Student Conduct Process

Mutual Accountability

We trust in each member of the WJU community and acknowledge that they are capable of distinguishing between positive and negative behavior, for both themselves and the rest of the community.  A student aware of another student who is violating community standards is encouraged to confront the individual personally, express their concerns about the behavior, and suggest possible consequences that may arise.  If the confrontation is ineffective and the negative behavior continues, the student should encourage the student to seek assistance from a Student Life staff member or tell the student they will go with them to get help.

REPORT OR NOTIFICATION
Upon receipt of oral or written report of an alleged violation, a judicial officer will begin a preliminary investigation and determine if there is enough information to conduct a meeting regarding the allegation. If reports warrant further conversation, the student(s) involved will be notified of the violations and called in for a meeting.

CONVERSATION & CONFIRMATION MEETING
A judicial officer will request a meeting to discuss the incident and collect any other relevant information. Information regarding student violations may come from anonymous sources and confidential reporters. The meeting may include other university members as the judicial officer deems appropriate.

Conduct Meetings will be scheduled after reviewing the student’s regular academic schedule, and participants will be given advance notice of the scheduled meeting time. The student’s meeting with the judicial officer is an opportunity to state their position. If the student fails to appear to the hearing after proper notification has been given, the meeting may proceed without benefit of the student’s input.

All meetings are closed and the proceedings may be kept confidential at the discretion of the university. Meetings may be recorded by the discretion of the university without the consent of the student. Although meetings are closed, students who wish to have a support person present at the meetings may request one in writing to the judicial officer, no less than three days prior to the meeting. The support person cannot be family members or any legal counsel, and they may not actively participate in proceedings. The decision regarding the request will be communicated in writing by the adjudicating officer and this must be done before the support person may attend the meeting.

Decisions regarding alleged violations will be made based upon information gathered through these meetings and other applicable sources. Decisions made regarding an alleged violation are ultimately based upon what the university would consider to be “a reasonable belief” of what occurred and not upon “rules of evidence” similar to that of a court legal system.

Sanctions and Interim Measures

Violation of University policies, including the Community Standards, may result in the imposition of one or more of the sanctions listed below. A sanction is a disciplinary action that requires the student to meet certain expectations and/or complete specific requirements within a stated time frame.

The following list of potential sanctions is not exhaustive, but it serves as a guide in the student conduct process. In reviewing each violation, the adjudicating officer will take into account the intent of the accused, the attitude and/or truthfulness of student when confronted and throughout the student conduct process, prior student conduct violations, impact of the violation on the community, when the misconduct occurred, whether sanctions such as education and community service are likely to change the student’s conduct, the student’s needs and prospects for growth, and whether or not the student came forward to assume responsibility. University officials may impose a sanction but suspend or postpone its actual implementation.

The University seeks to be both consistent and sensitive to the individual facts and circumstances of each case in disciplinary decisions. In some cases, sanctions may need to be more punitive due to the seriousness of the offense. In alignment with Christian principles of grace and redemption, the adjudicating officer will seek to combine a Biblical and developmental approach in the student conduct and care process.

Educational Sanctions
In keeping with our goal of making the student conduct process a redemptive, learning experience, students are often required to complete an assignment that is designed to offer opportunities to develop new knowledge or skills, reflect on their experiences, and contribute to the community. These opportunities may include written reflection papers, community service, mentoring, educational programs, or counseling.

Sanctions may also include, but are not limited to one or more of the following:

  • Formal apology. A written and/or verbal apology to the offended party/parties.
  • Restitution. Compensation for loss, damages or injury. This may take the form of completing appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  • Fines. Previously established and published fines may be imposed.
  • Restitution. Payment of financial compensation for loss, damage or injury.  Failure to pay such charges may result in additional sanctions (including, but not limited to, denial of re-enrollment or refusal to release official transcripts and records).
  • Parental notification. Parental notification may be required as a sanction through the student conduct process, and is generally required as a result of violations of the underage alcohol or drug policy, any Level III violation, or when a student is placed on deferred suspension.
  • Drug testing. Students who violate the drug policy are generally required to participate in random drug testing for a period of time.
  • Letter of reflection. This may include reflecting on a book or video or responding to a series of questions given by the judicial officer.
  • Mentorship. Choosing a non-student faculty, staff, or community member to meet with regularly for a set period of time.
  • Alcohol or drug education course. Online educational experience related to Community Standard violation.
  • Loss of privileges. Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time. Loss of privileges includes, but is not limited to, open hours, vehicle permit, living in residence halls or off-campus, entering the dining commons, withholding transcripts, and attending or participating in college programs or activities (such as athletic events, intramurals, music performances, drama productions, intercollegiate athletics, graduation exercises, student leadership positions, club activities, off-campus study programs, summer travel programs, etc.).
  • Campus Community Service. Created to emphasize an educational response toward discipline. Students within the disciplinary process who are deemed good candidates for campus community service, as a means to make restitution for their behavior, are assigned an on-campus service project.
  • Warning. A restatement of WJU’s Community Standards is made to the student along with official notification that a student’s conduct should not continue, and similar violations of college policy with result in more serious sanctions. This may include loss of or restriction from certain activities or privileges.
  • Student Life Probation. A period of review during which the student must demonstrate the ability to comply with the Student Handbook and other college policies or requirements. Probation status takes away the privilege of holding certain student leadership positions. Probation may, but does not always, restrict a student’s ability to participate in activities such as study abroad programs, or other activities in which the student is representing the college.
  • Suspension. The student is involuntarily separated from the University for a specified length of time. Absences from classes and chapels are not excused and academic work that is missed may not be made up.
  • Dismissal. Separation of the student from the campus for a specified period of time, after which the student may be eligible to return. (See dismissal section)
    • When students are suspended or dismissed for disciplinary reasons, there will be no refund of tuition or room charges for the semester and financial aid may be canceled. Upon permanent separation from University housing, students may apply to Student Life for unused board charges.

Interim Measures
During the process, while the violation of the community standard is being explored, and based upon the information received by the Dean of Students regarding the matter, the dean of students may take any one or more of the following actions:

  • Impose immediate interim sanctions pending a final determination in the matter, including, but not limited to: stay-away orders; removal from the residence halls; suspension from campus, classes, WJU campus events that occur off campus (See more information below).
  • Enter into the residence hall, room, or apartment of the student facing the allegations of misconduct for the sake of removing any material that constitutes a serious risk of harm to other persons or property in the residence halls.
  • Refer the matter to the appropriate police authorities.

The interim sanction will remain in effect until it is otherwise revoked by an appropriate representative of the college.

Interim Suspension
In certain circumstances, the Dean of Students or designee may immediately impose a University or housing suspension. Interim suspension may be imposed:

  • to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property;
  • to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
  • if the student poses a credible threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University.

During the interim suspension, the student will be denied access to university housing and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. The interim suspension shall extend only until such time as an adjudication (see above) can be completed and other sanctions (if any) imposed.

Levels of Response

The above sanctions are assigned by the judicial officer in accordance with the level of the violation, the individual’s conduct history and previous violations, and impact of the violation(s) on the individual and the community. The following sections serve as an example of the potential conduct response and are not a comprehensive list of all violations and possible sanctions. For a more exhaustive list of violations, please see the William Jessup Community Standards.

Level 1 Violations

Generally result in losing some privileges (e.g., open hour visitation) and/or a fine. Students may also be assigned additional Learning Sanctions (see above) when appropriate, or may receive a warning (for very minor violations).

  • Living area complaints (candles, pets, noise, property damage due to negligence, etc.)
  • Excessive public displays of affection
  • Repeated language issues
  • Visitation hour violation
  • Use of tobacco (including electronic cigarettes) on campus.

Level 2 Violations

Generally result in losing some privileges and being assigned Learning Sanctions (see above).  In addition, a student may be placed under Student Life Probation, depending upon the severity of the violation and/or previous Community Standard violations.

  • Multiple Level 1 violations
  • Alcohol/controlled substance violation
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Abuse of the student conduct process
  • Disruption of college activities
  • Failure to complete assigned sanctions
  • Property damage/vandalism

Level 3 Violations

Generally result in an immediate dismissal from the college for one or two semesters.

  • Assault (physical or sexual)
  • Providing or sale of a controlled substance
  • Theft
  • Multiple Level 2 violations in the same incident (based on severity of the violations)

Sanctions for Student Organizations
A student club and its officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when violations of the Community Standards or campus policy occur either during an event sponsored by the organization or by an individual representing or associated with that club. The following sanctions may be imposed upon clubs: warning, reprimand, probation, fines, loss of privileges, other educational sanctions, or deactivation. Deactivation includes a loss of all privileges, including University recognition for a specified period of time. Individual students may also be subject to the sanctions as described above.

Process

Handbook Amendment
William Jessup University reserves the right to amend this handbook at any time. Students will receive email notifications when the handbook is updated. The current version of the handbook can be found on my.jessup under the Student Life section.

Right of Access
Students must submit a written request to see their judicial file to the Dean of Students. Access will be granted no later than 45 days after the request.

Right to Process
Students whose behavior violates the Student Standards of Conduct will be treated justly and fairly. This means that the disciplinary process of the case will be in a timely and reasonable manner. The process involves three components:

  • Notification — A student has the right to proper notice of the policy he/she allegedly violated and when his/her case will be heard. However, based on the information gathered through the disciplinary process (i.e., during the hearing process), a student may be held responsible to additional violations than what was originally listed in the notification letter.
  • Right to be heard — A student has the right to present his/her viewpoint and position and provide supporting information, and to have it considered by a university official.
  • Information — Decisions in a student conduct case are based on reasonable and available supporting information.

Student Life Judicial Officers

The Student Life Judicial Officers are composed of faculty and staff who have been trained to hear student conduct cases. This includes:

  • Dean of Students (Chief Judicial Officer in most cases)
  • Director of Residence Life
  • Residence Directors
  • Director of Community Life
  • Other university representatives as designated

In most cases, one staff member will be following up on alleged violations, but in some cases an additional staff member from the Student Life office may be present.

Dismissal and Readmission

Students dismissed from the University are restricted from the property of the University and prohibited from attending any University-sponsored events.  Presence on University property, for any reason, without prior permission from the Student Life office will constitute a violation of this restriction and you will be escorted off-campus by Campus Security.

A student may petition for readmission to the university based on the timeframe set forth in the dismissal letter. Suspensions may be for a semester or a year. In rare cases, a student may be expelled from the University without an opportunity to return.  For students petitioning for readmission for conduct-related issues, a formal request letter should be sent to the Dean of Students no later than one month prior to the start of the desired semester of attendance.  The following conditions for re-admission consideration include:

  1. Complete a short written statement addressing why you believe that the issues that resulted in your dismissal would not re-occur and how you would be an asset to the campus community in the event that you would be re-admitted to the University.
  2. Demonstrate learning and growth through involving others in your restoration process  some options may include a mentor, professional counselor, and a local church body.
  3.  Attend an interview for readmission with the Dean of Students.

Students have the right to appeal this decision in writing following the appeal process.

Appeal Process

Students who wish to appeal a disciplinary decision must do so in writing to the supervisor of the staff member who imposed the sanction on the student, or his/her designee. Students will have only one opportunity to appeal. All appeal meetings are closed and the proceeding may be kept confidential at the discretion of the university. Appeal meetings may be recorded by the discretion of the university without the consent of the student.

The appeal is not a rehearing of the original case and the role of the appeal officer is not to substitute his or her own judgment for the judgment of the original decision. The role of the appeal officer is to determine whether a new decision should be considered due to a procedural error, the availability of new information, or the imposition of excessive sanctions. Therefore, a student’s appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds:

  • A process or procedural error was made that was significantly prejudicial to the outcome of the student conduct meeting as it affects the student appealing.
  • New information that was not available or known to the student appealing at the time of the student conduct meeting has arisen which, when considered, may materially alter the outcome. Information that the appealing student chose not to present at the time of the hearing is not considered new information.
  • The sanctions imposed are so severe — considering the nature of the violation, student attitude, previous history, impact of the student’s behavior on the community and other specific circumstances — that they demonstrate an abuse of discretion by the student conduct officer or Student Life Committee. (Note: a complainant may use the same grounds to appeal that sanctions imposed are not severe enough.)

Guidelines for the letter of appeal

  1. Students must submit a written appeal to the supervisor of the judicial officer or designee within three school days of the date of the written decision. Written appeal must reflect the guidelines as listed in the following point.
  2. The petition must include:
    1. Names of the parties involved
    2. Clear statement of the nature of the appeal (must consist of one or more of the following exclusive grounds):
      1. New information
      2. Excessive sanctions
      3. Procedural irregularity
    3. A narrative of the incident including:
      1. Why it occurred
      2. How it occurred
      3. Where it occurred
      4. Who was present
      5. The information on which the appeal is based
    4. The desired outcome

It is not enough to simply assert one of the grounds for appeal. The written statement accompanying the appeal form must provide information that supports grounds upon which the student bases the appeal. For example: If the student asserts that a procedural error occurred, he or she must name the procedure with specificity and explain how the error affected the decision made. If an appeal does not contain sufficient information to support the grounds upon which the student bases the appeal, review of the appeal will be denied.

During the appeal process, the supervisor may choose to set aside sanctions as appropriate.

The supervisor (or designee), may, in response to the written appeal and upon review of all information and testimony presented, revise or confirm an earlier disciplinary process. The decision of the appeal may be made with or without meeting with students. After a decision has been reached, the student will be notified in writing by the supervisor. Only in case of sexual misconduct issues, both the complainant and the respondent will have the right to appeal the decision made through the process. Decisions made in the appeal process are final.

Conduct Review Committee Appeals
In cases that result in university dismissal (suspension or expulsion), the student may choose to have an appeal presented to either the chief judicial officer or his/her designee, or the Student Conduct Review Committee. In addition, the chief judicial officer has the discretion to defer any appeal requests to the Student Conduct Review Committee. The Chief Judicial Officer (usually the Dean of Students) or his/her designee will chair the Student Conduct Review Committee as a nonvoting member. If practicable, the committee shall consist of two faculty members, two staff members, and two students (each selected by the chief judicial officer or designee).

The following process is such that after review of information, interview of witnesses, and deliberation, the committee will make a recommendation to the chief judicial officer or his/her designee whose decision is final. In the case of a tie or deadlock, the chair will not vote and the decision will be notified to the Chief Judicial Officer. There must be a minimum of five members present to constitute a quorum (including the chair). If the student behavior resulting in the disciplinary process involved violent or dangerous behavior, the committee shall be required to consider the safety of the WJU community in its deliberations and recommendation, and any sanction imposed on the student shall not be stayed pending the appeal.

Notification
Any disciplinary outcome resulting in university suspension or expulsion may be reported to the student’s professors, other university officials, and the registrar.

The university will, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violence (as that term is defined in section 16 of title 18, United States Code), or a nonforcible sex offense, the report on the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the university against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense with respect to such crime or offense. If the alleged victim of such crime or offense is deceased as a result of such crime or offense, the next of kin of such victim shall be treated as the alleged victim for purposes of this paragraph.

Time Limitations

The university may also extend its jurisdiction to misconduct that occurs prior to, but is not reported until after the graduation of the offender. There is no time limit on reporting of violations of the Student Standards of Conduct. However, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for WJU to obtain information and witness statements, and to make a determination regarding alleged violations.