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Knox College Student Code of Conduct


Division of Student Development

2 E. South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


Fax: 309-341-7077


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About Our Process

Knox College strives to maintain a community that values academic excellence, social responsibility, and social justice. A community exists on the basis of shared values and principles. At Knox College, student members of the community are expected to uphold and abide by certain standards that form the basis of the Student Code of Conduct. These standards are embodied within a set of core values that include integrity, respect, and citizenship. Each member of the community bears responsibility for their conduct. When members of the community fail to exemplify these values by engaging in violations of the standards below, college conduct proceedings are used to assert and uphold the Student Code of Conduct. The student conduct process at Knox College is not intended to punish students; rather, it is intended to be educational in nature and exists to protect the interests of the community and to challenge those whose behavior is not in accordance with our standards. Sanctions are intended to be part of the educational process by challenging students' ethical decision-making and to help them bring their behavior into accord with our community expectations.

Because the Student Code of Conduct is based on shared values, it sets a range of expectations for Knox College students no matter where or when the conduct may take place. Therefore, the Student Code of Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on campus, at college-sponsored events or programs, and may also apply off campus when the behavior has an impact on the educational mission and interests of the college. The Student Code of Conduct also applies to conduct that takes place at any time from the date that a student is offered admission to the college until the student has completed the requirements of his or her degree, including summers and other break periods. Further, the Student Code of Conduct applies to students when they host guests who violate college policy. In these cases, the student may be held accountable for the misconduct of his or her guest.

Violations of Law
Violations of federal, state, and local laws are incorporated as offenses under the Student Code of Conduct, but the College is not bound by external legal standards or burdens of proof; instead, the College reserves the right to determine for itself, using its own standards, whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct. Such violations of law occurring either on or off campus may result in the initiation of conduct proceedings, especially if the behavior has an impact on the educational mission or interests of the college. Knox College may initiate conduct proceedings against a student charged with violating federal, state, or local laws without regard to the existence or possibility of civil or criminal proceedings (and without regard to the outcome of any such proceedings). It is the policy of Knox College to pursue timely resolution through its conduct proceedings, rather than to delay campus proceedings until the resolution of criminal and/or civil proceedings.

Student Conduct Policies

Abuse of the College Conduct Process: Abuse of, interference with, or failure to comply with college conduct processes including, but not limited to:
a) Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information;
b) Failure to provide, destroying or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;
c) Attempting to discourage an individual's proper participation in, or use of, the college conduct process;
d) Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a college conduct body prior to, during, and/or following a campus conduct proceeding;
e) Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the college conduct process;
f) Influencing, or attempting to influence, another person to commit an abuse of the college conduct process.

Academic Integrity: Students are required to adhere to the Honor Code. Allegations of academic dishonesty are addressed by the Honor Board, whose procedures can be found here.

Alcohol: Possession, consumption or manufacturing of alcohol by any individual under 21 years of age is prohibited. Furnishing alcohol to any individual under 21 years of age is also prohibited. Students age 21 or older are permitted to possess or consume alcohol under the following circumstances only:
• At registered events in accordance with the Knox College Policy for Events with Alcohol;
• In the privacy of an individual residence hall room, apartment, or fraternity house by students age 21 or older, with the following limitations:
o Service of alcohol from common source containers (such as kegs or punch bowls) is prohibited.
o Drinking games or any activity which encourages or contributes to alcohol abuse are prohibited.
If alcohol is consumed on campus or at a college event, it is expected that such consumption is in compliance with college policies and regulations, is not abusive, does not violate the rights of roommates or others, and does not lead to conduct that is disorderly, disruptive, or destructive.

Bullying and Cyberbullying: Any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following: 1) placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student's or students' person or property; 2) causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student's or students' physical or mental health; 3) substantially interfering with the student's or students' academic performance, or 4) substantially interfering with the student's or students' ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school. Repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that reasonably intimidate or intentionally harm or control another person physically or emotionally, and are not protected by freedom of expression.

Collusion: Assisting in the violation of a policy. Students are expected to confront their peers and/or remove themselves from the situation when they are aware that a policy is being violated. Students are also encouraged to report the information to a conduct authority for action, either directly or through the Anonymous Report Form.

Computer Policy: A violation of the Policy on Acceptable Use of Technology may be subject to disciplinary action. See Computer Services section of this handbook.

Discrimination, Harassment, and Bias: Knox College does not tolerate discrimination or harassment that is based upon an individual's actual or perceived status (sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, or sexual orientation, or other protected status). Allegations of discrimination, harassment, and bias are addressed by the Investigation and Resolution Procedures for Allegations of Discrimination and Harassment other than Sex-Based Discrimination and Harassment, Including Bias Incidents.

Disruptive Behavior: Disruption of college operations including, but not limited to, obstruction of teaching, research, administration, other college activities, and/or other authorized non-college activities which occur on campus. This includes obstructing freedom of movement of community members or campus visitors.

Drugs: The use, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensing of illegal drugs is prohibited. This policy also prohibits the use of marijuana on campus or at college-sponsored activities, even if the intended use is for medicinal purposes. Synthetic drugs that contain ingredients or mimic the effects of illegal drugs are also prohibited. In addition, prescription medications and over-the-counter medications must be utilized according to prescribed instructions and the use, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensing of prescription drugs without a prescription is prohibited.

Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with the reasonable directives of college officials (include student employees) or law enforcement officers during the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.

Fire Safety: It is the responsibility of each student to review and follow fire evacuation procedures, participate in fire drills, and take proactive measures to minimize risk of fire. Any action or inaction that contributes to increased risk of fire is a violation of the Fire Safety Policy. Examples of violations of this policy include, but are not limited to:
a) Failure to evacuate when a fire alarm is activated;
b) Improper use of or tampering with fire safety equipment including alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, pull stations, and fire extinguishers;
c) Starting or causing a fire on campus.

Harm to Persons: Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm or endangering the health or safety of any person, including oneself, or other conduct that renders a student unable or unwilling to effectively function in the residential or college community without harming themselves, others, or disrupting the college community.

Hazing: The college prohibits hazing, which is defined as any act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, or which produces ridicule, embarrassment, harassment, intimidation or other similar result, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition of continued membership in, a group or organization. Examples include paddling, creating excessive fatigue, physical and psychological shock, public stunts, and morally degrading or humiliating games and activities. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense of this violation, and apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is also seen as a violation of this policy.

Honesty: Students are expected to communicate honestly and demonstrate a respect for truth. It is prohibited to knowingly furnish false, falsified, or forged information. This includes making false statements as well as falsifying or misusing documents, accounts, records, identification, or financial instruments. Unauthorized use, possession, or duplication of means of access (such as keys or ID cards) to college facilities is also prohibited.

Non-academic plagiarism: Students are expected to maintain the same degree of honesty in their non-academic work as is expected for their academic work. See the Honor Code section on "Honesty in Academic Work" for reference. Non-academic plagiarism is addresses via the conduct process.

Parking: Excessive or flagrant violation of the parking policies may be referred to student conduct process for adjudication in addition to normal fines.

Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Interpersonal Violence, and Stalking: Knox College does not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct. Allegations of sexual misconduct are addressed using the Investigation and Resolution Procedures for Allegations of Sex Discrimination, including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Interpersonal Violence, and Stalking.

Smoking: College policy and Illinois State law prohibits smoking in all facilities and buildings including residence halls. Anyone who wishes to smoke must do so outside, at least fifteen feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes. Smoking includes all tobacco-derived or tobacco-like containing products including but not limited to cigarettes, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), cigars (e-cigars) and cigarillos, hookah smoked products, pipes and oral tobacco. This also includes any product or device intended to mimic or simulate tobacco products, contain tobacco flavoring or deliver nicotine other than that for the purpose of cessation. Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action.

Theft: The unauthorized acquisition or possession of items or services that belong to another person or entity.

Threats: Conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person, including oneself.

Unauthorized Use of Facilities: Unauthorized entry into any college facility, or unauthorized use or abuse of any college building, facility or premise. Students are not permitted on the roofs of any college buildings with the exception of the observatory on the roof of the Umbeck Science and Math Center.

Vandalism: Intentional, reckless and/or unauthorized damage to or destruction of college property or the personal property of another.

Weapons and Explosives: The possession or use of any weapon - including but not limited to firearms, ammunition, pellet guns, air guns, paintball guns, stun guns/tasers, smoke devices, bows/arrows, swords, knives with blades 3 1/2 inches or longer (with exception of culinary knives used soley in kitchens and dining rooms in the preparation and eating of meals) , explosives, and fireworks - is prohibited on the Knox College campus because of the potential for personal injury, theft, unauthorized use of such items, and disruptive impact on the campus community. In addition, verbal or written threats by a student indicating they have a prohibited weapon or explosive will be taken and responded to as an actual threat, whether or not evidence of said weapon or explosive exists.

Overview of the Conduct Process

I. Initial Report
Any member of the campus community may file a report of alleged misconduct with the Division of Student Development or Campus Safety. All allegations should be submitted at the earliest opportunity after an incident occurs.

A staff member within the Division of Student Development will conduct a preliminary inquiry into the nature of the incident and the information available. The preliminary inquiry may lead to:
A. A decision not to pursue the allegation based on insufficient information.
B. A decision to proceed with an Administrative Hearing as outlined in Section III below.

II. Amnesty

Student health and safety are the primary concern of Knox College. As such, the college encourages individuals to seek medical assistance for themselves or others when needed. No student seeking medical assistance will be subject to conduct action for policy violations, including but not limited to, using or possessing alcohol or drugs. This amnesty extends to other students assisting the student in need. In addition, the college recognizes that an individual who has been drinking, using drugs or engaging in other policy violations at the time of an incident of sexual misconduct may be hesitant to make a report because of potential conduct consequences. Therefore, an individual who reports such an incident will not be subject to conduct action by the College for prohibited activities, provided that any such violations did not/do not endanger the health or well-being of any other individual.

The student (and possibly those assisting the student) may be required to meet with a staff member in the Division of Student Development who may issue educational assignments such as alcohol or substance abuse education and/or an alcohol or substance abuse assessment. Failure to complete educational assignments may result in conduct action.

The Amnesty Policy does not preclude conduct action due to violations of the Student Code of Conduct including, but not limited to, harm to persons, sexual misconduct, or vandalism.

III. Administrative Hearing
Students charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct will be referred for an informal Administrative Hearing with a staff member in the Division of Student Development. The college will provide the student with written notice of the allegations at least three business days prior to the Administrative Hearing. The letter will also indicate the time and location of the Administrative Hearing. It is the student's responsibility to check both his or her official college email and mailbox on a regular basis.

During the Administrative Hearing, the student is able to choose between:
A. Continuing with the informal Administrative Hearing, in which case the staff member will determine if the student is responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct and, if so, what the appropriate sanction(s) should be; or
B. Having his or her case referred for a formal hearing by the Conduct Council (see details regarding the Conduct Council in Section IV below).

IV. Conduct Council
The Conduct Council consists of seven students, two faculty members, and a representative from the Division of Student Development (who serves as a non-voting advisor). A quorum for the Conduct Council is defined as five voting members, including at least three students and one faculty member. Further information regarding Conduct Council member eligibility and selection can be found in the Conduct Council Constitution.

V. Hearing Procedures
Both Administrative Hearings and Conduct Council Hearings will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
A. The student will have the opportunity to review the information that led to the allegation and to present information and witnesses on his or her behalf.
B. Hearings will be conducted in accordance with the terms of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In cases involving more than one student respondent, each hearing will be conducted separately unless otherwise agreed upon by all involved parties. Admission of any individual into a hearing, including witnesses, is at the discretion of the hearing body. (A "hearing body" is the staff member in the case of an informal Administrative Hearing or the Conduct Council in the case of a formal Conduct Council Hearing.)
C. Students may have an advisor present at the hearing. Advisors may provide support to the student, but may not participate directly in the hearing.
D. The standard of proof used in both an Administrative Hearing and Conduct Council Hearing is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it is more likely than not that the student violated the Student Code of Conduct.
E. If the student fails to attend the hearing, the hearing body will make a determination regarding whether or not a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred based on the information available and, if the hearing body deems appropriate, assign a sanction in the student's absence.
F. The hearing body will communicate the finding and any applicable sanctions to the student in writing following the conclusion of its deliberations.
G. The hearing body will make every effort to have alleged student misconduct matters considered as expeditiously as possible. If the student withdraws from the college before the matter is resolved, reentry may not occur until the matter is resolved. The college also reserves the right to proceed with the conduct process after the student has withdrawn.

VI. Student Groups
A student group or organization and its officer and membership may be held collectively and individually responsible when violations of this code by the organization or its member(s):
A. Take place at organization-sponsored or co-sponsored events, whether sponsorship is formal or tacit;
B. Have received the consent or encouragement of the organization or of the organization's officers or leaders; and/or
C. Were known or should have been known to the membership or its officers.

Hearings for student groups or organizations follow the same procedures as outlined in Sections III through V, above.

VII. Sanctions
One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed upon any student for any single violation of the Student Code of Conduct:

A. Warning: An official written notice that the student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and that more severe conduct action will result should the student be involved in other violations.

B. Restitution/Fines: Compensation for behavior or damage caused to the college or any person's property.

C. Confiscation of Prohibited Property: Items in violation of college policy will become property of the college. Prohibited items may be returned to the owner at the discretion of the Dean of Students and/or Director of Campus Safety.

D. Loss of Privileges: The student will be denied specific privileges for a designated period of time. This includes the implementation of no-contact orders.

E. Required Activities: Such sanctions include, but are not limited to, seeking academic counseling or substance abuse screening, writing a letter of apology, etc.

F. Educational Projects: Such sanctions include, but are not limited to, writing assignments, service to the college community, or other educational requirements directly related to the violation. The project(s) will be clearly defined.

G. Housing Reassignment: Reassignment to another college housing facility.

H. Conduct Probation: The student is put on official notice that, should further violations of the Student Code of Conduct occur within the defined probationary period, the student may face suspension or expulsion. Additionally, students on conduct probation are deemed "not in good standing" with the college and:
a. Forfeit the privilege of representing the college in any way including, but not limited to, participating in study abroad programs, attending conferences, or representing the college at official functions; and
b. Forfeit the privilege of holding a student leadership position or officer position within a student organization.

I. Suspension: Separation from the college for a specified minimum period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Eligibility may be contingent upon satisfaction of specific conditions noted at the time of suspension. The student is required to vacate the campus within 24 hours of notification of the action, though this deadline may be extended upon application to, and at the discretion of, the Dean of Students. During the suspension period, the student is banned from college property, functions, events, and activities without prior written approval from the Dean of Students. The sanction may be enforced with a trespass action if necessary.

J. Expulsion: Permanent separation from the college. The student is banned from college property and the student's presence at any college-sponsored activity or event is prohibited. This action may be enforced by a trespass action if necessary.

K. Other Sanctions: Additional or alternate sanctions may be created as deemed appropriate to the violation with the approval of the Dean of Students or designee.

The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct:
1. One or more of the sanctions listed above; and/or
2. Deactivation, de-recognition, loss of all privileges (including status as a college registered group/organization) for a specified period of time.

VIII. Interim Action
The Dean of Students or designee may impose restrictions and/or separate a student from the community pending the scheduling and outcome of an Administrative Hearing or Conduct Council Hearing when a student represents threat of serious harm to self or others; whose behavior renders them unable or unwilling to effectively function in the residential or College community without harming themselves, others, or disrupting the College community; or is facing allegations of serious criminal activity. Such interim actions may also be taken to preserve the integrity of an investigation; to preserve college property; to prevent disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the college; or when other circumstances lead the college to determine that such actions are appropriate in light of a significant effect or impact on a student's safety, health, or well-being or where the physical safety of any student is seriously threatened. Interim actions can include separation from the institution or restrictions to participate in the community pending the scheduling and outcome of the Administrative Hearing or Conduct Council Hearing.

During an interim suspension, a student may be denied access to college housing and/or the college campus, events, and facilities. As determined appropriate by the Dean of Students, this restriction may include classes and/or all other college privileges for which the student may otherwise be eligible. At the discretion of the Dean of Students and with the approval of, and in collaboration with, the Dean of the College or designee, alternative coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on the student's academic progress.

IX. Sanctioning Guidelines
Listed below are general sanctioning recommendations by level of violation. This information is meant to serve as a guideline only and is not intended and shall not be construed as limiting the college's discretion and right to impose any particular sanction or sanctions as it deems appropriate based upon the facts and circumstances present in a particular matter. There will be times that a violation may fall under a different level than the one listed below. Similarly, there may be times that an alternative sanction is most appropriate. Each sanctioning determination will be made based on the individualized facts and circumstances involved in a particular matter.

Level 1

  • Abuse of the Conduct System
  • Alcohol
  • Collusion
  • Computer Policy
  • Disruptive Behavior
  • Drugs (Personal Use Marijuana)
  • Failure to Comply
  • Parking
  • Smoking
  • Unauthorized Use of Facilities

Range of Sanctions that May be Imposed:

  • Warning
  • Educational Projects (e.g., 3-5 page paper; 10-15 service hours)

Level 2

  • Repeat Level 1 Violation
  • Drugs (Personal Use Other Drugs)
  • Fire Safety
  • Honesty
  • Non-academic Plagiarism
  • Minor Theft
  • Minor Vandalism

Range of Sanctions that May be Imposed:

  • Restitution/Fines
  • Educational Projects (e.g., 5-7 page paper; 20-25 service hours)
  • Loss of Privileges
  • Conduct Probation

Level 3

  • Repeat Level 2 Violation
  • Bullying and Cyberbullying
  • Drugs (Selling/Distributing)
  • Harm to Persons
  • Hazing
  • Major Theft
  • Major Vandalism 
  • Threats
  • Weapons and Explosives 

Range of Sanctions that May be Imposed:

  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Revocation of degree

X. Parental Notification
The college may notify parents or guardians when students under the age of 21 (at the time of the parental notification) are found to have committed serious or repeated violations of policies related to the possession, use or distribution of alcohol or controlled substances/drugs, as permitted by FERPA and any other applicable law. Consideration in these situations will be given to the following conditions: the violation involved harm or threat of harm to self, others or property; the violation involved an arrest in which the student was taken into custody; the violation resulted in or could result in the student being suspended or expelled from the college; the student has shown a pattern of violations; the student who committed the violation became physically ill and/or required medical intervention as a result of consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.

XI. Notification of Outcomes
The outcome of a conduct proceeding is part of the education record of the responding student and is protected from release except as permitted under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As allowed by FERPA, when a student is accused of a policy violation that would constitute a "crime of violence" or a "non-forcible sex offense," the college may inform the alleged victim in writing of the final results of the process. Such release of information may only include the responding student's name, the finding of responsibility/non-responsibility, and the sanctions imposed (if applicable).

FERPA currently identifies the following as "crimes of violence:"
1. Arson
2. Assault offenses (includes stalking)
3. Burglary
4. Criminal homicide-manslaughter by negligence
5. Criminal homicide-murder and non-negligent manslaughter
6. Destruction/damage/vandalism of property
7. Kidnapping/abduction
8. Robbery
9. Forcible sex offenses

FERPA currently defines "non-forcible sex offenses" as follows:
Unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse.
(a) Incest. Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
(b) Statutory Rape. Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

XII. Appeals
The responding or reporting party may request an appeal of the hearing body's decision by filing a written request to the Vice President for Student Development, subject to the procedures outlined below.

A. Grounds for Appeal Requests
Appeals must fall into one of the following categories:
1. The responding or reporting party has new evidence that was not available prior to the original hearing.
2. The conduct process as outlined was not adhered to during the original hearing, and the deviation in process was substantial enough to have likely affected the outcome.
3. The sanctions imposed are substantially outside the guidelines set by the college for this type of offense (see Section IX "Sanctioning Guidelines" above).

B. Appeal Process
Appeals must be filed in writing to the Vice President for Student Development within five business days of the notice of the outcome of the hearing. The Vice President for Student Development will conduct an initial review to determine if the appeal request meets the limited grounds and is timely.

If the appeal is not timely or does not meet the grounds for appeal, the original sanction will stand and the decision is final. If the appeal is timely and meets the grounds for appeal, the Vice President for Student Development will determine whether to reconsider the appeal matter or remand it to the original hearing body.

All sanctions imposed by the original hearing body remain in effect during the appeal process, unless the Vice President for Student Development decides otherwise.

XIII. Conduct Records
All conduct records are maintained by the college for ten years from the time of their creation except those that result in separation (suspension, expulsion or revocation of a degree), which are maintained indefinitely.

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Printed on Monday, July 24, 2017

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