Faculty Policy Series #50
Classroom Code of Conduct for Students
I. Expectations and Obligations
As written in our Statement of Mission and Goals, “Hofstra University is a private institution whose primary mission is to provide a quality education to its students in an environment that encourages, nurtures, and supports learning through the free and open exchange of ideas, for the betterment of humankind.” Environments favorable to learning require civility and consideration of students and faculty. In all their conduct, members of the University community are expected to follow the Pride Principles stated in the Guide to Pride, the Faculty Policy Series, and other documents establishing standards of behavior (for a full listing see “Rights and Responsibilities of Hofstra University Community Members”: RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES).
Class sessions, and class-related activities such as Canvas discussions, field trips, and programs abroad, create specific requirements for responsible and mature behavior. Students are expected to come to class prepared. Prior to coming to class, students should check their Hofstra email accounts for course-related announcements, complete all assignments, and bring course-relevant materials to class. Once in the classroom, students should avoid disruptive and disrespectful conduct. Certain activities can disrupt a class session and impede learning. Other activities unrelated to the class also work against learning environments. Both types of behaviors implicitly communicate that the course and other students’ contributions are of little value.
Behaviors that may be disruptive or disrespectful include but are not limited to: shouting at the instructor or at students, physically menacing or verbally threatening the instructor or students, entering late or leaving the room during a class session, allowing one’s cell phone to ring, sending or reading text messages, side-conversations, sleeping, listening to music unrelated to the class, surfing the web, playing video games, and reading material unrelated to the class.
Importantly, intellectual disagreements that arise normally in academic discussion are not in themselves disruptive or disrespectful. Intellectual disagreements can be valuable, and class participants should respect and value them. Yet, expressions of disagreement can become disruptive. Course participants must recognize, then, that when instructors judge that a class must move on to address other important subjects, they are not thereby stifling opinion.
II. Prevention and Responses
Accordingly, this policy explicitly forbids disruptive or disrespectful behaviors as prohibited by the Pride Principles stated in the Guide to Pride, the Faculty Policy Series, and other documents establishing standards of behavior and as communicated by faculty in their syllabi or orally.
Faculty may reasonably insist during class that students stop behaving in ways that faculty judge to be disrespectful or to interfere with others’ learning. Faculty are encouraged to consult materials on how to prevent and effectively respond to disruptive classroom conduct. When faculty deem disruptive or disrespectful behaviors to be serious or repeated, they may reasonably elect to remove students from the classroom for the class period, or for the most serious cases, to remove students permanently from the course and assign a grade. If necessary, they may summon a Public Safety Officer for assistance. Instances of permanently removing students from the classroom must always be reported by faculty within 24 hours through email to the Department Chair, Dean of the School, the Provost, and the Center for University Advisement. The Provost through both email and telephone will officially notify students of their right to appeal. If students choose to appeal, they must begin the process by sending an email to Provost@Hofstra.edu as soon as possible, but no later than 5 business days after being officially notified by the Provost of the appeal process.