Apr 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Student Handbook 
    
2023-2024 Student Handbook

Student Conduct and Expectations


Student Conduct and Expectations

Anderson University is a Christ-centered community that presents Jesus as the Christ and as the ultimate model for personal behavior. The unifying principle of Anderson University is a conservative Christian vision of life in which community participants are encouraged to develop a Christian worldview and to strive toward the high calling of the great commandments, which tell us to love God with our hearts, with our minds, and with our souls, and to love others as ourselves (Luke 10:27). We seek to build an academic community where men and women can lovingly and gracefully be introduced to an understanding of God, God’s creation and grace, and humanity’s place of great privilege and responsibility in God’s world. 

Community life at Anderson University involves both privilege and responsibility, which may at times require restrictions on our personal and collective freedoms, and which concurrently necessitates both internal and external restraint for the benefit of all members of our educational community. From this perspective, community life requires first, self-discipline, but it is also the responsibility of all community members to hold one another accountable (Matthew 18: 15-17) to ensure a safe and healthy environment conducive to our pursuit of learning as a Christian educational community. 

As members of the Anderson University community, students and employees enjoy the benefits and privileges accompanying such membership. As community members, students are expected to abide by all University policies and guidelines as well as local, state, and federal laws. Students are expected to act responsibly and to avoid conduct that is detrimental to themselves or the University, both on-campus and away from campus. 

We, as the Anderson University community, commit ourselves to the Christian values on which Anderson was founded and as are reflected in Anderson University’s Statement of Faith. We affirm the necessity of both academic and social standards of conduct to support a healthy and purposeful learning community. Whether on campus, online, or in venues such as internships or student teaching, we commit ourselves to living out these values. 

Following are some of the specific ways that students live out the values and uphold the standards of the Anderson community.  These standards are not all inclusive and are meant to serve as examples of Anderson’s values and expectations.

 

Respecting the Individual 

We value the intrinsic worth of every individual in the community. Our respect for other individuals includes an appreciation of cultural backgrounds different from our own, an understanding of different attitudes and opinions, and an awareness of the consequences of our actions on the broader community. 

Examples of actions that violate this value include, but are not limited to: 

Harassment 

Definition: Verbal or physical abuse, annoying communications or threats directed toward any student, faculty, staff, or guest of the university. Examples include, but are not limited to: uncivil communication, intimidation, prank calls, stalking or abuse because of one’s race, color, disability, age, sex, LGBTQ+ identity, or national or ethnic origin.  Harassment is more than conduct with which you disagree or find personally offensive. It is unwelcome conduct, determined by a reasonable person, to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education programs or activities.

Non-Title IX Sexual Harassment

Definition: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, determined by a reasonable person, to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that a reasonable person should not be expected to endure or tolerate it.

Title IX Sexual Harassment 

Definition: Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

1. A University employee conditioning the provision of a University aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; 

2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s Education Program or Activity; or 

3. Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking. 

(See also the Comprehensive Grievance Procedure for Title IX Compliance in the University Policies section of this handbook.)

Hazing 

Definition: Engaging in or coercing others to engage in any activity which has a foreseeable potential for causing physical harm; threat of physical harm; emotional or mental strain; humiliation; loss or damage to property; or damage to the physical, moral or scholastic well-being of any individual for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group or organization. 

Inappropriate Sexual Activity 

Definition: Sexual activity between unmarried people of the opposite or the same sex. Sexual activity includes any conduct which is intended to provide sexual pleasure to another individual, including, but not limited to, sexual intercourse, oral sex, or physical sexual stimulation by one person to another.

Public Displays of Affection 

Definition: Romantic gestures or activity, conducted while in public, that may be offensive or disturbing to a reasonable person. Excessive public displays of affection on campus or at University sponsored events are considered inappropriate and may result in disciplinary actions. This includes intimate kissing, embracing, and other activities which are typically considered appropriate only in private settings.

Bullying 

Definition: A gesture, an electronic communication, or a written, verbal, physical, or sexual act that, under the totality of the circumstances would be perceived by a reasonable person to have the effect of harming a person physically or emotionally, damaging a person’s property, placing a person in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage; or insulting or demeaning a person or group of people.  Bullying is more than conduct that you personally dislike or conduct with which you disagree. Bullying does not rise to the level of harassment, but is conduct an individual should not have to endure.  While it can be a single event which is significantly egregious, it is most often repeated conduct that rises to a level a reasonable person should not have to tolerate.

Physical Violence, Injury, or Harm to Another Individual

Definition: An attempt or offer with force or violence to do harm to another person. This includes, but is not limited to: striking, shoving, kicking, slapping or otherwise forcefully touching a person; or engaging in reckless behavior that causes physical injury to another person without that person’s consent. 

Pranks  

Definition: Participating in any activity on or off campus that threatens and intimidates and/ or endangers the health, physical, or emotional well-being of a community member, or behavior that results in damage, malicious or non-malicious vandalism, or general disregard for university or private property. 

Acts of Incivility 

Definition: Derogatory comments or actions toward an individual or group. Disrespectful or uncivil communications with or actions involving a University official. Incivility is more than behavior you personally dislike. It is behavior that rises to a level that reasonable persons would find offensive but does not reach the criteria for bullying or harassment.

Violent Acts or Threats  

Definition: The University will not tolerate acts or threats of violence against members of this community or retaliation against any individual reporting a threat or act of violence. This prohibition includes verbal, nonverbal, or written actions and all forms of intimidation. Student Development staff members may require students involved in prohibited conduct to leave campus immediately pending the investigation of an incident. Violations of this policy, regardless of intent, may result in suspension or other disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. 

Leading a Self-Disciplined Life 

Recognizing the image of God in each individual, we value personal responsibility and the individual’s need for physical, intellectual, spiritual, social and emotional wholeness. We support the full development of every student toward a healthy self-image, a commitment to self-discipline, and responsible self-expression. 

Examples of actions that violate this value include but are not limited to:  

Cohabitation or Overnight Stays

Definition: Unmarried students are not allowed to live with or engage in overnight stays with members of the opposite sex, or with someone when they are in a romantic or physical relationship. This also applies to living arrangements both on and off campus. This may not apply to students living in their parents’ home or living with a relative.

Disorderly Conduct 

Definition: Conduct or behavior that breaches the peace, disrupts the normal operations of the University, or is disruptive of the rights of others.  

Gambling 

Definition: To play a game for money or other valuable stakes with the hope of gaining something significant beyond the amount the individual pays. 

Indecent Behavior and Language 

Definition: Spoken or written comments or behaviors that are lewd, obscene or indecent. This includes but is not limited to sexually explicit or derogatory racial/ethnic comments or gestures.  

Inappropriate Behavior 

Definition: Conduct or language that is inconsistent with the policies, Statement of Faith, and Christian values of Anderson University, or behavior that a reasonable person would consider inappropriate for the Anderson University community.

Possessing, Consuming or Distributing Alcoholic Beverages or Other Illegal Drugs

Definition: Students enrolled in the undergraduate traditional programs of the University are prohibited from the possession and/or use of alcohol or drugs during the academic year or while participation in University sponsored activities regardless of the time of year.  The possession and/or use of alcohol or drugs is prohibited on all University property or events.  Any student who hosts an event on or off-campus where alcohol and or drugs are present or permits such an event to be hosted at their residence is subject to discipline, including expulsion from the University. This also includes the possession of alcohol containers, either empty or full, on campus, at University sponsored events, or in vehicles located on University property..( Please refer to the Alcohol and Drug Policy as outlined in the University Policies of this Student Handbook for additional details.)

Attendance at Gatherings where Alcohol and/or Drugs are Present

Definition:The University prohibits any student from attending gatherings, on or off-campus where alcohol and/or illegal drugs are present.  If a student becomes aware that alcohol or illegal drugs are present at a gathering, they must make an effort to leave the gathering as soon as possible.

Possession of Alcohol Containers

Definition: Possession of alcohol containers, either empty or full, on campus, at University sponsored events, or in vehicles located on University property is prohibited.

Possessing or Using Drug Paraphernalia 

Definition: Possession of any tool, instrument, device, etc., that is used or can be used in illegal drug use. Items include but are not limited to: bongs, rolling papers, grinders, marijuana clips, needles, and syringes. 

Misuse of Drugs 

Definition: The use or possession of a controlled substance without a prescription from a practicing physician is strictly prohibited. This also includes the misuse of over the counter medication.

Sexually Explicit Material 

Definition: Accessing or possessing pornographic materials (including magazines, books, posters, photos, videos, computer games, electronic files, and web sites) is prohibited. Violation of this policy is grounds for disciplinary action. The University reserves the right to confiscate any pornographic materials found on the campus. The University reserves the right to search any computer or electronic device located on campus or connected to campus information systems if there is a reasonable suspicion that the computer or device contains pornographic materials. 

Social Media Misconduct 

Definition: Students who post information and/or images on social media sites, which t are inconsistent with the policies, Statement of Faith, or Christian values of the University, damaging to the reputation of the University, or that defame or slander members of the AU community (including but not limited to obscene material, foul language, harassing statements, sexually suggestive language or photographs, or statements that defame the University), may be subject to discipline by the University whether or not University computers or systems were used to create or post the information. It is important to understand this may also apply to your personal social media sites.

Tobacco and Related Products

 Definition: The University is a smoke-free, tobacco-free campus. The use of tobacco products is prohibited anywhere on University premises. The use of tobacco products is also prohibited at any Anderson University sponsored off-campus event. Students may not store tobacco or related products in campus residence halls. 

 

Developing Personal Character 

We value an educational community that encourages personal growth in character and integrity guided by the principles of Christian faith. We encourage the development of these qualities in and out of the classroom.  

Examples of actions that violate this value include but are not limited to:  

Academic Dishonesty 

Definition:  For more information regarding Academic Dishonesty, please refer to the Academic Policies Section of the University Catalog.

Fraud 

Definition: Knowingly providing false information to the University, and forgery, alteration, or misuse of miscellaneous documents, equipment (including computers), records, or identification. 

False Reporting

Definition: Students may not knowingly, frivolously, or maliciously file false reports, including those against employees, visitors to campus, or fellow students

Dishonesty 

Definition: Knowingly or intentionally being untruthful, deceptive or deliberately concealing requested information. 

Failure to Comply 

Definition: Failure to follow directions of University officials acting in an official capacity or failure to identify oneself when requested to do so. 

 

Respecting and Caring for Community and Personal Resources

We value the God-given resources that have been entrusted to us as individuals and as an academic community. We recognize the benefits of preserving and stewarding both personal property and natural resources.  

Examples of actions that violate this value include but are not limited to:  

Theft or Possession of Stolen or Lost Property 

Definition: Attempted or actual theft of University property, property belonging to a member of the University community, other personal or public property, or possession of stolen property. This includes tangible property as well as intellectual property and identity theft.  

Property Damage 

Definition: Destroying, defacing or damaging University property or property belonging to students, faculty, staff or guests of the University. This includes tampering with, misusing or abusing computer equipment, programs and/or data. This may refer to unintentional damage as well as vandalism. 

Fire Safety Violations

Definition: Setting off a false fire alarm or tampering with the fire safety equipment, failing to vacate a building when a fire alarm is sounded, or discharging a fire extinguisher without justifiable cause; setting a fire, using fireworks or other explosives anywhere on University property or at University sponsored events.

  

Living Responsibly in Community 

We recognize that membership in the Anderson learning community brings both privileges and responsibilities. We also recognize the importance of community standards of conduct, be they the University’s guidelines and expectations or municipal, state, and federal laws. Commitment to these standards obligates students to refrain from and discourage behaviors that threaten or disrupt the learning-centered purpose of this community. 

Examples of actions that violate this value are include but are not limited to:

Possessing Firearms or Weapons on Campus 

Definition: The possession, whether openly or concealed, of any weapon including, but not limited to, firearms, explosives, BB guns, gel blasters, airsoft guns, knives with blades of more than four inches, and any other weapon of any kind or an imitation that could be used to cause fear in another person is prohibited on campus, University owned property, or at University sponsored events.  

Unauthorized Entry  

Definition: Entering any University building or facility without authorization. Unauthorized possession or duplication of keys or key cards to any University premises or tampering with locks or entry security mechanisms.

Computer Misuse 

Definition: Violating the Computing and Information Technology Policies as outlined in the University Policies.  

Participation in Disruptive Gatherings 

Definition: Students may not participate in disruptive gatherings that disturb or interfere with University operations or the well-being of other members of the community. Students also may not participate in or promote gatherings that involve the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, off- or on-campus.  

Demonstrations 

Definition: Participation in unauthorized assemblies/demonstrations or behaving in such a manner that interferes with the rights of others or interferes with University operations, or engaging in or sponsoring any activity in opposition to the mission or Statement of Faith of Anderson University or the University community values and expectations expressed in the Student Handbook.

Violation of Law

Definition: Students who violate federal, state, or local laws may be subject to disciplinary action from the University. If arrested for a criminal violation, a student must report the arrest to the Office of Student Life within 5 days; athletes must also report the arrest to the Vice President for Athletics. University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with a violation of a law that is also a violation of the University Community Standards and Values. Proceedings under the student conduct process may be carried out prior to, simultaneous with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus. 

Violation through Implied Consent

Definition: Any student’s continued presence in a room or other area where an observable violation of the University’s standards of conduct is ongoing may be considered to be participating in that conduct violation and may be subject to disciplinary action. The student’s implied participation in the misconduct does not depend on whether the student is actively participating in the behavior, is in possession of prohibited items, or how long the student has been in the room. Examples include but are not limited to, alcohol/drugs in the room or a visitation violation. In order to avoid participation in a conduct violation through implied consent, a student should, if practical, immediately leave the area where a violation of policy is occurring.

 

Student Conduct Process 

Purpose of the Student Conduct Process 

The student conduct process exists to provide a redemptive and transformative approach to maintaining an orderly, safe, and comfortable learning environment for all Anderson University members. Our goals in the conduct process are to be first redemptive (Romans 8:1) and then for students to be restored to the community and to one another. 

Goals of the Student Conduct Process 

1. Provide an opportunity for students to be heard.  

2. Help students recognize how their behavior impacts them individually as well as the community in which they live. 

3. Challenge students to consider whether their actions are congruent with their personal and spiritual values, and with the mission and values of Anderson University.

4. Assist students in developing a plan to avoid inappropriate or harmful behaviors in the future and make life choices that will permit them to live successfully in the Anderson community and beyond. 

5. Encourage students to develop a life of self-discipline and the ability to discern what is right. 

6. Provide an opportunity for students to develop a relationship with a Student Development staff member who can be an advocate for the student in navigating personal and academic challenges. 

7. Protect other members of the University community from persons who are unable or unwilling to embrace these standards of conduct and live in harmony with the University community. 

Student Conduct Procedures 

1. When a violation of community standards occurs, a Campus Safety Officer, Student Life Staff member, or Resident Advisor will document the incident by completing an incident report.  

2. A Student Life staff member will schedule a meeting with the student(s) involved to discuss the alleged violation, gather additional information, hear the student’s response, and explain the student conduct process. If warranted, a thorough investigation will be undertaken to gather information from witnesses and other sources. The student may choose to bring an advisor to this meeting, however, the advisor must be a member of the Anderson community (i.e., faculty or staff) and may not speak in the meeting on behalf of the student.  

3. If there is enough information to support the conclusion that a violation has occurred, the staff member will assign appropriate sanctions. Notice of the sanctions will be sent to the student in writing or by email and kept in the student’s conduct record. Under normal circumstances, disciplinary records, including charges and sanctions, are not disclosed to other individuals.  On the rare occasion that the sanction may affect another student, that element of the record may be disclosed to the affected student.  (An example of this may include a situation in which a No Contact Directive is issued. ) If a student chooses not to be present at the meeting, a decision will be made without his or her input.  

4. Sanctions are determined relative to the level of the violation. Sanctions may include but are not limited to the following: 

• Warning: A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations. 

• Probation: A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period. Probationary status may affect participation in student organizations, intercollegiate athletics, financial aid eligibility and transfer to another institution.  

• Loss of Privilege: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time. Such privileges include visitation, employment, parking, involvement in clubs, organizations, extracurricular activities, athletics, performance groups, off campus housing, internships (including student teaching), or other privileges related to the violation. 

• Alcohol/Substance Assessment: Students that are found responsible for violating the alcohol or drug policies at AU may be required to participate in an alcohol/substance assessment. This assessment may lead to additional steps that may include online training, written assignments, group sessions, or further counseling.

• Fines: Appropriate  fines may be imposed at the University’s discretion. 

• Educational Assignments: Students may be required to complete educational assignments related to the violation. Assignments may include seminars, research, reflection papers, and online courses.  

• Parental Notification: For more serious violations, the student will notify his or her parent(s) or guardian of the policy violation. The parent or guardian will then be asked to verify the notification by contacting the appropriate Student Development staff member.  Failure of the student to notify the parent or guardian may result in additional disciplinary responses and or notification to the parent by the University. 

• Behavioral Agreement: The student and the Office of Student Development enter into an agreement, often signed by both parties, stating the nature of the student’s violation and the steps that the student and/or the Office of Student Development will take as a result of the student’s behavior. 

• Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement. 

• Discretionary Sanctions: Work assignments, service to the University or other related discretionary assignments (such assignments must have the prior approval of a Student Development Dean). 

• Residence Hall Suspension: Separation of the student from the residence halls for a defined period of time, after which the student may be eligible to return. Conditions for readmission to the residence hall may be specified. 

• Residence Hall Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from living on campus.

  • Loss of off-campus housing privileges. Requirement to live on-campus, even after the student is otherwise permitted to live off-campus due to class-level status.

 Suspension: Separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time, after which the student may be eligible to return. Depending on the circumstances, students may or may not be allowed to complete current course work remotely.  Suspensions may be as short as one day or as long as several weeks, depending on the nature and severity of the behavior.

  • Dismissal: Separation from the University where the student is withdrawn from classes, not allowed to be present on University premises, or participate in University sponsored events for a defined period of time.  Students who are dismissed must reapply to the University.  Conditions for readmission may be specified. 

• Expulsion: Permanent termination of student status. The student is not eligible to return to the University. 

• Additional Responses: In addition to the responses delineated above, staff members in the Office of Student Development may use other sanctions when deemed necessary and appropriate. These may include but are not limited to notification of faculty, coaches, or other staff members when appropriate, reconciliation with individuals or offended groups, and follow-up sessions with a student life staff person, faculty member, or other individual agreed upon by the student and the Office of Student Development.

5. Disciplinary records are maintained for students on a continual basis. Violations of the standards of conduct are cumulative and are carried over from year to year. A student’s complete discipline record will be considered when deciding sanctions.  Conduct records are maintained for 7 years beyond graduation and are not considered part of the student’s permanent record. 

6. Information regarding a student’s involvement in a violation of the standards of conduct may be shared as needed with other University departments or offices.  

7.  The evidentiary standard used to determine responsibility in student conduct incidents is called preponderance of the evidence, which means the student conduct officer must decide if it is more likely than not that a violation occurred. 

Student Conduct Appeal Process 

The student wishing to appeal the outcome of the student conduct process must do so in writing to the supervisor of the staff member who imposed the sanction on the student within three school days of the date of the written decision. Contact information for the appropriate supervisor will be included in the sanction letter sent to the student. An appeal can only be made for one of the following reasons: 

• There is new and significant information that has not yet been considered.

• The published student conduct process was not followed. 

• Sanctions imposed are not appropriate to the violation(s). 

Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Appeal 

The letter must include: 

1. Names of the parties involved 

2. Clear statement of the nature of the appeal must consist of one or more of the reasons listed above.  

3. A narrative of the incident including:  

 • Why it occurred 

 • How it occurred 

 • Where it occurred 

 • Who was present 

 • The information on which the appeal is based 

4. The desired outcome 

The staff member who considers the appeal may or may not choose to talk with the student appealing and/or other pertinent individuals. Appeal decisions will be made in a timely manner. Students are reminded that unhappiness with the outcome of the conduct process is not a sufficient reason to justify an appeal. 

Interim Suspension 

In certain circumstances, the Senior Vice President for Student Development or his or her designee may impose an interim University or residence-hall suspension prior to the student conduct meeting.  

Interim suspension may be imposed only:  

A. To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or for the preservation of university property; 

B. To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or 

C. If the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University.

During the interim suspension, the student will be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Senior Vice President may determine to be appropriate. 

Community Standard Violation Levels 

In order to remain fair and consistent in how the University responds to conduct violations, the Student Development staff will normally follow the guidelines below. A student’s specific behavior and any previous violations will be considered in determining the standing. The following list is not meant to be exhaustive but to provide examples of violations and likely outcomes. The full range of sanctions is always available to the University for any violation if warranted by serious and extenuating circumstances. Failure to complete any component of a disciplinary sanction may result in additional disciplinary action. 

In addition to the above, the University has the right at its discretion to dismiss any student for the overall good of the University.

Level 1  

Level 1 violations are generally first-time policy infractions that may require a meeting with a Student Development staff member. Some common infractions in this category include but are not limited to the following: 

• Property damage 

• Tobacco Policy violation 

• Appropriate dress violation 

• Residence hall health and safety violation 

• Residence hall policy violations (See Residential Housing Policies) 

Possible outcomes include but are not limited to warning, loss of privileges, written assignments, restitution, fines, and probation. 

Level 2  

Level 2 violations include but are not limited to repeat Level 1 violations and the following: 

• Failure to comply with University Official 

• First-time Visitation violations  

• Alcohol policy violation 

• Gambling 

• Tampering with Fire Safety equipment

• Theft 

Possible outcomes include but are not limited to loss of privileges, fines, behavioral agreement, probation, parental notification, and residence hall suspension. 

Level 3  

Level 3 violations are behaviors that the University considers extremely serious and may lead to loss of off-campus housing privileges, short- or long-term suspension, or expulsion. Level 3 infractions include but are not limited to repeat Level 2 violations and the following:  

• Repeated Alcohol policy violations 

• Repeated Visitation violations  

• Possession of Firearms 

• Cohabitation 

• Sexual activity outside of marriage

• Harassment, intimidation, or bullying 

• Providing alcohol to a minor 

• Violation of local, state, or federal law 

• Threats toward individuals or community 

• Hazing 

• Possession of drug paraphernalia 

Level 4 

Level 4 violations are behaviors that cannot be tolerated in the University community and are likely to lead to suspension or expulsion. Level 4 infractions include but are not limited to: 

• Sexual assault 

• Illegal drug use 

• Hosting gatherings where alcohol or illegal drugs are provided by the host or permitting your home to be used for such gatherings 

• Violent acts toward individuals or community 

Repeated Violations or Non-Compliance 

Repeated violations of the Anderson University community guidelines and expectations or non-compliance with sanctions given to the student in response to earlier violations may result in additional and increasingly severe sanctions.