Community Standards - Frequently Asked Questions
The Code of Student Conduct is a statement of behavioral expectations that applies to all Pepperdine students.
Where does the Code of Student Conduct apply?
The Code of Student Conduct extends to alleged misconduct that takes place on University-owned or controlled property, or on property close to the University; alleged misconduct that takes place at any University-sponsored event; and alleged misconduct that has a significant impact on the educational mission and well-being of the University community that takes place at any location off campus. This includes causing a disturbance to neighbors or hosting parties where underage or binge drinking occurs.
How are hearings conducted?
The Student Disciplinary Committee hears cases involving Pepperdine students who have allegedly violated the Code of Student Conduct. The SDC is composed of faculty, staff and student representatives, and typically hears more serious and/or repeat alleged violations. The associate dean of student affairs for community standards, Sharon Beard, conducts administrative hearings for many first-time and/or minor alleged violations.
What are the sanctions for misconduct?
Educational and remedial sanctions may be designed to address specific behavioral and learning needs. Examples of educational and remedial sanctions include: alcohol education programs, mentor relationships, research and writing assignments, and monetary restitution. In addition, status sanctions from a warning through suspension or expulsion from the University are assigned to promote student education and campus safety.
What are “standard sanctions?”
Standard sanctions are consistent University responses to specific violations of the Code of Student Conduct. While sanctions are not assigned until a student’s case is heard, these sanctions are the minimum penalty a student can expect to receive. We hope that prior notice of these standard sanctions will encourage students to avoid behaviors that lead to serious disciplinary consequences.
In what types of cases do standard sanctions apply?
Standard sanctions apply only to those offenses described in the Table of Standard Sanctions. Other types of incidents are handled on a case-by-case basis.
In what types of cases do standard sanctions not apply?
Standard sanctions do not apply when:
- a student engages in multiple behavioral violations in a single incident;
- a student is on a disciplinary sanction equal to or greater than the standard sanction at the time of the offense; and when
- an incident presents unusually serious circumstances, ongoing risks to persons or property, or other complex concerns.
In these situations, the appropriate sanctions are determined on a case-by-case basis in light of the circumstances. Generally, these situations result in sanctions that exceed the standard sanction.
Can standard sanctions be reduced in specific cases?
Standard sanctions are rarely reduced. However, the presence of substantial mitigating or other appropriate circumstances may result in the reduction of a standard sanction at the discretion of the associate dean of student affairs for community standards, the SDC, or the vice president for student life and dean of student affairs.
How does dishonesty impact sanctions?
Some students believe that by lying or providing false evidence to the SDC or associate dean of student affairs for community standards that they will not be held accountable for the charges brought against them. Students should be advised that all testimony and evidence presented at hearings are subject to scrutiny and verification. Students who are dishonest or present false information will face further disciplinary action and more severe sanctions.
When will parents or guardians be notified of a student’s alleged or actual violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct?
- In emergency situations, such as when a student is hospitalized or arrested (unless notice is prohibited by law); and
- if the student is dependent on his or her parents or guardian (i.e., under the age of 21), then in all serious cases (e.g., any case that involves possession or use of illegal drugs or controlled substances, DUI, any case that may result in loss of housing privileges or suspension or expulsion from the University), and in all repeat alcohol violations.