Expectations of Students

Code of Honor

Western Michigan University (WMU) is a student-centered research university that forges a responsive and ethical academic community. Its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are built upon intellectual inquiry, investigation, discovery, an open exchange of ideas, and ethical behavior. Members of the WMU community respect diversity, value the cultural differences of those around them, and engender a sense of social obligation. Because of these values, all individuals are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and civil manner. This includes exemplifying academic honesty, integrity, fairness, trustworthiness, personal responsibility, respect for others, and ethical conduct. These attributes are exhibited in the University setting as well as in the community. Members of the University community abide by this code out of commitment to serve as responsible citizens of the University, the community, the nation, and the world. Responsibility for fulfilling the obligations of the code of honor is shared by the students, faculty, and every other member of the University community.

Statement approved in 2005 by the Western Michigan University Faculty Senate and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


Any student found to have committed the following misconduct is subject to conduct sanctions outlined in Article V:

  1. Academic misconduct – Including but not limited to the following:

    Cheating: Cheating is intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise.

    -Students completing any examination are prohibited from looking at another student’s examination and from using external aids (for example, books, notes, calculators, conversation with other) unless specifically allowed in advance by the faculty member.
    -Students may not have others conduct research or prepare work for them without advance authorization from the faculty member. This includes, but is not limited to the services of commercial term paper companies.

    Fabrication, falsification, and forgery: Fabrication is the intentional invention and unauthorized alteration of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification is a matter of altering information while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise or University record. Forgery is defined as the act to imitate or counterfeit documents, signatures, and the like.


    - Invented” information shall not be used in any laboratory experiment, report of results or academic exercise. It would be improper, for example, to analyze one sample in an experiment and then “invent” data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses.

    -Students shall acknowledge the actual source from which cited information was obtained. For example, a student shall not take a quotation from a book review and then indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.

    -Falsification of University records includes altering or forging any University document and/or record, including identification material issued or used by the University.

    Multiple submission: Multiple submission is the submission of substantial portions of the same work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization from instructors of all classes for which the student submits the work.


    - Examples of multiple submission include submitting the same paper for credit in more than one course without all faculty members’ permission; making revisions in a credit paper or report (including oral presentations) and submitting it again as if it were new work.

     Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s language, ideas, or other material without making the source(s) evident in situations where there is a legitimate expectation of original work.  Plagiarism does not occur when efforts to promptly identify sources by making source use apparent to the audience of the submitted material are obvious.  Plagiarism may not necessarily include mistakes in citation style. A legitimate expectation of original work exists for numerous circumstances, including (but not limited to): scholarly writing, technical presentations and papers, conference presentations and papers, online discussion postings, grant proposals, patents, book and other manuscripts, theses and dissertations, class assignments, artistic works, computer code, algorithms, and other creative works. This definition applies to the entire WMU community, which includes all faculty; students; staff; visiting faculty, scholars, administrators; and any other person governed by academic research and other policies of the University.

    Complicity: Complicity is intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.


    - Examples of complicity include knowingly allowing another to copy from one’s paper during an examination or test; distributing test questions or substantive information about the materials to be tested before the scheduled exercise; collaborating on academic work knowing that the collaboration will not be reported; taking an examination or test for another student, or signing another’s name on an academic exercise.

    - Collaboration and sharing information are characteristics of academic communities. These become violations when they involve dishonesty. Faculty members should make clear to students expectations about collaboration and information sharing. Students should seek clarification when in doubt.

    Academic computer misuse: Academic computer misuse is the use of software to perform work which the instructor has told the student to do without the assistance of software.

 2.         Alcohol use or possession – Including but not limited to public intoxication, use, possession, manufacturing or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations.

 3.         Credit card misuse – The unauthorized use of another’s credit card, debit card, charge card, secured card, smart card or any other instrument of credit.

 4.         Dishonesty – Including but not limited to the following:

  • Furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member, or office.

  • Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, account, computer account, or instrument of identification.

  • Tampering with an election conducted by any Western Michigan University Registered Student Organization.

  • Acting as an agent of the University without authorization.

  • Furnishing false information to a law enforcement officer(s) acting in accordance with their duties

 5.         Disruptive behavior – Behavior by any student, in class or out of class, which for any reason materially disrupts the class work of others, involves substantial disorder, invades the rights of others, or otherwise disrupts the regular and essential operation of the University.  This includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Disruption, or interference which impedes, impairs or obstructs teaching, research, administration, conduct proceedings, other University missions, processes, or functions including public-service functions or other authorized University or non-University activities when the conduct occurs on University premises.

  • Participation in a campus demonstration which disrupts the normal operation of the University and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the University community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area; or intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus or other University property.

  • Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on University premises or at University-sponsored or supervised functions.

  • Conduct which is disorderly; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on University premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in, by the University or members of the academic community.

  • Instances where a student engages, or threatens to engage, in behavior which poses an immediate danger of causing physical harm to others; or

  • Instances which cause significant property damage, or would directly and substantially impede the lawful activities of others; or

  • Instances where a student’s behavior disturbs normal University operations, consumes an inordinate amount of University staff time and/or resources, or may interfere with the educational process and/or the orderly operation of the University.

 6.         Drug possession or use – Use, possession, exchange, manufacturing, or distribution of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, other controlled substances and/or paraphernalia, except as expressly permitted by law. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act of 2008 (MMMA) and the passage of Michigan Proposal 1 2018 notwithstanding, WMU is subject to the Federal Drug-Free workplace Act of 1988 and the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act amendment of 1989, both of which prohibit controlled substances on campus, including marijuana.  Therefore, pursuant to federal law, the use or possession of any marijuana, medicinal or recreational, is not permitted anywhere on WMU’s campus.

 7.         Entry or use – Entry into or use of University premises or property, or remaining in any area on University premises which is unauthorized or any entry into or use of private property which is unauthorized.

 8.         Failure to comply – Failure to comply with direction of University officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties.

 9.         Fire or safety equipment misuse – Tampering with or misuse of fire or any other safety equipment, or disregarding, circumventing, or disabling any security or safety device or system.

 10.        Hazing – Any act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person, embarrasses, frightens, or degrades a person or which destroys or removes public/private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership, in a group, organization/team. The expressed or implied consent of the alleged person against whom the actions have been taken will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of this rule.

 11.        Identification misuse – The use of another person’s identity, password, identification number, University identification card or any other identification card; or assisting another to misuse any identity, password, identification number, University identification card or any other identification card.

 12.        Conduct system abuse – Including but not limited to:

  • Failure to set up and/or attend an appointment when directed to do so by a University official.

  • Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a conduct body.

  • Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a conduct proceeding.

  • Initiation of a conduct proceeding when one knows or reasonably should have known that the proceeding was without cause.

  • Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the conduct system.

  • Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a conduct body prior to, and/or during the course of, the conduct proceeding.

  • Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a conduct body, complainant, or witness, prior to, during, and/or after a conduct proceeding.

  • Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code. A student who fails to complete any sanctions imposed upon her/him by the deadline imposed by the conduct body, is not eligible to register for classes, receive financial aid, receive a diploma, or obtain any transcripts (official or unofficial) until she/he complies with the terms of the original sanctions and any additional sanctions imposed due to the failure to complete the original sanctions in a timely manner.

  • Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the conduct system.

 13.        Obscene or harassing communication – including but not limited to: Making obscene or harassing telephone calls, sending obscene or harassing letters, email, or using any medium to communicate in an obscene or harassing manner.

  • Bullying / Cyber-bullying – Repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally (that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment). This includes but is not limited to: creating web pages with a negative focus; posting insults on social networking sites; and/or spreading rumors with malicious intent.

14.     Harm to persons - Conduct which threatens or endangers the health, well-being, or safety of any person, including but not limited to: 

a. Causing physical harm to any person 

b. Threatening, intimidating, harassing, or coercing any person 

c. Failure or refusal to comply with the expectations outlined in WMU’s Covid-19 policies.  This includes abiding by the Facial Covering (Mask) Policy and practicing appropriate social distancing and proper hygiene (e.g. handwashing).  Hosting, organizing, and/or attending any gathering, on or off campus, where the attendees are not required to, willfully fail, or refuse to comply with any expectations outlined in the Covid-19 policies or in any state or local public health laws or regulations or governor’s executive order is also a violation of this policy.     

 15.        Sexual misconduct – Please see the Western Michigan University Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy at www.wmich.edu/sexualmisconduct for information regarding sexual misconduct complaints and their resolution. 

16.        Telecommunication process/procedure misuse – The unauthorized use of another person’s cell phone, phone card, or the unauthorized acceptance of collect telephone calls.

 17.        Unauthorized use/destruction/defacing of property – Attempted or actual removal of, use of, and/or damage to property of the University or property of another or the removal of other personal or public property without proper authorization. Leaving or placing unauthorized materials on University property or defacing University property is also prohibited.

 18.        Unauthorized use or other abuse of University computing resources – including but not limited to the following:

  • Any attempt to breach or the actual breach of network or computer security.

  • Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, delete, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.

  • Unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted computer software or other materials.

  • Unauthorized transfer of a file.

  • Use, or attempted use, of another person’s identification and/or password or assisting another to misuse any identification or password.

  • Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, University official, or any other member of the University community.

  • Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages.

  • Use of computing facilities to send unauthorized mass emailing or chain mail.

  • Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of any University computing system network.

  • Use of computing facilities/resources to violate any campus policy or rule to violate any local, state or federal law.  (see http://www.wmich.edu/oit/) for a complete description of all computing policies.)

 19.        Unauthorized key possession or use – Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys, key cards, or other access or security devices.

 20.        Unauthorized posting – Placing of notices, posters, signs, handbills, etc. anywhere on University premises and/or through university resources without proper authorization.

 21.        Violation of the law – Violation of federal, state, or local law on University premises or at University sponsored or supervised activities or that which is in the jurisdiction of the University.

 22.        Violation of University policy – Violation of any University policy, rule or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically via the University website; and/or any attempt to commit prohibited activities defined herein; and/or enticing or inciting others to commit prohibited activities defined herein, and/or conspiring to perform any prohibited activities defined herein; and/or any other conduct which adversely affects the student’s suitability as a member of the University community.

 23.        Weapon possession or use – Western Michigan University is a weapon free school.  By order of the Board of Trustees “no person shall possess on university property any firearms or other dangerous weapons with the exception of police officers, transfer agents licensed to carry weapons and persons using any such weapons for class instruction when authorized by the dean of the appropriate college” (Approved June 11, 1971).  The possession, use or storage of weapons is prohibited on University owned or controlled premises and at University sponsored events without authorization from the appropriate University official.  Using or possessing a weapon, even with proper authorization, in a manner that harms, threatens or causes fear in others, or is otherwise in violation of the Weapons on Campus Policy contained in the Registered Student Organization Handbook, is also prohibited.  Prohibited weapons include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Any firearm either long gun or handgun, or any device which fires any type of projectile using gunpowder as a propellant.

  • Any bb or pellet gun, or device that fires a projectile using compressed air, CO2, or other gas as a propellant.  This includes “airsoft” and paintball guns.

  • Edged weapons including any folding or fixed blade knives, daggers, dirks, swords, axes, machetes, bows and arrows, or any other sharp object fashioned or used as such objects. 

  • Martial arts devices such as nun chucks, bokken, throwing stars, throwing knives, bow staffs, sai, tonfas, or any other device considered a dangerous weapon.

  • Stun gun or taser, or any device that produces electrical current intended to disable or injure a person either permanently or temporarily.

  • Any device made specific, crafted, or used with the intended purpose of causing harm to a person.

    • Kitchen knives are permitted as long as they are used for the intended culinary purposes.
    • Pepper spray or any chemical irritant that contains 10% or less of oleoresin capsicum is permitted on campus property