Advocacy and Support for All Students
The Division of Student Life and Leadership at Xavier works to assure a safe and comfortable living and learning environment for all students framed in the University’s mission as a Jesuit, Catholic institution. To accomplish this, students are held responsible for inappropriate behavior and violations of University policies both on-campus and off-campus.
The student conduct system at Xavier is educational and developmental; it is not a legal process. Skilled student affairs educators work with representatives of the University community (students, faculty and staff) to determine if students are responsible for violations of the Code of Student Conduct. As a consequence to a student being found responsible for a violation, sanctions may be imposed based on the severity of the circumstances of the situation and prior disciplinary history (a student’s conduct history follows him/her throughout his/her college career at Xavier).
The role of the dean of students at Xavier is that of senior conduct officer and advocate. When a complaint is received, the dean of student remains neutral as he works with each of the individuals involved to gather information and provide support to make certain all parties are aware and familiar with the conduct process. The dean of students is available to answer process questions and to facilitate support.
In situations where a student has placed him/herself or members of the Xavier community at risk by violating University policies where there is no complainant (through observation), the dean of students may function as an administrative hearing officer and possesses the authority to sanction students at the highest level (up to and including expulsion from the University). Other trained and well-educated professionals in student affairs administration also serve as hearing officers and advisors to conduct boards (e.g., residence hall directors and their supervisors).
Should a student be found responsible for a violation of University policies by either a hearing board or hearing officer, he/she has a right to request an appeal. The request must be for one or more of four reasons:
1. There was evidence that the hearing was not fair;
2. New evidence became available that was not available at the time of the hearing;
3. The sanctions could be shown to be arbitrary or capricious; and
4. There was insufficient evidence to establish responsibility.
The person or board assigned to review the request for appeal will determine if the identified criteria warrants further review. If so, an appeal process will be initiated. If not, the original outcome will stand and the case will be closed with no opportunity for further appeal.
Only members of the current University community are permitted to be part of the student conduct process. Parents and legal counsel are excluded from conduct proceedings, as it is a University process. While it is desirable for parents to be involved in the developmental process of students, University personnel through FERPA (Family Education Rights to Privacy Act) cannot provide information about student conduct to parents unless written permission from the student is obtained. The one exception is where the charge is related to alcohol/drugs for students under the age of 21. In those cases, University personnel can and will contact parents.
Luther G. Smith, PhD
Dean of Students