Office of Academic and Community Conduct

Student Code of Community Conduct

Preface from Student Affairs

Michigan Technological University is a globally recognized technological university that educates students, advances knowledge, innovates to improve quality of life, and promotes mutual respect and equity for all people of Michigan, the nation, and the global community. The Student Code of Community Conduct supports the University’s role in preparing students to create the future. Informed by its mission, vision, and values, Student Affairs provides opportunities for students to put our culture of integrity into action. Innovative student-centered activities, programs, and services promote civic engagement and responsibility and help our students develop strong leadership and team-building capabilities, critical thinking skills, and ethical awareness.

Introduction

 

Michigan Technological University “prepares students to create the future.” In doing so, the University inspires the values of community, scholarship, possibilities, accountability, and tenacity. These values should serve to guide decisions and foster learning. Standards of conduct are set forth in the Student Code of Community Conduct to assist the University community in furthering its mission and values. The Office of Academic and Community Conduct has been given the responsibility for enforcing these standards.

Attendance at the University is both voluntary and a privilege. Upon enrollment, students have the responsibility to uphold the rules and values of the University, and the right to a fair and equitable conduct process. Students, student groups, and/or student organizations are responsible for knowing and complying with the information, policies, and procedures outline in the Code.

The University will take all actions that it deems necessary and appropriate to protect the integrity and best interests of the University and the University community. The Code (which also encompasses behavior that might constitute a violation of law) provides ample interpretive latitude. If desired, an expedited review and modification process can be created with advance notice and opportunity to comment provided. While some deviation from practices described in the Code may at times be necessary, every effort will be made to ensure that the intent of fairness of the Code is maintained. The Code is a dynamic document, and as such is periodically reviewed, and can be modified. It is the responsibility of every member of the University community to periodically review the Code. Final authority in conduct matters is vested in University administration and the Board of Trustees.

Students with Disabilities

Michigan Technological University is committed to providing qualified students with disabilities reasonable accommodations and support needed to ensure equal access to academic programs and activities of Michigan Tech. A student requesting any accommodations related to filing a report and/or participating in the student conduct process should contact Disability Services as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Disability Services will review documentation provided by the student, and in consultation with the student, determine which accommodations are appropriate to the student’s particular needs. For more information on Disability Services go to: www.mtu.edu/success/disability/

Good Samaritan Provision: Intent Regarding Medical Emergency

Student welfare is the University’s primary concern. The Good Samaritan Provision is intended to encourage students to seek swift medical assistance for themselves and others without fear of penalty. Students are urged to not only to take care of their own well-being, but to behave in an equally responsible way with their peers.

There may be times when safety concerns arise from a student’s excessive drinking or drug use, and in these situations, students should not hesitate to seek help from the Residence Education and Housing Services staff, Public Safety and Police Services, medical or counseling professionals, and/or off-campus police out of fear of student conduct action. Under this Good Samaritan Policy, neither the student in distress nor the student or organization seeking assistance will ordinarily be subject to student conduct action for the possession, provision, or consumption of drugs or alcohol.

This policy refers to isolated incidents only, and does not excuse or protect those who flagrantly or repeatedly violate the Abuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs by Students and Student Organizations Policy, nor does it preclude disciplinary action arising from violations of other University policies. However, in cases involving additional policy violations, the University will consider the positive impact of reporting an incident as well as the health and safety needs of the involved student(s) when determining the appropriate course of action. This statement of intent applies only to administrative enforcement of the Code and does not provide immunity/amnesty from arrest or criminal prosecution.

 

Definitions

Standards of Conduct

The purpose of publishing conduct rules is to give students, student groups, and/or student organizations general notice of prohibited conduct. The University considers the behaviors described in the following subsections as inappropriate for the University community. These inappropriate behaviors are in opposition to the core values set forth in this document. These expectations and rules apply to all students, student groups, and/or student organizations. The University’s rules are not written with the specificity of a criminal statute. Students, student groups, and/or student organizations are responsible for choices they make about their actions and accepting the consequences of those choices. Attempts to commit acts prohibited by these rules may be sanctioned to the same extent as completed violations. Repeated or aggravated acts of prohibited conduct may result in progressively more severe sanctions. The following activities are prohibited:

Conduct Pathways

The University will respond to violations of the Code through a variety of pathways, informally and/or formally, with the goal of educating all parties involved. Resolutions, as well as appeal processes, are administrative functions internal to the University. Students may also face criminal action by the University for violations of Board of Trustees regulations or ordinances, and external, criminal/civil proceedings for violations of federal/state laws and/or city ordinances. Proceedings under the Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal/civil proceedings. The stages of the student conduct pathways will normally proceed within five (5) business day increments, as necessary.

Student groups/organizations are expected to comply with the community standards set forth in the Code and may be charged with violations of those standards. Hearings for student groups or organizations follow the same general student conduct procedures. Determinations as to responsibility will be made. Sanctions will be assigned collectively and/or individually, and will be proportionate to the involvement of each individual and the organization.

University community members, law enforcement agencies, or members of the public can report possible Code violations by making a written complaint to the Office of Academic and Community Conduct.

It is within the discretion of the University to determine the extent to which the complaint will be investigated and/or resolved. If a determination is made by a University official that reasonable cause exists to believe a violation has occurred, then the student alleged to have committed the violation will be provided notice of the violation and an opportunity to respond to the violation. When there is the potential for a sanction of conduct suspension or conduct expulsion to be imposed, the case will normally proceed with a formal pathway.  A University official may dismiss the complaint at any stage if they have reasonable cause to believe the complaint is baseless or otherwise unsupported by available evidence. The official may also decide the complaint could be better resolved in a different manner and refer accordingly. Complaints of Sexual Misconduct can also be reported to the Title IX Office, the Department of Public Safety and Police Services, or the Houghton Police Department.

 

Informal Pathways

 

Formal Pathways

Sanctions and Educational Conditions

Appeal Procedures 

The parties involved in the conduct process may request an appeal of the conduct decision made by an official and/or board. Appeals must be in writing and submitted to the Office of Academic and Community Conduct within five (5) business days of the University’s transmittal of the conduct decision. Students who have been sanctioned with suspension or expulsion shall, upon request, have access to all written documentation and/or recordings of the original hearing under the supervision of the Office of Academic and Community Conduct prior to submitting an appeal request.

After receiving an appeal, the Office of Academic and Community Conduct will conduct an initial review within five (5) business days to determine if the appeal request meets the limited grounds and is timely. The basis for an appeal is limited to questions of fact, questions of procedure, and severity of sanction.

If the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, the original finding and sanction will stand and the decision is final. Notice of this decision will be sent to the appropriate party(ies) within five (5) business days of the decision. If the appeal is timely and alleges the required grounds, the appeal will be resolved by the Dean of Students, Dean of the Graduate School, or designee within five (5) business days of receiving the request.

In appeals of suspension or expulsion decisions by the University Conduct Board, an Appellate Board consisting of one professional staff member, one faculty member, and one student will be appointed by the Dean of Students or Dean of the Graduate School to review the appeal.

The Dean of Students, Dean of the Graduate School, designee, or Appellate Board will review the record and render a decision on the appeal. The Dean of Students, Dean of the Graduate School, designee, or Appellant Board, may

a) remand the case to the original hearing officer or hearing committee;

b) change (increase or decrease) the findings (including the number of offenses the responding party is found responsible for) or sanctions, and/or

c) dismiss the original charges. In cases involving more than one charge, an appeal decision may include more than one of the options in (a) through (c). The appellant will be notified in writing of the decision of the Dean of Students, Dean of the Graduate School, designee, or Appellate Board within five (5) business days of the appellate decision. The appellate decision action is final and is not subject to further appeal.

Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings of the complaint. In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. The party(ies) reviewing the appeal may contact the parties to answer questions and/or provide further clarifications. If appropriate, an extension of the timelines may be provided up to an additional five (5) business days. Notice of an extension will be sent to the parties.

 

Grounds for Appeal

Records

Records of all conduct actions by officials and boards are considered educational records under FERPA. Records of conduct actions shall be maintained by the Office of Academic and Community Conduct in accordance with the Student Affairs document retention policy. Records of incidents reportable under the Campus Security Act will be retained for seven (7) years from the date of the incident; student conduct records resulting in a sanction of conduct suspension or conduct expulsion will be retained indefinitely; student conduct records that have had a conduct hold applied because of unaddressed conduct charges or incomplete educational conditions will be retained until conduct hold is removed; and all other records will be retained for two (2) years following graduation or official withdrawal from the University. With the exception of the sanction of Expulsion, and Special Failing Grades (F*, U* and E* under the Academic Integrity Policy), disciplinary sanctions do not appear on University transcripts. In the case of pending actions where an academic grade cannot be assigned, a grade of “M” will be entered into the student’s academic record, which is not calculated into the student’s GPA.

Revocation of Degree

The University reserves the right to revoke an awarded degree for fraud in receipt of the degree, or for serious disciplinary violations committed by a student prior to the student’s graduation.