Online Student Handbook

Student Conduct System

California Lutheran University is a comprehensive university of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, where the search for truth and freedom is strengthened by a sense of personal responsibility and a commitment to a just and caring community. In that spirit CLU, and Student Conduct System seeks to provide a fair, clear, and caring framework for dealing with situations in which University policies have been violated. Though every effort will be made to follow all of the steps of this conduct process, be advised that in the case of danger to self or others or disruption of the educational environment, the University reserves the right to take immediate action to suspend, dismiss, or remove from campus the student(s) involved. This immediate action does not preclude the student from his/her rights subsequent to the immediate action.

The Student Conduct System operates under the following principles:

  • To regard each student as an individual, deserving personal attention, consideration and respect,
  • To consider the facts fully and carefully before reaching a decision,
  • To provide an atmosphere for candid and honest so that communication can take place.
  • To hold each student at a high standard of responsibility, both to protect the campus community and the individual,
  • To recognize the reality of human fallibility, as well as the stresses associated with collegiate life, and to demonstrate compassion and understanding
  • To use an educational approach which assists students in understanding that inappropriate behavior is unacceptable in the University community.



ARTICLE I: DEFINITIONS

  1. The term “University” means California Lutheran University.
  2. The term “student” applies to all persons who have an educational interest in the institution. This includes, but is not limited to, all individuals:  taking courses at the University, both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies and those who attend post-secondary educational institutions other than California Lutheran University who are residing in University residence halls. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University, or have been notified of their acceptance for admission, or until all processes involved in maintaining student status are concluded are considered “students.” This Student Code of Conduct applies at all locations of California Lutheran University.
  3. The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the University to conduct classroom activities.
  4. The term “University official” includes any person employed by the University performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
  5. The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a 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 Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
  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.
  7. The term “University policy” is defined as the regulations of the University including, but not limited to, the Standards of Conduct, Student Handbook, Housing Contract, and Graduate /Undergraduate Catalogs.
  8. The term “Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students” is that person authorized by the University to be responsible for the administration of the Standards of Conduct and Student Conduct System.
  9. The term “designee” means any person or Judicial Body who is appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students to adjudicate a violation of the Standards of Conduct or University policy. This includes the Director of Student Life, the Associate Director of Student Life, the Coordinators for Residence Life or other appointed designee(s).
  10. The term “Judicial Body” means any person authorized by the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee to determine whether a student has violated the Standards of Conduct or University policy, hear appeals and/or impose sanctions.
  11. The term “University Hearing Board” means the Judicial Body comprised of a minimum of thirteen (13) members from the University community (four students, four faculty, four administrators and one advisor) authorized to determine whether a student has violated the Standards of Conduct or a University policy and to impose sanctions upon those students found responsible and to consider an appeal from the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee’s determination that a student has violated the Standards of Conduct or University policy.
  12. The term “Conduct Peer Advisor” means that person appointed, each year by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee, to assist students who appear before a Judicial Body with questions or concerns related to the Student Conduct System. This student will be trained in the Student Conduct System and its regulations.

 

ARTICLE II. STUCTURE OF CONDUCT SYSTEM

  • The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee shall serve as the University’s investigator prior to the bringing of formal charges or after formal charges are made. The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee shall have the right to require members of the University community to present themselves at his/her office in order to investigate facts in any matter referred to him or her. The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee shall have the right to bring formal charges in cases concerning the entire University community, to resolve matters by administrative decision and to refer cases to the University Hearing Board. As a formal part of the Student Conduct System, decisions of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee regarding a student’s responsibility shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Standards of Conduct or a University policy.
  • Formal rules of process, procedures, and/or technical rules of evidence (such as are applied in criminal court or civil court) are not used in Student Conduct System proceedings.    The procedures outlined do not attempt to recreate or approximate a court of law.  Procedures shall reflect standards of fundamental fairness; however, minor deviation from procedural guidelines for hearings suggested in the Student Conduct System shall not invalidate a decision or proceeding resulting from a hearing unless significant prejudice to the accused or the University may result, as judged by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
  • The University Hearing Board is a Judicial Body authorized to determine whether a student has violated the Standards of Conduct or University policy and shall, when appropriate, recommend sanctions and will consider an appeal by a student based on the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee’s determination that the student has violated the Standards of Conduct or University policy

The University Hearing Board consists of these minimum thirteen (13) members from the University community:

  • Four (5) students, who shall be appointed by the ASCLU president,
  • Four (4) faculty members. Who shall be appointed at the beginning of each academic year by the Faculty of California Lutheran University,
  • Four (4) administrators who are not employees of the Division of Student Affairs, who shall be appointed at the beginning of each academic year by the President of the University and,
  • One (1) advisor, assigned to each case individually by the Dean of Students/Vice President of Student Affairs. The advisor is a designee of the Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Affairs, who does not take an active part in the proceedings but is responsible for selection and training of the board members and assures that due process and fairness are maintained during hearings.

 

  • The Conduct Peer Advisor is available as an advisor to any student charged in a case that is going before a Judicial Body. The Conduct Peer Advisor may accompany any student who appears before a Judicial Body and may advise the student. However, he/she may not be a party to the incident or take a direct part in the proceedings. A student may choose not to utilize the services of the Judicial Peer Advisor in favor of appointing his or her own advisor. However, an advisor selected by the student must be another member of the University community and may not be an attorney. The student is responsible for presenting his/her own information, and therefore advisors are not permitted to speak or participate directly in any Student Conduct System proceeding.
  • The University Hearing Board decision can only be petitioned to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students for one or more of the following purposes:
    • To determine whether the preceding Conduct hearing was conducted in conformity with prescribed procedures: giving the party bringing charges a reasonable opportunity to present information that the Standards of Conduct or University policy were violated while giving the student being charged a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those charges.
    • To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant fact not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.

A written petition to reopen a hearing shall be submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students within 5 class days of the University Hearing Board decision or as soon as new information becomes available.  If the petition is accepted, the matter shall be remanded to the University Hearing Board for reopening of the hearing.

  • The President is the University officer directly responsible to the Board of Regents for enforcement of all policies.  The President of the University is authorized to take any action deemed necessary with respect to any student disciplinary matter.  All suspensions (other than residence hall suspensions), dismissals, and expulsions must be approved by the President.

 

ARITCLE III. CONDUCT POLICIES & PROCEDURES

Violation of Law and University Discipline

  • If a student is charged only with an off-campus violation of federal, state or local laws, but with any other violation of University policy, disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed for grave misconduct that demonstrates flagrant disregard for the University community. In such case, no sanctions may be imposed unless the student has been found guilty in a court of law or has declined to contest such charges, although not actually admitting guilt (e.g. “no contest” or “nolo contendere”).
  • University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a law is also a violation of University policy. For example, if both violations result from the same actual situation, without regard to the pendency of civil litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under the Student Conduct System may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus.
  • When a student is charged by federal, state or local authorities with a violation of law, the University will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also the subject of a Conduct proceeding under the Student Conduct System, the University may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Student Conduct System and how such matters will be handled internally within the University community. The University will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law and faculty members, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives, as they deem appropriate. 

 

Reports, Charges and Hearings

 

  • Any member of the University community may report student misconduct. Any reports shall be prepared in writing and be directed to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee. Any reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferable within five days of the event.
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students of his/her designee may conduct an investigation to determine if the allegations have merit and/or if they can be disposed of by an administrative decision of the parties involved.

 

    • If the allegations have merit, charges will be filed. The student will be given an opportunity to respond to the charges.
    • If the student does not respond to the charges an administrative decision will be made without the student’s input. Based on all available information, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee will make an administrative decision and determine appropriate sanctions.
    • Those identified as being involved or having information relevant to an incident will be requested to make an appointment with the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee as deemed necessary.
    • If the matter is resolved by administrative decision, such resolution shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceeding.
  • In addition, if the charges cannot be disposed of by administrative decision by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee may direct the matter directly to the University Hearing Board or the student may appeal the administrative decision to the University Hearing Board.  A student may do so, provided that the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students is informed of the student’s decision to have the University Hearing Board hear the case within five days following the decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee. This request must be in writing. Following receipt of the request, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee shall schedule a meeting with the University Hearing Board as soon as possible, preferably within ten days.

 

Sanctions

  • Informal:  Some instances of student misconduct may not warrant a formal review of the incident. In cases where the student admits responsibility and the violation is of a less serious nature, a formal verbal or written warning or sanction may be given by a University official.
  • Formal:  The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated a University policy:
      • Disciplinary Warning: A written warning to the student that his or her behavior is in violation of a University policy. Further involvement in incidents that violate policies may be treated with more serious disciplinary action.
      • Educational Sanctions: The student may be required to participate in a specific activity as a method to educate the student about an issue or behavior related to a conduct sanction. For example, a student may be required to apologize to appropriate persons, prepare a paper in relation to the violation, plan an educational program, attend counseling sessions, or complete hours of University campus improvement.
      • Probation:  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 regulation(s) during the probationary period. Students placed on Residence Hall probation face a higher probability of residence hall suspension or expulsion if found to have violated university policies while on probation.
      • Loss of Privileges:  Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
      • Fines:  Monetary fines may be imposed.
      • Restitution:  Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
      • Residence Hall Relocation:  Move to another residence hall.
      • 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. Entrance into the residence halls is prohibited during this period of separation. The student may remain liable for all charges including room and board through the end of the academic year.
      • Residence Hall Expulsion:  Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls. Entrance into the residence halls is prohibited upon Residence Hall Expulsion. The student may remain liable for all charges including room and board through the end of the academic year.
      • 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. The student may remain liable for all charges including tuition, room and board through the end of the academic year.
      • University Dismissal/Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the University. The student may remain liable for all charges including tuition, and room and board through the end of the academic year.
      • Revocation of Admission and/or Degree:  Admission to or a degree awarded from California Lutheran University may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or violation of the Standards of Conduct in obtaining admission or a degree, or for other serious violations omitted by a student prior to graduation.
      • Withholding of Degree: The University may withhold awarding a degree otherwise awarded until the completion of the process set forth in the Standards of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed.
  • More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation
  • The student is responsible for complying with the sanctions imposed by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee. All sanctions shall commerce immediately following the decision by the Vice President for Students Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee. The sanctions will not be deferred through the appeals process. Failure to comply with the sanctions will result in further disciplinary action as deemed appropriate by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee, without the benefit of an additional hearing by the University Hearing Board. Incomplete sanctions may result in monetary fines, disciplinary holds in the Office of the Registrar or other consequences.
  • Disciplinary actions, other than University suspension and University dismissal/expulsion, are not made part of the student’s academic record. Seven years after graduation or withdrawal from California Lutheran University, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than University suspension, or University dismissal/expulsion.

 

Interim Suspension

In certain circumstances, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee may impose a residence hall or University suspension prior to a Conduct hearing.

Interim suspension may be imposed:

  • To ensure the safety and well being of members of the University community or preservation of University property.
  • To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being, or if the student poses a 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 halls and/or the campus, including classes, and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible

 

ARTICLE IV. OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR THE UNIVERSITY HEARING BOARD

  • Hearings should be conducted by the University Hearing Board according to the following guidelines:
  • Hearings shall be conducted in private.
  • All hearings will be recorded. (This record excludes deliberations). A recorder will be provided by the Vice President for Students Affairs/Dean of Students or his/her designee. This record is the property of the University. This record will be made available to the individual to the individual parties upon the student’s decision to proceed by the University and maintained as a part of the student’s Conduct file.
  • Admission of any person to the hearing board shall be at the discretion of the Chair.
  • If requested by the student, the University shall make available to the student, within a reasonable time prior to the hearing, copies of filed information, security reports, and any other relevant documentation.  The student will be responsible for reviewing all hearing procedures contained in the Student Conduct System.
  • In hearings involving more than one student, the chairperson of the Board, at his or her discretion, may permit hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
  • The student has the right to be assisted by an advisor.
  • The person may be the Conduct Peer Advisor or another member of the University community   and not an attorney.
  • The advisor may not be a party to the incident, may not represent or speak for the accused student, nor to the Board.
  • If the student wishes to have an advisor present, the student is responsible to inform the advisor of the scheduled date, time, and location of the hearing.
  • The student is also responsible for notifying the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
  • The student making the appeal, the University, and the Board shall have the right to present witnesses, subject to the right of cross examination by the Board.
  • The student has the right to present witnesses in his or her behalf during the hearing.
  • The witnesses presented must be able to give information related to the specific incident.
  • The witnesses presented in person must have been present at the time of the incident or administrative hearing.
  • Character witnesses may be presented in written form and must be approved by the Chair of the University Hearing Board for admittance as information in the hearing.
  • The Board reserves the right to limit the number of witnesses to a reasonable number in any particular case.
  • The student is responsible for contacting his or her witnesses and informing them of the date, time and location of the hearing.
  • The student is responsible for notifying the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students at least two class days prior to the scheduled hearing of the Board of the names of the witnesses who will be in attendance. The notice must be in writing.
  • Failure to provide witnesses’ names at least two class days prior to the hearing will result in the witnesses not being allowed to testify before the University Hearing Board.
  • The student will not be present in the hearing during any information disclosed by any witnesses, including those presented by the student.
  • Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the University Hearing Board at the discretion of the chairperson at the opening of the hearing. All such information must be submitted to the Advisor of the University Hearing Board to the hearing.
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students and his/her designee for the University Hearing Board will appoint members from the pool until a panel of at least 3 members is formed in each case.
  • The student has the right to request the disqualification of not more than two members of the University Hearing Board. The request must show cause as to the reason for disqualification and be directed to the chairperson prior to the beginning of the hearing and prior to testimony of the case being heard.
  • The University Hearing Board will vote on the student’s request for disqualification of board members.
  • University Hearing Board members reserve the right to disqualify themselves from a hearing for any personal reason or for conflict of interest.
  • All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the advisor of the Board.
  • A quorum of at least three (3) board members must be present to convene a hearing. A simple majority is needed in all voting.
  • In cases of University suspension, dismissals, or expulsion, a vote must be as follows:
  • 5 members- 4 out of 5
  • 4 members- 3 out of 4
  • 3 members- 2 out of 3
  • All suspensions (other than residence hall suspension), dismissals and expulsions must be approved by the President of the University.
  • The student has the right to remain silent during any and all parts of the hearing and this choice will not be taken as an admission of responsibility. The student shall be presumed not responsible for allegations made until the student’s responsibility for the alleged behavior is determined by the University Hearing Board.
  • No student may be found to have violated a University policy solely because the student failed to appear before the University Hearing Board. In the event the student fails to appear, the information in support of the charges and appeal shall be presented and considered as written.
  • The student is responsible for his or her actions before, during and after the hearing. Inappropriate conduct related to or during actions of the Student Judiciary System will result in further disciplinary action. Abuses of the Student Conduct System include, but are not limited to:
  • All Student Conduct System proceedings, including hearings conducted by the University Hearing Board may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, accused student and/or other witnesses during the hearing by providing separate facilities or using other means of communication as determined by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students to be appropriate. Appropriate accommodations will also be provided for any student by the student at least 2 days prior to the hearing and may be submitted in writing to the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
  • The determination of the University Hearing Board shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Standards of Conduct or a University policy. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence are applied to criminal court or civil court, are not used in Student Conduct System proceedings.
  • After the hearing, the University Hearing Board shall determine by majority vote whether the student has violated each section of the Standards of Conduct or University policy that the student is charged with violating.
  • The student shall receive written notification of the decision of the University Hearing Board within five class days after the hearing.  The decision of the University Hearing Board is final except where new information is available or where student rights have been violated.
  • A student may petition to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students to reopen a hearing in the event that new information is available or if student rights have been violated. 

 

ARTICLE V. INTERPRETATION AND REVISION

Any question of interpretation regarding the Student Conduct System, Standards of Conduct and/or University policies shall be referred to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students for final determination.

 

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