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Student Code of Conduct

Student Code of Conduct

The following acts are prohibited for all students and student organizations:

Abusive Conduct Any use of words or acts that cause physical injury, or threaten any individual, or interfere with any individual’s rightful actions, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Assault Verbal/Non-verbal: Words or actions that would cause an individual reason to fear for his or her immediate safety. Words can constitute assault when they are accompanied by the ability to inflict immediate harm.   
  2. Battery The use of physical force against an individual or acts that cause physical injury.  
  3. Harassment – Conduct not of a sexual nature (including but not limited to, physical, verbal, graphic, written, or electronic) that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to threaten an individual or limit the ability of an individual to work, study, or participate in the activities of the university.
  4. Hazing Individual/Group Behavior: Hazing is a criminal offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Hazing is prohibited in all forms. This policy is based on the proposition that students are entitled to be treated with consideration and respect at all times. It applies to all student organizations and individuals. Specifically, hazing is defined as any mental or physical requirement, request, or obligation placed upon any person which could cause discomfort, pain, fright, disgrace, injury, or which is personally degrading, or which violates any federal, state, local statute or university policy, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding. Concurrently, the national Interfraternity Conference, the National Panhellenic conference, and the National Panhellenic council state unequivocally that hazing has no place in the collegiate fraternity and sorority system. In addition, the members of the Corps of Cadets are subject to the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Regulations Manual. In determining whether a specific behavior violates the hazing policy, consideration will be given to how the behavior relates to the university’s mission and purpose.  Please refer to the Hazing Section for additional information.
  5. Recording and/or Distribution of Audio/Visual Material Without Consent Making, attempting to make, sharing, or distributing an audio or visual recording of any person(s); without the knowledge and consent of all participants subject to such recordings, in locations where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, and when the action is likely to cause injury, distress, or damage to one's reputation.
  6. Stalking Repeatedly contacting another person when the contact is unwanted. Additionally the conduct may cause the other person reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm or cause substantial impairment of the other person’s ability to perform the activities of daily life. Contact includes but is not limited to communicating with (either in person, by phone or computer) or remaining in the physical presence of the other person.  

Actions Leading to the Conviction of Criminal Offenses - Any student convicted of a criminal offense is subject to university disciplinary action.

Alcoholic Beverage - Each student is expected to comply with the alcohol regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the university. Members of the university community are accountable for their decisions regarding the use of alcohol as well as behavior that occurs as a result of these decisions. All state and international laws apply to Virginia Tech students. Please refer to the Alcoholic Beverages Section for additional information.

Climbing - Unauthorized climbing inside or outside campus buildings or structures.

Damage or Destruction - Damage and/or destruction of property.

Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct – Engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct that:

  1. Disturbs the peace
  2. Interferes with the performance of the duties of public/civil officials.
  3. Interferes with the rights and/or activities of others
  4. Interferes with the orderly functioning of the university and/or the performance of the duties of university personnel, including but not limited to studying, teaching, research University administration, and blocking entrances and egress.

Failure to Comply - Failure to comply with a request and directives of university officials acting within the scope of their authority. This includes, but not limited to: failure of a student to present his/her university identification card, failure to keep or attend a required meeting, and failing to leave an area when requested by an authorized university official. Upon the request of the student questioned, university officials must identify themselves and state the source of their authority.

Failure to Observe Rules and Regulations - Failure to observe rules and regulations issued by the university, including all publications and notices pertaining to student life and student services. (Publications for which all students are accountable include University Policies for Student Life, Parking and Traffic Regulations, the housing and dining contract and any written policies distributed to affected students by the university administration. Residence hall students are accountable for the housing contract and the information in the Housing, Residence Hall, and Dining Policies and Procedures section of the Hokie Handbook; cadets are accountable for cadet regulations, directives, and policies, and affected fraternities/sororities are responsible for the Fraternity and Sorority Life Manual.)

Fireworks/Explosives/Hazardous Chemicals/Weapons - Unauthorized possession or use of fireworks, explosives, or Weapons. Hazardous chemicals that could pose a health risk are also prohibited from the campus, including chemicals that, when combined with other substances could be hazardous or present a danger to others. Unauthorized possession, storage, or control of firearms, weapons, on university property, including storing weapons in vehicles on campus as well as in the residence halls. Furthermore, ammunition cannot be stored in any residence hall on campus. (Note: Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets weapons are governed by the Virginia Administrative Codes. Please refer to 8VAC105-20.) Refer to Weapons Section for additional information.

  1. Fireworks Unauthorized possession or use of fireworks is prohibited.
  2. ExplosivesUnauthorized possession or use of explosives is prohibited.
  3. Hazardous Chemicals – Hazardous chemicals that could pose a health risk are also prohibited from the campus, including chemicals that, when combined with other substances could be hazardous or present a danger to others.
  4. Weapons – Unauthorized possession, storage, or control of firearms and, weapons on university property is prohibited, including storing weapons in vehicles on campus as well as in the residence halls. Furthermore, ammunition cannot be stored in any residence halls on campus. (Note: organizational weapons of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, approved by the commandant, are not prohibited by this policy.)

Forgery or Fraud - Forgery or fraud, including attempts to obtain any item of value under false pretenses, or falsification of official university documents.

Furnishing False Information:

  1. Perjury in Conduct Meeting: Knowingly giving false information in a university student conduct meeting.
  2. Furnishing False Information: Knowingly giving false information to a university official who is performing his/her official duties.

Gambling - Participation in any form of illegal gambling.

Gender-Based Violence:

  1. Sexual violence – physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol, or is unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability, or is not of legal age to consent as defined by law.  Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
    1. Sexual Assault – actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent.
    2. Sexual Battery – intentional touching of another person’s intimate parts without the person’s consent; or other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent.
    3. Sexual Coercion – using physical or verbal aggression or pressure to force or attempt to force a person to touch another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent.
    4. Rape – penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person’s consent.
  2. Gender-based harassment – acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
  3. Sexual Exploitation – an act or acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose.  The act or acts of sexual exploitation are prohibited even though the behavior does not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.
  4. Domestic violence – a pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone
  5. Dating violence – acts of physical or sexual abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.
    1. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party's statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
    2. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, but does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
  6. Gender-Based Stalking – repeatedly contacting another person when the contact is unwanted.  Additionally, the contact may cause the other person reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm or cause substantial impairment of the other person’s ability to perform the activities of daily life. Contact includes but is not limited to communicating with (either in person, by phone, or by computer) or remaining in the physical presence of the other person.

Illegal Drugs - Possession, use, manufacture (synthesis or growth), possession with intent to manufacture, sale, dispensation, or distribution of any illegal drugs or substances controlled under state or federal law. Possession of used or unused drug paraphernalia is also prohibited (unless there is a documented medical need). Refer to Controlled Substances Section for additional information.

Improper Use of Identification Cards - The possession or manufacture of any false or altered form of identification, the improper use of any identification card, including knowingly altering or mutilating a university student identification card, or using the identification card of another, or allowing one’s own card to be used by another.

Interference with the student conduct process- attempting or actively influencing, impeding, intimidating, interfering or coercing any person involved in a potential, actual, or past student complaint. This includes, but is not limited to,  encouraging or influencing another person to commit an abuse of a university conduct system, discouraging an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the university conduct process, or distributing or interfering with the orderly process of a conduct proceeding.

Involvement in a University Violation - Presence during any violation of the Student Code of Conduct and/or the University Policies for Student Life in such a way as to condone, support, or encourage that violation. (Note: Students who anticipate or observe a violation of university policy are expected to remove themselves from participation and are encouraged to report the violation.)

Misuse of Fire-Fighting Equipment- Misuse of fire-fighting equipment, including tampering, removing, or discharging a fire extinguisher or any other fire emergency equipment except when there is a real need for such equipment.

  1. Unauthorized Burning Unauthorized burning of any material in any university building or on university property, including arson.
  2. Disregard of Fire Alarm Signals The disregard of a fire alarm signal or refusal to evacuate a building or a section of a building when a fire alarm is sounding.
  3. Tampering with Equipment Tampering with detection or suppression equipment, including deliberately initiating false alarm or creating conditions that result in a false alarm, or any tampering that would cause a malfunction or nonfunction.

Public Urination/Nudity - Any act or attempted act of public nudity, including but not limited to streaking, mooning, and urinating in public.

Tampering With University Equipment - Tampering with university equipment, including but not limited to, any elevator, wiring, plumbing, doors, locking mechanisms, or other university equipment without prior authority from the appropriate university official. Tampering with equipment so as to endanger oneself or others may result in serious disciplinary action for a first offense.

Theft - Theft, attempted theft, or possession of stolen property. Theft of property having substantial value may result in serious disciplinary action for a first offense.

Throwing Objects - Throwing, dropping, or projecting objects or substances out of or onto vehicles, buildings, or other university structures. This includes, but is not limited to, food, garbage, snowballs, water, or water balloons.

Unauthorized Entry - Entering, attempting to enter, or being present in buildings, residence(s), public or private property and/or facilities, or other areas without proper authority.

Visitation\Guest Policies Students/Organizations will be held responsible for the conduct of their guests. Students/Organizations who invite guests to campus and the residence halls are expected to inform them of all university rules and regulations.  Refer to the housing contract and Housing, Residence Hall, and Dining Policies and Procedures for additional information regarding residence hall visitation rules and regulations.

Alcoholic Beverages

At Virginia Tech, members of the university community recognize that the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages by those under the age of 21 and the illegal possession and use of controlled substances by any member of the university community violate laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and university policy. Further, members of the university community recognize that the misuse or illegal use and possession of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances may pose serious health and safety risks to those engaged in such behavior. Accordingly, students, staff, and faculty are asked to support the following statement of responsibility:

As a member of the Virginia Tech community, I agree to

  1. Abide by all state laws and university policies regulating alcoholic beverages and controlled substances;
  2. Encourage the development of an environment in which individuals can make informed, healthy, and responsible decisions about alcohol and controlled substances;
  3. Discourage the illegal or irresponsible behavior of others; and
  4. Assume responsibility for my decisions and behaviors and accept the consequences resulting from those decisions and behaviors.

Statement on Self-Reporting and Bystander Intervention

Virginia Tech students are expected to be aware of their health and safety and to be active bystanders who help fellow Hokies when their health and safety is in danger. When a person’s health or safety is threatened due to consumption of alcohol or drugs, immediate actions should be taken.  This could include alerting medical personnel, the police, or appropriate university official. When determining the appropriate response in the conduct process, the Student Conduct office will consider actions taken by any student who seeks assistance on their own behalf or the behalf of another Hokie experiencing a medical emergency related to alcohol or drugs. In some cases disciplinary sanctions may be reduced or not imposed. In all cases, the incident will be documented. Educational requirements and parental notification may still be required. Additionally, this practice does not preclude action by police or other legal authorities. The Student Conduct Office will consider actions by any student organization that report guests or members experiencing emergencies related to alcohol or drug use. In some cases disciplinary sanctions may be reduced or not imposed. In all cases, the incident will be documented. Educational requirements may still be required.  

Accountability

Virginia Tech recognizes that the misuse and abuse of alcohol is a persistent social and health problem in our society and that it interferes with the goals and objectives of any educational institution. Accordingly, members of the university community who decide to serve or consume alcoholic beverages are reminded that they are personally responsible for their conduct under all circumstances. Intoxication or ignorance of the law does not release an individual from that responsibility. Violations of university policy occurring under such circumstances will be treated in the same manner as any other violation. Violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Policy and any associated guidelines will result in disciplinary action. Students who violate this policy will likely be required to attend an alcohol education seminar as part of their student conduct sanction. Violations of state law also may be referred to the Virginia Tech Police. Students who are university employees are subject to disciplinary job action.

Virginia Tech does not encourage the use of alcoholic beverages and strongly discourages illegal or otherwise irresponsible use of alcohol, including the illegal sale of alcohol and distribution of alcohol to those not of legal drinking age; for students and student organizations, the illegal sale of alcohol will likely be considered a serious violation of the alcohol policy. Illegal sale is defined as any time money changes hands and there is unlimited access to alcohol, including but not limited to, selling cups and cover charges for entertainment when alcohol is available. Members of the university community are accountable for their decisions regarding use of alcohol and the behavior that occurs as a result of those decisions. Virginia Tech fully complies with the alcohol regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia. All state laws apply to Virginia Tech students and student organizations. These laws prohibit possession and consumption of all alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age on all university grounds and buildings.

The university community is reminded of the following information:

State Statutes

The Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board have enacted a variety of laws and regulations that govern alcoholic beverages. They are summarized as follows:

  1. Persons under the age of 21 are prohibited from possessing or consuming beer, wine, liquor, or other alcoholic beverages. Persons found in violation of this statute may be fined up to $2500 and imprisoned for a period of not more than 12 months. In addition, such person's Virginia driver's license may be suspended for a period of not more than one year.
  2. Persons may be fined up to $100 for drinking in public.
  3. Persons found in possession of a false driver's license may be fined up to $1000 and imprisoned for a period not to exceed 12 months. Driving privileges may be revoked for 30 to 365 days.
  4. It is illegal for intoxicated persons, regardless of age, to purchase or to possess alcoholic beverages. Persons in violation of this statute may be fined up to $1000 and imprisoned for a period not to exceed 12 months.
  5. It is illegal to serve or sell alcoholic beverages to persons who are intoxicated or suspected of being under the legal drinking age. It is also illegal to purchase alcoholic beverages for such persons. Individuals believed to be intoxicated are prohibited from remaining in an area where alcoholic beverages are served. Persons found in violation of these statutes may be fined up to $1000 and imprisoned for a period not to exceed 12 months.
  6. It is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Individuals are considered impaired if their blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds .08. Persons under the age of 21 who drive with a BAC of at least .02 but less than .08 may be fined up to $500 and have their driver's license  Suspended for up to six months. Persons with a BAC of .08 or higher or persons refusing a breath test will have their driver's license automatically revoked.
  7. It is illegal to purchase alcoholic beverages from any person not licensed to sell them, to sell alcoholic beverages without the appropriate license, and to consume alcoholic beverages in any unlicensed public area.

Regulations

In compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth, and to maintain conditions conducive to learning, possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is only permitted according to the following provisions:

  1. In the privacy of a student room, alcoholic beverages are permitted for those persons 21 years of age or older in accordance with state law, provided that at least one of the 21-year old residents of the room is present. Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages in any other area of the residence halls, including suite living rooms, is forbidden except at events authorized by residence life. Legal consumption of alcoholic beverages in living areas other than private student rooms (e.g., hallways and lounges) will be allowed only when specifically authorized by residence life.
  2. Kegs of any description in student rooms or residence halls, including Oak Lane, are prohibited.
  3. The director of fraternity and sorority life, in conjunction with the director of residence life, determines regulations concerning the use of alcoholic beverages in “Oak Lane Community” (also known as Special Purpose Housing) during parties. This information is published in the Oak Lane manual available at http://www.greeklife.vt.edu/housing/oncampushousing.php.
  4. The Commandant of Cadets establishes and publishes regulations to be observed by cadets regarding the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages. This information is published in the Cadet Regulations Manual available at http://www.vtcc.vt.edu/Docs.php.
  5. The possession and use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on all other university property except in certain facilities that are fully registered with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC). Alcoholic beverages may be served in other facilities as specified in this policy with an appropriate banquet license issued by the ABC Board. Private residences are subject to ABC regulation and, those who hold university events in private residences are subject to state laws concerning the sale, possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
    1. Alcoholic beverages may be served in accordance with ABC Board rules and regulations at approved functions located in the Inn at Virginia Tech and Owens Banquet Hall.
    2. Facilities that may be approved with an appropriate banquet license from the ABC Board include the Bowman Room in the Jamerson Athletic Center, the Commonwealth Ballroom, other banquet or meeting rooms in Squires Student Center, the Multipurpose Room and Graduate Student Lounge in the Graduate Life Center, and other self-contained rooms or areas in facilities that may, from time to time, be specifically designated by the associate vice president for personnel and administrative services.
    3. Alcoholic beverages may be served only at functions where the majority of attendees are of legal age for the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
    4. Alcoholic beverages may be served only at functions confined to areas that are not open to the public or that have public access. Typical areas where alcoholic beverages may not be served are outdoor plazas and patios, unfenced lawns, and lobbies and reception areas.
    5. Alcoholic beverages may be served only as a complement to food service. Food service includes hors d'oeuvres or any food served within the context of receptions, dinners, or other meals.
    6. Sponsors of events to be held on campus at which alcohol is to be served must complete a registration request for Space, and submit the Beverage Request and Security Form. An ABC Banquet License may also be required. These forms must be received at least 30 days prior to the event to allow time for processing. All event approval forms shall indicate whether alcoholic beverages will be served. Approval confirmation must be obtained before alcoholic beverages can be served.
    7. The event sponsor is responsible for the cost of a banquet license obtained through either a private or university registered caterer.
    8. The Virginia Tech Police shall be notified by copy of the approval form of all events on campus at which alcoholic beverages will be served.
    9. Sponsors of university events held at off-campus locations are responsible for ensuring that the rules and regulations of this policy are followed. Events held off-campus are exempted from the requirement to request event approval.
    10. If an event sponsor fails to secure event approval or a banquet license, future event approval requests from that sponsor will not be approved. If an event sponsor fails to obtain the appropriate ABC license, alcoholic beverages may be seized while the event is in progress, and service of alcoholic beverages will cease immediately. Additionally, the event is subject to cancellation at the discretion of the Virginia Tech Police, and the event sponsor could be charged with criminal violations of the ABC Code.

Alcoholic beverages are further governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 1015. This policy is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/1015.pdf.

Controlled Substances

Misuse and abuse of controlled substances is in direct conflict with the goals and objectives of any educational institution. Virginia Tech does not condone the misuse or abuse of controlled substances.

The term “controlled substance” is used instead of the term “drugs” for two reasons. First, the term “drugs” refers to any chemical substance that, when taken into the body, change the chemistry and functioning of the body. These changes may be positive or negative. Drugs that have a positive therapeutic effect are generally called “medicine.” Those with negative effects are often called “drugs.” For many people in society, the term “drug” carries a negative connotation. Second, “controlled substances” is a term that refers to chemical substances whose distribution and use is controlled or prohibited by some law or statute or whose distribution and use is permitted by a prescription issued by a licensed practitioner. This term is useful in that it also distinguishes so called over-the-counter drugs from prescription and illegal drugs which in essence make up the “controlled substances.”

In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug-Free Communities and Schools Act Amendments of 1989, and the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs of 1991, the following summary is provided for your information.

Controlled substances are classified under the Controlled Substances Act into “schedules” that indicate their relative medicinal use and probability of abuse and dependence (addiction). Virginia Tech's policy addresses these controlled substances.

Controlled Substances Schedules

Schedule I: The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision. Some Schedule I substances are heroin, LSD, marijuana, GHB, MDMA (Ecstasy), and methaqualone.

Schedule II: The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Schedule II substances include morphine, PCP, cocaine, methadone, Ritalin, and methamphetamine.

Schedule III: The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in Schedules I and II. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Anabolic steroids, codeine and hydrocodone with aspirin or Tylenol, Ketamine, and some barbiturates are Schedule III substances.

Schedule IV: The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule III. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule III. Included in Schedule IV are Darvon, Talwin, Equanil, Valium, Rohypnol, and Xanax.

Schedule V: The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule IV. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule IV. Over-the-counter cough medicines with codeine are classified in Schedule V.

Penalties

The law prescribes ranges of permissible penalties upon conviction. As required by the Federal Safe and Drug-Free Communities and Schools Act of 1994, the pertinent state laws, including sanctions for their violation, are summarized below:

  1. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a felony conviction for which the punishment is a term of imprisonment ranging from one to ten years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine up to $2,500, either or both.
  2. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule III of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine up to $2,500, either or both.
  3. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule IV of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to six months and fine up to $1,000, either or both.
  4. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule V of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is a fine up to $500.
  5. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act with the intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a felony conviction for which the punishment is imprisonment from five to forty years and a fine up to $500,000. Upon conviction, the violator must be imprisoned for not less than five years, but may suffer life imprisonment, and a fine up to $500,000.
  6. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedules III, IV, or V of the Drug Control Act or an imitation controlled substance which imitates a controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V, except for an anabolic steroid classified in Schedule III constituting a violation of Virginia Code §18.2-248.5, with the intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon conviction exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine up to $2,500, either or both.
  7. Possession of marijuana, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to thirty days and a fine up to $500, either or both. Upon a second conviction, punishment is confinement in jail for up to one year and fine up to $2,500, either or both.
  8. Possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana with the intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine up to $2,500, either or both. If the amount of marijuana involved is more than one-half ounce to five pounds, the crime is a felony with a sanction of imprisonment from one to ten years, or in the discretion of the jury or court trying the case without jury, confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine up to $2,500, either or both. If the amount of marijuana involved is more than five pounds, the crime is a felony with a sanction of imprisonment from five to thirty years.
  9. Notwithstanding the aforesaid provisions, Rohypnol shall be deemed to be listed on Schedule I for the purposes of penalties for violations of the Drug Control Act. Any person knowingly manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing, or possessing Rohypnol shall be punished under the penalties prescribed for other Schedule I controlled substances.

Policy

The illegal use or possession of any controlled substance is strictly prohibited by the university. The illegal use of controlled substances is incompatible with the goals of the academic community. Students found responsible for possessing, using, manufacturing, possessing with intent to manufacture, selling, dispensing, or distributing any illegal drug or substance controlled under state or federal law will face serious disciplinary action that will likely result in suspension or dismissal from the university for a first offense. Students who are also university employees are subject to disciplinary job action.

Education

Throughout the year, the university provides a wide variety of educational programs designed to increase student, staff, and faculty awareness and knowledge about alcohol and other controlled substances. Most of these programs are offered free of charge and are open to members of the university community and surrounding locale. The university’s programming efforts have received recognition as some of the most comprehensive in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Other information on federal drug trafficking laws and the effects of various drugs on the body is available from the Office of Student Conduct.

Intervention and Prevention

The university provides a variety of resources for those with questions and concerns about the use or misuse of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances. Support groups are available to members of the university community. These resources are:

  • Hokie Wellness, 231-2233, 195 McComas Hall
  • Cook Counseling Center, 231-6557, 240 McComas Hall
  • Schiffert Health Center, 231-6444, McComas Hall

Confidential inquiries about community support groups and treatment programs can be made at the University Counseling Center. The following groups meet regularly: Alcoholics Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Al Anon, and Narcotics Anonymous

Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence includes the following prohibited acts: sexual violence-assault, sexual violence-battery, sexual violence-sexual coercion, sexual violence-rape, gender-based harassment, sexual exploitation, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.

Consent – knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. The existence of consent is based on the totality of circumstances, including the context in which the alleged consent occurred. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent and coercion, force, or threat of either party invalidates consent.

  • Consent cannot be given where a person is incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol; or where a person has a disability; or is not of legal age to consent as defined by law.
  • Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.

Incapacitation – includes but is not limited to being asleep, drugged, intoxicated, or unconscious.

We encourage victims of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, and dating and domestic violence, to exercise their right to file a complaint with the Virginia Tech Police Department if the crime occurs on Virginia Tech’s property, regardless of the status of the complainant. For crimes occurring away from Virginia Tech’s property, victims may contact the local law enforcement in the appropriate jurisdiction.

"Responsible employee" means a person employed by Virginia Tech who has the authority to take action to redress sexual violence, who has been given the duty of reporting acts of sexual violence or any other misconduct by employees or students to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate institution designee, or whom an employee or student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.

Information regarding where an individual can go to file a discrimination or harassment complaint including Title IX:
The Executive Director for Equity and Access
Title IX Coordinator
Virginia Tech
North End Center
300 Turner St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: (540) 231-2010
equityandaccess@vt.edu

Discrimination and harassment is further governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 1025. This policy is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/1025.pdf.

Hazing
  1. Code of Virginia on Hazing
    § 18.2-56. Hazing unlawful; civil and criminal liability; duty of school, etc., officials; penalty.

    It shall be unlawful to haze so as to cause bodily injury, to any student at any school, college, or university.

    Any person found guilty thereof shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    Any person receiving bodily injury by hazing shall have a right to sue, civilly, the person or persons guilty thereof, whether adults or infants.

    The president, or other presiding official of any school, college or university, receiving appropriations from the state treasury shall, upon satisfactory proof of the guilt of any student of hazing another student, sanction and discipline such student in accordance with the institution's policies and procedures. The institution's policies and procedures shall provide for expulsions or other appropriate discipline based on the facts and circumstances of each case. The president or other presiding official of any school, college or university receiving appropriations from the state treasury shall report hazing which causes bodily injury to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which such school, college or university is, who shall take such action as he deems appropriate.

    For the purposes of this section, "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.
  2. Preamble
    The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students at Virginia Tech are not subjected to any type of hazing. It is the responsibility of all individuals associated with Virginia Tech to encourage an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity.

    Hazing is a criminal offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Hazing is considered a serious violation of university policy and is prohibited in all forms. This policy is based on the proposition that students are entitled to be treated with consideration and respect at all times and it applies to all student organizations and individuals. Concurrently, the Inter/National governing bodies for fraternities and sororities state unequivocally that hazing has no place in the collegiate experience. In addition, the members of the Corps of Cadets are subject to the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Regulations manual. In determining whether a specific behavior violates the hazing policy, consideration will be given to how the behavior relates to the university’s mission and purpose.

    Hazing is an unproductive and hazardous activity that is incongruous with this responsibility and has no place at this Institution, either on or off campus. It is the opinion of this academic community that this kind of behavior is injurious to the individuals involved and the institution itself.

    This policy applies to all persons and groups associated with Virginia Tech, including, but not limited to, administrators, coaches, faculty, organization advisors, staff, students, athletic teams, bands, fraternities, organizations, and sororities. Virginia Tech shall designate a formal and consistent process for receiving hazing complaints, require investigations into such reports, and ensure compliance with this policy.
  3. Definitions
    “Administrator” means a president, vice-president, dean, head of a school, director of a program or campus office, or designee of one of the aforementioned individuals.

    “Organization” means association, athletic team, band, club, cooperative, corps, fraternity, order, society, sorority, or other similar group, whose members primarily are students of the Institution.

    “Staff” means any person employed directly by or retained through a contract with the Institution, including a coach or supervisor of an organization, professor, or intern.

    “Student” means any person who is enrolled in or matriculating from the Institution, registered or in attendance in a program operated by the Institution, or who has been accepted for admission into any program operated by the Institution.

    A “person” is defined as a university student, any associate member, member, affiliate, alumnus, guest of any campus organization, or other individual.

    Virginia Tech defines hazing as any mental or physical requirement, request, or obligation placed upon any person that could cause discomfort, pain, fright, disgrace or injury; that is personally degrading; or that violates any federal, state, or local statute or university policy, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.
  4. Institutional Guidelines
    As it is impossible to anticipate every situation that could involve hazing, this list does not, and cannot, encompass every circumstance that will cause the Institution to discipline for hazing. This policy is not intended to prohibit the following conduct:
    1. Customary athletic events, contests, or competitions that are sponsored by the institution or the organized and supervised practices associated with such events; or
    2. Any activity or conduct that furthers the goals of a legitimate educational curriculum, extracurricular program, or military training program, as approved by the Institution.

Hazing shall include, but not be limited to, forcing, compelling, requiring, encouraging, or expecting, whether direct or implied, any individual to participate in any of the following actions or activities:

Physical

  1. Encouraging or requiring persons to consume alcohol or other substances regardless of the age of the participant.
  2. Encouraging or requiring that a person do or submit to any act that will alter his or her physical appearance in any significant degree for any substantial period of time (e.g., burning; branding; tattooing; using makeup, paint, or markers on a person; or shaving the head or body).
  3. Encouraging or requiring activities that disrupt a person’s normal schedule. A normal schedule includes three reasonably spaced meals per day, the opportunity for sufficient rest at night (at least six full hours) and reasonable time for personal hygiene.                                                       
  4. Encouraging or requiring a person to engage in physical activity of unusual kind or duration, such as: calisthenics, overly difficult work assignments, activities that may be excessive for a person, activities that require a person to remain in a fixed position for an extended period of time,  binding or restricting an individual in any way that would prohibit them from moving on their own, confining a person, or exposing participants to uncomfortable elements like in environments that are too hot, cold, noisy, small or threatening/ intimidating
  5. Hitting, pretending, or misleading a prospective member into believing that they will be hit, hurt, or physically altered.
  6.  Encouraging or requiring acts that are or seem to be dangerous.

Psychological

  1. Encouraging or requiring a person to pretend to or actually violate a law.
  2. Encourage or requiring an individual to obtain or possess items or  complete tasks in an unlawful manner (i.e. for a scavenger hunt).
  3. Verbally abusing prospective members. Examples include, but not limited to; yelling or screaming; calling individuals demeaning names; booing, hissing, or demeaning individuals when they make mistakes.
  4. Encouraging or requiring a person to perform acts of servitude, perform personal errands for others, or engage in activities that are demeaning.
  5.  Misleading prospective members in an effort to convince them that they will not become members unless they complete tasks, follow instructions, or act in a certain way.
  6. Misleading prospective members into believing that they will be hurt during induction or initiation.
  7. Encouraging or requiring a person to publicly carry objects or wear apparel, or appear in public that is abnormal, not normally in good taste, conspicuous and/ or indecent.
  8. Encouraging or requiring a person to appear nude or reveal body parts.
  9. Encouraging or requiring an individual or group to remain in a certain place or transporting them to a location without their knowledge. (e.g., taking a person on a road trip or excursion to an unknown destination or kidnapping).
  10. Parading individuals in public areas, transporting individuals in a motor vehicle while blindfolded, or privately conducting blindfolding activities that serve no constructive purpose.
  11. Requiring an individual to “pledge” or “associate” for a period of unusual length (more than 10-12 weeks) for reasons other than achieving academic requirements or extraordinary circumstances.
  12.  Hazing also includes soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in the above acts.

5.   Location
This policy encompasses all acts of hazing that occur whether on or off campus. As such, an act of hazing by an individual or organization will be viewed by the Institution as a violation of the Institution’s hazing policy, regardless of where the act of hazing took place.

6.  Consent
An individual may not consent to being hazed, and his/her/ their voluntary or willful participation in hazing activities will not be considered as a defense against a violation of the Institution’s hazing policy by an individual or organization.

7.  Reporting
Any suspected violation of this policy should be reported in accordance with the Institution’s reporting system. The initial report of a suspected violation may be reported in person, by phone, or by electronic communication, and may be done anonymously. Alleged violations of this policy can be reported to the Virginia Tech Police Department, Student Engagement and Campus Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life, or Student Conduct.

8.  Distinction between Hazing By Organizations and By Individuals
The following statement will help distinguish hazing violations by individuals from hazing violations by student organizations.

  1. It is presumed that hazing incidents involve only those persons directly participating in the incident and those who are present at the time it occurs and who do nothing to stop its occurrence.
  2. A hazing incident may also be an organizational activity, for which the organization itself may be disciplined, if any of the following characteristics are present:
    1. The faculty advisor, or any of the executive officers of the organization, or the person charged with the administration of an orientation or pledge program is aware of the incident sufficiently in advance of its occurrence to prohibit its taking place, and takes no action to prohibit it.
    2. The faculty advisor, or any of the executive officers of the organization, or the person charged with the administration of an orientation or pledge program knows the identity of the members involved in the incident and refuses to divulge that information to the appropriate university authorities or the police.
    3. The incident takes place in any public area within a chapter house or in any public place.
    4. The incident involves the expenditure of any organizational funds.
    5. The incident involves or is actively or passively endorsed by a majority of the members of the organization.
    6. The incident involves six or more members of the organization.

Hazing Education
The officers, principally the president or chairperson, of each organization are responsible for informing members and prospective members of this hazing policy. Student Engagement and Campus Life and Fraternity and Sorority Life will do hazing education, as well as, keep the university community informed on the issue of hazing.

Weapons

Unauthorized possession, storage, or control of firearms, weapons, on university property, including storing weapons in vehicles on campus as well as in the residence halls. Furthermore, ammunition cannot be stored in any residence halls on campus. (Note: Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets weapons are governed by the Virginia Administrative Codes. Please refer to 8VAC105-20.)

Weapons: Firearms are defined as any gun, rifle, pistol, or handgun designed to fire any projectile including but not limited to bullets, pellets, or shots, regardless of the propellant used. Ammunition is defined as any material intended for use in a firearm, capable of being projected by a weapon and/or makes the weapon operational. Other weapons are defined as any instrument of combat or any object not designed as an instrument of combat but carried for the purpose of inflicting or threatening bodily injury. Examples include but are not limited to knives with blades longer than 4 inches, razors, metal knuckles, blackjacks, hatchets, bows and arrows, nun chukkas, foils, stun weapons, or any explosive or incendiary device. Possession of realistic replicas of weapons on campus is prohibited. Stun weapons is defined as any device that emits a momentary or pulsed output, which is electrical, audible, optical or electromagnetic in nature and which is designed to temporarily incapacitate a person. Students who store weapons in residence hall rooms, who brandish weapons, or who use a weapon in a reckless manner may face disciplinary action, which may include suspension or dismissal from the university. Students who store ammunition in the residence halls will face disciplinary action. Exceptions to possessing weapons may be made in the case of university functions or activities and for educational exhibitions or displays. Exceptions must be approved by the Vice President for Administrative Services, in consultation with appropriate university offices. This policy does not prohibit the possession of firearms by persons, such as law enforcement officers, who are authorized by law to do so in the performance of their duties. A weapons storage program is available. The storage program applies to the weapon and ammunition. Ammunition that will not be stored includes Air Soft projectiles, Nerf gun projectiles, and CO2 Cartridges. Interested persons should contact the Virginia Tech Police (Southgate Center, 231-6411.)