Caution: The policies of Washington and Lee University are under continual examination and revision. This catalog is not a contract; it merely presents the policies in effect at the time of publication and in no way guarantees that the policies will not change.
Additional Policies and Procedures: Not all University policies and procedures affecting students are described in this catalog. For further information, please refer to the Student Handbook, which also contains required notifications on the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security (Clery) Act.
From time to time the president may call a Student Assembly for the consideration of matters relating purely to student affairs. A Student Assembly may be attended by both students and faculty. Attendance is voluntary.
Required Administrative Withdrawal for Non-Academic Reasons
Washington and Lee University is committed to the well-being and safety of its community members and the integrity of its learning environment. The University may require a student to take an administrative withdrawal if there is a sufficient showing that the student is engaging or is likely to engage in behavior that presents a real danger of substantial harm to others or substantially disrupts the learning environment and activities of the campus community, or that the student's physical or mental health condition requires treatment and care which the University cannot adequately provide to support the student's continued enrollment and presence on campus.
This policy and associated procedures do not take the place of disciplinary action associated with a student’s behavior that is in violation of University policies, standards, or regulations. This policy is to be invoked in extraordinary circumstances in which, in the discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or Law School Dean ("appropriate Dean") or designee, conduct board process cannot be used or is not appropriate.
This policy may be invoked when a student is unable or unwilling to request a voluntary withdrawal and the appropriate Dean or designee deems a withdrawal necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or others, or the integrity of the learning environment and campus community. Examples of such extraordinary circumstances include, but are not limited to: suicidal threats, self-starvation or purging behavior, ongoing substance abuse or addiction, threats or acts of harm to others, or bizarre or destructive behavior. Before a required administrative withdrawal is considered, the appropriate Dean or designee will encourage the student to take a voluntary withdrawal. The procedures related to this policy appear in the Student Handbook. A withdrawal form (registrar.wlu/edu/forms) will be filed with the University Registrar's office by the appropriate Dean or designee.
Students who withdraw voluntarily or who are withdrawn administratively from or suspended by the University may apply for reinstatement.
Undergraduate applications for reinstatement are available online at www.wlu.edu/documents/registrar/forms/reinstate-app.pdf. Undergraduate students must return the completed application, along with all required materials, so that the Associate Dean of The College receives it by 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time November 15 for winter term, March 1 for spring term, and May 15 or August 1 for fall term. The University will not reinstate an undergraduate student for a spring term unless that student's transcript indicates that the student was enrolled in a full-time course load during at least one of the two preceding 12-week terms at Washington and Lee. Undergraduate applications for reinstatement are reviewed and acted upon at the discretion of the Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement ("the Committee").
Law student applications for readmission are available from the Director of Law School Records. Law students must return the completed application, along with all required materials, so that the Director of Law School Records receives it by November 15 for spring term or July 1 for fall term. The Law School will not readmit a law student unless the student can complete his or her degree within six (6) years of beginning it. The Dean of the Law School (or designee) will review and act upon applications for law students.
In all reinstatement cases (whether the withdrawal was voluntary or involuntary), the University reserves the right to require sufficient documentation that the student is qualified and ready to return to full-time academic work and campus life. Depending on the particular circumstances and reasons for the individual student's withdrawal, this may involve an on-campus interview with one or more appropriate university officials and/or submission of a written progress assessment from a treating health professional indicating that the student is qualified and ready to resume full-time academic work and campus life and that his/her treatment and care needs, if applicable, can be supported at Washington and Lee.
In cases where the University requires a written progress assessment from a treating health professional, the Director of Student Health and Counseling Services and/or a University Counselor will require a release from the student to discuss current treatment and follow-up needs with the treating health professional, in order to assess whether the student is qualified and ready to return to W&L and whether the University can provide the follow-up care needed to maintain the student's enrollment. The Director of Student Health and Counseling Services and/or a University Counselor will review this information and recommend to the Committee or Dean of the Law School or designee approval (with or without conditions of treatment, education, counseling, or other) or denial of the reinstatement/readmission. Members of the Committee or Dean of the Law School may review the health professional’s written progress assessment and/or relevant health care records when needed to inform their decision-making. After consulting with University health professionals and/or other appropriate university officials as necessary to facilitate an informed decision, the Committee or Dean of the Law School or designee will act on the application. Decisions regarding reinstatement or readmission are made at the sole discretion of the Committee on the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement (for undergraduates) or the Dean of the Law School or designee (for law students).
For more information about reinstatement procedures, consult the University Web page at
Threat to the Community
Students or student organizations may be required to sever their connection with the University for non-academic reasons by disciplinary action as outlined in the Student Handbook. In cases where the University has reason to believe that a student or student organization represents a threat to the well-being of the University community, the president may suspend or dismiss the student, suspend a student organization, or take other appropriate action. Students who are suspended may apply for reinstatement after the period of suspension. Student organizations may apply for reinstatement after the period of suspension. Students and student organizations who are dismissed from the University are precluded from returning to Washington and Lee.
Policy Statement on Campus Life
(Adopted by the Board of Trustees, May 1985)
The Board of Trustees believes that one of its primary responsibilities is to encourage the development and maintenance of an environment within the University community which best promotes the realization of our institutional goals. Those goals, according to the University’s Statement of Institutional Philosophy, include the pursuit of our educational purpose in a climate of learning that stresses the importance of the individual, the personal honor and integrity of all students, and their harmonious relationships with other members of the greater community. In this context, the institutionalized extracurricular and social life of students should contribute to these goals.
It is our desire that student self-government should be encouraged and that a proper balance between student privilege and responsibility should be sought and achieved. We recognize that all members of the student body will spend a portion of their lives apart from the institution and outside its governance. Students must nonetheless remain aware that they are members of a University community whose traditions, image and reputation can be harmed by negative actions and behavior, as well as being helped by positive contributions. This awareness is especially important since the University, lodged as it is within a larger community, must encourage respect for local ordinances and law enforcement and honor the claims of non-university persons for quiet and safety.
In all of its expression, the spirit of this Campus Life statement places emphasis on concepts of honor, integrity, standards of value, leadership, good character, respect for traditions and personal responsibility. We do expect that individual and group actions and behavior will be measured against these concepts. It is our intention to hold accountable for the successful implementation of this policy the administration, the faculty, the students, and, indeed, this Board of Trustees.
All fraternities and sororities at Washington and Lee must comply with the “Standards for Fraternities/Sororities,” adopted by the University in October 1987 and revised most recently in May 2007. Copies of these standards are available in the Student Handbook.
Each chapter president is required to live in the chapter house.
To be initiated into a fraternity or sorority at Washington and Lee, a student is required to be in residence for at least one full 12-week term, with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.300.
The University Registrar maintains a record of the cumulative and term grade-point averages of each chapter. This record is revised and published at the end of each fall and winter term and is included in the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils’ Recruitment Books.
No additional fraternities or sororities shall be organized or established without the approval of the Student Affairs Committee.
Statement on Personal Conduct
(Adopted by the Faculty, May 1992)
Admission to the Washington and Lee community carries with it certain obligations concerning personal conduct. Some of these obligations are specifically covered by the Honor System. Other less specific obligations concern the way we treat each other. Lee described the expectation at Washington College as “gentlemanly behavior.” Today we interpret this to mean civil, decent behavior designed to encourage mutual respect for our individual differences, desires, and ways of thinking.
At Washington and Lee, we expect an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect to prevail. Instances of uncivil behavior involving students are most effectively dealt with in personal and informal ways, not by formal and judicial procedures. Therefore, members of the Washington and Lee community who believe themselves to have been objects of such behavior should seek reconciliation by personal consultation with friends, faculty, or others who may intervene in the dispute.
Faculty Policies Concerning Student Discipline
Statement of Goals for the Disciplinary System Washington and Lee is, above all else, an educational institution. The purpose of all our institutional activities, including our disciplinary proceedings, is to protect and promote our educational objectives.
As an educational institution we aspire to create a special community in which MUTUAL respect for the rights and autonomy of the individual balances our concern for the welfare of the community as a whole and the welfare of other individuals, at least in the negative sense that we do not consciously become the agent of harm to someone else. These aspirations inform and guide our Honor System, as well as our other disciplinary systems.
- As provided in the University bylaws, the faculty has authority over student disciplinary matters with the exception of the Honor System. To achieve a greater resonance between faculty views on various issues and the views of those immediately engaged in imposing disciplinary penalties, the Dean of Students shall report on each offense to the faculty meeting following the completion of all disciplinary action on that offense; such a report is for the information of the faculty and not for formal action. Faculty members may request more information on such cases and may, collectively or individually, express their approval or disapproval of the handling of such cases either to the Dean of Student Affairs, to faculty representatives on the Student Affairs Committee, and/or to the individual members of the disciplinary bodies.
- The disciplinary power of the University is independent of prosecutorial or judicial action; its exercise is neither demanded by pendency of state action nor precluded by the absence or failure of state action.
- At the Baccalaureate day faculty meeting, there shall be only two conditions required for faculty recommendation for a degree: (1) that the candidate has met the academic requirements for a degree, to which the University Registrar shall attest; and (2) that there are no Washington and Lee disciplinary proceedings or criminal charges pending against a candidate, to which the Dean of Students shall attest. If student misconduct occurs between the faculty vote on recommending degrees and graduation, the matter will be handled administratively through the Provost.
- The Student Judicial Council, a wholly student group, shall have primary, first-instance responsibility for deciding most misconduct cases and imposing penalties, with the exception of cases involving the Honor System, which are adjudicated by the Student Executive Committee, or student acts of prohibited discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual misconduct, or hazing by individuals or non-Greek student organizations, which are adjudicated by the Student-Faculty Hearing Board. The Interfraternity Council/ Panhellenic Council and the Student Affairs Hearing Board are responsible for deciding cases of hazing and retaliation by fraternities and sororities. The President and Provost have independent disciplinary authority consistent with University policies. A student may appeal a finding and the penalty imposed by the Student Judicial Council and the Student-Faculty Hearing Board to the University Board of Appeals. Violations of the Honor System are adjudicated by the Executive Committee of the Student Body. A student found in violation of the Honor System is subject to a single sanction—dismissal from the University. A student may appeal the finding by the Executive Committee to an Open Hearing before the student body.
University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation
Students, faculty, and staff at Washington and Lee University have the right to be free from prohibited discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and retaliation within the University community. Specifically, the University prohibits discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran's status, and genetic information in its educational programs and activities and with regard to employment. The University also prohibits sexual misconduct offenses. Finally, the University prohibits retaliation against any individual who brings a good faith complaint under this policy or is involved in the complaint process. Such conduct violates not only University policy and expectations of personal integrity and respect for others, but may also violate state and federal law. Students, faculty, and staff found to have violated this policy will be disciplined appropriately, up to and including termination from employment or dismissal from the University.
In addition to other forms of discriminatory conduct based on a listed protected category that would constitute a violation of this policy, unwelcome verbal or physical conduct by or toward a member of the University community on the basis of one or more of the listed protected categories may constitute prohibited harassment, depending on the circumstances of each case. Prohibited harassment can take many forms, such as words, visual images, gestures, or other verbal or physical conduct, whether in person, by telephone, or other electronic means, including stalking.
W&L strongly urges all members of the campus community to play a part in discouraging, responding to, and preventing the types of misconduct prohibited by this policy. W&L encourages the community to speak up when an incident occurs and to report misconduct. Any individual who feels s/he has been subjected to prohibited conduct under this policy is encouraged to seek assistance and resolution. W&L's complaint procedures provide a variety of ways by which an individual may proceed, so that each person may choose an avenue appropriate to his/her particular situation, whether that be informal or formal resolution internally through the University, or external criminal or civil processes where the conduct may amount to unlawful discrimination, harassment (including stalking), sexual misconduct, or retaliation.
The complete policy and contact resources are located at www.wlu.edu/x32882.xml.
Procedures for bringing complaints against students are located at www.wlu.edu/x37422.xml.
Procedures for bringing complaints against non-students are located at www.wlu.edu/x37419.xml.