Chatham University

Student Rights and Responsibilities


“Realizing the trust placed in me, I affirm my faith in the individual and in personal integrity and I assume the responsibility of maintaining the tenets of the Honor Code in all attendant matters.”

As citizens, students have the basic rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. These rights, including the freedoms of expression, assembly, inquiry, and security against unreasonable searches and seizures, are based on the assumption that students are rational adults, behaving in a reasonable manner with intellectual independence, personal integrity, honesty in all relationships, and consideration for the rights and well-being of others. As members of an academic community, students have the privilege to engage in academic enterprise, participate in co-curricular activities, and reside in a unique living situation that enhances moral and educational development and fosters a sense of community. All members of the Chatham community are expected to conduct themselves with integrity in personal and academic affairs and to serve the best interests of the entire community.

In turn, the recognition of rights and the granting of privileges by the University require responsibilities on the part of the students. In the academic sphere, these responsibilities include acknowledgement of the scholarship of others and the responsibility of relying on one’s own work and not that of others. In the social sphere, the student must respect the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the nation, and each individual should act so as to ensure the rights, welfare, and security of others. In accepting admission to Chatham University, students automatically agree to be personally responsible in all matters pertaining to academic honor and pledge to abide by those rules considered by the University community as part of its Honor Code. Each year at Opening Convocation students reaffirm their commitment to the Honor Code.

As part of the educational process, the normal patterns and procedures of the student conduct system are delegated to a conduct board, although final authority for student life lies with the president and the Board of Trustees. The right to summary suspension or dismissal in severe or emergency cases, subject to appeal, is reserved for the president of the University or the president’s delegated representative. The University provides a forum for students subject to disciplinary proceedings. These proceedings are governed by the rules and regulations outlined in the Student Handbook (available in the Office of Student Affairs). Students with academic grievances should confer with the appropriate academic dean(s).