Hamline Policies

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Student Conduct Code

Owner: Dean of Students

Pertains to: All students

Description: The following section outlines the Hamline University Student Conduct Code and Conduct System.



The following section outlines the Hamline University Student Conduct Code and Conduct System.

  • The sections preceding and including "Interim Suspension" apply to all undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The sections including and following "Conduct Process" through "Disciplinary Records" outline the undergraduate and graduate judicial process only.

Principles of Community

Hamline University is committed to providing an environment conducive to:

  • The acquisition of knowledge, and the skill and wisdom to contribute to society in constructive ways;
  • The creation and maintenance of an honest, just, intellectual, and educational atmosphere;
  • The promotion of a diverse community through the creation of free flowing discussion and analysis of ideas and values of many kinds; and
  • The protection of the human rights, health, safety, welfare, and property of all members of the university, and the property of the university itself.

The university is further committed to fostering an educational environment based upon mutual respect. Such respect promotes a community in which all students feel free to pursue their education and extracurricular activities. Students are encouraged to respect the person and property of others and to listen and learn from differences rather than dismiss them.

Given the geographic, racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity that exists in the Hamline community, the goal of achieving a safe, supportive, and productive educational community for all students requires mutual respect for the person and property of one another and the university, as well as adherence to the policies and rules regarding student conduct. To this end, certain basic principles of community have been developed to govern the conduct of undergraduate and graduate students as members of the university community. In addition, each academic unit has its own set of policies and procedures that also governs the behavior of its respective members. Nothing in these policies is a contract. Hamline University reserves the right to change and/or replace any portion of these policies at any time. For revised policies, please see the following website: www.hamline.edu/policies.

Student Conduct Code

The Principles of Community outline the behavior that is expected of all students at Hamline University; the Student Conduct Code details behavior that is prohibited. Having voluntarily enrolled at Hamline University, all students agree to abide by the rules and regulations set forth in the Conduct Code. Each student is responsible for conforming his/her conduct to this code and all applicable federal, state and local laws.

Hamline University considers its Student Conduct Code as a statement of minimal expectations and seeks to foster a commitment to the highest standards of ethical behavior. The university views its conduct processes as a learning experience that is intended to result in the growth and understanding of individual responsibility on the part of all parties.

The following conduct or attempted conduct by any student or student organization, whether acting alone or with other persons, are unacceptable and shall be grounds for discipline. Students are also expected to comply with all other standards of behavior normally expected in a university whether expressly stated below or not.

  1. Academic dishonesty and academic misconduct, including but not limited to plagiarism and cheating. Matters of academic integrity are referred to the academic dean of each respective unit.
  2. Physical abuse, verbal or written threat - including electronic media, intimidation, harassment, discrimination, coercion, sexual misconduct, or any conduct, which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
  3. Conduct which threatens the mental health, physical health, or safety of any person or persons including hazing, drug or alcohol abuse, and other forms of destructive behavior.
  4. Forgery, falsification, alteration, fabrication, or misuse of identification cards, records, grades, diplomas, university documents, or documents submitted to the university or misrepresentation of any kind to a university office or official.
  5. Intentional disruption or obstruction of lawful activities of the university or its members including their exercise of the right to assemble and to peaceful protest.
  6. Disorderly conduct including, but not limited to public intoxication, lewd, indecent or obscene behavior, libel, slander, and illegal gambling.
  7. Illegal purchase, use, possession, paraphernalia or distribution of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances, or any violation of the Hamline University Alcohol Policy.
  8. Hamline University maintains a strict policy prohibiting weapons in the University community, including legal and authorized weapons. Use of any firearm, explosive, weapon, dangerous chemicals, or biological agents on university property or at any University function is prohibited. Items, which are considered dangerous, include but are not limited to swords, pellet or BB guns, knives, paintball guns, and bows and arrows. 
  9. Unauthorized entry, use, or occupation of university facilities.
  10. Theft of or damage to personal or university property or services (including technological services), and illegal possession or use of the same.
  11. Failure to comply with directions of university officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
  12. Interference with or misuse of fire alarms, emergency telephones, elevators, or other safety or security equipment or programs.
  13. Violation of published university policies, rules, or regulations including residence hall policies.
  14. Violation of any federal, state, or local law.


Generally, university jurisdiction and discipline shall be limited to conduct which occurs on university premises or at university functions or which adversely affects the university community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. The university has the right to impose discipline for off-campus conduct, which affects students, other members of the university community, or the university.

  • An allegation of a violation of academic integrity and academic progress shall be handled through the dean's office of the academic unit in which the student accused is enrolled.
  • An allegation of hate crime, racial or sexual harassment shall be handled pursuant to the university's Discrimination and Harassment Policy. The discrimination/harassment grievance coordinator has the right to refer matter-involving students to the Conduct Board.
  • An allegation of violation of the Residential Life Policy shall be handled pursuant to the residential life conduct-judicial system. Residential Life also has the right to refer matters to the student conduct system. For more information, contact the Residential Life Office at 651-523-2061.
  • Any other allegation of a violation of the Conduct Code will be handled pursuant to the applicable academic unit's process. When all the complainant(s) and respondent(s) are enrolled in a single academic unit, the complaint shall be subject to the conduct process of that unit. When only one student is accused and the complainant(s) and the respondent are enrolled in more than one academic unit, the complaint shall be subject to the conduct process of the academic unit in which the respondent is enrolled. Following are the academic units: College of Liberal Arts, School of Education, School of Business, and Graduate Liberal Studies Program.
  • In the event of any alleged violation which does not fall within one of the above categories or which falls in one or more categories or if there is more than one respondent and they are enrolled in different academic units, the Dean of Students in Student Affairs, in consultation with the appropriate academic dean(s), shall decide which process shall be used. The Dean of Students decision is final. Normally, a complaint about a particular factual allegation shall be the subject of a complaint under one and only one Hamline University disciplinary procedure and shall not be pursued under any other disciplinary procedure.
  • Normally (except as otherwise required by applicable law), a complaint must be brought within one year after the event(s) complained about or discovery of the event(s)-whichever occurs later- and, if not, the complaint will be dismissed as untimely.

Interim Suspension

In appropriate circumstances, the Dean of Students in Student Affairs, or designee, may impose a university or residence hall suspension without or prior to any hearing before a conduct body.

Interim suspension may be imposed:

  • To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the community or preservation of university property;
  • To ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
  • To minimize disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the university.
  • Interim suspension may be imposed for any student who is charged with a felony.

During the interim suspension at the sole discretion of the Dean of Students or designee, or Director of Residential Life, students shall be denied access to the residence halls, apartments, and/or to the university (including classes) and/or other university activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible.

Conduct ProcesS

  • The Dean of Students in Student Affairs has authority to supervise and implement the judicial process, to appoint and train conduct and appeal board members, to impose sanctions and to modify, suspend and apply this process.
  • The Conduct Officer (typically the Assistant Dean of Students) is designated by and responsible to the Dean of Students in Student Affairs for the Hamline University Student Conduct System. The Conduct Officer coordinates the conduct system, conducts hearings, chairs the conduct board, coordinates inter-academic unit complaints, and apprises students of available support and advisory resources.
  • The Conduct Officer may hear any case against student(s) and may impose sanctions up to and including university expulsion.
  • The Conduct Officer may refer any case to the mediation or judicial board when it is appropriate at his/her discretion.
  • The conduct board shall hear cases that are referred by the Conduct Officer. The conduct board may impose sanctions up to and including expulsion from the university. The conduct board is appointed by the Conduct Officer and selected from a pool of members from the designated academic units. The Conduct Officer, who has no vote, chairs the conduct board.
  • The appeals board shall have the final decision in every case appealed. The appeals board, appointed by the Dean of Students in Student Affairs or designee, is selected from a pool of faculty, staff, and students, who have been trained to be part of the Conduct Process. The appeals board has jurisdiction to hear appeals of decisions of the Conduct Officer, or the conduct board that meet the criteria set forth in this policy. The Dean of Students chairs the appeals board and votes only in the situation of a tie vote. The decision of the appeals board will be final. If not appealed to the appeals board, the decision of the Conduct Officer or the conduct board shall be final.


Complaint Initiation and Filing of Charges

A complaint may be made by a student, a student organization, and a member of the Hamline community, or by Hamline University. A complainant who wishes to file a complaint may meet with the Conduct Officer to review the options available. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Conduct Officer will conduct a preliminary inquiry into the nature of the complaint and the identity of the individuals and/or organizations involved. A complaint may be made against a student(s) or a student organization(s). In situations where appropriate, an investigation may be conducted.

Notification of Charges

The respondent(s), and/or student organization(s) will receive written notification of charges and procedures for arranging a pre-hearing conference. Normally, the notice will be delivered no later than three business days after the complaint was filed or investigation is completed. The pre-hearing conference must be scheduled and kept within five (5) business days of the date of the letter. Failure to keep or schedule a pre-hearing conference will result in a hearing being scheduled.


Persons who desire a mediated resolution should discuss this option with the Conduct Officer, at which time the conduct process and the student(s)' rights and responsibilities will be fully explained. If all parties agree to mediate, the conduct officer will select a mediator. If any party rejects mediation, or mediation fails, the Conduct Officer will forward the process through the conduct system.

Pre-Hearing Conference

During this meeting the Conduct Officer will explain the charges, inform the respondent(s) of his/her rights, discuss hearing procedures, explain the list of possible sanctions, and the respondent will indicate how s/he pleads to the alleged charges.

Determination of Sanction or Hearing Body

The Conduct Officer will decide the matter, determine a sanction, or, if appropriate, will refer the case to the conduct board.

Issuance of Decision

Normally, within five (5) business days of the hearing, each party will be notified in writing of the decision reached and the resulting sanctions.


Any accused student or complainant can appeal the decision of the Conduct Officer or conduct board in accordance with the requirements stated in the “Appeals" section of this policy.


Any deadline may be modified or extended by the Conduct Officer, conduct board, or appeals board.

Rights of Complainants and Respondents

  • Each party will be contacted and given written notice of the charges stating the alleged facts upon which the charges are based, the section of the Conduct Code that has allegedly been violated, and the date by which the pre-conference hearing must occur.
  • Each party will be provided a copy of the complaint during the pre-hearing conference meeting.
  • The respondent is not required to appear or testify against him/herself, but failing to do so may be interpreted as evidence of guilt.
  • Each party may present relevant evidence including any written statements, oral statements, and/or physical exhibits, may question witnesses, and may present arguments.
  • Each party may consult with one advisor during a hearing before the Conduct Officer or conduct board. The advisor shall not question witnesses, argue, or otherwise be heard except at the request of the Conduct Officer.
  • Each party shall have any protection afforded by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
  • Each complainant and each respondent have a right to appeal or review a hearing.

Conduct Hearing Process

The purpose of a hearing is to provide the opportunity for the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) to present all relevant testimony and evidence with regard to alleged violations of the Conduct Code. It is the responsibility of the conduct hearing bodies to impartially deliberate and evaluate all relevant testimony and evidence, to determine whether or not the respondent is responsible for the violations. When appropriate, administer sanctions. Following is the conduct process that will be used by the Conduct Officer and the conduct board:

  • Conduct hearings are administrative in nature. All decisions will be made based on the preponderance of evidence.
  • Conduct hearings are closed to parties not directly related to the case. All hearings will be tape-recorded. The record shall be the sole property of Hamline University. Hamline University will publish data related to the activity of the conduct proceedings on a periodic basis.
  • Advisors have no standing in conduct hearings, except to provide advice to their respective parties in a quiet manner and off the record. Advisors do not represent or speak for their respective parties, except at the request of the Conduct Officer.
  • The Conduct Officer will preside at each hearing and direct the proceedings.

The order of presentation at the hearing will be as follows:

  • Introductions and reading of each complaint by the Conduct Officer;

  • Presentation of testimony/evidence/witnesses by the complainant(s);

  • Presentation of testimony/evidence/witnesses by the respondent(s);

  • Closing statement by the complainant(s);

  • Closing statement by the respondent(s).

In cases where the grievance is heard by the conduct board:

  • The conduct board members may ask questions at any time subject to limitations of relevance, as determined by the Conduct Officer. Each party may ask questions relevant to the charges with permission of the Conduct Officer.

  • All deliberations of the conduct board are made in closed sessions. The decision of the conduct board shall be made by majority vote. Both parties will be orally informed of the conduct board decision as soon as possible following the hearing.

Normally, all parties will be informed of the conduct decision in writing within five (5) business days after the hearing. The decision of the Conduct Officer or conduct board, and any evidence presented, shall be treated in accordance with applicable law and shall be subject to subpoena by appropriate civil and criminal court authorities, and may be used in any administrative or judicial proceeding in which it is relevant.


The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Conduct Code or any other university policy. More than one of the sanctions listed below may be imposed for any single violation. A more severe penalty may be imposed for a first offense or before any lesser penalty. Progressive discipline is not required.

University Conduct Status Sanctions:

  • Warning. A verbal or written notice given to a student whose behavior is in violation of university policy. May be given in conjunction with other disciplinary sanctions.

  • Probation. A specified period of time in which a student must demonstrate acceptable behavior and/or comply with certain conditions in order to continue enrollment at Hamline University. Guidelines for a student's behavior may be included as conditions of the probation. Any offense committed during the probation period or failure to comply with applicable conditions, or failure to demonstrate acceptable behavior may result in residence hall or university suspension or expulsion. Students on probation are not allowed to participate in room draw. The duration of time on probation will be determined by the hearing officer or judicial board with a minimum time of one semester (4-6 months).

  • University Suspension. Involuntary removal of the student from the university for a definite period of time, after which the student may be eligible to return. Readmission to the university may be granted after the suspension has been completed and when approved by the Dean of Students Office.

  • University Expulsion. Involuntary, permanent removal of the student from the university. 

University Residence Hall Status Sanctions:

  • Residence Hall Suspension. Removal of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student may be eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be imposed.

  • Residence Hall Expulsion. Permanent removal of the student from the residence halls.

Additional Sanctions:

  • Loss of Privileges. Denial of university-related activities or specific privileges for a specified period of time, including but not limited to: Attendance at university functions, athletics competitions, representing the university in any off campus travel/competition.

  • Fines: Fines will be issued to students involved in drug or alcohol policy violations. A combination of sanctions totaling a monetary fine of $150.00 is the standard sanction for first offenses. Fines will double with each additional violation.

  • Ineligibility to serve as an officer or member of any university organization, to participate in intercollegiate competition, to receive any award from the university.

  • Restriction from using specific facilities/services.

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

  • Other Sanctions. Work assignments, service to the university, community volunteer service, research reports, mandatory assessments and other assignments that fit within the educational mission of the Judicial System.

Disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student's permanent academic record, but shall be incorporated into a disciplinary record for that student. (See Disciplinary Records.)
In addition to all sanctions provided above, a penalty of deactivation may be applied to any group or organization. Deactivation means loss of all privileges, including university recognition, permanently or for a specified period of time.

Prior disciplinary records may be used in determining sanctions.


A decision reached or a sanction imposed by the Conduct Officer or Conduct Board may be appealed by any accused student or complainant to the appeals board.

The appeal must be initiated by delivering a written notice to the Dean of Students in Student Affairs within ten (10) business days after the written decision is received by each party. Appeals must be based on one or more of the following:

  • New evidence not reasonably available at the time of the original hearing, the absence of which can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome of the hearing;

  • Whether the original hearing was conducted with due process;

  • The sanction imposed was not appropriate.

The appeals board will determine whether the grounds for appeal have been asserted and whether further process is necessary to resolve the appeal. Normally, the appeals board will make a decision based on the written submissions within ten (10) business days, or direct that further process take place.

In appropriate circumstances, the appeals board may remand cases submitted with new evidence or itself conduct a hearing on such new issue(s) and decide the specific issue(s) raised in the appeal.

The appeals board will be formed by the Dean of Students or designated representative from a pool of faculty, staff and students who have been trained to be part of the student conduct process. The appeals board shall have a minimum of 3 members in addition, to the chair. The decision of the appeals board shall be made by majority vote.

The decision and/or sanction may be confirmed, overturned, altered, or dismissed. All decisions made by the appeals board are final.

The Provost's Office of Hamline University is informed of all decisions and sanctions made by the Appeals Board.

Student Conduct Records

The Dean of Students in Student Affairs retains student conduct files of the Hamline University Student Conduct System. Access to disciplinary records is provided in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, amended. Disciplinary files are normally maintained for seven years after graduation. Disciplinary files for students who withdraw from the university, are suspended or expelled for disciplinary reasons, are maintained for an indefinite length of time depending on the circumstances.

Hamline University reserves the right to notify parents of dependent students when judicial action has resulted in a suspension, expulsion, or loss of housing privileges. In addition, parents of dependent students maybe notified of alcohol or drug violations when a student is found responsible and receives a sanction of probation.

Disciplinary and hearing records may be disclosed by Hamline University in appropriate circumstances such as, for example, in lawsuits and administrative proceedings in which they are relevant, or pursuant to subpoena or court order.

Nothing in this policy shall restrict or prohibit civil or criminal proceedings against any person, and civil or criminal proceedings may be brought notwithstanding any proceedings under this policy.