Bluffton seeks to provide an environment for broadening the mind. It aims to become a place for growing, liberating experiences, stressing not only learning through classroom situations but also learning outside the classroom through the exchange of philosophies and experiences with other members of the campus community.

It is Bluffton's goal to guide students in becoming more sensitive toward humankind and society; in growing in understanding of other races, religions and peoples; and in developing heightened awareness of today's world its history, its needs, its future.

Bluffton encourages a positive response to the variety of opportunities available through programming, study, group activities, worship, discussion and service.

The purpose and qualities of life sought in this campus community are determined by the board of trustees in cooperation with faculty, staff and students. Bluffton affirms that rules controlling smoking, drinking and drugs serve purposes which are appropriate on grounds of health, cleanliness, safety and regard for others. Bluffton realizes that its rules can scarcely be expected to regulate behavior when students are not under its jurisdiction. However, that is not to say that off-campus behavior is a matter of indifference to the Bluffton University community. Off-campus conduct may detrimentally affect a student's own academic effectiveness and the lives and activities of others.

Bluffton retains the right to exclude students whose conduct does injury to themselves or to the Bluffton University community. Persons are admitted to Bluffton with the understanding that they will be responsible members of the academic community.


There are some specific expectations which members of the community have developed as important to the quality of life desired for Bluffton. As members of the campus community, students are encouraged to worship regularly on campus and in the church of their choice. In addition, they are expected to:

    • Practice openness and honesty in all relations with members of the community: faculty, staff and students.
    • Conduct themselves with respect for persons and property.
    • Practice the honor system in taking examinations and writing research papers, lab reports, and other assignments.
    • Follow the rules and regulations necessary for orderly community life which are established in areas such as the library, residence halls and Marbeck Center.
    • Refrain from patterns of behavior which do injury to self and others: e.g. smoking, drinking, drug use, gambling, sexual exploitation, promiscuity and profanity:
      • Smoking on campus and on all official Bluffton University trips (e.g., athletic field trips, student teaching) and at Bluffton University-sponsored activities is prohibited. The sole exception to this rule is provision of two designated outdoor areas on campus where smoking is permitted.
      • Alcohol - Bluffton forms, as part of its foundation, a community of respect. Respect includes an understanding of how individual actions impact a community. In an academic community, learning for life happens outside the classroom as well as in the classroom. It is the desire of Bluffton for students to learn and to be encouraged in behavior that will positively contribute to their whole person as individuals created by God.

        Consumption of alcohol may promote unhealthy lifestyle choices: create dependencies, waste money, abuse health and take lives. The consumption of alcohol may generate behavior offensive to other people and to the public, including the Bluffton University community. Students are not full participants in the community of learning and respect at Bluffton if they are under the influence of alcohol

        Bluffton expects students to understand the consequences of consuming or possessing alcohol on campus as well as the ramifications of consuming alcohol off-campus, particularly as it relates to the potential impact for on-campus behavior. The possession and consumption of alcohol on campus at all campus-related activities is prohibited. Students are also reminded that the possession and consumption of alcohol on or off-campus is illegal for those under the age of 21.

        The following behavior would be considered a violation of the campus alcohol & drug policy:
        • Drinking alcohol or using drugs on campus;
        • Being present in a room or other area on campus where an alcohol or drug violation is occurring;
        • Possession of alcohol-related container(s) or drug paraphernalia in the residence hall, common area, vehicles on campus or anywhere else on campus; 
        • Window exhibits that display items relating to alcohol or drugs are prohibited, as are displays in windows, on room doors, in hallways and other public areas on campus. 
        • Disruptive actions associated with the possession and/or consumption of alcohol and/or drugs, including disruptive behavior on campus when a student is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs

          Infractions to the stated policy will normally incur the following sanctions

          First violation: $50 fine; 5-10 hours of supervised service on campus; enrollment in a course related to alcohol education; and parental notification if student is under 21 years of age. Student will be placed on disciplinary probation for one year. If a student violates the alcohol policy within the probationary period, the student would be subject to suspension from Bluffton University

          Second violation: Minimum $100 fine; 10 hours of supervised service on campus; probation for remainder of enrollment; participation in an alcohol assessment program administered by a professional counselor (at the student's expense) and parental notification if student is under 21 years of age

          Third violation: Student will be suspended from Bluffton University.
    • The illegal use or possession of hallucinogenic or narcotic drugs or marijuana is prohibited.
    • Self-selective fraternities and sororities are not permitted.

In this campus community both students and faculty share in the responsibilities of maintaining campus standards. The student life staff and the Campus Judicial Board, composed of elected faculty and student representatives, handle campus disciplinary cases. Infractions of the rules and any serious misconduct become the particular concern of student life staff and the Campus Judicial Board.

For students' welfare and in the best interests of the campus community, Bluffton University reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any student at any time when the university authorities deem such action imperative.