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All Programs: Conduct and Discipline Policies

All Programs: Conduct and Discipline Policies

Policies for Participation
Disciplinary Procedures

See policies for
Semester and Year-Long Programs
Short-Term Programs - Undergraduate
Short-Term Program - Graduate

The University of St. Thomas (“University”) is a private, comprehensive Catholic university and is a community of scholars. St. Thomas expects all students who participate in off-campus study, regardless of age, to act reasonably, responsibly, maturely, and appropriately at all times. Study abroad and other off-campus study requires an open-mind towards different cultures and an ability to interact respectfully with others, including fellow program participants and residents of the host country(ies) and/or city(ies). It also requires an ability to live successfully in community.
All St. Thomas policies apply to students while they are on a study abroad or other off-campus study program, including, without limitation, policies governing student conduct and academic policies. Students on non-St. Thomas programs that have been approved for credit by St. Thomas are subject to the policies of the institution sponsoring the program and are also subject to St. Thomas policies.
Student conduct before or during a study abroad or other off-campus study program may result in involuntary withdrawal, suspension or expulsion from the program if the conduct:
  • violates any applicable university policy, including, without limitation, the program requirements or Student Code of Conduct;
  • demonstrates an inability to meet program requirements or safely participate in the program; or
  • is otherwise inconsistent with these Community Expectations.

Program Requirements for All Programs
Participation in study abroad and off-campus study is not a right but a privilege and an opportunity for which students must have institutional approval. There are established criteria for participation and a process for applying for a program. Study abroad and other off-campus study takes careful thought and planning, and the time to do both.
The following requirements apply to all University of St. Thomas study abroad and off-campus study programs and other programs approved for credit by the University:
  1. Students must conduct themselves in a responsible and mature manner at all times, consistent with the University’s mission, convictions and policies, and must not engage in conduct that is detrimental to the good of the program or the University. Students must be sensitive to cultural norms and behavior in the host country(ies), and city(ies) and must conduct themselves in a way that does not negatively impact local communities or the experience of other participants in the program. Students must comply with all applicable local laws.
  2. Students must assume responsibility for all steps necessary to personally prepare for the program.
  3. Students must attend and participate fully in all in-person and on-line orientation and pre-departure programs or meetings.  In rare circumstances, program directors or the Office of Study Abroad may, in their discretion, approve exceptions to this requirement.
  4. Students must read and carefully consider all materials issued or recommended by the University or program sponsor that relate to safety, health, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country.
  5. Students must provide full, true and accurate information on all application and post-approval forms, including accurate GPA.
  6. While participating in off-campus study, students must regularly attend and participate fully in both the academic program in which they are enrolled and the cultural components of the program, including excursions and events.
  7. Students must follow the directions of the program director. Study abroad and other off-campus travel requires organization and coordination, and schedules for site visits, movement at airports and train stations, and other travel arrangements will often necessitate a certain regimentation with which students must comply.
  8. Students must satisfy the Community Expectations set forth above and comply with all applicable University policies at all times, including without limitation, the Student Code of Conduct, Requirements on Responsible Use of Alcohol Abroad, the Sexual Misconduct Policy, non-discrimination policies and all program requirements.
  9. Students must not engage in behavior that poses an unreasonable risk of harm to themselves or others, including but not limited to frequenting dangerous places, associating with criminals, failing to maintain and monitor physical and mental health, use of illegal substances, or alcohol abuse. A student may be suspended or withdrawn from the program if the student poses a health or safety risk to the student or others.
  10. Students may not apply for, hold an active application for, or participate in, a study abroad or other off-campus program while on academic or conduct probation. Disciplinary records may be a consideration for approval in a study abroad program. If a student is placed on academic or conduct probation after being approved to participate in a study abroad program or other off-campus program, the student is no longer eligible to participate in the study abroad or other off-campus program. 
  11. In order to maintain eligibility for study abroad and other off campus travel programs after acceptance into the program, students are required to maintain a GPA at or above the required program GPA and to complete all their courses the semester prior to study abroad or off-campus travel. This means:
  • A student’s cumulative GPA and the student’s GPA for the semester prior to the study abroad or other off-campus travel program must not fall below the minimum GPA required for the program. 
  • A student must complete all incomplete courses prior to studying abroad.
  • Course withdrawals, after the 14th calendar day of classes for the semester prior to study abroad or off-campus study, may be grounds for involuntary withdrawal from the program.
The Senior International Officer may grant exceptions to these requirements in their discretion after consultation with the Dean of Students, the appropriate academic dean and other appropriate administrators. 

In addition to the program requirements listed above, which apply to all programs, program directors and resident staff may establish additional, program-specific requirements. Failure to comply with any of the program requirements listed above or any requirements established by the program director or resident staff, before or during the program, may result in involuntary withdrawal, suspension or expulsion from the program. Students who are involuntarily withdrawn, suspended or expelled from the program will be responsible for all applicable costs as described in the program’s cancellation/withdrawal policies. 

The University’s Student Code of Conduct prohibits individuals under the age of 21 from possessing or using alcohol, which is consistent with the law in Minnesota. Students who study abroad and who are of legal age in the host country and state may consume alcohol in moderation in the host country. However, students are responsible for their conduct and for following the laws of the host-country at all times. Abuse of alcohol or use of alcohol in a manner that discredits the student or otherwise violates this policy is a violation of program requirements and may lead to ineligibility for the program or involuntary withdrawal, suspension or expulsion from the program and the student will be responsible for all applicable costs as described in the program’s cancellation/withdrawal policies. 
The following are examples of conduct that violates the Student Code of Conduct and these requirements on responsible use of alcohol:
  • Missing a scheduled event or becoming ill due to excess consumption of alcohol.
  • Engaging in inappropriate behavior toward other individuals, destructive behavior toward property or other disorderly or irresponsible conduct as a result of alcohol consumption.
  • Engaging in behavior that causes embarrassment to the other members of the group, the faculty members, or the in-country hosts as a result of alcohol consumption.
  • Facilitating or encouraging a fellow student to abuse alcohol. Students are expected to encourage responsible alcohol use.
  • Using, possessing or distributing alcohol if the student is not of legal age in the host country or state.
  • Distributing alcohol to an individual who is not of legal age in the host country or state.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol.
This is not an exhaustive list. Students who choose to consume alcohol are responsible for using good judgment at all times.

Students are responsible for knowing U.S. customs laws regarding the possession of alcohol upon returning to the U.S. (e.g., you must be 21 years old to legally bring alcohol into the U.S. from abroad).

University policies prohibiting the illegal use, possession and trafficking of drugs apply while a student is studying abroad or in any off-campus study program.  Students are advised that drug laws vary from country to country and substances that are legal in the U.S. may be illegal in a foreign country. Students are responsible for complying with University policies and all local laws.

Disciplinary Rights and Procedures for University Off-Campus Programs – Academic and Non-Academic
In all University study abroad and other off-campus courses and programs, the program director has authority, when away from campus, to adjudicate violations of applicable University policies and program rules in accordance with the procedures below.

When feasible, the faculty or staff program director should make every effort to informally resolve problems that arise. However, if a formal process is required, the following procedures for adjudicating violations of applicable policies, including the Student Code of Conduct and program rules, will generally be followed. In light of the unique nature of international and off-campus programs, the program director, in consultation with the Dean of Students and other appropriate administrators, has flexibility to make adjustments to these procedures based on the circumstances.
  1. A program director will notify students of alleged violations in writing.
  2. A meeting will be held between the student and the program director after the student receives the violation letter to determine if the student violated applicable policy(ies) or program rules. The program director, in their discretion, may involve the Dean of Students or other appropriate administrators in this meeting through audio or video conferencing or other means.
  3. After the meeting, the program director will determine whether or not the student violated an applicable policy or program rule. Similar to on-campus proceedings, a “preponderance of evidence” (more likely than not) standard will be used in determining whether a violation occurred. In some cases, the program director may decide that there is sufficient evidence of a significant policy or rule violation to send the student home and may direct that an on-campus process be used to make final determination of responsibility and sanctions.
  4. If the program director finds the student responsible for violating one or more applicable policies, the program director, in consultation with the Director, Office of Study Abroad, the Dean of Students, the Senior International Officer, and the appropriate academic dean, will determine sanctions. Program directors have full authority for imposing sanctions, including sending the student home prior to the completion of the class or program.
  5. The student will receive a decision letter stating whether it has been determined that the student violated an applicable policy or program rule and the appropriate sanction, if any. A copy of the decision letter will be forwarded to the Dean of Students for inclusion in the student's disciplinary file.
  6. There is no appeal of discipline occurring in connection with a study abroad or off-campus program, except with respect to sanctions involving suspension or expulsion from the university or suspension or expulsion from university housing. In such cases, the student may appeal the suspension or expulsion upon return to campus, using the appeal procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
  7. In rare cases, the Senior International Officer, may, in consultation with the program director, the Dean of Students, and other appropriate administrators, immediately suspend or involuntarily withdraw a student from the program and send the student home at the student's expense. The decision of the Senior International Officer or designee is final.
Students participating in other approved programs are subject to the disciplinary procedures of their program sponsor while participating in the off-campus program. Such students may also be subject to discipline under University policy upon return to campus.

Involuntary Withdrawal
In rare cases, including, without limitation, when the student’s continued participation in the program poses a health and safety risk to the student or others or where the student’s conduct has caused or is likely to cause significant disruption to the program, it may be necessary to involuntarily withdraw a student from a program, either prior to departure or during the program. Decisions regarding involuntary withdrawal are made by the Senior International Officer, in consultation with the Dean of Students and other appropriate administrators. The University does not assume any financial responsibility to students as a result of an involuntary withdrawal.