As a Christian University affiliated with the Churches of Christ, Pepperdine treats everyone with the respect and kindness that we have been called to show one another. The University community is a space where lives intersect and knowledge is discovered, which fortifies the strength found in our differences and uncovers the virtues revealed in diversity, unity, and restoration. To that end, Pepperdine is committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination as described in California Education Code Section 66270 and reserves its right to remain a Christian University by favoring co-religionists in its admissions decisions.
Students and prospective students should read this catalog carefully. This catalog, along with other published policies, describes student rights and duties with respect to the University. Enrollment constitutes an agreement by the student to abide by the rules, regulations, and policies of Pepperdine University.
Admission Contingent Upon Truthfulness
Applicants are advised that the University’s decision to admit them is contingent upon the truthfulness of the information contained in the application files submitted by the applicant and/or persons on the applicant’s behalf, including letters of recommendation. Discovery of false information subsequent to admission, at the University’s discretion, is grounds for withdrawal of the offer of admission or for immediate dismissal at any point in the student’s course of study. Such dismissal shall result in forfeiture of all charges paid and academic credits earned.
Applicability of Catalog Provisions
The academic offerings and policies in this catalog are applicable only to students who enroll prior to the fall 2018 semester and who attend Pepperdine University after August 25, 2017.
Campus Security and Fire Safety Report
A copy of Pepperdine University’s annual campus security and fire safety report is available at the Pepperdine University Department of Public Safety website. A hard copy of this report is available upon request by contacting the Department of Public Safety at (310) 506-4700.
Code of Academic Ethics for Students
The Code of Academic Ethics for Students is intended to promote a spirit of community and foster a climate of mutual trust, respect, and interpersonal concern among students, faculty, and staff. Personal responsibility and integrity are central tenets in the creation and enforcement of the code. It aims to protect fair competition and independent intellectual effort and does not tolerate dishonesty, cheating, or plagiarism. In instances involving actions that undermine these principles, the code outlines the procedures and sanctions to address such conduct.
As members of the Graziadio School community, we have an individual duty to honor and adhere to the code. This requires a genuine sense of moral responsibility, maturity, and vigilance in confronting actions that compromise the integrity of our academic environment.
This code is limited to those areas of the Graziadio School that are directly related to academic ethics. Upon matriculation, each student is expected to abide by the Code of Academic Ethics throughout the duration of his or her academic career at the Graziadio School.
Violations of the Code of Academic Ethics may fall into one or more of the general categories listed below.
The examples listed under each category are for illustration purposes and not intended to be exhaustive of the range of behaviors that may constitute violations. By virtue of enrolling at the Graziadio School, each student is expected to comply with and support the Code of Academic Ethics. When members of the Graziadio School faculty or administration are made aware of circumstances involving a potential breach of this expectation, those cases will be handled in accordance with the judicial procedures delineated later in this section.
1.2.1 Misrepresentation of Academic Work
- Plagiarism and all related acts involving the use of outside sources and ideas in one’s own work without proper citation.
- Unauthorized multiple submissions of the same assignment.
- Submission of an assignment (or portions thereof) completed by another but presented as one’s original work.
- Misrepresentation of one’s level of contribution toward a team assignment or project.
- Expression of intent to commit any of the acts above.
1.2.2 Interference with Fair Competition and with Independent Intellectual Pursuits
- Collaborating with others on projects and assignments that require individual effort
- Aiding and abetting in the acts of others that constitute violations of the Code of Academic Ethics.
- Removing or otherwise impeding others’ access to course materials and resources.
- Using or attempting to access unpermitted resources toward the completion of a project/assignment submitted for credit.
- Knowledge of and failure to promptly report Code of Academic Ethics violations to Graziadio School faculty or administration.
- Making false or otherwise unsubstantiated claims of a faculty member or student having committed ethical violations.
1.2.3 Solicitation of Dishonorable Behavior
- Engaging in any attempt to obtain unauthorized aid on examinations, assignments, or grades.
- Offering to provide unauthorized aid on examinations, assignments, or grades, in exchange for other benefits.
2.0 Recommended Sanctions
Students found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct will be sanctioned by the judicial body handling the case. Sanctions will vary in amount and severity, based on the gravity of the code violation and circumstantial factors. The judicial body determining the sanctions may choose from the recommended list below or prescribe others that may be deemed more suitable for the given violation(s).
2.1 First-Time Offense
- Academic probation - probation has an adverse affect on academic standing by limiting certain opportunities and privileges (e.g., reduction in academic units allowed, loss of eligibility for scholarships and other awards). During the probationary period, a student’s record and conduct remain under close review, and any further policy violations carry a higher risk of dismissal.
- Failing grade for the exam or assignment pertinent to the policy violation
- Failing grade for the entire course in which the violation was determined to have occurred.
- Immediate suspension from the University for a minimum of one trimester; actual duration to be determined by the judicial body.
- Immediate and permanent dismissal from the University.
2.2 Subsequent Offense(s)
Given the firm commitment of the Graziadio School to principles of honesty and integrity, subsequent violations of the Code of Academic Ethics will likely result in immediate and permanent dismissal.
Final determinations regarding Academic Code of Ethics violations and resulting sanctions will be reported to the Office of Student Information and Services and remain in the student’s official record at the University.
3.0 Reporting and Notice of Violation
Alleged violations of the Code of Academic Ethics are to be reported to the Executive Director (ED) of the program in which the accused party is enrolled. The ED serves as the Judicial Administrator responsible for managing the judicial proceedings. Based on the nature and severity of the reported incident(s), the Judicial Administrator may directly adjudicate the case or assemble an Academic Ethics Committee to conduct a hearing.
In either scenario,the accused party will be provided written notification of the alleged policy violation(s) and a request to appear at a scheduled judicial hearing, either with the Judicial Administrator or the Academic Ethics Committee, to discuss the charge(s). This notification will be provided a minimum of five business days in advance of the scheduled hearing date. alleged violation.
In situations where a student is directly confronted by a faculty member (as described in the “Judicial Procedures” section below), this Reporting and Notice of Violation provision may not be applicable.
4.0 Composition of Academic Ethics Committee
In cases involving an Academic Ethics Committee, the voting members will minimally include one Graziadio School student, one Graziadio School staff member, and one Graziadio School faculty representative. The Judicial Administrator chairs the committee proceedings but does not cast a vote.
5.0 Judicial Procedures
- In advance of the hearing, the judicial body (either the Judicial Administrator or Academic Ethics Committee) will review all pertinent materials collected to date, including those provided by the accused party in support of his/her defense. Any information or evidence (or list of witnesses) the accused party wishes to present for pre-hearing consideration must be submitted to the Judicial Administrator by no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. The Judicial Administrator is granted the discretion to exclude any of the submitted materials, requested witnesses, or testimonies deemed duplicative or irrelevant to the case.
- The hearing typically includes the following elements, not necessarily in chronological order:
- Summary statement describing the charges at hand.
- Statement by the accused party in response to the charges.
- Examination (questioning) of accused party by the judicial body.
- Examination of pertinent witnesses.
- Closing statement by the accused party (if desired).
- Questions regarding case-related materials, testimonies, or the hearing process itself shall be directed to the Judicial Administrator.
- After the completion of the scheduled hearing, the judicial body will deliberate and decide whether or not the accused party is responsible for the alleged violations. In the context of the Graziadio School academic setting, these deliberations are guided by the “preponderance of evidence” standard, whereby the judicial body must determine whether the accused party was more likely than not to have committed the alleged violation(s).
- If the accused has been found responsible, the judicial body will make a subsequent determination regarding a suitable disciplinary sanction(s). The final outcome of the case, including the sanctions, will be communicated to the accused party by the Judicial Administrator within seven business days of the hearing.
- If the alleged violation is handled directly between a faculty member and the accused student, and a mutually agreeable resolution is reached, the incident and outcome shall be reported by the faculty member to the Judicial Administrator for purposes of documentation.
If the judicial hearing is conducted by an Academic Ethics Committee, the minimally required number (3) of committee members must be present for a vote to be called. A majority vote will determine both the outcome of the case and the specific sanctions, if applicable.
Note: Judicial hearings are not court of law proceedings and should not be construed to be subject to courtroom technicalities.
6.0 Appeals Process
To maintain the integrity of the judicial process and ensure the consistent application of the Code of Academic Ethics, students are given the opportunity to appeal the decision from the original hearing. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Dean of the Graziadio School, who serves as the single and final appellate body.
Appeals must be filed with the Dean’s office within five business days of the date on the hearing decision letter, indicating the specific grounds for disputing the original decision. In determining whether or not there are sufficient grounds for submitting an appeal, the following questions should be considered:
- In the investigation of this matter, did the decision maker consider all the important and appropriate facts?
- Was it proven by a “preponderance of the evidence” (that is, more likely than not) that the student in fact violated a University policy, rule, guideline, code, or expectation or otherwise engaged in any unlawful or illegal activity?
- Was the judicial process carried out in a fair manner?
- Was there bias of a committee member?
- Was the sanction one that a reasonable person might have made?
Generally, the appellate process does not require a hearing nor does it require the dean to make any personal contact with either the student or the original judicial body. Where personal contact with either party appears necessary to the dean, such contacts can occur in the absence of the other party.
Where it appears that the sanction raises an issue of particular importance to the school or University, the dean may elect to convene an ad hoc appeals committee to assist in making a recommendation to the dean regarding the appeal. The dean will designate the committee members. The dean may participate in all formal discussions between committee members. The committee will consist of at least three total representatives, at least one each from the faculty and staff. In making its recommendation, the committee may consider and review the appeal letter and response, supporting documentation, and interview involved parties and witnesses.
In the event that an ad hoc committee is not convened, the dean’s decision regarding the appeal will be based on the same questions outlined above. The dean may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction. The dean also may return the case to the initial decision maker for further consideration. The dean’s decision shall be final and effective immediately.
Computer and Network Responsible Usage Policy
Pepperdine University provides access to computing and network resources in order to support its instruction, research, and service missions; administrative functions; and student and campus life activities. All such use shall be ethical and consistent with the University’s mission. Any other uses, including uses that jeopardize the integrity of the Pepperdine network, the privacy or safety of other users, or that are otherwise illegal, are prohibited.
This policy applies to all users of University computing and network resources, whether affiliated with Pepperdine or not, and to all uses of those resources, whether on campus or from remote locations.
Conditions for Use
Users of Pepperdine University computer and network resources must
- Follow all applicable federal, state, or local laws.
- Follow all relevant University rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, including the information technology (IT) use policies and procedures published for specific systems.
- Actively maintain the security of personally owned and University-assigned computers.
- Report privacy, security, or policy violations to the Information Security Office.
Users of Pepperdine University computer and network resources must not
- Utilize any identity or account not specifically assigned to the user.
- Hinder, monitor, or intercept another user’s network traffic.
- Disclose, destroy, or capture personal, confidential, or restricted data.
- Use resources for commercial purposes or personal financial gain.
- Use resources for unauthorized access of any system or network.
Peer-to-Peer and File Sharing Notice
Users must not engage in the unauthorized copying, distributing, altering, maintaining, or transmitting of copyrighted materials, information, software, music, or other media.
Security and Privacy
Users’ University computer and network passwords must conform to IT’s published complexity and length requirements and must not be shared with any other person, used in non-University accounts, or otherwise disclosed. Passwords must be changed immediately if disclosed or compromised.
The University employs various measures to protect the security of its information resources. Users should be aware that their uses of University computer and network resources are not private. While the University does not routinely monitor individual usage, the normal operation and maintenance of the University’s computing resources require backup, logging of activity, the monitoring of general and individual usage patterns, and other such activities that are necessary for information security and the rendition of service. In addition, the University reserves the right to review, monitor, and/or capture any content residing on, or transmitted over, its computers or network at its sole discretion. The University reserves the right to limit access to its computers or network and to remove or limit access to material residing on its computers or network.
The most current version of the “Computer and Network Responsible Usage Policy” and any technical requirements and guidelines related to this policy are published online.
Student Code of Conduct
Each student is responsible for knowing and adhering to this Code of Conduct. While the policies and code outlined in this catalog provide students an effective set of guidelines for personal conduct, the University retains the right to instate additional policies and regulations or to modify existing ones as needs may dictate. Updated policies and regulations can be found under the Student Policies section of the website.
General Conduct Expectations
Pepperdine University’s foundation of the Christian faith as the basis of its expectations of student conduct requires that all students maintain the highest standards of personal honor, morality, and integrity at all times. The University reserves the right to refuse admittance to or dismiss any person who violates these principles. If a student is charged with a crime or is subject to an investigation by the Department of Public Safety, the student must report the incident to the appropriate program office within 72 hours.
In general, a student’s actions off campus are subject to sanctions of civil or criminal authorities; however, whenever its interests as a University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives are adversely affected, the University may take disciplinary action independently of other authorities. Disciplinary proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus.
Students living off campus are expected to be a positive influence in their community and follow all applicable laws, ordinances, and homeowners’ association regulations. In addition, students should be aware that actions in the online environment are also covered by the student code of conduct.
Anyone may report a violation of the Code of Conduct by contacting one of the following offices:
- Department of Public Safety: 310.506.4442
- Office of the Dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management: 310.506.5689
- Office of Community Standards: 310.506.4471
Normally, the person reporting the violation will be asked to submit a written report. The report should be a brief written statement citing the section of the code allegedly violated and providing a summary of the facts deemed to constitute a violation. Reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. The University reserves the right to take action against an individual for violating the Code of Conduct regardless of how much time has passed since the incident.
Anonymous reports may be made through the Pepperdine “LiveSafe” mobile app or on the anonymous Wave Tip line by calling voice mail at 310.506.7634.
For any campus emergency, call 911, then call the Department of Public Safety at 310.506.4441
Sources of Information
Information about a student’s misconduct may come from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, reports from faculty, staff, students, departments (e.g., Housing and Residence Life, Department of Public Safety), law enforcement agencies, or community members. Other sources of information may include, but are not limited to, electronic communications, social media, photographs, and audio or video recordings.
Social Media Privacy
The University complies with all local, state, and federal laws governing social media privacy. Although the law prohibits the University from asking students, prospective students, or student groups to disclose a user name or password for accessing personal social media, requesting access to personal social media, or divulging any personal social media to or in the presence of a University employee or representative, the University may lawfully require disclosure, access or view personal social media if necessary to investigate and take disciplinary action against any student, prospective student, or student group utilizing social media in ways that are unlawful, violate the Code of Conduct, or pose a threat to the safety of the campus community
Definition of Student
Pepperdine University may exercise authority over any matriculated student who is enrolled full-or part-time; has completed the immediately preceding term, is not presently enrolled, and is eligible for re-enrollment; or is on an approved educational leave or other approved leave status. This includes the period before classes begin, while the student is attending classes, between academic sessions, or on leave.
Authority and Responsibility for Student Discipline
The University’s dean of students is responsible for the overall coordination of rules and regulations regarding student discipline for misconduct and serves as the final appeal for student disciplinary decisions. The associate dean of students for community standards (hereafter “associate dean”) is primarily responsible for the operational details of the disciplinary process. The associate dean will review reports of misconduct and may conduct an investigation. The Department of Public Safety works in cooperation with the Office of Community Standards in conducting of investigations. If the associate dean considers the report to indicate a probable violation of the Code of Conduct, the incident will be heard through either an administrative hearing or a hearing with the Student Disciplinary Committee. When appropriate, some University policy violations may be addressed by other disciplinary bodies including, but not limited to, the Academic Ethics Committee.
Jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct applies to conduct that occurs on University premises, at University-sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student is responsible for his or her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment (and even if their conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded). The Code applies to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. The associate dean will decide whether the Code will be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case-by-case basis, in his or her sole discretion.
In certain circumstances, the University’s dean of students or a designee may impose a University or residence hall suspension prior to a meeting with the Student Disciplinary Committee. Interim restriction may be imposed: (1) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; or (2) if the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University. During the interim restriction, students will be denied access to the residence halls and/or the campus (including classes) and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the dean or the designee may determine to be appropriate. The interim restriction does not replace the regular disciplinary process, which will proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through a Student Disciplinary Committee hearing and subsequent appeal, if required.
Misconduct Subject to Disciplinary Action
The following examples of misconduct are not inclusive but are intended to give a student an idea of the types of behaviors that may result in disciplinary action:
- Violation or attempted violation of published University policies, rules, or regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, University policies and rules regarding:
- Alcohol and Other Drugs
- Computer and Network Usage
- Discrimination and Harassment
- Housing and Residence Life
- Sexual Misconduct
- Violation of federal, state, or local law on or off campus.
- Dishonesty in any form, including but not limited to, knowingly furnishing false information, forgery, plagiarism, alteration, or misuse of documents, records, or identification cards.
- Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty. See the Code of Academic Ethics for more information.
- Manufacture, sale, distribution, promotion, possession, or attempt to obtain false identification.
- Failure to comply with written or verbal directives of University officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to provide identification to these persons when requested to do so. This includes avoiding or resisting documentation by a University official, including student resident advisors.
- Failure to possess at all times a valid student identification card and/or failure to surrender ID card to a University official upon request.
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other University activities, including its public- service functions on or off campus; or other authorized non-University activities when the activities occur on University premises. This includes disruptive behavior that unreasonably interferes with, hinders, obstructs, or prevents other students from freely participating in University instruction, programs, or services.
- Soliciting or advertising or inviting a reporter to campus without prior approval from the appropriate University office.
- Actions or communications, whether they are online or in-person, that constitute disrespect, harassment, retaliation, the use or threat of physical violence, intimidation, stalking, or hate violence directed toward a member of the Pepperdine faculty, staff, student body, or a visitor to the campus or toward a member of the community.
- Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person without his or her prior knowledge or without his or her effective consent.
- Activities that may cause damage or constitute a safety or health hazard or interfere with the educational process. Such activities include, but are not limited to, entering or exiting buildings through the windows; throwing, projecting, or dropping items that may cause injury or damage; and pranks that create safety and health hazards for others and/or cause damage to University or personal property.
- Exhibition, possession, distribution, or viewing of material or representations deemed to be obscene or contrary to the moral standards and/or mission of the University, including but not limited to pornography.
- Lewd behavior, nudity, or indecent exposure of any kind.
- Participation in student organizations that have lost University recognition.
- Possession and/or use of all types of weapons, including but not limited to, firearms, air and spear guns, knives, martial arts weapons, bows and arrows, swords, paint/pellet guns, toys that replicate or could be mistaken for real guns, explosives of any type, ammunition, and dangerous chemicals. All individuals in possession of self-defense items, including pepper spray, must comply with applicable California State law.
- Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys to any University premises or unauthorized entry to or use of University premises.
- Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the University or property of a member of the University community, or other personal or public property on or off campus. This regulation covers the unauthorized appropriation or “borrowing” of property for personal use or the possession of stolen property.
- Vandalism, disrespect, destruction, or defacement, or unauthorized decoration (e.g., chalking) of University property.
- Failure to uphold the code of ethics when engaging with the business community and other external stakeholders as part of field projects or other engagements that require participation from external organizations and their representatives; including, but not limited to: failure to treat all others with dignity and respect; failure to observe and respect the confidentiality rights of all members of the business community (organizations and individuals); failure to avoid conflicts of interest; demonstrating a lack of professional conduct or maturity; failure to maintain honesty and transparency regarding project scope, expectations, or deliverables; or failure to comply with legal and professional obligations.
- Misuse of the disciplinary procedures, including, but not limited to:
- Failure to respond to the summons of a disciplinary body or University official
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a disciplinary body
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a disciplinary proceeding
- Institution of a disciplinary proceeding knowingly without cause
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the disciplinary system
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a disciplinary body prior to and/or during the course of the disciplinary proceeding
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a disciplinary body prior to, during, and/or after a disciplinary proceeding
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by a disciplinary body
Philosophy of Student Discipline
An institution of higher learning is authorized by law to establish and administer codes of conduct and to suspend, expel, or dismiss students whose actions negatively impact the campus community. The University reserves this right. Student disciplinary proceedings are not analogous to criminal court proceedings. No particular model of procedural due process is required. However, the procedures should be structured in order to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth and to provide fundamental fairness. Procedures can be very informal in cases where suspension, expulsion, or dismissals are not a probable penalty; more procedural formality should be observed in serious disciplinary cases. In all situations, fairness requires that students be informed of the nature of the alleged violation(s) and be given a fair opportunity to respond to them.
In some cases of student misconduct, a Student Disciplinary Committee hearing may not be necessary. This is most often true when the violation is of a less serious nature and the misconduct is unlikely to result in suspension or dismissal. In such a case, the student must attend an administrative hearing with the associate dean (or his or her designee) to discuss the incident, the student’s involvement in it, and any steps that must be taken or sanction imposed to resolve the matter. The meeting will be followed by an official letter summarizing this decision. Sanctions imposed as a result of an administrative hearing cannot be appealed. Sanctions imposed by the Student Disciplinary Committee may be appealed; therefore, students who are summoned to an administrative hearing may request instead to meet with the Student Disciplinary Committee if they want an appeal option.
Student Disciplinary Committee Hearings
If, after reviewing a report of misconduct, the associate dean determines that the incident is deemed sufficiently serious, the incident will be submitted for hearing by the Student Disciplinary Committee. The Committee will be composed of two students, two faculty members, and one staff member. A quorum of one student, one faculty member, and one staff member is necessary to conduct a hearing. The associate dean (or his or her designee) will chair the Committee but is not a voting member unless there is a tie vote.
Before meeting with the Student Disciplinary Committee, the student will be provided in writing with a notification letter briefly summarizing the behavior that allegedly violates particular provisions of the Code of Conduct. The notification letter will also include the date and time of the hearing, not less than five or more than fifteen calendar days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling hearings may be extended at the discretion of the associate dean.
Hearings are not required to adhere to formal rules of procedure or technical rules of evidence followed by courts of law. Hearings will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the associate dean or designee.
- The hearing will normally be conducted in private. Admission of any person to the hearing will be at the sole discretion of the associate dean. The associate dean may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the reporting party, accused student and/or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, video conferencing, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the associate dean to be appropriate.
- Accused students may be assisted at hearings by an advisor. The advisor must be a current student, faculty, or staff member of the University who was not involved in the incident. The advisor cannot speak for the accused student. The role of the advisor is to accompany the student and advise him or her privately during the hearing process.
- Hearings will be chaired by the associate dean or designee and will proceed in the following manner:
- Reading of the alleged violation(s).
- The student’s denial or admission of the alleged violation(s). (If the student admits to the alleged violation(s), then the committee may dismiss the student and deliberate on the appropriate sanctions.)
- Presentation of information and/or witnesses supporting the alleged violation(s), and questions by the committee.
- Presentation of information and/or witnesses by the student charged that rebuts the charges, and questions by the committee.
- Closing statement by the accused student.
- The Chair and the accused student may call witnesses. Witnesses may only be present while giving testimony. The accused student must present a list of witnesses and purposes of their statements to the Chair 24 hours in advance of the hearing. The Chair may, at his or her sole discretion, exclude any witness from attending the hearing if the witness’s testimony is duplicative or irrelevant.
- A list of witnesses called by the University may be presented to the accused student 24 hours before the hearing.
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the committee at the discretion of the Chair. This information must be submitted to the Chair at least 24 hours before the hearing.
- If, during the course of the hearing, additional alleged violation(s) are discovered, the accused student will be notified of the new charges and will be granted additional time, if needed, to prepare a defense of the new alleged violation(s). The accused student may waive the additional time and the hearing can proceed with the new charges taken under consideration by the Committee. A record should be made in the hearing notes of additional alleged violation(s) and whether or not the student desires additional preparation time.
- Information about the misconduct of other students shared at the hearing may be used as the basis for disciplinary action.
- The Committee’s determination will be made on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence, whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Code of Conduct.
- After the hearing, the Committee will determine by majority vote whether the student has violated each section of the Code of Conduct that the student is charged with violating.
- If the student is found to have violated the Code of Conduct, the Committee will then determine by majority vote the sanction(s) to be imposed.
- The associate dean will notify the student in writing of the Committee’s decision and the sanction(s) issued, if any.
- There will be a single written record of the hearing, which normally consists of the statement of alleged misconduct, a summary of the information presented in the hearing, a summary of the statement of the accused, statement of the decision, and the sanctions issued, if any. The hearing will not be transcribed or otherwise recorded.
- If the accused student fails to appear at the hearing, the Committee may make a decision based on the available information. If the associate dean determines that good cause exists for the accused student not appearing at the hearing, a new date may be set for the hearing.
The violation of the Code of Conduct may result in the imposition of one or more of the sanctions listed below. However, available sanctions are not limited to those listed below. In certain limited situations, University officials may impose a sanction but suspend or postpone its actual implementation. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by a disciplinary body may result in further disciplinary action, including but not limited to, a registration hold, placement on, or extension of, University probation, or suspension.
Code of Conduct sanctions are based on general principles of fair treatment. While attempting to be consistent in its disciplinary decisions, the University also seeks to be fair and sensitive to the facts and circumstances of each individual case. Disciplinary action may involve, but is not limited to, one or a combination of the sanctions listed below:
- Warning: Oral or written notice to the student that the student is violating or has violated the Code of Conduct and that continuation or repetition of misconduct may result in a more severe sanction.
- University Probation: A status which indicates that a student’s relationship with Pepperdine University is tenuous and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found in violation of any University regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time. Specific limitations to and restrictions of the student’s privileges may accompany probation.
- Loss of Privileges: Such loss may include, but is not limited to, financial assistance, eligibility to represent the University officially on athletic teams or performing groups; seeking or holding an elected student office; or use of specific University facilities, computer systems, equipment, or services.
- Fines: Payment of charges for violation of regulations. These charges will be added to a student’s account.
- Restitution: Requirement to pay for the repair to and/or replacement of damaged property. Failure to pay such charges may result in additional sanctions (including, but not limited to, denial of re-enrollment or refusal to release official transcripts and records)
- Educational Sanctions: Mandatory work hours, reading/writing assignment, drug or alcohol assessment/treatment, seminar attendance, or other discretionary sanctions as deemed appropriate.
- Dismissal from University Housing: Loss of privilege to live in University housing. In accordance with University housing policy, students required to live on campus who are dismissed from University housing may be dismissed from Pepperdine University. Any student dismissed from the residential community prior to the end of the contractual period may be responsible for any remaining monetary charges, as well as ineligible for reimbursement for any charges already paid.
- Suspension: Separation of the student from the University for a specified length of time. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Expulsion: Temporary separation of the student from Pepperdine University for a definite period of time, but not less than two semesters, after which the student must reapply through the Office of Admission and be granted acceptance before becoming eligible for re-enrollment at the University. Conditions for readmission may be specified, but the student is not guaranteed readmission.
- Dismissal: Permanent separation of the student from Pepperdine University. The student is dismissed from the University and is permanently ineligible to re-enroll at the University at any time in the future.
When students are dismissed, expelled, or suspended for disciplinary reasons, there will be no refund of tuition or room charges for the semester and all financial aid will be reviewed and is subject to cancellation.
If a violation occurs just prior to a student’s scheduled graduation, sanctions may be imposed even if all academic requirements are completed. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, community service, research or reflective paper, restitution, loss of privilege to participate in the graduation ceremony, deferment of degree, and a transcript hold. The University may withhold issuing a degree until all sanctions are fulfilled. In the rare case of a serious violation (e.g., sexual assault, DUI, illegal drug sales), the University may permanently withhold a degree.
Forfeiture of Financial Assistance
Every student who has accepted a scholarship, loan, fellowship, grant-in- aid, or any other financial assistance by the University or the state is deemed to have agreed to observe the rules and regulations of the University. The University shall review the record of each recipient of financial assistance who has been placed on University disciplinary probation, is suspended, expelled, or dismissed from the University, or arrested and convicted as a result of a violation of University policy. In such cases students who have accordingly violated the student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook may forfeit their financial assistance. For further information regarding this policy, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance.
Sanctions for Student Organizations
Student groups are subject to the Code of Conduct disciplinary procedures. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations: censure, reprimand, probation, fines, loss of privileges, restitution, educational sanctions, and deactivation. Deactivation includes loss of all privileges, including University recognition, for a specified period of time.
Because Pepperdine places a high priority on student health and safety, the Good Samaritan policy was created to encourage students to take immediate action in any crisis or medical emergency. Pepperdine students are expected to care for others by getting help from appropriate officials even when violations of the Code of Conduct have occurred. In crisis situations involving alcohol, drugs, physical violence, and/or sexual misconduct (e.g., sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking), the University strongly considers the positive impact of taking responsible action when determining the appropriate response for alleged policy violations related to the incident. This means that no University disciplinary sanctions will be issued to either the reporting student(s) or to the student(s) in need of assistance related to such violations that occurred at or reasonably near the time of the incident.
This policy applies to students who report sexual misconduct or participate as key witnesses in sexual misconduct investigations, or who seek medical assistance for themselves or another by contacting an appropriate official (e.g., resident advisor, Public Safety officer, or calling 911). The incident will still be documented, and educational and/or health interventions may be required as a condition of replacing disciplinary sanctions. This policy does not apply if a University or law enforcement official confronts the student first. This policy may not apply to the hosts of a party if they do not seek immediate medical assistance for the student in need.
In any situation involving imminent danger to the health and safety of any individual(s), or where sexual misconduct has been alleged to have occurred, students are strongly encouraged to: 1) immediately contact Public Safety or other emergency officials to report the incident; 2) remain with the individual(s) needing support and cooperate with emergency personnel as long as it is safe to do so; and 3) meet with appropriate University officials after the incident and cooperate with any University investigation.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Good Samaritan Policy
Can the policy be used for multiple people?
Yes. The policy can be applied to multiple people in one incident. The policy is intended to encourage students to make the right call for any and all individuals who are in need of assistance.
Can the policy be applied to more than just alcohol?
Yes. The policy can be applied to crisis situations involving drugs, physical violence, and/or sexual misconduct or situations involving any combination of these.
Does the policy apply both on and off campus?
Yes. On campus, students should contact Public Safety or another University official (e.g., resident director or resident advisor). Off campus, students should notify an appropriate official (e.g., call 911 or, if at an event, contact a professional event staff member).
The University has implemented procedures for student appeals with the intent of assuring fundamental fairness. Students who believe they were not treated fairly in the disciplinary process can submit a written appeal to the University dean of students (hereafter, “dean”). The appeal letter must be submitted within seven calendar days of the issuance of the initial sanction.
The written appeal must specify grounds that would justify consideration. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision or an appeal for mercy is not an appropriate basis for an appeal. The written appeal must specifically address at least one of the following criteria:
- Insufficient information to support the decision.
- New information and/or facts that were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing that is relevant and sufficient to alter the initial decision and/or sanction.
- Procedural irregularity from the Disciplinary Procedures that significantly and substantively undermined the student’s ability to present a defense. The appealing party must specifically reference the relevant provisions of the “Disciplinary Procedures” section above that he or she believes the Committee and/or Chair should have followed.
- Bias or conflict of interest by a committee member or investigator. The appealing party must state the basis for this belief and provide any supporting evidence.
- Inappropriateness of the sanction for the violation of the Code of Conduct.
Generally, the appellate process does not require a hearing, nor does it require the University dean of students to make personal contact with the student or the Student Disciplinary Committee. The dean may, but is not required to, convene an ad hoc appeal committee to assist in making a recommendation to the dean regarding the appeal. The dean shall not be bound by the committee’s recommendation.
The dean may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction. The dean may also return the case to the associate dean or Student Disciplinary Committee for further consideration. The dean’s decision shall be final and effective immediately (or as otherwise designated by the dean).
Retention of Disciplinary Records
Other than University dismissal or permanent withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but will become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than University expulsion or dismissal or withholding of a degree will be expunged from the student’s record seven years after graduation.
Medical and Mental Health Emergencies and Withdrawals
Pepperdine University cares deeply about the physical and mental health of its students. Therefore, health and counseling services are available on campus. At times however, a student may experience such extreme medical or psychological conditions that the ability to function successfully or safely in the role of a student is significantly impaired. Students are encouraged to prioritize their health and safety and take steps toward recovery, even if academic progress must be delayed. The University will support student- initiated self-care plans, and/or initiate actions, that consider the welfare of the individual student and the University community.
Student Care Team
The vice president for student life has appointed a Student Care Team to meet regularly to address student needs. One of the goals of the team is to provide a safety net for students to ensure their academic and interpersonal success. Anyone in the Pepperdine community may identify students to this team who may be experiencing problems or encountering obstacles, setbacks or challenges to their success and retention at Pepperdine. Sometimes there is a crisis or a situation discovered by concerned others and brought to the attention of the University. In such circumstances, the vice president, in consultation with the Student Care Team (SCT), will determine what, if any, role the University may need to take to assure the health and safety of a student or the University community.
The SCT is chaired by the associate vice president for student life and deputy Title IX coordinator. Members include representatives from OneStop, housing and residence life, commuter students, and the counseling center. Depending on the emergency or concern, the chair may include other members on the team (e.g., director of the health center, director of disability services, associate dean of student affairs for community standards).
Student situations that might be considered by the SCT include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Acute decline in physical health;
- Suicidal threat, intent and/or behavior; self-injurious behavior;
- Destructive, threatening, or other disruptive behavior;
- Drug and alcohol abuse, including overdose or misuse of over-the-counter or prescription medications;
- Eating disorders which are not responding to treatment and/or are posing safety concerns;
- Any physical or mental health problem that points to possible imminent or foreseeable danger to oneself or another member of the University community, or requires intensive monitoring to prevent such danger.
In responding to these situations, the SCT reserves the right to determine appropriate response including, but not limited to, the following options:
- Allow the student to remain in school, but require a specific mental health or physical health evaluation, within a certain period of time (typically 10 days). The student may be referred to the Health Center, Counseling Center and/or off-campus options (e.g., licensed mental health or physical health care providers, eating disorder or substance abuse programs/hospitals). The student will be responsible for any cost incurred by the evaluation and/or treatment. In the interest of gaining a better understanding of the student’s ability to function in the University community, the University may require the student to sign appropriate release forms allowing designated Pepperdine staff to consult with the evaluating and/or treating clinician(s) serving the student. Based on the evaluation results, the SCT will determine appropriate next steps, including the possibility of allowing the student to remain on campus if a commitment is made to the recommended treatment plan.
- Invoke a Medical Interim Restriction; encourage a Voluntary Medical Withdrawal; or invoke an Involuntary Medical Withdrawal (see below).
- Notify the student’s parent(s) and appropriate University officials (e.g., the student’s professors, Registrar’s Office) about a mental or physical health or safety emergency. Note: University notifications will respect confidentiality, and will share limited information on a need-to-know basis only.
All requirements and conditions determined by the SCT will be outlined in writing in a letter from the chair, delivered or mailed to the student.
Medical Interim Restriction
The SCT may invoke a medical interim restriction upon a student’s medical or psychological hospitalization, emergency, or during a medical evaluation period. Students who are medically restricted for any health reason are temporarily not allowed to participate in any University activities, attend classes, reside in or visit on-campus student housing, and may not be on campus except to attend a meeting or hearing related to his/her case. This interim period allows time for a student to receive the needed medical and/or psychological care, and for all parties to consider an evaluation of readiness to return to the University. The student must follow the clearance procedures listed below before returning. Students who are medically restricted will be notified in writing and will have the opportunity to address the basis for the decision by contacting the vice president for student life.
Voluntary Medical Withdrawal
Students are encouraged to request a voluntary medical withdrawal when they believe their physical or mental health problems are preventing successful engagement in, and completion of, academic course work; when safety is in question; or when the demands of university life are interfering with the ability to recover from, or adjust to a significant physical or mental health challenge.
Students interested in pursuing a voluntary medical withdrawal may wish to discuss this option with providers at the Health Center or the Counseling Center, or they may independently initiate the process through OneStop. After the voluntary withdrawal is approved, the person is no longer considered a student and must immediately leave campus and, if applicable, officially check out of on-campus housing.
Involuntary Medical Withdrawal
In rare circumstances, the SCT may determine that a student must be involuntarily medically withdrawn. Those who are medically withdrawn for any health reason are not allowed to participate in any University activities, attend classes, reside in or visit on-campus student housing, and may not be on campus except to attend a meeting or hearing related to his/her case. Examples of situations that might result in an involuntary medical withdrawal include the following:
- Professional evaluations following a medical interim suspension do not support a student’s readiness to return;
- A student fails to complete the required assessment during a medical interim suspension;
- A known condition has deteriorated (e.g., a student with an eating disorder), rendering the student to be in possible imminent danger and/or incapable of functioning as a student.
In most cases, these situations can be handled through voluntary medical withdrawals; however, if the student is unwilling to pursue a voluntary withdrawal, the SCT may invoke its right to involuntarily withdraw a student. The SCT will recommend assessment and/or treatment conditions needed to return to Pepperdine. The student must follow the clearance procedures listed below.
If a student believes that a decision for an involuntary medical withdrawal made by the SCT is unreasonable or that the procedures used were unfair, the student may appeal. The appeal must be made in writing to the vice president for student life. Appeals should clarify what facts the student believes were not considered, or explain what procedures were unreasonable or unfair. Once notified of the involuntary medical withdrawal, the student has three business days to submit his/her appeal. The vice president (or designee) will respond in writing to the student’s appeal within three days. The response will clarify whether the vice president concludes that all relevant facts were considered and led to fair and reasonable conclusions. The vice president’s (or designee’s) decision is final.
Any student who has been placed on a medical interim restriction or an involuntary medical withdrawal will need to complete the following clearance procedures before being allowed to return to the University. The SCT may also require a student who takes a voluntary medical withdrawal to complete the clearance procedures. The following steps are designed to ensure that a health emergency no longer exists and a treatment plan for continuing good health and safety is in place. Note: Depending on the situation, students may complete these procedures on different timelines. Some students may complete these steps within days of the medical interim suspension notice or medical withdrawal while others may wait several months before pursuing a return to the University.
- The student must be assessed by an appropriate outside professional, whose opinions will be advisory to the University. The professional, who is selected by the student, must be a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist if evaluating mental health concerns, and must be a licensed physician if the evaluation is regarding other medical concerns. Further, all providers must be unrelated to the student and must have specialty/credentials appropriate for the condition of concern (e.g., an eating disorder or substance abuse specialist). To make an accurate assessment, before conducting the evaluation the provider must be given information related to the precipitating events that led to the leave. This typically would involve the student signing a release allowing the University (e.g., the Health Center, Counseling Center, or vice president for student life) to share information regarding relevant incidents or concerns, and if applicable, recent hospital records. The student will be responsible for any cost incurred by the evaluation. The student shall sign a release permitting two-way communication between the provider and the University SCT representatives, and allowing all relevant information to be provided to the University SCT representatives who are involved in the decision-making and review process.
- The outside mental health or medical professional must provide an assessment of current functioning of the student and provide written recommendations regarding: a) given the precipitating events, the student’s readiness to return to the academic and co-curricular demands of university life; b) the student’s readiness to live in the on-campus residential community; c) ongoing treatment or testing needs; d) any conditions or restrictions that the University should impose; and e) the student’s readiness to return to competitive sports, if the student is a collegiate athlete. Note: The University team physician, in consultation with the Pepperdine director of the Health Center and/or Counseling Center, will ultimately make the decision regarding athletic involvement but will consider this outside evaluation in making such a determination. NOTE: Documentation of the assessment (conducted within 30 days of application for re-entry) and documentation of required treatment completion must be provided to the Office of the Vice President for Student Life no later than December 1 for the spring semester and July 1 for the fall semester. Those planning to return to a summer session must provide documentation no later than 30 days before the summer session begins.
- After the evaluation results and treatment documentation have been provided, the student must meet with a SCT representative (typically the director of the Counseling Center or Health Center). The evaluation and the student’s own perception regarding readiness to return, needs, and plans for treatment will be discussed. Additionally, the representative will consider how the outside evaluator’s recommendations fit with the realities of student life at Pepperdine and services that are available on campus or in the community.
- The SCT will meet and consider the outside evaluator’s recommendation and the results of the student’s meeting with the SCT representative to inform its re-entry decision. Students will receive written notification of the SCT’s decision.
- There may be occasions in which the SCT requires, and may pay for, an additional evaluation.
- The SCT reserves the right to require the student to comply with a treatment plan recommended by the outside and/or Pepperdine healthcare/mental health professional as a condition of returning to, or remaining in, the campus community. Review and monitoring of the student’s required treatment plan may be assigned to a University designee assigned by the SCT. Failure to comply with requirements may result in the University issuing an involuntary medical withdrawal.
- If a student was living on-campus prior to the emergency, approval for return to the University usually includes approval to return to housing. However, a student’s on-campus housing status may be restricted if the student’s behavior poses a health or safety threat to him/herself or others.
- If a student was required to complete specific treatment (e.g, eating disorder or substance abuse treatment), the student must provide documentation regarding the completion of this requirement.
Academic Credit, Tuition and Housing
For all approved medical withdrawals, the student receives Ws on the academic transcript (or, if the withdrawal occurs during the add/drop period, is completely dropped from classes, without any notation on the transcript of having left for medical reasons). Thus, a medical withdrawal will not affect the student’s grade point average. University room and board charges are pro-rated from the date of checkout for residential students. All tuition actually paid by the student (total tuition less any grants, scholarships, refunds, and loan adjustments) for courses not completed during the term in which the approved withdrawal occurs is credited as a scholarship for the next semester in which a student re-enrolls.
Every effort will be made to consider a student’s financial situation and insurance coverage in making referrals for treatment or evaluation. Students who may need additional financial assistance or other consideration in meeting the requirements should contact the vice president for student life.
Reporting a Threat
While shootings in schools are rare episodes, when they occur, they are often devastating. As an institution of higher learning, it is important for Pepperdine to view these types of incidents with the appropriate perspective. Since 1966, there have been about 100 shooting deaths at U.S. universities and college campuses; Virginia Tech was the largest. Compare that to the approximately 1,100 that commit suicide on college and university campuses every year, or the 1,400 to 1,700 alcohol-related deaths on college and university campuses each year. Despite shootings on campuses being rare, we as a community must be vigilant and prepared. It is important to note a few facts about these types of shootings. The Secret Service has studied the 30 major shooting incidents that have taken place at schools (elementary through college) since 1974. They found remarkable similarity in them. First, almost all of the individuals who committed these crimes have been male, and were known for being isolated socially. Almost all of them planned out their actions in advance, and over three quarters of them actually shared their plans with others before putting them into effect. Unfortunately, in only two cases did anyone report the plan to authorities before the attack. With these facts in mind, it is critically important that members of our community report threats and potential threats in a timely manner.
If you believe an individual poses an imminent threat to a member or members of the University community please contact our Department of Public Safety immediately. If you do not believe that harm is imminent, but an individual’s behavior seems threatening or seems like it could lead to harm to the individual or to the community, you should report the concern. If you are a student or a faculty member, contact Public Safety or your dean’s office. If you are a staff member or other member of the community, contact Public Safety or the Center for Human Resources. In the event you would like to submit a report during non-business hours, the Department of Public Safety is open every day, 24 hours a day. It is better to err on the side of notifying the appropriate individuals than to remain silent; the institution has resources with which to assess these situations and the individual of concern.
If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Safety. For convenience, contact information appears below:
Department of Public Safety 310.506.4442
Seaver College Dean of Student Affairs 310.506.4472
School of Law Dean’s Office 310.506.4621
GSBM Dean’s Office 310.506.5689
GSEP Dean’s Office 310.506.5615
SPP Dean’s Office 310.506.7490
Center for Human Resources 310.506.4397
Campus Safety App
LiveSafe is a campus safety smartphone application that makes it easier than ever for the Pepperdine community to connect with Public Safety and look out for each other. When submitting a tip, it is possible to attach a photo, video clip, or audio clip, with the option to report anonymously. In emergency or non-emergency situations, users can chat with Public Safety in real time within the app. If users are in an unfamiliar location, SafeMap will help them get their bearings and learn more about the resources near their location. It is possible to use the SafeRide feature to request a medical or security escort on the Malibu campus or a ride back to the Malibu campus from any location in the Los Angeles metro area. The SafeWalk feature allows users to provide a virtual security escort for friends and loved ones to make sure they reach their destination safely. Users also can immediately access critical information resources and emergency procedures anytime, anywhere. Plus, all of these features function internationally, allowing the app to match the University’s global footprint. The app is free and available to all members of the Pepperdine community: students, faculty, staff, parents, visitors, family members, and friends. For more information and details regarding how to sign up, please visit http://emergency.pepperdine.edu/livesafe.
Sexual Misconduct Policy
Pepperdine University affirms that all members of our community are created in the image of God and therefore should be treated with dignity and respect. Our University code of ethics states that we do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Further, we respect the inherent worth of each member of the community and do not engage in any forms of harassment. We follow the profound truth found in the Golden Rule, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
Because of our commitment to honoring the dignity and respect of every individual, sexual misconduct (and any related retaliation), as defined below, is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. This policy applies to all University students, including any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled full- or part-time; has completed the immediately preceding term, is not presently enrolled, and is eligible for re-enrollment; or is on an approved educational leave or other approved leave status. This includes the period before classes begin, while the student is attending classes, between academic sessions or on leave. This policy applies even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. This policy applies to student conduct that occurs both on and off campus.
Speech that constitutes a protected exercise of a student’s rights under California’s Leonard Law will not be deemed a violation of this policy. However, some speech that may be protected by the Leonard Law is nonetheless inconsistent with the Golden Rule, and students are encouraged to live by this higher standard rooted in our Christian faith and heritage.
The University encourages students to immediately bring any concerning behavior to the University’s attention even if such behavior does not constitute sexual misconduct or retaliation as defined below.
Sexual misconduct includes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.
Unlawful sex discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably with respect to the administration of the University’s educational programs and activities, admissions, financial aid, or on-campus housing, based upon that individual’s sex.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational programs and activities or their living environment. Sexual harassment also includes gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature. This definition will be interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with the accepted standards of mature behavior, academic freedom, and the mission of the University.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- A student repeatedly contacts another student to go out on a date after the student has made it clear that such contact is unwelcome.
- A male professor makes several comments to a female student suggesting that if they have a sexual relationship he will give her a better grade in his class.
- A lesbian student is called a “dyke” by a male classmate, who also makes sexually explicit remarks.
- A male staff assistant in a biology lab repeatedly makes disparaging comments about women such as “science is a man’s field” and “women don’t have the capacity to understand.”
- A student worker tells her supervisor that she is not comfortable with him massaging her shoulders, but he continues to do so and also makes comments about her attractiveness.
Sexual assault is a general term that covers a broad range of inappropriate and/or unlawful conduct, including rape, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. As defined under California law, rape is nonconsensual sexual intercourse that involves the use or threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Other examples of sexual assault include the following nonconsensual acts: oral copulation, anal intercourse, and penetration of the anal or vaginal area with a foreign object, including a finger. Sexual battery includes the nonconsensual touching of a person’s intimate parts, or the clothing covering the immediate area of those parts, or forcing a person to touch another’s intimate parts. Sexual coercion is the act of using pressure (including physical, verbal, or emotional pressure), alcohol, medications, drugs or force to have sexual contact against someone’s will or with someone who has already refused.
Consent means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent. An individual is also unable to provide consent to engage in sexual activity when the individual: 1) is a minor (age 17 or under); 2) has a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability that renders her or him incapable of giving knowing consent; 3) is asleep or unconscious; or 4) is incapacitated from alcohol or other drugs, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known or recognized by the accused. “Incapacitated” means intoxicated to the point that the person is incapable of exercising the judgment required to decide whether to consent.
Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of California, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of California.
Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition: 1) dating violence includes but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse and 2) dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: 1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or 2) suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition: 1) Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property, 2) Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling, and 3) Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
Retaliation is any form of sanction or adverse treatment against a person because that person has asserted a good faith complaint of sexual misconduct, or assists in providing information regarding a complaint of sexual misconduct. Retaliation may consist of intentional disparagement, harassment, negative remarks, or other treatment that creates a hostile environment.
Immediate Steps to Take if you are Subject to Sexual Assault or Other Forms of Violence or Threatening Behavior
- Go to a safe place and speak with someone you trust. Tell this person what happened. If there is any immediate danger and you are on the Malibu campus, call Public Safety at 506.4441. If you are off-campus, call 911. If you are located at one of Pepperdine’s graduate, DC, or international campuses, contact your program director or local law enforcement to obtain information regarding local counseling, medical and legal resources available to you.
- Consider securing immediate professional support to assist you in the crisis. You can consider on- or off-campus options. During office hours, you may access the Pepperdine Counseling Center (506.4210), the Pepperdine Health Center (506.4316), the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center 310.319.4000, the Sojourn Services (domestic and dating violence) at 310.264.6644.
- After hours, if you live on-campus, your resident advisor, student life advisor, resident director, or Public Safety (506.4441) can typically help you reach a confidential Pepperdine University counselor.
- After hours, if you live off-campus or live on-campus but prefer to use off-campus options, call the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center’s 24-hour hotline: 310.319.4000. When contacting SMRTC, please let them know if you are in need of transportation to and from the center, as free options are available. Students may also contact Sojourn Services at 310.264.6644.
- In cases of sexual assault, for your safety and well-being, immediate medical attention is encouraged to evaluate for physical injury, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy. Further, being examined as soon as possible, ideally within 72 hours, is important for evidence collection, which may be used to support prosecution should you decide immediately or later to pursue criminal charges. The Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center will arrange for a specific medical examination at no charge. To preserve evidence, it is best that you do not bathe shower, douche, or change clothes before that exam. Even if you have already bathed, you are still encouraged to have prompt medical care. Additionally, you are encouraged to gather bedding, linens, or unlaundered clothing and any other pertinent articles that may be used for evidence.
- Even after the immediate crisis has passed, consider seeking support from the Pepperdine Counseling Center, the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center, or Sojourn Services.
- Contact the Title IX Coordinator for Students (see contact information below) if you need assistance with University-related concerns, including academic issues (e.g., missed classes or exams; requesting extensions regarding coursework) or on-campus housing issues (e.g., requesting that the student who you believe assaulted you be moved or that you be moved to a different residence hall).
- Consider your reporting options (see section “Reporting Sexual Misconduct”).
- Report to Public Safety or the Title IX Coordinator for Students any concerns about retaliation against you or your friends.
Seeking Confidential Support
Students who have been victimized are urged to seek confidential support from the counselors at the Pepperdine Counseling Center located at TCC 270 (506.4210) or the University chaplain, Sara Barton, at TCC 106A (506.4275). These settings allow students to receive emotional/spiritual support and think through their next steps, including reporting options, confidentially. There are rare exceptions to confidentiality in cases of court subpoena, child or elder abuse, or if there are serious threats of suicide or harm to others.
Title IX Coordinator for Students
The Title IX Coordinator for Students monitors the University’s overall compliance with Title IX in all matters related to students, ensures appropriate training and education, and oversees the University’s investigation, response, and resolution of reports made under this policy. Upon receiving reports of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator for Students ensures that appropriate action is taken to eliminate that conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. The Title IX Coordinator for Students is available to advise all individuals-including individuals who have experienced misconduct, individuals who are alleged to be responsible for misconduct, and third parties.
Reporting Sexual Misconduct
The University encourages all students to report incidents of sexual misconduct or suspected sexual misconduct, whether they are victims or witnesses. Reporting protects victims, promotes a healthy and safe campus culture, and holds perpetrators accountable. Although a student has the right not to report sexual misconduct, many individuals subjected to sexual misconduct have shared that filing a report with the University, local law enforcement, and/or a community resource center is the beginning of the process by which they regain control over their lives. Though the reporting and disciplinary processes can be difficult, they are often worth the effort because individuals feel empowered by bringing the alleged perpetrator to justice. Reporting sexual misconduct may also help to establish precedents that will aid others in the future or prevent others from being subjected to sexual misconduct by the same perpetrator.
Students subjected to sexual misconduct have several reporting options. At the University, students can anonymously report, confidentially report, or file a formal report of sexual misconduct, as explained below. Outside the University, students can report sexual misconduct to community resource centers that specialize in providing resources to victims of sexual misconduct, file a criminal charge with local law enforcement, or file civil litigation against the alleged perpetrator. Some students will choose to pursue criminal charges (i.e., through the police and criminal courts). Others will choose to pursue University disciplinary options, if the alleged perpetrator is a Pepperdine student. Civil litigation is another option that some choose. Some will choose a combination of the above options, and some will choose none.
Under California law, the University is required to immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, disclose to local law enforcement, any report of sexual assault, whether committed on-or-off campus. If the student communicates to the University that he or she would like his or her identity withheld, the University will not disclose the student’s or the alleged perpetrator’s identity in its report to law enforcement.
Reporting Within the University
Note: If there is any immediate danger and you are on the Malibu campus, call Public Safety at 506.4441. If you are off-campus, call 911. If you are located at one of Pepperdine’s graduate, DC, or international campuses, contact your program director or local law enforcement to obtain information regarding local counseling, medical and legal resources available to you.
Anyone may formally report a complaint of sexual misconduct or retaliation related to sexual misconduct to the University by contacting:
La Shonda Coleman (email@example.com)
Title IX Coordinator for Students
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Tyler Campus Center Suite 210
Malibu, CA 90263
A student reporting sexual misconduct may do so verbally or in a written report. If a written report is submitted, it should contain a brief written statement citing the type(s) of sexual misconduct that occurred (see definitions section above) and supporting facts (e.g., respondent name , what happened, when and where the incident occurred, witness(es), etc.). The scope of any investigation, and who will conduct the investigation, shall be in the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator for Students. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents.
Formal reports and any related investigative materials concerning a Pepperdine student will be submitted to the associate dean of students as discussed in the Authority and Responsibility for Student Sexual Misconduct Discipline section below to determine if an administrative or student disciplinary committee hearing will be convened. Formal reports and any related investigative materials concerning Pepperdine faculty or staff will be submitted to the grievance officer as discussed in the Sexual Misconduct by Faculty or Staff section below. Formal reports concerning non-student third-parties will be resolved by the Title IX Coordinator for Students. The University reserves the right to investigate, take disciplinary action, and/or report sexual misconduct to local law enforcement regardless of how much time has passed since it occurred and even if the sexual misconduct is reported after the student graduates or employee leaves the University.
Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual misconduct. An individual may report the incident without disclosing names, identifying the alleged perpetrator, or requesting any action. Depending on the extent of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, the University’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. Anonymous reports may be made on the anonymous Wave Tip line by calling voice mail at 310.506.7634 or on the LiveSafe app. Public Safety will receive these reports and share them with the Title IX Coordinator for Students who will determine appropriate steps.
If a student discloses sexual misconduct to an employee (other than the University chaplain or Counseling Center staff), but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, Pepperdine must weigh that request against the obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the student reporting the incident. If Pepperdine honors the request for confidentiality, the reporting student must understand that Pepperdine’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator may be limited.
Although rare, there are times when Pepperdine may not be able to honor a reporting student’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. Pepperdine has designated the Title IX Coordinator for Students to evaluate requests for confidentiality once a student or an employee is on notice of alleged sexual misconduct. When weighing a student’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator for Students will consider a range of factors, including the following:
- whether there have been other sexual misconduct complaints about the same alleged perpetrator;
- whether the respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
- whether the respondent threatened further sexual misconduct or other violence against the student or others;
- whether the sexual misconduct was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- whether the sexual misconduct was perpetrated with a weapon;
- whether the reporting student is a minor;
- whether the University possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual misconduct (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence);
- whether the reporting student’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead Pepperdine to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors are present, Pepperdine will likely respect the reporting student’s request for confidentiality.
If Pepperdine determines that it cannot maintain a student’s confidentiality, Pepperdine will inform the reporting student prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling Pepperdine’s investigation and response. Pepperdine will remain mindful of the student’s well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the student from retaliation or harm and work with the student to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the reporting student, whether by other students or Pepperdine employees, will not be tolerated. Pepperdine will also:
- Assist the student in accessing other available victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus;
- Provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of living or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the alleged perpetrator pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
- Inform the student of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement - and provide the student with assistance if the student wishes to do so.
Pepperdine will not require a reporting student to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.
Because Pepperdine is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual misconduct campus-wide, reports of sexual misconduct (including anonymous reports) will also prompt Pepperdine to consider broader remedial action - such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual misconduct occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.
If Pepperdine determines that it can respect a student’s request for confidentiality, Pepperdine will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the students.
Reporting Options Outside the University
Community Resource Centers
The Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center
Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
1250 Sixteenth Street Santa Monica, California 90404
Provides professional support, including counseling, medical and advocacy services, to victims of sexual assault.
The Sojourn Services
1453 16th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Provides professional support, including counseling, medical and advocacy services, to victims of domestic and dating violence. Sojourn also operates a crisis shelter.
Local Law Enforcement
Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff Station
27050 Agoura Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
818.878.1808 or 911 for help in reporting the sexual misconduct to local law enforcement, call the Department of Public Safety (310.506.4700). It is important to understand that reporting sexual misconduct does not obligate the reporting party to press criminal charges.
Santa Monica Municipal Court
1725 Main St #102, Santa Monica, CA 90401
For help filing a civil lawsuit, please contact the Santa Monica Municipal Court.
Resources for Students Located Out of State or Abroad
If you are participating in a program located out of state or abroad, please consult with your program director for confidential reporting options, available community resources, and law enforcement contact information in your location. The Student Title IX Coordinator welcomes reports from all students, regardless of where they are located.
Reporting Party Immunity/Good Samaritan Policy
Sometimes victims of sexual misconduct are hesitant to report to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations (e.g., underage drinking). To encourage reporting, Pepperdine offers victims immunity from policy violations related to the sexual misconduct. Because Pepperdine places a high priority on student health and safety, the Good Samaritan policy was created to encourage students to take immediate action in any crisis or medical emergency. Pepperdine students are expected to care for others by getting help from appropriate officials even when violations of the Code of Conduct have occurred. In crisis situations involving alcohol, drugs, physical violence, and/or sexual misconduct (e.g., sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking), the University strongly considers the positive impact of taking responsible action when determining the appropriate response for alleged policy violations related to the incident. This means that no University disciplinary sanctions will be issued to either the reporting student(s) or to the student(s) in need of assistance related to the violations that occurred at or near the time of the incident.
This policy applies to students who report sexual misconduct or participate as key witnesses in sexual misconduct investigations, or who seek medical assistance for themselves or another by contacting an appropriate official (e.g., resident advisor, Public Safety officer, or calling 911). The incident will still be documented, and educational and/or health interventions may be required as a condition of replacing disciplinary sanctions. This policy may not apply to the hosts of a party if they do not seek immediate medical assistance for the student in need.
In any situation involving imminent danger to the health and safety of any individual(s), or where sexual misconduct has been alleged to have occurred, students are expected to: 1) immediately contact Public Safety or other emergency officials to report the incident; 2) remain with the individual(s) needing support and cooperate with emergency personnel as long as it is safe to do so; and 3) meet with appropriate University officials after the incident and cooperate with any University investigation.
Role of Advisors
Involved parties may be assisted at pre-hearing and hearing meetings by an advisor of their choice. The advisor cannot speak for the involved parties. The role of the advisor is to accompany the involved parties and advise them privately during the pre-hearing and hearing process.
Authority and Responsibility for Student Sexual Misconduct Discipline
The associate dean of students for community standards (“associate dean”) is responsible for the overall coordination of rules and regulations regarding the adjudication of violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy by students.
The associate dean reviews formal reports, as well as confidential reports if the Title IX Coordinator for Students has determined that a confidentiality request cannot be honored, and any related investigative materials. The associate dean may conduct further investigation of the report if he or she deems necessary. The scope of any investigation shall be in the sole discretion of the associate dean. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents.
If the associate dean considers the report and investigative materials to indicate a probable violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the matter will be heard through either an administrative hearing or a hearing with the student disciplinary committee. During such hearings, the reporting party will be referred to as the “complainant” and the accused party as the “respondent.” The University dean of students serves as the final appeal for disciplinary decisions in sexual misconduct cases.
The University’s actions are not dependent on the initiation or outcome of criminal charges. Disciplinary proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
Upon receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the University may impose reasonable and appropriate interim measures designed to eliminate the reported hostile environment or alleged violation and protect the parties involved. The University will maintain consistent contact with the parties to ensure that all safety and emotional and physical well-being concerns are being addressed. Interim measures may be imposed regardless of whether a confidential or formal complaint has been filed.
The complainant or respondent may request separation or other protection, or the University may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of all parties, the broader University community, and/or the integrity of the investigative and/or disciplinary process. All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The University will take immediate and responsive action to enforce a previously implemented measure.
Available Interim Measures
The Title IX Coordinator for Students or designee, at his or her discretion, may implement interim measures with potential remedies which may be applied to the complainant and/or the respondent including:
- access to counseling services and assistance in setting up an initial appointment, on and off campus;
- imposition of an on-campus “no-contact directive”;
- rescheduling of exams and assignments;
- providing alternative course completion options;
- changing class schedules, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdrawal from a course without penalty;
- changing work schedules or job assignments;
- changing a student’s University-owned housing;
- assistance from University support staff in completing University housing relocation;
- limiting an individual’s or organization’s access to certain University facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter;
- voluntary leave of absence;
- providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities;
- providing medical services;
- providing academic support services, such as tutoring; and/or
- any other remedy that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this policy.
Interim University or Housing Restriction
The University dean of students or designee may impose an interim University-wide restriction or University housing restriction on the respondent prior to an administrative hearing or student disciplinary committee hearing. Such measures may be imposed: a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; or b) if the respondent poses a definite threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the University. During the interim restriction, the student may be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes). The interim measure does not replace the regular disciplinary process, which will proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through an appeal, if required.
In some sexual misconduct cases, the associate dean meets individually with those involved rather than submitting the case for a hearing before the Student Disciplinary Committee. This is most often true when the violation is of a less serious nature and discipline would not result in suspension or dismissal. If an administrative hearing is to take place, the involved parties will receive a written notice prior to the hearing date that will include a description of the behavior that allegedly violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the investigative materials, and any other information the associate dean deems necessary to provide to the parties. The notice and related materials will be sent to the involved students’ pepperdine.edu email accounts. The notice will also include the date and time of the administrative hearing.
The administrative hearing officer (normally the associate dean) will meet with the complainant first to discuss the incident. After the meeting with the complainant, the administrative hearing officer will meet with the respondent to discuss the incident. The meeting will be followed by an email from the administrative hearing officer summarizing the discussions and imposing a sanction if a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy is found.
Sanctions imposed as a result of an administrative hearing cannot be appealed. Student disciplinary committee sanctions may be appealed; therefore, students who are required to attend an administrative hearing may request instead to have the matter heard by the Student Disciplinary Committee if they would like to reserve their right to an appeal.
Student Disciplinary Committee Hearings
If, after reviewing a sexual misconduct report and related investigative materials, the associate dean believes that there is a probable violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and the resulting sanction could result in a suspension or dismissal from the University, the matter will be submitted for hearing by the Student Disciplinary Committee. The committee will include a minimum of three faculty and/or staff members, with a mix of both male and female members. The associate dean will chair the committee but is not a voting member unless there is a tie vote.
Prior to the committee hearing, the involved parties will receive a written notice prior to the hearing date that will include a description of the behavior that allegedly violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the investigative materials, and any other information the associate dean deems necessary to provide to the involved parties. The notice and related materials will be sent to the involved students’ pepperdine.edu email accounts. The notice will also include the date and time of the hearing, not less than five (5) or more than fifteen (15) calendar days after the date of the written notice to the involved parties. Maximum time limits for scheduling hearings may be extended at the discretion of the associate dean.
Other than as outlined below, hearings need not adhere to formal rules of procedure or technical rules of evidence followed by courts of law. Hearings will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the associate dean.
- The hearing will normally be conducted in private. Admission of any person to the hearing will be at the discretion of the associate dean. The associate dean may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, respondent, and/or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, video conferencing, written statement, or other means, as deemed appropriate by the associate dean.
- Involved parties may be assisted at hearings and pre-hearing meetings by an advisor of their choice. The advisor cannot speak for the involved parties. The role of the advisor is to accompany the involved parties and advise them privately during the pre-hearing and hearing process.
- Hearings will be chaired by the associate dean or designee, and will proceed in the following manner:
a. Reading of the alleged violation(s).
b. The respondent’s denial or admission of the alleged violations(s) (If the respondent admits to the alleged violation(s), then the committee may dismiss the respondent and deliberate on the appropriate sanctions).
c. Presentation of information and/or witnesses supporting the alleged violation(s) and questions by the committee.
d. Presentation of information and/or witnesses that rebuts the alleged violation(s) and questions by the committee.
e. Each involved party has the option of presenting a closing statement to the committee.
- Involved parties are not required to provide witness testimony. However, if an involved party chooses to provide a witness’s testimony, that witness may appear in person at the hearing or submit a written statement at least 24 hours before the hearing. If the witness attends the hearing, the committee may ask him or her questions. Witnesses may only be present while giving testimony. Involved parties must submit a list of intended witnesses and purposes of their statements to the associate dean at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing. The associate dean reserves the right to limit which witnesses the involved parties may call at the hearing.
- A list of witnesses called by the University should be presented to the involved parties at least 24 hours before the hearing.
- Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the committee at the discretion of the Chair. This information must be submitted to the Chair at least 24 hours before the hearing. The Student the Disciplinary Committee may or may not consider any documents received after the 24-hour deadline subject to the discretion of the associate dean.
- Involved parties will receive a copy of witness lists and all relevant materials submitted.
- If, during the course of the hearing, additional policy violations are discovered, the respondent will be notified of the new alleged violation(s) and will be granted additional time, if needed, to prepare a defense of the new alleged violation(s). The respondent may waive the additional time and the hearing can proceed with the new alleged violation(s) taken under consideration by the committee. A record will be made in the hearing notes of additional alleged violation(s) and whether or not the respondent desires additional preparation time.
- Information about the misconduct of other students shared at the hearing may be used as the basis for disciplinary action unless immunity pursuant to the Good Samaritan policy has been granted to the reporting party.
- The committee’s determination will be made on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence standard (whether it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy).
- After the hearing, the committee will determine by majority vote whether the respondent has violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- If the respondent is found to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the committee will then make a recommendation to the associate dean on the appropriate sanction(s).
- The associate dean will notify the involved parties in writing regarding the decision and sanctions if issued to the pepperdine.edu e-mail accounts. There will be a single written record of the hearing, which normally consists of the statement of alleged misconduct, a summary of the information presented in the hearing, a summary of the statement of the involved parties, statement of the decision, and the sanctions issued, if any. The hearing will not be transcribed or otherwise recorded.
- If either of the involved parties fails to appear at the hearing or participate, the committee may make a decision based on the available information. If the associate dean determines that good cause exists for either of the involved parties not appearing at the hearing, a new date may be set.
- The committee will render a decision within 60 days of the formal report being filed or within 60 days of the Title IX Coordinator for Students’ decision not to honor a confidentiality request. However, there may be extenuating circumstances that render this time-frame impractical. In such cases, decisions will be rendered as promptly as possible.
Violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy may result in the imposition of one or more of the sanctions listed below. Sanctions that may be imposed are not limited to those listed. In certain limited situations, the associate dean or designee may impose a sanction but suspend or postpone its actual implementation. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the associate dean may result in further disciplinary action, including but not limited to, a registration hold, placement on, or extension of, University probation, suspension, or permanent dismissal.
Sanctions are based on general principles of fair treatment. While attempting to be consistent in its disciplinary decisions, the University also seeks to be fair and sensitive to the facts and circumstances of each individual case.
- Warning: Oral or written notice to the student that the student is violating or has violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy and that continuation or repetition of misconduct may result in a more severe sanction.
- University Probation: A status which indicates that a student’s relationship with the University is tenuous. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found in violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy or other policy violations. Probation may also result in the loss of privileges, depending on the policies of various University departments and organizations.
- Loss of Privileges: Such loss may include, but is not limited to, financial assistance, eligibility to represent the University officially on athletic teams or performing groups, or use of specific University facilities, or services.
- Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage or injury. Failure to pay such charges may result in additional sanctions (including, but not limited to, denial of re-enrollment or refusal to release official transcripts and records).
- Educational Sanctions: Reading/writing assignment, drug or alcohol assessment/treatment, seminar attendance, or other discretionary sanctions as deemed appropriate.
- Dismissal from University Housing: Loss of privilege to live in University housing. In accordance with University housing policy, students required to live on campus who are dismissed from University housing may be dismissed from Pepperdine University. Any student dismissed from University housing prior to the end of the contractual period may be responsible for any remaining monetary charges, as well as ineligible for reimbursement for any charges already paid.
- Suspension: Temporary separation of the student from Pepperdine University for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return without re-applying through the office of admissions, unless the student is absent for two or more academic years, which does require re-application and readmission by the office of admission, as is the case for all students. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Expulsion: Temporary separation of the student from Pepperdine University for a definite period of time, but not less than two semesters, after which the student must re-apply through the office of admission and be granted acceptance before becoming eligible for re-enrollment at the University. Conditions for readmission may be specified, but the student is not guaranteed readmission.
- Dismissal: Permanent separation of the student from Pepperdine University. The student is dismissed from the University and is permanently ineligible to re-enroll at the University at any time in the future. When students are dismissed, expelled, or suspended for disciplinary reasons, there will be no refund of tuition or room charges for the semester and all financial assistance for subsequent semesters will be reviewed and is subject to cancellation.
If a violation occurs just prior to a student’s scheduled graduation, sanctions may be imposed even if all academic requirements are completed. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, community service, research or reflective paper, restitution, loss of privilege to participate in the graduation ceremony, deferment of degree, and a transcript hold. The University may withhold issuing a degree until all sanctions are fulfilled. In the case of a serious violation, the University may permanently withhold a degree.
Retention of Disciplinary Records
Other than University dismissal or permanent withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but will become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than University expulsion or dismissal or withholding of a degree will be expunged from the student’s disciplinary record seven years after graduation.
Students who wish to appeal the decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee hearing can submit a written appeal to the University’s dean of students (“dean”) or designee. The appeal must be submitted within seven (7) calendar days of the issuance date of the committee’s written decision. The written appeal must specify grounds that would justify consideration. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision or an appeal for mercy is not an appropriate basis for an appeal. The nonappealing party will be emailed a copy of the appeal and may email a response to the dean within seven (7) calendar days from the date of the dean’s email. If submitted, the appealing party will be provided a copy of the response.
The written appeal must specifically address at least one of the following criteria:
1. Sufficiency of the information to support the decision.
2. New information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
3. Procedural irregularity in the student disciplinary committee proceedings that undermined the respondent’s ability to present a defense or the complainant’s ability to present relevant information supporting his or her complaint.
4. Bias or conflict of interest by a committee member or investigator.
5. Inappropriateness of the sanction for the violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Generally, the appellate process does not require a hearing, nor does it require the dean to make personal contact with the students or the student disciplinary committee. The dean may, but is not required to, convene an ad hoc appeal committee to assist in making a recommendation regarding the appeal. The dean shall not be bound by the committee’s recommendation.
Within twenty (20) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal, the dean may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction. The dean may also return the case to the student disciplinary committee for further consideration. The dean’s decision shall be final and effective immediately. A copy of the decision letter will be emailed to the parties’ pepperdine.edu accounts.
Sexual Misconduct by Faculty or Staff
This policy is applicable to sexual misconduct reports filed by a student against a faculty or staff member. This policy is not applicable to reports filed against another student. The grievance officer shall be a faculty or staff member designated by the Title IX Coordinator for Students. In cases where a faculty or staff member is accused of other forms of serious misconduct in addition to sexual misconduct, Human Resources and/or the dean of the respective school may take immediate action following other policies governing misconduct, thereby making this policy inapplicable (e.g., in cases where a faculty/staff member is immediately terminated).
The grievance officer will review formal reports, as well as confidential reports if the Title IX Coordinator for Students has determined that a confidentiality request cannot be honored, and any related investigative materials. The grievance officer may conduct further investigation of the report if she or he deems necessary. The scope of any investigation shall be in the sole discretion of the grievance officer. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents. If the grievance officer desires, he or she may appoint an ad hoc committee to assist in further investigation of the complaint and/or advise the grievance officer on whether the Sexual Misconduct Policy was violated. The grievance officer shall not be bound by the committee’s recommendation.
If the grievance officer considers the report and investigative materials to indicate a probable violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the matter will be reviewed as described below. The University’s actions are not dependent on the initiation or outcome of criminal charges. Proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
If the grievance officer determines that the allegations in the student’s (“complainant”) report do warrant further consideration, then the grievance officer shall email a notice describing the behavior that allegedly violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy and investigative materials to the person against whom the complaint is made (“respondent”). All emails will be sent to the parties’ pepperdine.edu email accounts.
The faculty or staff member respondent shall be given fourteen (14) calendar days from receipt of the notice and investigative materials to return a written response and any supporting materials to the grievance officer. Necessary extensions may be granted at the discretion of the grievance officer. A copy of the respondent’s response, investigative materials, and any supporting materials submitted by respondent will be emailed to the complainant.
Within twenty (20) business days of receipt of the written response, the grievance officer shall make a decision by a preponderance of the evidence based on the report, the response, and any other information the grievance officer deems relevant. A copy of the decision will be emailed to both parties. If a sanction is recommended against a staff member, the decision will be forwarded to Human Resources for further action. If a sanction is recommended against a faculty member, the decision will be forwarded to the dean of the faculty member’s school for further.
Either the staff member’s senior leader within the staff member’s unit or the dean of the faculty member’s school (“reviewing officer”) shall serve as the “reviewing officer” for all final appeal for decisions in sexual misconduct cases. Any party may submit a written request for appeal to the reviewing officer within seven (7) calendar days from the date of the decision. The request for appeal must specifically set forth all grounds for appeal. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision or an appeal for mercy is not an appropriate basis for an appeal. The nonappealing party will be emailed a copy of the appeal and may email a response to the reviewing officer within seven (7) calendar days from the date of the grievance officer’s email. If submitted, the appealing party will be provided a copy of the response.
The reviewing officer shall be limited to addressing only the following questions:
- Sufficiency of the information to support the decision.
- New information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not submitted to the grievance officer, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of submission to the grievance officer.
- Procedural irregularity in the proceedings that undermined the respondent’s ability to present a defense or the complainant’s ability to present relevant information supporting his or her report.
- Bias or conflict of interest by the grievance officer or investigator.
- Inappropriateness of the sanction for the violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Generally, the appellate process does not require a hearing, nor does it require the reviewing officer to make personal contact with the parties or the grievance officer. The reviewing officer may, but is not required to, convene an ad hoc appeal committee to assist in making a recommendation regarding the appeal. The reviewing officer shall not be bound by the committee’s recommendation.
Within twenty (20) business days from the date of receipt of the written request for appeal, the reviewing officer shall make a final decision based on the submitted materials and any other information the grievance officer deems relevant. The reviewing officer may affirm, reverse, or modify the grievance officer’s recommendation. The reviewing officer may also return the case to the grievance officer for further consideration. The reviewing officer’s decision shall be final and effective immediately. A copy of the decision letter will be emailed to the parties’ pepperdine.edu accounts.
All written decisions made and materials produced in connection with a grievance conducted under this policy shall be retained by the grievance officer for seven years from the date of the student’s graduation.
Last Updated on July 28, 2017
Discrimination and Harassment Policy
Pepperdine University affirms that all members of our community are created in the image of God and therefore should be treated with dignity and respect. Our University Code of Ethics states that we do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Further, we respect the inherent worth of each member of the community and do not engage in any forms of harassment. We follow the profound truth found in the Golden Rule, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
Discrimination and harassment, and any related retaliation, as defined below, is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. This policy applies to all University students, including any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled full- or part-time; has completed the immediately preceding term, is not presently enrolled, and is eligible for re-enrollment; or is on an approved educational leave or other approved leave status. This includes the period before classes begin, while the student is attending classes, between academic sessions or on leave. This policy applies even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. This policy applies to student conduct that occurs both on and off campus. This policy does not apply to sexual misconduct. For information regarding sexual misconduct, please see the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Speech that constitutes a protected exercise of a student’s rights under California’s Leonard Law will not be deemed a violation of this policy. However, some speech that may be protected by the Leonard Law is nonetheless inconsistent with the Golden Rule, and students are encouraged to live by this higher standard rooted in our Christian faith and heritage.
The University encourages students to immediately bring any concerning behavior to the University’s attention even if such behavior does not constitute discrimination, harassment, or retaliation as defined below.
Unlawful discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably with respect to the administration of the University’s educational programs and activities, admissions, financial aid, or on-campus housing, based upon that individual’s membership in a class protected by applicable law.
Harassment is defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, that its effect, whether or not intended, impairs a person’s ability to participate in the University’s educational programs and activities or their living environment. Objectively offensive conduct means that it must be offensive both to the recipient of the conduct and to a “reasonable person” in the recipient’s circumstances.
Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Some students hang a noose from the ceiling of an African-American student’s room.
- Over the course of the semester, a gay student is repeatedly called names (including anti‐gay slurs like “fag” and “homo”) both to his face and on social networking sites.
- After a student discloses that he receives an accommodation for his learning disability, another student calls him a “retard” every time he walks into the classroom.
- Someone spray paints “terrorist” on a Muslim student’s car.
- A student draws a swastika on a Jewish student’s message board.
Retaliation is any form of sanction or adverse treatment against a person because that person has asserted a good faith complaint of discrimination or harassment, or assists in providing information regarding a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Retaliation may consist of intentional disparagement, harassment, negative remarks, or other treatment that creates a hostile environment.
III. Reporting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation
Students who feel that they have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, should contact the dean of their school. Students accused of harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary proceedings set forth in the applicable school’s code of conduct. Student complaints against faculty or staff members are subject to the nonacademic student grievance procedure.
Confidential reports may be made by contacting a counselor at the Student Counseling Center located at TCC 270 or at 310.506.4210. Confidential reports can also be made by contacting University Chaplain Sara Barton, at TCC 106A or at 310.506.4275.
Anonymous reports may be made on the anonymous Wave Tip line by calling voice mail at 310.506.7634 or on the LiveSafe app. For any campus emergency, call 310.506.4441.
Nonacademic Student Grievance Procedure
The purpose of this Nonacademic Student Grievance Procedure is to provide for the resolution of student grievances, including allegations of discrimination, harassment, and the denial of reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities (including whether the student is a qualified individual with a disability, the adequacy of the student’s documentation regarding the student’s disability, and decisions regarding the student’s academic adjustment or auxiliary aid, including denial of requested and/or approved services). This procedure is applicable to nonacademic student grievances filed against faculty, staff, or any nonstudent third-party. This policy is not applicable to grievances filed against another student. To file a nonacademic grievance against another student, please see “Reporting Misconduct” in the “Student Code of Conduct” section of this catalog.
This procedure is designed to allow students to address complaints in a prompt, fair, consistent, and objective manner. Any act of reprisal by a University employee or by one acting on behalf of the University, including the intimidation of a grievant, respondent, or witness during the pendency of an investigation, will result in prompt disciplinary action. (This procedure shall not be used to bring frivolous or malicious complaints. If a complaint has been made in bad faith, disciplinary action may be taken against the person bringing the complaint.)
Before initiating a formal grievance, a student has the option to–but is not required to–discuss the matter in dispute with the person against whom the student has a grievance and seek a mutual resolution of concerns. The student may be encouraged to return to this informal level of resolution at any time during this procedure. It is the University’s belief that most grievances can and will be resolved at this level.
If an informal resolution does not result, the student must submit a complaint to the grievance officer to initiate a formal grievance. Initially the student’s concerns may be communicated orally; however, they must be in writing before any review or other action takes place. (Assistance will be provided to disabled students who are unable to write a complaint.) This written complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the student knows of the subject problem. The complaint should specify the University or Graziadio School policy, procedure, or norm violated and specifically set forth all relevant factual details.
The Associate Dean of academic affairs at the Graziadio School shall serve as the grievance officer concerning complaints against faculty, staff, or nonstudent third-parties. The Dean of the Graziadio School shall serve as the grievance officer concerning complaints about the Associate Dean, and in this instance, the Provost will serve as the reviewing officer if the case involves a request to appeal the grievance officer’s decision. In matters involving complaints regarding the denial of an accommodation, the grievance officer (and any other decision-making individuals involved) will have the necessary training and expertise concerning (1) the student’s disability, (2) the applicable University policies and procedures, (3) the applicable legal standards, and (4) the appropriate methods for resolution, including the scope of remedies available to the student, or shall seek consultation as necessary and appropriate. (Which information can be obtained through consultation with the University’s Disability Services Office.)
The grievance officer shall read the complaint, all relevant records or other factual information, and all University policies and procedures as may be necessary to determine whether the complainant’s allegations warrant implementing the remainder of the procedures outlined below. If, for example, the allegations in the complaint, even if true, would not constitute a violation of a University policy, procedure, or norm, then the grievance officer should inform the student in writing that the student’s allegations are not subject to the grievance process.
If the grievance officer determines that the allegations in the complaint do warrant further investigation and consideration, then the grievance officer shall forward, via certified U.S. Mail, notice of the complaint and its substantive allegations to the person against whom the complaint is made (“respondent”) and, if discrimination or harassment is alleged, the University Equal Employment Officer. This shall be done as soon as possible, but in no event later than 21 calendar days after the grievance officer receives the written complaint.
The respondent shall be given 14 calendar days from receipt of the complaint to return a written response to the grievance officer. Necessary extensions may be granted at the discretion of the grievance officer.
The grievance officer will initiate a reasonable investigation into the matter. The scope of any investigation shall be in the sole discretion of the grievance officer. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents.
A student may elect to withdraw a complaint at any time; however, the University reserves the right to investigate all complaints where necessary to protect the interests of the University community.
If the grievance officer desires, he or she may appoint an ad hoc committee to assist in the investigation of the complaint and/or for advice concerning the handling of this matter. In such instances, the ad hoc committee should have the necessary training or expertise necessary to investigate the complaint and offer advice on the handling of the matter.
Within twenty-one (21) business days of a receipt of the written response, the grievance officer shall make a decision by a preponderance of the evidence based on the written complaint, the response, and any other information the grievance officer determines is relevant. The decision shall be in writing and consist of factual findings, conclusions, and a remedy if one is appropriate. The grievance officer will provide a copy of the decision to all parties. In instances where discrimination or harassment is alleged, the grievance officer will provide a copy of the decision to the complainant and/or target of the alleged discrimination or harassment, the University Equal Employment Officer. The decision will explain the investigative process and contain a summary of the facts gathered, a determination as to whether discrimination or harassment occurred, the reasons for the decision and any appeal procedures. If discrimination or harassment is found to have occurred, the decision will also include any remedial or corrective actions that have, or will be, taken to prevent any retaliation or recurrence (1) institutionally and (2) directly relating to the complainant, including notice of all sanctions against the offender in order for the sanctions to be fully enforced.
Any party may submit a written request for appeal to the Dean of the Graziadio School (“reviewing officer”) within 14 calendar days from the date of the decision. The request for appeal must specifically set forth all grounds for appeal. The nonappealing party must be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the request for appeal.
The reviewing officer shall be limited to addressing only the following questions:
- Did the grievance officer consider all the important and appropriate facts in the investigation of this matter?
- Did the student prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” (that is, more likely than not) that the person against whom the student has a grievance in fact violated a University policy, procedure, or norm or otherwise engaged in any unlawful or illegal activity?
- Was the process carried out in a fair manner?
- Was the decision one that a reasonable person might have made?
- Was the grievance officer biased?
Within fifteen (15) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal, the reviewing officer shall make a final decision based on the written complaint, the written response, the grievance officer’s written decision, the written request for appeal, and any written response to the request for appeal. The decision of the reviewing officer shall be final. The reviewing officer will provide a copy of the decision to all parties, and where discrimination or harassment is alleged, to the University Equal Employment Officer.
All written decisions made and materials produced in connection with a grievance conducted under this procedure shall be retained by the grievance officer for seven years after graduation.
Provisions Subject to Change
The provisions of this catalog, including, but not limited to, rules of conduct, academic offerings and requirements, time for completion of degrees, and all financial charges, are subject to change at any time by Pepperdine University. It is anticipated that costs will increase in future years due to inflation, strengthened academic and extracurricular offerings, and/or other factors.
Security of Student Belongings
The University is not responsible for loss of, theft of, or damage to students’ personal possessions. Theft and security concerns should be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety. Students are responsible for their possessions while on University property and are encouraged to lock their rooms when they leave and to utilize laptop locks and other devices to safeguard their property while using University facilities. Residence hall lobby and suite doors must remain closed and locked at all times. Additionally, students are encouraged not to leave valuables unattended and unsecured. The University encourages students to obtain their own theft and casualty insurance. Such coverage may exist as part of parents’ homeowner insurance policies or may be added for an additional fee. It is also recommended that students record the serial numbers of electronic devices such as laptop computers and digital cameras. Residents are encouraged to take valuables home with them during University breaks.
All Pepperdine University campuses are smoke-free at all times and smoking is strictly prohibited with the exception of any limited, designated areas where smoking may be permitted for some period while moving toward the goal of a 100% smoke-free campus. This prohibition includes but is not limited to the interior of University facilities, outdoor areas, and undeveloped property, as well as in any vehicle owned, leased, or operated by the University. Also, the sale, distribution, and advertisement of, or sponsorship by tobacco products is prohibited anywhere on campus, at University-sponsored events, or in publications produced by the University. This policy applies to all persons on a Pepperdine University campus.
We at Pepperdine University acknowledge and respect the fact that certain individuals experience extreme difficulty in ceasing the habit of smoking. Consistent with our University mission and identity, we must avoid alienating community members, and treat those who smoke with respect, dignity, and care as we seek to implement and enforce this policy.
Increased subsidized cessation programs will be made available to faculty, staff, and students. The University encourages participation in these programs. For more information, employees should call Human Resources, and students should call their dean’s office.
All members of the University community share in the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing this policy. The success of this policy depends upon the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of those who smoke and those who do not. Informational rather than punitive enforcement is the intent of this policy. However, repeated violations of the smoking policy, such as smoking in an area other than at a designated smoking location, may result in intervention by the Department of Public Safety, discipline by the supervisor in the case of an employee, or discipline by the applicable dean’s office in the case of a student.
Student Records Policy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA, provides, generally, that (1) students shall have the right of access to their educational records, and (2) educational institutions shall not release educational records to non-school employees without consent of the student, subject to the exceptions provided by law. “Students” as used in this notice includes former students but does not include applicants who have not attended Pepperdine University.
Right of Access
With a few exceptions provided by law, students at Pepperdine University may see any of their educational records upon request. Access must be granted no later than 45 days after the request. Students further have the right, under established procedures, to challenge the factual accuracy of the records and to enter their viewpoints in the records.
Students may waive their right of access to recommendations and evaluations in the cases of admission, applications for employment, and nominations for awards. Pepperdine University may not require students to sign a waiver of their right of access to their records, but students and prospective students should be aware that users of recommendations and evaluations made without a signed waiver may discount their helpfulness and validity.
Disclosure of Student Records
With several exceptions provided by law, Pepperdine University cannot release information concerning students to prospective employers, government agencies, credit bureaus, etc., without the written consent of the student. Students and alumni applying for jobs, credit, graduate school, etc., can expedite their applications by providing the University with written permission to release their records, specifying which records and to whom the release should be made. The student’s written consent is not required for the disclosure of grades, disciplinary action, or other information to parents of students who are dependents for federal income tax purposes. Parents requesting information may generally be granted access upon submission to the University of a signed statement or other evidence of federal income tax dependency.
The University has designated the following categories of information as “directory information,” which may be released to the public without notice or consent of the student: student’s name, student ID number, address, telephone number, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, enrollment status, classification, thesis titles/topics, photograph, e-mail address, and the most recent previous public or private school attended by the student.
The student may request that certain categories of directory information not be released to the public without the student’s written consent. Such requests shall be submitted in accordance with the Student Records Policy of the University.
Student Theses, Dissertations, and Group Projects
Certain student academic works, including student theses, dissertations, and group projects, may be made accessible to the public in hard or electronic copy. Such works may be available in the University’s libraries, public online databases and repositories maintained by the University, and by professors in their classes and off-campus presentations.
This notice is not intended to be fully explanatory of student rights under FERPA or California law. Students may obtain copies of the official Student Records Policy, which contains detailed information and procedures, upon request to the Office of the Student Information and Services (Registrar’s Office), Malibu, California 90263. Copies may also be obtained online.
Right to File a Complaint
Any student alleging failure of the University to comply with FERPA may file a complaint with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20201. Students are encouraged to utilize the internal University grievance procedures to resolve complaints prior to contacting outside agencies.
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Pepperdine University seeks to foster an alcohol- and drug-free environment in which to work, live, learn, and grow. As a Christian University, we approach alcohol and other drug abuse with a combination of compassion, encouragement, directness, and concerned firmness. An aspect of this caring approach is the consistent enforcement of the regulations regarding alcohol and other drugs contained within this policy. The purpose of this policy is to ensure a safe environment that is consistent with the mission of the University and its goal to foster an alcohol- and drug-free environment. The following information is presented in compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989
Good Samaritan Policy
The University recognizes that there may be alcohol or other drug-related medical or safety emergencies in which the potential for disciplinary action could act as a deterrent to students who want to seek assistance for themselves or others. The Good Samaritan Policy is designed to enable dangerously intoxicated or impaired students, or their guests, to receive the professional medical treatment they need. When a student aids an intoxicated or impaired individual by contacting a professional for assistance, neither the intoxicated individual nor the individual reporting the emergency will be subject to disciplinary action. Please see the full policy under the “Disciplinary Procedures” section of Student Handbook.
Prevention and Education
Pepperdine seeks to prevent alcohol and other drug-related problems by educating students about the personal and social consequences associated with the abuse of drugs. Educational programs are offered on an ongoing basis and are coordinated through the Counseling Center. Resident advisors in the residence halls receive alcohol and drug awareness training in order to serve the needs of the residential community. Prevention strategies also include efforts to change inappropriate community norms regarding alcohol and other drug use and to alter environmental factors that support inappropriate use. Finally, the University partners with the community and parents/guardians of students to help prevent abuse.
Assistance in Overcoming Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
For students who seek help for substance abuse problems, complete confidentiality will be observed to the limit of the law. Insofar as federal and state statutes and professional ethical standards permit, no professional on the Pepperdine health and counseling staffs will in any way notify the administration of the name of a student who seeks help for a substance abuse problem without prior written permission from that student, and no records will be forwarded to the administration regarding the services or the problem. Confidential counseling and treatment are available to students through the Student Health and Counseling Centers or by referral to appropriate agencies off-campus. Please contact the Counseling Center at 506-4210 for more information.
Regulations and Sanctions Regarding Alcohol and Other Drugs
Students are responsible for conforming their behavior to Federal, State, and local law, and to the University’s Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs. When violations of law or policy come to the attention of University officials, students may be referred for criminal prosecution and University sanctions may be imposed. Harm to persons or damage to either private or University property arising from the actions of intoxicated individuals on the premises of the University will be the full and sole responsibility of such individuals.
- The consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages or possession of empty containers is prohibited on University property or at any University-sponsored event or activity, regardless of the student’s age.
- On campus, it is a violation to be in the presence of alcohol, alcohol containers, controlled substances, or drug-related paraphernalia.
- Off campus, it is a violation to drink underage. It is also a violation to misrepresent one’s age for the purposes of purchasing or consuming alcohol. This includes the manufacture, sale, distribution, promotion, possession, or attempt to obtain false identification (on or off campus). Possessing a fake ID may result in University probation on the first offense.
- Drunkenness, on or off campus, is not consistent with the moral standards of the University and may result, minimally, in University probation on the first offense and suspension on the second offense. Drunkenness is defined as a blood alcohol content of .08% or more and/or as offensive, disruptive, destructive, hazardous, and/or vulgar conduct during or following the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- The refusal by a student to take or fully cooperate with a breathalyzer, field sobriety, or drug test may be considered as admission of being under the influence.
- Operating a motor vehicle, on or off campus, while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is a serious threat to oneself and the community and may result in immediate suspension, expulsion, or dismissal. Anyone who injures another person as a result of driving under the influence may be permanently dismissed.
- The attempt to obtain, use, possess, distribute, or sell, any potentially harmful or illegal drug (e.g., prescription drugs, marijuana, cocaine) or drug-related paraphernalia (including hookahs) is strictly prohibited. Anyone involved in the sale or distribution of drugs on or off campus may be dismissed immediately
- The possession or presence of any amount of a controlled substance is prohibited on or off campus. This includes but is not limited to the presence of marijuana smoke or odor, small “roaches,” or residue found in baggies, pipes, or other paraphernalia. The possession or use of medicinal marijuana is prohibited on or off campus. The possession or presence of marijuana or other controlled substances may result, minimally, in suspension.
- Possession or use of any herb or drug used for hallucination or intoxication.
- Promoting the consumption of drugs or alcoholic beverages may not be undertaken within the confines of University properties or through University-sponsored or approved publications or events.
- Any student (regardless of age) or student organization found supplying, possessing, or consuming alcohol or other drugs at University-sponsored off-campus events will be subject to disciplinary action.
- Any student leader (including, but not limited to, Orientation Leaders, RAs, and Student Service Officers) who promotes or supplies alcohol or other controlled substances may be immediately suspended, expelled, or dismissed from the University. Examples of promoting alcohol/controlled substances include advertising parties either verbally or with flyers and inviting or driving underage students to parties where alcohol is present.
- Hosting or in any way assisting or promoting a gathering (on or off campus) that includes underage drinking or drunkenness or drug use, whether intended or not, may result in suspension or dismissal. Those living at the location where the party is held may be held responsible as hosts regardless of who provides the alcohol.
- Any student who encourages another to consume alcoholic beverages or any substance as a means to induce that individual to engage in behavior that would otherwise be against that person’s will is subject to dismissal.
- Any student who sexually assaults or attempts to sexually assault another person who is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs is subject to immediate permanent dismissal.
The use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs can cause a number of problematic changes in behavior and physiology. Alcohol, especially in high doses or combined with medications or other drugs, can lead to violent behaviors including acquaintance rape, vandalism, fights, incidents of drinking and driving, injury, and other medical emergencies. If you discover someone who is excessively intoxicated, unconscious or in need of emergency assistance, please dial 506-4441 on-campus, or 911 off-campus. Doing so may save someone’s life.
Moderate to high doses of alcohol may cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and recall information. Research has shown that using alcohol or other drugs negatively affects academic performance.
The risk of having an automobile accident increases after consuming even relatively small quantities of alcohol. Low doses may significantly impair judgment, coordination, abstract mental functioning, and the ability to complete complex tasks.
Repeated use of alcohol and other drugs can lead to physical and/or emotional dependence. Alcohol or substance dependence occurs when a person continues their use despite recurrent social, interpersonal, and/or legal consequences. There is strong evidence based on medical research that alcohol and other drug abuse contributes significantly to heart disease and cancer as well as permanent damage of vital organs such as the brain and liver. There is clear evidence of serious negative effects on babies due to the use of illicit drugs and alcohol by the mother during pregnancy.
The use of Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish) may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce coordination and energy level. Its effect can last more for more than 4-6 hours after being used. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is both physically and emotionally addictive.
Hallucinogens (LSD, Ecstasy, and PCP) cause hallucinations. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects can occur, including ongoing loss of concentration and memory. Frequent use can cause permanent loss of some mental functions.
Cocaine and Crack are highly addictive drugs. The immediate effects of cocaine include dilated pupils, elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, followed by depression. Crack can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, and even death. These drugs cause a temporary feeling of power, impairing judgment and decision-making.
Amphetamines (Crystal, Speed, Crank, and Meth) are highly addictive stimulants, which can cause one to “rush” around and appear stimulated. Amphetamines can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, loss of coordination, collapse, and even death. Continued stimulant abuse can lead to mood swings, irritability, depression, sleeplessness, and even altered personality and paranoia
Heroin causes the body to have diminished pain reactions and is highly addictive both physically and emotionally. It can cause disinterest in relationships, personal productivity, and workplace safety. The use of heroin can result in coma and death. Commonly used intravenously, heroin use is associated with a wide range of physical health problems (i.e., AIDS, hepatitis).
Prescription drugs (i.e. anti-depressants, pain suppressants, stimulants, and tranquilizers) are safe only if taken as prescribed under the supervision of a licensed physician. If abused, they can lead to sluggishness or hyperactivity, impaired reflexes, liver and kidney damage, addiction, and nervous system damage.
Pepperdine University has long recognized its special relationship with the parents and families of its students. Even after students leave home for college, parents often play a central role in their character development, so Pepperdine works in partnership with parents in helping students make the transition to responsible adulthood.
The University also recognizes that students have specific privacy rights. FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a Federal law that controls the confidentiality of, and access to, student education records. The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 permit educational institutions to notify parents if a student, under the age of 21 at the time of notification, commits a disciplinary violation involving alcohol or a controlled substance. See Pepperdine’s Student Records Policy for additional information about FERPA and educational records. A full copy may be obtained by contacting the Registrar’s Office.
The purpose of Pepperdine’s parental notification policy is to promote the holistic development of students and to foster an alcohol- and drug-free campus community. Among several interventions that may be used to further this purpose, parents or guardians of students under the age of 21 may be notified in the case of a violation of University alcohol or other drug policies. Notification begins with:
- The first time a student is charged with violating the University policy under one of following circumstances:
- Caused harm to oneself or another while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or was transported to a medical facility and treated because of alcohol or other drug use.
- Was unruly, disruptive, or destructive while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Was arrested or taken into custody by law enforcement officers while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or is charged with violating a federal, state, or local law related to alcohol or other drug use.
- Because of previous violations (not related to alcohol or other drugs), the current alcohol or other drug violation might result in the student being placed on suspension or a more severe sanction.
- Hosted or in any way assisted or promoted a gathering that included underage drinking or drunkenness.
- The first time a student is charged with violating the University policy regarding the attempt to obtain or the use, possession, sale, or distribution of any narcotic or other controlled substance not lawfully prescribed by a health care provider.
- The second time a student is charged with violating the University policy regarding:
- The consumption, possession, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages.
- Being in the presence of alcohol, alcohol containers, controlled substances, or drug-related paraphernalia on University property.
Normally, a parent or guardian will be notified in writing by the associate dean of student affairs for community standards before the disciplinary hearing. Before notifying the parents or guardians, every effort will be made to inform the student and attempt to have the student make the first contact. This is consistent with the general philosophy that supports students developing independence and personal accountability. However, in some situations consultation with the student or first contact by the student may not be possible or appropriate and in such cases the University is not required to alert the student when it has notified his/her parent or legal guardian. In other situations, after consulting with the student, the associate dean may determine that notifying the parents/guardians may be harmful to the student and in such cases the University is not obligated to make notification.
This policy does not preclude the University’s contacting parents or guardians for other policy violations that may endanger the health and well being of a student or other individuals in the community. Also, the University may release information related to student educational records to parents who claim the student as a dependent for tax purposes.
Review of University Program and Policy
Biennially, the University will review its alcohol and other drugs prevention program and this policy to determine the program’s and policy’s effectiveness, to implement changes if needed, and to ensure that the University’s disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.
Pepperdine University is committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values which strengthen lives for purpose, service, and leadership. Hazing is a violation of our Christian teaching that all people are created in the image of God and should be treated with dignity and respect. Therefore, Pepperdine is dedicated to a University community free of hazing.
Hazing is prohibited by state law and University policy. The University’s hazing policy applies to all student organizations - including groups governed by the Sports Club Council, Inter-Club Council, Inter-Fraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and athletic teams - as well as unrecognized student organizations.
It is unlawful to engage in hazing. See California Penal Code section 245.6 (“Matt’s Law”). Matt’s Law defines hazing as “any method of initiation or preinitiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution in this state. The term ‘hazing’ does not include customary athletic events or school-sanctioned events.” Individuals found guilty of hazing may be imprisoned and/or fined. Matt’s law also allows a person against whom the hazing is directed to sue the individuals who participate in the hazing or organizations that authorize, request, command, participate in, or ratify the hazing.
Pepperdine’s Definition of Hazing
Pepperdine defines hazing much more broadly than Matt’s Law. This broader definition is classified into three categories: 1) subtle hazing; 2) harassment hazing, and 3) violent hazing (see descriptions and examples below). Pepperdine prohibits any student or student organization from engaging in, individually or as part of a group, an act which is humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning or potentially endangers or puts at risk the mental health or physical safety of a student for the purpose of or in connection with initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. Hazing includes active or passive participation in such acts and occurs regardless of the willingness to participate in the activities.
The following terms are an important part of Pepperdine’s definition of hazing:
- Passive Participant: An individual member of the hazing group who stands by and watches the hazing activity perpetrated upon another person and chooses not to do or say anything that would or could change the course of action. The University considers passive participants as much of the problem as active perpetrators, and will consider passive participants to be contributors who help perpetuate hazing culture.
- Consent: Even if someone agrees or is otherwise complicit in participating in a potentially dangerous activity, this does not remove the responsibility from the perpetrators (or passive participants). Furthermore, it may not be true consent when considering the pressure and desire to belong to the group. Consequently, the implied or expressed consent of any person toward whom an act of hazing is directed cannot be used as a defense to a charge of hazing.
Example of Hazing and Prohibited Activities
A complete list of activities that would constitute hazing would not be possible, but hazing can be classified into three categories that would reasonably be expected to affect another person’s dignity or well-being. Almost anything that new members are required to do that is not required of more senior members or any other activities devoid of legitimate educational value is likely to constitute hazing. Violating or encouraging others to violate any University policy in the context of new member activities is prohibited (e.g, alcohol consumption).
Subtle hazing typically involves activities that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group or team. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
- Any activity that is presented as optional but has real or perceived negative consequences for nonparticipation (e.g., not participating Spirit Cup activities results in running laps).
- Assigning demerits
- Silence periods with actual or implied threats for violation
- Deprivation of privileges granted to other members
- Requiring new members to perform duties not assigned to other members
- Encouraged exclusion from social contact
- Compelling a person or group to remain at a certain place
- Line-ups and drills/tests (sometimes includes name calling)
- Requiring new members to refer to other members with titles (e.g. “Mr.” or “Miss”) while they are identified with demeaning terms
- Expecting certain items to be in one’s possession (e.g., backpacks, shields, paddles, bricks, etc.)
- Activities that would unreasonably interfere with students’ other activities or obligations (academic, extracurricular, family, religious, etc.)
- Required uniforms, costumes, or clothing designating new member status (e.g., t-shirt with “Pledge”)
- Depriving students of sense awareness (sight, sound, etc.)
Harassment hazing typically involves behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to make new members feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
- Verbal abuse
- Threats or implied threats
- Wearing or carrying apparel or items likely to subject the wearer to embarrassment, ridicule, or harm
- Stunt or skit nights with degrading, crude, or humiliating acts, inappropriate scavenger hunts or road trips
- Public stunts and buffoonery
- Fake branding/cutting or psychological game playing
- Shaving of the head or any other part of the body
- Sleep deprivation or disruption
- Sexual simulations or nudity in any form
- Expecting new members to perform personal service to other members-cook, clean, etc.
- Expecting new members to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of personal hygiene
- Expecting new members to harass others
- Degrading or humiliating games and activities
Violent hazing involves behaviors that have the potential to cause physical, and/or emotional harm. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
- Forced, pressured, or coerced alcohol or other drug consumption
- Beating, paddling, or other forms of assault
- Forced or coerced ingestion of substances or concoctions
- Water intoxication or other consumption challenges
- Abuse or mistreatment of animals
- Any activity which involves vomit or other body fluids
- Expecting illegal activity
- Exposure to extreme heat or cold without appropriate protection
- Branding, tattooing, piercing
Positive New Member Activities
There are many new-member activities that are positive, educationally appropriate, and develop group unity, bonding, and a sense of belonging, Examples include, but are not limited to the following: 1. Attending pre-season or organizational training sessions 2. Engaging in community service 3. Completing a “ropes” course or other group building activities 4. Participating in a supervised group, organization or team trip 5. Competing with each other in team games, splitting the team equally between new members and returning members Because it is not always clear to individuals which activities are unacceptable and constitute hazing, student leaders and members of student groups are required to consult with groups’ advisors, coaches, or other University officials responsible for the program or activity in advance of the planned event. Activities which detract from the goal of fostering the personal and intellectual development of our students have no place at Pepperdine.
How You Can Tell If It Is Hazing
If you have to ask if it’s hazing, it probably is. Here are some things to think about, and to help you determine if the activity is hazing.
- Is this in line with your organization’s mission and values?
- Are alcohol or other drugs involved?
- Are any state, local laws or University rules being violated?
- Will active/current members of the group refuse to participate with the new members and do exactly what they’re being asked to do?
- Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?
- Is there risk of injury or a question of safety?
- Do you have any reservation describing the activity to your parents, to a professor, University official, or media?
- Must new members carry specific items with them at all times?
- Must new members remain silent for a certain time period, or are they denied contact with friends and family?
- Would you be comfortable describing this activity to your parents? Or have details about it published in the Graphic?
Pre-Approval of New Member Activities
All new member activities must be approved in advance by the appropriate department responsible for overseeing the organization, group, or team involved. In deciding whether to approve the program, the department will consider whether the proposed activity constitutes hazing as defined above and also whether the activity is likely to produce or would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to be humiliating, intimidating, demeaning, or potentially endangers or puts at risk the mental health or physical safety of a student. Organizations, groups and teams may not engage in any new member activities that have not been approved by the responsible department
Individuals accused of hazing will be brought before the Student Disciplinary Committee pursuant to the Disciplinary Procedures set forth in the Seaver College Student Handbook. Student Organizations charged with hazing will be brought before the Student Organizations Disciplinary Board. Student organizations and members found to have engaged in hazing will be disciplined, up to and including, deactivation of the student organization and dismissal from the University of its members. University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student also charged with violation of any law, including Matt’s Law. See California Penal Code section 245.6.Disciplinary proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus.
Immunity for Reporting Hazing
In an effort to encourage reporting of hazing incidents, the Office of Community Standards may grant immunity from University discipline to a person whose conduct violated the hazing policy but voluntarily:
- reports a hazing incident before being contacted by a University official concerning the incident or otherwise being included in the institution’s investigation of the incident; AND
- the conduct the student engaged in did not cause physical harm to another; AND
- cooperates fully and in good faith throughout the institutional investigation and disciplinary process regarding the hazing incident.
NOTE: The grant of immunity is not automatic and will be determined by the associate dean of student affairs for community standards.
To report hazing as it is occurring; please dial these emergency phone numbers:
On-Campus: Department of Public Safety, 310.506.4441
To report hazing after it has occurred; please contact any of the following numbers:
Department of Public Safety (CCB), 310.506.4700
Office of Community Standards (TCC 210), 310.506.4471
Greek Life Coordinator (HAWC 115), 310.506.6569
Anonymous reports may be made on the “LiveSafe” mobile app or on the anonymous Wave Tip line by calling voice mail at 310.506.7634 or online.
Anti-hazing Hotline for Greek Organizations: call toll-free 1.888.NOT.HAZE (1.888.668.4293)
Use of the Name of Pepperdine University or the Graziadio School
Students in the Graziadio School, either individually or collectively, shall not, without consent of the proper authorities, use the name of Pepperdine University or the Graziadio School in connection with any activity of any kind outside of the regular work of the school. Violation of this rule may result in disciplinary sanctions.
Pepperdine University takes very seriously complaints and concerns regarding the institution.
If a student has a complaint regarding the Graziadio School of Business and Management, the student may present a complaint or grievance according to the applicable policies and procedures found in this catalog.
If the student believes that their complaint or grievance warrants further attention after exhausting the procedures set forth in this catalog, you may contact:
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) if your complaint is about the institution’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards. WASC is the academic accrediting body for Pepperdine University.
If the student believes that their complaint or grievance continues to warrant further consideration after exhausting the processes of either WASC or Pepperdine, the student may submit a complaint to the Attorney General of the State of California by filing a complaint form with the Public Inquiry Unit of the California State Department of Justice at:
Public Inquiry Unit: 800.952.5225 (phone) or 916.323.5341 (fax); or visit the website online.
The Attorney General’s Office will review the process through which Pepperdine attempted to resolve your complaint. If the process complies with the University’s written policies and procedures, the Attorney General’s Office will, for the purposes of state oversight, consider the matter closed. If the Attorney General determines that the process through which the University attempted to resolve your complaint did not comply with the University’s written policies and procedures, the Attorney General may request reconsideration by the Graziadio School of Business and Management.
Students who are taking distance education courses may contact the appropriate agency in their state of residence. A directory of state authorizations and agency contacts is available online.
Nothing in this disclosure limits any right that the student may have to seek civil or criminal legal action to resolve his or her complaints.
Pepperdine University has provided this disclosure in compliance with the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, as regulated in CFR 34 §§ 600.9 and 668.43(b).
The University recognizes that wild animals may frequent or select the Malibu campus grounds as their habitat and that owners of domestic animals may occasionally bring their pets to certain public areas of the Malibu campus. This policy is intended to protect the Pepperdine community from hazards associated with or caused by wild and domestic animals, and to optimize the safety and health of faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
Exceptions may be made to this policy on a case-by-case basis as required by applicable law. This policy does not apply to animals related to instructional and/or research activity. Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary actions.
The following definitions apply for the purposes of this policy:
- Wild animals are non-domesticated animals living in their natural habitat.
- Pets are animals sufficiently tame to live with a family and are kept and cared for as companions.
- Service animals are animals that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, and alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, among others. Service animals are working animals, not pets.
- Support/comfort animals are animals that provide emotional or other support that ameliorates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Unlike service animals, support/comfort animals are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks.
Community members are expected to take reasonable precautions when encountering wild animals and may not feed or otherwise disturb them.
Community members should immediately notify the Department of Public Safety to report wild animals on campus that pose any threat. Please reference the Emergency Preparedness Guide for additional information on wildlife.
Members of the Pepperdine community and visitors to the campus are generally permitted to bring their pets to public outdoor areas of the Malibu campus. Pets are only allowed outdoors; they are prohibited from all University buildings, athletic fields, The Fick Walk, Military Honor Garden, Biggers Family Courtyard, and Heroes Garden. Students and guests are not permitted to have pets in the residence halls. Pet guidelines for Malibu campus faculty and staff residences may be found in HOA rules and regulations. All pets must be controlled by a leash, tether, or harness that does not exceed six feet in length. Pets may not be tethered to a tree or structure or left unattended for any period of time. Unless otherwise permitted, pets are prohibited from all outdoor University events. Owners must immediately clean up after their animals and ensure the animals’ behavior does not cause a nuisance or harm to individuals or University property. Owners are responsible for any damage or injury caused by their pets, as well as appropriately caring for their pets. The University is not liable for harm to pets while on campus. Any pet brought to public outdoor areas of the Malibu campus must be licensed and inoculated in accordance with Los Angeles County regulations, with the burden of proof on the owner.
Pets are not allowed at any other campus locations, including graduate campuses, the Washington, DC campus, or any international campuses. Additional animal policies are determined by the building lease agreement.
Violations may be resolved informally. Further questions, assistance in enforcing this policy, or reports of an animal that poses a threat or is otherwise disruptive may be directed to the Department of Public Safety.
Any individual bitten by an animal on campus should immediately contact the Department of Public Safety.
Pepperdine provides equal access and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities to participate in any program, service, or opportunity provided by the University, and complies with applicable laws related to service animals.
Concerns about whether an animal is a pet or service animal should be reported to the Department of Public Safety.
Service animals are permitted to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of campus where community members and visitors are allowed to go. Exclusions of service animals are determined on an individualized basis and when one or more of the following conditions exists:
- The service animal is disruptive and not effectively controlled
- The service animal is not housebroken
- The presence of the service animal would fundamentally change the nature of the job, service, or activity
- The service animal’s presence, behavior, or actions pose an unreasonable or direct threat to property and/or the health and safety of others (including inappropriate hygiene and cleanliness)
- The service animal may be in danger
- The service animal’s presence may compromise the integrity of certain research
The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of service animals. Individuals are responsible for:
- Complying with licensing requirements of Los Angeles County, as appropriate for the animal, with a copy of the license submitted to the Department of Public Safety and Disability Services (for students) or Human Resources (for employees)
- Following their veterinarian’s care recommendations and vaccinations for the animal, with a copy of the health record submitted to the Department of Public Safety and Disability Services (for students) or Human Resources (for employees)
- The cost of any property damage or cost of extra cleaning due to the animal
- The control and reasonable behavior of the service animal at all times
- The service animal’s appropriate hygiene and cleanliness
- The immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste
Service animals in training are allowed on campus in accordance with the above guidelines for service animals. Faculty, staff, and students should not bring service animals in training to the classroom, residence halls, or workplace.
If students are allergic to service animals on campus, they are encouraged to contact Disability Services to assist in resolving the issue. If faculty and staff are allergic to service animals on campus, they are encouraged to contact their supervisor and Human Resources to assist in resolving the issue. Disability Services and Human Resources will attempt to reasonably accommodate all parties.
Students should register their service animals with Disability Services. Employees may request the assistance of a service animal as a reasonable accommodation for their disability; such requests must be handled through Human Resources.
In the event of a dispute about an accommodation related to a service animal or an animal restriction, students are encouraged to attempt to resolve the issue with Disability Services. Students may also file a complaint in accordance with their school’s student handbook. Faculty and staff are encouraged to attempt to resolve disputes with their supervisor and Human Resources. Employees may also file a complaint in accordance with section 29 of the University Policy Manual.
Support animals are not considered service animals under this policy or applicable law. Support animals are not permitted in University buildings, athletic fields, or designated gardens and must follow the guidelines for pets on campus. Support animals may be allowed in on-campus student residences when registered with and approved by Disability Services.
The use of a motor vehicle at Pepperdine University must be considered a privilege with accompanying responsibilities. The safety of our campus community and the University’s relationship with the Malibu community may be improved or hampered by the thoughtfulness or lack thereof displayed by those who drive.
The California classification for a motor vehicle is applicable at Pepperdine; motor vehicles include all types of vehicles, motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds. Drivers and owners are responsible for knowing and obeying the laws governing vehicles in California and the special rules related to the Malibu campus. The policies can be found on the Public Safety Web site. The driver of a vehicle on campus is always responsible for his or her actions and for adhering to applicable vehicle regulations. The registered owner of a vehicle is held responsible for any violations of the regulations, even though that registered owner may not be its driver.
Any person who has a motor vehicle on campus, including motorcycles and scooters whether licensed for street use or not, must register the vehicle with the Department of Public Safety and properly display the vehicle registration permit on the lower left corner of the windshield. Failure to register a vehicle on campus will result in a citation, fine, and possibly further disciplinary action. The University requires all vehicles on campus to be covered by public liability and property damage insurance. This insurance must be maintained at all times the vehicle is used on campus. Vehicle registration must be renewed annually.
Under certain circumstances, vehicles on campus may be accessed and the contents inventoried. These circumstances include but are not limited to: vehicle impound or relocation; retrieval of University property; vehicles containing a lost, stolen, fraudulent, or altered permit; using another person’s permit; or vehicle is involved in suspicious or criminal activity.
Visitors must obtain a visitor pass at a security booth before parking on campus. Students bringing a car other than the one registered must obtain a Temporary Student Parking Pass. This temporary pass must be obtained from the Department of Public Safety for vehicles that will be used for a specified period of time. Students should not request visitor passes.
Gated parking lots are reserved for faculty and staff. Parking regulations are available at the time of vehicle registration. These instructions designate appropriate areas for student parking. It is the student’s responsibility to park only in appropriate areas, even when an unauthorized area is accessible.
All traffic and parking regulations must be obeyed. Violators are subject to a fine for each offense, vehicle immobilization, relocation, and/or impound. Repeated violations will become part of the student’s disciplinary record in the Office of Community Standards and may result in the loss of campus parking privileges and disciplinary action. The speed limit on campus is 25 mph, with the exception of parking lots and the residential area and roundabout intersections. Students who are documented for reckless driving will face disciplinary action. Reckless driving is defined as “any person who drives any vehicle on campus with a willful disregard for the safety of persons or property as illustrated by, but not limited to, the following:
- Excessive speeds of 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit of 25 mph on campus streets;
- Excessive speeds of 15 mph or more over the posted speed limit of 10 mph or under;
- Failing to stop at a posted stop sign while pedestrians are in a crosswalk;
- Failing to stop at multiple stop signs;
- Driving at high speeds on sidewalks and endangering pedestrians;
- Driving or parking on the wrong side of the street, forcing oncoming traffic to take evasive action.
Bicycles are permitted on campus and students who ride them are expected to obey the rules of courtesy and to give pedestrians the right of way. Bikes are not permitted inside buildings or on sidewalks or walkways.
Motorcycles, scooters, or any other motorized vehicles are restricted to public roadways and parking lots and are not permitted on the walks or fields of the campus. Riding skateboards, roller skates, scooters (e.g., “Razors”) and roller blades is prohibited anywhere and anytime on campus. Motorcycles must be registered with the Department of Public Safety and have a permit prominently displayed.
Pepperdine University is not responsible for damage to any vehicle or accessory articles left in it, or for the theft of or fire in any vehicle, or for injury to any person in or by that vehicle. Gasoline for motor vehicles may not be stored or kept on campus.
Pepperdine University Parking and Traffic Regulations are adopted by the Board of Regents pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 21113(a). Unless otherwise provided for by these regulations, all of the provisions of the California Vehicle code relating traffic upon the highways shall be applicable on Pepperdine University property. For a full explanation of all vehicle regulations, refer to the parking and traffic regulations available when registering for your parking permit and available on the Department of Public Safety Web site. Citations are viewable online at pepperdine.thepermitstore.com approximately twenty-four hours after a citation is issued. The recipient may pay or submit an appeal by entering the vehicle license plate number or citation number. Citation appeals may not be considered after ten days. Please read the reverse side of the citation thoroughly to verify your eligibility to submit an appeal.