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Disruptive Student Conduct Policy

1. PURPOSE

This policy is designed to encourage students to accept responsibility for their actions and to avoid conduct that is disruptive to the educational processes, to the educational environment, or to the administrative functions of Brigham Young University–Hawaii (“BYU–Hawaii” or “university”). The university is committed to providing a learning environment that is safe and supportive of students being free from harm.

2. POLICY

To provide a safe and secure educational environment, consistent with the Church Educational System (CES) Honor Code (“Honor Code”) and the values and standards of BYU–Hawaii, individuals who violate this policy by exhibiting disruptive behavior, as defined herein, may be subject to university discipline or other actions. These actions may include, but are not limited to: counseling and restitution; involuntary withdrawal; sanctions, such as warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal from the university; expulsion from campus property; and if warranted, referral for criminal prosecution.

3. IMPLEMENTATION

3.1 Definition of Disruptive Student Conduct

Disruptive student conduct is conduct that significantly interferes with the educational process, the educational environment (including housing), or the administrative functions of the university. The determination of whether conduct rises to the level of disruptive student conduct is determined on an individual case-by-case basis with reference to the relevant facts and circumstances. Disruptive student conduct may include, but is not limited to: intimidating, threatening, harassing, or violent behavior; abuse of administrative processes; abuse of university or individual resources; disregard or non-compliance with established policies and procedures or medical advice; or conduct or action that is likely to endanger the health, safety, or welfare of any individual. Disruptive student conduct may also include physical acts, oral or written statements gestures, or expressions that communicate direct or indirect threats of harm or disruption. Disruptive behaviors and actions are inconsistent with the values of BYU–Hawaii and may be in violation of the Honor Code.

3.2 Examples of Disruptive Student Conduct

The following list is not exhaustive but is intended to provide examples of various types of disruptive behaviors that may result in university action:

  1. repeated erratic or dangerous behavior that causes, or is intended to cause, other individuals to be apprehensive or fearful for their safety or the safety of others
  2. physical injury
  3. engaging in threats that create a reasonable fear of injury
  4. possessing or brandishing a weapon
  5. intentionally damaging, or threatening to injure or damage, property
  6. physical actions, short of actual contact, such as aggressively moving closer to a person, waving arms or fists, or yelling in an aggressive manner
  7. obstruction or disruption of normal university activities
  8. unauthorized entry or use of university facilities or property
  9. failure to comply with directions of university officials including security personnel acting in good faith and in performance of their duties
  10. breach of the peace (e.g., unauthorized use of sound amplification equipment in a manner that disturbs the privacy of others and/or the instructional programs of the university)
  11. unwillingness to maintain basic everyday living skills (bathing, brushing teeth, feeding self)
  12. retaliation against those who report such conduct to university officials

3.3 Student Responsibilities

To provide a secure, safe environment for members of the campus community, students are responsible for ensuring that their personal conduct is appropriate and consistent with the Honor Code. In cases involving an individual with a disability, including mental disabilities, this policy will operate to make determinations based upon the individual’s behavior rather than upon the individual’s status of having a disability. Students with disabilities are responsible for their disruptive conduct. Students also have a personal obligation to obtain medical care for conditions that may affect their conduct, and to take any related medications as prescribed by their physicians.

3.4 Procedures for Reporting Disruptive Student Conduct

All members of the BYU-Hawaii community are encouraged to be alert to the possibility of violent or disruptive acts on the part of students, staff, faculty, or others, and to report such behaviors. Disruptive student conduct that poses an immediate threat of harm to any individual’s health, safety, or welfare, should be immediately reported to the university’s Department of Campus Safety and Security (808-675-3911) or to the Honolulu Police (911). Other disruptive student conduct that does not pose an immediate threat of harm should be reported to the Office of Honor and/or the Dean of Students, including through Report a Concern on the university’s website.

Faculty members and instructors are encouraged to report disruptive student conduct to the Office of Honor or the Dean of Students even when the disruptive behavior is apparently resolved. This will help the university identify those students who exhibit a pattern of disruptive conduct.

3.5 Review Process

3.5.1 Initial Review

The Dean of Students handles the initial review of reports of disruptive student conduct that does not pose any immediate threat of harm. Based on the information in the report, as well as any other available information related to the disruptive student conduct at issue, the Dean of Students may elect to address the conduct under the Student Leaves of Absence Policy, if appropriate, or refer the matter to the Office of Honor for a disciplinary review according to the procedures set forth below.

3.5.2 Disciplinary Review Process

The purpose of the Office of Honor’s disciplinary review is to discuss the facts of the reported incident(s), to hear the student’s perspective, and if disruptive student conduct, according to this policy, has occurred, to determine an appropriate response from an institutional perspective. At any time during the disciplinary review process, the Office of Honor may elect to terminate the disciplinary review process and, if deemed appropriate, refer the report of disruptive student conduct to the university’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) to address under the Student Leaves of Absence Policy.

The Office of Honor’s disciplinary review proceedings are administrative proceedings and do not follow formal rules of evidence typically applicable in judicial proceedings. The proceedings are to be conducted with fundamental fairness, and the university has the burden of proof to establish a violation of this policy by a preponderance of the evidence that the student committed the violation. Typically, the proceedings will follow the Honor Code investigation procedures of the Office of Honor. Minor deviations from prescribed procedures will not invalidate a decision, provided they do not significantly prejudice the student or the university.

In determining which, if any, sanction to impose, mitigating and aggravating factors may be considered, such as the individual’s prior disciplinary record, the nature of the offense, the severity of the damage, injury or harm resulting from the violation, and any restitution made. Referrals for psychological counseling may also be made. Disciplinary decisions take into consideration the needs of the university, the campus community, and the student. For instance, the Office of Honor can decide whether an individual is able to resume campus responsibilities if an individual’s behavior is potentially threatening, might affect others in the campus community, or significantly disrupts the educational process of others. The individual may be banned from campus or sanctioned even if he/she leaves the university voluntarily.

During a disciplinary investigation or review process (as discussed below), a student will not generally be restricted in, or excluded from, class attendance or participation in university functions and activities unless the Office of Honor determines that such attendance or participation is likely to be disruptive, pose a threat to the well-being or personal safety of the student and/or others, or believes that such attendance or participation is not in the best interest of the student or the university. The Office of Honor may consult with appropriate university administrators or faculty members when making decisions that affect the student’s attendance or participation is classes or university activities.

3.5.3 Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

In the event that: (a) a report of disruptive student conduct alleges sexual misconduct, as defined by university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy; or (b) an allegation of sexual misconduct arises during the course of a disciplinary investigation of disruptive student conduct under this policy, such a report or allegation shall immediately be referred to the university’s Title IX office for handling, and any concurrent investigation under this policy shall be suspended until the applicable processes and reviews under the Sexual Misconduct Policy have concluded.

3.5.4 Written Decision

A decision made by the Office of Honor as to whether disruptive student conduct has occurred, including any resulting disciplinary action, must be set forth in writing stating the rationale for its determination. The decision will be delivered to the student directly, electronically, and/or by mail.

3.6 Administrative Review

The student reported to have engaged in disruptive student conduct may request an administrative review of any disciplinary action imposed by the Office of Honor under this policy. The student’s request for review must be in writing and received by the Office of Honor within three (3) business days of issuance of the Office of Honor’s written decision and identify at least one of the following grounds for review:

  • The outcome of the investigation is clearly contrary to the preponderance of the evidence
  • A procedural error significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation (e.g., a substantiated bias or material deviation from these procedures)
  • New evidence, unavailable to the student during the original investigation, has been discovered that could substantially impact the original outcome (this new evidence and an explanation of its potential impact must be included in the request for review)
  • The discipline imposed is substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation (i.e., too severe)

The Office of Honor will then process the request to the Dean of Students. In reviewing available information associated with the case, the Dean of Students will presume that the outcome of the Office of Honor’s investigation (including any disciplinary action(s)) was reasonable and appropriate, and the student requesting the review bears the burden of establishing that the outcome was reached in clear error. The Dean of Students has the authority to modify or completely change the disciplinary action(s) or to allow the disciplinary action(s) to remain the same. The Dean of Students’ decision is final with no further recourse. To protect the confidential nature and privacy interests of students allegedly committing violations, all reviews will be closed proceedings.

4. RELATED POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Details

Policy Owner: Dean of Students

Executive Sponsor: Student Life Vice President

Approved by President’s Council: 01/11/2021

Modified: 08/30/2023

Last Reviewed: 08/30/2023

Next review: 11/13/2023

Full revision history maintained by the Office of Compliance & Ethics.