Ram's Eye View
West Chester University
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
West Chester University is committed to fostering student success, maintaining an environment conducive to learning and assuring the safety of the community. Accordingly, the University takes appropriate measures to address student conduct that is destructive to self or others or results in serious disruption of the learning environment. In extraordinary circumstances, the University may require a student to involuntarily withdraw from the University when it determines that this measure is the only way to protect the student and/or others and/or to preserve the integrity of the learning environment. An involuntary medical withdrawal will be imposed only when the University has determined that the student poses a significant risk of substantial harm to self, others or the learning environment. This policy delineates the procedures for the imposition of an involuntary medical withdrawal.
The definitions below apply to the corresponding terms as used in this Policy.
Involuntary Medical Withdrawal: The separation of a student from the University and its facilities for no less than one (1) term, as required by the vice president for student affairs or a designee.
Direct Threat: Significant risk of causing substantial harm to oneself, other members of the University community or the University.
Significant Risk: A high probability of substantial harm and not just a slightly increased, speculative or remote risk.
Student Behavior Review Committee: A University committee, established to assist students who display behavior that is destructive or substantially disruptive, comprised of the following individuals and/or their designees: vice president for student affairs, assistant vice president for student affairs, assistant dean of students, director of judicial affairs and student assistance, director of counseling center, director of student health services, director of the office of services for students with disabilities, director of residence life and director of public safety/chief of police.
The vice president for student affairs or a designee may be alerted to a student’s destructive or disruptive conduct from various sources on campus (such as the University Counseling Center, the Residence Life Office, etc.). When the vice president for student affairs or a designee has reason to believe that a student poses a direct threat to self or others and that less extreme measures will not sufficiently mitigate the student's conduct, the involuntary medical withdrawal procedure may be invoked. Such threatening conduct would include, but is not limited to: self-starvation to a life-threatening level; serious threats of harm to others; self-inflicted wounds; unresolved, ongoing and serious suicidal threats; or conduct indicating that the student is unaware of reality or does not understand the consequences of his/her actions. Before an involuntary medical withdrawal is considered, efforts will be made to encourage the student to voluntarily withdraw from the University, thus preserving, to the extent possible, confidentiality and privacy. This policy does not preclude referral of a case to the West Chester University Threat Assessment Team at any time that referral is appropriate and does not take the place of disciplinary actions instituted in response to violations of the Student Code of Conduct or other University regulations.
The decision to impose an involuntary medical withdrawal requires a determination that the student poses a direct threat to self and others. The determination of a direct threat is appropriate when there is a high probability that if the situation is not addressed, the student will cause substantial harm to him/herself and/or others or the University. The determination must be based upon an individual and objective assessment of the risk. The assessment requires the use of reasonable medical judgment based on current medical information and/or the best available non-medical evidence. The focus is on the student’s present ability to function safely at the University. The specific factors to consider are: the nature and severity of the risk; the likelihood that potential harm will occur; and the availability of reasonable modifications of University policies, practices and requirements that will sufficiently mitigate the risk. The determination of a direct threat shall be made in accordance with the procedures in Section C of this policy.
If the vice president for student affairs or designee, in consultation with appropriate individual members of the Student Behavior Review Committee, believes that the student poses a significant danger of imminent harm to him/herself or other members of the University community, the University may require an emergency separation from the campus on an interim basis before making a final decision on the involuntary medical withdrawal.
A student who has been involuntarily withdrawn may not apply for readmission until after at least the passage of one regular academic term. The student’s application or request for readmission must be approved by the vice president for student affairs and the provost or their respective designees. Approval may be granted only if the vice president for student affairs and the provost or their respective designees, in consultation with the Student Behavior Review Committee and the University’s Counseling Center determine that the student no longer poses a direct threat to the safety of him/herself or others. The vice president for student affairs, the provost or their designees will require documentation or a physical and/or mental health evaluation before issuing a decision. The student must also meet the admission or enrollment requirements of the University and specific academic program in which he/she seeks to enroll. The student is not entitled to a hearing on the decision of the vice president for student affairs and provost or their respective designees.
All records concerning these proceedings shall be maintained by the vice president for student affairs and shall be kept confidential in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, and its implementing regulations, 34 CFR, Part 99.
In accordance with West Chester University's Withdrawal Policy, voluntary medical withdrawals are an option for students. Students may use the "Term Withdrawal Form" from the Office of the Registrar on the following Web site: www.wcupa.edu/registrar/documents/TermWithdrawalform09.pdf/.
A student is encouraged to request a voluntary medical withdrawal whenever he/she believes that a physical or mental health concern is significantly interfering with their ability to be a successful student or if the student has been informed that an involuntary medical withdrawal is under consideration. A student interested in pursuing a voluntary medical withdrawal may discuss this option with the Office of the Registrar, Office of Judicial Affairs and Student Assistance, Student Health Services, Counseling Center, Residence Life staff or the assistant dean of students.