Policy Number: D18.1

Policy Name: Student Involuntary Leave Policy

Introduction
RIT describes acceptable conduct in its publication, “Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Handbook of Policies and Procedures.” The regulations outlined in this policy allow students to live and study in a supportive learning environment, protecting the rights of the community while respecting the rights of the individual. All students should expect to carry on daily activities safely and productively.

A. Statement of Policy

The University may place a student on an Involuntary Leave of Absence, hereafter referred to as Involuntary LOA, when a student is unwilling or unable to make a determination to take a voluntary leave of absence and when there is evidence to suggest that: 

  1. The student poses a significant danger of imminent or serious harm to self or to others, or to the property of the campus, or,

  2. The student, although not posing the risk of imminent or serious harm to self or others, impedes the lawful activities of other members of the campus community.  Examples of such behavior include being disruptive to the environment or having needs which exceed the level of care and supervision that the university community can provide. 

The policy and procedures for initiating an Involuntary LOA do not take the place of disciplinary actions (e.g. suspension, dismissal, or expulsion) that are in response to violations of the RIT Code of Conduct.
An Involuntary LOA can be imposed for no more than five (5) consecutive quarters, eight (8) for part-time students, including summer. If the stipulated conditions are not achieved or complied with in this time period, the student will have to reapply for admission in accordance with the university's readmission procedures. The student’s transcript will be noted with “Leave of Absence” and the effective date of the LOA.

B.  Procedures for Emergency Situation/Imminent Danger

  1. When a student is identified as posing an immediate or serious threat to harm him/herself and/or others, Public Safety (and/or other law enforcement/emergency response personnel) and appropriate designated RIT administrators are contacted. 

  2. Members of the Student Behavior Consultation Team (SBCT), in consultation with local law enforcement and/or emergency response officials if appropriate, evaluate the situation, accessing any information available to them at that time. 

  3. If student behavior is determined to be an immediate or serious threat, the student is placed on ‘interim LOA’ by chairs of the SBCT effective immediately.

  4. Interventions to ensure the safety of the student and/or the community will be implemented and referred for proper evaluation and/or treatment as indicated.

  5. The student is notified in writing by the chairs of the SBCT that an interim LOA is in place and of the restrictions on his/her contact and interaction with members of the community as a result of the LOA.

  6. The student receives notification that the case is being considered for referral for either a conduct hearing and/or Involuntary LOA review through the SBCT.

  7. The student is informed in writing of the conditions required for requesting to return to RIT, the advisable or minimum length of separation, and the documentation required to support consideration of return to school.

  8. The appeal process may be utilized to obtain reinstatement but the interim LOA persists until the appeal process is completed.

C. Procedures for Non-imminent Emergency Situations

  1. Members of the SBCT evaluate the situation accessing any information available to them at the time.  Possible outcomes/recommendations of this meeting include:
    1. Voluntary LOA
    2. Involuntary LOA
    3. Remain in school under specified conditions
    4. Referral to campus or off-campus service

  2. Within 24 hours of the meeting of the SBCT, the student will be notified of a meeting with the chairs of the SBCT to discuss the outcome/recommendations.  The student will be informed of his/her rights (see #5 below). 

  3. The chairs of the SBCT meet with the student to review the decision of the SBCT.

  4. The student will also be notified in writing of the conditions for reentry in the event a voluntary LOA is taken or an Involuntary LOA is imposed or any conditions required for remaining in school.

  5. A student subject to an Involuntary LOA is entitled to the following:
    1. Notice of intent to remove the student pursuant to this Policy, stating the reasons for the action.    
    2. The opportunity to review and discuss the information upon which the decision is being made.
    3. The opportunity to present relevant information on his/her own behalf (or by a health professional working with the student if the student is not capable of self representation).
    4. The right to a non-legal advocate.

  6. In the event the student disagrees with the decision of the SBCT, the student may appeal the finding.  The appeal must be made in writing to the vice president for Student Affairs (or his/her designee) within three (3) business days after the date of the notification to the student of the decision.  The appeal notification must state which of the following grounds is the basis for the appeal and the evidence or reasons supporting this position. If the decision of the SBCT is to place the student on an Involuntary LOA, this Involuntary LOA will be in effect during the appeal process.

  7.  An appeal of an Involuntary LOA will be limited to the following grounds: 

    1. To determine whether the process used to impose the Involuntary LOA was in accordance with designated procedures.
    2. To determine whether the decision reached was based on information and situational conditions that support the conclusion.

  8. The findings and recommendations of the vice president for Student Affairs will be communicated to the student and the chairs of the SBCT along with any changes that will be made to the original decision as an outcome of the appeal.  The written communication will be sent to the student within ten (10) working days after receiving the student’s written appeal.  The decision of the vice president for Student Affairs shall be final.   

  9. Upon being placed on an Involuntary LOA, the student may no longer attend classes, may not be an active member of a student organization, may no longer use university facilities, must vacate university-owned and affiliated housing, and may be entitled to whatever refunds of tuition, fees, and room and board charges as would be appropriate given the timing of the LOA.

  10. Students who are on an Involuntary LOA will have a hold placed on their records which will prevent them from being readmitted or re-enrolled in the university until the conditions for readmittance (which will be spelled out in the letter to the student) have been met.  It is the responsibility of the student to provide documentation of compliance with such conditions.  Readmission is at the discretion of RIT.   

  11. Students placed on an Involuntary LOA have the following responsibilities:
    1. Abide by the restrictions and recommendations of the LOA as outlined in written notification.
    2. Meet all conditions outlined by RIT before submitting a request for readmittance.
    3. When seeking readmittance, submit supporting documentation at least three (3) weeks in advance of the beginning of the quarter he/she plans to return.
    4. Permit (with appropriately signed release of information) exchange of information between designated RIT staff and mental or other health care providers in order to determine a timely and acceptable return to college.

  12. A student who is not placed on an Involuntary LOA may be subject to conditions to continue enrollment at the University.  In such cases, the student will be provided with a written summary of conditions and must meet all conditions in order to maintain student status.  A student who fails to meet such conditions will be subject to an Involuntary LOA by the chairs of the SBCT or will be subject to charges through the RIT student conduct process for failure to comply.

Responsible Office: Vice President for Student Affairs

Effective Date: Approved May 5, 2000

Policy History:
Revised April 8, 2009
Edited August 2010