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Part 1 - Preliminary

Statute 10 Student Conduct and Discipline

10.1 Introduction
10.2 Objects
10.3 Interpretation
10.4 Application

10.1 Introduction

As articulated in its Mission Statement1, Australian Catholic University shares with universities world-wide a commitment to quality in teaching, research, and community engagement. It aspires to be a community characterised by free inquiry and academic integrity. In all its endeavours, it is guided by a fundamental concern for justice and equity, and for the dignity of all human beings.

The dignity of the human person will be the foundation and criterion for mutual relationships in the life of the University. It is expected that this will be expressed by a responsible commitment on the part of all students and staff to justice, equity and concern for mutual wellbeing, actively informed by a sensitivity to individual circumstances, individual and collective responsibility, and situations of injustice.

The Mission Statement and the above principles underpin this Statute which recognises the reciprocal relationship between individual and community rights and responsibilities. Students on all campuses must behave in a way that –

  1. allows reasonable freedom to others to pursue their studies, research, duties, community engagement and other lawful activities in the University or on a campus or site 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 and information and the property of the University and of other persons and/or organisations on its campuses and on sites at which it conducts its activities or at other legitimate activities organised by the University’s Student Associations.

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10.2 Objects

The objects of this Statute are to –

  1. promote the principle of mutual respect by informing students of behaviour which the University community considers appropriate;
  2. discourage behaviour which the University community considers inappropriate;
  3. implement procedurally fair practices for dealing with possible cases of misconduct;
  4. provide for the imposition and enforcement of penalties for proven misconduct.

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10.3 Interpretation

In this Statute:

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

Campus service 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 for the purposes of this Statute.

Class includes any lecture, tutorial, seminar, laboratory, practical, field or other learning, teaching or assessment activity, regardless of the medium in which it is conducted (eg face-to-face, online, distance).

Computing and network facilities includes, but is not limited to, computers, computer systems, email and other communications networks, websites and information facilities, together with associated software, files and data storage and retrieval. It includes online teaching resources.

Decision-maker means a Designated Officer, Discipline Committee or Discipline Appeals Committee.

Designated Officer means a person designated as such for each particular campus, for the purpose of this Statute, by the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean. A Designated Officer will normally be appointed for a term of not less than two years.

Exclusion, except where the context indicates otherwise, means denial of access to all or specified University premises, facilities, activities, services, courses, units, lectures, tutorials, examinations or aspects of University life.

Harassment means behaviour that is not wanted and not asked for and that a reasonable person would have anticipated could cause offence, intimidation or humiliation.

Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, conduct or behaviour by a student that –

  1. impairs the reasonable freedom of others to pursue their studies, research, duties, community engagement or other lawful activities in the University or on a campus or site or to participate in the life of the University;
  2. hinders the pursuit of academic excellence by circumvention of academic standards and proper procedures in relation to teaching and learning, assessment or research;
  3. interferes with, causes damage to or loss of, or obstructs the use of, any facilities, information or property owned or controlled by the University or owned or controlled by any person or organisation while such property or facilities is or are lawfully on any campus or site;
  4. misrepresents any matter pertaining to the student and/or his/her status or studies within the University;
  5. amounts to, causes or contributes to a breach of the policies, regulations, rules or procedures of the University or of a body where the student is undertaking research, field, clinical, practical or professional experience, education, assessment or community engagement;
  6. constitutes a failure to comply with a lawful direction given by a person authorised by the University to ensure the safety of any person, the preservation of any property or the maintenance of good order within the University or under this Statute or any other University policy, regulation, rule or procedure;
  7. encourages, persuades or incites any other person to engage in conduct or behaviour constituting misconduct;
  8. is disorderly or detrimental to the interests or good repute of the University;
  9. impairs the orderly functioning of the University and/or its activities; or
  10. hinders actions initiated under this Statute or adversely affects persons in any way associated with the conduct of investigations, determination of cases or imposition or implementation of penalties under this Statute.

The term includes conduct of an individual student or of a group of persons which includes a student.

Procedural fairness means the conduct of proceedings in accordance with the rules of natural justice.

Student includes:

  1. a person who is enrolled in any program, unit of study or research or non-award study offered by or at the University;
  2. a student of another university or other education provider who is granted temporary or on-going rights of access to a campus or site of the University;
  3. a person who has applied for admission to undertake study offered by or at the University;
  4. a person who has deferred enrolment in a program, unit or non-award study;
  5. a person who was previously enrolled in any program, unit or non-award study offered by or at the University and is interacting with the University in relation to his or her status as a student;
  6. a person who was a student at the time of any alleged misconduct.

Support person means a person, other than a person with a qualification in law, whom an applicant or student designates as his/her support person in proceedings under this Statute. A support person may make submissions on behalf of a student unless the Designated Officer or Discipline Committee considers that the making of any submission is or might be disruptive to, or may unreasonably extend, the proceedings. 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 misconduct under review.

Suspension means the cancellation of a student’s enrolment at the University for a specified period and associated entitlement to enter or remain upon any campus or site or participate in any University-related activity.

Statutes 1.1.2, 1.1.3 and 1.1.4 do not apply to this Statute.

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10.4 Application2

10.4.1 This Statute applies to all students of the University. The University may deal with misconduct under this Statute if the person was a student at the time of the alleged misconduct and may proceed as if the person had continued to be a student, even if the person ceases to be a student before proceedings are instituted or finalised.

10.4.2 In any case where a student is in a gathering or group of students and/or other persons and the group engages in conduct that would constitute misconduct if engaged in by a student (called ‘group conduct’), the student is taken to have engaged in each act of misconduct constituting the group conduct, if he/she did not take all reasonable steps to dissociate from the gathering or group as soon as practicable after he/she became aware of the group conduct.

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1 Extracted from “Mission Statement (1998)”.

2 This Statute should be read in conjunction with the following:
Academic Regulations
Academic Honesty Policy
Acceptable Use of IT Policy
Assessment Policy
Assessment Procedures
Code of Practice for Academic Honesty
Cultural Diversity Policy
Glossary of Terms
Intellectual Property Policy
Privacy Policy
Research and Professional Doctorate Degree Regulations
Policy on Quality Teaching and Learning
Procedures for dealing with Alleged Breaches of Academic Honesty
Sexual Harassment Policy
Staff Code of Conduct