Student Code of Conduct
Limestone University has the right and responsibility to provide an environment that is conducive to students’ freedom to grow and learn. In order to safeguard this freedom, the University defines and delineates standards of conduct for members of the campus community. Every student who attends Limestone University, by virtue of enrollment, has agreed to comply with these standards and, therefore, to be a cooperative member of the campus community.
The University is committed to maintaining an environment on campus that is safe and secure. In this attempt, the University will exercise any means available to ensure this commitment. Students charged with a violation of campus policy are subject to the disciplinary process and penalties ascribed for violations of the Student Conduct Code. In incidents that violate local, state, and federal laws, the subject will be referred accordingly. All students charged with an alleged violation are guaranteed certain rights including the right of appeal. In cases where a student is a danger to himself/herself, others, and/or property, the President, Provost, or the Dean of Student Life reserves the right to impose a penalty that is effective immediately with the right of appeal suspended until the threat of danger has been eliminated.
Students are expected to know and abide by all the standards, rules and regulations that are published in, but not restricted to, the Gaslight and the Academic Catalog. Students who fail or refuse to comply with these standards will be subject to penalties that may include permanent dismissal from the University.
Standards of Conduct: Charges may result from violations of Sections and/or more specific Codes. A student may be charged for the following:
Section 1.0 Failure to comply with the responsibilities of citizenship; violations of federal, state, or local law
Section 2.0 Cheating; plagiarism; forgery; knowingly furnishing false information
Section 3.0 Theft; unauthorized possession; damaging, or misusing the property of others
- Code 3.1 Unauthorized appropriation of the property of another
- Code 3.2 Forgery or the misuse of Non-transferable Documents or Instruments
- Code 3.3 unauthorized possession and/or use of phone codes, calling cards, credit cards, computer accounts, and passwords
- Code 3.4 Unauthorized possession and/or use of room keys, building keys, or passkeys
- Code 3.5 Unauthorized use of cable television service
- Code3.6 Vandalizing, destroying, or damaging property belonging to University or to another individual
Section 4.0 Physical or sexual assault; battery; physical or verbal abuse of any person or conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person on or off University property
- Code 4.1 Verbal abuse is the intentional use of obscene, profane or derogatory language, or the intentional use of an abusive tone or manner directed toward an individual or individuals
- Code 4.2 Harassment is any action, verbal or nonverbal, directed against an individual or individuals, with the intent to berate, humiliate or torment that individual or individuals (Reference pg. 31, Harassment)
- Code 4.3 Threat of physical abuse is conduct that indicates, or reasonably could be understood to indicate, either through speech or actions or a combination of both, an intent to physically injure an individual or individuals
- Code 4.4 Endangering conduct is any act that imperils or jeopardizes the health or safety of any person or persons
- Code 4.5 Physical abuse is any action that physically injures or inflicts physical discomfort on an individual or individuals
- Code 4.6 Making or being involved in the making of prank or unwanted phone calls is unacceptable.
- Code 4.7 Pranks and careless or irresponsible behaviors which cause or have the potential for causing damage to University or personal property, personal injuries, or which infringe upon the rights of others is unacceptable, including, but not limited to water fights, shaving cream battles, indoor sports, etc.
- Code 4.8 Unwanted attempts of contact (verbal or nonverbal), unwanted advances, and/or stalking is prohibited on University-owned or controlled property.
Section 5.0 Using, possessing, manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or being under the influence of alcohol on University-owned property or controlled property, or during University-sponsored activity on and off campus. Possession of kegs or other alcohol containers, empty or containing alcohol, is prohibited on University-owned property or controlled property. If you have knowledge that alcohol is in the room, whether it’s yours or not, you are responsible.
*It is the policy of Limestone University to notify the parent(s) or nearest relative of any student who is found guilty of second and additional alcohol and drug violations. The parent or nearest relative will be notified of the first alcohol or drug violation if the incident involved property damage or personal injury.
Section 6.0 Using, possessing, manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or being under the influence of unlawful drugs and/or possession of drug-related paraphernalia, on University-owned property or controlled property, or during University-sponsored activity on and off campus. If you have knowledge that unlawful drugs and/or drug-related paraphernalia are in the room, whether it’s yours or not, you are responsible.
Upon probable cause, students are subject to drug testing by a University official. Refusal to comply with testing when it is requested will be considered a violation of the University’s policy against usage. Being in the presence of, using, possessing, or procuring illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, and the improper use of prescription drugs is prohibited. Drug testing may be required when a student exhibits behavior that indicates there may be use of illegal drugs. Such “for cause” situations include, but are not limited to: 1) erratic behavior; 2) violent behavior, including altercations; 3) changes in behavior; 4) evidence of physical symptoms associated with drug use; 5) anything that can give someone a reasonable, sincere belief that the individual is illegally using drugs.
Section 7.0 Disorderly conduct or breach of peace on University-owned or controlled property, or during University-sponsored or supervised activities on and off campus.
- Code 7.1 Disruptive behavior is any behavior that, in the instructor’s judgment, interferes with the ability to conduct class or the students’ ability to benefit from the learning environment.
Section 8.0 Unauthorized use of or entry to University building or facilities.
- Code 8.1 No objects may be thrown or dropped from windows, roofs, balconies, or other elevated areas.
- Code 8.2 Climbing, rappelling or related activity is prohibited on campus buildings or structures.
- Code 8.3 Bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, and roller-skating are prohibited in all buildings and structures on University property.
- Code 8.4 Propping exterior residence hall doors with rugs, fire extinguishers, chairs, etc and/or altering a door’s locking mechanism is prohibited.
Section 9.0 Obstruction or disruption of teaching, administration, or disciplinary proceeding; riots, unauthorized or unlawful demonstrations
Section 10.0 Failure to comply with directives of University officials or disciplinary boards; refusal to respond to a request to report to a University administrative officer, disciplinary hearings, or any summons by authorized University officials
- Code 10.1 Failure to give identification to University officials upon request
- Code 10.2 Failure to exit a building, facility, or other designated area of campus when directed to do so by a University official
- Code 10.3 Inappropriate behavior or tone of voice during judicial proceedings or in meetings with University officials
- Code 10.4 Inappropriate behavior, gesture, or tone of voice directed towards a University official
Section 11.0 Violation of University policies and regulations; inciting others to commit or attempting to commit violations of University policies and regulations
- Code 11.1 Failure to adhere to University Quiet Hour Policy
- Code 11.2 Failure to adhere to University Visitation Hour Policy
Section 12.0 Arson; falsely reporting emergencies; tampering with fires extinguishers; hoses; or other emergency equipment; failure to evacuate in response to a fire alarm
- Code 12.1 Deactivation of residence hall room and common area smoke detectors
- Code 12.2 False activation of fire alert systems
- Code 12.3 Use of candles, incense, or other open flame objects in University-owned or controlled buildings
- Code 12.4 Use of halogen lights in residence hall rooms
Section 13.0 Use, possession, or distribution on campus of firearms, ammunition or shell-casings, air guns, explosives, fireworks, knives, other weapons or facsimile thereof (Reference, - pg. Weapons)
Section 14.0 Obscene, lewd, or immoral conduct that is offensive to the prevailing standards of the University community
- Code 14.1 Inappropriate use of, or display of, obscenities, verbal or nonverbal, on University-owned or controlled property
Section 15.0 Aiding, abetting or inciting others in violations of University policies and regulations or federal, state or local laws; being present without being directly involved, but failing to take preventative action or to inform University officials.
Section 16.0 Registration of parole or probation status:
- Code 16.1 Limestone University students who are under the supervision of a federal or state probation or parole officer at the time of their admission to the University must report their status to the Office of Student Life within 15 days following registration.
- Code 16.2 Any student who is subsequently placed on probation or parole must report this to the Office of Student Life within 15 days following the date the student is placed on probation or parole.
Section 17.0 Respect for privacy. Misuse of recording devices and/or photographic devices.
- Code 17.1 Students are expected to respect the privacy of fellow students, faculty, and staff. Surreptitious use of recording and/or photographic devices are strictly prohibited.
Section 18 Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material (music, movies, etc…) through use of file-sharing programs on our network is strictly prohibited. Violators could face institutional files and/or loss network access and may even be subject to civil and criminal penalties such as fines and/or imprisonment. For detailed information concerning this policy, as well as legal alternatives visit www.limestone.edu/p2pcompliance.
BULLYING and CYBER-BULLYING
Bullying fosters a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the physical and psychological health of its victims and create conditions that negatively affect learning, thereby undermining the ability of students to achieve their full potential. Limestone University prohibits bullying and cyber bullying on the basis of traits expressly protected by the federal civil rights laws, including on the basis of gender.
Bullying is defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally. It often includes comments about race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability. It often involves an imbalance of power, aggression, and a negative repeated behavior.
Cyber-bullying is when an individual is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another person using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It may consist of covert, psychological bullying conveyed through web-sites, on-line chat rooms, or multiuser domains where individuals take on different characters and on-line personal profiles. It is verbal (over the telephone or cell phone), or written (flaming, threats, racial, sexual or homophobic harassment) using the various mediums available.
Examples of Social/Professional Sites are Face Book; MySpace; Link In; Twitter.
Examples of Technology Usage are Prank phone calls; Text messages; Picture Messages; Messages with graphics/sounds
Limestone University will respond promptly, effectively, and equitably to any complaints of bullying and cyber bullying conduct. The University will pursue all necessary and appropriate actions to cease this conduct.
DATING VIOLENCE is committed by a person (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) The length of the relationship; (ii) The type of relationship; (iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. http://www.4vawa.org/dating-violence/)
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction. (http://www.4vawa.org/domestic-violence/)
The purpose of the harassment policy is to ensure that all persons will enjoy a safe environment free from unreasonable interference, intimidation, hostility, or offensive behavior on the part of anyone associated with the University. Harassment, sexual or otherwise, is unlawful and will not be tolerated by Limestone University.
The policy of Limestone University is to maintain a learning environment free from all forms of harassment and to insist that all persons associated with the University be treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy.
Pursuant to this policy, any comments or conduct relating to a person’s race, gender, religion, age, or ethnic background that fail to respect the dignity and feeling of the individual are unacceptable.
This policy extends to conduct of a sexual nature including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender based bullying. This policy includes all faculty, staff, students, and administrators of Limestone University.
Sexual Harassment at Limestone University is defined as unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct which is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, limiting or denying someone the ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program. The unwelcome behavior may be based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when there are:
1. unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and
2. submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action.
Hostile Work Environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent and patently/objectively offensive that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint.
Retaliatory Harassment is any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct.
Examples of the above may include but not be limited to:
- Unwelcome or uninvited sexual comments or innuendo
- Oral, written, or electronic communications that are sexually explicit in nature
- Sexually explicit questions, jokes, or anecdotes about gender specific traits
- Sexually suggestive sounds, gestures, gifts, or visual materials such as magazines, pictures, posters, photos, cartoons, or drawings
- Direct or indirect threats concerning sexual favors or the refusal to consent to sexual favors
- Sexual leering, uninvited touching, stroking, or gestures
- Communication of unsought sexual propositions, requests for dates, sexual favors, or lewd remarks or sounds, touching, patting, hugging, brushing up against a person's body;
- Coerced sexual intercourse
- Sexual assault or abuse
This policy extends to comments or conduct of a sexual nature, where such behavior tends to threaten or offend any person under the jurisdiction of the University. This policy also includes harassment via e-mail, FAX, telephone, and any other form of electronic communication.
Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature will be considered to be sexual harassment when:
- submission to such conduct is made a condition of an individual’s employment, living, or scholastic environment
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic evaluation decisions affecting such individual
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an unfriendly or offensive work, living, or academic environment
Limestone University also prohibits harassment towards its employees by persons who are not employed by Limestone University. If a tenant, vendor, repairperson, or other non-Limestone University employee engages in unwelcome words or conduct, please report this to a Limestone University supervisor or administrator so that appropriate preventive steps can be taken.
Limestone University recognizes that persons of both sexes work together and communicate. Although there is no absolute definition of conduct that constitutes sexual harassment in every case, all persons are asked to conduct themselves reasonably in accordance with the preceding guidelines. Limestone University will not tolerate any conduct that fails to comply with the letter and spirit of these guidelines.
Limestone University is committed to promoting a campus environment that is just, open, disciplined, and caring. This philosophy supports the educational mission of the institution and our standards for co-curricular programs that facilitate students’ development. Limestone University is opposed to any group or organization, registered or otherwise, officially or in fact, that participates in any activity that involves hazing any member of the University community.
Registered organizations and groups shall be permitted certain initiation ceremonies and activities, which, when examined by the ordinary University student, would seem reasonable under the circumstances and justified in view of the purpose for which they are conducted.
The definition of “hazing” is “any conduct or methods of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endanger the physical or mental health of any student or other person.” Such prohibited actions, situations, and activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. any brutality of a physical nature, such as paddling, whipping, beating, branding, or forced calisthenics
2. excessive exposure to the elements
3. forced or required consumption of any food, alcohol, drug, or other substance
4. forcing or requiring the theft or damage of any property
5. any activity or situation which would subject an individual to extreme mental or physical stress, such as permitting fewer than six (6) hours of continuous, uninterrupted sleep per night, or forced or required extended exclusion from social contact
6. forced or required conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, such as nudity;
7. running personal errands for others, such as driving them to class, cleaning their individual rooms and/or intentionally littering or jumbling the house or a room for the person to clean, washing their cars, etc.
8. “Road trips” (dropping someone off to find his/her own way back), scavenger hunts, or kidnaps
9. “Line-ups”, including, but not limited to, any activity where individuals are forced to answer questions, memorize stories, poems, or information not directly related to the student organization, or to endure any personal indignity, forcing, requiring, or encouraging the violation of any University policy, Federal, State, or local law. Consent shall not be available as a defense to any other prosecution of this action.
Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing and is at the scene of such an occurrence shall, to the extent that the person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such an occurrence to an appropriate University official and/or law enforcement official as soon as reasonably possible.
OFF-CAMPUS CONDUCT POLICY
While the University has a primary duty to supervise behavior on its premises, there are many circumstances where the off-campus behavior of students affects University and community interests and warrants disciplinary action.
Limestone University expects students to conduct themselves in accordance with the law. Student behavior off the premises of the campus that violates any local, state or federal law, or that yields a complaint from others alleging law violations or student misconduct will be reviewed by the University. Upon receipt of a complaint alleging off-campus student misconduct, the President, Provost, or the Dean of Student Life reserves the right to impose a penalty that is effective immediately with the right of appeal suspended until the threat of danger has been eliminated. The Dean of Student Life will review the allegation and pursue an appropriate course of action. Any off-campus student behavior that violates the University Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action following standard University procedures. (Gaslight, p.32)
If a dependent student (as defined by the Internal Revenue Code) is found guilty of violating the Student Code of Conduct and placed on probation or suspension, or is expelled from the University, parents or guardians are automatically notified by letter. In the case of alcohol or drug violations, the parent or guardian will be notified.
SELF-INJURY, THREAT or INDICATION of SUICIDE ATTEMPT
The University policy is designed to help students and their families through a difficult time by ensuring the student’s safety and assisting the student. The policy is not intended to punish or cause further distress to an already troubled student. The policy is intended to provide structure for responding to behavior that is of concern to students and staff. The University must consider not only the well being of the individual student, but also the well being of the entire campus community.
Parents and family will be notified in the case of attempted suicide, threat of suicide, or act of self-injury. On-going involvement of parents and family is required in all cases in which the student is allowed to remain enrolled in the University. The specific form of this involvement will be determined through discussion with the student, the student’s parents and family, the director of the counseling center and Provost or designee.
The University, upon the advice of its professional staff, may require a student to withdraw temporarily from the University for medical or psychological reasons. For this reason, the University reserves the right to require further evaluation of a student through appropriate professionals, to establish conditions under which a student may continue at the University, and to recommend voluntary or involuntary withdrawal of the student from the University. In these cases, the student will be encouraged to seek professional care. Such action is not taken for punitive reasons, but because the welfare of the individual and the community mandates these procedures.
Stalking is a course of conduct that involves a broad range of behavior directed at a victim. The conduct can be varied, but involves actions that harass, frighten, threaten and/or force the stalker into the life and consciousness of the victim. Stalking includes both physical and electronic stalking. The term “stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to— (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress. (http://www.4vawa.org/stalking/) The components of stalking include both the course of conduct and intensity of the behaviors. Methods of stalking can include, but are not limited to, these methods to intimidate and frighten the object of his/her attentions:
- Persistent phone calls despite being told not to contact in any form
- Waiting at workplace or in neighborhood or around the classes of the victim
- Threats, actual or implied
- Manipulative behavior (for example: threatening to commit suicide in order to get a response to such an “emergency” in the form of contact)
- Sending written messages: letters, emails, and/or graffiti
- Sending gifts from the seemingly “romantic” to the bizarre
- Defamation: lying to others about the victim
- Objectification: demeaning the victim, reducing him/her to an object (which allows the stalker to feel angry with the victim without experiencing empathy)
Limestone University takes stalking very seriously and will vigorously prosecute anyone who is identified as a stalker.