The Code of Conduct outlines University behavior expectations for students, student groups, and student organizations. The Code of Conduct aligns with Wichita State University’s institutional values and helps the University meet its legal obligations.
Wichita State University is a living, learning, and working community dedicated to the personal and academic growth of its students and serves as an educational, cultural, and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. The University also endeavors to provide students with the necessary tools to engage in effective communication and to resolve conflicts in an appropriate manner.
Freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression are valued as critical components in the generation and transfer of knowledge to advance the University’s mission. The Code of Conduct is designed for the promotion and protection of an environment that encourages reasoned discourse, integrity, intellectual honesty, openness to constructive change, and respect for the rights and responsibilities of all individuals.
By choosing to become a member of the University community, students are expected to demonstrate respect for themselves and others and to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the Kansas Board of Regents’ and Wichita State University rules and policies; federal, state, and local laws; and city ordinances. When choosing to become a part of the University community, the student must consider whether they will be able to adhere to the Code of Conduct. Being a member of the Wichita State University community is a privilege, and the student conduct process will determine if a student’s conduct warrants that they should no longer share in that privilege.
This policy applies to behavior that is committed:
Behaviors subject to review under this policy include those which occur:
The Student Code of Conduct may also be applied to behavior conducted online, via e-mail or through other electronic mediums. Wichita State University does not regularly search for this information, but may take action if such information is brought to the attention of University officials.
Alleged violations of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, or stalking that occur in connection with an alleged violation of this policy will be resolved through the procedures prescribed in Section 8.16/Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy for Students.
For purposes of this policy, the following terms have the definitions provided below. Please note that some of these terms may have different meanings in other contexts.
Advisor – an individual selected by a Complainant or Respondent to assist the Complainant or Respondent throughout the University process including, but not limited to, a parent, friend, faculty member, advocate, or legal counsel. An advisor may advise and assist the Complainant or Respondent in preparation for any meetings, interviews, or hearings that may occur; accompany the Complainant or Respondent through all student conduct process meetings, interviews, or hearings; or assist the Complainant or Respondent in preparing an appeal. An advisor may not participate in the student conduct process in any other capacity in reference to the same incident, including, but not limited to, serving as a Witness, Co-Complainant, or Co-Respondent. Advisors may not directly participate, speak, comment, or make any type of representation or argument on behalf of a Complainant or Respondent in any aspect of the student conduct process including, but not limited to: meetings, interviews, or hearings. The availability of an Advisor to attend a student conduct process meeting, interview, or hearing shall not unreasonably interfere with or delay the proceedings.
Appellate Body – a University employee who has the authority to review appeal requests in accordance with the prescribed University procedures (See Student Conduct Procedures Section X. Appeals).
Code – the WSU Student Code of Conduct. The most recent version of the Code can be found at Section 8.05/Student Code of Conduct.
Complainant – individual, group, or organization who was subject to alleged misconduct as described in any University policy. There may be more than one complainant for an incident.
Conduct Administrator – the Director of Student Life or their designee authorized to address a student, student group, or student organization’s concerns and/or behavior, investigate, conduct a hearing, and assign consequences to Respondents found to have violated the Code.
Director – refers to the Director of Student Life or their designee. The Director serves as the chief student conduct administrator.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) – a federal law that, among other things, defines student educational records and regulates who may access those records and under what circumstances. The purpose of FERPA is to protect the privacy of student education records. FERPA applies to individuals and not to student groups or student organizations so long as an individual’s personally identifiable information is not included in such student group or student organization records.
Hearing – refers to either an Administrative Hearing and/or a Student Conduct Hearing Board Hearing.
Hearing Board Advisor – a staff member from Student Conduct & Community Standards designated to advise members of the Student Conduct Hearing Board during a hearing to ensure that policies and procedures are appropriately followed and that the hearing is prompt, fair, and impartial.
Instructor - any member of the University community who has responsibility for classroom or other instructional activities, mentoring, or academic evaluation of a student. This includes, but is not limited to, faculty members, instructors, lecturers, researchers, teaching assistants, research assistants, graduate assistants, lab assistants, course directors, and undergraduate teaching assistants.
Member of the University Community – any student, faculty, staff member, or other person employed by the University or its affiliates or an individual who is participating in a University-sponsored program or activity.
Respondent – any student, student group, or student organization who has been reported for allegedly violating University policy. There may be more than one respondent for an incident. In incidents involving student groups or organizations, the president, director, team captain, or other member of student leadership will participate in the student conduct process on behalf of the group or organization. Student groups and organizations may not be represented by non-students, alumni, inactive members, or coaches in the student conduct process; however, such individuals may be selected by a student group or organization to serve in the role of Advisor in the student conduct process.
Reporter – any individual or group who reports alleged policy violations, and who is not otherwise defined by this policy as a Complainant, Witness, or Respondent.
Staff Member – any individual who is employed as an unclassified or university support staff member, student employee, or who is employed by a University-affiliate.
Student – any individual who has been notified of admission to the University; is enrolled in, auditing, or participating in any University course or program; is assigned a space in a University owned or managed housing facility; or has a continuing relationship with the University. This includes, but is not limited to, Orientation, Intensive English, National Student Exchange, and Study Abroad. An individual is considered a student until they notify the University they are no longer a student or the University informs them that they are no longer a student for reasons including, but not limited to, transfer, graduation, academic disqualification, or expulsion. An individual who has been suspended is still considered a student during the suspension period. Students who leave the University before a conduct complaint is resolved may be prohibited from future enrollment and/or accessing University records until the matter is resolved.
Student Group – any number of persons who are associated with the University and each other, but who have not registered, or are not required to register, as a student organization that conducts business or participates in University-related activities. Student groups include, but are not limited to, Student Government Association, Student Activities Council, musical or theatrical ensembles, sport clubs, the University newspaper, or intercollegiate or independent varsity athletic teams.
Student Organization – any student-led organization that has been approved and is recognized by the Student Government Association.
University – Wichita State University (WSU) and its affiliates.
University Business Day – refers to any day the University is open for official business (usually Monday through Friday, not including University breaks or holidays).
University Official – any individual employed by the University, acting within the scope of their employment including, but not limited to, faculty, staff, Resident Assistants, Peer Academic Leaders, Intramural Officials, law enforcement officers, or facility managers.
University Policy – any written guidelines of the University or the Kansas Board of Regents as found in, but not limited to, the Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual, WSU Policies and Procedures Manual, Housing and Residence Life Handbook, ICAA Manual, Graduate/Undergraduate Catalogs, Student Organization & Advisor Handbook, Library Facilities Policy, Traffic Regulations, and/or Intramural Sports Handbook.
University Premises – any land, building, facilities, vehicles, and other property in the possession of, owned, used, leased, or otherwise controlled by the University and/or its affiliates.
Visitor – refers to any person who does not meet the definition of a student or employee and is involved in an incident with a current or former Wichita State University student.
Witness – individual who is requested to participate in an investigation or a hearing because that individual may have information about the alleged misconduct. Witness names may be provided by the Complainant, Respondent, or others with knowledge of the matter.
As members of the University community all students, student groups, and student organizations are expected to display respect for the rights of themselves and others and to be accountable for their behavior choices.
It is a violation of the Code of Conduct for any student, student group, or student organization to engage in behavior that aids, attempts, assists, promotes, condones, encourages, requires, conceals, or facilitates any act prohibited by this Code. Allowing, permitting, or providing an opportunity for a visitor to violate University policy is also prohibited. These violations are included in each section below and need not be cited separately. Lack of familiarity with University policy is not an excuse or a defense to a violation of the Code of Conduct. Unless specifically noted in the policy definition, intent is not a required element to establish a policy violation. Additionally, intoxication or impairment from alcohol, drugs, or other substances is not an excuse or defense to a violation of the Code of Conduct.
Prohibited conduct that is committed involving a protected class (i.e. race, religion, age, sex, disability status, etc.) which includes, but is not limited to, forms of harm and endangerment, physical violence, or harassment will, depending on the circumstance, be investigated and resolved under 3.47/Discrimination Review Procedures for Students, Employees and Visitors or 8.16/Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy for Students. There may be additional allegations of misconduct claimed at the same time that will be resolved by the Student Conduct process outlined in the Code of Conduct.
Violations of the Code of Conduct may also result in further review and/or investigation under other policies at Wichita State University. Some examples of these policies include, but are not limited to, 3.06/Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, Relationship Violence and Stalking Policy for Employees and Visitors, 3.19/Prohibition of Retaliation, 3.47/Discrimination Review Procedures for Students, Employees and Visitors, and 8.16/Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy for Students.
The following list describes actions that detract from the effectiveness of the University community and are prohibited, but does not include constitutionally protected activity:
Any act or action which has the potential to endanger the mental or physical health or safety of any individual as it relates to an individual’s initiation, admission into, or affiliation with any student group or organization. It is not necessary that a person’s initiation or continued membership is contingent upon participation in the activity, or that the activity was sanctioned or approved by the student group or organization, for a charge of hazing to be upheld. It shall not constitute an excuse or defense to the charge of hazing that the participants took part voluntarily, gave consent to the conduct, voluntarily assumed the risks or hardship of the activity, or that no injury was suffered or sustained. The actions of alumni, active, new, and/or prospective members of a student group or organization may be considered hazing. Hazing is not confined to the student group or organization with which the individual subjected to the hazing is associated. Allegations of hazing are considered under the reasonable person standard. Hazing includes:
engaging in relationship violence as defined by: Section 8.16/Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy for Students.
engaging in, or causing another to engage in, an adverse action or threat of an adverse action against a Complainant, Respondent, or any individual or group of individuals involved in the complaint, investigation, and/or resolution of an allegation of a violation of University policy; including any individual who attempts to intervene or prevent behavior prohibited by this policy. Retaliation can be committed by an individual or group of individuals, not just a Complainant or Respondent. Retaliation can take many forms including threats, intimidation, pressuring, continued harassment, violence, or other forms of harm to others. Any complaint regarding retaliation by a student, student group, organization, employee or visitor should be reported to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.
Engaging in sexual misconduct as defined by Section 8.16/Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy for Students. Any complaint regarding sexual misconduct should be reported to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.
Engaging in unauthorized canvassing or solicitation including, but not limited to, sending advertisements or recruitment materials via Blackboard, listservs, or other forms of communication not intended for canvassing or solicitation; placing flyers under and/or on doors in University facilities or on vehicles.
Engaging in Stalking as defined by Section 8.16/Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy for Students.
engaging in the taking, misappropriation, or possession of University property or the property of another including anything of value, goods, services, funds, and/or other valuables or possession of property that can be reasonably determined to have been stolen.
Engaging in the use of any tobacco product or device including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, vaping, hookah, or chewing tobacco within University facilities or University vehicles as defined by Section 11.11/Tobacco Free Campus.
Conducting, organizing, or participating in any gambling activity except as expressly permitted by law and University policy.
Engaging in the unauthorized use of any unpiloted aerial system on University premises or at University-related activities except as expressly permitted by law and University policy. Using an unpiloted aerial system in a manner that intentionally or recklessly violates another individual’s privacy is also prohibited. Unpiloted aerial systems include, but are not limited to, drones, model aircrafts, autonomous aerial vehicles, and remotely piloted aircrafts. Authorization for use of an unpiloted aerial system must be obtained from the University Police Department.
Engaging in the possession, use, sale, distribution, or display of any firearm, replica firearm, ammunition, weapon, replica weapon, or similar device unless expressly permitted by law and/or University policy. This includes the use of any object or material to cause or threaten physical harm. For a listing of prohibited weapons refer to Section 11.19/Prohibiting Weapons on University Property.
The health and safety of members of the University community and their visitors is one of Wichita State University’s top priorities. The University recognizes that a student’s concern for potential disciplinary action related to use or possession of alcohol, drugs, and/or other substances may hinder their actions in response to a medical emergency. In order to alleviate those concerns and ensure that students and their visitors receive prompt medical attention, the University has adopted a Responsible Action Protocol.
*More information on this policy can be found in section VII of the Student Conduct Procedures Manual.
Students, student organizations, and student groups who are found to have violated Section 8.05/Student Code of Conduct will receive consequences appropriate to the current violation(s) and in consideration of any prior conduct history and/or mitigating or aggravating circumstances. For student groups and organizations, “prior conduct history” includes incidents occurring within the preceding five years. Consequences may be issued individually, or a combination of consequences may be issued. In the case of student groups and organizations, if a consequence issued by a national or other governing body exceeds that of the University, the University may concur with that consequence.
Following written notification of the outcome of their cases, Respondents may submit one appeal request within the University’s process as outlined in the Student Conduct Procedures, Section IX. Appeals. The presumption is that the investigation and decision processes were appropriately conducted and the burden is on the individual requesting the appeal to prove that the appeal has merit. Appellate reviews are reviews of the record only.
Portions of this policy and the associated procedures have been adapted from The National Center for Higher Education Risk Management Group (NCHERM) Model Developmental Code of Student Conduct and are used here with permission. Additionally, Student Conduct & Community Standards wishes to acknowledge the following institutions for their example, inspiration, and assistance in developing this policy:
October 3, 2017
August 23, 2018
Student Conduct Procedures maintained by Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards
Chapter 8 | Table of Contents©