office of student conduct

University Policy and Guidelines

Selected Pennsylvania Laws

Members of the University community are reminded that the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pertaining to alcoholic beverages apply to the University campus and each individual is responsible for observing and complying with such laws.  For your convenience, we have summarized portions of Pennsylvania law below.  The following summary is not intended to be comprehensive and the laws reflected may change from time to time.

 

   1.          All persons while in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are subject to the Pennsylvania liquor and crimes codes.

 

   2.          Any person less than 21 years of age who attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses, or knowingly and intentionally transports any alcoholic beverages within Pennsylvania is subject to automatic loss of motor vehicle operating privileges for up to two years or more and to other penalties, including fines; arresting officers are required to notify parents or guardians of arrests made for under age drinking (18 Pa.C.S. 6308 and 6310.4).

 

   3.          Any person who purchases with intent to sell or furnish, or sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages of any kind to persons under 21 years of age faces penalties upon conviction of up to $2,500 (18 Pa.C.S. 6310.1). The law has been interpreted to mean that no person under 21 years of age may pay assessments which will be used in whole or in part for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.

 

   4.          Intentionally and knowingly furnishing alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 is illegal.  According to this law, furnish means "to supply, give or provide to, or allow a minor to possess on the premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged".

 

   5.          It is unlawful to misrepresent one's own age to obtain alcoholic beverages or for such purposes to represent to anyone that another person is 21 years of age or older; misrepresentation of one's own age will result in automatic loss of motor vehicle operating privileges (18 Pa.C.S. 6307 and 6309).

 

   6.          The law prohibits the use of another's identification card or an unauthorized identification card to obtain alcoholic beverages or the carrying of an identification card bearing a false name, age, date of birth or photograph and provides for certain automatic minimum fines and loss of motor vehicle operating privileges (18 Pa.C.S. 6310.3). The law imposes heavy mandatory minimum fines ($ 1,000 for the first violation and $2,500 for each subsequent violation) for the manufacture, sale or attempted sale of false identification cards as well as possible imprisonment for up to two years (18 Pa.C.S. 6310.2).

               

   7.          It is unlawful to possess or transport any alcoholic beverages, e.g., beer, wine or liquor, not purchased according to Pennsylvania law.

 

   8.          Under Pennsylvania law a blood alcohol reading of 0.08% or more for an adult, and more than 0.02% for a minor, constitutes drunk driving ("driving under influence").  Refusal to take a breath, blood or urine test results in an automatic 12 month suspension of Pennsylvania vehicle operating privileges, as does a conviction for DUI (75 Pa.C.S. 1532, 1547 and 3802).   It is unlawful for any person who is a driver in any vehicle to consume any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance, as defined in the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), in the vehicle while it is in operation on any highway in this Commonwealth.  Possessing open containers of alcoholic beverages in a moving vehicle may result in the prosecution of the driver for illegal consumption while operating a motor vehicle.

 

   9.          It is unlawful for any person who is an operator or an occupant in any motor vehicle to be in possession of an open alcoholic beverage or controlled substance.  The penalty for this is a summary offense.

 

                The University expects every student to be aware of these laws and of his or her responsibility to comply with them.  Ignorance of the law is never a defense.

 

Controlled Substances

Students who are concerned about personal or group problems in this area are urged to seek assistance from any resources of the University or surrounding community.  In particular, the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug, Programs, the Residence Life staff, the Counseling Service, Health Service staff, and the University Chaplain are available to assist any student in assessing his or her questions or concerns about drug use and abuse.

If a student has any questions with regard to the confidential nature of the information exchanged in a counseling relationship, he or she should broach such questions with the individual counselor at the outset of the relationship.

The University will not tolerate the sale of illegal drugs on campus.  The University will take decisive action against any individual who is involved in drug trafficking.

Students also should be aware that federal and state laws prohibit illegal possession, sale and trafficking in marijuana and other controlled substances.  Some of the laws are very strict.  For example, Pennsylvania law imposes a minimum jail term of at least two years as a mandatory sentence (without the possibility of probation, suspended sentence or ARD) upon a first offender 18 years or older who simply gives a controlled substance to a minor on or within 1,000 feet of the Lehigh campus or the grounds of any other school (18 Pa.C.S. 6314).  For information on drug laws, contact the Lehigh University Police Department.

 

Guest Policy

Lehigh is a predominantly residential institution where students' rooms are regarded as private living and study areas.  Whenever rooms are shared, the right of each student to privacy is naturally limited by the rights of his or her roommate or roommates.  Thus, the use of a room for social purposes should not be at the expense of another's legitimate use of the room for sleep or study.

Any student who brings guests to the campus is responsible for making relevant University regulations known to them and accepts responsibility for their conduct.

 

Guidelines for Cultural and Social Events

Cultural events sponsored by Lehigh University should reflect the broad purposes and objectives of the University in its search for truth, in its effort to enlighten minds and to prepare students for life in American society.

In this task Lehigh recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to its attainment of these goals.  Students must develop their capacity for critical judgment and individual choice.  This is why the University does not and should not seek to impose a common morality on all students.  Nevertheless, the University is part of society and, if student conduct departs too far from prevailing social expectations, a potentially severe conflict may arise with deleterious consequences for the University.  Hence, the Lehigh community needs some general guidelines that will enable it to anticipate, avoid or mitigate potential conflicts of purpose and interest.

 

General guidelines. The following general principles are put forward as representing a broad consensus of student, faculty and administrative opinion:

1.  Responsibility for the choice of cultural and social events rests, in the first instance, with the groups designated for such tasks.

2.  No agreement on a set of absolute rules is possible, since a clear consensus on ethical issues is not present.

3.  The absence of a moral consensus does not and cannot mean that the fights of any particular campus group are absolute.  All Lehigh organizations operate within the context of the entire Lehigh community and hence they are held accountable by fellow students, by the faculty and ultimately by the trustees of the University for their actions.

4.  In the exercise of their judgment concerning the choice of cultural and social events, all members of the Lehigh community must be prepared to accept restraints on their conduct.  Such restraints are not an imposed censorship but reflect conduct that furthers mutually beneficial cooperation and ultimately the overall purposes of the University.

5. Self-imposed restraints are of the essence of civilized behavior in sophisticated social groups.  At a minimum, these restraints recognize that:

6.  Cultural and social choices reflect for good or ill on the entire Lehigh community.  Hence, members of the Lehigh community must not knowingly offend by their choices significant sectors of the University.

7.  Educated people should be aware of basic value differences that exist in society and cultivate a sensitive regard for the opinions of others.

 

Cultural Review Committee

The Cultural Review Committee consists of four faculty members, one selected by each college and the School of Education; four student members, one selected by each of these organizations: the Residence Halls Council, the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, and the off-campus student's association; one faculty member and one graduate student selected by the Student Senate; one representative of the administration appointed by the President; and one member of the board of trustees invited by the President to serve on the committee.  Those responsible for cultural and social events can turn to this committee for advice in applying the guidelines for cultural and social events.

All members of the Lehigh community will also be able to seek the advice of the committee regarding the selection of cultural and social programs.

 

Guest Speakers

The University affirms open inquiry and free discussion as necessary provisions for students' freedom to learn.  Recognized student organizations are therefore free within the bounds of the law, good order, and the University's procedural requirements to invite and hear speakers of their own choosing.

With this freedom goes the responsibility to prepare adequately for the event so that it is conducted in a manner appropriate to the academic community.  Thus, there should be opportunity for questions and statements at opposing views and a recognition that any speaker who is a guest of the University is entitled to a courteous hearing, regardless of his or her position.  The sponsors have the responsibility to maintain good order; when good order cannot reasonably be assured an event may be postponed or canceled.

Finally, it should be made clear to the academic and larger community that sponsorship of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views expressed, either by the sponsoring group or by the University.

The procedures are simple: (1) notify the Dean of Students Office (UC); (2) make room reservation in the usual manner with the main desk (see Services for Students University Center ); (3) release off-campus publicity through the Office of Media Relations, 436 Brodhead Avenue .

Under normal circumstances, the University expects that speakers invited by student organizations are being brought for the academic community, which is defined to include students and faculty of neighboring colleges.  The opening of meetings to the general public involves considerations beyond academic freedom and therefore requires approval through the President's office.  Application for such approval should be made through the Dean of Students Office. (See related information in section on Guidelines for Cultural and Social Events.)

 

HARASSMENT AND  SEXUAL ASSAULT

Policy on Harassment

 Adopted by the Board of Trustees on June 7, 2002

                             

1. PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THIS POLICY

 

1.1. Lehigh University strives to provide an educational, working, co-curricular,      social, or living environment for all students, staff, faculty, trustees, contract workers, and guests that is free from harassment on the basis of age, color,  disability, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Such harassment is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.

 

This policy:

ˇ       Defines prohibited conduct;

ˇ         Sets procedures for addressing and resolving harassment complaints.

 

1.2. Education and Prevention. The University provides education about harassment through orientation and follow-up programs for students, staff, faculty, and administrators. All people in a supervisory capacity will receive appropriate training to take leadership in implementing the policy. They will inform people under their direction of this harassment policy and assume leadership in implementing the procedures.

 

1.3. Academic Freedom. Lehigh University upholds the principles of academic freedom and free speech.

 

2. DEFINITION OF HARASSMENT

 

This policy addresses two forms of harassment:

ˇ          a hostile work, learning, co-curricular, social, or living environment;

ˇ          quid pro quo sexual harassment.

2.1. A Hostile Work, Learning, Co-curricular, Social or Living Environment occurs

when a member of the Lehigh University community or a guest is subjected to      unwelcome statements, jokes, gestures, pictures, touching, or other conducts that offend, demean, harass, or intimidate. Harassment includes offensive verbal or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance, or has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. The violating conduct may involve a very serious and offensive event, or may involve persistent harassing behavior. A hostile environment can be created by supervisors, co-workers, faculty, coaches, students, alumni, or visitors to campus such as vendors and contractors.

 

2.1.1. Examples of a serious act. An isolated comment or incident usually does not create a hostile work or educational environment. The exception is if the incident is a serious act, such as 1) an intentional, non-consensual touching of an intimate body area of another person; 2) an instructor humiliating a student in class by making a joke about the student’s disability; or 3) a student marking Nazi swastikas on a fellow student’s door.

 

2.1.2 Examples of persistent hostile behavior. What also constitutes a hostile work or educational environment is failure to stop a behavior that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive. Examples: 1) students in a class ask a teaching assistant not to tell offensive jokes, but she or he continues to do so;  2) an employee asks a supervisor not to touch him or her, but the supervisor continues to do so.

 

2.1.3. Stereotyping. Statements that demean people on the basis of age, color,  disability, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status can also contribute to a hostile work or educational environment. For example, it would be gender stereotyping to ask a man or a woman why he or she is majoring in a discipline such as English, Engineering, or Finance because people of this gender can’t succeed in the area. Another example of stereotyping would be to ask an older colleague why she or he hasn’t retired. Each of these isolated questions is not harassment by itself, but could contribute to a hostile environment.

 

2.2. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment occurs when a member of the Lehigh University community explicitly, or implicitly, promises or withholds job-related or education-related benefits based upon the employee's or student's acquiescence to sexual advances or behavior.

 

2.2.1. Quid pro quo sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors, where submission to the conduct is made a term or condition of employment or educational opportunity; or submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions. Such harassment may involve behavior by a person of either sex against a person of the same or opposite sex.

 

2.2.2. Examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment may include but are not limited to:

 

ˇ            seeking sexual favors or relationships in return for the promise of a favorable grade or other academic opportunity;

ˇ            basing an employment-related action (e.g., hiring, salary increase,  performance appraisal, termination) on a sexual favor or relationship.

 

2.3. Supervisory Conflict of Interest

A supervisor should avoid developing a romantic or sexual relationship with an employee. Similarly, an instructor (e.g., advisor, course instructor, teaching assistant) should avoid developing a romantic or sexual relationship with a student taught, advised, or supervised by that instructor. If such a relationship does develop, it is a conflict of interest for one party to continue in any type of supervisory role. In such a situation, the supervisor or instructor must arrange for alternative supervision of the employee or student. For example, a doctoral advisor should confer with the student and the faculty of his or her department to identify and recruit an alternate doctoral advisor. A supervisor and employee should work with their department and Human Resources for reassignment of the employee or supervisor to another department or to institute a change in the supervisory relationship.

 

It is the responsibility of the person in the supervisory role to resolve the conflict of interest. Failure to resolve a conflict of interest puts the supervisor at risk for charges of sexual harassment.

 

3. WAYS TO DEAL WITH HARASSMENT

 

3.1. Individuals who believe that they have been subject to harassment, or any member of the University community who has knowledge of harassment incidents, may take one or more of the following actions to stop the harassment or provide evidence to support a complaint:

 

ˇ         Confront the harasser honestly regarding the harassing behavior, stating clearly that you want the harassment to stop.

ˇ         If verbally confronting the harasser is not possible, write a letter to the harasser stating honestly and directly your disapproval of the actions, and that you want the harassment to stop. Always date and retain a copy of the letter.

ˇ         Keep clear and detailed accounts of the behavior and your feelings surrounding the events, including your efforts to stop the behavior. Make sure you include the date, time, setting, and any witnesses.

ˇ         Seek support from others. Confide in trusted people when harassment occurs, as it is important for other people to know that these incidents are occurring.

ˇ         Seek counseling. You may face a crisis that can damage your health,  career, and confidence.

ˇ         If confronting the harasser is not an option or does not end the harassment,  you should report the harassment (see below).

 

3.2. Whether or not these actions are taken, individuals have the right to initiate informal resolution or to file a formal complaint.

 

4. INITIATING INFORMAL RESOLUTION OR FORMAL COMPLAINT

 

4.1. Who to Contact

A member of the Lehigh University community or guest who believes that he or she has been subject to harassment, or any member of the University community who has knowledge of harassment incidents, is encouraged to confer promptly with one of the following people:

 

ˇ            Staff member in the Dean of Students office, Director of Women’s Center,

          or Human Resources;

ˇ             Academic department chair;

ˇ             Administrator (for the purposes of this policy, administrators include

           academic associate deans and deans of the four colleges, vice provosts,

                      assistant and associate vice presidents, the provost and vice presidents,

                      and the president);

ˇ             The Harassment Policy Officer or ombudsman who are tenured faculty

                      members.

         

This person will be knowledgeable about the University harassment policy and can offer guidance in obtaining further assistance. He or she may assist in informal resolution (see Section 5). In serious cases, this person will contact the Harassment Policy Officer, the Dean of Students office, or the Manager of Employee Relations and Training in Human Resources about filing a formal complaint (see Section 6).

 

The complainant may also contact the Harassment Policy Officer, the Dean of Students office, or the Manager of Employee Relations and Training directly about filing a formal complaint.

 

4.2. Protection from Retaliation

This policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports or is believed to have reported harassment, or who is a witness or otherwise involved in a harassment proceeding. Such retaliation will be considered a serious violation of this policy regardless of whether an informal or formal complaint is upheld. Encouraging others to retaliate is also prohibited.

 

4.3. Confidentiality

All individuals who are involved in informal and formal resolution procedures, as a result of being consulted by either the complainant or the accused, are obliged to maintain confidentiality of the proceedings. Notwithstanding these precautions, the University cannot and does not guarantee that confidentiality will be maintained by all parties involved.

 

4.4. Filing Internally versus Externally

The complainant may elect to have a complaint handled internally (within the University) in accordance with the procedures described here, and/or may elect to file a formal charge with a federal or state agency authorized by law to investigate such claims.

 

4.5. Prompt Reporting

Prompt reporting of a complaint is strongly encouraged, as it allows for rapid response to and resolution of objectionable behavior. Complaints should normally be filed within two years after the last act occurred, unless extenuating circumstances precluded reporting a complaint within that time period. This timeframe is to prevent the passage of significant time between an incident and an investigation so that memory lapses, the departure of key witnesses, or other time-sensitive factors do not impair an investigation.

 

5. INFORMAL RESOLUTION

 

5.1. In many instances, harassment complaints can be resolved informally. The goal of this informal resolution process is to rectify the problem. This process involves having one of the following people help to resolve the issues between the complainant and the accused: a designated staff member in the Dean of Students office, Director of Women's Center, or Human Resources, an academic department chair, an administrator, or the Harassment Policy Officer.

 

5.2. This informal resolution may result in solutions such as asking the accused to modify or stop the behavior, separating the complainant and accused, or reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. However, this informal resolution will not result in formal disciplinary action against the accused without a fair process as outlined under Section 6, Formal Complaint and Resolution.

 

5.2.1. Examples (not exhaustive) of paths for informal resolution include:

                                              

ˇ          A faculty member going to college dean with a complaint against department chair.

ˇ          An undergraduate student going to an Associate Dean of Students or Director of the Women’s Center with a complaint against another student.

ˇ          A staff member going to supervisor with a complaint against another staff member, or to the Manager of Employee Relations and Training (Human Resources) if the supervisor is the accused.

ˇ          A graduate student going to department chair with a complaint against a faculty member.

ˇ          An undergraduate student going to the course instructor or department chair with a complaint against a teaching assistant.

ˇ          A teaching assistant going to the course instructor or department chair with a complaint against an undergraduate student.

 

5.3. Any member of the Lehigh community may take a complaint directly to the Harassment Policy Officer or may seek further informal resolution with the Harassment Policy Officer if efforts to resolve the complaint informally with an academic department chair, administrator, etc. are not successful.

 

5.4. Any administrator, staff member, or department chair who participates in an informal resolution will report the case and its resolution to the Harassment Policy Officer who will keep a record of these reports. No record of cases that are successfully resolved through informal resolution will be placed in the complainant’s or the accused’s personnel or student file.

 

5.5. If the informal resolution is unsuccessful, or if the complainant is dissatisfied with the informal process, he or she may file a formal complaint with the Harassment Policy Officer, the Dean of Students office, or the Manager of Employee Relations and Training in Human Resources.

 

6. FORMAL COMPLAINT AND RESOLUTION

 

6.1. To file a formal complaint, the complainant will meet with the Harassment Policy Officer, an Associate Dean of Students, Director of the Women’s Center, or the Manager of Employee Relations and Training in Human Resources to describe the act or acts verbally or in writing. Following this meeting, a detailed written complaint, including the name of the accused, will be prepared. The Harassment Policy Officer, Associate Dean of Students, Director of the Women’s Center, or  Manager of Employee Relations and Training will give the accused a copy of this written complaint, and will refer the complaint as follows, depending upon whom the complaint is against.

 

6.1.1. Formal Complaints Against Students: Complaints against students are referred to the Dean of Students office and will be investigated and resolved through the University Student Judicial System. For complaints of harassment,  students include individuals whose primary relationship with the University is as a student, including all undergraduate and graduate students and those who are functioning as graduate assistants, research assistants, teaching assistants, and teaching fellows.

 

6.1.2. Formal Complaints Against Faculty, including all full-time, part-time, and adjunct faculty:

 

6.1.2.1. Complaints against faculty members are referred to the Harassment Policy Officer (a tenured faculty member) and one additional faculty investigator appointed by the Provost (selected according to Section 6.1.2.1.1. below).

 

6.1.2.1.1. The Provost will appoint three faculty investigators for staggered three-year terms. The faculty investigators will be tenured faculty members who have been or will be trained in harassment issues and investigation. When a formal complaint against a faculty member arises, the Provost will appoint one of the faculty investigators to work with the Harassment Policy Officer on that specific case. A faculty investigator will not accept the assignment if he or she is a member of the same department as the complainant or the accused, or if there is another conflict of interest.

 

6.1.2.1.2. The Harassment Policy Officer will not investigate a complaint if he or she is a member of the same department as the complainant or the accused, or if there is another conflict of interest. In this situation, the Provost will assign another of the faculty investigators to the case.

 

6.1.2.2. The Harassment Policy Officer and faculty investigator will promptly conduct a full investigation of the complaint, including interviews with the complainant, accused, and witnesses or reference people requested by the complainant or the accused. The  Harassment Policy Officer and faculty investigator reserve the right to determine whom to interview and will interview the complainant, the accused, and witnesses in separate, private sessions. The complainant and accused may each be accompanied in these meetings by an advisor, who must be a current full-time employee or student of the University.

 

6.1.2.3. The Harassment Policy Officer and faculty investigator will submit a detailed written report to the Provost, including findings of fact and a judgment concerning the evidence and a recommended resolution of the complaint. The Provost will promptly determine the final actions to be taken and communicate these directly to the accused and the complainant, together with a copy of the detailed written report. The faculty member’s chair, dean, and the President will also be informed of the outcome. In no case shall any permanent disciplinary action be taken until all appeals, if any, have been exhausted. However, the Provost may, at his or her discretion, impose at any point in the proceedings temporary work restrictions or other measures designed to separate the accused  and the complainant. See Section 8 for the right of appeal.

 

6.1.3. Formal Complaints Against Staff, including all individuals whose primary relationship with the University is as a staff member. Staff members who are enrolled as part-time students or who work on research grants at the University are considered staff. (See Section 6.1.1 for complaints against graduate assistants, research assistants, teaching assistants, and teaching fellows, whose primary relationship with the University is that of student).

 

6.1.3.1. Complaints against staff are referred to the Harassment Policy Officer and the Manager of Employee Relations and Training. The Harassment Policy Officer will not investigate a complaint if he or she is a member of the same department as the complainant or the accused, or if there is another conflict of interest. The Manager of Employee Relations and Training will not investigate a complaint if he or she is a member of the same department as the complainant or the accused, or if there is another conflict of interest. In either of these situations, the President will assign another staff member trained in harassment issues and investigation to the case.

 

 6.1.3.2. The Harassment Policy Officer and the Manager of Employee Relations and Training will promptly conduct a full investigation of the complaint, including      interviews with the complainant, accused, and witnesses or reference people requested by the complainant or the accused. The Harassment Policy Officer and the Manager of Employee Relations and Training reserve the right to determine whom to interview and will interview the complainant, the accused, and witnesses in separate, private sessions. The complainant and accused may each be accompanied in these meetings by an advisor, who must be a current full-time employee or student of the University.

 

 6.1.3.3. The Harassment Policy Officer and the Manager of Employee Relations and Training will forward a detailed written report to the appropriate Vice President, including findings of fact and a judgment concerning the evidence and a recommended resolution of the complaint. The Vice President will promptly determine the appropriate actions to be taken and communicate these directly to the accused and the complainant, together with a copy of the detailed written report. The employee’s supervisor and/or manager and the President will also be informed of the outcome. In no case shall any permanent disciplinary action be taken until an appeal, if any, is completed. However, the Vice President may, at his or her discretion, impose at any point in the proceedings temporary work restrictions or other measures designed to separate the accused and the

complainant. See Section 8 for the right of appeal.

 

 6.1.4 Formal Complaints Against Administrators or members of the Board of Trustees.

 A harassment complaint against an academic associate dean, dean, or vice provost should be referred to the Provost. In consultation with the Harassment Policy Officer, the Provost will select appropriate individuals to investigate and resolve such a complaint.

 

A harassment complaint against the Provost or other Vice President should be referred to the President. In consultation with the Harassment Policy Officer, the President will select appropriate individuals to investigate and resolve such a complaint.

 

A harassment complaint against the President or a member of the Board of Trustees should be referred to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will select appropriate individuals to investigate and resolve such a complaint.

 

6.2. Accused Party: Protection from Bad Faith Complaints

If the Harassment Policy Officer, Manager of Employee Relations and Training, or Student Judicial System (in student cases) determines that the complaint is intentionally dishonest, the complaint will be dismissed and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against the complainant.

 

7. DISCIPLINARY ACTION

 

7.1. Harassment is a serious offense that will not be tolerated in an educational, working, co-curricular, social, or living environment. Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to:

 

ˇ          Corrective action or restitution

ˇ          Written reprimand

ˇ          Requirement to attend training

ˇ        Work restrictions

ˇ          Suspension

ˇ          Demotion with reduction in pay

ˇ          Student expulsion

ˇ          Termination of employment of University employees2

 

8. RIGHT OF APPEAL

 

8.1. Either the complainant or the accused can appeal a decision. The appeal will be filed as follows, depending upon whom the complaint is against.

 

8.2. When a student is the accused, the appeal will follow the University Student Judicial System process.

 

8.3. When a faculty or staff member is the accused, the appeal will be filed as follows:

Complaint against:                             Appeal Is Made To:

Faculty                                               Faculty Personnel Committee

Staff                                                   President

Adjunct Faculty                                 President

 

8.3.1. Written appeals in cases against faculty or staff members must be made within 21 calendar days of receiving certified written notice of disciplinary action.  The appeal process will be completed promptly.

 

8.3.2. Grounds for appeal include: (1) information is available that was not available at the time of the investigation; (2) the University disciplinary procedures were violated in a way that may have adversely affected the outcome of the case; or (3) the sanction is inappropriate (i.e., unduly lenient or harsh) and not justifiable.

 

Contact Guide for Harassment and Discrimination

 

2A move for dismissal of a tenured member of the faculty requires a special procedure involving the Board of Trustees, as per the Rules and Procedures of the Faculty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEHIGH UNIVERSITY POLICY FOR CASES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

 

POLICY STATEMENT

Lehigh University considers sexual assault, harassment, stalking , and relationship violence to be acts that cannot be tolerated within the academic and residential environment of a caring community. Lehigh University will not tolerate violence toward or abuse of any member of the community by another. Such violence and/or abuse will include relationship violence, sexual harassment, stalking , rape and other forms of sexual assault perpetrated against any student, faculty member, staff member or any other person in the Lehigh University community. All members of the University community and visitors to campus are encouraged to report incidents of violence, abuse and/or sexual offenses to the persons listed below. We will further encourage victims to seek criminal prosecution under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Any student charged with such an offense will be subject to the judicial action outlined herein. Persons charged with such offenses may also be prosecuted under Pennsylvania criminal statutes (http://www.pcar.org/policy/statutes.html). Any faculty or staff member charged with such an offense will be subject to the Grievance Procedure in the Faculty Handbook. Lehigh University is firmly committed to providing immediate care and support of all victims of sexual assault, harassment, stalking, and relationship violence.

 

SEXUAL VIOLENCE PREVENTION EDUCATION

The Lehigh University Women's Center provides sexual violence prevention and risk-reduction programs to all members of the campus community. The Women's Center's professional staff includes a full-time Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator (SVPC), who is responsible for coordinating efforts to educate students, staff, and faculty about sexual violence and the resources that are available to survivors both at Lehigh and in the community. Educational programs include:

1.             Mandatory programming for new students: During the first week of classes, all new students are required to attend a sexual assault awareness program presented by the members of the sexual violence peer educator group, Break the Silence, which is based in the Women’s Center. Programs are presented to male and female audiences separately to better address male and female-specific questions and concerns.

2.             Break the Silence peer educators: Break the Silence, a project of the Women's Center, is a peer education group made up of male and female students dedicated to educating other students about sexual violence. Break the Silence is available to present workshops to classes, residence halls and student groups at Lehigh University . Break the Silence volunteers also monitor the 24-7 sexual violence peer hotline: 610-974-HOPE (4673).  http://www.lehigh.edu/womenscenter/btsprogramrequests.html

3.             Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Awareness Months: Every semester Women's Center student workers and volunteers organize public events and exhibits, such as the Take Back the Night march and the Clothesline Project, in order to educate the campus about rape, abusive relationships, and other forms of sexual violence.

 

Through educational programming, events, and guest speakers, the Women's Center encourages students, faculty, and staff to examine their attitudes and challenges them to refuse to condone sexual violence of any kind. The Assistant Director is a valuable resource for students who have experienced sexual violence or who are interested in learning more about how sexual violence affects their campus and the society they live in.  

 

For more information contact Michelle Issadore, Assistant Director of the Women’s Center, at mii206@lehigh.edu, or 610-758-5808. Her office is located in the University Center , room C201A.

 

IF YOU ARE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED http://www.lehigh.edu/womenscenter/gethelp.html

1.             Seek medical attention immediately: Evidence can only be collected at a hospital emergency room within 72 hours of the assault. Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg ( 2545 Schoenersville Rd. , 610-402-CARE) has a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) program which utilizes specially trained nurses to collect evidence and administer care. St. Luke's Hospital ( 810 Ostrum St. , 610-954-4000) is also an option for evidence collection, with their Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. In addition to collecting evidence, health concerns such as sexually transmitted disease (STD), pregnancy, and treatment of injuries will be addressed. It is important to have the evidence collected because, although you may not want to pursue criminal action immediately, you may change your mind in the future. The Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center (610-758-3870) also provides pregnancy and STD prevention and evaluation services. Emergency contraception is available at all Lehigh Valley Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, and the LU Health and Wellness Center up to 72 hours after the assault.

 

2.             Report the assault : Lehigh University encourages survivors to report all cases of sexual assault to the Lehigh University Police Department (610-758-4200). Reporting an incident is different from prosecuting. You are not obligated after reporting an incident to cooperate in a criminal investigation. Even if you do not want to press charges, we strongly encourage you to report the assault to the University Police.

3.             Get emotional support : Tell someone you trust. There are also resources available both on and off campus to provide you with guidance and support after a sexual assault. The following resources are available to all Lehigh University students:

  Dean of Students Advocates : Contact person: Susan Lantz, UC Room 210, 610-758-4159 – DOS advocates are trained staff members who specialize in assisting students after a sexual assault experience. DOS advocates are available to explain options such as reporting to the police, the campus judicial system, medical assistance, academic concerns, and emotional support. Contact person: Susan Lantz, UC Room 210, 610-758-4159

  Break the Silence Sexual Violence Hotline: 610-974-HOPE (4673) – Student volunteers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the fall and spring semesters. This service, coordinated by the Women's Center, is meant to help students with sexual violence issues including sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and harassment. Calls are anonymous and all information shared during the call will be kept confidential. Students may call the hotline to receive more information about their options, ask specific questions, or to just talk about their experience. Student hotline volunteers complete 30 hours of extensive training and are advised by the Women's Center's Assistant Director.

  Lehigh University Counseling Center : 610-758-3880 – Students can receive free confidential support from the counseling center. Individual and group therapy is available.

  Crime Victim's Council: 24 hour hotline: 610-437-6611 – In addition to the 24 hour crisis hotline, Crime Victim's Council offers free legal advocacy, individual and group therapy, and other resources for victims of crime in Northampton and Lehigh counties.

4.             The Women’s Center provides for anonymous reporting through an online form which can be found at: http://www.lehigh.edu/womenscenter/sv_reporting.html

 

UNIVERSITY RULES AND REGULATIONS

Definitions

1.       Sexual Misconduct  is defined (in part) in Article III, Section II, Part C of the Code of Conduct as Sexual contact that occurs without the explicit consent of each student involved may be considered sexual misconduct. Consent must be clearly communicated, mutual, non-coercive, and given free of force or the threat of force. A student who is physically or mentally incapacitated by drugs, alcohol, or other circumstances is not capable of giving consent. A student must be fully conscious and awake in order to give consent. (Further information is located in the Code of Conduct)

2.             Sexual Harassment: is defined in the Lehigh University Policy on Harassment (http://www.lehigh.edu/~policy/University/harassment.htm)

3.             Stalking: is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person involving visual or physical proximity; unwanted communication; or verbal, written, or implied threats; or a combination thereof that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her/his safety.

Each of these actions is discussed further the Lehigh University “Expectations of Conduct”

 

An individual at Lehigh has the right:

1.             To report the sexual assault or sexual harassment to the Dean of Students Office and/or the Lehigh University Police.

                2.             To reasonable confidentiality.

                3.             To a trained victims' support person to accompany him/her through the University and criminal court proceedings.

                4.             To be free from intimidation or further harassment by the alleged perpetrator or others.

                5.             To a safe environment which may include a change of University residence or a change of residence for the accused until the proceedings have been completed. Adjustments may also be made regarding academic classes, if necessary.

                6.             To protection from any reference to past sexual history in the University proceedings.

                7.             To be present during the University judicial hearings.

                8.             To be notified of the results of the University hearing.

                9.             To consideration of special academic needs (make-up privileges, etc.) which may result.

                10.          To maintain control of the extent to which she/he wants to pursue University proceedings.

                11.          To have access to the University Counseling Center .

 

An individual accused has the right:

                1.             To reasonable confidentiality.

                2.             To be afforded all rights as defined under the University Code of Conduct (see page 53 of the handbook).

                3.             To have access to the University Counseling Center .

 

UNIVERSITY JUDICIAL PROCEDURES

A.            If the victim determines that she/he wants to proceed with formal University judicial action, the judicial officer will proceed with an investigation.

B.            The accused will be contacted and scheduled for an appointment with the judicial officer.

C.            At the time of this meeting the judicial officer will:

                1.             Inform the accused student(s) of his/her rights under the University Code of Conduct.

                2.             Ask the accused to respond and discuss the allegations.

                3.             Will give the accused the opportunity to provide a written statement to contest the allegations.

                4.             Assess if the accused student's continued presence on campus appears dangerous to property, to the student him/herself, or to any other member of the University community, If so, the student will be required to meet with the Dean of Students and may be subjected to interim suspension.

                5.             Ask the accused to schedule a follow-up appointment with the judicial officer, to discuss the status of the case.

                6.             Will instruct the accused in all cases to refrain from any contact with the victim.

D.            Any person identified by the victim or accused, who has facts pertinent to the allegations, will be contacted by the judicial officer and asked to provide information about the incident.

E.            The judicial officer will meet with the victim and discuss the results of the investigation. With the consent of the victim, formal charges will be initiated.

F.             In cases of sexual assault or sexual harassment, the procedures will be as follows:

                1.             A panel of the University Committee on Discipline will be convened to hear the case.

                2.             Any selected panel member who personally knows either the victim or the accused will not be allowed to sit on the panel (and will be replaced by another member of the UCOD).

                3.             All members of the panel will be educated on issues involved in sexual assault and sexual harassment utilizing both University and community resources.

                4.             Both the accused and the victim will be allowed to be present throughout the hearing.

                5.             The accused and the victim will each be allowed to choose one member of the University Community (faculty, staff, or students) who has not had formal legal training to accompany them throughout the hearing.

                6.             Both the accused and the victim will have the opportunity to ask questions of each other and any other witnesses testifying at the hearing.

                7.             The consumption of alcohol or other drugs may not be used as an excuse for rape, sexual assault or harassment by the accused.

                8.             The victim's sexual history will not be received as evidence at the hearing.

                                (See Disciplinary Sanctions for Individuals – Guidelines for Sanctions)

 

Housing Withdrawal Procedures. 

Students who withdraw, are suspended, expelled or are otherwise dismissed from the University are required to remove their belongings from their residence and return keys within 48 hours from the time the withdrawal, suspension, expulsion or dismissal goes into effect.

 

Human Subjects in Research

Safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects in various instructional, independent study, or extracurricular activities is primarily the responsibility of the individual or organization that undertakes the activity.  The University has policies and procedures in place regarding human subjects in research. All students conducting such research are required to contact the Office of Research and Special Projects prior to conducting the research. The policies and required information can be found online at: http://www.lehigh.edu/~inors/inors.html

 

Intellectual Property Policy

The University’s faculty, staff, and student personnel are regularly involved in a wide range of scholarly activities that stem from the core teaching, learning, research, and service missions of the University. While the primary focus of such efforts is the advancement of the central purposes of the University, the products of scholarship often have implications for wider and differing applications. These products or intellectual properties thus may be of benefit to the individuals involved, to the University, and to the larger society in which we live.  The University has established a Policy on Intellectual Property (http://www.lehigh.edu/~policy/University/ip.htm), which seeks to support faculty, staff, and students in identifying, protecting, and administering Intellectual Property matters and defining the rights and responsibilities of all involved.

 

Nondiscrimination

The University does not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status in any area , including: student admissions; scholarship or loan awards; athletic, co-curricular, recreational, or social programs; academic programs, policies, or activities; and employment and employment development.

Any University student or applicant for student status has the right to make a complaint of discrimination. In cases involving harassment, the complaint should be filed in accordance with the University’s Policy on Harassment, which specifies procedures for both informal and formal resolution. Other complaints of discrimination should be made to any of the following people:

• A staff member in the Dean of Students Office or Human Resources;
An academic department chair;
• An administrator (for the purposes of this policy, administrators include academic associate deans and deans of the four colleges, vice provosts, assistant and associate vice presidents, vice presidents, and the president);
• The Ombudsperson;
• The Provost;
• The Vice President for Finance and Administration

For additional information, please refer to the University’s Policy on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Non-Discrimination at (http://www.lehigh.edu/~policy/University/eo.htm) and the University’s Policy on Harassment at (http://www.lehigh.edu/~policy/University/harassment.htm).

 

The University’s policy on nondiscrimination can be found at: http://www.lehigh.edu/~policy/University/eo.htm

 

 

Policy on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry and Expression, and Dissent by Students

Free inquiry and free speech and expression, including the right to open dissent, are indispensable in achieving the goals of an academic community.  Lehigh University students and student organizations are free to discuss all topics and questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately.  Students and student organizations have the freedom to hold a demonstration (including a rally, gathering, protest, parade or procession) on campus as an expression of support or dissent.  The right to protest is integral to the freedom of dissent and to a community grounded on freedom of thought, inquiry and expression.  Protest actions may not, however, materially infringe upon the protected rights of others.

1.    Students who are exercising their right to free speech and expression must abide by University policies, as stated in the University Code of Conduct, and rules, policies, and procedures in the Student Handbook.

2.    Students’ rights of free speech and expression do not include unlawful activity or activity that:
    a.    endangers or imminently threatens to endanger the safety of any member of the University community or the safety of other persons, or the damage or destruction
            of University property; or
    b.    materially disrupts or obstructs the functions of the University or imminently threatens such disruption or obstruction.  (This includes not only the University’s                 functions related to its educational and research missions, but also University events and administrative, service, and ancillary functions related to the            
            University’s missions, including but not limited to on-campus recruitment and the operation of dining, residential, recreational and health facilities).

    c.    denies the rights of other members of the University community.

3.    The use of a University forum by students or student organizations shall not imply acceptance or endorsement by the University of the views expressed.

4.    Lehigh University is a private institution and the University’s property is private property.  Persons or groups who are not part of the University community have no right or privilege to demonstrate, protest, post, or solicit on University property unless invited or sponsored by the University or by a University-recognized student organization or group, or by a Lehigh faculty or staff member for a legitimate educational purpose.  If invitation or sponsorship is extended, it is subject to the compliance of such person or group with all University rules, policies, and procedures, and applicable legal requirements.  Failure of a person or group on University property to adhere to an official request to leave University property may result in arrest or removal for trespassing.

Illustrative examples include:
A form of peaceful protest, for example, picketing outside a University building, would normally be considered an orderly demonstration as long as free passage was maintained through areas where members of the University community have a right to be. A demonstration within a University building would be considered orderly as long as there is free passage and there is not excessive noise.  In the case of a planned event including speakers, a meeting, or a forum, a demonstration which interferes with the right of the audience to hear and be heard would be considered neither orderly nor peaceful.
This policy has been approved by the Faculty and as a policy that is integral to the education of students, any amendment, addendum, or repeal shall require advance consultation with, and approval of the Faculty.

Policy on Political Activity

The University, as an educational institution, is concerned with the pursuit of truth, the development of the intellect and the acquisition of knowledge.  Its aims are not political.  Political activity on college campuses is wholesome and worthwhile educationally if truth is sought, the intellect is developed, and knowledge is acquired.  Hence, the University's greatest contribution to political activity lies in its ability to stimulate rational debate on the confusing and perplexing issues that face our nation today.

Based upon these principles, the following guidelines delineate political activity for the Lehigh community, pointing out which activities are germane to the University and which are not.

 
Political Activity and the Use of the University's Name.  While all members of the University community have a right, in fact, an obligation as responsible citizens, to engage in political activity, such efforts should not be done in the name of Lehigh.  Applicable federal law makes it abundantly clear that the University may not "participate in, or intervene in"... political campaigns; further, "no substantial part" of the activities of the University may be directed toward influencing legislation. (See Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.) Hence, both individuals and groups affiliated with Lehigh engaged in political activity are duty-bound to make it clear that they do not speak in behalf of Lehigh.

 

Lehigh Political Clubs, Organizations, Committees, etc. The University permits students and faculty to organize voluntary political clubs.  These clubs are self-supporting and are permitted to exist insofar as they engage in lawful activities.  Indeed, as these organizations provide the opportunity for rational debate of issues on the campus, they are encouraged to flourish.  Funds for political clubs are not granted by the University and must, therefore, be generated by their respective members.  Lehigh political organizations are not permitted to use the name of the University when soliciting funds.  Further, they are obligated to point out to donors that contributions are going to a political club and, therefore, are not tax exempt.  As with all organizations, Lehigh political clubs must pay for mimeographing, meeting notices, etc.

 

Use of University Facilities for Political Meetings.  Lehigh political clubs may use University facilities and should apply for lecture rooms and meeting rooms in the normal way; through the UC main desk (Ext. 84160) for the University Center and Registrar's Office, (Ext. 83200) for lecture rooms in the academic buildings.  No rooms in the University will be set aside for political clubs or organizations for their exclusive use on a long-term basis.  Groups not affiliated with the University should apply to the Director of Community Relations, (Ext. 83885) for rooms and will be charged for the use of facilities.  Non-Lehigh groups will be accommodated only when there is no request for these facilities by Lehigh organizations. in all cases (both Lehigh and non- Lehigh groups) the policy of assigning space will be evenhanded.

 

Political Speakers

The University encourages students and faculty alike to have the opportunity of hearing speakers of national renown of various ideologies.  This evenhanded policy of exposing all major political points of view will be continued. (See Guest Speakers.)

 

 

 

Religious Holidays

Lehigh University seeks to extend hospitality to all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic or social background.  Diversity is valued at Lehigh, and the University is committed to assuring that all persons who enter this community are welcomed and respected.

        People from a wide variety of religious traditions live and work at Lehigh, and over the years the University has developed policies that respect this diversity.  Because Lehigh is non-sectarian and is not affiliated with any particular religious tradition, respect for religious life means that the University does not privilege one religious tradition over another.  The University acknowledges that religious practices differ from tradition to tradition and that the demands of religious observance in some traditions may cause conflicts with student and work schedules.  Like many other colleges and universities, Lehigh has adopted a policy to accommodate those who encounter conflicts between the demands of religious observance and the demands of work or study.  This "accommodation policy" acknowledges the right of those who live and work and study at Lehigh to engage in religious observances, and the University is pledged to honor the exercise of that right.

        This accommodation policy is particularly important with respect to religious holidays.  The University publishes major religious holidays in its official calendar to alert faculty so that as they prepare their syllabi, they will not plan exams or other major course events on these dates.  But not all holidays are published, and occasionally students who inform a faculty member that they will be absent from class due to religious observances  will encounter a difficulty, perhaps with a new faculty member or a graduate teaching assistant who has not been fully informed about the religious accommodation policy.  These problems are all resolvable.  The University policy is to support the student who requests an absence due to the demands of religious observance.  Of course, nothing in this policy exempts a student from meeting course requirements or completing assignments, so the student will have to negotiate with the instructor any make-up work.

        If you encounter a schedule conflict with your course work due to the demands of religious observance, here is what you should do:

                1.  Talk  with your instructor and indicate that you will be absent from class due to observance of religious holidays.

                2.  Arrange with the instructor to complete assignments.

                3.  If you run into difficulties, including a refusal to grant you an excused absence, please call the University Chaplain, Dr. Lloyd Steffen, at x83877 or e-mail him at lhs1.  The Chaplain will speak with the faculty person, explain the accommodation policy adopted by the University and enforced by the Provost, and work to resolve any difficulties. Religious holidays are posted on the Chaplain's web page at http://www.lehigh.edu/~incha/holidays.html

 

Other Policies Regarding Religious Life at Lehigh.

     The University Chaplain's Office is responsible for all issues regarding Religious Life at Lehigh.  This designation of responsibility has been made by Lehigh University , a private institution of higher learning with no sectarian bias.  The University Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Steffen, reports to the Provost of the University in his role as University Chaplain.   Questions about religious group activities, aid with programs, and other information or assistance should be directed to the University Chaplain's Office at x83877.  To assist students and visitors to campus, the following policy guidelines are observed:

            1. Questions regarding Religious Life, including those arising from religious groups, should be directed to the Chaplain's Office.

            2.  Groups that invite visiting clergy to campus should inform the University Chaplain's Office so that these visitors may receive a formal invitation from the University and thus be present on campus in conjunction with a religious activity.  As a private institution, Lehigh University could request that individuals not officially invited to campus be asked to leave.

            3.  Religious materials may be distributed on campus, but the mode of distribution must be worked out in consultation with the Chaplain's Office.  The University observes a non-intrusion policy with respect to living quarters, and residence halls are not to be entered for purposes of distributing religious materials.  The Chaplain's Office can assist in the effort to distribute materials in a non-intrusive way.

 

 

STUDENT RECORDS

Policy on Student Records

 

The following policies conform to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.  A full statement of the act and the regulations for it may be inspected in the Linderman Library reference department and in the Dean of Students Office.

 

        A student has the right to "inspect, challenge, correct, and protect" the University's educational files as they pertain to him or her.  The files are:

Permanent record file (Registrar's Office).  This file includes the official transcript, admission application and supporting credentials, and records of actions affecting academic status (e.g., petitions and corrections of academic records).  After graduation, they are retained.

 

Student personnel file (Dean of Students Office). This file includes the transcript, copies of correspondence, notations of disciplinary actions, the activities card supplied each semester by the student, and a record of contacts between the student and the office.  These records are destroyed five years after graduation.

 

Disciplinary file (Dean of Students Office).  This file contains all records pertaining to a student's involvement in disciplinary matters:

 

Copies of these records are made available to students in the course of disciplinary proceedings as part of Lehigh's due process.  These records are maintained permanently where the primary sanction is probation, deferred suspension, suspension or expulsion (dismissal); otherwise records are destroyed five years after a students graduation.

 

Placement file (Career Planning and Placement Services).  The only materials in a student's placement file are those authorized in writing by the student for the information of recruiters.

 

Financial aid file (Financial Aid Office).  This file contains the parents' confidential statement or financial aid form, or both, and copies of tax returns that are regarded as confidential (see Release of Information - Confidential Records) unless there is written parental release.  The file also contains correspondence relating the financial assistance.  Files are destroyed five years after graduation.

 

College files (Arts and Science, Business and Economics, Engineering and Applied Sciences).  These files contain copies of transcripts and correspondence relating to the student's academic standing.

 

Health Professions Advisory Committee file.  This file contains student's transcript, medical aptitude scores, faculty evaluations (on forms approved by the American Medical College Association), and correspondence relating to professional school admission.  AMCA forms provide for the waiver of the student's right to inspect confidential evaluations.  These files are destroyed five years after graduation.

 

Directory information. In addition to the above-listed files, there is also directory information and information for use in University sports publications, which includes a student's name, home and University address, mailbox number, home and University phone numbers, date and place of birth, name of parent or guardian, name of spouse, major field of college student, class, participation in sports and in officially recognized activities listed by the student, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recently attended educational institution.

 

Lehigh regards this information as being public in nature and may release it without the prior written consent of the student.  The student may, however, request the University to withhold any or all of the above data and to release such information only upon written authorization.  Such a request should be made at the time when information forms are filled out; a "withhold data" statement is provided on the forms for that purpose.

Release of Information.  Under University policy and public law, there are certain procedural requirements, conditions, and exceptions pertaining to the release of information from a student's file, namely:

Student inspection. A written request from a student to inspect his or her file must be responded to within a reasonable period but in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made.

Release of Information. The University may not release information from a file without the student's written consent, except to: a. University faculty and staff who have legitimate educational reasons for obtaining it; b. officials of other educational institutions where the student seeks to enroll, if the student is notified of the release, receives a copy of the record if desired, and has an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the record; c. local, state and federal agencies as specified by law; d. persons who require such information in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid; e. officials of accrediting agencies or organizations conducting educational research, if access to personal data is limited and such data is destroyed upon completion of studies; f. persons authorized through judicial order or pursuant to a subpoena; g. parents of students dependent upon them; h. and appropriate persons in the event of emergency where such information is necessary to the protection health and safety.

Release of Information to Parents of Students.  The University complies with the guidelines for parental access to a student's educational records established by the U. S. Department of Education Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Compliance Office.  Beginning in the summer of 1997, the University will request annually a statement from the student declaring whether they are dependents of their parents as defined by Internal Revenue Code for tax purposes.  Parents of students responding that they are dependents will be granted access according to University guidelines and federal regulations.  Parents of students not responding or responding in the negative will not be granted access except according to the following conditions.  Records may be released to parents ONLY under the following circumstances: 1) through the written consent of the student, 2) in compliance with a legally issued subpoena, and 3) by submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form.  The written request must include the student's name, parent or student's signature and social security number and designate what information and to whom the information is to be released.

In case of divorce, separation or custody, it is the policy of the University when access is granted to one parent, equal access will be granted to the other upon written request unless there is a court order or legally binding document stating otherwise.

Confidential records. Certain records are legally recognized as confidential.  These are:

          a.  confidential letters of recommendation or evaluations written before January, 1975;

          b.  financial statements submitted by parents in support of financial aid requests;

          c.  counseling and health records used only in helping the student and available only to other professionals of the student's choice;

          d.  personal notes of faculty and administrators that are not accessible or revealed to anyone except a substitute.

Waiver conditions. A student may waive his or her right of access to University files in the three areas of admission, job placement, and receipt awards, thereby making the related records confidential, if the student is informed of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations and if these recommendations are used only the specific purpose for which the waiver was given.

Right to Explanation. Students who request access their records have the right to an official explanation and interpretation of the records.

Challenges. If a student challenges the factual basis of a record, these actions are available:

                1.  If the student and the custodian agree as to error, the change is noted and signed by both.

                2.  If there is no agreement, the student may submit a written statement supporting his or her claim, and this statement will become a permanent part of the file.

                3.  In place of, or in. addition to, submission of a written statement for the file, the student may apply in writing to the Dean of Students for hearing and must support the application with a statement of relevant facts.  If the Dean of Students Office is involved in the dispute, the student's request for a hearing should be directed to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.

Copies and costs. Copies of documents in these files may be obtained at the normal rate for photocopy service.  Transcripts may be obtained only from the Registrar's Office.

 

 

Withdrawal For Physical, Psychological or Emotional Disorders

Policy on Separation and Readmission of Students for Reasons of Health

 

Lehigh University reserves the right to require the withdrawal of any student whose physical, psychological or emotional health renders him or her incapable of either meeting minimal standards of academic performance or making the social adjustment necessary for the exercise of competent citizenship.  When a student's physical or psychological health: a) renders him or her incapable of participating successfully in the educational program of the University, or b) poses a danger to the student or to the person or property of another, then the student may be separated or requested to withdraw or some other modification of his or her student status may be made.  The following are detailed examples of some of the students to whom this policy applies:

 

                1.              Students who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.  Danger to self or others includes any danger of suicide, self-mutilation, accident, or assault substantially above normal limits which necessitates unusual measures to monitor, supervise, treat, protect, or restrain the student to ensure his or her safety and the safety of those around the student.  As a standard practice, students that attempt suicide will be asked to take a minimum of two semesters leave from the University.

                2.             Students whose behavior is disruptive to others.  Disruptive includes behavior which causes emotional, psychological or physical distress to fellow students or staff substantially above that normally experienced in daily life.  Such disruption may be in the form of severe distress associated with one or more behavioral incidents, or somewhat less severe but persistent distress over a more extended period.

                3.             Students who refuse to cooperate with recommended assessment or treatment and whose physical or psychological disorder is likely to deteriorate to the point of permanent disability, disfigurement, impairment or dysfunction without such assessment or treatment.  Where standard assessment is impossible because of the student's resistance, indirect behavioral observations will constitute the basis for such judgment.

                4.             Students whose physical or psychological disorder is of sufficient severity to substantially exceed the normal limits of the University's or locally available treatment resources and whose condition will deteriorate (as in 3 above) without additional resources.

Guidelines

The Dean of Students should be notified whenever a student appears to have a serious physical, psychological or emotional disorder which offers reasonable cause to believe he or she may be a danger to self or others, or may disrupt proper activities of the University community and its members, or may be unable to look after his or her affairs adequately.

The Dean of Students will contact the student and seek voluntary resolution of the situation through investigation and consultation.

Depending upon circumstances, an immediate professional assessment of the student's condition by the appropriate medical or mental health specialists, or both, of the University or other appropriate resources may be required, including a report of the resulting findings of the Dean of Students.  Normally, the assessment is conducted by the Health Review Committee at the request of the Dean of Students or his or her designate.

When conditions allow for the full investigation and appraisal of the student's health status, resolution of the situation will be sought with the student's cooperation if at all possible.  Voluntary withdrawals are encouraged to maximize the participation of the student or his or her family.  If a student declines voluntary withdrawal he or she may be separated without consent (which action will be recorded for course credit purposes as a withdrawal) by action of the Dean of Students.

Students who are separated from the University for reasons of health as elaborated above will be on leave of absence until such time as the student becomes able to resume activities as a student.

Students who withdraw or are separated for reasons of health are eligible for tuition, residence hall rental and dining service refund of charges in accordance with existing University policy.  For students receiving financial aid, consultation with the Office of Financial Aid will occur.

 

Housing Withdrawal Procedures.  Students who withdraw, are suspended, expelled or are otherwise dismissed from the University are required to remove their belongings from their residence and return keys within 48 hours from the time the withdrawal, suspension, expulsion or dismissal goes into effect.

All personal property must be completely removed from the room.

All keys that you were issued must be returned to the Lehigh Police, Office of Residential Services, Residence Life staff member or House Manager PRIOR to your departure.  The penalty for not returning a room key is $25 to change the lock on the room.   Refund of housing charges will not be considered until the room is vacated and all keys issued have been returned to the Office of Residential Services.  Calculation of any proportionate refund, if eligible, will be determined by such date (See Financial Responsibility –Housing Deposit/ Room Refunds).                                           

 

Health Review Committee

The Health Review Committee is composed of the Director of the University Counseling Service, the Director of the University Health Service and a designee from the Dean of Students Office, who serves as chairperson.  In the absence of any principal, a designate may be appointed to serve in the deliberations of the committee.  The resources of the University consulting psychiatrist may be requested by the committee as appropriate to its mission.

 

Health Review Committee Guidelines

Usually a student is referred to the Health Review Committee for reasons of physical and/or psychological health that require evaluation due to the impact on the individual or community.  The health review process may include a personal interview of the student by two or more members of the committee.  Additional assessments including psychological testing, medical examination or referral for psychiatric consultation may be required.

   The committee will receive all medical, psychological or observational reports submitted with regard to or on behalf of the student as may pertain to determining health status.  Treatment and evaluative reports should include information pertaining to diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.

   Recommendations as to case disposition with regard to withdrawal or readmission, or both, for reasons of health are made to the Dean of Students.  The student is advised of the recommendation made and the reasons for it.  The findings submitted to the Dean of Students are held in confidence and are not entered on the student's academic record.

 

Guidelines for Readmission

Authorization to resume active student status may be granted by the Dean of Students after consideration of the individual's progress and current condition.

Ordinarily, when a student wishes to resume his or her studies, the Dean of Students should be notified at least two months in advance of the desired period of readmission.

Eligibility for readmission will be contingent on a letter or letters from a treatment resource, assessment and recommendation by the Health Review Committee and other information as may be needed for final determination by the Dean of Students.

Readmission may include stipulations concerning credit hours rostered, extracurricular activities, place of residence or other conditions as may be judged to be in the best interest of the student and the institution.  Failure of the student to cooperate in these procedures governing withdrawal and reinstatement is grounds for continued or renewal of suspension of student status.

If a student disagrees with a decision regarding mandatory leave or readmission or feels his or her situation does not fall within this policy, the student may appeal to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, who will make a final decision.

 

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