Appeals From Matters in Student Handbook

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Student Appeals from Matters in the Student Handbook or Similar Provisions in the University’s Web Site.

The University anticipates that all undergraduate students, like other constituent members of the University Community, will abide by those matters set forth in this Student Handbook, the Christian Life perspective, the Lifestyle Expectations, or similar “lifestyle” provisions set forth on the University web site.  In the event of the failure of a student to abide by these expectations, the University has adopted an appeals process to assure that such issues are governed in an equitable and Christian manner.

1. Minor infractions of the Student Handbook or similar “lifestyle” provisions set forth on the University web site.  Minor infractions will be resolved at the "grass roots" level, by informal decision by the appropriate University representative.  No appeal shall exist as to such minor infractions.    

2. University response to a major infraction by a student of the Student Handbook or similar “lifestyle” provisions set forth on the University web site.  If the University determines that a student has  violated (a) the Student Handbook, the Christian Life Perspective, or the Lifestyle Expectations;  or (b) a “lifestyle” provision set forth on the University Web site, the University shall (a) initially discuss such matter with the Student on an oral basis; (b) determine an appropriate response to the violation; and (c) advise the student in writing of the University response (“University Response”), which may take the form of any or all of the possible consequences outlined below.  If the student fails to object to the University Response within 48 hours by filing an appeal under the Student Handbook Appeals Policy below, such University Response shall be deemed to be final for all purposes, and no appeal may be taken by the student regarding the University Response.

3. The Student Handbook appeals policy.

All appeals by any Student regarding any University Response to (a) any matters set forth in the Student Handbook, the Christian Life Perspective, or the Lifestyle Expectations; or (b) similar “lifestyle” provisions on the University web site,  shall be governed by this Student Handbook Appeals Policy, which takes precedence over any other similar appeals process, written or oral, adopted by any division or school of the University. Capitalized terms shall have the meaning set forth in this Student Handbook Appeals Policy.

Academic appeals are not governed by the Student Handbook Appeals Policy, but are governed by the Academic Appeals process.

Definitions

For purposes of this Student Handbook Appeals Policy, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

Student Handbook Appeal shall mean any appeal by a Student which relates to or  bears upon any University Response to any matters set forth in the Student Handbook, the Christian Life Perspective, the Lifestyle Expectations, or similar “lifestyle” provisions on the University web site.

Student Handbook Appeals Committee shall mean that committee of  Faculty Members, or Administrators, chosen by the VPSD (who shall act as the chairman of the Student Handbook Appeals Committee), numbering three, including the chairman.  Membership on the Student Handbook Appeals Committee shall be in the sole discretion of the VPSD, and may be changed as he may determine in his sole discretion.

Student Handbook Appeals Process shall mean this Student Handbook Appeals Policy.

Administrator shall mean any member of the administration of the University.

University Response shall mean any written response by the University to an allegation that a student has violated (a) any matters set forth in the Student Handbook, the Christian Life Perspective, or the Lifestyle Expectations; or (b) similar “lifestyle” provisions on the University web site.  Such University Response shall be in writing and delivered to the student.

Final Action shall mean the final act by the University which terminates the Student Handbook Appeals process.  As to the First Appeal, such Final Action shall occur upon the Student’s failure to timely file a Notice of Appeal.   As to the Second and Final Appeal, such Final Action shall mean the entry of the Written Decision at the end of the Fourth and Final Appeal.

Faculty Member shall mean any faculty member of the University, whether full time, part time, or adjunct professor.

Notice of Appeal shall mean a written document prepared, signed, and dated by a Student, and verified as truthful by the Student, which (a) clearly identifies the basis for the Student Handbook Appeal pursued by the Student; (b) clearly identifies any Faculty Member or Administrator who is involved in the Student Handbook Appeal; (c) clearly identifies any other parties who may have knowledge of matters related to the Student Appeal; and (d) attaches copies of any and all documents which the Student believes to be relevant to the Student Handbook Appeal.  Such Notice of Appeal must be timely filed with the VPSD.

Student shall mean any undergraduate student at the University whether full time or part time. 

University shall mean Northwest Nazarene University.

Written Decision shall mean the written decision of the appropriate party representing the University under the First Appeal or the  Second and Final Appeal, which such Written Decision shall be in writing, signed and dated by such appropriate party and granting or denying (in whole or in part) the Student Handbook Appeal pursued by the Student.

VPSD shall mean the University’s Vice President for Student Development.

Appeals Process

First Appeal.  A Student who believes that a University Response is adverse to the Student may pursue a first appeal of the University Response by filing with the VPSD a Notice of Appeal within 48 hours of his receipt of the University Response.  Any such First Appeal shall  be determined by the VPSD.   The VPSD shall provide the Student notice of a hearing (if any) regarding such First Appeal, and shall issue a Written Decision regarding such First Appeal within seven days of receipt of the Notice of Appeal or the hearing whichever is later.  Any failure by the Student to timely file such a Notice of Appeal shall be deemed to be (a) a waiver of any further appeal; and (b) a Final Action  by the University.   

Second and Final Appeal.  If a Student is dissatisfied with the resolution proposed by the VPSD under the First Appeal, the Student may pursue a Second Appeal, but only if the student files a Notice of Appeal with the VPSD within 48 hours of entry of the Written Decision of the First Appeal.  Any such Second Appeal shall be determined by the Student Handbook Appeals Committee.   The VPSD shall provide the Student notice of a hearing (if any) regarding such Second and Final Appeal, and the Student Handbook Appeals Committee shall issue a Written Decision regarding such second and Final Appeal within seven days of such hearing.  Any decision by the Student Handbook Appeals Committee shall constitute the Final Action of the University regarding the Student Handbook Appeal.  

Policies

Except as the VPSD may allow in his sole discretion, only the Student may appear on his own behalf at any stage of the Student Handbook Appeals Process.  The Student shall not have a right to the presence of an attorney during the Academic Appeal process.  No rules of process or procedure shall apply at any stage of the Student Handbook Appeal process.

Any time frames referenced in this Student Handbook Appeals Policy may be shortened or extended, but only in writing, at the sole and exclusive discretion of the VPSD.  Any right to a hearing shall be within the sole exclusive discretion of the VPSD.

This Student Handbook Appeals Policy shall be the sole policy of the University regarding Student Handbook Appeals, and shall take precedence over any other student handbook appeals process, written or oral, adopted by any division or school of the University.  Any Written Decision from which the Student does not timely file a Notice of Appeal shall be considered to be the final decision by the University regarding the Student Handbook Appeal.  

All matters raised in a Notice of Appeal or at any stage of a Student Handbook Appeal shall be considered to be confidential.  At the commencement of each stage of the Student Handbook Appeal the following statement shall be read:

This is a reminder that confidentiality is an integral part of the appeal process.  All parties who take part in any stage of the Student Handbook Appeals process may consider sensitive or confidential information in order to conduct appeals.  Absent an overriding duty of disclosure imposed by policy, statute or law upon the University, all Notices of Appeal and other documents or testimony shall  be considered to be confidential.

All materials related to the Student Handbook Appeal pursued by a Student shall be retained in the Student’s records at the University for a period of no more than four years.

4. Possible consequences and outcomes of an appeal, a violation of the Christian Life Perspective, Lifestyle Expectations, or similar web provisions.  As an institution, the University strives to make an outcome of an appeal appropriate to the activity involved.  As a part of this policy the University reserves the right to impose any consequence as a part of any University Response to an appeal under the Student Handbook Appeals Process.  Those consequences of an adverse appeal from the University, or a violation of the Christian Life Perspective, Lifestyle Expectations, or similar on provisions reflected in the University’s web site (“Adverse Action”), include but are not limited to the following:

Warning, reprimand, or community service: An Adverse Action may result in a warning, reprimand, or a requirement of community service. 

Fine:  An Adverse Action may result in the University imposing a fine upon the Student to be paid as required in writing by the University.

Limitation of privileges: An Adverse Action may result in the University restricting the student’s privileges from any or all campus activities.      

Probation:  An Adverse Action may result in the University imposing disciplinary probation upon the student, including but not limited to the student’s ability to represent the institution. 

Suspension:  An Adverse Action may result in the involuntary, complete or partial suspension of the student from the University for a specified length of time, which may include the current term and/or the following term.

Dismissal: An Adverse Action may result in the University dismissing the student from the University for a period of one or more years. 

5. No Refund.  In the event of probation, suspension or dismissal of the student, the student shall not be entitled to any refund of any fees or costs from the University.   Re-enrollment of the student at the University following probation, suspension or dismissal shall be at the sole discretion of the University.