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The Susquehanna University Student Handbook is published by the Division of Student Life as the University’s official notification of regulations that concern student life at Susquehanna. Students are subject to the rules and regulations contained in the Handbook. Susquehanna makes every effort to provide accurate, current, and comprehensive information in this Handbook. The University reserves the right to change the rules governing admission, tuition, fees, courses, the granting of degrees, or any other regulations affecting its students. The Division of Student Life website contains the most current version of the Student Handbook.
I. UNIVERSITY ORGANIZATION
Susquehanna University Mission and Guiding Values
Susquehanna University educates students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership, and service in a diverse, dynamic and interdependent world.
Susquehanna University is:
- A selective, residential, national liberal arts college focused on an undergraduate education integrating the liberal arts and preparation for professions and careers.
- A learning community that values diversity; intellectual collaboration among faculty and students; scholarship, research, and creative activity; health in mind, body and spirit; and learning in and out of the classroom.
- An enduring community that inspires and empowers alumni to be perpetual stewards of their alma mater and to strengthen the core educational experience of students.
- A working community that recognizes its faculty and staff as its greatest resource, values cooperation, and expects ethical behavior and mutual respect from all its members.
- A responsible community committed to financial and environmental sustainability and a pragmatic and ambitious approach to its work.
- A valuable resource serving the local community and region, while engaging in the larger world through strong national and international connections.
- A physically attractive setting for reflection and learning.
- A community that expresses its Lutheran heritage through the free and open exploration of ideas, commitment to service, development of individual talents and the welcoming of individuals of all backgrounds and beliefs.
Approved by the Board of Trustees as part of the Strategic Plan on June 21, 2014
Students’ Rights and Responsibilities
As a community, Susquehanna strives to recognize these values as a guide in its practices and policies. Within this framework, it is essential to recognize the many perspectives and multiple points of view that our various community members represent. We each have the responsibility to hold one another to a high standard of integrity, challenging our peers and addressing any infringements in a manner that is both constructive and conducive to maintaining the dignity of each individual. By choosing to be a member of Susquehanna University, students will also observe the following rights and responsibilities as influenced by the institution’s Guiding Values.
Supporting Susquehanna University’s Mission and Guiding Values, the following rights and responsibilities were written and reviewed with the input and guidance of the student body. This statement of rights and responsibilities grounds the policies and procedures outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.
- As stated in Susquehanna University’s Statement on Ethical Living 1 (approved by the Board of Trustees on May 14, 2007), the right to “freedom from belittling, harassment, exploitation, violence, and any other harm”
- The right to advocate for oneself and others by participating in self-governing organizations which provide a means for using democratic processes to solve problems
- The right to participate in discussion, inquiry, and expression which represents the scholarly nature of an academic community
- The right to the process outlined in the Hearing Board Procedures of the Code of Student Conduct
- Freedom from unreasonable access to one’s residence, intellectual and personal property, and university records
- As stated in Susquehanna University’s Statement on Ethical Living1, the responsibility “to treat all individuals with dignity regardless of their values or origins”
- The responsibility for knowledge and observance of established university policies and other information presented in official university publications or electronic resources
- The responsibility for assuming the consequence of one’s own actions and holding oneself and other accountable for the Code of Student Conduct
- The responsibility to honor and allow for free discussion, both in and out of the classroom, which represents the scholarly nature of an academic community
- As stated in the University’s non-discrimination policy, students have the responsibility to ensure that no student organization, constitution, or other organizational document includes discriminatory clauses pertaining to “race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected status”
Established by the Board of Trustees in October 1976. Revised July, 2009 and reviewed June 2014
Statement on Ethical Living
At Susquehanna University we believe that there are many ideals of ethical living. What these various ideals have in common is a life centered on justice rather than mere self-interest, respect rather than hatred, and cooperation rather than aggression. This way of life:
Acknowledges that ethical considerations go beyond just following the law
Tolerates neither acts of bigotry nor silence in the face of such acts
Holds persons in positions of power to a special responsibility to act in ways that are well-informed, thoughtful, and impartial.
As an academic community, we are committed to fostering an environment that has as one of its central goals the building of good character over the course of a lifetime. The cultivation of good ethical decision-making is embraced as an essential part of the endeavor to educate our students for lives of achievement, leadership, and service.
At Susquehanna University we are tied to each other by relationships that aim at the well-being of individuals and the University as a whole. We strive to treat all individuals with dignity regardless of their values or origins. We insist that each person deserves freedom from belittling, harassment, exploitation, violence, and any other harm. We believe that we live well when we treat everyone fairly. Fairness requires that we:
Promote just processes of decision-making and evaluation
Identify conflicts of interest and, when eliminating such conflicts is not possible, work to maintain the integrity of the University community
Be honest in intellectual, administrative, and financial matters, claiming only that which belongs to us and making appropriate use of institutional resources
These principles offer guidance. Susquehanna University trustees, faculty, staff, and students are obligated to establish enforceable policies and procedures that reflect the spirit of this document and constitute the regulations by which all abide as members of this community.
By upholding the principles of this statement, challenging ethical shortcomings, and honoring every individual, we strive to be a community known for our mutual respect and the highest ethical standards.
Approved by the Susquehanna University Board of Trustees May 14, 2007
Statement on Diversity and Inclusiveness
As a living, learning, and working community, Susquehanna University affirms its commitment to being an engaged, culturally inclusive campus.
The University's history and heritage lead us to affirm the dignity and worth of all persons. Consequently, we must be vigilant to ensure that we do not exclude or marginalize individuals and groups because of such differences as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social class, marital and parental status, disability, age, religion, gender identity or expression, geography, and national origin. As Susquehanna seeks to embody the rich diversity of the human community, we commit ourselves to the full participation of persons who represent the breadth of human differences.
Critical engagement with diversity entails understanding how these differences impact the ways in which we experience the world, the beliefs that emerge from and frame those experiences, and the impact of power and privilege on our lives. Such engagement takes account of the lived realities of students and is essential for effective teaching and learning, equitable governance and decision-making, and healthy community life.
Critically aware of the ways power and privilege influence practices, processes and relationships, Susquehanna University declares its intention to be a more diverse and inclusive community. One which:
- Embodies a commitment to civility and rich dialogue where all people can share their perspectives in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding;
- Adopts policies and practices that protect the rights and dignity of all persons and which provide equal access to resources;
- Seeks actively to recruit and retain students of diverse backgrounds;
- Seeks actively to employ persons of diverse backgrounds in all categories of employment;
- Encourages and expects teaching and advising practices and professional behaviors that promote critical engagement with diversity;
- Challenges myths and stereotypes; and
- Fosters the development of cross-cultural relationships marked by mutual curiosity and respect.
As we seek to fulfill these commitments our perceptions, understandings, and expectations will often come into conflict with those of other members of the campus community. These conflicts are not to be avoided, but should be seen as opportunities for learning and growth. Our responses to such conflicts must be framed by our respect for all people and our commitment to social justice and lifelong learning.
We believe that these commitments are morally and educationally necessary, essential to being a viable and competitive institution of higher learning in the 21st century, and indispensable in educating "students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership, and service in a diverse, dynamic and interdependent world.”
Approved by the Susquehanna University Board of Trustees May 14, 2007