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The Policy promotes the principle of mutual respect by informing students of conduct which the University considers appropriate, and provides a framework and procedurally fair practices for dealing with allegations of misconduct.

2.1 This policy applies to any current or former student of the University in relation to their conduct as a student.

2.2 The University may deal with misconduct under this policy even if the student’s award has been conferred, their enrolment is terminated or they have withdrawn from their program of study before proceedings commence or are finalised.

2.3 In any case where a student is in a gathering or group of students and/or other persons and another of the group engages in activities that constitute misconduct, the student is taken to have engaged in misconduct if they did not take all reasonable steps to dissociate from the gathering or group as soon as practicable after they became aware of the misconduct.

2.4 Where the misconduct may constitute a criminal offence and may be subject to a police investigation and/or Court proceedings, then the matter must be referred to the Office of General Counsel for advice to be sought and determine (amongst other considerations) whether proceedings under this policy will be:

  1. continued, ensuring any actions taken by the University do not compromise or undermine any police investigation and/or Court proceedings; or
  2. suspended until any Police investigation and/or Court proceedings have been completed in its entirety (including any available appeals).

3.1 There is a reciprocal relationship between individual and community rights and responsibilities. All ACU students are expected to behave in a way that:

  1. allows reasonable freedom to others to pursue their studies, research, duties, community engagement and other lawful University activities, and to participate in the life of the University;
  2. recognises the University objective of pursuit of academic excellence and that academic standards and proper procedures are essential in achieving that objective;
  3. promotes the proper use of University facilities, information and the property of the University and of other persons and/or organisations on its campuses, on other sites at which it conducts its activities, and at other legitimate activities organised by the University's Student Associations;
  4. reflects the University's commitment to a healthy and safe learning environment, free from bullying; and
  5. ensures that the reputation of the University is upheld.

3.2 All actions under this policy are to be based on values that are consistent with the University Mission and are to be underpinned by principles of mutual respect and procedural fairness for and by all students, staff and others who may be involved.

3.3 This Policy is subject to Statute 13 on Freedom of Speech and Intellectual Freedom.

Terms used in this policy and associated procedures are consistent with the ACU Glossary of Terms. The following specific definitions also apply:

Allegation notice means the notice the University gives to a student to commence formal misconduct proceedings.

Authorised Officer is the person to whom instances of alleged student misconduct can be reported (See Schedule 1 of the Managing Student Misconduct Procedures).

Campus service order means any activity in aid of the University, or a student, of a kind which is declared by an Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean or nominee to be a campus service order for the purposes of this popcy.

Decision Maker means an Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean or a Discipline Committee.

Exclusion means a temporary cancellation of a student’s enrolment at the University for a period of up to two standard study periods; "exclude" has a corresponding meaning.

Misconduct means any inappropriate, improper or unlawful conduct by a student or of a group of students on any campus, site or University premises that includes, but is not limited to:

  1. behaviour that causes physical or psychological harm;
  2. behaviour that impairs another person’s ability to participate in any University activity, or use University property;
  3. the removal, theft, intentional damage, illegal or inappropriate use of, or obstruction of access to, facilities, information or property including intellectual property;
  4. non-compliance with University Statute, Regulation or Policy and/or the reasonable direction of an authorised person, particularly where the safety and wellbeing of others is at risk;
  5. sexual misconduct which is any unwelcomed sexual act or behaviour that a person does not consent to, or that makes a person feel uncomfortable, humiliated, threatened or frightened;
  6. behaviour that encourages, persuades or incites any other person to engage in misconduct; or
  7. behaviour that has resulted in an award of the University that has been improperly obtained.

Student includes any current or former student of the University.

Support person means a person, other than a person with a qualification in law, whom a student designates as their support person in proceedings under this policy. A support person may only make submissions on behalf of a student if invited to do so by the Decision Maker. A support person may not be a person who was involved in, associated with, or alleged to have been involved in, or associated with, the matter under review.

Suspension means prohibition from participating in any University activity and/or the temporary denial of access to all or specified University campuses or sites at which the University conducts its activities; "suspend" has a corresponding meaning.

University activity means any activity formally associated with the University such as representative sporting activities and University organised social or community activities, activities on student placement or exchange and activities on University student accommodation.

The provisions relating to formal communications contained in the Academic Regulations will apply to any communications with students under this policy.

6.1 A Discipline Committee will not include any person who has been in the circumstances of the matter which results in an allegation of misconduct.

6.2 A Discipline Committee will be appointed by the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean and will comprise:

  1. The relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean (chairperson);
  2. one member of staff, drawn from a panel of staff established annually through an expressions of interest process by the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean; and
  3. one student, appointed by the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean in consultation with the Campus and/or National Student Association.

6.3 A quorum of the Committee is all three members.

6.4 The chairperson has a deliberative vote and, if required a casting vote.

6.5 If an Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean has previously been involved in any matter which results in an allegation of misconduct, they may not serve on the Discipline Committee. In such a case the DVC (Coordination) will appoint another Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean as Chair.

6.6 The relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean must appoint a person to act as secretary to the Discipline Committee. The secretary will provide the Committee with administrative support but is not entitled to vote.

7.1 Penalties may be imposed by an Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean, or a Discipline Committee.

7.2 An Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean may impose one of more of the following penalties:

  1. reprimand the student;
  2. require the student to apologise formally to another party, in person or in writing;
  3. require the student to pay compensation for damage to any person, or to property or facilities of the University;
  4. fine the student an amount equal to the amount determined to be the reimbursement of costs arising from unauthorised use by the student of any service or facility provided by the University;
  5. require the student to refrain from having any, or any specified contact with any particular student(s) or member(s) of staff for such period of time as deemed necessary or appropriate;
  6. impose a campus service order;
  7. recommend Living and Learning Communities management exercise options under a student’s rental agreement between the student and the University to issue a breach notification.

7.3 A Discipline Committee may impose any of the penalties at section 7.2 and/or one of more of the following:

  1. fine the student over and above 7.2(c) and 7.2(d);
  2. apply a fail grade for all or part of the student's result for the study period concerned;
  3. impose a maximum grade which the student may gain for the unit in relation to which the misconduct occurred and/or downgrade the final grade overall in the unit;
  4. require the student to do further work or repeat work in any unit;
  5. recommend the withdrawal of the student from a professional experience unit or unit containing professional experience by the Executive Dean under the Academic Regulations;
  6. refuse or cancel credit for any unit;
  7. exclude the student from the University for a period of up to two standard study periods;
  8. cancel the student's enrolment;
  9. withdraw the student's right to use any vehicle (motorised or non-motorised) on any campus or site for any nominated period of time;
  10. suspend the student from participating in a particular University activity;
  11. suspend the student for up to 10 working days and on such terms and conditions as are deemed appropriate, from one or more of:
    1. access to the University as a whole;
    2. access to all or specified areas of a campus or site; or
    3. use of any or specified University facilities.
  12. recommend Living and Learning Communities management exercise options under a student’s rental agreement between the student and the University to issue an eviction notification;
  13. recommend the revocation of an award that has been improperly obtained.

7.4 Without limiting the range of penalties available, penalties which are academic in nature (namely penalties 7.3(b) to 7.3(e)) should normally be imposed only for misconduct under the Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy.

7.5 In addition to, or in lieu of, the penalties above, the Discipline Committee may require that the student consult a counsellor, medical practitioner or specialist. Where such requirement is invoked in lieu of any other penalty, the substantive penalty will remain in effect until that requirement is satisfied.

8.1 Associate Vice-Chancellors or Campus Deans must maintain a record of all allegations and investigations of academic misconduct.

8.2 The Academic Registrar must keep a register of all findings of misconduct and the penalties imposed under this policy.

  1. to persons within the University if, in the opinion of the Academic Registrar, they have a legitimate need to know; and
  2. to persons outside the University in response to a court order, warrant or subpoena.

8.3 Misconduct records which include all documentation and the correspondence between the University and a student under this Policy are retained by the University and are disposed of according to the University's Retention and Disposal Schedule.

8.4 Where there is a finding of misconduct, a summary is maintained on the permanent student file.

8.5 Subject to the University’s Privacy Policy misconduct records may be made available:

  1. to persons within the University if, in the opinion of the Academic Registrar, they have a legitimate need to know; and
  2. to persons outside the University in response to a court order, warrant or subpoena.

8.6 An annual summary and analysis of misconduct findings, must be tabled at Student Administrative Lifecycle and Policy Committee (SALPC) for noting at Academic Board each year.

Date Major, Minor or Editorial Description of Revision(s)
29 June 2016 Minor Amendment to Section 3.3.2 or Procedures in line with Critical Incident Management Policy
18 October 2017 Minor Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 compliance review
28 November 2018 Minor An appeal against a student conduct decision will be done in accordance with the Student Appeals Policy
25 November 2020 Major Reviewed under the Academic Board Policy Development and Review Schedule
7 July 2021 Minor Consequential amendments to Procedures as a result of the Student Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy review.

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