Graduate School Student Guide

Your Rights as a Student

You have rights as a student that are protected by law.  The following sections of the Student Guide summarize some of those rights which are guaranteed to you and all students.

Your Rights of Access to Your Educational Records 

The Buckley Amendment to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 extends to all former and presently enrolled students at JBU the right of access to certain educational records maintained by this institution.  Student rights include:

  1. Inspection and review.
  2. Explanation or interpretation of contents.
  3. Duplication of the record at a standard fee of 10 cents per page.
  4. A formal hearing, if necessary, to challenge the contents of any such record.

"Educational records" include those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by this institution or by a person acting for this institution.  Not included in this term are:

  1. Records in the sole possession of the maker thereof, which are not accessible or revealed to any other person.
  2. Records maintained by a professional or paraprofessional in medical or psychological treatment of the student and which are not available to anyone other than the persons providing such treatment.
  3. Records of employees of this institution who are not presently in attendance and which pertain solely to their employment.
  4. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in the student's file prior to January 1, 1975.
  5. If the student first signs a waiver the student will not have the access to confidential recommendations subsequently compiled respecting:
  •  Admission to JBU.
  •  Application for employment.
  •  Receipt of honorary recognition.

       6.  Financial records of parents of students.

Requests for access to educational records should be submitted in writing directly to the school official responsible for custody of the records.  A standard form, "Student Request to Review Record," is available at the registrar's office.  Consistent with time and record security limitations, access must be granted or permission denied and a reason stated within 45 days of the request to review the record.  Access will be denied only for reasons specifically authorized by the act and applicable regulations.

An informal record review and resolution of conflict is urged.  If this process does not prove satisfactory, the student may petition the Student Rights Committee for a formal hearing.  Petitions for a hearing should be submitted through the Registrar.

The Student Rights Committee has been appointed specifically to deal with student petitions under applicable federal laws and regulations, such as the Buckley Amendment.  The student has the right to challenge the content of the record only on the ground that it is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student.  No challenges will be heard regarding the merit upon which individual grades have been based.  The record may be amended, based upon the Committee's findings, or the student may insert in the record a statement commenting upon or rebutting the document.

All determinations of the Student Rights Committee are subject to a final review by the President, if requested by the student in writing, within two weeks of the Committee's decision.

JBU's Response to the Requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act:

A copy of the institutional policy adopted in response to the requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act may be obtained from the registrar's office.  Any student having pursued the administrative remedy may submit a further appeal in writing to:  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201.

Release of Personal Data

At its discretion, John Brown University may provide Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Directory Information is defined as the information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  Directory Information at John Brown University includes the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study and year in school
  • Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards received
  • The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
  • Parents' name and addresses
  • Marital status (name of spouse)
  • Religious preference

Students may request that Directory Information be withheld (non-disclosure) by submitting a Request to Withhold Directory Information.  The Request to Withhold Directory Information form may be requested from the JBU Registrar's Office by calling 479-524-7158.

Statement for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse at John Brown University

The behavioral expectations of JBU for every member of its community include prohibiting the possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on its property or as part of its activities.

Treatment Support

Every employee of JBU with a drug and/or alcohol concern is provided one session with the university counselor for the purpose of assessment and referral to an appropriate therapist and/or agency in the area.  Students may have as many sessions with the university counselor as the counselor deems necessary.  Assessment and/or referral may be part of the process.

Behavioral Review and Actions

Students at JBU who are involved with alcohol and/or drug abuse are subject to review by the campus judicial system.  The judicial process facilitates awareness, understanding, and restitution while encouraging desirable behavior and inhibiting undesirable behavior.  The specific sanctions of the judicial process are as follows:  admonition, formal warning, developmental contract, disciplinary probating, restitution, fines, denial of privilege, suspension, and dismissal.

Employees involved with alcohol and/or drug abuse are subject to review by the appropriate administrators.  An employee who violates the code of conduct (which includes drug and alcohol abuse) is subject to discharge.

Students and/or employees who sell illicit drugs will have their relationship with the college terminated along with being referred to local authorities for prosecution.

Effects of Alcohol

Even the moderate use of alcohol can produce consequences such as impaired physical activity, slowed mental alertness, and dulling of conscience.  Heavy drinking decreases control and judgment.  Heavy drinking over long periods of time reduces both the quality and length of life.  Lowered resistance to disease and irreversible damage to organs such as the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, and stomach can occur.  Beyond the physical problems lies social destruction, including dysfunctional family living.

Effects of Other Drugs

The following negative effects from the use of illicit drugs are cited to describe the danger involved in drug abuse:

  • Cocaine - dependency, increased blood pressure, seizures, cardio respiratory collapse, severe mental disorders
  • Amphetamines - temporary psychosis, dependency, heart disorders
  • Marijuana - dependency, loss of coordination, brain lesions, lung tissue damage
  • Barbiturates - addiction, apathy, loss of self-control, convulsions, coma
  • LSD - hallucinations, recurring affects (flashbacks), brain damage, chromosomal breakdown
  • Heroin - lethargy, convulsions, coma, liver problems, mental deterioration

State and Federal Penalties for Illicit Drugs and Alcohol

Illicit Alcohol.  Students under the age of 21 who purchase or knowingly possess any alcoholic beverage are in violation of Arkansas State Law.  In addition, any person who furnishes an alcoholic beverage to a person who is under 21 years of age violates state law.

Under the Arkansas criminal code, a person can serve up to 30 days in jail and pay a $100 fine for the crime of public intoxication.  For furnishing an alcoholic beverage to a minor, the penalty can be as high as $500 and a one-year jail term (which can be increased to five years in the state penitentiary upon a second conviction).  Various other offenses, such as minor-in-possession, furnishing alcohol to alcoholics or intoxicated persons, and possession or sale of untaxed liquor can carry fines up to $500 or six months in jail, or both.

Under the federal law of the United States, whoever transports alcohol into any district in which the sale of alcohol is prohibited "shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."

Illicit Drugs.  Under Arkansas law the fine for manufacturing or delivering (or possessing with the intent to manufacture or deliver) a controlled substance ranges from $10,000 to $250,000, depending on the classification of the substance.  Prison terms for this crime range from 15 to 40 years, or life.  Furthermore, these penalties may be doubled if the crime involves distribution of a narcotic drug to a minor.

Simple possession of a controlled substance--in a relatively small quantity--carries penalties ranging from a $1,000 fine/one year in prison for a first offense to $10,000/ten years for a third offense or possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II substance (such as cocaine).

The criminal sanctions under federal law for manufacturing or distributing (or possessing with the intent to manufacture or distribute) a controlled substance are similar to those under state law:  three to 30 year prison sentences and fines from $10,000 to $250,000.  Likewise, simple possession of a controlled substance carries a $5,000 fine, a one year term of imprisonment, or both, for a first offense.  These penalties are doubled for subsequent offenses.

Review of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Statement

This statement is subject to biennial review by John Brown University in order to implement necessary changes and ensure consistent application.

Requirement to Report Violation

It is a requirement of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 that workplace drug convictions of employees be reported by the employee to his/her employer within five days of conviction.  A condition of employment at JBU is that this requirement be adhered to.

Requirement to Support Drug-Free Policy

It is also a condition of employment that employees understand and support the Statement for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse at John Brown University.

Weapons, Fireworks and Explosives

Arkansas State law prohibits the possession of guns on any campus or site.  This includes all firearms, BB guns, pellet guns, paint pellet guns, Airsoft guns, and all other devices which expel a projectile through a barrel by using energy generated by an explosion, burning substance, carbon dioxide cartridge, compresses air, etc.  In addition, ammunition, martial arts gear, machetes, knives, bows and arrows, slingshots, and similar items that could harm others must be kept off campus and university property.

Students are not to carry weapons, fireworks, or explosives in their vehicle or onto the premises or buildings affiliated with John Brown University.

Questions about state laws that apply to firearms should be directed to the Director of Campus Safety, Scott Wanzer at (479) 524-7403.

If you see suspicious activity on the main campus the emergency number is (479) 215-5000; on any of the sites and using a JBU phone dial 9-911.

Harassment Policy

John Brown University is committed to an environment in which all people are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to live and study in an atmosphere that promotes learning opportunities and prohibits practices such as harassment.

Therefore, John Brown University expects that all relationships among students and employees will be collegial and free of harassment. John Brown University encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment. It is the policy of JBU to investigate such reports. JBU prohibits retaliation against any person who reports harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.

Definitions of Harassment

1. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual's body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

2. Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited.

Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person because of his/her race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates, and that: (i) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual's opportunities. Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the campus or at outlying centers, or circulated in the workplace.

Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation: John Brown University encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender's identity or position. Students who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct or believe they have witnessed such conducted should discuss their concerns with their department head, Dean of Students, Vice President for Student Development, or the University’s Title IX compliance officer, which is the Vice President for Finance & Administration. See the Complaint Procedure described below.

In addition, JBU encourages students who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to advise the offender promptly that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. JBU recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through informal or formal complaint procedures.

Complaint Procedure

Informal Procedure: If for any reason an individual does not wish to address the offender directly, or if such action does not successfully end the offensive conduct, the student should notify his/her department head, the Dean of Students, the Vice President for Student Development, or the University’s Title IX compliance officer, the Vice President for Finance & Administration, who may, if the student so requests, talk to the alleged offender on the student’s behalf. In addition, there may be instances in which a student seeks only to discuss matters with one of the JBU designated representatives, and such discussion is encouraged. A student reporting harassment or retaliation should be aware, however, that JBU may decide it is necessary to take action to address such conduct beyond an informal discussion. This decision will be discussed with the student. The best course of action in any case will depend on many factors and, therefore, the informal procedure will remain flexible. Moreover, the informal procedure is not a required first step for the reporting individual.

Formal Procedure:As noted above, students who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy statement or believe they have witnessed such conduct should submit a written statement of their concerns with the Dean of Students,  Vice President for Student Development, or the University’s Title IX compliance officer the Vice President for Finance & Administration. John Brown University encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained.

Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment. Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action. Retaliation against a student for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed. Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling and/or disciplinary action such as warning, reprimand, housing reassignment, temporary suspension or dismissal, as JBU believes appropriate under the circumstances. If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to the President. False and malicious complaints of harassment or retaliation as opposed to complaints, which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.

Conclusion

John Brown University has developed this policy to ensure that all its students can work in an environment free from harassment and retaliation. JBU will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all concerned are familiar with these policies and aware that any complaint in violation of such policies will be investigated and resolved appropriately.

Any student who has any questions or concerns about these policies should talk with the

the Dean of Students or the University’s Title IX compliance officer, the Vice President for Finance & Administration. Finally, these policies should not, and may not, be used as a basis for excluding or separating students of a particular gender, or any other protected characteristic, from participating in academic and social activities or discussions. In other words, no one should make the mistake of engaging in exclusion in order to avoid allegations of harassment. The law and the policies of John Brown University prohibit disparate treatment on the basis of sex or any other protected characteristic, with regard to terms, conditions, privileges and perquisites of attendance. The prohibitions against harassment and retaliation are intended to complement and further those policies, not to form the basis of an exception to them.

The University is committed to the preservation of human dignity and the protection of students, and is particularly concerned about the possibility of student harassment, whether sexual, racial, ethnic, or any other type.  Harassment in any form--verbal, physical, or visual--is strictly against university policy and will result in immediate disciplinary action.  Defining sexual or other harassment precisely is not easy but it certainly includes slurs, threats, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes, teasing or sexual advances, and other similar verbal or physical conduct.  If you believe you have been the recipient of harassment by any other member of the university community, you are encouraged to report the alleged occurrence to a member of the faculty, or administration.  Be assured that there will be no retaliation toward anyone choosing to report an alleged occurrence of harassment.

AIDS Policy

No plan or policy can deal adequately with the AIDS phenomenon; yet the presence of this lethal disease without remedy forces colleges, hospitals, businesses, and many other organizations to articulate procedures.  At best, the JBU plan reflects updated medical opinion, legal considerations, review of other policies, and documented experience with the impact of the disease.  For John Brown University, the special concern is how AIDS fits into the Christian world view.  As Christians, it is our desire to ". . . bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."  (II Cor. 10:5b)

A descriptive document of the University's perspective on AIDS is available in the Student Life Office.

The JBU policy shall be that a person with AIDS should be treated as any other with the exception of (1) consideration of the risk of infection to the person with AIDS or others, (2) the support necessary for the person with AIDS, and (3) the full cooperation of the person with AIDS in meeting guidelines for continued enrollment or employment.

The community standards of JBU may require discipline or employment of action for some due to the method of acquisition of AIDS, but people with AIDS will be viewed no differently than others who participate in similar actions.

Nondiscrimination

John Brown University will not exclude an individual from admission, employment, facilities usage, or activities solely on the basis of having AIDS.  A person with AIDS may, however, be excluded from University functions based on medical determination of risk of infection to or from others.  A short-term exclusion may be used when it is determined there is a need for additional medical diagnostic appraisal or a situation of such a serious and urgent nature that temporary exclusion of the infected person is in the best interest of all concerned.

Education as Key

Education is the primary method by which our university can deal with preventing and understanding AIDS.  Concurrent with a campus AIDS policy is the need for an educational program that presents the community with current knowledge through diverse formats.  A community that is aware of the truth about AIDS is better able to handle its reality in its members' lives.  While the University's response in some cases may need to deal with the lifestyle expectation and standards set out in scripture, we also wish to respond to each individual person in Christian love and compassion.  We must ". . .bear each other's burdens" and "do good to all people" (Gal 6:2,10).  We must ". . . weep with those who weep" with the compassion Christ had for those who were suffering (Luke 7:13; 10:33; 15:20).

Confidentiality

The rights of privacy and confidentiality will be maintained within the purview of those persons with direct administrative and health care responsibilities.

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