Calvin Theological Seminary Student Conduct Code

A. Introduction
Building community is an integral component of our mission as a seminary. This idea suggests intentionally striving to demonstrate integrity, justice, and self-control as appropriate expressions of Christian faith. Self-control involves acknowledging God’s presence in all of our actions; integrity concerns being above reproach personally and in dealings with others; and justice indicates a desire to pursue righteousness, compassion, and shalom in private and public settings. Building community also involves avoiding various behaviors, which may impede this process. For example, if a student becomes intoxicated, that student is not self-controlled; if a student cheats on an exam, integrity has been compromised; or, if a student harasses a colleague, that person has acted unjustly. This student conduct code puts in place what we consider to be positive Christian principles of acceptable behavior and our procedure for implementing the code.

B. Scope of Authority
1. The Dean of Academic Programs has jurisdiction over all problems which involve academic dishonesty of any sort, or any behavior which would disrupt or obstruct the academic environment.
2. The director of student housing has jurisdiction over all problems which involve seminary-owned housing.
3. The dean of students and other designated members of his or her staff have jurisdiction over all problems concerning personal behavior.

C. Proscribed Conduct
This code recognizes that Christians seek to live their lives out of the positive law of love in obedience to God’s commandments. Because our love is often feeble, fragmentary, and deficient, this code seeks to assist the community by proscribing the following conduct. This list is not exhaustive by any means, but is meant to illustrate the types of conduct which are not acceptable.

1. Acts of Dishonesty (including but not limited to):
a. Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty;
b. Furnishing false information to any seminary official, faculty member, or office;
c. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any seminary document, record, or instrument of identification; and/or
d. Tampering with the election of leaders of any seminary-recognized organization.

2. Acts of Inappropriate Behavior:
a. Physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, including harassment, assault, coercion or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
b. Attempted or actual theft of or damage to seminary property;
c. Failure to comply with directions of college or seminary officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so;
d. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys or other access devices to any college or seminary premises or unauthorized entry to or use of college or seminary premises;
e. Violation of published seminary policies, rules, or regulations or federal, state, or local laws on seminary property or at seminary-sponsored or supervised activities;
f. Disrupting or obstructing teaching, research, administration, or other seminary-based functions;
g. Unlawful use, possession, purchase, distribution, sale, or manufacture of a controlled substance (including marijuana), designer drug, or drug paraphernalia;
h. Consumption or possession of alcohol on college or seminary property, including common areas of student housing, parking lots, lawns, basements, and halls, and any type of intoxication on or off college or seminary property;
i. Possession of firearms, explosives, weapons, or dangerous chemicals on seminary property;
j. Profane or obscene expressions including, speech which violate accepted standards of decency and Christian conduct; sexual misconduct, including sexual relations outside of marriage, homosexual practice, or involvement with pornography;

k. Abuse of computer facilities, including:
1. Unauthorized entry into a file;
2. Unauthorized transfer of a file;
3. Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password;
4. Use of the facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty, or staff member;
5. Use of the facilities to send obscene or abusive messages;
6. Use of the facilities to interfere with the normal operation of the college or seminary computer systems, including infesting college or seminary computers with computer viruses and worms; and/or
7. Use of the facilities to view pornography, conduct commercial business, or engage in any other activity unrelated to the academic program of the seminary.

D. Problem Resolution

1. Academic Problems
If the problem is academic in nature, the student with the complaint must first approach the particular faculty or staff member involved. Likewise, the particular faculty or staff member who has a complaint concerning a student must first approach that particular student. If the student, for good reason, does not feel free to approach the faculty or staff member or if the problem is not resolved, then the student, faculty member, or staff person shall bring the problem to the attention of the Academic Affairs Office. A Dean from the Academic Affairs Office shall discuss the problem with all parties involved, evaluate possible courses of action to resolve the issue, and make a decision.
Note: No student who has enrolled in a course shall be excused from fulfilling a course requirement on the basis of the student’s objection to the faculty member’s position on an issue of dispute in the churches.

2. Social/Moral Conduct Problems
If the problem involves social or moral conduct with a particular student or students, a faculty or staff member who has a complaint must first approach that particular student or students with the complaint. (In order to lessen the amount of complaints going directly to the Academic Affairs Office, dean of students, or the director of student housing, faculty and staff members should be encouraged to resolve the issues themselves. This is the purpose of the admonition.) If the problem is not resolved or if a person other than a faculty or staff member has a complaint, then the student, faculty member, or staff person shall bring the problem to the attention of the dean of students. The dean of students shall discuss the problem with all parties involved, evaluate possible courses of action to resolve the issue, and make a decision.

3. Housing Problems
If the problem involves housing with a particular student or students, the particular faculty or staff member who has a complaint must first approach that particular student or students with the complaint. (In order to lessen the amount of complaints going directly to the Academic Affairs Office, dean of students, or the director of student housing, faculty and staff members should be encouraged to resolve the issues themselves. This is the purpose of the admonition.) If the problem is not resolved or if a person other than a faculty or staff member has a complaint, then the student, faculty member, or staff person shall bring the problem to the attention of the director of student housing. The director of student housing shall discuss the problem with all parties involved, evaluate possible courses of action to resolve the issue, and make a decision.

4. Appeals

Step One: If the decision of the appropriate office is not acceptable to either or both parties involved, an appeal can be made to the disciplinary committee which shall consist of the dean of students who shall act as chairperson, two representatives from the student senate, two faculty members, and one staff member.

Step Two: If the decision of this disciplinary committee is not acceptable to either or both of the parties involved, an appeal may be made to the Academic Affairs Office; provided, however, that in the case of a housing problem, the decision of the disciplinary committee shall be appealed to the chief financial officer before an appeal may be made to the Academic Affairs Office.

Step Three: Final appeal is to the seminary board of trustees and its decision will be considered final.

5. Confidentiality and Records
Records kept of all meetings, hearings, and deliberations will be held in strictest confidence. All documentation and records will be safeguarded. Records will be removed from the student’s file within two years of the hearing, or upon graduation, providing additional appeals are not in process. However, records will be retained by the appropriate office.

E. Sanctions
1. Social/Moral Misbehavior or Obstructive/Disruptive Behavior in the Academic Environment
Disciplinary action will be taken in one or more of the following manners:

1. Admonition- an oral statement to the student that she or he has violated or is violating institutional rules. Such admonition may come from the dean of students, the Academic Affairs Office, the director of student housing, a professor, or a staff person.
2. Warning- a notice in writing to the student from the dean of students, the Academic Affairs Office, or the director of student housing that the student has violated or is violating institutional regulations.
3. Personal Probation- a written reprimand from the dean of students, the Academic Affairs Office, or the director of student housing for the violation of specified regulations, stating the reason for the probation. Probation will be for a designated period of time, with the warning that more severe disciplinary actions will be taken if the student violates any institutional regulations during the probationary period. The reprimand will include notice of the right of appeal to the disciplinary committee.
4. Loss of Privileges- when more severe disciplinary action is needed, certain privileges may be withdrawn from the student by the dean of students, the Academic Affairs Office, or the director of student housing for a designated period of time. Notification of loss of privileges will include notice of the right of appeal to the disciplinary committee.
5. Suspension- an action by the vice president for administration or the vice president for academic affairs with the concurring advice of the disciplinary committee, if sought, whereby a student is separated from the seminary for a definite period of time. Conditions for readmission will be specified by the vice president for administration or the vice president for academic affairs with the concurring advice of the disciplinary committee, if sought.
6. Expulsion- permanent separation of the student from the seminary by action of the seminary board of trustees based upon the recommendation of the vice president for administration or the vice president for academic affairs.

2. Academic Dishonesty

In the case of academic dishonesty, a professor has the prerogative to:
a. Reduce the grade for the piece of work involved;
b. Reduce the final course grade;
c. Give an additional assignment in lieu of dishonest work; and/or
d. Declare that the student has failed the course.
All cases of academic dishonesty are to be reported to the vice president for academic affairs.

3. Housing Problems
a. The seminary may terminate any housing contract at any time for violation of any of the provisions outlined in the On-Campus Housing booklet.
b. The seminary may terminate any housing contract at any time for violation of seminary regulations or for any reason deemed sufficient by the seminary.

(Administrative Committee Minute #1860, 06/06/00)