Dominican University students experience an environment that encourages intellectual growth through free inquiry. We recognize that freedom to teach and learn depends upon truthful and caring conditions in the classroom, on the campus and in the larger community. The maintenance of the traditions of truth and caring demands a high standard of respect for the rights and dignity of others and for adherence to the necessary policies established to give order to our daily lives. Dominican University expects responsible social conduct of students, which reflects well on themselves and the university.

Dominican University is committed to fostering a campus environment that is conducive to academic inquiry, productive campus life, thoughtful study and discourse. A community exists on the basis of shared values and principles. At Dominican University, student members of the community are expected to uphold and abide by certain standards of conduct that form the basis of the Student Code of Conduct. These standards are embodied within a set of core values that include integrity, fairness, respect, community and responsibility. When members of the community fail to exemplify these values, campus conduct proceedings are used to assert and uphold the Student Code of Conduct. 

Ultimately, each member of the Dominican University community is expected to assume responsibility for his/her conduct and to assume reasonable responsibility for the behavior of others. On occasion, this will involve kind and courteous admonition when one member observes another in inappropriate conduct. At other times it will involve cooperation when the authorities are investigating instances of alleged misconduct.

The student conduct process at Dominican University is not intended to punish students. Rather, it exists to protect the interests of the community and to challenge those whose behavior is not in accordance with our standards. Sanctions are intended to challenge students’ moral and ethical decision-making and to help them bring their behavior into accord with our community expectations. When a student is unable to conform his/her behavior to community expectations, the student conduct process may determine that he/she should no longer share in the privilege of participating in this community.

Students should be aware that the student conduct process is quite different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Procedures and rights in student conduct proceedings are conducted with fairness to all, but do not include the same protections of due process afforded by the courts. Fair process, within these procedures, assures written notice and a hearing before an objective decision is made. It assures that no student will be found in violation of university policy without information showing that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred, and that any sanction will be proportionate to the severity of the violation.


In accordance with the university motto Caritas et Veritas, compassion and truth, Dominican University has developed standards of behavior in support of the intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional development of each student.

Dominican University students exemplify honesty, integrity and a respect for truth in all of their dealings. 

Dominican University students honor and value their community. 

Dominican University students exemplify fair treatment of each other in their dealings and interactions.

Dominican University students show respect for self, each other, for property, and for the community. 

Dominican University students are given and accept a high level of responsibility as role models.

Students at Dominican University are annually emailed a link to the Student Code of Conduct. Students are charged with the responsibility of having read the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of individual students and university-affiliated groups, organizations, teams, etc. Because the Student Code of Conduct is based on shared values, it sets a range of expectations for the Dominican University student no matter where or when their conduct may take place.  Therefore, the Student Code of Conduct will apply to behaviors that take place on the campus, at college-sponsored events, and may also apply off campus when the administration determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial college interest.

The Student Code of Conduct may be applied to conduct that takes place during the time a person is enrolled as a student, including intra-semester breaks and between semesters.  Further, the Student Code of Conduct applies to guests of community members, whose hosts may be held accountable for the misconduct of their guests. The Student Code of Conduct also protects visitors to and guests of Dominican University, and they may initiate grievances for violations of the Student Code of Conduct committed by members of the Dominican University community against them.

Dominican University reserves the right to take disciplinary action against any student whose behavior undermines the academic or social purposes, safety or order of the campus community. Disciplinary action is usually initiated by a written complaint or report submitted by any member of the Dominican community or guest. While it is possible to submit an anonymous report, an individual filing a report is encouraged to include his/her name on the report in order to expedite a disciplinary inquiry. Reports can be filed with the Office of the Dean of Students, Public Safety or Residence Life.

The following types of misconduct, whether committed by a student or his or her guests, are only examples and not exhaustive of the kinds of behavior subject to student disciplinary action. In addition to university regulations, all federal, state and municipal laws must be obeyed. All policy violations will be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students.

  1. Threat or cause of physical or psychological abuse to others.

  2. Harassment or the infringement of the rights of another person.

  3. Engaging in any action or series of actions with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s gender, age, race, color, marital status, order of protection status, religion, national origin, military status, medical condition, gender identity, ancestry, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, or sexual orientation. This includes but is not limited to any of the following: physical contact; damaging, destroying or defacing any personal property of another; or threatening by word (in person, on-line, text messaging, etc.) or act to do the preceding. See One Process Policy.

  4. Interference with activities at or sponsored by the university. Activities include special events and the normal daily operation of the institution.

  5. Academic dishonesty, cheating, plagiarism, forgery, misuse or falsification of university documents or official papers, or dishonest acts.

  6. Theft or damage to university or individual property, or known possession of stolen property.

  7. Theft or misuse of services of any kind.

  8. Commercial solicitation, which is not permitted on campus except by recognized student organizations and athletic teams and approved by the Office of the Dean of Students.

  9. Failure to appropriately comply with the directions of a university official and/or with the policies and procedures of any official university document and/or processes.

  10. Unauthorized entry to or inappropriate use of university premises, facilities or property.

  11. Misuse of fire safety equipment; setting fires; failure to evacuate the building during a fire alarm or violation of any fire safety policy. Any open flame or burning substances such as candles, incense, etc., are not allowed. Using emergency exits in non-emergencies is prohibited.

  12. Possession or use of fireworks, firearms, weapons or explosive devices.

  13. Demonstrations that are disorderly or disruptive. 

  14. Use, possession, manufacturing, selling or distribution of any illegal drug; possession of any device or property used in connection with illegal drugs. Please see the Alcohol and Drug Policy for further clarification.

  15. Possession of alcohol by individuals under 21 is prohibited. See the Alcohol and Drug Policy for further clarification.

  16. Students are expected to abide by the federal laws and the laws of the State of Illinois prohibiting illegal gambling. See the Gambling Policy for further clarification.

  17. Students must carry their student ID card at all times. The student ID card must be presented and/or surrendered at any time it is requested by a university official, including Coughlin Commons Resource Desk Attendants. During an alleged policy violation, students must present their Dominican University ID card when asked by a university official (this includes Resident Assistants). Falsifying, changing or altering any data or knowingly providing false information on the student identification card, or other documents issued by the prohibited.

  18. All acts of hazing by any individual student and university registered student club or organization and any of its members or alumnae/i are prohibited. See Hazing Policy.

  19. Behavior that causes disturbance or distress to the university community.

  20. Smoking and tobacco products are prohibited in all university buildings and on all university property.

  21. Breaking any local, state or federal law either on or off campus.

  22. Violation of any policy or regulation contained in the Student Handbook, Student Involvement Manual, Residence Hall Housing Contract and Guidelines, IT Acceptable Use Policy, or any other publication of the university.

  23. Violation of the university Guest Responsibility and Visitation Policy.

  24. Loud and/or inappropriate noises are prohibited. Residential students must comply with the quiet and courtesy hours in the residence halls.

University as Complainant
As necessary, Dominican University reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the victim of misconduct.

False Reports
Dominican University will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws. 

Group Violations
When members of groups, individuals acting collusively, or members of an organization act in concert in violation of any policy, they may be held accountable as a group, and a hearing may proceed against the group as joint accused students. In any such action, however, determinations will be made with respect to the involvement of each accused individual. 

Immunity for Victims
Dominican University encourages the reporting of conduct code violations and crimes by victims. Sometimes victims are hesitant to report to college officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. It is in the best interests of this community that as many victims as possible choose to report to university officials. To encourage reporting, Dominican University pursues a policy of offering amnesty from policy violations related to the incident.

Bystander Intervention 
The welfare of students in our community is of paramount importance. At times, students on and off campus may need assistance. Dominican University encourages students to offer help and assistance to others in need. Sometimes, students are hesitant to offer assistance to others for fear that they may get in trouble themselves. Dominican University pursues a policy of limited immunity for students who offer help to others in need. While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the university will provide educational options, rather than punishment, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.

Parental Notification
Dominican University reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any conduct situation, particularly alcohol and other drug violations. The university may also notify parents/guardians of non-dependent students who are under age 21 of alcohol and/or drug policy violations. Where a student is non-dependent, Dominican University will contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a health and/or safety risk. Dominican University also reserves the right to designate which university officials have a need to know about individual conduct complaints pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Notification of Outcomes
The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the educational record of the accused student and is protected from release under a federal law, FERPA. However, Dominican University observes the legal exceptions as follows:

  1. Complainants in sexual misconduct and sexual harassment incidents, as well as other incidents as deemed by the dean of students or his/her designee, have a right to be informed of the outcome and sanctions of the hearing, in writing, without condition or limitation.
  2. The university may release publicly the name, nature of the violation and the sanction for any student who is found in violation of a college policy that is a crime of violence, including: arson, burglary, robbery, criminal homicide, sex offenses, assault, destruction/damage/vandalism of property and kidnapping/abduction. The university may release this information to the complainant in any of these offenses regardless of the outcome, but complainants are cautioned that FERPA does not permit them to re-release this information to others.

It has become common for students accused of policy violations to try to defend their actions with excuses, such as prescription drug interactions, self-defense, disabilities, etc.  The college’s policy on defenses is clear. Defending your actions is admitting to a policy violation. While your defense will not excuse your actions, Dominican University will take the legitimacy of your defense into consideration in addressing the proper sanction. 

Misconduct Online
Students are cautioned that behavior conducted online can subject them to college conduct action, such as harassment delivered by email. Students must also be aware that blogs, web pages, social networking websites and similar online postings are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations, if evidence of policy violations is posted online. The university does not regularly review this information, but will take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of college officials. 

The dean of students and/or her/his designee(s) is responsible for the interpretation and implementation of university policy regarding student rights and responsibilities. In the event that a student violates the code of conduct, he/she will be given due process according to the guidelines of the conduct process and the student’ rights and responsibilities. If the dean of students or his/her designee considers there to be imminent danger of harm to person, property or obstruction of university life, she/he may suspend a student from university classes/activities or remove a student from residence until a formal hearing is conducted.

  1. Students are responsible for reading the Student Code of Conduct and Policies and being familiar with its contents. Not knowing its content does not preclude the student from being responsible for the information provided.
  2. Students will be notified of the date, time and place of the conduct hearing at least 72 hours (three business days) in advance. The notice will include a description of the policies allegedly violated and the name of the person filing the report. Students will be notified of all conduct proceedings and results through their Dominican University email account unless informed otherwise by the conduct officer(s). Student may request a waiver of the 72 hour notice to request an expedited hearing.  When possible, those requests will be accepted.
  3. Students may be assisted at hearings by only one Dominican University faculty or staff member. The faculty or staff member cannot speak for the accused student; the faculty or staff member can only advise the student. Communication from the advisor can only happen between the accused student and the faculty or staff member and can be limited at the discretion of the conduct officer. Students must notify the conduct officer if they intend to bring a faculty or staff member and must provide the faculty or staff member’s name at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing. No one other than the principals in the case, one advisor per student, any direct witnesses, and conduct officers are allowed to be present.
  4. The conduct officer(s) determination will be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the student code of conduct.
  5. The accused student(s) have a right to review a list of witnesses in advance of the hearing and review written statements in advance by contacting the conduct officer(s) hearing the case.
  6. Both the accused student(s) and complainant(s) will have the opportunity to bring direct witnesses and present information. The accused student(s) will have the right to speak on his/her behalf, hear and respond to witnesses, and review any written statements at the hearing. Students are not allowed to have copies of any of the materials. If the accused student is bringing witnesses, they must inform the conduct officer at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing.
  7. The decision in each case will be based on information presented at the hearing. The conduct history of the accused student(s) will not be used in determining the student’s culpability, but will be used in determining the appropriate sanction(s). If the alleged violation is a pattern offence (relationship violence, stalking etc.) and the evidence of pattern is relevant, an exception will be made.
  8. A decision will be presented to the student within 72 hours (three business days) of the hearing or as defined by the conduct officer(s).
  9. All witnesses, in any hearing, must attend if called. If a student is called as a witness and does not appear, this will be considered a failure to comply, and the student is subject to disciplinary action. Witnesses must be truthful and appropriate in all their testimony.
  10. If the accused student fails to appear for the hearing, the conduct hearing will be held in the student’s absence.
  11. The conduct officer(s) will deliberate in private and render a decision based on the information presented at the hearing.
  12. If there are multiple conduct officers, decisions will be made by a majority vote.
  13. No recording devices of any kind are allowed.
  14. A student may request a review of the decision of a hearing. See the Review Process section for clarification on how to appropriately request a review of a decision.
  15. A student may waive their due process rights and accept responsibility and a sanction. This action may be initiated by the student or the University.

There are three types of student conduct hearings outlined below, depending on the violation. The rights of a student are the same in each hearing type as stated in the Student’s Rights and Responsibilities section. The conduct officer(s) will decide if a student is responsible or not responsible for the alleged violation(s). The conduct hearing will be scheduled around the student’s academic schedule.

Single or multiple designee(s) of the Dean of Students. These can be both faculty and/or staff, and have participated in special training offered by the Dean of Students office. These individuals hear cases delegated to them by the Dean of Students and have the same powers and responsibilities as the other hearing bodies.

A conduct board made up of staff and/or faculty, all acting as Dean of Students designees. This type of hearing is used for the most egregious violations or repeat offenders. The conduct board may be a single individual or a team of designees.

The University reserves the right to utilize, at its discretion, an Alternative Dispute Resolution. These may include, but are not limited to; arbitration, mediation, and restorative justice approaches.

Mediation is an alternate dispute resolution process intended to facilitate restoration and reconciliation of relationships. If mediation is determined an appropriate alternative, all parties agree to meet with an impartial trained mediator(s) to discuss the incident and attempt to resolve it amicably. Mediation is successful when the parties have reached a consensus about the details of the incident and how it will be resolved. Mediation is a voluntary process and any party may request that mediation be terminated at any time.

A student has the right to request a review of a decision made at the initial hearing by a conduct officer(s). If a review request is denied, no further requests are allowed for the same case. If a review is granted, the review board’s decision is final and no further reviews will be considered.

A request for a review must be submitted using the online form on the Dean of Students myDU page, to the office of the Dean of Students within 72 hours (three business days) after a student is notified of the outcome of the conduct hearing. Please note you must be logged in to myDU to utilize this form. Except as required to explain the basis of new information, a review will be limited to review of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:

  1. To consider new information, unavailable during the original hearing, that could be outcome determinative;
  2. To assess whether a material deviation from written procedures impacted the fairness of the hearing;
  3. To decide if a sanction(s) is grossly disproportionate to the severity of the offense;
  4. To determine that the finding does not accord with the information; or
  5. To assess whether bias on the part of a conduct board member deprived the process of impartiality.

The Dean of Students, and/or his/her designee(s), will decide whether a review request has merit. If the review request is considered to have merit, a review board will be convened. A review is heard by a review board made up of three individuals designated by the Dean of Students, none of whom have been involved in the original hearing. Any sanctions given to the students in the initial hearing are not binding unless the Dean of Students decides otherwise. The review board has the right to call the initial conduct officer(s).

A review of the decision made at the initial hearing is NOT a rehearing of the case. The review board will consider the merit of the student(s) allegations and decide a course of action by majority vote. The review board may choose to affirm the original decision or if overturned, a new sanction may be given, an alternate action may be imposed, and/or a new hearing may be convened.

Following is a list of possible sanctions. Sanctions not on this list may be given for violation of the Code of Conduct.

  • Warning/Reprimand: Documented warning that the behavior is in violation of policy with notification that further violations will result in more serious sanctions.
  • Educational/Creative Project(s): These sanctions are directly related to the incident or behavior and are designed to help educate the student about the consequences of his/her actions. These might include video or book review, planning a program and/or assisting university staff.
  • Community Service: Student participation in an activity designed to assist the university or surrounding community, i.e., volunteer activities at local churches, hospitals, agencies, campus projects or facilities.
  • Restitution/Fines: Repayment of damages resulting from the student’s actions, i.e., damage to university property, damages to individual’s property, imposed fines, etc.
  • Visitation Privilege Loss: A student may have his/her visitation privileges to the residence halls suspended or revoked indefinitely.
  • Probation(s): Supervision of the student’s conduct for a designated period of time during which a subsequent infraction of any university regulation or any standard will result in more serious conduct action. Terms of probation are to be decided by the conduct body and can include but are not limited to: a) inability to represent the university in an official capacity such as student leadership positions, athletics, etc. and b) inability to participate in university activities or designated events.
  • No-Trespass Order: The student will not be allowed to enter university buildings or other university property as defined in the sanction.
  • Relocation of Housing: The student’s room assignment may be changed to an alternate room or building.
  • Removal From Residence: Separation of the student from the residence hall.
  • Suspension: Separation of the student from the university. The student may possibly re-enroll in the future upon successful completion of conditions determined by the university.
  • Termination of Scholarship: Removal/termination of any scholarship provided by Dominican University.
  • Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the university. The student will not be allowed to re-enroll in the university.