Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities

DSU Policy 5-33

The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities sets forth the specific authority and responsibility of Dixie State University to maintain appropriate discipline by outlining guidelines for appropriate student conduct and to create an educational environment wherein individual students and groups of students can accomplish meaningful academic goals. The purpose of the policy is to protect individuals, the campus, and the University community as well as create an environment conducive to achieving the academic mission of the University.

The Student Rights & Responsibilities Code (DSU Policy 5-33), also known as the “Student Code,” contains important information for the students in the following sections:

  1. Student Rights
  2. Student Behavioral Conduct
  3. (A) Policy Exceptions and (B) Student Academic Standing
  4. (A) Student Appeals, (B) Complaints, and (C) Student Academic Conduct
  5. Student Professional Conduct.

The information contained in this catalog is meant as an introduction to the Student Code. To read the complete policy, go to: http://www.dixie.edu/humanres/polstu.html. Although formal procedures are outlined in the Student Code, the University encourages informal resolution of problems when it is appropriate and adequate to the seriousness of the issue.

1. Student Rights

Students have the following rights and privileges and also have the responsibility not to deny these rights and privileges to other members of the University community.

  1. Learning Environment: Students have a right to an environment and climate conducive to learning and thinking. Students have a right of reasonable access to University facilities, services, and programs, including access to faculty members and to courses as described in the University Catalog. University teaching should reflect consideration for the dignity of students and their rights and individuals. Students have a right to be treated with courtesy and respect.
  2. Classroom Rights: Students have the right, at the beginning of the course in the form of a syllabus, to reasonable notice of the general content of the course and notice of what will be required of them.
  3. Academic Evaluation: Students have a right to have their performance evaluated promptly, conscientiously, and without prejudice or favoritism, consistent with the criteria stated at the beginning of the course in the form of a syllabus. Students have a right to be evaluated in an atmosphere that values academic integrity.
  4. Role in University Governance: Students have a right to participate in the formation and application of University policy affecting academic and student affairs through clearly defined means, including membership on appropriate committees. Students have a right to perform student evaluations of faculty members, and to have those evaluations considered in the retention, promotion, tenure, and post-tenure reviews of faculty members.
  5. Due Process: Students have a right to due process in any proceeding involving the possibility of serious sanctions. This includes the right to notice of alleged violations, the right to be heard relative to the allegations, the right to impartial decision and review, and the right for students to serve on hearing boards.
  6. Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment: Students have a right to be free from illegal discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment. University policy prohibits discrimination, harassment, or prejudicial treatment of a student because of his/her race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, or status as an individual with a disability or as a protected veteran.
  7. Freedom of Expression and Inquiry: Students are entitled to academic freedom and autonomy in their intellectual pursuits and development. Students are entitled to free and open discussion, inquiry, expression, and lawful assembly.
  8. Privacy and Confidentiality: Students have a right to privacy and confidentiality subject to University rules and other statutory regulations. Students have a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
  9. Student Records: Students have a right to educational records that accurately reflect their performance. Students have a right to examine and challenge information in their educational records.
  10. Student Government and Organizations: Students have a right to participate in Dixie State University Student Association elections and to form student organizations for any lawful purpose as approved by the Dean of Students.

2. Student Behavior

Students have the responsibility not to deny any Student Rights and privileges to other members of the University community. In addition, the Standards of Student Conduct apply to students on University premises and at University activities. The following are prohibited:

  1. Physical or verbal assaults, and stalking, hazing, threats, intimidation, coercion, or any other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another member of the University community or any other person while on University premises or while attending or participating in University activities.
    1. Hazing is defined as an abusive or humiliating initiation into a group or affiliation.
    2. Stalking is defined as intentionally and repeatedly following, contacting, or harassing another person, so that fear is instilled in that individual.
  2. Sexual harassment / discrimination. If a student believes s/he has been harassed, sexually harassed, or discriminated against, refer to the Sexual Harassment Policy 5-34.
  3. Disorderly or lewd conduct.
  4. Attempted or actual theft of University property or of any individual’s property, or intentional or reckless destruction or damage of University property, equipment, materials, data, and other resources, or intentional misuse of same, including unauthorized possession or use of computer passwords or keys.
  5. Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages.
  6. Use, possession or distribution of controlled substances, except for legal, personal use of prescribed medications as governed by Utah law.
  7. Violation of published University policies, rules, or regulations.
  8. Violation of federal, state, or local civil or criminal laws on University premises or while participating in University activities.
  9. Breaching a contract made with the University, including those related to College-owned housing.
  10. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to making false statements, fraud, providing false information or identification, forgery, or misuse of University documents, forms, records, and identification cards. Provisions for academic dishonesty can be found in Section 4 of the Student Code.
  11. Intentional disruption or obstruction of instruction, research, meetings, or other University functions or activities, on or off campus, including unreasonable interference with those walking or traveling to such.
  12. Illegal or unauthorized possession or use of a firearm, ammunition, explosives, weapons, or dangerous chemicals on University property or at University events; or use of such items, even if legally possessed, in a threatening or irresponsible manner that causes fear of imminent bodily harm.
  13. Violating Policy 6-53 Computer Use or Use of IT Resources, including copyright violations.
  14. Refusal to respond to reasonable requests and direction from University authorities while in the performance of their duties.
  15. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all times, whether on or off campus. If a student or student organization is reported for violation of the law on or off-campus, the University will cooperate with appropriate law enforcement officials insofar as the law permits.

Off campus behavior that may have a significant impact on the mission of the University may be subject to formal University disciplinary action. A student or student organization cited for, arrested for, charged with, indicted for, or convicted of a serious criminal offense may be subject to University disciplinary action under the Student Code.

The Vice President of Student Services may suspend a student or restrict a student’s access to University premises and/or University activities for which the student might otherwise be eligible prior to an initial inquiry, hearing, or determination if there is reasonable cause to believe that a student poses a danger to him or herself, endangers the safety of other persons or property, or is an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process or other function of the University.

Whenever possible, complaints should be resolved informally by the faculty member, work supervisor, department chair, program director, or dean. If informal resolution is not successful, any person directly aggrieved by an alleged violation of the Standards of Conduct, or any faculty member, staff member, or student, may submit an oral or written complaint to the Dean of Students within forty-five (45) days of the date of the alleged violation.

Complaint Procedures

The Dean of Students conducts an initial inquiry to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing the responding student violated the Standards of Conduct, including interviewing the complaining party and the responding student, reviewing relevant evidence, etc. The Dean of Students makes a determination as to whether there is reasonable basis for believing that the responding student violated the Standards of Conduct. If a complaint is dismissed, the complainant may appeal that decision to the Vice President of Student Services. If the responding student admits culpability, the Dean of Students can resolve the matter with the student, including issuing sanctions, or can refer the matter to the Student Conduct Committee. If the responding student does not admit culpability, the complaint is automatically referred to the Student Conduct Committee, which is comprised of faculty, staff, and student representatives.

The Dean of Students or the Student Conduct Committee can impose the following sanctions:

  1. Agreement with student to refrain from specific behaviors, from contacting specific individuals, to participate in specified educational programs and/or mediation processes, to seek professional counseling or other treatment, to participate in specified community service, and/or other specified agreement.
  2. Warning or reprimand.
  3. Disciplinary probation.
  4. Exclusion from specific campus areas or activities or loss of specific privileges.
  5. Community service, restitution, or referral to licensed physician or other mental health professional for evaluation.
  6. Hold on University records and/or registration.
  7. Disciplinary suspension, disciplinary dismissal, or expulsion.

A student may appeal any decision and/or sanctions to the Vice President of Student Services, whose decision shall be final.

3A. Exceptions to Policy

The Registrar’s Office establishes deadlines each academic year and each semester for registering, adding courses, dropping courses, auditing courses, paying tuition and/or fees, complete withdrawals, applying for graduation, and other functions. Current deadlines and procedures are available in the University catalog and class schedules, and on the University website.

The University is obligated to ensure the integrity of the academic transcript as a historical document. Therefore, the transcript must reflect the actual history of a student’s experience at the University. An exception to University policy is warranted only in cases involving unusual or extenuating circumstances.

It is a student’s individual responsibility to ensure the accuracy of his/her class schedule and transcript each semester as well as comply with all University regulations and deadlines. Being unaware of University procedures and deadlines or desiring to modify a transcript to improve one’s academic record does not constitute justification for exceptions to policy.

The Policy Exceptions Committee, which is comprised of faculty, staff, and student representatives, will accept petitions requesting the following:

  1. Retroactive Registration (drop / add / audit): Students are expected to complete registration procedures within the published deadlines. Late registration requests may be considered for situations which made it impossible for students to register, drop, or audit during the time periods designated for registration.
    1. Students should provide verification of circumstances to support the request for exception. Supporting documentation on official letterhead, including letters from physicians, instructors, etc., must be attached to the petition.
    2. A late fee may be charged per class for all retroactive registration requests that are approved. Students are also responsible for all tuition and fees associated with any changes to their academic record.
  2. Other University (not departmental) deadlines, fines, fees, and tuition charges.
  3. Retroactive Withdrawal: Retroactive withdrawals will only be considered when students provide verification of unusual or extenuating circumstances which prevented them from withdrawing by the deadline. Supporting documentation on official letterhead, including letters from physicians, University administrators, University instructors, etc., must be attached to the petition.
  4. A student who wants to petition such an exception to policy based on extenuating circumstances must complete an “Exception to Policy Petition” and submit it to the Registrar’s Office along with supporting documentation.
    1. The Registrar’s Office is delegated to administratively drop students when appropriate documentation from faculty is provided stating that the student never attended class. However, late payment fees cannot be appealed and will remain on the student’s account.
    2. The Registrar’s Office is delegated to appropriately reinstate students in classes after drops for non-payment up to such point in the semester when the matter will be referred to the Policy Exceptions Committee.
  5. Petitions must be received within four (4) years of the semester for which the petition is submitted.

The Policy Exceptions Committee will not accept petitions for course prerequisite and placement appeals, which are approved or disapproved by the Chair of the Department offering the course (the student may appeal to the appropriate Dean supervising that department).

  • Course substitutions for courses required in a program or major that are not General Education or University graduation requirements are to be approved or disapproved by the Department Chair and Dean.
  • Exemptions to the University General Education or graduation requirements shall be decided through the Academic Appeals Committee.

Decisions of the Policy Exceptions Committee can be appealed to the Vice President of Student Services, whose decision shall be final.

3B. Academic Standing

Dixie State University requires students to maintain a minimum grade point average as explained below. In addition, the University, in compliance with Federal, State, and institutional regulations, will monitor progress, which includes monitoring satisfactory academic and required credit hour progress, of students participating in regulated programs. A student’s academic standing is noted on the official transcript each semester.

Specific academic departments may have more stringent academic standards and requirements for admission to or retention in programs.

Categories of Academic Standing are:

  1. President’s List. A student is awarded inclusion on the President’s List if s/he achieves a semester GPA of 3.9 or higher when completing a minimum of fifteen (15) credits.
  2. Dean’s List. A student is awarded inclusion on the Dean’s List if s/he achieves a semester GPA of 3.50 – 3.89 when completing a minimum of fifteen (15) credits.
  3. Academic Good Standing. A student is considered to be in Good Standing when his or her cumulative GPA is 2.0 or above.
  4. Academic Alert. A student whose semester GPA is below 2.0 but whose Cumulative GPA is above 2.0 will be placed on Academic Alert.
    1. Cannot register for more than 13 credits per semester without permission from Academic Improvement Advisor.
    2. Considered in Good Standing.
  5. Academic Warning. A student whose cumulative GPA is below 2.0 shall be placed on Academic Warning and will no longer be considered in Academic Good Standing. Only students who have completed 25 or more credits shall be placed on Academic Warning. A student transferring to DSU with 25 or more credits and a cumulative GPA below 2.0 will be placed on Academic Warning.
    1. Required to participate in a workshop designed to assist students increase their academic performance. A registration hold may be placed on a student’s registration until the workshop is completed.
    2. Cannot register for more than 13 credits per semester without permission from Academic Improvement Advisor.
  6. Academic Probation. A student on Academic Warning whose semester GPA and cumulative GPA are below 2.0 will be placed on Academic Probation.
    1. Required to meet with an Academic Improvement Advisor to establish an Academic Improvement Contract.
    2. Cannot register for more than 13 credits per semester.
  7. Academic Suspension. A student on Academic Probation whose semester GPA and cumulative GPA are below 2.0 will be placed on Academic Suspension.
    1. May not enroll in classes for a minimum of one (1) regular (fall or spring) semester after being placed on Academic Suspension.
    2. After at least one regular semester of not enrolling in classes at DSU, a student on Academic Suspension may petition the Director of Advisement for reinstatement of student status.
  8. Repeated Academic Suspension. A student is placed on Repeated Academic Suspension if the student is placed on Academic Suspension after having been previously on that status.
    1. May not enroll in classes for a minimum of one (1) calendar year after being placed on Repeated Academic Suspension.
    2. After at least one calendar year of not enrolling in classes at DSU, a student on Repeated Academic Suspension may petition the Policy Exceptions Committee for reinstatement of student status.

A student may appeal his/her being placed on Academic Warning, Academic Probation, Suspension, or Repeated Academic Suspension status may petition the Policy Exceptions Committee within two (2) years after the status change.

A student may appeal a denial of reinstatement or any Academic Standing decision of the Policy Exceptions Committee to the Vice President of Academic Services, whose decision shall be final.

4A. Academic Appeals

In order to ensure that the highest standards of academic performance are promoted and supported at the University, students must:

Standards of Academic Performance

  • Meet the academic requirements of a course; and
  • Meet the academic requirements of the relevant discipline or program.

Faculty members are qualified as professionals to observe and judge all aspects of a student’s academic performance, including demonstrated knowledge, technical and interpersonal skills, attitudes and professional character, and ability to master the required curriculum. An academic action, defined as the recording of a grade or issuing of credit in a class; on an exam, activity, or assignment; or for a course or culminating project. It also includes a decision by the program or department to place a student on academic probation, or to suspend or dismiss a student from an academic program because the student failed to meet the relevant academic standards of the discipline or program.

The term “academic action” does not include the decision by a department or program to refuse admission of a student into an academic program. An academic action, which also does not include academic sanctions imposed for academic misconduct or for professional misconduct, may be overturned on appeal only if the academic action was arbitrary or capricious.

Academic Appeals

If any involved party is not satisfied with the Dean’s decision, the matter may be appealed to the Academic Appeals Committee, which is comprised of faculty and students.

Most appeals and proceedings regarding academic actions or requirements will initiate with the faculty and administrators in a specific department or program. Course prerequisite and placement appeals are approved or disapproved by the Chair of the Department offering the course. The student may appeal disapproval to the appropriate Dean supervising that department.

  • Course substitutions for courses required in a program or major that are not General Education or University graduation requirements are to be approved or disapproved by the Department Chair and Dean.
  • A student who wishes to petition for an exemption or exception to the University General Education or graduation requirements must appeal those requirements through the Academic Appeals Committee.

Any decision of the Academic Appeals Committee can be appealed to the Vice President of Academic Services, whose decision shall be final.

4B. Student Complaints

A student may file a complaint against a faculty or staff member for violating the student’s rights as delineated in the Student Code. The student should seek to resolve the complaint with the involved faculty / staff member if possible.

If resolution between student and an academic staff employee or faculty member is not possible, the student may seek redress with the Department Chair of the department which offers the course or supervises the employee. If resolution between the student and the Department Chair is not possible, the student may seek redress with the appropriate Dean charged with supervising that department. If resolution between the student and the Dean is not possible, the student may seek further redress with the Vice President of Academic Services. If the faculty / staff member is dissatisfied with any decision, s/he may appeal to the appropriate Vice President or employ the Grievance Procedure, Policy 3-31 or 4-28.

If a complaint involves a non-academic staff member and resolution is not possible, the student may seek redress with the Dean of Students. If resolution between the student and the Dean of Students is not possible, the student may seek further redress with the Vice President of Student Services. If the staff member is dissatisfied with any decision, s/he may appeal to the appropriate Vice President or employ the Grievance Procedure, Policy 4-28.

4C. Student Academic Conduct

In order to ensure that the highest standards of academic conduct are promoted and supported at the University, students must adhere to generally accepted standards of academic honesty, including but not limited to, refraining from cheating, plagiarizing, falsification, misrepresentation, and/or inappropriately colluding or collaborating. The University shall consistently hold students accountable for instances of academic dishonesty and apply appropriate consequences.

Definitions for some types of academic misconduct follow:

  1. Cheating: Includes but is not limited to using unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise; failing to observe the expressed procedures or instructions of an academic exercise; substituting for or impersonating someone else during a test or exam or other fraud; or receiving the content of a test or exam before it is administered.
  2. Plagiarism: Includes but is not limited to the use of another’s words or ideas as if they were one’s own, including, but not limited to, representing, either with the intent to deceive or by the omission of the true source, part of or an entire work produced by someone other than the student, obtained by purchase or otherwise, as the student’s original work or representing the identifiable but altered ideas, data, or writing of another person as if those ideas, data, or writing were the student’s original work.
  3. Inappropriate Collaboration or Collusion: Includes but is not limited to unauthorized or inappropriate collaboration between students or between a student and any other person when individual work is required.
  4. Multiple Submissions: Includes but is not limited to the resubmission by a student of any work which has been previously submitted for credit in identical or similar form in one course to fulfill the requirements of a second course, without the informed permission / consent of the instructor of the second course; or the submission by a student of any work submitted for credit in identical or similar form in one course to fulfill the requirements of a concurrent course, without the permission / consent of the instructors of both courses.
  5. Falsification / Fabrication / Misrepresentation: Includes but is not limited to the intentional and unauthorized invention of any data, information, or citation in an academic activity.
  6. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Includes but is not limited to knowingly helping another student commit an act of academic misconduct or failing to report another student for academic misconduct.
  7. Coercion Regarding Grading or Evaluation of Coursework: Includes but is not limited to issuing threats or offering favors or bribes toward an instructor to coerce the instructor to change a grade or otherwise evaluate the student’s work by criteria not directly reflective of coursework.
  8. Copyright Violation: Includes but is not limited to copyright and other violations of the DSU Computer Use Policy 6-53 and Use of IT Resources Policy. Such matters are adjudicated under the Student Behavioral Conduct section of this code.

A student who engages in academic misconduct may be subject to academic sanctions identified below. Sanctions may also include community service, a written reprimand, and/or a written statement of misconduct that can be put into an appropriate record maintained for purposes of the profession or discipline for which the student is preparing.

  • Any person who observes or discovers academic misconduct by a student must file a written complaint with the faculty member responsible for the pertinent academic activity within fifteen (15) days of the date of discovery of the alleged violation.
    • A student’s failure to report academic misconduct on the part of another can result in academic misconduct charges against that student.
  • A faculty member who discovers or receives a complaint of misconduct relating to an academic activity for which the faculty member is responsible shall take action under this code and impose an appropriate sanction for the misconduct.

Sanctions

If a faculty member has firm evidence of academic misconduct in a course s/he is instructing, the claim of academic misconduct shall be considered substantiated. In all cases, the sanction for academic misconduct should reflect how knowing, intentional, and serious the instructor judges the academic dishonesty to be. The faculty member may impose the following sanctions:

  1. Require that the work be redone, an exam retaken, or an alternate assignment substituted.
  2. Reduce the grade for the assignment or other academic activity.
  3. Reduce the grade for the course.
  4. Issue a grade of “F” for the paper, project, test, exam, or other academic activity in which the misconduct occurred.
  5. Issue a failing grade for the course.

The student may appeal the faculty member’s decision to the Academic Integrity Committee, which is comprised of faculty and students.

If the faculty member believes that the student’s academic misconduct warrants further academic sanctioning, he/she may submit a written complaint with recommendations to the appropriate Department Chair, who forwards the request with his/her recommendations to the appropriate Dean. A faculty member, Department Chair, or Dean may also take a complaint directly to the Academic Appeals Committee. Academic sanctions that can be imposed by the Academic Appeals Committee in these cases include but are not limited to the following:

  1. A notation on the student’s academic transcript that the F grade in a specific course was issued for academic misconduct.
  2. Academic Conduct Censure or Probation. Academic Conduct Probation imposes conditions on a student for a specific period of time.
  3. Specified community service.
  4. Academic Conduct Suspension or Dismissal from a program. Academic Conduct Suspension shall be for a minimum of one semester following the semester the student is found responsible for academic misconduct. Academic Dismissal from a program is usually irrevocable.
  5. Academic Conduct Suspension or Dismissal from the University. Academic Conduct Suspension shall be for a minimum of one semester following the semester the student is found responsible for academic misconduct. Dismissal from the University shall be reserved for the most serious or egregious instances of academic misconduct.
  6. Denial of a degree or certificate for which requirements have been completed or revocation of an awarded student’s degree or certificate. Grounds for denial or revocation include convincing evidence that the degree recipient engaged academic misconduct serious enough to negate the legitimate completion of one or more substantive requirements of that degree or certificate. Revocation of an awarded degree or certificate requires the additional approval of the President of the University.
  7. A student may appeal any decision of the Academic Integrity Committee to the Vice President of Academic Services, whose decision shall be final.

5. Student Professional Conduct

In order to ensure that the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct are promoted and supported at the University, students must adhere to the prescribed professional and ethical standards of the profession or discipline for which the student is preparing, as adopted or recognized as authoritative by the relevant academic program.

The Vice President of Academic Services may suspend a student or restrict a student’s access to University premises and/or University activities for which the student might otherwise be eligible prior to an initial inquiry, hearing, or determination if there is reasonable cause to believe that a student poses a danger to him or herself, endangers the safety of other persons or property, or is an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process.

A student who engages in professional misconduct may be subject to academic sanctions including but not limited to a grade reduction, failing grade, probation, suspension, or dismissal from the program or the University, denial or revocation of a student’s degree or certificate, or comparable professional credentialing sanctions. Sanctions may also include community service, a written reprimand, and/or a written statement of misconduct that can be put into an appropriate record maintained for purposes of the profession or discipline for which the student is preparing.

  • Any person who observes or discovers that a student has engaged in professional misconduct should file a written complaint with the Department Chair or Program Director of the involved program within thirty (30) days of the date of discovery of the alleged violation.
  • The Chair/Director conducts an initial inquiry to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing the responding student violated the Standards of Conduct, including interviewing the complaining party and the responding student, reviewing relevant evidence, etc. The Chair/Director makes a determination as to whether there is reasonable basis for believing that the responding student violated the Standards of Conduct. A complaint that is frivolous, that fails to state facts that constitute a violation of the Standards of Conduct, or that is not timely, may be dismissed by the Chair/Director after an initial review.

If a complaint is dismissed, the complainant may appeal that decision to the Vice President of Academic Services, whose decision shall be final.

If the Chair/Director determines that there is a reasonable basis for believing that the student engaged in professional misconduct, he/she shall determine whether efforts at informal resolution are appropriate and, if so, shall take whatever steps are useful to that end. If informal resolution is inappropriate or if efforts at informal resolution are not successful, the Chair/Director shall refer the complaint, including his/her recommendation for academic sanctions, to a Professional Conduct Hearing Board, which is comprised of faculty and at least one student, for proceedings.

The Hearing Board may recommend any academic sanction listed above. The Board’s decision will be reviewed by the Academic Dean, who will review all the evidence, may solicit whatever counsel and advice s/he deems necessary, and shall make a decision to impose an appropriate sanction. Any party may appeal the Dean’s decision and/or sanction to the Academic Appeals Committee. The Academic Appeals Committee will make a recommendation to the Vice President of Academic Services, whose decision shall be final.