Safety & Security

Font size:
Medium Text Large Text

Print this page:Print this page

Whitworth Home Page > Safety & Security >

Campus Behavioral Expectations

(Excerpted from the current Student Handbook)

In addition to our adherence to civil and criminal laws, we have established the following three behavioral policies that represent the behavioral expectations of the Whitworth community.

1. There is to be no on-campus possession, consumption, or distribution of alcohol, illegal drugs or mood-altering substances, or controlled medication without a prescription.
This policy reflects our conviction that such possession or consumption within the Whitworth community is inappropriate for moral, educational, and developmental reasons. Civil or criminal law informs us of the illegality of the possession and use of most drugs or mood-altering substances and of alcohol by persons under the age of 21, and the health risks associated with the use and abuse of these substances are numerous, including exaggerated mood swings from manic to severe depression, loss of memory and reduced cognitive ability, physical deterioration, and, in some cases, serious injury or death. In addition, the potential of these substances to promote behavior that is destructive to both property and lives makes them unacceptable in a community committed to healthy development. For all of these reasons, we strongly believe that the presence and use of alcohol, drugs, or other mood-altering substances on campus is counterproductive to the educational and relational objectives of the Whitworth community.

2. There is to be no cohabitation on campus. We understand the term “cohabitation” to include genital sexual contact outside marriage, and/or the spending of a night together by two people engaged in a romantic or sexual relationship or encounter.
The Whitworth community’s commitment to the authority of scripture leads us to believe that the genital sexual relationship is to be understood and experienced within the context of that mutually acknowledged commitment to lifelong union known as marriage. We also believe that this union is to be understood as a committed relationship between one man and one woman (heterosexual monogamy). These beliefs concerning our sexuality are based on our understanding of God’s perfect design for our sexual lives, on our own experience, and on our knowledge of human development and relational dynamics. It is our conviction that the sexual relationship is best understood as an expres­sion of oneness in marriage and that to understand it or to express it otherwise would diminish the high regard that we have for this gift from God. While the explicit intent of this policy is to encourage members of the Whitworth community to reserve the genital expression of their sexuality for marriage, the logistical aspects of enforcement require that the policy be used also to address persons who spend extended hours of a night together, who sleep together, and/or who engage in genital contact even if it falls short of actual intercourse.

3. There is to be no violent or destructive behavior or other conduct that threatens or endangers the safety or emotional well-being of any other person on campus or of one’s self. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as fighting, vandalism, and any behavior that results in destruction or loss of property (including theft), or disruption of community life. This prohibition also includes, but is not limited to, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, and/or intimidation, as well as behaviors including assault, sexual assault, harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct.
In keeping with Whitworth’s commitment to building a community of respect for one another, it is important that standards related to relationship be understood and observed. It is likewise important that we are clear as a community about those behaviors that violate well-being, threaten community, and will not be tolerated. The following are definitions of specific destructive behaviors that are prohibited at Whitworth:

Harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, ethnicity or disability is destructive to individuals and to community and will be considered a violation of this policy.

Racial harassment is defined as verbal or physical conduct that is disparaging or demeaning to an individual based upon racial identity, creating an environment that interferes with work or academic performance because that environment has become demoralizing, intimidating, hostile or offensive.

Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favor, or conduct of a sexual nature when....

1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employ­ment or obtaining an education; or
2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a factor affecting that individual’s employment or education; or
3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s employ­ment or education, or of creating what a reasonable person would sense as an intimidating, demoral­izing, threatening or hostile employment, living, or educational environment.
Sexual harassment, as used in this handbook, includes sexual assault and sexual violence, both of which are prohibited forms of sex discrimination.

Sexual assault is frequently misunderstood across campuses nationally. Sexual assault occurs when a sexual act is intentional and (a) is committed by physical force, threat or intimidation; (b) ignores the objections of another person; (c) causes another’s intoxication or impairment through the use of drugs or alcohol; or (d) takes advantage of another person’s incapacitation, state of intimida­tion, helplessness, or other inability to consent.

Sexual violence (a sub-category of sexual harassment) includes “physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent.” Consistent with U.S. Department of Education guidelines, there are special considerations for conduct procedures in instances of sexual violence and other forms of sexual harassment, including protection of complain­ants. (See the student handbook, “Application and Enforcement of Behavioral Policies,” for informa­tion about conduct processes in situations of sexual harassment including sexual assault and sexual violence.)

For additional information regarding Whitworth’s commitment to preventing sex discrimination and sexual harassment, which is a form of sex discrimination, please contact Whitworth's Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Rhosetta Rhodes (, who serves as Whitworth’s Title IX coordinator.

Believing that “[social] integration [and] a sense of fitting in and being accepted by peers are important to student satisfaction and retention” (Tinto, 1987), Whitworth supports activities that are designed to develop community and to impart group traditions. We are committed to introducing new students to campus traditions, language and customs that enhance a sense of belonging and encour­age involvement in university life. “An ethic of membership communicates to students that ‘this is your home’” (Kuh, Schuh and Witt, 1991). Understanding this, it is our desire to accomplish the following goals as students become members of campus activities, teams or groups: (1) to help students build positive relationships with others, (2) to familiarize students with current and historical traditions, and (3) to provide an atmosphere in which students may come to understand that they are part of Whitworth’s history, present and future.

We want to make every reasonable effort to ensure that students who voluntarily participate in campus activities and groups are treated with dignity and respect, in accordance with the university’s mission, and that any induction or other activities fit within the mission statement as well as within common and civil law. Thus, induction and other group activities will be governed by the following requirements.

There is to be no behavior that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or seri­ous mental or emotional harm, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate. Even if a participant claims that no one was forced to partake, such an activity or behavior is still considered hazing. Group-think behavior, peer pressure and coercion often play a role. Specifically, please note the following:

1. Activity that may cause bodily danger or physical harm includes physical activity such as (but not limited to) forced calisthenics or exposure to the elements, sleep deprivation or confinement. It also includes the forced consumption or application of food, liquid, alcohol or harmful substances.
2. Mental or emotional harm includes embarrassment, ridicule, verbal abuse and personal humiliation.
3. No activities are allowed that induce, cause or require students to violate local, state or federal law or campus rules and regulations.
4. Only currently enrolled Whitworth students may be involved in team- or group-induction activities, unless they are given explicit permission to include others by their group advisor, coach or instructor.
Violation of this policy could also be a violation of Washington state law which could result in loss of financial aid.

Consequences of Violation of Hazing Policy
It will be the responsibility of every member of each university group/team to ensure that all participants are encouraged to abide by this policy. Any group/club/team member violating these standards risks suspension from group/team activities. Consequences may also involve sanctions for the entire group. Violations of policy would constitute a “Big 3” violation (see this handbook under “Community Values and Behavioral Expectations”), and, thus, sanctions would follow the stated guidelines. Violations of the Hazing Policy for Washington State Law (see previous page) will be assumed to constitute violations of university policy, as well.

Community Cooperation Expectations
The cohesiveness of any community depends upon the willingness of its members to cooperate to promote community values and ideals. While this cooperation should extend to all members of the community, it is especially important that we cooperate with those members of the Whitworth community who have been entrusted with responsibility for the enforcement of behavioral policies. At a minimum, such cooperation must include a willingness to identify oneself when asked to do so and a commitment to exclude all actions clearly identifiable as hostile or threatening. Members responsible for enforcement of behavioral policy include security personnel, residence-life staff and HUB personnel. Students who fail to cooperate with community employees as prescribed in this policy are subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension from the university for the remainder of the academic term and for the term following any violation.

If you have any questions regarding campus policies or procedures, please contact the dean of students or the associate dean (509.777.3271).