Gardner-Webb University views its role in the administration of student discipline as one of both seeking justice and providing an educational opportunity for the student. While it is intended that this approach protect the campus community by providing a system of discipline for those violating University rules and regulations, the University’s conduct system also encourages the growth and development of the student through supporting the practice of responsible behavior as it is related to living in a community of people. The educational approach infers a need for understanding and self-discipline on the part of the student as well as a respect for the rights and privileges of others.
The focus of the conduct system is educational, preventive, corrective, and as appropriate, punitive. Gardner-Webb students shall, at all times and in all places during their enrollment, conduct themselves in a manner which reflects positively upon the University and complies with applicable law and the rules and regulations of the University, including, but not limited to, this Code of Conduct, both on campus and off campus. While this Code will apply primarily to settings where students are involved in campus activities, or representing the University in some capacity, the University may also adjudicate and sanction student actions unassociated with University activities or functions to the extent those actions may have an adverse impact on the campus community, or were such actions indicate that the student may be unfit to continue as a member of the campus community.
Discipline is necessary and effective when it is applied in a consistent manner in the learning experience of a student and/or for the protection of the community of which he or she is a member. When disciplinary action becomes necessary, that action must be handled expeditiously but fairly. The education of students concerning the rules and regulations of the University, emphasizing the need to abide by those rules in a community of people, is promoted during orientation to the University, in residence hall meetings, the Student Handbook, contact with faculty and staff, and in disciplinary hearings. In hearings involving students who are accused of violating University rules and regulations, consideration will be given to all available information relevant to the case, in tandem with a process designed to reach a just resolution.
Code of Conduct proceedings are informal, and the procedural and evidentiary rules of our civil and criminal justice court systems do not apply. One example of this difference is that the burden of proof in all conduct matters shall be a preponderance of the evidence. This is different from the criminal court system’s requirement for proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Any member of the University community believing that a student has violated a University policy or regulation may file a complaint of the alleged violation with University Police, Housing and Residence Education Office or the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office shall decide whether there is sufficient cause for a formal charge and whether conduct proceedings should be initiated. If it is determined that a charge will be pursued, the available information will be documented and provided to a University-designated administrative hearing officer. The accused student will be notified of the charge and a scheduled appointment with the hearing officer for the purpose of conducting an administrative conduct hearing. Hearings are closed to the public. At this hearing the University hearing officer assigned to the case will explain to the accused student the charge(s) against him or her.
In connection with the administrative conduct hearing the student has the following rights:
A student wishing to appeal an adverse decision of an administrative hearing must file a written notice of appeal to the administrative hearing officer, or the officer’s designee, within two (2) working days (excluding University holidays, weekends, and breaks) after the student is notified of the decision of the administrative hearing officer.
The decision of an administrative hearing officer may be appealed by the responsible student for one or more of the following reasons:
If the appeal is based on new facts or evidence, it must contain at least the following:
If appeal is based on violation(s) of hearing procedure it must contain the following:
If the appeal is based on excessive sanction it must contain the following:
Once the appeal has been filed, the hearing officer, or their designee, shall forward the appeal to the Director of Housing and Residence Education or the Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students for review. The person appointed to conduct the review shall be referred to as the appeals officer. No one who served as the administrative hearing officer shall serve as the appeals officer. Unless the student has both met the deadline for filing the appeal and satisfied the requirements for the content of the appeal, the appeal shall be denied and the student shall be notified. This shall constitute the final decision of the University. If, after review, it is determined that the student has met the filing deadline and satisfied the requirements for the content of the appeal, the appeals officer shall convene an appeal hearing with advance notice to the student. The appeal officer shall meet with the student and review the written information and documentation from the administrative hearing. Note: Unless the appeal has been granted on the basis of new evidence, no new evidence or documentation shall be considered or presented at the appeal hearing.
In connection with the appeal hearing the student has the following rights:
If the administrative hearing officer does not uphold the interim suspension but the decision is nevertheless adverse to the student in some other manner, then the student may follow the General Appeal Procedures.
If the administrative hearing officer determines that an interim suspension should remain in place continue, then the student may appeal under these Special Rules for Appeals of Interim Suspensions. The student must file a written notice of appeal to the administrative hearing officer, or the officer’s designee, within two (2) working days (excluding University holidays, weekends, and breaks) after the student is notified of the decision of the administrative hearing officer.
All requests for this appeal must outline the following as applicable:
In all other respects, the appeal of an interim suspension shall proceed as described above under General Appeal Procedures. (See above commencing with “Once the appeal has been filed, . . . .”).
Only in cases where a student has received the sanctions of expulsion or suspension of more than two academic semesters from the appeals officer may the student appeal to the President by filing a written notice of appeal to the Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students within two (2) working days (excluding University holidays, weekends, and breaks) after the student is notified of the decision of the appeals officer. Unless the student has both met the deadline for filing the appeal and satisfied the requirements for the content of the appeal, the appeal shall be denied and the student shall be notified. This shall constitute the final decision of the University.
The grounds for appeal are the same as those stated with regard to appeal to the appellate board. With the exception of discovery of substantial new facts or evidence that were unavailable at the time of the appellate hearing and which could affect the hearing board’s decision, the President’s review is limited to the written record of prior proceedings. The President may decide the appeal based solely on the written information and evidence or meet with the student or others, in the President’s discretion.
The President may:
The President’s decision is the final decision of the University.
As part of the Gardner-Webb University Student Conduct System, student conduct records are maintained in the Dean of Students Office. Student conduct records are confidential and will be released only under the guidelines set forth by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or as otherwise required or allowed by law or regulation.
Students found not in compliance with any Gardner-Webb University policy, including but not limited to the Gardner-Webb University Code of Honor and Student Code of Conduct, may receive one or more of the following sanctions. Should the student fail to complete their assigned sanctions by the deadlines given, a Student Development hold will be placed on the student’s account. This hold will prevent the student from registering for classes. This hold will be lifted only when the student completes and submits his/her assigned sanctions.
The following is a non-exhaustive listing of activities that constitute violations of this Code of Conduct. Additionally, any act that violates any University policy, rule or procedure or that constitutes a violation of any local, state and/or federal laws may also constitute a violation of this Code.
Alcohol Violations (Section 1)Drinking on Campus
Attempted Offenses (Section 2)An attempt to commit a Code of Conduct violation.
Aiding/Abetting (Section 3)Providing assistance to another student in an act that violates the Code of Conduct.
Assault (Section 4)Any intentional act or movement that either (a) causes physical injury to another person; or (b) puts another person in imminent fear of violence or physical injury. Sexual assault is separate from this policy; a definition of sexual assault may be found in the Sexual Harassment Policy and reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
Bullying (Section 5).There are three elements to bullying: 1) Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions, 2) Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time, and 3) Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength. Bullying behavior may appear in different ways such as derogatory comments and name calling; social exclusion or isolation; physical acts such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting; misrepresentation of another’s character through lies and false rumors; or by the use of technology through text messaging and/or the use of social media platforms.
Computer Misuse (Section 6)Any misuse of University network or computing resources or services, including, but not limited to, the following activities:
Contempt of Student Conduct Process (Section 7)
Destruction or Defacing of Property (Section 8)
Disruptive Conduct (Section 9)Conduct that is annoying to others, or is disruptive of the rights of others or the orderly operation of the University. This includes, but is not limited to, horseplay; practical jokes; misbehaving in the dining hall or any other area of campus; creating disturbances or disruptions; and preventing or interfering with the orderly conduct of any University business or activity.
Dangerous Conduct (Section 10)An action or practice which has potential to cause emotional or bodily harm, or injury to one’s self or another.
Drug Violations (Section 11)In addition to marijuana and other controlled substances, this policy also defines drugs as other chemical substances, compounds, or combination when used to induce an altered state; and/or including any otherwise lawfully available product (such as over the counter or prescription drugs) used for any purpose other than its intended use.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – The possession and/or use of drug paraphernalia. “Drug paraphernalia” means all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are either designed for use or which are intended by [an accused person] … for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, strength testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body marijuana or a controlled substance.
Possession of Drugs– possession includes the presence of any substance defined above as drugs on the student’s person, among the property owned by the student, or among University property being used by the student.
Use of Drugs – Distribution and/or Sale of Drugs – The illegal distribution, and/or sale of controlled substances or marijuana, as those terms are defined in the North Carolina state law.
Endangerment (Section 12)Conduct which endangers the physical well-being of one’s self or others. Examples include, but are not limited to, compromising the security of others by propping open an exterior door of any campus building, attempting to force open an exterior door once it has been locked, or intentionally damaging locking mechanisms.
ID Card Misuse (Section 13)Students are expected to carry their Gardner-Webb University issued ID card at all times. In addition to being necessary for accessing residence halls/rooms and dining services, this card is necessary for identifying students in conduct and/or emergency situations. Failure to replace a missing or stolen card does not exempt one from this policy. Students are not to give their ID card to another Gardner-Webb student to use nor to a non-student.
Failure to Comply with a University Official (Section 14)Students are required to comply with University officials or agents of the University in the performance of their duties, specifically including, but not limited to Resident Assistants, Graduate Resident Hall Directors, and University Police. Below are examples of actions that represent violations of this policy:
Falsification of Information (Section 15)Making a false statement or providing inaccurate information to any member of the University community (student, faculty, staff or administrator) with the intention of deceiving. Such falsification might include, but is not limited to, forged signatures and inaccurate information on course registration materials, an admissions application, work-study forms, University records or student ID card documentation. Misrepresenting oneself or others through the use of University property or resources (including e-mail, the Internet, telephone or verbally) is also considered a violation.
Fighting (Section 16)An encounter coming to physical blows, or where any other unwanted physical contact with another person is made. Other personal violence between two or more persons will also be considered a violation of this policy. Any encounter that takes place involving students will be a violation of this policy, regardless of location.
Fire Safety (Section 17)
Gambling (Section 18)Illegally wagering or assisting in the illegal wagering of money or any other thing of value on any game or contest.
Good Neighbor Policy (Section 19)Gardner-Webb University students have been living off campus for many years and in most instances have developed positive and lasting relationships with area residents. Students living in the community are representatives of Gardner-Webb University and their conduct will reflect directly on the University. Families living in the neighborhoods around our campus have a right to enjoy a reasonable level of peace and quiet. Students who act in ways that cause disruption and disturbance in their neighborhoods, or that allow their guests to do so, are acting in violation of this Code.
Harassment (Section 20)Harassment is any unwelcome statement, action or behavior which results in fear, physical or mental discomfort, or embarrassment in a member of the University Community to such an extent that it interferes with the ability of that person to participate in academic, employment or other University activities. Harassment may be physical or verbal. Harassment covers a wide range of conduct. Examples of acts that may constitute harassment include: hostile remarks; hostile gestures; unwanted physical contact; unwanted communications, whether threatening or not; use of unwelcome obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious or indecent language; the threatening of any person; or display or circulation of materials or pictures derogatory to a person.
Sexual harassment is excluded from this definition of harassment. The definition of sexual harassment may be found in the Sexual Harassment Policy. Acts of sexual harassment must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator. Examples of Sexual Harassment will include, but are not limited to, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature (advances, requests, or visual, verbal or physical conduct) or unwelcome conduct based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Illegal discrimination based on protected classifications is excluded from this definition of harassment. Refer to the University’s procedures for responding to discrimination.
Hazing (Section 21)Any action or situation created whether on or off campus which results in mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, mistreatment, pain, fright, disgrace, or ridicule of another as part of the initiation or induction into a social group; including required or requested actions as well as obligations placed on the person. This includes, but is not limited to such activities as paddling; creation of excessive fatigue, physical and psychological shocks; spraying, painting or pelting with any substance; burying in any substance; burning, branding or tattooing; coercing another to: wear apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engage in public stunts or pranks; commit any acts that would constitute a violation of any law or University rule or regulation; participate in morally degrading or humiliating games and activities, calisthenics or other strenuous physical activity; be exposed to inclement weather; consume any food, liquid, beverage, drug or other substance; be confined in any room or compartment; or any other activity which may result in physical injury or endanger the health or life of the individual being hazed; or which is not consistent with the federal, state, and local statues, as well as the rules and regulations of Gardner-Webb University. The willingness of individuals to participate in or be subjected to hazing is no defense to this charge. The actions described above include any carried out or situations created by current students that are members of the organization/team, alumni of the organization/team, or faculty and staff associated with the organization/team.
Health and Safety Violations (Section 22)Creating or maintaining a health or safety hazard, including but not limited to, keeping one’s residence hall area in a condition that is unsafe or unsanitary.
Laws of the Wider Society (Section 23)All students are required to abide by the laws of the local, state, and federal governments. Violations are subject to disciplinary action by the University as well as the Criminal Justice System. The University is not bound by the principle of “double jeopardy” or the outcome of court cases or charges and may initiate proceedings regardless of the outcome in court.
Littering (Section 24)Placing or leaving garbage, papers or other objects in or on the public areas of campus or the common areas of campus buildings.
Motor Vehicle Regulations (Section 25)Violating University motor vehicle rules or regulations.
Lying (Section 26)Furnishing false information with the intention of deceiving.
Noise (Section 27)Any sound which is annoying or disruptive of the rights of others. This includes, but is not limited to, loud talking, laughter, music and/or musical instruments. A policy of 24 hour courtesy hours is always in effect. Students are expected to be courteous and, upon request or complaint, are expected to lower the noise level of their activity.
The residence halls have designated quiet hours to ensure environments that are conducive to studying and sleep (refer to the Residence Education policy section for quiet hour times). Twenty-four hour quiet hours are in effect at the end of each semester beginning on Reading Day and extending through final exam periods (including weekends).
Possession of Firearms or Weapons on Campus (Section 28)In an effort to provide a safe and secure educational and working environment for its students, employees and visitors, no person other than authorized law enforcement officers shall possess, carry or store a weapon on any property owned, leased or operated by Gardner-Webb University. This policy also applies to a concealed weapon for which the carrier has a legal permit, as well as weapons in any University facility or within a vehicle parked on University property or the streets within University property. The term “weapon” includes, but is not limited to, firearms of any kind, BB guns, pellet guns, air guns, airsoft guns, paint ball guns, ammunition, bows and arrows, slingshots, Tasers, knives (other than pocket knives with a folding blade less than three inches in length), martial arts weapons, and toy, counterfeit, replica, or blank firing firearms. This policy includes use or possession of ammunition or dangerous chemicals, substances, or materials, or explosives, or incendiary devices. This prohibition also includes any University sponsored curricular or extracurricular activities regardless of location.
The only exceptions to this policy are for law enforcement and military personnel carrying out their official duties and for weapons used in the conduct of ceremonial or educational activities authorized by the President or designee.
Possession of Fireworks (Section 29)The possession and/or use of fireworks on University owned property or its environment.
Residence Education Violation (Section 30)Any violation of the policies defined in the Residence Education section of the Student Handbook and not otherwise specifically outlined in this Code of Student Conduct.
Shared Responsibility (Section 31)Gardner-Webb University functions as a single community and therefore operates under the concept of shared responsibility for upholding the values and expectations of the community. Any student who is aware that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct is about to occur, is taking place, or has taken place, and who fails to make some reasonable effort to stop the offense, notify a staff member, or remove him- or herself from the situation may be considered responsible for the same violation. Students who reside in a room or apartment are ultimately responsible for violations in that space. Students hosting visitors on campus who are not enrolled at Gardner-Webb University may be held responsible for the actions of their guests if they violate policies of the Student Code of Conduct.
Smoking and Smokeless Tobacco (Section 32)Smoking of any tobacco product (cigarettes, cigars, or pipes), or the use of electronic cigarettes, in any campus facility. Possession and/or use of hookah pipes, vaporizers, or electronic cigarettes. Use of smokeless tobacco in any campus facility. Usage of any tobacco, E-cigarettes (vapes), or any nontobacco and aromatic smoking products, including but not limited to clove cigarettes, herbal cigarettes, bidis, within 25 feet of any campus building. Campus facilities include all residential facilities, apartment balconies, academic buildings, the Student Center, and athletic facilities.
Theft (Section 33)The unauthorized taking or appropriating of property or services belonging to another individual. The unauthorized possession of property that has been stolen.
Threatening Behavior and/or Language (Section 34)Any physical act (such as raising fists in a threatening manner) that would put a reasonable person in fear for their safety. Any verbal or written threat that would put a reasonable person in fear for their safety. This includes postings on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This includes encouraging or assisting others to engage in such prohibited conduct.
Trespassing (Section 35)Trespassing – going to or remaining upon any University owned property after having been forbidden to do so by any posted signs or by any University employee or other person with authority over the property.
Unauthorized Entry/Access of a Campus Facility (Section 36)Entering or remaining in residence halls or other University owned buildings without permission. This includes, but is not limited to, students who are found present in the residence halls, apartments or suites during a time period when the residence halls are closed, students who stay in the residence halls without proper authorization, or resident students who allow a non-student or other unauthorized person to stay in their room or suite in violations of applicable rules.
Unauthorized Use of University Property (Section 37)The unauthorized possession or use of University property, which includes but is not limited to University computers, technology, furniture, housekeeping supplies, appliances, equipment or vehicles.
Visitation/Guest Violation (Section 38)Being in restricted areas of residence units, apartments or suites in the company of a member of the opposite sex, or in a residence hall, apartment or suite assigned to members of the opposite sex, without specific permission or when visitation privileges are not in effect. Visitation includes student and non-student guests who do not reside in a particular room, suite, floor, apartment, or building.