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About the Hokie Handbook

The Hokie Handbook is designed to be a resource for you to make the most of your college experience. Contained in this guide is the Code of Conduct, the University Policies for Student Life, and other key policies and procedures which you are required to know and abide. The information in this guide is applicable to all Virginia Tech students (graduate, undergraduate and professional) and student organizations. We hope that you will take the time to review the contents of the handbook to assist in your success at Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech Principles of Community

Scope and Interpretation

The policies and procedures outlined in this handbook, including the Student Code of Conduct and University Policies for Student Life (UPSL) are published annually and contain current information about the university and regulations that apply to all students (graduate, undergraduate and professional) and student organizations. Violations of these policies are adjudicated through the University Student Conduct System and/or the appropriate responsible department. They are applicable to students matriculated at the Blacksburg campus, as well as those students at branch campuses, higher education centers, other university owned or leased properties, or as outlined in the jurisdiction statement in this document. Policies are valid for the period given. The university reserves the right to change those policies during the academic year and notification is hereby given of that possibility. Substantive changes to the Student Code of Conduct or the University Policies for Student Life will be published in the Collegiate Times and will appear in this document. Students are expected to keep themselves informed on all policies affecting them. Students may obtain written clarification of any policy in this document by writing to the vice president for student affairs or the director of student conduct. Other publications that contain specific student life policies for those students who choose particular lifestyles include:

The Corps of Cadets regulations and other official directives, which specify additional and/or different policies governing cadet student life.

The Fraternity and Sorority Life Manual, which specifies additional and/or different policies governing fraternities and sororities.

The Oak Lane Manual are additional and/or difference policies governing organizations in “The Oak Lane Community” (also known as Special Purpose Housing).

The Housing Contract specifies additional and/or different policies for students living in or visiting the residence halls.

The Dining Contract specifies additional and/or different policies for students with an on-campus meal plan.

Revision Process

The Hokie Handbook Review Committee reviews the contents of this document for accuracy on an annual basis. Recommendations, additions, deletions, and corrections on the material contained in University Policies for Student Life (UPSL) and the Student Code of Conduct should be forwarded to the director of student conduct. The Hokie Handbook Review Committee is convened by the director of student conduct.

Final authority for policy changes to this document rests with the Board of Visitors. Policy changes for the UPSL and Student Code of Conduct generally start with the Hokie Handbook Review Committee and then are forwarded to the Commission on Student Affairs, University Council, and the Board of Visitors. The vice president for student affairs has the authority to issue administrative policy changes for this document. Directors and department heads may issue procedures consistent with these policies.

Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Virginia Tech is a place where the free exchange of ideas, in an atmosphere of civility, is valued both for the good of the individual and for the entire community. To support the educational mission of the university, to create an environment where all students have the same opportunity to succeed academically and personally and to promote health and safety, Virginia Tech has established policies that set standards for student behavior. As a distinguished educational institution, Virginia Tech encourages students to rise above the standards, to live and learn together in an atmosphere that is characterized by personal intellectual growth, fruitful group interaction, mutual respect, ethical leadership, and to the good of each individual and entire community.

Virginia Tech students are both individuals and members of a learning community. As individuals they enjoy basic rights; as members of the learning community, they also accept certain responsibilities.

Students and the university share the responsibility for education. The university provides classes and many other educational opportunities, as well as personal advice and guidance. Students are responsible not only for studying, writing papers, taking exams, and completing assignments on time, but also for knowing university regulations and course requirements for all levels of their programs of study. It is the responsibility of all students to find and know these regulations and course requirements, outlined in this handbook and the Undergraduate and Graduate course catalogs and other academic policies.

As an institution of higher education, the university is further committed to creating and sustaining a community that facilitates not only academic development, but also the personal development of its members. Fundamental to this commitment is the expectation of the university that the individual members of the community will:

Be honest.

Demonstrate respect for self.

Demonstrate respect for others.

Demonstrate respect for the law and university policies, their administration, and the process for changing those laws, policies, and regulations.

In keeping with this commitment, the university has formulated the University Policies for Student Life to guarantee each student’s freedom to learn and to protect the rights of others. The concept of rights and freedoms carries with it corresponding responsibilities for which students are accountable. This policy is included in this handbook. It is the responsibility of all students to know and abide by the regulations and policies which govern their conduct as members of the Virginia Tech community.

Virginia Tech abhors behaviors that are racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise disrespectful or discriminating and strongly discourages these behaviors by any member of this community. Behaviors that violate the Student Code of Conduct are addressed through the student conduct system. For example, a student who threatens another individual with immediate physical harm has violated the abusive conduct policy and is subject to student conduct action. Virginia Tech is committed to stopping these behaviors in this community.