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Student Code of Conduct

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Texas Woman’s University is a community of scholars in which the ideals of freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of the individual are sustained. TWU is committed to preserving the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the United States Constitution. The exercise and preservation of these freedoms and rights require a respect for the rights of all people in the community to enjoy them to the same extent. In a community of learning, willful disruption of the educational process, destruction of property, and interference with the orderly process of the University or with the rights of other members of the University will not be tolerated.

Students enrolling in Texas Woman’s University and registered student organizations assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the University’s function as an educational community. The act of registering for classes or registering as a TWU student organization is an explicit acceptance of TWU’s regulations. TWU retains the authority to maintain order within the University and to exclude those who are disruptive of the educational process or who represent a threat to the community. Students must adhere to the Texas Woman’s University Student Code of Conduct.

Texas Woman’s University follows state, local, and federal guidelines when handling alleged criminal activity. All reported incidents will be investigated and, as appropriate, referred to the criminal courts for prosecution and the Executive Director of Civility and Community Standards for University conduct review.

Any member of the University community may file conduct complaints for nonacademically related behaviors when they believe there has been a violation of the TWU Student Code of Conduct. The formal mechanisms of this code are designed to afford fairness to the individuals involved, safety to the community, and to resolve cases in a timely nmanner. The complainant must complete a Student Code of Conduct Report Form and submit it to the Office of Civility and Community Standards.

Statement of Community Respect
Texas Woman’s University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to all students and to fostering an educational environment free from intimidation and harassment. While upholding the principles of free intellectual inquiry and freedom of expression, the University condemns any form of intimidation or harassment, including intimidation or harassment which arises from race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin or veteran’s status.

The pursuit of community respect requires tolerance of intellectual positions and the expression of ideas that are different from, and contrary to, one’s own beliefs and values. The TWU community expects that the expression of these ideas will be exercised in ways that are consistent with norms of civility toward all people and that demonstrate respect for the cultural traditions of the diverse racial, religious, ethnic and national groups that comprise the University community.

Student and Student Organization Rights
Students and student organizations enjoy the following rights and responsibilities:

  • The right to an environment in the residence halls, academic buildings, and other areas on campus which will be as conducive as possible to study and serious inquiry;
  • The right to inquire about and to recommend improvements in policies, regulations, and procedures affecting the welfare of students through appropriate channels such as student government, administrative offices, and various committees;
  • The right to a fair hearing (Code of Conduct Review Hearing) when charged with violation of University regulations.
  • The responsibility for being fully acquainted with published regulations and for complying with these regulations in the interest of an orderly and productive community;
  • The responsibility for respecting the rights and property of other persons in the University community.
  • The responsibility for knowing that each student’s conduct reflects not only upon the student but also upon the university and the members of the community, and that conduct must be judged accordingly.
  • The responsibility to help maintain a safe environment by reporting suspicious, inappropriate, or dangerous behavior to University employees.

PROCEDURES

The Student Code of Conduct includes a list of violations, other than academic dishonesty, for which conduct action may be imposed on students and student organizations. Violations of the Code of Conduct fall into the following categories:

  1. Falsification, forgery, alteration, unauthorized possession, or misuse of university documents, records, or identification, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University or to a University employee.
  2. Destruction, damage, unauthorized possession of or misuse of private or University property.
  3. The unauthorized entry or use of TWU property, including campus or faculty offices and buildings, during or after hours without proper authority.
  4. Obstruction or disruption of teaching or any other lawful function or mission of the University.
  5. Willfully refusing or failing to leave any property owned, operated, or controlled by the University upon being requested to do so by an authorized University employee.
  6. Verbal, physical, or psychological abuse, including detention or threat of bodily harm to self or another person or persons in the University community.
  7. Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco:
    1. Possession, use, sale, or delivery of controlled substances or dangerous drugs or other narcotics or illicit drugs wherein the possession, use, or delivery thereof is a violation of local, state, or federal laws.
    2. Manufacturing, sale, or delivery of alcoholic beverages on university properties or violation(s) of the University Alcohol Regulation.
    3. Alcohol Law Violations
    4. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs in a public place.
    5. TWU is a smoke-free campus; therefore smoking on University property is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
  8. Unauthorized destruction or taking of property of the University, members of the TWU community, or campus visitors.
  9. Motor Vehicle Theft
  10. The illegal possession or use of firearms, knives, dangerous weapons, explosives, and/ or dangerous chemicals outside of the classrooms. To possess a weapon means to have that weapon under your control while on campus. The appropriate use of chemicals in class is exempt from this regulation. Except as permitted by Texas State law, this includes firearms, simulated weapons, disabled weapons, dangerous chemicals, any explosive device, nunchucks, swords, brass knuckles, butterfly knives, paintballs guns, toy guns, pellet guns, or any other material that can be used to threaten or endanger others.
  11. Malfeasance or misuse of elective or appointed office in a student organization which is injurious to the organization, its members, or the welfare of the University community.
  12. Hazing is adjudicated through the Hazing process.
  13. Failure to answer an official summons or to comply with lawful directions of university employees acting in the performance of their duties.
  14. Denial of or interference with any person’s lawful right of access to, use of, or exit from any university facility or with any other lawful right of any person on the campus.
  15. Violations of city, state or federal laws are incorporated as offenses under the Student Code of Conduct and the University may elect to take action against that student.
  16. Unauthorized tampering with any fire alarm or fire safety system(s).
  17. Violation of the TWU Information Technology Use Regulation
  18. Discrimination and/or harassment are adjudicated through the Title VI process.
  19. Title IX violations are adjudicated through the Title IX process. These violations include, but are not limited to: forcible and non-forcible sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, sexual harassment, coercion, and/ or use of force to gain sexual access, dating violence, domestic violence, intimidation, and/or stalking.
  20. Bullying or Cyberbullying
  21. Violation(s) of Housing Regulations and Procedures.
  22. Any other conduct which disrupts the campus environment and/or community.

DEFINITIONS OF TERMS AND VIOLATIONS

Bullying and Cyber-bullying: Persistent pressure or aggression that is intended to harm or intimidate. Cyberbullying is aggression that intends to harm or intimidate, occurs repeatedly, including by electronic means including social media, cell phone and texting, and email.

Consent: Permission and agreement by an individual to engage in an activity with another individual or individuals. An individual must be of legal age to give consent. Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in, and the conditions of, sexual activity. A person who is asleep or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent. A prior relationship does not indicate consent to future activity.

Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property: To willfully or maliciously destroy, damage, deface, or otherwise injure real or personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of it.

Discrimination and Harassment: A criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias (The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting). Six categories of bias are reported: race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, disability, gender identity, gender expression, age, veteran status, marital status.

Drug Abuse Violations: The violation of laws prohibiting the production, distribution, and/or use of certain controlled substances and the equipment or devices utilized in their preparation and/or use. The unlawful cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, purchase, use, possession, transportation, or importation of any controlled drug or narcotic substance. Arrests for violations of State and local laws, specifically those relating to the unlawful possession, sale, use, growing, manufacturing, and making of narcotic drugs.

Harassment: Aggressive, persistent pressure or intimidation

Hazing: Any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in. (See University Regulation and Procedures for Hazing). Hazing, on- or off-campus, by any individual or group associated with Texas Woman’s University is prohibited. TWU complies with the provisions of Chapter 37, Subchapter F, “Hazing,” of the Texas Education Code (51.936).

Incapacitation: A state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the "who, what, when, where, why or how" of their sexual interaction). Also includes a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs.

Intimidation: To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.

Larceny-Theft: (Except Motor Vehicle Theft) The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Attempted larcenies are included. Embezzlement, confidence games, forgery, worthless checks, etc., are excluded.

Alcohol Law Violations: The violation of State or local laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, or use of alcoholic beverages, not including driving under the influence and drunkenness.

Motor Vehicle Theft: The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. (Classify as motor vehicle theft all cases where automobiles are taken by persons not having lawful access even though the vehicles are later abandoned— including joyriding.).

Simple Assault: An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.

Stalking: An act of conduct that has to occur on more than one occasion and be directed towards the victim and/or the victim’s family or household members that instills fear of death or bodily injury. The threats can be explicit or implied. The threats must be aimed at a specific person and cannot be general threats. Stalking is the unwelcomed following or harassing a person over an extended period of time, including by electronic means that results in fear or apprehension of harm.

Weapons Carrying, Possessing: The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, concealment, or use of firearms, cutting instruments, explosives, incendiary devices, or other deadly weapons.

Weapon Law Violations: The violation of laws or ordinances dealing with weapon offenses, regulatory in nature, such as: manufacture, sale, or possession of deadly weapons; carrying deadly weapons, concealed or openly; furnishing deadly weapons to minors; all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned.

Conduct Proceedings or Code of Conduct Review Procedure
Amnesty is a general pardon of forgiveness of offense(s).

  1. For Victims. The University provides amnesty to victims who may be hesitant to report incidents to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of minor policy violations, such as underage drinking, at the time of the incident. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
  2. For Those Who Offer Assistance. To encourage students to offer help and assistance to others, University pursues a policy of amnesty for minor violations when students offer help to others in need. At the discretion of the Executive Director for Civility & Community Standards or his or her designee, amnesty may also be extended on a caseby-case basis to the person receiving assistance. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
  3. For Those Who Report Serious Violations. Students who are engaged in minor violations but who choose to bring related serious violations by others to the attention of the University are offered amnesty for their minor violations. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or record will result. Abuse of amnesty requests can result in a decision by the Executive Director for Civility & Community Standards or his or her designee not to extend amnesty to the same person repeatedly.
  4. Safe Harbor. The University has a Safe Harbor rule for students. The University believes students who have a drug or addiction problem deserve help. If any University student brings their own use, addiction, or dependency to the attention of University officials and seeks assistance, outside the threat of drug tests or conduct sanctions, a conduct complaint will not be pursued. A written action plan may be used to monitor cooperation with the Safe Harbor program by the student. Failure to follow the action plan will nullify the Safe Harbor protection and campus conduct processes will be initiated.

The mission of the Texas Woman’s University Student Code of Conduct Review Process is to support the University’s mission by enhancing the overall educational experience for students. The process is designed to incorporate student learning, student development, and promote equality, dignity, and mutual respect among its campus community.

The goals of the process are to:

  • Promote a safe and orderly campus community
  • Develop, disseminate, interpret, and enforce campus regulations
  • Protect relevant rights of students
  • Handle student behavior problems in a fair and reasonable manner
  • Facilitate and encourage respect for campus governance
  • Provide learning experiences for student who violate TWU Policies and Regulations
  • Provide leadership opportunities for students who participate in the process through board membership

DEFINITION OF ROLES AND TERMS

Chair or Chairperson: The staff member who presides over hearing procedures.

Complainant: Person(s) or entity making a complaint regarding a student, group or student organization allegedly in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Conduct Officer: University administrator designated by the Vice President for Student Life to administer the Conduct Review Process, usually the Executive Director for Civility & Community Standards.

Conduct Review Committee (CRC): Group of faculty and students endorsed by departments and organizations across the University community to assess information presented in hearings and provide recommendations to the Executive Director for Civility & Community Standards.

Day: Monday through Friday during normal University operating hours (8AM – 5PM CST).

Incident Complaint: The initial document filed by the Complainant is the Student Code of Conduct Report Form. The filing of this document initiates a pre-hearing meeting between the Executive Director for Civility & Community Standards if the alleged incident occurred on the Denton campus, or the Assistant Director for Student Life at the Dallas or Houston Center if the alleged incident occurred on the Dallas or Houston campus, and the respondent to discuss the complaint, potential violations and, if necessary, sanctions.

Investigator: The individual responsible for investigating student-related concerns including alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The Investigator is trained to conduct a thorough, impartial, and neutral investigation with no prior assumptions of responsibility or non-responsibility of the respondent(s). The Investigator may bring forward a charge on behalf of the University is a complainant does not want to and the University believes the actions of the accused is egregious. After the investigation is completed, the information collected will be presented to the appropriate University administrator, usually the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards.

Official: Any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution.

Pre-hearing Meeting: Meeting(s) arranged by the Executive Director for Civility & Community Standards in response to the Incident Complaint. Separate meetings will be held with the complainant(s) and respondent(s) cited in the Incident Complaint.

Respondent: Student, group or organization allegedly in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Student: Anyone who is accepted to TWU.

Student Code of Conduct Report Form: The form used when a student is suspected of violating the Student Code of Conduct. The form is located on the Office of Civility and Community Standards web page and must be completed and submitted for review to the Office of Civility and Community Standards if the violation occurred on the Denton Campus or the Office of Student Life if the alleged violation occurred at the Dallas or Houston Center.

Support Person(s): A support person is someone whom the student trusts to provide advice and support during the process. A support person can be any person the student feels comfortable confiding in, and need not be affiliated with the University (i.e. a friend, a family member, a person from a support or advocacy agency). A support person may accompany the student to any part of the adjudication process, including any meetings with the Executive Director of Civility and Community Standards, appropriate University officials, and Investigator(s). The support person does not participate in the process and, as such, cannot be a witness to the allegations in the complaint. Attorneys may serve as support persons. Anyone who is actively involved in a Sexual Misconduct complaint may not serve as a support person. A support person must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process and agree to sign a Confidentiality/Non-Retaliation Acknowledgment form. Notification of the attendance of support person(s) at any meeting, proceeding(s), and/or hearings should be given in advance of said meeting, proceeding, and/or hearing.

The Office of Civility and Community Standards: The Office of Civility and Community Standards provides service to the TWU community through facilitating the campus code of conduct process. In addition, the office supports the overall mission of the university through educational programming, training opportunities to increase understanding of campus civility and community standards.

University Employee: Any TWU faculty, staff or administrator.

Witness(es): An individual who has first-hand knowledge of the alleged incident in question. The individual may attest to the facts or events in person, via electronic means, or in writing. Witnesses may be invited to attend a hearing by a complainant or respondent, or summoned to the hearing by the Executive Director of the Office of Civility and Community Standards or his or her designee. 

PROCESS

For Incidents Which Occur in University Housing
For students residing in University Housing who are accused of violating state or federal laws, TWU Regents Policies, and/or University Regulations within or on University Housing property, the conduct review process is determined as follows:

  1. Tier 1 violations include, but are not limited to:
    1. Assault of any kind
    2. Theft or damage greater than $501
    3. Fire safety tampering
    4. Weapons
    5. Harassment
    6. Gambling
    7. Hate crimes
    8. Repeated offenses
    9. Failure to comply
  2. Tier 2 violations include, but are not limited to:
    1. Alcohol
    2. Drugs
    3. Vandalism
    4. Damage or theft $1-$500
    5. Solicitation
    6. Failure to comply
  3. Tier 3 violations include, but are not limited to:
    1. Noise
    2. Pets
    3. Guest/Visitation
    4. Cleanliness or health inspection
    5. Smoking

Tier 1 violations are reported to and handled by the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards. She or he will initiate the Student Code of Conduct Review Process. Tier 2 violations will be assessed by the University Housing and Residential Life Director or her or his designee and she or he will determine whether incidents or complaints that occur in University Housing will be reported to the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards or will be addressed by University Housing. If reported to the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards, she or he will process the complaint according to the Student Code of Conduct Review process. Tier 3 violations will be handled by University Housing.

For Incidents Which Occur on TWU Property (other than within University Housing)
When an incident complaint is filed, the student or organization named in the complaint will be asked to meet with the University administrator charged with review of violations of the Student Code of Conduct to discuss the alleged violation(s). The University administrator, to be designated by the Vice President for Student Life, is usually the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards on the Denton campus and the Assistant Director for Student Life in Houston and Dallas.

The Investigator will provide assistance to the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards with the University’s student investigations. The investigator coordinates the University’s investigations and may represent the University during Code of Conduct hearings. The Investigator will conduct a thorough, impartial, and neutral investigation with no prior assumptions of responsibility or non-responsibility of the respondent(s). The Investigator may bring forward a charge on behalf of the University if a complainant does not want to and the University believes the actions of the accused are egregious. After the investigation is completed, the information collected will be presented to the appropriate University administrator, usually the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards.

Conduct proceedings are conducted in a timely manner.
If, as a result of the initial meeting with the University Official, the allegation(s) is not contested, then the appropriate sanction(s) will be determined within ten business days. The decision will be communicated to the student, or the Code of Conduct Review Committee will be appointed to hear and review the case.

If, at the initial meeting, the matter is contested, the student alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct will be notified in writing of the specific section(s) of the Code of Conduct involved and a hearing will be scheduled. Written notice of violation(s) may be delivered to students in classes, elsewhere, or sent by certified mail to the student(s) involved.

Formal Hearing with Code of Conduct Review Committee
The complainant or the respondent (the accused) may bring witnesses to the hearing who are pertinent to the charges in question. It is the responsibility of the complainant or the accused to notify their witnesses. The TWU Student Code of Conduct does not include the right to have legal representation at Code of Conduct Review Committee hearings; however, students may have a support person present during the hearing for consultation purposes only. The support person may not address the Code of Conduct Review Committee members or any witnesses present. Complainants and respondents may have pertinent witnesses during the Code of Conduct Review Process, should they choose to.

Complainants and respondents may receive accommodations for concerns for personal safety, well-being, or fears of confrontation by of the complainant, accused student, or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, 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 Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards, or other Student Life designee. Complainants do not have the right to be informed of the outcome of the hearing or any sanctions imposed on the respondent(s), except in cases where the behavior was a crime of violence or as guaranteed under the provision of Title IX.

After consideration, the Review Committee will issue a recommendation to the Student Life designee. In Denton, the designee is typically the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards and in Dallas and Houston it is usually the Assistant Director for Student Life. The designee will make a post-hearing decision. The student may appeal the decision by delivering a written notice of appeal to the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement, or his or her designee, within three (3) business days following the receipt of the post-hearing determination. An appeal should contain information relevant to the hearing and cannot be an appeal of the sanction. The decision of the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement or his or her designee is final.

As an alternate procedure, the student named in the complaint may elect in writing, at the initial meeting with the Student Life designee, to have an administrative hearing rather than a hearing before the Code of Conduct Review Committee. Administrative hearings may also be used during summer sessions, semester breaks, or other times when it is determined to be appropriate due to the nature of the alleged offense. Administrative hearings will be conducted by the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards, or other Student Life designee, who will hear the case and render a decision, or administrative hearings will be conducted by a committee of three faculty or staff members. For cases which are contested, the hearing will involve all pertinent issues, and where the case is not contested, the administrative hearing will involve only the appropriate sanction(s).

Overview of the Code of Conduct Process

  1. Complaint is filed in the Office Civility and Community Standards.
  2. Notice of alleged violations is provided and involved parties meet separately with Student Life Designee. The designee is usually the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards on the Denton campus and the Assistant Director for Student Life on the Houston or Dallas campuses.
  3. If responsibility for allegation(s) is denied, a Code of Conduct Hearing will be scheduled.
  4. If responsibility for the allegation(s) is accepted, then either the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards, or other Student Life designee, will determine the appropriate sanctions, or the accused may choose to have an Administrative Review Committee Hearing.
    1. Upon the outcome of the hearing, the Administrative Review Committee will provide a recommendation regarding appropriate sanction(s) to the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards, or other Student Life designee.
    2. The Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards, or other Student Life designee, will notify the accused of the decision of the hearing within three (3) business days of the hearing.
  5. Sanctioned students have the opportunity to appeal to the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement, or his or her designee.
  6. Should the complainant withdraw from the university during the conduct process, adjudication will continue until a resolution has been finalized. The withdrawn will have the right to continue attending meetings and/or hearings should they choose to do so

Rights of Complainant and RespondentComplainants and respondents involved in the Conduct Review Process will be afforded the opportunity to meet with the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards or her or his designee. TWU Student Code of Conduct policy allow complainants and respondents to have a support person present for consultation purposes during their hearing. The support person is not allowed to address the Conduct Review Committee or any witnesses present. Complainants and respondents may have pertinent witnesses during the Conduct Review Process, should they choose to. Attorneys may serve as support persons. 
Denton Campus: The Denton Campus Code of Conduct Review Committee is comprised of students appointed by the Student Government President and students appointed by the Vice President for Student Life. Faculty members will be appointed to hear a case by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Staff members may be appointed by the Vice President for Student Life.

Complainants and respondents may receive accommodations for concerns for personal safety, well-being, or fears of confrontation by of the complainant, accused student, or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, 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 Student Life Designee.

Complainants do not have the right to be informed of the outcome of the hearing and/or any sanctions imposed on the respondent(s), except in cases where the behavior was a crime of violence or as guaranteed under the provision of Title IX.

No less than three (3) days prior to the hearing, the complainant and the respondent may each present to the Office of Civility and Community Standards copies of all documents to be introduced at the hearing as well as a list of those witnesses whose testimony will be presented in person or by summation, including a brief summary of the anticipated testimony. 

No less than two (2) days prior to the hearing, the complainant and the respondent shall receive from the Office of Civility and Community Standards any documents to be introduced at the hearing and a list of those witnesses whose testimony will be presented in person or by summation, including a brief summary of the anticipated testimony.

Review Committee
The Code of Conduct Review Committee is comprised of faculty and students who hear cases for conduct issues and academic dishonesty. All students on the Committee must be in good standing in order to be eligible to serve on the Review Committee. In all cases the Committee hears a case and renders a recommendation.

Each Code of Conduct Review Committee will utilize two students and three faculty selected from a pool to hear the case. All cases will be heard on a common day set by the Committee (docket) at the start of each semester. In the event there are not enough members available, the Vice President for Student Life or Provost may appoint additional members to the Committee.

  • Denton Campus: The Denton Campus Code of Conduct Review Committee is comprised of students appointed by the Student Government President and students appointed by the Vice resident for Student Life. Faculty members will be appointed to hear a case by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Staff members will be appointed by the Vice President for Student Life.
  • Dallas and Houston Center: Each Review Committee will utilize two students and three faculty to hear the case. The Assistant Director for Student Life for each Center shall have the authority to call an ad hoc review committee for the purpose of conducting hearings for their Center. The ad hoc review committee can be comprised of three faculty.
  •  If the complainants or respondent feel they must postpone the hearing, they must notify the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards, or other Student Life designee, no less than two (2) days (including weekend days) prior to the hearing. Acceptable reasons for postponing the hearing will follow the University’s Absentee Regulation.

Code of Conduct: Conduct Sanctions
Authority to administer a fair and just conduct program has been delegated by the President and Chancellor to the Vice President for Student Life or his or her designee. The VicePresident for Student Life designates the Executive Director of Civility and Community Standards as the authority to make decisions and administer a fair and just conduct process. The Executive Director may take any immediate interim conduct action when, in the opinion of the official, such action is necessary to protect life or property or well-being of members of the TWU community.

This regulation applies to student violations by any TWU student.

Sanctions for Individual Students
Penalties may be imposed singly or in combination upon individuals, groups, or organizations. The following sanctions by the University include, but are not limited to: Written Warning, Loss of Privileges, Imposition of Special Conditions, Conduct Probation, Interim Action, Interim Suspension, Suspension, Expulsion, Revocation of Admission, Revocation of Degree, Withholding Degree, No Contact Order (NCO), and/or other sanctions which are deemed appropriate by the University.

Sanctions for Student Organizations (including Greek)
All TWU recognized Student Organizations (including fraternities and sororities) are expected to adhere to all University policies, regulations, and procedures. Organizations that violate the Student Code of Conduct are subject to the following sanctions:

  • Written Warning or Reprimand
  • Including notification to National Organizations, if applicable
  • Loss of Privileges
  • Conduct Probation
  • Interim Action
  • Interim Suspension
  • Suspension of Privileges and/or Charter Organization Status
  • Termination of Organization
  • Restitution
  • Other sanctions as deemed appropriate. These may include, but are not limited to, reparation through community service, and educational and/or training requirements.
  • No Contact Order

All sanctions imposed will be kept on file and published on the TWU website for the appropriate period of time to comply with the State of Texas Records and Retention Act and Federal Statutes.

DEFINITION OF SANCTIONS

Conduct Probation: Conduct probation is levied on a student or student organization for a specific time based on the seriousness of the violation. Conduct probation constitutes a loss of good standing at the University, automatic loss of privileges, and serves as a warning that any further violation of University regulations may result in more serious consequences, including suspension or expulsion. Conduct probation is a sanction which remains a permanent part of the student’s confidential record in the Office of Student Life. Conduct Probation may be enforced at the individual or group level and includes student organizations. During the time of Conduct Probation a student or student organization must demonstrate the ability to comply with University policies, regulations, procedures, and any other stipulations associated with the violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Expulsion: Expulsion is the permanent separation of the student or organization from the University. A student expelled from the University is not eligible for readmission.

Imposition of Special Conditions: The student may be required to participate in works of service on the university campus or in the community as deemed appropriate. The student(s) may be asked to perform certain tasks, work assignments, essays, service to TWU, make restitution, whether monetary or by specific duties, or other related discretionary assignments. Additionally, the student may be required to move out of University Housing immediately when deemed appropriate and necessary.

Interim Action: Any short-term, temporary action imposed at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life, or a designee, that is designed to provide an immediate response to prevent or mitigate a threat for safety and security of the University community, University community members, or University property. Interim actions are taken upon receipt of a report but prior to the resolution of an allegation of misconduct. When an interim action has been imposed, the University will continue to investigate and prepare for appropriate due process proceedings. Interim actions may include, but are not limited to: interim suspension, removal from a class/course, complete removal from campus, no-contact orders, and/or removal of privileges or suspension of certain campus activities.

Interim Suspension: An interim suspension of a student from the University for allegations of non-academic misconduct may be imposed only to ensure the emotional and physical safety and well-being of members of the University community or guests, or preservation of University property; to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and wellbeing; and/or if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the University. A student conduct proceeding will be scheduled as soon thereafter as practical. The Interim Suspension may be imposed at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life (VPSL), or designee, and shall become effective immediately and remain in place until the conclusion of the conduct review process. The VPSL, or the designee issuing the interim suspension, may make a reasonable attempt to speak with the student and give the student an initial opportunity to respond to the concerns before issuing the interim suspension.

Any student who receives an interim suspension will be required to remove themselves immediately from the residence halls, will not be permitted to attend class (including online classes), and will be excluded from University property and University events and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, unless the student’s presence on campus or at University events is explicitly authorized by the VPSL, or designee issuing the interim action. Interim suspension means the student(s) is not able to attend classes and cannot work for the University in any capacity during the suspension. The affected student(s) must refrain from being on University property during the time period of the interim suspension unless she or he is accompanied by TWU DPS. In addition, a student may be placed on interim suspension during the Code of Conduct Review process. Students who do not respond to the interim suspension notification within 30 days will be automatically placed on suspension for 1 year.

The interim suspension does not replace the regular conduct review process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through a student code of conduct conference, if required. However, the student should be notified on writing of this action and the reasons for the interim suspension. The notice should include the time, date, and place of a subsequent conference at which the student may show cause as to why her/his continued presence on the campus does not constitute a threat [and at which she/he may contest whether a campus rule was violated].

Students placed on interim suspension will be responsible for any classwork due during the time of the suspension. At the student’s request, the student’s instructors will be notified of the interim suspension; however, details of the alleged conduct will not be disclosed. Student should contact their instructors to discuss arrangement for obtaining notes and making up assignments and/or exams. Please note that with the denial of access to campus, that as a result of interim suspension, there may be respective academic penalties including failure of classes.

If the student(s) is not found responsible, then TWU will work with the faculty and student involved to minimize any academic penalty. If the student is found responsible, then the University will not intervene on the student’s behalf and the student will incur academic penalties. If a student on interim suspension is found responsible and she or he has not earned the grades to pass her or his class or classes, then she or he will fail the course(s).

In Code of Conduct cases the interim suspension will be in place until the conclusion of the conduct review process. Tuition and fees will not be refunded to the student placed on suspension. A student on interim suspension is allowed to voluntarily withdraw from the University, and she or he is allowed to transfer to another institution during the suspension. Withdrawal must take place during the suspension; once the conduct hearing begins, then withdrawal is no longer an option. A student who withdraws from the University during the interim suspension may receive partial refund of tuition and fees.

Loss of Privileges: Loss of privileges extended to TWU students and student organizations. Loss of privileges include, but are not limited to, restrictions regarding participation, hosting, usage of facilities and University assets, and/or sponsoring formal or informal social events and other non-academic activities on or off campus. This sanction may include removal from an elective or appointed office of a registered campus organization, removal of recognition, and ineligibility to represent the University.

No Contact Order (NCO): An official notice restricting two or more TWU students from initiating contact or communication with each other. Typically, this is done to de-escalate a situation and to promote civility, and is intended to be in the best interest of all parties. NCOs are administrative resolutions to conflict and are not judicial sanctions, unless specifically designated as such. Unless they are issued as judicial sanctions, they do not become part of a student’s conduct or educational records unless he or she violates the NCO, as determined by TWU’s Student Code of Conduct system.

Revocation of Admission: Admission to TWU may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violations of TWU standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.

Revocation of Degree: A degree awarded from TWU may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violations of TWU standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.

Suspension: Suspension a status, imposed for a minimum of one year, in which a student is removed from the University and may not register, attend classes, submit coursework, receive academic credit, remain in University housing, or participate in any function or event sponsored by the University or any of its departments, groups, or organizations (unless specifically authorized). Suspension is a formal conduct action that may be taken at the end conclusion of the Code of Conduct Review Process. Suspensions become a permanent part of the student records and may also include the imposition of conditions for re-enrollment. The maximum length of a suspension is four years; however, this may be extended in qualifying circumstances.

Suspension is the separation of the student or organization from the University for a definite or indefinite period of time or until written specified conditions are met. Conditions may include a ban that prohibits visitation on the campus, during the suspension without prior written approval from the Vice President for Student Life. With a suspension, a student is not able to complete the semester, and there is an academic penalty for the separation. Academic penalty includes, but is not limited to, the student will be unable to complete the semester, therefore the final grade for any course will be determined by the work already completed and assignment and/or exams not completed.

Once a final resolution has been reached, whether through a University official decision or by acceptance of responsibility, that conduct decision, if it includes a suspension or expulsion, will become a permanent part of the Respondent's student records. As such, the outcome of this conduct adjudication may be available to other administrator within the University for their review, if needed.

Withholding Degree: TWU may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

Written Warning: A warning is a written notice to the student or organization that the conduct in question violates University regulations. A warning becomes part of a student’s or an organization’s conduct record in the Office of Student Life. For organizations, a warning may include notification to the organization’s president or adviser and to the chapter’s national headquarters, if any.

APPEALS PROCESS

All sanctions imposed by the original hearing body will be in effect during the appeal. A request may be made to the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards, or other Student Life designee, for special consideration in exigent circumstances, but the presumptive stance of the institution is that the sanctions will stand. In cases where the appeal results in reinstatement to the institution or of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the student to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irretrievable in the short term.

The decision of the Executive Director for Civility and Community Standards, or other Student Life Designee may be appealed by petitioning the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement or his or her designee. Accused students or complainants must petition within three (3) business days of receiving the written decision for a review of the decision or the sanctions imposed. Any party who files an appeal must do so in writing to the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement. The Associate Vice President for Student Engagement will share the appeal with the other party (e.g., if the accused student appeals, the appeal is shared with the complainant, who may also wish to file a response), and then the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement will draft a response memorandum (also shared with all parties). The Associate Vice President for Student Engagement will review to determine if the appeal meets the limited grounds and is timely. The original finding and sanction will stand if the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, and the decision is final. If the appeal has standing, the documentation is forwarded for consideration. The party requesting appeal must show error as the original finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately.

The results of a new hearing can be appealed, once.

The only grounds for appeal are as follows:

  1. A material, procedural, or substantive error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.)
  2. To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.

If the appeals officer or committee determines that new evidence should be considered, it will return the complaint to the original hearing body to reconsider in light of the new evidence, only. The reconsideration of the hearing body cannot be appealed.

If it is determined a material, procedural, or substantive error occurred, then the complaint will be sent to the original hearing body with instructions to reconvene to cure the error. In rare cases, where the procedural or substantive error cannot be cured by the original hearing officers (as in cases of bias), the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement may order a new hearing on the complaint with a new body of hearing officers. The results of a reconvened hearing cannot be appealed. This decision is final.

The procedures governing the hearing of appeals include the following:

  • All parties should be timely informed of the status of requests for appeal, the status of the appeal consideration, and the results of the appeal decision;
  • Every opportunity to return the appeal to the original hearing body for reconsideration (remand) should be pursued;
  • Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings of the complaint (de novo). 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;
  • This is not an opportunity for appeals officers to substitute their judgment for that of the original hearing body merely because they disagree with its finding and/or sanctions. Appeals decisions are to be deferential to the original hearing body, making changes to the finding only where there is clear error and to the sanction only if there is a compelling justification to do so;
  • Sanctions imposed are implemented immediately unless the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement or his or her designee stays their implementation in extraordinary circumstances, pending the outcome of the appeal.
    The appeals committee or officer will render a written decision to the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement or his or her designee on the appeal to all parties within seven (7) business days from hearing of the appeal. The committee’s decision to deny appeal requests is final.

The appeals committee or officer will render a written decision to the VPSL or his or her designee on the appeal to all parties within seven (7) business days from hearing of the appeal. The committee’s decision to deny appeal requests is final.

Student Records
Conduct records, including academic dishonesty, may be released to persons outside of the University only with consent of the student, or by exceptions described in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), including:

  1. Other school officials who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest;
  2. Federal, state, or local officials to whom such information is specifically allowed; or
  3. A court order or a subpoena.

Enforcement of Regulations
The University reserves the right to establish or modify any existing regulations when unusual circumstances dictate. A student who is under suspension from another institution may not be permitted to enter Texas Woman’s University until the student’s eligibility to re-enter the institution which imposed the suspension can be established. A student under expulsion, suspension, or administrative withdrawal from Texas Woman’s University may not be permitted to visit on any TWU campus during the suspension or withdrawal period except for a brief period in the office of a university administrator to transact essential official business. Any visits to campus must be approved by the Office of Student Life.

SPECIAL NOTES

The TWU Code of Conduct review process is specific to Texas Woman's University students and student organizations and is separate from conduct processes and rules connected with the National Greek Organizations.

Most current versions of the Academic Code of Conduct and the Student Code of Conduct are located on the TWU website.

Students working together.

 

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