Illinois Wesleyan
Student Rights and Responsibilities

Policy and Regulations


Campus Environment

Illinois Wesleyan encourages the entire community to engage in positive dialogue involving different life experiences. Intercultural understanding can be achieved through the classroom, residential community, co-curricular and multi-cultural programming leading to a shared understanding and acceptance of differences. Through these actions, diversity is valued and celebrated on the Illinois Wesleyan campus.

Harassment and Intolerance

Illinois Wesleyan University does not tolerate harassment based on racial, ethnic, gender, religious or other hostility. Such harassment is intolerable to all members of the university community: faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and students. The University will take appropriate disciplinary action against those found to have committed harassment, up to and including dismissal from the university. It is defined as verbal, written, or physical conduct which refers to race or which communicates slurs based on ethnicity, sexual or religious orientation, or disabilities and where such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic, social or work related participation in the Illinois Wesleyan Community. Harassment can include, but is not limited to, hostile or intimidating verbal or written statements or symbols, or physical threats or intimidating conduct that adversely affect the mental or emotional health of the individual or group. This definition of harassment specifically includes verbal acts, which are intended to insult or stigmatize an individual or group of individuals based on their race or color, their ethnicity, their sexual or religious orientation, or a disability.

These protections are extended to prohibit harassment directed at the following groups or perceived groups:

gay • lesbian • transgender • bisexual • religion • ethnic group • disabled

Specific examples of harassment include, but are not limited, to the following:

Using slurs
Creating derogatory graffiti
Making offensive jokes
Imitating stereotypes in speech or mannerisms
Displaying cartoons of stereotypes

The University will consider as an aggravating factor in determining sanctions any violation of law of this student code in which it can be shown that the accused intentionally selected the person or target of the violation based upon race, and therefore may impose harsher or additional sanctions and penalties.

A student should notify the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students' Office following an incident of harassment, etc. Upon meeting with the student, the Dean may complete an investigation and refer the incident to the All University Judiciary Committee (AUJC). Students are also referred to the section on Complaint Procedures in this handbook.



Students with Dependents

Illinois Wesleyan University recognizes the challenges that students who are parents face while also pursuing academic excellence. Pregnancy can be a time of physical and emotional stress for both expectant mothers and fathers. The rigors of academic life coupled with the demands of parenthood are immense.

Students who are expectant parents or who are already parents should know that they will not face any discrimination by faculty, staff, or administration. Indeed, efforts are directed to encourage continuation of studies through to graduation. Students who are entering this life-changing experience as well as those who return to school after the birth of a child are encouraged to consult with the Arnold Health Service, Counseling and Consultation Services, the Childcare Committee or the Vice President/Dean of Students' Office for information and support regarding both on-campus and off-campus resources (i.e. lactation consulting, obstetrics care, low-income childcare).

Anti-Hazing Policy

Illinois Wesleyan University has a zero tolerance policy for hazing. Hazing is defined as: "Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off campus premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, intimidation, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities may include but are not limited to the following: forced use of alcohol; paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games or activities; deprivation of sleep; and any other inappropriate activities which are not consistent with the institutional mission and governing policies. Furthermore, the institution will treat the hazing action of even one member of a group as constituting hazing by the group."

Violations of the University Hazing Policy are considered serious offenses. Groups or individuals found responsible for hazing may result in sanctions of suspension or expulsion of the individual or organization from the university.


An organization's president, captain or other elected or appointed officials are responsible for educating their members or team of the hazing policy and enforcing it. All members of the IWU Community are expected to comply with the policy and hold others accountable to it. Enforcement responsibilities will fall into the following jurisdictions: 1) Investigations of alleged incidents involving fraternities and sororities will be the responsibility of the Greek Judicial Board. 2) Investigations of alleged incidents involving student organizations, athletic teams and other members of the campus community will be the responsibility of the All University Judiciary Committee.

Guidelines for Initiation

It is the expectation of the University that any organization which has a formal initiation process for new members will follow all local and (inter)national guidelines that apply to initiation. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life maintains information on (inter)national guidelines for initiation. The office also tracks membership totals and attrition for fraternities and sororities, thus all Greek Chapters are required to provide the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life with membership lists and initiation dates prior to the formal initiation ceremony. It the University's expectation that initiation practices are in place to install a sense of pride and community within the organization. Initiation and ritualistic ceremonies should not violate members' personal or moral convictions as a condition of initiation, nor should it interfere with students' academic obligations.


Campus community members are expected to report a practice or action believed to be hazing to the Dean of Students immediately. The Dean will initiate a formal investigation and grievance procedure once the action is reported


The Catalog

The University Catalog is the authoritative publication with respect to academic programs, standards, and requirements. Students may choose to meet the general education and major requirements listed in any one Catalog that was current during their tenure at the University. Upon separation from the University for more than two years, the student's period of tenure for requirement purposes becomes the period of final attendance.

Each student is urged to read the Catalog carefully in order to avoid academic and financial confusion. No one can assume this responsibility for the individual. The following material is intended to highlight what is found in the Catalog, not to supersede it (except where noted), and to inform the student of related administrative policies and procedures.

Academic Advising and Faculty Office Hours

Each student is formally assigned an academic advisor to assist in planning a program of study. Specifically, the academic advisor is responsible for counseling each student prior to registration periods, for considering a student's proposed schedule or schedule changes, and for advising the student in relation to the fulfilling of requirements. The academic advisor may also counsel with individual students in regard to problems that arise in their academic performance and to their long-range career plans. It is, however, ultimately the responsibility of each student to be sure he/she meets all of the requirements for graduation.  In view of the University's emphasis on teaching, advising, and personal contact between faculty and students, faculty office hours are considered to be very important. Each faculty member must post and maintain a schedule of regular office hours amounting to at least five per week.

Class Syllabus, Attendance, and Grading Policies

Each faculty member is required to produce and distribute, preferably at the first class meeting, but in any event within the first week of classes, a written syllabus explaining the aims, scope, and format of the course, readings and other class experiences such as class discussions, panels, quizzes, papers, and examinations. The syllabus must also include class attendance policy, grading policy and office hours. Written course outlines, where appropriate, are strongly encouraged.

Students are expected to attend class regularly. In cases of unavoidable absence, it is the student's responsibility to inform the faculty member of the cause. It is the individual student's responsibility to notify faculty members in advance of absences resulting from University-approved functions. University-sponsored non-academic activities which conflict with class schedules do not automatically take precedence over regular class work, but faculty members are requested to exercise reasonable flexibility in accommodating students involved in such activities.

When a student's absences are in excess of those permitted by the policy of the faulty member, it will be assumed that unless otherwise demonstrated, the student has decided not to fulfill the requirements of the course. This can result in the student being removed from the class roster and excluded from further class attendance.

Each faculty member is responsible for informing his/her students of the policies and standards upon which course grades will be based. After the final grade for a student has been submitted to the Office of the Registrar, no change may be made except to correct a demonstrable clerical error.

Class Meetings and Final Examinations

Regular class meeting times may be changed only if such changes do not cause conflicts for any member of the class; they conform to regularly scheduled class meeting time and are confirmed through the Registrar's Office. Final course assignments or exams are administered during and not before the regularly scheduled time during "finals week.” Comprehensive final exams are not a mandatory part of every course, but a final exam or other activity must be administered during the scheduled final examination period. Exams or graded assignments scheduled earlier in the semester may come due during the last week of classes, but faculty are strongly discouraged from announcing new assignments proximal to and during the last week of classes. Students are encouraged to prepare for final exams throughout the semester and to use reading day(s) for further preparation.

Course Loads

A full course load at IWU is four courses per semester, or eight courses per year. The May Term provides an entirely optional opportunity to take a ninth course during a three-week immersion experience. This expected pattern of eight course units per year and one or two optional May Term courses affords students both academic focus and ample scope to build a sound liberal arts education while accumulating the 32 course units required for graduation.

Most courses at IWU are valued at one course unit (exceptions are such things as music ensembles and physical education activity courses and science laboratory courses).

Generally speaking, the average total time spent in class and in other course activities such as library research, laboratory, studio, problem-solving, or writing assignments, should amount to approximately ten to twelve hours per week per course during the Fall and Spring terms and eight to nine hours per weekday in the May Term. Naturally, the time spent by any individual student in a given course varies in relation to individual ability, the quality of work done and so forth. The most important aspect of the course unit concept, however, is that it emphasizes the total course experience rather than merely the number of class meetings.

At the same time, non-degree credit experiences in music, physical education, and other areas permit variety for those students seeking additional challenges. Students with superior ability and clear needs may be permitted to audit or take degree courses beyond the regular load. Inquiries concerning permission for overloads should be directed to the Registrar.

Grades and Standards

While credit is more or less determined by the quantity of work done (the skills developed and/or the amount of material covered in a course at the minimal level), grades are associated with the quality of work done (the level of competency or of subject mastery attained). Thus, students should understand that meeting all of the requirements for a course (doing all assigned work) does not guarantee a grade of "A" or "B" or even "C." The level of performance above and beyond the minimum expectation is the basis for all grades as defined in the University Catalog. Refer to the Catalog (chapter titled “The Academic Program”) for information concerning grade reporting practices and standards for academic honors, probation, and disqualification.

Petitions for Exceptions to Academic Requirements and Grade Appeals

Students desiring an exception to an academic regulation or requirement should file a petition with the Registrar setting forth the reasons for the request. Petitions supported only by reasons of convenience or personal preference will not be successful. Adequate arguments for an exemption should contain evidence that the spirit and intent of the requirement has been or will otherwise be fulfilled or that the student has been prevented from meeting the requirements by events beyond the student's control and that denial of the petition will cause unreasonable hardship. Denial of petitions may be appealed to the Associate Provost. Petition forms may be obtained from the Registrar's Office.

Students wishing to appeal faculty decisions on final grades should first attempt to resolve their problems with the individual faculty member and the department head involved. A student who remains unsatisfied following these attempts, may submit the appeal in writing to the Registrar within one semester of receiving the disputed grade. The Registrar will then place the appeal before the Academic Appeals Board.

University Policies Concerning Student Conduct & Academic Integrity

The integrity of the academic community depends on the trustworthiness of all its members. Honesty is assumed, especially in academic pursuits. Dishonesty in the form of plagiarism or cheating is not tolerated and the University maintains a clear and definite policy applying to it. Violations may result in dismissal from the University.


The University defines cheating as giving or receiving information, or using material, in exams, assignments, and projects when it is not allowed. Some examples of cheating include copying from another person during an exam, using "cheat sheets" or other proscribed materials during an exam, collusion on take-home exams or other assignments where it has been expressly prohibited, and the submission of a laboratory report based on falsified data or any data not obtained by the student in the manner indicated by the instructor. Note that the person who knowingly provides illicit information is liable to the same punishment as the person who receives and uses it.

Because cheating is more commonly understood than the concept of plagiarism, it does not require as much explanation. This should not be interpreted as implying that cheating is a lesser offense than plagiarism. Both are extremely serious offenses. Both entail the same heavy penalties. Both can result in separation from the University.

lIllinois Wesleyan University Statement on Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?  Plagiarism is the intentional or inadvertent misrepresentation as one’s own, the words, ideas, research data, formulae or artistic creations of another individual or collective body, without giving credit to the originator(s) of those words, ideas, data, formulae or artistic creations.

Examples of plagiarism:

  • Submitting in one’s own name a term paper, report or document written by someone else or obtained from a commercial agency.
  • A document that is only partially of one’s own creation; combining original content with text, data or graphics taken from another source such as an encyclopedia, book, journal article or downloaded from the World-Wide-Web.
  • Paraphrases of the ideas or words of others without proper acknowledgement.
  • Original work based on the ideas of others without proper acknowledgment.

Why one should not plagiarize: The scholarly community recognizes that it is virtually impossible to write everything with such originality that one never employs the ideas and words of another. However, by providing proper citations to other works, a writer shows his or her ability to enter into dialogue with the scholarly community of a specific discipline, building upon what has already been said and adding his or her own voice. Plagiarism on the other hand is contrary to the ideals of scholarship. It is subversive to sound education and ethically dishonest.

When to cite a source: Cite a source whenever you use the

  • Words (written or spoken)
  • Ideas
  • Research data
  • Formulae
  • Artistic creations (images, music) of another person or agency.

It is not necessary to cite common knowledge.

What is common knowledge?  Common knowledge is anything that is considered known by the vast majority of the population – or may be found in generalized information sources, for example; Chicago is the largest city in Illinois, or E=mc2.

Avoiding plagiarism: To aid in avoiding plagiarism, the scholarly community has developed techniques of documentation which allow a writer to use other peoples’ words and ideas without seeming to expropriate them.  Footnotes, endnotes, parenthetical textual notes and quotation marks are used by scholars to acknowledge the sources of ideas and words. Students at IWU are expected to learn how to quote and cite sources responsibly. There are numerous tools which can assist writers in meeting this requirement. Two of the most common are the APA Publication Manual published by the American Psychological Association and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers published by the Modern Language Association. Both are available from the IWU Writing Center and The Ames Library. Your instructor or a librarian will gladly assist you in applying these guidelines to the work you do in individual classes. Also, because what is considered the “correct” way of citing and quoting varies among disciplines, your instructors may specify which set of guidelines is to be followed for a specific class assignment.

Consequences of plagiarism at IWU:  Because IWU takes very seriously the responsibility of ethical scholarship and writing, plagiarism can result in a failing grade for an assignment, a course, or in some cases, separation from the University. It is the responsibility of instructors who discover instances of plagiarism to report these to the Associate Provost of Academic Planning and Standards in writing. Only after such a report has been filed can an appropriate punitive response be determined. The instructor must also inform the student at the time that the report is filed. The Associate Provost of Academic Planning and Standards is responsible for seeing that the appropriate penalty is recorded in all cases not requiring action of the Academic Appeals Board.

Sources consulted:

“Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices” Online posting. 22 October 2007

 MacDonald, Jean. “To Cite is Right: Avoiding Plagiarism, Pleasing Profs & Living an Academically Honest Life.” The Ames Library, Illinois Wesleyan University. January 2008

“Plagiarize” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. Philip Babcock Gove, editor in chief. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster Inc., 2002

Student Records

Illinois Wesleyan University collects data and maintains records in order to assist staff and faculty in educational planning and meeting individual student needs. Unless justifiable needs can be established for information necessary to the maintenance of the University, records are not maintained.

Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Illinois Wesleyan University maintains policies providing student access to their educational records and procedures for the confidentiality of all data maintained in them.

As determined in FERPA:

  • Any past or present student may inspect and review his or her educational records though applicants for admission are not entitled to inspection or review.

  • Educational records consist of all records contained in files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student. (Educational records do not include personal notations or records made by University staff or faculty which remain in the record keeper's sole possession).

  • A student does not have access to financial records of his or her parents, confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in a record prior to January 1, 1975, or confidential recommendations received after January 1, 1975, if the student has signed a waiver of access.

Any previously or currently enrolled student may waive his or her rights of access to letters and statements of recommendation or reference. All candidates at the time of their registration or reactivation with the Career Center are given a choice to maintain a confidential file where the right of access is waived or an open file where all information can be inspected and reviewed by the candidate. If a currently registered person wishes to start an open file in the Career Center at the time of their reactivation, he/she will have access to all material submitted after January 1, 1975, but all references submitted prior to January 1, 1975, will be withdrawn from the file. Forms for the purpose of the declaration of open or confidential files are available in the Career Center.

Directory Information

The University has designated certain student data as directory or public information. Directory or public information includes: name, local and home addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail address, photo, major, academic class, birth date, participation in recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent educational institution attended, and age, height, and weight of athletes. Any student who does not desire this public information released must inform the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students in writing no later than September 15 of the academic year concerned. No partial deletion or edited entry can be accepted.

Student Access

Any past or present student who wishes to examine his or her educational records must submit a request in writing to the office responsible for maintaining the information of interest. The offices are as follows: (1) Career Center maintains all placement recommendations and credentials; (2) Registrar's Office maintains academic transcripts; and (3) Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students maintains students' personal records. Once a request has been made, the office responsible for maintaining the records of interest will notify that student no later than 45 days as to the time and place at which the records may be examined. A student's academic transcript may be seen immediately upon presentation of appropriate identification at the Registrar's Office. Copies of records may be obtained at cost upon request.

In the event a student challenges the content of his or her educational record on the basis of inaccurate or misleading information, the administrative officer responsible for maintaining the educational record will discuss and attempt to resolve the challenge within the framework of assuring the accuracy, integrity, and usefulness of the record. A student may choose to insert a written explanation to be included in the record. If a challenge cannot be resolved with the administrative officer, the student may appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students for review. A decision by the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students may be appealed to the President.

Information from a student's educational record may be released to the parents of the student provided the student is a dependent as defined for federal income tax purposes. Requests to release grades to parents must be made by the student to the Registrar's Office. Directory information may be provided on request unless a student has requested that all information not be released. All other requests for information, including a review of a student's educational records, from any individual or agency other than the student, University personnel, and parents, which has not been expressly authorized by the student, will be referred to the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students. Requests for information about students from government intelligence or law enforcement agencies must be directed to the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students. All such requests and appropriate subpoenas will be reviewed by University Counsel.

The PATRIOT Act of 2001 has amended FERPA and the confidentiality requirement of student databases to allow disclosures to the Attorney General or his designee in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes.

Withdrawal from the University

Students planning to leave the University for any reason should discuss their plans with the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or the Registrar and their academic advisors; they should also notify the Registrar.

If circumstances should make it necessary for a student to withdraw from the University prior to the end of a term or semester, the procedure outlined below should be followed in order to obtain refunds where applicable and to insure the accuracy of the student's records:

  1. Secure a withdrawal form from the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students Office.

  2. Enter the reason for withdrawal and have the form signed by the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or her designee.

  3. Participate in a brief interview with Dean of Students staff.

Please refer to the Financial Information Section of the University Catalog for details concerning possible adjustments to tuition, room, and board charges resulting from withdrawal.

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