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Conduct Policies for Students

Violations which could subject a student to disciplinary sanctions include, but are not limited to, the below list. Alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy as well as the Discrimination and Harassment Policy are addressed in formats that are different from what is described in this section. Please refer to the full list of university policies for a detailed description of these policies and procedures.

The University has the sole discretion to determine whether a violation of University policy or procedure is handled under the Academic Integrity Policy, the Conduct Policies for Students, or other policies or procedures.

Any student who may require accommodation(s) to navigate this process based on the potential impact of a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services to establish eligibility and determine reasonable accommodations. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include auxiliary communication aids, interpreters, and materials in alternative format. Stevenson University has no obligation to provide any accommodation(s) until a student has established eligibility with the Office of Disability Services. Accommodation(s) will not be made retroactively. To discuss possible accommodation needs please contact the Office of Disability Services, 443.352.5320 / ODS@stevenson.edu.

· Disruptive Student

· Drug and Alcohol

· Ethical Violations (including lying, physical abuse, stealing, etc.)

· Failure to Comply

· Firearms and Weapons

· Good Samaritan

· Guests and Visitors on Campus

· Harm to Others

· Hazing

· Information Technology Acceptable Use

· Pets on Campus

· Safety Related to Pandemic

· Smoking

· Social Media

· Tailgating

DISRUPTIVE STUDENT

Stevenson University is committed to the well-being and safety of its community members and the integrity of its learning environment. All members of the Stevenson community have the right to be free from actions or behavior that is disruptive, threatening or violent. Students who engage in behavior that significantly disrupts the learning environment or the residence facilities, or who engage in disruptive behavior on any property of Stevenson University or in any activity sponsored by Stevenson University, or who behave in a manner that is threatening to others or to Stevenson University property, or who engage in acts of violence, are subject to discipline, up to and including involuntary withdrawal from Stevenson University.

Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The facts of some behavior or events may result in a withdrawal that will be either indefinite in time or for a specified period of time, and the facts of other behavior or events may result in expulsion, which is a permanent removal from Stevenson University. A student who withdraws voluntarily or is dismissed or suspended may be eligible to apply for readmission to the University and/or to return to campus housing, if applicable. In such case, the student must show to the satisfaction of the Dean of Students (or designee) that they are qualified to return to Stevenson University and ready to resume academic work, athletics, residence life and/or campus employment.

The Dean of Students (or designee) has the discretion to determine in their academic and professional judgment what behavior is sufficiently disruptive, threatening, and/or violent to warrant the discipline or other action taken under this Policy. The Dean of Students (or designee) is empowered by Stevenson University with the discretion to make the decision regarding discipline and other action, as well as any other decisions reasonably related. The decision of the Dean of Students (or their designee) shall be the final decision on the discipline and other action under this Policy, subject only to an appeal to the University Hearing Board under the Stevenson University Disciplinary Procedures and Sanctions for Student Conduct Violations.

Any student being considered for return to Stevenson University following behaviors that are deemed to have been a direct threat to the health or safety of others will be based an individualized assessment based on reasonable judgment regarding the risk. The student must provide documentation acceptable to the University that the student is not a direct threat to the health or safety of others, along with written consent that the University may communicate with the provider of the documentation. Such communication may include, but is not limited to, current medical or psychological treatment and follow-up needs of the student. The documentation must confirm that the student is qualified and ready to resume academic work, residence life and campus life. An on-campus interview with the Dean of Students and the Assistant Vice President of the Wellness Center or other designated officials will be required.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL

Please refer to the University’s Drug and Alcohol Policy.

ETHICAL VIOLATIONS

Ethical violations by a student which could subject the student to disciplinary sanctions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Lying or knowingly furnishing false information, documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud the University;
  2. Forging, altering, or misusing any University document, record, or instrument of identification;
  3. Harassment, including abusive or threatening language either verbal, in person or through the telephone, or written through the use of the computer, or any other written form;
  4. Damaging, abusing, stealing, or misappropriating property, physical or electronic, or attempting to do so;
  5. Failing to obey the directives of the Hearing Board or its sanctions or instituting a grievance hearing knowingly, without cause.

FAILURE TO COMPLY

Failure to comply with the directives (in person or in writing) of University employees who are acting in accordance with their roles. This policy also includes failure to identify oneself or provide identification to these persons when requested to do so.

Standard Sanction: may result in housing/disciplinary probation or suspension from residence halls and/or University.

FIREARMS AND WEAPONS

The possession of, distribution of, or the use of any firearm, weapon, deadly weapon, or other dangerous or flammable material (e.g. fireworks), including BB guns, any item that shoots projectiles and look-alikes (causing a perceived threat), is strictly forbidden on the property owned or operated by the University. Security Officers, who are licensed to carry a firearm, are exempt from this policy. “Deadly Weapon” is defined to be any firearm, knife or substance or thing that, in the manner it is used, is intended to be used, or threatened to be used, is known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.

Standard Sanction: may result in housing suspension and/or suspension/expulsion from the University.

GOOD SAMARITAN

Stevenson University is committed to the health and safety of its students and strives to maintain policies that support this commitment. In an effort to maintain the health and safety of the campus community, the University has instituted this Good Samaritan Policy. Under this policy, students who seek medical attention for themselves or their fellow students related to consumption of alcohol or other drugs will not be charged with a violation of Stevenson University policies and/or the Guidelines for Student Housing. Students, however, may be required at the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee to complete an alcohol assessment/alcohol education and/or a drug assessment/drug education program depending on the severity of the student’s situation.

Stevenson University prohibits the use of alcohol on campus for those under the legal drinking age of 21 and the use of unauthorized drugs. Alcoholic beverages are not to be furnished to, possessed or consumed by those less than 21 years of age. Students of legal drinking age may drink alcohol in their apartments/suites only if they are not in the presence of residents or guests who are under 21 years of age. The University recognizes that due to these prohibitions, students may unwisely choose not to call for medical assistance when another student is experiencing alcohol intoxication or a potential overdose situation due to the sanctions that the University might impose upon them. Should a student become intoxicated or involved in a potential overdose situation, Stevenson University implores individuals, regardless of age, to seek medical assistance for themselves or others in an attempt to keep the campus community safe.

This Good Samaritan Policy applies only to those students who seek emergency medical assistance in connection with an alcohol or other drug related emergency and does not apply to individuals experiencing an alcohol or other drug emergency who are found by University personnel (e.g., Campus Security, Residence Life, University administrators). Similarly the Good Samaritan Policy only applies to alcohol and other drug related emergencies and does not apply to other unacceptable forms of behavior such as assault, property damage, or distribution of illegal substances. Likewise, the Good Samaritan Policy does not prevent action by police or other law enforcement personnel who are required to abide by Maryland State law.

Stevenson University students are expected to act responsibly. In cases where repetitive violations of Stevenson University’s policies and/or Guidelines for Student Housing occur, the Dean of Students or designee reserves the right to take judicial action on a case-by-case basis regardless of the manner in which the incident was reported.

GUESTS AND VISITORS ON CAMPUS

Guests of students may be entertained in the Manuszak Center on the Greenspring Campus and in Rockland Center and Ratcliffe Community Center on the Owings Mills Campus. They may also attend classes with the permission of the instructor. The University campuses are private property and visitors may be asked to leave at the discretion of the University. Residential students are required to follow the guest policy detailed in the Residence Life Procedures and Guidelines. (Note: the contents of this paragraph have been temporarily superseded by the Visitor Policy implemented in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Visitor Policy will be eliminated, and the contents of this paragraph reinstated, upon the cessation of the pandemic.)

HARM TO OTHERS
Any physical abuse and/or endangerment to an individual or group, whether on or off-campus, is prohibited including, but not limited to:

● Physically abusing or verbally abusing any person;
● threats or intimidation of such harm;
● endangering the health and safety of others.

Standard Sanction: may result in disciplinary probation, housing suspension, or suspension/dismissal from University.

HAZING

Hazing by any group or organization is not allowed at Stevenson University. Hazing is defined as any action or activity taken or situation intentionally created, whether on or off campus, that produces mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule, or any form of violence, abuse, or failure to accord to any student the dignity due the student. Consent of a pledge does not exempt any organization from this regulation.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTABLE USE

Please refer to the University’s Acceptable Use Policy.

PETS ON CAMPUS

Please refer to the University’s Pet Policy.

SAFETY RELATED TO PANDEMIC

Please refer to the University’s Safety Policy, instituted in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Safety Policy will be eliminated upon the cessation of the pandemic.

SMOKING POLICY

Stevenson University is committed to a policy of creating a smoke-free environment in all its facilities and in providing a healthy, comfortable environment for students, faculty, staff, and guests. Smoking is not permitted in any building on the Greenspring or Owings Mills campuses. In order to create a healthier environment:

· All areas within 15 feet of building entrances are designated smoke-free zones.

· The space between the Dawson Academic Center and the Manuszak Center Buildings on the Greenspring Campus will be designated smoke-free due to the close proximity of these two buildings.

· Cigarette receptacles will be placed 15 feet from building entrances.

· Proper signage will be posted indicating “Smoke-Free Zones”.

· Enforcement will be by self-governance of the campus community.

Smoke reduction and cessation education will be offered during the academic year by The Wellness Center.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Please refer to the University’s Social Media Policy

TAILGATING

Whether you are a part of the Stevenson University community or a fan of the opposition, we intend to provide you with an enjoyable experience during your visit. The University encourages tailgating in a fun and family-friendly environment. This tailgating policy is designed to ensure your safety and comfort. We ask you to join us in practicing good sportsmanship in supporting your teams and in your conduct towards players, coaches, officials and other spectators.

Unless otherwise directed by Administration:

· Tailgating is prohibited Monday-Friday except when classes are not in session or during exam periods.

· Tailgating is prohibited on weekends when the University is holding special events (e.g., Open House).

· Tailgating is permitted in designated locations only.

· Leaving the athletic competition venue may result in no re-admittance.

· Tailgating may begin no earlier than three (3) hours prior to the start of competition for all fans. All tailgating must cease once competition begins. Families of student athletes may tailgate for up to one (1) hour after conclusion of competition, but consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited during post-competition tailgating.

· Alcohol may be consumed by those of legal drinking age. Only beer and wine may be consumed. Large quantities of alcoholic beverages (kegs, beer balls, multi-liter containers, etc.) are prohibited. Alcoholic beverages may be possessed and consumed in cans or cups only. Glass containers are prohibited. Paraphernalia typically associated with excessive consumption (funnels, beer bongs, etc.) and drinking games are prohibited.

· Alcohol is prohibited during tailgating in all University buildings.

· Table-top gas grills are permitted in designated locations only. Charcoal grills are prohibited.

· Family pets are prohibited on the Stevenson University property.

· All tailgating fans are expected to place all trash and recycling in the appropriate locations in the tailgating lots.

· Failure to comply with this tailgating policy will result in revocation of the tailgating privilege and removal from University property.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES AND SANCTIONS FOR CONDUCT VIOLATIONS

Students accused of conduct violations of University policy are normally required to attend and participate in a Disciplinary Conference with a hearing officer. Students have the right to appeal the outcome of that Disciplinary Conference as provided in this policy.

Additionally, students have the right to establish eligibility and determine reasonable accommodations to navigate this process based on the potential impact of a disability. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include auxiliary communication aids, interpreters, and materials in alternate format. Stevenson University has no obligation to provide any accommodation(s) until a student has established eligibility with the Office of Disability Services. Accommodation(s) will not be made retroactively. To discuss possible accommodation needs please contact the Office of Disability Services, 443.352.5320 / ODS@stevenson.edu.

These procedures do not apply to a student whose conduct or presence on campus is determined, in the discretion of the Dean of Students, the Director, Security, or another official of Stevenson, to be dangerous to other persons or the University or its property, or who has repeatedly disrupted or threatened to disrupt the educational process or University operation. In such cases, Stevenson reserves the right to resolve a case and sanction the student, including but not limited to suspension or expulsion from the University, without a hearing; such decisions will be made by the Dean of Students (or designee).

Notice of the Charges

The student accused of violating University policy (sometimes referred to herein as “respondent”) shall be notified of the charges by the person or University entity instituting the charges.

Interim Suspension

In certain circumstances, the Dean of Students (or designee) may impose a University or residence hall suspension prior to the student’s Disciplinary Conference. Interim suspension may be imposed:

· to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; or

· if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the University.

During the interim suspension, a student shall be denied access to the residence halls 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 Dean of Students (or designee) may determine to be appropriate.

Whenever an interim suspension is imposed, a Disciplinary Conference will be scheduled at the earliest time reasonably possible. The interim suspension may remain in effect until a final decision has been reached, including any appropriate appeals process.

Disciplinary Conferences

  1. Hearing. The Dean of Students determines who will hear a case for the alleged violation. Cases are typically heard by the Dean of Students, the Director, Student Conduct, or a Residence Life staff member, or their designee. The Dean of Students has the discretion to appoint a different hearing officer and/or a second hearing officer in cases for which, in their judgment, it is warranted including but not limited to in cases that are complicated or otherwise unusual.
  2. Notice. Respondents are contacted, normally by email or in person, by the Dean of Students, the Director, Student Conduct, or a Residence Life staff member, or their designee in order to schedule a Disciplinary Conference, which normally will be held in Ratcliffe Community Center.
  3. Failure to Appear. A respondent’s failure to appear for the conference after receiving notice normally will be deemed to be an election by the student to not challenge the charges, and the charges will be sustained. However, a respondent may appear but choose to not make any statement or otherwise provide information in response to the charges; in that instance, the conference will proceed and a determination on the charges in the Notice will be made by the hearing officer without the input of the respondent.
  4. Format of Disciplinary Conference. Conferences will be directed by the hearing officer who will preside throughout the conference. All decisions regarding the nature of the conference, including whether to meet in person, phone or via video-conferencing, the number of witnesses, the order in which witnesses will be heard, the length of the interviews, any procedural and logistical matters, and what information is reasonably necessary in reaching a fair decision, are within the discretion of the hearing officer. There are no formal rules of evidence. The conferences will not be recorded by Stevenson, and no one will be permitted to make a recording. Any participant may take notes when permitted to be present. No party or other witness will be present during the interview of any other party or witness. The conference is closed to the public.
  5. Information Provided. Respondents and witnesses are required to provide truthful information, and any violation will be governed by and disciplined under Stevenson’s policies.
  6. Determination. After the conference, the hearing officer will determine whether or not to find the respondent responsible and then will issue sanctions that in his or her judgment are appropriate. The respondent is then notified in writing of the decision and the sanction(s) imposed, if any. That decision will normally be provided to the respondent within five (5) business days after the conference is completed.
  7. Preponderance of Evidence. The hearing officer makes the decision using the preponderance of evidence standard.
  8. Final Decision. The decisions made by the hearing officer are final, pending the normal appeal process (see Appeal Process below for more information).

Sanctions

Stevenson recognizes that the goals of discipline are education and deterrence. In this spirit, the following sanctions, although not inclusive, may be recommended or imposed as appropriate by either the Dean of Students or the Director, Student Conduct (or their designee), or a Residence Life staff member. More than one of the sanctions may be imposed for any single violation.

  1. Verbal Warning. The respondent will receive verbal notice that he/she has violated University regulations and/or policies and continuation or repetition of the violation may lead to more severe disciplinary action.
  2. Written Warning. The respondent will receive written notice that he/she has violated University regulations and/or policies and continuation or repetition of the violation may lead to more severe disciplinary action.
  3. Restitution. The respondent shall be liable for reimbursement for any damage of or misappropriation of either individual and/or community property. Forms for reimbursement may include appropriate service to repair or monetary compensation. Failure to make restitution within a reasonable time period can lead to further disciplinary action by Stevenson.
  4. Disciplinary 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 respondent is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) or the Student Policy Manual during the probationary period.
  5. Parental Notification. Notification may be made to the parents/legal guardians of the respondent regarding the incident and the sanctions being imposed.
  6. Residence Hall Suspension. The respondent may be separated from the residence halls for a finite period of time, after which the respondent is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified in writing to the respondent.
  7. Suspension. The respondent shall be excluded from classes and/or extracurricular activities and shall lose all rights and privileges of a student in good standing, and denied access to residence halls and/or the campus and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. The term of suspension and the conditions for readmission shall be stated in the notice of suspension. As noted above, immediate Interim Suspension may be imposed during the course of an investigation at the discretion of the Dean of Students (or designee).
  8. Dismissal. The respondent shall be terminated from the University for an indefinite or specified period of time and may be readmitted to the University only with the specific approval of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, and Vice President, Student Affairs.
  9. Expulsion. The respondent shall be terminated from the University permanently without the possibility of readmission to the University.

Appeal Process

  1. Right to Appeal. A decision reached by a hearing officer may be appealed. A request for an appeal must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students or, in cases where the decision of the Dean of Students is being appealed, to the Vice President, Student Affairs within five (5) business days of the decision.
  2. Grounds for Appeal. The written request for an appeal must be based upon one or more of the following grounds, and there are no other grounds for appeal:
    1. A procedural error that significantly impacted the final decision;
    2. Previously unavailable, substantive and relevant information that could materially impact the final decision; and
    3. The sanctions or discipline imposed is substantially disproportionate for the facts of the case for the violation that was found to have occurred.
  3. Procedure for Hearing. When an appeal is permitted, the normal procedure for determining who hears the appeal is as set forth in the chart below:

Original Hearing Officer

Appeal hearing will generally be heard by:

Residence Life Staff Member

Director, Student Conduct

Decision at this point is final

Director, Student Conduct

Dean of Students

Decision at this point is final

Dean of Students

University Hearing Board

Decision at this point is final

The case will be considered closed when (1) a person or entity designated in the chart above concludes that no appeal is permitted or hears the appeal and rules for or against the respondent, or (2) when the case reaches a stage in the chart above which states that the “decision at this point is final.”

When the appeal is from a decision by the Director, Student Conduct to suspend or dismiss a student from the University or to remove a student from University residence halls, the Dean of Students will determine whether the appeal will be heard by the Dean of Students or by the University Hearing Board.

  1. Appeals Other than to the University Hearing Board. When an appeal as provided in the “Appeal Process” section is to be heard by the Director, Student Conduct or the Dean of Students, the procedures for the hearing are the same as those set forth in the “Disciplinary Conference” section, items B through F. In addition, the person filing the appeal and any student accused by the appellant shall have the right to an advisor as set forth in the “University Hearing Board” section, item B3, noted below.

UNIVERSITY HEARING BOARD

The University Hearing Board receives its authority from the President of the University. It shall consist of at least twelve members (students, faculty, administration, staff). At least five of these members shall be designated by the President to sit on the Board at any one time. The members, representing administration, faculty, staff, and students shall be nominated through the Student Services Board of the Faculty Council and shall be appointed by the President of the University. A Chairperson shall be selected by the President. The members shall serve for a one-year term.

  1. Jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the University Hearing Board is to hear appeals of charges of student conduct violations of established policies and regulations in accordance with the appeals process described above.
  2. Procedures. The University Hearing Board shall adhere to the following procedures in hearing appeals of charges of student conduct violations of established policies and procedures:
    1. Notice. Promptly upon receipt by the Board Chairperson of a written request for a hearing, written notice shall be given to the person filing the appeal (the “appellant”) and any student who is accused, of the date and time of the hearing and the allegations on which the matter is based or the specifics of what action is requested.
    2. Burden of Proof. The burden of proof shall rest upon the appellant.
    3. Advisor. The appellant and any other student who is a party to the proceedings such as an accused (but not people who are only witnesses), has the right to be assisted by an advisor from the University community whose role is to meet and discuss the case with the student he/she is advising prior to the hearing. The advisor has no standing in the proceedings, however, and may provide advice to respective student in a quiet manner that is not disruptive to the proceedings. Advisors cannot be lawyers and are not permitted to speak or participate directly in the hearing.
    4. Format of Hearing. Hearings will be directed by the hearing officer who will preside throughout the hearing. All decisions regarding the nature of the hearing, including whether to meet in person, phone or via video-conferencing, the number of witnesses, the order in which witnesses will be heard, the length of the interviews, any procedural and logistical matters, and what information is reasonably necessary in reaching a fair decision, are within the discretion of the hearing officer. There are no formal rules of evidence. Any participant may take notes when permitted to be present. The hearing is closed to the public.
    5. Witnesses and Evidence. The appellant and the University shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses, who may be asked questions by the Board. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by the Board at the discretion of the Chairperson. Written statements of others may be admitted into evidence only if signed by the person submitting the statement and witnessed by the Director, Student Conduct or another person acceptable to the Board.
    6. Record of the Hearing. The hearing will not be recorded by Stevenson, and no one will be permitted to make a recording.
    7. Confidentiality. The information presented at the hearing will be regarded as confidential.
    8. Decision of the Board. The Board will make its decision by a majority vote of the Board members who vote. The Board will issue a written finding regarding the appeal. The Board shall issue sanctions, if any, that it deems to be appropriate in the event that the Board finds that the appellant has violated a University policy.
    9. Final Decision. The decision of the University Hearing Board shall be final.
    10. Failure to Appear. An appellant or an accused student who is a subject of the appeal who fails to appear for the hearing after receiving notice normally forfeits their own right to a hearing or appeal. However, an appellant or accused student may appear but choose to not make any statement or otherwise provide information on their own behalf; in that instance, the hearing will proceed and a determination on the appeal will be made by the Board without input from the appellant or the student who is a subject of the appeal.
    11. Information Provided. Appellants, accused students and witnesses are required to provide truthful information, and any violation will be governed by and disciplined under Stevenson’s policies.

(Approved July 2020)


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