Student Conduct System

Ultimate authority for the Student conduct system is vested in the Board of Trustees, which delegates that authority to College administrators and committees as set forth in this document, or in other appropriate policies, rules, or regulations adopted by the Board.

  1. When the conduct of Students, Groups, or Organizations fails to meet acceptable Gustavus standards, the Student Conduct System is the forum identified for response. Any College official, Instructor, student, or staff member may file a complaint of misconduct.
  2. The College reserves the right to invoke the College Student Conduct System for student behavior occurring off-campus.
  3. On-campus behavior that may be a violation of civil law may also be referred to local authorities.
  4. It is necessary to endeavor to protect the campus community when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a Student may pose a substantial danger to self or others. Normally, such “substantial danger” will be manifested by a pending criminal charge, usually relating to a crime of violence, burglary, substantial theft or fraud, the sale of illegal drugs, or the possession of substantial quantities of illegal drugs or serious self-imperiling behavior.

    While a criminal charge does not mean that the Student is guilty of an offense, such a charge does mean that civil authorities have determined that there is at least probable cause to believe that an offense was committed, and that the Student committed it. Under these circumstances, it may be necessary and appropriate to conduct a College Student Conduct Hearing.

    If a Student is charged with or convicted of a violation of law while off of the campus, the College may have to deny certification when the conduct violates established standards for professional accreditation of the Student.
  5. In cases of emergency, where the wellbeing of Students or the Institution may be endangered, or in cases where the respondent demonstrates a pattern of disruptive behavior, the Dean of Students may take appropriate interim measures including temporary removal of the respondent from College housing and/or temporary suspension of the respondent pending campus disciplinary proceedings. Such a temporary suspension shall become effective immediately without prior notice; however, a Student suspended on a temporary basis shall be given an opportunity to appear personally before the Dean of Students within five (5) Business Days from the effective date of the temporary suspension in order to discuss the following issues only:
    1. The reliability of the information concerning the Student’s conduct.
    2. Whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the Student on the College campus poses a substantial threat to self and others or the stability and continuance of normal College functions.
  6. The College may involve and have present at any disciplinary proceeding legal counsel for the College. The Student Conduct Coordinator responsible for student conduct shall notify the complainant and the accused within three (3) Business Days of issuing the complaint if the College intends to have an attorney present.
  7. Student Conduct Procedures are to be carried out expeditiously and all parties are to assist in this effort. Requests for delays in these procedures may be made for compelling reasons. Requests must be made in writing to the Dean of Student at least two (2) Business Days prior to the scheduled hearing/appeal and must specify the reason(s) for the delay. The Dean of Students shall determine the appropriateness of the request.
  8. Provisions in these procedures do not preclude Students from pursuing legal action.
  9. A summary of Student Conduct System results—protecting the identity of the parties—may be released periodically for publication.

Student Conduct Responsibilites of the Conduct Coordinator

The Student Conduct Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the College student conduct system. S/he oversees the work of the Appropriate Student Conduct Authority and interprets standards of conduct and disciplinary procedures to Students and others. The Conduct Coordinator is available to serve as a resource for complainants and/or respondents wanting information concerning procedures, rights, and responsibilities under the student conduct system. The Conduct Coordinator does not and shall not act as a representative or advocate for any respondent or complainant.

Student Conduct Procedures

Reports of alleged violations of the Statement of Student Responsibilities may be filed with the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will seek to respond to the alleged violations through referral to one of three conduct procedures: the Administrative Hearing, the Student Conduct Board or with a citation for certain offenses listed below. The outcome of an Administrative Hearing or a Student Conduct Board Process may be appealed according to the procedures outlined below. For citation-level offenses, if their case is heard by an Appropriate Conduct Authority, the student may appeal the decision according to the procedures outlined below.

  1. Complaints are written allegations of violations of the Statement of Student Responsibilities. Any College official, faculty member, student, or staff member may file a complaint of misconduct.
  2. Complaints shall be filed with the Dean of Students Office. After receiving a formal complaint, the Dean of Students will assess the available information and determine whether or not there appears to be reasonable grounds for a Hearing. As part of this assessment, the dean or a designee may seek additional information by consulting with the complainant, the respondent, or others.
  3. The Dean of Students may then dismiss the complaint or refer the complaint to either an Administrative Hearing or a Conduct Board, A copy of the complaint, notice of Hearing (if any), and the proposed time and place for such Hearing, will then be sent to the respondent.
  4. If the respondent fails to appear for a Hearing after proper notice has been given, the Hearing shall be conducted in his or her absence. Nonetheless, the complainant shall be required to present a case in accordance with customary evidentiary standards, as stated below. Cases heard in the absence of the respondent can be appealed according to procedures outlined in the Appeals section below.
  5. If the complainant fails to appear for a Hearing after proper notice has been given, the Hearing shall be conducted in the Complainant’s absence. Cases heard in the absence of the complainant can be appealed according to procedures outlined in the Appeals section below.
  6. Conduct Board Hearings will be recorded, but mechanical failures are not the basis for a claim for denial of due process.
  7. Hearings will normally be private proceedings. However, the respondent as well as the complainant may, nonetheless, make a written request via the Conduct Coordinator for an open Hearing. The Dean of Students may grant such a request at his/her discretion and in compliance with regulations concerning confidentiality.
  8. Upon written notification to the Dean of Students prior to the hearing, the respondent as well as the complainant may be assisted during the Hearing by an Adviser. The Adviser’s role is defined previously.
  9. In matters involving complaints of sexual misconduct, see the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.for all relevant procedures.
  10. The presiding Appropriate Student Conduct Authority shall exercise control over the proceedings to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve orderly completion of the Hearing. Any person, including the accused or the complainant who disrupts the Hearing may be excluded by the presiding Appropriate Student Conduct Authority.
  11. Each person providing testimony at a Hearing shall be asked to affirm that his or her testimony is truthful.
  12. Written statements may be submitted in lieu of testimony provided in person when individuals to provide such testimony are unable to attend a hearing and so demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Dean of Students at least two (2) Business Days prior to the hearing.
  13. Prospective witnesses, other than the respondent and the complainant, shall be excluded from the Hearing by the presiding officer during the testimony of other witnesses.
  14. The respondent is presumed innocent unless the information presented during the hearing to the Appropriate Student Conduct Authority demonstrates responsibility for the alleged acts by a preponderance of the evidence. The Appropriate Student Conduct Authority shall consider the validity of the complaint and, if responsibility for the complaint is determined, shall assign sanctions in accordance with these procedures.
  15. Both the respondent and the complainant shall be notified within a reasonable time of the outcome of the Hearing. If the respondent is found responsible for the acts alleged, s/he shall also be informed of the Appeals procedure.
  16. All Appeals from the Student Conduct Board or an Administrative Hearing will be to the College Appeals Board pursuant to the provisions in the Appeals section, below. Sanctions are held in abeyance pending Appeal. Sanctions will be imposed unless appealed or removed by appellate decision.

Rights of Complainants and Respondents

In a Hearing, the following rights attach for the respondent:

  1. To be informed of the complaint allegations within a reasonable time of the event.
  2. To request a copy of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct Procedures.
  3. To have a reasonable time to prepare for consideration of the complaint at the hearing.
  4. To request that his/her case be reviewed separately where the case involves more than one accused.
  5. To disqualify a member of a Hearing board or other Appropriate Student Conduct Authority for bias demonstrated by either the complainant or respondent.
  6. To present witnesses and information pertinent to the Hearing.
  7. To view and respond to all information offered in support of the complaint.
  8. To ask questions of persons presenting information pertinent to the Hearing.
  9. To submit a written statement rather than appear at the Hearing without risk of sanctions assigned solely for failure to appear.
  10. To appeal decisions pursuant to the provisions in the Appeals section, below.
  11. To be immune from repeated consideration of the same complaint except on Appeal, when remanded for a new Hearing, or for new information.

When a Hearing is granted, the following rights attach for the complainant:

  1. To request a copy of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct Procedures.
  2. To have a reasonable time to prepare for consideration of the complaint at the hearing.
  3. To file separate complaints for multiple respondents.
  4. To disqualify a member of a Hearing board or other appropriate Student Conduct Authority for bias demonstrated by the complainant to the board.
  5. To present witnesses and information pertinent to the Hearing.
  6. To hear and respond to all information offered in opposition to the complaint.
  7. To ask questions of persons presenting information pertinent to the Hearing.
  8. To appeal decisions pursuant to the provisions in the Appeals section, below.

Administrative Hearings

Administrators designated by the Dean of Students, may conduct Administrative Hearings with students who have been charged with violating the Statement of Student Responsibilities. During the Administrative Hearing, the accused student has the opportunity to address and present evidence regarding the alleged violation(s). The administrator will render a decision on the finding of responsibility as well as appropriate sanctions.

Student Conduct Board

The Student Conduct Board is composed of a faculty member drawn from a pool of faculty selected by the Faculty Committee on Student Life, an administrator chosen from a pool appointed by the Dean of Students, and a student drawn from the pool of trained Students selected by the Dean of Students. The administrator chosen by the Dean of Students convenes and chairs the Student Conduct Board.

If any of the Student Conduct Board members named above is the Complainant, that individual’s designee may not be within that individual’s academic department or administrative unit.

In the event one of the members is not present, the Student Conduct Board may rule on the validity of a complaint, with the chair and any one of the other Board members in attendance with the consent of the complainant and the respondent.

If for any reason the Student Conduct Board cannot be convened or assembled (e.g., summer, vacation, graduation, finals, etc.), the Dean of Students shall hear the matter, rule upon the validity of the complaint, and assign sanctions where appropriate.

Citations

College officials may issue Citations for the acts listed below. Citations, including the sanction(s), may be issued to Students. The Student may choose to comply with the sanctions, or s/he may request a Hearing within five (5) Business Days of the receipt of the Citation. If the student does not request a hearing, there is no right to appeal the outcome. If a Hearing is held, the Student carries the burden of demonstrating that the Citation should not have been issued. Issuance of a Citation does not preclude other action via the complaint procedure. Offenses are counted cumulatively during each academic year.

Like a formal complaint, a Citation becomes part of a student’s disciplinary record. Other breaches of Traffic Policies listed elsewhere in the Gustavus Guide may be addressed without creating a disciplinary file. Under most circumstances, Citations are accompanied by a conversation with a College official.

Sanctions

  1. When complaints are heard and responsibility is determined by an Administrative Hearing or a Student Conduct Board, sanctions such as the ones listed below may be assigned to an accused Student, Group, or Organization:
    1. Admonition: An oral or written statement to a Student, Group, or Organization that they are responsible for misconduct, warning that a repeat of the misconduct may result in more severe sanctions.
    2. Restitution: Compensation for harm, injury, or loss. This may take the form of reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property, appropriate service, formal apologies, or other compensation.
    3. Fine: Monetary assessment up to five hundred dollars ($500) per infraction for individuals and five hundred dollars ($500) per infraction for Groups and Organizations.
    4. Required Work Hours: The activity is required for a specified number of hours during a designated time period under appropriate supervision. Efforts will be made to assign Students to tasks where the disciplinary nature of the assignment need not necessarily be revealed.
    5. Participation in Educational Activities: Required participation in one or more educational programs/activities intended to expand the Student’s/Organization’s/Group’s understanding of self, others, or important issues related to the misconduct. The activity will extend for a predetermined number of hours over a specified time frame, subject to verification of successful completion of assigned tasks.
    6. Disciplinary Censure: The serious nature of the specific violation or existence of prior violations merit deep concern by the College for a determined period of time. The individual’s status with the College is in jeopardy and, therefore, parents will be notified, to the extent allowable under state and federal law, when students are censured. Students sanctioned with Disciplinary Censure should understand that in most cases, future violation will result in Disciplinary Probation.
    7. Relocation: Reassignment of a Student, Group, or Organization from a particular oncampus space to another. The right of a Student to living space of her/his choice will be forfeited for a specified period of time.
    8. Eviction: Termination of the right of a Student, Group or Organization to space on campus. Upon eviction, the College will terminate its contract with the Student for residence hall space and reimburse, according to College policy on room refunds, the appropriate portion of monies, which the Student has paid to the College for living space for the balance of the academic year.
    9. Restrictions:
      1. of Entry: Removal of the privilege of entering or visiting some or all areas of the campus.
      2. of Participation: Limitations on participation in specific co-curricular activities, use of certain facilities or services, or other social restrictions.
      3. of Contact: Prohibition of unnecessary and avoidable contact.
    10. Disciplinary Probation: This is the most serious form of behavior-related sanction that can be imposed short of suspension. The individual is considered to be “not in good standing with the Institution” for a determined period of time. Parents are notified, to the extent allowable under state and federal law, when a student is placed on Disciplinary Probation. During the probationary period, the student may be prohibited from registering for or participating in off-campus study, travel courses, internships, career explorations, off-campus independent studies, representing the College in any activity (e.g., athletic teams, choirs, bands, ensembles, debate, etc.), performance, or presentation for a determined period of time.
    11. Suspension: Termination of Student status for a definite period of time. The conditions of readmission shall be stated in the order of suspension. Parents are notified, to the extent allowable under state and federal law, when a student is suspended from the College.
    12. Expulsion: Permanent termination of Student status. The fact of expulsion shall become part of the Student’s permanent academic record at the College and remain so. Parents are notified, to the extent allowable under state and federal law, when a student is expelled from the College.
  2. Any Organization found responsible for acts of misconduct or illegal acts—on- or off-campus—and/or any person held responsible for such acts, may have sanctions assigned, including withdrawal of Institutional privileges.
  3. Nothing in this document shall preclude the Appropriate Student Conduct Authority from considering a Student’s or Organization’s previous behavior relevant to the current complaint when prescribing sanctions.
  4. When relocation, eviction, restriction, suspension, or expulsion are imposed, parents or guardians may be notified, to the extent allowable under state and federal law, with prior notice to the Student (through the campus post office), if the Student is financially dependent on the parents or guardians.
  5. When a Student is found responsible for misconduct, written notice of the sanction(s) assigned shall be provided to the respondent and the complainant.

Citation Outcomes

The following are typical sanctions for citation-level offenses:

  1. Excessive noise or other disruptive behavior.
    • First Citation: Admonition
    • Second Citation: $25 fine and meeting with Area Coordinator.
    • Third Citation: $100 fine and meeting with the Director of Residential Life or designee
    • After Third Citation: Referred to appropriate hearing body
  2. Actions that endanger health or safety.
    1. Obstructing hallways, fire exits or room doors, propping fire doors, or otherwise compromising fire egress or safety equipment.
      • First Citation: $100 fine plus restitution and meeting with Area Coordinator.
      • Second Citation: $200 fine plus restitution and meeting with the Director of Residential Life or designee
      • After Second Citation: Referred to appropriate hearing body
    2. Propping locked security doors or otherwise compromising security equipment or facilities.
      • First Citation: $50 fine.
      • Second Citation: $100 fine and and meeting with Area Coordinator
      • After Second Citation: Referred to appropriate hearing body
    3. Possession of candles, oil lamps, incense, or other open flames (or storage of flammable materials).
      • First Citation: $50 fine and immediate removal of items.
      • Second Citation: $100 fine
      • After Second Citation: Referred to appropriate hearing body
    4. Violations of Fire Marshal Regulations.
      • First Citation: Formal warning and deadline for removal.
      • Second Citation: $25 fine and confiscation.
      • After Second Citation: Referred to appropriate hearing body
    5. Failure to leave the building when fire alarm sounds.
      • First Citation: $75 fine.
      • Second Citation: $150 fine and hearing.
      • After Second Citation: Referred to appropriate hearing body
  3. Breaches of Residential Life, Cable, and Traffic Policies.
    1. Unauthorized removal of furniture from lounges and other public areas.
      • First Citation: $25 fine and replacement deadline.
      • Second Citation: $50 fine, replacement, and a hearing to consider further sanctions.
      • After Second Citation: Referred to appropriate hearing body
    2. Pets in residence halls
      • First Citation: $25 fine and immediate removal of animal.
      • Second Citation: $50 fine and hearing to consider eviction from College housing.
      • After Second Citation: Referred to appropriate hearing body
    3. Sale of assigned room space to another student
      • Citation: Forfeit of assigned space by both parties.
    4. Unauthorized reception and/or assisting in the unauthorized reception of cable television.
      • First Citation: $25 fine, immediate cessation of reception, meeting with Area Coordinator or other College official.
      • Second Citation: $50 fine, immediate cessation of reception.
    5. Possession of illegal appliances.
      • First Citation: Admonition and removal of item(s).
      • Second Citation: $25 fine and immediate removal of item(s).
      • Third Citation: $50 fine and confiscation.
    6. Students violating official closing/return time.
      • First Citation: $50 fine for each in violation and additional late/early fee charge per night
      • Second Citation: $30 fine for each in violation and additional late/early fee charge per night
      • After Second Citation: Referred to appropriate hearing body
    7. Possession of a refrigerator larger than 6 cubic feet.
      • First Citation: Formal warning and removal deadline.
      • Second Citation: $50 fine and confiscation.
    8. Unauthorized room changes.
      • First Citation: Admonition and removal deadline.
      • Second Citation: $50 fine and meeting with Area Coordinator
    9. Possession of waterbed.
      • First Citation: Formal warning and removal deadline.
      • Second Citation: $150 fine and supervised removal.
    10. Removal of window screen.
      • First Citation: Admonition.
      • Second Citation: $25 fine.
      • Third Citation: $50 fine.
    11. Smoking or using smokeless tobacco where not permitted.
      • First Citation: $50 fine.
      • Second Citation: $100 fine.
    12. Possession of an illegal loft.
      • First Citation: Admonition and removal deadline.
      • Second Citation: $50 fine and supervised removal.
    13. Violating College Visitation Policy
      • First Citation: Formal warning
      • Second Citation: $50 fine and meeting with Area Coordinator
      • Third Citation: $100 fine and meeting with Director of Residential Life or designee
  4. Breaches of Parking and Traffic Policy.
    Gustavus Campus Safety is responsible for the enforcement of campus parking and traffic regulations. Citations issued by Campus Safety officers will be processed through the college Finance Office. At the discretion of the Director of Campus Safety, violations may be referred to the Student Conduct System for processing. Any citation issued by Campus Safety can be appealed to the Parking Committee. Appeal forms are available in the Campus Safety Office or by emailing Lisa Octigan (eoctigan@gustavus.edu).
  5. College officials may establish and provide notice of fines for violations of various College policies.

Appeals

  1. Purpose
    Appeals are granted at the discretion of the Dean of Students to determine if error has occurred in prior hearing of the matter. Either complainants or respondents may appeal the outcome of a hearing.
  2. Jurisdiction
    1. The College Appeals Board considers Appeals from Administrative Hearings and Student Conduct Board Hearings. College Appeals Board decisions are final except in cases involving expulsion from the College, which may be appealed to the President of the College.
    2. The President of the College or his/her designee considers Appeals from the College Appeals Board in decisions involving expulsion from the College only.
    3. If for any reason the College Appeals Board cannot be convened (e.g., summer, finals, etc.), the Associate Provost (or his/her designee) shall consider the Appeal, rule upon its validity, and assign sanctions where appropriate.
  3. Composition of College Appeals Board
    The College Appeals Board shall be composed of the Associate Provost (or designee), a faculty member drawn from a pool of faculty selected by the Faculty Committee on Student Life, and a student drawn from the pool of trained Students selected by the Dean of Students. The Associate Provost (or designee) convenes and chairs the College Appeals Board. If any of the College Appeals Board members named above is the Complainant, that individual’s designee may not be within that individual’s academic department or administrative unit.
  4. Procedure
    1. Appeals must be filed in writing with the Dean of Students within five (5) business days of receipt of the original written decision. (Receipt is defined as the day following the date of the decision letter.)
    2. The Appeal application must specify the grounds of Appeal (i.e., what error occurred). Those grounds are limited to: a) denial or irregularities of due process, b) unreasonableness of penalty, or c) new information not previously available. The grounds for Appeal must state with specificity the facts upon which such claims of error are made.
    3. The individual must demonstrate to the Dean of Students in the written Appeal application (available from the Dean of Students Office or online here: Appeal Form) that reasonable grounds for the Appeal exist as per paragraph 2 above.
    4. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Dean of Students shall forward the Appeal form with attachment(s) to the other party within three (3) Business Days. That party shall then have three (3) Business Days to provide a written response to the Dean of Students for consideration by the appellate authority. Appeals will be considered on the basis of the record. New information not previously available may result in a remand of the matter to the original authority.
    5. The appellate authority may uphold the original decision, change the original ruling, or refer the matter to the authority of original jurisdiction with instruction.
    6. Appellate authorities shall begin consideration of Appeals as soon as possible after their submission.
    7. No appellate authority or member thereof may be a designee of, report to, or work within the same academic department or administrative unit as the complainant or respondent.
    8. Appellate authorities may, at their discretion, seek clarification from any parties involved in the matter under appeal.
    9. Appeals are limited to review by one appellate authority except in decisions involving expulsion from the College.