Code of Student Conduct

Preamble

As an intensely residential institution of higher education, St. Olaf College works to facilitate a community environment that supports the holistic development of our students. Students are key members of the St. Olaf community and as such, the College expects students to accept responsibility for participating in this community in ways that are positive and supportive of themselves and of the community as a whole.

Expectations of members of this community:

  •       Behave with integrity in all things
  •       Behave in ways that show care for self, for each other and for this place.

To this end, St. Olaf details parameters for behavior that all students are expected to uphold. When student behavior does not meet the parameters listed below, the College works with those involved to consider the impact of their behavior on the community and themselves.

The following parameters have been reviewed by members of the College faculty, staff and student body in consultation with an external consultant in order to provide a code for student conduct that is equitable and clear. 

Students found responsible for not meeting any of the following parameters will be expected to work with College staff to address the concerning behavior. 

Parameters for behavior and possible sanctions are outlined in Article VII of the Code of Student Conduct: Here is that Code, along with the rationale. 

  1. Students may not violate federal, state or local law on or off college premises.
    There is no immunity from these laws by virtue of being on St. Olaf property and/or being a St. Olaf student. Students retain full responsibility for their own actions under these laws.
  2. Students may not violate published college policies, rules or regulations.
    Students are expected to live with respect for current and future members of this community and may expect that other members of the community will do the same. Toward this aim, the College publishes policies and standards in order to provide clear expectations of each member of the community.  
  1. Students are expected to follow reasonable requests and not verbally abuse or threaten college officials or city, county or federal emergency and safety personnel who are acting in an official capacity.
    College employees work to facilitate an environment that is as safe and holistic as possible and they need the cooperation of students to do so. If a student has concern about the action of an employee in the performance of their duties, the student may reach out here to express that concern.  
  1. Acts of dishonesty are not tolerated, including but not limited to:

    *  Furnishing false information to any college official, faculty member or office.
    *  Forgery, alteration or misuse of any college document, record or instrument of identification.

    This community values and relies on the truthfulness, honesty, and integrity of all members to support equity of access and information.  

  1. Violations of fire/life safety provisions are not tolerated including, but not limited to:
    Arson or attempted arson.

    *  Use, possession or manufacture of explosives, including, but not limited to, fireworks.
    *  Intentionally or recklessly misusing or damaging fire/life safety equipment.
    *  Initiating or causing to be initiated any false warning of emergency or life-threatening circumstances.

    Students are expected to care for and not endanger the lives and safety of people in the community. This is particularly important in congregate living situations. Tampering with or misusing fire/life safety equipment risks that equipment not being functional when it is needed. 

  1. Possession and/or use of weapons, regardless of their legality, on college premises is not allowed.
    Students are expected to follow federal, state and local laws concerning weapons. Please refer to the St. Olaf policy concerning weapons which applies to all people who live on, work at, or visit our campus.  
  1. Reckless conduct which, by its nature, creates the risk of physical harm is unacceptable.
    Students must take care with the decisions they make for their actions with consideration for the potential of physical harm to themselves or another.
  1. Attempted or actual theft of property or knowingly possessing stolen property will not be tolerated.
    Students are expected to leave other’s property alone and must be able to expect the same from others. Members of this community are trusting of each other and place high value on this trust. 
  1. Damage to property of the college or property of a member of the college community will not be tolerated.
    Damaging College property has costs for the community. Damage to property belonging to a member of the community also has individual costs. We value treating this campus and the property within it with care.

  2. Students may not possess, distribute, and/or consume illicit drugs and alcohol on the St. Olaf campus or on land or in vehicles owned by the college.

    Besides being illegal, alcohol (for those under 21 years old) and illicit drugs do not contribute in a positive way to students’ education and wellbeing. Research indicates that use and abuse of these substances have negative impacts on a person’s mental and physical health.

  1. Students will not engage in hazing. (The complete hazing policy can be found here.)
    Hazing most commonly occurs when someone is a new member of a group or organization – it’s generally presented as an ‘initiation.’ While more experienced members commonly make it clear that participation is voluntary, when new members are asked to do something by virtue of their being new, they recognize that not participating in the activities is likely to leave them not feeling or being treated as ‘in.’ Hazing is commonly understood to involve high potential for physical or psychological harm, although an activity need not be risky to be considered hazing. 
  1. Students will not engage in sexual misconduct (The complete policy on sexual misconduct and other Prohibited Conduct may be found here.
    St. Olaf College is committed to a respectful, safe, and healthy environment and does not tolerate sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct in any form. 
  1. Unwanted physical contact not of a sexual nature will not be tolerated.
    Students are expected to respect each other’s physical person. Hitting, grabbing, blocking movement or other unwanted physical contact is not allowed. 
  1. Discrimination and harassment based upon someone’s legally protected status is not acceptable (The Complete policy on discrimination and harassment may be found here).
    St. Olaf St. Olaf College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national and ethnic origin, sex, age, religion, disability, marital status, status with respect to public assistance or sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, financial aid program, athletics and all other programs. Members of this community are expected not to discriminate against another’s legally protected status.
  1. Students will not engage in disorderly conduct which is defined by, but is not limited to Minnesota Criminal statute.  In Minnesota, disorderly conduct is conduct that is likely to upset or alarm others. Generally, it may include but is not limited to fighting, disturbing a lawful gathering or meeting, noisy conduct and using offensive or obscene language. Conduct that alarms others acts against the facilitation of a safe educational environment.
  1. Students will not initiate or participate in intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus.
    These expectations for freedom of movement of persons and vehicles allow for fire/life safety/emergency help. Additionally, preventing a person from exiting a building constitutes imprisonment and may also violate federal, state and local laws.  
  1. Unauthorized entry to or use of college premises is prohibited. This parameter includes unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any college premises.
    Access to College premises is limited for purposes of individual safety as well as to protect the materials that are critical to the education and wellbeing of our students and employees. 
  1. Theft or other abuse of computer time as outlined in the Computing policies will not be tolerated (Complete computing policies can be found here).
    The College provides technology and access to internet service in order to facilitate the education of all. Resources available to students are expected to be treated with care.   
  1. Unauthorized or inappropriate use of the college name or logo, or the names or likenesses of identifiable organizations or features of St. Olaf College is not acceptable.
    The College logo is licensed to the College and as such, its use is restricted. Questions and permission to use the College name or logo may be directed to the Director of Marketing and Communications.   
  1. Retaliation toward any community member who gives information regarding another person not meeting these community parameters is prohibited.
    Members of this community are expected to hold each other accountable without fear of reprisal.

 Statement on Student Demonstration

St. Olaf College is a place that invites community members of varied experiences and beliefs to engage with each other and to foster an environment where learning occurs. As such, the right to dissent is essential to academic freedom and scholarly pursuits. Dissent in the form of protest against a particular position, action, or situation is permitted.

 St. Olaf College encourages the free pursuit of learning and makes every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct. It respects and defends free inquiry, while expecting that in the exchange of criticism and ideas, all will show respect for the views of others. In providing individuals the right to assemble, there must also be room for others in the community to access academic and educational processes, to reside in residential spaces, and to take advantage of normal business operations.

 St. Olaf supports students’ freedom to protest while maintaining a safe campus environment. Such protests must proceed within the parameters for student behavior outlined in the Code of Conduct as well as applicable laws and ordinances that apply to protest. For example, the right to assembly also includes the right of access to academic work and community life, along with the normal business operations of the College. 

 Permitted forms of assembly include (Please note that this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Demonstration – A large group of people, usually gathering for a cause. It sometimes includes a group march, ending with a rally or a speaker. A demonstration is similar to a protest in that they both can use the same or similar methods to achieve goals.
  •  March – A walk by a group of people to a place in order to express an objection to any event, situation, or policy
  • Protest – A protest is a way to express objections with any event, situation, or policy. These objections may be manifest either by actions or by words.
  • Sit-In – any organized protest in which a group of people peacefully occupy and refuse to leave college premises.
  • Vigil – An observance of commemorative activity or event meant to demonstrate unity around a particular issue or concern, and/or to promote peace and prevent violence.

Use of space

St. Olaf College buildings and grounds are intended for use by students, faculty, staff and guests in support of the College’s mission. Individuals, groups or organizations may use College facilities and grounds in accordance with established policies and guidelines. 

Note: St. Olaf College reserves the right as a private institution to prohibit certain forms of speech that are deemed contrary to the College’s mission, devoid of educational value and potentially harmful to the St. Olaf Community.

St. Olaf College buildings and grounds are intended for use by students, faculty, staff and guests in support of the College’s mission. Individuals, groups or organizations may use College facilities and grounds in accordance with established policies and guidelines.  As a private institution, St. Olaf College reserves the right to prohibit forms of speech deemed contrary to its mission, and prohibit speech devoid of educational value or potentially harmful to the St. Olaf Community.

Statement on Social Media

St. Olaf College recognizes that students have readily available access to social media sources. The College is aware that social media can be a source of social support and involvement when at its best. Social media is also used in this culture to denigrate, defame and shame in the name of support as well as in the name of hate.

St. Olaf students are expected to be thoughtful about what they choose to post and participate in – recognizing that the potential for harm to self and others is significant. Slanderous and libelous commentary are dangerous to the safety and wellbeing of individuals as well as to the community. College parameters for behavior apply. 

Appeals

Appeals Process