I. General Provision
The educational experience at St. John’s University is intended to promote academic excellence and personal growth within a healthy learning environment. We strive to instill the University’s Core Values and to encourage the development of character and fortitude to live by these values. In such an environment, it is essential that students learn to look critically at their behavior and to accept responsibility when their behavior violates the policies and precepts of conduct at the University. The system for determining alleged violations must be fair and should involve students. Ultimately the system of discipline at St. John’s University is designed to promote a healthy learning environment and to promote human dignity and potential.
The Student Conduct Process is designed to resolve instances of alleged violations of University policies and regulations, and to investigate matters of student conduct in a manner which reflects the Vincentian tradition and the educational mission of St. John’s University. This process is applicable to all students and student organizations, as defined below. Students and student organizations are responsible for their actions as well as the actions of their guests while on the St. John’s campus, and sanctions may be imposed on the host when the guest violates the Student Code of Conduct.
This Student Conduct Process pertains to University discipline for non-academic infractions. It is not exclusive and does not pre-empt or preclude independent disciplinary action that may be taken against any member of the University community, including (but not limited to) student organizations, student committees, student employees and athletic teams.
Section A: Student Conduct Process Authority
Ultimate authority over student discipline is vested in the President of the University, who may exercise it in his discretion whenever he believes that the interests of the University warrant it. The President may impose any penalty, including expulsion. In exercising such plenary authority, the President will afford the student an opportunity to know the charges against him or her, and to offer his or her version of the events. Action taken by the President is final and closes the matter. The President may designate an appropriate senior administrator to exercise this authority when he deems it necessary or convenient.
As an ordinary matter, the President has delegated authority over student discipline to the Senior Student Affairs Officer at the University, who may exercise it consistent with these procedures. Currently, the Senior Student Affairs Officer is the Vice President for Student Affairs.
The Student Conduct Administrator administers the Student Conduct Process. The Dean of Students or designee will designate and maintain oversight of the Student Conduct Administrators on each of the University’s campuses, both domestic and international. The Student Conduct Administrator is responsible to ensure that all student conduct proceedings are carried out in accordance with University policy and procedures.
The Senior Student Affairs Officer, in collaboration with the Dean of Students or designee, shall determine the composition of the University Conduct Board, the Student Conduct Board and the University Appeal Board. The Dean of Students or designee will determine if a University Conduct Board, a Student Conduct Board or a Student Conduct Administrator shall be authorized to hear a student conduct matter. The composition of the University Conduct Board, the Student Conduct Board and the University Appeal Board shall be selected as set forth herein. Decisions made by a University Conduct Board, a Student Conduct Board or a Student Conduct Administrator shall be final, pending the normal appeal process.
This Student Conduct Process does apply to all locations of the University, including all domestic and international campuses. The University reserves the right to address student behavior that occurs off campus, if that behavior may be considered a violation of any University policy. An individual is still subject to the Student Conduct Process even if s/he withdraws from the university, is no longer enrolled in classes or subsequently fails to meet the definition of a student while a disciplinary matter is pending.
Section B: Violations of Law
All members of the University community are subject to federal, state and local laws. Students are subject to such reasonable disciplinary action as deemed appropriate, including suspension and expulsion, for breach of federal, state or local laws when such conduct is likely to have an adverse effect on the University or on the educational process at the University or affects the student’s suitability as a member of the University community.
Section C: Student Rights
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects against the disclosure of a student's educational record to any third party – including parents, legal guardians and other University officials without a legitimate educational interest - without the written consent of the student. This includes information regarding any violations of University policy, including the Student Code of Conduct.
However, FERPA permits disclosure without a student’s consent when disclosure is determined to be necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others. FERPA also gives the University discretion to disclose to any parent or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21 information about a Student Code of Conduct violation regarding Alcohol or Drugs.
Section D: Definitions
- The term “University” means St. John’s University.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the University, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate or professional studies. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct, who are not officially enrolled in a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University, or have been notified of their acceptance for admission, are considered students.
- The term “student organization” means any group comprised of St. John’s University students with a common purpose, including (but not limited to) all Student Government Inc.-recognized student groups, Greek letter organizations and athletic teams.
- The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, University official, employee of a University vendor or any other person employed by the University.
- The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities and other properties in the possession of or owned, used, leased or controlled by the University (including adjacent streets and sidewalks). The term includes property the University leases from third parties or contracts with third parties for the use of, including shuttle buses.
- The term “organization” means any number of person or persons who have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition.
- The term “University Conduct Board” means any person or persons authorized by the Senior Student Affairs Officer or designee to determine whether a student has committed a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “Student Conduct Board” means any person or persons authorized by the Senior Student Affairs Officer or designee to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “University Appeal Board” means any person or persons authorized by the Senior Student Affairs Officer or designee to address appeals of decisions made by the University Conduct Board.
- The term “University Advisor Panel” means a group of persons at the University who are selected to appear to act as advisor to either the accused student or complainant (where applicable) at a hearing before a Student Conduct Board or University Conduct Board.
- The term “Conduct Board Panel” means the group of persons at the University from which the hearing panel is selected in each matter.
- The term “Appeal Board Panel” means the group of persons at the University from which the appeal panel is selected in each matter.
- The term “Student Conduct Administrator” means a member of the University community authorized on a case-by-case basis by the Senior Student Affairs Officer or designee to impose sanctions on any student(s) found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “policy” means the written regulations of the University as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct, Residence Life Handbook, the University web page, sexual misconduct policy, Title IX and computer use policies and graduate/undergraduate catalogs.
- The term “complainant” means any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Student Code of Conduct. When a student believes that s/he has been the victim of another student’s misconduct, the student who believes that s/he has been a victim will have the same rights under the Student Code of Conduct as are provided to the complainant, even if another member of the University community submitted the charge itself. The University may also bring an incident forward and serve as the complainant.
- The term “accused student” means any student accused of violating this Student Code of Conduct.
- The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
- The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.