Western Washington University students enjoy the same basic rights, privileges, and freedoms granted to all members of society. At the same time, acceptance of admission to the university carries with it an obligation to fulfill certain responsibilities and expectations as a member of the Western Washington University community. As a condition of enrollment at Western, students must assume responsibility for their own actions and maintain an environment conducive to the academic success, safety, and well-being of others. In addition, they are expected to be truthful, respect the rights of others, and abide by all university policies and procedures, as well as all local, state, and federal laws and regulations. All students are responsible for understanding and complying with the responsibilities and expectations set forth in this code.
The student conduct process at Western is designed to be a learning process that promotes an understanding of students’ responsibilities as members of the university community. The objectives of the student conduct system, as set forth in this code, are twofold: to ensure that students act in a manner consistent with high standards of behavior, and to maintain the safety and well-being of all members of the university community.
The student conduct process at Western is codified in Washington Administrative Code and is an administrative process that is independent of the criminal justice system. As such, the student conduct process at Western uses the preponderance of the evidence standard (known as “more likely than not”) when determining whether a violation of the student conduct code has occurred.
Below is simplified information regarding the student conduct process at Western. It is meant to serve as a supplement to the Student Conduct Code and in no way replaces any of the policies or procedures that are documented there. For common questions regarding the process please see our FAQ pages.
General Process (for allegations involving Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct, see here):
- Complaint/Report: A Complaint/Report is received by the Office of Student Life/Dean of Students Office and reviewed for possible policy violations.
- Student Notification: The student involved is sent notification via their University email account at least three days prior to a scheduled meeting with a conduct officer.
- Conduct Meeting: The student individually meets with a conduct officer who asks for their perspective on the specific incident, reviews the incident report and discusses any other relevant information. Conduct meetings and decisions take place whether the student is present or not. If a student is unable to attend your conduct meeting, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the conduct officer to request rescheduling.
- Conduct Decision: After reviewing the available information, the conduct officer determines whether a violation has occurred, the student’s responsibility for the violation, and any appropriate sanction(s).
- Decision Letter: The student is notified of the determination made by the conduct officer in writing via their University email account within seven business days of the conduct meeting.
- Sanctions (if applicable): A student who is found in violation of University policy may receive sanctions that require action before the student conduct process can be concluded. This may include attending workshops, writing essays, and/or other educational activities.
- Appeal (if applicable) (See appeal flow charts linked here for more information)
- Review (if applicable) (See appeal flow charts linked here for more information)
The Washington Administrative Code version of the Student Conduct Code can be found here. The Student Conduct Code is reviewed every five years, or more often if necessary.
On February 10, 2017, Western’s Board of Trustees voted to approve a new student conduct code after significant work by a committee composed of students, staff and faculty. This code replaced an emergency code that was in place since fall 2016. The 2017 code is in use beginning spring quarter 2017 Student Conduct Code 2017