Student Conduct ProcessPage address: http://www.mnsu.edu/reslife/policies/student_conduct_code.html
Students' Rights and Responsibilities in the Conduct Process
- To have written notice of behavioral expectations.
- To have written notice of the discipline proceeding and the nature of all alleged misconduct.
- To be given the opportunity for a conduct meeting.
- To have an advisor present during the conduct meeting. The advisor may be anyone other than an individual who may be called to provide witness information. The advisor is not allowed to participate in questioning or the presentation of information.
- To speak on your behalf and to bring witnesses to testify on your behalf.
- To be given the opportunity to hear all written reports concerning the alleged incident and to question all evidence against you.
- To be notified of the results of the conduct meeting.
- To be given the opportunity to appeal the decision.
- To read and understand the information provided in the Residential Life Student Guide, Housing Contract and the Basic Stuff Handbook.
- To read the information provided in the letter scheduling a conduct meeting and respond as indicated.
- To appear at the conduct meeting and arrange to have the witnesses appear as well.
- To hear and question all written reports and information presented.
- To read and follow the guidelines set forth in the "notice of sanction" letter.
- To follow the procedures for filing appeals as set forth in the "notice of sanction" letter.
- To tell the truth with the intent of clarifying the incident for the conduct officer so that a responsible decision is made.
Residential Life Conduct Process
The Department of Residential Life bears responsibility for the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against a student living in a University residence community for:
- Alleged violation of University and/or residence community policy, which may not result in suspension or expulsion from the University,
- Alleged violation of the Housing Contract, and
- Incidents of alleged misbehavior occurring in the dining hall.
Community Advisors and all other staff members must address every violation of which they become aware. Residents may also be referred to the Director of Student Conduct for disciplinary action.
A violation of University or Department of Residential Life rules and regulations observed by a staff member will result in the student being informed that the behavior is inappropriate and that she/he should discontinue the behavior. Depending on the situation and the seriousness of the alleged behavior, the staff member may initiate the conduct process without previous warning.
When alleged misconduct is reported by staff or another student, and the Department of Residential Life determines cause to initiate disciplinary proceedings, the student is notified of the specific charge or charges in writing (via the student’s Minnesota State Mankato e-mail account) and of the requirement to arrange a conduct meeting with a specific representative of the Department of Residential Life. Any student involved in a conduct meeting may bring witnesses to speak on their behalf.
The responsibility for all decisions relative to a conduct meeting, including the determining of responsibility and the imposition of a disciplinary penalty, if any, is the sole responsibility of the conduct officer. Should the accused student choose not to attend the conduct meeting, the conduct officer may consider relevant information made available in the absence of the student and come to a decision.
Repeated violations or violations occurring after a student has already received a disciplinary sanction will normally result in further, more serious disciplinary action. Sanctions may be carried into succeeding academic years.
The terms of the decision are conveyed by the hearing officer in a letter to the student. A copy of the letter is accessible to the Area Director, Department of Residential Life and Office of Student Conduct. Notation of residence community disciplinary sanction(s) is kept on file and is not released without written consent of the student. This notation and the student's conduct file will be destroyed after four years.
Housing Contract Termination — This sanction involves removal from the University residence community for conduct that is a serious violation of residence community rules or regulations. Termination may also result from less serious, but repeated, incidents of misconduct. Serious violations are generally considered those behaviors that are dangerous, highly disruptive and/or belligerent. Such separation may be permanent or for a specific number of semesters. In Housing Contract Termination, the student will be given 24 hours to vacate the residence community. Housing contracts are for the entire academic year. As a result, the student will be held accountable for 50 percent of the remaining room portion of the bill for the entire academic year. Students may mitigate their damages (see Mitigation of Damages policy). Minnesota State Mankato reserves the right to terminate any student’s housing contract, without refund of any monies, for failure to comply with the terms of the Housing Contract, residence community regulations, or if the student’s actions are found to be detrimental to the mental or physical welfare of other students.
Housing Contract Suspension — This involves temporary discontinuation of the Housing Contract for a period of time not to exceed 10 days. As in contract termination, the student will be given 24 hours to vacate the residence community. No refund is made for the period of suspension.
Housing Relocation — Housing Relocation involves a mandatory change of room assignment within the University's housing communities for inappropriate behavior in the University community.
University Disciplinary Probation — Probation involves written notice of behavior that is unacceptable in the University community. Probation is imposed for a specific time period.
University Disciplinary Warning — A warning is given to inform the student that a specific behavior does not meet minimum expectations for residence community living. It is generally imposed following isolated and less serious incidents of misconduct or contract violations. University Disciplinary Warning is not imposed for a specific length of time, but further misconduct may lead to probation, relocation, or contract termination.
In addition to the above sanctions, alcohol and drug education programs, restitution and/or counseling may apply, depending on the situation.
Students who are held responsible for violating the alcohol and other drug policy may be sanctioned to participate in a variety of programs such as D2L Alcohol and Drug Education, Under the Influence, Marijuana 101, CHOICES, or a chemical use interview.
Restitution is not a fine. It is monetary or work reimbursement for actual damage to, destruction of, or misappropriation of University property, or property of any person while on University premises or University-related premises. Restitution may involve paying for damages or community or educational service.
Temporary Pre-Hearing Suspension
Temporary Pre-hearing Suspension is not a sanction. If the health, safety or appropriate functioning of a member of the residence community is in serious question, immediate Temporary Pre-hearing Suspension can be initiated prior to a conduct meeting, to be held within ten (10) calendar days. The initial conduct meeting should be held within 10 days, however, a decision is not required within this 10 day period. A prorated refund of room and/or board may be made for the period of suspension.
Students found responsible for a violation of the Statement of Student Responsibilities may submit an appeal. An appeal must be based on an error in the disciplinary process that substantially impacted the outcome. If there is sufficient reason to believe that one or more of the grounds articulated in the student’s appeal letter has merit, an appeal meeting will be scheduled.
Appeals must be filed within seven (7) calendar days of notification of the decision or in accordance with the appeal deadline indicated in the conduct outcome letter. Appeals of relocation, contract suspension, or contract termination will be considered only if presented before the onset of the sanction. Appeals must be in writing and include your name, address, telephone number in room or cell phone number, specific ground(s) of your appeal, and a detailed explanation of the particular ground(s) and argumentation in support of the appeal. Appeal forms are found at Office of Student Conduct website.
The following will be allowed as ground(s) for appeal:
- New evidence not reasonably available at the time of the conduct meeting,
- Evidence of a procedural error in the student disciplinary process that substantially impacted the
- Evidence that the sanction is excessively severe.
Grounds for appeal do not include the stress, expense, or inconvenience of relocation, contract termination or suspension; disruption to studies; cost of educational sanctions such as D2L Alcohol and Drug Education, Under the Influence, Marijuana 101, CHOICES, or a chemical use interview; separation from friends; lack of familiarity with rules; good character; or a personal commitment to behaving better in the future. Sanctions are intended to have significant impact in order to effectively deter students from engaging in future misconduct.
A student who fails to appear for a conduct meeting may appeal but not on the grounds of "new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the meeting."
Appeal letters will be reviewed upon receipt, and the appeal officer will determine whether an appeal meeting will be scheduled based on the reasons cited in the letter and the quality of the materials submitted.
Possible appeal outcomes include: 1) uphold the previous decision; 2) change or decrease the sanction; 3) change or increase the sanction; 4) refer the case back for a new conduct meeting.
The decision of the Residential Life appeal officer is final.