• Student Conduct Code

Student Handbook

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  • Student Conduct Code

  • Introduction

    The University views the student conduct process as a learning experience that promotes growth and personal understanding of one’s responsibilities and privileges within the University community. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the student who has been accused of misconduct to participate conscientiously in the discipline process. Students are responsible for becoming familiar with University policies and procedures. Failure to be informed does not excuse misconduct.

    MSUM standards of conduct are published here as the Code of Conduct. In all conduct proceedings it is recognized that MSUM is an educational institution and not a court of law. This code does not replace or reduce the requirements of civil or criminal laws. All criminal activity may be referred to local law enforcement as well as investigated internally. Members of the University community also have responsibilities as citizens. Violations that constitute crimes and the annual crime report can be found at: http://www.mnstate.edu/publicsafety/crimereports.aspx

    • Being under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs does not in any way excuse or mitigate responsibility for a student’s behavior. The excessive, illegal, unprescribed or otherwise socially irresponsible use of alcohol or other drugs infringes upon one’s ability to preserve personal integrity and civility.
    • Disciplinary action is cumulative resulting in more serious consequences if the student engages in repeat violations or fails to follow through with sanctions from a previous hearing. 


    1. “University” means Minnesota State University Moorhead.
    2. “Director of Student Conduct and Resolution” means the person and his/her designee(s) designated by the University President to be responsible for the administration of the Student Code.
    3. “Cheating" includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of MSUM faculty or staff; or (4) engaging in any behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion.
    4. “Expulsion” means permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment at the University.
    5. “Hazing” means an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety or a person, subjects a person to public humiliation or ridicule, or which destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a student group, organization, or athletic team.
    6. "Policy" means the written regulations of the University and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (“MnSCU”) as found in, but not limited to, the Student Conduct Code, Residential Life Handbook, the MSUM and MnSCU web pages, MnSCU Policy and Procedure 5.18 and 5.18.1 on Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances on Campus, MnSCU Policy and Procedure 5.22 and 5.22.1 on Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources, and the University Catalog.
    7. “Preponderance of evidence” means a standard of responsibility that it is more likely than not that the code has been violated.
    8. "Plagiarism" includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
    9. “Student” includes all persons who:
      1. Are enrolled in one or more courses, either credit or non-credit, through the University
      2. Withdraw, transfer or graduate, after an alleged violation of the student conduct code.
      3. Are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University.
      4. Have been notified of their acceptance for admission or have initiated the process of application for admission or financial aid.
      5. Are living in a University residence hall although not enrolled in the institution.
    10. "Student organization" means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition.
    11. “Summary suspension” means a suspension imposed without a formal hearing to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community.
    12. “Suspension” means denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return.  Conditions for re-enrollment may be specified.


    The campus is not a sanctuary from the general law. University community members violating civil or criminal law may be subject to University conduct procedures for the same conduct when the conduct occurs on campus or when it occurs off campus. The Director of Student Conduct and Resolution, or his/her designee, shall decide whether the Student Code shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis, in his/her sole discretion. Notwithstanding any provision herein, the University may suspend, expel, or trespass any student whose presence poses a threat to persons or property.

    All students, regardless of the location of their residence, are members of the University community. The University will address all violations that occur on campus. Students, faculty, staff, and individuals not associated with the University may submit complaints regarding alleged violations that may have occurred either on campus or off-campus for review and possible action by the University. Not all off campus behavior is subject to adjudication.

    The University shall initiate conduct proceedings for off-campus incidents when:

    1. Hazing is involved; or
    2. The violation is committed while participating in a University sanctioned or sponsored activity; or
    3. The victim of the violation is a member of the University community; or
    4. The violation constitutes a felony under state or federal law; or
    5. The violation adversely affects the educational, research or service function of the University. (See also MSUM University Alcohol and other Drug Policy

    Prohibited Conduct

    Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in the next section. 

    1. Academic Dishonesty

    Failure to show integrity in meeting academic obligations includes but is not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty. 

    2. Computer Misuse

    Any violation of the University Computer Use Policy or MnSCU Policy and Procedure 5.22 and 5.22.1 on Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources. 

    3. Demonstrations and Riots

    Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot or activity that disrupts the normal operations of the University and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the University community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities on University premises. 

    4. Disorderly, Lewd, or Indecent Conduct

    Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on University premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by, the University or members of the academic community. Disorderly Conduct includes but is not limited to:  Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on University premises without his/her prior knowledge, or without his/her effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress.  This includes, but is not limited to, knowingly taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom.

    5. Disruption of Operations of the University

    Unreasonably interfering, obstructing, or preventing the regular and essential operation of the University, which includes but is not limited to: studying, teaching, research, programs, services, and the administration of fire, police or emergency services.

    6. Failure to Comply

    Failure to comply with the directions of University officials including, but not limited to, campus security, residence hall staff, faculty or administrators acting in the performance of their duties, refusal to identify oneself or providing false identification; failure to present identification upon request to University personnel in the performance of their duties. Failure to complete a specified student conduct sanction or violating the terms of a disciplinary probation. 

    7. Firearms

    Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on University premises or use of any such item, even if legally possessed, in a manner that harms, threatens or causes fear to others.

    In accordance with MnSCU Possession or Carry of Firearm Policy 5.21, which can be found at http://www.mnscu.edu/board/policy/521.html, students are prohibited from possession or carrying a firearm while on university property, regardless of whether the student has a permit to carry a firearm. Exceptions to this policy do not prohibit the lawful carry or possession of firearms in parking facilities or parking areas. Violations of this policy by students are subject to discipline up to and including removal from the university.

    8. Hazing

    (As defined above in "Definitions")

    9. Interfering with Judicial Procedures

    1. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a Student Conduct Panel.
    2. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Student Conduct Panel proceeding.
    3. Filing a formal complaint falsely accusing another student with violating a provision of this code or falsely accusing a University employee of misconduct.
    4. Attempting to discourage an individual's proper participating in, or use of, the student conduct system.
    5. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Student Conduct Panel prior to, and/or during the course of, the Student Conduct Panel proceeding.
    6. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Student Conduct Panel prior to, during, and/or after a student conduct code proceeding.
    7. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code.
    8. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student conduct code system.

    10. Physical Abuse and Threat

    Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person, to include oneself. 

    11. Sexual Violence

    See MSUM Sexual Violence Policy & Procedure

    12. Shared Responsibility for Violations

    Enticing, inciting others, abetting, conspiring, being an accessory, or participating in any act prohibited by this code. 

    13. Theft

    Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the MSUM or property of a member of the MSUM community or other personal or public property, on or off campus.

    14. Published Policies

    Violation of any MSUM or MnSCU policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy (some contained in under the Policies and Procedures Section of the handbook) or available electronically on the MSUM or MnSCU website. 

    15. Laws

    Violation of any federal, state or local law.

    Residence Hall Prohibited Conduct 

    In addition to following the Student Conduct Code outlined in the Prohibited Conduct, students are responsible for knowing and following residence hall policies.

    1. Advertising/Solicitation

    • Any posting of advertising materials must be approved and posted by authorized University staff only. The stuffing of apartment and residence hall mailboxes is permitted only by on campus offices or organizations with approval. Please bring these items to the Department of Housing and Residential Life (Ballard Hall 120) for approval and distribution.
    • Solicitation is not permitted in University buildings and/or grounds, excluding any approved University sponsored charity fundraiser programs. The Department of Housing and Residential Life reserves the right to individually approve or deny solicitation based activities.
    • Hall staff may post information relative to floor and hall activities (meetings, programs) or housing information (reminders, announcements) on bulletin boards, bathroom walls, or elevator lobbies. No other postings are allowed in these areas.

    2. Air Conditioners

    Air conditioners (including window and floor units) may be permitted if a medical necessity is verified based on medical documentation and approval is granted by the Department of Housing and Residential Life. Air conditioner units must be provided by the student and may be installed only by the University staff. A fee may be charged for such services.

    3. Alcohol and Other Drugs

    In addition to the University Alcohol and Other Drug Policy found in the University’s Policies and Procedures in the Student Handbook, the following are specific to behaviors that occur in the residence halls:

    • Knowingly being in the presence of any form of alcoholic beverage, non-alcoholic beer, drug, or controlled substance is prohibited. A student is expected to remove him/herself from such situations.
    • Distributing, serving, selling, hosting an event/gathering or providing access to any alcohol, other drug, or controlled substance is prohibited.
    • Possession of drug paraphernalia or materials intended for drug use are prohibited.
    • Odors that are evidence of drug use are prohibited in the residence halls. This includes odors emanating from a student’s residence hall room, clothing, or property.
    • Alcoholic beverage and other drug signs and posters are not allowed as decorations. To minimize confusion over the alcohol policy and help decrease unnecessary confrontations, no empty alcohol containers of any kind may be used as decoration.

    4. Animals and Pets

    Pets are not permitted in the residence halls, with the exception of fish. Fish tanks may be no larger than 10-gallon total capacity per room. University staff will require immediate removal of unauthorized animals and pets. For more information regarding the University’s policy on animals on campus, please refer to the Animals on Campus policy. Service and assistance animals may be permitted if determined a reasonable and appropriate accommodation by Disability Services.

    5. Bathrooms

    Only one individual may use a stall or single-user bathroom at a time. Refrain from using bathrooms during posted cleaning times. 

    6. Computer/Internet Misuse

    Any violation of the University Computer Use Policy or MnSCU Policy and Procedure 5.22 and 5.22.1 on Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources is prohibited.

    In addition, students are responsible for abiding by the following Midcontinent (MC) policies:

    • The MC network may be used only for lawful purposes. Transmission, distribution or storage of any material in violation of any applicable law or regulation is prohibited. This includes, without limitation, material protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property right used without proper authorization, and material that is obscene, defamatory, constitutes an illegal threat, or violates export control laws.
    • Violations of system or network security are prohibited, and may result in criminal and civil liability. Examples of system or network violation include unauthorized access to or use of data, unauthorized monitoring of data or traffic on any network or system without express authorization of the owner of the system or network, and interference with service to any user.
    • Sending unsolicited mail messages, including, without limitation, commercial advertising and informational announcements, is explicitly prohibited.

    Additional information on Midcontinent’s Acceptable Use Policy can be found here: http://www.mnstate.edu/housing/residencehalls.aspx

    7. Disruption to Community

    Disruptive behavior in and around the residence halls is prohibited. This includes conducting oneself in a manner so as to disturb, intimidate, or threaten other members of the university community, engaging in inappropriate behavior that necessitates additional response from university or city personnel, or individual or group activities that may result in damage or destruction to self or property.

    8. Fire Safety

    • When fire alarms are activated, including during scheduled fire drills, all occupants must evacuate the building. Residents must wait outside the building until a member of the hall staff indicates they may return.
    • Fire Safety equipment is provided to help ensure everyone's safety. Tampering with alarms, extinguishers, sprinklers, or smoke detectors is a violation of local, state, and federal laws, as well as a violation of University policies.
    • Batteries may not be removed from smoke detectors except to replace them. Replacement batteries are available at your hall front desk.
    • Any activity that could potentially compromise fire safety in the halls is a violation of policy. This includes such behaviors as falsely pulling a fire alarm, covering or removing a smoke detector, hanging items from sprinkler heads, obstructing egress by chaining a bike to a stairwell or blocking a corridor with floor mats, shoes, furniture or other items that impedes firefighters’ access to a fire.
    • Withholding information/evidence concerning a fire is a serious offense.
    • Prohibited items: anything that smolders (incense) or with an open flame or open heating elements are not allowed in residence hall rooms (e.g. candles, hotplates, hot pots, etc.). With the exception of microwaves, cooking appliances are permitted only in designated kitchen facilities.

    9. Guests

    A guest is defined as anyone not assigned to the room/apartment. Guests must use the unisex/gender neutral or designated gendered bathroom. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests, and are responsible for making sure their guests adhere to all University policies.

    • Residents will discuss and document when guests will be allowed per room by using the Roommate Agreement Form. After completion this form will be kept on file and can be referred to if there are disputes. All guests must be pre-approved by residents of the room.
    • Overnight guests cannot stay for more than three nights in a week.
    • Guests of the opposite gender are allowed 24 hours a day, but these times can be limited by the mutual agreement of the roommates.
    • Guests and visitors of must be escorted at all times by a hall resident.
    • Cohabitation is not permitted.

    10. Harassment  (Physical, Racial, Sexual, Verbal, Electronic, by Telephone, or other forms of Bias)

    Students are prohibited from harassing any other person by making repeated and/or unwelcome sex-related comments, sexual overtures, verbal threats, or physical behavior, including rape. (See also MSUM Nondiscrimination in Education and Employment Opportunity policy and procedure and the MSUM Sexual Violence policy and procedure in the Student Handbook.) It is a violation for persons to use the telephone or electronic means to harass or threaten others. Please report obscene or nuisance telephone calls or electronic messages to Public Safety. You should also report it to your RA immediately.

    11. Health Hazards

    Situations or items such as piled, soiled clothing, exposed food items, vomit or bodily fluids, and the noxious odors emanating from such pose serious health hazards in the community and are prohibited.

    12. Keys

    All residents are issued a specific room key, mailbox key (if applicable), and exterior door key upon check-in. Residents should keep their room locked and carry their keys whenever they leave their room. If a resident misplaces their keys, spare keys can be checked out at the front desk for up to 48 hours. If the key(s) is not returned within that 48 hour period or if a resident fails to return a key upon checkout of their room, a work order will be placed to replace the lock core. Residents will be then billed $50.00 ($60.00 in suites or apartments) per missing room key, $35 per missing exterior door key, and $50 per missing Neumaier apartment mailbox key, regardless of whether the key(s) is later found and returned. If a resident believes that their keys have been stolen, they may request that a work order be placed to replace the lock core immediately. The resident will then be billed for the cost to re-core the door, replacement for exterior door key, and any applicable overtime charges. When residents move out or change rooms, they must return all keys issued to them, including any keys that were once thought to be missing but were later found. In addition, the following behaviors are considered a misuse of keys and are prohibited:

    • Giving a guest or another resident your keys to access your room or building when you are not present.
    • Checking out loaner keys so that your guest or another resident has access to your room or building.
    • Finding a “lost” key and failing to return it to the front desk.
    • Using a “lost” key to access a room, floor, or building that you are not authorized to have access to.
    • Taking or using a key that was not issued to you 

    13. Laundry Facilities Abuse

    Abuse of another's possessions or damage to equipment in the laundry room is not permitted. Any use of the equipment by or for a non-resident of that building is not permitted.

    14. Lofts

    Only university provided lofts or those rented from CSI Lofts are permitted. Rental information is available at: www.csilofts.com. Be sure to check with Housing and Residential Life prior to renting a loft, as rooms in some halls are not conducive to lofting.

    15. Occupancy

    A student assigned to a double room only has claim for one-half the room and its furnishings. Each roommate has an equal right to access the room and the privacy within it. A student in a double room without a roommate, must always be ready to accommodate a second resident. An attempt will be made to send notice of any new roommate assignment, but prior notice may not be possible. Students without roommates may be consolidated (i.e. moved to another room) in order to accommodate double-as-single room requests.

    16. Painting

    The painting of residence hall rooms is not permitted. Similarly, students are not permitted to decorate walls, ceilings or furniture with paint, highlighter, pencils, pens, washable paints, acrylics, laundry detergent, or any other substances.

    17. Political Canvassing

    Campaigning on behalf of candidates for local, county, state and national offices is permitted in the residence halls under the following guidelines:

    • Complete the “application for political campaigning” form and submit to the Housing and Residential Life Department at least twenty four (24) hours prior to the requested campaign time. (Form is available in the Department of Housing and Residential Life, Ballard Hall 120). Completed applications shall be available to the public. Complaints about a campaign worker will be made to the responsible party on the application.
    • Candidates may campaign in public areas, on residence hall floors or in the dining areas and may be joined by up to three campaign workers. In the absence of their candidate, campaign workers may campaign only in the public areas (lobby, outside dining hall entrance).
    • Door-to-door political campaigning by the candidate with his/her campaign workers may occur between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. daily. Public area campaigning is permitted between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. daily.
    • Residents who do not wish to be disturbed may display a “No Solicitation” sign on their room door. Candidates and campaign workers must honor these signs as well as all requests to leave a particular room. No campaign material may be attached to doors.
    • Campaign workers and candidates must display or wear identification while campaigning in the residence halls.
    • No more than three campaign workers will be allowed in each requested campaign area at any one time.
    • No device that amplifies sound may be used.
    • Political advertising can be inserted into University owned and operated mailboxes when items are addressed in accordance with postal guidelines.

    18. Public Property

    Possession or use as decoration of stolen property including city, county, or state government property, such as road signs, is not permitted. Possession of stolen property is a violation of state law and University policy. Stolen or unauthorized property is subject to confiscation.

    19. Published Policies

    Students are responsible for abiding by any MnSCU, MSUM (including the Student Conduct Code), or Housing and Residential Life policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically.

    20. Quiet Hours/Courtesy Hours

    Residents have the right to sleep and study in their rooms at any time. When asked by someone to respect this right, residents are expected to demonstrate courtesy and consideration by complying with the request. This policy applies to noise that can be heard from both inside and outside a residence hall.

    Quiet hours are in effect from 10:00 PM until 9:00 AM Sunday to Thursday, 12:00 AM until 9:00 AM weekends (Friday and Saturday). Individual floors may choose to extend these hours. Quiet hours means that sound must not be audible beyond the limits of any individual room, hallway, or lounge. During finals week, 24-hour quiet hours will be in effect. Any student removing a loft at the end of a semester or academic year must do so before 24-hour quiet hours begin or wait until final examinations are completed.

    Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As a general rule, at no time should noise be heard from a resident's room more than 2 doors away, or from another floor.

    21. Residence  Hall Room as a Place of Business

    The use of state property including resources, residence hall rooms, internet connectivity, and/or phone service for purpose of running a business is prohibited. This includes providing child care, selling goods or services online or on a floor, or other revenue generating practices.

    22. Right of Entry

    The University or designees reserves the right to enter the premises for repair, preservation of health, safety, quietude, placement and/or recovery of University-owned property, or when staff has reason to believe a violation of law or policy is being committed.

    23. Room/Building Security

    • Propping Doors: Residents may not prop any residence hall door intended to remain closed and/or locked for safety and security reasons. Propped doors compromise the safety and security measures they are designed to meet, including fire safety.
    • Unauthorized presence: Students and visitors may not enter or roam a hall or living unit where they do not live without an escort who is a resident of that hall or living unit. Allowing unescorted non-residents access to a building or living area, including walking through the residence halls unescorted, is a violation of this policy.
    • Unauthorized entry: Unauthorized entry of a restricted area or a person’s residence hall room without permission of the occupant or person responsible for the area is not permitted.

    24. Room Decorations

    • Room decorations may not damage facilities or create a health, safety or fire hazard and should be subject to each roommate’s approval. Fire regulations prohibit the use of any flammable hanging decoration including cloth, parachutes, fish nets, crepe paper, etc. Every resident will be required to remove any decoration or furnishings deemed potential fire hazards.
    • Decorations on room doors are not to cover more than one third (1/3) of the door.
    • Rooms may not be painted.
    • Natural holiday trees are not permitted in the residence halls. Artificial trees and fiber optic trees may be used according to listed safety precautions.
    • Any supplementary lighting (including strings of lights) must be UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved. Never put lights on metallic objects, such as a loft, to avoid a short circuit. Lighting may not obstruct doorways or walking paths.
    • To avoid potential damage charges, do not use nails, screws or sticky adhesives. Use a tacky, putty substance like “TackIt” or 3M Command adhesives. Contact paper, masking tape and duct tape can damage paint and will strip the finish off wooden doors and other surfaces. Adhesive remains will need to be cleaned, and hooks and mirrors removed from the walls before check out. Residents will be billed for the removal.

    25. Satellite Dishes and Antennas

    Satellite dishes, antennas, or similar devices are not permitted in the residence halls.

    26. Smoking and Tobacco Use

    Smoking, tobacco use, and tobacco sales (including the use or sales of smokeless tobacco products) are prohibited on University-owned, -operated, -or leased property.

    27. Sports in the Halls

    Running, hacky sack, Frisbee throwing, hockey, in-line skating, skate boarding, rip-sticking, bouncing balls, riding bikes, and other athletic/sport-type activities are prohibited in the residence halls. No remote control toys are to be operated in the hallways. Staff members reserve the right to confiscate equipment used in violation of this policy. Those causing damage to university property due to use of this type of equipment will be held financially responsible.

    28. Trash Removal

    Students are responsible for taking out their own trash. Trash must be taken to and deposited in the nearest designated trash areas. All trash must be removed from all rooms during break periods.

    29. University Furniture

    Public area (lobby, study room, lounge) furniture is not permitted in student rooms. University furniture may not be removed from its designated location, including student rooms, except by authorized University personnel.

    30. Waterbeds

    Waterbeds are not permitted.

    31. Weapons

    Students may not use or possess firearms, fireworks, explosives, or other dangerous weapons or materials in the residence halls. Firearms include any gun, rifle, pistol, or handgun designed to fire bullets, BBs, pellets, or other projectiles by means of explosive gas, compressed air, or other propellant. Weapons include, but are not limited to, knives, switchblades, razors, metal knuckles, bow and arrows, nunchukus, foils, or any instrument used to threaten or inflict injury upon another person. Dangerous materials include lighter fluid, propane, or other dangerous chemicals.

    32. Windows and Screen

    For safety purposes, window screens may not be opened (i.e. cutting the screen) or removed at any time. Removing or opening a window screen for other than emergency purposes may result in a fine. Throwing any object from a residence hall window or using a window as an entry or non-emergency exit is a serious safety concern. 

    Violation of Law and University Discipline 

    University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and this Student Code (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of the Judicial Affairs Officer. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this Student Code shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant. 

    Disciplinary Procedures

    A. Investigation & Informal Process

    1. Any member of the University community may file a written complaint alleging that a student or student organization has violated student conduct proscriptions.  Any complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place.  Persons filing complaints shall be informed of their rights under the Minnesota Statute 13.04, subdivision 2.  Following the filing of a complaint against a student or student organization, the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution shall conduct an investigation of the allegations.
    2. If the complaint seems unwarranted, the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution may discontinue proceedings.
    3. If there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint, the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution shall offer the accused student an opportunity to resolve the alleged violation at an informal meeting.  Prior to this meeting, the student shall be given written notice of the specific complaint against him/her and the nature of the evidence available to support the complaint and provided with a copy of the code of conduct.  During the meetings the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution shall review the complaint and the evidence with the student and allow the student to present a defense against the complaint.  Within a reasonable time period following the meeting, the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution shall inform the accused student in writing of his/her decision whether a violation of the code was established by a preponderance of evidence and any applicable sanction as well as options available for an appeal and/or a formal hearing.
    4. A student who is subject to a sanction of expulsion or suspension, except summary suspension, for more than nine days may agree to accept the sanction, or may request a formal hearing prior to implementation of the sanction.  Other sanctions shall be accepted or may be appealed in accordance with the University’s appeal procedures.
    5. If the accused student fails to appear for the informal hearing, the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution may proceed to review and act upon the complaint in his/her absence and shall notify the student in writing of an action taken.

    B. Formal Hearing

    The Director of Student Conduct and Resolution determines the composition of the Student Conduct Panel.  Students serving on the Student Conduct Panel shall be elected by the student body or appointed by Student Senate.  Student Conduct Panel Hearings shall be conducted by a Student Conduct Panel according to the following guidelines:

    1. Student Conduct Panel Hearings normally shall be conducted in private.
    2. Students or organizations referred for a formal hearing shall be given adequate advance notice in writing of the time, place, and date of the hearing.  A student or organization’s failure to appear at the hearing shall not prevent the hearing from proceeding as scheduled.
    3. Within a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the student must be informed in writing of:  a) the complaint, b) the evidence to be presented against him/her, c) a list of witnesses, and d) the nature of their testimony.
    4. In hearings involving more than one accused student or organization, the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution, in his or her discretion, may permit the hearing concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
    5. The student shall be given the opportunity to speak in his/her own defense, to present witnesses and to question any witnesses and to have an advocate present.  The advocate may provide advice to the student, but may not participate in any questioning.  When there is a likelihood that a student involved in conduct proceedings will face criminal prosecution for a serious offense, it may be advisable that the student have an attorney as the advocate.
    6. A written notice of findings and conclusions shall be provided to the student within a reasonable time after the hearing.  The notice shall inform the student of any sanction to be imposed.  The notice shall also contain information regarding the applicable appeal process.  
    7. The hearing may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, accused student, and/or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution to be appropriate. During vacation periods, summer, or under special circumstances, the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution will act in place of the Student Conduct Committee, will hear the case in accordance with the disciplinary procedures, and will recommend to the Vice President of Student Affairs the appropriate action.

    C. Roles of Others

    At times, others may be included in the hearing procedures. This could include witnesses or support persons.

    The following is information for those who may act as witnesses in student disciplinary hearings:

    1. Witnesses will be asked to make comments regarding the specific incident in question. Any additional comments that are relevant to the specific incident being considered should focus on factual information leaving out opinions, presumptions, or guesses.
    2. Witnesses may be asked questions by the accused student. The witness may be asked questions by the hearing officer. The role of the witness is to answer questions, not to ask them.
    3. Witnesses may be held accountable through the University disciplinary process if implicated in a violation of a University policy or regulation. For example, false testimony or personal involvement in the incident being reviewed could result in disciplinary action.
    4. Witnesses may not intimidate and/or be intimidated by participants of the hearing.
    5. Disciplinary hearings may be recorded. If so, this recording will be sole property of the University.

    The following is information for those who may act as a support person in student disciplinary hearings:

    • Prior to the hearing, the student will be required to complete a release of information to allow the support person’s presence. The student must not be signing under duress.
    • A support person may be present during the hearing with a student, but s/he is not there to represent the student or speak on the student’s behalf. The support person may be a parent, clergy, doctor, etc. The support person may provide advice to the student.
    • If the support person becomes disruptive during the meeting, the support person will be asked to leave. The student may choose to leave also, but the process will move forward.

    D. Disciplinary Sanctions

    A sanction is a consequence placed upon a student for violation of specified University rule and/ or regulation, including a notice that further violations may lead to more severe disciplinary sanctions. Failure to complete a specified sanction will be considered an additional violation under “Failure to Comply.” In recommending a conduct sanction(s) for student misconduct, the hearing officer will consider:

    1. facts of the case as presented by the accuser(s) and the accused.
    2. existence of any physical information or testimony of material witnesses.
    3. type and severity of the offense.
    4. previous incidents of misconduct committed by the individual(s) accused.
    5. whether bias motivation is involved, as this would add to the seriousness of the violation

    One or more sanctions will be selected from the following list, based on the criteria listed above. Students should note that even though they are of legal age to consume or possess alcohol, MSUM and MnSCU policies prohibit the use or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs on campus.

    1. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code.  More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.

      1. Written Warning-A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
      2. University 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 student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
      3. Loss of Privileges-Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
      4. Restitution-Compensation for loss, damage, or injury.  This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
      5. Discretionary Sanctions-Work assignments, essays, service to the University, or other related discretionary assignments.
      6. 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.
      7. Residence Hall Expulsion-Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
      8. University Suspension-Denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return.  Conditions for re-enrollment may be specified.
      9. University Expulsion-Permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment at the University.
      10. Revocation of Admission and/or Degree-Admission to or a degree awarded from the University may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of University standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
      11. Withholding Degree-The University may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Student Conduct Code, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

    2. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
      1. Those sanctions listed above.
      2. Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.
      3. Deactivation. Loss of all privileges, including University recognition, for a specified period of time.

    E. Summary Suspension

    In certain circumstances, the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution, or his/her designee, may impose a summary suspension prior to the informal or formal proceedings described in the previous articles.  A summary suspension may be imposed only when, in the judgment of the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution, the accused student’s presence on the University campus would constitute a threat to the safety and well-being of members of the campus community.  To the greatest extent possible before implementing the summary suspension, the accused student shall be given oral or written notice of the intent to impose summary suspension and shall be given an opportunity to present oral or written arguments against the imposition of the summary suspension.  However, the refusal of a student to accept or acknowledge this notice shall not prevent the implementation of a summary suspension.  Notice of the summary suspension shall be provided in writing to the student.  After the student has been summarily suspended, the student shall be provided an opportunity for a formal or informal hearing within the shortest reasonable time period, not to exceed nine (9) school or business days.  During the summary suspension, the student may not enter the campus without obtaining prior permission from the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution.

    F. Policy & Procedure for Appeals

    1. A decision reached by the Student Conduct Panel or a sanction imposed by the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution may be appealed by the accused student(s) or complainant(s) to the Vice-President for Student Affairs or his/her designee(s) within five (5) school days of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution or his or her designee.

    2. Except as required to explain the basis of new information, an appeal shall be limited to a review for one or more of the following purposes:

      1. To determine whether the Informal or Formal Hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information that the Student Code was violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to those allegations. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.

      2. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial information, that is, whether there were facts in the case that, if believed by the fact finder, were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code occurred.

      3. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code which the student was found to have committed.

      4. To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts 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 Informal or Formal Hearing.

    3. If an appeal is upheld by the Provost, the Provost may take any appropriate action. If an appeal is not upheld, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved except that in cases involving sanctions of suspension for 10 days or longer, students shall be informed of their rights to a contested case hearing under Minnesota State Statute 14. However, the sanction of suspension for 10 days or longer will go into effect upon the decision of the Provost.

    For additional information regarding discipline process or procedures, contact the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Box 124, 1104 7th Ave S, Moorhead, MN 56563. 218.477.2174.