Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus is committed to protecting the rights of students and takes a humanitarian view of this disease.

Policy Position

  1. Rensselaer's Hartford Campus will not discriminate against an applicant for admission who has AIDS or AIDS-related diseases, or against a student who contracts AIDS while he or she attends Rensselaer's Hartford Campus . Rensselaer's Hartford Campus will not disclose to a third party information about students with AIDS, or use AIDS as grounds for dismissal or other disciplinary action.
  2. Any person who has or contracts the AIDS virus is protected under Section 504 of the 1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act. Therefore, Rensselaer's Hartford Campus students and the public cannot be discriminated against on the basis of disability for participation in any program, activity, or service.
  3. Section 504 also requires reasonable accommodations for students who have disabilities. Reasonable accommodations include: flexibility or changes in schedule; modifications to equipment used to perform a job; and modifications to the physical plant. These are provided on the basis of a student’s specific needs.
  4. Rensselaer's Hartford Campus will not tolerate harassment or discrimination toward students who may have the AIDS virus.
  5. Rensselaer's Hartford Campus is committed to providing support and guidance to both the afflicted and nonafflicted should the need arise.
  6. Rensselaer's Hartford Campus does not hold screenings for AIDS.

Acts of Intolerance

We at Rensselaer's Hartford Campus take the strongest possible stand to publicly condemn racism, religious intolerance, sexism, and all acts of hatred or violence based on difference. Acts of intolerance are directly contrary to the mission of Rensselaer.

Each student will be treated equally with dignity and assured security in pursuit of his or her educational goals. Acts of violence, harassment, or degradation based on intolerance of race, gender, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, religion, or disability are inconsistent with the educational process and have no place at Rensselaer.

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus joins with members of the higher education community to promote pluralism and foster tolerance while encouraging a diverse student population.

Resolution and Hearing Procedure

Each member of the community is responsible for reporting any acts or practices that are contrary to the promotion of pluralism to the Director of Student Records. The Director of Student Records is responsible for a timely investigation of the alleged violation and implementation of the established grievance and hearing procedure as required. Penalties for students found in violation of this policy include dismissal from Rensselaer's Hartford Campus.

Academic Dishonesty

Intellectual integrity and credibility are the foundation of all academic work. Academic dishonesty is, by definition, considered a flagrant offense to the educational process. It is taken seriously by students, faculty, and Rensselaer and will be addressed in an effective manner.

If found in violation of academic dishonesty policy, students may be subject to two types of penalties: the instructor administers an academic (grade) penalty, and the student may be subject to the procedures and penalties of the student judicial system outlined in this handbook.

Since academic dishonesty is a violation of the Grounds for Disciplinary Action, the student may be subject to any of the following sanctions: disciplinary warning; disciplinary probation; disciplinary suspension, expulsion and/or alternative actions as agreed on by the student and hearing officer. It should be noted that no student who allegedly commits academic dishonesty will be able to drop or change the grade option for the course in question.

The definitions and examples presented below are samples of types of academic dishonesty and are not to be construed as an exhaustive or exclusive list. The academic dishonesty policy applies to all students, undergraduate and graduate, and to scholarly pursuits and research. Additionally, attempts to commit academic dishonesty or to assist in the commission or attempt of such an act are also violations of this policy.

Academic Fraud
The alteration of documentation relating to the grading process. For example, changing exam solutions to negotiate for a higher grade or tampering with an instructor's grade book.

Deliberate facilitation of academic dishonesty in any form. For example, allowing another student to observe an exam paper or allowing another student to "recycle" one's old term paper or using one another's work in a paper or lab report without citing it as another's work.

Obtaining information pertaining to a graded exercise by deliberately observing the paper of another student. For example, noting which alternative a neighboring student has circled on a multiple-choice exam.

Use or attempted use of prohibited materials, information, or study aids in an academic exercise. For example, using an unauthorized formal sheet during an exam.

Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information in an academic exercise. For example, use of "bought" or "ready-made" term papers, or falsifying lab records or reports.

Representing the work or words of another as one's own through the omission of acknowledgment or reference. For example, using sentences verbatim from a published source in a term paper without appropriate referencing, or presenting as one's own the detailed argument of a published source, or presenting as one's own electronically or digitally enhanced graphic representations from any form of media.

Destruction of another student's work. For example, destroying a model, lab experiment, computer program, or term paper developed by another student.

Utilizing a proxy, or acting as a proxy, in any academic exercise. For example, taking an exam for another student or having a homework assignment done by someone else.

"If there is reason to believe a student in a course may have been involved in academic dishonesty, then contact the student(s) and schedule a meeting to discuss the allegations. This meeting should occur within ten (10) Institute business days of having discovered the possible dishonesty."

When meeting with the student, review the circumstances and evidence related to the suspicion of academic dishonesty and allows him or her the opportunity to provide his or her perspective on the situation. Take notes during the meeting to document important information. After reviewing the situation, speaking to any witnesses, etc., make a determination as to the nature and extent of the violation, if any, by the accused student. If it is concluded that a student has violated the Institute academic dishonesty policy, it is the faculty member's responsibility to determine the academic (grade) penalty (i.e., failure of the course, significant reduction of the final grade, etc.) and to communicate this decision to the student in writing. This communication should occur within five (5) Institute business days of having met with the student. Included in this written notification should be information regarding the student's option to appeal the grade decision and of the procedure/time limit in which to do so.

This written decision is copied to the Senior Judicial Administrator in the Dean of Students Office, along with a brief summary of the case facts and a copy of any supporting documentation (i.e., exams/assignments involving cheating, crib sheets, witness statements, etc.). A copy of the incident of academic dishonesty will be kept on file in the Dean of Students Office as a record of the incident and a way to monitor repeat/multiple offenses.

In addition to the academic penalty, the faculty member can request that judicial action be taken against a student for violating Grounds for Disciplinary Action, specifically academic dishonesty. Such requests should be made in writing to the Senior Judicial Administrator or Dean of Students. The documentation will be reviewed, assigned to a hearing officer, and proceed in accordance with Institute protocol."

Decisions regarding grades are initially the responsibility and jurisdiction of the course professor, and the school in which the academic dishonesty occurred, as there is no one in a better position to make this determination. Any appeal of a grade or academic penalty for academic dishonesty falls under the same authority. Therefore, a student can submit a written appeal of an academic penalty to the Department Chair within five (5) Institute business days of being notified of the faculty member's decision. If the course professor is the Department Chair or Dean of the school or there are other circumstances that could create the perception of bias, steps must be taken to use other appropriate individuals for the appeal process.

The Department Chair (or designee) will then make a determination based on the facts/circumstances of the case and the appropriateness of the original sanction. This determination should be made and communicated to the student and the professor within ten (10) Institute business days of receiving the appeal. Included in this written notification should be information regarding the student's option to appeal the grade decision and of the procedure/time limit in which to do so.

If the student or professor believes he or she has grounds for appealing the decision of the Department Chair (e.g., new evidence), both parties have the option to submit a written appeal to the Dean of the School within five (5) business days of receiving the decision. The Dean will then render a decision based on the facts/circumstance of the case and the appropriateness of the sanction. This determination should be made and communicated to the student and the professor within ten (10) Institute business days of receiving the appeal.

The decision of the Dean of the School may be subject to final determination by the Provost (or designee), with good cause and at the written request of either party involved, within five (5) Institute business days of notification of the Dean of the School's decision. The Provost is unconstrained in the procedure he or she chooses to employ in the context of such a review. The Provost is the final level of appeal and his/her decision stands as final for both the student(s) and professor involved. The Provost will render a decision based on the circumstances of the case and the appropriateness of the sanction. This determination should be made and communicated to the student and the professor within ten (10) Institute business days of receiving the appeal.

Students found in violation of the academic dishonesty policy are prohibited from dropping a course in order to avoid the academic penalty.

For those courses or academic exercises in which either the instructor or student considers proper definition of academic dishonesty to be open to interpretation, the instructor is expected to outline his or her particular standards. An example for which such definition seems particularly necessary would be collaboration on out-of-class assignments.

Course supervisors are expected to provide adequate and conscientious proctoring for exams. Faculty and proctors may ask a student for identification during an exam or exercise, and take reasonable precautions to lessen probability of academic dishonesty occurring, such as requiring that all personal belongings, texts, etc., be placed away from desks in the exam room.

Affirmative Action

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus is an independent, nonsectarian, coeducational institution which admits qualified students without regard to gender, marital status, religion, race, color, nationality or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, or disability.

Students who feel they have been subject to a form of discrimination contrary to the Affirmative Action policies have access to the formal grievance procedures.

First, the student should seek the assistance of the Director of Student Records. If the student continues to feel there is an unresolved issue on a question of discrimination, the student may initiate the established Rensselaer's Hartford Campus grievance procedures. Further information on this process may be obtained from the Director of Student Records.

Cancellation and Delayed Opening Policy

The decision to cancel classes or to delay opening the facilities is often very difficult.

We do our best to base the decision on the most current weather service information and predictions available. Our judgment is made on conditions in the Greater Hartford area at the time the decision is made. Since weather and road conditions often differ dramatically in our region, please use your own judgment to decide if you are able to arrive and return home from class safely during periods of inclement weather.

Emergency announcements will be aired at 2 p.m. on the day of the occurrence and by 6:30 a.m. for Saturday classes. They will also run on the automated reception service at the Hartford Campus (860) 548-2400 or (800) 433-4723 (press "6" for weather closing information), the Groton site (860) 449-8157, and be posted on our Web site: Additionally, the following radio and television stations will be notified:

Television Stations
Consult your local cable or satellite guide for channel locations.

  • WFSB - Channel 3 (CBS)
  • WVIT - NBC Connecticut
  • WTIC - Fox CT
  • WTNH - News 8 (ABC)

Radio Stations

  • WTIC - 1080 AM/96.5 FM
  • WDRC - 1360 AM/102.9 FM
  • WRCH - 100.5 FM
  • WZMX - 93.7 FM
  • WICH - 1310 AM
  • WCTY - 97.7 FM
  • WNLC - 98.7 FM
  • WKNL - 100.9 FM

Please also note that these stations run announcements as a public service. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for their failure to broadcast our requests.

Persons with Disabilities

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus is committed to achieving equal educational opportunity and full participation for persons with disabilities. No qualified person will be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in any program or activity offered.

A physical or functional impairment is a disability only to the extent that it prevents participation in some valued experience, activity, or role. Rensselaer's Hartford Campus strives to accommodate persons with disabilities by attempting to provide full participation and integration, and taking care not to erect new barriers.

This plan is based on the principle of nondiscrimination for persons with disabilities in Connecticut higher education in areas related to employment, access to facilities, student programs, activities, and services.

Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

While Rensselaer's Hartford Campus has no intention of intruding into the private lives or conduct of its students, staff, or faculty, it expects that all constituents will be in a condition to meet their responsibilities and refrain from conduct that could adversely affect their performance. The goal is to maintain a working and learning environment that is free from the effects of alcohol, illegal drugs, and the misuse or abuse of legal substances including, but not limited to, prescription drugs.

The illegal use of drugs, sale or possession of narcotics and alcohol, and the influence of these substances on students is inconsistent with Rensselaer's Hartford Campus objectives and will not be tolerated.

Individuals who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol have the potential for interfering with their own safety and the safety of others. Therefore, such conditions will be proper cause for disciplinary action, including possible dismissal and/or notification of the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Drug Abuse

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus will not condone the illegal use, sale, or distribution of drugs on its premises. Rensselaer's Hartford Campus premises are considered to be all property, including its garage and parking lots in Hartford, and the facility in Groton . To insure the well-being of the staff, faculty, and students, any reported occurrences of illegal use, sale, or distribution will immediately be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Alcohol Abuse

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus recognizes that alcoholism is a disease and a disability, and as part of its educational mission accepts the obligation to assist students afflicted with this illness in a fair, just, and effective manner.

Should there be sufficient evidence that deficiencies in performance in the classroom are related to alcoholism and seriously impact the actions of the student, it is the responsibility of the instructor to offer a student the opportunity for competent medical diagnosis and recommended treatment. Extreme care will be taken at every step of this process to preserve confidentiality and the reputation of the individual. Should the student refuse treatment, or should behavior continue to negatively impact performance or create a dangerous environment, disciplinary actions may be warranted.

If treatment is accepted, Rensselaer's Hartford Campus guarantees that as in the case of any illness or disability, neither the illness nor acceptance of treatment themselves will be cause for any adverse consequences.

Health Risks

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus believes that the better informed you are about the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol, the more likely you are to avoid these substances altogether or to seek help if you become the victim of chemical dependence. Therefore, the following is a summary of the various health risks associated with alcohol abuse and use of specific types of drugs. This summary is not intended to be an exhaustive or final statement of all possible consequences of substance abuse, but rather is intended to increase your awareness of the grave risks involved in this kind of behavior.

Alcohol Use and Abuse

Alcohol is the most widely used and abused drug in the United States. Alcohol consumption has acute effects on the body and causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse, as well as dangerous risk-taking behavior. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, lower doses of alcohol can be fatal.

Repeated use of alcohol can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Dependent persons who suddenly stop drinking are likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.

Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents have an increased risk of becoming alcoholics themselves.

Use of Illicit Drugs

Drugs interfere with the brain's ability to take in, sort, and synthesize information. They distort perception, which can lead users to harm themselves or others. Drug use also affects sensation and impairs memory. In addition to these general effects, specific health risks may be associated with particular types of drug use.

For further information about any of these issues, please contact Natalie Sutera, at (860) 548-2412 or (800) 433-4723, ext. 2412.

Drug Education Program

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus has adopted a drug education program for students and employees. The drug education program is required of all institutions of higher education participating in any federal financial assistance program, including those administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Since Rensselaer's Hartford Campus participates with Federal Family Education Loan Programs, we are mandated to comply.

We are concerned that drug abuse can take its toll on job performance and the safety and productivity of students and employees. Rensselaer's Hartford Campus is therefore committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to maintain a drug-free workforce.

We are dedicated to helping students and employees overcome any alcohol or drug abuse problems they may have, and we are prepared to provide confidential referral services to help those with drug abuse or other problems. If you think that you, or someone you know, has an alcohol or drug abuse problem, we urge you to use this program.

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus Drug Education Program requires annual distribution of this document. Other relevant documents are available in the Office of Student Services, Security Office, and in the Cole Library in Hartford. They are:

  1. Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol by students or employees on its property or as a part of any of its activities--the policy statement on "Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Abuse" may be found in this Handbook.
  2. Descriptions of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol may be found in the Student Services office, the Security Office, and in the Cole Library in Hartford.
  3. A comprehensive listing of drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, rehabilitation, and reentry programs is available in the Student Services office along with a listing of private practitioners and clinics. Some providers operate on a sliding-fee schedule, and most will accept insurance payments. In addition, schedules of Connecticut-based Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are also available.
  4. For a clear statement that Rensselaer's Hartford Campus will impose disciplinary sanctions on students or employees consistent with local, state and federal law, including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution--please refer to the policy statement on "Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Abuse" in this Handbook. Rensselaer's Hartford Campus is prepared to review each violation and will determine the appropriate sanction. The range of sanctions includes, but is not limited to, referral to counseling, removal from the premises, suspension, dismissal, and notification of the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Furthermore, Rensselaer's Hartford Campus is required to review this program on a biennial basis and recommend changes as appropriate. We must also ensure that stated disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.

Drug-Free Institution

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus is a drug-free environment. As such, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol by students or employees on our property or as part of any of our activities is prohibited.

Alcohol may not be part of any meeting, function, class session, or reception without the approval of the Acting Dean. In addition to violating policy, the liability issue to the institution is obvious, and in certain instances, such practices jeopardize the perception of our academic reputation.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, Title IV of Public Law 90-247), as amended.

This Act provides that students attending any postsecondary educational institution which receives federal funds are entitled to have access to their educational records kept by the institution in order to inspect and review those records. Students are entitled to petition Rensselaer's Hartford Campus for the amendment or correction of any information in their educational records which they feel is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights. Guidelines are also provided for the conduct of informal and formal hearings. A student may present evidence that the records are inaccurate and seek to have them amended or corrected. Rensselaer's Hartford Campus complies fully with provisions of the Act, limiting the disclosure of certain information contained in students’ educational records to the following circumstances:

  1. With the student's prior written consent
  2. As an item of directory information, which the student has not refused to permit Rensselaer's Hartford Campus to disclose
  3. Under the provisions of the Act which allow a school to disclose information without the student's prior written consent

As a public service, Rensselaer's Hartford Campus may disclose, without the student’s prior written consent, “directory information” available for public use and has designated, as is provided by the FERPA regulations, the following as directory information: the student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees, honors, awards received, class year in school, and other educational institutions attended prior to enrollment at Rensselaer's Hartford Campus. A student may refuse to permit the designation as directory information of any or all of the personally identifiable information listed above. Such a request must be made in writing to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the second week of classes each term.

Copies of Rensselaer's Hartford Campus complete Statement of Policy and Procedures in Compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be obtained upon request from the Office of the Registrar.

After seeking correction through the internal grievance procedures specified in Rensselaer's Hartford Campus policy statement, a student who believes that Rensselaer's Hartford Campus has failed to comply with the provisions of this Act has the right to file a written complaint with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office, Department of Education, Room 3021, 400 Maryland Avenue, Washington, DC 20202.

General Academic Regulations

Students are expected to be familiar with Rensselaer's Hartford Campus academic regulations and the particular degree requirements.

An exception to the academic regulations may be granted when circumstances indicate that this is in the best interest of the student and his or her educational objectives. Such requests are reviewed individually, and the student should first consult with the appointed Faculty Advisor.

Students are urged to discuss problems affecting their educational program with the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs, or Faculty Advisor.

Grievance and Hearing Procedure

Given the attributes of Rensselaer's Hartford Campus students, complaints, problems, and disputes can generally be resolved through individual discussions between those involved. When such negotiations prove unsatisfactory, a student or instructor may file a grievance.

A fair and timely resolution of grievances is important to both students and faculty. Therefore, the following procedure and approximate timetable have been established:


*An appeal to the Acting Dean of the Hartford Campus requires a written letter explaining the reasons for the appeal. The Director of Student Records will provide a complete copy of all documents and decisions of the Faculty Committee on Academic Standing. The Acting Dean reviews these materials along with the letter of appeal and provides a written decision to the individual appealing.

For students who have exhausted all institutional grievance procedures, the following state and accrediting agencies are available to handle complaints (note that these agencies will not consider complaints until all institutional grievance procedures have been followed):

Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics

Federal law mandates institutions of higher education that receive federal funds must provide detailed information about crime statistics and plans for crime prevention.

The security of all members of the campus community is of vital concern to Rensselaer's Hartford Campus. This document contains information specific to Rensselaer's Hartford Campus but is not a direct response to the Clery Crime Awareness Law. The report provides students, employees, and interested individuals information on the security operations, building hours, and policies concerning drugs, alcohol, weapons, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and acts of intolerance. It includes crime prevention advice, the authority of campus security, policies concerning the reporting of any crimes which may occur on the campus, and crime statistics for the most recent three-year period.

The current Campus Security Report with updated information in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is available on our Web site at:

Smoking Policy

Rensselaer's Hartford Campus is a tobacco-free environment. Besides cigarettes and other smoking materials, the ban includes: chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and electronic cigarettes. The tobacco-free areas include all buildings and property owned by Renssealer's Hartford Campus, including parking lots and grounds. Rensselaer's Groton Site is a smoke-free facility.

Student Rights in the Classroom

Students have the right to be informed about the content and educational intent of a course, and about the procedures and standards by which they are to be evaluated.
Accordingly, at the beginning of each course, students should be provided with:

  1. A syllabus of the course including content and objectives as appropriate.
  2. The policies which govern various factors used in the evaluation process along with a description of the method by which the final grade will be determined. Factors to consider include homework, examinations, projects, papers, laboratory work, and attendance. Should changes in the content, procedures, or standards become necessary, the reasons for these changes should be explained to the class.
  3. A statement of definition of academic integrity where such may be open to question. Particular attention should be paid to collaboration on out-of-class assignments. The official policy, with regard to academic integrity, can be found in this Handbook.

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Updated: 2014-08-21, 16:06