WCSU Student Handbook 2022-23

University Policies and Where to Find Them

Academic Honesty Policy


As stated in the university catalog, “A student has an obligation to demonstrate honesty in carrying out his/her academic assignments.” Students are responsible for maintaining the academic integrity of the university by following the Academic Honesty Policy. Students are responsible for doing their own work and avoiding all forms of academic dishonesty. For more information please refer to the entire policy found in the current undergraduate catalog at the web address above.

Access to Restrooms and Locker Rooms

The Board of Regents for Higher Education is committed to providing an educational and employment environment where all are welcome. The Board of Regents further recognizes that restroom and locker room facilities at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities are public accommodations. Therefore, the Board of Regents prohibits controlling or otherwise limiting transgender or gender nonconforming persons’ access to restroom or locker room facilities.

Requiring a transgender or gender non-conforming person to use a separate, non-integrated space, potentially identifies that person as well as potentially marginalizes a person. Such treatment fails to recognize restroom and locker room facilities on the campuses as public accommodations and that denial of access may result in the deprivation of an equal educational or employment environment. In this vein, the BOR is issuing this policy so that individuals may access restrooms and locker rooms in a manner consistent with their gender identity or expression.

Restroom Use
Institutions may maintain separate restroom facilities for males and females provided that they allow individuals to access the facilities based upon their gender identity and not exclusively based upon their assigned birth sex. However, if requested, any person may be provided with access to either a “unisex” restroom or a restroom with single stalls.

Locker Room Use
Institutions may maintain separate locker room facilities for males and females provided that they allow individuals to access them based on their gender identity and not exclusively based on their assigned birth sex. In locker rooms where undressing occurs in the presence of others, a private option should be provided to any person if requested.

For the entire CSCU policy, please go to: http://www.ct.edu/files/policies/5.8%20Access%20to%20Restrooms%20and%20Locker%20Rooms.pdf

Alcohol Beverage Policy
Human Resources and Guide to Housing and Residence Life

Western Connecticut State University is concerned about the health and welfare of its academic community. We recognize our responsibility in establishing policies and setting guidelines that foster a safe and healthy environment where our students and employees can learn and work to their fullest potential. The university also recognizes that the misuse of alcohol represents a serious threat to the physical, intellectual, spiritual and emotional wellbeing of our students, employees and society as a whole. The health and risks associated with abuse include: alcohol poisoning, severe intoxication, injury, assault, sexual assault, unsafe sex practices, academic problems, lowered self-esteem, drunken driving, blackouts, vandalism, property damage, problems with authority and lowered grades and attendance.

Our common goal is to foster a university community where the intellectual development of our students and job satisfaction of our employees are free from the harmful effects of alcohol misuse. For more information please refer to the entire policy found on the web address above.

The information below is a summary of the Residence Halls section of the WCSU Alcohol Policy found at wcsu.edu/housing/policies/. Every student is encouraged to read the WCSU comprehensive, campus-wide alcohol policy.

  • Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under the legal drinking age is prohibited. Sale, purchase or possession of alcohol without liquid (alcohol vaporization) machines is prohibited. (Section 30-116)
  • The manufacturing of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
  • Students of legal drinking age may not have alcohol in their room/apartment at any time if any of the students residing in the room/apartment are under the legal drinking age. No alcohol will be visible or consumed while anyone under the legal drinking age is in the room or apartment.
  • It is never permitted to possess an open container of alcohol or consume alcohol in public areas in or around the residence halls. This includes, but is not limited to, hallways, practice or study rooms, computer rooms, lounges, bathrooms, and lawns or parking areas adjacent to the residence halls (including parking garages).
  • Common source alcohol containers (such as, but not limited to, kegs, beer balls, punch bowls and wine boxes) are prohibited.
  • Alcohol containers, full or empty, may not be used for decorative purposes. Paraphernalia associated with drinking or alcohol related games (such as, but not limited to, funnels, beer bongs, shot glasses and taps) are not permitted in the residence halls. Possession of such implements or containers is a violation of university policy.
  • The storing, displaying or collecting of empty alcohol containers in a room or apartment is prohibited. Failure to remove empty containers or storing empty containers can lead to health and safety violations.
  • Any student, athletic, faculty or administrative event at which alcohol will be served must comply with the procedures and complete the paperwork as outlined in the University Alcohol Policy.

For a full explanation of the policy, please follow the links listed above. If you have any questions, call Housing and Residence Life at 203-837-8531 or the Substance Abuse Prevention Program at 203-837-8899.

CSU Computer Use Policy
Undergraduate Catalog

University computer systems and networks are provided for student use as a part of the university academic program. Students are encouraged to become proficient in the use of computers as a means of enhancing their educational experience. However, widespread student use also necessitates certain rules of computer conduct. Computer misconduct can result in restrictions on or revocation of computer access privileges. Please familiarize yourself with the CSU Computer Policy in the undergraduate catalog on the web.

Course Repeat Policy (see Undergraduate Repeat Policy)

Grade Appeal Policy
Undergraduate Catalog

The university recognizes that in rare instances there may be “palpable injustice(s)” in the determination of a final grade. Students may use the appeal process when they believe there is evidence to show that 1) a final grade was determined by methods and criteria different from those used for determining final grades for others in the same class or 2) the evaluation was made as the result of bias or caprice. For additional information on how to appeal a final grade, please refer to the entire Grade Appeal Policy in the undergraduate catalog at the web address above.

Interpersonal Violence:  Guidelines and Procedures for Students Dealing with Issues of Sexual Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, and Stalking

Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) asserts that all students have the right to be free from interpersonal violence such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and dating or domestic violence. WCSU prohibits any student from infringing upon these rights within our campus community. A set of guidelines and procedures has been designed to provide students important information regarding the systems that are in place at WCSU to support any student whose rights have been violated. The university will take prompt action based on violations of the Student Code of Conduct while simultaneously assisting students who also wish to pursue legal action for crimes that may have been committed. These guidelines and procedures have been developed to comply with the United States Department of Education certain requirements of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) which become effective Aug. 14, 2020.

An array of counseling, medical, police, disciplinary, and administrative services is immediately available to WCSU students reporting instances of interpersonal violence on campus. WCSU is committed to supporting informed choice among these services and protecting anonymity within the confines of legal requirements to report instances of violence on campus. If confidentiality is a concern, you are encouraged to inquire about your rights.

For a list of university practices on the above-noted, please go to wcsu.edu/student-affairs/policies/.

Nondiscrimination Policy/Affirmative Action Undergraduate Catalog

Western Connecticut State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer, fully committed to the goal of providing equal opportunity and full participation in its educational programs, activities and employment without discrimination because of race, color, religious beliefs or association, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identification or expression, genetic information, intellectual disability, physical disability, learning disability, past or present history of mental disorder, or prior conviction of a crime, in accordance with state and federal laws.

For more information, please refer to the entire policy statement on the Office of Diversity and Equity at https://wcsu.edu/diversity/discrimination-complaints/.

Policy on Parental Notification
Guide to Housing and Residence Life
opens in a new windowPolicy on Parental Notification PDF

The 1998 Higher Education Amendment to FERPA (Family Education Right to Privacy Act) permits colleges and universities to notify parents of dependent students under the age of 21 when those students are found responsible for alcohol and other drug-related offenses. Western Connecticut State University endorses this policy while encouraging students to take responsibility for their actions. This policy is enforced for all second-time alcohol/drug policy violations as well as all first-time violations resulting in a medical transport to the hospital.

Policy on Use of a Preferred First Name and Execution of Changes to Legal Name by Students

Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) shall use a preferred or used name on all documents and records other than official documents, such as diplomas and transcripts.  Documents and records that may display a preferred or used name include, among others, course rosters, identification cards, email addresses, and honors, awards and prizes issued by the institution.

The Board of Regents for Higher Education directs the system office working with representatives of the CSCU institutions to establish appropriate forms, procedures and timelines to facilitate students’ requests for usage of a preferred first name or used name. The institutions are to incorporate advisement regarding the ramifications of preferred first name or used name usage into their process.

CSCU institutions must use students’ legal names in all official documents, despite requests for the usage of preferred or used names.  Legal names are to appear on all external use reports and documents including, but not limited to employment paper work, paychecks, tax forms, student billings, financial aid forms, scholarships, transcripts, diplomas, and other documents required by law.

For the entire CSCU policy, please go to:


Public Forums, Demonstrations, Marches and Protests

Western Connecticut State University is committed to maintaining an environment where the free expression of ideas and open, vigorous debate and speech can occur. Every member of the campus community has an obligation to promote and respect free expression in the university. No member shall prevent such expression. As a member of this academic community, your rights as a citizen are neither increased nor lessened by your status as a member of the university community. However, you do have added responsibilities. These added responsibilities include the exercise of civility and honesty and a respect for the dignity, diversity, equality and freedom of others. For more information, please refer to the entire policy.

Sexual Misconduct Reporting, Support Services and Processes Policy (BOR/CSCU)

The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) is committed to ensuring that each member of the CSCU community has the opportunity to participate fully in the process of education and development. The BOR and CSCU strive to maintain a safe and welcoming environment free from acts of sexual discrimination, including, sexual harrassment, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. It is the intent of the BOR that each college and university provide safety, privacy and support.

The BOR strongly encourages students, parents, bystanders and employees to alert Title IX Coordinators to sexual discrimination, including sexual harrassment. Title IX Coordinators will promptly address these matters and treat all parties equitably. In accordance with federal law, those accused of engaging in prohibited conduct will be presumed not responsible and receive no punitive treatment unless and until found responsible after due process. All BOR colleges and universities will provide complainants and the respondents with supportive measures, including referral to agencies that provide medical attention, counseling, legal services, advocacy referrals and other relevant information.

For the entire CSCU policy, please go to:


Smoking Policy
Guide to Housing and Residence Life

Western Connecticut State University is a public university authorized under State of Connecticut statutes. In accordance with current statutes applicable to buildings owned and/or operated by the State of Connecticut and residence halls in public institutions of higher education, smoking* is prohibited inside all buildings. In addition, the University has established the policy that smoking is prohibited within a fifteen (15) foot distance of all building entrances, exits and open windows in order to reduce the infiltration of second-hand smoke into occupied spaces. *For the purposes of this policy, smoking shall include the recreational use of all tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, snus, snuff, chew, clove cigarettes and the use of e-cigarettes.

Approved on January 15, 2015 by the University Senate – Resolution R-15-01-01

Approved on February 17, 2015 by Dr. James Schmotter, University President

Student Confidentiality (FERPA)
Undergraduate Catalog

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Education records belong to students unless students agree in writing to allow third parties to see this information. Similarly, the release of health and mental health records also require a student’s written permission. In certain cases, such as a legal subpoena, the university may be required to share the information – in such cases students would be notified that the records were being released. WCSU can disclose, without consent, “Directory” information, such as name, address, telephone number, dates of attendance, full- or part-time status, awards and honors, major field of study, school or college, degrees, graduation date, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and photos and videos of athletes. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Registrar’s Office, in writing, prior to the start of the academic year. Such a request would be honored until such time students requested in writing that their directory information again be made public.

For a full description of student rights under FERPA and other confidentiality issues, please visit the U. S. Department of Education’s website.

Undergraduate Repeat Policy

Students are permitted to repeat most courses at WCSU; however, credit is granted only once toward graduation unless specifically noted in the course description (e.g., ENG 376). For up to the first seventeen (17) academic credits of repeated courses, the highest grade attained by the student will be substituted for the lower grade(s) for the purpose of calculating the student’s grade point average (GPA). Although the lower grade received in the repeated course will not be calculated in the GPA, it will remain visible on the student’s official university transcript. If a student repeats courses beyond the seventeen (17) academic credit limitation, the multiple grades attained for the repeated course(s) shall be used in the calculation of the student’s GPA. This policy applies to undergraduate courses completed at WCSU only, and may be applied only to courses taken after Fall 2008.

Repeating any course taken in a previous semester may affect certain federal and state benefits, various financial aid programs, loans, scholarships and social security benefits and veteran’s benefits. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements must be met for continued financial aid eligibility. See the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment section of the catalog for the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Any course designated as X98 (Faculty-Developed Study) or X99 (Student Independent Study) is excluded from this policy. Special Topics classes are also excluded. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic adviser before repeating a course. Education majors and post-baccalaureate certification students should refer to the Education Department for information regarding the repeating of courses as this policy may affect eligibility for certification.