Students of Valley City State University are entitled to fair and equal treatment in access to the program, facilities, and activities of the university, in accordance with the constitution and laws of the United States, the constitution and laws of North Dakota, and the policies of the State Board of Higher Education. Students of the university are entitled to competent academic instruction and fair treatment in academic evaluation. In matters of campus discipline, students are entitled to prompt and fair procedural due process.

Valley City State University is committed to the view that an important purpose of higher education is to develop mature responsible adult citizens and community leaders. Likewise, the university expects that, on or off campus, students will conduct themselves with courtesy, truthfulness, respect for law, and a thoughtful concern for the rights of others.

The VCSU Student Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on VCSU premises, at VCSU sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the VCSU community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of the degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment. The Student Code shall apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall decide whether the Student Code shall be applied to conduct occurring off-campus on a case by case basis.

    1. Infringement of the rights of other persons:
      1. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
      2. Behavior infringing upon the health or safety of self or other persons.
      3. Conduct that is disorderly, lewd or indecent which may include, but is not limited to fighting, engaging in violent behavior, disturbing a lawful assembly, streaking
      4. Creating a public disturbance, or interfering with teaching, study, social activities, or recreational activities.
      5. Assault or fighting.
      6. Hazing, on the part of individuals or campus organizations. Hazing is an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or results in the destruction or removal of public or private property, or which causes physical or psychological discomfort, embarrassment, or humiliation, for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, or confirming any form of affiliation, or continued membership in a student organization regardless of a student’s willingness to participate in the activity.
      7. Attempted or actual theft of/or damage to property of the university or property of a member of the university community or other personal, or public property, on or off campus or during university related travel.
      8. Sexual misconduct including sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, relationship violence and stalking.
    2. Abuse or misuse of substances:
      1. Possession, sale, dispensation, use or consumption of alcoholic beverages on land or in buildings owned or managed by VCSU or in connection with university sponsored events. Exceptions to the policy are provided for university apartments or as permitted by law with approval of the university president.
      2. Use, possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances or illegal drugs.
      3. Behavior while in a state of intoxication that is loud, disruptive, potentially injurious to the health or safety of others or affecting the cleanliness or maintenance of university facilities.
      4. Any violation of the VCSU Alcohol Violators Policy.
      5. Interference with university business, academic processes, or student activities.
      6. Obstruction of teaching, disciplinary procedures, social activities, or other scheduled events.
      7. Furnishing false information to any university official, faculty member or office.
      8. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any university document, record, or instrument of identification.
      9. Misappropriation, or misuse of university property.
      10. Vandalism or destruction of property.
      11. Unauthorized entry into, or presence within, a university building.
      12. Tampering with, or misuse of, fire alarms, fire protection equipment or surveillance equipment.
      13. Failure to comply with published instructions, rules or regulations of the university or with the written or verbal instructions of an authorized university official, and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
      14. Failure to comply with sanctions imposed under the Student Code of Conduct.
    3. Off Campus Behavior
      1. Violation of local, state, or federal law may be treated as a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
      2. Behavior that poses an obvious threat or harm to the health and safety of self or others.
      3. Behavior that impinges on the rights, property or achievements of others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder.
    4. Violation of university residence hall rules and regulations.
    5. Violation of VCSU Computer and Network Usage Policies.
    6. Violation of the VCSU Firearms/Weapons Policy.
    7. Students at Valley City State University have the responsibility to respond to policy violations and may be held responsible if found to be in the presence of a policy violation and fail to do one of two things:
      a. Leave the area where the violation is occurring.
      b. Contact appropriate VCSU staff members or authorities.
    1. Citations:
      1. A report of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be made by a student or faculty or staff member of the university.
      2. The complaint will be filed with the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs on the form supplied by the Vice President’s Office.
      3. The Vice President for Student Affairs will refer the report to the appropriate designated University Conduct Officer
      4. The reporting form will be signed by the person submitting the report. Anonymous reports will be accepted and investigated to determine appropriate university action.
    2. Citations filed in a university residence hall:
      1. Citations filed in a university hall may be initially filed with the Director of Residence Life. The Director of Residence Life, after conducting a proper investigation and hearing may:
        a. Dismiss the allegation,
        b. Assess the appropriate sanction
    3. University Conduct Officer
      1. University Conduct Officer will:
        1. Carry out the conduct process from report to decision in a timely manner.
        2. Serve as the investigator, conduct the hearing, render a decision, and impose sanctions.
        3. Participate in training
        4. Disclose if a conflict of interest exists with either the reporting or responding party, in which case the report will be directed to a different Conduct Officer.
        5. Serve a 3 year term
    4. Vice President for Student Affairs
      1. When a report has been filed, the Vice President for Student Affairs will refer the report to the appropriate designated University Conduct Officer. The University Conduct Officer will meet with both the reporting party and the responding party.
      2. The designated University Conduct Officer, after conducting a proper investigation and hearing may:
        1. Dismiss the allegation.
        2. Assess the appropriate sanction
      3. The Vice President for Student Affairs will:
        1. Appoint University Conduct Officers for a term of 3 years.
        2. Provide University Conduct Officers with training.
        3. The Vice President for Student Affairs will maintain complete records of all formal disciplinary proceedings.
    5. Conduct Process
      1. Conduct Officer receives report and begins investigation.
      2. Conduct Officer identifies alleged code violations, notifies student, and schedules meeting date and time within 3 class days of initial report.
      3. Conduct Officer holds prehearing conference with responding party to review rights and procedures.
      4. Hearing is held, responding party has the opportunity to provide evidence, witnesses, and explanation.
        a. During student conduct hearings students have the right to have advisor of their choosing present, including legal counsel. In cases that do not involve potential suspension or expulsion, the advisor may not participate in the hearing. In a hearing that may result in expulsion or suspension, the advisor may participate fully in the conduct hearing, which includes the opportunity to make opening or closing statements, examine and cross examine witnesses, and to provide support, advice and guidance to the student.
      5. Conduct Officer renders decision and notifies student of findings and conditions/sanctions as they apply.
      6. Student may appeal to Vice President for Student Affairs.
      7. See Appendix A: Alleged Code Violation for conduct process
    1. Definition:
      1. Sanctions are those penalties which may be imposed by the university upon persons who, in proper hearing processes, have been found to have committed violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
    2. Sanctions which may be imposed by the university and assigned by the procedural hearing bodies established by Section 2. of this Code are:
      1. Reprimand. Reprimand may be delivered either verbally or in writing. If the reprimand is in writing, a copy shall be retained on file in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
      2. Conduct probation. Conduct probation indicates that further violation may result in suspension. Conduct probation may not be imposed for more than one year.
      3. Suspension from participation in university-sponsored organizations, events and activities.
      4. University Suspension. A student who is suspended may not enroll for classes for a determined length of time.
      5. University Expulsion. A student who is expelled from the university is permanently barred from the university.
      6. Sanctions including but not limited to counseling, evaluation, restitution, community service, and compensation for theft and damage to person or property may be imposed along with an official university sanction.
    3. The university reserves the right to suspend immediately and remove from campus without hearing, any student that poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of persons on campus. A properly constituted hearing on the matter will take place as early as possible.
    4. Registration for subsequent terms or the conferral of academic degrees may be withheld pending the resolution of allegations of student misconduct or until sanctions have been concluded and any conditions imposed by the university have been fulfilled.
  4. Non-responsive students
    1. If the student absents him/herself from campus or does not respond when requested to participate in the disciplinary process, the following steps will be taken.
      1. The designated University Conduct Officer shall make every reasonable effort to locate the student through ordinary channels, including, but not limited to e-mail, hand-delivered letter, and/or phone call.
      2. If the student cannot be located or does not respond, the designated University Conduct Officer will initiate the normal disciplinary procedures in the student’s absence.
    1. Students have the right to appeal a disciplinary action of the designated University Conduct Officer to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall not repeat the duties of the designated University Conduct Officer. The appeal shall be limited to a review of the initial hearing and supporting documents (except as required to explain the basis of new evidence) for one or more of the following purposes:
      a. To consider new evidence which may alter the decision.
      b. To determine whether the original hearing was conducted in accordance with published procedures.
      c. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation.
    2. Student appeals should be submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs within 5 class days of the decision in question.
      a. See Appendix B: Appeal Process for Conduct Violations for process and potential outcomes
    1. Conduct records are kept on file in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. All conduct records are private and may not be disclosed in whole or in part except as provided by law, or by the written authorization of the student. Conduct records shall be retained separately from the student’s educational record. The only disciplinary actions reflected on an official transcript shall be suspension or expulsion.
    2. Conduct records containing violations that resulted in sanctions of less than suspension or expulsion are retained for a period of three years after a student graduates, withdraws or transfers and are kept in a conduct file in the Vice President for Student Affairs office. In cases where students receive a sanction of suspension or expulsion, records may be retained indefinitely.

Sponsored by: Vice President or Student Affairs

Reviewed: Winter 1996

Reviewed: Winter 2004

Revised Number: February 2010

Revised: 2016