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Disciplinary Procedures

Students are expected to engage in responsible conduct that reflects good citizenship in any community. The following student disciplinary policies and procedures parallel the College's academic policies in that they are concerned with promoting an effective academic community, the freedom to learn, and personal responsibility.

Implementation of the Policy

Responsibility and authority for the regulation of student behavior is vested by the College Board of Trustees in the President of the College. The President has delegated authority to oversee the Student Disciplinary Process to the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students. The Dean may delegate authority and responsibilities under this policy to other staff members in his or her discretion.

It is the responsibility of every member of the Monmouth College community to help ensure that the College is an orderly and responsible community – one that promotes the safety, well-being, and education of each member. All members of the Monmouth College community – students, staff, and faculty – may report violations of this or any other College policy, and are strongly encouraged to do so. Members of the community are also encouraged to contact law enforcement if they believe that criminal conduct has occurred. Complaints under this policy should be directed to the Office of Residence Life. Violations may also be reported to the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Title IX Coordinator, or Campus Security, as appropriate. In addition, the College can institute disciplinary action against a student for alleged or suspected violations of this policy in the absence of a complaint. The College may investigate complaints or suspected violations of this policy to the extent it deems appropriate.

This policy applies to all students and student organizations, and to conduct regardless of whether it occurs on- or off-campus. Engaging in conduct proscribed by this policy may also result in civil or criminal proceedings and/or penalties. However, the College reserves the right to proceed with disciplinary action under this policy regardless of whether any civil or criminal proceedings have been instituted against a student, and the College may commence and/or complete its proceedings under this policy prior to the completion of any legal investigation and/or proceeding. The College reserves the right to modify the following policy and procedures in its sole discretion and without notice, as it deems necessary or appropriate in any particular case.

Prohibited Conduct

Students are expected to engage in responsible conduct at all times; therefore, this policy applies to student and student organization conduct whether on- or off-campus. The following prohibited conduct includes attempts to commit a prohibited act, as well as assisting or willfully encouraging such an act. In addition, students and student organizations may be held responsible by any conduct by their visitors or guests that violates this policy.

The following are examples of actions that may result in disciplinary action, but is not an exhaustive list:

  • Acts of violence, abuse of any person, or any action that threatens or endangers the emotional well-being, health, or safety of any person. Such conduct that violates the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation is addressed through the procedures in that policy.
  • Conduct that renders the student unable to effectively function in the residential or College community, including conduct that demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to care for oneself.
  • Disorderly conduct or disruptive acts, such as:
    • Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, studying, services, or other College activities;
    • Disturbing or endangering the peace or comfort of others, including by noise;
    • Public urination
  • Misconduct related to drugs and alcohol, such as:
    • Offenses related to underage drinking, including: use or possession of alcohol by students under the age of 21; providing alcohol to individuals under the age of 21;
    • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
    • Use or possession of alcohol or open containers in any prohibited areas;
    • Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, or controlled substances (except as expressly permitted by law);
    • Other violations of laws or College policies (including Residence Life policies) relating to drugs or alcohol.
  • Misconduct related to weapons, firearms, explosives, or dangerous materials or devices, including possession of such an item on College premises or at College activities or events, and the use or brandishing of any such item (even if legally possessed) in a manner that harms, threatens, causes fear to, or otherwise endangers others.
  • Acts of dishonesty, such as:
    • Theft of property or services, including knowing possession of stolen property;
    • Misuse of College documents, records, identification, or other materials, or providing false information to the College;
    • Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of false identification or other documents.
  • Damaging, defacing, destroying, or vandalizing property.
  • Acts that jeopardize the safety or security of the College, the College community, or any College facilities, such as:
    • Damaging or destroying property by fire or explosives;
    • Creating or maintaining a fire hazard, including use of halogen lamps or [insert other prohibited items, such as candles] in violation of Residence Life policies, or violating state or local fire-related ordinances;
    • Tampering with or misuse of emergency or fire safety equipment, bomb threats, and similar conduct;
    • Failing to comply with the instructions of a College official in the event of a fire alarm or other safety, security, or emergency matter.
  • Unauthorized entry to or use of College facilities, property, systems, or services.
  • Failure to comply or cooperate with College officials or law enforcement officers, including failure to furnish identification when requested by a College official.
  • Violation of state, federal, or local laws or regulations.
  • Violation of any other rule, regulation, or policy enacted and published by the College. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Academic Integrity Policy. Academic Integrity violations are ordinarily addressed through the procedures in that policy, but can be addressed through the Student Disciplinary policy in the College's discretion;
    • Residence Life Rules and Regulations;
    • Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation. Violations of the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation are addressed through the procedures in that policy.

Search and Seizure

The search and/or seizure of a student's room and/or motor vehicle may be conducted for reasons of repairs, maintenance, preserving the health and safety of the students, upon suspicion of violation of law or College regulations by a student, or whenever authorized by the vice president for student life/ dean of students or his/her appointee, who may approve such search and seizure at his/her discretion. The search and seizure will be conducted by members of the Student Affairs staff, Monmouth College Security, and/or other appointed College students or employees. Except in an emergency situation that threatens the health, safety, or wellbeing of the residents, a search warrant will be presented to the occupants of the room to be searched. Before entering, the person(s) who conducts the search must knock at the door; identify him/herself, and request entrance for the purpose of the search. If the door is not opened by the occupant(s), the room may be entered and searched without permission. Whenever a student's room is entered through the use of a master key, except for repairs, maintenance, or preserving the health and safety of the occupant, a written report shall be submitted to the Office of Residence Life.

Fines for Certain Infractions

College personnel have the authority to issue fines for infractions such as noise, alcohol, smoking, fire code violations, littering, public urination, or parking violations. Students may appeal fines by making an appointment to appear before the Student Appeals Board within the time frame noted on the Incident Report Form that is provided to the student at the time the fine is issued.
Other Infractions

For all other infractions (including repeated or multiple minor infractions), the student will receive written notice of the violations of which he or she has been accused and will be given an opportunity to respond and offer information to be considered by the College in reaching a resolution. The College reserves the right to allow the student to respond orally and/or in writing, as determined by the College in its discretion. Student disciplinary matters are informal in nature and are not analogous to a formal hearing or other legal proceedings; rules of evidence and the like do not apply. Rather, these matters afford an opportunity for the student to respond to the charges against him or her before the College makes a decision.

The Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students or his or her designee will preside over the student disciplinary matter, which may or may not include an in-person meeting with the student and/or witnesses. As explained in the next paragraph, the Dean or his or her designee may appoint a committee comprised of students, faculty or staff to conduct a hearing. Alternatively, the Dean or his or her designee may meet with or otherwise communicate (orally and/or in writing) with the student and any witnesses without conducting a hearing before a committee.

After giving the student the opportunity to respond as outlined above and considering the information gathered regarding the alleged violation(s), the Dean (or his or her designee) will select one of the following options in his or her discretion: (a) the Dean (or designee) can either make a decision himself or herself, (b) convene a committee comprised of members of the college community to make a recommendation to him or her, or (c) appoint the committee described in (b) to make a decision. Regardless of which option is selected, the issues to be addressed are as follows: (a) whether a disciplinary violation has occurred, and (b) appropriate sanction(s) if a disciplinary violation has been found. The standard for determining responsibility shall be the "preponderance of the evidence" standard.

Regardless of whether there is a hearing before a committee, the student may bring one non-attorney support person from the College community (a faculty member, staff member, or student) to any meetings with the Dean or his or her designee. For infractions involving sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking, the complainant and the accused may bring a support person of his or her choosing to any disciplinary proceedings and related meetings. The support person may not participate in the meeting or any proceeding unless the College requests that he or she do so. The student may also bring witnesses to speak on his or her behalf, if approved by the Dean or his or her appointee in advance. Witnesses are permitted to provide information at the discretion of those overseeing the meeting or proceeding. If the student fails to appear for the scheduled meeting or proceeding, a determination regarding responsibility and sanctions may be made in his or her absence.

Final Determination and Appeal

Following the outcome of the investigation and any recommended disciplinary action, the Director of Residence Life (or his or her designee) will select one of the following options in his or her discretion: (a) the Director of Residence Life (or designee) can either make a decision himself or herself, (b) convene a committee comprised of members of the college community to make a recommendation to him or her, or (c) appoint the committee described in (b) to make a decision. Regardless of which option is selected, the issues to be addressed are as follows: (a) whether a disciplinary violation has occurred, and (b) appropriate sanction(s) if a disciplinary violation has been found. The standard for determining responsibility shall be the "preponderance of the evidence" standard in accordance with the Formal Resolution Process/Standard for Determining Responsibility section above.

Appeals can be made to the Dean of Students (Vice President for Student Life). Within 14 days after completion of the appeal process and reaching a decision regarding the appeal, the parties will be notified contemporaneously/simultaneously (to the greatest extent possible) in writing of the outcome of the appeal and the rationale for the decision.

All appeal decisions are final.

Sanctions

Potential sanctions include, but are not limited to: warning, restitution, fine, social probation, loss of privileges, community service or other educational assignments, barring from participation in intercollegiate athletics, change in or removal from campus housing assignment, suspension, and dismissal. In addition, the College reserves the right to suspend a student accused of serious policy violations or to take any other interim or emergency measures the College deems appropriate pending the outcome of the student disciplinary process. Students who are suspended or dismissed for disciplinary reasons will not be entitled to a tuition refund. Housing refunds, where applicable, are issued in accordance with the Residence Life Policy.

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