Code of Student Conduct

Student Conduct & Care Services supports the University’s mission of preparing students for lives of engaged citizenship and leadership in a global society through advocacy, education, and accountability. Through educational initiatives and processes for adjudication of alleged misconduct, the Office of Student Conduct & Care Services encourages honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. We value a student’s right to a fair, respectful process, and the responsibility each student has to be an accountable member of the University Community.

If you are charged with an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct, you will receive an email from our office through our Maxient database system.

Educational Sanctions

Educational sanctions are meant to educate students about the impact of their behavior and encourage reflection on their decision-making process. If you are found responsible for a conduct violation, then you’ll have the chance to discuss sanctions that you think are appropriate with a conduct officer.

In implementing sanctions:
Be appropriate for the conduct incident and your actions.
Be meaningful for you and/or the community.

Student Conduct and Discipline

(Adopted from the TSUS Student Conduct and Discipline)

5.1 Acquaintance with Policies, Rules, and Regulations.

Each student is expected to be fully acquainted and comply with all published policies, rules, and regulations of Lamar University and of The Texas State University System, copies of which shall be available to each student for review online and/or at various locations on each campus. Students are also expected to comply with all federal and state laws.

5.2 Student Misconduct.

Each student is expected to act in a manner consistent with Lamar University's functions as an educational institution, including off campus conduct that is likely to have an adverse effect on Lamar University or on the educational process. Specific examples of misconduct for which students may be subject to disciplinary action include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Commission of an act that would constitute an offense under appropriate federal, state, or municipal law;
  2. Violation of any Regents' rule, regulation, or order or Lamar University policy, rule, or regulation, including policies or contracts relating to residential living in Lamar University owned or operated facilities;
  3. Failure to comply with the direction of a Lamar University official acting in the performance of their duties; or, failure to heed an official summons to the office of a Lamar University official within the designated time;
  4. Giving false testimony or other evidence at a campus disciplinary or other administrative proceeding;
  5. Failure to meet financial obligations including but not limited to the issuance of a check to Lamar University or its contractors without sufficient funds;
  6. Unauthorized use or possession of ammunition, firearms, illegal knives (knives with blades longer than five and one-half inches, hand instruments designed to cut or stab another by being thrown, stilettos, poniards, Bowie knives, swords, and/or spears), or other illegal weapons on Lamar University property (see TSUS Chapter VII, paragraph 4);
  7. Conduct that endangers the health or safety of others on the campus, including, by way of example, unauthorized throwing of any objects in or from Lamar University facilities;
  8. Stealing, destroying, defacing, damaging, vandalizing or misusing Lamar University property or property belonging to another (see, also, TSUS Chapter VII, paragraph 4);
  9. Engaging in hazing or voluntarily submitting to hazing, including an initiation by an organization that involves any dangerous, harmful, or degrading act to a student;
  10. Possessing and/or using, without authorization according to Lamar University policy, intoxicating beverages in a classroom building, laboratory, auditorium, library building, faculty or administrative office, residence hall or apartment, intercollegiate and intramural athletic facility, or any other public campus area, or being intoxicated in any public area of the campus;
  11. Illegal gambling in any form on Lamar University property;
  12. Illegal possession, use, sale, or distribution of any quantity, whether usable or not, of any drug, narcotic, or controlled substance;
  13. Advocating or recommending the conscious and deliberate violation of any federal, state, or local law. Advocacy means addressing an individual or group for imminent action and steeling it to such action as opposed to the abstract espousal of the moral propriety of a course of action;
  14. Forgery, alteration, theft, or misuse of Lamar University documents, forms, records, or identification cards;
  15. Unauthorized possession, ignition, or detonation, on Lamar University property, of any explosive device, fireworks, liquid, or object that is flammable or capable of causing damage to persons or property by fire or explosion;
  16. Unauthorized entry into or use of Lamar University buildings, facilities, equipment, or resources, or possession or use of Lamar University keys for unauthorized purposes;
  17. Failure to maintain a current official mailing address in the Registrar's office and/or giving a false or fictitious address to a Lamar University office or official;
  18. Knowingly initiating, communicating, or circulating a false or baseless report or alarm of a present, past, or future bombing, fire, offense, or other emergency that would ordinarily cause action by others charged with dealing with emergencies; placing a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or preventing or interrupting the occupation of a building, room, aircraft, automobile, or other mode of conveyance;
  19. Harassment where the individual threatens or bullies, in person, by telephone, electronically, in writing, or by other means, to take unlawful action against any person and by this action intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly annoys or alarms the recipient;
  20. Academic dishonesty (see subparagraph 5.3);
  21. Campus disruptive activities (see subparagraph 5.4) or disorderly conduct on Lamar University owned or controlled property or at a Lamar University sponsored or supervised function that inhibit or interfere with the educational responsibility of the Lamar University community or Lamar University's social-educational activities shall include but not be limited to: using obscene language; making obscene gestures or displays that incite a breach of the peace; perpetrating fights, assaults, acts of sexual violence, abuse, or threats; or committing an act that causes a person to feel threatened. Such prohibition includes disorderly classroom conduct that obstructs, interferes with, inhibits and/or disrupts teaching and/or related classroom activities;
  22. Using authority granted by state law, System rule, or Lamar University policy to deprive any person of their civil rights;
  23. Violation of Lamar University policy relating to electronic network facilities such as local area networks and the Internet;
  24. Failure to acquire and maintain a Lamar University issued student photo identification (I.D.) card; failure to replace a lost/stolen I.D. card; and/or any falsification, misrepresentation or other misuse of the student I.D. card.
  25. Any attempt to commit these prohibited acts.
  26. Sexual Misconduct (TSUS Chapter III Paragraph 22 and Appendix A-6).
5.3 Academic Honesty.

Lamar University expects all students to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach and to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Lamar University may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of any form of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsification of research data, or the abuse of resource materials on an examination or other academic work.

5.31 "Cheating" includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Copying from another student's test paper, a laboratory report, other report, or computer files, data listings, and/or programs;
  2. Using, during a test, materials not authorized by the person giving the test;
  3. Collaborating, without authorization, with another person during an examination or in preparing academic work;
  4. Knowingly, and without authorization, using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, soliciting, copying, or possessing, in whole or in part, the contents of an unadministered test;
  5. Substituting for another student, permitting any other person; or otherwise assisting any other person to substitute for oneself or for another student in the taking of an examination or test or the preparation of academic work to be submitted for academic credit, placement, or qualification;
  6. Bribing another person to obtain an unadministered test or information about an unadministered test;
  7. Purchasing, or otherwise acquiring and submitting as one's own work any research paper or other writing assignment prepared by an individual or firm. This Subparagraph excludes purchase or acquisition of word processing services.

5.32 "Plagiarism" means the appropriation and the unacknowledged incorporation of another’s work or idea into one's own work offered for credit.

5.33 "Collusion" means the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing work offered for credit.

5.34 "Abuse of resource materials" means the mutilation, destruction concealment, theft or alteration of materials provided to assist students in the mastery of course materials.

5.35 “Academic work” means the preparation of an essay, dissertation, thesis, report, problem,  assignment, or other project that the student submits as a course requirement or for a grade.

5.36 Disciplinary Procedures for Academic Dishonesty.

  1. Academic Process. All academic dishonesty cases may be first considered and reviewed by the faculty member. If the faculty member believes that an academic penalty is necessary, the faculty member may assign a penalty but must notify the student of their right to appeal, if any, after which Lamar University shall afford them the process to which they may be entitled under Lamar University policy before final imposition of a penalty. At each step in the process, the student shall be entitled to written notice of the offense and/or of the administrative decision, an opportunity to respond, and an impartial disposition as to the merits of their case. After completion of the academic process, the academic officer making final disposition of the case may refer the matter to the Director of Student Conduct for any additional discipline that may be appropriate.
  2. Disciplinary Process. In the case of flagrant or repeated violations, the Director of Student Conduct may take such additional disciplinary action. No disciplinary action shall become effective against the student until the student has received procedural due process under Subparagraph 5.6 and following except as provided under Subparagraph 5.15.

5.37 “Falsification of Data” means the representation, claim, or use of research, data, statistics, records, files, results, or information that is falsified, fabricated, fraudulently altered, or otherwise misappropriated or misrepresented.

5.4 Campus Disruptive Activities.

Pursuant to Education Code, Subsection 51.935 (Disruptive Activities), Lamar University shall adhere to the following Rules and Regulations:

5.41 No person or group of persons acting in concert may intentionally engage in disruptive activity or disrupt a lawful assembly on a Lamar University campus. Disruptive activity means:

  1. Obstructing or restraining the passage of persons to the campus or an area of the campus or to an exit, entrance, or hallway of any building without the authorization of the administration of Lamar University;
  2. Seizing control of an area of a campus or any building or portion of a building for the purpose of interfering with any administrative, educational, research, or other authorized activity; or
  3. Disrupting and/or preventing or attempting to prevent by force or violence or the threat of force or violence any lawful assembly authorized by Lamar University administration. A lawful assembly is disrupted when a person in attendance is rendered incapable of participating in the assembly due to the use of force or violence or a reasonable fear of force or violence.

5.42 Any person who is convicted the third time of violating this statute shall not thereafter be eligible to attend any school, college, or university receiving funds from the State of Texas for a period of two years from such third conviction.

5.43 Nothing herein shall be construed to infringe upon any right of free speech or expression guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the State of Texas.

5.5 Suspended, Expelled, and Dismissed Student Restriction.

No student who has been suspended, expelled, or dismissed for disciplinary reasons from Lamar University or other component of the System shall, during the applicable period of discipline, be eligible to enroll at any other System component. The registrar of Lamar University shall:

  1. Make an appropriate notation on the student’s transcript to accomplish this objective; and
  2. Remove the notation when the student’s disciplinary record has been cleared.
5.6 Procedure for Administration of Discipline.

The Director of Student Conduct shall have primary authority and responsibility for the administration of student discipline at Lamar University and for investigating allegations that a student has violated System and/or Lamar University Rules and Regulations, or specific orders and instructions issued by an administrative official of Lamar University.

5.61 The Director of Student Conduct or their appointee hereto referred to as officer, will investigate the alleged violations. During the investigation, if the student is available, the officer will give the student an opportunity to explain the incident. If the officer concludes that the student has violated a System or Lamar University policy, the officer will determine (but not assess) an appropriate disciplinary penalty.

  1. The officer will discuss their findings and determination of an appropriate penalty with the student if the student is available and will give the student an opportunity either to accept or reject the officer’s decision.
  2. If the student accepts the officer’s decision, the student will so indicate in writing and waive their right to a hearing. The officer may then assess the disciplinary penalty.
  3. If the student does not accept the officer’s decision or does not waive their right to a hearing, a disciplinary hearing will be scheduled in accordance with Subparagraphs 5.7 and 5.10.

5.62 If the student does not execute a written waiver of the hearing process, then the officer shall prepare a written statement of charges and of the evidence supporting such charges, including a list of witnesses and a brief summary of the testimony to be given by each, and shall send a notification of such charges and statement to the accused student by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the address appearing in the Registrar's records, or shall hand deliver said document with the student signing a receipt.

5.7 Student Disciplinary Hearings.

In those cases in which the accused student disputes the facts upon which the charges are based, such charges shall be heard and determined by a fair and impartial person or committee, hereinafter called the hearing officer or hearing committee. At the beginning of each Fall semester, the Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs and Strategic Initiatives will appoint an at-large hearing panel composed of faculty, staff, and student members. Student members must be in good academic and disciplinary standing. The Director of Student Conduct, one student member, and one faculty or staff member shall comprise the group.

The panel shall be scheduled to serve based on availability and scheduling constraints. If the student member is not able or willing to hear a case, the Director of Student Conduct or designee may appoint a new member to the panel so that every case may be heard within a reasonable period. During hearings, new appointments, whether appointed for one hearing or the remainder of the current academic year, shall have all the qualifications, authority and responsibilities of a panel member appointed at the beginning of the fall semester. The Director of Student Conduct or designees will serve as the hearing officer and shall preside over the disciplinary hearing.

Except in those cases where immediate interim disciplinary action has been taken under authority of Subparagraphs 5.14, the accused student shall be given at least five (5) class days written notice by the Director of Student Conduct, or a designated appointee, of the date, time, and place for such hearings and the name or names of the hearing officer or hearing committee. Hearings held under Subparagraph 5.14 will be held under the same procedures set forth below but will be held as soon as practicable within twelve (12) class days after the disciplinary action has been taken unless otherwise agreed to by the student.

Upon a hearing of the charges, the Lamar University representative has the burden of going forward with the evidence and the burden of proving the charges by the greater weight of the credible evidence. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with procedures adopted by Lamar University that assure both parties (Lamar University representative and accused student) the following minimal rights:

5.71 Both parties will exchange lists of witnesses, expected testimony, copies of documents to be introduced, and notice of intent to use legal counsel, at a reasonable time prior to the hearing.

5.72 Each party shall have the right to appear and present evidence in person and to be advised during the hearing by a designated representative or counsel of choice. Each party shall limit its presentation to relevant evidence. The accused student must attend the hearing if the student desires to present evidence. The hearing may proceed notwithstanding the accused student’s failure to appear.

5.73 Both the Lamar University representative and the accused student shall have the right to question witnesses. The accused student may question witnesses with the advice of a designated representative or counsel. All questions shall be limited to relevant evidence.

5.74 The hearing will be recorded. If either party desires to appeal the finding, a copy of the recording will be produced at the expense of the party appealing the finding, and both parties will be furnished a copy for appeals purposes only.

5.75 Procedural Rules:

  1. The hearing officer will invite all parties entitled to be present into the hearing room.
  2. The hearing officer will read a statement of confidentiality.
  3. The hearing officer will state the university policy alleged to have been violated.
  4. The designee will present evidence of the student's violation of the policy.
  5. The student may present their own defense against the charges.
  6. The hearing officer and/or hearing panel may question the witness(es).
  7. Both parties may present rebuttal evidence.
  8. Both parties may present brief summations.
  9. The hearing officer will dismiss both parties and the hearing panel will deliberate and determine, by a majority vote, whether the respondent has violated a university policy. Deliberations are not recorded. If the panel finds that the student/respondent did violate a university policy, it will assess any sanctions. The hearing officer shall report in writing the panel's findings and the sanctions, if any, to be assessed.
  10. The hearing officer will send the panel's report to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, with copies to the student and to the designee. If the student is found to have violated a university policy, and if a disciplinary penalty has been assessed, the hearing officer will inform the student of their right to appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Strategic Initiatives.
5.8 Student's Right to Challenge Impartiality.

The accused student may challenge the impartiality of the hearing officer or a member of the hearing committee at any time prior to the introduction of any evidence. The hearing officer or member of the committee shall be the sole judge of whether they can serve with fairness and objectivity. In the event the challenged hearing officer or member of the hearing committee chooses not to serve, a substitute will be chosen by the hearing officer or Vice President of Student Affairs and Strategic Initiatives.

5.9 Determination of Hearing.

The hearing officer or hearing committee shall render a decision to both parties as soon as practicable as to the guilt or innocence of the accused student and shall, if necessary, assess a penalty or penalties including, but not necessarily limited to:

  1. Verbal or written warning;
  2. Requirement that the student complete a special project that may be, but is not limited to, writing an essay, attending a special class or lecture, or attending counseling sessions. The special project may be imposed only for a definite term;
  3. Cancellation of residence hall or apartment contract;
  4. Disciplinary probation imposed for a definite period of time which stipulates that future violations may result in disciplinary suspension;
  5. Ineligibility for election to student office for a specified period of time;
  6. Removal from student or organization office for a specified period of time;
  7. Prohibition from representing Lamar University in any special honorary role;
  8. Withholding of official transcript or degree;
  9. Bar against readmission;
  10. Restitution whether monetary or by specific duties or reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of Lamar University, student, or employee property;
  11. Denial or non-recognition of a degree;
  12. Suspension of rights and privileges for a specific period of time, including access to electronic network facilities and participation in athletic, extracurricular, or other student activities;
  13. Withdrawing from a course with a grade of W, F, or WF;
  14. Failing or reduction of a grade in test or course, and/or retaking of test or course, and/or performing additional academic work not required of other students in the course;
  15. Suspension from Lamar University for a specified period of time. During suspension, a student shall not attend classes or participate in any Lamar University campus activities;
  16. Loss of or ineligibility for student grant or loan;
  17. Expulsion from Lamar University. A student who is expelled from Lamar University is not eligible for readmission to Lamar University;
  18. Dismissal from Lamar University. A student, who is dismissed, is separated from Lamar University for an indefinite period of time;
  19. Recording sanctions in Subparagraphs 5.9(9), (11), (13), (14), (15), (17), and (18) may be made on a student's permanent transcript. Lamar University may maintain confidential records of all other sanctions and may consider any prior sanction received by a student in assessing a subsequent sanction. Lamar University shall develop a procedure for expunging those records not transcribed on a student's permanent transcript within a reasonable time not to exceed five (5) years after the student ceases to be enrolled;
  20. A student who, by a preponderance of the evidence, under these Rules and Regulations, is found to have illegally possessed, used, sold or distributed any drug, narcotic, or controlled substance, whether the infraction is found to have occurred on or off campus, shall be subject to discipline, ranging from mandatory, university approved counseling to expulsion. Mitigating or aggravating factors in assessing the proper level of discipline shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the student’s motive for engaging in the behavior; disciplinary history; effect of the behavior on safety and security of the university or college community; and the likelihood that the behavior will recur. A student who has been suspended, dismissed, probated, or expelled from any system component shall be ineligible to enroll at any other system component during the applicable period of discipline. The registrar of each component is authorized to make an appropriate notation on the student’s transcript to accomplish this objective and to remove the notation when the student’s disciplinary record has been cleared.
5.10 Appeal.

Neither party may appeal if the hearing officer or hearing committee determines that the allegations against the accused student are true, but the only punishment assessed is verbal or written warning. In those cases, the determination of the hearing officer or hearing committee is final. However, in all other cases, either party may appeal to the Director of Student Conduct. If the hearing officer has been an appointee designated by the Director of Student Conduct or if the determination has been made by a hearing committee, the appeal will be made to the Director of Student Conduct or designated appointee. If the Director of Student Conduct has served as the hearing officer, the appeal will be made to the Vice President in charge of student affairs or to another Vice President (designated by the President) who has not been previously involved in the case. Written notice of appeal must be received by the appeal officer within five (5) Lamar University business days after the decision.

An appeal is not simply a rehearing of the original case. An appeal must be based on:

  1. Whether or not a fair hearing was afforded. A fair hearing includes notice of the alleged misconduct, and an opportunity to present evidence;
  2. Whether or not the sanctions levied were appropriate to the offense;
  3. Whether or not the finding was supported by the evidence; and/or
  4. Whether or not new evidence is introduced that was not available at the time of the hearing. Both parties may submit written arguments to support their positions.

In order for the appeal to be considered, the appealing party must submit all necessary documentation, including written arguments, when appropriate, to the appeal officer within five (5) Lamar University business days after giving notice of appeal. The timely written arguments and information submitted by a party shall be forwarded to the other party. The receiving party may have three (3) Lamar University business days from receipt to provide written response. The appeal officer may approve, reject, modify the decision, or remand the matter to the original hearing officer or hearing committee for reconsideration. The appeal officer shall respond to the appeal within ten (10) Lamar University business days after all the documentation was received and all testimony was heard, or they may postpone a decision for good cause.

5.11 Review of the Vice President in charge of the Division of Student Affairs and Strategic Initiatives.

The Vice President may review any disciplinary case and may approve, reject, modify the decision or remand the matter to the original hearing officer or committee for reconsideration.

5.12 President's Right to Review.

The President may review any disciplinary case, and approve, reject, or modify the decision or remand the matter to the original hearing officer or hearing committee for reconsideration.

5.13 Board of Regents' Right to Review.

The Board of Regents retains the right to review any disciplinary action and approve, reject, modify the decision, or remand the matter to the original hearing officer or hearing committee for reconsideration.

5.14 Interim Disciplinary Action.
  1. Interim Disciplinary Action in Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Matters. In a matter involving Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct, the Director of Student Conduct, the Vice President in charge of student affairs, or the Lamar University President may take immediate interim disciplinary action, including suspension, pending a Due Process hearing against a student for violation of a policy or rule of the System or of Lamar University when the continuing presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic or business processes of Lamar University. The hearing, as provided in Paragraph 5.7 of this Chapter, shall be held as soon as practicable after the suspension. (See TSUS Chapter IV, Subparagraph 2.2(14) related to non-disciplinary removal from campus.)
  2. Interim Disciplinary Action in Title IX Sexual Harassment Matters. In a matter involving Title IX Sexual Harassment, a student may only be suspended, without prior notice or hearing, and immediately removed from campus, if their presence poses an immediate threat to any person’s health or safety. As soon as practicable after removal, the Director of Student Conduct, the Vice President in charge of student affairs, or the President shall provide the suspended person with notice and an opportunity to challenge the removal. The removal challenge does not include a hearing but is limited to an administrative review by an Administrator appointed by the President. The Appointed Administrator will review the relevant facts and written materials, if any, surrounding the emergency removal. This review will occur within 72-hours of the emergency removal and the burden is on the student to show why the removal should be lifted.
  3. As soon as possible, the President shall inform the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel of any actions taken under Subparagraphs (a) or (b).
5.15 Civil Proceedings.

Every student is expected to obey all Federal, State, and local laws and is expected to be familiar with the requirements of such laws. Any student who violates any provision of those laws is subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion, notwithstanding any action taken by civil authorities on account of the violation.

5.16 Medical Amnesty Protocol.
  1. The Lamar University Medical Amnesty Protocol ensures that a student's safety and health come first in cases of underage possession and/or consumption of alcohol and/or illicit drugs use. The Director of Student Conduct and Housing and Residence Life will not pursue conduct action if:
    1. The intoxicated student reports the incident, and/or
    2. If the intoxicated or other student(s) involved is actively seeking medical and/or health assistance from a university official or medical provider.
  2. This Protocol applies only to the LU Student Conduct and Discipline, LU Housing and Residence Life Handbook, LU Student Organizations Handbook, LU Greek Life: Fraternity and Sorority Life policies, and any other applicable Texas State University System and Lamar University regulations, rules, and policies. This Protocol does not exempt students from being charged criminally by any law enforcement agency. Lamar University students cannot be covered under the Protocol if one of the following conditions is met:
    1. An intoxicated student and/or other students involved allegedly committed any other violation(s) of the student code of conduct (i.e., sexual misconduct, assault, vandalism, dealing drugs, furnishing alcohol to minors, etc.) during the incident in which they are seeking amnesty.
    2. An intoxicated student and/or other students involved have been previously found responsible for possession of alcohol and/or drugs.
    3. An intoxicated student and/or other students involved have already been covered by the Medical Amnesty Protocol for a previous underage possession and/or consumption of alcohol charge while a student at Lamar University.
  3. The Director of Student Conduct will decide on a case-by-case basis if conduct action will be pursued for those seeking assistance for others on more than one occasion.