Standards of Conduct

Student Standards of Conduct

Azusa Pacific University is an institution built on Four Cornerstones: Christ, Scholarship, Community, and Service. In this section we focus on the cornerstone of Community.

We believe in community. We are a richly diverse people who value the worth of each individual. Our mission is to encourage, equip, and enable each student to fulfill his or her great potential, and in turn, encourage, equip, and enable others.

An understanding of the importance of community within the Azusa Pacific University setting is fundamental when considering our Standards of Conduct. In order for our mission to be fulfilled and in order for our students to have a rewarding experience, we must uphold some basic principles of community within our educational context. Therefore, our Standards of Conduct are founded on basic principles necessary to sustain this cornerstone of Community. These Standards of Conduct include individual integrity, respect for others, and respect for the university. When together we practice these Standards of Conduct, we are most likely to live out and experience the God-given benefit of community as intended at APU.

Individual Integrity—Members of the APU community are expected to act honestly and responsibly, not only in their academic pursuits, but also in their interactions with others and in their dealings within the community.

Respect for Others—As mentioned above, we strive “to encourage, equip and enable each student to fulfill his or her great potential, and in turn, encourage, equip, and enable others.” In order to facilitate this mission, community members should treat one another with respect and fairness, allowing all members to explore and grow in their educational pursuits at APU.

Respect for the University—The university’s general resources and physical property are fundamental to its mission. Respect for these resources is essential.

Professional Standards of Conduct

Some academic departments and programs have expectations of student conduct specific to their profession and/or discipline. In addition, they also have administrative procedures for addressing alleged violations of those expectations. Students should refer to their program handbooks, where those exist, for details on conduct expectations and the process for addressing infractions. The Student Standards of Conduct discussed in this section of the catalog convey the university’s expectations of all graduate and professional students and should be understood as university-wide requirements in addition to program-specific requirements. Departments will manage alleged violations of departmental conduct expectations, where procedures for such exist. Beyond that, the university policies and procedures stated here will apply.

Student Conduct Offenses and Policies

All those affiliated with the university are expected to practice care and respect for all persons. While our members largely fulfill this expectation, it is important to understand and outline this expectation and indicate recognized offenses and policies. In keeping with the university’s commitment to community, including (as outlined above) individual integrity, respect for others and respect for the university, the following offenses are provided as specific examples of undesirable conduct. This list does not define misconduct in exhaustive terms and may not describe all potential violations.


  1. Behavior that disrupts or materially interferes with the basic rights of others and the educational functions of the university.

    Comment: The university will not tolerate behavior and/or the use of indecent/obscene language when it interferes with the rights of others to learn, meet, teach, and engage in a free exchange of ideas in a safe and peaceful environment. Nor will the university tolerate actions that interfere with others’ rights to use and enjoy the resources and facilities of the university; for example, disruptive behavior in classroom settings.

  2. Actions that:
    1. Result in, or can be reasonably expected to result in, physical harm to a person or persons
    2. Are unreasonably disruptive to the university community and/or its neighborhoods
    3. Result in or can be reasonably expected to result in damage to property
    4. Result in theft or attempted theft of property
    5. Result in possession of stolen property

      Comment: Offense 2 encompasses a wide range of behavior, including but not limited to threatening or endangering the physical or emotional safety of another individual, assault, vandalism, throwing, hurling or firing projectiles without regard for persons or property, and matters related to theft.

  3. Acts of Sexual Misconduct as defined:
    1. Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence, including domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Conduct need not be severe, pervasive, or both in order to amount to sexual harassment.
    2. Sexual Violence: Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to legal status (i.e., minor) or an intellectual or other disability.

      Comment: The university is committed to fostering a positive learning and working environment on university premises and within university-sponsored programs. Members of this community condemn sexual harassment and sexual violence of any kind by any employee or student. The university will investigate all complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence and take appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary measures, when warranted.

      Note: For complaints of Sexual Harassment, Stalking, and Sexual Violence, refer to the APU Title IX website for support services and reporting procedures.

  4. Harassment: Subjecting another person or group to abusive, threatening, intimidating, or harassing actions, including, but not limited to those based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, age, economic status, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

    Comment: Harassment may take place in any form, including conduct that is verbal, physical, written, graphic, or visual. Such conduct includes but is not limited to objectionable epithets, demeaning depictions or treatment, the threatened or actual abuse or harm based on discrimination toward others’ attributes as stated above. Harassment may also take place in the form of a hostile environment, which is any harassment that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to interfere with or limit the ability for a student to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs or activities.

    Also see Harassment Reporting Procedures section on this page.

  5. Alcohol and/or Drugs:
    1. Illegal possession or illegal use of alcohol, drugs and/or drug paraphernalia, including the illicit use of legal drugs
    2. Otherwise legal possession and/or use of alcohol on university property or at university-sponsored activities/events
    3. Illegal provision, sale, or possession of drugs or alcohol with intent to sell/provide drugs and/or alcohol and/or drug paraphernalia

      Comment: APU’s Identity Statement on Alcohol reflects a commitment to “creating a God-honoring environment that is safe and healthy for all community members.” Our policy indicates that APU will not fund the purchase of or permit the distribution of alcohol and that alcohol is not to be present on university premises or served at university events/activities, or used by members of the community when on university premises or at university-sponsored events/activities. When APU graduate or professional students are present at professional conferences and/or events not directly sponsored by APU, students are expected to make responsible decisions concerning alcohol use, as indicated in APU’s Identity Statement on Alcohol. In addition, the university prohibits the unlawful distribution of alcohol/use of alcohol to/by individuals under the age of 21.

      Also see Alcohol and Drugs Federal Mandate under References in this section.

      Also see Identity Statement on Alcohol found online and in the APU document What We Believe.

  6. Tobacco: Use or display of any form of tobacco on university premises or at any university-sponsored event/activity.

    Comment: In the interest of common health concerns, the university provides a tobacco-free environment.

  7. Possession, use or distribution of firearms, ammunition, explosives, or other weapons.

    Comment: The university includes the following in its definition of weapons: any type of firearms, including but not limited to BB/pellet guns, paint guns, air guns, air soft guns, taser guns, any facsimile of a gun or any counterfeit firearm, blow guns, blow gun ammunition, switch blades, bows and arrows, explosive devices, martial arts weapons, fireworks, water balloon launchers, and all other weapons listed in the California penal code section 12020 and/or other weapons considered illegal or dangerous by a university official.

  8. Failing to comply with the directive(s) of a university official, including refusing to identify oneself or refusing to present university identification to a university staff member, including members of Campus Safety.

    Comment: The university community depends upon the cooperation of all of its members to assure reasonable safety and security.

  9. Misrepresentation or obstruction of university processes or procedures:
    1. Lying or materially misrepresenting information to a university official or body, including members of Campus Safety
    2. Lying in the course of a Student Conduct Procedure constitutes an offense
    3. Otherwise abusing the Student Conduct Procedure or other university administrative processes
    4. Violation of the terms of any disciplinary sanction levied through the Student Conduct Procedure.

      Comment: Offenses listed above include fraudulent use of university identification cards. Lying or misrepresentation that inhibits or interferes with an official university investigation or hearing will be considered a serious offense.

  10. Unacceptable Use of Computer Resources: Use of university computer resources for illegal purposes, to transmit or receive threatening, obscene, or harassing materials, for unsolicited advertising, for personal for-profit business, or in violation of the Internet Acceptable Use Policy.

    Comment: Violations to the policy are subject to system management, the Internet Policy Committee, and may be subject to the Student Conduct Procedure.

    Also see Internet Acceptable Use Policy.

Student Conduct Procedure Directives

Right to Process

Students whose behavior is alleged to have violated the Student Standards of Conduct have a right to due process and will be treated justly and fairly. This means that the Student Conduct Procedure will be implemented in a timely and reasonable manner. The Procedure involves three components:

  • Notification — A student has the right to proper notice of the policy he/she allegedly violated and when his/her case will be heard. However, based on the information gathered through the Student Conduct Procedure (i.e., during the hearing process), a student may be held responsible to additional violations than what was originally listed in the notification letter.
  • Right to be heard — A student has the right to present his/her viewpoint and position and provide supporting information, and to have it considered by a university official.
  • Information — Decisions in cases of alleged violations of the Student Standards of Conduct are based on reasonable and available supporting information.

The Student Conduct Procedure for graduate students at APU is a process designed to ensure accountability and fairness in the adjudication of alleged violations of the Student Standards of Conduct. All allegations of violations attributed to graduate students are reviewed through a process not intended in any way to mimic a court or legal proceedings. Decisions made regarding an alleged violation are ultimately based upon what the university would consider to be “a reasonable belief” of what occurred and not upon “rules of evidence” similar to that of a court legal system.

Administrative Discretion

In exigent circumstances, the university reserves the right to remove any graduate student from the university premises at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life or designee, as deemed necessary for the safety or well-being of the student or others. Such removal will be followed by a decision made under the Student Conduct Procedure described below.

Student Conduct Procedure

All alleged violations of the Student Standards of Conduct are reviewed through a process referred to as the Student Conduct Procedure. This procedure involves three components: information gathering, mediation and/or hearing, and the consideration of sanctions. Depending on the severity and location of the offense, the procedure will be administered by one or more university adjudicating officer(s).

Information Gathering

An information gathering process begins when the Office of Graduate and Professional Student Affairs is notified of an alleged violation of the Student Standards of Conduct. The Director of Graduate and Professional Student Affairs or designee(s) (hereafter, “adjudicating officer”) will notify the student's dean of an alleged violation and then initiate an investigation into an incident or matter which will entail interviewing those with knowledge of the matter and verifying information regarding the alleged violation.


Once information has been gathered, the adjudicating officer may refer allegations of violations to the Student Standards of Conduct and may proceed to a hearing. The adjudicating officer will notify the student and schedule a hearing to allow the student alleged to have violated the Student Standards of Conduct an opportunity to hear and present information related to the allegation. The adjudicating officer may invite witnesses or others involved, as appropriate. All hearings are closed and the proceedings may be kept confidential at the discretion of the university. Hearings may be recorded at the discretion of the university.

Although hearings are closed, students who wish to have a support person present at a hearing may request one in writing to the adjudicating officer, no less than three days prior to the hearing. The support person cannot be a family member or any legal counsel, may not actively participate in the hearing, and must receive approval to attend the hearing in writing from the adjudicating officer.

The information gathering and hearing processes may occur simultaneously. Information gathered from anonymous (i.e. unknown) sources or confidential reporters may be used in the hearing and as a part of the decision making process.

Consideration of Sanctions

At the end of the information gathering and hearing process, the adjudicating officer will communicate a decision in writing to the student and the student’s academic dean. The written decision will include, where appropriate, a summation of findings. Sanctions will be imposed when there is information indicating that the student violated the Student Standards of Conduct. The following are sanctions that may be imposed upon any student for violating the Student Standards of Conduct (not listed in a prescribed order nor an exhaustive list):

  • Warning — Verbal or written warnings may be given for violations of the Student Standards of Conduct. (Disclaimer: This sanction may be imposed without a hearing.)
  • Restitution/reimbursement or fine — Damage or misuse of university property or failure to follow university policy or procedure may require a student to make restitution or pay a fine.
  • Probation — A student may be placed on probation for a specified period of time. During this time, further violations of university policy may result in the student's suspension or dismissal from the university.
  • Interim suspension — Imposed immediately, and for a stated period of time, when the seriousness of the offense is such that the members of the community, including the accused student, may be threatened by his/her continued presence. (Disclaimer: This sanction may be imposed prior to a hearing.)
  • University suspension — Separation of the student from the university for a specified period of time. (Conditions for readmission may be required.)
  • University dismissal — Permanent separation of the student from the university.
  • Other appropriate remedial measures — The adjudicating officer may impose other sanction(s) as deemed appropriate.


Students wishing to appeal a sanction should follow the procedures described in the Graduate and Professional Student Grievance and Appeal Procedures section of this catalog.

Additional Explanations

  • Occasionally, the rules of the university and the law will overlap, but the university does not attempt to duplicate the law. The university reserves the right to pursue matters through its non-academic disciplinary procedures that may also be addressed in the legal system.
  • Serious or persistent minor violations of university rules or regulations may result in suspension or expulsion.
  • The university reserves the right to refer incidents of misconduct to civil or criminal authorities.
  • The university may implement the Student Conduct Procedure for an offense committed off-campus (including during online activity) when:
    • The victim of such an offense is a member of the university community; or
    • The offense occurred at a university-sponsored event; or
    • The student used his or her status as a member of the university community to assist in the commission of the offense (for example, a student ID card to pass bad checks, fraudulent information provided for federal funds); or
    • The offense affects the university.

Harassment Policy

The university will investigate all complaints of harassment reported to a non-confidential support system and take appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary measures and/or sanctions, when warranted. Students are encouraged to report all incidents of harassment.

Note: For complaints of Sexual Harassment, Stalking, and Sexual Violence, refer to the APU Title IX website for support services and reporting procedures.

Harassment Reporting Procedures

Confidential Support System

Students who do not desire to see the university respond to a concern but need and desire support should contact one of the following offices for confidential counseling and support:

Formal Support System

The formal support system provides students an opportunity to file or defend a formal complaint in the university’s accountability process, seek personal counseling, and find community resources to assist in dealing with the issue. The formal reporting process can be initiated by contacting a member of one of the following offices:

  • Executive Director of Graduate and Professional Student Support Services: (626) 815-2109 (
  • Executive Director of Military and Veteran Services: (626) 815-4617 (
  • Executive Director of Graduate and Professional Admissions and Regional Campuses: (626) 815-4616 (
  • Executive Director of Graduate and Professional Student Financial Services, Registrar, and Client Services: (626) 815-4599 (
  • Director of Graduate and Professional Student Affairs: (626) 815-4655 (
  • Department of Campus Safety: (626) 815-3898 (
  • Office of Human Resources: (626) 815-4526 (

Formal Complaint

The university will investigate all complaints of harassment reported to a nonconfidential support system and take appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary measures and/or sanctions, when warranted. When the accused is an APU student or student group, the complainant is encouraged to pursue a formal university complaint. If harmed on APU property by an APU student, the complainant need not be a student. A university complaint can be used to establish violations of the Student Standards of Conduct, but not whether or not a criminal act has been committed. When an individual believes that a crime has been committed, it is recommended that charges be filed with the local criminal justice system. Although there is no time limit on the filing of campus complaints as long as the offender is still a member of the APU community, prompt reporting is likely to result in a more satisfactory investigation because memories are fresh and witnesses are more readily available.

Complaints against other graduate students or graduate student groups should be filed through the Office of Graduate and Professional Student Affairs at (626) 815-4655. Complaints against an employee of APU should be filed through the Office of Human Resources at (626) 815-4526. Complaints against individuals who are not members of the APU community should be filed through the Office of Graduate and Professional Student Affairs.

Once a formal complaint is filed, it goes to an information gathering and hearing process to determine the appropriate response. For a complete outline of this process, see the “Student Conduct Procedure” above.

With respect to the university’s disciplinary process, APU reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, summary removal of an accused student from campus pending a hearing, and reporting to the local police. The university will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of misconduct.


The university will seek through the process to achieve reconciliation of the parties impacted. In these matters, the university response may include probation, suspension, or expulsion from the university for the responsible party. A party found not responsible for a policy violation will not be subject to sanction. As long as it does not interfere with the process, effort will be made to keep the identities of all parties involved confidential.



An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at P.O. Box 980818 West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818; (888) 370-7589 (phone); and (916) 263-1897 (fax).

Alcohol and Drugs Federal Mandate

The federal government mandated on October 1, 1990, that there will be no illegal drug use by students, staff, or faculty on college campuses anywhere in the United States. At its November 22, 1991, meeting, the Board of Trustees of Azusa Pacific University adopted the following policy statement to comply with the law. The policy, which is to be shared in writing with students, staff, and faculty, is as follows:

On November 18, 1988, Congress passed the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D; 41 U.S.C. 701 et. seq.). This statute requires contractors and grantees of federal agencies to certify that they will provide a drug-free workplace. Making this required certification is a precondition for receiving a contract or grant from a federal agency.

Pursuant to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, it is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, or use controlled substances at university work sites and/or while performing university activities, events, or business. The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (P.L. 101-226) amends the 1988 law, stating that it is also unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or sell illicit drugs and alcohol in the workplace, at any university activities or events, or while performing university business.

Compliance for Students

The university makes every effort to provide and maintain a drug-free campus. Pursuant to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, it is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or sell illicit drugs and alcohol in all buildings, property, facilities, service areas, and satellite centers of the university. All students are required to comply with this policy as a condition of their continued enrollment. Any student violating this policy will be subject to the judicial procedure, including suspension and possible expulsion.

Local, state, and federal laws establish severe penalties for violations of drug and alcohol statutes. These sanctions, upon conviction, may range from a fine to life imprisonment. In the case of possession and distribution of illegal drugs, these sanctions could include the seizure and summary forfeiture of property, including vehicles. It is especially important to know that federal laws have established penalties for illegally distributing drugs to include life imprisonment and fines in excess of $1,000,000. Some examples of local or state laws are as follows:

  • Unlawful possession of a narcotic drug is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.
  • The purchase, possession, or consumption of any alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 is prohibited.
  • It is not permissible to provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
  • Serving alcohol to an intoxicated person is prohibited.
  • Selling any alcoholic beverages, either directly or indirectly, except under the authority of a California Alcoholic Beverage Control License, is prohibited.
  • It is a felony to induce another person to take various drugs and “intoxicating agents” with the intent of enabling oneself or the drugged person to commit a felony. The person who induced the other may be regarded as a principal in any crime committed.
  • Any person found in a public place to be under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drug and unable to care for his/her own safety, or who is interfering with the use of a public way, is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor.

In addition, pursuant to federal law, a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid may be suspended if the student is convicted, under federal or state law, of any offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs.

Help for Students

Alcohol/drug abuse counseling, treatment, rehabilitation information, referral information, and social service directories for Los Angeles County are available in the Student Health Center, University Counseling Center, and the Office of Graduate and Professional Student Affairs.


The use of illegal drugs and tobacco and abuse of alcohol may have serious health consequences, including damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs. Alcohol accidents are the number one cause of death for persons aged 15-24. The most significant health risk, besides death, is addiction. Chemical dependency is a disease that, if not arrested, is fatal. Illegal drug use or possession may involve, but is not limited to the following substances:


Even low doses of alcohol significantly impair the judgment and coordination needed to operate vehicles. Small amounts also lower inhibitions. Moderate to high doses cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, memory, and ability to learn and recall information. High doses cause respiratory depression and death. Long-term consumption, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can lead to dependence and permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.

If combined with other depressants that affect the central nervous system, even low doses of alcohol will produce adverse effects. Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation.


Immediate effects include relaxation and increased confidence and metabolism. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to contract heart disease. Thirty percent of cancer deaths are linked to smoking. Chronic obstructive lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, are 10 times more likely to occur among smokers than nonsmokers. Smoking during pregnancy also poses risks such as spontaneous abortion, premature birth, and low birth weights. Fetal and infant deaths are more likely to occur when the pregnant woman is a smoker. Tobacco/nicotine is both psychologically and physically addictive.

Cannabis: Marijuana, THC, Hashish, Hashish Oil

Physical effects of cannabis include increased heart rate and appetite, bloodshot eyes, and dry mouth and throat. Use of cannabis may impair or reduce ability to drive an automobile or perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination. Motivation and cognition may be altered making the acquisition of new information difficult. Marijuana, hashish, THC, etc., can also produce paranoia and psychosis. Long-term use may result in possible lung damage, reduced sperm count and mobility, and affect ovulation cycles. Cannabis can also be psychologically addictive.


Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system. Its immediate effects include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates, and body temperature. Occasional use can cause nasal irritation; chronic use can ulcerate the mucous membrane of the nose. Crack or freebase rock is extremely addictive. Physical effects include dilated pupils, increased pulse rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, tactile hallucinations, paranoia, and seizures. The use of cocaine can cause death by cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.

Stimulants: Amphetamines, Crank, Ice, Methamphetamines

Stimulants cause increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils, and decreased appetite. Users may experience sweating, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Extremely high doses can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, and physical collapse. An amphetamine injection creates a sudden increase in blood pressure that can result in stroke, very high fever, or heart failure. In addition to physical effects, feelings of restlessness, anxiety, and moodiness can result. Use of large amounts over a long period of time can cause amphetamine psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. The use of amphetamines can cause physical and psychological dependence.

Hallucinogens: PCP, LSD

Phencyclidine (PCP) interrupts the functions of the neocortex, possibly resulting in self-inflicted injuries. Users may experience a sense of distance and estrangement, loss of muscular coordination, and speech impairment. Large doses may produce convulsions and coma as well as heart and lung failure.

Lysergic Acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. Physical effects may include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, tremors, and psychological reactions. Users may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects or flashbacks can occur even after use has ceased. Use of hallucinogens can cause psychological dependence.

Students who possess, distribute, and/or use alcohol, narcotics, or other intoxicants may be subject to the disciplinary process. Students present on campus while under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol are subject to disciplinary process even if their consumption was off campus.

Anabolic Steroids

Steroid users subject themselves to more than 70 side effects, ranging in severity from acne to liver abnormalities to psychological reactions. The liver and cardiovascular and reproductive systems are most seriously affected by use. In males, use can cause withered testicles, sterility, and impotence. In females, masculine traits can develop along with breast reduction and sterility. Psychological effects in both sexes include very aggressive behavior known as “road rage” and depression. While some side effects appear quickly, others such as heart attacks and strokes may not show up for years.


The university will conduct a biennial review of its alcohol and drug regulations to determine their effectiveness and implement changes as needed to ensure that the sanctions developed are consistently enforced.