Can I be punished by my college for off-campus activity?

author by Leslie Ann Albeit on Jul. 19, 2017

 General Practice 

Summary: YES.

YES. 

For specifics:

According to The Ohio State University’s Code of Conduct, you can be disciplined for off-campus activity if any of the below are applicable:

Academic course requirement or credit bearing experiences;

Example: conduct during off-campus internships, field trips, study abroad programs, or student teaching

Any activity supporting pursuit of a degree;

Example: research at another institution or professional practice assignment

Any activity sponsored, conducted, or authorized by the university or by registered student organizations;

Any activity that causes substantial destruction of University property or members of the University community;

Any activity that creates or could reasonably create a hostile environment on campus;

Any activity in which a police report has been filed, criminal charges have been issued, or an arrest has occurred for a crime of violence.

The last two jurisdictional categories mentioned above arguably open the school’s jurisdiction to any off campus behavior.

Ohio University’s Code of Conduct states: “The Student Code of Conduct applies to all students, student organizations and student groups, regardless of whether or not the alleged behavior occurred on or off campus.”

Some smaller universities may draw a seemingly smaller net of jurisdiction, such as Capital University. However, it would not be difficult for the university to argue that an off campus incident “adversely affected the University” and therefore you are at their mercy. The jurisdiction of Capital’s Code of Conduct includes activity that:

Occurs on university premises;

Occurs at university-sponsored or university-supervised events regardless of where they occur;

Occurs off university premises when the behavior may adversely affect the University community and its interests as an academic community;

That relates to any facet of the relationship between the student and the International study abroad/away and other off campus academic programs.

The quick answer is: assume no matter where you are, your school’s Student Code of Conduct is following you! However, we have represented students in the criminal court that are not charged by their university for a violation, and we have represented students within the university that are not charged criminally. No matter what, we got you covered.

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