Student Code of Conduct
The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world’s leading music schools, Curtis provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its students, ensuring that admissions are based solely on artistic promise. A Curtis education is uniquely tailored to the individual student, with personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and frequent performance opportunities.
Curtis is a community in which musical and intellectual growth, learning by doing, mutual tolerance, and respect for freedom of thought and expression are principles of great importance. In an environment that promotes the free interchange of ideas, cultural diversity, and space for artistic, intellectual, and social growth, Curtis students are encouraged to take advantage of the range of opportunities available to them, thereby deepening their own insights and expanding their educational experience beyond Curtis. The Curtis community consists of students, faculty, staff, and those otherwise affiliated with the school, all of whom are invited to participate actively in the greater Philadelphia, state, national, and international communities in which they reside.
By accepting membership into the Curtis community, a student accepts an obligation to promote its welfare by assuming the rights and responsibilities listed below. Each member of this community is responsible for his or her own actions and is expected to respect the rights of others.
Whenever, in this Code, a particular Curtis officer is identified by title, a designee may be substituted with the approval of the dean.
II. Rights of Student Citizenship
Membership in the Curtis community affords every student certain rights that are essential to the school’s educational mission and its character as a community:
(A) The right to have access to and participate in the academic and nonacademic opportunities afforded by Curtis, subject to applicable standards or requirements.
(B) The right to freedom of thought and expression.
(C) The right to be free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or veteran status.
(D) The right to the fair process in the determination of accountability for conduct, as set forth in this Code.
III. Responsibilities of Student Citizenship
Students are expected to exhibit responsible behavior regardless of time or place, both on and off campus. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. At Curtis, responsible behavior is a standard of conduct that reflects higher expectations than may be prevalent outside the Curtis community. Any student who violates this Code is subject to the disciplinary sanctions as set forth here.
Responsible behavior includes but is not limited to the following obligations.
A. Students shall:
(1) Comply with all provisions of the Curtis “Academic Honesty Policy.”
(2) Respect the health and safety of others. This prohibits acts or threats of physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person. This also includes, but is not limited to, acts of sexual assault, misconduct and/or harassment against another student or member of the Curtis community.
(3) Respect the rights of fellow students to participate in organizations and in relationships with other students without fear, threat, or any act of hazing. Hazing is any act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation and admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition of continued membership in any group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act; it is a violation of this Code.
(4) Properly use the Curtis computer facilities and resources.
(5) Be honest and truthful in dealings with Curtis about one's own identity (e.g., name or Social Security number), and in the use of Curtis and other identification.
(6) Cooperate fully and honestly in any student disciplinary matter.
(7) Comply with all Curtis contracts, such as Living Occupancy Agreements and other contracts.
(8) Comply with all Curtis policies and regulations, including Living Occupancy Agreements. Students are required to engage in responsible social conduct that reflects credit upon the Curtis community and to exemplify good citizenship in any community.
(9) Comply with federal, state, and local laws, including complying with the directions of Curtis officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties.
(10) Comply with state and local laws and regulations that prohibit the use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages to any person less than twenty-one (21) years of age.
(B) Students shall not:
(1) Engage in conduct toward other students that infringes upon the Rights of Student Citizenship.
(2) Steal and/or damage, deface or misuse of property or facilities of Curtis or of other members of the Curtis community or other personal or public property.
(3) Possess, duplicate or use keys on any Curtis premises or otherwise obtain entry without proper authorization.
(4) Possess or use dangerous articles (such as firearms, explosive materials, other weapons, dangerous chemicals, etc.) on Curtis property or at Curtis events.
(5) Use, possess, manufacture or distribute alcoholic beverages on Curtis premises, except as expressly permitted by Curtis regulations.
(6) Use or consume any alcohol or controlled substance while representing Curtis at outside performances, concerts or any other Curtis function. This prohibition applies to every student regardless of age, and includes periods before the performance, regardless of place, and during or after the performance while at the performance venue. Under no circumstances should a student appear at any performance or other Curtis functions while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. For additional information, refer to our Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Student Policy (April 2008).
(7) Possess use or distribute any controlled substance in violation of law. Refer to our Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Student Policy (April 2008).
(8) Engage in the unauthorized entry into or transfer of any Curtis computer file or the file or computer of any member of the Curtis community; use another person’s identification or password; use any computer or electronic device to interfere with the work of another member of the community and/or the normal operation of Curtis. Students are not permitted to use Curtis computers, email accounts, or labs for illegal purposes or for the transmission of material that is unlawful, harassing, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable, or that infringes or may infringe the intellectual property or other rights of a person or organization. This includes the use of electronic messaging, texting, Facebook or any other social media outlet.
(9) Distribute unauthorized copyrighted material, including peer-to-peer file sharing. Violation of this policy may subject the student to civil and criminal penalties, as well as Code of Conduct sanctions.
(10) Disrupt or obstruct teaching, performance, or any disciplinary process, or other Curtis activity, including public service functions, whether on or off campus.
(11) Attempt to do any of these things.
IV. Procedure for Complaint
This procedure is intended to protect the rights of the student making the complaint and the student against whom the complaint is made. It ensures that the latter student is given the opportunity to respond to the complaint and is accorded due process under this procedure. To protect the integrity of this process, it is important that it remain strictly confidential, and that all parties refrain from discussing it with any individual or entity outside the designated procedure.
Any member of the Curtis community may file a complaint against a student for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct by giving a written statement to the associate dean of student services. This should be filed as soon as possible and preferably within three days of the action upon which the complaint is based.
After the complaint is received, the student against whom the complaint has been made will be required to meet with the associate dean of student services [hereafter, “associate dean”]. The associate dean will discuss the matter with the student, present the student with a statement of the substance of the complaint, and explain the procedure governing the consideration of a complaint. When appropriate, the student against whom a complaint has been made will be provided with an advisor, and, if needed, an interpreter. The advisor is not an advocate, but rather a source of personal and moral support to the student and is to help ensure that the student understands the disciplinary process.
The student then has the option to:
1) Admit the validity of the complaint and request a meeting with the dean. The dean and associate dean will determine the appropriate sanction to be imposed. The sanction may be appealed as outlined below in section V., D.
2) Request a hearing before the Student Conduct Board.
No Contact Order: At any time during this process, the dean and/or associate dean may determine that an Administrative Order to Refrain from Contact be issued. While violation of such an order is independent grounds for disciplinary action, its issuance carries no presumption of culpability for either party.
V. Student Conduct Board
A. The dean will serve as the Student Conduct Administrator.
B. The Student Conduct Board (SCB) will consist of the dean acting as chair, a faculty member and a staff member selected by the dean. The students involved will be informed of the membership of the SCB and will have the opportunity to state whether they feel any member cannot act impartially with regard to the complaint. In such cases, the dean will evaluate the concerns raised by the student, and make a final decision as to the makeup of the SCB.
The SCB will provide for the administration and conduct of any hearing in a manner consistent with this Code to determine whether a student has violated the Code and whether sanctions are to be imposed. The nature of any such hearing - including whether it will be by live or written testimony, who will be permitted to appear and participate, and the nature of the evidence it will consider - will be determined by the SCB, taking into account the nature of the allegations and any other relevant information. Any such hearing will not be open to the public or members of the Curtis community. Due to the sensitive nature of this process, members of the SCB and all participants are expected to keep all proceedings strictly confidential.
C. A decision by the Student Conduct Board is final unless a written appeal is filed with the associate dean within five days of the decision.
D. Appeal Procedure: The appeal will be decided by the president or a designee who has not had any direct role in the Student Conduct Board’s decision. The president will determine what is required and allowed in connection with the appeal, including whether to permit live or written submissions, on a case by case basis. The president will have the power to modify [and either increase or decrease any sanction], remand, affirm, or reverse any determination of the Student Conduct Board. The decision of the president is final.
VI. Parallel Proceedings
Curtis disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both criminal law and the Student Code of Conduct. Proceedings under this Code may move forward without regard to whether other criminal or other proceedings are pending. Sanctions will not be subject to change because of the outcome of any other external proceeding, whether criminal or civil.
A. These sanctions (one or more) may be imposed upon any student found to have violated this Code:
(1) Warning – written notice of violation, no further sanctions
(2) Probation – written reprimand and disciplinary probation with conditions
(3) Loss of privileges or other conditions
(4) Monetary penalty and/or restitution
(5) Other sanctions – for example: work assignments, essays, service, etc. This is not meant to limit the available sanctions, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
(6) Suspension- separation of the student from Curtis. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
(7) Expulsion – permanent separation from Curtis
(8) Withholding of the degree or diploma
(9) Revocation of admission and/or degree or diploma – admission and/or a conferred degree or diploma may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of the Curtis Student Code, or other violation of Cutis standards in obtaining the degree, or other serious violations by a student prior to graduation.
B. The SCB will decide whether a determination and/or sanction will be made part of the student’s permanent academic record. In those cases in which the determination and/or sanction is made a part of the student’s disciplinary record, the student may ask that the dean expunge the record after 18 months, if there has been no other allegation of a Code violation. The dean, whose decision on the request will be final, will take into account the student’s entire record and the offense itself in deciding whether to grant the expungement.
VIII. Interim Suspension and Involuntary
If a student is behaving in a manner which is threatening to him- or herself or others, or which significantly interferes with the student’s education or the rights of others, the associate dean of student services may initiate these procedures.
1. Interim Suspension
Interim suspension may be imposed by the dean of the Institute when necessary to protect the health and safety of a student or of the community, or to allow time for a behavioral mental health assessment or evaluation, including an assessment of whether the student’s mental health permits the student’s participation in this process.
Standard for Involuntary Medical/Psychological Withdrawal
The dean, in consultation with the president and the associate dean of student services may immediately withdraw a student if it is determined, by a preponderance of the evidence (that it is more likely than not) that the student is engaging in or likely to engage in behavior which poses a substantial danger of causing imminent harm to the student, to others or to substantial property rights, or which renders the student unable to engage in basic required activities necessary to obtain an education, or that substantially impedes the lawful activities of others.
2. Referral for Assessment or Evaluation
The associate dean may require a mental health evaluation of a student when appropriate. The evaluation, conducted at Curtis expense, must be completed within 10 business days from the date of the referral letter, unless an extension is granted by the associate dean. A student who fails or refuses to cooperate in such an evaluation may be withdrawn on an interim basis, or referred for Code of Conduct action, or both.
3. Involuntary Medical Withdrawal Hearing Procedures
If the medical evaluation or administrative assessment supports the need for withdrawal, a conference will be held with the dean, the associate dean and consulting mental health professional. The student will be informed of the time, date and place, and will be given an opportunity to independently review the psychological or psychiatric evaluation prior to the conference. The student shall notify the associate dean in advance of any witness or information the student expects to present at the conference. The student and the student’s advisor may present information for or against involuntary medical withdrawal. The conference will be conversational and non‐adversarial; however the dean will exercise active control over the proceeding, including deciding who may present information. Formal rules of evidence will not apply. Anyone who disrupts the hearing may be excluded. The student subject to either an Interim Suspension Hearing or an Involuntary Medical Withdrawal Hearing may be assisted in the hearing by a family member and/or a licensed mental health professional, or Advisor appointed by the Associate dean.
A prompt written decision will be rendered. If the student is withdrawn, the notification will include information concerning when reapplication may be made, as well as any conditions of reinstatement. The decision of the dean, is subject to appeal to the president, and must be made within 5 business days. This decision is final. A student seeking readmission who has been medically withdrawn must reapply, and must satisfy all specified conditions of reinstatement.
Aug 25, 2010: rlw