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General Information About the Code of Conduct

Authority and Responsibility

In furtherance of its responsibility to make known the rules and regulations concerning student conduct and ensure basic procedural protections to students charged with violations of the University's policies, the University has adopted a Student Conduct Policy. The President of the University has conferred upon the Senior Vice President the responsibility of administering this policy. Any question of interpretation regarding it shall be referred to the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct and Community Standards for final determination.

Students have the responsibility to be aware of, and abide by, the University's policies, rules, regulations, and standards of conduct. This Handbook is available on-line for all students and student organizations (hereafter: students) so they may become knowledgeable concerning the standards of conduct Drexel requires of its students and, more generally, the policies by which all members of the University community must abide.

Drexel also expects that every student abide by the laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Drexel subscribes to the view that, where practical, it shall deal with matters of student misconduct internally. However, where student misconduct implicates federal, state, or local laws, the appropriate law enforcement officials may be contacted.

Statement of Philosophy and Purpose

Drexel University strives to be a leader in the higher education world, and expects students' conduct to reflect the highest standards of global citizenship. Therefore, all students should conduct themselves responsibly and in a manner that reflects favorably upon themselves and the University. When students do not conduct themselves responsibly, fail to recognize or violate the rights and privileges of other individuals, or behave in a manner inconsistent with University policies, rules, regulations, or standards of conduct, formal disciplinary action may result.

The Student Conduct process at Drexel reflects the University's concern that students maintain high standards. It provides procedural protections to any student charged with a violation of a University policy, rule, regulation, or standard of conduct. The Student Conduct process attempts to foster personal learning and growth, while at the same time holding individuals and organizations accountable for unacceptable behavior.


Cases of alleged violations of University policies, rules, regulations, or standards of conduct are handled through the University conduct process for the following:

  • Full-time or part-time undergraduate, graduate, and/or continuing education students.
  • All recognized student organizations.
  • Behaviors occurring on and off campus.

In all cases, if a student withdraws from the University after engaging in conduct that may violate any of the University's policies, rules, regulations, or standards of conduct, but before the alleged violation has been adjudicated through the conduct process, the student's record is placed on hold and the student shall not be permitted to return to the University until a final decision is made.  If a previously-enrolled student is not currently enrolled and engages in conduct that may violate any of the University's policies, rules, regulations, or standards of conduct, the University may place a hold on the student's record and require them to account for this conduct prior to allowing them to re-enroll.
In addition, if a prospective student has engaged in any conduct that may violate any of the University's policies, rules, regulations, or standards of conduct, depending upon the nature of the alleged violation, the prospective student may not be permitted to enroll or re-enroll in the University until and unless conduct proceedings are conducted in his/her favor. A student will not be approved for graduation until all proceedings have been completed.

If a student engages in prohibited activity on behalf of their student organization, both the student and the student organization may be charged with a violation(s) of the code of conduct.

Prohibited Conduct

The University's policies, rules, regulations, and standards of conduct are set forth herein. It is incumbent upon every student to familiarize himself/herself with the standards of conduct that the University requires of all members of its community. All conduct that violates those policies, including any conduct that occurs off campus but which, in the University's sole judgment, has a direct and immediate effect on the discipline and general welfare of the University and/or the pursuit of the University's mission, shall be subject to the University's conduct process.

Responsible Dragon Protocol (RDP)

Drexel University's primary concern is the health and safety of its students.  The University is aware that students are sometimes reluctant to seek medical attention in alcohol- and other drug-related emergencies out of fear that they may face sanctions related to possessing or consuming alcohol or other drugs.  Because these emergencies are potentially life-threatening, Drexel University seeks to create a culture of trust and care paired with safety and responsibility while reducing any barriers that would prevent students from seeking assistance by implementing the Responsible Dragon Protocol (RDP).

Description of the Responsible Dragon Protocol (RDP)

The RDP provides consideration for alternative consequences for students who, while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, responsibly report alcohol and/or other drug-related emergencies to the proper authorities for the intention of seeking medical or safety assistance for anyone in need of emergency care.  Alternative consequences should not be confused with amnesty.

Description of and Requirements during Emergency Situations

Students who find themselves in a situation that requires emergency care of another should contact the Department of Public Safety at 215-895-2222, immediately seek assistance from a Residence Hall/University staff member to report the details needed by emergency response personnel, and/or call 911 if away from campus vicinity.

Scope of Protection

The University will consider the positive impact of reporting an incident when determining the appropriate sanctions for policy violations.  In such cases, any possible negative consequences for the reporter of the situation will be evaluated against the possible negative consequences for the student who needed assistance.

Students needing medical assistance during an alcohol- or other drug-related emergency may not automatically face disciplinary/conduct action for the mere possession/use of alcohol or drugs.  However, staff from the University's Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will seek a mutually agreeable resolution to the matter, when possible, while meeting with the same student to discuss the incident.  This student may be required to participate in an appropriate educational program. 

Other Requirements / Conditions

Even if there is not a disciplinary action, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will maintain a file of each case that may be used to establish a pattern of history should subsequent alcohol or other drug violations occur.  Conduct violations do not appear on the student's academic transcript.

Institutional Discretion Statement

Based on the totality of the incident, the University hearing officer will make the final determination as to the applicability of the Responsible Dragon Protocol and reserves the right to reduce any sanctions or outcomes, including dismissing any and all charges against a student.

Important Policy Limitations

Students should be aware that the Responsible Dragon Protocol does not prevent action by local and state authorities when the situation warrants outside involvement.

Credit to:  Clemson University, Drake University, The University of Georgia, Lehigh University, Northeastern University, Northern Iowa University, The University of Vermont

Violations of the Law and University Policies

University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with a violation of the law that is also a violation of a University policy, rule, regulation, or standard of conduct. Disciplinary action at the University may proceed without regard to pending civil litigation or criminal arrest and prosecution. Such proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. The University's disciplinary action will not be subject to challenge on the ground that external charges or litigation involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced.

Disciplinary Files and Records

All student conduct records are kept in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the Clery Act (1990). Subject to the provisions and exceptions of FERPA, all student conduct files are private. Files may only be reviewed in the presence of the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct and Community Standards or designee. Nothing may be removed, added, or copied.

The University will retain physical student conduct records (non-Clery) for resolved cases for six years from the date of the incident. The University reserves the right to keep records for a longer period of time if unresolved or deemed necessary. In cases of expulsion, the University will retain records indefinitely. The University may disclose the final results of a student conduct proceeding against a student found in violation of a University policy, rule, regulation or standard of conduct involving violence or a non-forcible sex offense. In such cases, the University will only release the name of the student found in violation, the violation committed and any sanctions imposed on the student.

Responsibilities of the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct and Community Standards or Designee

The Assistant Dean of Student Conduct and Community Standards or designee directs the efforts of students, faculty, and staff Conduct Board members in matters involving student behavior.

Responsibilities include:
  • Receiving and reviewing formal complaints.
  • Advising parties of the conduct process.
  • Supervising, training, and advising the Conduct Board members.
  • Maintaining all student conduct records.
  • Collecting and disseminating research and analysis concerning student conduct.
  • Submitting quarterly statistical reports, reporting the number of cases referred to the office, the number of cases resulting in disciplinary action, and the range of sanctions imposed.

The Conduct Review Process

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards shall meet with the Conduct Board members and other members of the University community, such as the Director of Residential Living, Dean of Students, and/or Senior Associate Vice President for Public Safety on an annual basis. Together, this group shall make recommendations to the Senior Vice President concerning improvements and revisions to the conduct process, standards of conduct, and sanctions.