Student Code of Conduct

As members of the University community, all students, groups of students, and student organizations are expected to exemplify Northwestern's community principles and values, to engage in socially responsible behavior, and to model exceptional conduct, character, and citizenship on campus and beyond.

Student Code of Conduct, Statement of Expectations

Student Code of Conduct

Responsible Action Protocol: (1) CALL 911, (2) STAY with victim, and (3) COOPERATE and NU and emergency officials. Save a life, and save your skin.

Prohibited Conduct

The following acts, conduct, and behavior are prohibited by this Student Code of Conduct. An attempt to commit an act prohibited by this code, as well as assisting or willfully encouraging any such act, is considered a violation of this code. Students, groups of students, and student organizations may also be held responsible for any misconduct by their visitors and guests.

  1. Physical abuse of any person or any action that threatens or endangers the emotional well-being, health, or safety of any person (including oneself).
  2. Acts of theft or damage, including the following:
    1. Theft of property or services;
    2. Knowing possession of stolen property or materials; and
    3. Destroying, damaging, defacing, or vandalizing property.
  3. Unauthorized entry to or use of University facilities, property, systems, or services, including the following:
    1. Accessing, entering, or using University facilities, property, systems, or services without authorization;
    2. Entering onto the roofs, balconies, or fire escapes of any University building or facility for any purpose except in case of an emergency;
    3. Unauthorized presence in the University’s utility tunnels or other restricted-access areas; and
    4. Unauthorized possession, duplication, distribution, or use of keys, access codes, access cards, or other means of entry or access to any University property, premises, or location.
  4. Disorderly conduct or disruptive acts, including the following:
    1. Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, hearing procedures, or University activities or of other authorized activities, including studying, learning, and emergency services, and other violations of the University’s Disruption Policy (pdf);
    2. Disorderly conduct or other action that disturbs or endangers the peace or comfort of others or the community;
    3. Making, causing, continuing, or allowing to continue any loud, unnecessary, or unusual noise that disturbs the peace of others, including violations of residence-hall quiet hours or Evanston noise ordinances;
    4. Hosting an event, in a residence hall room or common area, that becomes public or when the number of individuals present exceeds double the occupancy of the sleeping quarters (e.g., four people in a double room); and
    5. Urinating or defecating in public view or on a public street, alley, sidewalk, yard, park, building, structure, plaza, public or utility right of way, or other public place.
  5. Acts of fraud, misrepresentation, or dishonesty, including the following:
    1. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of University documents, records, or identification or other materials submitted to the University;
    2. Knowingly furnishing false information to the University or any University official;
    3. Intentionally initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning, or threat of fire, explosion, or other emergency; and
    4. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of identification cards or devices that are false or fraudulent or that misrepresent an individual’s identity, age, or other personal characteristics, including using another individual’s identification.
  6. Misconduct related to the student conduct system, including the following:
    1. Failure or refusal to appear upon request or to cooperate in the investigation, hearing, or administration of cases of alleged offenses (provided that no students shall be required to furnish information that would be self-incriminating);
    2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information in the investigation, hearing, or administration of cases of alleged offenses;
    3. Institution of a frivolous or malicious student conduct proceeding (including an appeal);
    4. Actions or attempts to harass, intimidate, retaliate against, or improperly influence any individual associated with the student conduct system, including efforts to discourage participation, to affect impartiality, or to influence statements or testimony;
    5. Unauthorized release or disclosure of information related to a student conduct proceeding; and
    6. Failure to comply with the sanctions or outcomes imposed for violations of this code or other University rules, regulations, and policies.
  7. Failure to comply or cooperate with University officials or law enforcement officers acting in their official capacity within established guidelines (provided that no students shall be required to furnish information that would be self-incriminating), including failure to provide identification when asked or to surrender, upon request, one’s University identification card until an incident is resolved.
  8. Misconduct related to alcohol and alcoholic beverages, including the following:
    1. Use or possession of alcohol by individuals under the age of 21 (or the age of majority in the jurisdiction);
    2. Manufacturing alcoholic beverages on University property, premises, or facilities (except as specifically authorized by the University) or by individuals under the age of 21;
    3. Providing or distributing alcohol to individuals under the age of 21;
    4. Driving under the influence of alcohol or while intoxicated;
    5. Possession of kegs or other large storage devices, quantity-dispensing containers, or common sources of alcohol in residence halls or fraternity/sorority houses (except as specifically authorized by the University);
    6. For students under the age of 21, being in the presence of alcohol in residence halls or fraternity/sorority houses;
    7. Use or possession of alcohol, regardless of age, in residence halls or fraternity/sorority houses during new student orientation;
    8. Use or possession of alcohol, regardless of age, in any “dry” or alcohol-free living units, including fraternity/sorority houses or healthy living units;
    9. Use or possession of alcohol, regardless of age, in any common area of a residence hall (except as specifically authorized by the University);
    10. Possession of open containers of alcohol on University property, in University facilities, in University vehicles or transportation, and in public buildings, parks, beaches, highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, parkways, and public parking lots (except as specifically authorized by the University or other legal authority); and
    11. Other violations of the University’s alcohol policies or state and local laws pertaining to alcoholic beverages, including those governing the transportation, possession, and consumption of alcohol.
  9. Misconduct related to illegal drugs and controlled substances (including marijuana, medical marijuana, narcotics, cocaine, heroin, prescription medication, synthetic cannabinoids or other drugs, and any chemical substantially similar to a controlled substance), including the following:
    1. Use, misuse, or possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances (except as expressly permitted by law);
    2. Manufacturing or distribution of illegal drugs or controlled substances;
    3. Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of drug paraphernalia;
    4. Driving under the influence of any illegal drug or controlled substance;
    5. Being in the presence of the use or misuse of illegal drugs or controlled substances in residence halls or fraternity/sorority houses; and
    6. Other violations of the University’s drug policies or federal, state, and local laws pertaining to illegal drugs and controlled substances.
  10. Misconduct related to firearms, weapons, explosives, or dangerous substances and devices (including ammunition, air or pellet guns, paintball guns, slingshots, knives, weapons of any description, firecrackers, fireworks, dangerous chemicals or substances, or any other object or substance designed to inflict a wound or cause injury, or imitations or replicas of any such items), including the following:
    1. Possession of any such item on University premises or at University activities or events (except as specifically authorized); and
    2. Use or brandishing of any such item, even if legally possessed, in a manner that harms, threatens, causes fear to, or otherwise endangers others.
  11. Acts that jeopardize the safety or security of the University, the University community, or any University facilities, building, or premises, including
    1. Intentionally damaging or destroying property by fire or explosives;
    2. Creating or maintaining a fire or fire hazard (except as specifically authorized), including burning candles or incense or use of unauthorized appliances or heating devices, including toasters, microwaves, hot plates, and space heaters;
    3. Tampering with or misuse of emergency or fire safety equipment, including emergency call devices, fire alarms, fire exits, firefighting equipment, smoke/heat detectors, or sprinkler systems;
    4. Failing to immediately exit any facility or building when a fire alarm or other emergency notification has been sounded, or hindering or impairing the orderly evacuation of any University facility, building, or premises;
    5. Disobeying a directive or command by any University or emergency official in connection with a fire, alarm, or other safety, security, or emergency matter;
    6. Smoking in any enclosed University facility (including, but not limited to, common work areas, auditoriums, health facilities, athletic facilities, classrooms, conference rooms, private offices, libraries, lounges, hallways, campus living units, cafeterias, stairways, and restrooms), in any designated outdoor areas, or within 25 feet of an entrance, open window, ventilation intake, or similar feature of any enclosed University facility (or other violation of the Smoking Policy); and
    7. Violations of state or local fire and fire-related ordinances.
  12. Misconduct related to University computer, network, or telecommunications systems or resources, including the following:
    1. Unauthorized use of facilities, services, equipment, account numbers, or files, including using a NetID or account assigned to another user or providing another user with access to one’s NetID or account;
    2. Reading, copying, changing, deleting, tampering with, or destruction of another user’s files, software, programs, and accounts (including monitoring another user’s data communications) without permission of the owner;
    3. Use of University resources to interfere with the work of another student, a faculty member, or a University official, or that otherwise interferes with normal operation of University systems;
    4. Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws (including unauthorized downloading or sharing of copyrighted files); and
    5. Violation of any other University policy regarding computers, networks, or electronic communication.
  13. Knowingly allowing one’s visitors or guests to violate this Student Code of Conduct or other University rules, regulations, or policies, or failing to monitor the behavior of one’s visitors or guests to assure their adherence to such standards.
  14. Actions that may violate federal, state, or local laws or ordinance.
  15. Violation of any other rule, regulation, or policy set forth in the Student Handbook or otherwise enacted and published by the University, by living units, or by another delegated authority of the University, including but not limited to those concerned with
    1. Civility, Mutual Respect, and Unacceptability of Violence on Campus;
    2. Discrimination and Harassment;
    3. Fraternities and Sororities;
    4. Gambling;
    5. Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents;
    6. Hazing;
    7. Identification Cards (WildCARDs);
    8. Residence Hall Rules and Regulations;
    9. Sexual Assault;
    10. Sexual Harassment;
    11. Student Organizations; and
    12. All other University rules, regulations, and policies.