11.00 Behavior Violating University Standards and Appropriate Sanctions
General principles of academic integrity include and incorporate the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others, the expectation that individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by an instructor, and the obligations both to protect one’s own academic work from misuse by others as well as to avoid using another’s work as one’s own. All students are expected to understand and abide by these principles. Faculty members may include additional classroom and assignment policies, as articulated on their syllabus.
The following are examples of violations of these and other university standards.
A. The submission of material authored by another person but represented as the student’s own work, whether that material is paraphrased or copied in verbatim or near-verbatim form.
B. The submission of material subjected to editorial revision by another person that results in substantive changes in content or major alteration of writing style.
C. Improper acknowledgment of sources in essays or papers.
Note: Culpability is not diminished when plagiarism occurs in drafts which are not the final version. Also, if any material is prepared or submitted by another person on the student’s behalf, the student is expected to proofread the results and is responsible for all particulars of the final draft.
A. Acquisition of term papers or other assignments from any source and the subsequent presentation of those materials as the student’s own work, or providing term papers or assignments that another student submits as his/her own work.
B. Distribution or use of notes or recordings based on university classes or lectures without the express permission of the instructor for purposes other than individual or group study. This includes, but is not limited to, providing materials for distribution by services publishing class notes. This restriction on unauthorized use also applies to all information, which had been distributed to students or in any way had been displayed for use in relationship to the class, whether obtained in class, via email, on the Internet or via any other media. (See Section C.1 Class Notes Policy).
C. Recording a university class without the express permission of the instructor and announcement to the class. Recording can inhibit future free discussion and thus infringe on the academic freedom of other students as well as the instructor.
A. Any use or attempted use of external assistance in the completion of an academic assignment and/or during an examination shall be considered academically dishonest unless expressly permitted by the instructor. The following are examples of unacceptable examination behaviors: communicating with fellow students during an exam, copying or attempting to copy material from another student’s exam; allowing another student to copy from an exam; possession or use of unauthorized notes, calculator, or other materials during exams and/or any behavior that defeats the intent of an exam or other classwork; and unauthorized removal of exam materials.
B. Submission of altered work after grading shall be considered academically dishonest, including but not limited to changing answers after an exam or assignment has been returned or submitting another’s exam as one’s own to gain credit.
A. Obtaining for oneself or providing for another person a solution to homework, a project or other assignments, or a copy of an exam or exam key without the knowledge and expressed consent of the instructor.
B. Unauthorized collaboration on a project, homework or other assignment. Collaboration between students will be considered unauthorized unless expressly part of the assignment in question or expressly permitted by the instructor.
A. Attempting to benefit from the work of another or attempting to hinder the work of another student.
B. Any act which may jeopardize another student’s academic standing.
Using an essay, term paper or project more than once without permission of the instructor(s).
Falsification, alteration or misrepresentation of official or unofficial records or documents including but not limited to academic transcripts, academic documentation, letters of recommendation, and admissions applications or related documents.
Taking a course, any course work or exam for another student or allowing another individual to take a course, course work, a portion of a course or exam in one’s stead.
A. Using university computer, network and word processing systems to gain access, alter and/or use unauthorized information.
B. Misuse of university computer systems or access to those systems as articulated by the university’s Computing Policies (including improper downloading of material, see F.1)
Fabrication: Submitting material for lab assignments, class projects or other assignments which is wholly or partially falsified, invented or otherwise does not represent work accomplished or undertaken by the student.
Any act that gains or is intended to gain an unfair academic advantage may be considered an act of academic dishonesty.
A. Dishonesty, such as furnishing false information to any university official, faculty member or office. This includes, but is not limited to, furnishing false information in academic petitions or requests, financial aid documents, student employment documents, financial statements or other documents or intentionally evading university officials and/or obligations to the university.
B. Failing to participate fully and truthfully in university investigations.
A. Conducting oneself in a manner that endangers the health or safety of oneself within the university community or at university sponsored or related events.
B. Conducting oneself in a manner that endangers the health or safety of other members or visitors within the university community or at university sponsored or related events.
Unauthorized entry, presence in or use of university premises, facilities or property.
A. Forgery, unauthorized alteration or unauthorized use of any university document, records, keys or instruments of identification, or of documents or records related to functions of the university.
B. Unauthorized presentation of oneself as a representative of the university for the purpose of gaining or attempting to gain privilege, convenience, goods or services.
C. Possession, manufacture or distribution of false or altered instruments of identification within the university community.
Theft (or attempted theft) of property or of services within the university community; possession of stolen property regardless of origin; or misappropriation of university resources.
A. Causing physical harm to any person in the university community or at university-sponsored activities.
B. Causing reasonable apprehension of harm to any person in the university community or at university-sponsored activities.
Note: Self-defense is that which reasonably appears necessary, in view of all the circumstances of the case, to prevent injury and remove oneself from the situation.
Destroying, damaging or defacing the property of others, whether in the university community or at university-sponsored activities or assignments.
Behavior which disrupts or interferes with normal university or university-sponsored activities, including, but not limited to, study, teaching, research, officially invited speakers, university administration, public safety, or fire, police or emergency services or other authorized activity. (Also see Policy on Free Expression and Dissent.)
Failure to comply with directions of university officials acting in the performance of their duties while in the university community or at university-sponsored activities, or resisting or obstructing such university officials in the performance of their duties, including failure to carry and/or provide upon request appropriate USC student identification.
Unauthorized use, possession or dissemination of alcohol in the university community or at university-sponsored activities. (Also see University Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs.)
Use, possession or dissemination of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia in the university community or at university-sponsored activities. (Also see University Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs.)
Behavior which disrupts or interferes with the freedom of expression of others in the university community or at university-sponsored activities. (Also see Policy on Free Expression and Dissent.)
Participation in or promotion of a disturbance of the peace or unlawful assembly in the university community or at university-sponsored activities as well as violating published USC guidelines regarding amplification equipment and noise. (Also see Policy on Free Expression and Dissent.)
A. Engaging in disruptive or disorderly conduct in the university community or at university-sponsored activities.
B. Engaging in a lewd, indecent or obscene behavior in the university community or at university-sponsored activities.
C. Encouraging or permitting others to engage in misconduct prohibited within the university community. Failing to confront and prevent the misconduct, notify an appropriate university official of the misconduct, or remove oneself from the situation.
Initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning or threat, such as that of fire, explosion or other emergency in the university community or at university-sponsored activities.
A. Misusing or damaging fire safety equipment or other emergency equipment in the university community or at university-sponsored activities.
B. Failure to evacuate during a fire alarm, whether the alarm is activated falsely, as a drill, or in a genuine emergency.
C. Inappropriate use of flammable substances or equipment, or use of such items without proper authorization.
A. Unauthorized use or possession of firearms or replicas, ammunition, explosives, knives, flammable substances or other weapons in the university community or at university-sponsored events.
B. Unauthorized use or possession of fireworks in the university community or at university-sponsored events.
Violating rules and regulations pertaining to the operation of bicycles, mopeds and/or vehicles, roller skates, rollerblades, scooters and skateboards in the university community property. (Also see F.10 Bicycles; F.11 Motorscooters/ Motorcycles; F.12 Roller Skates, Rollerblades, Skateboards and Other Coasting Devices.)
Knowingly violating the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with the Student Conduct Code. This includes further violations during a period of disciplinary probation.
A. Violating regulations or policies governing residence in university owned or administered property (e.g., rules outlined in the USC Housing Contract and Residential Education policies).
B. Violating standards or policies established for social greek letter organizations, including but not limited to the Greek Recognition Standards.
C. Violating any policies, rules or regulations of the university including but not limited to administrative rules of campus offices.
D. Violating the Policy Concerning Group Responsibility for Student Organizations (including social greek letter organizations). This policy can be found in G.2, or from the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development and in the Office of Campus Activities.
A. Comments or actions which are individually directed and which are harassing, intimidating or threatening or interfere with work or learning, for the person at which they are directed and for a reasonable person. (Also see E.1 Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation; E.2 Sexual Misconduct and the university policy on acts of violence, www.usc.edu/policies.)
B. Photographing, filming, digitally recording, streaming or attempting to capture or stream audio, video or other recordings of any individual(s) in the university community in bathrooms, showers, residences, locker rooms or other areas where there is an expectation of privacy with respect to nudity and/or sexual activity, without the knowledge and consent of all individuals subject to such recordings. This section does not apply to surveillance or recording activities authorized by the university or law enforcement entities.
Any act chargeable as a violation of local, state or federal law may be cited as a violation of the University Student Conduct Code, whether or not charges are brought by civil authorities, when such act(s) occur on university premises, or at university sponsored activities or events, or when such conduct adversely affects the university community and/or the pursuit of its objectives.
11.53 Sexual Misconduct
This policy prohibits a broad continuum of behaviors, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, physical assault, stalking, and indecent exposure. For all relevant definitions relating to the following code sections, See Section E.2, Sexual Misconduct.
- Engaging in any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal or non-consensual sexual conduct or lewd, indecent or obscene behavior, which is sexual in nature, within the university community or at university-sponsored activities, when the conduct, has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic, work or student living environment.
- Sexual touching, fondling and/or groping, including intentional contact with the intimate parts of another, causing another to touch one’s intimate parts, or disrobing or exposure of another without permission. Intimate parts may include the breasts, genitals, buttocks, groin, mouth, or any other part of the body that is touched in a sexual manner.
- Attempted intercourse, sexual contact, sexual touching, fondling and/or groping.
- Non-consensual vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with a body part (e.g., penis, tongue, finger, hand, etc.) or object, or oral penetration involving mouth to genital contact.
- Sexual exploitation: An act or acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose.
- Indecent Exposure: Exposing ones genitals in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons under circumstances in which one knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront, or alarm.
- Dating or Intimate Partner Violence
- Retaliation: any act or attempt to retaliate against or seek retribution from any individual or group of individuals involved in the investigation and/or resolution of a sexual misconduct or harassment allegation, whether as a complainant, a witness, or a potential witness.
Revised August 2014
Engaging in behavior prohibited by the policy against Hazing. (See 11.61.)
Any act that intimidates or threatens a student, staff or faculty member because of his/her intent to file, filing or proceeding with a police, USC Department of Public Safety or Student Conduct incident report or review.
11.60 Falsification of Financial Aid Information
The types of information covered by this policy include all documents and information submitted to apply for and/or receive need-based financial aid, scholarships and private financing funds. These documents and information include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- The Student Aid Report (SAR)
- The CSS Financial Aid/PROFILE Application and CSS Noncustodial Parent PROFILE Application
- Enrollment and Housing Form
- Student and parent federal income tax forms, tax return information and other income documentation
- Documentation of U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen status
- Documentation of housing/living arrangements
- Academic documents relating to high school diploma or college course work
- Loan applications, promissory notes and related documentation
- Specific program applications
- Federal Work-Study time sheets
- Any university financial aid forms and related documentation
- Any written, electronic or verbal statements sent to or made to a university employee regarding the student’s financial aid application or other related documents
The integrity of the documents and the honesty of the information presented through them are critical to the financial aid process. Students should be aware that they will be held responsible for the integrity of any financial aid information submitted either by them or on their behalf.
If the university determines that a student or a parent has provided falsified information, or has submitted forged documents or signatures, the following steps may be taken without prior notification to the student or parent:
- An incident report will be filed with USC’s Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards following procedures outlined in the University Student Conduct Code. Pending resolution of the complaint, the Financial Aid Office may restrict the distribution of any further aid to the accused student.
- If the Financial Aid Office or the student conduct review process finds that a violation has occurred, the consequences may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The student will be required to make full restitution of any and all federal, state, private and/or university scholarship, grant, loan, or work funds to which he or she was not entitled.
- Until full restitution is made, all federal, state and university funds will be withheld from the student, including all funds disbursed in past or in current semesters.
- No arrangements will be made with the Cashier’s Office or Collections Office on the student’s behalf to settle an account. The student will be responsible for all charges incurred on the student’s account because of the loss of federal, state or institutional financial aid funds.
- If the student is determined to be ineligible for financial aid, based on a basic eligibility criterion, no further federal, state or university funds will be awarded to the student in any future terms of enrollment at the university.
- The student may become ineligible for future participation in some or all financial aid programs for a minimum of one year or longer. In some cases, the student will not be eligible to receive funds from that program in any future terms of enrollment at the university.
- The student will not be awarded funds to replace those lost because of dishonesty.
- In addition to any consequences directly related to the student’s financial aid, the student may be assigned disciplinary sanctions as described in the Student Conduct Code (11.80).
- As required by federal and state law, the USC Financial Aid Office will report any infraction to the appropriate office or agency. These include, but are not limited to, the U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General, state agencies or other entities that may take whatever action is required by federal and state law. In this report, the Financial Aid Office will describe in detail the incident, the response of the Financial Aid Office and any additional actions taken by or pending with the university.
Revised July 2013.
The University of Southern California expects that all members of the university community will observe and fully comply with the State of California Education Code requirements on hazing. In addition, all students are expected to adhere to related regulations set forth by their respective inter/national, regional or local organizations and university policies concerning practices commonly referred to as hazing. It is the responsibility of the officers of organizations to be informed of all the regulations and to see that they are brought to the attention of the rest of the membership.
I. Excerpt from the State of California Education Code
32051. No student, or any other person in attendance at any public, private, parochial, or military school, community college, college, or other educational institution, shall conspire to engage in hazing, participate in hazing, or commit any act that causes or is likely to cause bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to any fellow student or person attending the institution.
The violation of this section is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both.
II. Prohibition of Hazing
The University of Southern California’s policy with respect to hazing prohibits any students from engaging collectively or individually in any of the following practices as a part of any programs or general activities. This list is intended to provide examples of hazing. As it is impossible to anticipate every situation that could involve hazing, this list should not be considered to be all-inclusive. For clarification of this hazing policy and what activities are included, contact the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development, or the Office of Campus Activities.
- All forms of physical activity not a part of an organized athletic contest and not specifically directed toward constructive work.
- The application of foreign substances to the body.
- Such activities as scavenger hunts, which result in illegal activity, pledge ditches, kidnaps and the like.
- Depriving students of sufficient sleep (eight consecutive hours per day minimum).
- Not providing decent and edible meals (no unusual combinations or preparation, colored foods, etc.).
- Depriving students access to means of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness (including a minimum of one shower per day).
- Forcing, coercing or permitting students (a) to eat or drink foreign or unusual substances such as raw meat, salt water, onions, etc,
- Nudity or forcing or allowing students to dress in a degrading manner.
- Forcing, coercing or permitting students to drink excessive amounts of any substance, including alcohol, water, liquids, foods, cinnamon, peppers or other substances.
- Branding any part of the body.
- Psychological hazing, which is defined as any act or peer pressure which is likely to: (a) compromise the dignity of any student affiliated with the organization, (b) cause embarrassment or shame to any student affiliated with the organization, (c) cause any student affiliated with the organization to be the object of malicious amusement or ridicule, or (d) cause psychological harm or substantial emotional strain.
III. Procedures for Dealing with a Hazing Incident
Anyone with information about a hazing incident, which violates university policy has a responsibility to report it to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, the Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development staff, Campus Activities or the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.
IV. Loss of Recognition and Probation for Student Organizations
Following a proved allegation of hazing, individual members and officers of the organization may be subject to disciplinary action by the university, up to and including suspension and permanent dismissal from the university. Additionally, the student organization may lose its recognition/registration. Loss of recognition/registration may begin immediately after a decision finding hazing is finalized. In order to regain recognition/registration a student organization may be required to suspend activities such as:
- recruitment of new members
- changes in membership status
- social functions
- officer elections
- participation in voting groups of associated organizations (e.g., student assemblies, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, etc.) or participation in their sponsored events
- participation in intramurals and accumulation of award points
- use of university facilities, including office space, meeting space or residence
- all operations of the student organization
- Internet access (email and Website)
The restoration of recognition will be followed by a period of probation for the organization. Probationary status for the organization may include some of the limitations imposed during suspension and may also involve projects, programs and/or other criteria to be met by the organization. These stipulations will be designed to promote positive development of the organization.
Please refer to section 11.00 Behavior Violating University Standards and Appropriate Sanctions for additional information.
Revised August 2013.
11.71 Violation of any other requirement set out in this chapter of SCampus on university policies is a violation of the Student Conduct Code.
Revised August 2013.
Sanctions for violations of the university Student Conduct Code are assessed appropriately for the cited violation. Sanctions will be considered in light of students’ entire conduct records at the university and will be designed to hold students accountable for their actions and the resulting or potential consequences of such actions, to promote the educational well-being of students and to protect the educational environment of the university and the safety of its community.
All academic integrity violations will result in an academic consequence. Failure to comply with the terms of any imposed sanctions may be considered an additional violation.
When a student’s enrollment is cancelled as a result of disciplinary action resulting in marks of “W” on the student’s academic transcript, the university’s policy is not to refund tuition or fees for the cancelled enrollment.
One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed for violations of university regulations.
Expulsion from the University: Permanent termination of student status. A permanent notation will appear on the student’s transcript. The student will be excluded from all classes, seminars and programs; will not be allowed to participate in any university-sponsored activity; may not receive a USC degree; and is barred from university premises. If the expulsion becomes effective during a semester for which the student currently is enrolled, the student’s enrollment will be cancelled by the university resulting in marks of “W” for the enrolled courses on the student’s academic transcript.
Suspension from the University: Termination of student status for a specified but limited period of time. During the period of suspension, the student will be excluded from all classes, seminars and programs; will not be allowed to participate in any university-sponsored activities; and is barred from university premises. A restriction will be placed prohibiting the student from performing any registration transactions during the period of suspension. The restriction will not be removed, and the student will not be allowed to perform registration transactions, until the stated period of suspension has expired and all disciplinary obligations have been met. A notation will appear on the student’s academic transcript indicating the dates of suspension. Upon earning a degree from the university, the suspension notation may be omitted from the transcript at the sole discretion of the university. In some cases, suspensions may be permanently noted on the transcript. During the period of suspension, the student may not complete academic work elsewhere that may be counted toward the completion of a USC degree.
Violation of the conditions of suspension, university policies or regulations during the period of suspension may be cause for further disciplinary action, usually in the form of expulsion from the university. Normally after the suspension, the student will be on disciplinary probation for a specified period of time. If the suspension becomes effective during a semester for which the student currently is enrolled, the student’s enrollment will be cancelled by the university resulting in marks of “W” for the enrolled courses on the student’s transcript.
Interim Suspension/Action: The Vice Provost for Student Affairs or designee may initiate interim suspension or action against a student or organization pending disciplinary proceedings whenever there is evidence that the student or organization poses a substantial threat to the safety or well-being of members of the university community, to property within the university community or when a student or organization poses a continuing threat of disruption or interference to normal university life or functions. A student or organization subject to interim suspension or action will be given prompt written notice of the charges and the opportunity for a review within 15 days of the notice, unless a later date shall be mutually agreed upon by the accused student or organization and the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards.
A. Interim Suspension: Exclusion from all classes, seminars and programs; prohibition of participation in university-sponsored activities; and exclusion from university premises.
B. Interim Action: Includes, but is not limited to, exclusion from university housing or a specified portion thereof, or from other specified activities or areas of the campus as set forth in the written notice of Interim Action.
Revocation of Admission: The student loses admitted status to the university. The student may not continue enrollment or enroll for future semesters and may not receive a USC degree. Normally, revocation of admission precludes the student from the opportunity to apply to or be admitted to any program at the university in the future. A permanent notation will be made on the student’s transcript indicating that admission was revoked and the date of the action. If the revocation of admission becomes effective during a semester for which the student currently is enrolled, the student’s enrollment will be cancelled by the university resulting in marks of “W” for the enrolled courses on the student’s academic transcript.
Revocation of Degree: The student loses the right to claim the degree as earned. Posting of the degree will be removed from the student’s transcript, and a permanent notation will be made on the transcript indicating the revocation, the degree involved and the date of the action.
Dismissal from an Academic Unit: Permanent termination of the student’s right to enroll or participate in the classes, seminars and/or programs of a specific academic unit, school or department.
A. Undergraduate Students: Dismissal from a specific undergraduate academic unit shall not prevent undergraduate students from enrolling in other university academic units. Normally after dismissal from an academic unit, the student will be on disciplinary probation for a specified period of time.
B. Graduate Students: Students who have been dismissed from a specific graduate academic unit may not enroll in other graduate programs unless they have gained formal admission to such programs.
Removal from an individual course or section of a course. Removal precludes the student from participation in and attendance of the course or section, or any of its sessions. In multiple section courses, the student will not necessarily be allowed to transfer to another section.
Grade Sanctions: Any disciplinary grade reduction including, but not limited to, grades of “F” for a course, a reduced grade for a course, grades of “F” or zero credit for assignments, or reduced credit for assignments. In cases where a student has registered for a course on a Pass/No Pass basis and the student is found responsible for an academic violation, a letter grade may be assigned. See Appendix A for university recommendations.
Disciplinary Probation: Indicates that the student has engaged in unacceptable behavior and may be required to report to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards and meet specific conditions related to the violation during the probationary period. Additionally, the student is given written notice that any further violations of university policies may result in more severe sanctions such as removal from university housing, suspension, dismissal from an academic unit or expulsion from the university.
Warning: Written notice to the student that continued or repeated violations may be cause for further disciplinary action, normally in the form of disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion.
Restitution: Reimbursement for damage to university property or for misappropriation of university property or services may be imposed in combination with other disciplinary action where appropriate. The student may be required to make reimbursement to the university for property damages incurred as a result of a violation of this code. Such reimbursement may take the form of monetary payment or appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damages. Restitution may be assigned for minor damage to the property of individuals or groups within the university community, but adjudication of student discipline usually will defer determination of significant restitution to other appropriate processes.
Restriction or Loss of Computing Privileges: Consequences for violation of the University Computing Policies or violations involving use of university computing services may include:
A. Restrictions placed on the use of university computing resources that may include prohibition of access to particular facilities or resources (e.g., Resnet), or limits placed on the use of university computing resources (e.g., restriction to use for specified academic work only).
B. Loss of privilege of using university computing resources for any purpose, including academic work. Loss of privilege may be temporary or permanent.
Organizational Sanctions: All residential and non-residential organizations, clubs and similar organized groups are responsible for compliance with university rules and regulations. Upon a determination that the group has encouraged violations or did not take reasonable steps as a group to prevent violations of university rules and regulations, the group may be subjected to permanent or temporary removal of recognition/registration, social probation, denial of the use of university facilities or other appropriate sanctions (see Policy Concerning Group Responsibility for Student Organizations).
Other Sanctions: Other sanctions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified in the above list. Examples include but are not limited to: university housing reassignment or removal, restrictions upon or denial of driving privileges on campus, prohibition of student leadership opportunities, counseling, community service work, research projects, seminars, classes or other educational experiences deemed appropriate. Certain sanctions also may be assigned as “deferred” under appropriate circumstances (e.g., deferred removal from housing, deferred suspension from the university, deferred loss of organizational recognition).
Revised April 2013.