University Judicial Policies

Due to the community environment and the added risk of loss or damage to life or property, the following items are prohibited in all residence units: vehicle batteries, charcoal, gasoline, and items identified under the Concealed Weapons policy and Firearms/Firecrackers policy. 

Judicial Policies Defined

Alcohol Policy

The State of Ohio Liquor Control law prohibits the purchase, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of 21 years. All members of the Otterbein community are required to follow the laws set forth by the City of Westerville, Franklin County, and the State of Ohio.

This policy is intended to meet the provisions of the Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act (1990), and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (1989). A copy of the December 2016 Biennial Review is available through the Office of Student Affairs. Through the programs and procedures listed throughout this policy, the Otterbein University Alcohol Policy seeks to accomplish the following:

  • Promote a safe and honest campus culture. The Otterbein University community functions on the basis of mutual trust and responsibility and is dedicated to educating the whole person. Otterbein will now recognize the right of choice of an individual to use or refrain from the use of alcoholic beverages on campus, if the individual is of legal drinking age. However, the choice to consume alcohol should be properly exercised in a responsible manner which includes quantity limits as outlined in the policy.
  • To encourage compliance with the laws of the City of Westerville, the State of Ohio, and Federal Law relative to the possession, consumption, and serving of alcohol.
  • To provide educational wellness programing that appropriately and accurately addresses the potential dangers of alcohol consumption and recreational drug use. This programming will speak to Otterbein’s core values and the institution’s commitment to lifelong, progressive and holistic learning.

Policy Overview

Otterbein recognizes the right of choice of individuals to use or refrain from the use of alcoholic beverages, and believes that the choice to consume alcohol should be properly exercised in a responsible manner. Otterbein University has based the Alcohol Policy on the recognition that:

  • The majority of Otterbein University students cannot legally consume alcohol;
  • A number of students who are of legal age to consume alcohol choose not to do so; and
  • Alcohol abuse is a health concern on University campuses around the country.

Given these facts, the University acknowledges the desire of those students who are of legal age to consume alcohol responsibly while also ensuring the social life of the campus does not revolve around an activity in which a majority of the students cannot participate. Otterbein University neither forbids nor encourages members of its community regarding drinking alcoholic beverages. Otterbein University students are expected to abide by University policies, and the laws of the City of Westerville, the State of Ohio, and Federal Law relative to the possession, consumption, and serving of alcohol.

Students are expected to comply with university staff and city officials, including, but not limited to, the Westerville Police Department, the Westerville Fire Department, the Otterbein Police Department, Resident Assistants, and Student Affairs staff members. This expectation includes that students will show identification, discontinue concerning behavior when requested, and will grant entry to room, house and/or facility to Student Affairs staff addressing complaints or potential policy violations.


  • Individuals 21 years of age or older may possess and/or consume alcoholic beverages on campus in approved living areas. Individuals under 21 years of age are prohibited from possessing and/or consuming alcoholic beverages. Illegal drugs are prohibited.
    • Alcohol will be permitted in the Commons apartments and theme houses.
    • Alcohol will not be permitted in traditional residence halls, suite-style residence halls, or Greek houses1.
    • Alcohol will not be permitted in any living areas deemed as substance-free housing.
  • In permitted living areas, the amount of alcohol allowed to be possessed in University owned residence is limited to
    one unit per resident of that room/apartment/house, who is of legal drinking age. Each of the following is equal to
    one unit:
    • Beer/Malted Beverage – 12 pack of containers up to 12 oz. each
    • Wine – up to 3 Liters (a wine box)
    • Spirituous Liquor – up to 750 mL (a fifth)
    • Pre-mixed alcohol-containing beverage – up to 1.75 Liters
    • Or reasonable combination of these types
  • When alcohol is being consumed in a permitted living area, guests may not exceed 2 per resident of that room/apartment/house present. Guests are defined as anyone present who is not assigned to the living space.
  • Provision of alcohol to persons under 21 years of age is prohibited.
  • Consumption of alcohol in the presence of anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited with the exception of approved University sponsored events.
  • Public spaces – Possession, consumption, and/or provision of alcohol in public areas of the campus is not permitted, unless meeting the qualifications of Approved Campus Events with alcohol (see 8.). Public areas are defined as those areas of the campus that are readily accessible to students, faculty, staff, and guests. Such areas include, but are not limited to: all outside areas, athletic fields, lobbies, classrooms, lounges, building corridors, hallways, stairwells, residence hall common areas, and offices.
  • Approved Campus Events with alcohol – University sponsored events may serve alcohol in compliance with the State of Ohio’s Division of Liquor Control and University policy. No alcohol, other than that provided by a licensed vendor (e.g. Parkhurst) may be served or consumed on campus. Events must follow the alcohol approval process and be approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  • Alcohol is prohibited at any recreational, junior varsity, and varsity athletic event.
  • Students and/or their guests are not permitted to have kegs, party balls, alcohol containers over 3 Liters, or to mix large quantities of assorted alcohol.
  • University funds may not be used, directly or indirectly, to purchase alcoholic beverages. Exceptions for faculty and staff can only be made with prior approval of their respective Vice President.
  • No reference, direct or indirect, to alcohol may appear or be used in notices or postings which promote or advertise an event. Exceptions for faculty and staff can only be made with prior approval of their respective Vice President.
  • The manufacture of alcohol is prohibited on campus.
  • Students under 21 years of age are not allowed to store empty alcoholic beverage containers. Situations involving inappropriate or illegal possession, consumption, or serving of alcohol will lead to the confiscation and/or disposal of the alcoholic beverages present and judicial sanctions
  • All drinking games (such as quarters, beer pong, boat races, etc.) are prohibited.
  • Devices for rapid consumption (e.g., funnels) and all other alcohol-related paraphernalia are prohibited.
  • Alcohol marketing/advertising practices for external vendors/businesses are prohibited on campus.
  • Alcohol may not be given as a prize for any contest.
  • Alcohol is prohibited from being transported in university vehicles.


Any action that causes or attempts to cause physical harm to another is considered assault.

Calendar Scheduling Policy

To further support the mission of the institution, student organization programming should not interfere or overlap with final exams. All student organization programming should be complete for the semester no later than 10pm the day before final exams are scheduled to begin. Student organization programming includes, but is not limited to, social programs, educational programs, and fundraisers. Any programming that student organizations would like to schedule beyond the programming deadline needs prior approval from the director of the Center for Student Involvement or their designee.

All events sponsored by University organizations, departments, and residence halls must be scheduled in the Student Affairs Office to avoid conflict among events. Sunday events are not to begin before 12 Noon, to accommodate attendance at church services. Meetings/Socials that are held on Sunday through Thursday must conclude by 1 am.

All social events are to be calendared using the Schedule an Event form which is available on My O-Zone except the following:

  1. Activities within a residence hall to which only a few residents are invited.
  2. Casual entertainment of dates in residence halls, sorority houses and fraternity houses.

The social chairperson of each group has the responsibility for seeing that all events are properly scheduled. Additions or corrections on the calendar must be submitted TWO WEEKS in advance. Cancellations of events must be done no later than ONE WEEK prior to the event. If an event is not cancelled within the allotted time, a fine may be charged and a future social event may be forfeited. This is done because the date could have been used for other events.

Cardinal Card Use/Abuse/ID

The Cardinal Card is your identification card for Otterbein University. The card is for all full-time and part-time students, faculty, and staff and it is valid until you leave Otterbein.

The following statements outline the uses and rules governing the Cardinal Card:

  • Students should carry their Cardinal Card with them at all times as proof that they are a student.
  • The Cardinal Card is for (a) use in the library, (b) access to your residence hall and the Clements Recreation Center, (c) admission to campus events, (d) bookstore purchases, (e) use of laundry facilities, and (f) vending machine purchases.
  • The Cardinal Card serves as meal tickets for students eating in the Dining Hall and must be shown for admission at each meal.
  • Any Cardinal Card found, or lost, should be reported to the Campus Center Office or Otterbein Police Department immediately.

NOTE: IF YOUR CARD IS LOST OR STOLEN, you will only receive the stored value on the card, at the time of notification to the Campus Center Office or Otterbein Police Office. Attempting to use a lost and/or stolen card, for any purpose, will be considered theft – a level III or IV violation.

Cardinal Card/ID – All residence halls are secured with a personal identity card (the Cardinal Card) system.

  • Students residing in residence halls will obtain the card from the Campus Center.
  • No one shall give out their card to any other student or guest. Overnight guests must be registered with their Assistant Director of Residence Life and be escorted by the resident when entering buildings.
  • If a Cardinal Card is given out, disciplinary action will be taken against those students for endangering the personal well-being of the residents. Lending or borrowing the Cardinal Card, altering it in any way or failure to present it when requested by a University official is a violation of University regulations and subjects both the lender and the borrower to disciplinary action.

Chalking Policy

Chalking on campus is limited to registered student organizations, departments, faculty and staff members and any registered Otterbein student. Chalking must comply with the following:

  • Advertising must be for campus-wide event, open to all students.
  • The chalking must bear the name or be signed by the name of the sponsoring organization/individual legibly.
  • Chalking is prohibited on all vertical surfaces, buildings, walls, signs, poles, columns, trees, or vegetation.
  • The material used to mark the walk must be water-soluble chalk (sidewalk chalk). The use of markers, paints, oilbased products or spray-chalk is prohibited.

No advertisement mentioning sale/use of alcohol may be chalked on campus property. Biased comments and inappropriate humor, as well as intimidating and threatening comments will not be tolerated. First time offenders receive a warning and must clean up their work within 24 hours of receiving a warning. (If appropriate, individuals or organizations painting intimidating and/or threatening comments may be charged with a higher level violation.) Violations will result in removal of the chalking and the University reserves the right to charge for the cost of removal and all associated repairs. Exceptions will be made for common sense artistic expression.

Change of Address and/or Phone Number

All students not residing in theme houses, the Commons, or residence halls are required to notify the Student Affairs Office of their address and phone number one week prior to the first day of class autumn semester (or any time your address or phone number is changed). It is important for updating files and for accurate information for the Campus Directory.

Failure to comply with this regulation will result in a fine and/or disciplinary action.

Computer and Internet - Time/Theft/Abuse

Theft or other abuse of computer facilities, including but not limited to, UNAUTHORIZED:

  • Entry into a file, to use, read or alter the contents, or for any other purpose.
  • Reproduction or use of a copyrighted file(s).
  • Use of software or program that will intentionally or unintentionally alter the configuration or established format.
  • Use of another’s identification or password.
  • Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or Otterbein University official.
  • Use of computing facilities to interfere with the normal operation of Otterbein University computing system.
  • Use of computing facilities to harass others.
  • Any action or use that would be criminally or judicially inappropriate to the Academic Policy of Otterbein University.

In addition, all students using the Internet will be responsible to be familiar with Otterbein’s policy, “Responsible Use of Information Technology Resources” which is given to them when they receive their access codes. Additional copies of this policy can be obtained in the Data Center and/or the Student Affairs Office. Failure to adhere to Computer and Internet policies can result in judicial charges.

Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is any conduct or action that causes inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to others, or which interferes with the rights of other individuals (including the right to quiet study), disturbs the public peace, endangers personal well-being or causes a risk of, or actual physical harm to public or private property.

Disruptive behavior while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is prohibited in all areas and places public and private. Disruptive behavior includes fighting, unreasonable noise, verbal and/or written abusive and/or insulting language, interference with accepted rights of others and damage to property. The student(s) will be held liable for damage or destruction from such behavior.

Individual students or groups who encourage or become involved in such activities are subject to disciplinary action, including restitution for damage. If the conduct or action is prejudicial in nature, the hearing body or hearing officer will consider the motive of the student(s) in issuing sanctions.


All outside doors to the residence halls are locked 24 hours a day for the security of the residents. Entry to the halls is gained via a card reader located on one or more doors by use of the student’s personal Cardinal Card. After entering or exiting a door, residents are responsible for checking to see if the door locks behind them. Only residents of the specific hall/complex will have access to the building. Students shall keep their Cardinal Card secure and not lend it to other students. Compromising the safety of the hall, by propping open doors (a level III violation) or lending others a Cardinal Card is a violation of the Code of Conduct. Residents shall lock their individual room/bedroom door when they are sleeping or not in the room. Students failing to carry their keys and/or Cardinal Card and locked out of residence halls or their rooms may contact a Residence Life staff member for entry. A small fee will be charged for each room entry.

Drugs-Possession, Use, Sale and Drug Paraphernalia

Otterbein University prohibits possession, use, or possession for sale of illegal drugs except when properly authorized for medical use (not including medical marijuana)
under state or federal law. Illegal drugs are defined as including but not limited to marijuana, barbiturates, amphetamines, prescription tranquilizers, LSD compounds, mescaline, DMT, narcotics and illegal use of prescriptions drugs. Drug-related paraphernalia is also prohibited.

Prescribed medication (not including medical marijuana) must be used in accordance with a physician recommendation. Abusing prescribed medications for the purpose of intoxication and/or as a study aid is prohibited. The distribution, sharing or sale of prescribed medication by anyone other than a licensed physician is prohibited.

Medical Marijuana
In compliance with the federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, Otterbein University maintains the following policy for any university owned or controlled property, or at university activities:

  • Illegally manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing or using marijuana and its derivatives is prohibited.
  • Possessing a medical marijuana permit does not allow for the possession, use or storage of marijuana anywhere on university property, including in the residence halls and university apartments.

Minimum Sanctions for Drug Violations: Possession/Use of individual amount of marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia: Disciplinary probation and educational sanction.

Possession of Drugs – (including but not limited to: opiates, cocaine, methadone, meperidine, amphetamines, phenmetrazine, methylphenidate, barbiturates, and related illegal prescription drugs*): Suspension for a minimum of one semester and educational sanction.

Possession of drugs, including marijuana and prescription drugs, in a quantity that would cause a prudent person to suspect drug distribution; and/or drug sales paraphernalia, such as scales, packaging materials and distribution lists: Suspension for a minimum of a full calendar year (Students found in violation of a second offense will be dismissed from the University.)

Selling/Distribution of drugs (including marijuana and prescription drugs): Suspension for a full calendar year (Students found in violation of a second offense will be dismissed from the University.)

Electronic Exploitation

Where there is an expectation of privacy, including but not limited to bathrooms, bedrooms and showers, persons are prohibited from engaging in any electronic exploitation of another person, including but not limited to surveillance, making or attempting to take a photograph or an audio or video recording of any person(s), and/or broadcasting the photograph and/or recording(s) without the knowledge and consent of all participants.

Failure to Appear before a Student Conduct Body

Failure to appear before the Assistant Director of Residence Life, Student Conduct Hearing Officer, or Student Conduct Hearing Board may result in further disciplinary action by the judicial body. Repeated failure to appear may result in immediate suspension.

Failure to Comply with a Student Conduct Decision

Failure to complete sanctions assigned by the Assistant Director of Residence Life, Student Conduct Hearing Officer, Student Conduct Hearing Board, or Student Appeals Board shall constitute a Level IV violation.

Failure to Comply with University Official/Law Enforcement/False Information

Failure to comply with directions of Otterbein University officials or law enforcement officers acting and performing their duties and/or failure to identify one’s self to these persons when requested to do so, or providing false information is a violation.


The possession and/or use of firearms, bows/arrows, crossbows, ammunition, fireworks, firecrackers, chemically generated explosive components (bottle bombs), dangerous chemicals including gasoline and charcoal, any item that forcefully throws a missile such as a B-B gun, pellet gun, sling shot, etc. are prohibited. 

Fire Safety – Major

Creating False Alarms – No person shall cause the evacuation of any building or place or otherwise cause public inconvenience or alarm by circulating a warning of fire or other impending catastrophe, or in any manner engaging in conduct which induces public panic or alarm.

Failure to Evacuate a Structure – Failure to evacuate a structure when an alarm is sounded, either automatically or manually, or vocally expressed by University officials or Westerville Fire or Police officials, shall constitute a Level IV judicial violation and may result in criminal charges for violation of local and state laws.

Tampering with Fire Alarms and Equipment/Fire Extinguishers – Fire extinguishers, fire detectors, and alarm equipment are for emergency use only. Tampering with fire extinguishers, detectors or alarm equipment except in the event of a fire constitutes a violation of the laws of the City of Westerville. Anyone tampering with or discharging fire extinguishers or tampering with fire alarm and detection equipment will be subject to penalties through the campus judicial system and will be referred to local authorities when deemed appropriate.

Fire Safety – Minor

Students are encouraged to exercise extreme care when selecting electrical appliances for their campus housing. Each of these electrical appliances must be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved, in good operating condition, and not left unattended when in use. Students should remember the space limitations of many areas and the number of outlets available to them. With this in mind, students may bring items listed (under Electrical Appliances in the Residence Life and On-Campus Housing policies) into the residence halls, theme houses, and Commons apartments.

Because of significant risk of fire, hoverboards are not allowed in any campus buildings, including residential facilities.

Furnishing False ID/Information

All students are to carry their Cardinal Card with them at all times as a form of ID. Furnishing false information or ID to a University official is a level III offense. See additional information under Cardinal Card Use/Abuse/ID policy.


Students and University-approved organizations are expected to abide by the federal and state laws related to gambling. Examples of gambling may include but are not limited to:

  • Sponsoring or organizing raffles or any exchanges of money for a chance to win something;
  • Charging an entry fee for any competition in which part of the fee contributes to the prize;
  • Betting, wagering or selling pools;
  • Playing card games for money; and
  • Using Otterbein University resources (phones, meeting spaces, computers, etc.) to facilitate gambling.

Group Actions and/or Demonstrations

Peaceful and orderly demonstrations by members of the University on University property are permissible if the demonstrators act in a courteous, dignified and non-disruptive manner. Should action by a group or individuals at any time become dangerous to individuals or property, or should it interfere with the regular operation of the University, the President or Vice President for Student Affairs, or their designee, is authorized to declare the group an unlawful assembly and order the individuals to disperse.

If, after a reasonable interval announced by the above administrator, members of the group have not dispersed, they will be automatically suspended as students of the University and declared guilty of trespass. If they do not then desist from their activity and disperse, they will be subject to arrest and prosecution by the civil authorities and to expulsion from the University. Persons actually engaging in violent attacks on other persons or in the destruction of property will be subject to immediate arrest by civil authorities.


Definition: To annoy or torment repeatedly and persistently. Harassment, including harassment relating to race, sex, religion, ancestry, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disabling condition, political affiliation, veteran status, or marital status, is inconsistent with the University’s commitment to create and maintain an educational environment that is fair and responsible, and which supports and rewards achievement on the basis of ability, performance and other relevant factors.


Otterbein prohibits hazing by campus groups and/or individuals. The Student Code of Conduct defines hazing as “doing, requiring or encouraging any act, whether or not the act is voluntarily agreed upon, that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental harm or humiliation. Hazing is further defined as doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation to any student or organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person. Any person suffering or witnessing an incident of hazing shall report the incident to the Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs.

All membership-related activities must be approved by the chairperson of the group and the adviser to the group prior to the activity, and shall be kept within properly reserved space. The activity must not interfere with the rights and activities of others and shall reflect the best interests of the members of the organization it represents as well as the University community as a whole.

Officers of organizations violating hazing policies will be held responsible for the group actions. They may be referred to the Student Conduct Hearing Board and tried as individuals, even though disciplinary action is taken against the organization.

Illegal Entry/Trespassing

Unauthorized entry into any campus building or room constitutes illegal entry/trespassing. Documentation of persons authorized to use keys should be on file with the person in charge of each building. Violators will be referred to the campus judiciary when appropriate and/or may be referred to the civil authorities.

Improper Disposal of Trash

Students shall remove trash from their rooms/suites/ apartments and place in the dumpsters provided outside. Theme house residents shall follow the trash pick-up schedule provided by the City of Westerville and use the trash cans provided. Students inappropriately disposing of trash or littering will be referred to the Student Conduct Hearing Board and may have damage charges assessed. Students shall not dispose of their room trash in floor restrooms or other common area trash cans.

Internet Website Policy

Pictures and information posted on the internet are considered public information (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat). The University does not routinely monitor these sites. Pictures and information from these sources brought to the attention of University officials reasonably suggesting a violation of University policy that has taken place on campus or at a University-sponsored function off-campus will be subject to further investigation and verification by the University. Any University policy violations documented as a result of such an investigation will result in appropriate disciplinary action by the University.


Definition: To make timid, frighten, inhibit or discourage by, or as if by, threats. The University prohibits and will not tolerate any acts of intimidation, sexual intimidation, harassment, or abuse. Such behaviors violate the privacy and dignity of individuals, and are a violation of federal and state laws. Any action or speech causing another to believe their personal safety or personal property may be at risk or harm.

Keys - Unauthorized Possession, Duplication or Use

Students are issued a room key when checking into the residence halls. Students in theme houses and Commons apartments receive a room key and apartment/house door key. Students shall keep the key(s) on their person at all times to assure others do not use it. Students shall not lend the key to others nor duplicate the key(s). Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Students who lose their key may request a re-core of their room lock and new key from their ADRL or the Otterbein Police Department. A damage charge will be assessed for each lock re-core and added to the student’s University bill if a student loses or fails to return their key(s) at the end of the year, or when they permanently leave the residence (whichever comes first).

Malicious Destruction of Property

Any willful conduct or action causing physical damage to public or private property will be considered malicious destruction of property. If the conduct or action is prejudicial in nature, the hearing body or hearing officer will consider the motive of the student(s) in issuing sanctions.

Pet Policy

For purposes of health and sanitation, only aquarium fish, hermit crabs, and small turtles are allowed in any residential area with the agreement of roommate(s). Students are permitted one fish tank of 20 gallons or less per residential room. Residents shall care for their pets and provide a clean, healthy living environment for them. During breaks, students are required to take home any pets. Tanks with lights and pumps must be unplugged during breaks and tanks must be emptied and cleaned. The University reserves the right to mandate the removal of any living creature or plant at the discretion of University officials including the Assistant Director of Residence Life and staff.

Plagiarism, Cheating and Dishonesty

What is Academic Dishonesty?

Additional information available at:

Academic Integrity is our commitment to be honest, fair, and ethical in our scholarly work. Professors follow these principles in their research and teaching, and students must do the same in their learning and in their work after graduation.

Assignments and exams are given in classes so that the professor can accurately assess your learning and give you helpful feedback to improve your learning. Academic misconduct misrepresents your knowledge and skills, and thus harms your own learning.

Cases of academic dishonesty for students usually fall in the following five categories:

  1. Cheating
  2. Complicity
  3. Falsification
  4. Multiple submission
  5. Plagiarism

What is cheating?

Cheating is any attempt to receive assistance in the completion of an assignment or exam from other people, printed or online materials, artificial intelligence, or any electronic device without the permission of the professor. This definition applies not only to activities within the examination room (e.g., copying from another student’s paper, using a cheat sheet), but also to any attempt to obtain copies of examination questions without the faculty member’s consent, including attempts to obtain them from students taking the exam at an earlier time or in a previous semester. It also includes submitting questions to online services to obtain answers before or during an exam.

In the case of open-book or open-resource exams, the instructor will indicate which sources are acceptable and which are not. If, for example, the instructor says that only the textbook is to be used in an open-book exam, consulting websites or other resources will count as academic dishonesty. Furthermore, even if the instructor permits students to consult other sources, copying and pasting verbatim from the source (rather than using the source to arrive at your own answer) is a form of plagiarism and is also a violation. If you are unsure which resources are permissible during an open-book exam, ask your professor.

In some classes and for some assignments, you will be asked to collaborate with other students. At other times you will be told to work on an assignment individually. If you are unsure of when it is permissible to work together with other students, make sure to ask your professor.

What is complicity?

If you help another student commit an act of academic dishonesty, you can be complicit in their dishonesty, and thus may also be guilty of a violation, even if the work you submit for yourself is your own work.

A student who willingly provides to another student assistance not condoned by the University is in violation, whether or not the student providing the assistance has completed the examination. It is also a violation to provide essays, reports, and other projects to another student to be presented as that student’s work.

What is falsification?

Submitting someone else’s work as your own is not the only form of academic dishonesty. Other examples of dishonesty include falsifying data, misrepresenting sources, or manufacturing evidence. Some examples of falsification could include changing data from an experiment in order to falsely arrive at a desired conclusion, inappropriately editing or cherry picking from cited sources to make it sound like they’re saying something they’re not, writing a reflection paper about an event you did not actually attend, or making up survey data for a report. Committing these kinds of acts in a professional or research setting would be unethical and even dangerous, and thus it is important to learn in college how to be responsible and ethical in representing data.

What is multiple submission?

The use of an identical or nearly identical piece of work to fulfill requirements in more than one course without the knowledge of the faculty members involved constitutes academic dishonesty. If a student wishes to prepare a single piece of work for more than one course, the written permission of both faculty members must be secured beforehand. If a student wishes to submit a revised version of an earlier piece of work, written permission must be secured beforehand and the earlier version must be submitted along with the final version.

What is plagiarism?

Any use of the words or ideas of someone else as though they were one‘s own constitutes plagiarism, not just in formal papers, but in any writing that you do for a class, including homework, reports, and other projects. This definition applies to the use of both printed and unprinted sources, including the work of other students or faculty, online sources, and text generated by artificial intelligence. It applies not just when an entire paper is copied, but also to the inclusion of copied sentences as part of a larger work.

To avoid plagiarism, all words and ideas from other sources must be fully cited. Direct quotations, however small, must be placed in quotation marks or indented beyond the regular margins, and their sources must be clearly identified. Ideas or arguments not directly quoted but paraphrased must also be documented properly. Merely altering the wording does not change the substance of the text, so paraphrasing a source without citation is still plagiarism.

Facts, formulas, and other types of information which are widely known and considered common knowledge in a field do not always require documentation, but a student may neither falsely claim the independent derivation or observation of such materials, nor borrow without acknowledgment someone else’s special arrangement or use of it. If you are uncertain when and how to cite sources, you must consult with your professor before the submission of the finished work. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure they understand what is required to avoid plagiarism.

What happens in cases of academic dishonesty?

Otterbein University follows the following process:

  1. A faculty member who suspects the student may have committed an act of academic dishonesty shall submit evidence of the misconduct—accompanied by a cover letter—to the Associate Provost. The faculty member may inform the student of the suspected dishonesty, but what the faculty member says should be informational only, indicating only that they have forwarded an allegation and the supporting evidence to the Associate Provost. The faculty member should not—and the student should not expect the faculty member to—discuss the nature of the suspected dishonesty, whether or not it really occurred, what the consequence might be, and so on.
  2. The Associate Provost shall assess the charge and evidence. If the Associate Provost finds the evidence unpersuasive, the Associate Provost will confer with the faculty member who brought the charge.
  3. If the Associate Provost finds the evidence persuasive, the Associate Provost shall consult records in Academic Affairs to determine if this is a first or second offense for that student.
  4. The Associate Provost will then contact the student to arrange a meeting. In this meeting, they will explain the process to the student, make sure the student understands the charges, and review and discuss the allegation with the student. The student will be allowed to respond to the evidence and will also be allowed to bring relevant witnesses who are members of the Otterbein community (legal counsel or parents will not be permitted to participate).
  5. After meeting with the student, the Associate Provost will make a decision.
    • If the Associate Provost decides there is not enough evidence to find the student guilty of academic misconduct, they will notify the student and faculty member of this decision, the process will end, and records of the incident will be deleted.
    • If the Associate Provost decides there is convincing evidence of academic dishonesty, they will follow one of two courses:
      1. If it is the student’s first offense, the Associate Provost will confer with the faculty member to decide on an appropriate sanction. Depending on the severity of the offense, the sanction may be a failing grade on the test or assignment in which the dishonesty occurred, the lowering of the overall course grade by one or more letters, a failing grade for the course, or another sanction. The Associate Provost will then inform the student of the sanction. With a few exceptions, first offenses will not be recorded on the student’s record. If the student graduates without any additional violations of academic integrity, all records will be deleted upon graduation from Otterbein.
      2. If it is the student’s second offense, the Associate Provost will send the evidence, cover letter, and explanation of their decision to the Student Conduct Hearing Board for their recommendation for a sanction. Academic dishonesty cases that are reviewed by the Student Conduct Hearing Board may subject the student to suspension or dismissal as determined by the Board. (Second acts of plagiarism by graduate students may result in permanent dismissal from the graduate program and the University.)
  6. Students have the right to appeal any decisions or sanctions. For first offenses, the student may appeal the Associate Provost’s finding and sanction through the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who may refer the appeal to the Student Appeals Board for consultation. In second offenses, decisions of the Student Conduct Hearing Board are subject to appeal to the Student Appeals Board according to procedures in Article VII, Section 5 of the University Bylaws.

Other forms of dishonesty

In addition to acts of academic dishonesty described above, other acts of dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member, or office.
  2. Forgery, alteration or misuse of any University document, record, or instrument of identification.
  3. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a judicial body.
  4. Supplying false information related to housing arrangements. In this case, the student will be expected to pay for housing/board costs for the entire academic year and be charged with falsifying records. Any act of dishonesty as aforementioned constitutes an intermediate violation, and will be referred to the Student Conduct Hearing Board.

Poster/Kiosk Policy

All posters must be approved for the calendar and stamped in the Student Affairs Office or the Campus Center. Posters are to be hung on bulletin boards only, and are not allowed on walls, windows, or stairways. After the event, please remove all posters as soon as possible. No signs or advertisement mentioning the sale/use of alcohol may be posted or used on campus property. The distribution of promotional materials door-to-door in the residence halls is prohibited except for events sponsored by the Office of Residence Life and distributed by the residence life staff. Individuals are not permitted to send personal literature/information/requests across campus. All posters must represent an organization with a purpose and reason and must be approved. Posters are limited to 80 per event (60 for residence halls and 20 to post around campus). Biased comments and inappropriate humor, as well as intimidating and threatening comments will not be tolerated. Kiosks are provided at Towers (Adult and Transfer Admissions entrance) and the Campus Center for additional posting. Posters hung on the kiosk do not need to be approved.

Public Performance by Students/Organizations

Any public performance or any activity presented by a student or group in the name of the University should be approved by the faculty chairperson of the department concerned or by the adviser of the group before the performance or activity is presented.

Quiet, Courtesy Hours and Noise Awareness

In order to make the atmosphere conducive to living and learning, conditions which encourage this have been established and these apply to all residence halls. “Quiet Hours” will be established by each residence hall living unit at the beginning of the school year. Each residence hall will establish 24-hour quiet hours during exam week. During the “Quiet Hours” all areas of the residence halls are kept as quiet as possible so that those who wish to study may do so without distraction. TV’s, radios, tape recorders, stereos, and musical instruments may be played quietly as long as no one is being disturbed. Consideration also must be given to persons outside the residence hall if the window is open. If one student asks another to be quieter for the purpose of study or sleep, this request is to be honored. Any student violating quiet and courtesy hours will be subject to disciplinary actions. The playing of sports in the halls is prohibited due to noise and possible damage.

Reckless Destruction of Property

Any conduct or action recklessly causing physical damage to public or private property.

Rock Painting Guidelines

The Rock, a tradition started in 2003 and located in the grassy area by the Center for Career & Professional Development, is to promote activities, organizations, and University spirit. Any University related group, or individual, may paint the Rock with the following guidelines in mind.

  • No individual/organization shall paint over the Rock within 48 hours of the last individual/organization’s painting if the date and time (with AM or PM) are displayed.
  • The Rock must bear the name or be signed by the name of the sponsoring organization/individual legibly.
  • The Rock is reserved for the following times so the University can paint it for these events: New Student Week, Homecoming, Sibs Weekend, Summer Orientation, Family Weekend, Alumni Weekend, Founders Week and Graduation weekend.
  • The grass and other University property surrounding the Rock should not have any paint on it.
  • No substance other than paint should be applied to the Rock.
  • Crude or obscene language, offensive representations, and references to alcohol or drugs should not be painted
    on the Rock.

No advertisement mentioning sale/use of alcohol may be painted on campus property. Biased comments and inappropriate humor, as well as intimidating and threatening comments will not be tolerated. (If appropriate, individuals or organizations painting intimidating and/or threatening comments may be charged with a higher level violation.) First time offenders receive a warning and must clean up their work within 24 hours of receiving a warning. (If appropriate, individuals or organizations painting intimidating and/or threatening comments may be charged with a higher level violation.) Violations will result in removal of the paint and the University reserves the right to charge for the cost of removal and all associated repairs. Exceptions will be made for common sense artistic expression.

Sexual Misconduct

Members of the University community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from all forms of gender and sexbased discrimination, including sexual misconduct, examples of which can include acts of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others.

When a respondent is found to have violated this policy, sanctions and other appropriate measures will be used to reasonably ensure that the sexual misconduct has been stopped, its effects have been addressed, any hostile environment has been eliminated and steps have been taken to prevent its recurrence. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.

Finally, retaliation against an individual who makes a report or participates in any proceedings under this policy is a violation of this policy. Individuals engaging in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action. The University Sexual Misconduct policy and grievance procedures apply to complaints of sexual misconduct in or impacting a University program or activity. This includes sex or gender-based harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence carried out by employees, faculty, students, and third parties.

The University has jurisdiction to investigate and remedy all Title IX related matters that occur on campus or at a University sponsored event. Specifically, this includes academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and any other school programs, whether those programs take place in a school’s facilities, on a school bus, at a class or training program sponsored by the school at another location, during study abroad, or elsewhere. Additional examples include schoolsponsored field trips, school-recognized fraternity or sorority houses, and athletic team travel; and events for school clubs that occur off campus.

The University also has jurisdiction to investigate and remedy off campus incidents if (1) the University has control over the Respondent and (2) has control over the context of the misconduct (on University property, in our programs, on land we lease or control, or at events we sponsor).

If the incident does not meet both prongs above, the University may still provide support to the Complainant including counseling and assistance on how to file a criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency. The University will address off-campus sexual misconduct that creates a hostile environment on campus.

Upon receipt of a complaint, the University’s process involves an immediate initial investigation to determine if, assuming the facts in the complaint to be true, the complaint would state a violation of this policy. If so, the University will initiate a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation. This investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable determination about whether the University Sexual Misconduct Policy has been violated. If so, the University will implement a prompt and effective remedy designated to end the sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. Upon a determination that a complaint, does not present a violation of this policy but may present a potential violation of another University policy, the complaining party will be informed of his or her option to have the complaint
forwarded to the University business unit having jurisdiction over such matters.

The University’s Title IX Compliance is overseen by the Title IX Coordinator listed below. Members of the campus community are encouraged to contact Title IX coordinator if they have any questions regarding Title IX or this Policy. Confidential and nonconfidential complaint options are outlined later in his policy.

Title IX Coordinator
Julie Saker
Associate Dean of Students

Sexual misconduct is a form of sex- and gender-based discrimination. Sexual misconduct includes the following:

  • Non-consensual sexual intercourse: any sexual penetration (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any body part or object by any person upon any person without consent.
  • Non-consensual sexual contact: any intentional sexual touching, either by the offender or when the complainant is forced to touch, with any body part or object without consent.
  • Sex- and gender-based discrimination: Discriminatory treatment based on sex, gender or gender identity. Genderbased discrimination can include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature. Sex-stereotyping can include the expectation that a person conform to certain behaviors, mannerisms or appearances stereotypical of their biological sex.
  • Sexual Harassment: In the education context, sexual harassment is unwelcome, sex- or gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with, denies, or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational programs and activities. In the employment context, sexual harassment is unwelcome, sex- or gender-based verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. In the education context, sexual harassment is unwelcome, sex- or gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with, denies, or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational programs and activities. It can take two forms: power differentials (quid pro quo) or hostile environment.
    Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when:
    • There are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a
      sexual nature; and
    • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status; or
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions adversely affecting such individual.

    Hostile environment in the education context includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that limits, interferes with, or denies educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective (the complainant’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint. Hostile environment in the employment context includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

  • Sexual Exploitation: taking non-consensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another. Examples include, but are not limited to, prostituting another student or employee, non-consensual pictures, video-, or audio-recording of sexual activity, including on social media and texting. Includes sharing videos, photos, recoding such as on social media even if media was obtained consensually. Engaging in non-consensual voyeurism, and knowingly transmitting or exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) without the knowledge of the person.
  • Stalking: engaging in a course of conduct that includes two or more acts directed at a specific person, based on gender or sexual orientation that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. This includes whether the alleged perpetrator directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about the complainant, or interferes with the complainant’s property.
  • Domestic Violence: violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, by a person with whom the complainant shares a child, by a person who is or was cohabitating with the complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant, and/or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person under the domestic or family violence laws.
  • Dating Violence: violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant and where the existence of such a relationship is determined based on the following factors: length of the relationship, type of relationship and frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • Indecent Exposure: the exposure of the private or intimate parts of the body in a lewd manner in public or in private premises when the accused may be readily observed.
  • Sexual Violence: Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent.
  • Pregnancy: Discrimination based on sex can include discrimination based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, such as childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of a pregnancy, miscarriage, or recovery from any of these conditions. The University provides reasonable accommodations of limitations imposed by pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions in accordance with applicable law.

Consent: informed, freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or action, which indicate a willingness to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

  • Consent is active, not passive.
  • Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.
  • Consent can be given by words, actions, or behaviors as long as those words, actions or behaviors create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the conditions of sexual activity: who, what, when, where, why, and how sexual activity will take place.
  • Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time by word or action.
  • Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to current or future sexual acts

To be effective, consent cannot be obtained by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion.

  • Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion.
  • Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. When a person indicates by words or actions that he/she does not want to engage in sexual activity, wants to stop, or does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
  • Intimidation is implied threats, including the exertion of perceived or actual power resulting from position or stature.
  • A person must be of legal age (16) to give consent..

An incapacitated person cannot give consent. Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout) is not consented sexual activity and therefore is a violation of this policy.

  • Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions.
  • Incapacitation may result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, and alcohol or drug impairment, including taking “rape drugs.” A rape drug is any drug intentionally used to incapacitate another victim to assist in the execution of drug facilitated sexual assault.
  • Possession, use and/or distribution of any so-called “rape drug” is prohibited and administering these drugs to another person is a violation of this policy.
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs will not excuse behavior that violates this policy


Smoking has been shown to be very hazardous to an individual’s health with such consequences as reduced life expectancy and increased chances of contracting diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema. New research findings indicate that non-smokers who are regularly exposed to tobacco smoke are also at increased risk of illness and death. For these reasons, the Trustees have prohibited the sale of tobacco on the campus.

Smoking means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying of any lighted or heated tobacco product, as well as smoking substances that are not tobacco.

Smoking, including e-cigarettes and the use of unregulated nicotine products, in interior areas is prohibited. Smoking is NOT permitted in the residence halls, rooms, lounges, or rest rooms. Furthermore, smoking in exterior areas will be designated by appropriate signs.

Fire regulations also prohibit smoking in the Rike Center, the Clements Recreation Center, the equine facility, the stadium, athletic fields, theme house, Commons apartments, any area in a residence hall, and in any University owned fraternity or sorority houses. In addition, students who smoke are expected to maintain a 20-foot distance between themselves and any University building to assure compliance with the State smoking law. Students are asked to cooperate in observing these restrictions. Failure to comply could result in a judicial violation since smoking is considered a level II violation. In extreme situations, students could be cited for Failure to Comply which is a level IV violation.

Because of fire regulations, smoking is restricted to the following areas: Campus Center Theatre (Pit Area) – as necessary for the theatre production only and Cowan – Stage area – as necessary for the theatre productions.

Solicitation and Sales on Campus

  1. Officially-recognized campus organizations, including sport teams, with the written approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs or delegated representative, may engage in moneymaking projects for the benefit of worthwhile purposes of the organization and, upon application to the proper building authorities, may have a sale area where designated. Most campus sales will be held in the Campus Center, and/or areas where students are not a “captive audience” (i.e. the residence halls, the dining hall, etc.) No harassment is permitted.
  2. Moneymaking events sponsored by campus organizations and held off-campus must also be approved to avoid conflicts. This enhances the opportunity for a successful project.
  3. Door-to-door sales and fundraising shall not be permitted in the residence halls, theme houses, or Commons apartments.
    • Distribution of hand leaflets must receive prior approval from the Office of Student Affairs.
    • Sales by individuals or companies not associated with Otterbein University and not receiving prior approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs shall not be permitted on campus.
  4. Door-to-door promotion of non-residence life sponsored events/services is not permitted in the residence halls.
  5. Sales by individuals for profit shall not be permitted within the residence halls, theme houses or Commons apartments.
  6. Recognized student organizations may sponsor moneymaking events by having a person or organization outside the University supply the product for the sale. Such sales must be given final approval by the Vice President for Student Affairs and will be limited. Twenty percent (20%) or more of the profit must go to the organization.
  7. Any moneymaking events must be in compliance with Federal, State and Local laws, and University gambling policies. (See Gambling Policy for more information.)

Telephone Misuse or Abuse

Any student who accepts collect calls or makes third party billed calls to an Otterbein number will be subject to judicial action for fraudulent expense of University funds. Any student, who damages, alters or removes any part of a telephone instrument or wiring will be subject to judicial action for telephone abuse, and will be required to pay for damages incurred. No student shall make a telephone call to harass, abuse, or annoy another

Theft, Attempted Theft, Possession of Stolen Property

Theft – to obtain or exert control over property or services of another without the owner’s consent.
Attempted Theft – any attempt to commit a theft.
Possession of Stolen Property – being in possession of any property obtained illegally.
Because theft is also a violation of the law, a student or organization will be subject to action by the authorities when appropriate. All thefts should be reported to the Otterbein Police Department who forwards the report to the Student Affairs Office. Most insurance companies require that a report of this type be completed before they will honor an insurance claim.

Violation of Local, State and/or Federal Laws

In keeping with Otterbein’s commitment of educating our students to become responsible community citizens, the University will address student misconduct, both on and off campus. The University may receive the name and type of offense students are arrested and/or cited for from the police department, from other law enforcement jurisdictions, newspaper articles, personal observations, or from other sources that indicate an Otterbein students’ involvement in an off-campus violation. This information will be reviewed and the University may contact the student to further investigate and/or initiate formal University judicial charges as deemed necessary.

Visitation: Hours/Guests/Escort Policy

All hall lounges with external entrances/exits have a 24-hour visitation policy, unless the Hall Council chooses to reduce the hours. Residents and guests are responsible for knowing the hours. Hall Council will post signs in the lounge if it does not have 24-hour visitation. Visitation is prohibited in all hall areas except 24-hour lounges during non-visitation hours. Hall lounges without external entrances/exits (located on residential floors and only accessible by walking through the floor) will have visitation hours for guests the same as the residential floor. Residents of the floor may use the lounges 24 hours a day.

Traditional and Suite-Style Residence Hall residents may have guests who identify most closely as the opposite gender visit their rooms daily from 9 a.m. until 2 a.m.

Theme Houses, Fraternity and Sorority House residents may have guests who identify most closely as the opposite gender visit their rooms daily from 9 a.m. until 2 a.m.

Commons Apartment residents may have guests visit their apartments 24 hours a day as long as all apartment residents agree.

Overnight Visitation – Overnight guests may reside with the student in their residence hall room, theme house or Commons apartment provided the roommate/house/apartment mates of the resident agree, the overnight guest agrees to follow all housing and campus policies and the resident registers their overnight guest with their Assistant Director of Residence Life and/or Office of Residence Life. Residents shall take full responsibility for the actions of their guests including any violations of campus policies. Traditional and Suite-Style Residence Halls, Theme Houses, Sorority and Fraternity Houses residents may only have overnight guests who identify most closely with the same gender (except during Little Sibs Weekend when the policy is slightly adjusted.) Guests may stay for a maximum of two nights in a row with only the approval of their room/suite/house/apartment mates (guest must still be registered with their Assistant Director of Residence Life). Special written permission from their Assistant Director of Residence Life is required for a guest staying up to four nights. Guests staying longer than four nights must have written permission from the Director of Residence Life for a stay up to seven consecutive nights. To request permission, students should email the Director of Residence Life with the name of their guest and dates of requested visitation at least 48 hours before the visit is to begin. Guests may not stay longer than seven nights in the residence halls, theme houses or Commons apartments at any one period of time or stay for more than two periods of seven consecutive nights during an academic year.

Escort Policy – Residents are responsible for any guest they invite into the building and remain with the guest for their entire stay in the hall. Residents shall meet their guests at the building entrance. Telephones on the exterior of the building are provided so guests can call the resident to meet them at the door. Anyone not living in the building is considered to be a guest, including other students, faculty, staff, and parents. Residents are responsible for assuring their guest is fully aware of and follows all policies while in the building. Any unescorted guest will be asked to leave the building immediately. The guest and the resident they are visiting will be held responsible for violating the Code of Conduct. Residents are encouraged to assure their safety by inquiring if someone does not appear to be a hall resident and reporting any unescorted guests to the hall staff and/or University Security/Police.

Weapon Policy

Ohio’s concealed carry law permits individuals to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun onto many locations. The licensee must carry a valid concealed weapon license and valid identification when carrying the concealed handgun.

Purpose: In the interest of maintaining a safe academic and working environment free of violence for all employees, students and visitors, Otterbein University prohibits the possession, transport, and storage of dangerous weapons on University owned or leased property including in personal vehicles, or at any University-sponsored function, regardless of whether or not the person is legally licensed to carry a weapon.

Scope: This policy applies to all University employees, students, contract employees, visitors, and vendors on University property or at any University-sponsored function. This policy does not apply to any law enforcement personnel engaging in official duties.

Definitions: “University property” covered by this policy includes all University-owned or leased buildings and surrounding areas such as sidewalks, walkways, driveways, and parking lots under the University’s ownership or control. This policy also applies to all University-owned or leased vehicles. “Dangerous weapons” include, but are not limited to, handguns, firearms, explosives, knives and other weapons as defined by federal, state or local laws or ordinances. If employees or students have a question regarding whether an item is covered by this policy, they should contact the Office of Human Resources or the Otterbein Police Department.

Parking Lot Exception: Individuals that have been issued a valid concealed handgun license may transport or store a firearms or ammunition on University property when both of the following conditions are met:

  • Each firearm and all of the ammunition remain inside the person’s privately owned motor vehicle while the person is physically present inside the motor vehicle, or each firearm and all the ammunition is locked within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or container within or on the person’s privately owned motor vehicle.
  • The vehicle is in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be.

Enforcement: The University reserves the right to search all personal and University-owned or leased vehicles, packages, containers, briefcases, purses, lockers, desks, enclosures, and persons entering its property, for the purpose of determining whether any weapon has been brought onto its property or premises in violation of this policy. These searches will only be conducted in the event of probable cause or reasonable suspicion, and will be conducted in accordance with legal search procedures pertaining to searches for concealed weapons.

Reporting Obligations: Note that Otterbein University reserves the right to conduct weapons checks of people and their packages who attend events such as undergraduate commencement, graduate commencement, and other special events on campus. If any employee or student believes another person covered by this policy possesses a concealed handgun or other deadly weapon in violation of this policy, the employee or student shall immediately report this belief and the basis for this belief to the Otterbein Police Department. Failure to report knowledge of the presence of any dangerous weapon shall subject the employee or student to disciplinary action.

Sanctions: Violations of this policy will result in prompt disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from school in accordance with University disciplinary policies. Violations may be reported to local law enforcement agencies.

Safety: Employees and students, including Otterbein Police personnel, should be aware that the enforcement of this policy might involve confronting individuals carrying dangerous weapons. Under no circumstances should any employee or student take any unnecessary risks or compromise their safety in enforcing this policy. Local law enforcement should be contacted immediately if deemed necessary.

Notification: The University will publicize this policy in employee and student handbooks. A copy of the policy will be included in the Social Issues Update that is posted and updated annually and is on-line. A copy of the policy will be posted on the University’s Otterbein Police Department web site. In addition, signs may be posted at various locations that state: