Student Conduct

Southwest Minnesota State University is committed to an educational environment that is conducive to the intellectual, personal, social, and ethical development of its students. Respect for the rights of others and responsible behavior is essential to learning and civility within the campus community.

NOTE:  ALL COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE OFFICE OF STUDENT CONDUCT REGARDING STUDENT JUDICIAL MATTERS WILL BE VIA STUDENT E-MAIL.

Interpretations of regulations

Student conduct regulations at Southwest Minnesota State University are set forth in writing as required by MnSCU Policy 3.6 to give students general notice of prohibited conduct.

These regulations, though not exhaustive, set forth standards of behavior, which protect your rights as well as outline your responsibilities to the University Community. By attending Southwest Minnesota State University, you automatically place yourself under the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct. Therefore, it is important for you to become familiar with the rules and regulations affecting you.

If you violate this Code, general law, or university or system regulations, you shall, after due process, be subject to university sanctions, which may include probation, suspension, eviction, and expulsion. Violations of other than University regulations are also subject to sanctions external to the University.

Authority, Jurisdiction and Discipline Responsibility

Southwest Minnesota State University reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to intervene with student’s behavior, on or off campus, when the behavior poses a direct threat to the safety and well-being of those students or those around them. Responsibility for campus conduct matters is vested in the Provost who delegates to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs the task of policy development and adjudication of student conduct issues. Students and staff are asked to assume positions of responsibility within the campus judicial system to utilize their skills and insights in the resolution of disciplinary referrals. Final authority in disciplinary procedure is vested in the university administration with reserved right to refer cases of criminal conduct or other behaviors as stipulated by State or Federal legislation to the Marshall Police.

Standards of Disciplinary Hearing Process

Allegations of violations of the code of conduct are heard by an administrative hearing officer. Students who violate the terms of a sanction(s) or failure to complete such sanctions imposed by a hearing officer in an informal meeting may heard by either the Student Association Judicial Council or Administrative Hearing Committee depending on the severity of the violation and the discretion of the  Director of Student Conduct. The committee having jurisdiction will hear a violation or failure to complete a sanction established by one of the hearing committees.

The focus of inquiry in disciplinary proceedings will be: whether it is more likely than not the accused violated the disciplinary regulations set forth in the university’s Student Code of Conduct. Formal rules of evidence will not be applicable, nor will deviations from prescribed procedures necessarily invalidate a decision or proceeding unless significant prejudice to an accused student or the university exists.

The purpose of the University Judicial Affairs Program is to provide a campus grievance mechanism for any person who believes that any Southwest Minnesota State student (whether living on or off campus) has violated his or her individual rights, community expectations of behavior or a campus code of conduct. It also provides the institution with a mechanism of dealing with students’ behavior, on or off campus, when that behavior poses a direct threat to the safety or well being of those students or those around them.

This program provides the University a means by which to define accountability for the student who fails to meet these expectations and/or fails in the demonstration of adult responsibility to self and others. The focus of the Program is to hold students accountable for their choices and behaviors by providing the opportunity for an educational experience within a discipline procedure based on due process. The following provides the sources of expectations for Southwest Minnesota State University students:

  1. Campus Code of Conduct
  2. Federal, State of Minnesota, and local ordinances, statues and law.
  3. Southwest Minnesota State University (including areas and departments) and MnSCU Board regulations and policies.
  4. Campus procedures established by the Student Association, RHA, and living unit communities.

The specific educational objectives of this Program are as follows.

  1. To bring about a change in understanding and accepting the need for balance between personal and external control of behavior.
  2. To develop some empathy for the needs and rights of others, and to enhance understanding of the concepts of self-autonomy.
  3. To demonstrate and enhance recognition and acceptance of the principles of personal accountability.
  4. To assist individuals to achieve their educational and personal potential and to allow community members to resolve differences and grievances to their mutual benefit.
  5. To maintain effective community standards and to protect the rights of individuals.
  6. In this same regard, the community has the right to protect itself against the individual whose behavior consistently or repeatedly demonstrates a disregard for the welfare of the individual(s) who comprise the larger community.

How to Access the Program:

Persons within the University community who believe that their rights have been infringed upon by any SMSU student's conduct may process a referral to the Office of Student Conduct. Incident reports and Complaint Decision Forms may be obtained from either Residence Life Area Coordinators, any Resident Assistant, the Student Association Judicial Affairs Coordinator, Director of Student Conduct, or the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs office.
As the Complaint Decision Form indicates, a judicial hearing is only one of the options available as response to an incident of student misconduct. A referrer may also elect:

a. To file a complaint with local police or County sheriff (in addition to pursuing a campus resolution):*
b. to request that the incident be handles administratively by an appropriate staff member;
c. to requst assistance in confronting the student personally;
d. or may request that no immediate action be taken after documenting the incident (although in some instances the University may be compelled to take action even without the complainant's cooperation);
e. to initiate an on-campus judicial hearing.*

*Both on and off campus processes may be pursued simultaneously. If applied, on-campus hearing sanctions pertain only to the referred student's relationship to SMSU and its community members.

Contact Information:

Michael Kurowski, Director of Student Conduct
Office: Student Center 234
Phone: 507-537-6471
E-mail: Michael.Kurowski@smsu.edu

Last Modified: 2/8/17 10:28 AM