Office of Rights and Responsibilities


Standards of Conduct

Standards of Conduct at Willamette University are set forth in writing to give students general notice of prohibited conduct. The Standards should be read broadly and are not designed to define misconduct in exhaustive terms. Students and student organizations are expected to comply with published University policies and local, state, and federal laws.

The university may move to hold a student or student organization accountable through the rights and responsibilities process when alleged behavior can reasonably be held to engage or attempt to engage in any of the actions listed below. 

  1. Falsification, forgery, unauthorized alteration or misuse of University documents, records, keys, student identification or combination door locks.
  2. Disruption, obstruction or material interference with the process of instruction, research, administration, career placement, discipline or any other service or activity provided or sponsored by the University.
  3. Lying, furnishing false information, withholding of information or misrepresentation to any University office or faculty, staff or conduct board member, whether oral or written (including financial aid applications).
  4. Damage, destruction, theft or misuse of University property or personal property located on the University campus.
  5. Unauthorized entry, use, or abuse of University owned or controlled property, facilities, equipment or resources (e.g. telephone equipment, computer access lines, mail services, telecommunication resources, etc.).
  6. Physical or verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or other conduct that threatens or endangers any person or causes reasonable apprehension of such harm.  This includes the use of e-mail, social media, or other technological means of communication.
  7. Aiding and abetting another in a violation of the Standards of Conduct.
  8. Failure to comply with a directive from a University staff member in the performance of his/her duty.
  9. Lewd or indecent conduct.
  10. Harassment - Behavior that results in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, living or academic environment; includes harassment on the basis of sex, race, cultural background, religion, political creed, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability, as well as the existence of a hostile environment that is created, encouraged, accepted, tolerated or left uncorrected; and includes:
    • a. Bullying (including cyber-bullying), a form of harassment, is abusive treatment (may be verbal, physical, written, or otherwise), the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when patterned and involving an imbalance of power (real or perceived); or
    • b. Stalking (including cyber-stalking), a form of harassment, refers to repeated harassing or threatening behavior by an individual using various forms of contact to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcomed contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion. Any unwanted contact between two people that directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim or a third party, such as a roommate or friend, in fear, can be considered stalking. 
  11. Sexual Harassment (quid pro quo and hostile work environment) – see Prohibition of Harassment on the Human Resources website.
  12. Sexual Misconduct (see: Sexual Misconduct Policy and Protocol for Students)
    • a. Sexual Harassment – sex or gender-based verbal, written or physical activity that is so severe, pervasive or objectively offensive that it interferes with an individual’s academic performance or ability to benefit from the educational opportunities or activities of the University or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work, living or academic environment.
    • b. Intimate Partner Violence – actual or threatened physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.
    • c. Sexual Exploitation – taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit or to benefit another person.
    • d. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempt to commit same) – any intentional sexual touching however slight, with any object (penis, finger, tongue, or other object), by a person upon another person without consent.
    • e. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse – unwanted penetration of the vagina or anus with a penis, finger, tongue, or other object, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact
  13. Possession, use or threatened use of firearms, ammunition, explosives or use of any object as a weapon on University property or at University-sponsored activities (see: Firearms/Weapons Policy)
  14. Illegally possessing, using, distributing, manufacturing or selling drugs or controlled substances including but not limited to used drug paraphernalia or prescription drugs; being present or remaining in an area where illegal drugs or controlled substances are being consumed or used.
  15. Violation of the University Alcohol Policy.
  16. Disorderly conduct (including disorderliness resulting from intoxication), unreasonable noise or behavior which results in material inconvenience, annoyance or alarm.  Disorderly conduct includes unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person without his/her prior knowledge, or without his/her effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress.
  17. Hazing (see: Hazing – Policy and Protocol) Hazing is defined as an act taken or situation created, on or off campus, which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, produces mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule or which destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. All acts of hazing by any individual student or University student club, group, organization or team and any of its members or alumni are prohibited. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense against hazing. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act but a violation of the hazing policy.
  18. Violation of Fire Safety Policies or Procedures – misuse or tampering of fire safety equipment or engaging in behavior which constitutes a fire safety hazard.
  19. Failure to abide by any published University policy or procedure, applicable local, state and federal laws (e.g., including, but not limited to Residence Life policies, residential community agreements, academic catalogs).
  20. Failure to comply with the terms of any agreement or sanction imposed in accordance with these Standards of Conduct.