Involuntary Student Leave of Absence for Reasons of Personal or Community Safety

The following appears in the Vassar College Regulations, Part D. Emergency Resources and Information.

Vassar is committed to protecting its community members from the risk of harm, and preserving the integrity of its learning, residential, and working environments. In extraordinary circumstances, a student may be required to leave the college if there is sufficient evidence that the student is engaging in, or is likely to engage in, behavior that poses a danger of harm to self or others, or disrupts the learning or residential living environments of others. The following policy establishes the protocol under which an involuntary leave of absence may occur, and the process for reentry.

A leave of absence from the college may be required by the dean of students if, in her or his judgment, one of the following criteria is met:

  1. The student’s behavior indicates a significant risk to the health and safety of self or others, or
  2. The student exhibits behavior that interferes with her or his ability to function in an academic or residential setting and/or seriously interferes with the educational pursuits or living environment of others.

In cases where a leave may be required, the dean will consult with, as applicable, the director of the Counseling Service, the director of the Health Service, the director of Accessibility and Educational Opportunity, the director of Residential Life, or an appropriate representative from the Office of the Dean of Studies. If possible, the dean will speak in person with the student before making a final decision, and may also consult with the student’s parents or family. The decision to require a leave will be communicated, when possible, directly to the student by the dean. When a student is required by the dean of students to take a leave of absence, clearance by the dean will be required before the student may return to Vassar. In accordance with college policy, students on leave for more than two terms may be required to withdraw.