MINES’ POLICY LIBRARY
Policies and Procedures by Subject
Mines Student Code of Conduct
Responsible Administrative Unit: Student Life
Policy Contact: Dean of Students, Derek Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: The information contained within this document is intended to provide general information and guidelines to members of the Mines community and is not intended to, nor does it, create an express or implied contract between the Colorado School of Mines and its students. Mines reserves the right to change or eliminate any of the language herein at its discretion and without notice.
ARTICLE I: PREAMBLE
A community exists on the basis of shared values and principles. These values help form the Student Code of Conduct which students are expected to uphold and abide by during their enrollment at Colorado School of Mines. By enrolling at Colorado School of Mines and entering into this community, students voluntarily agree to the expectations of academic performance and personal behavior required by the School through the Student Code of Conduct. Each student bears the responsibility for their personal behavior and is asked to further promote the values and principles of the School by holding other members of the Mines community accountable to the Student Code of Conduct as well.
When students fail to exemplify the values and principles of the School by engaging in violations of the rules listed in Article V below, campus conduct proceedings are used to assert and uphold this Student Code of Conduct. The student conduct process at Colorado School of Mines is not intended to punish students; rather, it exists to protect the interests of the community. Sanctions imposed are intended to educate students and to help them bring their behavior into accordance with community standards. All sanctions will be proportionated to the severity of the violation and to the cumulative conduct history of the student.
Students should be aware that the student conduct process is separate and quite different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Procedures and rights in student conduct procedures are conducted with fairness to all and include certain protections of due process. Due process, as defined within these procedures, assures written notice and a meeting with an objective decision-maker. Mines utilizes a preponderance of evidence standard when determining a student’s responsibility for a violation. The standard holds that a student will be found in violation of Mines policy if, based on the information presented, the conduct professional believes that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred.
ARTICLE II: JURISDICTION
The Student Code of Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of all Mines’ students, both undergraduate and graduate (including those taking online courses), and all Mines-affiliated student organizations. Students are provided a copy of the Student Code of Conduct annually in the form of a link to the Colorado School of Mines Policy website. Students are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct may also be applied to Mines’ students for the misconduct of their guests. Additionally, visitors and guests of Mines may seek resolution of violations of the Student Code of Conduct committed against them by Mines’ students.
The Student Code of Conduct and the student conduct process apply to behavior that occurs on Mines premises, at official Mines functions and activities, during all courses (including online and Field Session) and in the completion of coursework, as well as to off-campus conduct that may adversely affect the Mines Community and/or the pursuit of its objectives, including:
- Any situation where it appears the student’s conduct may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of him/herself or others; and/or
- Any situation that impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or breaches the peace and/or
causes social disorder; and/or
- Any situation that is detrimental to the educational mission and/or interests of Mines.
Each student shall be held responsible for his/her conduct from the notification of the acceptance of their admission
through the actual awarding of a degree, though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as
during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment (and even if their conduct is not
discovered until after a degree is awarded).
In the event of serious misconduct committed while still enrolled but reported after the Responding Party has
graduated, Mines may invoke conduct procedures and should the former student be found responsible, Mines may
revoke that student’s degree. Students may also be held responsible for conduct that occurred prior to admission if it
resulted in suspension from another college or university, felony conviction, sex offender registration, or other
results that could adversely affect the Mines Community, and/or the pursuit of its objectives.
The Student Code of Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email or other electronic medium.
Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats, and social networking sites are in
the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if
evidence of a policy violation is posted online. Mines does not regularly search for this information but may take
action if and when such information is brought to the attention of a Mines official.
There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Student Code of Conduct; however, the longer someone waits to
report an offense, the harder it becomes for Mines officials to obtain information and witness statements and to
make determinations regarding alleged violations. Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit
Mines’ ability to investigate and respond to a complaint. Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to report it
as quickly as possible to the Dean of Students and/or Mines Public Safety.
B. Concurrent Violation of the Law
Alleged violations of federal, state and local laws may be investigated and addressed under the Student Code of Conduct.
When an offense occurs, the School’s conduct process will proceed regardless of any criminal complaint that may arise
from the same incident. Students should be aware that the student conduct process is separate and different from
criminal and civil court proceedings regarding the standard of proof and due process. Additionally, students should
be aware that campus conduct proceedings will run separately from any criminal or civil court proceedings that are
scheduled. Proceedings under this Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or
following civil or criminal proceedings at the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee. Determinations made or
sanctions imposed under this Student Code of Conduct shall not be subject to change because criminal charges were
dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal defendant.
When federal, state, or local authorities charge a student with a violation of law, Mines does not routinely request or
agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is
also being remediated under the Student Code of Conduct, Mines officials may advise off-campus authorities of the
existence of the Student Code of Conduct and of how such matters are typically handled within the Mines
community. Mines will attempt to cooperate with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal
law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators (provided the
conditions do not conflict with campus rules or sanctions).
ARTICLE III: DEFINITIONS
- The term “Mines” refers to Colorado School of Mines.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at Mines, either full-time or part-time, online, or in person, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies. This includes persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with Mines, or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission.
- The term “Mines official” includes any person employed by Mines, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
- The term “faculty member” refers to any person hired by Mines to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by Mines to be a member of its faculty.
- The term “member of Mines community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, administrator, staff member or any other person employed by Mines or who volunteers for Mines. When in question, the Dean of Students shall determine a person’s status in each situation.
- The term “Mines premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property and/or equipment owned, used, or controlled by Mines (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
- The term “Due Process” refers to students being provided with written notice and a meeting before an objective decision-maker prior to any conduct decision being made.
- The term “student organization” refers to any number of persons who have complied with Mines’ requirements and received School recognition.
- The term “Conduct Professional” refers to a Mines official or faculty member authorized to determine if a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and impose sanctions upon any student found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “policy” refers to the written regulations of Mines as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct, Student Handbook, Residence Life Handbook, the Mines policy web page, the Mines computer use policy, and the Graduate and Undergraduate Bulletins.
- The term “Reporting Party” refers to any person who submits a charge alleging a student violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “Responding Party” refers to any student accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “Impacted Party” refers to any student that is the victim of or negatively impacted by another student’s misconduct.
- The terms “Official Function” and “Mines Activity” refer to any meeting, event, program, conference, or other function hosted, sponsored, marketed, or paid for by a Mines student, employee, department, or organization in an effort to conduct Mines business or affect a substantial Mines interest.
- The term “campus housing” refers to all residence halls and apartments located on the Mines campus. In the Student Code of Conduct, campus housing includes the fraternity and sorority chapter houses owned by Mines.
ARTICLE IV: STUDENT CODE AUTHORITY
The Vice President of Student Life, acting on behalf of the President of the Colorado School of Mines, will designate appropriate individuals or entities to serve as Conduct Professionals and administer the Colorado School of Mines’ student disciplinary process. The responsibilities of these Conduct Professionals are defined as follows:
The Dean of Students is hereby designated by the Vice President of Student Life as the representative of the Colorado School of Mines in all student disciplinary matters, unless otherwise indicated below. As the senior discipline officer, s/he shall develop policies for the administration of the student conduct system and procedural rules for administrative conduct meetings. The Dean of Students is responsible for monitoring student compliance with all disciplinary conditions and sanctions imposed through the discipline process and shall maintain all official student disciplinary records. The Dean of Students will submit periodic reports regarding student conduct to the Vice President of Student Life and other Mines officials.
The Associate Vice President of Student Life is hereby designated by the Vice President of Student Life to assist the Dean of Students in addressing student disciplinary matters.
The Associate Dean of Students is hereby designated by the Dean of Students to assist with the adjudication of Academic Misconduct matters.
The Director of Residence Life is hereby designated by the Dean of Students to assist with student disciplinary matters involving students that live in campus housing or for infractions which take place in campus housing. The Director of Residence Life may also work on other student disciplinary matters cases, as referred by the Dean of Students.
All Residence Life Coordinators and Associate Director of Residence Life are hereby designated by the Director of Residence Life to assist with student disciplinary matters involving students that live in campus housing or for infractions which take place in campus housing. Residence Life Coordinators and Associate Director of Residence Life may also work on other student disciplinary matters, as referred by the Dean of Students.
The Director of Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership (SAIL) and other professional staff within the SAIL office are hereby designated by the Dean of Students to assist with student disciplinary matters involving student organizations including fraternity and sorority chapters. The Director of SAIL and other professional staff within the SAIL office may also work on other student disciplinary matters, as referred by the Dean of Students.
The President of the Colorado School of Mines designates all faculty members with the responsibility of providing an academic environment free of academic misconduct. Should a faculty member become aware of such behavior, the faculty member has the authority and responsibility to follow the procedures outlined in the School’s Academic Integrity policy to resolve the issue.
Decisions made by any of the Conduct Professionals shall be final, pending the appeal process outlined below in Article VI, Section H.
ARTICLE V: PROHIBITED CONDUCT
All conduct or attempts to commit the conduct listed below is prohibited. Aiding, abetting, or inciting others to commit conduct that is prohibited by this code is also not permitted. Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit any of the prohibited conduct may be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in Article VI.
- Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
- Furnishing false information to any Mines official, faculty member, or office
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any Mines document, record, or instrument of identification
- Violations of positions of trust within the community
- Election tampering
- Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty – Please reference the Academic Integrity Policy for additional information.
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other Mines activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-Mines activities when the conduct occurs on Mines premises.
- Any form of physical abuse and/or domestic partner abuse.
- Conduct, including threats, intimidation, harassment (including harassment based on sex), or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person or limits, interferes with, or denies another person the ability to participate in or benefit from Mines’ educational programs, services, or activities, including cyber-bullying.
- Gender-based discrimination (i.e., discrimination based on sex), including sexual harassment, sexual assault and interpersonal violence (domestic violence, dating violence and stalking) as defined in Mines’ Procedure to Resolve Complaints of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Interpersonal Violence (“Title IX Procedures”).
**When reported conduct falls within the jurisdiction of Mines’ Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Interpersonal Violence (“Title IX Policy”), Mines’ Title IX Procedures will be applied. If reported conduct is subject to dismissal under Mines’ Title IX Procedures but falls within the jurisdiction of this Code of Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the matter to the Dean of Students to determine whether the matter should be adjudicated as a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. If the Dean of Students determines the matter should proceed under the Code, and the reporting party requests formal adjudication and resolution, the procedures set forth in Appendix A (Procedures for Adjudicating complaints of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking) shall be applied.
- Any act based upon an individual or group’s actual or perceived status (sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, or sexual orientation, or other protected status) that limits or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from the Mines’ educational program or activities.
- Theft of and/or damage to property of The Colorado School of Mines or property of a member of the Mines community or other personal or public property, on or off campus.
- Hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acceptance in the presence of hazing will also be considered violations.
- All forms of Academic Misconduct outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy, including but not limited to dishonesty, plagiarism, falsification, tampering, cheating, impeding, and sharing work.
- Unauthorized use or misuse of Mines parking permits, equipment, and/or facilities.
- Unauthorized access to any Mines premises or unauthorized possession, duplication or use of access control items (keys, Blastercards, etc.). Additionally, any behavior, such as propping doors or manipulating locks, which assists in the unauthorized entry into Mines’ facilities, is prohibited. Failing to timely report a lost identification card or key will be considered a violation.
- Use, possession, manufacturing, sale, or distribution of cannabis, cannabis by-products, heroin, narcotics, prescription medications, or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law.
NOTE: Although possession and use of cannabis consistent with the requirements of the Colorado Constitution is not a crime in the State of Colorado, the possession and use of cannabis remains illegal under federal law. Consistent with federal law, including the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, the use and/or possession of cannabis continues to be prohibited while a student is on Mines owned or controlled property, and/or attending any function authorized or supervised by Mines and/or in state owned or leased vehicles.
- Use, possession, manufacturing, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by Mines regulations), or public intoxication. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one (21) years of age. Facilitating, arranging, or participating in any extreme alcohol consumption activity that constitutes, facilitates, or encourages competitive, rapid, or excessive consumption of alcohol when such activity occurs on campus, in the housing of any student organization or group, or in connection with a Mines activity is prohibited.
- Except as expressly permitted pursuant to Mines’ Policy on Firearms, Explosives, an other Weapons, possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on Mines premises, or use of any such item, even if legally possessed, in a manner that harms, threatens or causes fear to others.
- The production, sale, distribution, use and sampling of all smoking products and paraphernalia, including e-cigarettes, electronic vaping devices, personal vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery devices, as prohibited by Mines’ Smoking Policy.
- Violation of local, state, federal, or campus fire policies including, but not limited to intentionally or recklessly causing a fire which damages Mines or personal property or which causes injury, failure to evacuate a building during a fire alarm, improper use of fire safety equipment, or tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment.
- Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot, or activity that disrupts the normal operations of Mines and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the Mines community, or leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area. This includes the obstruction of the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on Mines premises or at Mines sponsored or supervised functions.
- Unauthorized use or misuse of official Mines trademarks, logos, branding, and images.
- Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent. Indecent conduct includes, but is not limited to, public urination or defecation. Disorderly conduct includes, but is not limited to, any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person without his/her prior knowledge, or without his/her effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. Secretly taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom is also prohibited.
- Theft or other abuse of computer facilities and resources, including but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry, use, reading, or changing the contents of a file, for any purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Use of another individual’s identification and/or password.
- Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or Mines Official.
- Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages.
- Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal operation of the Mines computing system.
- Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
- Any violation of the Mines Information Technology Policies.
- Skateboarding, rollerblading, rollerskating, bicycling or similar wheeled use inside Mines buildings, residence halls, on tennis courts, or on the pedestrian plaza. Additionally, skateboards and other wheeled items may not be ridden on railings, curbs, benches, or any such fixtures that may be damaged by these activities, and individuals may be liable for damage to Mines property caused by these activities.
- Any actions that create health and/or safety hazards such as dangerous pranks or hanging out of or climbing from/on/in windows, balconies, roofs, etc.
- Engaging in retaliatory acts against a person who reports an alleged violation of Mines policies and/or assists or participates in a conduct proceeding or investigation.
- Failure to comply with directions of Mines officials or law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
- Abuse of the student conduct system, including but not limited to:
- Failure to obey notice from a Mines Conduct Professional to appear for a meeting.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a Mines Conduct Professional or Student Conduct Appeals Board.
- Initiation of a Student Code of Conduct proceeding in bad faith.
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the student conduct system.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a Mines Conduct Professional.
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code of Conduct.
- Violation of any Mines policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on any of the Colorado School of Mines websites. This includes violations of rules listed in the Residence Hall Handbook.
- Violation of any federal, state or local law.
- Failure to accurately report an off-campus arrest by any law enforcement agency for any crime to the Dean of Students within seventy-two hours of release.
Students are required to model good citizenship and engage in responsible conduct that reflects positively upon the Mines community. Any conduct not included above, which adversely affects the functions of Mines or the pursuit of its educational purposes and objectives may be considered a violation.
ARTICLE VI: STUDENT CONDUCT CODE PROCEDURES
Anyone may report a violation of the Student Code of Conduct against a student. A report shall be directed to the Dean of Students office and submitted as soon as possible after the incident takes place.
B. Administrative Conduct Meetings
All administrative conduct meetings shall be administered by a Conduct Professional in accordance with the following guidelines:
- The Responding Party shall be notified by the Conduct Professional by phone, e-mail, or in person that a meeting will take place. In addition, a written notification will be provided to the student describing the charge(s) against him/her and set a date and time for the meeting. Meetings should be scheduled within fifteen (15) business days after the Conduct Professional has been notified of an alleged conduct violation. Any deviation from this time frame requires proper notification to all parties involved by the Conduct Professional conducting the meeting and should only be used/enacted for unusual circumstances or scheduling conflicts.
- The Responding Party may be accompanied by an advisor or support person of his/her choosing, at his/her own expense. Such advisor may be an attorney. Since direct interaction with the student(s) involved is essential to the educational relationship with the School, the advisor is limited to counseling the student and may not act as a representative of the student, speak on the student’s behalf, or participate directly in any meeting. The advisor may not serve in a dual role in the meeting, meaning the advisor may not also serve as a witness. The Conduct Professional holding the meeting may consult with or choose to have Mines’ Legal Counsel, in a similar advisory capacity, present at a meeting.
- The student may be permitted to ask for relevant witnesses to be called. The Conduct Professional will make the final decision whether a witness will be permitted to provide information related to the matter. If permitted, the Conduct Professional will arrange to meet with the witnesses and obtain information related to the matter. Witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the Conduct Professional.
- Administrative conduct meetings are considered private educational interactions between the student and the School. All meetings are considered closed to anyone not directly involved in the proceedings. Admission of any other persons to the meeting shall be at the discretion of the Conduct Professional.
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration. The student shall be allowed to review and respond to any reports the Conduct Professional considers as the basis for the charges.
- The Responding Party will be afforded the opportunity to present his/her own version of the incident or events by personal statement, as well as through written statements and witnesses to the incident.
- If requested by the Responding Party or determined by the Conduct Professional to be appropriate, one verbatim record, such as a recording, will be made. This recording shall be the property of Mines. If such a recording is made, a student wishing to obtain a copy of the recording must submit a request to the Dean of Students. This may be done via mail, email, or in person. Once the request has been received, the Dean of Students will provide the student with a copy.
- If information presented in the meeting creates additional need for clarification or investigation, or to accommodate scheduling conflicts with key witnesses, the Conduct Professional may reschedule the meeting.
- If the meeting involves more than one Responding Party from the same incident, the Conduct Professional may permit the meeting concerning each student to be conducted jointly or separately.
- The Conduct Professional may make accommodations related to concerns for the personal safety, well- being, and/or fears of confrontation of the student, victims and/or other witnesses during any conduct meetings.
- If the Responding Party, with appropriate notice, does not appear for the meeting, a decision may be reached taking into consideration the totality of the information related to the charges available at the time of the meeting.
- Formal rules of process, procedure, or evidence as established and applied in the civil or criminal justice system do not apply to the meeting.
C. Interim Suspension
In certain circumstances, the Vice President of Student Life or designee may impose an interim suspension or housing suspension prior to the Administrative Conduct Meeting.
- Interim suspension may be imposed:
- to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the Mines community and/or preservation of Mines property;
- to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
- if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of Mines.
- During the interim suspension, a student shall be restricted from campus and attending classes as well as participating in all other Mines activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Vice President of Student Life or designee deems appropriate.
- The student should be notified in writing of this action and the reasons for the interim suspension. The notice should include an option for the student to request a meeting to show cause why his or her continued presence on the campus does not constitute a threat.
- The interim suspension does not replace the regular conduct process which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through an appeal, if required.
D. Amnesty Policy for Health and Safety Intervention
The health, safety, and general welfare of Colorado School of Mines students are of the utmost concern to the faculty, staff, students, and administration. The following Amnesty Policy has been established to reduce barriers related to seeking help during medical emergencies due to fear of potential policy violations, and to encourage students to seek medical attention in all situations when someone’s health or safety is believed to be endangered, or if someone is the victim of violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, or assault.
- Policy Guidelines. All students are strongly encouraged to immediately seek emergency medical attention in circumstances when they reasonably believe any individual’s health and/or safety is or appears to be in jeopardy. Where a student(s) or a student organization seeks emergency medical attention on behalf of themselves or another, or report in good faith that they witnessed or are the victim of a crime or significant violation of Mines’ policies (e.g., sexual misconduct), Mines will treat any use of alcohol or prohibited substances by either the Reporting Parties or the students receiving medical attention as a health and safety matter, not as a disciplinary incident.
- In a health and/or safety related emergency, students are expected to:
- Contact emergency officials by calling 303.273.3333 or 911;
- Remain with the individual(s) requiring treatment and cooperate with emergency officials; and
- Meet and cooperate with appropriate Mines administrative staff after the incident.
- When members of student organizations seek emergency medical attention under this policy, the organization may also receive amnesty from violations of the policies on alcohol and prohibited substances.
- At times, students may be hesitant to report the occurrence of a sexual assault to Mines officials because they are concerned that they themselves, or witnesses to the misconduct, may be found responsible for other policy violations (e.g., alcohol violations). It is the stance of Mines that the importance of dealing with alleged sexual misconduct or sexual assault outweighs any adjudication of such violations. Accordingly, in these cases, a student who makes a complaint of sexual misconduct or sexual assault, or students named as witnesses to such an incident, will not be referred to the conduct process. Please reference the Mines’ Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, and Interpersonal Violence.
- There are no restrictions to the number of times this Amnesty Policy may be used, and doing so repeatedly will not result in disciplinary action. However, a student or student organization may be held responsible for a Code of Conduct violation if it is determined that the individual or group is repeatedly invoking the amnesty policy as a way to avoid responsibility for flagrant policy violations.
- Additional Expectations. Students or student organizations that receive amnesty under this policy may be required to complete educational and/or counseling program(s) that are meant to support students and their organizations and connect them with other community services and resources that may be beneficial. These programs and services will be tailored to the specific circumstances and needs of those involved. In instances where students or student organizations fail to complete any required educational and/or counseling program(s), the protections offered by this policy may be voided and disciplinary follow-up from the Dean of Students or their designees may occur.
- Policy Limitations. The Amnesty Policy applies to violations of policies relating to the use of alcohol and prohibited substances, but does not preclude Mines from taking disciplinary actions to address other serious or flagrant violations of Mines policy including, but not limited to, violence (including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, or assault), harassment, serious property damage, hazing, or the manufacture, sale, or distribution of prohibited substances. The Policy cannot be invoked to preclude or prevent action by police or other legal authorities. However, in cases where there have been other violations of Mines policy, calling for assistance for an individual in need of help may be considered a mitigating factor in any disciplinary process arising out of such violations (and failure to seek assistance may be considered an aggravating factor in any such disciplinary process). Students and student organizations that do not immediately seek emergency medical attention in response to a health and/or safety emergency could face referral to the Dean of Students.
The Conduct Professional may take the following steps to investigate a potential Student Code of Conduct violation:
- Initiate any necessary remedial actions on behalf of an Impacted Party (if needed).
- Determine the identity and contact information of the Reporting Party, whether that person is the initiator of the complaint, the alleged victim, or a Mines representative.
- Meet with the Reporting Party (if needed) to finalize the complaint and/or statement. If the Reporting Party is reluctant to pursue the complaint, the Conduct Professional will determine whether the complaint should still be pursued and whether sufficient independent evidence could support the complaint without the participation of the Reporting Party. The Conduct Professional will notify the Reporting Party of whether Mines intends to pursue the complaint regardless of their involvement, and inform any Impacted Party of their rights in the process and option to become involved if they so choose.
- Conduct a preliminary review to identify an initial list of all policies that may have been violated, to review the history of the parties involved, to understand the context of the incident(s) and any potential patterns, and the nature of the complaint. If there is insufficient evidence through the initial review to support reasonable cause, the allegations will be closed with no further action.
- Interview all relevant parties and witnesses and summarize the information they are able to share.
- Obtain all documentary evidence and information that is available.
- Obtain all physical evidence that is available.
- Complete the investigation promptly by analyzing all available evidence.
- Make a finding based on a preponderance of the evidence standard.
- Share the findings and update the Reporting Party on the status of the investigation and the outcome.
A Conduct Professional may also determine if the charges have merit and/or can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the Conduct Professional, such as mediation. Such disposition shall be the final decision of Mines and there shall be no subsequent proceedings.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code:
- Warning – A notice given orally or in writing to the student that the student’s behavior is unacceptable and may have violated institutional regulations, and that continuation or repetition of the misconduct shall be cause for more severe disciplinary sanctions.
- Disciplinary Probation – A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions (such as suspension or expulsion) if the student is found to violate any institutional policies during the probationary period.
- Loss of Privileges – Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Fines – Monetary expenses related to certain misconduct.
- Restitution – Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This is not a fine, but rather a repayment for labor and material costs to replace/fix the damaged property.
- Community Service – Service to Mines or members of the campus community.
- Discretionary Sanctions – Work assignments, essays, reports, service hours, or other related discretionary assignments.
- Behavioral Requirement – Activities designed to change behavior including, but not limited to academic counseling, substance abuse workshops or screenings, and letters of apology.
- Educational Program – Requirement to attend, present, and/or participate in a program related to the violation.
- Parental Notification – Parents may be notified of disciplinary decisions when a student under the age of 21 is found responsible for engaging in an infraction(s) involving alcohol, drugs, sexual harassment, or use of violence.
- Housing Suspension – Separation of the student from campus housing for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Housing Termination – Permanent separation of the student from campus housing and termination of the housing contract.
- No Contact Orders – Avoidance of any and all contact with identified members of the Mines community. This includes all personal interaction, email, text messaging, phone calls, and social media contact. It also includes refraining from all forms of third-party contact on the student’s behalf.
- Suspension – Separation of the student from Mines for a definite or indefinite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. Suspension for an indefinite period of time pending the fulfillment of certain requirements before readmission will be considered. Returning to the School after suspension, a student may be put on probation for a year or longer.
- Expulsion – Permanent separation of the student from Mines. Expulsion shall be used in cases of misconduct considered by the Vice President of Student Life or designee to involve severe or repeated violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The student must vacate Mines premises at a time determined by the Vice President of Student Life or designee. The student may not attend classes and will be considered a trespasser unless given specific written permission by the Vice President of Student Life or Dean of Students to enter the Mines premises.
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree – Admission to or a degree awarded from Mines may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of Mines standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
- Withholding Degree – Mines may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.
- More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
- Other than expulsion, suspension, or revocation or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. During the semester immediately preceding a student’s graduation, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than those violations that involved violence towards another person or resulted in suspension, expulsion, housing termination, or revocation or withholding of a degree, by a request to the Dean of Students. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than housing termination, suspension, expulsion, or revocation or withholding of a degree shall be expunged from the student’s confidential record ten years after the incident occurred.
- Many of the sanctions listed above may be imposed upon student groups and organizations. Additionally, a sanction of deactivation may be imposed for groups and organizations. Deactivation is the loss of all privileges, including Mines recognition, for a specified period of time.
G. Notification of Outcomes
The outcome of the conduct proceedings will be shared with the Responding Party and become part of a student’s education record. This record is protected from release under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), except under certain conditions. The information may be shared with other Mines officials that have a need to know as determined by the Vice President of Student Life or Dean of Students. The information will also be shared when the student gives permission for the information to be shared, or if the information is requested through a court order or subpoena, or as permitted or required by law.
As allowed by FERPA, when a student is accused of a policy violation that would constitute a “crime of violence” or forcible or non-forcible sex offense, Mines will inform the Reporting Party and/or Impacted Party of the final results of the proceedings regardless of whether Mines concludes that a violation was committed. Such release of information may only include the Responding Party’s name, the violation committed, and the sanctions assigned (if applicable). In cases of sexual misconduct and other offenses covered by Mines’ Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, and Interpersonal Violence, only the rationale for the outcome will also be shared with the Impacted Party in addition to the finding and sanction(s).
In cases where Mines determines through the student conduct process that a student violated a policy that would constitute a “crime of violence” or non-forcible sex offense, Mines may release Responding Party’s name, the violation committed, and the sanctions assigned (if applicable) publicly and/or to any third party. FERPA defines “crimes of violence” to include:
- Assault offenses (includes stalking)
- Criminal Homicide—manslaughter by negligence
- Criminal Homicide—murder and non-negligent manslaughter
- Destruction/damage/vandalism of property
- Forcible sex offences
- Non-forcible sex offences
The records of the incident and of the sanctions imposed shall be considered to be education records of both the Responding Party and the Impacted Party (if any) because the educational career and chances of success in the academic community of each may be impacted.
This appeal process governs most requests for appeal related to violations of the Student Code of Conduct. However, grade appeals, residency appeals, academic misconduct appeals, appeals related to discrimination complaints, sexual harassment, sexual violence or interpersonal violence complaints, and appeals related to research misconduct are handled through separate processes. An appeal request will only be considered if it includes the specific aspect of the decision being appealed, the grounds for an appeal, and the rationale that support the selected grounds.
- Appealable Decisions – Not all decisions can be appealed. An appeal is not appropriate for the simple reason that one disagrees with the decision. Only those decisions that include sanctions that require restitution payment or remove a privilege (i.e. suspension, expulsion, eviction from housing) may be appealed. Warnings, reprimands, probation, protective measures, and other conditions of a student’s continued enrollment are not appealable. Alleged due process violations may be appealed, however, these appeal decisions are limited to correcting the process errors.
- Grounds for an Appeal – The four items listed below are the only acceptable grounds for an appeal. Except as required to explain and support an appeal based on new information, an appeal shall be limited to a review of the investigation record of the administrative conduct meeting and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:
- New Information: To consider information or other relevant facts sufficient to alter a decision because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original administrative conduct meeting.
- Appropriateness of Sanctions: To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code of Conduct the Responding Party was found to have committed. If the Responding Party is making an appeal solely on this ground, he/she accepts responsibility for the violation and is only appealing the severity of the sanctions.
- Due Process: To determine whether the administrative conduct meeting and process was conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the Reporting Party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information about the alleged Student Code of Conduct violation, and giving the Responding Party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to the allegation(s). Minor process deviations that do not materially affect the outcome are not be a basis for sustaining an appeal.
- Unsupported Decision: To determine whether the decision reached regarding the Responding Party was supported using the preponderance of evidence standard to establish that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct occurred.
- Submitting an Appeal Request – Decisions reached by a Conduct Professional may be appealed by the Responding Party. In cases dealing with intimidation, assault, or harassment, the Impacted Party may also appeal. The individual may file an appeal by completing a Student Conduct Appeal Request Form and submitting it to the Office of the Vice President of Student Life by the date stated in the original decision letter (typically within seven business days of the date of the decision notification). This form is available online and in person at the Office of the Vice President of Student Life. It is the obligation of the person making the appeal to complete the form in its entirety and provide any and all materials that s/he wishes to have considered at the time of the appeal request submission. If the appeal request form is not received within the required time frame, the original decision is final and no further appeal is permitted.
- Appeal Review – Within five (5) business days of the appeal request being received, the Vice President of Student Life or designee will review the written request form to determine if it has identified acceptable grounds for an appeal and whether the appeal has been filed by the appeal deadline. Following the review, the Vice President of Student Life or designee will make a decision consisting of one the following actions:
- Deny the appeal: The appeal and supporting information do not establish an acceptable basis for appeal or the appeal request form was not submitted by the appeal deadline. If the appeal is denied, the decision is final and is considered binding upon all parties.
- Allow the appeal to proceed: The appeal and supporting information submitted meet one or more of the grounds for appeal and the appeal request was submitted by the appeal deadline.
The Vice President of Student Life or designee will notify the individual submitting the appeal (and any other involved parties) in writing of the decision to deny or allow the appeal.
- Appeal Process – All pertinent information regarding the incident and appeal, including but not limited to, the Responding Party’s disciplinary file, the appeal request, and other information submitted by the student or Conduct Professional, will be reviewed by the Vice President of Student Life or designee. If needed, the Vice President of Student Life or designee may gather additional information and/or arrange for meetings with the involved parties. The Vice President of Student Life may extend the original timeline by notifying all parties involved and informing each of the new timeline. This notification must take place prior to the original stated completion date.
- Outcome of Appeal – The Vice President of Student Life or designee will make one of the following decisions:
- Affirm the decision: Agrees that the information supports the original decision.
- Reverse the decision: Does not agree that the information supports the original decision. The disciplinary decision will be changed to “Not Responsible.” This option is not available when the Responding Party is appealing the severity of sanctions or the imposition of conditions.
- Return the matter for further consideration: Determines that additional review and consideration should be made by the original Conduct Professional that could include increasing or decreasing the sanctions imposed or addressing additional issues that arose through the appeals process. The Vice President of Student Life or designee should provide information on items to be reconsidered and recommendation for appropriate sanctions to the original Conduct Professional.
The Vice President of Student Life, or designee, will communicate the decision in writing to parties, typically within fifteen (15) business days of issuing the notification allowing the appeal to proceed, as described in paragraph H.5. If a matter is returned to the original Conduct Professional for further consideration, the reconsideration will take place and decision communicated in writing to the parties within five (5) business days of the matter being returned. The decision is then final and shall be considered binding upon all involved, from which no additional appeals are permitted.
- Sanction and Conditions during a Pending Appeal – Throughout the entire appeal process, all parties must continue to comply with all conditions and/or sanctions of the original decision. However, the Responding Party may request to continue to attend classes and/or reside in student housing while the appeal is pending. These request must be in writing and addressed to the Vice President of Student Life. All requests will be reviewed and decided upon within three business days. Notification of the decision will be sent to the Responding Party. Such approvals are within the sole discretion of the Vice President of Student Life or designee and may include alternative protective measures.
ARTICLE VII: INTERPRETATION AND REVISION
A. Any question of interpretation or application of the Student Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Vice President of Student Life or his or her designee for final determination.
B. The Student Code of Conduct shall be reviewed at least every two (2) years under the direction of the Vice President of Student Life and the Dean of Students.
C. The Student Code of Conduct was updated in May 2015 (formatting and dates), August 2016 (personnel titles, topics titles, hyperlinks), May 2017 (personnel titles), January 2018 (updated amnesty policy), April 2018 (online students included), November 2018 (complete review), and September 2020 (procedures added to address sexual misconduct falling outside of Title IX)