updated October 18, 2016

Student Handbook

2016-2017

Introduction

The Benedictine University Student Handbook covers community-wide and individual student expectations and responsibilities. Failure to abide by these responsibilities and any University policies and procedures will be resolved through the Student Life Conduct Process. This process is as an educational tool required by the University to maintain a safe environment and instill individual responsibility.

In addition to the Student Handbook, the Academic Catalog and University website can be used as valuable resources to guide you through your Benedictine experience. The University reserves the right to amend this handbook at any time. Amendments to policies and procedures are to take effect when announced. Reasonable attempts to communicate amendments will be made. Proposals to amend policies and procedures can be submitted to Vice President for the Office of Student Life.

Student Statement of Responsibilities

Benedictine University is a Catholic and an academic community dedicated to the advancement of learning and committed to a philosophy of mutual tolerance and respect. Benedictine is a community of people with distinct ethnic, racial, cultural and religious backgrounds. We are also a community with a variety of roles: faculty, staff and student. Despite these differences, we are a community with a common interest in creating an environment which encourages the growth and development of all people. We understand that such an education consists of both classroom work and the full experience that university life can provide. To promote such a learning environment, the University requires each student to accept a Statement of Responsibilities and set of policies while a member of the Benedictine community at the Lisle campus, cohort off-site locations and online, and Springfield or Mesa branch campuses. Community members are also expected to observe all current local and county ordinances as well as federal and state laws.

The University attempts to establish a climate which encourages the assumption of responsibility by students for their individual and collective actions with minimum regulation. It shall be the responsibility of each student to comply with the appropriate standards of conduct and decorum befitting members of an educational community. The activities enumerated below constitute violations of University rules, regulations, policies, and standards of conduct and shall be subject to disciplinary action. A student attending a University-sponsored function off campus is subject to the same standards of conduct as those expected on campus. Any Benedictine University student who has violated criminal laws also may be subject to University proceedings. Violations of local, state or federal laws on campus may also result in the filing of criminal charges.

We encourage students to develop an awareness and sensitivity to their environment by formulating and accepting a personal code which is compatible with the code of the community of which you are a member; that is, the Benedictine Community. This means you must analyze your motives and impulses, discover new freedoms and understand the limitations of those freedoms as a community member. When a student becomes a member of the Benedictine University community, that student agrees to abide by all University policies and accept four main responsibilities: one’s education to self, colleagues and community, and to the University. The following sections detail responsible activities and list actions that are prohibited by University policy.

I. Responsibility to One’s Education

To ensure a comprehensive and authentic education, the student is responsible for planning their academic program and progress, and for pursuing academic excellence with honesty and integrity. Academic excellence cannot be achieved if one misrepresents the work of others as their own. While the University encourages students to assist one another (e.g. tutoring; group projects), the individual student is accountable for meeting their requirements. Graduation Counselors, Student Service Coordinators and Advisors are available to assist the student with program planning and academic achievement. The student is accountable for meeting course, degree and graduation requirements. Academic policies and procedures related to academic courses and programs can be found in both Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.

II. Responsibility to Ourselves

One must treat oneself with respect to fully engage in the pursuit of an education. This means many things, but such self-respect is a fundamental commitment to personal integrity and individual wellness. Those who are committed to personal integrity show a willingness to be held accountable for their own  actions. They conduct themselves honestly, thoughtfully and consistently within the values of the community. In addition, they strive for comprehensive personal health. In doing so, they avoid practices which harm the body and the mind such as excessive consumption of alcohol or the recreational use of drugs. They endeavor to develop self-esteem and feel called to live in ways that exhibit leadership, ethics and values. All students are required to pursue their academic studies to the best of their abilities. Students may lose privileges (on-campus housing, parking, etc.) if they do not maintain their commitment to their coursework. The following includes specific student conduct prohibited by the University:

  1. All forms of dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to the institution, forgery, and alterations or use of institutional documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud are prohibited. Required papers may be submitted for review to detection plagiarism.
  2. Misuse of alcohol. The legal age for the possession and use of all alcoholic beverages in Illinois is 21. Fraudulent identification for the purpose of acquiring alcoholic beverages and/or purchasing such beverages for minors is a violation of state and local law.
  3. Unauthorized gambling is not permitted on University grounds, in residence halls, apartments or at official functions of student organizations.
  4. Possession, use or sale of controlled substances or drug paraphernalia is not permitted. Benedictine University has an obligation to uphold federal, state and local laws with regard to the possession and use of drugs. The University will cooperate with legal authorities when necessary. The University reserves the right to view each case of drug-related activity individually, to include the kind of drug and level of involvement to determine the criteria for the University’s response (see “Substance Abuse Policy”).
  5. According to the University’s fire safety action plan, failing to leave the building in which a fire alarm is activated immediately may result in the issuance of a civil citation and fine up to $500.

III. Responsibility to Colleagues and Community

One must treat other members of the University with respect to allow them to fully engage in the pursuit of their own education. This involves a commitment to refrain from harmful conduct, and engage in conduct that makes the community a better place for all to live and learn. Only the individual can accept the duty to act affirmatively. The University is committed to creating an environment that encourages such a duty, and has established the following prohibited conduct concerning classmates and other members of the community:

  1. Actual physical harm or the threat of confrontation to harm any person is prohibited. This includes physical conflict, lethal and less-than-lethal use or possession of weapons/ammunition.
  2. Hazing of any person by a campus organization or another person is prohibited. Benedictine University prohibits conduct by an individual, organization or group affiliated with the University that is in violation of the Illinois Hazing Act, or any hazing activity which threatens a person’s rights of selfrespect, which disrupts community life, or which encourages the violation of local, state or federal law, or Benedictine University Policies and Procedures.
  3. Discriminatory harassment to any person on University premises or at University-sponsored functions is prohibited.
  4. Promotion of self-inflicted activities on the Internet, including harming others and underage drinking, is prohibited.
  5. Failure to comply with directions of University officials acting in performance of their duties is prohibited.
  6. Community members may not engage in conduct unbecoming of a Benedictine University student.

IV. Responsibility to the University

To assist the University in offering the finest education possible, one must treat the University campus and its resources with respect. Such respect involves stewardship of community assets through responsible use, as well as refraining from damaging or misusing University facilities and resources. The following is prohibited:

  1. Disruption of the University community or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other institutional activities.
  2. Theft from or damage to University property or the property of a member of the University community.
  3. Acts of vandalism or malicious defacement of property, or the property of the University community, including tampering with telephones, the computer network/university’s website and safety and/or fire equipment on campus.
  4. Unauthorized possession or use of campus keys, access cards or identification cards. Every student must ensure that they have their Bencard at all times and that the card has the correct information and is valid while the student is at the University.
  5. Violation of published University regulations including those relating to entry and use of University facilities, and any other regulations, which may from time to time be enacted.
  6. Violation of rules applicable to residence halls and apartments.
  7. Contempt of the conduct process or its authorities.
  8. Violation of local, state or federal laws.
  9. Non-payment of Student Accounts

Alcohol Policy

Abide by current local ordinances, state law and University policies. View Benedictine University's here. Students should be aware whether possession of alcohol occurs inside or outside the University, legal sanctions under applicable law for unlawful possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages may include fines or imprisonment.

Alcohol education programs are conducted routinely at Benedictine University. Students experiencing difficulties with alcohol or drug use are encouraged to talk with a staff member in Student Health Services, the Vice President for the Office of Student Life, or other members of the University staff.

Drug Free Campus/Workplace Policy

The use, possession or distribution of any drug, including marijuana, or drug paraphernalia on any University property or as part of a University sponsored activity, in violation of the law is strictly forbidden. Anyone violating the law may be turned over to civil authorities for prosecution and will be subject to all of the University’s disciplinary procedures. Students should not be in a room where drugs or drug paraphernalia are present. Both Illinois and federal law prohibit the possession and/or distribution of illicit drugs and any student suspected of breaking the law will be subject to University review and sanction. Criminal penalties include fines, imprisonment and, in certain cases, the seizure and forfeiture of the violator’s property. In addition, federal and other forms of financial aid may be forfeited. 

Smoking/Tobacco Policy

In an attempt to respect the rights of both non-smokers and smokers, and with a definite concern for the health of all members of its community, Benedictine University has developed the following policy for tobacco use on campus. Smoking or use of any form of tobacco IS NOT permitted inside any academic, residential or administrative building on campus. Designated smoking areas can be found at Founders' Woods Clubhouse Drive, Krasa northwest side, between Neuzil Hall and the Rice Center, south side of Scholl Hall and Parking Garage east side. This policy invokes applicable Illinois law (specifically, the Smoke-Free Illinois Act (effective as of January 2, 2008) and the previous law, the Illinois Clean Air Act of 1990).

All smoking or tobacco materials are to be properly extinguished and disposed of in a cautious, sanitary and appropriate manner.

 

Non-Discrimination Policy

Benedictine University does not discriminate in its admissions or educational policies, programs or activities; scholarship and loan programs; athletic and other University administered programs or employment practices on the basis of age, religion, sex, disabilities, race, color, national ethnic origin, or any other legally protected characteristic. In addition to meeting non-discrimination obligations under federal and state laws, Benedictine University is committed to maintaining a community in which a diverse population can live and work in an atmosphere of tolerance, civility and mutual respect for the rights and sensibilities of each individual, regardless of economic status, ethnic background, political views or other personal characteristics and beliefs.

The University is also committed to providing all of its students, faculty, staff and visitors with reasonable access to its programs, events and facilities. To this end, and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University has made and continues to make modifications to its facilities and programs to provide access for individuals with disabilities. If a person believes they have been a victim of discrimination or harassment or for further information and assistance, they may contact the Vice President for the Office of Student Life.

Compliance with Federal Non-Discrimination Regulations Several federal regulations have been adopted for the protection of students’ rights. Of particular interest are the following:

  1. Equal Opportunity: Benedictine University supports the principles of equal opportunity for employment to all qualified persons without regard to race, gender, religion, color, national origin, age or other legally protected characteristics. Inquiries regarding compliance may be directed to the University’s Office of Personnel Resources or to the director of the Offices for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education.
  2. Title IX: Benedictine University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, in accord with Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, in its educational programs, admission policies, activities or employment policies. This legislation provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of gender, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. This includes protection from sexual harassment. Inquiries regarding compliance may be directed to the Vice President for the Office of Student Life.
  3. Accommodation Services: Benedictine University is dedicated to creating an accessible environment through reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities. Students with a disability are encouraged to seek assistance with staff in the Academic and Career Enrichment Center.  Special accommodation services are available for students with disabilities on a case-by-case basis, provided that documentation from a properly licensed clinician supports the accommodation. Students eligible under the Americans with Disabilities Act

    (1990) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973) and/or state law, whose disability interferes with a major life activity, are urged to self identify so that the process for receiving assistance can begin as soon as possible. Commonly granted accommodations include the following:
    • Extended time for testing in a quiet test environment
    • Designated note-taker in class
    • Modified or enlarged classroom/reading materials
    • Books in alternate formats
    • Preferential classroom seating
    Students with questions or in need of special academic or housing accommodations should stop by the Academic and Career Enrichment Center to arrange proper documentation for equal access to educational and campus services.

Hate Crime Policy

A hate crime is classified by law as a felony offense and is in direct violation of the University’s nondiscriminatory policies. Therefore the University, in addition to processing hate crimes in accordance with the law, may simultaneously proceed with internal investigatory and disciplinary processes as defined by the Handbook. A person commits (a) hate crime(s) when by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or natural origin of another individual or group of individuals, he commits assault, battery, aggravated assault, misdemeanor or criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to property, mob action or disorderly conduct, and/or harassment by telephone.

A person who has been a victim of a hate crime may report the crime to the Benedictine University Police Department (630) 829-6666, a residence hall staff member, the vice president for the Office of Student Life, health/counseling office or an outside community agency. Those who report a hate crime will be advised of the importance of preserving evidence which may be necessary to provide proof for prosecution. Hate crimes will be reported to Benedictine University Police. The University will provide support services for persons who have been victims of hate crimes. Staff will serve in an advocacy role and help refer individuals for appropriate medical, police, and counseling assistance.

Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedure

One of Benedictine’s stated goals is to maintain an environment that is healthy and safe. Sexual misconduct is not consistent with this goal and the University is committed to providing a living and learning environment that is free of such threats. It is the University’s policy that acts of sexual misconduct will not be tolerated. For purposes of this policy, “sexual misconduct” is defined as any attempted or actual act of non-consensual or forcible sexual touching. This would include, but is not limited to, fondling, kissing, groping, attempted intercourse (whether oral, anal or genital), penetration or attempted penetration with a digit or any other object.

“Consent” requires speech or conduct indicating a freely given, uncoerced agreement to engage in sexual contact. Consent may not be inferred from silence or passivity alone and a current or previous relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent. Consent may be withdrawn at any time prior to a specific sexual act by either person.

To be valid, the person giving consent must be physically and mentally able to:

  • understand the circumstances and implication of the sexual act;
  • able to make a reasoned decision concerning the sexual act; and
  • able to communicate that decision in an unambiguous manner.

There are a number of factors which may limit or negate a person’s ability to consent to a sexual act. These include impairment due to the influence of alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescription), a person’s mental or physical impairment of which the other person is aware or should reasonably have been aware, unconsciousness, fear or coercion.

Persons accused of sexual misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with Benedictine University’s policies and procedures for student conduct. At the discretion of the University, persons accused of sexual misconduct may be immediately suspended or restricted from campus pending final disposition of any disciplinary proceedings. Individuals found to have committed sexual misconduct will be subject to sanctions, up to and including dismissal from the University.

In addition to student disciplinary action, persons accused of sexual misconduct may be subject to criminal prosecution by the law enforcement agency with appropriate jurisdiction in that case. In the course of a criminal investigation or prosecution, Benedictine may choose or may be required to provide information and records related to its disciplinary proceedings involving the same act. However, Benedictine’s student disciplinary process is independent of and not dependent upon any criminal process. The decision to prosecute or not prosecute and the ultimate outcome of any criminal proceedings do not affect or influence the University’s student conduct proceedings.

A person who has been a victim of sexual assault may report the crime to Benedictine University Police at (630) 829-6666, a residence hall staff member, the vice president for Student Life, the health/counseling office or an outside community agency such as the DuPage Women Against Rape Hotline at (630) 971-3927. Benedictine University provides support services for persons who have been victims of sexual assault. Staff will serve in an advocacy role and help refer individuals for appropriate medical, law enforcement, judicial and counseling assistance. Upon request, assistance will be provided in changing academic schedules and living arrangements.

Even if a victim decides not to file criminal charges with the police, it is recommended that the individual contact a University or community resource for support. Victims are entitled to confidential services either on or off campus whether or not charges are pressed. Resources both on campus and in the community are:

On-Campus Resources

Student Health Services
Krasa Center, Room 116
(630) 829-6046

Off-Campus Resources

DuPage Women Against Rape (DWAR)
24-hour emergency number (630) 971-3927
Non-emergency number (630) 790-6600

DuPage County State’s Attorney Victim/Witness Advocates
505 N. County Farm Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 407-8008

The Bill of Rights for Victims and Witnesses of Violent Crime is an Illinois law that ensures fair and compassionate treatment for victims and witnesses of violent crime. The law guarantees two basic rights to crime victims and witnesses—the right to obtain information from the criminal justice system, and the right to be treated in a humane way by the system.

Illinois Domestic Violence Act: Rights of Victims

“Domestic violence is a crime. Any person who hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member has broken the Illinois Domestic Violence law. Under Illinois law family or household members are defined as:

  • family members related by blood;
  • people who are married or used to be married;
  • people who share or used to share a home, apartment or other common dwelling;
  • people who have or allegedly have a child in common or a blood relationship through a child in common;
  • people who are dating, engaged or used to date, including same sex couples; people with disabilities and their personal assistants”

(Excerpt from the Illinois Domestic Violence Act Web page, Illinois Attorney General)

Domestic violence consists of physical assault, sexual abuse and stalking. The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. If you are in an abusive situation, you are urged to seek help. For on-campus resources refer to the following resources:

Domestic Violence Resources

Family Shelter Service
24 hours a day
(630) 469-5650

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

877-863-6338

Discriminatory Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policy

We are all responsible for creating an environment where we are treated with respect and dignity. Sometimes behavior that seems acceptable to you may be offensive to others. Any harassment or false accusations of harassment, of or by employees or students, is not acceptable. Benedictine University prohibits harassment on the basis of sex, race, religion, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or membership in any other group protected by law, including the following behaviors:
  • Unsolicited remarks, gestures, or physical contact; display or circulation of written material or pictures that are negative or offensive to gender or to racial, ethnic, religious or other groups protected by law;
  • Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and all other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or otherwise offensive nature, especially where submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or academic advancement or status, or the basis for employment-related decisions affecting the employee or decisions affecting the individual’s academic advancement or status; or
  • Conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an employee’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.

Harassment of any sort is a serious breach of University policy. The University will take prompt and appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination of employment, expulsion and/or other sanctions against anyone who engages in harassment. If you believe you have been the subject of harassment (or a violation of the University’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy), report the alleged conduct immediately to the Vice President for the Office of Student Life, director of Personnel Resources, the compliance officer, or any other senior University official. Benedictine University prohibits any form of retaliation against any employee or student for filing a complaint or for assisting in a complaint investigation.

Students are encouraged to report all incidents of sexual harassment. The University will conduct an appropriate and discreet investigation of all reports of sexual harassment. The details of the investigation will be kept as confidential as feasible, consistent with University policies and applicable federal, state and local laws. Students are encouraged to report all incidents of sexual harassment.

  • Complaints of sexual harassment by a University executive, faculty member, staff member or teaching assistant are reported to and investigated by the employee’s immediate supervisor, or the director of Personnel Resources, the compliance officer or any other senior University official. (If any person to whom the report would be directed is involved in or is associated with the alleged conduct, the report must be directed to another senior official who is not involved.)
  • Complaints of sexual harassment by a student are reported to and investigated by the vice president for the Office of Student Life. (If any person to whom the report would be directed is involved in or is associated with the alleged conduct, the report must be directed to another senior official who is not involved.)
  • An appropriate and timely response to each complaint will be provided.
  • No individual who makes a good faith report shall be subjected to retaliation, including harassment or any adverse employment, academic or educational consequence, as a result of making a report.

Responsible Use of University Technology Resources Policy

The Office of Information Technology maintains an Acceptable Use Policy for the responsible use of technology resources for all members of the campus community. This document provides guidance on the use of technology at the University, including your responsibility to abide by all laws in your use of technology, including copyright and other laws protecting intellectual property.

Students should be aware of the basics of Internet etiquette in communicating via text, chat room, online or email. Your behavior will be evaluated online as if you would demonstrate in person. Know that when you are in cyberspace, respect other people’s time and bandwidth, use appropriate upper and lowercase punctuation, and respect other people’s privacy.

 

Email is the official method of communication for students at Benedictine University. Students are expected to read and respond, when required, to all official Benedictine University email. It is recommended that students check their Benedictine University email accounts daily. Please note that some faculty may, based on course requirements, require students to check their Benedictine University email accounts at designated times.

Students who redirect (auto forward) messages sent to their official Benedictine University email accounts to another email account (such as Gmail, Hotmail, etc...) do so at their own risk. Email that is lost as a result of redirection does not absolve the student from their responsibilities associated with communications sent to their official Benedictine University email account. Benedictine University is not responsible for the handling of email by outside vendors or unofficial servers. The Benedictine University assigned email address will be the address used by Benedictine University faculty and staff to communicate with students.



Freedom of Expression Policy

In its role as an academic institution, Benedictine is committed to an environment i

Student Life
BENEDICTINE UNIVERSITY

Marco Masini, Associate Vice President
Phone: (630) 829-6124
Fax: (630) 829-6348
E-mail: mmasini@ben.edu

Luba Baranivsky, Assistant to the VP
E-mail: lbaranivsky@ben.edu

Lownik Hall, Room 152
5700 College Road Lisle IL, 60532
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m