Overview of the Code of Student Life
The University of North Dakota (University) welcomes you to its community of more than 15,000 students, faculty, and staff. Our University community is made up of individuals representing the rich diversity and heritage of the populations of North Dakota, the nation, and the world. The University is ideally suited to make campus life a positive educational experience through the sharing of a multitude of ideas, experiences, life styles, cultures, and beliefs. As part of its mission, the University intends to nurture and sustain a learning environment which permits all to learn from the diversities brought to campus by members of the University community.
The Code of Student Life (Code) outlines the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by the students who make up our University community. The purpose of the information contained in the Code is to promote and maintain a learning environment appropriate for an institution of higher education and to serve as a basic guide to help prevent abuse of the rights of others. Members of the University community are expected to be familiar with the policies and processes contained within the Code and to act in compliance with them at all times. The Code is intended to be a general handbook to give guidance and direction to members of a very diverse University community. Although it is not possible to cover every conceivable situation that might arise, specific questions relating to the Code may be directed to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Diversity.
Nothing within the Code is intended to limit or restrict freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. General statements of philosophy and principles to which the University subscribes are found in the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) statement of academic freedom (SBHE 401.1).
The Code is published periodically and is subject to amendment or revision. Members of the University community are encouraged to submit amendments or revisions to the Code of Student Life Review Committee (CSLR Committee) for consideration.
The authority for student discipline, also referred to as student conduct, is derived from the president, who has delegated authority to the vice president for student affairs and diversity (VPSAD). The VPSAD further delegates authority to the assistant dean of students. The assistant dean of students administers the policies, procedural rules, and programs for student conduct hearings consistent with provisions of the Code, federal and state laws, and University and SBHE policies.
The assistant dean of students may further delegate the authority for student conduct and appoint individuals to serve as student conduct administrators (SCA).
SCAs are the individuals identified by the University to manage the student conduct process. Identified SCAs include members of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities staff and Housing staff responsible for the daily operation of the residence hall and apartment communities.
The VPSAD is the final authority for interpretation or application of the Code.
University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates federal, state, or local laws, ordinances, or regulations and/or the Code (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to pending civil or criminal litigation, criminal arrest, or prosecution. Proceedings under the Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings at the discretion of the VPSAD or designee.
Determinations made or sanctions imposed under the Code will not be changed solely because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the student.
The Code applies to conduct that occurs 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 is responsible for their 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 (and even if the student’s conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded). The Code applies to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.
The VPSAD or designee will determine whether the Code will be applied. The assistant dean of students or designee may also determine not to apply the Code to the conduct of a student filing a complaint or participating in the investigation of a complaint.
If a complaint alleges that a violation occurred while a previous version of the Code was in effect, the alleged behavior will be evaluated based upon the version of the Code and/or applicable policies that were in effect at the time of the alleged violation. The student conduct process in effect at the time that the complaint is filed will be utilized.
Code Development & Amendment Process
The Code is published online and is subject to periodic amendment and revision. On an as-needed basis, the assistant dean of students will make routine changes (such as new contact names, department names, position titles, and e-mail or Web addresses) to the Code. The date of such changes will be noted on the revision record. Routine updates will not require endorsement through the Code review process.
All other changes to any portion of the Code will be made through the utilization of the Code Review Process.
A: Code Review Process
The CSLR Committee is an advisory group responsible for reviewing and recommending amendments and revisions to the Code. The CSLR Committee is chaired by a member of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities staff and comprised of representatives from the following areas:
- Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (Chair),
- Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action,
- Association of Residence Halls (ARH),
- General Counsel,
- Interfraternity Council,
- Panhellenic Council,
- Student Government,
- University Police Department (UPD),
- University Senate
CSLR Committee members will be selected annually, serve one academic year and will meet on an as-needed basis.
When the CSLR Committee has provided its final feedback regarding recommended amendments and revisions to the Code, the assistant dean of students or designee will determine which amendments and revisions will move forward.
The assistant dean of students or designee will present the proposed changes to the University Senate Executive Committee (SEC) for review and feedback. The SEC provides leadership for the senate, ensures that University Senate policies are implemented, and acts as a liaison between the University Senate, the University of North Dakota, and the North Dakota University System.
The assistant dean of students or designee will present the proposed Code changes to the Policy Advisory Group (PAG) for review. PAG is a standing committee with broad University representation that is appointed by the vice president for finance and operations. PAG is charged with assisting in the formulation of new policies, the revisions of existing policies, and recommending review and endorsement to the President’s Cabinet.
The Policy Office, responsible for PAG oversight, will post the proposed Code changes to its website for a minimum two-week campus comment period. The CSLR Committee will consider all feedback and determine whether and how these responses will be incorporated.
If the feedback results in substantial changes, the proposed Code will be represented to the members of PAG and posted for a second campus comment period. The CSLR Committee will again consider all feedback and determine whether and how these responses will be incorporated.
The PAG will review all final proposed revisions and amendments to the Code and will submit them to the President’s Cabinet for endorsement. The president will have final approval.
If the president approves the changes, the assistant dean of students or designee will update the Code and communicate the final changes to the University community through a formal announcement. If the president does not approve the changes and recommends additional edits, the assistant dean of students or designee and CSLR Committee will coordinate appropriate edits and additional reviews as necessary prior to returning the changes to the President’s Cabinet for further review and subsequent approval by the president. If the president does not approve the changes, no changes will be made and the Code will stand unamended.
B: Policy Development Authority in University Residences
The executive director of housing and dining is responsible for the operations of residence halls and university apartments (university residences). Housing staff are responsible for providing a residential environment which is conducive to students’ academic success. Policies for university residences may be developed in addition to those in the Code. All university residence policies go through the residence hall government and policy development process
Residence Hall Government and Policy Development Process:
- Residence policies are clarified by the appropriate channels through the Housing Office and are subject to the review and approval of the VPSAD and the president,
- The occupants of each residence hall, by merit of paying ARH fees, are members of their respective hall government and of ARH,
- ARH may recommend or endorse rules governing life within the residence halls. ARH is not the approval body for rules governing the residence halls. Proposed rules endorsed by various hall governments may be considered by ARH, and
- Recommended rules endorsed by ARH are subject to approval by the executive director of housing and dining or designee and/or through the appropriate university policy review and approval processes.
C: Temporary & Provisional Changes to the Code
All policies and procedures within the Code are intended to be consistent with state and federal laws and regulations and University and SBHE policies. As such, modifications to the Code may be made on a temporary or provisional basis to ensure consistency with all laws, regulations, and policies. Temporary or provisional changes to the Code are approved by the president or designee.