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.

Policy for University Response to Neighbor Complaints about Student Behavior

The University of Puget Sound generally treats off-campus students as private citizens responsible for their behavior. If they violate city ordinances or other laws, Puget Sound students should be held to the same standards as other private citizens: they should be subject to warning, citation, or arrest.

The university also reserves the right to discipline students for seriously or chronically offensive behavior occurring off-campus if the behavior violates 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 off-campus students and persons in the neighboring community can be resolved without becoming conduct cases. In situations when neighbor complaints arise and when students need to be encouraged toward improved relationships with neighbors and be held accountable for their behavior, the following process guidelines will be used.

General Provisions

The Community Engagement Manager is responsible for all intake information from neighbors. All complaints received should be referred to the Community Engagement Manager, if possible. When someone else receives a complaint, the information should be forwarded to the Community Engagement Manager for follow-up. This includes complaint reports received by Security Services during weekend or evening hours. The Community Engagement Manager sends a copy of complaint intake reports to the Director of Security Services for information purposes only.

Neighbors reporting a complaint need to provide their name, address, and phone number. Generally, neighbors will be expected to have talked to students about their concerns before the complaint process outlined below will be initiated.

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.

As is the case at present, the university's conduct process proceeds without waiting for adjudication of any civil or criminal charges to be completed.

First Complaints

The goal of responding to a first complaint is to encourage students and neighbors to work out differences not to have a situation escalate.

For initial complaints about a given address, student, or group of students, the Community Engagement Manager will gather information from neighbors regarding the issue and prepare an intake report to be kept on file. The report is sent to the Director of Residence Life, and a letter to each of the identified students is prepared. The letter will require students to make an appointment within seven working days with the Residence Life and Off-Campus Student Services Director. This 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 notification letter.

Second Complaints

If a second formal complaint is filed, the Community Engagement Manager will send a report to the Director of Residence Life and the Director of Student Conduct. After reviewing the history of complaints about the given address, student, or group of students, the Director of Student Conduct will determine if the second complaint constitutes a minor or major violation of the Student Integrity Code. If appropriate, students will be required to appear before the university's Honor Court or the Integrity Code Board for a disciplinary process.

Back to Top