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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 478-120-024: Prohibited conduct.


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

(1) Abuse of others. Abuse of others includes assault and other forms of physical abuse of any person, or any conduct intended to threaten bodily harm or to endanger the health or safety of any person.

(2) Abuse of the student conduct process. Abuse of the student conduct process includes:

  (a) Knowingly making false allegations of misconduct under this conduct code;

  (b) Attempting to coerce a person not to make a report or to participate in proceedings under this conduct code;

  (c) Attempting to influence the impartiality or participation of a member of a university disciplinary committee or the faculty appeal board, any conduct officer, or any reviewing officer; or

  (d) Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student conduct process.

(3) Academic misconduct. Academic misconduct includes:

  (a) "Cheating," which includes, but is not limited to:

    (i) The use of unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; or

    (ii) The acquisition, use, or distribution of unpublished materials created by another student without the express permission of the original author(s).

  (b) "Falsification," which is the intentional use or submission of falsified data, records, or other information including, but not limited to, records of internship or practicum experiences or attendance at any required event(s). Falsification also includes falsifying scientific and/or scholarly research.

  (c) "Plagiarism," which is the submission or presentation of someone else's words, composition, research, or expressed ideas, whether published or unpublished, without attribution. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

    (i) The use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment; or

    (ii) The unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or acquired from an entity engaging in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.

  (d) Prohibited collaboration.

  (e) Engaging in behavior specifically prohibited by an instructor in the course of class instruction or in a course syllabus.

  (f) Multiple submissions of the same work in separate courses without the express permission of the instructor(s).

  (g) Taking deliberate action to destroy or damage another's academic work in order to gain an advantage for oneself or another.

  (h) The recording of instructional content without the express permission of the instructor(s), and/or the dissemination or use of such unauthorized records.

(4) Acts of dishonesty. Acts of dishonesty include:

  (a) Knowingly furnishing false information to any university official;

  (b) Impersonating, or providing false information in the name of, any university official;

  (c) Forging, altering, or misusing any university document or record, or instrument of identification;

  (d) Falsely claiming an academic credential; and

  (e) Providing dishonest or misleadingly incomplete information or answers on application forms or in response to other official university requests for information.

(5) Aiding, solicitation, and attempt. The following conduct is prohibited:

  (a) Aiding or abetting another student or student organization in the commission of any misconduct prohibited by this conduct code;

  (b) Requesting, hiring, or encouraging another person to commit any act of misconduct prohibited by this conduct code, either intending that the other person commit the misconduct or with the knowledge that the other person intends to commit the misconduct; or

  (c) Attempting to commit any act of misconduct prohibited by this conduct code.

(6) Alcohol violations. The unlawful possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of alcohol is prohibited. A conduct officer may elect not to initiate disciplinary action under this subsection against a student who, while in the course of helping another student seek medical assistance, admits to the unlawful possession or use of alcohol. Generally, no disciplinary action under this subsection will be initiated against a complainant or another reporting student, who admits to the possession or use of alcohol (in violation of this subsection) in connection with an incident of sexual misconduct.

(7) Computer abuses. Computer abuses include, but are not limited to:

  (a) Unauthorized use of university computer resources;

  (b) Use of another person's university user name and/or password;

  (c) Use of university computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, an instructor, or other university official;

  (d) Use of university computing facilities or resources to send intimidating, harassing, or threatening messages;

  (e) Use of a computer or software to interfere with normal operations of the university's computing systems;

  (f) Use of the university's computing facilities or resources in violation of any law, including copyright laws; and

  (g) Any violation of the university's computer use policies.

(8) Creating a public nuisance in neighboring communities. In furtherance of the university's interest in maintaining positive relationships with its surrounding communities, the university shall have the authority to hold students accountable under this conduct code for misconduct within any residential or commercial communities adjacent to a university campus as follows:

  (a) A student or a student organization may be subject to disciplinary proceedings if the university is made aware that the student or student organization has been contacted by a law enforcement agency regarding, and is determined to have engaged in, conduct that is in violation of a state statute or municipal ordinance and has a direct quality of life impact on community residents or businesses, including, but not limited to: Creating a public nuisance due to noise, residential disturbance, intentional destruction of property, urinating in public, or criminal trespass.

  (b) A first minor violation under (a) of this subsection will not subject the student or student organization to disciplinary sanctions under this conduct code; however, the student or student organization may receive a letter regarding the expectations of university community members as residents in the area. This letter shall constitute a warning that repeated misconduct under this subsection may result in the imposition of disciplinary sanctions.

  (c) A second violation of this subsection will result in the initiation of disciplinary proceedings under this conduct code.

(9) Discriminatory harassment. Discriminatory harassment is language or conduct directed at a person because of the person's race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive such that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person's academic or work performance, or the person's ability to participate in or benefit from the university's programs, services, opportunities, or activities.

(10) Disruption or obstruction.

  (a) Disruption or obstruction includes intentionally and substantially obstructing or disrupting, through words or conduct, the teaching or learning environment of any university educational setting, or any university functions or activities.

  (b) An instructor has the authority to exclude a student from any individual class session or other academic activity in which the student is disorderly or disruptive and such conduct may also be subject of disciplinary proceedings under this conduct code.

(11) Domestic violence. Domestic violence includes:

  (a) The infliction of physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault committed against a family or household member. Family or household members include:

    (i) A current or former spouse or intimate partner;

    (ii) A person with whom the person shares a child in common;

    (iii) A person with whom one is cohabitating or has cohabitated; or

    (iv) A person with whom one resides including a roommate, suitemate, or housemate.

  (b) Sexual assault of one family or household member by another family or household member; or

  (c) Stalking, as defined in subsection (23) of this section, of one family or household member by another family or household member.

(12) Drug violations.

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

  (b) The possession, use, distribution, or growing of marijuana in all forms is prohibited on university premises or during university sponsored activities.

  (c) A conduct officer may elect not to initiate disciplinary action under this subsection against a student who, while in the course of helping another student seek medical assistance, admits to the unlawful possession or use of drugs. Generally, no disciplinary action under this subsection will be initiated against a complainant or another reporting student, who admits to the use or possession of drugs (in violation of this subsection) in connection with an incident of sexual misconduct.

(13) Failure to comply. Failure to comply includes:

  (a) Any failure to comply with the directions of a university official acting in the performance of his or her duties and/or the failure to identify oneself to a university official when requested to do so.

  (b) Any failure to comply with the rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or any order or directive of the university or any of its schools, colleges, and departments.

  (c) Any failure to comply with any interim measures implemented pursuant to WAC 478-120-038.

(14) Harassment or bullying. Harassment or bullying is language or conduct that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive such that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person's academic or work performance, or a person's ability to participate in or benefit from the university's programs, services, opportunities, or activities.

(15) Hazing.

  (a) Hazing includes 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. Hazing activities may include, but are not limited to, encouraging or promoting the abuse of alcohol; striking another person whether by use of any object or any part of one's body; causing someone to experience excessive fatigue or physical and/or psychological shock; and causing someone to engage in degrading or humiliating games or activities that create a risk of serious mental, emotional, and/or physical harm. Consent of a victim or victims is not a defense to an allegation of hazing.

  (b) Hazing does not include generally accepted practice, training, and conditioning activities, or activities reasonably designed to test a participant's ability to meet eligibility requirements for established athletic events such as intramural or club sports, intercollegiate athletics, or other similar contests or competitions.

(16) Indecent exposure. Indecent exposure includes the exposure of a person's genitals or other private body parts when done in a place or manner in which such exposure is likely to cause affront or alarm, or is against generally accepted standards of decency. Breast feeding or expressing breast milk is not indecent exposure.

(17) Possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other dangerous weapons.

  (a) Firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other dangerous weapons or instrumentalities are not permitted on university premises, except for authorized university purposes, or unless prior written approval has been obtained from the chief of the university police department, or any other university official designated by the president of the university.

  (b) Firearms include, but are not limited to, what are commonly known as air guns or rifles, BB guns, and pellet guns, and any instrument used in the propulsion of shot, shell, bullets, or other harmful objects by:

    (i) The action of gunpowder or other explosives;

    (ii) The action of compressed air; or

    (iii) The power of springs or other forms of propulsion.

  (c) The exhibition or display of a replica or a dangerous weapon prohibited under this subsection is also prohibited if done in a manner, and at a time or place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

(18) Relationship violence. Relationship violence, also referred to as "dating violence," is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.

  (a) The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party's statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

  (b) For the purposes of this definition, relationship or dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

  (c) Relationship or dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

(19) Retaliation. Retaliation includes engaging or attempting to engage in any action, directly or indirectly, including through a third party, that is intended to harass, intimidate, or improperly influence any person who:

  (a) Files a complaint, grievance, or allegation of misconduct under any university policy or rule or under any law;

  (b) Participates in and/or cooperates with an investigation;

  (c) Appears as a witness at a hearing; or

  (d) Opposes an unlawful act, discriminatory practice, or policy.

(20) Sexual assault.

  (a) Sexual assault is sexual contact with another person without, or that exceeds, that person's consent.

  (b) For the purposes of this subsection, "sexual contact" includes:

    (i) Any touching of another person for the purposes of sexual gratification; or

    (ii) Any penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ, of another person.

  (c) For the purposes of this subsection:

    (i) "Consent" means that at the time of and throughout the sexual contact, there are actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement between the parties to engage in the sexual contact.

      (A) Past consent does not imply future consent.

      (B) Consent given to one person does not imply consent given to another person.

      (C) Consent to one sexual act does not imply consent to other sexual acts.

      (D) Lack of resistance to sexual contact does not imply consent.

      (E) Consent can be withdrawn at any time.

    (ii) Consent cannot be given or granted by a person who, at the relevant time, cannot understand the facts, nature, extent, or implications of the sexual contact for any reason including, but not limited to, being asleep, unconscious, mentally or physically impaired due to an intellectual or other disability, or mentally or physically incapacitated due to the effects of drugs or alcohol.

      (A) Indicators that a person may be incapacitated by drugs or alcohol and therefore, cannot grant consent include, but are not limited to: Stumbling, falling down, an inability to stand or walk on their own, slurred speech or incoherent communication, an inability to focus their eyes or confusion about what is happening around them, passing out, or vomiting.

      (B) A failure to exhibit any of these behaviors does not necessarily mean that a person is capable of giving consent or is not incapacitated.

  (d) Sexual contact is not consensual when force or coercion is threatened or used to gain acquiescence.

    (i) Force includes the use of physical violence, physical force, threats, or intimidation to overcome resistance or gain agreement to sexual contact.

    (ii) Coercion includes using pressure, deception, or manipulation to cause someone to agree to sexual contact against that person's will, without the use of physical force. Pressure can mean verbal or emotional pressure.

  (e) Sexual assault also includes sexual contact with a person who is under the statutory age of consent in accordance with chapter 9A.44 RCW.

  (f) Use of alcohol or drugs is not a valid defense to a violation of this subsection.

(21) Sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation includes:

  (a) Taking nonconsensual or abusive advantage of another for one's own sexual benefit, or for the sexual benefit of anyone other than the one being exploited;

  (b) Compelling another by threat or force to engage in sexual conduct or activity;

  (c) Transmitting, distributing, publishing, or threatening to transmit, distribute, or publish photos, video, or other recordings of a private and sexual nature where such transmission, publication, or distribution is without the consent of the subject(s) and is likely to cause emotional distress to the subject(s);

  (d) Taking or making photographs, films, or digital images of the private body parts of another person without that person's consent;

  (e) Causing or attempting to cause the impairment of another person to gain nonconsensual sexual advantage over that person;

  (f) Prostituting another person;

  (g) Knowingly allowing another to surreptitiously watch otherwise consensual sexual activity; or

  (h) Taking, making, or directly transmitting nonconsensual video or audio recordings of sexual activity.

(22) Sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is language or conduct of a sexual nature that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive such that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person's academic or work performance or a person's ability to participate in or benefit from the university's programs, services, opportunities, or activities.

(23) Stalking.

  (a) Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

    (i) Fear for the person's safety or safety of others; or

    (ii) Suffer substantial emotional distress.

  (b) For the purposes of this subsection, "course of conduct" means two or more acts including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property.

  (c) For the purposes of this subsection, "substantial emotional distress" means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

(24) Theft. Theft is the taking of property or services without express permission of the owner. This includes, but is not limited to, taking, possessing, or aiding another to take university property or services, or property belonging to members of the university community.

(25) Unauthorized keys, entry or use. The unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys (including conventional keys, key cards, or alphanumeric passcodes) to any university premises is prohibited, as is the unauthorized entry upon or use of university premises or property. Providing keys to an unauthorized person or providing access to an unauthorized person is also prohibited.

(26) Unauthorized recording. The following conduct is prohibited:

  (a) Making audio, video, digital recordings, or photographic images of a person without that person's consent in a location where that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

  (b) Storing, sharing, publishing, or otherwise distributing such recordings or images by any means.

(27) Vandalism. Vandalism includes maliciously damaging or misusing university property, or the property of any member of the university community.

(28) Violation of disciplinary sanctions. The violation of any term or condition of any final disciplinary order issued under this conduct code, or the failure to complete a disciplinary sanction in the specified time frame, may be grounds for additional disciplinary action.

(29) Violation of law. Any conduct that would constitute a violation of any federal, state, or local criminal law may be the subject of disciplinary proceedings under this conduct code.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 and chapter 34.05 RCW. WSR 16-05-097, § 478-120-024, filed 2/17/16, effective 3/28/16.]