Iowa State University has established a Code of Conduct with policies and procedures that promote individual and social responsibility. Choosing to join the Iowa State University Community obligates each member to a code of conduct. Individuals and recognized student organizations are expected to observe the policies, rules, and regulations of Iowa State University, the City of Ames, the State of Iowa, and the United States of America. University policies have been designed to protect individuals and the campus community and create an environment conducive to achieving the academic mission of the institution.

The following behaviors, or attempted behaviors, are considered violations of the Student Code of Conduct and are subject to disciplinary sanctions by the university.

ISU defines “academic misconduct” as any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community.

Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Unauthorized assistance, or access to or use of unauthorized materials, information, tools, or study aids. Examples include, but are not limited to, unauthorized collaboration or copying on a test or assignment, using prohibited materials and texts, unapproved use of cell phones, internet, or other electronic devices, requesting, hiring, or otherwise encouraging someone to take a course, exam, test, or complete assignments for a student.
  • Representing the words or ideas of another person or presenting someone else's words, data, expressed ideas, or artistry as one's own, both word-for-word and/or paraphrasing of another person’s work. Examples include, but are not limited to, presenting someone else's opinions and theories as one's own, using another person's work or words (including unpublished material) without appropriate source documentation or citation, working jointly on a project and then submitting it as one's own. 
  • Submitting substantially the same work to satisfy requirements for one course or academic requirement that has been submitted in satisfaction of requirements for another course or academic requirement without permission of the instructor of the course for which the work is being submitted.
  • Falsification or fabrication of information. Examples include, but are not limited to, falsifying research, inventing or falsely altering data, citing fictitious references, falsely recording or reporting attendance, hours, or engagement in activities such as internships, externships, field experiences, clinical activities.
  • Any action that helps another engage in academic misconduct. Examples include, but are not limited to, providing materials or assistance without approval, altering someone's work, grades or academic records, taking an exam / completing an assignment for someone else, seeking to acquire, selling, bribing, paying or accepting payment for academic work or assistance that contributes to academic misconduct.
  • Tampering or alteration of grades, academic records, or an instructor’s evaluation of work by altering materials or documents, tampering with evaluation tools, or other means of interfering.
  • Recording and/or sale or dissemination (including posting) of instructional content without the express permission of the instructor(s), or an approved accommodation coordinated via Student Accessibility Services.

Course-related presentations and materials are owned by the presenter. Students may take written notes or make other recordings for educational purposes, but specific written permission to sell and/or make publicly available the notes, recordings, or materials must be obtained from the presenter. Failure to secure permission is a violation of these conduct regulations.

In addition, students are responsible for adhering to expectations in course syllabi and on coursework and exams, and for following directions given by faculty, instructors, and testing center regulations related to coursework, assessments, and exams.

Additional information regarding academic honesty is included in the ISU Catalog and the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy. In addition, students are responsible for following ethical standards adopted by the various colleges and departments.

An unwelcome intentional or reckless act that:

  • Causes physical pain or injury to a person;
  • Results in physical contact which is insulting or offensive to a person;
  • Places a person in reasonable fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive; or
  • Unreasonably and substantially restricts another’s freedom to move against the other’s will.

Any act meeting the definition of assault under Iowa Code 708.1 is a violation of these regulations.

Offering or soliciting a bribe or favor to any student, employee or faculty member, in an attempt to influence a decision or action. Extortion is the attempt to obtain property, services, or benefits from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, fear or coercion, or false pretense.

To force one to act based on fear of harm to self or others. Means of coercion may include, but are not limited to, the threat or use of force and/or nonphysical forms of pressure, expressed or implied threats, or intimidation. Coercion also includes forcing a person to act by impairing the faculties of that person through the administration of a substance.

Actual or attempted damage / vandalism or defacement to property and/or services owned or maintained by the university, property owned or controlled by recognized student organizations, by a member of the university, by any person or visitor on campus, or by any person attending a university-sponsored event is a violation.  Participating in group behavior that involves damage to property / vandalism or defacement, or threatened damage to property / vandalism or defacement is also a violation.

Dating violence and domestic violence, as those terms are specifically defined in the relevant policy, are  prohibited forms of misconduct governed by the university’s comprehensive Title IX Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking Policy. Nothing in these regulations shall be read to contradict or supersede that policy with respect to those forms of prohibited conduct.

In addition, any act meeting the definition of dating or domestic abuse under Iowa Code 708.2A and/or 236.2 is a violation of these regulations.

Discrimination is governed by the university’s comprehensive Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. Nothing in these regulations shall be read to contradict or supersede that policy with respect to discrimination.

Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, or other University activities (including public-service functions on or off campus) or of other authorized non-University activities when conduct occurs on University premises. Such activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Behavior that is a disruption to the normal operations of the university or its affiliated programs.
  • Leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or regular activities on University premises.
  • Classroom behavior that seriously interferes with either (a) the faculty member’s ability to conduct the class or (b) the ability of other students to profit from the instructional program, may constitute a violation of this section, where faculty have taken the appropriate steps through the Classroom Disruption policy and the behavior has escalated or continued. (See the Faculty Handbook).
  • Any behavior in class or out of class, which for any reason significantly interferes with or otherwise disrupts the regular and essential operation of the University.
  • Starting, aiding, or participating in group behavior that constitutes a riot or mass disturbance.
  • Disturbing the peace.

Disorderly conduct is defined as any unreasonable or reckless conduct by an individual or group that is inherently or potentially unhealthy or unsafe to other persons or their properties. Any unruly behavior or unauthorized activity that significantly disturbs the academic pursuits or infringes upon the privacy, rights, privileges, health or safety of other persons or their properties is prohibited.

The creation of a hazard or otherwise intentionally or recklessly endangering the physical safety of self or others or property.

Failure to comply with legitimate directives of authorized university officials, law enforcement, or emergency personnel. This includes but is not limited to: failure to identify oneself or to show an identification card when so requested; knowingly misleading university employees and/or police officers in the conduct of their official duties; failure to complete sanctions by the date required or agreed upon; or the violation of any disciplinary sanctions and/or interim actions.

Complicity is any act taken with the purpose of aiding, abetting, facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of an act of prohibited conduct by another person. Complicity may include, but is not limited to, the following behaviors:

  • Attempting to coerce, compel, or prevent an individual from providing testimony or relevant information.
  • Removing, destroying, or altering documentation / evidence relevant to an investigation.
  • Providing false or misleading information to university officials who are involved in an investigation or resolution of a complaint or encouraging others to do so.
  • Assisting an individual in the commission of any act of prohibited conduct or assisting an individual in hiding or covering up the commission of any act of prohibited conduct.

Fire or safety violations include but are not limited to:

  • Willful and/or reckless creation of a fire hazard or fire;
  • Tampering with, damaging, or misusing fire / safety equipment, emergency exits, barriers, and/or signs;
  • Intentional or reckless obstruction of fire, police, or emergency services;
  • Falsely reporting or setting alarms for fire, explosion, or other emergencies on campus;
  • Possession or unauthorized use of fireworks, explosives, dangerous chemicals or other flammable materials;
  • Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on or adjacent to University premises or at University events;
  • Failure to evacuate a university facility when an alarm has sounded and/or when directed to do so by emergency personnel and/or university officials; or
  • Other interference with emergency personnel and/or evacuation procedures.

A. Harassment, or general harassment (e.g., harassment not based on or motivated by protected status), is prohibited by these regulations. A person commits harassment when, with intent to intimidate, annoy, or alarm another person, the person does any of the following:

  • Communicates with another by telephone, telegraph, writing, or via electronic communication without legitimate purpose and in a manner likely to cause the other person annoyance or harm;
  • Places a simulated explosive or simulated incendiary device in or near a building, vehicle, airplane, railroad engine or railroad car, or boat occupied by another person;
  • Orders merchandise or services in the name of another, or to be delivered to another, without the other person’s knowledge or consent;
  • Reports or causes to be reported false information to a law enforcement authority implicating another in some criminal activity, knowing that the information is false, or reports the alleged occurrence of a criminal act, knowing the act did not occur; or
  • Disseminates, publishes, distributes, posts, or causes to be disseminated, published, distributed, or posted a photograph or film showing another person in a state of full or partial nudity or engaged in a sex act, knowing that the other person has not consented to the dissemination, publication, distribution, or posting.

In addition, a person commits harassment when the person, purposefully and without legitimate purpose, has personal contact with another person, with the intent to threaten, intimidate, or alarm that other person. (See Iowa Code § 708.7 “Harassment”)

B. Discriminatory harassment (e.g., harassment based on or motived by protected status) is governed by the university’s comprehensive Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. Nothing in these regulations shall be read to contradict or supersede that policy with respect to discriminatory harassment.

Hazing is any intentional, knowing, or reckless action, request, or creation of circumstances that may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Endangers the mental or physical health or safety of any person; or
  • Causes or presents a substantial risk of physical injury, serious mental distress, or personal humiliation to any individual; or
  • Involves any act solely based on the classification status of a student; or
  • Involves the damage, destruction or removal of public or private property; or
  • Involves impairment of physical liberties, such as sensory deprivation, kidnapping, isolation, sleep or meal deprivation, and personal servitude;
  • Involves a violation of local, state, or federal law or university policy; or
  • Otherwise creates an interference with academic endeavors;

And is in connection or associated with initiation or admission into, or continued membership in, or elevating status within any recognized student organization or group affiliated with the university, including but not limited to, any student, campus, fraternal, academic, honorary, musical, athletic, or military organization.

Individual acceptance of or agreement to engage in any activity that occurs during an initiation rite does not affect a determination of whether the activity constitutes hazing.

Both individuals and groups may be held accountable under this policy. Failing to intervene to prevent and/or failing to report those acts may also violate this policy. Any individual who plans or intentionally assists in hazing is in violation of this section, whether or not that individual is present when the hazing activity occurs.

Violations under this section may include activities that are not consistent with the parent organization’s (where applicable) rules and regulations.

In addition, any act meeting the definition of “Hazing” under Iowa Code Section 708.10 is a violation of these regulations. 

Indecent exposure, defined as intentionally, in a public place where other persons are present, exposing your genitals under circumstances where the exposure is reasonably likely to offend, annoy or alarm another person is prohibited.

Unauthorized or illegal use, possession, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of alcohol; public intoxication; operating a vehicle or other mode of transportation under the influence of alcohol; or any violation of ISU’s Alcohol, Drugs, and other Intoxicants Policy.

Alcohol may not, except as expressly permitted by law, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one (21) years of age.

It is a violation of this section if organizations or groups affiliated with the University:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently supply alcohol to persons under age; or,
  • Fail to adhere to university policies regarding alcohol (including failure to register events with alcohol and/or do not follow established policies regarding alcohol at registered events).

Use, possession, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of cannabis, cocaine, narcotics, or other controlled substances (including prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia) except as expressly permitted by law, and any violation of ISU’s Alcohol, Drugs, and other Intoxicants Policy.

Neither recreational nor medical cannabis is permitted on university property, in any university or university-affiliated housing, or at university sponsored off-campus events. 

Improper actions of identification or falsification may include but are not limited to:

  • Providing inaccurate identifying information to authorized officials with reason to request such information;
  • Allowing another person to use identifying information of a different person for the purpose of accessing university services or misleading authorized officials;
  • Tampering with or falsifying official records, documents, identification cards;
  • Providing, procuring, or attempting to procure, false information or evidence in any university or administrative process; or
  • Forgery

The unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys or cards that permit access to any university or university-related services, vehicles, or premises, including university housing and housing or premises affiliated with recognized student organizations.

Students and student organizations are subject to ISU's Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources policy. See Resources below. Examples of technology misuse may include, but are not limited to:

  • Accessing, damaging or altering records, programs or databases without permission;
  • Accessing or disclosing another user's private files without permission;
  • Unlawful copying of, improperly using, or distributing copyrighted material;
  • Use of university computing facilities for personal financial gain without permission of the university; or
  • Sending or posting obscene, harassing, or threatening material via an ISU account.

Possession of weapons, unless authorized by the university, is a violation. A weapon is any instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or animal, and which is capable of inflicting death or injury when used in the manner for which it was designed. Additionally, any instrument or device of any sort whatsoever which is actually used in such a manner as to indicate that the possessor intends to inflict death or injury upon another, and which, when so used, is capable of inflicting death or injury upon another, is a weapon.

Weapons include any pistol, revolver, shotgun, machine gun, rifle or other firearm, BB or pellet gun, electrical projectile, bomb, grenade, mine or other explosive or incendiary device, ammunition, archery equipment, dagger, stiletto, switchblade knife, or knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length. Residents of university housing may possess knives having a blade exceeding five inches for cooking purposes.

A "weapon" also means an object that is not an instrument capable of inflicting death or injury but closely resembles such an instrument (for example, a realistic toy, replica, imitation weapon or look-a-like gun that is reasonably capable of being mistaken for a real weapon) where the student used the object in a manner that created the impression that the object was such an instrument (for example, wrapping a hand in a towel to create the appearance of a gun).

Additional details are available in the Firearms and Other Weapons Policy.

Urinating and/or defecating in a public place or physical property that is not intended for use as a restroom.

Students must also comply with the university policy on Research Misconduct. The policy prohibits research misconduct, which is fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results.

Any form of conduct or action constituted as retaliation, as indicated by the ISU Non-Retaliation Against Persons Reporting Misconduct policy.

Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from reporting prohibited conduct and/or from participating in any investigation or proceeding under this Policy. Retaliation is an independent violation of policy and may be present even where there is a finding of “no responsibility” on the underlying report of prohibited conduct.

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are prohibited forms of misconduct. These forms of misconduct are governed by the university’s comprehensive Title IX Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking Policy. Nothing in these regulations shall be read to contradict or supersede that policy with respect to those forms of misconduct.

Stalking is a prohibited form of misconduct. Title IX Stalking, as that term is specifically defined in the relevant policy, is governed by the university’s comprehensive Title IX Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking Policy. Nothing in these regulations shall be read to contradict or supersede that policy with respect to Title IX Stalking.

In addition, any act meeting the definition of stalking under Iowa Code § 708.11 is a violation of these regulations. Per 708.11, a person commits stalking when all of the following occur: the person purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened or to fear that the person intends to cause bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family; and the person has knowledge or should have knowledge that a reasonable person would feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened or fear that the person intends to cause bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family by the course of conduct.

Unauthorized removal or stealing and/or attempted removal or stealing of property of a member of the University community. This includes knowingly possessing such stolen property. This also includes theft of services and/or misuse of another’s property including, but not limited to, unauthorized use of another’s property, and attempted or actual unauthorized use of a credit / debit card, student identification card, cell phone, personal identification number, University Bill account information, or parking permit.

Making explicit or implied threats of physical harm or physical violence to any person(s), or any intentional or reckless behavior that puts another person(s) in objectively reasonable fear for their physical safety, and/or results in physical contact with another person; displays in a threatening manner any dangerous weapon toward another.

*Nothing in this section is meant to curb, impede or prohibit speech that is protected by law.

Unauthorized or attempted unauthorized entry, occupation or use of any leased or university-owned or controlled property, equipment or facilities. Examples of this conduct include, but are not limited to, the unauthorized entry into or occupation of any University room, building, or area of the campus, including such entry or occupation at any unauthorized time, or any unauthorized or improper use of any University property, equipment, or facilities. It is a violation to enter restricted areas of the university such as restricted research areas, restricted or closed offices, and utility tunnels. Refusal to leave a space at the request of a University official is considered prohibited conduct. Assisting another individual to enter a restricted area without authorization is prohibited.

Prohibited conduct, as noted in this policy, that is also a violation of the Department of Residence behavioral / conduct regulations and policies.

Violation of any Iowa State University policy, rule, or regulation published in the Policy Library subject to disciplinary action.

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, has adopted Uniform Rules of Personal Conduct applicable to the public universities under their jurisdiction. See 681 IAC 9.1. A violation of the Uniform Rules of Personal Conduct is also a violation of this Student Code of Conduct.

Students who participate in an ISU Study Abroad Program are subject to the full extent of the Student Code of Conduct as well as the following additional rules and regulations:

  • Rules and regulations adopted by the ISU Study Abroad Center and provided to each student in the Study Abroad Code of Conduct (see Resources below);
  • The laws of the host country in which the student is traveling or living; and
  • The academic and disciplinary regulations of the educational institution or residential housing program where the student is studying.