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Index > Addendum to the 2020 RISD Student Code of Conduct

Addendum to the 2020 RISD Student Code of Conduct


As members of the RISD community, we recognize that ensuring community safety is not a singular effort, but one that we all must participate in. The following addendum to the RISD Code of Conduct highlights the expectations that the institution has of ALL its members in the current environment, as it is our duty as an entire campus community to uphold and ensure the safety of all who work, attend, and visit our campus.

The threat posed by COVID-19 is changing, along with our understanding of the illness. RISD will continue to provide updated guidance to the community based on information from federal, state, and local authorities, and RISD community members are expected to stay informed of these updates as we collectively work to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a reminder, community members should check the RISD COVID -19 website for updates and news regarding changes to policy or procedure.

This is an effort we must all undertake to ensure that all members of the RISD community work together to create a space as safe as possible in regard to COVID-19.

RISD community members are expected to support RISD’s efforts to create a safe and respectful educational, residential, and working environment for everyone. Failure to observe these expectations may result in supportive outreach, assistance, or enforcement of the Student Code of Conduct for RISD students. Here, RISD identifies some of the community expectations that will reduce the risk in the spread of Covid-19.

  • Limiting social gatherings
    The current Rhode Island Executive Order requires that social gatherings be limited to groups of no more than 15 persons. Generally, RISD community members are expected to reduce in-person social gatherings, such as limiting visits by persons outside of the RISD community, following the RISD Visitor Policy, and using alternative communication methods instead of congregating in a single space. RISD students should limit their gatherings outside of the RISD campus. The less in-person contact we have, the less likely RISD community members will become infected. Students living in on- campus housing may not have any guests in their living spaces; this includes other RISD students whether on or off campus. Additionally, non-RISD visitors are prohibited from entering RISD housing, including all deliveries of food or packages.
  • Face coverings
    CDC recommendations include wearing a cloth face covering to limit the spread of COVID-19. All students are expected to follow state and RISD guidelines on wearing face coverings. Students are required to wear face coverings while on-campus if they are not able to engage in social distancing. Students may be instructed at times by RISD faculty and staff to wear a face covering when present with others.
  • Social distancing
    The major focus of COVID-19 mitigation is limiting close interaction with others. Currently, the CDC guidelines recommend maintaining at least 6 feet distance from others, regardless of whether you are inside or outside. RISD has established distancing measures, such as specific directions of hallway and stairway travel, increased spacing in rooms, reduced room capacity, bathrooms designated for specific individuals, and others. Students are expected to follow these directions, including any further directions from residential life staff or other RISD employees.
  • Health monitoring
    Students, along with all members of the RISD community, are expected to closely and regularly monitor their health for symptoms of COVID-19. Students who are ill or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 must not attend classes or other RISD events in-person and should contact Health Services or their healthcare professionals for assistance.
  • Isolation
    The current Executive Order requires quarantine, isolation, or separation of individuals in certain circumstances. RISD may require residential students to isolate by relocating to alternative RISD housing if their continued presence is deemed to constitute a health or safety risk to the RISD community. Failure to comply with residential policies and assignments may result in student conduct sanctions and interim conduct measures, including immediate removal from RISD housing without refund.
  • Cleaning
    RISD will proactively engage in regular cleaning and disinfecting procedures in order to provide a healthy and safe environment for all RISD community members. Students are expected to support RISD’s efforts in creating a clean environment, and to cooperate with instructions on cleaning or disinfecting areas, especially but not limited to their assigned residential areas and home spaces. RISD students will not interfere with RISD’s protocols related to cleaning or disinfecting, such as refusing to leave an area while it is being cleaned/disinfected or discarding/generating waste unnecessarily on the RISD premises.
  • Discrimination and Harassment
    RISD’s Non-discrimination Policy and the RISD Code of Student Conduct both prohibit any sort of discrimination or bias towards any member of the RISD community and beyond. While this is not a new expectation, we feel it is important to include here, so as to make sure we are all committed to creating a safe and equitable environment.
  • Conduct in virtual settings
    Students are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and supportive manner at all times, while recognizing the additional stress on all RISD community members due to COVID-19. See Academic Code of Student Conduct Addendum found here for-Remote-Learning.pdf

All members of the RISD community are expected to create an environment in support of COVID-19 reduction by following and promoting these guidelines. Students and any member of the RISD community may also report any unsafe behavior related to COVID-19 RISD using the following link.

RISD may, at its discretion, enforce violations of these expectations through its existing Code of Student Conduct,section VB of which states: “[All students are expected to ] Comply with all general RISD rules and policies applicable to their activities, which include but are not limited to the policies found on any RISD website or document.”Response to violations may be different depending on the behavior. For example, some minor violations of the COVID-19 guidelines may be addressed by simple reminders to community members to abide by the guidelines. Other responses may include coordination of support measures to assist students in meeting the guideline requirements. More serious violations, including direct/intentional refusals to adhere to RISD’s COVID-19 efforts, may result in engagement of the formal conduct process found at


RISD recognizes that support from the RISD community is imperative in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19. RISD expects students to practice safe and responsible behaviors as part of our community efforts to reduce COVID-19 infections, encourages students to seek help and assistance from RISD, and understands that students may find themselves in situations that violate COVID-19 policies. Students who proactively alert either RISD Public Safety or submit a report via the online form may avoid conduct consequences for the sole violation of RISD & RIDOH COVID-related policies. RISD’s primary concern is the health and safety of its community members.

Please understand that this waiver is not automatic and may be earned only once the student meets with the staff member designated by the Coordinator of Student Conduct, and successfully completes any educational, wellness, or other follow up steps that the staff member deems necessary following the meeting. Failure to complete the follow up steps or repeated instances of similar behavior may result in a formal conduct hearing. This policy does not exempt students from a conduct process resulting from other policy violations that occur during the same incident.

Consequences for Non-Compliance with the Addendum to RISD Code of Conduct—COVID-19

The Addendum to the Code of Conduct articulates the expectations of all community members to support our efforts to create a safe and respectful environment for everyone in and beyond the RISD Community (Which includes but is not limited to the RISD Campus and the surrounding area). The Addendum makes clear the obligations we each hold in order to make possible the return to campus and inspire confidence in our ability to do so safely.

The Addendum to the Code of Conduct carries with it a strict need for accountability for all, along with implications for those who fail to abide by the community expectations it includes. Below, RISD has articulated high, medium, and lower risk infractions and what associated additional sanctions could be, which include but are not limited to :

  • High-risk Violations include deliberate non-compliance with community expectations as outlined in the Addendum, such as limiting social gatherings, wearing face coverings, social distancing, testing, and quarantine and isolation. These kinds of egregious, deliberate, and/or repetitive violations will require immediate action by RISD. Sanctions for these types of Violations may include disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion.
  • Medium-risk Violations include, but are not limited to, non-compliance with daily health screening protocols and repeated failure to adhere to public health protocols as articulated in the Addendum. Persistent failure to comply may result in loss of campus housing and campus access. Sanctions may include disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Lower-risk Violations include unintentional failure to wear a mask, maintain physical distance or adhere to other public health protocols as outlined in the addendum. Initially, these will result in a verbal warning and documentation of the incident; repeated violations will incur more significant sanctions, which may include but are not limited to probation and removal from housing and campus facilities.
  • Adjudication and sanctioning will follow the processes and procedures outlined within the code of student conduct though may be subject to an expedited review.

As stated in the RISD Code of Student Conduct “... In determining the consequences to be imposed the Conduct Administrator or Conduct Board may take into account any aggravating factors, such as any past misconduct by the student, any failure of the student to comply fully with previous consequences, the actual and potential harm caused by the violation, the degree of intent and motivation of the student in committing the violation, and the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct that constituted the violation; and any mitigating factors, such as sincere acceptance by the student of responsibility for the student’s misconduct, steps undertaken voluntarily to remedy the harm caused by that misconduct, and evidence of positive growth and learning by the student upon reflection of that misconduct. Impairment resulting from the voluntary use of alcohol or drugs (other than as medically necessary) will be considered an aggravating, and not a mitigating, factor. As stated previously [in the code], we hold our students to a higher standard of behavior.”

The health and safety of faculty, staff and students is a shared responsibility for which each member of the RISD community is mutually responsible. It is up to each student to adhere to not just the Addendum to the Code of Conduct, but the Code of Conduct in order to support a safe environment for the RISD community to come together. Additionally, it is incumbent upon all community members to track evolving national, state and campus public health guidelines and noting that the RISD COVID-19 website will be the repository for all such changes. Those who are unable, refuse, or choose not to abide by the principles of the Code or Addendum or who, through their actions, demonstrate disregard or otherwise threaten the health and safety of the community will be held accountable by RISD to these community standards. RISD will take swift and decisive action to address, adjudicate, and resolve non-compliant behaviors in the manner described above. In advance of and throughout the semester, RISD will seek to promote and encourage compliance with the Addendum to the Code of Conduct and the Code of Conduct through educational programs that will foster and emphasize the importance of accountability among each student to create a safe community for all.

Revision history

This policy was last reviewed/modified on: 8/10/2020