Behavior Expectations

Behavior expectations are designed to protect individual liberties within a community setting. This expectation calls for behaviors that demonstrate self-discipline, respect for self, respect for others, and respect for the community.   

Students exhibiting unacceptable behavior, both on or off campus, shall be subject to the disciplinary process as outlined in the Conduct Process.  Alverno has designed a Code of Conduct which describes behavior expectations that are applicable in a variety of settings (e.g. classroom, offices, public spaces, residence halls).  Unacceptable behaviors include the violation of college policies, rules or regulations, and civil laws and ordinances on or off campus.


Behavior which threatens or endangers the health or safety of others  

  1. Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Sometimes abusive behavior does not cause pain or even leave a bruise, but it's still unhealthy. Examples of physical abuse are: Scratching, punching, biting, strangling or kicking.

  2. Verbal abuse is described as a negative defining statement told to the victim or about the victim, or by withholding any response, thereby defining the target as non-existent.

  3. Threats are statements of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done.

  4. Intimidation is considered forcing someone into or deterring someone from some action by inducing fear.

  5. Coercion is the intimidation of a person to compel the individual to do some act against his or her will by the use of psychological pressure, physical force, or threats.

  6. Harassment is unwelcome conduct based on individual or group perceived or actual age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, creed or religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Intimidation and harassment can arise from a broad range of physical or verbal behavior, which can include, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Physically or mentally abusive behavior towards another;

    • Racial, ethnic, religious, or gender-based insults or slurs;

    • Unwelcome sexual advances or touching;

    • Sexual comments, jokes, stories, or innuendos;

    • Requests for sexual favors as a condition of employment or affecting any personnel decision such as hiring, promotion, compensation, or transfer;

    • Display of sexually explicit or otherwise offensive posters, calendars, materials, or slogans;

    • Referring to another employee by any derogatory sexual, racial, or ethnic term;

    • Making sexual gestures with hands or body movements;

    • Intentionally standing too close to or brushing up against another person;

    • Inappropriately staring at another person or touching their clothing or person;

    • Asking personal or offensive questions about another person’s sexual practices;

    • Repeatedly asking out a person who has stated that they are not interested;

    • Using vulgar, obscene, or offensive language;

    • Any form of stalking, including unwelcome repeated phone calls, emails, or text messages;

    • Posting comments about another person on a website, whether private or public, that violate this policy (because, for example, they are sexually or racially derogatory or inappropriate)

  7. Sexual Harassment - Unwelcome, gender-based verbal, written or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational program and/or activities.

  8. Non-consensual Sexual Contact - Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person without consent and/or by force.  

  9. Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse - Any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person without consent and/or by force.  

  10. Sexual Exploitation - Occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of a person for their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited.  

  11. Sexual Assault - Any sexual contact without consent is against the law in Wisconsin.  

  12. Stalking is repeated purposeful conduct (e.g. communication, letters, gifts) or pursuit directed at a specific person or immediate family members, which is unwelcome and interferes with the peace and/or safety or threatens a person’s physical or mental well-being. 

  13. Hazing is an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. This is a crime in the State of Wisconsin.

  14. Bullying is repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control, or diminish another person, physically or mentally (that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment).   

  15. Retaliation – Any adverse action that a person takes against another person because they filed a complaint about harassment or discrimination. This adverse action can deter that person from coming forward to report concerns.

  16. Conduct which is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting or procuring another person to breach the peace on College premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by, the College.

  17. Discrimination that deprives other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities.

  18. Failure to identify oneself when requested to do so or failure to comply with the reasonable request or directions of college officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties.


  1. Attempted or theft of and/or damage to property of the college or property of a member of the college community or other personal or public property.

  2. Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to college premises or unauthorized entry to or use of college premises.

  3. Theft or other abuse of computer time which includes the following:

    • ​​Unauthorized entry into a file (to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose); 

    • Unauthorized transfer of a file; 

    • Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password; 

    • Use of computer facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or College official; 

    • Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages; 

    • Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operations.


  1. Violation of any college policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on the college website.

  2. Any form of dishonesty which relates to campus life, including but not limited to: 

    • Cheating, misrepresenting authorship/plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty; 

    • Furnishing false information or refusing to give your name to any college official; 

    • Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification; 

    • Tampering with the election of any recognized student group; 

    • Fraud, embezzling.

  3. Campus Disruptions as it relates to operation of the college

    • Disruption through obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other college activities, including its public-service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-college activities, when the act occurs on college premises.

    • Participation in a campus demonstration which disrupts the normal operations of the college and infringes on the rights of other members of the college community; 

    • Leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area; 

    • Intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus or at college sponsored or supervised functions off campus.

  4. Abuse of the Student Conduct system, including but not limited to

    • Failure to obey the notice to appear for a meeting or hearing 

    • Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information

    • Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of an administrative hearing

    • Attempt to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the Student Conduct process or to influence the impartiality of a member of the administrative hearing prior to and/or during the proceedings

    • Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of the administrative hearing prior to and/or during the proceedings

    • Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed

    • Attempt to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Conduct system.


  1. Use, possession or distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law.

  2. Public intoxication or use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by the law and college regulations as listed in the Alverno College Alcohol Policy listed above.

  3. Violation of the Alverno College Tobacco Policy.

  4. Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on college premises or at College sponsored events.

  5. Refusing to properly evacuate a college facility during a fire alarm or emergency situation or misusing and abusing fire and/or fire emergency equipment.

  6. Violation of federal, state or local law on college premises or at college-sponsored or supervised activities.

  7. Any form of gambling not approved by law.


Students are members of the campus, the local community, and the state.  As citizens, students are responsible to the community of which they are a part, and the college neither substitutes for nor interferes with the regular legal process.  Therefore, action taken in a civil or criminal court does not free the student of responsibility for the same conduct in a college proceeding.  When a student has misconduct allegations brought against them, either on or off-campus, the college will decide, on the basis of its interest and the interest of the student, whether or not to proceed with its internal review simultaneously or defer action until after the proceedings of the criminal or civil action.  While the college has a primary duty to supervise behavior on its premises, there are many circumstances where the off-campus behavior of students affects and warrants disciplinary action.  Examples of off campus behaviors that may be addressed through the conduct system include behavior which:

  1. Is a criminal offense including repeat violations of any local, state or federal law committed in the municipality where the College is located.

  2. Interferes with or is a threat to the safety or welfare of self or others

  3. Significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder

  4. Is detrimental to the educational interests of the college, places the good name of the college in jeopardy, or which has an adverse impact upon the college community 


  1. Threatening behavior, both in written and electronic form, directed toward any member of the Alverno community that causes a reasonable apprehension of harm to others or disrupt the educational environment.  (Alverno community members must report threatening behavior to Campus Safety and to the Dean of Students Office.  If appropriate, Campus Safety will call the Milwaukee Police Department. The Assistant Dean of Students will investigate and determine a college response.)

  2. Disruptive Behavior as it relates to the classroom and learning environment

    • Consistently speaking without being recognized; 

    • Interrupting other speakers; 

    • Distracting the class from the subject matter or discussion, which may include inappropriate cell phone use; 

    • Harassing behavior or personal insults; 

    • Failing to maintain civility in discussions; 

    • Engaging in side conversations; 

    • Using the computer for non-class related functions; 

    • Refusing to comply with the directions of the faculty.