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    Elizabethtown College
  Jan 19, 2018
Student Handbook 2017-18

College Policies and Procedures



Policies and Procedures Regarding Brief Absences, Leave of Absence and Withdrawals and other Academic Issues


Notification Process for Brief Absences for Medical or Personal Reasons

The Director of Academic Advising or designee may notify faculty and staff when a student is unable to attend classes due to brief illness, injury hospitalization, death of a loved one, or other personal circumstances.  The notification is to facilitate communication only and does not supersede individual course attendance policies, assignment due dates, or scheduled exams.  Students are responsible for discussing options for completing missed coursework with faculty (due date modifications, course incomplete, course withdraw).  Students who require accommodations should contact Disability Services.  The student or family member may call 717.361.1415 for more information.  For more information regarding a formal leave or withdrawal from the College see Policies and Procedures Regarding Leave of Absence and Withdrawals (below).


Leave of Absence 

Students in good academic standing may take a leave of absence from the College for a period of time not to extend beyond the academic year in which the leave is taken. Leaves of must be approved by the Director of the Center for Student Success. In order to return to the College following a leave of absence, students must submit a readmit request to the Office of Registration and Records.  For more information about the Leave of Absence process, contact Stephanie Rankin, Associate Dean of Students.


Withdrawal from College (Voluntary)

Students who withdraw from the College during a semester also withdraw from all of their classes for that semester. Full-time students withdraw from the College through the Center for Student Success; part-time students withdraw through the Office of Registration and Records. Students who withdraw during the semester are expected to leave the campus as of the effective date of their withdrawal.

For purposes of billing, room reservation, academic responsibility, etc., the effective date of withdrawal is the date on which the completed official notice is returned to the Center for Student Success or the Office of Registration and Records. A student who withdraws without notification receives no refunds and may incur the full room penalty. Failure to comply with the withdrawal procedures may result in loss of the privilege of readmission to the College and the right to the release of a transcript of credits earned. See the Institutional Refund Policy for information about pro-rated refunds.

For more information about the voluntary withdrawal process, contact Stephanie Rankin, Associate Dean of Students.


Medical Withdrawal (Voluntary)

A medical withdrawal for a physical health or mental health reason is defined as a withdrawal from the College for at least the remainder of the semester in which it is initiated.  The withdrawal may extend through subsequent semesters depending on the nature and course of the health concerns.  The transcript will indicate “W” for all current courses.

A medical withdrawal for physical or mental health reasons is requested voluntarily by the student or the student’s parent or guardian and may be approved if, in the judgment of a licensed medical or mental health provider, it is determined to be in the best interest of the student. A Medical Withdrawal Documentation Form must be signed by the student and completed by the student’s treatment provider.  The Form must be submitted to the Director of Student Wellness who also speaks with the student, before the withdrawal can be authorized.

During a medical withdrawal, the College expects the student to participate in professional healthcare treatment with a licensed medical or mental health provider as the primary method of resolving or managing the health concerns which led to the medical withdrawal.  Prior to being considered for readmission by the College, the student must have the relevant treatment provider submit the Medical Withdrawal Re-Entry Documentation Form to the Director of Student Wellness.  Consulting with the Director of Student Wellness is necessary as part of the readmission process following a medical withdrawal. See the Re-Entry Requirements after a Medical Withdrawal document for details on the re-entry process.

Students are also encouraged to:

  1. Contact Residence Life at 717.361.1197 as soon as possible for information about the procedures for moving out of the Residence Hall, and to inquire about the housing registration process. 
  2. Contact Disability Services at 717.361.1227 to discuss accommodations during the re-entry process.  It may be necessary to provide documentation from your health care provider in order to support requests for accommodations.
  3. Consult with Financial Aid and the Business Office regarding implications for individual financial aid and the Institutional Refund Policy.

For more information about a voluntary medical withdrawal, contact Dr. Bruce Lynch, Director of Student Wellness.


Involuntary Withdrawal

An Involuntary Withdrawal may be imposed by the Dean of Students when a student exhibits behavior that has not been appropriately resolved through the Student Conduct process or is threatening to the safety and wellbeing of the college community.

Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis through an individualized assessment of the student’s ability to safely participate in college programs.  The Dean of Students will consult with the Director of Student Wellness, Director of Campus Security, Associate Dean of Students/Director of Academic Advising, Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Director of Disability Services and college legal counsel as necessary to fully consider available medical knowledge and the observed, documented behavior which prompted the review in order to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made or if a withdrawal is recommended. 

If a withdrawal is recommended, the Dean of Students will confer with the student and/or parent/guardian to explain the advantages of a voluntary withdrawal or voluntary medical withdrawal and the conditions for re-entry which may include a medical clearance from a licensed physician or psychologist.  If the student declines to take a voluntary withdrawal or voluntary medical withdrawal, the Dean may impose an involuntary withdrawal.  The Dean will explain the implications for the student including the conditions for re-entry which may include a medical clearance from a licensed physician or psychologist.   During an Involuntary Withdrawal, the student is immediately administratively withdrawn from all classes and from college housing if applicable.  The transcript will indicate “W” for all currently enrolled courses.  The student may be eligible for a refund according to the Institutional Refund Policy.

In an emergency situation, the College will take immediate steps to protect the health, safety, and welfare of students, employees, and the campus community including the imposition of an Interim Separation by the Dean of Students.  The subsequent individual assessment may result in an Involuntary Withdrawal. 


Appeal of an Involuntary Withdrawal

A decision to impose an Involuntary Withdrawal may be appealed by the student to the President within five (5) business days of the decision.  Appeals should be in writing and include specific reasons for the appeal.  The President has five (5) business days to review the information presented and inform the student in writing of a final decision. The President may uphold the decision of the Dean of Students, adjust the finding, refer the matter back to the Dean of Students for additional consideration or reverse the decision and reinstate the student.  The President’s decision is final.

Students who believe they may have been discriminated against on the basis of a disability can follow the grievance procedure at


Incomplete Grades

A grade of Incomplete (I) may be obtained by making a formal request to the professor of the course in question. The student and professor must sign a written agreement that specifies the nature and quantity of work to be completed and the projected date of completion. A grade of Incomplete is assigned for extenuating circumstances only. It is not simply given to allow individual time to complete required course work or to improve a course grade. All incomplete grades received in the fall semester must be removed by April 1.  Those in the spring semester or summer must be removed by October 1.  Failure to do so will result in a grade of F.

In addition, a professor may use a grade of Incomplete in cases of suspected academic dishonesty.


Grade Appeal

A student has the right to request an explanation from a professor about the manner in which a course grade was determined.  The student may also appeal a final course grade if the student believes the grade was influenced by matters other than academic performance, class attendance and punctuality in submitting course assignments.  

Grades are considered to be official at the time they are submitted by the faculty. Questions concerning grades must be called to the attention of the instructor immediately after the official grade report is received. Formal grade appeals must be submitted within 30 working days of the date on which the grade was issued from the Office of Registration and Records. An exception to the 30-day time limit requires formal petition to and approval of the Academic Standing Committee.

Academic Dishonesty

Procedures for Dealing with Cases of Academic Dishonesty

Instances Involving Course Work. The following steps are to be followed when dealing with instances of academic dishonesty involving course work:

Initial Conference. When an instructor discovers evidence of academic dishonesty, an informal conference is scheduled promptly with the student or students involved. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, this conference can take place via e-mail. If an instructor is unable to schedule a conference before grades are due, a grade of Incomplete for the course may be assigned in the interim. If the student confirms his or her academic dishonesty in the initial conference, then the procedure continues with the written notification step that follows.

Second Conference. If, in the informal conference, the student denies academic dishonesty but the instructor is satisfied that there is evidence of academic dishonesty, a second conference is scheduled with the student involved. In cases involving more than one student, either individual or group conferences may be appropriate depending on the particular circumstances of the case. This conference should include the Department Chair or another faculty member in the Department in instances involving the Chair. The student also has the right to have a faculty member, another student, or a member of the Center for Student Success present as an observer. Due to the nature of this second conference, it should be scheduled as a face-to-face meeting.

Written Notification. If, following either the first or second conference, the initiating faculty member is satisfied that there is proof of academic dishonesty, the faculty member with the approval of the Department Chair or equivalent will give the accused student(s) written notification specifying the infraction and the recommended penalty. Copies of this notification are sent to the Department Chair (or equivalent) and the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment. Should the Department Chair (or equivalent) not be in agreement with the faculty member, both the faculty member and the Department Chair (or equivalent) will give written notification with rationale to the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment. The Dean for Curriculum and Assessment will review the matter and recommend action and will inform the student in writing of the recommended action.

Reported Cases. Cases of alleged academic dishonesty reported by a student or students or College staff and not resolved by the instructor and Department Chair (or equivalent) may also be referred to the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment. The Dean for Curriculum and Assessment will review the matter and recommend action and will inform the student(s) in writing of the recommended action.

Academic Review Committee. The accused student(s) will have the alternative of (1) accepting the penalty recommended by the faculty member or the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment [in the case of a difference between the faculty member and the Department Chair (or equivalent)], or (2) requesting a hearing before the Academic Review Committee. The request for a hearing must be presented in writing to the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment within five business days of receipt of the notice of information. In no case may the Academic Review Committee impose a penalty more severe than the one imposed by the faculty member, or the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment, as the case may be.

Dismissal. Beyond the penalty imposed for the individual course, the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment will review each case of academic dishonesty and exercise judgment as to whether a student found to be in violation of the standards of academic integrity should be recommended for dismissal from the College. If it is the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment’s judgment that academic dismissal is appropriate, the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment will notify in writing both the student and the Academic Standing Committee of his or her decision and the factors that influenced that decision.

Academic Standing Committee. In the event of dismissal, the student will have the option of (1) accepting the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment’s decision, or (2) requesting a hearing before the Academic Standing Committee. The request for a hearing must be presented in writing to the Dean for Curriculum and Assessment within five business days of receipt for the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment’s decision. The Academic Standing Committee’s decision is final.

Other Instances

All forms of dishonesty in academic matters are violations of the Standards of Academic Integrity and are the concern of the Academic Review Committee. Inappropriate actions – for example, lying to College officials or forgery of an advisor’s signature – are violations equivalent to cheating and plagiarism in course work. Such dishonesty will be dealt with following the general procedures set forth above. Cases are reviewed individually and according to the circumstances of the violation; possible penalties include suspension or dismissal from the College.


Guest and Visitor Policy

Elizabethtown College students who sponsor a guest must accept full responsibility for the guest’s behavior. If the guest violates the Student Code of Conduct or other College policies, the student host will be held responsible. A student must have approval from any and all roommates prior to inviting a guest. A student’s privilege to have a guest is, in all cases, superseded by the roommate’s right to the uninterrupted use of the room. Overnight guests are permitted to stay a total of three nights during a one-month period.  Students are limited to two guests per room at a time.

Guests from off campus must be at least 18 years of age or enrolled at a college or university. Students may petition the Office of Residence Life for special permission to host a guest who does not meet these criteria; however, under no circumstances will a guest under the age of 16 be approved. This petition must be made in person by the EC student host to the Director of Residence Life at least three days in advance of the visit. (Note: Prospective students will be registered for visits through the Office of Admissions. Hosts of prospective students are required to follow the specific guidelines for the overnight visit as outlined by the Office of Admissions.)


A guest of Elizabethtown College is defined as any non-Elizabethtown College student visitor who enters a residential facility or attends a college event not open to the public.

Guest Registration and Guest Pass:  All guests must obtain a Guest Pass. To obtain the Guest Pass, the guest must show a valid photo ID (valid college/university photo ID, driver’s license or other government issued ID) to the Campus Security Dispatcher. The Director of Residence Life approves all guests under the age of 18 who are not enrolled in a college or university. This registration must be completed in advance as described above.

Guests are required to carry the Guest Pass with them at all times while on campus and to show their passes when requested. The guest pass must be presented in order to attend any campus event not open to the public.

Guests may be asked to leave campus at any time by any Student Life or Campus Security staff member.


Student Visitor:  A student visitor is defined as any current Elizabethtown College student (commuter or resident, full or part-time) who visits or stays overnight in a residence hall to which he/she has not been assigned.

A current EC student who wishes to visit or stay overnight in a residential facility other than the one to which he/she is assigned, must also register with Campus Security. A valid Elizabethtown College ID must be presented to Campus Security in order to obtain a guest pass. A student must have approval from any and all roommates prior to inviting a visitor. A student’s privilege to have a visitor is, in all cases, superseded by the roommate’s right to the uninterrupted use of the room.

Current EC students visiting residence halls must be escorted by the host student and, after midnight Sunday through Thursday or after 2:00 a.m. other nights, they must be registered as an overnight visitor. Overnight EC student visitors are permitted to stay a total of three nights during a one-month period.



Policy Regarding Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying

The College defines harassment as any behavior, verbal or physical, which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work, learning or living environment, particularly if questionable behavior is repeated and/or if it continues after the offending party is informed of the objectionable and/or inappropriate nature of the behavior, and which is based on individual characteristics including gender, race, color, religion, age, disability, veteran status, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or any other legally protected status. 

Harassment, bullying and intimidation complaints of a non-sexual nature where either the Complainant or Respondent are students will be resolved through the Student Conduct Process. 

In cases where an employee is the Respondent (accused), the College will resolve the complaint according to procedures in the Employee and Faculty Handbooks.

Harassment and Intimidation

The totality of the circumstances of any given harassment incident must be carefully investigated, but prohibited harassment may take many forms. The most common examples include:

  1. Verbal harassment such as jokes, epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, and unwelcome or patronizing remarks about an individual’s body, color, physical characteristics or appearance.
  2. Physical harassment such as physical interference with normal work, impeding or blocking movements, assault, unwelcome physical contact, staring at a person’s body, or threatening, intimidating or hostile acts that relate to a protected characteristic.
  3. Visual harassment such as offensive or obscene photographs, calendars, posters, e-mails, social media, cards, cartoons, drawings and gestures, display of lewd objects, unwelcome notes or letters, or any written, electronic, or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual.

The above definition includes sexual harassment. See Policy Regarding Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Stalking, Dating Violence, and Domestic Violence  for reporting and resolution process.


The College is committed to the elimination of all forms of bullying and will ensure that procedures exist to allow complaints of bullying to be dealt with and resolved without limiting any person’s entitlement to pursue resolution of their complaint within the relevant statutory authority.

Bullying is unwelcome or unreasonable behavior that demeans, intimidates, or humiliates people either as individuals or as a group.  Bullying behavior is often persistent and part of a pattern, but it can also occur as a single incident.  It is usually carried out by an individual but can also be an aspect of group behavior.  Context is important in understanding bullying, particularly verbal communication.  There is a difference between friendly banter exchanged by colleagues and comments that are meant to be, or are taken as, demeaning.

Mobbing is a particular type of bullying behavior carried out by a group rather than by an individual.  Mobbing is the bullying or social isolation of a person through collective unjustified accusations, humiliation, general harassment, or emotional abuse.  Although it is group behavior, specific incidents such as an insult or a practical joke may be carried out by an individual as part of mobbing behavior. 

Bullying is unacceptable behavior because it breaches principles of equality and fairness, and it frequently represents an abuse of power and authority.  It also has potential consequences for everyone involved.

Procedure Regarding Bias-Related Incidents

A bias-related incident is any deliberate act or attempt to injure, harm or harass an individual or group because of the person or group’s gender, race, color, religion, age, disability, veteran status, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, possession of a general education development certificate as compared to a high school diploma, or any other legally protected status or because the alleged perpetrator perceives that the other person or group has one or more of these characteristics. Such behavior includes acts or attempts that may pose physical or psychological harm or threat to individuals or groups.

A hate crime is a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or part by an offender’s bias against a race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, disability, and gender identity.

Hate itself is not a crime—and the federal government is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.

Bias related incidents and hate crimes both involve behavior that is motivated by bias. However, it is important to note the distinction between the two. Hate crimes include a definable crime, such as: threats of violence, property damage, personal injury and other illegal conduct. A hate crime is an infraction of the law and will be addressed accordingly.

A bias-related incident can be a violation of this policy but may not rise to the level of a hate crime, but all hate crimes are bias related-incidents.

All incidents should be reported in order to determine the level and type of offense, to support the affected person(s) or group, to mitigate subsequent incidents by raising awareness of the offense, to develop an educational response and to activate appropriate campus review and judicial processes when necessary to address individual or group behavior.

Report a Bias-Related Incident

In the event that a victim requires immediate assistance, the victim or witness should contact Campus Security at 717.361.1111. Campus Security is the first response team at Elizabethtown College and has responsibility to dispatch emergency medical services if necessary.

All college community members and campus guests are encouraged to report bias-related incidents by completing an Incident Report Form, available at the ECTipline Webpage or by contacting the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities or the Dean of Students (for students) or the Director of Human Resources (for employees) or with the Director of Campus Security (for students and employees).


Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation process to the extent practical and consistent with the College’s need to undertake a full and impartial investigation.

College Reporting Requirements

The College is required by law to issue a timely warning about hate crimes that present a continuing danger to the campus community and to disclose annual statistics about these crimes in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. Only general information, as opposed to personal or identifying details, will be disclosed in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act.

Documentation of the Incident

It is essential that individuals who have experienced bias, and witnesses, or other individuals reporting a bias-related incident provide as much information as possible about the incident. A detailed account including date, time, exact location, names of persons involved, including any witnesses, is considered necessary for an investigation by Campus Security and/or the local police.  Impacted individuals and witnesses are encouraged to preserve evidence. For example, do not erase or remove graffiti, vandalism or public postings; take a photo if possible. Make a written record of any verbal assault; maintain any email record (do not alter, delete or forward the message). If the incident occurred by telephone, make note of the time and length of the call along with the phone number if possible, but do not engage with the caller.

College Response

Report of a bias-related incident will be referred to the appropriate college official for review and investigation. Individuals making a report will be given an opportunity to provide additional information, review issues of confidentiality, and discuss potential next steps. The resolution process for any reported incident will follow procedures outlined in the Student, Faculty and Employee Handbooks.


Policy Regarding Hazing

Elizabethtown College rejects all forms of hazing. Hazing is not only a violation of College policy, but is also a criminal act under Pennsylvania law. Hazing negatively impacts student development and well-being, contributes to an environment of disrespect and erodes institutional core values of peace, non-violence, human dignity and social justice.

Elizabethtown College defines hazing as any action or inaction that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person, or which destroys, defaces or removes public or private property, for the purpose of an individual’s initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or  condition for continued membership in, a group or organization regardless of whether that group or organization is recognized by the College . The express or implied consent of any participant or witness is not a defense to an allegation of violation of the College’s Anti-Hazing Policy.

Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act; it is a violation of this policy.

Elizabethtown students have a responsibility not only to refrain from participation in hazing activities but to report such activities if they are aware of them to a college official.

As mentioned above, hazing not only violates College policy, but is also a crime in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania defines hazing as

“any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by an institution of higher education. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be ‘forced’ activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.”

Under Pennsylvania law, any person who causes or participates in hazing commits a misdemeanor of the third degree. Additionally, any act that would violate the Pennsylvania Anti-Hazing statute, also violates this policy.

Reporting an Incident

Students or others with knowledge of a hazing incident should contact the Dean of Students at 717.361.1196 or Campus Security at 717.361.1264. In the case of emergency, dial 911.

College Response

Campus Security or a qualified external investigator will conduct an investigation of any allegation of hazing. If the investigation supports the allegation of hazing, the College will proceed with the student conduct process. These sanctions may include loss of privileges, fines, suspension/expulsion of individual students and/or the responsible group. Additionally, the College will support any victim of hazing if he/she wishes to pursue criminal charges.

Examples of Hazing Activities: (from

The following are some examples of hazing divided into three categories: subtle, harassment, and violent. It is impossible to list all possible hazing behaviors because many are context-specific. While this is not an all-inclusive list, it provides some common examples of hazing traditions.

Subtle Hazing

Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members/rookies and other members of the group or team. These are termed “subtle hazing” because these types of hazing are often taken-for-granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members/rookies on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members/rookies often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group or team. (Some types of subtle hazing may also be considered harassment hazing).

Some examples that could rise to the level of hazing:

  1. Deception
  2. Assigning demerits
  3. Silence periods with implied threats for violation
  4. Deprivation of privileges granted to other members
  5. Requiring new members/rookies to perform duties not assigned to other members
  6. Socially isolating new members/rookies
  7. Line-ups and drills/tests on meaningless information
  8. Name calling
  9. Requiring new members /rookies to refer to other members with titles (e.g. “Mr.”, “Miss”) while they are identified with demeaning terms
  10. Expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession

Harassment Hazing:

Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members/rookies. (Some types of harassment hazing can also be considered violent hazing).

Some Examples:

  1. Verbal abuse
  2. Threats or implied threats
  3. Asking new members to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire
  4. Stunt or skit nights with degrading, crude or humiliating acts
  5. Expecting new members/rookies to perform personal service to other members such as carrying books, running errands, cooking, cleaning, etc.
  6. Sleep deprivation
  7. Sexual simulations
  8. Expecting new members/rookies to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness
  9. Being expected to harass others

Violent Hazing:

Includes behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.

Some Examples:

  1. Forced or coerced alcohol or other drug consumption
  2. Beating, paddling, or other forms of assault
  3. Branding
  4. Exposure to cold weather or extreme heat without appropriate protection
  5. Forced or coerced ingestion of vile substances or concoctions
  6. Water intoxication
  7. Expecting abuse or mistreatment of animals
  8. Public nudity
  9. Expecting illegal activity
  10. Bondage
  11. Abductions/kidnaps



Policy Regarding Animals on Campus for Disability-Related Needs

This policy statement provides information to individuals using animals to assist with disability related needs at Elizabethtown College. The use of animals on campus falls into two categories: service animals and assistance animals:

Service Animals

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Elizabethtown College seeks to accommodate persons with disabilities requiring the assistance of a qualified service animal. We encourage individuals with service animals to share this information with the Office of Disability Services.

Definitions: Service Animal

Under the ADA, a public accommodation shall modify policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of service animals by an individual with a disability. The ADA defines a service animal as a dog individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  Other species of animals, whether trained or untrained, are not considered service animals (with the exception of miniature horses). The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. Examples include but are not limited to: assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, assisting during a seizure, alerting to the presence of allergens, and preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. 

Inquiries regarding Service Animals

If not readily apparent, Elizabethtown College is able to make the following inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal:

  • Is the animal required because of a disability?
  • What work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform?
Responsibilities of the Student with the Service Animal

The service animal must be under the control of its handler.  A harness, leash, or other tether must be used unless the handler is unable because of the disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or if the use of a harness, leash, or other tether interferes with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of the work or task.   In such cases, the service animal must remain under the student’s control, such as voice control.

The student must provide care and supervision of the service animal.  Elizabethtown College is not responsible for the animal’s care or supervision. All students are responsible to clean up after and properly dispose of their animal’s feces while on campus.

Service animals must not be placed in a location blocking access for others.

It is the handler’s responsibility to ensure that the service animal is in good health, clean, free of fleas and ticks, and is at all times in compliance with all Pennsylvania State laws and requirements associated with licensing, vaccinations, and other health regulations.


Elizabethtown College may ask a student with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if the animal is out of control and the student does not take effective action to control it, if the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by reasonable modifications to other policies, practices, and procedures (must be an individualized assessment), or if the animal is not housebroken. If Elizabethtown College properly excludes a service animal, it must give the student the opportunity to obtain goods, services, and accommodations without having the service animal on college property.

Grievance Procedures

Students who wish to appeal a denied request for use of a service animal may file a grievance utilizing the College’s Grievance Procedure.

Assistance Animals

Assistance animals are only permitted in College owned/managed housing and areas surrounding residential units in which the student resides, such as outdoor common areas.  The student is not permitted to take the assistance animal to another housing unit or other area of campus.  Before you make a commitment to bring an assistance animal on campus, you should carefully consider how the animal will be cared for when you are attending classes and other events where the animal will not be permitted.

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Elizabethtown College seeks to accommodate persons with disabilities requiring an assistance animal in College housing.  Students should make requests regarding assistance animals in residential units to the Office of Disability Services at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester for which the request is being made. Determinations will be made on a case by case basis, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, as to whether the student qualifies as an individual with a disability and whether the particular animal represents a reasonable accommodation on campus required to enable the student to live on campus.

The FHA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provide for a broad range of assistance animals in College housing.  The College will make a determination regarding the use of an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis.  Students requesting an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation for a disability related need will be required to submit documentation to the Office of Disability Services on the letterhead of the treating health care provider with the following information:

  • Does the person seeking to use and live with the animal have a disability – i.e., a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities?  Explain in detail with supporting diagnostic information.
  • Does the person making the request have a disability-related need for an assistance animal? In other words, does the animal provide support that alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of a person’s existing disability the absence of which would prevent the student from living on campus?  In answering this question, is there no other accommodation that would adequately address the student’s disability-related need?
Responsibilities of the Student with the Assistance Animal

The student is responsible for the care and supervision of the assistance animal.  The College is not responsible for the animal’s care or supervision. The student is responsible to clean up after and properly dispose of their animal’s feces while on campus. It is the student’s  responsibility to ensure the animal is animal is in good health, clean,  free of fleas and ticks, and is at all times in compliance with all Pennsylvania State laws and requirements associated with licensing, vaccinations, and other health regulations.


Elizabethtown College may ask an individual with a disability to remove an assistance animal from the premises if the animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or if the animal presents a legitimate safety risk to the unit (e.g., a dog is not housebroken). Elizabethtown College may deny a request for an assistance animal if allowing the animal would impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the College or would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing providers services, if the specific assistance animal in question poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation, or if the specific assistance animal would cause physical damage to the property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.  Additionally, the animal cannot cause a disruption to the learning/living environment of other students.

Grievance Procedures

Students who wish to appeal a denied request for use of an assistance animal may file a grievance utilizing the College’s Grievance Procedure.


Grievance Procedure for Students in Cases of Alleged Discrimination on the Basis of a Disability

Elizabethtown College will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental disabilities of an otherwise qualified individual (as those terms defined in the American with Disabilities Act). If you have a disability which requires an accommodation, please contact Lynne Davies, Director of Disability Services (BSC 216, 717.361.1227). Students and the Director will engage an interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations. For more information about the process for requesting a reasonable accommodation, please consult the Disability Services web page.

Elizabethtown College policy and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of a disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 require that a grievance procedure be available to a student who wishes to contest an administrative or faculty decision regarding documented disability-related accommodations and/or issues.

Informal Resolution

When a student wishes to contest an administrative or faculty decision regarding disability related accommodations and/or issues, the student should make every attempt to resolve the problem through informal discussions with the person claimed to be responsible for the contested decision or act. If the student is unable to resolve the issue directly with that person, the student should involve the Director of Disability Services for advice or help in negotiating a solution. The student may also contact that person’s supervisor to assist in the informal resolution process.

Attempts to informally resolve the contested decision or act should occur within thirty (30) business days of the contested decision or act. If the issue cannot be resolved by communication, education, and/or negotiation to the student’s satisfaction through the informal process, she/he may follow the formal process set forth below.

Formal Resolution

The student may file in writing a formal grievance with the Dean of the Faculty (for academic issues) or Dean of Students (for student life issues) – hereafter referred to as “the Dean.” The grievance statement should be as specific as possible regarding the decision or action(s) that precipitated the grievance: date, place, and people involved; efforts made to settle the matter informally; and the remedy sought.

  1. The Dean shall forward a copy of the grievance statement to all parties involved within one week of the receipt of the statement. The Dean will also provide a copy of the grievance statement to the Director of Disability Services who will be involved in resolution of the grievance as appropriate.
  2. The Dean shall investigate the matter set forth in the grievance statement. In conducting the investigation, the Dean may forward a copy of the grievance statement to the persons whose actions (or inactions) are the subject of the grievance and may request a written response to the grievance from appropriate individuals in the College. The Dean may also choose to interview witnesses, to meet with concerned parties, to receive oral or written presentations and to make other appropriate independent inquiry. Within thirty (30) business days of the filing of the statement, the Dean will make a decision on the merits of the student’s grievance and the appropriate resolution of the situation. If resolution is not possible within thirty (30) business days, the Dean shall inform the student of the reasons for delay.
  3. Copies of the decision by the Dean will be sent to the student and the Director of Disability Services. A copy may also be sent to the department and/or persons whose actions (or inactions) are the subject of the grievance, as appropriate. In the event that the student is not satisfied with the Dean’s resolution of the grievance, a written appeal may be made to the President within (5) business days of the student’s receipt of the Dean’s resolution. The President’s resolution shall be final and binding.
  4. A record of all formal grievances filed under this procedure will be maintained in the office of Disability Services, The Center for Student Success.

ADA/504 Compliance Officer for Employees is the Director of Human Resources, Myer Hall, 717.361.1406.   The ADA/504/ Title II Compliance Officer for Students is Lynne Davies, Director of Disability Services, Baugher Student Center 216, 717.361.1227.

For further information on non-discrimination, visit, or contact the Philadelphia Office of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Sutie 515, The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323. or 215-656-8541


–Adapted from the web site: Boston University, Office of Disability Services, Policies and Procedures and “Disability Resources and Services Student Handbook” Scottsdale Community College.


Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy

Elizabethtown College Students are encouraged to consult the IT Acceptable Use Policy regularly to ensure knowledge of college policies and standards regarding electronic communications and use of electronic tools.


Non-Solicitation Policy

Solicitation and Fundraising

Soliciting is not permitted on campus without the written authorization of the Dean of Students. In general, no solicitation requests involving personal gain, or by agencies or individuals from outside the College will be approved. In addition, door-to-door solicitation in residence halls by campus clubs, organizations, or individuals is prohibited.

If the fund-raising project involves any solicitation of off campus persons including parents, businesses, alumni, or any other off campus constituency, it must be approved by the Office of Institutional Advancement in Alpha Hall and the group’s advisor.


Social Networks Policy

It must be understood that the Student Code of Conduct  and other Elizabethtown College policies apply to network usage and electronic postings. While the College does not as a matter of practice monitor posts  for  content, the College will investigate and take appropriate action if College officials learn of questionable content (e.g., depictions of illegal alcohol consumption, hazing, property damage, acts of violence, defamation of character, etc.). That is, students will be held responsible for the content and character of electronic postings in the public domain (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.). If questionable material is brought to the attention of a college official, then an investigation will follow to determine appropriate interventions, if any. If the investigation so warrants, a student may be charged under the Student Code of Conduct and proceed to a Formal Resolution. Appropriate sanctions will be imposed if a student(s) is found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The College may be required to report results of its investigation to third parties, such as the Borough or State Police.

In some cases an electronic posting may give rise to concerns about the safety and well-being of a student and/or the campus community (e.g. depictions of self-injury, suicidal ideation, acute depressive state, etc.). These situations may be referred to the Campus Wellness Network or the Dean of Students’ Office.