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 Academic Catalog, Emergency Procedure Guide, 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 engagement and welfare on campus. The Campus Life Committee works in conjunction with members of the Student Engagement 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 Engagement Office, Dahl Centennial Union 2nd floor, 563-387-1020, [email protected].
I. Policy Statement on Alcohol and Other Drugs
Luther College takes seriously the abuse of alcohol and chemical substances. This includes the illegal use of alcohol, specifically alcohol consumption by individuals under the age of 21. As an educational institution, we place a great deal of responsibility on students who are of legal age to make the decision whether or not to consume alcohol and if they choose to consume alcohol, to do so responsibly. College students also have a great deal of freedom; however, with freedom comes responsibility.
The responsible student will:
The ultimate definition of responsible personal use is left to the discretion of Residence Life staff. Only students who have attained the legal drinking age of 21 years may possess or consume alcoholic beverages in private living quarters (student rooms, apartments, etc.). Peer pressure to use alcohol will not be tolerated. When in possession of or consuming alcohol, no students under the legal drinking age may be present; in this situation, all students present are at risk of violating the alcohol policy.
Students should note that the possession of alcoholic beverage containers, either full or empty, may be taken as a presumption of use and possession, and as such, may be considered policy violations. Students may also be held accountable, even if they do not have actual possession of alcohol, when they are present at alcohol-related events; commit actions due to alcohol intoxication; or are in “constructive” possession of alcohol (parallel to the Iowa Code on possession) or illegal substances.
Most alcohol policy violations are handled via Informal Administrative Hearings as outlined in the Luther Code of Conduct.
When, in the judgment of a staff person, a student is transported for medical attention or monitoring in response to alcohol or other chemical use, the involved student will be responsible for any costs incurred.
II. Luther Code of Conduct: Statement on Drugs and Drug-Related Paraphernalia
Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV of the Code of Conduct: Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law, including the use or possession of drug-related paraphernalia [Article III(B)(18)].
Students should be advised that local police authorities are involved with investigation and prosecution when illegal use or possession is suspected. The typical disciplinary action on campus is detailed in the Point System Grid. If a student is found to be selling drugs, or the evidence on campus suggests distribution of drugs to others, the college employs a “no tolerance” stance.
III. Luther Code of Conduct: Statement on Smoking and Smoking Devices
Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV of the Code of Conduct: Smoking of cigarettes, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and other forms of tobacco under the provisions of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act. This act prohibits smoking inside all buildings, outside all buildings, and on all college property including, but not limited to, sidewalks, parking lots and roads (and inside vehicles located on such grounds), athletic fields, and on any other college property. The possession of pipes, hookahs, and other smoking devices is also prohibited, as is the sale or distribution of tobacco products [Article III(B)(20)].
Luther College has long recognized that smoking is a serious health hazard. All members of the Luther community are asked to remind persons who are smoking that we are required to comply with the provisions of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act; the Act stipulates that the campus is entirely smoke-free. Persons who have been reminded and continue to smoke will be reported to Campus Safety and Security; a $50 citation may be given to individuals after adequate warning. Finally, students, faculty, and staff members may receive information on smoking-cessation programs from the Wellness Program Office.
IV. Luther Code of Conduct: Statement on Alcohol
Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV of the Code of Conduct: Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by Luther College regulations), or public intoxication. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one years of age. This policy applies to behavior on Luther College premises or at Luther College sponsored or supervised functions [Article III(B)(19)].
The Code of Conduct broadly identifies prohibited behavior with respect to alcohol possession and/or use. Specific interpretations and policy situations with respect to the policy follow:
Alcohol and alcohol-related violations include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
|•||Medical Amnesty / Good Samaritan exemption||0|
|A||Use or possession of an alcoholic beverage under the age of 21||1|
|B||Being in the presence of alcohol under the age of 21||1|
|C||Possession of an open container of alcohol in a non-approved public location||1|
|D||Possession of a fictitious or fraudulent ID||1|
|E||Guest policy violation||1|
|G||Failure to complete new-student online educational program on alcohol, drugs, healthy relationships and bystander intervention. Fall deadline is September 30. Spring deadline is February 28.||1|
|H||Possession of alcohol containers under the age of 21 (for example: cans, bottles, shot glasses, flasks, funnels, etc.)||1||May include prohibited item fine|
|I||Being in the presence of high-risk drinking (such as drinking games with alcohol, bongs, funnels)||1||May include prohibited item fine|
|J||*Hosting individuals in room where open containers of alcohol are in the presence of individuals under 21||1|
|K||*Missed sanction deadline||1|
|L||*Repeated alcohol or other drug violation within 3 months of incident (not including original incident month); points for new incident are assessed and an additional point is added to the total||1|
|M||*Use of a smoking device (e-cigarette, vaporizer, etc.) or smoking tobacco on college-owned property||1|
|N||Intoxicated individual (signs of internal consumption including disruptive behavior requiring a response from college or law enforcement official)||2|
|O||*Disruptive behavior (vomiting, loss of bodily functions, excessive noise, or deemed disruptive behaviors, etc)||2||Possible law enforcement involvement|
|P||*Disorderly conduct (failure to comply with college or law enforcement official)||2||Possible law enforcement involvement|
|Q||Being in the presence of an illegal drug substance citation (such as marijuana)||2||Possible law enforcement involvement|
|R||Use of a fictitious or fraudulent ID to purchase alcohol||3|
|S||Use or possession of hard alcohol (liquor) under the age of 21||3|
|T||*False activation of a fire alarm or tampering with safety equipment||3||Fine included|
|U||Hosting an event with high-risk drinking (such as drinking games with alcohol, bongs, funnels)||4||May include prohibited item fine|
|V||Providing alcoholic beverages to a student under the age of 21||4|
|W||Use or possession of marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia||4||Law enforcement involvement|
|X||Acute, emergency medical care when medical amnesty is not available||4|
|Y||*Engaging in a physical altercation||4||Possible law enforcement involvement|
|Z||*Destruction of property belonging to another student, the college, the city of Decorah or other public space, or privately owned property||5|
|AA||Possession of a keg, common source, or large quantities of an alcoholic beverage—regardless of age—on college-owned property||6|
|BB||Providing hard alcohol, by a legal-aged student, to a student under the age of 21||6|
|CC||Unlicensed sale of alcohol to another individual or individuals||6|
|DD||Use or possession of illegal drugs other than marijuana||8||Law enforcement involvement|
|EE||Illegal use of prescription medications, including without limitation the use of another's prescribed medications or illegal misuse of personally prescribed or over-the counter medications||8||Law enforcement involvement|
|FF||Distributing illegal drugs (including, but not limited to, marijuana) or other controlled substances (legal, prescription drugs)||9||Law enforcement involvement|
|GG||Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs (arrested for)||9||Law enforcement involvement|
|HH||Selling illegal drugs (including, but not limited to, marijuana) or other controlled substances (legal, prescription drugs)||10||Law enforcement involvement|
Corollary points are assessed above the base alcohol or other drug points. Such points are identified with an asterisk in the points grid. Incidents not involving alcohol will be assessed the published points.
For example, a student who has accepted responsibility (or been found responsible) for possession of an open container of alcohol as well as disorderly conduct would be assessed a total of 3 points for the incident.
|Other Sanctions||Disciplinary sanctions of suspension or expulsion may be relevant in some cases. Administrative hearing officers or the Luther College Hearing Board may also assign other sanctions, including the aforementioned sanctions, depending on the specific circumstances of the situation. That is, sanctions for cases more severe in magnitude can exceed the outcomes published in this grid. All possible sanctions are outlined in the Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook.|
Students can be eligible to have a point reduced from their personal points history when they have no further violations of the Luther College Policy on Alcohol and Drugs during the three months following the month of an incident when the college is in session.
Students who return after a disciplinary suspension after accumulating 10 or more points will return with 5 points on their personal points history.
An example: a student has accepted responsibility (or been found responsible) for a violation during September is assessed 2 points. If the student has no further violations for the remainder of the month of September or during the months of October, November, and December, the student would have one point removed from their points history.
|Accumulated points benchmarks|
|2||Educational sanction: Educational alcohol and/or drug program||$50 Fee|
|4||Educational sanction: Educational alcohol and/or drug program + conversation||$100 Fee|
|4||*Notification to parent(s)/legal guardian(s), academic advisor and/or department chair, coach, ensemble director, or designee|
|6||Educational sanction: Educational program||$125 Fee|
|6||Disclosure of points history to Center for Global Learning|
|6||Disclosure of points history and violations when disciplinary record is requested|
|7||Evaluation for substance abuse|
|7||Decrease in housing priority for next room draw|
|8||Educational sanction: to be determined on case by case basis||$150 Fee|
|9||Ineligible to have vehicle on campus (when associated with a driving-related violation)|
|10||Consideration of a disciplinary suspension or expulsion (to be determined by Luther College Hearing Board).|
|*Notifications continue for any points accumulated above 4 points for each occurrence and take place as and to the extent permitted under FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act).|
VII. Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy for Student Groups Traveling Off Campus
Luther College is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment free from alcohol and chemical abuse. Students should understand the importance of maintaining a healthy environment within the student organizations to which they belong. When student groups represent Luther College at official college-sponsored activities off campus, or when students make visits as part of classes off campus (including study abroad programs), they have the responsibility of being positive individual representatives of the college. Whenever groups travel off campus, members should be reminded that they are seen as representatives of Luther College. Membership in student groups recognized by Luther College is a privilege, and each student’s actions reflect on our community.
The Luther Code of Conduct specifically outlines jurisdiction for conduct which occurs off campus. The Code of Conduct states: “The Luther Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on Luther College premises, at Luther College sponsored programs and activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the Luther College Community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of initial visit as a prospective student through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment, even if his/her conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded. The Code of Conduct shall apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school or is suspended while a disciplinary matter is pending. The Dean of Student Engagement or designee shall decide whether the Code of Conduct shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis, at his/her sole discretion.”
With this in mind, the college encourages students to develop healthy habits and attitudes related to the use of alcohol and other drugs. Abstinence is always an appropriate option; moderation is acceptable if it does not violate either college policies or the law. The abusive, illegal, or irresponsible use of any drugs will not be tolerated.
It is the responsibility of students to be knowledgeable of the physical and mental effects of alcohol and other drugs and the risks associated with use. It is also the responsibility of students to be aware of other relevant college policies and federal, state, local, and international laws related to alcohol and other drugs use.
In the following policy, “group leader” is defined as the faculty or staff member responsible for the group, such as the instructor, advisor, coach, or music director. The group leader is expected to follow the same guidelines as the group.
Off-Campus Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies and Procedures
Students who are of legal drinking age are expected to act responsibly and adhere to the following guidelines:
Procedures for Off-Campus Alcohol or Other Drugs Violations
For alcohol and/or other drug violations occurring off campus, two separate student conduct processes may be used—either individually or in combination—to address alleged policy violations.
VIII. Medical Amnesty
Medical amnesty protects a student from policy violations when they are seeking help in an emergency. Medical Amnesty granted by the College for alcohol or drug sanctions will be granted to students who, in good faith, report, or experience themselves, an alcohol or drug emergency that requires acute emergency care (i.e. a transport to the emergency room). However, a student will not be granted protection under this policy if campus officials (e.g., residence life staff, campus safety) intervene beforehand.
Medical amnesty is not viewed as an avenue through which a student may escape responsibility, but rather as an opportunity to reflect on their decision-making process related to their use of alcohol and/or drugs. The goal of amnesty is to increase student awareness of the risks of alcohol or other drug overconsumption and to reduce the instances that require acute emergency care.
The medical amnesty policy is designed to encourage students to seek help in an alcohol or drug emergency without hesitating because of worry about receiving policy violation sanctions from the College. This policy also applies to someone who has been a crime victim, who also may be intoxicated and therefore reluctant to report the crime. If in doubt about a person's safety related to alcohol or drug use, seek help by calling Campus Safety and Security (563-387-2111) or 911.
Good Samaritan Statement
Students are encouraged to immediately seek medical or security assistance for students whose health and wellbeing may be at risk due to the overconsumption of alcohol and/or drugs. Taking responsibility for helping a student in need will always be viewed positively in any post-incident follow-up, including those incidents where the “Good Samaritan” and/or the person needing emergency assistance may have violated the College’s alcohol and other drugs policy. Please seek help by calling Campus Safety and Security (563-387-2111) or 911.