The Catholic University of America

Code of Student Conduct

Additional History

8/26/17:  The following substantive changes were made to the Code: 

In section III. Prohibited Conduct:

Reckless behavior was added under subsection A. Dangerous Conduct 

Engaging, leading or inciting a breach of the peace was added to subsection I. Disorderly Conduct

Threats or intimidation were added to the definitions of dating violence and domestic violence in subsection R. Sexual Misconduct consistent with changes to the Sexual Offenses Policy

In section V. Student Conduct System & Procedures

In subsection B. Student Conduct Proceedings, student organizations were removed.

In subsection C. Guidelines for Student Conduct Proceedings, it was clarified that names and other information from incident reports may be redacted for confidentiality, and it was clarified that character and other personality information of the respondent should not be presented. 

In section VI. Sanctions, the subparagraph regarding Loss of Registration for student organizations was removed.In section VII. Appeals, references to student organizations were removed.

6/23/15: The Code was revised as follows:  Provisions regarding conduct matters involving student organizations were removed, as such matters are addressed directly by the Office of Student Activities;  "Hazing" was added as a form of prohibited conduct;  the alcohol prohibitions were clarified to include alcohol provided to minors at social gatherings; and it was claried that students on disciplinary probation are not in good disciplinary standing with the University. 

10/29/14:  The definitions of sexual misconduct and sexual offenses were harmonized with those in the revised Sexual Offenses Policy.

7/21/14:  The Code was revised to address requirements imposed by Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2014 (VAWA), and to harmonize the Code with the Dean of Students’ Title IX Grievance Procedures.

8/22/13:  The Code was finalized, and revised to incorporate definitions and new procedures consistent with the Sexual Misconduct Policy (also revised this date), to clarify the University policy on consensual sexual activity, and to update titles of responsible personnel.

9/4/12:  The interim Code of Student Conduct was revised to add a new first section regarding applicability, which clarifies that the Code applies to off-campus behavior.  The subsection regarding drugs was revised to include a prohibition on the use of medical marijuana, and the subsection regarding damage to or misuse of property was revised to be broader by removing the requirement of intent. Also, the subsection regarding sexual misconduct was revised consistent with the revised Sexual Misconduct Policy, Reporting and Support.

7/21/11: Summary of revisions.

7/24/09The Code of Student Conduct was edited to clarify alcohol, non-academic dishonesty, sexual offenses and solicitation; sexual offenses section strengthened to clearly articulate unacceptable behavior; appeals sections re-written for clarity and to exclude clemency.

8/11/08: The Code of Student Conduct was edited primarily to streamline the content. Limited new text was added; primarily, sections were moved to ensure proper flow within the document. The introduction of the Code of Student Conduct was re-written to be clearer of the Catholic values of the institution that drive the expectations for student behavior. Additionally, a statement regarding the prohibition of hookahs (clearly stating that the university considers them drug paraphernalia, regardless of use) in now included in the drug charge (Part 15, Section F).

8/2/07: The Code of Student Conduct was re-organized to be more clear and logical, in terms of the sequence of the information presented; sections were subsequently renumbered accordingly. Multiple sections (Authority for Student Discipline, Student Participation, Inherent Authority, and Disciplinary Action While Criminal Charges are Pending) were combined into one section (Section I.C. Authority for Student Discipline). Part 16 was moved to the introductory sentence in Section III Prohibited Conduct. Section IV.B was renamed "Student Disciplinary Proceedings" to be distinct from Alternative Dispute Resolution and Student Organization proceedings.

In addition, the following charges were updated (the highlighted language was either added or edited):

  • III.B.2: Any unsolicited, offensive behavior…(deleted "Sexual Harassment" before defining the charge)
  • III.B.2.c. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, living or learning environment.
  • III.F.1: Possession of paraphernalia including any item typically used to inhale/ingest/inject/mask illegal substances, regardless of whether the item has been used for illegal purposes.
  • III.H Damage to or Misuse of Property (deleted "University")
  • III.J.5. Fraud, through act or omission, committed against a member of the campus community or others.
  • III.L. Smoking: Smoking in a building or vehicle that is owned, operated or leased by the university or within 25 feet of any entrance or window of any university building.
  • III.R.2 Sexual Assault: Forcing, threatening, or coercing an individual into a sexual contact against his or her free will without his or her consent or when consent is given under duress. This includes, but is not limited to…. (deleted "with or" and added second highlighted phrase)
  • III.S. Solicitation: Unauthorized solicitation, sale, or promotion of any goods or services…

9/18/06 Conformed to Student Handbook version. No substantive changes. Formatting only.

6/16/06 Significant as well as minor changes were made to the Code of Student Conduct, including as follows:

An introduction was added, and a paragraph on student organizations was added to the introduction, as follows:

Student organizations as an entity are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner compatible with the university's function as a Catholic educational institution. Failure to uphold university rules and regulations by organizations or by individual members with the support or encouragement of the organization or its leadership will likely result in disciplinary action against those individuals and the organization itself within the university under the authority of this Code.

Definitions of the following terms were added: Associate Dean and Dean. Clarification added to definition of student organization.

Under Prohibited Conduct, a clarification to sub 2 of the definition of dangerous conduct was added as follows:

Causing bodily harm to a person, or engaging in aggressive physical contact that would likely have caused bodily harm despite the lack of any measurable harm.

Under sexual assault, clarification to last sentence of this section by adding phrase "is considered against free will."

Under section on violating rules and regulations, a reference to policy and other web sites as places containing rules was added.

Sexual misconduct was added as prohibited conduct, and defined as follows:

Sexual Misconduct: Physical contact of a sexual nature that is unwanted by either party and/or that is disruptive to the university community, such as any sexual expression that is inconsistent with the teaching and moral values of the Catholic Church.

Solicitation was added as prohibited conduct, defined as follows:

Solicitation: Unauthorized solicitation, sale or promotion of any goods or services in university owned or operated residence halls.

An entire section on alternative dispute resolution was added as section XIV.

XIV. Alternative Dispute Resolution

22. In response to certain incidents and at the discretion of the associate dean, students may be invited to participate in a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Formal disciplinary action may be deferred if, to the satisfaction of participating students and the associate dean, participants reach and honor an agreement making amends to each other and the university community. ADR agreements will be included in a student's disciplinary file and treated as prior violations if future infractions occur. Students who participate in ADR are granted no right of appeal.

The following procedural guidelines for ADR were added:

24. The following procedural guidelines shall be applicable when alternative dispute resolution is suggested:

  1. Students will receive written notification of the behavioral concern and an invitation to resolve the matter through alternative methods.
  2. All relevant parties must agree to participate and must do so in good faith. If both parties do not agree to participate in alternative dispute resolution methods, disciplinary action will take place as necessary.
  3. These proceedings will be closed to the public.
  4. ADR agreements must outline the nature of the sanction to be administered if the agreement is violated.
  5. The associate dean may proscribe additional guidelines as necessary and consistent with this Code.

This sentence was removed: Supplemental information regarding a disciplinary hearing will be provided to a respondent normally within two working days prior to the hearing.

Reference to legal counsel removed.

Under Appeals, three working days was changed as follows:

In certain circumstances, the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding may be appealed. The appeal must be submitted in writing by the student or student organization to JAED within two working days of receipt of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding.

The following sentence was removed: Accept the appeal and revise the original sanction(s). A respondent may be contacted to provide additional information as necessary

Also in the section on clemency, three working days changed to two.

XVI. Clemency

32. Any student found responsible for a violation of this Code may petition the president for clemency after a sanction has been imposed and all other appeal options have been exhausted. This petition must be filed within two working days of receipt of the appeal decision.

11/15/05: Policy was reformatted according to the standard template. No changes were made to the substance of this policy.