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Community Standards

The Community Standards Process encourages individual and group responsibility and promotes respect for the rights, freedoms and safety of members of our community.

Individual and group responsibility is a part of the educational process at DePauw University. The Community Standards Process aims to:

  • hold students accountable for their actions;

  • allow for procedural rights for the student who has allegedly violated a policy;

  • protect the rights of members of our community;

  • promote the development of individual and group integrity and

  • uphold the non-academic rules and regulations of the University.

There are four main stages in the Community Standards Process.

  • Charge of Violation of Code of Conduct

The Director of Community Standards reviews an alleged violation of University policy. If the Director determines a policy violation may have occurred, a charge letter is sent to the student.

  • Intake Meeting

Once the student receives a charge letter, they will meet with a Community Standards staff member. This meeting allows a student the opportunity to ask questions, clarify information, describe circumstances and accurately share information related to this incident. The student will have the opportunity to hear the report received by the Community Standards Office and have a conversation about the alleged policy violation and issues surrounding the incident. The student will be asked to admit or deny violating the policy.

  • Sanction

If the student takes responsibility for violating a policy, the staff member will appropriately sanction the student using the guidelines in the Student Handbook. If a student denies responsibility, the staff member will give the student the opportunity to participate in a Community Standards Hearing.

  • Appeal

Community Standards decisions may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Academic Life. Appeals must be filed online within 72 hours of receiving the written notification of the decision. The Vice President will decide whether or not there is a basis for appeal and, if so, upon consideration of the appeal may change any determination. The decision of the Vice President is final.

Tenets of the Community Standards Process

The Community Standards Process is built upon the following principles:

  • To regard each student as an individual, deserving individual attention, consideration and respect.

  • To consider the facts fully and carefully before resolving any case.

  • To speak candidly and honestly to each student.

  • To hold each student to a high standard of behavior, both to protect the campus community and to promote student moral development.

  • To recognize the reality of human fallibility, as well as the stresses associated with collegiate life and to demonstrate compassion and understanding.

  • To contribute to the educational mission of the University by designing policies, conducting programs and offering instruction that contribute to the intellectual and moral development of the entire student body.

Safe Community Initiative

The health and safety of DePauw students should always be of the highest priority. We recognize that students may be reluctant to seek immediate emergency attention for their peers when needed because of concern that their own behavior may be a violation of University policy, or in the case of a student organization, that their organization could be found responsible for their guest’s behavior. In order to maintain the emphasis on student safety, a student or organization who actively intervenes, by calling for help for a peer and staying with that person until help arrives, will not be held accountable through the Community Standards process for University policy violations connected to that specific situation. Students or organizations who do not call for help for a peer in need of medical attention, may be charged through the Community Standards process.