Student Conduct and the Judicial System
Part of any educational process is instilling an understanding of civic values and of the standards of conduct and behavior that individuals expect of each other. Our policies reflect the values of our college and also incorporate a number of legal requirements. These policies address many of the difficult intersections between private conduct and societal rules, including alcohol and drug use and abuse, sexual assault and harassment, discrimination and hate crimes, and public speech. In developing policies that deal with these areas, the College seeks to educate our students as well as regulate activity. The responsibility for understanding and abiding by these policies, and any related laws, rests within each individual student. Students have the obligation to become familiar with the College’s policies and should reflect thoughtfully on their conduct in these areas.
Policies and Procedures Relating to Student Complaints
Mercy College has a variety of procedures for dealing with student-related issues, including grade appeals, student discipline, sexual misconduct complaints, disability accommodations, discrimination and retaliation. In some instances, however, students may wish to make complaints against faculty members, administrators or against the College in situations that are not covered by a particular policy. The purpose of this Policy is to address some of those instances and to provide a process whereby current students can file a complaint with the College in circumstances where he or she feels that the matter cannot be resolved informally, including but not limited to:
Complaints against faculty in academic settings;
Complaints relating to other employees, contractors or vendors for misconduct or unprofessional behavior;
Complaints in connection with student services such as billing, tuition and financial aid; or
Complaints related to other College services such as food services, residential life, athletics and/or health and wellness.
In such cases, a complaint can be made pursuant to the Student Complaint Policy, which can be found in the Student Handbook and on the College webpage. A complaint can also be submitted online at: https://www.mercy.edu/student-complaint-form
The full policy can also be found at: https://www.mercy.edu/about-mercy/sites/www.mercy.edu.about-mercy/files/about-mercy/media/browser/Student_Complaints_Policy_001.pdf
Mercy College is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff, and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment, and access to services, programs, and activities, without regard to an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction. Employees, students, applicants or other members of the College community (including but not limited to contractors, vendors or visitors) may not be subjected to harassment that is prohibited by law, or treated adversely based upon a protected characteristic, or retaliated against for making a complaint regarding such adverse treatment.
The College is also committed to providing reasonable accommodations when appropriate to individuals with disabilities, individuals observing religious practices, and employees who have pregnancy or childbirth-related medical conditions.
Retaliation for reporting or opposing discrimination, cooperating with an investigation of a discrimination complaint, or requesting an accommodation is also prohibited.
The College’s policy addressing discrimination and harassment is set forth more fully in the Mercy College Policy on Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination.
The College’s policy addressing sexual harassment, gender-based harassment and sexual violence is set forth more fully in the Mercy College Policies and Procedures Relating to Sexual Misconduct, both of which can be found in the Student Handbook.
Inquiries regarding the application of all laws, regulations and policies prohibiting discrimination may be directed to Ana Gonzalez, Esq., Title IX Coordinator and Equity Compliance Specialist, email@example.com, 914-674-7679.
Policy on Alcohol and Illegal Drugs
The abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs can have a significant adverse effect upon the Mercy College community, compromising interpersonal relationships and undermining the educational mission of the College. In response to these concerns, and pursuant to the Drug-Free Schools of Communities Act Amendments of 1989, the College has developed a comprehensive program to prevent the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol. The College reviews its program biennially to determine its effectiveness, to implement any necessary changes, and to ensure that the required disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced. Refer to the Student Handbook for detailed information concerning:
- Inspection. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the College receives a request for access. A student should submit a written request to the Registrar that identifies the record the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- Amendment. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write to the Vice President for Enrollment Services, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
- Appeal of College’s amendment decision. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Hearing requests must be made in writing, to the VP of Enrollment Services within thirty (30) days of being informed of the decision to decline the request for amendment. Within a reasonable period of time after receiving such request, the VP of Enrollment Services will inform the student of the date, place and time of the hearing. The hearing will take place before the designee of the Vice President of Enrollment Services, a designee of the Vice President for Student Affairs and a designee of the Provost. The student may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearing by one or more persons of the student’s choice, including an attorney, at the student’s sole expense. While the FERPA amendment procedure may be used to challenge facts that are inaccurately recorded, it may not be used to challenge a grade, an opinion, or a substantive decision made by a school about an eligible student.
The Committee must issue a written decision that contains a summary of the evidence and a statement of the basis for the decision. The decision of the Committee is final and must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. If the decision is in the student’s favor, the education records will be amended in accordance with the Committee’s decision. If the decision is unfavorable to the student, the student may prepare a statement commenting on the contested information in the education record or stating why the student disagrees with the decision not to amend the record, or both. The College must maintain any such statement in the student’s file along with the contested part of the record for as long as the College maintains that record and the College must disclose the statement whenever it discloses the portion of the record to which the statement relates.
- Consent for disclosure. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information (PII), as defined below, from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent as set forth in section III below.
- Complaint. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, Washington, DC 20202
The College may, at its discretion, release “directory information” with respect to a student for any purpose without the student’s consent. The College has designated the following categories of information as directory information with respect to each student: name, local and permanent address, electronic mail address, telephone listing; age; photograph; major field of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members in athletic teams; enrollment status; dates of attendance at Mercy College; degrees, honors and awards received, and their dates; and most recent educational institution attended.
Detailed information concerning each of the points cited above can be found on the College webpage, in the Mercy College Student Handbook, or can be obtained by inquiring with the Office of Registrar.
New York State Department of Health Bureau Immunization Program
All students born after January 1, 1957, are required to show proof of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella.