University Policies & Regulations

Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy

The Substance Policy Guide provides information regarding the Rockford University policy on drugs and controlled substances, alcohol use and possession, and smoking on campus.  Although Illinois enacted a new law on January 1, 2020 regarding recreational marijuana use by those over 21 in the state, students must follow federal law on the Rockford University campus.  The possession or use of marijuana is prohibited anywhere on Rockford University’s campus, inclusive of living areas, parking lots, and vehicles.   Medical cannabis use and possession is not permitted on the Rockford University campus.

To comply with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 (DFSCA) and subsequent amendments, students and employees of Rockford University are informed that strictly enforced policies are in place which prohibit the possession, use or distribution of any illicit drugs, including alcohol, on University property or as part of any University-sponsored activity unless event-specific permission is given for of-age students to consume alcohol moderately. Students and employees are also subject to all applicable legal sanctions under local, state and federal law for any offenses involving illicit drugs on University property or at University-sponsored activities.

Rockford University affirms that illegal drug use is unlawful and harmful. The use of illegal drugs and alcohol abuse by students and employees could result in cognitive deficits, loss of productivity, and other health risks. These risks include an increased risk of accidents, which may result in death or permanent injury. Free, confidential counseling for alcohol and other drug abuse issues is available to students and employees through University counseling services (for students) and the employee assistance program (for employees). Other resources may include assessment, individual counseling, educational programs, materials, and referral and case management through community agencies, all of which might include a fee.

Students exhibiting signs of excessive alcohol consumption will be transported via Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at the student’s expense for medical attention. Refusal to cooperate with EMS personnel may result in arrest by local police in order to ensure the student’s health and safety and/or a conduct complaint for disorderly conduct and/or failure to comply.

  1. Parental Notification Policy

 Rockford University is concerned about students who improperly use alcohol and other drugs and the effects such use may have on their health, academic success, interpersonal relationships and, ultimately, their future.

The Rockford University alcohol policy expressly forbids possession and/or consumption of alcohol by students, employees or guests who are under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years. Possession of drug paraphernalia and the use, manufacture, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs, whether on or off campus, by any student is also prohibited. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (or designee) reserves the right to notify the parents/guardians of students under 21 years of age, and the parents/guardians of dependent students, regardless of age, of any incident in which the student is found responsible for violating the University alcohol and drug policy.

  1. Alcohol Policy

 The following sections describe University policy regarding the sale, service, distribution, and consumption of alcoholic beverages on University property or at University-sponsored events in accordance with federal, state and local laws.

Alcohol General Guidelines

  • The laws of the State of Illinois pertaining to the possession and use of alcoholic beverages will be followed. Therefore, only students who are 21 years of age or older are able to possess and consume alcohol in the privacy of their own residence hall room unless they reside in Dayton Hall or Svenson Hall.
  • At no time will alcohol be permitted in Dayton Hall or Svenson Hall.
  • Students who are of legal drinking age (21 years or older) may not share or provide alcohol to any students, employees, or guests who are under 21 years of age (minors).
  • Students under the age of 21 (minors) are not permitted to possess, consume, or be in the presence of alcohol anywhere on University property or at University-sponsored events (e.g. SGA trips, etc.)
    • Individuals of legal drinking age and have a minor as a roommate may not consume alcohol if their roommate is present.
  • Using, possessing, or distributing alcoholic beverages other than beer, wine, wine coolers, malt beverages (such as ciders, hard lemonades) are prohibited. All distilled spirits are prohibited.
  • Possessing an open container of alcohol or consuming alcohol in a common area is prohibited. Common areas include, but are not limited to hallways, lounges, elevators, lobbies or outdoor spaces (e.g. parking lots, golf disc course, tennis courts, etc.).
  • Alcohol containers, full or empty, are not allowed in the rooms of minors.
  • If anyone is found to be in violation of the alcohol policy, all alcohol will be confiscated and emptied.
  • Any student, organization, or group owing their existence to Rockford University, whether officially or unofficially, formally or informally, may not use organizational funds to purchase alcoholic beverages.
  • Possession of kegs, tappers and/or party balls (empty or full) is prohibited. Such items will be confiscated and not returned.
  • Common source mixtures of alcohol and juice, Kool-Aid, or other mixes (Jungle Juice, etc.) are not permitted because of the potential danger of unknown alcohol content or presence of other substances.
  • Excessive drinking paraphernalia (funnels/beer bongs) are prohibited and the equipment will be confiscated and not be returned.
  • Students of legal drinking age are expected to behave responsibly when consuming alcohol. Any loud or disruptive behavior or disorderly conduct associated with alcohol consumption will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the violation of that specific policy.
  • Violations of the alcohol policy (and all other policy violations) are cumulative through a student’s Rockford University’s educational career.

Examples of Violations of the College Alcohol Policy

  • Purchasing alcohol by a person under the age of 21.
  • Selling or providing alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
  • Possessing either full or empty alcohol containers by a person under the age of 21.
  • Consuming alcohol by a person under the age of 21.
  • Legally aged students hosting a gathering/party with minors present, consuming, or possessing alcohol.
  • Showing physical or mental impairment following or resulting from alcohol use.
  • Minors possessing empty alcohol containers for decorative purposes.
  • Using or possessing common sources of alcohol including, but not limited to kegs, party balls, punch bowls,
  • Possessing an open container of alcohol in a common area including, but not limited to hallways, lounges, elevators, lobbies or outdoor spaces.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol.

As stated in the Code of Student Conduct, page 12), “failure to comply with the reasonable directives of University officials or law enforcement officers during the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so”, is considered unacceptable behavior for a college student. An example of such behavior includes refusing to submit to a breath test when requested by a police officer, whether on or off-campus, which is considered a violation of the university Code of Student Conduct and may result in conduct sanctions.

A partial list of University alcohol policy violations and their subsequent sanctions is listed below. Sanctions are dependent upon a number of factors including, but not limited to: hearing officer discretion, the nature and severity of the incident, a student’s cumulative conduct history and a student’s cooperation throughout the conduct process.

  1. First Offense—Possible sanctions and institutional actions include, but are not limited to:
  • Participation in an alcohol education activity at the student’s expense and as determined by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (or designee);
  • Authorship of a research/reflection essay;
  • Monetary fine.
  • Notification of parents/guardians of dependent students and those under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years; and/or
  • Reprimand up through suspension or expulsion from housing and/or the University;
  • Other sanctions as determined by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (or designee).


  1. Second Offense— Possible sanctions and institutional actions include, but are not limited to:
  • Monetary fine.
  • Mandated substance abuse assessment by an approved agency (at student’s expense) and required compliance with the assessing counselor’s evaluation;
  • Authorship of a research/reflection essay;
  • Notification of parents/guardians of dependent students and those under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years; and/or
  • Reprimand up through suspension or expulsion from University housing and/or the College;
  • Other sanctions as determined by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (or designee).
  1. Third and Subsequent Offenses— Possible sanctions and institutional actions include, but are not limited to:
  • Fines ranging from $100 to $300.
  • Suspension or expulsion from University housing and/or the University;
  • Notification of parents/guardians of dependent students or those under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years; and/or
  • Other sanctions as determined by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (or designee).
  1. Illegal Drug Policy

 Rockford University enforces drug policies consistent with state and federal statutes and has declared a drug-free workplace at all locations at which the University conducts business. Students, faculty, and staff are prohibited from the use, possession, manufacturing, sale or distribution of any illegal controlled substance. The use and possession of drug paraphernalia, including but not limited to blow tubes, rolling paper, pipes, etc., is also prohibited.

The following sections describe Rockford University’s policy regarding the sale, manufacture, distribution, possession and use of illegal drugs on or off University property or at University-sponsored events or programs in accordance with federal, state and local laws. Examples of violations include:

  • Misuse of over-the-counter drugs.
  • Misuse or sharing of prescription drugs.
  • Possessing, using, distributing, or manufacturing any form of illegal drug.
  • Possessing paraphernalia (i.e., rolling papers, pipes, bongs, etc.) for intended or implied use of any form of illegal drug.
  • Possessing paraphernalia that contains or appears to contain illegal drug residue.
  • Purchasing or passing illegal drugs from one person to another.
  • Using mail services to purchase, pass, or distribute illegal drugs.

In addition to University imposed sanctions, students and employees are subject to all legal sanctions under federal, state and local law for any offenses involving illegal drugs on University property or at University activities.  The University reserves the right to pursue criminal action against the offending student(s)According to state statutes, penalties for the delivery of controlled substances are increased if conducted on school grounds or within 1,000 feet of school grounds (720 ILCS 550/4, Section 5).

Under Illinois State Statute, no marijuana, illegal controlled substances or look-alikes, or any drug paraphernalia associated with its use, are allowed inside schools or within 1,000 feet of school grounds, unless used for demonstration purposes by law enforcement personnel.

“School” is defined as any public or private elementary or secondary school, community college, college, or university.

The sanctions listed below do not represent an all-inclusive list. Based on the severity of the violation, the level of the student’s cooperation with staff members during the incident, the disciplinary history of the student, and/or any other factors, any sanctions, any combination thereof, or any additional sanctions may be instituted, as deemed appropriate by the disciplinary hearing officer. Student Life works in conjunction with other areas on campus, such as Athletics, who also reserve the right to respond to disciplinary situations with their own processes and additional sanctions. Please note that other policies violated in conjunction with a controlled substance violation may result in additional sanctions.

Violations of the University Illegal Drug Policy

A partial list of University drug policy violations and their subsequent sanctions is listed below.

  1. Manufacture, Sale or Distribution of Illegal Drugs:


First Offense—Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to:

  • $200.00 fine
  • University Housing Removal
  • Expulsion from the University
  • Notification of law enforcement authorities
  • Notification of parents/guardians of students under 21 years of age and older dependent students; and/or
  • Other sanctions as determined by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (or designee)

2.  For the Possession or Use of Drug Paraphernalia, Synthetic Substances and/or Illegal Drugs: Drug paraphernalia (e.g. bongs, pipes, etc.), illegal drugs, and synthetic substances (e.g. K2, Spice) whose common purpose is to     replicate the effects of illegal substances are prohibited on campus.

 First Offense—Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to:

  • $200.00 Fine
  • Suspension from the University for a period of not less than the remainder of the term in which the infraction occurred
  • Suspension or expulsion from University housing;
  • Participation in a drug education activity, at the student’s expense and as determined by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (or designee)
  • Mandated substance abuse assessment by an approved agency (at student’s expense) and required compliance with the assessing counselor’s evaluation
  • Authorship of a research/reflection essay
  • Notification of law enforcement authorities
  • Notification of parents/guardians of students under 21 years of age and older dependent students; and/or
  • Other sanctions as determined by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (or designee)


  1. Second Offense— Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to:
  • Expulsion from the University
  • Notification of law enforcement authorities; and/or
  • Notification of parents/guardians of students under 21 years of age and older dependent students; and/or
  • Other sanctions as determined by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students (or designee)



Rockford University’s primary concern is the health and safety of its students. RU is aware that students are sometimes reluctant to seek medical attention in alcohol- and drug-related emergencies, out of fear that they may face sanctions related to possessing or consuming alcohol and drugs. Because these emergencies are potentially life-threatening, RU wants to do what it can to reduce barriers that prevent students from seeking assistance.

  • For Victims

The University provides amnesty to victims who may be hesitant to report to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of minor policy violations, such as underage drinking, at the time of the incident. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.

  • For Those Who Offer Assistance

To encourage students to offer help and assistance to others, the University pursues a policy of amnesty for minor violations when students offer help to others in need. At the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students amnesty may also be extended on a case-by-case basis to the person receiving assistance. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.

  • For Those Who Report Serious Violations

Students who are engaged in minor violations but who choose to bring related serious violations by others to the attention of the University are offered amnesty for their minor violations. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or record will result.


Abuse of amnesty requests can result in a decision by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students not to extend amnesty to the same person repeatedly.

Safe Harbor

The University has a Safe Harbor rule for students. The University believes that students who have a drug and/or addiction problem deserve help. If any University student brings their own use, addiction or dependency to the attention of University officials outside the threat of drug tests or imposition of the conduct process and seeks assistance, a conduct complaint will not be pursued. A written action plan may be used to track cooperation with the Safe Harbor program by the student.  Failure to follow the action plan will nullify Safe Harbor protection and the campus conduct process will be initiated.

  1. Legal Sanctions – State and Federal Laws

 In Illinois, it is against the law to sell or deliver alcohol to anyone under 21 (twenty-one), or to any intoxicated person [235 ILCS 5/6-16]. Violations can result in fines of up to $1,000 and one year in jail.

It is also illegal for a person under 21 to present false identification in an attempt to purchase alcohol, to purchase, accept delivery or have possession of alcohol, or to consume alcohol. [235 ILCS 5/6-20] Violation of the law is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison.

Recent legislation signed by the Governor provides further penalties: (1) The Secretary of State is authorized to suspend or revoke without a hearing the driver’s license or instruction permit of a person under 21 who has purchased or attempted to purchase alcohol from a duly licensed establishment or who has consumed alcohol on licensed premises.  (2) Local liquor commissioners have the duty to report to the Secretary of State any conviction for a violation of the Liquor Control Act, or a similar provision of a local ordinance, prohibiting a person under 21 from purchasing, accepting, possessing, or consuming alcohol and prohibiting the transfer or alteration of identification cards, the use of the identification card of another or a false or forged identification card, or the use of false information to obtain an identification card. (3) The Secretary of State is authorized to suspend or revoke the driver’s license or learner’s permit of any person convicted of violating any of the prohibitions listed above in “(2)” or similar provisions of local ordinances.

Substantial penalties exist in Illinois for the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 or greater. Arrests are also possible at lower alcohol levels if driving is impaired. The first offense can result in a $1,000 fine, incarceration for up to one year, and suspension or revocation of the offender’s driver’s license. Subsequent offenses entail penalties of significantly greater severity. Transporting open alcohol containers in a motor vehicle is also punishable under Illinois law.

Possession and delivery of illicit drugs are prohibited in Illinois through the Cannabis Control Act [740 ILCS 40/0.01 et seq.] and the Controlled Substances Act [720 ILCS 570/100 et seq. and 720 ILCS 570/401 et seq.]. Penalties vary with the amount of the drug confiscated; the type of drug found; the number of previous offenses by the individual; and whether the individual intended to manufacture, sell, or use the drug. A first-time conviction of possession of a controlled substance can result in a one- to three-year prison sentence, plus a fine of up to $15,000. More severe penalties may be imposed for conviction of class 2, 3, or 4 felonies involving manufacture or delivery to a minor.

Vehicles used with knowledge of the owner in the commission of any offense prohibited by the Cannabis Control Act or Controlled Substances Act can be seized by the government; all ownership rights are forfeited.

For further information on Criminal Offenses under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 IL C S 570/), visit the Illinois General Assembly website at

Federal Law

Under the revised federal sentencing guidelines, federal courts can sentence simple-possession first offenders to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Penalties for subsequent convictions are significantly greater [21 U.S.C. 844(a)]. A sentence of life imprisonment can result from a conviction for possession of a controlled substance that results in death or bodily injury. Possession of more than five grams of cocaine can trigger an intent-to-distribute penalty of ten to sixteen years in prison [U.S.S.G.S. 2D2.1(b)(1)].

Information Regarding the Impact of Alcohol and Other Drug Use

Risks of Alcohol Use

The following is a partial list of the adverse effects of alcohol use on the individual and society arranged by source.

The Truth about Alcohol: Tips for Teens (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2003)

  1. Alcohol affects your brain.

Drinking alcohol leads to a loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and even blackouts.

  1. Alcohol affects your body.

Alcohol can damage every organ in your body. It is absorbed directly into your bloodstream and can increase your risk for a variety of life-threatening diseases, including cancer.


  1. Alcohol affects your self-control.

Alcohol depresses your central nervous system, lowers your inhibitions, and impairs your judgment. Drinking can lead to risky behaviors, including having unprotected sex. This may expose you to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases or cause unwanted pregnancy.

  1. Alcohol can kill you.

Drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to coma or even death. Also, in 1998, 35% of traffic deaths of 15- to 20-year-olds were alcohol-related.

From Top Ten Myths About Alcohol (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: National Institutes of Health)

  1. Can you hold your liquor? That is not a good thing. If you have to drink increasingly larger amounts of alcohol to get a “buzz” or get “high”, you are developing tolerance. This increases your vulnerability to many serious problems, including alcoholism.


  1. One in three 18- to 24-year-olds admitted to emergency rooms for serious injuries are intoxicated. And alcohol is also associated with homicides, suicides, and drownings.


The Naked Truth: Alcohol and Your Body (

  1. The amount of alcohol it takes to make you pass out is dangerously close to the amount of alcohol it takes to kill you.


  1. A hangover is caused partly by the body’s being poisoned by alcohol and partly by the body’s reaction to withdrawal from alcohol.


Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol with Medicines (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)

  1. Some medicines that you might never have suspected can react with alcohol, including many medications that can be purchased ‘over-the-counter’—that is, without a prescription. Even some herbal remedies can have harmful effects when combined with alcohol.
  2. Mixing alcohol with certain medications [both prescription and over-the-counter] can cause nausea and vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting, or loss of coordination. It can also put you at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulties in breathing. In addition to these dangers, alcohol can make a medication less effective or even useless, or it may make the medication harmful or toxic to your body.


  1. Alcohol and medicines can interact harmfully even if they are not taken at the same time.


  1. Medications are safe and effective when used appropriately. Your pharmacist or other health care provider can help you determine which medications interact harmfully with alcohol.


Facts About Women and Alcohol (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  1. Women are more susceptible to the influence of alcohol just prior to or during their menstrual cycle than at other times during their cycle.


  1. On average, a woman weighing 120 pounds requires 2.5 hours to metabolize one [standard] drink.


  1. The course of alcohol addiction progresses at a faster rate among women than men.


Risks of Drug Use

The following is a partial list of the adverse effects of drug use on the individual and society arranged by source.

Marijuana…It Can Leave You Breathless! (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  1. Marijuana contains over 400 different chemicals including THC.


  1. “THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, remains in the fat cells of the body from 14 – 30 days.”


  1. Marijuana use…


  1. Slows reaction time;
  2. Impairs thinking;
  3. Interferes with Coordination;
  4. Impairs comprehension skills;
  5. Impairs mathematical skills;
  6. Impairs reading skills;
  7. Impairs verbal skills; and
  8. Can lead to psychological dependency.


  1. Long term, regular use of marijuana can have a permanent, negative effect on attention span, concentration, memory, judgment and logical thought.


  1. Smoking one marijuana cigarette is as harmful to the lungs as smoking approximately 4 – 5 regular cigarettes. Smoking both greatly increases the risk of developing emphysema, cancer and other lung diseases.


  1. Regular use of marijuana can affect fertility in males as it can suppress testosterone production.


Drugs & Pregnancy…No Way to Start a Life! and Drug Abuse & Pregnancy (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  1. The use of marijuana during pregnancy may result in low birth weight and smaller length and head circumference in babies.


  1. Babies whose mothers smoked marijuana during pregnancy may have vision problems and shorter attention spans. Also, THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes the ‘high,’ accumulates in the mother’s milk and transfers to nursing infants where is could cause harm to the baby’s development.


  1. The use of cocaine during pregnancy increases the risk of hemorrhage and premature delivery. Chronic use of cocaine causes increased risk of spontaneous abortion.


  1. Nursing babies of cocaine abusers can also receive doses of cocaine through their mother’s milk.


  1. Mental retardation and abnormal facial features have been seen in babies whose mothers used inhalants or solvents in combination with alcohol while they were pregnant.


  1. The use of solvents during pregnancy has also been linked to central nervous system defects in newborns.


  1. Heroin use during pregnancy increases the likelihood of stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and babies born to opiate-addicted mothers experience withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, tremulousness [tremors], sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, high-pitched crying, frantic fist sucking and seizures.


Inhalants…Deadly Fumes! (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  1. Products such as spray paint, glues, felt-tip markers, typewriter correction fluid, poppers and RUSH are considered inhalants.


  1. The immediate effects of sniffing inhalants are disorientation, confusion, feelings of drunkenness, possible hallucinations, incoherence and loss of memory.


  1. Sniffing inhalants can cause unpredictable or violent behavior in some persons. In other cases, it may cause someone to become withdrawn and isolated.


  1. Inhalant abuse can cause permanent brain, liver, heart and lung damage.


Amphetamines…A Dead End Street! (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  1. Amphetamines are used to treat some forms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and narcolepsy.
  2. The term amphetamines refers to three related drugs: amphetamine, dextroamphetamine and methamphetamine.
  3. Street names for amphetamines include: speed, white crosses, uppers, and crystal.
  4. Health risks associated with amphetamine use:
  5. Brain damage;
  6. Skin Disorders;
  7. Lung Disease;
  8. Delusions;
  9. Paranoia;
  10. Malnutrition;
  11. Ulcers;
  12. Heart Disease; and


Steroids (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)

  1. Synthetic anabolic steroids are drugs which act like the male hormone, testosterone…Some athletes use steroids to increase their strength, muscle mass, and endurance. While not all athletes use steroids, many weight lifters and body builders do…Also, some non-athletes who want well-defined muscular shape and attractive over-all body appearance use steroids.


  1. A partial list of the adverse side-effects experienced by male users includes:


  1. Enlarged breasts;
  2. Permanent premature hair loss;
  3. Shrinkage of the testicles;
  4. Risk of heart and blood vessel disease; and


  1. partial list of the adverse side-effects experienced by female users includes:
  2. Male-sounding voice;
  3. Growth of permanent facial hair;
  4. Reduction in breast size;
  5. Male-like muscle growth;
  6. Increased sex drive; and
  7. Permanent sterility.


  1. A partial list of the adverse side-effects shared by male and female users includes:


  1. Pimples & skin blemishes;
  2. Inability to release body heat through sweating;
  3. Abnormal blood clotting;
  4. Unusually aggressive behavior;
  5. Violent rages;
  6. High blood pressure;
  7. Liver dysfunction;
  8. Depression and frustration;
  9. Drug dependency; and
  10. Liver cancer.

Concealed Carry Policy

Rockford University is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for the RU community and its guests. In support of this commitment, RU establishes restrictions on the ability to carry firearms or weapons on the RU campus in accordance with the Board of Trustees’ authority to promulgate rules and regulations and the 2013 Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66).

This Policy applies to all employees, students, persons conducting business, or individuals visiting the RU campus, as “Campus” is defined in this policy. Visitors include, but are not limited to, prospective students, former students and their respective families, and patrons of various programs.

Prohibited Activities

  1. a) Weapons or Firearms

Rockford University maintains a Weapons and Firearms-Free Campus. “Campus” includes, but is not limited to, the Rockford University campus and sites, whether owned, leased or controlled by RU, where and when RU programs, activities and classes are held. No person covered by this policy, unless authorized by law or specifically exempted by federal or state law or RU regulation, is authorized to possess a weapon or firearm while engaged in RU-related business or activities.

It is the Policy of Rockford University to prohibit:

  1. i) Any person covered by this Policy from possessing a weapon or firearm on property owned, leased or controlled by RU, even if that person has a valid federal or state license to possess a weapon or firearm.
  2. ii) Any person covered by this Policy from displaying, brandishing, discharging or otherwise using any and all.Other Prohibited Activities

It is the Policy of Rockford University to prohibit all persons covered by this Policy from making threats, bullying, intimidating or engaging in acts of violence. Such behavior or actions will not be tolerated and may result in discipline, up to and including but not limited to, immediate removal, expulsion, and/or banishment from Campus and sites, whether owned, leased or controlled by RU, where and when RU programs, activities and classes are held.


i) The provisions of this Policy do not apply to the possession of weapons or firearms in RU vehicles, RU buildings, on RU grounds, or at any RU-sponsored activity if the possession of weapons or firearms is related to one of the following exceptions:

(1) The weapon or firearm is used in connection with a weapons safety course or weapons education course offered in the regular course of business or approved and authorized by RU.

(2) The weapon or firearm is carried by a on duty law enforcement officer required to carry a weapon or firearm as a condition of his or her employment; the weapon or firearm is carried by an enforcement officer from an external agency conducting official business at RU; or any other exception is deemed necessary as determined by the RU Chief of Police.

(3) The weapon or firearm is used in connection with sanctioned classes, athletics, or recreational sports practices, games, matches, tournaments or events on Campus when the activity requires the use of such weapons or firearms (e.g., fencing, starter pistols and archery).

(4) The use of simulated weapons or firearms in connection with RU-related theatrical productions.

ii) The exceptions to the prohibitions of concealed carry do not apply to off-duty law enforcement officers on Campus, including off duty law enforcement officers attending classes as students.

Locations at Which Policy Applies
For purposes of this Policy, “property of Rockford University” includes any vehicle, building, classroom, laboratory, medical clinic, hospital, artistic venue, or entertainment venue whether owned, leased or operated by Rockford University, and any real property, including parking areas, sidewalks and common areas under the control of Rockford University.

This Policy also applies to all University-related organization property whether leased or owned by Rockford University, and all Rockford University- officially-recognized organization property whether leased or owned by Rockford University.

Signs, in accordance with the design approved by the Illinois State Police, will be clearly and conspicuously posted signs at all building and restricted parking area entrances stating that concealed firearms are prohibited.  The Division of Business Affairs, in consultation with other relevant divisions of RU and executive management, shall be responsible for the placement and maintenance of signage at building and restricted parking area entrances where vehicles containing weapons or firearms are prohibited.


A weapon or firearm may be transported into an unrestricted parking area within a vehicle if the weapon or firearm and its ammunition remain locked in a case out of plain view within the parked vehicle. Certain parking areas on Campus may be designated as areas where weapons and firearms are not permitted. “Case” is defined as a glove compartment or console that completely encases the weapon or firearm and its ammunition, the trunk of the vehicle, or a weapon or firearm carrying box, shipping box or other container. The weapon or firearm may only be removed for the limited purpose of storage or retrieval from within the trunk of the vehicle. A weapon or firearm must first be unloaded before removal from the vehicle.

Storage and Confiscation of Weapons or Firearms


i) The primary place of storage for a weapon or firearm is within a locked case out of plain view within a parked vehicle in an unrestricted parking area. When storage of a weapon or firearm in a vehicle is not practical, the weapon or firearm may also be stored with the Rockford University Police & Department of Public Safety. Prior arrangements should be made with Rockford University Police & Department of Public Safety when using its storage services, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

ii) All persons arriving on the RU campus with a licensed weapon or firearm who cannot store their weapon or firearm in their vehicle must proceed immediately to the dispatch facility of the Rockford University Police & Department of Public Safety to temporarily secure their weapon or firearm. Individuals are required to present their valid concealed carry license, their valid state Firearm Owners Identification card, and their valid state-issued driver’s license or state ID, in order to check in and check out weapons or firearms. Weapons or firearms shall be checked out immediately prior to leaving the RU campus.

iii) All persons who seek storage of a licensed weapon or firearm at any other RU location must make prior arrangements with the Rockford University Police & Department of Public Safety.



a) Any individual visiting or conducting business on the property of RU found to have carried a weapon or firearm onto the property of RU knowingly, or under circumstances in which the person should have known that he or she was in possession of a weapon or firearm, may be banned from the RU Campus.

b) Any student found to have carried a weapon or firearm onto the property of RU knowingly, or found to be carrying a weapon under circumstances in which the student should have known that he or she was in possession of a weapon or firearm, may be subject to discipline up to and including, but not limited to, expulsion from RU.

c) Any employee found to have carried a weapon or firearm onto the property of RU knowingly, or found to be carrying a weapon or firearm under circumstances in which the employee should have known that he or she was in possession of a weapon or firearm, may be subject to discipline up to and including, but not limited to, immediate termination of employment, subject to such other employment rules or regulations in place.

d) Any individual found to have carried a weapon or firearm onto the property of RU knowingly, or found to be carrying a weapon or firearm under circumstances in which the individual should have known that he or she was in possession of a weapon or firearm, may be subject to administrative action by RU and possible arrest and prosecution. Violations of this Policy may result in referrals to external law enforcement agencies.

Copyright Infringement and File Sharing

It is a violation of federal law and Rockford University Policy to share and/or distribute copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder. Action taken by the University to remedy a violation does not preclude the copyright holder from seeking civil and/or criminal prosecution for copyright infringement. The law specifies civil liability of litigation costs, attorney fees, and actual damages, or statutory damages of $750 to $30,000 for each work infringed, and, under certain circumstances, criminal penalties up to $250,000, and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years (17 U.S.C. 501-511; 18 U.S.C. 2319). In addition, those who assist another with infringement of copyright material may be held liable under a legal doctrine known as “contributory infringement” (Sony Corp. v. Universal Studios, 464 U.S. 417, 435, 104 S.Ct. 774, 785, 78 L.Ed.2d 574 (1984)).

Disclosure of Arrests

University campuses are not immune from the dangers faced elsewhere in society. It has become increasingly important that schools take reasonable steps to help protect the safety of the members of their communities. One such step now being taken by many colleges and universities is a requirement that their students promptly report any arrests involving them. At Rockford University, students must report within three days any criminal process that has begun for them (whether by means of detention, court summons, citation, or other similar process) no matter where the incident occurs. This requirement applies to any criminal process resulting from:

  • felony charges of any nature
  • charges for offenses involving violence or the threat of violence or serious harm to other people.

Examples include, but are not limited to

  • assault/battery
  • sexual assault/battery
  • stalking
  • resisting arrest
  • driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • reckless driving resulting in injury.

If unsure whether a particular arrest is covered under this policy, disclose. Failure to report a criminal process covered by this policy may result in charges under the Student Code of Conduct.

Free Speech Policy

Rockford University supports every individual’s right to freedom of expression consistent with the forum (area of campus) in which the expression is made.  RU also recognizes the importance of fostering a culture of tolerance and civility that is a cornerstone for the accomplishment of its educational goals.

Within the classroom, visual and/or aural demonstrations, depictions or conduct that may be offensive to an individual will not be restricted when there is a legitimate pedagogical context, such as material having an appropriate connection to course subject matter. Similarly, campus discourse on topics of political, artistic or social issues that are conducted consistent with the nature of the forum and reasonable institutional limitations (registration to use space, time, place and manner regulations, etc.) that are clear and unambiguous will be supported.

Expression that is severe, persistent, and objectively offensive, that is directed toward an individual based upon that individual’s protected status (e.g., sex/gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability or age) and has the effect of limiting or denying educational or employment access, benefits, and/or opportunities is not a protected form of speech or expression, and can form the basis of a violation of campus harassment, bullying or discrimination policies.  Other limitations on free speech include: endangering someone or threatening them; inciting violence; using “fighting words” directed at an individual or group that directly provoke violence; defamation; obscenity; and expression that has a discriminatory effect such that it limits or denies someone’s educational or employment access, benefits and/or opportunities.

Gambling Policy

Students are expected to abide by the federal laws and the laws of Illinois prohibiting illegal gambling, including online gaming. Gambling for money or other things of value on campus or at University-sponsored activities is prohibited except as permitted by law. Such prohibited activity includes, but is not limited to: betting on, wagering on, or selling pools on any University athletic event; possessing on one’s person or premises (e.g., room, residence unit, car) any card, book or other device for registering bets; knowingly permitting the use of one’s premises or one’s phone or other electronic communications device for illegal gambling; knowingly receiving or delivering a letter, package or parcel related to illegal gambling; offering, soliciting or accepting a bribe to influence the outcome of an athletic event; and involvement in bookmaking or wagering pools with respect to athletic events.

Guest Speaker Policy

It is the policy of the campus to foster a spirit of free inquiry and to encourage the timely discussion of the broad range of issues that concern our community, provided that the views expressed are stated openly and are subject to critical evaluation.

  1. Student Organization Responsibilities

An institutionally recognized student organization may invite guest speakers to the campus, subject to the following provisions:

  1. Sponsorship must be by an institutionally recognized student organization.
  2. Proper arrangements for the use of University facilities must be made, consistent with institutional policy.
  3. It must be clear that the student organization, not the University, is extending the invitation and that any views the speaker may express are his or her own and not those of the University.
  4. The student organization must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the meeting is conducted in an orderly manner. This may necessitate consultation with Rockford University Police and/or hiring of outside security.
  5. The student organization must comply with any and all conditions for the orderly and scholarly conduct of the meeting.

Hazing Policy

All acts of hazing, as defined by this policy, by any individual student, or sanctioned or promoted by any University registered student club or organization and any of its members or alumni, are prohibited. Students are entitled to be treated with consideration and respect, and no individual may perform an act that is likely to cause physical or psychological harm to any other person within the University community. Accordingly, any such behavior is expressly forbidden when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity.

Any student or organization found to be involved in any hazing activity will face conduct action and may be subjected to suspension or expulsion from the University. A violation of this policy may exist irrespective of any alleged voluntary or consensual participation in the activity by the person(s) being abused.

Additionally, the State of Illinois has a hazing law which prohibits hazing (720 ILCS /12C-50).  Hazing is a Class A misdemeanor, except hazing that results in death or great bodily harm is a Class 4 felony.

Information Technology Use

Rockford University Information Technology (IT) supports the academic mission of the University by providing access to technology resources, facilities and information essential to teaching, learning, research and general scholarship. The IT Department office is located in the lower level of the Howard Colman Library and is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure, facilities and resources of the campus network, computing labs and technology services. Thus, IT policies must promote access while preserving resources.

Appropriate Use of Information Technology

As information technology continues to play an increasing important role in education and the world in general, it is essential that Rockford University students, faculty and staff have open access to information and training in information skills in order to participate in the electronic global community. Open access to Rockford University’s information technology requires an intellectual environment based on mutual respect and trust, information sharing, collaboration with peers, the free inquiry and expression of ideas, and a secure information infrastructure maintained by the University.

The health and well-being of such an environment is the responsibility of each member of the Rockford University community. All members are expected to behave in a responsible, ethical and legal manner regarding the use of Rockford University’s information technology. In order to insure such an environment, this policy summary defines the rights and responsibilities of individual members. By using Rockford University’s information technology, a member of the Rockford University community gives implicit consent to abide by these policies.

Technology resources housed in classrooms, computing labs, study spaces and work areas are in high demand, and like any shared resource, must serve the campus community. Workstations should be used with consideration; belongings should be removed even when temporarily leaving the workstation area. Due to the vulnerability and the value of both print and technology resources in public areas and classrooms, we expect users to act responsible when consuming food and drink and disposing of the trash.

Rights of Members of the Rockford University Electronic Community

  1. Fair and reasonable access. Open access to information is a precaution to one’s personal and professional development and sense of community at Rockford University. Access to information, however, must be qualified by other people’s right to privacy and their intellectual property rights.
  2. 2. Security. Members have the right to expect reasonable security against intrusion and damage to their electronically stored information.
  3. 3. Freedom from harassment. Members have the right to pursue their University work without harassment by another’s computer and network usage.


Responsibilities of Members

  1. Respect for the rights of other users. The standards of common sense, decency and courtesy that apply to the use of any shared resource apply to the use of Rockford University’s information technology. Information technology should be used carefully with consideration for the needs of others. Anyone who uses these services to harass, intimidate or threaten another will be referred to the appropriate University authority.
  2. Respect for the privacy of other users’ information, even when that information is not securely protected. Information stored electronically is considered confidential unless the owner intentionally makes that information available to other groups or individuals. Personal information should not be looked at, copied, altered, destroyed without the owner’s explicit permission, unless authorized to do so by University authority or required by law.
  3. Respect for the authorized and intended use of information technology. Members must utilize only those information services that they have been authorized to use and only for University-related purposes. Prohibited activities include editorializing or partisan lobbying unless such issue-related lobbying is approved by the university administration, activities jeopardizing the University’s tax-exempt status, and activities for personal financial gain in connection with outside (non-university) consulting, business or employment.
  4. Respect for the intellectual work of others. Since electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, members are expected to honor the work of others by strict adherence to software licensing agreements and copyright laws.
  5. Respect for the limited resources of the systems. Members are responsible for using information technology prudently, remembering that the members of the community share them. They are expected to refrain from all acts that are damaging, wasteful or hinder others from using them and within current information technology guidelines.
  6. Respect for the security mechanisms and integrity of the systems and networks. Members must not disrupt or threaten Rockford University’s systems. Members are responsible for the use of their accounts and should not share them with others or use others’ accounts.
  7. Respect for the responsibility of personal computer ownership in a networked computing environment. Personal computer owners are responsible for maintaining their computers and keeping them protected with up to date anti-virus software; infected systems may be disconnected from the campus network without notice.

Missing Student Notification Policy

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires any institution participating in a Title IV federal student financial aid program that provides on-campus housing to establish a missing student notification policy and related procedures (20 USC 1092 (j) Section 488 of the Higher Education Act of 2008).

For purposes of this policy, a student may be considered to be a “missing person” if the person has been absent from the University for a period of 24 hours or longer without any known reason.  Additionally, a student may be considered to be a “missing person” if the person’s absence is contrary to his/her usual pattern of behavior and/or unusual circumstances may have caused the absence.  Such circumstances could include, but not be limited to a report or suspicion that the missing person may be the victim of foul play, has expressed suicidal thoughts, where there are concerns for drug and/or alcohol use, is in a life-threatening situation, or has been with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare.

All residential students will be given the opportunity to identify the name and contact number of the individual(s) who are a primary contact to be notified in the event that the resident is reported missing.  In the event the student is under the age of 18 and is not emancipated, the University is required to have the primary emergency contact to be a custodial parent or guardian.  Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation may have access to this contact information.

If a member of the University community has reason to believe that a student is missing, Rockford University Police & Department of Public Safety should immediately be notified (815-226-4060).  Rockford University Police & Department of Public Safety will collect and document the following information at the time of the report:

  1. The name (including contact information) and relationship of the person making the report.
  2. The date, time, and location that the missing student was last seen.
  3. The missing student’s cell phone number (if known by the reporting party).

Upon receipt of a missing student report, the University may use any or all of the following resources to locate the student, including but not limited to:

  1. Go to the student’s residence hall room.
  2. Talk to the student’s RA, roommate (if applicable), and floor mates to see if anyone can confirm the missing student’s whereabouts and/or confirm the date, time, and location the student was last seen.
  3. Secure a current photo of the student through the student ID system and/or from friends.
  4. Call and text the student’s cell phone and any other phone numbers on record.
  5. Send the student an e-mail.
  6. Check all possible on-campus locations mentioned by the reporting party and friends including but not limited to, Colman library, class rooms, campus employment location, residence hall lounges/common spaces, the dining hall, fitness center, etc.
  7. Contact or call other on-campus or off-campus friends or contacts that are made known. This includes checking a student’s social networking site(s) such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  8. Check University parking lots for the student’s vehicle.

If all of the above attempts to locate or establish contact with the missing student are unsuccessful, the University will contact the student’s emergency contacts no later than 24 hours after the student has been determined to be missing.  The University will also file a missing person’s report with the City of Rockford Police Department.

If the student is located and their status and well-being have been verified, the student will be instructed to contact the concerned party and designated emergency contact.

**When a commuter student is believed to be missing, the reporting person should immediately notify local law enforcement authorities.  The University will assist external authorities with the investigation as requested.

Posting Policy

The University supports the freedom to publicize activities and distribute materials by internal or external entities relating to functions on-and off-campus which benefit the University community and are consistent with the University’s values.

Approval must be obtained prior to making use of the residence halls or campus facilities for the sale, promotion, posting or distribution of any type of material. All material must have a sponsor responsible for the material stated directly on each piece and adhere to all policies that apply.

All printed materials posted or distributed on campus by students and guests must receive approval from the Director of the Student Center and Student Activities. Printed materials include flyers, posters, banners, announcements and advertisements.  Bring one sample to the Student Activities Office (Burpee Student Center, first floor) for stamped approval and make copies from that sample. Allow 24 hours turnaround time for approval. 

Additional Approvals/Information

  • The Director of the Student Center and Student Activities (or designee) must approve all promotional material for any and all activities before being posted.
  • Academic and administrative office posters do not need approval from the Director of the Student Center and Student Activities but should be marked with the department and date, i.e., “SAS, November 1, 2017. Do not remove until December 1, 2017.”
  • Materials to be posted in the library must be approved by the library.
  • Materials to be posted on bulletin boards of a particular office or academic department must be approved by the appropriate office manager or department chair.
  • All non-RU health-related materials must be reviewed and approved by staff in Lang Wellness Center before being posted.
  • Approval must be obtained through the Office of Residence Life for postings in the residence halls.
  • Authorization involves a review of the content of the item to be posted as well as instructions on where the item may be posted.
  • Items may not include offensive language, offensive art work, references to alcohol, and/or references to illegal substances.
  • No items may be posted on exterior building surfaces, including doors.
  • Banners and bunting may be hung by Facilities staff with the approval of the Director of Communications or the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students.
  • Posting is NOT permitted on surfaces such as glass (doors or windows), painted walls, paneled walls, sound proofed walls, etc.
  • Posting on trees or other plants is not permitted.
  • Nails and glue must not be used to post items on any surface. Tacks may be used on bulletin boards.
  • No credit card solicitations and/or postings are permitted.
  • No tobacco advertising/postings are permitted.
  • No alcohol advertising/postings are permitted.

Sales/Solicitation/Distribution of Goods and Services

Rockford University allows University-recognized organizations, and organizations not associated with Rockford University, to distribute/solicit goods or services on campus providing prior authorization and approval is obtained. At no time does Rockford University allow credit card solicitations on its campus or directly to its students and at no time does Rockford University allow access to the residence halls for the purpose of selling/offering goods and/or soliciting contributions of any kind.

In cases where authorization and approval have been obtained, distribution/solicitation of goods or services may take place on the second floor of Burpee Center (near the mail desk), Regents Hall, and the lobby of the Clark Arts Center. Exceptions may be obtained for special events such as new student orientation and student organization/club fair.

Approval to distribute/solicit goods or services may be obtained through Scheduling Office or Student Life when organizations/individuals make arrangements for their event.

Questions concerning this policy may be directed to the Student Activities, Student Life or Communications Office.

Service and Emotional Support Animal Policy

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Rockford University seeks to accommodate persons with disabilities requiring the assistance of a qualified service or therapy animal.  Students should make requests regarding service or therapy animals to the Coordinator of Disability Services, Lang Health Center, 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, whether such animal is a reasonable accommodation on campus.  Where it is not readily apparent an animal is a service animal as defined by ADA, or an assistance animal under the FHA, Disability Services may require sufficient documentation to determine whether the animal qualifies.  This process may include additional conversations between Disability Services and the requesting student.

Sex Offender Information

The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, enacted on October 28, 2000, and effective October 28, 2002, requires institutions of higher education to notify the campus community of where the law enforcement agency information provided by the State concerning registered sexual offenders may be obtained.

The Illinois State police compiles sex offender information. The Illinois State Police maintains a website that allows you to search their sex offender database online at To learn the identity of registered sex offenders on or near campus, or anywhere in Illinois, visit the Sex Offender Database. Once there, you can search by city, county, or zip code.

The Act also requires that any person who is required to register as a sex offender in a State to provide notice, as required by State law (730 ILCS 150/), of each institution of higher education in that State at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student; and of each change in enrollment or employment status of such person at an institution of higher education in that State.  Such persons are to provide notice in person to the Rockford University Chief or Police within three (3) days of enrolling at Rockford University, beginning employment at Rockford University, and/or when there is a change in enrollment and/or employment status.


As of January 1, 2008, the Smoke-Free Illinois Act (Public Act 95-0017) protects the public from the harmful effects of exposure to tobacco smoke by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment and within 15 feet of any entrance, exit, windows that open, or ventilation intake of a public place or place of employment.  A public place includes, but is not limited to: educational facilities, schools, dormitories, offices, libraries, restrooms, and elevators.

Effective implementation of the Smoking policy depends upon the courtesy, respect, and cooperation of all members of the Rockford University community. All employees and students share in the responsibility for enforcing the policy.

Violations occurring in the residence halls can be reported to the residence life staff.  Violations occurring in other parts of campus can be reported to the Student Life Office.

Anyone in violation of the Smoke-Free Illinois Act may be subject to the state’s regulation, enforcement and civil penalties.  Individuals can file a complaint by calling the Illinois Department of Public Health’s toll-free complaint line at 866-973-4646 (TTY 800-547-0466, hearing impaired use only) or on-line through this website.

Social Media Policy

Rockford University is an institution that recognizes the importance and impact that social media has on the University in regards to professional and organizational reputations. To assist in how to use social media in a beneficial and appropriate way, Rockford University has developed the following policy to enhance, clarify, and protect any reputations involved when participating in social media platforms.

Social media is designed to easily share and interact in an accessible way. For the purposes of this document, social media includes, but is not limited to, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vine, Merit, Pinterest, etc.

When understanding and looking at how to interact on social media, it is important to confirm that staff, faculty, and students are all following the same behavioral expectations. Employees of the University are liable for anything that they post to any social media platform. The same rules, guidelines, and laws apply when professionally interacting with faculty, students, staff, alumni, parents, media, and the community online as when they are interacting in person.

It is Rockford University policy that all social media presences representing the University are first vetted through the Marketing and Communications Departments for approval. If the presence is approved, training by the Marketing and Communications Departments must take place prior to implementation.



Institutional Social Media

When posting on behalf of the University as an institution, the following policies must be followed:

  • Notify/Contact the University: To request the creation of a social media presence contact via e-mail (
  • Page Administrators: Page administrators are limited to full-time or part-time employees, or graduate assistants of the University. All administrators must be identified to the Marketing and/or Communications Departments. Departments that currently have an active social media presence with student administrators will be grandfathered into this policy.


There must be more than one administrator for each social media page. The name and contact information for each administrator must be shared with the Marketing and Communications Departments.  In the absence of a second administrator, the Rockford University Website Administrator, will serve as a second administrator.


  • Create a plan: Departments that are planning to create a social media presence need to make sure that they consider their audiences, messages that they want conveyed to their audience, their goals, and ultimately their strategy for keeping their site information up to date and current.
  • Promotion of the University: Whenever possible, make sure to add a link to connect people back to the Rockford University Website ( Having the opportunity to link the reader back to the website will directly engage readers with Rockford University as opposed to other website content or pages.
  • Protection of the University’s voice: When posting on social media, the tone of the post should always remain professional as to ensure the protection of the institutional voice. Under no circumstances should one social media platform represent the University as a whole, and this should be considered when naming pages, sites, or accounts, as well as when choosing specific pictures (profile pictures, icons, etc.). These elements should be clearly related/linked back to one specific unit or department rather than the University as a whole.

Examples: Friends of the Performing Arts at RU (; Rockford University Student Activities (

Use of the Rockford University Logo and Decus Seal: Refrain from posting/using the Rockford University logo or Decus on personal websites to represent the institution. The Rockford University logo and Decus represent our entire institution and are the foundation of our visual brand identity. Because our logo is central to our identity, its integrity and value is of upmost importance.  Refer to the University Brand Standards guide located on for the correct way to use the Rockford University logo or Decus.

Student Clubs and Organizations

The policies outlined in Section 1, and the following sections, apply to all student clubs and organizations. The following additions are applicable:

  • Notify/Contact the University: Permission to create a social media presence must be submitted by the advisor of the club or organization.
  • Page Administrators: All advisors must have access to any social media presence that represents a club or organization. Students may also serve as the administrator for these pages. In the absence of a second administrator, the Rockford University Website Administrator,  will serve as a second administrator.


Personal and Professional Social Media Conduct Policies

  • Confidential and Personal Information must be protected: Posting confidential or personal information about Rockford University, the students, staff, employees, or alumni is strictly prohibited. Staff and faculty must follow the federal guidelines and requirements outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Restrictions also stated in the NCAA guidelines must be adhered to. Any guidelines and policies stated by the University regarding confidentiality and privacy must be adhered to.
  • Respect of copyrights and intellectual property: Students and faculty must be mindful when posting intellectual property, copyrights, and other property of the University. Any direct questions of copyright, intellectual property, or fair use can be directed towards Communications and Marketing in Johnson Center.
  • Terms of Service: Students, staff, and faculty or Rockford University must obey the guidelines and Terms of Service of any and all social media platforms used.


Best Practices

This section explains how administrators should conduct themselves when thoughtfully posting on social media when representing the University.

  • Reason: Use reasonable etiquette when posting to social media platforms. This includes being conscious and aware of who your audience is and who can see the content of your page.
  • Monitoring your page: If a network has an area in which feedback can be posted, it must be checked 7 days a week to monitor for profane or inappropriate content. Please note, this does not mean that negative posts should be removed. Allowing feedback – positive and negative – is the allure to these networks.


Should a negative post be shared, please consult with the Marketing or Communications Departments (Director of Communications or Director of Marketing,  on the correct way to respond.

  • Represent yourself: If you identify yourself as a Rockford University student, staff member, or faculty member, on any social media platform make sure that it is clear that your opinions do not necessarily reflect that of the University’s.
  • Responsibility: Always claim responsibility for what you post and strive for accuracy. When posting on behalf of the University on any platform it is important to spell check what you have written before posting and to ensure all information is factual and up to date.
  • Respect: Social media platforms occasionally encourage discussion of ideas or ask for contribution and remember to be courteous in response to any opposing opinions and to uphold the University at all times.
  • Photography rules: Photos on social media sites can easily be taken and used by anyone at any time. If you are concerned about your photos being shared without your permission, consider the option of adding a watermark to photographs to make sure your intellectual property is protected.


Questions about any of the above stated policies should be directed to the Marketing and Communications Department.

Student Leaves - Medical Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal and Emergency Removal/Involuntary Leave of Absence or Withdrawal

The University is dedicated to helping each of its students succeed in the college environment.  The University understands there are factors inside and outside of the University that affect a student’s ability to thrive at the college level.  There may be times a student experiences life situations, medical conditions, or psychological conditions that significantly impact their function to be a successful student.  On-campus counseling services are available for students and referrals may be made to outside services to help students work through tough times.  However, in some instances, time away from the University for treatment and recovery is the best solution to help students regain the necessary functioning to return.

  1. Medical Leaves of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal

Purpose The medical withdrawal policy is designed for students who are unable to complete course work due to medical or psychological illness. Students may withdraw from one or more classes or from the entire schedule due to medical or psychological illness, and receive a grade of “MW” (medical withdraw).

Petition Process To receive a grade of “MW” a student must complete the appropriate petition, available in the Lang Center for Health, Wellness, Counseling and Disability Services. The student must obtain written documentation of medical necessity from the treating physician, psychologist or counselor and present the documentation to the director of the Lang Center. All petitions must be processed prior to the last day of final examinations. Students must complete an application form and obtain signatures from the director of Lang Center and the student administrative services (SAS) office. This information is then provided to the chief academic officer for final approval. After final approval, SAS will record the medical withdrawal as the final grade for the course(s). SAS will notify the professor, advisor and Lang Center that the process has been completed and the grade has been recorded.

Responsibility The student is ultimately responsible for the petition process. When a student is medically disabled and unable to complete the application process, Lang Center will intervene and assist with processing until the student is able to continue on their own.

Rockford University encourages students who must withdraw for medical reasons to resume their course of study as soon as possible. Through the last drop* date, as indicated in the academic calendar, a student who withdraws will have tuition charges** refunded, and all financial aid cancelled for that term.

After the last drop date, a portion of tuition may be reserved in escrow to use in a subsequent semester. The portion of tuition held in escrow depends on when the student withdraws according to the following formula:


If medical withdrawal is approved Action

Prior to the last drop date ……………………………. Tuition charges** taken off and all financial aid is cancelled

Through week four of classes ……………………… 75% of tuition held in escrow

Through week seven of classes …………………… 50% of tuition held in escrow

Through week 10 of classes ……………………….. 25% of tuition held in escrow

After week 10 of classes …………………………….. No tuition will be held in escrow

Tuition held in escrow will be forfeited unless used within one year of the end of the semester in which the student received the medical withdrawal. The student’s financial obligations (i.e., tuition, fees, room and board, etc.) must be paid in full for this policy to apply.

IMPORTANT: 1. The U.S. Department of Education requires the recalculation of aid for any withdrawal (medical or not) prior to completing 60 percent of any term. This may result in some or all federal aid being returned, thus creating a balance on the student’s account. 2. The student must be aware that withdrawing from courses may alter full-time status. A student pursuing a medical withdrawal should consult with student administrative services.

*The drop date is determined by the program in which the student is enrolled. Typically, the last day to drop for traditional undergraduate students is the second Friday of the fall or spring semester. Students should consult the current academic calendar for the specific date. All other program participants should consult with SAS as to the specific dates for their program.

**Charges other than those of tuition (i.e., room, board, fines, lab fees, registration fees, etc.) are neither refunded nor held in escrow

  1. Emergency Removal/Involuntary Student Leave of Absence

This policy outlines how the University will respond in situations where students have engaged in behavior such that the university determines there is a significant risk of substantial harm to members of the campus community. The University will strive to work with such a student to resolve the situation through a voluntary leave of absence or voluntary withdrawal. However, if no voluntary resolution can be reached or if emergency circumstances exist, the University may need to place such a student on involuntary leave or involuntarily withdraw the student from the University.

Conditions which could warrant involuntary leave or involuntary withdrawal:

Involuntary leave or involuntary withdrawal of a student will occur only in situations where the university determines there is a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of a member(s) of the campus community.

The following are some examples of situations that may be covered by this policy. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Threats of damage or harm to other persons;
  • Behavior indicating that the student is not in contact with reality or not aware of the consequences of his/her actions such that there may be a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of a member(s) of the campus community.


The Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students, when made aware of a student’s request for a voluntary leave of absence or withdrawal or of a situation which could warrant involuntary leave or withdrawal, will work with the Lang Health Center staff, the Assistant Dean/Director of Residence Life and other appropriate persons knowledgeable about the student s condition (e.g., parents, healthcare providers) to determine the student’s ability to safely participate in the University’s programs.

The determination that a student poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of a member(s) of the campus community shall be based on an individualized assessment of the student’s present ability to safely function at the university. This assessment shall be based on a reasonable medical judgment that relies on the most current medical knowledge and/or on the best available objective evidence. In determining whether an individual would pose such a risk, the factors to be considered include:

  • the nature, duration and severity of the risk of harm;
  • the likelihood that the potential harm will occur; and
  • Whether reasonable modifications of university policies, practices or procedures will sufficiently mitigate the risk.

If it is determined through the above process that a student’s behavior poses a direct threat to a member(s) of the campus community, the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students or designee may withdraw the student or restrict the student’s access to campus for an interim period before a final determination is made. Every attempt will be made by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students or designee to meet with the student before deciding on an interim withdrawal of the student. If the student is to be withdrawn on an interim basis, the decision will be communicated in writing to the student. A student withdrawn on an interim basis shall be given an opportunity to appear personally before the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students within two school days from the effective date of the interim withdrawal. Notification of an informal meeting with the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students will be communicated to the student in writing and/or orally. The request will include a statement of the reasons for the university’s concern. Appropriate University personnel may be present and/or consulted at this meeting. A parent, spouse or any person who would be of support to the student may, with the consent of the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students and of the student, participate in the informal meeting. At the meeting, the reasons for the University’s concern will be stated and the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the concerns. If, after the meeting, it is determined that the student does not present a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of a member(s) of the campus community, the student will be informed in writing by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students and permitted to continue as a student.

If, after the meeting, the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students, in consultation with appropriate personnel, decides that the student should withdraw from the university, the student shall be informed in writing of the decision and the basis for the decision within five (5) school days of the informal meeting. The student may be required by the University to provide information from a healthcare professional to the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students indicating the student’s ability to continue at or return to the university. The Director of Lang Health will be involved where a student seeks a return to the university


If a student wishes to appeal a decision of the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students the appeal must be made in writing to the Vice President for Student Life within five (5) university working days of the receipt of the decision. (All decisions sent to the student via U.S. Mail will be considered received in three (3) working days.) Following notice to the student, the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students will conduct a meeting with the student, the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students other appropriate University personnel and a representative or family member selected by the student to serve as his/her advisor. In addition, the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students may require the student, at his or her expense, to obtain a psychiatric/medical evaluation from sources external to the University to be presented. The decision of the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students is the University’s final decision.

Student Complaints and Grievances

It is the policy of Rockford University that students should have an accessible process to bring problems or complaints to the attention of the University for review and resolution. To that end, the University has established a process for students, without fear of reprisal, to raise concerns about a program, their learning experience or the services received in situations where a University policy or procedure specific to their concerns is not already in place.

Students are encouraged to discuss their concerns directly with the person(s) and/or office(s) involved to informally resolve the issue. If the issue is not informally resolved, the student should meet with the supervisor of the person(s) and/or office(s) involved. Most issues are resolved when one makes an appointment with a faculty or staff member and calmly and honestly communicates their concerns. If the issue is not resolved, there is a formal complaint process.

Before initiating the formal complaint process, three points must be made about the process.

  1. The complaint process is not applicable to complaints covered by other already-existing University policies and/or actions. These include, but are not limited to: grade appeals, sexual misconduct, student conduct action, etc. When necessary and appropriate, the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students will assist students in identifying the applicable University policies and procedures for reporting and resolving such matters.
  2. At any point in the process, a student filing a complaint will always have the option to withdraw the complaint.
  3. The University strictly prohibits any member of the University community from harassing or retaliating against any student who files a complaint under this policy.

If any student wishes to file a formal complaint, s/he must submit the complaint in writing to the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students. The complaint must contain the following information:

  • Name, phone number, and e-mail address of the person filing the complaint. (Complaints can be submitted anonymously, however, unless you include your contact information, the University will be unable to investigate your complaint or follow up with you regarding the subject matter).
  • The name(s) of the individual(s) or office against which the grievance is being alleged.
  • A detailed description of the action warranting the grievance (to include how the student has been harmed or treated unfairly) and what the student believes would be a fair and equitable resolution.
  • The date or period of time that the action occurred.
  • A list of any other people who were either involved or witnessed the action.
  • A description of what steps have been taken up to now to resolve the issue.
  • Sign and date the complaint.

Upon receipt of a written formal complaint by a student, the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students shall refer the complaint for investigation and resolution to the appropriate academic or administrative official (typically, a Dean, Director, or Associate Vice President, or another designated appropriate administrator). Within 5 business days of receiving the formal complaint, the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students will provide the student with a status report in which the student is informed who the complaint has been referred to for investigation or why the complaint was dismissed and not referred for investigation. Formal complaints will be investigated and resolved in 20 business days from the date of referral. If the investigation exceeds 20 business days, the student will be notified in writing of the delay and informed of the anticipated completion date. The designated investigator will provide both the student and the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students with written notice of the final disposition.

A copy of the complaint and a summary of the process and resolution of the complaint will be kept in the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students Office for a period of eight (8) years from the date of the final resolution of the complaint.

If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the student complaint/grievance process, the student may file a complaint with the Illinois Board of Higher Education using their institutional Complaint System located at

If the complaint concerns the institution’s compliance with academic programs, academic quality and/or accrediting standards, students may submit a complaint to the Higher Learning Commission, Rockford University’s accrediting agency, at

Student Demonstrations

Under the guarantees established by the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the University recognizes the right of students to freedom of expression within the limitations of local, state, and federal law as well as the rules and regulations of the University.  As part of our democratic tradition, students are encouraged to study social issues and express their convictions as responsible citizens.  Any demonstrations must be conducted in an orderly manner and must observe the following limitations:

  • They shall not constrain vehicular or pedestrian traffic, nor interrupt class schedules, meetings, ceremonies or generally the educational process of the University.
  • They shall not be held within University buildings or athletic facilities while University functions are in progress.
  • They shall not be allowed in the private residential areas of campus.
  • They shall not use obscene language or actions.

A student who violates any of these regulations can be disciplined, possibly suspended.  If several members of one organization violate these regulations, disciplinary action may also be taken against the organization.  To alleviate any possible misunderstanding of the rules as set forth, the University recommends that any student organization or group of students contemplating a demonstration inquire at the Office of Student Life about appropriate procedures.

Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990

The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 (now known as the Clery Act) is a federal mandate which requires that all current students and employees be provided with information on policies and procedures involving campus security, the reporting of criminal action or other emergencies, and the enforcement authority of security personnel. This information must also include descriptions of programs for students and employees about campus security and crime prevention, as well as statistics on the occurrence of specific crimes. Notification of the annual security report is made by the University’s Chief of Police and the full report is posted on the University’s website each October at:

Hardcopies are available from the Rockford University Chief of Police.

Title IX: Sex/Gender-Based Discrimination & Sexual Misconduct

Information on Title IX can be found at: