Statement on Classroom Behavior

 

The classroom is the heart of the educational experience at Rivier College because it provides a formal setting for important exchanges among students and faculty. Rivier College affirms the rights of all students and their faculty to an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning. Therefore, the College does not condone behavior that, in the judgment of the instructor and/or the College, interrupts, obstructs, or inhibits the teaching and learning process. Disruptive behavior may include, but is not limited to, verbal attacks, intimidating shouting, inappropriate gestures, attending class under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unauthorized use of electronic devices, consistently coming to class late or leaving early, sleeping during class, threatening or harassing comments, profanity, incessantly whispering/ talking in class, or other similarly intrusive or disrespectful behavior. Disruptive behavior may also include other behavior that appears attention seeking in nature, monopolizing of class time, interrupting the instructor or classmates, or creating an uncomfortable class environment for other students. Disruptive behavior may result in sanctions, up to and including immediate removal from the College.

Guidelines for Faculty

 

Often, students are unaware that their behavior is disruptive. Confronting the behavior properly may lead to a better understanding between the student and the instructor. The following guidelines are offered:

 

         Arrange a time when you can speak privately with the student. Given the nature of the situation, you may want to have another faculty member present as a witness. It is recommended that the faculty member be the Department Coordinator of the department that offers the course or the Divisional Chair. If the behavior warrants, it may be necessary to politely but firmly ask the student to leave class until this private meeting can be arranged.

         Describe the behavior to the student by using objective language; avoid emotional, manipulative, and judgmental comments.

         Explain the impact that the behavior is having on your classroom and how it is disrupting what you want to accomplish academically.

         Listen carefully to the studentís response.

         Ask the student what remedy he/she could suggest.

         Explain to the student what your behavioral expectations are for the future.

         Document your conversation with the student and the agreed upon remedy, if any; use objective language in the documentation.

         Remember that it is faculty members and the College who determine what is appropriate behavior in the classroom.

 

Should an extreme emergency situation occur, be aware that you can call 911 and then the Office of Public Safety for assistance.

 

Often, disruptive behavior reflects interpersonal, emotional, or more serious psychological issues. Remember to refer students to:

 

Counseling Center (x8251) VP Student Development (x8249)

Health Services (x8295) Academic Advisors (x8227)

Asst. VP for Student Development (X8244) Campus Ministry (x8577) Disability Services (x8497)

 

When the above has not resulted in more appropriate classroom behavior, refer the matter to the chair of the division and notify the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Vice President for

Student Development.

 

Student Use of Electronic Devices in the Classroom

 

Regarding the use of electronic devices (such as cell phones, PDAs, pagers, MP3/iPods, laptops, etc.), students may not use these or other electronic devices during class unless permitted by the course instructor. If use of these devices is permitted by the instructor, they are to be used for appropriate class activities only. If a learning disability is substantiated to require the use of one or more of these items, the student must contact the Office of Disability Services (897-8497), which will then work with the student and the course instructor as appropriate to facilitate whatever determination is reached regarding reasonable accommodations. Augmentative communication devices are excluded from this policy (please refer to the Student Handbook policy on disability regarding these). If an emergency situation requires students to leave a cell phone on, they should inform the course instructor at the beginning of the class and leave the phone in a non-intrusive mode so as not to disrupt the class.