Wartburg Student Conduct System

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Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

Students are expected to conduct themselves as mature members of the college community, respecting the rights of others and making use of educational opportunities.

Standards have been established for scholarship, personal conduct, and campus life. These standards have been created to provide an environment that encourages learning. Some of the standards exist because the college is part of the larger community and is governed by federal, state, and local laws. The college is not a sanctuary from civil authority.

All students at Wartburg have the responsibility to respect the rights of others. In addition, students are committed to the academic Honor Code as approved and distributed by Student Senate. First-year students sign the Wartburg Honor Code during opening days as a public recognition of the community values of Wartburg College.

Academic Conduct

The professor has full authority in determining the action to be taken in case of academic dishonesty. He/she will meet with the student to review possible academic conduct violations. The Student Honor Council may also be asked by the professor to review the case. Some of the following actions are possible: the professor may fail the student in the course; the student may be given a failing grade on the examination or assignment; the student’s grade may be lowered on the examination or assignment; or the student may be required to take another examination or do the assignment over. In addition to whatever action a professor may take, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, after consultation with the professor, may suspend or dismiss a student for committing an act of academic dishonesty. EXAMPLES OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY ARE:

CHEATING

  • Copying homework assignments from another student.
  • Working together on a take-home test or homework when not permitted by the instructor.
  • Looking at and receiving information from another student’s paper during an examination.
  • Looking at and using notes during an examination when not specifically permitted.
  • Mistreatment of the amount or type of work done.

TENDERING OF INFORMATION

  • Giving your work to another student to be copied.
  • Providing answers to another person for exam questions before, after, or during an exam.
  • Giving or selling a term paper or any work that is to be handed in to the instructor.

PLAGIARISM

  • Copying homework from a text to hand in for a grade.
  • Quoting text or other works on an exam, term paper, or homework without citations.
  • Handing in a paper purchased from a research service.
  • Retyping someone’s paper and handing it in as your own.
  • Incorrectly citing resources for written assignments.

COLLUSION

  • Planning with one or more students to commit any form of academic dishonesty.
  • Giving your term paper or any other work to another student whom you suspect will plagiarize it.
  • Unauthorized collaboration of aid in any academic work.

MISREPRESENTATION

  • Having another student do your work for you.
  • Lying to your professor to increase your grade.
  • Having another student take an exam for you.
  • Submitting the same work for a grade in two different courses without permission from the course instructors.
  • Misrepresentation of the amount or type of work done.
  • Altering a graded work after it has been returned, and then submitting it for regrading without the instructor’s knowledge.

BRIBERY

  • Offering money or any item or service to a faculty member or another person to gain academic advantage for yourself or another student.

ABETTING DISHONESTY

  • Observing cheating on an examination without reporting it to the faculty member.
  • Passing answers for a test from one student to another via any mode of communication. (e.g. texting, online communities such as Facebook, etc.)
  • Knowing about plagiarism by another student on a paper without reporting it to a faculty member.
  • Assisting a student in buying a paper from a research service.

Social Conduct

PURPOSE OF THE CONDUCT SYSTEM

The Student Conduct System at Wartburg College has been established to provide a process through which students, faculty, and staff can function productively as a college community. Student involvement is essential in the conduct process.

The Student Conduct System is not punitive in nature; rather, it is an educational opportunity for students in violation of the system. The Student Conduct System provides a process to hear and decide matters of nonacademic misconduct as defined by institutional regulations and published rules. Policies have been established in the interest of achieving educational goals and guaranteeing the broadest range of freedom to each member of the community. These policies limit some activities and prohibit certain behavior.

In an attempt to inform students about appropriate behaviors, general information related to conduct proceedings (violations and sanctions) may be reported periodically.

STUDENT CODE

A. All members of the Wartburg community have the responsibility for adhering to all local, state, and federal laws. The college will not protect members of the community from the consequences of violation of these statutes.

  1. Student behavior occurring off-campus that violates local, state, and federal laws or additional college regulations are subject to proceedings within the Wartburg College Student Conduct process.

B. Misconduct in any of the following areas will be considered a violation of college regulations (additional policies, procedures, and rules are outlined in this Student Handbook and the Residence Hall Contract):

  1. Knowingly providing false information to college officials on a college-related matter, including a conduct investigation or hearing, with the intent to deceive.
  2. Intentional obstruction of college officials or employees attempting to carry out their responsibilities and duties. This would include failing to comply with a college employee’s reasonable requests or directions.
  3. Physical, verbal, written abuse, or harassment of any person on college property or at college-sponsored events, or conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of that person.
  4. Sexual harassment or assault of any member or visitor to the college (see Student Handbook section covering sexual misconduct).
  5. Theft, vandalism, or unauthorized use of property or services on college property or at college-sponsored events.
  6. Disorderly or obscene conduct on college property or at college-sponsored events.
  7. Use, possession, sale, distribution or in presence of narcotic or dangerous and illegal drugs (see Student Handbook sections covering alcohol and drugs).
  8. Use or possession of explosives, firecrackers, or firearms on college property.
  9. Misuse of or tampering with fire alarm systems or other safety and security equipment.
  10. Illegal gambling, as defined by the State of Iowa and federal law, which adversely affects an individual or individuals, with the exception of raffles approved by the college and permitted by the State of Iowa.
  11. Conduct that adversely affects the student’s ability to be a contributing member of the academic and residential community. See Hazing and Bullying Policies for additional information.
  12. Failure to observe sanctions imposed through the established college judicial process.
  13. Violation of rules, procedures, and policies governing college-owned facilities.
  14. Violation of rules, procedures, and policies, stated in the current catalog, Student Handbook, or other current official publications or notices.

The procedures employed by the Student Conduct System are a part of the educational process and are designed to help students determine appropriate behavior in the college community. There is a fundamental difference between the nature of student discipline and civil law. Student discipline must be consistent with the educational mission of the institution. The conduct procedures provide for a fair hearing and an appeal. The procedures and sanctions are not meant to resemble those used in a civil judicial process. A wide range of sanctions is available to the board or administrator who hears the case.

Disciplinary actions, taken in a manner that promotes student growth and understanding, attempt to hold students accountable for their behavior. Punitive measures are not the primary focus. Wartburg College, through the conduct system, articulates the ethical precepts that support the behavioral expectations of the community.

II. FILING A COMPLAINT

Any student, faculty member, staff member, or administrator may report a violation of college policy against a student. The charges must be filed on either an incident report form, security report, or documented in written form. Incident Report forms are available from any residence hall director or from the Student Life Office.
 

Students who are charged with behavior threatening or contrary to the policies and lifestyles of the Wartburg community may be subject to an interim suspension by the Vice President for Student Life prior to the hearing. Students living on campus will be required to vacate their residence within a time period designated by the Vice President for Student Life.

A report of violation of college policy covered by local, state, or federal law also may result in a student being charged.

III. HEARING OFFICERS

A. Administrative Hearing

1. Purpose

The administrative hearing may consider any disciplinary matters involving the student as a citizen on campus and in the Waverly community.

An administrative hearing may replace an SCB hearing: (a) if the board cannot function due to the nature of the college calendar; or (b) if the Vice President for Student Life or Associate Dean of Student Life decides a violation warrants immediate action due to the confidentiality, sensitivity, or the severity of the incident.

2. Composition and Selection

The Vice President for Student Life, Director of Residential Life, or their designee will conduct all administrative hearings. If an administrator has a conflict of interest, it may be requested that either the Student Conduct Board or another administrator handle the hearing.

B. Student Conduct Board (SCB) Hearing

1. Purpose

The SCB may consider any disciplinary matters involving the student as a citizen on campus and in the Waverly community.

2. Composition and Selection

The SCB shall consist of as many as 10 students with alternates as needed. A hearing panel shall consist of five students. SCB should be composed of members from each class year. Selection of the SCB will be determined from a pool of candidates to which all students are eligible. Recommendations from faculty and staff will be taken into account and interviews will be conducted as needed. Final selection will be determined by a committee made of returning SCB members and the adviser.

3. Organization The SCB will be convened by the Assistant Director of Residential Life. The Assistant Director of Residential Life will serve as the adviser on matters of training, organization, and procedure. The adviser and SCB will select one or two member(s) to serve as the chairperson(s) who will convene the board upon request of case to be heard. Five members constitute a quorum.

Procedure

I. REVIEW OF THE COMPLAINT

The Vice President for Student Life or the Associate Dean of Students or their designee shall make a preliminary investigation and may attempt to dispose of the charges by mutual consent without the initiation of formal disciplinary proceedings. If there is uncertainty or dispute concerning the charges and/or sanctions, the case shall be taken to the SCB or to the appropriate administrator.

II. NOTIFICATION OF INVOLVED PARTIES

Formal disciplinary proceedings will begin immediately after the incident report form or written documentation has been received and reviewed. The charges will be presented to the charged student(s) in writing, and they will be provided the option of having an administrative or Student Conduct Board hearing. The charged student(s) must respond within three days to the Student Life Office or designee. In some instances, depending on the severity of the incident and the judgment of the SCB or administrative hearing officer, other parties involved (complainant) in the incident may be informed of the conduct process outcomes and sanctions. Email is an official form of college communication.

III. THE HEARING PROCESS

A. Rights and Responsibilities of the Complainant and the Charged Student

1. The charged student and the complainant (if there is one) may request a person of their choice to be present at the hearing. This person must be a member of the Wartburg community and may not participate in the hearing. The chairperson of the conduct board or the administrative hearing officer must be present at the hearing.

2. The charged student, the complainant, SCB, or administrative hearing officer may request the presence of witnesses. A witness shall be defined as a person with factual knowledge concerning the incident. The chairperson of the conduct board or administrative hearing officer must be notified of all witnesses at least one day prior to the hearing.

3. If the charged student or complainant fails to appear at the scheduled time of the hearing, the Student Conduct Board or administrative hearing officer will hear and determine, if possible, the matter in the student’s absence and be notified of the decision.

B. Steps of the Hearing

These procedures provide the guidelines to be followed in all hearings. These guidelines are designed to provide order and fairness to all persons involved.

  1. The SCB chairperson or administrative hearing officer introduces all persons present.
  2. The chairperson or administrative hearing officer explains the hearing procedures.
  3. The date of the incident and charges are read and explained as needed.
  4. The chairperson or administrator excuses all witnesses.
  5. SCB members or administrative hearing officer questions the complainant and charged student(s).
  6. The witnesses re-enter when called to be questioned as needed.
  7. The chairperson or administrative hearing officer informs the charged student(s) as to when they will be notified of the decision.
  8. The charged student(s) are excused.

IV. DECISION PROCESS

A. Determination of Responsibilities

  1. If the charged student(s) is found not responsible for the complaint, the case will be dismissed.
  2. If the charged student(s) is found responsible for the complaint, the SCB or the administrative hearing officer will deliberate and determine the sanctions.
  3. All decisions through SCB will be reached by a majority vote. If the majority feels that no decision should be or can be made, the case is dismissed.

B. Choice of Sanctions

The choice of an appropriate sanction will be undertaken in a manner promoting student growth and understanding. The sanction should not be perceived solely as a penalty for misconduct. Although sanctions will be dealt with on an individual basis and are designed to hold student(s) accountable for their behavior, some choices include, but are not limited to:

  • Letter of Warning — A written reprimand warning that another violation, within a certain period of time, will result in more severe action. A copy will be placed in the student’s file in the Student Life Office.
  • Monetary Fine — A monetary charge ranging from $50 to $500 may be fined to the student(s) involved and used for educational purposes.
  • Educational Sanction — Participation in a group or activity, designed to further the participants understanding of self and the issues involved, and acceptance of the college’s positions and needs.
  • Payment of Damages — Restitution for the cost of any damages, including labor costs. This might be assessed by requiring campus work under the supervision of the Student Life Office.
  • Community Time — Required community service supervised by the Student Life Office or its designee.
  • Residence Hall Restrictions — Changing place of residence, possibly moving off campus. In addition, the student may be prohibited from visiting a particular floor, house, or hall. If removed from the hall, the student will receive no refund for room costs. However, the student would receive a refund for board costs if he/she chooses not to participate in the board plan.
  • Social Probation — A probationary period of time lasting from one term up to the remainder of the student’s enrollment at Wartburg. If the student is found to be responsible for another violation of college policy during this time, further disciplinary action will be taken and may include loss of housing privileges on campus or suspension.
  • Disciplinary Probation — A probationary period of time lasting from one term up to the remainder of the student’s enrollment at Wartburg. This could exclude participating in extracurricular activities of the college for that period of time. This could make the student ineligible for intercollegiate or intramural competition, campus offices, and/or organization membership. If the student is found to be responsible for another violation of college policy during this time, further disciplinary action will be taken and may include suspension.
  • Suspension — Suspension from Wartburg College for a period of time.
  • Expulsion — Permanent dismissal from the college.

V. NOTIFICATION

The charged student will be notified in writing of the decision. This notification will include the decision, any sanctions with deadlines, and an explanation of the appeal process.

VI. APPEALING A DECISION

A. In the interests of due process, decisions made or through administrative hearings by the SCB may be appealed to the Campus Appeals Board or through administrative appeal.

Campus Appeals Board (CAB)
CAB considers appeals from the SCB hearings.

CAB shall consist of three faculty members and four students. The faculty members will be appointed by the college president. Student members representing each class will be appointed by the Student Senate.  

CAB will be called together by the Vice President for Student Life, who will serve as the adviser on matters of training, organization, and procedure. The Vice President for Student Life will convene the board on receipt of an appeal. Five members will constitute a quorum. A CAB chair will be elected by the members from among the CAB faculty representatives.

Any CAB member who, in the judgment of a majority of its members, has a conflict of interest in the case shall be temporarily removed from the board.

Individuals serving on the Campus Appeals Board need not be disqualified because they have a superficial knowledge of the back­ground of the case or because they may know the participants.

Any CAB member who, in the judgment of a majority of its members, has violated the ethical standards of the conduct system, has failed to complete the duties of a member of the board, or has been involved in a major violation of college policies will be permanently removed from the board.

Temporary vacancies will not be filled. Permanent vacancies will be filled by the same selection process used for selecting original members.

Administrative Appeal

An administrative appeal may occur upon the request of the student(s) against whom the complaint is filed; in the event an administrative hearing was held. Administrative appeals will be heard by the Vice President For Student Life or designee. In select cases, the Vice President for Student Life or designee may assign the jurisdiction for the appeal to the Campus Appeals Board, particularly when a conflict of interest may be involved.

Furthermore, an administrative appeal may replace a Campus Appeals Board hearing. This may occur if the board cannot function due to the nature of the college calendar, or if the Vice President for Student Life decides the violation warrants immediate action due to confidentiality or due to the severity of the incident.

B. The charged student or the complainant may file an appeal. The right of appeal does not entitle a student to a full rehearing of the case. A written justification for the appeal must be filed with the Vice President for Student Life or designee within two days of the written announcement of the decision. The Vice President for Student Life or designee must notify the chairperson of the SCB or the person who conducted the administrative hearing that an appeal has been filed.

C. If, in the opinion of CAB, the appeal lacks merit, the board may refuse to accept it. An appeal will be heard based on:

  1. Whether the original hearing was conducted in a fair manner;
  2. The evidence was substantial enough to warrant a decision against the student(s);
  3. The sanction imposed was in keeping with the seriousness of the violation and prior conduct record of the student(s).

The appeal hearing shall be limited to a review of the original incident report or written documentation, decision letters, and written justification of the appeal.

As a point of clarity, CAB may request additional infor­mation and recess for a maximum of five class days or until that information is made available, whichever comes first.

CAB may revise or dismiss the originally stated sanctions.

CAB decisions will be reached by a majority vote and are final.

D. If, in the opinion of the administrative appeal hearing officer, the appeal lacks merit, he/she may refuse to accept it. An appeal will be heard based on whether:

  1. The original hearing was conducted in a fair manner;
  2. The evidence was substantial enough to warrant a decision against the student(s);
  3. The sanction imposed was in keeping with the seriousness of the violation and prior conduct record of the student(s).

All materials relative to the case will be reviewed — the incident report or written documentation, decision letters, and the written justification of the appeal.

The administrative appeal hearing officer may conduct personal interviews with both the complaint and the charged student(s). The administrative appeal hearing officer may revise or dismiss the originally stated sanctions. Decisions made through administrative appeal are final.