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LeTourneau University    
 
    
 
  Nov 21, 2017
 
2017-2018 Student Handbook

Christian Life and Community Standards


LeTourneau University provides an educational setting that is distinctive. Emphasis is placed on high academic standards, problem-solving experiences, and spiritual development centered on our faith in Jesus Christ.
 
Beyond imparting knowledge, LeTourneau University is committed to the total development of its students. Standards have been established to provide the framework for an environment that is conducive to emotional, intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual growth. It is the purpose of this handbook to provide information about student life, and to make students aware of the lifestyle they are voluntarily accepting while enrolled as a student at LeTourneau University. Enrollment is defined as the entirety of the time students are a member of the LeTourneau community between matriculation and graduation, including all breaks and holidays. Students are responsible for the information contained in this Student Handbook until they graduate, transfer, or withdraw.
 
A student’s enrollment at LeTourneau University involves a moral agreement with the University that the guidelines will be followed. Faithful adherence to the standards and regulations of the University is a matter of each student’s personal honor and integrity. The Board of Trustees, Administration, and Faculty of LeTourneau University have a deep sense of responsibility and desire that significant personal and spiritual growth will occur in the disciplined life of each student.
 
Student Life expectations at LeTourneau University are based on two basic principles that will support the academic, practical, and spiritual commitment of the institution: Biblical standards and community standards.

Page Index:

BIBLICAL STANDARDS

Believing the Word of God to be of supreme and final authority in faith and life, the absolutes of the Scriptures speak directly to certain standards. Those practices that are forbidden in the Bible will not be condoned for members of the LeTourneau University community.
 
It is also recognized that Scripture condemns “sins of the spirit” such as covetousness, jealousy, pride, and lust. These by their very nature are more difficult to discern, but they lie at the heart of relationship between God and humanity and thus are central in the concern of our community.
 
Though a handbook necessarily deals with observable behavior, it is the desire of the University that students also realize the Biblical imperatives relating to the heart and the mind. Jesus Christ should be glorified in the lives of its campus community, not only in actions, but also in words and thoughts.

LETU COMMUNITY COVENANT

Adopted in February 2017, LeTourneau University has developed our Community Covenant that guides how we approach life in the University setting.  The Community Covenant is a philosphical document and provides clarity to our foundational beliefs and practices. Within the Student Handbook, we have developed and continue to refine policies, rules, and regulations in order to provide clarity and order within our community.

COMMUNITY LIVING STANDARDS

In order to provide a structure that allows for social order and cohesiveness - while protecting individual rights - certain common courtesy guidelines are necessary. These include appropriate procedures, guidelines, and regulations concerning social relationships and personal behavioral choices. These are not to be interpreted as standards of spirituality, but as standards of one’s ability to function as an individual within this particular community of University students, faculty, and staff.

SPECIFIC BEHAVIORAL GUIDELINES

Whether they are observed by a member of the community, verbally described, or personally shared for the public in verbal or written form (for example, through a personal website or social network), these behaviors are prohibited and subject to administrative intervention and disciplinary action.

  1. Sexually immoral or immodest conduct, or the promotion of sexual activity outside of marriage.

These include activities such as (but not limited to): sexually graphic text messaging, chatting, or video conferencing; fornication; sexual promiscuity; and adultery - whether they are heterosexual or homosexual in nature. Cohabitation (sharing a room, apartment, or home) with a member of the opposite gender is included in this prohibition.

Based on biblical standards, we believe that God has created the institution of marriage to be between one man and one woman, and only within this institution does God bless intimate sexual expression; all other intimate sexual expression outside of marriage is considered immoral behavior.  Consistent with our desire to celebrate and model a Scriptural approach to sexuality, the University prohibits same-sex dating behaviors and public advocacy for the position that sex outside of a biblically-defined marriage is morally acceptable.

Any student concerned about their experiences with sexual temptation, participation, or addiction - either heterosexual or homosexual in nature - may proactively seek assistance from the Office of Student Life or the LETU Center for Counseling without fear of disciplinary action (see “Personal Growth Initiative”).

  1. The possession, manufacturing, use, sale, or distribution of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, or illicit drugs. The prohibition against the use or possession of these items is a matter that the University takes seriously. Each has been widely recognized as a source of serious health and social problems. Their prohibition reflects LeTourneau University’s tradition in keeping with the teaching of Scripture that we are to view our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit and thus treat them accordingly. Abstinence from these items will foster discipline and self-control, and the University will be drawn closer together as a community if all of its members avoid their use.
  2. The use, sale, or possession of literature, games, pictures, posters, paraphernalia, movies, music, or other media that (a) depict lewd, obscene, sexually suggestive, or sexually degrading or demeaning material as determined by the Student Life staff; or (b) portray or promote the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs, or (c) advocate Satanism, occultism, witchcraft, or any other spiritual philosophy that is blatantly inconsistent with Christian principles.
  3. Gambling, as it distracts from the academic environment and Christian community, threatens financial security, displays or promotes greed and materialism, and/or undermines spiritual and mental health.
  4. Theft, attempted or actual, to property of the University or property of a member of the University community or other personal or public property (including copyright infringements and violations).
  5. Dishonesty, including, but not limited to the following:
    1. cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty;
    2. furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member or office; or
    3. forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, or instrument of identification.
  6. Profanity, obscenity, or vulgarity, whether spoken, written or visual, including language within personal websites, blogs, and social networks.
  7. Disorderly or destructive actions.
  8. Abuse, harassment, bullying, or assault, including physical abuse, verbal abuse, written abuse (online or in print), threats, stalking, intimidation, humiliation, pestering, coercion, or other conduct that threatens or endangers the physical, psychological, or emotional health - or the belongings - of any person. Bullying typically includes, but is not limited to, aggressive behavior that seeks to control or harm others, often involving an imbalance of power (such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or status) and repetition.
  9. Unauthorized access to or entering of campus buildings, whether by possession, use, or duplication of authorized or unauthorized keys, or by use of any lock-evading instruments.
  10. Violation of the residence hall visitation policies.
  11. Hazing, defined by Texas law 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. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence by another student in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are also violations of this rule.
  12. Failure to comply with directions of University officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties, and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested.
  13. Violations of standards of character, conduct, and scholarship to the extent that the student’s attitude and actions are detrimental to the University and its students. Included in this category is assisting with or creating of space for others to violate the guidelines and policies articulated in the Student Handbook.
  14. Any other activity that is in violation of the laws of the land (the local community, the state, and the federal government), except in those rare cases wherein obedience to the civil authorities would require behavior directly in conflict with the teaching of Scripture. A student charged with a misdemeanor or felony is required to notify the Dean of Students within five (5) days of being charged.
  15. Abuse of technology, including, but not limited to:
  1. Theft of equipment or service.
  2. Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
  3. Unauthorized transfer of a file.
  4. Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification, password, MAC address, etc.
  5. Use of computing facilities that interferes with the work of another student, faculty member or University Official.
  6. Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages.
  7. Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the LETU computing system.
  8. Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
  1. Abuse of the student conduct process, including but not limited to:
  1. Failure to obey the notice of a conduct meeting or University official to appear for a meeting or a hearing.
  2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information within a conduct meeting.
  3. Initiation of a conduct meeting knowingly without cause.
  4. Attempt to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the student conduct system.
  5. Failure to comply with the sanctions imposed by University officials.

Where the laws of God, society, and our community standards do not speak explicitly, the University holds that each Christian must decide what actions are appropriate for themselves. It is important to remember, however, that orderly community life and the reaching of common goals may require the individual to limit his or her own freedoms and privileges for the good of the group.

CHURCH ATTENDANCE

There are many opportunities to participate in and receive Christian fellowship, worship, and service on our campus; additionally, we believe engagement in a local church is extremely valuable for both our students and for the community. The University does not sponsor Sunday church services on campus so that students may choose a local fellowship.

DANCING

Social dances and opportunities for social dancing will be permitted at the discretion of the Office of Student Life.

Examples of acceptable forms of dancing include (but are not limited to):

  • Choreographed dancing for a school-sponsored performance (e.g., Hootenanny)
  • Dancing as part of a worship experience
  • Cultural dancing as part of an educational event or experience
  • Dancing with an instructor as part of an exercise/fitness program
  • Social dances hosted by official university organizations (such as YAC)

For questions about dance-related activities, please contact the Dean of Students or Office of Student Life.

Students choosing to participate in social dancing off-campus should exercise caution as to their witness (of themselves and the University). The University strongly discourages students from attending dance clubs, dance bars, and other establishments that would be inconsistent with a Christian lifestyle.

DATING AND SOCIAL LIFE

Behavior in a public place between couples should be such that the couple always appears approachable, rather than reclusive. Sitting or lying in each other’s laps, and prolonged hugs or kisses are examples of unacceptable behavior. If a couple’s public behavior is considered inappropriate, a faculty or staff member will address the behavior accordingly.

DRESS GUIDELINES

A good personal appearance characterized by cleanliness and neatness is expected of all students. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the individual student to exercise good taste and judgment in selecting clothing that is modest, neat, and appropriate while enrolled at LeTourneau University. Dress that distracts from the academic purpose or that would reflect values contrary to Biblical or community standards is not acceptable. A faculty or staff member may decide whether a given mode of dress disrupts the academic process in that instructor’s classroom. Student Life staff may determine appropriate attire for other areas of campus. Clothing should be modest so that it does not draw unnecessary attention to the wearer. Footwear must be worn in all nonresidential campus buildings, with certain exceptions applicable to the Solheim Center. Sunbathing is not allowed on campus.

Examples of Appropriate Men’s Attire

  • Classroom and Chapel: slacks, jeans, shirts, modest lenth shorts, and t-shirts without holes, and appropriate footwear. Specific classes may require different dress standards based on safety concerns.
  • Casual: any of the above, shorts or cutoffs of modest length, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, or casual apparel designed for play are appropriate.
  • Recreation: racing style briefs are not considered appropriate swimwear for men.

Examples of Appropriate Women’s Attire

  • Classroom and Chapel: dresses, skirts, blouses, pants, jeans without holes, modest length shorts, and appropriate footwear. Specific classes may require different dress standards based on safety concerns.
  • Casual: any of the above, shorts or cutoffs of modest length are appropriate.
  • Recreation: swimwear must be one piece and modest in appearance.

SELF-CARE

Part of being a member of community is to demonstrate through day-to-day actions that one is able to assure one’s own welfare and meet normal obligations. This essentially means that students must agree to care for themselves and behave in ways that will not cause problems for themselves or those around them, nor negatively impact the welfare, safety and success of other community members. Examples would include, but are not limited to, caring adequately for one’s physical and emotional health, dealing appropriately with life challenges, getting along with others successfully, making adequate academic progress and not causing or threatening to cause harm to one’s self. It is also expected that students will seek out and/or accept professional assistance for those situations that they are unable to resolve on their own. If these self-care expectations are not met, students will be held accountable for their inappropriate behavior and the negative impact on the community. Accountability may include being removed from campus housing and/or suspension from the University. Students needing accommodation due to a documented disability or significant, ongoing medical condition are required to contact the Director of Student Achievement to discuss accessibility issues.


PERSONAL GROWTH INITIATIVE

If your own behavior has been in violation of the policies of the University, and if you wish to change your behavior, you are encouraged to take the initiative to discuss the behavior of concern with a member of the Student Life staff (Resident Director, Director of Residence Life, Associate Dean for Student Engagement, or Dean of Students). Upon proactively addressing the problem (not confessing in response to a potential or actual disciplinary inquiry), it may be defined at this point as a personal problem and may become exempt from disciplinary action. The Personal Growth Initiative is designed to assist students who initiate contact with the people above with a desire to change behavior. Counseling or other means of addressing the problem may be required as a part of the Growth Initiative. If the behavior persists, despite the initiation of the Growth Initiative, you may be subject to sanctions due to continued violation of university policy..

Students who have been confronted about their behavior and have not initiated contact for help are not eligible to enter the Personal Growth Initiative process. Those students will be subject to the standard student conduct process. Other exceptions to this approach may be when behavior is repetitive, self-­destructive, harmful or hazardous to others, violates the university Sexual Misconduct Policy (Title IX), or involves a significant legal issue in which the university is obligated to uphold the law.


STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS

The University expects and encourages each student to exercise personal self-discipline and to live within the University community in a responsible manner. Students who choose to act in a manner contrary to the standards set forth by the University will be subject to the student conduct process. This process allows students to experience responsibility, growth in self-discipline, and assistance in their journey. The desired outcome is helping students learn and grow, as well as encouraging them through an intentional process designed to help them make better decisions. Our desire is that it will be redemptive, with the care and development of the student in mind.

Honesty and integrity are highly valued aspects of the student conduct process. Honesty is honorable, even if it means being honest about making a poor choice. Students are expected to be honest when asked questions about a situation where potential violations have occurred. Dishonesty in the process may increase the severity of the circumstances and consequences.

Any student who violates Community Living Standards or University policy is held accountable through the student conduct process as outlined below.

1. Student Life personnel receive notification of a possible violation and create an incident report to document the situation.

2. Student Life personnel conduct an investigation and meet with the student(s) to discuss the incident report and collect further information regarding the incident. Student Life may seek other evidence such as witness testimony to provide additional insight into the situation. Students will be notified of their expected participation in an investigation through email from a Student Life staff member.

3. Student Life personnel conclude an investigation and make a finding. If a student is found to be in violation, sanctions may be assigned. The student will be notified of findings and sanctions by email from the lead Student Life investigator. 


STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS RESPONSES

The following are possible responses for students found in violation of University policy.

ADMONITION

An oral statement to the student that s/he is violating or has violated behavioral guidelines.

WARNING

A notice in writing to the student that the individual is violating or has violated behavioral guidelines.

LOSS OF PRIVILEGES

Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.

FINES

Certain monetary charges may be assessed (for damage repair and/or punitive response) and are typically applied to the student’s account. (Specific amounts are listed throughout the Student Handbook or may be determined through the disciplinary process.)

RESTITUTION

Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary replacement.

ASSIGNMENTS

A student may be assigned a specific number of work hours (community service) as a disciplinary measure. Failure to complete the work assignment within the required time limit and precisely as directed may result in additional disciplinary action. Another option may include research and study assignments designed to learn more about the topic of the disciplinary response, or to further enhance one’s understanding of our faith and world around us. In many cases, a student will be asked to interact in a mentoring relationship with a faculty or staff member of the student’s choice.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

An assignment of appropriate community service that is both beneficial to the community and likely to assist the individual in understanding the harm caused by his or her actions.

PARENT/GUARDIAN NOTIFICATION

Communication with parents or guardians in cases of alcohol or drug policy violations, abuse or injury to self, or in conjunction with suspension from campus housing or university suspension.

DISCRETIONARY SANCTIONS

Participation in classes or assignments designed to address decision-making and consequences of behavioral choices within a Christian educational community; mandatory drug or alcohol assessments, or other related discretionary assignments.

DISCIPLINARY PROBATION

A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations and likely notification of parents and the probability that the student will experience a more severe response (up to and including suspension) if the student violates the conditions stated in the written notice or is found to be violating any other institutional regulation(s) during the disciplinary probation period. Disciplinary Probation is defined as being in poor standing with the University; therefore, students placed on disciplinary probation may be excluded from participation in leadership roles in student organizations, membership on an intramural or intercollegiate athletic team, and/or participation in other privileged institutional activities (e.g. off-campus or study-abroad programs). Written notice of probation is maintained in the student’s file in the Office of Student Life.

SUSPENSION FROM CAMPUS HOUSING

Separation of the student from on-campus housing (residence halls or apartments) for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for return to on-campus housing may be specified.

UNIVERSITY SUSPENSION

Separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Suspension normally requires the student to leave campus immediately. Suspension may occur if a student incurs consecutive or two concurrent probations. Conditions for readmission may be specified. Parents of students shall be notified of the suspension sanction by the Dean of Students or designated officer. During suspension, the student is not permitted to be on LeTourneau University property except by prior permission from the Dean of Students. Written notice of suspension is maintained in the student’s file.

UNIVERSITY DISMISSAL

Dismissal is regarded as the last resort and means of permanent separation of the student from the University. During dismissal, the student is not permitted to be on LeTourneau University property except by prior permission from the Dean of Students. Written notice of dismissal is maintained in the student’s file.


DUE PROCESS AND APPEALS

A student may appeal a disciplinary action by submitting a letter to the Dean of Students for review by the Student Judicial Review Committee. This letter must be received within three (3) business days after the student receives notification of the disciplinary outcome of the conduct process. One function of this committee is to consider cases where student conduct is cause for serious discipline, including dismissal. In such cases, this committee reports its recommendations to the Dean of Students. Final action rests with the administration of the University. Please note: Sanctions given are put into immediate effect upon notification and remain in effect until overturned by an appeal.

An appeal must meet appropriate grounds to be reviewed by the Student Judicial Review Committee. Appeal letters should present clear and convincing evidence relating to at least one of the valid grounds for appeal.

Grounds for Appeal

  1. Procedural error that would significantly affect the outcome of the case
  2. New information that was not available at the time of the investigation that would significantly affect the outcome of the case
  3. Sanction imposed is grossly disproportionate with the violation

Not Grounds for Appeal

  1. Disagreement with findings
  2. Disagreement with sanctions

PROCEDURES FOR INVOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAW

A student will be subject to involuntary withdrawal from the University, or from University housing, if a student:

  • Engages or threatens to engage in behavior that poses a danger of causing physical harm to self or others
  • Engages or threatens to engage in behavior that would cause significant property damage, or directly impede the lawful activities of others

The Dean of Students may refer a student for evaluation by an independent licensed psychiatrist or psychologist chosen by the institution if the Dean or Student Life designee reasonably believes the student may meet the above criteria. The student will be responsible for the costs of the evaluation.


INCIDENT REPORTS

When a student violates a University rule or policy, a Residence Life, Student Life, or University Police staff member may file an incident report. The student may receive a copy of this report upon their request. The incident report is used as documentation for disciplinary measures carried out by the University.


MISCELLANEOUS FINES

The chart below is designed to provide general parameters for fines associated with infractions. Fines constitute one category of disciplinary action; other measures may be included in the complete disciplinary response.

INFRACTIONS FINE
Firearms, weapons, or unauthorized knives stored in rooms $250 – 500
Disregard for, tampering with, or misuse of fire alarms, smoke detectors, extinguishers, emergency lights or exit lights $200
Possession or use of fireworks, firecrackers, or other pyrotechnic or miniature explosive devices $100 – 500
Flammable liquids stored indoors $200
Unauthorized use or possession of University keys $200
Open flames of any kind without prior administrative approval (includes candles and incense) $100
Possession or use of paintball guns within any building or on campus without previous approval $100
Possession of prohibited pets $50 per day
Prohibited items in the room $50
Roof-walking or climbing the exterior of any campus building (not in a construction zone) $200
Throwing food inside or outside of the Dining Hall $50
Causing a fire (indoors or outdoors) $200+