Student Code of Conduct at Montana Tech
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Interim Dean of Students, Ms. Sarah North Wolfe.
Student Success Center 3.138
- Any person who is enrolled at Montana Technological University, (hereinafter “the University”) and is pursuing certificate, associate, undergraduate, or graduate degrees, including full-time and part-time status.
- Any person who has completed an academic term and can be reasonably expected to enroll the following term.
- Any person who attended the University during a previous academic term and who committed an alleged violation of the Code during the time of enrollment.
- Any resident living in University Apartment housing, even if they are not enrolled.
The Code of Student Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of individual students, both undergraduate and graduate, and all University-affiliated student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, the University considers an individual to be a student when an offer of admission has been extended and during the student’s attendance.
Montana Tech retains conduct jurisdiction over students who 1) are on University holidays and during summers between enrolled semesters; and/or 2) choose to take a leave of absence, placed on academic suspension, withdraw or have graduated. Jurisdiction covers any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal or graduation. If a student is sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll, obtain official transcripts, or graduate and all directives and/or sanctions must be satisfied prior to re-enrollment eligibility. If serious misconduct was committed while the student was enrolled but reported after the accused student has graduated or withdrawn, the University may invoke these procedures.
The Code of Student Conduct applies to behaviors and actions that take place on campus, as well as at University-sponsored events. The code may also apply when the Dean of Students or designee determines that off-campus conduct affects a substantial University interest. A substantial University interest is defined to include:
- Any situation where it appears that the student’s conduct may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of him/herself or others; and
- fAny conduct that significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder.
The Code of Student Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email or other electronic medium. Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online.
The University will not regularly search for this information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of University officials. In the event the speech subject to the complaint is protected by the student’s free expression rights under the First Amendment, such speech alone will not constitute a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. The University may take notice of alleged violations of federal, state and local laws by students. When a student is arrested or otherwise subject to criminal charges the University may initiate proceedings to determine if the student has violated the Student Code of Conduct. The University reserves the right to exercise its authority of interim suspension upon notification that a student is facing criminal charges.
University email is Montana Tech’s primary means of communication with students. Students are responsible for all conduct communication delivered to their designated University email address.
In University Student Code of Conduct disciplinary proceedings, for both cases involving general misconduct and academic misconduct, students have the following rights.
Records and Confidentiality: Montana Technological University complies with the principles of privacy described in the Montana Constitution, the Montana Code Annotated, and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As such, a student involved in a University disciplinary proceeding has the following rights related to privacy and confidentiality:
- Sanctions of expulsion and suspension affect the student’s academic status, and records are maintained by the Dean of Students office and/or the Office of the Provost during such time as the imposed sanctions are in effect.
- During the time that a Student Code of Conduct case is in process, the student continues to have the same rights and privileges as other students, unless interim action (which may include restrictions, suspension, or expulsion) has been imposed.
- If a student authorizes the release of the student’s transcript and/or conduct records to another institution or to a prospective employer while there is a pending case under the Student Code of Conduct, it is with the understanding that if the student is found to have violated the Code in a manner that would require that the previously-released transcript be altered, the University may notify the institution and/or employer and forward a corrected copy.
- All records of Student Code of Conduct proceedings and sanctions are maintained by the Dean of Students office. These records will be maintained in accordance with the Montana University System General Record Retention Schedule. Sanctions of expulsion and suspension affect the student’s academic status and will be maintained indefinitely.
- All disciplinary proceedings are closed to the public.
- The University, except as required by law, will not disclose information to anyone not connected with the proceeding. The fact that there is or has been a disciplinary proceeding concerning the incident may be disclosed; however, the identity(ies) of individual students involved in the proceedings will not be disclosed.
- The University, including individuals involved in a disciplinary proceeding, will disclose the results of the proceeding, including sanctions imposed, only to those who need to know for purposes of record keeping, enforcement of the sanctions, further proceedings, eligibility for participation in certain University activities, or compliance with federal or state laws. The fact that a disciplinary proceeding has been concluded and appropriate action has been taken may be disclosed.
- As allowed by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act (commonly known as the Clery Act) the University will disclose the results of campus disciplinary proceedings to an alleged victim of a violent crime.
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires the University to tell a complainant in a case of sexual violence whether or not it found that the sexual violence occurred, any sanctions imposed upon the perpetrator that relate directly to the complainant, and other steps the University has taken to eliminate the hostile environment and prevent recurrence.
Nothing in this Code limits the right of the Dean of Students and the respondent to agree at any time to disciplinary sanctions if the student agrees to the charges. Any such agreement must be in writing. When it is approved by the appropriate University official(s), signed by the student, and filed with the Dean of Students, the case is concluded.
Students at Montana Tech are expected to practice academic honesty at all times. Academic misconduct is subject to Academic Penalty (or penalties) by the course instructor and/or University Sanction(s) by the University through the Dean of Students.
The student has full responsibility for the content and integrity of all academic work submitted. Ignorance of a rule does not constitute a basis for waiving the rule or the consequences of that rule. Students unclear about a specific situation should ask their instructors, who will explain what is and is not acceptable in their classes.
It is the shared responsibility of Faculty, Staff and Administrators to attempt to take reasonable precautions to prevent and discourage academic dishonesty. Additionally, it is a duty of Faculty, Staff and Administrators to report charges of academic dishonesty to the Dean of Students through the online reporting form.
Proscribed Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct is defined as all forms of academic dishonestly, including but not limited to:
- Faculty members at Montana Tech have the independent authority to exclude a student from any class session in which the student displays disruptive behavior that threatens the learning environment and/or safety and well-being of others in the classroom.
- If circumstances warrant dismissal from a class session for behavior reasons, the faculty member may contact the Dean of Students office immediately following the class to discuss the situation and decide whether Student Code of Conduct charges will be initiated.
- The student remains eligible to return to the next class session, unless interim action prohibiting class attendance is imposed.
- The faculty member maintains the authority to remove the student from any future class session during which the student is disruptive.
- The student may be suspended permanently from a class upon recommendation of the Dean of the college or school offering the class in accordance with the disciplinary procedures outlined in the section below.
Procedures for Academic Misconduct
The focus of inquiry in disciplinary proceedings related to academic misconduct is to determine if a violation of the Standards of Academic Conduct has occurred and, if so, to determine an appropriate academic penalty and/or University sanction. Student Code of Conduct proceedings are administrative proceedings and do not follow formal rules of evidence applicable in legal and criminal proceedings. The University has the burden of proof to establish a violation of academic misconduct by a preponderance of the evidence (it is more likely than not that the incident occurred).
It is assumed, unless shown otherwise, that the faculty and Academic Deans (or designees) make impartial judgments concerning academic misconduct and fairly impose an appropriate academic penalty and/or University sanction. Minor deviations from prescribed procedures will not invalidate a decision or proceeding, provided they do not significantly prejudice the student or the University. The adjudication of any alleged academic misconduct must be initiated within two years of discovery of the incident
Misconduct alleged during the course: When an incident of alleged academic misconduct is discovered by or brought to the attention of the course instructor during the course, the instructor personally contacts the accused student within ten (10) working days to arrange a meeting. The course instructor and the student may each have a person of choice present at this meet. At this meeting the course instructor will:
- Inform the student of the alleged academic misconduct and present the evidence supporting the allegation.
- Allow the student an opportunity to respond to the charge(s) and evidence (the student is not required to respond).
- Discuss the academic penalty and possible University sanctions and allow the student to respond.
Misconduct alleged at or after the conclusion of course: When an incident of alleged academic misconduct is discovered or brought to the attention of the course instructor at or after the conclusion of the course, the course instructor notifies the student in writing and takes steps (a) through (c) above and will follow up in writing. Upon the conclusion of the investigation the student(s) grade could be changed.
At faculty discretion, academic misconduct in a course may result in an “F” grade on the assignment or examination, or in the course. If a student denies the charge of cheating, s/he may bring the case to the Academic Standards Committee for review.
The Dean of Students and/or the Academic Standards Committee will determine if any additional university sanctions are required. In reported cases of repeated cheating, the Academic Standards Committee may be alerted and consider applying additional penalties beyond those imposed by the individual instructors. Disciplinary actions might include but are not limited to: reprimand, educational sanctions (completion of a report, paper, project, or workshop), loss of membership in organizations, or disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion from the University.
The faculty member is required to submit the Academic Dishonesty Violation Referral form for any instance of academic misconduct, even if after meeting with the student (s) the decision is that academic misconduct did not occur. In the case of University sanctions the notice to the student includes:
- A statement of the specific academic misconduct committed
- A concise summary of the facts upon which the charge is based
- A statement of the University sanction(s)
- A statement of the appeal procedure
If, within ten (10) working days, the student does not appeal the decision to impose the University sanction, the allegation in the notice of University sanction will be accepted. The Provost for Academic Affairs and/or the Dean of Students will instruct the appropriate University officials to implement the sanction. A written summary of the case will be placed in the student’s disciplinary file maintained by the Dean of Students. No University sanction or academic penalty is imposed until final resolution of the charge(s) or until the deadline for an appeal has passed.
- When a student appeals to the Academic Standards Committee, the Provost’s office schedules a hearing date. The Provosts office gives notice of the time, date, and place of the hearing to the student, course instructor, and any other relevant parties (i.e. Department Chair, Academic Dean, etc). In the absence of extenuating circumstances, the hearing is held within fifteen (15) working days of the appeal.
- A student appealing to the Academic Standards Committee may be accompanied by a representative. If the representative is an attorney, the student must notify the Provost’s office in writing at least three (3) working days before the scheduled hearing. Failure to give notice of representation may delay the hearing. If the student is to be represented at the hearing by an attorney, then the University may also be represented by legal counsel.
- Hearings are closed to the public. However, at the discretion of the Chair, an open hearing may be held if requested by the student and if the individual privacy rights of others are protected, or waived.
- The Chair of the Academic Standards Committee is responsible for conducting the hearing in an orderly manner. The student presents witnesses and/or evidence in support of the appeal. The course instructor, Department Chair, and Academic Dean also presents witnesses and evidence. Each party may question the other party’s witnesses, either directly or through the Chair at the discretion of the Chair. The burden of proof is on the University to establish a violation by a preponderance of the evidence.
- Formal rules of evidence (such as in a legal proceeding) do not apply. The Chair decides the admissibility of all evidence presented and rules on all procedural issues.
- The Chair may prescribe additional procedural rules for the hearing that are consistent with this Code.
- The Academic Standards Committee reaches a decision by majority vote. The Chair has the right of vote. The vote <upholds, alters, or overturns the academic penalty and/or University sanction. The recommendation of the Committee is submitted to the Provost for review and final approval. Committee deliberations are closed to the parties and others.
- Within ten (10) working days, a copy of the Provost’s decision is provided by the to the student, the course instructor, and any other required parties.
- A student who fails to appear for the Academic Standards Committee hearing is considered to have waived the right to appeal. The student receives the academic penalty(ies) and/or University sanction(s) as determined by the faculty member and/or Academic Standards Committee/Dean of Students.
- The student may seek further administrative review by the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Board of Regents in accordance with to Montana University System Policy and Procedures Manual, 203.5.2.
Depending on the severity of the academic misconduct, a student may incur one or more of the following penalties:
Academic Penalty(ies) by the Course Instructor: The student may receive a failing or reduced grade in an academic exercise, examination, or course, and/or be assigned additional work which may include re-examination.
University Sanction(s): The University may also impose a sanction that exceeds the academic penalty. Sanctions (a) through (f) require administrative review and approval by the Dean of Students and/or Provost:
- Disciplinary Warning: The student is warned that further misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary sanctions.
- Disciplinary Probation: The student is warned that further misconduct may result in suspension or expulsion. Conditions may be placed on continued enrollment for a specified period of time.
- Suspension: The student is separated from the University for a specified period of time and may also be excluded from participation in any University-sponsored activity.
- Expulsion: The student is permanently separated from the University and may also be excluded from any University
- Denial of a Degree: A degree is not awarded.
- Revocation of a Degree: A previously awarded degree is rescinded
Proscribed General Conduct
Students at Montana Tech are expected to practice responsible behavior at all times. General misconduct is subject to University Sanction(s) by the Dean of Students. General misconduct is defined as conduct including, but not limited to, the following:
- Falsification: Forgery, alteration or misuse of University documents, records, instruments of identification, computer programs, or accounts.
- Unauthorized Access: Unauthorized access to any University building or unauthorized possession, duplication or use of means of access (Tech ID card, keys, etc.) to any university building or failing to timely report a lost key or ID card with access to university housing or buildings.
- False Information: Providing false information to any University official acting in performance of their duties or capacities.
- Harassment includes but is not limited to unwelcome verbal, psychological, graphic and/or written abuse directed at another, beyond a reasonable expression of opinion.
- Cyberbullying is repeated and/or severe aggressive electronic communications that are direct at another person or are intended to intimidate, harm, or control another person emotionally.
- Hazing includes but is not limited to acts that humiliate, ridicule, or endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. Participation or cooperation by the person(s) being hazed does not excuse the violation.
- Bystanding includes but is not limited to:
- Conduct of a student who is present when a violation of the Code of Student conduct occurs and who encourages, assists, or fails to take reasonable actions to prevent or stop conduct that could result in serious injury to a person, including sexual misconduct; or:
- Conduct of an organized group that encourages, assists, or fails to take reasonable actions to prevent or stop conduct that could result in serious injury to a person, including sexual misconduct.
- Physical assault which includes but is not limited to: physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature, physical contact that puts the person in fear for their physical safety, or physical contact that causes the person to suffer physical injury.
- Threatening and Intimidating Behaviors:
- A threat is defined as written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property.
- Intimidation is defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another.
- Tobacco: Smoking, Vaping, or tobacco use on campus is a violation of the Tobacco Free Montana Tech Policy and of this Student Code of Conduct.
- Alcohol: Use, possession, or distribution of intoxicants, including alcohol, in the buildings or on the grounds of Montana Tech except as expressly permitted by law or University policy is prohibited. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one (21) years of age.
- Drugs: Use, possession, manufacture, distribution or sale of narcotics or dangerous drugs as defined by city, state or federal laws. This includes mind-altering drugs, designer drugs or synthetic substances used as a substitute for a controlled substance, except as expressly permitted by law or University policy. This also includes the abuse, distribution, or improper use of prescription drugs.
- Disruptive Behavior: Substantial disruption or obstruction normal University or University-sponsored activities, including but not limited to studying, teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or fire, police, or emergency services.
- Violation of federal, state or local law on University premises or at University sponsored activities; violation of published University policies, rules or regulations.
- Acting to impair, interfere with or obstruct the orderly conduct, processes and functions of the University, including but not limited to:
- Use of amplification systems on the campus outside of University buildings except with written permission of Event Services.
- Failure to comply with directions of University officials acting in the performance of their duties.
- Failure to comply with any authorized Student Code of Conduct sanction(s)/condition(s).
- Causing, inciting or participating in any disturbance that presents a clear and present danger to self or or others, causes physical harm to others, or damage and/or destruction of property on University premises.
- Interfering with the lawful freedom of expression of others on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.
- Stolen Property: Theft or attempted theft of property or services or knowingly possessing stolen property on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.
- Defacing, tampering, damaging, or destroying University property or the property of any member of the University community.
- IT and Acceptable Use: Unauthorized or illegal use of the University’s telephone system, mail system, computers, or computer network, or use of any of the above for any illegal act.
- University IT Policy: A violation of any of the I.T. policies found here: https://mtech.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/1921/Portal/KB/?CategoryID=13222
- Fire Safety: Violation of local, state, federal, or campus fire policies, including but not limited to:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire which damages University or personal property or which causes injury;
- Failure to evacuate a University-controlled building during a fire alarm;
- Improper use of University fire safety equipment; or
- Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment while on University property. Such action may result in a local fine in addition to University sanctions.
- Wheeled Devices: Skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, bicycles, electronic hover boards, and similar devices are not permitted to be ridden inside University buildings. Bicycles are not permitted inside University buildings for storage, except as allowed in the residence halls and family housing by policy. Additionally, skateboards and other wheeled items may not be operated in a dangerous or reckless fashion, or on railings, curbs, benches, or any such fixtures that may be damaged by these activities. Individuals may be liable for damage to University property caused by these activities. Failure to yield to pedestrians or failure to abide by traffic laws/rules on campus is considered a conduct violation.
- Animals: Animals, with the exception of service animals and authorized assistance animals, are not permitted in campus buildings or on campus without a leash. Not cleaning up after animals on campus is also a conduct violation. Montana tech’s policy and procedures for Service Animals, Assistance Animals and Pets. Contact Disability Services for more information: www.mtech.edu/disability/
- Abuse of Conduct Process: Abuse or interference with, or failure to comply with, University process including conduct and academic integrity hearings, including but not limited to:
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information;
- Failure to provide, destroying, or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the campus conduct system;
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a campus conduct body prior to, during and/or following a campus conduct proceeding;
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the campus conduct system;
- Influencing, or attempting to influence, another person to commit an abuse of the campus conduct system.
- Arrest: Failure of any student to accurately report the student’s arrest by any law enforcement agency to the Dean of Students within seventy-two (72) hours of for any violent, sexual, or felony crime that occurs on University premises, at University sponsored activities, or off-campus. A felony crime is a crime for which more than one year in prison may be imposed.
- Other Policies: Violation of other published regulations, rules, or policies as stated in but not limited to: Residence Life Handbook, Student Athletic Handbook, Responsible Research, and Parking Rules and Regulations.
Procedures for Non-academic Misconduct
This overview gives a general idea of how Montana Tech’s campus conduct proceedings work, but it should be noted that not all situations are of the same severity or complexity. Thus, these procedures are flexible, and are not exactly the same in every situation, though consistency in similar situations is a priority. The campus conduct process and all applicable timelines commence with notice to an administrator of a potential violation of Montana Tech policy or other rules.
- Once notice or a report is received from any source (victim, RA, 3rd party, online, campus security, etc.), the Dean of Student or Residential Life officials may proceed with a preliminary investigation and/or may schedule an initial educational meeting/conference with the responding student to explain the conduct process to the responding student and gather information.
- Incidents involving alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct that occur within any of the Housing areas are investigated and adjudicated by designated Residence Life staff.
Incidents that occur outside of the housing areas are investigated and/or adjudicated by the Dean of Students and/or other designated staff. In some instances, incidents that occur off campus will be investigated and/or adjudicated by the Dean of Students. Serious cases with potential sanctions of Suspension or Expulsion from the University will be referred directly to the Dean of Students, regardless of where they originate.
A report must be submitted in writing and is reviewed by the Dean of Students. a preliminary investigation to determine if an alleged violation has occurred. If a determination is made that no violation occurred, then the referral is closed. If he determination is made that an alleged violation may have occurred, then the investigation continues.A student or students will be notified via their student email account that a report has been received and their attendance to discuss this report is requested. The student will be presented with the alleged charge(s) that are being investigated as well as their rights through the conduct process. The findings and sanctions could be discussed at this meeting based on any evidence that was found to validate that a violation of the policy occurred. If additional investigation is required a meeting will be set to share any relevant findings. Except for interim action that may be taken by the University, disciplinary sanctions are not imposed until the final resolution of the charges or until the deadline for a final appeal has passed. The Flow chart below details the process and timelines.
- The student has three (3) options in response to the outcome of the Findings Letter:
- To accept the findings and the sanctions issued;
- To not accept the findings and/or the sanctions issued and commence the appeal process; or
- To not respond at all. The student has five (5) working days to respond to the Findings Letter after being issued.
- If the student signs the Findings Letter that they are accepting the outcome, the case is closed, and sanctions are imposed. A copy of the letter is kept on file by the Dean of Students and a copy is given to the student.
- If the student does not accept the Findings Letter or sanctions, the student can appeal the finding to the Student Judicial Board.
- If the student chooses not to sign or respond to the Findings Letter within five (5) working days, the findings and sanctions are accepted, and the student loses the right to appeal the case further. This letter is kept on file by the Dean of Students and a copy is provided to the student.
In determining a sanction, the Dean of Students may consider the student’s present and past disciplinary record, including Residence Hall disciplinary record; the nature of the offense; the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from the violation; and other factors relevant to the case. If the student is found to have violated the Code of Student Conduct, the Dean of Students may impose one or more of the following sanctions:
- Censure and Warning: Written notification that the student’s behavior is unacceptable and that continuation or repetition of such conduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.
- Disciplinary Probation: A written reprimand including a statement that any further violation of University policy may result in suspension or expulsion.
- Interim Suspension: Immediate separation from the University for a period defined by the Dean of Students to: 1. ensure safety and well-being of people and property; or 2. prevent disruption or interference of normal operations of the University.
- Suspension: Termination of a student’s enrollment at the University for a specified period of time. This may also include restricting access to campus or University events during the suspension.
- Expulsion: Permanent termination of enrollment, including no further access to campus or any University events without written approval from the Dean of Students.
- Restitution: Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. At the discretion of the Dean of Students, this may take the form of work, community service, or other compensation such as service to the University community.
- Withholding or Revocation of a Degree: A degree is withheld, or a previously awarded degree is rescinded. This sanction may be imposed when a person who is no longer enrolled is found to have violated the Code during the time of enrollment (see “Definitions of Student”).
- Chemical/Mental Health Assessment: Performed by a qualified chemical dependency counselor for the purpose of determining possible patterns of abuse. The student is encouraged to follow the treatment recommendation(s) provided by the counselor.
- Other: In addition to or in place of the above, other sanctions may be imposed such as eviction from University housing, restriction or banning from certain on-campus facilities, restriction or prohibition from attending campus events or participating in campus activities, and requirements to attend and complete classes, programs, workshops, and/or counseling sessions. Details of the terms of the sanction will be provided to the student in writing.
The student who is found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct may appeal the decision of the Dean of Students following a student conduct hearing by emailing a letter of appeal to Student Judicial Board within seven (7) calendar days of the Dean of Student’s decision. Sanctions shall be kept in abeyance pending the determination on appeal, except that any interim sanctions shall continue.
The letter of appeal must specifically allege and factually support one or more of the following grounds:
- The student’s rights as set forth in this Code of Student Conduct were violated (i.e., there was an error in the procedure or the interpretation of the Code of Student Conduct which substantially affected the student’s ability to receive a fair hearing); and/or
- New evidence, unavailable during the original investigation, has been discovered that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the letter of appeal.
The decision of the Student Judicial Board shall be based on the record only and is the final decision of the University. A copy of the decision shall be sent to the charged student, the complainant (if any) and included in the record. Detailed Policy and procedures for the Student Judicial Board can be found in the ASMT Constitution.
The student may seek further administrative review by the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Board of Regents pursuant to Montana University System Policy and Procedures Manual, 203.5.2.
recommendations deemed advisable.
Appeals originating from other hearing agencies must be initiated by the student within ten (10) days immediately following the decision of the previous hearing agency. Students may initiate an appeal by contacting the Dean of Students.
The Board will meet to discuss the validity of the appeal. In deciding whether to grant or deny an appeal hearing, the Appeals Board’s considerations must be procedural and objective. The only reasons to be taken into consideration will be the three criteria questions:
- Did the original Hearing Officer act in good faith by providing full information, and was the student afforded full due process?
- Were the expectations and sanctions established by the original Hearing Officer within the context and purpose set forth by the Student Conduct Code?
- Is there substantial new information which was not made known to the original Hearing Officer?
The burden of proof for answering these questions rests upon the individual making the appeal.
The Board, after examining the appeal submitted based upon one or more of the criteria questions, may find that there is no basis upon which to grant an appeal hearing. In this instance, the Chair of the Board will notify the student in writing of the Board’s determination. A copy of this notification will also be sent to the decision maker.
If the Board determines that the grounds for appeal have been met, the Board will notify the student and the decision maker that it has accepted the appeal and schedule a hearing date and time. The Provost will identify and designate and appropriate person to present the case for the University. This person may be a University official, staff member, attorney or other designees. The respondent and complainant (if applicable) will be notified of the identity of this person at three (3) business days before the hearing.Procedures/Deliberations
- Hearing Proceedings
- Hearings are Closed to the Public: To protect the privacy rights of student participants, hearings are generally closed to the public. An open hearing may be held at the discretion of the Chair if requested by the respondent, if agreeable to the complainant (if applicable), and if there are no apparent overriding individual privacy issues.
- Elements of the Hearing: Although the exact structure and flow of each hearing may vary, in general, University Conduct Board hearing proceedings will include the following:
- Hearing are recorded at University expense. This is the official recording to the hearing. Other recordings of the hearing are not permitted.
- Introduction of all parties
- Statement of the charges against the respondent
- Presentation of the University’s case, including an opening statement, evidence, and any witnesses
- Presentation of the respondent’s case, including an opening statement, evidence, and any witnesses
- Opportunities throughout for the respondent to ask questions, for the University presenter to ask questions, and for Conduct Board members to ask questions
- Closing statements
- Conduct Board deliberations (all parties other than Board members are excused)
- Additional Characteristics of Conduct Board Hearings:
- 1. Formal (legal) rules of evidence do not apply.
2. The Chair determines the admissibility of any evidence presented including witness testimony, rules on all procedural issues, and may put in place additional procedural rules during the hearing consistent with this Code. Any of the Chair’s rulings may be overruled by a majority of the Conduct Board members.
- 1. Formal (legal) rules of evidence do not apply.
- Conduct Board Deliberations and Decisions:
- The deliberations of the Conduct Board will include two distinct phases:
- The Board is charged with rendering a decision about findings and/or sanctions within five (5) working days after the close of the hearing. All votes are by majority rule and the Chair has a vote in all cases.
- The Board develops a written decision that includes:
- Findings for each specific charge.
- A statement of the reasons for the decision(s); and
- A description of the sanctions (if applicable).
- The Board written decision is provided to the respondent, the Officer for Community Standards, and the Vice Provost for Student Success for review. In cases involving student complainants , notification of the Board's decision is also made to the complainant consistent with this Code and constraints of individual privacy rights of the respondent.
- Failure to Appear for a University Conduct Board Hearing: A respondent who fails or refuses to appear after proper notice of a University Conduct Board hearing is considered to have waived their rights to be heard by the Board. In this case, the University will find the student to be in violation of the Code of Conduct as charged and will impose the disciplinary sanctions specified in the statement of charges. Sanctions of suspension or expulsion require approval of the Vice Provost for Student Success.
- Hearing Officer Option: If a case is transferred to the University Conduct Board during a time when the Board will not be able to hear the case within a reasonable period of time (e.g. between semesters, during the summer, during other academic breaks), the President of the University (or designee) may, when it appears to be in the best interest of the University and/or the student(s) involved, appoint an impartial Hearing Officer to conduct the hearing following the general procedures described in this Code.
The University reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate interim action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community.
A student may be temporarily suspended from the University, evicted from University Housing, prohibited from being on campus property, restricted or prohibited from campus events, and/or restricted in other ways by the Dean of Students or designee pending University disciplinary proceedings.
If there is evidence that the student’s continued presence on campus, at certain activities, or at certain locations, constitutes a threat to others or to the continuance of normal University operations, or if a student is facing criminal charges, interim suspension, eviction, and/or restrictions may be imposed effective immediately and without prior notice.
Right to Hearing: In cases of interim suspension, eviction, or restriction, the student may appear before the Academic Standards Committee, within five (5) working days from the effective date of the suspension or eviction to discuss the following:
- The reliability of the evidence against the student.
- Whether the alleged conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the student’s presence on campus constitutes a threat to others or to the continuance of normal University operations.
The Academic Standard Committee will determine if the interim action will continue.
Interim Medical Amnesty
To mitigate barriers to requesting medical aid that may be caused by consumption or use of alcohol or drugs, a Medical Amnesty policy shall apply to:
- Students who request aid for themselves;
- Students who request aid for another student(s);
- Students for whom aid is rendered; and
- Students whose violations of alcohol or drug policies were discovered because of a call for medical assistance.
In the situation where a student needs medical assistance, the student(s) who requests and/or receives emergency medical aid and fully complies with University, medical, and/or law enforcement personnel will not be issued disciplinary sanctions nor have conduct files created for any violation of the University’s drug or alcohol policies that occurred in connection with the reported incident.
If Montana Tech becomes aware of students who violated the drug or alcohol policies because of a call for medical assistance, then these students will also be covered by the Medical Amnesty policy.
In order for amnesty policies to apply, Montana Tech may require students involved to participate in an alcohol/drug education program or seek medical treatment for alcohol and/or drug abuse, but these requirements will not be recorded as disciplinary sanctions.
The following are not covered by the Medical Amnesty policy:
- Other violations occurring concurrently with the alcohol or drug consumption, such as hazing, causing or threatening physical harm, vandalism, and/or possession with the intent to distribute drugs
- If a University or other official has already responded or is on scene, then medical amnesty does not apply
Students and organizations may be subject to disciplinary measures if they discourage or otherwise interfere with outreach to emergency medical services or law enforcement in the event of a medical emergency.
Montana Tech encourages students to call for help anytime there is concern for their own health or the health of others. The Dean of Students may issue sanctions to students and organizations, including but not limited to the alcohol or drug sanctions, to students and organizations who purposely misuse the Medical Amnesty policy.
This policy does not preclude or prevent action by police or other legal authorities pursuant to relevant state or federal criminal statutes. Montana has multiple laws offering Good Samaritan protections: MCA § 50-32-609 provides protections in situations involving drugs, and MCA § 45-5-624(10) provides protections in situations involving minors in possession of alcohol.Report Non-Academic Violation
As a result of growing national trends on college campuses of mental health issues and the increase in unsafe behaviors leading to harm or death, campuses have established Behavioral Intervention Teams (BIT). Montana Tech’s BIT is a team of appointed professionals responsible for identifying, assessing, and responding to serious concerns and/or disruptive behaviors related to students that may threaten the health or safety of the campus community as well as giving a little extra care to our students in need.
Concerning behaviors include, but are not limited to: emotional distress, suicide ideation, disordered eating, self-injury, threatening behavior towards others, and suspected substance abuse. If you have questions about whether a behavior is considered a “concerning behavior”, please contact the Office of Student Affairs 406-496-4198.