Spring 2020 Code Revisions - Section 4: Prohibited Conduct

The Code, together with Procedures for the enforcement of the prohibited conduct comply with New York Consolidated Laws, Education Law – EDN §6430 for the maintenance of public order on Cornell’s campus. The conduct defined and set forth herein is prohibited and subject to applicable procedures adopted under this Code. It is also a violation for any person subject to the Code to attempt to commit any of the following violations:

  • To knowingly affiliate with groups, teams, or organizations that have had their University recognition or registration withdrawn, suspended or permanently revoked by the University for disciplinary reasons. The definition of affiliation includes joining, rushing, pledging or being involved in any activity that would normally be associated with being a member of such an organization. This applies to organizations that were created by members of a de-recognized organization in an attempt to continue its presence on campus. This prohibited conduct does not apply to unrecognized student groups who have never had University recognition or who are currently not recognized by the University because of non-disciplinary disbandment. However, known members of unrecognized student groups may be held accountable for prohibited conduct by these groups.
  • To use ethnicity, gender, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, or sexual orientation or affectional preference as a basis for exclusion from university or group activities on campus.
To unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or sell alcohol, including, but not limited to:
  • Providing alcohol to an individual who is under the legal drinking age;
  • Selling alcohol without a license;
  • Consumption or possession of alcohol while under the legal drinking age;
  • Knowingly possessing alcohol in unauthorized University spaces regardless of age;
  • Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol;
  • Public Intoxication.
To attempt to violate any provision(s) of the Code.
To engage or threaten to engage in conduct that does or can reasonably be expected to result in physical harm, or significant emotional or psychological harm to another person, including, but not limited to:
  • Any unwelcome physical contact (e.g. spitting, striking, slapping, hitting, biting, punching, shoving, kicking);
  • Any physical action that is objectively abusive, threatening, intimidating, or endangers the health or safety of another person;
  • Throwing or use of dangerous projectiles;
  • To prevent a person from leaving a location (including part of the location, such as one part of the room) or to force a person to go to a location against their will. This is a violation whether accomplished through physical or psychological means.
Bribing a University employee or student for personal gain.
To participate, aid or assist another person to commit a violation of the Code.
To intentionally cause or recklessly create a risk of disruption to the University community or local community, including, but not limited to:
  • Violent or threatening behavior;
  • Unreasonably loud or belligerent behavior;
  • Obstruction of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
To disrupt or materially interfere with any instructional, research, service, judicial, or other University operation or function , including, but not limited to:
  • Substantially obstructing or interfering with the lawful exercise of freedom of speech or freedom of peaceable assembly of any person or persons;
  • Substantially obstructing the lawful use of, access to, or egress from University premises or portions thereof, or by making unauthorized entry upon or use of a University property or facility or by unlawfully remaining in or on the same;
  • Intentionally obstructing or restraining the lawful participation of another person in an authorized activity or event, such as regular and special curricular activities, extracurricular activities, employment interviews, and recruiting activities.
To unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or sell marijuana or any controlled substances, including prescription medication not prescribed to the user, as prohibited by state or federal law, including, but not limited to:
  • Possessing drug paraphernalia, with intent to use unlawful drugs;
  • Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana or any controlled substance, including prescription medication not prescribed to the user.
To refuse to comply with:
  • A lawful directive of a University official within the scope of that person’s official duties;
  • A policy or operational rule that has been duly promulgated by the University or any college, department, or unit thereof, whether or not the policy has been issued in the standardized University format, including life safety regulations and technology regulations;
  • Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire that damages University or personal property or which causes injury;
  • Failure to comply with the requirement that all persons must leave a University building after a fire alarm has sounded or other notice of evacuation has been given, whether or not a drill;
  • Tampering with or improper activation of a fire alarm, fire hydrants, covering or otherwise compromising the proper functioning of a smoke detector or fire sprinkler, theft or improper use of a fire extinguisher;
  • Possessing or using firecrackers or flare for any purpose other than vehicular safety
Subjecting another person or group to uninvited or unwelcome behaviors that are abusive, threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, when the conditions outlined in (1) or (2) below, are present:
  1. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s participation in any of the University programs or activities or is used as the basis for a University decision affecting the individual; or
  2. The conduct creates a hostile environment – A hostile environment exists when the conduct unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the University’s programs or activities. Conduct must cause unreasonable interference from both a subjective and an objective perspective. The fact that the conduct targets a group that has historically experienced discrimination may be relevant to a determination of whether the conduct creates a hostile environment.
Because of protections afforded by principles of free speech and academic freedom, expression will not be considered harassment unless the expression also meets one or both of the following criteria:
     - it is meant to be either abusive or humiliating toward a specific person or persons; or
     - it persists despite the reasonable objection of the person or person targeted by the speech.
Offensive conduct that does not by itself amount to harassment as defined above may be the basis for educational or other non-punitive interventions to prevent such conduct from becoming harassment if it were repeated or intensified. Mere disagreement with the political viewpoint or content of another’s form of expression shall not be the basis for any intervention, even a non-punitive one.
Actions that constitute stalking or sexual harassment as defined by Policy 6.4 (“Prohibited Bias, Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual and Related Misconduct”) shall be handled pursuant to that Policy and its associated Procedures.
Hazing is an act that: regardless of a person’s willingness to participate, whether on or off campus, as an explicit or implicit condition of recruitment, admission, or initiation into, or membership status* within a recognized or unrecognized group, team, organization, or academic cohort, could be seen by a reasonable person, as not relevant to the group’s purpose, and as likely to risk or cause, whether mild or severe:
  • mental distress or harm (e.g. humiliation, intimidation, fear);
  • physical distress or harm (e.g. pain, exhaustion, injury, illness);
  • sexual distress or harm (e.g. embarrassment, shame, trauma);
  • and/or involves any of the following:
    • acts of servitude or menial tasks,
    • damaging or stealing property,
    • the consumption of alcohol or other drugs,
    • the consumption of unpalatable substances, or palatable substances to excess,
    • undue financial expenditures,
  • or involves activities that are relevant to the purpose of the group, but that a reasonable person would find appear excessive in their application.
  • Regardless of whether the individual who experiences the act identifies it as hazing.
*Examples of hazing that involve "membership status" can include, but are not limited to:
  • "Reverse hazing" in which new members are required to select and haze one or more full members;
  • Subjecting a cohort of full members, such as sophomores, to hazing;
  • Hazing an individual or group of individuals who have recently attained an elevated status or position (e.g., new captain of a team, newly elected leaders of band sections)
To intentionally invade privacy or misappropriate property rights, by means of videotaping, photographing, audiotaping, or otherwise making any video, picture, or sound recording, or to appropriate, distribute, share, or use someone’s likeness, identifying personal data, or documents.
  • To furnish false information to the University with intent to deceive;
  • To use, create, sell, or possess forged, fraudulently altered, or falsified documents, electronic records, or permits;
  • To claim falsely to represent the University or a University-registered organization;
  • To access the documents or records of the University or person without authorization, whether physical or electronic (i.e., “hacking”);
  • To possess and use of identification by a person who is under the legal drinking age if the date of birth on the identification would appear to make it legal for the user to consume alcohol.
Obstruction or interference with, or failure to comply in, Code of Conduct processes, including, but not limited to:
  • Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information;
  • Failure to provide, destroying or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged Code violation;
  • Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the campus conduct system;
  • Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a campus conduct body prior to, during, and/or following a campus conduct proceeding;
  • Influencing, or attempting to influence, another person to commit an abuse of the campus conduct system;
  • Refusing to participate, without a substantial reason, as a witness in an investigation of or proceeding brought to enforce potential violations of this Code;
  • Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the Code or other conduct policy, including Policy 6.4.
Actions that result in or can be reasonably expected to result in damage to property, including electronic data, files, or other information. This includes, but is not limited to, property owned by the University, property owned by individuals affiliated with the University, and property owned by individuals or entities not affiliated with the University.
To expose a private or intimate part of one’s body in a lewd manner or commit any other lewd act in a public place which is not covered by Policy 6.4.
To urinate or defecate in public.
Students are required to inform their guests as to Cornell’s behavioral standards and expectations. Students can be held responsible for their guests’ misconduct in which the student is complicit.
To steal or knowingly possess stolen property or information, including by such acts as misappropriation of data or University funds, or to infringe upon another person’s trademark, copyright, patent, or other intellectual property rights.
To enter upon or make use of University or private property or facilities without authorization, including:
  • To enter any waters of Fall Creek, Cascadilla Creek, or Beebe Lake that are on or traverse the campus to swim or bathe, except in those waters officially designated as swimming or bathing waters;
  • Building a structure on the campus without a permit or in violation of the conditions of a permit.
Violation of any federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance.
To possess, carry, or use any weapon or other object that can be used to cause physical harm, that can be used to threaten physical harm, or that, by its appearance, could reasonably be perceived as a weapon or object that could be used to cause physical harm (e.g., replica firearms). This includes firearms (defined as any projectile-firing device including rifles or shotguns), ammunition, explosives, or other dangerous weapons , instruments, or substances.

**Please submit comments on the main 2020 Proposed Amendments to the Campus Code of Conduct page.**