Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities was submitted to the NKU Board of Regents on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 and was approved by the NKU Board of Regents on Wednesday, November 21, 2012.  All content for the approved Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities is updated below.

The University maintains the repository of current University Policies at:  policy.nku.edu

I. Preamble:

The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities is designed to ensure that Northern Kentucky University students shall enjoy intellectual freedom, fair and legal treatment, the freedom of speech both on and off campus, freedom of press, the right of peaceable assembly, the right to petition for redress of grievances, the right to a fair hearing of charges made against one, and the right to responsible participation in the university community. Rights imply responsibilities; therefore members of the University community must show both initiative and restraint. The Code is designed neither to be exhaustive nor to encompass all possible relationships between students and the institution. This document is endorsed by the Student Government Association, Faculty Senate, Staff Congress and University Administration, and approved by the Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents. The Code is not rigid or unchangeable. As the relationship between students and the University continues to grow, it may be necessary to modify the Code.

It is incumbent upon students to be aware of University regulations. Ignorance of these regulations does not excuse students from adherence to them. Staff and University officials should endeavor to inform students of University rules, regulations, and policies, whenever the circumstance is applicable.

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II. Violations of Law and this Code:

Students may be accountable to both civil and criminal authorities and to the University for acts that constitute violation of law and of this Code. Those charged with violations are subject to University disciplinary proceedings even if criminal proceedings are pending and may not challenge university proceedings on the grounds that criminal charges for the same incident have been dismissed, reduced, or are not yet adjudicated.

Students and recognized student organizations are cautioned that any material posted on the internet, including social networking sites and Internet blogs is not private or protected information. Students may be held accountable for content posted in this manner and information obtained from this source may be considered in cases of misconduct.

University officers shall have the right to investigate or seek out information about conduct of suspected persons in any case involving an alleged violation of the law or University regulations.  However, students are required to comply with the directives of University officials in the performance of their duties.  Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.  Students are informed that the University Conduct Board may draw negative inferences that may result in sanctions if they fail to answer questions during a disciplinary hearing.  If a student does not appear for a meeting or hearing, the adjudication process will continue.

Pending action on charges, the status of students should not be altered, nor their rights to be present on campus and to attend classes suspended, except for reasons relating to their physical or emotional safety, interim actions, and/or the well-being of the University community or University property.

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III. Freedom from Discrimination:

All students shall be free from discrimination based on race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, color, creed, religion, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, uniform service or veteran status, physical or mental disability, or political belief.

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IV. University Disciplinary Action:

The Board of Regents of Northern Kentucky University has adopted the following procedures for implementing the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The Board of Regents affirm both the code and these disciplinary procedures, which emphasize the maintenance of the University as an institution dedicated to the education of its students. Furthermore, the Board of Regents affirm their grant of authority for student discipline to the President and to others designated as indicated in this Code to implement these procedures.  Furthermore, the University reserves the right to amend these regulations or make rules as deemed necessary for the protection of property and/or the general welfare the University community.

A.  University Authority and Civil Power

The institution may impose disciplinary sanctions for behavior on or off campus where the University's interests as an academic community are distinctly and seriously threatened.  Infringements of local, state, and federal law are also infringements of University policies.
Where it is necessary for members of the NKU University Police, in their capacity as police officers to investigate the conduct of students or detain or arrest students, all of the legal safeguards of personal rights guaranteed to citizens will be observed in accordance with the law.

B.  Administrative Search and Seizures 

The overriding standard by which the law tests searches of students is one of "reasonableness" under the circumstances, and University officials must use their good judgment to determine what is reasonable.  University property remains the property of the University even when used by students. Apartments, suites, residence halls, lockers, etc. are subject to administrative search only in the interest of school safety, sanitation, enforcement of discipline and other University regulations. Search by law enforcement officials may be upon presentation of a proper warrant or pressing circumstances.  A student's person and possessions (including vehicle) may be searched by a University official provided the official has reasonable grounds to suspect that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules and regulations of the University. The extent or scope of the search shall be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the nature of the infraction.

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V. Academic Policies and Procedures:

A.  The Classroom

The instructor is responsible for determining course content, course syllabus, choice of reading materials, type and size of assignments, and classroom attendance policies. Evaluation of academic achievement of students in a course is the responsibility of the professor. In order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning, the professor may take reasonable disciplinary measures judged appropriate to protect the learning environment.

B.  Freedom of Expression

The instructor has an obligation to encourage free discussion, inquiry, and expression. He/she may not evaluate student performance based on opinions (such as religious belief or political views) or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

C.  Student Evaluations of Courses

Students have the opportunity, through a questionnaire available toward the end of each semester, to assess each course they are enrolled in. Data from these questionnaires, along with other data, are used by the professor in improving his/her teaching effectiveness, and by the University in making decisions on faculty promotion, tenure and salary.  As part of these questionnaires, students are asked to make comments about the extent to which each course they are taking has been a significant learning experience. Students are expected to reflect thoughtfully and to make carefully written comments both about how their own actions have influenced their coursework and about the instruction they have experienced.
 
D.  Expectations of the Student

While students are free to take reasonable exception to data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, they are responsible for learning the content of any course in which they are enrolled. Students have protection through procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation.

E.  Class Attendance

Classroom participation is essential to the educational process. When requirements of attendance are delineated in the syllabus, the instructor may lower a student's final grade because of absences.
Students are responsible for material disseminated in class and/or on-line and are not released from this responsibility because they cease to attend. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of the calendar deadline for officially withdrawing from a course.  If a student does not officially withdraw prior to this deadline, and fails to successfully complete the required course work, a failing grade will be recorded.

F.  Educational Environment Disruption Policy

If an instructor determines that a student is disrupting the learning environment, he/she shall address such behavior and meet with the student within five (5) working days from the date of the incident to discuss the behavior.  If disruptions persist in spite of an instructor's best efforts, the instructor may dismiss a student immediately from the classroom until a final resolution of the matter occurs through the process outlined in this section.  Students who fail to leave the classroom may face removal by University Police, possible legal action, and charges under this Code.

If an instructor determines that an unsafe situation occurs due to the actions, behavior, or written or verbal threats from a student, University Police shall be notified and the student shall be removed immediately.  In such cases (or in cases of multiple disruptions), the student shall face interim suspension from the class or University until the discipline process is resolved.

Following any meeting between the instructor and a student for disruptive behavior, the instructor shall submit an incident report to the Department Chair or Program Director, Dean of Students and the accused student describing the incident, the student's behavior, and any action taken, including, but not limited to; a written warning, temporary removal from class, and permanent removal from class. This policy does not preclude the Dean of Students Office from adjudicating and sanctioning a student for violations. If the student is dissatisfied with the instructor's decision, they may appeal the decision in writing to the Department Chair or Program Director within five (5) working days after receipt of the instructor's decision. The following process is used in all classroom-related disciplinary appeals:

 

Grounds for appeals

An appeal must meet one or more of the following grounds to be considered:

 

  1. A significant procedural error was made during the disciplinary process, including but not limited to failure to hold an administrative meeting, notice of the alleged violation, and/or no opportunity to present evidence.

  2. A sanction was not appropriate to the violation, and/or the sanctions were grossly disproportionate.

  3. A finding was not supported by evidence, and/or significant information is presented on appeal that was not available at the time of the hearing or could not have been obtained despite the student's exercise of reasonable diligence which materially affects the finding sanctions.

 

Appeal Process

 

  1. First Appeal
    The Department Chair, Program Director or his/her designee shall meet with the student within five (5) working days after receipt of the appeal. The Department Chair or Program Director will notify the student of his/her decision in writing within five (5) working days of the meeting with the student unless further investigation is necessary. The Department Chair or Program Director will forward a copy of the written decision to the instructor and the Academic Dean (or his/her designee), the Dean of Students, and will retain a copy in the department files.

  2. Second Appeal
    If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the Department Chair or Program Director, the student may appeal to the Academic Dean or his/her designee by submitting a written request of appeal within five (5) working days after receipt of the Department Chair's or Program Director's decision. The Academic Dean or his/her designee's decision will be based on the written appeal and related documents received from the student and the written decision and any related documents submitted by the Department Chair or Program Director. If the appeal is based on new information that could reasonably change the outcome of the hearing or the imposed sanction, the Academic Dean may send the entire case back to the Department Chair or Program Director for reconsideration. The Academic Dean or his/her designee will notify the student of his/her decision in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the appeal. The Academic Dean or his/her designee will forward a copy of the decision to the Department Chair or Program Director, the Dean of Students and the instructor. In classroom-related disciplinary appeals, the Academic Dean's decision shall be final and binding. There shall be no further appeal.

G.  Student Academic Grievance Process

When a student believes that an instructor has violated his/her rights in the classroom (e.g.,  failure to follow stated grading policy or other procedures and objectives as outlined in the syllabus, discrimination in evaluation of individual achievement, illegal discrimination or harassment) the student should adhere to the following procedure:

  1. Grievance Procedure
    The student will discuss the matter with the course instructor within five (5) working days of the incident. If the student is unable to contact the instructor, he/she is to seek the aid of the Department Chair or Program Director in contacting the instructor. The student will provide the instructor with a written statement that expresses his/her concern in very specific terms. The instructor will meet with the student to discuss the matter within five (5) working days after receipt of the written statement.  The instructor will respond in writing to the student within five (5) working days following the meeting with the student. This written communication will also be forwarded to the appropriate Department Chair or Program Director.

  2. Appeal Process
    If the student disagrees with the instructor's decision, he/she must submit a letter of appeal, based on the approved "grounds for appeal" to the Department Chair or Program Director within five (5) working days after receipt of the instructor's response. 

 

Grounds for appeals

An appeal must meet one or more of the following grounds to be considered:

 

  1. A significant procedural error was made during the grievance process, including but not limited to failure to hold an administrative meeting, notice of the alleged violation, and/or no opportunity to present evidence.

  2. A sanction was not appropriate to the violation, and/or the sanctions were grossly disproportionate.

  3. A finding was not supported by evidence, and/or significant information is presented on appeal that was not available at the time of the hearing or could not have been obtained despite the student's exercise of reasonable diligence which materially affects the finding sanctions.

    Appeal Process

  1. First Appeal
    The Department Chair, Program Director or his/her designee shall meet with the student within five (5) working days after receipt of the appeal. The Department Chair or Program Director will notify the student of his/her decision in writing within five (5) working days of the meeting with the student. The Department Chair or Program Director will forward a copy of the written decision to the instructor, the Academic Dean (or his/her designee), the Dean of Students, and will retain a copy in the department files. In a case involving a graduate student, the Graduate Student Code of Conduct shall be followed.

  2. Second Appeal
    If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the Department Chair or Program Director, the student may appeal to the Academic Dean or his/her designee by submitting a written request of appeal within five (5) working days after receipt of the Department Chair's or Program Director's decision. The Academic Dean or his/her designee's decision will be based on the written appeal and related documents received from the student and the written decision and any related documents submitted by the Department Chair or Program Director. If the appeal is based on new information that could reasonably change the outcome of the hearing or the imposed sanction, the Academic Dean may send the entire case back to the Department Chair or Program Director for reconsideration. The Academic Dean or his/her designee will notify the student of his/her decision in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the appeal. The Academic Dean or his/her designee will forward a copy of the decision to the Department Chair or Program Director, the Dean of Students and the instructor.

  3. Third Appeal
    If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the Academic Dean, the student may appeal to the College's Academic Appeals Panel by submitting a written request of appeal in care of the Academic Dean within five (5) working days after receipt of the Academic Dean's decision. Within five (5) days of receipt of the student'ss written appeal, the Academic Dean will convene an Appeals Panel to consider the appeal.

 

The College's Academic Appeals Panel will consist of:

a.  Two faculty members chosen by the Academic Dean at the beginning of the academic year. These choices will be made from a group comprised of one representative from, and chosen by, each department responsible to the Academic Dean.

b.  One faculty member chosen by the Academic Dean from the college in which the appeal was initiated. Should this department already be represented on the panel, the Academic Dean will select the third faculty panel member from the original group of department representatives referenced above. The faculty member whose decision is in question may not sit on the panel. Other panel members will be excused when a conflict of interest exists.

c.  Two students. These panel members, plus an alternate, will be chosen from the academic college by the Academic Dean at the beginning of the academic year. If these students are unavailable, the Dean will select two student panel members and an alternate student to serve on the committee. The student initiating the appeal may not sit on the panel. Student panel members will be excused when a conflict of interest exists.

 

The Academic Dean will convey to the appeals panel the entire file of the case. The College's Academic Appeals Panel shall first determine if the student's case meets any of the grounds for appeal.  If the panel determines that the appeal does not meet any of the enumerated grounds of appeal, then the appeal will not be considered. The ruling of the Appeals Panel that the case lacks grounds for appeal is final. The Academic Panel will notify the Academic Dean of this finding. The Academic Dean or his/her designee will forward a copy of the Appeals Panel's decision to the student, Instructor, Department Chair, and the Dean of Students.

If the College's Academic Appeals Panel determines that the case meets any of the grounds for appeal, the panel will proceed to a full hearing of the appeal. A full hearing may include collection of evidence by the College's Academic Appeals Panel through research and interview. Insofar as possible, all persons directly involved in the appeal will cooperate by requests for information. Both the faculty member and the student have the right to engage the College's Academic Appeals Panel. All information relevant to an appeal will be held in strict confidence during the appeal process and upon its conclusion. The College's Academic Appeals Panel will provide a written report of its decision to the Academic Dean within five (5) working days of the formal hearing. The Academic Dean will send notification of the College's Academic Appeals Panel's decision to the student, the instructor, the Department Chair and the Dean of Students. In the student grievance process for academic appeals, the College's Academic Appeals Panel's decision shall be final and binding. There shall be no further appeal.

H. Student Honor Code:  Cheating & Plagiarism

 

  1. Preamble
    This Student Honor Code [the "Honor Code"] is a commitment by students of Northern Kentucky University, through their matriculation or continued enrollment at the University, to adhere to the highest degree of ethical integrity in academic conduct. It is a commitment individually and collectively that the students of Northern Kentucky University will not lie, cheat, or plagiarize to gain an academic advantage over fellow students or avoid academic requirements.
    The purpose of the Honor Code is to establish standards of academic conduct for students at Northern Kentucky University and to provide a procedure that offers basic assurances of fundamental fairness to any person accused of violations of these rules. Each Northern Kentucky University student is bound by the provisions of the Honor Code and is presumed to be familiar with all of its provisions. Students also should aspire to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the highest degree of ethical integrity in all matters, whether covered in the Honor Code or not. The success of this commitment begins in the diligence with which students uphold the letter and the spirit of the Honor Code.
  2. Standards of Academic Conduct and Integrity and Consequences for their Violation

1.  A student at Northern Kentucky University shall not:

     a.  Engage in any conduct involving academic deceit, dishonesty, or misrepresentation.

     b.  Give, receive, or use unauthorized or prohibited information, resources, or assistance on an examination, assignment, or graduation requirement.

     c.  Commit plagiarism (e.g., representing another's work, in whole or in part, as one's own) on any examination, assignment or graduation requirement (including those involving use of the web, internet or other electronic resources).

     d.  Write, take, research, develop, prepare, or create an examination, assignment, or graduation requirement for another student, in whole or in part.

     e.  Submit an examination, assignment, or graduation requirement written, taken, researched, developed, prepared, or created by another person, in whole or in part.

     f.  Submit an examination, assignment, or graduation requirement that the student has or will submit for credit in another course, without express approval from the professors in each of the courses.

    g. Prevent or interfere with the use by other students of any library, laboratory, studio, field, or other course-related resource; or

    h.  Damage or impair any library, laboratory, studio, field, or other course-related resources or another student's completed assignments.

NOTE: These prohibitions shall not preclude a professor or department from assigning team projects, cooperative efforts, and other similar activities in a course or for a graduation requirement and are subject to modification in order to adhere to the NKU Policy on Accommodations for Students With Disabilities.
  
2.  A student who violates one of the above provisions will be identified to the Department Chair, Program Director, Academic Dean, and Dean of Students. The student may also be subject to one or more of the following consequences:

     a.  For the first violation, any one or a combination of the following:

          i.    Faculty imposed sanction(s) as outlined in the course syllabus;
    
          ii.   An oral admonition or reprimand;

          iii.  A written admonition or reprimand;

          iv.  A reduction in the grade or a grade of "F" in the course, examination, or assignment;                                

          v.   Expulsion from the course.

     b.  For multiple violations of the above provisions, where suspension or expulsion from the University may be warranted, the case will be referred to the Dean of Students Office.

3.  Academic Departmental Procedure

A.  A course instructor who has sufficient information to believe that a student has violated the Honor Code shall notify the student within five (5) working days from the date of discovery of the alleged violation unless extenuating circumstances apply. If grades must be turned in during the meantime, the instructor shall give the student a grade of incomplete.

B.  The instructor may take action as described in H.2. 2. and shall report the incident and sanctions in writing within five (5) working days to the student, the Department Chair or Program Director, and the Academic Dean or Vice Provost. An instructor is not required to report the incident or take any action if, in his/her professional judgment, the student's conduct should be dealt with outside the Honor Code as an academic or administrative matter, and the conduct is so dealt with promptly.

C.  If the student disagrees with the instructor's decision, the student may appeal in writing to the Department Chair or if no Departmental Chair exists, to the Program Director within five (5) working days of receipt of the decision of the instructor. If the appeal is not requested in the time allotted, the instructor's action shall be final and binding. If the student's written appeal is received by the Department Chair or Program Director within five (5) working days of receipt of the instructor's decision, the Department Chair or Program Director will meet with the student within five (5) working days of receipt of the appeal. The Department Chair or Program Director will notify the student of his/her decision in writing within five (5) working days of the meeting. The Department Chair or Program Director will forward a copy of the written decision to the instructor, the Academic Dean (or his/her designee), the Dean of Students and will retain a copy in the department files.

D.  If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the Department Chair or Program Director, the student may appeal to the Academic Dean, or if no Academic Dean exists to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs or his/her designee by submitting a written request of appeal within five (5) working days after receipt of the Department Chair's or Program Director's decision. The Academic Dean or Vice Provost or his/her designee will notify the student of his/her decision in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the appeal. The Academic Dean or Vice Provost or his/her designee will forward a copy of the decision to the Department Chair or Program Director, the Dean of Students and the instructor.

E.  If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the Academic Dean or Vice Provost, the student may appeal to the Academic Appeals Panel by submitting a written request of appeal in care of the Academic Dean or Vice Provost within five (5) working days after receipt of the Academic Dean's or Vice Provost's decision. Within five (5) days of receipt of the student's written appeal, the Academic Dean or Vice Provost will convene an Appeals Panel to consider the appeal.
The Appeals Panel will consist of:

     a.  Two faculty members chosen by the Academic Dean or Vice Provost at the beginning of the academic year.
     These choices will be made from a group comprised of one representative from, and chosen by, each department
      responsible to the Academic Dean or Vice Provost.

     b.  One faculty member chosen by the Academic Dean from the college or Vice Provost from the program in which the
     appeal was initiated. Should this department or program already be represented on the panel, the Academic Dean or
     Vice Provost will select the third faculty panel member from the original group of department or program
     representatives referenced above. The faculty member whose decision is in question may not sit on the panel. Other
     panel members will be excused when a conflict of interest exists.

     c.  Two students. These panel members plus an alternate will be chosen from the academic college by the Academic
     Dean or Vice Provost from the department or program at the beginning of the academic year. If these students are 
     unavailable, the Academic Dean or Vice Provost will select two student panel members and an alternate student to
     serve on the committee. The student initiating the appeal may not sit on the panel. Student panel members will be
     excused when a conflict of interest exists.

The Academic Dean or Vice Provost will convey to the Academic Appeals Panel the entire file of the case. If the Academic Appeals Panel determines that the case meets any of the grounds for appeal, the panel will proceed to a full hearing of the appeal within a reasonable time period (not to exceed 20 working days). A full hearing may include collection of evidence by the Appeals Panel through research and interview.  Insofar as possible, all persons directly involved in the appeal will cooperate by honoring the panel's requests for information. Both the faculty member and the student have the right to engage the Appeals Panel. All information relevant to an appeal will be held in strict confidence during the appeal process and upon its conclusion. The Appeals Panel will provide a written report of its decision to the Academic Dean or Vice Provost within five (5) working days of the formal hearing. The Academic Dean or Vice Provost will send notification of the Appeals Panel's decision to the student, the instructor, the Department Chair or Program Director and the Dean of Students.

F.  Except in cases of suspension or expulsion, the Academic Appeals Panel's decision shall be final and binding. There shall be no further appeal. In cases of suspension or expulsion, the student may decide to accept responsibility for the violation(s) but wish to appeal the sanction of suspension or expulsion. In such cases, the student may avoid meeting with the Academic Appeals Panel and file an appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost limited to the question of suspension or expulsion.

G.  An appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost limited to the question of suspension or expulsion must be in writing and must be submitted within five (5) working days of the student's receipt of the decision of the Appeals Panel. The Academic Dean or Vice Provost will forward the entire file to the Provost's office at the time the appeal is made. The Provost will review the appeal within five (5) working days of receipt of the file, and determine whether to uphold the recommended sanction or to recommend a lesser sanction. The Provost will notify the student, Academic Dean or Vice Provost and Dean of Students of his/her decision in writing.

H.  If the student disagrees with the decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost, he/she may appeal to the Board of Regents by submitting a written statement of appeal to the Academic Dean office within five (5) working days after receipt of the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost's decision.  The Board will review the file and determine whether to approve, reject, or modify an earlier decision or the consequences recommended or imposed.  The decision of the Board of Regents will be final and the sanction(s) imposed will stand. The Board will inform the Academic Dean or Vice Provost of their decision in writing, and provide these findings and sanctions to the student in writing within five (5) working days following the Board of Regents Meeting. The Academic Dean or Vice Provost shall implement the decision of the Board. 

4.  Grounds for appeals

An appeal must meet one or more of the following grounds to be considered:

    1.  A significant procedural error was made during the disciplinary process, including but not limited to failure to hold
    an administrative meeting, notice of the alleged violation, and/or no opportunity to present evidence.

    2.  A sanction was not appropriate to the violation, and/or the sanctions were grossly disproportionate.

    3.  A finding was not supported by evidence, and/or significant information is presented on appeal that was not
    available at the time of the hearing or could not have been obtained despite the student's exercise of reasonable
    diligence which materially affects the finding sanctions.

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VI. Disciplinary Regulations:

A.Prohibited Conduct

The following misconduct is subject to disciplinary action.  If a student, faculty member, or staff member has knowledge of a person(s) violating the Code or University Housing policies, he/she should submit knowledge of this alleged action in writing by completing an Incident Report form, which is available online by clicking here or at the Dean of Students Office, 301 Student Union Building.

  1. Offenses against the university community include, but are not limited to:

    a.Acts of dishonesty

       i.  Intentionally initiating or causing any false report, warning, or threat of fire, explosion, or other emergency on
           University premises or at University sponsored activities.

       ii.  Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document or instrument of identification.

       iii.  Misrepresenting information or furnishing false information to University officials.

       iv.  Unauthorized access to and/or use of information contained in University records and/or computer files.
             Also see the Acceptable Use Policy by clicking here.

       v.  Honor Code for Plagiarism and Cheating.

    b.  Failure to comply with the directions of University officials acting in the performance of their duties.

    c.  Intentionally, substantially, or inappropriately interfering with freedom of expression of others on the University premises or at University sponsored activities.

    d.  Knowingly violating the terms of any disciplinary sanction.

    e.  Knowingly passing a worthless check, money order or fraudulent use of credit card against the University or a member of the University community.

    f.  Violation of published University regulations or policies as approved and compiled by the officers of the University. Such regulations or policies shall include but not be limited to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, University Housing Guidelines, Student Organization Manual, Campus Recreation Handbook, University Tailgate Policy, Student Union/University Center Policies, as well as those regulations relating to entry and use of University facilities, traffic regulations and parking, and misuse of student identification cards.

    g.  Violations of federal, state, or local law on or off-campus by NKU students or student organizations may result in disciplinary action.  Action may be taken if a student or student organization acted in a way that substantially interferes with or endangers the University community, or behavior with significant potential to disrupt the educational environment.  Acts such as drug trafficking, other felonies, crimes against persons, etc., may result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

  2. Offenses against persons include but are not limited to:

    a.  Intentionally or recklessly causing physical or emotional harm to any person, including self, on University property or at University-sponsored activities off campus, and includes intentionally or recklessly causing reasonable apprehension of such harm.

    b.  Harassing another person, attempting or threatening to subject another person to violent physical contact, or engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that threaten, or create reasonable apprehension for another person.

    c.  Stalking - A "willful course of conduct" involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, "harassed" or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.

    d.  Engaging in sexual misconduct, as defined and outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy (see section VIII).

    e.  Taking any action or creating any situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health of self or others, or involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs from self or others for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization or group. (See Hazing in section VI. B.)

    f.  Intentionally exposing genitals, buttocks, or breasts in a public place on the University premises or at University-sponsored activities.

  3. Offenses against property include, but are not limited to:

    a.  Damaging or misusing, whether intentionally or recklessly, fire safety equipment.

    b.  Theft or misuse of property/services on University premises, at University sponsored activities, from University organizations and/or groups, or possession of stolen property/use of stolen services on University premises, at University-sponsored activities, or from University organizations and/or groups.

    c.  Damaging or destroying, whether intentionally or recklessly, University property or the property of others on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.  This includes creating a fire or other disturbance that creates damage to University property.

    d.  Unauthorized presence on or use of University premises, facilities, or property.

    e.  Violation of a restriction of access or criminal trespass order.

  4. Offenses disrupting order or disregarding health and safety include, but are not limited to:

    a.  Unauthorized distribution, possession, or use of any controlled substance, illegal drug or paraphernalia, as defined by the Kentucky Revised Statutes, chapter 218A, on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.

    b.  The use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages on University property except as authorized by University policy.

    c.  Unauthorized use or possession of fireworks or incendiary, dangerous, or noxious devices or materials on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.

    d.  Unauthorized use, possession, or storage of any weapon on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.

    e.  Appearing in a public place on University premises or at University sponsored activities manifestly under the influence of a controlled or other intoxicating substance to the degree that there is danger to self, others, or property or there is reasonable apprehension to persons in the vicinity.

    f.  Interfering, whether intentionally or recklessly, with University functions or University-sponsored activities including, but not limited to, studying, teaching, research, University administration, or fire, police, or emergency services.

    g.  Obstruction or disruption that interferes with the freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on institutionally owned or controlled property.

    h.  Unauthorized entry or use of institutional facilities; unauthorized possession of university keys or access cards; duplicating university keys or access cards; or propping open of exterior doors to any institutionally owned or controlled property.

    i.  Disorderly conduct or lewd, indecent or obscene conduct on University owned or controlled property or at University or sponsored functions.  This responsibility also applies to events sponsored and supervised by recognized student organizations.

  5. Abusing, delaying, or interfering with the orderly operation of the judicial process, including but not limited to:

    a.  Failure to appear before the Dean of Students and/or University Conduct Board when directed to do so.

    b.  Failure to answer questions.

    c. Falsifying information related to judicial process.

    d.  Influencing others to abuse process or lie to University Officials.

    e.  Aiding or abetting any misconduct.

    f.  Failure to comply with sanction(s).

  6. Shared Responsibility for Misconduct and Infractions includes, but are not limited to:

    a. Students who act in concert to violate University regulations.

    b.  Students and organizations are responsible for the conduct of their guests on University property or at any University function including those sponsored or organized by registered student organizations.

  7. University Housing guidelines and prohibited conduct:

    In the University Housing setting, each resident has certain responsibilities to the other residents and to the University. Students residing in University Housing are responsible for knowing and abiding by all of the policies outlined throughout the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and in the University Housing Guidelines.

B.  Prohibition on Hazing

In accordance with Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 164.375, Northern Kentucky University prohibits any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health or involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization.  Penalties for violation of the hazing policy shall include, but are not limited to:

  1. Student violators will be subject to possible suspension or expulsion from the University or other appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

  2. Faculty and staff violators will be subject to possible loss of employment or other appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the Faculty Policies and Procedures Handbook, Salmon P. Chase College of Law Faculty Handbook, Handbook for Department Chairpersons, and Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual.

  3. Faculty, staff or student organizations that authorize or contribute to actions that violate this policy may lose University authorization to operate on campus property.  Officers of such organizations may be held individually responsible for the actions of their organizations.

  4. Visitors, licensees, and invitees to Northern Kentucky University who violate this policy will be removed from University property and may be subject to prosecution.

C.  Alcohol and Other Drugs

In order to ensure the University's commitment to a quality educational and work environment, every faculty member, employee and student has a right to work and learn in an environment free from the effects of abuse of alcohol and other drugs.  It is the policy of the University to discourage the misuse and abuse of alcoholic beverages and other drugs.  The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act requires every institution of higher education to inform students of standards of conduct that clearly prohibit violations of local, state, and federal laws pertaining to alcohol and other drugs.  Parental notification may be implemented for students who are found responsible for alcohol and drug violations under the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  Alcoholic beverages may be served and consumed at official University functions and approved non-University functions as designated by the President or his/her designee.

  1. The University prohibits the following actions and behaviors: 

    a.  Purchase, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under age of 21.

    b.  Aiding and abetting an underage person in the purchase or possession of alcoholic beverages.

    c.  Falsification of a driver's license or other identification in order to obtain alcoholic beverages.

    d.  Consumption of alcoholic beverages in outdoor areas such as public places, University Housing, and automobiles, except where designated by the University's Tailgating Policy.

    e.  Appearing in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol, such that the individual may endanger his/herself or other persons, damage property, or annoy persons in the vicinity.

    f.  Driving while under the influence or while intoxicated.

  2. Alcoholic beverages may be served and consumed at University events held off-campus according to the following guidelines, as well as in addition to the above guidelines:

    a.  The sale, serving, and consumption of alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited except in areas and at times and dates licensed by the Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control Board, or similar agencies in other states.

    b.  Sponsoring group and organizations will be responsible for providing security to ensure that guests conduct themselves properly and to assist with the crowd control.

    c.  Alcohol shall not be consumed or carried in open containers on any street, sidewalk, alley, or in a motor vehicle.

    d.  Activity sponsors must examine the identification of all guests entering the activity.  Guests under the age of 21 shall not be permitted to consume alcoholic beverages.  If the activity is located in another state, all applicable state and local laws regarding alcohol sales, services, and consumptions shall prevail.  Sponsors must assure that official law enforcement or on-site security personnel verify the identification of all participants.

    e.  Littering, infringing upon the rights of others, and abuse of public or private property in connection with possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.

    f.  Promotion or advertising of an event shall not encourage any form of alcohol abuse, nor should events be advertised to place an emphasis on the quantity and/or frequency of use of alcohol.

    g.  Alcohol should not be provided as an award or prize to individuals or campus organizations.

    h.  Student organizations shall designate one person, perhaps an officer of that organization, to assume responsibility for assuring that there is knowledge of and compliance with these alcohol policies.  It is recommended that this person participate in the special educational programs offered by the Health, Counseling, and Prevention Services Office.

  3. Beer distributors, liquor companies, bars, and night clubs are not permitted to: (1) advertise on campus, (2) co-sponsor an event with a student organization, (3) advertise on any schedule card, athletic brochure or press guide, or other printed material, (4) provide advertising for University events presented on the radio or television.

  4. Northern Kentucky University does not assume responsibility for unofficial events held off campus involving individuals or groups affiliated with the University.  However, the University reserves the right to hold students and student organizations accountable for violations of federal, state, and local law by NKU students, or student organization off campus in which said violations adversely affect the University community and/or pursuit of its objectives.

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VII. Sexual Misconduct:

A.  Introduction

As members of the campus community, all University students, faculty and staff as well as guests and visitors have the right to be free from sexual misconduct. The University does not tolerate gender-based misconduct and does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs. The University is committed to treating those involved in an allegation of sexual misconduct with dignity and respect.  Investigative and hearing proceedings are conducted in a timely, thorough, and impartial manner.  This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.

B.  Coverage

The Sexual Misconduct Policy within the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities applies to allegations of sexual misconduct involving students, including sexual misconduct that occurs outside the University if the misconduct negatively affects the student's education experience. Allegations of sexual misconduct involving University employees are covered by separate policies within the staff and faculty handbooks. Allegations of sexual misconduct against guests or visitors who are not subject to University sanctions may be addressed in civil or criminal proceedings.
In the event that a student is also an employee (i.e. student worker, researcher, graduate assistant, etc.), procedures applicable to employees may also be applicable. It is University practice to bring employee and student grievance mechanisms together for joint resolution in such cases. Sanctions may result in an individual's capacity as a student, as an employee, or both.

C.  Reporting

Your health, safety, and well-being are the University's primary concern. If you are the victim of any form of sexual misconduct, you are strongly urged to seek immediate assistance. Assistance can be obtained from: 

     University Police, 859-572-5500859-572-5500
     Johns Hill Road - 24 hrs/7 days week
   
     Health, Counseling and Student Wellness, 859-572-5650859-572-5650
     UC 340 - can call 24 hrs/7 days week     

     Norse Violence Prevention Center, 859-572-5865859-572-5865
     SU 304 - Monday - Friday 8:15am - 4:30pm, can leave a message after
     hours and messages returned promptly

You are also strongly urged to contact the University's Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students within the Dean of Students Office in person, by phone, or by filling out an incident report form. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students is located at 301 Student Union Building and can be reached at 859-572-5147859-572-5147 during business hours. Reports may also be made to the University Police at 859-572-5500859-572-5500. To obtain an Incident Report form from the Dean of Students website, click here.

Allegations against employees of the Dean of Students Office may be reported to the Vice President of the Office of Legal Affairs and General Counsel at 859-572-5588859-572-5588.

All members of the University community are asked to report violations of this policy to appropriate authorities by contacting the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students at 859-572-5147859-572-5147, the University Police at 859-572-5500859-572-5500, or by filling out an Incident Report form on the Dean of Students website.

To assure University-wide compliance with this policy and applicable law, the University's Title IX Coordinator must be advised of all reported incidents of sexual misconduct and the resolution of the complaint.  Reports in which the complainant's and/or the accused names are not revealed should still be reported generically.  The Title IX Coordinator will provide this statistical information for use in annual reports for the campus community on the incidence of sexual misconduct. 

D.  Confidentiality

Reports of sexual misconduct are taken seriously when formally reported and will be investigated and resolved through the University's Disciplinary Procedures. While complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, the University will take reasonable steps to conduct an investigation or otherwise handle a complaint of sexual misconduct in as confidential a manner as practical.  However, those with a need to know (including University officials, witnesses, and those responsible for the investigation and disciplinary processes) shall have appropriate access to information concerning the complaint.  Students who wish to maintain complete confidentiality should speak with mental health counselors, medical professionals, sexual assault professionals, and/or clergy.

E.  Retaliation

The University prohibits unlawful retaliation against anyone who has complained about sexual misconduct or other harassment, discrimination or retaliation, as well as those who support any individual making such complaint or who provide information or participate in an investigation into any such good faith complaint or report. Fear of retaliation should not be a barrier to reporting incidents of sexual misconduct or discrimination, or to the making of any good faith complaints whatsoever. Retaliation is a serious violation of University policy and will not be tolerated. Retaliation is grounds for disciplinary action separate and apart from any finding regarding the underlying complaint. It shall not be retaliation for an individual accused of misconduct to defend him/herself against the complaint within the University's disciplinary process.

F.  Further Information

Further information about Title IX and sex discrimination in education is available from the Office of Civil Rights, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202 and can be reached by Customer Service Hotline: 800-421-3481800-421-3481; fax: 202-453-6012; TDD: 877-521-2172877-521-2172; email: OCR@ed.gov; or on the web at: http://www.ed.gov/ocr.

G.  University Interim Action

The University reserves the right to take whatever interim measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect rights and personal safety of the complainant and the accused. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, alteration of classroom schedule, interim suspension, and reporting the matter to the local authorities. Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the university reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The university will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of sexual misconduct.

H.  Sexual Misconduct Offenses include, but are not limited to:

  1. Sexual Harassment

  2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)

  3. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)

  4. Sexual Exploitation

I.  Sexual Conduct Offense Definitions and Examples 

  1. Sexual Harassment is:

    Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is,

    sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it,

    has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone's ability to participate in or benefit from the
       university's educational program and/or activities, and is

    based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

    Examples include: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; using language that creates a hostile environment for another person; to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence, stalking; gender-based bullying.

  2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is

    Any intentional sexual touching,

    however slight,

    with any object,

    by a person to another person, that is without consent and/or by force.

    Examples include: intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.

  3. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is

    Any sexual intercourse,

    however slight,

    with any object,

    by a person to another person,

    that is without consent and/or by force

    Examples include: vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

  4. Sexual Exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

    Invasion of sexual privacy;

    Prostituting another student;

    Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;

    Using technology to sexually exploit another (such as the use of Facebook, Twitter, email or cell phone for the
       purposes of sexual exploitation);

    Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having
       consensual sex);

    Engaging in voyeurism;

    Knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student;

    Exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;

    Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation 

J.  Additional Applicable Definitions 

 

   1.  Consent: Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot
        be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create
        mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.

        Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.

         Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.

    2.  Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes
         threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent. 

 

 

     3. Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the
         type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want
         sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure
         beyond that point can be coercive.  

 

K.  Additional considerations

  1. There is no requirement that a party resist the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The absence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but sexual activity that is not forced is not by definition consensual.

    In order to give effective consent, one must be of the legal age of consent.

    Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be -- or based on the circumstances should reasonably have
       known to be -- mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout),  
       constitutes a violation of this policy.

    Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity
        to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the "who, what, when, where, why or how" of their sexual interaction).

    This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint,
       or from the taking of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol,
       Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation
       of this policy.

  2. The voluntary use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy.

  3. The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy. For reference to the pertinent state statutes on sex offenses, please see KRS 510 (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/510-00/chapter.htm). 

L.  Investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct

The University will investigate all formal allegations of sexual misconduct.   Section VIII Disciplinary Procedures details the investigation and hearing stages of non-academic misconduct allegations, including violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. Investigations of misconduct will be performed in consultation with the Office of the Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel.  

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VIII. Disciplinary Procedures:

1.  Administration

Administrative responsibility for student disciplinary procedures is assigned to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

2.  Misconduct Complaint

Any member of the University community, including visitors, parents, or alumni may file a complaint alleging student misconduct. Complaints are filed by completing an Incident Report form, which is available online by clicking here or at the Dean of Students Office, 301 Student Union Building. Reports of violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy should be made to the Title IX Coordinator at 859-572-5147859-572-5147, the University Police at 859-572-5500859-572-5500, or by filling out an incident report form on the Dean of Students website. (see VII. C. Reporting for more details)

3.  Misconduct Notice

When, as a result of a complaint by a member of the University community or as a result of a disciplinary investigation, there is reason to believe a student/student organization has violated conduct regulations, the student/student organization will be so notified in writing. The student/student organization must respond as required by the notice. 

4.  Informal Hearing

Cases not involving the sanctions of dismissal or suspension may be heard informally, as specified by University procedures, with notice and the opportunity to be heard afforded students/student organizations. An adjudication officer, appointed by the Dean of Students, will discuss the charges with the student/student organizations and afford the student/student organization an informal hearing. Should the adjudication officer find justification, an appropriate disciplinary sanction will be issued. Should the student or student organization deny the charges or the adjudication officer find that the charges require further examination, or should the alleged misconduct merit consideration of suspension or dismissal, the matter will be referred for a formal hearing.

Within University Housing, cases not involving the sanction of eviction will be heard by an adjudication officer appointed by the Director of University Housing, typically a Residence Hall Director.  Cases involving the sanction of eviction, but not suspension or expulsion, will be heard by the Associate Director of University Housing or her/his designee.  Cases involving suspension or expulsion will be heard through the formal hearing process.

5.  Formal Hearing

Such hearings shall be conducted, as warranted, by the Dean of Students Office and will include the following process:

     a.  Timely written notice to the Accused of the charge(s) including a description of the alleged acts of misconduct, time, date,
     and place of occurrence; and the Code section allegedly violated by the student/student organization;

     b.  Written notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing, unless such notice is waived in writing by the student/student
     organization;

     c.  An interval of no less than five (5) days between the date of notification of charges and the date of the hearing, to allow
     the Complainant and Accused to prepare their case;

     d.  A hearing in front of an impartial panel or individual appointed by the University;

     e.  An opportunity to submit written, physical, and testimonial evidence, and for reasonable questioning of the Complainant,
      Accused, Investigators, and relevant witnesses by both parties and the Conduct Board;

      f.  Creation and retention of a written summary or audio recording of the hearing at University expense to remain the
      property of the University;

     g.  Both the Complainant and the Accused may identify an individual to act as a support person to be present at the hearing.
     The support person may only consult and interact privately with the student and will not be allowed to address the hearing
     board or witnesses;

     h.  A finding must be supported by the evidence presented and  sufficient to make a reasonable person believe that the
     misconduct alleged is more likely than not to have occurred (preponderance of the evidence standard); and

     i.  A written finding which states with reasonable specificity the facts and rationale for the finding shall be issued to the Dean
     of Students within five (5) working days after the close of the proceedings. Findings of "responsible" will include
     recommended sanctions.

6.  Conducting Formal Hearings

     a.The University is responsible for making all rules reasonable and necessary for the orderly and efficient resolution of
     complaints.

     b.Conduct hearings are closed to the public and only those directly involved with the hearing may attend. Witnesses and
     others impacted by the decision who are not the Complainant or Accused may not be present in the proceedings except to
     testify when called upon.

     c.The University shall ensure that the Complainant and the Accused receive a fair and reasonable opportunity to be heard.
 
    d.In the case of allegations of sexual misconduct, the Complainant and Accused may participate in the hearing while located
    in separate rooms and may not question each other directly.

7.  Waivers

A student, through a written statement, may waive his or her rights to a hearing. Waivers of a hearing and/or admission of misconduct may not be appealed. 

8.  University Conduct Board

The University Conduct Board is comprised of one faculty member, one staff member and one student. Individuals who serve on the University Conduct Board may be appointed by the Student Government Association, Faculty Senate, Staff Congress, or by the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students office will appoint an ex-officio presiding/recording officer who will be a non-voting member. Temporary board members may also be appointed with the approval of the Vice President of Student Affairs.

The University Conduct Board must review and weigh the evidence presented and make a finding that is supported by the evidence. A majority vote is required. A finding of "responsible" must be supported by evidence sufficient to allow a reasonable person to believe that the misconduct alleged is more likely than not to have occurred (a preponderance of the evidence standard).  A finding of "not responsible" must be supported by evidence insufficient to allow a reasonable person to believe that the misconduct alleged is more likely than not to have occurred.

A written finding which states with reasonable specificity the facts and rationale for the finding shall be issued to the Dean of Students within five (5) working days after the close of the proceedings. Findings of responsible will include recommended sanctions. The Dean of Students will submit the final decision in writing to the student/student organization within five (5) working days of the date of the findings which will include appropriate sanctions in the case of a finding of responsible.
 
9.  Appeal Procedures

If the student is found to be responsible, the stated sanctions will be imposed unless appealed. If the student/student organization is found not responsible, the case will be closed and no action will be taken, except in cases of alleged sexual misconduct. Pursuant to guidance provided by the Department of Education, any outcome of a sexual misconduct hearing may be appealed by either the Complainant or the Accused on the grounds listed in below. 
Students and student organizations have a right to appeal sanctions pursuant to the procedures set forth below. In order for any appeal to be considered, the student must submit all necessary documentation, including a written statement of appeal citing the grounds of appeal, to the Dean of Student's office within five (5) working days of date of the Dean's decision. An appeal is not simply a rehearing of the original case, but a review of the official record and the written statement of appeal provided by the student/student organization. 

10.  Grounds for appeals

An appeal must meet one or more of the following grounds to be considered:
a. A significant procedural error was made during the disciplinary process, including but not limited to failure to hold an administrative meeting, lack of  notice of the alleged violation, and/or no opportunity to present evidence;
b. A sanction was not appropriate to the violation, and/or the sanctions were grossly disproportionate.
c. A finding was not supported by evidence, and/or significant information is presented on appeal that was not available at the time of the hearing or could not have been obtained despite the student's exercise of reasonable diligence, which materially affects the finding or sanctions.

11.  Appeal procedures for sanctions other than suspension or expulsion

An Appeal Panel will be appointed by the Dean of Students and shall consist of three members of the University: one faculty member, one staff member, and one student member.  No member of the Conduct Board may sit on the Appeal Panel for the same matter. The Dean of Students will provide training to the panel.  An Appeal Panel will be convened within five (5) working days following notification of appeal from the Dean of Students. 

The Panel shall review the record and recommend to the Dean of Students to approve, reject, or modify an earlier decision or the sanctions recommended or imposed.  A majority vote is required.  The Appeal Panel will notify the Dean of Students of their recommendation in writing within five (5) working days. So advised, the Dean of Students will make a final decision in writing to the student/student organization in writing within five (5) working days. The Dean may reconvene the Conduct Board to hear new or different evidence.   The decision of the Dean after a review of the Appeal Panel's recommendation shall be final, there are no further appeals.

Complainants and/or the Accused shall use this procedure to appeal the decision of a sexual misconduct allegation unless a sanction of suspension or expulsion is imposed. This includes an appeal of a finding of not responsible.
Within University Housing, cases heard by a Residence Hall Director in which eviction was not involved as a sanction can be appealed to the Associate Director of University Housing.  Cases heard by the Associate Director of University Housing, or her/his designee, in which eviction was involved as a sanction can be appealed to the Office of the Dean of Students.  In both cases, findings will be provided to the student in writing within five (5) working days.

12.  Appeal procedures for sanctions of suspension or expulsion

     a.  First Appeal -- Vice President of Student Affairs

     The written statement of appeal will be forwarded by the Dean of Students to the Office of the Vice President of Student  
     Affairs.  The Vice President has the sole discretion to decide whether to review the appeal or send it to an Appeal Panel
     for review.  Should the Vice President review the case, he/she will review the record and determine whether to approve,
     reject, or modify an earlier decision or the sanctions recommended or imposed.  The decision of the Vice President will be
     made in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the appeal unless extenuating circumstances apply. Should the Vice
     President for Student Affairs decide to send the case to an Appeal Panel, the following procedures will apply:

         i.  Appeal Panel

         The Appeal Panel shall consist of three members of the University: one faculty member, one staff member, and one
         student member.  Panel members shall be appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs. The Dean of Students will
         provide training to the panel.  An Appeal Panel will normally be convened within five (5) working days following notification
         from the Vice President of Student Affairs.  The Panel shall review the record and recommend to the Vice President
         whether to approve, reject, or modify an earlier decision or the sanctions recommended or imposed.  A majority vote is
         required.  The Appeal Panel will notify the Vice President of their recommendation in writing within five (5) working days.
         So advised, the Vice President will notify the student/student organization and Dean of Students of the decision in writing
         within five (5) working days. The Dean of Students shall implement the decision of the Vice President.
 
    b. Final Appeal -- Board of Regents

    If the student/student organization disagrees with the decision of the Vice President of Student Affairs, he/she may appeal to
    the Board of Regents by submitting a written statement of appeal to the Dean of Students office within five (5) working days
    after the date of the Vice President's decision. The Board will review the record and determine whether to approve, reject, or
    modify an earlier decision or the sanctions recommended or imposed.  The decision of the Board of Regents will be final
    and the sanction(s) imposed will stand. The Board will inform the Dean of Students of their decision in writing, and provide
    these findings and sanctions to the student/student organization in writing within five (5) working days following the Board of
    Regents Meeting. The Dean of Students shall implement the decision of the Board. 

13.  Interim Action/Interim Suspension

Except in cases where the Dean of Students gives an interim action, the status of students should not be altered, nor their right to be present on campus and to attend classes suspended prior to a disciplinary decision. The Dean of Students may order that a student be immediately excluded from classes, University facilities (including University Housing), or denied privileges and ability to participate in activities when the student's continued presence may constitute a significant danger to the physical or emotional safety and/or well-being of the student, other students, faculty, staff, or University property.
If the Dean of Students imposes an interim action, the student will receive written notice stating the reasons for the interim action and be informed of an opportunity to request a meeting regarding the merit of the interim action.  If the student requests a meeting, the University shall show probable cause why interim action is warranted, and the student shall have the opportunity to respond.  If it appears that the student's behavior warrants a medical withdrawal, the Dean of Students may initiate the appropriate measures.

The Dean of Students may take the following interim actions:

A.  Place a hold on the accused student's registration, transcripts, new awards of financial aid and/or other University records until the case is adjudicated when the following circumstances occur:

  1. The student has failed to respond promptly to requests for information from the Dean of Students Office;

  2. The student has failed to appear for the hearing; or

  3. The alleged conduct is such that, if true, may pose a threat of harm to the University community or property.

B.  When a student has pre-registered for a term after the one in which the hold is placed, the Dean of Students may also revoke the registration of the student.

C.  If there are allegations of misconduct relating to the qualifications of a student to graduate, such as allegations of academic fraud or serious allegations of misconduct, the Dean of Students may delay graduation until the charges are determined.

D.  The decision to place a hold on registration, to revoke registration, or to delay graduation may be appealed to the Vice President of Student Affairs.  The Dean of Students may impose reasonable conditions on release of the hold.

14.  Sanction Guidelines

If a student or student organization is found responsible for a violation of the Code, the University Hearing Panel and/or the Dean of Students will determine the sanction(s) to be imposed.  The following sanction guidelines are intended to be a recommended format for the University Hearing Panel.

     a.  Disciplinary Warning: An official written notification that the student or student organization's behavior is in violation of
     university regulations or standards, and clarifies expected behavior for the future.  Further misconduct may result in
     more serious sanctions.

     b.  Disciplinary Probation: This probationary condition is in effect for a specified period of time and may involve the loss of
    specified privileges. Further violation of University policies during the probationary period will be viewed not only as a violation
    based upon the act itself but also as a violation of the probation, which shall result in further action up to and including
    suspension or dismissal.

     c.  Suspension:  Suspension terminates the student's enrollment at the University for a specified period of time. Satisfactory
     completion of specified stipulations may be required for readmission at the end of the suspension period.

     d.  Suspension in Abeyance:  Although the behavior may warrant suspension or expulsion from the University, due to
     extenuating circumstances, the Dean of Students may choose to hold the student or student organization's suspension in
     abeyance for a specified period of time.  When a suspension is held in abeyance, the student or organization may remain at
     the University provided they observe the conduct regulations at all times and complies with all educational sanctions.  Any
     further violation of the Code would immediately result in Suspension or Expulsion.

     e.  Suspension of an organization from the University for a specified period of time: The organization will lose its privileges
    as a registered student organization and can no longer be an active participant in the University for the entire duration of
    suspension. 

     f.  Expulsion: Expulsion permanently separates a student from the University without opportunity to re-enroll in the future.
     Expulsion of a student organization entails a permanent separation from the University. The imposition of this sanction is a
     permanent bar to the student organization's registration and privileges.

     g.  Other Sanctions: Other appropriate sanctions may be imposed singularly or in combination with any of the above-listed
    sanctions. Examples include, but are not limited to, fines, making restitution for property damage or misappropriation of
    University property or services, or the property of any person, University Housing contract termination or reassignment to
    another room, restriction of access to specified campus facilities and/or property, research assignments, criminal trespass,
    community service projects, special workshop participation, no contact order, and/or referral to medical resources or
    counseling personnel.

If a student is suspended or expelled from the University, he/she will not be eligible for reimbursement of funds.

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IX. Policy and Procedure for Accomodation Appeal:

If the student feels that he/she has been denied a reasonable accommodation, an appeal may be made to the Disability Advisory Committee Appeals Panel.

A. Appeal Procedure

  1. Within five (5) working days of the denial for accommodation, the student shall submit a written notice to the Director of Testing and Disability Services of his/her wish to appeal that decision.

  2. The Director of Testing and Disability Services shall notify the Disability Advisory Committee in writing of the student's wish to appeal within five (5) working days.

  3. The Disability Advisory Committee shall form a panel of three (3) individuals to hear the appeal within five (5) working days of receipt of the notice from the Director of Testing and Disability Services. The Appeals Panel shall be comprised of the following:

    a.  Two representatives from the Disability Advisory Committee.

    b.  One student appointed by the Disability Advisory Committee.

    c.  In no case shall the University Legal Counsel sit as a member of the Appeals Panel, but they may serve in advisory capacity to the Appeals Panel.

  4. The Appeals Panel will notify the student and the instructor who teaches the class(es) or staff who provide the services in which the accommodation has been denied of the date, time and place of the appeal hearing.

  5. The student shall have the opportunity to explain to the Appeals Panel at the hearing why he/she believes that the decision of the Director of Testing and Disability Services is incorrect.  This opportunity includes:

    a.  The right to make an oral statement to the Appeals Panel; and

    b.  The right to submit supportive documentation.

  6. The Director of Testing and Disability Services shall have the opportunity to explain to the Appeals Panel at the hearing his/her reasons for denying an accommodation to the student.  This opportunity includes:

    a.  The right to make an oral statement to the Appeals Panel; and

    b.  The right to submit supportive documentation

    c.  The faculty/staff shall have the opportunity to address the Appeals Panel about the accommodation appeal.

  7. The Appeals Panel may ask questions during the hearing of the student, the faculty/staff and the Director of Testing and Disability Services to aid it in its decision.

  8. The Appeals Panel must notify the student, faculty/staff and the Director of Testing and Disability Services of its decision in writing within five (5) working days following the conclusion of the hearing.

  9. If the student is dissatisfied with the determination of the Appeals Panel, he/she may make a final appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs.

    a.  The student must submit a written notice of appeal to the Appeals Panel and the Vice President of Student Affairs within five (5) working days of the Appeal Panel's determination.

    b.  All materials possessed by the Director of Testing and Disability Services and the Appeals Panel shall be forwarded to the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs upon receipt of the written appeal by the Director of Testing and Disability Services.

    c.  The Vice President of Student Affairs shall make his/her determination within five (5) working days from receipt of the appeal.

    d.  The Vice President of Student Affairs shall notify the student, the faculty/staff, the Director of Testing and Disability Services and the Appeals Panel in writing of his/her final determination.  The decision of the Vice President of Student Affairs is final.

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X. Parental Notification Procedures:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment), passed by Congress in 1974, was designed both to protect the privacy of students' educational records and to establish the right of students to inspect and review their non-privileged educational records. "Educational records" are all records, in any medium, that are maintained by the college and are directly related to a student, including, for example, academic, disciplinary, and career planning records. Other statutes protect students' rights to privacy over their medical and counseling records. FERPA protects students' privacy rights by defining to whom and under what conditions a college may disclose students' educational records. FERPA has been tested in the courts and modified by Congress in the almost thirty years since its passage, but its essential principles of student rights to access and privacy for their educational records remain intact.

A.  FERPA allows a college or university to disclose information to "appropriate parties," which may include parents, without written consent from the student.  Northern Kentucky University does reserve the right to make such notifications in the following situations:

  1. The student is over the age of 18 at the time of the alleged violation; or

  2. The student is involved in a violation of any federal state or local law, or

  3. The student has violated any rule or policy of the institution governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, or

  4. The student is involved in any emergency situations when notification is determined to be necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others. This notification may occur due to a medical emergency, or incident of imminent danger. 

B.   The Dean of Students has the authority to contact parents when the violation is severe enough to warrant an immediate need for parental notification.

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XI. Student Records:

Disciplinary files are held in the Dean of Students Office for five years after the student graduates or is no longer enrolled at Northern Kentucky University.  Violations resulting in sanctions of suspension or expulsion from the University will remain as a permanent record within the Dean of Students Office.  Academic records are maintained in the offices of Admissions, Registrar, Academic Deans, chairpersons of departments, and directors of graduate and interdisciplinary programs. The Office of Health, Counseling and Prevention Services keeps health records. University policy, the FERPA of 1974 and Section 164.283 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes strictly control the information that may be given out about students. Unless students specifically waive their rights under these statutes (forms available in the Registrar Office) or the University receives a properly served subpoena, only the following directory information may be released:

     Name, address, telephone listing

     E-mail address

     Photograph

     Date and place of birth

     Major field of study

     Grade level

     Participation in officially recognized activities and sports

     Weight and height of members of athletic teams

     Dates of attendance

     Degrees and awards received

     The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended

     Enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, full-time, part-time, etc.)

Absent a written waiver or properly served subpoena, educational information may be released to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information. Certain records may be released to appropriate officials in situations which are life threatening. (See parental notification guidelines in section VI.F.6.). Under FERPA, parents of students over 18 years old have no automatic right to access the student's records without the student's consent, even if the student is an economic dependent.

A.  Right to Inspect Records

Under FERPA, students have the right to inspect and review any and all official records, files, and data pertaining to them (with specific exceptions, a list of which may be obtained from the Registrar's Office).
Students have the opportunity for a hearing to challenge the contents of these records to ensure that the records are accurate and are not in violation of any rights of students. Students have the right to an explanation and interpretation of these records. In the event that any student believes that the records are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his/her privacy, the student may request the University to amend these records at that time. If the holder of the records decides at that time or within a ten (10) day period not to amend the file, the student may do either or both of the following:

  1. Cite in writing the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of privacy and submit amended data; this material will be added to the student's file.

  2. Request a hearing before the Educational Rights and Privacy hearing committee. The hearing request should be submitted in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs. Within a reasonable time, not to exceed thirty (30) calendar days, a hearing will take place.  The student will have a fair opportunity to present information. A written decision, based upon the information taken at the hearing, will include a summary of the information and the reasons for the decision.

The President of the University will appoint to the three-member Educational Rights and Privacy hearing committee a representative from the student body selected by the president of Student Government, an administrative officer without direct interest in the outcome of the hearing and a tenured faculty member of the University.  The student has the right to appeal to the Office of the Review Board of the Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202.

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