Student Conduct Processes

The Student Conduct standards and procedures contained in the Student Handbook are applicable to all PLNU students enrolled at the main campus.  Student-Athletes are advised to also consult the Student-Athlete Handbook for additional university guidelines.  Standards and procedures have been established by PLNU to protect its educational purpose, to provide for the orderly conduct of its activities, to protect the victims of crime or inappropriate conduct, and to safeguard the interests of the university community. These disciplinary procedures are considered part of the University's educational process and reflect its philosophy of education and evaluation.  The Student Handbook is maintained by the Office of Student Development.  Questions or comments regarding the Student Handbook may be directed to the Vice President for Student Development, Caye Smith,

Any meetings or appeals that are conducted as part of this process are not subject to the rules that may apply in a court of law.  However, because conduct that is the subject of PLNU's disciplinary process may also be a violation of law, students may be held accountable in both forums.  Accordingly, student conduct under PLNU's process will generally proceed regardless of the existence of any civil or criminal proceeding.

It is desired that every PLNU student develop holistically.  Point Loma Nazarene University expects all persons to be treated with respect and dignity. Students are expected to conduct themselves at all times, on- and off-campus, in a responsible manner that reflects credit on themselves and the University in terms of morality, honor, and good citizenship, and in a manner that is consistent with PLNU's rules and regulations.

When situations arise which potentially call for student conduct actions, the University will follow its procedures, which include:

  • Informing students of the alleged violations of University policy;
  • Offering students a fair and reasonable opportunity for explanation;
  • Providing an avenue of appeal, when appropriate.

At anytime, the University may impose such penalties as it concludes are appropriate, ranging from warning to expulsion.  Additionally, the University reserves the right to deny re-enrollment to any student if such action is deemed to be in the best interests of the University or the student.

Various student conduct committees exist, each with specific responsibilities for administering behavioral expectations in certain forums.  Currently, the following student conduct committees have disciplinary responsibilities:

  • Chapel Policy Committee
  • Traffic Review Committee
  • Traffic Appeal Committee
  • Student Conduct Committee

The Student Conduct Committee, made up of students, staff and faculty, is charged with the task of responding to significant student conduct violations.  The Student Conduct Committee works with the student and Dean of Students to develop a variety of outcomes  and/or sanctions, including, but not limited to: fines, community service, mentorship, or expulsion. The final student conduct will be made by the Dean of Students, and will take into account the recommendation of the University Student Conduct Committee.

Student Appeals

Students who wish to appeal a decision of PLNU's conduct process may initiate such an appeal through the Student Appeal Process.  In order to be considered, appeal must be written by the student, submitted in a timely manner (see timeline for appeals below), and must include all information, documentation and supporting statements.

Process for Appeals

Students may appeal once, to one level higher than the body responsible for the challenged  disciplinary action.

  • The final appeal for traffic and parking violations is with the Director of Public Safety or designee.
  • The final appeal for alcohol, drug and tobacco first offenses is with the Dean of Students or designee.
  • Appeals of decisions initially made by the Dean of Students are with the Vice President for Student Development or designee.
  • The final appeal for students suspended or expelled from the university for conduct is with the Vice President for Student Development or designee.
  • The final appeal for the Chapel Policy Committee is with the Vice President for Spiritual Development or designee.

A student’s failure to appear at the time designated for any University disciplinary body will result in immediate dismissal of the appeal. In these cases, the student must show good cause to have the appeal reinstated.

Timeline for Appeals


In order to appeal a discipline-related decision, a student must file the appeal in writing with the appropriate person/committee within the timeline designated below.

In order to appeal a decision of a Resident Director or a Student Conduct Committee must be submitted to the designated reviewing body or official no later than 4:00 p.m., one school day after notice of the decision.  

An appeal to the Vice President for Student Development must be submitted to the Vice President for Student Development within two (2) school days after notice of the Student Conduct Committee or Dean of Students. All appeals must be written and include copies of all documentation, information, and written support statements to be considered in the appeal.

A traffic citation may be appealed to the Traffic Appeals Committee (through the Office of Public Safety) within 10 calendar days of receipt of the citation.

Victim Disclosure Policy


Upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of a violent crime, or a non-forcible sex offense, the results of any student conduct process conducted by the University against the student who is the alleged perpetrator of the crime or offense.  If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the crime or offense, the University will provide the results of the disciplinary hearing to the victim's next of kin, if so requested.

Ombudsperson – Student Advocacy

A student may request the assistance of a University ombudsperson to assist and advise him/her while s/he is involved in the discipline or appeals process.  Such a request may be directed to the Vice President for Student Development, Caye Smith,

The University reserves the right to refer any violation to appropriate law enforcement.