University Policies

University Policies

Absence Due to Illness or Injury

Students may request the student engagement office to notify faculty members prior to or during an extended absence because of injury or illness. This notification does not constitute an excused absence from class. It does inform instructors why a student is absent.

In the event of a serious injury or long-term illness, instructors should be contacted immediately by the student’s parent or legal guardian, in person or by telephone. As determined by the circumstances, a decision will be made by the university as to the student’s enrollment status.

Absence Due to University-Sponsored Activities

Students planning to be absent because of university-sponsored activities should present a properly completed excused absence form to their instructors prior to the absence.

AIDS

Institutional policy (refer to Human Resources Policies and Procedures manual 2.7) with regard to students with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) follows the general guidelines of the American College Health Association. Students with HIV infection are encouraged to inform campus health providers so that the institution may provide them proper medical care, counseling, support services and education. All medical information will be handled in a strictly confidential manner in accordance with procedures and requirements in effect at Lamar.

Bereavement Leave

Students will be granted emergency leave for reason of death in the student’s immediate family. Immediate family is defined within this section as the student’s spouse or the student’s or spouse’s parent, brother, sister, grandparent, child or grandchild. Leave must be requested in writing, with appropriate documentation attached (e.g., obituary notice) from the Vice President for Student Engagement who, if the leave is granted, will inform each of the student’s instructors. Leave shall normally not exceed three days. Requests in excess of three days must be justified and approved by the Vice President for Student Engagement. A full three days is not automatically granted since it is intended that such leave be limited to the reasonable amount of time needed for travel, funeral arrangements, funeral services and caring for other family members during the immediate period of bereavement. Class days missed as a result of approved bereavement leave will be excused absences, and students should be allowed to make up any work missed as a result. In addition, any course or university deadlines missed will be postponed for an appropriate period of time beginning with the first class meeting subsequent to the end of the leave period. The written notice to the students’ instructors must contain a copy of the request (with documentation) as well as a reminder of the right make up missed work.

Disability Non-Discrimination

Lamar University does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the recruitment and admission of students or the operation of any of its programs and activities and is prepared to make reasonable accommodations for such students. The designated coordinator for compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the Director of the Disability Resource Center.

Additional information regarding accommodations for hearing impaired, visually impaired, learning disabled, or other disabilities may be obtained by calling 409-880-8347, emailing drc@lamar.edu, or visiting  Communication Building Room 105.

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act

Lamar University is committed to providing a healthy and safe learning environment for all students and employees. The institution has established procedures to advise members of the university community on the consequences of drug/alcohol use, possession and distribution. Additionally, Lamar University is committed to providing important information on available sub-stance abuse counseling, treatment, rehabilitation or re-entry programs.

Significant sections in this handbook and other university publications clearly indicate Lamar University’s commitment to comply with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment)

The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 affords both former and current registered students a right of access to education records which contain information directly related to such persons, as well as the right to challenge the accuracy of those records.

The act also restricts persons to whom the university may disclose a student’s educational records without the student’s written permission. Lamar University’s policy is to comply fully with all provisions of the act.

FERPA rights cease upon death. It is the policy of Lamar University that no records of deceased students be released after the date of death, unless specifically authorized by the executor of the deceased's estate or by next of kin.

Food Sales On Campus

All food sales on campus are limited to registered student organizations and will be subject to the following regulations:

  1. All food sales events must be approved by the faculty/staff advisors and by the president of the organization.
  2. A facilities form must be completed and submitted to the reservations office of the Setzer Student Center at least two weeks in advance of the event.
  3. A copy of a health department permit must be returned to the reservations office before confirmation of the facility is made.
  4. Food sales must meet city and state regulations on preparation and the sales of food. Instructions and detailed directions may be obtained from the reservations office.
  5. The organization responsible for selling food at an event also must accept the responsibility for any illnesses that may occur from consumption of food sold.

Meningitis Policy for Students

Texas Senate Bill 1107 requires that all new students under age 22 who attend on-campus classes at an institution of higher learning either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination before the first day of the semester. The requirement also applies to returning students under age 22 who were not enrolled in the previous long semester.

All new or returning Lamar University students under age 22 who were not enrolled in the previous long semester must provide proof of a bacterial meningitis vaccination or exemption through one of the five methods listed on the Be A Cardinal website.

The law states that students who do not qualify for an exemption must be immunized no later than 10 days prior to the first class day. This vaccination is valid for a five-year period. Make sure that yours has not expired. Take action now in order to register on time.

Policy on Intellectual Property

The Texas State University System Board of Regents has adopted policies relating to patents and copyrights pertaining to persons employed by Lamar University (and other institutions of the System) and/or anyone using institutional facilities and resources. See Appendix D of the Faculty Handbook for the patent and copyright policies

Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of the university that no faculty or staff member, student or contractor, may sexually harass any guest or visitor on the campus or any member of the university community, including faculty, staff, and students. Such acts will not be tolerated either on campus or at Lamar University pro-grams off campus. Any faculty, staff member or student will be subject to disciplinary action for violation of this policy.

Faculty, staff, students and guests of the university who believe that they have been sexually harassed or are aware of instances of possible sexual harassment have the right and are encouraged to seek resolution through informal or formal procedure supported by the university.

A person who believes that he or she has been sexually harassed should report the conduct in writing as soon as possible after the incident to any of the following:

  1. The academic or administrative official responsible for the area in which the incident took place;
  2. The immediate supervisor of the alleged harasser or the next higher management level if the person is an employee;
  3. The Vice President for Student Engagement if the person making the report or the alleged harasser is a student;
  4. Human Resources, 880-8375.

Smoke-Free Workplace

Lamar University recognizes its commitment to the physical well being of its students, faculty and staff. Smoking is prohibited at all times in all university facilities and vehicles unless otherwise designated.

Student Identification

The Cardinal One card is issued to students at Lamar University to serve a dual purpose: as student identification (ID) and as a debit card for the disbursement of student financial aid. If a student/non-student is caught misusing the card for identification purposes, the card may be confiscated by the Police or other appropriate university personnel and the student may be subject to disciplinary action by the Student Engagement Office. Misuse of the card includes but is not limited to: using the card to gain entry into a University dorm or event that the student/non-student is not eligible to enter, loaning the card to someone else, or altering the card in any manner. Confiscation of the card will not affect any remaining cash balance in the student’s account.

Student Right-To-Know/Campus Security Act

Consistent with the provision of the Student Right-to-Know/Campus Security Act, Lamar University will make available to students, faculty and staff members information regarding critical campus safety issues.

On a yearly basis, the university develops and produces a comprehensive report that contains relevant data on campus safety and security pro-grams and crime statistics. Anyone wanting this data may obtain a copy of the report from the university police.

Student Travel Procedures

Student Travel and Use of Motor Driven Vehicles and Equipment;

Reference Texas Education Code Section 5 1.949, and Senate Bill No. 263.

These Travel procedures apply to faculty and staff who engage in transporting students off campus a distance of 25 miles or more from campus to an activity or event that is organized, sponsored or funded by the institution, using a vehicle owned or operated by the institution, or travel that is required by an organization registered at the institution. These travel procedures are considered to be minimum standard; departments may mandate additional procedures.

It is recommended that a designated staff member (s) and/or faculty, accompany each student travel group. In the event an advisor cannot attend the function with the student/student group, the organization member/ members should be advised on what the expected behavior from each student should be. All University rules and regulations must be followed.

Groups of 24 and over may be required to obtain commercial/chartered transportation. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and final decision for such an event will be given by the Vice President for Student Engagement or his/her designee after consultation with the student organization advisor. Chartered transportation must comply with all state and federal laws. Groups under 24 may travel by University owned, leased, rented, or privately owned motor vehicles.

For student/student organization travel, only employees of Lamar University are allowed to drive University owned, leased, or rented, motor vehicles. Lamar University students are not covered under the University insurance policy unless they are employed by the University. Any employee who is to drive a University vehicle must first provide the Vice President for Finance and/or his/her designee with a copy of their driver’s license and sign an “Application For Copy of Driver Record” form. A license check will be run which will reflect the status of the license, list any accidents and moving violations in the past three

(3) years. Permission for an employee to drive a University owned, leased, or rented motor vehicle will depend on the results of their driving record. The employee’s driver’s license and the “Application For Copy of Driver Record” must be submitted to the Vice President for Finance office at least two (2) weeks prior to the date the employee is expected to drive the University owned, leased, rented, or privately owned motor vehicle.

Because personal automobile insurance will be considered first in the event of an accident, all persons who use their personal vehicles while con-ducting university business should be aware of the possibility of personal liability related to such use. No individual shall be required to use his/her personal vehicle to drive to official university sponsored activities. Use of personal vehicles by students to drive to official university sponsored activities is discouraged.

All state and federal laws will be followed when operating a vehicle for students/student organizations official travel. Drivers will comply with all applicable traffic laws and regulations. All occupants must use seat belts and other safety devices when the vehicle is in motion. Manufacturer suggested vehicle capacities will be followed when vehicles are used by students/student organizations.

The following activities are PROHIBITED for drivers while driving:

  • Driving while under the influence of impairing drugs or alcohol
  • Use of radar/laser detection devices
  • Use of headphones or earphones
  • Use of cell phone
  • Eating, smoking, or drinking

The fatigue of the vehicle operator should be considered at the time of travel and only rested drivers should operate a vehicle.

Each student who travels by motor vehicle or any other form of transportation to participate in a University related activity must execute a copy of the Release and Indemnification Agreement.

Each traveling student must have document proof of current medical insurance coverage.

Any traveling student less than 18 years of age must have a consent for treatment form on file.

Organizations that travel frequently are encouraged to have consent for treatment forms on file for all travelers.

Departments that encourage or require one or more students to travel to events and activities covered under this policy are responsible for verifying that students are aware of this policy.

Faculty and staff employees who fail to comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with applicable provisions of the faculty handbook and the staff personnel manual.

Individual students who violate this policy and the safe travel rules approved by the university are subject to disciplinary action, to include suspension. Student organizations that violate this policy and the safe travel rules are subject to disciplinary action, to include suspension and loss of funding.