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University Policy 115

Trespassing on University Property

Initially approved: June 3, 2013
Policy Topic: University Facilities and State Owned Property
Administering Office: Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance; University Police


Western Carolina University (“WCU”) is a public institution of higher education that is open to the general public. Even though WCU is an open campus, the university has the ability to determine the expectations and parameters for a person’s presence on University Property. Reasonable limitations, consistent with applicable free speech laws, may be imposed on the time, place, manner and types of activities for which access to University Property may be allowed. In addition, the university has the ability to restrict, withhold, or remove a person’s access to or presence on University Property due to safety considerations relating to the university community. This Policy describes the circumstances under which a person’s access to or presence on University Property may be restricted, withheld, or removed. This Policy also provides the procedures for trespassing a person from a specific area of University Property (while having access to other University Property), or where appropriate, from all University Property. A person may also be trespassed from contacting or being near another person in appropriate circumstances.


This Policy applies to all WCU students and employees as well as contractors, invitees, and any other person visiting the WCU campus.

Persons who violate University Policies or pose a risk to campus safety or security have no "right" to be on University Property and may be advised to leave by the Chancellor or his/her designee. Such persons may be trespassed from University Property by use of a trespass warning pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes §14-159.12 or §14-159.13 or as authorized by this Policy.


"University Property" means property owned or leased by the State of North Carolina and allocated to WCU and/or its Endowment fund.

"Authorized University Official" for purposes of this Policy means any University Police officer, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee, the Director of Residential Living, or Director of the Office of Student Conduct ("DSCE").


A. Issuance of Trespass

WCU's Chancellor has delegated to the University Police the primary authority to restrict, withhold or remove access to University Property from persons who (i) violate University Policies, or (ii) pose a risk to the safety or security of the university community. Trespasses may be issued by University Police or by other Authorized University Officials related to student conduct concerns.

A person has been "trespassed" when a no trespassing notice is posted on property, or when an Authorized University Official has provided oral or written notice to a person that the person should not be on certain property. A trespass warning may include notice that the person is not to be within a certain distance of one or more other persons, as well as notice to not be present on University Property. A person also commits trespass upon entering property that is enclosed or secured in a manner that indicates the person should not be there (e.g., a locked building or a laboratory that has been closed for safety inspection).

Persons may be directed to leave or may be prohibited from entering University Property or prohibited from contacting or being near another person and/or given a trespass for reasons including but not limited to the following: (1) commission or conviction of any criminal offense on or off University Property; (2) violation of University Policies;(3) engaging in behavior or conduct that presents a threat to University Property or the university community; (4) presence on University Property without satisfactory explanation; or (5) otherwise behaving in a suspicious or disorderly manner while on University Property.

A trespass is to be limited in scope to that which is reasonably necessary for the protection of the university community.

The duration of a trespass is one (1) year unless otherwise specified or as may be modified upon appeal.

University Police will maintain a listing of trespassed individuals. Authorized University Officials must notify the University Police in writing when they issue a trespass specific to their area(s) of responsibility.

B. Student Trespass; Separation from the University or Residence Halls

Every student who receives an interim suspension, suspension or expulsion from DSCE will be trespassed/separated from the University upon written notice by the Director of DSCE. The trespass shall remain in effect permanently in the case of expulsion or until his/her suspension is terminated. Every student who is suspended on a permanent or interim basis from the residence halls will be trespassed/separated from the residence halls upon written notice by the Director of DSCE. Actions taken under this Section IV.B will be in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Student Conduct.

C. Lift or Reduction of Trespass

An Authorized University Official who issues a trespass may lift or reduce the trespass if, in his/her discretion, a determination is made that circumstances justify removal or reduction of the trespass. The Authorized University Official shall consult with the Behavioral Assessment Team ("BAT") prior to lifting any trespass issued for a violation of any provision of University Policy #109, "Campus/Workplace Violence Prevention and Management".

Once the Authorized University Official lifts the trespass, they shall provide written notice to the University Police so that records may be updated. The person subject to the trespass should not return to the restricted area until he/she has been notified by University Police that the trespass has been lifted.


A. Appeals of Trespass

A person (the "Appellant") who has been given a trespass warning by University Police may appeal by submitting a written appeal to the Assistant Chief of University Police ("Assistant Chief") within seven (7) calendar days of the date the warning was given. The written appeal should include the Appellant's reason for being on University Property, the person's future need to be on University Property, and any other information the Appellant wishes the Assistant Chief to consider. The warning remains in effect during the appeal.

The Assistant Chief shall review the written appeal and the record of the trespass to determine if the trespass was issued in compliance with this Policy. The Assistant Chief may accept, reject or modify the trespass in a written decision that will be mailed to the Appellant. If the period of the trespass is thirty (30) calendar days or fewer, the Assistant Chief's decision is final. The Assistant Chief shall inform the Appellant in writing of the decision within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the written appeal. If the period of the trespass exceeds thirty (30) calendar days, the Appellant has the right to appeal the Assistant Chief's decision to the Director of Police and Parking Services (the "Chief of Police").

If the Appellant wishes to appeal the Assistant Chief's decision, he/she may do so by submitting a written appeal to the Chief of Police within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the Assistant Chief's decision. The Assistant Chief's decision remains in effect during the appeal. Upon receipt of the written appeal, the Chief of Police will set a date, time, and place for an informal hearing, and will advise the Appellant in writing at least five (5) calendar days before the scheduled hearing that the Appellant may attend the hearing and present relevant evidence and witnesses. The University Police officer who issued the trespass shall also be notified of the hearing so that he/she may attend the hearing, answer questions, and present relevant evidence. Attendance at the hearing will be restricted to the Appellant, the University Police officer who issued the trespass, and others having personal knowledge of the events. Attorneys may not attend the hearing. The Chief of Police will review all the evidence and may accept, reject or modify the Assistant Chief's decision. The Chief of Police will notify the Appellant in writing of his/her decision and that the decision is the final university decision, which may be appealed to the Jackson County Superior Court pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 150B, of the North Carolina General Statutes. The decision and notice of appeal rights should be sent by certified mail; return receipt requested within fourteen (14) calendar days of the hearing.

B. Student Appeals

A student who has been trespassed/separated from the University and/or residence halls as a result of a conduct sanction may appeal as described in Section XVIII of the Code of Student Conduct.


University Police may arrest a person who refuses to leave University Property after being asked to leave by an Authorized University Official.

In areas that are properly posted "no trespassing", University Police officers are authorized to issue a citation or make an arrest, where appropriate, for second degree trespassing.

Court orders and university disciplinary sanctions remain in effect for the duration stated in the sanction, and may result in arrest for violations during that time period.

If an arrest for trespass cannot be substantiated at the time of response, the University Police Officer should give the person another warning and escort the person from University Property. If a later review of the incident by University Police indicates the individual was trespassing, officers may obtain a warrant for trespassing.


This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary every four (4) years.


University Policies:

UNC Policy Manual:

NCGS 14-159.12:

NCGS 14-159.13:

University Policy #109, Campus/Workplace Violence Prevention and Management:

University Policy #114, Solicitation, Assemblies, and Public Addresses:

Code of Student Conduct: /WebFiles/PDFs/WCU_Code_of_Student_Conduct.pdf

Office of Student Conduct

Department of Residential Living

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: 227-7234

Office of Student Conduct: 227-7234

University Police Department / Non-emergency: 227-7301


Jackson County Emergency: 911

University Police Department / Emergency: 8-911

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