CC Chapman Statue

Student Conduct

» First Generation Family FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions that families of First-Generation students at Chapman may have regarding the Student Conduct Process.

Student Conduct Code and Process

+ - What is a student conduct code and why is it important?

A student conduct code is a set of values and expectations that are binding on students of a university community. Here at Chapman, our Student Conduct Code outlines acceptable behavior to maintain a safe and supportive community for all Chapman students, staff, and faculty. The Code balances the needs and interests of individual students with those of the entire Chapman community both on and off campus. The standards of behavior set forth by the Code apply to everyone associated with the University. Further, the Code establishes the Student Conduct Process as a fair practice for both those who have allegedly violated the Code and those who bring forward information about a possible Code violation. Our Student Conduct Process empowers students to contribute positively to the larger community by taking responsibility for their actions and respecting the rights and needs of others.

+ - When my student says he/she was “written up,” what does that mean?

Students use the phrase “written up” to indicate that they were documented at an incident during which there were possible Student Conduct Code violations. When an incident is documented, an incident report is filed within 24-48 hours that will detail what happened and who was allegedly involved. All students allegedly involved will receive an email notification prompting them to attend a Community Conversation or formal conduct hearing with a professional staff member to discuss what happened and determine what next steps are necessary. This marks the beginning of the Student Conduct Process.

+ - What types of consequences are possible if my student violates the Student Conduct Code?

If your student is charged with alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code, he or she will have a meeting or a hearing to determine their level of responsibility before any consequences are determined. A student or group charged with any violation(s) of the Code will be found either Not Responsible or Responsible for each individual charge. However, charges may also be Deferred or Dismissed.

If a hearing body determines that a student is Responsible for a violation, the hearing officer or board will likely assign sanctions to the student. Sanctions are assigned after thorough consideration of the information presented to the hearing officer or hearing panel related to the incident, the student’s level of involvement, and any pertinent cumulative conduct on the student’s Conduct Record. Some factors that may affect sanctioning are the student’s role in the incident, the nature of the violation, and the impact of the incident on others and the University community.

A sanction is an assignment given, action taken, and/or status placed on students found responsible for violations of the Student Conduct Code. There are two types of sanctions: educational sanctions such as a paper or workshop, and status sanctions such as a Formal Warning, Probation, or Suspension. Educational sanctions are intended to encourage the student to examine his or her behaviors and to develop new approaches to membership in the University community. Students are expected to complete educational sanctions, which can range from writing a reflective paper to participating in a workshop, in a thoughtful and timely manner by the prescribed deadlines. Completion of educational sanctions must follow all academic integrity guidelines imposed by the University. Status sanctions can range from a Formal Warning to Probation to Suspension or Expulsion, depending on the nature of the misconduct and student’s prior conduct history.

There is no limit to the number of educational sanctions that may be imposed for any single violation, and it is important for your student to understand that all sanctions submitted may be used by Chapman to further educate other community members. Students with any conduct history are required to receive Dean of Students clearance to participate in all study abroad or travel courses. Failure to satisfactorily complete or comply with all sanctions as prescribed will result in a Dean’s Hold and may result in further sanctions, including suspension, until all sanctions are satisfactorily completed.

+ - What if my student was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time?

A determination of responsibility and any related sanctions are decided upon only after thorough consideration of the information presented to the hearing officer or hearing panel related to the incident. This includes information about the student’s level of involvement. If a student was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time and was not responsible for a violation of the Student Conduct Code, he or she will have several opportunities to share this with the hearing body during a hearing. If the student participates in a hearing and does not waive his or her right to an appeal, the student is eligible to appeal the decision by the hearing body if for some reason the hearing body renders a decision that the student does not feel is fair. To learn more about the appeals process, please review the Student Conduct Code.

Parent Involvement

+ - Will I ever be notified if my student gets in any sort of trouble? How can I support my student if I don’t know what is going on?

It is not our practice to notify families if their student is involved in an incident or charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code. We also do not mandate that students must contact their families when they are found responsible for a violation of the Code, but we do often may encourage them to do so, especially if there may be serious outcomes that could affect their status as a student. For more information on our parental notification policy, please visit our general FAQs for all Chapman parents here.

+ - What can I do if my student is involved in the Student Conduct Process?

You can help to guide your student through the process and be supportive while holding your student accountable to your expectations and those of the University. We have several suggestions for how you can help your student on our general FAQs for all Chapman parents here.

Safety at Chapman

+ - Is Chapman a safe place for my student?

Chapman University is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students. All staff and faculty have your student’s safety and well-being as a top priority, and our Public Safety Department work diligently to ensure safety and security throughout the Chapman community. The campus is always well-lit and patrolled by Public Safety officers, and Public Safety also offers Operation Safe Ride to escort students, faculty, staff and visitors around Chapman during the hours in which safety is of utmost concern.  Public Safety Officers can also provide an escort anytime outside the operation hours if requested by someone who feels the need for a safe escort. For students living on campus, it is important to note that both professional and student staff live, work, and remain on-call 24/7 (even on holidays) directly in the residence halls. This ensures that there are always dozens of live-in staff members trained in emergency response and safety procedures who can respond immediately to any given situation. For more information about Public Safety, please visit their website.

+ - How do I know that the organizations my student is joining are safe?

Chapman University has a Student Organizations team that offers resources and training to all student clubs and organizations, and all student groups are also required to have non-student advisors who can help students develop a safe space for all members. Further, all student groups are required to follow the Student Conduct Code, and violations of the Code will result in sanctions for the group and/or individual members. To help all community members make informed decisions about joining or maintaining membership with any group, Chapman has elected to adopt a Sunshine Policy, as other universities have done, to increase the transparency and bring to light any concerning or unsafe student group behaviors within the Chapman University community. Organizations found responsible for hazing or other kinds of harmful behavior will have their actions made public. A summary of the incidents, charges, and ultimate findings will be posted on the University website. Fraternities, sororities, and other groups that self-disclose harmful behaviors to University officials and eliminate these practices from their programs will have that taken into consideration during the conduct process. To learn more about this policy and others, please read the Student Conduct Code.

Who is involved in Student Conduct?

+ - What is an RA?

A Resident Advisor (RA) is a student staff member who lives and works in the residence halls. Every floor has at least one RA who provides general support for the residents on the floor. RAs enforce the Student Conduct Code, mediate roommate conflicts, report any issues to the professional staff who live and work in the halls, host events and educational programs, and conduct walks of the community on a regular basis to care for students and the facilities. To learn more about RAs and the Office of Housing & Residence Life, please view their website.

+ - What is an RD?

A Resident Director (RD) is a professional staff member who lives and works in the residence halls. There is one RD in each residence hall. RDs are specially trained University employees who supervise the RAs, care for residential students, conduct Community Conversations as part of the Student Conduct Process, help with conduct investigations as necessary, manage the facilities of each building, mediate roommate conflicts, offer guidance to students, and connect students to campus resources. RDs are usually the first professional staff person a residential student will meet with following a possible Student Conduct Code violation. RDs are responsible for the management and daily operations of their respective buildings, and they manage 24/7 on-call responsibilities 365 days a year in case of emergency or other issues that may arise.

+ - What is a hearing officer?

A hearing officer is any staff member authorized by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or the Vice Chancellor’s designee to determine whether a student has violated the Student Conduct Code. The hearing officer will reach out to a student to schedule a meeting or formal hearing with him or her, during which the student can present his or her perspective on what happened. The hearing officer then determines the student’s level of responsibility and assigns or recommends appropriate sanctions.

Alcohol Awareness

+ - What are the alcohol and illegal substances policies at Chapman?

Chapman University has established an alcohol use policy based on the tenet that those serving and drinking alcohol will do so legally and responsibly, with concern for others around them, and with an understanding of the social, personal and legal issues involved. It is the responsibility of individuals or groups that use, possess, distribute or produce alcohol to be familiar with and abide by all laws regarding the sale and use of alcoholic beverages. Students hosting events providing alcohol must secure authorization from the Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students, or his/her designee, and adhere to the guidelines provided.

The details of the Alcoholic Beverages policy and the Illegal Substances policy are outlined here.

Each student or student group may be subject to conduct review for alcohol or other drug violations whether misconduct occurs on University property, at University-sponsored activities, or at any location off-campus when such conduct is brought to the attention of the University.

+ - How can I talk to my student about alcohol?

The simplest answer to this question is to talk to your student about alcohol early and as often as necessary. The transition from high school to college is a great opportunity to begin these conversations, and it is important to continue asking you student about his or her experiences with alcohol or drinking pressures for the crucial first six weeks of the semester. Help your student understand the law and Chapman’s policies, but ask him or her questions about personal expectations for drinking or caring for others who have had too much to drink. Ask students thought-provoking questions about what they expect to do when asked to a party or once they are at a party with only alcohol to drink. Ask them what they would do if they were asked to babysit another student who has had too much to drink. If your student can articulate expectations and reasoning with you, perhaps he or she will be able to implement those plans if needed. As you communicate with your student, even in jest, be aware of the messages about your own drinking you may share. Even small jokes like, “What a bad day! I need a drink!” can reinforce the connection between stress relief and drinking that peers introduce to students very quickly. If your student decides that he or she will not drink or only do so legally and responsibly, you may also consider talking about how to stand up for themselves in ensuring a safe space. Students who do not drink can be affected by the behavior of those who do, such as dealing with loud social gatherings when trying to study or worrying about a roommate who has too much to drink too often. Encourage your student to know when to call for help to share concerns with an RA or RD. Students who choose to drink may also feel pressure from friends to drink or may experience unwanted sexual advances. Empower your student to confront these problems directly by discussing them with those who do these things. If that fails, remind your student to reach out to resources such as professional or student staff. The University has resources available through the Student Psychological Counseling Center, the Dean of Students office, and PEER Health Education.

+ - How do I know if my student is engaging in risky behaviors?

Communicating directly with your student and asking him or her about college is the most important thing you can do to understand how your student is choosing to use his or her time at Chapman. One of the best things you can do is to prepare your student for having more free time than in high school and discuss time management, stress management, and your student’s expectations for how he or she will socialize while at college. It is important to note, however, that expectations and priorities can change over the course of the academic year, as your student begins to witness how others are spending their time as well. To complicate things further, students use different terms for different types of socialization. What may be a casual “hangout” to some may be a serious party to another. When speaking with your student, remain open and ask clarifying questions as necessary. Help your student understand that you are happy to talk about anything, but remain firm in challenging your student to consider what is best for him or herself.

If you are concerned that your student may be engaging in risky behaviors, feel free to read through the information on our website and familiarize yourself with the Student Conduct Code policies and our procedures. You can discuss these policies and expectations with your student as well as your own expectations. Ask your student if he or she feels like their behavior aligns with their core values, that of your family, or that of Chapman. The experience of being away at college will allow your student to develop a personal framework of ethics and values that inform his or her decision-making, and you can be a part of this process.

+ - Resources