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University Policies for Student Life

The following sections contain general university policies for student life. All Virginia Tech students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) and student organizations are required to know and to comply with these policies. Violations of this policy can be adjudicated by the governing department and/or the Student Conduct, when appropriate.

 

Absence Verification

Students who miss class due to circumstances beyond their control can request to have the absence verified. Each faculty member will make the final determination in allowing the request to make-up missed academic work. Verification of absence does not override the authority of a faculty member. For family or personal emergencies, contact the Dean of Students Office (109 East Eggleston Hall, 231-3787). For absence related to mental health, contact Cook Counseling Center (McComas Hall, 231-6557). For absence related to physical health, contact Schiffert Health Center (McComas Hall, 231-6444). Please note, Schiffert Health Center will only verify absences resulting from prolonged illness (at least 5 days). In addition, Schiffert does not notify faculty of one-time student appointments in the Health Center. Relevant documentation is required for any verification of absence. The Dean of Students office does not verify absences related to religious and ethnic holidays.

Access to Campus

Any person who engages in unlawful or disruptive conduct or violates university policy may be asked by a university official to leave campus. Failure to comply with such requests and failure to abide by regulations governing the use of university facilities constitute trespassing under Virginia state law and may lead to disciplinary action and/or arrest.
Access to certain university facilities supported by the comprehensive student fee may be limited to those currently enrolled students who have paid the fee. Students should be prepared to present their university identification cards in order to access a facility or service supported by the comprehensive fee. Students who misuse identification cards in order to access university facilities or services may be referred for Student Conduct action.

Acceptable Use of Information Systems

Acceptable use and administration of computer and communication systems is governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 7000. This policy covers all activities involving computing and communication facilities of Virginia Tech. Every user of these systems is expected to know and follow this policy. This policy is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/7000.pdf.

Class Attendance and Classroom Conduct

Class attendance and classroom conduct is governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 6330. This policy is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/6330.pdf.

Continuing Duty to Report Arrests and Convictions to the University

Students have a continuing duty to promptly report to the Student Conduct office, any arrests or convictions for violation of federal, state, or local laws, or laws of other countries, excluding minor traffic violations that do not include injury to others. This duty applies regardless of where the arrest occurred (inside or outside the Commonwealth of Virginia), and regardless of whether the University is in session at the time of the arrest or conviction.

Students must notify Student Conduct in writing (using the Arrest Disclosure and Conviction Form) within ten (10) business days of the incident that led to their arrest or within five (5) business days of the incident that led to their conviction. Failure to comply with this continuing duty will result in the immediate referral of a student to Student Conduct and may also result in imposition of an interim suspension by the associate vice president for student affairs or his/her designee.

The form to complete the disclosure, also containing frequently asked questions, is available for download.

Demonstrations and Picketing

As an academic community, Virginia Tech values the rights of free expression and peaceable assembly and does not intend to restrict the exercise of these rights. However, all members of the university community are responsible for respecting conditions that preserve the freedom to learn. Demonstrations and picketing do not violate university policy unless they interfere with university functions, violate the rights of others, or break the law.

A demonstration is defined as the assembly of a group of persons to express their views on an issue. Picketing is defined as patrolling a building or area with or without carrying signs or handbills. The university requests that Student Centers and Activities Event Planning receive prior notification of picketing or demonstrations if the event is advertised on campus or presents a potential disruption. When a demonstration is planned or announced under the sponsorship of university- approved student organization, university officials will advise the group leaders of their responsibilities for maintaining order, which may include restrictions on time, place, and manner http://www.policies.vt.edu/5000.pdf.

Demonstrations within a campus building may take place only during the normal operating hours of the building. Demonstrators or picketers are prohibited from blocking free entry to or free exit from buildings, interfering with free movement, or presenting obstacles to regular university activities. “Interfering with free movement” is defined as any physical denial or restriction of a person’s ability to freely reach or leave a given geographical area, or abusive conduct as defined in the Student Code of Conduct. “Obstacles” are defined as physical devices, bodies, or signs which cause interference with free movement or sounds which prevent normal aural communications. Any and all signs used as part of a demonstration must be made of paper products and cannot have handles made of wood or other non-flexible materials

Event Approval and Facility Use

Event approval and facility usage is governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 5000. This policy ensures effective utilization of facilities including academic spaces and non-academic spaces. Both the rules and regulations for the approval and use of university facilities and activities sponsored by students and registered student organizations, is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/5000.pdf.

Films

The showing of motion pictures by recognized or registered University groups is governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 8205. This policy is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/8205.pdf.

Intellectual Property

A University Intellectual Property Policy was adopted in 1986 by the university’s Board of Visitors. The policy applies to copyrightable material, patentable inventions, and other creations conceived by any faculty member, staff member, or student employee when substantial university resources, such as money or equipment, are used in connection with the conception of and/or development of the creation. All such creations are the property of the university, subject to any applicable agreements with funding agencies.

If a student employee has conceived a creation which may belong to the university pursuant to the Intellectual Property Policy, it is his or her responsibility to promptly report the creation to the university. All creations must be reported to the Office of the Vice President for Research before information about them is published or before information relative to them is disclosed to an outside firm or agency. Under the existing policy, net income to the university in the form of royalties and other such payments from the creation may be shared equally with the creator(s).

Copies of the Intellectual Property Policy and assistance in reporting creations may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President for Research


Major Entertainment

Major event sponsorship is governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 8215. This policy is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/8215.pdf.

Missing Persons Policy

If a member of the University community has reason to believe that a student who resides in on-campus housing is missing, he or she should immediately notify the Virginia Tech Police Department at (540) 231-6411. Virginia Tech Police will generate a missing person report and initiate an investigation.

After investigating the missing person report, should the Virginia Tech Police determine that the student is missing and has been missing for more than 24 hours, Virginia Tech Police will notify the student’s emergency contact, or confidentially identified individual, no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing. If the missing student is under the age of 18 and is not an emancipated individual, Virginia Tech Police will notify the student’s parent or legal guardian immediately after Virginia Tech Police has determined that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours. As per requirement of the law, the VTPD will inform the Blacksburg Police Department of any missing student in order to inform them that VTPD has conducted an initial investigation and has determined that a student is missing. This notification will be made no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.

In addition to registering an emergency contact, students residing in on-campus housing have the option to identify, confidentially, an individual to be contacted by Virginia Tech in the event the student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours. Students who wish to identify a confidential contact can do so through the Hokie Spa web site. This confidential contact information will be accessible only to authorized campus officials and law enforcement and it will not be disclosed outside of a missing person investigation.

Religious and Ethnic Holidays

Consistent with the university’s tradition of religious tolerance, faculty and staff are encouraged to be sensitive to students who wish to observe religious and ethnic holidays. It is the students’ responsibility to request and provide justification for a religious accommodation, preferably during the first two weeks of classes or as soon as the student becomes aware of the need for an accommodation. Faculty should inform students of their willingness to make accommodations for reasonable requests. Faculty members are not required to compromise the academic integrity of the course to accommodate religious practices. Thus, accommodations for religious practices will be determined by the faculty and will be consistent with their attendance policy. The Dean of Students office does not verify absences related to religious and ethnic holidays.

Sales, Solicitation and Advertising on Campus

Sales, Solicitation and Advertising on campus is governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 5205. This policy is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/5215.pdf. This policy outlines the guidelines relating to sales, solicitation and advertising on the Virginia Tech campus and in university facilities. This policy applies to sale or solicitation activities by students and student organizations. Violations of this policy can be adjudicated by the governing department or the Student Conduct, when appropriate. For sales and solicitation in the residence halls, refer to the Housing Residence Hall, and Dining Policies and Procedures.

Smoking Policy

Smoking on campus is governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 1010. This policy is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/1010.pdf. Violations of this policy can be adjudicated by the governing department and/or Student Conduct, when appropriate.

Student Identification Cards

The university student identification cards are governed by the Hokie Passport Office. Student identification card policy information is available at the Hokie Passport website. Violations of this policy can be adjudicated by the governing department and/or Student Conduct, when appropriate.

Student Programming Organizations and University Advisement
Student programming organizations and university advisement is governed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Policy and Procedures No. 8005. This policy provides appropriate guidance and accountability for the activities of the group whenever the university has a significant interest and responsibility for the activities of a student organization. This policy is available at http://www.policies.vt.edu/8005.pdf. Violations of this policy can be adjudicated by the governing department and/or Student Conduct, when appropriate.
Traffic and Parking Regulations

Traffic and parking regulations are governed by Virginia Tech Parking Services. These regulations are available at the Parking Services page. Violations of this policy can be adjudicated by the governing department and/or Student Conduct when appropriate

University Names and Trademarks

All use of the university’s names and trademarks must have prior approval in writing from the Office of Licensing and Trademark Administration. Examples of this use include, but are not limited to, t-shirts, caps, jackets, sweatshirts, glassware, pins, banners, and other specialty items. A trademark or identifying mark is any word, letter, mark, or symbol associated with Virginia Tech, including the university seal, Virginia Tech, VT, Hokies, Gobblers, VPI&SU, and all other symbols that represent the university. There is confusion over the use of the university’s name, colors, or abbreviations when printed in forms other than the official trademark image. According to trademark law, if a mark is in any way perceived to associate the design, product, or organization with the university, its use falls under the proprietary rights of Virginia Tech, and university licensing policy must be followed. Only licensed vendors may reproduce Virginia Tech trademarks and written approval from the Licensing Office is required before an order is placed. Anyone who plans to use a Virginia Tech mark for any reason must contact the licensing director (202C Media Building, 231-3748).