Student Code of Conduct
Behavioral Standards and Expectations
As a Christian institution, Esperanza College of Eastern University is an academic community that strives to be characterized by Christian principles in all facets of its common life. While we recognize that there is great diversity among us in terms of commitment and belief as members of the community, we nonetheless submit ourselves to the example of Christ Jesus in our dealings with one another. His example of love, gentleness, meekness, and goodness shall be the standard that we seek in all of our interpersonal relationships. Individuals who choose to become part of the Esperanza College of Eastern University community are asked to adhere to policies that represent high standards of ethical and moral behavior, both on and off the campus. These behavioral expectations serve the aims and purposes of the college as a Christian institution and are in the best interests of students, faculty, and staff alike.
The following are specific violations of college policy for which students should expect to be held responsible and which will result in disciplinary proceedings:
- All forms of dishonesty including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, theft, furnishing false information on or off campus, publication of false information anywhere (including in online communities), altering documents with the intent to defraud. Using a false or forged ID card of any type.
- As a Christian community, Esperanza College of Eastern University expects a sexual lifestyle that is consistent with our understanding of biblical teaching. For our community, inappropriate displays of affection are not acceptable and sexual intimacy is prohibited outside of marriage between a man and a woman.
- The use, sale, distribution and/or possession of all illegal drugs on or off campus. Evidence of drug use/possession such as odors, items used to mask odors, paraphernalia, and storage containers will be seen as a violation of policy.
- The use of racial or ethnocentric invectives, epithets, slurs, utterances, or physical acts or threats (written or spoken) used to attack or injure another individual rather than express an idea, ideology, or philosophy. Racial and ethnic intimidation and harassment is illegal in the state of Pennsylvania. Students are encouraged to report incidents relating to racial and ethnic intimidation and harassment to the local police and to the Deans.
- Gambling and gaming for money, exchanging chips or markers for money is prohibited. The College does not condone the participation in games for money (or other things of value) on campus, through the Internet or at ECEU sponsored events off campus. Clubs and organization leaders planning fundraising activities should consult with the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Success; review the college’s position as well as state and federal law. College organizations and groups may conduct fundraising events that include raffles, auctions, and such, provided the event is approved by the office of Academic and Student Success well in advance of the advertising of the event. Students are encouraged to seek assistance for gambling related concerns early.
- Tobacco products/devices and their use are not permitted on campus or in areas adjacent to the campus.
- Beverages containing alcohol, being found with alcoholic beverages, use or possession of alcoholic beverages or the presence of “empties” in the campus.
- Coercive or unwelcome sexual behavior, including sexual assault, rape, acquaintance rape, indecent liberties (verbal or physical) or related actions.
- Lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct or activities, whether demonstrative, visual, verbal, written or electronic.
- Verbal threats or abuse, harassment, intimidation, threatened or actual physical assault, disregard for the rights and welfare of others, activities that cause or threaten emotional, mental, or physical harm or suffering; actions or words that demean the dignity of an individual, actions that interfere with or cause interference with another student’s academic performance and/or process.
- Returning to campus drunk or intoxicated.
- Possession or use of firearms or weapons, including air rifles, air pistols, knives, potato guns or blowgun, ammunition, or explosives (fireworks) in or upon university-owned, supervised, or adjacent property.
- Violations of fire safety including use of explosive devices such as fireworks, any open flame, candles, hotplates, incense, space heaters, halogen bulbs, heat lamps and other items that pose a fire hazard of any kind. The use of these items will result in no less than a $50.00 fine for the first offense. No warnings will be given.
- Failure to wear in a visible place on your upper body your Eastern Student ID Card and identify oneself immediately when requested to do so.
- The intentional disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other university activities.
- Theft from or damage to university premises or damage to property of a member of the university community.
- Failure to comply with requests or directions of university officials acting in performance of their duties.
- Violations of law on or off university premises.
- Students participating in university-sponsored, off-campus class trips or activities, social, academic or sports related are expected to observe on-campus behavioral expectations for the duration of the off-campus activity.
- Students who host or participate in events off campus where underage or excessive drinking occurs jeopardize their enrollment at the university.
- Retaliation, intimidation, or coercion directed against any member of the community, anyone who intends to register a complaint or anyone who has done so. Any member of the community who, after appropriate investigation, is determined to have retaliated against a complainant or one who expresses the intent to complain (or against any other party involved) will be subject to disciplinary action. If any member of the Esperanza College community believes s/he has been retaliated against, that person should consult immediately with a dean
- Defamation of others through word, print, visual media, or other vehicles.
- Academic Dishonesty: The student is responsible to become familiar with acceptable standards for research and documentation and to abide by them. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:
- Plagiarism or presenting words, pictures, ideas, or artwork that are not your own as if they were your own in spoken, written or visual form. In written work, three or more words taken directly from another author must be enclosed in quotation marks and footnoted. The source of distinctive ideas must also be acknowledged in a footnote. The words or ideas of another are not made your own work simply by paraphrasing. A paraphrase, even if acknowledged in a footnote, is unacceptable unless specifically permitted by the instructor.
- Submitting a paper written by another student or another person as if it were your own.
- Submitting a paper written by you for another course or occasion without the explicit knowledge and consent of the instructor.
- Fabricating evidence or statistics that supposedly represent your original research.
- Cheating of any sort on tests, papers, projects, reports, and so forth. Each faculty member is required to send a record, together with all evidence of all cases of academic dishonesty, to the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success.
Reporting Academic Dishonesty
If you believe that someone is engaging in inappropriate academic behavior, the approach used should be consistent with what is described in Matthew 18:15-17. This means that you should go to the person and explain your concern. If he or she changes behavior, you will have made a valuable contribution to that person’s academic and spiritual life. If he or she refuses to change, ask your instructor to be more vigilant and alert because you have reason to believe that academic dishonesty is occurring. Depending upon the nature of the behavior, you may or may not wish to name names at this point. If this general request does not work, explain to the faculty member in more detail what you believe to be happening, including the name(s) of those involved and specific examples of the inappropriate behavior. It then becomes the responsibility of the faculty member to deal with the situation. If there is no apparent change after this step, take your complaint to the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Success.
Academic Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
When academic honesty is violated, according to the definition adopted by the faculty and whatever additional definition the instructor has published to his/her students, the instructor may choose one of the following penalties according to his/her assessment of the severity of the infraction and any extenuating circumstances:
- Assign a grade of F or zero on the paper, project or examination but allow resubmission, resulting in a maximum grade of C.
- Assign a grade of F or zero on the paper, project, or examination without the opportunity for re-submission.
- Assign a grade of F in the course.
In all cases the instructor will forward in writing evidence of the academic dishonesty and the academic penalty to the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Success.
Disciplinary Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
All cases of academic dishonesty will be referred to the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success. If disciplinary action is warranted, the case will be reviewed by the Dean. The following disciplinary actions may occur in addition to the academic penalty:
- First Offense: Warning or Suspension with Disciplinary Probation.
- Second Offense: Suspension for a minimum of one full semester, usually longer or Disciplinary Probation. If the student is found to have committed academic dishonesty is a graduating senior at the end of the semester of the offense, participation in graduation will not be permitted.
- Third Offense: Indefinite suspension (no less than two semesters), and/or possible expulsion. It is unlikely that a person found to be in violation of the academic integrity policies of the College more than twice would obtain a degree from the College.
The principle of accountability is basic to providing a climate in which students are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions. Students who violate university expectations and standards are held accountable for their behavior. Students can expect to be confronted, counseled, advised, and, when warranted, disciplined. As a Christian institution, Esperanza College reserves the right to dismiss at any time a student whose conduct is inconsistent with the aims and objectives of a Christian educational community. Esperanza seeks to provide a climate of trust and trustworthiness and therefore is committed to a process that will ensure essential fairness for its students. Practices in disciplinary cases may vary in formality with the gravity of the offense and the sanctions that are applied. The disciplinary authority of the college is vested in the Executive Dean.
Rights of the Accused
An individual accused of misconduct shall be granted the following prerogatives. These standards represent the minimal procedural protection to be accorded to students charged with most disciplinary violations:
- To know the nature of the charges.
- To request the counsel of his/her academic advisor.
- To receive a reasonable time to prepare for a hearing. 1
- To remain silent when his/her response might be self-incriminating.
- To receive the decision in writing.
- To appeal the decision.
A hearing is defined as a meeting with College Personnel to answer to the charges. According to court decisions, universities are not expected to develop regulations that are written with the scope or precision of a criminal code. Rare occasions may arise when conduct is so inherently and patently dangerous to the individual or to others that extraordinary action not specifically authorized in this policy may be taken including immediate suspension or expulsion.
A. Initial Information
- Any member of the Esperanza community may report information regarding an alleged incident of misconduct to any member of the Academic and Student Success Staff.
- The identity of the informant shall remain confidential insofar as possible.
- When an incident occurs, it is the responsibility of the Dean to determine whether to:
- Dismiss the matter without disciplinary action; or
- Invoke disciplinary sanctions in those instances wherein the best interest of the individual and the community are best served by private proceedings.
- The Dean (or designee) shall assume responsibility for the preliminary investigation of the alleged incident.
- All pertinent sources of information shall be consulted in order to determine the validity of the initial information. Those sources might include the student’s professor, academic advisor, and witnesses.
- The matter shall be discussed with the accused.
- The student shall have the right to request the counsel of his/her academic advisor during the investigation. This request is at the initiative of the student.
- The Dean shall have the power to suspend a student pending final adjudication of any case where a student is disruptive to the learning and/or living community and is a danger to self or others or for other reasons deemed necessary.
- The College is not obligated to defer disciplinary investigations, hearings or decisions awaiting the outcome of criminal charges pending in various courts.
C. Hearing Procedures
These procedures shall be in effect whether the matter is being considered by the Executive Dean.
- The focus of inquiry in disciplinary proceedings is to determine whether the student has violated the College’s policies and should therefore be held accountable. Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable, nor shall deviations from prescribed procedures necessarily invalidate a decision or proceedings, unless significant prejudice to the accused or the college may result.
- The hearing shall be open only to those individuals having a direct, and personal interest in the proceedings, at the discretion of the Executive Dean. Hearings are not open to lawyers engaged by the student.
- The accused must notify the Executive Dean prior to the scheduled time of the hearing if he or she cannot be present. Failure to appear at the scheduled time without prior notification may result in adjudication of the matter in the student’s absence.
- On occasions in which the incident of alleged misconduct involves more than one student, the Executive Dean reserves the right to consider the cases separately or jointly.
- The Dean shall raise questions pertinent to the alleged incident, to the attitude of the accused, and to his/her previous behavior.
- All parties, including the accused, shall be excused from the room when the questions are concluded.
- A judgment as to whether the student has violated university policy will be made. The disciplinary action, if any, shall be determined by the Executive Dean.
- The decision shall be reported to the accused by the Executive Dean as soon as possible. The notification shall include information pertinent to the decision.
- This may be done verbally when possible.
- This will be reported in writing even if reported verbally.
D. Judiciary Board Members
The Judiciary Board is made up of voluntary academic staff, administrative staff, and students and is convened by the Executive Dean on a case-by-case basis as deemed necessary.
The following sanctions are ones that may be involved when disciplinary action is taken:
- Growth Initiative: A Growth Initiative is a policy that grants the possibility of immunity from punitive discipline if a student initiates an appointment with their Program Director, prior to the knowledge of inappropriate behavior coming to the attention of university officials.
- Censure: The action implies that the student’s behavior was inappropriate and not to be condoned. Conditions of the censure may be given in writing to the student.
- Disciplinary Probation: Such probation implies that the offense was of a more serious nature. The probation becomes part of the record on file with the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success’s Office. The length of the probationary period will be defined for each case. When on disciplinary probation, one may or may not be eligible to participate in co-curricular activities in which the student would represent the university to individuals and groups outside of the university. Violations during the probationary period will usually result in a more punitive response.
- Restitution: The offender is required to make reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. Reimbursement may take the form of appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damages or fines. Restitution may be combined with another of the possible disciplinary sanctions.
- Work Assignment: The requirement to perform certain duties as restitution for inappropriate behaviors and actions or in some cases in lieu of fines.
- Fines: Under certain circumstances, a monetary fine may be assessed. It will be posted to the student’s account along with notation as to the nature of the fine.
- Leave of Absence: When a student’s behavior and/or attitude seems inconsistent with university expectations, it may be determined that the student should take a leave of absence to evaluate himself/herself and his/her relationship to Esperanza College of Eastern.
- Suspension from the College: Participation in the university as a student is suspended. The suspension may be from a classroom or completely from the College. The suspension will normally be followed by a period of disciplinary probation. Students are subject to academic penalties for work missed as a result of disciplinary action. Faculty members are not obligated to permit make-up of missed assignments and examinations in such cases. The student does not receive a refund on tuition.
- Expulsion: Status as a student is terminated for an indefinite period with little, if any, likelihood of readmission. The student does not receive a refund on tuition.
Encouraging consistency in behaviors across departments is essential in character development. Students tend to compartmentalize and often do not think about how their choices and actions can affect themselves, others, and the College they represent. It is important to help students learn that their behavior/choices and affiliations have implications for them outside of the isolation of an “event”, especially if they are representing the University in a significant way. This approach encourages congruence as to who they are in all aspects of their lives, which is important for moral development and spiritual formation.
Academic Appeals and Grievances
An appeal is defined as a request to a higher authority to change a decision that was made, typically a decision that the student believes adversely affects her/his academic career. A grievance is a complaint or concern of a student regarding a faculty or staff member at the university. For any academic appeal or grievance, if a student is enrolled in class(es) while the case is being heard, the student is responsible for the policies and procedures associated with the class(es).
Students wishing to appeal a course grade should follow the process listed under “Grade Appeal Process.” The process for redress of grievances is found in the Student Handbook, under “Student Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities.”
If a student wishes to appeal an academic decision other than a grade/evaluative action, the student shall make a written appeal to the Associate Dean. The letter of appeal should include the date of the letter, the student's full name, the Esperanza College of Eastern University student identification number, the action requested, and detailed reasons for the request, including all supporting documentation. The appeal should be complete, since once submitted, the student will not be able to submit further evidence or request reconsideration by the Dean. The Dean may, at his/her discretion, limit his/her review to the written record provided, seek a meeting (in person or telephonically) with the student, and/or draw on a faculty group to review and advise. Within fifteen (15) business days of receipt during the academic year, the Dean will notify the student in writing of the Dean's decision with respect to the student's appeal.
Academic Petitions (Request for Exception to Policy)
If a student wishes to petition for an exception to an academic policy, the student shall petition the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success of the College in writing. The letter of petition should include the date of the petition, the student's full name, the student college identification number, the request (petition) for an exception, and detailed reasons for the request, including all supporting documentation. The petition should be complete, since once submitted, the student will not be able to submit further evidence or request reconsideration by the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success. The Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success may, at his/her discretion, limit his/her review to the written items provided, seek a meeting (in person or telephonically) with the student, and/or draw on a faculty group to review and advise. Within fifteen (15) business days of receipt during the academic year, the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success will notify the student in writing of the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success’ decision with respect to the student's petition.
Procedure for Student Appeals to ECEU Executive Dean
To appeal a decision by the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Success (including a decision on an academic petition) the student may appeal to the Executive Dean of ECEU. Within 7 days of the Associate Dean's transmittal electronically or by mail of his/her decision to the student, the student may appeal the Associate Dean's decision by sending a letter by certified mail or overnight courier or e-mail with a return receipt requested to the Executive Dean, with a copy to the Associate Dean. In this letter or email of appeal, the student shall state in detail why the decision by the Associate Dean lacks substantial evidence or was capricious or discriminatory. The student shall include the student's full name, the Eastern University student identification number, and an explanation of the grievance and supporting documents. The Executive Dean may, at his/her discretion, limit his/her review to the written items provided, seek a meeting (in person or telephonically) with the student, and/or draw on a faculty group to review and advise. Within fifteen (15) business days of receipt during the academic year, the Executive Dean will notify the student in writing of the Executive Dean’s decision with respect to the student's petition.
Procedure for Student Appeals to the Provost
To appeal a decision by the Executive Dean (including a decision on an academic petition) the student may appeal to the Provost of the University. Within 7 days of the Dean's transmittal electronically or by mail of his/her decision to the student, the student may appeal the Dean's decision by sending a letter by certified mail or overnight courier or e-mail with a return receipt requested to the provost, with a copy to the Dean. In this letter or email of appeal, the student shall state in detail why the decision by the Dean lacks substantial evidence or was capricious or discriminatory. The student shall include the student's full name, the Eastern University student identification number, the College the student is enrolled in, and an explanation of the grievance and supporting documents.
The provost may, at his/her discretion, limit his/her review to the written record provided, seek a meeting (in person or telephonically) with the student, and/or draw on a faculty group to review and advise. The provost shall affirm the decision of the Dean unless the provost determines that the Dean's decision is arbitrary and capricious or otherwise lacks substantial evidence, in which case the provost may remand the matter to the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success with instructions. The decision of the provost shall be final.
Esperanza College Dress Code
Proper attire is defined as follows:
|Jeans (without holes)||Shorts higher than 2" above the knee|
|Shorts (no shorter than 2" above the knee)||Skirts higher than 2" above the knee|
|Skirts (no shorter than 2” above the knee)||Low-cut, see-through, or tight clothing|
|Capri pants||Tops that expose the midriff area|
|Dresses||Extremely tight clothing|
|Dress pants||Any jeans/shorts with holes|