The Code of Student Conduct outlines behavioral standards developed by the University community for students and student organizations and the related procedures for addressing misconduct. Students and student organizations are responsible for actions that constitute misconduct and violate the Code of Student Conduct. Any student or student organization found responsible for misconduct may be subject to conduct sanction(s), condition(s), and/or restriction(s).
The Code of Student Conduct and related processes educate students about their rights and responsibilities while promoting holistic development, self-worth, and mutual respect for all members of the University community. Freedom of discussion, inquiry and expression is also fostered by an environment in which the privileges of citizenship are protected and the obligations of citizenship are understood.
The authority to enact and enforce regulations of the University is vested in the Board of Regents. The responsibility for enforcing the regulations and imposing penalties is delegated to the Chancellor and/or President of the University and any University officials the President designates. The Office of the Vice Provost, Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs is the principal agency for the administration of student discipline. Dean of Students, the Office of Student Conduct, and University Student Housing shall implement the student discipline procedures. All references to the officials listed above shall be interpreted to include persons designated to act on their behalf.
The University community has developed standards of behavior pertaining to students and to student organizations. Students and registered student organizations are subject to conduct action according to the provisions of the Code of Student Conduct. The University respects the rights and responsibilities of students and will consider each violation of University policy and each violation of federal, state and/or local law on a “case-by-case” basis and will further attempt to initially use educational options and subsequent intervention and/or prevention options to assist students.
The Code of Student Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on University premises, at University-sponsored activities and events, and may apply to off-campus behavior when the Dean of Students or Managing Director of Student Conduct determine that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial University interest, such as situations where a student’s conduct may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of him/herself or others; situations that infringe on the rights of other students; situations causing significant disruption to the educational community or detrimental to the educational mission of the University.. Proceedings under the Code of Student Conduct may be carried out prior to, independent of, concurrent with or following civil or criminal proceedings.
It is recommended that reports of alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct should be received by the Office of Student Conduct within ten (10) University working days of the alleged incident to initiate conduct procedures. There is no time limit on reporting violations; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the more difficult it becomes to obtain information and evidence regarding the incidents.
Incidents should be resolved within 60 days of notice regarding the incident, not including appeal. This timeline may vary depending on the availability of students to participate in the process, availability of evidence, delays for concurrent criminal investigations, breaks between academic semesters, and other delays
Notice is deemed to have been properly provided when written notification is placed in First Class U.S. Mail, campus mail, sent to the student’s official assigned Texas Tech University email address, or personally delivered to the student no less than five (5) University working days prior to the scheduled appearance. Failure of a student to receive notice does not prevent the conduct proceedings from being carried out. After proper notice has been given to the student, the Student Conduct Officer or designee may proceed with the review process and may issue a failure to comply code violation against the student. NOTE: Students are advised to keep their most current local address, permanent address, email address and local telephone number updated in the student records system at www.raiderlink.ttu.edu.
The proceedings are not restricted by the rules of evidence governing criminal and civil proceedings. The standard of proof used in University judicial proceedings is the preponderance of evidence, or more likely than not.
“Academic dishonesty” includes cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records, misrepresenting facts and any act or attempted act designed to give unfair academic advantage to oneself or another student. Additional information about academic integrity is available in the Texas Tech University community standards section.
Use or possession of any items used as weapons, including, but not limited to, handguns, firearms, ammunition, fireworks, pellet guns, paintball guns, BB guns, knives, or explosive or noxious materials on University premises except in accordance with federal, state, local law, and/or Texas Tech University policy. NOTE: See University Student Housing Contract Guide for specific approved devices allowed in the residence halls.
Gambling, wagering, gaming and bookmaking as defined by federal, state, local laws, and/or Texas Tech University policy are prohibited on University premises involving the use of university equipment or services.
Intentional sounding of a false fire alarm, falsely reporting an emergency or terroristic threat in any form, issuing a bomb threat, constructing mock explosive devices, destruction or activation of fire sprinklers, filing false police reports, or improperly possessing, tampering with or destroying fire equipment or emergency signs on University premises.
Unauthorized use of University information resources is prohibited, and may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to disciplinary sanctions, conditions and/or Page 18 of 86 restrictions pursuant to the Code of Student Conduct. “Information resources” means procedures, equipment and software, regardless of location, that are employed, designed, built, operated, and maintained to collect, record, process, store, retrieve, display, and transmit University information, and associated personnel, including consultants and contractors, regardless of whether the personnel are employed by the University or retained as independent contractors. Usage of TTU information resources may be subject to security testing and monitoring, and users have no expectation of privacy except as otherwise provided by applicable privacy laws. Use of information resources is also subject to the Information Technology Security Policies (http://depts.ttu.edu/infotech/security/), University Operating Policies, and other applicable laws. Abuse, misuse, or theft of University information resources includes, but is not limited to the following:
Knowingly furnishing false information to the University, to a University official in the performance of hisorher duties, or to an affiliate of the University, either verbally or through forgery, alteration or misuse of any document, record or instrument of identification.
Use of skateboards, rollerblades, scooters, bicycles or other similar modes of transportation in University buildings or on University premises in such a manner as to constitute a safety hazard or cause damage to University or personal property.
NOTE: Refer to University Parking Services Regulations at http://www.parking.ttu.edu/Resources/pdf/rulesregulations.pdf.
Violation of any published University policies, rules or regulations that govern student or student organization behavior, including, but not limited to, violations of University Operating Policies and Procedures and Texas Tech Regents Rules.
Misconduct which may constitute a violation of federal, state local laws, and/or Texas Tech University policy will be considered a violation of this policy, and will be investigated and adjudicated through the University conduct system and standard of proof. A lack of conviction in any criminal proceeding will not, in and of itself, serve as evidence in a University conduct proceeding.
To file allegation(s) of misconduct against student(s) or student organization(s), individuals should complete an online incident report form . The written allegation should describe the action or behavior in question. Individuals may also file a report in person at the Office of Student Conduct, located in suite 211 of the Student Wellness Building. Staff are also available in the Student Resolution Center and Dean of Students to take initial reports of allegations and assist with conduct processes. The Office of Student Conduct also regularly reviews reports submitted from University Student Housing and the Texas Tech Police Department.
Upon notice of an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct, The Dean of Students or The Managing Director of the Office of Student Conduct will appoint a student conduct officer/ investigator to review allegations of misconduct. The student conduct officer/investigator will inquire, gather and review information about the reported student misconduct and will evaluate the accuracy, credibility, and sufficiency of the information. Incidents will not be forwarded for a hearing unless there is reasonable cause to believe a policy has been violated. Reasonable cause is defined as some credible information to support each element of the offense, even if that information is merely a credible witness or complainant statement. If it is determined that the information reported does not warrant an allegation, a policy warning letter may be issued to clarify the policy that was in question. Unsupported allegation with no credible information will not be forwarded to a hearing.
When an initial report of misconduct by a third party does not identify the victim or the victim is not available, the investigator will investigate the reported incident to fullest extent of the information available.
When a Complainant is identified but is reluctant to participate in the investigative process and/or the student conduct process entirely, the university will make every attempt to follow the wishes of the complainant while weighing the interests of the campus community and the possibility of a continuing threat. If the Complainant does not want to participate in the investigative process but has no aversion to the university pursuing conduct action with respect to the named Respondent, the university will proceed with the student conduct process to the extent of the information available. If the Complainant does not want the university to pursue the report in any respect, the university will investigate further only if there is reason to believe that a significant continuing threat to the campus community exists.
Remedies & Resources
The University will take immediate action to eliminate hostile environments, prevent reoccurrence and address any effects on the victim and community. This includes immediate steps to protect complainants even before the final outcome of the investigations, including prohibiting the respondent from having any contact with the complainant. These steps will attempt to minimize the burden on the complainant while respecting due process rights of the respondent. Remedies for students may include, but are not limited to counseling services, victim’s advocate assistance, modifications to on-campus housing, modifications to parking permissions, and modifications to academic schedule. Remedies will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
No Contact Orders
When initial inquiry indicates persistent and potentially escalating conflict between two members of the university community, a No Contact Order may be issued as a remedial, non-punitive deterrent to further conflict or situational complication. A No Contact Order will be issued by the Office of Student Conduct or Dean of Students via the student’s official Texas Tech email. The notice serves as an official directive that the student(s) have no contact with the other listed parties. Contact cannot occur in person, by telephone, email, text message or other electronic means of communication, or through a third party (other than an attorney). Should contact need to occur, the student should coordinate with the Office of Student Conduct. This notice may also come with other information related to changes in class schedule or other restrictions to facilitate the no contact order. Failure to comply with the no contact order is considered retaliation and will result in disciplinary action, including possible suspension or expulsion. Violations of no contact orders may also result in immediate temporary suspension during the completion of the conduct process. The term of a No Contact Order is indefinite, unless otherwise stated in the Order.
Texas Tech University has a variety of resources to assist students involved in conduct processes or experiencing concerns related to other student conduct. Resources include, but are not limited to assistance in reporting criminal behavior to the Texas Tech Police Department or Lubbock Police Department, counseling services, medical assistance, academic support referrals, and other support services. The Student Resolution Center is also available to help students understand the student conduct process and identify resources.
A student will be given notice of his or her involvement in an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct by receipt of a “Notice of Involvement/Need to Talk” Letter. When preliminary information indicates that certain, identifiable student(s) are associated with the reported incident, those student(s) will be asked to meet with a student conduct officer/investigator.
In addition to other possible sanctions, conditions and/or restrictions, and in the event that a student fails to respond to written notification, an administrative hold may be placed on the student’s record to prevent further registration and transcript receipt. The administrative hold will remain until such time as the student conduct officer/investigator receives an appropriate response.
Failure to comply with or respond to a notice issued as part of conduct procedure and/or failure to appear will not prevent a Student Conduct Officer from proceeding with disciplinary action. Likewise, failure of a student to respond to notification to appear may result in additional alleged violations and result in a charge of Failure to Comply.
Immediate Temporary Suspension-Students
A student may be temporarily suspended pending completion of conduct procedures if, in the judgment of the Dean of Students, or on recommendation of a Student Conduct Officer/Investigator, the physical or emotional well-being of a student or other students or members of the University community could be endangered or if the presence of the student could significantly disrupt the normal operations of the University. The Dean of Students or designee will notify the Managing Director of the Office of Student Conduct to initiate appropriate conduct procedures to address the disruptive behavior within five (5) University working days from the date of temporary suspension.
Upon immediate temporary suspension, the student may no longer attend classes, use University services and/or resources, and is not allowed to be on campus until the conduct proceedings have been concluded. Any instances whereby the student should need to return to campus must be coordinated through the Office of Student Conduct and the Texas Tech Police Department.
Conduct, on or off campus, that typically results in interim suspension:
Immediate Temporary Suspension of Registration – Student Organizations
If it is determined that a student organization’s actions or activities are detrimental to the educational purposes of the University and/or not in accordance to the Student Handbook, that student organization will not be officially registered with the Center for Campus Life. The registration of a student organization may be temporarily suspended while an investigation is pending involving an alleged violation of registered student organization policies and procedures as outlined in the Student Handbook. The registered student organization will be afforded all due process guidelines as described in the Student Handbook.
Conduct, on or off campus, of members of a student organization that typically results in interim suspension:
Withdrawal of Consent
Grounds for Removal
The Student Conduct Officer or another University agent acting in accordance with his/her duties may recommend to the Dean of Students that, in accordance with the Texas Education Code, the student have his/her consent to remain on the campus withdrawn if, in the judgment of the Student Conduct Officer and Dean of Students, it is determined that:
If the Dean of Students concurs with the Student Conduct Officer’s recommendation, permission for the student to be on University premises will be withdrawn. This Withdrawal of Consent will not be longer than fourteen (14) calendar days and a hearing must be held within these fourteen (14) calendar days to determine the student’s status at the University. Permission to be on University premises must be coordinated through the Dean of Students and the Texas Tech Police Department. The Dean of Students will notify all parties of the final decision using the written notification procedures outlined in Part X, section C.1.a, above, within five (5) University working days.
Registration Flag Following Withdrawal of Consent
When a student is withdrawn under this section, an administrative hold will be placed on the student’s readmission to the University. This administrative hold will remain on the student’s records until the student is readmitted.
NOTE: See Texas Education Code, Sections 51.233-51.244 at http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/?link=ED.
Prior to the formal investigative process, a student will be provided a Student Rights and Responsibilities document. This document will be reviewed and signed by the student prior to an interview with the investigator/student conduct officer. The Student Rights and Responsibilities document informs the student of his or her rights to be exercised before and during the investigative process. Those rights include:
A trained investigator/student conduct officer will conduct a thorough, reliable, and impartial investigation of the reported incidents including meeting with the party bringing the complaint to finalize the complainant’s statement, interview witnesses, collect evidence, create timelines, and receive information from the respondent.
When initial inquiry indicates a concurrent police investigation is occurring, the investigator/student conduct officer will, where possible, collaborate with the Texas Tech Police Department during investigation. Elements of this collaborative investigation may include the investigator coordinating with responding officers at the scene of the incident, joint interviews with police detectives, and evidence sharing. The investigator will never take physical custody of any physical or electronic evidence, but will work closely with the Texas Tech Police Department to inspect, analyze, and incorporate physical or electronic evidence into the Investigative report.
Once the investigative process is complete, the investigator/student conduct officer will compile the relevant information and evidence into an Investigation Report, which may include a timeline of the event(s), statements from interviews, physical and electronic evidence, a breakdown of the discrepancies in the various interviews, and credibility considerations. The investigator will document any physical or electronic evidence in a manner that is conducive and unobstructive to concurrent or forthcoming police investigations.
A student will have access to the completed Investigation Report for his or her case at the Pre-Hearing phase, after the formal investigative process has concluded. In order to protect confidentiality, students will not be allowed to take a copy of the Investigation Report.
Once the investigative process is complete, the student will be given notice of a Pre-Hearing Meeting scheduled outside of the student’s academic schedule. Should students not participate in the Pre-Hearing, the conduct process may continue without their participation, including the assignment of allegations and Formal Hearing.
During this meeting, students will be given the opportunity to review the Investigation Report and other documents or evidence to be used in the Formal Hearing. While students may identify errors in their statements at this point, they are not able to add additional information to the Investigation Report during the Pre-Hearing unless that information, in the judgment of the investigator, was unavailable during the investigative process and is pertinent to the consideration of the case. If a student discovers new, previously unavailable information during the time after the Pre-Hearing but before the Formal Hearing, the student should inform the investigator/student conduct officer immediately. If the new information is pertinent to the consideration of the case, the investigator/student conduct officer will determine whether the new information should be included in the Investigation Report or presented verbally during the Formal Hearing. If there is new evidence introduced, other involved parties would also be given the opportunity to provide a response to any new evidence that will be presented in the Formal Hearing.
Formal Allegations will be assigned during the Pre-Hearing per the information and evidence gathered during investigation. Allegations are behaviors identified as Misconduct in Part 1B and are assigned for deliberation in the Formal Hearing by the Administrative Hearing Officer or University Discipline Committee to determine the student’s responsibility for misconduct. An Allegation Letter will be provided to the student in the Pre-Hearing Meeting or via other methods of notice.
Students may indicate whether an Administrative Hearing or University Discipline Committee Hearing is preferred. However, the Student Conduct Officer/Investigator has the sole discretion in all cases to designate whether an Administrative Hearing or University Discipline Committee hearing will be held notwithstanding the student’s preference.
In cases requiring a University Discipline Committee, the investigator/student conduct officer will share the pool of faculty, staff, and students trained for University Discipline Committees. Students will be given the opportunity to strike any member of the University Discipline Committee whose impartiality may be in question. Once the composition of the University Discipline Committee is set, the investigator/student conduct officer will schedule the Final Hearing no sooner than five (5) university working days from the date of the last Pre-Hearing. The five-day period can be waived by the Office of Student Conduct upon consultation with the involved student(s).
Once the investigative process is complete and formal allegations have been assigned, but prior to a formal hearing, a responding student has the option to resolve the issue informally. In order to effectuate an Informal Resolution, a responding student must (1) accept the finding(s) with regard to the allegations presented, and (2) accept the sanction(s), condition(s), and/or restriction(s) recommended by the Student Conduct Officer/Investigator.
In cases involving another student (the complainant) and/or a violation of Part 1, Section B2 of the Code of Student Conduct, both the Complainant and the Respondent must agree to both the finding(s) and the sanction(s), condition(s), and restriction(s) as recommended by the Student Conduct Officer/Investigator.
In cases where an Informal Resolution is reached, there is no formal hearing and no appeal. The case will only be reopened if new material, previously unavailable is presented.
After proper notice has been given to the student, the University may proceed to conduct either an Administrative or a University Discipline Committee Hearing and deliver a decision or recommendation respectively. The Administrative or University Discipline Committee Hearing may be held and a decision or recommendation made, regardless of whether the student responds, fails to respond, attends the hearing or fails to attend the hearing. Should the student fail to attend the Administrative or University Discipline Committee Hearing, an Administrative Hearing Officer or the University Discipline Committee may consider the information and render an administrative decision or University Discipline Committee recommendation.
Hearings are closed to the public. Both the complaining and responding students have the right to be present at the Formal Hearing; however, they do not have the right to be present during deliberations. Arrangements can be made so that complaining and responding students do not have to be in the hearing room at the same time. To request changes in the scheduled hearing time, students should contact the Office of Student Conduct no less than three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing.
A Student Conduct Officer or the University Discipline Committee may impose sanctions, conditions and/or restrictions as a result of a Formal Hearing where the student is found responsible. Potential sanctions, conditions and/or restrictions are listed in the Code of Student Conduct grid at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/studentconduct. Please note that the grid is provided only as a guideline for administering sanctions, conditions, and/or restrictions, by the Administrative Hearing Officer or the University Discipline Committee. The Administrative Hearing Officer and/or the University Discipline Committee may deviate from the grid. An administrative fee of up to $100.00 may be imposed on students and student organizations found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct in addition to any other sanctions, conditions, and/or restrictions also assessed. Implementation of the disciplinary sanction(s), condition(s) and/or restriction(s) will not begin until either the time for a disciplinary appeal has expired or until the disciplinary appeal process is exhausted Upon the judgment of the Managing Director of the Office of Student Conduct, some cases resulting in sanctioning of suspension and expulsion may begin prior to the completion of the disciplinary appeal process. If the allegation involves a student organization, the Administrative Hearing Officer or University Discipline Committee may meet with a University staff member whose professional capacity involves the advising of the organization. This staff member may provide information relevant to potential sanctions, conditions, and restrictions for the committee. All records concerning a student or student organization related to the disciplinary process will remain on file in the Office of Student Conduct or University Student Housing for a minimum of seven (7) years from the date the case is completed through a Formal Hearing and/or disciplinary appeal procedures (see Part 1, D11, Disciplinary Appeal Procedures).
Sanctions are defined as the primary outcome of the alleged violation. If a student or student organization is found responsible, the range of sanctions includes the following outcomes:
A condition is an additional component of a disciplinary sanction. A condition is usually an educational or personal element that is to occur in conjunction with the assigned sanction. Some examples of conditions include, but are not limited to:
A restriction is an additional component of a disciplinary sanction. A restriction is usually an educational component that is to occur in conjunction with the sanction and will usually be time specific. Some examples of restrictions include, but are not limited to:
Violations of Part 1, sections B3. (alcoholic beverages) or B4 (narcotics or drugs) may result in notification to the parents/guardians of dependent students under the age of 21. NOTE: See Parent Notification Policy at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/studentconduct/process.php.
A student may appeal the decision or the sanction(s), condition(s) and restriction(s) imposed by the Office of Student Conduct by submitting a written petition to the designated appeal officer within five (5) University working days of receiving the written decision.
The petition must clearly set forth the grounds for the appeal, together with the evidence upon which the appeal is based. A disagreement with the decision alone shall not constitute grounds for appeal. The only proper grounds for appeal, and the only issues that may be considered on appeal are as follows:
In cases involving alleged misconduct involving actions against members of the university community, either the complainant or respondent may appeal the decision of the Office of Student Conduct. In such cases, the Office of Student Conduct will provide the request for appeal to the other party and provide opportunity for response. In cases involving alleged misconduct involving academic dishonesty, the designated appeal officer is the Associate Academic Dean of the college where the student is enrolled or the Associate Academic Dean of the college housing the course where the violation occurred. In situations where the Associate Academic Dean participated in the hearing as the conduct officer or instructor of record, the designated appeal officer is the Academic Dean.
The designated appeal officer will review the appeal to determine if the appeal is timely and properly sets forth the appropriate grounds for appeal, with adequate accompanying evidence. If any of these requirements are not met, the appeal will be dismissed, and the decision will be final. If an appeal is granted, the results of the appellate process as outlined below will be final.
If the designated appeal officer determines that new evidence should be considered, he/she may return the complaint to the original hearing body to reconsider the new evidence, or may order a new Administrative or University Discipline Committee Hearing. If new evidence is considered, the original hearing body may increase, decrease, or otherwise modify the sanctions, conditions, and/or restrictions. The original hearing body or designee will notify the student of the outcome using the written notice procedures outlined in Part 1, A3 within eight (8) University working days of the decision. The decision is final and may not be appealed. If a new Administrative or University Discipline Committee Hearing is ordered, all hearing procedures under Part 1, section D (Conduct Procedures) will be followed. The new hearing body or designee will notify the student of the outcome using the written notification procedures outlined in Part 1,A3. within five (5) University working days of the decision. The decision of the new hearing body is final and may not be appealed.
If the Managing Director of the Office of Student Conduct or designee determines that a material procedural or substantive error has occurred, he/she may return the complaint to the original hearing officer/committee with instructions for another hearing in light of the appellate findings. All hearing procedures under Part 1, section D (Conduct Procedures) will be followed. The original hearing body will notify the student in writing of the outcome using the written notification procedures outlined in Part 1, section A3 within five (5) University working days of the decision. This decision is final and may not be appealed. In those cases in which the error cannot be cured by the original hearing body (i.e., some cases of bias), the designated appeal officer may order a new hearing with either a new Student Conduct Officer or with a University Discipline Committee hearing with different members. If a new Administrative or University Discipline Committee Hearing is ordered, all hearing procedures under Part 1, section D (Conduct Procedures) will be followed. The new hearing body or designee will notify the student in writing of the outcome within five (5) University working days of the decision. The decision of the new hearing body is final and may not be appealed.
If the designated appeal officer determines that the sanctions imposed substantially vary from the range of sanctions normally imposed for similar infractions, the director or designee may then increase, decrease or otherwise modify the sanctions, conditions, and/or restrictions instead of returning the case to the original hearing body or convening a new committee. The designated appeal officer will notify the student in writing of the outcome using the written notification procedures outlined in Part 1, section D. within five (5) University working days of the decision. The decision of the designated appeal officer is final and cannot be appealed.
The Office of Student Conduct shall make all reasonable efforts to timely notify the student(s) of the status of the appeal throughout the appellate process, and shall make all reasonable efforts to notify the students as to the result of the appeal within five (5) University working days after the final decision is rendered. The appeals officer’s decision is final.
A former student who engages in conduct that is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct may be subject to conduct procedures prior to reenrollment, a bar against readmission, revocation of a degree, and withdrawal of a diploma.
A student who has had an administrative hold placed on his or her records under this section must request readmission from the Managing Director of the Office of Student Conduct at least three (3) weeks prior to any Texas Tech University Office of Admissions application deadlines for the semester or summer session in which the student wishes to re-enroll. The student may be required by the Managing Director of the Office of Student Conduct to submit evidence in writing supportive of his/her present ability to function properly and effectively in the University community. The University will evaluate the student’s request and supporting documentation with primary consideration given to satisfying all conditions specified at the time of suspension or withdrawal. If approval is granted by the Managing Director for the Office of Student Conduct for the removal of the administrative hold, the student must then complete the regular University readmission procedures.