Student Right to Know

Student Right to Know

Accreditation

A.C.T. is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. A.C.T. has the approval of the State of California Council for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education to enroll veterans and other eligible persons for G.I. benefits.
 

Other important information

 

An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at, 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, 916.431.6924, Fax: 916.263.1897, http://www.bppe.ca.gov



Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act Compliance


A.C.T. prepares this report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Crime Statistics Act. Portions of the report are prepared in cooperation with police agencies surrounding our main campus and noncampus sites, A.C.T. facilities, and the conservatory office. Local police agencies provide automated statistics for the property and a radius around the property noted. Copies of the report may also be obtained from the Director of Academic Affairs or the Office of Human Resources at A.C.T at 30 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94108, or by calling 415.439.2350. The applicable text of this report is also included in the Student Handbook, the Employee Handbook, and A.C.T.'s Injury and Illness Prevention Plan, which are distributed to each constituency and available upon request.

Download the A.C.T. Campus Crime Report and Statistics for 2015-16. (PDF File)

 

Conservatory Office Hours and Building Security

The conservatory office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Monday–Thursday) and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Friday).

The building hours are from 8:3 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Monday–Friday), from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Saturday), and from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Sundays) (these hours are subject to change). After 6 p.m., the elevators will only access the 8th floor, where an A.C.T. security guard will be stationed. If you encounter suspicious individuals who seem to be loitering in the building, please report them to the conservatory office or the security guards. Also, please report all lost or stolen items to the office as soon as possible. Building regulations prohibit any loitering in the first-floor lobby areas. Please use the Green Room and balconies on the 7th, 8th, and 9th floors for lounging and visiting.
 

Campus Security Policies and Procedures

A.C.T. is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment for its students, faculty and staff. Recognizing its location in an urban area, however, A.C.T. has developed the following campus security procedures to ensure all members of the community are aware of the potential for crime and prepared to report it effectively. For that reason, the following information is provided for students to familiarize them with A.C.T's campus security procedures.
 

Reporting On-campus Crime Incidents

A.C.T. encourages timely reporting of on-campus crime incidents to the A.C.T. community to ensure that employees and students can exercise caution and avoid potential danger.

In the event of murder, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, or car theft, a notice of warning and/or the incident report is posted on the "Security Watch" bulletin board in the kitchen on the 6th floor. Warnings and descriptions of incidents are orally communicated to those in directly affected areas within 24 hours of occurrence.
Crime incidents should be reported to the director of academic affairs (415.439.2412) or the director of facilities (415.439.2491). In the event that an incident is an emergency, 911 should be called immediately; the incident should be reported to the director of academic affairs or director of facilities secondarily. The guard for A.C.T. and guard for the building may also be contacted in non-emergency situations; however, official A.C.T. reports must be made with one of the two individuals designated above.

Procedures for monitoring and recording incidents for activities conducted away from the 30 Grant Avenue location (e.g. at the theaters, box office, etc.) are the same as those described above for the central location.
 

Campus Guards

A.C.T. employs a security guard who is located in the 8th-floor lobby area of 30 Grant. The guard is on duty between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and at any other time when there are scheduled activities outside normal office hours, such as on weekends or for rehearsals. The guard employed by A.C.T. can be reached by dialing 2478 from a phone on the premises. From outside, dial 415.439.2478. A building guard, located in the 30 Grant lobby, is employed by the building landlord and is on duty during off-hours (5:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.) Monday through Friday, and all day and night on Saturday and Sunday.

A.C.T. guards are charged with monitoring appropriate behavior by students, teachers, and staff in the course of their activities on A.C.T. premises, and with reporting to A.C.T. administration behavior that is in violation of the codes of conduct in A.C.T. handbooks. In the event of an urgent situation, A.C.T. security guards have the authority to act to protect other staff and students according to their best judgment at the time. This may include requesting ID, asking an individual to leave the premises, or other measures they may deem appropriate. Neither A.C.T. nor building guards have the authority to make arrests; however, they may choose to contact the police if an incident occurs that presents a clear and present danger, or if a student, teacher, or staff person requests that they contact police. A.C.T. security personnel have no special relationship with authorities other than acting in an intermediary capacity.
 

Crime Awareness Training

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take responsibility for security of their persons and property (and the persons and properties of others) at the time they commence their relationship with A.C.T. Please use common sense. Don't leave personal items unattended. Be alert when entering and exiting the building at night. All students and employees are required to attend orientation meetings where the director of facilities discusses security measures in detail. As they are developed, additional crime prevention procedures are discussed with students and employees at student and company meetings.
 

Safety Tips for Central Market Facilities

With the increased use of the new Costume Shop Theater space and the addition of The Strand to the A.C.T. facilities list, a few basic, common sense safety tips for those who will be frequenting the area:

  • When possible, use the Noah's Ark principle and travel in pairs.  This is particularly true if you are in the area after dark.  Applies equally to everyone, regardless of age and gender!
  • Even though the facilities are very convenient for BART and Muni access, there is safety in numbers in getting to the stations and also in waiting for the trains and buses. Stick together!
  • Be vigilant of your valuables!  Keep purses zipped and close to your body, wallets in front pockets.  You might also keep your most valuable items (ID, phone etc) in a separate pocket (preferably a secure, zipped, inside pocket of a coat or jacket).
  • Consider carrying some loose cash in your jacket/coat pocket.  This could be given to any potential muggers/thieves in lieu of handing over your whole purse or wallet.  And it can be tossed away from your person if need be, giving you a chance to clear the area.
  • Don't use your cell phone while walking! Common sense, folks. That call/text/email can almost always wait until you are inside.  Not only is it a temptation to others, it is a distraction for you. Keep your eyes and ears on high alert—knowing that someone is aware and watching is often enough to discourage the bad guys. 
  • Same rules apply to iPods and other devices!  Music is great, but save it for the right time!
  • There is a guard at the Costume Shop during performance times; otherwise, entry is by keypad.
    • Be sure to "cover" the keypad when you enter the code, so strangers cannot see what you are punching.  Just like a PIN at the ATM!
    • Beware of strangers who might try to slip into the building with you. Safer to wait for a clear space than to risk having someone push in behind you when entering.
       

Emergency Contact Information

Students are required to keep their contact/emergency information current. Please inform the director of academic affairs of any changes when they occur. This contact information may not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel and authorized A.C.T. personnel.
 

Injury

In the event a student sustains an injury, the conservatory administration will, at the student's request, contact their emergency contact on file. If a student sustains an injury requiring 911 protocols, the conservatory administration will contact the student's emergency contact.
 

Missing Person

In the event that a student is not present for an entire class day (including rehearsals) and has not notified the conservatory administration (principally the director of academic affairs or conservatory manager) that they absent due to illness or personal emergency, the administration will attempt to contact the student through their contact information on file. If the administration is unable to make contact with the student, the administration will inquire of the student's whereabouts through his or her emergency contact. If a student is not located within 24 hours after making emergency contact, the student will be considered a missing person and the administration will contact the proper law enforcement authorities.
 

Megan's Law

Federal law and the State of California law requires sex offenders to register with the police in the jurisdiction in which they reside. They must specifically register with A.C.T. human resources if they are employees, (including contractors) of A.C.T., attend classes, or frequent any area associated with A.C.T.

The general public can view all sex offender registration information (not just campus affiliates) at the Megan's Law website at www.meganslaw.ca.gov

 

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Appropriate Behavior

All students in A.C.T. programs are expected to conduct themselves in a manner conducive to an environment of positive learning. Respect, courtesy, and care are mandatory. Being prepared and on time for all classes and rehearsals is required and mandatory. (See "Standards for Student Behavior in Studio and Project Work" below). Either a faculty member or the conservatory director handles disciplinary problems on a one-to-one basis.
 

Standards for Student Behavior in Studio and Project Work

Stay in the room. Turn off beeping pagers and cell phones. Breaks are scheduled between classes and during rehearsal. In case of emergency, alert the teacher or director.

Because the work is sequential and cumulative in nature, attendance at all sessions is essential. Be on time and prepared to work.

Respect, care, and courtesy are mandatory. All must work to maintain an atmosphere of focus, attention, and discipline. Learning occurs through observing as well as doing. All attention must be focused on the work at hand.

You may not cause physical harm to anyone in the course of your work: not another participant, not staff, not yourself. Safety is imperative and everyone's responsibility.

Actor training will stretch your boundaries. However, you are the author of your own training: you may say, "Stop," whenever you feel you do not want to pursue a particular line further.

In order to ensure the safety of all, students must alert teachers and directors of any physical limitations they have or medications they are taking that may impact their work.

In actor training, all must be aware that respect and care apply to the treatment of the physical environment as well. Props, set pieces, furniture and costumes must be handled appropriately within the context of the play.

Special procedures must be followed in the use of all firearms, weapons, fire, or dangerous substances.

 

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Non-academic Student Conduct Code and Disciplinary Procedures

All students of A.C.T.'s conservatory are expected to observe commonly accepted standards of behavior, which include the "Standards for Appropriate Student Behavior" (page 6). As these standards are the fundamental basis of individual and group conduct at A.C.T., each student is responsible for understanding and following them while being a member of the conservatory.

The conservatory may initiate disciplinary proceedings against any student if the conservatory believes that the student's conduct violates these standards of behavior. These proceedings are internal to A.C.T.'s conservatory and are not to be construed as an extension of any external judicial system. Any student found to have violated the Nonacademic Student Conduct Code will be subject to the full range of sanctions set forth in Section C below.

A.C.T.'s Unlawful Harassment Policy (included in this handbook) covers complaints involving sexual and other unlawful harassment in employment and academic relationships under Title VII.
 

Section A: Definitions

1. As used in the Procedures, the term "campus" means any and all facilities in which A.C.T. conducts operations.

2. As used in the Procedures, the term "student" means any person matriculating in A.C.T.'s Studio A.C.T., Summer Training Congress, and Master of Fine Arts Program.

3. As used in the Procedures, the term "behavior" includes conduct and expression, or omission thereof.

4. As used in the Procedures, the term "community" means A.C.T. Trustees, academic and nonacademic personnel, students, and other persons while such persons are on campus property or at a campus function.

5. As used in these Procedures, the term "Program Director" means the appropriate program head (i.e., Conservatory Director, Summer Training Congress Director).

6. As used in these Procedures the term "complainant" means the member of the conservatory community who initiates a complaint against another member of the conservatory community.

7. As used in these Procedures, the term "respondent" means the member of the conservatory against whom a complaint has been initiated.

8. As used in the Procedures, the term "working day" means any day during the year other than a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday of A.C.T.
 

Section B: Offenses

Except for conduct which results in a student dismissal under the introductory provisions of the "Nonacademic Student Conduct Code and Disciplinary Procedures" above, the following behavior may be the basis for a complaint against a student. Although A.C.T.'s conservatory has listed the types of behaviors that are most common in educational settings, A.C.T.'s conservatory is not limited to the behaviors included in this Section B and may initiate disciplinary proceedings for behaviors, which are not included herein.

1. Furnishing false information to A.C.T. with the intent to deceive.

2. Forgery, alteration or misuse of A.C.T. documents, records or identification card.

3. Physical or mental abuse of another person in or on A.C.T. property or at A.C.T. functions.

4. Verbal or sexual harassment of another person in the A.C.T. community (See "Unlawful Harassment", page 21)

5. Rape, including acquaintance rape and date rape (See "Unlawful Harassment").

6. Malicious destruction, damages or misuse of A.C.T. property (including library material) or of private property on campus.

7. Theft.

8. Possession, use, or furnishing of illegal drugs on A.C.T. property or at A.C.T. functions.

9. Possession or use of alcohol by a minor (under 21 years of age) or furnishing of alcohol to a minor.

10. Disorderly conduct, such as disruption of the administrative process, classes, performances or A.C.T. functions.

11. Unauthorized possession or use of explosives, dangerous chemicals, or weapons on A.C.T. property or at any A.C.T. function—including but not limited to (a) any firearm, (b) any dangerous knife, (c) tear gas weapons or harmful self-defense chemicals without permit.

12. Engaging in lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior on A.C.T. property or at A.C.T. functions.

13. Soliciting or assisting another to do any act which would subject a student to expulsion, suspension, or probation pursuant to this section.

14. Plagiarism and/or other infringements of academic honesty.

15. Failure to appear before an A.C.T. official when directed to so do.

16. Failure to repay debts or return A.C.T. property.

17. Unauthorized entry or use of A.C.T. property, including unauthorized use or duplication of A.C.T. keys.

18. Any other action that is harmful to A.C.T. and its personnel or students.
 

Section C: Sanctions

The following sanctions may be imposed exclusively or in combination by the program director.

  1. Warning. Written reprimand for violations of specified conservatory policies or regulations, including notice to the student that continued or repeated violations of specified conservatory policies or regulations may be cause for further disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion.
  2. Probation. A period of time specified for observing and evaluating a student's conduct, with or without special conditions. Further violations while on probation may result in more severe disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion. Probation will be imposed for a specific period of time, and the student is considered removed from probation following reevaluation and the period of time expires.
  3. Suspension. Termination of student status for a specified period of time. Suspension includes the assumption that the respondent must meet specific conditions, outlined in writing at the time of the suspension, in order to return to student status. Violations of the terms of suspension may be cause for further disciplinary action in the form of expulsion.
  4. Expulsion. Termination of student status. Expulsion from A.C.T.'s conservatory includes the assumption that the student will not be readmitted.
  5. Other Disciplinary Sanctions. Violations of the terms of other disciplinary sanctions may be cause for further disciplinary action in the form of suspension or expulsion of student status.
    1. Denial of Access. Exclusion of a student from specified areas of campus. A student who willfully and knowingly enters areas of campus to which access has been denied may be guilty of a misdemeanor pursuant to California Penal Code Section 626.2. In the case of suspension, such entry may be grounds for further disciplinary action in the form of expulsion.
    2. Restitution. Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property belonging to A.C.T. or any other person on the campus. Such reimbursement may take the form of monetary payment, appropriate service to repair, or other compensation for damages.
    3. Counseling. In cases involving drug or alcohol abuse or other proscribed behavior, the student may be referred to an appropriate counselor for assessment and treatment.
       

Section D: Interim Suspension

  1. The program director may immediately impose an interim suspension where there is reasonable cause to believe that it is required to protect personal safety or property and to ensure the maintenance of order. Violation of any condition of interim suspension shall be grounds for expulsion.
  2. A student placed on interim suspension shall be given prompt notice of the charges and the opportunity for a hearing within three (3) working days following the imposition of the suspension. The hearing shall be held pursuant to the provisions of Section D of these procedures.
  3. During the period of the interim suspension, the student shall not, without prior written permission of the program director, enter any A.C.T. facilities so designated other than to attend the hearing.
  4. If requested in writing by the student within two (2) working days following the imposition of the suspension, a hearing will be held to determine whether continued suspension pending a disciplinary hearing is required to protect personal safety or property and to ensure the maintenance of order. This hearing may also serve as a disciplinary hearing in accordance with the procedures outlined under Section E below, provided proper notification has been given.
     

Section E: Procedures

  1. All violations of the Nonacademic Student Conduct Code should be immediately reported to the coordinator of student discipline. The coordinator of student discipline shall investigate each complaint filed and determine whether or not charges should be brought. A formal complaint is not necessary for the coordinator of student discipline to determine that charges should be initiated.
  2. The coordinator of student discipline will refer violations of A.C.T.'s Student Conduct Code to the program director with recommendations for further investigation and possible sanctions.
  3. When a student charges another student with a violation of the Nonacademic Code of Student Conduct, the program director will function as complainant.  The student initiating the charge agrees to accept the determinations of the program director and Appeals Hearing Committee in the disposition of any and all sanctions.
  4. The program director and the coordinator of student discipline shall hold a conference with the respondent to obtain his or her response to the alleged misconduct and to determine whether the allegations of misconduct have merit and if they may be disposed of informally by mutual consent of the student charged and the program director. The respondent may have another person from the A.C.T. community present as observer or consultant. This person may not be an attorney or a paralegal. A student who refuses to cooperate is in further violation of the Student Conduct Code.
  5. The program director, in consultation with the coordinator of student discipline, will impose whatever sanction(s) he or she deems appropriate. When appropriate, the program director may consult the core faculty regarding proper sanctions.
  6. The respondent shall receive written notification within three (3) working days of imposition of sanctions with copies to the appropriate conservatory offices (Financial Aid Director, Director of Academic Affairs, Human Resources Manager, and Executive Director). One copy of the letter shall be delivered by certified mail to the respondent's current address (as it appears on file in the office of the director of academic affairs); a second copy shall be delivered to the student's A.C.T. mailbox. Students are responsible for updating address changes; A.C.T.'s conservatory is not responsible for mail that is delivered to noncurrent addresses. The notification letter shall include the following:
    1. A statement of the specific subdivisions of the student code that the respondent violated.
    2. A factual description of the behavior upon which the charges are based.
    3. Sanction(s) imposed.
    4. Notification that the respondent has the right of appeal as outlined under Section F below.
    5. Notification that the respondent may waive his or her right to an appeal by accepting the sanction imposed.
    6. Notification that the appeals committee is not bound by the sanction(s) imposed and may impose a more or less severe sanction than that handed down by the conservatory administration.
  7. In the case of suspension or expulsion, an appeal is for reinstatement and is not a postponement of the action.
  8. In the case of probation, the student shall have the right to continue going to classes and participating in A.C.T. activities except where specific limitations are provided in the letter of notification.
     

Section F: Appeal Process


The student shall have the opportunity to appeal a disciplinary action under the following procedure:

  1. The student may appeal, in writing, to the office of A.C.T.'s executive director, stating the reasons for the appeal. If the student desires to furnish witnesses, oral testimony, or other documentation, the letter should contain such notice, identifying the witnesses and describing the testimony or documentation.
  2. The appeal must be received in the office of the executive director within five (5) working days after the date on which the letter of disciplinary action was issued.
  3. The executive director will notify the coordinator of student discipline, who will convene an initial meeting of the appeals committee within three (3) working days after receipt of the appeal. The appeals committee will schedule the appeal hearing to take place between seven (7) and ten (10) working days of the committee's initial meeting.
  4. The coordinator of student discipline, in consultation with A.C.T.'s executive director, shall confer with the committee, provide assistance, and make records available.
  5. The coordinator of student discipline shall provide the student with a written Notice of Appeal Hearing, which shall include the following:
    1. The date, time, and place of the hearing.
    2. Notification that the respondent may be accompanied at the appeal hearing by another person from the A.C.T. community to be present only as an observer or consultant. Such person shall not examine witnesses or address the appeals committee. The person may not be an attorney or a paralegal.
    3. A copy of these procedures or notification of where the respondent may obtain a copy of these procedures without charge is available from the director of academic affairs. If consent to remain on campus has been withdrawn from the student at the time the notice of hearing is sent, a copy of these procedures shall be enclosed with the notice.
    4. The notice of appeal hearing shall be mailed to the respondent no later than one (1) working day after the date of the hearing has been determined. If all parties agree, the hearing may take place as soon as possible.
    5. Notification that the charges and sanctions imposed prior to a hearing may be amended at any time. If the amendment would require the respondent to prepare a defense that is different from that required by the prior Notice of Appeal Hearing, a hearing that has been scheduled shall, upon request, be postponed for a reasonable time. If the charges or sanctions are amended after a hearing has commenced, the hearing chair may postpone the hearing for up to five (5) working days.

 

Section G: Membership, Selection of Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Committee

  1. The disciplinary appeal hearing committee is composed of five (5) members of the A.C.T. community: two faculty members and two alternates selected by the faculty; one administrator and two alternates from the artistic or production staff appointed by the executive director; one first-year student and two alternates in the M.F.A. Program, selected by that class; and one second-year student and two alternates in the M.F.A. Program, selected by that class; and one third-year student and two alternates in the M.F.A. Program, selected by that class. If the respondent is a first-year student, the second- and third-year members serve on the committee. If the respondent is a second-year student, the first- and third-year members serve on the committee. If the respondent is a third-year student, the first- and second-year members serve on the committee. Appointments and selections shall occur at the commencement of each semester. The students will not be considered representatives of either their class or the student body.
  2. One member from each constituency (students, faculty, and staff) must be present when cases are heard unless all parties agree otherwise, and only one member from each constituency is allowed when cases are heard and decided.
  3. A.C.T.'s executive director will appoint a nonstudent from the A.C.T. community to serve as chair. The chair will (a) preside at all committee meetings and (b) rule on all questions of order and procedure. Challenges to the chair's ruling on all questions of order and procedure will be upheld by a majority vote of the committee members present and voting.
  4. The terms of service for each member will be one semester and shall begin at the time of appointment. In the event a member is unable to complete a full term or serve for a specific hearing for any reason, the coordinator of student discipline will appoint one of the appropriate alternates to serve at the impending hearing for the remaining part of the term, in which latter case he/she shall select a replacement alternate for that constituency.
  5. All decisions will be determined by a majority vote of those present and voting. The decision of the appeals committee in matters of probation and expulsion is final.
  6. Members of the appeal hearing committee:
    1. Shall disqualify themselves in those cases where their judgment might be biased.
    2. Shall ensure that discussion is restricted to the issue defined in the written notice of the charges of the alleged misconduct.
    3. May cross-examine any witness produced by the respondent, the complainant, or by A.C.T.
    4. Shall receive verbal and documentary evidence of the kind on which reasonable persons are accustomed to rely in serious matters and may exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence.
    5. Shall base their findings upon clear and convincing evidence presented during the hearing.
    6. Shall submit a letter of resignation to the hearing chair if they are unable to fulfill their duties due to health or personal reasons.

 

Section H: Coordinators of Student Discipline and Appeal Hearings


The director of academic affairs serves as the coordinator of student discipline, in cooperation with a conservatory associate, who shall serve as the coordinator of appeal hearings. The coordinator of appeal hearings shall:

  1. In consultation with the hearing chair, make physical and scheduling arrangements for the hearing held under these procedures.
  2. Assist the hearing chair in coordinating the appearance of witnesses for A.C.T. and all evidence relevant to the charges. Names of such witnesses shall be made available to the respondent and complainant at least three (3) working days prior to the hearing.
     

Section I: The Hearing

  1. All hearings held under these procedures shall be conducted according to the following:
    1. Hearings shall be closed to all persons other than the hearing chair, the respondent, the complainant, the members of the appeals committee, and the adviser or consultant for the respondent.
    2. A.C.T. and the respondent shall have the opportunity of presenting witnesses, subject to the right of cross-examination as well as questioning by the hearing chair. The names of all witnesses shall be provided to the hearing chair at least three (3) working days prior to the hearing. If the respondent elects to testify, he or she shall be subject to cross-examination and questioning by the hearing chair. The respondent shall not be required to give self-incriminating evidence. The respondent's failure to testify on these grounds shall not be used to draw an inference of guilt. The complainant, respondent, and his or her adviser shall not be present during hearing deliberations.
    3. Witnesses:
      1. May exercise the privilege against self-incrimination.
      2. Shall restrict testimony to that relevant to the charges specified in the written notice and about which they have personal knowledge.
      3. Shall be present at the hearing only while testifying and responding to cross-examination.
      4. Shall not be present during deliberations.
    4. The hearing need not be conducted according to technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the sort of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs. The appeals committee shall consider no evidence other than that received at the hearing.
    5. The hearing chair shall make all rulings on matters relating to the conduct of the hearing, including matters regarding admission of evidence. Any evidence deemed relevant by the hearing chair shall be admitted. Unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded.
    6. The respondent shall not be found to have violated the student code solely because he or she fails to appear at the hearing. If the student charged does not appear, the hearing shall proceed without him or her and a decision shall be rendered on the evidence presented.
    7. Arguments by the respondent or the complainant concerning legal (as distinguished from factual) applicability, or the validity of any provision with which the respondent is charged, or of these procedures shall not be addressed to the hearing chair, but to the executive director in writing within three (3) working days following the conclusion of the hearing. The executive director shall seek advice on the matter from A.C.T.'s legal counsel. Such advice shall be considered before a final decision is made.
    8. The hearing chair is responsible for maintaining order and may establish such rules as are necessary or appropriate to conducting a fair hearing. The hearing chair shall not permit any person to be subjected to abusive treatment. The hearing chair may eject or exclude anyone who refuses to act in an orderly manner.
  2. Where more than one student is charged with behavior arising out of a single occurrence or out of connected multiple occurrences, if the coordinator of student discipline and the respondents consent, a single hearing may be held for all of the respondents so charged. The coordinator of student discipline shall make determination regarding consolidation. All such determinations shall, however, be subject to revision by the hearing chair. In the event of such revision by the hearing chair, all cases affected shall be rescheduled for hearing. The separation of one or more cases from a group of the cases previously set for a consolidated hearing shall not be considered to affect the remaining cases in the group. Students may request that their case be consolidated with others or separated from others.
  3. At any time during the hearing process, the respondent may elect to waive the hearing and accept a sanction by the program director. The waiver and acceptance of the recommended sanction shall be in writing.
     

Section J: Hearing Determination

  1. After the presentation of evidence at the hearing, the hearing chair shall conduct the deliberation of the hearing committee. The committee shall make findings of fact, draw conclusions about whether the facts demonstrate a violation of the student code with which the respondent is charged, and impose appropriate sanctions or not. The hearing committee's determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the student code (i.e., by a preponderance of the evidence).
  2. After having made its determination, the hearing chair shall submit a written report to the executive director which includes a determination as to whether the respondent charged violated the student code along with imposition of sanctions, if any. The hearing chair's report shall be submitted to the executive director within three (3) working days of the conclusion of the hearing. The executive director will notify the respondent of the outcome of the hearing in writing within three (3) working days of receipt of the report.

Section K: Other Provisions

  1. Technical departures from any of the Nonacademic Student Conduct Code and Disciplinary Procedures and errors in their application shall not be grounds to withhold disciplinary action unless, in the opinion of the executive director, the departures or errors were such as to have prevented a fair and just determination of the issues.
  2. The report of the hearing body or the hearing chair on evidence, proceedings, findings, and recommendations is confidential and shall not be made public by A.C.T. or by any participant in a hearing, including the respondent, unless required by law. In the event these matters should become public, however, A.C.T. may authorize such public statements as are appropriate and legal.
  3. All the time limits imposed or recommended within these procedures may be changed for good cause or reason as determined by the executive director.
  4. No audio and or video recording or court reporting of a hearing is permitted by any of the parties involved.
     

Section L: Disciplinary Records

  1. Disciplinary actions taken against a student are not noted on the student's academic record. In cases of suspension from A.C.T.'s conservatory, the director of academic affairs shall indicate on the student's official academic record (from which transcripts are made) "Readmission Subject to Approval of the Program Director."  In cases of expulsion from A.C.T.'s conservatory, the director of academic affairs shall indicate on the student's official academic record (from which transcripts are made) "Expelled for Nonacademic Reasons."
  2. Official disciplinary records are maintained for at least five (5) years in the office of the director of academic affairs. The disciplinary appeal hearing, the outcome, and all records relating to the case are confidential and not open to review except to A.C.T. officials who have a "legitimate need to know" and in other areas where required by law.

 

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Unlawful Harassment & Discrimination

A.C.T. is committed to providing a work environment free of unlawful harassment and discrimination, abridgment, or harassment on account of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable local, state or federal employment discrimination laws.  This also includes a perception that a person has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.  All such discrimination is unlawful.  A.C.T.’s anti-harassment policy applies to all persons involved in the operation of the Company, including employees, clients, vendors and contractors, and prohibits unlawful harassment or discrimination by any employee of A.C.T., including supervisors and co-workers. Prohibited unlawful sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following behavior:

  • Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory jokes or comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, invitations, or comments.
  • Visual conduct such as derogatory or sexually-oriented posters, photography, cartoons, drawings, or gestures.
  • Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, blocking normal movement, or interfering with work.
  • Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued employment, or to avoid some other loss, and offers of employment benefits in return for sexual favors.
  • Retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment.
  • Use of any A.C.T. equipment, software, or other media in an act of harassment.

 

Disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion, will be strictly enforced. If you are harassed or discriminated against in any way, please notify the human resources manager (Jennifer Zilberstein, 415.439.2484), the director of academic affairs (Jack Sharrar, 415.439.2412), or the conservatory manager (Daniel Kolodny, 415.439.2405) immediately (see “Informal and Formal Complaint Procedures”, page 24). The situation will be investigated and kept in strict confidence. A.C.T. is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment for all students, faculty, and staff. Every effort will be made to resolve any complaints immediately. In the case of sex offenses, incident reports must be filed and the police notified as outlined in "Reporting Crime Incidents" (see page 47)—see also the “Sexual Assault Policy” below.

In addition, the conservatory defines sexual harassment as follows, in accordance with Section 212.5 of the Education Code of the State of California. Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone from or in the work or educational setting under any of the following conditions:

  • Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or a condition of an individual’s employment, academic status, or progress.
  • Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis of employment or academic decisions affecting the individual.
  • The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon the individual’s work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating or hostile and offensive work or educational environment.
  • Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits, services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the educational institution.

 

Workplace Bullying

Workplace or school bullying may be defined as “repeated inappropriate behavior, either direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment”, including during school.

All employees and students deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The purpose of this policy is to communicate to all employees and students, including supervisors, managers and executives that A.C.T. will not in any instance tolerate bullying behavior. Employees found in violation of this policy will be disciplined, up to and including dismissal/termination.

Bullying may be intentional or unintentional. However, it must be noted that where an allegation of bullying is made, the intention of the alleged bully is irrelevant, and will not be given consideration when meting out discipline. As in sexual harassment, it is the effect of the behavior upon the individual which is important. A.C.T. considers the following types of behavior examples of bullying:

  • Verbal Bullying: slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or his/her family; persistent name calling which is hurtful, insulting or humiliating; using a person as butt of jokes; abusive and offensive remarks.
  • Physical Bullying: pushing; shoving; kicking; poking; tripping; assault, or threat of physical assault; damage to a person’s work area or property
  • Gesture Bullying: non-verbal threatening gestures, glances which can convey threatening messages
  • Exclusion: socially or physically excluding or disregarding a person in work-related activities

 

In addition, the following examples may constitute or contribute to evidence of bullying in the workplace or school:

  • Persistent singling out of one person
  • Shouting, raising voice at an individual in public and/or in private
  • Using verbal or obscene gestures
  • Not allowing the person to speak or express him/herself (i.e., ignoring or interrupting).
  • Personal insults and use of offensive nicknames
  • Public humiliation in any form
  • Constant criticism on matters unrelated or minimally related to the person’s job performance or description
  • Ignoring/interrupting an individual at meetings
  • Public reprimands
  • Repeatedly accusing someone of errors which cannot be documented
  • Deliberately interfering with mail and other communications
  • Spreading rumors and gossip regarding individuals
  • Encouraging others to disregard a supervisor’s instructions
  • Manipulating the ability of someone to do their work (e.g. overloading, underloading, withholding information, setting meaningless tasks, setting deadlines that cannot be met, giving deliberately ambiguous instructions)

 

A.C.T. encourages all employees and students to report workplace/school bullying. Any reports of workplace/school bullying will be treated seriously and investigated promptly, confidentially and impartially.  Managers and supervisors must ensure that employees or witnesses who make complaints are not victimized.

Anti-Hazing Policy

Hazing is any action taken or situation created, intentionally, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities may include but are not limited to the following: use of alcohol, paddling in any form, creation of excessive fatigue, physical and psychological shocks, quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities; the wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste, engaging in public stunts and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities, and any other activities which are not consistent with academic achievement, policy and regulations of A.C.T., or applicable state and national law. The use of hazing by A.C.T. students or employees is prohibited whether on or off A.C.T. premises. Violations are subject to the “Nonacademic Student Conduct Code and Disciplinary Procedures”. Alleged violations should be reported immediately to human resources or the conservatory administration.

TITLE IX COMPLIANCE

A.C.T.’s Title IX coordinator is Jennifer Zilberstein, Human Resources Manager (jzilberstein@act-sf.org); 415-439-2484.
 
Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the U.S. Department of Education’s implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 106, A.C.T.’s Title IX Coordinator has primary responsibility for coordinating the College’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in all the operations of A.C.T., as well as retaliation for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX.

Sexual misconduct against students, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, and sexual exploitation, can be a form of sex discrimination under Title IX. The Title IX coordinator oversees A.C.T.’s response to reports and complaints that involve possible sex discrimination to monitor outcomes, identify and address any patterns, and assess effects on the campus climate, so A.C.T. can address issues that affect the wider school community.

A student should contact the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s) in order to:

  • seek information or training about students’ rights and courses of action available to resolve reports or complaints that involve potential sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct,
  • file a complaint or make a report of sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct,
  • notify A.C.T. of an incident or policy or procedure that may raise potential Title IX concerns,
  • get information about available resources (including confidential resources) and support services relating to sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct, and
  • ask questions about the College’s policies and procedures related to sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct.

 

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SEXUAL ASSAULT POLICY and VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (VAWA)


"Perhaps most important, we need to keep saying to anyone out there who has ever been assaulted: you are not alone. We have your back. I've got your back."President Barack Obama, January 22, 2014

Untitled Document

A.C.T. recognizes that a sexual offense is a serious crime. Sexual assaults include rape, sexual battery, and corruption of a minor, gross sexual imposition, voyeurism, and public indecency. Sexual offenses, whether committed by a stranger, friend, or steady dating partner, are criminal offenses subject to prosecution under the law. Furthermore, these acts are punishable under the Conservatory’s “Nonacademic Student Conduct Code and Disciplinary Procedures.”

Consent

“At A.C.T., only “yes” means “yes.”  Any sexual encounter requires affirmative consent. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent. Nor will the person(s) accused of a sexual offense be excused on the grounds of recklessness, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or that the accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented. Furthermore, it shall not be a valid excuse that the accused believed that the complainant affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the complainant was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:  (A) The complainant was asleep or unconscious. (B) The complainant was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, so that the complainant could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity. (C) The complainant was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

Policy

The sexual assault policy applies to A.C.T. faculty, staff, and students involved in any employment or academic relationship (or both) at A.C.T. This policy is enforced by internal disciplinary procedures with sanctions up to and including termination for employees or expulsion for students.

Sexual offenses should be reported as soon as possible after the offense occurs. During regular conservatory business hours (M–F, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.), students should report sex offenses to the director of academic affairs or human resources manager. During evenings, nights, or weekends, sexual offenses should be reported to an A.C.T. official if available or the security guard on duty.

Victims are encouraged to notify local law enforcement authorities. At the victim’s request, A.C.T. officials will assist the victim with the report to local law enforcement authorities. It is important to understand that reporting the incident does not obligate the victim to press charges. Victims are encouraged to not dispose of evidence that may be necessary to prove criminal sexual assault.

Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), schools are required to report incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, according to the following definitions:

1. “Domestic violence” includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.

2. “Dating violence” means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

3. “Stalking” means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others' safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Bystander Intervention

To prevent gender-based violence, it is important that people are approached as potential witnesses or bystanders to behaviors related to sexual or dating violence. If you witness these behaviors, there are certain ways you can step up to prevent a risky situation from getting worse. 

In order to intervene, first someone has to:

  1. 1. Notice the incident: Bystanders first must notice the incident taking place. It's important to become attune to what situations may be risky; i.e., if you're at a party, and you see someone stumbling as they're being led into a different room, this is a risky situation. 
  2. Interpret the incident as emergency: By "emergency," we mean a situation wherein there is risk of sexual or domestic violence occurring in the near future.
  3. Assume responsibility for intervening: It has been found that often, people believe that someone else will help in a situation where there are many people around. However, it is important to realize that others may also be thinking the same thing. If you're unsure if you should do something, ask a friend what they think—it might be the case that they've been thinking the same thing.
  4. Have the bystander intervention skills to help: There are a number of different techniques that someone can use to intervene in a risky situation, some of which we've listed below.

Bystander Intervention Techniques (the 4Ds)

Please remember that your safety is of the utmost importance. When a situation that threatens physical harm to yourself or another student, ask someone for help or contact an A.C.T. admistrator or staff person.

  1. Direct: Step in and address the situation directly. This might look like saying, "That's not cool. Please stop." or "Hey, leave them alone." This technique tends to work better when the person that you're trying to stop is someone that knows and trusts you. It does not work well when drugs or alcohol are being used because someone's ability to have a conversation with you about what is going on may be impaired, and they are more likely to become defensive.
  2. Distract: Distract either person in the situation to intervene. This might look like saying, "Hey, don’t you have rehearsal tomorrow?" or "Who wants to go get pizza?" This technique is especially useful when drugs or alcohol are being used because people under the influence are more easily distracted than those that are sober.
  3. Delegate: Find others who can help you to intervene in the situation. This might look like asking a friend to distract one person in the situation while you distract the other ("splitting" or "defensive split"), asking someone to go sit with them and talk, or going and starting a dance party right in the middle of their conversation. If you didn't know either person in the situation, you could also ask around to see if someone else does and check in with them. See if they can go talk to their friend, text their friend to check in, or intervene.
  4. Delay: For many reasons, you may not be able to do something right in the moment. For example, if you're feeling unsafe or if you're unsure whether or not someone in the situation is feeling unsafe, you may just want to check in with the person. In this case, you can combine a distraction technique by asking the person to use the bathroom with you or go get a drink with you to separate them from the person that they are talking with. Then, this might look like asking them, "Are you okay?" or "How can I help you get out of this situation?" This could also look like texting the person, either in the situation or after you see them leave and asking, "Are you okay?" or "Do you need help?" 

Bystander intervention resources

Step Up: http://www.stepupprogram.org                          http://stepupprogram.org/topics/

Men Can Stop Rape: http://www.mencanstoprape.org/Theories-that-Shape-Our-Work/bystander-intervention.html

Informal Complaint Procedure

  • The complainant has up to 180 days after the alleged incident(s) to make a complaint.
  • The complainant may meet informally with the director of academic affairs or the human resources manager, or
  • The complainant may choose to discuss the complaint with the person accused, with the option of having the director of academic affairs or the human resources manager present, or
  • At the request of the complainant, the director of academic affairs or the human resources manager may choose to discuss the complaint with the accused, or
  • The complainant may file a formal complaint.

Formal Complaint Procedure

  1. A complainant’s formal complaint of unlawful sexual harassment/assault must be submitted in writing to the human resources manager within 190 days of the alleged incident(s). A notice that a complaint has been received will be given to the appropriate program director. A copy of the complaint will be given to the accused. Personal information about the victim and alleged perpetrator will remain confidential, insofar as it does not interfere with A.C.T.’s right to investigate allegations of misconduct and take corrective action where necessary.
  2. Following the filing of the formal complaint, the human resources manager will conduct a formal investigation. The human resources manager shall disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest or biases related to the parties to the Director of Finance (or other designated Senior Team member). If the human resources manager is unable to fulfill the duties of investigator, the Director of Finance (or other designated Senior Team member) will appoint a new investigator.
  3. To the extent possible, the proceedings will be conducted in such a way as to protect the confidentiality of all parties while affording the accused a full opportunity to respond to the allegations.
  4. Within 60 working days of the filing of a formal complaint, the investigator will issue findings and a recommendation to the appropriate program director. The recommendation may include disciplinary or dismissal action.
  5. The appropriate program director will inform the parties promptly.
  6. In the event that the investigation’s findings do not support the complainant’s accusations and no sanctions are recommended, the investigator will retain files but they will not enter any student or personnel records—nor will any reference to the investigation appear in any other permanent record.
  7. Should violation of A.C.T.’s sexual assault policy be found and sanctions imposed, a record of such sanctions or disciplinary action taken as a result of such findings shall be made part of the accused’s permanent files.
  8. If the decision is unacceptable to the accused or the complainant, each may appeal.

An appeal to the decisions resulting from a formal complaint of sexual harassment or assault shall be conducted in accordance with the “Nonacademic Student Conduct Code and Disciplinary Procedures” that are hereby incorporated as part of the Sexual Assault Policy by reference. Both the complainant and the accused shall be notified of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceedings pursuant to an alleged incidence of sexual assault.

Just as the rights of those who experience sexual harassment or assault must be protected, A.C.T. protects the rights of those accused of sexual harassment or assault, and all parties to the investigation will be treated with discretion and respect, in accordance with A.C.T.’s policy on privacy and confidentiality.

An individual who participates as a complainant or witness in an investigation of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for a violation of the institution’s student conduct policy at or near the time of the incident, unless the institution determines that the violation was egregious, including, but not limited to, an action that places the health or safety of any other person at risk or involves plagiarism, cheating, or academic dishonesty.

Students who are victims of sexual assault are strongly encouraged to seek counseling from a mental health professional either through the human resources manager or other community resources, such as San Francisco Rape Treatment Center (415.821.3222) or SF Women Against Rape (415.647.7273). The human resources manager (415.439.2484) maintains lists of additional counseling services in the community for victims of sexual offenses and will provide such information upon request.

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.4673 / #1
  • San Francisco Women Against Rape Crisis Line: 415.647.7273 http://www.sfwar.org/ci.html

 

A.C.T. shall endeavor to make alternate academic arrangements for victims of sexual offenses if the need for alternate academic arrangements is precipitated by the sexual offense. Such requests should be directed to the director of academic affairs, who takes them to the program director in order to determine whether the alternate academic arrangements are reasonably available.

In accordance with the campus security policy, A.C.T. shall make timely reports to the A.C.T. community of sexual offenses on campus that are considered a potential threat to students and employees. Such reports shall be intended to increase awareness among the A.C.T. community in an effort to prevent similar occurrences of such crimes.

The conservatory organizes workshops for students and faculty and provides materials to students to promote awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and other sexual offenses.

Not Alone and A.C.T.’s Sexual Assault/VAWA Presentation

Information for students, schools, and anyone interested in finding resources on how to respond to and prevent sexual assault on college and university campuses and in our schools. Click explore on the “Not Alone” link below to find a crisis service, learn more about your rights and how to file a complaint, and view a map of resolved school-level enforcement activities. Click on the “prezi” link for A.C.T.’s presentation on Sexual Assault/VAWA information.

https://www.notalone.gov/
http://prezi.com/onsa0m3r5cdl/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Policy on Amorous or Sexual Relationships between Faculty, Staff and Students

Amorous or sexual relationships between faculty or staff and a member of the A.C.T. community for whom they have teaching, evaluative, advocacy, counseling, advising or supervisory responsibilities are unacceptable, even if the parties involved view such a relationship as consensual.
 
A.C.T. will regard such behavior as unprofessional, unacceptable and potentially subject to reprimand or disciplinary procedures. A.C.T. expects faculty and staff to refrain from such relationships with students.
 
Any supervisor who is aware of a faculty or staff member who has such a relationship shall take action to remove that individual from his/her position of responsibility or otherwise resolve the problem, beginning with informal steps to resolution, to prevent and correct problems stemming from amorous or sexual relationships. If informal steps for resolution are unsuccessful, the matter will be pursued via the formal corrective action or complaint process listed in the sexual harassment complaint procedures.

Hate Crimes

“Hate violence” as defined in the statute, means “any act of physical intimidation or physical harassment, physical force or physical violence, or the threat of physical violence, that is directed against any person or group of persons because of the ethnicity, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or political/religious beliefs of that person or group.”  Incidents of hate violence can be reported to Jennifer Zilberstein, human resources manager; or Jack Sharrar, director of academic affairs. A.C.T. does not condone hate violence and is charged with ensuring that the rights guaranteed by state law and the U.S. Constitution are protected for all people regardless of their ethnicity, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or political/religious beliefs.

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Substance Abuse/Drug Free Policy

A.C.T. is concerned about the use of alcohol, illegal drugs or controlled substances as it affects the coursework and the workplace.  Use of these substances whether on or off the job can adversely affect a student's and employee's work performance, efficiency, safety and health and therefore seriously impair the student's value to A.C.T.  In addition, the use or possession of these substances in coursework or on the job constitutes a potential danger to the welfare and safety of other students and employees and exposes A.C.T. to the risks of property loss or damage, or injury to other persons.

The following rules and standards of conduct apply to all students and employees either on Company property or during course/work hours.

The following are strictly prohibited by A.C.T.:

  • Being intoxicated while on the job or in coursework.
  • Driving a Company vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Distribution, sale or purchase of an illegal or controlled substance while in school or on the job.
  • Possession or use of an illegal or controlled substance, or being under the influence of an illegal or controlled substance while in school or on the job.

The only exceptions to this policy are Company-sponsored events where alcoholic beverages are provided or are available for purchase (see "A.C.T.'s Alcohol and Drug-Free Schools program below).  However, in these situations, your consumption of alcohol should be reasonable under the circumstances, and you are expected to comply with all rules prohibiting unlawful sexual harassment and other forms of unlawful harassment. 

Violation of the above rules and standards of conduct may be grounds for immediate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.  A.C.T. also may bring the matter to the attention of appropriate law enforcement authorities.

The use or possession of unprescribed amphetamines or barbiturates, narcotics, cocaine, LSD, marijuana, or other hallucinogenic agents is a violation of state and/or federal laws (complete information is available in the office of the director of academic affairs). A.C.T. does not condone the unprescribed use or possession of any of the above agents. Substance abuse in any form—be it drugs or alcohol—will not be tolerated. The conservatory stands ready to provide information, counseling, and referral with complete confidentiality for students with questions or problems in this area. Students who do not respond to our counseling and continue to abuse drugs and/or alcohol are subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion (see the "Nonacademic Student Conduct Code" above, starting on page 14, for additional information).  
 

A.C.T.'s Alcohol and Drug Free Schools Program

Alcohol Policy

Possession or consumption of alcohol on campus is permitted on the following two conditions:

  • in the privacy of one's administrative or faculty office by those of legal drinking age
  • at authorized A.C.T. events.

Otherwise, possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited.

Alcoholic beverages may not be sold at student-sponsored events on a retail basis on A.C.T. property or served at student-sponsored events held on campus where any of the participants are under the age of 21. Students participating in unauthorized student activity at which alcohol is consumed will be subject to disciplinary procedures. (See also "Nonacademic Student Conduct Code and Disciplinary Procedures" above.)
 

The following guidelines must be adhered to at all A.C.T. functions serving alcohol:

  1. An event form, available from the conservatory associate must be completed whenever alcohol is proposed as part of any event or activity. The executive director must approve the use of alcohol at events where students are expected to attend. In all cases, a member of the staff or faculty must agree to be present throughout the entire event to supervise the activity and ensure adherence to this policy. The executive director must also approve the use of alcohol when a faculty or staff member is sponsoring the event or activity.
  2. Alcoholic beverages served at approved official functions must be purchased and brought onto campus by authorized personnel only.
  3. Only a staff or faculty member (or individual hired for this purpose) may be designated to serve alcohol. Bartenders must be over the age of 21. Alcohol must be attended at all times.
  4. No alcohol shall be served to individuals who are under 21 years of age. Identification with proof of age is required, and alcohol will be denied to individuals that cannot provide such identification.
  5. At any event other than a small gathering, a sign must be prominently posted stating that no one under the age of 21 may be served alcohol and that "drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine, and other alcoholic beverages during pregnancy can cause birth defects" (which may be shortened to "beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages during pregnancy can cause birth defects" when beer and wine is served). At a small gathering, a verbal announcement must be made regarding the above.
  6. Alcohol shall only be served along with an appropriate amount of non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol must also be accompanied by an appropriate amount of food.
  7. No alcohol shall be served to persons who are intoxicated. Security guards may be called to remove intoxicated individuals who are causing a disturbance from the premises.
  8. For events lasting more than three (3) hours, the distribution of alcohol shall cease at least one half-hour before the scheduled end of the event.
  9. The serving of alcoholic beverages cannot be included in any advertisement for the event.
  10. The supervisors of the event where alcohol is being served must arrange for adequate security where appropriate.
  11. All alcohol containers must be cleaned up and removed from the public areas at the close of the event.
     

Drug Prevention Program

A.C.T., in conjunction with the directive of the U.S. Department of Education as set forth in 34 CFR, part 86 to maintain and run drug-free schools and campuses, has established the following drug prevention program:

  1. A.C.T. Student Conduct Code: Drug and Alcohol Policy
    1. Drugs: Unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs by students or employees on the property of A.C.T. or at any A.C.T. activities is prohibited
    2. Alcohol: See Alcohol Policy.
  2. Disciplinary Sanctions for Violations of A.C.T. Student Conduct Code: Drug and Alcohol Policy
    1. Illegal use of drugs and alcohol at A.C.T. is prohibited. Disciplinary sanctions for violation of the Drug and Alcohol Policy include written warning, censure, loss of privileges, and exclusion from areas and activities, restitution, interim suspension, exclusion from certain campus or building areas, suspension, and/or dismissal.
  3. Health Risks Associated with Use of Illicit Drugs or Alcohol Abuse
    1. Drugs: See Appendices C and D.
    2. Alcohol: Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even small amounts significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate consumption of alcohol also increases the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high consumption of alcohol causes marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.
    3. Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver.
    4. Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.
  4. Available Drug or Alcohol Counseling: Treatment/Rehabilitation Programs, Drugs and Alcohol Education
    1. A.C.T.'s Director of Academic Affairs and Human Resources Manager can provide information and services for substance abuse and recovery issues.
       

Information and Crisis Intervention

  • National Council on Alcoholism Education: Bay Area, 415.296.9900
  • Drug & Alcohol Abuse Hotline, 415.362.3400
  • Alcohol Helpline, 800.252.6465 (24-hour phone)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous, 415.674.1821 (free self-help support meetings; call for meeting locations)
  • Cocaine Anonymous, 415.226.1300
  • Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, Alcohol Treatment Services, 415.487.5634 (support groups and counseling; donations greatly appreciated)
  • IRIS Center, 415.864.2364 (women's counseling and recovery services; sliding-scale fees and MediCal)
  • Narcotics Anonymous, 415.621.8600 (free self-help support meetings for addicts and their families)
  • California Poison Control, 800.222.1222
  • San Francisco General Hospital: Psychiatric Emergency Services, 415.206.8125; Substance Abuse Services, 415.206.3191
  • San Francisco Suicide Prevention: 24-Hour Crisis Line, 415.781.0500 or TTY 415.227.0245; Drug Information Line, 415.362.3400
  • Walden House, 415.762.3700 (residential treatment facility for drug addicts; detox center; outpatient program)
  • Women's Alcoholism Center, 415.282.8970 (outpatient and residential programs for women and their children, 415.776.1001; sliding scale fee) 

V.      Federal and State Legal Sanctions for the Unlawful Possession or Distribution of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol.

  1. Federal: See Appendix E.
  2. State:
    1. The Uniform Controlled Substances Act is found in California Health & Safety Code, Section 11000, et seq. Sanctions for illegal possession of controlled substances are found at Health & Safety Code, Section 113500, et seq.
    2. Controlled substances are listed in schedules contained in Health & Safety Code, Sections 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, and 11058. They include opiates; opium derivatives, hallucinogenic substances, methamphetamine, phencyclidine, and certain mushrooms are considered controlled substances.
    3. As set forth in the Health & Safety Code, section 11350, et seq., if convicted under the Uniform Controlled Substance Act, one may be sentenced to terms in state prison from two to five years plus substantial fines. The exact prison term and fine depend upon the number of past convictions and circumstances of each arrest and conviction.
       

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Health and Safety Policies and Information

GOOD-HEALTH CERTIFICATION and SPECIAL NEEDS

The M.F.A. Program is strenuous and requires a great deal of stamina It is therefore mandatory that you send a doctor's letter with your agreement/contract confirming your good health, including a TB test. Typically, this is a form that your doctor will provide. The conservatory does not provide a specific form for this purpose. Please inform us of any health concerns or restrictions we should know about you in case of emergency (e.g., allergic/diabetic reactions; back or knee problems). All medical information is strictly confidential.

As instructed in the Professional Training Programs Bulletin, students with special needs must notify the director of academic affairs of their precise nature immediately after acceptance to the program. If a student has developed special needs since acceptance, he or she must notify the director of academic affairs in writing with the return of their agreement/contract. Upon notification, A.C.T., in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, will then consider what reasonable accommodations may be available to meet those special needs.

Counseling

Counseling is available to assist with a variety of issues, ranging from substance abuse to psychological matters. School is stressful—please seek help with any issues that may affect your academic performance and personal well-being. If you are in need of outside counseling, A.C.T. has on retainer the services of professional counselors. In these instances, please see the human resources manager (415.439.2484), who will discuss your options with you.

Injury and Illness Prevention Plan/Emergency Action Plan

Copies of A.C.T.'s Injury and Illness Prevention Plan, which contains the "Emergency Action Plan," are available upon request from the conservatory office. Students will be instructed in the "Emergency Action Plan" during orientation. In the event that you sustain a physical injury in the course of your work, report the injury to your teacher immediately and follow his or her instructions.

Emergency Response, Evacuation Procedures, Timely Warnings

A.C.T. takes the safety and well-being of its employees, students, and patrons very seriously. A.C.T. executive management and Emergency Response Team (ERT) members are responsible for assessing and reporting emergency situations to the campus community.

Designated floor monitors at 30 Grant and staff at the Geary Theater and other A.C.T. performance venues are trained in emergency evacuation and reporting procedures.

Evacuation Procedures
It is A.C.T.'s policy to evacuate when an alarm goes off FOR ANY REASON.  Do not assume that any alarm is a "false alarm." This includes alarms which start and then stop.   The floor monitors are all trained in the proper response to such alarms.  All others should evacuate immediately in a calm and efficient manner.

  • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS
  • DO NOT OPEN A DOOR WITHOUT FIRST FEELING IT FOR HEAT
  • IF YOU ENCOUNTER SMOKE, STAY LOW; LOOK FOR AN ALTERNATE EXIT
  • IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH STAIRS LET SOMEONE KNOW AND WAIT  
  • EXIT THE BUILDING AS QUIETLY AND CALMLY AS POSSIBLE
  • FLOOR MONITORS WILL BE WEARING AN ORANGE EMERGENCY VEST
  • FLOOR MONITORS WILL CLOSE ALL DOORS BEHIND THEM ONCE AN AREA IS CLEARED
  • FLOOR MONITORS WILL ALERT THOSE WHO MAY BE IN BATHROOMS
     

If possible, exit with those from your immediate work area.  Once you reach the street please congregate together at the assembly area which is located diagonally across from the building on the North West side of Geary and Grant.      

Floor Monitors will count heads for possible missing people.  DO NOT LEAVE THE ASSEMBLY AREA WITHOUT CHECKING IN WITH A FLOOR MONITOR. DO NOT GO BACK INSIDE in search of people.  Inform a Floor Monitor, Police, or Firefighter if someone is missing.

Do not re-enter the building until it has been cleared by a member of the Emergency Response Team, Fire, or Police authority.

The emergency response and evacuation system is tested annually at the 30 Grant campus. For full emergency policy and procedures, click here.

Timely Warnings
In the event that a situation arises, either on or off campus, that, in the judgment of the Facilities Manager, or other A.C.T. administrator, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, a campus wide "timely warning" will be issued. The warning will be issued to students, faculty and staff through the company email system, student emails, our voice mail system, and whatever other means and methods are deemed appropriate in the situation, including, postings on the bulletin boards in the lobby of each floor, 7-9, the library and the kitchen area on floor 7.

Depending on the particular circumstances of the crime or event (e.g. a city wide power outage, violent protest, natural disaster, etc.), especially in all situations that could pose an immediate threat to the community and individuals, 911 will be called.

Anyone with information warranting a timely warning should report the circumstances to the nearest A.C.T. administrator, faculty, or staff person, by phone (415) 439-2405 or (828) 242-8638, or in person at the conservatory office located on the 7th floor.

INSURANCE, Accident Reports and First Aid Supplies

Beginning the fall of 2013, all students are required to provide proof of individual health insurance at Registration. This is in keeping with the Affordable Care Act, which mandates coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014. You may obtain any plan that best suits your needs. Some of you may still be covered under your parents' policies. A.C.T.'s accident insurance covers only classroom related incidents, not any type of personal medical issues.  And in the case of a classroom accident, A.C.T. has a primary excess policy, which means that all claims must first be submitted to personal insurance, with our policy as secondary only. The following website may be useful to you in obtaining personal health insurance coverage:  www.ehealthinsurance.com. Other sites include: (Kaiser) kpif.kp.org/ or (Blue Cross Health Insurance - Anthem-Health.com) www.anthem-health.com. For Covered California and San Francisco Benefits, see. http://healthcarereformsf.org/

In the event of an on-the-job injury or accident, you or the student(s) involved must obtain an accident report from the conservatory office and fill it out. Always file an accident report while the details are fresh.

The conservatory office maintains a small supply of aspirin, Band-Aids, ace bandages, ice packs, etc.  If you need any of these items, please come to the office.  These supplies are in the blue cabinet in the office.

Steps to Follow in the Event of a Student Injury

While not every injury is serious enough to warrant these steps, please us your best professional judgment in determining your actions:

  • Do not move the student
  • Notify the conservatory office immediately. If you cannot leave, send a student.

If the injury is serious, we will call the paramedics. The student may insist that he/she is all right; remember that it is not up to the student to make this decision; legally (and ethically) we need to do what is best for the student and insure that they are cared for until cleared by a doctor.
 

Smoking Policy

A.C.T. is a non-smoking building. Smoking is permitted only outside the building. Since you will be spending three years developing your voice as both a speaking and singing instrument, it makes sense, if you smoke, to change your habits now before smoking becomes a major issue in your training. Many of your teachers will strongly encourage you to stop smoking. This policy applies to tobacco products, "e-cigarettes" and "personal vaporizers."
 

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Use of Social Media

At A.C.T., we understand that social media can be a fun and rewarding way to share your life and opinions with family, friends and co-workers around the world. However, use of social media also presents certain risks and carries with it certain responsibilities. To assist you in making responsible decisions about your use of social media, we have established these guidelines for appropriate use of social media.
This policy applies to all employees who work for and students who attend school at A.C.T., at any facility or when "on the road" for the company.

Managers and supervisors should use the Social Media Management Guidelines below for additional guidance in administering the policy.

Guidelines
In the rapidly expanding world of electronic communication, social media can mean many things.
Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort on the Internet, including to your own or someone else's web log or blog, journal or diary, personal web site, social networking or affinity web site, web bulletin board or a chat room, whether or not associated or affiliated with A.C.T., as well as any other form of electronic communication.

The same principles and guidelines found in other A.C.T. policies apply to your activities online. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what you post online. Before creating online content, consider some of the risks and rewards that are involved. Keep in mind that any of your conduct that adversely affects your job performance, the performance of fellow associates or otherwise adversely affects patrons, donors, customers, suppliers, people who work on behalf of A.C.T. or A.C.T.'s legitimate business interests may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Know and Follow the Rules
Carefully read these guidelines, the A.C.T. Statement of Ethics Policy, the A.C.T. Information Policy and the Discrimination & Harassment Prevention Policy, and ensure your postings are consistent with these policies. Inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and may subject you to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Be Respectful
Always be fair and courteous to fellow associates, patrons, donors, customers, suppliers or people who work on behalf of A.C.T. Also, keep in mind that you are more likely to resolved work-related complaints by speaking directly with your co-workers or by utilizing our Open Door Policy than by posting complaints to a social media outlet. Nevertheless, if you decide to post complaints or criticism, avoid using statements, photographs, video or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating, that disparage patrons, donors, customers, associates or suppliers, or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone's reputation or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion or any other status protected by law or company policy.

Be Honest and Accurate
Make sure you are always honest and accurate when posting information or news, and if you make a mistake, correct it quickly. Be open about any previous posts you have altered.

Remember that the Internet archives almost everything; therefore, even deleted postings can be searched. Never post any information or rumors that you know to be false about A.C.T., fellow associates, patrons, donors, customers, suppliers, people working on behalf of A.C.T. or competitors.

Post Only Appropriate and Respectful Content

  • Maintain the confidentiality of A.C.T.'s private or confidential information. Do not post internal reports, policies, procedures or other internal business-related confidential communications.
  • Respect financial disclosure laws and the privacy of A.C.T.'s financial information.
  • Do not create a link from your blog, website or other social networking site to a A.C.T. website without identifying yourself as a A.C.T. associate.
  •  Express only your personal opinions. Never represent yourself as a spokesperson for A.C.T. If A.C.T. is a subject of the content you are creating, be clear and open about the fact that you are an associate and make it clear that your views do not represent those of A.C.T., fellow associates, patrons, donors, customers, suppliers or people working on behalf of A.C.T. If you do publish a blog or post online related to the work you do or subjects associated with A.C.T., make it clear that you are not speaking on behalf of A.C.T. It is best to include a disclaimer such as "The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of A.C.T."
     

Using Social Media at Work
Refrain from using social media while on work time or on equipment we provide, unless it is work-related as authorized by your manager or consistent with the Company Equipment Policy.

Do not use A.C.T. email addresses to register on social networks, blogs or other online tools for personal use.

Retaliation is Prohibited
A.C.T. prohibits taking negative action against any employee for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation. Any associate who retaliates against another associate for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Media Contacts
Associates should not speak to the media on A.C.T.'s behalf without contacting the Marketing Department. All media inquiries should be directed to them.

For More Information
If you have questions or need further guidance, please contact Human Resources.

Internet/Web/Email Security

A.C.T. installs anti-virus and spyware software on Company machines as necessary, however, the best software cannot protect against all illegal attacks on our system. Many viruses and other problems enter through attachments to otherwise innocuous seeming e-mails. Be particularly cautious of "scams" which prompt you to update bank account or other financial information. Do not open any email or attachments from an un-trusted or unknown source.

A.C.T. Peer-To-Peer File Sharing Policy.

General Grievance and Problem Resolution 

If you wish to resolve a problem, or if you have complaints concerning a class or program, you should first
contact the teacher. You may also contact the director of academic affairs, the conservatory manager, or
the human resources manager for assistance in problem resolution. Requests for further action should be
made in writing to the conservatory director. Responses are made within 30 business days of receipt. Unresolved problems should be taken to the Director of Finance (or other designated Senior Team member.
 
An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint.
The bureau may be contacted at, 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, 916.431.6924, Fax: 916.263.1897, http://www.bppe.ca.gov

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