Apr 01, 2020  
2019-2020 Student Handbook 
    
2019-2020 Student Handbook

Student Code of Conduct (Pre 2020)


The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Student Handbook
(Pre 2020)

 


Student Code of Conduct

A. INTRODUCTION

(1) Students at the University of Tennessee are members of both the University community and the larger community of which the University is a part. Accordingly, students are responsible for conducting themselves in a lawful manner and in compliance with University rules and policies. The University has established the following rules in order to advance the mission of the University by maintaining a safe and secure learning environment, protecting the rights and privileges of all members of the University community, providing a basis for orderly conduct of the affairs of the University, promoting a positive relationship between the University and its surrounding community, preserving institutional integrity and property, encouraging students to engage in conduct that brings credit to themselves and the University, and ensuring that each student who matriculates at the University graduates ready to contribute to society as an ethical and law-abiding citizen.

(2) The University of Tennessee is committed to respecting students’ constitutional rights. Nothing in this chapter is intended or shall be interpreted to restrict students’ constitutional rights, including, but not limited to, rights of freedom of speech and assembly.

(3) Disputes between organizations (except in fraternity/sorority cases which may be within the jurisdiction of the appropriate Greek governing council and/or the Dean of Students office) shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his or her designee.

(4) The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his or her designee shall have jurisdiction over disputes between individual students and organizations when such arbitration is requested by either of the parties involved.

B. DEFINITIONS

(1) The term “University” means the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

(2) The term “student” means a person admitted, enrolled or registered for study at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies, as well as non-degree students. Persons not officially registered or enrolled for a particular term but who are eligible to enroll or have a continuing relationship with the University also are considered students for purposes of these rules.

(3) The term “student organization” means an organization composed of University students that has submitted a pending application or completed the process for registration according to University rules.

(4) The term “University-controlled property” means all land, buildings, facilities, grounds, structures, or any other property owned, leased, used, maintained, or operated by the University. For purposes of this rule, University-controlled property includes all streets, alleys, sidewalks, and public ways abutting such property. University-controlled property also includes computers and network systems owned, maintained, or controlled by the University or funded by the University.

(5) The term “University-affiliated activity” means any activity on or off University-controlled property that is initiated, aided, authorized, sponsored, or supervised by the University.

(6) The term “University official” means an employee of the University, including faculty members and staff, or a University-recognized volunteer. Student employees may be considered University officials when acting in the performance of their duties (e.g., event staff, resident assistants, and teaching assistants).

(7) The term “member of the University community” means any person who is a student, University official, campus visitor, or participant in a University-sponsored or University-affiliated activity.

(8) The term “possession” means actual knowledge of a substance or property and/or being in such close proximity to the substance or property that it is a reasonable presumption that one had knowledge of the substance or property.

(9) The term “weapon” means any device, instrument, or substance that is designed to, or reasonably could be expected to, inflict a wound, incapacitate, or cause serious bodily injury or death, including, but not limited to, firearms (loaded and unloaded, real firearms and devices that appear to a law enforcement officer to be real), ammunition, electronic control devices (such as tasers and stun guns), devices designed to discharge an object (such as bb guns, air guns, pellet guns, potato guns, and slingshots, but not water guns), explosives, dangerous chemicals (such as mace, tear gas, and oleoresin capsicum), martial arts weapons, bows and arrows, artificial knuckles, nightsticks, blackjacks, dirks, daggers, swords, and knives with fixed blades longer than four (4) inches. The term “weapon” does not include pocket knives that fold (but not excluding switchblades); chemical repellents available over-the-counter for self-defense; instruments used solely for personal hygiene, preparation of food, maintenance, University-related instruction, or University employment-related duties.

(10) The term “notice” means notice given in writing and transmitted by United States mail, courier service, and/or hand delivery to the address the University’s Registrar has on file for the student; and/or by e-mail to a student’s University-provided e-mail account. When a notice is transmitted by United States mail or courier service, the notice is effective on the date that it is mailed or delivered to the courier service. When a notice is transmitted by hand delivery, the notice is effective on the date that it is delivered to the person to whom the notice is addressed. When a notice is transmitted by e-mail, the notice is effective on the date that the e-mail is sent. A student’s University-issued e-mail address is an official method of communication used by the University about student conduct matters.

(11) The term “coercion” means words and/or conduct that, viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person, substantially impair(s) a person’s ability to voluntarily choose whether to engage in a particular sexual act (e.g., sexual contact or sexual intercourse). Coercion is something more than mere seduction or persuasion. Coercion includes, without limitation: physical force; and words and/or conduct that would cause a reasonable person to fear imminent: harm to the person’s health, safety, or property or that of a third person; threat of the loss or impairment of a job benefit; threat of the loss or impairment of an academic benefit; kidnapping of the person or a third person; or disclosure of sensitive personal information (e.g., disclosure of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression).

(12) The term “consent” means an affirmative and voluntary agreement by a person to engage in a specific sexual act. Consent must be obtained, and the responsibility for obtaining consent rests with the individual who voluntarily and physically initiates a specific sexual act, even if the other person initiated the sexual encounter.

(a) One’s own use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain Consent from the other person. Moreover, another person’s use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent from that person.

(b) The term “affirmative,” as used in the definition of consent, means that consent is communicated only through words and/ or non-verbal actions that convey a clear agreement to engage in a specific sexual act. Whether person has communicated an agreement to engage in a specific sexual act generally is evaluated from the perspective of what a reasonable person who perceived the individual’s words and/or non-verbal actions would have understood; however, in the context of a long-term relationship between persons that has involved sexual activity and a pattern of communicating consent, whether consent has been communicated may be evaluated based on a subjective standard (i.e., what did the specific person who initiated the specific sexual act conclude?). A verbal “no” (or words equivalent to “no”) or the nonverbal communication of “no,” even if it sounds or appears insincere or indecisive, always means that consent has not been communicated, or if previously communicated has been withdrawn. The absence of a verbal “no” or the absence of a nonverbal communication of “no” does not necessarily mean that consent has been communicated. Because interpreting non-verbal actions may lead to misunderstanding and a violation of this policy, students are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution and not rely solely on the non-verbal actions of another person in concluding that the other person has communicated consent. The University urges students to communicate with one another before engaging in a sexual act to ensure that they both wish to engage in the same sexual act.

(c) Consent cannot be obtained by or inferred from:

1. silence that is not accompanied by non-verbal actions conveying a clear agreement to engage in a particular sexual act;

2. consent communicated by the other person on a previous occasion;

3. consent communicated to another person;

4. the other person’s failure to resist physical force (however, for purposes of this policy, the other person’s resistance to physical force will be viewed as a clear demonstration that the person has not communicated consent);

5. the sexual arousal of the other person;

6. a current or previous dating, romantic, intimate, or sexual relationship with the other person;

7. currently or previously cohabitating with the other person;

8. the other person’s attire;

9. the other person’s reputation;

10. the other person’s giving or acceptance of gifts; or

11. the other person’s extension or acceptance of an invitation to go to a private residence, room, or location.

(d) Consent is not voluntary if it is obtained by coercion. Nor is consent voluntary if it is obtained from a person who is incapacitated if one knows (or a reasonable person would know) that the other person is incapacitated. Because the incapacitation of another person may be difficult for one to discern, students are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution (i.e., when in doubt, assume that the other person is incapacitated and therefore unable to give consent.)

(e) Consent must be continual, which means that consent must exist from the beginning to the end of each sexual encounter and for each specific sexual act that occurs during a sexual encounter. A person has a right to change his/her mind; thus, consent to engage in a specific sexual act may be withdrawn by a person at any time. A withdrawal of consent is communicated through clear words and/or clear non-verbal actions that indicate that a person no longer agrees to engage in a specific sexual act. Once a person’s withdrawal of consent has been communicated, the other person must cease the specific sexual act and must obtain consent before reinitiating the specific sexual act or any other sexual act. Consent is automatically withdrawn when a person becomes incapacitated. Consent to one type of sexual contact or sexual intercourse (e.g., oral intercourse) does not constitute or imply consent for another type of sexual contact or sexual intercourse (e.g., vaginal intercourse), whether during a sexual encounter or during a previous sexual encounter. The University urges students to communicate with one another throughout a sexual encounter to ensure that any progression of sexual activity is done with consent.

(13) The term “course of conduct” means two (2) or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about another person, or interferes with another person’s property.

(14) The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim of the violence. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the following factors: (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, without limitation, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

(15) The term “domestic violence” means a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed:

(a) by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;

(b) by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;

(c) by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;

(d) by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or

(e) by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

(16) The term “good faith” means having a belief in the truth of information that a reasonable person in the same situation could have, based on the information known to the person communicating the information at the time the information was communicated by that person. Information is not communicated in good faith if it is communicated with knowing or reckless disregard for information that would negate the former information.

(17) The term “incapacitated” or “incapacitation” means a temporary or permanent physical or mental state in which a person cannot make informed, rational judgments (e.g., judgments concerning sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or sexual exploitation) because: the person lacks the physical or mental capacity to understand the nature or consequences of their words and/or conduct; and/or the person is unable to physically or verbally communicate consent. Incapacitation can be voluntary or involuntary. Incapacitation is determined based on the totality of the circumstances. Incapacitation may result from: sleep; unconsciousness; intermittent consciousness; temporary or permanent physical or mental disability; involuntary physical restraint; or the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances, including, without limitation, substances used to facilitate sexual assault (e.g., Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, and Burundanga). Alcohol and drugs are common causes of incapacitation. When alcohol or drugs are involved, Incapacitation is a state beyond mere drunkenness or intoxication. The impact of alcohol and drugs varies from person to person; however, warning signs of incapacitation may include, without limitation: lack of control over physical movements (e.g., inability to dress/ undress without assistance; inability to walk without assistance); lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings; vomiting; unresponsiveness; and inability to communicate coherently. A person who is under the age of eighteen (18) (i.e., a minor) is incapable of giving consent; however, a person who is at least the age of thirteen (13) and less than the age of eighteen (18) is capable of giving consent to sexual acts with another person who is less than four (4) years older than them.

(18) The term “reasonable person” means a sober, objectively reasonable person in the same situation, and with the same sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation as the person whose words and/ or conduct are being evaluated.

(19) The term “relationship violence” means dating violence and/or domestic violence.

(20) The term “retaliation” means an act (i) taken by a student (including an act taken through a third party) because of another person’s participation in a protected activity (ii) that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in protected activity. Protected activity includes a person’s good faith: (i) opposition to conduct prohibited under the Standards of Conduct; (ii) report to the University about conduct prohibited under the Standards of Conduct to the University; (iii) participation (or reasonable expectation of participation) in any manner in an investigation, meeting, hearing, or interim measure; or (iv) exercise of rights or responsibilities under any provision of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Retaliation violates the Standards of Conduct regardless of whether the underlying allegation of a violation of the Standards of Conduct is ultimately found to have merit. Retaliation can include an act taken against a person’s family, friends, advisors, and/or other persons reasonably expected to provide information in connection with a University investigation or hearing.

(21) The term “sexual assault” means engaging in sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of that person.

(22) The term “sexual contact” means the intentional touching of another person (including another person’s clothing) in a sexual manner with any part of one’s body or with any object. Sexual contact also means intentionally causing another person to touch themselves (including their clothing) in a sexual manner. Whether a touching was done in a sexual manner is determined from the perspective of a sober, objectively reasonable person in the same situation and with the same sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation as the person who was touched.

(23) The term “sexual exploitation” means an act or attempted act by a person for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, financial gain, or other personal benefit through the abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality. Examples of sexual exploitation include, without limitation: observation of a person who is undressed or engaging in sexual contact or sexual intercourse, without the consent of all persons being observed (in a place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy); creation or distribution of images, photography, an audiotape, or a videotape of sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or a person’s intimate parts (i.e., genitalia, groin, breasts, buttocks) without the consent of all persons being recorded or photographed; prostituting another person; allowing others to observe, either in person or electronically, sexual contact or sexual intercourse without the consent of all persons involved in the sexual contact or sexual intercourse (in a place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy); and knowingly exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection without informing the other person that one has a sexually transmitted infection.

(24) The term “sexual harassment” means with respect to the conduct of a student, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe or pervasive, and objectively offensive, that it substantially interferes with the ability of a person to work, learn, live, or participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the University. In no event shall the term “sexual harassment” be construed to prohibit speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (e.g., mere insulting or offensive speech). Sexual harassment may include, for example, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and acts of sexual assault. The term “sexual harassment” also means, with respect to the conduct of a student-employee (when acting as a student-employee): unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s participation in an educational program; submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for evaluation or advancement in an educational program; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. To determine whether conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration shall be given to the totality of the circumstances, including without limitation: the context in which the conduct and/or words occurred; and the frequency, nature, and severity of the conduct and/or words.

(25) The term “sexual intercourse” means the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object; or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person.

(26) The term “sexual misconduct” means sexual harassment, sexual assault, and/or sexual exploitation.

(27) The term “stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition, the term “reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

(28) The term “substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

(29) The term “UAPA” means the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, Tennessee Code Annotated § 4-5-101 et seq.

(30) The term “UAPA Hearing” means a hearing conducted by an administrative judge or hearing officer in accordance with the University’s procedures for conducting a contested case pursuant to the UAPA, Chapter 1720-01-05.

C. JURISDICTION

(1) The Standards of Conduct apply to conduct that occurs on University-controlled property.

(2) The University also has the discretion to discipline a student for an act in violation of the Standards of Conduct that occurs off University-controlled property if the conduct adversely affects the interests of the University, including, but not limited to, conduct which:

(a) occurs in connection with a University-affiliated activity, including, but not limited to, an overseas study program or a clinical, field, internship, or in-service experience;

(b) involves another member of the University community; or

(c) threatens, or indicates that the student may pose a threat to, the health or safety of him/herself or others or the security of any person’s property, including, but not limited to, alcohol-related offenses, drug-related offenses, arson, battery, fraud, hazing, participation in group violence, rape, sexual assault or misconduct, stalking, and theft. The above-listed examples of off-campus conduct that is subject to discipline are separate and independent grounds for discipline, and one ground for discipline shall not be interpreted in any manner to modify, explain, or limit any other ground for discipline.

(3) The Standards of Conduct have been adopted in furtherance of the University’s interests and serve to supplement, rather than substitute for, the enforcement of the civil and criminal law. Accordingly, University disciplinary action may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and the Standards of Conduct without regard to the pendency of criminal charges or civil litigation. At the discretion of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, or his/her designee, disciplinary action relating to a violation of the Standards of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal proceedings. Students accused of violating the Standards of Conduct may not challenge the University disciplinary proceedings on the grounds that criminal charges, civil litigation, or other University proceedings regarding the same incident are pending or have been terminated, dismissed, reduced, or not yet adjudicated. The University may refer matters to federal, state, or local authorities for prosecution when appropriate.

(4) Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment (and even if conduct is not discovered by the University until after a degree is awarded). Should a student withdraw from the University with disciplinary charges pending, the student’s academic record and/or ability to register for classes may be encumbered by the appropriate University office.

(5) Graduate or professional programs within the University may initiate charges against students for alleged violations of professional standards or ethics as a separate issue or as an extension of alleged acts of academic dishonesty or other violations of the Standards of Conduct.

D. STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

A student or student organization may be disciplined for the following types of misconduct:

(1) Cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to, an act in violation of The Honor Code.

(2) Providing false information to a University official.

(3) Falsifying, distorting, misrepresenting, or withholding information in connection with a University investigation or hearing.

(4) Forging, altering, destroying, falsifying, or misusing records, identification, or documents.

(5) Causing physical harm to any person (including oneself); endangering the health or safety of any person (including oneself); engaging in conduct that causes a reasonable person to fear harm to his/her health or safety; or making an oral or written statement that an objectively reasonable person hearing or reading the statement would interpret as a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.

(6) Harassment, which is defined as unwelcome conduct that is so severe or pervasive, and objectively offensive, that it substantially interferes with the ability of a person to work, learn, live, or participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the University. In no event shall this rule be construed to discipline a student for speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (e.g., mere insulting or offensive speech).

(7) Engaging in sexual misconduct, relationship violence, or stalking.

(8) Invasion of another person’s privacy when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, using electronic or other means to make a video or photographic record of any person in a location in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the person’s knowledge or consent. This includes, but is not limited to, making a video or photographic record of a person in shower/locker rooms or restrooms. The storing, sharing, and/or distributing of such unauthorized recordings by any means is also prohibited.

(9) Theft, misappropriation, unauthorized possession, or unauthorized sale of private or public property, including but not limited to University-controlled property.

(10) Vandalizing, destroying, damaging, engaging in conduct that reasonably could cause damage to, or misusing private or public property, including but not limited to University-controlled property.

(11) Participating in hazing. “Hazing” is defined as any intentional or reckless act, on or off University-controlled property, by one student, acting alone or with others, which is directed against any other student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that student, or which induces or coerces a student to endanger his or her mental or physical health or safety, and includes treatment of a violent, abusive, shameful, insulting, or humiliating nature. Without limiting the foregoing, such action is prohibited when connected with initiation into or affiliation with an organization and does not include participation in customary athletic events or similar competition.

(12) Engaging in disorderly conduct, which means: fighting or other physically violent or physically threatening conduct; creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose; making noise that could unreasonably disturb others who are carrying on lawful activities; or conduct that breaches the peace.

(13) Engaging in lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct. “Lewd, indecent, or obscene” conduct includes, but is not limited to, public exposure of one’s sexual organs, public urinating, and public sexual acts.

(14) Engaging in speech, either orally or in writing, that is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

(15) Any act of arson; falsely reporting a fire, the presence of an explosive or incendiary device, or other emergency; setting off a false fire alarm; or tampering with, removing, or damaging fire alarms, fire extinguishers or any other safety or emergency equipment from its proper location except when removed in a situation in which there is a reasonable belief of the need for such equipment.

(16) Possessing, using, or duplicating University keys, access cards, or identification cards without authorization; possessing, using, or entering University-controlled property without authorization.

(17) Theft, misuse, or unauthorized use of information technology facilities, resources, or access codes, including, but not limited to: unauthorized entry into or transfer of a file; using another person’s identification and/or password without that person’s consent; using information technology facilities or resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, staff member, or other member of the University community; using information technology facilities or resources to interfere with normal operation of a University information technology system or network; circumventing University information technology system or network security; using information technology facilities or resources in violation of copyright laws; falsifying an e-mail header; and conduct that violates the University’s policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources.

(18) Possessing, using, storing, or manufacturing any weapon or any facsimile of a weapon on University-controlled property or in connection with a University-affiliated activity, unless authorized in writing by the Chief of Police or his/her designee.

(19)Consuming, manufacturing, possessing, distributing, dispensing, selling, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages on University-controlled property or in connection with a University-affiliated activity.

(20) Consuming, manufacturing, possessing, distributing, dispensing, selling, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages, if prohibited by federal, state, or local law.

(21) Providing an alcoholic beverage to a person younger than twenty-one (21) years of age.

(22) Using, manufacturing, possessing, distributing, selling, dispensing, or being under the influence of drugs or drug paraphernalia, if prohibited by federal, state, or local law; using or possessing a prescription drug if the prescription was not issued to the student; or distributing or selling a prescription drug to a person to whom the prescription was not originally issued.

(23) Failing to pay a University bill, account, or other University financial obligation.

(24) Failing to respond to a request to report to a University administrative office; failing to comply with a lawful directive of a University employee or other public official acting within the scope of his/ her duties; or failing to identify oneself to a University employee or other public official acting within the scope of his/her duties when requested to do so.

(25) Failing to appear at a University hearing, including, but not limited to, a hearing of a University judicial board, following a request to appear either as a party or as a witness.

(26) Violating the terms of an interim suspension, a no-contact directive, or a disciplinary penalty imposed by the University.

(27) Obstructing or disrupting teaching, learning, studying, research, public service, administration, disciplinary proceedings, emergency services, or any other University-affiliated activity, or the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic. In no event shall this rule be construed to discipline a student for speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(28) Violating a University policy or rule as stipulated herein or as promulgated and announced by authorized personnel, including but not limited to University policies or rules relating to facilities use, smoking, the acceptable use of information technology resources, research or service misconduct, finder’s fees relating to clinical investigations involving human subjects or access to University data or materials, University libraries, dining services, parking or transportation, University identification card use, sexual harassment, residence halls, and registered student organizations.

(29) Committing an act that is prohibited by local, state, or federal law.

(30) Attempting to commit a violation of a Standard of Conduct or being an accessory to the commission of an act or attempted act in violation of a Standard of Conduct.

(31) Engaging in retaliation.

E. INVESTIGATIONS OF STUDENT CONDUCT

(1) All University investigations shall be conducted in an ethical manner, keeping in mind the rights of students. The following regulations shall be strictly observed.

(2) In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, and other applicable law, the University will defined as the entry into an occupied room by University officials in order to ascertain the health and safety conditions in the room, or to make repairs on facilities, or to perform cleaning and janitorial operations. Search is defined as the entry into an occupied room by on-campus authorities for the purpose of investigating suspected violations of campus regulations and/or city, state, or federal law. An emergency situation exists when the delay necessary to obtain search authorization constitutes a danger to persons, property, or the building itself.

(a) Inspection: Scheduled inspections by University officials, with the exception of daily janitorial and maintenance operations, shall be preceded, if possible, by twenty-four hours notice to the residents. During the inspection, there will be no search of drawers or closets or personal belongings.

(b) Search: University officials will not enter a room for purposes of search except in compliance with state law or with the permission of the resident or the written permission of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his or her designee. University officials shall have, if possible, the Resident Director or his or her designee accompany them on the search.

F. DUE PROCESS AND STUDENT RIGHTS

(1) Due process shall guarantee to the accused student the following:

(a) The right to be informed of charges in writing prior to the hearing.

(b) The right of reasonable time in which to prepare a defense.

(c) The right to a fair and just hearing.

(d) The right to challenge all charges and testimony used against the accused student and to question witnesses.

(e) The right to be informed in writing of:

1. The final decision of his or her case.

2. The proper procedure for appeal.

(f) The right to be accompanied by an advisor he or she chooses, at his or her own expense.

1. The accused student is responsible for presenting his or her own information, and therefore, advisors are not to speak or participate directly in a University hearing.

2. Students should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the University hearing.

3. Delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor.

(2) Any student or student organization shall be formally charged in writing with the alleged offense. The date, time, and place of occurrence of the offense shall be stated on the statement of charges.

(3) The Dean of Students office must keep accurate records of each hearing and the disposition of each case.

(4) In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, and other applicable law, in a case involving an allegation of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, or stalking, the accused student and the alleged victim shall have the rights outlined in the University’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking. Additionally, in a case involving sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, the University shall provide the accused/student/ respondent with notice of the role of advisors (e.g., attorneys) in the student conduct process, including the extent to which they are allowed to advise or represent the student in an investigation or hearing. 

G. STUDENT CONDUCT HEARING PROCEDURES

(1) Conflicts of Interest

(a) The student conduct process must be carried out in a manner that is free from conflicts of interest consistent with due process of law.

(b) In cases involving allegations of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, the student conduct process must include protections for the accused student/respondent analogous to, and no less protective than, the conflict of interest provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated § 4-5-303. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence: (1) an attorney for the University is allowed to provide legal advice to multiple University employees who serve in different roles in the process of disciplining a student; and (2) the University is allowed to provide the alleged victim/complainant with equivalent rights as the accused student/respondent during the student conduct process.

(2) Complaints

(a) Any member of the University community may present a complaint to the Dean of Students office against a student for violations of the Student Code. Any complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. Any charge(s) shall be prepared in writing by the Dean of Students office.

(b) All charges shall be presented to the accused student in written form.

(3) Hearing Options

(a) An accused student desiring to contest the charge(s) against him or her must do so by requesting a hearing within five (5) days of his or her receipt of written notice of the charge(s).

(b) The accused student(s) may, at his or her option, request a hearing before a panel of individuals (Student Conduct Board) or by a University Hearing Officer selected by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (or his or her designee). A hearing before a Student Conduct Board will be chaired by a University Hearing Officer similarly selected. Board members and hearing officers shall be impartial and anyone lacking such impartiality shall recuse him/herself or may be removed by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs upon request of any party to a University hearing. Neither an employee in the Office of Student Conduct nor a person who investigated the allegations of misconduct against the accused student shall serve as a University Hearing Officer, be a member of the Student Conduct Board, or advise the University Hearing Officer or the Student Conduct Board.

(c) A requested hearing shall be scheduled promptly after receipt of the request.

(d) In the absence of a voluntary written waiver of the accused student’s right to a hearing under the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA) (T.C.A. § 4-5-101 et seq.), when the UAPA requires the University to offer the accused student a hearing under the UAPA, a requested hearing will be conducted in accordance with the University’s rules for conducting contested case proceedings under the UAPA, Chapter 1720-01-05, and the procedures in this Section .07 shall not apply.

(4) Notice of Hearing Concerning Allegations of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking. At least seventy-two (72) hours prior to a hearing concerning allegations of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, the University shall provide the accused student/respondent with notice of the following: (1) the time, place, and date of the hearing; (2) the name of each witness the University expects to present at the hearing and those the University may present if the need arises; (3) notice of the right to request a copy of the University’s investigative file, redacted in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, (20 U.S.C. § 1232g), and the federal regulations implementing that statute, as amended; and (4) notice of the right to request copies of all documents, copies of all electronically stored information, and access to tangible evidence that the University has in its possession, custody, or control and may use to support claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment.

(5) Hearing Procedures – The Student Conduct Board or University Hearing Officer sitting alone will conduct the hearing within the following general guidelines:

(a) All University hearings shall be closed to the public.

(b) The accused student (and certain “victims” where permitted by law) and his or her advisor, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the University Hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations).

(c) Each party will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present all evidence, including witnesses, reasonably relating to the charge or action at issue; evidence which is irrelevant, immaterial, repetitious or voluminous may be limited.

(d) All procedural questions are determined by the University Hearing Officer.

(e) The Student Conduct Board or University Hearing Officer sitting alone will consider all evidence presented, giving due consideration to the credibility or weight of each item presented; technical rules of evidence will not apply.

(f) The standard for a finding of responsible is a preponderance of the evidence.

(g) Following the conclusion of the University hearing, the Student Conduct Board or University Hearing Officer sitting alone will consider the evidence and present written findings.

(h) An appropriate record will be made of the hearing procedures. Deliberations shall not be recorded. Defects in the record will not invalidate the proceedings.

(6) In cases involving an allegation of sexual assault or misconduct, the hearing procedures shall be modified to afford the alleged victim all of the rights described in Section F-4.

H. PENALTIES

(1) Disciplinary penalties are primarily intended to educate students and student organizations about appropriate behavior, encourage students and student organizations to take responsibility for misconduct, promote the personal and professional development of students, discourage other students and student organizations from violating the Standards of Conduct, and protect members of the University community. The penalties imposed should be appropriate for the particular case based on the gravity of the offense (including without limitation how the violation affected or reasonably could have affected other members of the University community). Consideration may also be given to the student’s or student organization’s conduct record, the student’s or student organization’s responsiveness to the conduct process, student academic classification, and other aggravating or mitigating factors.

(2) The following penalties may be imposed on any student found to have violated the Standards of Conduct:

(a) Warning. A notice that the student is violating or has violated the Standards of Conduct.

(b) Loss of Privilege. This penalty is intended to serve as a reminder of the Standards of Conduct and is for a specific period of time. Privileges that may be lost include, but are not limited to, scholarships, stipends, participation in extracurricular activities (e.g. intramurals), housing privileges, participation in social activities, and use of certain University-controlledproperty (e.g., information technology resources).

(c) Educational Sanction. Students may be required to attend classes, at their own expense, dealing with issues such as the consequences of alcohol or drug use, civility, ethics, or other topics as deemed appropriate by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee.

(d) Restitution. Restitution may be required in situations that involve destruction, damage, or loss of property, or unreimbursed medical expenses resulting from physical injury. Restitution may take the form of a monetary payment or appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for the destruction, damage, or loss.

(e) Disciplinary Reprimand. A disciplinary reprimand is used for minor violations of the Standards of Conduct. A reprimand indicates that further violations will result in more severe disciplinary actions.

(f) Disciplinary Probation. This penalty permits a student to remain at the University on probationary status but with the understanding that a future violation of the Standards of Conduct may result in suspension. Other conditions of probation are specific to each individual case and may include a requirement of community service or other requirement or restriction.

(g) Suspension for a Specific Period of Time. Suspension for a specific period of time means that the student is withdrawn from the University and is not eligible to apply for readmission for a designated period of time. Usually, the period of designated suspension does not exceed one (1) calendar year. Other conditions of suspension are specific to each individual case and may include a requirement of community service or other requirement or restriction.

(h) Permanent Dismissal. Permanent dismissal means that a student is permanently barred from matriculating as a student on the Chattanooga campus. This penalty is used when the violation of one or more of the institution’s Standards of Conduct is deemed so serious as to warrant total and permanent disassociation from the University community without the possibility of re-enrollment; or when, by his/her repeated violation of the institution’s Standards of Conduct, a student exhibits blatant disregard for the health and safety of other members of the University community or the University’s right to establish rules of conduct.

(i) Revocation of Admission or Degree. Revocation of admission or degree means revoking a student’s admission to the University or revoking a degree already awarded by the University. Revocation of a degree shall be approved bythe University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.

(3) A disciplinary hold may be placed on a student’s account until the completion of the student disciplinary process or until the student satisfies the terms and conditions of any penalties imposed.

(4) The following penalties may be imposed on a student organization found to have violated the Standards of Conduct:

(a) Warning. A notice that the student organization is violating or has violated the Standards of Conduct.

(b) Educational Sanction. Student organizations may be required to attend classes, at their own expense, dealing with issues such as the consequences of alcohol or drug use, civility, ethics, or other topics as deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students or his/her designee.

(c) Loss of Privilege. This penalty is intended to serve as a reminder of the Standards of Conduct and is for a specific period of time. Examples of privileges that may be lost include participating in extracurricular activities (e.g., intramurals), housing privileges, participating in social activities, and using certain University-controlled property.

(d) Restitution. Restitution may be required in situations that involve destruction, damage, or loss of property, or unreimbursed medical expenses resulting from physical injury. Restitution may take the form of a monetary payment or appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for the destruction, damage, or loss.

(e) Disciplinary Probation. Disciplinary probation means that a student organization is permitted to retain University registration on a probationary status. Violation of the Standards of Conduct during the period of disciplinary probation may result in more serious penalties, including revocation of University registration.

(f) Revocation of University Recognition. In cases of serious misconduct, a student organization’s University registration may be revoked.

(5) More than one of the penalties listed above may be imposed for any single violation of the Standards of Conduct. Penalties may be applied retroactively to the date of the offense.

(6) Intoxication or impairment because of alcohol, drugs, chemicals, or other substances does not diminish or excuse a violation of the Standards of Conduct.

I. NO CONTACT DIRECTIVE

In cases involving allegations of assault, injury, sexual abuse, harassment, or where there is reason to believe continued contact between a student and specific persons, including complainants and witnesses, may interfere with those persons’ security, safety or ability to participate effectively in work or studies, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, or his/her designee, may require that the student not have verbal, physical, or written contact with specific persons for a definite or indefinite period of time. The student will receive written or electronic notice of the no contact directive. Any student, faculty or staff member or other person with a reasonable justification may request a no contact directive. In addition to an internal University no contact directive, complainants are advised that other similar options exist and can be obtained from law enforcement and civil and criminal courts.

J. INTERIM SUSPENSION

(1) When the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee has reasonable cause to believe that a student’s continued presence on University-controlled property or at University-affiliated activities poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of others or to property or poses an ongoing threat to the disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the University, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs o r his/her designee may impose an interim suspension prior to the conclusion of a full hearing on the alleged misconduct.

(2) An interim suspension shall be confirmed by a written statement that explains the basis for the interim suspension and shall remain in effect until the conclusion of a full hearing in accordance with the rules of the University of Tennessee, which shall be held without undue delay.

(3) Within three (3) business days of the imposition of the suspension, the student shall be offered an opportunity to appear personally before the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee in order to discuss the following issues only: (i) the reliability of the information concerning the student’s conduct; and (ii) whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the student’s continued presence on University-controlled property or at University-affiliated activities poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of others or to property or poses an imminent threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University.

(4) During an interim suspension, the student shall be denied access to University-controlled property, including residence halls, and all other University-affiliated activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee determines in his/her sole discretion to be appropriate. A student who receives an interim suspension and violates the terms of the interim suspension shall be subject to further disciplinary action and may be treated as a trespasser. Permission to be on University-controlled property or participate in University-affiliated activities may be granted by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee.

K. APPEALS

(1) Decisions of the Student Conduct Board or University Hearing Officer sitting alone may be appealed to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs by delivering a signed statement containing:

(a) A statement that he/she appeals the decision;

(b) A brief statement of the grounds for the appeal. The basis for filing an appeal is limited to the following grounds:

1. the student’s or student organization’s rights were violated in the hearing process;

2. new relevant material evidence or information has been provided that could not have been discovered at the time of the hearing;

3. the information presented did not support the decision by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) standard; or

4. the sanction(s) imposed were not appropriate for the violation

(2) The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs may:

(a) Uphold the decision;

(b) Amend the decision;

(c) Return the case for reconsideration; or

(d) Overturn the decision.

(3) Either Party may appeal to the Chancellor of the University. In cases of involving a finding that a student is guilty of sexual assault or misconduct, the alleged victim shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Student Conduct Board or University Hearing Officer to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

L. WITHDRAWAL OR TEMPORARY SUSPENSION DUE TO PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL ILLNESS

(1) When a student is unable to pursue his or her academic work effectively, or when his or her behavior is disruptive to the normal educational processes of the University, or constitutes a threat to members of the University community, due to, among other things, the use of alcohol, drugs, or other psychologically incapacitating illnesses or conditions, he or she may be withdrawn or temporarily suspended from the University as hereinafter provided.

(a) Withdrawal. A student may be withdrawn from the University only after an evaluation of his or her mental, physical condition, or behavior by a panel of at least three persons appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. The student shall be notified of the reasons for the evaluation and given an opportunity to present evidence to the committee. He or she shall enjoy the rights of normal due process procedures. The committee’s findings and recommendations shall be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs who will notify the student in writing of his or her decision. A student withdrawn under this procedure shall not be readmitted to the University without the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

(b) Grades. When a student is suspended or withdrawn from the University for reasons described in this section, he or she will be assigned a grade of “W”.

(c) Committee Composition and Hearing. The panel referred to herein will include at least one member of the faculty at large and representative of the Counseling Center or a psychologist. The Dean of Students or his or her designee would normally have responsibility for preparing the charges and presenting the case. The student in question would have the right to normal due process provisions.

(2) Temporary Suspension. Whenever a student, because of his or her mental or physical condition, is unable to pursue his or her academic work effectively, or is disruptive to educational processes or constitutes a danger to persons or property, he or she may be suspended from the University for a reasonable period of time by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. The University will then schedule a hearing within 5 class days of the beginning of the suspension. If the University does not withdraw the student after the hearing, he or she may return to the University at the end of the suspension period.

M. PARKING APPEALS

Appeals of student parking tickets are reviewed by the Student Parking Appeals Board. Decisions concerning the appeals are based on a majority vote of the Board.

N. COMPOSITION OF STUDENT PARKING APPEALS BOARD

(1) The Student Parking Appeals Board shall be composed of six student members plus a Chair and six alternates. Two students will be appointed by the Student Senate from the general student body. Two students will be appointed by the faculty, one appointed by the President of SGA, and one appointed by the Office of Student Affairs. Each appointing body shall also appoint the alternates. An alternate will serve when a regular member cannot be present or when a member is excused for reasons such as personal friendship with the principals.

(2) All members must have a 2.00 cumulative grade point average and be enrolled as full time students and not be on any form of probation.

(3) The Chair will be elected by the Board and votes in case of tie.

(4) A temporary chair will be elected by the members of the board in the event: (a) The Chair is a party to the case; (b) The Chair is absent; or (c) The Chair removes himself/herself from the case.

(5) Once appointed, students remain on the Student Parking Appeals Board until they terminate at the University, cease to be eligible to serve, or resign voluntarily.

O. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

When in the opinion of the Chancellor, conditions are such that there exists a clear and immediate danger to the physical safety or well-being of the members of the University community or safety of University property, he or she may direct that the accused student or organization be suspended pending initiation (and completion) of normal disciplinary proceedings provided those procedures are offered as soon as can reasonably be accomplished. The Chancellor may delegate this authority to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.