Code of Student Conduct
A. IMPORTANT STUDENT INFORMATION
- Viterbo University students are responsible for knowledge of the Code of Student Conduct, Viterbo University reserves the right to make changes to this code as necessary and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. Students are encouraged to check the Vice President for Student Affairs’s web page for updates to the Code of Student Conduct.
- It is the student’s responsibility to read his/her email from Viterbo University regularly (daily). All pertinent information from a university official or office will be sent via Viterbo email, or to the latest mailing address provided by the student, to thestudent’s on-campus housing mailbox, and/or by hand delivery. Failure to read one’s Viterbo email does not excuse the student from being responsible for the content provided in communications and will not be considered as urgent circumstances in the student conduct process.
- When information of concern about an online posting comes to the attention of a university official, it may be acted upon in accordance with university policy.
- Viterbo University reserves the right to make changes to this code as necessary and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. Viterbo students may access a copy of the Code of Student Conduct on the university web site. Hard copies of the Code of Student Conduct in the Student Development Center at 936 Franciscan Way. Students are responsible for having read and abiding by the provisions of the Code of Student Conduct.
- There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Code of Student Conduct. However, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for University/College officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations. Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit the university’s ability to investigate and respond to a complaint. Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to report it as quickly as possible to Campus Safety, and/or Residence Life, and/or the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Viterbo University is committed to fostering a campus environment that is conducive to upholding the university mission and core values, learning, academic achievement, a constructive campus life, and thoughtful study and discourse. The student conduct program under the authority of the Vice President for Student Affairs is dedicated to an educational and development process that balances the interests of individual students with the interests of the Viterbo University community.
The student conduct process at Viterbo University is not intended to punish students. Instead, it exists to protect the interests of the community and to challenge those whose behavior is not in accordance with university policy. Sanctions are intended to challenge students’ actions and decision-making and to help them bring their behavior into accord with Viterbo community expectations. When a student is unable to conform their behavior to community expectations, the result of the student conduct process may be a determination that the student should no longer share the privilege of participation in the Viterbo University community.
Viterbo University campus community members must uphold and abide by the requirements of the Code of Student Conduct, exemplify the university’s core values of contemplation, integrity, hospitality, service, and stewardship, and meet the following university standards.
- To exhibit conduct appropriate to a learning environment and to respect the rights, dignity and worth of every individual in the Viterbo University community.
- To accept responsibility for one’s own behavior at all times.
- To maintain acceptable standards of academic performance.
- To be honest and considerate.
- To be a responsible member of and to contribute positively to the Viterbo community.
- To show appropriate concern for one’s own self, academic and personal development.
- To demonstrate proper care, use and regard for University facilities, property and equipment.
- To comply with university policies and local, state and federal laws.
The Code of Student Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of individual students, both undergraduate and graduate, and all student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, the university considers and individual to be a student when an offer of admission has been extended and thereafter as long as the student has a continuing educational interest in Viterbo University.
Students, student groups, guests and visitors to the campus are required to abide by the stipulations of this code. Each member of the Viterbo community is responsible for his or her conduct and for the behavior of their guests and may be held responsible for the actions of guests who violate the provisions of this Code. The Code is distributed to protect the interests of the community, to challenge students to conform behavior to community expectations, to issue disciplinary regulations, to give students general notice of impermissible behavior, and to outline procedures that typically follow such behavior.
The university retains conduct jurisdiction over students who choose to take a leave of absence, withdraw or have graduated for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll, obtain official transcripts, and/or graduate. All sanctions must be satisfied prior to re-enrollment eligibility. In the event of serious misconduct committed while still enrolled but reported after the accused student has graduated, the university may invoke these procedures and should the former student be found responsible, the university may revoke that student’s degree.
The Code of Student Conduct applies to guests of community members whose hosts may be held accountable for the misconduct of their guests. The Code may also be applied to resident non-students, campers and high school bridge, extension, partner, dual credit, and continuing education programs by contractual agreements. Visitors to and guests of Viterbo University may seek resolution of violations of the Code of Student Conduct committed against them by members of the Viterbo University community.
The Code of Student Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on the Viterbo University campus, at satellite campus locations, and at university sponsored, supervised or coordinated programs or events on or off campus. The Code may also apply off-campus when the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial university interest. A substantial university interest is defined to include:
- Any action that constitutes criminal offense as defined by federal, state or local law. This includes, but is not limited to, single or repeat violations of any local, state or federal law committed in the municipality where the university is located;
- Any situation where it appears that the student’s conduct may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of others;
- Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder;
- Any situation that is detrimental to the interests of the Viterbo University; and/or
- Any online posting or other electronic communication, including cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, etc. occurring completely outside of the university control (e.g. not on university networks, web sites or between university email accounts). Said postings or communications will only be subject to off-campus jurisdiction when said postings or communications can be shown to cause an on-campus and/or university-related disruption.
The Code of Student Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email or other electronic medium. Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online. The university does not regularly search for this information, but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of university officials.
The Vice President for Student Affairs is vested with authority over student conduct that is not associated with classroom assignments or tests, holds the discretion and authority to determine who hears a case, and may appoint investigators, student conduct administrators, and appeals officers to assist with the student conduct process. The Vice President for Student Affairs, the Director of Student Life, the Assistant Director of Residence Life, and/or Area Coordinators serve as the university’s Student Conduct Administrators and share in the delivery of the student conduct process. Viterbo University is the convener of every action under this code.
E. VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW AND THE CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT
Students may be accountable to both civil authorities and to the University for acts that constitute violations of the law and of this Code. University disciplinary procedures will normally progress during the pendency of civil or criminal proceedings or any other University proceedings regarding the same conduct. Procedures in this Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. Accused students may not challenge the University disciplinary proceedings on the grounds that criminal charges are pending or have been terminated, dismissed, reduced or not yet adjudicated.
The university may cooperate with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in conditions imposed by the criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators (provided that the conditions do not conflict with campus regulations or sanctions). The university will refer matters to federal and/or state authorities for prosecution when appropriate. Individual students and other members of the University community, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental authorities as they deem appropriate.
F. INTERIM ACTIONS
When the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) has reasonable cause to believe that a student(s) or student organization(s) may pose a risk to the safety or well-being of members of the University community, the student(s) or student organization(s) may be issued an interim action. Interim actions may include but are not limited to: issuing a no contact directive(s); registration hold; restriction from specific activities, facilities or locations; cease and desist mandates; restriction from facilitating or participating in student organization business or activities; and/or suspension of student status or student organization recognition. An interim action will remain in effect until removed or altered by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee). A student or student organization may challenge an interim action in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee). Failure to comply with an interim action may result in a referral to a Student Conduct Administrator or to Campus Safety.
Interim Suspension: When the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) has reasonable cause to believe that a student’s or student organization’s presence on university premises or at university-related or registered student organization activities poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of others, or to the damage of property, a student’s or student organization’s access may be immediately suspended from all or any portion of university premises, university-related activities, and/or registered student organization activities. An interim suspension will be confirmed by a written notice and shall remain in effect until the conclusion of a voluntary resolution, disciplinary conference, formal hearing, or a decision by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee). A student(s) or student organization(s) may challenge an interim suspension in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee). Failure to comply with an interim suspension may result in a referral to a Student Conduct Administrator or to Campus Safety.
Students contesting an interim suspension may submit a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The student’s appeal must be in writing and include the following information: student’s name, rationale for the request, any documentation that supports that the student would not pose a risk. The student will be notified of the decision within 5 business days of receipt of the request. The interim suspension will remain in effect while any review is pending. There will be no further appeals to this decision. If the interim suspension is lifted, other interim restrictions (e.g., removal from university housing, limited access to campus) may be assigned until the outcome of any related conduct case. The interim suspension does not replace the regular conduct process, which may proceed.
G. PROHIBITED CONDUCT SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION
Prohibited conduct or actions subject to disciplinary action or response by the University includes, but is not limited to the following. Students attempting impermissible acts may be subject to disciplinary action or response by the University to the same extent at those completing said violations. *An asterisk designates prohibited conduct that is in violation of university policy on sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and relationship violence. Allegations of such conduct will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and handled according to procedures for violations of the Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Academic Dishonesty: Acts of academic dishonesty will be addressed by the faculty, academic dean and/or Vice President for Academic Affairs through policies on academic integrity or grade appeal.
- Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs: Use, abuse, misuse, possession, sale, manufacturing or distribution of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, marijuana, prescribed drugs, synthetics, heroin, narcotics, or other controlled substances.
- Alcohol and/or other drug intoxication regardless of age. Indicators of alcohol and/or other drug intoxication may be blood/breath alcohol concentration above the legal limit according to state law, bloodshot or glassy eyes, blurred vision, confusion, chills or sweating, irrational conversation, mood swings, rapid eye movement, slurred speech, strong odor of alcohol or other drugs, unsteady walk or gait, or other actions that signify poor judgment.
- Inability to exercise care for one’s own safety and/or the safety of others due to intoxication. Behavior that encourages or contributes to excessive alcohol consumption by any student.
- Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstances, be used by, possessed by or distributed to any person under twenty-one (21) years of age.
- In on-campus housing facilities, alcoholic beverages are permitted only when all assigned occupants of an apartment are 21 or older and when all present are age 21 or older. No alcohol is allowed in an on-campus housing unless all assigned residents and guests present are 21 or older.
- Cigarettes may be possessed, but not smoked on university property. E-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, and other tobacco products are not permitted on university property.
- Prescription drugs are permitted on university property only for use by the person for whom the prescription is written.
- Violation of university policy on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
- Animals: Animals are prohibited on university property and at university sponsored, supervised, or coordinated events. All service and emotional support/assistance animals must be approved by Disability Services.
- Arrest Responsibility: Students who are arrested or taken into custody by any law enforcement agency are required to inform the Director of Campus Safety or the Vice President for Student Affairs within 72 hours of their release. Students arrested may be subject to university disciplinary action when their conduct violates university standards.
- Breach of Security: Breach of security including, but not limited to “tailgating”, propping doors open, loaning a key or identification card, violations of the Guest and Visitation policy.
- Bullying or Cyberbullying: Bullying and/or cyberbullying are repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that intimidate or intentionally harem or control another person physically or emotionally.
- Bystanding: Concealment, failure of any student to appropriately address or report known or obvious violations of this Code of Student Conduct or law, or of any organized group to address such violations by its members.
- Coercion*: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
- Complicity: Action or inaction with another or others to violate university policy; the act of contributing to, assisting with, or facilitating behavior in violation of this Policy; aiding; abetting.
- Computer/Electronic or Digital Device Misuse: Abuse, misuse, or theft of computers, electronic devices, telephones, etc., including but not limited to:
- Digital or electronic harassment, use of computers, electronic devices, telephones, to stalk; to view or send hurtful, threatening, discourteous, abusive, obscene or pornographic messages or images.
- Unwanted, repeated, harassing, denigrating, lewd or obscene communication using devices including devices that are electronic or digital.
- Use of computers, digital or electronic devices, telephones to interfere with the work of another student, faculty or staff member.
- Recording, taking, sending or uploading any content including audio, copy, emails, photo(s), and/or video(s), etc. of another that may denigrate or humiliate.
- Use of another’s identification or password.
- Engaging in acts of theft of computers, electronic devices, telephones, etc., theft of data or illegal file sharing.
- The misuse, unauthorized or fraudulent use of the University’s or of another person’s telephone system, telephone, cellular phone, telecommunication code, telephone credit card, or the unauthorized acceptance of collect telephone calls.
- Unauthorized entry to a file to use, read or change the contents, or for any other purpose; improper or unauthorized access to University computer files and systems, electronic devices, telephones, etc.
- Unauthorized alteration, disclosure, disruption and destruction of University computer files and systems, electronic devices, telephones, etc.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file(s).
- Using computing facilities, copy machines and other resources in violation of copyright or proprietary laws.
- Unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on University premises without his/her prior knowledge when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes, but is not limited to, taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room or restroom.
- Damage and Destruction: Intentional, reckless or unauthorized damage to, vandalism or destruction of University property, or the property of a member of the University community, or other personal or public property.
- Dating Violence or Relationship Violence*: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and a consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
- Disclosure of Criminal Convictions: Students are required to disclose in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs criminal convictions. This policy applies to incoming, enrolled and current Viterbo students.
- Discrimination: Any act or failure to act that is based upon an individual or group’s actual or perceived status that is sufficiently severe that it limits or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from Viterbo University’s educational program or activities.
- Disruptive Behavior: Substantial disruption of, interference with, or obstruction of Viterbo University operations including obstruction of a study environment, learning, teaching, administration, other university and/or authorized non-university activities which occur on campus.
- Disruption, obstruction or interference with or attempts to obstruct, disrupt or interfere with another student’s right to study, learn, or complete assignments, including, but not limited to, destroying, preventing or limiting access to information or records used by another student in connection with University responsibilities.
- Disruption, obstruction or interference with educational activities in classrooms, lecture halls, campus library, laboratories, theatres, or any other place where education and teaching activities take place including, but not limited to, talking at inappropriate times, drawing unwarranted attention to self, engaging in loud or distracting behaviors, displaying defiance or disrespect of others, or threatening another individual.
- Participation in a gathering or assembly that disrupts the normal operations of the University or infringes on the rights of other members of the University community, or leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled or normal activities on University premises or at University-sponsored or supervised functions.
- Obstruction or disruption interfering with the freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on University property or at University-sponsored or supervised events.
- Disorderly Conduct: Conduct that is disorderly, disrespectful, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting or finding another to breach the peace on University property or at University sponsored functions
- Domestic Violence*: Includes, but is not limited to, felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws. While not exhaustive, the following are examples of conduct that can constitute domestic violence: (1) physical harm, bodily injury or assault; (2) the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; or (3) terroristic threats, criminal sexual conduct, or interference with an emergency call.
- Falsification: Knowingly furnishing or possessing false, falsified or forged materials, documents, accounts, records, identification or financial instruments. Acts of dishonesty, including, but not limited to:
- Lying or fraudulent behavior in, or with regard to, any transaction with the university, whether oral or written.
- Furnishing false or misleading information or lying to the University or to any University official; misrepresenting information to the University or any University official.
- Giving false testimony, falsifying, distorting or misrepresenting information related to grievance or disciplinary matters.
- Deceit, fraud, distortion of the truth or improper use of another’s effort to gain advantage.
- Forgery, alteration, counterfeiting, mutilating, accessing without authorization, or misuse of documents, records or instruments of identification including, but not limited to, identification cards, personal identification numbers (PIN), electronic mail access codes or passwords, computerized records, transcripts, athletic passes, course registrations, and receipts.
- Initiating or causing any false report, warning, and threat of fire, explosion, false fire alarm, bomb threat, or other emergency.
- Tampering with the election of any student organization or group.
- Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with the directions of, lying to, or treating discourteously University officials, including but not limited to, Campus Safety and Student Life personnel acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when asked to do so.
- Force*: Use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent. There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual activity is not by definition forced.
- Financial Responsibilities: Failure to promptly meet financial responsibilities to the institution, including but not limited to; knowingly passing a worthless check or money order in payment to the institution or to an official acting or to an official acting in an official capacity.
- Fire Safety/Safety Equipment:
- Intentionally, recklessly, or unauthorized causing a fire or activating an alarm.
- Failure to evacuate a university-controlled building during a fire alarm or drill.
- Misusing, damaging or tampering or improperly engaging fire alarms or extinguishers, fire sprinklers, smoke detectors or safety equipment.
- Such action may result in a local fine and/or university sanctions.
- Firearms, Weapons, Explosives: Possession, even if it is legally possessed, use, display or distribution of any weapon, combustible item, instrument, device, firearms, explosives, fireworks, gasoline, incendiary devices, or instrument which under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death, physical injury or property damage on University premises or at university-sponsored functions. Local and/or federal authorities may be contacted. A weapon shall include anything likely to be used, or designed to be used, in destroying, defeating, or injuring a person or property; an instrument by the use of which a fatal wound may probably or possibly be given or damage to property may be inflicted. A weapon may include, but is not limited to: any firearm; air soft gun; BB gun; paint gun; pellet gun; ammunition; bow and arrow; cross-bow; slingshot; cross-knuckles; knuckles of lead, brass or other metal; any bowie knife, dirk, dagger or similar knife; switchblade or any knife having the appearance of a pocket knife, the blade of which can be opened by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle or other mechanical contrivance.
- Gambling: Illegal gambling or wagering. (Gambling may include raffles, lotteries, sports pools and online betting activities.)
- Gender-Based Harassment*: Gender-based harassment is unwelcome conduct of a nonsexual nature based on an individual’s actual or perceived sex, including conduct based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes.
- General Laws: Violation of any federal, state or local law.
- Harassment and Bias-Related Incidents: Conduct that creates or attempts to create an environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, abusive, or offensive. Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with performance. Harassment may extend further than the person harassed; it can involve anyone affected. Typically, harassment includes more than one act or event. However, a single serious incident can constitute harassment. Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not be considered harassment under this policy. Bias-related incidents are behavior that constitutes an expression of hostility against person or property of another due to the targeted person’s age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. These acts or behaviors may not rise to the level of a crime, or a violation of state or federal law, but may contribute to creating an unsafe, negative, or unwelcome environment for the targeted person.
- Harm to Persons: Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health and safety of any person; fighting, any attempt to cause injury or inflict pain, causing injury or inflicting pain, physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative unwanted physical contact. Intimidation, implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another.
- Hazing: Defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the university community, when related to admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity. Apathy and acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of this rule. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense.
- Health and Safety: Creation of health and/or safety hazards (e.g. dangerous pranks, hanging out of or climbing from/on/in windows, balconies, roofs, etc.)
- Host Responsibility: Student hosts are accountable for any and all violations their guests may commit while on campus or visiting the university student.
- Hostile Environment Caused by Sexual Harassment*: A hostile environment exists when sex-based harassment is sufficiently serious to deny or limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or activities.
- Interference with the Conduct Process: Knowingly violating the terms of any 4disciplinary proceeding or sanction imposed in accordance with this Code, including, but not limited to:
- Failure to comply with sanctions or failure to appear at a disciplinary meeting, conference or hearing when requested.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information.
- Disruption of or interference with disciplinary proceedings.
- Attempting to influence, harass or intimidate a victim, witness or member of the University Disciplinary Committee prior to, during, and/or after a disciplinary proceeding.
- Intimidation/Insults: Implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another. Bullying, repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally; harassment, verbal abuse, contempt, disrespect, insults, disparaging remarks, etc.
- Littering: Littering; trash or household rubbish left in housing facilities, common areas, or locations not designed for waste disposal.
- Noise:Excessive noise, loud noise, quiet or community hours violation.
- Odor: Any aroma of such intensity that it becomes apparent or offensive. Any odor can become noxious or offensive when it is too strong. Some examples are cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoke; incense; perfume; air freshening spray; large amounts of dirty laundry, rubbish; and marijuana smell. Furthermore, because incense is a fire hazard as well as a source of potentially noxious odor, it is prohibited in campus housing facilities at all times.
- Public Exposure: Deliberately and publicly exposing one’s intimate body parts, public urination, defecation, and public sex acts.
- Retaliation: Any intentional, adverse action taken by a responding individual or allied third party, against a participant or supporter of a participant in a civil rights grievance proceeding or other protected activity under this Code.
- Rioting: Causing, inciting or participating in nay disturbance that presents a clear and present danger to self or others, causes physical harm to others, or damage or destruction of property.
- Sex-based Harassment*: Sex-based harassment includes sexual harassment and gender-based harassment.
- Sexual Harassment*: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; or other verbal or nonverbal conduct of a sexual nature, including rape, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation. In addition, depending on the facts, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking may also be forms of sexual harassment.
- Sexual Assault*: Sexual assault is actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:
- Intentional touching of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
- Other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent; or
- Coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force a person to touch another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
- Rape, which is penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person’s consent.
- Sexual Exploitation*: Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person’s consent. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include:
- Prostituting another person;
- Recording images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person’s consent;
- Distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and objects to such disclosure; and,
- Viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent, and for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.
- Sexual Misconduct*: Sexual misconduct is a form of sexual harassment and includes sexual exploitation, sexual assault or other sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Many types of sexual misconduct may include nonconsensual sexual contact or sexual exploitation, but nonconsensual sexual contact and/or sexual exploitation are not a necessary component(s).
- Stalking*: Stalking means engaging in conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress, and/or creates a hostile environment. Examples include acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’ s property. Stalking can be a form of sexual harassment. Stalking behavior includes, but is not limited to:
- Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, or frightening communications by phone, mail, text, email and/or social media;
- Repeatedly leaving or sending complainant unwanted items, presents, or flowers;
- Following or lying in wait for the complainant at places such as home, school, work, or recreation place;
- Making direct or indirect threats to harm the complainant, the complainant‘s children, relatives, friends, or pets;
- Damaging or threatening to damage the complainant’s property;
- Posting information or spreading rumors about the complainant on the internet, in a Campus place, or by word of mouth; or
- Unreasonably obtaining personal information about the complainant by accessing Campus records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the complainant‘s garbage, following the complainant, contacting complainant‘s friends, family work, or neighbors, etc.
- Theft: Attempted or actual removal or theft of misuse, or unauthorized taking or use of University property, or the services or property of a member of the University community, or other personal or public property.
- Threatening Behavior: Written of verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property.
- Trust: Violations of positions of trust within the university community.
- Unauthorized Access: Unauthorized access to any Viterbo building (i.e. keys, cards, etc.) or unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys, door access cards, or identification to any University facility or premises or unauthorized presence, entry to, or use of University facilities or premises. Duplication of university keys is not permitted.
- Unauthorized Entry: Misuse of access privileges to Viterbo University premises or unauthorized entry to or use of buildings, including trespassing, propping or unauthorized use of alarmed doors for entry into or exit from a Viterbo University building.
- University Policy: Violation of any Viterbo University policy, rule, regulation, or standard.
- iolations of Law: Violation of local, state, or federal laws.
- Vulgarities: Remarks, actions, or gestures which are by common usage lewd or obscene.
- Wheeled Devices and Remote-Control Devices: Bicycle riding, skateboarding, operating hoverboards, operating drones or unmanned aircraft, operating remote control toy vehicles, roller skating, scooter riding, wearing shoes with wheels, and/or similar activities are not permitted inside buildings or in housing facilities.
- Skateboards and other wheeled devices may not be used on benches, curbs, railings, ramps, stairs, or any such fixtures.
- Bicycles must be parked and secured to a university-provided bike rack.
- Due to fire and safety concerns, the possession, use, charging, or storage of hoverboards, self-balancing scooters, battery-operated scooters, hands-free Segway, and other similar equipment are not permitted in university buildings and on university property. (One is strongly cautioned against storing these devices in one’s vehicle.)
- Use of drones and other unmanned aircraft is restricted to academic and university use and only with required registration according to federal regulations and after written request of and subsequent approval by the Director of Campus Safety.
- Approval for the use of drones and other unmanned aircraft must be requested in writing from the Director of Campus Safety. Approval is granted only for academic and university use and only for devices that are registered to federal guidelines.
- Individuals may be liable for damage or injury caused by activities or devices that are in violation of this policy.
One or more of the following disciplinary measures, also called sanctions, may be imposed for a violation of this Code. In deciding upon a sanction, the Student Conduct Administrator will consider relevant factors including the nature of the offense, the severity of any damage, mitigating circumstances, the student’s current demeanor, history of disciplinary infractions, failure of the individual to comply with past sanctions, and/or injury or harm resulting from the offense, etc. The sanctions listed below may be enhanced or substituted with additional conditions deemed appropriate by the disciplinary authority.
- Administrative Relocation in University Housing: Requirements to be placed in an assigned or relocated space in University housing.
- Behavioral Contract: A written document signed by the student and a University official in which the student agrees to correct inappropriate behaviors and/or comply with required stipulations.
- Disciplinary Probation: A written reprimand specifying the violation for which the student is responsible. Students on probation are not considered to be in good standing with the University. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary action if the student is found to be in violation of any University policy during the probationary period.
- Educational Assignments: Written apologies, written/research assignments, community service, participation in classes, workshops, online learning programs, service to the University, or work assignments, etc. Written proof of participation may be required.
- Eviction Warning: Written notice that further infractions may result in removal from campus housing.
- Fines: A sum of money imposed as a penalty.
- Interim Suspension: The Vice President for Student Affairs may suspend a student from class, campus facilities, University premises and/or University-sponsored functions, for an interim period pending disciplinary or criminal proceeding, after consultation with the chief academic officer.
- The interim suspension shall be immediately effective when there is evidence that the presence of the student at the University poses an immediate threat to others, to the preservation of University property, or to the stability and continuation of standard University operations.
- A student suspended on an interim basis shall be given a prompt opportunity to appear personally before the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee to discuss the reliability of the information related to the student’s conduct, the reliability of the information concerning the student’s identity, and if the conduct and related circumstances reasonably show that the continued presence of the student on University premises poses an immediate threat to others or to the stability and continuation of standard University operations.
- No Contact Directive: A student may be required to have no contact with another campus community member.
- No Trespass Order: No trespass notice may be issued to a Viterbo student and/or guest restricting the movement or presence of the individual from any or all facilities and locations on campus. Local authorities may be contacted for assistance in the event of a violation of a no trespass order. Violators may also face additional disciplinary action. No trespass orders are issued by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- Parental or Guardian Notification: If a student is under the age of twenty-one (21) at the time of notification, parents or guardians may be informed of alcohol and drug violations when the University determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to use or possession of alcohol or drugs.
- Referrals: Students may be referred to counseling, rehabilitation or other offices, agencies or programs for assessment, guidance and service. Compliance with the recommendations made by the professional to whom the referral is made is expected and the student may be held responsible for any payment associated with the referral.
- Reprimand: An official written censure with notice: (a) of inappropriate behavior (b) conduct associated with the violation must stop immediately and permanently, and (c) additional violations may result in more severe sanctions.
- Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage or injury, etc. Such compensation may take the form of appropriate service, monetary replacement and/or material replacement.
- Restrictions or Loss of Privileges: Denial or restriction of privileges or access. Examples include, but are not limited to: Restricting registration, closing a computer account, or loss of guest privileges, etc.
- Residence Unit Suspension: Separation from the residence halls, apartments or theme houses for a specified period of time after which the student may be eligible to return. Students may be held responsible for room and board payments as outlined in the contract; conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Residence Unit Expulsion: Permanent separation from the residence halls, apartments or theme houses. Students may be held responsible for room and board payments as outlined in the contract.
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree: Admission to or a degree awarded from the University may be revoked at any time for fraud, misrepresentation, or another violation of the Code of Student Conduct in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
- University Expulsion: Permanent separation from the University and from University facilities.
- University Suspension: Separation from the University for a specified period of time. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Warning: Notice, verbally or in writing, that the continuation or repetition of prohibited behavior may be cause for additional disciplinary action.
- Withholding Degree: The University may withhold a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Code of Student Conduct, including completion of sanctions, if any.
I. STUDENT CONDUCT PROCEDURES
This section provides an overview of Viterbo University’s student conduct proceedings. While consistency in similar situations is a priority, the incidents reported are not of the same nature, complexity, or severity. Hence, the procedures are somewhat flexible and may not be exactly the same in every situation.
- Reporting/Alleging a Policy Violation: Any member of the Viterbo University community, visitor or guest may allege a policy violation by any student under this code by contacting Campus Safety at 608-796-3911 or the Residence Life Area Coordinator on call at 608-796-3400. The notice of policy violation may also be given to the Director of Student Life, the Assistant Director of Residence Life, the Vice President for Student Affairs, or when appropriate the Title IX or the Assistant Title IX Coordinator. All allegations can be submitted by a complainant or a third party, and should be submitted as soon as possible after the incident occurs.
- Administrators may act on notice of a potential violation whether or not a formal allegation is made.
- The student conduct process begins and all applicable timelines commence with notice to an administrator of a potential violation of university policy.
- Viterbo University reserves the right to pursue an allegation on its own behalf and to serve as the convener of the subsequent conduct process.
- Standard of Proof: In cases of alleged violations of university policy, the standard of proof is the preponderance of evidence (e.g. more likely than not). Violations will be determined on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the student respondent violated university policy. This standard is also employed when making determinations regarding interim restrictions/actions.
- Confidentiality: In some cases, the confidentiality of a reporting party may not be able to be kept. If a reporting party would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the reporting party may speak with the Director of Counseling Services, the Director of Health Service, the University Chaplain, or an off-campus support agency.
- Absence: Should a student decide to withdraw or leave the university and not participate in an investigation and/or hearing, the student conduct process will proceed in the student’s absence and that student will not be permitted to return to Viterbo University unless all sanctions have been satisfied. The university reserves the right to place a hold on the student account or student identification if the student has a complaint pending for violation of university policy and/or until investigations have been completed and/or the disciplinary sanctions have been satisfied.
- Investigation: When it appears a violation of the Code of Student Conduct or other university policy has occurred or is occurring, an investigation of the circumstances will be initiated by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee. While other university employees may be assigned to investigate, investigators of non-academic disciplinary situations are typically Campus Safety, Human Resources or Residence Life administrators. The investigation may include requests for written statements, witness interviews, and/or review of records, text messages, email communications, documents, information or material, etc. An investigation may be closed due to lack of merit or insufficient information, or he case may be referred for voluntary resolution, mediation, conduct conference, or panel hearing. Students and others are encouraged to be as forthright and as specific as possible when offering information during an investigation, but may choose the extent to which they share information.
- Voluntary Resolution: The Student Conduct Administrator may offer the accused student or organization to resolve the case through information resolution if the case meets all of these criteria: (a) the Student Conduct Administrator must view voluntary resolution as a viable option given the circumstance, (b) the student or organization must accept responsibility for the violation(s) of the specified conduct regulations, and (c) the student or organization must agree with the sanctions issued for the violations. An accused student or organization has the right to refuse voluntary resolution and proceed with a conduct conference. If the student or organization decides to resolve the case informally and all conditions for voluntary resolution are met, the student will review a written copy of a brief description of the infraction(s), the policy or policies violated, and the sanctions. Upon review, the student will sign a copy indicating agreement with the description of the infraction(s), the policy or policies violated, and the sanctions. Once the voluntary resolution is signed by the student and the conduct officer, the student is provided with a copy.
- Mediation: Mediation is encouraged as an alternative means to resolve conflicts, disputes and disciplinary cases. Mediation is typically voluntary. The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may decline to process a complaint until the parties in a nonacademic misconduct case make a reasonable attempt to achieve a mediated agreement. To be binding in a disciplinary case, any mediated agreement must be approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee. Mediation will not be used in cases of sexual assault.
- Disciplinary Conference: A disciplinary conference is an appropriate procedure when: (a) a student is accused of less severe, non-academic offenses unlikely to result in removal from university housing/termination of a housing contract, university suspension or university expulsion, (b) the conduct officer does not offer voluntary resolution, and/or (c) the student does not agree to voluntary resolution, the findings, or sanctions.
- Disciplinary Conference is typically conducted by a student conduct administrator.
- The Respondent will receive written notification of the conference date and the specific alleged act(s) of misconduct at least 3 days in advance of a disciplinary conference.
- The Respondent may be accompanied by a support person of choice and at their own expense at a disciplinary proceeding. The support person may advise the student using written communication, but is not permitted to speak or participate in the disciplinary proceeding. The support person may not appear in lieu of the person filing the report or the accused student. The work of the Student Conduct Administrator will not as a general practice be delayed or rescheduled due to the unavailability of a support person.
- Written notification to the student will be delivered in person or sent to the last address provided by the student to the University.
- Procedures shown below for an appeal may also apply to a disciplinary conference.
- If the student fails to adhere to the Student Conduct Administrator’s instructions to respond or appear, the Student Conduct Administrator may proceed with the case in the student’s absence, including making an administrative decision about the student’s responsibility regarding the allegation(s).
- Formal Hearing Procedures: Students accused of non-academic offenses that may result in eviction from an on-campus living unit or suspension or expulsion from the University are entitled to a formal hearing before a Hearing Panel. The following procedures are followed in disciplinary hearings.
- Students accused of non-academic offenses that may result in removal from university housing/termination of an on-campus housing contract, university suspension or university expulsion may choose to have their cases resolved by disciplinary conference. Such a choice must be made in writing, affirming that the student is aware a hearing is being waived and that sanctions up to and including university suspension or university expulsion may be imposed.
- The University may choose and reserves the right to resolve a disciplinary matter by formal hearing.
- The Respondent will receive written notification of the hearing date and the specific alleged act(s) of misconduct at least seven (7) days prior to the hearing.
- The Hearing Panel is comprised of three university employees selected by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs and/or designee shall be responsible for providing administrative support to the Hearing Panel.
- Both the findings and the sanctions determined by the Hearing Panel shall be regarded as recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs may remove a member from the Hearing Panel when the member has failed or refused to perform his or her Hearing Panel duties or responsibilities.
- On a date specified by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee, the Complainant and the Respondent will submit to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee the names of witnesses for the hearing, a summary of the information each witness is expected to provide, and any document(s) the person filing the report and the accused student expect to present at the hearing. The Vice President for Student Affairs will make copies of the information available to the person filing the report, the accused student and the Hearing Panel prior to the hearing.
- The Complainant and the Respondent may be accompanied by a support person of their own choice and at their own expense at a disciplinary proceeding. The support person may advise the student using written communication, but is not permitted to speak or participate in the disciplinary proceeding. The support person may not appear in lieu of the person filing the report or the accused student. The work of the Hearing Panel will not as a general practice be delayed or rescheduled due to the unavailability of a support person.
- In the event that the University chooses to proceed through legal counsel, the person filing the report and the accused student will be notified three (3) days prior to the hearing and shall have the right to proceed through counsel. Counsel may not appear in lieu of the student filing the report or the accused student.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee is responsible for coordinating the hearing.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs will appoint a chairperson who may be chosen from outside the University. The chairperson shall conduct the formal hearing. The chairperson may participate in Hearing Panel discussions and deliberations, but may not vote.
- The chairperson may request relevant witnesses after consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs. Requests will be delivered in person, by email, or by mail. University students and employees are expected to comply with requests issued as a part of disciplinary proceeding unless compliance would result in significant or unavoidable personal hardship or substantial interference with normal University activities.
- Respondents who fail to appear at the hearing will be seen as having pled “innocent” to the allegations pending against them. A hearing may be conducted in their absence, if necessary.
- The chairperson will exercise control over the hearing. Any person, including the Respondent, who disrupts a hearing, may be excluded by the chairperson.
- Hearings shall be conducted in private.
- Hearings will be tape recorded and the tape recording will remain the property of the University.
- Respondents may speak on their own behalf. They will not be forced to speak against themselves and their silence will not be used to their disadvantage.
- The Complainant, the Respondent, and the Hearing Panel may examine the information provided to the chairperson and may ask questions of all witnesses. Such questions must be directed to the chairperson rather than to the witnesses directly.
- Witnesses will be asked to verify that their testimony is truthful and may be subject to charges of violating the Code by providing false information to the University.
- The chairperson will determine what information the Hearing Panel will consider. Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by the Hearing Panel at the discretion of the chairperson.
- Witnesses, other than the Complainant and the Respondent, may be excluded during the testimony of other witnesses.
- After the hearing, the Hearing Panel shall determine whether the Respondent has violated each section of the Code that he/she is charged with violating. All parties will be excluded during Hearing Panel deliberations, which will not be recorded or transcribed.
- Violations will be determined on the basis of preponderance of evidence (whether it is more likely than not) that the Respondent violated the code. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply.
- Within three (3) days of the hearing, the chairperson will submit the Hearing Panel recommendations in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee.
- The written recommendations will be delivered to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee who then notifies the student of his or her decision within seven (7) days of receipt of the Hearing Panel’s recommendations.
- Written notification to the student will be delivered in person or sent to the last address provided by the student to the University.
A Complainant filing a report or a Respondent may appeal a disciplinary sanction imposed or a decision rendered.
- The imposition of sanctions will take effect immediately and will not be stayed pending resolution of the appeal.
- A student may request an appeal of the original decision rendered and/or the original disciplinary sanction. Not every case is eligible for an appeal. An appeal may only be filed if the sanctions include termination of residence hall contract, university suspension, or university expulsion.
- Appeals must be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee by the date specified in the original decision letter.
- An appeal is the final step in the conduct process. An appeal does not provide a second hearing of the case.
- The request for appeal must be made in writing. A request for appeal will only be considered if it includes the student’s criteria for appeal, and rationale for appeal. It is the student’s obligation to provide any and all materials she/he wishes to have considered when the request for appeal is submitted.
- The student requesting an appeal may make the request for an appeal upon one or more of the following grounds:
- The established procedures were not followed in a significant way and as a result, the factual findings, the sanction, or both, were not correct. (Deviation from Code of Student Conduct procedures will not be a basis for appeal or invalidate a proceeding or decision except where such deviation has clearly resulted in significant disadvantage to an accused student.)
- The severity of the sanction imposed was not appropriate based on the nature of the violation or the circumstances. In cases in which an accused student has accepted responsibility, such appeals are limited to having the severity of the sanction reviewed. (A sanction will not be increased or decreased unless there is compelling justification to do so. Disagreement with the original decision is not compelling justification.)
- There is new information that would have been key to the outcome, had the information been presented at the disciplinary conference or the hearing. The new information must be included with the student’s request for appeal. The student must also show that the new information was not known to the student appealing at the time of the original disciplinary conference or hearing.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may impose sanctions during the appeal process to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the university community, preservation of property, or the stability and continuance of normal university functions.
- The review of appeal will be based on the existing record, information provided in the student’s request for appeal, information from the individual handling the disciplinary conference or the university disciplinary committee regarding the rationale for the original decision, and/or new information provided.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee responsible for the appeal decision shall have the authority to:
- Affirm the original decision.
- Find that improper procedures were used, to the disadvantage of the student. In this case, the person responsible for the appeal decision can refer the case back to the person handling the disciplinary conference or the hearing chairperson with a recommendation on how to correct the procedures. A new decision may be made on the case. If the case is referred back and the student again has grounds to appeal after the new decision, the student may then submit another request for appeal.
- Reduce or increase the sanction, if the appeal officer determines that the sanction imposed was too severe or too lenient, given the nature of the violation and/or the circumstances.
- Find that the student appealing the original decision has presented new information that would have been key to the outcome of the case, had the information been presented at the conference or hearing, and the new information was not known to the student appealing at the time of the original conference or hearing. In this event, the person responsible for the appeal decision will refer the case back to the student conduct administrator for reconsideration in light of the new information.
- The decision made on the appeal is final. The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee responsible for the appeal decision will advise the student requesting the appeal of his or her final decision in writing. Notification to the student will be made in writing and given by personal delivery or sent by mail to the last address the student requesting the appeal provided to the university.
K. STUDENT GROUPS OR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
Student groups and organizations may be charged with violations of this Code. A student group or organization may be deemed collectively and individually responsible with violations of this Code. The officers or leaders of a student group or organization may be directed by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee to prevent or end impermissible conduct by the group or organization. Failure to make reasonable efforts to comply with the request may be considered a violation of this Code.
L. TRANSCRIPT ENCUMBRANCES
For the duration of cases that may result in suspension or expulsion, a temporary encumbrance is typically placed on the student’s records by the Vice President for Student Affairs after consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
M. DISCIPLINARY FILES AND RECORDS
Other than suspension and expulsion, disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of the permanent academic record but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Conduct not involving the imposition of suspension or expulsion shall be removed from the student’s disciplinary record after seven (7) years. In the event of a sanction for academic dishonesty, the chief academic officer or designee may notify the Vice President for Student Affairs of the sanction so a complete disciplinary record can be maintained.
N. REVOCATION OF DEGREES
The University reserves the right to revoke an awarded degree for fraud in the receipt of the degree or serious disciplinary violations committed by a student prior to the student’s graduation.
O. INTERPRETATION AND REVISION
The Code of Student Conduct is reviewed annually under the direction of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Any question of interpretation of the application of the Student Code shall be referred to the Vice President for Student Affairs. In keeping with normal University policy approval processes, the Code of Student Conduct may be amended at any time. Viterbo University reserves the right to make changes to this code as necessary and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. Students are encouraged to check the Vice President for Student Affairs’s web page for updates to the Code of Student Conduct.