You are here: Community Expectations at AU

AU Memo Letterhead

February 2, 2018

To:
American University Students
From:
Fanta Aw, Vice President of Campus Life
Re:
Community Expectations at AU

Dear American University Students,

Whether you are a new student joining us this semester or a returning student, we want to remind you of our expectations for members of our community. Our goal is to make sure we are learning and growing together. Creating a sense of home and safety is up to all of us.

You may find university policies and procedures related to students on the Student Policies webpage. Some important policies are highlighted below, and more details are at the links provided in each section.

Student Conduct Code

Please make yourself familiar with the Student Conduct Code. The Code is designed to support a safe, honest, and inclusive community with a shared commitment to acting with mutual respect and forming the highest standards of ethics and morals among its members.

Students with alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code should contact Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services to receive further information on conduct procedures.

Discrimination and Sexual Assault

Under AU's Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures, the university affirms that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy or parenting, age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual's genetic information or any other bases under applicable federal and local laws and regulations (collectively called "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities. The policy prohibits discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Where to report such prohibited conduct is detailed in the policy. For complaints against students, please be aware that you should report in the following ways:

  • Report sex- and gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence to Regina Curran, Title IX Program Officer, through the online report form or at titleIX@american.edu or 202-885-3373.
  • Report all other discrimination to Rob Hradsky, Dean of Students, at dos@american.edu or 202-885-3300.

If you are unsure where to report based on the situation or people involved, report to one of these offices, and we will coordinate getting it to the right office. You may also seek confidential support through the Wellness Center (OASIS), Counseling Center, Health Center medical providers, and ordained clergy - OCHO is an acronym to help remember these resources.

Bias Acts

AU has launched a new bias-related incident reporting process. Bias is the personal, unreasoned judgment or attitude that inclines an individual to treat someone negatively because of their real or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, or genetic information. A bias-related act may consist of name calling, epithets, slurs, degrading language, graffiti, intimidation, coercion, or harassment, and often contributes to creating an unsafe or unwelcoming environment for victims and social identity groups. Acts qualify as bias acts even when delivered with humorous intent or presented as a joke or a prank.

Bias is different from discrimination, which occurs when an individual suffers an adverse employment, academic, or other decision based on an individual's Protected Bases, or a hate crime, which includes a definable crime such as a threat of violence, property damage, personal injury, or other illegal conduct. Discrimination should be reported as detailed above, and hate crimes should be reported to AU Police (202-885-3636).

Bias reports, submitted through the Care Network Report Form, will be centrally coordinated by the Dean of Students Office and passed along to the most appropriate office to handle the concern. We have created a flowchart of the bias-related incident reporting process.

Hazing

The University Hazing Policy prohibits hazing by a group, club, organization, team or member of the AU community on and off campus. AU community members are expected to report hazing or suspected hazing activities as soon as possible and to cooperate with University officials who investigate reports. AU provides an Online Hazing Report Form to encourage reporting.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

The Student Conduct Code prohibits the possession of alcohol by students under the age of 21. Students cannot host events or provide alcohol to students under the age of 21, even if the host is the legal drinking age. Students charged and found responsible for violations related to alcohol will face disciplinary sanctions. Parents will be notified if it is a second violation.

Students who are concerned about the health or safety of another student due to alcohol intoxication should contact AU Police (202-885-3636). The university's Medical Transport Policy identifies responsible actions that students and organizations should take when assisting students who need medical assistance.

In the University Drug Policy, AU prohibits the unauthorized possession, use, manufacture, distribution and sale of controlled substances (including medical marijuana), illegal drugs (including marijuana in any quantity or form), and illegal drug paraphernalia. Students charged and found responsible for violations related to illegal drugs may face disciplinary sanctions such as disciplinary probation, removal from housing, or suspension. Parents will be notified.

I want you to know that we do act on the reports that come to us. The most serious individual violations and patterns of behavior that threaten the community can and have led to dismissal from the university. We also take concerns about organization behavior seriously. This academic year, we had seven organizations investigated resulting in six Conduct cases involving organizational misconduct. Organizations have been charged with violations ranging from hazing to disorderly conduct, and as a result, three organizations were suspended.

If you have any questions about the standards outlined here, please let me and my staff know at campuslife@american.edu.