The Student Code of Conduct website should be referenced for changes to the code of conduct throughout the year
The Student Code of Conduct, embodying the ideals of academic honesty, integrity, human rights, and responsible citizenship, governs all academic work and student behavior at Montana Western. Student enrollment pre-supposes a commitment to the principles and policies embodied in the Code, which sets forth standards of acceptable student conduct, disciplinary sanctions for breach of the standards of student conduct, and procedures to be followed in adjudicating charges of both academic and non-academic misconduct.
Students remain responsible under the civil and criminal laws of the State of Montana and the United States like any other citizen.
The Student Code of Conduct ensures certain substantive and procedural rights to students charged with violating the Standards of Student Conduct. The Standards of Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures follow.
Students at Montana Western may be subject to other University policies or regulations, as well as the Student Conduct Code. Other departments also may have specific professional conduct or honor codes. The official source of procedure for conduct, discipline, and grievance purposes is published on the campus website www.umwestern.edu/student-code-of-conduct.html.
Wherever referred to in this Code, administrative officers of the University include the officers and their designees.
Montana Western also has an obligation to uphold the laws of the larger community of which it is a part. While the laws of the larger community and the Student Code of Conduct may overlap, they operate independently and do not substitute for each other. Montana Western may pursue enforcement of its rules whether or not legal proceedings are underway or in prospect, and may use information from third party sources, such as law enforcement agencies and the courts, to determine whether University rules have been broken. Conversely, Montana Western makes no attempt to shield members of the campus community from the law, nor does it automatically intervene in legal proceedings against members of the Montana Western community.
When a complaint is filed with appropriate Montana Western officials charging a student with violating the Student Conduct Code, Montana Western is responsible for conducting an investigation, initiating charges, and adjudicating those charges. Although the complainant’s responses are sought during the disciplinary process, the judgment of the case is the responsibility of the designated administrative officer. If the complainant decides to withdraw the complaint, Montana Western may proceed with the case on the basis of other testimony.
Off Campus Offenses
In exceptional circumstances, Student Code of Conduct charges may be initiated against a student who engages in conduct off-campus that allegedly constitutes a criminal offense under Montana or Federal criminal law and directly and seriously threatens the health and safety of members of the campus community. A student or Montana Western employee having knowledge of the off-campus offense may file a complaint with the Dean of Students office. The Dean of Students office, with the advice and counsel of appropriate professional staff to determine whether requirements for off-campus application of Student Code of Conduct charges are met, recommends to the Chancellor whether such charges should be made. Disciplinary procedures for general misconduct apply to charges initiated under this section. Application of this Code to off-campus offenses is subject to procedures in this Student Code of Conduct.
The University of Montana Western recognizes that its students retain the rights provided by the United States and Montana Constitutions, federal and state statutes, and other applicable University policy, while attending Montana Western. The provisions of this Student Code of Conduct are intended to be consistent with these rights, and to limit or restrict only conduct that goes beyond the responsible exercise of these rights recognized by law. The following rights are specifically recognized and implemented in this Student Conduct Code.
Student Responsibility Enrollment & Attendance (UMW Policy 203.1)
Students are held responsible for making informed enrollment decisions and for knowledge of and compliance with Montana Western policies and procedures as outlined, the current University catalog, the official UMW web site and the current printed class schedule as well as special registration instructions which may be issued on a semester-by-semester basis.
Students at the University of Montana Western enroll on a semester basis and are expected to register (including paying tuition and fees) prior to the start of the term for all classes they plan to complete during that term and once registered, to actively participate in learning activities associated with courses in which they are enrolled. Academic calendar add and drop deadlines are strictly enforced.
Regular class attendance is critical to student success. Faculty determine requirements for satisfactory completion of courses they teach and usually specify attendance policies at the start of each course. Students are responsible for knowing attendance and course completion requirements for each class in which they are officially enrolled. Students are encouraged to communicate regularly with instructors concerning academic progress and attendance. Students who register for a course and fail to attend will receive an “F” as a final grade. Students must officially drop the course(s) or withdraw from UMW on or before the published deadline for these actions to avoid receiving failing grades in these situations.
Students who register for a course but fail to attend the first two class sessions may be required by the instructor to drop the course or receive an “F”. This policy allows faculty to determine class vacancies early in a course, and add other students into classes that otherwise appear to be filled. Non-attending students who are asked to drop/withdraw are responsible for completing the paperwork necessary to officially drop the class before the published deadline. Non-attending students who fail to file the necessary paperwork to drop a class will receive an “F” as a final grade.
Students are encouraged to communicate regularly with instructors concerning academic progress and attendance. Students who know they will be absent from a class should notify the instructor in advance.
Right of Privacy, Release of Confidential Records (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) grants students certain rights, privileges, and protections relative to individually identifiable student educational records that are maintained by Montana Western. Specifically:
- Students’ educational records (with the exception of directory information) will be released to third parties only with the written consent of the student.
- Students have the right to inspect and review their own individually identifiable educational records. This right may be exercised by contacting the Registrar.
- Students have the right to challenge information contained in individually identifiable educational records. Contact the Registrar for information.
- A copy of the policy statement describing Montana Western’s regulations for this Act is contained in the University Catalog.
FERPA permits the release of directory-type information to third parties without written consent of the student provided the student has been given the opportunity to withhold such disclosure. As of January 3, 2012, The U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information - may be accessed, without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, The U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal or state supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems. Montana Western releases, upon inquiry from third parties and for Montana Western’s News & Publications Office purposes, directory information without written consent of students. Directory information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, age, date, and place of birth, gender, names and addresses of parents, student classification, class schedules, photos of students (if available), class, major, dates of attendance, and degrees, honors, and awards conferred; and/or the height, weight, name of high school attended and year of graduation of members of athletic teams.
Students may withhold directory information by checking the appropriate box on Montana Western’s registration form for that particular semester/term, or by contacting the Registrar’s Office, ADM-105, (406) 683-7371.
NOTE: While a request to withhold directory information may be made at any time, students wishing to have directory information withheld from the student directory for a specific term/semester should submit their requests no later than the end of the second week of classes for that particular term.
Right to Confidentiality
The University of Montana Western complies with the principles of privacy found in the Montana Constitution, Montana Code Annotated, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The student’s name and other identifying information, including address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, degrees awarded, and honors received may be considered public information, unless the student requests the University in writing to hold the information in confidence. A student’s rights in a proceeding involving the Student Code of Conduct include the following:
- All disciplinary proceedings are closed to the public. An open conference/ hearing may be held at the discretion of the administrative officer/chair of the adjudicating court only if requested by the student, unless closure of the proceedings is necessary to protect the overriding individual privacy rights of others.
- The University, including individuals involved in a disciplinary proceeding, will not disclose information to anyone not connected with the proceeding. The fact that there is a disciplinary proceeding concerning the incident may be disclosed; however, individual student identities will not be disclosed.
- The University, including individuals involved in a disciplinary proceeding, will disclose the results of the proceedings, including sanctions imposed, only to those who need to know the results for purposes of record-keeping, enforcement of the sanctions, further proceedings, or compliance with federal or state law. The fact that a disciplinary proceeding has been concluded and appropriate action taken may be disclosed. The Campus Security Act of 1990 allows, but does not require, the University to disclose the results to an alleged victim of a violent crime.
Right to Due Process
Any student accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct has certain rights:
- The right to be advised that a complaint is being investigated, and the right to be advised of the potential charges.
- The right to review the evidence.
- The right to decline to make statements.
- The right to submit a written account relating to the alleged charges.
- The right to know of the identity of individuals who will be present at an administrative conference or a Court hearing.
- The right to have a person of choice, including legal counsel, present throughout any and all proceedings provided for in this Code.
- The right to a reasonable period of time to prepare for a hearing, and the right to request a delay of the hearing for urgent circumstances.
- The right to hear and question witnesses and the accuser.
- The right to present relevant evidence and witnesses.
- The right to have past conduct that is irrelevant to the case not discussed during the proceedings. In the case of rape and sexual assault, this is specifically provided for in Montana law.
- The right to timely adjudication of charges as provided in this Code.
The Alleged Victim
Some actions that violate the Student Code of Conduct involve a person who is an alleged victim of a violent crime. Violent crime may include acts such as robbery, vandalism, aggravated assault, sexual assault, harassment, and acts that endanger another’s safety. When a member of the University community files a complaint and is identified as an alleged victim of a violent crime, that individual is entitled to certain rights in the disciplinary process.
An alleged victim of a violent crime is entitled to the following:
- The right to meet with the designated administrative officer to discuss the various aspects of the disciplinary process.
- The right to submit a written account of the incident and a statement discussing the effect of the alleged misconduct on himself/herself.
- The right to have a person of choice, including legal counsel, present throughout any and all proceedings provided for in this Code.
- The right to be informed of the date, time, and location of the administrative conference (or University Court hearing), and the right to be present at all stages of the proceedings except the private deliberations of the administrative officer (or University Court).
“Citizenship is the process whereby the individual and the collaborative group become responsibly connected to the community and the society through leadership development activity. To be a good citizen is to work for positive change on behalf of others and the community. Citizenship thus acknowledges the interdependence of all who are involved in or affected by these efforts. It recognizes that the common purpose of the group must incorporate a sense of concern for the rights and welfare of all those who might be affected by the group’s efforts. Good citizenship thus recognizes that effective democracy involves individual responsibility as well as individual rights” (Bonous-Hammarth,Chambers, Goldberg, Johnson, Komives, Landgon, Leland, Lucas, Pope, Roberts, & Shellogg, 1995, A Social Change Model of Leadership Development, Guidebook, Version III, p. 25).
Montana Western is a community of scholars in which the ideals of freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of the individual are honored and celebrated. Montana Western is committed to preserving the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the constitution. However, the exercise and preservation of these freedoms and rights require a respect for the rights of all in the community to enjoy to the same extent. It is clear that in a community of learning, willful disruption of the educational process or the abridgment of the rights of other members of the University cannot be tolerated.
Students enrolling at Montana Western assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the University’s function as an educational institution. To fulfill its functions of imparting and gaining knowledge, Montana Western retains the power and authority to maintain order within the University.
Montana Western students are citizens of an academic community. While academic policies set forth the expectations for student achievement and performance, student codes establish the basic social expectations for students as members of a community. As citizens, students enjoy the same freedoms and rights that all citizens enjoy and, as members of the academic community, they are subject to the obligations that accrue to them by virtue of this membership. The University of Montana Western has had a long tradition of, and a deep commitment to, academic freedom. The welfare and strength of the University and of society at large depends upon the free search of truth and its free expression. To this end the University of Montana Western shall recognize and protect full freedom of inquiry, teaching, research, discussion, study, publication, and, for artists, the creation and exhibition of works of art, without hindrance, restriction, equivocation, and/or reprisal. This right extends to other facets of campus life to include the right of a faculty member to speak on general educational questions or about the administration and operation of the University of Montana Western and the Montana University System. The right of academic freedom shall be the right of every faculty member whether tenured or nontenured.
This policy recognizes that each faculty member is also a citizen and a member of a learned profession, as well as an employee of an educational institution. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, the faculty member shall be free from institutional censorship or discipline. When acting as a private citizen, in writing, speech, or actions, the faculty member has an obligation to make it clear that the action, speech, or writing is as an individual and not as a representative of the University of Montana Western or the Montana University System. University of Montana Policy and Procedures. Policy number 101.4.
Each instructor has the responsibility and right to ensure and require respectful and safe behavior that fosters a productive learning environment in all courses. At the discretion of the instructor, disrespectful, unruly, disorderly or unsafe behavior by any student may result in such necessary action as suspension or expulsion from the course or other action deemed appropriate by the instructor.
In keeping with this mission of the University, students are expected to:
- Prepare for and attend classes.
- Participate in class activities.
- Invest time and effort to meet course requirements.
- Complete assignments in a timely fashion.
- Treat peers and instructors in a humanistic fashion.
- Support peers in their efforts to acquire the skills needed to be successful citizens of an academic community.
- Strive to apply what they learn in class to their lives outside the classroom through community service.
- Demonstrate principles of academic integrity.
- Challenge acts of academic fraud and other unethical or immoral behavior by their peers and institutional agents.
- Participate in institutional governance.
- Support diversity within the student body and individual expression.
- Be actively involved in initiatives that link students, the institution, and society in a common cause.
- Exercise guaranteed freedoms in a responsible manner consistent with the aims and traditions of the University.
- Support peers through attendance at student activities, presentations, or performances.
Students can expect Montana Western to:
- Offer a curriculum that provides a coherent intellectual experience that will prepare them to live productive lives after University.
- Clearly delineate and explain requirements for all degrees in accessible institutional documents.
- Offer all general education and major field courses at a rate that permits students to complete their educational objectives in a specified period of time.
- Make advisors available with the knowledge to help students identify appropriate courses and vocational options.
- Model ethical and moral behavior in all transactions.
- Communicate clearly and apply fairly all rules, policies, and practices.
- Provide programs, services, and facilities as described in institutional publications.
In addition to their general academic responsibilities the faculty members accept the following specific responsibilities with respect to that portion of their professional duties which are performed on campus. The faculty member shall:
- Maintain professional competence and keep personal knowledge current by continuous reading, and/or research and/or continued education.
- Perform the duties of a faculty member:
- To meet all scheduled sessions of assigned classes and to inform the Provost’s office of any absences. Variations from the published class schedule are allowable with unanimous student approval, protecting the anonymity of the students, and shall be submitted to the Provost.
- To maintain posted office hours, and be available to students for advising and discussing academic assessment including the evaluation of performance and final grades.
- To keep current the content of all courses assigned and to teach each course according to high professional standards, recognizing that styles and techniques vary among individual faculty members and disciplines.
- To accept departmental and University duties.
- To participate in the efforts to improve the quality of The University of Montana Western.
- To evaluate and award grades on the basis of academic performance.
- To participate in the fall orientation day, faculty-organized faculty meetings, convocation and the spring commencement exercises. The employer will reimburse faculty members up to twenty-five ($25) per year toward the rental of commencement regalia.
- To treat the non-teaching block as a faculty-directed period of professional development and scholarly/ creative activities. Faculty members shall inform the Provost of their plans for the non-teaching block, including contact information when they are off campus.
- To make arrangements for serving advisees and committee responsibilities when off campus.
- Present to the students on the first day of each class in each block, and to the Provost within the first week, a written course syllabus indicating the faculty member’s objectives, the learning outcomes of the course and their assessment, the student’s responsibilities and specific criteria for the grading system to be utilized. For semester-long courses, the faculty member shall present to the students and Provost the above information within the first week of class. Faculty members have control over the specific content of all syllabi, so long as they are consistent with published catalog descriptions of the course program requirement, program sequence, and relevant state and national accrediting standards.
- Adhere to the code of ethics set forth in state law.
To report any possible academic responsibility concerns to the Provost; please report on Maxient.
Rules & Regulations
Academic misconduct is subject to an academic penalty by the course instructor and/or a disciplinary sanction by the University. Academic misconduct is defined as all forms of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to:
- Plagiarism-Representing another person’s words, ideas, data, or materials as one’s own.
- Misconduct during an examination or academic exercise- Copying from another student’s paper, consulting unauthorized material, giving information to another student or collaborating with one or more students without authorization, or otherwise failing to abide by the University or instructor’s rules governing the examination or academic exercise without the instructor’s permission.
- Unauthorized possession of examination or other course materials -Acquiring or possessing an examination or other course materials without authorization by the instructor.
- Tampering with course materials-Destroying, hiding, or otherwise tampering with source materials, library materials, laboratory materials, computer system equipment or programs, or other course materials.
- Submitting false information -Knowingly submitting false, altered, or invented information, data, quotations, citations, or documentation in connection with an academic exercise.
- Submitting work previously presented in another course-Knowingly making such submission in violation of stated course requirements.
- Improperly influencing conduct -Acting calculatedly to influence an instructor, the instructor’s supervisor, or any Western administrator to assign a grade other than that actually earned.
- Substituting, or arranging substitution, for another student during an examination or other academic exercise -Knowingly allowing others to offer one’s work as their own.
- Facilitating academic dishonesty -Knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty, including assistance in the arrangement whereby any work, classroom performance, examination activity, or other academic exercise is submitted or performed by a person other than the student under whose name the work is submitted or performed.
- Altering transcripts, grades, examinations, or other academic-related documents-Falsifying, tampering with, or misrepresenting a transcript, other academic records, or any material relevant to academic performance, enrollment, or admission.
Academic Discipline Procedures
The focus of inquiry in disciplinary proceedings is to determine if a violation of the Standards of Student Code has occurred and, if so, to decide an appropriate academic penalty and/or University Sanction. Student Code of Conduct proceedings are administrative proceedings and do not follow formal rules of evidence applicable in judicial proceedings. However, the accused student must receive due process, and the University is to establish violations by a preponderance of evidence. It is assumed unless shown otherwise that the faculty and the Provost make impartial judgments concerning academic misconduct and fairly impose an appropriate academic penalty and/or University sanction. Minor deviations from prescribed procedures will not invalidate a decision or proceeding, provided they do not significantly prejudice the student or the University.
The adjudication of any alleged misconduct must be initiated within two years of discovery.
The following procedures apply in adjudicating charges of misconduct.
- Investigation by Course Instructor.
- Consultation with the Dean of Students: The course instructor should, in all cases where academic dishonesty is discovered, consult with the Dean of Students to report the incident and to determine whether any record of prior academic misconduct is in the student’s disciplinary file, which is maintained in Maxient. Academic misconduct alleged during the term of the course: When an incident of alleged academic misconduct is discovered by or brought to the attention of the course instructor during the course, the instructor personally contacts the accused student within five (5) working days to arrange a meeting. The course instructor and the student may each have a person of choice present at this meeting. (Student Rights Section). The role of legal counsel, if any, at this stage should be restricted to consultation with the student. At this meeting the course instructor will:
- Inform the student of the alleged academic misconduct and present the evidence supporting the allegation.
- Inform the student of the Student Conduct Code rules of procedure.
- Allow the student an opportunity to respond to the charge(s) and evidence. The student is not required to respond.
- Discuss the academic penalty and possible University sanctions, and allow the student to respond.
- If the student is willing to admit to this infraction and does accept the academic penalty, the instructor may opt to not file a formal charge of academic dishonesty with the institution. However, the student should be informed that the instructor is required to report the infraction, in writing, to the Dean of Students, thus becoming a part of the student’s permanent record in Maxient, which may be considered in the event of a subsequent infraction.
- Misconduct alleged at or after the conclusion of the course, or after a student has withdrawn from the course: When an incident of alleged academic misconduct is discovered by or brought to the attention of the course instructor at or after the conclusion of the course, or after a student has withdrawn from a course, the course instructor notifies the student in writing within five (5) working days. The instructor documents 1.a above in writing. Additionally, the instructor informs the student that an “N” grade will be given for the course or the assigned grade will be revoked and replaced by an “N” grade until there is a final resolution of the charge(s).
- Resolution of charge by Course Instructor:
- If the instructor concludes the student engaged in academic misconduct, the instructor will inform the student of the instructor’s academic penalty to be imposed within the course. If the student is willing to accept the instructor’s academic penalty then the instructor may consider the matter to be informally resolved. Formal charges at the institutional level may still be pursued by the Dean of Students. The academic penalty does not take effect until the final resolution of the charge(s), or until the deadline for an appeal has passed. An “N” grade may be assigned in the interim.
- If a University sanction is recom- mended by the Dean of Students in consultation with the instructor, then the course instructor will notify the student that the case will be transferred to the Dean of Students through Maxient.
- If a University sanction is recommended, or if the student appeals, the course instructor will prepare a written summary, including a concise statement of the act of academic misconduct and the evidence and will submit this document through Maxient to the Dean of Students, who will provide a copy to the student, and to the student’s advisor. A copy of this written summary will be placed in the student’s disciplinary file maintained in his/her Maxient file. The student also may provide a written statement to be placed in the file. The written summary may also be prepared by the instructor and included in the student’s file in cases where the student accepts the instructor’s academic penalty but where institutional charges are not filed.
- Resolution of the charge by the instructor when the student does not appear for the meeting: If the student does not appear for the meeting with the course instructor, the course instructor informs the student in writing of:
- The academic penalty recommended. The academic penalty is not formally imposed until final resolution of the charge(s) or until the deadline for an appeal has passed. If a grade is required before final resolution of the charge(s) or before the deadline for an appeal has passed, an “N” grade is assigned.
- The transfer of the case to the Dean of Students through Maxient if a University sanction is recommended.
- The Student Conduct Code rules of procedure and appeal. (A copy of this code will suffice).
- The fact that a written summary of the case has been sent to the student, the student’s advisor, and the Dean of Students with a copy placed in the student’s disciplinary file maintained
in Maxient. The student also may provide a written statement to be placed in the file.
- Sanction Imposed by the University
- Investigation by the Dean of Students: After reviewing the course instructor’s recommendation and written summary of the case and the instructor’s recommended academic penalty and after consulting with the instructor, the Dean of Students reviews the student’s academic disciplinary record, reviews the evidence, and interviews individually or together the instructor, the accused student, and possible witnesses. Before the interview, the accused student is informed by email through Maxient, that he/she may bring a person of choice and that he/ she also has the right to have legal counsel present during the interview. The student must notify the Dean of Students at least three (3) working days before the time of the interview of any intent to be accompanied by legal counsel. The role of legal counsel, if any, at this stage should be restricted to consultation with the student. The student is not required to make any response during the interview.
- Resolution of the charge(s) by the Dean of Students:
- If the Dean of Students decides not to impose a University sanction, the Dean of Students notifies and provides written justification of the decision to the student, course instructor, and the student’s advisor. The decision of the Dean of Students not to impose a University sanction may not be used by the student to justify or support an appeal of an academic penalty by the course instructor. Thus, an instructor’s chosen academic penalty may be implemented regardless of the outcome of the Dean of Student’s decision about imposing a University sanction.
- If the Dean of Students decides to impose a University sanction, the Dean of Students informs the course instructor and the student’s advisor, and the student is notified through email. Before imposing a University sanction, the Dean of Students will consult with the course instructor. When a University sanction of Denial of a Degree, Revocation of a Degree, Expulsion, or Suspension is proposed, the Dean of Students will present the recommendation to the Provost for review and approval prior to notifying the student. The notice to the student includes:
- a statement of the specific academic misconduct committed;
- a concise summary of the facts upon which the charge is based;
- a statement of the University sanction; and
- a statement of the appeal procedure.
- Student Appeal of the Academic Penalty and/or University Sanction:
- If, within ten (10) working days, the student does not appeal the decision to impose the academic penalty and/ or University sanction, the allegation in the notice of University sanction will be considered accepted by the parties. The Dean of Students will instruct the appropriate University officials to implement the sanction. A written summary of the case will be placed in the student’s disciplinary file in Maxient.
- No academic penalty of the instructor and/or University sanction is imposed until final resolution of the charge(s) or until the deadline for an appeal has passed. If the accused student chooses to waive his/her optionto appeal and instead accepts the instructor’s academic penalty and/ or the institutional sanction then the issue is considered resolved.
- If the student denies the charge(s) and/or does not accept the academic penalty imposed by the course instructor and/or the University sanction, the student may appeal to the Provost. A student’s request for appeal with supporting evidence must be presented in writing to the Provost within ten (10) working days after the student is informed by the instructor of the imposed academic penalty or within ten (10) working days after the student received the notice of a University sanction, whichever occurs later. The Provost shall have twenty (20) working days to render a written decision.
- After receipt of the Provost’s decision, if the student denies the charge(s) and/or does not accept the academic penalty imposed by the course instructor and/or the University sanction, supported by the Provost, the student may appeal to the University Court. A request for appeal with supporting evidence must be presented in writing to the Provost within ten(10) working days. When a student appeals the Provost’s decision, the Chair of the University Court, schedules a hearing date. The Chair gives notice of the time, date, and place of the hearing sending copies of this notice to the student, course instructor, the Dean of Students and the Provost. In the absence of extenuating circumstances, the hearing is held within fifteen (15) working days of the appeal. A student appealing to the University Court may be accompanied by a representative. If the representative is an attorney, the student must notify the Chair of the University Court in writing at least three(3) working days before the scheduled hearing. A student’s failure to give notice of the involvement of legal representation may delay the hearing. If the student is to be represented at the hearing by an attorney, then the University may also be represented by legal counsel. Hearings are closed to the public. However, at the discretion of the University Court Chair, an open hearing maybe held if requested by the student and if the individual privacy rights of others are protected. The Chair of the University Court is responsible for conducting the hearing in an orderly manner. The student presents witnesses and/or evidence in support of the appeal. The course instructor, the Dean of Students and the Provost also present witnesses and evidence. Each party may question the other party’s witnesses. The burden of proof is on the University to establish that a violation did occur, by providing the Court clear and convincing evidence which supports the allegation. Formal rules of evidence (such as in a legal proceeding) do not apply. The Chair decides the admissibility of all evidence presented and rules on all procedural issues. Minutes of the hearing are taken at University expense. The Chair may prescribe additional procedural rules for the hearing that are consistent with this Code. The University Court reaches a decision by majority vote. The Chair has the right to vote. The vote upholds, alters, or overturns the academic penalty and/or the University sanction. The decision of the University Court is submitted to the Chancellor of the University for review and final approval. Within ten (10) working days, a copy of the University Court’s decision is provided by the Chair to the student, the course instructor, Dean of Students, and the Provost.
- The final step on campus is a written appeal to the Chancellor (which may be filed by either party) to review any allegations of procedural irregularities during steps 1 through 3. The student has ten (10) working days to appeal to the Chancellor. The Chancellor may interview each person involved in the process and request additional written material if needed. The Chancellor shall have twenty (20) working days to render a written decision concerning allegations of procedural irregularities.
- If an allegation of procedural irregularities is not resolved on campus, the student has the right to submit an appeal sequentially, to The University of Montana President, to the Commissioner of Higher Education,and finally to the Montana University System Board of Regents.
Depending on the severity of the acts of academic misconduct, a student may incur one or more of the following penalties:
- Academic Penalty by Course Instructor-The student receives a failing or reduced grade in an academic exercise, examination, or course, and/or is assigned additional work that may include re-examination. The option to be selected is solely the province of the faculty member. The decision may be appealed, as outlined in this policy.
- Denial of a Degree-A degree is not awarded.
- Revocation of a Degree-A previously awarded degree is rescinded.
- Expulsion-The student is permanently separated from the University and also may be excluded from any University-owned or controlled property or events.
- Suspension-The student is separated from the University for a specified period of time and also may be excluded from participation in any University-sponsored activity. Suspension may not exceed one calendar year.
- Disciplinary Probation-The student is warned that further misconduct may result in Suspension or Expulsion. Conditions may be placed on continued enrollment for a specified time.
- Disciplinary Warning-The student is issued a written warning that further misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary sanctions.
Student-athletes should refer to the student-athlete handbook available on the Montana Western athletics website for information regarding the student-athlete code of conduct and other athletic department policies.
General Behavior Code
Students have the responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that does not impair the welfare or educational opportunities of others in the Montana Western community. Students must act as responsible members of the academic community; respect the rights, privileges, and dignity of others; and refrain from actions that interfere with normal University functions.
General Misconduct includes all forms of misconduct, except academic misconduct. Some, but not all, of the acts listed below are criminal acts under the laws of Montana. In all cases, Montana Western concerns itself with general, or non-academic, misconduct insofar as it directly affects the Montana Western community. General misconduct is subject to University disciplinary action(s), and includes:
Standards of Conduct
- Forgery, falsification, or fraudulent misuse of University documents, records, or identification cards.
- Furnishing false information to the University or members of the Montana Western community who are performing their official duties.
- Causing false information to be presented before any judicial proceeding of the University or intentionally destroying evidence important to such a proceeding.
- Theft of property or services on University premises or at University-sponsored activities, or knowing possession of stolen property on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.
- Unauthorized use, destruction, or damage of University property or the property of others on University premises or at University-sponsored activities. “Unauthorized” means entry, use, or occupancy to which the student is not authorized by virtue of his/her enrollment, class schedule, and/or legal or Student Code of Conduct action.
- Unauthorized or fraudulent use of Montana Western’s facilities, telephone system, mail system, or computers, or use of any of the above for any illegal act.
- Unauthorized entry, use, or occupancy of University facilities.
- Failure to comply with the directions of University officials, including Resident Assistants and Security Officers, acting in the performance of their duties within the scope of their authority.
- Violation of published University regulations or policies. Among such regulations are those pertaining to student housing, entry and use of University facilities, use of amplifying equipment, campus demonstrations, etc. Montana Western regulations and policies may be obtained from various offices (Residence Life, Dean of Students Office, Registrar, Financial Aid, Business Office, and Chancellor’s Office).
- Intentional obstruction or disruption of normal University or University-sponsored activities, including but not limited to studying, teaching, research, administration and disciplinary procedures, or fire, police, or emergency services.
- Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages on University premises or at University-sponsored activities except as permitted in University policies (Facility Use Policy, and Alcohol Policy). NOTE: According to Montana law, use or abuse of alcohol does not justify abusive or damaging behavior; such use or abuse will not constitute grounds for reduced sanctions for Conduct Code violations.
- Use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana. Although Montana state law permits the use of medical marijuana, i.e., use by persons possessing lawfully issued medical marijuana cards, federal laws prohibit marijuana use, possession and/or cultivation at educational institutions and on the premises of other recipients of federal funds. The use, possession or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes is therefore not allowed in any University of Montana Western housing or any other University of Montana Western property; nor is it allowed at any University-sponsored event or activity off campus.
- Disorderly or indecent conduct on University- owned or controlled property or at University-sponsored activities.
- Hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization.
- Interfering with the freedom of expression of others on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.
- Malicious intimidation or harassment of another. When a student, with the intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, bully, or offend, (a) causes bodily injury to another, (b) causes reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in another, (c) damages, destroys, or defaces any property of another or any public property, or (d) makes repeated telephone communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours or in offensively coarse language. Off-campus incidents are subject to procedures in this policy.
- Illegal use, possession, or distribution of any controlled substance on University premises or at University-sponsored activities; or illegal distribution of any controlled substance off-campus, subject to procedures in this policy.
- Illegal or unauthorized possession or use of firearms, explosives, other weapons, dangerous chemicals, or other noxious substances on University premises.
- Sexual misconduct. See sexual misconduct policy on the web or contact Title IX coordinators, Liane Forrester, 406-683- 7530 or Nicole Hazelbaker, 406-683- 7900.
- Homicide, assault, aggravated or felony assault, or threat of the same, to any person on University-owned or controlled property or at University-sponsored functions, or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any such person; or off-campus homicide, assault, aggravated or felony assault, or threat of the same.
- Retaliation against a person for filing a complaint, or acts of intimidation directed toward the person to drop a complaint.
- Violation of the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with this Code.
- Attempts and Complicity: Attempts to commit acts prohibited by the Standards of Student Conduct, or knowingly or willfully encouraging or assisting others to commit such acts are prohibited by this Code and may be punished to the same extent as if one had committed the prohibited act.
- Smoking & Tobacco: The use of tobacco (including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, pipes, bidi, hookah, snus, orb, vape, vapor, vaporizer pens, all forms of smokeless tobacco) by students, faculty, staff, guests, visitors, and contractors is prohibited on all properties owned or leased by The University of Montana Western.
- Dangerous or disruptive student: Montana Western is concerned about the physical, mental, and emotional welfare of its students. The University believes that all students have a responsibility for self-welfare, self-guardianship and self-care. In addition, students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that is not violent or disruptive. Any behavior that may threaten the well being of Montana Western students will be dealt with in a sensitive and appropriate manner. Montana Western strives to promote the health and safety of individual students with those of the broader campus community. When, in the judgment of appropriate University administration, a student’s behavior constitutes a disruption or danger to the living/learning environment which the University seeks to create, the University will intervene.
- Suicide attempts: Montana Western will consider all suicide attempts as serious. The University views any decision to attempt suicide as an indication of problems that are beyond the student’s immediate ability to cope. The counseling office will assist in the identification of resources for students in need of immediate help. In addition, Montana Western recognizes that others in the community are affected by suicide attempts. Upon Notification of a Montana Western student attempting suicide, the University will provide crisis intervention. The Counselors, The Residence Life Director, and the Dean of Students are to be notified immediately so that appropriate intervention may be coordinated. If a student requests it, the Dean of Students may arrange for any student who attempts suicide to withdraw from the University, effective immediately, so that the student can give full attention to recovering. Students who would like to re-enroll must follow the University’s readmission procedures for returning to Montana Western.
Residence Halls and Family Housing
- Alcohol-Alcohol is not permitted in the residence halls at any time. Students of any age found to be in the presence of alcohol are in violation of the policy. Students on campus found to be in a clearly intoxicated state as documented by University staff members are in violation of the policy. Residents of Family Housing are allowed to have moderate amounts of alcohol in their apartments. Alcohol is not to be outside or in the presence of students under the age of 21. Alcohol is not allowed in bulk and gatherings of greater than 5 people cannot have alcohol present.
- Medical Marijuana-Although Montana state law permits the use of medical marijuana, i.e., use by persons possessing lawfully issued medical marijuana cards, federal laws prohibit marijuana use, possession and/or cultivation at educational institutions and on the premises of other recipients of federal funds. The use, possession or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes is therefore not allowed in any University of Montana Western housing or any other University of Montana Western property; nor is it allowed at any University-sponsored event or activity off campus.
- Candles, Incense & other fire hazard-Because of the threat of fire to residents and their property candles, incense, beanbag chairs, wall hangings that can obstruct fire sprinklers and halogen lamps are prohibited. Possession of any of the above items will result in community service hours. Items will be confiscated by Residence Hall Staff and held until semester ends.
- Chemicals & Explosives-Chemicals and explosives (including firecrackers, explosive devices, combustion engines, flammable and explosive liquids, ammunition, and fireworks) are not allowed in the residence halls or Family Housing. This includes materials and devices which by themselves, or when combined, could be explosive, flammable, toxic, or dangerous (such as camping fuel).
- Cooking in Rooms-Because of health concerns, only minimal cooking is allowed in residence hall rooms. Popcorn poppers are allowed if there is no exposed heating element. Coffee pots are allowed only if equipped with an automatic shutoff, but care should be taken to maintain these appliances. Small microwave ovens are allowed if under 750 watts. Refrigerators under 4 cubic feet are allowed. Toaster ovens, toasters and George Foreman-type grills are not allowed. Items will be confiscated by Residence Hall Staff and held until semester ends.
- Credit Requirements-Students living in campus housing are required to be a registered student while in residence.
- Disruptive Behavior-Inappropriate behaviors that necessitate an additional response from campus or city personnel, or any behavior that can be construed as disruptive to the housing community are considered violations of policy.
- Firearms-All weapons must be checked into the Residence Life gun safe. Under no circumstances are guns, bows, or ammunition to be carried onto residence hall floors or stored in family housing apartments. Knives which are intended for legitimate hunting purposes and simple pocketknives are allowed in the residence halls and family housing apartments (must be approved by Director of Residence Life). However, severe disciplinary action will be taken against students displaying these knives in a threatening or challenging manner. Any other sharp and/or pointed objects are not allowed-this includes decorative knives or swords. Handguns, pellet/B.B. guns, paint ball guns, wrist rockets, sling shots, blow guns and any other self-propelling apparatus are not allowed in the residence halls or family housing apartments; possession will result in immediate confiscation and possible removal from the residence halls and/or Montana Western. Ammunition is not to be stored in the Residence Life Gun Safe or in students rooms.
- Fire Drills & Fire Equipment-Misuse of any fire equipment, starting fires, setting off false alarms, or failing to evacuate and/or hindering in the evacuation of others will result in disciplinary action and possible criminal action. Participation in fire drills is mandatory. Fire drills are conducted at least once each semester in each hall to inform residents of the proper evacuation procedures. The RA on each floor will explain the evacuation procedures at the first floor meeting and an evacuation plan is posted behind each residence hall room door. Be sure you are familiar with these procedures. Your life may depend on it.
- Evacuation Guidelines:
- Open curtains, pull up blinds or shades.
- Close window.
- Put on shoes and a coat, in case you must remain outside for an extended period.
- Turn off all lights.
- Close door and take your room key as staff will enter your room to conduct a visual check and will lock your room door.
- Leave building by the nearest exit, unless that path is obstructed by fire, in which case, find an alternate exit.
- Use stairs, not elevators during evacuation, as you could become trapped.
- If you smell smoke while in your room, first feel your door and doorknob to determine if heat is present. If it is not, place a towel over your mouth and open your door. If you see smoke, crawl to the nearest exit (heat and smoke rise, and you are safer closer to the floor).
- When you feel your door, if heat is present, do not open your door. Put a towel over your mouth and under your door, open your window, hang a piece of white cloth out the window, and then close the window. The cloth will let firefighters know where to find you. Unless you live on the first floor, do not jump out of your window. Never break your window, as this will draw smoke into your room. Notify the Hall Director (406-925-9828) that you are still in your room.
- Remain outside until a signal is given to re-enter the building.
- Fire Hazards-Residents are responsible for taking all possible precautions to prevent fires. The use of multi-socket extension cords or the installation of non-approved wiring by residents is prohibited by fire regulations. The use, possession, or storage of Hoverboards, Swagways, IO Hawks, Skywalkers, and similar devices, is prohibited on campus until safety standards for them can be developed and implemented, and the prohibition is lifted. Recent information has revealed that the batteries in the devices are dangerous and prone to explosion, creating a safety and fire risk. Until a time that the safety standards for these devices are improved, Residence Life has prohibited them from being in any of our residence halls or apartments.
- Fire Safety-Do not risk your life in the case of fire. Call the fire department immediately at 911, evacuate your family housing apartment. In the interest of fire safety, keep all stairways, landings, and breezeways clean and free of obstructions such as barbecues, children’s toys, bikes, boxes, furniture, tires,large planters and the like. If barbecuing on the premises it is the responsibility of tenants to operate equipment using proper safety measures. We reserve the right to remove any obstructions that create unsafe or unsightly conditions. Garbage cannot be stored for any amount of time outside your apartment. Your garbage needs to be taken immediately to the dumpster in the back. If garbage is left outside your apartment, you will be billed for removal.
- Furniture & Furnishings-Residents are not permitted to remove or alter any furniture or fixtures in their rooms or public areas. Due to limited space, residence hall room furnishings cannot be stored elsewhere in the halls. Additionally, public area furniture is intended for the use of all students and may not be used in private rooms. Due to significant fire hazard, halogen lamps are not allowed in the residence halls.
- Guests & Visitation- Residents are allowed to have guests during the school year. A guest is limited to a maximum stay of six nights per month. Guest stay overs must be approved by a roommate. In all residence halls, members of the opposite sex must be escorted into the building and out of the building by a resident of that living area during quiet hours (Sunday through Thursday 10 p.m. to 10 a.m.; Friday and Saturday midnight to 10 a.m.). Guests without an escort may be removed from the building by a staff member. Residents are responsible for their actions and the actions of their guests at all times. Visitors and residents are reminded that they are not to use the bathroom facilities of the opposite sex at any time.
- Quiet Hours & Noise-Students are expected to respond to each other’s requests for quiet whenever their behavior or the behavior of their guests is such that it creates a disturbance. Residents are expected to maintain a level of quiet conducive to community living and respond courteously to other residents’ and staff requests for quiet. Quiet hours are in effect Sunday through Thursday nights from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m., and Friday and Saturday nights from midnight to 10:00 a.m. Noise during quiet hours must not be audible outside the room with the door closed.
- Roofs, Ledges, & Fire Escapes-Students are prohibited from being on rooftops, building ledges, or outside fire escapes.
- Smoking-The use of tobacco (including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, pipes, bidi, hookah, snus, orbs, vape, vapor, vaporizer pens, all forms of smokeless tobacco) by students, faculty, staff, guests, visitors, and contractors is prohibited on all properties owned or leased by The University of Montana Western.
- Solicitation-General sales or solicitation are not allowed in the residence halls or Family Housing apartments, with the exception of newspaper delivery. Residents approached by unauthorized salespeople should notify a Residence Life staff member or the RLO.
- Prohibited Items-The following items are not allowed in residence hall rooms or family housing apartments. Christmas trees, pets, television antennas, waterbeds, firearms and/or ammunition, and motorized equipment.
Violators of computer use policies will be subject to the normal disciplinary procedures of the University. Violations of the policies described below for legal and ethical use of computing resources will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner. Illegal acts involving Montana Western Computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities. Computer use violations are divided into four categories, described below with examples listed.
The University of Montana Western provides electronic communication services to students and utilizes them as a primary communication mechanism between Western and its students.
The UMW email system is a primary communication mechanism between Western and it students. UMW has established generally accepted guidelines for use of this communication medium including university use of email, assignment of student email addresses, and expectations of email communication between faculty and students, staff and students, and administrators and students.
University Use of Email
- All students currently actively enrolled at UMW are provided with a campus email address. Email is a mechanism for official communication within the university. UMW expects and requires that students open and read such communications in a timely fashion. As steward of the electronic communication services, the Technology Steering Committee is responsible for overseeing the usage of student email and other communication. The primary administrative offices (Dean of Students, Registrar, Director of Admissions, Director of Student Success, Director of Financial Aid, and Director of Business Services) will review special requests for access to the campus email system.
Assignment of Student Email Accounts
- Official University email accounts are created automatically for all actively enrolled students. These accounts expire approximately one year after the end of each semester. The email address is used in all other campus computing systems
. Expectations About Student Use of Email
- Students are expected to check their email no less than twice a week in order to stay current with University-related communications. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time-critical. “I didn’t check my email”, and non-delivery of email because the student’s mailbox is full, are not acceptable excuses for missing official University communications via email.
- Since email is an insecure method of communication, Montana Western officials will never transmit nor solicit confidential information via email. Students should never respond to requests for Social Security Number, credit card, or other personal information via email. Because the Banner Student Self-Service System (DAWGS) is encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), it can be used to provide additional information. Only DAWGS, face-to-face, or written communications will be used to provide confidential information to or request confidential information from a student.
- Users should not use email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters and should not assume that email is private and confidential. It is important that users be careful to send messages only to the intended recipient(s).
- All use of email must be consistent with Board of Regents policy on use of electronic communication.
- Confidentiality of student records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). All use of email will be consistent with FERPA.
- Email shall not be used for notification of any legal action.
General Behavior Discipline Procedures
The focus of inquiry in disciplinary proceedings is to determine if a violation of the Standards of Student Conduct has occurred and, if so, to decide appropriate sanctions. Student Code of Conduct proceedings are administrative proceedings and do not follow formal rules of evidence applicable in judicial proceedings. However, the accused student must receive due process, and the University has the burden of proof to establish a violation by a preponderance of evidence. Minor deviation from prescribed procedures will not invalidate a decision or proceeding, provided they do not significantly prejudice the student or the University.
The following procedures apply in adjudicating charges of general misconduct:
Whenever it appears that a student may have committed an act of general misconduct, a University official designated by the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs investigates the incident. The official conducting the investigation:
- Determines the facts of the incident through interviews, reports, and other evidence.
- Informs the student of the findings of the investigation and the alleged misconduct.
- Informs the student of the Student Code of Conduct rules of procedure, and ensures the student has a copy of the Code.
- Allows the student an opportunity to respond to the evidence and potential charge(s).
- Makes an impartial judgment as to whether or not any general misconduct occurred, and, if so, proposes appropriate sanctions.
- Allows the student an opportunity to respond to the proposed sanctions.
- Informs the student of the right to an administrative conference with an official designated by the Vice Chancellor of Administration, Finance, and Student Affairs, and a hearing by the University Court, if the student denies the charge and/or does not accept the proposed sanctions.
- If the student accepts the charges, the designated officer consults with the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs regarding the student’s past disciplinary record, and propriety of proposed sanctions.
- If the student accepts the charges and the sanctions, the designated officer summarizes the case in writing to the student, with a copy to the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. A written summary, including a concise statement of the evidence, findings, and sanctions, will be sent to the student via Maxient within 5 days of the action.
Sanctions of Expulsion and Suspension require review and approval by the Chancellor and the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.
- Administrative Conference
If the student denies the charges and/or does not accept the sanctions, the student has 5 working days to appeal the charges and/or sanctions in writing to the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. The Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs can hear the case or designate an administrative officer or committee to review the report.
- If the administrative officer/committee concludes that no violation of this Code has occurred, and/or that there is insufficient evidence to support further action, a recommendation to that effect is sent to the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, with copies to the student and investigative officer.
- If the administrative officer/committee concludes that a probable violation of this Code has occurred, and that the evidence supports sanctions, he/she sends a written notice of charges to the student specifying:
- The alleged misconduct;
- A concise summary of the facts upon which the charges are based; and
- A statement of proposed sanctions.
The notice of charges requests the student to meet with the investigative officer and the administrative officer/committee on a specific date, time, and place, and informs the student of the right to bring along a parent, guardian, counsel, or other appropriate witness. The notice states that the role of legal counsel at this conference is limited to consultation with the student only, and that the student notify the administrative officer/committee at least three (3) working days before the time of the conference of the intent to bring legal counsel.
- The purpose of the conference is to inform the student of the Student Code of Conduct Disciplinary Procedures and to provide a final opportunity for informal resolution of the charges. The student, however, is not required to make any response at the conference.
- Following the administrative conference, the administrative officer/committee consults with the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs concerning the charges and proposed sanctions.
Sanctions of Expulsion and Suspension require review and approval by the Chancellor and the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.
- If the student agrees to the sanctions, the administrative office/committee summarizes the case in writing to the student, with a copy to the Vice Chancellor of Administration, Finance, and Student Affairs. A written summary, including a concise statement of the evidence, findings, and sanctions will be sent to the student via Maxient within 5 days of the action.
- If the student denies the charges and/or does not accept the sanctions, the administrative officer/committee transfers the case within five (5) working days to the University Court for a hearing.
- If the student does not appear for the conference with the administrative officer/ committee, nor request transfer after the proceedings to the University Court, the allegations in the notice of charges are accepted and, upon review and approval by the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, the University imposes the disciplinary sanctions specified in the statement of charges. The administrative officer/committee notifies the student of the actions taken with a copy to the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.
- Except for temporary suspension or eviction, no disciplinary sanction is imposed until final resolution of the charges or until the deadline for an appeal has passed.
- Disciplinary Records
- The sanctions of Expulsion and Suspension affect the student’s academic status and are entered as notations in the student’s permanent academic record maintained by the Registrar during such time as the imposed sanctions are in effect.
- Whenever charges against a student are pending, the student, unless temporarily suspended or evicted, continues to have the same rights and privileges as other students. At the request of the student, transcripts may be released to an institution or prospective employer with the understanding that if there are pending charges which are determined to adversely affect the student and result in alteration of the transcript previously released, the institution/employer may be so notified and a corrected copy of the transcript may be forwarded to the institution/employer.
- A record of sanctions imposed for any violation of the Student Code of Conduct is retained on file in Maxient.
General Behavior Penalties
- Computer Use Sanctions
Category A, Possible Sanctions
The user may be issued a verbal, E-mail, or hard copy warning that their actions were not acceptable. Any repeated Category A offense will be raised to a Category B offense.
Category B, Possible Sanctions
The user’s account or computer access (including access to the computer labs) may be suspended until a formal session with an ITS staff member has been attended. A copy of this document will be handed to the user with the specific area of offense highlighted. Any repeated Category B offense will be raised to a Category C offense.
Category C, Possible Sanctions
The user has committed an offense that warrants investigation and a formal report by the Dean of Students. The user’s account and computer access (including access to the computer labs) may be suspended. The user must attend a session with an ITS staff member. The ITS staff member will contact the Dean of Students to report the incident. All computer privileges will continue to be suspended until the completion of the investigation and issuance of a report by the Dean of Students Office. In most cases, the appropriate Montana Western official will make the determination if computer privileges are to be returned to the user. Any repeated Category C offense will be raised to a Category D offense.
Category D, Possible Sanctions
Any user committing a Category D offense forfeits all rights to computer privileges. Any and all information requested by the Dean of Students Office, local, state, or federal law enforcement will be provided. If the user is found guilty of the offense under investigation, any future access to University computer resources must be first approved by the appropriate Montana Western official. The official may stipulate usage only under supervised circumstances.
- General Behavior Sanctions (These also apply to Residence Hall and Family Housing violations)
- Sanctions may include any one or more or the following:
- Expulsion-The student is permanently separated from the University and/or from University-owned or controlled property or events. This sanction requires an administrative review by the Vice Chancellor for Administration, Finance, and Student Affairs.
- Suspension-The student is separated from the University for a specified period of time, and may also be excluded from participation in any University-sponsored activity. This sanction requires an administrative review by the Vice Chancellor for Administration, Finance, and Student Affairs.
- Disciplinary Probation-The student continues attendance at Montana Western and is subject to restrictions and/or conditions imposed by the University for a specified period of time.
- Disciplinary Warning-The student is warned that further misconduct may result in severe disciplinary sanctions.
- Restitution-The student is required to make payment for damage to Montana Western as a result of violation of this Code.
- Other Sanctions-In addition to or in lieu of the above, other sanctions may be imposed. For example, the student may be evicted from the Residence Halls or Family Housing, may be prohibited from attending campus events or participating in organized activities, and/or may be required to attend and complete classes, programs, workshops, or counseling dealing with specific behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse and sexual offenses, as conditions of current or future enrollment.
- Community Service-Students may be required to perform a certain number of unpaid volunteer service hours.
- Repeated or aggravated violation of this Code of Conduct may result in more severe disciplinary sanctions than any individual violation might warrant.
- Committing any act prohibited by this Code of Conduct may result in expulsion or suspension from the University unless specific and mitigating factors are present. Factors to be considered in mitigation may include the present attitude and past disciplinary record of the offender, as well as the nature of the offense and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it.
- Notification of any sanction imposed is sent to appropriate University officials.
- Readmission to Montana Western following General Misconduct suspension is dependent upon the student’s compliance with the conditions designated at the time of suspension and the student’s fitness to return to the campus community. These decisions are made by the Dean of Students upon consultation with appropriate professional staff on campus and/or in the community. Appropriate documentation, depending upon the nature of the original violation and the conditions of suspension, is required.
- Temporary Suspension
Montana Western reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well being of the campus community.
- A student may be temporarily suspended from the University or evicted from University housing by the Dean of Students, pending disciplinary or criminal proceedings, such suspension or eviction to become immediately effective without prior notice whenever there is evidence that the student’s continued presence on the campus constitutes a threat to the student or others or to the continuance of normal University operations. In cases of temporary suspension or eviction, the student is given an opportunity to appear before the Dean of Students within five (5) working days from the effective date of the suspension or eviction in order to discuss the following issues:
- The reliability of the evidence against the student.
- Whether the alleged conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the student’s presence on campus constitutes a threat to others, or to the continuance of normal University operations.
- Faculty members have the independent authority to exclude a student from any class session in which the student displays disruptive behavior that threatens the learning environment or safety and well being of others in the classroom. The student remains eligible to return to the next class session. The faculty member maintains the authority to remove the student from each class session during which the student is disruptive. The student may be suspended permanently from a class upon recommendation of the Dean of Students under the disciplinary procedures outlined in this Code
Composition of Court
The University Court, appointed by the Provost, consists of four faculty members nominated by the President of the University Faculty Association (from different departments); one faculty member nominated by the Academic Admissions & Standards Committee; three undergraduate students nominated by the ASUMW President. The Chair is selected by the members of The University Court from among the faculty appointees at the first meeting.
No member of The University Court may sit on a case if the member is:
- From the same academic unit as the faculty member charging a student with misconduct or the accused student; or
- Otherwise closely associated personally or professionally with the faculty member or student. A Court member should disqualify himself/herself when any grounds for disqualification are present. The accused student may assert grounds for disqualification of a Court member to the Court Chair no later than three (3) working days prior to the scheduled hearing. The Chair shall implement a disqualification when warranted by the facts asserted.
- When proceedings have been transferred to University Court, the Court Chair, in consultation with the appropriate Montana Western administrator, schedules a hearing date. The Chair gives notice of the time, date, and place of the hearing to the student that, absent urgent circumstances, will be held not less than five (5) working days after the date of such notice.
- A student appearing before The University Court may be accompanied by a representative who may be an attorney. The student must file a statement of intention to be represented by an attorney with the Dean of Students at least three (3) working days before the time scheduled for the hearing. Failure to give notice of legal representation will justify a delay of the proceedings by the University. If the student is to be represented at the hearing by an attorney, then the University also will be represented by legal counsel. Should the University initially elect to present it’s case through legal counsel, the student is given at least three (3) working days notice. In such a case, a reasonable extension of no more than five (5) working days may be granted to the student in order to obtain legal counsel.
- Hearings are closed to the public. An open hearing may be held at the discretion of the Chair only if requested by the student, unless a closed hearing is necessary to protect the overriding individual privacy rights of others.
- The Chair exercises control over the hearing to achieve an orderly process. The University, through its authorized representative, states the charges against the student and presents evidence and witnesses in support thereof. The student has the right to present witnesses and evidence in rebuttal. Each party has the right to cross-examine the other party’s witnesses. The burden of proof is on the University to establish violation of the Student Code of Conduct by clear and convincing evidence.
- Formal rules of evidence do not apply, and the Chair decides the admissibility of all evidence presented and rules on all procedural issues.
- The hearing is recorded at Montana Western’s expense. Transcripts of the minutes are available to the student upon request.
- The Court Chair may prescribe additional procedural rules for the hearing that are consistent with this Code.
- The University Court renders a decision by majority vote within ten (10) working days after the close of the hearing. The Chair has a vote in all cases. The decision contains a finding as to violation of the Code and a statement of the reasons for the decision, and the sanctions to be imposed.
- The Chair will send a letter to the student informing the student of the decision made by the University Court.
Failure to Appear
A student who fails to appear for The University Court hearing, after being given proper notice of the time and place of the hearing, is considered to have waived the right to be heard by The University Court. The University accepts the charges as true and the academic penalty and/or University sanction recommended by the Dean of Students is imposed.
Appeal to the Chancellor
- An appeal by either party may be made in writing to the Chancellor after adjudication by The University Court.
- Appeals must be completed within ten (10) working days from the date of the letter notifying the student of The University Court’s decision. The Chancellor will have ten (10) working days to respond to the appeal.
- The appeal is limited to:
- Whether the evidence provides a reasonable basis for the resulting findings and disciplinary sanction.
- Whether procedural errors deprived either party of a fair hearing.
- Each party may submit supplemental written statements.
- The Chancellor reviews the decision of The Court, and either approves or overrules the decision of The University Court.
- A copy of the Chancellor’s decision is provided to the student, the course instructor, Provost, or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dean of Students Office, and The University Court Chair.
- The Chancellor’s decision includes directions for implementation. A decision to overrule may include an order for a new hearing to consider new or omitted evidence, or to correct procedural defects.
- The student may seek further administrative review by the President of The University of Montana, then the Commissioner of Higher Education, and finally the Board of Regents pursuant to Montana University System Policy and Procedures Manual, 203.5.1.
No appeals shall be considered that have not followed the established procedures and order of appeal through the appropriate process.
When an appeal cannot be heard by The University Court within a reasonable time after the student’s request (between semesters, during the summer, and other academic breaks), the Chancellor may, whenever it is in the best interest of the University or the student, appoint an impartial Hearing Officer to conduct a hearing. This hearing is conducted following the procedures of this Code, with the decision of the Hearing Officer submitted to the Chancellor.
Nothing contained in this Code limits the right of the appropriate Montana Western representative and the student at any time to agree to disciplinary sanctions if the student agrees not to contest the charges. Any such agreement must be in writing.
Affirmative Action, Equal Employment & Grievance Procedure
Montana Western is committed to affirmative action: to provide all persons an equal opportunity for education, employment, and participation in University activities without regard to the individual’s race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or handicap; and to employ and advance in employment qualified disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam Era.
All University supervisory personnel are responsible for applying the equal opportunity guidelines. This responsibility includes assurance that employment and admission decisions, personnel actions, and administration of benefits to both students and employees are based on criteria that adhere to the principle of equal opportunity. Search committee chairs are responsible for applying the equal opportunity guidelines to their respective searches. Specific responsibility to develop and implement an effective equal opportunity program, including appropriate reporting and monitoring procedures, has been assigned to the Affirmative Action Officer.
All members of the University community are expected to familiarize themselves with the affirmative action program to assure that their official actions are consistent with this policy. Montana Western has an established grievance procedure for any faculty member, student, non-academic employee, or applicant for employment or admission who claims to have been unlawfully discriminated against because of any University regulation, policy, practice, or the official action of any Montana Western employee. Persons alleging discrimination at Montana Western are encouraged to contact Montana Western’s Affirmative Action Officer, (406) 683-7101.
Alcohol Policy Summary
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages on property belonging to the Montana University System is prohibited except as expressly permitted.
- Unless otherwise authorized by the Chancellor or designee, alcoholic beverages may not be consumed on campus.
- Authorization by the Chancellor for consumption of alcoholic beverages shall conform to the following:
- Consumption shall be in connection with a substantive event, such as a banquet, official entertainment, or reception.
- Food and non-alcoholic beverages shall also be available.
- The event shall be monitored to prevent consumption by a person not of legal age.
- Must submit waiver form prior to the event.
- The University of Montana Western reserves the right to contact parents of students under the age of 21 as they become involved in or are adjudicated for violations of Montana Western’s drug and alcohol policies. Contacts are made when it is deemed appropriate for the safety and well-being of the involved student.
“Alcoholic beverage” means any beverage that is subject to the Montana Alcoholic Beverages Code.
“Property belonging to the Montana University System” means any property that is owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by any unit of the Montana University System.
Further information regarding Montana Western’s alcohol use policies (100.5) is available from the Conference & Events Office, Mathews Hall, 683-7566.
Tobacco Free Campus Policy
The use of tobacco (including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, pipes, bidi, hookah, snus, orbs, all forms of smokeless tobacco) by students, faculty, staff, guests, visitors, and contractors is prohibited on all properties owned or leased by The University of Montana Western.
Drug Free Schools & Communities Act
In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by University employees and its students on institutional property or at any of its activities is prohibited. Montana Western will uphold the standards of conduct that prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by its employees and students. Montana Western will impose disciplinary sanctions (consistent with local, State, and federal laws), and consistently enforce such sanctions relating to the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by its employees and students. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion and may have legal consequences. A student violating this policy may be required to satisfactorily complete a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program as an alternative to suspension or expulsion. Anyone unlawfully possessing or using drugs risks being reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
There are at least two alternatives for students seeking assistance with substance use or abuse-related issues. The Campus Counseling Center is a good first step toward identifying at-risk behavior or to obtain coping strategies for substance addictions. It is available to help those with substance abuse problems, including dealing with friends and family who may have substance abuse issues (call 683-7565 for confidential appointment). The Beaverhead Chemical Dependency Center is also available for assessment and treatment, which can be in the form of individual or group counseling (683-4305).
Firearms, Fireworks, Chemicals & Explosives
No student, guest, faculty member, or employee may transport firearms, chemicals, fireworks, or explosives on Montana Western’s campus. Rifles and shotguns may be stored in the Residence Life gun storage room during Fall Semester, but these firearms must be removed as soon as hunting season ends. No weapons or ammunition are allowed in the residence halls or rooms at any time. Handguns may not be kept in the residence halls at any time. Anyone unlawfully possessing or using firearms, chemicals, fireworks, or explosives risks being reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Final Grade Appeal Procedure
The Montana Western grade appeal process is designed to determine if an error in the calculation or recording of a grade has occurred and does not address student allegations of prejudicial or discriminatory actions by a professor. For such claims, see below for a description of the policy and procedure.
Only final grades may be appealed and the burden of proof of a grading error rests with the student. Grades may not be appealed due to their impact on financial aid, athletic eligibility, or other extraneous factors.
The steps for the Montana Western grade appeal procedure are described below.
- As the first step, students must attempt to resolve any error by meeting informally with the professor. In most cases, this will result in resolution of the situation. Before meeting, with the professor, students should refer to the course syllabus provided the first day of class to review the criteria and methods for determining grades. Students should then speak with the professor to review the final grade and determine if there was an error. Should this process not succeed in rectifying the situation, the student may proceed to Step 2.
- As the second step, a student wishing to continue the grade appeal process will next meet with the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will review the student’s concern to help the student determine if grounds for an appeal exist and, if warranted, to help frame the student’s appeal in a professional and meaningful way. The student must bring to this meeting: A) the course syllabus, B) copies of the graded material, C) attendance verification if available. After this meeting, the student may elect to end the appeal or proceed to Step 3.
- In the third step, the student attempts to resolve the matter by sending a signed, dated appeal letter outlining his/her concerns to the instructor of the course, who shall have ten (10) working days to respond in writing with a decision. The written appeal letter from the student must be submitted within one calendar year of the date the grade was issued.
- If the appeal is not resolved after Step 3, and the student deems further action is necessary, the student will direct the appeal to the Dean of Students within five (5) working days of receiving the instructor’s written response. The Dean will communicate to the student who the members of the University Court are and how the court is selected. The student can request a member of University Court not be a part of the appeal. The Dean will have the appeal reviewed by the University Court and a final decision will be rendered by the University Court within twenty (20) working days to render a written decision concerning allegations of procedural irregularities.
- If the student believes that procedural irregularities have occurred during the appeal and would like to appeal those, he/she must do so in writing to the Provost within ten (10) working days. The Provost shall have twenty (20) working days to render a written decision.
- The final step on campus is a written appeal to the Chancellor (which may be filed by either party) to review any allegations of procedural irregularities during steps 1-4. The Chancellor may interview each person involved in the process and request additional written material if needed. The Chancellor shall have twenty (20) working days to render a written decision concerning allegations of procedural irregularities.
- If an allegation of procedural irregularities is not resolved on campus, the student has the right to take an appeal to The University of Montana President, the Commissioner of Higher Education, and finally the Montana University System Board of Regents.
University Policy Grievances
A student grievance must be based on an alleged violation of Montana Western’s regulations or policies. A grievance may not be based on the student’s judgment of an instructor or administrator’s competence. A grievance must be initiated within one calendar year following the alleged violation. The procedural steps outlined below are the primary mechanism for resolution of student grievances.
- A student who wishes to pursue a Policy Grievance must first meet with the Dean of Students to determine the exact policy that has been allegedly violated by the faculty member or administrator. The Dean of Students will consult with the Provost (for Faculty grievances) and/or the Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance (for Staff grievances) during this process. Upon determination of the policy, the student may proceed to Step 2.
- A student then attempts to resolve the matter by sending a signed, dated letter to the faculty member or administrator, who shall have ten (10) working days to respond in writing with a decision. The Dean of Students may advise the student on the nature and content of the letter.
- If the student deems that the faculty member or administrator’s response is unsatisfactory, or if the faculty member or administrator does not respond, the Dean of Students may convene a mediation between the parties to determine if a resolution is possible. A neutral mediator will be designated to hear the case and help the parties communicate. The Dean of Students will provide guidelines for this mediation to all parties.
- If the grievance is not resolved after Step 3, and the student deems further action is necessary, the student will direct the grievance to the Dean of Students within five (5) working days of the mediation. The Dean of Students will proceed with organizing a Policy Grievance Committee to hear the case. This Committee shall have twenty (20) working days to make a decision on the grievance.
- The Policy Grievance Committee shall review student grievances as necessary. The Campus Policy Grievance Committee shall consist of members from these areas:
- Affirmative Action Committee member
- A Student Services Representative
- Four faculty members from different departments
- A member of ASUMW Student Senate
It is the intent of Montana Western’s grievance procedure that informed attempts be made in every instance of conflict to resolve the concerns of the parties involved. In the event that informed discussion or resolution with the Policy Grievance Committee is not successful in resolving a student’s concern, students may appeal in writing to the Montana Western Chancellor. The Chancellor shall have thirty (30) working days to collect necessary information, interview involved parties, and file a written decision with the student. Following this, students have the right to appeal to The University of Montana President, the Commissioner of Higher Education, and finally the Montana University System Board of Regents.
Hold Harmless Policy
The University of Montana Western administration and faculty agree that students will be held harmless for absences due to University sanctioned activities in so far as possible. All parties recognize that not all classes are amenable to alternative assignments and in some cases it is impossible to reschedule critical learning experiences. Though faculty has the final decision regarding the appropriateness of alternative assignments or experiences, in all cases they will make a good faith effort to accommodate. Students should work with their advisors and potential faculty members to design student course schedules that minimize absences in those courses with learning experiences that present special challenges for replication at an alternative time.
Wherever possible, all student work should be completed before the end of the course block. If it is not possible for a faculty member to replicate a learning experience that produces similar critical learning outcomes to the missed experiences in a particular course within the same block, incompletes may need to be issued to the student until such time as suitable learning experiences, if possible, can occur. Final decisions regarding the appropriateness of assigning incomplete grades are made exclusively by the faculty.
This policy is effective so long as:
- The student provides both verbal and written communication to the faculty member or employer on Day 1 of any given block.
- The student is engaged in a University-sanctioned event necessitating the student’s absence. Examples of such events include (but are not limited to) athletic activities, career fairs, and field experiences. The faculty member or employer must be able to verify this activity if so desired.
The student is not excused from academic work required for a course, but in these instances will be allowed to work with a faculty member or employer to alter deadlines, or complete alternate assignments, or make up work as assigned by the faculty member or employer in so far as possible.
Students will not be penalized for engaging in such activity and the faculty member or employer shall attempt to accommodate the student as long as the student provides for 1 and 2 above. Students with complaints that a faculty member is not working under this policy must initiate the following procedure as soon as possible.
- Initial attempts to resolve the matter should be made in writing with the instructor/administrator, who shall have ten (10) working days to respond in writing.
- If further action is necessary, the student will next direct the grievance to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will convene a meeting involving the faculty member/administrator, the student, and a neutral mediator. The mediator will be designated to hear the case and help the parties communicate. The Dean of Students will provide guidelines for this mediation to all parties.
- If the mediation does not resolve the matter to the satisfaction of both parties, the written grievance and supporting documentation will be forwarded, by the Dean of Students within ten (10) working days of the mediation, to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, who shall have twenty (20) working days to act upon the complaint and/or assign the case to a campus committee for a recommendation. The assigned committee shall have twenty (20) working days to reach their conclusion( s) and recommend suitable action to the Chancellor.
The Chancellor may refer the matter to the Affirmative Action Committee for review and recommendation. If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, he/she will be advised of the right to file with the appropriate federal and/or state investigatory agency.
Bicycles, Skateboards, Scooters and In-Line Skates
The use of non-motorized bicycles, skateboards, scooters and in-line skates shall be allowed as a means of transportation on sidewalks, walkways and roadways of the University of Montana Western. Anyone using one of these methods of travel shall give right of way to any pedestrian and shall travel at a speed no greater than twice that of walking speed. Under no circumstances will the above vehicles be allowed on ramps, curbs, benches, steps or other pieces of buildings or decorations. None of these vehicles are permitted for use inside any building.
Safety & Security
The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors are of primary concern to Montana Western. This document, in compliance with the Drug-Free Schools & Communities Act and the Student Right To Know & Campus Security Act (Clery Act) outlines policies and procedures to aid in a safe and productive learning, working, and living environment.
The Campus Security Office is a part of Facilities Services. This operation is a 24-hour-a-day function. During normal weekday working hours (Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) safety and security issues and questions should be addressed by calling 683-7142; on weekends, holidays or outside normal weekday working hours, call 683-7141 or cell phone 596-2222. Campus Security is responsible for a full range of public safety services including vehicle violations, maintaining instructional integrity and building security, fire safety, key issuance, preparing and submitting incident reports, as well as keeping a nightly log book. Security personnel are to make assessments based on established laws and policies, direct training, and personal judgment.
To report a crime or emergency, dial 911 to report to the Dillon Community Emergency Hotline. Then call Facilities Services, 683-7142 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; or Campus Security, 683-7141 or 596-2222 (cell phone) evenings, weekends, and holidays. See Emergency Reporting list on inside front cover.
Creating and maintaining a healthy and safe environment requires the cooperation and involvement of everyone. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors must assume responsibility for their personal health and safety and the security of their personal belongings. Precautionary measures are the key. For example, although the campus is well lighted, anyone may contact Campus Security at 683-7141 or cell phone 596-2222 for an escort if traveling across campus late at night.
In Case of Emergency
Facilities Services Office
8-5 Monday-Friday 683-7142
Heating Plant/Campus Security
All Other Hours 683-7141
Dean of Students Office 683-7388
Residence Life Office 683-7565
|Residence Life Emergency Cell Phone
|Security Cell Phone
||683-7011 or -0-
|Dillon City Police
Student Right to Know & Campus Security Act
The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act (P.L. 101-542) (Clery Act) was signed into law on November 8, 1990. The crime reporting provisions of the Act require that all 8,000 postsecondary institutions that receive federal financial assistance distribute a Security Report to each student and employee, warn them when specific violent crimes occur on campus, and develop crime awareness programs and security policies. Prospective students and employees must also be informed of the availability of the report and be given a summary of its contents and an opportunity to request a copy.
- Procedures and facilities for reporting crimes. In the event a crime occurs, the Facilities Services Office should be called at 683-7142 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays) for assistance and notification. If outside of weekday office hours, Campus Security or the Facilities Services Office should be called at 683-7141. If the crime occurs in the residence halls, call the Residence Life Office at 683-7565; if the call is not answered, or if after office hours, contact the Hall Director on duty at cell phone 925-9828. Law enforcement authorities and medical assistance should be contacted, if necessary. If a student is injured, hospitalized, or arrested, notify the Dean of Students, 683-7900 or 925-9782 An incident reporting form on Maxient should be completed. An Incident and Security Report form should be completed by a staff member of the Facilities Services Office or Residence Life Office, or other staff member at the scene. This completed form is to be submitted to the Facilities Services Office with photographs or other pertinent information.
- The institution’s policies for responding to these reports. The institution may respond to these reports through a number of administrative channels. In most instances involving crimes, the institution will call upon the Dillon Police Department to act as its patrolling agent and the University will work cooperatively with this agency. In cases involving additional students and/or other concerns, the institution may call its Crisis Management Team to address counseling concerns and the impact the crime may have on other students, staff, faculty, or the entire Montana Western community.
- The institution’s current policies with respect to the security of and access to its facilities. The Campus Security employees check that the campus buildings are locked at night, provide escort service upon request, and report situations of concern to campus or local law enforcement authorities. Residence Life staff lock the main residence hall building doors at 11:00 each night, and unlock these doors at 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 11:00 a.m. on weekends. Suspicious activity is reported to campus or local law enforcement authorities.
- The enforcement and arrest authority of the campus and their relationship to State and local police. The enforcement and arrest authority at Montana Western rests with the Dillon Police Department. Currently, none of the Campus Security or Student Affairs staff members have any authority to arrest individuals.
- Institutional policies that encourage accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes to campus security and appropriate police agencies. Montana Western works closely with the Dillon Police Department in obtaining the necessary reporting of all crimes on campus. The Dillon Police Department provides Montana Western with the statistics needed to file this and other reports.
- A description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices and encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own safety. Programs are held at Orientation and in the residence halls that are designed to inform our students of safety issues, and students and employees receive information in the Student Handbook detailing safety precautions and crime reporting procedures.
- A description of programs to inform students and employees about crime prevention. Montana Western provides programs designed to inform students about the prevention of crime through student programming sessions and leadership training programs. No programs are presently offered to employees on the prevention of crimes on campus.
- A statement of policy concerning monitoring and recording through local police of criminal activity engaged in at off-campus locations of student organizations recognized by the institution including their off-campus housing facilities. Montana Western does not have any officially recognized organizations (fraternities, sororities) with off-campus locations.
- Statistics on arrests for liquor law violations, drug abuse violations, and weapons possessions. Statistics for arrests on Montana Western’s campus for the period of January 1-December 31 of the current reporting year are found on our website or at the Dean of Students Office.
- A statement of policy regarding the possession, use, and sale of alcoholic beverages and enforcement of State underage drinking laws. Montana Western prohibits the possession, use, and sale of alcoholic beverages by anyone under the age of 21 on the Montana Western campus, in accordance with Montana’s underage drinking laws.
- A statement of policy concerning the possession, use, and sale of illegal drugs and enforcement of Federal and State drug laws. Montana Western is a drug-free institution and has established a policy prohibiting the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance by students and employees. Montana Western will enforce this policy and will take action for violations, in accordance with Federal guidelines. Penalties can include fines, imprisonment, suspension/termination from Montana Western, and loss of a student’s financial aid. Anyone in need of professional assistance should contact the Residence Life Office, Dean of Students Office, Campus Counseling Center, or Beaverhead Chemical Dependency Center for information on drug counseling and rehabilitation programs.
- A description of drug and alcohol education programs. Montana Western provides educational sessions in the residence halls and training for the Residence Life Staff members. The Student Wellness Program, Student Activities Office, and Residence Life programming provide programs on these topics throughout the academic year, including participation in Alcohol Awareness Week. The Campus Counseling Program distributes information around campus. The Self Over Substance class is required of all students who violate the drug or alcohol policy on or off campus.
- Report to the campus community in a timely manner that will aid in the prevention of similar crimes, the occurrence of the “BIG 6” reported to campus security and other officials of the institution, who have significant responsibilities for student and campus activities, which are considered a threat to students and employees. Montana Western has established a Crisis Management Plan that includes procedures for informing students and staff of an incident, policies and procedures that are being followed, and counseling services that are available if needed.
Regroup Alert is a system The University of Montana Western uses to broadcast emergency alerts through text messaging to our campus community. We will also send email messages through Regroup to our students when Montana Western needs to share important University business with the student body. Students will automatically be signed up with Regroup by the University. Students can opt out of the text messaging by following the directions they will receive from Regroup. Students do NOT have the option of opting out of email messages. Students are responsible for updating their cell phone number and email address with DAWGS.
See sexual misconduct policy on the web or contact Title IX coordinators, Liane Forrester, 406-683-7530 or Nicole Hazelbaker, 406-683-7900
Examples of Correspondence for Policy Violations
Appendix 1 - Misconduct Notice of Interview Example
Notice of Interview
||Dean of Students
This notice provides you the opportunity to meet with a University Administrator to discuss reported misconduct and alleged violations of University Student Conduct Policies. Below is more specific information concerning the alleged violation(s): SPECIFIC POLICY(IES) AND/OR REGULATION(S) ALLEGEDLY VIOLATED:
DETAILS OF INCIDENT:<DETAILS>
LOCATION OF THE ALLEGED VIOLATION: <LOCATION>
DATE OF THE ALLEGED VIOLATION: <DATE OF A.V.>
TIME OF THE ALLEGED VIOLATION: <TIME>
- You have three (3) business days from the date of this notice to schedule an interview with the Dean of Students. You may call 683-7388 to make an appointment or visit the Dean of Students Office.
- Your choice not to schedule or participate in an interview may result in referral of the incident to a Student Conduct Hearing or a HOLD placed on your academic records.
- An Incident Report Form and/or any other relevant documents are available at the interview for your review.
- Information discussed during the interview is subject to Administrative Confidentiality. Administrative Confidentiality means that the information is available only to those involved in the case.
- If you choose to admit responsibility in the interview you waive your right to a Student Conduct Hearing.
- As a result of the interview, a sanction or sanctions may be imposed by the Dean of Students.
For information concerning policies, regulations, and procedures, please refer to the UM-Western Student Handbook.
Appendix 2 - Disciplinary Findings/Sanctions Notice
Disciplinary Findings/Sanction Letter
Thank you for meeting with me on <DATE> to discuss the incident in which you were involved. This letter serves to document our conversation and to summarize the action being taken from this point. On <DATE> you were documented as having <DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT>. In our conversation you acknowledged being responsible for this behavior. This behavior constitutes a violation of the Student Conduct Code. (Student Handbook, <reference>)
As such, you are being assigned the following sanctions. <DESCRIPTION OF SANCTIONS> Please note that failure to complete your community service will result in a HOLD placed on your academic records and services. Additionally, failure to appear during community service hours will result in additional hours being served.
You have the right to an administrative appeal of these sanctions as outlined in the Student Handbook.
I appreciate your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 683-7388.
Dean of Students