The University of California San Francisco was established in 1855 by USF's founding president, Anthony Maraschi, an Italian immigrant who proclaimed the school “the heart of a great city.” Since then, it has received favorable rankings by the country's leading publications, including Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. And in 2020, the private Jesuit university was ranked 148th out of nearly 400 U.S. universities on Washington Monthly's National University Rankings.
USF's lengthy, long-established Student Conduct Code continues to safeguard its enviable reputation and was created to “educate students about the importance of responsibility, accountability and adherence to the core values of the institution,” says the school in its ethics guide. In addition to producing a non-academic guide, USF has established an Academic Honor Code, which also applies to all USF undergraduate and graduate students, including those enrolled in distance learning. Intolerant behaviors on campus are also addressed.
The University of San Francisco's list of Student Conduct Code was created to ensure the safety of all students to study in an academic environment where “the rights and well-being of all members of the community are protected.”
The ethics guide is periodically expanded to meet modern times as it strives to cover all aspects of sensitive issues related to campus life, including respect for other people and property. The Student Conduct Code covers every foreseeable social event from classroom attendance to attending campus sporting events or fraternity rushes. It also addresses the topic of recreational marijuana use, which is legal in California but banned on campus. Students who are cited for violating the student ethics guide may find their promising academic career at USF at risk. An experienced Attorney-Advisor can help to explain the nuances of the sometimes complex Student Conduct Code and help you plan your best defense to keep your education on track to graduation.
What Is Considered an Academic Offense at USF?
The Northern California college takes very seriously the practice and proliferation of unhealthy, immoral and/or illegal activities. It breaks down its “Prohibited Conduct” declaration into many sections that are departmentalized under three different banners:
- “Respect for Self”: Under this section, the guide covers the use of illegal drugs as well as prescription medications and the unauthorized use of alcohol. Of particular note is a specific warning that even students with valid documentation under California's medical marijuana law may not use nor possess marijuana on school premises. The student conduct code also warns against self-harm and being complicit by ignoring or failing to report a witnessed violation.
- “Respect for Others”: Exhibiting behavior that causes bodily or emotional harm to others is, of course, not tolerated. This includes hazing during fraternity and sorority rushes and pledges and exhibiting disruptive behavior in the classroom, online, or during a field trip. Disorderly and offensive conduct that is vulgar or disrespectful can also lead to academic discipline, as can any behavior that violates USF's Sexual Misconduct Policy. Helping another person violate the Student Conduct Code and retaliating against anyone who reports a violation are due cause for academic discipline.
- “Respect for Community”: The University of San Francisco's Student Code of Conduct adheres to local, state, and federal laws and regulations, including issues related to fraud, forgery, theft, property damage, firearms, smoking, and any health and safety concerns that may impact the community as a whole.
Sanctions for Violating USF's Code of Conduct
The sanctions that the University of San Francisco may enact upon finding that a student has violated one or more of its codes of conduct is lengthy yet still open for adjustments to meet the severity of each individual case. And more than one sanction can be implemented at one time. Sanctions can be as simple as a written warning or as severe as having your diploma withheld. The more serious sanctions include:
- Fines and restitution: A student may be required to pay monetary fines to compensate for damage to University property or injury to other people.
- Suspension and restricted access: A USF student facing academic discipline may find themself temporarily prohibited from campus or even relocated from campus housing.
- Expulsion and revoking admission: In more serious cases, a USF student may face permanent separation from the University and/or become ineligible for graduation. A diploma may be withheld until the conduct charges have been resolved.
Your Rights when Facing Student Conduct Discipline
When a USF student is found to have intentionally or unknowingly violated the student code of conduct, a written complaint is submitted to the Office of Student Conduct, Rights & Responsibilities. They will review the complaint and notify the student to meet with a resolution officer to discuss the issue and determine if the alleged conduct violation is to be investigated or dismissed. If a formal investigation is launched, a conduct meeting will be scheduled with the student to determine the outcome of the alleged violations. The student has the right to an appeal and will receive an answer within 10 business days. If the appeal request is denied, the student will be held to the initially imposed sanction.
An experienced attorney can help you better understand all of your rights and your best options for resolving the violation charge and safeguarding your education. After all, a misconduct determination on your academic record can make it difficult to gain admission to another school and may adversely affect scholarship opportunities, potential internships, and post-graduate career prospects.
Using an Attorney-Adviser
As a University of San Francisco student, your academic and future career prospects are promising. And a school ethics violation should not derail such important opportunities. If you are facing an academic misconduct allegation, it is important to seek advice from an experienced academic misconduct lawyer. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have nationwide experience in defending college students accused of academic misconduct, and they can do the same for you. The Lento Law Firm is committed to defending you vigorously against any academic misconduct charges that can jeopardize the academic and professional goals you have set. Contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 for more information.