STUDENT HANDBOOK

Student Code of Conduct

The college encourages students to grow in wisdom and responsibility by giving students freedom to act as adults within the educational community. The Student Code of Conduct finds its foundation in the teaching of Scripture. Both students and staff are encouraged to resolve areas of conflict at fundamental levels in a spirit of mutual respect with a desire to build up the other person as directed by Christ in Matthew 18.

The Student Code of Conduct is designed to provide students with guidance, correction, and an opportunity to demonstrate growth in judgment and self-control. The dean of chapel, counseling staff, residence life staff, and other members of the student services staff are available to students who desire personal guidance or a “listening ear,” and typically become actively involved in meeting with students who are being disciplined for their behaviors.

The college’s goals for its discipline policy, as set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, are:

  1. To encourage student maturity by providing students with an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
  2. To encourage student responsibility by holding students accountable for their own actions.
  3. To encourage reconciliation between community members.
  4. To enhance the educational purpose and atmosphere of the campus.
  5. To enhance the atmosphere of safety and well-being on campus.

To accomplish its goals, the college has adopted a discipline policy structured on four levels of discipline.

Students are entitled to all the rights and protections enjoyed by members of the Dordt community and are subject to obligations by virtue of this membership. Students are subject to all civil and criminal laws, the enforcement of which is the responsibility of duly constituted civil and criminal authorities.

General Definitions and Standards

The following general definitions and standards apply to violations of the Student Code of Conduct:

Members of the college community include students, faculty and staff of Dordt College and visitors to the college.

Campus
For the purposes of the conduct regulations, the campus includes the geographic confines of the college, including its land, institutional roads and buildings, its leased premises, common areas at leased premises, the property, facilities and leased premises of organizations affiliated with the college.

Off-Campus Violations
Conduct off campus in violation of the conduct regulations which affects a clear and distinct interest of the college is subject to disciplinary sanctions. Specifically included within the college’s interest are violations that:

Seriousness of Infractions
A violation of any provision of the conduct regulations will be regarded as more serious if:

A violation of any provision of the conduct regulations will be regarded as less serious if:

Non-Disciplinary Action

It is the desire of the college that students have the opportunity and encouragement to receive the best possible support and assistance in addressing an addictive lifestyle behavior. Therefore, if a student who has been involved in a behavior which is in violation of the college’s policies (which includes but is not limited to drug or alcohol abuse, sexual misconduct, viewing of pornographic materials, eating disorder, or abuse of computer privileges) takes the initiative to seek help for the behavior, normal disciplinary action can be suspended. In order for a student to take advantage of the non-disciplinary policy the following conditions must be met:

  1. The student needs to take the first step. Once a violation of a lifestyle expectation has been identified or reported the normal disciplinary process will proceed and the student will no longer have the option of a non-disciplinary response.
  2. The student must be willing to accept such help as is determined necessary after consultation with dean for campus life and/or other appropriate faculty or staff.
  3. The student needs to be aware that in cases where behavior is repetitive, self-destructive, and hazardous to others or involving legal issues, the college has the responsibility to take appropriate action.

The college reserves the right to require the student to enter into a professional counseling setting if it is believed warranted based on the behavior in question.

Aiding and Assisting
Students aiding or assisting others in violating college conduct regulations are subject to disciplinary sanction under these regulations.

Attempt
A student may be disciplined for attempting to violate the Code of Conduct, even though the attempt is not successful.

Persons Subject to Code of Conduct
Persons who are students, or admitted to Dordt at the time of the alleged violation, are subject to these regulations. The term "student" shall include admitted students.

Prohibited Conduct

The following are violations of the Student Code of Conduct and are subject to disciplinary sanctions by the college.

  1. Misuse of Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances

    Violations of the policy or laws include, but are not limited to, the illegal possession, use, manufacture, distribution, or sale of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances both on and off campus.

    Members of the college community are accountable for their own actions and are expected to make responsible, lawful decisions regarding the use of alcohol. Alcohol must only be used in ways that neither harm nor degrade the individual or the college community. Students under the legal age may not use altered or falsified identification to procure alcohol.

    Students may not supply alcoholic beverages to persons who are not of legal age to possess or consume alcoholic beverages. This section will apply to persons who intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently supply alcohol to persons underage. Example: A person who holds or sponsors an event/activity and fails to take reasonable measures to assure that persons under the legal age are not receiving and/or drinking alcohol, is in violation of this section.

    Students confronted for alleged alcohol consumption may be requested to take a breath analysis test. Refusal to take the test when requested will be interpreted as an admission of alcohol consumption. Students who are confronted with suspicion of consuming will be offered or may immediately request to use the breath analysis test to confirm their innocence. Students are responsible for any possession or consumption of alcohol that occurs in a campus residence or vehicle if they are present in the room or vehicle whether or not they themselves have been drinking or in possession of alcohol. Residents who discover a violation of the college’s alcohol policy are to report it to residence life staff or campus security. Individual departments (e.g., athletics, theatre, music) have instituted policies regarding discipline for alcohol and drug violations. Students participating in such activities are expected to check the respective department’s policies.

    The college supports and has a duty to uphold federal and state laws related to the use of alcohol. Students under the age of 21 are not to use or possess alcohol and will be held accountable should they choose to do so on or off campus. Students who are 21 or over are expected to abide by local, state, and federal laws with regard to alcohol and will be held accountable for violations of law that occur off campus as well as on campus.

    The consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages by anyone is prohibited on campus or in college-controlled areas, in college-approved housing facilities, in vehicles, and at college related activities. The presence of alcohol containers will be regarded as possession. Students who return to campus in an intoxicated state or are discovered on or off campus in an intoxicated state are subject to college discipline.

    Individual departments (e.g., athletics, theatre, music) have instituted policies regarding discipline for alcohol and drug violations. Students participating in such activities are expected to check the respective department’s policies.

  2. Assault, Injury and Threat

    Assault, injury, or threat is an act that:

    • Is intended to cause pain or injury to another;
    • Is intended to result in physical contact which is insulting or offensive to another;
    • Is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact that will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive;
    • Involves pointing any firearm or simulated firearm toward another;
    • Involves the display in a threatening manner of any dangerous weapon toward another; or
    • Involves the making a threat intended to cause another person to fear for their safety or physical well-being.
  3. Bribery and Extortion

    Bribery is the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of anything of value to influence action as an official or in discharge of legal or public duty.

    Extortion is the attempt to obtain property, services, or benefits from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, fear or coercion, or false pretense.

  4. Contempt
    Contempt is defined as the following:

    • Failure to appear before any college adjudicatory or regulatory body as summoned;
    • Failure to comply with any disciplinary sanctions;
    • Failure to comply with the order or request of authorized college officials (residence life/student security staff);
    • Providing, procuring, or seeking to procure false testimony in any administrative hearing.
  5. Disruption of Rights

    Violations involving disruption of a college community member’s rights are:

    • Intentional disruption, obstruction, or denial of access to college services, facilities, or programs;
    • Intentional interference with the rights, privacy, privileges, health, and safety of persons on campus;
    • Interference with emergency evacuation procedures;
    • Intentional or knowing interference with academic pursuits;
    • Disorderly conduct;
    • Disturbing the peace; or
    • Inciting others to do acts which are restricted above.

    Disruptive Activities include any type of disruptive act (e.g., buffalo runs, water balloon launchers, water fights, raids, on building roofs, or other pranks, etc.) anywhere on campus is not permitted. Individuals involved will also be charged the cost of repairs and clean-up. If no individual(s) is implicated, cost of repairs/clean-up will be assessed to all members of the wing where the incident took place.

  6. Gambling

    As provided by Iowa law, the following are prohibited:

    • Bookmaking; or
    • Placing a bet or accepting wagers for a fee outside licensed gambling locations.
  7. Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Racial and Ethnic Harassment
    1. Sexual harassment is prohibited. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:
      • Coercing or attempting to coerce a person into a sexual relationship;
      • Subjecting a person to unwanted sexual attention or demands;
      • Punishing or retaliating against a person for refusal to comply with sexual demands; or
      • Unwelcome physical advances or physical contact of a sexual nature, or conduct of a sexual nature that is intimidating, demeaning, hostile, or offensive.
    2. Racial harassment is prohibited. Racial and ethnic harassment may include, but is not limited to:
      • Threats, physical contact, pranks or vandalism directed at an individual or individuals because of their race or national origin;
      • Severe or persistent racial epithets, derogatory comments, jokes or ridicule directed to a specific person or persons about their race or ethnicity;
      • Defacement of a person's property based upon race of the owner; or
      • Persistent and repeated racial or ethnic remarks or conduct, even if not directed at a specific person or persons, which unreasonably affect the ability of persons to participate in College programs.
    3. Harassment is defined as any act or acts done without legitimate purpose and with the intent to intimidate, annoy or alarm another. This policy shall specifically apply to, but not be limited to, harassment on account of disability or any other basis for non-discrimination. Any act meeting the definition of harassment under Iowa Code 708.7, or the definition of stalking under Iowa Code 708.11, is a violation of this rule.

    Engaging in First Amendment protected speech activities shall be considered acts done with a legitimate purpose.

  8. Hazing

    Hazing is any intentional, knowing, or reckless action, request, or creation of circumstances that:

    • Endangers the health or safety of any individual;
    • Causes or presents a substantial risk of physical injury, serious mental distress, or personal humiliation to any individual; or
    • Involves the destruction or removal of public or private property in connection with initiation or admission into, or continued membership in, any group affiliated with the college, including but not limited to any student organization, academic group, or athletic team.

    It is not a defense to the violation of this section that the hazing participant provided explicit or implied consent. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of this section.

  9. Misuse of Computers

    Examples of computer misuse are:

    • Accessing, damaging or altering records, programs or databases without permission;
    • Accessing or disclosing another user’s private files without permission;
    • Unlawful copying of, or improperly using, copyrighted material;
    • Sending obscene, harassing or threatening material.

    Illegal File Sharing: Disciplinary Procedures

    1. First offense. A record of this offense will be maintained in the student services office for the duration of student’s enrollment at Dordt College. The student’s personal computer will be disconnected from the campus network for a period of one week. Student is to remove all illegal files from the student’s computer.
    2. Second offense. Student will appear before the Student Life Committee and be placed on dismissal status for the duration of the student’s enrollment. The student’s computer will be disconnected from the campus network for a period of one month. Student is to remove all illegal files from the student’s computer.
    3. Third offense. The student will meet with the Student Life Committee and face possible dismissal from Dordt College.
  10. Misuse of Identification and Falsification

    Improper actions of identification or falsification are:

    • Providing inaccurate identifying information to authorized officials with reason to request such information;
    • Knowingly misleading college officials, police officers, faculty and staff in the conduct of their official duties;
    • Tampering with official records, documents, identification cards; or
    • Forgery.
  11. Misuse of Keys or Access Cards

    This violation is defined as unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys or cards that permit access to any college or college-related services, vehicles, or premises, including college housing.

  12. Sexual Assault or Abuse

    Sexual abuse as defined by Iowa law is prohibited. Sexual abuse includes non-consenting and forced sex acts or sexual contact, or sexual contact with a person unable to give consent by reason of incapacity or age.

  13. Theft or Damage to Property or Services

    Actual or attempted unauthorized taking, use, misappropriation, or damage to property or services owned or maintained by the college, by a member of the college community, by any person or visitor on campus, or by any person attending a college-sponsored event is a violation. The knowing possession of stolen property is also a violation.

    *The removal or possession of dishware, silverware, or other property from the dining hall or Defender Grille is considered to be theft. Illegally obtained computer files are also considered theft.

  14. Unlawful Entry or Trespassing
    • Unauthorized or attempted unauthorized entry, occupation, or use of any college-owned or controlled property, equipment or facilities is a violation. It is a violation to enter restricted areas of the college such as restricted research areas and utility tunnels. Remaining in or on premises after permission to remain has been revoked also is trespassing.
    • Any unauthorized entry or assistance of such entry into a residence unit through windows or outside doors is not permitted. Entry after midnight is permitted only through the central lobby doors. Doors are locked and the building is secured for the safety and protection of the residents. Students may be allowed into certain buildings/rooms after they are locked provided they have been given permission by the person responsible for the area where access is desired. Students in areas that have been locked, secured, or designated as restricted will be subject to college/civil sanctions.
    • Accessing the computer system, accounts, or programs of the college or other persons without their specific permission is considered unauthorized entry.
  15. Possession or Misuse of Weapons

    Possession of weapons on campus is a violation.

    1. A weapon is any instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or animal, and which is capable of inflicting death or injury when used in the manner for which it was designed. Additionally, any instrument or device of any sort whatsoever which is actually used in such a manner as to indicate that the possessor intends to inflict death or injury upon another, and which, when so used, is capable of inflicting death or injury upon another, is a weapon.
    2. Weapons include any pistol, revolver, shotgun, machine gun, rifle or other firearm, BB or pellet gun, taser or stun gun, bomb, grenade, mine, or other explosive or incendiary device, ammunition, archery equipment, dagger, stiletto, switchblade knife, or knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length. Residents on campus may possess knives having a blade exceeding five inches for cooking purposes.
    3. A “weapon” also means an object that is not an instrument capable of inflicting death or injury but closely resembles such an instrument (e.g., a realistic toy, replica, imitation weapon or look-a-like gun that is reasonably capable of being mistaken for a real weapon) or the student used the object in a manner that created the impression that the object was such an instrument (e.g., wrapping a hand in a towel to create the appearance of a gun).

    *Firearms/Hunting Equipment—Equipment such as rifles, shotguns, ammunition, air rifles, sling shots, hunting knives, bows and arrows, etc., are allowed only for those who participate in hunting season. All such equipment must be locked in storage in the safe located in the Campus Center. Items of this nature may not be kept in college housing or vehicles on campus at any time. Handguns, long knives, or other weapons are not permitted at any time. Detailed instructions are available from the dean for campus life.

  16. Violation of Any Local, State, or Federal Law

    Students are expected to abide by the laws and regulations applicable to other citizens. Any action or conduct that meets the definition of a crime under any local, state, or federal law is prohibited.

  17. Indecent Exposure

    Indecent exposure and public urination are prohibited.

  18. Study Abroad Regulations

    Students who participate in a study abroad program are subject to the following additional rules and regulations:

    • The laws of the host country in which the student is traveling or living; and
    • The academic and disciplinary regulations of the educational institution or residential housing program where the student is studying.
  19. Fire or Safety Violations
    • Arson or attempt at arson;
    • Tampering, damaging or misusing fire/safety equipment, barriers or signs;
    • Falsely reporting or setting alarms for fire, explosion, or other emergencies on campus (for example: bomb threats);
    • Interfering with law enforcement or fire safety officials who are engaged in discharging a safety-related duty;
    • Possession or unauthorized use of fireworks, explosive devices, or other flammable materials; or
    • Failure to evacuate a college facility when the fire alarm has been sounded.
    • Burning candles or incense in residence units is prohibited. Please do not put yourself or others at risk by violating this policy. Flammable liquids including but not limited to lighter fluid or LP gas tanks are not permitted in student residence units.

    Fire Alarms and Equipment: Any tampering with, discharging of, or misusing fire alarms and fire safety equipment is not permitted. Any tampering with fire safety equipment or intentionally creating burn marks on walls or stairwells will be reported to civil authorities for prosecution. Remember, when you remove a fire alarm or tamper with a fire extinguisher, you are endangering others, as well as yourself. Intentionally setting off a false fire alarm will result in a $1,500 fine. If the individual(s) responsible is not identified, the fine will be assessed to all members of the residence hall or apartment complex.

  20. Circuit Breakers

    Students tampering with the electrical switches and/or circuit breakers may cause damage, injury, loss of computer programming, etc. Such tampering is, therefore, prohibited and can result in disciplinary action.

  21. Endangerment

    The creation of a hazard, endangering the physical safety of self or others by engaging in a dangerous activity, or using hazardous materials or chemicals is prohibited.

  22. Disrespect of Authority

    Actions judged as mocking or disparaging of sanctions imposed for improper behavior or of the individual/body imposing the sanctions are regarded as disrespectful. Students are expected to be sincere in their intent to change inappropriate behavior and attitudes and demonstrate such through their future actions. Students are also expected to respond to and obey the requests made by faculty, staff, or students who have been placed in a position of authority (e.g., resident assistant, campus security). Failure to do so may lead to disciplinary action. Students who are found to have falsified or misrepresented information to a college official or judicial body can also be sanctioned for disrespect of authority.

  23. Pets

    Pets are not permitted in the residence units at any time. Exceptions are made only for fish in aquariums not exceeding 10 gallons.

  24. Pornography

    Possession of pornographic material (paper/electronic) is prohibited.

    As a means to remove a potential stumbling block from students who are struggling with this issue the college utilizes filtering software to block access on the college’s network to gambling and pornographic sites.

  25. Profanity

    Students are asked to avoid the use of written or oral profanity. The college reserves the right to impose sanctions on the use of profanity.

  26. Smoking

    Smoking anywhere on Dordt College property is prohibited. Individuals will be assessed a $25 fine for smoking on campus.

    *On July 1, 2008, the state law called the Iowa Smokefree Air Act went into effect. This law, among other things, bans smoking on college campuses across the state of Iowa. Dordt College has had a long standing policy banning smoking in all college facilities. However, this law requires that smoking be banned on all campus property including outside areas, outdoor athletic venues, parking lots, and college-owned vehicles. All individuals who choose to smoke must do so off campus.

Sanctions

Information pertinent to each level is set forth below:

  1. Residence Probation (Level I)
    1. Administered by learning community area coordinators, dean for campus life, and/or Student Life Committee
    2. Sanctions:
      • Up to four weeks probation.
      • Up to five hours of community service.
      • A fine of up to $25.
      • Reimbursement for expenses resulting from any damages to property and/or injury to persons.
      • Other sanctions as determined appropriate by the college’s administration.
  2. Behavioral Probation (Level II)
    1. Administered by learning community area coordinators, dean for campus life, and/or Student Life Committee
    2. Sanctions:
      • Up to 16 weeks probation.
      • Up to 15 hours of community service.
      • A fine of up to a $50.
      • Reimbursement for expenses resulting from any damages to property and/or injury to persons.
      • Other sanctions as determined appropriate by the college’s administration.
  3. Dismissal Status (Level III)
    1. Administered by dean for campus life, vice president for administration, and/or Student Life Committee
    2. Sanctions:
      • Dismissal status for a semester and a half (not including break periods) beginning at the time the sanction is imposed.
      • Community service up to 20 hours.
      • A fine of up to a $100.
      • Consultation with the dean of chapel and/or personal counselor (including any testing, assessment, or professional counseling they might recommend).
      • Notification of parent(s)/guardian(s), academic adviser, advisers, coaches, and ensemble directors.
      • Appropriate other sanctions (e.g., written reports, substance abuse seminars, etc.) as determined appropriate by the college’s administration.
      • Reimbursement for expenses resulting from any damages to property and/or injury to persons.
  4. Dismissal (Level IV)
    1. Administered by the Student Life Committee
    2. Sanction:
      • Dismissal from the college plus expenses resulting from any damages to property and/or injury to persons.
      • Dismissal results in loss of credit for the semester and loss of tuition, board, and fees according to business office policy. Appropriate faculty and staff will be informed of a student’s dismissal. Students who return to the college after dismissal may be eligible for tuition reduction benefits under the Cost Reduction Guidelines for Dismissed Students who are readmitted. Contact the vice president for administration for further information.
      • Notification of parent(s)/guardian(s), academic adviser, advisers, coaches, and ensemble directors.

The following terms apply to the Discipline Levels set forth above:

  1. The administrator/committee of the next higher level of discipline will review the action of the previous level administrator/committee.
  2. Students may appeal to the next higher administrator or committee. The Student Appeals Committee hears appeals on Level IV discipline (The membership of the Student Appeals Committee consists of one staff member, one student, one faculty member, and one trustee).
  3. A notice of appeal must be filed with the vice president for administration in the office of the president. The appellant may appeal the decision based on one of the following reasons:
    1. The student’s rights were substantially violated in the hearing process;
    2. The procedures used or the decision reached is contrary to college policy;
    3. There was not substantial evidence to support the conclusions reached;
    4. There is new material evidence that could not have been discovered at the time of the hearing; or
    5. The sanctions imposed were too severe or not appropriate for the violation.
    The notice of appeal must state the basis for appeal and give a brief statement of the reasons.
  4. The Student Life Committee, which consists of students, staff, and faculty members, are responsible for all decisions regarding the dismissal of any student. Decisions of the Student Life Committee may be appealed to the Student Appeals Committee. Details regarding the appeals process are available from the student services office.
  5. The disciplinary process is not a legal proceeding, and there are different standards of evidence for holding persons accountable.
  6. In cases where criminal or civil laws are violated, the college may impose penalties over and above any criminal or civil penalties that are assessed.

If you have any questions about the discipline policy at the college, please contact the vice president for administration for further information.