10 Things to Remember For a Successful Experience

Author name
Stephen Bryan, Associate Dean of Students & Director, Office of Student Conduct

Dear Undergraduate Student:

The Office of Student Conduct staff welcomes you (back) to Duke!  We know your time is valuable, so with that in mind, here are 10 things to remember for a successful and full experience this year.  We want to help you avoid decisions that could lead to future anxiety as a consequence of regretted choices.

1.  You won't be able to study abroad or participate in DukeEngage in you are on disciplinary probation (DP), which is a mid-level response to concerning behavior.  DP is issued, for example, as a sanction for distributing alcohol, smoking pot, having a fake ID, disorderly conduct, and repeated misconduct.  

2.  If you are suspended from Duke, a permanent notation is made on your transcript and you have to apply for readmission, which is not guaranteed. 

3.  Violence, particularly sexual violence, is not tolerated in our community, and may result in permanent removal from the Duke community. 

4.  Know that the use of a fake ID carries risks.  Bartenders can easily spot them, and local and state police agencies typically cite/arrest students if caught with one.

5.  Pretend your grandparents are living next door to the off-campus residence you visit.  Be respectful of the neighborhood, avoid littering, keep your noise down, and let your good judgment guide you rather than be compromised by a "groupthink" mentality and/or the excessive consumption of alcohol. 

6.  It's better to get a reduced grade/zero on an assignment for turning it in late rather than completing it in an academically dishonest way, which may result in suspension.

7.  Fire extinguishers and fire alarm pulls are tempting to touch.  Caution!  A false alarm annoys your peers (especially at 3 AM), and the powder from a discharged fire extinguisher creates a mess.  Students identified tampering with fire safety equipment will likely lose their on-campus housing.

8.  Use legitimate sources (Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Netflix, etc.) for acquiring music or movies.  We've heard of unfortunate situations where students have been sued for copyright infringement for downloading files illegally.

9.  It is easy to overestimate the degree to which collaboration is permitted in a course.  Clarify with your instructors the extent to which working with another on an assignment is permitted.

10.  If you're unsure if _____ (fill in the blank) is OK or not, there are lots of resources available to help you figure this out.  Your academic dean, your RA, your advisor, your instructors, Student Affairs staff… we're all here to help you proactively make good decisions and give you support.  Ask rather than assume!

For a comprehensive listing of university policies and procedures regarding undergraduate student conduct, see http://bit.ly/15mKbT9 or the Office of Student Conduct website (http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/conduct).  If you did not receive a printed copy of The Duke Community Standard in Practice: A Guide for Undergraduates and would like one, let us know at conduct@duke.edu or stop by 200 Crowell Hall (East Campus).  Best wishes for a successful year, and Go Duke!

On behalf of the Office of Student Conduct staff,
Stephen Bryan
Associate Dean of Students & Director