This handbook has been prepared primarily to assist students and student organizations in achieving their individual and organizational goals. Secondly, the information in the handbook is designed to enable students to positively meet their responsibilities as contributing members of the Lebanon Valley College community. The policies and procedures concerned with student life are generally a result of the input and contributions of students, faculty, and staff. Basic to the formulation of these policies and procedures is the belief that each member of the Lebanon Valley College community has a primary responsibility for the governance of his/her own affairs, and that those affairs must be managed in such a way as to safeguard and respect the rights of other community members. Coupled with the responsibility for the choices and decisions one makes is the expectation of accountability for the actions that result from the decisions made.
Each student is strongly encouraged to familiarize him/herself with both the spirit of, and the specific information in, this handbook.
Student conduct that violates Lebanon Valley College’s regulations or community standards may result in the filing of judicial/student conduct charges with the vice president of student affairs and dean of students and/or his/her designee. The expectation of appropriate student conduct also applies to students in their roles as employees of the College. Students engaging in unethical, inappropriate, or illegal behaviors or actions in violation of established work standards set for the area or department in which they are employed may have their employment terminated and/or be referred to the College judicial/student conduct process.
At the philosophical core of the College’s judicial/student conduct process is a strong commitment to the student’s development and understanding of the importance of assuming personal responsibility and accountability for his/her actions as a member of a community of learners. Further, the judicial/student conduct process is predicated on the assumption that discipline is a part of the educational process and that, where appropriate, the sanctions imposed should be educational and instructive and not punitive in nature or intent. The process is designed to hold students accountable for their decisions and actions, to establish procedural rights for the respondent, and to protect the rights of individuals in the community.
Finally, the College believes the process serves to promote positive development of the individual and group integrity while upholding the rules and regulations of the College.
The College reserves the right to make changes in the rules and regulations, as it deems advisable.
All students must report accurate college, home, or local addresses to the Registrar’s Office at the beginning of each academic year or when changes occur.
The use, purchase, and possession of alcoholic beverages by Lebanon Valley College students are at all times subject to Pennsylvania State Law. For more information, see Lebanon Valley College’s Alcohol Policy. All students are responsible for knowing the College’s Alcohol Policy, which is detailed in this student handbook.
Students are expected to read their LVC email in a timely manner to stay current with College communication. Professors will send email to students with important information about classes and the administration will send messages with timely, sometimes critical, announcements.
Criminal Investigations of College Policy Violations
Lebanon Valley College is not a haven from the law. The College will support all investigations of alleged criminal activity. In the case of violent felony, the College reserves the right to take such action as necessary for campus safety and College function. The vice president of student affairs and dean of students or his/her designee will collaborate with community police agencies or other external constituencies as allowed under current law. In addition to any investigations or charges undertaken on the part of law enforcement, the College reserves the right to conduct its own investigation and take appropriate action under its judicial/student conduct system. The vice president of student affairs and dean of students or his/her designee will meet with local police agencies to ensure a positive working relationship.
Drugs and Narcotics
Lebanon Valley College does not permit or condone the possession, use, consumption, sale, or distribution of narcotics or dangerous or illegal drugs. Their possession and non-medically supervised use is in violation of the law and Lebanon Valley College regulations. Lebanon Valley College cannot and will not protect students from prosecution under federal or state laws. In addition to the student being subject to possible prosecution under federal or state laws, the College may take appropriate judicial/student conduct action under its own policies and procedures. For more information, see the College Policies on Drugs and Alcohol.
Early Arrival Fees
Students who wish to move in early (before their stated arrival date preceding the fall or spring semester) to any residential facility must submit their request in writing to the Office of Residential Life no later than Aug. 15 for the fall semester and by Jan. 7 for the spring semester. The request must list the reason for requesting the early arrival, the date of the arrival desired, and an email address for reply or confirmation.
Students who are granted permission to return early will be charged a fee of $60 per day. Charges will be posted to the student’s account.
Students returning early to campus due to a College request, such as athletic practice or training, do not need to contact the Office of Residential Life as College staff has made the necessary arrangements. These students arriving early will not be assessed the $60 per day fee.
Any violation of College policy during the early arrival period will subject the student to immediate removal from College housing until the start of the semester with forfeiture of the early arrival fee.
Firearms, Ammunition, Fireworks, and Chemicals
It is a violation of Lebanon Valley College regulations to possess, transport, or use dangerous weapons, instruments, or substances on the College campus or on property owned, leased, or rented by the College, except by law enforcement officers or as specifically authorized in writing by the president of the College. The College reserves the right to determine whether a specific object jeopardizes the health and/or safety of students. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to:
- Firearms and ammunition, including rifles, BB guns, Taser guns, pellet guns, shotguns, paintball guns; any knife that could be deemed dangerous, regardless of size, including butterfly, switchblade, gravity, hunting, lock back blade, ballistic, Billy clubs, swords, bows, arrows, throwing stars, slingshots, etc.
- Fireworks, firecrackers, explosives, any and all chemicals that possess or can be made to possess volatile explosive or dangerous properties, except for use in College laboratories under faculty or staff supervision.
Violations of this policy will be considered as immediate and serious threats to the safety and welfare of the Lebanon Valley College community and its members, and may result in temporary removal of the alleged violator from campus pending a judicial/student conduct hearing. Violations may be referred to criminal justice authorities and/or deemed within the jurisdiction of the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or designee and subject to judicial/student conduct action up to and including expulsion from the College.
All resident students must participate in a meal plan.
- Meal plans and ID cards are non-transferable.
- The Gold (220), Silver (190) Bronze (1150 and Commuter (45 or 75) meal plans can only be used in the Mund Dining Hall and only one entrance is allowed per meal period.
- Meals not used during the semester do not carry over to the next board week.
- All returning resident students must select a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Meal Plan. New students are required to select a meal plan from the New Student Gold or Silver Meal Plan Options for their first semester. A change in a student’s meal plan option must be made by Aug. 26, 2016 for the fall semester and by Jan. 13, 2017 for the spring semester. Resident students who come to the Office of Student Affairs to inquire about changes after the deadline each semester will be handled on a case-by-case basis until the second Friday of the semester, in the following manner: Students will not be permitted to change their flex dollar amount, but will be permitted to change their base meal plan (Gold/Silver/Bronze). Within this same period during the first semester, first-year students can only change and choose from the New Student Gold or Silver level plans for their first semester, and select any base meal plan for their second semester. Commuter students can also purchase any of the Resident Meal Plan Options or one of the Commuter Plan Options. Once a student selects a meal plan, a change in meal plans for fall semester must be made by Aug. 26, 2016, and for spring semester by Jan. 13, 2017. Commuter students who come to the Office of Student Affairs to inquire about changes after the deadline each semester will be handled on a case-by-case basis until the second Friday of the semester, in the following manner: Students will not be permitted to change their flex dollar amount, but will be permitted to change their base meal plan level (Gold/ Silver/Bronze/Commuter). Students are welcome to eat in any of the dining facilities: Mund Dining Hall, InterMetzo, Dutchmen Den, and Library Coffee Bar. Each offers a wide variety of dining options.
- Flex Dollars on the OneCard can be used as a debit card to make purchases in any of Metz Culinary Management dining facilities. Additional Flex Dollars can be purchased from Metz in $50 increments by contacting dining services at 867-6850. Unused Flex Dollars are carried over from fall to spring semester. Unused Flex Dollars are lost if not used by the end of each academic year (end of the spring semester).
- Exemptions from the meal plan are approved by the vice president of student affairs and dean of students in conjunction with dining services, disability resources, health services, or other College departments.
There are students, particularly student teachers and individuals with off-campus internships, who must miss meals because of their schedules.
In these cases, the following conditions apply:
- Breakfast. Although the weekly breakfast normally begins at 7 a.m., students may eat in the dining hall as early as 6:30 a.m. They may also choose to use one meal equivalency between 8–9 am in Intermetzo. There is no reimbursement for a missed breakfast.
- Lunch. All students who must be off-campus may sign up in with dining services for a takeout lunch. They may choose to use one meal equivalency between 11 a.m.–1 p.m. in Intermetzo or Dutchmen Den. There is no reimbursement for a missed lunch. Call 867-6310 to sign up and get instructions on how to receive the takeout lunch.
- Dinner. Dining services serves dinner until 7 p.m. in Mund Dining Hall during the week. All students who must be off-campus may sign up with dining services for a take-out dinner. They may also choose to use one meal equivalency between 7–8 p.m. in Intermetzo or the Dutchmen Den.
There is no reimbursement for a missed meal where there is no academic requirement involved.
Room Deposit Policy
Students returning for the following year must pay a $100 room deposit prior to room sign up to be eligible to secure a room within a residential facility. The $100 room deposit is not refunded if the student withdraws or does not return due to academic or disciplinary suspension.
The $100 room deposit is credited toward the next year’s tuition and fees if the student returns for the fall semester. The $100 credit will appear on the student’s bill in July of the appropriate year.
The $100 room deposit may be refunded under compelling circumstances (e.g., medical leave). The director of residential life will initiate a recommendation for a refund under these circumstances.
Lebanon Valley College is a four-year residential college and believes that an LVC education is the result of distinctively curricular and co-curricular experiences in class, on campus, and in the residences. As such, all first-year students, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are required to live on campus, unless they are enrolled as a commuting student. All resident students must have a residential meal plan.
The College will provide housing to currently enrolled full-time undergraduate students who have not completed an undergraduate degree. Ninth-semester seniors who have not completed an undergraduate degree may appeal to the director of residential life for on-campus housing.
To be considered a commuter, a student must live within a 30-mile radius of campus and commute from their parent(s)/guardian’s home or permanent residence daily. The change of housing status form can be obtained from the Office of Residential Life. The form requires a parent or legal guardian’s signature and must be received in the Office of Residential Life by July 1 for the fall semester and by December 1 for the spring semester. Students listed as a commuter and later found living in off-campus quarters will be assigned a room and meal plan on campus and charged accordingly.
Special Housing Accommodations and Housing Exemption Policy
As a College we understand that situations may develop that may require the College to take steps to alter or relax this policy in special or unique circumstances. In order to best meet the needs of students, protocols have been established to review individual requests for either special on-campus accommodations, e.g. single rooms, or exemption to the on-campus re- quirement for otherwise ineligible students. The following is an outline of potential reasons for review, resources available, and steps necessary to have a situation reviewed. It should be noted that all reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate requests based upon supporting documentation.
The following are possible reasons for requesting housing exemption or special accommodations:
Financial: In extreme circumstances, a student’s financial status may necessitate an approval for special consideration. Any request of this nature must have appropriate supporting documentation.
Documented Disabilities: On occasion, it may be determined that a student’s academic success will be best served by approving a special request based on a documented disability. The student must provide up-to-date supporting documentation to the Center for Disability Resources. Staff members from residential life and the center for disability resources will collaborate regarding reasonable housing accommodation requests.
Medical: Student health issues can exist that may warrant review related to this policy. In order to warrant action, the director of health services must have notice of the relevant conditions and receive comprehensive physicians’ reports documenting those conditions. Further, the student must have an ongoing relationship with health services and have exhausted other relevant avenues. Requests of this nature should be submitted to the director of health services who will then make recommendations to the associate dean of student affairs and/or residential life staff.
Personal: A student’s mental health and overall success may be supported by a special ac- commodation related to housing. In this case, the student must submit a request to the director of counseling services. Additionally, counseling services staff must have up-to-date information and correspondence with any off-campus treatment providers, and all other alternatives should have been exhausted. Requests of this nature should be submitted to the director of counseling services who will then make recommendations to the associate dean of student affairs and/or residential life staff.
Age/Family: In certain circumstances, it may be deemed appropriate to provide an exemption of the residency requirement based on whether a student is 23 years of age by Sept. 1 of the fall semester or family circumstances of an enrolled student. In the second case, if a student is married or is a parent, the College cannot likely accommodate them in housing.
Procedure for submitting a special accommodations request or housing exemption request:
- Obtain request form from the Office of Student Affairs and meet with the associate dean of student affairs.
- Complete and return form with all pertinent documentation.
- The request is reviewed by the associate dean of student affairs and/or other appropriate College personnel. The decision is then shared with the student. The student may appeal the associate dean of student affairs’ decision within five class days. A student who does not request an appeal within this period will be deemed to have waived his/her right to appeal.
- Student appeals are reviewed by the vice president of student affairs and dean of students. The decision of the vice president of student affairs and dean of students is final.
- Final determination is shared with student.
Please note: Submitting a request does not in any way guarantee approval. No plans for off-campus housing (securing your own apartment) should be made before a decision has been made about your housing exemption request.
Parental Notification Policy
Federal law protects the confidentiality of student records and specifies those limited situations in which information from educational records may be released without a student’s prior consent. The law permits the College, in its sole discretion, to disclose information without a student’s prior consent to parents or guardians of a financially dependent student (as defined by the Internal Revenue Service). If a student is not a financially dependent student and that student has not provided prior consent, the College is not permitted to disclose information, even to his/her parents. However, if the College has knowledge of any student experiencing (1) a life-threatening situation or serious illness including one that requires hospitalization, or (2) an act of violence toward self or others or significant abuse of self or others, the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or members of the student affairs staff are legally permitted to and may contact that student’s parent or guardian, with or without the student’s prior consent, and whether or not the student is financially dependent.
Parents or guardians of any student under 21 years of age may be notified of the following situations with or without the student’s prior consent:
- Hospital visits related to substance/alcohol abuse and other emergency situations
- Violation of the College’s Alcohol Policy
- Regardless of age, parents or guardian may be notified if sanctions result in College pro- bation, suspension, or expulsion
Whenever possible the student affairs staff discusses the implications of notification with the student before contacting the parent or guardian. Ideally, the student is encouraged to make the call and the student affairs staff is available to assist with explanation of circumstances or to elaborate on pertinent college policy or practice.
Personal Record (Office of Student Affairs)
The Office of Student Affairs maintains personal records for all currently enrolled students. A typical student file includes correspondence, housing information, records of formal judicial/student conduct action, and limited information related to financial aid and academic affairs. These files are the working records of the professional student affairs staff and their use is restricted to authorized personnel. The policies outlined in this section of the handbook provide safeguards for student privacy and are prudently and objectively administered. These records are not available for inspection by other College offices, faculty, students, parents, investigators, or other individuals except when authorized by the vice president of student affairs and dean of students under the following conditions:
- Information is needed to handle an emergency; or
- Person needing information is in position for counseling and/or assisting the student; or
- When a student is sanctioned with removal from College housing, residence hall probation, disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion, or when a student violates the College’s alcohol and other drug policy, information may be shared with parents, guardians, and/or appropriate law enforcement personnel.
A student may review his/her own record in conference with the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or a member of his/her staff. If an apparent mistake is found, adjustment of the record may be conducted informally. A student has the right to place in his/ her file a written explanation of any information contained in the file that the student believes to be misleading, inaccurate, or inappropriate.
To serve the needs of the students and the College, the following policies govern the release of information in student personal records and the maintenance of these records:
- The following information will be released without student consent to appropriate Lebanon Valley College offices to be used only within Lebanon Valley College: place of birth, date of birth, date of attendance, academic standing, class, local address, home address, parents’ names and address (es).
- The following information will be released without student consent in response to any reasonable inquiry from any source: confirmation of date of birth, confirmation of dates of attendance, class, estimated date of graduation, local address (only for currently enrolled students), and degree granted (if any).
- No other information is disclosed without the written permission of the student. Students seeking transfer admission to another institution, admission to graduate programs, or who expect reference requests from prospective employers to be received by the Office of Student Affairs may wish to authorize the release of specific information.
- Record of disciplinary probation is not disclosed to any source outside the College, without written consent of the student, except to parents and guardians. When the sanction of disciplinary expulsion (permanent dismissal) is rendered, Permanent Disciplinary Dismissal is recorded on the student’s transcript. The circumstances surrounding judicial/student conduct action are not released without a student’s written permission except to parents and guardians, and except to the complainant in cases of violence, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment.
- After a student graduates, his/her personnel record is purged of all reports, correspondence, and forms, and these are destroyed.
- If a student leaves Lebanon Valley College prior to graduation, his/her personal records are retained for five years, at which time the record is purged. During this five-year period, the above policies concerning the use and release of information in these files continue to apply.
Mental Health Intervention Policy
Lebanon Valley College recognizes that in some cases a student’s ability to function on the campus may be impaired as a result of serious mental and/or emotional health issues. In instances where a student may be a danger to self or others, unable to meet basic expectations, or is extremely disruptive to the normal operation of the College, the College reserves the right to take immediate action to protect the individual and to ensure the campus is not adversely affected.
Issues to be considered under this policy include, but are not limited to:
- Suicidal ideation/attempt
- Homicidal ideation/attempt
- Self-abusive behavior (cutting, burning, etc.)
- Chronic abuse of alcohol or other drugs/controlled substances
- Misuse or abuse of prescription medications
- Eating disorder
- Serious disruptive or dangerous behavior towards self or others
- Inability to care for self or meet basic responsibilities
In situations where serious mental and/or emotional health issues arise, the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or his/her designee may convene all relevant parties (counseling, residential life, faculty, public safety, etc.) to document the seriousness of the situation. Family contact may be initiated if believed it would be in the best interest of the student.
Once the situation has been reviewed and documented, one or more of the following courses of action may be taken:
Mandated Off-Campus Assessment: The student may be required to complete a comprehen- sive assessment with an off campus treatment provider within 72 hours. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the student’s competency to function safely and effectively in the College environment. As a condition of continued enrollment, the student will be required to comply with all recommendations of the assessment. The student will be responsible for all costs associated with the assessment and recommendations. A student required to complete an assessment and recommendations may, at the discretion of the College, be prohibited from being on campus, in College housing, and/or attending classes/other functions until such time that the assessment and recommendations are completed. Results of the assessment must be provided to the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or his/her designee and the director of counseling services, and should include information pertaining to diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
Removal from College Housing: In situations where it is believed that the student’s level of functioning is extremely impaired, the student may be removed from College housing. This action can be short term (e.g. until a formal assessment is completed) or for a longer duration, depending on individual circumstances. Any consideration of monetary refund is subject to the College’s Title IV refund policy.
Emergency Withdrawal or Medical Leave of Absence: Depending on the circumstances, the College reserves the right to immediately withdraw a student from the College. Such action will be taken only when a student demonstrates the inability to continue as a student or presents an immediate danger to self or others. Such action will be the responsibility of the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or his/her designee in consultation with other members of the College professional staff. After an emergency withdrawal or medical leave of absence, an evaluation supporting return is required and must be submitted to the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or his/her designee. Such clearance includes full written documenta- tion from the attending psychologist or psychiatrist to the vice president of student affairs and dean of students substantiating competency to return to the rigorous demands of the College environment. This documentation should include information pertaining to diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. The student may not return to campus without this documentation. Due to the possible severity of issues and complexity of symptoms, the student’s treatment provider cannot automatically expect follow up care to occur on campus without consultation with the director of counseling. Additionally, the student is required to meet with the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or his/her designee prior to finalizing re-enrollment responsibilities and to ensure a proper on-going supportive treatment plan is in place.
A withdrawn student or student on medical leave of absence is no longer considered an en- rolled student, may not remain on campus, may not receive any continued treatment on cam- pus, and may not participate in College activities.
Students who are hospitalized for suicide attempts may not return to campus without proper documentation from the student’s off campus treatment team and the permission of the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or his/her designee and the director of the counseling.
Appeal of Involuntary Withdrawal: A decision to involuntarily withdraw a student may be appealed by the student to the vice president of student affairs and dean of students within five (5) calendar days of the decision. Such appeals should be in writing and include specific points the student wishes the vice president of student affairs and dean of students to consider. The vice president of student affairs and dean of students has five (5) calendar days to review the information presented and inform the student of his/her decision in writing. The vice president of student affairs and dean of students may (1) uphold the decision, (2) adjust the finding, (3) refer the matter back for further proceedings, or (4) reverse the decision and rein- state the student. The decision of the vice president of student affairs and dean of students is final.
Judicial/Student Conduct Action: Although the primary purpose of this policy is to address and support the mental and emotional health needs of students, often the behaviors exhibited may also be violations of College policy. The College reserves the right to adjudicate such violations through the normal judicial/student conduct bodies of the College. Determination will be made by the vice president of student affairs and dean of students or his/her designee.
Written appeals of such judicial/student conduct action stating the reason for a request of the above courses of action must be reviewed by the vice president of student affairs and dean of students within five (5) business days of the receipt of the original decision. The student is entitled to only one appeal.
If, in a judicial/student conduct case, the vice president of student affairs and dean of students becomes involved in the case such that he/she feels his/her impartiality may be compromised, the vice president of student affairs and dean of students may defer appellate responsibilities for the case in question to the president of the College or his/her designee.
Safety and Security
Dial 6111 from any campus extension, or dial 867-6111 from any outside phone, to reach a public safety officer. When calling the public safety staff, always be as specific as possible and identify yourself by name and location. Emergency telephones have been strategically placed on campus for your safety and convenience. Most of these telephones have blue lights mounted for easy identification. By pushing the red button, these phones will function as a normal campus extension. The telephone connects you with a public safety officer. Even if you cannot speak into the phone, a campus public safety officer will be dispatched to your location.
Use these phones for security assistance, medical assistance, fire alert, emergency information, and the reporting of crimes or suspicious persons.
Members of the public safety staff are certified in CPR and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). AED units are conveniently located in several College facilities.
For health and safety reasons, smoking tobacco and vaping electronic cigarettes are prohibited in all College buildings, including residential and academic facilities. All tobacco substances, synthetic tobacco substances and electronic cigarettes are prohibited in all classrooms and College buildings.
Persons choosing to smoke/vape should do so at least 25 feet from doorways and building entrances so that passers-by are not affected by secondhand smoke.
Solicitations, sales, and promoting for personal gain or profit are prohibited on the campus of Lebanon Valley College, other than in instances where the solicitation, sale, or promotion is made by an organization with which the College has entered into a written contract governing such activities. Fundraising activities for charitable purposes or for recognized College groups must secure approval from the Student Activities Office. Student or student organization violators of this policy are subject to judicial/student conduct action; persons from outside the Lebanon Valley College community are subject to civil and/or criminal action by local authorities.