Particularly in the supportive community that PLNU attempts to create, each individual must consistently demonstrate respect for people and for property.

The following behaviors are not acceptable and are grounds for disciplinary action and/or dismissal from the University.

AIDING, ABETTING, OR CONSPIRING/COMPLICITY – Being present when another student violates PLNU policy, or enabling or assisting a student to commit a violation.  If illegal substances and/or objects are present in a room, all occupants are held responsible.


  • Purpose - This policy promotes greater safety on walkways, ramps, steps, and roadways at PLNU and to prevent physical damage to exterior surfaces owned and maintained by the university.
  • Regulation - The use of bicycles, and in-line skates shall be allowed only as a means of transportation on walkways and roadways at PLNU.  Anyone using a bicycle, skateboard, or in-line skates on PLNU property shall give right of way to any pedestrian and shall travel at a reasonable, safe, and prudent speed.  Under no circumstances will bicycling, skateboarding, or in-line skating be allowed on ramps, curbs, benches, steps, stairs, railings or other such structures.  The use of bicycles, skateboards, or in-line skates shall not be permitted inside any building.
  • Enforcement - Violators of this policy shall be subject to fines.  Bicylces, skateboards, and in-line skates may be impounded and will be returned upon payment of fines.

CHEATING AND DISHONESTY - Students must be honorable in all of their academic work. Dishonesty, in any form,assignments, examinations, or any other academic work is an affront to fellow students and the faculty and will not be tolerated.

COHABITATION – Living/residing with a non-related person of the opposite sex outside the bonds of marriage. This includes sharing hotel rooms.

DANGEROUS PRACTICES/RECKLESS BEHAVIOR – Activities that endanger the lives or safety of any student or other individual in any University building or on property.  This includes, but is not limited to, students climbing on roofs or hanging from ceilings and ledges of walkways, propping doors in residence halls, throwing objects from windows or balconies or elevated walkways, and disclosing or giving residence hall door access to unauthorized persons.

DINING HALL ENTRY - During hours of food service, students may enter the Dining Hall soley through its main entrance and only after producing one's personal PLNU student ID card or other form of payment for access to food service.

DISSENT - The University agrees that the right to dissent is essential to the maintenance of academic freedom in the University. However, dissent or protest against a particular position, action or situation can be permitted only when such protest does not restrict the freedom of thought and movement of others who hold different views. Those who dissent, particularly in an academic community, should be willing to permit the free expression of ideas and positions other than their own, and in a manner consistent with the University’s mission. Attempts by unauthorized persons to counter such protests will not be condoned.  Anyone who engages in any form of protest which impedes or obstructs others in the exercise of their freedom, or which interferes with the orderly procedures and activities of the University or is destructive, will be subject to disciplinary and/or legal action.

DISTURBING THE PEACE AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY - Whenever any student, student organization, or group of students, disturbs the peace, destroys, defaces, or removes University property without permission, those involved, including any affiliated organization and its officers, will be held responsible.

ENTERTAINMENT - Consistent with the history of the Church of the Nazarene and the Mission of PLNU, students are expected to practice a high standard of discernment in the use of leisure time and choice of entertainment.  As stated in the Manual 2009-2013, Church of the Nazarene, "[C]ommitment to God [shall be evidenced] by avoiding evil of every kind, including music, literature, and entertainments that dishonor God."  All forms of leisure and entertainment should enhance spiritual and personal growth and should uphold proper moral boundaries and reserve.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS  – Students are expected to comply with all lawful requests of any University official, including requests to see Student ID, and to respond truthfully to any questions posed by University officials.

FALSIFICATION - Any student who knowingly falsifies, or aids, abets or assists in the falsification of any official University record, misuse of ID cards, meal tickets, parking permits, or chapel attendance records, will be subject to disciplinary action.

FILMS - All films (other than those shown in a classroom situation) shown by groups or individuals under the sponsorship of Point Loma Nazarene University must have prior approval from the event sponsor or an advisor.

FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES - A student who deliberately writes "bad checks" (insufficient funds) or commits a forgery will be subject to discipline as well as possible legal action.

FIRE EQUIPMENT- Public Safety requires that fire-extinguishing equipment, fire alarms, smoke detectors and any other emergency equipment be kept only for authorized use. The law prohibits any other use.

FIREARMS, FIREWORKS/EXPLOSIVES AND WEAPONS OF ANY KIND - The possession of, sale of, or firing of fireworks, firecrackers, explosives (including, but not limited to, pipe bombs, dry ice bombs, and other such homemade devices), guns of any kind including recreational firearems and other items of similar nature is prohibited by PLNU and by city, county and state law.

GAMBLING - Gambling, in any form, is prohibited.

HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION - PLNU prohibits any form of harassment or discrimination against any member of the university community on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, or disability and/or veteran status. Such actions are prohibited not only by University policy, but also by federal law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. Any type of harassment or discrimination may subject individuals or groups to disciplinary action, and may also have legal consequences.

Although we do seek to recruit students of the Christian faith and to create an institutional environment conducive to their growth in Christ, we do not require that students be confessing Christians.  We welcome and value as students persons of every background and faith.  As a Christian community, we expect that all of our students will respect the nature of our community, learn about our traditions and participate in our community practices. PLNU affirms that a Christian liberal arts education includes an understanding of and appreciation of the differences in faith, living, and practice.

Any student who feels that he or she has experienced or witnessed discrimination against any member of the university community should report the incident to the Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Carr, available in office 306, third floor of Nicholson Commons, and at (619) 849-2484.

Any student who feels that he or she has experienced or witnessed sexual harassment should report the incident to the University Sexual Harassment Officer,  Vice President for Student Development, Dr. Caye Smith, available in office 303, third floor of Nicholson Commons, and at (619)849-2479.  Click on the following link to read the full text of PLNU's Sexual Harassment Policy.

HAZING - Hazing is not allowed on campus, or within the University's clubs or groups. Matt’s Law prohibits hazing in California.  It states:

  1. "Hazing" is defined as any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause, serious bodily injury to any pupil or other person attending any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution in California. The term "hazing" does not include customary athletic events or school-sanctioned events.
  2. Hazing that does not result in serious bodily injury is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000; imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year; or both.
  3. Any person who personally engages in hazing that results in death or serious bodily injury is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding one year or by imprisonment in the state prison.
  4. The person against whom the hazing is directed may commence a civil action for injury or damages. The action may be brought against any participants in the hazing or any organization to which the student is seeking membership whose agents, directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, participated in, or ratified the hazing.
  5. Prosecution under Matt's law does not prohibit prosecution under any other provision of law.
  6. "Matt's Law" was established in memory of Matthew William Carrington who died on February 20, 2005 as a result of hazing.

Point Loma Nazarene University supports only those activities that are constructive, educational and inspirational, and that contribute to the intellectual and personal development of the students. The University unequivocally opposes any situation intended to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. The University interprets hazing as any act, whether physical, mental, emotional or psychological, that subjects another person, voluntarily or involuntarily, to anything that may abuse, mistreat, degrade, humiliate, harass, or intimidate an individual, or which may in any fashion compromise an individual's inherent dignity as a person. In addition, any requirements by a member or pledge which compels another member or pledge to participate in any activity that is against University policy, state or federal law, will be defined as hazing. It is the right of every student on this campus to be free from the humiliation and danger of hazing. Hazing by any individual or organization shall be viewed as incongruent with the mission and values of the University. Each organization is responsible for designing programs that recognize the moral, spiritual, and intellectual qualities of human rights. Clubs and organizations must review a detailed definition of hazing in the Office of Community Life. Compliance with this description is required.

LITTERING – Disposing of refuse of any kind on University property except in the appropriate receptacles provided, is prohibited.

MEAL PLAN USEAGE - Residential students with a Sodexo meal plan may utilize the plan solely for one's personal use.  The plan may not be shared with others.

MISREPRESENTATION OR FORGERY/FALSIFICATION OF RECORDS – Providing false identification or information to any University officials with an intent to deceive. This also includes the unauthorized use of any Point Loma Nazarene University document or instrument of identification. Falsification of any University records or documents is also prohibited.

OBSCENE LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, AND MUSIC - Vulgar, foul, obscene, or profane language is not to be tolerated on campus at any time. Pornographic materials or media (i.e. music, images, video), obscene literature and pictures are also not to be tolerated.

PERSONAL APPEARANCE  - The PLNU community affirms that the appearance of students should be consistent with an environment of vital Christianity. Simplicity and modesty are two values especially relevant to our campus situation. Certainly, for any dress policy to be effective, common sense and personal discretion by the members of the community are essential.

The following guidelines are helpful:

  • Bodily cleanliness and neatness of dress are essential on the part of everyone.
  • Shoes or footwear must be worn in any building, including the visitation lounges of residence halls.
  • Clothing should be appropriate to the occasion and in good taste, reflecting the atmosphere of vital Christianity, which is one of the basic principles of Point Loma Nazarene University. Personal appearance should not disrupt the mood or atmosphere of the activity being attended. Clothing with unwholesome advertising should be avoided.
  • Clothing should be gender appropriate.
  • The University employee who is designated as the official in charge of a specific building or facility may set stricter guidelines for appropriate clothing. This includes faculty in the classrooms, residence directors in the residence halls (especially during Open House hours), the Athletic Director in all athletic facilities, and the Chaplain for Chapel.

PROOF OF STUDENT STATUS - PLNU requires that all students be able to show proof of current student status (Student ID) upon request by officials of a University official; specifically University staff and faculty, public safety personnel, resident assistants and chapel scanners. The ID remains the property of the University.

SALES/ADVERTISING ON CAMPUS - No sales, solicitation, selling "parties" or advertising is permitted on campus without permission of the Student Development Office.

SETTING A FIRE/ARSON – Lighting a fire on University property without authorization is prohibited.  Starting such a fire with the intent of destroying property is arson.

SEXUAL CONDUCT -  PLNU's official position is in full accord with the Church of the Nazarene.

  • The Church of the Nazarene affirms human sexuality as one expression of the holiness and beauty that God intended for us as His creation.
  • Christians are to understand that in marriage sexuality can and ought to be sanctified by God.  Human sexuality achieves fulfillment only as a sign of comprehensive love and loyalty.
  • As a Christian community, we celebrate human sexuality's rightful excellence, and we rigorously guard against its betrayal and distortion.
  • Sexuality is one of the ways by which the covenant between a husband and a wife is sealed and expressed.  It misses its purpose when treated as an end in itself or when cheapened by using another person to satisfy pornographic and sinful sexual interests.  We view all forms of sexual intimacy that occur outside the covenant of heterosexual marriage, even when consensual, as distortions of the holiness and beauty God intended for it.
  • We believe that all people should be treated with dignity, grace, and holy love, whatever their sexual orientation.  (Adapted from the Manual, 2009-13, Church of the Nazarene.)
  • Developing a holistic, traditional Christian sexual ethic during the years of young adulthood is both challenging and rewarding.  It is also contrary to many modern societal norms, expectations and pressures.  PLNU is a vital Christian community of Wesleyan heritage committed to helping our young people develop and live out a holistic, traditional Christian sexual ethic while part of this community.


Standards of Conduct

Sexual offenses and sexual exploitation are serious violations of law and University policy.  In addition, sexual assault and sexual exploitation in all forms violates the sanctity of the human body and spirit and will not be tolerated within the Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) community.   
Following a Sexual Offense
Victims of sexual offenses are strongly encouraged to make a report as soon as possible, whether or not he or she intends at that time to seek criminal and/or civil redress.

Sexual offenses should be reported to the Department of Public Safety at (619) 849-2525, the University Sexual Harassment Officer (Vice President for Student Development) at (619) 849-2479 and/or to the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000.  Crimes or suspected crimes can also be reported anonymously on the DPS website at Upon request, University personnel are required by law to assist students in contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Whether or not an individual makes an official report, he or she is urged to seek appropriate help, which may include medical evaluation, obtaining information, support, and counseling, either on or off campus.

The Student Success and Wellness Center offers counseling services to students who are victims of sexual offenses. Appointments can be made in person or by phoning (619) 849-2574.  The Student Success Wellness Center is also able to provide referrals for off-campus counseling and mental health services.

The Emergency Rape Crisis Hotline at (888) 385-4657 is staffed by counselors who are specifically trained to help rape victims and to offer confidential support and information about legal, medical and mental health resources.

Victims of alleged sex offenses may request a change of academic schedule, on campus work, and residential living situations following such an offense.  The University is legally obligated to grant such requests if the changes are reasonably available.


Violation of these Standards and Protocols will result in appropriate legal and/or administrative action, up to and including dismissal from the University.  Violation of these standards and protocols also may subject the offender to criminal prosecution or third party civil litigation. 

A student alleged to have committed a sexual offense, even if the offense occurred off-campus, may be subject to the Student Conduct Process as set forth in this Handbook.  Where an allegation of a sexual offense involves a University employee, other relevant administrators will also be involved in and/or oversee the enforcement of these Standards and Protocols.

In cases of alleged sexual offenses, federal law stipulates that both the accuser and accused have the right to be informed of the final outcome and sanction of any university administrative or conduct process.

STATEMENT OF IMPEDING - PLNU reserves the right to remove from the residence halls and/or campus any student whose behavior and/or action impedes the success of other students, staff, or faculty.

STUDENT-ATHLETES - Students who are members of a PLNU Intercollegiate athletic team should refer to the Student-Athlete Handbook for guidelines in addition to those published in the Student Handbook.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS - The University has a legitimate interest in being assured that all University organizations identify their goals and objectives. All such goals and objectives must be compatible with the mission statement and policies of the University and consistent with the tenets of the Church of the Nazarene, as expressed in the manual. Each organization, whether local or of outside affiliation, must obtain official recognition by whatever method is currently in operation at the University. See the Associated Student Body for further details.

STUDENT PUBLICATIONS - Student publications at Point Loma Nazarene University are under direction of the Media Board. Such publications are a part of the total campus life, and in the finest tradition of journalism, they must present an objective point of view, accuracy in facts, opposing views or a variety of views on controversial issues. All campus publications are subject to approval of the President of the University as a condition of authority to operate.

STUDENT SUBSTANCE USE/POSSESSION POLICY - One of the major impediments to student success in higher education is alcohol. (See Harvard study).  Students who drink alcohol have been found to have lower grades, lower rates of retention to the institution, and are less likely to graduate than students who do not drink. These current studies emphasize the wisdom of our founders in holding the abstinence position for the PLNU community. The resulting policy places our students in an advantageous position.

  • The University requires that students abstain from the use or possession of illegal drugs
  • The University requires that students abstain from the use or possession of alcoholic beverages
  • The University requires that students abstain from the use or possession of smoking products and tobacco products

A student who uses or who is in possession of alcohol, smoking tobacco products, or illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia has breached his/her contract signed as a part of the joint student/university decision to be admitted to the University.

A student’s refusal to test for alcohol or illegal drugs will be interpreted as an admission of guilt.

The substance policy applies during any session of the academic year that a student is enrolled or employed by the University.


Students are encouraged to avail themselves of drug and alcohol prevention resources. The university’s Student Success and Wellness: Counseling and Health Services, located on the first floor of Nicholson Commons, 619-849-2574, provides prevention, referral, and supportive resources to PLNU students.

Student Conduct Response

While Point Loma Nazarene University reserves the right to expel a student for any student conduct substance abuse violation; the following circumstances are likely to result in immediate dismissal:

  • The on campus possession of illegal drugs and/or the possession of any drug paraphernalia.
  • Any profane, aggressive or abusive behavior by the student during a confrontation regarding potential substance use and/or possession.
  • Students who provide alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication to other students.
  • Other extenuating circumstances including, but not limited to, selling or trafficking of alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication.

Note: Students choosing not to be tested for these substances will receive consequences for the offense in question.

A first substance use violation will result in prompt parental notification.  Response may also include a substance use assessment.  The assessment may be followed by a meeting with the Student Conduct Committee.  This committee meets with the student and is made up of a Resident Director, the student’s faculty advisor (or a member of the faculty), a member of the staff, the student’s Resident Assistant, and the Dean of Students,   This groups works together with the student to create a Developmental Response Plan may include participation in campus programs, community service, a fine, written reflection and response, mentoring, , and other growth responses relevant to the holistic development of the student.

A second substance use violation will result in a parental notification.  A second violation may also result in a student conduct hearing.

The student may choose between either: 

  • The Dean of Students, who reserves the right to invite advisors to the conduct meeting
  • The Student Conduct Committee

The Dean of Students and/or the Student Conduct Committee may create an amended Development Response Plan that includes participation in campus programs, community service, a fine, written reflection and response, mentoring, and other growth responses relevant to the holistic development of the student.  

A third substance use violation will result in the expulsion of a student from Point Loma Nazarene University.

 The university reserves the right to refer drug or illegal behavior to appropriate civil authorities.

Local, State, and Federal Sanctions

Some local, state and federal laws establish severe penalties for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. These sanctions, upon conviction, range from a fine and probation to lengthy imprisonment. The following websites provide more information regarding state and federal codes related to drugs and alcohol.

California Codes

Federal Code
Title 21, Chapter 13 Lists Laws Pertaining to Possession of Controlled Substances and Illegal Trafficking

THEFT AND BURGLARY - Breaking and entering, petty larceny, thefts, embezzling of funds, and similar activities are considered to be major offenses against the university community and will be subject to disciplinary action by the university in addition to possible civil prosecution.

THREATS AND VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS OR PROPERTY - A supportive community cannot exist where threats occur or where people fear injury or harm. Therefore, threats of violence or violence against persons will result in immediate removal from the university and from university property.

THROWING FOOD OR OTHER ITEMS IN THE NICHOLSON COMMONS - The Nicholson Commons is a central meeting place designed to foster relationships and the PLNU spirit. It was designed to be the campus living room. Students diminish the spirit by throwing food or other items and writing on walls.

  • First Offense - A student or students throwing napkins, food or any other items in the Nicholson Commons will perform ten hours of community service and be responsible for the cost of cleanup.
  • Second Offense – A student or students with a second violation may be removed from the university.

UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY – Entering into any University building, facility or area without authorization is prohibited.

UNAUTHORIZED POSSESSION OF KEYS - The possession of keys by students, or the making of duplicate keys to campus properties without being specifically issued by authorized campus personnel, is prohibited.

UNAUTHORIZED PRESENCE, IMPROPER USE – Unauthorized presence on or improper use of, any Point Loma Nazarene University property is prohibited. This includes the unauthorized use of university facilities (i.e. private parties, misuse of the Nicholson Commons, unauthorized solicitation or distribution of advertising materials on University property).  It also includes an individual's presence in an area from which he or she has previously been banned. 

UNIVERSITY E-MAIL - The University’s official mode of communicating with students is the local network e-mail system.

VISITORS TO THE CAMPUS - The campuses of Point Loma Nazarene University are provided primarily to accommodate the immediate university community, (i.e. students, faculty and staff).  As a private, independent university, the campuses are private property. The University reserves the right to regulate admission of visitors and to require visitors to obtain a permit under controlled conditions.

ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS - The University may, from time to time, enact and publish additional policies and regulations. These will be added online to the Student Handbook.