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Policies | Code of Conduct for Students

Student Code of Conduct

Trinity expects all of its students to comport themselves as responsible adults acting honestly and with integrity through the Honor System. As a guide to community norms, Trinity has established this general code of student conduct to define the broad parameters of behaviors and actions that are prohibited and will incur penalties up to and including dismissal from the university. The list below is not all-inclusive, and Trinity reserves the right to expand, change or otherwise alter this list at any time.

Under the Honor System, all members of the Trinity Community share a responsibility to uphold all policies. Trinity administrators are responsible to investigate accusations of misconduct, to observe fundamental due process procedures, and to impose sanctions in certain kinds of cases.

The Provost is responsible for the oversight of all academic disciplinary matters.  The Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) is responsible for the oversight of all non-academic disciplinary matters.  In the College of Arts and Sciences, the Academic Dean and the Dean of Student Services collaborate on disciplinary matters with the direction of the Provost and VPSA. In the School of Professional Studies, School of Nursing and Health Professions and School of Education , the respective Academic Deans are generally responsible for disciplinary matters and due process procedures in consultation with the VPSA. In all cases, Trinity reserves the right to take immediate and direct disciplinary action to protect persons and property.

The primary purpose of this code of conduct is to protect the well-being of the community and to advance its educational mission. The following sections describe behavior and actions, which are prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. This list is NOT comprehensive and Trinity reserves the right to discipline inappropriate conduct of any sort at any time.

All students in all schools are bound by this Code of Responsible Conduct. Students in the School of Education who are preparing for careers as teachers, counselors and administrators should know that the external accreditation and professional rules that are part of the governance of the School of Education require the faculty to make a determination about whether a student has the appropriate disposition for teaching and administration. In the same way, students enrolled in programs in the School of Nursing and Health Professions should know that the professional rules of Nursing and Occupational Therapy also form bedrock conduct principles for Trinity students in those programs and those rules are embedded in the respective handbooks for those programs.  A violation of this Student Code of Responsible Conduct may also result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal in the professional programs.

Trinity reserves the right to remove immediately from the campus any student who engages in any threatening conduct toward any person, who carries a weapon or who otherwise exhibits conduct that poses a danger to other persons. Trinity will call the police if necessary. Students who are expelled for violations of this policy will incur grades of “F” in their current courses and will not receive any refunds for tuition and fees paid.

1. Academic Dishonesty

The Policy Statement on Academic Honesty is posted on the website, and is incorporated by reference into this Code of Conduct. Students must know that any instances of cheating, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty will incur specific penalties up to and including expulsion.

2. Harassment and Intimidation

Trinity’s Harassment Policy and is posted on the website, and is incorporated by reference into this Code of Conduct. Trinity will not tolerate abusive or harassing behavior, verbal or physical, which demeans, intimidates, threatens, coerces, or injures another person or persons. Actions, which are intended to interfere with a person in the conduct of his or her customary or usual affairs, are prohibited. Such actions include but are not limited to the sending of threatening letters or email, posting threatening letters explicitly or by inference directed to the person, use of threatening language directed at another, vandalism or misappropriation of a person’s property, or vandalism of a person’s residential room. Hazing is a form of harassment specifically prohibited in any form for any reason.

Offenses under this section may result in immediate suspension or expulsion.

3. Fighting

Fighting in any form is strictly prohibited. Students who engage in fighting on or off campus will incur serious penalties up to and including expulsion. This prohibition on fighting includes verbal as well as physical assault. Students are warned that all parties involved in any fights will be disciplined regardless of who started the fight. Discipline may include dismissal from residence, suspension from school, and dismissal from Trinity.

4. Weapons, Explosives and Dangerous Materials

No person may bring weapons of any kind onto Trinity’s campus, except in the routine discharge of law enforcement duties. No person may possess explosives or other dangerous materials except in supervised circumstances for legitimate professional purposes, e.g., for chemistry labs or for construction needs. Any student who necessarily comes into contact with chemicals or similar dangerous materials has a serious obligation to treat those materials with care and to refrain from taking any of the materials out of the supervised lab area. Removing chemicals from a laboratory or other designated area will result in serious penalties up to and including expulsion.

Violations of this section may result in immediate disciplinary action up to and including immediate removal from campus and dismissal from Trinity, and Trinity will call the police in any case in which a student is in possession of a weapon of any kind.

5. Endangering Personal Safety

Actions that threaten or endanger in any way the personal safety of others are subject to disciplinary action as well as possible arrest. Such actions include interfering with Public Safety Officers while they are acting in the performance of their duties on the University premises, intentionally ignoring citations issued by Public Safety, failure to comply with evacuation procedures, tampering with fire protection equipment, the inappropriate use of open flame devices or combustible materials. Discipline may include suspension and dismissal from Trinity.

6. Damage to Property

Willful or grossly negligent damage or destruction of the property of others, or of the university, including but not limited to the deliberate defacement of library materials, buildings, sidewalks, walls, trees, or landscaping is prohibited. Leaving the scene of an accident on Trinity’s campus is part of this section. Any acts of theft and/or the unauthorized sale of property belonging to the University, a member of the University community or guest of the University are prohibited. Disciplinary actions may include suspension or expulsion, and Trinity may also call the police.

7. Fraud, Theft and Financial Responsibility

Theft, forgery, and the alteration, or use of University documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud, are grounds for disciplinary action.

Writing bad checks, stealing items from the bookstore, taking food from the cafeteria without paying for it, taking books from the library without checking them out properly, and similar acts intended to defraud Trinity, its vendors or other students will result in immediate and severe penalties.

Trinity students are also responsible to abide by the Policy on Student Financial Responsibilities, which is on the website, and incorporated by reference into this section. Any fraudulent behavior that attempts to circumvent this policy — for example, lying on financial aid forms, failing to honor checks written to cover Trinity bills, failing to respond to directions to make payment arrangements — will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, and possible prosecution if fraud is involved.

Similarly, as further defined in Trinity’s Technology and Telecommunications Policy, any improper use of Trinity’s telephones or technological systems for fraudulent or harassment purposes, or for commercial gain, may be grounds for serious disciplinary action.

In addition to taking disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, Trinity may refer cases of fraud and theft to law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution.

7. Alcohol and Drug Policy

Alcohol is not permitted in any residence hall or student room. Students may not drink in lounges, their cars or on the parking lots or anywhere else on campus. Trinity does not serve alcohol at student functions, and no student organization may serve alcohol at any party or meeting on campus. Guests may not bring alcohol onto Trinity’s campus and students are responsible to make sure that their guests abide by Trinity’s policies.

Trinity abides by all laws concerning alcohol and drugs, and any violation of the law will also be construed as a violation of Trinity policy, and penalties will ensue at Trinity in addition to any penalties the person may incur through the legal system. Trinity reserves the right to call the police and refer any case regarding violations of alcohol or drug laws to law enforcement authorities, and students should know that Trinity will call the police immediately in any case involving the illegal use, sale or possession of drugs or alcohol, or related materials.

This policy also applies to student guests, and the student may be held liable for the actions of her guests while on Trinity’s campus. Hence, a student guest who brings drugs or alcohol into a Trinity residence hall, party or other place on campus will also endanger the student’s standing at Trinity.

The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, along with the Drug Free Workplace Act, require that agencies receiving any form of financial assistance under any federal program after October 1, 1990 certify that they have adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. Trinity has established the following policy.

The use, transfer, possession and/or sale of illegal drugs are against federal law and the laws of the District of Columbia. It is the administrative policy of Trinity that any student found to be in possession of illegal drugs, whether for personal use or for resale, will be subject to immediate dismissal and possible arrest. The possession for use, sale, distribution, or barter of any controlled substance, other than for whom the controlled substance was intended is prohibited. Similarly, any student’s guest or other campus visitor guilty of acts involving illegal or illicit drugs will be subject to arrest and prosecution under District of Columbia laws.

Please also note that the use of illegal drugs may jeopardize a student’s eligibility for certain types of financial aid.

8. Smoking

Smoking is BANNED from all locations, inside and outside, on Trinity’s campus.  For the sole purpose of ensuring student safety after hours, Trinity makes an exception for resident students who may smoke on the parking lots adjacent to Cuvilly and Kerby Halls. Violations of this policy will incur serious disciplinary penalties.

9. Excessive Noise, Disruption or Obstruction of University Activities

Excessive noise is not allowed. Study areas and those areas designated as quiet study areas (including the residence halls and Library) must maintain quiet. Any behavior that disrupts or obstructs teaching, research, administration, learning, disciplinary or other official proceedings, and/or any other normal university activity is prohibited.

10. Classroom Conduct

Trinity expects all students to arrive at class on time, to remain in the classroom for the entire period of the class, and to follow the legitimate instructions of the teacher. Faculty members may establish additional ground rules for the behavior of students during class, including limitations on eating during class, and penalties for missing class sessions.

Faculty establish the grading rules and work product expectations for courses in their syllabi. Students are responsible to fulfill the expectations stated in course syllabi in a timely manner.

Cell phones may not be used in class. Other electronic devices (e.g., laptops, PDAs) may only be used with the permission of the instructor.

Students who speak to faculty members or other students during class periods in ways that are disrespectful and disruptive will be dismissed from the course without reimbursement, and in such cases the students may incur an “F” grade as well as additional penalties.

Students participating in online courses must also exhibit appropriate conduct in all aspects of the course, including respectful communications, academic honesty, and timeliness of participation and fulfillment of assignments.

Students may not bring children to class. See the Policy on Children on Campus.

11. Residence Life Policies

Resident students are expected to follow all rules and regulations governing Residence life listed in this Handbook and in the Housing Agreement.

12. Compliance with Other Policies

This code of conduct also incorporates by reference all other policies of the University that govern student conduct and responsibilities, including the Financial Responsibility Policy, the Harassment Policy, the Technology and Telecommunications Policy, and similar statements. Students who violate Trinity’s policies may incur penalties up to and including dismissal.

Disciplinary Proceedings

Disciplinary proceedings for this policy occur according to the statement on Due Process and Disciplinary Proceedings for Non-Academic Matters available on the website.


For questions about Trinity policies, please contact the Academic Affairs, Human Resources, or President's Office as appropriate.

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