Community Expectations Policy
We regard APU’s Community Expectations as standards that members of the APU community have voluntarily associated with and accept. Expectations are applied uniformly to all graduate and professional students. While we respect the right of our students to have opinions counter to our own, we expect all students to abide by our Graduate and Professional (G/P) Student Community Expectations and other university policies during their tenure at APU.
Graduate and Professional Student Community Expectations are listed in the section below. Students should review these policies as well as the Accountability Processes.
Graduate and Professional Students may be held responsible for violations of undergraduate student expectations in order to ensure consistency and fairness (e.g., if a graduate and undergraduate are together in the same activity that violates only the undergraduate standards) or if they are found to have facilitated conduct violations by undergraduate students.
The Graduate and Professional Student Community Expectations discussed in this section of the catalog convey the university’s expectations of all graduate and professional students and should be understood as university-wide requirements in addition to program-specific requirements. When alleged violations of any university policies occur, there may be parallel processes including information sharing with judicial affairs and academic departments, because some academic departments and programs have expectations of student conduct specific to their profession and/or discipline. In addition, they also have administrative procedures for addressing alleged violations of those expectations. Students should refer to their program handbooks, where those exist, for details on conduct expectations and the process for addressing infractions.
Community Social Misconduct
Community social misconduct is defined generally as any act(s) that threatens the well-being of the community, its integrity and Christian values, or the well-being of any member of the community and guests. This behavior is unacceptable in any campus setting or while attending or participating in a university sponsored event.
All students must conduct themselves in a manner that promotes and supports the well-being of the community, its integrity, and Christian values. The university reserves the right to confront and hold students accountable for behavior that is detrimental to the student, infringes upon the rights and sensitivities of others, or has the appearance of impropriety (appears to not be in keeping with accepted university standards of what is right and proper). For example, students should refrain from actively participating in or being present at an event where community expectations are being violated on campus or at university sponsored events.
Students are expected to be respectful of the individual rights and freedoms of others within the APU community, including faculty, staff, students, and visitors. If a shared sense of understanding does not exist between community members, students are still expected to exhibit an outward sensitivity to the inherent diversity within the APU community. Conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual based upon their race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, military or veteran status, religion, or denominational difference will not be tolerated.
Honesty and integrity are foundational within an academic institution and are crucial for any community’s health. APU students are expected to conduct themselves in ways that reflect these values. As such, dishonesty in any form (including but not limited to: knowingly furnishing false information, omitting or withholding information, or intentional misrepresentation) will result in disciplinary action.
As a reminder, students should familiarize themselves with the university’s Academic Integrity Policy and Pledge, which reads as follows:
“As a student at this Christ-centered university, I will uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors, nor will I accept the actions of those who do. I will conduct myself responsibly and honorably in all my academic activities as an Azusa Pacific University student.”
Noncompliance with a University Official
The university strictly prohibits any violations of noncompliance, such as: Failure to obey the summons and/or directives of a university official from key offices/departments. (e.g. academic departments, Campus Safety (including University Resource Officer), Residence Life, Student Affairs, Commuter Life, Campus Life, and Judicial Affairs).
Any student determined to be a habitual traffic offender or in violation of imposed parking sanctions on campus will be found to have violated the Community Expectations.
Noncompliance and Disruption of the Accountability Process
Because of the desire for the disciplinary process to be educational and redemptive, students are expected to honestly and completely invest in the process. Students will be held accountable for:
- Failing to fully disclose all requested or related information relative to the alleged violation to a university official during an investigation or the disciplinary process.
- Falsifying, lying, hiding, distorting, or misrepresenting information relevant to or requested in connection with and/or during an investigation or the disciplinary process.
- Disrupting or interfering with orderly conduct during an investigation or the disciplinary process.
- Attempting to or disrupting an individual’s required participation during an investigation or the disciplinary process.
Each situation is case-specific, and a self-report may, but will not necessarily, result in sanctions different from those that would have been issued had the violation been found through the investigation process.
Breaking the Law
Students who break the law, either on or off campus, will be subject to investigation and the disciplinary process. When a student is charged by a federal, state, or local authority during their time as a student, he or she must notify the university in writing regarding the incident(s). The university will not request special consideration for that individual because of his/her student status, and the university will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of the law.
View the number of crimes reported to campus authorities during the past four years.
Disruption of Community Worship
Students may not protest, disrupt, or distract others during any university chapel or worship event. This type of behavior violates our expectations as a worshiping community and is against the law.
The taking of the property of another without his or her consent is prohibited. Violation of this policy may be subject to probable suspension or expulsion from the university.
The university is committed to fostering a positive learning, working, and living environment. Harassment will not be tolerated. (See also Mutual Respect and Sexual Harassment, Stalking, and Sexual Violence.)
Harassment may take place in any form, including conduct that is oral, physical, written, or visual. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, objectionable epithets, demeaning depictions or treatment, and threatened or actual abuse or harm based on an individual’s race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, military or veteran status, religion, or denominational difference.
Harassment may also take place in the form of a hostile environment, which is any harassment that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to interfere with or limit the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs or activities.
Fighting and Violence
Physical violence toward another person is strictly prohibited. Violation of this policy may be subject to probable suspension or expulsion from the university.
Threatening or Endangering Physical or Emotional Well-being
The university will not tolerate expressed or implied threats against others. Any conduct that threatens or endangers the health, physical, or emotional well-being of a community member, including oneself, either on or off campus, is not acceptable. This may also include any conduct violation motivated by bias, prejudice, or insensitivity toward personal characteristics. Where bias or prejudice is involved, it may result in significantly more serious sanctions, including possible suspension or expulsion.
APU provides several offices to support the medical and mental health needs of students within the context of our campus community. Although these offices are able to address many areas of concern, at times, a student’s medical or mental health condition may require a type or level of ongoing professional care that either exceeds what the university has the resources to provide or is incompatible by its nature with the individual’s responsibilities as an APU student (e.g., required in-patient care or rehabilitation for an extended period). Examples of such conditions include, but are not limited to, eating disorders, substance abuse, life-threatening behaviors, and severe or chronic psychotic episodes. As it is our desire to work collaboratively with all students, each student will be assessed individually and on a case-by-case basis. If, based on the judgment of a qualified health professional, such conditions are present and the student refuses to follow the advice of the qualified health professional to pursue appropriate treatment recommendations, and the student presents a substantial risk of self-harm, the student will be referred to the disciplinary process to a determine if the student has violated school policy (see Threatening or Endangering Physical or Emotional Well-being), and if so, what the appropriate sanctions are. As with all disciplinary matters, each investigation and decision will be made on an individualized, case-by-case basis.
Bullying is the verbal, written, or physical abuse of another person beyond a reasonable expression of opinion which causes or is likely to cause another person physical or psychological harm. Behavior that causes humiliation, stress, or emotional harm, or is harassing in nature is considered bullying. All forms of bullying are strictly prohibited. Please also refer to Mutual Respect and Harassment.
Biohazard and Bodily Fluid
Student use of any form of biohazard (e.g. bodily waste or fluid from a human or animal) apart from any academic requirements is dangerous to the health of community members and is strictly prohibited on or off campus. Violation of this policy will result in a minimum fine of $500 per person as well as any additional cost for cleanup and personnel.
Any and all forms of hazing and initiation are strictly prohibited, whether voluntary or involuntary. The university takes very seriously any alleged forms of hazing. Hazing includes, but is not limited to:
- All forms of physical activity deemed dangerous or harmful
- The application of foreign substances to the body
- Scavenger hunts involving illegal activities, kidnapping, or abandoning a member of the community
- Depriving others of sleep as an intentional part of activities
- Not providing decent and edible foods
- Depriving students’ means of maintaining personal hygiene
- Forcing, coercing, pressuring, or requiring students to consume alcohol or foreign or unusual amounts of substances
- Nudity or forcing students to dress in a degrading manner
- Psychological hazing: any act which is likely to compromise the dignity of a student, cause embarrassment or shame to a student, cause a student to be the object of ridicule or malicious amusement, or inflict psychological or emotional harm.
Student participation in any activity on or off campus that threatens and intimidates and/or endangers the health, physical, or emotional well-being of a community member; results in damage, malicious or non-malicious vandalism, or general disregard for university or private property; or involves a violation of university policy is strictly prohibited.
Inappropriate, Lewd, Indecent, or Obscene Behavior or Language
Inappropriate, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior, language, music, or dress will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to the possession or display of pornographic and/or sexually suggestive material, and derogatory racial/ethnic material in any form on university-owned or leased premises, or personal property (e.g., vehicles, electronic devices, clothing, tattoos, etc.).
For more information, refer to APU’s Music Policy.
Sexual Harassment, Stalking, and Sexual Violence
The university is committed to fostering a positive learning and working environment on university premises and within university-sponsored programs. Sexual harassment and sexual violence of any kind in association with any APU program or activity are prohibited. The university will investigate all complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence and will take appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary measures, when warranted. Refer to the university’s Sexual Harassment, Stalking, and Sexual Violence Policy and procedures for more details.
For complaints of sexual harassment, stalking, and sexual violence, refer to the APU Title IX website for support services and reporting procedures, as they are different from Community Expectations procedures.
Hosting Disruptive Gatherings
No student living on or off campus can host any disruptive party, gathering, or event which disturbs or impacts the peace of another. This includes but is not limited to: disturbing the peace of others; excessive noise; violent, offensive, disorderly behavior, or quarrelsome conduct; traffic obstruction of public or private streets by crowds or vehicles; litter; etc. Any host or student who participates in such an activity will be subject to disciplinary process.
Students should be aware that gatherings at their residence may grow beyond their ability to control due to social and other electronic media. Students will still be viewed as hosts in this type of situation and should consider these elements when planning their events.
Hosting Gatherings Involving Alcohol or Drugs
Persons who host gatherings where alcohol is available to participants should be aware that they will be held responsible for the actions of their guests, including their guests’ level of consumption. Persons who host or in any way assist or promote a gathering (on or off campus) that includes any of the following will be subject to probable suspension or expulsion from the university:
- Indication of any participant being under the influence of alcohol (i.e., tipsy, buzzed, drunk, etc.)
- Alcohol given to underage persons or underage consumption of alcohol
- Illegal drug use or illegal use of controlled substances
Those living at the location and present when the party was held may be held responsible as hosts regardless of who provides the alcohol.
Students should be aware that gatherings at their residence may grow beyond their ability to control due to social and other electronic media. Students will still be viewed as hosts in this type of situation and should consider these elements when planning their events.
Participating in Disruptive Gatherings or Gatherings Involving Alcohol or Drugs
No student living on or off campus can participate in any disruptive party, gathering, or event which disturbs or impacts the peace of another. This includes but is not limited to: disturbing the peace of others; excessive noise; violent, offensive, disorderly behavior, or quarrelsome conduct; traffic obstruction of public or private streets by crowds or vehicles; litter; etc. Students may also not participate in, assist, or promote a gathering (on or off campus) that includes alcohol given to underage persons, underage consumption of alcohol, illegal drug usage, or any drunkenness.
Use of Alcohol
Students who purchase, sell, possess, distribute, and/or use alcohol or other intoxicants on campus or at university-sponsored events will be subject to the disciplinary process. Students are not allowed to use alcohol while participating in university-sponsored events and programs even if those events are off campus, regardless of whether the conduct is legal where it occurs. These events include, but are not limited to, athletic events, international programs, mission trips, study abroad programs, performance group trips, club and organization events, club sport events, etc.
See a list of descriptions of substances and the Alcohol and Drugs Federal Mandate as well as Confiscation and Disposal of Contraband policy in the References section below.
Students Under the Influence of Alcohol on Campus
Students are not allowed to be on campus or at university-sponsored events (including athletic events, international programs, mission trips, study abroad programs, performance group trips, club and organization events, club sports events, etc.) while under the influence of alcohol, even if their consumption occurred off campus or away from these events.
Underage Possession and Consumption of Alcohol
The university will not tolerate the possession and consumption of alcohol by students under the age of 21 regardless of their location (i.e., on campus, overseas, study away, mission trips, etc.).
Students Providing Alcohol To Underage People
The university will not tolerate students providing alcohol to those under the age of 21 regardless of the location (on campus, overseas, mission trips, etc.) in any form (i.e. powder). Such action will be subject to probable suspension or expulsion from the university.
Students may not possess, distribute, and/or use illegal narcotics, or other intoxicants, on or off campus (including athletics events, international programs, mission trips, study away programs, performance group trips, club and organization events, club sports events, etc.). This includes medical marijuana, misuse of prescription drugs, salvia, any form of hallucinogens, and associated paraphernalia. See a list of descriptions of substances and the alcohol and drugs federal mandate listed in the References section below. Also, see the Confiscation and Disposal of Contraband policy in the References section below.
Use of Tobacco
In the interest of common health concerns, the campus provides a tobacco-free environment. Use or display of any form of tobacco (including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smokeless tobacco, chew, hemp, hookah, vaping, paraphernalia, devices, etc.) on university premises or at any university-sponsored function is strictly prohibited.
Gambling is prohibited on campus or at any university-sponsored event.
Unauthorized Use of University Property or Premise
Unauthorized entry and misuse of university premises or property (e.g., living area lounges, Cougar Dome, athletic fields, etc.), including but not limited to, entering a restricted area (e.g., rooftops), the unauthorized use of computers or telephones, other university equipment is prohibited. Unauthorized Gatherings/events that occur on campus without university approval are subject to a $500 fine.
The illegal use, possession of, or tampering with safety equipment, such as fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire doors, door locks, latches, etc., on university premises is illegal and may result in criminal prosecution and a mandatory minimum fine of $500.
Inappropriate Computer Usage
The University filters and monitors inappropriate computer and online usage, and upgrades its filtering and monitoring abilities as the university deems necessary. Software piracy is a theft. Azusa Pacific University does not condone or tolerate the unauthorized copying of licensed computer software by staff, faculty, or students. The unauthorized duplication, operation on machines other than for which it is licensed, or other “piracy” of software is a violation of federal law and may expose the individual and the university to legal processes. The use of peer-to-peer file sharing protocols that are known to distribute and share copyrighted material illegally is a violation of university policy and subjects violators to disciplinary action. The university must adhere to its contractual obligations and comply with all copyright laws, and expects each member of the APU community to do the same. Anyone who violates this policy may be subject to discipline as outlined in the staff, faculty, or student handbooks, and could face additional and possibly costly civil or criminal liability. Questions about whether particular activities are permissible or violate this policy should be directed to staff members of the Office of Student Affairs or the Legal Affairs General Counsel.
More information is available on the Information and Media Technology Policies and Procedures page.
Any malicious or non-malicious act that causes damage, destroys, or defaces any university, public, private, or another university’s property is strictly prohibited. Restitution determined by the university will be required.
Inappropriate Communication and Publication
Communication between members of the APU community is expected to reflect an appropriate degree of mutual respect and civility. Therefore, students are expected to demonstrate a respect for fellow students, faculty, staff, and guests of the university in all communication regardless of whether the communication is through a face-to-face exchange, email, social media, texting, blogs, telephone, etc.
Students may be held accountable for statements and publications that they make that appear to be inconsistent with the current Community Expectations.
Some examples of inappropriate communications include:
- Obscene, racist, sexist, ethnically-insensitive, harassing, or intimidating language that threatens the physical, emotional health, or safety of self or others.
- Use of email or computer networks to send unsolicited junk mail, chain letters, links to inappropriate sites, or to further any illegal or unauthorized activity.
- Use of profanity in any form.
This list is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of inappropriate communications.
Possession of any type of weapon, including but not limited to regular firearms, ammunition, BB/pellet guns, paint guns, air guns, airsoft guns, taser guns, any facsimile of a gun or any counterfeit firearm, blow guns, blow gun ammunition, switchblades, bows and arrows, explosive devices or materials used to manufacture explosive devices, martial arts weapons, fireworks, water balloon launchers, and all other weapons listed in the California penal code section 18710-22610, and/or other weapons considered illegal, dangerous, or deemed by Student Life officials to be inappropriate to possess on university premises is prohibited.
Personal protection pepper spray (not exceeding 2.5 ounces net weight of aerosol spray), known as Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), is permitted on campus properties. Persons carrying personal protection pepper spray are responsible for complying with all laws governing the possession and use of chemical/pepper spray weapons, as detailed in California Penal Codes 22810-22910.
Exception to this policy is for items used for academic purposes which have been approved by the Provost.
See Confiscation and Disposal of Contraband policy in the References section below.
Alcohol and Drugs Federal Mandate
The federal government mandated on October 1, 1990, that there will be no illegal drug use by students, staff, or faculty on college campuses anywhere in the United States. At its November 22, 1991, meeting, the Board of Trustees of Azusa Pacific University adopted the following policy statement to comply with the law. The policy, which is to be shared in writing with students, staff, and faculty, is as follows:
On November 18, 1988, Congress passed the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D; 41 U.S.C. 701 et. seq.). This statute requires contractors and grantees of federal agencies to certify that they will provide a drug-free workplace. Making this required certification is a precondition for receiving a contract or grant from a federal agency.
Pursuant to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, it is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, or use controlled substances at university work sites and/or while performing university activities, events, or business. The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (P.L. 101-226) amends the 1988 law, stating that it is also unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or sell illicit drugs and alcohol in the workplace, at any university activities or events, or while performing university business.
Compliance for Students
The university makes every effort to provide and maintain a drug-free campus. Pursuant to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, it is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or sell illicit drugs and alcohol in all buildings, property, facilities, service areas, and satellite centers of the university. All students are required to comply with this policy as a condition of their continued enrollment. Any student violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension and possible expulsion.
Local, state, and federal laws establish severe penalties for violations of drug and alcohol statutes. These sanctions, upon conviction, may range from a fine to life imprisonment. In the case of possession and distribution of illegal drugs, these sanctions could include the seizure and summary forfeiture of property, including vehicles. It is especially important to know that federal laws have established penalties for illegally distributing drugs to include life imprisonment and fines in excess of \$1,000,000. Some examples of local or state laws are as follows:
- Unlawful possession of a narcotic drug is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.
- The purchase, possession, or consumption of any alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 is prohibited.
- It is not permissible to provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
- Serving alcohol to an intoxicated person is prohibited.
- Selling any alcoholic beverages, either directly or indirectly, except under the authority of a California Alcoholic Beverage Control License, is prohibited.
- It is a felony to induce another person to take various drugs and “intoxicating agents” with the intent of enabling oneself or the drugged person to commit a felony. The person who induced the other may be regarded as a principal in any crime committed.
- Any person found in a public place to be under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drug and unable to care for his/her own safety, or who is interfering with the use of a public way, is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor.
In addition, pursuant to federal law, a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid may be suspended if the student is convicted, under federal or state law, of any offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs.
Alcohol/drug abuse counseling, treatment, rehabilitation information, referral information, and social service directories for Los Angeles County are available in the Student Health Center, Office of Student Life, and the University Counseling Center.
The use of illegal drugs and tobacco and abuse of alcohol may have serious health consequences, including damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs. Alcohol accidents are the number one cause of death for persons aged 15–24. The most significant health risk, besides death, is addiction. Chemical dependency is a disease that, if not arrested, is fatal. Illegal drug use or possession may involve, but is not limited to the following substances:
Even low doses of alcohol significantly impair the judgment and coordination needed to operate vehicles. Small amounts also lower inhibitions. Moderate to high doses cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, memory, and ability to learn and recall information. High doses cause respiratory depression and death. Long-term consumption, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can lead to dependence and permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.
If combined with other depressants that affect the central nervous system, even low doses of alcohol will produce adverse effects. Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation.
Immediate effects include relaxation and increased confidence and metabolism. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to contract heart disease. Thirty percent of cancer deaths are linked to smoking. Chronic obstructive lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, are 10 times more likely to occur among smokers than nonsmokers. Smoking during pregnancy also poses risks such as spontaneous abortion, premature birth, and low birth weights. Fetal and infant deaths are more likely to occur when the pregnant woman is a smoker. Tobacco/nicotine is both psychologically and physically addictive.
Cannabis: Marijuana, THC, Hashish, Hashish Oil
Physical effects of cannabis include increased heart rate and appetite, bloodshot eyes, and dry mouth and throat. Use of cannabis may impair or reduce ability to drive an automobile or perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination. Motivation and cognition may be altered, making the acquisition of new information difficult. Marijuana, hashish, THC, etc., can also produce paranoia and psychosis. Long-term use may result in possible lung damage, reduced sperm count and mobility, and affect ovulation cycles. Cannabis can also be psychologically addictive.
Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system. Its immediate effects include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates, and body temperature. Occasional use can cause nasal irritation; chronic use can ulcerate the mucous membrane of the nose. Crack or freebase rock is extremely addictive. Physical effects include dilated pupils, increased pulse rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, tactile hallucinations, paranoia, and seizures. The use of cocaine can cause death by cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.
Stimulants: Amphetamines, Crank, Ice, Methamphetamines
Stimulants cause increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils, and decreased appetite. Users may experience sweating, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Extremely high doses can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, and physical collapse. An amphetamine injection creates a sudden increase in blood pressure that can result in stroke, very high fever, or heart failure. In addition to physical effects, feelings of restlessness, anxiety, and moodiness can result. Use of large amounts over a long period of time can cause amphetamine psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. The use of amphetamines can cause physical and psychological dependence.
Hallucinogens: PCP, LSD
Phencyclidine (PCP) interrupts the functions of the neocortex, possibly resulting in self-inflicted injuries. Users may experience a sense of distance and estrangement, loss of muscular coordination, and speech impairment. Large doses may produce convulsions and coma as well as heart and lung failure.
Lysergic Acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. Physical effects may include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, tremors, and psychological reactions. Users may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects or flashbacks can occur even after use has ceased. Use of hallucinogens can cause psychological dependence.
Students who possess, distribute, and/or use alcohol, narcotics, or other intoxicants may be subject to the disciplinary process. Students present on campus while under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol are subject to disciplinary process even if their consumption was off campus.
Steroid users subject themselves to more than 70 side effects, ranging in severity from acne to liver abnormalities to psychological reactions. The liver and cardiovascular and reproductive systems are most seriously affected by use. In males, use can cause withered testicles, sterility, and impotence. In females, masculine traits can develop along with breast reduction and sterility. Psychological effects in both sexes include very aggressive behavior known as “roid rage” and depression. While some side effects appear quickly, others such as heart attacks and strokes may not show up for years.