Because of our concern for the overall health, wellbeing, and spiritual growth of our students, violations of community standards are seen as an opportunity for dialogue and to support changes in behavior. It is our hope that relationships at Bethel will be healthy and contribute to the strengthening of our community. The choices individuals make will have consequences. Students are encouraged to make choices that contribute to their own holiness and wholeness as growing Christian persons.
Compliance with all campus policies:
Students are expected to be familiar and comply with all campus policies as stated in the BUILD Student Handbook, including Residence Life, and Security and Safety policies and expectations. In addition, the following illustrations are provided to highlight some specific aspects of our community standards:
Social dancing is permitted on the Bethel campus and at off-campus Bethel events when sponsored by the Bethel Student Government (BSG). Dances in residence halls are not permitted unless sponsored by BSG. Pursuant to educational and developmental programs, certain aspects of folk and ethnic dance, aerobic exercise and movement, and the use of choreography in the theatre and musical productions may be considered appropriate. Students are encouraged to use discretion in their participation in non-Bethel off-campus dances.
Students of the opposite sex are not to spend the night together in private spaces or live together. This applies on and off campus. It is not possible to provide an example of every possible scenario that could be defined as cohabitation. However, here are some guidelines:
- Couples or groups should not be in compromising situations—in bed together even in mid-afternoon, overnight camping, staying overnight in hotel rooms, or in coed living arrangements.
- Excessive violations of visitation hours may be considered cohabitation in some circumstances.
Sexual relationships outside of marriage are a violation of biblical standards, the Bethel Covenant, and student standards of conduct. Students involved in these behaviors are subject to being placed on behavioral probation and may be assigned additional sanctions.
Gambling is not permitted on or off campus. Examples of gambling include, but are not limited to, gambling money in a casino and playing games or cards for money (e.g., poker).
The use of tobacco in any form is not permitted on or off campus. Examples of tobacco include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, clove or herbal cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and pipe tobacco. In addition, electronic cigarettes (vape) and hookah pipes are not permitted. Students using tobacco are subject to being placed on behavioral probation and may be assigned additional sanctions.
Possession and/or use of alcohol:
The possession or use of alcohol on or off campus is not permitted during the academic year. Students using or possessing alcohol are subject to being placed on behavioral probation and may be assigned additional sanctions.
Possession and/or use of illegal substances:
The possession or use of illegal substances is prohibited on and off campus. Students using or possessing illegal substances are subject to being placed on behavioral probation and may be assigned additional sanctions, up to and including dismissal from the university, in addition to any legal consequences. Chemical dependency assessment and/or treatment may be required to continue as a student at Bethel. Sale of illegal drugs will result in suspension from Bethel and will be reported to local law enforcement authorities.
NOTE: Hosting a party where alcohol and/or drugs are available is a serious offense and is regulated by city ordinance in some municipalities in the Twin Cities. Serving alcohol to minors is unlawful in the state of Minnesota. Hosting a party where alcohol and or/drugs are available will result in serious consequences, up to and including dismissal from the university.
Repeat violations of any Bethel policy will merit increasingly serious consequences.
Basis for Student Standards of Conduct
Three primary sources of authority have contributed to the formation of expectations within our community:
1. Scripture: What does the Bible say about behavioral expectations?
Scripture specifically forbids drunkenness, adultery, and fornication (defined as cohabitation and/or premarital sexual relations of both a heterosexual and/or a homosexual nature). Bethel offers help in clarifying issues of sexual identity and moral behavior for students having concerns in this area.
There are also issues of integrity such as cheating, stealing, dishonesty, and plagiarism (misrepresenting ourselves to others) as well as issues of relationship, some of which might include sensitivity to the need for a quiet environment, concern for the welfare of others, and empathy for weaknesses and faults.
2. Legal Authority: Local, State and Federal Laws
Some of these laws would include such things as theft, possession or use of an illegal substance, underage use or possession of alcoholic beverages, physical abuse against persons or property (rape, assault, vandalism), possession of firearms on campus, violations of copyright laws and illegal entry, to name a few. As members of the Bethel community, we are not exempt from the responsibility for upholding these legal expectations.
3. Evangelical Christian Heritage and Mission of the College
Our roots and values were incubated in and are tied to the Converge Worldwide and other Evangelical Christian traditions. Evangelical churches are those who find their authority in God’s word and have stressed the need for a personal redemptive faith in Jesus Christ. Although Bethel is not a church, we are an extension of the church and, therefore, we subscribe to some of the traditions that have been passed down to us. Certain expectations have been set up to promote a more positive living and learning environment for students where a relationship with God can flourish.