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Article I: General Provisions

General Provisions and University Mission Statement

Western Michigan University is a student-centered research university, building intellectual inquiry, investigation, and discovery into all undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The University provides leadership in teaching, research, learning, and public service. Nationally recognized and internationally engaged, the University:

The Student Code and the Office of Student Conduct are tangible examples that illustrate commitment to these ideals. The Student Code describes the boundaries of acceptable student behavior and is approved by the Board of Trustees. The Office of Student Conduct interprets and enforces the Student Code.

A student who chooses to enroll at Western Michigan University assumes the obligation for conduct that is compatible with the University’s mission as an educational institution. While students have the privilege to enroll at the institution of their choice, choosing to enroll at Western Michigan University requires a student to become aware of, and abide by the behavior standards of the University. Ignorance of acceptable boundaries of student behavior as contained in the Student Code is not a basis for excusing inappropriate behavior.

The University conduct process is not analogous to, is not equivalent to, and does not conform to, criminal law processes. This process is designed, in part, to determine responsibility, or lack thereof, for violations of the Student Code only -- not guilt or innocence relative to criminal matters. The University conduct process shall be informal in nature so as to provide substantial justice and it shall not be bound by the same proceedings, definitions, or rules which apply in the courts of law.

The conduct of students in the educational community is a part of the teaching process and as such, its focus shall primarily be educational. This includes the possible use of suspension or expulsion as conduct sanctions as they may prove invaluable tools in the education of students in the University community. The student conduct system is not only concerned with the individual student’s welfare, but also the welfare of the University community. Any question about the processes, rules, or policies, or any other concern not specifically covered by the Student Code, shall be decided solely by the Dean/Associate Dean of Students/or designee. Additionally, the Student Code provisions may be extended or amended to apply to new and unanticipated situations which may arise.

Enrollment in the University does not insulate students from their obligation to behave in a manner consistent with local, state, and federal law. Violation of local, state, and/or federal law while on University premises may also constitute a violation of the Student Code. Some of the policies referred to in the Student Code may also constitute violations of local, state, or federal law and carry the possibility of criminal prosecution or civil legal action.While the University does not desire to act as an authority for the activities of students off of University premises, the University may take appropriate action in situations involving misconduct demonstrating flagrant disregard for any person or persons, and/or when a student’s or student organization’s behavior is judged to threaten the health, safety, and/or property of any individual or group even when the misconduct occurs off of University premises.

While any violation of the Student Code is considered a serious matter, certain violations are considered to be especially egregious. These violations include acts of academic misconduct, any act that disrupts the functions of the University, and any act that threatens the health, safety, or property of any member of the University community or any other person. Students involved in these activities are considered a threat to the orderly functioning of the University and their behavior is considered detrimental to the educational mission.