1.1 Purpose: To establish written rules, regulations, and procedures concerning student conduct and discipline for Fairmont State University, hereinafter referred to as “University.”
1.2 Authority: W.V. Code §18B-1-6 and §18B-2A-4.
1.3 Scope: This code applies to all students associated with Fairmont State University under the authority of the Fairmont State University Board of Governors
2.1 The term “University” means Fairmont State University and any of its satellite campuses.
2.2 The term “student” includes all persons taking courses part-time, pursuing non-degree and certificate, undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies. Persons who are not officially enrolled, but who have a continuing relationship with the University are considered “students” as are persons who are living in the residence halls, although not enrolled in the institution.
2.3 The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the institution to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the University to be a member of its faculty regardless of rank.
2.4 The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a faculty member, staff, administration, official, or any other person employed by the institution.
2.5 The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the University (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
This Student Code of Conduct shall apply to
a) all conduct that occurs on the University premises and during University sponsored activities;
b) To conduct that does not occur on University premises but adversely affects or interferes with the educational or orderly operation of the University, its mission, or the pursuit of its objectives;
c) To conduct that does not occur on University premises but, in light of all the facts and circumstances, would endanger the health, safety, or property of the University, the University Community, or its neighboring communities;
d) To conduct that occurs on or off of University premises or property which violates federal, state, or local laws, policies of the Fairmont State University Board of Governors, institution or campus rules or regulations, directives of University Officials, including failing to observe standards of conduct which are appropriate for an academic institution.
e) To conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even if conduct occurs before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment, is subject to the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct shall apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending, and even if the student’s conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded.
2.6 The term “Director of Student Conduct, or designated representative”, formerly referred to as the Campus Judicial Officer, is the person responsible for the administration of the Student Code of Conduct. The Director of Student Conduct is charged with the responsibility of conducting initial conferences/meetings pursuant to the complaints of student misconduct and taking appropriate disciplinary actions in those instances’ students have been found “responsible.” The Director of Student Conduct shall be available to assist any student, student organization, staff member, faculty member, or administrator in understanding and applying the Student Code of Conduct.
2.6.1 The Office of Student Conduct shall be the official repository for all conduct-related materials concerning students. Requests for conduct related materials should be made to the Office of Student Conduct who is the custodian of such materials.
2.6.2 The Director of Student Conduct is charged with the following duties, which shall be undertaken in a manner to ensure the fair administration of this Student Code of Conduct:
a) Advise any group or individual within the University wishing to bring charges against one or more students;
b) Inform any student against whom charges have been brought of substantive rights, due process rights, and procedures forthcoming, including the rights of appeal;
c) Prepare all papers necessary for the final disposition of complaints or violations, including an outcome for appropriate dispensation and signature
2.7 The term “procedure” is defined as the written regulations of Fairmont State University as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct, Residence Hall Guide to Success, the institution’s web pages, and Graduate/Undergraduate Catalogs or successors.
2.8 The term “complainant” means a person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Code. When a student believes that s/he has been a victim of another student’s misconduct, the student who believe s/he has been a victim will have the same rights under this Code, even if another member of the University community submitted the charge itself.
2.9 The term “accused” means any student accused of violating this Code.
3.1 General: All students of the University and, to the extent applicable, all student organizations are expected and required to obey federal, state, and local laws, to comply with the policies of the Fairmont State University Board of Governors, with institutional or campus rules and regulations, with directives issued by any University official, and to observe standards of conduct appropriate for an academic institution.
3.2 Specific Acts: A student and, to the extent applicable, any student organization that commits any of the following acts is subject to action by the University under the Student Code of Conduct:
a) Sexual Misconduct. “Sexual Misconduct” is defined in Fairmont State University Board of Governors Rule GA-01: Rule Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, Retaliation, and Relationships. In summary, it means “Sexual Assault” or “Sexual Exploitation.”
b) Prohibited Drug-Related Conduct. “Prohibited drug related conduct” means (1) possessing; (2) manufacturing; (3) producing; (4) distributing; (5) selling; (6) possessing with the intent to distribute or sell; or (7) being under the influence of any illicit drug, synthetic drug, or other controlled substance. It also means (8) using any prescribed drug in a manner inconsistent with the prescription; (9) driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of any illicit drug, synthetic drug, or other controlled substance; or (10) intentionally or recklessly inhaling ingesting, or using in any manner inconsistent with its purpose any chemical, liquid, substance or other compound.
c) Prohibited Alcohol-Related Conduct. “Prohibited alcohol related conduct” means being a student (1) under the age of twenty-one, who consumes or possesses alcohol; (2) who gives alcohol to a person under the age of twenty-one; (3) who drives or operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol; (4) who is in public or on University premises in an intoxicated condition; (5) who possess an open container of alcohol, regardless of their age, in or on any public sidewalk, street, or other place; or (6) failure of a student organization to take all necessary steps to ensure that no person under the legal drinking age is provided alcoholic beverages at a function it sponsors or within any property or transportation it owns, operates, or rents.
d) Impermissible Burning. “Impermissible burning” means (1) setting fire to; (2) causing a fire to be set to; or (3) aiding, inciting, enticing, or soliciting any person to set fire to furniture, vehicles, garbage, dumpsters, garbage receptacles, construction material, rubbish, debris, brush, or any other material, unless specifically permitted. “Impermissible Burning” also means contributing or adding furniture, vehicles, garbage, dumpsters, garbage receptacles, construction material, rubbish, debris, brush, or any other material to a fire that has already been set, unless specifically permitted.
e) Riotous Behavior and Hooliganism. “Riotous behavior and hooliganism” means participation in a disturbance of two or more persons acting with the common purpose to commit or incite any action that threatens, presents a danger to, or terrorizes the public. However, riotous behavior and hooliganism does not mean peaceful demonstrations, peaceful picketing, a call for a peaceful boycott, or other forms of peaceful dissent.
f) Aiding, Abetting, Assisting, or Facilitating Prohibited Behavior. “Aiding, abetting, assisting, or facilitating prohibited behavior” means to be actively associated with or actively encouraging another person or persons whose behavior is in violation of this Student Code of Conduct, University policy, or the law.
g) Attempting or Causing Physical Harm to Another. “Attempting or Causing Physical Harm to Another” means attempting to commit a violent injury to another person or committing an act that places another person in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. It also means intentionally making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with another person or intentionally causing physical harm to another person.
h) Misconduct at University Athletic Events, Concerts, or Other Events. For purposes of this subsection only, “misconduct” means failing to follow event or venue rules or guidelines or interfering in any way with the athletic event, concert, or other event, including, but not limited to, throwing objects into a crowd, at another person, or onto a playing field, court, or stage, or acting in a manner that reasonably interferes with others’ enjoyment of the athletic event, concert, or other event.
i) Violation of Fairmont State University Board of Governors Rules, Institutional Policies and Regulations, or Campus Rules and Regulations. “Violation of Fairmont State University Board of Governors policies, institutional rules and regulations, or campus rules and regulations” means engaging in conduct that violates Fairmont State University Board of Governors policies, institutional rules and regulations, or campus rules and regulations, including any violation of published University housing and residence life rules or policies. A charge alleging a violation of a University policy, rule, or regulation shall identify the policy, rule, or regulation violated.
j) Violation of Federal, State, or Local Law. “Violation of federal, state, or local law” means engaging in conduct that violates federal, state, or local law whether such conduct takes place on campus or off campus or whether civil or criminal penalties may also be imposed for such conduct. A violation of this provision is not predicated upon a final determination by a court of law. In other words, it is not necessary for a student to have been actually found to have violated a federal, state, or local law by a court of law in order to be disciplined under this Campus Student Code. It is only necessary that a student be found to have engaged in such prohibited acts by processes under the Campus Student Code. It is specifically noted here that the standard of proof in the Campus Student Code process is distinct and different from what is applied in criminal federal, state, and local law violations. A charge alleging a violation of a federal, state, or local law shall identify the federal, state, or local law violated.
k) Endangerment. “Endangerment” means engaging in conduct that endangers the health or safety of any person, or causes a reasonable person to fear for his/her safety or the safety of another.
l) Obstruction or Disruption. “Obstruction or disruption” means acting alone or in concert with others to unreasonably obstruct, disrupt, or interfere with a teaching, educational, research, administrative, disciplinary, public service, other activity or public performance authorized to be held or conducted on or off campus, or the duties or actions of public safety officials. Obstruction or disruption includes, but is not limited to, (1) misconduct in the classroom or other university setting; (2) any act that interrupts, modifies, or damages the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on University premises or at University sponsored or supervised functions; (3) any act that damages or interferes with a utility service or equipment, communication service or equipment, University computers, computer programs, computer records or computer networks accessible through the University’s computer resources; or (4) any action of a student that fails to comply with lawful directions of University officials or law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties.
m) Indecent Exposure. “Indecent exposure” means exposure of the private or intimate parts of the body in public or in private premises when such exposure may be readily observed by others without consent.
n) Obscene Conduct. “Obscene conduct” means conduct which the average individual applying contemporary University standards would find (i) taken as a whole, appeals to the shameful or morbid interest in sex; (ii) depicts or describes in a patently offensive way ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated; and (iii) the matter, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
o) Theft. “Theft” means the taking of possession of the property of another without consent.
p) Damage, Vandalism, or Misuse of Property. “Damage, Vandalism, or Misuse of Property” means (1) to cause physical harm, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to University property or the property of others in such a way as to impair its value, usefulness, or normal function; (2) to deface, disfigure, or change the appearance of University property or the property of others without permission from University officials; or (3) to use University property or the property of others in a way it was not intended for or for the wrong purpose.
q) Prohibited Computer or Electronic Activity. “Prohibited computer or electronic activity” means (1) unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, change the contents, or other purpose; (2) unauthorized transfer of a file; (3) unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password; (4) use of a computer or other electronic device to unreasonably interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or University official; (5) use of a computer or other electronic device to send obscene or abusive messages; (6) use of a computer or other electronic device to unreasonably interfere with the normal operation of the University’s network; or (7) use of a computer or other electronic device in violation of copyright laws.
r) Tampering with Emergency Response Equipment. “Tampering with emergency response equipment” means interfering with or unnecessarily using a fire-alarm system, sprinklers, smoke detectors, fire-fighting equipment, or any other public safety or emergency call device.
s) Making False Reports. “Making false reports” means reporting an emergency, crime, fire or that a bomb or other explosive has been placed on premises when knowing such a report is wrong or inaccurate.
t) Hazing. “Hazing” means any action or situation which (1) endangers or adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of another person or persons; (2) would cause extreme embarrassment or adversely affect the dignity of another person or persons; or (3) causes another person or persons to destroy or remove public or private property. This includes, but is not limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced consumption of any food, alcohol, drug or other substance, any activity which would subject an individual or individuals to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation or forced exclusion from social contact. Hazing with or without the consent of a student is prohibited. Initiations or activities of student organizations are prohibited from including any feature that is dangerous, harmful, or degrading to the student. A violation of this prohibition renders both the organization and participating individuals subject to discipline. Any student who knowingly witnesses or acquiesces in the presence of hazing is also subject to discipline.
u) Stalking. “Stalking” is defined in full in Fairmont State University Board of Governors Rule GA-01. In summary, it means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (i) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others/ or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress.
v) Harassment. “Harassment” is defined in Fairmont State University Board of Governors Rule GA-01. In summary, it means conduct that creates a hostile environment and is based upon an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or gender expression.
w) Discrimination. “Discrimination” is defined in full in Fairmont State University Board of Governors Rule GA-01. In summary, it means conduct that is based upon an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or gender expression and excludes and individual from participation, denies the individual benefits of, treats the individual differently or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University program or activity.
x) Retaliation. “Retaliation” is defined in full in Fairmont State University Board of Governors Rule GA-01. In summary it means to take an adverse action against an individual or subject an individual to conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with that individual’s educational experience, work or academic performance, or creates an educational experience or academic or work environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating or hostile because of something that individual did to further Rule GA-01.
y) Academic Dishonesty. The term “academic dishonesty” means plagiarism; cheating and dishonest practices in connection with examinations, papers, and/or projects; and forgery, misrepresentation, or fraud as it relates to academic or educational matters.
a) The term “plagiarism” means the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment, including, but not limited to, the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another individual engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
b) The terms “cheating and dishonest practices in connection with examinations, papers, and/or projects” means (i) giving or receiving of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, examinations, or any other assignment for a grades; (ii) depending upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in quizzes, tests, examinations, writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; (iii) the acquisition or use, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff or (iv) engaging in any behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion.
c) The terms “forgery, misrepresentation, or fraud as it relates to academics or educational matters” means (i) wrongfully altering, or causing to be altered, the record of any grade or other educational record; (ii) use of University documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud; )iii) presenting false data or information or intentionally misrepresenting one’s records for admission, registration, or withdrawal from the University or from a University course; (iv) knowingly presenting false data or information or intentionally misrepresenting one’s records for personal gain; (v) knowingly furnishing the results of research projects or experiments for the inclusion in another’s work without proper citation; or (vi) knowingly furnishing false statements in any University academic proceeding.
z) Tampering with or Falsifying a Record. “Tampering with or falsifying a record” means altering or assisting in the altering of any education record, record of the University or submitting false information or omitting requested information that is required for or related to an application for admission, the awarding of a degree, or any record of the University. This conduct may result in a prohibition against readmission, revocation of degree, and/or withdrawal of diploma.
aa) Intrusion of Privacy. “Intrusion of privacy” means unreasonably invading the private domain or seclusion of another by any means, including observation, videotaping, audio taping, photographing, or capturing the actions, image, audio, or likeness of any other member of the University community without permission or knowledge, when such member of the University community has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
bb) Possession of Deadly Weapons or Destructive Devices. “Possession of deadly weapons or destructive devices” means possessing or using any type of deadly weapon, firearm, imitation firearm, ammunition, explosive, firework, dangerous chemical, or other destructive device while on University premises. “Firearm” means any item which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. “Deadly weapon” means any device, instrument, material, substance, or object, whether animate or inanimate, designed to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death or is readily adaptable to such use. This provision does not apply to those individuals specifically permitted by University policy or procedure to possess such items.
cc) Unauthorized Entry or Use. “Unauthorized Entry or Use” means to enter or remain without consent or lawful purpose in any building, room, structure, facility, vehicle, construction area, roof top, or other premises.
dd) Unauthorized Use of Keys or Other Access Devices. “Unauthorized use of keys or other access devices” means to possess, duplicate, or use a key or other access device, including an electronic keycard or other device used to grant access, to any building, room, structure, facility, vehicle, construction area, roof top, or other related premises without proper authorization.
ee) Attempting to Engage in an act Prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct. An “attempt” is defined as conduct that, if successful, would constitute or result in the prohibited conduct. Any student who abandons an attempt or prevents the prohibited conduct from occurring under circumstances that demonstrate a complete and voluntary renunciation of the prohibited conduct will not be subject to disciplinary action.
ff) Deceptive Organizational Practices. “Deceptive Organizational Practices” means (1) fraudulently or improperly holding out an organization as being recognized by the University when in fact the organization is not officially recognized by the Office of Student Success and has not followed the applicable recognition requirements; (2) any behavior that utilizes deception to mislead any student regarding the organization; or (3) failing to utilize organization funds or dues consistent with the purpose in which those funds or dues were collected.
gg) Abuse of the Student Code of Conduct. “Abuse of the Student Code of Conduct” means any of the following:
1) Failure to obey the notice from the Director of Student Conduct or other University official to appear for a meeting concerning violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
2) Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information at any point in the student conduct process.
3) Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Student Code of Conduct proceeding.
4) Initiating a Student Code of Conduct proceeding in bad faith.
5) Attempting to discourage or discouraging an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, Student Code of Conduct proceedings.
6) Retaliating against an individual because of the individual’s participation in, or use of, Student Code of Conduct proceedings.
7) Attempting to influence or influencing the impartiality of any person involved in the Student Conduct process prior to, and/or during the course of, a Student Code of Conduct proceeding.
8) Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of any person involved in the Student Conduct process prior to, during, and/or after any Student Code of Conduct proceeding.
9) Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse or violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
10) Failing to comply with one or more sanctions imposed under the Student Code of Conduct.
11) Knowingly violating the terms of a disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
4.1 Complaints or Allegations of Misconduct.
4.1.1 Any member of the University community who believes that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred may file a complaint with the Office of Student Conduct. Complaints of student misconduct and misconduct of a student organization should be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct as soon as possible following the alleged misconduct or the date on which the individual knew or should have known of the misconduct.
4.1.2 Regardless of whether a formal complaint is ever filed, allegations of student misconduct, from any credible source, will be reviewed by the Director of Student Conduct, or other appropriate personnel.
4.2.1 The University or, in certain circumstances, an investigator appointed by the University, shall investigate each complaint or allegation of student misconduct from a credible source. The investigator may require by written or electronic request any member of the University community for a meeting for the purposes of investigating and/or discussing allegations of prohibited conduct, whether such allegations have been formally submitted or have otherwise been made known to the investigator. Failure to comply with the investigation may result in a judicial hold placed on a student’s account.
4.2.2 If, after investigating the complaint or allegation of student misconduct, the University finds that it is reasonable to believe that the Respondent violated the Student Code of Conduct, then, subject to 184.108.40.206, charges will be brought against the student.
220.127.116.11 Before charges are brought against a student, the Office of Student Conduct, the Respondent, and a Complainant (if applicable) may agree to an Agreed Resolution consistent with Section 4.4.
4.2.2 If, after investigating the complaint or allegation of student misconduct, the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, does not find that it is reasonable to believe that the student violated the Student Code of Conduct, then the complaint or allegation will be dismissed. In the event the complaint or allegation is dismissed, the University shall indicate the reason for the dismissal and notify the Respondent and Complainant, when applicable, in writing.
4.3 Notice of the Charge.
4.3.1 If it is reasonable to believe that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred, then the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, shall prepare a formal written charge of alleged prohibited conduct (“Charge”).
4.3.2 The Charge shall be provided to any student suspected of prohibited conduct as soon as possible after the investigation is concluded.
4.3.3 The Charge shall be addressed to the student who allegedly violated the Student Code of Conduct (“Respondent”) and shall include a brief outline of the facts upon which the Charge is based and potential sanctions which may result if the Respondent is found responsible. When applicable, a copy of the Charge Notice will be provided to the Complainant.
4.3.4 In deciding potential sanctions, the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, may consult with the Complainant and appropriate University officials to ensure that the sanctions sought are commensurate with the alleged violations and the Respondent’s prior student code of conduct violations, if any.
4.3.5 The Charge shall be delivered electronically to the Respondent and Complainant, when applicable, through the University’s designated student e-mail system regardless of where the student resides or, if necessary, by any other means reasonably designed to ensure the Respondent receives it.
4.3.6 The Charge shall include written notice to the Respondent that prior student code violations may be considered in the determination of sanctions and that the Respondent will be provided an opportunity to address any such information.
4.3.7 The Charge shall identify a date and time for the Respondent to meet with the Director of Student Conduct, or other appropriate personnel, to discuss the Student Code of Conduct, its procedures, and the remedial options available to the Respondent, including whether the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, and the Respondent can agree on the facts and, if warranted, identify a mutually-agreeable sanction to be imposed.
4.3.8 In the Charge, the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, shall notify the Respondent and all other applicable University departments, offices, units, or employees that retaliation is prohibited and that it should be reported if it occurs.
4.4 Agreed Resolution.
4.4.1 In all situations, including where suspension or expulsion is an available sanction, the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, and the Respondent may agree on the facts and, if warranted, identify a mutually agreeable sanction(s) to be imposed. In such a case, the agreed upon facts and sanction(s) shall be reduced to writing, dated, and signed by the Respondent (“Agreed Resolution”).
4.4.2 An Agreed Resolution shall be final and not subject to any subsequent proceedings, unless the Respondent submits a written objection to cancel the Agreed Resolution to the Director of Student Conduct within one (1) calendar day of the date it was signed. If the Respondent objects to the Agreed Resolution and no further agreement can be reached, the matter shall proceed in accordance with 4.4.3 below. The Director of Student Conduct, or designee, will seek input from the Complainant regarding the terms of the Agreed Resolution, when applicable.
4.4.3 In situations where the Director of Student Conduct with consideration from the Complainant and the Respondent cannot agree on the facts and the sanction(s) to be imposed the case shall continue to a Conduct Conference.
4.5 Conduct Conference.
4.5.1 The administrative disposition of complaints shall be handled by an informal conference between the Respondent and the Director of Student Conduct, or designee (“Conduct Conference”). The Conduct Conference will be used for determining responsibility and a sanction for matters or situations in which the alleged actions, if true, justify sanction up to and including suspension or an expulsion. The Complainant will be provided an opportunity to meet with the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, and provide any evidence, when applicable. Failure to appear for conduct conference will not result in a hold in proceedings. At the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct, an outcome may still be reached based on the information and evidence available at that time.
4.5.2 Opportunity to Present Evidence. During a Conduct Conference, a Respondent will be given an opportunity to present evidence to the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, to determine whether the Respondent is responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct as accused.
4.5.3 Notice of Outcome. After consideration of the evidence, the student is entitled to written notification of the outcome of the Conduct Conference (“Outcome Letter”). The Director of Student Conduct’s determination of responsibility shall be based on a preponderance of the evidence. Each Outcome Letter shall plainly state the decision and shall plainly state the rationale for the decision; in the event that the student is found responsible for any part of the Charge, the Outcome Letter will include a brief statement of the facts relied upon by the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, the assigned sanction, and an explanation of appeal rights. A copy of the Outcome Letter will be provided to the Complainant, when applicable.
4.5.4 Appeal. The Outcome Letter that is issued following a Conduct Conference may be appealed by both Complainant (when applicable) and Respondent in accordance with Section 5 below.
4.6 Legal Counsel or Advisors.
4.6.1 The Respondent and any other student participating in the conduct process, if any, may have an advisor accompany him or her to a Conduct Conference. The advisor may be an individual that is either a member of the faculty, staff, or a student at Fairmont State University. Advisors not affiliated with the university may participate in the proceedings following written approval by the Director of Student Conduct.
4.62 Instead of or in addition to an advisor, the Respondent and Complainant, when applicable, may be represented by legal counsel at a Conduct Conference. Any lawyer appearing on a student’s behalf must be licensed to practice law in the State of West Virginia and can actively participate in the process.
4.6.3 A student should select an advisor or legal counsel whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for all Conduct Conferences. Delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor or legal counsel. Further, failure to secure an advisor or legal counsel will not cause a Conduct Conference to be postponed or canceled.
4.7 Standard of Proof.
4.7.1 Decisions of responsibility shall be based on a preponderance of the evidence. “Preponderance of the evidence” means evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it; that is, evidence which, as a whole, shows that the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not.
5.1 Students who have violated the Student Code of Conduct, as determined by the Director of Student Conduct, may appeal the decision and/or the imposed sanction within five (5) business days from the date that the Outcome Letter is sent. If the student does not submit an appeal within the prescribed time, the sanction(s) will be applied, no appeal will be considered, and the matter will be concluded. Complainant, when applicable, may also file an appeal.
5.2 A written appeal and supporting documents, if any, shall be submitted through the online appeal form located on the Fairmont State Student Conduct website at https://www.fairmontstate.edu/forms/student-conduct-appeals with a copy to the Director of Student Conduct. Additional documentation should be emailed to the Vice President of Student Success at studentsuccessVP@fairmontstate.edu.
5.3 Sanctions are stayed pending the appeal outcome. However, if there is a perceived danger to University property or to the University community, interim sanctions such as residence hall removal or suspension from the University may remain in place until the appeal process is complete.
5.4 The Vice President of Student Success or designee, shall review the record and supporting documents to consider only the following:
a) To determine whether jurisdiction was properly asserted under this Campus Student Code;
b) To determine whether the underlying proceeding was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures, such that no significant prejudice to a student or the University resulted;
c) To determine whether the decision reached was clearly unreasonable based on the information presented;
d) To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate; and
e) If the sanction(s) imposed included suspension or expulsion.
5.4.1 The Vice President of Student Success or designee shall consider the appeal and deliver a decision within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of such appeal, except where adherence to such time period would be impracticable, in which case such time period shall be extended as warranted by the particular circumstances.
5.4.2 The Vice President of Student Success or designee may decide to:
a) Deny the appeal;
b) Modify, reduce or otherwise limit the sanction(s) imposed (more severe sanctions may not be imposed on appeal by the Vice President of Student Success or his/her designee);
c) Direct the Office of Student Conduct to provide a new Conduct Conference; or
d) Remand the matter to the Director of Student Conduct with specific instructions that shall be carried out.
5.4.3 If an appeal is not upheld by the Vice President of Student Success or designee, as applicable, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved.
6.1 The Director of Student Conduct may direct the Registrar to withhold the issuance of an official transcript, grade, diploma, certificate, or degree to a Student or otherwise put an administrative judicial hold on a Student’s account, pending a Conduct Conference, agreed resolution, and/or exhaustion of appellate rights if in the opinion of the Director of Student Conduct and consistent with due process and applicable law, the best interests of the University would be served by this action. In the event that such action is taken pending the conclusion of the proceedings, the Director of Student Conduct shall inform the Registrar of the action within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the Conduct Conference and shall withdraw or continue such withholding, as is determined by the Vice President of Student Services or in any other agreed-upon disposition.
7.1 No reprisal or retaliation of any kind shall be taken by any member of the University community against any student who asserts his/her rights under this Student Code of Conduct or will be subject to discipline.
8.1 If a student is found to have violated a specific act set forth in this Student Code of Conduct and that act constitutes a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, as defined by 34 C.F.R. § 99.39 (2020), then, pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a)(14)(i) (2020) and the University’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act notification, the University may disclose the final results of the proceedings to anyone. For purposes of this disclosure, “final results” means the name of the student, the basic nature of the violation the student was found to have committed, and a description and duration of any sanction imposed against the student.
8.2 Further, consistent with 34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a)(15) (2020), in certain circumstances, the University may disclose final results to a parent regarding a student’s violation of Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, governing use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if student is found responsible under this Student Code of Conduct and the student is under the age of 21.
9.1 Definition of Student Organization. For purposes of this Code, the term “student organization” means any group of students who have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition or who have submitted an application for recognition.
9.2 Authority of the Office of Student Conduct. If a student organization is alleged to have engaged in specific acts of prohibited conduct or violations of other University policies or organizational policies, including but not limited to rules promulgated by the respective student governance organization, the matter may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
9.2.1 Investigation of the Alleged Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct, or its designee(s), will investigate alleged violations of University policies by student organizations pursuant to Section 9 and as set forth below.
a) During the investigation, the ranking or other designated representative(s) of the student organization will be notified of the allegations in writing and given an opportunity to meet with the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, to explain the organization’s side of the incident prior to the issuance of the final investigative decision.
b) The student organization representative(s) also has the opportunity to submit documents and other relevant evidence to the Director of Student Conduct, or designee, and identify witnesses who may have relevant information.
c) Nothing prohibits the Office of Student Conduct from simultaneously investigating an individual student(s) and a student organization. The Office of Student Conduct will determine whether an alleged policy violation was committed by a student organization or by an individual student(s); such determination will be made on a case-by-case basis by considering the following:
d) Investigations of student organizations should be completed as promptly as possible under the circumstances.
9.2.2 Interim Sanctions. Based on information available at that time, interim sanctions may be placed on the student organization by the Office of Student Conduct.
a) The student organization will be notified within five (5) business days if interim sanctions are being placed on the student organization.
b) The student organization will have five (5) business days after receipt of the notice of an interim sanction to request a review and reconsideration of the interim sanctions to the issuer of the interim sanctions.
9.3 Resolution of Allegations.
9.3.1 If the Director of Student Conduct determines that it is not reasonable to believe that the student organization violated the Student Code of Conduct, the student organization and any complainant will be notified, and the matter will be closed.
9.3.2 If the Director of Student Conduct determines that it is reasonable to believe that the student organization has violated the Student Code of Conduct, then the case will be resolved as set forth below:
a) The Director of Student Conduct will schedule a time to meet and discuss the case with the student organization representative(s) following the investigation.
b) The student organization representative(s) will be given five (5) business days to schedule this meeting. If a meeting is not scheduled within five (5) business days, then the Director of Student Conduct may issue a decision in the case and impose sanctions.
c) The Director of Student Conduct’s decision shall be based on a preponderance of the evidence.
9.4 Sanctions Applicable to Student Organizations.
9.4.1 Sanctions will vary based upon the facts and circumstances of any specific offense. Sanctions are usually progressive in nature and include the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student organization or student organization representative(s) are found to violate the same or any other University policies.
9.4.2 To the extent applicable, Section 10 (Sanctions) will apply to student organizations; additionally, student organizations may also face the following non-exclusive list of sanctions that may be utilized individually or in combination:
a) Disciplinary Reprimand: A written notice to the student organization or explaining that the violation of institutional policy warrants an official record be kept in the Office of the Vice President of Student Success.
b) Educational Sanction: A student organization may be required to provide an identified service or participate in a particular program, receive specific instruction, or complete a designated assignment. The student organization is responsible for any related expenses, including expenses for education, counseling, and/or services.
c) Attainment of Standards: A student organization or student organization representative(s) may be required to attain a specific standard(s) over the course of a designated period of time. Examples of these standards include, but are not limited to, the following: organizational grade point average, organizational arrest and citation rate, organizational member retention, organizational member certifications/trainings.
d) Disciplinary Probation: A written admonishment for a violation of specified regulations. With respect to the non-academic disciplinary system, a student organization on disciplinary probation is not considered to be in good standing for a designated period of time. If the student organization or its representative(s) are found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period, more severe disciplinary sanctions may be imposed. Once the designated period of time has elapsed, the student organization will be considered in good standing; however, a record of the sanction will be kept in the Office of the Vice President of Student Success.
e) Social Probation: The loss of privileges to hold, host, sponsor or co-sponsor an event that is social in nature where alcohol is present with non-members anywhere.
f) Restitution: A student organization may be assessed reasonable expenses related to the misconduct. This may include, but is not limited to, the following: the repair/replacement cost for any damage to property or any related expenses incurred by the complainant.
g) Recommendation for Charter Revocation: An official request to a national office that the local chapter’s charter be revoked.
h) Full or Limited Suspension of University Recognition: Temporary severance of the organization’s recognition by the University for a specific period of time, not to exceed five (5) years. This may include loss of University funding, loss of use of allocated University space, and restricted access to campus and/or other specified activities. Some of the restrictions that may be placed on the student organization during a limited suspension for the suspension period include, but are not limited to barring or limiting some or all of the organization's activities and/or privileges (including, but not limited to: social activities; intramural competition; organizational competition; Homecoming; eligibility to receive any University award or honorary recognition; privilege to occupy a position of leadership or responsibility in any University student organization governing body, publication, or activity; or ability to represent the University in an official capacity or position), entrance into University residence halls or other areas of campus, or contact with another specified person(s). While on full suspension the student organization loses it University recognition and/or registration for the suspension period; in such instances, it may not use University resources or participate as an organization in any University activities or events. Re-recognition is possible but not guaranteed and will only be considered after the end of the suspension period and based on meeting all re-recognition criteria and obtaining clearance from the University. If a sanction issued by the National or other governing bodies exceeds that of the University, the University may concur with that sanction.
i) Deferred Suspension of University Recognition: The sanction does not go into effect as long as the student organization complies with all requirements during the interim period. In those cases where the student organization completes all expectations during the interim period, the student organization’s record will show that the sanction was never imposed. In the event that a student organization or student organization representative(s) fail to comply with a sanction and the Office of Student Conduct has decided to impose a suspension, the student organization will be notified of the apparent failure to comply and of the intent to suspend, and provided an opportunity to meet and explain the circumstances prior to a final decision
j) Revocation of University Recognition: Permanent severance of the organization’s recognition by the University.
9.5 Appeals Regarding Student Organizations.
9.5.1 The accused student organization may appeal the decision by filing a written notice of appeal within ten (10) business days following the receipt of the decision. The notice of appeal shall be filed with the Office of the Vice President of Student Success. Grounds for appeal:
a) To determine whether jurisdiction was improperly asserted under this Campus Student Code;
b) To determine whether the underlying proceeding was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures, such that no significant prejudice to the student organization, a student, or the University resulted;
c) To determine whether the decision reached was clearly unreasonable based on the information presented; and
d) To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate.
9.5.2 On appeal, the decision may be affirmed, reversed, remanded back with instructions for further investigation, or modified as deemed appropriate by the Vice President of Student Success.
9.5.3 The Vice President of Student Success, or designee, shall consider the appeal and deliver a decision within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of such appeal, except where adherence to such time period would not be feasible, in which case such time period shall be extended as warranted by the particular circumstances.
9.5.4 The Vice President of Student Success may forward the decision on appeal to appropriate University offices. In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, dating violence, or stalking, the Vice President of Student Success will forward the appeal decision to the Title IX Coordinator.
10.1 It is expected that the University will impose or seek a sanction that is fair under the circumstances. To that end, a student found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct shall be subject to sanctions commensurate with the offense with consideration given to any aggravating and mitigating circumstances including the student’s conduct record. A student who receives a period of suspension as a disciplinary sanction is subject to further disciplinary action for prohibited conduct that takes place during the period of suspension. Sanctions available for violations of the Student Code of Conduct include any of the following:
a) Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the University. Permanent notification will appear on the student’s transcript. The student may be denied access to University premises, provided that such restrictions are stipulated in the Outcome Letter and bear a reasonable relationship to the violation. If a student is expelled, the student will not receive a refund of any tuition or fees that have been paid to the University.
b) Suspension: Separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time. Permanent notification will appear on the student’s transcript. The student may be denied access to University premises and to all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, provided that such restrictions are stipulated in the Outcome Letter and bear a reasonable relationship to the violation. If a student is suspended, the student will not receive a refund of any tuition or fees that have been paid to the University. Any student who is serving a suspension may be subject to a review and evaluation meeting prior to re-enrolling to ensure that all conditions of the suspension have been satisfied and that the student is prepared for return.
c) Deferred Suspension: The student will be given a certain set of expectations, but any suspension will be deferred and does not go into effect as long as the student complies with all requirements during the interim period. In those cases where the student completes all expectations during the interim period, the student’s record will show that the sanction was never imposed. In the event that a student fails to comply with a sanction and the Director of Student Conduct or designee has decided to seek the suspension, the student will be given written notice of the apparent failure to comply and of the intent to suspend, and provided an opportunity to be heard prior to a final decision, consistent with this Student Code of Conduct.
d) Probation: A written reprimand for prohibited conduct that specifies a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if, during the designated probationary period, the student violates any applicable law or fails to comply with the policies of the Fairmont State University Board of Governors, with institutional or campus rules and regulations or with directives issued by any University official acting in the course of his or her authorized duties.
e) Warning: A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated Board of Governors policies/rules, institutional rules and regulations, or the Student Code of Conduct and that any further prohibited conduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.
f) Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
g) Restitution: Students may be required to make payment to the University or to other persons, groups, or organizations for loss, damage, or injury incurred as a result of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement. Once restitution is satisfied, the student must provide documentation to the Office of Student Conduct or Director of Student Conduct.
h) Revocation: Admission to the University may be revoked for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct if the violation was committed before the student arrives on campus. Likewise, a degree awarded from the University may be revoked for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct if the violation was committed before the student graduates.
i) Other Sanctions: Other sanctions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified. For example, students may be subject to dismissal from University housing for disciplinary violations which occur in the residence halls. Likewise, community service, educational classes, fines (if such fines are established by the Office of Student Conduct), and other work or research projects may also be assigned.
j) No Contact Directive: Students may be issued a permanent No Contact Directive, which is a directive to refrain from any intentional contact, whether direct or indirect, with one or more designated persons or group(s) through any means, including, but not limited to, personal contact, e-mail, telephone, social media or third parties
10.2 Attempts to commit acts prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct may be punished to the same extent as completed violations.
10.3 Repeated or aggravated violations of any section of this Student Code of Conduct may also result in expulsion or suspension or the imposition of such lesser penalties as may be appropriate.
10.4 Sanctions for prohibited conduct occurring off campus shall not be more severe than for similar on-campus conduct.
10.5 Misconduct, other than constitutionally protected expression, motivated by bias based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or gender expression should be considered an aggravating factor for sanctioning.
11.1 Imposition of Interim Measures: When the alleged actions of a student threaten the operations or safety of the University, interim measures may be put into place. Interim measures are administrative directives that are intended to ensure the safety of the University and prevent a situation from escalating; they are not disciplinary in nature. Interim measures may be made at any point after a referral is received and may include, but are not limited to:
a) Administrative directives for no contact;
b) Temporary or permanent re-assignment of university housing; and/or
c) Restriction of access to particular areas of campus.
The Director of Student Conduct will make decisions on interim measures after appropriate consultation. Professional staff in housing and residence life may initiate an immediate residential move in the case of allegations of sexual misconduct, violence, or threats of violence. They may also issue temporary administrative directives for no contact under the same circumstances. Housing and residence life will notify Office of Student Conduct or Director of Student Conduct in writing of any interim measures they initiate as soon as possible. All interim measures described above will be documented in writing and will be made on an individualized basis.
11.2 Imposition of Interim Suspension: Director of Student Conduct may impose an interim suspension prior to formal proceedings or other disposition of allegations against a student when the Director of Student Conduct has reasonable cause to believe that a student’s presence on University premises presents: (a) a significant risk of substantial harm to the student, other individuals, or property; or (b) an ongoing threat of disrupting the normal operations of the University.
11.3 Conditions of Interim Suspension: Such immediate interim disciplinary action may be taken as is appropriate under the circumstances for a time period and under those conditions as may be determined by the Director of Student Conduct in order to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or to preserve University property; to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and wellbeing; or to deter a threat of disruption or interference with the normal operations of the University. During an interim suspension, the suspended student may be denied access to all or some of the property owned or controlled by the University and to some or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, provided that such restrictions are stipulated in the interim suspension notice.
11.4 Interim Suspension Procedure:
a) Notice. If the Director of Student Conduct imposes an interim suspension, then the student will receive written confirmation of the interim suspension. The notice will state the facts and circumstances warranting the interim suspension, the conditions of the interim suspension that an administrative hold will be placed on the student’s account, and the student’s review rights.
b) Review. Within three (3) academic days of the imposition of the interim suspension, the student may petition the Vice President of Student Success or designee to review the reliability of the information concerning the alleged harm or ongoing threat. The petition for review must be in writing and may include evidence supporting the student’s position that the student does not pose or no longer poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the individual, others, or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the normal operations of the University.
c) Final Determination. If, after considering the petition for review and evidence, the Vice President of Student Success or designee affirms the decision to interim suspend, the matter will proceed promptly without undue delay, unless additional time is requested by the student. However, if, after considering the petition for review and evidence, the Vice President of Student Success or designee determines that the student has established by a preponderance of the evidence that the student does not pose or no longer poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the individual, others, or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the normal operations of the University, the interim suspension will be lifted and the matter will proceed according to the normal process.
12.1 Any student or student organization who, in good faith and in a timely manner, seeks emergency medical assistance for a person who reasonably appears to be experiencing an overdose from alcohol or drugs may not be held responsible for a violation of prohibited alcohol or drug related conduct only, if the student or student organization does the following:
a) Remains with the person who reasonably appears to be in need of emergency medical assistance due to an overdose until such assistance is provided;
b) Identifies themselves, if requested by emergency medical assistance personnel, law-enforcement officers, or University officials;
c) Cooperates with and provides any relevant information requested by emergency medical assistance personnel, law-enforcement officers, or University officials needed to treat the person reasonably believed to be experiencing an overdose; and
d) Completes any additional conditions imposed on the student or student organization by the Director of Student Conduct.
12.2 This provision only applies to violations of this Student Code of Conduct and is not related or applicable to any criminal prosecution.