A. Charges and Student Conduct Hearings
1. Any member of the Luther College community may file charges against a student for violations of the Code of Conduct. A charge shall be prepared in writing whenever possible and directed to a Student Conduct Administrator. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably within ten class days. If a Complainant cannot or will not submit a written charge, the Student Conduct Administrator will prepare a written summary of the charge presented to him/her by the Complainant.
2. The Student Conduct Administrator may conduct a reasonable investigation to determine if the charges have merit and/or if the charges can be resolved administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the Student Conduct Administrator. The Student Conduct Administrator may decide among the following options:
a. The charges have no merit; no further action should be taken.
b. The charges have merit and may be administratively resolved by mutual consent of the involved parties on a basis acceptable to the Student Conduct Administrator. Such disposition shall be final, and there shall be no subsequent proceedings or appeals.
c. The charges have merit and are appropriate for an Administrative Hearing by a Student Conduct Administrator or a formal hearing before the Hearing Board.
d. There is no option for an appeal of sanctions if a student accepts responsibility in an administrative hearing. If a student denies responsibility, he/she may request a hearing before the Hearing Board.
3. Complaints arising from alleged misconduct in the residence halls shall be made in writing whenever possible to the appropriate Residence Hall Administrator. If a Complainant cannot or will not submit a written charge, the Residence Hall Administrator will prepare a written summary of the charge presented to him/her by the Complainant. Generally, when alleged misconduct occurs in the residence halls, the appropriate Residence Hall Administrator will serve as the Student Conduct Administrator and will consider the case according to the guidelines set forth in Article IV(A)(2)(a)-(b). If the charges cannot be resolved by mutual consent, but the Residence Hall Administrator has determined after reasonable investigation that the charges have sufficient merit to warrant action, the Residence Hall Administrator will conduct an Administrative Hearing.
4. All charges shall be presented to the Respondent in written form, whether prepared by the Complainant or the Student Conduct Administrator or Residence Hall Administrator. A time shall be set for a Student Conduct Hearing, not more than fifteen class days after the Respondent has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling of Student Conduct Hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Student Conduct Administrator for good cause.
5. Administrative Hearings are held by a Student Conduct Administrator for the vast majority of alleged conduct charges according to the following guidelines:
a. Prior to the Administrative Hearing, the Respondent will be informed of the charges in writing including the policy(ies) allegedly violated.
b. At the Administrative Hearing, the Respondent will be informed, as completely as possible, of all matters relating to the alleged violation(s). The Respondent will be provided with an explanation of the alleged misconduct, the policy(ies) violated, and the evidence; the possible disciplinary action that could be taken; the opportunity to respond to the charges; and the opportunity to present evidence contesting the charges. The Complainant will be provided an equal but separate opportunity to present evidence in support of the charges.
6. Administrative Hearings are also held for alleged conduct that occurs under the following:
a. At times when members of the Luther College Hearing Board are not available to convene a hearing (for example, during finals, break periods, January Term, or over the summer).
b. For students who are participating in off-campus programs or activities (for example, study abroad programs, music ensemble travel, off-campus organization trip), an Administrative Hearing may be held by the group leader of the program or his/her designee. Students may also be subject to disciplinary action upon their return to campus, regardless of the pendency, conduct or result of an Administrative Hearing.
7. The Hearing Board is composed of 11 persons:
· The Student Conduct Coordinator who serves as Chair of the Board;
· Five students (elected by the Student Senate following an application process coordinated by the Student Conduct Coordinator);
· Three members of the faculty who serve on the Campus Life Committee;
· One administrator at large (not a member of the Student Life Division staff);
· One member of the Student Life Division staff, appointed by the Vice President and Dean for Student Life
a. A quorum for the hearing board consists of seven persons with at least one student, one faculty member, and either the Student Conduct Coordinator or the Student Life Division representative. (If the student conduct coordinator is absent, the Student Life Division representative chairs the hearing.) In the absence of a quorum, the hearing will be rescheduled.
b. Faculty members are elected by the faculty, student members are elected by the Student Senate, and administrators are appointed by the Vice President and Dean for Student Life. Terms for faculty are three years and students serve for one year.
c. Students must have completed at least two terms at Luther before they are eligible to serve on the Hearing Board. Student members must be in good academic standing, and students who have been found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct by the Hearing Board are not eligible to serve as Hearing Board members.
d. No member of the board may be a practicing attorney.
e. The board shall meet at times determined by the Student Conduct Coordinator.
f. If the chair deems appropriate, the board may consult with an attorney for the board or invite an attorney for the board to be present during the hearing.
8. Hearing Board hearings shall be conducted according to the following guidelines except as provided by Article IV(A)(12) below:
a. Hearing Board hearings shall be conducted in private and are closed to the public.
b. The Complainant, Respondent and their advisors, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the Hearing Board hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations). Admission of any other person to the Hearing Board hearing shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the Hearing Board.
c. In Hearing Board hearings involving more than one Respondent, the Student Conduct Coordinator, at his or her discretion, may permit the Hearing Board hearings concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
d. The Complainant and the Respondent have the right to be assisted by one advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisor must be a current member of the Luther College community, except in cases brought pursuant to the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Offenses. The advisor serves in a support or advisory role. Except in cases covered by Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Offenses hearings, the advisor may not be an attorney. The Complainant and/or the Respondent is responsible for presenting his or her own information, and therefore, the advisor is not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any Hearing Board hearing. A student should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the Hearing Board hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor. The chair may establish reasonable ground rules for the procedure of the proceeding, including concerning the presentation of testimony or evidence, the procedure for questioning, and the conduct of advisors. A person or party who is disruptive or fails to adhere to procedural rules will be dismissed from the Hearing, and the Hearing will continue without that person’s presence.
e. The Complainant, the Respondent and the Chair of the Hearing Board may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information to the Hearing Board. Luther College will try to arrange the attendance of possible witnesses, if reasonably possible, and who are identified by the Complainant and/or Respondent at least two class days prior to the Hearing Board hearing. The Chair may decline to call a witness identified by the Respondent or Complainant if the Chair determines in his/her discretion that the witness’s testimony is likely to be irrelevant, unnecessary or insufficiently reliable. Witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the Hearing Board. Questions may be suggested by the Respondent and/or Complainant to be answered by each other or by other witnesses. The Chair of the Hearing Board will consider the advisability of such suggested questions and will determine, in his/her sole discretion, whether such questions will be posed. If so, the Chair of the Hearing Board will direct the question to the witness. This method is used to preserve the educational tone of the hearing and to avoid creation of an adversarial environment. Questions of whether potential information will be received shall be resolved at the discretion of the Chair of the Hearing Board. The Hearing Board does not hear from character witnesses.
f. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements (including Student Impact Statements) may be accepted as information for consideration by the Hearing Board at the discretion of the Chair.
g. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chair of the Hearing Board.
h. After the portion of the Hearing Board hearing concludes in which all pertinent information has been received, the Hearing Board shall determine by majority vote whether the Respondent has violated each section of the Code of Conduct for which the student has been charged and determine appropriate sanctions.
i. The Student Conduct Coordinator shall not vote to determine responsibility for a charge, but shall vote in the sanctioning phase of the hearing should the members of the Hearing Board be deadlocked in their decision. The deliberations of the Hearing Board shall be kept in strict confidence.
j. The Hearing Board’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Code of Conduct.
k. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Code of Conduct proceedings.
9. There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a recording, of all Hearing Board hearings (not including deliberations). Deliberations shall not be recorded. The record shall be the property of Luther College.
10. If a Respondent, who has received notice as set forth in this Code of Conduct, does not appear before a Hearing Board hearing, the information in support of the charges shall be presented and considered even if the Respondent is not present.
11. If a Complainant decides not to participate in a Hearing Board hearing, the Student Conduct Coordinator may or may not elect to present the information in support of the charges.
12. The Hearing Board may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Complainant, Respondent, and/or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, video recording, audio recording, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee to be appropriate.
1. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Code of Conduct:
a. Warning—A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
b. Probation—A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
c. Loss of Privileges—Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
d. Fines—Previously established and published fines may be imposed.
e. Restitution—Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
f. Discretionary Sanctions—Work assignments, essays, service to Luther College, or other related discretionary assignments. This includes referral for mental health evaluation and/or counseling, or substance abuse education, evaluation, and/or treatment at the student’s expense.
g. Residence Hall Suspension—Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
h. Residence Hall Expulsion—Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
i. No Contact or No Trespass Notices—No contact or no trespass notices may be issued in order to help assure that a member(s) of the college community is not subject to contact with the Respondent and/or person(s) found in violation of the Code of Conduct.
j. Luther College Suspension—Separation of the student from Luther College for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
k. Luther College Expulsion—Permanent separation of the student from Luther College.
l. Revocation of Admission and/or Degree—Admission to or a degree awarded from Luther College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of Luther College standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
m. Withholding Degree—Luther College may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.
2. More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
3. Records shall be kept on disciplinary situations and sanctions as follows:
a. Other than Luther College expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Upon graduation, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than residence hall expulsion, no contact or no trespass notices, Luther College suspension, Luther College expulsion, or revocation or withholding of a degree, upon application to the Student Conduct Coordinator. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than residence hall expulsion, no contact or no trespass notices, Luther College suspension, Luther College expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree shall be expunged from the student’s confidential record two years after final disposition of the case.
b. In accordance with the Clery Act, all records specified by the Clery Act will be kept for seven years. To the extent applicable law requires the maintenance of other records for a defined period of time, Luther College will comply with such legal requirements.
c. In situations involving both a Respondent(s) (or group or organization) and a student(s) claiming to be the victim of another student’s conduct, the records of the process and of the sanctions imposed, if any, shall be considered to be the education records of both the Respondent(s) and the student(s) claiming to be the victim because the educational career and chances of success in the academic community of each may be impacted.
4. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
a. Those sanctions listed above in Article IV(B)(1)(a)-(i).
b. Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.
c. Deactivation. Loss of all privileges, including Luther College recognition, for a specified period of time.
5. In each case in which a Student Conduct Administrator or the Hearing Board determines that a student and/or group or organization has violated the Code of Conduct, the sanction(s) shall be determined and imposed by a Student Conduct Administrator or the Hearing Board, respectively. In cases brought before the Hearing Board, the Hearing Board shall determine and impose sanctions. Following the Administrative Hearing or Hearing Board hearing, the Student Conduct Administrator shall advise the Respondent, group and/or organization (and a complaining student who believes he/she was the victim of another student’s conduct) in writing of its determination and of the sanction(s) imposed, if any.
C. Interim Suspension
1. In certain circumstances, the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee may impose a Luther College or residence hall suspension and/or refer a student for evaluation prior to an Administrative Hearing or a Hearing Board hearing.
2. Interim suspension may be imposed:
a. To ensure the safety and/or well-being of members of the Luther College community or preservation of Luther College property;
b. To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and/or well-being; or
c. If the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of Luther College.
3. During the interim suspension, a student shall be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other Luther College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee may determine to be appropriate.
4. The interim suspension does not replace the regular disciplinary process, which shall proceed on the schedule defined herein up to and through a Hearing Board hearing, if required. However, the student should be notified in writing of the interim suspension and the reasons for the suspension.
5. No Contact or No Trespass Notices may be issued in order to help assure that a member(s) of the college community is not subject to contact with the Respondent and/or person(s) found in violation of the Code of Conduct.
6. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee may refer a student to the college counseling staff and/or an independent mental health professional for evaluation, if there is reasonable belief that the student meets the previously noted criteria for interim suspension. At the Vice President and Dean for Student Life’s or his/her designee’s discretion, the student may be required to sign a release of information allowing the college to disclose to the mental health professional the student’s current behavior and reasons for referral. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee shall set the conditions for evaluation (such as time frame and reporting requirements). A student who fails to meet the conditions for evaluation may be withdrawn on an interim basis. Conditions of the evaluation include release of the evaluation information to the Vice President and Dean for Student Life or designee.
1. A decision reached by a Student Conduct Board may be appealed by the Respondent(s) or Complainant(s) to the Campus Appeals Board within five class days of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing, stating the basis for the appeal, and shall be delivered to the Student Conduct Coordinator or his/her designee.
2. Except as required to explain the basis of new information, an appeal shall be limited to a review of the verbatim record of the Student Conduct Board hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:
a. To determine whether the Student Conduct Board hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the Complainant a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information that the Code of Conduct was violated, and giving the Respondent a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to those allegations. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
b. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the Respondent was based on substantial information, that is, whether there were facts in the case that, if believed by the fact finder, were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Code of Conduct occurred.
c. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Code of Conduct which the student was found to have committed.
d. To consider new information or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, sufficient to alter a decision, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original Student Conduct Board Hearing.
3. If an appeal is upheld by the Campus Appeals Board, the matter shall be returned to the original Hearing Board or Student Conduct Administrator for re-opening of the case to allow reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanction(s). If an appeal is not upheld, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved.
4. The Campus Appeals Board is comprised of three members including one faculty member, typically the Chair of the Faculty Interest Committee; one student, typically the President of the Luther College Student Senate; and the Vice President and Dean for Student Life. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, an alternative designee may review the case if it is determined a conflict of interest may arise based upon the specified representation.