Undergraduate Student Conduct Code: Public Health Emergency Addendum

effective 1/11/21, version: 4.6, 01/29/21


This addendum to the Undergraduate Student Code of Conduct is in response to the current public health emergency and is intended to increase education, safety, and accountability among students and student organizations. This addendum is effective January 11, 2021, replaces the prior Addendum used in Fall, 2020, and will remain in effect until further notice. The University may revise policies, expectations, and this Addendum at any time. Revisions will be communicated through email notice to Wake Forest students, faculty, and staff. This temporary Addendum to the Student Code of Conduct governs the behavior of undergraduate students and student organizations. The jurisdiction of the Undergraduate Student Code of Conduct, including this Addendum, extends into virtual classrooms, meetings, and on- and off-campus behavior. Violations of these policies will be reported and handled through the student conduct process in the Office of the Dean of Students.

Sanctions for violations of COVID-policies may increase as the Operating Status of the University becomes more restrictive due to heightened concerns about control of the virus and the state of viral infection in our population.


As members of the Wake Forest community, students are called upon to demonstrate respect and honor towards fellow peers, faculty, staff, and every other member of this community. As such, in a time of potential risk to the health and safety of our fellow Deacons, we must each be vigilant in our commitment to protecting, encouraging, and supporting each other. All members of the community are asked to respect the health and safety of others as they would respect their own. Every Deacon is expected to work collaboratively, in the spirit of Pro Humanitate, to support each other and our freedoms, expressions, and wellbeing. Because we do not know the vulnerabilities, responsibilities, fears, or comforts of other members of our community, each of us must act out of an abundance of caution and to help keep others safe, comfortable, healthy, and flourishing. Together, we will create a community where each of us knows we are valued and even cherished.

As a community, we will hold ourselves and each other accountable for compliance with University requirements and expectations that are intended to keep the Wake Forest community safe during this pandemic. Our community of honor and integrity will be reflected through our work to challenge and support each other, particularly if we witness fellow community members failing to follow public health guidelines.

Minimum Expectations

Social Distancing

  • Normal / Non-Active: During normal activities, students are to maintain a social distance of at least six feet (2 meters) from others at all times when outside your room.
  • Active / Exercise: During periods of physical activity and/or exercise, students are to increase distance to 10-12 feet (3 meters) from other people. Any activity involving increased respiration requires increased distancing.

Masking / Face Coverings

  • Required: Masks are required for all people when there is a possibility of interaction with others.
  • Type: Masks must be dense cloth or composite paper; no gaiters, bandannas, scarves, or masks with values.
  • Masks may be removed or moved when actively eating or drinking. Simply holding a bottle of water or having a snack in your hand does not allow a mask to be removed.

Gathering Size

  • Indoor: No more than 10 people may gather together in any indoors space. This includes on-campus and off-campus locations. At least six feet of distancing, and masking, must be maintained at all times.
  • Outdoor: No more than 25 people may gather together in any indoors space. This includes on-campus and off-campus locations. At least six feet of distancing, and masking, must be maintained at all times.


Every student with classes or activities on campus must complete SneezSafe daily check-in, even on days where they may not come to the campus.

Flu Vaccine

All students must have documentation of a flu vaccine or approved exemption to enter any property owned, managed, leased, or occupied by Wake Forest University.


On January 27, 2021, North Carolina Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 189, continuing a mandatory curfew for all people in  North Carolina from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM. Students may move on campus between these hours, but should not go off-campus after 10:00 PM unless they are returning to their off-campus residence, purchasing food, seeking medical care, or as allowed under the Governor’s Executive Order. Please review the Governor’s Executive Orders for more information: https://governor.nc.gov/news/executive-orders.


Wake Forest uses asymptomatic and targeted mandatory testing for students. If selected for testing, students must comply with the testing requirement.

Contract Tracing

If a student is identified as a person who must respond to contract tracing investigation, the student is required to fully and completely participate with the staff.

Residence Life and Housing

The following apply specifically to Residence Life and Housing facilities, including residents and guests.

  • Guests: The maximum number of people in a residence hall unit is one for each unit resident present in the room, as long as masks are worn and at least six feet of distance is maintained. No more than 10 people are allowed in any living unit (suite, apartment, room).
  • Masks: An approved face covering must be worn when outside of the assigned room or in the presence of guests.
  • Social Distancing: Social distancing (six feet, minimum) applies in all residential areas, including student rooms.
  • Visitors: Non-student guests or visitors are prohibited. No visitors or guests are allowed overnight.
  • Details: Consult Residence Life and Housing: https://rlh.wfu.edu/guide-to-community-living/covid-19-addendum/

Minimum Expectations Charges

Public Health Policies Non-Compliance

Students and student organizations must comply with all University policies and expectations implemented in response to the pandemic and which pertain to student conduct on-campus and off-campus. These policies and expectations may address guest policies, curfews, travel restrictions, personal protective equipment, isolation and quarantine requirements, and more. These policies and expectations can be found at ourwayforward.wfu.edu, and students are encouraged to visit this website frequently.

Quarantine/Isolation Policy

Students who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 or any condition requiring quarantine or isolation and/or who have been instructed to isolate or quarantine by Student Health Services, a health care provider, or public health official must comply with those instructions. Students must remain in isolation until cleared by their medical provider or public health official. Students who have been advised by a health care provider or public health official to quarantine themselves as a result of a potential exposure to COVID-19 must comply with this recommendation. Violations of quarantine and/or isolation requirements are very serious and may result in sanctions through the Student Code of Conduct process, including removal from on-campus housing, and/or suspension or expulsion.

Maximum Group / Gathering

Students and student organizations must comply with limitations established by the University on the number of individuals permitted to gather in indoor and outdoor spaces. These prohibitions on gathering size apply to social events and activities held on and off campus. Students are allowed to gather for social purposes so long as they do not exceed the University’s gathering limits.  Students residing in University housing must also comply with the University’s limits on the number of guests permitted per resident (which may be more restrictive than the indoor gathering limits).  Information about the gathering limits can be located in the most recent emails from senior university staff (President Hatch and  VP Rue, for example) and at  OurWayForward.com, in the Communications section. Those limits may be the same as, or more restrictive than, limitations on gatherings set forth in local or state government orders. When gathering for social purposes, students must continue to abide by social distancing requirements and wear face coverings.

Students on the lease where a gathering occurs in excess of the gathering limits will be charged through the student conduct process whether or not they are present for the party. Student organizations and/or their leaders hosting, participating in, and/or funding an event may be held accountable for conduct charges.

COVID-19 Public Health Amnesty Policy


Wake Forest is committed to the safety and wellbeing of its students. The University encourages and expects students who are concerned about their own health or that of another student due to alcohol or other drug use, injury, assault, or any other medical need to seek assistance, even when circumstances may include violations of the University’s Public Health Emergency Addendum. The University recognizes the potential for a conduct action by the Office of the Dean of Students may deter students from seeking assistance, and this COVID-19 Amnesty Policy is intended to eliminate that barrier. All incidents are examined on an individual basis to determine if COVID Amnesty is applicable.

Individual Amnesty

Charges regarding violations of the Public Health Emergency Addendum to the Student Code of Conduct will not be brought against a student based solely on information they provide when:

  1. The student is seeking medical care for themselves or others, as outlined in the Medical Amnesty Policy;
  2. The student is reporting or filing a complaint of sexual misconduct or participating as a reporter, responder, or witness in an investigation under the University’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy; or
  3. The student is reporting the symptoms of another person or their own symptoms; cooperating with contact tracing; requesting assistance in complying with public health emergency guidelines for distancing, masking, and similar; and/or requesting assistance in complying with isolation and/or quarantine requirements.

A student requesting amnesty must meet one of these criteria and must comply with the recommendations of the Office of the Dean of Students, COVID Compliance Group, and/or designees to be granted amnesty. Recommendations may consist of the examples below, and other appropriate recommendations as determined by the Hearing Officer or staff member meeting with the student:

  • Completion of COVID-19 educational module/s
  • Referral to Wake Forest Student Health Services or others for education and/or support
  • Additional testing, isolation, quarantine, or other preventative measures
  • Educational outcomes to assist in decision-making to avoid future risk situations, including research and reflection papers, and/or presentations

Organizational Amnesty

An undergraduate Student Organization may be eligible for Public Health Amnesty when the Organization’s members sought medical assistance for members and/or guests in a proactive manner related to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs and the Public Health Emergency Addendum. The term “proactive manner” means that the Student Organization sought assistance of law enforcement or medical personnel (examples include a Winston-Salem or University Police Officer or a member of the Wake Forest University Emergency Medical Services staff) or residence hall staff member (examples include a Graduate Hall Director or Resident Advisor), trained student staff (examples include an Event Resource Manager or Deacon Patrol member), or using a specific university resource (such as Student Health Service or calling 911).

A Student Organization seeking Public Health Amnesty must comply with recommendations of the Office of the Dean of Students, or designee, to be granted amnesty.  Failure to seek medical assistance may result in disciplinary action against the Student Organization and/or its members.  The student organization seeking medical attention for another person will not receive charges related to the Public Health Emergency Addendum by the Office of the Dean of Students or designee, provided the Student Organization and/or its members complete recommendations assigned by the Office of the Dean of Students. The Office of The Dean of Students reserves the right to notify the Inter/national headquarters of recognized Student Organizations, even when amnesty is given.  Failure to comply with the recommendation(s) may result in additional charges under the Student Code of Conduct and/or Public Health Emergency Addendum.

Public Health Emergency Addendum Conduct Process

All Students and Student Organizations alleged to have violated public health policies and expectations have the rights outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and this Addendum. The conduct processes and sanctions at Wake Forest University are based on

  • educational aspirations;
  • honor, respect, and integrity;
  • community care and safety expectations;
  • accountability; and
  • our commitment to protecting, encouraging, and supporting each other.

Because of the urgency of and safety concerns with public health, the process for resolving cases that pertain to conduct covered in this addendum will be addressed as follows:

  • Sanctions, timeliness, and responses will vary based upon the individual circumstances of a situation, the university’s COVID-19 operating level, and the ability of the Office of the Dean of Students to respond
  • After an incident report is submitted, the alleged Student and/or Organization will receive a letter from the Office of Student Conduct with educational materials and allegations of behavioral concerns. Delays in notification may occur in case of a high volume of incident reports referred to the Office of Student Conduct. The Office will make every effort to initiate the conduct process in a timely manner.
  • Based upon safety, availability, and work status of employees, most hearings will be conducted virtually/remotely. All hearings will be recorded by the Office of the Dean of Students, and the recording will be included in the case record. Recording by students or others participating in a conduct hearing (such as a witness)  is not permitted. Recesses and deliberations are not recorded. Recordings are only provided to the Judicial Council, upon appeal, and law enforcement agencies if subpoenaed. Recordings are also considered part of a student’s education record.
  • Hearings are private. Only the accused student, hearing panelists, hearing officer, witnesses, and assigned members of the Board of Investigators and Advisors are allowed in the hearing.
  • Unless interim action is taken, Students and/or Organizations will have a minimum of five days after notification before a hearing is held unless a Student or Student Organization agrees in writing to have a hearing sooner.
  • The student must make all possible accommodations to attend their hearing during the scheduled hearing
  • Alleged conduct violations will be heard in a virtual meeting. Serious allegations that may result in suspension or expulsion will be heard in accordance with Administrative Hearing procedures.
  • If a Student or Organization is found responsible, sanctions will be implemented as outlined in the outcome letter, which may include immediately effective sanctions. Students will have the right to appeal as outlined in the Student Conduct Code of Conduct.

Repeated, deliberate, and/or severe violations of policies related to public health, as determined through the Student Code of Conduct process, may result in sanctions up to and including removal from campus housing, suspension, or expulsion.

The Dean of Students or designee may impose an interim and immediate removal from University Housing, without prior notice, if, in the determination of the Dean or designee, there is a need to protect the safety and wellbeing of the campus residential population due to a possible violation of one or more of the policies set forth in this Temporary Addendum. If a student is removed from University Housing under such circumstances, the student’s belongings may be packed by the University (or designee) and shipped to the student at the student’s expense. The Dean of Students or designee may also impose an interim non-academic suspension order, preventing a student or organization from entering any property owned, managed, leased, or operated by Wake Forest University or any of its subsidiaries, companies, or organizations. Students may seek treatment at a Wake Forest Baptist Health medical facility.

The Dean of Students or designee may also suspend a student on an interim basis. An interim suspension may be imposed effective immediately, without prior notice, when there is a need to implement a timely and individualized response based on the seriousness of the alleged violation(s) of one or more of the policies set forth in this Emergency Addendum.

Public Health Emergency Sanctioning

The following sanctions are part of the Student Code of Conduct and this Addendum and are possible sanctions for violations of the Public Health Addendum. The Hearing Officer may modify or add additional sanctions as deemed appropriate based upon the circumstances of the violation.

“Disciplinary Warning: Public Health Emergency”

A specified period of time during which a student is given the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to abide by the community’s minimum expectations of behavior articulated in the Student Code of Conduct. If a student is found responsible for another violation of the Code during this period, it may result in increased sanctions. A student may be required to meet periodically with a Dean (or other University official) during this period.

“Disciplinary Probation”

A period of official censure and heightened scrutiny of the student’s behavior during the period of probation: a further violation by a student while on disciplinary probation will result in increased sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion. A student may be required to meet periodically with a dean (or other University official) during their period of probation.

“University Housing Probation”

Should further violations of the Student Code of Conduct occur during the specified probationary period, the student may be immediately removed from University Housing.  Regular probationary meetings may also be imposed.

“University Housing Reassignment”

Reassignment to another University housing facility.

“University Housing Suspension or Expulsion”

Removal for a specified period of time up to, and including, permanent removal.  Conditions for readmission to University housing may be specified.  Under this sanction, a student is required to vacate University housing within 24 hours of notification of the action, though this deadline may be extended upon application to, and at the discretion of, the Dean of Residence Life and Housing. This sanction may be enforced with a trespass action if deemed necessary.  This sanction may include a restriction from specified buildings or all University housing during the period of suspension or expulsion.

“On-Campus Living Requirement”

Removal from off-campus housing assignment to a University housing facility as determined by the Department of Residence Life and Housing.

“Residency Requirement Extension”

Requirement to live on-campus beyond the specified residency requirement period. This requirement may be for a specified period of time up to a permanent extension throughout the duration of the student’s enrollment as an undergraduate student at the University.

“Suspension Withheld”

The student has been suspended for a specified minimum period of time; however, the suspension is withheld as long as the student agrees to undergo other alternative sanctions such as drug testing or a specified educational program. This is a serious sanction since any additional violation of the Code of Conduct or breaking the terms of the agreement to complete educational sanctions will result in immediate separation from the community.

“Campus Access Removal: Public Health Emergency”

A period of time during which a student will not be allowed on any property owned, managed, leased, or maintained by Wake Forest University, including its subsidiaries and affiliates. A student may remain enrolled during this period of time, but if a student is enrolled in classes with in-person or blended learning modalities, the student must work with the Office of Academic Advising to determine if their current classes can be taken remotely. Any courses which are not offered as remote learning will necessitate course withdrawal, with appropriate processes and penalties outlined by the Committee on Academic Affairs.


Separation from the University for a specified period of time, after which the student is eligible to return.  Eligibility may be contingent upon satisfaction of specific conditions noted at the time of the suspension.  During the suspension period, the student is banned from university property, functions, events and activities without prior written approval from the Dean of Students or designee.


Permanent separation from the University.  The student is banned from university property and the student’s presence at any University-sponsored activity or event is prohibited.  This action may be enforced with a trespass action as necessary.

Questions about this addendum to the Student Code of Conduct should be addressed to the Office of the Dean of Students, 336.758.5226, deanofstudents@nullwfu.edu.