copy of this policy and notice explaining the reason for, and duration of the suspension, as well as any conditions that may apply. A student notified of such summary action shall, upon written request, be given an opportunity to meet with the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services (or designee) within five (5) business days from the date of the request. This meeting shall be held to consider only the following issues related to the summary action:
      1. the reliability of information alleging a student's misconduct, and
      2. whether the conduct or surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate the student's presence on campus or continued unrestricted participation in campus affairs would pose an immediate threat to the safety, health, or welfare of persons or property.
    3. It is not the purpose of the meeting to hear information concerning responsibility of pending or possible charges against the student.
    4. Following the imposition of summary suspension, standard University disciplinary procedures shall be provided as expeditiously as possible. Unless circumstances render the implementation of standard disciplinary procedures impossible or unreasonably difficult, these procedures shall be initiated within ten (10) University business days from the effective date of the summary action.
    5. Any student who is summarily suspended and returns to the campus of the University property and/or violates other stated conditions during the specified period shall be subject to further separate action and may be treated as a trespasser. Permission to be on campus for a specified purpose (e.g., to take an exam, to consult with the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services or designee, or to participate in disciplinary procedures) must be requested and obtained in writing or telephone prior to any conduct contrary to the suspension or conditions, and may be granted by the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services (or designee).
  10. Disciplinary Files - Retention and Access
    Disciplinary files are retained by the Campus Judicial Officer. A student's disciplinary file is not released outside the University without written consent of the student. Disciplinary information will be provided by the University to individuals who are determined to have a legitimate, educational interest in obtaining this information.

    A student's disciplinary file is retained for a specified length of time. The maximum sanction imposed determines how long a file is retained before being destroyed.

    Permanently Maintained
    Expulsion
    Termination of Registration of a Registered Student Organization
    Maintained
       Three Years After Graduation or Seven Years From Date of Hearing
    Suspension
       Maintained Until Graduation or Five Years from Date of Hearing (whichever is earlier)
    Academic Misconduct
    Disciplinary Probation
    Disciplinary Warning
    Residence Hall Separation
    Restitution
    Maintained Three Years from Date of Hearing
    Termination of Privileges of a Registered Student Organization

    A student's disciplinary file is maintained separately from any other academic or official file at the University. In cases where the accused is found not responsible, no official disciplinary file will be retained. When charges are dropped, due to insufficient evidence, an official disciplinary file will be maintained until graduation or five (5) years from the date of the hearing.
  11. Discipline Committee
    1. The Discipline Committee shall serve as an advisory board to the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services with regard to the total operation of the Student Conduct Code.
    2. Any recommendation of the Discipline Committee shall be forwarded to the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services for approval and implementation. When appropriate, the Vice President will inform the President of Pittsburg State University who retains the right to make final decisions in accordance with the governance policy of the institution.
    3. The Discipline Committee shall consist of students, faculty and staff who are selected according to current University procedures. The committee shall be chaired by an individual appointed by the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Auxiliary Services.
  12. Disciplinary Hearing Committee
    1. For a given case, a Disciplinary Hearing Committee will be appointed from among the members of the Discipline Committee. Equal numbers of students and faculty/staff shall be selected (usually three and three) to sit as a hearing authority for a particular case.
    2. The Chair of the Discipline Committee or his/her designee shall chair the Disciplinary Hearing Committee.

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