A university is a complex institution. It is distinctive from anything else in society, and therefore, the focus of its norms is distinctive. Further, a private university is an elite institution; admittance and attendance is a privilege granted on the assumption that the applicant who has voluntarily enrolled in the institution shares the university's values and goals and is committed to its purpose. If a student's values and goals are not consistent with those of the university, the privilege of attendance may be terminated.
To that end, students of Southern Methodist University commit themselves to the following values:
- Academic honesty.
Fundamental to any higher learning community is academic honesty. An environment free from giving or receiving unauthorized aid is fundamental to the process of learning and evaluating academic performance.
- Moral courage.
As a member of the SMU community, students recognize they are part of something larger than themselves, and as such, have the moral courage to uphold the values espoused by this community.
- Personal integrity.
Being honest with oneself and with others is critical to being a member of a community. This includes taking responsibility for one's actions and the consequences associated with those actions.
- Sincere respect for all SMU students, faculty, and staff.
Respect is not something one earns but something one gives, and all members of the SMU community are worthy of respect. Respect for all SMU students, faculty, and staff allows for the free exchange of ideas. To demonstrate their commitment to these values, students of Southern Methodist University developed the SMU Values Statement to remind themselves and others of the tenets to which SMU community members hold themselves. It reads, "I, as a citizen of the SMU community, commit myself to upholding the values of intellectual integrity, academic honesty, personal responsibility, and sincere regard and respect for all SMU students, faculty, and staff."
II. SOURCES OF AUTHORITY AND SCOPE OF POLICY
Responsibility for student discipline is vested in the President by the Board of Trustees. To exercise this responsibility, the President established the University Conduct Council, which reports through the Vice President for Student Affairs. Upon the recommendation of the University Conduct Council and the Vice President for Student Affairs, the President has accepted the following document delineating the conduct review process for students at SMU.
Based on the action of the Board of Trustees, the President of the University is authorized, at his discretion, to review all decisions of the Student Senate and all other student organizations, and all decisions concerning University conduct, including the University Conduct Council and all other conduct bodies. Such review shall include the power to take any action deemed appropriate, including reversing, amending, or remanding with instructions concerning such decisions. The President's power of review as stated herein is not limited in any way, and the President is authorized to act at his/her sole discretion in conducting such review and in deciding what action is appropriate.
The Code of Conduct applies to student behavior both on and off the campus of Southern Methodist University, including travel on University-sanctioned trips. Students traveling on University-sanctioned trips are representing Southern Methodist University and are expected to make responsible decisions regarding behavior so that they maintain appropriate standards of conduct at all times.
The information provided and the regulations and policies outlined in this handbook and Code are not intended to be all-inclusive and do not constitute a contract. The University reserves the right at any time to add to, modify, or revoke any of the regulations and policies contained in this handbook and Code without notice.
This Code is subject to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of Southern Methodist University as well as any and all resolutions, policies, and regulations of the University. In the event of conflict between this Code and said Articles, Bylaws, resolutions, policies, and regulations of the University, the University Articles, Bylaws, resolutions, policy, and/or regulation in question shall be controlling. The University Policy Manual may be accessed through the SMU web page at http://www.smu.edu/policy.
A. "Campus" and "campus grounds" refer to any buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled, or supervised by the University, including the Dallas, Plano, and Taos campuses.
B. "College" means any academic division of the University.
C. "Complainant" refers to person(s) or entity making a complaint or referral regarding a student or student group who allegedly violated policy.
D. "Conduct Liaison" refers to a University faculty or staff member who is trained in the conduct review process in order to assist students with the process.
E. "Day" means a business day, unless otherwise specifically indicated.
F. "FERPA" refers to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The privacy and confidentiality of all student records shall be preserved in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended.
G. "Fraternity and sorority housing" refers to any housing, University owned or otherwise, designated for members of fraternity and sorority chapters.
H. "Hearing Panel" refers to individuals selected from the pool of faculty, staff, and student University Conduct Board members to hear a case.
I. "Institution" and "University" refer to Southern Methodist University and all of its undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools and colleges, divisions, and programs.
J. "Investigation" refers to the process of making an institutional inquiry into a claim or allegation of action(s) which may be in violation of SMU policy, and/or applicable federal, state, or local law or ordinance. Such inquiry may include, but not be limited to: gathering information from individuals with knowledge about such claim or allegation; review of documents or other tangible information relating to the claim or allegation; review of any information already available in a public domain (i.e., postings/photographs on social media, such as Facebook, text messages, emails, webpages) or other information discovered or provided that is deemed relevant to such inquiry by SMU.
K. "Investigator" refers to the person who conducts the investigation of the complaint or incident.
L. "Public place(s)" includes, but is not limited to any dining hall, lobby, hallway, lounge, study area, stairwell or restroom of on-campus buildings, fraternity and sorority housing, or any outdoor areas on campus grounds.
M. "Recognized organization" shall refer to any organization who has been designated by the Students' Association as having either a probationary, temporary, or full charter.
N. "Respondent" refers to a student or student group who has allegedly violated policy.
O. "Student" means any person for whom the University maintains educational records, as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and related regulations, and who is currently enrolled and/or is part of a degree-granting program.
P. "University Conduct Board" is the pool of trained faculty, staff, and students from which a hearing panel is selected.
Q. "University community" means any student, faculty, administration or staff member at the University.
R. "University Conduct Officer" refers to a University staff member trained in the conduct review process.
IV. CODE OF CONDUCT
The following acts may subject students to action within the University Conduct Review Process:
A. Violating the University's alcohol policy (University Policies 1.5.2; 9.33; and 9.35). This includes, but is not limited to such behaviors as the possession, purchase, or consumption of alcoholic beverages on or off campus for those under 21 years of age other than where the law provides; public intoxication of any person regardless of age on or off campus; the unlawful provision of alcohol to others; and the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places on campus, with the exception of days and locations approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs for those persons 21 years of age and older. (See http://www.smu.edu/policy for full policy.)
B. Using, possessing, distributing, or manufacturing drugs or mind-altering substances used to induce intoxication or impairment. This includes designer drugs, synthetic drugs, chemicals and plants, whether currently scheduled under local, state, or federal law or not. All persons are responsible for compliance with all local, state, and federal laws regarding controlled substances and prescription drugs. Possessing drug paraphernalia, as defined as objects used for or intended to be used for the consumption of prohibited substances, is also prohibited. The University adheres to the Drug-Free Workplace Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. (See http://www.smu.edu/policy for University Policy 10.8, "Non-Prescription Drug Policy.")
C. Violating the University's sexual misconduct policy (University Policy 2.5.1). Sexual misconduct encompasses all forms of sexual harassment to include sexual violence and sexual assault. It is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. (See http://www.smu.edu/policy for full policy.)
D. Engaging in behavior that endangers or threatens to endanger the health or safety of any person. Examples include, but are not limited to fighting or assault in any form.
E. Acting dishonestly with the intent to mislead, defraud, or deprive University officials, hearing boards, students, faculty members, or members of the community at large of rights to information, accuracy of record, or property. Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to: the intention to produce counterfeit documents; possession of equipment with the intent to produce counterfeit documents; production of counterfeit documents; forgery; falsification of records; lying; falsification of checks, money orders, or other financial-related documents; theft; unauthorized entry into University facilities; and falsification and/or manipulation of computer data.
F. Tampering with or misusing fire-fighting equipment, including fire suppression systems (i.e., sprinklers), call boxes, emergency exits, or warning devices, or creating any hindrance of emergency procedures that is a threat to the community.
G. Failing to comply with reasonable requests from University staff or administrators, including the completion of conduct-related sanctions. Students are expected to respond promptly to all correspondence from the University and its officials and are expected to maintain current addresses, both for U.S. mail and e-mail, on file with the Registrar's Office.
H. Possessing and/or using false identification or another person's identification. SMU IDs may not be used by anyone but the student pictured on the ID card for the use of SMU facilities. ID cards may not be altered. Likewise, personal accounts programmed onto SMU ID cards are for use at the discretion of the student on campus or at authorized locations off campus, pursuant to the rules under which the accounts were formed, including Pony Express Accounts.
I. Interfering with or disrupting any University teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, public service, learning, or other authorized activity.
J. Engaging in irresponsible conduct or behavior that does not model good citizenship or reflects poorly upon the Southern Methodist University community.
K. Violating the University's weapons policy (University Policy 10.5). To the fullest extent of Federal and Texas law, the University prohibits the possession of any dangerous weapon, or facsimiles of dangerous weapons such as water guns or toy guns and knives, on all University property, athletic venues, passenger transportation vehicles, and any groups or building on which University activities are conducted. If weapons or reasonable facsimiles of weapons are used, pursuit and attack games, including but not limited to "Gotcha," "Assassin," and "Dungeons and Dragons" are not permitted to be played on campus. (See http://www.smu.edu/policy for full policy.)
L. Actions of one's guest(s) that violate University policies, including but not limited to this Code. A guest is any visitor to any University-controlled property who is not on official business. A guest must identify him-/herself when called upon by a University official and must identify his/her host as well.
M. Engaging in harassment, whether physical, psychological, verbal, written or digital-based, which is beyond the bounds of protected free speech, and directed at a specific individual(s), and likely to cause an immediate breach of the peace; conduct which threatens the mental health, physical health or security of any person or persons including stalking, intimidation, or threat that unreasonably impairs the security or privacy of another member of the university community.
N. Harassing any member of the community related to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. Due to the University's commitment to freedom of speech and expression, harassment is more than insensitivity or conduct that offends or creates an uncomfortable situation for certain members of the community. (See http://www.smu.edu/policy for University Policy 2.1, "Nondiscrimination, Affirmative Action, and Equal Opportunity Policy.")
O. Hazing, being hazed, and/or failing to report hazing incidents. "Hazing" means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include, students at an educational institution.
P. Engaging in entertainment on campus by strippers or other such dancers whose activities fall outside of the educational mission of the University.
Q. Violating the University's Computing and Communications Policy (University Policy 12.3). This includes, but is not limited to transmitting unsolicited information that contains obscene, indecent, lewd, or lascivious material; using University resources for any commercial venture; or violating the Copyright law in any manner. (See http://www.smu.edu/policy for full policy.)
R. Violating any local, state, or federal law regarding gambling. Texas law says that gambling requires a "bet," defined as "an agreement to win or lose something of value solely or partially by chance." Texas law adds, among other things: "A person commits an offense if he...plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device."
S. Violating the Community Standards outlined by the Department of Residence Life and Student Housing. (See http://www.smu.edu/StudentAffairs/Housing/eHandbook/CommunityStandards for full policy.)
T. Violating any local, state, or federal law.
V. CONDUCT REVIEW PROCESS
A. General Information Pertaining to Conduct Hearings
1. The standard of proof in all conduct hearings is the greater weight of the credible evidence.
2. The appropriate SMU official may extend timelines in this process, as warranted.
3. Neither the respondent nor the complainant may be actively represented by an attorney at any hearing or at any other time throughout the hearing process. Parents or family members who are attorneys may not be present in a lawyer capacity.
4. All conduct hearings shall be closed to the general public. University staff in training may attend hearings. The Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Dean of Student Life will have the authority to permit attendance of one or more University observers at any time during the course of the hearing.
5. If a Conduct Officer hearing involves more than one respondent, the Conduct Officer, at his or her discretion, may conduct a separate hearing for each respondent.
6. Any change in the allegation against a respondent shall be regarded as a new complaint subject to the conduct review process.
7. The hearing will be held even if the respondent fails to attend. As necessary, hearings and appeals will go forward during summer through procedures to be determined by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
8. A student organization has violated the Code of Conduct when:
a. An activity where a violation occurred was financed through the student organization's funds;
b. An officer acting in the scope of his or her role commits an offense; or
c. An activity that an observer would consider a specific organization's event.
B. Initiation of the Conduct Review Process
1. A written formal complaint (including, but not limited to, police reports, RLSH incident reports, and personal complaints) documenting an alleged violation of policy may be filed with the University through the Office of the Dean of Student Life for up to six months from the date of the incident or discovery by the complainant of the alleged policy violation.
2. A University Conduct Officer may investigate the alleged violations, whether the incident occurs on or off campus.
3. If a University Conduct Officer determines that a policy may have been violated, the matter shall be resolved through a conduct hearing.
4. The University, at its discretion, may proceed with the conduct review process without a formal written complaint.
C. Notice of Alleged Violation(s) and Hearing Notification
1. Not less than seven (7) days prior to the Conduct Officer or Conduct Board Hearing ("hearing"), the Office of the Dean of Student Life shall provide to the complainant and the respondent a written Notification of Hearing, which shall include the date, time, and location of the hearing, taking into account the class schedule of each party. The Office of the Dean of Student Life shall provide the Notice of Hearing to the complainant and the respondent via:
b. courier; or
c. first class U.S. Mail, postage prepaid.
For students, the Office of the Dean of Student Life shall use the email and local mailing address listed on record with the University Registrar's Office.
2. Not less than seven (7) days prior to the hearing, the Office of the Dean of Student Life shall provide to the respondent a written Notice of Alleged Violation(s), which shall include:
a. a brief description of the incident(s);
b. date(s) of the incident(s); and
c. the alleged violations of University policy.
3. With the written agreement of both the complainant and the respondent and at the discretion of the Conduct Officer, the Conduct Officer may waive the seven days notification required for the Notice of Hearing and the Notification of Alleged Violation(s).
4. When the respondent is a student organization, notice will be sent to the student organization president and the SMU faculty/staff advisor.
5. When the respondent is a fraternity or sorority, notice will be sent to the appropriate fraternity or sorority council advisor in addition to the fraternity or sorority president.
D. Conduct Officer Hearing
1. The Conduct Officer shall meet with the complainant and the respondent to discuss the complaint; at his or her discretion, the Conduct Officer may meet with the complainant and the respondent separately.
2. If either the complainant or the respondent or both do not meet with the Conduct Officer, the Conduct Officer may determine the outcome of the case with either or both parties absent.
3. The Conduct Officer may determine the outcome of the case administratively by assigning responsibility and sanctions.
4. The Conduct Officer may refer the case to a University Conduct Board if the Conduct Officer is unable to determine the outcome of the case for one or more of the following reasons:
a. the respondent denies violating the Student Code of Conduct;
b. the respondent does not accept the sanctions;
c. the alleged violation of policy has resulted in substantial interference with proceedings of the University; or
d. the offenses are repeated.
5. The complainant or the respondent or both may also request a hearing before a University Conduct Board and shall do so in writing to the Conduct Officer within seven (7) days of the date of the Conduct Officer Hearing.
E. University Conduct Board Hearings
1. University Conduct Board Membership Selection
a. The Office of the Dean of Student Life shall conduct a selection process for students, faculty members, and staff to serve on University Conduct Boards. The Office of the Dean of Student Life shall appoint members to serve on a specific hearing panel on a random basis, whenever possible. The Office of the Dean of Student Life shall make every attempt to ensure that Board members reflect the full diversity of the University.
2. Composition of Hearing Panels
a. Hearing panels are composed of five individuals: three (3) students, one (1) faculty member, and one (1) staff member. Hearing panel members are randomly selected by the Office of the Dean of Student Life from the members of the University Conduct Board.
b. The Office of the Dean of Student Life shall appoint the Chair of each hearing panel.
3. Quorum Requirements for Hearing Panels
a. Quorum for a hearing panel shall be four (4) members of the Board (in any combination).
b. If less than the required number is present at the opening of the hearing, the hearing shall be postponed until four (4) members can be convened. These requirements in this subsection may be waived upon written agreement of the Conduct Officer, the complainant, and the respondent.
c. Any member of a hearing panel may recuse him- or herself voluntarily. If there is no quorum due to a member's recusal, the hearing will be delayed until an alternate member of the University Conduct Board pool can be selected.
d. Once the hearing has commenced, if a hearing panel member should need to withdraw for a period of less than thirty (30) calendar days (excluding school holidays) the hearing shall recess until all members can be present.
e. Once the hearing has commenced, if a hearing panel member should need to withdraw for a period of more than thirty (30) calendar days (excluding school holidays) or permanently, the respondent may request that the hearing continue with the remaining hearing pane members; if the complainant consents, the hearing panel may do so. Otherwise, a new hearing will be scheduled.
4. Prehearing Procedures
a. Prior to the University Conduct Board hearing, the complainant and the respondent may meet separately with a Conduct Liaison. The Conduct Liaisons may attend the University Conduct Board Hearing but will not question witnesses, provide statements or speak on behalf of a student. Neither the complainant nor the respondent is obligated to meet with the Conduct Liaison.
b. The complainant (including the University in situations where the complainant does not wish to proceed on his or her own) and the respondent must attempt to provide written notification to the witnesses whom they intend to call during the University Conduct Board Hearing. Such notice shall set forth the time, place, and date of the hearing. The University shall notify members of the student community that failure to appear as a witness may result in a charge against them under Section IV., G. of the Code of Conduct for failing to comply with requests from University staff.
c. No less than two (2) days prior to the hearing, the complainant and the respondent may each present to a Conduct Officer copies of all documents to be introduced at the hearing and a list of those witnesses whose testimony will be presented in person or by summation, including a brief summary of anticipated testimony.
d. No less than three (3) days prior to the hearing, the complainant and the respondent shall receive from the other any documents to be introduced at the hearing and a list of those witnesses whose testimony will be presented in person or by summation through a Conduct Officer, including a brief summary of the anticipated testimony.
a. The Chair of a Board shall maintain order for the proper conduct of the hearing.
i. When necessary, the Chair may expel disruptive individuals or adjourn the hearing to a later time to assure the full development of facts in a calm, deliberate setting.
6. Hearing Procedures
a. Complainants and respondents involved in a conduct hearing will each be offered the opportunity to consult with a Conduct Liaison(s) provided by the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office. The Conduct Liaison(s) will remain in a neutral role throughout the process.
b. Respondents and complainants may have two people serve as support persons during the conduct hearing. Such persons are for silent moral support.
c. Respondents may remain silent before, during, and after the hearing and may make a statement explaining the reasons for remaining silent.
d. Respondents and complainants may challenge any member serving on a University Conduct Board on grounds of prejudice or bias.
e. Complainants and respondents may remain present during the conduct hearing process.
f. A University Conduct Officer and/or University Conduct Board may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, accused student, 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, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the Dean of Student Life to be appropriate.
g. The Chair shall permit the introduction of any relevant testimony and documents.
h. The Chair shall resolve any procedural issues with discretion and, if applicable, may consult with the Office of the Dean of Student Life regarding such.
i. At the discretion of the Office of the Dean of Student Life, the Chair may grant extensions of time at any point prior to the commencement of the hearing to permit reasonably sufficient time for:
i. the complainant to prepare his or her case; or
ii. the respondent to prepare his or her response; or
j. At the discretion of the Office of the Dean of Student Life, the Office of the Dean of Student Life may grant an extension of time to the complainant or respondent at any time to provide additional evidence to the University Conduct Board.
k. If, after the commencement of the hearing, the University Conduct Board discovers the need for more preparation or more time to hear testimony, the Chair shall recess the hearing to a later time.
7. Statements and Witnesses
a. The purpose of the University Conduct Board hearing is to address behaviors, not student character. Therefore, only information, including witness testimony, that is relevant to the incident will be considered during a hearing. Character witnesses, statements, and reference letters will not be considered.
b. The complainant and the respondent may present witnesses during the hearing. If the University is the complainant, the Conduct Officer may present witnesses during the hearing.
i. Each member of the hearing panel may direct questions to the complainant, the respondent, or any witness.
ii. Complainants and respondents will not be allowed to cross-examine each other or any witness but may submit questions to the Chair in writing. The Chair may determine the appropriateness of the submitted questions and may, at his or her discretion, decline to ask questions he or she deems inappropriate. The Chair may also ask questions at his or her discretion.
c. The complainant and the respondent have the right to make an opening and a closing statement.
i. The complainant may give the first opening statement.
ii. The respondent may give the last closing statement.
iii. The complainant and the respondent may each include a statement of the impact of the alleged offense as part of a closing statement.
d. Inability to obtain witnesses shall not justify undue delay to continue a hearing. If a witness is unable to attend the hearing in person, he or she may participate:
i. telephonically or electronically (e.g., by Skype, or video conference);
ii. by sworn, notarized statement; or
iii. through a written statement.
e. Additional witnesses and documents may be called at the discretion of the University Conduct Board.
8. Deliberations of the Hearing Panel
a. After the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing panel shall deliberate in executive session (only hearing panel members present during the session) to reach a decision.
i. Each member, including the Chair, may vote, and all determinations shall be by majority vote.
ii. The hearing panel may not consider a student's prior conduct history when determining responsibility.
iii. If there is a finding of responsibility, the Board shall recommend sanctions. If the respondent is found not responsible, the Board shall close the case, subject to the appeal rights set forth in Section V., F. of the Conduct Review Process.
b. Within three (3) days of the date of the conclusion of its deliberations, the Board shall provide a written report to the Office of the Dean of Student Life, which shall include:
i. findings of fact;
ii. basis for finding responsibility or non-responsibility; and
iii. if finding the respondent responsible, the reasons for the recommended sanction, if any.
c. Within three (3) days of the date of receipt of the Board's report, the Office of the Dean of Student Life shall notify in writing the complainant and the respondent of the Board's findings and recommended sanction(s), if any. If the Office of the Dean of Student Life is made aware of any possible procedural errors during this three-day period, the Office may take corrective action, including calling for a new hearing.
9. Hearing Record
The Conduct Officer shall record (via audio) the University Conduct Board Hearing. At the discretion of the Office of the Dean of Student Life, arrangements may be made for a certified court reporter to be present to transcribe the University Conduct Board Hearing or to transcribe the audio recording of the hearing. The Office of the Dean of Student Life shall store the recording and any transcript for as long as the file is kept. Deliberations of the University Conduct Board after the hearing may not be recorded or transcribed.
F. Hearing Outcomes and Sanctions
The following sanctions may be implemented individually or in any combination by the hearing panel or University Conduct Officer. The President reserves the right to raise or lower sanctions imposed in the conduct review process. Students who fail to complete their sanctions within the allotted time period may be subject to having their registration cancelled and/or having a hold placed on their official University records, which may prohibit them from registration, reenrolling, or receiving transcripts.
1. Sanctions that do not affect standing with the University:
a. INFORMAL WARNING FOR ALCOHOL VIOLATIONS. A written notice indicating a violation of the Student Code of Conduct that is not considered part of a student's formal conduct record. A student found responsible for a first-time alcohol violation where there are no other factors involved (such as, but not limited to, noise, failure to comply, possession of a fictitious identification card, etc.) will have his/her case resolved in an informal meeting with a Conduct Officer. The student will be given an informal warning, parents will be notified, and the student will be asked to follow up with the Conduct Officer. Informal warnings are kept on file in the Office of the Dean of Student Life; they are not reported to outside agencies such as graduate schools or employers.
b. FORMAL CONDUCT WARNING. A written notice indicating a violation of the Student Code of Conduct this is considered part of a student's formal conduct record. The individual or group will be given formal notice by the Hearing Panel or the Conduct Officer that they have violated the Student Code of Conduct or University policy. If the individual or group is found in violation of a further charge, that case will be considered more seriously.
2. Sanctions that affect standing with the University:
a. CONDUCT PROBATION. A student or group is given a warning that further violations will result in consideration of suspension. The student or a group representative may be required to report to a University Conduct Officer on a regular basis during the period of the probation.
b. DEFERRED SUSPENSION. Individual or group suspension may be deferred (not enforced). Deferred terms, i.e., conditions of the deferred suspension and its duration, will be set by the Conduct Officer or Hearing Panel which imposed the sanction. If a succeeding Conduct Officer or Hearing Panel finds the student responsible for violating the terms of deferred suspension during the period set up by the preceding Conduct Officer or Hearing Panel, the student may be suspended.
c. SUSPENSION. An individual or group will be dismissed from the University for an assigned time period, and under the conditions deemed necessary by the conduct review process. A student suspended from the University may not enter campus grounds for any reason during the period of her/his suspension without the express written permission from the Office of the Dean of Student Life. A student suspended from the University before an academic semester ends will not receive a refund of any monies paid and is not relieved of any financial obligations to the University, including tuition, fees, and room and board. No academic credit earned during the period of suspension at any other institution may be transferred to SMU. A conduct suspension and its effective dates are recorded on a student's academic transcript. The notation remains for the time the student is enrolled in the University and is removed three (3) years after graduation. If the student leaves the University before graduation, the notation is removed three (3) years after the anticipated date of graduation from the University.
d. EXPULSION. An individual or group will be separated from the University on a permanent basis. An individual's expulsion will be permanently recorded on his/her academic transcript. Before this sanction is enforced, the President of the University will review it. A student expelled from the University may not enter campus grounds for any reason without the express written permission from the Office of the Dean of Student Life. A student expelled from the University will not receive a refund of any monies paid and is not relieved of any financial obligations to the University, including tuition, fees, and room and board.
3. Below is the list of additional sanctions that may be imposed in addition to sanctions imposed in Sections 1 and 2 above:
a. REASSIGNMENT OF HOUSING LOCATION/CANCELLATION OF THE HOUSING CONTRACT. A student removed from the residence halls for an assigned time period or expelled from the residence halls on a permanent basis may not enter any residence hall without the express written permission from the Office of Residence Life and Student Housing. A student who is reassigned to a residence hall due to disciplinary action may only enter the newly assigned residence hall. The reassigned student may not enter any other residence hall without the express written permission from the Office of Residence Life and Student Housing. If the student's housing contract is still in force at the time of the suspension or expulsion, no refund of the housing deposit or fee will be made.
b. RESIDENCE HALL PROBATION. Student is advised that additional violations on or off campus could result in having to move to another room or hall or being removed from housing.
c. FINES. An individual may be fined any amount determined to be appropriate by the Conduct Officer. An organization can be fined any amount commensurate with the severity of the offense. Fines resulting from an alcohol policy violation will be a minimum of $100 and fines resulting from a drug policy violation will be $500.
d. DISQUALIFICATION FROM HOLDING OFFICIAL STUDENT POSITIONS OR PARTICIPATING IN UNIVERSITY ACTIVITIES. An individual or group sanctioned will be restricted from either representing the University in an intercollegiate activity, or from participation/representation in any University activity or organization.
e. RESTITUTION. An individual or group will be required to pay for damages to the person or institution for property destroyed.
f. NOTIFICATION OF PARENTS / NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS / AUTHORIZING BODY. Students found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be required to inform their parents of their involvement in the policy violation, or the University may notify the parents directly of a violation, as allowed under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (1974). The Office of the Dean of Student Life may notify a group's national organization or the appropriate university authorizing body of the group's involvement in the policy violation.
g. SUSPENSION OF PRIVILEGES. An individual or group will lose privileges that allow participation in specific activities, use specific facilities, or exercise specific privileges.
h. DISCIPLINARY VIOLATION (DV) TRANSCRIPT RECORD. If the nature of the offense so warrants, the Conduct Board will record an individual's violation on his/her academic transcript. The notation will remain for the time he/she is enrolled at the University and for three (3) years following his/her graduation. If the student leaves the University before graduation, the notation is removed three (3) years after the anticipated date of graduation from the University.
i. EDUCATIONAL SANCTIONS. The objective of this sanction is education and rehabilitation. Sanctions selected will be commensurate with the offense.
j. REFERRALS TO OTHER OFFICES. Students may be required to contact other offices on campus including, but not limited to, the Center for Alcohol Education and Drug Abuse Prevention.
k. DRUG TESTING. Students may be subject to random on-going drug testing. The number of tests/dates will be determined by the Dean of Student Life office and the Center for Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention. The fee for drug testing will be covered by the fine charged at the time of adjudication. Any missed test, diluted test or positive test may result in immediate suspension.
1. University Conduct Council
a. The University Conduct Council is the basic unit responsible for student conduct appeals in response to student conduct and academic dishonesty problems, and is accountable to the President of the University through the Vice President for Student Affairs. It is the recommending body to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
i. The University Conduct Council shall be composed of at least two (2) staff, two (2) faculty, three (3) students (ideally two (2) undergraduates and one (1) graduate student), and two (2) student alternates.
ii. All seven (7) members may serve on any appellate board, but an official quorum for an appeal consists of a minimum of four (4) members, which includes at least one (1) faculty member, one (1) student member, and one (1) staff member.
iii. An official quorum for an Honor Council appeal consists of a minimum of five (5) members, which includes at least two (2) faculty members, two (2) student members and one (1) staff member (see the Honor Code of SMU, Article VI, Section 3).
iv. Student alternates may participate in all regularly scheduled meetings, but will not have voting rights as members of an appellate board, unless serving as designated substitutes for student members who are unable to serve.
v. The chairperson of the University Conduct Council, who is a voting member of an appellate board, shall be elected by the members of the University Conduct Council from among the faculty and staff members of University Conduct Council.
vi. A vice chairperson of the University Conduct Council shall also be elected each year by University Conduct Council.
vii. The University Conduct Council serves as a board of final appeal for appeals originating from University Conduct Boards, Honor Council hearings and Conduct Hearings, except when a sanction of expulsion is assigned (see Section V., F.(1)(a)). Honor Council appeal procedures are set forth in Article VI of the Honor Code.
2. Requesting an Appeal
Either party shall have the right to request an appeal of the findings and /or recommendations of the Conduct Officer, or the University Conduct Board, to the University Conduct Council within seven (7) days of receipt of notification of such findings and recommended sanctions by the Office of the Dean of Student Life.
In cases that involve both a complainant and a respondent, either party may file a written request to appeal with the Office of the Dean of Student Life. The request to appeal must include the ground(s) for appeal and the basis for each. Appeals received from the complainant or respondent will be forwarded to the other party involved within one business day of the appeal being received in order to allow the other party an opportunity to provide a written response. If a request for appeal is received from both the complainant and respondent, the appeals may be forwarded to each of the parties involved to allow each party the opportunity to provide a written response.
3. Grounds for Requesting an Appeal
The University Conduct Council may grant an appeal to the complainant or the respondent or both on finding that (i) any one or more of the following circumstances exist and (ii) the mere existence of the circumstance(s) would significantly change the University Conduct Board's findings and recommended sanction, if any:
a. An erroneous findings of fact;
b. Procedural irregularities in the conduct of the hearing;
c. New and relevant evidence not known at the time of the hearing;
d. Evidence presented at the hearing that supports the finding of responsibility, but which is insufficient to support the finding; or
e. Recommendation of a sanction that is either unreasonably harsh or inadequate
4. University Conduct Council Procedures Regarding Appeals
a. At the conclusion of each hearing, the Conduct Officer or University Conduct Board Chair will submit the following information to the Office of the Dean of Student Life:
i. the decision;
ii. the reasons for the decision;
iii. the reasons for the sanctions imposed.
b. The Office of the Dean of Student Life shall provide an appeals packet to the University Conduct Council. The packet must contain the following documents:
i. the original complaint filed by the complainant;
ii. the documents accepted by the University Conduct Board at its hearing;
iii. the audio recording of hearing and any transcript of the hearing prepared by a certified court reporter;
iv. the written request for an appeal explaining the grounds for appeal; and
v. any written response by the non-appealing party.
c. Only those members of the University Conduct Council who have participated in the training provided to University Conduct Board members shall sit as the appellate body.
The University Conduct Council shall base its findings and recommendations to uphold or overturn the result of a University Conduct Board hearing on either party's written request for an appellate review, any summary of the hearing prepared by the Conduct Officer or the Chair of the University Conduct Board, and the appeal packet prepared by the Office of the Dean of Student Life for the University Conduct Council.
At its discretion, the University Conduct Council may schedule a hearing and allow oral statements. The University Conduct Council may determine the presenters and the amount of time allowed for each statement.
6. Determination of Appeal
Within fifteen (15) days of the date of the receipt of the appeal packet from the Office of the Dean of Student Life, the University Conduct Council shall recommend to the Vice President of Student Life one of the following actions:
a. Dismissal or remand of the case because there were such procedural irregularities at the hearing that one or both parties were clearly denied a fair hearing;
b. Dismissal or remand of the case to the original University Conduct Board or Conduct Officer because:
i. there were erroneous findings of fact; or
ii. there were findings of fact clearly insufficient to support the complaint.
c. Lowering or increasing the sanction imposed based on a finding that the recommended sanction is either unreasonably harsh or inadequate;
d. If there is significant new information regarding the allegation(s) discovered between the conclusion of the original hearing decision and the time of the appeal, remanding the case to the original University Conduct Board or Conduct Officer.
e. Upholding the findings and recommended sanctions, if any, of the University Conduct Board. Subject to the discretionary review by the President pursuant to Section V., G(7) below, the Vice President for Student Affairs shall review the recommendations of the University Conduct Council and the record of the complaint as a whole and shall then render a final determination in the matter. Within seven (7) days of the Vice President for Student Affairs making a final determination in regard to the complaint, the Office of the Dean of Student Life shall notify the complainant, the respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator in writing (if applicable) of the final determination of the Vice President of Student Affairs.
7. Review by the President of the University
At his or her discretion, the President of the University may review decisions concerning student conduct, including findings of the University Conduct Board, the University Conduct Council, and all other conduct review bodies. Such review includes the power to take any action deemed appropriate, including reversing, amending, or remanding with instructions concerning such decisions. The President's power of review as stated in this policy is not limited in any way, and the President may act at his or her sole discretion in conducting such review and in deciding what action is appropriate.
The President shall inform in writing the complainant, the respondent, the University Conduct Board, the University Conduct Council, the Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Dean of Student Life of any decision to affirm, reverse, amend, or remand any decision.
VI. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
A. Academic Dishonesty Cases
Any cases involving academic dishonesty will be handled in accordance with the Honor Code, which may be accessed here: http://smu.edu/studentlife/studenthandbook/PCL_05_HC.asp
B. Graduate Hearing Boards
The Dedman School of Law, the Perkins School of Theology, and the Lyle School of Engineering shall each appoint, as may be necessary and appropriate, hearing boards composed of staff, faculty and graduate students to hear misconduct cases.
1. The rosters of persons appointed to these boards shall be made available, as needed, to the Office of the Dean of Student Life.
2. All conduct charges against graduate students not enrolled in the Dedman School of Law, the Perkins School of Theology, or the Lyle School of Engineering will be heard through this student conduct review process.
3. As with all other hearing boards, the result of a graduate hearing board, under this process, may be appealed to the University Conduct Council appellate body.
4. Academic dishonesty cases concerning graduate students at the Cox School of Business, the Dedman School of Law, the Perkins School of Theology and the Lyle School of Engineering are handled separately through processes established at each of those schools.
C. Interfraternity Council (IFC) Hearing Board
The Interfraternity Council shall appoint, as may be necessary and appropriate, hearing boards to hear misconduct cases involving member chapters of the Interfraternity Council.
1. The rosters of persons appointed to these boards shall be made available, as needed, to the Office of the Dean of Student Life.
2. All conduct charges against undergraduate student organizations that are not members of the Interfraternity Council will be heard through this student conduct review process.
3. As with all other hearing boards, the result of an IFC hearing board, under this process, may be appealed to the University Conduct Council appellate body.
4. The by-laws for the Interfraternity Council Hearing Board shall be made available through the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
D. Interim Action
If student or student organization behavior presents an on-going threat of disruption to the community or is a danger to the safety of the student or others, the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Dean of Student Life may impose such sanctions as s/he deems appropriate pending a conduct hearing.
E. Mandatory Administrative Withdrawal
If student behavior presents an on-going threat of disruption to the community or is a danger to the safety of the student or others to such a degree that resolution through the University conduct review process is not possible, the Dean of Student Life may, in consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs, mandate an immediate withdrawal of the student from the University. Such mandatory withdrawal may include, but is not limited to: withdrawal from academic classes, removal from any University-owned housing or suspension from participation in any University activity. The Dean of Student Life may impose conditions and/or a time period for the withdrawal and the student may not return to the University until all such conditions and expiration of the time period are met.
F. Medical Amnesty
Students who seek medical assistance for themselves (Medical Amnesty) or another person (Good Samaritan) due to intoxication of alcohol and/or drugs will not normally be subject to the SMU conduct process, except when it has been determined that another violation of University policy has occurred. The full policy and applicable procedures may be accessed here: http://smu.edu/smunews/liveresponsibly/good-samaritan-program.asp.
G. No Contact Orders
1. For complaints involving allegations between students, the Office of the Dean of Student Life may issue a no contact order. If it is deemed appropriate by the Office of the Dean of Student Life that a no contact order should be issued, the complainant and respondent will each receive the order. Each party will be informed by the Office of the Dean of Student Life once a no contact order has been issued to the other party.
2. If living on campus, students involved in a conduct matter who live near or with each other may also request to have living arrangements modified pending the outcome of the hearing.
H. Sexual Misconduct Cases
1. Any complaints involving allegations of Title IX sexual harassment or sexual assault and other conduct matters falling under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended. All Title IX student conduct matters are handled exclusively under SMU Policy 2.5.1, Title IX Sexual Harassment, which may be accessed here: http://smu.edu/policy/S2/policy2.5.1.html.
2. In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the investigation will focus primarily upon the allegations of sexual misconduct. Students involved in a sexual misconduct case may qualify to receive amnesty for other violations of the Code of Conduct.
I. Violations of the Law and the Code
The University recognizes that some violations may be handled concurrently by the University and civil and/or criminal authorities. The criminal court process is separate and distinct from the conduct review process, which determines only violations of the Student Code and imposes sanctions within the University community. As such, concurrent action by both processes does not constitute double jeopardy.
VII. RETENTION OF CONDUCT RECORDS
The following policies concerning records and the release of information are in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (The Buckley Amendment).
A. Records in the Office of the Dean of Student Life shall contain all information, data, correspondence, findings, and records of official action concerning student conduct.
B. A conduct sanction will remain on file in the Office of the Dean of Student Life until it is erased three (3) years from the date of the final resolution of the last conduct proceeding. However, sanctions resulting in suspension or greater will remain in the Office of the Dean of Student Life indefinitely and may be released as appropriate under the law when questions about conduct-related actions are asked.
C. After a student has earned 90 academic credits and achieved senior standing, he or she may request, through a written petition, to have his or her conduct file(s) expunged by the Dean of Student Life for good cause. Factors to be considered in review of such petitions shall include:
1. The present demeanor of the student.
2. The conduct of the student subsequent to the violation.
3. The nature of the violation and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it.
There is no appeal of the decision made by the Dean of Student Life in response to an expungement request.
VIII. INTERPRETATION, REVISION, AND AMENDMENTS
A. Code of Conduct
The Student Code as described in Section IV is received and evaluated by the Student Senate, which is the legislative body representing student interests. The writing of the Student Code involves students, is for students, and is the expression of the student body's relationship to the rest of the University. Hence, the Student Senate may at any time make recommendations to the code and the senate shall be asked to endorse it. Changes to the Student Code adopted by the Student Senate are subject to approval by the President of the University. The most up-to-date version of this handbook can be viewed online at http://smu.edu/studentlife at any time.
B. Conduct Review Process
The Vice President for Student Affairs has responsibility for establishing and maintaining the conduct review process through its various parts. The University Conduct Council, in consultation with faculty, staff, students, and others, as appropriate, and in conjunction with the Vice President for Student Affairs, makes recommendations/amendments to the procedures of the conduct review process as described in Section V to the President of the University.
1. Proposals are to be made to the University Conduct Council for their recommendation, but final authority to change the conduct review process rests with the University President.
2. When the University Conduct Council receives a change, the Council is required to inform the Dean of Student Life and the Student Body President of the proposal and the details of the proposal's contents in writing. This requirement is for written notification only; approval is not required by either the Dean of Student Life or the Student Body President.
3. Students with questions regarding this process may see the Dean of Student Life.
4. The Vice President for Student Affairs may delegate any part or all of his/her authority from time to time, to any person or several persons, wherever he/she deems it appropriate. This person or persons is referred to as a University Conduct Officer.
Approved & Effective as of: 1 October 2013
Last Revision: 14 July 2014