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University-Initiated Withdrawal

Involuntary Withdrawal 

Trinity University is committed to the health and safety of all students and to the campus community as a whole. However, there may be instances in which a student’s conduct violates the conduct standards to the extent that the University believes an involuntary withdrawal is necessary. The University may withdraw a student if it is determined that the student is engaging in or likely to engage in behavior which: 1) constitutes a direct threat, 2) poses a significant disruption to the educational environment or the rights of others, or 3) renders the student unable to engage in basic required activities necessary to obtain an education.
 
The dean of students or his/her designee is empowered with the discretion to define within his/her professional judgment what is sufficiently threatening and/or disruptive to warrant invoking this involuntary withdrawal procedure. If the University decides an involuntary withdrawal is necessary, then the student will receive a formal written notice stating the reasons for the determination. The notification will include information concerning the conditions for reinstatement. A copy of the conduct standards and these procedures, which includes the appeal process, will also be included. The student’s parents/guardians will also be notified as soon as possible and must assume responsibility for the student’s care.
 
Involuntary withdrawal of a student from the University will be undertaken only as a last resort. Every effort should be made to help students understand the consequences of their behavior, make responsible decisions, and develop skills that will allow them to remain and function in the Trinity Community.

Withdrawals Due to a Direct Threat 

A direct threat is defined as a significant risk to the health and/or safety of the student or others. A significant risk constitutes a high probability of substantial harm based on a timely, reasonable professional judgment. Significance will be determined by the nature, duration, and severity of the risk; the probability that the potentially threatening and/or risky behavior will actually occur; and whether mitigating measures or reasonable accommodations will sufficiently minimize the risk.
 
In the event the student poses a direct threat, the dean of students or his/her designee may require the student to be assessed off campus by a qualified mental health professional as a condition of reinstatement. The purpose of the assessment is to assure the student is:

  1. safe to return to campus and does not pose a direct threat to him/herself or others; 
  2. able to adequately care for him/herself; 
  3. able to function physically, academically, and socially, while not causing significant disruption to the community or normal functioning of the University. In such cases where an assessment is deemed necessary, the dean of students or his/her designee will notify parents/guardians and/or other appropriate persons. 

Reinstatement 

Students who have left under the above conditions may be reinstated to the University only after meeting with and being approved by the dean of students or his/her designee. Approval for reinstatement will typically be based on the student’s ability to demonstrate a period of responsible behavior outside the University. The University may require a statement from a qualified mental health professional that the student is ready to return to and cope with college life. 
 
In cases where the University has determined the student to be a direct threat, the student must provide written documentation from a mental health professional that illustrates the behavior is sufficiently mitigated. The student may be asked to develop a safety plan which includes a description of specific goals, meetings, and supportive steps the student will implement to help reduce the risk of further threatening behaviors. Counseling Services staff members are available to assist with the creation and editing of this plan. If a student has been assessed as a direct threat and a mental health professional states that a particular course of treatment will mitigate the threat, the University can require the student to participate in this treatment as a condition of reinstatement.
 
The dean of students or his/her designee will examine the information presented, and, when necessary, consult with appropriate University personnel, to determine if the student has met the criteria for reinstatement. This decision could include one of the following options:

  1. Immediate return to the campus, providing the student follows a plan for care with on-campus and/or off-campus providers. Failure to follow the approved plan will result in the immediate suspension of the student. 
  2. Student’s return to campus deferred until additional assessment or treatment can be obtained. 
  3. Student’s return to campus deferred indefinitely due to significant and specific concerns about continued danger to self or others and/or disruption to the community. 

The decision of the dean of students or his/her designee is subject to appeal to the vice president for Faculty and Student Affairs. 
 
Students who have been removed from campus are not allowed to attend class and have no access to the campus or University-sanctioned or -sponsored events. 

Last reviewed:  August 2016