Standards of Student Behavior

Student Code of Conduct

Introduction. Vincennes University is a community dedicated to personal, academic excellence and growth. Choosing to join this community obligates each member to a standard of ethical behavior as stated in the Student Creed.

As a Vincennes University student, I commit to a code of civilized behavior. I will practice personal academic integrity; I will respect the dignity of all persons, including myself; I will respect the rights of others; I will not condone bigotry; I will strive for the openness to learn from differences in people, ideas and opinions; I will demonstrate concern for others, their feelings, and their need for conditions which support their work and development. Allegiance to these ideals requires me to refrain from behavior that threatens the freedom and respect every individual deserves.

The university is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the university community must choose behaviors that contribute toward this end. Student behavior that is not consistent with the Student Code of Conduct is addressed through an educational process that is designed to promote safety and good citizenship and, when necessary, appropriate consequences are imposed in the form of sanctions.

The Vincennes University Student Code of Conduct is a statement of expectations for students and student organizations on the basis of the philosophy of Vincennes University as well as Federal and State laws. These regulations are prepared to protect the health, welfare, and safety of Vincennes University students. Most of the regulations, accordingly, reflect the policies of Vincennes University, State and Federal laws or ones of common sense. The Student Code of Conduct policy applies to all students enrolled in Vincennes University courses. Students are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their university, to be civil to one another and to others in the university community, and contribute positively to student and university life. Therefore, students should understand the specifics of the conditions they have accepted when they enroll. Students need to be aware that violations of the University Student Code of Conduct may result in some form of disciplinary action.

Definitions. The following definitions apply to terms found in the Student Code of Conduct:

  1. “University” and “campus” are used interchangeably and both apply to Vincennes University.
  2. “Student” includes all persons taking courses at the university, both part time and full time. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the university are considered “students”. Therefore, sanctions can be imposed on applicants, enrolled students, students between academic terms, graduates awaiting degrees, and students who withdraw from the university while a disciplinary matter is pending.
  3. “Code” represents the Student Code of Conduct.
  4. “University official” includes any person (student, faculty or staff) employed by the university and performing administrative or professional duties, or any person serving the university in an official capacity.
  5. “Member of the university community” includes any person who is a student, university official, trustee, or any other person serving the university in an official capacity, university guests on university property or at a university related activity.
  6. “University property” includes all real or personal property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the university and all university facilities whether utilized by the university or a university auxiliary organization.
  7. “Organization” means any registered student club or organization.
  8. “Shall” and “will” are used in the imperative sense.
  9. “May” is used in the permissive sense.
  10. “Day” applies to a day when the university is open for normal business, regardless of whether classes are in session (e.g., the day preceding Thanksgiving). In determining any deadlines as set forth in the Code, references to a number of “days” prior to or after occurrence of an event shall not include the day of the event.
  11. “Health” applies to physical or mental well-being.
  12. “Deliberate Indifference” refers to the conscious or reckless disregard of the consequences of one’s actions or inactions.
  13. “Student Code of Conduct Administrator” includes the Dean of Students or any other university official assigned to administer the code of conduct and to perform the duties prescribed in these procedures.

Jurisdiction. The Student Code of Conduct addresses misconduct that takes place on university premises and addresses off campus behavior when it may have or has had an adverse impact upon the university community or, if repeated on the university, poses a threat to the safety of members of the university community.

The Code also applies to university sponsored events, activities, trips, etc., which may occur off campus. A student who violates the Code and breaks the law is subject to university, civil and/or criminal authorities. The university, at its sole discretion, may pursue disciplinary action against a student while the student is also subject to criminal proceedings. The university reserves this right even if criminal charges are pending, reduced, deferred or dismissed.

The Vincennes University judicial system is the responsibility of the Office of Judicial Affairs through the Dean of Student’s office. The Dean of Students has specific responsibility for the operation and administration of the judicial system.

Misconduct Activities Which Subject a Student or Student Organization to Disciplinary Action. Vincennes University recognizes that it must create an environment where each student will be free to pursue their academic interests without interference from others. This includes upholding the integrity of the academic process as well as providing a community free of disruptions. The following restrictions are designed to foster a healthy and peaceful learning community. Apathy or deliberate indifference are not neutral acts and may be violations of this standard.

Protecting the Rights of the Educational Process

Students are expected to respect the educational process for the benefit of themselves and others. Therefore, the following behavior is subject to disciplinary sanctions.

  1. Acts of dishonesty including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. Academic dishonesty (please refer to the section titled Academic Honesty for a detailed definition of academic dishonesty.)
    2. Furnishing false information to any university official, faculty member, or office.
    3. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any university document, record, or instrument of identification.
  2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration or other university activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or of other authorized non-university activities when the conduct occurs on university premises. (This policy is not intended to hinder organized, peaceful, and orderly protests.)

Incidents under 1.a. will be subject to disciplinary action that is consistent with the academic dishonesty policy contained in the syllabus of the instructor, which may include referral to the Dean of Students for appropriate disciplinary action.  Incidents under 1.b., 1.c., and 2. will be referred to the Dean of Students, who will determine appropriate student disciplinary action in keeping with procedures used in the handling of other types of student conduct situations.

Protecting the Rights, Safety, and Dignity of the Individual

Any of the following activities, the aiding, abetting, inciting, encouraging, or by their presence, supporting of any of the following activities, constitutes misconduct for which students may be subjected to disciplinary action. Student organizations may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including revocation of recognition. These violations include but are not limited to:

  1. physical or verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person resulting in an individual being fearful for imminent bodily harm and/or the emotional/mental disruption of a person’s daily life or educational environment;
  2. students shall not engage in any act that is sexual in nature and which is committed under pressure, force, threat, or coercion, or without the full and informed consent of all persons involved. For the purpose of this policy, the current, active state code states that consent must be freely and actively given through mutually understandable terms or actions. A person is deemed incapable of giving consent when that person is a minor, is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, physically helpless, under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point of being unable to make a rational decision, unconscious or asleep. A person always retains the right to revoke consent at any time during a sexual act;
  3. theft or attempted theft of and/or damage to property either personal or public, on or off campus;
  4. hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization; (Expressed or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense.)
  5. failure to comply with verbal and/or written instructions of university officials acting in the performance of their duties and made within the scope of their authority; (Students shall honor the official request of any university official in the performance of their duties. Each staff or faculty member represents the institution and the attack or threat of attack on an official is a threat against the university itself. The above is also applicable to student employees when performing their duties within the scope of their authority). Grievances against a staff or faculty member may be filed with the program and department head responsible for that area of the university in accordance with the institution’s grievance policy;
  6. violation of any policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on the university website;
  7. violation of any federal or state law;
  8. possession of firearms, explosives, or fireworks;
  9. the use or threat of use of a weapon, or any item or objects that simulate weapons, on university premises that could harm, threaten or cause fear to others;
  10. falsely reporting a fire, bomb, or any other emergency by any means;
  11. misuse or unauthorized possession of university owned emergency or safety equipment, creating a fire hazard or be in unauthorized possession of flammable or hazardous material;
  12. disrupting the normal operations of the university and/or infringing on the rights of other members of the university community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any university building or area; (This policy is not intended to hinder organized, peaceful, and orderly protests.)

Promoting Personal Responsibility and Integrity

The Vincennes University community strongly promotes the development of a personal values system that focuses on each person assuming responsibility for their own actions, and on maintaining dignity and truth. The following restrictions outline the primary parameters within each individual shall be held responsible.

  1. Students shall not engage in behavior that is disruptive, lewd, or indecent, regardless of intent, which breaches the peace of the community.
  2. Students are responsible for the actions of their visitors or guests. Students are expected to take reasonable action to prevent their guests from violating university regulations.
  3. Failure to comply and/or interfere with the university disciplinary system.
  4. Students shall not falsify or misrepresent facts on any university form or document and the unauthorized and/or improper use of a university form or document.
    1. Forms, Records, and Documents. Falsification of records and/or misrepresentation of facts on any university form or document may result in disciplinary action and/or cancellation of registration. This includes but is not limited to housing contracts, registration material data sheets, fee receipts, checks for payment to the university, applications for vehicle registration, application to be an exception to the housing policy, applications for release from a housing contract, listing an incorrect place of residence, or failure to update a change of correct address.
    2. ID Card Policies. It shall be illegal for a student to allow their Student Identification Card to be used by another person (whether a student or not). These cards are the Property of the university and entitle the student to certain privileges. Therefore, no student shall have access to the privileges on the basis of any but their own Student Identification Card. Further, it is against university regulations for any person to alter in any way the information contained on the Student Identification Card. This card must be carried with the student always and must be shown on request to any university official.
  5. All activities sponsored by student organizations must receive approval before the event by the Student Activities Office located in the PE Complex, room 102. The student organization itself, and individual students involved, will be held responsible for violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
  6. Computing resources may not be used for illegal or disruptive purposes. Examples include:
    1. Unauthorized copying or use of copyrighted material.
    2. Destruction of or damage to hardware, software or data belonging to Vincennes University or other users.
    3. Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.
    4. Harassment of other users.
    5. The accidental or intentional introduction of a destructive program, such as a “virus,” can have serious consequences. Users should be aware of the threat of viruses on networks and in public labs and use adequate protection against spreading them to their own machines. Both freeware and commercial anti-viral programs are available from various sources. Any attempt to compromise the university computer security systems will not be tolerated.
  7. Computing resources shall be used in accordance with the high ethical standards of the university community. Examples of unethical use which also may involve illegality include:
    1. Violations of computer system security.
    2. Unauthorized use of computer accounts, files, and data which do not belong to the user.
    3. Unauthorized use of access codes assigned to others.
    4. Intentional use of computer telecommunication facilities in ways that impede the computing activities of others.
    5. Academic dishonesty (plagiarism, cheating).
    6. Violation of software license agreements.
    7. Violation of network usage.
    8. Violation of another user’s privacy.

Prohibited Use of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol

As set forth in local, state, and federal laws, and the rules and regulations of the university, Vincennes University prohibits the manufacture, use, possession, and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students, employees and visitors in buildings, facilities, grounds or other property owned and/or controlled by the university. This applies to all individuals participating in any university-sponsored activities.

The university will enforce all state and federal laws regarding the possession and use of alcohol and the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any controlled substance. Drug and alcohol laws are vigorously enforced at Vincennes University. Violators are subject to criminal prosecution. The enforcement techniques can range from plain view violation to long-term undercover investigations by local, state, or federal agents and agencies.

The inappropriate use of a controlled substance is detrimental to Vincennes University’s faculty, staff, students, and the public served. The university will attempt to assist a student or employee involved with the inappropriate use of alcohol or a controlled substance in obtaining rehabilitation. However, the ultimate responsibility for overcoming a dependency or inappropriate use of alcohol or of a controlled substance is that of the individual. Details of the policy are printed and distributed annually in the Student Handbook and University Employee Manual. Vincennes University has an alcohol abuse program emphasizing education and intervention and meets the requirements of the present drug and alcohol requirement, including the Drug Free Schools and Communities Amendments of 1989.

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