Disruptive Student Behavior

Recommended By
The Academic Senate
Approved
Ruben Armiñana, President
Issue Date
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Current Issue Date
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Effective Date
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Contact Office
Academic Affairs
Policy number
2012-1

Commensurate with the mission of Sonoma State University to prepare students to be learned men and women with a broad cultural perspective, who are active citizens and leaders in society and capable of pursuing fulfilling careers, it is the policy of the university to create learning environments that support civil and respectful discourse. It is the policy of Sonoma State University to be proactive in dealing with issues of students who cause disruptions in the academic environment. Faculty members and students are encouraged to discuss the appropriate ways of behaving in educational settings. It is also the policy of Sonoma State University to impose sanctions on students who regularly disrupt educational activities.

Civil expression of disagreement with the course instructor during times when the instructor permits discussion is not, in itself, disruptive behavior and is not prohibited.

1. Definitions Of Disruptive Behavior

  • Speaking out without being recognized
  • Interrupting other speakers
  • Engaging in erratic or irrational behavior
  • Behaving in a manner that distracts the class from the subject matter or discussion
  • Engaging in harassing or threatening behavior or personal insults (includes via email, phone, text, etc.)
  • Refusing to comply with directions from faculty members

Civil expression of disagreement with the course instructor during times when the instructor permits discussion is not, in itself, disruptive behavior and is not prohibited.

2. Policy

When a student demonstrates a pattern of disruptive behavior, faculty members have authority and responsibility to work with that student toward a satisfactory resolution. Should informal measures, such as private discussions, not resolve the issue, faculty members may impose sanctions, such as dismissal from the classroom or area for the remainder of the class session or activity. Students may only be excluded from the classroom for two or more consecutive class periods by the presidential designee responsible for student disciplinary procedures. If a faculty member believes that formal conduct proceedings are warranted for disruptive behavior, a complaint should be directed to the Student Conduct Administrator as soon as possible after the event takes place. The incident report will be kept in accordance with FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act). The Student Conduct Administrator or designee will make initial contact with the student within one working day of receiving an incident report. The faculty member who filed the incident report will receive confirmation that a meeting took place and information about the outcome of that meeting from the Student Conduct Administrator or designee within one working day of the meeting. Hearings and/or sanctions will be conducted in accordance with the proceedings described in Article IV of Executive Order 1043. The faculty member will be kept apprised of proceedings within the limits of FERPA.

3. Authority

Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 41301 lists various infractions of the code of conduct for which students may be sanctioned. Section 41301 gives authority to the Chancellor of the California State University to establish disciplinary procedures (Executive Order 1043) for all campuses. For more information, see the SSU online catalog or the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Division website

    Updated 2/7/12 by cormier@sonoma.edu