Heritage University’s mission is based on the principle of deep respect for the value of each student. The policy and procedures for student conduct were developed with the intent of providing clear expectations for behaviors that promote a culture of respect. As an educational institution, Heritage has a mission focused on creating learning opportunities that encourage growth and development. The intent of this policy is to provide a catalyst with which to promote growth and a learning experience that allows each student to reach his/her potential while working within a safe and supportive atmosphere.
A violation of the Code of Conduct may also violate local, state, and federal law; therefore, resolution may also include prosecution through the criminal justice system.
The Heritage University Student Code of Conduct is instituted for all Heritage University campuses and locations. The Code of Conduct also applies to events sponsored by Heritage University on or off campus. Academic programs may have additional requirements, standards of conduct, and expectations for clinical or field experiences, which include drug screening, academic standing requirements, and disposition evaluations. Students are bound by both the University and program requirements. Please see program-specific handbooks for additional information. Students who would like to appeal or challenge a disciplinary action or Code of Conduct violation based on an academic program may seek guidance from the Office of Student Affairs.
A student is defined as a current, former, or anticipated member of the student body and can be admitted, conditionally admitted, enrolled, suspended, or graduated. The definition applies to any person with an academic affiliation to the University, including graduate and undergraduate students and continuing education students completing or using campus resources to complete Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
Heritage University encourages students to seek out guidance from faculty or educators to help them navigate their student journey. If at any time a student finds him or herself in need of additional support or guidance, that student may enlist the support of a Heritage University SAFE Mentor.
- A SAFE Mentor is a full-time employee of the University, chosen by the student.
- A SAFE Mentor may decline to serve in that capacity and redirect the student to the Office of Student Affairs. University employees are not obligated o serve as a SAFE mentor if asked.
- To request a SAFE Mentor, students must make a formal request, either verbally or in writing, to the faculty or educator/staff they choose.
- The Role of the SAFE Mentor:
The SAFE Mentor is designated to help and support a student or students as they navigate their student journey. SAFE Mentors may:
- Attend meetings at the request of the student.
- Assist students in understanding and navigating any processes that affect their student journey. Provide guidance to students on how to effectively deal with conflict.
- Assist students with identifying other resources on campus.
- Assist in preparing students for meetings, review information, and in general help students process options and foster a sense of self-advocacy.
- Use prudent judgment to ensure conversations are confidential.
SAFE Mentors will not act on behalf of a student, argue or articulate arguments on behalf of a student or students in formal meetings, or take any other formal actions on behalf of a student.
Students and organizations must comply with local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Failure to comply with these laws and those expressed in the Heritage University Student Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action. These punitive measures are outlined in section 5 under “Disciplinary Procedures” of Heritage University’s Student Code of Conduct.
The President of Heritage University, through the Office of Student Affairs, is ultimately responsible for the conduct and discipline of all Heritage University students.
The Heritage University Student Code of Conduct is designed to promote the University’s mission and protect the rights of students, faculty, and staff. The official University rules and regulations are contained in the University General Catalog and Polices. The most current version of the Student Code of Conduct may be found online.
Washington State Law regarding alcohol use, possession, acquisition, and supplying of to minors (RCW 66.44.270): it is unlawful for any person to sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of 21 years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises or on any premises under his or her control. It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years to possess, consume, or otherwise acquire any liquor.
Heritage University sits on the Yakama Reservation, and tribal leaders have voted a ban on the sale and possession of alcohol on the Yakama Reservation.
Heritage University is an alcohol-free campus. Student organizations and Heritage University student-sponsored activities must all be alcohol-free, whether held on or off campus. Students must not show up to class or for HU-sponsored events under the influence of alcohol.
Smoking is not permitted in any Heritage University buildings or within 25 feet of an entrance to a building. This includes vapor products, e-cigarettes, and some smokeless tobacco.
While the citizens of Washington State chose to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for use by persons over the age of 21, Heritage University prohibits the use, distribution, and consumption of marijuana by anyone of any age on campus.
Medical marijuana users should be aware that Heritage University does not permit marijuana use or possession on campus, even with official medical documentation. All questions regarding the reasonable accommodation of medical conditions, including conditions treated with medical marijuana, should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs.
Some academic programs require students to pass a urine analysis for admission.
A controlled substance is a chemical or drug that, when improperly used or abused, can have negative effects on a person’s health or welfare. Some controlled substances are prescribed and sold to the general public or distributed by pharmacies. Use of prescription medication not prescribed to an individual and/or providing medication to an individual to whom it is not prescribed is prohibited. Unlawful use, sale, or possession of controlled substances or paraphernalia is prohibited.
All controlled substances are regulated by the federal government and categorized in five schedules. Schedule I contains substances that have the highest potential for abuse, are unsafe, and have no accepted medical use. Heritage University prohibits the distribution and sale of any controlled substances.
The following is a general overview of Schedules I-V of the controlled substances, taken from www.dea.gov (for a comprehensive list, visit www.fda.gov):
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as those with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the scheduled drugs, with potential for severe psychological or physical dependence.
Schedule I drugs include heroin; lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD); marijuana (cannabis), although legal in Washington State; 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy); methaqualone; and peyote.
Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as those with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous.
Schedule II drugs include combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin.
Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as those with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs’ abuse potential is less than that of Schedule I or of Schedule II drugs, but more than that of Schedule IV drugs.
Schedule III drugs include products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone.
Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.
Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, and tramadol (Ultram).
Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.
Some examples of Schedule V drugs are preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and Parepectolin.
Disorderly or disruptive behavior that disrupts the academic, administrative, or campus environment is prohibited. Conduct standards will be based on the generally accepted University community standards of decency and morality and the extent to which any behavior infringes on the rights of others in the community. This can include, but is not limited to:
- Disturbing the peace, defined as the unsettling of proper order in a public space through one’s actions.
- Interfering with the duties and performance of public/civil officials.
- Interfering with the rights of others on University property, including students, faculty, lecturers, and staff.
- Interfering with the daily functioning of the University and the performance of University personnel.
Heritage University welcomes children to visit campus with their parents or guardians. However, children can be a disruption to the learning environment. Students should not bring children to class, except in the case of emergency, and then only with the instructor’s permission. Parents or guardians must provide the appropriate level of supervision. For safety reasons, children may not be present in any of the science laboratory classrooms under any circumstances.
Heritage University expects students to engage in healthy debate and discussion. Students must refrain from making vulgar and inappropriate statements. A student who disrupts the learning environment can be told to leave the room.
The United States Constitution protects the rights of people to assemble for protest in a peaceful manner. Peaceful protests and demonstrations are acceptable means of expression within and on the Heritage University campus. However, if such protests are not peaceful and orderly, and/or if they interfere with the rights of others to make use of and enjoy the facilities, or attend events and functions, the University will exercise its right to have disorderly demonstrations stopped and will reprimand those who violate this policy. Disorderly conduct during demonstrations includes:
- Forming picket lines that restrict free passage of those who wish to pass in a vehicle or on walkways.
- Carrying of signs that in a way that could damage University property or others, or that could as a weapon.
- Halting a lecture, debate, class, or public forum of any kind and indirectly or directly preventing a speaker from speaking.
Students who would like to exercise their freedom of expression should work with the Office of Student Affairs to coordinate a peaceful exchange of ideas.
Students are required to follow the University policy on firearms:
No air gun, firearm, rifle, shotgun, or weapon may be possessed, stored, discharged, loaded, or used on property owned or leased by Heritage University, with two exceptions:
a) A firearm in the possession of a uniformed or ununiformed officer of the law, and
b) A firearm in a vehicle unloaded and locked within the vehicle and concealed from view.
Severe disciplinary action up to and including termination will be taken against any employee discovered in possession of an unauthorized firearm or similar weapon on their person while on University property. Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from academic courses, will be taken against any student discovered in possession of an unauthorized firearm or similar weapon on their person while on University property.
Washington State identifies the following items as dangerous weapons (RCW 9.41.250): slingshot, sand club, metal knuckles, spring blade knife, dagger, dirk, pistol, and the illegal use and possession of a device to suppress the noise of a firearm.
Washington State defines the following terms:
- (RCW 9.41.010): a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder. A “gun” has the same meaning as a firearm. Ammunition (RCW 70.74.010): any shotgun, rifle, pistol, or revolver cartridge, and cartridges for propellant-actuated power devices and industrial guns. Military-type ammunition containing explosive bursting charges, or incendiary, tracer, spotting, or pyrotechnic projectiles, is excluded from this definition. Explosive (RCW 70.74.010): any chemical compound or mechanical mixture that is commonly used or intended for the purpose of producing an explosion, that contains any oxidizing and combustible units, or other ingredients, in such proportions, quantities, or packing, that an ignition by fire, by friction, by concussion, by percussion, or by detonation of any part of the compound or mixture may cause such a sudden generation of highly heated gases that the resultant gaseous pressures are capable of producing destructive effects on contiguous objects or of destroying life or limb.
- Improvised device (RCW 70.74.010): a device which with explosives or destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic, or incendiary chemicals and which is designed, or disfigure, destroy, distract, or harass.
Students shall not endanger the safety, health, or life of themselves or others. All forms of abuse and harassment (physical, sexual, and emotional) including, but not limited to, bullying, threats, intimidation, and coercion, are prohibited. Heritage University does not tolerate verbal, physical, written, or electronic harassment.
Any student who has experienced, or is currently experiencing, any form of abuse or harassment is encouraged to file a complaint with Campus Security and/or the Office of Student Affairs. If the abuse or harassment takes place off campus, the student is encouraged to contact local law enforcement, as well as report the incident to the Office of Student Affairs.
If any student or member of the campus community has a concern for the safety of him or herself or others, he or she should call 911 immediately.
The following conduct is prohibited for all Heritage students and organizations:
Assault is the intent to inflict harm on another. Assault may occur through physical touch or by the use of weapons or any inanimate object. For more information, please read the Washington State Criminal Code (RCW 9A.36).
Harassment involves unwanted and unwelcome words, deeds, actions, gestures, symbols, or behaviors of any nature that make the target feel uncomfortable.
Heritage University prohibits students and student organizations, whether on or off campus, from participating or engaging in the hazing of another person. Hazing is an intentional action or a created situation intended to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. These actions or situations often correspond to the initiation of a prospective or new member into a group. Hazing may also occur as a pastime tradition for an organization or as entertainment. No form of hazing will be tolerated on or off campus by students, organizations, or clubs, even if a student or group of students consents and willingly subjects him or herself to such practices. Actions, situations, or activities considered hazing include, but are not limited to:
- Use or abuse of alcohol and other substances.
- Assault with an object or by direct physical touch.
- Forcing excessive fatigue on another.
- Inducing physical or psychological shock.
- Involvement in situations or humiliating or degrading that also may result in bodily, emotional, or mental harm.
In Washington State, hazing is illegal in any public or private institution of higher education (RCW 28B.10.901).
Sexual misconduct is a broad term that describes any unwanted behavior of a sexual nature. These acts are committed without consent or by force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Sexual misconduct can occur between persons of the same or different genders. Heritage University prohibits sexual misconduct of any form.
Washington State defines the following terms under RCW 9A.44.010:
- Consent: at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
- Sexual Contact: any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party or a third party.
- Sexual Intercourse — defined in three parts: 1) occurs upon any penetration, however slight; 2) occurs upon any penetration of the vagina or anus however slight, by an object, when committed on one person by another, whether such persons are of the same or opposite sex, except when such penetration is accomplished for medically recognized treatment or diagnostic purposes; and 3) occurs upon any act of sexual contact between persons involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another, whether such persons are of the same or opposite sex.
Prohibited conduct between persons under this policy include, but are not limited to:
- Unwelcome sexual advances or propositions.
- Use of any electronic devices to record or transmit nudity or sexual acts without a person’s knowledge. includes the use of cell phones, cameras, email, social networks, and any internet sites.
- Observing nudity or sexual acts, with intention, of another person without that person’s knowledge or permission. may occur in person or with the of any electronic devices.
- Domestic violence or intimate partner violence.
- Unwanted and persistent attention by any means. includes the use of electronic devices or in-person attention, and is also referred to as stalking.
- Unwanted and intentional sexual contact, or touching or groping of an individual’s body. to as sexual assault.
- Coercing, or forcing, someone to touch you.
- Threatening .
- Initiating any sexual contact or intercourse with a person who is incapacitated or unable to provide consent.
- Incapacitating someone for the purpose of sexual contact or intercourse.
- Coercing, or forcing, someone into sexual behavior.
- Unwanted, forced, or coerced sexual intercourse, often referred to as rape.
Any student, faculty, or staff member who is witness to, or made aware of, sexual misconduct of any nature must report the incident immediately to one of the two designated Title IX Coordinators, even if the event occurs off campus. Victims/students are also encouraged to contact local law enforcement outside of regular business hours.
Designated Title IX Coordinators:
Melissa Hill, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
509-969-4013 Cell Phone
509-865-0411 Office Phone
Yovana Cook, MSW
Mental and Social Health Counselor/ADA Coordinator
509-865-8544 Office Phone
Investigations of Sexual Misconduct
All allegations of sexual misconduct will be investigated under Title IX. The process for investigation includes, but is not limited to:
- A review of the by the Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources, and the Mental and Social Health Counselor with recommendations on how to proceed.
- Such recommendations may include: proceeding with an internal investigation which may include meeting with the alleged perpetrator(s), victim(s), and witness(es); review of security video surveillance, electronic communications, social media, and/or Heritage University email; temporary dismissal of student(s) pending further investigation; and/or contacting local law enforcement.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs will designate an Investigating Officer. Investigations will be conducted as expeditiously as possible, though this may vary based on the availability of witnesses, the scope of the , or unforeseen circumstances.
- During an investigation, the alleged victim(s) will have the opportunity to address the allegations. The victim(s) can either refute or confirm/identify supporting witnesses or other evidence.
- Reporting individual(s) or those accused will also have the opportunity to respond to each allegation and identify supporting witnesses or other evidence.
- The Investigating Officer will review the evidence presented and may meet with witnesses identified by the alleged victim(s), respondent(s), those accused, or third parties. All parties involved in the investigation are expected to cooperate and provide truthful information throughout the process.
- During the process, any student, either the alleged victim(s) or those accused, may ask for or seek outside support such as a friend or parent. If the parent happens to be an attorney, he or she must disclose that information and may not act .
- The investigating officer will define the way in which the SAFE Mentor or support person participates in the investigation.
Following an investigation, the accused will either be exonerated or required to move to the Heritage University Judicial Process.
Heritage University cannot ensure total confidentiality in its investigation of sexual misconduct filed under these procedures. However, Heritage University makes every reasonable effort to conduct investigations and related proceedings in a manner that protects the privacy of all parties, and will make clear to each individual involved in the process that the expectation of confidentiality applies to them. Each situation is reviewed as discreetly as possible, with information shared only with those who need to know to investigate and resolve the problem.
Actual or attempted theft of personal or University property is prohibited.
Actual or attempted damage to property of the University community or other personal or public property is prohibited.
Unauthorized use of or entry into any University facility, or unauthorized abuse of such building, premises, or facility, is prohibited.
Abuse of the computer and networking resources of Heritage University is prohibited. Violations in this category include, but are not limited to, 1) unauthorized access, transfer, and editing of files; 2) unauthorized use of another University-affiliated member’s identification and password; 3) illegal downloading of media files or software; and 4) use of computing facilities or networking systems in a way that violates Heritage University’s Technology Use Policy.
The pervading spirit underlying the mission and goals of Heritage University is the pursuit of justice and truth in every aspect of a student’s education. Honesty and integrity are expected of all members of the academic community and are essential to the learning process. Professors must demonstrate, by precept and example, the necessity of rigorous honesty in the use of sources and of utter respect for the work of others.
All students are responsible for upholding academic integrity at Heritage University. Academic integrity is based on the belief that all people, including members of the Heritage community, take credit only for their original ideas and credit others for the work that they have created. Academic dishonesty is defined as intent to deceive, particularly regarding the originality of academic work.
Any instance of violation of the Academic Honesty Policy must be reported to the Provost/Office of Academic Affairs. The Provost’s Office will track violations. Note that certain academic programs may have their own policies that supersede this regarding Academic Honesty; please check with your department if another policy exists.
Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, and academic misconduct.
Plagiarism is the inclusion of someone else’s words, ideas, images, or data as one’s own. When a student submits academic work that includes another’s words, ideas, images, or data, whether published or unpublished, the source of that information must be acknowledged with complete and accurate references, and if verbatim statements are included, with quotation marks as well. By submitting work as one’s own, a student certifies the originality of all material not otherwise acknowledged.
Fabrication is the act of falsifying research or other findings. Fabrication includes, but is not limited to:
- The false citation or acknowledgment of a direct or secondary source, including the documentation of a source.
- The citation, in a bibliography or other list of references, of sources that were not used to prepare the academic work.
- The inclusion in an academic work of falsified, invented, or fictitious data or information, or the deliberate and knowing concealment or distortion of the data.
- Making false statements or creating documentation defer, delay, or receive an extension on a due date, or be excused from a test or presentation.
Cheating is an act or an attempted act of deception by which a student seeks to misrepresent that he or she has mastered information that has not been mastered. Cheating includes, but is not limited to:
- Copying all or any portion of someone else’s work and submitting it, in part its entirety, as one’s own.
- Allowing another student access to work already completed.
- The unauthorized collaboration with any other person on an academic exercise, including collaboration on a take-home or makeup academic exercise unless permitted.
- The unauthorized use of electronic instruments, such as computers, tablets, cell phones, or translators to access or share information.
Academic misconduct includes any act that disrupts the educational process, such as:
- The unauthorized possession, copying, distribution, sale, or other transfer of materials, assignments, tests, or resources to students without the permission of the faculty member.
- Attempting to a grade on an assignment to change the grade of record.
- Accessing University computers, and using screen capture or other devices to obtain answers to tests or assignments.
- Failing to adhere to standards of professional behavior established by a faculty member, an academic program, or the University.
Students are often expected to work in groups. Students working in groups that submit a group assignment are confirming the authenticity of the entire work, including that of their peers. If a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy is determined, all students working on that project or assignment will share responsibility, unless the identity of individuals involved in the dishonesty can be determined. Students who suspect another student of academic dishonesty should confront the issue, and if necessary, seek guidance or assistance from the faculty member.
Heritage students have a responsibility to adhere to academic honesty in all their educational endeavors. Faculty members have a responsibility to model academic honesty and to prevent dishonesty, as well as to detect and confront students who violate the policy.
Academic dishonesty is serious and will carry appropriate sanctions, ranging from a written record of the violation being placed in the student’s file to course failure and even to suspension or dismissal from the University. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and all other behavior inconsistent with academic integrity and honesty.
When a faculty member has reasonable cause to believe that academic dishonesty has occurred, the following procedures shall be followed:
- The faculty member will confer with the student concerning the violation and discuss the course of action.
- The faculty member will file a short report of the incident and consult with the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs regarding the sanction.
- For cases involving academic theft, alteration of data, unauthorized access, or fraud, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs will confer with the student to determine the nature of the offense, the involvement of the student, and the course of action to be pursued. The appropriate sanction will . The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs shall make the decision based on the merits of the case. The reasons for the decision shall be put in writing and given within 10 days to the student faculty member involved.
- A student or faculty member may appeal a decision by requesting a hearing.
Students who feel that an academic decision affecting them should be re-examined may present their case according to the following grievance process. These steps are followed until the concern is resolved:
- A student confers with the instructor/faculty concerned.
- If the student believes the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved, the student confers with the department chair or department director.
- If the student believes the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved, the student confers with the college dean to seek assistance in resolving the concern.
- A student makes an appointment with the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs to seek assistance in resolving the concern.
- The student and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs may request a hearing committee to review the matter.
- The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs communicates the decision to the concerned student.
Aiding and Abetting in Prohibited Activity
Students attempting, or aiding in the commission of, any prohibited act shall be disciplined. While a lesser breach, conspiring to commit a violation will still be considered an infringement of the Code of Conduct.
Students must comply with the direction of University employees or law enforcement enforcing policies at the request of the University. Aggressive, abusive, or non-compliant behavior is prohibited.
Students and organizations must comply with University-wide policies, procedures, and rules. A complete list of Heritage University Policies can be found at:
Students shall not provide false information to University officials, faculty members, or offices. Misrepresentation includes forging or altering any University documents or records, falsifying information verbally, or providing false information on documents.
Some academic and extracurricular programs have additional expectations and requirements that, if not met, may result in simple intervention up to final dismissal from the program and/or the University.
While Heritage University does not place disciplinary records on student transcripts, disciplinary records do become part of students’ files and are subject to FERPA guidelines. In order to support and reinforce expectations for the student or to be warned of a potentially dangerous student, any advisors, faculty, and program staff who are determined to be in the “Need to Know” category of FERPA may be notified of specific steps taken within the entire student discipline process. Heritage University may also collect and review criminal records or request that a student participate in a background check as part of the academic process, and retain those records in a student’s official file.
We promote good citizenship by educating students on behavioral expectations at Heritage University. When student misconduct occurs, we oversee impartial judicial procedures and opportunities for personal development and improvement. We aim to develop responsible, conscientious adults who are committed to maintaining a safe and respectful campus environment. A student may request, as part of this process, that a member of the University serve as his or her SAFE Mentor. Requests must be made in writing and sent to the Office of Student Affairs.
Students must comply with the directions of those University officials involved in the judicial process. This includes responding to requests and completing imposed sanctions in a timely manner.
Students must not provide false or distorted information. Knowingly causing the commencement of judicial proceedings without just cause (fair and honest and based on reasonable grounds) is prohibited.
Attempting to influence others within the judicial process is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, harassment, intimidation, or attempted intimidation of the members of the judicial proceedings.
Students may not disrupt the orderly proceedings of judicial hearings or processes.
As a learning process, rather than a criminal proceeding, Heritage University uses the “preponderance of evidence” standard for disciplinary proceedings. This means that a final determination is based on whether the accused is more likely than not to have committed the act. There is no requirement of physical evidence, nor does the alleged violation have to be witnessed. Congruent with classroom participation, this process focuses on student learning and the development of rigorous critical reflection and self-advocacy skills. Therefore, it is not intended to include direct participation or intervention by parents or other external parties. Heritage University may exercise its right to review video surveillance, key card access information, or network access as part of the investigation.
The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for the oversight of this policy. The Vice President for Student Affairs may serve as the Judicial Officer or delegate another appropriate official to serve in this capacity, especially in cases where he or she is the investigating officer. Each member of the University community is responsible for communicating and enforcing behavior expectations and for reporting violations.
Heritage University reserves the right, depending on the severity of the allegations, to remove a student through the process of expulsion until further notice, and may request a student remain off campus until an investigation can be completed.
The typical hearing process is as follows for allegations that are not criminal in nature:
Concerns Raised and Investigation
The student will be informed by the Judicial Officer that a concern has been raised and a response by the student is necessary. The University then conducts an initial review of the facts to determine how to proceed.
Student Conduct Meeting
Student Conduct Meetings are held after an investigation has been conducted, if evidence and/or allegations warrant further action. The student conduct meeting serves the same purpose as a hearing but is less formal. A Student Conduct Meeting will be held at the earliest mutually agreeable time for the student and Judicial Officer. The meeting is typically held with only the student and the Judicial Officer present, unless the student requests in writing that a member of the University community serve as a SAFE Mentor. During the meeting, the student will be informed of the concern and provided an opportunity to respond and discuss the matter. The student may present additional evidence during the meeting. At any time during the disciplinary process, the student may choose to accept responsibility for their involvement in the incident involving a code violation.
This informal method is the preferred intervention for the University because it allows for resolution in a more productive and less adversarial manner. Within 10 normal business days of the Student Conduct Meeting, if a student denies any involvement in the incident, or chooses not to accept any responsibility and subsequent actions, they must formally request, in writing, for the University to hold a Student Conduct Hearing. A student may request a SAFE Mentor.
Student Conduct Meetings that do not end with a mutual agreement are then moved through the Student Conduct Hearing process.
A Student Conduct Hearing will be scheduled for a student who denies any involvement in the incident, or chooses not to accept any responsibility and/or respond to any subsequent actions or disciplinary sanction imposed by the Judicial Officer. The student will be notified in advance of the date, time, and location of the hearing. If the student chooses not to attend the hearing, it may be held in his or her absence, and any decisions made are not eligible for appeal.
Student Conduct Hearings are formal administrative hearings attended by a minimum of three University officials as designated by the Chief Judicial Officer.
Students will be given reasonable time to prepare a case and review related documentation. A student may request a SAFE Mentor to attend the hearing. Parents may attend the Student Conduct Hearing. However, parents and mentors may not participate in the process. If the parent happens to be an attorney, he or she must disclose that information and may not act as legal counsel. Support persons may not speak or participate directly in the hearing unless invited to do so by the hearing officer.
Requests for a SAFE Mentor to attend the meeting must be made in writing to the Judicial Officer 24 hours prior to the meeting. Any additional documentation or information related to the allegations should also be shared in advance of the hearing.
A student may have an opportunity to present written information or witnesses with relevant information to present his or her side of the story. During the hearing, the committee will hear the case, ask questions, and review relevant information. The Judicial Office is responsible for answering questions or responding to inquiries. The student will be informed of the committee’s decision and any actions imposed within five normal business days following the Student Conduct Hearing.
Victims of a crime will be notified of the outcome of the hearing.
Disciplinary actions are used as a developmental and educational tool in an effort to redirect student behavior toward compliance with community expectations, if such redirection is feasible, to protect the University community, to allow students the opportunity to reconcile with the campus community or specific individuals, and to allow students the opportunity to learn about the impact of their attitudes and behavior toward others.
Representatives from the Office of Student Affairs may impose the following:
- Warning: notice to the student, either verbally or in writing, that he or she has failed to meet the University’s Student Code of Conduct. A warning in the University student database system.
- Reprimand: notice in writing of the student’s failure to meet the University’s conduct standards. The written reprimand will be dated and signed and acknowledged as received by the student and placed in the student’s file.
- Probation: in response to a serious, escalating, or repeated level of violation, the probation will be imposed for a specified amount of time and will outline expected behavior and the repercussions of noncompliance.
- Suspension: suspension from the University involves exclusion from participation in academic extracurricular activities for a specified amount of time. Written notification of suspension will be sent to the student’s mailing address on file. This action includes the following:
- The student will be removed from all courses.
- The student will forfeit fees according to the normal refund schedule of the University.
- The student will refrain from visiting all University premises and locations (which may include a criminal trespass warning) except when engaged in official business approved by the University in writing.
- When a student has concluded the suspension and completed any expected conditions for return, the student must submit a letter to the Vice President for Student Affairs requesting reinstatement, and provide evidence that he or she has satisfied the terms of the suspension. The student may only return after approval by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- Dismissal is a permanent expulsion from the University. It may be for a very serious offense or for repeated offenses. In addition to forfeiting all tuition paid, the student suffers all losses as indicated in the suspension status above. Students in this status are not allowed to visit the University. The student will refraim from visiting the University, which may include a criminal trespass order.
In addition to the above, the Office of Student Affairs may require actions such as:
- Facilitated discussion: a neutral third party may be brought in to help with conflict resolution. Ground rules will be discussed and agreed upon by all parties. For this process to be successful, all involved parties must be willing to participate.
- Positive actions are required activities that are intended to engage the student in a learning process related to the behavior of concern. They may include, but are not limited to, engaging in campus or community activities, participating in short courses, and writing a report.
- Restorative actions are opportunities to repair or heal some of the damage to the University community inflicted through the student’s code violation behavior. Restorative actions include, but are not limited to, writing a sincere letter of apology, restitution, fines, and non-paid work.
- Loss of privileges may include restrictions on participation (including leadership and University events), eligibility for employment, internships, communication, financial aid, facility access, student accounts, or record holds.
A decision by a Judicial Officer or hearing committee regarding a non-academic violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be appealed within five business days from the date of the outcome letter or the findings of the student hearing committee. Appeals must be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs and that person may assign a designee to receive/review/render a decision on that appeal.
Any non-academic or academic appeal is limited to one or more of the following purposes:
- determine whether the original conduct meeting was conducted in conformity with the procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
- determine whether the decision reached regarding the Respondent student was based on substantial information; that is, whether there was evidence sufficient to establish that a violation of this code and/or University policy occurred under the “more likely than not” standard.
- determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation the student was found to have committed.
- consider if new information and/or other relevant facts not known to the person appealing at the time of the original conduct meeting are sufficient to alter a decision.
If the Vice President for Student Affairs, or their designee, upholds an appeal, the written decision will be communicated to the original conduct body for action, if appropriate. All appeal decisions by the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee are final.