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].

Other Policies and Procedures

  • Advertising Guidelines

    I. General Guidelines
    A. Any advertising that suggests, refers to, or explicitly/implicitly invites, people to alcohol-related events is prohibited.

    B. Any publicity (flyers, posters, etc.) must be approved by the hall director and/or Residence Life Office (for advertising in the residence halls) or the Student Activities Office (for advertising in the Union) before posting and/or distributing.

    C. Any religious advertising must be approved first by the office for College Ministries before receiving a stamp from other locations on campus.

    D. Website advertising must follow all advertising guidelines.

    E. Infractions of this policy are cause for disciplinary action (i.e., loss of advertising privileges, probation, etc.).

    II. Approved locations of advertisements
    A. Advertisements which imply that alcohol is available are not allowed in any campus building.

    B. All publicity materials to be posted in the Dahl Centennial Union or residence halls must be approved (stamped) by the officials in the office of Student Activities and/or Residence Life.

    C. Ads may be posted on Dahl Centennial Union or residence hall bulletin boards ONLY!. No advertising along wall or hallway outside of cafeteria without special permission. Advertising is not permitted in stairwells or landings due to fire code regulations. Ads placed in other non-designated areas will be removed. Advertising is limited to one poster per bulletin board.

    D. Posters. Posters to be displayed on public bulletin boards are subject to the approval of the appropriate office - for Dahl Centennial Union bulletin boards, the Coordinator of Student Activities; the kiosk in the CFL, the Campus Programming Office; for other locations, contact the supervisory office for that specific building area, or inquire at the Student Activities Office.  Supervision of each residence hall bulletin board is the responsibility of the Hall Director.

    E. Chalking must abide by the above advertising guidelines and is not permitted under overhangs and entrances to the buildings.

    III. Who is Allowed to Advertise
    A. Recognized campus organizations.

    B. Churches and nonprofit organizations may publicize events located off campus.

    C. Businesses may not advertise unless a recognized campus organization is sponsoring the activity. However, they may post one flyer on the "Free Market" bulletin board in the Dahl Centennial Union if the advertisement complies with the policies of Luther College.

    IV. Specifics on Advertising
    A. Allowable
    1. In accordance with the policy stated in I above, advertisements are restricted to the following guidelines:
    a. Advertising must describe the event.
    b. Advertisements must give the location of the event.
    c. Advertisements should list the time of the event.
    d. All advertisements must state the name of the organization sponsoring the event.

    B. Non-Allowable
    1. Any event or advertisement which is an affront to personal dignity, violates individual rights, reflects an ethnic or racial prejudice, or causes personal offense.
    2. Any graphics depicting alcoholic beverage containers, persons consuming beverages, or obscene acts.
    3. Advertisements calling the event an “all-campus party.”

    C. General
    1. To assist advertisers and to help comply with l.C. above, we recommend that all advertisements be approved by either the Director of Student Activities and the Dahl Centennial Union or the Assistant Dean for Student Life.
    2. The print shop will not print ads without notification of approval.
    3. To enhance your event, we recommend you have a theme. This will help with identification of the event and advertising.
    4. The word party may only be used when it is used as part of the theme or used as a noun in the advertisement (i.e., Halloween Party, Christmas Party, Beach Party).
    5. The Luther Mail Center also abides by the above guidelines.
    6. Final decision on acceptable advertisements is up to the discretion of the Director of Student Activities and the Dahl Centennial Union and the Assistant Dean for Student Life.

  • Student Records: Access to and Confidentiality

    5.1 Introduction

    5.1.1 The following statement and policies reflect Luther’s compliance with FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as the Buckley Amendment. A college acquires a great amount of information regarding its students. Because Luther College respects the students’ rights of privacy, this information is considered confidential. These records are essential if administration and faculty are to understand individual students and assist them in facilitating their development. Due to the confidentiality of these records a student has the right to expect the college not to release information about him or her to anyone other than those prescribed by law, unless it has his or her written consent. Only legal compulsion or the immediate security of persons or college property justifies the college’s revealing to unauthorized personnel, without the student’s permission, anything more about the student than the dates of his attendance, the nature and date of the degree awarded, place of residence while at the college, and other directory information in 5.2.1. below.

    5.1.2 Students will be informed annually of their privacy rights with respect to their educational records.

    5.2 The following guidelines are adhered to by Luther College in regard to student records.

    5.2.1 Certain information about students is considered “Directory Information” and considered generally available to the public. Such information includes: name, phone numbers and addresses (college and permanent), email address, classification (year in school, major(s)), honors, awards, degrees conferred, dates of attendance, participation in sports and activities, height and weight of athletic team members, date and place of birth.

    5.2.2 Information considered confidential is filed in many offices, including, but not limited to: Student Life, Registrar, Health Service, Career Center, Student Academic Support Center, Student Support Services, Financial Services, Financial Aid, and the Counseling Service. Professional staff members of each respective office are the only personnel authorized to disclose or release information from a student’s folder. A student shall have the right to inspect and review any official records.

    5.2.3 Two primary files will be maintained by the college: (a) academic and (b) personal.

    5.2.3.1 The student’s academic file is kept by the Office of the Registrar. This is a permanent record and includes the Secondary School Record, the courses taken and when, the grades received, test data (e.g., the Scholastic Aptitude Test), the student’s area of specialization and degree received, grade point data, and any action by the college resulting in the student being placed on academic probation or his suspension due to academic reasons. The report on each semester’s work, which includes cumulative hours of credit and grade points, is sent to the student. The offices of Student Life and Counseling Services have access to this information electronically.

    5.2.3.2 The student’s personal file is kept in the Student Life Office. It includes information such as the application for admission, housing application, miscellaneous records such as financial aid, and general correspondence.

    5.2.3.3 The personal record file in the Student Life Office does NOT include the summary of interviews of counseling or the records of medical diagnosis and treatment. These records are kept in separate files in Counseling Services and Student Health Services, respectively.

    5.2.4 All persons who handle student records shall be instructed concerning the confidential nature of such information and the student’s right to privacy. They shall be advised of their legal and professional responsibilities regarding all student records.

    5.2.5 Release of Information. The respective offices will not release records of a student without the written consent of the student, except of the specific occasions cited under Article 5.2.5.2. This written consent would include the type of record to be released and identification of the recipient. Copies of the released information will be sent or given to the student (or parent) when requested.

    5.2.5.1 Luther College is required to release official information when the information is furnished in compliance with a judicial order or pursuant to a subpoena. In such an instance, an attempt will be made to notify the student (or parent) in advance of compliance.

    5.2.5.2 Information from the above offices may be released to the following without written consent:

    A. Authorized federal representatives who request information in connection with an audit or evaluation of federally-supported education programs.

    B. Officials of other schools to which a student has transferred to or intends to transfer.

    C. Educational officials or teachers who request information for educational purposes. This includes the National Direct Student Loan Clearinghouse.

    5.2.5.3 Any of the above representatives or officials will be required to note reason for inspection of official records. The information can be released only upon the condition that the third party (a,b,c above) will not permit access to others without written consent of the student.

    5.2.5.4 To minimize the risk of improper disclosure, official college disciplinary records shall be kept in the Student Life Office under separate cover. Folders of disciplinary cases are maintained in an active file for a period of two years after the latest incident recorded in the folder. After a period of two years, all such folders are destroyed, with the following exceptions:

    A. students who have a “hold” placed on their registration and transcript.

    B. students involved in incidents that result in suspension. The folders on the above exceptions are transferred to an inactive file for two years after the ’’hold” is initiated or the student is suspended. When action is taken to release a ’’hold” or allow a suspended student to return to school, the folders are returned to the active file. They are maintained there for a period of two years from the date of the action or any later additions to the folder at which time they are destroyed.

    C. While the intent of destroying disciplinary records in the timeframe noted remains, there are federal laws that require an educational institution to keep records of policy violations for a period of about seven years.

    5.2.5.5 Information may be released for research purposes only under carefully prescribed guidelines. In releasing any data for research purposes, the identity of the student shall be scrupulously protected. If there is a question about the limits of confidentiality, the written permission of the student will be obtained prior to releasing information about him or her. The Dean for Student Life or Registrar will be assured that the department or persons engaged in the research will follow professional standards of confidentiality.

    5.2.5.6 The Student Life Office will not keep membership lists of student organizations. It will record the name of the faculty advisor and officers of the organizations for identification purposes only, and will destroy all such records at the end of each academic year. The names of advisors and officers will be released upon request.

    5.2.6 Review of Official Records

    5.2.6.1 Upon request of a student, or parent as appropriate, and within 45 days of the request, a student may review his or her records. This request must be made to the office or service where the records are maintained. Information such as intelligence, aptitude, psychological and interest inventories, and health record entries will be interpreted by a staff member of the appropriate office.

    5.2.6.2 In the event the student finds what he or she regards as inaccurate or misleading information, that student may request that the record be corrected or amended. If the request is denied, the student may request a hearing to modify or remove the material. If dissatisfied with the results of the hearing, the student may place in the file a statement of disagreement.

    5.2.7 Destruction of Students’ Personal Records. Luther College terminates its responsibility for personal records at the end of the sixth year after the student leaves the college. At the end of the sixth year the records shall be destroyed in a manner which prevents unauthorized retrieval. Any portion of the record may be destroyed at an earlier date if the person under whose jurisdiction the record was originally created feels it should be destroyed. Maintenance and preservation of the academic record shall be in perpetuity.

  • Bicycle Regulations

    An ordinance regulating the use of bicycles within the City of Decorah, Iowa, providing for the registration and licensing thereof, and fixing penalties for violation:

    27.1 License required—Every person living within the City of Decorah, Iowa, who owns a bicycle, shall cause the ownership thereof to be registered at the office of the Police Department.

    In accordance with the above city ordinance, students are advised to register and license their bicycles with the Decorah Police Department. Registration will benefit the owner in the event of theft.  Due to a partnership between Luther and the City of Decorah, students and staff may register their bikes on campus at no cost.  Registration is available at the Sustainability Office on campus.

    Bicyclists are required to use the bike storage racks located throughout the campus. The use of a heavy-duty lock system is recommended to discourage theft. Luther regulations prohibit attachment to trees, posts, signs, handrails or handicapped ramps. Any bicycle that blocks or interferes with handicapped or emergency pathways may be removed.

  • Disability Services

    As a student with a disability should know that Luther College not only strives to comply with ADA and Section 504 requirements, but also prides itself on creating a learning environment responsive to all students. If you are a student with a disability, you need to know that you have the right to equal access of all programs provided on this campus.  However, it is important for you to realize that college is different from high school in many ways. 

    First, you have more choices, both in how you schedule your daily activities and how you access services.  You will find that establishing reasonable accommodations for your disability will be a different process than the IEP or 504 plan you had in high school.  Knowing and preparing for these differences before you start your first semester on campus will save you time and trouble. 

    The major differences are: 

    1.  The student, not the school, initiates the process. 

    2.  You are responsible for providing documentation of your disability (from appropriate professionals). This includes documentation of what accommodations worked in the past. 

    3.  Decisions on accommodations are made on an individual basis. Accommodations may vary from class to class and be different for individuals with the same disability.    

    How the Luther process works 

    The focus of the process is on the functional impact of the disability on the educational process rather than the disability label. To qualify for an accommodation, the disability must significantly interfere with the student’s participation, communication or ability to participate in course assessment, e.g. tests, projects. Accommodations are determined on a case by case basis.  For example, a student with hand mobility problems may need assistance with note taking and written tests, but not with oral presentations.   

    If  students with a disability feels he/she may need special accommodations, they should register with the Disability Services Office (DSO). To register with our office to receive accommodations the student must:

    • Complete the self-referral form, either in hard copy or online, and send it to the DSO.
    • Secure appropriate documentation of the disability and its impact from appropriate professionals.
    • Schedule an appointment with the DSO before arriving on campus. It is always better to have a plan in place before classes begin rather than after problems occur.

    And finally, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the DSO at (563) 387-1270. 

    *More information can be accessed online at www.sasc.luther.edu under Disability Services. 

  • Email Communication with Students

    Students are advised that Luther College considers email from the college as one of its official means of communication with students. If you use another email address, we ask that you check your Luther email account on a regular basis, or forward your Luther email messages. If you need help setting up automatic forwarding for your Luther email account please contact the LIS Help Desk.

  • Environmental Statement

    The Luther College community is concerned about the impact we, as individuals and as an institution, have on the environment. As citizens of an earth community, it is our obligation to identify problems which militate against a sustainable future and to implement viable solutions to those problems. In support of the movement towards an environmentally sustainable future, we commit ourselves to the following goals:

    1. To identify environmental pollution and degradation taking place on campus and to institute environmentally sound operations.

    2. To work in collaboration with the Decorah community and other organizations to assist in finding solutions to environmental problems.

    3. To affirm and expand the Luther College community’s commitment to recycling, waste reduction, and resource conservation.

    4. To forge collaboration among departments, faculty, and students to develop curricula, interdisciplinary approaches, research initiatives, and outreach activities that address the issues surrounding an environmentally sustainable future.

    5. To encourage all departments to explore environmental issues in relation to their respective disciplines, with the larger aim of providing all students with the information and understanding needed to become ecologically responsible citizens.

    Adopted May 1998

  • Federal Drug Free Workplace/ Drug Free Schools and Communities Act

    Luther College policy to comply with the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986 and Amendments of 1989. (The Drug Free Workplace Act [1988] applies to employees of the college and students who are Pell Grant recipients. It requires the college to certify that as a federal grantee it will provide a drug-free workplace. The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act [1986] and Amendments [1989] require that as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program, an institution must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students. While these are distinct regulations, the college is stating with this single policy its intent to comply with both.)

    Luther College highly values its students and employees and is therefore committed to maintaining a safe and healthful learning environment and workplace free from chemical substance abuse. To help fulfill this commitment the college maintains a Lifetime Wellness program. The following policy outlines ways the college will also fulfill this commitment while complying with the provisions of the Drug Free Workplace Act (1988) and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986 and Amendments of 1989. This policy will be shared annually with all students and employees by the Student Life and Human Resources offices.

    I. The college prohibits its employees (“employees” or “employee” includes student workers in this policy) from reporting to work or performing work for the college while impaired by or under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. (Stipulation of the Drug Free Workplace Act.)

    The illegal use, possession, dispensation, distribution, manufacture, or sale of alcohol or other drugs by an employee in the workplace, or while the employee is on duty or official college business, or by a student is prohibited. This standard of conduct applies to all college sponsored on- and off-campus activities. The college’s policy on possession or use of alcoholic beverages is outlined in the Code of Conduct.

    II. Federal law contains further prohibitions against the manufacture, possession with the intent to distribute, or distribution of controlled substances, including narcotic drugs, marijuana, depressant or stimulant substances.

    Iowa law prohibits the manufacture, delivery, possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver, and possession of controlled substances.

    Local and state laws prohibit possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages outside of a residence or licensed liquor establishment. Possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for persons under the age of 21. Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is also prohibited.

    The college recognizes all these regulations in its commitment to maintaining a healthful campus and workplace. A detailed summary of federal, state, and local sanctions applicable to violation of item I above are available in the offices of Human Resources and Student Life.

    III. Luther College promotes wellness and recognizes chemical dependency as a major threat to wholeness of personal health. The college is therefore committed to seeing that all its students and employees understand that:

    A. The use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs can interfere physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually with the ability to perform important functions.

    B. These drugs impair physical coordination and mental alertness and may damage the immune system, resulting in irreversible health problems and death.

    C. Social behavior following use of alcohol or illegal drugs may be destructive to relationships.

    A summary of the effects of using controlled substances is available from the Lifetime Wellness Educators, who will coordinate programs to inform employees and students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, the college’s policy, counseling or rehabilitation programs in the community, and penalties for violations.

    IV. The Luther College Counseling Service provides evaluation and counseling for students in relation to abuse of alcohol and other drugs and refers students to other resources that might be appropriate for them. Lists of community and area evaluation and counseling services are available from the following offices: Counseling (1375), Health Service (1045), and Lifetime Wellness Program (2075).

    V. Violations of the standards of conduct described in Section I will result in:

    A. Corrective action up to and including dismissal as described in the respective staff, student, and faculty handbooks, and students’ residence hall contracts and/or

    B. Required satisfactory participation in a drug and alcohol abuse evaluation or rehabilitation program.

    Any employee or student employee who is convicted of violating any criminal drug statute in such work place situations as described in item I above, must report that conviction to the office of Human Resources no later that five days after the conviction. (Stipulation of the Drug Free Workplace Act.)

    Within 10 days after receiving notice of such conviction from an employee who is a participant in a federal grant or contract, the office of Human Resources will notify the granting agency of an employee’s conviction for violation of the standards of conduct identified for the workplace. Within 30 days of the employee’s conviction the college will impose sanctions on the employee, and/or require satisfactory participation in the drug abuse assistance program. (Stipulation of the Drug Free Workplace Act.)

    VI. This substance abuse policy is effective immediately. The Director of Human Resources will coordinate a biennial review of the policy with representatives from the student life, academic affairs, health service, wellness educator, student financial planning and president’s offices.

    September 7, 1990

    Controlled Substances Crimes and Penalties:
    Federal and Iowa Law*

    Both state and federal laws prohibit distribution of, manufacture of, or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance or a counterfeit controlled substance. State laws prohibit distribution of, manufacture of, or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance or a counterfeit controlled substance. State penalties range up to Life confinement and a fine of $1,000 to $1,000,000 depending upon the type and quantity of drug involved. Specific drugs, amounts and penalties are described in Code of Iowa, Chapter 124, and Title 21 USC, sections 841-863.

    Penalty Enhancement

    The maximum term and fine is increased significantly if state and federal penalty enhancement rules apply. Factors which raise maximum penalties under state penalty enhancement rules include death or serious bodily injury; prior drug conviction; placing at risk or distributing a drug to a person under 18 years old; using a person under 18 years of age to assist in the drug violation; using firearms or dangerous weapons in the commission of the offense; and distributing or manufacturing a drug within 1,000 feet of school property.

    Possession

    State laws prohibit possession of a controlled substance. The maximum state penalty for possession varies depending on the amount and type of drug possessed. The maximum term and fine increases significantly in the event that state penalty enhancement rules apply. Possession of relatively small quantities of certain drugs can be a felony under Iowa Drug Stamp tax laws, resulting in up to 5 years in prison and civil penalties.

    Driving While Intoxicated 

    Under state law, a person found guilty of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater shall be imprisoned for not less than 48 hours and fined a minimum of $1,250 and a maximum of $1,875 for the first offense. For the second OWI offense the minimum period of confinement is seven days and a minimum fine of $1,850, with a maximum of $6,250. The minimum period of confinement for the third or subsequent OWI convictions is thirty days and could be up to five years, with a minimum fine of $3,125, and a maximum of $9,375. All fines are accompanied by a 35 percent surcharge. Defendants are also required to pay court costs and make restitution of court appointed attorney fees and subject to paying high risk insurance for 3 years. Drunk drivers also lose driving privileges for 180 days for first offense, and up to six years for third offense.

    Other Alcohol-Related Offenses

    Under State law, the drinking age is 21. State law prohibits:

    a) Consumption or possession of an alcohol beverage in a public place;

    b) Public intoxication;

    c) Carrying an open container with an alcoholic beverage in public;

    d) Giving or selling an alcoholic beverage to anyone intoxicated;

    e) Possession of an alcoholic beverage under legal age; and

    f) Having open containers in a motor vehicle.

    A person who is of legal age who sells, gives, or otherwise supplies alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer to a person who is under legal age in violation of this section commits a serious misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of five hundred dollars. A person who is of legal age who sells, gives, or otherwise supplies alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer to a person who is under legal age in violation of this section which results in serious injury to any person commits an aggravated misdemeanor. A person who is of legal age who sells, gives or otherwise supplies alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer to a person who is under legal age in violation of this section which results in the death of any person commits a class “D” felony. Second and third offense public intoxication or consumption in a public place is serious or aggravated misdemeanors, with penalties enhanced accordingly.

    *Laws are subject to change.

  • Fund-Raising Guidelines

    I. Whereas most student organizations are not funded by Luther College in any direct way, Luther College recognizes the need for officially recognized organizations to raise operating funds for their activities.

    A. The following is a set of guidelines for planning and implementing fund-raisers on campus:

    1. Student groups planning to engage in fund-raising efforts in which fellow students, faculty, and staff are the persons from whom the funds are raised must seek and obtain permission from the Coordinator for Student Activities and the Dahl Centennial Union. Included in the category would be on-campus events for which admission is charged, the sale of goods or services, and direct solicitation for worthy causes.

    2. College organizations selling products need to also adhere to these additional guidelines:
    a. Items must be reasonably priced and represent a fair deal for purchase.
    b. Items must be quality products.
    c. Items must be in good taste.
    d. Items must not be messy, loud, or offensive; they must also be non-disturbing.
    e. If items directly compete with the Book Shop, Oneota Market, or Marty’s clearance must be obtained from the supervisors of those operations.

    B. Locations for fund-raisers:
    Fund-raisers are allowed in specific areas of the Dahl Centennial Union with the approval of the Director of Student Activities and the Dahl Centennial Union. The time limit for each fund-raiser will be determined by the Director of Student Activities and the Dahl Centennial Union in conversation with the representatives of the organization sponsoring the event.

    Academic Buildings: Fund-raisers are not allowed in any building that is designated primarily as classroom space.

    Residence Halls: Fund-raisers in the residence halls should be cleared with the hall director or the director of housing. Door-to-door soliciting is not allowed in the residence halls.

    C. The aforementioned guidelines are not negotiable and all student groups must abide by them. Organizational representatives must meet with the Director of Student Activities and the Union at least two weeks prior to the proposed event (three weeks before major weekends) to review these policies before receiving permission to fund-raise, and sign a statement that holds them responsible for compliance with such guidelines. The student representatives will also need to obtain the signature of the organization’s advisor and the appropriate supervisor if the fund-raiser is in direct competition with any of the previously mentioned services, or occurs during a major weekend such as, Family Weekend, Homecoming, Christmas at Luther, or Commencement.

    If a recognized organization wishes to raise funds during a home athletic event, permission must be given from the Athletic Department prior to completing the fund-raising form.

    If these guidelines are abridged in any way, the Director of Student Activities and the Dahl Centennial Union may deny future fund-raising privileges for a period not to exceed one year.

    D. Organizations raising funds for charity must provide evidence that the funds were received by the charitable organization.

    II. Individuals, businesses, or groups not affiliated with Luther, or Luther groups which are not officially recognized, are prohibited from selling products or services and from raising funds on campus.

  • Greek and Other Campus Organizations

    Article VIII: Campus Organizations

    8.1.1 Luther College recognizes that students bring to campus a variety of interests and develop other new interests as members of the community. Therefore, students are free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests. Student organizations shall have the right to assemble as long as they do not: a) violate the civil law or the college code of conduct, b) destroy property, c) disrupt classes and the other regular and essential operation of the college, d) or in any other way infringe upon the rights of other individuals and organizations.

    Organizations who wish to be officially recognized by the college and are not directly responsible to a college department or office, must submit an organizational constitution to the Student Senate Leadership Committee. All constitutions must include a statement of aims and purposes of the organization as well as the bylaws of the organization. Constitutions must be approved by the Leadership Committee, and based on this, the organization shall be considered officially recognized. This will entitle the organization to the following rights: a) to reserve college facilities; b) to run campus fund-raising activities; c) to advertise d) to apply for funding through the Student Senate Finance Committee. If the Leadership Committee declines to approve a constitution, it shall provide the organization with a written statement of the grounds for its decision.

    Any student organizations, not just social organizations, that choose to host alcohol-related events should be in compliance with section 8.1.7.

    8.1.2 Organization (social) advisors shall be chosen primarily from the teaching faculty. A maximum of one fourth of the organization advisors may be chosen from non-teaching faculty, staff, or administration. Each advisor chosen from outside of the teaching faculty must be approved by the Leadership Committee. The advisor shall be kept fully informed of all activities of the organization and be invited but not required to attend all meetings and social events. The advisor may resign his or her advisory role if the informing and inviting provisions are not met. In the event an advisor should resign for cause this resignation should include a report stating the reasons for resignation and be sent by the advisor to the Inter-Greek Council. The organization shall have not more than 30 days from the date of a resignation to recruit a new advisor or lose recognition by the college. The advisor’s purpose shall be to advise organizations in the exercise of responsibility, but the advisor shall not have the authority to control the policy of the organization, except as noted above, and will not be held liable for any action of the organization.

    A. Social Organizations will select faculty or staff advisors for the coming academic year by May 10th of the previous spring. The Inter-Greek Council (IGC) will then inform the advisor of the Inter-Greek Council of the names of the faculty advisors. The committee will then count this advising role as a committee assignment for those faculty members.

    B. Faculty and staff advisors will be invited to Bystander Training and to Senate discussions on the Hazing Policy.

    1. The first orientation session will be a joint session of faculty/staff advisors, officers of Greek organizations, and members of the Inter-Greek Council. The sessions will include information on legal liability issues, planning for the fall pledging process, prevention of hazing, and the registration process for alcohol-related events.

    2. Other advisor sessions will be designed to cover topics to meet the needs of the advisor group, such as the use of alcohol in social organization activities, leadership opportunities for group members, service-learning opportunities, and ways to share ideas across groups.

    3. Another major duty of the faculty/staff advisor is to attend a minimum of two of the organization’s meetings or events each semester, in order to build a positive relationship between advisor and members.

    8.1.3 At the beginning of each academic year, each social organization must submit a prospectus to Student Life. The prospectus consists of: a) advisor’s name; b) officers’ and current members’ names; c) goals and objectives that outline the organization’s anticipated activities and projects; d) a list of a minimum of one civic and two college community projects. Prospectuses must be submitted to the advisor of IGC on or before the last Tuesday of September. Failure to meet the deadline will be cause for loss of rights as stated in Article 8.1.1. The prospectus will be kept in the Student Organization Suite, and an electronic copy will be given to library archives. Organizations are encouraged to utilize their advisor in developing this and other reports. Annual charter applications must be submitted by April 10 (see 8.1.7.1).

    8.1.4 Election of social organization officers will be held during December of each year. The new officers will not take over their responsibilities until after the leadership workshop. This workshop will be required for all social organization presidents and will be open to all organization officers. The purpose of the leadership workshop is to assist in the development of quality and consistent leadership.

    8.1.4.1 Pledging

    A. Pledge activities will not commence until fall semester of one’s sophomore, junior, or senior year.

    B. Activation must take place by November 1st each year.

    C. All prospective pledges will be required to attend an information session covering the pledging process, alcohol use, hazing, and other pertinent issues before pledging commences.

    D. Rush activities may begin on March 1st and will be restricted to two weeks during March or April. The dates are to be set by IGC. Rushing will be defined as pre-pledging activities designed for the purpose of providing information to prospective members.

    8.1.5 The Inter-Greek Council will schedule regular meetings. Attendance at these meetings is required of all social organizations. Each organization will be represented by an officer. Failure to attend will be cause for disciplinary action.

    The purpose for the meetings is to share ideas, coordinate activities, discuss problems, develop leadership, organize pledging activities, and discuss other issues which are pertinent to the social organizations. Through these meetings the advisor of IGC will offer programming assistance for the purpose of enhancing the range of activities in which the organizations may choose to participate.

    8.1.6 The advisor to the IGC will develop a format for all prospectuses. Each organization president will meet with the organizational advisor to prepare its prospectus at the beginning of each fall semester prior to submitting it to the IGC advisor. Each prospectus will state the goals and objectives that outline the organization’s anticipated activities, projects, and guidelines for responsible use of alcoholic beverages. The Student Senate requires that each organization do service projects as stated in Article 8.1.3. These must be whole organization activities, not pledge activities.

    8.1.7 Each organization’s prospectus will include guidelines for responsible use of alcoholic beverages. Reports of violations of these guidelines made by members of the Luther community to the Student Life Office shall be referred to Campus Hearing Board under 8.2.1 and 8.2.2. The guidelines must include, but are not limited to, the following:

    A. That the possession, use, sale and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages at any organizational activity or function shall be in compliance with all applicable laws and Luther College policies.

    B. That the organization will encourage moderation and lawful consumption in regard to alcoholic beverages. They will also discourage irresponsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. To this end, food and alternative non-alcoholic beverages will be available in the same manner as alcoholic beverages at all organizational functions.

    C. That if the organization hosts an off-campus event involving alcohol, it will develop and implement programs such as buddy systems, designated drivers, Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD) contracts, designated bartenders, and will meet with a Lifetime Wellness Educator for an information and discussion session on legal and responsible alcohol use.

    D. That any activity designed for the purpose of initiating or activating pledges into the social organization on either pledge night or activation night will involve no alcohol.

    E. That there shall be no required alcohol consumption.

    F. That when alcohol is available at an off-campus event sponsored by a campus organization, the event shall be in a setting where alcohol sales are legal, provided by a private, licensed vendor on a per drink basis, with no profit from alcohol sales going to the sponsoring organization. This means no purchase, sale, or distribution of alcohol by the organization.

    G. That the organization shall register its event with, and receive approval from its advisor, indicating the place, time, anticipated number of guests, and methods to comply with ”a“ through ”f“ above. Such methods may include, but are not limited to, employing local law enforcement officers at the event. A copy of the registration will be sent to the Student Life Office.

    8.1.7.1 Social Fraternity/Sorority Charter Applications

    The IGC advisor shall review all annual charter applications from social fraternities and sororities wanting official Luther College recognition.

    A. Application deadline: Applications for all existing social fraternity and sorority charters must be submitted by April 10 each year. The review board shall open all applications to campus-wide review for a period of 3 days. The review board shall finish acting upon all applications on or before May 10.

    B. Duties and responsibilities

    1. Review the annual detailed evaluation of each organization.

    2. Review the disciplinary file of each organization.

    3. Review the annual prospectus of each organization.

    4. Review any objections from the Luther community in regard to a charter approval.

    5. Make available for community inspection all charter applications for a period of three days.

    C. Criteria for charter acceptance:

    1. No illicit use of drugs or alcohol.

    2. No abusive use of alcohol.

    3. Three or more acceptable service projects per year; one must be a community service, and two must be campus service projects.

    4. Incidences and nature of disciplinary action.

    5. Objections to approval from the Luther community.

    6. Support for approval from the Luther community.

    7. Contribution to quality of student life and campus life.

    8. Compliance with the college Mission Statement.

    D. Powers: The review board shall have the power to:

    1. Accept the charter submitted.

    2. Accept the charter with conditions or restrictions.

    3. Refuse the charter application.

    E. Grievance and appeal: Any organization wishing to appeal a board decision must submit a written petition to the Co-curricular Committee chairperson within five (5) days after being notified of the denial of their charter. The written petition may include a request for a hearing with the review board.

    8.1.8 Organizations are subject to Article 6.12.4 as are individuals should an event they sponsor result in organization members or guests violating 6.12.4.

    8.2.1 Student organizations with a constitution or those groups which are accorded these same privileges are subject to college policies, advantages and regulations the same as individual students. Organizational violations of college regulations on campus or at college-sponsored events off campus shall be cause for disciplinary action against the organization and/or individuals of the organization.

    8.2.2 In concurrence with Article 7.3.2.4, the student organizations are subject to sanctions for violating college policy, regulations, and guidelines. These sanctions are noted in 7.3.2.4 and 7.3.2.5.

    8.3. On-campus Activities

    8.3.1 Procedures and Responsibilities

    8.3.1.1 The student organization must assume the responsibility for the proper conduct of the activities in accordance with the prevailing federal, state, and local laws as well as college regulations and policies. The responsibility to see that the social activity is conducted in accordance with these regulations and policies rests with the student organization officers. This responsibility should include:

    A. Preventive measures. Inform members of the organization of what is expected in regard to social activities.

    B. The conduct of the activity be such that individuals in attendance can participate or refrain from participating on a voluntary basis - without undue peer pressure.

    C. Observe stated college regulations, federal and state laws concerning alcoholic beverages and drugs. Local ordinances regulating disturbances of the peace must also be observed.

    8.4. Off-campus Activities

    8.4.1 Student organizations are responsible to the college for the activities of their members as follows:

    A. Students who are traveling in a college-initiated function, such as groups representing athletic or forensic teams, musical or dramatic performances, activities of student congregation, etc.

    B. Students and student organizations traveling to and from and in attendance at college-initiated functions.

    C. Students participating in activities organized or sponsored by a student group, but not necessarily college-initiated.

    8.4.2 Luther College does not bear responsibility for student-initiated off-campus activities. Groups engaged in such must assume responsibility for their conduct to themselves, the public, and the civil authorities.

    The Campus Hearing Board shall also function as the Social Fraternity/Sorority Hearing Board. The purpose of this committee will be to investigate and determine the responsibility in grievances filed against social fraternities, sororities, and/or particular individuals, and to assess the proper sanctions to an organization found guilty.

    A. The board shall use the following principles to guide their deliberations:

    1. Membership selection practices shall allow for fair access to all students seeking membership.

    2. Pledge activities shall be conducted in such a manner as to respect the dignity and self-esteem of each pledge both on and off campus.

    3. Greek organizations shall conduct themselves both on and off campus in ways that reflect favorably on the college and do all in their power to eradicate negative behaviors.

    4. Greek organizations shall foster attitudes and practices that respect individual differences in behavior, opinion, and practice.

    5. Greek organizations shall foster attitudes and encourage the achievement of academic excellence by all of its members.

    6. Greek organizations shall follow practices which uphold the dignity of all human beings and avoid practices that are sexist or racist in character.

    7. Members and officers of Greek organizations shall be responsible both individually and collectively for the activities of all of their members both on and off campus at all organizationally sponsored events.

    B. Grievance Procedure. A grievance may be filed by anyone and submitted to the committee chairperson or sent to the Campus Hearing Board c/o Student Life. Grievances must be filed within two weeks of the alleged violation. The committee will make the necessary investigation which includes notification of the organization involved. They will then decide responsibility by a simple majority vote.

    C. Sanctions. The following sanctions may be imposed by the Campus Hearing Board upon individuals or the entire organization:

    1. First offense

    a. Damage to personal property:

    i. Written apology to party involved with a copy sent to chairperson of the Social Fraternity/Sorority Hearing Board.

    ii. Make proper restitution (financial).

    iii. Perform a service project to party involved approved by the Hearing Board.

    iv. Organizational fine: $5 per member payable to Campus Hearing Board (includes whole membership and not just parties involved).

    b. Damage to public property:

    i. Written apology to local newspaper with a copy sent to the Hearing Board.

    ii. Make proper restitution.

    iii. Perform a public service project approved by the Hearing Board.

    iv. Organizational fine: $5 per member payable to the Campus Hearing Board.

    c. Public embarrassment to the college:

    i. Written apology to Luther College students and administration as well as the public with a copy sent to the Hearing Board.

    ii. Perform a public service project approved by the Hearing Board.

    iii. Organizational fine: $5 per member payable to the Campus Hearing Board.

    d. Infringement on pledge’s civil rights (drinking, hazing, etc.):

    i. Loss of advertising privileges, fund-raising activities, and self-sponsored campus events.

    ii. Luther College service project approved by the Hearing Board.

    iii. Organizational fine: $5 per member payable to the Campus Hearing Board.

    2. Second offense

    a. Damage to personal property

    i. Same as first offense with the following exception: Organizational fine —$10 per member payable to the Campus Hearing Board.

    b. Damage to public property:

    i. Same as first offense with the following exception: Organizational fine—$10 per member.

    c. Public embarrassment to the college:

    i. Same as first offense with the following exception: Organizational fine—$10 per member.

    d. Infringement on a pledge’s civil rights:

    i. Loss of next pledge class.

    3. Third offense

    a. Organization: Recommendation for immediate revocation of charter.

    b. Additional information:

    i. Second offense does not have to be under the same category of the first offense.

    ii. Organizational fines must be submitted to Campus Hearing Board within five days from the date of judgment with penalty being the suspension of one’s charter until payment is due.

  • Hazing

    Luther is concerned about the emotional, psychological, and physical health and well-being of its students. According to Luther’s mission statement, “As people of all backgrounds, we embrace diversity and challenge one another to learn in community, to discern our callings, and to serve with distinction for the common good … we strive to be a community where students, faculty, and staff are enlivened and transformed by encounters with one another.”

    Hazing, by its very nature, is an activity that is counter to Luther’s mission statement. Student organizations, teams, ensembles and groups are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the mission statement and the Code of Conduct, which follows in part:

    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 … 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.

    Any form of hazing is unacceptable and is in direct conflict with institutional values related to the rights and dignity of students, all of whom have the right to belong to organizations, teams, ensembles and groups without risk of danger or humiliation that hazing can produce. Consent to hazing is never a defense to a violation of this policy. The express or implied consent of the victim will note a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing by any community member are not neutral acts; they are violations of this rule. Additionally, hazing can occur in a variety of settings including on and off campus and in both private and public spaces.

    Luther expects its students to be familiar with the Mission Statement, Code of Conduct and the Hazing Policy. Violations of the policy will be addressed through the College’s disciplinary process and may result in loss of recognition, forfeiture of competition, or other sanctions. Officers and members of organizations, teams, ensembles and groups may be held individually responsible for violations of the hazing policy. Hazing can disrupt a student’s learning and social experiences by negatively interfering with classroom, organizational, residential and workplace activities.

    New members of organizations, teams, ensembles and groups can expect to participate in educational and fun activities that build teamwork and camaraderie among all members. Such activities are intended to create a sense of identity and commitment within a group and are generally acceptable and encouraged. Students should check with the appropriate staff, advisors, sponsors, and/or coaches if there is any question about an activity constituting hazing. All organizations, teams, ensembles and groups are recommended to review the Constructive Team Building Ideas.

    There are two primary conditions that create a hazing dynamic:

    1. New members often wish to be accepted, either formally or informally, into any group, and will submit to hazing in order to be included. Because of this, consent to be hazed does not excuse hazing. Students have died or been seriously injured as a result of participating in activities to which they have “consented.” The psychological pull to be accepted is so strong that hazing victims cannot be expected to resist hazing, even if the hazing is presented as optional. That this pull can be so coercive should make this need to prohibit this conduct, to any degree, undeniably clear.
    2. Any activity that places new members in a subservient position to experienced members creates an unhealthy and unsafe power dynamic in which control has been yielded to the experienced member. New members in any organization should expect to be introduced, oriented, and trained about the organization, team, ensemble and group mission/values/traditions, but membership in any experience that puts a new member in a lesser role, unrelated to the original conditions for membership or mission, is inappropriate and unfair to the new members. Any activities of membership should be equally shared among experienced and new members.
    Definition

    Luther College prohibits hazing by individuals or organizations, teams, ensembles and groups and defines it as follows:

    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.

    Though it would be impossible to list all behavior that could be deemed to be hazing, the following are some typical examples of hazing and are prohibited:

    • Any physical act of violence expected of, or inflicted upon, another
    • Any physical activity expected of, or inflicted upon, another, including calisthenics
    • Pressure or coercion of another to consume any legal or illegal substance
    • Making available unlawful substances
    • Excessive fatigue or sleep deprivation as a result of any activities
    • Forced exposure to the weather
    • Kidnapping, forced road trips, and abandonment
    • Required carrying of or possessing of a specific item or items
    • Servitude (expecting a new member to do the tasks of an experienced member)
    • Costuming (required dress) and significant alteration of appearance
    • Line-ups and berating
    • Coerced lewd conduct
    • Degrading games, activities or public stunts
    • Interference with academic pursuits
    • Violation of College Code of Conduct
    • Assignment of illegal and unlawful activities

    Alleged violations of this policy will result in campus disciplinary action and may be subject to criminal prosecution. Any retaliation against any person who reports, is a witness to, or is involved with or cooperates with the adjudication of hazing is strictly prohibited. Student disruption to classroom, workplace, and other functions as a result of any hazing activity may result in removal from class or the workplace.

    Reporting Hazing

    Luther community members may report acts of hazing whether directly experienced or observed to Campus Safety and Security or the Student Life Office. Reporters may provide anonymous reports of hazing activities but must include specific information related to the organization, team, or group; the time and date of the alleged hazing; the location; and a description of the activities. The description should be written with specific details as to allow a proper investigation to take place.

    Iowa State Statute on Hazing (708.10)

    1. a. A person commits an act of hazing when the person intentionally or recklessly engages in any act or acts involving forced activity which endanger the physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any organization operating in connection with a school, college, or university. Prohibited acts include, but are not limited to, any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, forced confinement, or any other forced activity which endangers the physical health or safety of the student.

    b. For purposes of this section, "forced activity" means any activity which is a condition of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, an organization, regardless of a student's willingness to participate in the activity.

    2. A person who commits an act of hazing is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.

    3. A person who commits an act of hazing which causes serious bodily injury to another is guilty of a serious misdemeanor.

  • Human Subjects Review Board/Surveys and Research

    Students, and other participants, should be aware of their rights and potential outcomes when participating in any survey or research.  To that end, any human-subjects-related research and survey conducted at the college must have prior approval from the Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB).  For more information or approval requests, contact Stephanie Travers, Associate Professor of Psychology, x1254, [email protected]

  • Medical Leave of Absence

    When a student experiences a serious medical or psychological problem while enrolled as a student in a Luther program, he or she may request to take a voluntary medical leave-of-absence. If approved by the Student Life Office, the student will leave campus (or study group) immediately, be granted grades of “W” in all enrolled courses (even if the normal deadline for withdrawal without academic penalty has passed), and will be obligated to adhere to the readmission requirements outlined below if he or she desires to return to Luther after the problem has been treated and resolved.

    Similarly, the college may require a student to take a medical leave-of-absence if, in the judgment of the Student Life Office, the student:

    1. Poses a threat to the lives or safety of himself/herself or to other members of the Luther community, or

    2. Has a medical or psychological problem which cannot be properly treated in the college setting, or

    3. Has evidenced a medical condition or behavior that seriously interferes with the student’s ability to function and/or seriously interferes with the educational pursuits of other members of the Luther community.

    (Note: In making the decision to require a student to take a medical leave, the Student Life Office must act out of concern for the student and his or her rights, concern for other students, and concern for the college as a whole. The Student Life Office will consider whether the college is able to provide the level of care and guidance needed, whether there is a likelihood that the student will pose a threat to himself/herself or others and/or to what extent the student seriously interferes with the rights of others in the community to carry on their educational pursuits.)

    For both voluntary and required leaves, the policy on refunds contained in the catalogue will apply.

    While on medical leave, the student must absent him or herself from campus (or study group) and abide by the policy for student presence on campus while a student is separated from the college contained elsewhere in this Handbook.

    Readmission Requirements after Medical Leave of Absence

    1. Duration and Deadlines

    If a student leaves Luther for reasons of health, normally at least one full fall or spring semester (not counting the term in which the leave was granted) must pass before the student may be allowed to return to Luther. Students must apply for readmission through the Student Life Office. The complete readmission application (see #3 below) must be received at Luther no later than October 1 for readmission in the J-Term or spring semester and June 1 for readmission in the fall semester.

    2. Treatment

    During a medical leave of absence, the college expects the student to undergo professional health-care treatment as the primary method of resolving the initial problem. Failure to seek ongoing treatment will raise serious doubt as to the student’s readiness to return, and in such cases the college may withhold readmission until appropriate treatment has been received and documented. Luther expects that ill health which results in a medical leave must be treated satisfactorily in order for the student to return to the intellectual and emotional demands of a college campus.

    Luther also requires that the student’s off-campus primary health care provider make contact with the Student Life Office and discuss the nature of the problem that led to the student’s taking medical leave. To facilitate this communication, the student must provide written releases to both parties to communicate freely with each other. This communication must occur prior to the beginning of the student’s treatment to ensure there is clarity regarding the medical and/or psychological problems that need to be addressed.

    3. Readmission Process

    A student wishing to return from a medical leave must initiate a request (see deadlines in #1 above) for readmission by writing a letter to the Student Life Office detailing what has been accomplished during the absence.

    Accompanying the letter must be:

    A. Written documentation from an appropriate health-care professional (physician, psychiatrist or psychologist).

    The supporting documentation from the health-care professional should be directed to the Student Life Office and should address at minimum the following questions:

    1. What were the reasons the student saw you?

    2. How often did you meet and what were the range of dates the student was seen for care?

    3. What gains were made?

    4. Do you feel the student is able to handle the intellectual, physical and personal demands of being a full-time resident student at Luther?

    5. Are there any special conditions under which the student should be readmitted?

    B. Any additional documentation requested by the Student Life Office relevant to the student’s application.

    C. Readmission interview to be completed in advance with the Student Life Office and other consultants.

    4. Readmission Decision

    The Student Life Office reviews the application materials and makes the final decision about whether the medical problems necessitating a medical leave have been adequately addressed and that there is a reasonable assurance that such a health crisis will not recur. The Student Life Office may also have the application reviewed by appropriate Luther staff who will add their recommendations as necessary.

    The Student Life Office communicates the decision to the student. The decision to readmit a student from a medical leave of absence is a provisional judgment that may be reversed within the first term if the health crisis has not been satisfactorily resolved. When permission to return is granted, special conditions or requirements will be outlined at the time. Upon return, the student will be expected to meet periodically with the Assistant Dean and Health Resources Advocate or another representative. Similarly, it is advisable that the student establish a professional relationship with a member of either the Counseling Services (or off-campus provider) and/or Student Health Services during the first term.

  • Nondiscrimination Statement

    It is the policy of Luther College to provide equal educational opportunities and equal access to facilities for all qualified persons. The college does not discriminate in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal or state law.

  • Personal Leave of Absence

    Students who wish to interrupt their normal attendance pattern to pursue nonacademic endeavors are permitted to take a personal leave of absence for one or more semesters. Students often take such a leave to pursue an internship, to work, to care for family, to volunteer their services to nonprofit organizations, to participate in a regional or national election campaign, etc. Students wishing to take such a leave should contact the Student Life Office as far in advance as possible to project the personal leave. During the semester(s) of personal leave, normal billing at Luther will be curtailed, and the student will be required to post a fully refundable financial deposit with Financial Services to bind the student’s plan to return in the return semester projected. Paying the deposit confirms the leave and maintains the student’s eligibility for financial aid and housing and course registration priorities for the return semester.

    While there is no firm deadline for projecting a personal leave of absence, students should project the leave before the beginning of classes in a semester; a personal leave may not be projected after classes have begun, and students leaving Luther classes have begun are subject to loss of academic credit and full or partial loss of tuition (see “Refunds” in the catalogue). Note also that no transfer credit can be given for any non-Luther courses that a student may take while on a personal leave of absence. Students wishing to transfer credit from another institution must be approved for Itinerant Status in accordance with the procedures and deadlines outlined in the catalogue. All questions regarding personal leave of absence should be directed to the Student Life Office.

  • Religious Groups, Organizations, and Activities at Luther College

    Luther College is an educational institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), independently incorporated under the state laws of Iowa. The regular meeting of the corporation is held at the time of the biennial churchwide assembly of the ELCA and acts to approve amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, and ratify election of members to the Board of Regents. The following policies of the college in respect to religious groups, organizations, and activities on its campus as well as the ministry are consistent with its denominational identity.

    A. Luther College affirms the ecumenical concerns and interdenominational relationships of the ELCA and seeks to promote knowledge of and respect for all religious beliefs. Its practices of interfaith religious services and activities will be consistent with the policies of the ELCA.

    B. The college desires to cooperate with local congregations of all denominations in ministering to students of each such denomination enrolled at Luther College. The college will also assist those congregations in their ministry to students by publicizing congregational worship services and programs designed to serve those students.

    C. The college reserves the right as a church institution to determine which religious organizations, groups, and activities are consistent with its ecumenical goals and to promote their growth and function while at the same time reserving the right to limit access to the campus to groups and organizations which it deems inconsistent with these goals.

    D. Christian ministry and teaching on the Luther campus shall be conducted only by those clergy or lay church leaders who are employed by the college or are formally invited by the proper authorities of the college for that purpose. No advocate of any religious faith or persuasion may have access to the campus for the purpose of propagating that belief without formal permission from a campus pastor.

    E. Weddings.  Facilities at Luther College are not available for wedding ceremonies.  However, wedding receptions may be scheduled.  Contact the Catering department for information on venues, costs, and
    available dates.

  • Student Activities Participation Eligibility Requirements

    Luther College provides a variety of educational, social, spiritual, and service organizations to which students may belong. Participation in these organizations is encouraged as a means of developing leadership skills, improving academic and social skills, and becoming an active member of the Luther community.

    Eligibility Requirements:

    1. Equal Opportunity. It is the policy of Luther College to provide equal opportunity for all qualified persons in its educational programs and activities. The college does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, handicap, national origin, age, sex, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities.
    2. Eligibility. Full-time student status is required for participation in student organizations and college-sponsored activities. Students may participate when groups continue activities (such as group tours) immediately after the regular semester calendar, or in January. In such cases, the student must have been enrolled as a full-time student for the previous semester. Exceptions to the full-time status include situations where students are in academic transition to graduation and do not need full credit loads to graduate. The Dean for Student Life may grant other exceptions for part-time student participation. The faculty committee that monitors academic progress may restrict participation in recognized campus organizations or activities for any student who has been dismissed or is on academic probation. Participation in intercollegiate athletics is also subject to the eligibility requirements established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). Please consult with intercollegiate athletics for specific requirements.
    3. Non-Students. Most student organizations, activities, and access to privileges within the college community are intended for enrolled and degree-seeking students. The vice presidents may authorize exceptions that allow participation of non-students (includes the category of community enrolled and reduced rate students) for events, activities and organizations within their respective administrative areas.
  • Student Presence on Campus While Separated from the College

    Students who have been separated from the college through academic dismissal, suspension for disciplinary reasons, or for medical reasons do not have the rights and privileges accorded to full-time enrolled Luther students. Such students are expected to absent themselves from campus and to visit only with permission, given in advance, by the Student Life Office. Failure to abide by this expectation may adversely affect the decision to readmit a student.

  • Student Senate

    Luther College Student Senate Constitution

    Preamble: Recognizing that the responsibility of organized Student Government at Luther College currently resides in the Student Senate and its officers, the following document is intended as a guide for the effective operation of that group.

    Student Senate Mission Statement

    Student Senate is the primary means for students’ participation in the governance of the Luther College community.  Our mission is to serve Luther students and student organizations by providing them with resources to achieve their goals and to connect faith with learning and service with responsibility.

    I. Name

    The name of this organization shall be the Student Senate.

    II. Eligibility

    All full-time Luther students are eligible for membership on Student Senate.

    III. Duties of the Student Senate

    A. Serves as a forum for student concerns and opinions. Holds at least one public open forum discussion per semester on any item of interest to student life.

    B. Makes recommendations to the Campus Life Committee on changes in the Luther Code.

    C. Serves as a consulting body on all matters affecting students for Student Life staff, administrators, and faculty committees. (Makes recommendations on and interpretations of existing regulations in the Student Handbook to those persons and collects and evaluates student opinion about student issues.)

    D.  Meets with the Luther College President twice per semester to discuss important college-wide issues.

    E. Selects six of its members to serve on the Faculty Campus Life Committee and serves as a consulting body for that committee.

    F. Appropriates expenditures from the Student Senate account.

    G. Develops and implements programs it feels are necessary and proper in benefiting the student body, the college, and/or the Decorah community.

    H. Directs and assigns committee responsibilities.

    IV. Membership

    A. The following officers shall be elected in the spring semester prior to their taking office.

    1. Student Senate President

    2. Student Senate Vice President

    3.  Student Senate Secretary

    4.  Student Senate Treasurer 

    B. The following 30 positions constitute Student Senate:

    President
    Vice President
    Secretary

    Treasurer

    Student Activities Council President
    Luther Congregation President
    Senior Class Representatives (3)
    Junior Class Representatives (3)
    Sophomore Class Representatives (3)
    First Year Class Representatives (3)
    Student Liaison to City Council
    Diversity Center Representative to the Board of Regents
    Diversity Center Representatives (5)
    Wellness Representative
    Inter-Greek Council Representative
    Student Academic Support Center and Americans with Disabilities Act Representative
    Environmental Representative

    Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Representative

    C.  Notes on Senate Positions.

    1. The President and Vice President run as a pair for election.

    2. Class representatives for the senior, junior, and sophomore classes are elected in the spring on a date selected by Senate. Candidates will need to be of the designated class standing for the following fall, per credit hours as defined by the Registrar’s Office.

    3. Class representatives for the first year class are intended to be one representative from each hall, and elected on a date in the fall determined by Residence Life.

    4. The Diversity Center Representative to the Board of Regents is appointed by the Diversity Council. (The Diversity Council determines a specific process for this position and the other five appointments, which could be elections.)

    5. The Diversity Center Representatives are appointed by the Diversity Council. These positions, that is, the composition of representations (not the individual persons), are to be approved by Senate.

    6. The Wellness Representative is appointed via a process determined by the wellness program.

    7. The Inter-Greek Council (IGC) Representative is appointed by IGC.

    8. The Student Academic Support Center (SASC) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Representative is appointed by a process determined by SASC.

    9. The Environmental Representative is appointed via a process determined by the Environmental Studies Program.

    10. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Representative is appointed via a process determined by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

    11. Except as noted with the first-year representatives, the intent is that all other positions are elected or appointed in the spring for the following year.

    V. Meetings and Procedures

    A. The Senate shall meet at least two times every month during the months of October, November, December, February, March, April, and May, and at other times on the call of the President, vote of the Assembly, or by petition of ten or more Senate members.

    B. A quorum shall be necessary to conduct business with a majority of the membership constituting a quorum.

    C. All Senate meetings shall be open to the public.

    D. The minutes of each meeting shall be made available via media as determined by Senate.

    E. Notification of each meeting shall be published in at least one college publication prior to the meeting.

    F. The Senate may form ad hoc committees at its discretion.

    G. The Senate shall in conjunction with its advisor appropriate expenditures from the Student Senate account.

    H. Attendance is required at all Senate meetings, however, in such cases when a member must miss a meeting, that member is required to notify any Senate officer before the meeting.

    I. A Senate member is allowed three (3) absences a year. After missing twice a warning will be given, and a fourth absence constitutes action by the Senate which can follow Section VIII and/or X of the Constitution on recall.

    J. A member who knows they are going to miss a Senate meeting may ask a proxy to represent them (which does not count as an absence), however, proxies may not vote on motions and it should be understood that proxies should not be used more than 3 times within the school year.

    K. Although it is on the honor of each member to report sickness, sickness will count as one of the three absences.

    VI. Election Procedures for Student Senate Officers and other Positions

    A. Time of the Elections

    1. Officers for the Senate shall be selected in spring elections prior to the school year in which they take office.

    2. The campus-wide election shall be held on “Reading Day” in the spring. In the absence of “Reading Day” Senate shall determine another acceptable date.

    B. Applying for Office

    1 . Applications for each office will be available in the Student Life Office one month before the election.

    2. The deadline for returning applications is two weeks before the election.

    C. Election Committee

    1. The Student Senate President shall organize an election committee at the beginning of spring semester..

    2. At least two of the members of this committee should be of at least sophomore standing or above.

    3. The advisor to the Student Senate or his/her designee, shall be a member of this committee and oversee voting on election day.

    4. The election committee shall annually review the "Election Guidelines," revise as needed, and present them to the Senate annually prior to the election process.

    5. The Election Committee is responsible for the following duties:

    a. To make sure the “Election Guidelines” are followed and carried out by the candidates and the committee.

    b. To nominate a slate of possible candidates for the Senate, realizing that nominating is only a form of encouragement and that one doesn’t have to be nominated in order to run for office.

    c. To produce the Senate Campaign/Election Newspaper, separate from the campus newspaper, which, at minimum, shall include the list of declared candidates. This newspaper must be made available to the Luther community at least 3-4 days before the election.

    d. To sponsor (and advertise) an "elections" open forum. This must be held at least 2-3 days before the election, and will provide, but not necessarily require, the opportunity for candidates to meet other students.

    e. To make sure candidate "position statements" are present at the voting booths on election day. Candidates will be provided the opportunity, but not be required, to provide a picture.

    VII. Vacancy of a Student Senate Office

    A. In the case of a vacancy in the position of President of the Senate, the Vice President shall assume the duties and responsibilities of that office.

    B. If vacancies occur in the positions of Vice President of the Senate or Secretary/Treasurer, they shall be filled by a special campus-wide election conducted by the Senate.

    C. Other Senate vacancies. Student Senate shall determine on an "as needed" basis, the manner by which they fill vacant Senate or committee seats as they become available. While elections of some form are an option, they are not required.

    VIII. Recall of Student Senate Officer

    If any of the officers fail to meet the duties and responsibilities of their positions, they may be recalled by a three-fourths vote of the Student Senate members. Such a ballot may be taken upon the formal presentation of a petition bearing the signatures of one-fifth of the student members of the Senate.

    IX. Membership of Campus Life Committee

    A. The following six Student Senators are the student members of the Campus Life Committee:

    President

    Diversity Center Representative to the Board of Regents

    Four additional members selected from among the Senators

    X. Election Procedures for Student Members to College Committees

    A. Student Senate will elect and appoint internal and external committees as needed.

    B. Although most committees will involve senators, Senate may decide to solicit non-senators for some committees. Depending on timelines, practicality, and nature of the position, Senate will decide whether or not to give public notice regarding these opportunities.

    C. Senate, by three-fourths vote, may recall committee members for failure to fulfill responsibilities.

    XI. Board of Regents Representatives

    A. The student representatives to the Board of Regents shall consist of:

    1. Student Senate President
    2. Luther College Congregation President
    3. Student Activities Council President
    4. Diversity Center Representative to the Board of Regents

    B. The student representatives to the board shall attend all meetings of the board and shall attend the particular committee meeting of which each representative is a member.

    C. These representatives shall be prepared to present a report to the Senate at the calling of the Senate President.

    XII. Amendment Procedures

    A. Amendments to the “Student Senate Constitution Procedures” shall be accepted by a three-fourths vote of the Student Senate and shall become an official part of this document at that time.

    B. Any amendment that changes the Senate Election Procedures for student members of the Senate must be sent to the Campus Life Committee for approval before it becomes an official part of this document.

    College Governance - Student Input
    Students have had a long and healthy tradition of participation in the workings of Luther College. In May 1997, the faculty voted to restructure the governance system and eliminated numerous permanent committees. This also eliminated many permanent student committee positions. Some of the traditional committee input from students will be replaced by involvement on ad hoc committees, departmental committees, special appointments, or newly-defined subcommittees. Student Senate appoints six seats for the Campus Life Committee. There are also four student representatives to the Board of Regents. Students interested in participation and governance issues should contact the Student Senate president, or the Student Senate advisor, located in the Student Life Office.

  • Student Worker Responsibilities

    Work Assignments
    Student work awards are made based on the assumption that each student is enrolled full-time and will be on the Luther College campus during the semester(s) for which work is awarded. January term is included with second semester awards unless other arrangements are made. Should students decide to participate in academic programs off campus or co-curricular activities which make it impossible to complete their work awards, they will be expected to notify the Student Employment Office and their supervisor.

    Scheduling and Performance
    Every effort will be made to coordinate work hours with each student’s class schedule and the work needs of the college. The Student Employment Office will provide assistance to students who have not secured work after making a reasonable attempt on their own. Students, as employees, are expected to fulfill the responsibilities of their work assignments.

    Absences
    If for any reason students are unable to work on a given day, they must notify their supervisors in advance of their usual reporting time. In certain departments, students may be required to find a replacement. Failure to show up without notice is grounds for disciplinary action.

    Termination/Reprimands/Appeals
    Students who wish to reduce or terminate their work assignment before the end of a semester or academic year may do so by notifying their supervisors. Generally, two-week notice is requested in order to allow sufficient time to find a suitable replacement.

    Student work assignments may also be terminated by supervisors for just cause, including reasons such as refusal to work, violation of job rules, insubordination, habitual tardiness, unexcused absences, misconduct, endangerment to life and/or property, possession of alcohol or drugs, working under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or deliberate actions which make equipment function improperly.

    Generally, students will be informed in writing by their supervisors of any inappropriate behavior, with copies of the reprimand sent to the student and the Student Employment Office. Students for whom three reprimands are issued in a school year will be terminated from employment.  A student may be terminated without written reprimand if the nature of the inappropriate behavior warrants immediate dismissal.  Luther College is not responsible for helping terminated students find other work assignments or replacing any unearned work-study earnings with other forms of financial aid.

    Students may appeal termination decisions by submitting an appeal to the Student Employment Office. The Director of Financial Aid is responsible for gathering information reflecting both student and supervisor perspectives and forwarding it to the Student Employment Committee for review.

    The appeal process may result in: reinstatement of work, immediate reassignment without penalty, placement on a work-study waiting list for possible reassignment, or forfeiture of the right to any student-work assignment.

    Payment
    Student workers are required to complete I-9 forms and state and federal W-4 forms prior to starting in their work study position. The I-9 form need only be completed once while at Luther. It is the responsibility of each student to have valid W-4 forms and I-9 forms filed with the Student Employment Office. If a W-4 form is not received, a figure of zero (0) allowance will be used in calculating tax withholdings. Timecards will not be processed until the I-9 form is completed and a "stop work" notice will be issued for students who have neglected this obligation.

    Students are generally paid on an hourly basis. By law, students must record only those hours actually worked and those hours must be recorded on the actual date worked. Timecards for previous months must be submitted to the supervisor no later than the second day of each month. Cards submitted after the second day of each month may not be processed until the following month.

    Students will receive earnings statements on approximately the 14th day of each month reflecting work completed through the last day of the previous month. Statements will also indicate year-to-date earnings. Students should monitor year-to-date earnings closely to ensure that the amount earned matches the amount on their timecard. Students should also monitor their earnings so they do not exceed their assigned work allocation.

    Finally, each student is encouraged to a complete a direct deposit form so earnings can be deposited electronically to the proper account.

  • Voter Registration Information

    Luther College is required by the federal government and by the State of Iowa to provide information to students on voting and voter registration. Luther will assist in registering new voters and will provide voter registration forms.

    Students who are U.S. citizens have the following options for choosing the place of residence when they register to vote:

    • Students may register to vote using the school address as their place of residence. Luther students, irrespective of their home state or county, may register to vote as a resident of Winneshiek County, Iowa by completing the Iowa Voter Registration Form. Completed forms should be sent to the Winneshiek County Auditor’s Office, 210 W. Main St., Decorah, Iowa 52101.
    • Students may register to vote in the state and county of their home address. Iowa residents should complete the Iowa Voter Registration Form and submit it to the county auditor’s office at their home address. Students from other states should complete the National Voter Registration Form and submit it to the state election commission.

    Students are encouraged to obtain additional information about voting at:

    United States Election Assistance Commission
    National Voter Registration Form
    Iowa Voting and Elections Information
    Iowa Voter Registration Form

    Students may also obtain additional assistance and information from the Student Life Office.

Last Reviewed: Feb 23rd, 2016