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Student Conduct Process (Undergraduate)

The Student Care & Conduct team oversees all non-academic undergraduate students' disciplinary and emotional care processes. In both conduct and care processes, we seek to be supportive, developmental, and redemptive in the lives of the individuals involved. We will offer support, resources, and accountability to strengthen the student’s ability to flourish within the Biola community.

When the Department of Student Care & Conduct becomes aware that a Community Standard or University policy, rule, or regulation may have been violated, the following process is initiated:

  1. Students will receive a written notice (usually an email) notifying them of the possible violation(s). Certain, less severe violations may result in a simple written warning, and may not require an in-person meeting with a University official unless requested by the student. Most violations, however, involve an initial mandatory meeting with a University official, such as the student’s Resident Director, Graduate Assistant, or other Student Development staff member. Students are expected to comply with meeting requests; further disciplinary measures may occur if they fail to comply.
  2. In this initial mandatory meeting, students will be informed of the allegations supporting the possible violation(s), and be given an opportunity to respond and provide their perspective on what occurred. They may also share any other information they believe to be pertinent to the situation. Students are encouraged to be honest and forthright, so the University official can fairly represent the student’s perspective to the Student Care & Conduct team throughout the process.
  3. Following the initial mandatory meeting, University officials will gather pertinent information from any additional parties that may have been involved in the situation or from records that may be relevant. At times, the student may be called in for an additional meeting to discuss any new information that was gathered.
  4. Once all the relevant information has been gathered, the Student Care & Conduct team, or a subset of the team depending on the severity of the violation or other extenuating factors, will review the information and determine whether a violation occurred. It is important to note that with respect to conduct proceedings, the University does not follow a formal legal judicial process, (e.g. formal rules of evidence are not followed, past conduct may be considered). However, in all cases, the Student Care and Conduct team members will strive to obtain accurate findings through a fair, equitable, and timely process. If the student is found responsible for a violation of standards or expectations, appropriate sanction(s) is determined. Two types of sanctions, inactive and active, may be issued.
    1. An inactive sanction is determined solely by the Student Care & Conduct team. Inactive sanctions involve a University conduct status that is held within the Department of Student Care & Conduct. Possible inactive sanctions are listed under “Inactive Sanctions” below. The term “inactive sanction” is not to be construed as less severe than an “active sanction.” Most often, inactive sanctions are more severe.
    2. An active sanction is developed through a collaborative process between the student and the University official and may require additional conversations. The purpose of this sanction is to assist in the development and growth of the student. Active sanctions involve activities designed to provide support, resources, or accountability and to strengthen the student’s ability to flourish within the Biola community. Active sanctions are determined on a case-by-case basis, but some examples include educational reading and reflection, therapy, mentoring, volunteer hours, etc.
  5. The University official will send a letter to the student that communicates the findings of the case and, if the student is found responsible for a violation, their sanctions. When a sanction is imposed, the letter will include the duration of any inactive sanction and the date by which any active sanction must be completed.
  6. Students placed on probation or zero tolerance will be required to complete their active sanctions by the timeline indicated in their sanction letter, or further administrative action will be taken. Suspended students are eligible to request to return after the timeline indicated in the sanction letter, and the completion of active sanctions will be discussed at that time.

Potential Inactive Sanctions and Considerations

The determination of appropriate inactive sanctions is based on the nature and severity of the violation(s) and the effect of the behavior on the University community. The individualized needs of the student involved will also be considered.

The University seeks to be consistent in its sanctions while also being sensitive to the facts and circumstances of each individual case. University officials may impose a sanction but postpone its actual implementation. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by a specific date may lead to further disciplinary action and may impact the student’s ability to continue at the University. While the University reserves the right to impose any appropriate inactive sanction, the following are the typical inactive sanctions that may be imposed:

  • Warning: A warning is a written notice that restates the applicable Biola Community Standards, University policies, rules, or regulations to the student, drawing attention to the fact that his or her behavior was in violation of University policy. Students are reminded that should they be found responsible for any future violations, they may expect to receive more severe disciplinary action.
  • Disciplinary Probation: Probation is a period of time where students must demonstrate that they can follow Biola’s Community Standards, University policies, rules, or regulations. During Disciplinary Probation, the student is expected to show development in responsible actions and behaviors. This status may include limitations in or restrictions from certain activities or privileges. Any additional violations of University policies or Community Standards may result in further disciplinary action, including additional sanctions and/or dismissal from the University.
  • Zero Tolerance: Zero Tolerance is a period of time where students must demonstrate that they can follow Biola’s Community Standards. During Zero Tolerance, the student is expected to show development in responsible actions. This status may include limitations in or restrictions from certain activities or privileges. Additional violations of University policies or Community Standards will result in immediate suspension or dismissal from the University.
  • Interim Suspension: In certain circumstances, the Student Care and Conduct team may immediately impose an interim University or housing suspension while a final determination is being made. Interim suspension may be imposed:
    • to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property;
    • to ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
    • if the student poses a credible threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University.
  • During the interim suspension, the student will be denied access to university housing and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. The interim suspension shall extend only until such time as a determination can be completed and other sanctions (if any) imposed.
  • Suspension: Suspension is a temporary separation of the student from Biola University for a defined period of time, after which the student is eligible to request to return by contacting the Department of Student Care & Conduct. Conditions for readmittance will be specified in the sanction letter.
  • Expulsion: The student is permanently separated from the University with a notation of the reasons for the termination in the student’s file.

Please Note: When students are suspended or expelled for conduct reasons, The University is not required to issue any refund of tuition or room charges for the semester, and financial aid may be canceled. The student is automatically withdrawn from classes and will be assigned a UW or W, based on the suspension/expulsion date. Upon permanent separation from University housing, students may apply to Auxiliary Services for unused board (meal plan) charges.


Sanctions for Student Organizations, Clubs and Ministry Teams

A student club, club officers, and/or club members may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when in violation of the Community Standards, policies outlined in the Club Officers Manual, or any other University policies occur either during an event sponsored by the organization or by an individual representing or acting on behalf of that club. The following sanctions may be imposed upon clubs: warning, fines, loss of privileges, educational sanctions, restitution, or deactivation. Deactivation includes a loss of all privileges, including University recognition and access to funds in the club university account, either permanently or for a specified period of time. If a student has been found responsible for violating the Community Standards or other University policies outside of their role as a leader or member of a club, their standing as a club or ministry leader or member may be impacted. The appeals process outlined below also applies to clubs and organizations.


Appeals Process

When the sanctioned student disputes the outcome of a Student Conduct process, that student (hereafter called the Appellant) may request, through the Vice President for Student Development, that an Appeal Hearing Committee review the decision. The Vice President for Student Development will review the Appellant’s request and determine if the request for appeal meets sufficient standards in order for an appeals process to move forward. If the appeals process is granted, sanctions may or may not be postponed or suspended pending the outcome of this appeal, at the discretion of the Vice President. A student may appeal their sanctions on the basis of:

  1. inaccurate findings (i.e. the available facts used in determining sanctions were inaccurate/incomplete);
  2. new evidence has become available that would impact the decision; and/or
  3. an unfair or inequitable process.

The following are not within the scope of the appeal process:

  1. the student’s interpretation or judgment of University administrators regarding the meaning or implementation of the written regulations, standards, and/or policies of the University;
  2. the written regulations, standards, and/or policies of the University themselves;
  3. the determined sanctions from the disciplinary procedure;
  4. general dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision; or
  5. an appeal for mercy.

To initiate an appeal hearing, the Appellant is to submit the following to the Vice President for Student Development via email:

  1. A request to consider the appeal, submitted within five (5) working days from the time the Appellant was informed of the disciplinary decisions.
  2. A statement, which includes all of the relevant issues and evidence to be considered. Issues/evidence not included in this statement will not be considered in the appeal hearing.
  3. A list of material witnesses, if any, and the essence of their proposed contribution to the appeal hearing. Please note these are not character witnesses but individuals with first-hand knowledge of the situation in appeal. Their testimony will be limited to the specified matters.

If the Vice President for Student Development determines the appeal meets the criteria for an appeals process, an Appeal Hearing Committee will be formed. This committee will be made up of one member of the SCT (Student Care Team) who then serves as a non-voting facilitator, along with three faculty/staff members selected by the Vice President. If no members of the SCT are available, the Vice President for Student Development may select a replacement from Biola faculty/staff.

The Appeal Committee will, within 15 working days of the receipt of the appeal request, review and evaluate the original adjudication, as well as the information that the Appellant has presented. Based on the nature of the appeal, the Appeal Hearing Committee has the discretion whether or not to call the Appellant and/or his/her witnesses to appear before the Appeal Hearing Committee. If the Appellant and/or the witnesses will be called, they will be notified at least two (2) days in advance of the appeal hearing date. The Appeal Hearing Committee may record the appeal hearing.

The Appeal Hearing Committee will issue its decision in writing to the parties involved within a reasonable time (usually within 10 working days) of the conclusion of the appeal process. The decision of the Appeal Hearing Committee will be final and no further appeal is possible.

It is also important to note that in respect to appeal proceedings, formal rules of evidence are not followed, and past conduct may be considered in the appeal process. No particular model of procedural process is required; however, the Appeal Committee will attempt to structure the procedure so as to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth and be fair and reasonable.

During periods other than regular semesters (summer, Christmas), the Vice President for Student Development reserves the right to alter the timing of the appeals process as necessary, due to faculty/staff/student availability.

A separate appeal process is followed in cases of academic dishonesty; please see policy on Academic Integrity.


Interpretation and Revision

Any questions regarding interpretation of these Biola Community Standards or University Policies should be referred to the Office of Student Development. In these Standards, the Office of Student Development gratefully acknowledges the use and adaptation of model codes of student conduct published by the National Association of College and University Attorneys in Student Disciplinary Issues: A Legal Compendium and Student Handbook Policies.

Updated policies and regulations may be found under the Student Handbook. New or modified policies are effective upon publication (including online publication); students will be notified of substantive changes via email. It is the students’ responsibility to stay informed of current policies and standards.


Complaints and Grievances

Student complaints and grievances against the institution are issues that Biola University takes very seriously. We have established several situation-specific grievance and complaint formats. We strongly encourage you to attempt resolving the situation directly with the offending person/department prior to filing a grievance. Please see the sections below.

If you have a general student complaint/grievance that does not fit under one of the aforementioned categories, or, if you have questions about filing a complaint, you may contact the Office of Student Development at (562) 944-0351, ext: 5837 (Direct) or via email ( Student Development will provide guidance on the campus process for addressing your particular issue.

If your complaint is associated with the institution’s compliance with academic program quality and accreditation standards, WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is the agency that accredits Biola University’s academic programs. Therefore, if your complaint remains unresolved after exhausting all of the steps and appeals outlined by Student Development or the Office of the University Legal Council, you may present your complaint to WSCUC at

Federal regulations require the States to provide students the ability to file complaints against educational institutions located in their state. Listed below are the states where Biola University maintains a Title IV approved site and contact information for the filing of a complaint. Biola University encourages all students to first use all available grievance procedures provided by the institution before pursuing a complaint with a state agency.

California: Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: 916-431-6959
Fax: 916-263-1897

New York: State Education Department
Office of College and University Evaluation
89 Washington Avenue
Room 960 EBA
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: 518-474-1551
Download NY Complaint Form

Nothing in this disclosure should be construed to limit any right that you may have to take civil or criminal legal action to resolve your complaints. Biola University has provided this disclosure in compliance with the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, as regulated in CFR 34, sections 600.9 (b) (3) and 668.43(b). If anything in this disclosure is out of date, please notify the Office of University Legal Counsel at Biola University, 13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, CA 90639.