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Program Rules

Weapons

Unauthorized possession, storage, or control of firearms, weapons, on university property is prohibited, including storing weapons in vehicles on campus as well as in the residence halls. Furthermore, ammunition cannot be stored in any residence halls on campus. (Note: Organizational weapons of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, approved by the commandant, are not prohibited by this policy).

Weapons: Firearms are defined as any gun, rifle, pistol, or handgun designed to fire any projectile including but not limited to bullets, pellets, or shots, regardless of the propellant used. Ammunition is defined as any material intended for use in a firearm, capable of being projected by a weapon and/or makes the weapon operational. Other weapons are defined as any instrument of combat or any object not designed as an instrument of combat but carried for the purpose of inflicting or threatening bodily injury. Examples include but are not limited to knives with fixed blades or pocket knives with blades longer than four inches, razors, metal knuckles, blackjacks, hatchets, bows and arrows, nun chukkas, foils, stun weapons, or any explosive or incendiary device.

Possession of realistic replicas of weapons is prohibited on campus. A stun weapon is defined as any device that emits a momentary or pulsed output, which is electrical, audible, optical, or electromagnetic in nature and which is designed to temporarily incapacitate a person. Students who store weapons in residence hall rooms, who brandish weapons, or who use a weapon in a reckless manner may face disciplinary action, which may include suspension or dismissal from the university. Students who store ammunition in the residence halls will face disciplinary action. Exceptions to possessing weapons may be made in the case of university functions or activities and for educational exhibitions or displays. Exceptions must be approved by the Vice President for Administrative Services, in consultation with appropriate university offices.

This policy does not prohibit the possession of firearms by people, such as law enforcement officers, who are authorized by law to do so in the performance of their duties. A weapons storage program is available. The storage program applies to the weapon and ammunition. Ammunition that will not be stored includes Air Soft projectiles, Nerf gun projectiles, and CO2 Cartridges. Students can contact the Virginia Tech Police Department (Sterrett Facility Complex, 231-6411) for more information.

Smoking

The term “smoking” refers to the lighting or burning of any pipe, cigar, or vaping device. Everyone must be 21 years old to buy tobacco or other nicotine products in Virginia. In most parts of the United States, all public buildings are designated "smoke-free," meaning that smoking is prohibited in any part of the building. Smoking is prohibited in most offices, classrooms, restaurants, theaters, and stores and is often prohibited directly in front of entrances.

The LCI does not allow smoking in or in front of any building. Students are allowed to smoke only in the area of the picnic table, and they are required to dispose of their cigarettes in approved cigarette stations. Throwing cigarettes on the ground or in the flowerbeds is prohibited. The material in the flowerbeds burns very easily.

Alcohol use in Virginia and at Virginia Tech

In the United States, it is illegal for anyone who is under 21 years old to drink alcohol. It is a violation of the law to purchase alcoholic drinks for someone under 21. It is also a violation to serve alcohol to anyone younger than 21 years old.

It is illegal for anyone to drink alcohol in public, to be drunk in public, or to drive while drunk. Police can check the level of alcohol in people’s blood to determine if they meet the legal definition of being drunk.

It is a violation of university policy for anyone’s drunken behavior to disturb someone else's ability to sleep, study, or live peacefully, so students should be careful to be respectful of other people’s needs. Of course, this also means that the needs of students for quiet to study and sleep should be respected by other people.

It is a violation of university policy for students to hurt or endanger themselves or someone else through drinking (or any other form of bad behavior). Excessive drinking also negatively affects class attendance and the ability to study.

Fragrance-free environment 

The LCI administration asks that all our faculty and students cooperate in the effort to accommodate those university community members who may have respiratory problems or suffer allergic reactions to strongly scented products, such as perfume, lotion, hairspray, deodorant, and other personal care products. This means that students should limit or avoid the use of any personal care products that have a fragrance.

Legal obligations

Participants LCI programs of study must comply with all laws and regulations of the U.S. government and Virginia Tech. This includes, but is not limited to, the laws regulating drinking, contracts, computer usage, driving, and insurance.

U.S. laws specifically forbid noncitizens from using government aid programs designed for low-income U.S. citizens. The Financial Certification Form students submit with their applications to the LCI are proof that they have enough money to pay all of their expenses while they are students.

Students have a continuing obligation to report to Student Conduct any arrests or convictions, other than minor traffic violations, as well as any protective orders issued against them. This obligation extends during any periods of enrollment at Virginia Tech.  Any failure to make the notification may subject them to disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct.

Interim suspension

The university retains the authority to impose an interim (immediate) suspension if such action is necessary to preserve the safety of people or property. In such an event, students will be afforded an interim suspension hearing and the opportunity to show why their continued presence on campus does not constitute a threat to themselves, others, or property. An interim suspension hearing is separate from a formal student conduct hearing. A formal student conduct hearing will be provided as soon as possible. Students on interim suspension may be suspended from the university or selected campus facilities with proper notice. The following steps explain the procedure for imposing an interim suspension:

  1. When a situation, as defined above, occurs, the responding university official contacts the Threat Assessment Team or the associate vice president for student affairs or his or her designee to assess the situation. If the situation is sufficiently serious, the Threat Assessment Team or the associate vice president for student affairs or his or her designee will determine if an interim suspension is appropriate.
  2. The student will be sent an interim suspension letter immediately that states that the student is either suspended from the university and/or banned from all or selected campus residential facilities until a formal student conduct hearing can be convened. The chief of police will be contacted to determine if a ban from campus is needed. Upon receipt of the interim suspension, if the student is on campus or in university facilities, the student will be escorted out of the facility and/or off campus by a Virginia Tech police officer.
  3. The student can immediately request an interim suspension review to be conducted by the associate vice president for student affairs or his or her designee. The interim suspension letter will contain instructions on how to request a review. Those present at the meeting may include the responding university official and other witnesses as deemed appropriate by the associate vice president for student affairs. During the review, the student will be given an opportunity to demonstrate why his or her continued presence on campus does not constitute a threat to themselves, others or property. As part of the review, the student may be required to submit to an immediate medical/psychological evaluation. The student will be evaluated by the director of the Cook Counseling Center or his or her designee.
  4.  The decision of the interim suspension review will be final. There will be no appeal. If the student does not request a review, the interim suspension and/or ban from campus residential facilities will remain in effect until the formal student conduct hearing is convened.
  5. Interim suspension information will be shared with the Student Conduct Committee. Personnel in that office will schedule, as soon as possible, a formal student conduct hearing to determine the final consequences of the initiating behavior.

Making a suggestion or complaint

Occasionally, students encounter a problem that they do not know how to resolve. When this happens, they should always try to work out the problem first by discussing it with those most directly involved with the issue.  Many issues can be settled or problems can be resolved when students make an appointment with a faculty or staff member and calmly and honestly communicate their frustrations or concerns. 

However, if an issue or problem still exists, there is a formal complaint process that students may initiate.  A formal complaint is a written form that students submit to the relevant person in order to seek resolution of a complaint that has failed to be resolved through an informal discussion with those involved in the issue (e.g., instructor). 

All formal complaints must be written using the official Student Complaint Form. The form is available online.

When students initiate a formal complaint, these steps should be followed:

  1. Students should be sure they have first attempted to resolve the issue by speaking directly with the individual(s) or office(s) involved.
  2. They should complete the Student Complaint Form and submit it to the relevant person.
  3. They should wait for acknowledgement that the person has received their complaint form.
  4. After their concern has been addressed, they will receive a copy of the complaint form documenting the review and resolution of the issue in question.  The original form will be filed in the program director's office.