Community Standards & Student Conduct

FAQ

COVID-19

What is the UW doing to ensure health and safety as we return to campus?

The UW is introducing and updating guidelines to follow the most recent health and safety practices suggested by the state and the CDC. Masks are required in all shared indoor spaces and at large outdoor events. Masks are still strongly encouraged outdoors when you can’t maintain social distancing, regardless of vaccination status. All students and staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they are approved for an authorized exemption. If an individual receives an exemption, they are required to take weekly tests for COVID-19 and report their results.

Are these health and safety measures required?

Yes. The guidelines used to protect our campus community against COVID-19 apply to everyone, including all students, staff, and visitors. Even if you cannot get vaccinated before you come to campus, a hold will be placed on your winter registration if you do not attest to vaccination by November 5.

What if someone is not following the set guidelines?

Vaccinations are required to begin coursework, unless you are granted an exemption. For masks, while we hope that everyone does their part to ensure campus health and safety, we anticipate that there may be some individuals who choose not to or forget to wear face coverings.

Generally, we expect that students who are asked to wear or put on a mask will do so. Our first response to a report of refusal to wear a mask will be to send a letter to that student reminding them of the University policy. This does not constitute a conduct incident. The student conduct procedure may be initiated if the incident(s) of a student refusing to comply with face mask guidance involves:

  • Behavior that is materially and substantially disruptive.
  • Behavior that is threatening or abusive.
  • Repeated instances of being asked to leave a classroom or the campus.

General

What is the Code of Conduct, anyway?

The University’s Code of Conduct details the standards that students will be held accountable to, as well as the policies and procedures for conduct proceedings should a violation of the code occur. Students are also responsible for following other rules and policies that apply to them, such as those of class syllabi.

How do I report an incident?

Our online reporting tool allows students, staff, and faculty to report alleged conduct incidents. Using this tool, you will describe the incident, name any students involved, and have the opportunity to upload supporting documents (homework assignments, screenshots, etc) to explain the situation.

How will I be notified by CSSC?

If you have been named in a potential conduct incident, CSSC will reach out through your UW email (message comes from cssc@uw.edu).  There will be a link in the email to access the secure letter – you will log in with your student ID Number and your UW email to read it. 

We may follow up with a phone call to your primary phone number if we have not heard back from you.

Do I really have to attend an investigative interview? What happens if I just ignore it?

Technically, no. However, if you choose not to participate in the conduct process, a decision about the situation will still be made. If you do participate in the fact finding process, you will have an opportunity to explain the situation and present your side of what happened.

What are the possible consequences if I am found to violate the Code?

Sanctions range from a Disciplinary Reprimand (AKA a warning) to dismissal from the UW. You will have a chance to tell your side of the story.  Each matter is evaluated on a case by case basis. To learn more about sanctions, read here.

note: If suspension or dismissal are possible sanctions in a case, a full hearing will be conducted. The vast majority of students we work with will not participate in a full hearing. If found responsible for misconduct, most students will be issued a written warning, placed on disciplinary probation, and/or receive academic sanction(s) (ex. a 0 grade on an exam).

Will this appear on my transcript?

No. Your participation in the conduct process and/or sanctions received in the process are not marked on academic transcripts.

Will you tell my parents I am working with the conduct office?

No. Students’ privacy, including conduct records, is protected under FERPA. If students want information about their conduct process shared, they need to fill out a Release of Information Form.

Can I get in trouble for misconduct off-campus?

Yes. Students represent the University no matter where they are! Both academic and behavioral conduct can be investigated even if an incident occurs off-campus (for example, in Greek housing or at home during remote classes).

 What support resources are available if I’m involved in the conduct process?

You are allowed to have an advisor present (friend, family member, attorney, etc) during your meeting with your Conduct Officer.

If you have questions prior to your first conduct meeting, you can email your conduct officer directly (their contact information is in the letter you receive).

Our Respondent Resources page includes more information and FAQs about the support available to you throughout the conduct process.

I was involved in the same incident as other students. Why did we receive different sanctions?

Sanctions are decided on a case-by-case basis. Even if multiple students are found to be responsible for the same incident, factors used to decide individual sanctions include:

  • The seriousness, severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the prohibited conduct
  • The nature or violence (if applicable) of the prohibited conduct;
  • The impact on the complainant (reporter) and/or University community;
  • The respondent’s past disciplinary record with the University;
  • Whether the respondent has accepted responsibility for the prohibited conduct;
  • The maintenance of a safe, nondiscriminatory and respectful environment conducive to learning; and/or
  • Any other mitigating, aggravating, or compelling factors that the presiding officer determines to be relevant and admissible.

What else does the CSSC office do?

CSSC provides other services relating to students’ conduct and behavior records! For example, we process background checks for students going on Study Abroad programs and records checks for those preparing to transfer to other colleges or apply for graduate programs.