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Student Code of Conduct: Rules and Regulations

The following is a summary and explanation of the rights, responsibilities, and rules governing student conduct at Swarthmore College. This statement serves as a general framework and is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of all possible community infractions. Students violating community standards may be held accountable through the student conduct process. For a complete description of the College’s student conduct process, please see the section on Student Conduct Policies and Procedures.

Conduct expectations are outlined under the following policies:


The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is a highly infectious, life-threatening disease declared by the World Health Organization to be a global pandemic. There is no current vaccine for COVID-19. COVID-19’s highly contagious nature means that contact with others, or contact with surfaces that have been exposed to the virus, can lead to infection. Additionally, individuals who may have been infected with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic for a period of time, or may never become symptomatic at all. Because of its highly contagious and sometimes “hidden” nature, it is currently very difficult to control the spread of COVID- 19 or to determine whether, where, or how a specific individual may have been exposed to the disease. Therefore, the College has put in place a new set of policies and expectations, introduced as the Garnet Pledge, which is designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at Swarthmore College. All students are expected to abide by the Garnet Pledge and this COVID-19 policy.  

Each student should recognize and understand that this policy, the Garnet Pledge, and the College’s efforts must be consistent with both Pennsylvania and federal law, and align with the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the best available guidance from the medical community. As a result, the measures and expectations detailed in this policy may be updated at any time. All students are required to read, sign, and adhere to the Garnet Pledge. 

Additionally, students must also agree to stay informed and follow any updated protocols. Questions regarding the College’s residential life  or student activities and social events expectations and limitations should be directed to the Office of Student Engagement (OSE). Questions regarding student health and wellness expectations or protocols should be directed to the Student Health and Wellness Office. All other questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Dean of Students Office

Students need to recognize that all of your behaviors carry some amount of risk to yourself and the health and safety of the entire Swarthmore community. Additionally, students should agree to think before you act and to ask yourself, who might I be putting at risk? While acknowledging that the College’s Garnet Pledge and the safety expectations, precautions, and limitations in this COVID-19 policy may or may not be effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, Swarthmore College has developed the following rules and expectations for the benefit of the entire Swarthmore College community. 

Approved Residential Students

  • Students will complete all required COVID-19 training, testing, and self-monitoring required by the College prior to returning to campus and while they reside on campus during the semester. 
  • Students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 [a temperature of 100.4ºF or higher, or signs of a fever (aches and chills)] will not travel to campus until they have been cleared by medical professionals and in adherence with CDC guidelines. 
  • Should a student experience any symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival to campus, they  will remain isolated and quarantined until they have been cleared by medical professionals.  
  • Students will comply with all travel restrictions imposed by both the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the College. 

Health and Wellness

  • Faculty, staff, and students who will come onto campus during the spring 2021 semester are strongly encouraged to have received the flu vaccine for the 2020-21 flu season, unless there is a valid religious or medical exception. If you have a question about this request, please contact Student Health and Wellness. 

  • Students understand that the College will conduct COVID-19 testing on all residential students and that they must consent to such testing to remain a residential student.  
  • Students will actively engage in self-monitoring health screenings, including taking their temperature daily and completing the Symptoms Tracker form located in their electronic student health portal (Medicat).
  • If a student exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 [a temperature of 100.4ºF or higher, or signs of a fever (aches and chills)], they will remain isolated/quarantined until they have been cleared by a medical professional and Student Health and Wellness staff. This can be done by phone or by completing the Symptoms Tracker form on the student health portal.
  • If a student has knowingly been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the student must inform Student Health and Wellness and must follow all protocols, guidelines, and instructions from College officials for isolation and/or quarantine. This can be done by phone or by completing the Symptoms Tracker form on the student health portal.
  • If a student is presumed or confirmed to have COVID-19, or has been directly exposed to someone else who is presumed or confirmed to have COVID-19, the student will inform Student Health and Wellness and provide information about their contacts with others on and/or around campus.
  • Students must actively participate in all contact-tracing protocols and procedures and understand that, in order to effectively perform contact tracing, College officials may have a legitimate need to share student information with others. The identity of individuals who test positive will remain confidential during the contact-tracing process.
  • Students are not permitted to leave their room while in isolation, quarantine, and/or interim housing, without specific permission from the Dean’s Office and/or Student Health and Wellness, nor are they permitted to have any guests, even just to drop off items.
  • If a student has been vaccinated against COVID-19, all of the mitigation measures described in the Pledge must still be adhered to. 

Personal Prevention

  • Students are required to wear a face mask/covering outside on campus. Certain exceptions may be made for approved College events/activities.
  • Students are required to wear a face mask/covering inside all buildings, except inside one’s own residence hall room, when alone. This expectation includes while accessing common spaces within one’s residence hall or residential suite [e.g., lounges, common bathrooms, kitchens (except when actively eating), PPR Apartment living rooms, and laundry rooms]. 
  • Students are required to engage in proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette by covering coughs and sneezes. 
  • Students are required to cooperate with directives of Student Health and Wellness staff or other College officials to self-isolate and/or quarantine. For example, students may be required to relocate to approved isolation and/or quarantine locations until cleared by Student Health and Wellness staff. 
  • Students will assist in the frequent sanitizing of high-touch surfaces and common-use areas after personal use, such as bathroom fixtures, light switches, doorknobs, kitchen appliances, and lounge areas.

Accessing or Leaving Campus

  • Approved residential students are not permitted to host or provide access to any outside guests (including family members and non-residential students). 
  • Nonresidential students, including those living in close proximity to the College, are restricted from accessing campus. 
  • Approved residential students will consider the risk to oneself and others prior to deciding to leave campus and will limit travel to essential errands (for food, medications, toiletries, and other essential personal items). 
  • Residential students understand that if they leave campus for any reason, they may be subject to a period of isolation/quarantine, or may lose their privilege to remain a residential student, if the travel was deemed nonessential or in violation of the Garnet Pledge.  
  • If students have medical appointments (including visits to urgent care) and/or nonmedical personal emergencies that require them to leave campus, they must fill out the Emergency Travel Request form prior to returning to campus, when possible.
  • Any student who leaves campus overnight must notify the College through the Emergency Travel Request form, with the understanding that they will likely be required to engage in a period of quarantine. 
  • OneCard access will be limited on campus to students’ own residence halls and other specific campus buildings. Students are prohibited from using their own OneCard to allow access into a campus facility for another person. 

Student Activities and Social Gatherings 

  • Alcohol is prohibited on campus during the Fall 2020 semester.
  • During the spring 2021 semester, all Alcohol Registered Events (AREs) are prohibited.
  • In the interest of the health and safety of the greater Swarthmore community, students age 21 and older are restricted to a maximum of 72 ounces of beer or 750 milliliters of wine in their personal possession. 

  • Liquor or distilled spirits, in any form, are prohibited during the spring 2021 semester.

  • Alcohol is prohibited in all residential common spaces (i.e., lounges, kitchens, hallways, etc.).

  • The consumption of alcohol is limited to a student’s individual residence hall room and must comply with all aspects of the Student Code of Conduct and the Garnet Pledge (including mask-wearing when not actively consuming a beverage and physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet). 

  • Students are permitted to host one (1) residential student within their assigned residence hall room.

  • All group gatherings are restricted to no more than 10 participants (including one’s self) in approved physical spaces, including outdoor locations. 
  • Gatherings in PPR Apartments’ common suite spaces cannot exceed twice the current assigned residents of the suite or no more than 10 individuals (including the residents of the apartment) and must comply with all aspects of the Student Code of Conduct and the Garnet Pledge (including mask-wearing and physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet).
    • Only residents of each PPR Apartment are permitted to possess or consume alcohol within their own common suite space, when no guests are present. 
  • All in-person social gatherings and activities must comply with College policies and public health directives. (All student in-person gatherings are restricted until Feb. 19, and all academic gatherings may not begin until Feb. 21.)
  • Students are permitted to host one (1) residential student guest in their assigned residence hall lounge and must comply with all aspects of the Student Code of Conduct and the Garnet Pledge (including not exceeding the posted occupancy, mask-wearing, and physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet). 
  • Students will respect the physical space around others and actively work to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between oneself and any other person. 
  • Students will follow all directional signs and practice physical distancing within all buildings, classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and other College spaces. 
  • Students will practice physical distancing in all bathrooms, lounges, laundry rooms, and other common spaces within their residence hall (e.g., the common living room within PPR Apartments). 
  • The Office of Student Engagement and other College offices will organize social events in compliance with College policies and public health directives and provide both synchronous and asynchronous programming. 
  • Student clubs/organizations are encouraged to convert most of their programming efforts to a virtual experience for all, providing both synchronous and asynchronous programming. 
  • All student clubs/organizations will commit to using a universal online calendaring system for scheduling and organizing events.

Sharples Dining Hall and Dining Services

  • Students must observe all physical distancing guidelines and expectations and abide by College Dining protocols in all campus dining facilities (e.g., Sharples Dining Hall, Essie Mae’s, and Kohlberg Coffee Bar)
  • Students in dining spaces must wear a mask at all times, except when actively consuming their meal. 
  • Students must procure meals during assigned times. 
  • Students must comply with all instructions from Dining Services staff. 

Matchbox and Athletic Facilities

  • Students must abide by all College protocols, guidelines, and expectations for use of athletics facilities (including but not limited to rules regarding mask wearing, physical distancing, etc.). 
  • Students must comply with all instructions from athletics facilities staff. 
  • Student athletes participating in varsity and club sports must follow all College Athletics Department guidelines and protocols regarding both organized and unorganized (pickup) athletics training, practice, and conditioning. 

Students Engaging in Remote Learning

  • Nonresidential students are prohibited from physically accessing any/all campus facilities, services, or activities. (Please note that all remote Swarthmore resources remain available to all students.) 
  • Nonresidential students who host events with approved residential students may be subject to College disciplinary action.
  • The Office of Student Engagement and other College offices will organize both synchronous and asynchronous social events/activities.
  • Student clubs/organizations are encouraged to convert most of their programming efforts to a virtual experience for all. 

COVID-19 Policy Enforcement 

Students should understand and acknowledge that given the unknown nature of COVID-19, it is not possible to fully list each and every individual risk of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 at the College may result from the actions, failures to act, or negligence of one’s own actions or the action of others.

By voluntarily choosing to return to the Swarthmore College campus under these conditions, students commit to following the College’s protocols, procedures, and requirements described in this policy. Students should understand that failing to comply with these safety expectations, precautions, and limitations puts all students, faculty, and staff at risk and may be subject to disciplinary action. 

When addressing violations of the College’s COVID-19 policy, the primary approach will be educational. In situations where a student may have accidentally, unintentionally, or carelessly violated a COVID-19 policy, which could put other members of the Swarthmore community in greater risk, students will typically be reminded of the COVID-19 policy, the Garnet Pledge and encouraged to reflect on how their behavior may be impacting Swarthmore’s commitment to the common good through a conversation with their Student Dean. If at any time a student becomes unwilling or unable to abide by the commitments outlined in this policy or the Garnet Pledge, they will be expected to remove themselves from campus.

However, students should also understand that the College will not tolerate deliberate, reckless, or repeated disregard of the COVID-19 policy or the Garnet Pledge. The health and wellbeing of the entire Swarthmore College community is all of our responsibility. Students who engage in conduct in deliberate, reckless, or repeated disregard of the COVID-19 policy or the Garnet Pledge will have forfeited the privilege to be on campus and will be removed from College housing and will be restricted from accessing all campus facilities. If this were to occur, these students would be invited to complete their 2020-2021 academic coursework remotely. 

Members of the Dean of Students office will review all allegations of COVID-19 policy violations, to determine if a violation has occurred and if appropriate, remove a student’s eligibility to remain in campus housing and/or refer the student to the College student conduct process. A student’s parents may also be contacted regarding violations of the Garnet Pledge and/or COVID-19 policy.

Countering Stigma 

Swarthmore College expressly prohibits any form of discrimination and harassment on the basis of any College-recognized protected classification, and will promptly and equitably respond to all reports of discrimination and harassment based on a protected classification in order to eliminate the discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects on any individual or the community, in keeping with its Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity policy.

During this time of great uncertainty, all College community members are expected to treat one another with the respect every human being deserves, and not promote, participate in, or allow bias to impede the access and opportunity of anyone in our community.  Managers have also been asked to remain alert to and discourage offensive or discriminatory comments regarding the coronavirus and vulnerable groups of individuals. If you experience or witness bias in our community please report it by using the following link:

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is defined as a violation of the College’s standards of academic integrity whether these violations are intentional or unintentional. Academic misconduct consists of cheating on an exam, plagiarism on an academic assignment, or unauthorized collaborative work.

Evidence of academic misconduct may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Some of the student’s work coincides with or closely paraphrases a source that is not properly acknowledged.
  • Glaring coincidences in the work of students on exams, papers, problem sets, etc., where cooperation in producing the work was not permitted.
  • Submission of the same work in more than one course. When submitting any work to an instructor for a course, it is assumed that the work was produced specifically for that course. Submission of the same work in more than one course without prior approval is prohibited.

Sources that must be acknowledged include, but are not limited to, lab manuals, books, articles in books, journal articles, and web pages, along with graphs, charts, tables, data sets, etc., in any of the sources just mentioned. Proper acknowledgment must indicate both the source and how it served as a source for any specific portions of the student’s assignment.

The informal nature of some writing may obviate the necessity of rigorously formal citation, but still requires honest attribution to original authors of all borrowed materials. Students should feel free to consult with instructors whenever there is doubt as to proper documentation.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

The overarching priority of the College with respect to alcohol and drugs is to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of Swarthmore students and comply with all applicable laws. The College is committed to providing guidance so that students can learn to develop a responsible approach to social challenges, including whether to consume alcohol, how to do so in moderation, and how to comply with local, state, and federal laws governing alcohol consumption.

The unlawful possession, use, purchase, or distribution of alcohol on College property or as part of any College activity is prohibited. The unlawful possession, use, purchase, or distribution of illicit drugs, controlled substances (including stimulants, depressants, narcotics, or hallucinogenic drugs), or paraphernalia—or the misuse of prescription drugs, including sharing, procuring, buying, or using in a manner different from the prescribed use, or by someone other than the person for whom it was prescribed—is prohibited on College property or as part of any College activity.

*Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, alcohol is prohibited on campus during the Fall 2020 semester.  

Swarthmore College recognizes that there may be situations in which students would be in need of swift medical assistance for themselves or others, as a result of alcohol and/or drug use. The College expects each student to share in the safety and wellbeing of their fellow students and to seek out assistance from College officials (Public Safety, Resident Advisors, Student Affairs staff) and/or medical emergency services through 911, without fear of College disciplinary action for the consumption of alcohol and/or use of controlled substances.

Under the College’s Alcohol and Other Drug Amnesty policy, typically neither the student in need nor the student or student organization requesting assistance will be subject to disciplinary action as a result of a violation of the Alcohol and/or Drug Policy. 

Read the full policy

Assault, Endangerment, or Infliction of Physical Harm

Physical restraint, assault, or any other act of violence or use of physical force against any member of the community, or any act that threatens the use of physical force is forbidden. Conduct—whether reckless or intentional—that a person knows, or which any reasonable person under the circumstances would know, places oneself or another at risk of bodily harm is subject to disciplinary action, whether or not the risk is realized. The Senior Associate Dean of Student Life, in consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs, will review the conduct and the circumstances in which it occurred and decide whether it falls under a minor or major adjudication, or to refer it to the College Judicial Committee for adjudication. The more reckless the conduct and the greater the risk of serious bodily harm and/or the greater the actual bodily harm caused, the greater the likelihood of a severe sanction.

Banners, Chalkings, and Posters

As stated in the Academic Freedom and Responsibility Policy, membership in the academic community imposes on students, faculty members, administrators, and trustees an obligation to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge their right to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, inquiry and instruction, and free expression on and off campus. These freedoms of expression extend so far as the expression does not impinge on the rights of other members of the community or the orderly and essential operations of the College. These are fundamental norms and expectations of expression for Swarthmore College. Banners,  chalkings, and posters are subject to reasonable requirements on their display and may be removed when a violation of College policy or the requirements described below occur. Some examples of behaviors that are inconsistent with our norms and expectations include actionable harassment or bullying; threats, intimidation, or incitement of violence; and defamation or other unlawful invasion into the privacy of others. All are encouraged to engage in the civil exchange of viewpoints, with the understanding that even where we disagree, we can still recognize that we are all valued members of the Swarthmore College community.

Students are also encouraged to read the Disorderly Conduct policy within the Student Code of Conduct.

Banners. Banners may only be hung on Clothier Hall’s façade facing Parrish Beach, in Cosby Courtyard, or in Sharples Dining Hall. Banners hung elsewhere, including on or in Parrish Hall, will be removed. The standard maximum duration for banner display is one (1) week; groups and student organizations are limited to one (1) banner reservation per month. Priority is given to student organizations or community-wide events (e.g., Winter Formal, Large-Scale Event, etc.).

Requests for banner space must be made to the Office of Student Engagement five (5) business days in advance of the requested starting display date. All banners must be reviewed by the Office of Student Engagement prior to installation. Students acknowledge that a banner is at risk of being stolen, and the College is not responsible for such loss or damage. External advertisements and solicitations of a commercial nature are prohibited.

For banners in Sharples, once approved, students may hang their banner using tape or string. Students are responsible for removing their banner after the five-day display period.

For banners hung on Clothier or in Cosby Courtyard, once approved, students must deliver their banner to the Facilities Service Building by 2 p.m. on the Friday before the start of the reservation to ensure their banner is properly hung and according to the schedule. Installations will not occur on weekends and are subject to the availability of staff. During the first weeks of the semester and the move-out period, staff are not available to hang student banners. Banners must be no more than 8-feet wide and no more than 5-feet tall; made of vinyl or durable plastic or color-fast printed/painted fabric (hemmed); grommets should be present on the banner corners to ensure secure attachment to the wall; and a few short slits should be cut in the banner to inhibit the wind from catching and ripping the material. Banners will be removed on Monday mornings, and students must retrieve their banner from facilities no later than noon the following day. Failure to do so could result in banner disposal.

Chalkings. Chalkings are permitted only on paved, outdoor walkways that are open to the rain. Walkways under porches or archways and vertical surfaces may not be used, and such chalkings will be washed away. Science Center outdoor blackboards are meant for dynamic use while members of the community are present. Questions about particular chalkings or postings should be directed to the Office of Student Engagement.

Posters. All advertisements, flyers, notices, etc., constitute posters and may only be posted on public bulletin boards. Outdated posters must be promptly removed; anyone may remove outdated posters from public boards.

Recommended posting spots include the post office boards, residence hall bulletin boards, Sharples boards and tabling, and Clothier in Tarble boards. Masking or painter’s tape is approved for use for securing the posters—duct tape is not allowed. Posters may not be placed on light posts, trash cans, buildings, walls, floors, doors, windows in doors, walkways, bike racks, handrails, stairs, or trees, nor may they be placed on the assigned group bulletin boards in Parrish without permission from the group.
Posters need to be “signed” with a recognized student organization or the individual name of a matriculated student. No mentions or images of alcohol are allowed. Posters that violate any of these rules will be removed by College staff or faculty and the individual or group may be fined or held financially responsible for damage.

Bullying, Intimidation, and Stalking

Bullying. Bullying includes any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or a series of acts of physical, social, or emotional domination that is intended to cause, or any reasonable person should know would cause, physical or substantial emotional harm to another person or group. Bullying conduct may not only cause a negative effect on individuals targeted, but also others who observe the conduct. Bullying conduct is severe, persistent, or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following:

(i) substantially interfering with a community member’s education, employment, or full enjoyment of the college;

(ii) creating a threatening or intimidating environment;

(iii) substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the College; or
(iv) unreasonable actions directed towards an individual (or a group) resulting in intimidating, degrading, humiliating, or undermining behavior that creates a risk to the health or safety of individuals.

Bullying is prohibited, and participating in such acts will result in disciplinary action.

Intimidation. Intimidation is any verbal, written, or electronic threats of violence or other threatening behavior directed toward another person or group that reasonably leads the person(s) in the group to fear for their physical wellbeing. Intimidation is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.

Stalking. Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct, repeated acts or communication toward another person, including unauthorized following, which demonstrate either an intent to put another person in fear of bodily injury or cause the person substantial emotional distress.

Anyone who attempts to use bullying, intimidation, or stalking to retaliate against someone who reports an incident, brings a complaint, or participates in an investigation will be in violation of retaliation as described within this Handbook and will be subject to disciplinary action.

When acts of bullying, intimidation, or stalking occur in the context of intimate-partner violence or when the behavior is perpetrated on the basis of sex or gender, the conduct will be resolved under the Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Discrimination, Including Harassment, Based On A Protected Class

Discrimination, including harassment, based on a protected class is defined as unreasonable, unwelcome conduct, based on an individual’s sex, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, medical condition, veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected classification, that objectively and subjectively harms the person by severely, persistently, and/or pervasively denies the person equal access to educational opportunities, residence and community life, or terms and conditions of employment. This type of discrimination can occur in any form and can be directed at individuals or groups. Depending on the severity of the circumstances, infractions may be resolved through a variety of appropriate methods, ranging from informal, remedial steps, including training, counseling, or mediation to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or expulsion. In all cases, the College encourages individuals to seek support and assistance as soon as possible. Before any behavior can be considered for the student conduct process, it must be clear that no substantial free expression interests are threatened by bringing a formal charge of discrimination. If a person has been subject to discrimination including harassment on the basis of a protected classification, as described above, the student should consult with the director of equal opportunity and engagement for guidance

The College’s Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct Policy specifically prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, indecent exposure, intimate-partner violence, dating violence, and domestic violence, retaliation, stalking, and other misconduct that is sex or gender based, or in the context of an intimate partner relationship including: bullying and intimidation, stalking, physical assault, and discrimination. The full policy can be found here ( 

If a person has been subject to sexual misconduct in any form, the person should consult with the Title IX coordinator for guidance and resolution of sex or gender based complaints under the Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Disorderly Conduct

Students at Swarthmore College have the right to express their views, feelings, and beliefs inside and outside the classroom and to support causes publicly, including by demonstrations and other means.

These freedoms of expression extend so far as expression does not impinge on the rights of other members of the community or the orderly and/or essential operations of the College. In light of the principles and expectations described within the policy on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, disorderly conduct is not permitted. 

Disorderly conduct is a violation that prevents the orderly operation of the College, which includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Excessive noise, which interferes with classes, College offices, residence hall neighbors, or other campus and community activities;
  2. Unauthorized entry into or occupation of a private work area or closed meeting;
  3. Conduct that restricts or prevents faculty, staff, or student employees from performing their duties, including interruption of meetings, classes, or events;
  4. Failure to maintain clear passage into or out of any College building or passageway, and/or work space;
  5. Failure to disperse when a building, office, or campus space is closed; 
  6. Other conduct that disrupts the operations of the College, such as lectures, meetings, events (such as admissions tours or job interviews), ceremonies, or other necessary business and community functions; and/or
  7. Any other action(s) that result in unreasonable interference with the learning/working environment or the rights of others.

Events and Parties

The College defines an event as an academic, intellectual, cultural, and/or social gathering, held by students or a student organization, in campus space. Events can be open to the entire campus community, open to all enrolled students, or closed events held for a smaller group of students and/or members of an organization. Usually, events are not open to the general public without written permission from the Office of Student Engagement. Typically, guest(s) of enrolled students are permitted at campus events; please see the guest policy for additional information on the College’s guest policy. Both open and closed events follow the same expectations and process for registration.

The College further differentiates between alcohol registered events (A.R.E.s) and dry events (events where alcohol is not present). A.R.E.s are registered events where alcohol will be present, either provided by the host or brought by attendees, and/or alcohol will be served. All A.R.Es. require advance registration and approval of a College Alcohol Permit.  

*Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, alcohol and ALL A.R.E.s are prohibited on campus during the Fall 2020 semester.

Unless specifically authorized, in writing, by the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life or designee, no College funding may be used to purchase alcoholic beverages (written authorization may be given for senior only events, associated with senior week/senior class only events at off-campus locations).

A College event may be held on- or off- campus and may only be sponsored by Swarthmore students. All events held on-campus are automatically subject to this policy. An individual and/or organization holding an event off-campus may be subject to the student code of conduct and/or Pennsylvania state law.  

  • Open events are defined as an event where all students are permitted to attend.  Open events may or may not be open to the larger campus community.
  • Closed events may be held for a smaller group of students and/or members of an organization. A guest list may be required depending on the size and scale of the event. 

*No A.R.E. event should charge an entry fee at any time. 

If a student is unsure about whether their event is ‘open’ or ‘closed’, they may seek advisement from the Office of Student Engagement. 

Read the full policy

Failure to Comply

The College expects students to comply with the directions of law enforcement officers or College officials acting in the performance of their duties.

Furthermore, the College expects students held responsible for Student Code of Conduct violations to fully comply with all disciplinary sanctions imposed by the College. A responsible student’s failure to comply with imposed sanctions or any related directions of a College official in the performance of their duties will be subject to further disciplinary action.

False Representation

A student may not knowingly provide false information or engage in misrepresentation to any College office/official. In addition, forgery, alteration, or unauthorized possession or use of College documents, records, or instruments of identification, forged or fraudulent communications (paper or electronic mail) are prohibited and subject to disciplinary action..

Upon request, students are obligated to provide College personnel with accurate identification and must present their OneCard when requested. Swarthmore Police Department will accept a Swarthmore College OneCard as proof of identification, expect when a driver’s license is required for operating a motor vehicle.  

Fire Safety

Fire regulations prohibit personal cooking appliances (hot plates, toaster ovens, or other items with open-heat elements), space heaters, candles, incense, other open-flame items, vapes, and halogen lamps. Open flames, including the burning of candles, incense or other unauthorized objects, are not permitted in residence halls or any other unauthorized area of campus. It is also a violation to hang items from any part of fire safety equipment including conduits and sprinkler heads. Any student with an open flame (e.g., candle, incense, etc.) may be subject to a $500 fine.

Tampering, interference, misuse, causing damage, and/or destruction of fire safety and fire prevention equipment are prohibited and are a violation of state law. Any student who causes an alarm to be set off for improper purposes may be liable for the expenses incurred by the fire department(s) in responding to the alarm, in addition to any fines, charges or sanctions that may be applied for violation(s) of this policy.

If no individuals accept responsibility when a violation of this policy occurs in a residence hall, all residents of that residence hall may be subject to fines and charges for costs incurred by the College and/or fire department(s).

Fire drills are held on a regular basis. Failure to vacate any College building during an active fire alarm, including drills is a violation of College policy, may result in disciplinary action. Directions for fire drill procedures are posted in every building. Hallways and stairwells must be kept clear of bicycles, trunks, and furniture, and may not be used for storage. Items impinging on free movement in public spaces, including halls and stairways, will be removed (including cutting locks, when necessary) and their owners may be charged for their removal.

Students are financially responsible for damages resulting from reckless conduct or violation of this policy. Any student in violation of the College’s fire safety rules (e.g., unauthorized candle/incense/object burning, tampering with fire safety equipment, etc.) may be subject to restitution and replacement costs, a fine, adjudication through the student conduct process, or other reasonable resolution as deemed by the student conduct administrator.

Any student in possession of prohibited items and/or in violation of the fire safety policy may be referred to the student conduct process.


Swarthmore College prohibits any form of hazing, whether the activities occur on or off property owned or operated by the College. Additionally, the College supports and enforces the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Timothy J. Piazza Anti-hazing Law, Act 80 of 2018. Failure to notify the College of an incident of hazing, may be a violation of this policy.  

Hazing includes, but is not limited to, any behavior and/or acts of servitude that is designed or intended to humiliate, degrade, embarrass, harass, or ridicule an individual, or that which a reasonable person would deem harmful or potentially harmful to an individual’s physical, emotional, or psychological wellbeing, as an actual or perceived condition of new or continued affiliation with any organization, and/or team. Hazing also includes knowingly or recklessly engaging in such behavior and/or acts.    

Engagement in any of these behaviors, regardless of the intent to cause harm or the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity, for the purpose of initiation, admission, or continued affiliation and/or membership, is a violation of this policy.


Housing Violations

General housing policies and regulations described below are established by the Student Life division and the Office of Student Engagement. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the policies and rules concerning conduct in the residence halls. Acceptance of space in College housing constitutes knowledge of, willingness, and agreement to abide by these housing policies. Living in College housing is a privilege and not a right. The Student Life division and/or Office of Student Engagement may, at any time and at its own discretion, withdraw this privilege due to behavior, which does not rise to the standards outlined below. Students who lose their housing privileges are not typically entitled to a refund of their room and board charges for the remaining weeks of the semester.

Read the full policy.


The College will not tolerate retaliation. Retaliation against any person or group who makes a complaint, cooperates with an investigation, or participates in 
a resolution process is a violation of College policy. Retaliation can take many forms, including continued abuse or violence, bullying, threats, intimidation, and stalking. Any individual or group of individuals, not just a complainant or respondent, can engage in retaliation.

Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life and may result in disciplinary action independent of any sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegation of misconduct.

Sexual Misconduct: Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct

Swarthmore College is committed to establishing and maintaining a community rich in equality and free from all forms of discrimination and harassment. The College seeks to create an environment in which the greatest holistic academic potential of students and professional potential of employees may be realized. In order to create and maintain such an inclusive climate, all who work and learn
 at the College are partners in the endeavor to ensure that the community is free from discrimination based on sex or gender, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct. These behaviors threaten our learning, living, and work environments and will not be tolerated.

The College’s Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, indecent exposure, intimate-partner violence, dating violence and domestic violence, retaliation, stalking, and other misconduct that is sex or gender based, or in the context of an intimate partner relationship including: bullying and intimidation, physical assault, and discrimination. The full policy can be found at:

Click here to submit a Title IX Report and Concern Form


Smoking and vaping is prohibited in all indoor spaces throughout the College, including meeting rooms, lounges, offices, and residence halls (including individual’s residential rooms). Violation(s) may result in a referral to student conduct, a fine, and/or other potential penalties, including exclusion from campus housing. Altering smoke detectors creates danger for all building occupants and may be met with disciplinary action.

Smoking is allowed outdoors at a minimum distance of 25 feet from all buildings.

Theft, Vandalism, or Property Damage

Theft, negligent, intentional, or accidental damage to personal or College property is prohibited, as is possession of stolen property. Restitution may be charged to the appropriate individual(s) and may warrant College disciplinary action. In the event that damage occurs in residence-hall common space for which no one assumes responsibility, restitution may be divided equally among all residents of that hall. Administrative fees may be added if students do not comply by the end of the semester.

For damage that occurs during a student event in
a space other than a residence hall and for which
 no individual student(s) accept(s) responsibility, the sponsoring students and/or organizations may be held accountable for the money for replacement or repair of the damaged property and may be subject to further disciplinary action.

Unauthorized Entry or Access

Unauthorized entry into or presence within enclosed College buildings or areas, including athletic facilities, construction sites, and student rooms or offices, even when unlocked, is prohibited. Climbing on any College building or College-owned structure or being present on building roofs is prohibited without authorization. Tampering with locks to College buildings, unauthorized possession or use of College keys, and alteration or duplication of College keys is against College policy. Participation in any of these activities may subject a student to fines and/or further disciplinary action.

Unauthorized Use of College Facilities or Services

The unauthorized use of College property, including but not limited to College buildings, spaces and grounds; College documents and records; or College furnishings, equipment and materials, is a violation of College policy and is subject to disciplinary action. The Acceptable Use Policy under Academic Policies provides guidelines for use of College computer systems and networks.

Violation of Local, State, or Federal Law

Any violation of local, state, federal, or international law may subject a student to College disciplinary action. A pending appeal of a conviction shall not affect the application of this rule.

Weapons and Fireworks

No student may possess or use a firearm on Swarthmore College property or its environs. Firearms, including rifles, shotguns, handguns, air guns, and gas-powered guns and all ammunition or hand-loading equipment and supplies for the same, are not allowed. No student may possess or use fireworks, dangerous devices, chemicals, or explosives on Swarthmore College property or its environs. Items such as knives, even if decorative, that could be viewed and/or used as weapons are forbidden.

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