Disciplinary Policies and Procedures

When students’ behavior is not aligned with the Student Standards of Conduct and/or the Covenant for Life Together, the procedures outlined below will be followed to address the behavior and restore the student’s behavioral good standing with Bethel University. The procedures may be accelerated at the discretion of student life staff.


A. Initial Concern Procedure

Personal confrontation regarding any social, emotional or behavioral concern(s) including not meeting university/program expectations (transportation levels, etc.) or individual skill need(s) will occur with appropriate student life staff and BUILD staff members to discuss concern(s) and expected behaviors.

B. Confrontation and Referral Procedure

Personal confrontation regarding the student’s ongoing or serious behavior or lack of skill development will occur with appropriate Student Life staff and BUILD staff members. An incident report will be completed and reviewed by a Student Conduct and Concerns committee, which will recommend actions appropriate to the behavior and intended to be redemptive and educational. A Student Life staff member and/or BUILD staff member will be appointed to work with the student throughout the completion of assigned actions. Documentation, including the Student Life Incident Report and follow-up meetings, will be retained for an appropriate time period in the Office of Student Life.

C. Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary actions are determined by a Student Conduct and Concerns committee, comprised of student life deans, BUILD residential supervisor(s), and resident directors, and representatives of Christian Formation and Church Relations, Counseling Services, Security and Safety, and faculty.

Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Educational follow-up meetings 
    • A student may be expected to meet with a Student Life and/or BUILD staff member for a specified number of times for the purpose of accountability, discussion regarding the Covenant for Life Together, and reflection on learning gained through completing other disciplinary actions.
  • Mentoring 
    • A student may be expected to identify a mature, adult mentor on campus and meet with that individual for a specified number of times for the purpose of personal and spiritual growth, goal setting, accountability, etc.
  • Educational activities 
    • A student may be expected to complete activities such as participate in an online educational program, conduct research relevant to the disciplinary situation, write a reflection paper, attend an educational program on campus, meet with professional staff in an office providing services such as career development, counseling, disability resources, etc.
  • Fines 
    • A student may be subject to fines for policy violations and certain behaviors, particularly those causing harm to property, expense to the university, or disruption to the processes of the university.
  • Community Service
    • A student may be expected to perform community service hours on or off campus as part of the disciplinary outcome.
  • Written Warning
    • A student may receive a written notice, by letter or email, stating the nature of the violation and stating that further violations may lead to additional disciplinary steps.
  • Behavioral Agreement
    • The student and the Office of Student Life enter into an agreement, often signed by both parties, stating the nature of the student’s violation and the steps that the student and/or the Office of Student Life will take as a result of the student’s behavior.
  • Behavioral Probation
    • The student is permitted to remain on campus and continue in classes and academic activities with particular conditions specified. These conditions are often stated in the form of a Probation Letter. Special housing approvals, participation in varsity sports, and other co-curricular privileges may be affected. One or more additional disciplinary activities (educational meeting, mentoring, community service, etc.) may be included in the Probation Letter. Students will be asked to notify their parents and/or guardians. A temporary record is kept in the Office of Student Life.
  • Suspension or Removal from Campus Housing
    • A student is asked to take a break from or not permitted to continue living in campus housing, and is required to receive clearance from a dean in order to be eligible for future semesters in campus housing. A student is permitted to continue in classes and academic activities.
  • Withdrawal
    • The student is permitted to withdraw without privilege of returning until a time specified by the deans. A temporary record is kept in the Office of Student Life.
  • Suspension
    • The student is involuntarily withdrawn from Bethel for a specified length of time, ranging from the remainder of a current semester up to two years. The student may be permitted to reapply to Bethel after a specified period of time and after completing any requirements given at the time of suspension.
  • Expulsion
    • The student is permanently separated from the University. A permanent record of expulsion is noted on the student’s academic transcript.
  • Additional Disciplinary Responses
    • In addition to the responses delineated above, student life staff members may use other disciplinary actions when deemed necessary and appropriate. These may include, but are not limited to, loss of privileges, parent/guardian notification, notification of faculty or coaches (or other staff members as appropriate), a chemical dependency assessment, restitution of personal or institutional damages, reconciliation to individuals or offended groups, and follow-up sessions with a student life staff person, faculty member, or other individual agreed upon by the student and the Office of Student Life.

D. Determination of Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary actions are determined based on the level of seriousness of the behavior, prior violations of the student standards of conduct, impact of the violation on the community, and the student’s honest participation throughout the disciplinary process.

E. Compliance

Students are expected to respond truthfully throughout disciplinary and non-disciplinary processes, and are expected to comply with the requests, sanctions, and expectations resulting from the disciplinary and non-disciplinary processes. Failure to comply may result in further consequences, including dismissal. In addition, failure to respond to a request for a meeting with student life staff may result in a disciplinary response up to and including dismissal from the university.

F. Notification of Parents/Guardians

In the case that a student’s behavior rises to the level of concern resulting in a written warning, behavioral agreement, or a notice of behavioral probation, parents/guardians will be notified by the student. It is the policy of the Office of Student Life to notify parents/guardians regarding the use of alcohol or illegal drugs. 

Student Advocates

Three or more faculty members volunteer to serve each year as student advocates. In that role they make themselves available to students involved in disciplinary processes. As student advocates, they help students understand the options available and the appeals process. They may help students prepare for a hearing and offer guidance and support. The student life staff encourages students who are in the midst of an appeals process to access the assistance of the faculty student advocates. While an appeal is in process, the student life staff members are limited in the amount of communication and support they can offer to the student who is appealing a decision made by their office. Information about faculty student advocates is available from the Office of Student Life.

Bethel Early Alert Connection (BEACON)

Student files managed by the Office of Student Life are stored in Beacon. Beacon is a software tool used by faculty and staff to relay information about students who may be struggling, allowing the appropriate university staff to provide intervention and support to students by connecting them with the right resources on campus.

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