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University Policies

Editor’s note: The information on this page may change as new information is received. Please see the Changes of Rules and Policies page of this catalog.

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California State University, Chico wants you to be aware of the following policies and issues, which affect you and the quality of life in our community. Please take the time to read and consider carefully the full implication and intent of these policies. You are expected to abide by them and contribute to your own well-being and that of this University by paying careful attention to them.

California State University, Chico has a moral responsibility to maintain an environment that is nurturing, encourages intellectual growth, and fosters mutual respect among cultures and individuals resident on our campus.

Any CSU, Chico student or applicant for admission to CSU, Chico has the right to be free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Executive Order 1097-revised outlines the process for inquiries and investigation and for filing such complaints. Students/applicants with concerns or complaints should contact the Ttitle IX/DHR Administrator, Kendall Hall, Room 220 or by phone at 530-898-4949.

Information on complaint and/or grievance procedures is available from the office of Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities, Student Services Center (SSC), Room 190, 530-898-6897.

Policy on Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action in Employment and Education

California State University, Chico establishes this policy in recognition of its educational mission, its social concerns, its responsibility for the personal development of individuals, and its concern for the rights of individuals.

CSU, Chico will comply with federal and state regulations relating to affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations. The University will provide equal opportunity in education and employment for all qualified persons; prohibit illegal discrimination based on age, race, religion, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex/gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, or disability; and promote the full realization of equal education and employment opportunities through a positive and continuing program of affirmative action for the University as a whole and for each constituent unit.

This policy governs all University educational and employment practices and procedures, including but not limited to, recruitment, employment, enrollment, rate of pay or other compensation, advancement, reclassification, promotion, financial aid, demotion, renewal, non-renewal, termination, dismissal, transfer, layoff, leave, training, employee benefits, grading and program access.

It will be a violation of this policy to dismiss, discharge, expel, penalize, discipline, harass, adversely alter academic grades or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against any student, faculty, or staff member because the person has opposed a discriminatory practice, filed an internal or external complaint of discrimination, or testified or participated in any proceeding in accordance with this policy.

Responsibility and authority for the dissemination and implementation of this policy lies ultimately with the President of the University with the support of University administrators, faculty, and staff and with assistance from the Associate Vice President for Staff Human Resources. Practically, the responsibility and authority to act affirmatively to provide equality of opportunity in education and employment lies with all who are in decision-making positions within the University. Support for the University's affirmative action policy will be considered in the annual evaluation of administrators and supervisors. The University will commit appropriate resources and create a supportive atmosphere for the implementation of this policy.

Violence and Threats of Violence Prohibited

The University has zero tolerance for and prohibits violence or threats of violence against any member of the University community.

Violent acts or threats of violence by any University employee or student are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment, expulsion from the University, and civil or criminal prosecution, as appropriate. Disciplinary action shall be conducted in accordance with appropriate University policies and procedures. (See Executive Memorandum 12-025 for detailed information on this policy and the Campus Behavior and Violence Prevention Program).

California Whistleblower Protection Act

Employees, former employees, and applicants who wish to report alleged improper governmental activity or retaliation for having made a protected disclosure under the California Whistleblower Protection Act may contact the Associate Vice President for Staff Human Resources at 530-898-6771 or the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources at 562-951-4501, or otherwise access information on the CSU, Chico website on whistleblower complaints.

Access and Academic Rights and Development

California State University, Chico is committed to achieving improved access to the educationally or economically disadvantaged and to provide academic development opportunities as an integral component of its mission.

Nondiscrimination Policy Regarding Individuals with Disabilities

California State University, Chico is committed to the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all educational and operational aspects of campus life. In accordance with Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, CSU, Chico adopts this policy of nondiscrimination to ensure that any person with a disability will not, on the basis of that disability, be denied access to or enjoyment of any program, service, or opportunity provided by the campus. Excerpts from the policy follow, (see Executive Memorandum 07-009 for the full text).

Employees: Through its administrative representatives, CSU, Chico will recruit, hire, train, advance, and promote qualified individuals in all job classifications without regard to physical or psychological disability.

Academic Programs: As an institution of higher education, the University will provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities in campus-sponsored academic programs, activities, and services unless such provision would impose an undue hardship on the University as described by law or cause a fundamental alteration of the course, program, activity, or service.

General Public: At University-sponsored events, CSU, Chico will provide reasonable accommodations to members of the general public with disabilities unless doing so would create an undue hardship as described by law or cause a fundamental alteration of the program, activity, or service.

Policy Implementation: The authority and responsibility for ensuring compliance with this policy rests with the University President. General oversight has been delegated to the Accessibility Resource Center, which is responsible for providing information and services and for monitoring campus compliance relating to disability issues. Questions or concerns regarding this policy or accommodations for faculty and staff may be referred to the ADA Coordinator.

Detailed information and assistance regarding accommodations for students may be obtained from the Accessibility Resource Center. Information regarding accommodations for public individuals may be obtained from University Public Engagement.

It is a violation of this policy to dismiss, discharge, expel, penalize, discipline, harass, adversely alter academic grades, or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against any student, faculty, or staff member because they opposed a discriminatory practice, filed an internal or external complaint of discrimination, or testified or assisted in any proceeding in accordance with this policy.

Student Rights & Responsibilities

Students' rights and responsibilities are discussed in the policy on Time, Place and Manner of Expression (Executive Memorandum 20-006) and the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities Executive Memorandum 08-040, which delineate standards and policies of mutual respect and behavior

Inappropriate conduct by students or applicants for admission is subject to discipline as provided in sections 41301 through 41304 of Title 5, California Code of Regulations. Although describing a broad range of behavior, this also includes willful obstruction of on-campus activity, infringing on the rights of members of the University community, or conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person in the University Community. A complete reading of these sections can be found under Student Conduct, on the CSU System Policies and Regulations page of this catalog. In addition, the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities describes informal and formal opportunities for due process in the case of student discipline.

For these documents and more information, visit or call Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities, SSC 190, 530-898-6897.

Academic Honesty

Faculty expect students to maintain a high standard of academic integrity. If you are unclear about a specific situation, ask your instructors. They will explain what is and is not acceptable in their classes.

If a student is thought to be cheating and charges are brought, the process can result in severe consequences, ranging from failure in an individual course to long-term suspension from the University and denial of a degree.

Academic dishonesty, generally, is taking credit for work which is not your own, or attempting to receive credit or improve a grade through fraudulent or deceptive means. Examples include taking information from or providing information to another student, plagiarism, or altering a grade or record.

Consult the guide on Ethical Standards and Disciplinary Procedures for complete definitions. Copies of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and answers to questions about academic honesty may be obtained in the office Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities, SSC 190, 530-898-6897.

Student Complaint/Grievance Procedures

Students who believe they are victims of unfair policies or practices at California State University, Chico may bring their concerns to Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities, SSC 190, 530-898-6897. The office is available to provide students the opportunity to resolve problems arising from actions taken on behalf of California State University, Chico in a fair, uniform, and orderly manner. Most student complaints can be resolved on an informal basis by the office. Should the situation be unresolvable through informal means, the student may invoke formal grievance proceedings. Formal student complaint procedures are described in Executive Memorandum 20-013.

The California State University takes complaints and concerns regarding the institution very seriously. If you have a complaint regarding the CSU, you may present your complaint as follows:

  1. If your complaint concerns CSU’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards, you may present your complaint to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) at www.wascsenior.org/comments. WASC is the agency that accredits the CSU's academic program. If you believe that your complaint warrants further attention after you have exhausted all the steps outlined by WASC, you may file an appeal with the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs at the CSU Chancellor's Office.
  2. If your complaint concerns an alleged violation by CSU of any law that prohibits discrimination, harassment or retaliation based on a protected status (such as age, disability, gender (or sex), gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity (including color or ancestry), religion or veteran or military status), you may present your complaint as described in the CSU Nondiscrimination Policy.
  3. If your complaint concerns an alleged violation by CSU of other state law, including laws prohibiting fraud and false advertising, you may present your complaint to the campus president or designee Emily Peart, interim director of Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities (SCRR), epeart@csuchico.edu. The president or designee will provide guidance on the appropriate campus process for addressing your particular issue.
  4. Other complaints regarding the CSU may be presented to the campus dean of students, who will provide guidance on the appropriate campus process for addressing your particular issue.

This procedure should not be construed to limit any right that you may have to take action to resolve your complaint.

Privacy Rights of Students In Education Records

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and regulations adopted thereunder (34 C.F.R. 99) set out requirements designed to protect students’ privacy in their records maintained by the campus. The statute and regulations govern access to certain student records maintained by the campus and the release of such records. The law provides that the campus must give students access to most records directly related to the student, and must also provide opportunity for a hearing to challenge the records if the student claims they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate. The right to a hearing under this law does not include any right to challenge the appropriateness of a grade determined by the instructor. The law generally requires the institution to receive a student’s written consent before releasing personally identifiable data about the student. The institution has adopted a set of policies and procedures governing implementation of the statute and the regulations. Copies of these policies and procedures may be obtained at the Office of the Registrar, SSC 110, California State University, Chico, Chico, California 95929. Among the types of information included in the campus statement of policies and procedures are:

  1. the types of student records maintained and the information they contain;
  2. the official responsible for maintaining each type of record;
  3. the location of access lists indicating persons requesting or receiving information from the record;
  4. policies for reviewing and expunging records;
  5. student access rights to their records;
  6. the procedures for challenging the content of student records;
  7. the cost to be charged for reproducing copies of records; and
  8. the right of the student to file a complaint with the Department of Education.

The Department of Education has established an office and review board to investigate complaints and adjudicate violations. The designated office is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-5920.

The campus is authorized under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to release "directory information" concerning students. "Directory information" may include the student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, degrees, honors, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. The above-designated information is subject to release by the campus at any time unless the campus has received prior written objection from the student specifying what information the student requests not be released. Written objections for current students should be submitted through the student's Student Center account. Students not currently enrolled should send written objections to the Office of the Registrar, California State University, Chico, Chico, California 95929.

The campus is authorized to provide access to student records to campus officials and employees who have legitimate educational interests in such access. These persons have responsibilities in the campus’s academic, administrative or service functions and have reason for accessing student records associated with their campus or other related academic responsibilities. Student records may also be disclosed to other persons or organizations under certain conditions (e.g., as part of the accreditation or program evaluation; in response to a court order or subpoena; in connection with financial aid; or to other institutions to which the student is transferring).

Student Persistence Information

CSU, Chico has among the highest student persistence and graduation rates in the CSU system. Specific information on persistence and graduation rates is available from the Office of Institutional Research, 530-898-5623.

Health Insurance for Students

The University recommends that you have adequate health insurance to cover the cost of medical care in Chico which is beyond the scope of the WellCat Health Center. If you are not covered under a health insurance plan which provides coverage in Chico (the nearest Kaiser facility is 100 miles away), you may find information on no cost/low cost care on the WellCat Services website.

Immunization Requirement

The California State University requires all new students born after January 1, 1957 to present proof of measles and rubella immunizations in order to register for classes. You are required to file a Student Immunization Certification form, which summarizes your immunization record or permits you to request an exemption on specific grounds. This form is available from Student Records and Registration in the Office of the Registrar, SSC 110, and, once completed, should be returned there.

Military Selective Service Requirement

The federal Military Selective Service Act (the "Act") requires most males residing in the United States to present themselves for registration with the Selective Service System within thirty days of their eighteenth birthday. Most males between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered. Males born after December 31, 1959 may be required to submit a statement of compliance with the act and regulations in order to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under specified provisions of existing federal law. In California, students subject to the Act who fail to register are also ineligible to receive any need-based student grants funded by the state or a public post-secondary institution.

Selective Service registration forms are available at any U.S. Post Office, and many high schools have a staff member or teacher appointed as a Selective Service Registrar. Applicants for financial aid can also request that information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be used to register them with the Selective Service. Information on the Selective Service System is available and the registration process may be initiated online at http:www.sss.gov.

Student Organization Policy

The Student Organization Policy does not supersede regulations set forth by federal, state, or trustee action, nor impede any additional restrictions or criteria from being implemented by the University. The University President maintains the right to withhold recognition and modify the policies governing recognition.

Student organizations benefit from the use of University facilities, equipment, services, and resources and participation in University activities and programs. Recognized organizations are eligible for funding from the Activity Fee Fund and the Student Program Committee following established procedures.

Complete copies of policies relating to the recognition of student organizations are available inside Student Life and Leadership (SLL), Bell Memorial Union (BMU) 220, 530-898-5396 or online via the Student Organization Policy link.

Student Travel Policy

Students engaged in University-sponsored group activities (such as forensics, musical groups, athletics) will advise their instructors of their anticipated absences associated with the activity as early as possible in the semester and of any unscheduled absences as soon as those are known. Early in the semester, advisors for student-related University-sponsored activities must impress upon their students the necessity of advising faculty about the possibility of anticipated/unanticipated absences. Faculty, appropriately notified, will clearly identify for students the consequences of absences in the evaluation process and will provide students with the opportunity to make up the missed class work and assignments, when possible.

Faculty and Student Relations

A University employee shall not enter into a consensual relationship with a student or employee over whom the University employee exercises direct or otherwise significant academic, administrative, supervisory, evaluative, counseling, or extracurricular authority. In the event such a relationship already exists, each campus shall develop a procedure to reassign such authority to avoid violations of policy. This prohibition does not limit the right of an employee to make a recommendation on the personnel matters concerning a family or household member where the right to make recommendations on such personnel matters is explicitly provided for in the applicable collective bargaining agreement or MPP/confidential personnel plan.

Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual harassment is prohibited at California State University, Chico. Students, faculty and staff may file complaints with the Title IX Coordinator if they believe they have been sexually harassed. If violations of the policies prohibiting such discrimination or harassment are determined to have occurred, violators of the policies are subject to appropriate disciplinary action ranging from written or oral reprimand to dismissal or expulsion. Nothing in these policies is meant to preempt or foreclose the pursuit of remedies which may be available to persons alleging sexual harassment under applicable state and federal statutes and regulations.

Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University by interfering with academic or work performance; by creating an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility; and by undermining respect for the University, the individuals who constitute its community, and its degrees and scholarship. (Excerpts from the policy follow, see Executive Order 1096 and Executive Order 1097-revised for the full text.)

Responsibility and authority for the dissemination and implementation of these policies lies ultimately with the Chancellor's Office and with the President of the University with the support of University administrators, faculty, and staff and with assistance from the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for providing information and resources as well as for initiating investigations when a complaint is brought forward and for monitoring campus compliance relating to sexual harassment issues. Questions or concerns regarding sexual harassment issues, complaint procedures, or sexual harassment-related issues may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator (Kendall Hall 220, 530-898-4949).

Sexual Misconduct Policy

California State University, Chico endeavors to provide an environment conducive to growth in mind, spirit, and human community and preclusive to exploitation of students or employees. The full campus policies on sexual misconduct can be found in Executive Order 1095, Executive Order 1096, and Executive Order 1097-revised.

Sexual misconduct is any sexual activity engaged in without first obtaining affirmative consent from the other party to the specific activity, whether or not the conduct violates any civil or criminal law and regardless of whether the person knows the assailant(s) casually, intimately, or not at all.

Sexual misconduct includes sexual assault, battery, rape, and dating violence, and, when based on gender, may include domestic violence and stalking. Sexual misconduct may include using physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication) to engage in sexual activity.

Students, faculty and staff may file complaints of sexual misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator. If violations of the policies prohibiting sexual misconduct are determined to have occurred, violators of the policies are subject to appropriate disciplinary action ranging from written or oral reprimand to dismissal or expulsion. Any form of sexual misconduct may be investigated for possible disciplinary and legal action regardless of when the incident occurred or whether the incident occurs on or off campus.

Students, staff, or faculty wanting more information about the sexual misconduct or affirmative consent policy may contact the Title IX office at titleix@csuchico.edu or at 530-898-4949. Those who wish to have a confidential discussion about a particular situation relating to sexual misconduct may contact WellCat Safe Place at 530-898-3030 or the WellCat Counseling Center at 530-898-6345.

Information regarding sexual harassment and sexual misconduct policies, reporting, assistance, filing a complaint, Title IX staff, and other resources are available online via CSU, Chico's Title IX website or by calling 530-898-4949. A sexual assault may also be reported immediately to University Police (Corner of W. 2nd & Chestnut streets, 530-898-5555).

Additional information regarding sexual misconduct and resources for individuals whom have been sexually assaulted can be found on the University Police and WellCat Safe Place websites or by calling WellCat Safe Place at 530-898-3030.

Use of Computing and Communications Technology

Both Executive Memorandum 97-018, the Policy on Use of Computing and Communications Technology for staff and students, and Executive Memorandum 07-001, the Policy on Use of Computing and Communications Technology for Faculty, set forth users' rights and responsibilities and are designed to address related access, use, and privacy issues in a way that meets the University's legal responsibilities, assures the maintenance of the campus network systems, and treats the campus community with respect. The policies include all systems/resources for both local departmental and central University-wide facilities and applies only to institutional data and equipment. This policy assumes as a condition of use the exercise of common sense, common courtesy, and a respect for the rights and property of the University and other users. The Computing Use and Netiquette website provides a list of important topics regarding university policies.

Computer-Related Crimes and Policy

Recent legislation (Section 502 of the Penal Code) provides that students who commit certain computer-related acts, if done knowingly and without permission, are subject to arrest and University discipline.

These acts include the following:

  • Accessing or assisting in accessing or causing to be accessed, adding, altering, damaging, deleting, destroying, or otherwise using any data, computer, computer system, computer network, computer services, computer software, or computer programs to either:
    1. devise or execute any scheme or artifice to defraud, deceive, or extort or
    2. to wrongfully control or obtain money, property, or data.
  • Unlawful acts also include taking or copying any data or supporting documentation; disrupting or denying computer services to an authorized user; or introducing any computer contaminant into a computer system or network.

For more information on this issue, consult Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities, SSC 190, 530-898-6897.

Campus Facilities Use

Instructional use of the campus is coordinated though Academic Publications & Scheduling Services and Facilities Reservations. Recognized student organizations can reserve facilities through Student Life and Leadership (SLL) in Bell Memorial Union (BMU) 220, 530-898-5396.

For BMU facilities, make reservations through Bell Memorial Union (AS) Conference Services. That office is located at BMU 218, and its phone number is 530-898-6414. Reservations include both outdoor as well as indoor facilities. Contact any of the above offices for more information regarding campus facility use policies and procedures.

Trinity Commons: The area between Trinity Hall and the Bell Memorial Union is designated as Trinity Commons. Reservations and policy for its use are handled by the Student Life and Leadership (BMU 220, 530-898-5396). Members of the University community and their guests may use the area for the expression of ideas, opinions, and viewpoints. Impromptu use is permitted any time during daylight hours, and reservations may be made by recognized student, faculty, or staff organizations through Student Life and Leadership. Any use of the area requiring amplification must be approved in advance.

Table Space: Recognized student organizations may reserve tables in the Bell Memorial Union at the University Information Center, located at the north entrance of the BMU building, 530-898-6116. Permits for table space outside the BMU are available in Student Life and Leadership (SLL), BMU 220, 530-898-5396. Commercial activity is not permitted unless a recognized organization is conducting it for the benefit of the group. Food sales are strictly regulated as to the types of products permitted. Contact Student Life and Leadership (SLL) for details, 530-898-5396.

Permits also are available for table and distribution space at fall and spring registration. Recognized organizations may also reserve other campus space on a space-available basis, per standard campus utilization policies and procedures. Call the SLL for complete details, 530-898-5396.

Animal Welfare Policy

California State University, Chico will comply with all applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act and other federal and state statutes and regulations relating to animals. This policy, which will guide the University in the care and use of animals, is applicable to all research, research training, teaching, experimentation, biological testing, and related activities involving live, vertebrate animals conducted at CSU, Chico or at another institution as a consequence of our subgranting or subcontracting such activity. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) acts as the inspection and enforcement arm of the animal care and use program. Consult Chico State Enterprises (25 Main, Room 205, 530-898-3145) for further information.

Substance Abuse Prevention Education

WellCat Substance Abuse and Prevention Education peer counselors provide information to students, which enables them to make responsible choices regarding alcohol and other drugs.

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program provides information and referrals to employees with alcohol or drug problems, in addition to a range of other services.

Alcohol Policy

The possession, consumption, or transportation of alcoholic beverages on the California State University, Chico campus or in campus-owned facilities is generally prohibited as a matter of institutional policy. However, it may be permitted on special occasions, such as awards ceremonies, receptions, periodic fundraisers for campus programs or as approved by University Public Engagement and Office of Risk Management. More information can be found at University Public Engagement.

All members of the campus community have a stake in ensuring that alcohol is used only in a responsible matter. This policy focuses on alcohol use in moderation by persons age 21 and over and addresses legal liabilities.

For those residing on campus, University Housing has its own Policy Guide, which states that use, possession, manufacture, and distribution of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in and around University Housing communities. Public intoxication and possession collection of alcohol containers or paraphernalia is also prohibited. Students in violation could face educational sanctioning, punitive sanctioning, and even possible termination of a student's Housing License Agreement. For complete information, check with University Housing, 530-898-6325.

No student-sponsored group or organization may expend any Associated Students Activity Fee funds for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. For further information on the University Alcohol Policy, contact University Public Engagement, 898-5917.

Drug Policy

The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (Executive Memorandum 08-040) states "Students as members of the academic community accept both the rights and the responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution." The California State University Board of Trustees has established specific violations for which students may be subject to sanctions, including expulsion, suspension, and probation. Students will be disciplined for violations including the sale or knowing possession, on campus property, of dangerous drugs, restricted dangerous drugs, or narcotics as those terms are used in California statutes, except when lawfully permitted for the purpose of research, instruction, or analysis.

Smoking Policy

The University recognizes the harmful effects of smoking and involuntary contact with smoke. Smoking and the use of tobacco products of any kind are prohibited in all University facilities and on all University grounds. In accordance with Executive Order 1108, the University is “smoke and tobacco free,” which means the use of cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and other “smoke” emanating products including e-cigarette, cigarillo, pipe, hookah, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation.

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