Campus standards


All communities have certain expectations and guidelines for their residents. As a campus community, Bluffton University also has expectations and guidelines.

The board of trustees in cooperation with faculty, staff and students has established guidelines which support the distinctive nature of the campus community.

The honor system
Students are admitted to Bluffton University as responsible members of the community. This responsibility goes beyond being concerned about one's own actions; it also includes being actively concerned about others.

This kind of responsibility is central to the honor system which has existed at Bluffton for many years. The honor system is observed when taking examinations and writing research papers. Central to our system are the following:

    • No monitor is in the classroom during the test and examination periods.
    • On every examination paper the following pledge is written and signed: "I am unaware of any inappropriate aid having been given or received during this examination."
    • If a student cannot sign this pledge the instructor is notified.
    • Although the honor system applies specifically to the academic area, it is understood that the spirit of the Honor System should pervade all aspects of campus life.

Campus standards
Bluffton University provides a unique campus environment. The rules regulating campus conduct contribute to that environment. Rules prohibiting smoking, drinking and drugs on campus are based on consideration of health, cleanliness, safety and regard for others.

There are some specific expectations which members of the community have developed as important to the quality of life desired for Bluffton. As members of the campus community, students are encouraged to worship regularly on campus and in the church of their choice. In addition, they are expected to:

    • Practice openness and honesty in all relations with members of the community: faculty, staff and students.
    • Conduct themselves with respect for persons and property.
    • Practice the honor system in taking examinations and writing research papers.
    • Follow the rules and regulations necessary for orderly community life which are established in areas such as the library, residence halls and Marbeck Center.
    • Refrain from patterns of behavior which do injury to self and others: e.g. smoking, drinking, drug use, gambling, sexual exploitation, promiscuity and profanity:
      • The use of tobacco on campus and on all official Bluffton University trips (e.g., athletic field trips, student teaching) and at Bluffton University-sponsored activities is prohibited. The sole exception to this rule is provision of two designated outdoor areas on campus where smoking is permitted.
      • Alcohol - Bluffton forms, as part of its foundation, a community of respect. Respect includes an understanding of how individual actions impact a community. In an academic community, learning for life happens outside the classroom as well as in the classroom. It is the desire of Bluffton for students to learn and to be encouraged in behavior that will positively contribute to their whole person as individuals created by God.

        Consumption of alcohol may promote unhealthy lifestyle choices: create dependencies, waste money, abuse health and take lives. The consumption of alcohol may generate behavior offensive to other people and to the public, including the Bluffton University community. Students are not full participants in the community of learning and respect at Bluffton if they are under the influence of alcohol.

        Bluffton expects students to understand the consequences of consuming or possessing alcohol on campus as well as the ramifications of consuming alcohol off-campus, particularly as it relates to the potential impact for on-campus behavior. The possession and consumption of alcohol on campus at all campus-related activities is prohibited. Students are also reminded that the possession and consumption of alcohol on or off-campus is illegal for those under the age of 21.

        The following behavior would be considered a violation of the campus alcohol policy:
        • Drinking alcohol on campus;
        • Being present in a room or other area on campus where alcohol violation is occurring;
        • Possession of alcohol-related container(s) in the residence hall, common area, vehicles on campus or anywhere else on campus; window exhibits that display items relating to alcohol are prohibited, as are displays in windows, on room doors, in hallways and other public areas on campus.
        • The possession and/or consumption of alcohol at any Bluffton University-sponsored activity, such as departmental club excursions and/or conferences and athletic events;
        • Disruptive actions associated with the possession and/or consumption of alcohol, including disruptive behavior on campus when a student is under the influence of alcohol.

          Infractions to the stated policy will normally incur the following sanctions:

          First violation: $50 fine; 5-10 hours of supervised service on campus; enrollment in a course related to drug or alcohol education; and parental notification if student is under 21 years of age. Student will be placed on disciplinary probation for one year. If a student violates the alcohol policy within the probationary period, the student would be subject to suspension from Bluffton University.

          Second violation: Minimum $100 fine; 10 hours of supervised service on campus; probation for remainder of enrollment; participation in an alcohol assessment program administered by a professional substance abuse counselor (at the student's expense) and parental notification if student is under 21 years of age. If the student is on disciplinary probation from a previous violation, the student would be subject to suspension from Bluffton University.

          Third violation: Student will be suspended from Bluffton University.
      • The illegal use or possession of hallucinogenic or narcotic drugs or marijuana is prohibited.
      • Self-selective fraternities and sororities are not permitted.

In this campus community both students and faculty share in the responsibilities of maintaining campus standards. The student life staff and the Campus Judicial Board, composed of elected faculty and student representatives, handle campus disciplinary cases. Infractions of the rules and any serious misconduct become the particular concern of student life staff and the Campus Judicial Board.

For students' welfare and in the best interests of the campus community, Bluffton University reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any student at any time when university authorities deem such action imperative.