Code of Student Conduct
College policies are the result of a
continual process of review, careful consideration and consultation
by the Student Government Association, faculty, administrative
officers and College trustees who represent you and the College
as a whole. You are expected to know and abide by all College
policies stated in this handbook, the College catalog, residence
hall booklets, other program or building policies, policies
which may be made throughout the academic year, and state and
federal laws. Failure to abide by these standards of behavior
may result in disciplinary action.
Campus Conduct :: Code
of Student Conduct :: Collegial Rights
and Responsibilities :: Campus Regulations
Stephens College Student Conduct Code
The Code of Student Conduct is an annual publication of the Office of the Vice President for Student Services.
All undergraduate students at Stephens College are required to abide by the regularations, rules, policies, and procedures described here. The College reserves the right to revise its policies as it deems appropriate.
- The Stephens College Student Conduct Code (SCC) applies to any undergraduate student enrolled in or accepted in any academic program at Stephens College.
- The College has established these regulations and policies to ensure and protect the execution of its educational mission and to safeguard the interests of the Stephens College community.
- SCC policies and regulations apply to student conduct that occurs on campus or at any College-sponsored event. In addition, the College at its discretion may apply the standards in circumstances in which there has been a violation of the law or an act of misconduct that occurred in other locations when the behavior directly impacts the College community.
- Students who violate these regulations are subject to disciplinary action as described in the SCC.
- Students may be held accountable to both the College and to civil authorities for violations of the law as well as the SCC. Disciplinary action normally proceeds independently of criminal proceedings and will not be subject to challenge on the ground that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced.
- These regulations are articulated here in order to provide students with a general description of misconduct. This document is not intended to define prohibited conduct in exhaustive terms.
- A business day is defined as a day when College administrative offices are open.
- The SCC is not a contract. The College reserves the right to amend any provision at any time. The College will publish such amendments in relevant campus publications.
- The College may, in its sole discretion, attempt to resolve instances of student misconduct informally before invoking the procedures in the SCC.
- Behavior that may have been influenced by a student's mental state (regardless of the ultimate evaluation), or use of alcohol or drugs shall not limit the student’s responsibility for the consequences of her actions.
- The College will not assume responsibility for, nor participate in the collection of, privately incurred debts involving students.
- REGULATIONS FOR STUDENT CONDUCT AND SCHOLARSHIP.
- PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION AND REPRESENTATION. Violations of the SCC shall include but not be limited to:
Academic dishonesty, which includes but is not limited to:
a. Cheating - intentional use, and/or the attempted use of deception, fraud and/or misrepresentation of one's academic work;
b. Falsification - intentional forgery, misrepresentation and/or invention of any information or citation in any academic work;
c. Supporting or facilitating dishonesty - knowingly assisting another person to commit an act of academic dishonesty, including substituting for another person in an examination or representing another’s academic work as his/her own;
d. Plagiarism - knowingly representing the words or ideas of another person as one's own, or submitting, academic work completed by another person, including those available for commercial sale.
- Representing oneself as another person with or without that person's permission.
- Representing oneself as acting for or on behalf of the College, any student organization or any official College group without the explicit prior consent of the appropriate officials of the College, the student organization or student group.
- No student group may represent itself as acting on behalf of the College in the solicitation or collection of funds for any purpose without approval in advance by the appropriate College office.
- Tampering with or falsifying any College records, documents, computer files, storage units, terminals or programs that contain any type of College records.
- Unauthorized accessing of the records of any individual that are protected by the College's policies regarding privacy and confidentiality.
- Falsification or dishonesty, either orally or in writing, in response to charges brought before hearing boards or officials of the College.
- Refusal to provide identification upon the request of any properly identified official or employee of the College acting in performance of their duties.
- Altering, lending, or improperly possessing a College Identification Card. A College Identification Card believed to have been altered or to be in the possession of a person other than the owner may be confiscated by any student, staff or faculty member in the course of his/her charged work responsibilities.
- Misrepresentation, including submitting false time sheets or misuse of purchasing authority.
- CIVILITY, SAFETY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH. The following shall constitute violations of the SCC:
- "Harassment," which includes but is not limited to:
a. "Physical assault," which includes but is not limited to physical attack upon or physical interference with a person that prevents the conduct of his or her usual affairs; causes the person to fear for his or her physical safety or to suffer physical injury that includes but is not limited to hitting, kicking, spitting, or biting. The College is particularly concerned about incidents in which students are subject to physical assault in connection with their membership in a particular racial, religious, gender or sexual orientation group, disability or veteran status.
b. Behavior that interferes with the conduct of a person's usual affairs, including but not limited to the posting or distribution of threatening letters, the use of threatening language, harassing or threatening telephone calls or text messages, or vandalism of another person’s property or space. The College has particular concern about incidents in which students are subject to such conduct because of membership in a particular racial, religious, gender or sexual orientation group, disability or veteran status.
- "Hazing," which includes but is not limited to conduct associated with the initiation into any group that willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person.
- Sexual assault or any other uninvited behavior of a sexual nature.
- The improper use or possession or controlled substances or related paraphernalia, including, but not limited to:
a. The improper use, possession for the intent of sale, or distribution of any controlled substance.
b. The use or possession of drug paraphernalia, including but not limited to pipes, water pipes, bongs, roach clips, and vials.
c. The unauthorized use or possession of a hypodermic syringe, hypodermic needle, or any instrument adapted for the administration of controlled substances by injection.
- An intentional interruption or disturbance of the business of the College, including demonstrations that have not been registered with the Office of the Vice President of Student Services.
- Failure to comply with the directions of College officials who are acting in performance of their duties.
- Possession or use of fireworks, firearms, or other hazardous or dangerous weapons, including facsimiles of such weapons.
- False reports of fire or other dangerous situations or events, failure to report a fire to officials, or any intentional interference with the response of College or City officials to emergency calls.
- The creation of a fire hazard, the improper use of electrical appliances, or the possession of hazardous substances.
- Endangering Behavior that includes but is not limited to:
- Endangering the safety of self or others, or property, including but not limited to throwing or dropping objects from the bridges, sitting on window sills, tampering with elevator equipment or other machinery, damaging or removing a fire extinguisher or fire alarm, food fights, or water fights and snowball fights that involve unwilling participants.
- Engaging in or inciting others to engage in behavior that constitutes a disturbance of the peace, including but not limited to using or threatening violence to others, damaging or destroying property, stealing or looting, setting fires, throwing bottles or other projectiles, impeding or impairing emergency personnel services or equipment, obstructing traffic, refusing to leave when asked by an authorized person, or otherwise engaging in any action that might lead to intentionally or recklessly harming or endangering the physical safety or property of another.
- Failure to evacuate a College building after being requested to do so, or a fire alarm has sounded.
- Stealing from any College retail unit (including but not limited to the bookstore and any retail food outlet).
- Violations of any College policy or regulation, including but not limited to the restrictions on alcoholic beverages and smoking.
- CARE OF PROPERTY. The following shall constitute violations of the SCC:
Property is defined as belongings, equipment, or materials, including those produced, owned or in possession of students, faculty, staff, guests, vendors, contractors or other members of the College community.
The following shall constitute violations of the SCC concerning property:
College property that is damaged or removed will be charged to the individual or group responsible at the standard rate established by the College for repair and replacement.
- Unauthorized possession, theft, use, removal of, defacing, or tampering with property.
- Damage to or destruction of such property.
- Unauthorized presence in or use of College premises, facilities or property.
- HEARING BOARDS.
• The Hearing Board shall be a standing committee of Stephens College community members eligible to hear matters under the SCC. The Board shall consist of twelve members appointed by the President upon recommendation of the vice presidents of Academic Affairs and Student Services.
• In 2011, six of the twelve Board members will be appointed to one-year terms; from that point forward, six of the twelve members of the Hearing Board will be eligible for reappointment on an annual basis.
• The Hearing Panel of no fewer than three members will be selected from among the members of the Hearing Board to participate in each hearing. The composition of the hearing panel shall be determined by the President or his/her designee. The members of the Hearing Panel must be impartial, i.e., not personally involved in the alleged act(s) with which the student is charged.
• All members of the Hearing Board will be required to complete a four-hour training session annually to ensure they are well informed about the College's disciplinary processes and regulations.
- GENERAL PROCEDURES REGARDING DISCIPLINARY ACTION.
- Persons wishing to report a violation of this SCC may initiate proceedings under the SCC by filing a written complaint with the Office of the Vice President for Student Services. When appropriate, the Vice President for Student Services may also initiate a complaint under the SCC.
- Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Vice President for Student Services shall review the matter and interview all relevant parties. If, following that review, the Vice President for Student Services determines that there are not reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of the SCC has occurred, he or she shall dismiss the complaint, and inform the accused student in writing.
If, however, the Vice President for Student Services believes that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of the SCC has occurred, he or she may take steps to address the alleged violation informally by meeting with the parties in conflict, consulting with academic advisors, College administrators, or other staff. If informal resolution is not appropriate or successful, the Vice President for Student Services may impose a sanction for a minor violation, or refer the complaint to the Panel for a hearing if the alleged violation is more serious in nature.
The Vice President for Student Services may take immediate disciplinary action, including imposing a temporary suspension, where there is evidence that the continued presence of the accused student on campus poses a substantial threat to self, students, faculty, staff or College property. The threat may be physical, emotional, or may involve a student's inappropriate behavior in a classroom or other teaching, learning situation, or campus activity. If the accused is later exonerated, the suspension will be removed from the student's permanent record.
If a the Vice President for Student Services refers a complaint for hearing, written notification will be sent to the last known address of the accused student no fewer than five (5) calendar days prior to the hearing. This notification will include the nature of the alleged violation(s), the date, time and location of the hearing, the name of the presiding officer (the hearing officer or the presiding chair of the hearing panel), and information on hearing procedures.
• The accused student may request a postponement for reasonable cause. Such requests must be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Student Services at least three (3) calendar days before the hearing is to take place. Such requests may be granted or denied at the discretion of the presiding officer.
• The accused student is entitled to be assisted by and accompanied to the hearing by one member of the Stephens College community as a support person. If a student does not have a relationship with someone who could fulfill that role, the College will appoint such an individual upon the student's request. The support person will not be permitted to testify, serve as a witness, or provide a statement on behalf of the accused student. The support person may not be a parent or an attorney.
• Failure on the part of the accused student, complainant, support person, or witnesses to attend the hearing will result in the Panel making a decision on the alleged misconduct on the basis of the available information, without the benefit of the accused student's involvement, the accompanying individual's support, or witnesses' testimony.
• A recording of the hearing will be made for the use of the Hearing Board, the official making the final determination, and the charged student who may appeal the decision. The recording will be destroyed once the appeal date has expired or the appeal has been heard.
• The Panel Chairperson shall determine the appropriateness of all evidence and testimony, as well as the relevance of all questions. This determination shall be based on relevance, and rules of evidence applicable to criminal or civil court proceedings shall not apply.
• The accused student, and the complainant if any, shall have the right to be present at all times during the hearing, except during deliberations.
• Where the student denies the charge(s), the College shall bear the burden of proving the charge(s) by a preponderance of the evidence. In cases where a charged student fails to appear after proper notice, a hearing may be conducted despite his/her absence.
• The Hearing Board may rely upon oral statements of witnesses and upon written reports and other documents.
• Board members may take notice of matters that would be within the general experience of College students or officials.
• A Hearing Board shall include in the record a written summary of testimony, findings of fact(s), and rationale. The entire record shall be forwarded, within two business days, to the Vice President of Student Services or his/her designee.
• The Vice President of Student Services or his/her designee shall, within five business days of receiving the Hearing Board's report, issue a written decision in the disciplinary matter, consisting of findings of fact, sanction(s), and reasons therefore, which shall be included in the record. The official shall send a copy of the decision to the charged student(s).
In determining a sanction, the designated College official may consider the student's past disciplinary record, the nature of the offense, the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it, and other factors. The College has a special concern for incidents in which persons are subject to harassment because of membership in a particular racial, religious, gender or sexual orientation group, disability or veteran status. Such incidents damage not only individuals, but also the free and open academic environment of the College. More severe sanctions are appropriate for such conduct.
If the charge against the student(s) is sustained, the responsible College official may impose one or more of the following sanctions:
- EXPULSION --Expulsion is a permanent separation of the student from the College. The sanction will be recorded on the student's transcript. The student will also be barred from College property. Only the President of the College may recommend re-admission of a student who has been expelled.
- SUSPENSION --Suspension is a separation of the student from the College for a specified period of time. Suspensions that take effect during a semester may result in the loss of academic credit for that semester. The suspended student also loses financial assistance from the College on the date of the suspension and for the duration of the suspension. The student should not participate in any College-sponsored activity and will be barred from College premises.
Upon completion of the term of the suspension, the student must apply for readmission to the College.
- COLLEGE PROBATION –College Probation is a specified period of time during which any further violations of the SCC may result in suspension or expulsion.
- Supplementary sanctions :
In addition to the sanctions outlined above, supplementary disciplinary sanctions may be recommended by the Hearing Panel or imposed by the Vice President of Student Services or her designee. Such sanctions may be utilized by themselves or in combination with any other sanctions. The following are examples and are not intended to be an all-inclusive list:
• Removal from the residence hall or residence hall system.
• Privileges may be revoked. Examples include ineligibility to live off campus and restrictions on residence hall visitation.
• Students may be temporarily removed from their living space and placed in a quiet environment.
• Restitution may be required to be paid to the injured party or parties.
• The students may be referred for specialized help to persons such as the student's academic adviser, psychiatric counselor, clergy member, physician, parents or Counseling Services.
• An education project assignment may be arranged so that the students will have an opportunity to observe specific human behavior related to her/his own misconduct. For example, students may be asked to make reports on night court, juvenile court, Alcoholics Anonymous, service agencies or participate in some campus activity with rehabilitative value.
• Work projects may be assigned. Examples include mopping halls, washing walls or cleaning bathrooms.
• A reprimand may be given to indicate official disapproval of the student's behavior and to warn that further misconduct may result in additional disciplinary action. In such cases, a note is included in the student's personal folder outlining the misconduct and the fact that a reprimand was given.
Any student found to have committed a violation of the SCC and sanctioned by the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Panel has the right to appeal. A written notice of appeal must be delivered to the Office of the Vice President for Student Services within seven (7) calendar days from the mailing date of the written decision sent to the accused student. A written memorandum stating the grounds of the appeal shall be filed by the accused within seven (7) days of filing the Notice of Appeal.
The following guidelines apply to appeals:
• The President's designee shall serve as the appeals officer.
• The scope of the appeal officer's review shall be limited to (1) determining whether a fair hearing was provided and (2) determining whether the sanction imposed, given the facts and circumstances, was excessive.
• If no basis for appeal is present, the appeal is dismissed and the decision of the Vice President for Student Services and/or Panel is final.
• If the appeal is not dismissed, the appeals officer may order a new hearing, or may reduce or modify, but not increase, the sanctions previously assessed.
• Barring discovery of material new facts, an appeal is limited to a review of the record of the Vice President of Student Services and/or the record of the Panel.
• The decision on appeal is final.
• During the appeal process, the accused's status as a student will not change except for reasons relating to the emotional or physical welfare of the accused, or for reasons involving the safety of persons or property.
- RECORDS AND CONFIDENTIALITY.
The formal written decision will be provided to the accused at no expense.
Collegial Rights and Responsibilities
State law prohibits consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages by those under 21 years of age. Minors may not misrepresent their age in order to purchase alcohol. Neither may those 21 or older purchase alcohol for minors.
State law also prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition, or with open containers of alcohol.
The College complies with the regulations in the Drug-Free Workplace and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Acts.
Use of Alcohol on Campus
The use of alcohol by students must be in compliance with state laws.
Specific regulations regarding student use of alcohol on the campus are as follows:
- Students 21 years of age or older may possess and consume alcoholic beverages in their residence hall room. It is expected that when alcohol is involved, residents will maintain respect for the rights of other residents, roommates and suitemates. Large parties, including the use of kegs, are not permitted in the residence halls.
- Students under 21 may not possess or consume alcohol, nor may alcohol be present in the residence hall rooms of students under 21 years of age.
- Guests who are 21 or older may consume alcoholic beverages when visiting the room of a Stephens student who is also 21 or older. Guests of students under 21 years may not consume alcohol regardless of the age of the guest.
- Alcoholic beverages may not be served at on- or off-campus, Stephens student-sponsored functions unless a third party vendor is present. Stephens student-sponsored functions are defined as those for which student group funds are paying for any part of the event, for which publicity for the event identifies a Stephens organization as the sponsor, or when mandatory attendance for group members is required.
- The above regulations and guidelines apply to students at Okoboji Summer Theatre at Spirit Lake, Iowa, in conformance with applicable state laws.
- The College will not supply or purchase alcoholic beverages for student use or sale.
- Individuals who violate the policy will be placed on non-academic disciplinary probation for one full semester. Any subsequent violation of the alcohol policy while on probation will result in an automatic referral to the Judicial Board.
State law prohibits the possession, use and sale of illegal drugs, including marijuana, and the illegal possession or dispensing of prescription drugs and drug apparatus.
Use of Drugs on Campus
The College regards any student who possesses, uses or contributes to another’s use of illegal drugs as engaging in unacceptable conduct. Students engaging in such use will be referred to the Vice President of Student Services for appropriate disciplinary action. For a first offense in the personal use of marijuana, students will be placed on non-academic probation for one semester. Subsequent offenses or violations of other parts of this policy may result in immediate suspension. Stephens cooperates with state authorities in their attempts to enforce existing laws regarding drugs.
Alcohol and Drug Counseling
See the information in Emergency Information.
Fireworks and Firearms
Fireworks, firearms and other deadly weapons are not permitted on campus. Confiscation and serious disciplinary action will result if these items are present.
Harassment and Hazing
Students, faculty and staff must be able to pursue their education, employment or activities without fear of verbal or physical harassment or hazing from other members of the community. Engaging in harassment and/or hazing is considered a serious offense and will result in disciplinary action.
Stephens College does not tolerate sexual harassment by members of its community. Sexual harassment is understood to include a wide range of behaviors, from the actual coercing of sexual relations to the unwelcomed emphasizing of sexual identity. Copies of the entire policy on sexual harassment outlining more details of the definition and procedures are available in the Hugh Stephens Resource Library and in all department offices. The Vice President for Student Services is available to assist you in understanding the policy and procedures, and complaint advisers are available to process individual complaints. The Sexual Harassment Hearing Board hears cases and recommends sanctions for offenders. These sanctions include suspension from school or dismissal from employment.
Individuals who steal College property (including library books and other instructional materials) or individual property will be subject to disciplinary action and also may be referred to the Columbia police for prosecution. Report any thefts of your property to a residence hall staff member, supervisor of the area where the theft took place or to Campus Security. Cases will be handled according to the judicial procedures by referring them to the Vice President for Student Services.
Individuals who damage, destroy or deface College property (including library books and furniture, and other instructional materials) or individual property will be subject to disciplinary action in addition to paying the cost of repair or replacement of the item(s) damaged. Cases will be handled according to the judicial procedures by referring them to the Vice President for Student Services.
Resolving Discrimination Complaints
If you feel you have been discriminated against in any educational program or activity, including employment, follow the procedure outlined below. Should you have any questions about your rights, consult with the Vice President for Student Services.
- If you have a grievance regarding discrimination, you should register a complaint with the supervisor responsible for the area where the event occurred or with the advocate. You must register your complaint within five days of the event.
- If this action does not result in a satisfactory resolution, you may file a written complaint with the Vice President for Student Services within 10 days of the incident. She will investigate those issues raised in the written complaint and take appropriate action as she deems necessary.
- The Vice President for Student Services will provide you with written notification of the disposition of the complaint.
- If the complaint is denied, you may request that the complaint be referred to the Academic Standing Committee within five days of the Vice President for Student Services’s decision.
Campus and Facilities
Columbia law states that all bicycles ridden in the city streets must be registered and licensed by the city fire department. There is no registration fee and it is a safeguard for your bike. You can register your bike at city fire stations: Main Station, 7th and Walnut streets; Station 2, 1212 West Worley St.; Station 3, 1001 Ashland Gravel Road; Station 4, 2300 Oakland Gravel Road; Station 5, 1400 Ballenger Lane; Station 6, 301 West Boulevard South.
Bicycles may not be ridden on the overpass. When you are away from campus, please arrange for storage of your bicycle. Any bicycle left on campus for more than 90 days is considered abandoned and will be removed.
Bicycle storage and bicycle racks are located near the entry to each residence hall. Check with residence hall staff regarding bicycle storage information. Bikes should not be stored in campus buildings. Please be aware of campus security concerning bicycles.
The College must regulate any activities which disrupt the ongoing educational purposes of the campus or which interfere with the rights of others. The hindrance of College students and personnel from entering or leaving College areas is not accepted nor is the destruction of public or private property. Those interested in holding rallies or other types of demonstrations must consult with the Vice President for Student Services. If the rally or demonstration is approved, there will be instruction to issue a demonstration permit.
State law prohibits sitting or standing on the overpass walls as well as placing any signage on or throwing objects over the side of the overpass. These actions may result in arrest. Bicycles must be walked on the overpasses.
Solicitation or Selling on Campus
Salespersons and solicitors are not permitted on campus. Solicitation includes approaching individuals to distribute flyers or other materials. Salespersons, including residents who serve as agents of private companies, are not permitted to solicit in the residence halls. Product demonstrations may not be held on campus. If you observe any individual soliciting or selling products, please contact a staff member for assistance. Student organizations may arrange for campus sales in the Commons by gaining prior approval from the Vice President for Student Services.
Policy on Visual Communications
The following guidelines will apply concerning sidewalk chalk:
- Organizations must sign up to chalk in the Office of Campus Programming, Leadership Activities and Diversity. At the time of sign up, a visual concept of the chalkings must be approved just as posters are approved.
- Only chalkings that are signed by authorized individuals will be allowed to remain.
- Lists of representative(s) and groups allowed to chalk will be available at the Office of Campus Programming, Leadership Activities and Diversity.
- No one is allowed to chalk anything except sidewalks.
- Permission to chalk will be in effect for the entire semester, but messages must be changed weekly. A week will run from Monday to Monday. Groups are responsible for removing chalk by noon each Monday, or chalking rights will be suspended.
- These guidelines do not pre- clude any other campus regulations concerning hazing and harassment.
- The College administration reserves the right to remove chalk that has not been previously approved.
- All unauthorized chalk must be removed by 10 a.m. daily. Facilities will be responsible for the removal.
- Specific negative language about an individual or group will result in immediate chalk removal.
- The purpose of this policy is to create an avenue for positive communication and creative expression.
- Chalking will be limited to specific sidewalk spaces in the north residence hall quad. Students can view a map of the available spaces to be signed for at the Office of Campus Programming and Leadership Activities.
- No chalking will be allowed during certain campus events specified by the administration to include: Orientation, Family Weekend, Preview Weekends, Alumnae Weekend and Graduation Weekend.
- Student violators of this policy will go to the Judicial Board. Faculty and staff violators will be referred to their supervisor.
The following conditions will apply to poster hanging:
- All posters must be approved and dated in the Office of Campus Programming, Leadership Activities and Diversity before being placed anywhere on campus.
- Posters must never be hung on doors or windows in any campus facility or any other place that causes a security risk.
- Poster space on bulletin boards would be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- No one other than authorized employees will be allowed to remove posters on a bulletin board.
- Posters must be taken down by the campus programming staff after the end of the publicized event or the stamped date.
- An authorized person who removes someone else’s poster is required to write a written apology to the person whose poster had been removed.
- Individuals cannot post over other posters or flyers.
- Student violators of these policies will be referred to the Judicial Board. Faculty and staff violators will be referred to their immediate supervisor.
The College has a complete policy covering the manner in which students,
faculty and staff with AIDS or AIDS-related conditions will be treated.
Cases will be handled on a case-by-case basis and strict confidentiality
will be maintained. See Student Services.
Smoking has been proven hazardous to the health of smokers and non-smokers
alike. The College has adopted a policy which restricts smoking in
College buildings. Smoking elsewhere on campus is prohibited within
25 feet of any building. Anyone caught violating the smoking policy
or littering the campus with cigarette butts, will be sent to the
campus judicial board.
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