The Catholic University of America

Archived 6/16/06

Code of Student Conduct

I. Purpose

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. 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.

II. Authority for Student Discipline

5. Ultimate authority for student discipline is vested in the president of the university ("president"), who may take immediate action at 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.

III. Student Participation

6. Students are asked to assume positions of significant responsibility in the university disciplinary 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.

IV. Definitions

7. When used in this Code:

A. Case file: the file containing those materials pertaining to a specific disciplinary matter that would be considered an "educational record" 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 the Dean of Students, Judicial Affairs and Ethical Development ("JAED").

B. Disciplinary record: the file containing all materials pertaining to disciplinary matters that would be considered an "educational record" pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The disciplinary record contains the entire judicial history of a student, including materials for all resolved cases and incidents referred for administrative action.

C. Distribution: any form of exchange, gift, transfer or sale.

D. Institution and University: refers to The Catholic University of America and all of its undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, divisions and programs.

E. Respondent: any person charged with a violation of this Code.

F. Student: any person who is taking or auditing classes at the university, or is matriculated in any university program.

G. University Hearing Board or Board: the panel of community (students and/or faculty and/or staff) members that hears cases that can result in eviction from residence, or suspension or expulsion from the university. A quorum of the board necessary to conduct a hearing shall consist of at least one student and two other members.

H. University Premises: buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled or supervised by the university.

I. University Sponsored Activity: any activity on or off university premises that is directly initiated or supervised by the university.

J. Student Organization: a group of at least six students enrolled at least part-time for the current academic year who have organized for a common purpose or activity, and have sought and gained formal registration with the Office of the University Center, Student Programs and Events ("UCSPE").

K. Appeals Committee: the panel of community members (students and/or faculty and/or staff) that manage appeals for disciplinary cases heard at a disciplinary hearing. A quorum of the Appeals Committee necessary to review an appeal shall consist of at least one student and two other members.

V. Interpretation of Regulations

8. The purpose of publishing disciplinary regulations is to give students and student organizations general notice of prohibited behavior and their rights and responsibilities during the disciplinary process. This Code does not, nor is it intended to, afford the specificity nor the due process rights of criminal or civil statutes or procedures.

VI. Inherent Authority

9. The vice president for student life or a designee ("vice president") reserves the right to take immediate, necessary and appropriate action to protect the health, safety and well-being of an individual and/or the university community. Such action may include pursuing disciplinary action for any violation of university policy or district or federal law off university premises by a student that affects the university's interests and/or is inconsistent with university's expectations for students. Administrative action, in lieu of formal disciplinary action, may be taken at the discretion of the university, in an appropriate and reasonable manner, to address student behavior.

10. The vice president, in his/her sole discretion, may evict a student from university housing, restrict a student's access to and movement about the campus, and/or suspend a student from the university for an interim period whenever the continued presence of the student at the university is deemed to pose a serious threat to her/himself or to others or to the stability and continuance of normal university functions. The interim action shall become effective immediately upon delivery of verbal and/or written notification to the student or his/her designee. A disciplinary hearing or conference will be granted as soon as possible, under all circumstances.

11. The vice president or a designee may take necessary action to address the behavior of a student organization and/or its members, when members of the student organization have engaged in potential violations of this Code for which they received the consent or encouragement of the organization or the organization's leaders/officers. Appropriate action seeks to restore successful student organization management through education and leadership development.

VII. Disciplinary Action While Criminal Charges are Pending

12. 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.

VIII. Student Organizations

13. The officers, leaders or any identifiable spokesperson(s) for a student organization may be directed by a designee from the Office of the Dean of Students or UCSPE to take appropriate action designed to prevent or end violations of this Code by the organization. Any administrative action requested of the organization to remedy the situation will be coupled with resources and information to assist the organization in being a constructive part of the university community. Failure to make reasonable efforts to comply with the designee's request may be considered a violation of this Code.

14. If an organization is found responsible for a violation of this Code, sanctions may include revocation of privileges, loss of registration, or loss of recognition as well as other appropriate sanctions.

IX. Prohibited Conduct

15. Any student or student organization found to have committed misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action and to the sanctions outlined in this Code. The following are examples of misconduct subject to disciplinary action:

A. 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. Placing a person in fear of imminent physical danger or bodily harm.

2. The use of aggressive body contact that causes 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 or reasons.

B. Harassment:

1. Any actions, threats, gestures, and/or words directed toward another person which have the purpose or which tend to incite a breach of the peace, create a hostile environment, or cause 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.

C. Dangerous Items: The use, possession or storage of any firearms, explosives, other weapons, fireworks or dangerous chemicals.

1. Firearms, ammunition, knives or other weapons, objects that could be construed as weapons and/or 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, BBs, 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 or damaging/destroying university property or the property of others.

2. Unauthorized hazardous materials or chemicals.

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

D. Interfering with Fire Safety:

1. Misusing, tampering with 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.

E. 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 an official university-approved event), including public space within a residence hall.

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.

F. 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/mask illegal substances.

2. Possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances.

3. Use of illegal drugs or controlled substances.

4. Distribution of illegal drugs or controlled substances.

G. 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.

H. Damage to or Misuse of University/Individual Property:

1. Intentionally or carelessly destroying or damaging university property or the property of others.

2. Unauthorized entry into university facilities or property.

3. Unauthorized use or misuse of university property or the property of others.

I. 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.

J. Nonacademic 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 documents, records or identification cards.

5. Fraud committed against a member of the campus community or others.

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

K. 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, university administration, and fire, police and emergency services.

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

L. Smoking: Smoking in any building or vehicle that is owned, operated or leased by the university.

M. 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.)

N. Noncompliance: 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 and/or participate in a university disciplinary process are included in the scope of this provision.