FHSU President Condemns Instagram Photo Controversy, Changes Conduct Policies – The Leader Digital Magazine

FHSU President Condemns Instagram Photo Controversy, Changes Conduct Policies

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The following is a statement released via Facebook on the FHSU Page by Mirta Marti, president of Fort Hays State University, in regards to the recent Instagram post involving a sign reading “Freshman Daughter Drop-Off”.
Martin ominously cites the “FHSU Honor Code“, which doesn’t currently exist on the FHSU website at the time of her announcement (see screenshot below).  Previously, a Code of Conduct has existed on this webpage, but has now been taken down to presumably be replaced by this new honor code.

Dear Tiger Family,

Recently, a photograph surfaced on social media where students, at their private and off-campus residence, displayed a disturbing banner. Fort Hays State University does not condone that type of behavior and expects higher standards from the student body.

University administration responded quickly and swiftly by speaking directly to the students involved with the incident. The students were embarrassed by their actions and understood they were not upholding the standards of the Fort Hays State University Tiger Family. Some of the students in question have already decided to write apology letters and have posted their self-disappointment on Facebook. We hold all of our students to the FHSU Honor Code which discusses integrity and responsibility. Fort Hays State University takes gender-based violence seriously and has implemented several initiatives, including working with a consultant to review gender-based violence policies, procedures, and programs. We have established an annual Title IX report which outlines the FHSU Title IX strategic plan. This plan includes training, education, prevention, and outreach strategies that take place frequently with our students, faculty, and staff.

As president, I am extremely disappointed by the message displayed in the photograph; however, I take great pride in our student population who rose against this unacceptable statement and challenged their peers to make one better decision each day.


Mirta M. Martin, Ph.D.


Fort Hays State University

honor code
A screenshot taken of the fhsu.edu website around 9:40 p.m. The code of conduct is no where to be found, and a new “honor code” appears to be in progress.
The following is the FHSU Code of Conduct pulled from The Student Handbook on fhsu.edu around 7:00pm Friday August 19th. The Code of Conduct can no longer be found on the site, and did not list anything that the students in question have violated. Follow up with The Leader, as we provide you any changes that may or may not occur to the Code of Conduct.

Judicial Affairs – Student Code of Conduct

The University has a duty to establish rules and policies that all students are required to follow for the good of the community. Students have a right to expect enforcement of these rules and policies. The University also has a right to expect students to abide by them as responsible members of the learning community.

Note:  If any infractions of the Student Code of Conduct are found to have an element of malice, the resulting sanctions may be more severe.

The University reserves the right to make a case-by-case determination as to whether conduct of a serious nature which occurs off of the premises of the University, but has an impact on the University community, may be addressed under this policy.

  1. Compliance with General Laws  
    1. Students, upon registration at FHSU, shall abide by all regulations, federal and state laws and city of Hays ordinances.
    2. Enrollment as a student in no way exempts any person from penalty in case of violation of local, state or federal laws.
    3. Any disciplinary action taken by the university may be taken independently of any action taken by an off-campus authority.
  2. Vandalism/Damage of Property
    1. Willful, intentional or negligent vandalism or damage to and/or destruction of property is strictly prohibited.
  3. Firearms and Other Deadly Weapons
    1. The unauthorized possession or use of firearms or other deadly weapons of any kind is prohibited.
    2. The use or display of any object or instrument in a dangerous or threatening manner is prohibited.
  4. Flammable Materials and Fireworks
    1. The ignition or detonation of an incendiary device which could cause damage by fire, explosion or similar means to persons or property, or possession of anything in the nature of fireworks or explosives is prohibited on any property owned or operated by FHSU unless the student receives express permission to participate in a display or event sanctioned by the University.
  5. Arson
    1. No person shall start a fire that causes or may cause damages or injury on University property without University authorization and willful damage to property (as described in conduct regulation 2 above) will be prosecuted as arson when appropriate.
  6. Fire Alarms and Fire Equipment
    1. Making or causing a false fire alarm or emergency report of any kind is prohibited.
    2. No person shall tamper with, damage, disable or misuse fire safety equipment.
  7. Theft or Misappropriation
    1. Theft of any kind, including seizing, receiving or concealing property with knowledge that it has been stolen or reasonably should have known that is stolen, is forbidden.
    2. Sale, possession or misappropriation of any property, including FHSU property, without the owner’s permission, is also prohibited.
    3. This includes sale of a textbook by any student who does not own the book unless express prior written authorization has been given by the owner.
  8. Disorderly Conduct
    1. Individual or group behavior which disturbs individuals or groups is prohibited.
    2. Such conduct includes (but is not limited to) assault, threats to the personal safety of one’s self or others, throwing objects to create a danger, making excessive noise, unwelcome physical contact, hazing and any other type of interference with the normal operations of the University or its activities or any type of conduct that interferes with the ability of those who attend, visit or work at the University to enjoy the benefits of the purposes for which the University exists.
  9. Misuse of University Documents
    1. Forgery, alteration or misuse of any University document or record is forbidden, including furnishing false information or withholding material information from the University.
  10. Fraud or Lying
    1. Lying or fraudulent misrepresentation in or with regard to any transaction with the University, whether oral, written or by other means, is prohibited, including misrepresenting the truth before a hearing of the University or making a false report or statement to any University official.
  11. Student Identification
    1. Using fake identification or falsely identifying oneself is prohibited.
    2. This includes furnishing false identification to the University or to any University employee or agent, including campus law enforcement or security officers, acting in good faith and in the performance of their duties.
  12. Official Requests
    1. Students must comply with the reasonable and lawful requests of University officials acting in the performance of their duties.
    2. Students shall appear at disciplinary hearings to respond to allegations or testify as a witness when reasonably notified to do so.
    3. Failure to appear at a scheduled hearing is a violation of this student code of conduct and will not necessarily prevent the hearing from taking place, nor will it preclude a determination.
    4. A failure to properly comply with or complete a sanction or obligation resulting from a disciplinary hearing or adjudication may be considered a violation of an official request and may be treated as an independent violation.
  13. Presence In and Use of University Facilities
    1. Unauthorized entry into, presence in or use of University facilities, equipment or property, which have not been reserved or accessed through appropriate University procedures, is prohibited.
  14. Misuse of Keys
    1. No person may use or possess any University keys or access codes without proper authorization. No student is allowed under any condition to have a University key duplicated.
  15. Misuse of Telephones
    1. Making or assisting in making annoying or harassing telephone calls, unauthorized use of long distance phone privileges or otherwise misusing or abusing FHSU telephone equipment is prohibited.
  16. Alcoholic Beverages
    1. Students must comply with the published regulation concerning the transport, provision and consumption of beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages on campus or University property.
  17. Drugs  
    1. The unauthorized possession, use, manufacture, sale or distribution of any counterfeit, illegal, dangerous, “designer” or other controlled drug or other substance is prohibited.
  18. Misuse of Computer Equipment
    1. The use of computer equipment and resources, including account numbers, interactive terminals, data storage media, other peripherals, local, state, national and international computer networks, mainframe and microcomputer systems and software for computing activities other than those authorized by the law and the University constitutes misuse and is strictly prohibited. Note: For further information concerning regulations in effect for University computer equipment, consult the computing policies available from Technology Services.
  19. Gender-Based Violence
    1. Gender-based violence is directed against a person on the basis of gender. This includes:
      1. Sexual harassment
      2. Sexual assault
      3. Non-consensual sexual contact, and
      4. Non-consensual sexual intercourse
      5. Relationship violence
      6. Sexual exploitation
      7. Stalking
      8. Retaliation
      9. Intimidation

*Definitions can be found here.

Note: For further information concerning regulations in effect for students living in University Residence Halls, consult the Residential Life Handbook or contact theDepartment of Student Residential Life.

Note: Attempting, abetting or being an accessory to any act prohibited by these Student Code of Conduct Regulations will be considered a violation.

Statement on Student Rights & Responsibilities


Fort Hays State University exists for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students and the general well being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the Fort Hays State University academic community, students shall be encouraged to develop the search for truth. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility. The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the Fort Hays State University academic community. FHSU has a duty to develop policies and procedures which provide and safeguard this freedom. Such policies and procedures should be developed within the framework of general standards and with the broadest possible participation of the members of the academic community. The purpose of this statement is to enumerate the essential provisions for students’ freedom to learn.


  1. Freedom of Access to Higher Education

The admission policy of FHSU is a matter of institutional choice provided that requirements for admission are clearly stated and upheld. Under no circumstances will a student be barred from admission on the basis of race, creed, color, ancestry, national origin or political philosophy. Thus, within the limits of its facilities, FHSU is open to all students who are qualified according to admission standards, and its facilities and services are open to all of its enrolled students.

  1. In the Classroom

The professor in the classroom and in conference will encourage free discussion, inquiry and expression. Student performance will be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters not related to academic standards.

  1.  Protection of Freedom of Expression

Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or view offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about of matter of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.


  1. Protection Against Improper Academic Evaluation Students have protection through orderly procedures against prejudice or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.


III. Student Affairs

  1. Freedom of Association

Students are free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests (with the stipulation that all campus organizations must be lawful). Such organizations must be registered by the Student Organization Committee to be eligible for the allocation of student fee resources from the Student Government Association.


  1. Freedom of Inquiry and Expression
  1. Students and student organizations are to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. they are always free to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of FHSU. At the same time, it is the responsibility of the students and student organization to make clear to the academic and larger community that in their public expression or demonstrations, they speak only for themselves.
  2. Students may invite and hear any person of their own choosing. Those routine procedures require by FHSU before a guest speaker is invited to appear on campus are designed only to insure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and will not be used as a device of censorship. It is the responsibility of those sponsoring student organizations to make clear to the academic and larger community that sponsorship of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the view expressed, either by the sponsoring group or FHSU.
  1. Student Participation in Institutional Government

As constituents of the academic community, students are to be free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. The student body has clearly defined means to participate in the formulation and application of institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs. The role of the Student Government Association (SGA) and both its general and specific responsibilities are explicit, and the actions of the SGA within the areas of its jurisdiction are reviewed only through orderly and prescribed procedures.

  1. Student Publications

Student publications and the student press are a valuable aid in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and of intellectual exploration of the campus. They are a means of bringing student concerns to the attention of the faculty and administration and of formulating student opinion on various issues on the campus and the world at large.

In the delegation of editorial responsibility to students, FHSU must provide sufficient editorial freedom and financial autonomy for the student publications to maintain their integrity of purpose as vehicles for free inquiry and expression in the academic community. Institutional authorities, in consultation with students and faculty, have a responsibility to provide written clarification of the role of student publications, the standards to be used in their evaluation and the limitations on external control of their operations. At the same time, the editorial freedom of student editors and managers entails corollary responsibilities to be governed by the canons of responsible journalism, such as the avoidance of libel, attacks on personal integrity and the techniques of harassment and innuendo.

  1. Off-Campus Freedom of Students

Exercise of Rights of Citizenship

College students are both citizens and members of the academic community. As citizens, students shall enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and right of petition that other citizens enjoy, as members of the academic community, they are subject to the obligations that accrue to them by virtue of this membership. Faculty members and administrative officials will insure that institutional powers are not employed to inhibit such intellectual and personal development of students as is often promoted by their exercise of the rights of citizenship both on and off campus.




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