Student Rights & Responsibilities

Philosophy
The mission of SIT Graduate Institute includes the promotion of understanding among people from different parts of the world. In performance of its role as an educational institution, SIT endeavors to provide the support needed by students as they work to achieve satisfactory academic performance in their courses and within the program. As members of the SIT community, students share in the school’s dedication to goals of mutual learning, mutual enjoyment of each other’s company, and mutual respect. However, these goals can only be realized if individuals honor the rights and privileges of all community members and take responsibility for their own actions. Every community has guidelines to direct the behavior of its members and to ensure the basic rights of individual members for the benefit of the community. The guidelines and procedures outlined below are designed to serve this purpose. Students should be aware that SIT’s Academic Review Board is responsible for hearing and resolving all academic grievances from and concerning students, including 1) evaluation and/or grading of individual assignments, 2) implementation of courses according to the published syllabi, and 3) fair application of program and school policies. Sexual harassment complaints are handled in accordance with the school’s sexual harassment policies and procedures. Procedures required to file such grievances are detailed under the World Learning / SIT Policy Prohibiting Harassment. Student complaints involving the conduct of a World Learning or SIT faculty or staff member should be directed to the director of Human Resources or the dean of Student Health, Safety, and Well-Being and will be handled in accordance with applicable human resource policies and procedures.

Student Code of Conduct
The following is a partial list of actions that the school considers impermissible:

  • Violation of safety practices or action or inaction that might cause injury or death to oneself and any other person
  • Sexual harassment or harassment of any kind
  • Creating excessive noise, disturbing the peace, violating individual rights or privacy, or disrupting lawful activities of others
  • Deliberately or carelessly damaging or stealing SIT property or the property of those associated with SIT or a host community
  • Tampering with or misusing fire alarms, firefighting equipment, or other emergency equipment or reporting mechanisms on program sites
  • Theft or unauthorized use of property from any other person or entity
  • Unauthorized entry or use of campus or program facilities, including host facilities such as host universities, hotels, or offices of program staff and contacts
  • Possession or use, including the threat of use, of a weapon or other hazardous materials, such as, but not limited to, a firearm, knife, explosive, or other object that could be considered a weapon while on the program
  • Smoking in prohibited areas
  • Violation of national or local laws, including, but not limited to, those that relate to the use of alcohol and controlled substances on the program. Violation of local laws may result in fines, punishment, imprisonment, or deportation in addition to punitive actions by SIT.
  • Failure to comply with the reasonable directions of program or institutional officials acting in the performance of their duties
  • Violations of any approved SIT policies and regulations as published in the SIT Graduate Institute Course Catalog and Student Handbook or other official SIT publications, including infringements of SIT’s academic dishonesty and plagiarism policy and World Learning’s appropriate use policy
  • Any conduct that jeopardizes SIT’s ability to maintain positive relations in host communities or to continue to carry out its programs, including, but not limited to, culturally inappropriate behavior or defamatory statements regarding the host community, local organizations, or countries in blogs or other public media
  • Any conduct the school determines to be contrary to the interests of the SIT Graduate Institute and World Learning community in preserving an environment of mutual learning, mutual enjoyment, and mutual respect

Student Responsibilities

It is incumbent upon every student to try to work out disagreements before involving Student Affairs or the academic program staff in a complaint. If the student cannot make satisfactory arrangements, he or she may file a written complaint with the student affairs coordinator or the dean of students, or, in the case of SIT’s academic dishonesty and plagiarism policies, with the director of the academic program. The director may try to resolve the complaint through mediation or through an informal or formal hearing, depending upon the seriousness of the complaint. Please note that sexual harassment complaints shall be handled in accordance with the school’s sexual harassment policies and procedures. Student complaints involving the conduct of a World Learning or SIT faculty or staff member should be directed to the director of Human Resources or assistant dean of students for international programs and Title IX coordinator and will be handled in accordance with applicable human resource policies and procedures.

Student Conduct Process
Any member of the SIT community may file a complaint against any student for misconduct. Complaints should be made in writing to the coordinator of graduate student affairs or the dean of students, or, in the case of SIT’s Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism policy, to the respective director of the academic program. Complaints should be submitted as soon as possible after the event(s) take place, preferably within 10 days. The student who is the subject of the complaint may be addressed with the sanctions as detailed herein and in the specific policies and procedures maintained by SIT. Once the student is reported and investigated, a decision
will be made by the relevant director to take one of the following courses of action:
Handle the Infraction Informally without Formal Hearing:
In some cases, the coordinator of graduate student affairs or dean of students (and/or the director of the academic program, if appropriate) will dispose of the case informally. In such cases, the sanction, should a sanction be warranted, will be limited to an official warning.
Initiate Formal Proceedings:
The coordinator of graduate student affairs will serve as the hearing officer for most cases. At the discretion of the coordinator, a disciplinary panel may hear cases of a more serious nature. The panel will consist of three hearing officers appointed by the student affairs coordinator or dean of students. All proceedings will remain private, consistent with policies and procedures maintained by the school. At the disciplinary hearing, the technical rules of procedure and evidence