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Code of Conduct and Related Policies

Students and their parents should become familiar with Curtis’s policies and procedures regarding the academic honesty, emergency evaluation, and the following policies:



Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Student Policy
Sexual Misconduct Policy
Student Technology Policy

Curtis Student Code of Conduct

I. Preamble

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world’s leading music schools, Curtis provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its students, ensuring that admissions are based solely on artistic promise. A Curtis education is uniquely tailored to the individual student, with personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and frequent performance opportunities.

Curtis is a community in which musical and intellectual growth, learning by doing, mutual tolerance, and respect for freedom of thought and expression are principles of great importance. In an environment that promotes the free interchange of ideas, cultural diversity, and space for artistic, intellectual, and social growth, Curtis students are encouraged to take advantage of the range of opportunities available to them, thereby deepening their own insights and expanding their educational experience beyond Curtis. The Curtis community consists of students, faculty, staff, and those otherwise affiliated with the school, all of whom are invited to participate actively in the greater Philadelphia, state, national, and international communities in which they reside.

By accepting membership into the Curtis community, a student accepts an obligation to promote its welfare by assuming the rights and responsibilities listed below. Each member of this community is responsible for his or her own actions and is expected to respect the rights of others.

All students are on probation during their entire period of enrollment and may be officially withdrawn at any time for failure to maintain the required standard of work or the inability to engage in the basic required activities necessary to obtain an education.

Whenever, in this Code, a particular Curtis officer is identified by title, a designee may be substituted with the approval of the dean.

II. Rights of Student Citizenship

Membership in the Curtis community affords every student certain rights that are essential to the school’s educational mission and its character as a community:

A.  The right to have access to and participate in the academic and nonacademic opportunities afforded by Curtis, subject to applicable standards or requirements.

B.  The right to freedom of thought and expression.

C.  The right to be free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or veteran status.

D.  The right to the fair process in the determination of accountability for conduct, as set forth in this Code.

III. Responsibilities of Student Citizenship

Students are expected to exhibit responsible behavior regardless of time or place, both on and off campus. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. At Curtis, responsible behavior is a standard of conduct that reflects higher expectations than may be prevalent outside the Curtis community. Any student who violates this Code is subject to the disciplinary sanctions as set forth here.

Responsible behavior includes but is not limited to the following obligations.

A.  Students shall:

  1. Comply with all provisions of the Curtis “Academic Honesty Policy.”
  2. Comply with all Curtis policies, procedures, and regulations.
  3. Respect the health and safety of others. This prohibits acts or threats of physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.  This also includes any violation of the Curtis Sexual Misconduct Policy. 
  4. Respect the rights of fellow students to participate in organizations and in relationships with other students without fear, threat, or any act of hazing. Hazing is any act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation and admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition of continued membership in any group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act; it is a violation of this Code.
  5. Comply and adhere to Curtis Student Technology Policy
  6. Be honest and truthful in dealings with Curtis about one's own identity (e.g., name or Social Security number), and in the use of Curtis and other identification.
  7. Cooperate fully and honestly in any student disciplinary matter.
  8. Comply with all Curtis contracts, such as the Lenfest Hall Housing Agreement and other contracts.
  9. Engage in responsible social conduct that reflects credit upon the Curtis community and to exemplify good citizenship in any community.
  10. Comply with federal, state, and local laws, including complying with the directions of Curtis officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties.
  11. Comply with state and local laws and regulations that prohibit the use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages to any person less than twenty-one (21) years of age.

B. Students shall not attempt to do any of these things:

  1. Engage in conduct toward other students that infringes upon the Rights of Student Citizenship. 
  2. Steal and/or damage, deface or misuse of property or facilities of Curtis or of other members of the Curtis community or other personal or public property.
  3. Possess, duplicate, or use keys on any Curtis premises or otherwise obtain entry without proper authorization.
  4. Possess or use dangerous articles (such as firearms, explosive materials, other weapons, dangerous chemicals, etc.) on Curtis property or at Curtis events.
  5. Use, possess, manufacture or distribute alcoholic beverages on Curtis premises, except as expressly permitted by Curtis regulations.
  6. Use or consume any alcohol or controlled substance while representing Curtis at outside performances, concerts or any other Curtis function. This prohibition applies to every student regardless of age, and includes periods before the performance, regardless of place, and during or after the performance while at the performance venue. Under no circumstances should a student appear at any performance or other Curtis functions while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. For additional information, refer to the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Student Policy.
  7. Possess, use, or distribute any controlled substance in violation of law. Refer to the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Student Policy.
  8. Engage in the unauthorized entry into or transfer of any Curtis computer file or the file or computer of any member of the Curtis community; use another person’s identification or password; use any computer or electronic device to interfere with the work of another member of the community and/or the normal operation of Curtis. Students are not permitted to use Curtis computers, email accounts, or labs for illegal purposes or for the transmission of material that is unlawful, harassing, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable, or that infringes or may infringe the intellectual property or other rights of a person or organization. This includes the use of electronic messaging, texting, Facebook, or any other social media outlet.
  9. Distribute unauthorized copyrighted material, including peer-to-peer file sharing. Violation of this policy may subject the student to civil and criminal penalties, as well as Code of Conduct sanctions.
  10. Disrupt or obstruct teaching, performance, or any disciplinary process, or other Curtis activity, including public service functions, whether on or off campus.

IV. Procedure for Complaint

This procedure is intended to protect the rights of the student making the complaint and the student against whom the complaint is made. It ensures that the latter student is given the opportunity to respond to the complaint and is accorded due process under this procedure. To protect the integrity of this process, it is important that it remain strictly confidential, and that all parties refrain from discussing it with any individual or entity outside the designated procedure.

Any member of the Curtis community may file a complaint against a student for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct by giving a written statement to the associate dean of student services. This should be filed as soon as possible and preferably within three days of the action upon which the complaint is based. In cases of sexual misconduct, refer to the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedure.

After the complaint is received, the student against whom the complaint has been made will be required to meet with the associate dean of student life [hereafter, “associate dean”]. The associate dean will discuss the matter with the student, present the student with a statement of the substance of the complaint, and explain the procedure governing the consideration of a complaint. When appropriate, the student making the complaint and the student against whom the complaint is made will be provided with an advisor, and if needed, an interpreter.The advisor is not an advocate, but rather a source of personal and moral support to the student and is to help ensure that the student understands the disciplinary process.

The student then has the option to:

  1. Admit the validity of the complaint and request a meeting with the dean.  The dean and associate dean will determine the appropriate sanction to be imposed. The sanction may be appealed as outlined in section V. item E.
  2. Request a hearing before the Student Conduct Board.

No Contact Order: At any time during this process, the dean and/or associate dean may determine that an Administrative Order to Refrain from Contact be issued.   While violation of such an order is independent grounds for disciplinary action, its issuance carries no presumption of culpability for either party.

V. Student Conduct Board (SCB)

A. The dean of faculty and students will serve as the Student Conduct Administrator.

B. Student Conduct Board (SCB) will consist of the dean acting as chair, a faculty member and a staff member selected by the dean. The students involved will be informed of the membership of the SCB and will have the opportunity to state whether they feel any member cannot act impartially with regard to the complaint. In such cases, the dean will evaluate the concerns raised by the student, and make a final decision as to the makeup of the SCB.

SCB will provide for the administration and conduct of any hearing in a manner consistent with this Code to determine whether a student has violated the Code and whether sanctions are to be imposed. The nature of any such hearing - including whether it will be by live or written testimony, who will be permitted to appear and participate, and the nature of the evidence it will consider - will be determined by the SCB, taking into account the nature of the allegations and any other relevant information. Any such hearing will not be open to the public or members of the Curtis community. Due to the sensitive nature of this process, members of the SCB and all participants are expected to keep all proceedings strictly confidential.

C. The outcome of the SCB hearing will be presented to both parties in written form privately, and simultaneously.

D. A decision by the SCB is final unless a written appeal is filed with the associate dean within 48 hours of the decision.

E. Appeal Procedure: The appeal will be decided by the president or a designee who has not had any direct role in the SCB’s decision. The president will determine what is required and allowed in connection with the appeal, including whether to permit live or written submissions, on a case by case basis. The president will have the power to modify [and either increase or decrease any sanction], remand, affirm, or reverse any determination of the SCB. The decision of the president is final.

VI. Parallel Proceedings

Curtis disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both criminal law and the Student Code of Conduct. Proceedings under this Code may move forward without regard to whether criminal or other proceedings are pending. Sanctions will not be subject to change because of the outcome of any other external proceeding, whether criminal or civil.

VII. Sanctions

A. These sanctions (one or more) may be imposed upon any student found to have violated this Code:

  1. Warning – written notice of violation, no further sanctions
  2. Written reprimand with conditions
  3. Loss of privileges
  4. Monetary penalty and/or restitution
  5. Suspension- separation of the student from Curtis. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
  6. Expulsion – permanent separation from Curtis
  7. Withholding of the degree or diploma
  8. Other sanctions – for example: work assignments, essays, service, etc. This is not meant to limit the available sanctions, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  9. Revocation of admission and/or degree or diploma – admission and/or a conferred degree or diploma may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of the Curtis Student Code, or other violation of Curtis standards in obtaining the degree, or other serious violations by a student prior to graduation.

B. SCB will decide whether a determination and/or sanction will be made part of the student’s permanent academic record. In those cases in which the determination and/or sanction is made a part of the student’s disciplinary record, the student may ask that the dean expunge the record after 18 months, if there has been no other allegation of a Code violation. The dean, whose decision on the request will be final, will take into account the student’s entire record and the offense itself in deciding whether to grant the request to expunge the record.

VIII. Interim Suspensions

If a student is behaving in a manner which is threatening to him- or herself or others, or which significantly interferes with the student’s education or the rights of others, the associate dean of student services or dean of faculty and students may initiate these procedures.

Interim suspension may be imposed by the dean of faculty and students of the Institute when necessary to protect the health and safety of a student or of the community, or to allow time for a behavioral mental health assessment or evaluation, including an assessment of whether the student’s mental health permits the student’s participation in this process.

IX. Withdrawal

The dean of faculty and students, in consultation with the president and the associate dean of student services may immediately withdraw a student if it is determined, by a preponderance of the evidence (that it is more likely than not) that the student is engaging in or likely to engage in behavior which poses a substantial danger of causing imminent harm to the student, to others or to substantial property rights, or which renders the student unable to engage in basic required activities necessary to obtain an education, or that substantially impedes the lawful activities of others.

X. Medical/Psychological Situations

A. Referral for Evaluation - The associate dean may require a professional medical or mental health evaluation of a student when appropriate. The evaluation, conducted at Curtis expense, must be swiftly completed. A student who fails or refuses to cooperate in such an evaluation may be suspended and/or referred for Code of Conduct action.

B. Involuntary Medical and/or Psychological Withdrawal Procedures - If a medical evaluation or administrative assessment supports the need for withdrawal, a conference will be held with the dean, the associate dean and, if necessary, the consulting health professional. The student will be informed of the time, date and place, and will be given an opportunity to independently review the medical and/or psychiatric evaluation prior to the conference. The student shall notify the associate dean in advance of any witness or information the student expects to present at the conference. The student may present information for or against involuntary withdrawal. The conference will be conversational and non?adversarial; however the dean will exercise active control over the proceeding, including deciding who may present information. Formal rules of evidence will not apply. Anyone who disrupts the conference may be excluded. The student may be assisted in the conference by a family member, licensed health professional, and/or advisor appointed by the associate dean.

A prompt written decision will be rendered. If the student is withdrawn, the notification will include information on withdrawal and readmission.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Student Policy

Drug Free Campus

Curtis has adopted a Drug- and Alcohol-Abuse Prevention Policy in order to provide and maintain a campus free of the unlawful use of drugs and alcohol. Parts of that policy are based upon the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, and applicable regulations issued by the United States Department of Education. For purposes of this policy, drugs are defined as any substance which is defined, listed, or identified as a controlled substance under federal statutes and regulations. Further, drugs are defined as a controlled substance under federal statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to, marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, methadone, methaqualone, hallucinogens [including, but not limited to, PCP, LSD, and psilocybin (mushrooms)], narcotics or opiates (including, but not limited to, heroin, morphine, opium, Demerol, and Percodan), and Fentanyl. Curtis intends through this policy to promote a safe learning and work environment for its community and to discourage and prevent unlawful conduct and activities relating to drugs and alcohol. This policy and the procedures implementing it are applicable to all members of the Curtis community.

All members of the Curtis community are prohibited from unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing, purchasing, transferring, selling, or using a controlled substance (sometimes called an illicit drug) and/or alcohol on Curtis property or during participation in any activities of Curtis regardless of whether such activities take place on or off the property of Curtis. Also, all members of the Curtis community are required to be at Curtis without having engaged in the current, illegal use of any controlled substance and free of the unlawful presence of any controlled substance in their body systems. All members of the community are prohibited from storing in a locker or desk, or other repository on Curtis property, any controlled substance that is not lawful for him or her to possess. Anyone who is convicted for a violation of a criminal drug statute must notify the associate dean of student services, in writing, of such conviction within five (5) calendar days after such conviction. Anyone who engages in conduct that is prohibited by this policy or who does not give the required notice of conviction will be subject to disciplinary sanctions, as determined by Curtis, in its discretion, up to and including dismissal from Curtis. Also, anyone who engages in conduct prohibited by this policy may be required to successfully complete a rehabilitation or treatment program, determined to be appropriate by Curtis, in its discretion, in order to be eligible to remain at Curtis. Curtis has the discretion whether or not to accept the determination made by the rehabilitation or treatment program that the student successfully completed such program. Reinstatement with Curtis, either during or upon successful completion of a rehabilitation or treatment program, is not guaranteed. The decision whether or not to reinstate at any time will be made solely by Curtis, in its discretion.

All members of the Curtis community are reminded that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, purchase, transfer, sale, or use of controlled substances (i.e., illicit drugs) and/or alcohol is against the law. Curtis may refer any violations of law to local, state, or federal law enforcement authorities for prosecution.

Education and Prevention

All members of the Curtis community are reminded that there are serious health risks associated with the unlawful use of controlled substances and the abuse of alcohol.

Students sometimes think about changing their drinking habits for any number of reasons.  Alcohol and drugs can affect music performance, academic progress, and can lead to serious legal or judicial consequences.  If you are thinking about cutting back or quitting, for whatever reason, or you would like to help a friend who exhibits worrisome behavior students are encouraged to know the facts and get educated.  Suggestions and available resources include:

  1. Curtis Counselors - A confidential option for students who are experiencing negative consequences as a result of their alcohol and other drug use is to make an appointment with a Curtis counselor. Refer to the Wellness Resources:  Student Guide to Health and Well-Being at Curtis for names and contact information for the counselors and a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions.
  2. Penn Student Health Services - Make an appointment. The clinical professionals at Penn are happy to help, and can provide advice and good counsel.  They can also provide you helpful information about the consequences of excessive drinking and abundance of educational tools available through Penn’s Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives.
  3. Student Health 101 – Past issues are available on-line 24/7.  Information on drugs and alcohol addiction, prevention, and treatment can be accessed on each issue’s archive pages.
  4. Rock Resource Library – Articles on student health and well-being are among the wellness holdings at the library.  The Musicians Health and Wellness Guide is a continually updated page dedicated to the resources from the Library in print and electronic form.  Library staff are happy to help and assist you.
  5. The Web and Curtis Intranet - Links for many websites on alcohol and drug addiction, education, and prevention are available in the Student Services section of the Curtis Intranet.  Among them is College Drinking: Changing the Culture, created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Students should refer to the Curtis Student Code of Conduct for information about the student disciplinary procedure or meet with a member of the student services staff.

Drug and Alcohol Amnesty 

In cases of intoxication and/or alcohol poisoning, the primary concern is the health and safety of the individual(s) involved. Individuals are strongly encouraged to call for medical assistance (9-1-1) for themselves or for a friend/acquaintance who is dangerously intoxicated. No student seeking medical treatment for an alcohol or other drug-related overdose will be subject to Curtis Student Code of Conduct disciplinary procedures for the sole violation of using or possessing alcohol or drugs. This policy shall extend to another Curtis student seeking help for the intoxicated student.

No Smoking 

In compliance with applicable laws, smoking inside Curtis (all buildings), the bridges between its buildings, Lenfest Hall terrace, fire stairs, and near emergency exits is strictly prohibited. Smoking also is strictly prohibited outdoors within twenty (20) feet of any entrance or exit of any Curtis buildings, out of consideration for the health of Curtis students, faculty, staff, and visitors. This includes the entrances to 1718, 1720, and 1726 Locust Street, Lenfest Hall, Rubenstein Centre, as well as the handicapped-accessible entrance to Field Concert Hall and all emergency exits.

Further, cigarette butts should be properly disposed of, rather than dropped outside the buildings as smokers enter. We encourage all smokers to consider becoming nonsmokers.

Any student who is violating this policy will be informed that smoking is prohibited by law in those areas (referred to as the no-smoking areas) and will be requested to immediately refrain from smoking or leave the no-smoking areas. Applicable law provides for reporting to appropriate authorities if a person does not comply with a request to immediately refrain from smoking or leave the no-smoking areas. Any student engaged in smoking in any building or facility of Curtis, or other no-smoking areas, will be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct. The word “smoking” includes inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, or other such device that contains tobacco or other smoke-producing products including “e-cigarettes”.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

Sexual Harassment

The Curtis Institute of Music is committed to protecting the rights and dignity of all students, and seeks to maintain an environment that is free from all forms of unlawful harassment and discrimination.

Sexual Harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, stalking, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unlawfully interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or unlawfully creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.

The following types of actions may constitute sexual harassment, whether the harasser is a co-worker, supervisor, student or faculty member:

  1. Demand for sexual favors accompanied by implied threats about the person’s employment status, or implied promises of preferential treatment;
  2. Persistent, unwelcome flirtation, requests for dates, advances or propositions of a sexual nature;
  3. Unwanted touching such as patting, pinching, hugging or repeated brushing against an individual’s body;
  4. Repeated degrading or insulting comments that demean an individual’s sexuality or sex;
  5. Unwarranted displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures;
  6. Stalking, repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact directed at someone that would cause a reasonable person to be alarmed or be in fear of harm or injury, including physical, psychological or emotional harm. This includes cyber-stalking on the Internet or cell phones.

Sexual Violence and Assault

The Curtis Institute of Music will not tolerate sexual violence in any form, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and rape.   Sexual violence includes a range of behaviors in which an act of a sexual nature is taken against another person without her or his consent or when he or she is unable to consent.  Important definitions appear below.

Sexual Assault (including but not limited to rape) is defined as having committed any of the following acts:

  • Any physical sexual contact that involves the use or threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation;
  • Any physical sexual contact with a person who is unable to consent due to incapacity or impairment, mental or physical. “Incapacity” or “impairment” includes but is not limited to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or being too young to consent.

Rape is defined as sexual assault involving an act of penetration and includes acquaintance rape (assailant and victim know each other).

Non-forcible Sex Acts include unlawful sex acts where consent is not relevant, such as sexual contact with an individual under the statutory age of consent as defined by Pennsylvania law.  In Pennsylvania, the age of consent is 16. If the minor is under the age of 18, the adult can be charged with "Corruption of a Minor". 

Consent is an affirmative decision to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity and is given by clear words or actions. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of resistance alone. Furthermore, consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity and the existence of a current or previous dating, marital, or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent to additional sexual activity. Assent shall not constitute consent if it is given by a person who because of youth* (See “Note” after this paragraph), disability, intoxication or other condition is unable to lawfully give his or her consent.

Note to All Students – Remember, Curtis has no age requirement.  Many younger students under the age of 18 are part of the Curtis community.  It is the responsibility of all students to be mindful and prudent of the laws of Pennsylvania and act accordingly.

In determining whether the alleged conduct violates this policy, consideration will be given to the totality of circumstances, including the nature of the sexual conduct and the context in which the alleged incident occurred.

Sexual Violence includes, but is not limited to: (a.) the unwanted touching or attempted touching of a person’s breast/chest, buttocks, inner thighs, or genitalia; or (b.) forced penetration of another person’s oral, anal or genital opening with a body part or any object. These acts can be referred to as sexual violence, and in some cases, rape. The terms “acquaintance rape” and “date rape” are often used to describe an act of sexual violence that is committed by someone the victim knows or is acquainted with.

Sexual violence occurs when a sexual act is committed by: (1) physical force, violence, or threats; (2) coercion or intimidation (3) ignoring objections of another person; (4) causing another’s intoxication or impairment through the use of alcohol or drugs; or (5) taking advantage of another person’s incapacitation, unconsciousness, state of intimidation, helplessness, or other inability to consent; (6) violating statutory rape laws. An individual’s perceived consent to sexual activity may be invalidated because of circumstances or the behavior of the other. Examples of such situations include, but are not limited to: incompetence; impairment from alcohol /or other drugs; fear; unconsciousness; intimidation; coercion; confinement; isolation; or mental or physical impairment.

This policy is in accordance with the Pennsylvania state law which states sexual offenses are illegal and punishable by law. These offenses include: rape; statutory sexual assault; sexual assault; involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; institutional sexual assault; aggravated indecent assault; indecent assault; and indecent exposure.

Student Rights and Victim Support Services

Rights of Complainants and Respondents

Persons who make a complaint and those who are responding to complaints have the following rights:

  • The option to notify law enforcement;

  • The option to have another member of the Curtis community present during interviews that are part of a Curtis-initiated investigation;

  • To be notified of counseling and support services available;

  • To be notified of options to change academic, working, transportation, and living arrangements

There are a number of resources available to Curtis students who wish to report a crime or to seek support following a sexual assault. Student victims of a sexual assault are encouraged to notify local law enforcement authorities in a timely manner. All victims have the right to directly contact the Philadelphia Police department by calling 9-1-1, and the right not to file a report.

Victims may contact the associate dean of student services, or assistant dean of residence life for assistance notifying the appropriate authorities and receiving victim support services.

If a victim elects to go through the criminal justice system and/or to receive medical treatment, Curtis personnel can accompany the victim to the Emergency Room where they will receive a forensic rape examination. To pursue criminal options, it is important to preserve evidence, and victims are advised not to eat, drink, bathe or change their clothes directly after the incident. However, doing any of the above does not mean an exam cannot be performed. While it is highly recommended that victims receive an exam as soon as possible within the 72 hours after an assault occurs, there is no time limit after which an exam cannot be performed.

University of Pennsylvania Student Health Service (UPSHS) can provide evaluation and treatment to victims of sexual violence regardless of whether they make a report or seek additional resources. All services are confidential. Both male and female providers can perform examinations, discuss testing and treatment of sexually transmissible infections, provide emergency contraception if necessary and arrange for referrals and follow up. UPSHS does not perform forensic rape examinations. A forensic examination cannot be performed once a non-forensic examination has been conducted.

Therefore, any victim who plans to press charges or who wants to retain the ability to press charges in the future should be advised to pursue a forensic investigation. UPSHS can and does provide follow up treatment to victims after the forensic rape examination is completed.

Curtis’s mental health team is available to provide follow-up emotional and psychological counseling upon request.

Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedure

The Institute regards any violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct by a student, whether physical or verbal, as a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and is strictly prohibited.  Accordingly, those inflicting such behavior on others are subject to the full range of internal disciplinary actions, including separation from the Institute.

A student who believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment or sex offense by another student, by an employee, or by a contractor or vendor of the Institute (or if they become aware of such harassment by another student), should make their complaint known to the associate dean of student life or associate dean of student affairs.  If it is not possible to make such a report or if the student is not comfortable making their complaint to those staff members, he or she should make the report to the dean or to the president (or his or her designee). The student will be asked to file a written complaint for the record.

All complaints will remain as confidential as possible, consistent with the conduct of an effective investigation. However, the Institute may need to disclose certain information to carry out its investigation or to implement corrective actions that are deemed necessary. Should the investigation reveal that unlawful harassment has occurred, the Institute will promptly take steps to prevent recurrence and will take whatever corrective action is deemed necessary, including discipline or discharge of any individual who the Institute finds has engaged in such conduct.

All students and employees are required to cooperate with all Institute investigations. No retaliatory action will be taken against any student or employee who in good faith complains of harassment and/or participates in the investigation of a complaint of harassment. Any retaliation against a student or employee who makes a complaint in good faith under this policy, including, but not limited to, intimidation, coercion, threats, or discrimination, will result in disciplinary action against the retaliator, up to and including termination of the retaliator’s enrollment or employment relationship with the Institute. Conversely, a report made in bad faith will subject the reporting individual to corrective action, up to and including suspension or separation of the offending party from the Institute.

If the complaint is filed against another student, the Institute will follow the judicial process described in the Student Code of Conduct.  The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding.  Both the accuser and the accused will be informed, simultaneously and in writing, of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that is brought alleging a sex offense.  Sanctions are also delineated in the Student Code of Conduct.

These complaints are processed in accordance with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, in compliance with “Dear Colleague” letter of April 4, 2011. A copy of this guidance is available from the associate dean of student affairs.  Of particular importance, this letter mandates that we “use a preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e., it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred”). Questions about Title IX compliance can be address to Thomas Bandar, Title IX Coordinator, at

If the complaint is made against a faculty or staff member, the complaint will be handled by the Human Resources department.  If the complaint is against a vendor or other third party service provider the dean and the president (or his or her designee) will determine the appropriate course of action.

Curtis will change a victim’s academic and living arrangements after an alleged sex offense if requested and viable options are reasonably available.

Educational Program

Information and resources are available for victims and the Curtis community to better understand the options in proceeding with a sexual assault or harassment complaint.

We also provide web-based information and timely updates through email, social media, and on our web site. Students can also meet with medical staff at the University of Pennsylvania’s Student Health Service for more information free of charge, as well as our mental health team.

Literature is available in Lenfest Hall, Rock Resource Center, and 1726 main building. International students are encouraged to meet with the associate dean of student life and international student affairs since there are a wide range of cultural norms in the United States that may be different from your home country.

Sex Offender Registration Information

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides an updated list of registered sex offenders.

Faculty and Staff 

Staff and Faculty are bound by the policies contained in the Staff and Faculty handbooks. New faculty and staff hires are subject to a background and criminal check. If prior or current criminal charges and/or convictions are indicated, Curtis reserves the right to deny employment. Curtis policy prohibits faculty and staff members from engaging in sexual or romantic relationships with students.

Curtis complies with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Student Technology Policy

This policy defines the boundaries of “acceptable use” of limited Curtis electronic resources, including computers, networks, e-mail services and electronic information sources. Every student is responsible for using the Curtis Institute of Music (Curtis) electronic mail and Information Technology (IT) systems properly and in accordance with this policy.

A few general items to keep in mind:

  • The e-mail and IT systems are the property of Curtis. They have been provided by Curtis for use in your educational life at Curtis.
  • The Internet can be a valuable source of information and research. Use of the Internet must be tempered with common sense and good judgment. Use of the Internet via Curtis’s computer system constitutes consent by the user to all of the terms and conditions of this policy.
  • Electronic devices are often compromised because of the lack of strong passwords. Be sure to create passwords that would be difficult for someone else to guess and do not share them with anyone. Always remember to log out when leaving a website on which you have used a password.
  • Electronic devices are valuable tools that are expensive to replace. Please use your good judgment and do not leave your devices unattended. You may wish to purchase insurance coverage for your valuables (see the associate dean of student services for more information).

Copyrighted Material

Downloading and/or sharing copyrighted videos, songs, and other material is stealing.  As an artist in training, you should be extra sensitive to the intellectual property rights of others. The e-mail and IT systems of Curtis must not be used to send (upload) or receive (download) copyrighted materials, trade secrets, proprietary financial information, or similar materials. Students may not illegally copy material protected under copyright law or make that material available to others for copying. Students are responsible for complying with copyright law and applicable licenses that may apply to software, files, graphics, documents, messages, and other material they wish to download or copy. Curtis has installed software designed to block illegal file-sharing, but this software cannot guarantee compliance with the law. Students, if uncertain about whether certain information is copyrighted, proprietary, or otherwise inappropriate for transfer, should resolve all doubts in favor of not transferring the information. The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the student to civil, criminal, and institutional liabilities. Illegal peer-to-peer file sharing and/or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the Curtis information technology system may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from Curtis, as described in the Student Code of Conduct.

All performances sponsored by Curtis either on campus or at other venues are the sole property of Curtis.  Students may view these performances for educational purposes only.  Students may not use these performances for any other purpose, including posting on social media sites, without the prior written consent of Curtis.

No Expectation of Privacy

The computers and computer accounts given to students are to assist them in their education. Students should not have an expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send, or receive on the computer network. The computer network consists of Curtis-owned computer work stations, laptops, mobile devices, the wireless network and the infrastructure to support all of the above, as well as all network traffic.

Remember, you are accountable for what you and your computer and/or mobile devices do on the network, whether it is intentional or not.

Disclaimer of Liability for Use of Internet

The Internet is a worldwide network of computers that contains billions of pages of information. Users are cautioned that many of these pages include offensive, sexually explicit, and inappropriate material. It can be difficult to avoid at least some contact with this material while using the Internet. Even innocuous search requests may lead to sites with highly offensive content. In addition, having an e-mail address on the Internet may lead to receipt of unsolicited e-mail and electronic messages containing offensive content. Users accessing the Internet do so at their own risk.

Blocking of Inappropriate Content

Because we are governed by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations, we have software that is designed to prevent our system from being subject to unauthorized activity. Inappropriate sites may be blocked from access by Curtis. In the event you encounter inappropriate material while browsing on the Internet, immediately disconnect from the site, regardless of whether the site was subject to our internal blocking software. If you are trying to download material you feel is safe but is being blocked, please contact the appropriate staff person for assistance.

Accessing the Internet

To ensure security and to avoid the spread of viruses, students accessing the Internet through a computer attached to Curtis’s network must do so through an approved Internet firewall. Accessing the Internet directly from separate Internet connections not maintained by Curtis, e.g., non-Curtis WiFi or cellphone modem is strictly prohibited unless the computer you are using is not connected to the Curtis network. Students are not permitted to setup their own wireless networks anywhere at Curtis.

Duty to Not Waste Computer Resources

Students must not deliberately perform acts that waste computer resources or unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others. These acts include, but are not limited to, sending mass mailings or chain letters, spending excessive amounts of time on the Internet in our labs or public access areas (for example, the Student Lounges, Rock Resource Center, Lenfest Hall computer lab, etc.), playing games when other students need to use the computer for school work, engaging in online chat groups that monopolize the computer, printing multiple copies of documents, or otherwise creating unnecessary network traffic. Because audio, video, and picture files can require significant storage space and/or bandwidth, files of this or any other sort should not be downloaded unless they are related to your education.

All e-mail and electronic messages are stored on a central backup system in the normal course of data management.

Your email account has a limited amount of storage space. Users should routinely delete outdated or otherwise unnecessary e-mail and computer files. Electronic housekeeping will keep the system running smoothly and effectively, as well as minimize maintenance.

Students are reminded to be courteous to other users of the system and always to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Electronic messages are sometimes misdirected or forwarded and may be viewed by persons other than the intended recipient. Remember the golden rule of computing: Would you want your e-mail message, text, or Facebook comment to appear on the front page of the New York Times?

Prohibited Activities

The following activities are not permitted:

  • Engaging in the unauthorized entry into or transfer of any Curtis computer file or the file or computer of any member of the Curtis community.
  • Using or attempting to use another person’s identification or password or computer account.
  • Misrepresentation (including forgery) of the identity of the sender or source of an electronic communication.
  • The interception or attempted interception of communications by parties not explicitly intended to receive them.
  • Making Curtis computer facilities or resources available to individuals not affiliated with Curtis without approval by an authorized Curtis official.
  • Alteration of the content of a message originating from another person or computer with intent to deceive.
  • Use of any computer or electronic device to interfere with the work of another member of the community and/or the normal operation of Curtis.
  • Use of Curtis computers, e-mail accounts, or labs for illegal purposes or for the transmission of material that is unlawful, harassing, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable, or that infringes or may infringe upon the intellectual property or other rights of a person or organization. This applies to the use of electronic messaging, texting, Facebook or any other social media outlet. 
  • Cyber-bullying.
  • Engaging in harassment (sexual or other) through e-mail, social media or other IT systems. No e-mail or other electronic message should be created or sent if it contains intimidating, hostile, or offensive material concerning race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or any other classification protected by law.
  • Intentionally compromising the privacy or security of electronic information, including changing the configuration of the computers established by Curtis and its IT consultants, including altering a computer to a non-English language format.
  • Soliciting for religious or political causes, commercial enterprises, pyramid schemes, outside organizations, or other non-educational or non-professional-related purposes.

Violation of any of these regulations may result in your loss of computing privileges and/or disciplinary action under the Lenfest Hall Housing Agreement or the Student Code of Conduct.

Virus Detection

Files obtained from sources outside Curtis, including storage devices brought from home; files downloaded from the Internet, newsgroups, bulletin boards, or other online services; files attached to e-mail; and files provided by customers or vendors may contain dangerous computer viruses that may damage Curtis’s computer network. Students should never download files from the Internet, open e-mail and attachments from outsiders, or use storage devices from non-Curtis sources without first scanning the material with virus-checking software. If you suspect that a virus has been introduced into the Curtis’s network, notify the associate dean of student services immediately.

In order to promote the finest educational experience possible, Curtis has established high standards of conduct for its students. Individual students are expected to know and comply with the Student Code of Conduct and policies of the school. Students who violate, attempt to violate, or aid others in violating its provisions may face sanctions for their actions.