No, it doesn’t matter that you were off-campus. It may not even matter if you were out of the country.
Student defense clients and their families often can’t believe that an alleged conduct violation occurring off-campus can still violate college student conduct policy.
“But it didn’t even happen on campus – how can the college get me in trouble?”
“Why does the university even care about what happened off-campus?”
To the colleges what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. The schools assert jurisdiction over all student misconduct no matter where it occurs. The typical student rights or student conduct handbook will have a catch-all provision reading something like:
5. The University reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well being of the campus community. Such action may include taking disciplinary action against those students whose behavior off University premises constitutes a violation of this “Code”. 
How can they do this? Well the student conduct code is simply part of the overall bargain studentsand their families agree to when they enroll. In return for taking your tuition money the university subjects you to any rules they may come up with.
Why do they do this? It’s actually understandable that the colleges care about what their students do off-campus. No university likes to be associated with negative publicity. So if students commit crimes, engage in racist, sexist or just distasteful behavior that behavior can reflect poorly upon the university.
But proof is a problem for off-campus violations since by definition the schools have less information about off-campus activities. But college and university discipline proceedings seldom allow problems with proof or evidence stand in the way of their delivering “justice.”
Anonymous tips, tattling by other students looking to help their own student misconduct cases, dismissed criminal cases, acquittals in criminal cases, and convictions are all given equal weight by the colleges in their “judicial” process.
Thus, in our practice we have seen students found responsible for off-campus conduct ranging from possession of false IDs to criminal convictions that had nothing to do with other students or the campus.
And these “inherent authority” policies are inherently inconsistent with other parts of the school codes. The schools should examine their own sanctions. Typically the sanction of “removal” leads the way for more serious conduct . The student may be removed from campus housing or removed from the school altogether (suspension or expulsion). This sanction rests on the idea that misconduct occurring off-campus does not threaten the safety and standards of the on-campus community. That’s why they punish students by kicking them off-campus.
But then the schools turn around and also assert that off-campus conduct equally violates studentconduct codes.
“Every breath you take, every move you make…every step you take…every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay…every vow you break…I’ll be watching you.” – Sting
 “Guide to Student Rights and Responsibilities.” The George Washington University Office of the Dean of Students. 2011-2012.  Student misconduct violations with sanctions not even raising potential removal from campus housing or enrollment are treated so lightly by the schools that my law firm often representsstudents for free for these violations. But note: a couple of these lesser violations will quickly add up if the student ever faces a more serious “removal” charge.
These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.