Central to the purpose and pursuit of any academic community is academic integrity. All members of the Westminster community, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators, are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity, in keeping with the philosophy and mission of the College.
Academic dishonesty is a profound violation of this code of behavior. Outlined below are examples of and specific consequences for academic dishonesty at Westminster. The list of examples is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to provide an overview of the community’s common concerns. Students who are unsure as to whether specific behavior not listed here will constitute academic dishonesty should consult with their individual course instructors.
Violations of the Westminster College Academic Integrity Policy include, but are not limited to, the following:
“Derived from the Latin word for kidnapping, plagiarism is the theft of someone else’s ‘brainchild’—that person’s language, ideas, or research—and the origin of the word conveys the seriousness of such offenses in the view of college teachers and administrators. The reason is that words, ideas, and research are the main forms of currency in academic life.”
Keith Hjortshoj, The Transition to College Writing (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001), 172.
If a course instructor suspects that a student has violated this policy, the instructor will speak with the student, review appropriate materials, and reach a conclusion.
If the instructor determines that a violation has occurred, the following process will apply:
A student may not withdraw from a class in which he or she has been charged with violating the College’s Academic Integrity Policy, unless he or she successfully appeals the finding that a violation has occurred.
Charges of violating this policy may be brought by an instructor against a student who is not enrolled in the class affected by the violation.
Any member of the Westminster community, including students, staff members, faculty members, and administrators, may bring a charge for a violation of the College’s Academic Integrity Policy. If someone other than a course instructor wishes to bring a charge, he or she can initiate the process by contacting the course instructor, a department chair, or the VPAA.
Copies of all materials pertaining to violations, penalties, and appeals will be kept in the Office of Academic Affairs. The VPAA will send to the Committee on Academic Standards a monthly report on the number and nature of violations of the policy.
i wording adopted or adapted from the Ursinus College policy on Academic Honesty http://www.ursinus.edu/resources/ CurrentStudentHandbook.pdf (pp. 11-13).
ii wording adapted from the University of Pittsburgh Law School policy on Academic Integrity http://www.law.pitt.edu/ students/pol_integrity.html.
iii wording adapted from the Goshen College Student Handbook http://www.goshen.edu/edtech/stuhandbk.htm.
iv wording adapted from the Dickinson College Code of Student Conduct http://www.dickinson.edu/students/code.html#6.
Alcohol and illicit drugs are prohibited on the grounds of Westminster College. Employees, students, and visitors are not permitted to possess or use any of these substances while on College property.
Employees violating the drug use/possession policy would also be in violation of state or federal laws and would face sanctions imposed through the Office of Human Resources as well as the possibility of criminal prosecution. Employees found consuming or possessing alcohol on campus will face sanctions coordinated through the Office of Human Resources and could face criminal prosecution if they are below the legal age of 21. The range of sanctions that could be imposed by the College would be a reprimand through termination of employment, depending on the nature of the violation.
Students found to be in possession of alcohol or illicit drugs on campus will face disciplinary action through the College Code of Conduct and could face criminal prosecution as well. Sanctions fall anywhere between a warning and expulsion, depending on the nature of the violation.
Under Pennsylvania law, criminal prosecution for alcohol violations could range between a summary offense and a misdemeanor of the second degree depending on the circumstances of the case. Penalties range from a simple fine and 90-day driver’s license suspension to incarceration for a maximum of 2 years. Drug law violations can range from a misdemeanor of the third degree to a felony of the first degree. Penalties range from a fine to a maximum of 15 years incarceration.
The College allows employees to self-identify as drug abusers and may provide a one-time referral to a rehabilitation facility/program. If an employee does not self-identify or is a repeat violator, the College may immediately terminate the individual’s employment.
Students may seek professional counseling for substance abuse problems through the Counseling Services Office. Students sanctioned through the Student Code of Conduct may be required to successfully complete a rehabilitation program as a condition of retention or reinstatement as a student at Westminster.
Any recognized student organization that sponsors a social event, whether in a campus facility, fraternity house, or other off- campus facility, should be aware of the following policies and responsibilities:
Because they are under the age of 21, Pennsylvania Law prohibits most Westminster students from drinking alcoholic beverages. For the sake of reasonable administration, and in order to create the best possible living and educational atmosphere, there shall be no use, possession, sale, or serving of alcoholic beverages by any student while on or in College property (including College- owned or rented vehicles). The College cannot be legally responsible if students ignore state laws, College policies, and good common sense by drinking at all if under the legal drinking age, or drinking excessively if over the legal age. In fairness to our students, the same policy applies to guests and visitors to our campus.
Federal and state laws prohibit the use, possession, sale, or distribution of certain drugs and drug-related paraphernalia. The use of such drugs is not in keeping with the mission of Westminster College. Therefore, there shall be no use, possession, sale, or distribution of such drugs on campus or on or in fraternity property, or at College-sponsored events. The administration will take the strongest stand concerning illegal drugs, up to and including expulsion and/or involvement of state and federal law enforcement.
Counseling services are available to students who would like to discuss any problems related to drugs or alcohol. In all cases of student involvement in alcohol/drug abuse, the College will offer the services of the counseling staff. All counseling conferences are confidential.
Under federal law, a person receiving Title IV financial aid (Pell Grant, SEOG, Direct Stafford Loans, or Federal Work-study) who is convicted for possession and/or sale of illegal drugs while enrolled as a student at Westminster College, will be ineligible for further Title IV funds for a fixed period of time, as indicated below.
If convicted of both possession and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will not receive Title IV funds for the longer period.
A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when the student successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. The student will lose eligibility again upon a subsequent drug conviction.
In April of 2016, Pennsylvania legalized the use of medical marijuana. However, because the Federal government has not legalized marijuana, it remains a banned substance under federal law. Westminster College receives federal funding through such things as student financial aid. To avoid losing federal funding, Westminster College must prohibit all marijuana use, including medical marijuana. Therefore, if you are prescribed medical marijuana, it is important that you promptly disclose that information so that we can discuss how to proceed. Students with a medical marijuana prescription must first meet with the Office of Disability Resources and provide documentation of medical conditions as well as prescription information to discuss possible accommodations. A list of guidelines will be provided to the student as a part of this discussion. Please be assured that your medical information is protected by FERPA and kept as confidential. Further, marijuana use while on campus, either with or without a prescription, is prohibited under any circumstances. Students found in possession, and/or using, and or distributing marijuana while on campus, even with a medical marijuana prescription card, will be subject to student disciplinary action and may have additional legal consequences.
Service animals specifically trained to aid a person with a disability are welcome in campus buildings. Pets and other animals, including emotional-support animals, are not permitted in campus buildings except when approved by the College. Animals should not be left unattended and, whenever possible, should be placed on a leash. Individuals are responsible for the behavior of their pets and other animals under their supervision while on campus.
It is the policy of Westminster College to foster an inclusive campus culture that supports the diversity of our administration, faculty, staff, and student body. The policy advances the College’s strategic plan to achieve excellence in teaching and service by developing and using the full range of human talent. Consistent with its faith tradition, Westminster College strives to maintain an academic and working environment based on the principle of the dignity and worth of every human being. Westminster College affirms a commitment to freedom from discrimination and bias for all members of the college community. This extends to and protects administration, faculty, staff, and student body, alumni, Trustees, visitors, and vendors. It encompasses every aspect of employment and every student and community activity.
The College expressly prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination or acts of bias on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, veteran’s status, religion (except for those positions where religious affiliation is a necessary qualification), gender, gender identity or expression, or any other classification protected under applicable federal, state, or local law in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities, or with respect to admission and employment.
When a bias-related incident report is submitted, it will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs who will determine the appropriate action to address the complaint and/or refer the report to the proper campus personnel for review and action. If the involved parties are students, the report may be processed through the Student Conduct system in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. When a complaint involves an employee of the College, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs will work in coordination with the Director of Human Resources and the pertinent vice president, and they will follow the protocols for employee misconduct. Also, if a student or an employee is involved in an incident with a local business or individuals unaffiliated with Westminster, or the incident occurs at an off-campus location, the College will additionally work with local officials to determine a course of action and provide support on behalf of the student or employee.
Depending on the nature of the incident, the response and proposed resolution may vary. Examples may include restorative mediation, educational intervention, criminal investigation, suspensions, or other disciplinary sanctions as detailed in the Student Handbook and employee handbooks. At the completion of the review period, the involved parties will be notified of recommended actions, and the campus community would be informed if applicable and necessary.
A Hate Crime can be defined as a criminal offense motivated by the offender’s bias against or hate toward the victim’s status based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin and disability. Offenders may use physical violence, verbal, virtual or cyber threats of violence, vandalism, and in some cases weapons, explosives, and arson with the intent of intimidating or causing harm.
A Bias Motivated Incident is an offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender identity; however, the offense may not be considered criminal. Bias incidents include creating hostile environments and harassing behavior that is severe, persistent or pervasive to the point that it threatens an individual or limits the ability of the individual to live, work and study on campus. These examples also extend to virtual spaces.
Note: Hate crimes are bias incidents, but not all bias incidents are hate crimes.
Westminster College reserves the right to photograph and/or film any individual on campus property, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents of current students, for the purpose of institutional promotion. Westminster will obtain individual permissions for the use of photographs, videos and/or verbal or written statements for promotional materials in which individuals are specifically identified by name. However, permissions are not obtained for images in photographs or videos obtained through the course of documenting normal campus life, such as participation in classrooms/labs, rehearsals, performances, lectures, readings, athletic events, student life events, alumnae/i events, and College ceremonies.
Westminster College, as both a producer and a major consumer of intellectual property, seeks to promote respect for intellectual property throughout the College community while maintaining the highest standard of ethical conduct. The current economic, social, and legal landscape makes an understanding of copyright law not just widely relevant, but also challenging. It is the policy of Westminster College to fully respect all rights that exist in any material protected by the copyright laws of the United States while also encouraging usage of the material that furthers the educational mission. The College believes that a balance must exist between the rights of the producers and distributors of works and the privileges of users who benefit from their use. To accomplish this, Westminster College expects compliance with copyright laws from all members of her community while concurrently intending that faculty, staff, administration, and students take full advantage of all relevant licenses, exemptions, and exclusions that are provided for under copyright law. If there is no applicable license, exemption, or exclusion to permit use of the material, faculty, staff, administration, and students must obtain permission for the anticipated use from the copyright holder.
The resources available on the Copyright information page at https://my.westminster.edu/ICS/Help/Copyright_Information.jnz seek to provide guidance for employees and students on these specific issues as they perform College-related tasks. Ultimately each individual member of the Westminster College academic community is responsible for knowing his/her obligation in these matters.
Sanctions for violation of the copyright law and campus expectations regarding copyrighted material may include but are not limited to suspension of technology or Library privileges, termination of employment, academic probation or suspension, referral to Student Judicial Board, and/or criminal prosecution.
Communication among students, faculty and staff is an extremely important part of teaching, learning and student life on campus. Those who initiate communication may choose from a variety of different methods in order to distribute information in the best formats for particular circumstances. The College recognizes campus email and mailroom mailboxes as official means of communication and expects students and employees to conscientiously access these methods on a regular basis to receive information from members of the campus community and to respond if appropriate. Students and employees are assumed to have received and will be held responsible for information that is disseminated via any of these methods. Faculty and campus offices may also use the My.Westminster Web portal to communicate course related and other types of information to students. In addition to these common formats used campus-wide, certain areas of the campus may identify other methods for communicating specific types of information to students and/or employees.
Every student who is registered for classes at Westminster has a Microsoft Office 365 account with email. Students are expected to check their email daily, at a minimum, while classes are in session.
Each student, faculty member and office staff member has a mailbox at which they can receive printed campus mail and U.S. Postal Service mail. These mailboxes are in McKelvey Campus Center. Mailroom mailboxes should be checked regularly because they are the means through which printed information is distributed to individuals and the entire campus.
Recent studies have shown that credit card debt has risen to alarming levels among students at America’s colleges and universities. The short- and long-term consequences of such debt through credit card misuse has left a generation at risk of financial ruin, long before they leave the halls of the academy.
The College takes very seriously its responsibility to prepare and educate students for life outside its walls. In recognition of this responsibility, and in keeping with the recommendations set forth in State Bill S 157, approved by the General Assembly of the State of Pennsylvania and signed by the Governor on July 15, 2004, Westminster College has established both a credit card marketing policy as well as provisions for the education of its students about credit card management.
No credit card marketing shall be allowed on campus. In addition, student organizations shall not use credit card applications as a fund raiser.
Jim Nescot, General Manager, 724-946-6312
Scott Turner, Executive Chef/McKelvey Dining Operation Manager, 724-946-7702
Patrick Bohinski, Galbreath Manager, 724-946-6307
JonErik Germadnik – TUB/Catering Manager, 724-946-7702
Galbreath Student Restaurant, 724-946-6306
TUB Food Court, 724-946-7230
The dining service office is located in the Galbreath Dining Facility. For information about meal plans, menus, and special events, all are encouraged to visit the dining service section of the Westminster website at my.westminster.edu/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/Dining_Services/.
All students living in College residence halls are required to purchase a residential meal plan. Visit the Dining Services section of the College website for more information.
Dining Services makes every effort to provide meals for those with special medical concerns and religious convictions. Those who wish to be exempt from campus dining due to medical reasons must first obtain the Request for Medical Exemption Form from the Director of Disability Resources. The form must be completed by the student’s physician and submitted to the Director of Disability Resources. A meeting will then be arranged to determine if accommodations can be made.
To request meal plan exemption for religious convictions, the student must obtain a Religious Conviction Exemption Application Form from Dining Service’s General Manager. The form must be completed and returned to the Dining Services Office. A meeting will then be arranged to determine if accommodations can be made. A meeting with the College Chaplain and/or a Dean of Student Affairs may also be required.
If you have any questions about meal plans, medical and religious accommodations, or the services we provide, please feel free to contact Jim Nescot, General Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students must have a College ID for access and use of the Field House and Old 77 areas. The Field House and Old 77 are typically open weekdays during the year when classes are in session.
Westminster College supports the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the right to assemble peaceably. The College remains firmly committed to affording every member of the College community the opportunity to engage in peaceful and orderly protests and demonstrations which do not disrupt the operation of the College. However, such opportunities must be provided on an equal basis and adhere to the basic principle of the College’s being neutral to the content of any public demonstration. In order to achieve this objective, while at the same time insuring that the College fulfills its educational mission, the College has the responsibility to regulate the time, place, and manner of expression. Through such regulation, the College can assure equal opportunity for all persons, preserve order within the College community, protect and preserve College property, and provide a secure environment to individuals exercising freedom of expression.
The following provisions serve as a guideline for governing Freedom of Expression at Westminster College.
Students should be generally free to express their ideas and opinions both inside the classroom and in all other areas of the campus including, but not limited to: residence halls, academic buildings, and all other properties owned by the College in a manner that does not conflict with College policies and guidelines. Students have the responsibility to express their ideas and opinions in a way that will not infringe upon the expression of ideas and opinions made by other members of the Westminster College community, including not engaging in hate speech and in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the College learning environment or jeopardize student safety.
The College should generally allow students and Student Engagement to organize and assemble, without College interference, provided that they do so without undue disruption of College activities and the enjoyment of other students and in a manner that does not directly violate the rights of any other member of the Westminster College community.
Students should generally be free to form and join organizations to promote their common interests, but as a condition of institutional recognition, prospective student organizations must follow the required procedures for recognition as found in the Student Organization section of the Handbook for Students.
Non-commercial pamphlets, handbills, circulars, newspapers, magazines and other written materials may be distributed on a person-to-person basis in open areas outside of buildings and other enclosed structures on the campus. No stand, table or booth shall be used in distribution except in the McKelvey Campus Center and only with the approval from Student Affairs. Written material may not be distributed to faculty or staff offices, campus residents’ private rooms, or placed under closed/locked doors. The College maintains a position of neutrality as to the content of any written material distributed on the campus under this policy.
The College may remove a student from a College education program or activity on an emergency basis. This decision is made through a careful process described below and after the College undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis, determines that the student poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any individual, and provides the student with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal. Emergency removal of a student may be warranted following a similar assessment that finds the student is suffering from a severe psychological problem and, as a result of the problem, engages or threatens to engage in behavior that:
Students who are placed on administrative leave of absence or administratively withdrawn may request an appointment with the President of the College after all the leave of absence or withdrawal procedures outlined above have been completed. The President reserves the right to alter any decisions made.
A student who has been suspended because of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and/or the Sexual Misconduct Policy may petition for readmission. The petition must be in writing and directed to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Such petition may not be filed before the expiration of one-half of the suspension period. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall determine whether such petitions will be granted or denied. Students who are dismissed from the College as a sanction of the Student Conduct or Sexual Misconduct grievance proceedings are not eligible to petition for readmission.
The College will request of all new students each year that they provide, on a voluntary basis, contact information in the event that the student would be reported officially missing during his or her tenure at the College.
If a Westminster College residential student is suspected missing from the campus, immediately contact a member of the Residence Life Staff within that student’s residence hall. If the student resides off campus, contact the Public Safety Department at 724-946-7777.
All reports of missing persons made to Residence Life and/or Public Safety Department staff are followed up with an on-going investigation. If it is determined by the Public Safety Department that a student for whom a missing person report has been filed has been missing for more than 24 hours, then within the next 24 hours the College will:
Notify the individual identified by the student as the missing person contact to be contacted in this circumstance; If the student is under 18 years old, the College will notify a parent or guardian; and in cases where the student is over 18 and has not identified a person to be contacted, the College will notify appropriate law enforcement officials.
Pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the NCAA legislation, student-athletes may profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The Westminster College NIL Policy provides guidelines for how Westminster College (hereinafter the “College”) will monitor those activities and describes acceptable activities and restrictions on student-athletes, employees, and others regarding those activities. The policy also states how a student-athlete must disclose NIL activities in which they plan to participate.
The College believes that intercollegiate athletics provide student-athletes with significant educational opportunities. The College also supports the NCAA’s mission to ensure that intercollegiate athletics remain an integral part of the educational program and to maintain the amateur status of student-athletes. However, participation in intercollegiate athletics should not infringe upon a student-athlete’s ability to earn compensation for his or her name, image, and/or likeness. A student-athlete should have an equal opportunity to control and profit from the commercial use of his or her name, image, and/or likeness, and be protected from unauthorized appropriation and commercial exploitation of his or her right to publicity, including his or her name, image, and/or likeness.
Subject to the regulations set forth below, each College student-athlete will have the right to earn compensation for his or her name, image, and/or likeness without jeopardizing his or her eligibility to compete on a College-sponsored intercollegiate athletic team.
It is permissible for Westminster College, the NCAA, and the PAC to use the name, image, likeness and/or appearance of a student‐athlete to generally promote or to support activities considered incidental to the student‐athlete’s participation in intercollegiate athletics (e.g., conference championships, NCAA championships or other NCAA events, activities or programs) provided the provisions in NCAA Bylaw 184.108.40.206 are satisfied.
Westminster College holds that a person’s name is a powerful and meaningful identifier that has the capacity to create welcome and belonging. In addition to achieving an inclusive campus, the College has an obligation to ensure that faculty, staff and students have access to federal funds and services provided by governmental agencies, which makes the utilization of names more complex. To this end, the College’s naming policy defines various ways of employing common and legal names, both internally and externally.
Legal Name: The Legal Name is the name reflected on accepted forms of identification such as birth certificate, driver’s license, social security card, or passport. The legal name on file with Westminster College must match the name that appears on the legal form of identification. Individuals must request a change of Legal Name, such as when a change in marital status results in a legal name change.
Campus Name: The Campus Name is the commonly used name. Often, Campus Name and Legal Name are the same when students’ records are created through the admission process. To request a Campus Name, students must contact the Student Affairs Office and employees must contact Human Resources. This may include middle names used as first names, names chosen for individuals in transition, last names chosen to reflect family dynamics, etc. Campus Names are a reasonable variation of a Legal Name and do not include nicknames. Reasonableness will be determined by the office responsible for administering name changes.
Diploma Name: At the time of application for graduation, students will be given an option to select a name for the diploma. If a name is not specified on the application, the students’ Legal Name will be printed on the diploma. Diploma Names are a reasonable variation of the student’s campus or Legal Name and must be approved by the Registrar’s Office. The printed graduation program will list students’ Campus Names.
Legal Name is used in official or legal processes, both internally and externally. The College’s Data Entry Standards outline which offices are responsible for making changes to Legal Name.
Common Documents that Use Legal Name:
Financial Aid documents
Official College transcript Payroll
Federal immigration documents
Non-resident visas and supporting documentation
Tax forms (i.e. W2, 1095C, 1098-T, 1099)
Checks and direct deposit files issued by Accounts Payable Student loan documents
The following table lists instances in which the differents names are used.
Campus Name is used as an internal identifier, unless otherwise specified. Individuals who request the use of a Campus Name that is different from the Legal Name can expect the Campus Name to be applied to their email address, network account, Titan Card, and classroom/athletic/residence hall rosters. Changes to Campus Name will not be communicated to individual faculty or offices at the time of change unless they have a specific administrative responsibility for the change. Standard charges for Titan Card replacement apply.
Campus Name will not be used for some external communications, specifically payroll tax information or mailings to the legal permanent residence. However, Campus Name will be used for press releases, dean’s list, and Convocation and graduation lists, unless otherwise requested. To request that your Legal Name be used instead for press releases, dean’s list, and Convocation and graduation lists, please email Betsy Hildebrand, Director of Communication at email@example.com.
Individuals who wish for their Campus Name to be their Legal Middle Name will have a blank Campus Middle Name. Otherwise, middle names are required in the Campus Name fields.
Indicating a Campus Name in College systems can have a ripple effect throughout your daily transactions on campus. Multiple requests to change your name may lead to confusion regarding your identity, challenges in customer service, and interruptions in your ability to access some systems. Therefore, the decision to add or alter a Campus Name should be made thoughtfully. Excessive requests could result in denial of further changes.
Students may request a Campus Name change by visiting the Student Affairs Office. Employees may request a Campus Name change through Human Resources.
Graduated students retain Microsoft 365 email account for 1 year after graduation and the Microsoft 365 Alumni license enables us to continue to offer you your Westminster email account. However, the alumni license removes your access to all other Microsoft 365 resources, such as Microsoft Office product downloads, Microsoft Office Online, Skype for Business and Microsoft OneDrive.
Westminster College does not, and will not, discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, veteran’s status, religion (except for those positions where religious affiliation is a necessary qualification), or any other protected classification in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities, or with respect to admission and employment, all as defined and provided under applicable federal, state, or local law. Westminster College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and acts in accordance with applicable laws in all of its hiring and employment practices.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) prevents the College from releasing “personally identifiable student education records” to unauthorized individuals or organizations without the student’s written consent. However, College employees who have a legitimate need to see these records, and parents who can prove that a student is still a dependent for tax purposes, can view these records if they follow the proper procedures.
As a result of this federal legislation, records in the Offices of Admissions, Professional Development Center, Student Affairs, Financial Aid, Registrar and Office of Faith and Spirituality as well as all student records maintained in other Westminster College offices except counseling and health records maintained in the Wellness Center and student records maintained in the Office of Disability Resources will be open to review in the presence of the appropriate College administrator upon written request by a student. Records in the Wellness Center may be reviewed by a physician or other professional of the student’s choice in the presence of the appropriate administrator.
A student’s medical and psychological records will be available to him/her for a period of three years following the termination of the College-student relationship (e.g., graduation, withdrawal from the College, etc.). All student medical and psychological records will be discarded by the College after the three-year period. All requests for a former student’s medical and psychological records must be made in writing by that individual to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Student records in the Office of Disability Resources are maintained for a period of seven years following the termination of the College-student relationship (e.g., graduation, withdrawal from the College, etc.).
Students’ disciplinary records will be retained by the College for a period of five years following the termination of the College- student relationship. Disciplinary records will be retained indefinitely by the College in cases of disciplinary suspension or expulsion.
Any material contained in a student’s file dated prior to Jan. 1, 1975, produced in expectation of confidentiality shall continue in that status — for example: health records, psychological records, psychological test results and diagnostic data, interest inventories, admissions and placement references, high school transcripts, financial aid data, and all reference letters.
Students are entitled to one copy of material dated after Jan. 1, 1975. Costs of reproduction shall be the responsibility of the student. Students may not remove material from any file.
If information in a student’s file is challenged, the author of the material shall be notified, if possible, and afforded the opportunity to debate or alter the information. If the author does not change the challenged material to the satisfaction of the student or if the author cannot be practically contacted within 45 days of the written request of the student, the student may present the case before a hearing board appropriate to the case appointed by the President of the College which shall comprise faculty, administration, and students. Written clarification or rebuttal to the contested material or additional written comments may be added to the file by the student.
Any challenge to professional diagnosis or opinion (such as medical, psychiatric, or psychological diagnosis) must be on the basis of other professional opinion or diagnosis furnished by the challenger. Such additional information will be placed in the file of the student. The right to challenge a recorded grade given in any course is not within the jurisdiction of this policy.
Faculty and administrators may have access to student records in all offices other than the Financial Aid, the Wellness Center, and Business Office for legitimate educational reasons. Such reasons are to be determined by the appropriate administrator.
The release of any information to a third party other than a member of the faculty and administration of Westminster College will take place only after written consent is obtained from the student who shall verify the records to be released, to whom, and the reason for the release. Exceptions may be made in cases of compliance with judicial order or in response to a lawfully issued subpoena.
Students who request to review or challenge any records held in any office at Westminster College shall be required to submit a written request to the appropriate administrator stating the records to which there is desired access. Procedural details may be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs.
The portion of the education record known as “Directory Information” is available only to members of the campus community with valid My.Westminster credentials.
Directory Information is personal student data that can be published in a Campus Telephone Directory or used to identify a student to outside agencies. Directory Information is treated in a professional manner by the College and its employees.
The following pieces of student information are considered Directory Information:
If you are a student, you have the right to withhold directory information for a given academic year in any or all of the directory information categories. This can be done by submitting a request in writing, including signature, to the Office of Marketing and Communications, Old Main 101, within the first 15 class days of the first semester attended in a given academic year. A new request must be completed for each academic year.
Restricting all of your Directory Information may have some undesired consequences. If you have any questions about these consequences, ask about them at the Office of Student Affairs.
Westminster College faculty or administrative staff members may request copies of student records, provided they have a legitimate need for these records that pertains to their duties as an employee of the College.
Westminster College students may authorize the release of their records to their parent(s)/guardian(s) by completing the Student Consent to Release Education Record Information form available online.
A parent who has claimed a student as a dependent for federal tax purposes in the most recent tax year may request a copy of that student’s record, providing a completed Parent Request for Disclosure of Education Record form, available in the Registrar’s Office and online, has been filed at the Registrar’s Office.
Students may view their grades through My.Westminster once the semester is completed. Mid-term grades are posted for all students each semester.
Students may obtain verification of dates of enrollment and full-time status for most purposes through the links provided to the National Student Clearinghouse on My.Westminster. This information is immediately available and is updated several times each semester. Students who must supply an employer or insurance agency with proof of satisfactory progress or grade point average may contact the Registrar’s office for more information.
In support of its mission, Westminster College, within the parameters of institutional priorities and financial capabilities, intends to provide access for students, faculty and staff to local, national and international sources of information. It is also the intent of the College to maintain a campus environment that facilitates access to knowledge and the sharing of information with colleagues at Westminster and at other locations without fear that their work will be violated by misrepresentation, tampering, destruction and/or theft.
The Policy for Responsible Use of Information Resources contains the governing philosophy for regulating faculty, student and staff use of the COLLEGE’S INFORMATION RESOURCES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LIBRARY, ACADEMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMPUTING, AND TELEPHONE SYSTEM RESOURCES. It also explicates the general principles regarding the appropriate use of these resources. In adopting this policy, the College recognizes that all members of the College community are also bound by local, state and federal laws governing the use of these resources.
Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to privacy and the right to determine the form, manner and terms of publication and distribution. Access to the information resource infrastructure both within the College and beyond the campus, sharing of information and security of the intellectual products of the community all require that every user accept responsibility for protecting the rights of the community and its members and abiding by the principle of respect for intellectual/academic work.
Access to the College’s information resources and facilities is a privilege granted to Westminster faculty, staff and students. The College reserves the right to limit or extend privileges and access to these resources. Any member of the College community who, without authorization, accesses, uses, destroys, alters, dismantles, or disfigures College information technologies, properties or facilities, including those owned by third parties, thereby threatens the environment of increased access and sharing of information. He/she also threatens the security within which members of the community may operate and, in the view of the College, has engaged in unethical and unacceptable conduct.
Westminster College’s information resources including the campus network and access paths it provides to off-campus resources such as the Internet are private facilities of the College. These facilities are made available to users as the College sees fit in accordance with its mission. The College strives to operate the network reliably, efficiently, securely, legally, and in accordance with College policies. To accomplish this, the College may exercise its right to log access to and use of all resources on the network as well as the traffic that flows through the network. Management software on the network can log dates and times users log in and log out of the network. It can also identify resources used on or accessed from the network, messages and files stored on and passed through the network, servers and other sites accessed from the network, and applications executed by users of the network. In addition to logging user activity, management software can determine the identity and log the behavior of machines attached to the network. The College reserves the right and may exercise the right to examine any messages, files or other traffic residing on or flowing through the campus network that pose immediate or potential threats to the network or user resources on the network. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to examine messages, files and traffic for viruses, worms and other threats, even if the messages, files and traffic are being sent from and/or destined for systems or networks outside the College.
Although information can be monitored and logged by the network, the College does not routinely monitor individual users’ activities or the content of their work while using campus resources. However, if circumstances indicate a user or a user’s computer is causing problems with operation of the network or other information resources, or is violating laws or College policies, the College will take all appropriate steps to identify the cause of the problems. This may include using information logged by the system or collected about users and their computers. If policies are violated, offending users will be dealt with according to established procedures. If there are indications of local, state or federal law violations, College personnel will cooperate with appropriate officials to identify and prosecute offenders. This will include providing information about machines and user activities that might be involved in the violations.
If demand for specific information exceeds the capacity of available information resources, use of the resources for instructional/administrative activities directly related to the mission of the College shall have priority over individual use of resources. Also, any information network traffic exiting the College is subject to the acceptable use policies of the network through which it flows as well as to other College policies pertaining to the use of information resources.
In the final analysis, the health and well being of the College’s information resources are the responsibility of all users who must guard against abuses that disrupt and/or threaten the long-term viability of the systems and resources at Westminster and beyond the campus. The College requires that members of its community act in accordance with these responsibilities, its policies pertaining to the use of such resources, relevant laws and contractual obligations and the highest standard of ethics.
In accordance with the College Policy for the Responsible Use of Information Resources, the behaviors by students or student organizations listed below are addenda to the Student Code of Conduct and are subject to College disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the procedures for its administration appear in the Handbook for Students under the section entitled “Rights and Responsibilities.” Moreover, the College reserves the right to restrict a student’s access to information resources, pending the outcome of College judicial action, if, in the opinion of the Director of Information Systems, the student’s continuing access to such resources endangers the resources, is a threat to other individuals or may result in additional violations of the Student Code of Conduct. In addition to College disciplinary action, students may be subject to prosecution by legal authorities if they violate local, state or federal laws governing the use of information resources. Finally, the College reserves the right to take disciplinary action against students who allow the use of their College information resource accounts by others when such use entails violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
Skateboarding and Hover Boarding are prohibited on any areas within the property and roadways of Westminster College. The use, possession, or storage of hoverboards (self-balancing scooters, battery-operated scooters, hands-free Segways and other similar equipment) is prohibited —this includes all college buildings, roadways, walkways and housing. If any devices are found on campus they will be subject to being confiscated by Westminster Public Safety.
Smoking is prohibited:
It is requested that individuals refrain from smoking within 20 feet of all building entrances and limit smoking to those areas immediately adjacent to cigarette receptacles located on lampposts throughout the campus.
The use of smokeless tobacco devices (including e-cigarettes, smoke-less cigarettes, smoking vapors, hookahs, and hookah pipes) are prohibited in all campus buildings including residence halls and athletic facilities. The use of chewing tobacco is permitted only within individual residence hall rooms and outdoor areas unless specified otherwise.
Anyone witnessing a violation of these policies should ask the violator to cease and desist. If a student refuses to comply with the request, the incident should be reported to the Office of Student Affairs. Members of the faculty, administration, and staff who violate the policy should be reported to their immediate supervisor.
Each Westminster student has the responsibility to read and become familiar with the information contained in the Handbook for Students. This handbook does not constitute a contract between the student/parent and the College. The College reserves the right at its discretion to make changes in procedures, policies, rules and regulations, and structures at any time in the future.
Westminster College is a pedestrian campus. Students are expected to use their assigned parking areas for long-term parking and walk to classes, meals, and events. In order to park on campus, all vehicles except those belonging to visitors must display a current Westminster College parking decal or employee parking hang tag. Temporary courtesy parking passes are available at the Department of Public Safety office located in the McKelvey Campus Center (Room 268) for students or guests bringing a car to campus for a week or less. No one is permitted to park in areas for which they do not have the appropriate decal.
Westminster College students shall obtain parking decals as follows:
The registration process is not complete until the parking decal is affixed to the registered vehicle as required.
Advance sale of parking decals begins July 1 for all students. All students are required to register their vehicle online for a parking decal. Payment for decals is made on CASHNet.
Vehicles are to be registered by the first day of classes or within two business days of bringing the vehicle to campus.
Student decals are to be permanently affixed on the rear of the vehicle for which the decal is issued (placed on the inside lower left corner of the rear window of the rear vehicle). Decals are not to be transferred to another vehicle(s) without prior authorization from Public Safety. If a registered vehicle is replaced during the registration period, a new sticker will be issued at no cost.
A parking decal does not guarantee a parking space on campus. Parking is subject to available space. Lack of space will not be considered justification for violating parking regulations.
Motorbikes and motorcycles must be kept out of buildings and parked only in parking lots.
Parking lots are conveniently marked with color-coded signs that match the colors of the parking decals permitted for that lot. The simple rule to follow is that if the colored triangle on the lot signs do not match the color of a decal, then that vehicle may not be parked in that lot. Parking in lots closest to academic buildings is reserved primarily for staff and students who live outside the immediate New Wilmington area and commute to class or work. Commuting students and employees are expected to allow sufficient time in their travel schedules to accommodate walking time from a parking space to their workstation or classroom.
The following is the breakdown of decal colors and the lots for which they are authorized:
Black Decals: All resident first year students with vehicle on campus are assigned black decals. First-year Residents may only park in the lower football lot located behind the visitor bleachers and the lower tennis court lot. Additionally, these lots are open to all decal colors.
Orange Decals: Upper class students residing in Russell, Berlin Village, Eichenauer, Galbreath, Browne and Ferguson resident halls are issued orange decals. Orange Decals may park in the lot adjacent to the townhouses, the Eichenauer lot, the Russell lot, the Hillside lot, on the hill across from the Field House lot toward Russell Hall, the north side of the Field House (along the creek), the small lot adjacent to Ferguson, spaces next to Old 77, spaces next to Browne, all parking spaces on Westminster Drive from Market St. to traffic circle, lower Galbreath lot next to the creek, the Physical Plant lot, the lower Hoyt lot (adjacent to Phi Tau) and the lower football field lot behind the visitor bleachers.
Magenta Decals: Upperclassmen who reside in Shaw are issued a magenta decal for parking in the Minteer lot back row located across the street from Shaw.
Green decals: Commuters may park in the Beeghly Lot, Shaw lot, the lower Hoyt lot (adjacent to Phi Tau), the Field House west lot next to the new Soccer & Lacrosse Field and the lower football field lot located behind the visitor bleachers.
Employee Blue Hang Tags: All Westminster College Employees will be issued a blue parking hang tag which will be displayed on the rear-view mirror. The hang tag should be facing outward so that the numbers can be read. Employees may park in the Minteer lot (corner of Maple & Mercer Streets), Old Main lot, Shaw lot, Beeghley lot, Edwards lot behind the Field House, the lower Hoyt lot (adjacent to Phi Tau), the Physical Plant lot, and the lower football field lot located behind the visitor bleachers.
All traffic laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Borough of New Wilmington are enforced. The speed limit on campus is 15 mph. The roads on campus are considered public highways under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, and all traffic laws can be enforced by police officers having jurisdiction on campus. These departments include Westminster College Public Safety, New Wilmington Borough Police, and Pennsylvania State Police.
It is not our intention to penalize visitors to our campus who may not be aware of our regulations. Violations of parking in the incorrect parking lot and decal violations will be voided for visitors to the College. Visitors should enclose their name and address, as well as a brief explanation of their visit when returning the ticket to the Public Safety Department. The Department reserves the right to refer violations of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code for enforcement.
The College’s parking fine schedule for campus is as follows:
Parking fines are payable by cash or check at the College Business Office in Old Main. Unpaid fines will be charged against a student’s account. Unpaid fines may constitute grounds for withholding of transcripts, diplomas, and/or denial of registration.
Accumulation of a total of three (3) or more parking tickets for parking on campus without a decal or accumulation of seven (7) or more parking tickets for any violations will result in loss of on-campus parking privileges. Vehicles belonging to those who have lost parking privileges will be towed at operator’s/owner’s expense each time they are found parked on campus after revocation. If a tow truck is not available, a $115 fine will be assessed for parking on campus while privileges are revoked.
The College reserves the right to tow a vehicle at any time at owner’s expense if it is obstructing traffic, disrupting College operations, parked in the Quad areas, parked on sidewalk, or parked in a tow-away zone.
To dispute a ticket, drivers must submit a written appeal within 10 calendar days of the ticket date. Appeal forms are available at the Public Safety Office. Appeals must be completed and received at the Public Safety Office within the required time limits. Results of appeals are final.
The following reasons will not be considered justifiable grounds for appeal:
Westminster College assumes no responsibility or liability for loss or damage to any motor vehicle parked on or adjacent to the grounds of Westminster College.
Withdrawal or Transfer – A withdrawal is a separation from Westminster College, which usually occurs when a student transfers. An administrative withdrawal may be determined by a College official as a matter of College policy such as academic status, attendance, student conduct, sexual misconduct, or behavioral health. A student who withdraws from the College during a semester will be given a “W” (withdrawal) for all courses enrolled at the time of the withdrawal. “W” grades are not calculated in the student’s cumulative GPA, but may have other implications. A student who withdraws during a semester may still have financial obligations to the College and other lenders. The $200 registration deposit, minus outstanding charges, will be returned to the student at the time of withdrawal or suspension.
A student wishing to withdraw or transfer from the College should schedule an exit interview with the Office of Student Affairs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The purpose of the interview is to assess the student’s present status, to ascertain the reason for withdrawal or transfer, and to direct the student to the next steps to complete the process.
Leave of Absence – A leave of absence is a temporary leave and requires approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students. Students who are granted a leave of absence are able to resume their studies, subject to the same graduation and program requirements to which they were subject at the time they began their leave and once conditions are met for their return.
Types of leaves of absence include:
Requests for a leave of absence should be made prior to a student’s departure from campus and will not be approved retroactively unless the circumstance surrounding the departure was unavoidable. A leave of absence is generally considered for one or two full semesters. Students who are granted a leave of absence within a semester will be given a “W” (withdrawal) for all courses enrolled at the time of the withdrawal.
Conditions for return to Westminster will be defined at the time a leave of absence is approved. In the case of a medical leave, these conditions may specify what professional medical documentation is required and the length of time of the leave. Before the student will be permitted to return to campus from a medical leave, the College may require a professional evaluation or assessment (at the student’s expense) stating the professional expert’s opinion that the student is capable of meeting the academic and social standards of the College, which are stated in the Westminster Student Code of Conduct.
A student may request approval for a leave of absence by completing the Request for Leave of Absence form on my.Westminster or by contacting the Office of Student Affairs at email@example.com.
Students who wish to apply for readmission after Withdrawal or Suspension from the College must complete an Application for Readmission form. This form is available on the Office of the Registrar web page or in the Office of the Registrar, where the completed form must be returned along with a $200 registration deposit.
Students who have taken a leave of absence and desire to return to campus must complete a Return from Leave of Absence form, providing all required documentation. The form is available on my.Westminster or in the Office of Student Affairs.