Southwestern Adventist University recognizes your rights as an adult pursuing an education. Just as a student does not lose citizenship rights upon enrolling at Southwestern, the student also does not become immune to societal obligations and laws or the responsibilities of daily living in a broader society. In general, the behavioral norms expected of the university student should be:
  • common decency and decorum.
  • recognition of and non-infringement upon the rights and property of others.
  • honesty in academic work and all other activities.
  • observance of local, state, and federal laws.
By attending Southwestern, you assume certain responsibilities and obligations, including satisfactory academic performance and social behavior consistent with the lawful purposes of the university. Student conduct, therefore, is not considered in isolation within the university community but as an integral part of the educational curriculum. All students are expected to know and abide by this code of student conduct. Ignorance is not an excuse.


We expect that University community will uphold the Fundamental Belief # 21 as it pertains to dress standards.

Fundamental Belief # 21: "We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord, we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives... While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment, but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit.

University attire excludes the following:
  • immodest one or two piece swimming suit

  • low cut (front or back) or strapless attire, bare midriff blouses, shirts that are sheer or any tight or loose clothing worn in a way that exposes undergarments or intimate body parts (back, chest, abdomen,etc.)

  • jewelry (with the exception of wedding/engagement rings)


In the selection of music, reading material, films, videos, television viewing, and other forms of private or public entertainment, students are expected to exercise Christian discernment and to choose that which is uplifting, educational, and in harmony with the biblical standards outlined in Philippians 4:8.


The possession or use of firearms or pneumatic guns by students on university property is forbidden.


In upholding Christian standards, gambling is forbidden.

  1. Southwestern Adventist University adheres to the philosophy that true education is the harmonious development of the physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual powers. The university is committed to providing an environment that is conducive to learning, positive thinking, and healthful living.

  2. Drug and alcohol use/abuse is pervasive in society today. The devastating physical, psychological, and economic consequences of such practices are well documented. Southwestern Adventist University, though not immune to these problems, has dedicated itself to be a drug and alcohol free community by maintaining policies which prohibit the use of such substances. As a method of prevention, drug dogs may be used at random in campus housing and parking lots.

  3. Southwestern Adventist University is committed to the position that students who enroll here do so because they expect to live and function in a drug-free environment. Each student and staff member has a personal responsibility to sustain such an environment by abstaining from the use of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. The university will initiate a program of prevention, education, intervention, counseling referral, and rehabilitation as a means of achieving this goal.

  4. Students suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will be required at the discretion of the Residence Hall Dean or the VP for Student Services, to be tested with the Breathalyser for alcohol consumption. The student will choose to either comply with the testing or withdraw from school.

  5. A student who recognizes his/her need for help in overcoming an alcohol or drug related problem is encouraged to talk with the Director of Counseling for an initial screening. The student then may be referred to an approved external chemical dependency counseling agency where his/her involvement with drugs and/or alcohol would be analyzed. An appropriate recovery program would then be negotiated between the student and the agency counselor. The university may not take disciplinary action against any student who voluntarily refers himself to a counselor.

  6. Students whose use of drugs and/or alcohol is brought to the attention of the Discipline Committee and who are not asked to withdraw will be required to take the following actions:

    1. Make and keep an appointment with the Director of Counseling.

    2. Undergo a written alcohol/drug assessment with an approved substance abuse professional.

    3. Notify his/her parents of this problem.

    4. Sign a release of confidentiality with the Director of Counseling.

    5. Develop a written behavioral contract in consultation with the Director of Counseling and Discipline Committee Chairperson. Students who subsequently violate their behavioral contract will be referred back to the Discipline Committee.

    6. Each student needs to be aware that the use/abuse of alcohol and drugs is controlled by local, state, and federal law. An appendix listing the current relevant laws will be disseminated to students each year as required by the Department of Education.

    7. Students who violate statutory laws relating to such matters as providing alcohol for minors or selling and/or distributing drugs should be prepared to face criminal prosecution as well as separation from the university program.

    8. Any student who is convicted of any drug related offense is required to notify the VP for Student Services within five days of that conviction. The student may sustain the loss of government financial aid as an additional consequence of such a conviction.


In 1986 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in the area of sexual harassment - Meritor Savings vs. Vinson - establishing critical mechanisms that organizations need to have in place before allegations of sexual harassment occur. These mechanisms are:
  1. The University must communicate to students an established policy relating specifically to sexual harassment.

  2. The policy must include a grievance procedure that enables students to report alleged harassment.

  3. The University must investigate all complaints promptly, keeping all information confidential.

  4. Disciplinary action must be swift and appropriate to the misconduct.
The University has adopted the following sexual harassment policy, derived from a model prepared by Risk Management Services of the General Conference.
  1. Personal Conduct:   Students of the university are to exemplify the Christ-like life and should avoid all appearances of wrong doing. They should not for one moment indulge in sexual behavior that is harmful to themselves and others and that casts a shadow on their dedication to the Christian way of life.

  2. Mutual Respect:   Students should respect and uplift each other. They should never place another student in position of embarrassment or disrespect due to sexual overtones. To do so would be a violation of God's law and the law of the land which protects human rights in the workplace.

  3. Definition:   Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964), administered by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, has issued guidelines defining sexual harassment as follows:

    1. Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and the other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when either:
      1. Submission to such conduct is made wither explicitly or implicitly a term of an individual's status.

      2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decision affecting such individual.

      3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interfering with an individual's performance or creating in intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic environment.

    2. Specific examples of the above-mentioned sexual harassment/misconduct guidelines may include but are not limited to the following:
      1. Verbal harassment or abuse (e.g. degrading comments, propositions, jokes, etc.);

      2. Subtle pressure or requests for sexual activity;

      3. Unnecessary touching of an individual (e.g. patting, pinching, hugging, repeated brushing against another person's body, etc.)

  4. Environment:   The university recognizes its responsibility to all students to maintain a learning environment free from sexual harassment, and endeavors to achieve this environment through prevention by informing all students that sexual harassment violates the law and is strongly disapproved of by the university, by developing appropriate sanctions an by informing all students of their right to raise the issue of sexual harassment.

  5. Reporting Incidents:   Sexual harassment at the university will not be tolerated in any form. If any student encounters such treatment from supervisors, or fellow students, the following steps should be taken immediately:

    1. The complainant should report the incident(s) to the VP for Student Services. If possible, the complaint should be in written form. The discussion should be conducted in an objective and thorough manner and the complainant should be advised not to discuss the matter elsewhere due to the sensitivity of the complaint.

    2. The VP for Student Services will then talk confidentially to all involved persons and determine whether an act of unwanted sexual harassment did occur. If possible, written statements will be obtained. If it is determined the complaint is valid, immediate and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Depending on the severity of the act, the discipline may range from a written warning placed in the offenders file to immediate termination.

    3. The VP for Student Services will then talk to the complainant and explain that corrective action has been taken.

  6. Third-Party Reports:   All students who are aware of incidents of sexual harassment are responsible for reporting such incidents to the VP for Student Services for investigation.


Student Handbook Contents