Fredonia Department of Communication Ethical and Professional Standards

The State University of New York at Fredonia Department of Communication advocates the following standards of behavior for all students (see examples/explanations of each below): 

  1. Academic honesty is expected.
  2. Attendance is expected at all class-related meetings.
  3. Punctuality is expected for all class- and department-related meetings.
  4. Courteous classroom behaviors should be enacted at all times.
  5. A respectful classroom environment should be maintained for classmates and instructors, regardless of differing viewpoints.
  6. All university/department equipment or properties should be used with care and respect.
  7. The campus sustainability policy, should be supported by using department and other resources responsibly.
  8. Cell phones should be turned off during all class meetings.
  9. Laptops are a potential distraction in the classroom and in some classes may be allowed only to accommodate students with documented disabilities.
  10. E-mail communications should use standard professional formatting.
  11. A minimum of three hours of study time should be devoted for each in-class or credit hour.

In addition, students should adhere to individual instructors’ more specific policies. Additional information on Fredonia policies regarding Student Rights and Responsibilities can be found at

Examples/Explanations of Standards:

  1. Academic honesty. Compliance with strict standards of academic honesty is expected. Academic misconduct/plagiarism will not be tolerated and may be grounds for failure of a course and suspension or dismissal from the university. Note that plagiarism is the failure to correctly site/reference any ideas or words that are not originally your own; you should always reference the sources of your information. Plagiarism also includes the using others' (or sharing your own) essays, quizzes, etc., as well as the use of pre-written, purchased or downloaded materials. Please review the Fredonia Academic Integrity Policy at
  2. Attendance. Regular attendance is expected for all class-related meetings. Notifying professors in advance, as required by some faculty, does not constitute as an "excused absence."
  3. Punctuality. Punctuality is expected for all class-related meetings, as well as meetings with faculty or staff. Students having a scheduling dilemma that makes punctuality to a class difficulty should reconsider their registration for that course.
  4. Courteous classroom behavior. Considerate and respectful conduct should be enacted at all times. By way of example, this includes:
    • having considerate attentiveness to others, including listening rather than talking while others (professors and classmates) are engaged in discussion; talking is distracting and disrespectful to the speaker and to the other students.
    • avoiding side-work or distractions during class meetings. The focus during a class meeting should be the class meeting; engaging in other activities (such as texting or doing other reading) diminishes the ability to be fully involved in class interactions. It will therefore negatively impact credit for participation.
    • not packing up materials before the end of class meetings.
    • refraining from putting feet on chairs or other furniture/materials in the classroom.
  5. Respectful classroom environment. Your enrollment in any course indicates your agreement that all discussions and interactions will be conducted with thought, maturity, and respect for others' rights to differing values and views. Discussion of differing beliefs is encouraged and should be conducted in a manner that maintains a climate conducive to the thinking and learning of all members of the class. Students are encouraged to exercise personal responsibility and self-discipline as they engage in the rigors of discovery and scholarship.
  6. University/Department equipment or properties. Equipment belongs to the State of New York and Fredonia; access to the equipment is a privilege. Students using this equipment are responsible, ethically and otherwise, for returning equipment in the same condition that it was when it was checked out.
  7. Sustainability policy. The Department of Communication is a Sustainability Partner on the Fredonia campus. In keeping with Fredonia's Go Green initiatives to use resources more thoughtfully, students are encouraged to be mindful about paper and other resource usage. Please use double-sided printing for all hard copies. Moreover, you are encouraged to print selectively from course E-reserves, share with classmates, and recycle all printed materials that cannot be passed on to future students.
  8. Cell phones. Receiving telephone calls and sending or receiving text messages are distracting from classroom goals. Cell phones and other interactive devices must be turned OFF -- not to silent or vibrate -- and stored in students' bags before the beginning of classes.
  9. Laptops. Research shows that laptops are a distraction in the classroom*.  In general, all electronic devices should be turned off unless otherwise instructed by a course professor or as needed to accommodate specific disabilities.
  10. E-mail communications. E-mails written to any faculty or staff, or to any community member as a representative of Fredonia, should use professional formatting. This includes a clear subject heading, a courteous greeting, proper spelling and grammar, respectful content, and an identifying "signature."
  11. Study time. The Department of Communication enforces rigorous academic standards, which maintain the high quality and success of our graduates. Students should expect to devote a minimum of three hours of study/preparation time for each in-class/credit hour.


  • Bugeja, M. (2007). Distractions in the Wireless Classroom.Chronicle of Higher Education, 53(21), pp. C1-C4.
  • Fried, C. B. (2008). In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning. Computers & Education, 50(3), pp. 906-914.
  • Fink III, J. L. (2009). Why We Banned Use of Laptops and "Scribe Notes" in Our Classroom. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 74(6), pp. 1-2.

Communication Department

324 McEwen Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3410