Community Standards

Community Standards

Aloha | Pono | Kuleana

As an educational institution, we have the obligation to safeguard our community values of Aloha, Pono, and Kuleana in order to maintain our community of trust and environment conducive to learning.  This page is designed to educate our community members of the policies, rights, and responsibilities that apply to students. 

Student Conduct Violations

Academic Integrity Grievances

  • For detailed information pertaining to academic grievances (e.g. academic integrity policy, grade appeal procedures, etc.) please refer to the Student Handbook.

External Reporting Options

  • In an emergency, please dial 911.
  • Contact the Honolulu Police Department 808-529-3111 or
  • You may also take independent action by prosecuting criminally or filing a civil case.

Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

  • For detailed information pertaining to Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment, please refer to the Title IX website.

When incidents happen and HPU students are involved, we work with students to resolve disciplinary matters and provide resources to impacted parties. Students, faculty, and staff who believe there has been a violation of the Code of Student Conduct may contact the Student Conduct Office to discuss options available to them, including reporting incidents to the appropriate authorities. Office staff can assist students, and they can also direct students to educational programs on a variety of topics important to the well-being of our community.

Each student must be able to study, learn and enjoy their educational career at Hawai‘i Pacific University. If these freedoms are to be experienced by all students, they must be respected by all. Therefore, students are expected to act in ways that demonstrate respect for order, decency, personal honor, and the rights of others. Implicit in the Code of Student Conduct is the understanding that students are responsible for making their own decisions and accepting the consequences of those decisions. Students are expected to respect the rights and privileges of others. The Code of Student Conduct applies on all university premises and at all University activities, whether on or off campus. The university reserves the right to apply the Code to any student’s behavior even when it occurs off campus and/or is unconnected to a university activity if, in the judgment of the university, the alleged misconduct adversely impacts the university community or its objectives.

The Code identifies many, but not all, of the important policies and regulations which address the expectations and obligations of students.  We encourage students to familiarize themselves with all policies contained within the Student Handbook, including but not limited to Housing and Residence Life Policies and Procedures, the Alcohol and Drug Policy, Academic Integrity Policy, and the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy. 

To review the Code of Student Conduct and its procedures, visit the Student Handbook.

These FAQs have been designed as a resource for students who have received a Notice of Allegations Letter from a Campus Disciplinary Officer or the Office of Student Conduct.

I received a letter from the Office of the Dean of Students or Student Conduct and it sounds serious. Is it?

Yes, the letter is serious. The Office of Student Conduct received a report regarding an incident in which you may be involved. Violations of the Code of Student Conduct have the potential to impact your status as a student at Hawai'i Pacific University, depending on the seriousness of the charge. Your honesty and participation in the process will help the matter be resolved.

Who does the Code of Student Conduct apply to?

The Code applies to all Hawai'i Pacific University students as well as all student clubs, organizations, teams, and groups. The term “student” is defined as all persons taking courses at HPU, those who remain eligible to enroll, and/or those who reside in university housing. Employees are also subject to the Employee Handbook.

Is the outcome of my meeting pre-determined?

No. The Campus Disciplinary Officer will make a decision whether you are found Responsible or Not Responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct after investigating the matter. The purpose for meeting with the Campus Disciplinary Officer is to share your side of what took place. If the case goes to a Student Conduct Hearing Board, the members of the board will participate in the outcome process. You may also refer to the Procedural Protections in the Code of Student Conduct.

Will sanctions be imposed?

If you are found Not Responsible of violating university policy, no sanctions will be imposed.

If you are found Responsible, sanctions may be imposed. Sanctions will be determined by a number of factors such as the egregiousness of the violation and prior disciplinary history. Potential sanctions that may be imposed are outlined in Section 17 of the Code of Student Conduct.

What if I don’t respond to the Notice of Allegations Letter or don’t show up for my meeting with the Campus Disciplinary Officer?

If you fail to schedule a meeting with the Campus Disciplinary Officer by the deadline indicated in the Allegations Letter, or if you fail to appear on time for your scheduled meeting, your case will be adjudicated in absentia per Section 15 of the Code of Student Conduct and sanctions may be imposed.

Should I read the Code of Student Conduct before the meeting?

We recommend that you read the Code of Student Conduct as well as any other policy that may be applicable to your case, such as the Drug and Alcohol Policy. You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you have about these polices or procedures used during the student disciplinary process during your meeting with the Campus Disciplinary Officer.

What if I have questions about the charges in advance of the meeting?

Please note that the allegations cannot be discussed on the phone prior to the meeting with the Campus Disciplinary Officer. It is recommended that you save your questions for your meeting as they will likely be addressed at the beginning of the meeting. The Campus Disciplinary Officer will review your rights as a student going through the process, the procedures that will be used to redress your case, and details regarding your allegations.

Can I bring an advisor to the meeting with me?

Yes, you may bring an HPU student, faculty, or staff member who is not a lawyer. Please note that the advisor is there to provide support to you during the process, but the advisor may not answer questions on your behalf. Please refer to Section 14 of the Student Handbook for more details.

What if the description of the incident in the report is inaccurate? How do I dispute the allegations?

If you believe any aspect of the report is inaccurate, explaining your side of the story during the meeting is important. As explained in the Code of Student Conduct, you have the right to share your side of what took place, submit documents and other relevant evidence, and to identify witnesses who may have information relevant to the complaint.

If the allegation is not substantiated, the case may be dismissed and no sanctions will be imposed. The Campus Disciplinary Officer or Student Conduct Hearing Board will determine if you did or did not violate the Code of Student Conduct.

What if I do not like the decision made by the Campus Disciplinary Officer?

If your case went through formal resolution proceedings (see Section 13 of the Code of Student Conduct), you have the right to appeal the outcome of your case. All appeals are heard by the Provost or their designee. For information on the appeals process, please refer to Section 16 of the Code of Student Conduct.

In your case went through informal resolution proceedings (see Section 12 of the Code of Student Conduct), there is no right to an appeal; however, the results of informal procedures are not part of your reportable disciplinary record.

Who has access to my disciplinary record?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) severely restricts disclosures of non-directory information; for more information about what falls under directory information, click here (refer to Section Three: University Policies and Procedures, under "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). However, university employees with a legitimate educational interest may review your record without your written permission (for example, the Study Abroad Office may review whether you have any violations of the Code of Student Conduct when processing your application to study overseas). In addition, where health and safety emergencies exist, or when required by law, the university may release information without your permission.

If I am found responsible for violating University policy, what will appear on my transcripts?

Nothing. HPU transcripts only track academic progress. Student disciplinary records are maintained separately, and are governed by FERPA in the manner described above.

I am also facing the legal process through the courts. Isn’t this double jeopardy?

No. The term double jeopardy applies only to the criminal justice system and prohibits the government from prosecuting a citizen multiple times for the same violation of law. The student disciplinary process is designed to enforce university regulations and review a student’s status at HPU.

What is the difference between the student conduct process and a criminal proceeding?

First and foremost, rules governing the handling of student conduct matters at institutions of higher education are different from criminal statutes. On campus, there are many behaviors that are violations of the Code of Student Conduct but that may not be violations of state or federal law.

A second significant difference is the standard of proof. The criminal justice system uses “beyond a reasonable doubt” which is 99% certainty, to determine whether the alleged violation did or did not occur. Institutions of higher education, on the other hand, use “the preponderance of the evidence” standard, which essentially means considering whether it is more likely than not that the violation occurred. This standard of evidence has been mandated for use in student conduct proceedings by the Department of Education.

Another difference is that the disciplinary process, including outcomes, is protected and confidential, whereas criminal prosecution creates public records.

Yet another difference is that conduct proceedings do not operate like a trial, which is adversarial in nature. The student conduct process is intended to be educational and restorative. In certain cases, sanctions may focus on self-reflection and making reparations; they also take into account what the accused student needs to learn from the situation, in order to better foster their sense of citizenship and personal development.

Lastly, the processes, goals, ramifications, and jurisdictions of student conduct are completely different from those of the criminal justice system.

I am a good student. Why aren’t my grades or character witnesses taken into consideration?

During student conduct proceedings, we are not questioning your character as a person nor the level of your academic achievements. The purpose of the proceedings are to address the behavior, assess the facts of the case, and determine whether a violation of university policy took place.

What happens if I don’t complete my sanctions on time?

Failure to complete sanctions may result in additional disciplinary action being taken against you. If you have concerns regarding your ability to complete the sanctions, contact the Campus Disciplinary Officer to discuss your options.

Will having a disciplinary record impact my future?

In certain instances, including but not limited to the examples below, your disciplinary record may be checked when:

  • Transferring to a new school
  • Applying to graduate school
  • Applying to study abroad
  • Applying for a position in federal government
  • Completing the Bar Exam (character and fitness inquiry component)
  • HPU offices determine your eligibility for student leadership positions

Having a disciplinary record may not automatically preclude your eligibility; however, such inquiries are common.

How long are disciplinary records kept?

Student Conduct records are normally retained for seven years from the date of the Resolution Letter.

In certain instances, you may be eligible to petition HPU to have your disciplinary record voided for good cause. For more information on this process, please refer to the Code of Student Conduct.