Student Handbook 2020-2021
The policies of Washington and Lee University are under continual examination and revision. This Student Handbook is not a contract; it merely presents the policies in effect at the time of publication and in no way guarantees that the policies will not change. For more updated policies and information see www.wlu.edu.
This Student Handbook and the policies contained herein remain in force and effect in between terms of the academic year and during holidays and other periods of the academic year when classes are not in session.
This Student Handbook and the policies contained herein apply to all students enrolled at Washington and Lee University, including those auditing courses at Washington and Lee University and the Washington and Lee University School of Law.
This year's Student Handbook was last updated in August 2020.
(As adopted by the Board of Trustees May 25, 1985)
The Board of Trustees believes that one of its primary responsibilities is to encourage the development and maintenance of an environment within the University community, which best permits the realization of our institutional goals. Those goals, according to the University's Statement of Institutional Philosophy, include the pursuit of our educational purpose in a climate of learning that stresses the importance of the individual, the personal honor and integrity of all students and their harmonious relationships with other members of the greater community. In this context, the institutionalized extracurricular and social life of students should contribute to these goals.
It is our desire that student self-government should be encouraged and that a proper balance between student privilege and responsibility should be sought and achieved. We recognize that all members of the student body will spend a portion of their life apart from the institution and outside its governance. Students must nonetheless remain aware that they are members of a University community whose traditions, image and reputation can be harmed by negative actions and behavior as well as being helped by positive contributions. This awareness is especially important because the University, lodged as it is within a larger community, must encourage respect for local ordinances and law enforcement and honor the claims of non-University persons for quiet and safety. In all of its expression, the spirit of this Campus Life statement places emphasis on concepts of honor, integrity, standards of value, leadership, good character, respect for traditions and personal responsibility. We do expect that individual and group actions and behavior will be measured against these concepts. It is our intention to hold accountable for the successful implementation of this policy the administration, the faculty, the students and, indeed, this Board of Trustees.
As provided in the University By-Laws, the Faculty shall be responsible for the academic regulation of students for entrance and graduation requirements, for the approval and supervision of courses of study, for the recommendation of students for degrees, and for the discipline and government of the students and all student organizations, except for the Honor System which is the responsibility of the Student Executive Committee as delegated by the Board of Trustees. The Faculty may adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper for the discharge of its obligations.
The Executive Committee is a 13-member body of representatives elected by students from each undergraduate and law class. The Executive Committee is entrusted with administration of the Honor System by the Washington and Lee Board of Trustees. The Executive Committee also serves as the student government organization, which maintains the student activity fee and is responsible for allocation of funds, other than the Student Bar Association fee, to student organizations.
Honor is the moral cornerstone of Washington and Lee University. Commitment to honor is recognized by every student, faculty member, administrator, and staff member of the University. Honor provides the common thread woven through the many aspects of this institution and creates a community of trust and respect affecting fundamentally the relationships of all its members. The centrality of honor at Washington and Lee is contained in its Honor System. The Board of Trustees has granted to students the privilege of overseeing the administration of the Honor System. This privilege includes the responsibilities of (1) defining dishonorable acts that the current student generation views as breaches of the community’s trust; (2) investigating possible violations of the Honor System; (3) administering closed hearings where possible Honor Violations are suspected; (4) writing and revising the White Book, the Honor System policy and procedures manual; and (5) reporting directly to the Board of Trustees on the administration of the Honor System. The sole penalty for an Honor System violation is dismissal from the University. These responsibilities are administered by the Executive Committee of the Student Body, a group of students elected annually by their peers. Academic life is essentially shaped by this commitment to honor. Assuming that students will behave honorably, the faculty grants flexibility in the scheduling of most final examinations and all are taken without supervision. Take-home closed book examinations are a common occurrence. The pledge, “On my honor, I have neither given nor received any unacknowledged aid on this (exam, test, paper, etc.),” expresses the student’s promise that the work submitted is his or hers alone. Students’ dedication to honorable behavior creates a strong bond of trust among them and between them and the faculty. This student dedication and the bond that it engenders also provide the basis for the faculty’s commitment to accepting a student’s word without question.
The dedication to behave honorably is not confined to academic life. It is expected that students will respect each other’s word and intellectual and personal property in the residence halls and the Greek houses, on the playing field, in the city of Lexington, or wherever Washington and Lee students take themselves. This principled expectation provides the foundation for the community of trust which students seek to create not only in the academic sphere but in life outside it as well. The Honor System has been a unique feature of Washington and Lee University for well over a century. Thousands of students have lived under it while in residence, have been morally shaped by it and, as alumni and alumnae, continue to be guided by it in their professional lives. Current students are as committed to it as were those who lived and studied here before them, and they maintain with firm conviction this distinctive ideal of the University.
Students attending Washington and Lee must realize that our commitment to the principle of honor is firm. This commitment stems from a long tradition of trust and honesty in a community that respects those traits. Under this system, students must not lie, cheat, steal or misrepresent themselves in any way that is considered dishonorable by the student generation involved. Students found guilty by their peers of a breach of the Honor System are dismissed permanently from the University.
The Honor System of Washington and Lee is based on the fundamental principle that a spirit of trust pervades all aspects of student life. This spirit of trust makes Washington and Lee a unique educational institution. Students enjoy unparalleled academic and social freedom. The system is one of mutual trust---trust among students, faculty, administrators, and townspeople that students attending Washington and Lee will conduct themselves honorably at all times, on or off campus. Students are expected to do their own work, represent themselves truthfully, and claim only that which is their own. No violation of this trust is more egregious than another or too small to be ignored.
The Honor System governs only acts that indicate a student is not worthy of trust by his or her peers. The System is not structured to work against students, but rather for students. It is not structured to frighten honest students, but rather to encourage them. The System is mutually reinforcing. The more students live by the System, the stronger the System becomes.
The notion of an honorable community is closely related to the University's educational objectives, for the learning process flourishes best in an environment where mutual trust and respect shape the bedrock of relationships within the community. Every student at Washington and Lee, thus, has a duty to the Honor System.
A student at Washington and Lee is presumed to act honorably at all times. A sense of mutual trust and respect surrounds all aspects of a student's life at Washington and Lee. Professors rely on the integrity of their students and expect that all work submitted is exclusively their own. All work at Washington and Lee, unless otherwise stated, is considered pledged.
The form of the pledge is: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received any unacknowledged aid on this (exam, test, paper, etc.)."
One of the truest expressions of trust and honesty found on our campus and one of the most tangible privileges of the Washington and Lee Honor System is the open examination policy. Under this policy, it is the general practice of The College, the School of Law, and the Williams School, not to have exams proctored by University officials.
Undergraduates are allowed to schedule their exams on any day of the six possible exam dates. Students are required to make their selections the week before the examination period begins. Only in rare instances are there stated times for a particular examination.
At the School of Law, only first-year course exams are given at one stated period. Generally, second and third-year law students have a choice between two stated times and dates.
This policy reinforces the great amount of trust placed in Washington and Lee students. In order for students to continue to exercise such academic freedom, they must accept the responsibilities and challenges of governing themselves. Part of the open exam policy is an agreement that no one will discuss any aspect of an exam with anyone else until the examination period has ended. Even a casual remark as to the difficulty of an exam is not allowed. Experience has proven such remarks may give some students an unfair academic advantage over their peers. Therefore, it is imperative to the freedom and trust placed in Washington and Lee students that no aspect of any exam be discussed or commented upon until the examination week is concluded. To do so would place a great strain on the privilege. Discussing exams is considered a serious honor violation.
"Plagiarism" describes the use of another's words or ideas without proper acknowledgment. The students of Washington and Lee University have considered plagiarism a violation of the Honor System in the past; therefore, all forms of plagiarism including Internet plagiarism are taken very seriously. Students at Washington and Lee must be aware of the nature of plagiarism. Plagiarism takes many forms, including the wholesale copying of phrases or texts, or the use of ideas without indicating the source. Certain facts must also be properly acknowledged.
Examples of possible plagiarism can be found in the Executive Committee's Plagiarism Pamphlet. This is available to the entire W&L community on the Executive Committee's website at ec.wlu.edu. In addition, Leyburn Library has a helpful site on avoiding plagiarism: https://libguides.wlu.edu/plagiarism.
The Honor System at Washington and Lee is administered exclusively by the Executive Committee of the Student Body. The authority for the Honor System comes directly from the Board of Trustees of the University and is in no way influenced by the University's administration or faculty.
Being completely student administered means that the students have a great responsibility in preserving this unique aspect of the community. As a result of previous students' dedication, the Honor System has remained strong in a day when many honor codes crumble under the pressure of legal challenge or simply fade away because of lack of interest. See The Honor System “White Book” published by the Student Executive Committee at ec.wlu.edu.
There shall be a Hearing Advisor Program. Hearing Advisors who show exceptional ability and a strong desire to uphold the Honor System shall be available to serve as members of the investigative team and as advisors for the respondent. The Executive Committee shall select a law student to serve as head hearing advisor and a student to serve as assistant head hearing advisor.
The Head Hearing Advisor shall administer the Hearing Advisor Program. These advisors are also available to assist in other conduct matters.
Anyone with knowledge of a possible Honor Violation should confront the suspected student and ask for an explanation of the incident. Should this explanation convince the inquiring person that no honor offense exists the matter should be dropped.
If the inquiring student believes that a violation exists, then the matter should be brought to the attention of a member of the Executive Committee. A person not wishing to confront a student suspected of an Honor Violation should bring the matter to the immediate attention of a member of the Executive Committee.
On receiving information that an Honor Violation might have occurred, the Executive Committee will investigate the charge. One member of the Executive Committee, one Hearing Advisor, and a member of the student body conduct the investigation and report their findings to the full Committee. If the Executive Committee believes that there is sufficient evidence of an Honor Violation, an Executive Committee Hearing shall be held, during which the accused student will be assisted by Hearing Advisors if he or she so chooses. If the Executive Committee finds the accused student not guilty, all charges are dropped and the student remains an active part of the University. A guilty verdict by the Executive Committee results in dismissal of the student from the University. The student, if he or she desires, may appeal the case to a Student Body Hearing. The Hearing, which is open to all members of the W&L community, is conducted before a jury of twelve students selected at random from the student body. The verdict of the student jury is final.
Academic policies are set by the faculty. The University Catalog on the web, along with the notifications of changes, is the most complete and up-to-date information about these policies. Please check the most current version on the University Registrar's web page at catalog.wlu.edu.
Participation in the work of a course is clearly a precondition for a student receiving credit in that course. Because of the wide variety of courses and teaching methods at Washington and Lee, the University recognizes that the nature of a student’s participation in the work of a course cannot be prescribed on a University-wide basis. For this reason classroom attendance is not a matter subject to regulation by the University. Attendance in class and laboratory is rather a matter between the student and the professor in that class or laboratory. Faculty members may require a previously registered student to drop a class if the student misses the first meeting of the term without the prior approval of the instructor. In such cases, the student is responsible for submitting the appropriate forms and fees. A student taking an unauthorized underload or maintaining an unapproved extended absence from classes (two weeks or more during the fall or winter term and one week or more during the spring term, without contacting the appropriate Dean’s office) may be required to withdraw from the University for the term in which that conduct occurs, forfeiting all academic credit, tuition and fees for that term. The appropriate Dean will inform the student of the withdrawal, along with the steps that the student must take to apply for reinstatement.
Washington and Lee University values diverse religious perspectives and beliefs. Our students celebrate and value a variety of religious traditions. We are committed to supporting our students in observing their religious holidays, while also maintaining their commitment to their academic efforts. The catalog states the following university policy:
Any student who is unable, because of his or her religious holiday(s), to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, athletic, or work requirement on a particular day shall be provided an opportunity to satisfy the requirement in a timely manner or shall be excused from the requirement. Specifically,
- Undergraduate students should reach out to their faculty member, adviser, supervisor, or coach, within the first two weeks of class in fall or winter term, two days in spring term, and again prior to the religious holiday to discuss how best to make up the missed requirement.
- Law students should reach out to their faculty member within the first two weeks of class in the relevant semester and again prior to the religious holiday to discuss how best to make up the missed requirement.
No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student who makes use of this provision of university policy.
The faculty (including coaches) receive annual reminders of this policy and are encouraged to work carefully with students in anticipating and resolving conflicts to their mutual satisfaction.
As stipulated in the Faculty Handbook, apart from absences for observance of religious holidays, faculty may set their own attendance policies and have discretion to designate absences for other reasons as "excused" or "unexcused" based upon their professional judgment.
Intercollegiate athletic competition provides young men and women with opportunities for character development and learning that are not necessarily available in the classroom context. This is particularly true at the Division III level, where athletics remain unsullied by the pressures imposed by scholarships, high exposure, and the need to promote revenue-generating events. As a consequence, Washington and Lee University encourages students to take maximum advantage of opportunities at the University to engage in intercollegiate athletics. This is part of their education. At the same time the University and the Department of Physical Education and Athletics recognize that the primary goal of a university education is intellectual development. As a consequence, student-athletes are fully expected to devote themselves to their courses and to their intellectual development in no less a fashion than they would were they not engaged in intercollegiate competition.
To accommodate these twin goals of intellectual development and athletic participation, the Department of Physical Education and Athletics makes every effort to schedule “the time, place, and duration of team practices and contests” in a manner that avoids conflicts with students’ class schedules (Mission Statement of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics). With respect to practices and team meetings, the faculty and coaching staff understand that class attendance takes precedence over participation in athletics. Furthermore, full class participation in courses that may cause students to miss occasional practices will not, in itself, prejudice the coaches in the selection of team participants.
On occasion, University-sanctioned athletic events may unavoidably conflict with academic schedules. In those situations, student-athletes are not automatically entitled to exemptions from class attendance. However, given the Athletic Department’s commitment to the academic mission of the University, professors are encouraged to accommodate those conflicts whenever doing so will not damage the individual student-athlete’s academic performance. In this regard, students who participate in intercollegiate athletics should review their calendars to see which athletic contests, if any, conflict with their academic schedules. Each student is responsible for discussing any scheduling conflict with his or her professors at the beginning of the term or as soon as possible after the student learns of the conflict. The ultimate goal is a reasonable accommodation of academic and athletic pursuits.
All students at Washington and Lee are expected to make steady progress toward completing their degree requirements. Their progress is judged by the quality of their academic work as measured by their grade-point averages. Withdrawal from courses, repetition of courses, incomplete courses, and transfer courses may have an effect on a student’s grade-point average, total credits attempted, or number of terms completed toward degree requirements. Eligibility for federal Title IV aid is determined by the Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines listed in the financial aid section of the catalog.
Failure to make the minimum progress as defined below for undergraduate students will result in academic probation or in the students being suspended under the Automatic Rule.
The Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement places students on academic probation whenever their term GPA or cumulative GPA falls below 2.000.
Students placed on academic probation are warned of their precarious position and advised to limit their participation in extracurricular activities during the period of their probation. Students who do not resolve their probationary status within the timeframes described below receive academic suspension under the Automatic Rule. Term specific information follows.
- At the end of the fall term, a student is put on probation if:
- the fall-term grade-point average is below 2.000 and/or
- the cumulative grade-point average is below 2.000.
These students will be on probation during the following winter term, at the end of which they must have a term and cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.000 to avoid academic suspension under the Automatic Rule.
- At the end of the winter term, a student is put on probation if:
- the winter-term grade-point average is below 2.000 and/or
- the cumulative grade-point average is below 2.000.
These students will be on probation during the following spring and fall terms. A spring-term grade-point average at or above 2.000 will not remove the student from academic probation, even if the cumulative grade-point average is over 2.000 at the end of the spring term. Rather, probation extends into the following 13-week fall term when the probation is either removed (via cumulative and term grade-point averages at or above 2.000) or converted to academic suspension.
- At the end of the spring term, a student is put on probation if:
- the spring-term grade-point average is below 2.000 and/or
- the cumulative grade-point average is below 2.000.
These students will be on probation during the following fall term, at the end of which they must have a term and cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.000 to avoid academic suspension under the Automatic Rule.
Automatic Rule (Academic Suspension)
At the end of any academic term, the Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement suspends students who are on probation if they fail to meet either the term grade-point average or cumulative grade-point average standards described above. Suspension from the university severs all connections and privileges associated with being a student at Washington and Lee.
The following also fall under the Automatic Rule:
- First-year students whose first-term grade-point average falls below 1.000; or
- Those students who have been reinstated on probation and who have failed to meet the grade-point standard required by the Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement; or
- Those students withdrawing from the university during any term for reasons other than medical and having a cumulative grade-point average below 2.000; or
- At the end of the winter term, those students unable to remove their probationary status by attempting no more than four credits during the spring term; or
- Continuing education students (University employees taking courses for credit) with a failing grade in two concurrent or consecutive courses.
A student who has been suspended from the university under the Automatic Rule may apply for reinstatement after a minimum absence of one year (see the details and requirements for this process at “Reinstatement” or in the Reinstatement section of this handbook below). Such students are placed on academic probation if reinstated. Though rarely granted, a student may appeal for immediate reinstatement. Students petitioning for immediate reinstatement may appeal in writing to the Dean of Student Life, Chair of the Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement, by 12 noon US Eastern time on the Friday following release of grades for fall, winter, or spring terms. (See the application at https://intranet.wlu.edu/registrar/FormsUnivReg/reinstate-app.pdf.)
It is the policy of the Washington and Lee University and its School of Law to provide equal access to educational opportunities to qualified students with physical or mental disabilities, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students requesting accommodation will need to provide appropriate documentation of: (1) a disability, which is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; and (2) a need for accommodation, by virtue of the specific functional limitations of the disability, to have equal access to educational opportunities. The University and the School of Law intend to provide an interactive process of dialogue and timely exchange of information between either the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources, Elrod University Commons 212, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia 24450, (540) 458-4055 (undergraduate students) or the Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs, Sydney Lewis Hall 528, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington, Virginia 24450, (540) 458-8162 (law students).
It is the responsibility of a student (undergraduate or law) with a physical or mental disability who may require any type of accommodation to make the accommodation request in a timely manner. In order to allow sufficient time for the eligibility and accommodation decision process and to make arrangements for appropriate accommodations, the student should contact the relevant contact person (Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources for undergraduate students and Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs for law students) and submit the documents required for consideration of disability accommodations in accordance with the applicable timelines and documentation guidelines set forth in the relevant policy and/or protocol (Undergraduate Disability Accommodation Policy; Law Student Disability Accommodation Policy). The Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or the Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs will inform the student of further specific procedures and any additional required documentation.
Undergraduate students who wish to leave the University temporarily for academic, medical, religious or military-service reasons, may request a Leave of Absence for a specified period of time by petitioning the Committee on Automatic Rule and Reinstatement. Students on academic or conduct probation are not eligible for leaves, except for medical leaves. Leaves are normally approved for up to one academic year. The application (www.wlu.edu/university-registrar/forms) must be submitted to the Dean of Student Life, who is the Chair of the Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement. International students should also contact the Center for International Education to discuss eligibility and potential visa issues.
Leaves planned in advance must be requested at least three weeks before the beginning of the term during which the student wants to be absent from W&L. Requests for unexpected (e.g., health- related) leaves must be made immediately and are not considered retroactively.
Medical leaves must be supported by Student Health and Counseling. Students must submit medical documentation in support of the leave with their application and/or in support of readiness to return, as feasible under the circumstances. Students must also submit with their application consent for the Director of the Student Health Center to communicate with the health- care provider in order to make an informed, individualized, objective recommendation to the applicable University administrators on the appropriateness of the leave of absence, readiness to return, and follow up treatment needs.
Academic leaves of absence are normally granted only for the purpose of academic enrichment. Students taking courses elsewhere while on leave of absence must request departmental approval in advance for any course to be used for degree credit, particularly major or FDR requirements.
Other types of leaves will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
For the purpose of federal or other official government enrollment statuses only (federal loans, international visas, etc.), students on Spring Option will be reported as being enrolled Less Than Half-Time and, if they do not return to W&L, as Voluntarily Withdrawn effective with the end of winter term. This withdrawal date will affect the terms of repayment for any federal student loans students may have received. Graduating seniors' grace period would thus begin in April and repayment would normally begin in October.
Return is contingent upon approval of a Return from Leave of Absence application and good conduct in the interim. Return is also contingent on an acceptable academic record during an academic leave and/or on readiness to resume full-time academic and campus life after a medical leave, with or without reasonable accommodation, as determined by the University. The University reserves the right to request appropriate documentation, determined on a case-by-case basis, to confirm that the student is qualified and/or ready for return. Students found to be not ready or academically qualified to return in the judgment of the University, after an individualized assessment based on best available current information, will be considered to have voluntarily withdrawn. Such students may apply for reinstatement (see go.wlu.edu/ugr-reinstate).
Students who do not return for the specified term will be withdrawn retroactive to their leave date and may face financial consequences. Leaves of longer than 180 days may also have financial consequences.
Student conduct issues arising during a leave of absence may result in referral for discipline prior to or upon return to the University, which could lead to suspension or required withdrawal from the University.
Law students wishing to request a leave of absence should contact the Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs.
Note: The University applies this policy and associated procedures in a nondiscriminatory manner, in consultation with qualified professionals, as appropriate, and will make each reinstatement or readmission determination based on an individualized assessment of that student's situation and what is in the best interests of the student, the campus community, and the University.
Students who believe their class work has been unfairly evaluated have the right to bring the matter to the attention of the head of the department concerned. The head of the department may then discuss the grade with the faculty member involved. However, the determination of any student’s grade remains the responsibility of the faculty member teaching the course.
Students who withdraw voluntarily sever their connection with the University. Students must accomplish withdrawal during a term through the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (or designee). Those students withdrawing from the university during any term for reasons other than medical and having a cumulative grade-point average below 2.000 will fall under the Automatic Rule. A voluntary withdrawal will have an effect on academic grades and/or credits, refund of applicable fees, and access to University housing or other facilities. The University will consider students not returning for a subsequent term to have withdrawn voluntarily. Students who withdraw voluntarily may apply for reinstatement (see the details and requirements for this process in the Reinstatement section below.)
Law students who withdraw voluntarily sever their connection with the University's School of Law. Students must accomplish withdrawal during a term through the Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs (or designee). A voluntary withdrawal will have an effect on academic grades and/or credits, refund of applicable fees, and access to University facilities. The School of Law shall consider students not returning for a subsequent term to have withdrawn voluntarily. Students who withdraw voluntarily may apply for reinstatement (see the details and requirements for this process in the Reinstatement section below.)
A student taking an unauthorized underload or maintaining an unapproved extended absence from classes (two weeks or more during the fall or winter term and one week or more during the spring term, without contacting the appropriate Dean's office) may be required to withdraw from the University for the term in which that conduct occurs, forfeiting all academic credit, tuition and fees for that term. The appropriate Dean will inform the student of the withdrawal, along with the steps that the student must take to apply for reinstatement.
In accordance with the accreditation standards of the American Bar Association, the School of Law requires prompt and regular class attendance. The School of Law also expects its students to prepare for their classes diligently and to complete course assignments in a timely and professional manner. A professor has the authority to reduce a student's grade for poor attendance, lack of preparation, or failure to complete course assignments on time. In extreme or chronic cases of poor attendance, lack of preparation, or failure to complete course assignments on time, a professor has the authority to give the student a failing grade or to deny the student the right to sit for the final exam. In the case of a student's failure to satisfy attendance and other obligations in multiple courses, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, after consultation with the Dean, may impose other sanctions, including withdrawal from a course or courses or withdrawal from school.
The University expects students themselves to notify family members when they withdraw from the University. However, the University retains the discretion to notify parents, guardians or spouses of student withdrawals, which constitute a change in a student’s official enrollment status, with student consent or when the University deems it appropriate to do so and in accordance with the University’s student records policy.
Students who withdraw voluntarily or who are withdrawn administratively from or suspended by the University may apply for reinstatement.
Undergraduate applications for reinstatement are available online at go.wlu.edu/ugr-reinstatement. Undergraduate students must return the completed application, along with all required materials, so that the Dean of Student Life, the Chair of the Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement, receives it by 4:30 p.m. (US Eastern time) November 15 for winter term, March 1 for spring term, and May 15 or August 1 for fall term.
The University will not reinstate an undergraduate student for a spring term unless that student has both: 1) satisfactorily completed at least one fall or winter term at Washington and Lee University, and 2) was registered for a full-time course load through midterm during at least one of the two preceding 13-week terms at Washington and Lee. This means that first-year and new transfer students who withdraw during the winter term are not eligible to apply for reinstatement for spring term unless they have completed the fall term in the same academic year. Undergraduate applications for reinstatement are reviewed and acted upon at the discretion of the Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement ("the Committee"). See https://catalog.wlu.edu/content.php?catoid=24&navoid=2145&hl=reinstate&returnto=search#REINSTATE
Law student applications for readmission are available from the Director of Law School Records. Law students must return the completed application, along with all required materials, so that the Director of Law School Records receives it by November 15 for spring term or July 1 for fall term. The Law School will not readmit a law student unless the student can complete his or her degree within six (6) years of beginning it (see law school catalog for exception for reinstatement after active duty military service). The Dean of the Law School (or designee) will review and act upon applications for law students.
In all reinstatement cases (whether the withdrawal was voluntary or involuntary, including suspensions), the University reserves the right to require sufficient documentation, determined on a case-by-case basis, that the student is qualified and ready to return to full-time academic work and campus life. Depending on the particular circumstances and reasons for the individual student's withdrawal, this may involve an on-campus interview with one or more appropriate university officials and/or submission of a written progress assessment from a treating health professional indicating that the student is qualified and ready to resume the particular rigors and essential requirements of full-time academic work and campus life at Washington and Lee, with or without reasonable accommodation, and that his/her treatment and care needs, if applicable, can be supported at Washington and Lee.
In cases where the University requires a written progress assessment from a treating health professional, the Director of Student Health and Counseling Services and/or a University Counselor will require a release from the student to discuss current treatment and follow-up needs with the treating health professional, in order to assess whether the student is qualified and ready to return to the particular rigors and essential requirements of full-time academic work and campus life at Washington and Lee, with or without reasonable accommodation, and whether the University can provide the follow-up care needed to maintain the student's enrollment. The Director of Student Health and Counseling Services and/or a University Counselor will review this information and recommend to the Committee or Dean of the Law School or designee approval (with or without conditions of treatment, education, counseling, or other) or denial of the reinstatement/readmission. Members of the Committee or Dean of the Law School or designee may review the health professional’s written progress assessment and/or relevant health care records when needed to inform their decision-making.
After consulting with University health professionals and/or other appropriate university officials as necessary to facilitate an informed decision, the Committee or Dean of the Law School or designee will act on the application. Decisions regarding undergraduate reinstatement are made at the sole discretion of the Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement or, for law-student readmission, the Dean of the Law School or designee. For more information about undergraduate student reinstatement procedures, consult the University Web page at https://my.wlu.edu/student-life/policies-and-guidelines/reinstatement.
Note: The University applies this policy and associated procedures in a nondiscriminatory manner, in consultation with qualified professionals, as appropriate, and will make each reinstatement or readmission determination based on an individualized assessment of that student’s situation and what is in the best interests of the student, the campus community, and the University.
The Board of Trustees reserves the right to withhold the degree of any student who has been convicted of a felony by a court in any jurisdiction. Upon the satisfactory completion of that student’s court-imposed sentence, including any period of supervised probation, the Board may approve the awarding of such degree.
The Board may postpone approval of a degree for any student who has been charged with a felony in any jurisdiction when such charge is pending at the time the degree is to be awarded.
Admission to the Washington and Lee community carries with it certain expectations concerning personal conduct. These expectations are specifically covered by the Honor System. Other less specific expectations concern the way we treat each other. The community expects civil, decent behavior designed to encourage mutual respect for our individual differences, desires, and ways of thinking.
Instances of uncivil behavior involving students are most effectively dealt with in personal and informal ways, not by formal conduct procedures. Therefore, members of the Washington and Lee community who believe they have been objects of such behavior should first seek resolution by personal consultation with friends, faculty, designated advisers, or others who may intervene in the dispute. If such direct efforts do not resolve the matter, instances of uncivil behavior involving students may be reported to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. The University will take appropriate action by resolving the matter, referring the matter to other resources for informal resolution where appropriate, or to the designated conduct body. One of five conduct bodies may exercise formal procedures:
- The Executive Committee of the Student Body (EC) oversees the Honor System and hears cases of breaches of trust such as lying, cheating, and stealing.
- The Student Judicial Council (SJC) hears allegations of alcohol policy violations and other types of student misconduct, including hazing by individuals or by organizations not under the jurisdiction of the Interfraternity Council or the Panhellenic Council.
- The Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board (HSMB) hears allegations of prohibited discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and sexual misconduct.
- The Interfraternity Council (IFC) hears allegations of hazing, retaliation associated with hazing, and other violations of University policy by fraternities that are members of the IFC.
- Panhellenic Council (NPC) hears allegations of hazing, retaliation associated with hazing, and other violations of University policy by sororities that are members of the NPC.
Students or student organizations may be required to sever their connection with the University for non-academic reasons by disciplinary action as outlined in the Student Handbook. In cases where the University has reason to believe that a student or student organization represents a threat to the well-being of the University community, the President or designee, may suspend or dismiss the student, suspend a student organization, or take other appropriate action. Students who are suspended may apply for reinstatement after the period of suspension. Student organizations may apply for reinstatement after the period of suspension. Students and student organizations who are dismissed from the University are precluded from returning to Washington and Lee.
Note: The University applies this policy and associated procedures in a nondiscriminatory manner, in consultation with qualified professionals, and will make each determination based on an individualized assessment of that student’s situation, observations of student conduct, actions, and statements, and their impact on others and the campus community, not on mere perceptions or speculations.
Washington and Lee University is committed to the well-being and safety of its community members and the integrity of its learning environment. The University may require a student to take an administrative withdrawal if there is a sufficient showing that: (1) the student is engaging or is likely to engage in behavior that presents a significant risk of substantial harm to others that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation; or (2) is engaging or is likely to engage in behavior that substantially disrupts the learning environment and activities of the campus community; or (3) that the student is not otherwise qualified to participate in university programs or activities, with or without reasonable accommodation, including but not limited to a determination that the student requires a level of treatment and care which the University cannot provide to support the student’s continued enrollment and presence on campus. Any of the above circumstances will support a required administrative withdrawal when based on a reasonable, individualized assessment of current objective information, in consultation with qualified professionals, as appropriate.
This policy and associated procedures do not take the place of sanctions associated with a student's behavior that is in violation of University policies, standards, or regulations. This policy is to be invoked in extraordinary circumstances in which, in the discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or the Dean of the Law School (“appropriate Dean”) or designee, the conduct board process cannot be used or is not appropriate.
This policy may be invoked when a student is unable or unwilling to request a voluntary withdrawal and the appropriate Dean or designee deems a withdrawal necessary to protect the health and safety of the campus community or the integrity of the learning environment and campus programs and activities. Examples of such extraordinary circumstances include, but are not limited to: ongoing substance abuse, threats or acts of harm to others, or bizarre or destructive behavior causing trauma to others and disruption to the campus community. Before a required administrative withdrawal is considered, the appropriate Dean or designee will encourage the student to take a voluntary withdrawal. The procedures related to this policy appear below. A withdrawal form (registrar.wlu.edu/forms) will be filed with the University Registrar’s office by the appropriate Dean or designee.
A student who is involuntarily withdrawn may apply for reinstatement under the detailed process and requirements set out above (see also "Reinstatement" in the catalog).
Note: The University applies this policy and associated procedures in a nondiscriminatory manner, in consultation with qualified professionals, and will make each determination based on an individualized assessment of that student’s situation, observations of student conduct, actions, and statements, and their impact on others and the campus community, not on mere perceptions or speculations.
Consideration of Required Administrative Withdrawal
The Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee will consider required administrative withdrawal for undergraduates. The Dean of the Law School or designee will consider required administrative withdrawal for law students. Upon learning of a student’s behavior from among a variety of sources (such as Student Health Center, Campus Counseling Services, Public Safety, Residential Life staff, a student’s adviser, etc.), the appropriate dean or designee may initiate the following procedures, as deemed appropriate:
The appropriate dean or designee will notify the student that a required administrative withdrawal is under consideration and will afford the student an opportunity to discuss the behavior and circumstances at the time. The appropriate dean or designee will discuss with the student the implications of a required administrative withdrawal and the relevant procedures and will provide the student with a copy of this policy. Whenever possible and appropriate, the appropriate dean or designee will encourage the student to take a voluntary withdrawal from the University. The appropriate dean or designee may involve a parent, guardian, or spouse in this process with student consent, or when the appropriate dean or designee deems it appropriate to do so and in accordance with the University’s student records policy as applicable.
The appropriate dean or designee also will confer as appropriate and feasible with the following University resources, or others as appropriate to the circumstances, regarding the need for a required administrative withdrawal under the policy:
- University Physicians
- University Counselors
- Office of Public Safety
- Residential Life Staff
- General Counsel
- Faculty Adviser
- Academic Deans
The appropriate dean or designee may require an evaluation of the student’s behavior and any relevant physical/mental conditions by an appropriate medical professional if the dean or designee believes that an evaluation will facilitate an informed decision. This evaluation may be done by University physicians/counselors, or by outside health professionals, including the student’s treating health professional, as indicated and appropriate in the appropriate dean’s or designee’s judgment.
Following these consultations and the review of all relevant information available, the appropriate dean or designee will make a decision regarding the required administrative withdrawal. At any time prior to the appropriate dean’s or designee’s decision, the student may choose to take a voluntary withdrawal, subject to a showing of readiness to resume full-time academic work and campus life at the time of any application for reinstatement, under the policy and procedures for reinstatement (see Reinstatement section).
In cases involving an imminent threat to health or safety, the appropriate dean or designee has the discretion to take immediate action to remove the student from campus pending receipt and review of all relevant information.
Required Administrative Withdrawal Imposed
The appropriate dean or designee will give the student advance written notice of a required administrative withdrawal including the beginning date of the withdrawal and the steps that the student must take to request reinstatement. The appropriate dean or designee will notify a parent, guardian, or spouse of the withdrawal, either with the student’s consent or when he/she deems it appropriate and in the student’s best interest to do so, in accordance with the University’s student records policy.
The student must leave campus within the time frame established by the appropriate dean or designee in the required administrative withdrawal notice. The appropriate dean or designee may ask a parent, guardian, spouse, or other appropriate individual to make arrangements to remove the student from the University. If the student refuses to leave campus after imposition of a required administrative withdrawal, the appropriate dean or designee may implement an enforced administrative withdrawal, equivalent to an immediate suspension. During the duration of the withdrawal, the student may visit the campus only with prior written authorization from the appropriate dean or designee.
A student may appeal a required administrative withdrawal under this policy to the Provost; however, at the discretion of the appropriate dean or designee the withdrawal may remain in effect during the appeal. A student who wishes to appeal must do so in a written letter of appeal delivered to the Provost within three business days of receipt of the appropriate dean or designee’s withdrawal decision. The written appeal must state specifically why the student believes the appropriate dean’s or designee’s decision is not warranted under the circumstances. After reviewing the written appeal, the Provost may meet with the student and consult with the appropriate dean or designee and/or other University officials, as he or she deems necessary, before reaching a decision. The decision of the Provost is final.
Required Administrative Withdrawal Not Imposed
In the event that a required administrative withdrawal is not imposed, the appropriate dean or designee may impose specific conditions and/or requirements for the student to have continued enrollment and presence at Washington and Lee, after an individualized assessment of the student’s situation. One of these requirements may be a behavioral contract. Non-compliance with such conditions/requirements will result in reconsideration of a required administrative withdrawal from the University. The appropriate dean or designee will notify a parent, guardian or spouse of the specific conditions and requirements for the student’s continued enrollment, either with the student’s consent or when he/she deems it appropriate and in the best interest of the student to do so, in accordance with the University’s student records policy as applicable.
Under the University's Nondiscrimination/Equal Employment Opportunity Statement (go.wlu.edu/OGC/NonDiscrimination), students, faculty, and staff have the right to be free from prohibited discrimination, harassment, and retaliation within the University community. Specifically, the University prohibits discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran's status, and genetic information in its educational programs and activities and with regard to employment as described and addressed in the University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Other Than Sex. The University also prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of sex and gender, including sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity, stalking, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and domestic and dating violence as described and addressed in the separate Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy. Finally, the University prohibits retaliation against any individual who brings a good faith complaint under either policy or is involved in the complaint process. Under the Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy, protection against retaliation also extends to any individual who engages in bystander intervention of sexual misconduct. Such conduct violates not only University policy and expectations of personal integrity and respect for others but may also violate state and federal law. Students, faculty, and staff found to have violated either policy will be disciplined appropriately, up to and including termination from employment or dismissal from the University.
The University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Other Than Sex is available at go.wlu.edu/OGC/DiscriminationPolicy.
The Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy is available below and at go.wlu.edu/OGC/SexualMisconductPolicy.
All forms of sexual misconduct are an affront to human dignity and fundamentally at odds with the values of Washington and Lee University (“W&L” or “University”).
The University is committed to fostering a climate free from sexual misconduct through clear and effective policies, a coordinated education and prevention program, and prompt and equitable procedures for resolution of complaints that are accessible to all. The University encourages all members of its community to participate in creating a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment on campus. Ultimately, all members of the community are expected to assume responsibility for their conduct. All members of the community are also encouraged to report behaviors that may violate this policy and to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent acts of sexual misconduct. The University will not tolerate retaliation against any individual who makes a report, participates or refuses to participate in a resolution process, or assists as a bystander to prevent sexual misconduct.
This policy addresses all forms of sexual misconduct (as defined in Section III below). This policy also prohibits retaliation. It prohibits these behaviors against individuals of any sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. This policy also prohibits failure to provide equal opportunity on the basis of sex in athletics; reports of this type of discrimination should also be brought to the attention of a Title IX Coordinator and will be addressed as appropriate.
The University will respond to all reports of sexual misconduct according to the severity and/or pervasiveness of the offense and the threat it poses to an individual and the community. Individuals who are found responsible for violating this policy may face disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal and/or termination of employment.
This policy applies to all members of the Washington and Lee community, including students, faculty, and staff, as well as consultants, volunteers, vendors, and others engaged in business with the University. Visitors to and guests of Washington and Lee University are also subject to this policy’s prohibitions.
The University is subject to Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §§1681, et seq., which states that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex and will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form. Alleged sexual misconduct subject to this policy includes both Title IX sexual harassment (which is defined by law) and non-Title IX sexual misconduct (which includes allegations that do not meet the definitions under Title IX, but nonetheless violate the University’s community standards), as discussed further in the Prohibited Conduct Definitions (Section V) below. There are certain distinctions between the procedures applicable to Title IX sexual harassment and non-Title IX sexual misconduct, as discussed further in this policy.
While the process for reporting allegations of sexual misconduct is the same regardless of the type of sexual misconduct reported, different resolution procedures apply based on the underlying alleged misconduct and/or the classification of the respondent as either a student or employee/non-student. If Title IX applies, regardless of the classification of the respondent, the procedures set forth in Section XIV apply. If Title IX does not apply and the matter involves allegations of sexual misconduct made against a student, the procedures set forth in Section XIV also apply.1 If Title IX does not apply and the matter involves allegations of sexual misconduct made against an employee or other nonstudent, the procedures set forth in Section XV apply. For additional information on how to determine which resolution process will apply, see Section XI.B.
To the extent permitted by law, the procedures set forth in this policy will be used to address all formal complaints made on or after the effective date of this policy, regardless of when the incident(s) occurred.
Throughout the applicable resolution process, the complainant and respondent have the right to Advisor(s) as follows:
- In the Title IX complaint resolution process, both parties have the right to an Advisor of Choice.
- In the non-Title IX resolution process for complaints against students, the complainant and respondent will each be provided with one (1) or two (2) Hearing Advisors or one (1) Discrimination Policy Advisor (DPA). The parties may choose whether they wish to use a DPA or Hearing Advisor(s), but a party cannot use both a DPA and Hearing Advisor(s). In addition to the Hearing Advisor(s) or a DPA, both parties also have the right to an Advisor of Choice.
- In the non-Title IX resolution process for complaints against employees or other nonstudents, both parties have the right to a Discrimination Policy Advisor (DPA). In addition to a DPA, when a formal complaint of nonconsensual sexual penetration, nonconsensual sexual contact, domestic or dating violence, or stalking has been filed, both the complainant and the respondent have the right to an Advisor of Choice.
The role of Advisors is to advise the complainant or respondent of applicable procedures. Advisors are also available to offer support and to provide information on additional resources. In the case of matters subject to the Title IX resolution process, Advisors are responsible for conducting cross-examination of the other party and any witnesses (see Section XIV.B.3).
In all cases, Advisors may accompany the party they are advising to any meeting, interview, or hearing in connection with a formal complaint of sexual misconduct. While Advisors may accompany the complainant and respondent at meetings, interviews, and hearings, they may not present evidence, and with the exception of cross-examination during the Title IX resolution process (see Section XIV.B.3), may not otherwise participate. Parties may request a brief recess to consult with their Advisor(s) during meetings, interviews, and hearings, which will be granted at the discretion of the investigator(s), Chair of the HSMB or Appeal Panel, Co-Chair, IROs, or individual(s) facilitating informal resolution, as applicable.
Advisors must follow the University’s policies, procedures, and practices. Any Advisor who does not follow the University's policies, procedures, and/or practices, including the rules relating to professional conduct and the role of Advisor(s), will be warned once. If the Advisor continues to violate the University's policies, procedures, and/or practices, such Advisor will be asked to leave the meeting, interview, or hearing at the discretion of the investigator(s), Chair of the HSMB or Appeal Panel, Co-Chair, IROs, or individuals facilitating informal resolution, as applicable. When an Advisor is removed from a meeting, interview, or hearing, it will continue without the Advisor’s presence, with the exception of a Title IX HSMB hearing. If removal takes place at a Title IX HSMB hearing, the University will provide an advisor for the purposes of conducting cross-examination. A short continuance or recess may be needed for this purpose.
The University expects all Advisors to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend meetings, interviews, and hearings held in connection with a formal complaint when scheduled. While the University will consider rescheduling to reasonably accommodate an Advisor’s unavoidable conflict, whether to grant such a request is in the sole discretion of the investigator(s), Chair of the HSMB or Appeal Panel, Co-Chair, IROs, or individual(s) facilitating informal resolution, as applicable.
An Advisor of Choice is a person chosen by a party to advise such party and may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney, University-trained advisor, University employee, or any other individual a party chooses to advise them. The University will provide a Hearing Advisor or Discrimination Policy Advisor to serve as the Advisor of Choice at no cost to a party, but any other individual whom a party selects to serve as such party’s Advisor of Choice will be obtained at the party’s own expense, if any fee is charged. Advisors of Choice must follow the rules applicable to Advisors set forth in Section III.A above.
The Appeal Panel is the body that receives and adjudicates appeals of decisions of the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board or an Investigation Review Panel. For Title IX complaints and non-Title IX complaints against students, the Appeal Panel is made up of three (3) members of the HSMB selected by the Chair of the Appeal Panel who did not serve on the original panel. For non-Title IX complaints against employees or other nonstudents, an Appeal Panel is made up of three (3) IROs who were not involved in the original investigation or panel and who are appointed by the other Co-Chair who was not involved in the original review or sanctioning process. Each member of the Appeal Panel must be impartial and free of any conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent. The Chair of the Appeal Panel or Co-Chair (as applicable) has discretion to address any conflicts that may arise with members constituting the panel. Appeal Panel members who have reason to believe they cannot be impartial, free of any conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent, or make an objective determination must recuse themselves from the process.
For Title IX complaints and non-Title IX complaints against students, the Chair of the Appeal Panel will be a Chair of the HSMB who was not involved in the original hearing. The Chair of the Appeal Panel will determine the proper composition of the panel, oversee and organize the appeal process, and enforce the rules of professional conduct as outlined in Section XVIII.A, but does not have a vote in the appeal process. The Chair of the Appeal Panel must be impartial and free of any conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent. The Chair of the Appeal Panel shall exercise reasonable discretion in dealing with all matters not expressly covered under this policy relating to the appeal process and shall have the authority to make the final determination as to all procedural questions or issues that may arise relating to the appeal process.
For complaints of Title IX sexual harassment and complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students, the Chair of the HSMB is an individual designated to serve as Chair of the HSMB hearing panel. The Chair of the HSMB appoints the HSMB panel members, communicates with the parties at various stages in a resolution process, makes evidentiary rulings and other decisions as set forth in this policy, organizes and runs the hearing process, and enforces the rules of professional conduct as outlined in Section XVIII.A, but does not vote on responsibility or sanction. The Chair of the HSMB shall exercise reasonable discretion in dealing with all matters not expressly covered under this policy and shall have the authority to make the final determination as to all procedural questions or issues that may arise.
For complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against employees or other nonstudents, the Treasurer/Vice-President for Finance and Administration and the Provost will serve as Co-Chairs of the Investigation and Review Officers ("IROs"). The Co-Chairs, who are specially trained to carry out these procedures, receive formal complaints, appoint the investigator(s), Investigation and Review Panel, and the Appeal Panel (as needed), communicate with the parties at various stages in a resolution process, and determine the sanction when a policy violation is found. The Co-Chairs serve as advisors to the IROs on procedural matters.
Coercion is the use of unreasonable and persistent pressure to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against an individual's will. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including intimidation, manipulation, threats, and blackmail. Coercion may be emotional, intellectual, psychological, or moral. A person's words or conduct are sufficient to constitute coercion if they wrongfully impair another individual's freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. In evaluating coercion, the University will consider: (1) frequency of the application of pressure; (2) intensity of the pressure, (3) isolation of the person being pressured; and (4) duration of the pressure. Coercing an individual into engaging in sexual activity violates this policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into engaging in sexual activity.
The term complainant refers to the individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual misconduct, regardless of whether that individual makes a report or seeks formal disciplinary action.
Individuals who choose to engage in sexual activity of any type must first obtain the consent of the other party. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage freely in sexual activity.
Additional Guidance about Consent:
- Consent to one form of sexual activity does not, by itself, constitute consent to engage in all forms of sexual activity.
- Consent consists of an outward demonstration indicating that an individual has freely chosen to engage in sexual activity. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, lack of resistance, or lack of an active response alone. A person who does not physically resist or verbally refuse sexual activity is not necessarily giving consent.
- A verbal "no" is a clear demonstration of the lack of consent, but is not the sole way to demonstrate a lack of consent.
- Individuals with a previous or current intimate relationship do not automatically give either initial or continued consent to sexual activity. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutually understandable communication that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in sexual activity.
- Either party may withdraw consent at any time. Withdrawal of consent should be outwardly demonstrated by words or actions that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity. Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease.
- Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for sexual misconduct, and does not diminish one's responsibility to obtain consent.
- Consent is not effective if it results from the use or threat of physical force, intimidation, or coercion, or any other factor that would eliminate an individual's ability to exercise free will to choose whether or not to have sexual contact. See the definitions of Force and Coercion in this Section for further discussion.
- An individual who is physically incapacitated from alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntarily or involuntarily) or is asleep, unconscious, unaware, or otherwise physically helpless is considered unable to give consent. See the definition of Incapacitation in this Section for further discussion.
Discrimination Policy Advisors (DPAs) are University faculty or staff members who have been trained to provide support and advice to complainants and respondents. Discrimination Policy Advisors must follow the rules applicable to Advisors set forth in Section III.A above.
Force is the use or threat of physical violence or intimidation to overcome an individual's freedom of will to choose whether or not to participate in sexual activity.
A formal complaint is a written or electronic document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual misconduct against a respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct.
The Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board (HSMB) is the body that determines responsibility and, if warranted, administers sanctions against any respondent for complaints of Title IX sexual harassment and complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct made against students.
The HSMB is made up of individuals that may serve in the role of Chair of a HSMB hearing panel and/or Appeal Panel and administrators and faculty who may serve as members of a HSMB hearing panel or Appeal Panel. All members of the HSMB are specially trained to adjudicate cases of sexual misconduct.
The Chair of the HSMB and each member of the HSMB panel for a particular matter must be impartial and free of any conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent. HSMB members who have reason to believe they cannot be impartial, free of any conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent, or make an objective determination must recuse themselves from the process.
Hearing Advisors are law and undergraduate students who have been trained by the University to provide support and advice to complainants and respondents. Hearing Advisors must follow the rules applicable to Advisors set forth in Section III.A above.
An individual who is incapacitated cannot consent to sexual activity. Incapacitation is defined as the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because an individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, asleep, unconscious, or unaware that sexual activity is occurring.
In other words, a person may be considered unable to consent due to incapacitation if the person is not able to understand the who, what, where, when, why, and/or how of a sexual interaction.
In evaluating whether consent was present in cases of alleged incapacitation, the University asks three questions: (1) Was complainant incapacitated?, (2) If so, did the respondent know that the complainant was incapacitated?, and (3) If not, would a sober, reasonable person in the same situation have known that the complainant was incapacitated based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of incapacitation.
Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. The impact of alcohol and other drugs varies from person to person; however, common warning signs that a person may be incapacitated or approaching incapacitation as a result of alcohol or drug use or consumption may include, but are not limited to, slurred speech, vomiting, unsteady gait, odor of alcohol, incontinence, combativeness, or emotional volatility.
An individual who engages in sexual activity with someone the individual knows or reasonably should know is incapable of giving consent is in violation of this policy.
Investigation and Review Officers (IROs) are a group of University administrators who are specially trained to investigate and review complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against employees and other non-students. When a formal complaint of non-Title IX sexual misconduct is filed against a member of the faculty, staff, or other non-student under this policy, the relevant Co-Chair selects the investigator(s), an Investigation and Review Panel ("IRP"), and (if needed) an Appeal Panel from the pool of the available IROs. The IROs consist of the following administrators:
- Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
- Associate Provost
- Dean of the College
- Dean of the Williams School
- Dean of the School of Law
- Associate Deans of the College
- Associate Dean of the Williams School
- Professor of Law and Associate Dean of the Law School
- Assistant Dean, Law Student Affairs
- Assistant Dean of Office of Career Strategy (Law)
- Executive Director of Human Resources (Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment)
- Chief Technology Officer
- Director of Athletics
- Executive Director of University Facilities
The Investigation and Review Panel (IRP) is the body that determines responsibility and, if warranted, recommends sanctions and/or discipline against a respondent for complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against employees and other nonstudents. The IRP is made up of three (3) IROs selected by the Co-Chair.
The term medical or counseling records means records of an individual that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in a professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to that individual.
The term non-Title IX means not covered by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations.
Notice of allegations refers to the official notice of the allegations provided to the parties upon the receipt of a formal complaint. This notice will provide sufficient details known at the time and be provided with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview.
The term resolution process refers to the process that governs the investigation, hearing or other adjudication, and appeal (if applicable) of a formal complaint. This policy includes four different resolution processes: (1) informal resolution; (2) the resolution process for Title IX complaints; (3) the resolution process for non-Title IX complaints against students; and (4) the resolution process for non-Title IX complaints against employees and other nonstudents.
For allegations of Title IX sexual harassment, the term respondent refers to the individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Title IX sexual harassment under this policy. For allegations of non-Title IX sexual misconduct, the term respondent refers to the individual(s) or group who has/have been accused of conduct that could constitute non-Title IX sexual misconduct under this policy.
The term sexual misconduct refers to Title IX sexual harassment and non-Title IX sexual misconduct, each as defined in Section V.
For purposes of this policy, an individual is considered to be a student from the time that individual enrolls at the University and continues until the student withdraws or graduates, including academic term breaks and periods between terms and semesters.
The University’s Title IX Coordinator is Lauren E. Kozak. The Title IX Coordinator receives reports of sexual misconduct and oversees the University's review, investigation, and resolution of those reports to ensure the University's compliance with Title IX and other applicable laws, and the effective implementation of this policy.
The Title IX Coordinator is:
- Responsible for the oversight of the resolution of all reports of sexual misconduct involving students, staff, and faculty as well as volunteers and third parties;
- Knowledgeable and trained in University policies and procedures, relevant state and federal laws, and all other topics required by Title IX and other relevant laws;
- Available to advise any individual, including a complainant, a respondent, or a third party, about the resolution options available at the University;
- Available to provide assistance to any University employee regarding how to respond appropriately to a report of sexual misconduct;
- Responsible for monitoring compliance with all procedural requirements, record keeping and time frames outlined in this policy;
- Responsible for overseeing training efforts, and reviews of climate and culture and patterns of sexual misconduct;
- Responsible for conducting or overseeing investigations of formal complaints;
- Responsible for the oversight of the resolution of complaints involving gender equity in athletics, admissions, and employment; and
- Responsible for the implementation of supportive measures upon a report of misconduct and any remedies imposed as a result.
The Title IX Coordinator is supported in these responsibilities by Mary E. Main, the Executive Director of Human Resources, who serves as the Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment.
In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable non-discrimination laws, Washington and Lee University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran's status, or genetic information in its educational programs and activities, admissions, and with regard to employment. Inquiries may be directed to Lauren E. Kozak, Title IX Coordinator, Elrod University Commons 212, (540) 458-4055, email@example.com, who is designated by the University to coordinate compliance efforts and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, as well as those under Section 504 and other applicable non-discrimination laws.
All University proceedings are to be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Title IX, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act); the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); and all other applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
In addition to contacting the resources specified in this policy, any person with concerns concerning the University's response to his/her complaint may contact the following:U.S. Department of Education
Washington DC (Metro)
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1475
FAX: 202-453-6021; TDD: 800-877-8339
W&L prohibits and will not tolerate sexual misconduct or retaliation in any form. Violations of this policy are subject to any combination of sanctions, up to and including suspension, dismissal, and/or termination of employment. Sexual misconduct affects individuals of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientation, and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) covers conduct that meets a federally prescribed definition of sexual harassment, which this policy refers to as Title IX sexual harassment (see Section V.A below for definition). If alleged prohibited conduct does not fall under the definition or jurisdiction of Title IX sexual harassment, this policy will still apply to such prohibited conduct as Non-Title IX sexual misconduct in the following circumstances:
- The conduct occurs on the campus of or other property owned or controlled by the University;
- The conduct occurs during or in connection with a University education program or activity, including in the course of University-related business, travel or off-campus programs. This may include, but is not limited to, domestic or international academic programs, field trips, spring term coursework, study-abroad programs, internship programs, work-related conferences, etc.;
- The conduct has a continuing adverse effect for a complainant while on campus or other property owned or controlled by the University or in any University employment or education program or activity; and/or
- The conduct is committed by a student and occurs in the City of Lexington, the City of Buena Vista, or the County of Rockbridge.
For ease of reference, prohibited conduct that is not covered by Title IX will be referred to as non-Title IX sexual misconduct throughout this policy (see Section V.B below for definition). The University will review all reports of alleged misconduct, regardless of where the conduct occurred, to determine whether jurisdiction exists.
Title IX sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that occurs in a University education program or activity, against a person in the United States, and satisfies one or more of the following:
- A University employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity;
- Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration;
- Nonconsensual Sexual Contact;
- Statutory Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration;
- Dating violence;
- Domestic violence; and/or
A University education program or activity is defined as locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the conduct occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the University.
Non-Title IX sexual misconduct means conduct that does not constitute Title IX sexual harassment, but that meets the jurisdictional requirements for non-Title IX sexual misconduct set forth above and satisfies one or more of the following:
- Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration;
- Nonconsensual Sexual Contact;
- Sexual Discrimination;
- Non-Title IX Sexual Harassment;
- Sexual Exploitation;
- Dating violence;
- Domestic violence; and/or
Nonconsensual sexual penetration means penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without consent.
Nonconsensual sexual contact means the touching of the private body parts of another person, either under or over clothing, for the purpose of sexual gratification without consent. Private body parts include breasts, genitals, mouth, and buttocks.
Incest means non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law2.
Statutory nonconsensual sexual penetration means non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent3.
Sexual discrimination means unequal treatment based on an individual's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression that is sufficiently serious to unreasonably interfere with or limit the individual's opportunity to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity or that otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual's education or living environment.
Non-Title IX sexual harassment means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature (e.g., sexual advances, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature) or unwelcome conduct based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, when one or more of the following conditions are present:
- Submission to the unwelcome conduct is an expressed or implied condition of an individual's employment, evaluation of academic work, or any aspect of a University program or activity;
- Refusal to submit to unwelcome conduct resulted in a tangible academic or employment detriment; and/or
- The unwelcome conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating or hostile academic or work environment under both an objective (a reasonable person's view) and subjective (the complainant's view) standard.
Conduct is unwelcome if the individual did not request or invite it and regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive. Acquiescence in the conduct or the failure to complain does not always mean that the conduct was welcome.
A single, isolated incident of sexual harassment alone may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to create a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. The determination of whether an environment is hostile must be based on all the circumstances. These circumstances could include, but are not limited to:
- The degree to which the conduct affected one or more person's education or employment;
- The type, frequency, and duration of the conduct;
- The nature and severity of the conduct;
- The relationship between the respondent and the complainant;
- Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
- Whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
- Whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct; and/or
- Whether the conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom.
Sexual exploitation means taking advantage of the sexuality of another person without consent. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Observing another individual's nudity or sexual activity or allowing another to observe nudity or sexual activity without the consent of all parties involved in a place where the individual being observed would have a reasonable expectation of privacy;
- Recording, streaming, or photographing private sexual activity and/or a person's nudity, or distribution of such without the consent of all parties involved;
- Prostituting another individual;
- Disrobing or exposing another without their consent; and/or
- Inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.
Domestic violence means violence committed by:
- A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant;
- A person with whom the complainant shares a child in common;
- A person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse or intimate partner; or
- Any other person against a complainant who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Virginia (18.2-572, 18.2-61 et seq.), which includes parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, and in-laws.
Dating violence means violence committed by a person:
- Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant; and
- Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Domestic and/or dating violence includes sexual or physical violence or the threat of that violence4.
Domestic and/or dating violence may involve one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior.
Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
- Fear for the person's safety or the safety of others; or
- Suffer substantial emotional distress.
Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the alleged 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.
Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the complainant.
Retaliation means to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or granted under or exercised pursuant to this policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint; assisted, participated, or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy; or engaged in bystander intervention of sexual misconduct.
The good faith reporting of an alleged violation of this policy does not constitute retaliation. Additionally, reporting an individual for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of an investigation, proceeding, or hearing does not constitute retaliation, provided, however, that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith. An individual may be found responsible for retaliation even when there is no finding of responsibility for the original alleged policy violation for which the individual has retaliated.
For employees, discipline for retaliation may be handled by the Executive Director of Human Resources, the Provost's office, or a department head, or may be addressed by an HSMB or IRO panel. For students, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students has the discretion to address retaliation by taking administrative actions, disciplinary or otherwise, or referring the matter for a formal conduct charge. Notwithstanding the foregoing, and regardless of the manner in which any alleged retaliation is addressed, before any discipline is imposed, the person accused of retaliation will receive notice and an opportunity to be heard, as appropriate under the circumstances.
The first priority for any individual after experiencing an incident of sexual misconduct should be personal safety and wellbeing. The University encourages all individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct to seek assistance by calling 911, contacting W&L Public Safety, contacting local law enforcement, and/or visiting a medical facility immediately after an incident when such assistance is desired or necessary under the circumstances.
All individuals are encouraged to make a prompt report to law enforcement and/or to seek immediate medical treatment in response to an incident when such assistance is desired or necessary under the circumstances in order to address immediate safety concerns and to allow for the preservation of evidence and an immediate investigative response. The University will assist in these reporting options by arranging for or providing transportation to the hospital, coordinating with local law enforcement (including assisting with filing a police report and obtaining a protective order), and informing a complainant about the University's resources and complaint processes.
The University recognizes that deciding whether to make a report and choosing how to proceed can be difficult decisions. The University encourages any individual who has questions or concerns to seek the support of campus and community resources, including the confidential and nonconfidential resources listed below. These professionals can provide information about available resources and procedural options and other assistance to either party in the event that a report and/or disciplinary proceedings are pursued. Individuals are encouraged to use available resources, regardless of when or where the incident occurred.
Complainants are strongly encouraged to take immediate steps to preserve all evidence that might support a future report to the University, a protective order, or an investigation by law enforcement.
Confidential resources do not involve notifying any other individual at the University of the incident unless the complainant requests such action. These resources keep information confidential, which means that the information cannot be revealed to any other person without express permission of the disclosing individual. Confidential resources include medical providers, mental health care providers, ordained clergy, and off-campus rape crisis counselors, all of whom have privileged confidentiality recognized by law. These individuals are prohibited from breaking confidentiality unless there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, the conduct involves suspected abuse of a minor under the age of 18, or as otherwise authorized by state and federal law.
Community members wishing to seek confidential assistance may speak with counselors in the Counseling Center (for students), health service providers in the Student Health Center (for students), local health providers, off-campus rape crisis resources, counseling resources available to employees through the Employee Assistance Program, or members of the clergy, all of whom will maintain confidentiality.
It is important to understand that any University employee who is not designated as a confidential resource cannot guarantee the confidentiality of a report or information concerning an alleged violation of this policy. All employees are encouraged to share any report of sexual misconduct with a Title IX Coordinator, and some employees are considered Authorized Employees or Mandatory Reporters. More information about these designations and how to report to campus authorities can be found in Section VIII.B.
Medical care is important to treat any injuries, screen for and treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs), provide emergency contraception, and pursue evidence collection.
- W&L Student Health Center Phone: 540-458-8401 Location: Lower Level of Davis Hall
- Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital: Phone: 540-458-3300 Location: 1 Health Cir. Lexington, VA 24450
- Augusta Health: Phone: (800) 932-0262 Location: 78 Medical Center Dr. Fishersville, VA 22939
(This is the closest hospital that can conduct a forensic exam by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. The purpose of a forensic exam is to document and collect evidence of sexual contact and/or physical trauma. When there is suspicion or concern that an assault may have been facilitated by the use of drugs, the forensic exam may also include the collection of urine and blood samples for toxicology testing. Individuals are not required to report an incident to law enforcement or the University in order to receive a forensic exam. Both Project Horizon and W&L Public Safety can assist with transportation. An individual can coordinate transport from Public Safety through the Student Health Center.)
- W&L Student Counseling Center: Phone: (540) 458-8590 Location: Early Fielding Building
- Project Horizon: Phone: (540) 463-2594 Location: 120 Varner Lane
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP): (800) 992-1931
- Virginia State Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (VSDS)
(800) 838-8238 (24-hour hotline)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDV)
(800) 799-7233 (SAFE)
- Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
Nonconfidential resources can provide support, information about University or other resolution options, and referrals to resources. These resources include Public Safety, local law enforcement, the Title IX office, the Dean of Student’s Office, and Human Resources.
- Lexington Police Department: (540) 462-3705
- Rockbridge County Sheriff's Office: (540) 463-7328
- W&L Public Safety: (540) 458-8999
- Dean of Students Office: (540) 458-8754
- Dean on Call 24/7 by calling Campus Public Safety: (540) 458-8999
- Title IX Coordinator: (540) 458-4055
- Executive Director of Human Resources: (540) 458-8250
University nonconfidential resources will maintain the privacy of the information shared.
The University is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in a report of sexual misconduct. University officials will maintain the privacy of the information shared. Information will be shared only with a limited circle of individuals: those University employees who have a legitimate need to know in order to assist in the active review, investigation, or resolution of the report pursuant to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and applicable federal and state laws. After resolution of a matter, the University may also notify appropriate University employees, as necessary to implement the outcome, sanctions, and/or remedies.
No information shall be released from proceedings under this policy, including the identity of any individual who has made a report, any complainant, any respondent, and any witness, except as required or permitted by law or required to carry out the provisions of this policy.
Pursuant to and as required by the Clery Act, if a report of misconduct indicates a serious and continuing threat to the campus community, the University will issue a timely notification to the community to protect its health or safety. Additionally, anonymous statistical information of certain reports must be shared with Public Safety. Annual Clery reporting to the U.S. Department of Education is required of educational institutions for certain offenses that have been reported at campus locations or certain off-campus locations controlled by the institution. The information contained in the Clery report tracks the number of Clery-reportable offenses occurring at such locations and does not include the names or any other identifying information about the persons involved in the incident.
The University may also share non-personally identifying information about reports received in aggregate form, including data about outcomes and sanctions. For formal complaints against students, at the end of each term, a public notice will be posted that includes the nature of the conduct and each charge for which a student respondent was found "Responsible" or "Not Responsible." If there is a finding of responsibility, the public notice will include the sanction imposed for the charge. The Public Notice will not include names or any other personally identifiable information.
To protect the interests of all involved, the following privacy and confidentiality restrictions apply in a resolution process:
- While a resolution process is still pending, parties may share the evidence the party received access to as part of the resolution process with their Advisor(s) and may discuss the allegations with others to the extent necessary to gather and present relevant evidence. However, parties may not otherwise share the information and documents the party received access to as part of the resolution process with third parties, disclose the documents publicly, or use the documents for purposes not explicitly authorized by the University or by applicable law.
- Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of any information and/or documents shared with them and may not share any such information and/or documents with third parties, disclose any such information or documents publicly, or use any such information or documents for purposes not explicitly authorized by the University or by the applicable law. The University may seek to restrict the role of any Advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the University's privacy and confidentiality expectations.
- After the University’s resolution process has concluded, complainants, respondents, witnesses, and Advisors are prohibited from disclosing, describing, or publishing any and all documents the University provided during the resolution process (including but not limited to documents provided during or as a result of the investigation, hearing, and appeal processes), unless the disclosure is required or expressly permitted by law. While this provision prohibits dissemination of the University’s investigation, hearing, and appeal materials and information an individual learns from these materials, it does not prohibit the sharing of information about which individuals have independent knowledge as long as they do not engage in retaliation as defined by this policy or violate any other University policies. The parties are also not prohibited from sharing the results of a case, including any violation found to have been committed, and any sanction imposed.
The University may notify a student’s parents or guardians of outcomes under this policy only to the extent permitted by law and consistent with University policies, procedures, and practices.
The University encourages complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual misconduct that may also be crimes under state criminal statutes. Complainants have the right to notify or decline to notify law enforcement authorities. The University will assist a complainant, at the complainant's request, in contacting local law enforcement; filing a police report; or requesting a protective order. The University will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a complainant decides to pursue the criminal process. Complainants have the right to participate or decline to participate in any investigation to the extent permitted under state or federal law.
Local law enforcement information:
- Lexington Police Department: (540) 462-3705
- Rockbridge County Sheriff's Office: (540) 463-7328
- Virginia State Police: (804) 674-2000
Project Horizon can provide information to complainants about criminal reporting, investigations, as well as civil and criminal court proceedings. Project Horizon advocates may accompany complainants to court dates and appointments with law enforcement officers, the Commonwealth's Attorney, Court Services Unit, and other legal proceedings and answer questions about these processes. To speak with Project Horizon's legal advocate, call (540) 463-8761.
The University's policy, definitions, and burden of proof may differ from Virginia criminal law. A complainant may seek resolution through the University's resolution processes, may pursue criminal action, may choose one but not the other, or may choose both. Neither law enforcement's determination whether or not to prosecute a respondent nor the outcome of any criminal prosecution determines whether sexual misconduct has occurred under this policy. Proceedings under this policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus.
Pursuant to and as required by Virginia law, the University must disclose information regarding a report of sexual misconduct to law enforcement if (1) it is a report of sexual violence, which means physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent; (2) the sexual violence is alleged to have been committed against a student attending the University, or may have occurred on certain locations as defined by Virginia law; and (3) disclosure of the information is deemed necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals by the three-person University Review Committee (the Review Committee is composed of the Title IX Coordinator, a representative from Student Affairs, and a representative from Public Safety). If the alleged act of sexual violence is a felony crime of sexual violence under Virginia law, disclosure must, under applicable law, also be made to the Commonwealth's Attorney without the release of any personally identifiable information (unless such information was deemed necessary by the Review Committee to be disclosed to law enforcement in accordance with the applicable law). See Va. Code § 23.1-806. In the event of a disclosure, complainants retain the right to decline to participate in any investigation or to request that a criminal investigation not proceed.
In making the determination as to whether disclosure is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals, the Review Committee will make this determination based upon the totality of the known circumstances and will be guided by a consideration of the following factors:
- Whether the respondent has prior arrests and/or is the subject of prior reports and/or complaints related to any form of sexual misconduct;
- Whether the respondent has any history of violent behavior;
- Whether the respondent has a history of failing to comply with any University No-Contact Directives, other University protective measures, and/or judicial protective order;
- Whether the respondent has threatened to commit further violence;
- Whether the alleged sexual violence involved multiple respondents;
- Whether the alleged sexual violence involved physical force;
- Whether the alleged sexual violence may have been facilitated through the use of "date-rape" or similar drugs or intoxicants;
- Whether the complainant is a minor (under 18);
- Whether any other aggravating circumstances are present.
Making a report to the University means notifying the Title IX Coordinator or another University employee with the authority to institute corrective measures regarding complaints of sexual misconduct of an incident of sexual misconduct in person, by telephone, in writing, by email, or through an online report. A report may be accompanied by a request:
- for supportive measures,
- to file a formal complaint to initiate a formal resolution process; or
- for no further action.
At the time a report is made, a complainant does not have to decide how to proceed. Deciding how to proceed can be a process that unfolds over time. The University provides support that can assist in making these important decisions, and to the extent possible (based on the factors in the policy at Section IX), will respect an individual's autonomy in deciding how to proceed.
All W&L community members are encouraged to report all incidents of sexual misconduct or retaliation directly to the Title IX Coordinator or Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment, or, if after hours, to Public Safety.
- Lauren E. Kozak, Title IX Coordinator
Elrod University Commons 212
Online Report: go.wlu.edu/sexualmisconductreport
- Mary E. Main, Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment
Office of Human Resources
Two South Main 109
- Department of Public Safety
Public Safety Dispatch on E. Denny Circle
Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year
The University recognizes that a student or employee may choose to disclose an allegation of sexual misconduct to any employee of the University. For example, a student may choose to confide in an associate dean, a resident adviser, a faculty member, a director, or a coach. Similarly, an employee may choose to confide in a supervisor or a colleague. No W&L employee may promise confidentiality (except certain employees in Student Health and Counseling), and all W&L employees are encouraged to share such information with the Title IX Coordinator or Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment to ensure consistent application of the policy to all individuals.
W&L has identified certain groups of employees as Authorized Employees and Mandatory Reporters for purposes of complaints of sexual misconduct. Both Authorized Employees and Mandatory Reporters are required to report to a Title IX Coordinator all relevant details (obtained directly or indirectly) about an alleged incident of sexual misconduct, including dates, times, locations, and names of parties and witnesses.
The following Authorized Employees have the authority to institute corrective measures regarding complaints of sexual misconduct. A report to one of these individuals constitutes actual notice to the University of a report of sexual misconduct:
- Title IX Coordinator
- Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment
- Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
- Assistant Dean of Law Student Affairs
- Associate Provost
- Dean of the School of Law
- Associate Dean of the School of Law
- Dean of the College
- Associate Deans of the College
- Dean of the Williams School
- Associate Dean of the Williams School
- Director of Athletics
- Director of Public Safety
- Assistant/Associate Director of Public Safety
- Vice President for Finance/Treasurer
The following additional Mandatory Reporters must report complaints of sexual misconduct to a Title IX Coordinator (Note: a report to the individuals below does not constitute actual notice to the University)5:
- Associate and Assistant Athletic Directors
- Athletic Team Coaches, Assistant Coaches, and Athletic Trainers
- Directors of Legal Clinics
- Faculty and staff accompanying students on off-campus programs or other University-related trips, within and outside the United States
- Undergraduate Faculty Department Chairs and Program Chairs
- Resident Advisers and Community Assistants
- Shepherd Program-Associate Director and Assistant Directors
- Officers of Public Safety
- Dean of Student Life
- Student Affairs Class Deans
- Director of Sustainability Initiatives and Education
- Associate Director for International Education
- Director of Residence Life
- Dean of Career and Professional Development
- Director of Student Activities
- Director of Outdoor Education
- Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and Student Engagement
- Assistant Dean, Office of Career Strategy, Law School
- Associate Director of Intramurals and Adventure Programs
- Asst. Director, Leadership Development & Student Engagement
- Chief Technology Officer
- Executive Director of Facilities
With the exceptions of Authorized Employees and Mandatory Reporters, any individual may make an anonymous report concerning incidents of sexual misconduct. An individual may report the incident without disclosing their name, identifying the respondent, 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. The Anonymous Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form can be found at: go.wlu.edu/sexualmisconductreport.
The Title IX Coordinator will receive the anonymous report and will determine how to proceed, as appropriate and in compliance with all federal and state legal obligations.
Upon receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator or Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment will promptly contact the complainant, if known, to discuss resolution options, including the availability of supportive measures (Section X) with or without the filing of a formal complaint and the option and the process to file a formal complaint to begin a resolution process. The Title IX Coordinator or Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment will ensure that the complainant receives a written explanation of available resources and options.
After speaking with the complainant, if the complainant has expressed a desire to proceed with a formal complaint, the University will begin the formal complaint process. If the complainant has requested not to proceed with a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment, in coordination with others as necessary, will determine the appropriate manner of resolution for the particular report following the guidelines in Section IX, which may include supportive measures or the initiation of a formal complaint.
Complainants and third-party witnesses are encouraged to report incidents of sexual misconduct as soon as possible in order to maximize the University's ability to respond promptly and effectively. However, there is no time limit on reporting violations of this policy. If the respondent is no longer a student or employee, the University may not be able to proceed with a resolution process and/or take disciplinary action against the respondent, but it will offer and provide supportive measures to a complainant.
An incident does not have to occur on campus to be reported to the University. Off-campus conduct may be covered, including conduct that occurs in the City of Lexington, City of Buena Vista, and County of Rockbridge, conduct that occurs in connection with University programs or events, and conduct that results in a continuing adverse effect while on campus or other property owned or controlled by the University or in any University employment or education program or activity. The University will process all complaints regardless of where the conduct occurred to determine whether Title IX or other University conduct provisions contained in this policy may apply.
The University seeks to remove any barriers to reporting. It is in the best interest of this community that all individuals who have been the subject of sexual misconduct report the behavior to the University, and that witnesses share what they know. To encourage reporting, student complainants, student witnesses, and student respondents will not be subject to disciplinary action by the University for their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident. While this provision applies to students, nothing in this section precludes the use of amnesty for employees in the University’s sole discretion.
A complainant who makes a report that is later found to have been intentionally false or made maliciously without regard for truth, or anyone proven to have intentionally given false information during the course of an investigation or disciplinary proceeding, may be subject to disciplinary action under the University's Honor System or disciplinary action under the appropriate employee disciplinary policy, and may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws. This provision does not apply to reports made in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report are not substantiated by an investigation and/or hearing decision. An allegation of false reporting cannot be investigated or heard until the underlying allegations have been resolved by the relevant conduct body.
After receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the University will act consistent with a complainant's request where possible.
If the complainant files a formal complaint, the University will always proceed pursuant to the relevant resolution process. If a complainant files a formal complaint and requests informal resolution instead of an investigation and/or hearing process, the University will determine whether informal resolution is appropriate.
Where a complainant makes a report but declines to file a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will determine, based on the available information, whether to file a formal complaint.
In determining whether the Title IX Coordinator will file a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will consider a range of factors, including, but not limited to:
- The severity and impact of the conduct, including whether a weapon was used;
- Whether the complainant is a minor under the age of 18;
- Whether other reports of sexual misconduct have been made against the respondent;
- Whether the respondent threatened further violence or other violence against the complainant or others;
- Whether the respondent is an employee;
- Whether the university possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the alleged sexual misconduct (security cameras, video recordings, photographs or other evidence); and
- The extent of prior remedial methods taken with the respondent.
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the Title IX Coordinator to file a formal complaint. In considering the factors, the Title IX Coordinator will consider whether specific circumstances would prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint. If so, then even if factors are met, the Title IX Coordinator may decide not to file a formal complaint.
In considering an individual’s request not to proceed with a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment may consult with the University’s Threat Assessment Team, other University personnel, and/or law enforcement authorities, as appropriate.
Where the Title IX Coordinator has decided to file a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the complainant. The University will not require a complainant to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.
A complainant who initially decides not to file a formal complaint may later decide to file a formal complaint. Additionally, the Title IX Coordinator, after deciding not to file a formal complaint, may file a formal complaint if any new or additional information becomes available.
By filing a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not determining that the allegations have merit or the policy has been violated, but is merely deciding that, based on the allegations, an investigation must be conducted. Where the Title IX Coordinator signs a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a complainant or otherwise a party.
At any time after the receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the University may impose supportive measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education programs or activities for a complainant or respondent. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive, individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge. Supportive measures may not unreasonably burden the other party.
Supportive measures may be provided or implemented regardless of whether a formal complaint has been filed by the complainant or the Title IX Coordinator, and regardless of whether the complainant chooses to report to local law enforcement. Upon receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the University will promptly contact the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures. The imposition of a supportive measure assumes no determination of responsibility and is not a form of discipline.
A complainant or respondent may request supportive measures, or the University may choose to impose supportive measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of all parties, the broader University community, and/or the integrity of the investigative and/or resolution process. In determining appropriate and reasonably available supportive measures, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the wishes of the party requesting the measures. Supportive measures may be temporary or permanent and may be modified by the University as circumstances change.
The University will maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the University to provide the supportive measures.
Potential supportive measures, which may be provided to the complainant and/or the respondent to the extent reasonably available and appropriate under the circumstances, include but are not limited to:
- Access to counseling services and assistance in setting up initial appointments, both on and off-campus;
- Imposition of a mutual no-contact directive;
- Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments;
- Providing alternative course-completion options or work arrangements;
- Change in class schedule, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdraw from a course without penalty;
- Change in work schedule or job assignment;
- Change in student's University-sponsored or University-controlled housing;
- Assistance from University support staff in completing housing relocation;
- Limit of an individual's or organization's access to certain University facilities or activities;
- Voluntary leave of absence;
- Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities;
- Arranging a meeting with law enforcement or W&L Public Safety;
- Providing medical services; and/or
- Any other measure that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this policy.
All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about the failure of another individual to abide by the terms of any implemented supportive measure. The University can impose disciplinary sanctions for failing to abide by a University-imposed supportive measure, such as a mutual no contact directive. For employees or volunteers, discipline will be handled by the Executive Director of Human Resources, the Provost's office, or a department head. For students, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students has the discretion to address alleged violations of supportive measures by taking administrative actions, disciplinary or otherwise, or referring the matter for a formal conduct charge.
The University’s resolution processes under this policy are initiated by the filing of a formal complaint. A complainant may submit a formal complaint by providing a written or electronic document to the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual misconduct against a respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation. A formal complaint can be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail (212 Elrod Commons, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by submitting an online report. (go.wlu.edu/sexualmisconductreport). The document must include the complainant’s physical or digital signature, or in some way indicate that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.
The Title IX Coordinator can file a formal complaint by submitting a signed writing. The Title IX Coordinator will only file a formal complaint after evaluating the factors in Section IX.
Upon receipt of the formal complaint the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether, if proved, the sexual misconduct alleged in the formal complaint would constitute Title IX sexual harassment, as defined in Section V.A. If so, the formal complaint will proceed according to the procedures in Section XIV. If not, the Title IX Coordinator will dismiss the formal complaint for purposes of any form of Title IX sexual harassment and the complaint may proceed under other applicable procedures outlined in this policy (see Sections XIV and XV). Informal resolution may also be available for appropriate cases as described in Section XIII.
A formal complaint will not proceed as Title IX sexual harassment in the following circumstances:
- The complainant, at the time of the formal complaint, is not participating in or attempting to participate in a University program or activity;
- The conduct alleged in the formal complaint, even if proved, would not constitute Title IX sexual harassment as defined in Section V.A
- The conduct alleged in the formal complaint did not occur in the University’s education program or activity;
- The conduct alleged did not occur against a person in the United States; or
- The respondent(s) is/are an organization or group rather than an individual or individuals.
If the Title IX Coordinator determines that Title IX does not apply to the formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly send written notice of the Title IX dismissal and reasons for the dismissal to the complainant and respondent. The notice will notify the parties whether the complaint will proceed as Non-Title IX sexual misconduct. Both parties have the option to appeal the initial decision that Title IX does not apply to the formal complaint by following the procedures outlined in Section XII.
If Title IX does not apply, the appropriate procedures will be determined based on the identity of the respondent at the time of the report. If the respondent is a student at the time of the report the student resolution procedures will be used (Section XIV). If the respondent is an employee or other nonstudent at the time of the report the nonstudent resolution procedures will be used (Section XV). If the respondent is both a student and an employee:
- The student resolution procedures will apply if the respondent is a full-time student but not a full-time employee;
- The employee resolution procedures will apply if the respondent is a full-time employee but not a full-time student; or
- If there is a question as to the predominant role of the respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will determine which of the procedures applies based on the facts and circumstances (such as which role predominates in the context of the conduct).
Regardless of which process the formal complaint will be proceeding under, the Title IX Coordinator will send a written notice of allegations to the known parties.
If at any time during the resolution process it becomes apparent that: (1) the complainant was not participating in or attempting to participate in a University program or activity at the time the formal complaint was filed; (2) the conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment, even if proved; (3) the conduct alleged in the formal complaint did not occur in the University’s education program or activity; (4) the conduct alleged in the formal complaint did not occur against a person in the United States; or (5) the respondent is a group rather than an individual, then the formal complaint will be dismissed.
A formal complaint may be dismissed by the Title IX Coordinator if at any time during the investigation or hearing: (1) a complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein; (2) the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the University; or (3) specific circumstances prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.
For purposes of clarification, a dismissal as described in this section means that the formal complaint will no longer proceed in accordance with the resolution process for Title IX sexual harassment matters. If a formal complaint is dismissed for purposes of Title IX sexual harassment, the formal complaint may still proceed as non-Title IX sexual misconduct in accordance with another resolution process under this policy, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator.
Any dismissal decision under this Section applies prospectively, meaning that from the date of the dismissal forward, other resolution procedures may apply. In most cases, the University will not go back to repeat or modify steps in the resolution process that have already been completed. The procedural protections available for each of the different resolution processes provide adequate safeguards to ensure a thorough, fair, and equitable process. The differences in the resolution processes under this policy simply reflect requirements necessary for compliance with federal and state legal requirements and/or the University’s recognition of the difference in relationships between the University and its students, employees, and other nonstudents.
Whenever a formal complaint is dismissed under Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator or the HSMB panel, as applicable, will send written notice of the dismissal and the reason for the dismissal to both parties simultaneously. If the complaint is dismissed under this section prior to a determination by the HSMB, the notice will notify the parties whether the complaint will proceed according to another resolution process set forth in this policy.
Prior to a determination by the HSMB after a hearing, both parties have the option to appeal a decision related to whether Title IX applies to the formal complaint by submitting a written appeal to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) calendar days after receiving written notice of the dismissal decision. The Title IX Coordinator will then appoint one member of the HSMB to review and determine the appeal. Either party can appeal on the following bases: (1) procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter; (2) new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the determination regarding dismissal that could affect the outcome of the matter; (3) the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter, and/or (4) the decision regarding the lack of Title IX jurisdiction lacked reasonable basis. After a determination of the HSMB, appeals shall be made pursuant to Section XIV.C.
Upon receipt of an appeal of the Title IX dismissal decision, the parties will be notified and offered the opportunity to submit a written statement in support of or challenging the dismissal decision within three (3) calendar days of notification of the appeal. The appeal documents will be reviewed and a written decision, including the rationale, will be sent to both parties simultaneously.
A. Informal Resolution for Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment and Complaints of Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Against Students
After a formal complaint has been filed, the University may offer informal resolution for appropriate cases. Informal resolution is a method to resolve a report of sexual misconduct without a full investigation and adjudication. Depending on the circumstances and conduct at issue, it may encompass a broad range of conflict resolution strategies, including, but not limited to, mediation or shuttle diplomacy.
Participation in informal resolution is voluntary and the University will not compel either party to engage in informal resolution. Either party can request to end informal resolution at any time prior to agreeing in writing to a final resolution and proceed with the applicable resolution process. Likewise, the parties may request to begin informal resolution at any time prior to a decision of the HSMB hearing panel or Investigation and Review Panel (as applicable). Informal resolution, even if voluntary, cannot be used in cases involving allegations that an employee engaged in Title IX sexual harassment against a student.
During informal resolution the parties may reach agreements, facilitated by the University, that may include disciplinary or punitive measures agreed to by a respondent.
In cases where informal resolution is utilized, the informal resolution will typically be completed within forty-five (45) calendar days of the beginning of informal resolution.
When a report of non-Title IX sexual misconduct is made against an employee or other nonstudent, the University may take immediate and corrective action even without the initiation of a formal complaint.
A Human Resources staff member (including the Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment), a staff supervisor or Dean (in his/her role as faculty supervisor), and/or the Title IX Coordinator may informally resolve concerns themselves or may bring in others (with the consent of the parties), as appropriate, to assist with resolution. Any of the individuals listed above may also refer the matter for informal resolution to another individual given authority to assist with informal resolution. Once a matter has been informally resolved, referred, or the complainant decides to continue with a separate resolution process (other than informal resolution), the individual involved with the informal resolution will submit a written summary to the Title IX Coordinator for review.
When a formal complaint of allegations potentially constituting Title IX sexual harassment or non-Title IX sexual misconduct against a student is filed, unless informal resolution is in process, the University will designate trained investigator(s) to conduct an investigation. The University may use a single investigator or a team of two (2) investigators. Any investigator must be impartial and free of any conflict of interest. A party may raise an objection to the appointment of any investigator(s) on the basis that the investigator is not impartial or has a conflict of interest. Such an objection must be made in writing, specify the basis for the objection, and be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) calendar days of the party being informed of the name(s) of the investigator(s). The Title IX Coordinator will make the final determination on an investigator’s ability to serve.
For complaints constituting potential Title IX sexual harassment, the Title IX Coordinator may consolidate formal complaints against more than one respondent, or by more than one complainant against one or more respondents, or by one party against the other, where the allegations of Title IX sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances. For complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students, the Title IX Coordinator may consolidate multiple reports against a single respondent or group of respondents into one investigation if the evidence related to each incident would be relevant and probative in reaching a determination on the other incident(s).
During the pendency of any resolution process, a complainant and respondent may each have their Advisor(s) (see Section III.A) present at any meeting or proceeding related to the resolution process.
After a notice of allegations has been provided to the parties, the investigator(s) will conduct the investigation in a manner appropriate in light of the circumstances of the case. The investigator(s) will coordinate the gathering of information from the complainant, the respondent, and any other individuals who may have information relevant to the determination. The investigator(s) will also gather any available physical evidence, including documents, communications between the parties, and other electronic records as appropriate. The complainant and respondent will have an equal opportunity to be heard, to submit information and evidence (both inculpatory and exculpatory), and to identify witnesses who may have relevant information.
The investigation is a neutral fact-gathering process. The respondent is presumed to be not responsible; this presumption may be overcome only where a Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board hearing panel concludes that there is sufficient evidence, by a preponderance of the evidence, to support a finding that the respondent violated the policy.
The investigator(s) will ensure that the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence rests on the University and not on the parties.
Although all witnesses, the complainant, and the respondent are encouraged to participate in the investigative process, no party or witness is required to participate in the investigation or any form of resolution under this policy. If a party chooses not to participate in an investigation, the resolution process may still proceed. Parties who are invited or expected to participate in a hearing, investigative interview, or other meeting related to the resolution process will receive written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings, investigative interviews, or other meetings with sufficient time to prepare to participate.
For formal complaints of Title IX sexual harassment, upon conclusion of the investigation, but before completion of the investigation report, the investigator(s) will provide to each party and the party’s Advisor, if any, all the evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations in the formal complaint. This will generally occur within thirty (30) calendar days after a formal complaint is filed. The parties and their Advisors will be able to view the evidence, but are prohibited from downloading, printing, or in any way copying the documents and evidence, and must adhere to the privacy and confidentiality requirements as outlined in Section VII.
The parties will have ten (10) calendar days from their receipt of the evidence to submit a written response to the evidence, if desired. Any written responses, or portions thereof, to the evidence may be shared with the other party at the discretion of the investigator(s). The written response can include requests for follow-up interview(s) with existing witnesses, clarifying or providing any additional information that a party believes is relevant to the investigation, identifying any new witnesses who should be interviewed, and/or explaining any additional evidentiary materials that should be collected and reviewed to the extent that such items are reasonably available.
The investigator(s) will consider all written responses received and conduct any appropriate further investigation in response, at the sole discretion of the investigator(s).
Upon completion of the ten (10) calendar day review period, the investigator(s) will then have ten (10) calendar days to prepare a written investigation report that fairly summarizes the relevant evidence and synthesizes the areas of agreement and disagreement between the parties and any supporting information. The report will include as appendices all of the relevant evidence gathered during the investigation (and reviewed pursuant to the above requirements), except that irrelevant evidence may be removed and evidence outlined in Section XVIII.B will be removed.
The investigation report will be shared with the parties and their Advisors, if any. The parties will have ten (10) calendar days from receipt of the investigation report to submit a written response to the report. Any written responses, or portions thereof, to the investigation report may be shared with the other party at the discretion of the investigator(s). In addition to comments about the investigation report itself, this written response can include arguments why evidence removed from the appendices is in fact relevant, as well as why additional evidence is irrelevant and should be removed. The investigator(s) may make changes to the investigation report based on those written comments at the discretion of the investigator(s).
The investigator(s) will then submit the report to the designated Chair of the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board for the specific matter.
2. Review of Evidence and Investigation Report for Complaints of Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Against Students
For investigations of complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students, upon conclusion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will prepare a written report that summarizes the relevant evidence and synthesizes the areas of agreement and disagreement between the parties and any supporting information. This will generally occur within thirty (30) calendar days after a formal complaint is filed.
Before the investigation report is finalized, the investigator(s) will give the complainant and respondent the opportunity to review the investigation report. The complainant and respondent may submit any additional comments, request changes, or request further investigation from the investigation team. The investigator(s) will consider the parties’ responses, conduct any further investigation in response, and incorporate the parties’ comments as appropriate into the investigative report.
The investigator(s) will then submit the report to the designated Chair of the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board for the specific matter.
From the pool of individuals appointed to serve as Chairs of the HSMB, one of them will be designated to serve as the Chair for a particular HSMB panel. The Chair of the HSMB will select and convene a hearing panel of the HSMB. Three (3) members of the HSMB will be chosen to serve as a hearing panel for each matter. In cases against students, faculty will not serve on the hearing panel.
The Chair of the HSMB will inform the parties of the composition of the proposed HSMB hearing panel. Either party can object to the appointment of any of the HSMB panel members by providing articulable grounds of suspected bias, conflict of interest, an inability to be fair and impartial, or an inability to make an objective determination. This objection should be directed to the Chair of the HSMB. The Chair of the HSMB will make the final determination on an HSMB panel member’s ability to serve.
2. Additional Procedures Applicable to Complaints of Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Against Students
For complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students only, within two (2) calendar days after receiving the investigation report, the Chair of the HSMB will determine whether to formally charge the respondent and will notify the parties of this decision. A charge will be issued if, based on the investigation report, it is plausible and more than a sheer possibility that the complainant's factual allegations could constitute a violation of this policy.
The formal charge(s) will state the subject matter of the complaint, the name of the complainant, and the approximate date and/or timeframe of the alleged misconduct. Additionally, a charge of "Conduct Unbecoming of a Washington and Lee Student" may accompany any charge. The Chair of the HSMB will deliver notice of the charge to both parties.
Once a formal charge has been issued, the respondent will answer the charge as "Responsible," "No Contest," or "Not Responsible." If the respondent answers "Responsible" or "No Contest," the charge goes to a HSMB hearing panel to determine an appropriate sanction. The respondent must answer the charge before or during the Pre-Hearing Conference.
Upon the issuance of a formal change, the investigation report and all evidence obtained during the investigation that directly relates to the conduct being investigated will be made available to the parties for their review. The parties and their Advisor(s) will be able to view the investigation report and evidence, but are prohibited from downloading, printing, in anyway copying the report and evidence, and must adhere to the privacy and confidentiality requirements as outlined in Section VII.
The Chair of the HSMB will hold separate Pre-Hearing Conferences with the parties and their Advisors to address evidentiary or other matters before the investigation report is presented to the HSMB hearing panel. The Pre-Hearing Conference will generally be held within seven (7) calendar days after the formal charge.
At the Pre-Hearing Conference, the parties may submit a written request outlining any additional investigation steps they believe are necessary, including but not limited to:
- Requests for follow-up interview(s) with existing witnesses to clarify or provide additional information, including offering questions to the investigator(s) to pose to witnesses, the complainant or the respondent;
- Clarifying or providing any additional information that such party believes is relevant to the investigation;
- Identifying any new witnesses who should be interviewed (including a description of what topics/issues the witness should be asked to address); and/or
- Explaining any additional evidentiary materials that should be collected and reviewed to the extent that such items are reasonably available.
At the Pre-Hearing Conference, the parties may also request in writing that portions of any appendices be redacted or changes be made to the investigation report. The Chair of the HSMB, in consultation with the investigators, will make the final determination on what changes will be made to the investigation report.
If either party wishes to call witnesses at the hearing, the following must be submitted to the Chair of the HSMB in writing at the Pre-Hearing Conference:
- The names of any witness the party intends to call; and
- A summary of why the witness' live appearance at the hearing is relevant to making a decision about responsibility at the hearing.
The Chair of the HSMB will determine whether there is sufficient justification for asking a witness to appear live or whether the information can be adequately summarized by the witness statement.
All hearings are closed to the public and are private to protect the privacy interests of all involved. Hearings on complaints of Title IX sexual harassment will be audio or video recorded. Hearings on complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students will not be audio or video recorded.
Hearings will be live and may be conducted with all parties physically present in the same geographic location, or, upon request of either party, all parties will appear at the hearing virtually with technology enabling the parties to simultaneously see and hear each other. For complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students, a privacy screen for hearings where the parties are physically present or a virtual privacy screen for virtual hearings will be utilized, unless both parties request otherwise. Witnesses appearing live may be physically present at the hearing or may appear virtually with technology enabling all parties and the witness to simultaneously see and hear each other. Hearings will generally take place within twenty (20) calendar days after the submission of the investigation report to the Chair of the HSMB for formal complaints of Title IX sexual harassment or fourteen (14) days after a formal charge is issued for formal complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students.
The HSMB hearing panel will review the investigation report and appendices prior to the hearing and will have access to these materials during the hearing. During the hearing, the HSMB hearing panel may question the complainant, the respondent, any witnesses, and/or the investigator(s). The HSMB hearing panel shall restrict their questions to matters that the Chair of the HSMB deems relevant to the specific case.
All parties and their advisors will have electronic access to the investigation report, and all other evidence provided to the parties for review pursuant to Section XIV.A.1. throughout the hearing. Both parties have the option to provide an opening and closing statement to the hearing panel. Both parties also have the option to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, in the manner specifically discussed below (i.e., through advisors for hearings involving Title IX sexual harassment and in writing for hearings involving non-Title IX sexual misconduct).
For hearings involving complaints of Title IX sexual harassment, such cross-examination will be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s Advisor of Choice. Only relevant cross-examination questions may be asked of a party or witness. Before a complainant, respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the Chair of the HSMB must first inform the parties whether the question is relevant. If the Chair of the HSMB informs the parties that the questions is not relevant, the Chair will explain the decision to exclude a question as not relevant. Questions, even if relevant, may be excluded if in violation of the provisions in Section XVIII.B. Additionally, repetition of the same question may be deemed irrelevant.
For hearings involving complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students, the parties cannot orally pose questions directly to each other or to witnesses. However, the parties may submit written questions to the Chair of the HSMB to ask on their behalf to the relevant party or witness. The Chair of the HSMB will screen the questions and will not ask questions that violate University policy, prior evidentiary decisions made by the Chair of the HSMB, or questions that are irrelevant or repetitive. Additionally, the Chair of the HSMB has discretion to change the wording of the question, provided that the substance of the question remains the same. The Chair of the HSMB will explain to the party any decision to exclude a question or change the wording of the question.
The complainant and the respondent have the right to be present during the hearing. Neither parties nor witnesses are required to attend a hearing or submit to cross examination. If either party or a witness is not in attendance, the hearing may still proceed, findings may still be made, and sanctions may still be imposed. The HSMB hearing panel cannot draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the hearing or refusal to answer cross examination or other questions.
Both a complainant and respondent have the right to provide relevant information during the hearing. Parties are expected to produce relevant information during the investigation, however, if new, relevant information is presented for the first time at the hearing, the Chair of the HSMB shall determine how to proceed in his or her sole discretion.
For complaints of Title IX sexual harassment, if a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the HSMB hearing panel must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility for Title IX sexual harassment. For purposes of this Section, the term “statement” includes not only statements made during the hearing, but any verbal or written statement of the party or witness made at any time. Statements can be considered by the hearing panel in situations where the statement itself constitutes the alleged policy violation.
The HSMB will objectively evaluate all relevant evidence and will not make credibility determinations based on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness. After evaluating the evidence, the HSMB hearing panel members will deliberate and make a finding by a preponderance of the evidence as to whether the respondent is responsible for conduct in violation of this policy. At least two (2) members must vote "responsible" for a finding of responsibility.
For complaints of Title IX sexual harassment, if the HSMB determines that the conduct does not constitute Title IX sexual harassment, the HSMB will make a determination as to whether the allegations constitute non-Title IX sexual misconduct. For purposes of clarification, if the HSMB determines after a hearing that Title IX does not apply, but that the alleged conduct violates other provisions of this policy, the HSMB will find the respondent responsible for such violation.
If the respondent is found "Responsible,” the HSMB hearing panel will determine what sanction is appropriate and whether remedies are necessary to restore or preserve the complainant’s equal access to one or more of the University’s education programs or activities.
The complainant and respondent, and other affected parties, as appropriate, will each have the opportunity to present a statement about the impact of the violation and/or requested sanctions. The HSMB hearing panel will review these statements only if the HSMB hearing panel finds that the respondent responsible for one or more violations of this policy.
The HSMB hearing panel shall determine the appropriate sanction (or combination of sanctions) in accordance with the Sanction Guideline Matrix. At least two (2) panel members must vote in favor of the imposition of each sanction or combination of sanctions.
In considering the appropriate sanction, the HSMB hearing panel may consider the following factors:
- The respondent's prior conduct history;
- The nature and violence of the conduct at issue;
- The impact of the conduct on the complainant;
- The impact of the conduct on the community, its members, or its property;
- Whether the respondent has accepted responsibility;
- Whether the respondent is reasonably likely to engage in the conduct in the future;
- The need to prevent similar conduct by this respondent; and/or
- Any other mitigating or aggravating circumstances, including the University's values.
In addition to sanctions, remedies may also be available to the complainant at any time after a finding of responsibility against the respondent. The Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with others as necessary, will determine any appropriate additional remedies. Examples of potential remedies are provided in Section X, but remedies are not limited to those supportive measures and do not need to avoid burdening the respondent.
In cases involving nonconsensual sexual penetration as defined in Section V, including both Title IX sexual harassment involving nonconsensual sexual penetration and non-Title IX sexual misconduct involving nonconsensual sexual penetration, there is a mandatory sanction of dismissal if the HSMB hearing panel determines responsibility beyond a reasonable doubt. If the HSMB hearing panel determines responsibility by preponderance of the evidence standard of proof, the HSMB hearing panel may, but is not required to, dismiss after considering the factors set forth above.
Sanction Guideline Matrix Prohibited Behavior Range of Sanctions Title IX Sexual Harassment involving Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration or Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct involving Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration (if found responsible beyond a reasonable doubt) Dismissal (Mandatory) Title IX Sexual Harassment involving Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration or Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct involving Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration (if found responsible by preponderance of the evidence); all other Title IX Sexual Harassment and Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct; Retaliation Dismissal; Suspension; Probation; Community Service; Educational/Counseling Consultation; Loss of Privileges (denial of the use of certain University facilities or the right to participate in certain activities or to exercise certain privileges for a designated period of time); On Campus Residential Relocation; Changing Academic Schedule; trespassing respondent from the University
If the respondent is an employee, the potential sanctions may include:
- Verbal or written warning;
- Requirement to utilize the Employee Assistance Program or other mandatory conditions, which may include training, or some other professional development;
- A no contact directive;
- Loss of privilege;
- Modified employment duties;
- Suspension with pay;
- Suspension without pay;
- Nonrenewal or non-reappointment;
- Demotion in rank or pay;
- Loss of rank;
- Denial of salary increase;
- Transfer to another position;
- Relocation of office;
- Dismissal from academic course if respondent is taking a course at the University;
- Termination or referral/recommendation for dismissal under the Faculty Dismissal Procedures; and/or
- Trespassing respondent from the University.
If the respondent is a non-employee, the potential sanctions may include:
- Verbal or written warning;
- Trespassing the respondent from the University;
- Dismissal from academic course if respondent is taking a course at the University; and/or
- Modification or termination of the non-employee's relationship with the University.
Sanctions may be imposed in combination with one another. If a tenured or tenure-line member of the faculty is found responsible and the HSMB determines that removal is the appropriate sanction, the matter will proceed in accordance with the Faculty Dismissal Proceedings set forth in the Faculty Handbook where applicable.
Within three (3) calendar days of the decision, the Chair of the HSMB shall simultaneously provide to the parties a copy of the written report of the HSMB hearing panel decision.
The written report will note whether remedies will be provided to the complainant, but the specific remedies will not be shared with the respondent unless needed to be disclosed to effectively implement the remedy.
Either party may appeal the finding of a policy violation/non-violation, and/or a sanction by the HSMB within three (3) calendar days of receipt of the written HSMB hearing report form. During the three (3) calendar day period between the written HSMB hearing report and the appeal deadline, the recording of the hearing, if any, will be made available to the parties and the parties’ Advisor(s) for inspection and review subject to the privacy and confidentiality requirements of Section VII. Appeals must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator in writing and must specify in detail the basis for the appeal.
Either party can appeal on the following bases: (1) procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter; (2) new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination was made that could affect the outcome of the matter; (3) the Title IX Coordinator, decision-maker(s), or investigator(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter; (4) the sanction lacked reasonable basis; and/or (5) extraordinary circumstances that affected the outcome of the matter.
Upon receipt of an appeal by the Title IX Coordinator, an Appeal Panel will be appointed to review the matter by the Chair of the Appeal Panel.
In cases involving Title IX sexual harassment, the parties will be notified of the appeal and offered the opportunity to submit a written statement in support of or against the appeal within three (3) calendar days.
The Appeal Panel will review the parties’ written request(s) for appeal, the parties’ written statement(s) in support of or against the appeal(s) (if any), the entire written record, and any other documents or evidence (including any recording) that it deems relevant. In making its decision, the Appeal Panel may decide the case based solely upon the written appeal and other documents or evidence it reviews, or the Appeal Panel may seek additional information from: (1) any person who provided information to the HSMB hearing panel; (2) any person who may have new, relevant information; (3) the Title IX Coordinator; (4) the investigator(s), and/or (5) the original Chair of the HSMB. In seeking additional information, the Appeal Panel may, but is not required to, hold a hearing. The Appeal Panel will defer to decisions of the HSMB hearing panel unless one or more of the appeal bases are satisfied.
The Appeal Panel has the option to affirm the decision of the HSMB hearing panel or remand the case to the original HSMB hearing panel to evaluate new evidence, correct a procedural error, or where there were extraordinary circumstances. Moreover, the Appeal Panel may remand the case to the original HSMB hearing panel in cases where the Appeal Panel determines that the sanction lacked a reasonable basis. Instead of remanding to the original HSMB panel, the Appeal Panel may recommend that a new HSMB hearing panel be convened if the Appeal Panel believes doing so is necessary for fundamental fairness, or if the appeal was granted due to a conflict of interest or bias of one or more of the original HSMB panel members.
At least two (2) members of the Appeal Panel must vote in favor of the appeal decision.
The Appeal Panel will draft a written notice of its decision and rationale and provide it simultaneously to both parties for cases involving Title IX sexual harassment, or to the appealing party only for cases involving non-Title IX sexual misconduct (unless the Appeal Panel and/or Title IX Coordinator determine that the non-appealing party should be notified), within fifteen (15) calendar days from the submission of a written request for appeal.
For complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students, when members of an organization, team, or other group of individuals acting collusively (a "group") act in concert in violation of this policy, they may be charged as a group, as individuals, or in both capacities, and an investigation may proceed against the group and/or against one or more involved individuals, as appropriate given the available information and the circumstances. The determination as to whether to investigate and/or charge those involved as individuals and/or as a group may be made by the Title IX Coordinator or the Chair of the HSMB, as appropriate under the circumstances.
Leaders or officers, members of a group, and/or the group as a whole may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when violations of this policy by the group or its members take place at an group-sponsored event, have received the consent or encouragement of the group or of the group's leaders or officers, were known or reasonably should have been known to the group's membership or its leaders or officers, or involve five (5) or more members of a particular group.
In any such action, determinations as to responsibility will be made and sanctions may be assigned collectively to those involved, individually in proportion to the involvement of each individual, and/or to the group as a whole. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no determination(s) made and/or sanction(s) issued under this policy to any individual or group shall preclude or prohibit any other administrative action from being taken, disciplinary or otherwise, or any other conduct body from making a determination and/or imposing sanctions consistent with its own policies, procedures, or practices.
Because the relationship of students, staff, and faculty to the University differ in nature, the procedures that apply when seeking disciplinary action necessarily differ in some respects. Each of the procedures, however, is guided by the same principles of fundamental fairness and respect for all parties, which require notice, an equitable opportunity to be heard, and an equitable opportunity to respond to a report.
Upon receipt of a formal complaint of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against an employee or other nonstudent, the relevant Co-Chair will promptly (within two (2) business days after being provided the complaint, if practicable) notify the respondent that a formal complaint has been initiated and make arrangements to meet with the respondent to provide the respondent with a verbal summary of the complaint and outline the complaint process. The Co-Chair will provide the respondent the opportunity to submit to the investigator(s), if desired, a written statement regarding the complaint to be included in the record. If the respondent chooses to submit a written statement, the respondent should do so within business (5) business days after being given notice of allegations.
The appropriate Co-Chair will promptly appoint an IRO to serve as the investigator. In some cases, the Co-Chair may appoint a team of two (2) investigators as the Co-Chair deems appropriate. The Co-Chair will then make a preliminary selection of three (3) IROs to serve as the Investigation and Review Panel. If an IRO is the respondent or the complainant, the process operates as otherwise set forth in this policy, except that the IRO who is the respondent or complainant will not be involved in any capacity other than as a party.
The investigation is conducted solely by the appointed investigator(s), who will interview the parties and other witnesses as necessary. The complainant and respondent will have an equal opportunity to be heard, to submit information, and to identify witnesses who may have relevant information. In most cases, absent unusual circumstances, the investigation should be completed within thirty (30) business days after the formal complaint is received by the investigator(s).
During the pendency of an investigation, the parties may have their Advisors (see Section III.A) present at any meeting or proceeding during the complaint resolution process.
The investigation is a neutral fact-gathering process. The respondent is presumed to be not responsible; this presumption may be overcome only where the Investigation and Review Panel conclude that there is sufficient evidence, by a preponderance of the evidence, to support a finding that the respondent violated the policy.
Upon conclusion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will prepare and submit to the appropriate Co-Chair a written investigation report, reaching an assessment on whether the facts present conduct that would constitute a violation of this policy by a preponderance of the evidence, or other University policies. The complainant and respondent will each be provided with a version of the report (the University reserves the right to redact witness names and personally identifiable witness statements), not to be copied or distributed, but which the party may share with the party’s Advisor(s).
The parties will each have five (5) business days from receipt of the investigation report to prepare and submit a written response to the appropriate Co-Chair for the record.
The appropriate Co-Chair will then promptly notify the parties of which IROs have been selected to make up the Investigation and Review Panel (IRP) and will designate one of them as IRP Chair. The parties must submit any concerns about the IRP composition to the Co-Chair in writing within one (1) business day of receipt of such notice. The Co-Chair may follow-up with the parties and/or IRP members regarding any stated concerns, as needed. The Co-Chair will notify the parties and IRP members of any change to the composition of the IRP if the Co-Chair concludes that one or more of the designated IRP members should not serve on that Investigation and Review Panel. Note: see Section XV.M below regarding participation of Executive Director of Human Resources/Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment when s/he has had any substantive role in efforts to informally resolve the complaint or the formal complaint process.
The IRP will review the investigation report and the related record regardless of whether the investigator(s) concluded a violation occurred. In most cases, absent unusual circumstances, the IRP review should be completed within ten (10) business days of the date the IRP members receive the record from the Co-Chair.
The IRP may decide the case based on a thorough review of the entire record of the case including the investigation report and any written comments provided by either party. If the IRP has any questions, it may meet with the investigator(s) and/or may request that the parties and their Advisors separately meet with the IRP. If the IRP finds that any other follow-up is needed with witnesses, the investigator(s) will conduct the follow-up and submit an addendum to the written investigation report, which will be sent to the IRP. In such instances, the parties will be given an opportunity to review the addendum, consistent with the parties' opportunity to review the original investigation report.
Once the IRP has determined that it has sufficient information to make a decision, it will discuss the matter outside the presence of the investigator(s), the parties, and the parties’ Advisors. The IRP will then reach a decision on whether this policy was violated by a preponderance of the evidence, and, if so, will make a written recommendation of sanctions to the appropriate Co-Chair. The IRP may also make recommendations to the Co-Chair for appropriate follow up actions (including, but not limited to, training, counseling, or other educational opportunities) in the absence of a finding of a violation of this policy.
The IRP's decision about whether this policy was violated is binding on the Co-Chair, but subject to appeal by either party. However, the Co-Chair has the discretion to determine the final sanction(s) if the IRP has found a violation of this policy or to impose follow up actions in the absence of such a violation. The potential sanctions include:
- Verbal or written warning;
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program or other mandatory conditions, which may include training, or some other professional development;
- A no contact directive;
- Modified employment duties;
- Suspension with pay;
- Suspension without pay;
- Nonrenewal or non-reappointment;
- Demotion in rank or pay;
- Loss of rank;
- Denial of salary increase;
- Transfer to another position;
- Relocation of office;
- Dismissal from academic course if respondent is taking a course at the University;
- Termination or referral/recommendation for dismissal under the Faculty Dismissal Procedures; and/or
- Trespassing respondent from the University.
If the respondent is a non-employee, sanctions include:
- Verbal or written warning;
- Trespassing the respondent from the University;
- Dismissal from academic course if respondent is taking a course at the University; and/or
- Modification or termination of the non-employee's relationship with the University.
Sanctions may be imposed in combination with one another. If the individual found to have violated this policy is a faculty member and the Co-Chair concurs with an IRP sanction referral for or recommendation of termination, the case will proceed in accordance with the Faculty Dismissal Proceedings set forth in the Faculty Handbook where applicable. In such a case, the Co-Chair (Provost) is ineligible to serve as the President's designee under the "for cause" dismissal process.
Upon a finding of responsibility, additional remedies, in addition to the issued sanction, may be available to a complainant. Non-exhaustive examples of potential remedies are provided in Section X). The Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with others as necessary, will determine any appropriate additional remedies.
Within two (2) business days of the decision, the Co-Chair will provide simultaneous notification to the parties of the two (2) page IRP report in the following manner: the first page (which contains the findings on the allegations of a policy violation) will be provided to each party; the second page (which contains the IRP-recommended sanction(s) or follow up actions and the Co-Chair's decision on sanction(s) or follow up actions) will be provided solely to the respondent, unless the sanctions or follow up actions are such that they directly involve the complainant (e.g. a "no contact" directive) or where required by federal law to be disclosed to the complainant in the case of certain criminal sexual offenses covered by the Clery Act. Additionally, the Co-Chair will provide each party with an outcome letter. The outcome letter will review the prohibition against retaliation and the appeal process.
If, through informal resolution or Co-Chair decision upon a finding of no violation, a respondent has been advised to receive training, counseling, or some other professional development, or to take some other follow up action(s), the Co-Chair or other individual charged with facilitating the informal resolution process (as applicable) will oversee fulfillment of this obligation, though such oversight may be delegated to respondent's supervisor. If a respondent has been sanctioned for a violation of this policy, the appropriate Co-Chair or Human Resources, as appropriate, will oversee fulfillment of the sanction.
Either the complainant or respondent may appeal a finding of a violation or no violation of this policy and/or a sanction/follow up action of which they have been informed. Appeals must be in writing, specifying in detail why the IRP's decision on the appealed aspect(s) of the decision lack a reasonable basis, and must be filed with the Co-Chair who issued the original decision within five (5) business days of receipt of that decision. The Appeal Panel’s review will then be conducted as soon as possible. In most cases, absent unusual circumstances, the Appeal Panel review should be completed within ten (10) business days of the date the panel members receive the record from the Co-Chair.
The Appeal Panel will not substitute its judgment for the IRP or Co-Chair if it finds there was a reasonable basis for the appealed aspect(s) of the decision. In making such a determination, the Appeal Panel may speak with the Investigator(s), the appropriate Co-Chair, or the parties as the Appeal Panel deems necessary.
If the Appeal Panel fully affirms a "no-violation" finding made by the IRP with or without recommended follow up actions, or affirms a finding of a violation and/or the sanction, the Appeal Panel will issue a brief written decision to that effect using part one of the Appeal Panel Report and will submit it to the Co-Chair who issued the original decision, who will then promptly advise the parties of the Appeal Panel's decision, which is final.
If the Appeal Panel affirms a "no-violation" finding made by the IRP, but does not affirm recommended follow up actions (or absence of such actions), the Appeal Panel will explain the facts and analysis supporting its findings and recommendations in part two of the Appeal Panel Report. The Co-Chair issuing the original decision will then review the recommendations regarding any follow up actions and issue the final decision on such measures. The Co-Chair will then promptly advise the parties of the Appeal Panel's decision, which is final. The Co-Chair will advise only the respondent of any decision regarding follow up action(s) and will share part two of the Appeal Panel Report only with the respondent, except for any part of such action(s) that directly involve(s) the complainant or unless required by federal law to be disclosed to the complainant in the case of certain criminal sexual offenses covered by the Clery Act. The Co-Chair's decision on such follow up actions is final.
If the Appeal Panel overturns a "no-violation" finding, the matter is sent back to the appropriate Co-Chair for the original review proceeding, who will then make a decision on the sanction and promptly advise the parties and share the two-part Appeal Panel Report. The first part (which contains the basis for the overturning of the "no-violation" finding) will be provided to both parties; the second part (which contains the Co-Chair's decision on sanction) will be provided only to the respondent, unless some part of the sanction directly involves the complainant or unless required by federal law to be disclosed to the complainant in the case of certain criminal sexual offenses covered by the Clery Act. The Co-Chair's decision on sanction is appealable by respondent and complainant (if complainant was made aware of the sanction because it directly involved the complainant or required to be disclosed to the complainant in cases of certain sexual offenses) within three (3) business days of receipt of the sanction decision. Such an appeal must be in writing, filed with the Co-Chair who issued the decision, and must specify in detail the basis for the appeal.
If the Appeal Panel concurs with a violation finding but finds a sanction is without reasonable basis, the Appeal Panel should first consult the appropriate Co-Chair to review the sanction. If no consensus decision can be reached, both the Appeal Panel and the appropriate Co-Chair will submit their separate recommendations in writing to the President, who will make the final determination by accepting one of the two recommendations and signing off on that recommended sanction. Thereafter, the Co-Chair will promptly advise the respondent of the President's decision on the sanction(s) and will also advise the complainant when the sanction involves the complainant or when required by federal law in the case of certain criminal sexual offenses covered by the Clery Act. The President's decision on the sanction(s) is final.
If the Appeal Panel overturns a violation finding, the matter is sent back to the appropriate Co-Chair for the original review proceeding, who will then remove the sanction(s) issued, decide any appropriate follow up action(s), and promptly share the two-part Appeal Panel decision with the parties. The first part (which contains the basis for the overturning of the violation finding) will be provided to both parties; the second part (which contains the Co-Chair's removal of sanction and decision on any follow up actions) will be provided only to the respondent, unless some part of the sanction directly involves the complainant or unless required by federal law to be disclosed to the Complainant in the case of certain criminal sexual offenses covered by the Clery Act.
At any time during the formal complaint process, the complainant may request of the Co-Chair to withdraw the complainant’s formal complaint. Before approving a withdrawal of the complaint, the Co-Chair will meet with the complainant and the complainant’s Advisor(s) to discuss the request. The Co-Chair retains the discretion to reject the request for withdrawal and to proceed with the formal process, with or without the further participation of the complainant, if the Co-Chair believes it prudent and appropriate to do so in the best interest of the University community, based on all relevant information. The Co-Chair will consider factors including: the severity and impact of the conduct, including whether a weapon was used; whether the complainant is a minor under the age of 18; whether the respondent has a pattern of similar conduct; whether there is a real or perceived power differential between the complainant and respondent; whether the respondent threatened further violence or other violence against the victim or others; whether the university possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the alleged sexual misconduct (security cameras, video recordings, photographs or other evidence); and the extent of prior remedial methods taken with the respondent. Regardless of the Co-Chair's decision, a complainant is not required to participate in an investigation or hearing.
If, after the initiation of a formal complaint but before the issuance of the investigation report, the respondent acknowledges inappropriate conduct in violation of this policy and proposes a resolution/sanction agreeable to the complainant, an IRP will be appointed to review the conduct acknowledged and the proposed resolution/sanction. If the IRP finds the resolution/sanction reasonable, it will be recommended and sent to the appropriate Co-Chair for implementation. If the IRP finds the proposed resolution/sanction unreasonable given the nature and circumstances of the conduct acknowledged or alleged, it may reject the proposed resolution/sanction and conduct a normal IRP review after issuance of the investigation report.
If one of the Co-Chairs is the respondent or complainant, the President will serve in the role of that Co-Chair and the process will operate as otherwise set forth in this policy. In this situation, any appeal would go to the Chair of the Audit Subcommittee of the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees ("Audit Subcommittee").
If the respondent is the President or a member of the Board of Trustees, a complaint must be filed directly with the Audit Subcommittee by delivery of a sealed written complaint to the Secretary of the University, Washington Hall 203, labeled "Complaint to the Audit Subcommittee under the Interim Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy." The Secretary of the University will deliver the sealed written complaint intact to the Chair of the Audit Subcommittee and the Audit Subcommittee will handle or direct all further proceedings.
The Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment will be available to serve as a resource for the Co-Chairs, the investigator(s), the DPAs, and/or the parties to a formal complaint, in order to address issues that arise during the complaint process. In the event that the Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment has had a substantive role in informal complaint resolution efforts prior to the initiation of the formal complaint, or acts as a resource beyond the resolution of purely procedural questions during the formal complaint process, the Assistant Title IX Coordinator will be disqualified from serving on any Investigation Review Panel or Appeal Panel in that case thereafter.
At any point after a report of sexual misconduct has been made, the Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to request that an individualized safety and risk analysis be conducted to determine whether a respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from sexual misconduct allegations. The individualized safety and risk assessment will be conducted by the University’s Student Threat Assessment and Response Team for student respondents and by the Director of Human Resources in conjunction with other University personnel, as appropriate, for non-student respondents. If, after the individualized safety and risk assessment, it is determined that the respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of a student or another individual and such threat justifies removal, the respondent may be removed from one or more University programs or activities, including being placed on administrative leave of absence. Emergency removal under this Section assumes no determination of responsibility.
During an emergency removal, a respondent may be denied access to University housing, and/or the University's campus or programs. This restriction may include classes, office space, and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the respondent might otherwise be eligible.
At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, and with the approval of and in collaboration with the appropriate Dean(s), instructors, administrators, or supervisors, alternative coursework options and/or working arrangements may be pursued to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on the respondent.
Upon removal, a student or faculty respondent may challenge the removal decision by submitting a written appeal to the Provost. Staff and other non-employee respondents may challenge a removal decision by submitting a written appeal to the Vice President for Finance. All appeals must be delivered to the appropriate administrator within three (3) business days of receipt of the removal decision. The written appeal must state specifically why the respondent believes the removal decision is not warranted under the circumstances. The removal will remain in effect during the appeal.
After reviewing the written appeal, the Provost or Vice President for Finance may meet with the respondent and consult with the appropriate University officials as he or she deems appropriate, before reaching a decision. The decision of the Provost or the Vice President for Finance is final.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, if at any point after a report against an employee is made, the Title IX Coordinator and/or Co-Chair believes that an employee who is accused of violating this policy represents a danger to individuals or disruption to campus operations, the Title IX Coordinator and/or Co-Chair may request that the employee be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the complaint and any appeals. Such leave will be structured at the University's discretion.
The University will use its best efforts to resolve all formal complaints of Title IX sexual harassment promptly according to the timelines in this policy while balancing principles of thoroughness and fundamental fairness with promptness. Circumstances may arise that require the extension of time frames. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, the complexity of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved, the availability of the parties or witnesses, the effect of a concurrent criminal investigation, any intervening school break or vacation, the need for accommodation of disabilities, or other unforeseen circumstances. If the investigation and resolution exceed any of these time frames, the University will notify all parties in writing of the reason for the delay. If requested, all parties involved are entitled to periodic status updates on the progress of the formal complaint and/or resolution process.
If informal resolution is being used, it will typically be completed within forty-five (45) calendar days of the beginning of informal resolution.
In general, a complainant and respondent can expect that the resolution process for formal complaints of Title IX sexual harassment will proceed according to the following time frames:
- Within thirty (30) calendar days after a formal complaint is filed, the investigator(s) will provide to the parties all evidence obtained related to the allegations.
- The parties will have ten (10) calendar days to submit a written response to the evidence.
- Upon completion of the ten (10) day review period, the investigator(s) will draft and provide the investigation report to the parties and Chair of the HSMB within ten (10) calendar days.
- The parties will have ten (10) calendar days to submit a written response to the investigation report.
- The hearing will be held within twenty (20) calendar days after the submission of the investigation report to the Chair of the HSMB.
- Notice of outcome will be provided within three (3) calendar days of the HSMB hearing panel decision.
- Upon receipt of the HSMB hearing panel decision, the parties have three (3) calendar days to submit a written request for an appeal.
- If there is a request for appeal, the parties will have three (3) calendar days to respond to the appeal.
- The appeal will be decided within fifteen (15) calendar days from the time of the request for appeal.
In general, a complainant and respondent can expect that the resolution process for formal complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students will proceed according to these time frames:
- The investigation will be completed within thirty (30) calendar days after the formal complaint is filed.
- The Chair of the HSMB will decide whether to charge the respondent within two (2) calendar days after receiving the investigation report.
- The Pre-Hearing Conference will be held within seven (7) calendar days after the formal charge.
- The HSMB hearing will be held within fourteen (14) calendar days after the formal charge.
- Notice of outcome will be provided within three (3) calendar days of the HSMB hearing panel decision.
- Upon receipt of the HSMB hearing panel decision, the parties have three (3) calendar days to submit a written request for an appeal.
- If there is a request for appeal, the appeal will be resolved within fifteen (15) calendar days from the time the Appeal Panel received the written appeal.
In general, a complainant and respondent can expect that the resolution process for formal complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against employees or other nonstudents will proceed according to these time frames:
- The respondent may submit a written statement to the Co-Chair in response to the formal complaint within five (5) business days after the respondent was notified of the formal complaint.
- The investigation should be completed within thirty (30) business days after the investigator receives the formal complaint.
- The parties will have five (5) business days after receipt of the investigation report to prepare and submit a written response to the Co-Chair.
- The IRP will review the investigation report and related record within ten (10) business days of the date on which the IRP receives the investigation report and related record from the Co-Chair.
- The IRP report will be provided within two (2) business days of the IRP decision.
- Upon receipt of the IRP report, the parties have five (5) calendar days to submit a written request for an appeal.
- The appeal will be decided within ten (10) calendar days from the date the Appeal Panel receives the record from the Co-Chair.
The following rules of decorum and professionalism apply to all hearings and meetings during any resolution process governed by this policy. These rules apply equally to all parties, witnesses, and advisors.
- Any person present at any meeting or hearing must treat others at the meeting or hearing with courtesy and respect. This rule does not prohibit good faith expressions of dissent or criticism;
- During any cross-examination permitted under the Title IX resolution process, questions only are permitted; an Advisor of Choice may not give any statements, speeches, or objections to relevance decisions;
- Any cross-examination questions or techniques must not be for the purpose to harass or intimidate others;
- Disruptive behavior that hinders the orderly conduct of the meeting or hearing is prohibited;
- Interruptions, sarcasm, cursing, yelling, and insults are prohibited.
The investigator(s), Co-Chair, Chair of the HSMB or Appeal Panel, or any individual charged with facilitating any part of the informal resolution process has the authority to enforce these rules and to take steps necessary to ensure they are being followed.
Any person who does not follow these rules of decorum will be warned once. If the person continues to disregard the rules, such person may be asked to leave the meeting, interview, or hearing at the discretion of the person with authority to enforce the rules.
In general, questions and evidence about the sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior of the complainant are not relevant and will not be admitted as evidence during an investigation and/or hearing, except under the following circumstances: (1) where the sexual behavior is used to show that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant; or (2) where if the questions and evidence concern a specific incident of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent. As otherwise noted in this policy, however, the mere fact of a current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent.
For formal complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct only, where there is evidence of a pattern of sexual misconduct, either prior to or subsequent to the conduct in question, regardless of whether there has been an investigation or finding of responsibility, this information may be deemed relevant and probative to the HSMB hearing panel's or IRP’s determination of responsibility and/or sanction. The determination of admissibility will be based on an assessment of whether (1) the previous incident was substantially similar to the present allegation; and (2) indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern by a respondent. Where there is a prior finding of responsibility for a similar act of sexual misconduct, there is a presumption of admissibility. The Chair of the HSMB or the Co-Chair (as applicable) will make the determination as to whether or not the relevant hearing panel will consider the pattern evidence and in doing so will carefully review the relevancy and reliability of the alleged similar conduct.
The University will not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use any individual's medical or counseling records (as defined in Section III.Q) for purposes of the investigation, adjudication, or resolution of any allegation or complaint made under this policy absent such individual's written consent. An individual may disclose his or her medical and/or counseling records voluntarily, but the University will not request consent for the release of any medical or counseling records, nor will the University require any individual involved in the processes set forth in this policy to release any such medical and/or counseling records.
The University will not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege in writing.
Pursuant to and as required by Virginia law, for each student who has been suspended for, permanently dismissed for, or withdraws from the University while under investigation for an offense involving sexual violence (defined as physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent), the University will make or cause to be made a prominent notation on the academic transcript of each student. In cases of suspension and dismissal this transcript notation will read: "[Suspended or Dismissed] for a violation of W&L's set of standards." In cases of withdrawal, the notation will read: "Withdrew while under investigation for a violation of W&L's set of standards. This withdrawal as noted does not constitute a finding or admission of responsibility on the part of the student."
The University shall remove from a student's academic transcript any notation placed on such transcript due to a student's suspension if the student (1) completed the term of the suspension and (2) the student is eligible to apply for reinstatement.
The University shall remove from a student’s academic transcript any notation placed on such transcript due to a student’s dismissal after a period of three (3) years and good cause shown. Good cause will be determined by the Title IX Coordinator.
The Student Advisory Group is made up of six (6) student advisors (four (4) undergraduate students and two (2) law students) who are appointed by the Executive Committee to serve one (1) year terms. In appointing the members of the Student Advisory Group, the Executive Committee will make every effort to create diverse representation.
The role of the Student Advisory Group is to aid the Title IX Coordinator and HSMB in understanding issues of student social dynamics. It will assist in training the HSMB and Appeal Panel by advising on student social dynamics and by advising the Title IX Coordinator on issues related to sexual misconduct, including policy training and campus climate. The Student Advisory Group will also review the Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy and will have an opportunity to recommend changes.
Students or employees with disabilities can request accommodations to ensure their full and equal participation in any conduct process and/or proceeding. Student accommodation requests may be made directly to the Director of Disability Resources. Employee accommodation requests may be made directly to the Executive Director of Human Resources. Accommodations are determined on an individual basis pursuant to the relevant accommodation policy.
The Title IX Coordinator will retain records of all reports of misconduct under this policy. These records will include, but are not limited to, records of reports, materials from all resolution processes, informal resolution results and related documents, and information about all supportive measures provided. Such records will be maintained for at least a period of seven (7) years.
Pursuant to Virginia law, the Title IX Coordinator and the Public Safety representative of the University's Review Committee will also retain independent records related to the Review Committee's considerations upon a report of sexual violence.
Affirmative findings of responsibility in matters resolved through an HSMB hearing or IRO review process are part of a student's conduct record or employee personnel file. Such records will be used in reviewing any further conduct or in developing sanctions. In general, the University will maintain records for the duration of the respondent's relationship with the University, and may retain them for no less than seven (7) years following the respondent's departure from the University. If the HSMB hearing panel or IRP does not find the respondent responsible, the student's conduct file or employee personnel file will reflect the finding.
The University, through a working group that may include the Title IX Coordinator, members of the Office of General Counsel, members of the Student Advisory Group, and the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, will review and update this policy, as appropriate, by October 31 of each year. The University will evaluate, among other things, any changes in legal requirements and existing University resources. The President will certify to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia that this policy has been reviewed and updated, as appropriate, in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws.
The Board of Trustees of Washington and Lee University condemns irresponsible alcohol distribution and consumption. Abusive consumption of alcohol and illegal drug use are inconsistent with the core values of Washington and Lee University. The Board expects W&L students to act responsibly and to conduct themselves in accordance with the applicable laws and University policies on alcohol and drugs. The Board is committed to combating cultural causes of substance abuse on campus. The Board is committed to reducing substance abuse by students through comprehensive education and counseling programs, and effective discipline requiring individual and organizational accountability for alcohol and drug policy violations.
Washington and Lee University supports the Commonwealth of Virginia laws on the licensing, distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, Washington and Lee University supports the Commonwealth of Virginia and federal laws on the possession, use, sale, or transfer of illegal drugs/controlled substances and tobacco products. It is the responsibility of all members of the University community to abide by those laws. A fundamental principle of the Washington and Lee University Policy on Alcohol is that students are adults who are personally responsible for conforming their behavior to state and local laws and University policy.
Washington and Lee Public Safety works with the Lexington Police, the Rockbridge County Sheriff, and the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to promote awareness of and adherence to the alcohol laws.
Through the appropriate University administrative offices, committees and organizations, Washington and Lee University conducts on-going educational programs to acquaint students with the Commonwealth of Virginia laws on alcohol and other drugs, the health dangers of alcohol abuse, and the medical and counseling resources available for students. A student who violates Washington and Lee University’s alcohol and/or drug policies will be referred to the Dean of Students’ Office to be handled administratively or by the Student Judicial Council. Resolution of the alleged violation will be handled in accordance with the University Policies on Alcohol and Other Drugs.
Washington and Lee University prohibits hazing by all students and campus organizations. Hazing is defined by Virginia law at Va. Code §18.2-56 as follows: “‘Hazing’ means to recklessly or intentionally endanger the health or safety of a student or students or to inflict bodily injury on a student or students in connection with or for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in a club, organization, association, fraternity, sorority, or student body regardless of whether the student or students so endangered or injured participated voluntarily in the relevant activity."
Hazing is a criminal offense in Virginia and any person found guilty of hazing is subject to a Class 1 misdemeanor, unless the injury would be such as to constitute a felony, and in that event the punishment shall be imposed as is otherwise provided by law for the punishment of such felony. Any person receiving bodily injury by hazing or mistreatment shall have a right to sue, civilly, the person or persons guilty thereof, whether adults or infants.
The University will not tolerate hazing by students or student organizations. Furthermore, it will hold individuals strictly accountable for their actions. In serious hazing cases or in cases where evidence is not forthcoming, the University may refer the case to law enforcement authorities.
No individuals or campus organizations may retaliate against any individual who brings forward allegations of hazing, is a witness involved with, or cooperates in the investigation or adjudication of hazing cases. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, physical, verbal, or written harassment, threats, or intimidation of any person(s) who brought the complaint of hazing to the University or of anyone who was a witness or involved in the University’s review of the case.
Examples of prohibited hazing include, but are not limited to, the following activities:
- Physical abuse such as paddling, striking, branding, electric shock or bodily contact with harmful substances
- Intimidation by threats of physical or other abuse
- Excessive exercise or other tasks intended to cause physical exhaustion
- Prolonged or repetitive tasks that result in sleep deprivation
- Prolonged or harmful exposure to the elements
- Humiliation through verbal or physical actions
- Compelled consumption of any amount of alcohol
- Compelled consumption of food, liquids or concoctions intended to cause nausea
- Any task that requires the participant to violate the law or University policies
This list does not and cannot encompass every circumstance that will cause the University to discipline a student or student organization for hazing. Physical harm is not required for an action to be found to be hazing. However, students must be aware that participation in the above listed activities, as well as retaliation associated with a hazing complaint, will result in disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal from the University. Furthermore, students must understand, and Virginia law explicitly states, that consent or acquiescence of those who are hazed is not a defense for engaging in this practice.
Allegations of hazing or retaliation by individuals or student organizations not under the jurisdiction of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) or National Panhellenic Council (NPC) will be heard and adjudicated by the Student Judicial Council. Allegations of hazing or retaliation by fraternities and sororities under the jurisdiction of the IFC or NPC will be heard and adjudicated by the IFC/NPC, respectively.
All cases of suspected hazing or retaliation under this policy should be reported to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Credible complaints may result in immediate suspension and investigation of new member education programs of the accused Greek or other student organization.
The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will charge the Office of Public Safety (or designee) with conducting an investigation of the alleged hazing or retaliation incident(s). The investigator will report the findings of the investigation to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and appropriate conduct body.
If the investigation finds no evidence of hazing or retaliation but does uncover other violations of regulations governing new member education established by the IFC/NPC or violations of other University policies, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will send the matter to the appropriate conduct body for its review and action. The IFC and NPC are responsible for regulations governing new member education for prospective new members of fraternity/sorority chapters and for sanctioning chapters that violate those rules.
If the investigation finds that a hearing should occur on allegations of hazing or retaliation with a student organization under the jurisdiction of the IFC or NPC, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will send the matter to the appropriate Council. If the investigation finds that a hearing should occur on allegations of hazing or retaliation by an individual student or student organization not under the jurisdiction of the IFC or NPC, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will send the matter to the Student Judicial Council (SJC).
Please see go.wlu.edu/OGC/AcceptableUse for the most current version of this policy.
Washington and Lee University provides computing and network resources to its students primarily for educational purposes and to its faculty and staff primarily for work purposes. The University may provide access to other users at its discretion. Use of the University's computing and network resources is a privilege. All users are expected to exercise personal and professional responsibility and integrity when using these resources.
This policy applies to all users of University owned or managed computer-related equipment, computer systems, and interconnecting networks, as well as all information contained therein.
There are no definitions applicable to this policy.
The University enforces necessary restrictions, which may be revised from time to time, to protect its computing and network resources, including the revocation of use privileges for unauthorized or inappropriate use. The Chief Technology Officer or designee is authorized to temporarily suspend use privileges in any case he or she deems appropriate until final resolution of the matter. While the University desires to maintain user privacy and to avoid the unnecessary interruption of user activities, and while the University does not monitor the content of user activities, the University reserves the right to investigate concerns of unauthorized or improper use of University resources, as appropriate.
The campus network, including its servers and associated software, is the property of Washington and Lee University. Neither the network pathways nor W&L-owned computer systems are to be used:
- for purposes incompatible with established University policies, procedures, protocols or applicable laws;
- for unauthorized commercial enterprise;
- for harassing, fraudulent, or threatening purposes; or
- for pirating software, music or images.
The following activities are nonexclusive examples of those that are not permitted and that may lead to suspension or revocation of use privileges and other penalties or discipline:
- unauthorized access, attempts to gain unauthorized access, unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, or violation of the University's Confidentiality Policy (go.wlu.edu/OGC/Confidentiality) involving the University's computing and network resources;
- misrepresenting or attempting to misrepresent one's identity;
- altering or tampering with the configuration of computers in student labs and other common areas, or installing unauthorized games or other programs on their hard disks or on the shared-files area of the file servers;
- any network activity that impedes the flow of network traffic, significantly diminishes the availability of resources to other users, or imposes avoidable burdens on other users (for example, sending mass e-mails instead of using the appropriate services available for communicating with the entire community or large sub-groups); or
- the unauthorized physical or virtual extension or re-configuration of any portion of the campus network by such means as routers (wired or wireless), wireless access points, network wiring, or other methods.
Students, faculty, staff, and volunteers with access to confidential data are reminded of the University's Confidentiality Policy (go.wlu.edu/OGC/Confidentiality). Among other things, the policy states that electronic documents and files containing confidential information are to be accessed, used, and disclosed only with explicit authorization and only on a need-to-know basis for either an employee's job functions or volunteer's service.
Social media have become powerful communications tools with significant advantages in telling the University's story to both internal and external audiences. With such tools as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, and blogs along with such image-sharing sites as Flickr and Picasa, members of the University community can provide instantaneous content on the Internet to individuals around the world. With the power of social media come responsibilities. These guidelines provide best practices under which members of the W&L community should operate when using these tools. The basic principle is that members of the community are expected to adhere to the same levels of civility in their online conversations as in their face-to-face conversations. The same laws, University policies, guidelines, and personal and professional expectations for interacting with all University constituents apply online as in the real world. For example, posting hate speech or confidential information about university students may constitute a violation of existing university policies and would be handled as such.
Since social media are constantly changing, these best practices may be updated frequently. The Digital Communications office is available to offer support and advice in efforts to establish a social media presence and in exploring new social media tools.
Nothing in these guidelines prohibits employees from discussing the terms and conditions of their employment as authorized by law.
Best Practices for All Social Media Users
Social media has the ability to send your message around the world instantaneously. Consider these tips before getting started - https://www.wlu.edu/communications-and-public-affairs/digital-communications/social-media/social-media-guidelines/best-practices-for-all-social-media-users.
Best Practices for Individuals Posting on an Official University Account
When you manage a social media presence for a department, office or organization at Washington and Lee, you are no longer representing yourself, but the University. Consider these tips before getting started - https://www.wlu.edu/communications-and-public-affairs/digital-communications/social-media/social-media-guidelines/best-practices-for-individuals-posting-on-an-official-university-account.
In August, 2003, the University implemented a ban on the use of peer-to-peer file-swapping software on computers attached to the University network. The programs, including KaZaA, Morpheus, iMesh, Gnutella, LimeWire, Grokster, and other descendants of Napster, are used nearly exclusively to download and allow the uploading of copyright-protected music, movies, software, and other works, likely in violation of federal law.
Sharing protected works by unauthorized copying is not only a violation of copyright law but also a violation of the University's Computer and Network Use Policy, which forbids use of the network "for purposes incompatible with established University codes and regulations or applicable laws."
Agents of copyright owners have become increasingly aggressive in pursuing violators on university networks, filing suits seeking tens of thousands of dollars in damages from some students and other users. The ban seeks to protect users from exposure to such liability, to adhere to the copyright laws, and to protect network capacity for educational uses.
The use of peer-to-peer computer file sharing programs (e.g., KaZaA, Morpheus, LimeWire, iMesh, Gnuttella, Grokster, and all similar programs and their successors) that are primarily employed to share copyrighted works is prohibited on the campus network. Where possible, banned file swapping will be intercepted and blocked by network control systems. The use of methods designed to evade that blocking is prohibited. For help in removing file swapping software from a computer, call the Information Desk at xHELP (x4357). Specific exceptions to this policy may be approved by the Chief Technology Officer in instances where such programs will be used exclusively for educational/research purposes and in a manner that complies with all US copyright laws.
It is the policy and intent of Washington and Lee University that all members of the University community adhere to the provisions of United States copyright law. A copyright grants to its owner the right to control an intellectual or artistic creation, to prohibit others from using the work in specific ways without permission, and to profit from the sale and performance of the work. Copyright protection extends beyond copies of the written word and recordings of sound to include visual and animated images, and encompasses "hard copy" and electronic use and duplication of protected works. Each member of the University community must take some individual responsibility for copyright compliance. The University has developed extensive guidelines to assist and direct faculty, students, and staff in their compliance obligations. The full University Policy for the Use of Copyrighted Works can be found at go.wlu.edu/OGC/CopyrightPolicy. Conforming to this policy may in some cases result in additional costs to the student for course materials and some additional inconvenience and time delay in the preparation procedure of those materials. Members of the University community who willfully disregard the copyright policy do so at their own risk.
Whatever gray areas there may be in copyright law, offering for sharing over the network a recording, movie, text, software, graphic image, or other work without the authorization of the owner of that work's copyright is unambiguously offering to "distribute" that work and subjects one to serious legal consequences. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other statutes require the University to cooperate in eliminating such activity.
Users must protect themselves and the University by not making copyrighted materials available over the Internet without the owner's authorization. Students must ensure that their computers are not offering to share copyrighted works. Faculty and staff may not use their University-owned computers to run file-sharing programs.
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages set at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorney’s fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
For more information, please see W&L’s Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Policy (go.wlu.edu/OGC/P2P- Policy), W&L’s Plan to Deter Illegal Peer-to-Peer File Sharing (go.wlu.edu/OGC/P2P-Deterrence), and/or the website of the U.S. Copyright Office (www.copyright.gov), especially their FAQs (www.copyright.gov/help/faq).
Students may not make audio or video recordings of classes without the advance written permission of the instructor. Students may use such recordings only for course purposes, may not distribute them outside the class, and are expected to destroy the recordings at the conclusion of the course term. The full policy is located at go.wlu.edu/OGC/RecordingOfClasses.
The Copyright Act protects audiovisual works such as films, videos, and DVDs and controls the showing of movies to any public group. Among the rights of a copyright holder is the right to authorize public performance (showing) of videotape or DVD copies of films subject to “fair use.” Showing of copyrighted films, videotapes, or DVDs generally is permissible in conjunction with teaching activities.
If a videotape or DVD is labeled “For Home Use Only,” the showing must fall under the face-to-face classroom teaching exemption, be licensed or be permissible as “fair use.” Unless a license is acquired, most performances (showings) of films, videotapes, or DVDs in a public room, or in a university building (including public areas of fraternities, sororities, and other university housing), for entertainment, whether a fee is charged or not, is an infringement.
If a performance license is needed, the University’s libraries will assist you in seeking permission by helping you locate the address of the producer’s permissions department. You will then need to fax or send a letter giving full details of what, where, when, how many times, admission policy, advertising, etc. Add a line for the permission agent’s signature and include a self-addressed stamped return envelope or a return fax number. Student organizations showing films for entertainment purposes are responsible for paying royalties.
The showing of a protected work for a legitimate educational purpose may qualify as "fair use" or fall within the exemption of classroom teaching and not require permission. More information is available in the University's Policy for the Use of Copyrighted Works (go.wlu.edu/OGC/CopyrightPolicy), especially Section IV.
Faculty, staff, and students may use the University’s names, logos, and/or other marks (e.g. W&L, the W&L crest) where necessary to identify themselves on matters of official University business. Use of the University name for private purposes is limited to use purely for identification by a current or former member of the faculty, staff, and/or student body (e.g. “John Doe, Professor of Physics, Washington and Lee University,” or “John Doe, Class of ’79, W&L”). W&L names, logos, and other marks shall not be used by individuals or entities otherwise in a manner that implies University endorsement or responsibility for particular activities, products, or publications involved, or by any individual or group promoting itself, without the express written permission of the Provost or designee. Any and all use of the University names, logos, and/or other marks for commercial purposes is prohibited unless approved by the Treasurer or designee.
For more information, consult the University Policy on Intellectual Property at go.wlu.edu/OGC/IP- Policy.
This policy is designed to make the campus community aware of the fundamental principles that will govern University-sponsored clinical and educational activities relating to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and to ensure that confirmed or suspected cases of infection are managed appropriately. It is also intended to provide basic information to members of the campus community about the ways in which HIV, the causative factor leading to AIDS, is transmitted. This policy is based on the best currently available medical knowledge and complies with current ethical and legal standards regarding HIV infection and AIDS.
Extensive medical research indicates that HIV is not transmitted through casual contact. Transmission of HIV requires: intimate sexual contact with a person infected with HIV; percutaneous exposure (by puncture) to needles or other sharps contaminated with HIV (e.g. through shared needles in the setting of intravenous drug abuse, or employee exposure in a health care setting); or percutaneous exposure (into the body through punctured or broken skin or mucous membranes) to HIV-infected blood or blood products or other potentially infectious body fluids. Accordingly, legal and ethical considerations suggest there is no reason to adopt policies or courses of action that would deny ordinary privileges and rights, including that of privacy, to students, faculty or staff members who are known or suspected to be infected with HIV.
The University will make available current information on HIV and AIDS to the campus community. The University will also make available to students appropriate clinical services related to HIV and AIDS, including testing and counseling, and will make referrals as necessary to other health-care providers for appropriate medical care. The Student Health Committee will review this policy regularly and recommend updates as indicated. Administrative responsibility for implementing this policy is assigned to the Director of Student Health and Counseling.
All faculty, staff, students, vendors, and visitors to the University are expected to comply with Virginia law regarding the minimum age for persons purchasing or possessing tobacco products, nicotine vapor products and alternative products (21 years of age as of July 1, 2019, with an exception for active duty military personnel).
Smoking, including e-cigarettes/nicotine vapor products and alternative nicotine products, is not permitted inside classroom buildings, administrative buildings, student residential buildings (including Greek and theme housing), dining areas, University Store, athletic facilities, or University owned or rented vehicles or within 25 feet of residential buildings (including Greek and theme housing). Smokers are asked to refrain from smoking in entranceways to buildings, or adjacent to open windows or air intakes, or in other outdoor areas where environmental smoke is not rapidly dispersed. All members of the University community are expected to treat each other with courtesy and respect in honoring this policy.
Washington and Lee University is committed to providing a safe and secure learning and working environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors on all campus properties. The use, possession and storage of firearms, components of firearms, live ammunition, blowguns, BB guns, air guns, stun weapons, explosives, machetes, electric shock devices, knives (except pocket knives having a folding metal blade of less than three inches) or other dangerous articles are prohibited on all properties owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by Washington and Lee University. Law enforcement officers duly authorized to carry such instruments are excepted.
Any person violating this policy will be subject to conduct sanctions including suspension or dismissal from the University or termination of employment. Student violations will be dealt with through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Any suspected violations should be reported to the Director of Public Safety.
This policy is established by Washington and Lee University in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and applies to all students at the University.
For the purposes of this policy, a student may be considered to be a “missing person” if the student’s absence from campus is contrary to his or her usual pattern of behavior and W&L has reasonable belief that the unusual circumstances may have caused the absence. Such circumstances may include, but not be limited to, a report or suspicion that the student may be a victim of foul play; the student has expressed suicidal thoughts, may be drug dependent or in a life threatening situation; or if the student is overdue returning to campus and is not heard from after giving a specific return time to friends or family.
If a member of the University Community has reason to believe that a student is missing, whether or not the student resides on campus, that individual should contact the University's Public Safety Office. Public Safety will collaborate with the Student Affairs staff to make an effort to locate the student and determine his or her state of health and well-being. Public Safety will gather pertinent information about the student from the reporting person. Such information may include description, cellular phone number, clothes last worn, vehicle description, information about the physical and emotional well-being of the student, an up-to-date photograph, etc.
University officials will also endeavor to determine the student's whereabouts through contact with friends, associates, and/or employers of the student, and determine whether the student has been attending classes, scheduled organizational or academic meetings, and work. If the student is an on-campus resident, Public Safety may make a welfare entry into the student's room. If the student resides off-campus, Public Safety will informally enlist the aid of the neighboring police agency having jurisdiction.
If a residential student is reported missing and cannot be located, certain notices will be made as follows:
- Parents/Guardians will be notified within 24 hours (after Public Safety receives the initial missing person report) to determine whether they know the whereabouts of the student.
- Local law enforcement will be notified within 24 hours after Public Safety determines that the student is missing.
- The student’s designated emergency contact (if any) will be notified once Public Safety or local law enforcement personnel make a determination that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours.
If the student is an off-campus resident, Public Safety will notify appropriate family members or associates within 24 hours of receiving the initial report. These individuals will then be encouraged to make an official missing-person report to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction. Public Safety will cooperate, aid, and assist the primary investigative agency as appropriate.
After the student has been located, Public Safety will attempt to verify the student's state of health and intention of returning to the campus. When and where appropriate, a referral may be made to the Counseling Center and/or the Student Health Center.
Students will be given an opportunity during the fall-term matriculation process to designate an individual to be contacted by the University if the student is determined to be missing. Returning and transfer students will be given an opportunity to provide this information during the fall term. The designation will remain in effect until changed or revoked by the student. The form provided for the designation will state the circumstances in which the designated emergency contact information will be used, and will include a statement that the University is required by law to also notify the student’s custodial parent or guardian if the student is under 18 at the time he or she is discovered to be missing.
In accordance with established University emergency procedures, the Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs will be part of the University's administrative response team and is the designated spokesperson to handle media inquiries concerning a missing student.
The local law enforcement agency in charge of the investigation and Public Safety will be consulted by the Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs prior to any information release from the university so as not to jeopardize any investigation.
Information provided to the media to elicit public assistance in the search for the missing person will be handled by the local law enforcement agency.
By University policy, all students are required to provide evidence of health and hospitalization insurance coverage each year, to supplement the health care provided by the University. This coverage may be in the form of an individual policy already in effect, inclusion in a family policy, or enrollment in the optional student health insurance plan offered to all Washington and Lee students. An online waiver must be completed annually for those who choose not to participate in the University-sponsored student health insurance plan. A Health Insurance Information Form must be completed by each entering student and returned to the University, along with a copy of all health insurance cards. Enrollment information for the student health insurance plan will be sent to all students during the summer. International students are required to purchase coverage through the University-sponsored student health insurance plan. The Administrative Assistant in the Student Health Center will assist students in filing claims for coverage under this plan. Students are responsible for updating their Student Health Center record with any changes in insurance coverage.
Students who wish to bring a grievance or concern pertaining to University policies, procedures, or operations are encouraged to address their concern to the appropriate department head or official who oversees that area of University operations. Undergraduate students with disabilities who need assistance in addressing a grievance or concern should contact the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources. Law students with disabilities who need assistance in addressing a grievance or concern should contact the Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs.
If a student has any doubt as to whom to direct a concern, the following officials may be contacted:
Dave Leonard, Dean of Student Life
Tamara Futrell, Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and Student Engagement
Housing concerns (including assignments, roommate issues, and residence hall maintenance concerns)
Chris Reid, Director of Residence Life
Financial Aid Concerns
James Kaster, Director of Financial Aid
Financial Charges/Payments Concerns
Deborah Caylor, Controller
Lauren Kozak, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources
Disability Accommodations Concerns
Lauren Kozak, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources (undergraduate students)
Trenya Mason, Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs (law students)
Student Employee Concerns
Kim Austin, Associate Director of Human Resources
All other non-academic concerns (including student conduct, public safety, and other campus life issues)
Sidney Evans, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Undergraduate Students - - Chair of the Academic Department (for the particular course)
Grading, Academic Course Policy, and Fair Treatment by Faculty
Concerns about grading, academic course policy, and fair treatment by faculty should be addressed to the department head of the department in question, and/or to the academic dean who supervises that division:
College: Lena Hill, Dean of the College
Williams School: Rob Straughan, Dean of the Williams School
Law School: Brant Hellwig, Dean of the Law School
Academic concerns can also be conveyed to the Interim Provost of the University, Elizabeth Oliver.
Concerns relating to distance education covered by the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) should be addressed to the Interim Provost of the University, Elizabeth Oliver. If all available internal grievance procedures have been exhausted, complaints regarding distance education covered by SARA may be filed with the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV).
Any concerns or inquiries regarding general academic policies should be addressed to the appropriate academic dean and/or to the University Registrar, Jamie Kipfer.
By voluntarily choosing to return to Washington and Lee under the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020-2021 academic year, students commit to following the University's protocols, procedures, and requirements described herein. Students should understand that failing to comply with these safety expectations, precautions, and limitations puts all students, faculty, and staff at risk and may be subject to disciplinary action.
When addressing violations of the University's Statement of Community Expectations, the Statement of Student Life Principles and Expectations, and the University's policies and guidelines, the primary approach will be educational. In situations where a student may have accidentally, unintentionally, or carelessly violated a COVID-19 policy, which could put other members of the W&L community in greater risk, the student will be reminded of the Statement of Student Life Principles and Expectations, and the University's policies and guidelines, and encouraged to reflect on how their behavior may be impacting W&L's commitment to members of the community both on and off campus.
Students should understand that the University will not tolerate deliberate, reckless, or repeated disregard of the University's policies and guidelines. The health and well-being of the entire W&L community is all of our responsibility. Students who engage in conduct in deliberate, reckless, or repeated disregard of these standards may be sanctioned by the University. Such sanctions include fines, conduct probation, and removal from on-campus classes and on-campus housing (If this were to occur, these students would be required to complete their 2020-2021 academic coursework remotely). If it is not feasible to complete academic coursework remotely, the student may submit a Leave of Absence request or be subject to withdrawal for the remainder of the term or academic year.
The Office of Student Affairs will review all allegations of violations by students of the University's Statement of Community Expectations, the Statement of Student Life Principles and Expectations, and the University's policies and guidelines to determine if a violation has occurred and will address in a manner similar to that used for alcohol or marijuana violations. The Vice-President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will provide the faculty with a report on these disciplinary actions as part of the minutes of the Student Affairs Committee.
Washington and Lee is, above all else, an educational institution. The purpose of all our institutional activities, including conduct hearings, is to protect and promote our educational objectives. The training of conduct board members, the hearing procedures that are tailored to address specific types of misconduct and the overall structure of each conduct body are designed to create a system that upholds the University's standards--honor, integrity and civility--while providing fair process and judgment for students and student organizations.
- As provided in the University bylaws, the faculty has authority over student conduct matters with the exception of the Honor System. To achieve a greater resonance between faculty views on various issues and the views of those immediately engaged in imposing penalties, elected faculty and student leaders meet weekly through the Student Affairs Committee (SAC). On a monthly basis, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students reports on the work of the SAC at the meeting of undergraduate faculty. Included in that report is a record of all conduct action taken by student conduct boards and the ongoing work of the Student Affairs Committee; such a report is for the information of the faculty and not for formal action. Faculty members on SAC may request more information on such cases, and may, collectively or individually, express their opinions about the handling of such cases to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, to faculty representatives on the Student Affairs Committee and/or to the individual members of the conduct boards.
- The authority of the University to sanction students is independent of any criminal or other external legal action. University discipline is neither demanded by external legal efforts, nor is it precluded by the absence or failure of the state to act.
- At the final faculty meeting before the respective graduation, there shall be only two conditions required for faculty recommendation for a degree: (1) that the candidate has met the academic requirements for a degree, attested to by the University Registrar for undergraduates or by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for law students; and (2) that there are no Washington and Lee conduct proceedings or criminal charges pending against a candidate, attested to by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students for undergraduates and the appropriate student affairs dean for law students. If student misconduct occurs between the faculty meeting and graduation, the matter will be handled administratively through the Office of the Provost.
- The Student Judicial Council, a wholly student group, shall have primary, first-instance responsibility for deciding most misconduct cases and imposing penalties with the exception of cases involving the Honor System (adjudicated by the Student Executive Committee), or student acts of prohibited discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and sexual misconduct, which will be heard by the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board (HSMB). The Interfraternity Council and National Panhellenic Council are responsible for deciding cases of hazing and retaliation by fraternities and sororities under their jurisdiction. The President has independent conduct authority consistent with University policies. A student may appeal a finding and the sanction imposed by the Student Judicial Council, the Interfraternity Council or the National Panhellenic Council to the University Board of Appeals consistent with University policy. Violations of the Honor System are adjudicated by the Executive Committee of the Student Body. A student found in violation of the Honor System is subject to a single sanction--dismissal from the University. A student may appeal the finding by the Executive Committee to an open Student Body Hearing.
Washington and Lee University has developed five conduct bodies designed to address specific areas of student misconduct:
- The Executive Committee of the Student Body (EC) manages the Honor System and hears cases of breaches of trust such as lying, cheating, and stealing.
- The Student Judicial Council (SJC) hears allegations related to alcohol, drugs, hazing by individuals or by organizations not under the jurisdiction of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) or the Panhellenic Council (NPC) and other types of student misconduct.
- The Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board (HSMB) hears allegations of prohibited discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and sexual misconduct.
- The Interfraternity Council (IFC) hears allegations of hazing, retaliation associated with hazing, and other violations of University policy by fraternities under its jurisdiction.
- The National Panhellenic Council (NPC) hears allegations of hazing, retaliation associated with hazing, and other violations of University policy by sororities under its jurisdiction.
The SJC investigates and acts upon complaints of alleged student misconduct, except for dishonorable acts that involve the general categories of lying, cheating, stealing, or other breaches of trust (which are under the jurisdiction of the Executive Committee); or acts that involve discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual misconduct (which are under the jurisdiction of the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board); or hazing, retaliation associated with hazing, or other violations of University policy by a fraternity or sorority (which are under the jurisdiction of Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council). The Student Judicial Council's jurisdiction extends to all conduct committed while a member of the Washington and Lee community, including but not limited to study abroad programs, pre-orientation, pre-season athletic practices, campus summer programs and camps, and summer research programs. Students who return to Lexington, Buena Vista, or Rockbridge County for the purpose of enrolling in classes, even if they do not reside in University housing, are under the jurisdiction of the SJC as well as the other University conduct systems. The SJC is designed to affirm the student's obligation to individual responsibility and to see that obligation fulfilled.
The SJC believes that honorable behavior is a University Community Standard ("Standard") that must be upheld. Students are bound to this Standard just as they are bound to the Honor System. Any person who believes a student has deviated from this Standard may bring a complaint to the SJC. Violations of the Standard are not limited to findings or convictions of criminal conduct, except those expressly tied to criminal convictions. Violations of the Standard include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Any conduct disruptive to the life of the University, other universities and colleges or the surrounding community
- Violations of residence hall regulations or other University policies or regulations
- Vandalism or destruction of property
- Actions which endanger person or property
- Violations of the University Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs for Individuals
- Hazing by individuals or by organizations not under the jurisdiction of the IFC or NPC
- Conduct unbecoming of a Washington and Lee student
Note: Voluntary intoxication shall not excuse any misconduct. Intoxication means impairment by alcohol or other substances. Addiction shall not excuse possessing, possessing with intent to distribute, or distributing any drug.
Student Judicial Council Procedures
The SJC shall be comprised of ten elected justices--one from each undergraduate class (four), one from each law class (three), one elected at-large from the School of Law, and the SJC Chair and SJC Secretary, both elected by the student body. Alternate justices will be appointed by the SJC Chair at the beginning of the academic year in consultation with the Administrative Advisor,6 by first trying to draw from students who have served on judicial committees, and if no students are available from that pool, from students in the community who the chair believes can serve as an objective and fair justice. If the SJC cannot meet quorum for a case, which is seven members, the SJC Chair shall appoint student Alternates. Alternates may also be appointed by the chair in cases where the chair determines that a panel greater than seven (7) justices is desired.
Reports of Violation, Forms of Resolution
A person wishing to report an alleged violation of the Standard against a student may submit relevant information to any SJC Justice or the Administrative Advisor who will then submit the information to the Chair of the SJC and the Advisor. The Chair and Administrative Advisor will determine initially whether the alleged misconduct falls within the jurisdiction of the SJC. If so, they (or designee) will conduct a preliminary investigation, if deemed necessary by the Chair, to determine whether sufficient evidence exists that the respondent may have violated the Standard. If there is insufficient evidence to support the allegations, the matter will be closed with no further action. If there is sufficient evidence to believe the respondent violated the Standard, the respondent will be notified of a pending charge and investigation and how the complaint will be resolved -- whether administratively or through a SJC hearing. A respondent who proceeds to a SJC hearing will be notified of the right to have the assistance of a hearing advisor.
For those cases where the respondent admits to the misconduct and/or there is a record or information provided to the Administrative Advisor that confirms the misconduct, the respondent may accept responsibility and accept a sanction that falls within the parameters set forth in these procedures. Administrative resolution is typically utilized for first time violations that are less egregious in nature. If a student rejects proceeding with an administrative resolution, the case will be referred to the SJC for a hearing.
In cases that proceed to a SJC hearing, the SJC Chair and Administrative Advisor will gather relevant information and documentation for distribution to the SJC members hearing the case. The respondent will receive copies of documents that are provided to the SJC. The SJC Secretary shall notify the respondent of the charge(s) and hearing date in writing, which will be held no earlier than 72 hours from the notice, and refer respondent to the SJC policy and procedures that are set forth in the Student Handbook. The SJC Secretary shall also notify the respondent and complainant, if applicable, of the confidential nature of the proceeding and the obligation to observe confidentiality as set forth further below. If the respondent, after receiving proper notification of the hearing, fails to attend, the hearing may be conducted in the student's absence.
The SJC will conduct hearings according to the following guidelines:
- The SJC Chair shall, as presiding officer, regulate and determine the order of the proceedings, the relevancy of witnesses and evidence, and the nature of questioning. The Chair shall exercise reasonable discretion in dealing with all matters not formally covered in these procedures and all procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chair.
- The respondent and complainant, if applicable, may choose to be advised by a Hearing Advisor. The responsibilities of the Hearing Advisors are to advise the respondent and complainant on SJC procedures, to assist the respondent and complainant in developing an opening and closing statement, and to advise the respondent and complainant on the specifics of a written appeal, if necessary. Advisors are also available to provide information about resources that the parties may wish to contact to obtain support until resolution.
- When the respondent is one of two or more allegedly involved in a joint misconduct, the hearing may be held jointly or separately, as determined by the SJC. In the case of a joint hearing, the verdicts will be presented separately.
- The SJC and parties have the right to request witnesses bearing relevant information to testify. Witnesses may not be present in the hearing other than to provide testimony and shall not discuss the case with other witnesses. It is the SJC's expectation that any students with relevant information cooperate with the SJC, including appearing to testify, if requested.
- Requests by parties to interview witnesses before a hearing should be directed to the Administrative Advisor who will arrange for the appropriate persons to meet.
- The parties shall provide the Administrative Advisor a list of witnesses whom they intend to call to provide testimony prior to the hearing. The respondent and complainant, if there is one, may be present at the hearing while witnesses testify and to question them. The Advisors have the same rights as the respondent and complainant, if applicable, to be present at the hearing and to question witnesses. The respondent, Hearing Advisors and complainant may remain present throughout the hearing except during SJC deliberations.
- The SJC hearing will begin with the Chair reading the charges to the respondent after which the respondent may make an opening statement, as may the complainant, if applicable. The SJC Justices may then question the respondent and complainant.
- Witnesses will be called to testify in the order determined by the SJC Chair and may be questioned by the parties, the Hearing Advisors, and members of the SJC.
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the panel. Formal rules of evidence do not apply.
- If during the hearing, a majority of the SJC determines that they need more information or want to call a material witness(es) as a result of the testimony received, they may suspend the hearing for no more than 48 hours in an attempt to gather that information or call said witness(es). The SJC shall then re-convene the hearing within 48 hours from the recess. Any such information or witnesses will be disclosed to the respondent prior to the convened hearing.
- After the respondent and complainant, if applicable, has had an opportunity to present his/her case, including a closing statement, and after all testimony has been heard, the SJC shall adjourn into executive session and begin deliberations. Deliberations are closed to the respondent, the Hearing Advisors, and the complainant.
- After deliberations, the panel will determine by two-thirds vote of the SJC justices present whether it is more likely than not (greater weight of the evidence) that the respondent has violated the Standard. If a student is found responsible, the SJC shall impose appropriate sanctions by a vote of at least two-thirds of the SJC justices present. The SJC Chair shall inform the respondent, the complainant, and the Hearing Advisors of the SJC decision.
- The SJC Secretary shall prepare a written hearing report that summarizes the results of the hearing, including the finding and sanction and the basis for both, if applicable.
Any student, who retaliates against, harasses or attempts to influence a person with respect to that person's participation in an investigation or hearing will be subject to conduct charges by the SJC. Retaliation includes intentional acts (by respondent, complainant, allied third party) that harm an individual as reprisal for bringing forth a complaint or being involved in the SJC process.
SJC hearings are confidential. The facts about individual cases and their dispositions are to remain confidential to the extent possible, except for notification of the results to the community. In order to protect privacy and the effectiveness of the process, no one involved in a complaint process should discuss any information regarding the case except with those with a need to know, with the respondent, with the complainant, with their families, or with those to whom they need to disclose information necessary to obtain support until resolution, including a Class Dean.
The sanctions the SJC may impose include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A monetary fine.
- The payment of restitution for property damage.
- Specific task(s) related to the nature of the misconduct.
- Community service on or off campus.
- Removal from University housing.
- Conduct Probation--A formal warning that additional misconduct may result in more severe penalties.
- Suspension--Period determined by SJC. Suspension length can be for the remainder of a term, a full term, or multiple terms. Suspension results in separation from the University roles and if a respondent desires to return, the respondent must apply for and be readmitted or reinstated consistent with University procedures.
- Dismissal from the University and ineligibility to apply for readmission.
The SJC may not impose a sanction that requires action by a third-party or entity. In addition to the sanction, education and counseling may be recommended.
|Violation||Suggested Sanction for Finding of Responsibility|
Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or Illegal
|Suspension or Dismissal|
|Activity that Endangers a Person||Suspension|
|Sale of Illegal Drugs/Controlled Substances||Suspension|
|Felonious Possession/Use of Illegal Drugs/Controlled Substances
(Cocaine, Ecstasy, LSD, GHB)
|Non-Felonious Possession/Use of Illegal Drugs/Controlled Substances
|Conduct Probation; Possible suspension if multiple offenses|
|Tampering with or activating a fire alarm||Immediate $250 Fine, Suspension, and Conduct Probation|
|Vandalism||Restitution for Damage and Conduct Probation|
|Violation of SJC Sanctions||Suspension|
Note: Failure to complete or fulfill any SJC sanction in the allotted time frame or otherwise may result in the finding and sanction becoming part of the respondent's disciplinary record.
University Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs for Individuals
The Student Judicial Council (SJC) enforces an incident system with specific consequences for violations of University alcohol/drug policies by individuals. Students who intentionally aid any violation of the University's Policies on Alcohol and Other Drugs may be held responsible by the SJC as an accessory to the violation occurring.
The SJC is advised by a professional staff member through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and all action is reported to the University faculty through the Student Affairs Committee.
First incidents that result in a conviction of an alcohol- or drug-related violation of the law in the City of Lexington, City of Buena Vista, or Rockbridge County shall be handled administratively. Arrests or convictions related to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs (including arrests or convictions for Driving After Illegally Consuming Alcohol under the age of 21) are an exception as outlined below. Conviction of possession/use of illegal drugs within any campus residence may result in removal from the residence without refund in addition to other sanctions.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Other Drugs
Independent of the incident system, the SJC may suspend or dismiss a student found to have driven a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs (including driving after illegally consuming alcohol by a person under age 21) in the City of Lexington, City of Buena or Rockbridge County. Students who are convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or driving after illegally consuming alcohol (for individuals under the age of 21) will appear before the Student Judicial Council. There is a presumption of suspension as the sanction for one or more academic terms for a student of legal drinking age (21 in Virginia) convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of a "DUI" with a blood alcohol content (B.A.C.) of .15 or greater. There is a presumption of suspension as the sanction by the Student Judicial Council for students under age 21 who are convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of a "DUI" with a B.A.C. of .08 or greater. For purposes of clarification, the presumption of suspension does not apply to students under age 21 who are convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of driving after illegally consuming alcohol pursuant to Virginia Code Section 18.2-266.1, but this shall not prohibit the SJC from imposing a sanction of suspension or dismissal if it deems such sanction appropriate under the circumstances. There is a presumption of suspension as the sanction by the Student Judicial Council for students who are found guilty of a violation of Virginia Code Section 18.2-268.3 ("Refusal") when arrested for a DUI offense. A student who is suspended will be eligible to apply for reinstatement for the academic term following the final term of the suspension. In the case of any DUI, the Student Judicial Council has the discretion to impose the sanction of dismissal, which would make the student ineligible to apply for reinstatement. Factors warranting dismissal could include, but are not limited to, putting other students or individuals at risk of bodily harm, such as driving under the influence with passengers or involvement in an accident.
A court's imposition of First-Offender's Status, or deferred adjudication, including any continuance of the case under advisement for an alcohol or drug-related offense where the student admits to the misconduct, enters a plea of nolo contendere or "did not contest," and where an affirmative sanction is imposed by the court (i.e., a fine and community service), will result in a violation under these guidelines and shall be handled administratively (other than DUI, which are handled by SJC as described above).
The following violations of the University alcohol and other drug policies and standards may or may not be determined by the University's administration or the Student Judicial Council to constitute an "incident":
- A violation of University residential alcohol or drug policies (handled administratively).
- Misconduct that violates other University alcohol or drug policies.
- Drunkenness, when it results in behavior that draws attention to oneself or endangers self or others.
- Alcohol or drug violations within first-year residence halls, including possession of alcohol or other drugs (handled administratively and not heard by the Student Judicial Council).
Guidelines for Sanctions for Violation of University Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs for Individuals (other than DUI)
- First Incident: Sanctions may include mandatory education, counseling and probation, and a monetary fine. Parents or legal guardian(s) of undergraduate students notified upon finding of a violation.
- Second Incident (if the second incident occurs within one year of the first incident): These cases are automatically heard by the Student Judicial Council. Sanctions may include mandatory education, counseling, and a monetary fine, up to and including suspension for a full term or full semester. Parents or legal guardian(s) of undergraduate students notified upon finding of a violation.
- Third Incident (if the third incident occurs within one year of the second incident): These cases are automatically heard by the Student Judicial Council. Sanctions may include dismissal from the University and a monetary fine. Mandatory education and counseling for those students not dismissed. Parents or legal guardian(s) of undergraduate students notified upon finding of a violation.
Students who are suspended for any alcohol/drug-related reason, whether administratively or by the Student Judicial Council, are required to participate in alcohol/other drug education prior to their application for readmission and consideration for reinstatement to the University.
Lying about one's involvement in any alleged violation of student conduct policies may result in referral to the Executive Committee of the Student Body.
Student Judicial Council decisions that would create a disciplinary record may be appealed to the University Board of Appeals consistent with University policy. See section on Records of Student Conduct Referrals.
As soon as possible in the event of a finding of responsibility, the SJC Secretary will issue a notice to the University community outlining the results of the case. The notice may include basic facts about a case and the basis for the SJC's finding.
If criminal charges have been filed against a student, the Chair of the SJC will consult with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students to determine if SJC action should be postponed until resolution of the criminal case.
Changes to the SJC section of the Student Handbook
Changes must be approved by a majority of the SJC and by the University faculty.
Washington and Lee University does not tolerate prohibited discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or retaliation of any kind. The University, by providing resources for prevention, intervention, education and a fair conduct process, seeks to eliminate all forms of prohibited discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or retaliation.
The Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board (HSMB) has jurisdiction over the following matters:
- Allegations of student conduct in violation of the University's Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Other Than Sex ("Policy") at go.wlu.edu/OGC/DiscriminationPolicy. The Policy prohibits discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran's status, and genetic information in its educational programs;
- Allegations of student conduct and Title IX complaints in violation of the Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy at go.wlu.edu/OGC/SexualMisconductPolicy.
Applicable University Policies
When reviewing complaints of discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, and genetic information, the HSMB will refer to the University's Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Other Than Sex (go.wlu.edu/OGC/DiscriminationPolicy). When reviewing complaints involving sexual misconduct, which includes Title IX sexual harassment and non-Title IX sexual misconduct, it will refer to the Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy (go.wlu.edu/OGC/SexualMisconductPolicy). Students should refer to those policies for detailed information about what conduct is prohibited, confidential and reporting resources, and resolution procedures for hearings and appeals.
Option for Appeals
Requests for appeals to decisions by the Student Judicial Council, Interfraternity Council Conduct Board, and Panhellenic Council Conduct Board may be made by the complainant, the respondent, or designated University Official to the University Board of Appeals (UBA) if the action taken by the body would create a disciplinary record or if, in the case of the University official, the action taken by the judicial body could have created a disciplinary record. “University official” is the Director of Public Safety or other Student Affairs Administrator designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (hereinafter “Dean of Students”). Requests for appeals must be made in writing to the Chair of the UBA within 72 hours of receipt of the written decision by the applicable judicial body, setting forth all relevant facts supporting the grounds for appeals. Appeals, if granted, do not constitute a re-hearing of the case and the UBA will defer to decisions of the underlying conduct body unless one or more of the reasons for granting the appeal are satisfied.
The pool of four Faculty members are elected by the faculty and six students are appointed to the UBA. The Chair of the UBA is the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (VPSA/DoS) or his or her designee. In the event that the VPSA/DoS determines he or she may have a conflict of interest, the VPSA/DoS shall appoint an alternate Chair.
A pool of four Faculty members (two Undergraduate Faculty and two Law Faculty) is elected by the respective Faculty for staggered two-year terms. A pool of student representatives of the UBA (six total: three undergraduate and three law) is appointed by the Executive Committee of the Student Body for a one-year term. The Executive Committee of the Student Body appoints one junior and two seniors for the undergraduate representatives, and one second-year and two third-year students for the Law School representatives.
The Chair of the UBA will randomly select one Faculty member and one student from this pool to constitute a panel, who, with the Chair, will review a specific case.
When possible appeals arising from law students or organizations should typically be heard by a panel consisting of a Law Faculty member and a law student; appeals arising from undergraduate students or organizations should typically be heard by a panel consisting of an undergraduate Faculty member and an undergraduate student.
The UBA may grant or reject a request for appeal based on one or more of the following grounds if it reasonably determines the ground(s) would more likely than not impact the underlying decision: (1) no reasonable basis/reasonable basis for sanction; (2) new relevant information/no new relevant information; (3) procedural defect or error/no procedural defect or error; or (4) extraordinary circumstances/no extraordinary circumstances. If the UBA decides to grant an appeal, it may decide the case based solely upon the record of the conduct body, the written appeal and other documents it deems relevant, or the UBA may determine to hold a hearing and seek additional information from: i) any person who provided first-hand information to the student conduct body; ii) any person who may have new, relevant information; and/or iii) the Chair of the conduct body, before reaching its final decision.
The UBA has the option to remand the case to the original conduct body in cases in which there is new information presented or where there has been a procedural defect or error. The UBA may modify the sanction of the original conduct body only if the original conduct body lacked a reasonable basis in imposing the sanction. In such cases, the UBA may impose a different sanction, reduce the sanction, or vacate the sanction. If the UBA finds no ground to modify the sanction, the UBA will uphold the sanction.
Options of Participants if the UBA decides to grant the appeal and conduct a hearing on the case
- Options of the Original Respondent or Complainant (if applicable)
- The option to make an opening statement.
- The option to remain present for the entire hearing.
- The option to testify.
- The option to make a closing statement.
- The option to be accompanied by a hearing advisor.
- Options of Original Conduct Body Chair(s) (or Chair(s)’ designate)
- The option to make an opening statement.
- The option to remain present for the entire hearing.
- The option to make a closing statement.
- Options of University Official or designate (if a party to the UBA proceeding)
- The option to make an opening statement.
- The option to remain present for the entire hearing.
- The option to make a closing statement.
Role of Chair
The Chair will determine the proper composition of the panel for any appeal, and oversee the process. The Chair has discretion to accommodate any conflicts that may arise with students or Faculty in constituting the panel. The Chair will also serve to provide information regarding precedence of similar appeals. If the two members of the panel are unable to agree on a decision, the Chair will vote to break the tie.
Publication of Findings
The UBA will make public a summary of its findings to the University Community that maintains the anonymity of all parties involved.
Hearing Advisor Program
Student Advisors in the Hearing Advisor Program play an integral role in the proceedings of the Executive Committee, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board, and Student Judicial Council. The goal of a Hearing Advisor is to help ascertain the truth. Advisors counsel students by explaining the options available and by assisting in the preparation and presentation of cases. Advisors also provide information about support resources and provide support themselves. Advisors deal with serious matters and must understand and abide by the University's confidentiality policy. Even though Advisors serve as advisors and counselors, they are not attorneys; thus, the attorney-client privilege is not applicable.
Recusal and Conflict of Interest Guidelines Pertaining to University Conduct
- Any person on a hearing board, investigating a complaint, or integrally involved in a complaint against a member of the W&L community or a student organization who was also involved in the alleged conduct or who is a member of an organization that is the subject of an investigation or action against it, is disqualified from participating as a conduct member. Disqualification in the case of any conduct body member means that a person shall not participate in any way in the case, including not being present at the conduct board meetings where the case is being addressed.
- Individuals should recuse themselves from any case in which they believe they cannot be completely impartial in their consideration of an accusation against any member of the W&L community or student organization.
- Alleged conflicts of interest, if challenged, shall be decided by the Provost.
Violation of Conduct Sanctions
An alleged violation of the terms of a conduct sanction (conduct probation, fines, community service hours, etc.) will be referred to the conduct body that imposed the sanction. The conduct body will hear the case and determine if the sanction was violated and, if so, what sanction should be imposed.
Records of Student Conduct Referrals
Washington and Lee University defines “disciplinary records” for undergraduate students as all records related to a student conduct matter resulting in a sanction of dismissal, suspension, or more than one calendar year (52 weeks) of conduct probation. Disciplinary records will be retained permanently as part of a student’s education record.
Records related to an undergraduate student conduct matter resulting in any lesser sanction, up to and including conduct probation for 52 weeks, are not considered “disciplinary records” for purposes of record retention and disclosure, but are considered “educational-conduct records.” Following the expiration of one calendar year from final resolution of such a conduct matter without further conduct referrals, the “educational-conduct records” will be removed from a student’s individual education record but may be maintained separately thereafter by the University for up to seven (7) years from the date of final resolution, in accordance with federally required recordkeeping to support statistical reporting of certain criminal offenses. Following removal from the student’s individual education record, such “educational-conduct records” could be subject to external disclosure under certain circumstances, including but not limited to court order or Department of Education investigation or audit.
Records of all law student conduct matters, regardless of the sanction imposed, will be considered disciplinary records and retained permanently as part of a student’s individual education record.
Residential Life not only provides a "home away from home," but offers a challenging and engaging environment that promotes learning, personal development and academic success. It is in this environment of close association that each individual must learn to balance autonomy and individual decision-making within the context of a community and the rights of others. In keeping with the traditions of student life at the University, living in the residence halls and houses is based on the principle of student self-governance. Except for regulations related to health, safety, alcohol and drugs, and other University policies, the day-to-day aspects of residential life are established by the residents and staff members of the community. The system under which the students establish policies and practices that govern their residential life stresses the importance of student initiative and a sense of shared responsibility and respect. Students learn that they are accountable not only to themselves but also to their fellow students and to the University community as a whole. The concepts of self-government and individual responsibility, however, do not insulate student conduct from the legal sanctions of the larger community beyond the campus.
Violations of residential life policies shall initially be handled by the Resident Advisors in the first-year halls and Community Assistants in upper-division buildings, with referral to the appropriate conduct board as necessary. Our well-trained and diverse team members serve as role models and act as a resource within the residence halls and University community, promoting the celebration of differences, supporting students' academic success and overall achievement.
The following residential life regulations have been enacted in the best interest of students residing on campus. Resident Advisors, Community Assistants, and Public Safety officers are primarily responsible for enforcing these regulations.
- The members of each residential section will reach a consensus on the standards of social responsibility by which they will abide during the academic year. The statement of social responsibility includes standards of responsible conduct which reflect a sense of appropriateness and decorum, and a concern for the rights and sensibilities of others, be they residents, guests or visitors. Statements of social responsibility MUST include a provision for quiet hours daily from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.
- The University provides a card-access exterior security system in the first-year residence halls, Woods Creek Apartments, Village apartments and townhouses, and many of the Greek and theme houses, in addition to key entry doors for individual rooms. Students should never prop open exterior doors or manipulate locking mechanisms in any way ($100 fine). Students are expected to lock the doors to their rooms and assume individual responsibility for their personal property and general safety and security.
- Students must respect the rights of their roommates, housemates and neighbors.
- The following regulations pertaining to University property and to the health and safety of residents are outside the scope of statements of social responsibility and remain effective throughout the academic year for all residence halls, including Woods Creek, the Village, Greek houses and theme houses:
- All Washington and Lee housing facilities are smoke-free. This includes, but is not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes such as Juul, vapors, oils, hookahs or any other smoking devices. Smoking is not permitted in any areas of the residence halls or houses, including student rooms, hallways, balconies, porches, stairwells and breezeways. Smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of any building containing residential units.
- Health, Fire and life safety systems
- These systems are designed to protect people and property. These items are of critical importance and are maintained and monitored by the University. Tampering with or disabling such equipment puts lives at risk.
- Any student who deliberately activates the fire alarm system, for reasons other than that of fire prevention, will receive an automatic fine of $500 and will be referred to the Student Judicial Council (SJC). Defacing, destroying or inappropriate use of life safety equipment is considered a violation of University policy and depending upon the violation, could be considered a felony offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Examples include tampering with pull alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler heads, exit signs and emergency lights.
- Types of Violations and Associated Fines:
- Smoke Detectors - disabling or removal, putting the device in a bag, or placing tape or other material over the smoke sensor is prohibited. Fine - $250
- Sprinklers - covering the device with anything or hanging items form sprinkler heads and sprinkler piping is prohibited. Fine - $250
- Fire Extinguishers - Discharging a fire extinguisher as a prank or removing a fire extinguisher from its location. Fine - $250
- Failure to vacate a building during a fire alarm - $250
- Vandalism to fire extinguisher cabinet. Fine - $100
- Exit Signs - Vandalism, taking or possessing a University exit sign. Fine - $500
- Fire Rated Doors - Disabling door from closing or latching properly. Fine - $250
- Smoking in residence halls, theme or Greek Houses, including the Village Fine - $250
- Smoking on porches or balconies of residence halls, theme or Greek Houses, including the Village. Fine - $250
- Candles (used or unused) or Other Open Flames are prohibited.
- First Offense - warning and items confiscated
- Subsequent Offenses - fine of $250, items confiscated, and/or conduct referral as appropriate
- Use of Extension Cords
- First Offense - warning and items confiscated
- Subsequent Offenses - fine of $100, items confiscated, and/or conduct referral as appropriate
- Use of Decorations or other materials that are not fire retardant. Examples include: sawdust, bales of hay or straw, loose hay or straw, bamboo, Styrofoam peanuts, plastic materials and cloth material. Fine - $250. Questionable items should be brought to the attention of the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.
- Roofs - Being on the roof of any residential building, including residence halls, Village buildings, theme and Greek houses is strictly prohibited. Fine - $250
- Ledges/Windows - Sitting on ledges or dangling out of windows are strictly prohibited. Fine - $250
- Means of egress - At NO time shall a means of egress (hallway or stairwell) be blocked/narrowed with furniture, trash, or any personal items. Fine - $100
- Wall coverings of flammable or combustible material cannot exceed 50% of wall space. Fine - $100
- Trash in hallway, breezeway or in stairwell MUST be removed in a timely manner to not become excessive and block egress. Fine - $100
- Storage of Flammable Liquids (gasoline, lighter fluid), propane cylinders or charcoal inside of an apartment or on a wooden porch or balcony is strictly prohibited. Fine - $250
- Flammable or combustible materials used as decorations on fire-rated bedroom doors cannot exceed 25% of door facing. Fine - $100
- All incidents of this nature will be thoroughly investigated. The University has a zero-tolerance policy pertaining to tampering with fire and life safety equipment. Repeat offenders will be fined double for a second violation.
- Any damage to facilities (caused by nailing or sticking up posters, breaking windows, damaging furniture, etc.) is charged to the person who damages the property. Charges for damage done to common areas will be apportioned equally among residents of the particular hall, apartment, or house involved.
- University furniture may not be removed from University housing at any time, including placement on patios or balconies.
- Bunk beds should never be placed next to windows.
- Window screens may not be removed from windows. All window air conditioners require medical approval from the Student Health Center and must be installed by University Facilities personnel. Throwing any object, solid or liquid, out of a residence hall window or off any balcony or landing is strictly prohibited. Food, plants, or other items are not permitted on outside windowsills, landings, or ledges.
- Clothing, posters, banners, flags, or any other form of messages, may not be displayed from windows or placed on columns, bannisters, balconies, or railings on the exterior of a building.
- Students are prohibited from climbing onto outside ledges, accessing roofs, and leaning out balconies and windows.
- Objects are not to be hung from any pipes, pipe chases, and sprinkler heads.
- Students must be present when holiday lights are on. Only non-flammable or fire retardant decorations may be used. Curtains, clothing, paper, and other flammables must be kept away from all wires. Banners and sheets must not be placed over any lights or hung from ceilings. Decorations may not be hung from ceilings.
- Live Christmas trees must be installed and cared for in accordance with University guidelines. Contact Residential Life staff for a copy of the Guidelines.
- No luggage, storage containers, or similar personal items (including athletic gear) are allowed in hallways, attics, balconies, patios, breezeways or commons areas. Limited storage for these items may be available in the indoor bicycle storage room in Gaines, the basement of Woods Creek and certain theme houses.
- In-room refrigerators and microwaves must fit W&L's size and energy-use specifications - see letter N. There is a limit of one microwave per Woods Creek apartment kitchen. Electrical appliances such as radios, stereos, televisions, computers, hair dryers, etc. may be used within the electrical usage guidelines stated in these regulations.
- Use of electric outlets is subject to reasonable standards of safety. Consequently, items such as electric heaters, ceiling fans, refrigerators of more than 2.5 cubic feet capacity, air conditioners, and cooking appliances are strictly prohibited. Maximum wattage for double outlets is 1500 watts.
- Only UL approved multi-plug adaptors (power strips) with circuit breakers that are UL 1363 are allowed. Up to three items may be plugged into a multi-plug adaptor. Maximum wattage for a multi-plug adaptor is 1500 watts. Do not confuse a surge protector with a circuit breaker.
- The following are also strictly prohibited:
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in all of the first-year halls. In the upper-division residences, students who are 21 years of age or older may use and possess alcoholic beverages in accordance with the Commonwealth of Virginia laws within their assigned room.
- Any illegal drug paraphernalia, including but not limited to smoking devices and water pipes.
- Any type of weapon, including but not limited to firearms, components of firearms, explosives, live ammunition, blowguns, BB guns, air guns, stun weapons, machetes and knives (except pocket knives having a folding metal blade of less than three inches).
- Possession or use of fireworks or explosives of any kind in or near the residence halls.
- Water bombs, water fights, or water beds.
- Pets, except fish (5-gallon tank maximum) and emotional assistance animals approved by the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources in advance pursuant to University policy and protocol as a reasonable accommodation for a qualifying disability. Service animals will be allowed in accordance with the University's Policy on Use of Service Animals on Campus.
- The use of hard balls (lacrosse balls, baseballs, etc.) in the residence halls and in the Washington Street Park, Graham-Lees, and Gaines quads.
- Hall sports and horseplay in University housing.
- Loft beds (except those assembled and approved by W&L Facilities staff).
- Incense, candles, halogen lights or lamps, or any open flame or other incendiary agent.
- Use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in or near the residence halls or on University property.
- Use or storage of any flammable liquids and solvents (gasoline, kerosene, propane, etc.) in or near student rooms or living areas.
- Use or storage of self-balancing two-wheel motorized boards, self-propelled electric scooters, and similar devices, also known as Hover boards, Swagways, IO Hawks, Skywalkers, etc.
- Extension cords and multi-prong adapters except power strips with a circuit breaker that are UL 1363.
- Use or storage of digital/3D printers in student rooms or elsewhere in campus housing living areas.
- Violation of the statements of social responsibility or any of the above regulations may result in temporary or permanent removal from housing and discipline consistent with applicable University policies. Vandalism and deliberate destruction of University property are included.
- If a student violates the University Policy on Illegal Drugs/Controlled Substances in University housing and is a resident of University housing, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee may remove the student from housing without refund. If the student resides in a University fraternity or sorority and violates the University Policy on Illegal Drugs/Controlled Substances in a fraternity or sorority house, the House Corporation, in accordance with the Standards for Fraternities/Sororities, may remove the student from the house without refund.
- The terms and conditions of each student's Housing Agreement with the University are incorporated by reference within these Residence Hall regulations.
The possession and consumption of alcohol in residence halls and their social spaces are privileges for those who are 21 years of age or older. The following policies and guidelines are intended to promote responsible drinking and behavior for the safety and well-being of all students in the community. Students age 21 or older who choose to consume alcoholic beverages are expected to do so in accordance with this policy and in moderation and to observe the individual rights of students to privacy, sleep, and study within their rooms. Loud or disruptive behavior, interference with the maintenance and cleanliness of the halls, houses, apartments and townhouses, or drinking habits and behaviors which are disruptive or injurious to the health or well-being of individuals will not be tolerated and individuals involved in such conduct are subject to sanctioning.
The laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia apply in all cases. Individuals who are under 21 years of age may not purchase, possess, or consume nicotine products, beer, wine, or distilled spirits.
Students who are 21 should not purchase for or provide alcohol or nicotine products to anyone under the age of 21. Alcohol should not be served to anyone who is believed to be intoxicated or who is being disruptive.
Alcohol may only be possessed by students who are 21 years of age or older. No alcohol or nicotine products may be kept in common spaces or shared refrigerators unless all residents are 21 years or older.
Normally, organized student events held in residence halls, Greek and theme house common area spaces and social rooms must be registered and approved by Public Safety and the Office of Residential Life. However, due to the pandemic and the need to strictly adhere to public health guidelines, ALL social events, including those with alcohol, will be prohibited until further notice.
Small groups of students that reside in the building where a common space is located may gather informally as long as the number of students in that space does not exceed the maximum occupancy number allotted for the room. Appropriate physical distancing and face coverings are required and alcohol and drinking games are strictly prohibited in these spaces.
Proper Use of Appliances
All Village housing units come equipped with washer/dryer, dishwasher, oven range, refrigerator and microwave. It is essential for you and your roommates to review and know how to properly use all of the appliances. Please don't simply start from scratch without knowing how to utilize the machines. Be mindful of any and all items left in or on the stove and in the microwave as well. Never leave such items unattended.
Fire safety is everyone's business. Please be alert, awake and cognizant when using appliances. If you have questions on how to use something in your unit, or concerns of a safety nature, please contact your Community Assistant or University Facilities.
Balconies, Porches and Breezeways
Balconies and porches are for your use and enjoyment. The maximum occupancy on balconies is eight (8) people. Please be sure to monitor the number of people on your respective balcony and use common sense for everyone's safety.
Because balconies, porches and breezeways of student apartments and townhouses are in public view they should be kept neat, uncluttered, and safe. University visitors and members of the Lexington community will be walking through the Village; therefore, these areas should be well-kept. The following items are the only items permitted on balconies and porches:
- All-weather porch and patio furniture with the occasional piece of non-all weather furniture
- Bicycles (note: bikes cannot be left on breezeways)
- Door mats
- All weather rugs
- Outdoor holiday lights at appropriate holiday periods
Prohibited items left on balconies and porches could result in fines and/or conduct referrals if not removed promptly by residents.
Smoking is prohibited in ALL housing units and on ALL balconies, porches and breezeways.
No hammocks are to be hung from balcony or porch railings.
All cooking grills are strictly prohibited on the interior and exterior of apartments and townhouses. This includes all balconies, porches and breezeways. Permanent charcoal grills are available for your use and enjoyment in designated areas of the Village.
Furniture designed for indoor use cannot be used outside on balconies or patios.
Storage of trash or recycling on balconies and porches is prohibited. Students will be provided notice to remove trash. If staff remove trash, there is a charge for removal of trash at $50 per bag.
Balconies, porches and breezeways cannot be used for storage or display of items because they may impede egress in an emergency or interfere with a firefighter, police officer or Public Safety staff member performing rescue operations.
Obstructing the view of the balcony from the outside by hanging items (flags, banners, towels, tapestries, etc.) over the railing, on the underside of the balcony, or by propping objects against it is strictly prohibited. Writing or painting on balconies or use of decorative substances such as fake snow, chalk, or window paint is prohibited.
Students who share responsibility for a balcony/porch are encouraged to communicate with one another about items placed on the balcony/porch area. All students who live in a housing unit adjacent to a balcony/porch will be held responsible for splitting fines, or if they choose, reimbursing one another for fines resulting from violations.
Accessing townhouse roofs is strictly prohibited and no objects may be placed on roofs.
Jumping from or throwing items off balconies, porches, breezeways and roofs is prohibited.
Trash and Recycling
Residents are responsible for removing trash and recycling from their housing units to the designated areas in the Village. Each unit has been provided a recycling blue bin and Mother Earth thanks you in advance for your efforts! Please be sure to keep balconies and porches tidy AND always clean-up the exterior of your dwelling in a timely manner if you have hosted a social gathering. Food and garbage left for prolonged period of time attracts unwanted animals. This is an important consideration to take care of on a regular and timely basis. Blue recycling bins are to remain in assigned units.
As stated in the Policy Statement Relating to Campus Life, the University desires a community of student self-governance that balances student privilege and responsibility. Students involved in organizations are expected to adhere to the same standards of conduct to which students are held on an individual basis.
Standards for National Fraternities/Sororities That Are Full Members and Under the Jurisdiction of IFC or PC
Washington and Lee University continues to affirm that "fraternities/sororities are a valuable and integral part of both the University and Lexington communities." The University also continues to recognize that fraternity/sorority chapters "have important privileges as well as responsibilities to those communities." In keeping with the letter and spirit of these statements as set forth in the documents adopted by the Board of Trustees on May 25, 1985 - the "Policy Statement Relating to Campus Life" and the "Statement Relating to Fraternities," which incorporates the "Policy Statement on Fraternities" adopted by the University Council on February 25, 1976 - the University has developed the following standards for fraternities and sororities under the jurisdiction of Panhellenic Council (PC) and Interfraternity Council (IFC). Historically Black Greek Letter Organizations under the jurisdiction of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and organizations that are not affiliated with national Greek organizations will be governed by the general policies and procedures for student organizations set forth in this Handbook and on the website, through the Division of Student Affairs.
These standards are established in order to give direction and support to those entities crucial to and responsible for the vitality of national fraternities and sororities that are full members of and under the jurisdiction of IFC/PC:
- The University
- National Fraternity/National Sorority
- Interfraternity Council (IFC)/Panhellenic Council (PC)
- Alumni Greek Council
- House Corporation
- Local Chapter
- Chapter Suspension
- Chapter House Physical Standards (currently maintained by the University)
- Maintenance and Review
The following standards define the privileges, responsibilities, and interrelationships of each of these fraternal entities; they also specify the physical standards to be met for the interior and exterior condition of its chapter house if the local chapter expects to remain an integral part of the University and Lexington communities. The historically black Greek organizations will have a governing body known as the National Pan-Hellenic Council and shall be governed by general University policy and procedures and not governed by this section. Other Greek and social organizations that are not affiliated with IFC and NPC national organizations shall also be governed by general University policy and procedures and are not governed by this section.
These standards provide guidance for construction, renovation, maintenance, and preservation of the chapter houses to support these Greek organizations at W&L. The University realizes that this goal can only be achieved when alumni and student fraternity/sorority members themselves adhere in practice as well as in rhetoric to their fraternal ideals, seek a higher standard of group living, and create a climate of fraternity/sorority life compatible with Washington and Lee's institutional philosophy and objectives.
These standards, then, are not to be construed as optional guidelines, but rather as reasonable requirements necessary for the local chapters to realize the University's expectations enumerated in the Board's "Statement Relating to Fraternities":
Chapters ... are expected to maintain adequately the physical appearance of fraternity/sorority property and to assure the structural integrity of chapter houses. Chapter members are expected to conform to standards of honorable conduct and to exhibit a concern for the rights and sensibilities of others.
I. The University
- Shall maintain these standards for all fraternity/sorority chapters governed under this section at Washington and Lee.
- Shall recognize each local chapter upon the recommendation of the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council and the Student Affairs Committee.
- Shall recognize each alumni house corporation upon the recommendation of the Alumni Greek Council provided the chapter is in good standing and recognized by the University.
- Shall require adherence to the fraternity/sorority standards.
- Shall provide:
- Financial support to individual fraternity/sorority chapters through:
- Programs to generate revenue for construction, renovation, repair and maintenance.
- Loan assistance at favorable rates.
- Maintenance support and advice.
- Periodic inspection services.
- Guidance for the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council.
- Support for the Alumni Greek Council.
- Recognition and support of a University and/or Alumni Adviser for each chapter.
- Recognition and support of a House Director for each chapter.
- Financial support to individual fraternity/sorority chapters through:
- University will provide a resource contact list to the House Corporation President, House Director, and chapter president.
II. National Fraternity/National Sorority
- Shall set forth standards for its local chapter.
- Shall recognize the local chapter.
- Shall require strict adherence to the National by-laws and regulations. When Washington and Lee's standards and/or policy expectations are in conflict with those of the National organization's, the University's will control.
- Shall provide:
- For the chapter's participation in the National governing structure.
- Guidance through:
- National and regional leadership training programs.
- Annual visits to the local chapter.
- Shall notify the University immediately if local chapter is not in good standing.
III. Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council
- Shall serve as the governing organizations of all recognized fraternities/sororities governed by this section.
- Shall hold regularly scheduled meetings.
- Shall maintain up-to-date constitutions and by-laws which:
- Set a high standard for chapter conduct.
- Require each chapter to set a similarly high standard of conduct for its individual members and guests.
- Shall elect conduct boards empowered to uphold the constitutions, by-laws, and other rules or agreements necessary for sound governance.
- Shall be responsible to the faculty through the Student Affairs Committee.
- Shall discipline individual chapters through authority derived from the faculty via the Student Affairs Committee.
- Shall provide a recommendation on whether to approve prospective new or returning chapters to the Student Affairs Committee, which shall determine whether or not to grant University recognition.
- Shall have the power to recommend that the University withdraw recognition of a chapter.
- Shall promote cooperation among the member chapters and the greater community.
IV. Alumni Greek Council
- Shall promote the continued well-being of the fraternities and sororities governed by this section at Washington and Lee University through participation by alumni in fraternity/sorority affairs.
- Shall meet not less than twice annually.
- Shall be constituted by the presidents of the house corporations or their appointed representatives. House Directors may not serve as representatives nor may they attend the meetings of the Alumni Greek Council.
- Shall conduct itself in accordance with its Charter, as amended time-to-time.
- Shall establish guidelines to assure that its house corporation members are in good standing. At a minimum, the Alumni Greek Council shall assure that its house corporation members:
- Are incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia;
- Are in good standing with the State Corporation Commission; and
- Have a minimum of three (3) active directors, two-thirds of whom must be affiliated with the national organization or alumni of Washington and Lee University.
- Each house corporation will be responsible for maintaining liability insurance.
- The Secretary of the Alumni Greek Council shall be responsible for collecting insurance and compliance information and certifying annually to the University, through the appropriate Student Affairs designee, compliance of its house corporation members with those requirements specifically enumerated in section IV. E 1 through 4 and section V. as necessary.
- Shall promote cooperation among its house corporation members.
- Shall provide services and information and act as a forum for the concerns of its house corporation members.
V. House Corporation
- Shall write, implement, and periodically update a master plan to insure the perpetuation of the chapter and house corporation.
- Shall incorporate in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a minimum of 3 active directors, of whom no more than one-third may be current student officers and preferably a majority should be alumni of Washington and Lee University.
- Shall be represented on and be a member in good standing of the Alumni Greek Council. Failure to send a representative to two consecutive meetings may result in loss of status.
- Shall meet at least semi-annually at the chapter house with chapter representatives.
- Shall hold title and/or lease to all real property and furnishings.
- Shall serve as lessee by requiring separate contracts with the chapter and individual resident members. Individual resident members may not sublease rooms to other students or non-students. It is recommended that the House Corporation model its room contracts on those used by the University. The contracts must require compliance with all University policies and procedures.
- Shall establish policies that protect the property and require a high standard of conduct among the members.
- Shall employ a House Director to represent the interests of the House Corporation and serve as liaison to the University and the Chapter. House Directors shall be required to comply with all University policies applicable to individuals working or living on campus, and shall be required to attend all training/orientation sessions on University policies deemed necessary by the University. House Directors must be physically able to climb stairs within the Chapter House in order to provide adequate supervision of Chapter activities. House Directors should have the ability to manage room assignments, resolve minor conflicts and identify issues that need to be brought to the attention of the University. House Directors may not be students (undergraduate or law). A chapter may seek a waiver of this requirement by submitting a written request to the appropriate Student Affairs designee. The Vice-President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students may grant a waiver under compelling circumstances, but in no event will a waiver be given to an individual chapter for more than two years in a 10-year period.
- Shall establish financial criteria, approve the chapter budget, designate the dispensation of funds collected by the University, and audit chapter operations.
- Shall set fees sufficient to:
- Meet all debt and tax or related obligations.
- Provide insurance for property and furnishings at replacement value.
- Maintain adequate liability insurance for its directors and the chapter.
- Maintain the property and furnishings at the University standard.
- Shall collect and disburse funds in a timely manner.
- Shall re-certify compliance with these standards annually to the Secretary of the Alumni Greek Council who will provide that information to the appropriate Student Affairs designee (see section IV. F).
- Shall require any other employees of the House Corporation working at the Chapter House, including but not limited to cooks, to comply with all University policies applicable to individuals working or living on campus and to attend all training/orientation sessions on University policies deemed necessary by the University.
VI. Local Chapter
- Shall have and abide by written by-laws which:
- Define the duties and responsibilities of all chapter officers.
- Require members to behave honorably.
- Establish parietal regulations for the chapter house.
- Prohibit the possession, use, and distribution of illegal drugs and controlled substances.
- Set guidelines for the responsible use of alcohol.
- Prohibit firearms and weapons (including air guns and fireworks) on the chapter house property.
- Prohibit smoking within the chapter building or on any decks or porches attached to or adjacent to the chapter house.
- Provide for regular cleaning of the chapter house and prompt repair of all maintenance problems.
- Include strict enforcement policies subject to the review of the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council conduct boards.
- Require the chapter president (current or former before the school year after the current is elected) live in the chapter house. Live in means primary and only residence. Additional upperclassmen and/or officer should live in as well. It is the expectation that each chapter fill all beds within the Chapter House with current upper division chapter members.
- Require all new student chapter officers specified by Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council be elected by the Wednesday after the last possible initiation date.
- Shall have a University Adviser to assist the chapter with campus and community relations, as well as academic affairs. (Description attached as Appendix 1)
- Shall promote academic excellence and intellectual growth among its members.
- Shall conduct a social program that conforms to the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council regulations.
- Shall conduct a responsible new member education program that conforms to the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council regulations and that specifically prohibits any behavior that could be construed as hazing.
- Shall establish with the House Corporation's approval a financial policy that:
- Complies with University and National fraternity/National sorority regulations.
- Requires sound business practices to minimize the chance of fraud.
- Utilizes the University collection program for charges and requires prompt payment of bills.
- Includes an annual budget.
- Shall have adequate liability insurance.
- Be in good standing with its national fraternity/national sorority.
- Strictly adhere to its by-laws and regulations.
- Actively participate in its national governing structure and leadership training programs.
- Shall re-certify compliance with these standards annually to the appropriate Student Affairs designee, and through the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council.
VII. Chapter Suspension
- Effective immediately after University or national organization-imposed suspension, chapter members of the suspended chapter may not formally or informally affiliate with a recognized, active chapter. Taking residence in an active chapter's house, organized involvement in registered social events, coordinating meal plans, contributing financially to an active chapter's budget, or involvement with other chapter operations or processes are prohibited.
- The University reserves the right to relocate house residents of a suspended chapter immediately upon suspension.
- Uninitiated potential new members of a suspended chapter may join another organization pursuant to the recruitment guidelines currently in place.
VIII. Chapter House Physical Standards (currently maintained by the University)
- The fraternity/sorority chapter shall maintain a residence with an exterior which:
- Is compatible with the neighborhood.
- Is kept in excellent condition at all times.
- Has landscaped grounds conforming to an approved plan.
- The grounds shall be well maintained at all times.
- A chapter shall provide, consistent with the needs of the chapter, as much paved, off-street parking as possible, to be connected to the house by paved walkways.
- The fraternity/sorority chapter shall maintain a residence with an interior which:
- Meets or exceeds all applicable code requirements for fire, safety, health, and sanitation plus such additional requirements imposed by the university or its insurers.
- Provides bedroom and bath facilities of a quality at least equal to the best residence hall accommodations provided by the University.
- Contains living and recreational areas with well-defined uses and which are furnished and maintained in ways appropriate for such uses.
- Provides for each fraternity chapter a large social area, isolated from other parts of the house, with adequate exterior access, ventilation, adjacent rest room facilities, and sound absorption design features. It is the intent of this standard that fraternity social events occur only in this room. If the room is to have other uses requiring furnishings or equipment, there should be adequate adjacent storage to permit removal of these items during such events.
- Contains a dining room sufficient to provide meal service to membership in a sanitary, attractive, and comfortably furnished area.
- Contains a kitchen which is a sanitary and efficient space meeting all code requirements and with separate areas for food preparation and distribution. It shall be possible to restrict access to the kitchen from the rest of the house.
- Provides for any special requirements of the national fraternity/national sorority or house corporation.
- Is regularly maintained and clean at all times, and complies in all respects with the maintenance requirements of the house corporations and the bylaws of the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council.
- Provides an apartment on the premises for the non-student House Director.
- In support of these standards, each fraternity/sorority shall have professionally developed plans and specifications for renovation or new construction which assure functional efficiency, durability, and ease of maintenance.
IX. Maintenance and Review
The VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will be responsible for the maintenance and the periodic review of these standards. The VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will convene an ad hoc committee to review these standards. In addition to the VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee, the committee will consist of the appropriate Student Affairs designee, the President of the Alumni Greek Council, the President of the Interfraternity Council, the President of the Panhellenic Council, and a fraternity/sorority University adviser. Input from Facilities Management and the Treasurer's Office will be gathered in the deliberation process for any proposals that might affect those offices.
Following the review of these standards, the VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students will submit recommendations for any changes to the President of the University or designee for consideration and approval. The President or designee will then promulgate approved revisions to all appropriate parties, the national fraternity/national sorority offices, house corporations, Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council, and local chapter presidents.
Appendix I. University Adviser to a Fraternity/Sorority Chapter Governed by the Standards for Fraternities/Sororities That Are Full Members and Under the Jurisdiction of IFC or PC
- A member of the Washington and Lee University faculty or administration who:
- serves as an adviser to the chapter officers regarding:
- University policy concerning fraternities/sororities
- Community relations
- Campus relations
- promotes academic excellence and intellectual growth among the chapter members
- provides liaison between the chapter, the faculty and the administration
- provides informal advice to the chapter and members on academic affairs
- encourages the chapter through its officers to develop and maintain a positive image within the whole University community
- suggests programs to foster interaction between the chapter and the faculty
- meets several times a year as a group with all University Advisers to exchange ideas and information
- meets regularly with the president or chapter leadership to discuss concerns and plans
- provides continuity of relationship between University and chapter and
- may serve as a chapter adviser or other role as deemed appropriate (or eligible) by the national office or house corporation for the chapter
- serves as an adviser to the chapter officers regarding:
- The University will provide:
- recognition of this work as a positive contribution to the quality of University life
- access to pertinent information in support of the work
- appropriate setting for meetings of the University Advisers as a group
Appendix II. House Director
Establishes and maintains an environment consistent with the needs of the students and the requirements established in the Standards for National Fraternities/Sororities That Are Full Members and Under the Jurisdiction of IFC or PC.
Develops relationships with members of the chapter and promotes the University Mission.
- Resides in the chapter house when students are present. W&L expects the House Corporation to provide a substitute House Director if the regular House Director is going to away from the House for more than one night. If that is impossible the House Director should notify:
- respective House Corporation contacts,
- W&L Public Safety and,
- appropriate Student Affairs designee
- Is required to comply with all University policies applicable to individuals working or living on campus and attend all University orientation/training sessions on such policies deemed necessary by the University.
- Supports University initiatives and stays involved in the Campus Community.
- Attends House Director Trainings or other meetings as scheduled by the appropriate Student Affairs designee.
- Communicates expectations for use of the chapter house in collaboration with the chapter officers, the University, and the House Corporation.
- Notices when a student appears to need assistance and refers them to the proper resource. If the House Director perceives potentially life-threatening issues they should call 911 and W&L Public Safety (x8999). The House Director should not act as a counselor for issues concerning mental health or substance abuse, but rather refer the individual to a trained University staff member.
- Submits work orders in accordance with Facilities Management guidelines and ensures work orders are completed successfully in a timely manner.
- Has basic computer knowledge, including the skills necessary to access email.
- Must be physically able to climb stairs within the Chapter House in order to provide adequate supervision of Chapter activities.
- Must have the ability to manage room assignments, resolve minor conflicts and identify issues that need to be brought to the attention of the University.
Washington and Lee University oversees all student organizations: Greek, non-Greek, athletic teams, and law student organizations. A professional staff member through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students shall advise all undergraduate and law student organizations regarding use of alcohol for club-sponsored events.
The Department of Athletics, in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, shall enforce for athletic teams sanctions as outlined herein for teams that violate University alcohol/drug policies.
The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students shall enforce for student clubs and organizations sanctions as outlined herein for organizations that violate University alcohol/drug policies.
The Interfraternity Council shall enforce for its members, and Panhellenic Council shall enforce for its members, sanctions as outlined herein for Greek organizations that violate University alcohol/drug policies. University alcohol/drug policies will be enforced by the SJC or the Office of the Vice-President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students for other student organizations.
The following confirmed violations of University alcohol/drug policies and standards constitute an incident, absent extenuating circumstances:
- Any violations of IFC/Panhellenic rules governing events where alcohol is served for those organizations subject to the jurisdiction of IFC/PC
- Any violations of dry recruitment policies
- Excessive damage to property related to alcohol and/or other drug use
- Coordinated use of, or using, fraternity/sorority funds, organization funds or slush funds to purchase alcohol
- Coercive or pressured drinking related to group activities
- Violations of University policies related to alcohol or other drugs
Potential Sanctions For All Student Organizations
Up to and including $50 fine per member and appropriate community service. Social probation for the organization. Mandatory educational programming for group members, with all costs to be paid by the group.
Second Incident (within 12 months of the first incident)
Up to and including $100 fine per member and appropriate community service. Up to twelve weeks social probation. Mandatory educational programming for group members, with all costs to be paid by the group. For athletic teams, individual suspensions and/or suspension of all non-traditional activity upon the second incident. For an undergraduate or law student club, activities are reduced as decided by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
Third Incident (within 12 months of the first incident)
A minimum of immediate full-year suspension for the organization or team. Mandatory educational programming for group members, with all costs to be paid by the group.
Under the circumstances previously described, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students may inform parents or legal guardian(s) of undergraduate students when an undergraduate student violates University alcohol/drug policies.
Nothing in these regulations shall preclude the President, Provost, or appropriate conduct body from taking action they determine to be justified for both individual and group accountability in accordance with existing University policy.
All sanctions that may result in a disciplinary file, as defined by the Records of Student Conduct Referrals section, are subject to appeal to the University Board of Appeals.
Traveller Transit serves the community as a safe ride system.
Students are expected to abide by the following when they use Traveller:
- Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted in any Traveller vehicle. (Alcohol and unsealed beverages are not allowed in any Traveller vehicle.)
- Passengers must treat Traveller Drivers, Dispatchers, and Monitors with respect.
- Passengers must show a student ID if requested to do so by a Traveller Driver.
- Passengers must wear seat belts.
- The number of passengers may not exceed the capacity of the vehicle. (No one may stand in the aisles on Traveller Buses.)
- Passengers who soil Traveller vehicles may be asked to pay a $200 fee for cleanup.
- Roughhousing and fighting will not be tolerated.
Students whose conduct within the Traveller system is not consistent with the values of the University may be referred to the Student Judicial Council for conduct action.
Composed of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (Chair), the Dean of Student Life, the School of Law's primary student-affairs administrator, six members elected by and from the University Faculty (undergraduate and law) from among those not already on the University Board of Appeals and including at least one from the Department of Physical Education and Athletics and one elected by and from the Law Faculty. Student members are the President of the Student Body, the Chair of the Student Judicial Council (SJC), the Head Resident Assistant, the President of the Student Bar Association (SBA), an elected representative of the Office of Inclusion and Engagement (OIE) Advisory Board, the President of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the President of the Panhellenic Council (PC), the president of 24 (the student-athlete group) and an additional member of the OIE Advisory Board.
SAC is responsible for reviewing issues affecting student life, for recommending to the University Faculty changes in University policy on non-curricular student matters, and for overseeing Greek life including the maintenance and review of the Standards for Fraternities/Sororities. With authority delegated by the University Faculty, SAC oversees the judicial procedures of SJC, IFC, PC, HSMB, and the resident advisers in university housing.
The three areas of primary responsibility for the Student Affairs Committee are:
- serving as a University forum for the discussion, debate and dissemination of issues and information affecting student life;
- recommending changes in University policy on non-curricular student issues directly to the University faculty; and
- Overseeing student judicial procedures.
SAC also serves as a University forum for issues affecting student life, and it may recommend changes in University policy on non-curricular student issues directly to the faculty. SAC assumes jurisdiction over all student affairs not covered by other committees. It is also an advisory board to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
As a recipient of federal aid and federal grants, the University must certify under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 that it will take certain steps to provide a drug-free workplace. Unlawfully possessing, using, distributing, dispensing, or manufacturing alcohol or illegal or controlled substances is prohibited on University property, in University vehicles, while conducting University business, or as a part of University activities. Any student employee who is convicted for a drug statute violation occurring in the workplace must notify his or her supervisor within five days of the conviction. Additionally, a student employee must report any drug-related or alcohol-related conviction to Human Resources. The University will take appropriate action against an employee who violates this workplace rule, up to and including termination and referral for prosecution, in the best interest of the University, and in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act. Employees not terminated may be required to satisfactorily participate in an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. Student employees should review the full University Alcohol and Drug Use in the Workplace policy at go.wlu.edu/OGC/DrugFree.
In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the University will distribute to students annually information on applicable legal sanctions associated with the unlawful possession or distribution of alcohol or illegal drugs, health risks associated with substance abuse, and a description of drug and alcohol treatment programs available to members of the University community.
Separate from the legal requirements, the University is concerned with the health and well-being of its students. Students may contact the Counseling Center, the Student Health Center, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, LIFE, and student peer counselors for referrals or information on available and appropriate substance counseling, treatment or rehabilitation programs. Students can obtain substance abuse assessment and treatment from the two licensed Ph.D. counselors and one psychiatrist on staff or may be referred to off-campus treatment centers and programs, including the local Rockbridge Area Prevention Services, the Recovery Choice program at Augusta Health, or other regional or national programs.
In accordance with the Drug-Free and Communities Act of 1989, alcohol and drug education at Washington and Lee University is coordinated by the Office of Health Promotion as part of the Student Affairs program.
- Inform all students at Washington and Lee University about laws of Virginia and University policy regarding the use of alcohol and other controlled substances.
- Involve students directly in comprehensive multidimensional health promotion programs; including planning, development, implementation and evaluation of awareness programs, speakers, harm reduction information, social norms marketing approach (Universal Prevention).
- Provide assessment and education for students who exhibit problem behaviors related to alcohol and other drug abuse (Indicated Prevention). Students who receive a sanction under the University Policies on Alcohol and Other Drugs for Individuals will receive an educational assessment through the Office of Health Promotion.
- Provide educational programming, resources and referrals to organizations, Greek students, first-year residence halls and athletic teams (Targeted Prevention).
- Include faculty from various academic disciplines to foster critical thinking both in and outside the classroom about social issues on campus including alcohol and other drugs.
- Promote and foster the development of LIFE peer health educators to provide educational programs and model behaviors that demonstrate low-risk drinking behaviors.
- Collaborate with the Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Athletic Department, Greek life, faculty, alumni, parents and other University stakeholders to establish an environment that promotes low-risk use of alcohol.
The negative physical and mental effects of the use of alcohol and other drugs are well documented. Use of these drugs may cause: blackouts, poisoning, and overdose; physical and psychological dependence; damage to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and liver; inability to learn and remember information; and psychological problems including depression, psychosis, and severe anxiety. Risks associated with specific drugs are described later in this section.
Impaired judgment and coordination resulting from the use of alcohol and other drugs are associated with acquaintance assault and rape; DUI/DWI arrests; hazing; falls, drowning and other injuries; contracting sexually-transmitted infections including AIDS; and unwanted or unplanned sexual experiences and pregnancy.
The substance abuse of family members and friends may also be of concern to individual students and employees. Patterns of risk-taking behavior and dependency not only interfere in the lives of the abusers, but can also have a negative impact on their friends and family, affecting academics, work, emotional well-being, and student adjustment to college life.
Individuals concerned about their own health or that of a friend should consult a physician or mental health professional. More information and assistance can be obtained by contacting one of the University physicians or counselors, the Employee Assistance Program for faculty and staff, other campus and community resources listed in the University’s annual Drug Free Schools and Communities notice, or a community resource listed in the yellow pages of the telephone directory.
Alcohol abuse is a progressive disorder in which physical dependency can develop. Even low doses of alcohol impair brain function, judgment, alertness, coordination and reflexes. Very high doses cause suppression of respiration and death. Chronic alcohol abuse can produce dementia, sexual impotence, cirrhosis of the liver, and heart disease; and sudden withdrawal can produce severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and life-threatening convulsions.
Marijuana has negative physical and mental effects. Physical effects include elevated blood pressure, a dry mouth and throat, bloodshot and swollen eyes, decrease in body temperature, and increased appetite. Use of marijuana is also associated with impairment of short-term memory and comprehension, an altered sense of time, and a reduction in the ability to perform motor skills such as driving a car. Marijuana use also produces listlessness, inattention, withdrawal and apathy. It also can intensify underlying emotional problems and is associated with chronic anxiety, depression, and paranoia. Frequent and/or long-time users may develop chronic lung disease and damage to the pulmonary system.
This category includes phencyclidine (PCP or “angel dust”) and amphetamine variants which have mind-altering effects. Perception and cognition are impaired and muscular coordination decreases. Speech is blocked and incoherent. Chronic users of PCP may have memory problems and speech difficulties lasting 6 months to a year after prolonged daily use. Depression, anxiety, and violent behavior also occur. High psychological dependence on the drug may result in taking large doses of PCP. Large doses produce convulsions, comas, and heart and lung failure.
Lysergic acid dyethylamine (LSD or “acid”), mescaline and psilocybin (mushrooms) cause illusions, hallucinations and altered perception of time and space. Physical effects include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, decreased appetite, insomnia and tremors. Psychological reactions include panic, confusion, paranoia, anxiety and loss of control. Flashbacks or delayed effects can occur even after use has ceased.
Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system. Immediate physical effects include dilated pupils and increased blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature. Occasional use can cause a stuffy or runny nose, while chronic use may destroy nasal tissues. Following the “high” of extreme happiness and a sense of unending energy is a cocaine “crash” including depression, dullness, intense anger, and paranoia. Injecting cocaine with contaminated equipment can cause AIDS, hepatitis and other diseases. Tolerance develops rapidly and psychological and physical dependency can occur.
Crack or “rock” is extremely addictive and produces the most intense cocaine high. The use of cocaine can cause kidney damage, heart attacks, seizures, and strokes due to high blood pressure. Death can occur by cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.
Amphetamines and other stimulants include “ecstasy” and “ice” as well as prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. The physical effects produced are elevated heart and respiratory rates, increased blood pressure, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Sweating, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, and anxiety may also result from use. High dosage can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of motor skills and even physical collapse and possible death. Long-term use of higher doses can produce amphetamine psychosis which includes hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.
Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are two of the most commonly used groups of these drugs. Barbiturates include Phenobarbital, Seconal and Amytal; benzodiazepines include Ativan, Dalmane, Librium, Xanax, Valium, Halcion and Restoril. These drugs are frequently used for medical purposes to relieve anxiety and to induce sleep. Physical and psychological dependence can occur if the drugs are used for longer periods of time at higher doses. Benzodiazepine use can cause slurred speech, disorientation, and lack of coordination. If taken with alcohol, abuse can lead to coma and possible death.
Narcotics include heroin, methadone, morphine, codeine, OxyContin, Vicodin, and opium. After an initial feeling of euphoria, usage causes drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Effects of overdose include slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma and possible death. Physical and psychological dependence is high, and severe withdrawal symptoms include watery eyes, runny nose, loss of appetite, irritability, tremors, panic, cramps, nausea, chills, and sweating. Use of contaminated syringes may cause AIDS and hepatitis.
Commonwealth of Virginia 2020: Selective Summary of Laws Governing Alcohol and Drugs (Virginia Code sections referenced)
The minimum legal age in Virginia for the purchase, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages is 21 years of age.
|Possession or consumption under 21 (4.1-305)||Misdemeanor; mandatory loss of driver's license for six months (up to 1 year) AND mandatory minimum $500 fine or 50 hours community service|
|Use of fraudulent driver's license ID to purchase alcoholic beverages (4.1-305)||Misdemeanor -- mandatory loss of driver's license for six months (up to 1 year) AND mandatory minimum $500 fine or 50 hours community service|
|Drinking in Public* (18.2-306)
NOTE: The definition of a public place includes any sidewalk adjoining a public street. (4.1-100; 4.1-128)
|Misdemeanor; fine not to exceed $250|
|Purchase of alcoholic beverages for intoxicated individuals (4.1-306)||Misdemeanor -- mandatory loss of driver's license for up to 1 year AND fine not to exceed $2500 and/or jail for up to 12 months|
|Driving after illegally consuming alcohol under age 21-.02% BAC or more constitutes a violation; requires no showing of impaired driving (18.2-266.1, 46.2-391.2)||Misdemeanor - suspension of driver's license for one year and either a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or performance of a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service.|
|Purchasing, giving, or assisting in providing alcohol to person under 21 (4.1-306)||Misdemeanor -- mandatory loss of driver's license for up to 1 year AND fine not to exceed $2500 and/or jail for up to 12 months|
|Purchase, possession, use, selling, or offering for sale or use powdered or crystalline alcohol (4.1-302.2)||Misdemeanor -- mandatory loss of license for one year AND mandatory minimum $500 fine (up to $2500) or 50 hours community service; possible jail for up to 12 months|
|Consuming alcoholic beverages while driving motor vehicle (18.2-323.1)||Misdemeanor; fine not to exceed $250|
|Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI); .08% BAC presumes alcohol intoxication, but can be convicted on lower BAC; specified levels of certain drugs also presume intoxication
|Misdemeanor - fine not to exceed $2500 (mandatory minimum of $250 and/or jail for 12 months, and loss of driver's license for 1 year, in addition to automatic, administrative 7-day license suspension upon arrest or refusal to take a breath test and immediate vehicle impound.)|
|Driving on Restricted permit with BAC of .02 or more (18.2-272, 46.2-389/391)||Misdemeanor; fine not to exceed $2500 and/or jail for 12 months, and loss of driver's license for 1-3 years.|
|Driving under the influence of alcohol with passenger age seventeen (17) or younger (18.2-270)||Misdemeanor; with additional fine of $500 to $1000 and mandatory minimum five days in jail, beyond penalties for DUI|
|Unreasonable refusal to take breath test (18.2-268.3/4)||Civil Offense; loss of driver's license for 1 year, after first offense may petition the court for restricted license with certain conditions|
|Maiming (i.e., causing serious bodily injury) of another resulting from driving while intoxicated (18.2-51.4)||Felony; 1 to 5 years prison OR 12 months jail and/or $2500 fine
Under egregious circumstances, penalties may be increased to 2-10 years in prison and up to $100,000 fine
Note: Virginia law provides for arrest without warrant at any location within three hours of the occurrence of an accident if there is probable cause of driver intoxication.
|Tobacco, Nicotine Vapor, Hemp intended for smoking, and Alternative Tobacco Products (18.2-371.2)
Purchase/Use/Possession by persons under age 21
|1st violation - Up to $100 fine and/or 20 hours of community service
2nd and subsequent violations - Up to $250 fine and/or 40 hours of community service
|Tobacco, Nicotine Vapor, Hemp intended for smoking, and Alternative Tobacco Products (18.2-371.2)
Sale/Distribution to persons under age 21
1st violation - Up to $100 fine
|Marijuana Possession (18.2-250.1)||Civil Offense; no greater than $25 fine; rebuttable presumption that possession of no more than 1 oz is for personal use|
|Marijuana Sale/Distribution (18.2-248.1)||
1 ounce or less: Misdemeanor; up to 12 months jail and/or $2500 fine
|Cocaine Possession (small amount)
|Felony; 1 to 10 years prison OR 12 months jail and/or $2500 fine|
(and large amt. possession)
|Felony; 5 years to life in prison and $1,000,000 fine (18.2-248)|
|Mushrooms (Hallucinogens)||Same as Cocaine|
|Cannabimimetic Agent Possession||Misdemeanor; 12 months jail and/or $2,500 fine (18.2-250(a))|
|Cannabimimetic Agent Manufacture/Sale/Gift/Distribution or Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Give/Distribute||Felony; 5 to 40 years in prison and $500,000 fine (18.2-248)|
|Other Controlled Substances
(Including imitation controlled substances and prescription medication not pursuant to a valid prescription for the user)
|Same as Cocaine|
|Felony; 1 to 10 years prison OR 12 months jail and/or $20,000 fine|
|GHB (Date Rape Drug)
Manufacture/Sale/Gift/Distribution of Possession with Intent to Sell (18.2-251.3)
|Felony; 5 to 20 years prison and $100,000 fine|
|Inhalant Use||Misdemeanor; 12 months jail and/or $2,500 fine|
|Inhalant Inviting/Inducing use||Misdemeanor; 6 months jail and/or $1,000 fine|
|Sale/Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Sell, Give or Distribute, on or Near School Property
(Imitation/Controlled Substances or any amount of Marijuana)
|Felony; 1-5 years prison and $100,000 fine|
Possession/Distribution (18.2-265.3, 54.1-3466)
|Misdemeanor; 12 months jail and/or $2,500 fine|
Note: All of these violations carry an additional penalty of loss of driver's license for 6 months. (18.2-259.1)
Note: Virginia allows an affirmative defense to prosecution for simple possession of illegal drugs or paraphernalia, public intoxication, or unlawful possession, purchase, or consumption of alcohol for reporting of overdose. Affirmative defense to prosecution only applies if, in good faith, an individual seeks emergency medical attention for self or another person for a life-threatening condition resulting from the consumption or use of alcohol, a controlled substance, or combination of substances by reporting the overdose to 911, law enforcement or firefighter, or emergency services medical personnel. Individual must remain at the scene until law-enforcement responds, identify himself/herself, AND the affirmative defense can apply only if the evidence for the prosecution of an offense was obtained as a result of the individual seeking emergency medical attention. (18.2-251.03)
Note: Texting or reading emails/texts while driving is a primary offense, meaning law enforcement can stop you for doing only that. The offense carries a $125 fine. (Va. Code Section 46.2-1078.1.)
Note: Effective January 1, 2021, it will be illegal for any person to hold a handheld personal communications device while driving a motor vehicle. Va Code Section 46.2-818.2.
Federal law prohibits the unlawful manufacturing, distribution, use, and possession of controlled substances. Penalties depend on various factors, including the type and amount of the drug involved, and whether there is intent to distribute. Penalties under federal law range from less than one year to life imprisonment and/or $1,000 to $4 million fines for first offenses. Penalties may include forfeiture of property, including vehicles used to possess, transport or conceal a controlled substance, and forfeiture of Federal benefits, including student loans. A drug conviction may also result in future denial of professional licenses.
Note: A special sanction is provided for distribution and manufacturing near universities. Under federal law, any person who distributes, possesses with intent to distribute, or manufacture a controlled substance on or within one thousand feet of a university is subject to double the applicable maximum punishment.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, ("the Act," commonly referred to as "FERPA" or the "Buckley Amendment") is designed to protect the confidentiality of the records that educational institutions maintain on their students and to give students access to their records to assure the accuracy of their contents. The purposes of W&L's Student Education Records Policy are: to inform students of their rights under the Act; to inform employees, student workers, third-party contractors, and volunteers of the University's responsibilities under the Act; and to describe the circumstances under which the University may disclose student education records. The full policy is available at go.wlu.edu/OGC/FERPA. Please visit the University Registrar’s website for more information at go.wlu.edu/FERPA.
In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable non-discrimination laws, Washington and Lee University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran's status, or genetic information in its educational programs and activities, admissions, and with regard to employment. Inquiries may be directed to Lauren E. Kozak, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources, Elrod University Commons 212, (540) 458.4055, email@example.com, who is designated by the University to coordinate compliance efforts and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, as well as those under Section 504 and other applicable non- discrimination laws.
The Coordinator has designated the following Title IX Assistant Coordinators:
- Employment: Mary Main, Executive Director of Human Resources, Two South Main 109, 540.458.8250, firstname.lastname@example.org; and
- Gender Equity in Athletics: Lauren Kozak, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources, Elrod University Commons 212, (540) 458-4055, email@example.com.
Inquiries may also be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.
As revised and approved by the Board of Trustees, February 11, 2018.
Washington and Lee affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance our community. We are committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students, faculty, and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. As engaged citizens in a global and diverse society, we seek to advance a positive learning and working environment for all through open and substantive dialogue.
The policies of Washington and Lee University are under continual examination and revision. This Student Handbook is not a contract; it merely presents the policies in effect at the time of publication and in no way guarantees that the policies will not change. For updated policies and information, see www.wlu.edu.
1The differences in procedures applicable to the resolution process for formal complaints of Title IX sexual harassment and formal complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct against students are explained in Section XIV.
2In Virginia, marriage between an ancestor and descendant, between siblings, and between an uncle or an aunt and a nephew or niece, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood, is prohibited.
3In Virginia, the statutory age of consent is 18, but the statutory age of consent may be different based on the geographic location of where the sexual intercourse occurred.
4it is understood that the violence inflicted upon the complainant must occur without the complainant’s consent.
5Employment titles may change periodically. In the event of a change in title, the individuals fulfilling these functions will be considered Mandatory Reporters despite the title change.
6The Administrative Advisor is a professional Student Affairs’ staff member appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs who is a resource dedicated to assisting the Chair and Council with its proceedings.