Student Code of Conduct
The Student Code of Conduct applies to all Pepperdine students across Seaver College, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Graziadio Business School, the Caruso School of Law, and the School of Public Policy. Below is a description of the Code. Standards of Conduct that are subject to disciplinary action are listed by school on the left menu. Disciplinary procedures for all students can also be found on the left menu. Please contact us through the "Who We Are" menu if you have any questions or feedback.
Each student is responsible for knowing and adhering to the University's Student Code of Conduct (Code) and its related policies. While the Code and related policies provide students an effective set of guidelines for personal conduct, the University retains the right to instate additional policies or to modify existing ones as needs may dictate. The most updated Code and related policies can be found online at pepperdine.edu/studentcodeofconduct.
Any questions regarding interpretation of this Code should be referred to the Office of Community Standards. The Code is reviewed every year and student input is welcome. We gratefully acknowledge the use and adaptation of model codes of student conduct published by peer institutions, the National Association of College and University Attorneys in Student Disciplinary Issues: A Legal Compendium and Student Handbook Policies, and Ed Stoner and John Lowery, "Model Student Code of Conduct."
II. General Conduct Expectations
In keeping with Pepperdine University's Christian mission and its heritage in Churches of Christ, all members of the University community are encouraged to respect the teachings of Jesus and historic, biblical Christianity. It is expected that all students will maintain the highest standards of personal honor, morality, and integrity. The University reserves the right to refuse admittance to, or dismiss any person who violates these principles.
III. Off-Campus Activities
Off-campus rights and freedoms of students involve the responsibility to display conduct and behavior that reflect favorably on them, the University, and the community. Although the University is not responsible or liable for student off-campus events or behavior, it does reserve the right to take disciplinary action in response to behavior off campus that violates University expectations and policies or adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Students living off campus are expected to be a positive influence in their community and follow all applicable laws, ordinances, and homeowners' association regulations.
IV. Reporting Misconduct
Anyone may report a violation of the Student Code of Conduct by contacting the Office of Community Standards at (310) 506-4471 or the Department of Public Safety at (310) 506-4442. Normally, the person reporting the violation will be asked to submit a written report. The report should be a brief written statement citing the section of the code allegedly violated and providing a summary of the facts deemed to constitute a violation. Reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. The University reserves the right to take action against an individual for violating the Code regardless of how much time has passed since the incident.
Anonymous reports may be made on the anonymous crime tip hotline by calling voicemail at 310-506-7634 or on the LiveSafe app. Additional information about reporting sexual misconduct can be found in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
V. Sources of Information
Information about a student's misconduct may come from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, reports from faculty, staff, students, departments (e.g., Housing and Residence Life, Department of Public Safety), law enforcement agencies, or community members. Other sources of information may include, but is not limited to electronic communications, photographs, social media, and audio or video recordings.
VI. Social Media Privacy
The University complies with all local, state, and federal laws governing social media privacy. Although the law prohibits the University from asking students, prospective students, or student groups to disclose a username or password for accessing personal social media, requesting access to personal social media, or divulging any personal social media to or in the presence of a University employee or representative, the University may lawfully require disclosure, access or view personal social media if necessary to investigate and take disciplinary action against any student, prospective student, or student group utilizing social media in ways that are unlawful, violate the Student Code of Conduct, or pose a threat to the safety of the campus community.
VII. Definition of Student
Student refers to a University student, including an applicant for admission; any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled in course work; has completed the immediately preceding term, is not presently enrolled, and is eligible for re-enrollment; is on an approved educational leave or other approved leave status; is currently serving a suspension, expulsion, or interim restriction; or is awaiting a degree. 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.
VIII. Standards of Evidence
Determinations on whether the Code was violated will be made based on the preponderance of the evidence standard (whether it is more likely than not that the student violated the Code).
IX. Authority and Responsibility for Student Discipline
The University's dean of students is responsible for the overall coordination of rules and regulations regarding student discipline for misconduct and serves as the final appeal for student disciplinary decisions. The associate dean of students for community standards (hereafter "associate dean") is primarily responsible for the operational details of the disciplinary process. The associate dean will review all reports of misconduct and may coordinate the need for any follow-up investigation by the Department of Public Safety. If the associate dean determines that the facts stated in the report, if true, would violate the Student Code of Conduct, the incident will be heard through either an administrative hearing with a staff member or a hearing with the Student Disciplinary Committee. When appropriate, some University policy violations may be addressed by other disciplinary bodies including, but not limited to, the committees or boards that review academic misconduct.
X. Jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct
The Student Code of Conduct applies to conduct that occurs on University premises, at University sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. The associate dean will decide whether the Code will be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis, in his or her sole discretion.
XI. Violation of Law and University Discipline
University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a law. Disciplinary proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
XII. Interim Restriction
The vice president for student affairs or the University's dean of students or designee may impose an interim University-wide restriction or University housing restriction on a student respondent at any time after receiving a report. Such measures may be imposed: 1) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; or 2) if the Respondent poses a definite threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the University. During the interim restriction, the student may be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes).
The interim restriction does not replace the regular disciplinary process, which will proceed as set forth in this Policy, up to and through an appeal, if required. After being placed on an interim restriction, a student may appeal the decision by contacting the vice president for student affairs if the University's dean of students made the interim restriction decision or the University's dean of students if the vice president for student affairs made the decision.
Last Updated: February 13, 2020