About 35 percent of Puget Sound students live off-campus. About 90 percent of those who live off-campus find housing in the neighboring community within one to two miles of the campus. The Off-Campus Living website contains various off-campus housing resources, including Washington's landlord/tenant laws.
I. Policy Statement
The University of Puget Sound treats off-campus students as private citizens responsible for their own behavior. If they violate city ordinances or other laws, Puget Sound students may be held to the same standards as other private citizens: they may be subject to warning, citation, or arrest.
The university reserves the right to discipline students for serious or chronic offensive behavior occurring off-campus if the behavior violates the university policies, interferes with the university’s relationship to others, or harms the university’s reputation.
Most Puget Sound students have good relationships with their neighbors. The university hopes that issues between off-campus students and persons in the neighboring community can be resolved without university involvement. In situations when neighbor concerns arise and when students need to be encouraged toward improved relationships with neighbors and be held accountable for their behavior, the following guidelines will be used.
The specific policies outlined below apply to all enrolled (graduate and undergraduate) Puget Sound students who reside in an off-campus residence.
Definitions for terms used in this policy:
- Off-campus residence - all residential facilities not owned by Puget Sound.
IV. General Provisions
The Director of Student Accountability & Restorative Practices is responsible for managing neighbor concerns that come in from the community. All initial concerns should be directed to the Director of Student Accountability & Restorative Practices. They will be responsible for the collection of information from the community members and sharing all necessary reports with the Director of Security Services and Director of Community and Brand Management.
Neighbors reporting a concern will be asked to provide the following information through the Neighbor Concern Reporting Form:
- Contact information (name, address, phone number and email address)
- Student(s) contact information (name, address, phone number and email address)
- A description of concern
- A description of the steps taken with the student to resolve the situation
- Any relevant documentation (photos, written materials, etc.)
The university will not contact landlords on behalf of neighbors and will not be the source of landlord names or contact information. Contact with landlords may be suggested as a problem solving strategy in conversations with neighbors and students about their concerns.
V. First Complaint
The goal of responding to a first concern is to encourage students and neighbors to work out differences before the situation escalates.
After the Neighbor Concern Reporting Form has been filed with the Director of Student Accountability & Restorative Practices, a file will be opened. A letter will be sent to all students identified and will require that they make an appointment with the Director within five working days. This meeting will serve as an opportunity for the Director and student(s) to formulate a plan of action to address the documented issues and concerns.
Multiple calls about a given incident will be grouped into a single case file.
VI. Second Complaint
If a second formal concern is filed with the Director of Student Accountability & Restorative Practices, a determination will be made if the concern constitutes a violation of the Student Integrity Code. If the behavior does violate the Student Integrity Code, the student(s) will participate in the conduct process, either through an Integrity Board Hearing or an Administrative Hearing. Information on the conduct process can be found in the Student Integrity Code Procedures (PDF).
If a student(s) does participate in the conduct process, outcomes will not be shared with neighbors due to privacy laws.
As is current practice, the university’s conduct process proceeds without waiting for adjudication of any civil or criminal charges to be completed, per the Student Integrity Code.
VII. Effective Date
This policy is effective as of August 28, 2023.
VIII. Related Statutes, Regulations, and Policies
Policy Owner: Vice President of Student Affairs
Date Adopted: August 15, 2023