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Guidelines for Responding to Disruptive Student Behavior

Holy Names University strives to provide a safe and secure environment for all students, employees and visitors. Acts of violence, threats and threatening behavior are not acceptable behaviors at Holy Names University and will not be tolerated. Students and instructors are expected to maintain professional relationships characterized by courtesy and mutual respect.

Disruptive behavior involves conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.  This behavior infringes upon the rights of members of the HNU community. Disruptive behavior is defined as any behavior in a classroom or other learning environment that interferes with the learning process. This includes, but is not limited to, environments of teaching, research administration, disciplinary proceedings, university activities, university life, community service activities or university authorized activities.

Examples of disruptive behaviors include, but are not limited to, verbal or physical abuse, verbal or physical threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, repeated obscenities, argumentative and/or combative behavior or other obstructions, whether expressed verbally, physically, electronically or otherwise. 

Scope:  The scope of the policy includes persons:

  • On university property
  • At university sponsored events
  • Fulfilling the duties of a university student off-campus (i.e. nursing clinical's, internships, conferences)
  • Conducting university business or representing the university
  • Engaging in any disruptive activity that results in a negative impact on the university or university community.

Response to Disruptive Behavior:

  • In a situation of classroom or activity disruption, the instructor should first indicate to the student(s) that the behavior is disruptive and provide an opportunity for the individual(s) to conform to the expected standards of the class.  It is hoped that in the majority of instances the matter can be resolved in this initial, informal manner.
  • If the behavior continues, the student(s) should be given an immediate, direct, warning to discontinue the behavior. 
  • If the disruption continues or reoccurs at a later class the instructor may repeat the initial request to discontinue, or ask the student(s) to leave the classroom or university-sponsored event.
  • If a student(s) refuses to leave upon request the instructor shall call Campus Safety to assist in removing the student.

**If the instructor considers that he/she is in immediate danger or is concerned about personal safety, Campus Safety should be contacted.  They will respond to the site and provide appropriate response to the immediate concern. 

  • In the situation where the student(s) has been asked to leave the class, the instructor shall notify, in writing, the Department Chair, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Vice President for Student Affairs.  This report shall include information relating to the incident and subsequent steps taken for resolution.
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs, or designate, will conduct a review of the incident.  This review may consist of interview with the involved student(s), involved instructor, Department chair, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Campus Safety and any other involved parties.
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs, or designate, will then resolve the problem in the manner, which seems most appropriate. Examples of resolutions may include return to the class/activity with the expectation that behaviors will conform to expected standards, removal from the class/activity, change to another setting, suspension from the class for the semester, suspension from the University or any other resolution dependent on the circumstances.
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs, or designate, will communicate the resolution of the situation to involved parties in writing, as is allowable by FERPA. 

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