You are here
Associated Polices and Regulations
This section of the Lehigh University Student Handbook contains policies and regulations associated with Lehigh University students. These polices are considered to be posted but do not represent all posted rules and regulations.
Policy on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry and Expression, and Dissent by Students
Free inquiry and free speech and expression, including the right to open dissent, are indispensable in achieving the goals of an academic community. Lehigh University students and student organizations are free to discuss all topics and questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. Students and student organizations have the freedom to hold a demonstration (including a rally, gathering, protest, parade or procession) on campus as an expression of support or dissent. The right to protest is integral to the freedom of dissent and to a community grounded on freedom of thought, inquiry and expression. Protest actions may not, however, materially infringe upon the protected rights of others. 1
1. Students who are exercising their right to free speech and expression must abide by University policies, as stated in the University Code of Conduct, and rules, policies, and procedures in the Student Handbook.2
2. Students’ rights of free speech and expression do not include unlawful activity or activity that:
a. endangers or imminently threatens to endanger the safety of any member of the University community or the safety of other persons, or the damage or destruction of University property; or
b. materially disrupts or obstructs the functions of the University or imminently threatens such disruption or obstruction. (This includes not only the University’s functions related to its educational and research missions, but also University events and administrative, service, and ancillary functions related to the University’s missions, including but not limited to on-campus recruitment and the operation of dining, residential, recreational and health facilities).
c. denies the rights of other members of the University community.
3. The use of a University forum by students or student organizations shall not imply acceptance or endorsement by the University of the views expressed.
4. Lehigh University is a private institution and the University’s property is private property. Persons or groups who are not part of the University community have no right or privilege to demonstrate, protest, post, or solicit on University property unless invited or sponsored by the University or by a University-recognized student organization or group, or by a Lehigh faculty or staff member for a legitimate educational purpose. If invitation or sponsorship is extended, it is subject to the compliance of such person or group with all University rules, policies, and procedures, and applicable legal requirements. Failure of a person or group on University property to adhere to an official request to leave University property may result in arrest or removal for trespassing.
Illustrative examples include:
A form of peaceful protest, for example, picketing outside a University building, would normally be considered an orderly demonstration as long as free passage was maintained through areas where members of the University community have a right to be. A demonstration within a University building would be considered orderly as long as there is free passage and there is not excessive noise. In the case of a planned event including speakers, a meeting, or a forum, a demonstration which interferes with the right of the audience to hear and be heard would be considered neither orderly nor peaceful.
This policy has been approved by the Faculty and as a policy that is integral to the education of students, any amendment, addendum, or repeal shall require advance consultation with, and approval of the Faculty.
1 Faculty freedom of inquiry, thought, expression, research, publication, and peaceable assembly is protected in the Policy on Academic Freedom, Section 2.1.1 of the Rules & Procedures of the Faculty.
2 Students sponsoring a demonstration may wish to notify campus police and consult with faculty and the Dean of Students Office regarding interpretation of this policy.
- The Athletics Department maintains its own policies and procedures.
- To find out more about the Athletics Department’s policies, view the Student Athlete Handbook at http://www.lehighsports.com/sports/2013/6/4/GEN_0604133500.aspx
- Library & Technology Services (LTS) maintains guidelines regarding proper and responsible computer usage on campus.
- Updated information specifically regarding Policies on the Use of Computer Systems and Facilities may be found at: http://lts.lehigh.edu/services/security
Students who are concerned about personal or group problems in this area are urged to seek assistance from any resources of the University or surrounding community. In particular, the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug, Programs, the Residence Life staff, the Counseling Service, Health Service staff, and the University Chaplain are available to assist any student in assessing his or her questions or concerns about drug use and abuse.
If a student has any questions with regard to the confidential nature of the information exchanged in a counseling relationship, he or she should broach such questions with the individual counselor at the outset of the relationship.
The University will not tolerate the sale of illegal drugs on campus. The University will take decisive action against any individual who is involved in drug trafficking.
Students also should be aware that federal and state laws prohibit illegal possession, sale and trafficking in marijuana and other controlled substances. Some of the laws are very strict. For example, Pennsylvania law imposes a minimum jail term of at least two years as a mandatory sentence (without the possibility of probation, suspended sentence or ARD) upon a first offender 18 years or older who simply gives a controlled substance to a minor on or within 1,000 feet of the Lehigh campus or the grounds of any other school (18 Pa.C.S. 6314). For information on drug laws, contact the Lehigh University Police Department.
Lehigh is a predominantly residential institution where students' rooms are regarded as private living and study areas. Whenever rooms are shared, the right of each student to privacy is naturally limited by the rights of his or her roommate or roommates. Thus, the use of a room for social purposes should not be at the expense of another's legitimate use of the room for sleep or study. Any student who brings guests to the campus is responsible for making relevant University regulations known to them and accepts responsibility for their conduct.
Religious Holidays & Religious Life at Lehigh
Lehigh University seeks to extend hospitality to all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic or social background. Diversity is valued at Lehigh, and the University is committed to assuring that all persons who enter this community are welcomed and respected. Lehigh's policy on religious holidays can be found online at http://chaplain.lehigh.edu/node/6
The University Chaplain's Office is responsible for all issues regarding Religious Life at Lehigh. This designation of responsibility has been made by Lehigh University , a private institution of higher learning with no sectarian bias. The University Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Steffen, reports to the Provost of the University in his role as University Chaplain. Questions about religious group activities, aid with programs, and other information or assistance should be directed to the University Chaplain's Office at x83877.
To assist students and visitors to campus, the following policy guidelines are observed:
- Questions regarding Religious Life, including those arising from religious groups, should be directed to the Chaplain's Office.
- Groups that invite visiting clergy to campus should inform the University Chaplain's Office so that these visitors may receive a formal invitation from the University and thus be present on campus in conjunction with a religious activity. As a private institution, Lehigh University could request that individuals not officially invited to campus be asked to leave.
- Religious materials may be distributed on campus, but the mode of distribution must be worked out in consultation with the Chaplain's Office. The University observes a non-intrusion policy with respect to living quarters, and residence halls are not to be entered for purposes of distributing religious materials. The Chaplain's Office can assist in the effort to distribute materials in a non-intrusive way.
The policies residential students must adhere to while living on campus are maintained in the General Provisions for Student Occupancy (GPO):
- The GPO for Residence Halls can be found online at: https://financeadmin.lehigh.edu/sites/financeadmin.lehigh.edu/files/offices/resservices/forms/Res%20Hall%20GPO.pdf
- Fraternity/Sorority Housing can be found online at: https://financeadmin.lehigh.edu/sites/financeadmin.lehigh.edu/files/offices/resservices/forms/Greek%20GPO.pdf
The posting policy for residence halls and Greek houses may be found online the Office of Residence Life website: http://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/resources-5#Posting
Parking and Motor Vehicles
All parking and motor vehicle regulations can be found online at: https://financeadmin.lehigh.edu/content/complete-parking-regulations
Student Center Facilities
Various policies pertaining to use of Student Center Facilities may be found online at: http://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/clubs-organizations
Student Organization, Group and Activity Policies
A list of the policies (sales/fund-raising, posting policies, etc.) that all student organizations are expected to abide by may be found online at: http://www.lehigh.edu/~instuact/docs/StudentOrganizationGroupActivityPol....
Student Records Policy
The following policies conform to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. A full statement of the act and the regulations for it may be inspected in the Linderman Library reference department and in the Dean of Students Office. A student has the right to "inspect, challenge, correct, and protect" the University's educational files as they pertain to him or her. The files are:
Permanent Record File (Registrar's Office) This file includes the official transcript, admission application and supporting credentials, and records of actions affecting academic status (e.g., petitions and corrections of academic records). After graduation, they are retained.
Student Personnel File (Dean of Students Office) This file includes the transcript, copies of correspondence, notations of disciplinary actions, the activities card supplied each semester by the student, and a record of contacts between the student and the office.
Disciplinary File (Dean of Students Office) Beginning with students who enroll in classes for the first time after August 1, 2013, Lehigh University will maintain disciplinary records indefinitely. Students taking classes prior to August 1, 2013 will have their records maintained for five years after their graduation except in cases of suspension and expulsion which will be kept indefinitely.
Copies of these records are made available to students in the course of disciplinary proceedings as part of Lehigh's fundamentally fair process.
Placement File (Career Planning and Placement Services) The only materials in a student's LUCIE (Lehigh University Career Information Exchange) account are those uploaded by the student for the information of recruiters. The account is inactive upon the student's graduation.
Health Professions Advisory Committee File. This file contains student's transcript, medical aptitude scores, faculty evaluations (on forms approved by the American Medical College Association), and correspondence relating to professional school admission. AMCA forms provide for the waiver of the student's right to inspect confidential evaluations. These files are destroyed five years after graduation.
Financial Aid File (Financial Aid Office) This file contains the parents' confidential statement or financial aid form, or both, and copies of tax returns that are regarded as confidential (see Release of Information - Confidential Records) unless there is written parental release. The file also contains correspondence relating the financial assistance. Files are destroyed five years after graduation.
College Files (Arts and Science, Business and Economics, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Education) These files contain copies of transcripts and correspondence relating to the student's academic standing.
Directory Information In addition to the above-listed files, there is also directory information and information for use in University sports publications, which includes a student's name, home and University address, mailbox number, home and University phone numbers, date and place of birth, name of parent or guardian, name of spouse, major field of college student, class, participation in sports and in officially recognized activities listed by the student, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recently attended educational institution. Lehigh regards this information as being public in nature and may release it without the prior written consent of the student. The student may, however, request the University to withhold any or all of the above data and to release such information only upon written authorization. Such a request should be made at the time when information forms are filled out; a "withhold data" statement is provided on the forms for that purpose.
Release of Information Under University policy and public law, there are certain procedural requirements, conditions, and exceptions pertaining to the release of information from a student's file, namely:
The University may not release information from a file without the student's written consent, except to: a. University faculty and staff who have legitimate educational reasons for obtaining it; b. officials of other educational institutions where the student seeks to enroll, if the student is notified of the release, receives a copy of the record if desired, and has an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the record; c. local, state and federal agencies as specified by law; d. persons who require such information in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid; e. officials of accrediting agencies or organizations conducting educational research, if access to personal data is limited and such data is destroyed upon completion of studies; f. persons authorized through judicial order or pursuant to a subpoena; g. parents of students dependent upon them; h. and appropriate persons in the event of emergency where such information is necessary to the protection health and safety.
Student inspection. A written request from a student to inspect his or her file must be responded to within a reasonable period but in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made.
Release of Information to Parents of Students The University complies with the guidelines for parental access to a student's educational records established by the U. S. Department of Education Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Compliance Office. Beginning in the summer of 1997, the University will request annually a statement from the student declaring whether they are dependents of their parents as defined by Internal Revenue Code for tax purposes. Parents of students responding that they are dependents will be granted access according to University guidelines and federal regulations. Parents of students not responding or responding in the negative will not be granted access except according to the following conditions. Records may be released to parents ONLY under the following circumstances: 1) through the written consent of the student, 2) in compliance with a legally issued subpoena, and 3) by submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form. The written request must include the student's name, parent or student's signature and social security number and designate what information and to whom the information is to be released.
In case of divorce, separation or custody, it is the policy of the University when access is granted to one parent, equal access will be granted to the other upon written request unless there is a court order or legally binding document stating otherwise.
Confidential Records Certain records are legally recognized as confidential. These are:
- confidential letters of recommendation or evaluations written before January, 1975;
- financial statements submitted by parents in support of financial aid requests;
- counseling and health records used only in helping the student and available only to other professionals of the student's choice;
- personal notes of faculty and administrators that are not accessible or revealed to anyone except a substitute.
Waiver conditions A student may waive his or her right of access to University files in the three areas of admission, job placement, and receipt awards, thereby making the related records confidential, if the student is informed of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations and if these recommendations are used only the specific purpose for which the waiver was given.
Right to Explanation Students who request access their records have the right to an official explanation and interpretation of the records.
Challenges If a student challenges the factual basis of a record, these actions are available:
- If the student and the custodian agree as to error, the change is noted and signed by both.
- If there is no agreement, the student may submit a written statement supporting his or her claim, and this statement will become a permanent part of the file.
- In place of, or in. addition to, submission of a written statement for the file, the student may apply in writing to the Dean of Students for hearing and must support the application with a statement of relevant facts. If the Dean of Students Office is involved in the dispute, the student's request for a hearing should be directed to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.
Copies and costs Copies of documents in these files may be obtained at the normal rate for photocopy service. Transcripts may be obtained only from the Registrar's Office.
Withdrawal For Physical, Psychological or Emotional Disorders
- Students who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. Danger to self or others Includes any danger of suicide, self-mutilation, accident, or assault substantially above normal limits which necessitates unusual measures to monitor, supervise, treat, protect, or restrain the student to ensure his or her safety and the safety of those around the student. As a standard practice, students that attempt suicide will be asked to take a minimum of two semesters leave from the University.
- Students whose behavior is disruptive to others. Disruptive includes behavior which causes emotional, psychological or physical distress to fellow students or staff substantially above that normally experienced in daily life. Such disruption may be in the form of severe distress associated with one or more behavioral incidents, or somewhat less severe but persistent distress over a more extended period.
- Students who refuse to cooperate with recommended assessment or treatment and whose physical or psychological disorder is likely to deteriorate to the point of permanent disability, disfigurement, impairment or dysfunction without such assessment or treatment. Where standard assessment is impossible because of the student's resistance, indirect behavioral observations will constitute the basis for such judgment.
- Students whose physical or psychological disorder is of sufficient severity to substantially exceed the normal limits of the University's or locally available treatment resources and whose condition will deteriorate (as in 3 above) without additional resources.
The University expects every student to be aware of these laws and of his or her responsibility to comply with them. Ignorance of the law is never a defense.
Members of the University community are reminded that the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pertaining to alcoholic beverages apply to the University campus and each individual is responsible for observing and complying with such laws. For your convenience, we have summarized portions of Pennsylvania law below. The following summary is not intended to be comprehensive and the laws reflected may change from time to time.
All persons while in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are subject to the Pennsylvania liquor and crimes codes.
Any person less than 21 years of age who attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses, or knowingly and intentionally transports any alcoholic beverages within Pennsylvania is subject to automatic loss of motor vehicle operating privileges for up to two years or more and to other penalties, including fines; arresting officers are required to notify parents or guardians of arrests made for under age drinking (18 Pa.C.S. 6308 and 6310.4).
Any person who purchases with intent to sell or furnish, or sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages of any kind to persons under 21 years of age faces penalties upon conviction of up to $2,500 (18 Pa.C.S. 6310.1). The law has been interpreted to mean that no person under 21 years of age may pay assessments which will be used in whole or in part for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
Intentionally and knowingly furnishing alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 is illegal. According to this law, furnish means "to supply, give or provide to, or allow a minor to possess on the premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged".
It is unlawful to misrepresent one's own age to obtain alcoholic beverages or for such purposes to represent to anyone that another person is 21 years of age or older; misrepresentation of one's own age will result in automatic loss of motor vehicle operating privileges (18 Pa.C.S. 6307 and 6309).
The law prohibits the use of another's identification card or an unauthorized identification card to obtain alcoholic beverages or the carrying of an identification card bearing a false name, age, date of birth or photograph and provides for certain automatic minimum fines and loss of motor vehicle operating privileges (18 Pa.C.S. 6310.3). The law imposes heavy mandatory minimum fines ($ 1,000 for the first violation and $2,500 for each subsequent violation) for the manufacture, sale or attempted sale of false identification cards as well as possible imprisonment for up to two years (18 Pa.C.S. 6310.2).
It is unlawful to possess or transport any alcoholic beverages, e.g., beer, wine or liquor, not purchased according to Pennsylvania law.
Under Pennsylvania law a blood alcohol reading of 0.08% or more for an adult, and more than 0.02% for a minor, constitutes drunk driving ("driving under influence"). Refusal to take a breath, blood or urine test results in an automatic 12 month suspension of Pennsylvania vehicle operating privileges, as does a conviction for DUI (75 Pa.C.S. 1532, 1547 and 3802). It is unlawful for any person who is a driver in any vehicle to consume any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance, as defined in the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), in the vehicle while it is in operation on any highway in this Commonwealth. Possessing open containers of alcoholic beverages in a moving vehicle may result in the prosecution of the driver for illegal consumption while operating a motor vehicle.
It is unlawful for any person who is an operator or an occupant in any motor vehicle to be in possession of an open alcoholic beverage or controlled substance. The penalty for this is a summary offense.
- Students may not burn trash, debris or other combustible material on the campus.
- Open fires are strictly prohibited with limited exceptions (e.g., camp fires for cooking)
- Pennsylvania law prohibits open fires anywhere in the Allentown , Bethlehem , Easton air basin (25 Pa.Code 129.14).
- To prevent personal injury, the University prohibits possession or use of any potentially dangerous weapon or explosive on University property.
- Such prohibited weapons include, but are not limited to, firearms, ammunition, air guns, spring-type weapons, slingshots and firecrackers.
- Violators of these regulations are subject to disciplinary action and contraband is subject to confiscation.
- Weapons under the control of the military departments are not subject to these regulations.
- All firearms belonging to Lehigh University must be secured in the Lehigh Police Office.
- Pennsylvania has adopted the Uniform Firearms Act (18 Pa.C.S. Subch. 61A), which generally prohibits carrying handguns on the person or in vehicles without a license.
- In the City of Bethlehem, licenses are issued by the Lehigh or Northampton County Sheriff's Office.
- All trees and shrubbery on the campus are University property and may not be trimmed, cut, or removed without prior approval of the Director of Facilities.
- The University does not permit construction of any type of pool, indoor or outdoor, in any fraternity, sorority or residence area.
- The policy is due to the legal liabilities associated with pools in residential areas, as well as the potential risk for injury and wear on facilities.
- In addition, the two pools located in Taylor Gym adequately and safely serve the Lehigh community's swimming needs.
- The supply, placement and maintenance of fire equipment in the residence halls is in conformity with the safety laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania .
- All students have a joint interest and responsibility in maintaining this equipment in perfect condition.
- Violators are subject to prosecution by state laws as well as University penalties. Any student who maliciously or intentionally misuses or damages any fire equipment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including suspension from the University.
- Individuals responsible for misuse or damage will be fined up to $500.00 plus replacement cost and subject to disciplinary action.
- Every student must carry his or her ID card at all times.
- Upon request of any community official, a student must show his/her ID Card.
- University community officials include Lehigh police, Gryphons, residence halls and fraternity security personnel, House Managers in fraternities and sororities, Athletic Department personnel, Dining Services personnel and Library personnel.
- The use of skateboards on campus roadways and walks is prohibited.
Stopping Cars on Campus
- Stopping cars on campus by pedestrians for purposes of seeking rides or otherwise is prohibited.
- The campus police are authorized to enforce this regulation and to examine ID cards of offenders, whose names will be transmitted to the Dean of Students Office.