Student Guide - Rights as a Student

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.

Weapons, Fireworks and Explosives

Arkansas State law prohibits the possession of guns on any JBU campus. 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.

John Brown University Title IX, Sexual Assault, Dating/Domestic Violence, Stalking and Harassment Policy

The University is committed to the preservation of human dignity, and is particularly concerned about the possibility of harassment, whether sexual, racial, ethnic, or any other type.  This applies to all members of the JBU community including but not limited to students, employees, and third parties. Harassment in any form - verbal, physical, or visual - is strictly against University policy and will result in immediate disciplinary action. Harassment of any type is strictly prohibited. It is a violation of state and local law and University regulations to commit a sexual assault (including rape).

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION OR NONRETALIATION:

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 prohibited sex discrimination covers sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking (see definitions below). Inquiries concerning the application of non-discrimination, Violence Against Women Act and the Campus Crime Act may be referred to the Title IX Co-Coordinators, currently André Broquard or Amy Fisher, at TitleIXCoordinator@jbu.edu.  Complaints may also be reported in person at 2000 W University, Siloam Springs, AR 72761 or by calling 479.524.7229 or 479.524.7128.

REPORTING OPTIONS:

If a sex offense, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking has occurred there are several options available:

  • Contact NWA Center for Sexual Assault, nwasexualassault.org, 24/7 Hotline: 800-794-4175. This is an advocacy agency that offers free services (including a sexual assault forensic medical exam) at all hours. This option is highly suggested.
  • Contact Campus Safety to make a report if the assault happened on JBU property. (This can be done anonymously.) www.jbu.edu/life/safety/
  • Contact police (from the area where the assault happened) to make a report if the assault occurred off-campus.
  • Go to a primary care physician. If the assault happened in the past, this might be an option to follow up with the student’s primary care physician. If the assault happened in the last 72 hours (or at any time), it is preferable to refer the student to the NWA Center for Sexual Assault.
  • Make a decision to do one or more of the above at a later date or take no action.

In whatever option the individual chooses, it is vital to note the importance of preserving evidence as it may be necessary to the proof of criminal domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or exploitation in obtaining a protection order from law enforcement.

John Brown University strongly encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe they have been the victim of such conduct are strongly encouraged to discuss their concerns with any responsible employee.  A responsible employee is any employee of JBU, including Resident Assistants.  Employees of The Office of Christian Formation, the Campus Nurse at the Health Services Department and the Student Counseling Center, are exempt from reporting incidents that they become aware of while functioning in those department roles.  All responsible employees are required to notify the Title IX office of any violation of this policy.  In addition, reports may be made directly to one of the University’s Title IX Co-Coordinators. John Brown University encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken. 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 in a prompt, fair, and impartial manner.

The reporting party has the right to file a criminal complaint. There are several options regarding how to file a complaint with law enforcement and campus authority:

  • The reporting party may themselves notify proper law enforcement, including Campus Safety or local police.
  • The reporting party may be assisted by Campus Safety or the Title IX office in notifying law enforcement. The reporting party can request assistance from one of the Title IX Co-Coordinators or the Campus Safety office.
  • The reporting party may decline to notify such authorities.

CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES:

Reporting parties may contact any of the following resources for information concerning counseling, mental health, or medical services:

  • Campus Safety Department: 479.215.5000
  • University Health Center: 479.524.7320
  • Student Counseling Office: 479.524.7251
  • The Office of Christian Formation: 479.524.7213
  • Any University Resident Hall Director: 549.8026

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES:

The institution will work diligently to investigate all reports of harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and exploitation. The institution will provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation in a manner that protects the safety of all parties and promotes accountability. The individuals who will conduct the investigation have received training on investigative procedure and issues related to harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and exploitation.

All parties will have equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and evidence.  The University retains full discretion for which witnesses to interview.

The reporting party and the responding party are entitled to the same opportunities to have one support person present during institutional proceedings.  Support persons are not allowed to speak or interfere in the process, and may be disqualified for non-compliance.

Outline of Investigation Process

Coordinators and Investigators

There are two Title IX Co-Coordinators.  André Broquard typically handles the cases involving only students, and Amy Fisher typically handles cases involving employees.

Investigators have been trained through the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), TrainEd or Academic Impressions.  Currently there 18 trained investigators in addition to the Co-Coordinators.

Initial Investigation

An initial investigation is opened as quickly as possible after receiving notice of an alleged incident.  A full investigation of the complaint, pending consent from the reporting party [see “Confidentiality” section for more information] will typically begin within 7calendar days.  An investigation can take up to 60 calendar days.

The Title IX Co-Coordinator will assign at least two investigators to handle the investigation.  All assigned investigators must have gone through prior training, and the lead investigator typically is an investigator experienced with prior cases.  Intermediate safeguarding restrictions may be put in place on either or both parties for the duration of the investigation.  If any party feels there is a conflict of interest in any of the assigned investigators, they may contact the Title IX Co-Coordinator, who will make a determination and re-assign investigators, as indicated.

When meeting with the reporting and responding parties, a copy of the John Brown University Title IX, Sexual Assault, Dating/Domestic Violence, Stalking and Harassment Policy will be provided and the general investigation process is explained.  After interviewing the reporting and responding parties, the investigators will determine what relevant evidence is available to collect and any additional pertinent interviews to be conducted.  During interviews the investigators will ask interviewees to identify additional evidence or witnesses pertinent to the incident.  Investigators will make the determination as to the relevance of suggested interviewees, prioritizing witnesses and those with knowledge of facts and circumstances of the alleged incident.  Character witnesses without direct knowledge of the facts and circumstances of incident may or may not be interviewed.  

For all interviews, one investigator takes notes during the meeting.  After the meeting those notes are emailed to the interviewee for their review and edit.  The interviewee is allowed to clarify, add or correct his or her statement.  We ask interviewees to track their changes through Word, to record any changes. The interviewee will email the reviewed and/or edited document back to the investigators and at that point, it becomes his or her official statement.  Sometimes an interviewee will reply that the original notes are correct as provided. 

Evaluation of Evidence

According to the Department of Education, “The school must use a preponderance-of-the-evidence (i.e., more likely than not) standard in any Title IX proceedings, including any fact-finding and hearings.”  The investigators use the preponderance of evidence standard and consent construct in evaluating all evidence.

Decision Process and Communication with Parties

After all evidence and interviews have been considered, the investigators will make an interim report to the Title IX Co-Coordinator.  Both parties are given the opportunity to review the evidence collected during the investigation process.  The Title IX Co-Coordinator notifies the reporting and responding parties of a date for close of evidence, and asks for any additional evidence to be submitted to the investigators by the close of evidence date.

Once any additional evidence has been considered, the investigators make a recommendation to the Co-Coordinator.  The Co-Coordinator makes the final determination and writes the final outcome letter which is provided to both reporting and responding parties.  The outcome letter provides an overview of the case and the decision made.  It also provides information about sanctions and the appeals policy.

Appeals Investigation

If either party wishes to file an appeal, a written request needs to be submitted to the Title IX office within 7 calendar days of receiving notice of the official outcome.  A decision may be appealed for either new or newly discovered information, or for procedural error.  If an appeal is filed, the institution will begin the appeal process immediately.  An appeal process can take up to 60 calendar days.

Once we receive notice of an appeal, the Co-Coordinator not overseeing the original investigation will take responsibility for oversight of the appeals process.  The Appeals Co-Coordinator will remand the specific concerns stated in the appeal, back to the original investigators with the option to add additional investigators as needed.  If any party feels there is a conflict of interest in any of the assigned investigators, they may contact the Title IX Co-Coordinator, who will make a determination and re-assign investigators, as indicated.

During the appeal, the investigators will review the specific basis for appeal, and may also request additional interviews and evidence to be provided.  Interview statements are documented using the same process of allowing the interviewee to review and edit the notes before the notes become his or her official statement.  The investigators use the preponderance of evidence standard and consent construct in evaluating all evidence.

After all evidence and interviews have been considered, the investigators make an interim report to the Appeals Co-Coordinator.  The Appeals Co-Coordinator summarizes the evidence to date with each of the responding and reporting parties, asking for any additional relevant evidence that may need to be considered.  The Appeals Co-Coordinator notifies the reporting and responding parties of a date for close of evidence.

Once any additional evidence has been considered, the investigators make a recommendation to the Appeals Co-Coordinator.  The Appeals Co-Coordinator makes the final determination and writes the final outcome letter which is provided to reporting and responding parties.  The outcome letter provides an overview of the case, decision and sanctions.

SANCTIONS

The following are possible, but not exhaustive, sanctions for violations of the JBU sexual harassment and assault policy. Sanctions will reasonably reflect the severity of the behavior and seek to protect the reporting party and community.

Possible student sanctions: Written warning, probation, loss of privileges, counseling, no contact orders, adjustment of housing assignment, suspension, limited access to campus.

Possible employee sanctions: written and/or verbal warning, probation, performance improvement plan, training, counseling, loss of privileges, reduction in pay, loss of annual raise, change in supervisory responsibility, area reassignment, paid or unpaid leave, suspension, termination.

Additional policies and procedures as relevant may apply. See the Employee Handbook and the Student Handbook.

The institution will take steps to prevent recurrence of any harassment and correct its discriminatory effects on the reporting party.

Retaliation. Under Title IX, only the institution’s conduct toward any party qualifies as retaliation. The institution will not only take steps to prevent retaliation on its part toward any party but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs. Retaliation against an individual 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. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately to one of the Title IX Co-Coordinators and will be promptly investigated and addressed.

Adverse or threatening actions by respondent or third party.  Behavior which is deemed to be harassment, intimidation, or threats by other parties is not considered retaliation under Title IX but is still serious. When needed, the institution will assist any party in attaining protective measures, no contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders. Furthermore, if any party experiences adverse or threatening behavior from other students or third parties, it could be the basis of another Title IX complaint or University disciplinary action. If you are experiencing adverse or threatening behavior because of a Title IX complaint, contact one of the Title IX Co-Coordinators with documents, recordings, emails, calls, or any information related to the behavior.

PROCTECTIVE MEASURES:

The reporting party may request and may receive protective measures such as changes in academic, living, transportation, and working situations, if such accommodations are reasonably available regardless of whether the incident is reported to campus safety or local law enforcement. These may include, but are not limited to, providing an escort between classes, moving residence halls, providing academic services, and changing work positions or time schedules. If a reporting party feels the need for a legal protective order, please see this link for instructions on how to do so:  http://www.arlegalservices.org/node/804/fact-sheets.  Once there, scroll down to “Order of Protection Packet.”  The reporting party can also contact a Title IX Co-Coordinator or Campus Safety for assistance.

DEFINITIONS

Harassment includes, but is not limited to: slurs, threats, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes, teasing or sexual advances, and other similar conduct.  Under this policy, harassment is conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person because of 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. 

Under Arkansas statues, a person commits the offense of harassment if, with purpose to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, without good cause, the individual:

  • Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person, subjects that person to offensive physical contact or attempts or threatens to do so;
  • In a public place, directs obscene language or makes an obscene gesture to or at another person in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response;
  • Follows a person in or about a public place;
  • In a public place repeatedly insults, taunts, or challenges another person in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response;
  • Engages in conduct or repeatedly commits an act that alarms or seriously annoys another person and that serves no legitimate purpose; or
  • Places a person under surveillance by remaining present outside that person's school, place of employment, vehicle, other place occupied by that person, or residence, other than the residence of the defendant, for no purpose other than to harass, alarm, or annoy.

Harassment, under this policy, has the following characteristics: (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. Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and 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 of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual assault is attempted or unwanted sexual activity, including but not limited to intercourse. Rape is defined as sexual penetration without mutual consent.

Domestic violence/abuse includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, or person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law.  Domestic abuse may include emotional, physical or sexual elements.

Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her or others' safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Exploitation occurs when an individual takes sexual advantage of another person for his/her own or others’ advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

CONSENT:

Conduct of a sexual nature is unwelcome or nonconsensual if it is offensive or not requested or invited. Silence, acquiescence, or failure to complain prior to or during the conduct does not imply that the conduct is welcome or consensual. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion happens when someone is pressured unreasonably for sex. When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing.

Consensual romantic relationships in which one party maintains a direct supervisory or evaluative role over the other party poses a conflict of interest and may be less consensual than perceived by the individual whose position confers power. As such, persons with direct supervisory or evaluative responsibilities must bring those relationships to the timely attention of their supervisor.

CONFIDENTIALITY:

The institution will inform and obtain consent from the reporting party before beginning an investigation. If the reporting party requests confidentiality or asks that the investigation not be pursued, the Title IX Co-Coordinator will make a determination that balances the rights of all parties and the obligations to provide a safe environment.  If the reporting party asks for his or her name to not be disclosed, the institution’s ability to respond will be limited but will include steps to limit the effects of the alleged harassment and prevent its recurrence.

Publicly-available recordkeeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the reporting party, to the extent permissible by law.

PREVENTATIVE PROGRAMMING:

The institution will take proactive measures to prevent and create awareness of harassment, sexual harassment and violence. This will include educational programs to promote awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and exploitation.

The institution will provide these programs for incoming students and new employees that will include what constitutes harassment, sexual harassment and violence; the school’s policies, filing a complaint, and disciplinary procedures; and the consequences of violating these procedures. These programs will also include safe and positive options for bystander intervention that an individual may take to “prevent harm or intervene” in risky situations; recognition of warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks; and information on what to do if a student has been a victim of sexual harassment or violence, including the contact information for counseling.

The institution will also provide ongoing prevention campaigns for students and employees on the above.

BYSTANDER/COMMUNITY INTERVENTION:

John Brown University encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and exploitation. If any person witnesses an incident, he or she is encouraged to report it to Campus Safety, a Resident Director, the Dean of Students, or one of the University’s Title IX Co-Coordinators. Any person who reports a situation shall be provided a written explanation of the reporting party’s rights and options.

Campus Crime Statistics

Statistics for crimes committed on JBU's campus, non-campus buildings and public properties adjacent to campus are provided in compliance with the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-542). For a link to these statistics, click here: Campus Crime Statistics

For questions, contact the Campus Safety office at (479) 524-7403.

Campus Registered Sex Offenders Notification Policy

The Campus Safety Department maintains information on registered sex offenders for John Brown University. The office will be responsible for making notification regarding registered sex offenders associated with the University consistent with the state guidelines pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated 12-12-901 and 12-12-1301-1303.

A written summary of campus guidelines and the notification plan for each offender will be maintained by the Campus Safety Department. Notifications will be made in conjunction and in cooperation with the Siloam Springs Police Department and in consultation with the President's Cabinet.

 

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