Faculty & Staff  |  Current Students

Online | News | Calendar | Directory | Library | Give

University Policies and Procedures

The following information is part of the Point Park  Student Planner/Handbook.

Key Sections

Advertising and Commercial Enterprise

Commercial enterprise of any kind (solicitation, sales, distribution, etc.) by students or student organizations is permitted on campus only with the approval of the Student Activities Office. Advertising of commercial products is permitted in the usual published space in student publications. All other forms of advertising must be approved by the Office of Student Affairs..

Appropriate Dress

Proper attire, including shirt and shoes, must be worn at all times in public areas of campus (i.e. lobbies, laundry rooms, food service areas, elevators, etc.).

Commercial Enterprise and Advertising

Commercial enterprise of any kind (solicitation, sales, distribution, etc.) by students or student organizations is permitted on campus only with the approval of the Student Activities Office. Advertising of commercial products is permitted in the usual published space in student publications. All other forms of advertising must be approved by the Office of Student Affairs.

Confidentiality of Student Records

All University records are kept confidential and may not be transferred to a third party, with the exception that University personnel may have access to records and information as necessary to perform their assigned responsibilities.

Point Park University will abide by all federal, state, and local laws with regards to student confidentiality and reporting.

Point Park University has the right to discuss student records with any other academic
institution in which a student or former student has applied or is enrolled. 

FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

1. The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day an appropriate University official receives a written request for access.

Students shall submit to the Registrar, Financial Aid Director, Dean or other appropriate University or school official a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect.

2. The right to request the amendment of education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading.

Students shall write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent..

One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University or acting in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); an administrator or faculty member from an institution with which Point Park University has an academic or clinical affiliation who has legitimate educational interest; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student is enrolled, or intends to enroll.

Point Park University reserves the right to release directory information without prior written consent of a student unless notified in writing to the contrary. The following items are considered by Point Park University
as directory information: student name, addresses (including electronic), telephone number(s), date and place of birth, field(s) or program(s), participation in officially recognized activities, photographs, enrollment status, dates of attendance, height, weight, degrees, awards and honors received, previous schools attended, and post completion placements, including employment and graduate school attendance.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-4605

In conformity with the Family Educational Right and Privacy Act, as amended, Point Park University will not disclose any personally identifiable information to any person other than the student without the student’s specific, signed permission. The Act, however, authorizes three exceptions to the general rule that permit certain disclosures::

1. Point Park University may, at its discretion, disclose the final results of a disciplinary proceeding against a student in which the student is an alleged perpetrator of any crime of violence. {Note: Prosecution of any crime by
public law enforcement agencies will result in a public record of the reported incident and the disposition of the case.

2. Point Park University may, at its discretion, disclose to parents or guardians personally identifiable information from an education record of a student under the age of 21 if the University determines the student violated the school’s policies regarding the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substance;

3. If a student is a dependent of his/her parents for tax purposes, Point Park University may disclose personally identifiable information from the education record of the student to either parent (or legal guardian).

The only other information that will be released without student consent is dates of enrollment and attendance, degrees and honors awarded, and academic major. Upon the specific, signed request of a student, information will be forwarded to a third party for that party’s use only. (An appropriate service fee will be charged).

Parental Notification and Disclosure

The Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1998 permits the University to use disclosures with discretion, relative to specific non-academic disciplinary circumstances. The President of Point Park University delegates non-academic disciplinary matters to the Office of Student Affairs; any disclosure is reserved for the Dean of Student Affairs, his/her designees, or the President.

If a student is under twenty-one years old, Point Park University, through the Office of Student Affairs, may notify the student’s parents or legal guardians regarding any violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the University governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if the University determines the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession.

Point Park University, through the Office of Student Affairs, upon written request, will disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violence or a nonforcible sex offense (or next of kin in situations where the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the crime or offense), the outcome of any disciplinary action taken against the alleged perpetrator..  

Confidentiality of Medical Records

The staff of Student Health and Counseling is bound by the medical ethics of confidentiality. Information will not be released to a third party, including parents, without the student’s written authorization, unless legally required or permitted.

Discrimination and Harassment Prevention and Resolution

Point Park University is committed to an academic and work place environment in which its students, faculty, and staff have a right to be free from violence of any kind, including but not limited to, discrimination and harassment of any form, including bullying, by any member of the University community. Discrimination and harassment, of any form, including bullying, are prohibited by University policy, are also a violation of federal, state, and local laws, and will not be tolerated. It is also a violation of University policy and the law for anyone to retaliate against an employee, student, or applicant who makes a discrimination or harassment claim.

Any individual who, after thorough investigation and an informal hearing, is found to be guilty of discrimination and/or harassment is subject to disciplinary action for violation of University policy appropriate for the severity of the offense, up to and including expulsion or termination.

Definitions of Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination refers to the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person based on the group, class, or category to which that person belongs, rather than on individual merit.

When these types of discriminatory actions threaten, intimidate, coerce, or create a hostile and uncomfortable environment for a person, then they are also considered harassment. It is also against policy to harass a person when it means that benefits, privileges, and opportunities are withheld, or are otherwise attached to the harassing behavior. Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct which also includes, but is not limited to, verbal, non-verbal, physical, communication, and/or visual actions.

Harassment is generally defined as a course of conduct which annoys, threatens, intimidates, or puts a person in fear for their safety or security. Harassment is any unwanted, unwelcomed, and uninvited behavior that demeans, threatens, or offends the victim and results in a hostile environment for the victim.

Communication that is unwanted and pervasive is also unacceptable. Behaviors and/or actions that are considered inappropriate and will not be tolerated include, but are not limited to, creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning, living, or work environment, inflicting psychological or emotional harm on another, and/or unreasonably interfering with a person’s educational, work, or living environment which has the purpose of violating a person’s sense of worth or creating a hostile environment for that person. The frequency of the harassment will also be considered especially in cases of harassment by communication. Examples of ways in which any of these may happen include, but are not limited to:

Verbal
  • Vulgar or offensive language or comments
  • Use of stereotypes
  • Threats
  • Inappropriate email, IM, blogs, tweets
  • Lewd or discriminatory jokes
  • Demeaning or humiliating remarks
  • Epithets or slurs
  • Teasing
  • Offensive personal questions
  • Repeated date or sex requests
Physical Behaviors
  • Assault
  • Vandalism
  • Hazing
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Cold shoulder treatment
Non-verbal Actions
  • Offensive materials
  • Gestures
  • Leering
  • Unwanted gifts
  • Graffiti
  • Pictures, Cartoons, Drawings
Communication
  • Phone calls
  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Social media
  • Other forms of technology
Other Actions That Violate This Policy
Retaliation

The University takes incidents of discrimination and harassment very seriously. Therefore, we will also not tolerate any retaliatory action against a person who instigates a complaint of discrimination or harassment. All of the above examples of unacceptable behavior also apply in situations where someone is the victim of retaliatory actions based on a claim they have made.. 

False/Malicious Claims

False and malicious complaints of discrimination and harassment are also taken seriously and are considered as egregious as violating the policy. Complaints that may be erroneous but are made in good faith will not be considered false or malicious, but if a complaint is found to have been made knowingly under false pretenses, then action up to and including expulsion or termination may be taken. 

Related Behaviors

An effective policy on discrimination and harassment requires that everyone share the responsibility of an environment that maintains respect and professional conduct. Those who engage in discriminatory or harassing behaviors will be subject to corrective action, as well as those who fail to cooperate with investigative processes, engage in retaliation as described above, or refuse to implement or otherwise impede corrective efforts. 

What You Can Do If You Are Harassed And/Or Discriminated Against
Tell the individual that you don’t like his or her behavior, and you want it to stop.

You can do this in person, by telephone, email, or letter. It’s not easy for victims to confront these individuals, but it’s important. Remember—discrimination and harassment of any form is illegal, and you can be protected from reprisals.

Keep a record of events.

Write down what the individual said or did, when and where he or she said or did it, and your response. Get the names of any witnesses.

Talk about it with someone you trust.

Talking the situation over with someone can relieve a lot of unnecessary guilt and provide you with support. Other people may be witnesses; they may know of other victims; they may even have been victims themselves.

Ask for help.

Any of the individuals listed in the following section, Processing Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment, can provide you with information and confidential advice. You don’t have to file a formal written grievance if you don’t want to. It is often better to try to settle the problem informally at first, but it will be your decision. Since there are time limits for filing discrimination and harassment grievances, it is in your best interest to seek advice as soon as possible after you’ve been discriminated against or harassed.

Processing Complaints of Discrimination And/Or Harassment

When conduct that potentially constitutes discrimination and/or harassment is reported, individuals who believe they have been subject to discrimination and/or harassment may obtain redress through established informal and formal procedures.

Every effort will be made to handle complaints of discrimination and harassment of any form with the utmost discretion and confidentiality and will only be communicated to others on a “need to know” basis.

Informal Proceedings

On an informal basis, members of the University community who feel they have been a victim of discrimination and/or harassment, and wish to address the issue without initiating a formal, written, signed complaint may contact the following individuals for informal counseling and advice to determine what course of action should be taken:

  • Dean of Student Affairs (student vs. student; student vs. faculty/staff; faculty/staff vs. student)
  • Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and Dean of Faculty (in all cases involving faculty)
  • Director of Human Resources (in all cases involving staff)

The Office of Human Resources is the central and primary source of information and advisement regarding the University’s discrimination and harassment policies and procedures. The Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer may also be consulted or act as a mediator in a final effort to achieve an informal resolution to the complaint.

Formal Proceedings

If the results of the informal action do not meet the needs of the person initiating the complaint, and/or the individual wishes to proceed with more formal action, the following steps shall be taken:

  • The complainant shall file a written statement of the complaint as soon as possible following the occurrence, preferably within ten (10) days, to the Dean of Student Affairs (student complaints), the Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and Dean of Faculty (faculty complaints), or the Director of Human Resources (staff complaints).
  • The appropriate officer shall investigate and respond to the complaint within thirty (30) days after it is received from the complainant unless additional time is necessary to obtain essential data or to complete the investigation, or the complaint may be referred to the appropriate hearing boards in respective jurisdictions for participation in the review process. The complainant shall be informed of the reasons for an extension of time or referral of the complaint to the respective hearing board.
  • The complainant retains the right to appeal to the University President within thirty (30) days after all procedural remedies of the respective jurisdictions have been completed and a final report issued.
  • The University President shall respond within thirty (30) days. Decisions resulting from any such appeal are final to the internal complaint process
External Remedies

After the internal procedures have been completed, the complainant may pursue the matter in an external forum such as:

  • Administrative complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, or under Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments;
  • Civil suit for damages; or
  • Criminal complaint against the suspected offender.

Disruptive Behavior

Acting in a manner to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct, or be offensive to others; shouting or making excessive noise either inside or outside a building to the annoyance or disturbance of others; verbally abusing University officials acting in performance of their duties; or acting in a lewd or indecent manner is prohibited.

Hazing

The University forbids the practice or act of hazing among students or within student organizations. Hazing is defined as any activity (on or off campus) that subjects a person, with or without their consent, to the risk of bodily harm or emotional distress, or causes or encourages behaviors that would be a violation of law or University policy, for the purpose of initiating, promoting, fostering, or confirming any form of affiliation with a student group or organization (University-recognized or not).  Violations of this policy will result in the dissolution of the organization and expulsion of students involved. 

Identification Cards

Each student is required to carry an identification card that is issued by the ID Center. The card must be carried at all times and presented upon request by University officials. The card must also be presented to check out books from the library and gain admittance to athletic events, and for participation in various student events. There is no charge for an ID card. This card is the property of Point Park University.  The use of this card is governed by all Point Park University regulations and is not transferable.

A lost or mutilated card should be reported to the ID Center immediately. There is a $25 charge for a replacement. If found, an official University ID can be dropped in any mailbox; postage is guaranteed.

Upon the termination of a residence hall contract, the ID card must be returned to the Campus Life Office accompanied by a termination form. At that time, the residence hall deposit will be returned, subject to any applicable charges, if any.

Using or allowing use of another’s ID for any purpose (including gaining access to the residence halls) is not permitted.  The use of the ID by a person other than the student to whom the ID was issued will result in disciplinary action under the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct. Both the person to whom the ID was issued and the person who misuses the card may be charged with a violation of the Code. When a card is presented by anyone other than the owner, it will be confiscated.

Institutional Review Board

The IRB reviews all research protocols involving human and non-human participants to determine whether the research participants are placed at risk and ensures their rights and welfare are adequately protected. The forms, policies, and procedures for submitting a research protocol to the IRB and research protocols involving human participants must be approved by the Point Park University Institutional Review Board. The IRB is made up of faculty and administration and is chaired by the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and the Dean of Faculty. Guidelines and required forms for research protocols are available in the Senior Vice President’s office.

Military Deployment Policy

Point Park University has established a policy to assist military personnel that may be called to active duty during an academic semester.  The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines in regards to grading, withdrawals, and tuition and fees.

Students called to active duty during an academic semester must notify the Office of the University Registrar in writing of the activation order. The Military Leave of Absence Request should be completed. 

The student will remain on the program guide for his or her degree upon return unless the degree program has significantly changed and the student’s adviser and/or department chair recommends that the student move to an updated program guide.

The student can select from the following three options:

1. Grading

A.  A student can receive the grade he or she has earned to date in the enrolled class provided that more than 75 percent of the class meetings have expired, and both the faculty and student agree upon this option.  The appropriate credits for the course and grade will be assigned in the official grading period at the end of the semester.  A student selecting this option should complete the Military Deployment Agreement available online or in the Office of the Registrar and will not be refunded any tuition or fees.

B. A student can ask for an Incomplete (I grade) at the end of the semester if both the faculty and student agree upon this option. The student and faculty will need to discuss the completion requirements for the course. A student selecting the incomplete grade option will have one year after return from active duty to contact the University to make arrangements to complete the course requirements and thus remove the I grade.* If the incomplete is not satisfied by this time, the grade will be converted to an “F” or other grade agreed upon by the faculty member and student when the incomplete grade request was made.  The student selecting this option should complete an Incomplete Grade Request form available online or in the Office of the Registrar and will not be refunded any tuition or fees. 

*Any student who has received an Incomplete (I) grade, and whose course has been discontinued, or if the faculty member is no longer with the University, should contact the department chair to arrange for completion of the course.

2. Withdrawals

A student can elect to withdraw from one or all courses with a “W” grade at any time during the semester in which military activation occurs by informing the University Registrar.  Students selecting this option should complete the Schedule Changes Request Form or the Complete Withdrawal Form, as appropriate, his/her tuition and fees will be refunded or credited in full, without credits awarded for this term. Students need to be aware that choosing this option may result in the need to return funds to the University.

3. Residence Hall and Other Fees

Students who live in a residence hall at Point Park University may at any time during the semester of military activation be released from his/her contract for room and board.  Students who need to cancel their room and board contract should contact the Office of Campus Life by phone at 412-392-8026 or visit the office on the first floor of Pioneer Hall.  Housing and Room and Board charges and other fees will be refunded for the unused portion of the contract on a pro rata basis.

Forms available through the Office of the Registrar may be obtained online at www.pointpark.edu/About/AdminDepts/RegistrarsOffice/StudentResources/Forms, or visit the Office of the Registrar on the ninth floor of Thayer Hall, or call the office at 412-392-3861. 

Missing Student Policy

In compliance with the Missing Person Procedures 20 USC 1092 C (Section 488 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008), it is the policy of the Office of Campus Life and the Department of Public Safety to investigate any report of a missing student at Point Park University. Point Park University’s practice, procedures, and policy are as follows::

Practice:
  • A student shall be deemed missing when he or she is reportedly absent from the University for more than 24 hours without any known reason.
  • All reports of missing students shall be directed to the Department of Public Safety. Public safety will work with the Office of Campus Life to determine whether the student is missing in accordance with this policy.
  • During Move-In resident students will have the opportunity to identify an individual to be contacted by the University in case the student is determined to be missing. Non-resident students may provide emergency contact information to the Office of the Registrar.
    • For students under the age of 18, that notification will be made to the student’s parent or guardian within 24 hours of the time that the student is determined to be missing.
    • Any notification to parents, guardians, or designated contacts will be made by the Dean of Students.
  • Pittsburgh Police will be notified within 24 hours of a student being determined missing—notification will be done by the Department of Public Safety.
Procedure:
  • Any report of a missing student should immediately be directed to the Department of Public Safety.
  • Public Safety will notify the Office of Campus Life and the two departments will work in conjunction to do the following: 
    • Attempt to make contact with the student reported missing by calling the student’s cell and/or home phone number on file;
    • Check a resident student’s room (keying in if no answer), interviewing roommate(s) and floormate(s) concerning the last time the student was seen and determine any known plans;
    • Check the student's University student ID card access log to determine when they last entered a building, used their meal plan, etc.;
    • Check the student’s class schedule and look for the student in the classroom;
    • Contact faculty members regarding class attendance; and,
    • Determine a timeline of when the student was last accounted for.
  • Campus Life staff will notify the Campus Life dean on duty who, in conjunction with the Dean of Students, will initiate whatever action deemed appropriate under the specific incident’s circumstances.
    • If it is determined that 24 hours have passed with no known whereabouts, the Dean of Students or designeewill notify the missing student’s designated contact, or if the student is under 18, their custodial parent orguardian, and the Department of Public Safety will notify the Pittsburgh Police, both within 24 hours of makingthe determination.

If it has been less than 24 hours, and the student’s absence does not appear irregular or suspicious,

  • For resident students, a note will be left at the student’s room requesting that they contact the Department of Public Safety immediately upon their return. 
  • For non-resident students, a voice message will be left at the contact phone number(s), requesting that they contact the Department of Public Safety immediately. 
  • If at the 24-hour mark the student still has not returned/responded, then the above stated actions will take place.

Personal Property

Students are responsible for their own personal property, as well as for the property of groups to which they belong. In order to prevent thefts and crimes of opportunity, students are advised not to leave their property unattended or in an unsecured area. Insurance protection against loss or theft of, or damage to, such property in the residence halls or elsewhere on campus must be arranged through the family’s insurance company. 

Pets and Animals

Pets and animals, including but not limited to, animals, birds, reptiles, and insect life, are not permitted on campus (see also Residence Hall Policies – Pets and Animals for exception). Documented, pre-approved service animals are permitted on campus.

Photo Release (Students)

All registered students consent to permit Point Park University to do the following:

• Take, record, reproduce, or use photographs, voice, video, or video still, or otherwise obtain, acquire, or use a student’s name, image, likeness, voice, biographical information, or other identifying aspects of a student’s work;
• Obtain, acquire, record, reproduce, distribute, make derivative works, publicly display, publicly perform, publicly perform by means of a digital audio, video, or audiovisual transmission or otherwise use student testimonials or other statements from students and any biographical information; and
• Take, obtain, acquire, record, reproduce, distribute, make derivative works, publicly display, publicly perform, publicly perform by means of a digital audio, video, or audiovisual transmission or otherwise use a student’s name, image, likeness, voice, biographical information, or other identifying aspects of a student’s identity and, if indicated, statements and work; for the following purposes related to marketing or promotion of the University including, without limitation, its classes, activities, and other events:
• audio, film, videotape, or multimedia production(s) for, or on behalf of, the University including, without limitation, the University’s closed-circuit campus channel;
• Internet usage including, without limitation, websites, whether University or non-University; 
• Any educational, informational, news, advertising, marketing, promotional materials, and the like without limitation, and for or on behalf of the University, but not as a direct endorsement of any non-University product or service; and,
• Entry in awards, festivals, competitions, and the like without limitation.
• Students who do not agree to the above must sign an Image Release Refusal form, which can be obtained in the Office of Student Affairs or in the Office of Student Activities.

Political Activities

Point Park encourages the interests of its students who wish, as citizens, to work for the advancement of our society; however, the University will remain neutral on political issues.

Recording Devices

Point Park University prohibits its students and their guests from using any form of recording device, whether audio or video, when engaged in a behavioral incident with a University administrator. Students are expected to terminate any recording device no matter what the circumstance is upon the request of a University official.

Schedule/Course Changes

Course Additions and Withdrawals
The calendar for course changes, including additions and withdrawals, is published by the Office of the University Registrar and is available online. Courses may be added or dropped from a student’s academic schedule within the add/ drop period either online in PointWeb or by completing a Schedule Change form, which is also available online or in the Office of the University Registrar on the ninth floor of Thayer Hall. For the calendar and online forms, visit the website at www.pointpark.edu/About/AdminDepts/RegistrarsOffice.

After the period specified, the faculty member has the option to give a grade of “W” or “F,” up to and including the last day to withdraw. No withdrawals will be granted beyond the final day to withdraw. Should a “W” or “F” be placed on a student’s record, it remains a permanent part of that record.

International students must contact the University’s International Student Services and Enrollment Office before initiating a course withdrawal.

Because current and future financial aid may be jeopardized by processing a “W” or “F,” grade, students are advised to consult the Office of Financial Aid prior to completing the submitting a withdrawal request.

Complete Withdrawal
Students wishing to withdraw from the University before or after the beginning of a term must submit a Complete Withdrawal Form to the Office of the University Registrar in order to drop all classes. The date the Office of the University Registrar processes the completed form is the effective date of the complete withdrawal.

The completed form must contain the following signatures or the form will not
be processed:

• Center for Student Success
• Student Financial Services Center
• ISD (International Student Services & Enrollment Director; applicable only
for International Students)
• Registrar’s Office

The form is available in the Office of the University Registrar on the ninth floor of Thayer Hall or online at www.pointpark.edu/About/AdminDepts/RegistrarsOffice/StudentResources.

All recipients of federal financial aid need to be aware that their financial aid package will be adjusted under the Return of Title IV Funds Policy if the student withdraws from all of their classes. Additional information is available online at www.pointpark.edu/About/AdminDepts/StudentFinancialServices/FinancialAid/StudentConsumerInformation.

Medical Exception Request
A medical exception can impact a student’s academic career in a number of ways, and students are encouraged to consider alternatives before applying for a medical exception. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with the Center for Student Success to discuss the medical exception process and alternatives, which may include requesting incomplete grades. If the medical condition is a short-term or long-term disability, consider meeting with the Disability Coordinator in the Program for Academic Success (PAS). International students should meet with the International Student Services and Enrollment (ISSE) staff to discuss how a medical exception will affect their visa status.

A medical exception will be granted for full semesters only; requests for partial semesters will not be granted. Only one medical exception for a total of one semester will be granted per student. A student requesting a medical exception must complete the Medical Exception Request Form, available in the Office of Student Affairs, seventh floor of the Student Center, and attach documentation that supports and substantiates the request. The type and amount of documentation to be supplied is at the discretion of the student and may include, but is not limited to, a letter from the student’s medical provider, medical records, etc. In addition, the student is required to complete the Complete Withdrawal Form (see section above, Complete Withdrawal).

The request must be received in the Office of Student Affairs by the last day of regular classes of the semester following the semester for which the medical exception is requested. Students should file a Leave of Absence Form for any fall or spring semesters they believe they will be absent. A leave of absence will be granted according to University policy. Students will submit the completed forms and supporting documentation to the Office of Student Affairs in person, by U.S. mail, or by email.

Students requesting a complete withdrawal and/or medical exception are required to contact the Offices of Financial Aid and Student Accounts to discuss the ramifications that a complete withdrawal and/or medical exception will have on their student account and any financial aid they may have or expect to receive in the future. Except for short-term temporary issues, students must be actively attending classes in order to be permitted to live in the University residences. A student granted a medical exception will be required to move out of the residence halls. Room and board charges will be prorated based upon the date the student vacates the residence hall or last uses the meal plan, whichever date is later. For information on terminating a resident contract and moving out, contact the Office of Campus Life.

Readmitted students are responsible for meeting all academic requirements in effect at the time they are readmitted, not at the time they were originally admitted to the University. Students granted a medical exception may also be required to fulfill additional requirements as a condition of granting the medical exception, such as obtaining clearance from their medical provider.

School Closing/Critical Announcements

In the event of a school closing or delay, the information will be posted to the University website, www.pointpark.edu, as well as on all major local radio and television stations.

In addition, Point Park University’s PointALERT Emergency Notification System alerts students, faculty, and staff to campus emergencies and weather alerts, including school closings and delays. For more information about PointALERT, including how to register for this free service, see Safety and Security, Emergency Notification System, or visit the website at www.pointpark.edu/About/AdminDepts/PublicSafety/PointALERT.

Sign Posting

All internal, official signs must be approved by officials of the University. Academic notices, postings, and information must be approved, as appropriate, by the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, academic dean, International Student Services and Enrollment, department chairperson, Graduate and Adult Enrollment, or the Registrar.

Business, employment, informational, and operational notices must be approved, as appropriate, by the President, Human Resources, Career Development, Marketing and Communications, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Campus Life, Full-Time Admissions or Alumni Relations.

All non-academic, extracurricular, and student organization signs and notices must be approved by the Office of Student Activities. Such signs and notices will then be appropriately stamped with the Student Activities stamp of approval and posted on the appropriate bulletin boards or glass case.

Residence hall notices must first be approved by the Office of Campus Life. They will then be given to the Community Facilitators for posting.

Outside solicitation and advertising are not permitted, except where specifically approved relative to the overall educational mission of the University by the Offices of Campus Life and/or Student Affairs. As a private institution, Point Park reserves the right to exclude materials that may not be in the best interest of the University community.

There will be no taping of signs and notices to walls or doors, except for door postings on offices and rooms of administrators, faculty members, and community facilitators. The bridge is off-limits to postings, on both the glass and the pillars, except in exceptional circumstances as approved by Marketing and Communications.

Smoking

It is the policy of the University to provide a smoke-free environment in all campus facilities and vehicles in which University functions or services are carried out. Smoking of any material is prohibited in all University facilities, at all locations, including all enclosed locations in buildings and University-owned vehicles, other than authorized areas. It is also prohibited to stand or congregate while smoking in front, behind, or alongside any campus building, and all areas of Alumni and Village Parks. It also is prohibited in any outside area adjacent to a facility whose configuration and/or other physical circumstance allow smoke either to enter and affect the internal environment or to unduly affect the environment of those entering or exiting the facility. The smoking of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is not permitted in smoke-free areas on campus.

Violating this policy will result in a $100 fine.

Definition

Smoking includes the burning or carrying of any type of lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette, or any other smoking equipment, whether filled with tobacco or any other type of combustible material.

Authorized Smoking Areas

Smoking is permitted only in the designated smoking area located behind the West Penn Building (corner of First Avenue and Wood Street).

Enforcement

The success of this policy depends upon the willingness, understanding, and cooperation of all smokers and non-smokers in all University facilities. It is the responsibility of all members of the Point Park community to observe this smoking policy. Each University member is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy at his/her level of involvement in the University community. Violations of this policy should be reported to the Department of Public Safety.

Soliciting and Selling

For the safety and protection of all students, staff, and faculty, and to prevent the interruption of studies, class, or sleep, solicitation on campus is prohibited unless prior approval has been given by the Director of Student Activities. Students encountering an unauthorized solicitor are encouraged to notify a Point Park University staff member immediately or call Public Safety Dispatch at 412-392-3960.

Student Organizations

All student organizations must be recognized or chartered through the United Student Government (USG) to use any of the services provided by the University. Once recognized, student organizations are responsible for following all University policies, including but not limited to, the Student Planner and Handbook and the Student Organization Manual. In addition to following all University policies, students must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Student organizations, and their members, must follow the directions of all University faculty and staff.
  • All fundraising, both on and off campus, must be approved through the Office of Student Activities. Student organizations will not be permitted to use the University’s name for the purposes of advertising or fundraising without expressed written consent from the Office of Student Activities and the Marketing and Communications Department.
  • Student organizations may not invite outside guests to an event, on or off campus, without written permission from the Office of Student Activities.
  • As per the University Alcohol Policy, no student organization hosting an event, on or off campus, will be permitted to have alcohol available for consumption.

Failure to follow any of the above policies or policies listed in this handbook or the Student Organization Manual, by any organization member or advisor, will result in a possible probation, suspension, or termination of their involvement with that student organization. Executive members may be held individually accountable for the actions of the entire student organization. Additionally, failure to adhere to any University policies may result in disciplinary action taken by the Office of Judicial Affairs.

For more information please refer to the Student Organization Manual available by request from the Office of Student Activities or online at www.pointpark.edu/StudentLife/StudentActivities/StudentOrganizations.

See additional Policies and Procedures: Room and Van Reservation Procedures, Student Social Functions.

Social Functions (Students)

Only recognized or chartered student organizations in good standing will be permitted to schedule social events. Organizations must complete the appropriate online event registration form which may be found on the website at www.pointpark.edu/StudentLife/StudentActivities/StudentOrganizations/Forms.

Student social events may either be closed events (for the student organization’s membership and their personal signed-in guests) or open events (for the student organization’s membership, their personal signed-in guests, Point Park University students and/or students from other institutions possessing a valid ID card). Social event guests will be required to present identification and possess a special social pass for that event which can be secured before the event or at the door. Alcohol will not be permitted at on or off campus events for student organizations.

See additional Policies and Procedures: Student Organizations

Transcripts

Persons desiring a transcript must complete a Transcript Request Form, write a letter of request, or submit a request in writing by facsimile. The University does not charge a fee for this service. A maximum of five transcripts can be processed with each request. The Registrar cannot release transcripts to any person or agency without proper authorization in writing from the student or graduate, and the Registrar cannot release transcripts, official or otherwise, to any person with outstanding financial debts to the University. The Registrar responds to transcript requests in three to five working days. Persons wishing to pick up transcripts in person must give the Registrar twenty-four hours notice. 

For more information, call the Office of the University Registrar at 412-392-3861, or
visit the website at www.pointpark.edu/About/AdminDepts/Registrars Office.

Transfer Credit/Advanced Standing Evaluation Appeal Process

(Transfer Student Appeal Process)

After transfer or new students have their credits assessed via an articulation agreement or an individual review of transcripts, students need to carefully review their Advanced Standing Evaluations for any omissions or errors. If any are discovered, students have the right to appeal on those grounds, as well as the appropriate placement of courses on their program guides toward degree completion. Those appeals can occur through a faculty process upon admission to Point Park or during their enrollment, following the steps outlined below.

1. Upon admission to the University and receipt of the Advanced Standing Evaluation, the student can contact the Director of Articulation and Special Projects with a description of the specific item(s) being appealed and an explanation for the appeal. The Director will consult with the appropriate department chair or faculty designee. The Director has ten (10) calendar days to make a decision and respond to the student. This response will include contact information for further appeal to the department chair and appropriate faculty if it is denied. The student can then follow the procedure outlined in step three.
2. During their time of enrollment at Point Park, students can request a review of an Advanced Standing Evaluation for omissions and errors after meeting with their faculty advisers. The faculty adviser will review course materials and descriptions provided by the student, compare those materials to Point Park courses and then make a recommendation to the department chair.
3. If the situation is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student, he/she may appeal in writing within fifteen (15) calendar days to the department chair. This document must explain why the decision at the informal level should be changed. The department chair can either review the materials or appoint a faculty committee to discuss and review the appeal. Either the department chair or the committee person has ten (10) calendar days to make a decision and respond to the student.

Underage Children on Campus

Children under the age of 16 are not permitted on campus at any time. This policy applies to children of faculty, staff, students, and other visitors to the campus. Exceptions to this general policy apply to children enrolled in specific programs such as Playhouse activities, dance programs, etc. Those children must be accompanied by an adult to and from such programs.

Point Park University is an educational institution. Younger children on campus, in the classrooms, work settings, laboratories, or study areas create distractions, disruptions, and potential liability for the University. They also infringe on others’ rights to work and study in a quiet environment. The University cannot and does not assume any liability for children on campus in violation of the stated policy. Faculty, staff, and students have the responsibility to seek daycare, schooling, and/or babysitting services to properly care for their children.

The University recognizes that in emergencies and similar unexpected circumstances, a parent’s normal childcare alternatives may become temporarily unavailable. The immediate supervisor, department head, or dean (in the case of faculty and staff), or classroom instructor should be notified of any absence that may result due to emergencies.

Unattended or unsupervised children on campus will be kept in the office of the Department of Public Safety until the parent or other adult responsible for the child can be located to take custody of the child. Such incidents will be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs, in the case of student parents, and to the Director of Human Resources, in case of faculty and staff.

Use of University Facilities

Point Park University facilities are expressly for the use of Point Park students, faculty, staff, and their guests, under established University policies. Unauthorized access is subject to arrest. University facilities are not open to the general public except for special programs. No student organization or individual student or group(s) of students can charge an admission fee for social events without prior approval from the Office of Student Activities.

Additionally, students may not engage in behaviors that may damage University facilities or property. Students will be held financially responsible for any damages caused by their actions. Specifically the following policies apply; violators will be subject to disciplinary action:

  • Students and/or their guests are not permitted on any of the building roofs.
  • The dropping or throwing of any objects, including water, out of the windows is a serious offense, (Crime Code Section 2705). This will result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, termination from the residence halls (if applicable).
  • Students and guests may not enter restricted areas including, but not limited to, mechanical rooms, closed floors of buildings, dance studios after hours unless given permission, and areas marked staff-only or restricted.
  • Tampering or altering of electrical systems, cables, circuit breakers, switches, wiring, data cables, or elevator wiring is prohibited.
  • Accessing fire escapes, fire ladders, or entering/exiting buildings through windows is not permitted in non-emergency situations.
  • Painting, graffiti, or marking University facilities, furniture, or property is considered vandalism and is not permitted.

Use of University Name

Students may not use the name “Point Park University” in any way that may associate it with their enterprises without written approval. The use of the University’s name in advertising, on apparel, etc., is not permitted unless official University permission and recognition has been given by the Marketing and Communications Department. For more information, visit the website for the Graphic Standards Guide at www.pointpark.edu/News/MarketingandCommunications.

Weapons

Weapons and/or ammunition are not permitted on campus. Weapons are defined as, but not limited to, firearms (BB guns or any other compressed-air or spring-propelled gun), knives, martial arts weapons (throwing stars, nunchaku, swords), and whips. The University will confiscate objects defined as weapons, and a policy violation may result in termination of the student’s residence hall contract and/or suspension or expulsion from the University.