I. ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE POLICY
For complying with the legal certification requirements of the U.S. Department of Education for Drug-free Schools, each student, faculty member, and staff member is required to be provided annually the information contained in this Handbook regarding drug and alcohol abuse.
The behavioral expectations of LeTourneau University include the prohibition of possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol as well as the use of legal mood-altering substances such as herbs enhanced (naturally or artificially) with substances which produce a high or altered state of mental awareness. The use, sale, or possession of alcoholic beverages, intoxicating incense, abusable inhalants, or narcotic drugs is prohibited. The use or possession of illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, other intoxicants, and tobacco products is a matter that the University takes seriously. Each has been widely recognized as a source of serious health and social problems.
TEXAS LEGAL SANCTIONS
The law that prohibits the possession and consumption of alcohol beverages by persons under the age of 21 is endorsed, supported and enforced by the University. Minors convicted for possession/consumption of alcoholic beverages are subject to State imposed fines up to $500, as well as possible disciplinary action by the University. Convictions for providing alcoholic beverages to minors will subject individuals to being fined by the State up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail, as well as disciplinary action by the University. Convictions for driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages (DUI) will subject individuals to fines ranging up to $2,000 and/or a jail term ranging from a minimum of six days to 180 days in the county jail. University disciplinary action may accompany punitive actions of the State.
The University requires that all students and employees abide by all local, state, and federal laws regarding controlled substances to include, but not be limited to, their use, possession, manufacture or sale. Fines, terms of probation or term of imprisonment are generally contingent upon the circumstances and type of drugs involved. Sanctions upon conviction for possession, distribution, or manufacture of controlled substances range from fines to probation or imprisonment. Amounts of fines, terms of probation, or imprisonment are generally contingent upon the circumstances and amounts and types involved.
When the University regulations regarding alcohol and drugs are violated, LeTourneau University will impose, at a minimum, the following sanctions:
- Appropriate sanctions will be assessed in which students may be subject to Disciplinary Probation, Disciplinary Suspension and/or Dismissal. Violations may also require the notification of the student’s parents.
- Additional sanctions may be imposed as appropriate, depending on circumstances.
- Appropriate sanctions will be assessed in which students may be subject to community service, educational sanctions, or Disciplinary Probation.
- Additional sanctions may be imposed as appropriate, depending on circumstances.
- The student will be automatically referred to the Dean of Students.
- Appropriate sanctions will be assessed in which students may be subject to Disciplinary Probation, Disciplinary Suspension and/or Dismissal. Violations also require the notification of the student’s parents and appropriate law enforcement authorities.
- University sanctions are imposed in addition to any actions taken in criminal prosecution by local state or federal authorities
HEALTH RISKS OF ALCOHOL AND ILLEGAL DRUGS
- Alcohol acts as a depressant, affects the mood, dulls the senses, and impairs coordination, reflexes, memory, and judgment.
- More serious effects of alcohol may be damage to the liver, kidney, pancreas, and brain.
- Alcohol is the leading cause of death among individuals 15-24 years of age.
- On the average, heavy alcohol drinkers shorten their life spans by approximately ten years.
- Use of tobacco products harms nearly every organ of one’s body, damaging the immune system and increasing the risk of infections.
- Smoking affects the smoker and second-hand smoke affects others.
- Diseases caused by tobacco include abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myeloid leukemia, cataract, peripheral artery disease, periodontitis, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, and cancer of the cervix, kidneys, pancreas, stomach, and mouth.
- New products, not yet addressed by legislation or medical studies, introduced to the marketplace which produce any type of alteration of the mental or motor processes may cause any number of negative health issues.
- Increasing tolerance to the high can lead to a desire for a greater reaction, and emulation of the use of illegal substances creates a social appearance of acceptance of the indiscriminate use of intoxicants.
- Unknown health risks and inconsistency of dosage of the intoxicating ingredients of such products make their use an unacceptable practice.
- Prolonged use and increased tolerance to marijuana can lead to severe psychological dependence.
- Marijuana use may produce an immediate increase in heart and pulse rate, and can cause an acute panic anxiety reaction.
- Use of marijuana may cause impairment of memory, altered sense of time, and inability to concentrate.
Cocaine and Crack
- Cocaine or crack use may produce an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature.
- An indication of cocaine or crack use may be chronic runny nose and membrane infections.
- Cocaine or crack overdose may result in seizures, heart stops, coma, or death.
Amphetamines and Barbiturates
- Amphetamine and barbiturate users become highly susceptible to physical dependence.
- Amphetamine and barbiturate use may cause infections of the skin, liver, heart, and lungs.
SERVICES AVAILABLE TO THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
LeTourneau University employs professional counselors in order to make counseling services available to the campus community. The University has a working agreement with off-campus counseling facilities to assist in the treatment process. Counseling is provided on a confidential basis. For more information, access or contact counseling services at 903-233-3490 or online at http://www.letu.edu/_Academics/Health_Sciences/Psychology/Counseling_Center/
The University has three primary components of the alcohol and drug abuse program:
- Assessment: The student or employee will be assessed to determine extent of the problem with alcohol or other drugs, which may range from careless misuse to abuse to addiction.
- Intervention: By working with friends, family, faculty, and staff, the University can reach out to people in trouble and provide them access to appropriate help.
- Short-term Counseling: As appropriate, counseling is provided to students or employees who can benefit from a maximum of five therapy sessions.
II. COMMUNITY COVENANT
A VISION FOR LIFE TOGETHER
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)
LeTourneau University is an institution of higher learning with a rich history of preparing students for meaningful work across the globe, a life of faithfulness to Jesus Christ, a particular vocational calling, and the advancement of the Kingdom of God. The University’s Purpose Statement reflects the history, mission, vision, and goals of the school and its own vocation as a Christian organization.
As an academic faith community in the evangelical Christian tradition, LeTourneau University offers a residential and online community experience conducive for Christian growth. The institution has always been committed to Christian discipleship through strong academics and hands-on training, mutual spiritual encouragement of faculty and staff, intentional mentorship of students, and devotion to Christian practices in accordance with the Scriptures. As an interdenominational institution with a broadly Christian and evangelical Statement of Faith, LeTourneau is a community bonded by the essentials of historic and orthodox Christian beliefs and practices that are common to Christians across the world and through the ages. Holy Scripture is the institution’s cornerstone for faith, life, and practice. LeTourneau University exists to serve the local and universal Church by offering particular gifts to the world that are possible through a healthy academic faith community. LeTourneau University is a collection of trustees, administrators, faculty, and staff, committed to its evangelical Christian heritage and mission, who seek to show Christian charity and hospitality to people of all backgrounds, perspectives, and faith walks. Therefore, we are an institution that welcomes students and guests who identify with our Christian faith, and we also welcome those who may not—those who may be devoted to another religion or are unsure of faith and religion as a whole, and who also desire to contribute to LeTourneau’s particular academic and Christian faith community.
For the sake of fulfilling the community’s purposes, its diverse members and guests voluntarily enter into a social compact. At LeTourneau we call this social compact our Community Covenant. For LeTourneau’s Community Covenant to serve its stated purposes, it is crucial that each person understand and embrace it as the guiding document for life and work together. In joining this covenant we are joining in a compact with others of the LeTourneau University community. If one does not wish to abide by the provisions of this compact, they should not participate in the LeTourneau University community. But if we do agree to it, it should be with the full intention of living with integrity under its provisions.
COMMUNITY LEADERS: TRUSTEES, ADMINISTRATION, FACULTY, AND STAFF
Christians believe that when God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, calls us, he gathers us into community and promises to live in our midst. By the grace of God, this community becomes godly and in this way participates in the Triune God’s mission by becoming a beacon of light and hope like a candle on a stand or a city on a hill. In response to this gracious call, the community cultivates virtues: qualities, habits, and dispositions that shape us for membership in community and sharing in God’s mission to bless all nations through his people. All of the behavioral policies at LeTourneau, whether stated positively or negatively, aim at this blessing: godly life in community, that is, human flourishing.
The Scriptural foundation of this godly community is represented in Jesus’ two great commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-40). Jesus himself perfectly demonstrated this pattern of loving God and loving others in obedience to God’s Word. Acknowledging our dependence on the power and grace of God, the leaders of the LeTourneau University community humbly covenant to live according to this ideal.
The goal of academic life at LeTourneau University is to live, work, serve, and worship together as an educational community in response to this vision of loving God and neighbor as human flourishing. For this reason, our aim as an academic community is not merely the transmission of information; it is the development of whole persons who will build the church and benefit society worldwide, “…who see life’s work as a holy calling with eternal impact.” Along with the privileges and blessings of membership in such a community come responsibilities. The leaders of the LeTourneau University community take these responsibilities seriously.
With that context, the trustees, administration, faculty, and staff of LeTourneau University aspire to:
- Cultivate a teaching and learning atmosphere that is committed to Christian growth and virtues;
- Fulfill this vision for human flourishing for life within community at LeTourneau;
- Clarify and affirm the institution’s perspective on social and moral issues that bear upon life within the LeTourneau community;
- Remove whatever may hinder us from our calling as a Christ-centered academic community;
- Foster a healthy Christian environment that is sensitive to students who may not self-identify as Christian or personally align with the institution’s position on particular social issues or community ideals;
- Encourage one another to see that living for Christ involves dependence on God’s Spirit and obedience to his Word, rather than a passive acceptance of prevailing practices.
The leaders of our community affirm the Bible as our standard for life and worship both within the LeTourneau University community and for the universal church. We believe that the Bible is the rule of faith and practice and, while application requires wisdom and care, Scripture outlines a vision of true human flourishing and is the ultimate standard for answering questions of character and behavior in community (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In turn, we believe that Scripture outlines a human being’s proper posture toward God, creation, oneself, and others. Trusting God’s grace and power, we are committed to heeding God’s manifold call to:
- Acknowledge the Lordship of Christ over all of life and thought. This involves a wholehearted obedience to Jesus and careful stewardship in all dimensions of life: our time, our possessions, our God-given capacities, our opportunities (Deut. 6:5-6;1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 1:18; 3:17);
- Love God with our whole being, including our minds, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Christ-like love should be the motive in all decisions, actions, and relationships (Matt. 22:37-40; Rom. 13:8-10; 1 John 4:7-12); The call to pursue holiness in every aspect of our thought and behavior (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thess. 4:7; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:15-16);
- Exercise our Christian freedom responsibly within the framework of God’s Word, humbly submitting ourselves to one another (1 Pet. 5:5; Eph. 5:21) with loving regard for the needs of others (Phil. 2:3-11; Rom. 14:1-23; 1 Thess. 4:9);
- Treat our own bodies, and those of others, with the honor due the very temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:17-20);
- Show evidence of the Holy Spirit who lives within Christians, such as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23);
- “Put on” compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and supremely, love (Col. 3:12-14);
- Seek righteousness, mercy and justice, particularly for the helpless and oppressed (Prov. 21:3; 31:8-9; Micah 6:8; Matt. 23:23; Gal. 6:10);
- “Love your enemies” and pursue peace and reconciliation even when suffering wrongdoing (Matt 5:43-44; Rom 8:18; 2 Cor 5:18; 13:11; Phil 3:10; 1 Pet 2:19; 3:8-9);
- Love and side with what is good in God’s eyes, and abhor what is evil in God’s eyes (Amos 5:15; Rom. 12:9, 16:19);
- Uphold the God-given worth of human beings, from conception to death, as the unique image-bearers of God (Gen. 1:27; Psalm 8:3-8; 139:13-16);
- Pursue unity and embrace ethnic diversity as part of God’s design for humanity and practice racial reconciliation as one of his redemptive purposes in Christ (Isa. 56:6-7; John 17:20-23; Acts 17:26; Eph. 2:11-18; Col. 3:11; Rev. 7:9-10);
- Uphold chastity among the unmarried (1 Cor. 6:18) and the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman (Gen 2:24; Matt 19:5; Eph 5:31; Heb. 13:4);
- Be people of integrity whose word can be fully trusted (Psalm 15:1-4; Matt. 5:33-37);
- Give faithful witness to the Gospel (Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 3:15), practice good works toward all (Gal. 6:10; Eph. 2:10; Heb. 10:24; 1 Pet. 2:11; Titus 2:7-8), and live lives of prayer and thanksgiving (1 Thess. 5:17-18; James 5:16).
- Obey the laws of our land in so far as they cohere with the laws of God as revealed in Scripture (Rom 13:1; Dan 3:14-18; Psalm 94:20; Acts 5:29; Eph. 6:12; 1 Pet 2:13);
- Keep Sabbath by resting and pausing for restoration, recreation, and worship within a particular week (Gen 2:2-3; Exod 20:8-11; 31:12-17; Levs 26:34-25; Deut 5:12-17; Mark 2:27; Luke 6:5; Heb 4:1-4).
The call to participate in the worship and activities of the local church, which forms the basic biblically-mandated context for Christian living (Acts 2:42-47; Heb. 10:25; 1 Tim. 3:14-15).
ALL COMMUNITY LEADERS, STUDENTS AND GUESTS OF LETOURNEAU UNIVERSITY
Embracing Campus Standards
We believe the aspirations and commitments of LeTourneau’s leaders expressed above will manifest in a distinctly Christian way of life personally and corporately, an approach to living we expect students and guests to honor and respect. To foster the kind of atmosphere most conducive to becoming the Christian community of faith, learning, and living that LeTourneau University desires to be, the University has adopted institutional standards for all leaders, students, and guests. This involves exemplifying those attitudes and actions the Bible teaches as virtues and avoiding those the Bible portrays as sinful.
As a Christian institution that draws on the best of the nearly twenty-one centuries of Christian life and reflection, LeTourneau emphasizes the importance of practices and habits that embody discipleship and offer up our hearts, minds and bodies to God. In the history of ethical reflection, “virtue” is often used to speak of a way of life that is in accord with the purpose or goal of humanity. It is for this reason that LeTourneau’s mission speaks of “cultivating Christian virtue.” LeTourneau seeks to orient human persons toward the goal revealed in Jesus Christ—a goal spoken of in various ways in Scripture: walking with God, friendship with God, life in the Spirit, membership in the body of Christ, participation in God, life in Christ, in short, salvation and redemption.
At the very center of virtuous Christian life is love—the love demonstrated in Jesus’ birth, life, crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father, and poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Before the final coming of Jesus Christ, this love is supported by faith and hope—the three theological virtues (1 Cor 13:13). Alongside these stand the qualities praised in Jesus’ teaching and those of his apostles, and the virtue lists of the early church: humility, generosity, kindness, purity, temperance, diligence, etc. These lists build upon the declarations of God’s character and the calls for human behavior that correspond to God’s character in the Old Testament (Exodus 34:6; Isaiah 11:1-3a; Hosea 2:19-20; and Micah 6:8) as well as the descriptions of virtue in other texts (notably Psalms and Proverbs). We believe the LeTourneau community—leaders, students, and guests—are called to contribute to the good of one another by seeking these virtues of the Christian tradition.
Scripture also condemns a range of vices, attitudes and behaviors that run against the grain of his vision for human flourishing and community thriving. We believe the LeTourneau community is called to avoid what Scripture prohibits, such as the following:
- Pride, dishonesty, stealing, injustice, prejudice, immodesty in dress or behavior, slander, gossip, vulgar or obscene language, blasphemy, greed and materialism, covetousness, the taking of innocent life, and illegal activities (Prov. 16:18; 1 Cor. 6:10; Exod. 20:7; Rom. 13:9; Col. 3:8-9; James 2:1-13; Gal. 3:26-29; Rom. 13:1-2; 1 Tim. 2:8-10; Heb. 13:5-6);
- Violence, intimidation, harassment, or verbal and/or physical assault, including subjecting another person or group to abusive, threatening, intimidating, or harassing actions, including, but not limited to, those based on race, religion, gender, disability, age, economic status, ethnicity, national origin or sexual orientation. This includes any communication that attacks or interferes with a person conducting his or her customary affairs, puts the person in fear for his or her safety, or causes actual physical injury (Psalm 7:9; Isaiah 60:18; Eph 4:29; Gal 3:27-29).
- Hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and legalism, understood as the imposition of extra-biblical standards of godliness by one person or group upon another (Acts 15:5-11; Matt. 16:6; 23:13-36);
- Sinful attitudes and behaviors such as “impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Gal. 5:19-21);
- Sexual immorality, such as the use of pornography (Matt. 5:27-28), pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and woman (Rom. 1:21-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31).
We also believe that there are community practices that are wise to standardize in light of the University’s particular setting. These are foundational principles that embody self-control, relinquishing personal rights for the benefit of the corporate body, and sensitivity to the heritage and practices of other Christians and those of other faiths.
- LeTourneau University and all LeTourneau University-related functions will be alcohol-free and tobacco-free. This means that the possession or consumption of alcohol or the use of tobacco in any form will be prohibited in, on, or around all campus properties, owned or leased. The same prohibition applies to all LeTourneau University vehicles, whether on or off campus, and to all LeTourneau University events or programs, wherever they may be held.
- All residential students, even if of legal age, are prohibited from the consumption of alcohol or the use of tobacco in all settings, during and in between academic semesters. This includes all undergraduate or graduate students living on campus or commuting to campus. This also includes any students technically registered as “global” (online) students but who engage in residential activities, resources, courses, or are a member of a LeTourneau athletic team or club sport.
- Other members of the University community will use careful and loving discretion in any use of alcohol. They will avoid the serving and consumption of alcohol in any situation that residential students of LeTourneau are or likely to be present.
- All members of the LeTourneau University community will take care to avoid any entertainment or behavior, on or off campus, which may be immodest, sinfully erotic, or harmfully violent. On-campus dances will take place only with official University sponsorship.
Other rules and regulations necessary for orderly community life are listed in the appropriate student, faculty, and employee handbooks, as well as in LeTourneau University policies.
Exercising Responsible Freedom
Commensurate with these campus standards, the LeTourneau University community seeks to foster the practice of responsible Christian freedom (Gal. 5:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:16-17). This requires a wise stewardship of mind, body, time, abilities and resources on the part of every member of the community. Responsible freedom also requires thoughtful, biblically-grounded choices in matters of behavior, entertainment, interpersonal relationships, and applications of Christian faith and practice.
“You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (I Corinthians 6:20)
Of particular concern in a collegiate environment are those issues related to alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco. While the use of illegal drugs or the abuse of legal drugs is by definition illicit, and the use of tobacco in any form has been shown to be injurious to health, the situation regarding beverage alcohol is more complex. The Bible requires moderation in the use of alcohol, not necessarily abstinence. Yet the fact that alcohol is addictive to many, coupled with the biblical warnings against its dangers, also suggests the need for caution. The abuse of alcohol constitutes one of our society’s greatest substance abuse problem, not to mention the fact that many Christians avoid it as a matter of conscience. Thus the question of alcohol consumption, for example, represents a prime opportunity for Christians to exercise their freedom responsibly, carefully, and in Christ-like love. The LeTourneau University community also encourages responsible freedom in matters of entertainment, including the places where members of the University community may seek it, such as television, movies, video, theater, concerts, dances, gaming and the internet. The University assumes its members will be guided in their choices by the wisdom of Scripture, such as:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) “…And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)
LeTourneau University’s community leaders—trustees, administration, faculty, and staff—desire an academic faith community of people committed to Christian and biblical aspirations for human flourishing, marked by integrity, responsible freedom, and dynamic, Christ-like love; a place where the name of Jesus Christ is honored in all we do; a place where the Christian student can be nurtured in their faith; and a place where the non-Christian student and guest respect the Christian aspirations of this community while experiencing a safe and hospitable learning and living environment as a full community participant.
This requires that all members exhibit trustworthiness by taking the commitment to this covenant seriously as covenant keepers, whatever pressures we may face to do otherwise. Being faithful to one’s word is a matter of integrity. “Lord, who may live on your holy hill?” asks the Psalmist. “He who keeps his oath, even when it hurts” (15:4), is the reply. Integrity dictates that if we have voluntarily placed ourselves under LeTourneau’s Community Covenant we must make every effort to fulfill our commitment by living accordingly.
Keeping our covenant may also on occasion require that we take steps to hold one another accountable, confronting one another in love as we work together to live in faithfulness both to God’s Word and to our own word (Col 3:16). Such loving acts of confrontation, repentance, and forgiveness are at times difficult, but when performed in the right spirit (Gal. 6:1) they serve to build godly character for both the individuals involved and the community as a whole.
“…speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15)
*Approved by the LeTourneau University Board of Trustees on February 27, 2017. **Thanks is due Wheaton College, Westmont College, John Brown University, Messiah College, and Gordon College for our use of various concepts and language from their institutional statements in creating LeTourneau University’s Community Covenant.
III. FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”
Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies. Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record; however, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:
- School officials with legitimate educational interest;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully-issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, directory information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance; however, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them.
More information about FERPA is available from the Department of Student Life, or visit the Academic Policies section of the academic catalog at www.letu.edu/catalog.
IV. GUEST SPEAKER/LECTURER POLICY
As an institution of learning, LeTourneau University seeks to enrich learning by inviting speakers and lecturers that speak to student groups, classes, and other constituent groups. Invitations to speakers are made by faculty members, academic and administrative units, and by authorized representatives of recognized and approved student organizations. Student organizations that invite speakers need the specific written approval of their approved sponsor or advisor. Individuals, acting apart from their appropriate roles, are not authorized to invite speakers to the University.
LeTourneau University reserves the right to approve the on-campus appearance of guest speakers and lecturers. When in doubt of the appropriateness of inviting a speaker, individuals or groups are expected to reference the proposed invitation with the appropriate Cabinet officer. If the speaker/guest is known for a position or is likely to promote a position inconsistent with the University mission or Christian principles described in the Student Handbook or represents a lifestyle inconsistent with the University mission, the host must take the appropriate steps as a part of that same program to also present a Christian worldview.
When inviting persons who are either candidates for public office or who represent a person running for public office or who represent a particular partisan political position, it is necessary to have as a part of that program of information, a person representing the other candidate or partisan position. In all cases, care must be given to avoid any implication of the University’s involvement with or support of a particular political candidate.
In all invitations to guest speakers and in all communication with guests, great care should be taken to communicate respectfully, clearly stating the perspective of the University while providing a welcome and hospitable environment. All invitations should clearly state the purpose of the invitation, the nature and content of the requested speech, the proposed audience and the time, place, and expected length of the proposed address. Please notify the Office of University Relations when the speaker provides opportunity for publicity to the University.
V. MEDIA RESTRICTIONS
With the increased number of computers available around the campus and the ease of copying, piracy of computer applications becomes an increasing problem. The owner of a computer program is responsible for the restrictions of the license agreement and should know the details of the agreement for his/her software. Remember, software piracy is theft. Generally, it is not permissible to borrow or copy software from someone else. Read the license carefully to make sure that it is acceptable to install the software on more than one computer. Otherwise, this borrowing is theft. It is equally illegal to copy or share copyrighted music, texts, videos, films, or any other media.
LeTourneau University maintains a series of public and private computer networks. Unauthorized accesses and/or attempts at unauthorized access (hacking) into any university network or system or into any computer device not owned by the student are strictly prohibited. Hacking to gain illegal entry to any University network or the distribution of University data (gained legally or illegally) without written permission may result in suspension or dismissal from the University, civil or criminal prosecution, and other legal penalties. Students are additionally responsible for following all guidelines published on the LetNet policies page accessible by visiting http://www.letu.edu/it/resources/policies/. Individuals found to be in violation of the above policy may be subject to immediate disconnection from the network or revocation of computing and network privileges, pending the appeal process.
APPROPRIATE MEDIA CONTENT
Beyond consideration for copyright law, video games rated ‘M’ or higher, television programming rated ‘TV-MA’, and movies rated ‘R’ or higher – or content equivalent Not Rated/NR media – may not be played or displayed in public areas. For purposes of this policy, public areas include, but are not limited to: residence hall lounges and lobbies, the Village Center, the Little Theater, the AFSC Game Room, the AFSC Media Room, and all classrooms. Exception to this policy can be granted for use in an educational setting or in a University sponsored event. Approval must be granted by an LETU Faculty member or a Student Life Staff member.
VI. ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY
LeTourneau University is committed to vigorously enforcing the policy against harassment including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual violence, coercion, intimidation, and exploitation. Other examples of harassment include unwelcome slurs, jokes, comments, graphic or physical conduct, or other intimidating, hostile, or offensive communication relating to an individual’s race, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability.
If a student feels he or she has been or are being harassed, he or she should communicate with the alleged harasser and request that the behavior stops immediately and/or propose a course of action to resolve the situation. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level or if the student does not feel comfortable communicating directly with the alleged harasser, then the student should report the event. Traditional and nontraditional students should report the event(s) to the Office of the Dean of Students (903-233-4410). If the student feels uncomfortable reporting the event to the Dean of Students, the student may contact the Human Resources Director (903-233-4171) or any other University official they trust.
If an employee or a University guest feels that they have been or are being harassed, they should communicate with the alleged harasser and request that the behavior stops immediately and/or propose a course of action to resolve the situation. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level or if they do not feel comfortable communicating directly with the alleged harasser, then they should report the event(s) to the Human Resources Director (903-233-4171).
Reports of harassment should include the following information: name and contact information for both the person feeling harassed and the alleged harasser, a description of the specific acts alleged (including dates, times, and locations), names of any potential witnesses, and action taken by any party to address the behavior.
If the alleged behavior includes physical violence, the incident should also be reported to the University Police. All reported or suspected occurrences of harassment will be promptly and thoroughly investigated. The investigation will begin with 10 working days of the receipt of the complaint. All harassment complaints will be investigated as quickly as possible, generally within 30 working days. In all cases where a student is alleged as either party, the Human Resources Director will consult the Dean of Students. Harassment complaints involving minors (individuals under 18 years of age) will be reported by the Human Resource Director to the University police, and the minor’ parent or legal guardian will be notified of the complaint, as FERPA laws allow and is appropriate for the situation.
Where harassment is determined to have occurred, the University will take prompt, appropriate disciplinary action, including written warnings and possible suspension without pay, transfer and/or termination for employees; and disciplinary warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal for students. Retaliation against anyone who files harassment complaints or cooperates in the investigation of the same is not permissible and will not be tolerated.
VII. SOLICITATION AND SIGN-POSTING
For the protection of students, no solicitation of any type (selling, promoting, distributing pamphlets, and posting notices) is permitted by students or others on the University campus in offices, residence halls, village apartments, or through the Campus Post Office. No personal business (music lessons, computer sales, etc.) may be operated from any campus location without a letter of permission from the Dean of Students, which will be placed on file in the Department of Student Life. Personal items may be advertised for sale on the bulletin board in the Student Center. Approval must be obtained through the Department of Student Life.
Any student wanting to post a sign/poster/announcement in any campus facility must abide by the following guidelines:
- The Department of Student Life must approve all announcements before posting. You must fill out an Accountability Form (available from the Department of Student Life) each time you post. Publicity bulletin boards are located in these six buildings: Heath-Hardwick Hall, Longview Hall, Glaske Hall, Belcher Center, Solheim, and the Allen Family Student Center. Posters hung in these buildings must be confined to these bulletin boards.
- In buildings other than the six listed above, posters may be hung on interior brick walls (not on glass or painted walls). Failure to confine posters to these locations may result in loss of publicity privileges.
- Removal of posters is the responsibility of the organization represented. Failure to remove posters by the date stamped on them may result in loss of publicity privileges.
- Any postings in residence halls do not need to be approved by Student Life, but they need to be cleared with the Resident Director for that area. Any postings in the residence halls may be removed by the RD, at their discretion.
- Classifieds/Want-Ads/For Sale circulars may be posted on the Publicity bulletin boards.
- In the Dining Hall, only large, butcher-paper banners and table tents may be posted. Any posters in the Dining Hall must be approved by the Department of Student life and may be removed at the discretion Student Life or the General Manager of Bon Appetit Management Co. Table tents must be approved by both the Department of Student Life and the General Manager of Bon Appetit Management Co.
- Circulars sent out in CPOs must be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Student Life, and are limited to items that affect a substantial portion of the campus.
- Other creative publicity ideas are encouraged but must be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Student Life.
- The LeTourneau Buzz app is not to be used to promote private businesses. Class related businesses are permissible.
VIII. STUDENT COMPLAINT POLICY
The student complaints policy provides guidance as to how the University defines written complaints, the structure for communication and resolution of complaints, and the systematic means for documenting complaints and resolutions. A good faith effort will be made by the institution to reach a resolution that is beneficial to those involved in a formal complaint.
Written student complaint – any written complaint from a student to a member of the President’s Cabinet or an academic Dean. These complaints include but are not limited to complaints initially sent to a staff or faculty member, but did not reach resolution. If resolution is not reached after initially attempting resolution through a staff or faculty member, the student is responsible for making a written student complaint to a cabinet member or Dean.
Written student complaints must be sent in one of the following formats: email, letter, or digital student complaint form located at the University website. There are two types of written student complaints, which are formal student complaints and satisfaction complaints. If a student verbally expresses a complaint that meets the criteria of a formal student complaint, the staff or faculty member receiving the complaint should document it in writing and follow the student complaint policy as if the complaint had been presented in writing.
Formal student complaint – any written student complaint that involves a faculty member, staff member, the payment or refund of a charge, student financial aid, a grade, harassment, hazing, student safety, Title IX compliance, or any other issue deemed by a Cabinet member or Dean to be at a severity level requiring in depth investigation.
Satisfaction complaint – any written student complaint that involves an individual’s opinion, but does not provide enough information or is deemed by a Cabinet member or Dean to be at a severity level below meriting an in-depth investigation. Satisfaction complaints may evolve into a formal student complaint if the student wishes to continue the complaint after the initial attempt at resolution.
Resolution – the answer to or solution for the complaint. Resolution does not guarantee that the complainant receives the complainant’s desired outcome. Some resolutions may involve referring students to other existing appeals processes, such as the process for appealing a grade or disciplinary sanctions. Procedures for Responding to Written Student Complaints The student must submit an email, letter, or digital student complaint form to a member of the President’s Cabinet or an academic Dean.
- If the complaint is a grade appeal, the student will be directed to follow the grade appeal process.
- If the complaint concerns harassment, then the University’s Anti-Harassment Policy will be followed.
- If the complaint involves a spouse or relative of a Cabinet member or Dean, the Cabinet member or Dean must recuse himself or herself from the resolution process.
When one of the administrators above receives a written student complaint, the administrator must respond to the student within 5 business days for the purpose of acknowledging receipt. If the administrator receives a complaint unrelated to the administrator’s area of oversight, the administrator must forward the complaint to the Office of the Provost for distribution to the appropriate party within 5 business days after receipt and communicate to the student that the complaint was forwarded. The receiving administrator must respond to the student within 5 business days of receiving the forwarded complaint for the purpose of confirming receipt.
For formal written complaints, the administrator will coordinate an investigation of the complaint and develop a resolution. The complaint will be investigated, including the source, consideration of previous efforts to resolve the issue, and evaluation of any circumstances surrounding the event or person. The administrator will send an email to the student within 10 days after initially acknowledging receipt of the complaint for the purpose of providing a written statement of resolution or to inform the student of the progress related to reaching a resolution, as well as a date by which resolution will be reached.
For satisfaction complaints that require additional information from the complainant, the administrator will send an email to the student within 10 days after initially acknowledging receipt of the complaint for the purpose of requesting additional information necessary for facilitating resolution. Within this 10-day time frame, the administrator will provide a written statement of resolution or will inform the student of the progress related to reaching a resolution, as well as a date by which resolution will be reached. All email correspondence regarding complaints will utilize LeTourneau University email addresses.
Student Appeal Process
Upon receiving the resolution response to the written student complaint, the student has the right to appeal to successive levels of administration. Each successive level will have 10 days to respond after the appeal is received. For complaints that were not initially addressed by the President or Provost & Executive Vice President, the student must send the first appeal to the Provost & Executive Vice President. If the student is not satisfied by the Provost & Executive Vice President’s resolution response, the student may appeal to the President. The President’s decision is final.
If the student exhausts all internal complaint processes, a student may elect to appeal to external agencies.
- LeTourneau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, and master degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone 404-679-4500, at http://www.sacscoc.org for questions about the accreditation of LeTourneau University. The Commission is to be contacted with a complaint only if there is evidence that appears to support the institution’s significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard, according to the form and procedures located at the SACSCOC complaints website.
- Students who would like to make a complaint to the appropriate agency for the State of Texas should consult the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s complaint process.
- Students enrolled in online programs who live outside of Texas should contact the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student’s state. A listing of states that LeTourneau University serves and the corresponding state agency contact information can be found here.
- Students who have exhausted all LeTourneau University appeal processes and believes that the University is in violation of federal laws concerning discrimination against a person with a disability or a member of a protected class should contact the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-1100 or www.ed.gov/ocr.
All communication between the complainant and administration concerning student written complaints, whether a formal written complaint or a satisfaction complaint, will be sent to the Office of the Provost for communication tracking and archiving. If any complaint contains information that requires additional confidentiality, the President may choose to keep it on file in the President’s office. All complaint documentation will be maintained for 7 years after the final date of resolution. The student complaint log will include:
- Date the complaint was sent to the administrator
- Date the administrator acknowledges complaint receipt to the student
- Name of the administrator overseeing the complaint resolution
- Individuals assigned to investigate the complaint
- Date of resolution communication
- General resolution details and results of the investigation
- Dates on which any follow-up communication was sent to the complainant
- Documentation and links to where the complaint communication is maintained
IX. STUDENT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICY
Intellectual property is defined as patents (inventions and discoveries), trade secrets, copyrights (publications and computer software), and trademarks.
Ownership of intellectual property initially resides with the person who creates the intellectual property. If University personnel (including students) create intellectual property on their own time, without significant use of University facilities or equipment, the creator retains all rights of ownership. Creation of any intellectual property resulting from investigations or research conducted by employees and students of LeTourneau University, on University time or with its facilities or equipment, shall be assigned to the University or its designee. More detailed guidance can be found in the Intellectual Property Policy in the LeTourneau University Policy Index at www.letu.edu/policy.
X. STUDENT RESEARCH POLICY
For Research/Information Gathering Initiated or Coordinated by Students
Student research is seen as a valuable part of the teaching and learning process. All student research, by definition, must be done under the direction or sponsorship of a faculty or staff member of LeTourneau University. In this way, the faculty/staff member, department chair/supervisor and school dean/vice president will be appropriately aware of student research which occurs. Student research will be subject to the same requirements of approval, communication, and appeal as faculty or staff research when conducted under the representation of the sponsoring faculty member or staff sponsor, as in the case of a student organization. In every case, all approvals must be given prior to beginning the research.
In all cases, refer to and follow the section of the policy regarding Faculty or Staff Research, depending on the individual who is directing or sponsoring the student(s) in this research proposal. In every case, considerations must be given to the mission of the University, the purpose and nature of the research/data gathering, the population(s) to be surveyed, the audience for publication, the costs in both time and funds, and the potential legal issues or liability, in keeping with the University’s policies on research as stipulated in the OSP Policies and Procedures and Faculty-Staff Handbook and within federal guidelines.
For the purposes of this policy, a student is defined as an individual for whom any of the following would apply:
- Enrolled in or auditing at least one class, lab, internship, or work-study program,
- Living in University housing, or
- Participating in or representing the university as a part of a field trip, mission experience, sport, club, or organizational activity
If the research is not a function of nor related to the student’s position at LeTourneau University, if it is conducted apart from a student’s studies or campus activities, if it is not conducted on University property, and if it does not involve any University funds or constituencies, then no university approvals are necessary. Please visit the Department of Student Life if you would like to view a complete copy of the University Research Policy.
XI. STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
When seeking admission to LeTourneau University, a student with a disability should be aware of admission standards. The standard admissions criteria also apply to students with disabilities who are interested in attending LETU. Extended time SAT and ACT tests will be accepted. A student may choose to self-disclose a disability in the application for admissions. If self-disclosed, the disability will not enter into the admissions decision.
The appropriate academic support, deemed reasonable and necessary by law, will be provided to students with documented disabilities that have been accepted according to the University’s admissions criteria. LETU has no specific programs for students with disabilities; however, the University provides students with disabilities reasonable accommodations in order to provide all students equal access to academic programs and the university experience. The University is unable to lower program requirements; provide individualized supervision; or make modifications or substitute courses if the modification or substitution would fundamentally alter the nature of the educational program. Additionally, requirements that are essential to earning a degree cannot be waived.
All financial aid including federal, state, or private grants; scholarships; and loans will be administered without discrimination to all students, regardless of disability, who is admitted to LeTourneau University. For all LETU students, the amount of financial aid awarded is affected by a reduced course load; students with disabilities who choose a reduced course load should be aware that financial aid is affected.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to self-identify after admission and provide required documentation to the Director for Student Achievement. Students enrolled in an institution of higher education are required to self-identify if they would like to request academic support services on the basis of a disability. Students who need facility adjustments must notify the Director for Student Achievement.
Students are required to provide documentation of a disability to the Director for Student Achievement prior to the provision of academic support services or facility adjustments. Documentation must be no more than three years old. In the case of a medical disability of mobility, sensory, health, or physical limitations, a complete medical report and formal diagnosis from a physician is necessary. The deadline for providing documentation is 60 days prior to the beginning of the initial semester to allow time to provide adequate coordination of service. A student who wishes to identify himself or herself as having a disability must provide documentation of the disability and complete an Accommodation Request and Consent Form.
In the case of a learning or psychological disability, acceptable documentation includes a psycho-educational evaluation and formal diagnosis performed by a licensed therapist who specializes in learning disabilities. The evaluation must delineate the nature of the student’s learning problem and describe any factors that entitle the student to academic support services.
Each evaluation must include an assessment of broad cognitive functioning (e.g. the WAIS R test), specific cognitive processing (discussing visual spatial abilities, auditory and visual memory, fine motor ability, executive functions, and selective attention), oral language ability, and achievement levels. All scores must be reported and interpreted. The physical or psycho-educational evaluations must also explain how the student’s ability to perform routine school tasks is affected by the disability and recommend modifications that would be reasonable and necessary at LETU.
After appropriate documentation has been provided to the Director for Student Achievement, accommodations will be determined on an individual basis dependent upon documented need for services and the University’s assessment of the individual’s need as related to the chosen academic program. These services may include liaison with faculty members, promotion of self-advocacy skills, and securing appropriate classroom accommodations. All LETU students have access to study skills counseling and some tutoring. At the student’s request and upon receipt of a signed consent form, the Director for Student Achievement will notify the appropriate faculty of recommended specific accommodations. The student will then meet with instructors to discuss the accommodation. Students must update their requests for accommodations each semester by completing and returning the update form to the Director for Student Achievement prior to the start of each semester. Reasonable accommodation involves a level of shared responsibility, cooperation, and communication among faculty, staff, and students in order to ensure academic integrity and provide equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities. Ultimately, the student is responsible for notifying the Director for Student Achievement if adjustments are not working well.
XII. Sexual Misconduct Policy (Title IX)
LeTourneau University is a Christ-centered academic community, committed to providing and maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from sexual, racial, and other forms of harassment and misconduct. LeTourneau University believes its students, faculty members, employees, and campus guests should experience an environment free from sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.
In compliance with federal and state laws, it is the policy of LeTourneau University to prohibit unlawful harassment and sexual misconduct by any person and in any form. As a Christian institution of higher education, LeTourneau University reserves the right to take its religious tenets into consideration when making employment decisions. No student, faculty member, supervisor, employee, or other individual shall engage in sexual misconduct, threaten, or harass any other individual or insinuate harassment toward another individual through their conduct, or through any communication of any nature. LeTourneau University will investigate all complaints of harassment or sexual misconduct, formal or informal, verbal or written, and take appropriate action or discipline against any person who is found to have violated this policy.
LeTourneau University recognizes that it may be difficult to specifically define what constitutes harassment under the law. As a result, LeTourneau University will not tolerate any type of inappropriate behavior that may lead to forms of illegal harassment. Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to, unwanted physical contact; foul language; sexually oriented explicit pictures, cartoons, or other materials such as graffiti that may be offensive to another employee or student. Because many of the above may be considered offensive to another individual, these activities are prohibited at LeTourneau University.
Statement of Compliance with Title IX
It is the policy of LeTourneau University to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination (including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct or violence) based on sex in the University’s educational programs and activities. Title IX also prohibits retaliation for asserting or otherwise participating in claims of sex discrimination, harassment, or misconduct. LeTourneau has designated the Dean of Students as the Title IX Coordinator and has appointed four individuals to serve as Deputy Coordinators who will collectively insure the University’s compliance with Title IX. The University will also train faculty or staff to serve as investigators in potential Title IX violations. The Title IX Coordinator’s responsibilities include the development, implementation, and monitoring of meaningful efforts to comply with Title IX legislation. At LeTourneau University, the Title IX Coordinator oversees monitoring of University policy, implementation of grievance procedures, including notification, investigation and disposition of complaints; distribution of educational materials and training for the campus community; conducting and/or coordinating investigations of complaints received pursuant to Title IX; and ensuring a fair and neutral process for all parties.
Title IX Deputies are appointed by the University’s President to assist with the implementation of the Title IX policy and education. Investigators are also appointed by the President to coordinate all investigations regarding potential Title IX violations. In order to take appropriate corrective action, officials at LeTourneau University must be aware of harassment, sexual misconduct, or related retaliation. Therefore, any member of the LeTourneau University community who believes that he or she has been the subject of or has witnessed any form of harassment, sexual misconduct, or related retaliation should promptly report such behavior to a University official as outlined below. Additionally, anyone in a supervisory, advisory or evaluative role (e.g. supervisors, managers, department chairs or faculty members) who experiences, witnesses or receives a written or oral report or complaint of harassment, sexual misconduct, or related retaliation shall promptly report it to the appropriate University official as outlined in the “Reporting Harassment or Sexual Misconduct” section of this policy.
Title IX Coordinator
Dr. Kristy Morgan
Dean of Students
Student Life Office, Second Floor Allen Family Student Center
Office Phone: 903-233-4410
Harassment & Sexual Misconduct
LeTourneau University is committed to encouraging and maintaining an educational, working, and living environment reflective of our Christian faith and characterized by civility and mutual respect. Sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, in any form, does not reflect the high standards and ideals of our community and will not be tolerated at LeTourneau University. As an institution of higher education, LeTourneau University has adopted this harassment and sexual misconduct prevention and response policy in an effort to eliminate harassment and sexual misconduct on our campus through education, training, clear policies, and serious consequences for violations of these policies. The University’s Title IX Coordinator has responsibility for ensuring compliance with LeTourneau’s policies regarding sexual misconduct.
Students and employees are expected to comply with the University’s policies on sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, and stalking whether on or off campus. Any student or employee who violates these University’s policies on or off campus is subject to disciplinary sanctions.
Sexual harassment and gender-based harassment that create a hostile environment are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and may violate other federal and state law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Texas state law. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence. Gender-based harassment may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment and gender-based harassment create a hostile environment if the conduct is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the recipient’s program or employment.
Sexual harassment includes incidents in which the harasser either provides or denies an employment or educational benefit in exchange for sexual favors, or makes an adverse employment or educational decision on the basis of rejection of sexual advances.
Sexual harassment also occurs when the working, learning, or living environment is made hostile or abusive. An abusive or hostile environment is one that is reasonably and actually perceived by the complaining party as abusive such that it makes it difficult to perform job duties or to pursue one’s education.
Sexual harassment is defined by the perception of the person who feels harassed: that is, whether it involves sexual conduct unwelcome to that person. In other words, harassment is subjective and it is “in the eye of the beholder.” Conduct can be sexual harassment whether or not any harassment or hostile feelings were intended.
Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship
- Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging
- Pressure for or forced sexual activity
- Unnecessary references to parts of the body
- Remarks about a person’s gender or sexual orientation
- Sexual innuendos or humor
- Obscene gestures
- Sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters
- Sexually explicit profanity
- Bullying (conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating)
- Stalking or cyber-bullying that is based on gender or sex
- E-mail, texting (“sexting”) and Internet use that violates this policy
- Sexual misconduct (sexual violence, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking)
A hostile environment can exist by virtue of a combination of individual incidents that would not, individually, constitute sexual harassment. Even one serious incident may, however, constitute hostile environment harassment.
Both women and men are protected from sexual harassment under these policies, whether the harassment is perpetrated by a member of the same or the opposite sex. Sexual harassment may be committed by a male or a female toward either a male or a female.
Members of the LeTourneau University community, including students, staff, faculty, and guests, have the right to be free from sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is non-consensual sexual activity and is a violation of Title IX. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating and domestic violence. LeTourneau University will not tolerate sexual misconduct of any form. Such conduct violates the values and principles of our community and disrupts the living, learning, and working environment for students, faculty, staff and guests.
Definitions for the Policy:
Consent is affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Past consent does not imply future consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent must be clearly demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot be assumed to be consent to any other form of sexual activity. Relying on non-verbal communications can lead to misunderstandings. Whether consent has been given will be determined contemporaneously with the activities in question.
If the victim is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that the victim cannot understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual situation, and the condition was or would be known to a reasonable person, there is no consent. This includes conditions due to alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious.
Sexual assault is any form of sexual contact directed against another person that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient, including sexual acts committed against a person who is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the individual being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the individual from having the capacity to give clear, unambiguous consent). Sexual assault may occur through the use of verbal, emotional, or physical force, intimidation, or coercion. Sexual assault includes sexual activities such as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, statutory rape, attempted rape, and non-consensual sexual contact. It also includes any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without explicit consent of that individual. Sexual assault can be committed by students, university employees, or third parties visiting or working on the LeTourneau University campus.
Non-consensual sexual contact includes any form of sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without the consent of that individual. It may include, but is not limited to, sexual assault or sexual violence as described above.
Domestic Violence is defined under state criminal law as “physical harm, bodily injury, assault or the threat of physical harm” directed toward “persons who have a child in common, and persons cohabiting or formerly cohabiting.” Domestic violence may also include a pattern of abusive or violent used by one partner in a domestic relationship to gain or maintain power and control over another partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Dating Violence occurs when one person intentionally hurts or scares someone they are dating and includes physical, emotional, and sexual violence.
• Physical abuse may include hitting, shoving, kicking, biting, or throwing objects.
• Emotional abuse may include yelling, name-calling, bullying, embarrassing, preventing interaction with friends, telling someone that they deserve the abuse, or providing gifts to “make up” for the abuse.
• Sexual abuse and violence is forcing someone to engage in a sexual activity or engaging in sexual activity when one of the persons is unable to consent due to use of alcohol or drugs.
Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear. Stalking behaviors may include persistent patterns of leaving or sending the victim unwanted items or presents that may range from seemingly romantic to bizarre, following or laying in wait for the victim, damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property, defaming the victim’s character, or harassing the victim via the Internet by posting personal information or spreading rumors about the victim. Texas criminal law defines stalking as a course of conduct that is directed specifically at another person that causes the other person, a member of the other person’s family or household, or an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or in fear that an offense will be committed against the other person’s property, or to feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended; and would cause a reasonable person to feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended.
Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy
LeTourneau University provides education on sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to all members of the University community through mandatory training, campus programs, printed educational materials, and official campus policies. In addition, mandatory training for all new students is provided at the start of the school year to educate students about sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. All students are required to participate in this training.
Reporting Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct
Any member of the staff or faculty, or any guest, who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment by a student, faculty member, member of the staff, or other university personnel, or who has knowledge of or has observed such behavior, should immediately report the alleged acts to an appropriate individual who, depending on the circumstances, may be, the chief administrator in his/her division, the Title IX Coordinator or one of the deputy coordinators.
If any member of the LeTourneau University community believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual misconduct or harassed by the person to whom he or she would normally report the incident, then the report should be made to the Title IX Coordinator or one of the other Title IX Deputy Coordinators.
Any student or employee who believes that he or she has been the victim of sexual misconduct or harassment by another student, faculty member, member of the staff, guest, or any other University personnel, or who has knowledge of or has observed such behavior, should immediately report the alleged acts to an appropriate individual who, depending on the circumstances, may be a faculty member, their Resident Director, a Student Life staff member, the Title IX Coordinator, or one of the Deputy Coordinators.
A report can also be made to any one of the other officials listed below:
Title IX Coordinator
Dr. Kristy Morgan
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Student Life Office, Second Floor Allen Family Student Center
Office Phone: 903-233-4410
Director of Human Resources
Office Phone: 903-233-4171
Director of Athletics
Office Phone: 903-233-3769
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Criminal Justice
Office Phone: 903-233-3393
Director, Academic Success – Global Student Success Center
Office Phone: 903-233-1772
A complaint may be made by telephone, email, regular mail, or in person. A student has the right to make an anonymous complaint; however, it may be more difficult to prove the alleged misconduct that is the subject of the complaint and to take action against the respondent without the evidence and information, which the reporter may have or be able to provide. Complaints may also be made to the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
Office for Civil Rights, Dallas Office
U.S. Department of Education
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620
Dallas, TX 75201-6810
Telephone: (214) 661-9600
Facsimile: (214) 661-9587
This complaint procedure applies to complaints alleging sexual harassment or misconduct by University employees, other students, or third parties.
The University will take appropriate steps to eliminate illegal sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others as quickly as possible. In some cases, interim measures may be taken before the investigation and disciplinary process has been completed in order to eliminate or diminish the opportunity for additional harassment or to alleviate the effects of the conduct that is the subject of the complaint. Any interim sanctions will respect the rights of all participants to be treated with fundamental fairness.
Rights of the Complainant and Respondent
The University strives to provide a prompt and fair process for investigating and resolving complaints related to sexual assault or other sex-related misconduct. Throughout this process, both the complainant and respondent have the following rights, many of which are described in greater detail in this policy:
- To be treated with respect and dignity.
- To receive assistance from the University in reporting the incident to law enforcement at any stage of the process.
- To receive information about the process the University will employ for conducting the investigation, hearing, determination, and appeal.
- To receive information about support available from University or community resources.
- To privacy to the extent possible consistent with applicable law and University policy.
- To have an advisor present throughout the process.
- To choose whether or not to participate in the investigation process.
- To a prompt and thorough investigation of the allegations.
- To have a reasonable time to provide information, including any oral or written statement, to the investigator.
- To raise any question regarding a possible conflict of interest on the part of any person involved in the investigation or determination.
- To appeal the decision and any sanctions made by the investigators.
- To notification, in writing, of the case resolution, including the outcome of any appeal.
Investigating Sexual Misconduct or Sexual Harassment
The University will thoroughly investigate and review the facts and circumstances of each allegation of harassment or sexual misconduct involving a student, faculty member, staff member or campus guest. The University may impose a sanction against the accused individual that is appropriate for the act committed. In accordance with Title IX of the education amendments of 1972, LeTourneau University will make every effort to conduct investigations that are prompt and equitable and intended to eliminate sexual misconduct on our campus.
Confidentiality and Reporting
The University strongly supports a Complainant’s interest in confidentiality in cases involving sexual violence. However, there are situations in which the University must override a request for confidentiality in order to meet its obligations under federal law to provide an educational environment that is safe and free from sexual harassment or sexual violence. To the extent possible, information regarding alleged incidents of sexual violence will be shared only with individuals who are responsible for handling the University’s response.
Honoring a request that the Complainant’s name not be revealed to the accused person or that the University not investigate or seek action against the accused person may limit the University’s ability to respond fully to the incident and pursue appropriate disciplinary action.
If a Complainant requests that his or her name not be disclosed to the accused person or that the University not investigate or seek action against the accused person, the University will need to determine whether or not it can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. If the University determines that it can respect a Complainant’s request not to disclose his or her identity to the accused person, it will take all reasonable steps to respond to the complaint consistent with the request.
The University will consider a range of factors when weighing a request for confidentiality that could interfere with a meaningful investigation or potential discipline of the accused person. If the factors indicate an increased risk of the accused person committing additional acts of sexual violence or other violence, the University may be unable to honor the request for confidentiality. A Complainant may later withdraw a request for confidentiality, in which case a full investigation will be conducted to the extent possible. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for evaluating requests for confidentiality.
Making a Confidential Report
Individuals may be assured of confidentiality by reporting a sexual assault only to a therapist, doctor, attorney, or other person who is legally obligated to maintain patient or client confidentiality. If you choose this option, please consider asking your doctor, therapist, or counselor to make a confidential report of the assault without including facts that would reveal your identity. While the University will probably not be able to take any disciplinary action against the person who assaulted you, university officials will have a better picture of crime on the campus and may be able to warn the campus community about methods or patterns of attacks. The following are campus or community resources that can provide counseling, advocacy, and support and may be able to accommodate confidential reports of sexual assault.
• LeTourneau University Center for Counseling
• LeTourneau University Health Services
• LeTourneau University Chaplain
All other LeTourneau University staff and faculty members are required by University policy to report observations or actual knowledge of incidents of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. In addition, reports made to other employees may have to be disclosed in criminal or civil court proceedings. Whether or not a student or employee requests confidentiality, LeTourneau University is committed to maintaining confidentiality throughout the entire investigatory process to the extent that is practical and appropriate. When a formal report is made, persons have the right and can expect to have incidents of sexual misconduct or harassment impartially investigated and properly resolved through administrative procedures. Confidentiality implies that only people who need to know will be informed, and that information will be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the accused individual.
Amnesty for Victims
LeTourneau University encourages the reporting of sexual misconduct and Student Life policy violations. Sometimes, victims are hesitant to report to college officials because they fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations, such as underage drinking, at the time of the incident. It is in the best interest of this community that as many victims as possible choose to report to college officials. To encourage reporting, the university pursues a policy of offering victims of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct limited amnesty from being charged with policy violations related to the particular incident. While violations to policy cannot be completely overlooked, the university will provide educational options rather than discipline, in such cases.
Investigation Procedure and Follow Up
Upon receipt of a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator will designate one or more Title IX investigators who will conduct an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of all complaints of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, and all complaints will be resolved promptly and fairly. After a thorough investigation, the Investigators will deliver a report and recommendation to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator will normally render a finding to the complainant and respondent within 60 days after the complaint was received. An investigation may occasionally take longer because of unusual circumstances or the availability of necessary parties critical to the investigation process.
Investigation of complaints will be as confidential as possible to acquire the information needed and will respect the rights of both the complainant and the respondent. Both parties will have the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence to the Title IX investigators. The complaint will be decided using a preponderance of evidence standard. A preponderance of evidence means deciding whether the respondent is more likely than not to have committed the behavior for which they have been accused.
In the course of the investigation, the University may seek to use voluntary informal discussions or mediation for resolving some types of sexual harassment complaints. However, the complainant has the right to end the informal process at any time, in which case the investigation will continue to its conclusion. In cases involving allegations of sexual assault, mediation is not appropriate and will not be used. Any agreed resolution of a complaint should fully and effectively address safety, fairness, and other appropriate concerns of the complainant, the respondent, and the University as a whole.
Both the Complainant and the Respondent will have the same opportunities to have others present during any part of the proceedings, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice. The role of the advisor is limited to providing support, guidance, or advice to the Complainant or Respondent throughout investigation and disciplinary process.
During meetings and hearings, the Complainant or Respondent and Advisor may talk quietly with each other. Advisors do not have the right to question or cross-examine witnesses, present arguments, answer questions posed to a student, or otherwise take an active role in the disciplinary proceedings. Advisors cannot disclose to other persons any confidential student information, which is disclosed to the advisor in the course of the proceedings. The University will remove or dismiss advisors who become disruptive or who do not abide by the restrictions on their participation.
Notice of Outcome
Both parties will be promptly notified in writing of the outcome of the complaint process. With respect to complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence, the University will disclose to the complainant information about any sanctions imposed on the respondent. In order to comply with the Clery Act, both parties will also be informed of all sanction information if the offense involved is a sex offense.
Individuals who are accused of sexual misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with LeTourneau University’s Christian Life and Community Standards (see the LeTourneau University Student Handbook or Faculty/Staff Handbook). At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator overseeing the case, an individual accused of sexual misconduct or harassment may be immediately suspended or restricted from campus pending final disposition of any disciplinary proceedings. Individuals found to have committed harassment or sexual misconduct will be subject to disciplinary sanctions, up to and including suspension or expulsion from the University for students or termination of employment for employees.
If the Respondent is found responsible for sexual misconduct, the University will initiate a sanctioning process designed to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects, while supporting the University’s educational mission and Title IX obligations. LeTourneau University reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect student and employee rights and personal safety. Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the University reserves the right to impose differing sanctions, depending on the severity of the offense. The University will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the respondent of sexual misconduct. In appropriate circumstances, a warning may be issued to the campus community, though any such notification would not jeopardize the confidentiality of the victim.
Sanctions for students can include, but not be limited to:
- Written admonition – a letter may be sent to the student, and copied to his/her discipline record
- Parental notification – parents may be notified of disciplinary outcomes
- Educational/accountability sanctions – a student may be required to attend an educational class, mandatory drug or alcohol assessments, or other educational sanctions at the student’s expense
- Fines – established and published fines may be imposed by Residence Life, the Dean of Students or University Police Department
- Restitution – a student may be required to pay restitution for damages or loss of property
- Loss of privilege – a student may lose a privilege afforded to them as a LeTourneau University student
- Removal/Suspension from Campus Housing – a student may be required to leave campus housing for a determined amount of time; conditions may be placed on his/her return
- Interim Suspension - In cases where a student is thought to pose a threat to the safety or well-being of the campus community, any individual, or normal operations of the college, the University may impose an interim suspension
- Disciplinary Probation – a student may be placed on probation for a limited amount of time, during which he or she may be held to immediate suspension or expulsion upon an additional violation
- Disciplinary Suspension – a student may be separated from the University for a determined period of time, with certain conditions to be met for re-entry
- Disciplinary Dismissal – a student may be separated from the college permanently
Disciplinary sanctions will be part of a student’s confidential disciplinary record in Student Life. They will not appear on a student’s academic record. Any disciplinary outcome resulting in suspension or expulsion may be reported to the student’s professors, other college officials, and the registrar.
Sanctions for Faculty & Staff can include, but not be limited to:
- Warning – verbal or written
- Performance improvement/management process
- Required counseling
- Required training or education
- Loss of pay increase
- Loss of oversight or supervisory responsibility
- Suspension with pay
- Suspension without pay
Disciplinary sanctions will be a part of an employee’s confidential employment file in Human Resources.
Request for Reconsideration
Either party may make a request for reconsideration of the initial decision by providing a written request for reconsideration to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) days after written notice of the decision has been given. Both the complainant and the respondent will be given notice of the request and an opportunity to respond. A request for reconsideration may be made exclusively on one of the following grounds:
- There is new and significant evidence that has not yet been considered.
- The published investigation process was not followed.
- The sanctions imposed are not appropriate to the investigation finding.
A three member appeals board made up of Title IX Coordinators and Investigators that were not involved in the investigation of the case under consideration will consider the request and issue a final written decision within twenty (20) days after receiving the written request. A decision may occasionally take slightly longer because of unusual circumstances or the absence of necessary parties during school breaks.
Interim sanctions, including sanctions previously imposed and any additional appropriate sanctions, may be imposed or continued during the time the request is under consideration. The University shall respect and protect the rights of both parties until the request for reconsideration is resolved.
Both parties will be promptly notified in writing of the outcome of the request for reconsideration, which shall be final. The respondent will be notified of any changes to the sanctions, and the complainant will be given any notice of sanctions or changes in sanctions to which he or she is entitled, as described above.
Right to File a Criminal Complaint
Many forms of sexual misconduct are also prohibited by Texas and federal law and could result in civil liability or criminal prosecution. The university encourages individuals to contact the University Police Department at 903-233-4444 or Longview Police Department at 903-237-1199 (in an emergency call 911) for more information about how to report a crime and the criminal process. If a student would like assistance in contacting local authorities, the Office of Student Life can assist him/her in doing so. A criminal investigation does not relieve the University of its obligation to respond under Title IX, and both a criminal and University investigations may proceed simultaneously.
Protection from Retaliation
LeTourneau University will take appropriate steps to ensure that a person who in good faith reports, complains about, or participates in a sexual misconduct investigation will not be subjected to retaliation by the Respondent or by others with knowledge of the underlying report. Anyone who believes they are experiencing retaliation is encouraged to report the retaliation using the same procedure for reporting possible sexual misconduct under this policy. A retaliation complaint will be reviewed as a separate offense under this policy. A person can be found responsible for retaliation even if not found to be responsible for the underlying reported sexual misconduct.
A complainant, whose allegations are found to be false and brought with willful intent, will be subject to disciplinary action under the Community Values and Expectations code found in the LeTourneau University Student Handbook or Faculty/Staff Handbook, which may include, but is not limited to, written warning, demotion, transfer, suspension, dismissal, termination, or expulsion.