2020-21 annual notice on rights and responsibilities of the Virginia Tech community
From Dwayne Pinkney, senior vice president and chief business officer, and Frank Shushok, vice president for student affairs
September 14, 2020
Editor's note: This notice was republished on March 22, 2021, with the following changes:
- Under the Virginia Tech COVID-19 response, the following changes were made:
- Added the Community Wellness Commitment reinforces the important role that the university plays in adhering to current public health guidelines.
- Removed the university is guided by our Principles of Community.
As members of the Virginia Tech community, we are individuals and community members with both rights and responsibilities.
We are committed to standards that support the university’s tripartite mission of education, research, and engagement – all standards by which we live, work, and learn together. These standards are derived from our guiding philosophical principles, the Virginia Tech Principles of Community.
The following is important information related to our community standards, health, safety, and security:
Virginia Tech COVID-19 response: The university’s Community Wellness Commitment is guided by our Principles of Community and current public health guidelines. Virginia Tech recognizes that during the ongoing global pandemic, all students, employees, and visitors must commit to additional measures to mitigate the health risks and care for each other, especially the most vulnerable. Our daily commitment to the health and safety of our community will be an exercise in living out the Virginia Tech motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). We continue to keep the community informed about the university’s COVID-19 response through the Virginia Tech Ready site.
Student Code of Conduct: In 2019, the Student Code of Conduct replaced the Hokie Handbook and outlines policies established by the university that set standards for students’ non-academic behavior, along with procedures for adjudicating and sanctioning violations of these standards.
Policies and procedures formerly housed in the Hokie Handbook, such as policies associated with specific departments, including Housing and Dining, are now available through the departments’ respective websites and linked within the Student Code of Conduct.
Student Arrest Disclosure: All students are reminded of their responsibility to report to the Student Conduct Office within 10 business days of any arrest, conviction, or issuance of a protective order. This notification must be made in person to the Student Conduct Office using the required self-disclosure of arrest(s)/conviction(s) form, which is available on the Student Conduct website. The purpose of this policy is to enhance the safety and security of the university community.
Internet Copyright Infringement Complaints: Peer-to-peer (P2P) software enables unauthorized uploading of copyrighted music or movies, typically without any action on the part of the user. Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, violates university policy and may subject one to civil and criminal liabilities. See the Copyright at Virginia Tech website for more information.
The Alcohol and Drug Policy Summary: In accordance with the federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, the federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, and the Commonwealth of Virginia's Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs, it is the policy of Virginia Tech that the unlawful or unauthorized manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of alcohol and illicit drugs by employees and students on university property or as part of any university activity is prohibited. The university's failure to comply with this requirement could result in the loss of federal funds. The university's Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program (DAAPP) and biennial review is available online.
Students with alcohol-related concerns or questions should consult with Hokie Wellness located at 195 McComas Hall, 540-231-2233. Students may also contact Hokie Wellness at the same location for information and support related to drug use.
Employee Assistance Program: The Employee Assistance Program provides confidential services intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely affect their work performance, health, and well-being. To learn more, contact COVA Care and COVA HDHP-Anthem at 1-855-223-9277, COVA HealthAware-Aetna at 1-888-238-6232, Kaiser Permanente HMO Beacon at 1-866-517-7042, or Hokie Wellness at 540-231-8878.
Physical and Digital Accessibility: Virginia Tech is committed to equal access and opportunity for all students, employees, and visitors to our campus. The university provides dedicated resources to assist those with disabilities and to address barriers to access, both physical and digital.
Statement of Business Conduct Standards: The university has business standards that provide a strong foundation of business practices to ensure Virginia Tech's integrity and reputation. All of our employees are expected to follow these standards, which are outlined in the Statement of Business Conduct Standards.
Hokie Hotline: Virginia Tech is committed to integrity, a culture of compliance, and the promotion of the highest ethical standards for all employees. To help ensure an ethical work environment, all members of the university should report any suspected wrongdoing (i.e., fraud, waste, abuse, noncompliance). We encourage you to submit concerns via the Hokie Hotline, which allows for confidential and anonymous reporting.
Mandated Reporter Legislation: Virginia law (SB 239) requires all faculty and staff to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Suspected instances of child abuse and neglect should be reported to the local Social Services Department or to the Department of Social Services toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline (1-800-552-7096). A list of questions and answers specific to Virginia Tech employees related to the law is available online. For information, contact the Human Resources Service Center.
Virginia Law (§23.1-806 of the Code of Virginia) requires that any responsible employees of Virginia Tech are required to report acts of sexual violence or any other sexual misconduct by employees or students to the Title IX coordinator. Additional information to include definitions of a responsible employee can be found in the Code of Virginia or Virginia Tech University Policy 1025. Please visit https://oea.vt.edu/title-ix-vawa.html for more information and reporting contact information.
Updating Directory Information and VT Alerts: Students and employees are reminded to update directory information in Hokie SPA. It is also important to sign up for VT Alerts. VT Alerts is the Virginia Tech emergency notification system. When a situation arises in which the university determines that immediate action is required on the part of students, employees, and others, a VT Alert is issued. It is particularly important to include your emergency contact information. Faculty and staff should update directory information by going to Hokie SPA, click on "Hokie PLUS," and click on "update emergency contact." Students, updating your emergency contact information is now a required step in your course registration process.
Emergency Telephone Services: The university is required to update call location information in the local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) database when telephones are added, when the location of a device changes, or when telephones are removed. To dispatch emergency responders to the correct locations, Network Infrastructure and Services updates the PSAP database using orders placed to install, move, or disconnect service. Telephone service customers are responsible for promptly advising Network Infrastructure and Services when room or suite identifiers change due to renovation or remodeling. Additionally, if electrical power fails in a building, access to emergency services from Voice over IP (VoIP) phones will not function. Network Infrastructure and Services strongly recommends augmenting service in selected locations throughout a building with traditional analog and digital telephone services to ensure access to emergency support during a power failure. Contact a network infrastructure and services customer support service specialist at 540-231-6460 for additional information.
Suicide Prevention Resources: If students, parents, family members, faculty, or staff have concerns about a student possibly considering self-harm or suicide, please call the Cook Counseling Center at 540-231-6557. This number can be used to speak with a counselor during regular office hours or after-hours. Information about suicide prevention from the Cook Counseling Center and other resources in the New River Valley is available online.
Supervisors are responsible for sharing this information with employees who do not have electronic access.