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Office of the Vice Chancellor

Student Code of Conduct

Preamble

Bethlehem University expects that all of its faculty, staff, and students embrace and exemplify its values that are derived from its unique  lasallian heritage and traditions.  These are defined in Bethlehem University’s mission statement which emphasizes the “development of students as committed people prepared to assume leading positions in society”,  while  fostering moral principles for the common good.

Bethlehem University seeks to instill in its students high academic and ethical principles in accordance with its lasallian heritage and values and with accepted scholarly practice and professional ethics.  Students at Bethlehem University should, therefore, adhere to norms of personal and academic integrity and should behave with due regard to and respect of the rights, dignity and freedom of others.  These norms are to be upheld within the academic context whether  in the classroom, laboratory, and library, or within the context of co-curricular life and social and recreational events.

Bethlehem University encourages freedom of speech including the exchange of ideas and opinions but does not tolerate infringement of ethical standards of conduct or any form of harassment, discrimination and breach of academic integrity.

Students admitted to Bethlehem University should accept its values, traditions, rules and regulations including the right of the University to take disciplinary action for conduct judged to be in violation of these rules and regulations, especially those delineated in this Student Code of Conduct.

This Student Code of Conduct, designed to assist in developing the students and to empower them “to enhance the smooth running of Bethlehem University” (Goal 5 of the Strategic Plan), shall be applied on the main campus as well as at the Institute for Community Partnership, Mar Andrea, Qubeibeh, and Mt. David as well as at all events authorized by Bethlehem University.  The purpose of this code is to help students understand the consequences of infringements or violations of standards of behavior expected in an educational environment and to help them make responsible choices.

Jursidiction

Violations may be academic or non-academic in nature.  Academic violations lie under the authority of the instructor of the course in which the violation occurred.  More serious academic violations should be reviewed by a committee composed of the dean and members of the faculty in which the student is enrolled.  In such cases the dean is responsible for implementing the sanctions decided upon by the faculty reviewing committee.

Any misconduct that is clearly not academic is under the jurisdiction of the Dean of Students who is responsible for taking action in consultation with the members of the disciplinary committee.

Definitions of Misconduct:

The definitions listed below are by no means exhaustive or defined in exclusive terms.  But any student who violates these examples of misconduct in addition to the principles described in the preamble of this document shall be subject to disciplinary actions.

1- Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a- In-Class Disruption

Students in class are expected to behave appropriately and shall not disrupt the class in any way. Extraneous conversation and general misbehavior in class, including eating and drinking are prohibited. The unauthorized use of i-pads, i-pods, lap tops and cell phones is also prohibited. 

b-Cheating

During examinations students should not attempt to seek help from anyone and should not try to use notes or other people’s work.  Cheating also includes trying to give or obtain information during a test or trying to have someone else take one’s own examination.

c- Plagiarism

Plagiarism is using another person’s documented ideas or expressions in one’s writing without acknowledging that person or the source of these ideas and expressions.  Students must specify what information they borrowed whenever they use another’s work.

d- Dishonesty

Students are expected to be honest in all dealings with the University.

Certain kinds of dishonesty, though often associated with academic work, are of a different category than cheating or plagiarism. These kinds of dishonesty include (but are not limited to) the following:

1- Forging parts of, or signature on, official documents (including both, university documents and relevant outside documents, such as doctors' notes).

2- Taking credit for work in a team project when little or no contribution to the work of the team has been made.

3-Unlawfully copying computer software.

4- Engaging in bribery of any kind within the academic relations.

5- Misrepresenting personal circumstances to an instructor (for example, in requesting a makeup exam or special due date for an assignment, or in explaining an absence.

 

2-Non-Academic Misconduct

a- Disruption/Obstruction

Bethlehem University students have the right to express their opinions to the University Administration.  However, expression of opinion on matters of concern should be well organized and in public spaces within the campus and after notifying and consulting with the Dean of Students.  The Dean of Students has the responsibility of reviewing the event and any publicity related to that event.

Student events and protests calling for suspension of classes are prohibited.  Suspension of classes for student events and protests is strictly the prerogative of the Vice Chancellor and/or the Executive Vice President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

In situations where student events including protests, sit-ins, and demonstrations are not approved by the Dean of Students or, indeed by the Vice Chancellor and/or the Executive Vice President, it may be necessary for the dean of students to undertake disciplinary measures.

It is strictly prohibited to disrupt or obstruct the normal educational process or any university function or activity by student demonstrations, sit-ins, or 'strikes'. This includes, but is not limited to: disrupting classes, laboratories, library operations, seminars, exhibitions, meetings, ceremonial events, or examinations; impeding or preventing others from attending such events; falsely activating a fire or emergency alarm; or making a threat.

Students and faculty who wish to hold or attend classes or to go to their offices or places of study shall not be prevented from doing so.  Furthermore, non-academic staff and administrators shall not be impeded from going to their places of work.  Under no circumstances are any members of the university family to be intimidated or threatened in the execution of their normal duties and responsibilities.

b- Distribution of Unauthorized Published Material

The public distribution and posting of published materials such as fliers, leaflets, posters, audiovisuals, etc., must be approved and stamped by the Dean of Students. Any material which is unauthorized will be removed from display. This includes publishing material on the social networks that is not in line with the University’s mission and goals and that might harm its reputation or that of individuals and groups, or the publication of inflammatory material that may cause conflict and strife.  All of these acts are subject to disciplinary action.

c- Theft

Stealing on campus or at a university authorized event off campus, including unauthorized use of university equipment or services (e.g., telephones, photocopiers, or computer facilities), or possession of stolen property, is prohibited.

d- Destruction of Property/ Intimidation/Endangering Public Safety

Students are expected to protect Bethlehem University property and to respect the safety of others. Acts contrary to these principles, which include, but are not restricted to, the following, are subject to disciplinary procedure:

1- Engaging in vandalism or other intentional damage (such as spray painting or graffiti) to property or trees on campus or at university

      authorized events off campus.

2- Littering, such as disposing of waste (empty bottles, cigarette butts, food         containers, etc.) in other than designated places on campus.

3- Unjustified discharge, damaging, or tampering with any fire extinguisher,    fire alarm, or other safety devices.

4- Taking, or attempting to take, action that damages or could damage    private property, without the consent of the owner or person legally responsible.

5- Appropriating, or attempting to appropriate or possess, private property, without the consent of the owner or person legally responsible.

6- Unauthorized entry, unapproved duplication of keys or use of such, or unauthorized use of campus facilities.

7- Engaging in events on campus, individually or as a group while concealing personal identity by putting masks or headdresses that cover one’s face.

8- Holding military or quasi-military staged events on campus

9- Lighting fires for any purpose on campus.

e- Mental or Physical Harm

   Acts that inflict mental or physical harm are prohibited, including the

   following:

1.  Using force, inciting violence, inflicting or attempting to inflict injury, To others on campus or at a university-authorized event off campus.

2.  Engaging, or attempting to engage, in intimidation, coercion, extortion, blackmail, or bribery; bullying; threatening violence, injury, or harm to others on campus or at university-authorized events off campus; endangering or tending to endanger the safety, health, or life of any person.

3- Engaging in physical aggression including, but not limited to, assault.

4- Engaging in behavior that creates a substantial risk of, or results in, injury to others, such as committing arson or causing a riot.

5- Taking part in any activity that endangers the health and safety of an individual or demeans an individual in conduct of an unbecoming or humiliating nature, or in any way that detracts from an individual's academic pursuits.

6- Taking part in a hunger strike on campus (real or staged) whether willingly or through coercion, no matter what the reason, is strictly prohibited.

7- Possession of Dangerous Weapons or Materials. Students must not distribute, possess, store, or use, on campus or at a university-authorized event off campus, any kind of weapon, device, explosive, dangerous chemicals, hazardous materials, or any other instrument designed to do bodily harm or to threaten bodily harm. This also includes the unauthorized use of festive fireworks. Instruments used to simulate such weapons, which endanger or tend to endanger any person, shall be considered weapons.

8- Students are prohibited from distributing, possessing, storing, transferring, selling or attempting to sell, delivering, using or attempting to use, any illegal drugs, narcotic or hallucinogenic, on campus or at any niversity-authorized event off campus.

f- Discrimination and Harassment

Bethlehem University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national or ethnic identity, gender or gender identity, marital status, disability, genetic predisposition, illness, citizenship, sexual orientation, political affiliation, except as required by Palestinian law.

Examples include, but are not restricted to: Intimidating, insulting, or threatening others, whether verbally, in writing, or through electronic means, is harassment. Engaging in sexual harassment, e.g., requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature, spoken comments or abuse (including email) of a sexual nature, and the public display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures by students to other students and others whether adult or minor on campus or at university-authorized event or function outside campus, is prohibited.

g- Smoking and Alcohol 

The consumption of alcohol, on campus, by students is not permitted. Smoking is not permitted inside Bethlehem University buildings.

h- Use of Computers

Accessing protected computer accounts or other computer functions, knowingly transmitting computer viruses, and unethical use of Bethlehem University computers or its website is prohibited.

Inappropriate Conduct in the Bethlehem University Library

Any action that impedes the safe and effective use by all patrons of the Bethlehem University Library for the purpose of individual and group study, research, reading, and other intellectual pursuits, is prohibited.

Sanctions and Disciplinary Actions for Misconduct

Sanctions delineated here are imposed on individual students or a group of students for misconduct whether the misconduct involved only the student or the student as part of a group. The sanctions are arranged in increasing order of severity.  Different sanctions may be combined in a given decision.

All disciplinary actions listed below will be recorded in the student’s permanent record at the Registrar’s Office.  Records of the University Disciplinary Committee decisions or a faculty review committee, including charges and sanctions, will be maintained as part of the confidential records in the office of the respective dean or director, or the Dean of Students for a period of two years after the student graduates or ceases to be a student.

List of Disciplinary Actions:

Warning 

The Disciplinary Committee or Dean (Academic Dean or institute director for academic misconduct, Dean of Students for non-academic misconduct) may give the accused student an official warning. This may be a documented verbal warning or written.  In case of a written warning a copy of the written notice warning the accused student that he or she is violating or has violated University policies or regulations will be placed in the student's educational record at the Registrar’s Office.  If the Dean later finds that the student has engaged in additional misconduct, the University Disciplinary Committee or the faculty review committee may be informed of the earlier warning and the circumstances related to the warning. If the University Disciplinary Committee or the faculty review committee is informed of the earlier warning, these committees must consider it in determining further sanctions.

Reprimand

This will be in writing and issued by the Head of the Department or the Dean of the faculty or Director of the of the institute where the student is enrolled, or the Dean of Students, depending on the type of miscvonduct.

It is a statement that the student has violated a university regulation. It is intended to communicate most strongly, both the disapproval and the reprimand of the university community.

Examples:  Inadvertent plagiarism, failure to cite sources appropriately, and inappropriate physical contact.

Dean's (or director’s) Warning

This will be in writing. Only two Dean's Warnings are allowed in a student's academic career at Bethlehem University. It is recommended that any violation of university regulations after the second Dean's Warning results in consideration of suspension.  Dean’s warnings are normally accompanied by secondary or discretionary disciplinary actions as stated below (Examples: Plagiarism, academic dishonesty, disruption-obstruction, in-class disruption, mental or physical harm, discrimination and harassment.

Disciplinary Probation

The University Disciplinary Committee may place the guilty student on disciplinary probation for up to one semester during which period the student continues to enjoy all the rights and privileges of a student except as the Disciplinary Committee may specifically stipulate. If, during the period of disciplinary probation, the Disciplinary Committee finds that the student has engaged in additional misconduct, the Disciplinary Committee will be informed in order to review the probationary status and take further disciplinary action.  A record of this probation shall be kept at the faculty or institute where the student is enrolled or the Dean of Students’ Office as well as the Registrar’s office.

Suspension

The Disciplinary Committee may impose a disciplinary suspension, ranging from one day to two weeks, during which period the student is not allowed on campus and is prohibited from exercising any rights and privileges of a student in the University. Suspension will be in writing and will form part of the student's permanent record at the Registrar’s Office.  At the end of the suspension period, the student may be readmitted to the University upon the recommendation of the University Disciplinary Committee.

Examples: Cheating, theft, and destruction of property.

Expulsion

This action permanently denies the student the right to participate in any academic or other activities of the University.  Expulsion shall normally require the approval of the Vice Chancellor of the University. Only under the most unusual circumstances, and upon the recommendation of the University Disciplinary Committee, will an expelled student be readmitted to the University.  Final decisions regard this lies with the University’s Executive Council or the Vice Chancellor.  Expulsion will be in writing and will form part of the student's permanent record. 

Examples: Academic dishonesty, possession of dangerous weapons or materials, and endangering public safety, hacking the university’s email system..

N.B: In extra ordinary circumstances, when the student's continued presence is deemed a danger to the university community, the student will be required to withdraw from the campus, pending a meeting of the University Disciplinary Committee.

Sanctions for Misconduct of a Student Group

Sanctions mentioned here are imposed on a student group and are arranged in increasing order of severity. The Disciplinary committee may combine different sanctions in a given decision and may make use of all the alternative forms of sanction.

Every student bears responsibility for his or her misconduct, regardless of whether the misconduct occurred in a group setting or as a member of a group. Misconduct by individual members of a group thus may also become a matter for disciplinary action and sanctions against the individuals. The University Disciplinary Committee may suspend specific group rights and privileges for a designated period of time. Such loss of privileges may include but is not limited to loss of University funding, suspension or revocation of the privilege to apply for University funding, suspension or revocation of the privilege to use University space or facilities, suspension or revocation of the privilege to sponsor, co-sponsor and/or participate in any social event or other activity, and the suspension or revocation of the priviledge to raise funds for the group.  As with individual students, sanctions also include warnings, disciplinary probation, loss of privileges and other discretionary sanctions, suspension, or expulsion.

Only under extreme circumstances, the University Disciplinary Committee may withdraw recognized student organization status. A group whose recognized student organization status (such as the Student Senate or Student Ambassadors) has been withdrawn automatically forfeits all rights and privileges as a recognized student organization in the University. Bethlehem University will not consider a re-application of a recognized student organization status until the end of the semester following the date of withdrawal.

Discretionary Sanctions/loss of Priviledges

In addition to the disciplinary actions listed above, the following sanctions or secondary disciplinary actions may be imposed upon those who violate the Student Code of Conduct.  These actions may be of an academic or non-academic nature and usually include suspension of specific rights and priviledges for a designated period of time.

Academic

1.  The student may be prohibited from participating in the work study program.

2.  The student may be prohibited from receiving any form of financial aid, scholarship, or monetary award.

3.  The student may be prohibited from receiving any form of honor, merit award, or other academic recognition award.

4.  The student may be given a failing grade in a course or a test or any other form of academic assessment.

Non-Academic

1.  The student may be prohibited from representing Bethlehem University in any official role or activity, or from participating in any social/cultural event on campus or using Bethlehem University space and facilities for specific events.

2.  The student may be prohibited from serving as an officer or ambassador of any Bethlehem University group, or team, or society.

3.  The student may be strongly advised to attend treatment or counselling as determined by the University student counselor(s), in consultation with the Dean of Students.

4.  The student may be required to make financial restitution.

5.  The student's case may be referred to an external agency for further action (this could include the filing of criminal charges).

6.  The student may be assigned specific academic work, additional community service for a specific number of hours, or other appropriate discretionary assignments to be completed by a specific date.

Complaint Procedure

Any person subject to, or who witnesses, a violation of the Student Code of Conduct should forward a written complaint to a chairperson, dean, director, or any Bethlehem University official.

Any person who maliciously lies to cover up an act sanctioned by the code of conduct will be considered to be an accessory.

Academic violations shall be forwarded to the dean/director of the faculty/institute in which the violation occurred.

Non-academic violations shall be referred to the Dean of Students.

Violations that may require suspension or expulsion will be referred by the concerned dean to the University Disciplinary Committee chaired by the dean of students.

Formal Hearing by University Disciplinary Committee

The University Disciplinary Committee will ensure that those charged with a violation understand the charge and the evidence against them. The University Disciplinary Committee shall inform the student of the charge in writing. Evidence shall be presented in the presence of the student who shall have a reasonable right of rebuttal including the right to cross-examine witnesses. In determining penalties, the Committee may take into consideration the student's cumulative discipline record.

Appeal Procedure

Any student who is charged with a disciplinary offense has a right of a fair hearing for any disciplinary charges brought against him or her under university regulations.

A student may appeal to the dean or director of the faculty or institute regarding faculty or departmental decisions, or to the University Disciplinary Committee against disciplinary action taken by the dean of students or the dean or director of the faculty or institute to which the student belongs.  A student may also appeal to the Executive Vice President or the Vice Chancellor against decisions taken by the University Disciplinary Committee.  If necessary, especially where suspension or expulsion is concerned, the case may be brought to the attention of the Executive Council by the Vice Chancellor or Executive Vice president.

N.B. Maintaining the confidentiality of the disciplinary proceedings and their outcome is the responsibility of the accused student, complainant and all others participating in or privy to those proceedings. Unless disclosure is authorized, failure to respect the confidentiality of the proceedings and their outcome may result in disciplinary action.  

Bethlehem University Foundation
Email: brds@bufusa.org
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
E-mail: info@bethlehem.edu
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine