AN INTRODUCTION TO RULES, REGULATIONS AND POLICIES
This section of the APSU Student Handbook and Calendar includes important information about official campus rules, regulations, student rights, policies and guidelines that impact the academic and personal life of all APSU students. This listing may NOT include some regulations or policies that are unique to specific departments, programs, student organizations or student groups. However, this collection represents an attempt to provide students with a reference to these documents in one central location.
It is the responsibility of ALL students to read and become familiar with the expectations that Austin Peay State University has for every student. Failure to abide by these regulations and policies may result in formal disciplinary actions, as outlined in the “Code of Student Conduct.”
Austin Peay State University Student and Student Organization Disciplinary Policies
Code of Student Conduct
Part 6: Disciplinary Procedures
- Hearing Procedures
- Procedures conforming to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act. All cases which may result in (i) suspension or expulsion of a student or student organization from the University for disciplinary reasons, or (ii) revocation of registration of a student organization during the term of the registration are subject to the contested case provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA) T.C.A. 4-5-301 et seq. and shall be processed in accordance with the uniform contested case procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees, unless the student or student organization waives those procedures in writing and elects to have his or her case heard by either the University Hearing Board or an Administrative Hearing.
- Cases which are not subject to the contested case procedures under UAPA and cases
in which a student or student organization has waived the contested case procedures
in writing shall be processed in accordance with Institutional Hearing Procedures.
The University has established two alternate Institutional Hearing Procedures:
- A hearing conducted by one or more Student Affairs Administrators; or
- A hearing conducted by the University Hearing Board. (Note: This option shall be available until the final ten (10) class days of each semester, or the final five (5) class days of the second summer term, during which time all disciplinary hearings will be conducted by appropriate Student Affairs Administrators, except those subject to UAPA procedures as selected by the accused student or student organization.)
- Cases which are not subject to the contested case procedures under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act and which involve very minor first offenses by students or student organizations may be discussed informally with students or student organizations. In such cases, no formal record will be maintained in the judicial records of the University. The Dean of Students or other designee, appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs, shall note the name of the student or student organization involved in his/her personal records. The purpose of this notation is only to determine a student’s or student organization’s prior involvement in a minor offense, when and if a second offense occurs at a later date. If the student or student organization is subsequently involved in another violation of regulations, at the discretion of the hearing body, this Informal Record will become a part of the students Formal Disciplinary Records.
- Alternative resolution methods may include, but are not limited to, mediation, diversion programs and/or negotiated resolutions.
- Jurisdiction of Cases to be heard by Student Affairs Administrators:
- All formal cases involving incidents which occur in University residence halls and/or apartments and which involve on-campus residents shall be heard by the Residence Life staff or designee.
- All other formal cases shall be heard by the Dean of Students for Student Affairs, or appropriate designee, except in cases where such staff member is unavailable or has a bias toward either party in the pending case. In such cases the Vice President for Student Affairs shall assign one or more Student Affairs Administrators to hear the case.
- Commencement of Disciplinary Proceedings
- A student or student organization accused of violating University disciplinary policies
shall be called before the Dean of Students or designee, appointed by the Vice President
for Student Affairs, for a preliminary conference at which the student or organization
will be orally advised of the following:
- The charges against him/her/or organization;
- The rights afforded to him/her/or organization by the hearing procedures which are available;
- The hearing procedure options available; and
- The responsibilities of the accused student or organization in the disciplinary procedures.
- A student or organization may waive the right to a preliminary conference and an oral explanation of the items listed in (2) (a) above.
- Once advised of the hearing options, the accused student or organization may elect to accept the finding and sanction from the Dean of Students or designee, or elect a hearing pursuant to UAPA (where appropriate), or a hearing before the University Hearing Board.
- The election must be made within three (3) class days of receipt of notice of pending charges against him/her /or organization by completing, and signing, and Election of Procedure form and/or waiver form. Once the election is made, the decision is final and may not be changed during the course of the hearing.
- All matters involving allegations of impermissible discrimination, harassment, or retaliation will be governed by the procedures outlined in an institutional policy that reflects the requirements of that Guideline.
- All matters involving allegations of sexual misconduct and/or stalking will be governed by the procedures outlined in institutional policy 6:001: Sexual Violence and Stalking.
- A student or student organization accused of violating University disciplinary policies shall be called before the Dean of Students or designee, appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs, for a preliminary conference at which the student or organization will be orally advised of the following:
- Institutional Hearing Rights
These rights shall be afforded the accused student/organization in all Institutional Hearings before the appropriate Student Affairs administrator or the University Hearing Board.
- The right to choose the appropriate hearing option. (This right must be exercised within (3) class days of the presentation of charges. Note: This option shall be available until the final 10 class days of each semester, or the final five (5) class days of the second summer term, during which time all discipline hearings will be conducted by appropriate Student Affairs administrators, except those subject to UAPA procedures;
- The right to written notice of the time and place of the hearing at least three (3) days in advance. A justified delay may be granted. (This right may be waived in writing by the accused student/organization);
- The right to a written statement of the charges in detail sufficient to enable the student/organization to prepare a defense;
- The right to be accompanied by an adviser of the student’s/organization’s choice, but such participation shall be limited to advising the student/organization;
- The right to a statement of the possible sanctions that may be imposed as a result of a finding of a violation of the Code;
- The right to present witnesses in the student’s/organization’s behalf and to question any witnesses presented against the student. The student is responsible for the attendance of any witnesses to be present in the student’s /organization’s behalf.
- The right to be informed in writing of:
- The final administrative decision in the case; and
- The proper procedure for appeal.
- The right to be provided copies, upon request and in accordance with University Policy, of all complaints, reports, witness statements and other written materials used in determining the charges.
- Rights of Complainant and/or Victim
The University member (student, faculty or staff) who authors “complaints” or “statements” as a victim in the alleged violation shall have the following rights:
- To be notified of his/her rights prior to making a statement;
- To be informed that any written statement made or signed will be shared with the accused student/organization and that the accused student /organization may request a copy of the statement;
- To attend the hearing;
- To have an advisor present during the hearing;
- To be given the opportunity to question all witnesses and the accused during the hearing;
- To be provided a copy of any statement he/she has written or dictated to others;
- To be able to submit a list of witnesses to be called to the hearing;
- To be permitted to drop the charges only up to the date of the hearing; and
- To be notified of the outcome of the hearing, including the finding concerning responsibility and any sanctions taken.
- Institutional Hearing Procedures
- Hearings before a Student Affairs Administrator. The appropriate Student Affairs Administrator shall act as hearing officer in the hearing, shall determine students/organization’s innocence or guilt and shall apply sanctions as appropriate.
- Hearings before the University Hearing Board. Procedures for the Board include the
- The University Hearing Board shall be composed of nine persons: five students, (two automatically selected from the Student Tribunal Justices of the Student Government Association, and three selected at large from the student body who meet the same qualifications and are selected via the same procedures as those for Student Tribunal Justices as listed in the APSU SGA Constitution), two faculty and two administrators, all appointed by the University president, for a term of one academic year. Additionally, student, faculty and administrator alternate members shall be selected to serve in the absence of regular members and shall be appointed by the University president for a term of one academic year.
- The Chair of the Board shall be appointed by the University president.
- A minimum of five members of the Board are required to hear a disciplinary case, composed of at least two students, one faculty member, and one administrator.
- The Dean of Students shall train and advise all regular and alternate members of this Board in appropriate disciplinary procedures.
- The hearing shall be conducted consistent with the rights described above in Section 6(3) of this policy.
- All hearings shall be closed unless the respondent and the complainant both elect in writing to have an open hearing.
- Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable. The adjudicating body may exclude evidence which in its judgment is immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious.
- The standard of proof required to overturn a finding of violation of the Student Discipline Policy made by the Dean of Students, or designee, shall be the preponderance of the evidence and the charged student bears the burden of proof.
- The hearing source shall issue a written decision within three (3) class days after the conclusion of the hearing.
- The student will be advised in writing via University email (and USPS mail if requested by the student) of the University Hearing Board or Student Affairs Administrator decision and all sanctions imposed as a result of the disciplinary hearing.
- Any sanction imposed as a result of a hearing conducted under the Code shall be effective immediately upon notification of the student/organization unless the hearing authority deems a stay of such sanction desirable pending appeal.
- In any case where the decision results in separation from the University, the decision shall be reviewed by the Senior Student Affairs Officer prior to notifying the Office of the Registrar and the Academic Department in which the student has been enrolled.
- The student may appeal a decision of the University Hearing Board or the Student Affairs Administrator to the Senior Student Affairs Officer, or designee.
- An appeal in writing setting forth grounds for the appeal and addressed to the appropriate appellate authority must be received in the Office of the Senior Student Affairs Officer within three (3) class days after the student/organization is notified of the sanction imposed at any hearing or appellate level.
- Appeals shall be limited to the following grounds on the following issues:
- Were procedures properly followed in the hearing?
- Was the evidence presented at the hearing determined by “preponderance?”
- Was the sanction imposed proportional to the violation?
- New information, not available at the time of the original hearing, has become available which would substantially alter the outcome of the hearing.
- Review shall be based solely on a consideration of the record generated through the hearing together with the written appeal document filed by the student.
- Appellate Authority. The Senior Student Affairs Officer, or designee, shall have the
authority to do any of the following upon review of an appeal:
- Sustain the previous decision including the penalty imposed;
- Sustain the previous decision but impose a greater or lesser penalty;
- Remand the case for further consideration; or
- Reverse the previous decision.
- The Senior Student Affairs Officer shall issue a written decision after the appeal is filed by the student.
- The decision of the Senior Student Affairs Officer is final.
- Student Organization Disciplinary Procedures
Sanctions against Student Organizations. Any registered student organization may be given a warning, reprimand, placed on probation, suspension, or restriction or may have its registration withdrawn by the Dean of Students, or by a Student Affairs Administrator appointed by the Senior Student Affairs Officer. Such actions may be taken after having a hearing conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in this document for disciplinary procedures. In the case of Withdrawal of Registration of an organization, the procedures to be used will be the contested case provisions of the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, unless those provisions have been waived in writing by an authorized representative of the student organization. Such action may be taken for any one of the following reasons:
- The organization fails to maintain compliance with the initial requirements for registration;
- The organization ceases to operate as an active organization;
- The organization requests withdrawal; or
- The organization operated or engaged in any activity in violation of the policies and regulations of the University, of any governing body of federal or state laws.