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Office of the Dean of Students

Welcome to the Office of the Dean of Students:

Succeeding at any university is exhilarating, but can have some difficulties. The Dean of Students is one of many resources to assist students in need. Here are some services provided by the Office of the Dean of Students for SDSU:

Every student should have the opportunity to make the most out of their experiences to successfully earn their quality education at SDSU. Enrolling at SDSU is a cultural experience complete with new friends, new modes of instruction and a new environment. Because of all of this change, some students struggle along the way. If you or a student you know could use assistance or guidance, the Dean of Students office can be a great resource. Many exceptional resources, including the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the American Indian Student Center, can be found at https://www.sdstate.edu/student-life

An individual's opportunity for education does not supersede the rights of others or the needs of the community. Students who are struggling academically or socially are strongly encouraged to visit the Dean of Students or any other SDSU staff or faculty member with whom the student feels comfortable. Our goal is to assist students in need before their behavior disrupts the learning opportunities for themselves or the educational environment for others.

Services Provided by the Office of the Dean of Students:

Student Ombudsperson

In the role of the "Ombuds," the Dean of Students acts as a mentor or arbitrator rather than a conduct hearing officer. The goal is to help a student resolve an issue before it becomes a problem. Common types of discussions surround students who know they need some kind of assistance, but they’re not sure what. Other situations involve students who have new life circumstances, and would like guidance with the types of options available. Frequently, the Dean of Students will refer a student to a colleague who is closer to the student’s probable solution, but visiting with the Dean of Students to discuss options can be beneficial.

Student Conduct System

For students who make choices outside of published community standards as indicated in the Student Code of Conduct, www.state.edu/studentcode, they will likely have an interaction with the Student Conduct System. Alleged policy violations are heard by full-time staff with Residential Life, Student Conduct, or the campus student conduct hearing panel.

In no case is a student presumed responsible for the alleged policy violation. Students have the right and opportunity to have their case heard before a hearing officer. If the student is found responsible, either by accepting responsibility or as evaluated on the preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not), the student is assigned a sanction. Outcomes are intended to change behavior through education and engagement.

In the rare circumstance of egregious policy violation, particularly where the rights of another member of the SDSU community are infringed upon, it is possible that a student engaging in the behavior could be suspended or expelled. Thankfully, these situations are rare. Most students never engage in the conduct system. For most of those who do, in most cases, they have one hearing and they positively modify their behavior.

Clery Report Review Committee

Each year, SDSU and every college or university receiving federal financial assistance (i.e. student financial aid) is required to report all crimes committed on or near proximity of campus. This process is exceptionally important to ensure our current and prospective students know everything they should know about the SDSU community.

Data is gathered through the student conduct system, the University Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies. The full report can be found at https://www.sdstate.edu/safety-security/annual-campus-security-report-annual-fire-report.

Tobacco-Free Policy

South Dakota State University established a smoking and tobacco-free policy in January, 2018. This policy change affects all SDSU properties: on-campus and extension.

Cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco (i.e. chew, snuff), e-cigarettes, and vapor-based products are all prohibited on campus property. This means that it is prohibited in your residence hall room, and you can't use these products in your car in the parking lot, or when walking on campus.

Please do not cover smoke detectors. It is unsafe for you and your fellow building members. Covering or otherwise tampering with fire safety and suppression devices will likely result in disciplinary charges and fines.

Any change can be difficult. To help those in need, there are resources available in person and online. Appointments can be made to speak with a staff member about cessation throughout the state and on SDSU's campus at the Wellness Center. These appointments are provided at no additional cost. 

Other resources include:

  • State of South Dakota Quitline or 1-866-737-8487 (1-866-SD-Quits)
  • SD Employee Assistance Program (Employer code: SOUTHDAKOTA) or 1-800-713-6288
  • SDSTATE Tobacco Cessation Services: 605-688-4157

For more information on the tobacco-free policy go to https://www.sdstate.edu/sdstate-health/tobacco-free-policy-qa

*SDSU maintains strong support of culturally appropriate ceremonies while still respecting the safety of the community. The Housing and Residential Life policy on smudging can be found at https://www.sdstate.edu/american-indian-student-center/smudging-policy.