Student Professionalism & Behavior Expectations
Sonoran University students will display mature interpersonal behaviors at all times. These behaviors embody the commitment to excellence, honesty, integrity, expertise, humility, respect, compassion, awareness of interpersonal boundaries, and comportment.
Expectations for such behaviors and actions include but are not limited to:
- Attendance at regularly scheduled instructional sessions, whether in person or through digital formats;
- Relating well to patients and establishing sensitive and professional relationships with them;
- Responding to criticism and correction with poise and grace of character;
- Interacting effectively, respectfully, and empathetically with faculty, peers, staff, and all members of Sonoran University's community;
- Demonstrating honesty, courtesy, and integrity in all aspects of interaction with patients and others, be it public or private;
- Being punctual and dependable;
- Being receptive to instruction by faculty and staff;
- Exhibiting appropriate grooming, dress, and hygiene commensurate with the future responsibilities of your chosen profession, irrespective of the learning format;
- Demonstrating and practicing both medical and generally accepted ethics;
- Maintaining confidentiality at all times.
General Behavioral Expectations
Sonoran University expects students to always conduct themselves in an honest, responsible, and mature manner. The rules of student conduct are an expectation of behavior regardless of the physical location or electronic format of the alleged violation/infraction. At all times students are expected to be respectful and empathetic towards others in Sonoran University's community, patients, and others in the wider community.
At a minimum Sonoran University's Student Code of Professional Conduct requires that all students, on and off-campus, are expected to:
- Conduct themselves in a courteous and mature manner;
- Observe federal, state, and local laws and ordinances;
- Comply with the specific standards of behavior set forth in the Code;
- Refrain from engaging in behavior that obstructs, disrupts, or interferes with any educational, administrative, disciplinary, or other activity sponsored or approved by the University;
- Refrain from any behavior that endangers or threatens the safety, or physical, mental, or emotional health, of any person, or that inflicts or threatens to inflict, damage on the property of the University or a member of the University community.
Specifically Prohibited Behaviors
The Code of Professional Conduct (Code) intends to clarify the expectations of students and the standards of behavior essential to the University’s educational mission and its community life. Students should refer to the remainder of Sonoran University's Student Handbook and other University publications, including the Course Catalog and (for ND students) the Clinical Handbook for additional areas related to clinical practice and training, each of which also discusses behaviors that may subject students to disciplinary sanctions under the Code.
Violations of the Code in any form may be grounds for immediate dismissal, even for first-time offenses. Any attempt to commit or conceal an act of misconduct prohibited by these rules is subject to sanctions to the same extent as completed acts.
While generally addressed under the guidelines of proper behavioral expectations, the following list, though not all-inclusive, identifies some specific behaviors that are particularly detrimental to the development of an inclusive, respectful, and effective community of future healthcare professionals.
Abuse or Harassment will not be tolerated, as defined herein, on University premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by the University or members thereof, see the Harassment and Assault Policy.
Acts of Dishonesty
Dishonest, fraudulent, or deceitful behavior in any form, including but not limited to the following: cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty; furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member, or office, either on official forms, attendance rosters or applications or during judicial or disciplinary procedures; forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, or instrument of identification; or tampering with the election of any University recognized student organization, see the Integrity and Academic Honesty Policy
Aiding and Abetting Violations
Aiding in the commission of a violation, including assisting, or encouraging the active perpetrator of an offense and sharing the intent of that offender. A student’s mere presence at the scene of the offense or failure to prevent the commission does not constitute an offense unless the student’s passivity was an attempt to encourage or protect the active offender.
Unwanted, aggressive, mean-spirited acts of verbal or cyber intimidation or taunting, spreading of rumors and/or private information with the purpose of doing harm, public exclusion and shaming, taunting, pejorative labeling, trolling, and other similar and/or repeated behaviors with the intent of dominating, controlling, or humiliating others, or with the intent of dissuading continuation of educational pursuits and goals will be regarded as bullying.
Participation in a campus demonstration that disrupts the normal operations of the University, incites others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area or otherwise infringes on the rights of members of the University community to participate in their educational pursuits.
Disorderly and Lewd Conduct
Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, obscene, or indecent; aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to engage in such behavior. Obscene behavior includes any depiction, display, or distribution of materials that are offensive to commonly accepted standards of decency.
Disruptive or Disrespectful Behavior
Any behavior that disrupts, obstructs, interrupts, or otherwise distracts from the educational environment or any administrative, disciplinary, or other activity sponsored, authorized, or approved by the University, including teaching, research, administration, Sonoran University Clinical Care facilities, off- or extended-site activities, University public service functions, or other authorized activities. Disrespectful behavior includes, without limitation, any behavior that is rude, insolent, deceptive, or otherwise fails to show appropriate regard for the personal dignity of another.
Drugs - Possession, Use, and Distribution
Possession, use, or distribution of drugs on or off University-controlled property, regardless of whether the violation ultimately results in conviction or prosecution under relevant criminal laws. Drugs include any controlled substance, as defined by law; any ingestible, injectable, inhalable, or mind-altering substance, the use of which may subject a person to criminal prosecution; any prescription medication, unless properly prescribed for personal use by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts, and used in the manner and for the purposes prescribed; any over-the-counter medication or medicine-like substance (including herbal or homeopathic products) intentionally misused in contravention of the manufacturer’s written directions.
Substances that are properly used under the direct supervision of, and at the direct instruction of, University faculty in connection with legitimate curricular/clinical activities are excluded from this prohibition. For more information, see the Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Prevention Policy.
Violations of fire/life safety provisions including, but not limited to, arson or attempted arson; use/possession of fireworks; misuse or damage of fire/life safety equipment; tampering with, initiating, or causing to be initiated any false warning of emergency or life-threatening circumstances.
Failure to comply with directions of University employees or hired third-party services who are acting in the performance of their duties; disobedience to, or defiance toward, University personnel; or inappropriate or disrespectful behavior toward employees performing job functions.
Interference with or Abuse of the Campus Judicial System
Interfering with or abusing any campus investigation, disciplinary proceeding, or grievance proceeding in any manner, including, but not limited to the following:
- Failing to respond to the summons of a judicial body or University official;
- Withholding, or failing to disclose, upon request of a University official, information relevant to an investigation of alleged misconduct;
- Falsifying, distorting, or misrepresenting information before a judicial body during disciplinary proceedings;
- Disrupting or interfering with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding;
- Failing to maintain confidentiality concerning an investigation of alleged misconduct or disciplinary proceeding;
- Causing or requesting the institution of an investigation of misconduct or the institution of a disciplinary proceeding knowingly without cause;
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in or use of the judicial system;
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a judicial body or participant prior to, and/or during the course of the judicial proceeding;
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a judicial body or participant prior to, during, and/or after a judicial proceeding.
Identifying as a Representative of Sonoran University
Students may not present themselves as a representative of Sonoran University without unequivocal approval by direct Sonoran University supervision or an executive administrator of the University. This includes:
- portraying yourself as an official or employee;
- claiming that you are speaking on behalf of Sonoran University, the student body, or any subset of Sonoran University's community;
- representing while in attendance or engaged in outside activities that you are engaging on behalf of the University;
- falsely presenting yourself as holding a leadership role in any type of student governance or official University function without being authorized in advance;
- Additionally, students are not authorized, at any time, to present their personal comments, opinions, and beliefs as representatives of Sonoran University, even if on official duty as a school representative. These statements should be limited and identified as personal only.
Recurrent Episodes of Interpersonal Conflict
Refusal to, or repeated failure to, work cooperatively and respectfully with other students, faculty, or staff; repeatedly engaging in or instigating disputes, quarrels, or arguments of a personal nature; persistent inability to get along with others.
Purposely seeking revenge or harm, through actions or words, against a fellow student who has filed a grievance or complaint with the University or outside the University, or who is cooperating with/participating in any school investigation is prohibited and may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including academic dismissal, or other appropriate sanctions as warranted.
Sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other non-consensual sexual contact or activity, as defined herein, on University premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by the University or members thereof. For more information, see the Harassment and Assault Policy.
Sharing software with other students, in violation of the licensing agreement with the author/programmer and related Copywrite laws, is considered theft of intellectual property and is deemed illegal behavior, subject to appropriate penalties.
Theft or Property Damage
Stealing, or otherwise taking or using without the permission of the rightful owner, property, or services of the University, property of a member of the University community, or other personal or public property; destroying, damaging, vandalizing, or otherwise mistreating any property of another. Theft includes knowingly possessing stolen property.
Unauthorized Entry to or Use of the University’s Facilities and Equipment
Unauthorized entry to or use of the University’s facilities, including buildings, desks, files, computers, software, and equipment; unauthorized possession of keys to University facilities and equipment, including buildings, desks, files, etc. For more information, see Campus Facilities.
Unauthorized Practice of Healing Arts
Naturopathic Medical Student
Being a medical student carries with it a professional responsibility. To the general community, students are representatives of Sonoran University and the naturopathic profession. To maintain high standards for quality, the following policies apply to each student enrolled at Sonoran University:
- Sonoran University defines practicing medicine without a license as any conduct involving the unauthorized, intended, or perceived practice of any of the healing arts, including but not limited to the unauthorized practice of naturopathic medicine or other healing arts, as set forth in Title 32 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, regardless of whether the violation ultimately results in conviction or prosecution under relevant laws, and regardless of whether the violation results in any sanction or other formal or informal action by any administrative or regulatory body outside the University.
- For professions that are regulated by the state of Arizona licensure (including medicine, acupuncture, massage, etc.): No Sonoran University ND student shall practice, advertise to practice, or accept compensation of any type for practicing these professions unless the student has obtained the required license in the state of Arizona.
- For healing modalities that are not licensed in the state of Arizona (iridology, herbalism, etc.): No Sonoran University ND student shall practice medicine, advertise to practice, or accept compensation of any type for practicing any unlicensed healing or diagnostic modality. ND students shall not offer their status as a Sonoran University medical student as a qualification to perform healthcare modalities, except within the scope of University-approved programs under the direct supervision of professionals recognized and appointed as supervisors by Sonoran University.
- ND students are allowed to practice skills enhancement techniques learned as part of their curriculum.
Clinical Nutrition Students
To maintain high standards for quality and to avoid potential certification issues, the following policies apply to all clinical nutrition students enrolled at Sonoran University:
- Sonoran University defines nutritional practice and advising as any conduct involving the unauthorized, intended, or perceived advisement of any persons regarding the nutritional guidelines and suggestions, regardless of whether their current location requires official certification for the practice of their degree.
- No Sonoran University student shall practice, advertise to practice, or accept compensation of any type for services until they have completed all coursework of the program and have received conferral of their degree, regardless of whether a license is required in their location.
- Students shall not offer their status as a Sonoran University clinical nutrition student as a qualification to perform or suggest any nutritional practices, except within the scope of University-approved programs under the direct supervision of professionals recognized and appointed as supervisors by Sonoran University.
Unauthorized Use of University Documents and Logo
Unauthorized use of University records, attendance records, documents, or identification, including unauthorized use of the name, logo, seal, or address of the University.
Violation of any criminal or civil law, including federal, state, or local ordinances and regulations, regardless of whether the violation ultimately results in conviction or prosecution by civil or criminal authorities. Students are required to self-disclose if they have been arrested or convicted of a crime (other than a minor traffic violation). Pursuant to the policy, a student must disclose to the Dean of Students within five days any arrests or convictions of a criminal offense, excluding minor traffic violations that do not result in an arrest or injury to others, regardless of whether they occur inside or outside the State of Arizona and regardless of whether Sonoran University classes/rotations are in session at the time. Students should err on the side of disclosure if they believe an arrest or conviction may be covered by this policy.
Standards of Classroom Behavior
Sonoran University expects respectful, mature, collaborative behavior in the classroom. Classroom expectations will also be addressed in the course syllabus. Students who disrupt classes, labs, or clinical rotations may be directed by the faculty member to leave, will receive no attendance credit for the day, and will be referred to the Dean of Students Office for review. Recurrent unprofessional behavior may result in the student being dropped from the course and other disciplinary actions per the Student Code of Professional Conduct. Disruptive acts include, but are not limited to, such actions as persistent speaking without being called upon, challenging faculty in a hostile or disrespectful manner, lack of respect for others with differing opinions, putting feet on desks or tables, leaving and recording without consent, and studying or reading material not related to the attended class.
Online Behavioral Expectations
Sonoran University is committed to providing courses that meet the highest standards of excellence. The way you conduct yourself in an online course is a reflection of your professional and ethical choices.
Netiquette refers to the etiquette for online communication. Netiquette is a very important consideration when participating in an online classroom. Since your communication with classmates and your instructor will primarily be through written or nonverbal channels, the lack of facial expressions, voice inflection, and body language may lead to misinterpreted messages. For that reason, standards of etiquette have been created for communicating in an online environment. Students are expected to follow these guidelines in all their communications, including emails, discussion forums, and online meetings.
Online Course Expectations for Netiquette
- Embody Sonoran University’s Core Values: We Love, We Do the Right Thing, We Shape the Future, We Achieve Excellence, and We are Resilient.
- Be professional. Students should interact with course participants and faculty as they would in their future professional lives.
- Adhere to standard rules for grammar and spelling.
- Online discussion boards allow for an exchange of ideas and practice of the skill of persuasion. Avoid using hurtful or hateful speech and inappropriate language. A student may disagree with an idea without insulting another person; question ideas, not people. Consider how issues may appear from others' perspectives.
- Do not flame/personally attack others. This can be considered cyberbullying, which can include, but is not limited to:
- Insulting: posting and/or spreading false information about a person that could cause harm to a person or a person’s reputation.
- Targeting: singling someone out, pressuring others to attack, or teasing others.
- Excluding: pressuring others to exclude a person(s) from an online or offline community.
- Harassment: repeatedly sending someone messages or images that are inappropriate, distasteful, mean, or insulting.
- Avoid oversharing personal information. Also, do not disclose the email address or phone numbers of your classmates or students. Doing so is a FERPA violation.
- Review comments before publishing them to ensure there are no unintended meanings.
- If writing an email or post about something you are emotional about, review comments before publishing them to ensure an accurate tone and meaning are reflected in the message.
- Uppercase letters in online communication are generally associated with shouting. In most cases, this will not be appropriate.
- Think critically and be concise, accurate, and clear to promote understanding.
- Be specific when asking questions. For example, if experiencing difficulty with an assignment, explain which assignment, what you understand, and what you are having difficulty with so faculty can construct an appropriate response. Always make an effort to find answers to questions before asking.
- Cite all quotes, references, and sources, using the proper citation format.
- Do not record any sessions, lectures, or activities without explicit permission from faculty and participants, or as approved by Sonoran University's administration as part of an accommodations plan.
This Netiquette policy was adapted from Rutgers University, New Mexico State University Online Course Developers Guide, Virginia Shea’s The Core Rules of Netiquette, and Howard Community College’s Netiquette Statement.