University Policies and Where to Find Them
Academic Honesty Policy
As stated in the university catalog, “A student has an obligation to demonstrate honesty in carrying out his/her academic assignments.” Students are responsible for maintaining the academic integrity of the university by following the Academic Honesty Policy. Students are responsible for doing their own work and avoiding all forms of academic dishonesty. For more information please refer to the entire policy found in the current undergraduate catalog at the web address above.
Access to Restrooms and Locker Rooms
The Board of Regents for Higher Education is committed to providing an educational and employment environment where all are welcome. The Board of Regents further recognizes that restroom and locker room facilities at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities are public accommodations. Therefore, the Board of Regents prohibits controlling or otherwise limiting transgender or gender nonconforming persons’ access to restroom or locker room facilities.
Requiring a transgender or gender non-conforming person to use a separate, non-integrated space, potentially identifies that person as well as potentially marginalizes a person. Such treatment fails to recognize that restroom and locker room facilities on the campuses as public accommodations and that denial of access may result in the deprivation of an equal educational or employment environment. In this vein, the BOR is issuing this policy so that individuals may access restrooms and locker rooms, in a manner consistent with their gender identity or expression.
Institutions may maintain separate restroom facilities for males and females provided that they allow individuals to access the facilities based upon their gender identity and not exclusively based upon their assigned birth sex. However, if requested, any person may be provided with access to either a “unisex” restroom or a restroom with single stalls.
Locker Room Use
Institutions may maintain separate locker room facilities for males and females provided that they allow individuals to access them based on their gender identity and not exclusively based on their assigned birth sex. In locker rooms where undressing occurs in the presence of others, a private option should be provided to any person if requested.
Alcohol Beverage Policy
Human Resources and Guide to Housing and Residence Life
Western Connecticut State University is concerned about the health and welfare of its academic community. We recognize our responsibility in establishing policies and setting guidelines that foster a safe and healthy environment where our students and employees can learn and work to their fullest potential. The university also recognizes that the misuse of alcohol represents a serious threat to the physical, intellectual, spiritual and emotional wellbeing of our students, employees and society as a whole. The health and risks associated with abuse include: alcohol poisoning, severe intoxication, injury, assault, sexual assault, unsafe sex practices, academic problems, lowered self-esteem, drunken driving, blackouts, vandalism, property damage, problems with authority and lowered grades and attendance.
Our common goal is to foster a university community where the intellectual development of our students and job satisfaction of our employees are free from the harmful effects of alcohol misuse. For more information please refer to the entire policy found on the web address above.
The information below is a summary of the Residence Halls section of the WCSU Alcohol Policy found at wcsu.edu/housing/policies.asp. Every student is encouraged to read the WCSU comprehensive, campus-wide alcohol policy.
- Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under the legal drinking age is prohibited. Sale, purchase or possession of alcohol without liquid (alcohol vaporization) machines is prohibited. (Section 30-116)
- The manufacturing of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
- Students of legal drinking age may not have alcohol in their room/apartment at any time if any of the students residing in the room/apartment are under the legal drinking age. No alcohol will be visible or consumed while anyone under the legal drinking age is in the room or apartment.
- It is never permitted to possess an open container of alcohol or consume alcohol in public areas in or around the residence halls. This includes, but is not limited to, hallways, practice or study rooms, computer rooms, lounges, bathrooms, and lawns or parking areas adjacent to the residence halls (including parking garages).
- Common source alcohol containers (such as, but not limited to, kegs, beer balls, punch bowls and wine boxes) are prohibited.
- Alcohol containers, full or empty, may not be used for decorative purposes. Paraphernalia associated with drinking or alcohol related games (such as, but not limited to, funnels, beer bongs, shot glasses and taps) are not permitted in the residence halls. Possession of such implements or containers is a violation of university policy.
- The storing, displaying or collecting of empty alcohol containers in a room or apartment is prohibited. Failure to remove empty containers or storing empty containers can lead to health and safety violations.
- Any student, athletic, faculty or administrative event at which alcohol will be served must comply with the procedures and complete the paperwork as outlined in the University Alcohol Policy.
For a full explanation of the policy, please follow the links listed above. If you have any questions, call Housing and Residence Life at 203-837-8531 or the Substance Abuse Prevention Program at 203-837-8899.
Course Repeat Policy (Undergraduate)
Students are permitted to repeat most courses during their tenure at Western Connecticut State University. The total number of credits that students may repeat is limited to 17 credits, and no course may be repeated without approval of the chair of the department offering the course and the dean of the respective school. The lower final grade will be replaced by the higher final grade when calculating the GPA and/or major requirements, although all grades will appear on the student’s transcript. This policy applies to undergraduate students and only to courses repeated at WCSU beginning with the Fall 2008 academic semester. Repeated courses will be indicated with an E on the transcript. Any course designated as X98 (Faculty Developed Study) or X99 (Student Independent Study) are excluded from this policy.
Note: Repeating courses taken in a previous semester may affect certain federal and state benefits, various financial aid programs, loans, scholarships, and social security benefits, in addition to athletic eligibility and veterans benefits. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements must be met for continued financial aid eligibility. See the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment Services section of the catalog for the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
Note: Education majors and post baccalaureate certification students should refer to the Education Department for information regarding the repeating of courses.
CSU Computer Use Policy
University computer systems and networks are provided for student use as a part of the university academic program. Students are encouraged to become proficient in the use of computers as a means of enhancing their educational experience. However, widespread student use also necessitates certain rules of computer conduct. Computer misconduct can result in restrictions on or revocation of computer access privileges. Please familiarize yourself with the CSU Computer Policy in the undergraduate catalog on the web.
Grade Appeal Policy
The university recognizes that in rare instances there may be “palpable injustice(s)” in the determination of a final grade. Students may use the appeal process when they believe there is evidence to show that 1) a final grade was determined by methods and criteria different from those used for determining final grades for others in the same class or 2) the evaluation was made as the result of bias or caprice. For additional information on how to appeal a final grade, please refer to the entire Grade Appeal Policy in the undergraduate catalog at the web address above.
Interpersonal Violence: Guidelines and Procedures for Students Dealing with Issues of Sexual Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, and Stalking
Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) asserts that all students have the right to be free from interpersonal violence such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and dating or domestic violence. WCSU prohibits any student from infringing upon these rights within our campus community. A set of guidelines and procedures has been designed to provide students important information regarding the systems that are in place at WCSU to support any student whose rights have been violated. The university will take prompt action based on violations of the Student Code of Conduct while simultaneously assisting students who also wish to pursue legal action for crimes that may have been committed. These guidelines and procedures have been developed to comply with legislation approved by the CT State Legislature (Public Act No. 14-11), effective July 1, 2014.
An array of counseling, medical, police, disciplinary, and administrative services is immediately available to WCSU students reporting instances of interpersonal violence on campus. WCSU is committed to supporting informed choice among these services and protecting anonymity within the confines of legal requirements to report instances of violence on campus. If confidentiality is a concern, you are encouraged to inquire about your rights. For the entire policy, please go to wcsu.edu/stuaffairs/policies.asp.
Nondiscrimination Policy/Affirmative Action, Multiculturalism Undergraduate Catalog
Western Connecticut State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer, fully committed to the goal of providing equal opportunity and full participation in its educational programs, activities and employment without discrimination because of race, color, religious beliefs or association, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identification or expression, genetic information, intellectual disability, physical disability, learning disability, past or present history of mental disorder, or prior conviction of a crime, in accordance with state and federal laws. For more information, please refer to the entire policy in the undergraduate catalog at the web address above.
Policy on Parental Notification
Guide to Housing and Residence Life
The 1998 Higher Education Amendment to FERPA (Family Education Right to Privacy Act) permits colleges and universities to notify parents of dependent students under the age of 21 when those students are found responsible for alcohol and other drug-related offenses. Western Connecticut State University endorses this policy while encouraging students to take responsibility for their actions. This policy is enforced for all second-time alcohol/drug policy violations as well as all first-time violations resulting in a medical transport to the hospital.
Policy on Use of a Preferred First Name and Execution of Changes to Legal Name by Students
Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) shall use a preferred or used name on all documents and records other than official documents, such as diplomas and transcripts. Documents and records that may display a preferred or used name include, among others, course rosters, identification cards, email addresses, and honors, awards and prizes issued by the institution.
The Board of Regents for Higher Education directs the system office working with representatives of the CSCU institutions to establish appropriate forms, procedures and timelines to facilitate students’ requests for usage of a preferred first name or used name. The institutions are to incorporate advisement regarding the ramifications of preferred first name or used name usage into their process.
CSCU institutions must use students’ legal names in all official documents, despite requests for the usage of preferred or used names. Legal names are to appear on all external use reports and documents including, but not limited to employment paper work, paychecks, tax forms, student billings, financial aid forms, scholarships, transcripts, diplomas, and other documents required by law.
Public Forums, Demonstrations, Marches and Protests
Western Connecticut State University is committed to maintaining an environment where the free expression of ideas and open, vigorous debate and speech can occur. Every member of the campus community has an obligation to promote and respect free expression in the university. No member shall prevent such expression. As a member of this academic community, your rights as a citizen are neither increased nor lessened by your status as a member of the university community. However, you do have added responsibilities. These added responsibilities include the exercise of civility and honesty and a respect for the dignity, diversity, equality and freedom of others. For more information, please refer to the entire policy.
Sexual Harassment Policy
It is the policy of Western Connecticut State University, in keeping with efforts to establish an environment in which the dignity and worth of all members of the institutional community are respected, that sexual harassment of students and employees at Western Connecticut State University is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex when that behavior falls within the definition outlined. For additional information, please refer to the entire policy in the undergraduate catalog at the web address above.
Guide to Housing and Residence Life
Western Connecticut State University is a public university authorized under State of Connecticut statutes. In accordance with current statutes applicable to buildings owned and/or operated by the State of Connecticut and residence halls in public institutions of higher education, smoking* is prohibited inside all buildings. In addition, the University has established the policy that smoking is prohibited within a fifteen (15) foot distance of all building entrances, exits and open windows in order to reduce the infiltration of second-hand smoke into occupied spaces. *For the purposes of this policy, smoking shall include the recreational use of all tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, snus, snuff, chew, clove cigarettes and the use of e-cigarettes.
Approved on January 15, 2015 by the University Senate – Resolution R-15-01-01
Approved on February 17, 2015 by Dr. James Schmotter, University President
Student Confidentiality (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Education records belong to students unless students agree in writing to allow third parties to see this information. Similarly, the release of health and mental health records also require a student’s written permission. In certain cases, such as a legal subpoena, the university may be required to share the information but in these cases students would be notified that the records were being released. Western can disclose, without consent, “Directory” information, such as name, address, telephone number, dates of attendance, full- or part-time status, awards and honors, major field of study, school or college, degrees, graduation date, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and photos and videos of athletes. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Office of the Dean of Students, in writing, prior to the start of the academic year. Such a request would be honored until such time students requested in writing that their directory information again be made public.
For a full description of student rights under FERPA and other confidentiality issues please refer to the web address above.