The Catholic University of America

Archived 8/23/04

Code of Student Conduct

Purpose (Parts 1-4)
Authority for Student Discipline (Part 5)
Student Participation (Part 6)
Definitions (Part 7)
Interpretation of Regulations (Part 8)
Inherent Authority (Parts 9-10)
Disciplinary Action While Criminal Charges Are Pending (Part 11)
Interim Suspension (Part 12)
Prohibited Conduct (Parts 13-14)
Sanctions (Parts 15-16)
Case Referrals (Parts 17-18)
Disciplinary Conference and Hearing Referrals (Parts 19-20)
Citation Letters (Part 21)
Disciplinary Conferences Procedural Guidelines (Part 22)
University Hearing Board (Parts 23-25)
Disciplinary Hearing Procedural Guidelines (Part 26)
Advisors (Parts 27-28)
Appeals (Parts 29-32)
Board of Appeals Procedures (Parts 33-34)
Clemency (Part 35)
Disciplinary Files and Records (Parts 36-37)
Rules of Conduct (Part 38)


1. The Catholic University of America ("University" or "CUA"), as an academic community committed to research, teaching, learning, and service, acknowledges specific core values that characterize the University community in all of its activities. These core values include integrity, respect, excellence, scholarship, responsibility, freedom, confidence, faith, service and community building. The ways in which the University community uniquely embodies these core values become trademarks of the CUA experience and an enduring part of the life of each and all of its members.

2. A student enrolling in the University assumes an obligation to conduct her/himself in a manner compatible with the University's function as a Catholic educational institution. Each student must make choices that preserve a safe and secure environment, in which all individuals are able to pursue their academic endeavors. Each student is expected to practice responsible citizenship and to respect the rights of others. Each community member is responsible for her/his own actions and the conduct of her/his guests. Students will be held accountable for violations committed by her/his visitors. Failure to uphold University, district, and/or federal laws and regulations are serious infractions and will likely result in disciplinary action within the University under the authority of this Code of Student Conduct ("Code.")

3. The primary purpose for maintaining discipline in the University setting is to protect the rights of each member of the campus community. The purpose of campus disciplinary proceedings is to provide an evaluation to determine if an accused student is responsible for violating University regulations. Formal rules of evidence shall not be applied, nor shall deviations from prescribed procedures necessarily invalidate a decision, unless significant prejudice to an accused student or the University results.

4. This Code provides a means for the exercise of individual and collective student rights and responsibilities, the preservation of orderly processes in student regulation, and the maintenance of the individual freedom of students while ensuring the rights of the entire University community.

Authority for Student Discipline

5. Ultimate authority for student discipline is vested in the President of the University ("President"), who may take immediate action in her/his discretion for any violation of University policies and procedures whatsoever. Disciplinary authority may be delegated to University administrators, faculty members, committees, and organizations as set forth in this Code, or in other appropriate policies, rules, or regulations adopted by the President.

Student Participation

6. Students are asked to assume positions of significant responsibility in the University judicial system so that they may contribute their skills and insights to the resolution of disciplinary cases. Final authority in disciplinary matters, however, is vested in the President, and in the University administration.


7. When used in this Code:

a. "Case file" mean those materials that would be considered "educational records" pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The personal notes of University staff members and privileged information of other students are not included in the case file and thus are not accessible. The case file will be retained in the Office of Judicial Affairs and Ethical Development.

b. "Distribution" means any form of exchange, gift, transfer or sale.

c. "Institution" and "University" mean The Catholic University of America and all of its undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, divisions, and programs.

d. "Neighborhood properties" means properties located near the University within which one or more student(s) reside.

e. "Respondent" means any person accused of violating this Code.

f. "Student" means any person who is taking or auditing classes at the University, or is matriculated in any University program.

g. "University premises" means buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled or supervised by the University.

h. "University sponsored activity" means any activity on or off University premises that is directly initiated or supervised by the University.

Interpretation of Regulations

8. The purpose of publishing disciplinary regulations is to give students general notice of prohibited behavior. This Code does not, nor is it intended to, afford the specificity nor the due process rights of a criminal statute.

Inherent Authority

9. The University reserves the right to take immediate, necessary, and appropriate action to protect the health, safety and well being of the campus community. Such action may include pursuing disciplinary action for any violation of University policy or district or federal law - on or off campus - that affects the University's interests.

10. The University may institute disciplinary action if neighborhood properties are the location of an event that, based on credible evidence and in the University's determination, has disrupted the neighborhood with:

  1. Excessively loud, late, and/or large parties; and/or
  2. Illegal (i.e. underage and/or excessive) alcohol and/or drug-related activities; and/or
  3. Related behaviors including interference with a neighbor's right of quiet enjoyment of their property; and/or
  4. Any other conduct which, in the University's judgment violates the University's expectations for the behavior of its students.

Disciplinary Action While Criminal Charges Are Pending

11. Students may be accountable both to civil/criminal authorities and to the University for acts that constitute violations of law and this Code. Disciplinary action at the University will normally proceed during the pendency of criminal proceedings, and will not be subject to challenge on the grounds that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced or that no criminal charges have been brought. Penalties shall not be increased in severity because civil or criminal action may be pending.

Interim Suspension

12. The Vice President for Student Life or a designee ("Vice President") may evict a student from University housing, restrict a students' access to and movement about the campus, and/or suspend a student from the University for an interim period, pending disciplinary or criminal proceedings, or medical evaluation. The interim action shall become effective immediately upon delivery of verbal and/or written notification to the local and/or permanent address of the student whenever the continued presence of the student at the University poses a serious threat to her/himself or to others or to the stability and continuance of normal University functions. A disciplinary hearing or conference will be granted as soon as possible, under all circumstances.

Prohibited Conduct

13. Any student found to have committed misconduct is subject to disciplinary action and to the sanctions outlined in this Code. The following are examples of misconduct subject to disciplinary action:

  1. Dangerous Conduct: Intentionally or carelessly engaging in conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety or causes physical harm to any person, including the violator.

1. Assault: Placing a person in fear of imminent physical danger or offensive bodily harm.

2. Battery: The use of an offensive body contact causing harm to an individual.

3. Sexual Assault: Forcing, threatening, or coercing an individual into sexual contact against his or her free will with or without his or her consent. It includes, but is not limited to, any sexual act performed on an individual, any sexual act required to be performed by an individual, or forced or coerced intercourse. Sexual assault includes having sexual contact with a person while knowing or having reason to know that the person was incapacitated by drugs, including alcohol, or by other means. When a student files an allegation of sexual assault occurring on University property or as part of a University-sponsored event, it will be handled according to the "Sexual Assault Policy Regarding Sexual Assault By Students."

  1. Harassment

1. Harassment: Any actions, threats, gestures, and/or fighting words directed toward another person which have the purpose or which tend to incite a breach of the peace or cause physical injury or emotional distress to that person because of the humiliating, degrading, intimidating, insulting, coercive, ridiculing, and/or alarming nature of the conduct. It frequently, but not always, involves a pattern of conduct.

2. Sexual Harassment: Any unsolicited, offensive behavior that inappropriately asserts sexuality over status as a student or an employee; unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

a. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or academic admission or advancement;

b. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis (or threatened to be used as the basis) for employment actions or academic decisions or evaluations; or

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 or learning environment.

When a student files an allegation of sexual harassment occurring on University property or as part of a University-sponsored event, it will be handled according to the University "Sexual Harassment" policy.

  1. Dangerous Items: The use, possession or storage of any firearms, explosives, other weapons, fireworks, dangerous chemicals, or instruments used in a dangerous fashion.

1. Candles and incense in the residence halls.

2. Firearms, ammunition, knives or other weapons, or objects that could be construed as weapons and items that pose a potential hazard to the safety or health of others.

a. Firearms are defined as any gun, rifle, pistol, or handgun designed to fire bullets, BB's, pellets, or shots (including paint balls), regardless of the propellant used.

b. Other weapons are defined as any instrument of combat, or any object not designed as an instrument of combat but carried or used for the purpose of inflicting or threatening bodily injury.

3. Unauthorized hazardous materials or chemicals.

4. Fireworks including, but not limited to, firecrackers, cherry bombs, smoke bombs, and similar devices.

  1. Interfering with Fire Safety

1. Misusing, tampering or damaging fire safety equipment including, but not limited to, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, sprinkler systems or exit signs.

2. Unauthorized burning of any material in any University building, on University property or on areas adjacent to University property.

3. Disregarding a fire alarm signal or refusing to evacuate a building or a section of a building when a fire alarm is sounding.

4. Recklessly or intentionally activating an alarm when an emergency situation does not exist.

  1. Alcohol: The use, abuse, possession, or distribution of alcohol, except as permitted by law and University policy.

1. Possession of containers that previously contained alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age.

2. Possession of common source containers, whether full or empty, of alcohol such as kegs, beer balls, or boxed wine.

3. Possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age.

4. Consumption of alcoholic beverages, including:

a. Consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age;

b. Consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons 21 years of age or older in any public area (unless it is a University approved event), including, but not limited to:

i. The interior of all buildings, except the privacy of residence hall rooms;

ii. Areas outside of University buildings that are considered to be University property;

iii. Parking areas including curb-side parking on streets and alleys adjacent to or on campus property, whether inside or outside of vehicles; or

iv. Areas adjacent to University property including the Brookland Metro Station.

5. Intoxication by any person, regardless of age.

6. Sale, distribution or provision or attempts to sell, distribute or provide alcoholic beverages to and/or by anyone under 21 years of age.

  1. Drugs: The use, possession, or distribution of any controlled substances, except as permitted by law, or possession of drug paraphernalia.

1. Possession of paraphernalia including any item used to inhale/ingest/inject illegal substances.

2. Use of any item to disguise the presence of or to deter the detection of drugs.

3. Possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances.

4. Use of illegal drugs or controlled substances.

5. Distribution of illegal drugs or controlled substances.

  1. Theft/Unauthorized Possession of Property

1. Theft of property or of services or knowing possession of stolen property.

2. Unauthorized possession of University property (including residence hall lounge furniture) or the property of others.

  1. Damage to Property: Intentionally or carelessly destroying or damaging University property or the property of others.

  1. Misuse of University/Individual Property:

1. Unauthorized entry into University facilities or property.

2. Unauthorized use or misuse of University property or the property of others.

  1. Disorderly Conduct:

1. Acting in a manner to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct, or be offensive to another/others.

2. Shouting or making excessive noise either inside or outside a building to the annoyance or disturbance of others.

3. Verbally abusing University officials (including students appointed to act as representatives of the University) acting in the performance of their duties.

4. Behaving in a lewd or indecent manner.

  1. Non-academic Dishonesty:

1. Knowingly furnishing false information to the University or member of the University community.

2. Furnishing false information at University judicial proceedings.

3. Possession or use of false identification cards.

4. Forgery, misuse, unauthorized alteration or creation of University or other documents, records or identification cards.

5. Significant misrepresentation on applications or resumes.

6. Fraud committed against a member of the campus community or campus visitor.

7. Knowingly initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning or threat.

  1. Interfering With University Events:

1. Interfering with any normal University or University-sponsored events, including but not limited to studying, teaching, research, sponsored social programs, and University administration, fire, police or emergency services.

2. Any effort by conspiracy or omission to impede or hinder any disciplinary proceeding.

  1. Smoking: Smoking in any building or vehicle which is owned, operated or leased by the University.

  1. Violating University Rules and Regulations:

1. Any violation of other published University regulations including violation of rules governing residence in University-owned or controlled property.

2. Involvement in a violation, including being present during any violation of this Code, in such a way as to condone, support or encourage that violation. (Note: Students who anticipate or observe a violation are expected to remove themselves from participation and are encouraged to report the violation.)

  1. Non-compliance:

1. Failure to comply with reasonable directives of University officials, including students appointed to act as representatives of the University, acting in performance of their duties. Directives to provide identification are included in the scope of this provision.

2. Violating the terms of any disciplinary sanction as imposed in accordance with judicial procedures, including the failure to complete sanctions by the imposed deadline.

  1. Gambling: Participation in any form of illegal gambling.

  1. Violation of Law: Violation of local, state or federal laws, regulations or ordinances.

14. Attempts to commit acts prohibited by this Code or encouraging others to commit acts prohibited by this Code shall be treated as violations of this Code.


15. Sanctions that may be imposed in accordance with this Code include:

a. Censure: An official written reprimand for violation of specified regulations.

b. Disciplinary Probation: This action involves a period of time in which a student is expected to demonstrate positive behavioral change. A student on probation may be excluded from participation in privileged or extracurricular institutional activities for a specified period of time. Additional restrictions or conditions for behavioral changes may be imposed. Violations of the terms of disciplinary probation, or any other violation of this Code during the period of probation, may result in eviction from residence, suspension or expulsion from the University.

c. Disciplined Property: Notification to a neighborhood property that any additional violation of Part 10 of this Code may result in administrative disciplinary sanctions for all student tenants. This designation will remain in effect for a minimum period of six months and may be removed only upon approved petition from the tenants or the landlord, directly or through the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, or by the Vice President.

d. Restitution: Repayment to the University or to an affected party for damages resulting from a violation of this Code.

e. Denial of Access to Specific Areas: Ban from certain non-academic area(s) for a specified length of time.

f. Eviction from Residence: Termination of the residence hall agreement and exclusion from visiting within certain or all residential facilities, as set forth in the notice of eviction, for a specified period of time. A student who is evicted is not entitled to a refund of room fees. A student who is a freshman or sophomore and is evicted from residence is unable to fulfill residency requirements and may be suspended, upon review.

g. Suspension: Exclusion from classes and other privileges or activities, including access to University premises or University-sponsored activities off campus, as set forth in the notice of suspension, for a specified period of time. A student who is suspended is not entitled to any tuition or fee refund and is banned from University premises.

h. Expulsion: Termination of student status, and exclusion from University premises, privileges and activities. A student who is expelled shall not be entitled to any tuition or fee refund and is banned from University premises.

i. Other Sanctions: Other sanctions, which bear a reasonable relation to the fault for which the student has been sanctioned, and fines may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified above. Educational sanctions include, but are not limited to, restitution service hours, community service, and participation in alcohol awareness or drug awareness programs.

16. The imposition of sanctions is based on the nature of the violation and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it, present demeanor of the student, and the past disciplinary record of the student. In some cases, a sanction may be held in abeyance for a specific period. This means that, should the student be found in violation of this Code during the stated period, he or she may be subject to the deferred sanction in addition to the disciplinary action appropriate to the new violation.

Case Referrals

17. Any person may refer a student suspected of violating this Code to the Office of Judicial Affairs and Ethical Development. Referrals should normally be made within ten working days after the discovery of the alleged violation and/or identification of the alleged violator. If the referral involves harassment or a similar charge where there is a succession of documented