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Student Code of Conduct

As a community of scholars, Shepherd University is dedicated to promoting learning and student success. In order to foster a conducive learning and living community, Shepherd University addresses violations of any of the following policies:

100. Violations of Law

Violation of federal, state, or local laws or ordinances.

200. Violations of Other University Regulations and Policies

Violation of any other university rule, regulation, or policy.

300. Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on examinations, falsifying records, submitting plagiarized work of any kind, or providing or receiving assistance in coursework in a manner not authorized by the instructor.

400. Orientation

Failure to attend Orientation Step 1: Advisement and Registration and Orientation Step 2: New Student Welcome unless given written permission by the Office of New Student Programs.

500. Failure to Comply

600. Computer Misuse

700. ID Card/Key Card/Keys

800. Accessory

Assisting or complicity to any violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Student Handbook, or other published policies. Presence at or failure to leave immediately a situation where a violation is occurring.

900. Damage to Property

1000. Theft

Theft or attempted theft of university property or another person’s property including unauthorized use or possession of university property or another person’s property.

1100. Fire Emergency/Threat

1200. Fireworks and Chemicals

1300. Weapons

1400. Alcohol

NOTE: That signs or symptoms that might reasonably indicate use of or intoxication by alcohol, or the presence of alcohol beverage containers, may be construed as proximate indicators of alcohol possession or consumption.

1500. Tobacco/Smoking

Smoking and the use of all tobacco products are prohibited on Shepherd University campuses. This policy includes the use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco such as chew or snuff, electronic vaping devices and hookahs. This prohibition includes all Shepherd University facilities, grounds within the campus boundaries as well as within University-owned or leased vehicles (regardless of registration or off-road status).

See more about the Tobacco Free Campus here:

1600. Drugs

1700. Invasion of Privacy

Transmitting, recording, or photographing the image or voice of another person without their knowledge or consent while in an environment that is considered private or where there is an expectation of privacy, such as inside a residence hall or bathroom.

1800. Misrepresentation

Submitting false, incomplete, or misleading information on official documents or to police, faculty, staff, administration, or resident assistants when they are acting in an official capacity.

1900. Lewd or Indecent Behavior

Any conduct that is offensive to accepted standards of decency such as public nudity or public urination.

2000. Disruptive Conduct

Actions which disrupt or interfere with the instructional program or threaten the orderliness, operation, or well-being of the campus, the surrounding community, or its members.

2100. Endangering Conduct

Any act that jeopardizes the health or safety of self or others.

2200. Abuse

Verbal abuse, physical abuse, intimidation, the threat of these actions, or any other that endangers or threatens the well-being, safety, or educational opportunity of any person(s).

2300. Hazing

Any action or situation, whether recklessly or intentionally, which has the effect of endangerment of personal safety, interference with academic work, violation of university policy, or production of psychological, mental, or physical discomfort, embarrassment, safety, harassment, or ridicule, regardless of the person’s consent.

2400. Discrimination

2500. Harassment

Unwanted physical, verbal, nonverbal or other conduct relating to a person’s protected status, including ability, age, beliefs, ethnicity, gender expression, gender identity, life experiences, medical condition, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, or other status protected by law, and which may result in one or more of the following:

A) The creation of intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, living, or academic environment; or

B) Substantial or unreasonable interference with an individual’s work, living, or academic performances; or

C) The development of an adverse effect on an individual’s employment or academic opportunities.

2600. Sexual Misconduct

2700. Relationship Violence

For more information on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct, see

2800. Stalking

Stalking includes engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.

2900. Retaliation

Retaliation includes retaliatory action of any kind, including intimidation, coercion, or threats, against any individual as a result of a person’s attempt to seek redress or to participate in an investigation under applicable procedures dealing with sexual and other misconduct.

3000. Guest Responsibility

Being with any guest, both students and non-students who violate university policies. Shepherd University students are responsible for their guest’s actions while on campus and for informing guests of university policies.

3100. Unauthorized Building/Facility Use

Unauthorized presence on, in, or use of university premises, facilities, or property.

3200. Entering/Exiting Building

3300-4900 Reserved

5000. Residency Requirement

Failure to live on campus for all single, full-time undergraduate students who are not commuting from a parent’s or guardian’s home within a designated commuting area.

5100. Active Sports

Participating in active sports in areas that are not designated for that purpose. Active sports include, but are not limited to: football, baseball, basketball, golf, volleyball, soccer, hockey, track and field, tennis, use of skateboards, longboards, scooters, bicycles, or motorized vehicles indoors.

5200. Appliances in Residence Halls

Plugging an appliance such as a microwave or refrigerator into anything other than the wall outlet.

5300. Bathroom Use

Utilizing the bathroom facilities that are not designated for one’s gender identity in traditional halls.

5400. Bathroom capacities

Having more than one person in a shower or toilet stall.

5500. Guest Escort

Having a guest who is not escorted by their host. A guest is defined as a non-resident of the building. A host is defined as a resident of the hall who has a guest in the building.

5600. Guest Visitation

5700. Guest–Overnight

Hosting the same guest overnight more than three nights per week, defined as the time period Sunday night through Saturday night. An overnight guest is defined as a guest which stays in a student living space where reasonable indicators would indicate a prolonged stay.

5800. Laundry

Use of residence hall laundry facilities by anyone who is not a resident of the building.

5900. Personal Storage

Leaving or storing personal items in common areas or facilities areas within the residence halls without permission from Residence Life staff.

6000. Animals in Residence Halls

Having an animal which is not a service animal or which has not been approved by Accessibility Services

6100. Prohibited Items in Residence Halls

Possession of any of the following items:

NOTE: hookahs and other smoking devices may be considered to be paraphernalia and proximate indicators of drug use.

6200. Quiet Hours

Having sound that can be heard more than two doors down the hallway or on another level of the building during the following designated times:

6300. Quiet Hours–Courtesy

Having sound which interferes with other students’ abilities to study undisturbed at any time.

6400. Quiet Hours–24 Hour

Having sound that can be heard more than two doors down the hallway or on another level of the building during designated 24-hour quiet hour times.

6500. Removal of University Property

Removing or relocating university property and furniture from its assigned location.

6600. Room Alteration

Making any type of alteration or repair to the structure of the residence hall facility, furnishing, or equipment.

6700. Window Screen Removal

Removing residence hall window screens from their casings.

6800. Room Assignment

6900. Room Capacities

7000. Room Condition

7100. Room Responsibility

Behaviors which are in violation of the Student Code of Conduct that occur within a student’s living space or common area. Residents are responsible for all behaviors which occur in their assigned spaces.

7200. Solicitation

Solicitation or sales of any service, product, or promotion in the student residence areas of a building without prior permission from the director of Residence Life, or designee. Advertisements, sale, or solicitation of alcoholic beverages is not allowed in residence halls or student mailboxes.

7300. Trash

Placing personal trash items in a location other than the designated locations, such as dumpsters outside of the residence halls.

The Student Conduct System

The university student conduct procedures are separate from legal proceedings, and not all legal principles apply. All student conduct proceedings are private in accordance with pertinent federal legislation (including the Family Education Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA), Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, and state laws). To honor their due process rights, students can expect the following:

University Jurisdiction

Enrollment at Shepherd University is a voluntary decision, which includes a student’s acceptance of the responsibility to meet academic requirements and to behave consistently with the university’s policies, purposes and objectives at all times, on campus, off campus and in cyberspace. The university reserves the right to notify law enforcement to problems on or off campus. Shepherd University’s jurisdiction includes university-owned or operated property, as well as university-sponsored functions that occur on or off campus.

Students should demonstrate respect and concern for all members of both on-campus and off-campus communities and behave as responsible citizens. Students should understand that conduct investigation and charges will be initiated when the university’s interest, safety, and/or capacity to function as an academic community is involved. The university jurisdiction includes any misrepresentation or fraud related to a student’s application for admission or readmission. The Student Conduct process applies to any individual who is enrolled in or auditing courses at Shepherd University on a full-time or part-time basis, including between terms, during vacation periods, advisement and registration sessions, orientation, summer break, or a period of suspension or withdrawal. The Student Conduct process applies to individual students, student groups, student clubs, and student organizations recognized by or affiliated with Shepherd University. As such, sanctions may apply to individuals, groups and/or organizations.

 Inherent Authority

The university reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community.

Interim Administrative Action

Serving as the Student Conduct administrator, the Student Affairs designee, may defer procedural due process and enforce an interim action if necessary to maintain safety or order. If, in the judgment of the Student Conduct administrator or designee, there is probable cause to believe the continued presence of an accused student on campus might constitute an unreasonable risk to university students, faculty, staff, or property, the Student Conduct administrator, or designee, may take interim actions to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community. Within two business days, the Student Conduct administrator or designee will convene a committee consisting of three faculty or staff members to review information to determine whether a temporary suspension or restriction is warranted and should be continued. The student will have an opportunity to address the committee. The committee has the authority to restrict or suspend the student on an interim basis, pending the outcome of the Student Conduct process. The results of the committee meeting will be announced to the student and will not be considered to be a part of the Student Conduct process nor an indication of a student’s responsibility for an alleged policy violation.

Modifying the Student Code of Conduct

The university reserves the right to amend the Student Code of Conduct and Student Conduct process at any time. Communication of any changes will be made to the university community in a timely fashion.

Policy Interpretation

The Student Affairs Office designee has the responsibility in defining and interpreting the Student Code of Conduct and conduct procedures.

Filing A Complaint

Any member of the university community may file (and is responsible for filing) a complaint against an individual who allegedly violates the rights of another person or a Shepherd University regulation or policy.

Shepherd University strongly supports the vigorous prosecution in the state courts of any person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the university. Students who experience crimes are strongly encouraged to file such complaints with the Shepherd University Police, or with the following: West Virginia State Police, Shepherdstown Police Department, or the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department who all hold concurrent jurisdiction. Whenever a complaint is presented to a Shepherd University police officer or Student Affairs staff that occurred outside the jurisdiction of the university, the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction will be notified of any alleged crime, if they have not been previously notified. Notification will include the offense alleged and the name of the alleged perpetrator but disclosure of the respondent’s identity will be at the election of the student complainant, unless disclosure by a university official is legally compelled.

Student Conduct Processes

After a violation of a campus policy is alleged, a written incident report is submitted to Student Conduct. A Student Conduct officer reviews the report and takes one of the following actions:

Preliminary Student Conduct Hearing Process

  1. The Student Conduct officer may offer a respondent a preliminary hearing. During a preliminary hearing, the Student Conduct officer will meet with the respondent to review the charges and the options they have available to them to resolve their questions. The respondent has up to two business days from the time the preliminary hearing meeting concludes (or by 8 a.m. on the next university business day if the deadline occurs when the university is closed) to decide which option the respondent would like to utilize to resolve the charges. Possible ways a preliminary hearing can be resolved include:
    • The respondent accepts responsibility for the Student Code of Conduct violation charges and sanctions are determined.
    • The respondent does not accept responsibility for Student Code of Conduct violation charges and the violation process moves forward to an Administrative or Formal Student Conduct Hearing.
    • Student Code of Conduct violation charges are dropped based on information present.
  2. If a respondent does not accept responsibility or does not attend the preliminary hearing, sanctions will be convened at the discretion of the Student Affairs designee, Director of Residence Life, or other designee. Students are not required to participate in the Student Conduct process; however, the Student Conduct process will continue based on the information that is presented and available at the time of the preliminary hearing.
  3. At the discretion of the university, the Student Conduct process may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following legal proceedings.
  4. The university reserves the right to resolve the matter through a formal administrative hearing or Student Conduct Hearing Board should the Student Conduct officer deems it to be necessary based on the type and severity of the alleged violation. In this case, a respondent may not be offered a preliminary hearing option.

Formal Student Conduct Hearing Process

  1. A respondent will attend a pre-hearing conference prior to the formal conduct hearing. In this conference, the respondent will be able to view all documents which will be presented during the Formal Student Conduct Hearing and have an opportunity to submit additional documentation. A complainant will have this same opportunity.
  2. Formal hearings may be conducted by the Student Affairs designee who serves as a facilitator of the process.
    • Student Conduct Hearing Board is comprised of three board members and a chair member who are faculty and staff at Shepherd University. These members will review documentation, ask clarifying questions of all parties in the hearing, and determine responsibility and sanctions for the violation.
    • An Administrative Hearing has one administrative hearing officer may be used for cases except those concerning sexual misconduct where physical contact has occurred. An administrative hearing may occur through the Student Affairs Office or the Residence Life Office. The Administrative Hearing officer will review documents, ask clarifying questions, and determine responsibility and sanctions for the violation.
  3. No recordings of the proceedings shall be made by any person other than the Student Conduct administrator or the administrative hearing officer. All formal hearing recordings will be maintained by the Student Affairs designee.
  4. The Student Conduct officer will notify the student at least five days in advance of the date, time, and place of the formal hearing in writing.
    • The student(s) reserve the right to not participate in the formal hearing process. However, the formal hearing will be held as scheduled and a decision will be based on the documentation available.
  5. In hearings involving more than one respondent, the Student Conduct administrator or the administrative hearing officer, may use professional judgment to permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately or jointly.
  6. Students have the right to have an advisor, including legal counsel, present at formal hearings and pre-hearing conferences. An advisor will be designated for all respondents if they do not select one for themselves.
    • An advisor may consult and advise the student but may not speak on the behalf of the student, ask questions of the participants, address the Student Conduct officer or Student Conduct Board members publicly during formal proceedings, serve as a witness, or otherwise participate directly in the proceedings in Student Conduct hearings. However, advisors may conduct cross examination during hearings falling under Title IX rule.
  7. If the respondent is found responsible, the student will be informed of sanctions via campus email within two business days and will has the right to appeal the decision.
  8. If the respondent is found not responsible, the respondent will be excused, all charges will be dropped.
  9. The respondent will be notified in writing of the findings of the formal hearing and sanctions, if appropriate. The complainant will be notified simultaneously in writing of the findings of the formal hearing and sanctions in cases related to interpersonal violence as allowed by federal law.
  1. The complainant will also have the opportunity to file an appeal in cases related to interpersonal violence, and as allowed by federal guidelines.
  2. Please refer to the Title IX web site for detailed information about interpersonal violence and incidents related to alleged policy violations related to sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Appeal Process for Formal Administrative Hearings

University Appeals for Student Conduct Hearing Boards

  1. An appeal may be made on the following grounds:
    • The Student Conduct process was not conducted in a fair or impartial manner
    • New, relevant information became available after the hearing was completed
    • The hearing was not conducted according to established procedures.
  2. A respondent has up to two business days (or by 8 a.m. on the next university business day if the deadline occurs when university offices are closed) from the date of the decision notification to submit an appeal in writing to the Student Affairs designee. This notification must clearly identify which of the reason(s) for the appeal and give clear support for this reason.
  3. Appeals based on the outcomes of Student Conduct Hearings Boards through the Student Affairs Office, will be heard through the Student Conduct Appeal Board which will consist of three faculty or staff members and one chairperson
  4. The appeals process will be limited to the content of the appeal request, a review of hearing recordings (if any), supporting documents, and related information. The respondent, and the complainant may not be required to attend the Appeals Hearing Board unless needed to explain the basis of new information.
  5. The decision of the Student Conduct Appeal Board will be considered to be final in all cases and cannot be appealed. Decisions of the Student Conduct Appeal Board may take one of the following three forms:
    1. Affirm the original decision and sanctions
    2. Change the original decision and/or sanctions
    3. Void the original decision and order a new formal hearing.
  6. The Student Conduct Appeal Board will make their decision promptly and communicate the findings to the respondent in in cases of interpersonal violence, other violence, and as allowed by law, the findings will also be communicated to the complainant in writing in a timely manner.

Sanctions imposed during the Student Conduct process may be suspended during the time in which an appeal is reviewed. If a respondent is suspended or expelled from the institution after the conclusion of the appeals process, all academic work completed during the time of the appeal is forfeited and the sanction will be placed into effect immediately. Depending on the timing of the final decision, the sanction may be extended to the next regular semester. A student may not graduate during the appeal process.


The sanctions listed below shall be imposed upon students when the circumstances clearly indicate that a campus regulation has been violated. The sanction for a violation may be one or a combination of those set forth below:

During a period of expulsion, no credits earned at another institution will be accepted at Shepherd University.

Medical Amnesty–Special Note About Enforcement

Student health and safety are of primary concern at Shepherd University. As such, in cases of intoxication and /or alcohol poisoning, the university encourages individuals to seek medical assistance for themselves or others. Those students who seek medical attention for themselves or other individuals who are intoxicated will not receive conduct sanctions for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Medical amnesty does not preclude Student Conduct sanctions due to any other violations of the code of conduct (not related to the alcohol policy). Likewise, Medical amnesty does not prevent action by law enforcement personnel.