Rights and responsibilities for members of SUNY Oswego

Three resources enumerate expectations for behavior as members of the college. They are: (1) The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for Faculty, Students, Administrators, Staff and College Council at Oswego; (2) the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct; and, (3) the Regulations and Procedures for Maintaining Public Order on Campuses of the State University of New York. These documents outline the requirements of the college so that it can insure academic freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the right of due process and the integrity of the educational enterprise in which all campus community members participate.

The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for Faculty, Students, Administrators, Staff and College Council at Oswego originated with the Student Services Council of Faculty Assembly, which adopted the document on February 7, 1972 following adoption by the Student Association Senate in the spring of 1971. The College Council endorsed the bill in the spring of 1972.

Members of the campus community have an obligation to fulfill the responsibilities incumbent upon all members of society, as well as the responsibilities of their particular roles within the academic community. All members have the obligation to respect:

  1. The fundamental rights of others
  2. The rights of others within the educational process
  3. The rights of the institution
  4. The rights of members to fair and equitable procedures for determining when and upon whom penalties for violation of campus regulations should be imposed.

The Bill of Rights applies to all members of the college community and is reprinted here:

1. Members of the campus community enjoy the same basic rights and are bound by the same responsibilities to respect the rights of others, as are all members of society.

Among the basic rights are freedom of speech, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, freedom of political beliefs, and freedom from personal force and violence, threats of violence and malicious personal abuse.

Freedom of the press implies the right to freedom from censorship in campus newspapers and other media, and the concomitant obligation to adhere to the canons of responsible journalism.

It should be made clear in writings or broadcasts that editorial opinions are not necessarily those of the institution or its members.

The campus community, while having an active concern for the welfare of its student members, does not stand in loco parentis.

Each member of the campus has the right to organize his or her own personal life and behavior, so long as it does not violate the law or agreements voluntarily entered into and does not interfere with the rights of others or the educational process.

Admission to, employment by, and promotion within the campus shall accord with the provisions regarding discrimination in the law.

2. All members of the campus have other responsibilities and rights based upon the nature of the educational process and the requirements of the search for truth and its free presentation. These rights and responsibilities include:

  • Obligation to respect the freedom to teach, to learn and to conduct research and publish findings in the spirit of free inquiry. No research, the results of which are secret (except under conditions of national emergency) is to be conducted on campus.
  • Institutional censorship and individual or group suppression, active or threatened, of the opinions of others are inconsistent with this freedom.
  • Academic freedom implies that the teacher has the right to determine the specific content of his/her course, within the established course definition, and the responsibility not to depart significantly from his/her area of competence or to divert significant time to material extraneous to the subject matter of his/her course.
  • Obligation not to interfere with the freedom of members of the campus to pursue normal academic and administrative activities, including freedom of movement.
  • Obligations not to infringe upon the right of all members of the campus to privacy in offices, laboratories and dormitory rooms and in the keeping of personal papers, confidential records and effects, subject only to the law and to conditions voluntarily entered into.
  • Campus records on its members shall contain only information that is reasonably related to the educational purpose or safety of the campus.
  • Obligation not to interfere with any member's freedom to hear and to study unpopular and controversial views on intellectual and public issues (subject only to the requirements for the use of institutional facilities). Right to identify oneself as a member of the campus community and a concurrent obligation not to speak or act on behalf of the institution without authorization.
  • Right to hold public meetings in which members participate, to post notices, subject only to the requirements for the use of institutional facilities, and to engage in peaceful, orderly demonstrations.
  • Reasonable and impartially applied rules, designed to reflect the educational purposes of the institution and to protect the safety of the campus, shall be established regulating time, place and manner of such activities and allocating the use of facilities.
  • Right to recourse (under this bill of rights) if another member of the campus is negligent or irresponsible in performance of his or her responsibilities, or if another member of the campus represents the work of others as his or her own.
  • Right to be heard and considered at appropriate levels of the decision-making process about basic policy matters of direct concern when the levels are within the jurisdiction of this bill.

Members of the campus who have a continuing association with the institution and who have substantial authority and security have an especially strong obligation to maintain an environment conducive to respect for the rights of others and fulfillment of academic responsibilities. Tenured faculty are expected to maintain the highest standards in performance of their academic responsibilities.

3. The institution, and any division or agency that exercises direct or delegated authority for the institution, has rights and responsibilities of its own. The rights and responsibilities of the institution include:

  • Right and obligation to provide an open forum for members of the campus to present and debate public issues.
  • Right to prohibit individuals and groups who are not members of the campus from using its name, its finances and its physical and operating facilities for commercial or political activities.
  • Right to prohibit members of the campus community from using its name, finances or physical and operating facilities for commercial activities.
  • Right and obligation to provide, for members of the campus community, the use of meeting rooms under college regulations including use by political clubs when such meetings are for educational purposes. There is a concomitant right and obligation to prohibit use of its rooms by individual members or groups on a regular or prolonged basis as free headquarters for political campaigns, and to prohibit use of its name, its finances and its equipment and supplies for any political purpose at any time.
  • Right and obligation to preserve law and order on campus, that is to protect the members of the campus and visitors to it from physical harm, threats of harm, or abuse; its property from damage and unauthorized use; and its academic and administrative processes from interruption.
  • Right to require that persons on the campus produce appropriate identification, and state what connection, if any, they have with the campus.
  • Right to set reasonable standards of conduct in order to safeguard the educational process and to provide for the safety of members of the campus and the institution's property.
  • Members of the campus community who choose to strike bear the responsibility of accepting penalties that may be levied in accordance with the law.

4. All members of the campus have a right to fair and equitable procedures, which shall determine the validity of charges of violation of campus regulations.

The procedure shall be structured to facilitate a reliable determination of the truth or falsity of charges based on substantive evidence, to provide fundamental fairness to the parties and to be an effective instrument for the maintenance of order.

All members of the campus have a right to know in advance the range of penalties for violations of campus regulations. Definition of adequate cause for separation from the campus should be clearly formulated and made public.

Charges of minor infractions of regulations, penalized by small fines or reprimands which do not become part of permanent records, may be handled expeditiously by the appropriate individual or committee. Persons so penalized have the right to appeal.

In the case of charges of infractions of regulations which may lead to notation in permanent records, or to more serious penalties, such as suspension or expulsion, members of the campus have a right to formal procedures with adequate due process, including the right of appeal if the decision was not in accord with the standards of fundamental fairness.

Members of the campus charged or convicted of violations under law may be subject to campus sanctions for the same conduct, in accord with campus policies and procedures, when the conduct is in violation of a reasonable campus rule essential for the continuing protection of other members of the campus or for the safeguarding of the educational process.

Non-discrimination policy

Our non-discrimination policy reinforces our priority of maintaining a diverse student body, faculty and staff, where we do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, nationality, creed, color, sexual orientation, marital status, age or disability.

Sexual and interpersonal violence (Title IX)

Find our most updated policy information on via our Title IX website.

Mental health intervention

(See health policies in the college's student handbook)

Welfare intervention

In some cases, a student may experience increasing psychological or physical distress and lose their ability to focus or to study due to the onset of physical or emotional conditions or relationship issues. Under stressful conditions, students can experience difficulty studying, sleeping, eating, interacting with others, or successfully completing their academic obligations, field experiences or employment obligations. In some instances, the College, through the Residence Life staff or University Police, will visit a student's residence to check on their welfare.

Timely recourse to on-campus or off-campus referral services can be important to successfully addressing emotional distress, psychological health or health and personal safety issues. In cases where the student cannot focus on their studies, is anxious or disrupting class or campus activities, cannot sleep or eat properly, the student should contact the Health Center or the Counseling Center. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to engage such students and help them seek services available on campus. College intervention in all such cases, when possible, will focus on mitigating the distress and the risk so that the student may return to the effective pursuit of their educational purposes, if possible.  

Psychological intervention

Occasionally, a student under stress may act in ways that are inconsistent with successful participation in classroom, field placement, residence hall or other College activities.  Faculty, staff and students who encounter students that appear to be experiencing distress in their interpersonal interactions, daily activities or academic performance should contact the Counseling Center, the Health Center, the Residence Hall Director or the Compass staff to discuss their concerns in a private setting.  Usually, the Counseling Services Center staff can advise the reporter on a specific strategy for referring the student to counseling services and, in some cases, intervene on site to help the student.

Concern for the welfare of a student that includes a perceived imminent threat of harm to the student or to others should be reported immediately to University Police at 315-312-5555. Counselors are on call and can be contacted by University Police for immediate referral, on site or in the Counseling Center. Less imminent but serious concern for a student's welfare should be referred to the Counseling Center at 315-312-4416, Walker Health Center at 315-312-4100, the Associate Provost at 315-312-2232 or the Dean of Students at 315-312-3214.

Most students experiencing emotional distress can be served at the College's Counseling Services Center, or through their referral. Occasionally, a student will act against their own health and safety due to distress or psychological concerns.

Students are sometimes transported, voluntarily and involuntarily, to the Oswego Hospital for medical and psychological evaluation and to assess the need for psychiatric services. All students transported to the hospital for evaluation are mandated to report to the College's Counseling Center the next class day after discharge from the Oswego Hospital. Vouchers are available from the hospital Emergency Room and from the Behavioral Unit for taxi service for college students to return back to their residence hall. Students will, at that point, authorize the release of information to the Counseling Center and Oswego Hospital so they can share information regarding the condition and needs of the student.

Behavioral Intervention Team

The College provides a Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) to respond to students experiencing psychological or emotional distress, exhibiting distress or disoriented behavior or where referral or transport to a hospital for reasons of psychological or emotional distress or disorientation occurs. Generally, the Behavioral Intervention Team will assess the nature and pattern of behavior, the level of severity of disruption, a pattern of disruptive occurrences, the imminence of an occurrence of harm, the likelihood of an occurrence of harm, the duration of the risk of harm, and the extent of disruption to College activities. All BIT deliberations and information related to a student are private to the extent permitted by law. Consultation may occur with officials of the College with a legitimate educational interest or other appropriate parties. The objective of the Behavioral Intervention Team is to engage the students in managing and ultimately alleviating their distress. 

Mandatory Evaluation and Withdrawal

Whenever the behavior of a student appears to pose a serious threat to the health or safety of the student or others or to the functioning of College activities, a mandatory referral for psychological or other health evaluations to assess a student's ability to continue to take advantage of College programs and activities may be made by the Dean of Students or designee as a result of a Student Assessment Team assessment.  The student would be notified and the evaluation will be conducted by a staff member at the Counseling Center. The student may choose to be evaluated also by an external evaluator with the approval of the Dean of Students or designee. The student must initiate the evaluation process within 48 hours of being informed that it is required.

The student may be directed to authorize the release information from medical and/or psychological practitioners who have previously or are currently treating her/him. The student is required to provide release of information so that counseling professionals and the Dean of Students or designee can share information and gather broader information regarding support received from caregivers outside the College.

The evaluation will assess the following:

1.   The nature, duration, and severity of the risk that the student poses to the safety of others.

2.   The likelihood that a student constitutes a threat to the safety of others exists and will continue.

3.   Actions, if any, that could be taken to manage and/or reduce the student's risk to others and maintain enrollment.

4.   The likelihood that the student can regain and maintain academic success within the context of our social and residential environment.

A student who has been directed by the Dean of Students or designee to participate in a psychological evaluation may be subject to interim suspension from the College and/or interim revocation of his/her campus room and board agreement until the evaluation is completed. Upon completion of the psychological evaluation, the student will meet with the Dean of Students or designee. The student's ability to fully participate in the College curricular and extracurricular programs and services will be reviewed by the Dean of Students or the Student Assistance Team and recommendations will be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee for a final determination. This assessment may result in deregistration from enrollment or in establishing conditions for continued enrollment.  

In cases where the distress or disorientation causes a violation of the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct, a Statement of Charges may be filed and the student will be subject to College disciplinary action. If a student withdraws from SUNY Oswego while disciplinary action or a mandatory evaluation is pending, that student is prohibited from access to College facilities and grounds and all College-sponsored activities and events, pending the completion and outcome of said disciplinary action or mandatory evaluation. 

Return to Enrolled Status

Students separated from the College under this policy may make a request to return by providing documentation from an appropriately licensed mental health professional that the distress and attendant conduct have been resolved. The documentation should address:

5.   compliance with the student's provider's treatment recommendations, including any recommendations for medication evaluation/management, and progress with treatment plans. How well and how long the student has complied with treatment recommendations will be important information to be taken into consideration;

6.   assessment regarding ability to function socially and academically without disruption to others in the campus community and without supervision of the student's behavior;

7.   recommendations that have been made to the student for ongoing counseling and medical care;  and

8.   a plan for the student's follow-up in the Oswego area that includes treatment by mental health professionals (off campus) that is coordinated and addresses treatment recommendations.

The documentation should be accompanied by a written request from the student and submitted to the Dean of Students or designee. The Dean of Students or designee may require the student to be evaluated by a staff member at the Counseling Center. The Dean of Students or designee will then recommend to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee whether or not the separation will be reversed. The decision will be made by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee and is final. Conditions for readmission may be required by the College prior to readmission. In addition, if the student was academically disqualified during the semester of their withdrawal, the student must also apply for academic reinstatement through the Dean of the college or school that houses their major.

SUNY Oswego policy and procedures for accommodating individuals with disabilities

SUNY Oswego is committed to accommodating the special needs of individuals with disabilities for providing equal access to all its programs and services as required by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This document establishes the policy and procedures for determining reasonable accommodations for students (matriculated and non-matriculated), employees and visitors to campus events, activities and programs. SUNY Oswego has:

  1. Established procedures to respond to requests for accommodations;
  2. Established procedures to provide notice to interested parties of the existence of a program of services, its location, identity of the person to contact to obtain information and services; and
  3. Developed a program for the provision of services for students with disabilities.

Part I: Policy, Accessibility and Equal Opportunities

It is the policy of SUNY Oswego, in compliance with Federal law (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990), to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. The institution and its employees shall comply with all applicable federal laws and regulations regarding reasonable accommodations necessary to ensure equal opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities.

It is the policy of SUNY Oswego to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities on a case-by-case, flexible basis. Programs are expected to have the flexibility and capacity to provide reasonable accommodations when needs arise.

Otherwise qualified individuals with documented disabilities (as defined by applicable state and federal regulations) are eligible to request reasonable accommodations. The responsibility for initiating a request for accommodations lies with the individual with a disability. Every individual making a request for reasonable accommodations must provide sufficient documentation to support his or her request. Submitted documentation must be from an appropriate, qualified professional. In accordance with federal and state regulations, SUNY Oswego will treat disability-related information in a confidential manner.

Part II: Designated Campus Contacts for Individuals with Disabilities

A. Students with Disabilities

The Office of Disability Services coordinates services for students with disabilities. The Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities (see III, E) collects student disability related documentation, evaluates requests from students for reasonable accommodations and coordinates appropriate services. Final determination as to the appropriateness of an accommodation to the university setting is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and rests with SUNY at Oswego. The Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities also assists faculty, staff and students with information and resources relating to disabilities and serves as a consultant for persons needing information or referrals to outside agencies or professionals.

B. Employees with Disabilities

The Director of Human Resources (see III, E) is the designated contact person for employees with disabilities requesting reasonable accommodations. The Director of Human Resources follows policy and procedures for employee requests for accommodations (Procedures for Implementing Reasonable Accommodation in NYS Agencies and Facilities). The Director of Human Resources is available to assist faculty and staff in gaining a greater understanding of the law and to clarify institutional obligations under the law to provide reasonable accommodations.

C. Campus Visitors

Programs, activities and services include but are not limited to meetings, conferences, public events, public meetings, performances, social events, etc. Persons with disabilities visiting the campus should contact the designated departmental personnel conducting or coordinating specific activities, programs or events they will be attending. The designated departmental personnel conducting or coordinating the specific activity, program or event should consult with the ADA/504 Coordinator (see III, E) if they require assistance. Determination of how best to meet the needs of individual visitors with disabilities attending such activities shall be made on a case-by-case basis.

D. Event/Program Accessibility - Procedures for Sponsors

Designated individuals responsible for planning campus-sponsored events should adhere to the procedures below in order to facilitate accessibility.

1. Whenever possible, events should be scheduled at physically accessible locations. When viewed in its entirety, programs and activities should be readily accessible, or made accessible, through reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.

2. Publications, including but not limited to brochures, registration forms, press releases and posters announcing public programs and events should include an accessibility statement. The inclusion of the following statement on announcements and publications places the responsibility of requesting needed auxiliary aids and services on participants, and provides departmental staff with advance notice should they need to arrange for any requested accommodations. Persons with disabilities, needing accommodations to attend this event, should contact (name/department) at (phone #) in advance.

3. A reasonable advance notice of at least three weeks should be given by anyone requesting accommodations. However, with the goal of providing access to and participation in all SUNY Oswego programs, services and activities, every effort will be made to respond to requests for reasonable accommodations within a reasonable period.

4. You may wish to consult with the ADA/504 Coordinator regarding auxiliary aids and services, resources available, agency referral and the determination of the appropriateness of accommodations.

Part III: Procedures for Accessing Accommodations

A. Requests for Accommodation

1. A request and determination of an accommodation is handled through the designated campus contact. Students with disabilities should contact the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities, 312-3358. Employees should contact the Director of Human Resources, 312-2230, and all other requests should be directed to the office sponsoring the specific program or activity.

2. Individuals with disabilities may choose to self-disclose, to the appropriate campus contact, information about their disability at any time. However, in order to ensure sufficient time to coordinate auxiliary aids and services, it is the responsibility of the individual to make the request in a timely manner. If a request is made after a designated deadline, every effort will be made to accommodate the request. However, because many accommodations require early planning, it cannot be guaranteed that all requests for accommodations will be met. Untimely requests may result in delay, substitution or denial of an accommodation.

3. The responsibility for requesting or initiating a request for accommodation lies with the individual with a disability. Students with off-campus program requirements such as an internship or student teaching placement are encouraged to request accommodations at least one semester prior to the semester they will be participating in the off-campus program.

4. Verification of a disability is required. It is the responsibility of the individual with a disability to provide documentation that supports her or his request for reasonable accommodation. Disability documentation must clearly indicate:

a) The existence of a disability (as defined by state and federal regulations),

b) That the disability substantially limits a major life activity, including a statement of the nature and extent of the limitations; and,

c) A statement of what accommodation(s) is/are recommended.

Specific guidelines for documentation of a disabling condition may be obtained from the Office of Disability Services.

5. Once a qualified individual with a disability has requested an accommodation, the designated campus contact will take steps to determine an appropriate accommodation. The appropriateness of an accommodation is often determined through a flexible, interactive process that involves the individual with a disability and the designated campus contact. Early consultation is essential whenever questions of compliance and/or funding for an accommodation are involved.

6. Final responsibility for selection of the most appropriate accommodation rests with the institution. (See Section III C, D, for appeal/grievance procedures.)

B. Reasonable Accommodations

1. Factors to determine whether a requested accommodation is considered reasonable include:

a) The individual is "otherwise qualified"

b) The request does not fundamentally alter the essential elements of a program

c) The request does not create an undue financial or administrative burden

d) The request does not create a danger to others

e) The request is not of a "personal" nature

2. Students with disabilities will be expected to meet the academic and technical standards of a course or program with or without reasonable accommodations. The types of accommodations provided to individuals with disabilities may vary according to the nature of the disability and the physical environment or course content.

3. An employee with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of his or her job with or without reasonable accommodations.

C. Appeal of Accommodation Determination

Employees, students and visitors have an opportunity to appeal a decision regarding an accommodation. Appeals may be handled informally in a case review involving the person seeking accommodation(s), the designated campus contact and the appropriate faculty, administrator or supervisor. If a mutually acceptable accommodation cannot be determined with the designated campus contact and relevant SUNY Oswego personnel, an internal complaint may be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer (see III, E).

D. Grievance Procedure

SUNY Oswego has adopted an internal grievance procedure for the provision of prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination. Individuals with a disability at SUNY Oswego, who consider themselves victims of discrimination based on a disability, may file a grievance with the Affirmative Action Officer. Procedures for students wishing to file a discrimination grievance are identified in the SUNY Oswego Student Handbook section on college policies, specifically under Discrimination and Filing Complaints. Additionally, procedures for employees and/or students wishing to file a complaint may also be obtained from the Affirmative Action Officer. The Affirmative Action Officer shall receive any complaint of alleged discrimination, shall assist the complainant in defining the charge and shall provide the complainant with information regarding the options for filing internal complaints or external complaints through the federal Office of Civil Rights and/or the New York State Division of Human Rights.

E. Disability Accommodations Resources

Questions or concerns regarding policy, services, or allegations of non-compliance should be directed to the designated campus contact:

The Disability Support Services Office, 155 Campus Center, 315-312-3358, fax 315-312-2943.  Americas with Disabilities Act (ADA)/504 Coordinator, Campus Center, 315-312-3358, Starr Knapp,starr.knapp@oswego.edu

Director of Human Resources, 410 Culkin Hall, 315-312-2230

Individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination on the basis of disability and have been unable to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution with the designated campus contact and appropriate personnel may file a grievance with the Interim Affirmative Action Officer. Individuals should contact: Howard Gordon, Executive Assistant to the President, 707 Culkin Hall, 315-312-2213, howard.gordon@oswego.edu

F.  College Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs

As an educational institution, the College recognizes that the use of alcohol is a matter of individual choice and does not therefore encourage or discourage the reasonable legal use of alcoholic beverages. Oswego strives to empower students to make positive choices that reflect attitudes and behaviors that result in healthy lifestyles and contribute to a positive campus learning environment. New students, in particular, are likely to encounter choices to be made regarding peer expectations to drink alcohol and use drugs in social situations. To help new students navigate their first year college social environment, the College provides a health and wellness online suite -- MyStudentBody -- that includes student-oriented alcohol and other drug information. It is relevant to both students who choose to drink and those that do not. The goal of the course is to increase students' knowledge, decrease harmful behaviors and provide information to help students make good decisions. Every new student, including transfer students, is required to complete MyStudentBody.

Individual students are responsible for their behavior related to their use of alcohol and other drugs. Possession, or distribution or excessive and illegal use of alcohol, and/or the illegal use, possession, distribution, sale or manufacture of controlled substances, drug paraphernalia and marijuana, and including intentional misuse and distribution of legally prescribed drugs are prohibited on or off campus, in College facilities and grounds, at College sponsored events and at activities and events sponsored by registered student organizations, athletic teams or sports clubs.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are directed to the College Statement in Support of a Drug Free Campus (reviewed annually) for the campus philosophy and referral resources.

A. Use of Alcoholic Beverages and/or Drugs On or Off Campus  

1.   The legal age of possession and purchase of alcohol in New York State is 21 years of age.

2.   The consumption, possession and distribution of alcohol on campus grounds and in campus facilities is prohibited, except at events and under conditions authorized by the College and only by persons of New York State legal age.

3.   The conditions of study and sleep in residence halls are vital to the College's educational purposes as a residential college and integral to student academic performance. The use of alcohol and illicit drugs in a residence hall community not only impacts student users but also has significant negative impact on other students in the residence hall community. Therefore:

a.   Alcohol is not permitted at any time in a residence hall room, suite or apartment in which all assigned residents are under the age of 21 years. If at any time one or more empty containers of alcohol are present in such residences, the residence hall staff will assume consumption has occurred for purposes of reporting and responding to the residents assigned to that room.

b.   Persons age 21 years or older may possess and consume alcoholic beverages in their room, suite or apartment. Students of legal drinking age must ensure that the amount of alcohol present in the room is reasonable for consumption by the individual resident over a reasonable period of time. In keeping with this, students of legal age may possess one of the following at any one time:

·     up  to one 12-pack of 12 ounce cans OR

·     one 1.5 L or two 750 ml of wine OR

·     one 750 ml of hard liquor

c.   Binge drinking, as defined by national norms as more than four (4) drinks in one sitting/event, is detrimental to the health and welfare of our densely populated residential community. Permission to possess and consume for those students who are of legal drinking age is predicated on our expectation of responsible use that does not have a negative impact on the rest of the residential floor or community.  

d.   Possession of open containers used for alcoholic beverages is not permitted for any student, guest or visitor in public areas of residence halls such as corridors, lounges, bathrooms, elevators, lobbies, offices, stairwells, doorways, etc.

4.   Intoxication on campus, in class or at college sponsored events, is prohibited and constitutes grounds for student disciplinary action and dismissal from enrollment at the College. Students who are transported to a hospital emergency room as a result of alcohol or drug use are required to meet with the Dean of Students to discuss the circumstances of their transport and their plans/strategies to refocus on their education.

5.   Students who are belligerent or uncooperative with residence life staff, University Police, emergency medical personnel or Oswego Hospital staff will be subject to College disciplinary action and/or arrest.

6.   The use, possession, and/or distribution of date rape drugs or alcohol as a means of inhibiting a person's ability to make clear and reasonable decisions regarding sexual contact are prohibited.

7.   Drinking contests/games and all other forms of excessive drinking are prohibited at organizational, team or club activities and in residence halls.

8.   Members of registered student organizations, sports clubs or athletic teams, collectively or individually, or individual students, who sponsor events and activities on or off campus where alcohol is present are responsible for abiding by the tenets of the NYS Social Host Law, including but not limited to:

a.   host(s) will serve only persons of legal age;

b.   host(s) will be held responsible for injuries and/or damage that occur even after an individual who was served has left the venue;

c.   host(s) of events where alcohol is served in exchange for money or a door charge or a donation to enter are required to obtain permission from the local municipality.

B. Disciplinary Action Related to Alcohol and Other Drugs

Any student, student organization, team or sports club and/or their guests and visitors who violate this policy will be subject to College disciplinary action and/or criminal action. Sanctions resulting from disciplinary action may include mandatory participation in Alcohol and Other Drug intervention programs, required conditions for continued enrollment, limited access to campus facilities or residence halls, suspension, or expulsion from the College.  Visitors and guests and student organizations who violate this policy may be denied access to the campus under the Rules for Maintaining Public Order.

1.   Violations of the College's Code of Conduct and policies -- including Alcohol And Other Drugs -- are cumulative in nature, and therefore, will remain a part of the student's disciplinary record for the duration of the student's enrollment at the College. Multiple violations constitute a pattern of behavior contrary to the educational purposes of the College and will be cause for consideration of suspension from enrollment at the College as an appropriate sanction.

2.   The following list provides examples of behaviors and applicable Code of Conduct sections that will result from the violation of this policy. A violation of this policy constitutes, in itself, a violation of the Code of Student Rights, Responsibility, and Conduct.

a.   physical violence, abuse, assault and/or battery including domestic violence (43.C.);

b.   harassing, intimidating, stalking, bullying or threatening others (43.C.);

c.   refusing to cooperate with the legitimate requests of staff (43.G.);

d.   sexual contact with, sexual assault or sexual harassment or physical sexual exposure to another individual without his/her consent (43.D);

e.   possession, consumption and distribution of alcohol and other drugs and intoxication (43.C., 43.H., 43.J.);

f.    damage to and/or vandalism of College facilities or property or to the property of others (43.F.);

g. hazing (43.E.) or other form of group influence to use;

h.   driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated or impaired; and

i.    use of "date rape" drugs or other means of inhibiting a person's ability to make clear and reasonable decisions regarding sexual assault.

3.   Students and/or student organizations referred to attend Mandatory AOD Intervention, which includes BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) or MyStudentBody (online, interactive program), must complete registration materials at the Lifestyles Center located in the Walker Health Center. Students mandated for an alcohol or drug evaluation are required to arrange for the evaluation in accordance with instructions provided by the Office of Student Conduct and Compliance and follow the recommendations that result from the evaluation.

4.   Members of the college community who legally provide alcohol or other drugs to others are responsible for the actions of those individuals and may be subject to College disciplinary action and/or criminal action for the conduct of those to whom they have given or otherwise provided alcohol.

5.   The College and City of Oswego work together to improve the quality of life in the Oswego City community for students and their neighbors. Information regarding student behavior off campus is routinely shared with the College by the Oswego City Police where violations occur related to the use of alcohol and other drugs. Violations of City ordinances or state and federal law may be reported to the College by the City Police and subsequent College disciplinary action may result. The Mayor's Office may notify parents, by letter, of any student arrest off campus for student behavior related to use of alcohol and other drugs.

The chart below identifies Student Code violations and sanctions that may be imposed upon individual students and/or student organizations who violate the alcohol and other drug polices both on and off campus. The code violations cited are not exclusive to the listed items and may include other violations not identified.

Student Behavior/Conduct Codes

Sanctions for First Offenses

Sanctions: Subsequent Offenses

Alteration or possession or presentation of instruments of identification or improper ID

Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Community Service

Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

43.H. ; 43.J.
Underage possession and/or consumption of alcohol and other drugs; distribution of alcohol and/or other drugs

Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Parental Notification, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

Relocation from Residence Hall, Parental Notification, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

43. C.; 43.F; 43.J.
Damage to property while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs

Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Parental Notification, Relocation, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

Relocation from Residence Hall, Parental Notification, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

Driving While Intoxicated; driving while ability impaired by drugs   

Disciplinary Probation, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Parental Notification, Suspension, Expulsion

Suspension, Expulsion, Parental Notification

Noise violation with alcohol and/or other drugs present            

Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Parental Notification, Relocation from Residence Hall, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

Disciplinary Probation, Relocation from Residence Hall, Parental Notification, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

Possessing or using Marijuana and/or illegal use of controlled substances, drug paraphernalia and marijuana

Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Parental Notification, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

Disciplinary Probation, Relocation from Residence Hall, Parental Notification, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

Distribution or sale of illegal drugs or possession with intent to distribute or sell

Disciplinary Probation, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Relocation from Residence Hall, Suspension, Expulsion, Parental Notification

Suspension, Expulsion, Parental Notification

Hosting or attending underage a party involving illegal use of alcohol and/or other drugs

Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Parental Notification, Restitution, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Suspension,  Expulsion

Suspension, Expulsion, Parental Notification

Possessing Kegs, Beer balls

Suspension, Expulsion, Parental Notification

Suspension, Expulsion, Parental Notification

Hazing or other form of group influence to use

Suspension, Expulsion

Suspension, Expulsion

Sexual contact on or physical exposure to another individual under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs without consent            

Disciplinary Probation, Parental Notification, Relocation from Residence Hall, Restitution, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion         

Disciplinary Probation, Parental Notification, Relocation from Residence Hall, Mandatory AOD Intervention, Community Service, Suspension, Expulsion

C. Notification of Parents regarding Alcohol and Other Drug Violations by students

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 was amended to permit colleges and universities to disclose to a parent or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21 information regarding any violation of Federal, State or local law, or any rule or policy of the institution, where the incident includes use or possession of alcohol and/or controlled substances.  The College recognizes the important role that parental involvement may have in promoting positive choices by our students and reserves the right to notify parents of their student's use, possession, or distribution of alcohol or illegal drugs.

D. Summary of Applicable New York State Laws for Alcohol Use

Section 65 of the New York State Alcohol Beverage Control Laws

1.   It is illegal in the State of New York for any person under the age of 21 years to possess or consume any alcoholic beverage.

2.   The sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under the legal New York State purchase age is prohibited. No one may "sell, deliver or give away; cause, permit or procure to be sold, delivered or given away any alcoholic beverages" to anyone underage. Legal consequences may include both fines and jail time.

3.   It is illegal in the State of New York for any minor to use false identification to obtain alcohol. Legal consequences may include a fine of up to $100 and/or up to 30 hours of community service.

4.   In New York State, the sale, gift or delivery of alcoholic beverages to a "visibly intoxicated person" is prohibited.

5.   Zero Tolerance Law: Persons under age 21 who are caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .02 of 1% or more but not more than .07 of 1% will lose their driver's license for at least six months and may have to pay civil penalties and suspension termination fees.  

6.   Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is the operation of a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. Legal consequences may include fines, jail time, a revoked or suspended driver's license.

E. Summary of Applicable New York State Laws for Controlled Substances, Drug Paraphernalia and Marijuana

1.   Controlled Substances and Drug Paraphernalia

a.   With the exception of legally prescribed medication, it is illegal in the State of New York for any person to possess or traffic in any controlled substances and/or drug paraphernalia including, but not limited to, the following:   

i. Narcotics: opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, etc.

ii. Depressants: barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methaqualone, rohypnol, etc.

iii. Stimulants: cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, etc.

iv. Hallucinogens: LSD, PCP, mescaline, peyote, ecstasy, etc.

v. Inhalants: nitrous oxide, butyl nitrate, propyl nitrate, etc.  

vi. Precursors: chemical compounds

vii. Prescription Drugs: steroids, ritalin, etc.

viii. Drug Paraphernalia: packaging materials, scales and balances, hypodermic needles, etc.

b.   Legal consequences for the possession or criminal sale of controlled substances and/or drug paraphernalia may include fines and jail time.  

2.   Marijuana

a.   It is illegal in the State of New York to possess, use or traffic in marijuana (i.e., cannabis, hashish, hashish oil, tetrahydrocannabinol, etc.).  

b.   Legal consequences for the possession or criminal sale of marijuana may include fines and jail time.

3.   Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI) is the operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by the use of a drug as defined in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192(4).  Legal consequences may include fines, jail time, a revoked or suspended driver's license.

G.  College Policy Relative to Retired Professional Staff

The following is a listing of the policies developed by the college regarding retired professional staff:

1. Retired persons shall be given a professional staff identification card, which shall permit their taking advantage of various professional staff privileges,

2. An up-to-date list of retired persons, with current addresses, shall be maintained by the President's Office at all times.

3. Certain privileges are outlined in the personnel policies of State University relative to retired professional staff. Specific privileges to be accorded these individuals are as follows:

a) They shall have the right to make purchases through the College Bookstore.

b) They shall have all the privileges of regular professional staff members including admission to college events, special faculty rates and the like.

c) They shall have library privileges.


d) They may attend all faculty meetings and other faculty affairs.

e) The President shall review the feasibility of making laboratory facilities, office space and secretarial assistance available to retired professional staff members when requested.

f) Retired professional staff shall be provided with parking stickers upon request.

4. The Business Office shall apprise retired professional staff of any special provisions applicable to them.

5. The President shall designate a coordinator to implement policy relative to retired professional staff members. This duty will entail notifying persons of their privileges and of any changes in policy, which may occur.

H.  Records Access

State University procedures, established pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law, give public access to certain categories of university records. These procedures provide for designation of a records access officer who, among other duties, is assigned the responsibilities of coordinating the institution's response to requests for access to records and making such records as are appropriate available for inspection. The College's records access officer is the Director of Communications and Marketing. The Communications and Marketing Office is located in room 210 of Culkin Hall, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126. Requests for information may be filed in the Communications and Marketing Office during normal business hours. There is a right of appeal to a denial of access to information.

College policies regarding access to student records comply fully with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For information, see: http://www.oswego.edu/administration/registrar/ferpa.html

I.  Computer Use

Unauthorized access or modification to campus computer systems, software or data files is subject to loss of system privileges and/or disciplinary action pursued through the administration of the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct. Violation of state and federal laws may also result in legal prosecution.

Software and Intellectual Rights Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy and right to determine the form, manner and terms of publication and distribution.

Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community. (Source: EDUCOM and ADAPSO).

J.  Software Copyright Policy

It is the intent of SUNY Oswego to adhere to the provisions of copyright laws in the area of computer programs. Though there continues to be controversy regarding interpretation of those copyright laws, the following statements and procedures represent a sincere effort to operate legally. The college recognizes that computer software piracy is a major problem for the industry and that greater efforts must be made to prevent illegal copying or society will see a decrease in incentives for the development of good educational uses of computers. Therefore, in an effort to discourage violation of copyright laws and to prevent such illegal activities:

1. It is recommended that the ethical and practical problems caused by software piracy be taught in all classes involving the use of computers.

2. College employees will be expected to adhere to the provisions of Public Law 96-317, Section 7(b) that amends Section 117 of Title 17 of the United States Code to allow for the making of a back-up copy of a computer program. This states that "... it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaption of that computer program provided:

a) That such a new copy or adaption is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or

b) That such a new copy and adaption is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program by the rightful owner should cease."

3. When software is to be used on a disk sharing system, efforts will be made to secure this software from copying.

4. Illegal copies of copyrighted programs may not be made or used on college equipment.

5. No person shall use or cause to be used in the college's computer laboratory any software which does not fall into one of the following categories:

a) It is in the public domain.

b) It is covered by a licensing agreement with the software author(s), vendor or developer, whichever is applicable.

c) It has been donated to the college and a written record of a bona fide contribution exists.

d) It has been purchased by the college and a record of a bona fide purchase exists.

e) It has been purchased by the user and a record of a bona fide purchase exists and can be produced by the user upon demand.

f) It has been written or developed by a college employee or student for the specific purpose of being used in a SUNY Oswego computer laboratory or facility.

6. The employee or designated person in charge of each computing facility [or administrative officer so designated by the college administration] will be the person responsible for establishing and publishing a clear description of practices, which will enforce this policy.

K.  Extraordinary Working Conditions

Employees who have reported for duty and because of extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, other than those related to weather conditions, are directed to leave work, shall not be required to charge such directed absence against leave credits for that day. However, where extraordinary working conditions are present, such as excessive heat, cold or power shutdowns, it is college policy, whenever possible, to reassign people to more comfortable areas. Should such conditions prevail in an area, the Office of Human Resources should be contacted immediately.

L.  College Closing Due to Weather

To find out if classes are canceled because of inclement weather, members of the campus community have several options:

- Check SUNY Oswego's homepage

- Call 312-3333, the SUNY Oswego Information Line

- Listen to radio and television: TV Channels 3, 5, 9 and 10 in Syracuse, the WRVO Stations (FM 89.9 to 91.9 throughout Central Upstate New York); WWTI  Newswatch 50 in Watertown; Clear Channels in Syracuse (WSYR AM 570, Y94 FM 94.5, etc.) and Rochester (WHAM 1180, etc.)

They may receive direct notification as well, if they have signed up to receive campus alerts through New York Alert.

Classes will proceed as scheduled unless official announcements of cancellation are made.

When classes are cancelled, most employees and all commuting students should not come to campus. The college has no plans to close down entirely, no matter what the weather, if only to serve the more than 4,000 students who reside on campus. Employees who do take time off are required to charge their time, except for instructional faculty.

The public announcement of class cancellations only occurs when the entire campus of thousands of students and hundreds of faculty are affected. Individual class cancellations do not require radio broadcast across Central New York. Faculty members who need to cancel their own classes should contact their department chairs. They should not call the media to announce cancellation of individual classes because broadcast media will not accept class cancellation in announcements from unauthorized callers.

Faculty teaching classes off campus should follow the weather closing policy governing the class site and inform students accordingly (e.g., if Baldwinsville schools were closed that day, a college class scheduled at the middle school that evening is also canceled). A separate radio announcement is unnecessary.