Student Code of Conduct
Last updated: January 17th, 2023 at 02:11 pm
The WAUSM Student Code of Conduct encourages the personal and professional development of students. It outlines the minimum expectation for student behavior and the conduct process to address any breach of the Student Code of Conduct.
a. WAUSM students are expected to exhibit personal and professional behavior that aligns with the American Medical Association’s Ethical Principles and the mission and core values of WAUSM as outlined below.
b. Mission: Drawing on the collective success of distinguished medical educators and administrators who have recruited, educated, and trained thousands of practicing physicians in North America, WAUSM is committed to offering opportunity for qualified and diverse US, Canadian, and international students who seek to acquire the knowledge and skills to succeed in medical school, earn residency positions, and become outstanding, patient-centered MDs serving the public.
c. Core Values:
i. Excellence in medical education and student services.
ii. Commitment to our local and global communities.
iii. Diversity that is reflected in actions inclusive of all individuals.
iv. Integrity that embraces the highest standards of ethical behavior and moral character.
v. Respect for all individuals who are affiliated with WAUSM students, staff, faculty, partners, communities, patients, and families.
vi. Cooperation that is manifested in all interpersonal communication and collaboration in pursuit of medical education.
Student Rights & Responsibilities
a. WAUSM students are entitled to certain rights and privileges and have certain responsibilities as WAUSM community members.
i. Speech/Expression: Students have the right to express themselves freely on any subject provided they do so in a manner that does not violate the Student Code of Conduct. Students have the responsibility to respect the rights of all WAUSM community members.
ii. Non-discrimination: Students have the right not to be discriminated against by any WAUSM employee or Agent of WAUSM for reasons of race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, political or social affiliation, domestic violence victim or veteran status. Students have the responsibility not to discriminate against others.
iii. Assembly/Protest: Students have the right to assemble in an orderly manner and engage in peaceful protest, demonstration and picketing which does not disrupt the function of the University, threaten the health or safety of any person, or violate the Student Code of Student Conduct, local, state, or federal law.
iv. Religion/Political Association: Students have the right to exercise their religious convictions and associate with religious, political or other organizations of their choice provided they do so in a manner that does not inhibit the legal rights of other members of the community, complies with the Student Code of Conduct, and is consistent with university policies on use of facilities for religious and political purposes. Students have the responsibility to respect the rights of other WAUSM community members to freely exercise their religious convictions and to freely associate with organizations of their choice.
v. Academic Interests: Students have the right to receive accurate and clearly stated information relating to maintaining of acceptable academic standing, graduation requirements, and individual course objectives and requirements. Students can expect instruction from competent instructors and reasonable access to those instructors. Students have the right to a productive learning environment and the responsibility to attend class and know their academic requirements.
vi. Safe Environment: Students have the right to expect a reasonably safe environment, supportive of the University’s mission and their own educational goals. Students have the responsibility to protect and maintain that environment and to protect themselves from all hazards to the extent that reasonable behavior and precaution can avoid risk.
vii. Governance/Participation: Students have the right to establish representative governmental bodies and to participate in university governance in accordance with the rules and regulations of the University. Students who accept representative roles in the governance of the University have the obligation to participate responsibly.
viii. Conduct Process: Students have the right to participate in the conduct process before formal disciplinary sanctions are imposed by the University for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. No change in the status of any student shall occur for disciplinary reasons until after the student has been given written notice of, and opportunity for, a formal hearing—except instances in which the student’s conduct constitutes a threat to persons, property, or the operation of university programs. A description of the Conduct Process is contained within the Student Code of Conduct or other Official University policies or publications.
ix. Confidentiality: Students have the right to access and to control access of their education records as outlined by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment. These include the rights to view and challenge the content of specified records, to control the release of certain personal and academic information to third parties, and to suppress all or some information identified as “directory information” by the University.
Violation of Student Code of Conduct
a. The following behaviors, or attempts thereof, by any student, or group of students, are considered in violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Alleged violations will be adjudicated via the conduct process and/or other applicable processes. Disciplinary action may be taken by the University against a student, or group of students, accused of violating any part of the Student Code of Conduct or engaging in unprofessional or illegal behavior regardless of where such behavior occurs.
i. Academic dishonesty. The following represents examples of academic dishonesty and is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete list:
1. Cheating on exams or assignments using books, electronic devices, notes, or other aids when these are not permitted, or by copying from another student.
2. Two or more students helping one another on an exam or assignment when it is not permitted.
3. Taking an exam for someone else or permitting someone else to take one’s exam.
4. Submitting the same paper in more than one course without permission of the instructors.
5. Copying someone else’s writing or paraphrasing it too closely, without proper citation, including instructor notes and presentation slides.
6. Falsifying documents or records related to credit, grades, status, or other academic matters.
7. Stealing, concealing, destroying, or inappropriately modifying classroom or other instructional material, such as posted exams, library materials, laboratory supplies, or computer programs.
8. Preventing relevant material from being subjected to academic evaluation.
9. Presenting fabricated excuses for missed assignments or tests.
ii. Unprofessional behavior, including but not limited to dishonesty, disrespectful behavior, failure to demonstrate integrity, compassion, and empathy; failure to maintain the duty and responsibility required of the medical profession.
iii. Breaching confidentiality by disseminating information that on legal or professional grounds should remain confidential.
iv. Providing false information to the University.
v. Forgery, alteration, transferring, unauthorized lending, unauthorized borrowing, altering, unauthorized use, unauthorized possession of, or misuse of university documents, records, identification cards, and equipment.
vi. Theft or other abuse of the computer facilities and resources including but not limited to:
1. Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
2. Unauthorized transfer of a file.
3. Use of another individual’s identification and/or password, including the unauthorized sharing of this information.
4. Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or University Official.
5. Use of computer facilities or resources to send obscene or abusive messages.
6. Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal operations of the University computer system.
7. Use of computer facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
8. Any violation of the Information Technology Policies.
vii. Misuse of communication equipment (e.g., cellular telephones, camera, computer, computer systems, text messaging) including, but not limited to:
1. In educational setting not approved by an instructor or by institutional policies.
2. For invasion of privacy, harassment, or abuse.
3. For academic dishonesty.
viii. Hazing or any action which endangers the mental, emotional, or physical health of any person for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in an organization or team whose members are, or include, students of the University.
ix. Failure to leave University property after appropriate warning by a university employee or any law enforcement officer.
x. Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by law and University policy. Possession, use, delivery, manufacturing, or sale of controlled substances as defined by local law (See WAUSM Policy on Drug-Free Environment).
xi. Smoking on the University Campus, which includes all building and grounds (See WAUSM “Tobacco Free Environment” Policy).
xii. Verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, repeated and willful conduct which causes the reasonable person to be fearful or to experience significant emotional distress, sexual harassment of another person(s), actions which are committed with disregard of the possible harm to individual(s) or group(s), or which result in injury to individual(s) or group(s).
xiii. Bias related incidents, acts of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation directed at a member or group based on national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed, or marital status.
xiv. Intentionally, recklessly, or negligently causing physical harm to any person on campus or at university sponsored activities. This includes engaging in any form of fighting.
xv. Unwanted sexual behavior, including but not limited to the implied or threatened use of force to engage in any sexual activity against a person’s will and/or engaging in such behavior with a person who is unconscious or mentally impaired (including intoxication); intentionally touching another person’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts without the person’s consent; indecent exposure; voyeurism.
xvi. Violations of any university policies.
xvii. Any act that obstructs or disrupts teaching, research, administration, or interferes with the educational process and/or the daily operation within the University.
xviii. Failure to comply with generally accepted safety regulations. Such failure shall include, but is not limited to:
1. Falsely reporting a bomb, fire, or any other emergency by means of activating a fire alarm or by other means.
2. Unauthorized possession, use, or alteration of any University owned emergency or safety equipment.
3. Failure to evacuate a building or other structure during an emergency, or during emergency drills.
4. Actions that create a substantial risk such that the safety of an individual is compromised.
5. Misuse of a self-defense spray devise.
6. False threats or reports of a destructive devices or substance.
7. Flammable Materials, Explosives – Possession or ignition of combustible material for the purpose of cooking, heating, lighting, or display is prohibited on WAUSM premises or at WAUSM functions. Examples of these items include candles, incense, oil burning lamps, and Sterno. Fireworks, explosives, harmful chemicals, and flammable liquids (including oil-based paints, turpentine, and gasoline) are not to be stored in/around campus buildings.
8. Possession of weapons on WAUSM premises or at WAUSM functions including, but not limited to, guns, projectile weapons, switchblades and blades longer than a normal pocketknife.
xix. Violation of any disciplinary sanction.
xx. Abuse of the Conduct Process, including but not limited to:
1. Failure to obey the summons of a conduct body of the University.
2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a conduct body.
3. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a conduct proceeding.
4. Institution of a conduct proceeding knowingly without cause.
5. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the conduct process.
6. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a conduct body prior to, and/or during, the conduct proceeding.
7. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a conduct body prior to, during, and/or after a conduct proceeding.
8. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code of Conduct or other University regulations.
9. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the conduct system. 10.Retaliation against any person for participation in the Conduct Process.
xxi. Failure to comply with the university’s Student Mistreatment Policy.
a. The purpose of the WAUSM Conduct Process is to determine if WAUSM policies or the Student Code of Conduct has been violated and if so, to determine the appropriate outcome for such infractions.
b. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct may also be violations of the law. A criminal investigation will not take the place of a WAUSM Conduct Process, although a criminal investigation may supplement a WAUSM investigation. WAUSM will initiate its conduct process as outlined below, whether a criminal investigation has concluded.
c. Reports and Investigations
i. Any person or WAUSM itself may make a misconduct report against a student. Reports are made to the Office of Student Affairs in writing and are encouraged to be made as soon as possible. Reports of misconduct may be investigated by the University whether the impacted WAUSM Community Member wants to proceed or not.
ii. Upon receipt of a misconduct report, the Conduct Official will investigate to determine if there is enough information to support an alleged violation of the Code.
iii. The Conduct Official may ask the Respondent to appear at an investigative meeting to discuss the report or gather additional information.
iv. If it is found that a violation of the Code has occurred, the Conduct Official will notify the Respondent of the allegations in writing via an Allegation of Misconduct Letter. The Letter will include a summary of the complaint, the alleged policy violation(s), the next steps in the conduct process, and any interim measures. The Letter will be sent to the Respondent no less than two (2) business days prior to a scheduled meeting.
v. The Allegation of Misconduct Letter will be sent to the Respondent’s Official WAUSM email address. For Registered Student Organizations, the Notice will be emailed to the organization’s primary representative (typically the President on file with the Office of Campus Life). Failure to read and comply with the Letter is not grounds for an appeal.
vi. Student Conduct Meetings, Restorative Conferences or Formal Hearings are scheduled by the Conduct Official. The time and date of these events are determined by each party’s class schedule and the availability of the Conduct Panel, Hearing Board members, and witnesses. Prior to Student Conduct Meetings, Restorative Conferences or Formal Hearings, the Respondent(s) and Complainant may contact the Conduct Official to review all information relevant to the allegations.
d. Restorative Resolution Options
i. Student Conduct Meeting
1. The Respondent may be provided with an informal meeting to resolve the allegations. Meetings are closed meetings that permit the Respondent to discuss the report informally with the Conduct
Official and others as appropriate. During the meeting, the Conduct Official and the Respondent will discuss the report.
2. After reviewing the referral and meeting with the Respondent, the Conduct Official may determine that adequate information does not exist to prove an alleged violation and may dismiss the report.
3. If the Conduct Official determines that adequate information exists to prove an alleged violation, and the Respondent accepts responsibility for the alleged violation, the Conduct Official and the Respondent will discuss restorative actions. The Respondent can either:
a. Agree to fulfill the restorative action as discussed in the meeting; or
b. Disagree with the proposed restorative action and request a restorative conference or a formal hearing on the issue of appropriate restorative actions only.
4. If the Conduct Official determines adequate information does exist to prove an alleged violation, and the Respondent does not accept responsibility, the case will be referred for a formal hearing.
5. An agreement by the Respondent as to either responsibility or the restorative action which is reached during the student conduct meeting may not be appealed.
6. If the Respondent is a student organization, the organization may have its charter suspended as a consequence.
ii. Restorative Conference
1. A restorative conference provides an opportunity for interaction between the Respondent and Complainant and may involve the community in the decision-making process. Community participants may be any WAUSM Community member concerned about the behavior. Restorative conferences encourage collaboration in deciding the consequences of the alleged misconduct and addresses underlying problems that may have contributed to the behavior.
2. Participation in a restorative conference is voluntary. All parties must willingly agree to attend. The Respondent must have previously accepted responsibility for the behavior in question for a restorative conference to occur. Restorative conferences may or may not result in additional restorative actions, depending on the outcome of the conference.
3. If a resolution is not met through the restorative conference, a formal hearing will be scheduled to resolve the matter.
4. When a report could result in suspension or expulsion, or when a restorative conference is inappropriate, the Conduct Official may send the report directly to a Hearing Board for a formal hearing.
e. Formal Resolution Option
i. Formal Hearing
1. Student Affairs solicits WAUSM Community Members to serve on Hearing Boards. Annual and ongoing training of Hearing Board volunteers is facilitated by Student Affairs. When a student conduct matter is referred to a Hearing Board for a formal hearing, the Conduct Official will determine which Hearing Board will address the allegation(s) based on the type of the allegation(s), whether the allegation(s) is grounds for disciplinary suspension or expulsion, whether the allegation(s) is grounds for suspension or revocation of Registered Student Organization status, and other relevant factors. The Conduct Official will notify the Respondent, Complainant(s) and Hearing Board members of the individuals selected for the Hearing Board at least 7 business days before the hearing.
2. The Complainant and Respondent have the right to be assisted by any advisor they choose, at their own expense. The Complainant and Respondent are responsible for presenting their own case: advisors are not permitted to participate directly in any hearing.
3. The university, the Complainant, the Respondent, and the Hearing Board shall be allowed to present witnesses, subject to the right of questioning by the Hearing Board.
4. Pertinent records, written statements, and other relevant items may be accepted as evidence for consideration by the Hearing Board.
5. After the hearing, the Hearing Board shall deliberate in private and determine, by majority vote whether the Respondent has violated the Student Code of Conduct.
6. The determination of the Hearing Board shall be made based on whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Student Code of Conduct.
7. There shall be a single record of all Hearing Board meetings. The record shall be the property of the University. Suspensions and non-academic dismissals will be noted in the Respondent’s academic file.
8. Failure to appear before the Hearing Board does not constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The evidence in support of the misconduct report shall be presented and considered whether the Respondent is present or not at the Hearing Board proceedings. A Respondent may be found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct in instances where the Complainant has not participated in the conduct process.
9. The conduct Official shall notify the Respondent of the outcome in writing, and in appropriate cases, shall also notify the Complainant. In specific types of cases, such as those of sexual misconduct allegations, the Complainant and Respondent will be informed simultaneously. When safety concerns exist, the Complainant may be given appropriate notice prior to formal notification.
A Respondent may appeal the Restorative Conference outcomes and Hearing Board decision within seven (7) business days of the date the decision was rendered to the Senior Associate Dean, Student Affairs in writing. Reasons for appeals are limited to the following:
1. Whether the Conduct Process was altered in a manner that would have altered the outcome.
2. The sanction(s) are disproportionate to the violation(s).
3. Whether new information, or other relevant facts not presented at the hearing, would have altered the outcome of the hearing and if such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
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