Student Code of Conduct
Introduction and General Information
A. Freedom of Expression
The University creates an environment where civil discourse may occur free from discrimination, harassment, threats or intimidation. The pursuit of higher learning through civil discourse, both in and out of the classroom, is encouraged and welcomed for all who attend the University. To that end, nothing in the Student Code of Conduct shall infringe on rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, federal or state law, or Boise State University policy
Each member of the University Community is obligated to assume individual responsibility for her/his personal freedom and actions. As members of the University, students enjoy the same freedoms of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition that all citizens enjoy. Students and student groups are responsible for making it clear that such expressions represent the views of the students or student organizations, and not of the University.
The Student Code of Conduct exists to assist in providing the best possible learning and living environment for all students. The University upholds the shared values of academic excellence, caring, trust, fairness, citizenship, respect, and responsibility as the foundation for a successful academic environment. As a tool, the Student Code of Conduct helps promote growth and learning as students interact with their environment and accept responsibility for decision-making. The Boise State University student conduct process educates students about their responsibilities as members of an academic community and imposes sanctions when student conduct puts the members of the community in jeopardy or when the University has a clear and distinct interest in addressing the student behavior.
Each student, as a member of this community, is responsible for being familiar with the policies of Boise State University and with local, state, and federal laws, including the Student Code of Conduct, since these reasonably guide behaviors. Students at Boise State University can access a copy of the Student Code of Conduct annually in the form of a link on the university website. Hard copies and copies in alternative format are available upon request from the Office of Dean of Students.
The Student Code of Conduct is not a code of criminal law; criminal law concepts, processes, and procedures do not apply to it. The University will take appropriate action when student conduct runs contrary to the University mission or a clear and distinct university interest, regardless of whether a criminal offense has occurred. The University reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the health, safety and well-being of the University community and its members.
Students and student organizations are subject to the provisions of local, state, and federal law and to all legal and judicial authorities as part of their responsibilities to the larger society. If a visitor or guest of a university student or organization does not comply with university policies and/or with local, state, or federal law, the student or organization may be subject to University sanctions, as well as to the provisions of local, state, or federal law. Those who believe a crime has occurred should inform campus security and/or a local law enforcement agency. Proceedings under the Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus.
The Student Code of Conduct applies to the conduct of individual students, both undergraduate and graduate, and all University-affiliated student organizations.
- The University retains conduct jurisdiction over students who have yet to enroll in classes but are formally admitted to the university, and those who choose to take a leave of absence, withdraw, or have graduated for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal, or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll, obtain official transcripts, and/or graduate and all sanctions must be satisfied prior to the hold being released. In the event of serious misconduct committed while still enrolled but reported after the accused student has graduated, the University may invoke these procedures and should the former student be found responsible, the University may revoke that student’s degree.
- The Student Code of Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on the campus, at University-sponsored events and may also apply off-campus when a Student Conduct Administrator determines that the off-campus conduct affects a clear and distinct University interest. The term “off-campus” includes anywhere that is not University premises. Specifically included within the University’s clear and distinct interest are violations that:
- Involve conduct directed at other members of the University community or that significantly impinges upon the rights, property, or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder;
- Disrupt educational programs or activities or other functions of the University;
- Occur during or at University-sponsored events;
- Occur during the events of organizations affiliated with the University, including the events of student organizations;
- Occur during a study abroad program; or
- Pose a threat to the health and/or safety of members of the University community.
- The Student Code of Conduct shall also be applied to behavior conducted online, via email or other electronic medium. Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online. While most online speech by students not involving University networks or technology will be protected as free expression and not subject to the Student Code of Conduct, there are three notable exceptions:
- A true threat, defined as “a threat a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon a specific individual;”
- Speech posted online about the University or its community members that causes a significant campus disruption;
- Evidence of a crime having occurred.
4. Visitors to and guests of the University may seek resolution of violations of the Student Code of Conduct committed against them by students through the Office of the Dean of Students. This process is described in Section 5.
E. Standard of Evidence
The standard of evidence that will be used to determine violations of the Student Code of Conduct is preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance of the evidence means that the evidence given (including complaint, response, witness statements, physical evidence, university documents and interview notes) is enough to suggest that a circumstance is more likely than not to have occurred as described.