University of Southern Indiana

Policies, Procedures, and Community Standards

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  1. Academic Affairs Student Grievance Procedures
  2. Administrative Appeals
  3. Admission Review Process
  4. Animal Policy
  5. Disability Grievance Procedures
  6. Educational Disciplinary Background Verification Policy
  7. Immunization Policy
  8. Lifeline Law/Medical Amnesty
  9. Non-Academic Student Complaint Procedures
  10. Student Copyright Infringement Policy
  11. University Community Standards Statements 
  12. Student Handbook
  13. Statement on Freedom of Expression

1. Academic Affairs Student Grievance Procedures

It is the goal of the Student Academic Grievance Policy and Procedure to provide a simple and expeditious process, allowing both informal and formal resolution of conflicts. Resolutions may include student reinstatement or other corrective action for the benefit of the student, but may not award monetary compensation or take disciplinary action against any employee of the University. Departmental or school procedures, where they exist, must be followed before the University grievance procedure can be initiated; where such procedures exist, the informal procedures as outlined below may be precluded.

A. General Conditions

  1. Violation of Policy: This policy addresses academic grievances only. Academic grievances are complaints brought by students regarding the University’s provision of education and academic services affecting their role as students. Academic grievances must be based on a claimed violation of a University rule, policy, or established practice. This policy does not limit the University’s right to change the rules, policies, or practices.

  2. Not Applicable: This policy does not apply to conflicts connected with student employment or actions taken under the Board of Trustees policy on student conduct. Complaints concerning judgments of academic performance are not grievances under this policy. Any complaint alleging discrimination in the University/student relationship, including sexual harassment, may be filed with the Office of Affirmative Action.

  3. Qualified Students: Student must have been enrolled at the time of the alleged incident or action that resulted in the grievance in order to file an academic grievance under this policy. Grievances must be filed in a timely manner, as outlined in Section E.

B. Informal Resolution

  1. The first step of any resolution should be at the lowest unit level between the student and the faculty member involved or the appropriate administrator. If no informal resolution results at this level, informal resolution may be sought at the departmental level. If the issue cannot be resolved informally, then the complaint may move to the formal level.

  2. Judgments on Academic Performance Grievances involving an instructor’s judgment in assigning a grade based on academic performance must be resolved through the informal resolution procedure.

C. Formal Resolution

  1. Student Academic Grievance Committee: The student Academic Grievance Committee, a composite pool of ten members (five faculty and five students), will be elected in the spring to two-year terms, with graduate faculty and all undergraduate faculty and student members being elected for staggered terms and graduate students elected to one-year terms. The five faculty members will include at least two members of the graduate faculty and three members of the undergraduate faculty. The student members will include three undergraduate students and two graduate students.

    a. Committee Selections: The Student Government Association will elect two undergraduate student members and one undergraduate faculty member. The Faculty Senate will elect one undergraduate student and two undergraduate faculty members. The Graduate Council will elect two graduate faculty members. The Graduate Student Advisory Committee will select two graduate students. Members of the undergraduate faculty and undergraduate students will be elected in odd-numbered years to two-year terms; members of the graduate faculty will be elected in even- numbered years to two-year terms; graduate student members will be selected for one-year terms. In the event of a resignation, the replacement will be selected by the same representative body as the person resigning.

    b. Length of Term: Terms will be for two years, beginning in the fall and ending at the conclusion of the summer III term following the second year of service. Graduate student terms will begin in the fall and end at the conclusion of the summer III term.

    c. Eligibility to Serve in the Composite Pool: Faculty must be tenured to be eligible to serve. Undergraduate student members shall have earned at least 45 semester hours at the University, have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and be in good standing. Graduate students must be admitted to a graduate program, be enrolled in graduate program classes during the spring term of the pool selection, have earned at least six graduate hours, have a cumulative 3.0 GPA at the graduate level, and be in good standing. Faculty members must have been at the University full time for at least three years.

    d. Meeting Time: The pool shall be convened at the beginning of each fall semester by the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs or his designated representative. At that meeting, members of the pool shall choose the chair and vice-chair and participate in orientation and training. Only faculty members are eligible to serve as chair and vice-chair. Once chosen, the chair serves in that position for twelve months. The chair serves in a non-voting position, except in case of a tie, with full discussion rights. For each grievance, the chair has the responsibility for selecting hearing panel members and administering the work of the hearing panel.

  2. Filing a Complaint: A complaint must be submitted in writing to the dean of the college in which the alleged incident occurred. The complaint should identify the student grievant; the respondent faculty member or administrator; any other person involved; the incident, the rule, policy or established practice claimed to have been violated, and a brief statement of the remedy sought.

  3. Preliminary Resolution Procedure: The dean of the college in which the alleged incident occurred will meet with the student and the faculty or administrator involved to determine whether satisfactory resolution can be reached. If this cannot be achieved, the dean shall obtain a written answer from the responding faculty member or administrator and refer the matter to a hearing before a panel of the Student Academic Grievance Committee.

  4. Hearing Panel: Hearing panels will be chaired by a faculty member and will be composed as follows: three faculty members (one of whom is the chair) and two student members. If the grievance concerns an undergraduate student, the hearing panel will include at least one undergraduate student. The faculty will include at least two undergraduate faculty. If the grievance concerns a graduate student, the hearing panel will include at least one graduate student and two graduate faculty. If the chair of the grievance committee is unable to select a hearing panel member from members of the pool, an alternate member will be appointed to serve on that hearing panel by the chair of the appropriate selection body (Faculty Senate, Graduate Student Advisory Committee or the Student Government Association).

  5. Hearing Panel Responsibilities: The hearing panel will review the evidence and hold hearings as necessary. The hearing will be an informal non-adversarial, fact-finding meeting concerning the allegations. Both the student and the faculty or administrator may be present throughout the fact-finding meeting and may present any relevant evidence. The meeting will not be open to the public. Deference shall be given to the determination of the lower body; the hearing panel will base its recommendation solely on whether a rule, policy, or established practice was violated. The panel will prepare a written report recommending a resolution to the matter and will send the report to the parties and to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs for review and action. If the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs does not accept the recommendation, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs will provide a written explanation of any non-concurrence to the parties involved.

D. Deliberation

The hearing panel shall deliberate privately at the close of the fact-finding meeting. If a majority of the panel finds the allegations are supported by “a preponderance of the evidence,” the panel shall take any action which it feel would bring about substantial justice. The committee is not authorized to award a letter grade or to reprimand or otherwise take disciplinary action against any faculty member. The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs shall be responsible for implementing the final decision.

E. Timeliness

All complaints must be filed within 45 class days after the incident being grieved occurred. “Class days” are defined as days when the University is open for classes or examinations. A response to the complaint must be filed within fifteen class days thereafter. These time lines may be adjusted if there are compelling reasons for delay offered by any of the parties. However, the grievance must still be initiated within the stated time frame of 45 class days after the alleged incident in order for the grievance to warrant review.

F. Complaints Filed with ICHE

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education, as the federally-designated agency under the State Post- secondary Review Program, records formed complaints registered against institutions. The Commission, for the purposes of this program, only records such complaints when they have been reviewed fully under existing institutional complaint procedures without a satisfactory conclusion. The student should contact: Indiana Commission for Higher Education 101 West Ohio Street Suite 550 Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 Tel: (317) 464-4400 FAX: (317) 464-4410 (Excerpted from the University Handbook, Section III, Faculty and Academic Policies, 7/2/06)

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2. Administrative Appeals

The purpose of the Administrative Appeals Committee is to determine if there is fault on the part of the University in regards to administrative issues. Administrative issues include, but are not limited to, fee refunds or assessments, calendar deadlines, and other relevant student-administrative issues. Appeals must be submitted within one year from the end of the term that is in question. (For example, if a student wishes to appeal an issue from spring 2015, the student has until the end of spring 2016 to submit an appeal for review).

If a student is asking for an exception to a policy, the student must write a detailed narrative describing why they feel an exception to a University policy should be made. Explain specifically what they are asking for and why they believe their situation should be considered by the committee. To file an appeal, a student must fill out the Administrative Appeal Request form; the form should be typed to ensure legibility. All appeals must be signed by the student. Appeals written by anyone other than the student will NOT be accepted.

Second Appeal

If a student chooses to appeal an Administrative Appeal denial, a second appeal must be submitted within 90 days from the date of the denial letter.

The committee is comprised of University representatives who sincerely want to consider a properly filed appeal. Appeals should be regarded as a professional communication between the student and the committee.

Instructions: Use the Administrative Appeal Request Form (PDF) to prepare your appeal. Open the appeal form or save it to your computer. Type directly onto the form, being sure to fill in all required information. Refer to the Administrative Appeal Request Example (PDF) for an illustration of a properly completed form. Print the completed form, then sign and date it and attach any supporting documentation. Mail, fax (812-464-1797), scan and email, or hand carry the appeal request to the office of the Vice President for Enrollment Management (Orr Center, room 1038).

Please send any questions regarding the Administrative Appeals process to the .

Upcoming Meetings

The committee meets once a month to review and act upon submitted appeals. Upcoming meetings, and the corresponding deadline for submitting appeal documentation, are scheduled as follows (all dates are subject to change):

Appeals received by:

Will be considered on this meeting date:

May 27, 2016

June 8, 2016

July 1, 2016

July 13, 2016

July 29, 2016

August 10, 2016

September 2, 2016

September 14, 2016

September 30, 2016

October 12, 2016

October 28, 2016

November 9, 2016

December 2, 2016

December 14, 2016

December 30, 2016

January 11, 2017

January 27, 2017

February 8, 2017

February 24, 2017

March 8, 2017

March 30, 2017

April 12, 2017

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3. Admission Review Process

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) is committed to increasing access to higher education and supporting all students in their efforts to succeed. USI is also committed to fostering a safe environment in which all members of the University community can thrive.  As a part of the admission process, the University asks a series of questions about applicants' criminal history as it relates to misdemeanor and felony convictions. Having a criminal history is not a bar to admission There is a process applicants must follow to disclose their criminal history and to undergo review by the Dean of Students and the University CARE Team.  The review process includes completing a Misdemeanor / Felony Report Follow-Up Questionnaire, available from the , and meeting with university officials before the enrollment process can proceed. Applicants may be deferred or denied admission if their membership in the University community would be inappropriate or they are under conditions of post-release supervision that make enrollment impracticable. Applicants with current and related legal cases that have not been fully adjudicated may have their admission decision deferred until the conclusion of these legal proceedings.

Being convicted of a felony or being a registered sex offender is not an absolute bar to admission.  However, being a registered sex offender does prohibit a student from living in University provided housing.  It is also University policy that individuals with past drug-related convictions will not be permitted to live in University-owned property like, but not limited to residence halls and student apartments.

Individuals previously admitted to the University who wish to re-enroll must disclose to the Dean of Students all felony and misdemeanor convictions that occurred since their last term of enrollment. Current students with new felony or violent misdemeanor convictions must report each conviction to the Dean of Students during the semester in which the conviction occurs.

Failure to disclose required information at the time of application, re-enrollment, or conviction may result in invalidation of application, immediate suspension or expulsion from the University.

The Misdemeanor/Felony Review Process may not result in a final determination of an applicant’s acceptance into a particular degree-granting program of the University.  For example, some academic programs (like, but not limited to, certain health care programs) may have academic requirements that an applicant may not be eligible to meet based on their legal history. Please direct any related questions to the Department Chair of the specific academic program or major of your interest.

A copy of the decision and final notification concerning action on the application of a prospective student is sent to the appropriate University offices like, but not limited to, Admission, Graduate Studies, Registrar, Housing and Residence Life, Public Safety and/or the Counseling Center.

Questions and concerns regarding this policy should be directed to the You may also contact the office by calling 812-464-1862.

Misdemeanor/Felony Review Process

  1. Upon disclosing a past misdemeanor or felony conviction on the University’s admission application, housing contract or any other University document, the applicant or student will be referred to the Dean of Students and sent the Misdemeanor Felony Report Follow-Up Questionnaire to be completed.
  2. Once the completed Questionnaire is received by the Dean of Students, the University will gather background information and a meeting will be scheduled with the applicant, the Dean of Students or Designee and other members of the University CARE Team to discuss the applicant or student’s background and current situation.
  3. All information gathered will then be shared with the University CARE Team and a recommendation will be made regarding admission to the University.
  4. The Dean of Students will make the final decision concerning the applicant or student’s eligibility to continue with the enrollment process and any restrictions that may be imposed as conditions required for the applicant or student to attend the University. 
  5. Restrictions that may be imposed depend on the criminal history and strategies needed to support a successful university experience and may include, but are not limited to:
    • You must go directly to the Public Safety Office and sign in with the secretary/dispatcher upon every arrival and departure from campus.
    • You are not eligible to live or visit campus housing and are not to be on University housing property. Your presence there will be considered trespassing and you may be subject to arrest.
    • You are not eligible to participate in extracurricular activities. Your presence there will be considered trespassing, and you may be subject to arrest.
    • Every semester the Dean of Students must approve the specific periods of time you are permitted to be on campus and you must contact the Dean of Students Office to set up a meeting as soon as you enroll in classes for the next semester so that your access schedule can be approved.
    • You must meet periodically and/or as needed with the Dean of Students or Designee, Public Safety or other members of the CARE Team as appropriate.
    • You must obtain permission from the Dean of Students before joining any student organization.
    • You must keep the Dean of Students apprised of any academic field experiences and/or internships you are involved in prior to your involvement.
    • You may not enter the University of Southern Indiana’s Children’s Learning Center. Your presence there may result in your arrest for trespassing.
    • Other restrictions as deemed appropriate by the University.

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4. Animal Policy

Animals, defined as domesticated pets, may be brought on campus under the following conditions:

  • The animal is part of a classroom demonstration that has been approved by faculty.  In such cases, the animal should be brought on campus immediately before the class and removed from campus immediately after class. The animal must be on a leash or in a carrying case when in transit.
  • The animal is a “service animal” as defined by current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and State of Indiana regulations. Under these laws, a “service animal” is defined as an animal that is specifically trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical, sensory, psychiatric/mental, or intellectual disability; and the work or tasks performed by the animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Animals that only provide crime deterrent effects, emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not fall under the legal definition of “service animal.” The University reserves the right at any time to ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what specific work or task the animal has been trained to perform. The University also reserves the right to request that the animal be removed from the property if it does not meet the legal definition of service animal, if the handler fails to keep it under appropriate control, or if it is not housebroken. An animal meeting the complete and proper definition of “service animal” will otherwise be permitted anywhere on campus that is typically open to students and visitors.
  • With permission of the president or the president's designee.
  • Animals other than “service animals” may be exercised on exterior areas of campus as long as they are on a leash and are not taken to any areas where an active program or event is occurring.
  • In all cases it is the responsibility of the individual(s) bringing any animal to any University owned or controlled property to be aware of state and local immunization and licensing requirements, to fully comply with those requirements, and to assume any and all liability associated with failure to do so. Such individuals are responsible for cleaning up after their animal, for maintaining humane control of the animal at all times, and are financially responsible for any damage that the animal may cause to University property or injuries caused to other individuals.

Student’s residing in University residence halls or apartments may keep animals in their residences only under the following conditions:

  • Non-predatory tropical fish are allowed as long as they are well-maintained and kept in aquariums holding no more than 20 gallons of water.
  • The animal meets the current definition of a “service/assistance animal” as defined by state and federal law and best practices that specifically apply to University housing and residential services for individuals with disabilities.  A student may keep a service/assistance animal in his or her dwelling unit on campus as a reasonable accommodation only if the student fully complies with all procedures and responsibilities as described in the Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Code of Student Behavior.

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5. Disability Grievance Procedures

If you have concerns about any disability related action taken or decision made by a department or faculty member or staff member, you are strongly encouraged to first take your concerns to the faculty or staff member responsible for the decision or action, followed by contact with that individual’s supervisors if needed. In most cases, this process will provide the quickest, acceptable resolution to your concerns.

If this informal process is unsuccessful or if you are uncomfortable approaching the faculty or staff person, you may contact the Disability Resources Coordinator at 812-464-1961.

If the problem is still not resolved or if your problem is with Disability Resources, you should contact the USI ADA Coordinator, Doug Goeppner at 812-465-7101 as soon as possible or you may visit that office in person in room FA183.

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6. Educational Disciplinary Background Verification Policy

The Dean of Students Office houses official disciplinary records for University of Southern Indiana (USI) students, including Academic Integrity related information. As the Dean of Students is the University administrator charged with disclosing such information, within established student privacy law, all requests for disciplinary background verification should be submitted to the Dean of Students Office. Such requests require a signed release of information consent form from the current/former student.  Please note that the Dean of Students Office does not verify academic information and its response will be limited to disciplinary background verification.

There are several methods by which Educational Disciplinary Background Verification requests may be submitted to the Dean of Students Office.  Requests can be submitted in person, by mail, fax, or email and must include a signed release of information consent form and current contact information for the current/former student.  The Dean of Students Office may contact the current/former student if additional information is needed or to inform them of the information that was disclosed in response to a request.

The Dean of Students is responsible for record keeping related to disciplinary records. Conduct Hearing Officer(s) will ensure that all sanctions are reported by the date required and will submit aggregate data regarding infractions and sanctions to the Dean of Students for compilation in an annual report. A record of disciplinary procedures and findings will be maintained in the student’s disciplinary file in the Dean of Students Office. Conduct files do not become part of the students’ transcript, but are considered part of the University’s educational record for the student.

In cases in which students are found responsible for a policy violation of University policy and receive a sanction of less than suspension or expulsion, records related to the disciplinary hearing will be retained for a minimum period of seven (7) years from the date of the incident complained of. Student disciplinary files may be retained indefinitely at the discretion of the Dean of Students or the Dean's designee. Release of information may be restricted by the Dean of Students for good cause, upon written petition. Factors considered in review of such petition shall include:

  • The nature of the violation and the severity of the harm resulting from the violation;
  • The conduct of the student subsequent to the violation.

In cases where students are found responsible for a policy violation and receive a sanction of suspension or expulsion, students’ disciplinary files will be considered permanent records. A permanent record indicates that student disciplinary files may be retained and disclosed indefinitely at the discretion of the Dean of Students.

Student organizations are considered to have a continuing relationship with the University of Southern Indiana as long as the organization maintains its official recognition status with USI. Records of behavioral conflicts involving student organizations will also be retained for a minimum of seven (7) years following the date of the incident reported.

For more information or to submit a request, please contact:

University of Southern Indiana
Dean of Students Office
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47715
Phone: 812-464-1862
Fax: 812-465-7021
Email: deanofstudents@usi.edu
Campus location: University Center East, Rom 1229

Disciplinary Background Verification Process

  1. All in-person investigators must have a signed release of information authorization form, provide the current/former student contact information and provide proper identification and business card or contact information.
  2. DOSO will retain a dated copy of the signed release as confirmation of the date the investigator requested the information.
  3. All disciplinary information will be reviewed by the Dean of Students, the Assistant Dean of Students or Designee and summarized for the investigator as no original documentation will be given to outside agencies.  However, current/former students have the right to request and receive copies of documentation about their disciplinary record. 
  4. When possible, especially in cases of releasing what may be considered adverse information, the Dean of Students or Designee will attempt to contact the current/former student and share what information has been reported.
  5. Student records housed in the DOSO may be subpoenaed or otherwise obtained by governmental authorities, subject to the law.

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7. Immunization Policy:

All students entering the University of Southern Indiana for the first time or living in University Housing must meet the immunization requirements of the University and Indiana Code 21-40-5 enacted by the 2007 Indiana General Assembly.

To comply with the requirements, you must provide current documentation of the following immunizations:

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella):  The student must be immunized with two doses.  First MMR must be given after 1957 and not before first birthday.  Second dose must be given at least 30 days after the first. A physician’s written statement of immunity to measles and mumps due to having had the infection or proof of immunity through titers is acceptable.  Students born before January 1, 1957 are exempt from the MMR requirement.
  • Tetanus/diphtheria (TD booster/Tdap): Vaccination must have taken place within the past 10 years.  A tetanus toxoid alone NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • Tuberculosis (International Students Only):  All International students (those who are not Citizens or Permanent Residents of the United States) must provide documentation of TB testing prior to the start of their first semester of enrollment at USI.  This testing must occur no earlier than 6 weeks before the start of the semester.  This test may be done with a TB blood test or a TB skin test administered in the United States by a medical professional.  Send medical documentation including your student ID number to the University Health Center (Contact information found below).
  • Meningococcal Risk Acknowledgement Form (Meningitis):  All students MUST read and sign this form verifying review of information on risks of meningococcal disease (Meningitis), before returning it.  Please follow the link for the Risk Acknowledgement Form.

Acceptable documentation consists of one or more of the following:

  • Copy of your immunization records from high school or another postsecondary institution
  • Physicians’ statement showing the month, day and year during which the vaccinations were administered or infection was experienced. 
  • Completion of the USI Student Immunization form with doctor’s signature
  • Personal record maintained by your or your family showing the month, day and year during which the vaccinations were administered.

    You may be granted an exemption from meeting state immunization requirements under certain conditions, like a medical condition that contraindicates immunization, pregnancy or suspected pregnancy, religious objection, or participation in a current sequence of immunizations. You must provide the University with a written statement signed by your physician before an exemption for medical reasons will be considered.  Further information may be obtained by contacting the University Health Center at 812-465-1250 or in Room 0091 in the Health Professions Center. Follow this link to access the Request to be Exempt from Immunization Requirements Form

Appropriate documentation concerning your request for exemption must be mailed, delivered or faxed to the University Health Center prior to the start of your first semester at USI. 

  • Fax 812-465-7170
  • Email to ;
  • Brought to the University Health Center on the lower level of the HP building; or
  • Mailed to University of Southern Indiana, Immunizations HP0091, 8600 University Blvd, Evansville, IN 47712.

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8. Lifeline Law/Medical Amnesty

The Indiana Lifeline Law provides immunity for some alcohol-related offenses, subject to certain conditions, to Hoosiers who request medical assistance for someone in need.

How it Works

In order to receive immunity, the person must demonstrate that they are acting in good faith by completing ALL of the following:

  • Providing their full name and other relevant information requested by law enforcement officers
  • Remaining on the scene until law enforcement and emergency medical assistance arrives
  • Cooperating with authorities on the scene

Medical Amnesty Policy at USI

  • If you are under the influence and seek emergency medical assistance for a friend, you may be granted amnesty from some disciplinary sanctions by the University
  • You may still have to complete an educational program or meet with someone to discuss safe decision-making
  • We want you to call and not worry about getting in trouble! Contact Public Safety

Alcohol Emergencies Signs and Symptoms

  • Trouble communicating
  • Can’t stand without help
  • Doesn’t wake up
  • Slow breathing
  • Cool, pale, bluish skin
  • Irregular or slow pulse
  • Vomits while passed out

What to Do

  • Call Public Safety 812-492-7777 (or dial 7777 from any on-campus phone)
  • Place the person on their side
  • Don’t leave the person alone

For even more information on the Lifeline Law/Medical Amnesty, alcohol, and drugs, check out all these facts and resources provided by the Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center.

9. Non-Academic Student Complaint Procedures

It is the policy of the University of Southern Indiana to comply with all federal and state equal opportunity laws, orders, and regulations relating to race, sex, religion, disability, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, disabled veteran status and other protected classification.

If you wish to register a non-academic complaint, you should contact the Dean of Students at 812-464-1862 or visit the office in person in the University Center East, room 1232.

Questions or concerns can also be directed to the Director of Human Resources and Title IX Officer, at 812-465-7115 or you may visit that office in person in room FA166.

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10. Student Copyright Infringement Policy

Overview

All students who use the University of Southern Indiana (“USI” or the “University”) computer network are prohibited from downloading or enabling sharing of music, movies, images and other digital, copyright protected files without proper licensing.  Downloading or enabling the sharing of music, movies and other digital, copyright protected files without proper licensing constitutes the theft of copyright protected material and is subject to both civil and criminal penalties.  Companies and agencies that monitor computer networks and Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses inform USI when someone on USI’s network is downloading or sharing copyright protected songs, movies and other material. USI is considered an Online Service Provider (“OSP”) for the users of its computer network. A student’s continued use of the University’s OSP computer network implies the student’s acknowledgement and acceptance of this policy. 

If it comes to the attention of USI that an individual is using USI’s computer equipment and/or network access to illegally download copyrighted material, the University will take action to stop such activities. If the University detects peer-to-peer file sharing of encrypted content, this will be treated as if it is copyrighted material, and the University will take action to stop this activity as well. The University takes such action in order to comply with provisions within the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) which limits the liability of the University, as an OSP, for certain copyright infringement liability if the University follows applicable procedures.  Additional information on the DMCA can be found at http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf. This policy outlines the procedures the University will use to respond to incidents of copyright infringement it receives. 

Procedure

USI has instituted a technology-based deterrent which is a software blocking package that attempts to monitor USI’s network activity for copyrighted material.  This software is a content management service and filter software that tracks copyrighted content and tracks peer-to-peer usage to verify the content.  If the software detects that an IP address is being used for unauthorized downloading or distribution of copyrighted works using a peer-to-peer based file sharing service, the software will terminate the download and disable the user’s internet connection for a specified period of time depending on the number of violations associated with the user’s IP address.  The software will also alert the user of a Copyright Violation Notice via a pop-up screen.  The Copyright Violation Notice indicates that the activity detected in connection with the user’s IP address is in violation of the University Network Use Policy, USI Code of Student Behavior and this Copyright Infringement Policy.  Depending on the number of violations received, the user’s internet connection will be disabled for a set amount of time subject to the discretion of the University and the user will have to agree to cease any such activity by clicking on a “I will comply” button before University network access will be reinstated. 

When the University receives a notification of possible unauthorized file sharing the Information Technology (“IT”) department will attempt to identify the user. If the user can be identified and is a student, the follow procedure will be followed:

  1. IT will email the student notifying them that their access has been shut off. Included in the notification email is information on the alleged violation including title, date and time. The email informs the student that the matter has been referred to the Dean of Students Office for review. IT will also copy the Dean of Students Office on this email.
  2. USI network access to all wireless and wired networks in user’s student housing is immediately disabled. If the student has multiple devices registered on the USI network, all the devices will be denied access.
  3. The student will not be allowed to register any new devices until access restoration has been approved by USI. 
  4. IT will send a copy of the complaint and all detailed information it has about the alleged copyright violation to the Dean of Students Office.  The Dean of Students Office will handle the complaint as well as contacting and meeting with the student.  The Dean of Students Office will address with the student the possible consequences of copyright violations including both civil and criminal penalties. The student will be asked to remove all file sharing software from his or her computer and/or electronic devices.  The Dean of Students Office will utilize the following procedure with regards to the alleged violation:
    • The Dean of Students Office will contact the student once the office receives the initial email informing the student that the matter has been referred to the Dean of Students Office for review.  By email, the Dean of Students Office will inform the student of any charges related to potential violations of the USI Code of Student Behavior including possible violations of Section 2.13- Computer-Related Inappropriate Behavior in the Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Student Copyright Infringement Policy and the Network User Policy.
    • The Dean of Students or Designee will meet with the student to review the charges and the possible consequences of copyright violations including both civil and criminal penalties.  During this initial meeting, the student will be asked to sign the Alleged Copyright Infringement Acknowledgment Form (“Acknowledgment Form”)either accepting responsibility and agreeing to pay the University restitution for any fines and legal fees associated with the violation or indicating a request for a hearing as detailed below.  The student is not under any obligation to accept responsibility and agree to pay the University restitution for any fines and legal fees associated with the violation during this initial meeting. 
    • During this initial meeting, the student will also be offered the alternative option on the Acknowledgment Form to schedule a formal hearing at a future date where the student will be afforded all the rights outlined in the USI Code of Student Behavior, including the choice to have an advisor present and to present evidence in response to the alleged charges. 
    • Once the conduct process is completed (whether by signing the Acknowledgment Form accepting responsibility or through a formal hearing), the Dean of Students Office will inform the appropriate University offices of the outcome and request that access be reinstated, as may be appropriate.  Upon notification from the Dean of Students Office, IT will then re-enable the student’s wireless and wired network access.

Repeated violations will result in disciplinary action as recommended by the Dean of Students Office consistent with all applicable University policies.  Repeated violations may result in the student losing the ability to connect to the University network permanently for the duration of the student’s tenure at the University.  A student who is found to be responsible for a violation of this Policy or who accepts responsibility for a violation will be charged an administrative fee of $100.00 for the student’s first violation of the University’s Copyright Infringement Policy, and up-to $200.00 for each additional offense if the University is contacted by the owner of the copyrighted material that is the subject of the violation.  Additionally, if the student signs the Acknowledgment Form accepting responsibility or is found to be in violation at a formal hearing, the student will be responsible for restitution of any fines or USI legal fees associated with the violation.  

Student’s Use of USI’s Network Accounts

If the student permits another individual to use the student’s USI network account, and that individual illegally downloads or distributes copyrighted materials, the student may be held responsible if the student’s computer is identified in the notice that was sent to the University by the holder of the copyright. 

Legal Alternatives

For a list of legal alternatives to avoid illegally downloading content, please visit http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent.

University Actions in Response to Subpoenas

If the University receives a valid subpoena regarding an alleged copyright violation, the University is required to provide any electronic information the University has regarding the alleged instance of copyright infringement that was purportedly transferred over its network. 

Questions or Concerns 

If a student has a question or concern regarding this policy, please contact the .

University’s Registered DMCA Agent

The DMCA requires that the University designate a registered agent to receive notifications of alleged copyright infringement.  Notifications of claimed copyright infringement should be sent to the University’s registered DMCA Agent, which is on file with the Copyright Office:

Richard Toeniskoetter
Executive Director
Information Technology
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712
812-464-1733
richard.toeniskoetter@usi.edu

Policy Changes

The University may make changes to this policy to comply with necessary legal and regulatory requirements. The University recommends students review this policy occasionally to familiarize themselves with any changes or alterations.          

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11. University Community Standards Statements

Community Standards 

As a member of the USI community, students have access to a wealth of resources to support your success. Here you will have many opportunities to learn, to grow, and to get involved in an endless variety of opportunities, intellectually, personally and professionally.  As with any community, there are rules that have been developed to ensure a supportive and appropriate environment for learning. While these rules pertain primarily to students, they are consistent with the expectations for all members of the USI community.


USI Creed

As a member of the USI community...

  • I will practice personal and academic integrity; I will reject and confront all manifestations of discrimination while striving to learn from differences in people, ideas, and opinions; 
  • I will demonstrate concern for others, their feelings, their property, and their need for conditions which support their work and development;
  • Allegiance to these ideals requires that I refrain from and discourage behaviors which threaten the freedom and respect every individual deserves.

The University of Southern Indiana is a diverse community devoted to preparing students to become better students.  Each member of the community is obligated to a code of civil behavior.  If you experience or observe actions on campus that are not in accordance with the USI Creed, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 812/464-1862.

Student Collegiality

Students at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner.  Personal conduct and communication, either directly or indirectly (social media, etc.) with other students, as well as faculty and staff, should conform to the University’s community values and standards. As members of the at-large community, students are encouraged to resolve disagreements through informal, frank, and open discussion. Often conflicts can be lessened, if not resolved, by clearing up misperceptions and misunderstandings. Students are strongly encouraged to try to take care of any related concerns in this manner. However, the University also recognizes that occasionally more formal processes are needed. All such activities, whether informal or formal, must be carried out by all participants within a framework of good faith collegiality and general respect for one another. Students are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students Office, Housing and Residence Life or other appropriate department(s), for assistance or guidance in resolving any concerns or conflicts. 

12. Student Handbook 

Student Handbook page

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13. Freedom of Expression Policy

Statement on Freedom of Expression

The University of Southern Indiana considers freedom of inquiry and discussion essential to a student's educational development.  Through open discussion of ideas and exchange of opinions, one can become informed and can test and give expression to values as they relate to issues concerning oneself and society. 

The ideas of different members of the University community will often and quite naturally conflict. But it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Although the University greatly values civility, and although all members of the University community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community. 

The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not, of course, mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish. The University may restrict expression that violates the law, constitutes a false and defamatory communication against a specific individual, constitutes a genuine threat of unlawful harassment, unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the University. In addition, the University may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt the ordinary activities of the University. But these are narrow exceptions to the general principle of freedom of expression, and it is vitally important that these exceptions never be used in a manner that is inconsistent with the University’s commitment to a completely free and open discussion of ideas. 

In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate and deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the University community, not for the University as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose. Indeed, fostering the ability of members of the University community to engage in such debate and deliberation in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of the University’s educational mission. 

As a corollary to the University’s commitment to protect and promote free expression, members of the University community must also act in conformity with the principle of free expression. Although members of the University community are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus, and to criticize and contest speakers who are invited to express their views on campus, they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe. To this end, the University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.
 

Much of this statement was originally drafted and adopted by the University of Chicago.

Free Speech, Peaceful Dissent, Protests and Demonstrations Rights and Responsibilities 

In accordance with the University of Southern Indiana’s obligation to promote the free expression of all views, the campus is open to any speaker whom registered student organizations, administrators, staff or faculty members have invited and for whom official arrangements to speak have been made with the University. 

The right of free speech at the University also includes the right to acts of peaceful dissent, protests in peaceable assembly and orderly demonstrations. These are permitted on the USI campus.  However, the University may regulate the time, place and manner in order to prevent unreasonable interference or disruption of the University’s educational, research, outreach and business functions, normal or scheduled uses of University property by the campus community, as well as protecting public health, safety and welfare. 

All individuals and groups planning to engage in speech and expressive activities of the sort described in the previous paragraph should register in advance with the Dean of Students Office to allow the University the opportunity to provide space that accommodates the reasonable needs of both the University community and those engaged in acts of speech or protest.

 The following locations on the USI campus are available for speech and expressive activities by members of the public, members of the USI community and guests: 

  • the lawn area south of Rice Library
  • the lawn area between the Physical Activities Center (PAC) and Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center (RFWC)
  • the lawn to the north of the Wright Administration building

 In addition, the following general conditions of use apply to all areas of the University campus:

  • Activities may not be conducted in a manner that violates any federal, state or local law.
  • Activities may not be conducted in a manner or at a time or place that is either incompatible with or unreasonably interferes with the educational, research, service or other legitimate functions of the University.
  • Activities may not be conducted in a manner that violates the rules, regulations, or policies of the University of Southern Indiana including Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Code of Student Behavior (Appendix C, Sections C 10 and 11).
  • Activities may not be conducted in a manner that violates applicable fire or safety regulations.
  • Activities may not disrupt academic activity, block egress (i.e. block safe access to exits and entrances, hallways, sidewalks, streets etc.) or pose a threat to the personal safety of community members.

 Violations of these policies may result in appropriate disciplinary action and/or arrest, in accordance with applicable law and University policies and procedures. 

The University of Southern Indiana, as a public institution, does not endorse or take any position on or action against a speaker or group of speakers based on the content of the message.  

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