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Code of Student Conduct

INTRODUCTION

Kent State University is a student-centered institution offering a broad array of academic programs to engage students in diverse learning environments that educate them to think critically and to expand their intellectual horizons while attaining the knowledge and skills necessary for responsible citizenship and productive careers. To maintain high standards, the University must furnish an atmosphere conducive to study and educational growth, as well as one that enables and assists students in developing in a positive manner. University rules and regulations form parameters for individual behavior on and off campus, and follow the normative standards of behavior adhered to by the City of Kent and Kent State University communities. By virtue of a student's enrollment at Kent State University, he/she consents to follow the policies and procedures of the University, including those outlined in this Code of Student Conduct. It is the student's responsibility and in his/her interest to be familiar with all applicable conduct-related policies.

A student may access the full University Policy Register, which contains the complete text of all the University's current policies online at: www.kent.edu/policyreg. Other rules and regulations may be found in the Residence Hall Contract and the Hallways Handbook, as well as in publications such as the University Catalog.

The Office of Student Conduct is responsible for the adjudication of cases involving students who are accused of violating campus rules, regulations, or policies; federal or state laws; and/or municipality ordinances.  The University's student conduct-related goals are: to provide students with due process; to make students aware of and able to reasonably navigate through the conduct process; to have students accept responsibility for their actions when it is warranted; and to apply sanctions designed to assist students in their pursuit of excellence in both the classroom and the community.

The Student Conduct process is not a legal process and is separate from local, state, and federal court proceedings.  Instead, the standard of responsibility is based on a preponderance of the evidence.  The student conduct process is expected to:

-Determine consequences for behaviors that violate university rules, policies, and local, state, and federal laws

-Offer outcomes to assist students in learning about the impact of their actions on themselves and others within their respective communities

-Protect the integrity of students, faculty, staff, the institution, and the University community

SECTION 1: Authority

A.      In accordance with University policy regarding administration of student conduct ( 4-02.C.1), the President shall have the responsibility and authority for the discipline of all Kent State University students. The authority to impose formal sanctions may be delegated to university officials or hearing panels by the President. Disciplinary action may be taken against a person who has applied for admission as a student to the university, whether or not the individual is registered for classes. Disciplinary action may also be taken against student organizations. The University President (or designee), on his/her own initiative, may review any case which comes within the purview of University policy regarding administration of student conduct ( 4-02.C.1).  Final authority for student conduct rests with the President and any interpretations of policy will be in consultation with university general counsel, the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, and the Director of Student Conduct.  Any question of interpretation or application of the Code of Student Conduct shall be referred to the Director of Student Conduct.

B.      The Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) shall develop policies and procedures for the administration of the student conduct process, and may alter or reverse any student conduct decision.

C.      The Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) may, in circumstances involving potential disciplinary suspension or dismissal, require a student to be adjudicated by a hearing panel even if the student intends to accept responsibility for his/her actions/behavior.  Such circumstances include but are not limited to: distribution of controlled substances, hazing, physical violence, sexual misconduct, and weapons possession/usage.

D.      The Office of Student Conduct is responsible for the initial review of information contained in an incident report, and reserves the right to dismiss or adjust charges prior to issuing a notice of hearing (which includes an incident report and pending charges) to a student.

E.       A university-assigned student email account shall be an official university means of communication between all students at Kent State University and the Office of Student Conduct.  Students are responsible for all information sent to them via their university-assigned email account.  Students are expected to stay current and check their university-assigned email account on a frequent and consistent basis recognizing that some communications may be time-critical.  See University administrative policy regarding electronic communication for students ( 9-01.2) for further information.

F.       Decisions made by a hearing officer, a hearing panel and/or the Director of Student Conduct (or designee) shall be final, pending the defined appeal process.

SECTION 2: Definitions

University – Kent State University as established in Chapter 3341 of the Ohio Revised Code

Student – any person who has applied to or enrolled at the university in any of its courses, programs, campuses, or offerings, including, but not limited to, cooperative programs or offerings with other institutions for whom a record is made at the university by the registrar or which is submitted to the university for admission or transfer credit

Accused Student – any person defined as a student who has been accused, in an incident report, of violating university rules, regulations, or policies

Adjudication – the process by which the university conducts disciplinary meetings, hearings, or other actions, bringing matters to resolution

Appeal – the method by which due process or a decision can be challenged; all appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of Student Conduct, and may be denied if not in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct procedures

Charges – formal accusation of specific conduct violation(s)

Complainant – person providing information in an incident report alleging that a student violated university rules, regulations, or policies

Code of Student Conduct – document that contains and explains university rules, regulations, policies, and procedures for addressing student behavior

Conduct Advisor – any person who advises a student regarding university policies or procedures; a conduct advisor is not permitted to represent the student at any time (examples of conduct advisors include but are not limited to: Judicial Advocates, parents, attorneys, etc.)

Deliberation – private meeting to determine a finding of responsibility and/or sanction if applicable

Disciplinary Probation – sanction stipulating a specific period of time during which a student who has been found responsible for any violation is subject to immediate disciplinary suspension and/or dismissal in the event of a subsequent violation

Disciplinary Suspension – sanction stipulating involuntary separation of a student from the university for a specific period of time (the student may be required to leave the land and/or premises of the university effective the date of suspension)

Disciplinary Dismissal – sanction stipulating involuntary separation of a student from the university indefinitely (the student may be required to leave the land and/or premises of the university effective the date of dismissal)

Disciplinary Record – the record of the proceedings of a student conduct process and findings; all disciplinary records are considered educational records based the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ( FERPA)

Expunge – elimination of a student disciplinary file, or redaction of a person's name from a disciplinary file

Hearing Officer– any Kent State University faculty, staff, or student who has been appointed to a student conduct decision-making role by the university and has been trained through the Office of Student Conduct

Hearing Panel– a student conduct process involving at least one Kent State University student hearing officer and at least one Kent State University faculty or staff hearing officer, an accused student(s), a complainant(s), a Student Conduct Convener, and others as permitted for the purpose of rendering a determination of responsibility and sanctioning (if applicable); see Section 4(L) of this document for further explanation

Incident Report – written or electronic statement or report provided from a complainant to the Office of Student Conduct

Law Enforcement/Investigator – University Police, other law enforcement agency representative, or non-law enforcement investigator who may provide information resulting from an investigation process

No Contact Order – stipulation indicating that a person may have no direct contact or indirect contact with another person (including by another person on behalf of the person issued the order); prohibited contact includes but is not limited to:  making a contact by way of physical, phone, or electronic means including social media

Persona Non Grata – a person who has been deemed detrimental to the university community and thus is no longer permitted to frequent or be present in any or specified university locations

Preponderance of the Evidence – the standard in determining if a student is responsible for a violation; the complainant must be able to show that it is "more likely than not" that the alleged behavior occurred and was in violation of university rules, regulations, or policies

Report of Finding – written decision that explains the outcome of a student conduct hearing, or other action

Sanction – requirements set forth upon a finding or personal acceptance of responsibility for a violation of university rules, regulations or policies

Sanction Hearing a student conduct process involving an accused student(s) and a hearing officer (and Student Conduct Convener), where the accused student(s) has, prior to this hearing, accepted responsibility for charges, and the hearing officer renders a sanctioning decision; see Section 4(K) of this document for further explanation

Student Conduct Convener– Director of Student Conduct (or designee) responsible for logistics and procedures associated with the student conduct process; the student conduct convener may simultaneously serve as a hearing officer

Warning – sanction stipulating that inappropriate behavior, if repeated, may lead to a more severe sanction

Witness – any person who has direct information regarding an alleged incident

SECTION 3: Student Rights

A.      Kent State University is committed to providing all persons equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment with­out regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, genetic information, age, military status, or identity as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era, recently separated veteran, or other protected veteran.  See University policy regarding unlawful discrimination and harassment ( 5-16) for further details.

B.      The University shall provide a student accused of conduct violations the following rights:

1.       To be notified of the scheduled hearing in writing at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing. 

2.       To have a person or persons of their choice accompany them throughout the disciplinary process (referred to as a "Conduct Advisor").  A conduct advisor is not permitted to represent a student or speak for the student.  Judicial Advocates, students appointed by the Undergraduate Student Government, may be available to assist students in the conduct advisor role.  To obtain additional information regarding  Judicial Advocates, call 330-672-3207 or visit the Undergraduate Student Government website: www.usg.kent.edu 

3.       To remain present, or upon request, have a logistical accommodation to participate outside of the hearing room, during the entire proceeding.

4.       To question complainants and witnesses.

5.       To be informed of the outcome of the hearing in writing.

6.       To appeal, as defined in the Code of Student Conduct and university policy.

C.      Alleged victims of sexual misconduct maintain the following rights:

1.       To have a person or persons of their choice accompany them throughout the disciplinary process.

2.       To remain present, or upon request, have a logistical accommodation to participate outside of the hearing room, during the entire proceeding.

3.       To question complainants and witnesses.

4.       To present or submit a "victim impact statement" and to suggest an appropriate sanction for consideration by the hearing panel if the accused is found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

5.       To be informed of the outcome of the hearing in writing.

6.       To appeal, as defined in the Code of Student Conduct and university policy.

SECTION 4: Student Conduct Procedures

A.      Student Conduct hearings are administrative procedures and do not follow the specific steps or methods used in civil or criminal courts.

B.      Any member of the university community may file an incident report accusing a student of violating the Code of Student Conduct.  Incident reports may be submitted to the Director of Student Conduct in writing.  The Director of Student Conduct will determine if the allegations are within the parameters of university policy regarding the administration of student conduct (see University policy regarding administration of student conduct [ 4-02] for further details) and may assign appropriate charges based on the information provided (if not already provided by the complainant).

C.      A notice of charges shall be presented to the accused student in writing in addition to a copy of the corresponding incident report. 

D.      A time shall be set to adjudicate the case involving the accused student that will be no less than three (3) calendar days (unless authorized by an accused student) and no more than fourteen (14) calendar days after the notice of charges has been sent.  Time limits may be extended at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct (or designee).

E.       Separate hearings may be requested by an accused student or complainant, and granted at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct (or designee), in proceedings involving more than one accused student.

F.       The notice of charges shall contain links for the accused student to access information about the Student Conduct process, the Code of Student Conduct, the Student Conduct policies, and the opportunity for a conduct advisor.

G.     An accused student may be accompanied by a conduct advisor during any phase of the student conduct process.  A conduct advisor may not represent the student or speak for the student during any part of the student conduct process.

H.      All hearings are digitally recorded, with the exception of deliberations.

I.        All hearings are closed to the public.  Attendees may include: accused student(s), complainant(s), law enforcement/investigator(s), hearing officer(s), student conduct staff, conduct advisor(s), witnesses, and/or character references.

J.        The Director of Student Conduct (or designee) shall determine the type of conduct hearing that applies to an accused student based on information in the incident report.  Hearing panels may be assigned when charges include but are not limited to: acts of violence and repeat offenders.  Sanction Hearings may be assigned for violations that, even with a finding of responsibility, may not lead to suspension or dismissal from the University.

K.      Sanction Hearings are facilitated by a student conduct convener and conducted by a hearing officer (who may be the same person).  Prior to, and at, the sanction hearing, the accused student is provided an opportunity to accept responsibility for the charge(s).  If the accused student accepts responsibility, the hearing officer shall assign a sanction(s).  If the accused student does not accept responsibility for one or more charges, he/she will be scheduled for a Hearing Panel to complete the student conduct process. 

1.       If an accused student accepts responsibility, but does not agree with the sanction(s) from the hearing officer, he/she may provide, in writing, an appeal to the Director of Student Conduct within seven (7) calendar days of the sanction hearing.

2.       The hearing officer and/or the student conduct convener may remove any person in attendance at a sanction hearing if they believe the person to be disruptive, distracting, or inhibiting the process in any way.

3.        All sanction hearing decisions are final, pending the appeal process.

L.       Hearing Panels are assigned by the Director of Student Conduct based on alleged charges and/or student disciplinary history, or if an accused student does not accept responsibility for the charges. 

1.       Composition: an odd number including at least one current Kent State University student hearing officer and one Kent State University faculty or staff hearing officer.

2.       The hearing officer(s) and/or the student conduct convener is responsible for overall decorum of the hearing panel process, and may reasonably:

a.       Remove any person in attendance at a hearing panel if they believe the person to be disruptive, distracting, or inhibiting the process in any way.

b.      Limit the time of any person presenting to the hearing panel.

c.       Limit the number of witnesses if it is determined that the information they intend to share is similar in nature to other persons who have presented to the hearing panel.

3.       Hearing Panel proceedings:

a.       Student conduct convener requests that all persons participating introduce themselves, state the reason for their participation, and the charge(s) against the accused student.

i.       Witnesses / character references are excused from the hearing.

b.      Hearing officer provides the accused student an opportunity to share his/her description of the event(s) that brought about the alleged misconduct.

i.      Witnesses / character references are permitted into the hearing to share information, and then are excused from the hearing.

c.       Hearing officer provides the complainant(s) an opportunity to share his/her description of the event(s) that brought about the alleged misconduct.

i.      Witnesses / character references are permitted into the hearing to share information, and then are excused from the hearing.

d.      Hearing officer provides law enforcement/investigator(s) an opportunity to share investigative reports and his/her description of the event(s) that brought about the alleged misconduct, including any witness information.

e.      Questioning

i.      Accused student may ask questions of the complainant(s) and/or witness(es).
ii.     Complainant(s) may ask questions of the accused student and/or witness(es).iii.      Hearing officers may ask questions of complainant(s), the accused student, witness(es) and/or character reference(s).

iv.     Hearing officers, accused student, and complainant may ask questions of law enforcement/investigator(s) to clarify the content of investigative reports.

v.     In cases involving alleged acts of violence and/or sexual misconduct, the hearing officer or hearing panel may permit indirect questions, but because of the nature of the complaint, direct questions may not be permitted.

a.     Indirect questioning may be conducted at the discretion of the hearing panel or officer with either party, verbally or in writing, supplying questions to the hearing panel or officer.

f.        Hearing officers shall allow for background information to be provided by the complainant(s), law enforcement/investigator(s), and the accused student.

g.       Hearing Panel deliberates privately and comes to a decision by a simple majority.

i.      If an accused student is found to be not responsible, the case is closed, pending the appeal process.

ii.      If an accused student is found to be responsible for at least one of the alleged charges, the hearing panel assigns a sanction(s).

h.      Hearing officer informs the accused student of the decision and, if responsible, the sanction(s).  Hearing officer and/or student conduct convener informs the accused student of his/her right to appeal the decision(s) of the hearing panel.

i.         All Hearing Panel decisions are final, pending the appeal process.

M.    A report of the findings of the hearing shall be provided in writing. Members of the university community who are affected by/involved in the sanction may be notified of the final decision, including but not limited to: Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Academic Dean(s), Academic Advisor(s), University Registrar, Bursar, and representatives from Residence Services, Psychological Services, University Health Services, and University Police.

N.     Appeals.

1.       Appeal of a decision from a Sanction Hearing or Hearing Panel must be submitted by the accused student or the complainant in writing to the Office of Student Conduct within seven (7) calendar days from the conclusion of the hearing.  The written communication of the appeal must be clearly labeled "Appeal".  The Office of Student Conduct compiles the written appeal and documentation from the student, complainant, law enforcement/investigator(s), the student's disciplinary file(s), the digital recording of the hearing, and any additional information provided by the hearing officer(s) and submits these materials to the Appeal Panel for a recommendation to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) who will make the final decision. 

2.       Appeals may be made on the basis that:

a.       The decision was not in accordance with the evidence presented, and/or

b.      The decision was reached through a procedure not in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct, and/or

c.       New information is available which may suggest a modification of the decision, and/or

d.      Sanctions imposed were not appropriate for the conduct violation for which the student was found responsible.

3.       The Appeal Panel is composed of three (3) Kent State faculty or staff members appointed by the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs who are trained by the Director of Student Conduct.  The Appeal Panel will provide a recommendation in writing to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the appeal.  The Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) will provide a written decision within seven (7) days of receipt from the Appeal Panel.  The decision will be provided to the accused student and complainant via communication from the Office of Student Conduct.  The Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) has authority to:

a.       Accept or deny an appeal depending on the basis of the appeal, and/or

b.      Alter or reverse a finding of responsibility, and/or

c.       Alter or reverse any sanction decision, and/or

d.      Remand the case to another hearing.  A case may not be remanded more than once.

O.     If an accused student fails to appear for a Student Conduct hearing, the hearing will continue in accordance with the Student Conduct procedures.  The accused student will be provided the decision in writing and held accountable for any finding of responsibility and all resulting sanctions.

P.      Retaliation based on participation in, or outcome of, a student conduct hearing, whether by an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization, is expressly prohibited and may be referred for additional Student Conduct charges.

SECTION 5: Prohibited Conduct

The university attempts to provide for all students a university environment that is conducive to scholarship, social growth and individual self-discipline See University administrative policy regarding regulations for student behavior ( 4-02.1) for further details.

A.Jurisdiction

The Code of Student Conduct shall apply to conduct occurring on University premises, at University-sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the University 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 a 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 Code of Student Conduct shall apply to a student's conduct even if the student withdraws from the University while a disciplinary matter is pending.  The Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) may decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether the Code of Student Conduct shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus.  Students who anticipate or observe a violation(s) of University rules, regulations, or policies are expected to remove themselves from the situation and are encouraged to report the violation.

B.Scope

Students are expected to abide by local, state, and federal laws, as well as to adhere to all university rules and regulations contained in the University Policy Register.  Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to sanctions outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.  Conduct violations include but are not limited to:

1.       ALCOHOL

A. Use or possession of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by law and/or University rules, regulations, or policies; public intoxication.

B. Distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by law and/or University rules, regulations, or policies.

C. Violation of Residence Hall polices pertaining to empty alcohol containers.

2.    ANIMALS – Possession or accompaniment of animals in any University building at any time. Exceptions include authorized laboratory animals, animals trained to assist persons with disabilities, allowable pets within specific Residence Services guidelines, and any other applicable University rules, regulations, and policies.  See University administrative policy regarding animal care and use ( 3-03.3) for further information.

3.    ARSON - Causing a fire or explosion, or unauthorized use of any potential incendiary device / equipment.

4.    COMPLICITY - Presence during any violation of University rules, regulations, or policies in such a way as to condone, support, or encourage that (attempted or carried out) violation.

5.    COMPUTER MISUSE – including but not limited to electronic materials, equipment, technological resources, email, social media, etc.

A. Unauthorized access of a file including but not limited to: using, reading, transferring, or changing the contents.

B. Use of another individual's identification and/or password.

C. Use of computing facilities and/or email to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or University official.

D. Use of computing facilities and/or email to send obscene, threatening, or abusive messages or images.  

E. Use of computing facilities and/or email to send unsolicited or unauthorized messages with the intention of reaching a mass of recipients.

F. Violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.  See Kent State University Information Services for further details.

6.    CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES - Use, possession, sale, or distribution of narcotics, controlled substances, and/or related paraphernalia except as expressly permitted by law.

7.    DESTRUCTION/MISUSE OF PROPERTY

A. Destroying, defacing, tampering with, materially altering or otherwise damaging property not one's own.  This includes but is not limited to: doors, windows, elevators, swipe card mechanisms, restroom equipment, vending machines, University vehicles, computer equipment, classroom equipment, etc.

B. Creating a condition that endangers or threatens property not one's own.

8.    DISCRIMINATION – Intentional or unintentional act that treats an individual or group in an adverse manner based on a protected category.  Protected categories include, but are not limited to: race, color, religion, gender,sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, genetic information, age, military status, or identity as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era, recently separated veteran, or other protected veteran.

9.    DISORDERLY CONDUCT – Actions that are disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace or obstruct teaching, research, administration, and/or University activities or functions.

A. Creating a risk of bodily harm to self/others.

10. GAMBLING – Gaming or betting for money or other possessions on University property or in any University operated or managed facility in violation of University rules, regulations, and policies.

11. GENERAL SAFETY

A. Failure to conform to University safety regulations, including but not limited to: residence hall policies outlined in the Hallways Handbook and campus laboratory guidelines.

B. Tampering with, or misuse of, fire alarms and firefighting equipment, including but not limited to: fire extinguishers, fire hoses, heat and smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, or other safety devices.

C. Possession of flammable items, including but not limited to: candles, incense, or other items which maintain a purpose of being used in a flammable way.

12. HARASSMENT

A. Threatening or intimidating a person thereby creating a rational fear within that person.

B. Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts directed at another person that would seriously annoy a rational person.

C. Creating a condition that endangers or threatens the health, safety or welfare of another person.

D. Physically restraining or detaining another person, or removing any person from any place where he or she is authorized to remain.

13. HAZING - Any action or situation intentionally created that produces mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule.  See Operational procedure regarding hazing ( 4-07.101) for further details.

14. IMPAIRED DRIVING - Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

15.  LAWS - Violation of federal, state or local law(s).  NOTE: A finding of a violation as a result of the Code of Student Conductis separate and distinct from a conviction or acquittal in any non-University proceeding.

16. MISREPRESENTATION - Knowingly distorting or altering the truth for personal gain or favor, including but not limited to: falsification of an admission application, possessing false identification, or falsification of documents provided to University faculty or staff.

17. PHYSICAL VIOLENCE – Punching, slapping, kicking, or otherwise striking any person(s); and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health, safety, and/or welfare of any person.

18. REASONABLE REQUEST - Failure to comply with a reasonable request of a University official(s) carrying out his/her duties and responsibilities, including but not limited to: a person instructing a class, a librarian or designee in a library, a law enforcement officer, or a Residence Services staff member.

19.  RECORDING PRIVACY -Using electronic or other means to make an audio, video, or photographic record of any person in a location where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the person's prior knowledge and written consent.  The storing, sharing, and/or distributing of such unauthorized records by any means are prohibited.  This includes but is not limited to: taking video or photographic images in showers/locker rooms, residence hall rooms, and restrooms.

20.  RESIDENCE HALL POLICIES - Failure to comply with residence hall policies outlined in the Hallways Handbook, including but not limited to: escort, room capacity, restroom, quiet/courtesy hours, improper room change, odor of marijuana, illegal appliances, and visitation.

21. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT – Any intentional sexual touching, no matter how slight, with any body part or object, by either a man or a woman upon either a man or a woman, that is without consent.  See Administrative policy and procedures regarding complaints of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct ( 5-16.2) and Section 13 below for further details.  Sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to:

A. Sexual harassment

B. Non-Consensual sexual contact

22. SMOKING – Failure to comply with smoking prohibition in all University buildings and vehicles, and where posting prohibits.

23.  STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS – Non-compliance with or misuse of the student conduct process, including but not limited to:

A. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a student conduct hearing officer, hearing panel, or convener.

B. Disruption or interference with the orderly procedures of a student conduct hearing.

C. Attempting to discourage an individual's proper participation in, or use of, the student conduct process.

D. Attempting to influence the impartiality of, or to intimidate, participants in the student conduct process prior to, and/or during the course of, a student conduct proceeding.

E. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Code of Student Conduct.

24. THEFT - Using, taking, and/or possessing property or services that are knowingly not one's own and/or without permission of the owner.

25. TRESPASSING/UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY - Knowingly entering or remaining in a building, office, residence hall room or any other properties at any time without appropriate permission or authorization.

26. UNIVERSITY GROUNDS

A. Use of University space and grounds by an organization or person without reservation of the space or proper authorization.

B. Operation or use of bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, or other recreational items:

i.      In any University building or facility.

ii.      On any artificial or specially prepared surface including but not limited to: tennis courts, running tracks and basketball courts.
iii.      On a sidewalk, walkway, steps, or a stairway that duly interferes with pedestrian traffic and/or demonstrates a lack of necessary caution regarding pedestrian right-of-way.
iv.      In a reckless or unsafe manner on University grounds.

27.   UNIVERSITY RULES - Violation of University rules, regulations, or policies.

28.  WEAPONS - Unauthorized possession, storage, or use of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals.

SECTION 6: Sanctions

Sanctions are designed to be educational, restorative, and preventative.  Sanctions may include but are not limited to:

″          Alcohol / Substance education course

″          Campus access restrictions

″          Community service

″          Counseling referral

″          Disciplinary dismissal

″          Disciplinary probation

″          Disciplinary suspension

″          Ethics education course

″          Letter of apology / Reflection paper

″          Monetary fine (maximum $200)

″          No contact order

″          Persona Non Grata (PNG) status

″          Restitution

″          Warning

″          Other as deemed appropriate through the student conduct process

SECTION 7: Academic Misconduct

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic misconduct are subject to processes outlined in Administrative policy regarding student cheating and plagiarism ( 3-01.8).  The University Provost (or designee) reserves the authority to resolve academic misconduct, and the Office of Student Conduct may assist with logistical and/or facilitative actions as necessary.

SECTION 8: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Kent State University complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 in its maintenance of student educational records. This Act was established to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction or deletion of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.  Disciplinary records fit within the purview of FERPA.  For further information about FERPA, see http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html

A.      Parental Notification

The Office of Student Conduct may send written notice to the parents and/or legal guardians of a student under twenty-one (21) years of age who is found to be responsible for violating any state or local laws pertaining to possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverages or controlled substances.

SECTION 9: Ohio Campus Disruption Act

The Ohio Campus Disruption Act passed by the 108th Ohio General Assembly became effective in September 1970 (House Bill 1219).  This Act directly affects the operation of state universities in Ohio. The Act has specific ramifications for University students, faculty, and staff. In essence, any individual who commits an act of violence and is arrested for that violation is subject to immediate suspension from the University. The Act reads in part that a student, faculty or staff member, or employee of a college or University which receives any state funds in support thereof who is arrested for any of the so-called "trigger" offenses listed within 2901.01.8.a of the Ohio Revised Code shall be afforded a hearing, as provided in this Act, to determine whether he/she shall be immediately suspended from that college or University. Such hearings shall be held within not more than five (5) days after his/her arrest, subject to reasonable continuances for good cause shown.  Continuances shall not exceed a total of ten (10) days. If at the hearing the referee finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person whose suspension is being considered committed any of the specified trigger offenses, the referee shall order the person suspended.  Except for cases in which the good order and discipline of a college or university will be prejudiced or compromised thereby, the referee may permit the person to return to the college or university on terms of strict disciplinary probation. Subsequent violation of the terms of the probation automatically causes the provisions of the Ohio Campus Disruption Act to go into effect.  Based on 3345.23 of the Ohio Revised Code, the conviction of a student, faculty or staff member, or employee is cause for dismissal or suspension pursuant to section 3345.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.

SECTION 10: Voluntary Withdrawal

Students claiming an inability to participate in the student conduct process for psychological or emotional reasons may be allowed to voluntarily withdraw from the University.  The University may require documentation from a mental health provider for verification.  Voluntary withdrawal does not preclude the student conduct process from occurring.  In these specific instances, at the discretion of the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee), the student conduct process may be delayed or held in abeyance and the student will be placed on ineligible hold, thus prohibiting future class registration.  If/when the student attempts to re-enter the University, the pending student conduct proceedings may be reinstituted.

SECTION 11: Interim Action

When the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) has reasonable cause to believe that a student(s) may pose a risk to the safety or well-being of those involved or others in the University community, the student(s) may be issued an interim action.  Interim actions may include but are not limited to: no contact order, restriction from specific facilities or locations, requirement to secure a psychological evaluation, etc.  An interim action shall remain in effect until removed or altered by the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) or as the result of the Code of Student Conduct.  Failure to comply with an interim action may result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct.

SECTION 12: Interim Suspension

When the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) has reasonable cause to believe that a student's presence on university premises or at a university-related or registered student organization activity poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of oneself or others, or to the damage of property, a student's access may be immediately suspended from all or any portion of University premises, University-related activities or registered student organization activities. This interim suspension will be confirmed by a written notice and shall remain in effect until the conclusion of an administrative hearing, student conduct hearing, or decision by the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee).  This action may occur in conjunction with, or in lieu of, Ohio Campus Disruption Act (House Bill 1219) proceedings, at the discretion of the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee).

SECTION 13: Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct

Discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct are detailed in: University policy regarding unlawful discrimination and harassment ( 5-16), Administrative policy and procedures regarding complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment, with the exception of gender-based ( 5-16.1), and Administrative policy regarding complaints of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct ( 5-16.2).  NOTE: following are excerpts frequently pertaining to student conduct.

A.      Gender-based discrimination, which includes sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, can interfere with a student's ability to participate in or benefit from university programs, an employee's ability to function in the workplace, and a visitor to campus' ability to utilize the university.

B.      Definitions.

1.       Gender discrimination includes, but is not limited to, discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, disability due to pregnancy, and non-conformance to gender stereotypes.

2.       Sexual Harassment.  Unfavorable or unwelcome treatment, made without consent and based on a person's gender or sex that is severe or pervasive and has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, academic or university environment.  Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:

a.       Verbal and/or physical behavior including, but not limited to: sexually explicit jokes, insults, and taunts; obscene gestures, pictorial, written, and electronic communications; and unwelcome touching.

b.      Sexual Misconduct.  Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any body part or object, by either a man or a woman upon either a man or a woman, that is without consent.  Intentionally passing a sexually transmitted infection or disease through sexual contact without consent.

c.       Sexual Exploitation.  Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one's own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, if that behavior does not otherwise constitute another sexual misconduct offense.

d.      Submission to or rejection of any of the above conduct by an individual implicitly or explicitly used as the basis for employment, administrative, or academic decisions.

3.       Consent is defined as the voluntary, unambiguous agreement to participate in an act, the nature of which is known and understood by the consenter.Consent may be given verbally or nonverbally and may be withdrawn at any time before completion of the act.

a.       A person may be incapable of giving consent due to physical incapacitation, physical or mental disability, threat, coercion, the influence of alcohol or drugs, or age.

C.      All members of the university community are encouraged to report any gender discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct that they experience, witness, or are made aware of. 

1.       Student Conduct.  If the accused is a student or visitor, the alleged victim may pursue charges through student conduct at any time during the informal or formal investigation process.

a.       Upon request, the complainant may be provided with a logistical accommodation to participate outside of the hearing room during the proceeding.

b.      The hearing panel will use a preponderance of the evidence standard in making its determination (i.e. it is more likely than not that the offense occurred, based on the evidence presented.)

2.       Complaints are to be made in good faith. If the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator determines that a complainant knowingly falsely accused another of harassment or assault, appropriate sanctions will be recommended against the complainant if he/she is an employee.  If the complainant is a student or visitor, charges may be pursued through student conduct.

3.       Amnesty.  If a student who reports or who serves as a witness for such an incident is also in violation of another policy (such as a drug or alcohol offense) in conjunction with the incident, amnesty will be considered by the student conduct office, and granted at their discretion, depending on the nature of the offense.

SECTION 14: Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

A.      Intentional contact, without consent, of another person's breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals or another body part(s) in a sexual manner.

B.      Intentional contact of another person, without consent, using one's breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals or another body part(s) in a sexual manner.

C.      Forced (physical or through threat / intimidation) touching, without consent, of another person's breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, or another body part(s) in a sexual manner.

D.      Physically restraining or detaining a person while another performs sexual contact or intercourse on themselves or with others.

E.       Allowing non-participants, without unambiguous consent by all participants, to view or record sexual contact or sexual intercourse in any way.

F.       Participating in or facilitating prostitution.

SECTION 15: Student Organizations Registered with the University

The university is committed to the belief that students have a right to organize and participate in groups whose purposes center on the interests and goals of the individuals involved. For further information on student organizations, see University policy regarding formation of student organizations ( 4-01).

A.      The Director of the Center for Student Involvement (or designee), in coordination with the All-University Hearing Board where applicable, is responsible for administering the adjudication of student organizations alleged to have violated university rules, regulations, or policies. 

B.      The Director of the Center for Student Involvement (or designee) may forward individual members of student organizations alleged to have violated university rules, regulations, or policies to the Office of Student Conduct for adjudication.

SECTION 16: All-University Hearing Board

As stated in the University undergraduate student senate charter ( 2-08), the all university hearing board is established to recommend sanctions regarding the violation of university rules and regulations. In addition, the all university hearing board is vested with the judicial authority for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG).

A.      Jurisdiction. With regard to Undergraduate Student Government, the all university hearing board shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide all cases concerning:

1.       Interpretations of the charter of the USG of Kent State University.

2.       The legality, with respect to this charter, of all USG resolutions and bills.

3.       Charges of fraud, malfeasance, or illegal procedure taking place within any general student election.

4.       Disputes between student organizations or between a student or students and any organization or organizations.

SECTION 17: Student Disciplinary Records, Retention, and Expunction

A.      All student disciplinary records are maintained by the Director of Student Conduct (or designee) in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, all state of Ohio laws, and the Kent State University records retention policy.  See University administrative policy regarding public records ( 5-15.1) for further details.

B.      The Office of Student Conduct shall retain student disciplinary records according to the record retention schedule of the University.

C.      A student (current or former) may request in writing to the Office of Student Conduct that his/her student disciplinary record be expunged upon proof of graduation or official notice discontinuing student status.  Decisions regarding expunction made by the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) are final and not subject to appeal, and may be based on behavior subsequent to the original violation, the nature of the original violation, and/or other relevant information or factors.

SECTION 18: Code Revisions and Applicability

A.      Revisions

Throughout any given year, changes to the Code of Student Conductmay be approved. As members of the University community, students are encouraged to be alert for any public announcements concerning changes to the rules and regulations governing student behavior.

1.       Updates and other changes to the Code of Student Conduct shall be submitted by the Student Rights and Standards Committee and/or the Director of Student Conduct to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

2.       Revisions to this Codeshall become effective pursuant to the requirements of section 111.15 of the Ohio Revised Code and only after general notice of such change has been given to the student body, faculty, and administrative staff.

B.      Applicability

1.       The Code of Student Conduct reflects language found in various University policies and procedures located in the Kent State University Policy Register.  Revisions, changes or updates to the Policy Registerare considered the authority in situations where conflicting information exists.

2.       Although the general provisions in this document are applicable to students on all Kent State University campuses, the specific procedures are applicable to the Kent Campus. Specific procedures for implementing the student conduct process on the Regional Campuses are published by those campuses.

SECTION 19: Contact information and Index of links

Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

250 Kent Student Center

Phone: 330-672-4054

Email: emsa@kent.edu

Web: www.kent.edu/emsa

Office of Student Conduct

119 Twin Towers

Phone: 330-672-4054

Email: studentconduct@kent.edu

Web: www.kent.edu/emsa/studentconduct

Title IX Coordinator

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Terrace Hall Annex

Phone: 330-672-2038

Email: aa_eo@kent.edu

Web: www.kent.edu/hr/aa/titleix

Sexual Assault Response Team

Phone: 330-672-8016

Email: ombuds@kent.edu

Web: www.kent.edu/sart

Administrative

Title

Web Location

Code of Student Conduct

www.kent.edu/emsa/studentconduct/index.cfm

Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998

Informational Services - DMCA

www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf

http://www.kent.edu/is/security/copyright/raq.cfm

Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

www.kent.edu/emsa

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

Hallways Handbook

www.kent.edu/housing/hallways.cfm

Judicial Advocates

www.usg.kent.edu/?page_id=48

Plagiarism / Cheating information

www.kent.edu/academics/resources/plagiarism/index.cfm

Residence Hall Contract

www.kent.edu/housing/prospectiveresidents/housingcontract.cfm

Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)

www.kent.edu/sart

Undergraduate Student Government

Graduate Student Senate

www.uss.kent.edu

www.kent.edu/graduatestudies/gss

University Catalog

www.kent.edu/catalog

Policy Register

Chapter

Title

Web Location

ALL

University Policy Register

www.kent.edu/policyreg/index.cfm

2-08

Undergraduate student senate charter

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2037685

3-01.8

Administrative policy regarding student cheating and plagiarism

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2037779

3-03.3

Administrative policy regarding animal care and use

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2037834

4-01

University policy regarding formation of student organizations

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2037881

4-02

University policy regarding administration of student conduct

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2037935

4-02.1

Administrative policy regarding regulations for student behavior

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2038144

4-02.101

Operational procedures regarding administration of student conduct

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2037948

4-07.101

Operational procedure regarding hazing

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2038041  

5-12.7

Administrative policy regarding persona non grata for nonstudent visitors

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2038235

5-15

University policy regarding records retention

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2038265 AND www.kent.edu/generalcounsel/records/index.cfm

5-16

University policy regarding unlawful discrimination and harassment

http://www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=3105914

5-16.1

Administrative policy regarding complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment, with the exception of gender-based

http://www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=3105938

5-16.2

Administrative policy regarding complaints of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct

http://www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=3105947

9-01.2

Administrative policy regarding electronic communication

www.kent.edu/policyreg/policydetails.cfm?customel_datapageid_1976529=2038376

Ohio Revised Code

Chapter

Title

Web Location

111.15

Adoption and filing of agency administrative code rules

Codes/ohio.gov/orc/111.15

2901.01

General Provisions definitions

Codes/ohio.gov/orc/2901

3341

Kent State University

Codes/ohio.gov/orc/3341

3345

State Universities – General Powers

Codes/ohio.gov/orc/3345

3345.22

Hearing for suspension of arrested student, faculty or staff member, or employee – responsibilities of referee

Codes/ohio.gov/orc/3345.22

3345.23

Dismissal of convicted student, faculty or staff member, or employee – reinstatement

Codes/ohio.gov/orc/3345.23

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