Civility means courtesy and politeness, and there are many ways that Moraine Valley students can demonstrate civility inside and outside of the classroom. The following tips are meant to guide students and faculty on expectations for appropriate college student behaviors. When in doubt, students should ask instructors or staff about college policies to be informed properly.
COLLEGE CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE: Dos
- Read the syllabus
Your instructor’s syllabus defines everything from course assignments to expected classroom behavior. Consult your syllabus regularly throughout the semester, and remember that your instructor’s syllabus is a college policy that you must follow. The following tips about classroom etiquette are generally accepted tips, but your instructor may define more specific expectations in his/her syllabus.
- Be prepared
Getting the most out of your educational experience requires that you come to class prepared, including bringing required class materials and doing homework and readings before class time. Frequent unpreparedness can be viewed as disruptive.
- Attend class on time
Satisfactory class attendance is always expected, and you should consult your syllabus for attendance and grading policies. Missing class usually means losing points. Similarly, coming to class late and leaving early is disruptive behavior that may also cause your grade to drop. Always notify instructors if you will be missing class via email.
- Addressing the instructor
On day one, listen carefully to how your instructor introduces him/herself (note the differences: Prof. Doe, Dr. Doe, Mr. Doe, John). This is how he/she should be addressed for the remainder of the semester. Instructors should not be called by their first names unless they introduce themselves to you that way. Similarly, address instructors appropriately in email communications.
- Respect facilities
Keep classrooms clean by throwing away trash, pushing in chairs, arranging tables appropriately, and erasing white boards. Use the appropriate waste and
COLLEGE CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE: Don’ts
- Cell phones and laptops
Cell phones should be silenced and be put away (in pockets, purses or backpacks) for the entire class period. Cell phones that ring or that are out during quizzes or exams constitute cheating in many cases. Laptops should be used in class to take notes only, not to surf the internet, play games, or perform other tasks.
- Chatting in class
Talking to others in class is distracting to other students and to the instructor, including passing notes, signals across the classroom, and texting. Frequent talkers
- Food & drinks
Eating and drinking in class is generally discouraged because it is distracting. Food can be smelly (think spicy foods or garlic), noisy (think chip bags or crunchy foods), and messy (imagine eating wings or spilling your drink). As always, check your syllabus for specific instructions on eating and drinking, but avoid it as much as possible.
Sleeping in class defeats the purpose of attending and may result in the loss of attendance and participation points. Sleeping is also distracting to other students and the instructor (imagine snoring, drooling or leaning your head on your neighbor’s shoulder). If you are having trouble staying awake in class, caffeine isn’t the answer; consider speaking with a counselor to discuss healthy sleeping habits.
- Dominating or interrupting discussions
Your instructor has planned every minute of your class time, including the amount needed for discussion. Dominating a discussion means talking too much
- Cheating and plagiarism
Cheating can include many types of dishonesty related to your academic work, including using cheat-sheets or cell phone on tests, looking at someone else’s test answers, stealing a copy of a test or answer key, working with others on assignments without permission and reusing work from a previous class. Plagiarism includes intentional or unintentional use of another’s work without proper citation, using paper mill services, or using another’s work as your own. More information about cheating and plagiarism and consequences can be found in the Code of Academic Integrity.
You may not bring children into classrooms, and you may not leave children unattended on campus. If you are in need of childcare services, consider using the on-campus child care center, The Children’s Learning Center.
- Clothing and hygiene
The college environment is a comfortable yet professional environment for students and college employees, so dress should be appropriate. Certain clothing, accessories, perfumes or colognes, and hairstyles can become distracting in the classroom, so reasonableness is expected. Personal hygiene is a community concern, and you should be aware of your own personal hygiene, including appearance, cleanliness, and body odor.
ILLEGAL and SERIOUS MISBEHAVIOR
- Profanity and free speech
While some speech is illegal (i.e., libel, obscenity, threats, and fighting words), other types of speech are protected. In the classroom, however, speech is limited by the instructor due to the unique and sensitive academic environment. Sharing ideas is encouraged, but vulgar, profane, or otherwise off-topic speech is not acceptable in any classroom environment. Speech outside of the classroom is also limited per the Guidelines for Leafleting, Free Speech and Demonstrations.
- Video- and audio-recording
In Illinois, it is illegal to record someone without his/her consent, so you cannot record class lectures without your instructor’s consent. Even with consent, there may be times when your instructor does not allow you to record a class discussion, such as a discussion where students are sharing personal stories or opinions. Students with disabilities who need to use recording devices should consult the Center for Disability Services.
- Drug or alcohol intoxication
Attending class under the influence of any substance will result in your immediate removal from the classroom and possible arrest by campus police. Intoxication puts you and others in danger and limits your ability to participate and to learn in the classroom. If you are struggling with drug or alcohol use, please see a counselor for help and see our policies for additional resources.
- Fighting and harassment
Whether verbal or physical, arguments and fighting should not take place on campus. Students who engage in fights will be removed from the classroom or campus and may be arrested by campus police depending on the severity. Similarly, verbal or written harassment is not tolerated, including sexual harassment and harassment via social media, texting or email. Consequences are listed in the Code of Student Conduct.
The bookstore serves students by selling textbooks, supplies and Moraine Valley gear. Stealing from the bookstore causes prices to increase, and if you are caught stealing from the bookstore, you will be arrested by campus police. Additional consequences may include being banned from the bookstore or college suspension, per the Code of Student Conduct.
- The Centers
Whether you take classes online, at main campus, at the Education Center at Blue Island, or at the Southwest Education Center in Tinley Park, Moraine Valley policies and expectations apply.
The library has many purposes for students and community members, and patrons should be aware of the special rules in the library, The Code of Library Conduct.
- Health, Fitness & Recreation Center
Safety is especially important when you use the Health, Fitness & Recreation Center. To protect the safety of yourself, others, and the facilities, please read the rules before using the facilities and equipment.
- The U-Building
The U is home of Student Life, the Glacier, the cafeteria, the game room, the movie room, and student lounges. Even in the U, you are expected to act reasonably, including using appropriate language at an appropriate volume, cleaning up after yourself, following the rules of the game room, computer lab and quiet lounges, and respecting the facilities and furniture.
- Computer labs
You can find several open computer labs around campus that are available for use. You are expected to treat the computer equipment respectfully and to use it for legal, appropriate uses. See the Internet/Email Guidelines.
The hallways of campus buildings are lined with offices and classrooms. To avoid disturbing college business and classes, please speak quietly when moving through hallways. Avoid gathering outside of offices or main areas, such as the library or the gym.
- Parking lots
With enough parking spots for everyone, you are reminded to drive safely and patiently through Moraine Valley parking lots and roadways. Please observe speed limits and parking lot signage. Traffic accidents, reckless driving, thefts or break-ins, and lock-outs should be reported to the Moraine Valley Police Department.
Smoking is prohibited in all campus buildings, and smoking cannot occur within 15 feet of entrances. Smokers are reminded to use the designated smoking areas throughout the campus, which are marked with red lines and signs, and to use designated trash receptacles for extinguishing and discarding butts.