Students have the right to receive respect from all instructors and staff. University policy also discusses in detail faculty members' responsibilities to students.

If there are aspects of the classroom or course activities (including online or out-of-class activities) that trouble any student, the instructor should be told immediately about the situation. The student may also meet or arrange a telephone conference with the course supervisor or with the chair of the department offering the course. The staff in Distance and Online Education are also happy to talk with students who are taking online courses about classroom or online activities and behaviors.


Students have the right to an environment that encourages learning. As a part of a community of learners, students and instructors should work towards classroom environments in which everyone feels able to explore new ideas and acquire skills. The ability to learn is lessened when instructors or students engage in inappropriate behaviors.

The College's Educational Policy Committee notes that the following behaviors are particularly injurious to the learning environment:

  • Students who sleep in class or read non-class materials in class disrupt the course. There is a great difference between "active listening" and ignoring the activities of a class session.
  • Students who engage in non-class activities, for instance using a cell-phone, working on another class's assignments, and so on, disrupt the learning environment of others, as well as reduce the possibility of learning for themselves.
  • Students or instructors who use abusive or disrespectful language also damage the classroom and online environment. Respect for others is the best way to nurture the community of learning.
  • Students enrolled in online courses are expected to exhibit the same degree of respect and courtesy to instructors or other students as those in enrolled face-to-face classroom activities.

Instructors may include a discussion of classroom or online behavior in the syllabus or talk about it during a class period.

Inappropriate behavior by students is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Instructors may take immediate disciplinary action against a student who is physically or verbally disruptive in a class or online forum, and may refer the matter to the Dean of Students. An instructor who takes immediate action should report, in writing, to the Dean of Students on what disciplinary action was taken.