Student Handbook


Ave Maria University

Student Handbook

2020 – 2021

University Resources

Adaptive Services Office
Website: www.avemaria.edu/student-services/adaptive-services-office
Phone Number: (239) 280-1654
E-Mail Address: Jenifer.LeCompte@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Canizaro Library, 1st floor, rm. 160; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Bursar’s Office
Website: www.avemaria.edu/future-students/student-billing
Phone Number: (239) 280-1673
E-Mail Address: AMUBursar@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Canizaro Library, 3rd floor; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Career Services
Website: www.careerservices.avemaria.edu
Phone Number: (239) 304-7922
E-Mail Address: CareerServices@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Bob Thomas Student Union, 2nd floor; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Clinical Counseling Services
Website: www.avemaria.edu/student-services/counseling-services
Phone Number: (239) 304-7372
Office Location and Hours: Bob Thomas Student Union, 2nd floor; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Financial Aid
Website: www.avemaria.edu/future-students/financial-aid
Phone Number: (239) 280-1669
E-Mail Address: AMUFinancialAid@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Thomas and Shelby Prince Building; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Mission Outreach & Campus Ministry
Website: www.avemaria.edu/campus-life/campus-ministry
Phone Number: (239) 280-2518
E-Mail Address: Campus.Ministry@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Bob Thomas Student Union, 2nd floor; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Mother Teresa Project & Service Learning
Website: www.motherteresaproject.org
Phone Number: (239) 280-7954
E-Mail Address: Michael.ODonnell@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Bob Thomas Student Union, 2nd floor; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Registrar, Registration & Records
Website: www.avemaria.edu/registration-and-recordstranscripts/
Phone Number: (239) 280-2565
E-Mail Address: AMURegistrar@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Thomas and Shelby Prince Building; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Residence Life & Housing
Website: www.avemaria.edu/future-students/housing
Phone Number: (239) 280-2501
E-Mail Address: ResidenceLife@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Bob Thomas Student Union, 2nd floor; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Security
Website: www.avemaria.edu/student-services/campus-safety
Phone Number: (239) 280-2460
E-Mail Address: SecurityAMU@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Bob Thomas Student Union, 2nd floor; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Student Life
Website: www.avemaria.edu/campus-life
Phone Number: (239) 280-2501
E-Mail Address: StudentAffairs@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Bob Thomas Student Union, 2nd floor; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Student Support Services
Website: www.avemaria.edu/academic-support
Phone Number: (239) 304-7823
E-Mail Address: SupportServices@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Canizaro Library, 1st & 2nd floor, rms. 160, 268, 169, 234, & 235; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm
Tutoring Center Info: www.avemaria.edu/academic-support/#tutoring

Title IX Coordinator
Website: www.avemaria.edu/student-services/campus-safety/policies-and-procedures/
Phone Number: (239) 280-1531
E-Mail Address: TitleIXCoordinator@avemaria.edu
Office Location and Hours: Bob Thomas Student Union, 2nd  floor; Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Introduction

Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service, inspired by Saint John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and devoted to Mary, the Mother of God.

The Ave Maria University Student Handbook, published annually by the Office of Student Affairs, is the primary source regarding the University’s policies for students, and expectations for student conduct. The Student Handbook also outlines the resources available to students through the Office of Student Affairs, including the various services and opportunities for involvement on campus.

The Student Handbook is made available to each student of Ave Maria University. The official copy is the electronic copy accessible from the University’s website at: https://www.avemaria.edu/student-handbook-policies/

The content of this September 2020 publication replaces and supersedes all previous editions of the AMU Student Handbook. If there is a conflict between policies and regulations contained in alternative student publications, the policy contained in this version of the Student Handbook shall have precedence. All students of Ave Maria University, including undergraduate and graduate students as well as both residential and commuter students, are responsible for knowing and observing the policies, procedures, and regulations contained in this handbook, as well as additional policies or changes in policy officially distributed or posted online during the 2020-2021 academic year. Failure to read this handbook does not excuse a student from the requirements and regulations described herein.

The University reserves the right to change any provision, program, regulation or requirement at any time. In the event of a policy change, addition, or deletion, every attempt will be made at notification through any or all campus communications. The University also reserves the right to publish photographs of current and past students engaged in classes or other officially sponsored University activities.

Other Sources of Official Information for Students

While the Student Handbook is the primary source of information for students, it is not the only official source of information. The students are expected to familiarize themselves with the Academic Catalogue, published by the Office of Academic Affairs. The Academic Catalogue contains official University policies and procedures regarding the academic life of the Ave Maria student, including degree and graduation requirements, admissions criteria, the academic calendar, and tuition information from the Business Office and the Office of Financial Aid.

The Housing Contract, distributed by the Office of Residence Life and Housing, serves as the legally-binding agreement between the University and the residential student. Each on-campus student receives an electronic copy of the contract and, through an electronic signature, agrees to the terms in the contract. Signed copies are stored electronically in the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Each student is responsible to adhering to all terms outlined in the contract. If you would like a paper copy of the contract, please contact the Office of Residence Life.

E-Mail Policy

The University has the need to send communications to students, faculty, and staff via e-mail, and the right to expect that those communications will be received and read in a timely fashion. Ave Maria University expects all full- and part-time students registered in a degree program, and all faculty, administrators, and staff to activate and actively maintain their AMU e-mail account in order to be able to receive University communications.

Students are expected to check e-mail on a frequent and regular basis in order to stay current with University-related communications, recognizing that certain communications may be time-critical. It is recommended that e-mail be checked daily, but at a minimum should be checked every other day. Regular e-mail management will also minimize the risk that the inbox will be full, causing the e-mail to be returned to the sender with an error. Undeliverable messages returned because of either a full inbox or use of a “spam” filter will be considered delivered without further action required of the University.

Students may opt to forward their AMU e-mail messages to another e-mail account (e.g., @gmail.com or @msn.com), but do so at their own risk, as the University cannot guarantee the proper handling of e-mail by outside vendors. Forwarding e-mail does not absolve a student of the responsibilities associated with communication sent to his or her official AMU e-mail address (typically first.last@my.avemaria.edu).

Expectations of a University Student

Consistent with the Catholic principle of freedom for excellence, Ave Maria University expects her students to conduct themselves as Christian ladies and gentlemen, in a way that respects each member of our community:

  • Read, understand, and live out the principles contained in the University Mission Statement and Catholic Identity Statement.
  • Be diligent and sincere in your education: open to learning and striving for academic excellence.
  • Be honest and have integrity in all that you do.
  • Demonstrate courage under pressure.
  • Exercise stewardship within our community.
  • Recognize the importance of service to others.
  • Respect your body and avoid addictions.
  • Develop Godly friendships and learn the value of teamwork.
  • Be proud of Ave Maria—show school spirit and support University activities.
  • Love God above all things and your neighbor as yourself, and be merciful with others.

Discrimination against or harassment of any person on the basis of race, handicap, age, sex, creed, religion, political persuasion, or national or ethnic origin, is contrary to the mission of Ave Maria University.

Academic Honor Code

As introduced in our Mission statement, Ave Maria University was founded in response to Pope Saint John Paul II’s call for greater Catholic witness in contemporary society. Therefore, in its teaching, research, learning, and community life, Ave Maria University is devoted to the formation of men and women in the intellectual and moral virtues of the Catholic faith.

The Ave Maria University community of scholars recognizes that respect for moral truth cannot be separated from the pursuit of intellectual truth. As such, academic integrity and honesty is integral to the mission and life of our university community. Academic integrity requires all members of the academic community to always act honorably and responsibly.

The Academic Honor Code can be found within the Academic Catalogue, which is posted on the University website.

Code of Student Conduct

Purpose

  1.           Ave Maria University, an academic community committed to research, teaching, learning, and service, acknowledges specific core values that characterize the University community in all of its activities. These core values include integrity, respect, excellence, scholarship, responsibility, freedom, confidence, faith, service, and community building. The ways in which the University embodies these core values are integral to the AMU experience and an enduring part of the life of each and all of its members.
  2.           A student enrolling in the University assumes an obligation to conduct her/himself in a manner compatible with the University’s function as a Catholic educational institution. Each student must make choices that preserve a safe, secure, and moral environment in which all individuals are able to pursue their academic endeavors. Each student is expected to practice responsible citizenship and to respect the rights of others. Each community member is responsible for his or her own actions and the conduct of his or her guests. Failure to uphold University, State, and/or Federal laws and regulations are serious infractions and will likely result in disciplinary action within the University as outlined in this Code of Student Conduct.
  3.           The primary purpose for maintaining discipline in the University setting is to protect the rights of each member of the campus community. The purpose of campus disciplinary proceedings is to determine if an accused student is responsible for violating University regulations. The University is entitled to use all reasonable means of ascertaining whether a violation has occurred.
  4.          This Code outlines processes for the exercise of individual and collective student rights and responsibilities and for the implementation of student regulations.

Authority for Student Discipline

  1. Ultimate authority for student discipline is vested in the President of the University, who may take immediate action at his or her discretion for any violation of University policies and procedures whatsoever. Disciplinary authority may be delegated to University administrators, faculty members, committees, and organizations as set forth in this Code, or in other appropriate policies, rules, or regulations adopted by the President.

Student Participation

  1. Students are asked to assume positions of responsibility in the University disciplinary system so that they may contribute their skills and insights to the resolution of disciplinary cases. Final authority in disciplinary matters, however, is vested in the President, and in the University administration.

Dual-Enrolled Students

  1. Dual-enrolled students are welcome to use academic facilities such as the Library, the Henkels Academic Building, and the Prince Building. They also have access to the IT Helpdesk located in the Library.
  2. Dual-enrolled students may not attend social events sponsored by the University, unless they are open to the public, such as athletic events, which they can attend free of charge with a current University ID, and the Annunciation Feast Celebration. Student Affairs facilities are reserved for full-time students only and may not be used by dual-enrolled students. These include the Student Union weight room and fitness center, Field House facilities, gymnasium, athletic fields, tennis courts, residential halls, and common rooms.

Definitions

  1. When used in this Code:

A. “Case file” means the file containing those materials pertaining to a specific disciplinary matter that would be considered an “educational record” pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The personal notes of University staff members and privileged information of other students are not included in the case file and thus are not accessible. The case file will be retained in paper or electronic form within the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

B. “Disciplinary record” means the file containing all materials pertaining to disciplinary matters that would be considered an “educational record” pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The disciplinary record contains the entire judicial history of a student, including materials for all resolved cases and incidents referred for administrative action.

C. “Distribution” means any form of exchange, gift, transfer or sale.

D. “Institution” and “University” mean Ave Maria University and all of its undergraduate and graduate schools, divisions and programs.

E. “Respondent” means any person charged with a violation of this Code.

F. “Student” means any person who is taking or auditing classes at the University, or is matriculated in any University program.

G. The Student Affairs Committee consists of University members (students, faculty and staff) that hear appeals cases that can result in censure, fines, restitution, disciplinary probation, and denial of access to specific University areas, eviction from residence, suspension, dismissal or expulsion from the University. A quorum of the Student Affairs Committee must be present to conduct a hearing and shall consist of at least one student and two staff and/or faculty members.

H. “University premises” means buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled or supervised by Ave Maria University.

I. “University sponsored activity” means any activity on or off University premises that is directly initiated or supervised by the University.

Interpretation of Regulations

  1. The purpose of publishing disciplinary regulations is to give students general notice of prohibited behavior, and their rights and responsibilities during the disciplinary process. This Code does not, nor is it intended to, afford neither the specificity nor the due process rights of criminal or civil statutes or procedures.

Inherent Authority

  1. The Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee reserves the right to take immediate, necessary, and appropriate action to protect the health, safety, morals, and well-being of any student and/or the University community. Such action may include pursuing disciplinary action for any violation of University policy, State or Federal Law, on or off University premises, by a student that affects the University’s interests and/or is inconsistent with University’s expectation for students. Administrative action, in lieu of formal disciplinary action, may be taken at the discretion of the University, in an appropriate and reasonable manner, to address student behavior.
  2. The Vice President, at his or her sole discretion, may evict a student from University housing, restrict a student’s access to and movement about the campus, and/or suspend a student from the University for an interim period whenever the continued presence of the student at the University is deemed to pose a serious threat to her/himself, to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal University functions. The interim action shall become effective immediately upon delivery of verbal and/or written notification to the student or his or her designee. An appeals hearing will be granted if applicable as soon as possible, under normal circumstances.

Disciplinary Action while Criminal Charges are pending

  1. Students may be accountable both to civil/criminal authorities and to the University for acts that constitute violations of law and this Code. Disciplinary action at the University will normally proceed during the pendency of criminal proceedings, and will not be subject to challenge on the grounds that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced or that no criminal charges have been brought. Penalties shall not be increased in severity because civil or criminal action may be pending.

Disruptive or Dangerous Conduct

  1. The University strives to balance the concerns for the health and safety of individual students with those of the larger campus community. When a student’s conduct is disruptive or dangerous to campus life or in the University’s opinion a student’s continued presence on campus or participation in an educational program/activity of the University presents a direct threat to the health/safety of the student or others, the University may intervene. The University reserves the right to protect its interests when dealing with a student who in the sole judgment of the University, is considered a danger to himself/herself and others.
  2. In some cases, the Dean of Students, in consultation with Counseling Center Staff, may offer the student, or the student may request, the option of obtaining a psychological assessment with a licensed mental health professional through an approved agency, institution or practitioner external to the institution pending other action. Recommendations regarding the assessment venue will be made on a case-by case basis. A student engaging in assessment will be required to sign a release of information authorizing the University to access assessment results and to discuss these results with the health care professional conducting the assessment. The University will use assessment information in consultation with the student to determine whether the student can be reasonably accommodated to permit him/her to participate in University educational programs and activities, including living in the residence halls, without causing an undue hardship or presenting a direct threat to the health or safety of other members of the University community. If a student chooses not to obtain an assessment, the Dean of Students may ask the student to leave the University or restrict the student’s access to educational programs and activities, University services, and University property.
  3. A student may be permitted to continue at the University under conditions developed by the University in light of the recommendations of the assessing agency/practitioner and in consultation with the student. The student will be required to sign a statement authorizing the University to monitor compliance with the treatment plan and the conditions of his/her continued participation in educational programs and activities of the University including living in the residence halls. The student will be responsible to pay for the cost of treatment, including costs associated with the initial assessment. Failure to adhere to the treatment plan or any condition, further endangerment to the health or safety of others within the University community, further disruption of the campus environment or other violation of the Code of Student Conduct may result in the student being asked to leave the University. A student otherwise permitted to continue at the University will be required to comply with all restrictions set by the University on the student’s continued participation in University educational programs and activities, including living in the residence halls. Failure to comply with all restrictions may result in the student being asked to leave the University. For information on conduct related to disruptive or dangerous conduct affiliated or associated with substance abuse, please see either the University’s Alcohol Policy or Substance Abuse Policy.
  4. Any student found to have committed misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action and to the sanctions outlined in this Code. The following are examples of misconduct subject to disciplinary action (this list is not exhaustive)—

A. Dangerous Conduct: Intentionally or carelessly engaging in conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety or causes physical harm to any person, including the violator.

        1. Assault: Placing a person in fear of imminent physical danger or bodily harm.
        2. Battery: The use of offensive body contact causing harm to an individual.
        3. Sexual Violence: Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or when a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence encompasses a range of offenses including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.
        4. Sexual Assault: Forcing, threatening or coercing an individual into sexual contact against his or her free will with or without his or her consent. It includes, but is not limited to, any sexual act performed on an individual, any sexual act required to be performed by an individual, or forced or coerced intercourse. Sexual assault includes having sexual contact with a person while knowing or having reason to know that the person was incapacitated by drugs, including alcohol, or by other means.

B. Harassment: Any actions, threats, gestures, oral or written statements, communications, conduct, expressions, or acts made in any medium (e.g., in person, via letter, telephone, text message, electronic mail, social media, or any other method) directed toward another person which have the purpose or which tend to incite a breach of the peace, create a hostile environment, bully or cause emotional distress to that person because of the humiliating, degrading, intimidating, insulting, coercive, ridiculing, and/or alarming nature of the conduct. It frequently, but not always, involves a pattern of conduct.

        1. Cyberbullying: The use of electronic communication, including social media, to send messages that are threatening or intimidating in nature and are meant to humiliate, degrade, insult or ridicule a person. It also frequently, though not always, involves a pattern of conduct.
        2. Hazing: Defined as any conduct or initiation into any organization which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any person. Hazing, its imposition, or its use in any form of initiation is a criminal act and is prohibited.
        3. Sexual Harassment: Defined as any unsolicited, offensive behavior that inappropriately asserts sexuality over status as a student or an employee, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or academic admission or advancement; submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis (or threatened to be used as the basis) for employment actions or academic decisions or evaluations; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.

C. Dangerous Items: The use, possession or storage of any firearms, explosives, other weapons, fireworks or dangerous chemicals.

        1. Firearms, ammunition, knives or other weapons, or objects that could be construed as weapons and items that pose a potential hazard to the safety or health of others.
          • Firearms are defined as any gun, rifle, pistol, or handgun designed to fire bullets, BBs, pellets, or shots (including paint balls), regardless of the propellant used.
          • Other weapons are defined as any instrument of combat, or any object not designed as an instrument of combat but carried or used for the purpose of inflicting or threatening bodily injury.
        2. Unauthorized hazardous materials or chemicals.
        3. Fireworks including, but not limited to, firecrackers, cherry bombs, smoke bombs, sparklers and similar devices.

D. Interfering with Fire Safety

        1. Misusing, tampering with or damaging fire safety equipment including, but not limited to, fire- extinguishers, smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, or exit signs.
        2. Unauthorized burning of any material in any University building, on University property, or on areas adjacent to University property. In order to use the University bonfire pit, prior approval must be obtained from the Vice President for Student Affairs; and there must be a professional staff member present at all times.
        3. Disregarding a fire alarm signal or refusing to evacuate a building or a section of a building when a fire alarm is sounding.
        4. Recklessly or intentionally activating an alarm when an emergency situation does not exist.

E. Alcohol: The use, abuse, possession or distribution of alcohol, except as permitted by law and University policy. Ave Maria University is concerned first and foremost with the safety of the entire campus community. The University will not pursue disciplinary action against students for disclosure of personal violations of the alcohol policy where the disclosure is made in connection with a good faith report of intoxication or alcohol addiction with the intention to keep oneself or another student safe. The University may initiate an educational discussion or pursue other non-disciplinary options regarding University violations that may have occurred.

        1. Possession of containers that previously contained alcoholic beverages by persons less than 21 years of age.
        2. Possession of common source containers, whether full or empty, of alcohol such as kegs, beer balls or boxed wine. Drinking games, i.e. beer and water pong, are not permitted.
        3. Possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age.
        4. Consumption of alcoholic beverages, including:
          • Consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age;
          • Consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons 21 years of age or older in any public area on campus, including common spaces within the residence halls, unless approved by the RD on-call or at an official university-approved
        5. Intoxication by any person, regardless of age.
        6. Sale, distribution or provision or attempts to sell, distribute or provide alcoholic beverages to and/or by anyone under 21 years of age.

F. Drugs: Ave Maria University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, sale and distribution of illicit drugs/drug paraphernalia by students on or off campus, in accordance with Federal and State law. All members of the University community are expected to abide by state and federal laws, conduct themselves in a manner reflecting credit on themselves and the University, and to share responsibility for the functioning of this policy.

        1. The unlawful possession of controlled substances.
        2. The unlawful use of controlled substances.
        3. Possession of paraphernalia including any item used to, among other things, prepare, store, transport, inhale, ingest, inject, and/or mask illegal substances.
        4. Any attempt, intent, or conspiracy to violate this policy.
        5. The manufacture, distribution, and/or dispensation of controlled substances

Controlled substances broadly include narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and performance-enhancing substances deemed illegal to possess without a doctor’s prescription by federal or state statutes. In accordance with federal law, the University does not permit the possession, use or distribution of marijuana, including THC or Cannabis oil. As such, any students in possession of medical marijuana prescriptions are not permitted to use or possess marijuana on University property.

G. Theft/Unauthorized Possession of Property

        1. Theft of property or of services or knowing possession of stolen property.
        2. Unauthorized possession of University property (including residence hall lounge furniture) or the property of others.

H. Damage to or Misuse of University/Individual Property

        1. Intentionally or carelessly destroying or damaging University property or the property of others.
        2. Unauthorized entry into University facilities or property, climbing on the walls or roofs of buildings, sitting on window ledges, etc.
        3. Unauthorized use or misuse of University property or the property of others.

I. Disorderly Conduct

        1. Acting in a manner to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct or be offensive to another/others.
        2. Shouting or making excessive noise either inside or outside a building to the annoyance or disturbance of others.
        3. Verbally abusing University officials (including students appointed to act as representatives of the University) acting in the performance of their duties.
        4. Behaving in a lewd or indecent manner, including actions, oral or written statements, communications, conduct, gestures, expressions, or acts made in any medium (e.g., in person, via letter, telephone, text message, electronic mail, social media or any other method).
        5. Disrespect of sacred spaces on campus.

J. Academic and Non-Academic Dishonesty

        1. Academic dishonesty will include any violation of the Academic Honor Code.
        2. Knowingly furnishing false information to the University or member of the University community.
        3. Furnishing false information at University judicial proceedings.
        4. Possession or use of false identification cards (including University, State, and Federal IDs).
        5. Forgery, misuse, unauthorized alteration or creation of documents, records, or identification cards.
        6. Fraud committed against a member of the campus community or others.
        7. Knowingly initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning, or threat.
        8. Working as a student-worker on campus, but not attending classes in which the student is currently enrolled.

K. Interfering with University Events

        1. Interfering with any normal University or University-sponsored events, including but not limited to studying, teaching, research, sponsored social programs, University administration, fire, police, and emergency services.
        2. Any effort by conspiracy or omission to impede or hinder any disciplinary proceeding.

L. Smoking
It is forbidden to smoke or vape in any unauthorized place: e.g., University buildings, vehicles, lanais, balconies, ledges, or within 40 feet of a building.

M. Violating University Rules and Regulations

        1. Any violation of other published University regulations including violation of rules governing residence in University-owned or controlled property.
        2. Involvement in a violation, including being present during any violation of this Code, in such a way as to condone, support or encourage that violation (Note: Students who anticipate or observe a violation are expected to remove themselves from participation and are encouraged to report the violation).
        3. Any attempt, intent, or conspiracy to violate a University regulation or policy.

N. Non-Compliance
Failure to comply with reasonable directives of University officials, including students appointed to act as representatives of the University, acting in performance of their duties. Directives to provide identification and/or participate in a University disciplinary process are included in the scope of this provision.

O. Sanction Violation
Violating the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with judicial procedures, including the failure to complete sanctions by the imposed deadline.

P. Gambling
Participation in any form of illegal gambling.

Q. Violation of Law

        1. Violation of local, State, or Federal laws, regulations, or ordinances.
        2. Feeding or harassment of wildlife.

R. Unauthorized Possession or Use of University Keys

        • The University has a zero-tolerance policy for the unauthorized possession or use of University keys (which includes the borrowing or lending thereof). Students found to be in possession of unauthorized keys, or found to have used these keys to access University spaces without authorization, are subject to sanctions up to and including disciplinary suspension or expulsion, and may be referred to local law enforcement for prosecution for criminal trespass. Any student in possession of any key(s) to any University buildings that is unauthorized has the affirmative duty to immediately surrender the key(s) to either Security or Residence Life staff, or face disciplinary sanctions.
  1. Social Networking/Online Communities’ Websites

Ave Maria University understands that the internet is a powerful means for developing and strengthening peer connections and expressing individual identities through online communities (Instagram, Snapchat and the like). While Ave Maria University does not officially monitor these types of websites, there may be instances where a University official unintentionally encounters a website reflecting inappropriate conduct by a member of the Ave Maria University community or inappropriate conduct captured on a website may be brought to the attention of University officials. Inappropriate conduct so discovered will be addressed through existing response mechanisms at the University, including, but not limited to, the Student Handbook and Student Code of Conduct.

  1. Pornography

Ave Maria University reserves the right to and does block pornographic websites and other sites that stand in opposition to our identity as a Catholic institution. This is to protect and preserve our dignity as human beings. Those who find that they are struggling with internet pornography addiction are encouraged to seek help. Counseling Services, Campus Ministry, Residence Life, and other members of the University community are sources of support and information.

A. Possession, in digital form or otherwise; use, manufacture, or distribution of pornography is prohibited. All pornography, including pornography in digital formats, will be confiscated and disposed of by Ave Maria University officials. Students who are in violation of this policy will be referred to the student disciplinary process. Students found downloading or viewing pornography on the University’s network may have their use of the University’s network restricted or terminated.

B. Possession of “sex toys” or sex-related paraphernalia (including condoms) are prohibited. All such items will be confiscated and disposed of by University officials.

  1. Attempts to commit acts prohibited by this Code or encouraging others to commit acts prohibited by this Code shall be treated as violations of this Code.

Sanctions

  1. Sanctions that may be imposed in accordance with this Code include:

A. Censure: An official written reprimand for violation of specified regulations.

B. Fines: Amount to be determined according to the severity of each case.

C. Disciplinary Probation: A specified period of time in which a student is expected to demonstrate positive behavioral change and may be excluded from participation in privileged or co-curricular institutional activities. Additional restrictions or conditions for behavioral changes may be imposed (e.g., curfew). Violations of the terms of disciplinary probation, or any other violation of this Code during the period of probation, may result in eviction from residence, suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from the University.

D. Restitution: Repayment to the University or to an affected party for damages resulting from a violation of this Code. This may include payment in monetary or service hours to the University.

E. Denial of Access to Specific Areas: Ban from certain nonacademic area(s) for a specified length of time.

F. Eviction from Residence: Termination of the residence hall agreement and exclusion from visiting within certain or all residential facilities, as set forth in the notice of eviction, for a specified period of time. A student who is evicted is not entitled to a refund of room fees. A student who is evicted from residence is unable to fulfill residency requirements and may be suspended, upon review.

G. Suspension: Exclusion from classes and other privileges or activities, including access to University premises or University-sponsored activities off campus, as set forth in the notice of suspension, normally for at least one semester. A student who is suspended is not entitled to any tuition or fee refund and is banned from University premises for the duration of the suspension. A student may re-join the University community at the end of the designated term of suspension pending approval of the Admissions Committee and the Vice President for Student Affairs. Readmission, however, is not guaranteed.

H. Dismissal: Exclusion from classes and other privileges or activities, including access to University premises or University-sponsored activities off campus, as set forth in the notice of suspension, normally for at least one semester. A student who is suspended is not entitled to any tuition or fee refund and is banned from University premises for the duration of the dismissal. A student who has been dismissed must re-apply for acceptance to the University through the Admissions Office at the end of the designated term of dismissal if all recommendations as stated in the dismissal letter have been fulfilled. Reacceptance to the University is not guaranteed.

I. Expulsion: Termination of student status, and exclusion from University premises, privileges and activities. A student who is expelled shall not be entitled to any tuition or fee refund and is banned from University premises permanently, with no opportunity for re-application.

J. Other Sanctions: Other sanctions, which bear a reasonable relation to the fault for which the student has been sanctioned, and fines, may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified above. Educational sanctions include, but are not limited to, notification of legal guardian in accordance with FERPA, participation in alcohol or drug awareness programs, mandatory health assessment or test, and/or mandatory referral to counseling services.

Disciplinary Review

  1. Any person may refer a student suspected of violating this Code to the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee. The Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee will be responsible for reviewing alleged violations for a prompt and equitable resolution. This will be conducted with fairness to all concerned and the University’s legal obligations under Title IX. Referrals should normally be made within ten working days after the discovery of the alleged violation and/or identification of the alleged violator.
  2. After the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee has reviewed the reported allegation, he or she will meet with the respondent. The respondent will be informed in writing of the time and place of the meeting and the alleged violation.
  3. At this meeting, the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee will review the facts to make an initial assessment and determine if further investigation is required. The respondent will have the opportunity to respond, present witnesses or other evidence. During any investigation and resolution of a complaint, the respondent has the opportunity to obtain counsel from advisors. If further investigation is determined necessary, the respondent will be informed in writing of the time and place of the meeting.
  4. After reported allegations have been reviewed and the respondent has had the opportunity to respond, the appropriate disciplinary or administrative action to be taken will be determined. The Vice President of Student Affairs or designee will:
    1. Determine if the respondent is responsible for violating the Code of Conduct;
    2. Determine whether a sanction should be imposed;
    3. Impose a sanction or sanctions.
  1. A student subject to eviction from residence, suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from the University is entitled to a hearing before the Student Disciplinary
    1. A formal hearing will consist of the respondent and members of the Student Disciplinary Committee present. In the event that the Committee is not in session, a quorum will conduct an administrative hearing. The full range of sanctions may be imposed during the administrative
    2. Please note: In a formal hearing, the student is subject to the disciplinary sanctions as outlined in this Code. In the event of a student disciplinary hearing, the student may be accompanied by an advisor. The advisor must be a member of the University community: e.g., a member of the faculty or staff, or another student. In these cases, the procedures as outlined below (in the “Advisor” section) must be followed.

Appeals 

27. A student sanctioned to eviction from residence, suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from the University may submit an appeal request. The appeal request must be submitted in writing to the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs no later than two business days after the sanction or sanctions have been imposed. This written appeal must state the specific reason for the appeal, based on one or more of the following:

A. A preponderance of evidence does not exist to support the decision reached;

B. The sanction imposed is unduly harsh; and/or

C. New evidence that significantly alters the findings of fact that was previously unknown to the respondent has been

28. The Vice President for Student Affairs will submit the student’s written request for appeal to the Student Disciplinary The Student Disciplinary Committee will review the case file and the student’s written request for appeal. After reviewing the case file and appeal request, the Student Disciplinary Committee may:

A. Decide to accept the request for appeal and dismiss or reduce the sanction, or

B. Decide to deny the request for appeal for lack of adequate

29. The decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee will be conveyed to the student in writing, normally within three working days of receipt of the

A. If the Student Disciplinary Committee denies the request for appeal, any sanction(s) imposed by the Committee will The student may, at this point, submit a written request for clemency to the President of the University (for further details, see Clemency, no. 34).

B. If the Student Affairs Committee accepts the request for appeal, the student will be notified in writing.

30. The imposition of sanctions will be deferred during the pendency of the appeal process, unless, at the discretion of the Vice President, the continued presence of the student on the campus poses a serious threat to him or herself or to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal University functions.

Note: In accordance with federal law, student complainants in cases alleging violations of the “Ave Maria University Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy” shall be afforded the same option to appeal a determination of responsibility as are afforded the respondent.

Procedural Guidelines for Appeals Hearings 

  1. The following procedural guidelines shall be applicable in all appeals hearings:

A. A respondent shall receive written notification of the specific charges and the date, time, and location of the scheduled hearing normally at least two working days prior to the hearing. The respondent may request an extension of time to prepare for the hearing. Requests for an extension will not be granted for a period to exceed two working days unless the respondent can demonstrate the necessity for a longer delay. All requests for extension of time should be made in writing at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing, except in cases of documented serious illness or emergency.

B. The respondent shall have an opportunity to respond to the evidence and to call relevant and necessary witnesses. Character witnesses will not be heard. All witnesses are expected to provide information that is true and correct. Any student who knowingly provides false information during a hearing (or other disciplinary proceeding) or who knowingly fails to appear as a witness may be charged with violation of this Code.

C. The respondent shall have the right to be accompanied by an advisor, as provided in Parts 32-33 of this Code.

D. A respondent may elect not to speak on his or her behalf. A respondent who fails to appear at a scheduled hearing, upon proper notice of such a hearing, will be deemed to have pled “not in violation” to the charges, may be adjudicated in absentia, and forfeits all rights to an appeal unless it is for lack of proper notice, as required herein. In such cases, decisions will be based solely on witness testimony and other information presented during the hearing.

E. The charges against the respondent must be established by a preponderance of the evidence. A “preponderance of the evidence” means it is “more likely than not” that a fact is true or an event occurred.

F. Appeals hearings and other disciplinary proceedings will be closed to the public.

Supplemental information regarding a disciplinary hearing will be provided to a respondent normally within two working days prior to the hearing.

Advisors

Note: Advisors and representation for Title IX allegations will abide by provisions provided by the Department of Education.

  1. For University Code of Conduct violations, representation is not permitted in University appeals hearings (or other disciplinary proceedings); however, a respondent may be accompanied by an advisor. The role of the advisor shall be limited to support and consultation with a respondent; the advisor may not speak on behalf of a respondent at any time during any disciplinary proceeding, nor shall the advisor cross-examine witnesses. Violation of this expectation will result in the advisor being removed from an appeals hearing (or other disciplinary proceeding) at the discretion of the Student Disciplinary Committee Chair. In extraordinary circumstances, the advisor may be legal counsel. A respondent should notify the Vice President for Student Affairs at least two working days prior to the proceeding if he or she is to request permission to have legal counsel at the disciplinary proceeding.
  2. In consideration of the limited role of an advisor, and of the compelling interest of the University to expeditiously conclude the matter, an appeals hearing (or other disciplinary proceeding) will not, as a general rule, be delayed if an advisor is unavailable

Clemency

  1. Any person found responsible for a violation of this Code may petition the President for clemency after a sanction has been imposed and all other appeal options have been exhausted. This petition must be filed within three working days of receipt of the appeal decision. The President shall have complete discretion as to whether he or she will hear the petition or grant clemency.

Disciplinary Files and Records

  1. The files of students found in violation of any prohibited conduct will normally be retained as a disciplinary record in written or electronic form in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, as outlined in the University policy governing student records.

Rules of Conduct

  1. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall have the power to enact rules for the conduct of all proceedings provided that such rules do not conflict with any provision of this Code and that notice of these rules is given to all concerned parties.

Recommended Minimum Sanctioning Guidelines for Alcohol-Related Violations

The following recommended minimum sanctions for violations of the Code of Student Conduct involving alcohol are for first offenses only. Sanctions may vary depending upon the severity of the incident, as determined by the disciplinary authority. Please note that a student’s entire disciplinary history is taken into account when determining final sanctions. Repeat violators may be relocated to other campus residence halls, evicted from the residence halls, suspended, dismissed or expelled from the University.

Educational sanctions include, but are not limited to, participation in alcohol education workshops, meetings with administrators, monetary fines, performing restitution service hours, performing community service projects, referral to counseling, and completing educational assignments. Students who are placed on probation resulting from disciplinary infractions are notified that if they fail to abide by the terms of the specific probation or commit further violations of University policies, they will be considered for eviction from the residence halls and/or suspension from the University.

In addition, students on probation may be excluded from participation in privileged and/or co-curricular activities for a specified period of time. Parental notification will be carried out in accordance with University policies.

Level One Behavior 

  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons 21 years of age or older in any public area.
  • Possession of alcohol paraphernalia by persons less than 21 years of age.
  • Possession of an excessive quantity of alcohol regardless of behavior.
  • Participating in a social gathering involving an excessive quantity of alcohol.
  • Participating in negligent and irresponsible activities or events (e.g. drinking games.) 

Sanction: May include educational sanction, counseling, and/or fine.

Level Two Behavior

  • Student exhibits any of the following behavior(s) indicative of being under the influence of alcohol: staggering, verbally disruptive, slurred speech, vomiting and incoherence, unconsciousness, need for medical attention and/or loss of control of bodily functions, operating a motor vehicle, violent acts, vandalism, and/or other aggressive behaviors and/or other behaviors associated with intoxication.
  • Any evidence of possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons less than 21 years of age, including the possession of containers that previously contained alcoholic beverages.
  • Hosting a social gathering involving an excessive quantity of alcohol or common source containers including kegs (full or empty.)
  • Providing alcohol to persons less than 21 years of age.

Sanction: May include educational sanction, counseling, monetary fine, and/or disciplinary probation; possible suspension, dismissal, or expulsion.

Sanctioning Guidelines for Drug Policy Violations

The following recommended sanctions for violations of the Code of Student Conduct involving drugs are for first offenses only. Sanctions may vary depending upon the severity of the incident, as determined by the disciplinary authority. Please note that a student’s entire disciplinary history is taken into account when determining final sanctions. Repeat violators may be suspended from the University either temporarily or permanently.

Educational sanctions include, but are not limited to, participation in drug education workshops, meetings with administrators, performing restitution service hours, performing community service projects, monetary fines, mandatory referral to counseling, and completion of educational assignments. Students who are placed on probation resulting from disciplinary infractions are notified that if they fail to abide by the terms of the specific probation or commit further violations of University policies, they will be considered for eviction from the residence halls and/or suspension from the University. In addition, students on probation may be excluded from participation in privileged and/or extra-curricular activities for a specified period of time. Parental notification maybe carried out in accordance with University policies.

Level One Behavior

  • Any evidence of misuse and/or abuse of prescription medications or other controlled substances including but not limited to Ritalin, inhalants, Valium, anabolic steroids, Librium, other pain killers, other sedatives, and other stimulants.
  • Possession of drug related paraphernalia absent evidence of drug usage.
  • Any evidence of use or possession of marijuana.

Sanction: May include educational sanction, counseling, monetary fine and/or disciplinary probation, possible suspension, dismissal, and expulsion.

Level Two Behavior

  • Any evidence of the manufacturing, distribution, or possession with the intent to distribute illegal drugs or controlled substances.
  • Any evidence of use or possession of any drugs, including but not limited to ecstasy, heroin, LSD, cocaine, speed, other barbiturates, other amphetamines, and other hallucinogens.

Sanction: May include educational sanction, counseling, monetary fine, and/or disciplinary probation; probable suspension, dismissal, and expulsion.

Please Note: All violations of University policy will be judged on a case by case basis. The above recommended sanctions are merely guidelines. The University is not necessarily bound by the sanctions listed in the examples above. The University reserves the right to take immediate, necessary, and appropriate action to protect the health, safety, morals and well-being of the campus community. Such action may include pursuing disciplinary action for any violation of University policy or State or Federal law-on or off campus-that affects the University’s interests.

The University may institute disciplinary action if neighborhood properties are the location of an event that, based on credible evidence and in the University’s determination, has disrupted the neighborhood with:

  1. Excessively loud, late, and/or large parties; and/or
  2. Illegal (i.e., underage and/or excessive) alcohol and/or drug-related activities; and/or
  3. Related behaviors including interference with a neighbor’s right of quiet enjoyment of their property; and/or
  4. Any other conduct which, in the University’s judgment violates the University’s expectations for the behavior of its students.

Parental Notification

As required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, AMU cannot disclose a student’s education records without the written consent of a student or without proof that the student is the tax dependent of the parent. However, AMU may disclose information to parents, without written consent from the students, when notification is determined to be necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others. This notification may occur due to a medical emergency, an incident of imminent danger, or another situation in which staff deems such action necessary.

Additionally, the University has the discretion to disclose to any parent or legal guardian of a minor student information about a violation of any Federal, state or local law, or any rule or policy of the institution governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if the institution has determined that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession.

Office of Residence Life & Housing

Ave Maria University offers 6 single-sex residence halls, differing in layout, which are connected centrally by an outdoor student park and pool area. The halls are located at the following addresses:

  • John Paul II Hall – 5287 Dolan Street, Ave Maria FL
  • Mother Teresa Hall – 5287 Dolan Street, Ave Maria FL
  • Francis Xavier Hall – 5281 Dolan Street, Ave Maria FL
  • Maria Goretti Hall – 5277 Dolan Street, Ave Maria FL St. Joseph Hall – 5262 Donahue Avenue, Ave Maria FL
  • Sebastian Hall – 5254 Donahue Avenue, Ave Maria FL
Residency Requirement

All full-time undergraduate students must reside on-campus unless they are married, over the age of 23, or living with parents or a legal guardian within a commutable distance of 40 miles.

Students who meet the Ave Maria University residency requirement are expected to occupy and live in the residence halls. Refusal to abide by this policy may result in disciplinary action.

Residents’ Primary Rights

Every resident is entitled to:

  • The right to be treated with dignity and respect. The University affirms the value of each person. All persons are entitled to live with and learn from each other in an atmosphere of positive engagement and mutual respect.
  • The right to read and study free from undue interference in one’s room. One of the basic purposes of the University is the dissemination and application of knowledge. Unreasonable noise and other distractions inhibit the exercise of this right.
  • The right to sleep, the right to one’s personal belongings, the right to access one’s room, and the right to a safe environment in which to live. Optimum physical conditions are essential to learn and live.

The halls are your home during the academic year. The Residence Life Staff is available to meet your needs. There are common areas located in each of the residence halls and many of them are provided with a TV and DVD player.

Also provided in the residence hall are laundry facilities, computer labs, vending machines, and study rooms. Some halls have a chapel and kitchen open for use by all students.

Director of Residence Life

The Director of Residence Life oversees the department and all University housing. The Director manages all Residence Directors, and is entrusted with implementing University policy and procedures. The Director’s office is located on the second floor of the Student Union Building.

Residence Directors (RDs)

RDs are professional staff members responsible for the residence hall to which they are assigned. They ensure respect and responsibility among residents, oversee the physical condition of the buildings, support community programs, and supervise the Resident Assistants. RDs live in apartments on the first floor of their residence halls and hold office hours in their hall office during the weekday. The Residence Life Staff is concerned about every person’s rights and well-being. They are trained to be of assistance to all students and to handle emergency situations. If you have any questions, problems or concerns, or if you just want to talk, you should seek out a staff member. An RD is on-call 24 hours a day at (239) 280-7344.

Resident Assistants (RAs)

RAs are undergraduate resident students who have attended Ave Maria University for at least one year and have an understanding of leadership, community building, campus resources, and the University’s mission. Among other assignments, RAs primarily:

  • Work to ensure that each member of the community feels welcome
  • Build a sense of community and group responsibility through helping residents get to know each other on their assigned floor
  • Assist residents who seek information or guidance with academic or personal concerns
  • Develop activities and educational opportunities for residents within their assigned hall
  • Explain community policies and expectations; respond to violations of these expectations
  • Perform administrative duties including duty coverage, room checks, and staff meetings
Residence Hall Offices

Each hall has an office that has games, movies, basic cleaning supplies, and other items that may be checked out for individual use by a resident. There is an RA on duty every night who is there to support the community members. The RA on-duty is either in the RA office or making rounds throughout the hall during the evening.

Room Assignments and Occupancy

Priority for room assignments is based on class standing and one’s current occupancy status. New students are assigned rooms after their enrollment deposit is received by the Admissions Office and they register for Housing by submitting the online Housing Contract. Specific roommate requests must be mutual. While we try to honor mutual roommate requests, they are not guaranteed and are based on availability. Assignments are considered permanent throughout each academic semester. If you have a concern about your living environment, the Residence Life staff is available to assist you. Residents who move to a different room without the authorization of their Residence Director will be subject to disciplinary action.

Disability Accommodations

Students requesting special accommodations due to a disability must be recommended by the Adaptive Services Office and submit the required documentation to the Director of Adaptive Services prior to the assignment deadline to be certified. The Office of Residence Life and Housing will make an assignment based on the availability of space, the individual’s needs, and the University’s ability to reasonably accommodate the student. Any time a student requests and is assigned a single room, regardless of circumstances, and if it is necessary to convert a multiple occupancy room to a single occupancy to accommodate a special need, the student may be charged the premium rate. Rooms shall not exceed a safe and manageable occupancy as determined by the University.

Summer Residency

Any student wishing to stay at the University for the summer term must meet one of two requirements:

  1. Enrolled in at least one summer, on-campus course and/or
  2. Employed by the University.

If you do not meet either of these requirements, you will not be permitted to stay on campus for the summer months, unless otherwise granted permission from the Director of Residence Life.

Payment Plan and Dorm Eviction

All students are expected to clear their bills by the “clear your bill” day. Failure to clear your bill by this date may result in the cancellation of a student’s class registration and residence hall room reservation. All students are expected to clear their bill before they move into the halls or begin attending classes. Students that are delinquent on their installment payment plan or bill payment may be subject to eviction from the residence halls. Failure to have your financial affairs in order may put you at risk of not being able to move in or begin attending class on time. Students with an outstanding balance on their accounts are not eligible to register at the University or participate in room selection. No student may receive a degree, certificate of completion, grade report or transcripts until all charges due to the University or any of its related divisions are paid in full. 

Living in Community

Community Standards

One of the best ways to help ensure the successful growth of our community is for residents to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect. Before you act, consider the impact your behavior may have upon your fellow community members. Living within your community, you will have the opportunity to meet people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. The diversity of our community enriches our classes, activities, programs and everyday interactions. Getting to know others may be one of the most rewarding aspects of your university experience. You are encouraged to become well acquainted with community members, to use these experiences to increase your knowledge of others, and to make new and lasting friendships. Your active involvement in the community and your participation in its activities are essential for community growth and the formation of the human person.

University Housing Student Responsibilities

Ave Maria University is sensitive to the rights, freedoms, and responsibilities of all student residents. Policies and procedures have been established to ensure that individual rights and freedoms are protected and responsibilities are understood. The residential community aims to maintain standards conducive to academic, social, spiritual, and personal growth. Students at Ave Maria University are expected to:

  • Observe state and federal laws as well as University policies and regulations
  • Respect the rights and privileges of others
  • Be forthright and honest in all of their conduct
  • Share the responsibility of maintaining an environment where individual actions do not violate the community’s welfare

This means that students have both the right and the responsibility to charitably confront each other directly in a constructive manner when problems occur. Residence Life Staff will support and work with students in an effort to understand and abide by University policies. Students are also responsible for abiding by all policies, rules, and regulations for on-campus living contained in this student handbook, including the Code of Student Conduct, as well as information from Residence Life Staff.

Sexual Morality

Ave Maria University affirms the Catholic Church’s teaching that sexual intimacy is reserved within the binding union of sacramental marriage. Mature, responsible social behavior in accordance with Catholic moral teaching is expected of all students and visitors. For more guidance on this topic, please reference the Catechism of the Catholic Church, especially paragraphs 2337-2345.

In view of this, we strictly adhere to federal Title IX guidelines. We are committed to maintain an environment which respects the dignity of each person. Sexual harassment, misconduct, or abuse of any kind are not tolerated. If you or someone you know feels victim to these mistreatments, we strongly encourage you to come forward under the knowledge that you will be treated with compassion. The safety and wellbeing of our students are paramount. To report abuse, or if you have any questions or concerns regarding Title IX issues, please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator.

Student Pregnancy Information

Ave Maria University is committed to the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church and will support students who become pregnant. Consistent with its belief in the dignity of the human person, Ave Maria University encourages students who do become pregnant to continue their studies with the support of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.

The Director of Counseling Services is available as a confidential contact who can assist students in finding whatever resources are needed; to meet with Counseling Services or schedule a counseling appointment, please visit: https://www.avemaria.edu/student-services/counseling-services/

Referrals for prenatal health care and other supportive services will be made available through the Counseling Office, Residence Life Office, Campus Ministry Office, and/or Student Life Office as necessary and requested.

Additional local resource:

Community Pregnancy Clinic
940 5th Ave N, Naples, FL 34102
P: (239) 262-6381
https://communitypregnancyclinic.com/

  • Pregnancy Services
  • Adoption Information
  • Post-Abortion Healing 

Attire

The Catholic culture of Ave Maria University promotes the virtues of modesty and chastity, and encourages students in the pursuit of these virtues. Students should dress appropriately at all times when on campus, particularly in sacred places (adoration chapel and residence hall chapels). Students should show good judgment in the choice of pool attire, keeping in mind the great work of Pope Saint John Paul the Great, A Theology of the Body. This work points to modest attire to protect that body, which, like the soul, is uniquely good. The wearing of pool attire is restricted to the pool area only. Shoes should be worn in all University buildings except when inside your residence hall room.

Damage or Loss of University Property

Student rooms and the furnishings provided are to be used in the manner for which they are designed. If you lose or damage University property, you will be billed for the cost of replacement or repair. If property is damaged in your room and the responsible party is unknown, each roommate will be responsible for an equal percentage of the total cost. Residents are responsible for the actions of any guests they invite to campus and for any costs they incur. Charges for repairs or replacement will be assessed to your University account. Damage or loss within student rooms is the joint responsibility of the students assigned.

Students are responsible for reporting any room damages or maintenance needs to their Residence Life staff member, as well as to the Physical Plant Department immediately so repairs can be made in a timely manner. Because all residents share responsibility for damage or loss to public areas of their building, an entire room/floor may be charged for damages or losses to public areas of the building when the person(s) responsible is/are unknown. If you are aware of others damaging property, ask them to stop, and then advise a University staff member immediately. Damages and resulting charges are reduced when everyone in a community works to ensure residents and guests respect others’ property. 

Entertainment

Your enjoyment of music, movies, television, internet programming, and printed materials must respect the Catholic culture of the campus. Any entertainment which is sacrilegious, obscene, or gratuitously violent undermines this culture and is not permitted. Possessing, viewing, or distributing pornography is strictly forbidden. All audible entertainment should be at levels that do not disturb the peace of others. Students are not permitted to watch online entertainment in the classrooms or computer labs.

Smoking

All University buildings and residence halls are designated “No Smoking” areas. Smoking in the residence halls is prohibited. It is forbidden to smoke in any unauthorized place: e.g., University buildings, vehicles, lanais, balconies, ledges, or within 40 feet of a building.

Prescription Drugs

A student on prescription drugs or who has a chronic illness should inform the RD what may need to be done in an emergency, and what effects the medication may have on the student’s life.

University Pool

The University Pool is centrally located between the Residence Halls. The pool is available for the leisure of students, staff, faculty, visitors residing in the Xavier Guesthouse, or escorted guests of those previously mentioned. Pool attire may not be worn outside of the pool area unless adequately covered by clothing. Pool rules are listed as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Pool is open from dawn to dusk
  • No lifeguard is on duty: swim at your own risk
  • In the spirit of Christian charity, please behave in a respectful and appropriate manner
  • Pool attire must reflect the virtue of modesty, so as to encourage chastity that is consistent with Catholic morality and especially encouraged by Pope Saint John Paul the Great’s A Theology of the Body.
  • No overly loud or explicit music
  • Alcohol and glass are not allowed inside pool area
  • Rings are for emergency use only

Policies and Procedures Regarding Middlebrooke Apartments, Student Rooms, and General Residence Hall Area

Ave Maria University provides a variety of housing options for students residing on campus. You and your roommate(s) will be sharing the same living space for the entire school year. It may be difficult to talk about differences when you are first getting to know one other. To live together you will need to realize and resolve your personal differences early on in the relationship. Communication is the key to successful community living and interactions of all kinds. Chances are that if something is bothering you, it is bothering your roommate(s) as well. Be honest but tactful when talking to your roommate(s). If you find it difficult to express your concerns, ask a Residence Life Staff member for help.

Student Rooms and Middlebrooke Apartments

Check-In

All residential students are required to check-in to their assigned room by a designated date. All residents are required to complete a Room Condition Report found in the Housing Self-Service. For your protection, it is essential that you ensure that damages to and out-of-place items in your room prior to your occupancy are documented in the form. You are responsible for reviewing your Room Condition Report and making edits to the document within 72 hours of moving into your room if you wish to make any corrections/additions.

Check-Out

Students are responsible for checking out of their room with a Residence Life Staff member whenever they move rooms or leave at the end of each semester or their contract period. During check-out, your Room Condition Report from check-in will be referenced by a Residence Life Staff member. You are responsible for returning your room to its original state and scheduling a time to inventory your room. Students are responsible for all damages and assessed a monetary fine after Physical Plant staff inspects the rooms and common areas after check-out. The staff looks for cleanliness, damages beyond normal wear and tear, and missing furnishings. Residents will be assessed for any damages, missing furnishings, extra cleaning charges (including common areas), damaged or missing equipment or furniture, and the removal/disposal of abandoned furniture, carpet or other personal property. No personal items may be left in the room or the hall. Items left on campus will be considered abandoned and are subject to donation or disposal at the student’s expense. Residents who fail to check-out properly will be issued a monetary fine. 

Maintenance Repairs

The Physical Plant staff and the Information Technology staff make every effort to keep the residence halls and wireless internet in good condition. To order repairs in your room, submit a Maintenance Request Form which can be found on the University’s intranet system. Your signed Housing Contract authorizes a University staff member to enter your room to complete any work order that you submit throughout the contract period. Please report emergency maintenance situations to a Residence Life Staff member or Physical Plant personnel. If there are pests or bugs in your room, please submit a work order request to Physical Plant and notify a Residence Life Staff member immediately.

Entry of Rooms

It is the University’s policy to respect your right to maximum privacy in your room. When possible, notice is given prior to entering your room for routine maintenance and inspection. However, University personnel and their authorized designee(s) may enter your room without notice for an emergency, maintenance work, fire safety inspections, fire drills, ensuring compliance with health standards, or if there is reasonable cause to believe there have been violations of University policy, state, or federal law. Your room may be entered during semester breaks without prior notice by University personnel when they are conducting building inspections and doing maintenance work.

Hallways

Hallways and stairwells must remain free of any obstruction at all times. This includes, but is not limited to, boxes, clothes, shoes, cleats, garbage, book bags, bikes, and other obstructive items. Failure to remove items may result in the Residence Life Staff confiscating or discarding those items left in the hall and possibly a monetary fine.

Fire Safety

Fire extinguishers are located throughout each building. Tampering with or misusing fire extinguishers is a serious violation of University policy. All hallways and stairwells must be clear of obstructions at all times. Know the location of all fire exits, fire alarms, and extinguishers. All smoke detectors must be operational and have at least 18 inches of clearance (e.g., from shelves, drapes, etc.). The sprinkler heads must also have 18 inches of clearance and cannot be used to hang things. Tampering smoke detectors or sprinkler heads will result in a fine to each occupant. Pulling the fire alarm in a non-emergency situation or tampering with fire safety or firefighting equipment will result in disciplinary action. This equipment includes fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire alarms, EXIT signs, electrical systems, lighting, and automatic door closures. If an alarm is intentionally set off or equipment is tampered with and the responsible party is unknown, the entire living unit may be held responsible. If a battery is low (beeping) submit an emergency work order via the intranet. Never remove the battery. In the event of a fire alarm, you are expected to leave your room, close the door behind you, and evacuate the building according to the posted evacuation routes. Stay away from the building until instructions are given to return. Halogen lights generate a considerable amount of heat and have been responsible for fires. Due to the potential hazards, halogen lights are not permitted on campus.

Decorations in Student Rooms

Furniture may be added if it does not create a health or fire hazard. Tapestries or other large pieces of material cannot be hung from light fixtures, sprinklers or smoke detectors and must be fire retardant. Lights cannot be covered, tampered with, or have the bulbs removed. Do not use duct tape, large nails, screws, pins, cellophane tape, double-sided mounting tape, or stickers to hang or mount things to the walls or doors. You are encouraged to personalize your living space; possessions or displays which are inconsistent with accepted University standards or policies should not be displayed in or outside your room, on doors, or in general view of the public, such as your room windows. If you display an item which is incongruent with this goal, a Residence Life staff member will discuss the concern with you and you will be required to remove the item in question. Check with a Residence Life Staff member if you have questions about what may or may not be appropriate.

Insurance for Personal Property

The University assumes no responsibility for damage, loss, or theft to residents’ personal property from any cause. Items you place in a University storage room are left at your own risk. Therefore, students are responsible for obtaining their own personal property insurance and liability coverage for damage, loss/theft of property, or fire.

Room Checks

Room checks are done at various times throughout the semester to ensure cleanliness, basic sanitation in the rooms and promote maintenance of AMU property. If you are unable to attend a room check, please reschedule with your RD. Failure to comply with room checks will result in a fine for the uncooperative residents of the room.

Storage

Storage for students is not available in the residence halls, outside of their assigned room. Students may not leave belongings during the summer break.

Residence Hall Common Areas and Middlebrooke Apartments

Building Access

Campus residence halls are open when the University is in session. They are closed during the Christmas break between the fall and spring semesters. All residence halls are locked 24 hours a day (with the exception of move in and move out days), and all buildings have a card-lock access system for entry. Your Student ID Card accesses the exterior building door, your room door, and the door to the lobby area of each hall. The unauthorized possession, use, reproduction, or sale of keys to University facilities, as stated in 17.R, is prohibited.

Propped Doors

To protect the safety and security of all residents, exterior building doors are not to be tampered with, disabled, or propped. Interior residence hall doors are also to never be propped unless a student is actively occupying the room; never utilize the deadbolt as a prop. Tape, coins, magnets, etc. are never to be used in order to inhibit the closing of a residence hall door. Violations of these policies may result in disciplinary action. If a door is not properly working, please submit a ticket to Physical Plant immediately and inform the hall’s respective RD via email.

Lockouts

If you get locked out of your room or residence hall, contact your roommate first, then your RAs. Residence Life Staff members and Campus Security can open your room, should your roommate or RAs not be available. Multiple lockouts will result in a monetary fine. 

Guests in the Residence Halls and Middlebrooke Apartments

Students must register overnight guests with their RD at least 24 hours prior to the guest’s arrival and must obtain permission from their roommate(s) before a guest is permitted to stay in their room. Rooms and apartments should not exceed a safe and manageable occupancy that may be determined by the University. No guests are permitted during winter break, pre-season athletic training, Orientation, and finals week, or for more than 3 consecutive nights. Guests must be escorted while in the building. Ave Maria students are expected to take responsibility for their guests’ behavior at all times. All guests are expected to be knowledgeable about and abide by University regulations. At the discretion of any University official, a guest may be denied admission or removed from University housing, facilities, and grounds at any time. Failure to register a guest may result in denial of admission to the guest and a monetary fine to the student host. 

Common Space Reservations & Furniture

Common rooms are available for the residents of that particular building. To reserve a room for a group, find an RA or RD who will check the availability of the room. To reserve the lobby areas and/or kitchen of one of the halls, contact the RD of that particular hall for permission at least 12 hours in advance. It is the responsibility of that group to clean the common room, lobby, or kitchen when they are finished. Lounge furniture is intended for the use and enjoyment of all residents. Proper care and use of this furniture is everyone’s responsibility. Removal of furniture from the common areas is considered theft. Furniture that is removed, damaged, or stolen is the financial responsibility of the individuals involved if known, or the residents of that particular residence hall if unknown. 

Common Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 9 am to 1 am; Friday and Saturday: 9 am to 2 am

  • Each residence hall has designated common areas for the use of the residents and their guests for gatherings, watching movies or TV, group study sessions, household meetings, etc. Common rooms are open to the residents of that hall 24 hours a day. Common Hours are designated for members of the opposite sex to visit in the common areas of other residence halls. Guests of the residence halls and members of the opposite sex must be escorted by a member of the residence hall at all times and should not be left alone.

Visiting Hours

The University permits students to host visitors of the opposite sex in their residence hall rooms during visiting hours only. Mature, responsible social behavior in accordance with Catholic moral teaching is expected of all students and visitors. As we seek to promote true freedom in Christian behavior and balanced social communities in the residence halls, we allow members of the opposite sex to visit each other at specified times on most Wednesday through Sunday evenings 7 pm – 12 am.

Members of the opposite sex must be registered as visitors upon entrance to the residence hall and must be escorted by their host or hostess throughout the duration of their visit. Within suites, visitors of the opposite sex are permitted only within the common rooms of the suites. The doors of residence hall rooms where members of the opposite sex are visiting must be propped open at all times during visiting hours. The wishes of a roommate desiring privacy within their room should generally prevail over those of a roommate desiring to entertain visitors.

Roommates experiencing difficulties regarding Visiting Hours are encouraged to seek the assistance of their Resident Assistants (RA) and/or Residence Hall Director (RD).

As determined by the Office of Residence Life, the common area of a suite or a quad can safely accommodate up to 25 persons and double-room can accommodate up to 10 persons. Any exceptions require the approval of the Hall Residence Director at least 5 hours in advance.

Kitchenettes in Residence Halls

Most residence halls have kitchenettes for student use. It is the responsibility of the residents to clean up after themselves. Failure to do so may result in a temporary closing of the facility and/or fine at the RD’s discretion.

Vending Machines

Food and beverage machines are provided in the residence halls. Vending machines are not to be tampered with or damaged. Should a machine be empty, broken, or keep your money without returning goods, please report it to the respective Residence Hall Director.

Laundry Facilities

Each residence hall has a laundry room equipped with washers and dryers. Laundry facilities are for the residents of that hall and may not be used by other members of the community. High efficiency laundry detergent is to be utilized and powder detergent is always prohibited. If a laundry machine is broken, complete a service ticket using the instructions posted on the machine and report it to your Residence Life Staff. In the case of an urgent situation, please call the RD On-Call. All laundry rooms are to be kept clean and organized. Do not leave cleaning supplies or clothes for an extended amount of time. Laundry rooms that are left in disarray are the financial responsibility of the individuals involved if known, or the residents of that particular residence hall if unknown. If you are missing laundry, please visit your hall’s laundry lost and found. 

Lost and Found

The Lost and Found areas on campus are in the Office of Student Affairs in the Bob Thomas Student Union Building and the RA offices in the residence halls. If not claimed, lost articles may be donated or discarded. 

Quiet Hours

  • Sunday through Thursday: 9 pm – 9 am
  • Friday and Saturday: 11 pm – 9 am

During Quiet Hours, voices should be kept low in the hallways, common room doors should be kept closed, music played softly, etc. Serious or repeated violations of Quiet Hours will result in disciplinary action.

Permitted in the Residence Halls & Middlebrooke:

  • Coffee pots with an automatic shut off function
  • Refrigerators (up to 3.6 cubic feet)
  • Bunk Beds: Some of the University residential rooms have beds that you are able to bunk. Students are free to arrange their rooms as they desire, provided that it is not in violation of fire or safety Code. The beds are to be freestanding and must not be stacked on any other furniture to support the bunk. If you have any questions about the arrangement of the room or the furniture please see an RD.
  • Bikes, roller skates, rollerblades, and skate boards: must be stored in your room or locked to bike racks. At the end of the academic year they should be stored with the rest of your belongings. Riding inside a university building and skating on railings, stairs, bike racks, ledges, etc. is prohibited.
  • Fish and fish tank (up to 15 gallons)
  • Microwaves
  • Dehumidifiers

Not Permitted in the Residence Halls & Middlebrooke:  

  • Hoverboards: Due to reported safety risks with Hoverboards (including Segways or similar devices), the University prohibits the use, possession, or storage of these items on campus.
  • Candles / Incense (even if not intended to be burned) and Open Flames
  • Appliances with any type of exposed burner or open flame: including, but not limited to, toasters, toaster ovens, electric grills, slow cookers, crock pots, frying pans and hot plates (these items are permitted in Middlebrooke kitchens).
  • Halogen lamps and air conditioners
  • Fireworks, Explosives and Dangerous Chemicals: such as compressed gas and equipment and vehicles that use combustible fuel.
  • Lofts or elevated structures
  • Students are not permitted to paint their rooms
  • Pets: except for fish.
  • Live Christmas decorations: trees, wreaths, and holly.
  • Hall Sports: Including but not limited to, skating, kicking/tossing balls or Frisbees, playing basketball or football, wrestling, or jumping rope, as well as the use of water balloons and water guns.
  • Door-to-door solicitation: unless authorized by the Director of Residence Life. Residents may not operate a business in their rooms. You are permitted to use your room as a meeting place as long as it does not infringe on a roommate’s rights, create a disruption in your community, or violate any residence hall policy.

Department of Campus Security

The Department of Campus Security at Ave Maria University exists to ensure a safe educational environment for the students, staff, faculty, and visitors who make up our campus community. AMU Security provides professional direction and support in matters of physical security, safety, fire prevention, emergency response, and investigation into violations of both university policy and the law. AMU Campus Security may investigate behavior, activity, or obstructions to the investigative process that pose a threat to the safety and welfare of the University, and document its findings in a report to AMU administration.

The stakeholders of this community are expected to utilize their personal cell phones or other devices to dial 911 if they face an imminent threat to their personal safety. Students are expected to cooperate with all staff and faculty members acting in the performance of their duties. Students are expected to have their student identification cards on their person at all times while on campus and present them at the request of any University staff member, to include Security Officers.

Access to Residence Halls and Other Campus Facilities

The campus grounds and University facilities are private property and the presence of any person on campus is at the pleasure of the University. It is the University’s expectation that visitors abide by University rules. The general public is welcome to enjoy the grounds and common spaces of the Ave Maria Campus and to attend and participate in certain events, lectures and activities made available to the general public. Minors must be accompanied by an adult at all times while on University property.

The University residence halls are not open to the general public; guests of students may be admitted to the hall in accordance with the University’s Residence Life Guest Policy. Residential halls are locked 24/7, while other buildings may remain open during operating hours.

Use of the University Library, dining, athletic, and other facilities by the public is limited in accordance with University policy. Visitors may not dine in the cafeteria or use University athletic or other facilities unless a guest of, and accompanied by, an authorized member of the University community. Visitors may dine in the Cafe. Visitors may also use the Mailroom unless otherwise noted by Mailroom Staff. Additional fees may apply to those not affiliated with the university.

Emergencies

Emergencies on campus should be reported directly to 911 emergency services. After reaching 911, University Security should be notified to help coordinate the arrival of emergency services and to document the event. Examples of emergencies include, but are not limited to serious physical or emotional health matters, acts or threats of violence, or criminal activity in progress. In a true emergency, you should always dial 911 first, then call Campus Security at (239) 280-6289. The Office of Student Affairs, including the Director of Security, the Director of Residence Life, and the Residence Hall Directors, is responsible for organizing and fully informing residents about emergency procedures, including fire drills, hurricane response, tornado response, flooding, etc.

Medical Emergencies

In case of a medical emergency on campus, call 911 for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and then notify your Residence Director (RD), Residence Assistant (RA), or Security Officer (SO). EMS personnel will make the determination to transport to a medical facility, if necessary. It is the student’s responsibility for all and any insurance documentation.

Non-Emergencies

Non-emergencies on campus can be resolved by calling the on-duty Campus Security Officer at (239) 280- 6289. This person can answer most question or concerns related to security, safety, wildlife, or building access. All emergencies should be reported to 911.

Reporting Criminal Activity

Campus Security can be reached daily 24/7 by dialing (239) 280-6289 to report suspicious activity. Campus Security will also contact the appropriate agencies as needed. As always, in the event of an emergency, Law Enforcement, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) may be contacted by dialing 911. All emergency services are provided by Collier County.

All members of Ave Maria University community are encouraged to report all incidents of criminal activity and suspicious persons to Campus Security or to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). Reports can be made by phone, in person, through the emergency notification app (LiveSafe), or via the Security website at: www.avemaria.edu/CampusLife/StudentServices/CampusSafety/AnonymousReport.aspx.

Campus Security highly recommends all AMU faculty, staff, and students download the LiveSafe app.

Police Enforcement

AMU Security personnel are authorized and directed to enforce all University security, safety, motor vehicle, traffic, and parking policies. Some examples of prohibited conduct include (but are not limited to):

  • Possession of any type of weapon.
  • Sale or possession of illegal substances or drug paraphernalia.
  • Propping exterior doors.
  • Tampering with safety or security equipment.
  • Feeding of or interacting dangerously with wild animals.
  • Recreational use of the bridge and canals (no swimming or fishing off the bridge).
  • Behavior disrespectful to quiet and/or sacred spaces on campus.

Failure to comply with the direction of Security personnel acting in the performance of their duties is a violation of University regulations. Campus Security may require any person on campus, including an owner, operator, or passenger of a motor vehicle to produce identification. Refusal to identify oneself is a violation of University regulations and may result in disciplinary action and/or referral to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Alcohol and Drug Policy

Students are prohibited from using, possessing, manufacturing, or transporting narcotics or any type of illegal drugs. Students 21 years of age and older may have alcohol in their rooms. However, alcoholic beverages may not be displayed or consumed in any common or public area of the University property or at University events without the explicit permission from the departments of Residence Life or Student Life. Ave Maria University recognizes its duty to uphold state and federal law. Students are reminded that violations of local, state, or federal law may be filed as misdemeanors or felonies. Any violations of the law or this policy may also be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency and student judicial council. Ave Maria University does recognize that alcohol and drug dependence is an illness, and University officials may make treatment recommendations in lieu of or in addition to any imposed sanctions. Students may be required to submit to a drug test if evidence of probable drug use exists.

Fire and Safety Equipment

Tampering with fire safety equipment is against the law and a violation of Ave Maria University policy. Tampering with fire and safety equipment is strictly prohibited, as use of these items is only authorized in case of an emergency. Safety equipment includes, but is not limited to: smoke alarms and fire detection equipment, fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers, automatic external defibrillators (AED’s), and mechanisms to secure doors.

Sexual Assault

If you have been sexually assaulted, contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Department immediately by dialing 911. Victims can go to the NCH North Collier Hospital Emergency Room for treatment, 11190 Health Park Blvd., Naples, FL 34110; (239) 552-7000; www.nchmd.org.

Persons who have been sexually assaulted or were the subject of any sex offense should immediately contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Department by dialing 911 and University Security at (239) 280-6289 to initiate a crime report. Students may also contact the Vice President for Student Affairs at (239) 280-2484, the Director of Residence Life at (239) 280-2542, or Counseling Services at (239) 304-7372 for information and assistance regarding the filing of a criminal complaint or to initiate a complaint under the procedures set forth in this Handbook.

The preservation of criminal evidence is essential to the successful prosecution of a sex offense. The Collier County Sheriff’s Department will provide personnel who are trained in the proper handling, identification, collection, and preservation of such evidence. Therefore, it is essential that in cases of sexual assault, the Collier County Sheriff’s Department and University Security be contacted as soon as possible. Ave Maria University counseling members are available to assist and accompany the victim of a sex offense from the initial report to the final resolution of the case. Victim information will be kept at the highest level of privacy.

Ave Maria University students and employees suspected of committing a sex offense of any kind are subject to criminal prosecution as well as disciplinary action under campus policies and procedures. Campus disciplinary action may take place even if criminal charges are not filed. Following the final determination of a campus

disciplinary procedure regarding an allegation of sexual criminal conduct, sanctions may be imposed that include, but are not limited to, suspension or dismissal of offending student(s) and censure, demotion, suspension, or termination of employment of an offending Ave Maria University employee(s).

In addition to criminal prosecution, complaints against students accused of sexual battery, attempted rape, rape or other sex offenses will be processed in accordance with the procedures in the Student Handbook. The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a campus disciplinary hearing; both shall be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding brought forth alleging a sex offense. Student sexual assault victims also have the option of changing their academic or on-campus living arrangements after an alleged sexual assault, if such changes are reasonably available.

Student IDs and Key Cards

All campus buildings have a card- access system for entry, and most remain locked during certain hours of the day. The residence halls remain locked at all hours, and may only be accessed by residential students and authorized staff. To protect the safety and security of our community, propping open any outside exterior door to a residence hall or to any secured university building is strictly prohibited, and may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Students are required to carry their student ID card with them at all times and present it upon request by any staff member. Student ID cards are also used for access to the library, use of the library printer systems, and entry to the cafeteria, student rooms, and other campus buildings and facilities. Students are responsible for securing and retaining their ID card. The fee for a replacement ID is $15.00. For the security of all campus residents, students may not lend their ID card to anyone. In addition, the unauthorized possession, use, reproduction, or sale of keys to University facilities is a violation of University policy and is prohibited. Violations may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Weapons Policy

Ave Maria University prohibits the possession or use of firearms, deadly weapons, airsoft guns, explosive devices, fireworks, nunchakus, metal/brass knuckles, billy clubs, and knives prohibited by state and federal law, except as required in the lawful course of business or authorized in writing by the Director of Security Services. Weapons found on school property may be confiscated and/or turned in to law enforcement. Additionally, the State of Florida prohibits the possession of a concealed weapon in any dormitory or classroom building of the University. Violators of this policy are subject to penalties under any applicable state and federal laws as well as sanctions from the University up to and including dismissal. A copy of Ave Maria University’s Campus Weapons-Free Policy may be found at the website: www.avemaria.edu/student-services/campus-safety/.

“Weapon” means any object or substance designed to inflict a wound, cause injury, incapacitate, intimidate, or create a reasonable fear of harm. This includes, but is not limited to, all firearms, including air rifles and pellet guns; bow and arrows; ammunition; switchblade knives; and knives with blades four or more inches in length; martial arts weapons; brass knuckles; explosives; and dangerous chemicals or poisons that are possessed with the intent to injure another or to cause damage to property.

Persons with knowledge or information regarding conduct which may constitute a violation of this policy are urged to contact the either the Department of Campus Security or the Office of Student Life. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Director of Campus Security at (239) -280-2401.

Weather and Wildlife Safety

Safety is the responsibility of each member of our community. In case of an emergency, Ave Maria University has developed an Emergency Management Plan. Students will be contacted by Office of Student Affairs staff regarding procedures and policies to follow in the event of an emergency. Students must register with the emergency notification system through the link on the web page.

Lightning is a significant threat to safety in Florida. A combination of factors that include heat, humidity, and geographic location helps make Florida a national leader in lightning strikes. In case of lightning, students should use prudence and common sense to ensure safety. Students should immediately go indoors when thunder is heard or lightning is seen, and remain indoors until the storm passes.

The Ave Maria University Campus is located in close proximity to multiple areas of critical wetlands and other natural habitats. Due to the proximity of these large environmental reserves, there is a possibility of encountering wildlife on campus, including a small number of venomous species. It is prudent to be familiar with their appearance and to know what to do in the case of an encounter. The best way for students to stay safe is to stay away from wild animals. Feeding or interacting with the wildlife is strictly prohibited by both University Policy and Florida statute, and may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

The following guidance is intended to provide general safety information and not as an authoritative source: www.avemaria.edu/CampusLife/StudentServices/CampusSafety/Wildlife.aspx.

Parking Policy

The Department of Campus Security is authorized and directed to enforce all security, safety, motor vehicle, traffic, and parking regulations on AMU property to ensure safety and security. All vehicles are required to register for and display a current and valid university-issued parking permit. Vehicle registration is conducted online at the link listed below. Vehicles must park in approved parking spaces, and may not block or otherwise prohibit vehicle or foot traffic. The pavers are reserved for emergency and service vehicles only, unless prior approval is granted by the Department of Campus Security. Failure to comply with the parking policy may result in sanctions, which may include a fine, revocation of parking privileges, and/or towing of a vehicle at the owner’s expense. The full parking policy can be found at www.avemaria.edu/parking.

Parking Citation Appeals

An appeals process to an AMU Parking Citation exists and is outlined below:

  • A parking citation appeal must be submitted in writing through the Parking Administrator program within 14 days of the infraction date.
  • The written appeal must state the specific reason for the appeal.
  • Parking citation appeals will forward to the AMU Parking Appeals Committee for review.
  • The decision of the Parking Appeals Committee will be conveyed to the student in writing.
  • All decisions of the Parking Appeals Committee will be considered final.

Bicycle Policy

Bicycles in Ave Maria are an ideal form of transportation. Because we live in a relatively safe community, there is a tendency to abandon bicycles or leave them unsecured in front of building doors or in areas not designed for bicycle storage. This often leads to theft and safety concerns.  In response, Ave Maria University is committed to supporting a comprehensive bicycle policy for the campus community.

Bicycles parked on campus must be registered with Campus Security, and should display a valid registration permit. Bicycles parked on campus without this permit are subject to removal.

Bicycle registration is available at no cost for all students, faculty, and staff who utilize bicycles on campus. Upon registration, the bike owner will receive a numbered sticker to be affixed to the bicycle, allowing identification back to its owner should it be stolen or removed. No personal information will be displayed.

All bicycles should be stored and secured in the bicycle storage racks provided near most campus buildings. Prohibited bike storage areas include: building access points, railings, stairwells, handicapped access ramps, posts, benches, or any location that would impede accessibility or pose a safety hazard.

Bicycles removed due to abandonment or improper parking can be reclaimed through Campus Security, 239-280-6289.

  • There is a $16.88 reclaim fee, payable to the University Bursar before time of pick up.
  • If the bicycle is not already registered with the AMU Security Department, the bicycle lock combination or key must be proven at the time of pick up.
  • Bicycles will be stored in the University storage area for 30 days, after which the bicycles will be donated to a local charity.

Bicycle racks on campus are intended for short-term bicycle parking. Long-term bike storage during summer breaks or study abroad may be arranged by contacting the AMU Security Department at 239-280-6289.

Golf Cart/Utility Cart Policy

Overnight golf/utility cart parking on campus is restricted to university vehicles only, and there is currently no option available for students to charge their personal electric golf carts on campus without expressed written authorization from the Department of Student Affairs.

Charging electric carts on campus is only allowed for University staff vehicles. Student-owned carts are restricted to street parking or campus parking lots. Golf carts/utility carts are not to be parked in front of building entrances, exits, or pedestrian walkways. Violators may be ticketed or towed.

For daily commuter students, there are a limited number of golf cart parking locations on campus. Commuter students wishing to utilize their golf cart on campus daily must sign an agreement that lays out the expectations of use on campus. A registration fee of $40/academic year is required in accordance with our vehicle registration policy. Students wishing to bring a golf cart to campus must first obtain prior written permission through registration with both Ave Maria University and the Ave Maria Masters Association, and meet all insurance requirements. The list of safety requirements can be obtained from the latter organization.

Food Services

Ave Maria University believes in the importance of sharing meals as a community and as such requires that all students residing on campus participate in the meal plan program. Commuter students may bring their own food to eat outside the cafeteria on the tables by the café, or purchase the meal plan, multiple-meal cards, or pay for meals individually to eat inside the cafeteria. All students must use their student ID or pay to eat inside the dining hall.

Food service is offered in the dining hall which is located on the first floor of the Bob Thomas Student Union Building. Students may choose from one of the two available meal plans:

  1. 19 meals per week to be used in the cafeteria (3 meals per day Monday-Friday and 2 per day Saturday Sunday) and 100 “AMU points” (50 per semester).
  2. 14 meals per week (2 meals per day) in the cafeteria and 300 points (150 per semester).

The deadline to request a meal plan change is Friday of the first full week of classes. AMU Points can be used with a student ID card in the University cafeteria, the Gyrene café, The Coffee Shop located in the Library, the Avecado restaurant, the Pub and Grill of Ave Maria, and Tropical Smoothie Café. 1 AMU Point = $1.00. AMU Points cannot be used for the purchase of alcoholic products. All AMU Point balances are lost at the end of each semester. Additional AMU Points may be purchased through Self Service or by visiting the Business Office located on the 3rd floor of the library. Please see the Food Service Director for details.

Hours of Operation during Academic Year

Monday – Friday:

  • Continuous Service 7 am – 7:30 pm
  • Full Breakfast 7 am – 9:30 am
  • Full Lunch 11:30 am – 2 pm
  • Full Dinner 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Saturday & Sunday:

  • Continuous Service 10 am – 7:30 pm
  • Full Brunch 10 am – 2 pm (2:30 pm on Sundays)
  • Full Dinner 4:30 pm-7:30 pm

Additional Service:

  • Express Breakfast swipe is available in the main dining hall from 8:30 am-10:30 am, Monday – Friday.
  • Express lunch swipe is available in the café from 11 am – 2 pm.
  • The Gyrene Café hours are:
    • Monday –Friday 10 am to Midnight, and Saturday and Sunday 6 pm to Midnight.

Students who take food without paying or swiping their ID card may be subject to disciplinary action. This includes students who provide food to another person who did not pay for the meal. Such actions will be treated as theft. All food is to be consumed in the dining hall area. You may not bring your own refillable drink containers to use in the dining areas or transport elsewhere but you may drink all you wish while dining, using the cups/glasses provided. All cafeteria items (for example, cups/glasses, plates, trays, silverware, condiments, etc.) must remain in the dining area. Any specific questions regarding food service or preparation can be directed to the Food Service Director for Ave Maria University at 239-280-2506.

Special Dietary Accommodations

The University’s food service contractor, Valley, Inc., is aware that some students may have particular dietary needs and provides the services of a Registered Dietician to assist students in ensuring that they can have these needs met through the meal plan. If you have a particular dietary need, please contact the Director of Food Services at 239- 280-2506.

In addition, as medically necessary, those students with documented dietary needs may be provided the opportunity to participate in a special dietary needs program available in the cafeteria. Please be aware that in order to participate in this program you may need to provide a letter from your medical doctor (letters from chiropractors are not acceptable) stating your medical diagnosis; in the event of food intolerances or allergies, the doctor must state what foods may not be consumed and the nature of the allergic reaction. Requests for participation in the special dietary program should be directed to the Director of Food Services, located in the 1st floor of the Student Union, inside the Cafeteria.

Exemptions from participation in the meal plan program are very rarely provided and granted only when extreme medical conditions are documented to exist and when appropriate accommodations cannot otherwise be arranged through Valley. Such exemptions will require extensive medical documentation and must be brought to the attention of the University through the Director of Food Services within the first week of classes of the academic year in which the exemption is sought.

Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life works closely with representation from the student body, including the Student Government Association, the Student Activities Board, Residence Hall staff, and the student organizations to minister to the students’ needs and offer programming that is balanced and faithful to the mission of the University. Student Life is committed to accompanying the students throughout their academic journey and to provide the students with opportunities for growth outside the classroom.

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association is a student council comprised of an executive board and class representatives elected by their peers to represent the student body. The role of the Student Government Association is to take upon itself a special responsibility to uphold the proper balance of intellectual, spiritual, and social development of the student body, and strives to be guided and directed by the Mission Statement of Ave Maria University.

The Student Government is designed to listen to and address the needs of the student body. Students are encouraged to contact their elected representatives or the Office of Student Life to propose suggestions or ask questions.

Student Organizations

Student Organizations are vital to the social life on campus and serve the student body by bringing people of common interest together to pursue a common goal. A student organization is defined as a group of students joined in the pursuit of a common purpose, guided by an approved constitution under the direction of chosen or elected officers, advised by a faculty or staff member, and officially recognized by Ave Maria University through the Office of Student Life. Organizations are comprised of clubs, ministries, and households. Student Organizations can request funding from the Office of Student Life for their group activities.

Students are encouraged to take an active role in student organizations, since such activity contributes to their total education as a whole person and the educational goals of Ave Maria University. Correlative to that end, a student organization that is in conflict with the mission of the University will not be recognized by Ave Maria University. The Director of Student Life is the proximate administrative officer appointed to advise and oversee all student organizations.

In order for a student organization to be approved by Ave Maria University, the group must complete the following:

  • Have at least five students interested in joining the organization.
  • Write a constitution to be submitted to the Director of Student Life for review. A guide for writing student organization constitutions is available in the Office of Student Life.
  • Have a faculty or staff member as its advisor. To ensure proper coordination and communication, the advisor must be consulted on plans for activities and must be informed of all matters of organizational business.
  • Have elected or appointed student officials who coordinate the operations of the specific organization. The number of officials and roles of various positions will be outlined and explained in the constitution of the organization. A student is eligible for officer status if he or she:
    1. Maintains a GPA of 2.5 or above.
    2. Is not on disciplinary or academic probation.
    3. Is not engaged in any activity deemed to be inimical to the best interests of Ave Maria University.

Students interested in forming a new organization on campus should contact the Office of Student Life to begin the process of official approval. As a general recommendation, students ought to limit their time participating in co- curricular activities (e.g., student clubs and organizations, drama club, campus ministry and outreach, club and intramural athletics, etc.) and on-campus employment to no more than 15-20 hours per week.

Households

A Household is a group of 3 or more male or female students who mutually support each other by spending time together in prayer and recreation. Households are not meant to divert students from their studies, friendships, or other personally fulfilling pursuits but rather are designed to help them flourish in these areas. It is through the congruent living of the four pillars that the households will be able to reach their goal of social, spiritual, academic, and moral excellence.

The Four Pillars of Household Life

  • Academic – Using our intellect to seek the truth in all areas of inquiry and to mold our wills around it. Spiritual – Placing Jesus and the Sacramental life of the Church at the center of our fellowship.
  • Social – Establishing lifelong friendships embedded in the dignity of the human person through common meals, individual and group meetings, intramural athletic teams, and community life in the residence halls.
  • Moral – Endeavor to model our behaviors after the pattern of Christ and rooted in the reality of our dignity as sons and daughters of God.

If you are interested in joining a household, contact the student coordinator to learn about the initiation process for that particular household. If you are interested in starting a household, visit the Office of Mission Outreach, located on the second floor of the Student Union.

Policies and Guidelines for Student Organizations are also put forth in the AMU Student Organizations Handbook, which is made available to all Student Organizations leaders at the beginning of the academic year.

Event and Program Planning

The Office of Student Life encourages student-initiated events and programs, and serves as a means of support for student clubs, households, and ministries who wish to plan an event. All student events and programs must be approved by the Office of Student Life.

To ensure that your event runs as smoothly as possible, contact the Office of the Student Life for the Event Planning Procedure and submit the completed forms to Student Life for approval. To avoid scheduling conflicts please reserve rooms for your event through the Office of Student Life at least four weeks in advance of the date you wish to hold your event. 

School-Sponsored Events

All sweatshirts, t-shirts, and articles that are to be sold or distributed on campus must have the design and/or artwork approved by the Director of Student Life before such articles are ordered. The University reserves the right of confiscation or any other appropriate penalties should this regulation be violated. The sponsoring or booking of any film or speaker by a recognized student organization requires permission and approval from the Office of Student Life.

Fundraising

Student organizations desiring to hold a fundraising event must have prior written approval from the Office of Student Life. If permission is granted, the organization must follow the guidelines laid out by the Office of Student Life. All charitable donations must be turned into the Office of Student Life to be processed. To obtain permission, please contact the Office of Student Life.

Student Organizations wishing to submit Grant Requests to any outside organization must receive written approval from the Office of Student Life. This process will be coordinated with the support of University’s Advancement team.

Advertising & Signs Policy

Any group, organization, or individual advertising or posting signs on campus must comply with the University’s policy:

  • The content of all signs, advertisements, and table tents must be consistent with the University’s identity and mission as a Catholic institution.
  • All postings must be approved by the Office of Student Life prior to being posted. To receive approval, please bring your flyer to the Office of Student Life. Any signs that have been posted without approval or in undesignated areas will be removed.
  • In order to preserve the appearance of our campus buildings and grounds for both the University community and its visitors, postings are generally restricted to certain areas on campus, mainly bulletin boards around campus.
  • Postings may not be placed on vehicle windshields or taped to the windows or entrances to the buildings. Posting should be posted with masking tape or push pins (bulletin boards). Do not use duct tape or packing tape, as either will damage the walls.
  • All postings must be removed within 24 hours after the event.
  • Students are prohibited from posting materials in the residence halls without permission from the Residence Director and the Office of Student Life.
  • Student organizations wishing to advertise an event on the Daily Bulletin must submit their event advertisement to Bulletin@avemaria.edu following the appropriate guidelines.
  • The Office of Student Life is not responsible for creating advertisements for events hosted by student organizations. Should the need arise, the Office of Student Life is happy to assist in printing and posting advertisements, provided that the desired postings are submitted in their final form at least two weeks in advance to the event.

Use of the Ave Maria University Logo & Name

The name “Ave Maria University” is registered and marked with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Accordingly, the University reserves all rights regarding the use of its name or logos or facsimile representations thereof. Persons wishing to publish or imprint the name, logo, or representations of Ave Maria University in any form must obtain permission from the Office of Student Life.

In addition, students are not permitted to make any commitments or sign any contracts in the name of Ave Maria University. No one is permitted to use University facilities for or in any connection with commercial activity of any kind whatsoever without obtaining prior written approval and permission from the appropriate University authority. The approval process must begin with the Director of Student Life. No solicitation, advertisement, or commercial communication should expressly, or by reasonable implication, make a representation of University sponsorship without prior approval and permission of the appropriate University authority.

Student Complaint Procedure

The Ave Maria University Student Complaint Policy is designed to assist students in resolving complaints regarding a violation, interpretation, or application of a university policy or procedure. Ave Maria University is committed to maintaining a learning environment which promotes student academic excellence and personal development. To facilitate this learning environment, the university provides informal and formal processes to resolve complaints. Please note that the University maintains a separate set of procedures to address complaints related to alleged violations or issues involving discrimination, harassment, Title IX, the Honor Code, and the Code of Student

Conduct, as detailed below under “Exclusions.”

Informal Process

The student should first attempt to resolve complaints informally by requesting the opportunity to meet with the staff or faculty member who is alleged to have caused the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved at this level, then the student is encouraged to continue to pursue informal resolution by presenting the complaint orally or through email correspondence through appropriate administrative channels up to the Office of the Vice President in whose area the complaint originated. If an informal resolution cannot be reached, then the student may initiate the formal complaint process.

Formal Process

A complaint must be filed in a timely fashion. Formal written complaints must involve a specific event or incident occurring within thirty (30) days of filing. The student should attempt resolution of the matter in the Informal Process before filing a formal written complaint. University officials shall make reasonable efforts to respond to complaints within fifteen (15) business days of when initially submitted. Formal complaints must:

  1. Be in writing and must be dated and signed by the student making the complaint.
  2. Clearly identify the department(s) and issue(s) involved.
  3. Indicate (and describe as appropriate) how the student has attempted to resolve the issue with the involved staff/faculty member prior to the submission of the formal complaint.

Formal Complaint Procedure

The formal written complaint should be submitted to the appropriate Vice President:

  • The Vice President for Academic Affairs (for complaints regarding grading, classroom issues, advising, and similar academic matters);
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs (for complaints regarding residential life, athletics, food services, security, and similar student life issues); and,
  • The Vice President for Enrollment Management (for complaints regarding admissions, financial aid, bursar, registrar, and facilities).

Complaints in areas not clearly under the administration of a particular Vice President should be directed to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

After receiving the complaint, the Vice President shall attempt to respond to and resolve the complaint. The Vice President may, at his or her discretion, also choose to initiate the following process:

  1. The Vice President may route the complaint to the director/chair of the appropriate department where the issue originated or to an ad hoc committee of faculty or staff established for this purpose. The director/chair or committee shall review the complaint and investigate the issues identified.
  2. Upon completion of its review, the director/chair or committee shall provide the student with a written response to the complaint.
  3. If the student feels the response provided by the director or committee does not address the complaint properly, the student may appeal the decision to the Vice President. Such appeal must be made within five (5) business days of the receipt of the decision of the director or committee.
  4. Upon receipt of the appeal request, the Vice President shall review the institutional decision and the student’s appeal request. The Vice President then shall either render a decision or elect to convene an ad hoc appeals committee consisting of the Vice President and other University faculty and/or administrators. If constituted, the committee shall investigate the issue and render a decision on the complaint appeal. In either case, the decision is final and shall be reported to the student in writing.

However, the complaint is resolved (i.e., whether by director, by committee, or the vice president), documentation of the resolution of the formal complaint shall be maintained by the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Complaints to Outside Agencies

If the formal complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved by the University, students may file a complaint with the following agencies:

  • For complaints pertaining to AMU’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards, students may contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges: 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097
  • Distance Education students who have completed the internal institutional grievance process and the applicable state grievance process may appeal non‐instructional complaints to the FL‐SARA PRDEC Council. For additional information on the complaint process, please visit the FL‐SARA Complaint Process page, http://www.fldoe.org/sara/complaint-process.stml
  • For all other complaints, students may contact the Florida Department of Education. More information for this process may be found at the following link: http://www.fldoe.org/policy/cie/file-a-complaint.stml
    • To file a complaint, send a letter to: Commission for Independent Education 325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, FL. 32399-0400
    • The letter should include:
      1. Name of Student (or Complainant)
      2. Complainant Address
      3. Phone Number
      4. Name of Institution
      5. Location of the Institution (City)
      6. Dates of Attendance
      7. A full description of the problem and any other documentation that will support your claim such as enrollment agreements, correspondence, etc.
      8. The complaint process of the Commission involves contacting the institution to obtain their response to your complaint. If you do not want the Commission to contact the institution you are attending, you must state so in your complaint; however, doing so will greatly hinder the Commission’s ability to assist you with your complaint.

Exclusions

Ave Maria University maintains a separate set of procedures to address complaints related to alleged violations or issues involving discrimination, harassment, Title IX, the Honor Code, and the

Code of Student Conduct. Complaints, appeals or grievances pertaining to the following matters shall not be processed under this policy, but shall be processed as described in their respective policies:

  1. Disciplinary actions taken under the Ave Maria University Academic Honor Code.
  2. Disciplinary actions taken under the Ave Maria University Code of Student Conduct.
  3. Complaints involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, or violations of Title IX (see the complaint/grievance sections of the Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and/or Sexual Assault policies for more information). Students should contact the Office of Student Affairs or the Title IX Coordinator for assistance in resolving any discrimination or harassment issue.

Parental Communication with the Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs encourages open communication between students, parents, and the University. The University encourages students to contact their parents/guardians regularly and keep them up-to-date with what is happening in their lives.

The Office of Student Affairs assumes that students, as maturing adults, are able to attend to their affairs without parental intervention. Normally, the Office of Student Affairs will not initiate contact with parents unless the student’s status with the University is seriously threatened for health or disciplinary reasons, in which case the University will initiate contact with parents or guardians in person, over the phone, or in writing. The University will follow the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulations. (For more details on FERPA, please visit http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html)

Office of Intramural Athletics

Intramural Sports are vital to building community on campus as well as helping the student maintain balance and fitness in their lives. For more information, please contact the Assistant Athletic Director for Intramural Athletics, at (239) 280-1675.

Academic Eligibility Requirement

All students on academic probation, in order to be eligible to participate in Intramural Athletics, must meet with Academic Support Personnel regularly until such time as they are no longer on  probation.  The decision to meet regularly with academic support personnel is totally voluntary, but students choosing not to participate will be ineligible from Intramural Athletics until grades are improved beyond probationary levels.

Conduct and Sportsmanship

  1. All persons, whether they are participants or spectators, are expected and required to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. Any swearing, fighting, or disrespect shown to officials, staff, or another player will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and will result in an immediate suspension from participation in the current game being played and from participation in the following game(s). This kind of behavior may also result in a suspension for the entire season or year. This decision will be made by the Assistant Athletic Director for Intramural Athletics. For the game, season, or year that the player is suspended, he or she is not allowed to be present at any intramural event.
  2. Any player who is suspended from an intramural game must report to the Assistant Athletic Director for Intramural Athletics within 24 hours of the inappropriate and unsportsmanlike conduct. The player must initiate this meeting and the actions and consequences will be discussed. Eligibility for the player will be reinstated (if this is the decision made) when he or she meets with the Assistant Athletic Director for Intramural Athletics within this 24-hour period.
  3. At no time will any person be permitted to threaten an official, another player, or staff member in any way before, during, or after a contest. Any such action will result in a suspension from all intramural competition for the remainder of the school year.
  4. Appeals may be made in writing to the Assistant Athletic Director for Intramural Athletics or his designee and must be submitted within 2 days of the levied sanctions.

Fitness Center Facilities

The Office of Student Affairs is able to offer a full fitness center in the Student Union for all students, faculty, and staff of Ave Maria University. The Weight Room offers numerous cardiovascular machines, along with weight machines.

  • The Fitness Center is to be used only by current students, staff, and faculty. Use of this facility will be at the person’s own risk.
  • No one under 18 years of age will be allowed in the Fitness Center unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • It is up to each individual to help maintain a clean and safe facility for other patrons.

Any issues, such as broken equipment or housekeeping issues, should be directed to the Director of Student Life as soon as possible.

Campus Ministry & Mission Outreach

The Offices of Campus Ministry and Mission Outreach facilitate the spiritual life on campus by bringing together students, faculty, and staff for prayer, worship, service, and learning.

  1. Our top priority is to enable students and staff to encounter Jesus Christ.
  2. Campus Ministry plans and executes a comprehensive campus-wide schedule of Mass, Confessions, Spiritual Direction, Eucharistic Adoration, and other sacramental needs.
  3. Mission Outreach coordinates faith formation events, Retreats, Alpha courses, Peer-Ministry, RCIA, Households, and student ministries.

Through these many services, Campus Ministry, Mission Outreach, and Student Life collaborate to help students integrate spiritual, academic, and personal growth. The sacramental life of the Ave Maria University Community is provided by the Parish of Ave Maria. The Campus Minister is a Catholic priest whose full-time responsibility is the pastoral care of the entire University community. He provides regular sacramental ministry and spiritual counseling, as well as help and support to students in times of crisis or guidance in making decisions. The Office of Campus Ministry promotes the building of a genuine Catholic community on campus through a ministry of Word and Sacrament.

Priests are available daily in the Campus Ministry offices for spiritual direction and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also available daily in our chapel on campus surrounding the daily Mass times. The life of faith at Ave Maria University has many distinctive features. Each student residence has a chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Informal Eucharistic Adoration is available in each student residence hall.

On-Campus – Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel (Xavier Hall)

Daily Mass Times: Monday – Friday, 8 am, & 8 pm

Saturday: 4 pm (vigil)

Sunday: 9 am, 11:30 am, & 5 pm

Sacrament of Reconciliation: 45 minutes before all masses

Off-Campus – Ave Maria Parish (subject to change)

Daily Mass Times: Monday – Friday, 7:30 am, 12 pm, & 5 pm

Saturday: 9 am, 5 pm (vigil)

Sunday: 8 am, 10 am, 12:30 pm (Extraordinary Form), 7:30 pm (University Mass)

Sacrament of Reconciliation: Monday – Friday, 2:45 – 3:45 pm; Saturday, 9:30 am – 10:30 am; By request to any priest.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Perpetual Adoration: In the Martha J. Burke Adoration Chapel, adjacent to the Library
Informal Adoration: Anytime in any chapel

Rosary Walk

Monday – Saturday: 9 pm, departing from the dormitory quad.
Sunday: 9:30 pm (followed by Household fellowship at the Goretti Lobby)

Dress & Decorum

Please be reverent and quiet in the Church and Chapels and when near the Blessed Sacrament. Take special care always to be dressed modestly and appropriately when in the Church or Chapels.

Ave Maria University Policy on the Pastoral Care of Students

As a Catholic institution and community, we at Ave Maria University are under the canonical authority and guidance of the Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida. The persons presented to the Bishop for approval to serve in ministry and designated by the President of Ave Maria University to serve as leaders for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the students are the Director of Campus Ministry and his associates, and those who assist the Campus Ministry Office, in consultation with the Pastor of the Parish of Ave Maria.

Any person or group who wishes to conduct, promote, or advertise a significant pastoral or spiritual activity on campus must request permission in writing to the Office of Campus Ministry. Such requests are submitted to the Bishop’s office for approval.

Spiritual Opportunities:

  • Daily Mass & Confessions
  • One on one Spiritual Direction
  • Multiple weekend Retreats per year
  • including Retreats for each Sports Team
  • Households of small single gender Covenant Communities
  • Mother Teresa Project: Service opportunities & Mission trips
  • Outdoor Activities: Camping / Bon Fire with Faith Testimonies
  • Special Events for Freshmen sponsored by Campus Ministry Team
  • Bible Study / Lectio Divina
  • Theology on Tap and other events with Guest Speakers
  • Oremus Evenings of Praise
  • Pure in Heart addiction support groups
  • Frassati Night Dorm Socials

The Mother Teresa Project

Ave Maria is dedicated to promoting the New Evangelization by encouraging each student to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a love of Scripture and the Sacraments, and a desire to serve those in need. Students who graduate from Ave Maria University should be simultaneously “pro-life and pro-poor” and prepared to engage and transform the culture of the 21st century.

Ave Maria University received permission in 2013 from the Missionaries of Charity to establish “The Mother Teresa Project” – an initiative that connects students with St. Teresa of Calcutta’s life and teachings through study, volunteer service, and a Museum in her honor. Ave Maria students not only learn of Mother’s compassion through international mission trips to M.C. homes, but also actively spread her legacy through local service.

The Mother Teresa Project serves many communities of South Florida, including Immokalee. Immokalee is fifteen minutes away from Ave Maria, and is one of the poorest rural communities in the country. In this community, students have the opportunity to serve meals at the soup kitchen, build homes with Habitat for Humanity, and mentor underprivileged children. Outside of Immokalee, the Mother Teresa Project visits the elderly in Naples nursing homes, assists disabled adults in Fort Myers, and serves the homeless in Miami.

The Mother Teresa Project offers a wide array of mission trip destinations including Washington D.C., Mexico, Brazil, Tijuana, Dominican Republic, Uganda and Calcutta, India. These trips allow students to experience the lifestyle of the M.C.s and encounter true need in other parts of the world.

The Mother Teresa Project aims to perpetuate knowledge of, and devotion to, St. Teresa of Calcutta. To that end, the Project has established the Mother Teresa Museum. This space, dedicated to the story of Mother’s life, is the only one in the United States that is officially recognized by the Missionaries of Charity. Ave Maria University is blessed to house several of Mother’s relics in the Museum, providing a peaceful refuge and a holy space. The Museum inspires an attitude of joyful service in our students and encourages them to live like she did by serving those most in need.

Notification of Rights under FERPA

Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Ave Maria University has established the following policy:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the Office of Academic Records written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  1. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education record that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.

Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.

  1. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Effective October 26, 2001, institutions are permitted to disclose – without the consent or knowledge of the student or parent – personally identifiable information from the student’s education records to representatives of the Attorney General of the United States in response to an ex parte order in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes (USA Patriot Act of 2001). An ex parte order is an order issued by a court without notice to an adverse party. In addition, when the University makes a disclosure pursuant to an ex parte order, the University official is not required to record that disclosure of information in the student’s file.

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Ave Maria University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

The U.S. Department of Education will issue regulations to reflect the changes in FERPA. The Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) in the Department of Education administers both FERPA. Informal inquiries may be sent to FPCO via the following email address: FERPA@ED.Gov

Directory Information is information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It includes:

  • Name, address, telephone listing, e-mail address
  • Student status: Part-time/full-time; freshman/sophomore Major Field of study
  • Weight and height of athletes
  • Most recent previous school attended Photographs
  • Date* and place of birth
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports Dates of attendance, degrees, date of graduation and awards

*Directory Information – date of birth: It is the practice of the University not to release a student’s date of birth except as required by law or as a validation of positive identification of a student when furnished by a person making an inquiry.

Directory Information does not include student identification numbers, social security numbers or other personally identifiable information.

A copy of Ave Maria University policy may be found in the Office of Academic Records.

Disability Access & Reasonable Accommodation

Ave Maria University strives to make reasonable adjustments in its policies, practices, services, and facilities in accordance with The Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and the Section 504 federal legislation ensuring equal opportunity for qualified persons with disabilities to participate in all educational programs and activities. The student requiring specific accommodation or auxiliary aids must make application for such assistance through the Adaptive Services Office. Documentation of the disability will be required, as well as information regarding the specific limitations for which the accommodation is requested.

The University assumes no responsibility for personal assistance necessary for independent living or for specialized medical care. As a result of limited health facilities and health care professionals on campus, students requiring personal health assistance should be prepared to bear the expense of this care through a general hospital or private physician/clinic of their choice.

The cooperation and support of all faculty and staff members is necessary in order to implement and maintain the policy:

A. Physical access to at least one section of course offerings must be provided as necessary.
B. Academic requirements which have not been demonstrated as essential to the program of instruction being pursued, nor to any directly related licensing requirement are subject to reasonable modification, i.e. extension of time limits, adaptations in format or presentation, assistance for recording lecture material, priority seating, testing services, etc.
C. Auxiliary aids are permitted when required to ensure full participation and equal educational opportunity for a student with a disability.

Accommodations for students with disabilities minimize the impact of the disability on student performance and allow the student equal opportunity to demonstrate his/her knowledge. These accommodations are generally made on an individualized and flexible basis, with input from the student, instructor, and the Adaptive Services Office.

Ave Maria University Adaptive Services Office
First Floor Canizaro Library, rm. 160
Manager: Jenifer LeCompte
Office Phone: 239-280-1654
Jenifer.LeCompte@avemaria.edu

Documentation of Your Disability

Documentation serves to establish that a student has or has been considered to have a disability, describes the functional impact of the disability, and identifies accommodations such as auxiliary aids and other appropriate support services. The appropriate documentation verifies your disability and qualifies you for services. Compensatory services to address your disability are determined by the specific nature and severity of your disability. Documentation should include:

  • The specific disability diagnosed.
  • The current impact of the disability as it relates to your accommodation request.
  • The types of accommodations which will assist you in ameliorating the impact of the disability.

Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the student provide valuable information for the review process. When recommendations go beyond the services and benefits that can be provided by the University, they may be used to suggest potential referrals to area service providers outside the University. Recent learning assessments and educational accommodation records are beneficial to document the existence and exact nature of a disability or disorder and to support requests for testing services and classroom and assignment accommodations.

You may be able to obtain an assessment or disability evaluation by requesting such information from your physician, or other medical personnel, psychologist, audiologist, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, private practitioners or other agencies serving people with disabilities in your area. Professionals qualified to conduct a comprehensive learning assessment can be found in a student’s local public school district, at universities with a doctoral program in Psychology, or in the private sector.

Substantiation of the Learning Disability

Documentation should validate the need for services based on the individual’s current level of functioning in the educational setting and can be substantiated by reports such as an Individual Education-504 Plan (IEP) identifying accommodations provided in the educational setting and medical/clinical records verifying a specific learning disorder or disability. A comprehensive learning assessment battery will include a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude and academic achievement, and a diagnosis. Information about the license or certification of the professional conducting the assessment should be identified. If you have questions about the documentation process, please call the Adaptive Services Office at 239-280-1654, which is located in Office #160 on the first floor of the Canizaro Library.

Ave Maria University’s Involuntary Withdrawal Policy

Ave Maria University is concerned about the safety, health, and well-being of all of its students, faculty, staff and visitors. The University is especially concerned about behaviors and activities that are disruptive to the university, significantly interfere with the student’s education or the rights of others, or are threatening to the student or others.

In circumstances where a student is unable or unwilling to agree to a voluntary medical withdrawal from the college, the Vice President of Student Affairs or a designee may impose on the student an involuntary medical withdrawal or mandatory medical and/or psychological evaluation.

A student may be subject to involuntary medical and/or psychological withdrawal from Ave Maria University or from campus housing if it is determined that the student is suffering from a medical and/or psychological condition and (a) engages in behavior which poses a danger of causing, or threatening to cause, physical harm to self or others; or (b) engages in behavior which poses a danger of causing, or threatening to cause, emotional harm to self or others; or (c) engages in behavior which poses a danger of causing, or threatening to cause, significant property damage; or (d) engages in behavior which substantially impedes or disrupts, or threatens to impede or disrupt, the lawful activities of others and/or the educational processes of the university; or (e) is physically unable to undergo the withdrawal process on his/her own (e.g., in a serious car accident, recovering in hospital, etc.).

These standards do not preclude removal from Ave Maria University, or campus housing, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the Housing Contract, or the Ave Maria University Code of Student Conduct.

After a student has been issued an involuntary medical withdrawal, the student will not be permitted on the college campuses (including classes) and will be denied access to any other college activities and privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, unless and until the student is subsequently permitted to re-enroll at the University.

Ave Maria University’s Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence Policy

Introduction

Ave Maria University is committed to maintaining a positive learning and working environment for students, faculty and staff. Sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, detracts from a positive environment and is absolutely prohibited. Sexual harassment for Title IX purposes is defined as unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal educational access; any instance of sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act), dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act); and any instance of quid pro quo harassment by an employee.

Sexual harassment can occur between/among supervisors/managers and subordinates, faculty and staff or students, peers, vendors/subcontractors/visitors and employees or students, or any combination thereof. Often, but not always, the harasser is in a more powerful position than the person being harassed. In such situations sexual harassment is particularly serious because it may unfairly exploit the power inherent in a supervisor’s or faculty member’s position. All forms of sexual harassment whether occurring on or off campus are violations of the University’s policy and will not be tolerated.

Sexual violence, as that term is used in Federal regulations, refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or when a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence encompasses a range of offenses including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion. All such acts can be considered a form of sex discrimination, and like sexual harassment, are prohibited by Title IX of Federal law.

Sexual assault, a form of sexual violence, is defined as forcing, threatening or coercing an individual into sexual contact against his or her free will with or without his or her consent. It includes, but is not limited to, any sexual act performed on an individual, any sexual act required to be performed by an individual, or forced or coerced intercourse. Sexual assault includes having sexual contact with a person while knowing or having reason to know that the person was incapacitated by drugs, including alcohol, or by other means.

For the purposes of this policy, the term “consent” is defined as informed, freely given, mutually and clearly understandable words or actions that convey, and are intended to be taken as conveying, a willingness to engage in sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, or by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another. Incapacitated persons (as from the use of drugs or alcohol) or persons who are asleep or unconscious cannot give consent, nor can minors give consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent obtained to engage in past sexual activity shall not be deemed to imply consent to future activity. Further, consent to one form of physical intimacy or sexual activity shall not be considered to imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

As a Catholic university that believes in the inherent dignity and worth of each and every person, Ave Maria University prohibits sexual harassment and all forms of sexual violence as inimical to the common good and deeply offensive to the God-given dignity and worth of the person.

The University’s prohibition of sexual harassment and sexual violence wherever it occurs (on or off-campus) applies to all students, faculty and staff members as well as third parties (such as visitors to campus). The information provided here regarding processes, procedures and resources is primarily intended for the benefit of students. (Members of the faculty and staff of the University should contact Human Resources for information and resources designed for their benefit.)

The University encourages victims of sexual harassment and sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened – so that victims can get the care and support that they need and so that the University can respond appropriately and work to prevent its recurrence and remedy any discriminatory effects. However, when seeking assistance from University employees in particular, students should understand that most employees are ‘responsible employees’ and are required by Federal law to report all details of an incident to the University (so that the University can take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably).

Students who make a report of sexual harassment or sexual violence (these students are referred to elsewhere within this and other University policies as “complainants”) shall be informed of and encouraged to use all appropriate University, law enforcement, and community resources. Complainants shall be defined as individuals alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. The University’s response to such reports will be conducted promptly, thoroughly and impartially.

Students accused of sexual harassment or sexual violence (referred to within University policies as “charged students or respondents”) shall receive appropriate procedural protection to ensure that they are treated fairly and in accordance with University policies and procedures. Respondents shall be defined as individuals who have been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. The investigation of any report of sexual harassment or sexual violence made to the University shall be completed as promptly as possible and in most cases within 60 days of the initial report.

Any actual or threatened retaliation, or any act of intimidation by a charged student or third party directed at any participant in the disciplinary process, intended to prevent or otherwise obstruct the reporting of sexual harassment or sexual violence or the participation in proceedings related to such reports, is prohibited by Title IX and University policy and will result in disciplinary action regardless of the outcome of the underlying misconduct complaint.

To support and assist students, both those who bring complaints and those who are charged with violations, the University provides a range of services and referrals for resources. Please see the references below for information related to medical, counseling and pastoral care. 

AMU Good Faith Disclosure Policy

Ave Maria University is concerned first and foremost with the safety of the entire campus community. Students may be hesitant to report to University officials the occurrence of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault, that they’ve suffered or witnessed, because they are concerned about charges for violating the Code of Student Conduct, the Sexual Morality and/or Visiting Hours policies. While violations of the Code of Student Conduct, Sexual Morality, and/or Visiting Hour policies are not condoned by the University, reporting sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence are strongly encouraged. Ave Maria University will not pursue disciplinary action against students for disclosure of personal violations of the Code of Student Conduct, the Sexual Morality, and/or the Visiting Hours policies, where the disclosure is made in connection with a good faith report or investigation of prohibited conduct and the misconduct did not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The University may initiate an educational discussion or pursue other non-disciplinary options regarding University violations that may have occurred.

Help For Victims of Sexual Violence

  1. Immediate Assistance: Reporting an Incident
    Victims of sexual violence have several alternatives open to them for reporting the incident. Each of these resources can assist students in getting the help they need:
    • AMU Security Department: 239-280-6289
      AMU Security is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. AMU Security may contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office or other local law enforcement agencies, as appropriate. AMU Security will also notify the AMU Title IX Coordinator as well as the Office of Student Affairs so as to ensure that the reporting student is provided appropriate assistance.
    • Collier County Sheriff’s Office Emergency: 911, 8-911 (from a campus phone), or 239-252-9300 
    • Title IX Coordinator: Reports may also be made to the AMU Title IX Coordinator, Mrs. Elizabeth Feger. The University’s Title IX Coordinator is the designated agent of the University with primary responsibility for overseeing Title IX compliance efforts. The Title IX Coordinator serves as a primary point of contact for those seeking information or wanting to report sexual violence.
    • Project HELP

Assistance for victims of sexual violence is also available from Project HELP: 239-262-7227. Project HELP (www.projecthelpnaples.org) is not affiliated with the University, but is a local non-profit organization staffed by professional counselors and advocates committed to providing assistance to those affected by sexual violence. Project HELP maintains a 24/7 Crisis and Referral Hotline (239-262-7227) and is the local state certified Rape Crisis Center. Project HELP provides free counseling and advocacy services, and staffs a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) which includes a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). SART works with complainants individually or acting as advocates while they work with law enforcement.

  1. Immediate Assistance: Emergency Medical Care

It is especially important for victims of sexual violence to seek immediate and appropriate medical treatment and assistance, if necessary.

Note: Depending upon the nature of the incident, and for the purposes of preserving evidence in the event criminal prosecution is sought, it may be best for the victim not to shower, eat, change clothes, or brush teeth prior to seeking medical attention.

Immediate emergency medical care is available through the Collier County Emergency Medical Services system (dial 911).

  • Collier County EMS: Dial 911

The nearest hospitals to Ave Maria University are:

    • NCH North Naples Hospital
      11190 Health Park Boulevard Naples, FL 34110
      239-624-5000
    • Physicians Regional – Pine Ridge
      6101 Pine Ridge Road
      Naples, FL 34119
      239-348-4000
    • Physicians Regional – Collier Boulevard
      8300 Collier Boulevard
      Naples, FL 34114
      239-354-6000
    • NCH Downtown Naples Hospital
      350 7th St. N.
      Naples, FL 34102
      239-436-5000

Ave Maria University Security, residence hall directors and/or staff from Student Affairs (239-280-2540) can assist students who need transportation or would like to be accompanied to any of these off-campus medical resources.

  1. Ongoing Assistance: Medical, Counseling, & Pastoral Care Resources
    Besides immediate emergency care, ongoing care is also critically important. Students are encouraged to make use of the following resources.

A. The University Counselor: Students needing confidential counseling services should contact the University Counselor, Nestor Levesque, a trained professional who can provide specialized support and assistance to students who have been subjected to sexual violence. Students may seek counseling at any time, no matter how long ago the incident occurred. Counseling services also are available to friends of a victim who may need support in assisting the student.
B. Project HELP, 239-262-7227: In addition to providing 24/7 assistance for sexual violence victims, Project HELP can also provide ongoing counseling and support services for students dealing with sexual violence.
C. Campus Ministry, 239-280-2518, chaplain@avemaria.edu: The Campus Ministry staff is trained to provide pastoral counseling and support to students or to friends who wish to support and assist them.
D. The On-Call Residence Director, 239-280-7344: The on-call Residence Hall Director can also provide assistance in obtaining counseling and pastoral guidance and support.

All of the services described above are available to student victims regardless of whether or not a victim chooses to report the incident or participate in any University disciplinary process or criminal process. The University Counselor, the priests in Campus Ministry staff and the staff of Project Help are confidential resources; for further information regarding confidentiality, please see the “Reporting Options and Confidentiality” section below.

  1. Accommodations and Other Interim Measures

Students seeking support following an incident of sexual violence should contact the Title IX Office, who will identify, explain and navigate the available support services. This includes information regarding counseling, educational support, pastoral care, medical treatment, and information about the University’s disciplinary procedures.

Title IX Office can take steps to help ensure the safety and well-being of students who report sexual violence, such as providing alternative housing arrangements, helping to rearranging class or work schedules, identifying other academic assistance (e.g., tutoring) and seeking other academic accommodations if necessary.

In some cases, as a way to help students continue their academic endeavors with as little distraction and disruption as possible, the Title IX Office may issue a “no-contact order” to some or all of the students involved. These no-contact orders have the force of a University regulation and normally prohibit the students involved from having any contact of any sort, either directly or through third parties, with each other. The issuance of no-contact orders is not a determination of responsibility (or lack thereof) attributable to either party, but is intended to help students focus on their school work with minimal distraction.

In each case, every effort will be made to accommodate all reasonable requests, to protect the student and the campus community, and to minimize the impact on the student’s educational endeavors. As with the resources described earlier, these academic accommodations and interim measures are available to student complainants regardless of whether any formal disciplinary action is initiated against an alleged perpetrator of sexual violence.

Reports to the University

A student who reports an incident of sexual violence to the University will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator who will identify, explain and navigate the available support services. The University’s Code of Student Conduct and disciplinary policies and procedures will be explained to the student..

A student always has the option to pursue a criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue the University’s disciplinary process, or to pursue both processes simultaneously.

Cases involving allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence referred to the Title IX Office shall be adjudicated using a “preponderance of the evidence” (i.e., it is more likely than not that the sexual harassment or sexual violence occurred) as the standard for the determination of responsibility under the policy.

Title IX Grievance and Resolution Process

Title IX Grievance and Investigation Procedures

The Title IX Office is responsible for investigating complaints of sexual misconduct made by students, employees, program participants and visitors.

  1. Upon receipt of a complaint or notice of an alleged violation of this policy, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate a prompt assessment to determine whether any of the following actions are appropriate:

A. Offer supportive measures because the Complainant does not want to proceed formally;
B. Offer supportive measures and initiate a Formal Grievance Process including an investigation and a hearing to determine whether or not the Policy has been violated.
C. Assess the need for possible emergency removal or dismissal.

  1. If a formal grievance process is initiated, the Complainant and Respondent shall be notified in a timely manner that an investigation is being conducted. Investigations involve interviews with the parties and relevant witnesses, and obtaining available and relevant evidence. The parties will have a full and fair opportunity to suggest witnesses and questions, to provide evidence, and to fully review and respond to all evidence on the record.
  2. An investigation will commence as soon as practicable after receiving the complaint. Every effort will be made to complete the investigation within ninety (90) days.
  3. Both the Complainant and the Respondent will be treated equitably and have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence to the Title IX Office during the investigatory process in support of or in mitigation of their respective positions.
  4. Prior to the final determination of responsibility made by the Title IX Office, the Respondent will be presumed to be not responsible for the conduct described in the complaint. Each party may present evidence and/or witnesses on their behalf.
  5. No information protected by a legally recognized privilege will be sought out or used by the school unless a party chooses to voluntarily waive such privilege. Such information includes but is not limited to attorney-client conversations and confidential medical information. Parties are additionally entitled to an advisor of their choice, who may accompany them to interviews and to the live hearing. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the University will provide an advisor of the University’s choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party. Complainant and Respondent will receive written notification of any meetings or interviews conducted by the Title IX Office related to the complaint.
  6. Investigators shall not have any existing conflicts of interest with either the Complainant or Respondent. Investigators will be trained in appropriate investigation techniques and in the use of relevant technology.
  7. The Title IX Office shall gather evidence from the Complainant and Respondent, as well as other relevant evidence, and file a written report objectively summarizing the collected evidence. The written summary of evidence will be distributed to the Complainant and Respondent and any identified advisor. The Complainant and Respondent will have ten (10) days to inspect, review and respond to the report, and to examine any evidence directly related to the allegations.
  8. A live hearing, to be conducted in person or via a remote meeting application, will be scheduled not less than ten (10) days after the written summary of evidence is sent to the parties for review.
  9. The hearing will be conducted by a panel, comprised of University employees (“decision-makers”). The decision-makers shall be impartial and free from bias or conflict of interest. The parties will be informed of the identities of the decision-makers before the live hearing. If a Complainant or Respondent has concerns that one or more of the decision-makers cannot conduct a fair and unbiased hearing, they may report those concerns to the Title IX Office. The Title IX Office will assess the circumstances and determine whether a different decision-maker should be assigned.
  10. The hearing is an opportunity for the parties to address the decision-makers in person and to question the other party and/or witnesses. The live hearing is also an opportunity for the decision-makers to obtain additional information that is necessary to make a determination of whether a policy violation occurred. Both parties are required to attend the hearing. If a party chooses not to attend the hearing, or refuses to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, their statements will not be relied upon by the decision-makers in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. The decision-makers shall not, however, draw an inference concerning responsibility based solely on a party’s absence from the live hearing.
  11. The decision-makers have broad discretion to determine the hearing format. The decision-makers are responsible for maintaining an orderly, fair, and respectful hearing and have broad authority to respond to disruptive or harassing behaviors, including adjourning the hearing or excluding the offending person.
  12. The Complainant or the Respondent may make requests to the Title IX Office related to the format or the nature of their participation in the hearing. The Title IX Office will work with the decision-makers to accommodate reasonable requests.
  13. All live hearings will be held in person at a designated University location or via a remote meeting application, at the discretion of the Title IX Office. At the University’s discretion, parties may be placed in different rooms but will be able to see and hear each other through the use of an online meeting application or similar software.
  14. The live hearing is closed to the public. The Complainant and Respondent are allowed to have one advisor of their choice present throughout the hearing process. Parties will be notified in advance of the identities of those who will be in attendance or presenting witness testimony.
  15. An official audio recording or official transcription will be made of the live hearing. Parties are prohibited from making any audio or video recordings of any kind during the hearing, including cellphone recordings. No audio or video recording equipment will be permitted in the hearing rooms except as arranged by the Title IX Office.
  16. The decision-makers have absolute discretion to decide upon a format for the live hearing and to determine which witnesses are relevant to their outcome determination. The decision-makers may decline to hear from a witness if they decide that the information is not necessary for their outcome determination.
  17. A typical hearing may include brief opening remarks by the decision-makers; questions posed by the decision-makers to one or both of the parties; follow-up questions by one party to the other; questions by the decision-makers to any witness; and follow-up questions by either party to any witnesses. The decision-makers may also afford either party an opportunity at the end of the hearing to offer closing remarks.
  18. Complainant, Respondent, witnesses, and other individuals providing information to the decision-makers are expected to provide truthful information in any proceeding under this policy.
  19. Following the live hearing, the decision-makers will consider all of the evidence and make a determination by the clear and convincing evidence standard whether the Respondent has violated the Title IX policy. The decision-makers will issue a written report of the hearing outcome, which will contain the decision-makers’ factual findings, a determination of whether a violation of the Title IX policy occurred, a summary of the decision-makers’ rationale in support of the hearing outcome, a delineation of any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent, and whether any remedies will be provided to the Complainant.
  20. The written determination will be sent simultaneously to the parties along with information about how to file an appeal.

Options and Confidentiality

As a community of scholars and students who aim to foster a genuine love and concern for one another, the University believes that members of the community should not bear the pain and effects of sexual violence on their own. The University encourages victims of sexual violence to seek out those who can help them and offer support. The University also encourages victims to make reports to the University, so that it can take prompt and effective steps to end the violence, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

Reports to University Employees

The University acknowledges that sexual violence cases require extreme sensitivity and the exercise of discretion, and will make reasonable efforts to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information. However, under Federal law, all University employees (except professional counselors with the University Counseling Center and priests within Campus Ministry) who receive information regarding sexual violence, whether from the student involved or a third party, are required to refer that information (including personal details) to the Title IX Coordinator and other University authorities for investigation and follow up.

University employees are directed to make every effort – before a student reveals information that he or she may wish to keep confidential – to ensure that the student understands that the employee has certain reporting obligations (i.e., to report the names of the alleged perpetrator and the student involved in the alleged violence, as well as relevant facts regarding the alleged incident including the date, time and location, to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate school officials). University employees are also directed to refer students to counselors, health care providers, clergy, and others who can maintain confidentiality.

If the victim nonetheless wants to tell a University employee what happened but also wants to maintain confidentiality over the details of the incident, the employee should tell the victim that the University will consider the request, but because of its obligation to protect the campus community by trying to end the sexual violence and prevent its recurrence, cannot guarantee that the University will be able to honor the request. The University’s Title IX Coordinator is responsible for evaluating these requests for confidentiality.

The university will respect the complainant’s wishes in regards to whether the school will investigate unless the Title IX Coordinator determines that signing a formal complaint to initiate an investigation over the wishes of the complainant is not clearly unreasonable in light of known circumstances.

Further, the student should be aware that honoring the request for confidentiality may limit the University’s ability to respond fully to the incident.

Reports to Local Law Enforcement

Students may, at any time, make a report of an incident of sexual violence to the appropriate law enforcement agency. For sexual violence that is also criminal behavior alleged to have occurred on campus or in the town of Ave Maria, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (911, 8-911 from a campus phone, or 239-252-9300) is the appropriate law enforcement agency. Students pursuing this option should understand that the law enforcement agency may conduct an investigation that would not allow for the details of the incident to remain confidential.

Discuss with a Privileged and/or Confidential Resource Person

Students may report an incident of sexual violence to certain professionals who may maintain confidentiality. Medical care providers, licensed counselors, and pastoral counselors are not required to report any information about an incident of sexual violence to the University without a victim’s permission. If a student would like the details of an incident to remain confidential, the student should speak with one of the following persons:

  • The University Counselor – Nester Levesque: 239-280-2501
  • A health care provider (such as a physician or staff member from one of the hospitals previously provided)
  • A staff member at an off-campus rape crisis center (such as Project HELP: 239-262-7227)
  • Priests within Campus Ministry: 239-280-2518

At Ave Maria, professional licensed counselors and priests providing assistance to members of the University community are not required to report any information about an incident to the University or to the University’s Title IX coordinator.

Some Ways the University Tries to Prevent Sexual Violence

The University’s sexual violence prevention efforts are coordinated through the Office of Student Affairs’ Title IX Office. Through collaborative efforts with other University departments and outside agencies, Student Affairs works to prevent sexual violence through annual awareness seminars, education, and the promotion of a caring community, and skill building. Programs include self-defense workshops, educational seminars, advocacy and volunteer opportunities, resource and referral information, and Love Week.

Notes

Nothing in this policy should be construed as curtailing, limiting, abridging, or in any way modifying the rights of students, faculty or staff to engage in legitimate academic inquiry or to express themselves in accordance with rights guaranteed under federal, state or local law, or otherwise provided by University policy.

Students with questions about Title IX may contact the Federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights:

U.S. Department of Education – Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Telephone: 800-421-3481; TDD: 800-877-8339 Email: OCR@ed.gov