The Pirate Pledge

Pirate Pledge Enforcement

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Adherence to the Pirate Pledge is essential to the health and safety of the Southwestern community—and ultimately to the successful completion of in-person, on-campus learning for the spring semester.

Be a Good Neighbor and an Empowered and Active Bystander

All students and employees are asked to approach other individuals or groups who are not upholding the Pirate Pledge (i.e., wearing face coverings, keeping six feet apart, respecting room capacities, following the direction of arrowed traffic flow, etc.). Respectfully request that they immediately modify their behavior to align with the pledge, and give them the benefit of the doubt the first time you observe a violation. Our primary goal is to educate and modify behavior.

If this does not resolve the matter or if reminding the offending party or parties to uphold the Pirate Pledge is impossible, you may make a report as follows:

Violation Type

Office

Phone Number

Student violation in campus housing

Housing and Residence Life

512.863.1624

Student violation 

Dean of Students

512.863.1281

Faculty or staff violation

AVP for Human Resources

512.863.1441

Visitor or guest violation

SUPD

512.863.1944

Both retaliation against someone who files a report and knowingly or recklessly filing a false report are strictly prohibited and will result in immediate and escalated disciplinary action. Anonymous reports will not be accepted. In most cases, the University will grant confidentiality to those reporting violations who self-identify but who do not wish their identity to be known to the offending party.

Access to Campus Spaces and Addressing Noncompliance

Faculty and staff are expected to deny entry to any individual who enters a classroom, lab, office, studio, residence hall, or other space (indoors or outdoors) without an appropriately placed cloth face covering. Faculty and staff should report instances of noncompliance with physical distancing, quarantine protocols, or other safety measures immediately to the dean of students, who will review the matter and determine if disciplinary action is required. A single instance of reminding an individual of these protocols, when that individual is immediately compliant, does not warrant such a report.

Visitation Policy for Residential Spaces

The temporary visitation policy for Housing is the following: “With the exception of invited SU presenters and admission tours, entry into residential spaces (including fraternity houses) is restricted to residents of those spaces. Visitors from another residential space or from off campus will not be permitted.” Within a residence hall, the threshold of a room’s or suite’s exterior door marks the beginning of the no-visitor space. Residents may stand just outside the threshold (masked and distanced) to hold a conversation, drop off or pick up items, etc. but may not cross the threshold without violating this policy. Initial violations of this policy will be resolved by Housing staff. A second violation may be referred to the dean of students for an administrative hearing and may result in loss of on-campus housing for the noncompliant party or parties.

Social Gatherings, Meetings, and Off-Campus Behavior

In the residence halls, social gatherings (of no more than 10 residents) may take place in common areas (lounges), with masking and distancing, among residents of that hall only. No one should enter private living spaces other than the students assigned to those spaces.

Students who wish to spend time with residents of their own hall may use the lounges in the residence halls. For gatherings of students from more than one hall and/or who live off campus, there are many outdoor spaces available. Students are encouraged to use the many spaces that have been created or modified to meet SU’s safety protocols (e.g., residence-hall lounges, outdoor seating and dining areas, and tables and chairs in academic and administrative buildings). Whether on or off campus, social gatherings should be limited to small groups and should still follow physical-distancing protocols and other safety measures. Large on- or off-campus social gatherings may not be hosted by students or student organizations regardless of social distancing or other protective measures.

Student organizations should hold standing meetings virtually. Special meetings or activities must be planned in consultation with the Office of Student Activities, which will provide guidance and oversight to ensure safety and compliance in the planning and implementation of the event. No visitors (guest speakers, facilitators, etc.) are permitted on campus at this time.

Please understand that the University will prioritize the safety of the whole SU community over any one student’s interest in being physically on campus. If students or student organizations, including those students living off campus, put the SU community at risk, they will be subject to disciplinary action. Sanctions may include immediate suspension or expulsion. 

These practices will reduce opportunities for COVID-19 transmission. Our success in controlling viral spread depends on students minimizing exposure by maintaining small social circles and limited group interactions.

Policy Violations and Sanctions

Students and student organizations referred for disciplinary action for not adhering to the University’s protocols, including the Pirate Pledge, may face charges for violating Personal Conduct Policies, including but not limited to the following:

  • Continuous disregard for University policies
  • Disruption
  • Official directives
  • Other personal conduct
  • Pandemic response

Students found responsible for violating these policies will face sanctions, which may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Disciplinary probation (becomes a part of a student’s permanent record).
  • Removal from on-campus housing and loss of access to campus other than to attend class. Any lost room and board fees will not be refunded.
  • Banishment from campus for the semester. Students living on campus must move out within 24 hours and finish the semester as remote learners only. Any lost room and board fees will not be refunded. Students living off campus must finish the semester as remote learners only.
  • Semester suspension. Any lost tuition, room, and board fees will not be refunded.

These sanctions represent the expected results of a finding of responsibility; however, sanctions for each violation of policy will be determined by the specific circumstances of the incident and the disciplinary history of the offending party. The University in its sole discretion will determine if an incident constitutes student organization activity or individual behavior.

The University will closely monitor the evolving circumstances related to COVID-19, along with rapidly developing scientific knowledge and medical resources, to determine the appropriateness for adjustments and contingencies.

For general questions about the spring semester, please email questions@southwestern.edu.