Chapter 18: Student Conduct Code

Statement Of Responsibilities And Standards Of Conduct

All members of the University community have a strong responsibility to protect and maintain an academic climate in which the fundamental freedom to learn can be enjoyed by all and where the rights and well-being of all members of the community are protected. To this end, certain basic regulations and policies have been developed to govern the conduct of all students as members of the University community. Copies of the Student Handbook, which includes the Student Conduct Code, and information about the policies and procedures regarding the student judicial system are available from the Office of Student Life and at

The goal of Santa Clara University is to provide students with a general education so that they will acquire knowledge, skill, and wisdom to deal with and contribute to contemporary society in constructive ways. As an institution of higher education rooted in the Jesuit tradition, the University is committed to creating and sustaining an environment that facilitates not only academic development but also the personal and spiritual development of its members. This commitment of the University encourages the greatest possible degree of freedom for individual choice and expression, with the expectation that individual members of the community will:

  • Be honest.
  • Demonstrate self-respect.
  • Demonstrate respect for others.
  • Demonstrate respect for the law and University policies, procedures, and standards; their administration; and the process for changing those laws, policies, procedures, and standards.

In keeping with this commitment, this Statement of Responsibilities and Standards of Conduct and related policies and procedures have been formulated to guarantee each student’s freedom to learn and to protect the fundamental rights of others. There can be no rights and freedoms if all who claim them do not recognize and respect the same rights and freedoms for others. In addition to the laws of the nation, the State of California, and the local community, the University administration has established policies, procedures, and standards deemed necessary to achieve its objectives as a Catholic, Jesuit university.

All members of the Santa Clara community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the goals of the institution and to demonstrate respect for self, others, and their property. Students living off campus are members of this community, and as such are representatives to the community at large. In this regard, students living off campus maintain an equal measure of accountability to the values and expectations of all members of this community as identified in the Student Conduct Code.

Whether living in or traversing through the neighborhood, or parking in the street, students are expected to adhere to the same high standards of conduct and behavior that are consistent with the students’ developing role as responsible and accountable citizens, and that reflect well upon the Santa Clara University community.

All members of the University community have a strong responsibility to protect and maintain an academic climate in which the fundamental freedom to learn can be enjoyed by all and where the rights and well-being of all members of the community are protected. The University reserves the right to review student conduct that occurs on and off campus when such behavior is inconsistent with this expectation and the Student Conduct Code. The following acts subject students to disciplinary action:

  1. Engaging in any form of academic dishonesty, such as plagiarism (representing the work or ideas of others as one’s own without giving proper acknowledgment), cheating (e.g., copying the work of another person, falsifying laboratory data, sabotaging the work of others), and other acts generally understood to be dishonest by faculty or students in an academic context.
  2. Illegal use, possession, or distribution of drugs. The use or possession of equipment, products, or materials that are used or intended for use in manufacturing, growing, using, or distributing any drug or controlled substance. Possessing, concealing, storing, carrying, or using any drug paraphernalia as defined in California Health and Safety Code § 11364.5, including, but not limited to, objects intended for use or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil into the human body. A reported violation of this section will result in the confiscation and immediate disposal of drugs and drug paraphernalia by University officials
  3. Falsification or misuse, including non-authentic, altered, or fraudulent misuse, of University records, permits, documents, communication equipment, or identification cards and government-issued documents
  4. Knowingly furnishing false or incomplete information to the University, a University official, or judicial hearing board in response to an authorized request
  5. Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct; excessive or prolonged noise; behavior that interferes with the orderly functioning of the University, or interferes with an individual’s pursuit of an education on University-owned or controlled property or during an authorized University class, field trip, seminar, competition or other meeting, or University-related activity
  6. Detention, physical abuse, or conduct that threatens imminent bodily harm or endangers the physical well-being of any person, including harm to self
  7. Nonconsensual physical contact of a sexual nature such as sexual misconduct, sexual assault, and rape
  8. Destruction, damage, or misuse of University property or the property of any other person or group
  9. Theft or conversion of University property or the property of any other person or group
  10. Hazing, harassing, threatening, degrading language or actions, including stalking, or any practice by a group or individual that degrades a student or employee, endangers health, jeopardizes personal safety, or interferes with an employee’s duties or with a student’s class attendance or a person’s educational pursuits
  11. Engaging in single or multiple acts – verbal, written, or physical—in violation of the Student Conduct Code motivated in whole or in part by a person or group’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, religious creed, physical or mental disability, medical condition, as defined by California law, marital status, citizenship status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military or veteran status, or other status protected by law, and which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with an individual’s or group’s safety or security, or which creates an intimidating, hostile, and objectively offensive educational, living or working environment. Bias-related conduct in violation of the Student Conduct Code on the basis of actual or perceived religious faith and political affiliation/orientation is also prohibited.
  12. Making a video recording, audio recording, or streaming audio/video of private, non-public conversations and/or meetings, inclusive of the classroom setting, without the knowledge and consent of all recorded parties
  13. Intentional obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other University activities; or obstruction or disruption that interferes with the freedom of movement, both pedestrian and vehicular
  14. Possessing, concealing, storing, carrying, or using any real or simulated weapons (including toy guns). The definition of weapons includes, but is not limited to, firearms (including BB/pellet, Airsoft, and paintball guns—regardless of whether they are disassembled), knives (switchblade, double-edged, hunting-style [fixed-blade] of any length, throwing, folding [pocket-style with a blade that locks into place], and knives with blades of 2.5 inches in length or greater), explosives (including, though not limited to, fireworks and firecrackers), ammunition, dangerous chemicals, or any other dangerous weapons or instruments, or chemicals as defined by, though not limited to, California State Law except if expressly authorized by University policy or procedure (see “Housing and Residence Life Policies” for information that pertains to Residence Life). A reported violation of this section will result in the immediate confiscation and disposal of real or simulated weapons by University officials.
  15. Unauthorized entry into or use or defacement of University facilities, including residence halls and other buildings and grounds, including unauthorized entry into or presence in or on a University building; unauthorized erection or use on University property of any structures including specifically but not limited to tents, huts, gazebos, shelters, platforms, and public address systems; or unauthorized use of University property for dances, concerts, assemblies, meetings, sleeping, cooking, or eating if said activity interferes with the operation of the University or surrounding community
  16. Publication, posting, or distribution through the use of University resources (e.g., computer networks, telephone lines, email services, internet connections), or at authorized University activities of material that violates the law of libel, obscenity, postal regulations, the fair use of copyrighted materials, or any law or statute or University policy
  17. Failure to comply with a reasonable request or order of a University executive or other authorized official(s); refusal or failure to leave such premises because of conduct prescribed by this code when such conduct constitutes violations of this code or a danger to personal safety, property, or educational or other appropriate University activities on such premises; or refusal or failure to identify oneself when requested by a University official provided the official is identified and indicates legitimate reason for the request
  18. Possession, consumption, sale, or action under the influence of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of 21; furnishing alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21; consumption of alcoholic beverages in a public place (all areas other than individual residences, private offices, and scheduled private functions); excessive and inappropriate use of alcoholic beverages. (See also “Alcohol Policy Within the Residence Halls” on page 27 of the Student Handbook)
  19. Engaging in acts or deeds that may violate existing federal, state, county, or municipal laws or ordinances that materially or adversely affect the individual’s suitability as a member of the Santa Clara University community
  20. Tampering with, removing, damaging, or destroying fire extinguishers, fire alarm boxes, smoke or heat detectors, emergency call boxes, and other safety equipment anywhere on University property; creating a fire, safety, or health hazard; or failure to respond to fire alarms, evacuate buildings during alarm activation, or respond to the directions of emergency personnel
  21. Any behavior that disrupts or causes disruption of computer services; damages, alters, or destroys data or records; adversely affects computer software, programs, systems, or networks; or uses data, computer systems, or networks to devise or execute any scheme to defraud, deceive, extort, or wrongfully obtain money, property, or data

Students who are alleged to have violated the Student Conduct Code may be subject to disciplinary action and, if applicable, may also be subject to criminal prosecution.

Judicial Records Policy

When the Office of Student Life receives the report, the assistant dean will meet with the student to discuss the relevance of the violation to the Student Conduct Code. Whether further judicial sanctions are applied or not, the report of academic dishonesty will remain on file in the Office of Student Life for the remainder of the student's enrollment at Santa Clara University. The student involved has the right to include a statement as part of these files.

If it is ruled that the student committed an academic integrity violation, the Office of Student Life will administer a judicial sanction that would range from a letter of warning to expulsion from the University. The severity of the judicial sanction depends on the severity of the circumstances, including the student's judicial history and previous academic integrity violations.

Allegations Outside a Course

If the allegation involves a situation outside the context of a course, resolution begins with the Office of Student Life. The assistant dean will confer with all parties concerned. After hearing all evidence and conducting further investigation as needed, the assistant dean will either hear the case or refer it to a judicial board in accordance with the University Judicial Process. The outcome of the hearing will be communicated to those involved.

Student Conduct Records Policy

The Office of Student Life maintains a hard copy file and a digital record of a student’s conduct history. Conduct records are educational records, and are thereby subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the University’s Student Records Policy.

The conduct record is confidential and is only shared internally with University officials, in instances when the student grants permission to release the record, or there is what FERPA defines “an educational need to know” basis for the request. The conduct record is maintained throughout the student’s enrollment and thereafter, as indicated below. A student’s conduct record will only be released from the hard copy file to a person or party external to the University, if the student has granted permission, where the disclosure of the record is permissible under the provisions of FERPA, or where the University is required to do so by law. The digital copy of the conduct record will only be released to an external person or party where the University is required to do so by law.

Retention of Hard Copy of Conduct Records

  1. The hard copy file of a student’s entire conduct history is kept for a minimum of one (1) academic year beyond the academic year in which the date of the last violation of the Student Conduct Code occurred. When a student commits a violation of academic integrity, the hard copy file is retained for the remainder of a student’s academic career.
  2. The files of any student who has received one or more of the following sanctions will be maintained for three (3) academic years beyond the academic year in which the student’s tenure in his/her current degree program at the University has ended:
    1. Removal from University housing
    2. Disciplinary probation
    3. Deferred suspension
    4. Suspension
  3. The conduct record of a student who has been expelled will be maintained for seven (7) years beyond the academic year in which the student’s tenure at the University has ended

The University reserves the right to change this policy at any time at its sole discretion.

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