10 Things To Keep In Mind

Author name
Stephen Bryan, Associate Dean of Students & Director, 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 keep in mind this year.  For the overwhelming majority of you, this list will never apply directly to you, so we especially THANK YOU for reading through these items— and perhaps you can be a persuasive voice to your peers in steering them away from some of the negative behaviors described below, should you see them heading down a potentially perilous path.

1.  You won't be able to participate in many off-campus programs (e.g., DukeEngage, study abroad) if you are on disciplinary probation (DP), which is a mid-level response to violations of university policy.  DP is often issued, for example, as a sanction for distributing alcohol, smoking pot, having a fake ID, disorderly conduct, and repeated misconduct.   

2.  Suspension from Duke results in a permanent notation on one's transcript and often arises from academic dishonesty, distributing drugs, driving while impaired, fighting/other violence, or repeated misconduct.  A student has to apply for readmission to Duke after being suspended; readmission is not guaranteed.  

3.  Sexual misconduct is not tolerated in our community and may result in permanent removal (EXPULSION) from the Duke community or other serious sanctions.  Read through the Sexual Misconduct Policy here .

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. One night of fun at an off-campus bar could result in a disciplinary record and hundreds of dollars in court costs and lawyer fees.

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.  Students who live off campus should recognize that neighbors unhappy with parties and their associated effects will seek enforcement action by the police, the city, and the university.  Off-campus residences are not intended to be makeshift bars and clubs!

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.  Want to smoke pot as part of “Netflix and chill”?  Don’t do it, particularly in the residential areas of campus.  The odor permeates the air of the surrounding area, and despite good-sounding tips from the Internet, can’t easily be masked.  

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.  These days, graduate programs to which students apply (e.g., law school and medical school)— and more employers— are asking students to report disciplinary action taken against them, even if Duke has a policy of not externally reporting such action.  Avoid creating future angst for yourself:  a bad decision today could lead to much anxiety for you not only tomorrow, but years down the road, too.  Think about long-term consequences of a particular choice for a single night of "fun."

For a comprehensive listing of university policies and procedures regarding undergraduate student conduct, see the Office of Student Conduct website or view The Duke Community Standard in Practice:  A Guide for Undergraduates.  For a list of major changes to this year’s policies, click here.  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