Student Conduct Regulations: A Way of Living

Preamble

Berea College is a learning community whose fundamental purposes are expressed in the Great Commitments, which have arisen from its historic Christian tradition. These purposes include not only the intellectual goals pursued through teaching, learning, and scholarship, but also the aesthetic, moral, spiritual, and communal goals pursued more broadly throughout the entire educational program. Students are to be guided by the Great Commitments, as well as the motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.” As articulated in the Preamble to the Great Commitments, these statements of belief “shape the College’s culture and programs so that students and staff alike can work toward both personal goals and a vision of a world shaped by Christian values, such as the power of love over hate, human dignity and equality, and peace with justice.”

In light of its mission in the tradition of impartial love and social equality, Berea College welcomes all peoples of the earth to learn and work at the College. This means that the College welcomes all students and staff who seek to live and to learn at Berea in the context of our mission as expressed in the Great Commitments; but this does not mean that all behavior is considered acceptable. Given Berea’s inclusive welcome to all peoples of the earth, the College will not tolerate speech and acts that are harassing to anyone regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or other such distinguishing characteristics.

This Preamble affirms values, principles, rights and responsibilities for a way of living in community at Berea College.

Berea College affirms the intrinsic worth of each individual as influenced by heredity, environment, personal choices, and life experience, and believes that difference and diversity enrich the quality of life for all. Each member of our community has responsibility for creating an environment which affirms intrinsic worth, promotes human dignity, nurtures individual potential, and fosters a sense of community and common purpose.

We affirm that personal integrity and honesty are essential for developing trust, which is the foundation of our community. With such a foundation, our community has the responsibility to nurture and maintain this trust personally, in the classroom, in the workplace and in all other areas of our community.

We affirm that personal responsibility and self-determination are essential for developing physical, intellectual, spiritual, social and emotional wholeness as individuals. Commitment to these values means that individuals enjoy broad areas of self-determination and personal choice so long as one’s actions do not infringe upon the rights of others within the context of this community.

We affirm the individual and collective right to free inquiry and to free expression, including the right to advocate courses of action appropriate to the fundamental purposes of our community. These actions must respect both the need to preserve the essential commitments of the College and the right of individual and collective expression of opinion or dissent.

Responsibilities to Community: A Statement of Ideals and Expectations

As an educational institution committed to engendering the highest human and spiritual values in a Christian context that welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds, a basic expectation of acting in terms of the highest moral principles is explicit. All students, as members of this community, are expected to live conscious of the kind of community Berea College is and of each individual’s contribution to sustaining that community. Thus, each and every student is expected:

  1. To practice and promote in others commitment to the common good of the Berea College community;
  2. To practice and promote in others respect for the dignity of every person;
  3. To practice and promote in others personal integrity and honesty;
  4. To practice and promote in others mutual trust as a foundation of community life;
  5. To practice and promote in others responsible choices bound by respect for others' rights;
  6. To practice and promote responsible, respectful inquiry and expression of ideas, whether by individuals, groups, or Berea College.

The Berea College community, as a steward of the Christian principles that brought Berea College into being, recognizes its responsibility to provide guidance for students in important areas of interaction and conduct. Drawing upon this historical inheritance and the challenges it poses to us all, we expect of our students high standards of personal conduct: to exercise tolerance and conflict resolution over violence and intimidation, to choose honesty in and out of the classroom, and to respect human sexual integrity in a way that encourages mature and faithful relationships and resists casual intimacy without responsibility. We encourage respect for the law while supporting the principle of nonviolent civil disobedience for reasons of conscience.

All students are expected to pursue these ideals in their own lives and to promote them in the lives of others. Berea College commits itself to guiding students in pursuing these ideals.

Unacceptable Actions: Rules of Conduct and Sanctions for Unacceptable Behaviors

Some actions infringe upon others' rights or otherwise directly undermine the kind of community Berea College is; such actions are unacceptable to the community. Therefore, certain kinds of actions and activities are prohibited and punishable by the College. The rules of conduct listed below govern Berea College student conduct on campus, on College property, and while students are participating in any officially sanctioned or supported activity on behalf of the College.

Punishments are as specified in these rules of conduct and sanctions, except that any repeat offender of these rules may be punished more severely, up to and including expulsion from the College.

The following general prohibitions of this code are articulated and then illustrated following the phrase 'such as;' these listed illustrations, however, are not intended to be exhaustive.

(A) Violence

The following actions are unacceptable and thereby Berea College prohibits students to engage in such conduct on campus, or on College property, or while participating in any officially sanctioned or supported activity on behalf of the College:

  1. Violence of any kind perpetrated on another person, including rape, such as various sorts of physical assaults or interference with others' legitimate movements;
  2. Possession or use of weapons, firearms, or explosives.*

These prohibited acts are punishable by suspension or expulsion; in cases involving weapons or other circumstances that constitute an emergency, special judicial procedures apply. Cases deemed by the President or designee to be of an emergency nature will be referred to the Student Life Council for immediate action. In an emergency situation, the Vice President for Student Life may take disciplinary action pending completion of judgment by the Student Life Council.

*Except under relevant provisions of Kentucky Revised Statute 527.020(8)

(B) Offenses Against Persons

The following actions are unacceptable and thereby Berea College prohibits students to engage in such conduct on campus, or on College property, or while participating in any officially sanctioned or supported activity on behalf of the College:

  1. Any acts or course of actions aimed at specific persons in order to disgrace, threaten, intimidate, restrain, or injure them, whether the harassment be physical, verbal, or visual, whatever the medium used (such as electronic, telephonic, mail, etc.), and whatever the reason for the harassment (such as race, religion sexual orientation). (See Harassment.)
  2. Unwelcomed behaviors of a sexual nature and any acts or course of actions that constitute sexual harassment, including rape and sexual assault and inappropriate and unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. (See Sexual Harassment.)

These prohibited acts are punishable by a range of sanctions, from suspension or expulsion, depending on the nature of the harassment. Special reporting, adjudicative, and disciplinary procedures may apply, as specified in the College’s policies on harassment and sexual harassment.

(C) Property

The following actions are unacceptable and thereby Berea College prohibits students to engage in such conduct on campus, or on College property, or while participating in any officially sanctioned or supported activity on behalf of the College:

  1. Thefts of any kind, such as embezzlement, fraud, exploitation, or physical takings; thefts by any means, such as use of technology, checks, or forgery; and thefts of any kind of property, including others' ideas, exams, papers, copyrighted computer material, etc.;
  2. Vandalism, defacing, abusing, or damage to others' property, including College property, land, books, library holdings, computer materials, etc.;
  3. Unauthorized entry or presence in buildings, rooms, areas on campus, computer files, electronic accounts or programs.

These prohibited acts are punishable by restitution, punitive monetary damages, probation, suspension, or, in extreme cases, expulsion from the College. In cases involving thefts of academic property (such as plagiarism, cheating, exams, or papers), special reporting and adjudicative procedures may apply. (See Hutchins Library Material Use and Campus Safety and Security, and Network Usage Guidelines.)

(D) Dishonesty

The following actions are unacceptable and thereby Berea College prohibits students to engage in such conduct on campus, or on College property, or while participating in any officially sanctioned or supported activity on behalf of the College:

  1. Academic dishonesty of any kind, such as plagiarism, cheating, misrepresentation of authorship by ownership of work, etc. (See Academic Honesty and the Network Usage Guidelines.);
  2. Presentation of false information, misrepresentations, or altered documents (such as identification cards, records, papers), whether they be academic, labor, financial aid, housing, etc.; misrepresentations or false testimony in any judicial body, whether in writing or orally.

These prohibited acts are punishable by fine, probation, compulsory work to address community needs, suspension, or, in extreme cases, expulsion from the College. In cases of academic dishonesty, special reporting and adjudicative procedures may apply. (See Academic Honesty.)

(E) Offenses Against the Community

The following actions are unacceptable and thereby Berea College prohibits students to engage in such conduct on campus, or on College property, or while participating in any officially sanctioned or supported activity on behalf of the College:

  1. Intoxication, whatever the cause, such as intoxication by alcohol, hallucinogens, or any illegal, controlled substance;
  2. Possession, use, consumption, sale, or distribution (including trafficking) of alcohol or of any illegal, controlled substance;*
  3. Disturbing the peace, being a nuisance, disorderly conduct, creating a safety hazard, or inordinately disruptive activities, whether committed individually or in assembly with others;
  4. Lewd, lascivious, indecent, or obscene activities when imposed on others or in plain view of others, or in places openly accessible by others.

These prohibited acts are punishable by fine, probation, compulsory work to address community needs, suspension, or, in extreme cases, expulsion from the College. Participation in treatment, counseling, or education programs may also be required. (See Sanction Levels for Drug and Alcohol Violations.)

*While Berea College does not condone nor sanction the use of alcohol while participating in College-sponsored or approved activities, the consumption of alcoholic beverages by students engaged in international cultural immersion or international travel experiences shall not constitute a violation of the Rules of Conduct provided such consumption is consistent with rules and regulations of the host institution and with the culture and laws of the host country.

(F) State and Federal laws

Actions prohibited under Kentucky and/or Federal law are prohibited under the Rules of Conduct for Berea College. The College, however, reserves the right not to adjudicate acts of nonviolent civil disobedience for reasons of conscience.

College response need not await, depend upon, nor be constrained by any State provision for punishment or judicial process unless otherwise indicated in the Community Judicial Code or Student Conduct Regulations. Any student convicted of a crime may be suspended or expelled by the College.

Approved by the General Faculty April 12, 2001

Sanction Levels for Drug and Alcohol Violation

Berea College is committed to taking specific action in cases involving drug or alcohol violations as outlined in the Berea College Community Judicial Code and Student Conduct Regulations. Judicial outcomes may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Sanctions

Standard Sanctions

Violation of any rules of conduct that may lead to social probation, suspension or expulsion, or other appropriate and authorized sanctions.

Social Probation – a period of time (which may be indefinite) during which a student is under warning that any other violation of College policy will result in more severe sanctions, which may include suspension or expulsion. While on Social Probation the student will be considered “not in good standing” and limited in participating in certain college programs.

Suspension – a defined period of time during which a student is not permitted to be on campus or engaged in any of the programs, courses, organizations, events, or activities associated with being a student at .Berea College. During the period of suspension, a hold designating such will be placed on the student’s account prohibiting registration, enrollment, attendance, or ability to earn credit for any credit or non-credit courses offered by the College. Once the period of suspension has been completed, the student is eligible to reapply provided the student has completed any other requirements required prior to return. Readmission is not guaranteed. During the period of suspension, the student is also banned from Berea College property unless otherwise stated.

Expulsion –the permanent termination of a student’s status at the College. This prohibits engagement in any of the privileges, courses, organizations, events, or activities associated with being a student at Berea College. This does not prohibit the transferring of credits earned to another college or university, but the expulsion is designated permanently on the student’s academic transcript. Unless otherwise stated, the student is also indefinitely banned from Berea College property. This is the most egregious sanction that Berea College can impose upon a student.

Alcohol Violations

First Offense:

  • $25 Fine
  • Completion of alcohol program
  • Social Probation
  • Community Service Hours
  • Recommended Counseling
  • Parental Notification

Second Offense:

  • $50 Fine
  • Social Probation
  • Community Service Hours
  • Recommended Counseling
  • Parental Notification
  • Suspension

Third Offense:

  • Suspension

Drug Violations

First Offense:

  • $75 Fine
  • Completion of drug program
  • Social Probation
  • Community Service Hours
  • Recommended Counseling
  • Parental Notification
  • Suspension

Second Offense:

  • Suspension

Residence Hall Rules and Regulations

Berea College is a residential college with particular educational objectives which are, in part, realized through its residential life program. Accordingly, all full-time students are required to live in one of the College’s residential facilities unless they are age 23 or older, a 5th year senior (eight full terms attended at Berea College), married, or a parent. International students are required to live on campus regardless of age. This practice results from the fact that the College’s commitment to serving international students recognizes their important contribution to diversifying and enriching the educational experience for all.

Residence hall students wishing to live off-campus must have permission from the Residential Student Life Team Office and Associate Vice President of Student Life. Any student who moves off campus after the beginning of the term is not eligible to receive a room and/or board refund.

Any student who has a room in a residence hall, but is found to be living off-campus, i.e. not sleeping in his or her room, or using the room only as storage, may be required to move back on to campus and may face judicial action to set conditions for continued enrollment. A student who does not comply is subject to dismissal.

Early Returns to Residence Halls

Students who are requested to return to campus for labor or orientation prior to the official date of return must get permission from the Residential Student Life Team Office before arrival so that room arrangements can be made. Others who return to Berea early must find accommodations off campus until the scheduled date for their arrival.

Residence Hall Cancellations

Continuing or returning students holding residence hall reservations who wish to cancel must do so at least 15 days before the opening of a term. Cancellations must be made in writing directly to the Residential Student Life Team Office.

Clearances from Campus

End of Spring Term Clearance

Before leaving Berea College at the end of the Spring term, it is the continuing student’s responsibility to turn in a completed clearance form to the Residential Student Life Team Office. This form serves as official notification of the student’s summer plans and contact information. A $20 charge is issued for students who do not return these on or before the deadline. All rental equipment, books, locks, and keys should be returned to the proper departments. These forms are to be picked up from Hutchins Library near the end of the Spring Term.

Summer Clearance

It is the responsibility of any student taking a class during the Summer Term to turn in a completed clearance form to the Residential Student Life Team Office. A $20 charge is issued for students who do not return these forms on or before the established deadline. All rental equipment, books, locks, and keys should be returned to the proper departments. These forms are to be picked up in the Hutchins Library near the end of the Summer Term.

Absence from Campus Notification

In addition to notifying supervisors and instructors, any time students will be off campus more than two consecutive weekdays (except during official school breaks)—out of the residence hall and/or the classroom—they must inform the Residential Student Life Team Office of their plans, in advance, giving the date of return. Off-campus students who will not be attending classes or labor assignment for more than two consecutive weekdays also must inform the Residential Student Life Team Office.

Residence Hall Safety and Security

Residence hall exterior doors are locked around the clock. Residents have key or card access and visitors must page residents via an outdoor telephone to gain entrance. Fines are levied for propping doors and for use of alarmed doors. Afterhours building access is limited to one guest per resident, signed in and accompanied by the resident. Upper-classification halls allow in-room visitors during limited periods, and in-room visitors are permitted during hall-sponsored open houses. While the College respects the personal privacy of students in its residence hall rooms, provisions are made for staff to enter rooms in the event of a clear and present danger and, under certain conditions, when a search for prohibited items has been authorized. Residence halls can be entered for routine maintenance or safety inspections. (Also see Campus Safety and Security Emergency Evacuation, and other policies outlined in this section and the Student Conduct Regulations and Community Judicial Code sections of this site for more detailed information.)

Charging for Residence Hall Damages

A successful residence hall community requires a shared sense of positive interdependence. Each resident must realize his or her responsibility to every other resident because individual choices in a residence-hall environment have the potential to impact the entire community. Likewise, each resident has an important role to play in establishing and maintaining the standards by which the community will live. Therefore, in instances where the standards are not met by a member or members of the community, it is the responsibility of any member of the community to report such behavior. Any community member who fails to take advantage of any reasonable opportunity to do so therefore assumes a portion of the responsibility, as well as consequences for such action.

Smoking Regulations

Smoking is prohibited in the residence halls. Designated smoking areas are conveniently located throughout campus in proximity to the residence halls. (See Smoking and Smoking-on-Campus Policy.)

Co-Ed Visitation Policy

Residence halls have the privilege of co-ed visitation under the conditions specified by the Visitation Policy approved by the General Faculty in May 2008. First-year residence halls have no room visitation in the Fall term. The Residential Student Life Team Office will make a reasonable effort to identify residential areas that will permit no visitation for those students who express such a preference during room choosing.

Additional rules applying specifically to residence halls are published on the Residential Student Life Team site, and print copies of the Visitation Policy are provided to each student living in a residence hall.

Search Policy

Official searches must be authorized by the Vice President for Student Life, the Associate Vice President of Student Life, or the Associate Dean of Student Life. In the absence of these persons the College President or the Provost may authorize a search.

Two staff members of the College must be present during a search. One of these two people should be a member of the Student Life staff. If these staff members are not available, others, such as a security officer or College Faculty member may be present. In the case of a search for weapons, both of the two required persons must be of non-student status.

In the event of a clear and present danger, the student should be present if available. If the student is not present, a note will be left giving the date and names of the persons involved in the room search and a description of any item that has been confiscated.

A signed receipt will be left describing any item taken. If nothing is taken, a signed note will be left indicating a search was conducted. Either statement will indicate that a written report on the search will be available in the Student Life Office.

In the event of a search for prohibited objects presenting no immediate danger, the person conducting the search has the responsibility for attempting to locate the student on campus in order for the student to be present during the search. At least one of the following students must be present if the occupant cannot be located: a House Council member, a student residence hall staff member, or a Student Government Association officer.

In the search for specified objects, any additional item that is prohibited under College regulations may be confiscated and used in separate campus judicial procedures. If necessary, the student may be required to open personal baggage and other personal material that is sealed. If the student cannot be immediately located, baggage and other personal material may be retained by those conducting the search until the student is present to open it.

When searching for weapons, nothing but the weapon(s) may be used as evidence against the student in campus judicial procedures. However, additional items that are discovered during a room search could result in separate charges and a separate hearing through the campus judicial procedures.

After any search, a report will be written by the person conducting the search. The report will include name of complainant (unless the search was for weapons or involved intimidation or a clear and present danger situation), the administrator who authorized the search, the reasonable cause that was established, the persons present during the search, and the events and procedures of the search. A copy of the report of any search will be made available, upon request, to the student, to the judicial body hearing charges related to the search, and to any person authorized to review search incidents.

In the event of a danger involving health or safety of students, possible presence of weapons or any items that may have been used for intimidation, rooms or vehicles may be searched on the basis of information supplied in person by any individual without revealing the identity of the individual.