Campus-wide Policies

The mission of Gardner-Webb University is to prepare graduates for leadership and service in their professional careers and in their personal lives. Rigorous and innovative degree programs, combined with distinctive experiential learning opportunities, shape students into thinkers, doers, and world-changers. Forged within a supportive and diverse Christian community, our students emerge ready to impact their chosen professions, equipped with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspired to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others.

Alcohol and Other Drug’s Policy

Gardner-Webb is an alcohol and drug-free campus. This information is provided to all students, faculty, and staff to provide a comprehensive overview of the university’s policies on alcohol and drug use and the potential legal implications related to illegal alcohol and other drug use.  This policy also serves as a reference for on- and off-campus resources.

Gardner-Webb University supports and is fully committed to the concept of a drug and alcohol-free campus community.  

The policies referenced below apply to all Gardner-Webb University campuses and proprieties as well as university-sponsored events at off-campus locations. It should not be assumed that compliance with the law is sufficient.  The University’s policies are in some respects more stringent than the law.  Administrators, faculty, staff, and students must adhere to both applicable federal, state, and local laws and University regulations related to the sale and use of alcoholic beverages and drugs. As a condition of enrollment, Gardner-Webb University students are deemed to have agreed to abide by both the law and the University policies.  

The University does not allow the possession or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs on any campus or in association with any University sponsored event. In reference to alcohol, this includes, but is not limited to, drinking on any campus; possessing alcohol, alcohol beverage containers (including empty containers), and drinking paraphernalia (used for drinking games or quick consumption of alcohol); being intoxicated or under the influence on campus; use or possession of alcohol on University sponsored trips; drinking under the age of 21 on or off campus; providing alcohol to a minor on or off campus; and the possession of false identification on or off campus.  

In terms of illegal drugs, campus policy forbids using, possessing, or distributing illegal drugs and/or drug paraphernalia on any campus, possessing drug paraphernalia on any campus or in association with any University sponsored event. The drug policy also includes the misuse or illegal distribution of prescription medications.  

More information concerning the University’s prohibitions on alcohol and drug use, as well as the University’s policy on tobacco use, may be found in the Code of Student Conduct.   

Gardner-Webb University functions as a single community and therefore operates under the principle of shared responsibility. Any student present when the alcohol and drug policy is violated may be held responsible for the violation.  In addition, all residents in a housing unit may be held responsible if forbidden items are found in their living spaces. Misconduct in which a person has violated any of the above may result in disciplinary proceedings.  

Local, state, and federal laws prohibit the unlawful possession, and distribution of drugs and alcohol. The applicable legal sanctions for various offenses are listed in the North Carolina Statutes.

Gardner-Webb is a community, and all members of the community are responsible for maintaining order and discipline on the University campus. The Student Development Division serves the primary role of coordination and implementation of Gardner-Webb University’s substance use policy. The division’s approach emphasizes early identification and intervention into substance use problems.

The University maintains affiliations with Partners Behavioral Health and Atrium Health, where persons may be referred for assessment and/or treatment. In addition, referrals may be made to local providers.

GWU Counseling Center (704) 406-4563
GWU Housing and Residence Education (704) 406-4300
GWU University Police (800) 418-2065
(704) 444-2400
Partners Behavioral Health ((877) 864-1454
Mental Health Association of Cleveland County (704) 481-8637
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) (704) 377-0244
AA 24-hour Hotline (704) 332-4387
AA Website

Alcoholics Anonymous(AA) / Adult Children of Alcoholics / Al-Anon
AA is an informal international fellowship of people who join because they cannot control their use of alcohol. Their purpose is to stay sober and help others who want to achieve sobriety. They do not actively recruit new members, but newcomers are always welcome. They meet and talk about their alcohol problems and how to stay sober.  

Adult Children of Alcoholics is an organization intended to provide a forum for individuals who desire to recover from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family.  

Al-Anon is a fellowship that offers support for family and friends of alcoholics whether the alcoholic wants help or even admits they have a drinking problem. Comfort and understanding are given through a mutual exchange of experiences, strength, and hope.

Educational experiences are offered by key areas within the University. These experiences include: Alcohol Awareness Week—a week in the Fall is set aside to focus on substance use awareness. Offerings to the general campus population and special groups are also provided.  

A program is in place and designed to assist students who have been found in violation of the University’s policies involving alcohol and other drugs. The purpose of the program is to provide students with an alcohol and drug assessment, to provide information about alcohol and other drugs, an opportunity to focus on issues that will help prevent future violations and counseling and/or treatment referrals. Presentation of videos, films, and invited speakers on issues of substance use and abuse. These will be provided each semester for students and periodically at faculty and staff meetings as requested.

Gardner-Webb University Animals on Campus Policy

This policy is designed to protect the health and safety of the campus community while providing students and employees with clear direction as to which types of animals are allowed on or in University grounds and facilities and which conditions apply in any given situation or location. This policy divides animals on campus into five categories: (A) Service Animals; (B) Feral and Wild Animals; (C) Pets; (D) Research Animals; and (E) Emotional Support/Comfort Animals.

University Classroom Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not distract from or disrupt the educational pursuits of others. Should an instructor determine that a student’s conduct is distracting or disruptive to the educational environment in the classroom, the instructor may request the disruptive student to leave the class immediately. Such students may not return to the classroom until they have met with the instructor and offered assurances that they can conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. The instructor reserves the right to inform the Dean of Students. If the student is dismissed from the class permanently because of disruptive behavior or other violations of the Code of Student Conduct, the student’s final grade will follow the grading period for a “W” or a “WP/WF,” depending on the date of the dismissal.

In the event a student refuses to remove him/herself upon request, the instructor should contact University Police immediately. A University Police Officer will then escort the disruptive student to the Office of the Vice President of Student Development or Dean of Students for possible disciplinary action. In the event a student refuses to remove him/herself upon request, the instructor should contact University Police immediately. A University Police Officer will then escort the disruptive student to the Office of the Vice President of Student Development or Dean of Students for possible disciplinary action.

(applicable to Traditional Undergraduate program students ONLY)

NEW commuter students must complete a commuter application, pay a non-refundable $150 commuter deposit, and provide a current, correct mailing address and phone number to the Office of Housing and Residence Education prior to the beginning of the semester.

RETURNING commuter students must submit a commuter application every Spring semester to retain membership in the student body. There is no deposit associated with a Returning Student Commuter Application.

Requirements for Commuter Status
Living with parent/guardian within 40 miles of campus. 21 years of age or older prior to beginning of contract/academic year. Lived in residence hall six regular semesters. Will achieve 90 credits prior to contract/academic year. Married prior to beginning of contract/academic year. Part-time student (less than 12 hours). 120 days of active military duty *(does not include military reserve unless you have been called for active duty). Unforeseen or extenuating circumstances.

Commuter students of all ages are strongly encouraged to get involved! The Student Engagement Office offers a wide range of activities.

Crime Prevention
The University Police Department patrols the campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. It is responsible for protecting life and property by enforcing state law. Officers are available to offer assistance, to issue vehicle violation tickets, and to investigate accidents and acts of disturbance or vandalism. The department is housed in the Poston Center or you may call (704) 406-4444.

Safety Tips

  • Always lock your vehicle!
  • Keep valuables out of sight. 
  • Be observant! 
  • Use good judgment and common sense.
  • Security Escort
    The University Police Department provides an escort service 24 hours a day. You may dial (704) 406-4444 to request an escort across campus.

    Inclement Weather Policy
    Since the campus is primarily a residential campus, it is highly unusual for classes to be cancelled or for the University to close due to inclement weather. In the event of inclement weather, you are encouraged to stay tuned to your local TV and radio stations for announcements. Information will also be listed on the GWU homepage, or you may call.

    Commuter students are eligible to park in any white space on campus. In addition, two-hour parking is also available on South Main Street. Please remember, the inability to find a legal or convenient parking space is not a license to park anywhere! University Police strictly enforces these regulations.

    Vehicle Registration
    All motorized vehicles operated on the campus of GWU must be registered with the University Police office. Decals may be purchased for a nominal fee and must be displayed on your vehicle whenever on campus. You may register your vehicle online via WebbConnect.

    Staff Resource People
    For ideas, questions, and suggestions unique to commuter students, please contact the Office of Student Engagement in Tucker Student Center Office Suite 157 or call (704) 406-4732.

    The Gardner-Webb University Posting Policy has been designed to keep the campus buildings clean and in good condition. For the purposes of this policy, a poster is defined as any form of print publicity, with no regard to size, shape, or content that is in a public area. There are certain regulations to which students must adhere when posting posters on campus.

    All posters must be approved and stamped before posting occurs on campus. The Assistant Dean of Student Engagement or his or her designee, is responsible for reviewing and either approving or rejecting all proposed posters, with the exception of all posters for department sponsored events. Before posting items on campus, students should review the complete posting policy below. Please send flyers/posters to [email protected] or stop by the Office of Student Engagement (1st floor, Tucker Student Center) for approval. Once approved all posters must be placed on approved locations.

    Unmanned Aerial/Aircraft Systems or “drones”

    Unmanned Aerial/Aircraft Systems (UAS), or “drones,” have emerged as a new technology of interest for hobbyists, commercial purposes, and educational purposes. This policy will offer guidance regarding the type of drone operations acceptable and processes for requesting permission to operate drones on Gardner-Webb University property.

    All operations and use of drones on the Gardner-Webb University property must be in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration and North Carolina Department of Transportation regulations.

    There are two options to fly your drone legally. Each option has different requirements depending on how you want to fly.

    Recreational drone operators are not required to obtain a license or permit from the Division of Aviation. However, recreational users are subject to NC USA rules and regulations. A permit is required for commercial & government drone operations in North Carolina. Passing the UAS Knowledge Test is a requirement for obtaining a permit. To begin the Division of Aviation permit process please visit

    Electronic Scooter

    Electric scooter us is permitted on campus subject to this policy and all applicable laws, ordinances and other University policies. This policy applies to all buildings and property owned or leased by Gardner-Webb University. Gas powered scooters are not allowed on campus. Use of electric scooters is permitted on campus subject to following limitations:

    • Electric scooter users must obey traffic rules on campus, including stopping at stop signs.
    • Users must stay to the right on all roadways, pathways, and sidewalks.
    • Users must yield to pedestrians and provide audible or hand signals when approaching or passing pedestrians.
    • Electric scooters shall not be operated in areas of heavy pedestrian use.
    • Speed of electric scooters must be limited to ten (10) miles per hour or less.
    • Only one rider per scooter. Tandem riding is prohibited.
    • Users shall be mindful of their safety, the safety of others, and shall stay out of the way of pedestrians and other vehicles.
    • Users must maintain a safe distance between themselves and all pedestrians and other vehicles.
    • Electric scooters shall not be operated in a dangerous or reckless manner.
    • Electric scooters shall not be used when adverse weather makes use unsafe or inadvisable to do so.
    • Users shall obey all directives of Campus Police and other University authorities with regard to electric scooter use and storage.

    • Students may store electric scooters in their residence hall rooms and apartments.
    • Outside parking is allowed if the scooter is upright on a hard surface.
    • Electric scooters shall not be parked or stored:
    1. In any campus building other than the student’s residence hall room or apartment
    2. In any location where the scooter could create an obstacle to pedestrian or vehicular traffic
    3. On turf or flowerbeds
    4. In a street
    5. At the top or bottom of any stairs or steps
    6. Directly in front of entrances or exits to buildings or in any manner than would impede handicap access or traffic

    University Free Exchange of Ideas and Freedom of Inquiry

    Gardner Webb University celebrates and facilitates a campus environment for students and student organizations that is conducive to the free and orderly exchange of ideas and the freedom of inquiry. These principles, exercised in a responsible manner, are indispensable to the student experience. We value and honor diverse perspectives and believe it essential that students have the opportunity to engage in peaceful and orderly gatherings to express their views on the issues of the day. This policy is structured to facilitate those educational pursuits; to preserve order within the university campus; to protect and preserve university property; and to provide an environment for students to express their views while at the same time providing other students with the opportunity to express differing views.

    To ensure that students and student organizations who are enjoying the benefits of this policy conduct themselves in an orderly manner that is consistent with the mission and ideals of Gardner-Webb University and its emphasis on respect for others, the following additional provisions apply:

    Students and student organizations must seek and receive approval from the Dean of Students for speeches, marches, demonstrations, and similar gatherings (“events”) at least 3 business days prior to the event.

    Advance notification must include the day, time, and location where the event is expected to take place, as well as the full name and detailed contact information for the primary organizer and/or student organization responsible for the event.

    The Dean of Students may require additional information prior to providing authorization, including, but not limited to, the expected subject matter of the event, location, groups and persons involved in sponsoring the event, estimated crowd size, placement of signage, and expected participants. The Dean may require that liability insurance be in place for purposes of the event.  Consistent with the principles set forth in the policy, the Dean may require modifications to the event or deny permission.

    Events must be conducted in a manner that is free of violence or threats of violence, intimidation, defamation, incitement to violence, unlawful conduct, obscenity, harassment, bullying or trespass.

    Events must not obstruct, frustrate or delay vehicular or pedestrian traffic or block ingress to or egress from campus facilities, whether outdoor or indoor. Events may not interfere with educational or administrative activities, ceremonies, or other events, whether inside or outside of campus buildings. Local, state, and federal laws and regulations — as well as Gardner-Webb University standards of student conduct — must be observed and followed.

    It shall be a violation of this policy for any person or group of persons to attempt to interfere with, “shout down,” or impede any event that is being conducted in compliance with this policy. Events that are conducted in violation of this policy may be shut down, moved, or modified in order to achieve compliance. All written materials, including, but not limited to, flyers, posters, notices, and banners must be pre-approved by the Office of Student Activities prior to posting or distribution.   Please refer to the policy on Campus Postings in this handbook. Recognized student organizations with a social media presence must abide by the University’s Social Media Guidelines.

    University Identification Card

    1. Every student is required to have their official University Identification Card (ID Card) in their possession any time they are on University property.
    2. ID Cards are used to help distinguish students from guests or unauthorized visitors on campus.
    3. Students are required to present their ID card upon request by any University official and/or student worker, including Resident Advisors.
    4. Failure to identify oneself or misuse of the ID card will result in a student being charged with participating in a prohibited behavior.
    5. The ID card is to be used only by the student to whom it was issued. It must not be borrowed or loaned to anyone else. Violation of this policy is considered a campus code violation by both parties.
    6. ID cards may be obtained from the University Police Office located in the Poston Center. There is no charge for the initial ID card; however, replacements can be purchased for $10. There is a $5 replacement fee for damaged cards. A portion of the damaged card must be submitted for it to be considered damaged.

    Intellectual Property Policy

    The purpose of the Intellectual Property Policy (“policy”) of Gardner-Webb University (“the University”) is to foster an environment that encourages the generation of new knowledge by faculty, staff, and students; to help facilitate transfer of useful inventions and writings to society; and to motivate the development and dissemination of intellectual property.

    University Medical Amnesty

    Students are encouraged to exercise their ethical responsibility to assist others who are in need, especially in emergency situations.

    Gardner-Webb University encourages students to seek immediate assistance for themselves or others whenever there is a concern about extreme intoxication, alcohol poisoning, or an individual has been a victim of a crime (including but not limited to physical or sexual assault, theft, vandalism). When seeking medical attention, the first response is to contact 911. When seeking assistance, give your name and remain with the student in need until help arrives.

    Formal student conduct disciplinary action for a violation of the alcohol misuse policies will not be taken under the following circumstances:

    • A student who has consumed alcohol and/or drugs seeks assistance from a University official or emergency personnel on their own behalf;
    • A student who consumed alcohol and/or drugs receives assistance, as a result of other student(s) seeking this assistance on their behalf, from a University official or emergency personnel;
    • Student(s) who consumed alcohol and/or drugs who seek assistance from a University official or emergency personnel on behalf of another student who has consumed alcohol and who remain on the scene to provide support;
    • A student who consumed alcohol and/or drugs was the victim of a crime (including but not limited to physical or sexual assault, theft, vandalism) who seeks assistance from a University official or emergency personnel on their own behalf and student(s) who seek assistance on behalf of the victim;
    • Medical Amnesty does not preclude Student Conduct proceedings for other violations of University policy and repeated or continuous violations that put one at risk will be followed up with the appropriate university personnel.

    A student who accepts Medical Amnesty may be required to sign an agreement that includes, but is not limited to: meeting with a person in Counseling Services for a confidential assessment; education; early interventions; or outsourced ongoing treatment. If the student does not comply with the terms of this agreement, the student will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

    Students who do not comply with these requirements may be charged with a student conduct violation or receive appropriate organization specific disciplinary action. Records related to receiving Medical Amnesty will be maintained; however, they are not categorized as a conduct record and therefore are not disclosed as part of a student’s disciplinary history.

    University Missing Students

    In compliance with the Missing Student Procedures 20 USC 1092 (j) Section 488 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, it is the policy of Gardner-Webb University to investigate any report of a missing student who resides on campus at the University. Gardner-Webb University takes student safety very seriously. To this end, the following policy and procedure has been established to assist in locating Gardner-Webb students living in University owned on-campus housing who, based on the facts and circumstances known to Gardner Webb, the University has determined to be missing.

    At the beginning of each academic year, Gardner-Webb will inform students residing in on-campus housing that the University will notify either a parent or an individual selected by the student not later than 24 hours after the time the student is determined to be missing. This  information will include the following:

    • Students have the option of identifying an individual to be contacted by Gardner-Webb personnel not later than 24 hours after the time
    • the student has been determined to be Students can register this confidential contact information through the Housing and Residence Education office.
    • If the student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, Gardner-Webb is required to notify a custodial parent or
    • guardian not later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be
    • Gardner-Webb will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency not later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be

    If Gardner-Webb University Police or law enforcement personnel has been notified and decides that a student who is the

    subject of a missing person report has been missing for more than 24 hours and has not returned to campus, Gardner-Webb will initiate the emergency contact procedures in accordance with the student’s designation.

    The University will follow the following notification procedure for a missing student who resides in on-campus housing:

    Once the University receives a missing student report via the Dean’s Office, University Police, Housing Office or other source, the following offices will be notified:

    • University Police
    • Undergraduate/Graduate Dean’s Office
    • Housing and Residence Education Office
    • Any official missing person report relating to this student shall be referred immediately to University

    If University Security, after investigating the official report, determines the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, Gardner- Webb will contact the individual identified by the student, the custodial parent or legal guardian if the student is under 18 and not emancipated, or local law enforcement if these do not apply.

    Gardner-Webb University (GWU) recognizes that some students may face pressures coping with university life that could result in disruptive and/or threatening behaviors. To this end, GWU strives to create a climate where students are welcome to talk to counselors about personal problems and where referrals to mental health professionals are not stigmatized. This policy establishes the University protocols for responding to threatening student behaviors.

    University Open Burn Event

    University Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Sexual misconduct involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct; it is usually found in the context of a relationship of unequal power, rank or status.

    The Gardner-Webb University Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment Policy covers sexual harassment of students, faculty and staff and can be found below.

    Title IX Resources

    The Interim Title IX Coordinator is Lesley Villarose, who has been designated by Gardner-Webb University to help ensure compliance with Title IX and the University’s Title IX program. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for compliance with Title IX, including, but limited to, implementing corrective measures for harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation on behalf of the University.

    Mrs. Lesley Villarose
    Vice President of Student Development  and Dean of Students, Interim Title IX Coordinator and ADA Coordinator
    Tucker Student Center
    (704) 406-2081 | [email protected]


    Permission from the Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students is needed by any student, group of students or student organization to solicit funds or sell products to anyone inside or outside the University. The Director of Housing and Residence Education must give permission to solicit funds or sell products in the residence halls prior to approval from the Dean of Students. Please note: Any student, group of students, organization or club found soliciting funds and/or selling products without prior approval will be subject to a fine.

    Off-campus solicitors and/or vendors must have prior written approval by either the Vice President for Administration and Finance or his/her designee or the Vice President of Student Development or his/her designee. Violators of this policy are considered to be trespassing and are subject to removal and/or arrest.

    Student Complaint Policy

    The primary objectives of the Student Complaint Policy are to ensure that students have the opportunity to present complaints to the University regarding a certain action or inaction by a member of the University community and that the University has a consistent way of resolving those complaints in a fair and just manner. A student may pursue a complaints if he or she believes that a member of the University community has violated his or her rights.

    Technology and Acceptable Use Policies

    The purpose of this policy is to describe the appropriate use and security of University Technological assets, associated responsibilities, and rights of all Users employing these resources. All Users of University Technology assets are expected to be familiar with each policy contained here within and the consequences of violation as listed below.

    Tobacco Free Campus

    Gardner-Webb University is a Tobacco Free Campus. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the implementation and maintenance of a tobacco-free campus at Gardner-Webb University.

    Violation of Privacy

    No student shall make an audio, video, or photographic record of any individual without that person’s knowledge and consent, while the person is in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Examples could include, but are not limited to, meetings with staff or faculty, residence hall rooms, bathrooms, locker rooms, study areas, and instructional space. This provision does not apply to student with accommodations approved by the Noel Center for Disability Services to audio or video record within and limited to the duration and scope of that approval. To the extent that the conduct is also covered by the Sexual Misconduct Policy then that policy shall apply. This provision may still apply to any conduct, or portion thereof, not covered by the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

    Disposal of Surplus University Property

    This Policy provides a process for the disposal of certain types of surplus University property as specified below:


    This policy does not apply to land or buildings.

    This policy does not apply to University technological devices such as computers, laptops, telephones, printers, scanners, and other devices that contain electronic information.  All such devices that are no longer in use shall promptly be returned to University Technology Services (“IT”).

    This policy applies to all other types of surplus University property, including, but not limited to, grounds maintenance equipment, vehicles (including golf carts, gators and automobiles), furniture, televisions, books, desks, equipment, (including, but not limited to, athletics equipment and scientific equipment), fixtures, filing cabinets, and unneeded supplies.

    Deans, department heads, program directors, head coaches or their designees who determine that University property is not needed by their department/program shall notify their Vice President. The Vice President will determine whether the property could be useful elsewhere within the Vice President’s division.  If the Vice President determines that there is no use for the property within their division, the Vice President shall notify the Associate Vice President of Business and Finance, who shall take control of the item(s) for the purpose of determining their highest value and best use to the University.

    The Associate Vice President of Business and Finance, in consultation with the Vice President for Finance and Administration, will first seek to reassign and reuse items somewhere else within the University.

    If no internal use for an surplus item can be found, the Associate Vice President of Business and Finance, in consultation with the Vice President for Finance and Administration/Designee, shall determine whether the property should be stored for potential future use by the University.

    If it is determined that the property is of no current or future value to the University, the Vice President for Finance and Administration/Designee shall dispose of the property in a manner that is reasonably likely to provide the greatest net return to the University.

    Any advertising of the availability of property for sale will be arranged by the Vice President for Finance and Administration/Designee. Items made available for competitive bid will be advertised to the campus, the public and to whatever other potential market is deemed appropriate.

    All sales will be on an “as is” basis, with “no warranties of any kind, express or implied.” All sales are final, with no returns or refunds allowed.

    All proceeds from sales or other dispositions of surplus University property will be deposited in a general institutional account. Proceeds will not revert to the department/program/division/team from which the items were declared surplus unless the President determines that it is in the best interests of the institution to direct the proceeds elsewhere within the institution.

    Disposal of unsalable surplus property will be at the lowest possible cost to the University. Methods employed to dispose of unsalable property include:

    • Trade-in;
    • Return to the original source for resale or reuse;
    • Recondition or rebuild to improve resale value;
    • Scrap;
    • Dismantle for salvageable scrap materials;
    • Donation to non-profit organizations on an “as-is, where is” basis; or
    • Treat as waste and handle accordingly.

    Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

    February 2024