Student Community Ethics

The Department of Student Community Ethics administers the student conduct process for Western Carolina and works to support an honest and responsible community. The Code of Student Conduct holds students accountable for respecting our community standards as laid out in the Student Handbook, Community Creed and Western Carolina’s Code of Student Conduct. We’re here to resolve cases of alleged misconduct in a fair, responsible, and timely manner that emphasizes WCU’s core values of respect, trust, and integrity.

Many student organizations and events promote the safety and well-being of all students while also fostering an environment of acceptance and respect regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, economic status, or profession. Student Community Ethics also works to ensure compliance with Title IX, a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination.

The code of student conduct

5-Step Student Conduct Process

The following section explains the student conduct process step-by-step. Each step explains what the actions of the Department of Student Community Ethics and what a student should expect when going through the process.

Step 1: Notification

  • The student will receive notification in their university email informing them that they have been identified in an incident report.
  • The student must then schedule an appointment with the Department of Student Community Ethics by the date indicated in the letter.

Step 2: The Initial Meeting

  • A hearing officer will meet with the student to explain the process and possible charges.
  • A hearing officer will discuss the student's rights and responsibilities.
  • A hearing officer will explain all student conduct procedures.
  • A hearing officer will hear any statement that student may wish to make.

Step 3: The Mutual Resolution

  • The student will be given to option to mutually resolve the case with the hearing officer at the initial meeting.
  • If the student is found not responsible for a charge or the charge is dropped, the process ends here.
  • If the student is found responsible for a charge, a sanction will be agreed upon by the student and the hearing officer.
  • If a student chooses to mutually resolve, the process ends here after completion of sanctions.
  • If a student chooses to mutually resolve, there is no option for  appeal.
  • If the student chooses to not mutually resolve the case will move on to a hearing.

Step 4: The Hearing Board

  • The Hearing Board will independently determine the student’s responsibility based on the preponderance of information and the hearing proceedings only.
  • The sanction assigned by the hearing officer/body may be more, the same, or less severe than those proposed by the original hearing officer.

Step 5: The Appeal Process

  • In accordance with University of North Carolina Code Section 502 D(3), (see Section II), appeals must be limited to the following grounds:
    (a.) a violation of due process; or
    (b.) a material deviation from Substantive and Procedural Standards adopted by the UNC Board of Governors, as set forth in the UNC Board of Governors Policy Manual 700.4.1.
  • Within five (5) days after the student's receipt of the University's final administrative decision, the party may submit a written rationale for appeal of the decision on responsibility and/or the decision on sanctions to the DSCE.
  • For appeals of decisions on Minor Violations, the Director of the DSCE, will immediately forward appeals, along with the record of the hearing on appeal, to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
  • For appeals of decisions on Serious Violations, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will immediately forward appeals, along with the record of the hearing on appeal, to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for sanctions involving suspension and to the Chancellor for sanctions involving expulsion.
  • No appeal to the President of the University of North Carolina is permitted. When the sanction is expulsion, the party may appeal a decision of the Board of Trustees to the UNC Board of Governors.

Alcohol & Drug Education

All new students are required to complete two online courses, AlcoholEdu and Haven, before arriving on campus. AlcoholEdu works to educate students and empower them to make informed decisions pertaining to alcohol and drug use and Haven seeks to educate students about personal safety as it pertains to sexual violence.

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Campus Safety

If you have an immediate problem and need help now, please call the WCU Police at 828.227.8911. Western Carolina University is committed to maintaining a campus environment free of all forms of violence or abuse. 

WCU Police

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