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Pepperdine University

Discrimination and Harassment Policy

Note: this policy is for student complaints about discrimination and harassment by other Pepperdine students. Student complaints about discrimination and harassment by Pepperdine faculty/staff should be reported to the dean's office of the student's school. Please see the school's Non-Academic Student Grievance Procedure for more information.


Pepperdine University affirms that all members of our community are created in the image of God and therefore should be treated with dignity and respect. Our University Code of Ethics states that we do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Further, we respect the inherent worth of each member of the community and do not engage in any forms of harassment. We follow the profound truth found in the Golden Rule, "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12).


Because of our commitment to honoring the dignity and respect of every individual, discrimination and harassment (and any related retaliation), as defined below, is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. This policy applies to all University students, including any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled full- or part-time; has completed the immediately preceding term, is not presently enrolled, and is eligible for re-enrollment; or is on an approved educational leave or other approved leave status. This includes the period before classes begin, while the student is attending classes, between academic sessions or on leave. This policy applies even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. This policy applies to student conduct that occurs both on and off campus. This policy does not apply to sexual misconduct. For information regarding sexual misconduct, please see the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Speech that constitutes a protected exercise of a student's rights under California's Leonard Law will not be deemed a violation of this policy. However, some speech that may be protected by the Leonard Law is nonetheless inconsistent with the Golden Rule, and students are encouraged to live by this higher standard rooted in our Christian faith and heritage.

The University encourages students to immediately bring any concerning behavior to the University's attention even if such behavior does not constitute discrimination, harassment, or retaliation as defined below.



Unlawful discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably with respect to the administration of the University's educational programs and activities, admissions, financial aid, or on-campus housing, based upon that individual's membership in a class protected by applicable law.


Harassment is defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, that its effect, whether or not intended, impairs a person's ability to participate in the University's educational programs and activities or their living environment. Objectively offensive conduct means that it must be offensive both to the recipient of the conduct and to a "reasonable person" in the recipient's circumstances. Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:

  1. Some students hang a noose from the ceiling of an African-American student's room.
  2. Over the course of the semester, a gay student is repeatedly called names (including anti-gay slurs like "fag" and "homo") both to his face and on social networking sites.
  3. After a student discloses that he receives an accommodation for his learning disability, another student calls him a "retard" every time he walks into the classroom.
  4. Someone spray paints "terrorist" on a Muslim student's car.
  5. A student draws a swastika on a Jewish student's message board.


Retaliation is any form of sanction or adverse treatment against a person because that person has asserted a good faith complaint of discrimination or harassment, or assists in providing information regarding a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Retaliation may consist of intentional disparagement, harassment, negative remarks, or other treatment that creates a hostile environment.

Reporting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

Students who feel that they have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation by other students should contact the Office of Community Standards. Students accused of harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation will be subject to the disciplinary proceedings set forth in the Student Code of Conduct.

Student complaints against faculty or staff members are subject to the "Non-Academic Student Grievance Procedure." Students should contact the Office of the Dean of their school.

Confidential reports may be made by contacting a counselor at the Student Counseling Center located at TCC 270 or at (310) 506-4210. Confidential reports can also be made by contacting University Chaplain at TCC 106A or at (310) 506-4275.

Anonymous reports may be made on the anonymous Wave Tip line by calling voice mail at (310) 506-7634 or on the LiveSafe app. For any campus emergency, call (310) 506-4441.

Last Updated: July 24, 2018
Policy Contact: Community Standards