Student Handbook

The Luther College Student Handbook is a collection of student conduct standards, policies, and procedures that define community expectations for students at Luther. It also serves as an important resource for students, highlighting a wide variety of topics related to life on the Luther campus.

It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with the Student Handbook. Students must also become familiar with other official publications including, but not limited to, the College Catalog, Emergency Procedure Guide, Housing and Dining Contract, and other important documents pertaining to student rights and responsibilities.

The Campus Life Committee, a campus-wide body comprised of students, faculty, and staff. Faculty delegate this group to plan and define college policies about student life and welfare on campus. The Campus Life Committee works in conjunction with members of the Student Life Office to ensure an effective implementation of college policies and procedures.

The policies and statements included in the Student Handbook are not a contract and the college reserves the right to deviate from the policies and statements as deemed necessary from time to time. 

Questions regarding the Luther College Student Handbook and related policies and procedures should be directed to: Student Life Office, Dahl Centennial Union 2nd floor, 563-387-1020, [email protected].

Code of Conduct

Preamble

Luther College is a community of scholars whose members include its students, faculty and staff. As a community, we share a dedication to creating an environment that supports trust, respect, honesty, civility, diversity, free inquiry, creativity, and an open exchange of ideas. We also recognize the need to establish a Code of Conduct that sets forth expectations for student behavior, promotes growth and development, guides student action, and defines procedures and sanctions for behavior that is inconsistent with the aims and objectives of a community of scholars. For the benefit of the community, the Code of Conduct limits certain behaviors and activities. It also attempts to protect the academic integrity, health, welfare, safety, rights, and property of the college community.

Luther College strives to strike a balance between freedom and the policies necessary to promote its basic purposes of teaching and learning. Since enrollment at Luther is a voluntary act, students voluntarily assume the obligations of behavior reasonably imposed by the college as it carries out its mission. These obligations are generally much higher than those imposed on all citizens in society. Luther College expects students to maintain standards of personal integrity that are in harmony with the educational goals of the college; assume responsibility for their actions; and respect the rights, privileges and property of others.

The Code of Conduct is designed to clarify the standards of behavior essential to the college's educational mission and its community life. While the Code of Conduct is comprehensive and applicable to all students, it is not written with the specificity of a criminal statute, it is not an exhaustive attempt to codify every possible type of problematic behavior, and it is not a contract between the college and its students. The Code of Conduct policies and procedures apply to the individual behavior of students and the collective behavior of student organizations, whether that behavior occurs on or off campus. Luther College specifically retains the right to amend this Code of Conduct, with or without advance notice to the community.

The Code of Conduct also reinforces the concept that students have rights: the right to be treated as individuals within the disciplinary process; the right to be protected from arbitrary, capricious, or malicious acts on the part of other members of the community; and the right to study, learn, live, and work in an environment free from behavior that could disrupt the college’s functions, cause injury to persons, or cause damage to or loss of property.

By formulating this Code of Conduct, Luther College affirms the principle of student freedom that is coupled with an acceptance of personal responsibility.

  • Article I: Definitions

    1. The term “Luther College” means Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.
    2. The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at Luther College, either full-time or part-time. Persons who withdraw or are suspended after allegedly violating the Code of Conduct, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with Luther College or who are prospective students in the admissions process are considered “students,” as are persons who are living in Luther College residence halls, although not enrolled in this institution. This Code of Conduct does apply at all locations of Luther College, including all Luther-sponsored off-campus programs.
    3. The term “faculty member” means any person hired or otherwise authorized by Luther College to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by Luther College to be a member of its faculty.
    4. The term “Luther College official” includes any person employed by Luther College, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
    5. The term “member of the Luther College community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, staff member, Luther College official, visitor, or any person employed by or working on the Luther campus (either for pay or as a volunteer). A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Student Life Office and/or the Human Resources Office.
    6. The term “Luther College premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by Luther College, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.
    7. The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for Luther College recognition as an organization.
    8. The term “Student Conduct Board” means those persons authorized by the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee to determine whether a student(s) or organization(s) has violated the Code of Conduct and to determine sanctions that may be imposed when a violation of this Code of Conduct has occurred. The Luther College Hearing Board, Honor Council, and Traffic Hearing Board, among others, may act as Student Conduct Boards under appropriate circumstances. The Luther College Hearing Board (hereafter “Hearing Board”) membership and procedures are outlined in section IV. The Honor Council and Traffic Hearing Board membership procedures are available, respectively, on Luther College’s website.
    9. The term “Residence Hall Administrator” means a Luther College staff member responsible for managing specific residence halls, College apartments or homes or other residential facilities.
    10. The term “Student Conduct Administrator” means a Luther College official authorized by the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee to preside over an Administrative Hearing and, in that context, to determine whether a student(s) or organization(s) has violated the Code of Conduct and to impose sanctions. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee may authorize a Student Conduct Administrator to serve simultaneously as a Student Conduct Administrator and one of the members of a Student Conduct Board. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or designee may authorize the same Student Conduct Administrator to impose sanctions in all cases.
    11. The term “Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities” means the Luther College official authorized by the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee to manage the student conduct process and serve as the chief conduct officer on campus. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities also serves as a Student Conduct Administrator and is the Chair of the Luther College Hearing Board.
    12. The term “Campus Appeals Board” means those persons authorized by the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee to consider an appeal from a Student Conduct Board’s determination as to whether a student has violated the Code of Conduct and/or whether the sanction is appropriate. In addition, the Campus Appeals Board may consider an appeal to determine whether the sanction imposed at an Administrative Hearing by a Student Conduct Administrator is appropriate.
    13. The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
    14. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or designee is that person designated by the Luther College President to be responsible for the administration of the Code of Conduct.
    15. The term “policy” means the written regulations of Luther College as found in, but not limited to, the Luther Code of Conduct, The Honor Code, Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies and Procedures, Residence Life Policies and Procedures, Housing and Dining Contract, Student Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures, Harassing and Discriminatory Conduct Policies and Procedures, Student/Campus Organizations Policies and Procedures, Parking and Traffic Policies and Procedures, Computer Use Policies and Procedures, the Luther College Catalog, and the Luther College website.
    16. The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to:
      1. Use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations.
      2. Use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments.
      3. The acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the Luther College faculty or staff.
      4. Engaging in any behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion. (See the Luther Honor Code for a full description of student rights and responsibilities related to academic conduct.)
    17. The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials. (See the Luther Honor Code for a full description of student rights and responsibilities related to academic conduct.)
    18. The term “Complainant” means any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Code of Conduct. When a student believes that he/she has been a victim of another student’s misconduct, the student who believes he/she has been a victim will have the same rights under this Code of Conduct as are provided to the Complainant, even if another member of the Luther College community submitted the charge itself.
    19. The term “Respondent” means any student accused of violating this Code of Conduct.
  • Article II: Student Code Authority

    1. The Articles of Incorporation of Luther College give power and authority over the supervision of the curriculum, instruction, and policies of the college to the Board of Regents. The Board, in turn, delegates the responsibility for the leadership and implementation of policies to the President as the executive head of the college and chairperson of the faculty. The President, in turn, delegates much of this responsibility to vice presidents and to faculty committees.

    The faculty has the responsibility for establishing departments, deciding upon courses of study, and determining requirements for admission and graduation. Faculty also has the responsibility for establishing rules and regulations for college governance and for the suspension and expulsion of students.

    Because the ultimate institutional responsibility for the exercise of decision rests with the President, the President may deem it necessary to recall this delegation of power. Certainly this would be a rare instance. Technically, the President could have the absolutely final approval (subject to the Board of Regents) of any decision reached through any student conduct hearing. In a technical sense, Student Conduct Administrators and Student Conduct Boards do nothing more than “recommend” disciplinary action to the President, and by the President’s failure to intercede, accepts their recommendation. In essence, then, the President delegates power and discretion over student disciplinary matters to Student Conduct Administrators and Student Conduct Boards in all possible cases, exercising presidential prerogatives only when necessary.

    2. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee shall determine the composition of Student Conduct Boards and the Campus Appeals Board (in accordance with written procedures) and determine which Student Conduct Board, Student Conduct Administrator and/or Campus Appeals Board shall be authorized to hear each matter.

    3. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee shall develop policies for the administration of the student conduct system and procedural rules for the conduct of Informal Administrative Hearings, Student Conduct Board Hearings, and Campus Appeals Board Hearings that are not inconsistent with provisions of the Code of Conduct.

    4. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities is the administrator charged with managing the student conduct system, in consultation with the Vice President and Dean for Student Life.

    5. Decisions made by a Student Conduct Board and/or Student Conduct Administrator shall be final, pending the appeal process defined in this Code of Conduct.

  • Article III: Proscribed Conduct

    A. Jurisdiction of the Luther Code of Conduct

    1. The Luther Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on Luther College premises, at Luther College sponsored programs and activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the Luther College Community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of initial visit as a prospective student through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment, even if his/her conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded. The Code of Conduct shall apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school or is suspended while a disciplinary matter is pending. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or designee shall decide whether the Code of Conduct shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis, at his/her sole discretion.

    B. Conduct—Rules and Regulations

    Students are required to engage in responsible social conduct that reflects credit upon the Luther College community and to model good citizenship in any community. Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV:

    1. Violation of any federal, state or local law.

    2. Violation of any Luther College policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on the Luther College website.

    3. Failure to comply with directions of Luther College officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.

    4. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
    a. Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty (see the Luther Honor Code).
    b. Furnishing false information to any Luther College official, faculty member, or office.
    c. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any Luther College document, record, or instrument of identification.
    d. Use of college facilities and resources to produce, for unlawful purposes, documents such as identification cards and driver’s licenses.
    e. Tampering with the election of any college-recognized student organization.

    5. Violations of fire/life safety provisions, including but not limited to:
    a. Arson or attempted arson.
    b. Use, possession or manufacture of explosives, including but not limited to, dangerous chemicals and fireworks.
    c. Intentionally or recklessly misusing or damaging fire/life safety equipment.
    d. Initiating or causing to be initiated any false warning of emergency or life-threatening circumstances.
    e. Constructing and lighting a bonfire on campus, unless prior permission is granted by the Student Life Office.

    6. Any possession of firearms, ammunition, swords, switchblades and other dangerous knives, bows and arrows, slingshots, pellet guns, paintball guns and all other weapons on Luther College premises or use of any such item, even if legally possessed (see Residence Life Policies and Procedures).

    7. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other Luther College activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or of other authorized non-Luther College activities when the conduct occurs on Luther College premises.

    8. Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot or activity that disrupts the normal operations of Luther College and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the Luther College community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area.

    9. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on Luther College premises or at Luther College sponsored or supervised functions.

    10. Careless or prohibited conduct which, by its nature, creates an unnecessary risk of physical harm including, but not limited to:
    a. Climbing or rappelling from walls or other physical structures.
    b. Unauthorized entry into the campus steam tunnels, air handling ducts, plumbing, electrical, or other utilities conduit or systems.
    c. Unauthorized access to rooftops, closed sections of buildings, or other restricted access areas.
    d. Failure to obey posted traffic control signs when operating a motor vehicle on campus.
    e. The use of rollerblades, skates, or skateboards indoors or in an unsafe manner outdoors.
    f. Sledding or skiing in unsafe areas.
    g. Camping on campus without permission from the Student Life Office.
    h. Class and/or lab behavior which endangers self or others.

    11. Attempted or actual theft of, damage to, and/or possession of stolen property of Luther College or property of a member of the Luther College community or other personal or public property, on or off campus.

    12. Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys or other access device to any Luther College premises or unauthorized entry to or use of Luther College premises (see Residence Life Policies and Procedures).

    13. Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on Luther College premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by, Luther College or members of the Luther community. Disorderly conduct includes but is not limited to: Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on Luther College premises without his/her prior knowledge, or without his/her effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom.

    14. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person, including, but not limited to, the following forms:
    a. Direct oral expression and/or physical gestures or actions.
    b. Notes, letters, and other forms of written communication distributed via U.S. mail, campus mail, or other means.
    c. Phone calls, phone messages, or other forms of electronic verbal communication.
    d. Email, text messages, instant messaging, social networks, or other means of electronic communication.

    15. Sexual assault, sexual abuse, or other non-consensual sexual contact or activity (see Student Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures).

    16. Discriminatory and or harassing conduct, including but not limited to:
    a. Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (see Student Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures).
    b. Harassment on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, age, or any other category protected by law (see Discriminatory and Harassing Conduct Policies and Procedures).

    17. Hazing is any reckless or intentional act, occurring on or off campus, that produces physical, mental, or emotional pain, discomfort, humiliation, embarrassment, or ridicule directed toward other students or groups (regardless of their willingness to participate), that is required or expected of new members and which is not related to the mission of the organization, team, or group. This includes any activity, whether it is presented as optional or required, that places a new member in a position of servitude as a condition of membership. Any activities of membership should be equally shared among experienced and new members. Prohibited acts of hazing include those covered under Iowa State law.

    Students are expected to review the full Hazing Policy available in the Student Handbook.

    18. Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law, including the use or possession of drug-related paraphernalia (see Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies and Procedures).

    19. Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by Luther College regulations), or public intoxication. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one years of age. This policy applies to behavior on Luther College premises or at Luther College sponsored or supervised functions (see Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies and Procedures).

    20. Smoking of cigarettes, cigars, and other forms of tobacco under the provisions of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act. This act prohibits smoking inside all buildings, outside all buildings, and on all college property including, but not limited to, sidewalks, parking lots and roads (and inside vehicles located on such grounds), athletic fields, and on any other college property. The possession of pipes, hookahs, and other smoking devices is also prohibited, as is the sale or distribution of tobacco products (see Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies and Procedures).

    21. Theft or other abuse of computer facilities and resources, including but not limited to:
    a. Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
    b. Unauthorized transfer or copy of a file or software.
    c. Use of another individual’s identification and/or password.
    d. Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or Luther College official.
    e. Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages.
    f. Use of computing facilities and resources to access, download, store or distribute pornographic materials.
    g. Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal operation of the Luther College computing system.
    h. Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
    i. Any violation of the Luther College Acceptable Use Policy.

    22. Unauthorized or inappropriate use of the Luther College name or logos, or the names or likenesses of identifiable organizations or features of Luther College. These include but are not limited to, the names or logos of college athletic teams or organizations; recognized student organizations, residence halls and other campus buildings; and images and descriptions from college publications. Inappropriate use includes, but is not limited to:
    a. Use of college names, logos and images for commercial purposes without permission.
    b. Use of college names, logos and images by groups not recognized by Luther College.
    c. Use of college names, logos and images in conjunction with activities not in accordance with Luther policies.
    d. Use of college names, logos and images that do not conform to acceptable style guidelines established by the Publications Office.

    23. Abuse of the student conduct system, including but not limited to:
    a. Failure to obey the notice from a Student Conduct Board or Student Conduct Administrator to appear for a meeting or hearing as part of the student conduct system.
    b. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a Student Conduct Board or Student Conduct Administrator.
    c. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Student Conduct Board or Student Conduct Administrator proceeding.
    d. Institution of a Code of Conduct proceeding in bad faith.
    e. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the student conduct system.
    f. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Student Conduct Board or Student Conduct Administrator prior to, and/or during the course of the Code of Conduct proceeding.
    g. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Student Conduct Board or Student Conduct Administrator prior to, during, and/or after a Code of Conduct proceeding.
    h. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Code of Conduct.
    i. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Code of Conduct system.

    C. Violation of Law and Luther College Discipline

    1. Luther College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and this Code of Conduct (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pendency of civil litigation in court, criminal arrest and prosecution, or any other legal proceeding or investigation. Proceedings under this Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this Code of Conduct shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of College rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.

    2. When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, Luther College will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also being processed under the Code of Conduct, Luther College may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Code of Conduct and of how such matters are typically handled within the Luther College community. Luther College will attempt to cooperate with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators (provided that the conditions do not conflict with campus rules or sanctions). Individual students and other members of the Luther College community, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they deem appropriate.

  • Article IV: Code of Conduct Procedures

    A. Charges and Student Conduct Hearings

    1. Any member of the Luther College community may file charges against a student for violations of the Code of Conduct. A charge shall be prepared in writing whenever possible and directed to a Student Conduct Administrator. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably within ten class days. If a Complainant cannot or will not submit a written charge, the Student Conduct Administrator will prepare a written summary of the charge presented to him/her by the Complainant.

    2. The Student Conduct Administrator may conduct a reasonable investigation to determine if the charges have merit and/or if the charges can be resolved administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the Student Conduct Administrator. The Student Conduct Administrator may decide among the following options:
    a. The charges have no merit; no further action should be taken. If the charges are deemed to have no merit, the complainant shall be informed of the decision and provided rationale for the decision.
    b. The charges have merit and may be administratively resolved by mutual consent of the involved parties on a basis acceptable to the Student Conduct Administrator. Such disposition shall be final, and there shall be no subsequent proceedings or appeals.
    c. The charges have merit and are appropriate for an Administrative Hearing by a Student Conduct Administrator or a formal hearing before the Hearing Board.
    d. There is no option for an appeal of sanctions if a student accepts responsibility in an administrative hearing. If a student denies responsibility, he/she may request a hearing before the Hearing Board.

    3. Complaints arising from alleged misconduct in the residence halls shall be made in writing whenever possible to the appropriate Residence Hall Administrator. If a Complainant cannot or will not submit a written charge, the Residence Hall Administrator will prepare a written summary of the charge presented to him/her by the Complainant. Generally, when alleged misconduct occurs in the residence halls, the appropriate Residence Hall Administrator will serve as the Student Conduct Administrator and will consider the case according to the guidelines set forth in Article IV(A)(2)(a)-(b). If the charges cannot be resolved by mutual consent, but the Residence Hall Administrator has determined after reasonable investigation that the charges have sufficient merit to warrant action, the Residence Hall Administrator will conduct an Administrative Hearing.

    4. All charges shall be presented to the Respondent in written form, whether prepared by the Complainant or the Student Conduct Administrator or Residence Hall Administrator. A time shall be set for a Student Conduct Hearing, not more than fifteen class days after the Respondent has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling of Student Conduct Hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Student Conduct Administrator for good cause.

    5. Administrative Hearings are held by a Student Conduct Administrator for the vast majority of alleged conduct charges according to the following guidelines:
    a. Prior to the Administrative Hearing, the Respondent will be informed of the charges in writing including the policy(ies) allegedly violated.
    b. At the Administrative Hearing, the Respondent will be informed, as completely as possible, of all matters relating to the alleged violation(s). The Respondent will be provided with an explanation of the alleged misconduct, the policy(ies) violated, and the evidence; the possible disciplinary action that could be taken; the opportunity to respond to the charges; and the opportunity to present evidence contesting the charges.  The Complainant will be provided an equal but separate opportunity to present evidence in support of the charges.

    6. Administrative Hearings are also held for alleged conduct that occurs under the following:
    a. At times when members of the Luther College Hearing Board are not available to convene a hearing (for example, during finals, break periods, January Term, or over the summer).
    b. For students who are participating in off-campus programs or activities (for example, study abroad programs, music ensemble travel, off-campus organization trip), an Administrative Hearing may be held by the group leader of the program or his/her designee. Students may also be subject to disciplinary action upon their return to campus, regardless of the pendency, conduct or result of an Administrative Hearing.
    c. If a student is alleged to have committed a violation of the Code of Conduct near or after the end of a semester for which an administrative hearing would otherwise be appropriate, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or his or her designee may issue a letter of resolution to the student that includes a proposed finding and sanctions (or points, if the violation is of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy) based on the information then available.  If the student accepts the proposed resolution, the proposed finding and sanctions (or applicable points) will be applied. If the student prefers to review the case with the Director of Student Rights & Responsibilities or his or her designee, an administrative hearing will be scheduled in order to review the case. The administrative hearing, and any subsequent proceedings, will be subject to the otherwise applicable terms of this Code of Conduct.

    7. The Hearing Board is composed of 11 persons except during breaks or other times when classes are not in session:

    ·         The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities who serves as Chair of the Board;

    ·         Five students (elected by the Student Senate following an application process coordinated by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities);

    ·         Three members of the faculty who serve on the Campus Life Committee;

    ·         One administrator at large (not a member of the Student Life Division staff);

    ·         One member of the Student Life Division staff, appointed by the Vice President and Dean for Student Life

    During those times when classes are not in session, the hearing board shall be comprised of at least one faculty member, one staff member, and one student member. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or an alternate shall chair the board. In such a hearing, the board chair shall not have a vote for either the finding or sanction phases of the process.

    a. A quorum for the hearing board consists of seven persons with at least one student, one faculty member, and either the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or the alternate chairperson who shall be a staff member. (If the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities is absent, the alternate chairperson chairs the hearing.) In the absence of a quorum, the hearing will be rescheduled.
    b. Faculty members are elected by the faculty, student members are elected by the Student Senate, and administrators are appointed by the Vice President and Dean for Student Life. Terms for faculty are three years and students serve for one year.
    c. Students must have completed at least two terms at Luther before they are eligible to serve on the Hearing Board. Student members must be in good academic standing, and students who have been found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct by the Hearing Board are not eligible to serve as Hearing Board members.
    d. No member of the board may be a practicing attorney.
    e. The board shall meet at times determined by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
    f. If the chair deems appropriate, the board may consult with college counsel for the board or invite college counsel to be present during the hearing.

    8. Hearing Board hearings shall be conducted according to the following guidelines except as provided by Article IV(A)(12) below:
    a. Hearing Board hearings shall be conducted in private and are closed to the public.
    b. The Complainant, Respondent and their advisors, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the Hearing Board hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations). Admission of any other person to the Hearing Board hearing shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the Hearing Board. For Sexual Misconduct hearings, the Title IX Coordinator is an ex officio, non-voting member of the Hearing Board.
    c. In Hearing Board hearings involving more than one Respondent, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, at his or her discretion, may permit the Hearing Board hearings concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
    d. The Complainant and the Respondent have the right to be assisted by one advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisor must be a current member of the Luther College community, except in cases brought pursuant to the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Offenses. The advisor serves in a support or advisory role. Except in cases covered by Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Offenses hearings, the advisor may not be an attorney. The Complainant and/or the Respondent is responsible for presenting his or her own information, and therefore, the advisor is not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any Hearing Board hearing. A student should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the Hearing Board hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor. The chair may establish reasonable ground rules for the procedure of the proceeding, including concerning the presentation of testimony or evidence, the procedure for questioning, and the conduct of advisors. A person or party who is disruptive or fails to adhere to procedural rules will be dismissed from the Hearing, and the Hearing will continue without that person’s presence.
    e. The Complainant, the Respondent and the Chair of the Hearing Board may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information to the Hearing Board. Luther College will try to arrange the attendance of possible witnesses, if reasonably possible, and who are identified by the Complainant and/or Respondent at least two class days prior to the Hearing Board hearing. The Chair may decline to call a witness identified by the Respondent or Complainant if the Chair determines in his/her discretion that the witness’s testimony is likely to be irrelevant, unnecessary or insufficiently reliable. Witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the Hearing Board. Questions may be suggested by the Respondent and/or Complainant to be answered by each other or by other witnesses. The Chair of the Hearing Board will consider the advisability of such suggested questions and will determine, in his/her sole discretion, whether such questions will be posed. If so, the Chair of the Hearing Board will direct the question to the witness. This method is used to preserve the educational tone of the hearing and to avoid creation of an adversarial environment. Questions of whether potential information will be received shall be resolved at the discretion of the Chair of the Hearing Board. The Hearing Board does not hear from character witnesses.
    f. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements (including Student Impact Statements) may be accepted as information for consideration by the Hearing Board at the discretion of the Chair.
    g. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chair of the Hearing Board.
    h. After the portion of the Hearing Board hearing concludes in which all pertinent information has been received, the Hearing Board shall determine by majority vote whether the Respondent has violated each section of the Code of Conduct for which the student has been charged and determine appropriate sanctions.
    i. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities shall not vote to determine responsibility for a charge, but shall vote in the sanctioning phase of the hearing should the members of the Hearing Board be deadlocked in their decision. The deliberations of the Hearing Board shall be kept in strict confidence.
    j. The Hearing Board’s determination shall be made on the preponderance of evidence standard – whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Code of Conduct. There is a presumption of nonresponsiblity, and the Respondent will only be held responsible if a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that the policy has been violated.
    k. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Code of Conduct proceedings.

    9. There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a recording, of all Hearing Board hearings (not including deliberations). Deliberations shall not be recorded. The record shall be the property of Luther College.

    10. If a Respondent, who has received notice as set forth in this Code of Conduct, does not appear before a Hearing Board hearing, the information in support of the charges shall be presented and considered even if the Respondent is not present.

    11. If a Complainant decides not to participate in a Hearing Board hearing, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities may or may not elect to present the information in support of the charges.

    12. The Hearing Board may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Complainant, Respondent, and/or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, video recording, audio recording, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities to be appropriate.

    B. Sanctions

    1. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Code of Conduct:
    a. Warning—A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
    b. Probation—A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
    c. Loss of Privileges—Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
    d. Fines—Previously established and published fines may be imposed.
    e. Restitution—Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
    f. Discretionary Sanctions—Work assignments, essays, service to Luther College, or other related discretionary assignments. This includes referral for mental health evaluation and/or counseling, or substance abuse education, evaluation, and/or treatment at the student’s expense.
    g. Residence Hall Suspension—Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
    h. Residence Hall Expulsion—Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
    i. No Contact or No Trespass Notices—No contact or no trespass notices may be issued in order to help assure that a member(s) of the college community is not subject to contact with the Respondent and/or person(s) found in violation of the Code of Conduct.
    j. Luther College Suspension—Separation of the student from Luther College for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
    k. Luther College Expulsion—Permanent separation of the student from Luther College.
    l. Revocation of Admission and/or Degree—Admission to or a degree awarded from Luther College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of Luther College standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
    m. Withholding Degree—Luther College may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

    2. More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.

    3. Records shall be kept on disciplinary situations and sanctions as follows:
    a. Other than Luther College expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Upon graduation, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than residence hall expulsion, no contact or no trespass notices, Luther College suspension, Luther College expulsion, or revocation or withholding of a degree, upon application to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than residence hall expulsion, no contact or no trespass notices, Luther College suspension, Luther College expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree shall be expunged from the student’s confidential record two years after final disposition of the case. Points assessed as a result of violations of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy shall remain on a student’s record.
    b. In accordance with the Clery Act, all records specified by the Clery Act will be kept for seven years. To the extent applicable law requires the maintenance of other records for a defined period of time, Luther College will comply with such legal requirements.
    c. In situations involving both a Respondent(s) (or group or organization) and a student(s) claiming to be the victim of another student’s conduct, the records of the process and of the sanctions imposed, if any, shall be considered to be the education records of both the Respondent(s) and the student(s) claiming to be the victim because the educational career and chances of success in the academic community of each may be impacted.

    4. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
    a. Those sanctions listed above in Article IV(B)(1)(a)-(i).
    b. Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.
    c. Deactivation. Loss of all privileges, including Luther College recognition, for a specified period of time.

    5. In each case in which a Student Conduct Administrator or the Hearing Board determines that a student and/or group or organization has violated the Code of Conduct, the sanction(s) shall be determined and imposed by a Student Conduct Administrator or the Hearing Board, respectively. In cases brought before the Hearing Board, the Hearing Board shall determine and impose sanctions. Following the Administrative Hearing or Hearing Board hearing, the Student Conduct Administrator shall advise the Respondent, group and/or organization (and a complaining student who believes he/she was the victim of another student’s conduct) in writing of its determination and of the sanction(s) imposed, if any.

    C. Interim Suspension

    1. In certain circumstances, the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee may impose a Luther College or residence hall suspension and/or refer a student for evaluation prior to an Administrative Hearing or a Hearing Board hearing.

    2. Interim suspension may be imposed:
    a. To ensure the safety and/or well-being of members of the Luther College community or preservation of Luther College property;
    b. To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and/or well-being; or
    c. If the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of Luther College.

    3. During the interim suspension, a student shall be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other Luther College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee may determine to be appropriate.

    4. The interim suspension does not replace the regular disciplinary process, which shall proceed on the schedule defined herein up to and through a Hearing Board hearing, if required. However, the student should be notified in writing of the interim suspension and the reasons for the suspension.

    5. No Contact or No Trespass Notices may be issued in order to help assure that a member(s) of the college community is not subject to contact with the Respondent and/or person(s) found in violation of the Code of Conduct.

    6. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee may refer a student to the college counseling staff and/or an independent mental health professional for evaluation, if there is reasonable belief that the student meets the previously noted criteria for interim suspension. At the Vice President and Dean for Student Life’s or his/her designee’s discretion, the student may be required to sign a release of information allowing the college to disclose to the mental health professional the student’s current behavior and reasons for referral. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee shall set the conditions for evaluation (such as time frame and reporting requirements). A student who fails to meet the conditions for evaluation may be withdrawn on an interim basis. Conditions of the evaluation include release of the evaluation information to the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or designee.

    D. Appeals

    1. A decision reached by a Student Conduct Board may be appealed by the Respondent(s) or Complainant(s) to the Campus Appeals Board within 7 days of notification of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing, stating the basis for the appeal, and shall be delivered to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or his/her designee.

    a. Each party may review all hearing materials, including written exhibits and the audio recording, during the 7 days following notification of a Student Conduct Board decision.
    b. When an appeal is filed, the other party/parties will have the opportunity to review the appeal and respond in writing within 7 days.

    2. Except as required to explain the basis of new information, an appeal shall be limited to a review of the verbatim record of the Student Conduct Board hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:
    a. To determine whether the Student Conduct Board hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the Complainant a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information that the Code of Conduct was violated, and giving the Respondent a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to those allegations. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
    b. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the Respondent was based on substantial information, that is, whether there were facts in the case that, if believed by the fact finder, were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Code of Conduct occurred.
    c. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Code of Conduct which the student was found to have committed.
    d. To consider new information or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, sufficient to alter a decision, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original Student Conduct Board Hearing.

    3. If an appeal is upheld by the Campus Appeals Board, the matter shall be returned to the original Hearing Board or Student Conduct Administrator for re-opening of the case to allow reconsideration of the original determination. If an appeal is upheld with respect to sanctions, the Campus Appeals Board (or appellate officer) may adjust sanctions or choose to refer the case back to the Hearing Board for consideration of sanctions. If an appeal is not upheld, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved.

    4. The Campus Appeals Board is comprised of three members including one faculty member, typically the Chair of the Faculty Interest Committee; one student, typically the President of the Luther College Student Senate; and the Vice President and Dean for Student Life. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, an alternative designee may review the case if it is determined a conflict of interest may arise based upon the specified representation. During times when classes are not in session, an appeal may be reviewed by the Vice President and Dean for Student Life who shall make an individual determination on the appeal.

  • Article V: Interpretation and Revision

    1. Any question of interpretation or application of the Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee for final determination.
    2. The Code of Conduct shall be reviewed periodically by the appropriate campus committees under the direction of the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

    Approved by Community Assembly, May 5, 2009
    Reviewed by Legal Counsel, June 24, 2009

Last Reviewed: Aug 1st, 2017