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Student Conduct Memo

Student conduct, instructor resources and plans of action

There are times when a student causes a distraction in class, either through his/her behavior, or because the instructor has questions on how to deal with requested accommodations.

It is the policy of the University of Washington to support and promote each individual's right to express views and opinions, to associate freely with others, and to assemble peacefully. In order to assure those rights to all members of the University community, the General Conduct Code outlines prohibited conduct on the University campus and identifies applicable disciplinary codes under which sanctions can be applied for violation of the stated rules. This code can be found at:
http://www.washington.edu/students/handbook/conduct.html and http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=478-120

The UW office of Community Standards and Student Conduct (CSSC) provides support and guidance to the University community and is a part of the Division of Student Life. They can help interpret and enforce the student conduct code.

“Under the Student Conduct Code WAC 478-120-020(5) an instructor has the authority to exclude a student from any class session in which that student is being disruptive. If the student persists in the behavior please contact the dean of the college or school and report the matter immediately. CSSC & Student Life are available to consult with you about these kinds of cases. We recommend that you be clear and concise in your instructions to the student and don't hesitate to confront behavior which is disruptive to the academic process.”

A contact there is Elizabeth Lewis (Higgins). Community Standards & Student Conduct: Schmitz 447, Box 355836 (206)685-6194, CSSC@u.washington.edu She can also help with questions on:

Accommodations: Instructors don’t have the responsibility to alter the course to accommodate every student. If there is a physical disability Disabled Student Resources (DSR) can help you determine how much accommodation is necessary and how to achieve it. For other types of accommodations (e.g. if he/she can’t complete course material due to personal or religious reasons) the instructor would have a conversation with the student about learning goals and course requirements, and the student chooses whether he/she can meet the expectations of the course.


The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has guidelines on violence prevention and student conduct -
The CTL web site includes strategies for de-escalating conflicts, and their whole web site is full of tips on responding to difficult situations with students (e.g. plagiarism, sexual harassment, etc.).

If a TA is concerned about a student’s conduct or inappropriate behavior, they should

  • Talk with the professor or faculty supervisor for the class (if there is one) or
  • Talk with the head of their own academic program or
  • Talk with the executive director of the School

If a faculty member is concerned they should:

  • Talk with the head of their academic program or
  • Talk with the executive director of the School or
  • Talk with their associate dean in A&S

If any instructor has any concern for their safety or the safety of their students they should not hesitate to contact:


April 30, 2014