Community Standards

2.4 | Community Standards 

2.4.A | The Office of Community Standards enforces behavioral standards developed by the University community for students, student organizations, and the related procedures for addressing misconduct. Students should be aware that the Student Conduct process is not a criminal or civil court proceeding.

2.4.B | Students and student organizations are responsible for actions that constitute misconduct, and violate rules outlined within the Student Handbook. Any student or student organization found responsible for misconduct may be subject to Student Conduct sanctions. The university provides a fair and equitable Student Conduct process, utilizing a thorough, neutral, and impartial investigation, from which is generated a prompt resolution.

2.4.C | The Office of Community Standards, and related processes, seek to educate students about their rights and responsibilities while prompting holistic development, self-worth, and mutual respect for all members of the university community. Freedom of discussion, inquiry, and expression is also fostered by an environment in which the privileges of citizenship are protected, and the obligations of citizens are understood.

2.4.D | The Office of Community Standards is committed to an educational and developmental process that balances the interests of individual students with the interests of the university community. No student will be found in violation by university police without sufficient information, and evidence showing that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred. Any sanctions will be proportionate to the severity of the violation and to the cumulative conduct history of the student.

2.4.E | The Office of Community Standards exists to protect the interests of the community and to challenge those whose behavior is not in accordance with our policies. Sanctions are intended to challenge students' moral and ethical decision-making, and to help bring their behavior to community expectations, the Student Conduct process may determine that the student should no longer share in the privilege of participating in this community.

2.4.F | Disciplinary Authority: The authority to enact and enforce regulations of the university is vested in the Board of Regents. The responsibility for enforcing the regulations and imposing penalties is delegated to the President of the university and any university officials and President designates. The Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs is the principal agency for the administration of Student Conduct. The Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee, shall implement the student discipline procedures. The VP of Student Affairs, and Assistant VP of Student Affairs, or designee, will assume responsibility for the investigation of an allegation of misconduct to determine if the complaint has merit.

2.4.G | Jurisdiction: The Student Handbook shall apply to conduct that occurs on university premises and/or at university-sponsored activities or any other activity which adversely affects the university community and/or thhe pursuit of its objectives and mission. This action may be taken for either affiliated or non-affiliated activities.

i. The university may act in situations occurring off university premises involving student misconduct demonstrating flagrant disregard for any person or persons; or when a student's or student organization's behavior is judged to threaten the health, safety, and/or property of any individual or group. Using their sole discretion, the VP of Student Affairs, or designee, shall decide whether the Student Handbook shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case-by-case basis.

2.4.H | Timeline: It is recommended that reports of alleged violations of the Student Handbook should be received by the Office of Community Standards within ten (10) university working days of the alleged incident to initiate Student Conduct procedures.

i. There is no limit on reporting violations; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the more difficult it becomes to obtain information and evidence regarding the incident(s).

ii. Incident(s) should be resolved within 60 days of notice regarding the incident, not including appeal. This timeline may vary depending on the availability of students to participate in the process, availability of evidence, delays for concurrent criminal investigations, breaks between academic semesters, and other delays.

2.4.I | Notice: Notice is deemed to have been properly provided when written notification is sent to the student's official assigned WTAMU email address, placed in First Class U.S. Mail, campus mail, or personally delivered to the student no less than five (5) university working days prior to the scheduled appearance. The failure of a student to receive notice which is properly delivered does not prevent the Student Conduct proceedings from being carried out. After proper notice has been given to the student, the Student Conduct officer or designee may proceed with the review process and may issue a failure to comply code violation against the student. Note: Students are required to keep their most current email address, local address, permanent address, and cell phone number updated in the student records system at:

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Annually, WTAMU informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended. This act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of the students to inspect and review their education records, to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings, and to submit an explanatory statement for inclusion in the education record if the outcome of the hearing is unsatisfactory.

i. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office of the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the act. Written complaints should be directed to:

a. Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20202-5920.

ii. Local rule/procedure explains in details the procedures to be used by the institution for compliance with provisions of the act. Copies of the policy may be obtained at the Office of the Registrar, located in Old Main, Room 103 on the WTAMU Campus. Directory information includes a student's name, gender, local and permanent address, telephone number, date, and the place of birth, marital status, major field of study, classification, enrollment status (full-time, part-time, undergraduate, graduate), participation in recognized activities and sports, height and weight (if a member of an athletic team), date of attendance, degrees, awards, and honors received, the most recent educational institution attended, and other information which would make the student's identify easily traceable. Students have the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.

iii. A school official is:

a. A person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff);

b. A person or company with whom the university has contracted (such an attorney, auditor, or collection agent);

c. A person serving on the Board of Regents; or

d. A student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing their tasks.

iv. A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility. Upon request, the university discloses education records without the consent of officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

v. According to FERPA, the university may release information without the student's written consent to the following:

a. School officials, as identified by the university, determined by the university to have a legitimate education interest.

b. Officials of the other institutions in which the students seek to enroll.

c. Persons or organizations providing to the student financial aid or determining financial aid decisions.

d. Parents of the student who have established that student's status as a dependent according to IRS code of 1986, Section 152.

e. Persons in compliance with judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.

f. Persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student and/or other persons.

g. Directory information may be disclosed unless the students or parents' request, in writing, that specific information not be divulged. Requests must be filed with the Office of Registrar by the twelfth (12th) class day of each semester. For more information go to:

2.4.K | Disasbilities Accommodations Appeals Committee: Students needing accommodations must request them through the Director of the Office of Student Accessibility (OSA). Any approved accommodations will be based on documentation demonstrating eligibility under state and federal law. If a student disagrees with accommodation decisions made by OSA, they may discuss the concern with the Director of OSA. Students must demonstrate that they have made a good-faith effort to resolve the complaint with the OSA Director. If the complaint is still not resolved satisfactorily, the student may visit with the assistant VP of Student Affairs. The assistant VP of Student Affairs may take up to five (5) working days to determine an appropriate resolution. During this process, informal discussions will take place, with all parties involved, to resolve the complaint.

i. If no informal satisfactory resolution is determined within five (5) working days, the student may request the complaint be referred to the Disabilities Accommodations Appeals Committee. This request must be in writing to the VP of Student Affairs and must contain all the reasons for the appeal. This committee will consist of the following members or designated replacements:

a. VP of Student Affairs, Chair

b. Assistant EVPP

c. Director of Student Medical Services

d. Faculty (from special education or other discipline with expertise in the disability issues)

ii. Recommendations of the disability's accommodations appeal committee will be forwarded to the president for final approval and implementation.

2.4.L | Reporter: While WT maintains the individual confidentiality of reporters, the Office of Community Standards can disclos the source who reported the alleged misconduct. Reporters are broken down into one of the following sources:

i. Student

ii. Staff/Faculty/University Police Department

iii. Alumni

iv. Community Member