Message from the Vice-President for Campus Life and Dean of Students in the University

 

Autumn 2009

Dear Students,

I want to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning students. I hope you will have a rewarding and successful academic year. My office and the office of the dean of students in your academic program are here to support your success as a member of the University of Chicago community. To that end, we want to ensure that you know how to locate the wide variety of resources available to you and that you are aware of and have easy access to the policies and regulations that pertain to you as a student.

During your time as a student at the University, I am sure you will get to know your area dean of students (that is, the dean of students for your academic program). The office of your dean of students will assist you in many ways including facilitating your registration, answering financial aid questions, and helping you to learn your way around the University. The staff members of your area dean of students are among the most important people you will meet during your time here. Contact information for the area deans of students is at: http://help.uchicago.edu/academic/.

My office, the Office of Campus and Student Life (CSL), is comprised of several central offices that provide a variety of programs and services for all students, from community service and career exploration to health care and disability services. For information about the programs and services provided by my office, please see the website at http://csl.uchicago.edu/programs_services/index.shtml.

Highlighted in some detail below are topics you may need information about during the year:

  1. Safety and Emergencies
  2. University Policies and Regulations
  3. Degree Programs and Requirements
  4. Bias Response Team
  5. Religious Holy Days
  6. Information about Accreditation, Equity in Athletics, Graduation Rates and Financial Aid

 

1. Safety and Emergencies

Chicago is a vibrant and exciting city of which you will want to take full advantage. As a world-class city, Chicago also presents all of the typical challenges of a modern urban society. While the University takes measures to ensure a safe campus environment, it is important to keep in mind that this responsibility also rests with you. The following safety resources are available to you as you study in and explore Chicago.

Common Sense: A Guide to Safe Urban Living

Published annually, the University's campus safety report, Common Sense, is designed to help you navigate the city successfully and offers information about the University offices that provide services related to security and safety. You can find this important report on the web at http://commonsense.uchicago.edu/.

Common Sense includes information regarding:

* reporting of criminal activity;

* transportation on and around campus;

* safety notifications and information on security and crime prevention programs;

* emergency response plans;

* University policy regarding the sale, possession, and use of alcohol and illegal drugs;

* drug and alcohol education programs;

* crime statistics for the three most recent calendar years;

* University programs to prevent sex offenses and procedures to follow when sex offenses occur; and

* the location of a list of registered sex offenders residing in Chicago.

In addition to the website mentioned above, Common Sense is also available in hard copy upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 6054 South Drexel Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, (773-702-8190); and from the Office of Campus and Student Life, 5801 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637, (773-702-7770).

Community Safety Website

The Community Safety website (http://www.uchicago.edu/safety/) includes extensive information about crimes and other incidents reported to the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD).  It also includes links to aggregate crime data and trends as well as safety resources and prevention tips.

Safety Notification System

Our safety notification system is designed to provide information to members of the University and surrounding community so they can take preventive actions to protect their safety or reduce the likelihood that they will become the victim of a crime.  The new system includes three tiers of notification, based upon the seriousness of the particular incident.

1. All crime reported to UCPD is logged each business day into the Community Safety website, which is accessible to the public. 

2. For serious incidents of crime - those in which a community threat is perceived - an e-mail alert is sent as soon as possible after the reported incident to all University students, staff and faculty, as well as to community members who have registered for the alerts.

3. In the event of a significant emergency or natural disaster - one which requires you to take immediate action to protect your health and safety - a message will be broadcast within minutes via cAlert to all registered individuals via home phone, cell phone, text message, and e-mail.  As incidents at other universities have made clear, it is very important that we be able to reach you quickly in the event of an emergency or serious threat.  If you are not currently registered for cAlert, we strongly encourage you to do so by visiting https://calert.uchicago.edu/.

 

2. Policies and Regulations

As a student, you will want to familiarize yourself with the many University policies and regulations pertaining to students. Several of these policies are mentioned below, and you are strongly encouraged to review all the University policies and regulations pertaining to students in the Student Manual of University Policies and Regulations on the web at http://studentmanual.uchicago.edu.  In addition to the web-based version, hard copies of the Student Manual of University Policies and Regulations are available upon request from the Office of Campus and Student Life, 5801 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637.

Privacy and Student Records

You should be aware of your rights as a student with respect to your personal records maintained by the University. Directory information such as your name, address, email address, photograph, and phone number may be released without your consent unless you request the information to be withheld. The University's policy and procedures concerning privacy and the release of student records are in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Vaccination Policy

The Student Care Center notifies all new students of the Illinois State law immunization requirement and provides instructions for compliance.  All students are required by this law to present proof of immunity from German measles, measles, mumps, and tetanus/diphtheria.  If you are not compliant by the end of the 3rd week of the first quarter, you will not be able to register for a future quarter until you have become compliant with the immunization requirement.  For more information about the State of Illinois immunization law, see: http://studenthealth.uchicago.edu/immunization.

Use of Information Technology

The University of Chicago provides information technology for educational, research, and administrative applications by its students, faculty, and staff.  As stated in the Eligibility and Acceptable Use Policy, http://nsit.uchicago.edu/policies/eaup, "Use of information technology that violates this Policy and rules based on it may result in disciplinary proceedings and, in some cases, in legal action. The University reserves the right to inspect and to disconnect computers that are attached to the University network. Disciplinary proceedings involving information technology are similar to those for violations of other University policies, and may have serious consequences."  In addition to the University's Eligibility and Acceptable Use Policy, the University maintains a File Sharing Policy, which prohibits sharing copyrighted materials over the University's network.  Details concerning this policy can be found at http://nsit.uchicago.edu/policies/filesharing/ and in the Student Manual.

 

3. Degree Programs and Requirements

The University catalogs are important resources that describe the different degree programs, requirements, and the faculty, as well as a sampling of courses for the different graduate divisions, professional schools and the undergraduate college. The catalogs are available online at http://catalogs.uchicago.edu.


4. The Bias Response Team (BRT)

The BRT is a group of administrators trained and available to support and guide students in determining how to handle a bias incident or report a hate crime. You can contact the on-call Bias Response Team member at 773-702-2427. The University has developed a number of statements and policies that reinforce the University community's commitment to diversity, civility, and equity. More information about the Bias Response Team and the aforementioned statements and policies can be on the found on the University's website at http://civility.uchicago.edu.


5. Religious Holy Days

There are times when students find themselves dealing with conflicts of commitment in relation to religious observance and the academic calendar. Although many holy days do not require absence from work or class, there are some that do. Students should alert their professors in advance if a conflict will occur. If questions arise with regard to expectations, students may consult with the Dean of Rockefeller Chapel for guidance.


6. Information about Accreditation, Equity in Athletics, Graduation Rates and Financial Aid

Information on the University's accreditation may be obtained from the Office of the Provost, 5801 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637, (773-702-8806). The University of Chicago Department of Physical Education and Athletics' report for the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act is available, upon request, from the department at 5530 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637 (773-702-7684). You may also be interested in knowing information that is maintained by the Office of the University Registrar. This information includes student graduation rates, tuition and fees, course offerings, and administrative policies.  The information is on the web at http://registrar.uchicago.edu.


For information on financial aid programs, contact the following offices:

The College
Office of College Aid
1116 E. 59th St., Room 203
Chicago, IL 60637
773-702-8666

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid                           
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue                           
Chicago, IL 60637                                 
773-702-3964

Pritzker School of Medicine
Office of Medical Education
924 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
773-702-1938

For all other graduate divisions and schools:
Student Loan Administration                                          
970 E. 58th St., 4th Floor                                              
Chicago, IL 60637                                                         
773-702-6061

In addition to the resources and programs to support your academic work and your life here at the University and in Chicago that are highlighted in this letter, there are many additional resources made available to you through my office and through your area dean of students office. Please know that we are here to support your success as a member of the University of Chicago community. I look forward to meeting many of you and working with you during your time at the University.


Wishing you a wonderful year,

Kimberly Goff-Crews
Vice-President for Campus Life and Dean of Students in the University

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