Student Standards of Conduct

Seattle Pacific University's Student Standards of Conduct are based on the University's Christian mission and are intended to provide a positive learning environment, promote the intellectual, social, spiritual, and physical well-being of students, and facilitate character formation. It is our expectation that students understand the standards that govern the personal conduct of all SPU students and student organizations, and that they adhere to these standards during their time as a student of the University.

Behaviors for which students or student organizations are subject to disciplinary action include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Actions that constitute violations of federal, state, or local law. The University reserves the right to follow its normal conduct and accountability processes whenever a student is accused of a criminal act, regardless of the location of its occurrence and regardless of whether civil or criminal proceedings have been instituted against the student. The University also reserves the right to report violations of federal, state, or local law to appropriate law enforcement agencies.
  2. Actions that interfere with the educational process or the administration of the University, including those that obstruct or disrupt the use of University premises, buildings, rooms, or passages, or that incite a disturbance on or off campus.
  3. Dishonesty such as cheating or plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information; alteration or unauthorized use of University documents, records, or property; misuse of student identification; or possession and/or usage of false identification. Students in possession of false identification face a minimum $150 fine per instance. 
    • 3.1 Any student who falsely reports or falsely accuses an individual maliciously, or who maliciously provides false or misleading information in connection with an investigation, may face disciplinary action or sanction, up to and including suspension or dismissal from the University. If a staff member administering a student accountability process or similar proceeding believes false reports, accusations, or statements may have been made maliciously, the staff member may raise the issue for consideration within the process. In addition, students may also share concerns about possible false reports, accusations, or statements with staff members administering related proceedings. This provision does not prohibit reports or accusations made in good faith. Violations of the University's policy on retaliation will also be addressed through the appropriate process. 
    • 3.2 Violations of academic integrity: A breach of academic integrity occurs when a student receives academic benefits he or she did not earn through his or her own work, by cheating or by plagiarism. In its more blatant forms, academic dishonesty includes the following:
      • Copying another individual's work on an exam.
      • Preparing for an exam by using test questions from a stolen exam.
      • Bringing concealed answers to an exam.
      • Turning in another person's work as one's own.
      • Committing plagiarism (i.e. copying portions of another individual's words from a published or electronic source without acknowledging that source).
    1. Failure to comply with the directions of authorized University officials in the performance of their duties, including the failure to identify oneself when requested to do so, the failure to fully participate in the student accountability process, and the failure to comply with the terms of assigned sanctions.
    2. Participation in any actions that involve discrimination or harassment based on race, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sex.
    3. Activities that cause or threaten emotional, mental, or physical harm or suffering; that demean the dignity of any individual; or that interfere with any individual’s academic process. Examples of such actions are verbal threats or abuse, harassment, intimidation, threatened or actual physical assault, or consistent disregard for the rights and welfare of any individual.
      • 6.1 Hazing: "Hazing" includes any method of initiation into a student organization or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization or living group, that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental or emotional harm, to any student or other person. Hazing is not permitted, regardless of the person's willingness to participate.

        No student or student organization at Seattle Pacific University may conspire to engage in hazing or participate in the hazing of another. This policy applies to all University-sponsored student organizations, to their individual members, and to others attending the University, and is intended to comply with state law prohibiting hazing at colleges and universities (RCW 28B.10.901). A student who participates in the hazing of another may be required to forfeit state-funded grants, scholarships, or awards for a period of time determined by Seattle Pacific University.

        Hazing activities may include, but are not limited to the following:
        • All forms of physical activity deemed dangerous or harmful;
        • Striking another person whether by use of any object or one's body;
        • The application of foreign substances to the body;
        • Scavenger hunts involving illegal activities, kidnapping, or abandoning a member of the community;
        • Depriving others of sleep or creation of excessive fatigue as an intentional part of activities;
        • Forcing, coercing, pressuring, or requiring students to consume alcohol, or foreign or unusual amounts of food or other substances;
        • Nudity or forcing students to dress in a degrading manner; and
        • Psychological hazing: any act which is likely to compromise the dignity of a student; cause embarrassment or shame to a student; cause a student to be the object of ridicule or malicious amusement; or inflict psychological or emotional harm.
        • Students may also be subject to discipline for conduct that does not amount to hazing but that still results in embarrassment, ridicule, sleep deprivation, verbal abuse, or personal humiliation of another person.

    7. Conduct or activities that are lewd, indecent, or obscene, whether demonstrative, visual, verbal, written, or electronic. In addition, pornographic materials in any form (including internet pornography) are not to be viewed, used, possessed, or distributed. These materials may include any item whose content is sexually provocative, explicit, exploitative, or of concern. For more information about related policies for SPU network use, see the SPU User Policies.

    8. Cohabitation and related forms of premarital, extramarital, or homosexual sexual activities. Cohabitation means unmarried students in an amorous relationship living together.

    9. Any form of coercive or unwelcome sexual behavior, including sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, or related actions. For more information about policies and procedures for sexual misconduct, see the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

    10. Violation of any law or any SPU policy relating to alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.

    • 10.1 Students are not allowed to be on campus or at University-sponsored events (including athletic events, mission trips, performance group trips, etc.) while under the influence of alcohol even if their consumption occurred off campus or away from these events. Students also may not participate in, assist, or promote on campus gatherings that include alcohol or illegal drug usage. Students participating in international or study abroad programs should be aware that they are expected to abide by the University's policies regarding responsible alcohol usage.
    • 10.2 Illegal, underage consumption and/or possession of alcohol will not be permitted either on or off campus. Providing alcohol to those under the age of 21 is not permitted under any circumstances.
    • 10.3 Hosting Gatherings Involving Alcohol or Drugs: Persons who host gatherings where alcohol is available to participants should be aware that they will be held responsible for the actions of their guests, including their guests' level of consumption. Persons who host or in any way assist or promote gatherings (on or off campus) that include any of the following will be subject to a mandatory $300 fine, in addition to other sanctions:
      • Indication of any participant being under the influence of alcohol to a level that is irresponsible (i.e. intoxicated, tipsy, buzzed, drunk, etc.)
      • Alcohol given to underage persons or underage consumption of alcohol
      • Illegal drug usage or illegal usage of controlled substances
      Those living at the location where the party is held may be held responsible as hosts regardless of who provides the alcohol.

      Students should be aware that gatherings at their residence may grow beyond their ability to control due to social and other electronic media. Students will still be viewed as hosts in this type of situation, and should consider these elements when planning their events.

    • 10.4 Narcotics: Students who possess, distribute, and/or use narcotics on or off campus (including medical marijuana, misuse of prescription drugs, Salvia, any form of hallucinogens, paraphernalia, etc.) or other intoxicants on or off campus will be subject to the disciplinary process.
    • 10.5 Use of Tobacco: In the interest of common health concerns, the campus provides a tobacco-free environment. Use or display of any form of tobacco or other smoking-related options (including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smokeless tobacco, chew, hemp, hookah, vaping, paraphernalia, devices, etc.) on University premises or at any University-sponsored function is strictly prohibited.

      Any student found responsible for a policy violation of the drug and alcohol policy will be assessed a $100 administrative fee that goes toward covering the cost of alcohol and drug prevention programs. A student who cannot afford to pay the fee can ask for a waiver as a part of the appeal process.

      For more information, including information about resources, see the Campus Annual Notification

    11. Actions that constitute a safety or health hazard. Such activities include, but are not limited to, entering or exiting buildings through the windows; throwing, projecting, or dropping items that may cause injury.

  • 11.1 False reporting or warning of a fire, bombing, crime, or other emergency situation, or tampering with safety equipment.
  • 11.2 Possession, use, or display on University property of any firearms, weapons, fireworks, live ammunition, incendiary devices, or other items that are potentially hazardous to other persons. This includes BB/pellet guns, paint guns, air guns, air soft guns, taser guns, any facsimile of a gun or any counterfeit firearm, blow guns, blow gun ammunition, or water balloon launchers.
  • 11.3 Biohazard and Bodily Fluid: Student use of any form of biohazard (e.g. bodily waste or fluid from a human or animal) apart from any academic requirements is dangerous to the health of community members and is strictly prohibited on or off campus. Violation of this policy will result in a minimum fine of $200 per person, as well as any additional cost for cleanup and personnel.

    12. Unauthorized possession of property belonging to the University or others; unauthorized presence in, or unauthorized use of or duplication of keys to, University premises or property; and activities that cause or may cause damage to property belonging to the University or others. Any resulting damage fees are charged to the students involved.

  • 12.1 Theft: The taking of the property of another without his or her consent is prohibited. Violation of this policy may be subject to suspension or expulsion from the University.

13. Any violation of other University policies, regulations, or rules. Residential students should be aware of the guidelines established for living in the Residence Halls and Apartments.

Last published on 8/24/2018

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