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Conduct Policies

The following policies on conduct apply to various members of the University community including faculty, staff, students, and visitors.  Please visit the designated links for additional information.

University Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment

This policy applies to faculty, staff, residents, fellows, postdoctoral appointees, student employees, students, volunteers, and to all visitors to any University campus, facility and/or property and to University sponsored activities and events, whether on University premises or not. This policy is not intended to be used for complaints against students. For complaints against students, the Standards of Student Conduct apply or the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and related process applies. 

Faculty Senate Policy on Graduate Student-Faculty Intimate Relationships

For the purposes of this policy, intimate relationships include sexual, romantic, or close family relationships. Where a power difference exists, such as between a faculty member and a student, intimate relationships have the potential to expose both parties to conflict of interest, and can have adverse effects on the climate of a department or program.

Faculty members shall not accept academic authority over any student or postdoc with whom they currently share an intimate personal relationship, or with whom they have shared such a relationship in the past. Some examples of exercising academic authority include:

  • Teaching
  • Mentoring
  • Supervising
  • Making professional recommendations
  • Taking actions to affect grades, grants, honors, and admission to academic programs

Questions regarding what constitutes academic authority, as well as other aspects of this policy, should be directed to the University Intercessor.

Faculty members shall not enter into romantic or sexual relationships with undergraduate students of the University, nor shall they enter into such relationships with any members of the University community (including all students and postdocs and prospective students and postdocs) over whom they exercise academic authority. Faculty members should err on the side of disclosing a relationship to the Intercessor if there is any doubt about whether they exercise academic authority.

Exceptions to the policy can only be made when there exists a written plan to manage the professional relationships for the protection of the parties involved. Such a plan must be approved by the Office of Counsel, and may be developed in consultation with the Intercessor. This plan will be shared with other relevant authorities (department chair, dean, etc.) as well as with the other member of the relationship in question.

Failure to report an intimate relationship of the type described above may subject the faculty member to disciplinary action and also the forfeiture of the protections of indemnification by the University in the event of legal action.

Student Sexual Misconduct Policy

The student Sexual Misconduct Policy defines sexual misconduct, outlines student rights, identifies resources available to the student community, and guides the University’s response to reports of possible sexual misconduct, including sexual assault.

The policy mandates that consent be “informed, freely given, and mutual,” and that each participant obtain and give consent in each instance of sexual activity. According to the policy, silence does not constitute consent, and past consent does not imply present or ongoing future consent.

The policy standards clearly define individuals’ responsibilities to determine if someone is not sober enough to give informed consent. Individuals must not engage in sexual activity with a partner whom a reasonable person would realize is incapable of giving consent.

Standards of Student Conduct Policy and Processes

The University of Rochester is an institution dedicated to the discovery of knowledge through research and education. The College and Eastman School of Music, in particular, are communities of engaged people who come together in residential learning environments to learn, to teach, or to work in service to these endeavors.

To encourage the participation and involvement of all members of the College and Eastman, we have set forward several fundamental interrelated principles that are the necessary conditions to learning. It is these principles that we will use to develop systems and processes that safeguard the special nature of the College and Eastman communities and to ensure the involvement and inclusion of all its members.