Student Code of Conduct
I. Standards of Conduct
The following forms of conduct are prohibited by any West Chester University student or organization on University property, off University property, or at University functions and are subject to disciplinary action as provided hereafter:
- Any student or student organization committing an act in violation of the Student Code of Conduct shall be subject to disciplinary action.
- Any student or student organization who aids, abets, encourages, requests, initiates, assists, or has knowledge of any other student, nonstudent, or student organization in acts which violate this document or participates in a violation of this document shall be subject to disciplinary action as if the student or student organization has actually committed the violation.
- Any violation of the Student Code of Conduct by a student or members of a student organization may result in both the organization and the members involved in the misconduct to be subject to disciplinary action.
- All statements made by a student relative to a case may be used in any disciplinary proceeding.
- Students may be charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct for misconduct occurring off University property when such conduct interferes with the educational objectives of the University community.
- Charges brought under this document may be applied concurrently with any civil or criminal prosecution brought against a student or organization.
- Off-Campus Behavior and the Student Code of Conduct:
Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and ordinances. Violations of these laws and ordinances may be subject to University judicial action.
- When a student is charged with violating federal, state, or local laws or ordinances at a location off campus, disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed for misconduct that demonstrates a disregard for the University community.
- University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violating laws or ordinances, when such conduct also violates the Student Code of Conduct if both violations result from the same factual situation. The University will determine whether judicial action under the Student Code of Conduct will be carried out before, simultaneously, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
- When federal, state, or local authorities charge a student with violating laws or ordinances, the University will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. The University may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Student Code of Conduct and how such matters will be handled internally within the University.
- Violations of the Student Code of Conduct:
- Infliction of Harm -- Commission of any act which results in or which may result in the infliction of harm to any person or damage to University property or the property of others by willful and deliberate means or through negligence. This offense includes (a) physical assault or abuse; (b) the attempted physical assault or abuse upon any person; or (c) reckless behavior, but not accidental, which may result in injuries to oneself or others. In the absence of extraordinary or mitigating circumstances, a sanction of suspension or expulsion may be imposed on any student found responsible for physical assault.
- Threat of Harm - (a) behavior that threatens to harm another person or another person's property or University property which includes, but is not limited to harassing, intimidating or threatening conduct, (b) behavior that is threatening, intimidating or harassing toward any party or witness involved in a judicial case, or cause damage to his or her property, with the intent of influencing outcomes or for retaliation, (c) behavior that is threatening, intimidating or harassing toward a University employee related to the performance of his or her job, or (d) hazing of any student, employee or officer of the University, or organization. This includes conveyance of threats through electronic means.
- Theft - (a) theft or attempted theft of the property or services of the University, any organization, or any individual, by means of taking, deceiving, misappropriating, or misusing; and/or (b) possession of stolen property and/or receiving stolen property.
- Vandalism - the intentional and/or reckless, but not accidental destruction of property; damaging, destroying, defacing, tampering, misuse, or abuse of University property, or the property of any person or business.
- Weapons - Use, possession, or transportation of (a) fireworks, (b) firearms, (c) knives, (d) paintball or BB guns, (e) explosives, (f) ammunition, (g) weapons, or (h) any item which has been modified or adapted so that it can be used as a weapon, or an item which has been used as a weapon.
- Fire Safety - Violation of safety regulations including, but not limited to, (a) setting unauthorized fires, (b) tampering with fire safety, fire fighting equipment and/or defibrillators or rendering such equipment inoperable, (c) turning in false fire alarms by any means of communication, (d) tampering or improper use of campus emergency phones, (e) failure to evacuate facilities upon the sounding of a fire alarm/drill, or (f) creating any hazardous condition that endangers the health and safety of others.
- Alcohol and/or Alcohol Containers - West Chester University is a dry campus, so any violation of the University's alcohol policy, as set forth in the Ram's Eye View Student Handbook, shall be construed as a violation of this section. Any off-campus violation is a violation of this section when such off-campus use violates local, state, or federal laws. This section shall include, but is not limited to, (a) display of empty alcohol containers in any University facility, residence hall, or any affiliated University housing, (b) sale, exchange, use, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus, (c) underage use, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages, (d) open containers of alcoholic beverages, (e) public intoxication, and (f) driving under the influence. As it is a violation of this policy to possess alcohol, demonstrating that a student has knowledge of the location of alcohol and/or the intent to exercise control over the alcohol shall constitute possession. In the absence of extraordinary or mitigating circumstances, a sanction of suspension or expulsion may be imposed on any student found responsible of (g) selling and/or furnishing alcohol to minors.
- Drugs and/or Drug Paraphernalia - Students who exhibit drug use or abuse or any other violation of the University's drug policy, as set forth in the Ram's Eye View Student Handbook, shall be considered in violation of this section. This includes, but is not limited to, (a) possession or use of any illegal or controlled substance, drug, and/or (b) possession of drug paraphernalia, (c) possession of a significant quantity, distribution, or sale of drugs, and/or (d) driving under the influence. Any off-campus violation is a violation of this section when such off-campus use or possession is in violation of local, state, or federal laws. Demonstrating that a student has knowledge of the location of any illegal or controlled substance, drug or drug paraphernalia, and/or the intent to exercise control over such items shall constitute possession. Use of legal or prescribed substances (e.g., inhalants) in a fashion designed to alter one's mental or physical state will be considered reckless behavior as described in the Infliction of Harm section (see I.C.1.c).
- Noncommercial Literature Distribution, Nonsponsored Presentations or Demonstrations - Any violation of the University's policy on Non-commercial Literature or Non-sponsored Presentations or Demonstrations on campus, set forth in the Ram's Eye View Student Handbook, shall be construed as a violation of this section.
- Hazing - Any violation of the University's Anti-Hazing Policy, set forth in the Ram's Eye View Student Handbook, shall be construed as a violation of this section.
- Computer Use - Any violation of the University's policy on Acceptable Computer Use, as set forth in the Ram's Eye View Student Handbook Policies Section, shall be construed as a violation of this section.
- Solicitation - Any violation of the University Commercial Advertising and Sales Policy as set forth in the Ram's Eye View Student Handbook shall be construed as a violation of this section.
- Gambling - Any form of gambling is prohibited unless a license has been secured and approval to solicit has been granted by the appropriate University office. Gambling consists of a consideration or fee for the chance to win a prize, the winner of which is determined by chance.
- Disruptive Conduct, Harassment and Intimidation - (a) engaging in conduct that is disorderly, unnecessarily disturbs others, and/or is disruptive to the normal practices, processes, and functions of the University or local municipalities, (b) engaging in conduct that is harassing, intimidating or threatening, or (c) engaging in conduct that constitutes unlawful discrimination based on another person's race, color, sex, religion, age or national origin. This includes conduct through electronic means.
- Academic Integrity - Any violation of this policy shall be processed according to the Academic Integrity Policy as set forth in the West Chester University Undergraduate Catalog.
- Dishonesty - Making, using, or possessing any falsified document or record; altering or forging any University document or record, including identification, meal or access cards, and parking permits; providing false statements during any judicial proceeding, and the misrepresentation of oneself or of an organization as an agency of the University by any of the means identified above.
- Trespassing - Unauthorized entry, use, or occupancy of any building, structure, facility, or the property of others or unauthorized use of University grounds.
- Guide to Residential Living and/or Student Occupancy Agreement - Students are expected to treat each other, as well as professional and student staff members, with respect at all times and to adhere to residence life regulations as described in the Guide to Residential Living and/or Student Occupancy Agreement. Students residing in Affiliated Housing are expected to abide by the terms of the Housing Occupancy Agreement. Violations of this offense include, but are not limited to, the following: (a) guest visitation policy, (b) cooking, (c) use and/or possession of incendiary or combustible materials and devices, (d) removal or tampering with window screens, (e) Quiet Hours Policy, (f) entry or exit of a residence hall through any door or opening other than those so designated at any time, (g) athletic activity that may result in harm or disruption to residents and/or building facilities/fire protection systems, and/or (h) any other reasonably publicized housing-related policies.
- Failure to Comply - (a) willful obstruction and/or failure to comply with the legitimate oral or written directives of properly authorized persons, including police and/or a duly-authorized University official acting in performance of his or her prescribed duty, (b) failure to provide a valid West Chester University student identification card or other valid identification upon the request of a duly-authorized University official, (c) failure of the accused to appear when given advance written notice by a University official, hearing officer, University Judicial Board, or University Appeals Board concerning a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, and/or (d) failure to comply with all regulations regarding conduct on or off campus not cited in the Student Code of Conduct when such regulations have been reasonably publicized.
- Sanction Violation - Violations of a University judicial sanction, including (a) violation of the terms of a sanction, which includes failure to complete any specified condition or assignment of a sanction, or (b) violating the Student Code of Conduct while on disciplinary probation.
- Guest Policy - Guests are expected to abide by University policies while visiting the campus. Students may be held responsible for the actions of their guests when such conduct violates the Student Code of Conduct.
- Sexual Harassment or Misconduct - Any violation of the University Sexual harrassment or Sexual Misconduct Policies as set forth in the Ram's Eye View Student Handbook shall be construed as a violation of this section.
- Criminal/Civil Statutes - Any student who is cited and/or arrested by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials will violate this offense. This offense includes the alleged commission of any act that may be adjudicated as a violation of such other criminal and/or civil statutes, regulations, or ordinances that are now in effect or may hereafter be in effect in any applicable locality, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or the United States of America.