Stephen F. Austin State University

University Policies

Acceptable Use of Information Resources

Stephen F. Austin State University encourages the responsible use of its information resources for academic activities, research and public service. Access to the university's information resources is a privilege. All users of information resources should act responsibly to maintain the integrity of these resources. Furthermore, all users must abide by all existing university codes of conduct as well as by local, state and federal statutes. The university reserves the rights to limit, restrict or extend privileges and access to its resources. The university's information resources include, but are not limited to, computers, servers, networks, computer-attached devices, network-attached devices, voice systems, cable systems and computer applications.

Use should always be legal and ethical, reflect academic honesty, uphold community standards and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources.

Appropriate use demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and every individual's right to privacy and to freedom from intimidation, harassment and unwarranted annoyance.

For additional information, consult the SFA Web site at under University Services for Policy F-40, Acceptable Use of Information Resources.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 & Section 504

Stephen F. Austin State University does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services or activities, including hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided under provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, concerns, or requests for additional information regarding the ADA or the complaint/grievance procedure may be forwarded to Chuck Lopez, ADA Coordinator, Disability Services, P.O. Box 6130, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, Texas 75962. A copy of the grievance procedure may be obtained from Disability Services in Room 325 of the Human Services Building.

The provision of all reasonable accommodations and services is based upon assessment of the impact of the student's disabilities on his or her academic performance at a given time in the student's life. Therefore, it is in the student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation relevant to the student's learning environment. A school plan, such as an individualized education program (IEP) or a 504 plan, is insufficient documentation, but it can be included as part of a more comprehensive assessment battery. A comprehensive assessment battery and resulting diagnostic report should include a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude, academic achievement, information processing and a diagnosis. Complete documentation guidelines should be obtained from Disability Services.

Persons with disabilities who need special accommodations (including auxiliary aids for effective communication) to participate in SFA programs, services or activities are invited to make their needs and preferences known to the director of the program, service or activity in which the individual seeks to participate or to the ADA coordinator.

This bulletin is available on disk from the ADA coordinator, and, in addition, it may be accessed through the Internet on the SFA Web site.

Discrimination Complaints/Sexual Harassment Policy

At Stephen F. Austin State University, no faculty, staff or student may discriminate against another on the basis of unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or disabled veteran status. Unlawful discrimination based on sex includes discrimination defined as sexual harassment.

Retaliation for filing an unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment complaint is prohibited by the policy and cause for severe disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

For additional information, consult the SFA Web site at under Human Resources for Policy E-46, Discrimination Complaints/Sexual Harassment.

Student Conduct Code

A student enrolling in the university assumes an obligation to conduct himself/herself in a manner compatible with the university's function as an educational institution. Misconduct for which students and student organizations are subject to discipline falls into several categories that are described in detail in the online Student Handbook at Two acts that are strictly prohibited and result in specific disciplinary action are described below.


Stephen F. Austin State University is unequivocally opposed to any activities, on or off campus, by individuals or organizations that endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a currently enrolled or prospective student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with or maintaining membership in any organization.

Hazing acts include but are not limited to:

  1. any type of physical brutality such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing a harmful substance on the body or similar activity;
  2. any type of physical activity such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  3. any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or substance which subjects the student to unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental health of the student;
  4. any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism; that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame or humiliation; that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student or discourages the student from entering or remaining registered at the institution; or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the institution rather than to submit to the acts described in this policy;
  5. any activity that induces, causes or requires the student to perform a duty or task, which involves a violation of the Penal Code.

Any organization and/or any individual involved in any hazing activity will be subject to both university disciplinary sanctions and criminal prosecution. An offense is committed by (a) engaging in hazing; (b) soliciting, encouraging, aiding or directing another engaging in hazing; (c) intentionally, recklessly or knowingly permitting hazing to occur, or (d) having first-hand knowledge that a specific hazing incident is being planned or has occurred and failing to report said knowledge in writing to the judicial officer.

It is not a defense to prosecution of any offense that the person against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity. Penalties relative to criminal prosecution range from a fine of $2,000 and 180 days in jail for failure to report a hazing incident to a fine of $10,000 and two years in jail for an incident that causes the death of a student. Further, an organization may be penalized with a fine of up to $10,000 or double the expenses due to the injury, damage or loss.

University sanctions range from probation to suspension for any individual committing an offense. Student organizations committing an offense may be placed on university probation and are subject to withdrawal of university recognition. Sanctioned student organization(s): and Sigma Tau Gamma (2010).

For additional information, consult the SFA Web site at under General Regulations for Policy D-34.1, Student Conduct Code, and for Policy D-16, Hazing.

Illegal Drugs

It is the policy of Stephen F. Austin State University that any unlawful manufacture, possession, use or delivery of any controlled substance or illegal drug is strictly prohibited. Moreover, it is the policy of the state of Texas and of this university that this institution will be as free of illegal drugs as it can possibly be. Therefore, in accordance with state law and university policy, any student who is determined, through the regular disciplinary procedures of the university, to have violated this policy will be suspended from the university for no more than two years and no less than the remainder of the current semester. At the discretion of the vice president of university affairs, a student suspended under this policy may, under certain conditions, remain enrolled at the university on disciplinary probation for the remainder of the current or subsequent semester, pending in position of a suspension at a later date.

For additional information, consult the SFA Web site at under General Regulations for Policy D-34.1, Student Conduct Code, and for Policy D-19, Illicit Drugs and Alcohol Abuse.

Student Right-to-Know Act

In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education's Student Right to Know Act, Stephen F. Austin State University will make available to enrolled or prospective students information regarding graduation rates as well as institutional security policies and crime statistics. Graduation rates are available on the Web at Institutional security policies and crime statistics are available from the Office of Admissions and the University Police Department. They also are available on the SFA Web site and

Use and Release of Student Information

Student Records

The purpose of Policy D-13, Student Records, is to comply with federal law that grants to students the right to access their education records, protects students from illegal use of their education records, and restricts the disclosure of the Social Security account number of students. A description of the types of records, the custodian of those records, as well as student and institutional rights, can be found in the policy.

Specific information may be obtained by consulting with administrative officials listed in Policy D-13. Each student has the right to be provided with a list of the types of education records maintained by the university; to inspect and review the contents of his/her records, excluding the exceptions included in Policy D-13; to obtain copies of his/her records at personal expense; to explanations and interpretations of his/her records; and to a hearing to challenge the contents of his/her records.

For more information, consult the SFA Web site under General Regulations for Policy D-13, Student Records.

Directory Information

The university designates the following items as directory information: name, all addresses, university issued e-mail, all telephone numbers, major field of study, academic classification, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance and enrollment status, degrees and awards received, previous schools attended, photograph and class roster. The university may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless the student notifies the registrar in writing to the contrary by census date of each fiscal year.

For more information, consult the SFA Web site under General Regulations for Policy D-13, Student Records.