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Student Discipline & Appeals

The world around us is full of temptation and often leads individuals down a path of self-destruction. From alcohol abuse, to drug use, to illicit sexual encounters, and everything in between, we are faced with choices that inhibit our ability to become the people that God called us to be.

At Ohio Valley University, our goal is to assist students in overcoming those challenges. We encourage our students to be non-conformists -- to free themselves from self-destructive behavior -- to contribute to our campus environment -- to make choices that are consistent with God's standards -- to be transformed.

Student Discipline is one avenue that we utilize to help students meet those objectives.

While the Student Discipline process includes responses that are punitive in nature, punishment is not the sole purpose. Instead, all measures identified in Student Discipline are designed to allow students to reflect on their actions, re-connect students with the mission, purpose, and identity of Ohio Valley University, and to encourage students to make choices that represent those values in their daily lives.

Additionally, the Student Discipline process addresses attitudes that display a lack of respect for the University, members of the University community, and Christian ideals. Attitudes that reflect an intentional failure to comply with the University's aims will be examined closely.

Student Discipline Definitions

  1. "University" means Ohio Valley University.
  2. "University community" means the collection of individuals who attend, or are employed by, Ohio Valley University.
  3. "Residence hall violations" means violations related to residence hall policy.
  4. "University Regulations" means the regulations designed to provide an environment that is safe, secure, and suitable for transformation and address the attitudes, actions, and lifestyles that are inconsistent with the mission, purpose, and identity of Ohio Valley University.
  5. "Student" means all persons taking courses at Ohio Valley University, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies.
  6. "Student Discipline Appeal Board" means the 7-person panel that hears student appeals of University discipline. Members of the Student Discipline Appeal Board include 3 representatives appointed from within the Student Government Association, 2 faculty members appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and 2 staff members appointed by the President or his designee. 
  7. "Policy" means the regulations of Ohio Valley University as found on the University's website and communicated in various other forms by University personnel.
  8. "Accused" or "accused student" means any student accused of violating Ohio Valley University policy.
  9. "May" is used in the permissive sense.
  10. "Shall" is used in the imperative sense.
  11. "Response" or "University response" means the discipline prescribed for a violation of Ohio Valley University policy, including warning, assessment of fine, confiscation of items, community service, restricted status, suspension or dismissal.
  12. "Warning" means a written warning that behavior is inconsistent with Ohio Valley University policy, which is accompanied by a request to correct the behavior.
  13. "Assessment of fine" means a monetary fine.
  14. "Confiscation of items" means Student Life personnel will take inappropriate items from the student.
  15. "Community service" means activities designed to promote understanding of the philosophy, mission, and values of the University.
  16. "Restricted Status" means that a student may not be allowed to participate in intramural and other on-campus student activities and may not be allowed to represent Ohio Valley University at various events, including performances, competitions, and presentations.
  17. "Suspension" means that a student must leave Ohio Valley University's campus for a specified time-period, and shall not participate in any University-related activity.
  18. "Dismissal" means that a student must leave Ohio Valley University's campus for the remainder of the semester and/or academic year. A student who is dismissed must surrender his or her ID card and dormitory key (if applicable). In order to return to the University, a dismissed student must re-apply.
  19. "Student Life Personnel" means an employee of Ohio Valley University that maintains designated responsibilities in the Office of Student Life.
  20. "Individualized Action Plan" means additional parameters designed to help a student in re-directing his/her behaviors, attitudes, or lifestyle.


The Process of Student Discipline

Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior

Any member of the University community may allege that a student has engaged in inappropriate behavior. The allegations shall be directed to Student Life personnel based on the nature of the alleged behavior, as follows:

Residence Hall Violations -- Dorm Supervisor
University Regulations – Associate Dean of Student Life or Dean of Student Life.

The allegations should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably within 48 hours.

Assessment of Allegations by Student Life Personnel

After an allegation has been brought forward, Student Life personnel may conduct an investigation to determine if the allegations have merit.

Responses to Allegations

If the allegations have merit, Student Life personnel shall present the allegations to the accused student and may prescribe an appropriate University response that may be tailored to each specific student and the specific circumstances surrounding the allegations. The disciplinary response will be in effect no later than 24 hours after the student has completed his or her meeting with the Dean of Students. Disciplinary responses that occur at the end of a semester may be carried over to the following semester at the discretion of Student Life personnel.

If the allegations do not have merit, Student Life personnel may consider the matter closed.

Disciplinary Appeals

In matters that resulted in a student being suspended or dismissed, he or she has the right to appeal based on one of the following considerations:

  1. The student can demonstrate that his or her case has not had a proper hearing; or
  2. The student can demonstrate that he or she was discriminated against; or
  3. The student can demonstrate that the University's response is excessive.

All appeals may be directed to the Student Discipline Appeal Board. In order to be heard, the student must submit the appeal in writing within 24 hours of the University response being communicated to him or her. If the alleged violation occurs during the last week of the spring semester the student must submit the appeal in writing within 12 hours of the University response being communicated to him or her.

If the Student Discipline Appeal Board elects to consider the student's appeal, it shall provide written notice to the student regarding the date, time, and location of the hearing.

If an accused student, with notice, does not appear for the hearing, the Student Discipline Appeal Board shall consider the student's appeal and make a determination regarding the student's appeal even in the absence of the accused student.

If the hearing involves more than one accused student, the Student Discipline Appeal Board may permit the hearing concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.

There shall be a single, verbatim record (such as a tape recording) of all hearings of the Student Discipline Appeal Board. The record shall not include deliberations, and shall be the property of the University.

The accused student may attend the entirety of the hearing, with the exception of the deliberations.

The accused student may ask an advisor to attend the hearing. The advisor must be a member of the University community, and must not be an attorney. As the accused student is responsible for presenting his or her own information, the advisor may not participate directly in the hearing.

The accused student, Student Life personnel, and the Student Discipline Appeal Board may arrange for witnesses to attend the hearing and provide pertinent information. Only members of the Student Discipline Appeal Board may direct questions to hearing participants. Additionally, pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration.

After all pertinent testimony and information has been presented, the Student Discipline Appeal Board shall deliberate to determine (by majority vote) whether the accused student engaged in behavior that violates University policy. The determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated University policy.

In rendering a determination, the Student Discipline Appeal Board may:

  1. Uphold the original decision as well as the response prescribed; or
  2. Reverse the original decision and eliminate the prescribed; or
  3. Uphold the original decision, but alter the response.

The determination of the Student Discipline Appeal Board shall be final.

Violations of Law and Student Discipline

University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both criminal law and University policy. Proceedings under Student Discipline may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of Student Life personnel. Determinations or sanctions imposed as part of Student Discipline shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to the violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of, or against, the criminal law defendant.

Informality of Student Discipline

Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, shall not be utilized in any portion of Student Discipline, including appeal hearings.


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