Student Rights & Code of Conduct
As a Christian institution, Graceland University seeks to foster relationships that reflect mutual concern, dignity, and individual worth. Consistent with its religious heritage and commitment to a healthful life-style, Graceland values and promotes:
- An alcohol-free environment.
- A smoke-free environment.
- An environment free of substance abuse.
- An environment free of harassment and exploitation in sexual relationships, and
- premarital abstinence.
Our Code of Conduct reflects these values. All members of the Graceland community are expected to abide by all federal, state, and local laws as well as rules and regulations of the University. The Code of Conduct is administered by the Dean of Students.
EXPECTATIONS AND VIOLATIONS
The following types of behavior have been identified as inappropriate, and a violation may result in disciplinary action. Although specific violations have been identified, it is recognized that other types of inappropriate behavior, which are detrimental to the best interests of the University or members of its faculty, staff, or student body, may be referred for disciplinary review.
Class A Violations
- Burning candles and/or incense in University housing.
- Excessive noise, including violation of quiet hours.
- Pets (other than fish or snails) in University housing.
- Removal of window screen in University housing.
- Violation of the visitation policy which is contained in the Student Handbook – Lamoni campus. (First Offense)
- Violations of other stated residence hall rules and regulations.
Class B Violations
- Consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages or their containers in University housing. Please note: Possession also means being in the presence of alcohol or their containers. (First Offense)
- Destroying, defacing or tampering with public property within University housing.
- Failure to identify self, falsely identifying self and/or failure to comply with the directions of a residence hall staff member acting in the performance of his/her duties.
- Illegal gambling.
- Use or evidence of use of tobacco in any form or use of electronic cigarettes in University housing.
- Use of University property or services without express authorization within university housing.
- Violation of the visitation policy which is contained in the Student Handbook – Lamoni campus. (Second Offense).
- Violation of Residence Hall Probation.
Class C Violations (Anywhere, Anytime)
- Any disruptive and/or abusive behavior which disrupts a class, an official University function or the living/learning environment of the institution. Please note: Alcohol impairment may be deemed disruptive behavior.
- Any form of theft or stealing.
- Consumption/possession of alcoholic beverages or their containers on campus (excluding University housing) or at University sponsored activities. Please note: Possession also means being in the presence of alcohol or their containers.
- Destroying, damaging, endangering or vandalizing private, public, or University property.
- Destroying, tampering with or altering smoke detectors, fire alarms or other safety equipment.
- Discrimination, including but not limited to, verbal abuse, racial slurs, sexual innuendos, or the threat of physical abuse, expressed verbally or in written or electronic communications.
- Endangering the health or safety of self, another person or University faculty/staff or threats of endangerment.
- Failure to comply with the directions of a University official or failure to identify self to, falsely identifying self to, providing false information to a University official.
- Intentional misuse/abuse of the University computer system, or repeated unintentional misuse/abuse. (See Computer Ethics and Use Policy contained in the Student Handbook)
- Lying to University officials or to a disciplinary council.
- Second offense and beyond of consumption/possession of alcoholic beverages or their containers in the residence halls.
- Sexual behavior, which is offensive or fails to respect other’s rights.
- Sexual contact or sexual touching of another person without consent.
- Striking another person without consent.
- Use or evidence of use of tobacco in any form or use of electronic cigarettes on campus (excluding University housing) or at University sponsored activities.
- Use, possession or distribution of any controlled substance, including, but not limited to, narcotic drugs, marijuana, stimulants, barbiturates and/or hallucinogenic drugs, unless prescribed by a licensed physician. Please note: Possession also means being in the presence of controlled substance.
- Use or possession of firearms, ammunition, fireworks (including smoke bombs), explosives, incendiary devises, weapons, dangerous substances, drug paraphernalia and/or materials prohibited by law while on campus or in attendance at University sponsored activities. Please note: Possession also means being in the presence of any of the aforementioned items.
- Viewing or displaying pornography in a public access area or computer lab.
- Violation of University policies, city ordinances and/or state and federal laws.
- Violation of Conduct Probation or Strict Campus Conduct Probationary status.
We believe that violation of the Code of Conduct impinges directly on the rights of others. Lack of mention in the Code of Conduct with regard to objectionable actions does not imply approval, and may result in disciplinary action.
DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS AND COUNCILS
The following disciplinary hearings and councils have been formed to hear cases based upon where the violation took place, the severity of the violation, and which council, in the opinion of the Dean of Students or designated Residential Life Professional is best equipped to handle the hearing of a particular violation.
Students who admit they are “in violation” may ask for an administrative hearing with either a Residence Hall Director (Class A and Class B violations) or the Dean of Students or Director of Residence Life (Class C violations). The administrator has the right to not hear a case. If the case is not heard by the administrator, the case will be referred to the Council on Student Welfare (CSW).
The Council on Student Welfare (CSW) is a council composed of three faculty members, one administrator and four students as outlined in the GSG Constitution. The Dean of Students or Residence Life Director will serve as advisory members to the CSW. The Council on Student Welfare may hear Class C violations and any case in which dismissal from the University is a possible sanction.
PLEASE NOTE: The Dean of Students may opt to handle any alleged violation at any time. Local authorities may also be called to handle potentially dangerous situations. Actions taken by local authorities will be in addition to disciplinary action by the University.
The listed disciplinary actions are courses of action which may be taken when a student is found to have committed a violation as defined in the Code of Conduct. The sanction(s) taken depend(s) upon the severity of the violation, pervious offenses, degree of involvement, and the individual circumstances as determined and is at the sole discretion of the administrator/Council hearing the case. These sanctions and their descriptions shall serve as guidelines for the University and may be modified and used in any combination to meet the needs of the University and the individual student involved.
A record of the disciplinary action will go to the student. A copy of the action will be kept in the Dean of Student’s Office. Disciplinary actions are not recorded on a student’s permanent file unless a student is dismissed from the University.
Student is found not to be in violation of the charge against him/her and the matter is dismissed.
Payment for repair or replacement costs of property damaged or lost. Full payment is due in the Student Life Office within 21 calendar days (three weeks) from the date the sanction is issued.
A community service sanction depends upon the severity of the violation, degree of involvement and the circumstances surrounding the incident. The work, not less than five hours and not more than ten hours per violation, may be assigned.
Community service may be administered as a sanction in place of or in addition to a fine. It is most appropriate when it is believed that the student will learn the consequences of his or her actions as a result of the service. It is also appropriate when the action which brought the student to disciplinary review involved a lack of concern for the community. Community service must be completed within 21 calendar days (three weeks) from the date the sanction is issued. If hours are not completed within this time frame, a fine (amount to be determined by the administrator/council) will be applied to the student’s account.
Fines will depend upon the severity of the violation, previous offenses, degree of involvement, and the circumstances. Fines may be levied as a sanction according to the following guidelines:
- Class A violations: Fines may be assessed up to $50 per violation.
- Class B violations: Fines may not exceed $100 per violation.
- Class C violations and other cases heard: The fine will not exceed $250 per violation - with the exception of violations of C5 which will not exceed $500 per violation. Full payment is due in the Student Life Office within 21 calendar days (three weeks) from the date the sanction is issued.
- The student may be ordered to make restitution to the University for vandalism or to another injured party, in addition to any fine that may be given.
ANGER MANAGEMENT COUNSELING
A student issued this sanction will be required to meet with a counselor until released by the counselor. The first session must be scheduled by the student within one week from the date the sanction is issued.
NETWORK USAGE RESTRICTIONS
A student may be restricted from certain privileges for a given time.
A decision to notify parents depends upon the severity of the violation, degree of involvement and the circumstances surrounding the incident and for any drug-related violation. Students issued this sanction will be required to notify his/her parents or guardians. Within 24 hours of the meeting with the student, the parent/guardian must inform the Dean of Students that they have been notified.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR NOTIFICATION
Program directors including coaches may be notified if a student is in violation of a Class C Violation. The program director may impose further sanctions at their discretion.
RESIDENCE HALL PROBATION
This is a formal probationary status for a period of time not to exceed one semester. The terms and conditions will be set by the CSW or Dean of Students or the Residence Life Director depending on the circumstances and the individual needs of the student.
REQUIRED HOUSE CHANGE
The student will be required to change houses. If the student is living in the residence halls, the student will be required to change floors. The student will not be allowed to attend house-sponsored events of the previous house membership.
BAN FROM RESIDENCE HALLS
A ban from the residence halls prohibits you from entering any of the residence halls on campus for any reason, unless specific exceptions are allowed in your sanction letter, e.g. for purposes of attending house meetings. Refer to Violation of Sanctions.
CONDUCT PROBATION - Class C Only
This is a formal probationary status for a period of time determined by CSW, the Dean of Students or the Residence Life Director. Restrictions and provisions of this probation are individualized to allow for the particular need of the student, the University and/or the situation. The student will be prohibited from holding office in extracurricular clubs and/or house councils. Any further violations while on probationary status means that the student is subject to further disciplinary action.
STRICT CONDUCT PROBATION - Class C Only
This term describes a set of conditions making it possible for a student to remain a student in the University in spite of a serious violation. This action is a formal probationary status during which the student is removed from good standing at the University. This status is very near dismissal from the University and indicates the extreme seriousness of the probation.
The student may have the following conditions imposed when removed from good standing. These conditions will remain in effect until the student is returned to good standing at the University.
- Student will be ineligible to graduate until the student is returned to good standing.
- Student will be restricted from representing the University in any public performance or exhibit, sporting event, intramural event, committee assignment or in running for and/or holding any governmental office or any office in a recognized student organization.
- Student will be ineligible to receive scholarships and/or or grants from the University with the exception of need-based aid.
- Any further violation of University standards while on probationary status means that a student is subject to suspension from the University.
DISMISSAL FROM RESIDENCE HALLS - Class C Only
The student will be required to move out of the residence halls within 72 hours after issue of this sanction. The terms of the dismissal as well as the length of time this dismissal will remain in effect will be determined by the CSW, Dean of Students or Residence Life Director. A student placed on probationary status will be banned from all residence halls and may not attend house sponsored events without the specific permission of the Dean of Students.
DISMISSAL FROM THE UNIVERSITY - Class C Only
A student may be dismissed immediately from the University for a period of time to be designated by the CSW or the Dean of Students.
Any student found in violation of the Code of Conduct has the right to appeal his/her case. In cases heard by the Residence Life Council, the Hall Director or the Residence Life Director appeals will be heard by the Dean of Students. In cases heard by the Council on Student Welfare or the Dean of Students, appeals will be heard by the Vice President Council. The Vice President Council is composed of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (chair) and one other Vice President.
If a student wishes to appeal a decision he/she must submit a written appeal within three days (72 hours) after the student has been notified of the decision. Appeals will be heard based on the following:
- Insufficient evidence
- Lack of due process
- Prejudice on part of person/council hearing the case
- Improper notification of the hearing
Questions concerning policies or procedures may be directed to Dave Schaal, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.
Graceland affirms the importance of community. The University’s commitment to the principle of mutual interdependence reflects a view of the worth and dignity of all persons. Graceland seeks to foster an environment of learning and work that encourages open, supportive, nonthreatening relationships among students, faculty, administration and staff.
Since harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct may damage the possibility of a desirable environment, such behavior will not be tolerated at Graceland. All Graceland University employees and students are personally responsible for their own actions and behaviors. This policy shall apply to all employees and students as well as guests and visitors.
This policy applies to all complaints occurring on campus or at any university-sponsored activity, regardless of location. This policy may also apply to complaints that occur off campus and/or during semester breaks or between semesters, if the Complainant(s) and/or Respondent(s) are either employees or students and the conduct is likely to have an impact on campus life and/or activities, or if the conduct poses a threat of danger to an employee or student.
As part of our commitment to providing a working and learning environment free from harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct, this policy shall be widely disseminated to the university community through orientations, websites, handbooks, and other appropriate channels of communication. In addition, the university shall provide periodic awareness training for employees, students, as well as investigatory training for Title IX response team members. Prevention education and awareness campaigns will be offered to students throughout the year.
The complete policy including procedures and resources relating to this policy is available here.
Graceland University takes photographs and video of students throughout the year. These images often include students in classrooms, residence halls, microlabs, at athletic events and other university activities. Graceland reserves the right to use these photos and videos in the promotion of the university, and students who enroll at Graceland University do so with the understanding that photos and video of them may be used in university publications, newspapers, web, social media and other areas for promotional purposes. Names of students may also be released to the press regarding student involvement in academic and extracurricular activities.
The university may dismiss or remove a student whose mental or physical condition constitutes a threat or undue burden to himself/herself or others. A student may also be suspended/expelled for cause if his or her actions are found to be detrimental to the university community. In case of suspension/expulsion for cause, the student will receive failing grades for the semester. Re-enrollment requires permission from the Dean of Students.
Graceland University will generally handle complaints or concerns of students through the grievance procedure. This procedure is designed to handle situations expediently. Academic issues will be handled under the supervision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, student-related ones by the Vice President for Student Life, athletics-related ones by the Athletic director, etc. Graceland University will handle complaints or concerns with sensitivity, confidentiality, and with respect to the Graceland community.
PROCEDURE Any member of the Graceland student body who has a complaint or concern may initiate the following informal and formal actions. Access of information provided by the complainant will be available only to those persons on a reasonable need-to-know basis.
Informal Procedure. The purpose of the informal procedure is to provide an opportunity to mediate a mutually acceptable resolution between the parties. A complainant is encouraged to use the informal procedure prior to a formal complaint process.
- A complainant may initiate an informal procedure for resolution by contacting the Dean of Students or designee of the Dean of Students (Lamoni) for counseling and assistance or the respective School Dean (Independence) or designee. In the case of academic matters, the designee will be the chair of the division or dean of the school.
- In an informal procedure, the university official will counsel the complainant concerning options and, at the complainant’s request, may help the complainant mediate the complaint informally.
- If the complainant chooses to proceed with an informal complaint, the university official will inform the accused person(s) of the nature of the complaint, identity of the complainant and the actions available. If the complainant chooses not to proceed with an informal or formal complaint, no written record of the complaint will be kept.
- An informal mediation process must be addressed within seven days. If mediation is successful, the results of that process are final. Unsuccessful resolution moves the matter to the formal procedure level of mediation. The process of complaint, response, and mediation will not normally exceed ten calendar days.
- A written summary of the informal mediation proceedings will be made and retained by the university official, at the level where the matter is resolved. A copy of the summary will also be sent to the appropriate vice president, where it will be filed in his/her office.
- If a complaint cannot be resolved informally or if the complainant chooses to take the complaint through the formal procedure, the complainant may elect to initiate the formal complaint procedure.
- A formal complaint must be made, in writing, to the Dean of Students or designee of the Dean of Students (Lamoni), or respective School Dean (Independence) or designee. The written complaint must include the following information: name, address and telephone number of the complainant; date(s) and location of the occurrence; evidence on which the complaint is based and redress sought by the complainant. In the case of academic matters, the designee will be the chair of the division or dean of the school.
- The Dean of Students or designee of the Dean of Students (Lamoni), or respective School Dean (Independence) or designee will normally begin an investigation. An investigation of the complaint will normally begin within seven days of receipt of the written complaint.
- The investigation will provide an opportunity for both the complainant and the accused person(s) to submit facts and to identify witnesses to be interviewed. The investigator shall be authorized to interview witnesses identified by any party. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will provide a written report of the formal investigation which details the findings and any recommended actions. If the facts are so disputed that the investigator cannot make fact findings, the investigator shall issue a finding of probable cause to institute further proceedings.
- If the report recommends action against a faculty member that could lead to severe sanctions, including possible dismissal, the investigator shall recommend that the Dean of Faculty initiate the process leading to official hearings in accordance with the principles and procedures specified in the faculty handbook.
- If the report recommends action against a person who is not a faculty member, the investigator shall recommend that the designated university official initiate official hearings and appropriate procedures as detailed in the Student Handbook or Personnel Handbook.
- If no probable cause is shown from the investigation, the complainant may appeal, in writing, to the President of the university within 72 hours of the no probable cause finding. The complainant will be notified from the President’s Office in writing of his/her decision, which is final.
**Issues dealing with harassment, including sexual harassment, will be handled in accordance with the University Harassment Policy. Issues involving student final grades are not subject to this grievance policy. Refer to the "Student Appeal of Final Grade" policy and procedure.