Student Community Accountability

While the ideal at Biola is to encourage students to reach the highest level of self-discipline, sometimes peer accountability may be necessary. It is important that as members of a community and concerned for the growth of others, to show concern and, when necessary, to lovingly confront each other. Student community accountability may entail confrontation from a Student Leader, Resident Advisor, Resident Coordinator, Resident Director, Student Development personnel, a professor and/or a Dean. In most cases, accountability will begin at the level closest to the dispute. For commuter students, this may be the Coordinator of Student Care or the Director of Commuter Life. For resident students, this may be the Resident Advisor (RA). If the Resident Advisor is unable to resolve the issue, the Resident Director (RD) will then be asked to become involved.

Student Discipline

In certain instances, a suspected violation of the Biola Community standards may be referred to the Student Care Team (SCT) for appropriate action. The SCT membership shall consist of the Associate Dean of Students; the Assistand Ean of Student Development; the Director of Residence Life; the Assistant Director of Residence Life; the Director of Student Care; and the Coordinator of Student Care, as well as other members of the Student Development leadership group as needed. At the discretion of the SCT, the matter may be delegated to an Adjudicator; who may be either a Resident Director (RD), or a member of the SCT. Students are expected to comply with requests to meet given by Student Development professionals as it pertains to studernt conduct-related issues. Disciplinary sanctions are based upon the nature and severity of the issue (see section “Sanctions,” below).

It is also important to note that in respect to disciplinary proceedings, formal rules of evidence are not followed, and past conduct may be considered in the discipline process. No particular model of procedural process is required; however, the SCT, Resident Director, or designated representative will attempt to structure the procedure so as to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth and be fair and reasonable.

A separate policy is followed for academic dishonesty/plagiarism/cheating; please contact the Vice Provost for Academic Administration at ext. 4713.

Sanctions

Violation of University policies, including the Biola Community Standards, may result in the imposition of one or more of the sanctions listed below. A sanction is a disciplinary action that requires the student to meet certain expectations and/or complete specific requirements within a stated time frame. Sanctions that may be imposed are not limited to those listed. University officials may impose a sanction but suspend or postpone its actual implementation.

Sanctions affecting the conduct of students are based on general principles of fair treatment.  Sanctions will take into account the intent of the accused, the effect of the conduct on the victim and/or University community, the student‘s disciplinary history, whether sanctions such as education and community service are likely to change the student‘s conduct, and the student‘s needs and prospects for improvement. While attempting to be consistent in its disciplinary decisions, the University also seeks to be fair and sensitive to the facts and circumstances of each individual case. Some sanctions may need to be more punitive due to the seriousness of the offense. 

Therefore, the SCT, Resident Director, or designated representative, will seek to combine a Biblical and developmental approach to the student care process.

  • Warning: A restatement of the Biola Community Standards is made to the student, together with an official warning concerning future behavior. May include loss of or restriction from certain activities or privileges.

  • Campus Community Service: Created to emphasize an educational response toward discipline. Students within the disciplinary process who are deemed good candidates for campus community service, as a means to make restitution for their behavior, are assigned an on-campus service project.

  • Fines: Payment of charges for violation of regulations. These charges will be added to a student’s account. These vary according to the violation.

  • Probation: The student is expected to show a development in responsible actions toward Biola and members of the community for a specified period of time. May include limitations in or restriction from certain activities or privileges.

  • Restitution: Payment of financial compensation for loss, damage or injury.  Failure to pay such charges may result in additional sanctions (including, but not limited to, denial of re-enrollment or refusal to release official transcripts and records).

  • Interim Suspension: In certain circumstances, the SCT may immediately impose a University or housing suspension. Interim suspension may be imposed:

    a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property;

    b) to ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or

    c) if the student poses a credible threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University.

During the interim suspension, the student will be denied access to university housing and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. The interim suspension shall extend only until such time as an adjudication (see above) can be completed and other sanctions (if any) imposed.

Suspension: The student is involuntarily separated from the University for a specified length of time. Absences from classes and chapels are not excused and academic work that is missed may not be made up.

  • Administrative Withdrawal: The student is required to withdraw from the University without the privilege of returning until a time specified by the Student Care Team.

  • Expulsion: The student is permanently separated from the University with a notation of the reasons for the termination in his/her file. No refunds are made and the student will suffer the academic consequences of his/her actions.

    • When students are suspended or expelled for disciplinary reasons, there will be no refund of tuition or room charges for the semester and financial aid may be canceled. Upon permanent separation from University housing, students may apply to Auxiliary Services for unused board charges.

Sanctions for Graduating Seniors; End of Semester Sanctions

Students violating significant campus and community standards towards the end of their graduating semester may face different sanctions given the timeliness of their violation.  Depending on the severity of the violation and the discretion of the Student Care Team, students may be permitted to finish their studies and graduate from Biola University yet be prohibited from participating in graduation weekend activities.

Any community service hours that remain incomplete by the assigned date will convert into a fine at the rate of $20 per hour.  This will be charged directly to the student’s account.  Other incomplete sanctions will be converted into fines at the discretion of the Student Care Team.

Sanctions for Student Organizations

A student club and its officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when violations of the Community Standards or the Club President's Manual occur either during an event sponsored by the organization or by an individual representing or associated with that club. The following sanctions may be imposed upon clubs: warning, reprimand, probation, fines, loss of privileges, other educational sanctions, or deactivation. Deactivation includes a loss of all privileges, including University recognition for a specified period of time. Individual students may also be subject to the sanctions as described above.

Appeals Process

When the sanctioned student disputes the outcome of a disciplinary procedure, that student (hereafter called the Appellant) may request, through the Dean of Students, that an Appeal Hearing Committee review the decision.  Sanctions may or may not be postponed or suspended pending the outcome of this appeal, at the discretion of the Dean.  A student may appeal their sanctions on the basis of:

a) inaccurate findings (i.e. the available facts used in determining sanctions were inaccurate/incomplete), new evidence has become available;

b) an unfair or inequitable process.

The following are not within the scope of the appeal process:

a) the interpretation or judgment of University administrators regarding the meaning or implementation of the written regulations, standards, and/or policies of the University;

b) the written regulations, standards, and/or policies of the University themselves;

c) the determined sanctions from the disciplinary procedure.

To initiate an appeal hearing, the Appellant is to submit the following, in writing, to the Dean:

a)    A request for a hearing to consider the appeal, submitted within five (5) working days from the time the Appellant was informed of the disciplinary decisions.

b)    A statement, which includes all of the relevant issues and evidence to be considered. Issues/evidence not included in this statement will not be considered in the appeal hearing.

c)    A list of material witnesses, if any, and the essence of their proposed contribution to the appeal hearing. Please note these are not character witnesses but individuals with first-hand knowledge of the situation in appeal. Their testimony will be limited to the specified matters.

The Dean will then form an Appeal Hearing Committee, made up of one member of the SCT (Student Care Team) who then serves as a non-voting facilitator, along with three faculty/staff members selected by the Dean. If no members of the SCT are available, the Dean may select a replacement from Biola faculty/staff.

The Appeal Committee will, within 15 working days of the receipt of the appeal request, review and evaluate the original adjudication, as well as the information that the Appellant has presented. Based on the nature of the appeal, the Appeal Hearing Committee has the discretion whether or not to call the Appellant and/or his/her witnesses to appear before the Appeal Hearing Committee. If the Appellant and/or the witnesses will be called, they will be notified at least two (2) days in advance of the appeal hearing date. The Appeal Hearing Committee may tape-record the appeal hearing.

The Appeal Hearing Committee will issue its decision in writing to the parties involved within a reasonable time (usually within 10 working days) of the conclusion of the appeal process. The decision of the Appeal Hearing Committee will be final and no further appeal is possible.

It is also important to note that in respect to appeal proceedings, formal rules of evidence are not followed, and past conduct may be considered in the appeal process. No particular model of procedural process is required; however, the Appeal Committee will attempt to structure the procedure so as to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth and be fair and reasonable.

During periods other than regular semesters (summer, Christmas, Interterm), the Dean reserves the right to alter the timing of the appeals process as necessary, due to faculty/staff/student availability.

A separate appeal process is followed in cases of academic dishonesty; please see policy on “Academic Integrity." Additionally, sanctions imposed by Resident Directors cannot be appealed through this process.

Interpretation and Revision

Any questions regarding interpretation of these Biola Community Standards should be referred to the Dean of Students. In these Standards, the Office of Student Development gratefully acknowledges the use and adaptation of model codes of student conduct published by the National Association of College and University Attorneys in Student Disciplinary Issues: A Legal Compendium and Student Handbook Policies.

Updated policies and regulations may be found under the Student Handbook section of the Biola University Student Life website. New or modified policies are effective upon publication (including online publication); notice of these changes will be posted to the Student Life webpage and placed in The Chimes student newspaper.

Revised August 2014.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000