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Community & Ethical Standards

Classroom Behavior

Students Exhibiting Disruptive or Disorderly Conduct

Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well being of society.  Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals.  A Clemson student is expected at all times to show respect for civility, community, and the rights of others and to exemplify a high sense of personal honor and integrity.

Clemson University supports the concept of educational discipline.  When a student is not a danger to the University community, or when the repetition of misconduct is unlikely, the University will make an effort to educate the student through a sanction; but should the student demonstrate an unwillingness to obey the rules governing conduct, he or she may be separated from the University.

The Board of Trustees recognizes that there is a valid function performed by faculty, staff, and the student body alike in considering and supporting any and all issues, controversial or noncontroversial, within the framework of orderly, peaceful and lawful decorum, demeanor, and processes.  The board encourages freedom of speech, including constructive criticism, expression of grievances or petition for redress of wrongs, real or fancied, so long as those rights are exercised in a lawful and peaceful manner.

What Constitutes Disruption?

"Disruption," as applied to the academic setting, means behavior that a reasonable faculty member would view as interfering with normal academic functions. Examples include, but are not limited to: persistently speaking without being recognized or interrupting other speakers; behavior that distracts the class from the subject matter or discussion; or in extreme cases, physical threats, harassing behavior or personal insults, or refusal to comply with faculty direction.

Civil expression of disagreement with the course instructor, during times when the instructor permits discussion, is not disruptive behavior and is not prohibited.

Some disruptive students may have emotional or mental health issues. Although such students may be considered disabled and are protected under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and  the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), they are held to the same standards of conduct as any student.

Applicable General Student Regulations

Disorderly Conduct

  • No student shall take any action, which, is disorderly, lewd, or indecent, or be found in a grossly intoxicated condition.
  • No student shall take any action that creates hazardous conditions including, but not limited to, actions such as dropping, throwing, or causing objects to fall from windows, doors, ledges, balconies, or roofs.
  • No student shall take any action, which intentionally interferes with or disrupts normal University or University-sponsored activities including, but not limited to, teaching, service, research, or administration.

Failure to Comply with Official Request

  • No student shall fail to comply with any reasonable and lawful request (verbal, written, or other) of University officials including, but not limited to, police officers, fire or paramedic personnel, Resident Directors, Resident Assistants, Department of Housing and Residence Life staff, maintenance personnel, security officers, and other administrators or University officials acting in the performance of their official duties.
  • No student shall fail to appear before any University judicial official, student judicial panel, or judicial committee as summoned without proper excuse or justification as deemed by the University judicial officials.

Fraud

  • No student shall misrepresent himself/herself in, or with regard to, any transaction with the University, whether oral, written, or by other means.
  • No student shall alter, misuse, or intend to misuse University documents, records, or identification cards. 

Harm to Person

No student shall cause physical harm or threaten to cause physical harm to another person, nor shall any student take any action, which creates a danger to any person's health, safety, or personal well being.  Physical assaults may result in suspension from the University.

Harassment

No student shall commit any act, verbal or physical, which has the intent or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's or group's educational or work performance at Clemson University or which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational, work, or living environment. 

Sale of Instructional Materials

No student shall sell or attempt to sell any information provided by a faculty member in any course of study offered at Clemson University.

Filing a Report with the Office of Community and Ethical Standards

Faculty and/or instructors should be aware that notes of the dates, times, witnesses and details of the incident(s) of disruption, and the impact of the disruption on those present, may be important in any future proceedings. Referrals to the Office of Community and Ethical Standards require written documentation containing factual and descriptive information and may be submitted via email, fax, or regular campus mail. The student is entitled to see this documentation, including the name of the person who wrote the report, thus it is imperative to provide information that is appropriate to share with the student.  Incident reports can also be filed electronically here or mailed to 912 University Union.

In cases where the faculty or staff member is not sure about filing a complaint, he or she may contact a staff member in the Office of Community and Ethical Standards to discuss the student conduct process and available options.

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