Introduction and Philosophy
Furman University views its role in the administration of institutional policy as one of both ensuring fairness and providing an educational opportunity for the student. This approach protects the campus community by providing a system of educational, restorative and consequential sanctions for those violating university policies and also encourages growth and development of students through supporting the practice of responsible behavior in a community. The educational approach infers a need for understanding and self-discipline on the part of the student, as well as a respect for the rights and privileges of others. The University is not a sanctuary where students or student groups may escape the responsibilities imposed by law upon all citizens. The University does not condone the violation or attempted violation of federal, state or local law. Student conduct action may be taken on the basis of any conduct, on or off campus. Alleged violations may be referred to the appropriate criminal court and/or to the appropriate university official, national office or judicial body.
The basic philosophy and principles which guide the student conduct process at Furman University are:
- The process is necessary and effective when it is applied in the learning experience of a student and/or for protection of the community of which they are a member.
- When student conduct action becomes necessary, that action should be handled expeditiously and thoroughly.
- The education of students concerning the policies of the University, emphasizing the need to live by those rules in a community of people, is promoted in residence hall meetings, conduct hearings and during any other contact made with individuals charged with violating university policy.
- In conduct hearings involving students who are accused of violating university policies, consideration will be given to all information relevant to the case. This is to ensure that a fair process and appropriate consideration are extended to all students.
- For the purposes of this handbook, a Furman student is defined as any undergraduate day student, evening studies student, graduate student, staff or faculty member enrolled in a course(s), conditional admit, or accepted student who has submitted an enrollment deposit unless otherwise stated. Full or part-time enrollment does not affect an individual’s status as a student.
The University’s Rights and Responsibilities
As a private institution, Furman University reserves the right to refuse re-enrollment to a student whose personal or academic adjustment has been unsatisfactory. Enrollment for each semester is a separate contract with a student; thus acceptance for one semester does not necessarily imply acceptance for succeeding terms. Students are expected to recognize the right and obligation of the university administration to establish and enforce policies which it believes to be in the best interest of the community as a whole. The University reserves the right to amend its rules, policies and procedures at any time.
Each educational institution has a responsibility to provide an environment which is conducive to freedom to learn on the part of its students. In order to provide such conditions, Furman University has developed policies and procedures designed to safeguard this freedom.
Each student has the right to expect from university officials nondiscriminatory treatment without regard to race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other category protected by applicable state or federal laws.
Students are guaranteed freedom of inquiry and expression. Special interest groups are free to organize according to regulations in the constitution of the Student Government Association.
Students are guaranteed the right of peaceable assembly to the extent that such does not interfere with the educational process and is not in conflict with federal, state or local laws or university regulations.
Each student has a right to expect that all records pertaining to their association with the University shall be confidential according to requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The Act states that each student is guaranteed an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the accuracy of information contained in any file or record to which they have access. A request for a hearing should be made to the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee.
Students identified as being in violation of university rules and regulations are guaranteed the right to be dealt with according to procedures designed to ensure fundamental fairness listed in the Student Conduct Code.
Each student has a responsibility to respect the rights of every other student and to support the right of Furman University to establish institutional standards designed to achieve its goals and objectives.
Preponderance of the Evidence
There is a major difference between a criminal process and the student conduct process regarding the weight of evidence. In the student conduct process a preponderance of the evidence must exist. This means that, unlike a criminal system where guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, in a student conduct system, if the evidence demonstrates that it is more likely than not that the student violated the Student Conduct Code, the student will be found responsible.
The Student Conduct Process does not replace or relieve any requirement of civil or criminal law. This means that complainants may bring complaints to the appropriate university official and also file criminal or civil complaints. Complainants are encouraged to report violations of law to proper authorities on or off campus.
Furman University is committed to the safety and well-being of all its community members. The University strives to create an environment that is free of acts of violence, sexual misconduct, harassment, and infringement of rights of privacy and property. The Office of Student Life is committed to assisting students, whether a respondent or complainant of an alleged incident, in identifying resources which, based on personal needs, will further support them throughout the student conduct process.
A complainant of an alleged incident does not have to be a member of the University community. If an alleged incident occurs off campus, even if the person involved is not a member of the University community, they may have the right to file a complaint with Office of Student Life and/or University Police. This is possible when the behavior is considered to have a substantial University interest, or in other words, the respondent is likely to endanger others, repeat the behavior, or interfere with the educational process and operation of the University.
Both respondents and complainants have the following rights throughout the student conduct process:
- To be treated with dignity and respect.
- To receive nondiscriminatory treatment without regard to race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other category protected by applicable state or federal law.
- To have case information kept private by Student Conduct Board members.
- To have all case information kept private by the University. The names of complainants will not be released to any other party without the written consent of the complainant. The names of respondents will only be released as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
- To have a support person from within Furman’s faculty/staff/student university community to be present during the hearing process. Parents/guardians and attorneys are excluded, unless specifically allowed by another process, policy or procedure found in the Student Handbook.
- Complainants will be informed immediately of the outcome of the hearing as permitted by federal and state laws, including but not limited to the Student Right-to-Know, Campus Security Act of 1990 and FERPA. This includes, but is not limited to the complainants involved in any crime of violence or sex offense proceeding.
- The University will make arrangements to ensure that students with disabilities are provided appropriate accommodations, to the extent necessary and available, to participate in the steps and procedures outlined in this Handbook. Requests for accommodations must be made to the Student Office for Accessibility Resources (located in Room 002 of the Earle Student Health Center and available from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).
The Student Conduct Board may request that any witnesses provide testimony during a conduct hearing. A witness is any individual who has personal knowledge of the case being resolved (i.e. student, roommate, teammate, resident assistant or first-year advisor, police officer, etc.). Character witnesses are not permitted. A support person may not serve as a witness.
Both complainants and respondents have the right to provide the Student Conduct Advisor with a list of witnesses in their case that they propose appear before the Board and a brief description of each proposed witness’s connection to and/or knowledge of the issues in dispute no later than 24 hours prior to the hearing. During the hearing, the respondent will be given the opportunity to question all witnesses who appear before the Board. A complainant may also assume the role of witness during a hearing.
A witness may contact the Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students or other conduct advisor prior to the hearing to discuss the resolution process.
Students have the right to have a support person from within Furman’s faculty/staff/student University community (to exclude parents/guardians and attorneys) be present during the hearing process. Parents/guardians and attorneys are excluded, unless specifically allowed by another process, policy or procedure found in the Student Handbook. The support role is intended to comfort the complainant or respondent throughout the conduct hearing. A support person may communicate with the respondent privately, but he or she may not address the Student Conduct Board, question witnesses, or have any other speaking role. It is not assumed that the support person either believes or disbelieves the respondent’s perspective on the incident. A support person may contact the Dean of Students or other conduct advisor prior to the hearing to discuss the resolution process. A support person must maintain confidentiality regarding any and all communications related to the case.
The Student Conduct Process
Student Conduct Code Violations
Alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code are resolved by the Student Conduct Board and alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy are processed as outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy. In addition, alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code that do not by themselves constitute alleged Sexual Misconduct Policy violations may be addressed under the Sexual Misconduct Policy when they are related to alleged violations of that policy.
Resolution Process for Student Conduct Code Violations
- Student conduct action may be taken on the basis of any conduct, on or off campus, which is in violation of the University’s Student Conduct Code or state and federal laws.
- The responsibility for the investigative work necessary to substantiate a charge begins with the person reporting the alleged violation(s), and is continued in cooperation with the Office of Student Life, University Police and/or others as appropriate.
- The respondent will receive a written notice of the Student Conduct Code charges, a copy of the incident report or any other information pertinent to the case, and hearing details (date, time and location) at least 48 hours prior to a hearing.
- Furman may use any information and/or evidence in its possession in connection with a conduct hearing.
- Furman Police wear on-body cameras that may record incidents they address. They may also administer breathalyzers to determine whether an individual has consumed alcohol. This information may be provided to the Student Conduct Board as evidence in a conduct hearing. If this is the case, the respondent will be given access to the same information prior to the hearing.
- The respondent may request a meeting with a Student Conduct Board Advisor prior to the hearing to discuss the resolution process.
- The respondent will have the opportunity to provide information on their own behalf before the Student Conduct Board to address the alleged violation(s) of the Student Conduct Code. The respondent may choose to submit a written statement to the Board prior to the hearing.
- The respondent and/or complainant may request to have the hearing postponed for good cause. The decision to postpone is at the complete discretion of the AVP/Dean of Students or his/her designee. The request for postponement must be made no less than 48 hours days prior to the scheduled time of the hearing and must be made in writing to the assigned conduct advisor.
- If a respondent fails to appear before the Student Conduct Board as instructed, the Board will determine the outcome of the case in the respondent’s absence based on all information available at that time.
- The respondent and/or complainant may provide the Student Conduct Advisor with a list of witnesses, if any, that they propose appear before the Student Conduct Board and a brief description of each proposed witness’s connection to and/or knowledge of the issues in dispute no later than 24 hours prior to a hearing.
- During a hearing, the respondent and/or complainant will be given the opportunity to question all witnesses who appear before the Board.
- The respondent will receive the outcome of a hearing in writing within 48 hours of the completion of the hearing. The outcome letter will include the finding, any subsequent sanctions and instructions on the appeal process.
- Hearings that have the potential to effect a student’s enrollment status (i.e. suspension or expulsion) will be recorded. A record of the hearing (not including the deliberations) will be made for use only in case of an appeal and will remain as property of the University. At the conclusion of the appeal process, recordings will be destroyed.
- Student-athletes and ROTC cadets who are found responsible for violating the Student Conduct Code will be reported to the Athletic Department and ROTC program respectively.
Interim Resolution Process for Student Conduct Code Violations
- There will be times throughout the year that the Student Conduct Board may not be available. For example, during the summer, between semesters, during exam periods and during the beginning and end of the semesters.
- In such instances, an Interim Administrative Panel of 2-3 members appointed by the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee will hear the case.
- The panel members may be comprised of administrators, faculty, staff and/or students.
- In cases where the respondent accepts responsibility for the charges, the AVP/Dean of Students and/or designee may resolve the case.
- In cases where the student has been accepted and is not yet enrolled, the admission could be rescinded or delayed.
Resolution Process for Disputes not Rising to Student Conduct Code Violations
- A report of conduct that does not violate the Student Conduct Code but that has created a dispute between students may be referred by the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or her/his designee to the Dispute Mediation Board. Roommate disputes are addressed by the Department of Housing & Residence Life unless it makes a request to the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or her/his designee that the matter be resolved by the Dispute Mediation Board.
- The Dispute Mediation Board is composed of two students and one staff or faculty member from the Student Conduct Board. It is advised by a Student Conduct Board Advisor.
- Mediation is a consensual process that allows the Dispute Mediation Board to intercede in a dispute that cannot be resolved informally. If one or both parties refuse to participate, the Dispute Mediation Board may take measures aimed at stopping the dispute and reducing its negative effects. Measures available to the Dispute Mediation Board include, but are not limited to, no contact orders, recommendations to supervisors, recommendations to student organization leadership, reassignment of living space, or moving the matter forward for conduct review.
- The goal of mediation is to facilitate conversation that allows the disputing parties to reach mutually agreeable resolutions on their own. The parties involved will be allowed to provide information on their own behalf.
- Mediation will respond to the specific issues giving rise to the dispute and consider the needs and interests of the individuals involved, the student organization, and the university.
- Positive participation is critical to mediation’s success. The disputing parties should actively listen, engage each other in dialogue, collaborate to solve issues, and consider other stakeholders to the dispute. If the Mediation Board feels a disputing party is not positively participating, it is encouraged to warn the party before ending mediation.
- At any time, the Mediation Board may end the mediation at its sole discretion when a majority of the Board believes further mediation will not be beneficial.
- The Mediation Board will remain impartial in its facilitation and will not conduct investigations, make findings of wrongdoing, or assign sanctions. If the disputing parties cannot come to mutually agreeable resolutions before mediation ends, the Mediation Board may make recommendations based on majority vote that it feels will resolve the specific issues identified.
- If the dispute continues, then the dispute may be resolved by other University processes.
- The Mediation Board will only resolve disputes involving students. If one of the parties involved in the dispute is a university employee, the student may file a grievance with Human Resources.
Student Conduct Board Hearings
The purpose of the Student Conduct Board is to address violations of the Student Conduct Code. The primary goal of the Board is to educate students about the University’s expectations regarding standards of behavior for all students. The system is also in place to help students understand the reason behind institutional policies and regulations and encourage them to consider what it means to be responsible members of the Furman University community and be accountable for their actions.
Student Conduct Board panels are comprised of trained students, faculty and/or staff. Each panel of the Student Conduct Board is chaired by a student. A member of the Division of Student Life serves as an adviser during panel hearings. When an alleged violation is heard before the Student Conduct Board, the panel is responsible for determining whether or not a violation of the Student Conduct Code has occurred as well determining appropriate sanctions.
The outcome of a student conduct hearing typically encompasses sanctioning that is:
- Content knowledge - the sanction is designed to help the student to increase knowledge of content regarding a specific topic or special issue.
- Self-reflective - the sanction is designed to help the student to increase self-awareness of their behavior, meaning the appropriateness or inappropriateness.
- Impact on personal well-being - the sanction is designed to help the student to increase their self-awareness of the potential physical or psychological impact of their behavior.
- Impact on personal future - the sanction is designed to help the student to increase their self-awareness of the potential impact their behavior may have on relationships with others, academic major or course of study, or future career.
- Restorative - the sanction is designed to help the student to increase their understanding of how their behavior impacted or potentially could have impacted others. In addition, the sanction may be designed to help the student to increase understanding of community and/or societal standards, the reasons for them, and how their actions may adversely affect their successful interaction within the community and/or society. The sanction is also intended to reestablish balance and order to the affected community.
- Consequential - the sanction is designed as a strong deterrent to prevent subsequent violations of the Student Conduct Code or other University standards. In some cases, the sanction may be designed to separate a student from the institution.
Consideration will be given to the following when determining the appropriate sanction(s):
- The seriousness of the violation;
- Whether there are minimum sanctions already established for the violation;
- Precedence from the past and/or similar cases;
- Whether or not the respondent was cooperative and honest;
- The specific circumstances surrounding the violation; and
- Whether or not the student has a prior conduct record(s), especially for similar offenses or for a pattern of behaviors inconsistent with the Student Conduct Code and any other Furman community standards.
A range of possible sanctions (though not limited to the ones outlined below) for violations of the Student Conduct Code is listed below. A combination of those listed may be deemed appropriate.
- Apology: A formal letter of apology that acknowledges an understanding of how behavior has impacted others.
- Education: Educational programs, such as AlcoholEdu for Sanctions, PRIME for Life, risk management workshops and fire safety workshops.
- Campus Access Limitations
- Community Service / Work Hours
- Disciplinary Probation: If a student is found responsible for any Student Conduct Code violation during this probationary period, the student will likely be suspended from the University for a minimum of one academic semester. The student will be required to meet with a Student Life administrator during this period.
- Expulsion: The permanent termination of a student’s enrollment. The student is not allowed on campus. A student expelled during the semester is subject to the loss of all tuition, fees and coursework during that semester.
- Housing Relocation
- Housing Suspension: Removal of a student from campus housing for a determined period of time. While a student is suspended, they may be prohibited from entering campus housing altogether.
- Parental Notification: Furman University values the involvement of parents and guardians in the educational process. The University reserves the right to notify parents of dependent students and ALL students under age 21 of violations of the campus drug and alcohol policies in compliance with FERPA regulations. Parents may also be notified when their student is placed on disciplinary probation, suspended, expelled or loses housing privileges. The student’s parents or legal guardian(s) will be notified concerning the student conduct action unless the student can provide documentation of independent status.
- Program/Activity Limitation: The student may have limitations placed on their ability to participate in specific clubs, organizations, athletic teams and/or any other campus program or activity.
- Reflection/Research Paper: Student must write a paper reflecting on this incident and what they have learned from it. They must consider the potential ramifications of their actions and what they have learned from the incident. They must consider how they will use what they have learned in future decision-making.
- Substance Abuse Assessment: Student must have a substance abuse assessment and complete the recommended treatment. Student is responsible for the cost of the evaluation and any subsequent recommended treatment.
- Substance Testing: random drug testing (minimum of four) during the semester the violation occurs and random drug testing (minimum of 2) the following semester or through the probationary period as determined on a case-by-case basis, at the student’s expense. Failure to complete a drug test within the given time frame will be treated as a positive result. Diluted samples will result in additional testing at the student’s expense.
- Suspension: Removal of a student from the University will permit the student to apply for readmission at the end of the suspension period. A student suspended during the semester is subject to the loss of all tuition, fees and coursework during that semester. While a student is suspended, they may not return to the campus or participate in any programs or activities of the University without written permission from the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee. If the student returns to the campus without written permission during the suspension period, their eligibility to return to Furman may be jeopardized. Upon completing the suspension, the student will be placed on disciplinary probation for the duration of the semester they return.
- Warning: A written reprimand to the student for the violations specified, including notice that repeated violations may be cause for further disciplinary action.
Sanctions that include housing suspension, suspension from the University or expulsion from the University will be recommended by the Student Conduct Board to the Associate Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (AVP/DOS) or his/her designee. The hearing process will not be considered final until the AVP/DOS or his/her designee reviews the recommendation, makes a final determination and meets with the student to communicate the outcome.
Appeal Procedures for Student Conduct Code Violations
Appeals of cases conducted by the Student Conduct Board will be heard by the Student Conduct Appeals Board. The Student Conduct Appeals Board consists of the Vice President for Student Life (Chair), a faculty representative from the Student Conduct Board, two student members of the Student Conduct Board, and a student member of the Student Government Association (appointed by the SGA president). The Appeals Board may not be available during the summer, between semesters, during exam periods and during the beginning and end of the semesters. In such instances, appeals will be reviewed by the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee.
The review of the appeal will be based on the criteria noted below and will not be a re-hearing of the original case. Students may appeal if any of the following criteria have been met:
- Substantial new evidence can be provided related to the specific case which was not available at the time of the original hearing.
- A substantial violation of the hearing procedure occurred.
- The sanction(s) levied is excessive and does not follow the Student Handbook guidelines.
All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Student Life. The appeal letter must be attached as a Word document in an email to the Vice President. Appeals should be submitted within 72 hours after receipt of the electronic sanction letter and must specify which of the three appeal criteria is being considered and include the following:
- For substantial new evidence:
- Name of the person(s) who can present this information (if applicable);
- Written statement explaining the new evidence;
- Source of the new information (written statement must be signed by this source);
- Reason(s) why this information was not presented at the original hearing; and
- Reason(s) why this information may contribute to a decision other than that which was originally made.
- For a substantial hearing procedural violation:
- Must cite the specific procedural errors;
- The reason why the procedural errors were not mentioned during the original hearing; and
- The reasons why correction of the errors can contribute to a decision other than that which was originally made.
- For an excessive sanction:
- Must include specific information indicating why the sanction is deemed unreasonable.
- Minimum sanctions by definition will not be considered excessive.
Appeals that do not reasonably meet one of the three aforementioned appeal criteria, as determined by the Vice President for Student Life, will not be given further consideration.
In all cases, the decision by the Student Conduct Appeals Board is the final decision of the University.
Complainants may follow the same process as outlined above, except that the excessive sanction criteria is replaced with the following insufficient sanction criteria:
- Must include specific information indicating why the sanction is deemed insufficient.
- Minimum sanctions by definition will be considered sufficient.
Housing and Residence Life Policy Violations
Alleged violations of Housing and Residence Life policies are resolved by the Associate Director of Residence Life or his/her designee.
Resolution Process for Housing and Residence Life Policy Violations
- Students will be sent an electronic copy of the incident report, notice of the alleged Housing and Residence Life violations for which they may be held responsible, as well as the sanctions when it is clear a violation has occurred.
- Students have the right to choose to meet with a Housing and Residence Life official to discuss policy violations and sanctions.
Listed below is a range of sanctions for violations of Housing and Residence Life policies though not limited to those outlined below. A combination of those listed may be deemed appropriate. A student’s prior conduct record will be considered during the sanctioning phase of the student conduct process.
- Reprimand/official warning
- Monetary fine
- Work and/or service hours
- Educational sanctions
- Housing relocation
Appeal Procedures for Housing and Residence Life Violations
Appeals of Housing and Residence Life cases will be heard by the Director of Housing and Residence Life or his/her designee. All appeals must be received in writing to the appropriate appeals officer (provided in the sanction letter) within 72 hours after the hearing has occurred and must include the following information:
- Reason(s) why this information may contribute to a decision other than that which was originally made.
- If the appeal is for an excessive sanction, then the appeal must include specific information indicating why the sanction is deemed unreasonable.
In all cases, the decision by the Director of Housing and Residence Life or his/her designee is the final decision of the University.
Traffic and Parking Violations
Traffic and Parking Regulations are governed by the Furman University Traffic and Parking Committee. Traffic and parking regulations along with Appeal Procedures can be found at www.furman.edu/parking.
Student Organization Policy Violations
If the Assistant Vice President for Student Development or his/her designee determine conduct action against a student organization is necessary, the alleged violations will be addressed as follows:
- If alleged violations include Sexual Misconduct, that violation as well as all others stemming from the incident will be resolved in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Alleged violations by a fraternity or sorority that do not include Sexual Misconductwill be addressed via the Fraternity and Sorority Conduct Process.
- Alleged violations by all other organizations will be resolved the Student Organization Conduct Board, a three-person panel comprised of the Director of Student Involvement and Inclusion or his/her designee, a Student Government Association (SGA) representative (appointed by the SGA president), and a student member of the Student Conduct Board. The Board will use a preponderance of the evidence standard and a simple majority vote is required to find an organization responsible/not responsible.
- If the alleged violation involves SGA, the SGA representative will be replaced with another student member of the Student Conduct Board.
- The Board will recommend a sanction that must be reviewed and approved by the Associate Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students or his/her designee.
Student organizations who are members of governing councils will be subject to the constitution and by-laws of that governing council. Constitutions and by-laws should be reviewed annually and final versions shared with each organization belonging to the council. Any such violation may be addressed by the appropriate council. Governing councils do not have primary authority for addressing violations of University policy governing Organizational Activity. Questions regarding authority for adjudication can be directed to the Assistant Vice President for Student Development or his/her designee.
Cases involving student organizations are not considered confidential under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); therefore, the University does not protect the confidentiality of the records regarding the conduct and/or sanctioning of student organizations. Certain violations by student organizations can be found in the Student Organization Conduct Report, which is published on Furman’s website. The University reserves the right to make any and all organizational conduct records public.
Student organization sanctions include, but are not limited to, the following when an organization has been found in violation of a Student Organization Conduct Expectation. A combination of the sanctions listed below may be deemed appropriate. Student organization conduct sanctions are imposed for the purpose of holding student organizations accountable for their actions and the actions of their guest(s), whether on campus or at any organizational event. Failure to satisfactorily complete a student organization conduct sanction may result in more severe sanctions, to include the possible suspension of the organization. An organization’s prior conduct record will be taken into consideration during the sanctioning phase of the student organization conduct process.
- Reprimand: An official statement to the student organization explaining that they have violated a university regulation. Any further misconduct could result in additional student organization conduct action.
- Restitution: An organization may be required to make restitution when the organization has damaged or destroyed university or personally owned property. Restitution may also be in the form of work/service hours or other educational activities.
- Restriction of Privileges: Restrictions placed upon a student organization which limits university privileges for a specified period of time. These limitations may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Denial of Student Government Association funding
- Denial to represent the University in any capacity
- Denial to maintain an office or other assigned space on university property
- Denial to receive or retain university funds
- Denial to participate in intramural sports
- Denial to sponsor, co-sponsor, and/or participate in any social event or other activity
- Denial to sponsor any speaker or guest on campus
- Denial of membership recruitment activities
- Denial of the use of university facilities
- Denial of advertising on campus for organizational activities
- Denial of soliciting and/or selling any items on campus.
- Disciplinary probation: A specified period of review and observation during which a student organization is under official warning that its misconduct was considered serious. Subsequent violations of university rules, regulations, or policies could result in more severe sanctions, including suspension or expulsion. During the probationary period, a student organization is deemed “not in good standing” with the University and may be subject to specific limitations upon its behavior or university privileges.
- Suspension of organizational recognition: The denial of privileges of a recognized organization for a designated period of time, which will be no less than one semester. Any organization whose recognition is suspended must:
- Cease all organizational activities.
- Vacate any appointed or elected office with that organization’s governing body for the duration of the organization’s period of suspension.
- Surrender balances of all organizational funds granted by the Student Government Association.
- Vacate office or housing space assigned by the University from the date of the notice of suspension. Space vacated due to suspension may be reassigned to other eligible university organizations. In the case of housing, individual members will be reassigned provided space is available.
- Expulsion of organizational recognition: Permanently excludes the organization from the University without any recourse to reapply for recognition. Any organization whose recognition is permanently revoked must:
- Cease all organizational activities.
- Vacate any appointed or elected office.
- Surrender balances of all organizational funds granted by the Student Government Association.
- Vacate office or housing space assigned by the University from the date of the notice of expulsion. Space vacated due to expulsion may be reassigned to other eligible university organizations. In the case of housing, individual members will be reassigned provided space is available.
Appeal Procedures for Student Organization Policy Violations
Appeals of student organization conduct cases will be heard by the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee. In all cases, the decision by the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee is the final decision of the University.
Student Organization Disputes
The leadership within a student organization is encouraged to resolve internal conflicts and problems. If unable to resolve, the student leadership is encouraged to seek the counsel and guidance of their faculty/staff advisor. If still unable to resolve or if the dispute involves the advisor, the organization may contact the Student Life office to arrange mediation of the dispute.
Alleged academic irregularities are resolved by the Office of Academic Affairs (refer to Administrative Policies).
Cultural Life Program Policy Violations
Alleged violations of Cultural Life Program policies are resolved by the University Registrar or his/her designee and include two types of student misconduct:
- Attempting to secure credit for attending a CLP event without being personally in attendance for the entire duration of the event, or attempting to help another student to secure credit for attending a CLP event when that other student has not been personally in attendance for the entire duration of the event.
- Disruptive behavior at a CLP event. This category includes, but is not limited to, noisy or otherwise distracting activities, abusive behavior toward other persons in attendance, and refusal to obey promptly any instructions from the faculty or staff event sponsor.
Violations of Type 1
- Any person having reason to believe that misconduct of Type 1 has occurred shall report that fact in writing to the University Registrar or his/her designee together with any evidence tending to support or corroborate the allegation of misconduct. The University Registrar or his/her designee may gather further evidence by interviewing all involved parties to determine if the matter should be forwarded to the Associate Academic Dean.
- After review of written charges, the University Registrar or his/her designee may forward this information to the Associate Academic Dean, who shall provide the respondent with a copy of the allegation, a copy of the written evidence submitted and a summary of other evidence presented. The respondent shall reply in writing to the Associate Academic Dean and shall have the right to speak with the Associate Academic Dean concerning the charges brought. If the respondent does not reply within seven (7) days, the Associate Academic Dean may proceed to a hearing. The Associate Academic Dean may suspend credit for CLP events, including events for which credit had previously been awarded, pending final resolution of the case.
- After receiving a reply from the respondent, the Associate Academic Dean may determine that no misconduct has occurred. If so found, the Associate Academic Dean shall dismiss the charges and close the case.
- If the respondent admits responsibility, the Associate Academic Dean shall proceed to impose such sanction as deemed appropriate. Sanctions may include but are not necessarily limited to revocation of any or all CLP credits earned, increase in the number of CLP credits required for graduation, suspension from the University for a fixed period, and/or permanent dismissal from the University. The imposition of the sanction may be delayed if, in the sole judgment of the Associate Academic Dean, such delay would be in the best interests of the University.
- If the respondent does not admit responsibility and the Associate Academic Dean declines to make a finding of no misconduct, the Associate Academic Dean shall, as soon as possible, forward the allegation and the supporting evidence, together with the reply of the respondent, to the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee for a hearing before the Student Conduct Board. If the Student Conduct Board makes a finding of responsible, possible sanctions could include, but are not limited to, revocation of any or all CLP credits earned, increase in the number of CLP credits required for graduation, suspension from the University for a fixed period and/or permanent dismissal from the University.
- If the request for a hearing is made at a time when, in the judgment of the chair, the Student Conduct Board cannot meet, the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee and the Associate Academic Dean jointly shall resolve the case.
- The Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee shall transmit to the Associate Academic Dean the decision of the Student Conduct Board and the sanction imposed. The Associate Academic Dean may increase, decrease or alter the sanction imposed by the Student Conduct Board if it is in the best interests of the University to do so. The decision of the Associate Academic Dean shall be made within 24 hours of the receipt of the decision of the Student Conduct Board and shall be communicated to the respondent as quickly as possible.
- The respondent may appeal the verdict of the Student Conduct Board and any penalties imposed. Such appeal shall be submitted to the Dean of Faculty within 48 hours after notification of the decision and penalty is transmitted to the respondent. The Dean of Faculty shall act on the appeal in such manner as deemed appropriate. The decision of the Dean of Faculty shall be final.
Violations of Type 2
Violations of Type 2 shall be treated as violations of individual conduct regulations according to the procedures published herein, with the following exceptions:
- With personal knowledge of such a violation, the Associate Academic Dean shall have the right summarily to exclude an offending student from the CLP event at which the violation occurs and to withhold CLP credit for attendance at that event. The decision of the Associate Academic Dean may be appealed within 24 hours to the Dean of Faculty
- In imposing penalties for violations of Type 2, the Student Conduct Board may, at its discretion and in addition to other penalties, revoke CLP credits and/or increase the number of CLP credits required for graduation. Any appeal of such a penalty shall be made to the Dean of Faculty whose decision shall be final.
Other Appeal Procedures
- Requests for individual exceptions to CLP regulations not involving allegations of student misconduct shall be referred to the University Registrar or his/her designee.
- Requests for general changes to CLP policy shall be referred to the CLP Committee for action according to its normal procedures.
Student Conduct Records
The University maintains a file in the Student Life Office for each student found responsible for a Student Conduct Code violation. Access to the file is determined by Furman’s student information release policy in strict compliance with FERPA regulations. The Division of Student Life is also required to provide access to a student’s file when subpoenaed by a court or federal agency, or as otherwise required by law or to other persons defined by Furman’s student information release policy as having a “legitimate educational interest.” Files for students are maintained for seven (7) years from the date of the student’s graduation. However, if the student does not graduate, the student’s file will be maintained indefinitely.
Student Conduct Record Expungement
Minor infractions are expunged from a student’s record following graduation. The University may allow an earlier petition (see Student Conduct Record Expungement Request) if a student can demonstrate with documentation that they are applying to professional or graduate schools or if there are other meritorious reasons that justify an early review of the student’s record. If an expungement is requested and granted prior to completion of degree requirements, the expungement will be deferred. During this deferment period, the record of the violation will not be disclosed to external third parties by Student Life except as required by law, but will be maintained internally for disciplinary purposes. Should the student have another violation of the Student Conduct Code during this deferment period, the deferred expungement may be voided. An expungement request is unlikely to be granted during the same semester in which the incident occurred. Expungement is not a pardon and does not eliminate or modify in any way any sanction(s) in the matter.
Factors that will be considered by the Student Conduct Record Expungement Committee include, but are not limited to:
- The nature of the violation(s);
- The number of violations (i.e. patterns of behavior);
- Whether or not the student completed sanctions in a timely manner;
- The student’s attitude and demeanor at any relevant time throughout the process;
- The student’s reason(s) for requesting the expungement; and
- Any other factor which the Committee believes is reasonable and appropriate.
Generally, the record will NOT be expunged if the record involves any of the following:
- personal injury;
- significant property damage;
- possessing and/or using a fake/false identification;
- providing alcohol to minors;
- violation of the drug-free campus policy;
- violation the firearms/weapons policy;
- intentionally setting a fire on campus;
- sexual misconduct;
- discrimination and harassment;
- criminal behavior; or
- suspension or expulsion.
Under ordinary circumstances, the Student Conduct Record Expungement Committee will review the request and inform the student of the decision within 10 business days. The decision is FINAL and not appealable.
Reporting Suspected Violations
Any member of the Furman community may report a violation of university policies by contacting the Office of Student Life (864.294.2202) or the Office of Housing & Residence Life (864.294.2092). A report may also be filed with the University Police department (864.294.2111). The incident will be investigated, and if disciplinary charges are warranted, it will be referred to the appropriate student conduct officer or student conduct board.
Anonymous reports may be submitted through the Campus Conduct Hotline (866.943.5787). Anonymous reports may also be submitted through the University Police via the LiveSafe application available in the Google Play store or in iTunes.
Students will not be penalized or discriminated against in any way for reporting incidents, but any student who knowingly files a false or malicious complaint may be charged with failing to comply with the university student conduct process.