Community Relations Policy

Students are responsible for knowing the following:

I. Introduction

Occidental College expects its students to conduct themselves as mature, responsible and law-abiding members of their local and College communities.  As such, Oxy students shall abide by and uphold all federal, state and city laws and  ordinances including, without limitation, all laws and ordinances relating to noise, traffic, parking and consumption of alcohol.  As responsible members of the Occidental community, Oxy students are expected, by their conduct and actions and in the manner in which they live in and maintain their residences, to foster an atmosphere which nurtures positive community relations between Occidental College and the community surrounding Occidental College, and to comport themselves in a respectful and considerate manner with respect to their neighbors and other community residents.

II. Policy

As members of the Occidental community, it is expected that students act as responsible members and citizens within both the college and local community. In the event a situation arises in which the Student Code of Conduct is broken, the Office of Student Conduct administers the student conduct process. This includes all violations of college policies whether taking place on or off campus, involving both individual students and student organizations.

III. Code of Student Conduct Applicable to Off-Campus Activities

Inherent Authority

The Code shall apply to conduct that occurs on College premises; at College sponsored or sanctioned activities; and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects (a) the peace/comfort/safety/security of others or the College community and (b) the integrity of the educational or developmental process. Students are responsible for their individual acts and omissions, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and between terms of actual enrollment.  The Office of Student Conduct shall decide whether the Code applies to conduct occurring off-campus, on a case by case basis.

Summary of Selected Provisions from the Code of Student Conduct

  • Students under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcohol. A state of intoxication implies consumption.
  • Behavior that results from the use of alcohol may not disrupt the community of the residence halls, campus or surrounding environment. Students of legal age who use alcohol must do so in a way that does not compromise the rights and safety of others.
  • Organized drinking games or items used for the purpose of quick or mass consumption of alcohol are prohibited. Public intoxication and events where there is pressure or an expectation to consume excessive amounts of alcohol are prohibited.
  • Providing alcohol to underage individuals is prohibited. Hosts are responsible for their guests’ alcohol consumption. 
  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.
  • Students who demonstrate that they are unable or unwilling to abide by College policy, federal, state, or city laws and ordinances, in addition to risking arrest, are subject to disciplinary action from the College.
  • The use, abuse, sale, manufacturing, possession and/or distribution of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia is prohibited. Distribution is not limited to a cash exchange. This includes any student who provides, shares, jointly purchases, or otherwise makes available any of the above substances to others.

Violations of Law and College Policy

Students may be held accountable both to civil authorities and to the College for acts that constitute violations of law and of this Code. Disciplinary action by the College will normally proceed concurrent with civil or criminal proceedings despite the dismissal or reduction of the charges by civil authorities. The College may, at its discretion, postpone disciplinary proceedings pending the outcome of a civil or criminal action.

When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, the College will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also being processed under the Code, the College may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Code and of how such matters are typically handled within the College community. The College will cooperate with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators (provided that the conditions do not conflict with campus rules or sanctions).

Summary of Selected Laws and Ordinances

Occidental does not shield its students from the law or from the consequences of their own behavior. Violations of California law occur at the risk of the individuals and are not the responsibility of the College. The College does not, cannot, and should not serve as a haven from law enforcement agencies.

  • Furnishing Alcohol to a Person Under 21 or an Intoxicated Person: Selling or furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 or to an obviously intoxicated person is a misdemeanor (California Business and Professions Code section 25658).
  • Minor in Possession (MIP):  Any person under the age of 21 years who has any alcoholic beverage in their possession on any street or highway or in any public place or in any place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of $250 or the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours or more than 32 hours of community service hours (California Business and Professions Code section 25662 (a)).
  • Open Container Age 21:  Possession of an open container of alcohol on public streets, sidewalks, highways, parking lots or alleys can result in a $108 fine (California Business And Professions Code section 25620 (a)).
  • Drunk in Public (DIP): Public intoxication is considered disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor offense and can result in jail time and a fine (California Penal Code section 647(f))
  • Possession of Marijuana:  Possession of less than 25.8 grams of marijuana is subject to a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $100 (Health and Safety Code Section 11357 (b)); Possession of more than 25.8 grams shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail and/or a fine of not more than $500, or imprisonment in State prison for possession of concentrated cannabis (Health and Safety Code Section 11357 (a)).
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) While Under Age 21:  Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .01 or higher can have their vehicles towed and driver's license suspended, and be sentenced to not less than 96 hours in jail nor more than six months, and completion of an alcohol program and three years probation (California Vehicle Code sections 23136 and 23140).
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI):  Driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or higher or driving under the influence of a drug or combination of both is a misdemeanor with possible fines of upwards of $7,000, county prison sentence, and driver's license suspension (California Vehicle Code sections 23152 (a) & (b)).

IV. Community Relations Guidelines

Occidental College values its long-standing relations with the residents of Eagle Rock and the surrounding neighborhoods. The College and its students have been an integral part of the Eagle Rock community since 1912. It is the responsibility of all members of the College to preserve and promote this important tradition for current and future students. Guidelines for off-campus conduct have been established in order to uphold standards of behavior that should be demonstrated by Occidental students when off campus.

The following guidelines are consistent with the educational role of the College the rights and needs of all residents, city ordinances, standards of common courtesy, and are directed toward encouraging and maintaining positive neighbor relationships.

The Community Relations Guidelines addresses the following areas:

A. Upkeep and Beautification

B. Traffic Safety and Parking

C. Neighborhood Relations

D. Planning Parties or Social Events

E. Responsibilities of Dual Membership

F. Relevant Municipal Codes

A. Upkeep and Beautification

Students, student organizations, and affiliated groups are expected to maintain a safe and clean environment for the health and well-being of themselves, their members, guests, and neighbors. Specifically, students should:

1. Maintain their residences and property in accordance with all fire, health, zoning and building and safety codes.

2. Maintain lawn and landscaping on a regular basis in accordance with lease or occupancy agreement.

3. Dispose of litter, trash and garbage on a regular basis and in an appropriate manner.

B. Traffic Safety and Parking

Students, student organizations, and affiliated groups should:

1. Comply with the laws and regulations of their municipality and the State of California and require their invited guests and all who are consensually present at their residence or on their property to the same standards of conduct.

2. Obey traffic safety and parking requirements and have consideration for others by not parking in or blocking neighbors’ driveways, public alleys and sidewalks; all of which are violations of the law.

3. Proactively educate all household members, guests and visitors about neighborhood parking restrictions and encourage safe responsible driving.

4. Advise household members, guests and visitors to arrive and depart quietly and to avoid disrupting neighbors.

C. Neighborhood Relations

Students, student organizations, and affiliated groups are required to follow good neighbor policies and relations, including but not limited to:

1. Fostering and maintaining good community relations and cooperation with neighbors and authorities.

2. Being responsible for their conduct and that of their attendees by actively encouraging attendees to adhere to the same standard.

3. Being respectful of and to local community members. Prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to: littering, loitering, public urination, public nudity, using rude or abusive language, causing excessive noise, and illegal parking.

4. Taking active steps to prevent damage to others’ property.

5. Being responsible for damage to others’ properties caused by household members.

6. Being responsible for making reasonable efforts to resolve neighborhood problems involving the student or household members in a timely fashion.

7. Do not allow pets loose or to run at large through the neighborhood.

D. Planning Parties or Social Events

Students, student organizations, and affiliated groups should:

1. Let your neighbors know in advance if you are planning a large social gathering or party at your house.

2. Have plenty of trashcans for disposal of litter such as cups, cans or bottles. Place a trashcan on the front porch or at the sidewalk so guests can discard their litter as they leave.  Post signs by the front and back doors about placing litter in trashcans.

3. Establish a reasonable ending time for your event and have everyone leave at that time.  Remember, your neighbors may have to work or get up early the next morning, and/or may have young children at home.

4. Keep the number of guests to a manageable level.  Large crowds can become unruly and hard to monitor or control.

5. Be familiar with the state, federal, and local laws regarding alcohol possession and consumption.

6. Have responsible individuals available to interact with police, neighbors, or College officials if they come to your home because of problems.  All tenants of the house or apartment are responsible for behavior that occurs on the premises.  Cooperate with the requests of the police, neighbors, or College officials.

7. Inform guests about not trespassing on neighbors’ lawns.  Ensure that guests park their vehicles properly.

8. The morning after a party, check for, and remove, any litter in the immediate area of your house, in neighboring yards, and in the street.

E. The Responsibilities of Dual Membership

Students are members of both the College and local communities. Accordingly, students are responsible to all the communities of which they are a part. Students should uphold their joint responsibilities in a mature, lawful, respectful, and appropriate manner.

F. Relevant Municipal Codes and Parking Policies

At a minimum, students should be aware of the following portions of Los Angeles Municipal Code which govern individual, group, and residential property within the City of Los Angeles. We have referenced a few of the most frequently referenced and relevant codes for convenience.

Noise Violations

Please visit www.lapdonline.org/special_operations_support_division/content_basic_view/1031 for a full list of noise ordinances and violations. The Los Angeles Police Department is responsible for the enforcement of noise ordinance violations involving people-generated or controlled noises–which are considered disturbances of the peace.

Parking Policies

Please visit http://ladot.lacity.org/tf_Parking_regulations.htm for a full list of traffic and parking regulations.

Students living outside the City of Los Angeles are responsible for familiarizing themselves and complying with the local laws and ordinances governing their place of residence.