Student Code of Conduct
Each student shall be responsible for his or her conduct from the time of admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though that conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment. The Student Code of Conduct shall apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.
The health and safety of every student at St. John’s University is of utmost importance. St. John’s University recognizes that students who have been drinking or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault, may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. St. John’s University strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault to a member of the University community. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault to a member of the University community or law enforcement will not be subject to Student Code of Conduct action for violations of the Alcohol or Drugs policy occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault.
Section A: Affirmative Consent
Affirmative consent is defined as a knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. All references to “consent” in this policy shall mean affirmative consent as defined in this policy.
The following principles, along with the above definition, will be used to evaluate whether affirmative consent was given:
- Consent to one form of sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other forms of sexual activity or to sexual activity in the future.
- A current or previous dating relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent.
- Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time during sexual activity by expressing in words or actions that they no longer want the sexual activity to continue.
- Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.
- Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force or threat of harm.
In accordance with New York state law, a person who is less than 17 years of age is incapable of consenting to sexual activity.
When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
Section B: Student Code of Conduct
The following behaviors do not meet the expectations of a student or student organization at St. John's University, and are therefore considered violations of the Student Code of Conduct and are subject to disciplinary action.
Student Code of Conduct Contents
- Civil/Criminal Law
- Computing and Cyber Harassment
- Damage to Property
- Dating Violence
- Disorderly Conduct
- Domestic Violence
- False Information
- False Reporting of an Emergency
- Fire Safety
- Mission Statement and Core Values
- Residence Hall Policies and Procedures
- Sexual Misconduct
- Sexual Assault
- University Facilities
- University Identification
- University Name and Related Graphics
- Weapons and Explosives
The sale, use, distribution, consumption, or procurement of alcoholic beverages on University premises is prohibited, except when student attendance is permitted at a University-sponsored event. The sale, use, distribution, consumption or procurement of alcoholic beverages for anyone who is under the age of twenty-one (21); being in the presence of alcohol on University premises; suspicion of alcohol intoxication. Students are expected to abide by all federal and state laws regarding alcohol.
Inflicting bodily harm upon any person.
Any verbal or physical action committed against or directed toward a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by bias toward another person’s actual or perceived status with respect to race, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship status, disability, genetic information, status as a victim of domestic violence or status in the uniformed services of the United States, or other protected classes as required by law.
Any student who is found responsible for any state, federal or municipal law may be subject to disciplinary action for said offenses.
Failure to comply with the directions or requests of a member of the University community acting in the performance of his or her duties. Failure to comply with written directives such as a No Contact Order.
Compliance with Emergency Regulations
Failure to comply with specific emergency regulations and evacuation procedures for buildings on University premises.
Compliance with Student Conduct Process
Failure to complete the sanctions imposed on a student who previously participated in the student conduct process.
Attempts to commit acts prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct or encouraging others to commit acts prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct may be addressed to the same extent as completed violations. A student may be found complicit if he or she is aware of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and has the ability to report the violation, but fails to do so or fails to remove oneself from reasonable proximity of the violation.
Computing and Cyber Harassment
Using information and communication technologies as means of intimidation, harassment or unwarranted interruption. This includes, but is not limited to, email, social media, the Internet, smart phone or tablet applications, cellular phones and video recorders. The procurement and/or transmission of videos or photographs of another individual without his or her expressed permission are prohibited.
Damage to Property
Damaging property of the University or that of a member of the University community, a campus visitor while on University premises or the property of a local resident.
Dating violence refers to any violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the reporting party. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence.
Engaging in behavior that is destructive, dangerous, harmful, obstructive or disorderly. Conduct that is unreasonable in the time, place or manner in which it occurs.
Domestic violence refers to a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the reporting party; by a person with whom the reporting party shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the reporting party as a spouse or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the reporting party under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
The use (or being in the presence of the use), possession, distribution or manufacturing of narcotic or dangerous drugs or any illegal or controlled substances, except as expressly permitted by law or those prescribed by a physician and kept in their labeled containers. Being in the presence of narcotic or dangerous drugs and/or illegal or controlled substances on University premises or off-campus is prohibited. Use, possession, distribution or the manufacturing of plants or chemicals to induce an altered state of consciousness is prohibited. Students are expected to abide by all federal and state laws regarding illegal or controlled substances.
Knowingly furnishing false information in any form to a member of the University community.
False Reporting of an Emergency
Intentionally making a false report of a bomb, fire, attack or other emergency.
Tampering with or misusing fire alarms or obstructing the functioning of fire alarms, fire exits, fire-fighting equipment, smoke/heat detectors and sprinkler systems on University premises. Additionally, causing or creating a fire; the use of all open flame devices such as (but not limited to): incense, candles, kerosene lamps, hibachis, and barbecue grills; the use of natural trees or wreaths; and the use of any and all fireworks.
Forgery, alteration or misuse of University documents, records or identification.
Gambling in any form is prohibited on all University premises.
Any behavior (verbal, written, or physical) that abuses, assails, intimidates, demeans, victimizes or has the effect of creating a hostile environment for any person. Threatening by any means of transmission the use of force to harm or injure any person.
Hazing is defined as any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any student organization. Individuals who witness hazing while not actively participating may be held accountable for their actions or inactions. Hazing includes, but is not limited to:
- behavior could be seen by a reasonable person as pressuring or coercing the student into violating state or federal law;
- any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, alcohol, liquor, drug, or other substance, or other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student;
- any activity that would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment, or other forced activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the student;
- destroys or removes public or private property; or
- violates any University policy.
St. John’s will not consider a defense of a Hazing allegation when the accused student or student organization claims that (1) any or all participants consented to the documented conduct; (2) the conduct was not part of an official organizational event or otherwise sanctioned or approved by the student organization; or (3) the documented conduct or activity was not an explicit condition of membership to or affiliation with a student organization.
Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys or StormCards to University facilities.
Misconduct means any conduct that reflects a failure to live up to the expectations of all St. John’s students. This includes, but is not limited to:
- the possession on University premises of any type of paraphernalia analogous to the consumption of alcohol (e.g., beer bongs, keg taps);
- possessing alcohol containers on University premises;
- suspicion of or admission to previous drug use;
- the possession of any type of paraphernalia analogous with the use, distribution or sale of illegal substances/narcotic drugs (e.g., scales, bongs, gutted cigars, rolling papers, pipes, glassine baggies);
- the possession of any item that may be deemed a risk to the health and safety of a St. John’s University student, a member of the University community or a visitor to the University;
- taking or retaining property from any campus location which is not immediately brought to the Public Safety Command Center.
Mission Statement and Core Values
All pets are prohibited on University premises with the exception of service animals previously approved through the standard accommodations process.
Retaliation for reporting any allegations of student misconduct is in itself a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. This also protects retaliation against any participant in the student conduct process. The University will take strong action if retaliation occurs against an individual who files a complaint or third-party report, or any individual who participates in the investigative and/or disciplinary process (e.g., as a witness). Incidents of retaliation should be reported to the Office of Student Conduct immediately.
Residence Hall Policies and Procedures
Resident students shall also refer to the Residence Life Community Standards for a specific list of policies and procedures with which they are to comply.
St. John’s University does not tolerate and prohibits sexual misconduct and gender discrimination. The University is committed to address these behaviors, as they are antithetical to our mission, values and standards. Sexual misconduct includes exposing a person to a range of unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by intimidation, coercion, threat or force. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual coercion, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, as well as people involved in intimate or sexual relationships. Sexual misconduct can occur between individuals of the same gender or opposite gender and in heterosexual and homosexual relationships. The consumption of alcohol or the use of illegal substances does not constitute a mitigating circumstance when it contributes to a violation regarding sexual misconduct. For more information, please see Sexual Assault: You Are Not Alone.
Sexually Inappropriate Conduct: Unwelcome sexual conduct that may not rise to the level of sexual harassment or sexual exploitation, but that is sexual in nature. Examples include, but are not limited to, posting or showing sexually explicit or offensive material; an isolated occurrence of obscene or sexually offensive gestures and comments; lewdness; exposure of one’s self to another person without that person’s consent.
Sexual Exploitation: Any act whereby one person takes sexual advantage of another who has not provided consent. Sexual exploitation occurs when the perpetrator acts for his or her own advantage or benefit, or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the person being exploited. Sexual exploitation includes the exposure of one’s self to another person without that person’s consent; it also includes recording, photographing, transmitting, viewing or distributing intimate or sexual images or sexual information without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved, observing others who are engaged in intimate or sexual situations without permission, acts of incest, or engaging in consensual activity with another person while knowingly infected with HIV or some other sexually transmitted disease without informing the other person of such infection.
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct, based on sex or on gender stereotypes, that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when: (1) submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education or campus life activities, or used as the basis of any academic, student life or employment decision (quid pro quo or “this for that”); or (2) such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive such that it limits an individual’s ability to participate in, or benefit from, the University’s education or work programs or activities (hostile environment).
Nonconsensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual contact with another person, however slight, that occurs without that person’s consent. This includes oral or genital contact not involving penetration; forceful use of an object not involving penetration; contact with the breasts, buttocks or genital area, (including over a person’s clothing); removing the clothing of another person without consent; or kissing without consent. Sexually touching another individual by the threat of force, or intentional contact of a sexual nature with a person who is incapacitated at the time, is also considered nonconsensual sexual contact. This also includes other intentional actions that may be construed has having a sexual nature. Nonconsensual sexual contact is a form of sexual assault.
Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration: Any act of oral, vaginal or anal penetration by a person’s penis, finger, body part, or an object without consent. Any such act involving force or duress, or that occurs with an incapacitated individual, will be deemed especially egregious. Nonconsensual sexual penetration is a form of sexual assault.
The use of any product or device conducive to the act of smoking, including (but not limited to) cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes, water pipes and vaporizers. Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings. Smoking is prohibited outdoors within thirty (30) feet of building entrances and open windows. Students must follow smoking regulations for all University premises.
Soliciting for donations, soliciting for business, advertising, or selling items without receiving written authorization from an authorized member of the University community.
Stalking refers to 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 to suffer substantial emotional distress.
Attempted or actual theft of personal, private or public property, either on-campus or off-campus. This includes, but is not limited to, property of the University; property of a member of the University community; property of a campus visitor while on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.
The unauthorized entry to or use of University facilities including opening windows or locked doors to allow the entry or exit of unauthorized students or guests.
The misuse or transfer of University identification, the StormCard. This includes but is not limited to transfer of the StormCard to use the meal plan; to gain entry to University buildings; or to use any of the accounts on the StormCard in order to procure University services. StormCards must be carried at all times on University premises. Lending a StormCard to anyone or failure to present it when requested by a member of the University community are considered to be violations.
University Name and Related Graphics
Students of the University, whether individually or collectively, shall not use the name of St. John's University or the names of its units for any activity outside the regular work of the University without written consent of the appropriate member of the University community. The crest and seal of St. John's University are exclusive property of St. John's University. The use of the crest and/or the seal is prohibited except with the expressed permission of the Secretary of the University.
Weapons and Explosives
The University expressly prohibits on University-owned or controlled property or at University-sponsored functions the possession, display, use or distribution of any weapon to include any firearm (including air-or gas-powered firearms), pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, assault weapon, ammunition, explosive, firework, stun gun, switchblade and other automatic knife, and other deadly or dangerous weapons, such as are defined in New York Penal Law Article 265. This prohibition extends to imitation firearms and other objects that can be construed or used as weapons, and to items that pose a potential hazard to the safety or health of others; and unauthorized hazardous materials or chemicals. Exceptions to this policy, particularly for educational or performance purposes, must receive specific, written authorization from the Vice President of Public Safety.