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Academic Classroom Conductnext

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Medaille students[1] are members of a unique and privileged community of learners.  They are expected to cooperate with their faculty[2], fellow students, all campus educators [3]and college officials [4]to promote intellectual curiosity and foster respect for diverse people, ideas, points of views, and fields of study in the advancement of learning.

Maintaining a classroom environment that fosters mutual respect, freedom of expression without embarrassment or ridicule, and active, collaborative engagement in learning is essential to achieving these intended outcomes of higher education.  Medaille College expects all students and faculty to contribute to the creation of classroom environments where learning can flourish, and to conduct themselves in a mature, responsible, and civil manner.

Students who engage in disruptive or threatening classroom behaviors interfere with the rights of fellow students who wish to learn and impede their faculty’s ability to provide instruction. Medaille College will not tolerate rude, disruptive, or threatening conduct and will deal with infractions appropriately, from an initial verbal warning to temporary removal of the offending student(s) from class to formal disciplinary action and possible expulsion.  Any student removed from class will be required to meet with the appropriate College officials at which time they will reiterate the negative effect on the learning environment of the continued, repeated misconduct in question; explore the causes of it; discuss appropriate corrective behavior; and review again the possible consequences of any further classroom disruptions, including faculty-imposed, course-embedded academic sanctions ranging from a reduced assignment grade on a paper, exam, or project to lowering the final course grade.  See the Medaille College Academic Classroom Conduct- Policy and Procedures below for details.

Apart from avoiding uncivil classroom conduct, the College expects all students, beginning in their first semester, to engage in positive behaviors and decision making that ensures a fruitful and effective learning environment for all.

Academic Classroom Conduct-Policy and Procedures

The Medaille College Academic Classroom Conduct-Policy and Procedures identifies two levels of inappropriate student conduct, both of which interfere significantly with creating and sustaining the kind of learning environment described above.  The Policy and Procedures Statement also outlines the institutional processes for educating students about community standards for classroom behavior and for sanctioning any individuals who fail to conduct themselves in accordance with them.

It should be noted that appropriate academic conduct extends beyond the traditional physical classroom setting and applies equally to other College -related and sanctioned learning environments that include but are not limited to laboratories, clinical and internship sites, field trips, off-site facilities, and online learning environments.  Specific information regarding conduct outside of the academic classroom setting is addressed in VOL. VII, Student Life and Residence Policies, of the Medaille College Institutional Manuals, available through the College’s website.

Special Note:  Specific degree and licensed programs (i.e. Education, Veterinary Technology) may have additional requirements and professional behaviors that also need to be adhered to, which also includes their own accountabilities (legal and ethical) and resolution procedures.

Violations of Academic Decorum and Resolution Procedures

Level I Misconduct: Disrespectful and/or Disruptive to Learning, is defined by inappropriate classroom behaviors that are disrespectful and/or disruptive to learning.  Examples may include, but are not limited to:

  • arriving late to class
  • leaving early, without informing the instructor
  • inappropriate, unauthorized use of electronic devices (e.g., texting, surfing Internet, listening to iPod)
  • sleeping in class
  • engaging in non-class related activities
  • persistent speaking without permission
  • disruptive behavior with other students or their faculty
  • inappropriate comments or personal insults
  • loud, prolonged side conversations

If faculty members and instructors make the determination that the behavior is disrespectful and/or disruptive, they are required to address Level I behaviors by using the following Informal Resolution Process.  The goal is to correct student behavior through a supportive, developmental, mentoring approach.

Informal Resolution Process: Faculty members and instructors are required to address initial Level I misconduct behaviors through the following process in the order indicated below:

  • Speak directly with the offending student(s) either in class at the time of an incident or as soon as possible after class. Depending upon the nature of the initial infraction, the faculty or campus educator may direct a student(s) to leave the classroom.
  • Issue a verbal warning and explain why the behavior is inappropriate in the classroom setting (or other educational context) and disruptive to learning. Describe appropriate behavior and the possible consequences if the misconduct persists.
  • Contact other appropriate College officials (i.e. Academic Chairperson, Administrator, Program Director) and/or issue an academic warning in order to ask for assistance in intervening with the offending student (s) in an effort to defuse and/or resolve a situation before it progresses to a formal warning or dismissal of the student from class.
  • After issuing a warning(s), faculty or instructors may direct a student(s) to leave the classroom if disruptive behavior continues during a class period or persists regularly over a span of time.  If the disruption becomes serious or the student(s) refuses to leave, faculty or instructors are to contact Public Safety to escort the student(s) from the classroom and off campus grounds.  In the event the class is conducted at a sanctioned learning environment such as a laboratory, clinical and internship site, field trip or off-site facilities, the host site will contact its security personnel or the police to remove the student(s) from its property according to the organization’s policy for removing a disruptive or threatening individual.

First Classroom Dismissal and Sanctions (Level I Misconduct): After being dismissed from a class for the first time, the faculty member or instructor must inform the student(s) in writing that a meeting must be arranged with the faculty member or instructor in an attempt to resolve the matter before the next class meeting.  Faculty or instructors should ask their Division Head, or another appropriate institutional official to participate in an effort to facilitate a positive resolution.  The student(s) will not be allowed to return to class until this required meeting has taken place.

At this meeting, College officials will reiterate the negative effect on the learning environment of the continued, repeated misconduct in question; explore the causes of it; discuss appropriate corrective behavior; and review again the possible consequences of any further classroom disruptions, including faculty-imposed, course-embedded academic sanctions ranging from a reduced assignment grade on a paper, exam, or project to lowering the final course grade.

Students dismissed from class the first time are also subject to a Letter of Warning from the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee.

Second Classroom Dismissal and Academic Withdrawal (Level I Misconduct): Any student(s) dismissed from class for a second time, after a previous meeting with College officials regarding Level I misconduct determined by a faculty member or instructor to be disrespectful and/or disruptive as well as chronic, is/are subject to administrative withdrawal from the course or courses where the infractions have occurred.

A faculty member or instructor who has dismissed a student from her/his classroom a second time may pursue the administrative withdrawal of the student(s) through the Office of Academic Affairs within three working days.  At the written request of a faculty member or instructor, the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee will review the documentation available regarding chronic misconduct and make a recommendation within three working days of receiving the written request.  The decision of the VPAA is final.

Level II Misconduct:  Threatening and Safety Endangering, is defined by any behavior that threatens or jeopardizes the health and safety of the faculty member or instructor, or other students and staff[5].  Examples may include but are not limited to:

  • physical harassment or intimidation
  • verbal harassment or threats (written or oral)
  • physical altercation
  • property destruction

Faculty and instructors should always treat Level II infractions as serious and follow the Formal Resolution Process described below.

Formal Resolution Process: Faculty members and instructors are required immediately to report any Level II misconduct by contacting Public Safety at 716-880-2911 (Buffalo Campus), 716- 984-1350 (Amherst Campus), or 585-272-0030 (Rochester Campus, and have the offending student(s) removed from the classroom and off campus grounds.  In the event the class is conducted at a sanctioned learning environment such as a laboratory, clinical and internship site, field trip or off -site facilities, the host site will contact its security personnel or the police to remove the student(s) from its property according to the organization’s policy for removing a disruptive or threatening individual.

Because their behavior compromises the safety and security of others and threatens the integrity of the learning environment, students who commit Level II violations will be automatically referred to the Vice President of Student Development.  The Vice Presidence of Student Development will initiate the College’s published Judicial Hearing Process, and will notify the student(s) through all forms of communication (written, oral, and digital) of a hearing to adjudicate charges of violations of the Student Code of Conduct and the possible sanctions resulting from the misconduct.

Once the case is concluded, the IVice President of Student Development will notify, in writing, the student(s), the faculty member or instructor, the appropriate Division Head, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Public Safety.

Students are not allowed to return to the class from which they were removed during the adjudication of their case.

Documentation: Faculty and instructors are required to maintain a written record of classroom incidents for Level I misconduct, determined by the faculty member or instructor to be disrespectful or disruptive, including any communication about the incident(s) with the student(s) in case further action is required.

Documentation also is mandatory for Level II infractions or Level I incidents whenever a student(s) is/are dismissed from a classroom for such Level I misconduct determined by a faculty member or instructor to be disrespectful and/or disruptive.  All documentation should be dated and clearly indicate all parties involved.  Please note, documentation is critical as a primary source of evidence in cases referred for disciplinary action.  The documentation is provided solely to the college faculty, educators, college officials, and public safety staff who have a “legitimate educational interest” in having access to these records.

Faculty and instructors must complete an official College Incident Report form at Public Safety for all Level II infractions.  Copies will be distributed to the faculty member, her/his Division Head, the VPAA, and the Vice President of Student Development.




[1] The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at Medaille, either full -time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate or professional studies.

[2] The term “faculty” means any person hired by the college to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the college to be a member of its faculty.

[3] The term “campus educators” includes faculty as well as individuals who may conduct classroom or teaching activities at the request of the college.

[4] The term “college officials” includes any person employed by the college performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities

[5] The term “staff” includes any person who is employed by the college

Rev. 10/2015