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Stanford University Fundamental Standard

The Fundamental Standard has set the standard of conduct for students at Stanford since 1896. It states:

“Students at Stanford are expected to show both within and without the University such respect for order, morality, personal honor and the rights of others as is demanded of good citizens. Failure to do this will be sufficient cause for removal from the University.”

Over the years, the Fundamental Standard has been applied to a great variety of situations. Actions which have been found to be in violation of it include:

  • Physical Assault
  • Property damage; attempts to damage University property
  • Theft, including theft of University property such as street signs, furniture, and library books
  • Forgery, such as signing an instructor’s signature to a grade change card
  • Sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct
  • Charging computer time or long distance telephone calls to unauthorized accounts
  • Misrepresentation in seeking financial aid, University housing, discount computer purchases, or other University benefits
  • Misuse of University computer equipment or e-mail
  • Driving on campus while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Sending threatening and obscene messages to another student via e-mail, phone or voice-mail

There is no standard penalty that applies to violations of the Fundamental Standard. Infractions have led to penalties ranging from formal warning and community service to expulsion. In each case, the nature and seriousness of the offense, the motivation underlying the offense, and precedent in similar cases are considered.

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