Section 9: Student Code of Conduct & Procedures

The overriding principal of the Student Code of Conduct at The University of the Arts is the promotion of a civil educational environment for all community members. Within the student code is an expectation that each has both the freedoms and the responsibilities of being an adult student-artist.

As appropriate to an institution of higher education, standards of performance and social conduct are generally more demanding than those required of the general public.

It is assumed that students are mature and responsible individuals. By accepting registration at The University of the Arts, each student agrees to accept responsibility for compliance with academic regulations, course syllabi and conduct regulations as listed in the Student Handbook, the Course Catalogue, and regulations pertaining to any specific operation within the University.

The principal responsibility for proper conduct rests with each student, and as much as possible, each is encouraged to resolve conflicts of individual rights and responsibilities him/herself. The University will become involved, however, when a student cannot resolve a conflict him/herself; when there exists a reasonable basis to believe that laws have been broken; when there could be or is a potential for personal harm or property damage; or when there exists a reasonable basis to believe that University regulations have been violated.

No sanction shall be brought against a student accused of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct until a conduct review body has reviewed the complaint, made a decision and issued a disciplinary sanction, except in those matters handled directly by the Dean of Students or instances of academic dishonesty handled by faculty members in accordance with policies set forth in their syllabi and the academic integrity policy in the Course Catalogue. Students wishing to appeal academic decisions made by faculty members should consult the Academic Grievance Procedure section of the Course Catalogue for guidelines.

Should a student’s presence on campus create a threat to the safety or well-being of other members of the University of the Arts community, the University reserves the right to immediately suspend that student from campus until the time of a hearing. Additionally, the University reserves the right to resolve a case and sanction a student, including suspension, without a hearing where such action is deemed necessary or appropriate by the President of the University.

The following definitions refer to the University of the Arts conduct review procedures and processes only:

  1. The term “University” means the University of the Arts;
  2. The term “student” includes both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University are considered “students”;
  3. The term “University official” includes any person employed by the University or an out-sourced auxiliary service who performs assigned administrative or professional responsibilities, including conducting classroom activities;
  4. The term “Student Life staff” includes resident assistants, coordinators/hall directors, and the Director of Student life;
  5. The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, University official or any other person employed by the University, including any University auxiliary service employee and vendors;
  6. The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of, owned, used, or controlled by the University;
  7. The term “University organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition/registration;
  8. The term “conduct review body” means any person or persons authorized to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and to recommend imposition of sanctions; exercise disciplinary action following a proper hearing. The University will exercise this right in cases where its reputation or orderly functions as an academic community are involved;
  9. The term “appellate body” means any person or persons authorized to consider the appeal of a conduct review body’s determination that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct or the sanctions imposed by the conduct review body;
  10. The term “University policy” is defined as the written regulations of the University as found in, but not limited to, the Student Handbook, and the Course Catalogue;
  11.  term “hearing officer” means the person present during conduct review hearings responsible for ensuring that due process, as defined by the Student Handbook, is followed. The hearing officer in Campus Standards Board hearings is the chair. In all other hearings, one individual serves as both the hearing officer and the “conduct review body.”

Jurisdiction of the University Conduct System
The University Conduct System will hear complaints concerning violations of University policy or regulations whenever the conduct in question occurs in any of the following circumstances:

  1. If it occurs on the campus or in any University facility;
  2. If it occurs while the student who is charged was attending or participating in any University-related activity, i.e., study abroad, field trip, social event, activity sponsored by a recognized student organization; or
  3. If the conduct, whenever and wherever it occurs, including via online media, calls into question the student’s suitability as a member of the University community. Unlawful acts of violence, violations of another’s civil rights, hazing, the unlawful sale or possession of drugs, the unlawful use of alcoholic beverages and crimes against persons or property are examples of conduct that will subject a student to the conduct review system regardless of where the conduct occurs. In cases involving student behavioral problems that occur off campus, the University reserves the right to initiate disciplinary action in the interest of preserving its reputation and orderly functioning. The fact that a student’s conduct may also constitute a crime in violation of local, state, or federal law does not limit the ability of the University to discipline the student for that conduct. The University, therefore, reserves the right to submit a complaint to the conduct review system even if the same conduct is or may become the subject of a criminal case.

In addition to the policies listed in various sections of this handbook, the University of the Arts Student Code of Conduct outlines behaviors that are prohibited at the University.  The specific items are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list, but as a general guideline for addressing student behavior.  The University reserves the right to address other behaviors that occur that are considered detrimental to the learning environment and/or health and safety of the University community.

To that end, prohibited behavior at the University of the Arts includes the following:

1.    Academic dishonesty or misconduct including, but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism;
a.    Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any educational exercise.
b.    Plagiarism: representing the ideas or language of another as one’s own in any educational exercise.
c.    Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an educational exercise.  
d.    Denying others access to information or material.
e.    Facilitating academic dishonesty: assisting another student to cheat, plagiarize, and/or fabricate information.
f.    Submission of the same, or essentially the same, assignment for two or more classes without the direct prior permission of all instructor(s) involved.

2.    Non-academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to, theft, attempted theft, possession of stolen property, forgery, and falsification of information provided to any University official;
a.    Lying: any statement, action, or behavior with the intent to deceive.  
b.    Possession or use of a fake ID.
c.    Stealing: knowingly taking an item or items without the owners expressed permission.
d.    Eluding or evading: any statement, action, or behavior with the intent of hiding the truth, including running or hiding from University personnel.
e.    Aiding and abetting: knowingly encouraging, assisting and or being an accessory to any act prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct.

3.    Conduct which threatens the physical or psychological health and/or safety of any person (including the person committing the act) or the sanctity of the campus, including, but not limited to physical or sexual assault;
a.    Dating Violence (as defined in Section 8 of this Handbook)
b.    Domestic Violence (as defined in Section 8 of this Handbook)
c.    Sexual Harassment. Unwelcome and/or un-reciprocated sexual advances, whether online, in person, or through a third-party, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
d.    Sexual Assault/Rape (as defined in Section 8 of this Handbook)
e.    Stalking: any act, whether via phone, internet, or physical proximity, that, through unwanted and/or unsolicited viewing or communicating, threatens an individual’s physical or emotional safety.
f.    Physical Attack.
g.    Hazing.
h.    Harassment: any act, whether written or verbal, via online or in person, that belittles, intimidates, or threatens the safety of a member of the University of the Arts community.
i.    Failure to maintain personal health, whether physical, mental or emotional, in such a way that it threatens the safety and security of the individual or the University community.
j.    Use or possession of firearms, fireworks, or other weapons that could be considered lethal, including those weapons in which the person has a permit.

4.    Damage to or misuse of public, private, personal or University property;
a.    Property Damage, either to an individual’s or the University’s property.
b.    Removing approved postings and/or Office of Student Life notices or bulletin boards.
c.    Littering, applying graffiti, and/or other behavior which threaten the cleanliness and appearance of the University.
d.    Use of fire equipment, including sprinklers, extinguishers, and/or hoses, in any manner for which it was not intended.
e.    Defenestration: throwing objects outside of window or from balcony or roof.

5.    Violation of policies as described in the Student Handbook, the Course Catalogue, the UArts Housing Agreement and all other rules governing University facilities, programs and services including, but not limited to the following;
a.    Violation of Student Life policies (see Residential Living policies section)
b.    Purchase, possession, use, sale or distribution of alcohol.
c.    Possession or use of alcohol paraphernalia.
d.    Distribution or attempted distribution of alcohol to any person under the legal drinking age
e.    Distribution or attempted distribution of a drug, including prescription medication.
f.    Illegal use or possession of a drug, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
g.    Manufacturing of any drug, including growing marijuana for any purpose.
h.    Possession or use of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia.
i.    Accessing prohibited areas in the residence halls, including but not limited to, fire escapes, balconies, and basements.

6.    Intentional obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, other University activities or activities authorized to take place on University property;

7.    Disorderly conduct including acts which breach the peace;
a.    Disruptive behavior.
b.    Unauthorized entry, whether peacefully or by force, into a prohibited area or residence hall apartment in which there is no documented reason for being present.
c.    Urinating in public.

8.    Non-compliance with the directions of University or civil authorities performing official duties, including failure to give proper identification when requested and repeated unexcused non-attendance of classes;

9.    Violation of a student’s rights or privileges and verbal or written harassment, discrimination, abuse and/or disrespect of any person;
a.    Harassment: any act, whether written or verbal, via online or in person, that belittles, intimidates, or threatens the safety of a member of the University of the Arts community.
b.    Acts or abusive language, either in public or via online sources, which includes failing to abide by policies set forth by the College of Art, Media, and Design (CAMD) with regards to conduct with live models.

10.    Violation of statutes, laws, ordinances and/or regulations of the City of Philadelphia, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (or other states, when applicable) and the United States of America.

Any member of the University community may initiate the conduct review process against any student for alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct generally within two to three months of the alleged violation(s) by submitting a complaint in written form to the Dean of Students (or his/her designee). The University online incident report database can be found online at  Student Life and Public Safety staff initiate charges in writing through their supervisor by completing an incident report after addressing a violation. Charges filed by all other members of the community must be prepared in writing, preferably through the online system, and will be directed to the Assistant Director for Student Conduct. Alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct generally may be adjudicated by one of three types of conduct review body on campus, depending upon the nature and seriousness of the charges (see below for levels of violations), the location of the event and/or the number of students involved:

  • Student Life Coordinators generally address lower-level violations by residents living within their respective residence areas;
  • Professional staff members of the Division of Student Affairs generally address intermediate-level violations and cases involving commuter students or multiple residents from different living areas;
  • The Campus Standards Board, consisting of students, faculty, and/or administrators generally conducts hearings to address violations of the most serious nature that have the potential to result in University suspension or expulsion. The Board is advised by the Associate Dean of Students who appoints a trained administrator to serve as the chair.

There are two exceptions to the above-stated procedures. With respect to non-academic matters, exceptions to this policy may be made by the Associate Dean of Students, at his/her discretion. With respect to academic dishonesty, faculty may choose to follow policies and procedures described in their course syllabi.

Anyone with questions about the conduct process should contact the Office of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at 215-717-6617 or the Assistant Director for Student Conduct at 215-717-6627 during regular business hours.

All University hearings are open only to members of the University community and those people that have specific involvement in the case, and only at the discretion of the hearing officer.  The University conduct review process shall be conducted by a conduct review body according to the following guidelines:

  1. All charges of misconduct shall be presented to the accused student in written form generally between two and 15 business days after the student has been notified;
  2. Hearings shall be conducted in private. Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the hearing officer;
  3. The respondent and the complainant have the right to be accompanied throughout the hearing by advisors of their choice selected from among members of the University community. Only when the student is exposed to concurrent criminal charges or civil liability may a respondent request to have legal counsel as an advisor. An advisor, including legal counsel, may not speak on behalf of the respondent or address the conduct review body. The names of the advisors must be provided to the hearing officer at least two working days prior to the hearing in order to be approved;
  4. The respondent and the complainant may present as witnesses only those persons with first-hand knowledge of the alleged incident or violation or others having information which can otherwise be shown to be credible. The decision to hear testimony from witnesses having information other than first-hand shall be made by the conduct review body or the hearing officer;
  5. In hearings involving more than one accused student, the hearing officer, at his/her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately;
  6. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the hearing officer. Technical rules of evidence and other “due process” rights associated with courts are not applicable to the University conduct review process;
  7. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by a conduct review body at the discretion of the hearing officer. Assumptions, speculations, or references to prior, unreported incidents will not normally be permitted;
  8. After the hearing, the conduct review body shall determine (by majority vote in Campus Standards Board hearings) whether the student has violated each section of the Student Code that the student is charged with violating. The conduct review body’s decision shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct (preponderance of evidence);
  9. There shall be a written record of all hearings before a conduct review body for use by the appellate body; a copy of this is not available to the accused or the complainant. The record shall cite the violation(s), the decision (responsible or not responsible), a brief statement of the facts upon which the finding is based, and the sanction(s). Generally, there shall be no audio/visual recordings of hearings other than those conducted by the Campus Standards Board;
  10. Failure to obey the summons of a hearing officer or failure to attend one’s own hearing does not preclude the case from still being heard and a decision being rendered; and
  11. Decisions made by a conduct review body shall be final, pending the normal appeal process. Following a hearing, the hearing officer shall advise the accused and the complainant in writing of the decision of the hearing and of the sanction(s) imposed, if any, within three business days whenever possible.

It is at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Students (or his/her designee) whether or not a case is heard by an individual student affairs administrator or by the Campus Standards Board (CSB). CSB hearings are open only to those people that have specific involvement in the case.  The complainant shall at all times have the burden of proof, upon preponderance of the evidence, that the respondent has violated the Student Code of Conduct.

1.    The chair shall call the meeting to order formally, announcing the date and time.

2.    The due process coordinator shall introduce the purpose of the hearing, outline the conduct process and identify roles for those attending the hearing.  (The due process coordinator is responsible for ensuring that procedures are followed as outlined in this handbook and as such, may interject as needed during the proceedings).

3.    All parties involved will introduce themselves by name and role at the hearing (panel member, respondent, complainant, witness, advisor).

4.    The chair shall read the charges and the respondent will provide a preliminary indication of whether he/she is responsible or not responsible for those charges.

5.    The complainant shall present his/her opening statement and present his/her complaint. 

6.    Members of the CSB may ask questions of the complainant, respondent, and all witnesses for the purpose of fact finding and clarification;

7.    The respondent may question the complainant and witnesses as they appear;

8.    The respondent shall present his/her opening statement and present his/her response. 

9.    Members of the CSB may ask questions of the complainant, accused student, and all witnesses for the purpose of fact finding and clarification;

10.    The chair, or relevant witnesses if present, will read into record any additional pieces of information, witness accounts, etc. that are deemed necessary and relevant for the case.

11.    CSB members may call witnesses from either side after all original testimony has been heard for the purpose of fact finding and clarification;

12.    The complainant may present a closing statement;

13.    The respondent may present a closing statement;

14.    All parties except CSB members shall be excused from the hearing room while the Board discusses the case to determine their decision and appropriate sanction(s).
a.    Their decision will be made at the time of the hearing unless unusual circumstances make deferment necessary; and
b.    A majority vote of CSB members present is sufficient to declare a decision and sanction(s).

15.    The complainant and accused student will remain in the vicinity of the hearing during the Board’s deliberation, unless excused by the committee;

16.    The respondent shall be called back to the hearing room to be verbally informed of the decision and sanction(s), if rendered at the time of the hearing. Any sanctions imposed are effective immediately, unless otherwise indicated;

17.    At the discretion of the chair, the complainant will be informed of the outcome either at the hearing or at a later date, not to occur more than 48 hours after the hearing.

18.    A transcript of the hearing is made by audio recording. Transcripts may not be shared with any persons not directly involved in the hearing;

19.        In case of an appeal, a copy of the transcript is available to either party upon request at cost for the transcription service.

If requested at least 48 hours prior to a hearing, the hearing officer may approve the respondent to have an advisor present during the proceedings.  An approved advisor must be a member of the University of the Arts community and is not permitted to speak at the proceedings.  Prior to the hearing, the hearing officer will meet with the advisor to provide information about the code of conduct and to answer any questions they may have about the proceedings.  The hearing officer cannot answer questions about the incident itself or the student’s responsibility.  The advisor is permitted to meet with the respondent in advance of the hearing and to be present at the hearing and the outcome.  The advisor’s role is to provide guidance to the respondent with regards to what to ask and how to act, what questions to ask, and how to prepare their case.  Advisors are able to share notes with the respondent at the hearing.

A list of trained advisors is available on the UArts website at

The following sanctions, among others, may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct:

1.     Warning – A written notice to the student that he or she is violating or has violated the Student Code of Conduct;

2.     Loss of privileges – Denial or restriction of specified privileges or use of specified facilities for a designated period of time;

3.     Fines;

4.     Conflict mediation;

5.     Restitution – Compensation for loss, damage or injury through the payment of money or through appropriate work requirement related to the offense;

6.     Referral to support services/educational programs;

7.     Service-work assignments – Service to the University or other related discretionary assignments;

8.     Probation – Defined as the middle status between good standing and suspension. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating the Student Code of Conduct during the probationary period;

9.     Mandated room reassignment or residential suspension – Behavior merits immediate relocation of the student to another campus residence or removal from the University’s residence halls;

10.    Living/learning contract – Disciplinary letter placing the student on probation; this letter is signed by the student requiring him/her to satisfy certain sanctions within a period of time;

11.     Failing assignment or course grade (in cases of academic dishonesty only) – If the sanction is failure of the course, an “F” will be given and will appear on the transcript, the student will not be allowed to drop the course, even within the drop period. A reason for the “F” will not appear on the student’s transcript, except in the case of suspension or expulsion due to academic dishonesty;

12.     Persona non grata – Prohibition from a specific or all campus property and/or activities. Violation of a persona non grata sanction may subject the violator to arrest for trespass;

13.     Suspension – Removal from classes and other privileges or activities as a student for a designated period of time. Suspension from the University will result in automatic “W” grades in all classes in the semester of the suspension. A suspended individual must turn in campus photo identification, University keys and all other University property at the time the suspension goes into effect and are considered persona non grata. Conditions for readmission may be specified;

14.     Expulsion – Permanent removal from classes and other privileges or activities as a student. Expelled individuals must turn in campus card photo ID, University keys and all other University property at the time expulsion goes into effect and are considered persona non grata.

More than one of the above sanctions listed may be imposed for any single violation. Additionally, educational sanctions may be imposed at the discretion of the hearing officer. Other than University expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s academic transcript but shall become part of the student’s permanent record. A student’s record is, therefore, subject to review by those authorized to request it, such as transfer higher-education institutions and future employers and in other cases when the student initiates the disclosure.

The following sanctions, among others, may be imposed upon student groups or organizations:

1.     “1” through “8” sanctions listed above;

2.     Deactivation – Loss of privileges, including University recognition, for a specified period of time.

When a student organization engages in some act of misconduct, the University may take action not only against the student(s) involved, but also against the organization itself.

In certain circumstances, the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) may impose a University or residence-area suspension pending an assessment and/or a hearing before a conduct review body. Interim suspension may be imposed to:

1.     help ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property;

2.     help ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and/or well-being;

3.     help prevent disruption or interference with the normal operations of the University.

During interim suspension, students may be denied access to the residence area and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) may determine to be appropriate.

In certain circumstances, the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) may impose an interim residence suspension, mandated room reassignment or other restrictions prior to a hearing before a conduct review body.

Whenever interim sanctions are imposed, a hearing convenes at the earliest possible time. The interim sanction(s) may remain in effect until a final decision has been reached, including any appropriate appeals process.

The accused student(s) or the complainant(s) may appeal a decision made by a conduct review body. A request for an appeal must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean of Students (or his/her designee) within two business days (48 hours) of the decision. Generally, the Associate Dean of Students (or his/her designee) will direct an appeal to the supervisor of the hearing officer, who will make a final decision in the case. The Associate Dean of Students will generally hear appeals of residential suspensions; the Dean of Students will hear the appeal of University suspensions or expulsions. The Dean of Students may assign any appeal as he/she deems appropriate to be heard by the Associate Dean of Students, except for those that he/she adjudicated.

The written request for any appeal must be based upon one or more of the following reasons, which must be specifically specified in the appeal:

1.     Violation of University conduct review procedures;

2.     Misinterpretation of the policies alleged to be violated;

3.     New evidence not reasonably available at the time of the hearing;

4.     Improper or excessive sanction(s);

5.     Decision not supported by a preponderance of evidence.

Upon receipt of the appeal, the appellate body will do one of the following:

1.     Accept to hear the case at his/her discretion;

2.     Refuse to hear the case for lack of sufficient reason for appeal;

3.     Request that another hearing be conducted;

4.     Investigate and amend the decision and/or sanction.

Appeals of decisions made by the Campus Standards Board are handled as follows:

1.     The Dean of Students hears appeals of non-academic decisions made by the CSB, except in cases where the Dean is the complainant or a witness in the matter. (In such instances, appeals will go to the Vice President for Enrollment, Retention & Student Affairs);

2.     The Provost (or his/her designee) hears appeals of academic decisions made by the Campus Standards Committee.

In appeals by the accused involving claims of improper or excessive sanctions, decisions following appeal cannot result in more severe sanctions for the accused student. Review of the audio transcript or other supporting materials will be available to the appellate officer at his/her request. The decision and sanction(s) resulting from any appeal will be sent to the respondent, complainant, president of the University and/or persons and offices notified of the original sanction(s).

The University of the Arts reserves the right to change and/or add to the policies, procedures and programs described in the Student Handbook and will make reasonable efforts to inform students of such changes and/or additions as they become necessary.