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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Washington Administrative Code

Title 478 WAC - University of Washington


Chapter 478-120 WAC: Student Conduct Code for the University of Washington

WAC 478-120-020: Standards of conduct.


(1) The university is a public institution having special responsibility for providing instruction in higher education, for advancing knowledge through scholarship and research, and for providing related services to the community. As a center of learning, the university also has the obligation to maintain conditions conducive to freedom of inquiry and expression to the maximum degree compatible with the orderly conduct of its functions. For these purposes, the university is governed by the rules, regulations, procedures, policies, and standards of conduct that safeguard its functions and protect the rights and freedoms of all members of the academic community.

(2) Admission to the university carries with it the presumption that students will conduct themselves as responsible members of the academic community. As a condition of enrollment, all students assume responsibility to observe standards of conduct that will contribute to the pursuit of academic goals and to the welfare of the academic community. That responsibility includes, but is not limited to:

  (a) Practicing high standards of academic and professional honesty and integrity;

  (b) Respecting the rights, privileges, and property of other members of the academic community and visitors to the campus, and refraining from any conduct that would interfere with university functions or endanger the health, welfare, or safety of other persons;

  (c) Complying with the rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, and orders of the university and its schools, colleges, and departments.

(3) Specific instances of misconduct include, but are not limited to:

  (a) Conduct that intentionally and substantially obstructs or disrupts teaching or freedom of movement or other lawful activities on university premises or in connection with any university-sponsored event or activity and is not constitutionally and/or legally protected;

  (b) Physical abuse of any person, or conduct intended to threaten imminent bodily harm or to endanger the health or safety of any person on university premises;

  (c) Conduct on the university premises constituting a sexual offense, whether forcible or nonforcible, such as rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment;

  (d) Malicious damage to or malicious misuse of university property, or the property of any person where such property is located on the university premises;

  (e) Refusal to comply with any lawful order to leave the university premises or any portion thereof;

  (f) Possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals or other dangerous weapons or instrumentalities on the university premises, except for authorized university purposes, unless prior written approval has been obtained from the university chief of police, or any other person designated by the president of the university (See WAC 478-124-020 (2)(e)) (legal defense sprays are not covered by this section);

  (g) The possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of controlled substances (as defined in chapter 69.50 RCW or Title 21 U.S.C. Sec. 802), or of alcohol, on university premises or during university-sponsored activities, where such possession, use, distribution, or manufacture is illegal under federal, state, or local law;

  (h) Intentionally inciting others to engage immediately in any unlawful activity, which incitement leads directly to such conduct on university premises;

  (i) Hazing, or conspiracy to engage in hazing, which includes:

    (i) Any method of initiation into a student organization or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization or living group, that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental or emotional harm, to any student or other person attending the university; and

    (ii) Conduct associated with initiation into a student organization or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to an organization or living group not amounting to a violation of (i)(i) of this subsection, but including such conduct as humiliation by ritual act and sleep deprivation. Consent is no defense to hazing. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions;

  (j) Falsely reporting a violation of the student conduct code.

(4) Disciplinary action may be taken in accord with this chapter regardless of whether that conduct also involves an alleged or proven violation of law.

(5) An instructor has the authority to exclude a student from any class session in which the student is disorderly or disruptive. If the student persists in the disorderly or disruptive conduct, the instructor should report the matter to the dean of the school or college, or, at the University of Washington Bothell and Tacoma campuses, to the dean or director of the program in which the student is enrolled. (See WAC 478-120-030(3).)

(6) Nothing herein shall be construed to deny students their legally and/or constitutionally protected rights.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 and Board of Regents Governance, Standing Orders, Chapter 1, Section 2. 13-14-002, § 478-120-020, filed 6/19/13, effective 7/20/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 and University of Washington Board of Regents Standing Orders, Chapter 1, Section 2. 10-23-039, § 478-120-020, filed 11/10/10, effective 12/11/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 and 28B.10.900 through 28B.10.903. 07-23-068, § 478-120-020, filed 11/19/07, effective 12/20/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130. 07-03-069, § 478-120-020, filed 1/17/07, effective 2/17/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 and 28B.10.900 through 28B.10.903. 96-10-051, § 478-120-020, filed 4/29/96, effective 5/30/96; Order 72-9, § 478-120-020, filed 11/30/72.]