Guide to the SGA
Student Life Policy
Article I - Preamble
The student’s behavioral record will very likely be as important a consideration as the student’s academic record in influencing future opportunities. Just as postgraduate schools and employers will want to know grades earned so, too, will they want to know what sort of citizen the student was while enrolled. Therefore, the student should be conscientious about both the behavioral and academic records achieved in the university. Beginning with the fall semester, 1986, Concord University will mail grades and disciplinary reports of “dependent” students to their parents. All students are assumed “dependent” unless they establish their “independence” with the University. In the event students want to declare themselves “independent,” they must furnish to the Registrar their 1040 forms or some other conclusive documents in order to officially establish their “independence.”
Concord University has developed the following procedures, regulations, and policies to describe the general bounds of student responsibility for behavior. The system is intended to serve as a guide for the conduct of students and to ensure fair and equitable treatment to all, whether they are full members of the community or visitors. In other words, the system is intended to provide safeguards for each individual and, at the same time, protect the rights of all persons. Students must recognize that the privileges and membership in the University community necessitate acceptance of commensurate responsibilities both for themselves and the community.
Article II -
Code of Conduct
The primary responsibility of the University for student conduct is the maintaining of order and protection of property in the service of all students, faculty and staff in as pleasant an atmosphere as possible. The Code of Conduct has been established to promote the achieving of education, not only in the classroom, but in all aspects of University life, including residence halls, activities, athletics, and student government functions. The Code will be subject to periodic review so that it will remain appropriate to current conditions on the campus. Concord University policies and procedures have been developed in accordance with the Policies, Rules, and Regulations Regarding Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct in West Virginia State Universities and Colleges, adopted by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. A copy of this is provided within this publication.
Article III - Behavioral Standards
The jurisdiction of Student Life policies shall be the building(s) and facilities in which they are enacted and the surrounding, University owned property, and shall be in effect at all time on University property and also at any University sponsored event off- campus. In some circumstances, including felonies or other acts that constitute criminal offense and which directly and seriously threaten the health and/or safety of the members of the campus community, the University reserves the right to apply its behavioral standards to students off-campus. In such cases as where the Universities jurisdiction and other entities jurisdiction overlap, both are acting as independent entities and the ruling of one jurisdiction shall not be used as the basis for the other.
- The Concord University Board of Governors’ or West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s policies, rules, and regulations should be posted in any building where they apply and distributed to students as part of the student handbook, or in addendum to the handbook in any year that the handbook is not printed and that these policies change.
- That all published Rules and Regulations be posted in any building which they apply and distributed to students as part of the student handbook, or in addendum to the handbook in any year that the handbook is not printed and these policies change.
- Violation of Criminal Statute - To violate any section of the General Statutes of the State of West Virginia on the premises of the University, or at any University sponsored event or function off campus; such violations may be tried in the University Judicial System, and appropriate sanctions will be delivered upon conviction, with consideration given to the seriousness of the violation.
- Physical Violence - To show a threat of, or commission of, bodily harm. This includes any form of expression of intention to inflict injury or damages.
- Misuse or Damage of Property and Vandalism - The misuse, vandalism, or malicious damaging of any property or facilities of the University or its employees.
- Disruption of Activities - To intentionally disrupt or obstruct teaching, research, administrative proceedings, or any other campus based proceeding.
- Theft - To steal property from the University, or from a member of the University community (faculty, staff, or students), or from any person on University property, or possession of any stolen property. Included is wrongful appropriation (i.e., theft with intent to temporarily deprive the owner of possession) and sale of stolen property.
- Academic Dishonesty - To cheat, to willfully plagiarize, or in any other way or method, engage in dishonest practices in scholastic study, during examinations or any other academic endeavor.
- Failure to Cooperate with Staff (including student staff) Failure or refusal to obey or comply with directions and instructions of student or institutional officials acting in the performance of their duties (in the building or facility in which those duties are performed). Student employees of the university are Concord University officials and should be treated as such when fulfilling their duties. Also, to verbally abuse such officials in their presence while they are executing those duties. Those duties shall include investigating rules violations, situations which may involve rules violations, and when reporting situations involving rules violations.
- Alcoholic Beverages - A resident student having reached the age of twenty-one (21) may possess and consume beer in her/his own room. This also applies to one guest who is also 21. If each resident is 21 and each guest(s) is as well, a total of 12 cans of beer could be in a room. This provision is intended to allow for private consumption by individual room residents only. The policy is not intended to facilitate gatherings of persons such as for parties. The beer must conform to the definition contained in West Virginia Law. Except for the above-allowed use, the possession and/or use of alcoholic beverages are prohibited at all times on campus.
- Beer is to be conveyed to the room/apartment in sealed cans only and carried in packaging (such as a closed, plain paper bag or closed, plain box) which conceals the contents. University staff is authorized to inspect suspicious looking packages.
- The maximum amount of beer permitted in the room is six, 12-ounce cans per resident assigned to that room who has reached the age of twenty-one (21) years. Bottles and volume containers such as kegs, beer balls, and wine boxes are strictly not permitted. Possession/consumption is limited to the privacy of resident rooms with the door closed.
- No one is permitted to provide alcoholic beverages, including beer, to anyone under the age of twenty-one (21). No beer will be allowed in a room occupied by a student(s) under 21 years of age. Students under 21 and in violation of this standard can expect the following:
- A summons to the local Magistrate Court, which could result in a fine and court costs.
- Mandatory drug and alcohol assessment.
- Other appropriate sanctions, e.g., community service, attending hall council meeting, etc.
- On the 3rd offense, the student will be required to appear before the University Hearing Board, with the expectation of suspension/expulsion if found guilty.
- Any confiscation shall be permanent, and shall include any items/paraphernalia associated with the violation, including, but not limited to, chests, tubs, kegs, taps, wine boxes, pitchers, glasses, mugs, cans, bottles, and funnels.
- Policy violators shall be subject to disposing of prohibited beverages in an appropriate manner as well as to disciplinary action.
- “The Excuse” under the influence of alcohol for any behavior which is violation of University policies and procedures will not be accepted. Students not violating any rule in the Student Life Policy shall not be forcibly tested for intoxication unless in conjunction with investigation of some violation herein. (I.e. Students shall not be subjected to testing for alcohol unless acting in violation of one of the policies.
- Possession of Drugs and Narcotics - To use, possess, and/or distribute non-prescribed drugs and narcotics on University property or at University sponsored activities off campus is strictly prohibited. Possessing drug paraphernalia such as bongs, pipes, clips, rolling papers, etc., are also strictly prohibited. Students in violation of this standard can expect to appear before the University Hearing Board with the expectation of suspension if found guilty. They can also expect the following:
- A summons to the local Magistrate Court.
- Notification of the incident to the appropriate local, state and federal authorities.
- Summons to appear before the University Hearing Board with the expectation of suspension/expulsion if found guilty.
- Disorderly Conduct - To act in a disorderly manner, such as abusive, indecent, obscene, or excessively noisy behavior or language on University property, especially in and around residence areas. Committing misconduct related to the consumption of alcohol, including beer and non-prescribed drugs and narcotics, is strictly prohibited. Each student is held responsible for his or her own conduct and that of his guests, invited or uninvited, as well as any damages to University property.
- Possession of Weapons - To possess and/or use firearms ammunition, fireworks of any kind, explosives, or any article or substance calculated to injure or discomfort any person.
- Hazing of Any Kind Will not be Permitted - Hazing includes, but is not limited to, those activities promulgated by members of organizations against their new members, as well as any student or students acting against any other student or students. Hazing is defined as any action or situation created intentionally to produce mental, emotional, or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities and situations may include paddling in any form, creation of excessive fatigue, i.e., any activity which deprives a student of at least six (6) continuous hours of sleep; physical and psychological shocks; inappropriate quests, i.e., stealing of items, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such inappropriate activities; wearing publicly, any apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste as defined by the proper hearing bodies; like dressing, engaging in public stunts, buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games or activities; late work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; or any act which would degrade or otherwise compromise the dignity of the individual, including forced use and abuse of alcohol or drugs or harassing phone calls. New members of student organizations should not be expected to do or be coerced into doing or saying anything that all members of the organizations do not do or say with the new members or as an entire group. In order to provide assistance to student organizations who are concerned with upgrading their procedures for acquiring new members, the Student Organization Committee of the Student Affairs Council will meet upon request to review written proposals submitted to student organizations defining specific activities which their organizations wish to participate in. It is hoped that this subcommittee will provide an avenue for student organizations to review any possible problem areas rather than subjecting themselves to being accused of Hazing and being reviewed through the University Judicial System.
- Gambling - To gamble on University property for any item of value in which students must first commit similar items in the form of a wager.
- Throwing, Dropping, etc., of any object out a window on University property that may result in damage to property or person.
- Littering - To litter on University property.
- Possession of Keys - To have in his or her possession, keys to University property without proper authorization.
- Student Identification Cards - All students shall carry their validated I.D. cards with them while on the Concord University campus or for any off-campus University sponsored activities. Failure to present the I.D. card when requested by a University official shall be considered a violation of University regulations. False identification and/or the lending of an I.D. card to a student or non-student for admission to a University activity, or the use of the services or facilities of the University, shall be considered a violation of University regulations.
- The Furnishing of False Information to the University, including lying, or forgery, alteration, or use of University documents or instruments of identification with intent to defraud.
- Passing a Worthless Check or Money Order in payment of a financial obligation to the University, or passing of same to a member of the University community acting in an official capacity.
- Trespass - To make an unwarranted or uninvited entry into any room, building, or other facility.
- Intentional False Reporting a Fire, or that a bomb or other explosive has been, or will be, placed in any University building or elsewhere on University property. This includes activating the alarm system when no emergency exists, nor is threatened.
- The creation of any form of threat to the health, welfare, and safety of persons is prohibited.
- Misuse of, tampering with, or otherwise disturbing without proper cause, fire extinguishers, fire hoses, fire alarms, thermal detectors, and/or any other fire equipment is a serious breach of student conduct. Violators will be subject to arrest.
- Students are required to become familiar with the evacuation procedures when a fire alarm sounds, and follow the procedures whenever an alarm system does sound, including procedures pertaining to re-entry afterward. Upon the sounding of a fire alarm, individuals will exit the building by the nearest approved fire exit.
Individuals must remain outside of the building until an all-clear signal is given by an official of the University or the Fire Department. Re-entry to the building prior to the all-clear signal will subject the individual to disciplinary action.
- Fire doors are not to be wedged open or otherwise kept from closing.
- Obstruction of Justice - To prevent, or to attempt to prevent, evidence from being offered before any court or to deliberately lie or offer false testimony in any hearing or judicial system.
- Contempt of Court - To commit any of the following acts: Any student who commits any of the following acts shall be guilty of Contempt of Court in the Student Hearing Board or University Hearing Board and shall be subject to disciplinary measures:
- Failure to comply with, or perform, disciplinary measures imposed by the University through accepted recommendations by the Court.
- Failure to comply with the lawful instructions of the Court.
- Disruption of Court hearing procedures.
- Failure to answer a lawful summons or subpoena. A notice is to be given at least 48 hours in advance.
- Any act hindering the function of the Court.
- Student officials shall be subject to these rules as part of their employment.
- Disruptions or interference with the normal use of the computers, computer-related equipment, data, or programs of individuals, the Network, or the University;
- Use of this equipment, data, or programs in performance of any act listed as prohibited in this document;
- Attempts to breach security in any manner; and
- Use of computer account for other than the purpose for which assigned.
- Conduct which takes place on campus for which a student is found guilty by the University Hearing Board of violating the criminal statutes of the State or Federal Government.
- A violation of the Concord University Student Life Policy while on Social Probation.
- A violation of the Student Life Policy after already having been found guilty of other violations three (3) or more times.
- A second violation of the Evacuation Procedure.
- A student who is found guilty of any one of the violations in the Student Life Policy listed here may be subject to the maximum sanction of Suspension or Expulsion as determined by the University Hearing Board: #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #18, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #27, #29, #31, and #34.
- In combination of two (2) or more offenses in the Student Life Code as listed below, it is possible for the University Hearing Board to suspend or expel a student: #1, #2, #3, #9, #10, #11, #12, #17, #19, #20, #21, #28, #30, and #32.
- Three (3) incidents in one (1) academic year;
- Four (4) incidents in two (2) academic years; and
- Five (5) total incidents. Any charges for violations made after the student’s second guilty conviction during the first academic year, the third guilty conviction in two academic years, or the fourth total guilty conviction, will be sent to the University Hearing Board. If found guilty, and in addition to other sanctions imposed by the Board, the student will be suspended.
When the Hearing Board finds a student guilty of a charge and chooses sanctions less than Suspension or Expulsion, a written justification of these sanctions must be recorded in the Office of Student Affairs.
Article IV - Sanctions
The range of disciplinary action which may be invoked as a consequence of rule infractions, either by individuals or groups, varies from a warning to expulsion from the University. The action depends largely upon the severity of the infraction; consistent penalties will be applied in similar cases, but each case will be considered according to the circumstances of the offense, except where there is repetition of similar violations. Sanctions will go into effect three (3) days after the hearing, or upon written notification from the Office of Student Affairs, unless the decision is under appeal.
- Expulsion - Expulsion from the University, as provided by the West Virginia State College System Board of Directors, with notation on the student’s permanent record. Expulsion is the termination of all student status, including any remaining right or privilege to receive some benefit of recognition or certification and re-admission, if any, may be stated on the order. After the student is expelled, he/she is not allowed on campus except with the prior consent of the Director of Student Affairs or the Director of the Office of Public Safety, and then only to conduct business with an officer of the University. As the most severe penalty imposed, Expulsion carries the presumption of finality. OFFENSES FOR WHICH THE PENALTY OTHERWISE WOULD BE SUSPENSION, COMMITTED EITHER WHILE THE STUDENT IS ON PROBATION, OR BY A STUDENT WHO HAS BEEN SUSPENDED, CAN BE EXPECTED TO RESULT IN DISMISSAL.
- Suspension - A student or organization which has been suspended from the University may apply for re-admission at the end of a specified period. Re-admission, however, is not automatic. Notice of the suspension is placed on the student’s permanent record in the Registrar’s Office and also sent to the parents if the student is under eighteen years of age. After the student is suspended, he/she is not allowed on campus except with the prior consent of the Director of Student Affairs or the Director of Public Safety to conduct business with an officer of the University.
- Full Restrictions - Full Restrictions allow you to go to class, eat in the cafeteria, reside in the residence halls, and use the Library facilities, and participate in anything for which you are going to receive academic credit. You may also participate in any Work Study position you currently have. On Full Restrictions, you may NOT do the following:
- Use the Student Center Game room. Use of the Student Center is restricted to eating in the cafeteria, snack bar, checking a mailbox, and conducting business in the Bookstore or offices. All other uses are prohibited and restricted.
- Receive visitors of the opposite sex in the residence halls.
- Visit anyone of the opposite sex in the residence halls except in the main lobbies.
- Attend or participate in Intramurals on or off campus.
- Attend parties, dances, movies, i.e., any University related activities on or off campus.
- Attend, participate, rehearse or practice in any athletic games/events, on or off campus.
- Pledge or participate in activities with fraternity or sorority or any recognized University organization on or off campus.
- Possess or consume beer on campus.
When a student receives Full Restrictions and leaves the Concord campus and, therefore, cannot complete the required sanctions, the sanctions will remain in effect for one (1) year. If the student returns to the Concord University campus within that one-year period of time, he/she will have to serve out the remaining portion of his/her sanctions.
During this period when the student has left the campus, he/she may not appear on the Concord University campus except to conduct official business and only with the permission of the Director of Student Affairs or the Director of Public Safety.
- Probation - A student, or an organization, may be placed on disciplinary Probation for a specified period of time. Notice is also kept on file in the office of the Student Court and the Office of Student Affairs. Social Probation - A student is placed on Social Probation as an official warning for past behavior.
THE FUNDAMENTAL IMPLICATION OF PROBATION IS THE PROSPECT OF SEPARATION IF FURTHER DISCIPLINARY ACTION BECOMES NECESSARY, AS EXPLAINED IN THE SECTION PERTAINING TO SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION. VIOLATION OFTHE TERMS OFPROBATION, OFOFFENSES WHICH OTHERWISE WOULD INCUR PROBATION WHERE THE STUDENT OR ORGANIZATION IS CURRENTLY ON PROBATION, CAN BE EXPECTED TO RESULT IN SUSPENSION.
Special restrictions may be added to Probation where appropriate to the offense, or to the individual, or student organization. (Some examples are: restrictions on visitation privileges; not being allowed to represent the University on an athletic team, debate team, etc.; reporting to the residence halls at specified hours; being prohibited from attending functions sponsored by the University or organizations of the University; having limitations placed upon access to the Student Center; being prohibited from having or using a vehicle on the University campus; being prohibited from holding office or appointed positions in campus organizations. This list is by no means inclusive.)
Organizations may also be placed on Probation, during which time their activities are restricted to regular meetings, with no social functions, public meetings, or other activities.
A student who leaves the University before completing a term of Probation is not allowed on campus except to conduct business with an office of the University for the term of Probation. Violation of this condition would be considered violation of the terms of Probation.
- Official Warning - A written statement from the Chief Justice or University Administrator officially warning a student or an organization concerning behavior unacceptable to the University. A copy of the warning is placed in the student’s file or the organization’s file in the Student Court Office and the Office of the Director of Student Affairs.
- Sanction Review - At the termination of two-thirds (2/3) of a student’s sanction, the student may petition for a release from the remainder of his or her sanction. A release may be granted on the conditions that: (a) the student has complied with the directions of his or her sanction; (b) the student has maintained good, overall conduct; and (c) no further violations whatsoever have been committed by the student. The request for a Sanction Review will be first handed to the Director of Student Affairs, who will then give it to the hearing board that issued the sanctions (University Hearing Board or Student Hearing Board). The hearing board reviewing the appeal will then recommend its findings to the Director of Student Affairs. The student is notified by mail of the decision made in regard to his or her petition or a release from the remainder of his or her sanctions.
Article V - President of the University
In accordance with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission policies, the President of the University is responsible for the administration of the policies, rules, and regulations applicable to the University. In turn, the President of the University delegates considerable authority and responsibility for such administration to the Director of Student Affairs.
The University Hearing Board was created in compliance with Board of Directors’ policies calling for the University to establish a primary disciplinary body. The University Hearing Board has original jurisdiction in disciplinary matters, and receives appeals of recommendations of lesser disciplinary channels which may be created, such as the Student Hearing Board system. Members of the University Hearing Board are appointed by the President of the University.
The Student Hearing Board System is created as part of the Constitution of the Student Government Association.
A judicial training program will be established for all members of the Housing and Residence Life Staff, the Public Safety force, and all members of the adjudication system. The program will be available once a semester and planned and conducted by the President of the University or his/her delegate.
Article VI - Procedures for Hearings on Violations of Student Life Policy
- Judicial Steering Committee
- Alleged violations of Student Life Policy must be reported to the Director of Housing and Residential Life and the Director of Student Affairs. Residence Life staff members and Public Safety Officers should, whenever possible, inform students that charges are being brought against the student.
- The alleged violations will be screened by the Judicial Steering Committee, composed of the University Legal Council, the Chief Justice of the Student Hearing Board, and the Advisor of the Student Hearing Board.
- The Judicial Steering Committee will determine whether the case should be docketed with the University Hearing Board or whether the accused student should be given the choice of a Student Hearing Board or an Administrative Hearing.
- The student will then be notified of the decision of the Hearing Boards decision by receiving a Notification of Charges and what options are available to the student for adjudication of the charges. The alleged offender must notify the Student Hearing Board if the student is unable to attend the hearing at least 24 hours in advance.
- University Hearing Board
- When the Judicial Steering Committee feels that the charges, if upheld, would likely result in the accused student being suspended or expelled, the charges are sent to the University Hearing Board. The student will be notified of the charges and the time and place of the University Hearing Board.
- The University Hearing Board, whose members are appointed by the President of the University, created by the West Virginia State College System Board of Directors, hears all cases that can be expected to result in Suspension or Expulsion if the student is found guilty.
- The University Hearing Board makes recommendations to the Director of Student Affairs.
- Appeals of the decisions of the University Hearing Board may be made to the Director of Student Affairs and then to the President of the University.
- If the student does not complete the sanctions issued by his/her University Hearing Board or is charged with further violations, while under these sanctions, every effort will be made to have the student appear before the original University Hearing Board.
- If the student does not either appear before or respond to the Student Hearing Board, he/she will be found guilty. The student still reserves the right to appeal the appropriate court’s decision.
- Initial Hearing and Disposition of Cases
- Students whose cases will be heard by either the Student Hearing Board or by an Administrative Hearing will receive a Notification of Charges and be given the options they have for the adjudication of the charges.
- The student may wish to enter a guilty plea and waive the right to regular hearing. If the student chooses this option, the student can appear at the Student Hearing Board at the time and place stated on the Notification of Charges. At the stated time and place, the student will receive the sanctions recommended by the Student Hearing Board. The student would have the right to appeal the sanctions to the Student Supreme Hearing Board and then to the Vice President of Student Affairs.
- The student may elect to have the case heard by an Administrative Hearing. To exercise this option, the student must notify the Vice President of Student Affairs prior to the time stated on the Notification of Charges for the student to appear before the Student Hearing Board. The Vice President of Student Affairs will then schedule an Administrative Hearing. The decision of the Administrative Hearing can be appealed to the Vice President of Student Affairs.
- The student will receive notification from the Chief Justice of the charges, and a summons including the time and place to appear before a regular Student Hearing Board. The summons to appear must be sent to the student at least three (3) working or class days prior to the hearing. At the hearing there will be a presentation of evidence and the testimony of all witnesses.
Appeals Board -The members of the Appeals Board will be appointed annually by the President or his designee. The Appeals Board will consist of one administrator, one faculty member, and one student. The Board’s function will be to determine the legitimacy of all disciplinary appeals.
A student found guilty on any level of the system (Student Hearing Board, Student Supreme Hearing Board, Administrative Hearing, University Hearing Board, or the Director of Student Affairs) would have the right to file an appeal within three (3) days. The student requesting an appeal must base the appeal upon questions of due process, appropriateness of the sanction, and/or new evidence in order to be granted a hearing at the next level of the system. In any case, the burden of proof is on the student to demonstrate that there are sufficient grounds for an appeal. The Appeals Board must review the request within one (1) week and determine whether there are grounds to grant a hearing to the next higher level of the system.
All sanctions can be appealed to the University Appeals Board. If the student wishes to appeal their decision, then the President of the university or his designee will hear the appeal. Should the student wish to appeal further, the process will be explained by the Vice-President for Student Affairs and Staff.
Students wishing to appeal should contact the Office of Student Affairs to begin their appeal process. If there is no appeal, the sanctions will go into effect after three (3) days from the date of the Court’s decision. Sanctions will not be implemented, if an appeal is made to the University’s Appeals Board. If the Appeal Board denies the appeal, all sanctions will go into effect.
Article VII - Lesser Courts with Restricted Jurisdiction
The Student Hearing Board, with jurisdiction defined by the Student Court, may recognize lesser courts such as residence hall hearing boards, to handle minor offenses. These boards must provide due process for the protection of student rights. They will be responsible to the Student Hearing Board; all cases are subject to review by the Student Hearing Board.