Code of Student Conduct
Franciscan University recognizes the dignity of each person as a son or daughter of God and seeks to encourage personal growth in each student, which includes the role of discipline. The approach to discipline at Franciscan University honors the student as a maturing adult. Therefore, disciplinary actions are taken with the aim of reinforcing character development and undergirding a responsible Christian outlook on relationships, property, society and oneself. Students are expected to take responsibility for their actions and their negligence with respect to both speech and behavior. In an effort to promote the common good of the members of the University community, there exists a system to resolve conflict or correct wrongdoing that cannot be resolved on a more informal basis. This system is described in the Code of Student Conduct. The Code of Student Conduct applies to ALL STUDENTS, BOTH RESIDENTS AND NON-RESIDENTS.
Article I. Definitions
1.1. The term “the University” means Franciscan University of Steubenville.
1.2. The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the University, resident and non-resident, regardless of age or class standing, both full and part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate or professional degrees, at the Steubenville or Austria locations. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing academic relationship with the University are considered “students.” A student may have guests on campus, provided they are registered with the Residence Life Staff, but a student is responsible for the actions of his/her guests on the same basis as if they were their own actions.
1.3. The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the University to conduct classroom activities.
1.4. The term “University official” includes any person employed by the University, performing assigned administrative, staff, or professional responsibilities.
1.5. The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a current student, faculty member, University official, or any other person employed by the University. A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the executive vice president or his designee.
1.6. The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the University, including adjacent streets and sidewalks, and includes the Steubenville and Austria locations.
1.7. The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition.
1.8. The term “Discipline Board” means any person(s) authorized by the vice president of Student Life from time to time or on a case-by-case basis to determine whether a student has violated the student code and to recommend imposition of sanctions.
1.9. The term “Discipline Advisor” means a University official authorized from time to time or on a case-by-case basis by the vice president of Student Life (the vice president of Student Life may authorize himself to so serve) to impose sanctions upon students found to have violated the student code. The vice president of Student Life may authorize a discipline advisor, including himself, to serve simultaneously as a discipline advisor and as the sole member, or one of the members, of a Discipline Board.
1.10. The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
1.11. The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
1.12. The vice president of Student Life is that person designated by the University’s President to be responsible for the administration of the Student Code.
1.13. The term “policy” is defined as the written regulations of the University as found in, but not limited to, the undergraduate catalog, the graduate catalog, the Student Handbook, and rules for the Study Abroad programs.
Article II. Discipline Authority
2.1. University jurisdiction and discipline shall be applied to conduct that occurs on University premises or that adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. When conduct occurs off University premises, the vice president of Student Life shall determine whether University jurisdiction should be asserted.
2.2. The vice president of Student Life shall develop policies for the administration of the student discipline system and procedural rules for the conduct of hearings that are not inconsistent with the provisions of this student code.
2.3. The vice president of Student Life shall determine the composition of Discipline Boards. The vice president of Student Life may appoint himself as one of the members or as the sole member of the Discipline Board.
2.4. A Discipline Board shall hear all cases in which the vice president of Student Life determines that University suspension or dismissal may be a sanction, in which one student is accusing another, and/or in other cases if so determined by the vice president of Student Life. When a Discipline Board is not designated, or when a student waives this right in writing, the vice president of Student Life may assign another University official, including the assistant vice president of Student Life or a residence director, to serve as the sole member, or one of the members of a group discharging the Discipline Board and Discipline Advisor functions on a regular or case-by-case basis.
2.5. Decisions made by a Discipline Board and/or Discipline Advisor and/or by a person discharging their duties shall be final, subject to the normal appeal process.
2.6. University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that might violate the law as well as University rules and regulations.
Proceedings under this student code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus, as determined by the vice president of Student Life.
Article III: Proscribed Conduct
Any student found to have committed the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article V:
3.1. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
- Furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member, law enforcement officer, or office.
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, or instrument of identification.
- Tampering with the election of any University-recognized student organization.
- Cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty are handled under a separate process through the vice president for Academic Affairs.
3.2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other University functions, including its public service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-University activities when the act occurs on University premises.
3.3. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health, safety, or educational opportunity of any person.
3.4. Attempted or actual theft and/or damage to the property of the University or property of a member of the University community or other personal or public property, including vandalism.
3.5. Hazing, defined as "any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate", or that destroys or removes public or private property, or that otherwise conflicts with the academic or religious mission of the University.
3.6. Failure to comply with the direction of University officials including Resident Assistants or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
3.7. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys to any University premises or unauthorized entry to or use of any University premises.
3.8. Violation of any published University policy, rule, or regulation.
3.9 Violation of federal, state, or local law on University premises or at University-sponsored or -supervised activities.
3.10. Use, possession, or distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances or drug paraphernalia except as expressly permitted by law.
3.11. Use, possession, sale, consumption, or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by the law and by University regulations, or public intoxication.
3.12. Possession or use of firearms, explosives, other weapons, incendiary devices, firecrackers, or dangerous chemicals on University premises. Guns that shoot plastic or aluminum BB’s are treated as weapons.
3.13. Participation in a campus demonstration that disrupts the normal operations of the University and infringes on the rights of other members of the University community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area; intentional obstruction that unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus.
3.14. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on University premises or at University-sponsored or supervised functions.
3.15. Lewd, indecent, obscene or otherwise immoral conduct or expression that violates Catholic moral teaching on sexuality; or the promotion or advocacy of such conduct or expression.
3.16. Disorderly conduct, breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on University premises or at functions sponsored by or participated in by the University.
3.17. Camping on University premises.
3.18. Building of campfires anywhere on University premises, including the cliffs area.
3.19. Abuse or misuse of fire prevention or control devices (including alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and all doors) or any security device or equipment, or failure to exit a building during a fire alarm or drill.
3.20. Theft or other abuse of computer equipment, facilities, or networks, including but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file or computer system to use, read, or change the content, or for any other purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and/or password.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or University official.
- Use of computing facilities to send obscene, abusive, or harassing messages.
- Use of computing facilities to view obscene or pornographic materials.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the University computing system.
3.21. Violation of University visitation policy for residence halls including but not limited to:
- Visiting in individual residence hall rooms of members of the opposite sex outside of designated hours.
- Visiting in lounges, common rooms, or kitchens of members of the opposite sex outside of designated hours.
- Visiting with the door closed during Open Hours.
- Visiting through the room windows.
3.22. Abuse of the student code system, including but not limited to:
- Failure to obey the summons of the vice president of Student Life or an administrator from the Student Life Office.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a Discipline Board, Discipline Advisor, or the vice president of Student Life or someone acting on his behalf.
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a student code hearing or other meeting.
- Institution of a student code proceeding or process knowingly without cause.
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in or use of the student code system.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Discipline Board prior to, and/or during the course of, the Discipline Board proceeding.
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Discipline Board prior to, during, and/or after a Discipline Board proceeding.
- Failure to comply with sanctions imposed under this student code.
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student code system.
3.23. Use of the University’s name or facilities without approval of the University.
3.24. Sexual harassment or assault, which would also violate 3.3 above, is particularly contrary to the mission of the University. Violations would include:
- Unwanted touching of an intimate part of another person.
- Non-consensual sexual intercourse or non-consensual sexual relations.
- Other verbal or physical conduct related to sex with the result of substantially interfering with a person’s performance at work or in study by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment in which to work or to learn.
3.25. Attempting, threatening, or engaging in behavior that endangers the life or health of any person, including but not limited to:
- self-destructive behavior including but not limited to cutting, or the abuse or mis-use of prescription or over-the-counter medications;
- walking near the cliffs that border a portion of the University's campus;
- walking on bridges where pedestrian traffic is prohibited; and
- jumping from any bridge.
Article IV: Discipline Policies.
4.1. Any member of the University community may send a complaint in writing, alleging misconduct by a student or student organization, to the office of the vice president of Student Life. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably within 10 days.
4.2. After a complaint is received, the vice president of Student Life or the Discipline Advisor acting on his behalf may conduct an investigation to determine if the charges may have merit and/or if they can be disposed of by mutual consent on a basis acceptable to the Discipline Advisor. Such disposition shall be final, and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the Discipline Advisor may later serve in the same matter as the Discipline Board or a member thereof.
4.3. All charges shall be presented to the accused student in written form, indicating the alleged infraction. A time shall be set for a hearing, not less than two school days nor more than 15 calendar days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the vice president of Student Life.
4.4. Hearings shall be conducted by a Discipline Board according to the following guidelines:
- Hearings normally shall be conducted in private. Exceptions to this rule shall be made only with the permission of the vice president of Student Life.
- Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Discipline Board or the Discipline Advisor.
- In hearings involving more than one accused student, the chairperson of the Discipline Board, at his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately or together.
- The complaining student and the accused student have the right to be assisted by an advisor they choose, at their own expense, but the person must be a member of the University community (see 1.05) and must be approved by the vice president of Student Life. Students, whether complaining or accused, have the responsibility for presenting their own information to the board and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a Discipline Board.
- The complaining student, the accused student, and the Discipline Board shall each have the privilege of presenting witnesses, or suggesting questions to be asked, all being subject to the rights of the members of the Discipline Board to ask any pertinent questions. Students presenting witnesses or intending to be accompanied by an advisor must notify the vice president of Student Life in writing at least 48 hours prior to the hearing of the names of such persons.
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by a Discipline Board at the discretion of the chairperson.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the Discipline Board. Rules of evidence and procedure, such as apply in civil or criminal courts, do not apply to University disciplinary hearings.
- After the hearing, the Discipline Board shall determine by majority vote whether the student has violated each section of the student code that the student is charged with violating.
- The Discipline Board’s determination, like all discipline decisions, shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the student code.
- A complaining or accused student has the right to request the withdrawal of any member of the Discipline Board for due cause (e.g., bias of a member). This action must be made to the vice president of Student Life in writing within two days (48 hours) of notification of the scheduled hearing.
4.5. There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a tape recording, of all hearings involving potential suspension or dismissal from the University. The record shall be the property of the University.
Article V: Sanctions
5.1. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the student code:
- Warning—A verbal or written notice to the student that the student is violating or has violated University regulations.
- Probation—A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulations during the probationary period.
- Loss of Privileges—Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Fines—Financial penalties between $10 and $1000 depending on severity of infraction.
- Restitution—Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Discretionary Sanctions—Work assignments, service to the University, or other related discretionary assignments (with the approval of the vice president of Student Life).
- Residence Hall Suspension—Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Residence Hall Dismissal—Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
- University Suspension—Separation of the student from the University for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- University Dismissal—Permanent separation of the student from the University.
5.2. More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
5.3. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
- Those sanctions listed above in 5.1 (a-f) and/or
- Deactivation—Loss of all privileges, including University recognition, for a specified period of time. Both the individuals involved and an organization may be sanctioned for the same conduct.
5.4. In each case in which a Discipline Board or a person or group of persons discharging the role of Discipline Board determines that a student has violated the student code, the sanction(s) shall be determined and imposed by the Discipline Advisor. In cases in which persons other than or in addition to the Discipline Advisor have been authorized to serve as the Discipline Board, their recommendations shall be considered by the Discipline Advisor in determining and imposing sanctions. The Discipline Advisor is not limited to sanctions recommended by members of the Discipline Board. Following the hearing, the Discipline Board and the Discipline Advisor shall advise the accused student in writing of its determination of the sanctions imposed, if any.
5.5. Interim suspension. In certain circumstances, the vice president of Student Life or a designee may impose a University or residence hall suspension prior to the hearing before a Discipline Board.
- Interim suspension may be imposed only: (a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; (b) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or (c) if the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University.
- During the interim suspension, students shall be denied access to the residence hall and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the vice president of Student Life or his designee may determine to be appropriate.
Article VI: Appeals
6.1. A decision reached, or a sanction imposed by a Discipline Board or Discipline Advisor may be appealed by accused students or complaining students to the executive vice president, or to such person or persons (such as the Vice president of Student Life) whom he may designate to act in his stead. Such appeals shall be in writing and must be made to the office of the vice president of Student Life office within two schools days (48 hours) of notice of the board’s determination and sanctions. For infractions not involving potential suspension or dismissal, written appeals may be submitted within two school days to the assistant vice president of Student Life or the vice president of Student Life, and the steps described in article 6.2 through 6.5 do not apply. The decision of the assistant vice president of Student Life or the vice president of Student Life on these appeals is final.
6.2. An appeal shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing for one or more of the following purposes:
- To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and the information presented, and in conformity with procedures prescribed by the University giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present information that the student code was violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present a rebuttal of those allegations.
- To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial information; that is, whether the information in the case was sufficient to establish that a violation of the student code occurred.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the student code that the student was found to have committed.
- To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant information not brought out in the original hearing, because such information was not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
6.3. If an appeal is upheld, the matter shall be remanded to the original Discipline Board and Discipline Advisor for re-opening of the hearing to allow reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanctions.
6.4. Concerning sanctions on appeal, a sanction may be reduced, increased, changed, or left the same (or be remanded to the original hearing panel) depending on the judgment of the executive vice president or his designee.
6.5. The President may, in his sole discretion, review and modify any student code decision, but there is no right of appeal to the President.
Article VII: Interpretation and Revision
7.1. Any question of interpretation regarding the University’s student code shall be referred to the vice president of Student Life or his designee and such decision shall be final and binding upon all persons covered by the student code.
7.2. The student code shall be reviewed periodically by the vice president of Student Life.
Article VIII: Maintaining Disciplinary Records
8.1. The University maintains disciplinary records as part of its educational records on each student. Some of these records may be maintained beyond a student’s time of enrollment at the University.