May 21, 2024  
2023-24 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-24 Undergraduate Catalog

Class Disruptions

Indiana University of Pennsylvania respects the rights of instructors to teach and students to learn while supporting the principle of freedom of expression. Maintenance of these rights requires classroom conditions that do not impede the learning process.

Instructors have the right and responsibility to maintain a proper learning environment in the classroom.  As integral members of this partnership, students are expected to participate actively in the learning experience and must do so in an appropriate manner.

Disruptive conduct in the classroom that interferes with the instructor’s performance of their professional functions, or that undermines the integrity of students learning, will not be tolerated.

Civil expression and disagreement with the course instructor or other students in the class during times when the instructor permits discussion are not considered disruptive conduct.

The instructor’s syllabus will serve as the primary guideline for defining disruptive conduct in any given course.

In addition to any syllabus specifications, disruptive conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Students who routinely enter class late or depart early;
  • Students who repeatedly talk in class without being called upon;
  • Students who continually interrupt lectures;
  • Students who refuse to comply with an instructor’s requests to stop disruptive conduct;
  • Students whose cell phones repeatedly ring and/or emit and audible sound during class or students who repeatedly text during class;
  • Students who harass an instructor or classmate;
  • Students who threaten an instructor or classmate, physically or verbally, or display aggressive behavior;
  • Students whose disruptive conduct otherwise violates University policies including, but not limited to, the IUP Community Standards Policy and/or the Sexual Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy

This disruptive conduct may result in instructor intervention and/or disciplinary action.

The following procedures are designed to ensure the right of due process for both instructor and student, as well as the university’s right to impose penalties for infractions:

  1. The instructor will apprise the student of the inappropriateness of the disruptive conduct and ask that the disruptive conduct cease.
  2. If disruptive conduct persists, the instructor may:
  • refer the student to campus support services, and/ or
  • remove the student from class for one class meeting and inform the student to contact the instructor prior to the next scheduled class meeting.
  1. If the disruptive conduct persists and negatively impacts the learning of the other students, the instructor may request that the student be removed from class for more than one class period. To do this, the instructor will inform the department chair immediately and submit a signed and dated written statement of the incident to the department chair within two (2) academic calendar days. Within two (2) academic calendar days, the department chair will hold a meeting(s) with the instructor and the student to review the matter. If the student and instructor cannot reach an agreement, the instructor may refer the student for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy. 

If there is any suggestion of violence, instructors always should err on the side of safety by calling University Police. If the disruptive conduct cannot be mitigated by the above procedure, or if the disruptive conduct continues or magnifies negatively impacting the learning of fellow students, the instructor may, in consultation with the department chair, and with the consent of their academic dean, refer the case to the Office of Student Support and Community Standards for adjudication under the IUP Community Standards Policy.  The University can impose interim measures, as appropriate, pursuant to the IUP Community Standards Policy.

Note: For this policy, the term “instructor” may include teaching assistants and guest lecturers.