Article 6: Student Code of Conduct and Violations
Upon registration, students automatically become members of the University community and assume full responsibility for proper conduct until their separation from the institution. Misconduct at the University is not tolerated as it diminishes the overall value of the degrees awarded by Texas A&M International University. All students at the University should be involved in assuring the honesty of all students through their own individual actions and deeds.
Conduct standards at the university are set forth in writing in order to give students general notice of prohibited conduct. These violations should be read broadly and are not designed to define prohibited conduct in exhaustive terms.
Section 6.01 Student Conduct Authority
The Vice President for Student Success or his/her designee shall determine the composition of Student Conduct Panel(s) and determine which Student Conduct Panel, Student Conduct Administrator and Appeal Panel shall be authorized to hear each matter.
Decisions made by a Student Conduct Administrator shall not be final until the appeal processes have been exhausted, waived, or time has expired.
Section 6.02 Jurisdiction of the Student Code of Conduct
The Student Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on University premises and/or at University sponsored activities or any other activity, which adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives (mission). This action may be taken for either affiliated or non-affiliated activities.
The University may take action in situations occurring off university premises involving: student misconduct demonstrating flagrant disregard for any person or persons; or when a student’s or student organization’s behavior is judged to threaten the health, safety, and/or property of any individual or group. Using his/her sole discretion, the Vice President for Student Success or his/her designee shall decide whether the Student Conduct Code shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case-by-case basis.
Section 6.03 Violations of the Student Code of Conduct
The University reserves the right, through fair process, to impose disciplinary and academic sanctions on students who have violated the Student Code of Conduct. Below is a list of student violations; they should not be expected to be exhaustive.
Academic Dishonesty (See Article 7);
Alcohol. Alcohol use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly authorized by University regulations), is prohibited on Texas A&M International University premises and University sponsored events. In addition, use, possession, or distribution or alcohol beverages while driving or riding in or on a vehicle on University premise is prohibited. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one (21) years of age. Individuals may not be in a state of public intoxication or drunkenness. Individuals may not operate a motor vehicle or another form of transportation while intoxicated or while under influence of alcohol. (See Appendix A: Drug and Alcohol Rule)
Bias-Related Violations. Violations that are motivated by prejudice toward a person or group because of factors such as race, religion, ethnicity, disability, national origin, age, gender or sexual orientation may be assessed an enhanced sanction.
Complicity. Attempting, aiding, abetting, conspiring, hiring or being an accessory to any act prohibited by this code shall be considered to the same extent as completed violations.
Computing resources. Failure to comply with University regulations and policies, license agreements, and contracts governing network, software and hardware use; abuse of communal resources, use of computer resources for unauthorized commercial purposes or personal gain; failure to protect password or use of student account; breach of computer security, harmful access or invasion of privacy. Misuse and/or other abuse of computer facilities and resources including but not limited to:
- Use of another individual’s identification and/or password.
- Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or threatening message.
- Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
Disorderly conduct. Public behavior that is disruptive, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, or procuring another person to breach the peace at functions sponsored by the University or participated in by members of the University community.
Disruptive activity. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other University missions, processes, or functions including public-service functions, or other authorized non-University activities when conduct occurs on University premises. Such activities may include, but are not limited to:
- Leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities on university premises.
- Classroom behavior that seriously interferes with either (a) the faculty member’s ability to conduct the class or (b) the ability of other students to profit from the instructional program (See Article 4).
- Any behavior in class or out of class, which for any reason interferes with class work of others, involves disorder, or otherwise disrupts the regular and essential operation of the University. (See Article 4)
Failure to appear. Failure to appear for a University disciplinary/academic proceeding to respond to allegations or to appear as a witness when reasonably notified to do so. This includes disciplinary hearings, university investigations, and appeals hearings.
Failure to comply. Failure to comply with directions of University officials acting in the performance of their duties.
False reporting. Intentionally initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning, threat of fire, explosion or other emergency concerning the University and University-sponsored activities.
Fire Safety. Misuse or damage of fire safety equipment.
Furnishing false information and/or withholding information. Forgery, unauthorized alteration or misuse of any document, record or instrument of identification. Also includes withholding material information from the University, misrepresenting the truth before a hearing of the University and making false statements to any University official. The submission of false information at the time of admission or readmission is grounds for rejection of the application, withdrawal of any offer of acceptance, cancellation of enrollment, dismissal or other appropriate disciplinary action.
Gambling. Gambling in any form on University-owned or controlled property grounds.
Harassment. Behavior that is severe, pervasive or persistent to a degree that a reasonable person similarly situated would be prevented from accessing an educational opportunity or benefit. This behavior includes, but is not limited to verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, and/or coercion. In addition, harassment may be conducted by a variety of mediums, including but not limited to physical, verbal, graphic, written, or electronic.
- Sexual Harassment. (See Appendix B: Sexual Harassment Rule)
- Racial and Ethnic Harassment. Discrimination based on race, color, or national origin and involves behavior that is so severe and pervasive and objectively offensive so as to interfere with or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the service, activities or privileges provided by Texas A&M International University.
- Stalking. Any repeated conduct directed specifically at another person that causes that person [or a member of that person’s family or household] to fear his/her safety. Such conduct includes following another person and acts that threaten or intimidate another person through fear of bodily injury or death of self or members of that person’s family or household or an offense being committed against that person’s property.
- Cyber-bullying. The use of electronic media to intimidate or threaten an individual.
Hazing. Any act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that destroys or removes public or private property; and/or assisting, directing, or in anyway causing others to participate in degrading behavior and/or behavior that causes ridicule, humiliation, or embarrassment; and/or engaging in conduct which tends to bring the reputation of the organization, group, or University into disrepute for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization; or as part of any activity of a recognized student organization, student group, or special groups. Previously relied upon “traditions,” (including fraternity/sorority/CoEd, or any other group or organization activity, practice or tradition) intent of such acts, or coercion by current or former student leaders of such groups, or former students will not suffice as a justifiable reason for participation in such acts. It is not a defense that the person (or group) against whom the hazing was directed consented to, or acquiesced to, the behavior in question. Refer to Sect. 3.09 Hazing for examples.
The hazing rule is not intended to prohibit the following conduct:
- Customary public athletic events, contests, or competitions that are sponsored by the University or the organized and supervised practice associated with such events; or
- Any activity or conduct that furthers the goals of a legitimate educational curriculum, a legitimate extracurricular program or a legitimate military training program as defined and approved by the University.
Hazing is also a violation of Texas State Law. (See the Sec. 2 Ch. 4, Education Code)
Hindering or interfering. Action or conduct that hinders, or otherwise interferes with the implementation of this Code.
Identification. Failure to present identification upon the request of a University official.
Illegal drugs. The act of using, possessing, being under the influence of, manufacturing, or distributing illegal drugs or illegally obtained/possessed controlled substance is prohibited. Except as expressly permitted by law, use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution or being a party thereto of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or other controlled and/or prescribed substance and/or drug paraphernalia and/or dangerous drug is also prohibited. Individuals may not operate a motor vehicle or another form of transportation while under the influence of drugs or while intoxicated. (See Appendix A: Drug and Alcohol Rule & Appendix J: AOD)
Motor vehicle/Traffic violations. Repeated or flagrant violations of any regulations related to the use of parking motor vehicles on campus property. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on University premises or at University-sponsored or supervised activities.
Off-Campus Conduct. When a student is alleged to have violated the Student Conduct Code by an offense committed off of university premises, the university reserves the right to investigate and adjudicate. The University may take action in situations occurring off university premises involving: student misconduct demonstrating flagrant disregard for any person or persons; or when a student's or student organization's behavior is judged to threaten the health, safety, and/or property of any individual or group; or any other activity which adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. This action may be taken for either affiliated or non-affiliated activities.
- If the Vice President for Student Success determines that the offense affects the university as stated above, then the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement shall hold an administrative hearing to consider whether the offense is of such nature as set out above, whether or not the student committed the offense, and take appropriate action. The action of the university administrative hearing officer shall be made independent of any off-campus authority.
Physical abuse. Any attempt to cause injury or inflict pain; or causing injury or inflicting pain. Also causing physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative. This includes domestic and dating violence. It is not a defense that the person (or group) against whom the physical abuse was directed consented to, or acquiesced to, the physical abuse. The physical abuse rule is not intended to prohibit the following conduct:
- Customary public athletic events, contests, or competitions that are sponsored by the university or the organized and supervised practices associated with such events; or
- Any activity conduct that furthers the goals of a legitimate educational curriculum, a legitimate extracurricular program or a legitimate military training program as defined and approved by the University.
Retaliation. Harassment of any party involved in the student conduct process, including but not limited to intimidation and/or threats.
- Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by a sexual organ of another or anal/vaginal penetration by any means against the victim’s will or without his/her consent. An individual who is mentally incapacitated, unconscious, or unaware that the sexual assault is occurring is considered unable to give consent. The type of force employed may involve physical force, coercion, intentional impairment of an individual’s ability to appraise the situation through the administering of any substance, or threat of harm to the victim.
- Sexual Contact. Attempting or making sexual contact, including but not limited to inappropriate touching or fondling, against the person’s will, or in circumstances where the person is physically, mentally or legally unable to give consent. (See Appendix B: Sexual Harassment Rule)
Student Organizations. Violations of University policies, or of campus regulations concerning the recognized student organizations, the use of University facilities, or the time, place, and manner of public expression.
Theft. Unauthorized removal or stealing and /or attempting removal or stealing of a member of the University community or other personal or public property, on or off campus. This includes knowingly possessing such stolen property.
Unauthorized Entry. Unauthorized entry into or use of University facilities or property.
Unauthorized representation. Unauthorized representation of the University or any recognized entity of the University.
Unauthorized recording. Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person without his/her prior knowledge, or without his/her effective consent when the person or persons being recorded have a reasonable expectation of privacy and/or such recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes, but is not limited to surreptitiously taking picture of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom or recording administrative meetings with University officials. If a recording is made and the capture is a violation of the Student Rules or law, the Student Conduct Administrator may elect not to enforce this section of the rule against the student making the recording.
Vandalism. Behavior that destroys, damages, or litters any property of the university, of another institution, or of another person, on university premises or at university-sponsored activities.
Violation of Law. Any act that violates federal, state, or local laws or regulations and which is not otherwise covered in this code is not allowed.
Violation of published University rules. Such rules include University Housing contracts and rules, University motor vehicle rules, rules relating to the use of student identification cards, entry and use of University facilities and dining hall conduct.
Violating terms of any disciplinary/academic sanctions. Knowingly violating the terms of any disciplinary sanction (including failing to meet deadlines and/or committing a violation of university rules while serving a probationary sanction) imposed in accordance with University rules.
Weapons and explosives. Possession or use of firearms, fireworks, or explosives on University-owned or controlled grounds and property. The term weapon may be defined as any object or substance designed to inflict a wound, cause injury or pain, or to incapacitate. Weapons may include, but are not limited to, all firearms, pellet guns, slingshots, martial arts devices, switchblade knives and clubs. (See Appendix D: Weapons Rule)