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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
Student Health Services
Krasa Center, Room 116
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
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.
“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:
(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:
Family Shelter Service
24 hours a day
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:
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.
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.
In its role as an academic institution, Benedictine is committed to an environment in which a variety of ideas can be reasonably proposed and critically examined. The University community recognizes that the freedom of inquiry and expression may produce conflicts of beliefs, and proposals for action. It is the responsibility of all members of the University community to maintain channels of communication which will foster a favorable climate for the freedom of expression to thrive.
Implicit in this freedom and with regard for the common purposes of the institution is the right to dissent and demonstrate in a peaceful and non-disruptive manner without unreasonable obstruction or hindrance. The University expects those who enjoy these freedoms to also accept responsibility for order and discipline. Permissible speech does not include unlawful activity, activity that threatens or endangers the safety of any member of the community, destruction of property or obstruction of the normal operations of the University and will not be tolerated.
In the event of loss or damage to your personal property while working, residing or visiting at Benedictine University, the Business Office can issue a statement, should you wish to file a claim against your personal insurance policy. The University is not responsible for any personal property loss.
In order to have the statement prepared, the damage or loss should be reported to University Police as soon as possible. A copy of the University Police report should be brought to the Office of Business and Finance Services with a note indicating the name and address of your insurance carrier and your address. Our statement will be prepared and mailed to you for attachment to your claim.
Benedictine University will make every attempt to provide eligible students with reasonable accommodations based on individual learning needs and recommendations. In order to provide accommodations in a timely manner, the University requires reasonable notice of specific needs and requested accommodations.
Students needing accommodations should first complete the Disability Services Request Form. In addition, documentation of the disability from a licensed clinical professional should also be included. Students should provide these documents to the coordinator of Special Services to begin the process for receiving accommodations.
When accommodations are approved, the coordinator of Special Services contacts students and provides them with the Student Academic Accommodations Approval (SAAA) form, which notifies the instructors of the approved accommodations. Each semester students are responsible for obtaining their SAAA forms from the coordinator.
All inquiries about referrals to clinical professionals, who administer testing, modifications to accommodations, and temporary accommodations, should be directed to the staff at the Academic and Career Enrichment Center.
Please read the Benedictine University Accommodations Policy for complete details.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
Benedictine University’s policy is to not release student record information without the expressed consent of the student. However, there are some exceptions. For example, directory information may be released without the student’s consent and includes the following: name, address, telephone number, major and minor fields of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received; most recent education institution attended; full-time/part-time enrollment status; photo. In compliance with the Solomon Amendment, directory information is provided to the U.S. Department of Defense, upon request. You may withhold disclosure of directory information by completing the “FERPA Non-Disclosure of Designated Directory Information” form available in the Registrar’s office, within ten (10) calendar days of the first scheduled class day of each fall term. A request to withhold disclosure of directory information is effective for one academic year only and must be renewed each year.
The University may also disclose student account and financial aid information without the student’s consent to the student’s parents if the parent requests the information in writing, completes the Parent Certification section of the Authorization For Release of Confidential Information to Parents and provides evidence that the student is their dependent for federal income tax purposes, or if there is a health or safety emergency involving their son or daughter, or if their son or daughter is under the age of 21 and has violated a federal, state or local law or any University rule or policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance. Upon request, the University also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Information from student disciplinary or counseling files is considered a confidential, educational record and is not available to unauthorized persons on campus. To comply with federal law, as well as for reasons of confidentiality, disciplinary records/files may not be released to anyone off-campus unless under legal compulsion or in cases where the safety of persons or property is involved. A student’s disciplinary record/file may only be reviewed by the student within the confines of the Benedictine University campus and the guidelines designated by the appropriate University administrator, generally the vice president for the Office of Student Life. Only the student and authorized persons may have access to such records. The University will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the confidentiality of student educational records is maintained. Any questions concerning the student’s rights and responsibilities under FERPA should be referred to the Office of the Registrar or the compliance officer.
Persons planning a demonstration should meet with the vice president for the Office of Student Life or their designee to discuss arrangements for the event.
The Chief of University Police, in consultation with University officials, will determine the point at which the normal operations of a specific building or area are disrupted. The demonstrators will be informed specifically how they may continue their demonstration in a manner which is not disruptive. If the above described internal measures fail to achieve the desired results, the University reserves the right to ask for the assistance of civil authorities. Any student in a disruptive demonstration may be arrested and may be suspended pending formal action consistent with the University conduct system. Any person not officially associated with the University who is participating in a disruptive demonstration will be arrested and may be prosecuted. Just as Benedictine University expects the members of its community to abide by the above regulations, it likewise expects that any action taken to enforce compliance with regulations or prevent prohibited activity should be appropriate. The University expects all persons to comply with the directions of an authorized official.
Failure to abide by your responsibilities and any University policies and procedures will be resolved through the Student Life Conduct Process. Many times misconduct can be resolved informally, but situations may require a more formal procedure. The procedure is grounded in the concept of fairness and impartiality, thereby supporting the values of our community by addressing misconduct in a constructive and positive way. If University action is warranted, a student will receive a phone call and/or email to their student email account notifying them that a conversation is required. The following options will be considered by the Office of Student Life:
Incidents may be resolved through mediation – a voluntary, private and informal process.
Two kinds of hearings are possible: an administrative hearing (appointed University officials) and panel hearing (representatives of the student body, faculty and administration act as panel hearing members). The purpose of the hearings is to come to an understanding of the misconduct by the student(s), determine responsibility and remedies. Hearings can be used to resolve minor disciplinary matters or more serious matters (not limited to theft, dangerous weapon possession, misuse of fire protection equipment, sexual assault, illicit use of drugs and repetitious misconduct) that may result in a student being suspended or dismissed from the University or residence halls. Hearings may be conducting by a designated hearing officer or board depending on the incident as determined by the Office of Student Life.
Students are expected to obtain further details if they attend a hearing. The hearings will follow appropriate procedures to ensure a fair process, and parties will have the opportunity to present any facts to substantiate the claim, including witnesses.
Hearings will proceed in the absence of a respondent who was given proper notice, who does not request a postponement and who does not attend the hearing. No parent, guardian, legal counsel or person outside of the University community is allowed to appear at the hearing, except if criminal proceedings are occurring simultaneously.
To ensure a fair process, parties may request that community members assist and participate in the investigation and hearing process. Students, faculty or staff who agree to assist and/or attend the hearing with the party but do not speak at the hearing shall provide such assistance. In the event a party is unable to locate someone to act in this capacity, they may request the assistance from the Office of Student Life. The administrator or Hearing Panel will be responsible for assigning a remedy in the event it finds that a violation of the Statement of Responsibilities or University policy has taken place. Consideration of a student’s entire disciplinary record at Benedictine University will be taken into account when designing an appropriate sanction.
A student may appeal a decision made by a hearing concerning the finding of a violation or the remedy imposed within five days of notification of a decision. To do so, the student must deliver a written explanation on the grounds upon which the appeal is made to the Office of Student Life. The burden of demonstrating an inequity in the hearing or remedy shall lie with the student. The responsibility of making a final decision will rest with the Office of Student Life.
This does not and cannot include all information that may lead to sanctions. Sanctions are defined and imposed as follows:
Interim Intervention: The University reserves the right to suspend a student on an interim basis when circumstances and facts indicate that the student’s continued presence on the campus constitutes an unreasonable danger of harm or injury to institutional property, the student involved or others. Students may also be suspended on an interim basis while undergoing resolution by University or civil authorities.
Involuntary Withdrawal: A student may be subject to involuntary withdrawal from the University or from the residence halls if it is determined that the student is suffering from a mental illness and/or engages (or threatens to engage) in behavior which poses a danger of causing physical harm to self or others; engages in behavior which would cause property damage; impedes the lawful activities of others; or disrupts the community.
Your concerns are important to us. If you encounter a problem involving the application of a Benedictine University policy or procedure or have any other dispute with the University that you cannot resolve informally and which adversely impacts you, you may file a complaint in writing.
For purposes of this process, a “complaint” is an expression of dissatisfaction concerning, a University employee, department, service or process, or a University administrative action, that requires clarification, investigation and/or resolution.
NOTE: Dealing with concerns in the most direct and honest fashion should always be the first step toward resolution. Many problems are resolved when one makes an appointment with a faculty or staff member and calmly and honestly communicates their concerns.