Office of Accountability and Student Conduct

· · Office of Accountability and Student Conduct
Office of Accountability and Student Conduct 2021-10-08T07:38:16+00:00

The mission of the Office of Accountability & Student Conduct at Northwestern State University of Louisiana parallels the mission of the institution, to be responsive, student-oriented, and committed to student development through learning and service. Furthermore, the Office of Student Conduct is committed to upholding the Northwestern State University Student Code of Conduct.

The Student Code of Conduct is established to help maintain an environment conducive to learning and other educational pursuits. The Code is intended to ensure the enjoyment of students of all proper rights and to protect the University’s mission, processes, resources, and constituent community.  Students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus are expected to follow the Student Code of Conduct and federal and state laws.  All members of the Northwestern State University are expected to behave in a manner conducive to the university mission; therefore, civility in the classroom is expected.

The Conduct Officer or a designated representative administers the disciplinary process governing students and visitors at Northwestern State University. After a series of conferences and hearings, judicial matters may be referred to a student/faculty/staff committee appointed by the President. Specific disciplinary due process procedures and the regulations governing student conduct are followed for all conferences and hearings.

Fostering Academic Integrity and Responding to Violations

Northwestern State University offers many programs aimed at encouraging students to behave responsibly and at fostering a respect for academic integrity. Through the Student Handbook, lessons in Orientation, courst syllabi, and departmental/college programs, faculty and staff address the issues of plagiarism and cheating in order to educate students and dissuade them from actively violating the academic and behavioral code of conduct.

Despite these good works, it is necessary for the University to have processes in place to address violations of academic integrity. Because violations of academic integrity represent both University’s current two-pronged system (see attached chart) by seeking to create a permanent record of violations of academic integrity in a centralized location (Student Affairs/Student Conduct).


1. Create and maintain a permanent record of violations (in Student Affairs) of academic integrity;

2. Clarify the instructor’s role in determining the academic penalty;

3. Clarify that the academic process (Grade Appeal) and the Judicial Process are separate processes which each individually address issues involved in violations of academic integrity. One process does not supersede the other.

Judicial Process:  Student Affairs/Student Conduct – The Instructor reports the violation to the Department Head/Director/Dean who will notify Student Affairs of the violation. The Instructor may suggest what the Student Affairs/JudicialAffairs process shoud be:

a.  That there should only be a notification, without action by Judicial Affairs or;

b.  That there should be a Judicial Affairs process as well.

Academic Process:  Grade Appeal Process – If evidence demonstrates that a student has plagiarized/cheated and the instructor assigns an academic penalty (failing the assignment, failing the class), the student may appeal that grade through the Grade Appeal Process.

The two processes (Academic and Judicial) and independent; however, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs recognize the benefit of working together on issues of student conduct. The Academic Process operates independently in issues of academic grade appeals as the Judicial Process does in issues relating to appeals of judicial sanctions. Both processes are essential to the University mission of preparing students to act as ethical members of society and in fostering value in the degrees awarding at Northwestern State University.

For information on the NSU Honor Code and Grade Appeal Procedures, see Academic Regulations, in the current NSU Catalog. For information on disciplinary records, see Policies and Procedures in the NSU Student Handbook.

Student Conduct Reporting Forms

NSU utilizes Maxient software to manage various aspects of students’ records. Through Maxient, the Office of Accountability & Student Conduct is able to utilize its centralized reporting and recordkeeping features to assist our community in linking vital information. This feature is designed to prevent students from falling through the cracks stemming from issues involving academic or classroom civility, hazing, student conduct, threat assessment, Title IX issues, and general concerns. Maxient is critical to all things relating to a student’s conduct, safety, and well-being.

Please be aware that these forms are not to be used during an emergency. If this is an emergency, please call 318.357.5431 or 911 from a landline.

Additionally, the filing of a report does not constitute filing an official police report. To file an official police report, contact the Northwestern State University Police Department at 318.357.5431 or in person, at 315 Caspari Street (The NSU Infirmary Building). For incidents occurring off-campus, in the City of Natchitoches, call 318.357.8101, Natchitoches Police Department.

Online referrals may be made through the following links:

Roommate Conflict

Living with another person in a residence hall room takes compromise by both roommates. Most conflicts between roommates occur due to poor communication prior to the conflict.

Many residents make the mistake of assuming that their roommate should think, feel, or act the way they do. From that point on differences build up until the resident either gets angry and verbally lashes out or avoids their roommate completely. Unfortunately, this scenario is very common. It is also very unhealthy. A better idea is for roommates to build an open communication process right from the beginning of the year.

When either roommate attempts to get “their way” without regard for their roommate, a conflict usually arises. Unfortunately one roommate usually assumes that getting their way is natural, while the other roommate feels taken advantage of. Following the guidelines below may help roommates have a more comfortable coexistence.

Roommate vs. Friend

First, don’t try to make your roommate your best friend. If it happens, great! Let it happen naturally. As roommates, it is more important that you respect each other than it is to like each other.

Take some time to get to know each other without passing judgments. Your goal from your first meeting should be to come to an amicable set of rules for the room that are simple and relatively easy for both roommates to follow. Not doing this, even if the person you are living with is your best friend, can be disastrous. Many friendships have been lost due to failure to adhere to this crucial first step.

Roommate Agreement

  1. Each roommate should write on a separate piece of paper his or her needs for each of the items below.
  • Visitation and guests
  • Cleaning of Living Room and Kitchenette
  • Study times in rooms
  • Sleep time(s)
  • Use of Personal things (be specific)
  • Social time in room
  • Living Room design and use of space

2.   After you have written out your answers to each, circle those topics that you are more willing to compromise on. Star those topics that you are least willing to compromise on.

3.  Starting with your more willing to compromise items, take turns sharing with your roommate. Remember to listen to your roommate’s items and share all items first before attempting to suggest changes.

4.  After sharing all items begin the agreement process, starting with those topics that you are both in agreement on ormost willing to compromise. if you find yourself strongly disagreeing on any particular item, skip it and tackle the easier items first. However, make sure you eventually come to an agreement on each item listed, and realize that you will have to make compromises to come to an agreement.

Remember, the more thorough you do this exercise the more likely you will be to have few roommate conflicts.

If you get stuck, see your RA for assistance. RAs are trained to mediate roommate conflicts.

Picture This…

Tips for Getting Along With You Roommate

 Threat Assessment & Reporting

To minimize harm to students, faculty and staff, the University has a Threat Assessment & Behavioral Intervention Team with Guidelines for Reporting.

The Team is comprised of University employees who, through their positions, maintain close contact with students, faculty and staff and, have training in assessment of potentially dangerous situations.

All members of the NSU community are encouraged to participate in Threat Assessment by, reporting events and individuals they believe might pose risk for violence or harm to the Dean of Students Office or University Police.

Form and guidelines for reporting may be found at Threat Assessment Reporting.

Dr. Traci LaBom Norris
Director | Chief Executive Hearing Officer | Official with Authority
Accountability & Student Conduct
Friedman Student Union, Room 309 | NSU Box 5326
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Natchitoches, LA 71497
O: (318) 357-5286 | F: (318) 357-6502