Student conduct

Saint Martin's University believes in honoring the freedom of the individual and respecting the rights of the group. A Code of Student Conduct is necessary to ensure this is possible. As a Roman Catholic university, Saint Martin's not only expects students, staff and faculty to follow appropriate civil laws, but also encourages each individual to participate in building a positive and welcoming community.

A student attending Saint Martin’s University agrees to be governed by this Code of Student Conduct, hereafter referred to as the Code, as well as by other applicable University policies. The University, through authority given by the University President to the Dean of Student Affairs, maintains the exclusive authority to determine violations of the Code and to impose sanctions.

Understanding the student conduct process

  • Forms of resolution

    Formal mediation

    Saint Martin’s University community members are encouraged to resolve differences, conflicts and misunderstandings directly and informally. Some cases, however, require intentional intervention on the part of University officials and/or Student Conduct Administrators. In such instances, interpersonal conflicts will be referred to an unbiased mediator for resolution. Under most circumstances, these mediations will not result in formal conduct findings or sanctions; however, allegations of significant policy violations may be subject to further investigation and/or disciplinary action. In addition, students are expected to comply with recommendations and/or directives provided by the mediator, and failure to do so may warrant a formal conduct hearing. Mediation will not be used to resolve sexual violence complaints.

    Statement of responsibility

    At the discretion of the Coordinator of Student Conduct or designee, some students accused of minor, first-time violations of University or Housing and Residence Life policies may be provided with the opportunity to accept responsibility for their behavior through a statement of responsibility in lieu of a formal conduct hearing. The statement itself will serve as the student conduct sanction, and guidelines will vary depending on the type, complexity and severity of the alleged violation. The Student Conduct Administrator assigned to the case will be solely responsible for determining if the statement provided is sufficient and may request additional information and/or reflection. Students who choose not to submit a statement of responsibility or who fail to meet the criteria will be scheduled for a formal conduct hearing. 

    Community standards hearing

    Reports of modest, first-time violations of University or Housing and Residence Life policies may be reviewed by an Assistant Director of Housing and Residence Life or other Student Conduct Administrator through a community standards hearing. Community standards hearings are conducted as one-on-one meetings between the student and Student Conduct Administrator in which they review statements and reports and discuss the incident, its impact on the community, and the student’s behavior, perspectives, decision-making process, background and future goals. The hearing officer is solely responsible for determining the student’s level of responsibility and issuing appropriate sanctions. Appeals of community standards hearings must be submitted in writing to the Coordinator of Student Conduct as outlined in the corresponding sanction letter. Only one appeal is allowed, and the appeal must be filed within five days of receiving the hearing results. 

    Administrative hearing 

    In particularly serious, pervasive, or time sensitive cases, the Dean of Student Affairs, Coordinator of Student Conduct, a Student Conduct Administrator, or a combination of the three will conduct an administrative hearing. The President of Saint Martin’s University may also appoint an unbiased hearing agent at any time during the disciplinary process to perform the function of a disciplinary review or an appropriate appeal when he or she determines it is in the best interest of justice and efficiency. During an administrative hearing, the administrator or hearing officer(s) involved will hear all sides of the case; review the facts, reports and witness statements; and determine sanctions in a closed-door session immediately following the hearing. Though not required, all respondents will have an opportunity to make an uninterrupted statement not exceeding 15 minutes to address their behavior, their motivations, the facts of the case, and/or their understanding of the policies related to the case.   

    Under most circumstances, administrative hearings will only involve the respondent and hearing officer(s) who will review and discuss available reports and statements. Witness or complainant participation in administrative hearings may be required by the Coordinator of Student Conduct or requested in writing no less than two business days in advance of the hearing. Complainants and witnesses will be invited to appear only at the discretion of the Coordinator of Student Conduct based upon the need to acquire additional information or clarify existing statements. All such parties must submit a written statement at least 48 hours in advance of a hearing and be willing to respond to appropriate questions presented by the hearing officer(s), respondent(s) or complainant(s), when applicable. Proceedings will not be delayed or rescheduled based upon the availability of a requested witness, and the University reserves the right to provide accommodations to or limit the participation of witnesses and/or complainants who express a reasonable fear for their safety or emotional wellbeing. All reports of sexual misconduct will be adjudicated through an administrative hearing.

  • Sanctions

    The Minimum Recommended Sanctions for Alcohol and Other Drugs can be found here. Below is a listing of other common sanctions that may be applied in response to a violation of the Code of Student Conduct:

    Warning

    The student or group is given verbal or written warning that his/her/their acts violate specified University regulations or policies and are advised that further violations may result in the imposition of more severe sanctions. 

    Loss of privileges

    The student, group, club, or organization is denied specific privileges normally associated with student status. Such privileges include, but are not limited to, permission to host guests on campus, participation in University activities, University employment, access to University-owned residence halls and use of University funds, facilities or services. 

    Community service 

    The student group, club or organization is required to perform a designated number of hours of labor in the service of the University or local community.

    Restitution

    The student or group is required to replace, restore or pay for damaged, stolen or misappropriated property. 

    Parental notification 

    In cases involving the inappropriate use or possession of alcohol or illicit drugs, the University may notify the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of students under the age of 21 by phone, mail or any other means as permitted by the 1998 revision of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Parental notification is typically reserved for drug related offenses and serious or repeated violations of the University’s alcohol policy; however, the University reserves the right to advise guardians of any drug and/or alcohol use that requires medical attention or presents a foreseeable risk of harm to oneself or others.

    Fines

    The student group, club or organization is required to pay previously established and published fines. The fine may be charged to the student’s account or the student may be required to pay in person in the Office of Housing and Residence Life.
      
    Discretionary sanctions

    A hearing body may impose creative or educational sanctions that are appropriate to the violation and designed to be informative rather than punitive. Examples of discretionary sanctions include, but are not limited to, research and reflection papers, program or class attendance, passive programming, staff and faculty interviews and required readings.  

    Substance abuse or mental health assessment

    The student may be required to complete a substance abuse or mental health assessment through a qualified agency at his/her own expense. The student is responsible for providing documentation of completion and must submit any recommendations from the provider to the Coordinator of Student Conduct.

    Adherence to these recommendations may be mandated by the Coordinator of Student Conduct, and failure to comply with this requirement may result in further judicial action.

    Conduct hold

    A student’s account may be put on hold at the discretion of the Coordinator of Student Conduct should that student fail to comply with sanctions imposed by any hearing body. A conduct hold may preclude a student from accessing his/her student records, registering for classes, acquiring transcripts or gaining readmission to the University. Students may appeal in writing to the Coordinator of Student Conduct or Dean of Student Affairs for the conduct hold to be temporarily or permanently lifted, and the request must include convincing justification for why the student remains out of compliance.

    Persona-non-grata 

    Persona-Non-Grata means a person is not welcome. When issued, the individual is prohibited from visiting or entering any University building or area for which the student has been declared persona-non-grata. This sanction will be imposed for a specified period of time. Violations of a Persona-Non-Grata order can, in some cases, result in an arrest for criminal trespass.
     
    Disciplinary probation

    The student, group, club or organization is placed on probation with or without loss of designated privileges. Specific activities may be required or additional sanctions completed prior to removal from probation. Probation is imposed for a specified period of time during which a student, group, club or organization may be restricted from activities or programs.
     
    Negative notation on transcript 

    An entry of the fact of a disciplinary sanction is made on the student’s permanent record, either permanently or for a specified period of time. 

    If temporary, the notation will be removed after the expiration of the time period upon written request of the student. This sanction will normally be used only in cases of academic dishonesty or when a student has been suspended or expelled.

    Suspension

    When a suspension is issued, the student is excluded from the University for a specified period of time, during which he or she may not enjoy academic privileges, participate in any University-recognized function, or be allowed to reside in any residence hall. If this is a group sanction, the group is not allowed to function as a recognized club or organization for a specified period of time.
      
    Expulsion

    When an expulsion is issued, the student is permanently excluded from the University and may not enjoy academic privileges, participate in any University-recognized function, or be allowed to reside in any University residence hall.

    Degree revocation

    The University retains the right to revoke a degree if a former student is found guilty of academic dishonesty in courses taken leading to the degree or in any way altering without authorization, or causing the unauthorization, or causing the unauthorized altering, of his or her academic record.   

    Deferred sanction

    The execution of any sanction authorized under this code may be deferred. When deferring a sanction, the length of the deferment period will be specified. Subsequent violations of the Code may terminate the deferment and result in the automatic imposition of the original sanction. In the absence of such a violation, the original sanction shall be deemed complete at the end of the deferment period.   

  • Appeals

    Students may appeal decisions reached at hearings, but only one appeal is permitted. Decisions reached in community standards hearings may be appealed to the Coordinator of Student Conduct, and all other cases may be appealed to the Dean of Student Affairs. The following rules govern appeals: 

    a. A conduct decision may be appealed by the respondent, the complainant, or the University.  

    b. The appeal must be submitted in writing within five days of receiving the hearing results.  

    c. In cases alleging sexual misconduct, both the complainant and respondent have the right to appeal the result of the disciplinary proceedings and the other party will be notified of the appeal. Both the complainant and respondent will simultaneously receive the results of any appeal arising from an allegation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking in writing within ten days of the appellate body’s receipt of the appeal, including any change to the initial findings.

    d. The appeal must include specific justification. The only justifications for appeal of a hearing are:

    • i. Failure on the part of the hearing officer or body to consider relevant information
    • ii. Significant procedural error on the part of the Coordinator of Student Conduct, hearing officer, or chair of the Student Conduct Committee.
    • iii. The severity of the sanctions imposed is disproportionate to the violation for which a student was found responsible.

    e. The appeal must be decided on the record. It is the responsibility of the Dean of Student Affairs to obtain a complete and accurate record from the Coordinator of Student Conduct. If a student wishes to meet with the appellate officer, this request and the reason for it must be thoroughly explained in the appeal and submitted in advance of any meeting. The request must specify what the meeting would address or clarify that a written appeal could not. In sexual misconduct cases, if the appealing student is granted a meeting with the appellate officer, the same opportunity will be afforded to the other individual(s) involved. 

    f. The Dean of Student Affairs or Coordinator of Student Conduct may, but is not required to, suspend all sanctions until the appeal’s consideration is complete.  

    g. If new information is discovered that is significant enough to alter the original decision, the person hearing the appeal may return the case to the Coordinator of Student Conduct and/or the Student Conduct Committee for a supplemental hearing on the new evidence.  

    h. The appellate officer may overturn the original decision, return the case to the Coordinator and/or Committee to re-open the hearing, or amend the original sanctions imposed.

Conflict resolution

Facilitated, or managed, conflict can be a mechanism for individual and collective learning and change. Saint Martin’s University believes that provided the resources and means are available, students are the most capable of resolving their own disputes. Conflict Resolution services provide educational opportunities for students to improve their conflict resolution skills. Conflict can be a challenge for anyone, so we offer many services to aid students and registered student organization leaders in addressing these issues.

Services provided

  • Conflict coaching

    One-on-one discussion between a staff member and a student in conflict with another who is unwilling to engage in meaningful dialogue. The goal is to identify the resolution approach that best meets the student’s interests and needs.

  • Facilitated dialogue

    A constructive conversation between two or more students, guided by staff to increase the potential that students will arrive at a mutually satisfying outcome.

  • Mediation

    A process guided by staff where students clearly identify their interests, needs and resolution options. Staff may provide suggestions or recommendations. A written agreement will result, and staff member will follow up with all parties to make sure it is being fulfilled.

  • Restorative justice

    A discussion process where a student meets with other community members in order to identify actions to repair harm done.