Policy: University Cease Contact Directives

I. Purpose

University Cease Contact Directives promote a safe and secure campus environment, supporting the implementation of university policies preventing discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and interpersonal violence. This policy describes the parameters and processes related to university Cease Contact Directives.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all currently enrolled Elon University students and all current university employees.

III. Policy Statement

University Cease Contact Directives are issued to enhance safety, prevent retaliation and/or avoid an ongoing hostile environment, and to prevent substantial disruption through unwanted contact or communication in the educational or employment environment. A Cease Contact Directive is a written notice issued to a student or an employee, directing the student or employee not to contact a specific student or employee. Cease Contact Directives are issued mutually to the involved parties. Issuance of a Cease Contact Directive is an administrative action taken by the applicable department (typically Dean of Students, Human Resources, Student Conduct, or the Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX).

Cease Contact Directives may be issued in several situations:

  • after the administrative review of a request from a student or employee,
  • as part of an investigation into an alleged policy violation, or
  • to proactively address the potential for substantial community disruption, such as in response to reports of threats or acts of violence or ongoing objective disruption to a classroom, residence hall, or work environment.

A Cease Contact Directive does not constitute a disciplinary action, does not represent a university policy violation, and is not indicative of a person’s status or participation in an investigation or related process.

A Cease Contact Directive is not punitive and is distinct from restrictions or removal of privileges as part of interim administrative actions or an outcome of a university disciplinary process.

Cease Contact Directives are more commonly issued to students than they are to employees. A Cease Contact Directive may be issued to a university employee only following careful consideration of other mitigating strategies to address issues or concerns.

Cease Contact Directives inform the individuals involved of the restrictions and responsibilities regarding their contact both on campus and off campus. Generally, contact refers to any intentional words or actions, direct or indirect, whether on or off campus, including, but not limited to:

  • Electronic communications such as telephone calls, text messages, instant or other messages, emails, or communication through any form of social media;
  • Attempting to deliver messages or make contact through friends, family, or other third parties;
  • Non-verbal contact including making gestures, attempting to observe or monitor, giving/sending gifts, pictures, videos, music or other items of monetary or sentimental value;
  • Entering the person’s private space (e.g. residence hall room, office space, or other living/working environment) or loitering in the space adjacent to that location; and/or
  • Destruction or vandalism of personal property.

Cease Contact Directives are designed primarily to prevent intentional contact. Incidental contact is not considered a violation of a Cease Contact Directive. Someone who has been issued a Cease Contact Directive may not encourage friends, family members, or other students, co-workers, or community members to contact the other person(s) named in the Directive on their behalf for any purpose.

When issuing a Cease Contact Directive, the university will prioritize the ability of the individuals involved to participate fully in educational and work experiences.

In addition to a Cease Contact Directive, the university may take other actions to support a safe and secure campus and to protect individual community members. Examples of such actions could include: restrictions from particular campus facilities or locations; interim, short-term, or indefinite suspension; and/or alterations to class or work schedules or locations.

The duration of the Cease Contact Directive is determined by the office issuing it. Parties to a Cease Contact Directive should contact the appropriate office with questions or concerns about the need for or effectiveness of an existing Cease Contact Directive. Violations of a Cease Contact Directive should be reported to the issuing office as soon as possible.

In cases where an order is issued by the university during an investigation or disciplinary process, the order may be continued, dropped, or amended as part of the resolution of the process.

IV. Requesting a Cease Contact Directive

Anyone concerned for their immediate safety should contact Elon University Campus Safety & Police at 336-278-5555 or dial 911. University Cease Contact Directives are not the same as protective orders, civil no contact orders, or restraining orders, which are legal orders issued by a judge or court.

Students who wish to discuss the option of a university Cease Contact Directive or who wish to file a request should contact one of the following departments:

  • Office of the Dean of Students (general questions or directives that do not fall into the categories described below)
  • Office of Student Conduct (when the request is associated with an alleged Code of Conduct violation)
    Office of Human Resources (when the request is associated with an alleged violation of the applicable employment manual or handbook), or
  • Compliance, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (when the request is associated with alleged sexual misconduct, a current/former intimate partner, or any gender-based harassment or discrimination).

Employees who are interested in obtaining a Cease Contact Directive should contact the Office of Human Resources.