Panther statue overlooking Piazza
Panther statue overlooking Piazza

» Breach of Peace Policy Information

Chapman University has standards of behavior that apply to all students and student organizations associated with the University. The Student Conduct Code, which sets forth these standards, includes a Breach of Peace policy. The Breach of Peace policy outlines expectations for student behavior in line with Chapman's commitment to positively contributing to our greater community. Please review the Breach of Peace policy brochure for more information.

According to the Student Conduct Code, the Breach of Peace policy is defined as follows:

Breach of Peace – As a part of the larger community that surrounds the University, students are expected to abide by all city ordinances and act with respect and civility toward neighbors and their property. The following behaviors are prohibited:

  1. Conduct which is disorderly and/or disruptive, as defined by applicable laws or by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or the Vice President’s designee.
  2. Aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace.
  3. Individual or group activities that result in disturbance or distress to others or that cause damage or destruction to property (e.g., hosting gatherings with large numbers of people in attendance, gatherings that violate city or county ordinances or laws, guests gathering in yards, sidewalks, or other outdoor areas, etc.).
  4. Entering another’s land or property without permission.

Note: Public Safety Officers may videotape exceptionally large, loud and disruptive off-campus gatherings. The resulting videotape may be submitted as evidence in a hearing regarding potential misconduct by the respondent. If it is alleged that the videotape has evidence of an assault, sexual assault, or other acts of violence, the Vice President and Dean of Students or designee may review the tape as part of its investigation into the allegation.

Learn More About the Policy & Being a Good Neighbor

It is important for students to understand the University policies and procedures related to the Breach of Peace policy. Please explore here for information about avoiding violations of the policy as well as what to expect from a potential violation. You may also review the Breach of Peace policy brochure and Respect Orange welcome letter for more detailed information.

If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact the Director of Student Conduct, Colleen Wood, at cwood@chapman.edu or 714-744-7693.

+ - Start with Good Communication

Start off right by building good relationships with your neighbors and developing open lines of communication. You and your roommates should be on the same page about expectations. Even if you are moving in with your closest friends, it is a good idea to sit down and talk about how you want to live in your shared space, how often you want to have guests over, and how you will handle any noise or other issues that may arise and possibly negatively impact your neighbors or the local community. Take the time to understand expectations of your closest neighbors or apartment community as well as the expectations within the City of Orange. Utilize Chapman resources for Living Off Campus and consider reaching out to the Off-Campus Housing Coordinator if you have concerns about communication with your roommates, landlord, or neighbors.

+ - Good Neighbor Class

Set yourself and your roommates up for success by attending a Good Neighbor Class hosted by Chapman to learn about University and city policies and get tips for building relationships with neighbors. Classes are 2 hours long and are offered throughout the year. If you are interested, please sign up in Argyros Forum 303 to attend an upcoming session.

+ - Proactive Tips to Avoid Violations

The following are some suggested ways to take proactive steps to avoid violations of the Breach of Peace policy:

  1. Talk to Your Neighbors — Make an effort to get to know all of your neighbors and let them know when you are hosting a gathering that potentially could impact them. Ask for their feedback to see how you can take your neighbors’ needs and concerns into account.
  2. Keep Your Guests Inside — Avoid having large groups of people gathering outside late at night. Keep your guests inside your house at all times and be aware of loud voices or music. Try stepping outside your house to determine the noise level that your neighbors are experiencing.
  3. Be Aware of Varying Schedules — Many neighbors have work in the mornings or have children who need to sleep, which means that they may be sensitive to loud gatherings that occur during the work week. Avoid weekday gatherings, which includes Thursdays. However, remember that some families have different work schedules, and their needs vary, so loud noise at any time can cause disturbance or distress.
  4. Be Aware of Noise Levels — In addition to music playing, neighbors can be disturbed by noise from video games, television, sporting events, movies, people coming and going from your residence, lively discussion occurring in your residence, and other noise heard through open windows or doors. The University will meet with students for any type of reported noise or disturbance concern.
  5. Be Aware of the Size of your Gathering — Due to the college social scene, it is common for people who were not invited to your gathering to arrive at your home if they hear about the gathering from a friend or social media. Even if you did not intend to have a large party, you are still responsible for uninvited guests and any disturbances from them. If the noise is getting to be too much, you need to have your guests leave.

+ - What to Expect from a Possible Violation

When a complaint comes in to Orange Police for a disruptive incident involving Chapman students, OPD may contact Chapman Public Safety officers to respond and document the incident in order to forward it to student conduct adjudication.

The student conduct process follows a specific and progressive sanctioning model for each subsequent breach of peace policy violation. Sanctioning guidelines for incidents are as follows:

1st Violation: Status sanction of Formal Warning placed on student for 1 year; requirement to attend Good Neighbor Class hosted by Chapman University

2nd Violation: Status sanction of Probation assigned to the student for 1 year; $400-$800 fine assigned to each student identified as a resident of the off-campus residence or host of the gathering

3rd Violation: Status sanction of Suspension assigned to the student for at least 1 semester. Suspension is defined as the separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time, during which the student is not eligible to attend classes or University events. After the specific time period, the student is eligible to return after meeting specified conditions for readmission. Students may be held responsible for meeting their financial obligations to the University and may not visit the University while under suspension.

The University retains the right to sanction more severely if the incident in question is deemed to be egregious.