Student Handbook

This handbook helps give direction via information and policies for the Dordt community. All students are responsible for being aware of the information and policies in this handbook and, by virtue of their decision to attend Dordt, have agreed to obey these policies. Students are encouraged to read it thoroughly and contact any member of Student Services with questions.

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A picture of yellow flowers with a Dordt banner in the background

Overview

Dordt University is a covenant community of Christ-followers that strives to grow and mature in the knowledge and understanding of God and his creation. This happens inside and outside the classroom.

Dordt University Mission Statement

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt equips students, alumni, and the broader community to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.

We carry out our educational task by:

  • Developing a biblical understanding of creation and culture
  • Discerning the pervasive effects of sin throughout our world
  • Celebrating and proclaiming the redemptive rule of Christ over all of life and all of creation
  • Nurturing a commitment for challenging the forces that distort God's good creation and all of human activity
  • Offering academic programs, maintaining institutional practices, and conducting social activities in a visionary, integrated, biblically informed manner
  • Fostering a climate in which discipleship becomes a practiced way of life both on and off campus

The mission of Student Services is to nurture a vital Christian learning community that seeks to develop wisdom according to the mind and character of Christ.


Living in Christian Community

The Dordt University Community

At Dordt University we attempt to be a community of people dedicated to growing in the knowledge of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and of his creation. We seek to apply this knowledge in each person's life as well as in the area of his or her chosen career. In other words, we seek to serve as well as to prepare for service in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Because the majority of Dordt students live on or near campus, Dordt is able to offer each person the experience of functioning as part of a unique community. While Dordt is a community of persons, it is more importantly a community of Christians. Thus, it seeks to model itself after the believing community which is described in Acts 2:42-47 as working together, praising God always, and constantly looking out for the needs of the rest of the community.

In addition, we are exhorted to "...be likeminded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." Phil. 2:2-5 NIV

In the spirit of these commands, Dordt assumes that all present and potential students will prayerfully consider that their responsibility involves seeking and upholding standards and behavior that enhance the welfare and best interests of the whole group. With the diverse needs of the many individuals that make up the Dordt University community in mind, certain behavioral standards have been developed. While only faith in Jesus Christ can provide the basis for our relationship to God, these standards have been adopted to promote both the growth and the testimony of our community.

Responsibilities of Membership in the Community

As a Christian university dedicated to the task of providing an education which is in accordance with the Word of God, Dordt strives to establish an environment that is conducive to the spiritual development and welfare of its students. Dordt University desires to have students who are men and women committed to Biblical-Christian principles of life.

The faculty, staff, and students at Dordt University constitute a Christian community in which all must seek to speak the truth in love as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Faculty, staff, and students should admonish and encourage one another unto lives of faithful obedience to him (Matt. 18:15-17). It is expected that students will strive to obey the Lord's teaching in every area of their lives on campus and off campus. Students who do not share this Christian view of life may not be in a position to appreciate Dordt University's educational experience. Students who come to Dordt are fully expected to abide by Christian standards and the policies adopted by the university.

With the above principles in mind, Dordt assumes that students will prayerfully comply with the guidelines listed in this handbook.


General Information

Academic Assistance

The Academic Enrichment Center offers a number of academic support services which are available at no additional charge to all students. Services include peer tutoring in both core courses and many major courses; assistance in study skills through individual meetings with professional staff, peer mentors, and a variety of resources on our website; tutor-led evening "drop-in" help sessions in several courses; writing assistance by appointment and "drop-in" proofreading in the underclassmen residence halls. The Academic Enrichment Center also provides specialized services for international and ELL students, students with disabilities, students on academic probation, and students who are provisionally admitted.

Located in the lower level of the library, the Academic Enrichment Center is open from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Friday. Students may schedule appointments three ways; they may stop in at the Academic Enrichment Center reception desk, call 712-722-6487, or complete the online tutor request form on our website.

Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress For Financial Aid

All incoming freshmen and transfer students who are admitted in good academic standing are eligible for financial aid (federal, state, and institutional scholarships, grants, and loans). Continued eligibility for financial aid is dependent upon both good academic standing and satisfactory academic progress toward graduation, which are monitored at the end of each semester.

If either good academic standing or satisfactory academic progress toward graduation is not attained a student will be limited to one more semester of financial aid. Likewise, students who are admitted on academic probation, including students readmitted after a period of academic dismissal, will be limited to one semester of financial aid. Students may receive additional semesters of financial aid if they meet both satisfactory progress toward graduation and a minimum semester grade point average specified by the financial aid office.

Academic standing is determined by a student's grade point average. A student is expected to maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 grade point average to graduate. When the cumulative grade point average is below the required minimum GPA for good standing, the student will be placed on academic probation.

Students who finish a semester with a cumulative GPA below the graduation requirement will be alerted to their academic status at the beginning of the following semester. Students will be informed of the support services available and encouraged to make use of them. Academic alerts may also be issued during a semester when an instructor reports that a student is in danger of failing his or her course. Academic alerts do not result in any additional restrictions of activity or loss of financial aid but are intended to inform students of their current situation so they can take action to correct it.

Students who finish a semester with a cumulative GPA below the graduation requirement standard will be placed on academic probation. Students are notified by letter when placed on probation. The academic policies committee will set certain requirements for a student on probation - including a minimum GPA to be attained in the following semester. A student who has been placed on academic probation and fails to meet the requirements established by the committee the following semester will be subject to academic suspension. Probation may result in the loss of athletic eligibility and certain financial aid.

Students who finish a second consecutive semester with a cumulative GPA below the graduation requirement are subject to academic suspension from the university for a period of one semester. Students suspended from the university will be notified of their suspension in writing and will be given an opportunity to file a letter of appeal prior to the start of the next semester. Students filing an appeal must do so in writing to the Registrar by the time indicated in the notification of suspension. The letter of appeal should explain the situation leading up to the suspension-including extraordinary circumstances such as serious illness, injury, or family crisis-and include a specific plan for correcting the problems. Students allowed to return based on an appeal will be placed on academic probation as described above.

Students who do not file a letter of appeal or whose appeal is not granted may apply for readmission after a lapse of one semester. Readmission is not automatic but is based on evidence that the circumstances leading up to the suspension have been resolved. Any student, regardless of prior academic standing, who receives less than a 1.0 GPA in any given semester, is subject to academic suspension at the end of the semester.

Students who have been suspended and re-admitted and who fail to meet the requirements specified by the academic policies committee will be subject to permanent academic dismissal and will be considered ineligible to receive Title IV aid. Any full-time student who earns no grade points in any given semester is subject to permanent academic dismissal. Students should be aware that federal regulations require that students maintain satisfactory progress to continue to receive financial aid. Dordt University also requires satisfactory progress for all institutionally controlled financial aid. Poor grades can impinge on a student's financial resources.

Satisfactory progress toward graduation is defined in terms of successfully completing 12 credits (excluding repeated courses) or 70% of credits for which a student is enrolled in a given semester. The minimum percentage of successful completion is calculated by dividing the number of successfully completed hours (i.e., those with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P) by the sum of cumulative hours enrolled (including those courses with WP, WF, or F grades and late grades) X 100.A student receiving financial aid must complete his/her program within the equivalent of six years of full-time enrollment. If a student transfers to Dordt and has transfer hours applied to a program he/she plans to complete at Dordt, the monitoring of progress will begin at the point he/she begins at Dordt. For example, a student has 62 hours transferred to Dordt. He/she must still earn 70% of each semester's earned hours to continue to be eligible for federal and state aid. If the student is enrolling full-time (at least 12 hours), this would indicate that the student must complete a degree within 3 years. If a student loses financial aid eligibility due to consecutive semesters of not making satisfactory progress, the financial aid office will notify the student in writing of the specific procedures and minimum requirements necessary for reinstatement of financial aid for the next semester. There may be instances where a student (if allowed to remain in school by the Academic Policies Committee) will receive no financial aid for a semester until grades can prove that once again the student is making satisfactory academic progress.

There may also be a situation where a student is in good academic standing or on academic probation but will not meet the criteria for financial aid (e.g., a student who received three A's and two F's will not meet the 70% completion requirement even though the cumulative GPA is 2.40 and he/she is considered in good academic standing). Students may appeal the loss of financial aid to the director of financial aid when there are special circumstances such as illness or death in the family. The director may grant the appeal after consultation with at least two other staff members from the admissions, student services, or academic affairs office, or a faculty advisor. The written appeal documents will be kept in the student’s financial aid file. Should an appeal be granted, the student will be allowed to continue with financial aid for the semester but will remain in a probation category. There may be instances where the school requires that, before an appeal may be granted, the school and student together develop an academic plan which ensures that the student will be making satisfactory academic progress prior to graduation.

Withdrawal Policy

Dordt University is strongly committed to supporting students in achieving success in their intellectual and co-curricular endeavors. When illness or significant personal hardship intrudes upon a student's ability to successfully meet the requirements of his or her course of study, it is Dordt's policy to assist the student in entering a period of leave from the university for the purpose of focusing on those matters requiring attention.

Prior to re-matriculation, the university will work with the student to establish readiness to resume academic work and to provide support where possible in order to optimize the likelihood of a successful return to university life.

It is Dordt's goal that all students be able to participate fully in the academic community. When a student's illness, or personal hardship causes him/her to pose a threat to self or others or causes a significant disruption to the educational activities of the community, the student may be required to take a leave of absence from the university.

Procedures

  1. Students who withdraw from Dordt because of illness must submit a written request to the vice president for student success and dean of students. The vice president for student success and dean of students or his/her designee will confer with appropriate campus medical or psychological professionals in order to make a determination regarding the student's request. The vice president for student success and dean of students (or designee) may convene a committee composed of representatives from the student health and counseling center and residence life staff.
  2. Students who are granted a withdrawal because of illness will receive a "WM” (withdrawal – medical) for all courses attempted during that term.
  3. Students granted a medical withdrawal will have a hold placed upon their registration by the vice president for student success and dean of students pending successful petition for re-enrollment to the university. It is Dordt's intention to support students in a successful return to the university community when illness has necessitated withdrawal.
  4. Students will be informed by the vice president for student success and dean of students that the university expects the leave to be of sufficient duration to allow the student to address the issues involved in necessitating a medical leave. It is common for students who withdraw because of serious illness to take a minimum of one full semester away from the university in order to enhance the likelihood of success upon return.
  5. Any adjustment to the student's tuition will be made in accordance with standing university policy.
  6. Students wishing to return to their studies following medical leave must complete the following steps:
    1. Notify the vice president for student success and dean of students of their desire to return to Dordt University.
    2. Submit documentation from their treating clinician(s) to the vice president for student success and dean of students attesting to the student's ability to resume studies with a reasonable likelihood of success. This information must be specific in its description of the student's illness and the treatment rendered. It must outline, as appropriate, a plan of treatment to be followed by the student upon return. All documentation will be held in strict confidence by the university. Upon request, the student will authorize the vice president for student success and dean of students to secure any additional information necessary to assess the student's readiness for readmission.
    3. Submit documentation by the following dates: July 1 for the fall semester, December 1 for the spring semester.
  7. The vice president for student success and dean of students will consult with appropriate resources in coming to a final determination regarding action on the student's request for re-admission and will communicate this determination to the student and the registrar/admissions.
  8. Students may request appeal of this determination to the vice president for university operations, who will formally review all material submitted, render a final determination, and notify the parties listed above of that determination.
  9. Upon readmission, students are expected to follow their treatment plan. Regular reports on student progress may be required from the treating clinician(s) to the vice president for student success and dean of students. Failure to do so may constitute grounds for the university to place a student on involuntary leave.

  1. The university may place a student on involuntary leave of absence or require conditions for continued attendance when, as a result of an apparent medical or psychological condition, one of the following transpires:
    1. The student threatens the safety of him/herself or others.
    2. The student causes or threatens to cause significant property damage.
    3. The student significantly disrupts the educational or cocurricular activities of the university community.
    4. The student demonstrates evidence of significant impairment and is unable to make an independent determination that a voluntary leave is needed.
    5. The student has returned from voluntary/involuntary leave, demonstrates continued evidence of significant impairment, and has not complied with the treatment plan submitted at the time of readmission.
  2. When a student exhibits any of the behaviors described above, he or she may be brought to the attention of the vice president for student success and dean of students. The vice president for student success and dean of students, in consultation with appropriate medical, psychological, or academic resources, will take the following action:
    1. The vice president for student success and dean of students will contact the student and arrange a meeting to discuss the situation with the student.
    2. The vice president for student success and dean of students will convene a meeting with the wellness team (director of student health and counseling center, counseling staff and the residence life staff) to review the circumstances.
    3. The wellness team will make a recommendation to the vice president for student success and dean of students regarding the status of the student.
    4. The vice president for student success and dean of students may place a student on involuntary leave of absence or place conditions on the student's continued enrollment.
  3. The results of the vice president for student success and dean of students' inquiry will be shared in written form with the student.
  4. Students may appeal the results of this inquiry to the vice president for university operations, who will review all available information and render a final determination. This result will be shared with the student.
  5. All records concerning involuntary leaves of absence will be kept in accordance with the university's confidentiality policy. The student's record will indicate "Leave of Absence."
  6. Students placed on involuntary leave will receive a "W" (withdrawal) for all courses attempted during that semester. A hold will be placed on the student's record for re-admission purposes.
  7. Students seeking readmission to the university following involuntary leave must follow the same procedure as delineated for students returning following voluntary leave. (See Voluntary Leave; sections 6 - 9)

Contacts

Office of the Vice President for Student Success and Dean of Students

(712) 722-6076

Office of the Vice President for University Operations

(712) 722-6007

Academic Integrity

Dordt University is committed to developing a community of Christian scholars where all members accept the responsibility of practicing personal and academic integrity in obedience to biblical teaching. For students, this means not lying, cheating, or stealing others' work to gain academic advantage; it also means opposing academic dishonesty.

Students found to be academically dishonest will receive academic sanctions from their professor (from a failing grade on the particular academic task to a failing grade in the course), who will report the incident and the sanction given to the Student Life Committee for possible institutional sanctions (from a warning to dismissal from the university).

Appeals of such matters will be handled by the student disciplinary process as outlined in the Student Handbook.

DEFINITIONS

Academic dishonesty at Dordt University includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors:

  1. Stealing/Plagiarizing: copying another's work or ideas and creating the impression that they are one's own by failing to give proper credit or citation. This includes reading or hearing another's work or ideas and using them as one's own; quoting, paraphrasing, or condensing another's work without giving proper credit; purchasing or receiving another's work and using, handling, or submitting it as one's own work.
  2. Cheating: unauthorized use of any study aids, equipment, or another's work during an academic task. This includes using unauthorized aids or other equipment during an examination; copying or looking at another individual's examination; taking or passing information to another individual during or after an examination; taking an examination for another individual; allowing another individual to take one's examination; stealing examinations.
    1. All graded academic tasks are expected to be performed on an individual basis unless otherwise stated by the instructor.
    2. An academic task may not be submitted by a student for course credit in more than one course without the permission of all instructors.
  3. Lying/Fabricating: the intentional, unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation during an academic task. This includes changing or adding an answer on an examination and resubmitting it to change the grade; inventing data for a laboratory exercise or report.
  4. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly allowing or helping another individual to plagiarize, cheat, or fabricate information.

Attendance

Students are expected to be present for every class and laboratory period. Penalties for absence from class are left to the instructor. No designated number of skips is permitted.

Students shall notify each professor concerning the reason for absence prior to or immediately upon returning to class or in accordance with the instructor's method of accounting for absences.

Unexcused absences are defined as failing to notify the instructor of the reason for the absence, or if the instructor deems the reason as illegitimate.

The instructor may contact student services to check on the illness record of the students. They should also alert student services and contact the student directly concerning excessive absences, and must, if asked, report attendance patterns. Any instructor may, after due warning and according to guidelines established in the class syllabus, penalize the student by reducing the semester grade by a given percentage.

Normally, student services does not notify instructors concerning student illness. Student services may alert instructors to serious problems. Decisions to inform instructors about serious problems will be made balancing the need to respect confidentiality and the responsibility to keep instructors appropriately informed about their students. Any student with serious problems is strongly advised to work closely with student services and follow the process to insure adequate communication between all parties in as efficient a way as possible.

Students have obligations in many realms, so special care shall be taken not to demand commitments for participation in extra-curricular events that cause neglect in other areas. Sponsors/coaches shall inform students at the outset of a program regarding the time and effort expected of them. Sponsors/coaches shall demand a minimum of absences from other classes, restrict student involvement to only those crucially involved, and make efforts to choose a time/date for the event that is least invasive of classroom or lab time. In the case of conflicts, resolution shall be the responsibility of the sponsor/coach and the instructor with no penalty to the student. (The appeals process outlined in the section titled Complaints Regarding Instruction in the Student Handbook shall be used if needed.) The sponsor shall email faculty and student services a list of names, dates, and activities in advance of the event. The student must contact the instructor and make arrangements for any missed work.

Buildings and Equipment

Students are not permitted to use university equipment outside of class activities without special permission from the administration or department head. Equipment and furniture may not be moved from one part of the building to another or from one building to another, without permission from the building supervisor or department head.

Bulletin Boards

Items to be posted in residence halls, library, Campus Center, other classroom buildings, or the commons must be submitted to the student services office for approval. Items posted on campus without the required "Student Services Approved" stamp will be removed.

Academic Complaints and Appeals

As “The Educational Task of Dordt University” specifies in Chapter 4, each office-bearer has the responsibility to serve others by empowering them to carry out tasks and exercise their authority. A biblical understanding of authority requires “mutual responsibility and accountability before God” (Task 9). The faculty are called and authorized to exercise authority over the academic and curricular program. Students are called and authorized to participate in the teaching and learning process. Part of a student’s responsibility is to provide insight regarding instruction, both when instruction is excellent and when concerns arise. Serving each other well means that faculty and students exercise their offices communally. When concerns regarding instruction arise, faculty and students should work together to seek resolution as close to its origin as possible.

A. The following procedures shall apply to complaints that may arise regarding instruction. A student may submit a complaint when instruction is either unsatisfactory or unacceptable. While midterm or end of semester responses to instruction (IDEA forms) are one place to communicate concerns, this process is another way students can share concerns related to classroom instruction. This process should be implemented when concerns are of a more significant nature (or unresolvable at a more informal level).

B. Concerns must be specific, and the student making a complaint must do so personally with the individual(s) involved. Every attempt must be made to resolve the problem as close to its origin as possible. Undergraduate students may seek further information and guidance through the process from the dean for curriculum and instruction; graduate students may consult the director for graduate studies for information and guidance.

  1. The student shall first seek resolution of the complaint with the instructor. Before making a personal appeal to the instructor, it can be very beneficial for students to seek out guidance, the student’s advisor or a Student Services staff member can assist in formulating how best to approach the instructor.
  2. If, after a discussion, resolution cannot be reached, the student shall present a written complaint to the division chair (for undergraduates) or program chair (for graduate students). The division chair or program chair shall notify the instructor, department chair, and dean for curriculum and instruction that a complaint regarding instruction has been received. Then the division chair/program chair shall consult with the student, instructor, and department chair and seek resolution. The dean for curriculum and instruction may provide guidance to all parties (the student, instructor, and division chair/program chair) at this stage in the appeal process.
    1. A formal complaint, written and submitted by the student, should include the following:
      1. a full description of the situation,
      2. a statement of the remedy the student is seeking,
      3. any supporting documents, such as a syllabus, course outcomes and assessments, written documents, emails, etc, and information on when and with whom the student attempted an informal resolution.
    2. Any evidence and all direct and supporting statements, once made, become part of the permanent record of the complaint and must be produced at each level of the process.
  3. If resolution is not reached with the assistance of the division chair/program chair, the student may present the complaint regarding instruction in writing to the dean for curriculum and instruction for undergraduates and to the graduate studies director for graduate students. The dean/graduate studies director shall consult with the student, instructor, and division chair/program chair and seek resolution.
  4. If resolution is not reached with the assistance of the dean for curriculum and instruction/graduate studies director, the student may present the complaint a final time through the vice president for academic affairs.
    1. Undergraduates shall submit in writing, through the vice president for academic affairs, to the curriculum and academic policies committee. Graduate students shall submit in writing, through the vice president for academic affairs, to the graduate studies committee.
    2. Upon receipt of the complaint, the vice president for academic affairs shall convene a sub-committee of the Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee to review the student’s written materials. This sub-committee may accept the appeal for review or determine that there is no merit to the complaint and rejects it. This decision is final. The vice president for academic affairs shall inform all parties of this decision in writing.
    3. If the written complaint is accepted for review, the vice president for academic affairs transmits the written complaint and all documentation to the appropriate committee for review (the Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee for undergraduates and the Graduate Studies Committee for graduate students). Should the committee affirm the complaint, an action plan shall be developed in consultation with the instructor, division/program chair, and dean for curriculum and instruction to assist the instructor in addressing the concerns. Some action plan steps could include: further professional development in a specific area, working with a faculty mentor, or more robust observations of classroom instruction. The vice president for academic affairs shall inform all parties, including the student and department chair, that an action has been developed to address the concerns.

C. The student should initiate the complaint process within one semester of completion of the course. (For a course completed in the spring or summer, the complaint should be initiated no later than the fall of that same calendar year. For a course completed in the fall, the complaint should be initiated no later than the spring of that same academic year.) To request exceptions to this timeline and process due to extenuating circumstances, the student must submit a written request to the appropriate administrator for consideration—the dean for curriculum and instruction for undergraduates, or the director of graduate studies for graduate students.

A. The instructor of record shall have the prerogative to change a student’s final course grade within two weeks after the start of the following semester. The registrar shall provide procedures for such changes.

B. A student may initiate, within two weeks after the start of the following semester, an appeal for a change of course grade in cases where:

  1. The student can demonstrate that the instructor did not use the “means of evaluation and the weight of each means of evaluation” described in the course syllabus.
  2. The student can demonstrate that the instructor was biased by student opinion or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

C. Grade appeals must be based on problems of process and not on differences in judgement or opinion concerning academic performance.

D. For the appeal process see Appeal Process listed below.

A. The instructor shall have the prerogative to invoke the Uncooperative Student Policy in cases where student behavior or attitude is characterized by disrespectful or disruptive classroom behavior, failure to submit assigned or required work, failure to appear for examinations, failure to respond to the instructor's request for an individual conference to discuss a problem, or a number of unexcused absences.

B. Faculty members should discuss (or attempt to discuss) the situation with the student and should only invoke the following steps if the matter has not sufficiently improved after this discussion.

C. When a faculty member encounters uncooperative behavior from an undergraduate student, the following process should be followed.

  1. An academic alert should be issued. This simultaneously informs the student, the advisor(s), and the student success team (representatives from: the registrar’s office, the Academic Enrichment Center, Student Services, and admissions staff members familiar with the student’s case). The academic alert describes the situation, recommends solutions, and provides automatic documentation.
  2. The student success team will work with the student, the advisor, and the instructor to resolve the situation. Once they become involved all parties should maintain documentation (attendance records, email messages, etc.) of any future discussions with the student relating to the situation.
  3. If the situation persists, the instructor should file a second academic alert recommending that the student be removed from the class under the uncooperative student policy. The instructor should forward this alert to the instructor's division/program chair. This alert removes the student from the class.
  4. The student then has four business days to meet with the vice president of student success regarding the uncooperative student alert. At this meeting, the vice president for student success will meet with the student in an attempt to resolve the situation. If the situation cannot be resolved, the decision to remove the student from the class stands.
    1. The vice president for student success will inform all parties (student, instructor, instructor’s department chair, and the student success team) regarding the outcome of the meeting.
    2. Students may appeal this decision in writing through the vice president for academic affairs. See Appeal Process below for the appeal process.

D. When a faculty member encounters uncooperative behavior from a graduate student, the following process should be followed:

  1. The instructor sends a written summary of the issue to the graduate studies director and the student. The graduate studies director shall work with the student and instructor to resolve the situation.
  2. If the situation persists, the instructor writes again to the graduate studies director and the student, with a cc: to the graduate program chair, recommending that the student be removed from the course under the uncooperative student policy.
  3. The graduate studies director, graduate program chair, and the instructor shall meet with the student to review all documentation. This group has the delegated authority from the graduate studies committee to remove the student from the course or take other appropriate action.
  4. Students may appeal in writing to the graduate studies committee via the vice president for academic affairs. See Appeal Process below for the appeal process.

This appeal process may be used in connection with either a grade change or uncooperative student policy appeal.

A. The student shall first make an appeal to the instructor. Before making a personal appeal to the instructor, it can be very beneficial for students to seek out guidance; the student’s advisor or a Student Services staff member can assist in evaluating whether or not the student’s case meets the criteria and in formulating how best to approach the instructor.

  • If the instructor of record is separated from the university, the student may appeal in writing to the undergraduate division chair or graduate program chair. The department chair would serve as instructor of record if needed.

B. If, after a discussion, resolution is not reached, the student may appeal in writing to the division chair (for undergraduates) or program chair (for graduate students). The division chair or program chair shall notify the instructor, department chair, and dean for curriculum and instruction that an appeal has been received. Then the division chair shall consult with the student, instructor, and department chair and seek resolution. The dean for curriculum and instruction may provide guidance to all parties (the student, instructor, and division chair) at this stage in the appeal process.

  1. A formal appeal, written and submitted by the student, should include the following:
    1. a full description of the original academic decision,
    2. a statement of the remedy the student is seeking,
    3. the basis for the student’s appeal for reconsideration,
    4. supporting documents, such as a syllabus, course outcomes and assessments, written documents/emails/etc, and information on when and with whom the student attempted an informal resolution.
  2. Any evidence and all direct and supporting statements, once made, become part of the permanent record of the appeal and must be produced at each level of the appeal.

C. If after consulting involved parties/reviewing supporting information, a more informal resolution was not reached, the division chair shall make a decision regarding the appeal. The division chair informs the student, instructor, and the instructor’s department chair of the decision to either uphold the appeal or deny the appeal.

D. If resolution is not reached or if the division chair/program chair rules against the appeal of the student, the student may appeal in writing a final time through the vice president for academic affairs.

  1. Students may seek guidance from the dean for curriculum and instruction in determining whether or not the concern rises to the level of an appeal.
  2. Undergraduates shall submit written appeals, through the vice president for academic affairs, to the curriculum and academic policies committee. Graduate students shall submit written appeals, through the vice president for academic affairs, to the graduate studies committee.
  3. Upon receipt of the appeal, the vice president for academic affairs shall convene a sub-committee of the Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee to review the student’s written appeal. This sub-committee may determine that: 1) there is no claim of unfairness or incorrect application of University policies and/or 2) information to support such a claim is not included. In either of these cases, the appeal is denied. This decision is final. The vice president for academic affairs shall inform all parties of this decision in writing.
  4. If the appeal is accepted for review, the vice president for academic affairs transmits the written appeal and all documentation to the appropriate committee (the Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee for undergraduate appeals and the Graduate Studies Committee for graduate appeals) for review and a final decision.
  5. The decisions of the committees shall be final. The vice president for academic affairs shall inform all parties of this decision in writing.

Copyright Compliance Policy

We at Dordt University recognize and respect intellectual property rights and are committed to fulfilling our moral and legal obligations with respect to our use of copyright-protected works.

As a matter of moral integrity and adherence to copyright law, Dordt University sets forth these policies for all employees and students:

  1. No employee or student of Dordt University may reproduce any copyrighted work in print, video, or digital form in violation of the law. Works are considered protected even if they are not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office or any registering agency outside the U.S. and even if they do not carry the copyright symbol (©). In general, the laws that apply to printed materials also apply to visual and digital formats. Copyrighted works include, but are not limited to:
    1. articles from print publications,
    2. articles in online publications,
    3. books,
    4. online videos, movies, TV, and radio programs,
    5. recorded music performances,
    6. images,
    7. training materials, manuals, and documentation,
    8. software programs,
    9. databases,
    10. websites and blogs
    11. streaming media,
    12. music downloads,
    13. mobile apps,
    14. CDs and DVDs
  2. Dordt University designates the Director of Library Services as the copyright officer to administer our copyright policy. The Director of Library Services can help to determine whether a work is covered by fair use, the TEACH Act, or existing licenses and can provide advice on how to handle any special copyright issues.
  3. To obtain permission to reproduce copyrighted works outside of Dordt University and/or to use such works in ways that are not covered by fair use, the TEACH Act, or existing license agreements, employees should request permissions by contacting the copyright holder. Direct questions about specific procedures to the Director of Library Services.

Intellectual Property That is Non-Related to Attending Dordt University

Intellectual property produced entirely by student initiative, that is outside of course requirements, and that does not use university resources, is the sole property of the student responsible. This applies regardless of the medium of the intellectual property.

Intellectual Property Produced Through Normal Academic Activities

Intellectual property produced by students in the fulfillment of course requirements belongs to the student responsible. As long as such works are produced using only the customary resources of the university that are available to all enrolled students (such as dorm rooms, classrooms, phones, computer labs, multi-media equipment, musical instruments, library resources, art studios, lab facilities, etc.), they belong to the student. At certain times, such as when accreditation visits are imminent or when assessment projects are being conducted, the university may use the collection of some of this intellectual property as evidence of quality education at Dordt University.

Intellectual Property Initiated by Students and Produced with Substantial, Additional University Resources

At times, some students may produce intellectual property that requires more than the customary university resources that are available to all students. These resources may include items such as unusual equipment, facilities, or funds. In such cases, the student and the university share in the ownership, copyright, right to distribution, and royalties. Unless described in a separate agreement, revenue and royalties from the development, sale, or license, after university expenses, generally are distributed as follows; 50 percent for the creator, 50 percent for the university. The student or a faculty member in the student’s department will notify the vice president for academic affairs, office for research and scholarship, department chair of the student’s department or school ahead of time when there is a potential for the production of such intellectual property. However, wherever possible the office providing the additional resources shall make it typical practice to clearly state, in writing, intellectual property rights claims (or waiver of such claims) when resources are provided.

Dordt University expects its employees and students to be responsible consumers of copyrighted materials. We also encourage employees and students to educate their peers on copyright compliance.

If any employee or student witnesses a potential copyright infringement, please bring the matter to the attention of the individual as well as to our Director of Library Services. Employees or students who illegally duplicate copyrighted works may be subject to disciplinary action.

Employment

Dordt University employs students in various positions on campus. Information concerning on and off-campus positions may be received from the director of student employment. The university cooperates with local merchants, business managers, and farmers in distributing information to all students about job openings and temporary employment. Questions regarding student employment should be directed to the student employment office (712-722-6226).

Food Service

All students living on campus are required to purchase a meal plan unless exempted by the university. Students living in residence halls must purchase either the Value or Reduced meal plan. Regular cooking is not permitted in the university residence halls. Students living in an apartment-style residence must purchase either the Value, Reduced, or 5 meal plan. Commuting students wishing to enroll in a meal plan should contact the student services office.

Meal plan exemptions are permitted only as approved by the student life committee, wellness team, and/or vice president for student success and dean of students. Requests for a meal plan exemption must be submitted in writing to the vice president for student success and dean of students.

Students with special dietary needs should contact the director of dining services for assistance. Dordt Dining Services can work with students with special dietary needs to plan a menu that fits their needs.

On the university meal plan students have open access to the Commons and the Defender Grille during established meal hours. Students will be allowed in the dining hall and will be able to utilize the Defender Grille meal plan options only if they display their meal card or connect with the Eatable App. Lost cards may be replaced at the student services office (first level of the Campus Center) at a fee of $10. The barcode will be changed in order to invalidate the lost card. Meal cards are non-transferable and are intended for use solely by the student who purchased the plan. Students may not lend their meal card to another student. Other restrictions on use apply.

Dining Hall Hours of Service (may be subject to change)

Commons
MealsMonday-FridaySaturday & Sunday
Breakfast:7-9:30 a.m.8:30-9:30 a.m.
Grill:10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lunch:11 a.m.-1p.m.11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Dinner:5-7 p.m.5-6 p.m.
Defender Grille
MealsMonday-FridaySaturday & Sunday
Daily11 a.m. -10 p.m.CLOSED

*On Wednesday the Dining Hall will open at the conclusion of Chapel

*On the first Monday of the month, the Dining Hall will open at the conclusion of the First Mondays Speaker's address

Fundraising

In order to effectively coordinate all university fundraising efforts, students and student groups may not solicit funds for their activities without the approval of the vice president for student success and dean of students and the vice president for university advancement.

Student Health and Medical Care

All medical emergencies or other health concerns requiring hospitalization should be reported to student services and residence life staff as soon as possible. Medical and hospital personnel will make the necessary contact upon request.

Students are expected to notify their professors and student services staff if they will need to miss class due to health-related concerns. Documentation from a care provider (student health, clinic, mental health professional, etc.) is needed if students will miss more than one day of class. Students should contact the associate dean of students and director of residence life for additional information.

Dordt University Student Health and Counseling Center

The Student Health and Counseling Center provides on-campus health care for all fulltime Dordt University students during the academic year, services are not available during school breaks. Students are seen by appointment, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students can schedule appointments by contacting Student Health and Counseling center at 712-722-6990 or emailing health@dordt.edu or counseling@dordt.edu.

Students can access care for ill visits, minor injuries, first aid, immunization records, medical information, and point of care testing for illnesses such as strep, mono, influenza, and COVID. Registered nurses are on staff daily to care for students, and a nurse practitioner is available for a limited number of hours each week. Referrals for off campus care are made when the student’s medical needs cannot be met through on campus care.

Visits are free of charge; however, a fee is incurred for purchase of medications, or when the services of an outside laboratory are utilized. Cost of off campus referrals are the financial responsibility of the student.

Sioux Center Health

Sioux Center Health clinic physicians are available for off-campus student health care needs. Students can make an appointment by calling 712-722-2609.

Sioux Center Health Urgent Care is open for walk-in visits Monday through Thursday, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Sioux Center Health Emergency Room is open for emergency needs 24/7.

Students should be prepared to provide insurance information at the time of service. Charges for services at Sioux Center Health are the financial responsibility of the student. Sioux Center Health is located at 1101 9th St. S.E., phone 712-722-1271.

Promise Community Health Center

Promise Community Health Center is located for off-campus student health care needs, including medical, dental, mental health, and vision. Call 877-722-1770 to schedule an appointment. Promise is located at 33 4th St. NW.

On-campus mental health counseling is provided by licensed mental health therapists. A limited number of sessions per year are available to students at no cost. Referrals for off-campus counseling are made for long-term needs, on-going therapy, and more intensive services, or specialized services. Cost of off-campus referrals are the financial responsibility of the student. A list of area mental health resources can be found here.

Immunizations

With the goal of reducing risk of disease on campus, Dordt University requires that all new, incoming, transfer, and re-admitted students provide documentation of immunization. Immunization information must be submitted by July 1 (for students enrolling for the fall semester) and by January 2 (for students enrolling for the spring semester). Students are not allowed to register for a subsequent semester until the immunization requirements have been met. A complete list of the requirements is available on the Student Health and Counseling Center website.

In the event of an outbreak (as determined by public health officials) of vaccine-preventable disease on Dordt University’s campus, it is likely that public health officials would require under-vaccinated and unvaccinated students to leave campus for their own protection. If this occurs, the student will be responsible for any loss of tuition or housing fees, loss of credit hours, and/or missed assignments associated with this leave. For this reason, Dordt University strongly recommends that all students are up to date for all routine vaccines as listed in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Immunization Schedule: Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule for ages 18 years or younger.

Insurance

Dordt University strongly encourages that all students are covered under a health insurance plan. Students/Parents of US and Canadian students are generally covered under a parent's policy or by purchasing an insurance policy from an independent agent. Proof of insurance for US and Canadian students is not required unless the student is involved in intercollegiate athletic programs.

  1. International Students will be automatically enrolled in the Dordt University international student health insurance plan. Cost and coverage information will be sent by email in the summer months. Coverage for international students is mandatory and students cannot waive participation in this plan, so students should not make arrangements to purchase their own health insurance coverage unless it is in addition to the plan that Dordt University provides.
  2. Canadian Students who have an F-1 visa can voluntarily enroll in the international student insurance plan. To enroll in this coverage, students can complete the enrollment form found here.
  3. Intercollegiate Athletes need to provide the proof of insurance to the Athletic Department. If athletes need assistance securing a health insurance plan, please contact dordtatc@dordt.edu.

The university's insurance does not cover personal items belonging to students. Students should check with their insurance agent to determine whether their homeowner's insurance will cover them while at the university. If not, students should buy separate insurance if coverage is desired. Information about supplemental renter's insurance coverage is available at any insurance agency.

Library

The library is primarily designed to be a place of information exchange; however, it is also to be used as a place for quiet study. Students who must study together should reserve a seminar room or find another place outside the library to study where their talking will not disturb other patrons. Violators will be admonished or asked to leave the library. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight, Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The library is not open on Sunday. Hours for holidays and break periods will be posted at the library.

Mail

Mail delivery service is provided in the Print and Mail Center located in the Ribbens Academic Complex. Stamps are available at the Print and Mail Center and at the Campus Store. The Print and Mail Center will also mail packages and letters by other carriers (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.) A special zip code has been designated for student mail: 51250-1668. The university picks up mail from the U.S. Post Office in Sioux Center and then university personnel distribute the mail to students through the Print and Mail Center. Students authorize the university to receive their mail and authorize university personnel to distribute the mail to the student.

Students may rent a post office box at the Post Office if they so desire. The university does not allow any external business, group, or constituency to distribute general notices or flyers to students. It is a federal offense to tamper with U.S. mail or mailboxes.

Motor Vehicles

Students are permitted to have motor vehicles on campus. This privilege is continued as long as a student abides by the registration and parking regulations. All motorized vehicles (automobiles, mopeds, motorcycles, golf carts, snowmobiles, etc.) must be registered in accordance with the law of the student’s state or province of residence as well as with Dordt University. Vehicles can only have one Dordt University registration sticker.

Each student is responsible for being familiar with and obeying parking rules and regulations. Failure to read these regulations will not be considered an excuse for non-compliance.

Areas for parking are available throughout the university campus. However, convenient parking close to the classrooms and residence halls is not always available. There are lots designated for residential students, for commuter students, for faculty and staff, and for visitors. A map showing parking areas is provided to students by student services when they register their vehicle. Students should give themselves extra time to anticipate a walk from some lots to their class or residence and to exercise caution if they must cross other roadways.

All students, faculty, and staff of Dordt University, whether full-time or part-time, are required to display a current Dordt University parking permit on their motorized vehicle. Students are allowed to have one registered vehicle on campus. Any additional vehicle registrations must be approved by student services. Parking permits can be obtained from the student services office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Temporary permits are also available and can be obtained in student services. Vehicles without parking permits will be ticketed. Permits should be permanently affixed to the lower corner of the passenger side of the windshield and may not be transferred from one vehicle to another.

The following rules apply to parking and operating a motor vehicle on campus:

  1. Dordt University assumes no responsibility or liability for loss or damage to any vehicle or its contents operated or parked on campus. It is advisable to keep cars locked at all times.
  2. All violations associated with a vehicle are the responsibility of the individual to whom the vehicle is registered.

Fines for violating parking regulations are as follows:

Violation

Fee

Parking Violation

$20.00

Non-Registered Vehicle

$50.00

Parking in Designated Handicapped Parking Area

$50.00

Moving Violation

$50.00

Vehicle Restraint Removal

$50.00 for first offense, with an additional $50 fine for each successive offense.

A moving violation includes but is not limited to the following: Speeding, reckless or unsafe driving, driving on sidewalks, driving on grass, unauthorized driving on dirt roads or blocked roads.

Students receive a 50 percent discount if they pay parking violation fines within 72 hours of receiving the ticket (not including weekends). Fines assume the same status as any other university debt. Unpaid fines are sent to the business office with a $10 service charge at the end of each semester.

Students receive a 50 percent discount if they pay their non-registered vehicle fines and register their vehicle within 72 hours of receiving the ticket (not including weekends).

Unauthorized and/or illegally parked vehicles are subject to wheel restraint. Additionally, any vehicle that has accumulated three or more tickets in the academic year will be subject to a vehicle restraint for any additional violations. The vehicle owner will be responsible for paying a restraint removal fee of $50.00 for the first offense, with an additional $50 fine for each successive offense (example: 1st offense = $50.00, 2nd offense = $100 + meeting with vice president for student success and dean of students, 3rd offense = $150 + meeting with vice president for student success and dean of students, etc). Any methods to circumvent the wheel restraint (such as, but not limited to: removal of wheel, attempt to remove through any form of destruction, damage to lock mechanism or any part of wheel restraint system) will be subject to a $500 fine/replacement fee charged to the owner of the vehicle. To have restraint removed, please call 712-722-6076 during business hours or 712-722-6116 during non-business hours. Failure to pay the removal fee within three business days will result in towing at the owner's expense.

Dordt University is private property, and the university reserves the right to deny the use of campus parking areas to unauthorized persons and those who flagrantly violate Dordt University parking regulations.

To provide for emergency vehicle traffic and campus safety, the university reserves the right to tow cars away when deemed necessary. The university also reserves the right to tow away abandoned cars. Vehicles will be towed by a firm located in Sioux Center. The vehicle owner will be responsible for all costs charged by the towing firm. In the event that a vehicle is moved after the towing firm has been contacted, the owner will be responsible for the cost of the tow truck coming to campus.

All appeals to parking citations must be submitted to the student services office within 72 hours of the violation and must contain payment of the fine. In completing appeals, a student must explain why they believe that they are not in violation of the cited rules. The parking appeals committee may approve or deny the appeal and to alter the monetary amount of each fine. The decision of the parking appeals committee will be final.

All parking policies are in effect during snow removal season. However, vehicles parked in unauthorized spaces will be subject to towing by the snow removal team as a means of safely and efficiently clearing the lot. Please remind your guests that they need to park in Lot 17 or 18 if they plan to be on campus after midnight. Please watch your email for important parking/snow removal notices through the winter season.

Suggestions to improve the parking system on the campus are welcome by student services. Any suggestions should be directed to the vice president for student success and dean of students or your student government representative.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Dordt University will not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, sex, national or ethnic origin, creed, or race in the administration of its admissions, education, and employment policies as consistent with the requirements of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965. Inquiries concerning compliance should be directed to Robert Taylor, vice president for student success and dean of students, who serves as Dordt University’s Title IX coordinator and Section 504 compliance officer. His office is located in student services, and he can be reached at 712-722-6076.

Notice of Accessibility for Students with Disabilities

Dordt University is committed to offering equal access to people with disabilities. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Dordt does not exclude otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, solely by reason of the disability, nor are persons with disabilities denied the benefits of these programs or subjected to discrimination. Equal access includes the accessibility of programs or activities and the learning environment.

Although certain facilities are not fully accessible to people with disabilities, Dordt University does adhere to the accessibility standard for existing facilities which states that the recipient's program or activity, when reviewed in its entirety, must be readily accessible to people with disabilities. Dordt University may meet this standard through such means as reassignment of classes or other services to accessible locations, redesigning of equipment, assignment of aides, alteration of existing facilities, and construction of new accessible facilities. Dordt University is not required to make structural changes in facilities where other methods are sufficient to comply with the accessibility standard described above.

The student with a disability is responsible for contacting the coordinator of services for students with disabilities (CSSD) in order to initiate services (712-722-6490). This contact should be made six months before the start of the semester of admission or as early as possible to ensure the accessibility of classrooms and housing and the availability of auxiliary aids. Students will be asked to provide appropriate documentation of the disability. On the basis of the documentation, reasonable accommodations needed to offer equal access are implemented on a case-by-case basis; therefore, the documentation is most useful if it is no more than three years old. Reasonable accommodations may not lower course standards or alter degree requirements, but they give students with disabilities an equal opportunity to learn and demonstrate their abilities.

Students who believe they have been denied equal access should initiate the following procedures:

  1. The student should report the situation to the vice president for student success and dean of students, Robert Taylor, who is Dordt University’s 504 compliance officer. He can be reached in Student Services at 712-722-6076.
  2. If the situation involves the accessibility of instruction (e.g., lack of classroom accommodations), the CSSD will advise the student and every attempt will be made to work with the instructor to resolve the conflict.
  3. If the situation is not resolved or if the student does not agree with the CSSD, an advisory committee will be formed to review the situation and make a decision.
    1. The advisory committee should consist of:
      1. 504 compliance officer
      2. Chairperson of the academic policies committee
      3. Member of the psychology or special education departments
      4. Member of the Academic Enrichment Center or Student Services, if appropriate

Off-Campus Programs

Students must be in good academic and behavioral standing to be eligible to participate in off-campus programs. The off-campus program application process requires a signature from both the registrar's office and student services to verify the student's status. Dordt University students participating in off-campus programs are expected to live as members of the extended Christian community, striving to obey the Lord's teaching in every area of their lives. Individual off-campus programs may have specific behavioral expectations based on their cultural setting and requirements of the learning community. Dordt University students participating in these programs are expected to honor and fully comply with these expectations. Violations of Dordt's specific program behavioral expectations are grounds for dismissal from the program.

When staying abroad for an extended period of time as a student it is reassuring to know that in case of calamities you are properly insured. In certain countries, for instance, it is obligatory to insure yourself against health care expenses and liability. Dordt university requires all students studying abroad to enroll in CISI travel and medical insurance. The Office of Global Education assists students in enrolling in a CISI insurance plan. CISI provides emergency health assistance, trip delay/interruption assistance, and limited coverage for loss/theft of baggage and personal effects. Additional coverage for personal property, if desired, may be available through current parent/guardian homeowner’s insurance.

Recreation Facilities

A four-lane bowling alley and a game room are open Monday through Saturday in the Campus Center from 3 p.m. to midnight. Game room phone number: 712-722-6432.

The Recreation Center (including basketball courts, aerobics room, weight room, racquetball courts, and fitness room) is available to students Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless reserved for classes, intramural activities, track meets, or team practices. Hours for holidays and break periods will be posted at the Recreation Center. Recreation Center phone number: 712-722-6302.

The All Seasons Center and Siouxnami Waterpark are available for swimming and ice skating. Sand volleyball courts and tennis courts are located in Open Space Park near the All Seasons Center. A bike trail is available to students, with access behind Covenant Hall. An 18-hole golf course is available to students for a reduced fee. Recreational equipment can be checked out from the front desk in the Recreation Center.

The following information is provided to encourage safety and security on campus. Also, for your knowledge and awareness, a list of crime statistics is provided which reflects crimes specified in the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

  1. Reporting Criminal Activity in Progress. Though the seriousness of the situation and the urgency of response must be determined by the caller, do not hesitate to request maximum and immediate help by calling 911. Criminal activity may also be reported by calling the following:
    1. Sioux Center Police (M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) (712) 722-0761; (nights, weekends, holidays) (712) 737-2280
    2. Campus security (8 p.m. to 7 a.m.) (712) 722-6116
    3. Student Services (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) (712) 722-6070
    4. The residence life staff in your residence hall. Inform your resident assistant (RA) as soon as possible of any criminal activity you have reported.
  2. Reporting Completed Acts of Criminal Activity. Incidents of personal assault/injury, theft, vandalism, accidents, etc., should be reported by calling 911 if immediate medical or safety concerns need to be met. Otherwise, notify your RA or community development assistant (CDA) or student services to file a report. The university will either handle the situation internally or will inform the Sioux Center Police and request their assistance. The victim of the crime will be informed of the university's action and may always pursue direct police involvement.

Sexuality, Gender Identity, and Sexual Conduct Statement

Dordt University is committed to a policy that maintains a Christian community including all on-campus, off-campus and online programs where employees, faculty, staff, and students abide by biblical injunctions regarding sexual activity and refrain from sexual immorality. Every Dordt University employee and student has a responsibility to live Christianly in harmony with the guidance of Scripture as interpreted and set forth in the reformed confessions. Scripture is clear that God created humans as two distinct sexes, male and female; however, due to sin and brokenness, our experience of sex and gender is not always what God the Creator originally designed for His glory and our joy and flourishing as his servants.

A person’s desire for sexual intimacy is a creational and often very strong characteristic in human nature. Dordt University believes, based on its understanding and interpretation of the Bible that the only appropriate and permissible context in which sexual intimacy may be expressed as overt sexual interaction is in the marriage partnership of a man and a woman. Dordt University is committed to being a Christian community where its employees and students live according to God’s creational structure and abide by these Biblical injunctions for marriage and sexual activity. The university expects all students, faculty, and staff to live in accord with this understanding of sexual interaction as long as they are members of the university community.

Dordt University believes that the Bible encourages us to maintain a loving and supportive attitude towards each other and that there should be mutual respect for members of the opposite sex, as well as a loving and supportive attitude toward those who struggle with restricting their sexual interaction to marriage. The university will make efforts to work in a counseling context with individuals who find it difficult to restrict their sexual activity within the institution of marriage. Such counseling will be made available to all students, whether residential or not, through the Student Health and Counseling Center (which can be reached at 712-722-6990) and which can also assist in identifying counseling options for non-local students.

Dordt University is committed to maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment. Members of our community have the right to work, study, and communicate with each other in an atmosphere free from unsolicited and unwelcomed communication of a sexual nature. The anti-harassment policy and procedures in this handbook are intended to provide fair and equitable treatment of both the complainant and the alleged harasser.

All students and employees involved in on-campus, off-campus and online programs are responsible to determine if they can abide by Dordt’s sexual standards and conduct policy. If any individual doubts or questions his or her ability to do so, that person should speak to the area leader, or director of human resources, or vice president for student success and dean of students to receive guidance and/or instruction.

Dordt University specifically holds the following behavior as unbiblical and therefore prohibited for as long as one is a member of the Dordt community, regardless of whether such behavior takes place on or off campus:

A. Promoting or advocating sexually immoral activity. This does not prohibit members of various academic disciplines, including students and faculty, from studying, discussing, viewing films or other media about, or examining such issues as they affect individuals, society, or others.

B. Extramarital sexual relations. Sexual activity with anyone other than with one’s spouse is prohibited. Dordt University also prohibits promoting or advocating such activity.

C. Homosexual relations. It is unacceptable to have sexual relations with someone of the same sex. It is unacceptable to marry or be engaged to marry a person of the same sex. Dordt University also prohibits promoting or advocating such activity.

D. Transgendered Behavior. Adopting an identity discordant with one’s biological sex is prohibited. Dordt University also prohibits promoting or advocating such activity.

For those persons in our community who struggle with restricting their sexual interaction to marriage, as well as for those in our community who struggle with gender identity, same sex behavior, same sex attraction and/or sexual orientation issues, we aspire to be a gracious community that promotes openness and honesty. We pledge to extend compassion and care, providing assistance and accountability as we support all members of our community in their desire to live consistently with the Bible’s teaching on sexual purity. Dordt University will make institutional decisions in light of this policy regarding employment, hiring, retention of employees, and continued enrollment of students. Dordt University may determine that, as the result of conduct described as prohibited, an individual shall be dismissed from the university.

Title IX Information

If you are in immediate danger, please call the Sioux Center Police Department by dialing 911.

Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy Procedures (Student)

This document is designed to address a complaint against a student that falls within Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other federal and state laws and regulations.

Other Sexual Misconduct Policy Procedures (Student)

This document is designed to address a complaint against a student of sexual misconduct that falls outside the jurisdictions of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy.

Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy Procedures (Employee)

This document is designed to address a complaint against an employee that falls within Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other federal and state laws and regulations.

Other Sexual Misconduct Policy Procedures (Employee)

This document is designed to address a complaint against an employee of sexual misconduct that falls outside the jurisdictions of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy.

  • Title IX Coordinator: Robert Taylor robert.taylor@dordt.edu
  • Title IX Deputy Coordinator: Derek Buteyn derek.buteyn@dordt.edu
  • Student Services: 712-722-6076 (Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Campus Security: 712-449-5120 (Daily from 5 p.m.-8 a.m.)

Soliciting

No individual or off-campus organization may sell or solicit anywhere on university grounds. No one may promote any commercial activity without approval from the vice president for student success and dean of students.

Student Attire

Students should be guided by the principles of cleanliness, modesty, and propriety as they consider proper dress. Clothing which does not support our Christian confession and promote a God-glorifying view of men, women, and creation is not acceptable. Clothing which promotes the use of alcohol, controlled substances, discriminatory messages or inappropriate images or symbols is unacceptable.

Student Publications

The Diamond is the university newspaper and is published bi-weekly. The Canon is a collection of literary and artistic works of students and faculty. The Signet is the university yearbook. Students who wish to become writers or staff members for these publications should contact the editors or faculty sponsors of the publication. While students are given considerable freedom in expressing their views, publications are funded by the university and are subject to oversight by the vice president for academic affairs and the vice president for student success and dean of students.

Student Record Privacy and Access Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day Dordt University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The appropriate Dordt University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by Dordt University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask Dordt University to amend the record that they believe is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. They should write the Dordt University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. If Dordt University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, Dordt University will notify the student in writing of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Written student consent must be obtained before releasing personally identifiable data about the student from the records. FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law;
  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Parent/guardian of student placed on suspension status due to violation of certain laws or university policies.

One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to university officials with legitimate educational interests. A university official is a person employed by Dordt University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom Dordt University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another university official in performing his or her tasks. A university official has legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

The university reserves the right to notify parents or guardians, regardless of the student's age, status, or conduct, in health or safety emergencies, hospitalizations, or when, in the university's judgment, the health or well-being of the student or others may be at risk.

Students have the right to file a complaint with the Department of Education regarding alleged failures by the institution to comply with FERPA.

Student Directory Information

The information listed below may be released without the written consent of the student. Dordt University officials will exercise care in the release of this information to ensure that the student's best interests are served. Students may request that all of the items designated as "directory information" should not be released without prior consent. Such requests should be presented in writing to the registrar prior to registration or the publication of the campus directory. The following items are designated as "directory information":

  1. Name.
  2. Home and local address.
  3. Home and local telephone listing.
  4. Date and place of birth.
  5. Program of study and major.
  6. Church denomination, home congregation, and student church membership.
  7. Classification (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, part-time, special).
  8. Participation in officially recognized activities such as sports, drama, musical groups.
  9. Intercollegiate athletics eligibility information as required by conference and NAIA regulations.
  10. Weight and height of members of athletic teams.
  11. Dates of attendance.
  12. Degrees earned.
  13. Most recent previous school attended by the student.
  14. Honors, scholarships, and awards given by Dordt University.
  15. Photo.
  16. Email address.
  17. Level of education: undergraduate or graduate.

Student Government

Each class elects representatives to serve on Student Government, which is the student government organization at Dordt University. Upperclassmen representatives are elected during the spring semester and freshmen representatives are elected during the fall semester.

Clubs are organized upon the request of students or Student Government to meet the needs and interests of groups of students. Requests for new clubs should be submitted for approval to Student Government.

Test and Assessment Policies

A. Faculty shall assume responsibility for careful, full-time supervision of tests.

B. Faculty shall seek to structure and administer tests, to the extent reasonable, in such a way that the opportunity for students to behave dishonestly is limited.

C. Publicly posted test scores shall not reveal the identity of students through use of names or student ID numbers.

D. Faculty shall be prudent about the practice of returning tests to students. If there is a possibility of similar or identical questions routinely appearing on tests, the tests either shall not be returned or a database of potential questions shall be made available to everyone. Students with access to the previous tests shall not have an advantage over students who do not have access to previous tests.

E. Final examinations need not be returned to students.

A. Faculty shall notify students at least one week in advance of major tests. The expectations for major papers and projects should be made clear at least two weeks before the paper or project is due. It is advisable to include the schedule of tests and due dates and expectations for major papers and projects that do not require class time for explication in the course syllabus distributed the first week of a course.

B. Tests for the entire class shall be scheduled and administered only during regularly scheduled class times.

C. Assessment in the form of graded and returned daily assignments, papers, projects, quizzes, and/or tests given early in the semester provide students with timely notification regarding their progress. This is especially important in freshman-level courses.

D. A minimum of three forms of evaluation (tests, papers, major presentations, etc.) shall be given during the semester (this includes the examination given during the final examination week). No two forms of evaluation that together total more than 1/3* of the grade for the semester may be due within two calendar weeks of each other. This will help spread the workload for the course out over the entire semester and avoid situations where major papers are due at the end of the semester when the same class has a comprehensive final exam.

*If there is a major paper or presentation that is due at the end of the semester and a final exam during exam week, the paper should be structured in such a way that the weight of the actual presentation or final draft of the paper and the final exam does not exceed 1/3 of the grade. For example, if a major paper includes submission of the outline and thesis statement for 5 percent due at mid-term, a rough draft for 5 percent due three weeks later, and a final draft for 10 percent due at the end of the semester, only the 10 percent for the final draft applies to the 1/3 weighting. So even though the whole paper totaled 30 percent of the grade, a final exam worth 20 percent of the grade would still be allowable.

A. The final examination schedule is set by policy.

B. Examinations for evening courses shall be scheduled in the regularly scheduled class time during the final examination week. Exceptions to this, e.g., Thursday evening classes, shall be approved by the registrar.

C. Final examinations in the form of take-home examinations shall be due during the exam period scheduled for that course. They are to be given to the students no earlier than one week prior to the exam period.

D. Exceptions to these policies are to be reviewed at the departmental level and recorded in the department minutes.

Tornado and Severe Weather Precautions

  1. Shelter must be taken immediately when a defense siren is sounded; a "Tornado" or "Severe Weather" warning is issued for the area by means of radio or TV, if a funnel cloud is sighted, or as directed by university personnel.
  2. Use only those areas designated as shelters. Note the tornado shelter signs on campus and be familiar with the location of those shelters ahead of time.
  3. Do not leave a shelter until an "all clear" signal has been issued (via radio: KSOU 1090 AM; KSOU 93.9 FM)

Classroom Building

  1. Basement
  2. Lower-level corridor away from windows

Business Office/Advancement building

  1. Advancement Office hallway away from windows

Science building

  1. Lower level away from windows

Library

  1. Lower-level by conference rooms
  2. Lower-level reading resource rooms

Commons

  1. No designated tornado shelter. Move to lower-level of Campus Center or basement of residence halls.

Campus Center

  1. Lower-level corridor away from windows

Gymnasium/Recreation center

  1. Women's locker room
  2. Men's locker room
  3. Hallways away from windows

B.J. Haan Auditorium/Music Building

  1. Lower-level of Music Building away from windows
  2. Lower-level of Campus Center

North, East, West, and Covenant residence halls

  1. Basement
  2. First floor hallway away from windows

East Campus Apartments

  1. Lower-level away from windows

Kuyper Apartments

  1. Lower-level away from windows

Southview

  1. Lower-level public areas on the north side (computer room and community room)

Off-campus housing

  1. Basement area/apartments away from windows

Transportation

Dordt University provides transportation at the beginning and end of each semester as a service to its students. The university will make arrangements to transport to campus students who arrive in Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, by bus or plane and Omaha, Nebraska, by plane. Due to increased usage and rising costs, the university does charge a fee for such transportation. The cost for transport from Sioux City or Sioux Falls is $30 and from Omaha is $60. The fee charged is for each one-way trip.

Arrangements for transportation must be made with the facilities office (712-722-6405). Students who do not make prior arrangements for transportation will be limited to existing spaces available at an additional $25 cost. Students who fail to cancel rides when plans change may still be billed, e.g., the van driver arrives at the airport to discover that the student has decided to ride to campus with a friend.

This service is provided as follows:

  1. At the beginning of the semesters: within 24 hours before registration begins.
  2. At the end of the semesters: from noon on the last day of exams through midnight of the following day.
  3. Transportation to Omaha is offered on a more limited basis. Contact the facilities office (712-722-6405) for a schedule.

Further information regarding student shuttle services can be found here.

Dordt University is not able to provide transportation to appointments or work.

A Sioux Center taxi service is available by calling (800) 358-5037. This service operates Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for rides within the city limits. Rides cost $3.00 each direction.

Students may also consider using popular ride share apps.

Whistleblower Policy

A whistle-blower can be any employee, student, vendor, guest, alumnus/alumna, or supporter of the university who has direct knowledge, or a reasonable concern, that the university or any of its agents is acting contrary to any applicable federal, state, or local laws or contrary to an established Dordt University policy. Whistle-blowers are encouraged to report the activity and may do so without fear of reprisal or retaliation. The policy and process are under the supervision of the vice president for student success and dean of students.

The whistle-blower must initiate the process as defined in the policy posted on the university’s external website or the intranet website. The relevant links are included in the “Report It” section. The adjudicator of the report will inform the reporting individual upon receipt of the report and at the conclusion of the investigation. The investigation will aim to be completed within 60 days.

Worship Opportunities and Sunday Observance

As a Christian institution, Dordt University strives to be a community of faculty and students committed to learning in the light of God’s word. The life of this community is social and academic, and in both areas all members of the Dordt University community seek to glorify God.

In accordance with the Christian aim of Dordt University, students are expected to express the Christian faith positively in their general conduct and lifestyle. It is not the purpose or intention of Dordt University to lay down minute regulations for the daily conduct of its students. By their applications for admission and their decision to attend Dordt University, students certify that they intend to live according to the Christian aims and policies of the university. Though admission to Dordt University is the rightful privilege of its constituency, that privilege may be readily withdrawn should the student fail to maintain proper standards of conduct or scholarship.

Students are encouraged to attend church services on Sundays to find life and encouragement through intergenerational worship in the community.

Students are also encouraged to attend chapel, not out of compulsion, but out of recognition of the need for the nourishment and sustenance that God provides.

Chapel is held once a week to provide opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to join in hearing God’s Word and singing His praises together.

Each school year begins with All Campus Worship to introduce the engagement opportunities for students through Campus Ministries. This is followed throughout the year by small groups, mid-week praise and worship, mission opportunities, prayer, etc. Recognizing the importance of spirituality as part of student life, the university also provides pastoral counseling for students. Members of the Student Services staff meet with and help students with questions and problems that may be troubling them. The university seeks to maintain and develop a vibrant spiritual climate on campus in the context of which the work of Christian scholarship may be effectively carried on.


Student Life

Apartment Living

Student services encourages each apartment to develop agreed upon standards for cleaning, meal making, visitors, noise, etc.

No personal belongings of any kind may be left in the building hallways due to fire code. Garbage and recycling products are to be disposed of regularly in the dumpsters just outside the apartments. No garbage is to be left in the halls or entries. Housing staff may inspect apartments periodically for cleanliness and require that residents clean the units or have them cleaned at the students' expense.

Audio Equipment

Audio equipment is for personal use. Consideration for others is expected. Equipment is not to be placed in windows for outdoor recreation.

Bicycles

Bicycle registration is required. Forms and stickers are available free of charge on the u.dordt.edu checklist or from the facilities office.

At no time may bicycles be ridden inside of university facilities. Storage is provided in bike racks outside of each campus building. Bicycles may not be stored in public areas inside a residence hall or apartment. Unregistered bikes will be impounded by the facilities staff and a charge of $15 will be assessed for storage. Students are advised to lock their bikes when not in use. The university is not responsible for stolen, misplaced, or damaged bikes, or locks that have been cut.

Winter and summer storage for bicycles is provided for $5 in the facilities building. Students who wish to store bicycles for the winter should make an appointment to bring it to the facilities building prior to Thanksgiving break. Summer storage is also provided during exam week. Bicycles which are not claimed after one year will be sold at an auction.

Check-Out Procedure

Before leaving, all students must clean their room/apartment, remove all personal possessions, bring garbage and recycling to a dumpster, and schedule a check-out appointment with a residence life staff member. The room or apartment will be examined for cleanliness and damage. Once the room or apartment has been inspected, residents should return their room keys to their RA. A $35 replacement fee will be charged for any unreturned key. Detailed checkout instructions are provided to students at the end of each year.

Residence halls close for non-graduating students at 1:00pm on the day of Commencement. Graduates are allowed to stay until 1:00pm the following day.

Cooking

Kitchenettes are provided in each residence hall. The person(s) using the kitchenette is expected to clean up after each use. Students must use the kitchenettes rather than cook in their rooms. Regular cooking is not permitted in residence halls.

Electrical Appliances

Due to the nature of communal living and the electrical load placed on the circuitry in residence hall rooms, cooking is allowed only in residence hall kitchenettes. Heating and cooking units and microwave ovens are not permitted in residence hall rooms. Residents may not use extension cords or multi-outlet plugs to increase the number of items plugged into an outlet. Only a power strip with an internal circuit breaker may be used to plug in multiple electrical devices.

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 or official Dordt club-sponsored events. All such equipment must be locked in storage in the safe located in the Facilities Department. Items of this nature may not be kept in university housing or vehicles on campus at any time. Handguns, long knives, or other weapons are not permitted at any time.

Fire Emergency Procedures

When a fire alarm is activated, students must vacate the residence hall immediately using the nearest safe exit. The residence life staff will designate an assembly area outside of the building where students should report. Students should stay at the assembly point until they are allowed to reenter the building. In the event of a fire, it is essential that students stay at the assembly point to allow an accurate head count to be taken. Students who do not exit a building when a fire alarm sounds will be fined $50. The residence life staff will be available to provide further information and assistance.

Guests

Students are also accountable for the behavior of their guests and are responsible for ensuring that they abide by all university policies. All overnight guests must be of the same gender as the hosting room/apartment. Exceptions for family may be granted by the director of residence life. Unauthorized guests will be asked to leave, and the hosting student will be held responsible for the conduct of their guests.

Keys

A key for your room or apartment is issued when you move in. If you lose your key or fail to return it, you will be assessed a replacement charge of $35 per key. Students are encouraged to lock their rooms at all times. The university is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged possessions.

Laundry Facilities

Laundry facilities are provided for student use in the basement of the residence halls, Southview Apartments, and on all floors of the Kuyper Apartments. Dordt University is not responsible for clothing which may be removed or become damaged in the equipment provided. Do not leave clothing unattended in machines. Ironing boards are provided in the residence halls, but students should bring their own irons.

Lounge Use

Lounges are intended for the public use of all hall residents. Furniture and other furnishings located in residence hall lounges, study rooms, and other community living areas are intended for the residence hall community and may not be removed by students and moved to other locations or placed in individual resident rooms. If students desire to move furnishings, they must receive permission from residence life staff. Removing furnishings without permission is considered theft. Students who are found with such furnishings in their rooms will be placed on suspension status and may be fined $50 per item. If an item is damaged when it is moved, the student(s) responsible will be charged for repairs or replacement.

Noise

The residence halls and apartment units are designed to be environments which are suitable for rest and study. To that end, residents are requested to monitor their own actions as not to infringe on the ability of others to sleep or study. Hours for non-quiet activity are established each year by the residence life staff working with students in each campus residence. Loud activities outside the approved hours are not permitted.

Outdoor Grounds Use

The grounds surrounding the residence halls/apartments are not to be used for disruptive activities that could result in broken windows and/or inconvenience or injury to residents coming from or going to their residence. Students who cause damage or injury are financially responsible to make restitution.

Recycling

As Christians we acknowledge our responsibility to exercise proper stewardship of the earth's resources and environment. Students can support these efforts in a personal way by taking advantage of the recycling programs on campus. Blue dumpsters are provided outside of the residence halls and apartments specifically for the recycling of paper, corrugated cardboard, numbers 1-7 plastic containers, glossy paper (such as magazines), metal cans and lids, and aerosol spray cans.

Refrigerators

One personal refrigerator is permitted in each residence hall room, and one in each apartment. Due to electrical circuitry limitations, the capacity of personal refrigerators may not exceed 6.0 cubic feet. Full-size refrigerators are not allowed unless provided by the university in student apartments and lounges.

Residence Hall Doors

The main exterior doors of each residence hall and the Southview and Kuyper Apartments are locked at all times for the safety and security of residents. Residents may use their electronic access card to gain entrance to their building. Please do not prop open any doors or allow entrance to anyone during these hours.

Residence Policy

Dordt University is a predominantly residential campus and believes that students learn and grow in unique ways as they live together as part of a residential community of Christians. All unmarried students who are not 22 years of age by the beginning of each semester are required to live in Dordt University housing unless they live at home with a parent or guardian. Students must be 17 years of age by August 1 of the current academic year to be eligible for Dordt University housing. Those students who wish to live with other relatives must receive approval from the associate dean of students and director of residence life prior to making other arrangements for housing.

The student life committee may grant exceptions to this general policy where circumstances make it advisable. All requests for exceptions must be submitted by the student in writing to the associate dean of students and director of residence life prior to the academic year. Students living in Dordt University housing are expected to be full-time students. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 total credits per semester in order to be considered full-time.

Any student who falls below the 12-credit level for the semester must receive approval from the director of residence life to remain in Dordt University housing. Such requests must be presented in writing to the associate dean of students and director of residence life for consideration.

While the university is responsible for housing all unmarried students, such students do have a measure of choice in regard to room and roommates. However, the university reserves the right to make housing adjustments and placements at its discretion. Residence hall and apartment housing eligibility is determined by high school graduation year.

Married students are expected to make their own housing arrangements. A list of area rentals is available from the student services office.

Students who request and are granted a private room maybe charged an additional housing fee set by the university.

Rollerblades, Skateboards, and Scooters

Rollerblades, skateboards, and scooters can cause damage to floors and carpets and can pose danger to others. Therefore, they may not be used inside any university facility. Additional restrictions may be posted throughout campus to promote the safety of the community.

Room Care/Damage

Students are expected to keep their living areas neat and clean. If the residents fail to comply with this request, the unit will be cleaned for them at their own expense. Students are responsible for damage caused by themselves and their guests anywhere on university property and will be billed accordingly. Any damage caused to a residence hall room/apartment, or its furnishings is the responsibility of the residents of the room/apartment. Any materials used to hang or display posters, etc., on walls must be removed, or repair damages will be assessed. Masking tape or other non-damaging material should be used. Damage to common property may be assessed to all residents if the individuals responsible are not identified. Any repair or item which needs the attention of the facilities department should be reported to a residence life staff member who will then inform the maintenance department and ensure that the situation is remedied.

Room Changes

All room changes must be approved in advance by the associate dean of students and director of residence life. A $50 fine will be assessed for any unauthorized moves. To request a room change, please contact student services at 712-722-6076.

Room Decorations

To enhance both creativity and adaptation to the university residential community, students are permitted to temporarily decorate their rooms or apartments according to their own tastes. However, sexually suggestive and racially charged posters or room decorations are prohibited. Permanent changes to room decor are also prohibited.

Room Furnishings

All basic furnishings are provided. Students must furnish their own linens (all mattresses on campus are extra-long twin), pillows, blankets, bed spread, mattress pad, bath towels, and cooking and eating utensils if in a cooking apartment. Removal of university-owned furnishings from their assigned location is not permitted. Students who are found with university furnishings taken from lounges or other university buildings in their rooms will be placed on suspension status and may be fined $50 per item.

Additional furnishings or construction of any kind may be permitted, but only with the authorization of residence life staff. Students are encouraged to prepare their rooms so that there is a proper environment for study and in accordance with fire safety requirements. Instructions for preparing rooms in accordance with fire safety requirements is provided to students each year and is also available from the associate dean of students and director of residence life. Student-owned furnishings that are left in the unit at the end of the year will necessitate a disposal charge to the student.

Screens and Windows

Screens and windows are not to be removed. Charges for broken windows and screens are billed to the residents of the dorm/apartment.

Signs

Possession or the unauthorized removal of traffic signs or university signs by private individuals is illegal. Civil penalties may be imposed.

Residence Life Staff

The residence life staff cares for the well-being of each resident and supervises the housing units. Each housing unit has a learning community area coordinator who is responsible for each of the facilities. The four residence halls (Covenant, East, North, and West) have two resident assistants (RAs) on each floor to serve the needs of students, and the apartment buildings (Kuyper, Southview, and East Campus) are staffed by two community development assistants (CDAs). The residence life staff intends to serve all residents in the best possible way and invites students to share their ideas, opinions, and suggestions for activities and improvements in residence living.

Room Condition Report

A room condition report will be distributed to document the condition of each residence hall room or apartment upon occupancy. It is essential that this list be both accurate and complete to prevent a student from being charged for previous damage and to report needed repairs. This report is used as the basis for assessing damage charges when the student vacates the housing unit. Residents should carefully follow directions listed on the room condition report and any additional instructions provided by the residence life staff.

Telephones

Telephones in administrative and faculty offices, library, and the dining hall offices are for official use only. There is a phone for local use by students near the north entrance to the campus center.

Televisions

Cable service is provided in the on-campus apartments and residence halls. DTA boxes are available for check-out from student services. Satellite dishes or other satellite reception technology are not permitted.

Visitation

Residence halls are closed to guests of the opposite gender aside from the following times (Open Hours):

Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. to midnight.

Sunday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The residents of each room may choose to reduce these hours or visitation days but cannot increase them.

Room doors must remain open when a guest of the opposite gender is present in the room.

Visitation hours in the apartments must be agreed upon by all members of an apartment.

Waiver of Privacy

University officials reserve the right to enter a student's room/apartment at any time. This may occur when a violation of university policy is suspected, an emergency situation, student wellness check, room maintenance, or for random/scheduled room inspections.


Student Code of Conduct

The university 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 chief of staff and 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 university'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 university has adopted a discipline policy structured on five 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 university community include students, faculty and staff of Dordt University and visitors to the university.

Campus
For the purposes of the conduct regulations, the campus includes the geographic confines of the university, 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 university.

Off-Campus Violations
Conduct off campus in violation of the conduct regulations which affects a clear and distinct interest of the university is subject to disciplinary sanctions. Specifically included, but not limited to, within the university's interest are violations that:

  • Involve conduct directed at other members of the Dordt community;
  • Disrupt educational or other functions of the university;
  • Occur during or at university-sponsored activities;
  • Occur during the activities of organizations affiliated with the university;
  • Occur during a study abroad program; or
  • If repeated on the campus, pose a threat to the safety of members of the university community.

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

  • The conduct involves threatened or actual physical injury to another person, or endangers other persons;
  • The conduct is willful or intentional;
  • The conduct results in, contributes to or enhances the severity of a public disorder, group violence or a mass disturbance;
  • The conduct involves interference with safety officials (police, fire and emergency medical responders) in the performance of their work;
  • The conduct involves the use of drugs, alcohol or medication to incapacitate a student's ability to give consent to participate in an activity;
  • The conduct violates a probationary sanction;
  • The conduct involves dishonesty within the judicial process;
  • The same or similar conduct is repeated; or
  • The conduct impairs other students' abilities to continue their education.

Truth and Grace Policy (Non-Disciplinary Action)

It is the desire of the university 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 university'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 by a college official or reported by law enforcement, 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 vice president for student success and dean of students 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 university has the responsibility to take appropriate action.

The university reserves the right to require the student to enter a professional counseling setting if it is believed warranted based on the behavior(s) in question.

Aiding and Assisting
Students aiding or assisting others in violating university 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 university.

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 university 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 university 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 university's alcohol policy are to report it to residence life staff or campus security.

The university 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 university-controlled areas, in university-approved housing facilities, in vehicles, and at university 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 university 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 be aware of the respective department's policies.

Drug and Alcohol Compliance Information

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.

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.

Contempt is defined as the following:

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

Violations involving disruption of a university community member's rights are:

Disruptive Activities (e.g., buffalo runs, water balloon launchers, water fights, raids, on building roofs, or other pranks, etc.) are prohibited on campus. Individuals involved will also be charged the cost of repairs and clean-up. Disruptive acts include, but are not limited to:

  • Intentional disruption, obstruction, or denial of access to university 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.

All forms of gambling are prohibited.

To remove a potential stumbling block from students who are struggling with this issue the university utilizes filtering software to block access on the university's network to gambling sites.

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

Sexual Harassment

Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy

Racial and Ethnic Harassment

Anti-Harassment Policy

Other Harassment

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.

Per Iowa Code § 708.10,

1.a. A person commits an act of hazing when the person intentionally or recklessly engages in any act or acts involving forced activity which endanger the physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any organization operating in connection with a school, college, or university. Prohibited acts include, but are not limited to, any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, forced confinement, or any other forced activity which endangers the physical health or safety of the student.

1.b. For purposes of this section, "forced activity" means any activity which is a condition of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, an organization, regardless of a student's willingness to participate in the activity

2. A person who commits an act of hazing is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.

3. A person who commits an act of hazing which causes serious bodily injury to another is guilty of a serious misdemeanor.

Please note that it is not a defense to a 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.

Including but not limited to mobile phones, laptops, tablets.

Examples of computer/device misuse are:

  • Illegal File Sharing
  • 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;
  • Distribution or possession of explicit, harassing or threatening material.

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

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

  1. Unauthorized or attempted unauthorized entry, occupation, or use of any university-owned or controlled property, equipment or facilities is a violation. It is a violation to enter restricted areas of the university including but not limited to restricted research areas and utility tunnels. Remaining in or on premises after permission to remain has been revoked also is trespassing.
  2. 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 university/civil sanctions.
  3. Accessing the computer system, accounts, or programs of the university or other persons without their specific permission is considered unauthorized entry.

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 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 but are not limited to any pistol, revolver, shotgun, machine gun, rifle or other firearm, BB, pellet, or air soft 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 three inches in length. Residents on campus may possess knives having a blade exceeding three inches for cooking purposes. Knives of any length are not permitted in classrooms/labs.
  3. A "weapon" is also defined as 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.

Please see Firearms/Hunting Equipment for information regarding appropriate use.

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.

Indecent exposure and public urination are prohibited.

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.
  • The academic and disciplinary regulations of educational institution granting the academic credit(s).

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. Intentionally setting off a false fire alarm will result in a $1,500 fine. If the individual(s) responsible is not identified, the fine may be assessed to all members of the residence hall or apartment complex.

  • Arson or attempted 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 university facility when the fire alarm has been sounded.
  • Burning candles or incense in residence units is prohibited. Flammable liquids, including but not limited to lighter fluid or LP gas tanks are not permitted in student residence units.

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

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.

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 expected to respond to and obey the requests made by university officials (including student residence life and security staff), police officers, faculty and staff. Failure to do so may lead to disciplinary action. Students who are found to have falsified or misrepresented information to a university official or judicial body can also be sanctioned for disrespect of authority.

Pets/animals are not permitted in the residence units at any time. Exceptions are made only for fish in aquariums not exceeding10 gallons. Approved emotional support or assistance animals are not considered “pets”.

Assistance Animals Policy

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

To remove a potential stumbling block from students who are struggling with this issue the university utilizes filtering software to block access on the university's network to pornographic sites.

Students are asked to refrain from the use of written or verbal profanity. The university reserves the right to impose sanctions on the use of profanity.

Smoking anywhere on Dordt University property is prohibited. Individuals may be assessed a $25 fine for smoking on campus. Smoking is defined as, but not limited to, the use of cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, hookah, vapes, and any other apparatus used for introducing tobacco, herb, or other harmful chemicals to the body. (Please see Student Code of Conduct for more information on substance abuse.)

*On July 1, 2008, the state of Iowa implemented the Iowa Smoke free Air Act. This law, among other things, bans smoking on college/university campuses across the state of Iowa. This law requires that smoking be banned on all campus property including outside areas, outdoor athletic venues, parking lots, and university owned vehicles. All individuals who choose to smoke must do so off campus.

Sanctions

Because circumstances vary in each case involving possible sanctions, each situation will be handled on an individual basis with the severity and frequency of the conduct, among other things, taken into consideration when determining the level of any sanction. For example, suspension and dismissal need not be preceded by progressive levels of sanctions in all circumstances.

Information pertinent to each level is set forth below:

  1. Administered by learning community area coordinators, associate dean of students and director of residence life, vice president for student success and dean of students, and/or Student Life Committee
  2. Sanctions may include but are not limited to:
  • Up to four weeks probation.
  • Up to five hours of community service.
  • A fine.
  • Reimbursement for expenses resulting from any damages to property and/or injury to persons.
  • Other sanctions as determined appropriate by the university's administration.

  1. Administered by learning community area coordinators, associate dean of students and director of residence life, vice president for student success and dean of students, and/or Student Life Committee
  2. Sanctions may include but are not limited to:
  • Up to 16 weeks probation.
  • Up to 15 hours of community service.
  • A fine.
  • Reimbursement for expenses resulting from any damages to property and/or injury to persons.
  • Other sanctions as determined appropriate by the university's administration.

  1. Administered by associate dean of students and director of residence life, vice president for student success and dean of students, vice president for university operations, and/or Student Life Committee
  2. Sanctions may include but are not limited to:
  • Suspension status for a minimum of one semester and up to the duration of the student’s education at the university. beginning at the time the sanction is imposed.
  • Community service up to 20 hours.
  • A fine
  • 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, to the extent permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Appropriate other sanctions (e.g., written reports, substance abuse seminars, etc.) as determined appropriate by the university’s administration.
  • Reimbursement for expenses resulting from any damages to property and/or injury to persons.

  1. Administered by the Student Life Committee. The Student Life Committee, which consists of students, staff, and faculty members, are responsible for all decisions regarding the suspension and/or dismissal of any student.
  2. Sanctions may include but are not limited to:
    1. Suspension from the university
    2. Expenses resulting from any damages to property and/or injury to persons.
    3. Suspensions under Title IX may be for the duration of the aggrieved party’s education at the university.
    4. Suspension 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 suspension. Students who return to the university after suspension may be eligible for tuition reduction benefits under the Cost Reduction Guidelines for Suspended Students who are readmitted.
    5. Notification of parent(s)/guardian(s), academic adviser, advisers, coaches, and ensemble directors, to the extent permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  3. Terms of readmission:
    1. The Student Life Committee will communicate these terms to the suspended student in writing

  1. Administered by the Student Life Committee
    1. Cause:
      1. Significant, repeated and or egregious violations of the Student Handbook and or local, state, or federal law
  2. Sanctions may include but are not limited to:
    • Dismissal from the university
    • 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 the student’s dismissal
    • Notification of parent(s)/guardian(s), academic adviser, advisers, coaches, and ensemble directors, to the extent permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

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

  1. Dordt University uses the evidentiary standard of the preponderance of the evidence in determining student responsibility with regard to policy violations. The disciplinary process is not a legal proceeding, and there are different standards of evidence for holding persons accountable.
  2. In cases where criminal or civil laws are violated, the university may impose penalties over and above any criminal or civil penalties that are assessed.

Appeals

  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 faculty member, and one trustee).
  3. A notice of appeal of a disciplinary decision must be filed within seven calendar days to the Office of the Chief of Staff in writing and in no more than 2,500 words. The appellant may appeal the decision based on one of the following reasons:
    1. A procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the decision;
    2. The appellant has new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or suspension/dismissal was made, and that could affect the outcome of the decision;
    3. The administrator/committee, had a conflict of interest or bias for or against the appellant that affected the outcome of the matter; or
    4. On the record as a whole, no reasonable administrator/committee could have reached the same determination regarding responsibility.

If you have any questions about the discipline policy at the university, please contact the vice president for student success and dean of students for further information.


Assistance Animals Policy

Dordt University is committed to helping students with particular life challenges to be successful and seeks to accommodate their needs. One common type of reasonable accommodation is allowing a person with a disability to keep an assistance animal. An assistance animal is an animal that works, provides assistance, performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Dordt University is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities may keep such animals in Dordt University housing, to the extent required by federal, state, and local law.

An animal that is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability is known as a service animal. It is often readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, such as a dog that guides an individual with a visual impairment. Where it is readily apparent that an animal is a trained service animal, for example, a dog trained to guide an individual with a visual impairment, Dordt University will not inquire about the individual’s disability or the animal’s training. Federal law recognizes two types of service animals: dogs and miniature horses. Service animals may accompany the student in most aspects of campus life, with limited restrictions.

In the case of a resident who requests a reasonable accommodation for an assistance animal that does work or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, Dordt University may require that the resident provide:

  1. A statement from a health or social service professional indicating that the person has a disability, and
  2. Information that the animal has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks that would ameliorate one or more symptoms or effects of the disability, or information that the animal, despite lack of individual training, is able to do work or perform tasks that would ameliorate one or more symptoms or effects of the disability.

In the case of a resident who requests a reasonable accommodation for an assistance animal that provides emotional or other assistance that ameliorates one or more symptoms or effects of the resident’s disability, Dordt University will require a statement from a health or social service professional1 indicating:

  1. That the applicant has a disability, and
  2. That the animal would provide emotional support or other assistance that would ameliorate one or more symptoms or effects of the disability, and
  3. Whether the applicant is using any measure (e.g. prescriptions, treatments, therapy, etc.) that mitigates the limitations caused by the impairment, and
  4. Whether any other alternative accommodation would be effective in allowing the applicant to use University housing.

If an assistance animal both provides emotional support or other assistance that ameliorates one or more effects of a disability and does work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a physical disability, Dordt University may require compliance with either of the two preceding paragraphs, but not both.

Service Animals may only accompany the student in the residential area of the University. Students requiring such an animal must apply for permission for this animal and be approved by the Associate Dean of Students.

The complete Service Animal policy is available from the Associate Dean of Students and governs the student’s and the institution’s rights and responsibilities in this area.

1 “Health or social service professional” means a person who provides medical care, therapy, or counseling to persons with disabilities, including, but not limited to, doctors, physician assistants, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers. The health or social service professional must have personally met with and diagnosed the applicant. The health or social service professional must have an enduring relationship with the applicant within 6 months of the application.

Drug Testing Policy

The university maintains a drug-free educational environment and requires all students to remain free of the unlawful and/or inappropriate use of controlled or illegal substances while enrolled as a student. Students will be held accountable for consuming illegal substances, regardless of state/local laws in the location where the substance was ingested. A student is subject to testing to show proof of a physical condition free from the unlawful and/or inappropriate use of controlled or illegal substances or the use of prescription medication for which the student does not have a valid prescription or which a student is using in a manner inconsistent with a physician's directions. Drug testing (at the university’s expense) will be required whenever the vice president for student success and dean of students, or designee, suspect or have reason to believe that a student might be engaging in the unlawful and/or inappropriate use of a controlled or illegal substance, or the inappropriate use or abuse of a prescription medication, whether on or off campus.

Reasonable grounds for requiring a student to submit to a drug test may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Incoherent communication or inexplicable behavior
  • A pattern of tardiness and/or absenteeism from class
  • Suspicious odors on person, clothing, and/or other property
  • Sudden, inexplicable decline in academic performance
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Prior positive drug test results
  • Arrest, citation, or conviction for a substance-related offense by university or public law enforcement authorities
  • Observation of substance use or physical symptoms or manifestations of impairment, incoherency, or erratic, inexplicable conduct
  • A report of substance abuse or use provided by a reliable and credible source

A student who refuses to submit to a request for drug testing from an authorized university official, refuses to authorize the release of test results to the university, or tampers with a drug test sample will be disciplined up to and including dismissal from the university. A positive drug test that confirms that a student has engaged in the unlawful or inappropriate use and/or abuse of controlled or illegal substances, or inappropriate use or abuse of a prescription medication, whether on or off campus, will result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension or dismissal from the university.

Drug testing will be conducted at a lab selected by the university and certified to conduct drug testing.


Missing Student Policy and Procedure

Dordt University takes student safety very seriously. To this end, the following policy and procedure has been established to assist in locating students living in Dordt-owned, on-campus housing who, based on the facts and circumstances known to Dordt personnel, Dordt has determined to be missing.

At the beginning of each academic year, Dordt will inform students residing in on-campus housing that Dordt will notify either a parent or an individual selected by the student no later than 24 hours after the time the student is determined to be missing. This will include the following information:

  • Students may identify an individual to be contacted by Dordt should they go missing. Students submit this confidential contact information through the registration process.
  • If the student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, Dordt is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian not later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing.
  • Dordt will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency not later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing.
  • If Dordt security or law enforcement personnel has been notified and makes a determination that a student who is the subject of a missing person report has been missing for more than 24 hours and has not returned to campus, Dordt will initiate the emergency contact procedures in accordance with the student's designation.

Dordt will observe the following notification procedure for a missing student who resides in on-campus housing:

  • Once Dordt receives a missing student report to the student service's office, Dordt security, residence life, or another source, the following offices will be notified:
    • Dordt security
    • Associate dean of students and director of residence life
    • Vice president for student success and dean of students
    • Chief of Staff
  • Any official missing person report relating to this student shall be referred immediately to the vice president for student success and dean of students and Chief of Staff.
  • If after the investigation of the official report, it is determined that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, Dordt will contact the individual identified by the student, the custodial parent or legal guardian if the student is under 18 and not emancipated, or local law enforcement if these do not apply.

Upon notification from any entity that any student may be missing, Dordt may use any of the following resources to assist in locating the student. These resources may be used in any order and combination.

  • Through the residence life office, the resident assistants may be asked to assist in physically locating the student by keying into the student's assigned room and talking with known acquaintances.
  • A search will be conducted on campus to find the student.
  • An I.D. picture will be disseminated to assist in identifying the missing student.
  • The vice president for student success and dean of students and designees may try to contact known friends, family, or faculty members for last sighting or additional contact information.
  • Student services or academic departments may be contacted to seek information on last sighting or other contact information.
  • Student services staff may utilize building access logs..
  • Campus security may access vehicle registration information.
  • Computer services may be asked to look up email logs..
  • If there is any indication of foul play, the local police department will immediately be contacted for assistance.

Eating Disorders

Statement of Care for Students with Eating Disorders

Dordt University is dedicated to helping students get the most out of their university life, both in and outside of the classroom. While a student’s right to make own decision is valued and respected, when his/her behavior or choices create serious risk of harm to self or others, the university has a responsibility to intervene.

When staff or faculty members are made aware of a student's struggle with an eating disorder, every effort will be made to collaborate respectfully and in a caring manner with the student. The student will be informed about the reasons for the concern and will be required to participate in assessment and treatment as deemed necessary. The assessment will in most cases begin at the Student Health and Counseling Center. Depending upon the results of the initial assessment, students will then be provided with options for appropriate help off campus.

Effective treatment involves a team comprised of the student, a medical doctor, a mental health professional, and a dietitian. Students with a diagnosis of an eating disorder will be asked to provide verification of their treatment care team and a signed commitment to work with that team while enrolled as a student or until the team discharges the student from their care.