The University of Lynchburg reserves the right to change policies, procedures, resources, calendar dates, fees, and any statements in The Hornet at any time. If the University of Lynchburg amends the Honor and Student Conduct Codes and Regulations during the period when this 2023-24 edition of The Hornet is effective, the amendment will be announced on the student handbook webpage. The amendment will become effective 15 days after such announcement, unless the University deems that circumstances warrant immediate implementation, such as a change in law impacting University policy, a medical or public health issue, or other urgent situation.
The University of Lynchburg expects every member of the campus community to share in its historic commitment to academic honesty, personal integrity, and behavioral maturity. As an educational institution, the University is concerned with both the formal, in-class education of its students and their growth into mature individuals who conduct themselves as responsible citizens.
The uniqueness of the academic community requires particular sensitivity to both the individual rights of students and the rights of the University community. Rules and regulations are imperative as a basis for the orderly conduct of University activities and for maintaining an environment conducive to study, recreation, and personal growth. Regulations are intended to create sound living and learning conditions for all members of the campus community.
The University’s standards of student conduct address three major areas of integrity. The Honor Code includes both academic integrity and personal integrity. The Student Conduct Code addresses respect for the rights of both the University and the people within the community. These standards of conduct are intended to encourage honesty in academic achievement, as well as personal growth and development. The University is committed to an academic environment consistent with these standards, promulgating the following desired values and attitudes:
- Personal integrity rooted in respect for truth and love of learning
- The capacity to make discriminating judgments among competing opinions
- The courage to express one’s convictions and to recognize the rights of others to hold and express differing views
- Self-esteem rooted in the quest for achievement of one’s potential
- A sense of discipline and pride in one’s work and respect for the achievements of others
- A commitment to academic freedom as a safeguard essential to the purpose of the University and to the welfare of those who work within it
- A sense of duty to self, family, and the larger community
- Respect for the rights of all persons
- A sense of and commitment to justice, rectitude, and fair play
- Civility between and understanding, sympathy, concern, and compassion for others
- An understanding of and appreciation for other cultures and traditions
- The courage to oppose the use of substances that impair one’s judgment or one’s health
- Respect for one’s property and the property of others, including public property
In accepting admission to the University of Lynchburg, a student agrees to learn and abide by all University policies and procedures. Upon participation in an activity to begin one’s first academic session or semester at the University of Lynchburg (e.g., check-in, Hornet Days, orientation, or class attendance), an admitted applicant is considered a student. From this point of matriculation through the conferring of a degree to the student (or withdrawal/transfer from the University), any report of alleged misconduct may be addressed as a violation of the University’s Honor and Student Conduct Codes, even if the student was temporarily not taking class at the time of the incident (e.g., during leaves of absence or holiday and summer breaks). The Honor and Student Conduct Codes apply to students’ behavior on campus, within the city of Lynchburg, in the surrounding counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell, and anywhere when participating in a University program/event or acting in the capacity of a University of Lynchburg student.
In addition to controlling their own behavior, students are expected to do their utmost to help maintain a high level of conduct among fellow students. University policies are set forth in writing to give students general notice of prohibited conduct; they are not designed to define misconduct in exhaustive terms and should be read broadly.
When a violation of University policy is believed to have occurred, the alleged infraction is reviewed by appropriate University officials or members of the Student Judicial Board. If a student is found responsible for violating the Honor and Student Conduct Codes, outcomes are issued to facilitate the positive growth and development of the student and to maintain effective learning and residential environments on campus. Attempts to commit acts prohibited by the Honor and Student Conduct Codes may be addressed through the same disciplinary procedures and result in the same outcomes as completed acts.
The University of Lynchburg’s Honor and Student Conduct Codes and Regulations, including disciplinary procedures, are not criminal or civil proceedings but rather internal administrative processes for review and address of violations of institutional policies. Criminal or civil rules of evidence are not applicable to University proceedings.
Respect for Laws
The Honor and Student Conduct Codes are based on the expectation that students will respect and obey all regulations of the University, the city of Lynchburg, the commonwealth of Virginia, and the federal government. Students are obligated to obey all laws and to bear ultimate responsibility for their actions. Violations of laws committed off campus may be interpreted as having impact on or posing a threat to the University community. Consequently, such violations can result in on-campus disciplinary action.
University disciplinary action may proceed during the pendency of any criminal/civil adjudication involving the same incident and is not subject to delay or challenge on the ground that criminal/civil charges are unresolved, reduced, or dismissed.
If regulations or laws are considered to be unfair or improper, it is expected that students will use appropriate, established, and lawful procedures to affect change.
Respect for Self and Others
Students are expected to conduct themselves in ways that exemplify respect for all people, while adhering to personal values without unduly imposing them on others. In interpersonal relationships, students are expected to respect the rights of others, particularly their right to refuse to participate in any activity. At no time should students harass, assault, or violate the privacy of other persons.
Furthermore, students are encouraged to take responsibility to serve as leaders in promoting compassion for others and in challenging prejudice against all individuals and groups whether due to race, gender, age, marital status, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status, political persuasion, sexual orientation, disability, medical disease, veteran status, or other differences.
Rights Afforded to all Students
The following rights are afforded to all students:
- The right to exercise freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of peaceful assembly and petition.
- The right to full participation in all areas of University life.
- The right to conduct oneself off campus without specific restrictions imposed by the University, except for violations of University policies or when one’s conduct impacts or poses a threat to the University community. Violations of laws off campus may be interpreted as impacting or posing a threat to the University community, and disciplinary action, not excluding expulsion from the University or any other University outcomes, may result from such conduct.
- The right in the classroom to be assured against prejudiced or capricious evaluation; the right to decline disclosure of personal, religious, or political views; the right to take reasoned exception to information, conjecture, or views presented; and the right to seek mediation for any evaluation, disclosure, or other decision which is felt to be unjustly made by a classroom instructor.
- The right to know what items constitute the personal permanent record kept by the University and to have access to review all such items, with the exception of those items supplied to the University in confidence; the right to have all disciplinary records purged when the University deems them inactive; the right to privacy of one’s educational records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- The right to organize and join student organizations recognized by the University with educational, lawful, and peaceful purposes; the right of recognized organizations to invite and sponsor speakers and other presentations of an educational nature as long as orderly conditions can be reasonably assured; and the right of recognized organizations to use University of Lynchburg facilities.
- The right to have privacy in University housing and to be free from room inspection or search by University personnel, except for maintenance, routine residential closings, emergency and semesterly health/safety checks, and authorized search specifying reasons for the search, objects sought, and the location(s) to be searched. A search must be authorized by an approved representative of the Office of Housing and Residence Life, a Student Development professional on call, or the vice president for student development (or designee). A student who is named in a written search authorization has the right to observe the search unless the student cannot be reached and/or is not present at the search location within a time deemed reasonable by the authorizer of the search.
- The right to have access to peaceful and quiet conditions for study on campus.
- The right to establish a system of Student Government that represents the student body; the right to propose codes of student conduct and affairs within the limits of law and legal obligations of the University and with the approval of the University president’s Executive Council (or designee); and the right to participation of a Student Judicial Board in implementation and enforcement of student codes of conduct.
- The right, when participating in the Administrative Handling option of the student disciplinary process for alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code, to be accompanied by a Disciplinary Process Advisor, as defined in the Disciplinary Process Advisor section of The Hornet; to written notice of the alleged infraction; the option not to comment on, provide information about, or attend proceedings related to the alleged infraction; assurance that decisions concerning responsibility or lack thereof shall be made only on the basis of introduced information; and provision for appeal.
- The right, when under investigation or during a board hearing for alleged violation of the Honor and Student Conduct Codes, as defined in the Disciplinary Process Advisor section of The Hornet to written notice of the alleged infraction; sufficient time, as defined in University disciplinary procedures, to prepare for a board hearing; notice of witnesses invited to participate in the board hearing; the option not to comment on, provide information about, or attend proceedings related to the alleged infraction; assurance that decisions concerning responsibility or lack thereof shall be made only on the basis of introduced information; and provision for appeal.
- The right to participate in the decision-making processes of the University through the membership of student representatives, appointed by the Student Government Association, on faculty committees that address matters affecting student affairs.
- The right to examine all pertinent data, to question assumptions, to be guided by the evidence of scholarly research, and to study the substance of a given discipline.
- The right to own student works that one creates and submits in fulfillment of academic requirements. Students are responsible for obtaining and maintaining copyright permissions related to their creations.