This publication is a codification of existing rules and regulations that pertain to students and student life. The “Code of Student Conduct” is promulgated by the Office of Student Services under the power and authority delegated by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, through the President of the University, to the Office of Student Services at McNeese State University, and is designed to enforce and uphold the purposes, goals, and processes of this University.
1.1 This code shall be cited as the McNeese State University “Code of Student Conduct”.
Section Two: Definitions
2.1 Dean—Student Services administrator who has been the delegated authority in the administration of student discipline.
2.2 University—McNeese State University.
2.3 Student—Any person who is enrolled in the University.
2.4 University Official—Any person employed by the University to execute prescribed functions in accordance with University and Board of Supervisors rules and regulations as well as the laws of the State of Louisiana.
2.5 University Employee—Any person employed by McNeese State University.
2.6 University Premise—All lands, buildings, and facilities owned, leased or controlled by the University.
2.7 Normal University Communications Channels—The use of any University employee to contact a student.
2.8 Residence Hall—A University premise residence unit.
2.9 Class Day—A day on which classes are regularly scheduled or on which final examinations are given.
2.10 Working Day—Any day on which campus offices are open.
2.11 Complaint—A written or oral statement of the essential facts constituting a violation of a University regulation or rule.
2.12 Probative—Serving to help prove a point.
2.13 Student Advocate—McNeese State University Faculty/Staff member appointed by the Vice President for Administration and Student Affairs to serve the student defendant in an advisory capacity throughout the discipline process.
2.14 Committee—The University Discipline Committee.
2.15 Summons—A document notifying a student to appear before the Dean or Discipline Committee.
2.16 Bar—Prohibition of a student or non-student from being on University property.
Section Three: Student Conduct
Overview: The disciplinary sanctions outlined in Section Fifteen may be applied to any student who commits or attempts to commit either singly or in concert with others, whether or not the violations occur on or off campus, any of the following acts of misconduct at any University authorized activity and notwithstanding any action taken by civil authorities.
3.1 Disregard—Disregard for the physical well-being or rights and property of others.
3.2 Abuse—Physical or mental abuse or the threat thereof against any person (s) which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any such person (s).
3.3 Attempted Theft—The act of attempting to steal the property of another.
3.4 Theft—The unlawful possession of the property of another.
3.5 Fraud—The acquisition of money, property, or services by fraud, embezzlement, bribery, illegal, or unethical means.
3.6 Cheating—Academic cheating or plagiarism.
3.7 Trespassing—Unauthorized entry, use or occupation of any University facility or premise.
3.8 Firearms Possession —Possession and/or use of firearms, ammunition, or explosives in a Federal Firearms Free Zone.
3.9 Fireworks Use—The unauthorized igniting of fireworks on University premises.
3.10 Weapons Possession—The use of knives, blades, martial arts devices, or any dangerous object for purposes of intending physical harm.
3.11 Fighting—The act of physical confrontation on University property.
3.12 Harassment—Mental or sexual harassment.
3.13 Lying—Knowingly furnishing false or misleading information to the University concerning business relevant to the operation of the university.
3.14 Hazing—Violation of the McNeese State University Hazing Policy as defined..
3.15 Stalking—The willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassing of another person with the intent to place that person in fear of death or bodily injury.
3.16 Vandalism—Destruction, damage, or defacing of the property of others.
3.17 Arson—Intentionally setting a fire on University property.
3.18 Forgery—The intentional misuse or alteration of any University documents, records, books, or identification cards.
3.19 Disruption—The intentional obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, or other University event.
3.20 Drug Violation—The possession, distribution, use or manufacture of illegal substances as defined in Schedule I through V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substance Act. McNeese State University is a Drug Free Zone as defined by Federal and State Law.
3.21 Alcohol Violation—The possession, use, sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages except where designated by the President of the University or his designee.
3.22 Delinquency—Failure to meet University related financial obligations.
3.23 False Reporting—The false reporting of an emergency, or the false activation of a fire alarm.
3.24 Emergency Equipment Misuse—Unauthorized use, possession or alteration of fire fighting equipment, safety devices or other emergency or safety equipment.
3.25 Disorderly Conduct—Disruptive behavior.
3.26 ID Card—Misuse of and/or failure to present a University Identification card upon request by a University employee.
3.27 Rules Violation—Violation of any rules governing conduct in University facilities. (ex. Classrooms, Residence Halls, Rec. Complex, Dining Hall)
3.28 Policies Violation—Violation of published policies or regulations of any University Office.
3.29 Summons Violation—Failure to answer a University summons.
3.30 Malfeasance—Misuse or malfeasance of an elective or appointive office in a student organization or University committee.
3.31 Non-Compliance—Failure to comply with a sanction or statement of agreement placed on a student by the Dean or Committee.
3.32 Discrimination—Violation of the McNeese State University Discrimination Policy.
3.33 Interference—Intentionally interfering with the performance of any University employee, including failure to comply with a reasonable request.
3.34 Law Violation—Violation of any civil or criminal law.
3.35 Disrespect—Failure to observe appropriate decorum and demonstrate proper respect toward University-employed officials acting within the scope of their duty.
Section Four: Administration of Discipline
4.1 The Vice President for Administration and Student Affairs— is responsible for the administration of discipline. The Vice President will appoint the seven faculty members and approve the Student Government President’s six appointments to the Discipline Committee. From the seven faculty appointments, the Vice President will select a Chairman.
4.2 The Dean of Student Services—is responsible for the enforcement of the “Code of Student Conduct”. The Dean and/or Assistant Dean will investigate any alleged violation of the “Code” and determine whether the violation is major or minor. The Dean has authority to conduct an administrative discipline process for all minor violations. For major violations of the “Code”, the Dean is responsible for initiating the Discipline Committee process.
4.3 The Discipline Committee—is responsible for hearing discipline cases whereby a student(s) is/are charged with a major violation or if a student requests an appeal of the Dean’s decision. The Discipline Committee is comprised of seven (7) faculty members and six (6) student members. All members serve for one calendar year beginning with the first day of class for the Fall semester. From the seven faculty members, the Vice President for Administration and Student Affairs will appoint a Chairman. The Discipline Committee will elect a Vice Chairman to preside in the absence of the Chairman. In the event the Chairman and Vice Chairman are unable to preside, the committee members will elect an Acting Chairman to preside in the absence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman. All members of the Discipline Committee are voting members, except for the Chairman. The Chairman will only vote in the event of a tie. A quorum will consist of five members and the Chairman, Vice Chairman, or Acting Chairman. If a Discipline Committee member resigns or is removed from the committee, the Vice President will be responsible for appointing a replacement.
4.4 The President—is responsible for hearing an appeal of the Discipline Committee’s decision.
4.5 The Board of Supervisors—is responsible for hearing an appeal of the President’s decision if the sanction involves suspension from the University for one or more years.
Section Five: Summoning a Student
5.1 Summons—The Dean or Committee will use normal University Communication Channels to summon a student.
Section Six: Initiation of Discipline
6.1 Allegations—When the Dean receives an allegation that a student has violated any of the offenses listed in Section Three, he/she will begin a preliminary investigation into the alleged violation(s) and then determine if the allegation is found to be true and whether this violation would be considered a major or minor infraction. The Dean will then determine the appropriate protocol to follow for a major or minor violation.
6.2 Summons—The Dean will summon the student (s) to the Office of Student Services for a conference by Normal University Communication Channels.
6.3 Advise of Rights—The conference will begin with the Dean informing the student (s) of their Rights and the Codes that they have allegedly violated. An Advice of Rights form will be signed by the Dean an student, verifying that the student understands that he/she is being investigated, has been advised of his/her rights and has been afforded the opportunity to consult with the Student Advocate prior to answering questions concerning the allegations.
6.4 Student Advocate—If the student (s) wishes to consult with the Student Advocate Office prior to answering questions, the Dean will immediately refer the student to said office. Once the student consults with the advocate, the student in question and student advocate must schedule a conference with the Dean.
6.5 Minor Violations—The Dean has the authority to handle all minor violations through the administrative discipline process as outlined in Section Seven.
6.6 Major Violations—The Dean will activate the Discipline Committee to hear all major violations of the “Code of Student Conduct”.
Section Seven: Discipline of a Minor Violation
7.1 Authority—The Dean of Student Services has the authority to administratively dispose of any violation that he/she determines is a minor violation without a discipline hearing.
7.2 Sanctions—The Dean of Student Services is authorized to apply any one or more of the following sanctions in a consistent manner that he/she deems appropriate for minor violations. Sanction 15.1, 15.2, 15.3,15.4, 15.5, 15.6, 15.7, 15.8, 15.9, & 15.10.
7.3 Letter of Agreement—The Dean and student will sign a Letter of Agreement form signifying guilt and appropriate sanctions.
7.4 Appeal—The student has five (5) class days to file a written appeal of the administrative discipline process to the Discipline Committee Chairman.
Section Eight: Discipline for Major Violations
8.1 Authority—The Discipline Committee has authority to determine guilt or innocence by majority vote of the members present. If student is found guilty, the Committee has authority to apply, in a consistent man- ner, an appropriate sanction (s) for the major violation (s). Appropriate sanctions are agreed upon by majority vote of the Committee.
8.2 Summons—The Discipline Committee has the authority to summon any individual (s) affiliated with the University to testify as a witness for the University or student defendant or for informational purposes.
8.3 Protection—The Committee, Dean, Student Defendant or Witness has the right to police protection throughout the entire hearing.
Section Nine: Student Rights
9.1 Private Hearing—The student has a right to a private hearing.
9.2 Innocence vs. Guilt—The student has a right to plead guilty, not guilty or no plea. The burden of proof rests with the University.
9.3 Student Advocate—If the student (s) wishes to consult with the Student Advocate prior to answering questions, the Dean will immediately refer the student to said office. Once the student consults with the Advocate, the student in question and Student Advocate must schedule a conference with the Dean.
9.4 Advisor—The student has a right to appear alone or have an individual serve in an advisory capacity. The advisor may not personally cross- examine witnesses or present the case for the student defendant.
9.5 Witnesses—The student defendant can request witnesses appear on his/ her behalf and know the identity of the witnesses that will testify against him/her. The student defendant has the right to cross-examine witnesses.
9.6 Evidence—The student has the right to request copies of all evidence that will be presented by the University. The Dean must furnish this information at least three class days prior to the hearing.
9.7 Challenges to the Committee—The student has the right to dismiss (without cause) one (1) Discipline Committee member from the hearing and one (1) dismissal for cause. When a challenge for cause is initiated, the student, challenged Committee member and Dean will leave the room while the remaining Committee members deliberate and vote.
9.8 Separate Hearing—If more than one student is involved with the alleged violation of the “Code”, he/she may request, in writing, a separate hearing from the other student (s) provided he/she shows cause. The Chairman will have final authority to rule on the request.
Section Ten: Dean’s Rights
10.1 Evidence—The Dean has the right to a description and/or copies of evidence that the student defendant will use in his/her defense and the names of all witnesses that will be utilized by the student defendant. This information must be furnished to the Dean at least one class day prior to the hearing.
10.2 Witnesses—The Dean has the right to cross-examine any witness testifying in the student defendant’s behalf or to cross-examine the student defendant if he/she testifies in his/her behalf.
10.3 Student defendant’s absence—The Dean has the right to proceed with the hearing if a student defendant fails to appear without good cause.
10.4 Challenges to the Committee—The Dean has the right to dismiss (without cause) one (1) Discipline Committee member from the hearing and one (1) dismissal for cause. When a challenge for cause is initiated, the student, challenged Committee member and Dean will leave the room while the remaining Committee members deliberate and vote.
Section Eleven: Duties and Responsibilities
The Chairman of the Committee
11.1 Voting—The Chairman shall vote only in the event of a tie.
11.2 Date, Time, and Place—The Chairman will determine the date, time and place of the hearing.
11.3 Closed Hearing—The Chairman must maintain a closed hearing.
11.4 Rights—The Chairman must ascertain, at the beginning of each hearing, that all rights of the student defendant (s) and Dean have been afforded.
11.5 Evidence, objections and motions—The Chairman shall rule on the admissibility of evidence, validity of objections and validity of motions.
11.6 Vice Chairman—The Chairman will arrange for the Vice Chairman to preside in his/her absence. The Acting Chairman may preside in the absence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman
11.7 Deliberations—The Chairman will ensure that all committee deliberations, discussions and votes are conducted in closed session. (The student defendant and Dean must leave the room.)
11.8 Professionalism—The Chairman must ensure that the entire hearing process be conducted with professionalism, integrity, and justice. The Chairman has the authority to dismiss a Committee member from a hearing for unprofessional or unethical behavior.
11.9 Written Notification—The Chairman must provide the student defendant with written documentation of the Committee’s verdict, imposed sanctions and procedure for appeal at least five (5) class days following the hearing.
The Dean of Student Services
11.10 Notification—The Dean of Student Service will notify the student defendant, in writing, at least three (3) class days, but no more than ten (10) class days, of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The notification shall be either hand-delivered or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the student defendant at the address appearing in the Registrar’s records.
11.11 Witnesses—The Dean will summon all students and/or University personnel to serve as witnesses in the case. The Dean must provide the student defendant with a list of all of the witnesses that will appear on behalf of the University’s case.
11.12 Evidence—The Dean must provide the student defendant, at least three (3) class days prior to the hearing, copies of all documentary evidence that will be used in the case. The Dean must insure the presence of documentary and other evidence gathered from the investigation, requested by the student defendant or requested by the Discipline Committee.
11.13 Records—The Dean will arrange for a taped recording of all open sessions of the case. All documentary evidence must be kept on file, in a secure location, for a period of not less that seven (7) years.
11.14 Prosecution—The Dean of Student Services or his or her designee will present the case on behalf of the University.
The Members of the Discipline Committee
11.15 Professionalism—Members of the Committee are required to conduct themselves in a professional, courteous, and non-prejudicial manner.
11.16 Attendance—Each Committee member is expected to attend all hearings and/or meetings. In the event unexpected conflicts arise, the committee member is expected to notify the chairman as soon as possible.
11.17 Conflict of Interest— A Committee member is required to inform the chairman if participating in a particular case could or would be considered a conflict of interest.
11.18 Confidentiality—Each Committee member must keep confidential all information covered by the Family Privacy Act.
11.19 Voting—Each Committee member is required to cast a vote in determining guilt or innocence regarding each allegation as well as appropriate sanction (s) to be imposed.
The Student Defendants
11.20 Attendance—The student defendant is required to be on time and present at the hearing.
11.21 Evidence—The student defendant is required to furnish the Dean of Student Services, at least one class day prior to the hearing, copies of all documentary evidence and a written description of all other evidence that he/she will present in his/her defense.
11.22 Witnesses—The student defendant is required to furnish the Dean of Student Services, at least one class day prior to the hearing, a list of witnesses that he/she will call to testify on his/her behalf.
Section Twelve: Evidence
12.1 Admissibility—The Chairman of the committee will determine the
admissibility of all evidence presented. Documentary evidence may be admitted in the form of copies, extracts, or by incorporation through reference. Real evidence may be admitted in the same manner. Real evidence may also be photographed or described for the record.
12.2 Rules of Evidence—Legal rules of evidence do not apply to student discipline hearings, but the Chairman and/or Committee may admit evidence that possesses probative value and is commonly accepted by reasonable persons.
12.3 Rules of Privilege—The Committee will give effect to the rules of privilege as recognized by law and, in addition, shall recognize as privileged, communication between a student and a member of the staff of the University Health and Counseling Center.
12.4 Hearing Record—All evidence presented shall become a part of the hearing record.
12.5 Convincing Evidence—The Committee shall presume a student defendant innocent of the allegation until it is convinced of his/her guilt by clear, convincing evidence.
12.6 Prior Discipline/Academic Record—A student defendant’s prior discipline or academic record cannot be used as evidence in determining guilt. The Committee is only allowed to review discipline records for sanctioning purposes.
Section Thirteen: Hearing Procedure
13.1 Closed Hearing—The hearing will be closed to the public. The following persons may attend: Members of the Discipline Committee, Deans, student defendant, student defendant’s parents and/or advisor.
13.2 Call to Order—The Chairman will call the hearing to order.
13.3 Introductions—The Chairman will ask each committee member to introduce him or herself to the student defendant. The student defendant will then state his/her name and introduce his/her advisor (s) and parent (s).
13.4 Student Rights—The Chairman will read the student rights document and ascertain that all of the student defendant’s rights have been afforded.
13.5 Charges—The Chairman will ask the dean to read the charges.
13.6 Plea—The Chairman will ask the student defendant to enter a plea to the charges. The student defendant has the right to enter one of the following pleas: (1) Guilty, (2) Not Guilty, (3) No Plea.
13.7 Guilty Plea—The Chairman will record the plea and begin the sanctioning phase of the hearing.
13.8 Not Guilty/No Plea—The Chairman of the Committee will then begin the presentation of evidence phase of the hearing.
13.9 Presentation of Evidence—The Dean will begin with an opening statement summarizing the investigation and then present all of the evidence collected during the investigation. The student defendant will then be allowed to present his/her defense evidence.
13.10 Witnesses—All witnesses called to testify by the dean and/or student defendant must first introduce themselves to the Committee and take the Oath of Truth prior to testifying.
13.11 Cross-examination of Witnesses: The Committee, Dean, and student defendant are allowed to question witnesses. The student defendant does not have to testify unless he/she serves as a witness.
13.12 Summation—The student defendant will have an opportunity to present a summation immediately following his/her defense. The Dean will have the last summation.
13.13 Deliberation—At the conclusion of the dean’s summation, the committee will go into closed session to determine guilt or innocence. The Dean, student defendant, and student advisor will leave the hearing room during committee deliberations.
13.14 Verdict—At the conclusion of the deliberation, the Chairman will read the verdict to the student defendant.
Section Fourteen: Sanctioning
14.1 Sanctioning—A guilty verdict will warrant a sanctioning phase of the hearing.
14.2 Student Recommendation—The Chairman of the Committee will ask the guilty student for his/her personal recommendation for an appropriate penalty for violating the “Code of Student Conduct”.
14.3 Dean’s Recommendation—The Chairman of the Committee will ask the dean for a recommendation of appropriate sanction.
14.4 Discipline Record—The student defendant’s discipline record will be presented to the Committee during the sanctioning phase of the hearing.
14.5 Deliberation—The Chairman will call for a closed session to deliberate and vote on appropriate sanctions. The student defendant, student advisor and dean will leave the hearing room during deliberations.
14.6 Verdict—The student defendant is notified in writing of the decision of the committee. However, the Chairman may allow the student defendant to return to the hearing room to hear the Committee’s decision concerning sanctions.
Section Fifteen: Sanctions
15.1 Verbal Reprimand—The Dean or Committee may choose to verbally counsel the student in regards to his/her negative behavior.
15.2 Written Reprimand—The Dean or Committee may choose to issue a written reprimand regarding the negative behavior. A copy of this letter will become part of the student’s discipline file.
15.3 Warning Probation—The Dean or Committee may choose to place a student on warning probation for a period of up to one year. This indicates that further violation of the “Code” will result in severe disciplinary action.
15.4 Discipline Probation—The Dean or Committee may choose to place a student on discipline probation for a period of up to one year. This indicates that any violations of the “Code” will result in a Discipline Committee hearing.
15.5 Withhold Transcript/Degree/Readmission—The Dean or Committee may issue an administrative hold on a student who has failed to meet University related financial obligations or failed to clear a discipline issue. The penalty terminates on payment of debt or clearance of the discipline issue.
15.6 Bar from University Property—The Dean or University Police may bar from University property a student who is considered a threat to the University. The student may appeal the bar to the Discipline Committee.
15.7 Restitution—The Dean or Committee may impose restitution by a stu- dent for damage to University or private property. Restitution may take the form of appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damage.
15.8 University Service—The Dean or Committee may require a student to perform work in a campus department. The maximum number of hours that can be imposed is forty (40) per semester.
15.9 Suspension of Rights or Privileges—The Dean or Committee may
impose limitations to fit the particular case.
15.10 Counseling—The Dean or Committee may require a student to undergo counseling for unhealthy or destructive behavior.
15.11 Suspension of Eligibility—The Committee may choose to revoke eligibility from athletic or non-athletic extracurricular activities. The Committee will vote to determine the length of eligibility suspension.
15.12 Failing Grade—The Committee may assign a failing grade to a student found guilty of academic dishonesty.
15.13 Denial of Degree—The Committee may deny a student a degree for academic dishonesty.
15.14 Suspension—The Committee may suspend a student from the University for an assigned period of time. The student is immediately barred from campus until the period of suspension is served. Once the time period is complete, the student may re-enroll into the University.
15.15 Dismissal—The Committee may choose to expel a student from the University for an indefinite period of time. The student is immediately barred from University property. Once a student is expelled from the University, he/she may be readmitted only by action of the Discipline Committee.
Section Sixteen: Appeal Procedure
16.1 Appeal Rights—The student shall have the right to appeal any sanction imposed by the Dean or Discipline Committee.
16.2 Chain of Command—The student shall appeal a Dean’s sanction to the Chairman of the Discipline Committee. A Discipline Committee sanction shall be appealed to the President of the University. A sanction of suspension from the University for one (1) or more years is appealable to the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System.
16.3 Appeal Procedure—A student must file a written intent to appeal within five class days following the date of the imposed sanction. All supportive appeal materials must be submitted within ten (10) days following the date of intent to appeal.
Section Seventeen: Records
17.1 Discipline Record—The Dean of Student Services shall maintain for every student who has received any disciplinary sanction under Section Fifteen, a file containing information pertinent to the proceedings. This file must be kept for a period of seven years. After the seven year period, the file may be destroyed.
17.2 Confidentiality—The disciplinary record shall be separate from the student’s academic record and shall be treated as confidential.
17.3 Access to Discipline Information—The contents of a student’s discipline record may not be revealed except upon written request of the student or court-ordered documentation.