Gwynedd Mercy University has adopted a Code of Student Conduct to ensure we operate as a learning community under specific and explicit norms of behavior. All GMercyU students are responsible for knowing the information, policies and procedures outlined in this document, including our policy on alcohol and other drug use.
To review the policies, please go to Code of Student Conduct page (PDF).
The purpose of this policy statement is to establish guidelines for faculty, staff and students of Gwynedd Mercy University whose work requires the reproduction, use, display, or distribution of any copyrighted or licensed material. The guidelines affirm the proper use by the University community of such material in compliance with the Copyright Act, Title 17, United States Code, governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Gwynedd Mercy University does not condone or support any form of copyright infringement.
Compliance with Copyright Laws
The copyright law is in place to foster a balance between the creation and dissemination of information, so individuals are encouraged to make use of copyrighted information in a reasonable and lawful manner. It is understood that during the course of their work, research, and/or instruction, faculty, staff and students of Gwynedd Mercy University will need to reproduce copyrighted information for use or distribution of that information.
The Fair Use Doctrine: There are certain circumstances under the Copyright Act where it is permissible to reproduce or display copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright owner. These circumstances are governed by the “Fair Use” doctrine. The following factors are considered when determining if duplication or use of copyrighted material by a third party constitutes a fair use:
- The Purpose and Character of the Use, Including Whether the Use is of a Commercial Nature or is For Non-Profit Educational Purposes: A non-profit or non-commercial use weighs in favor of a fair use. Non-profit educational purposes, such as duplication for classroom purposes rather than commercial purposes, generally tend to support a finding of fair use.
- Nature of the Copyrighted Work: Works fall into categories such as published or unpublished, fact or fiction. Published factual works, such as form books, dictionaries or other factual works, by their nature more readily support a finding of fair use than do unpublished works or non-factual, fictional, creative works.
- Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used in Relation to the Copyrighted Work as a Whole: If the portion of the work copied or used in relation to the entire work is quantitatively and qualitatively insignificant that supports a finding of fair use. No specific number of words or percentage copied of the work is set as being permissible. Copying of a minor portion of a work may be found to be other than a fair use if the portion constitutes the essence or critical part of the copied or used work. Users should post links to articles and materials whenever possible rather than duplicating complete works.
- The Effect of the Use upon the Potential Market for or Value of the Copyrighted Work: This factor is considered the most important element to be considered under the fair use analysis. Duplication or use of a copyrighted work that is not detrimental to and does not diminish the potential market for the work will support a finding of fair use.
Fair Use Guidelines:
Permitted Uses: Legally produced and obtained audiovisual works may be used in non-profit educational institutions under the following conditions:
- The work must be part of the educational program;
- The work must be shown by a student, instructor, or guest lecturer;
- The work must be shown in a classroom or other school location devoted to instruction;
- The work must be shown only to students in the class, that is, no guest viewing the work for entertainment or enrichment.
- The work is used for entertainment, recreation, or even cultural or intellectual value unrelated to teaching activities;
- The work is transmitted by radio or television (this includes closed circuit) from an outside location;
- The work is shown in an auditorium before an audience not confined to students.
Off Air Taping
Permitted Uses: Off air taping has specific regulations that permit classroom use:
- The tape may be retained for 45 days from the airing but then must be erased;
- The tape may be shown in class only during the first ten days after the broadcast. (Some PBS programs can only be used and retained for seven days);
- The tape may be shown to students no more than two times during a ten-day period. After the ten-day period, only teachers may view the tape;
- The tape contents may not be altered or combined to form anthologies, but need not be shown in their entirety.
Permitted Uses: Researchers or teachers preparing to teach a class may make or request to have made a single copy of:
- A book chapter;
- An article;
- A short story, essay, or short poem;
- A chart, graph, diagram, cartoon, drawing, or picture.
- Brevity. For poetry the suggested maximum is 250 words, for prose, the guidelines offer two different limitations. Educators may copy any complete story, essay, or article under 2,500 words or excerpts of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the text. For illustrations, the guidelines suggest no more than one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or periodical issue;
- Spontaneity. The “inspiration and decision to use the work” must occur so soon prior to classroom use that it would not be feasible to write for and receive permission from the publisher to duplicate the material. It is also imperative that the copying occur at the request of the teacher, not at the directive of an administrator or other “higher authority”;
- Cumulative Effort. Generally, only one copy may be made of a short poem, article, story or essay. No more than three of these items may be from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term. The most limiting restriction further specifies no more than a total of nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term. Finally, all multiple copying of a particular work is limited to one course; in other words, copying a work to be used in several courses is not likely to be considered a fair use of the material.
- Educators are not to create, through photocopying, their own anthologies, compilations or collective works whether brought together in one collection or reproduced and used separately.
- Copying must not substitute for the purchase of books, periodicals, or reprints; this prohibition especially applies to the duplication of “consumable” materials such as workbooks, test booklets and standardized tests.
- Students must not be charged more than the actual cost of copying the material.
- A teacher must not duplicate the same item from one term to another.
File Sharing and Peer-to-Peer Software Programs
Gwynedd Mercy University prohibits the installation and use of peer-to-peer file-sharing programs (P2P) that violates copyright material on computers using the University network. Moreover, the installation or operation of any program or service that assists others in the use of copyright violations is likewise prohibited. Users will be considered in violation of this policy if their internet traffic is identifiable as using a prohibited P2P programs or protocols. The University reserves the right to suspend or terminate network access to any campus user if the violation is deemed severe. Likewise, network access will be suspended if any user is impacting the operations of the network. Repeat or severe violations are also subject to appropriate corrective action and may be reported to appropriate authorities for criminal or civil prosecution.
For more information on the hidden risks of file sharing and how to disable peer to peer file sharing please contact the IT department Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone extension 21444.
The fair use doctrine generally does not apply to computer software. Rather, the terms of the software license accompanying the software will always dictate the usage terms. Thus, unless the software has been placed in the public domain deliberately by its creator, all software should be assumed to be protected by copyright law.
Possessing software for which an individual does not own a license is a violation of the Copyright Act, and may subject both the University and individual users to sanctions as set forth in the Copyright Act. In addition to application software and operating systems, federal copyright protection also extends to the data files (content) created for use with or by applications and operating systems. Unauthorized creation, copying and distribution of these materials are violations of the federal copyright statute, unless they can be construed as fair use.
The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act) (Section 110(2) of the U.S. copyright law) is a copyright exemption that addresses teaching conducted through digital transmission.
Under the TEACH Act, instructors may use the following copyrighted materials when teaching a class through a digital transmission:
- Performances of nondramatic literary works;
- Performances of nondramatic musical works;
- Performances of any other work, including dramatic works and audiovisual works, but only in “reasonable and limited portions”; and
- Displays of any work “in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session”.
- The performance or display is made by or under the supervision of an instructor;
- The use is limited to performances and displays. The TEACH Act does not apply to materials that are for students’ independent use and retention, such as textbooks or other readings;
- The work is part of systematic mediated instructional activities;
- The transmission must be made solely for and limited to students officially enrolled in the course;
- Only lawfully acquired may be used;
- The instructor should use reasonable efforts to prevent copying and retention of the work (e.g., streaming for video; thumbnails, watermarks and disabling right click copy function for images);
- The materials to be used should not include those primarily marketed for the purposes of distance education (i.e. an electronic textbook or a multimedia tutorial);
- A digital copy may be made from an analog copy when no digital version is available or when the digital version is technologically protected;
- The work must carry a notice to students that the works are copyrighted.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The purpose of this policy statement is to set forth the University’s procedures pertaining to the receipt and response to reports of alleged copyright infringement utilizing the Gwynedd Mercy University network in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (P.L. 105-304).
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides an opportunity for college and universities to shield themselves from liability for the actions of users that infringe on the copyrights of others. Any use of the Gwynedd Mercy University network, computers, technology equipment, email system, or websites to illegally transfer copyrighted material including, but not limited to, software, text, images, audio and video is strictly prohibited and will lead to serious consequences, including disciplinary action, suspension, and possible lawsuits resulting in substantial financial penalties.
In accordance with the DMCA, Gwynedd Mercy University has designated the Chief Information Officer to receive and respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement.This designation will be listed on the Gwynedd Mercy University web site.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act specifies that all infringement claims must be in writing (either on paper or electronic mail) and must include the following elements:
- A physical or electronic signature;
- Description of the work claimed to be infringed;
- Description of the allegedly infringing work and the location on the Gwynedd Mercy University web site;
- Contact information for the complaining party;
- A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner or law;
- A statement that the information contained in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is intended to protect the privacy of a student’s educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. To fulfill basic requirements for compliance with the Act, each institution must inform each student of his/her right to prevent disclosure of personally identifiable information.
Please see GMercyU's Registrar's page for more information, including the FERPA No Disclosure Form and Grade Disclosure form.
- Gwynedd Mercy University does not participate in any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.
- Gwynedd Mercy University does not permit any officer, employee or agent of the school who is employed in the financial aid office or is otherwise involved in the administration of education loans to accept any gifts of greater than a nominal value from any lender, guarantor or servicer.
- Gwynedd Mercy University does not permit any officer, employee or agent of the school who is employed in the financial aid office or is otherwise involved in the administration of education loans to accept any fee, payment or other financial benefit (including a stock purchase option) from a lender or affiliate of a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- Gwynedd Mercy University does not permit any officer, employee or agent of the school who is employed in the financial aid office or is otherwise involved in the administration of education loans to accept anything of value from a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders and/or guarantors in exchange for service on an advisory board, commission or other group established by such a lender, guarantor group of lenders and/or guarantors, Gwynedd Mercy University does allow for the reasonable reimbursement of expenses associated with participation in such boards, commissions or groups by lenders, guarantors, or groups of lenders and/or guarantors.
- Gwynedd Mercy University does not assign a lender to any first-time borrower through financial aid packaging or any other means.
- Gwynedd Mercy University recognizes that a borrower has the right to choose any lender from which to borrow to finance his/her education. Gwynedd Mercy University will not refuse to certify or otherwise deny or delay certification of a loan based on the borrower’s selection of a lender and/or guarantor.
- Gwynedd Mercy University will not request or accept any offer of funds to be used for private education loans to students from any lender in exchange for providing the lender with a specified number or volume of Title IV loans, or a preferred lender arrangement for Title IV loans.
- Gwynedd Mercy University will not request or accept any assistance with call center or financial aid office staffing.
Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
Gwynedd Mercy University provides to each student, upon enrollment, a separate, clear, and conspicuous written notice that advises the student that a conviction for any offense, during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV, HEA program funds, under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work-study assistance.
Terms and Conditions of Accepting Financial Aid Award
Terms and conditions of accepting financial aid awards are set forth in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility
Gwynedd Mercy University policies regarding academic progress and financial aid eligibility are set forth in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Return of Federal Financial Aid Policy / Federal Title IV Funds
The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or semester. The Return of Federal Financial Aid Policy is available in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Official Withdrawal from the University
A student’s official withdrawal date is used to calculate the Return of Federal Title IV Funds. Information on the University’s Withdrawal Policy is available in the addendum to the Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog.
Initial Loan Counseling for Student Borrowers
Before receiving a student loan, borrowers must complete an entrance counseling session with a member of the Financial Aid Office, who will provide useful tips and tools to help borrowers develop a budget for managing their educational expenses, and help them understand their loan responsibilities.
Exit Counseling for Student Borrowers
Prior to graduating or leaving school, loan borrowers must complete exit counseling. The University’s Exit Counseling program explains borrowers’ rights and responsibilities as loan borrowers. More information is available by contacting the Financial Aid Office.
The European Union has passed a data privacy regulation that is applicable throughout the entire European Union (“EU”), and to those who collect personal data about people in the EU. The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (“EU GDPR”) imposes obligations on entities, like Gwynedd Mercy University, that collect or process Personal Data about people in the EU. The EU GDPR applies to Personal Data collected or processed about anyone located in the EU, regardless of whether they are a citizen or permanent resident of an EU country.
The University is an institute of higher education involved in education, research, and community development. In order for the University to educate its students both in class and on-line, engage in world-class research, and provide community services, it is essential, necessary, and the University has lawful bases to collect, process, use, and maintain data of its students, employees, applicants, research subjects, and others involved in its educational, research, and community programs. The lawful bases include, without limitation, admission, registration, delivery of classroom, on-line, and study abroad education, grades, communications, employment, research, development, program analysis for improvements, and records retention. Examples of data that the University may need to collect in connection with the lawful bases are: name, email address, IP address, physical address or other location identifier, photos, as well as some sensitive personal data obtained with prior consent.
Gwynedd Mercy University takes seriously its duty to protect the Personal Data it collects or processes. In addition to the University’s overall data protection program, Gwynedd Mercy University must make sure it complies with the dictates of the EU GDPR. Among other things, the EU GDPR requires the University to:
- be transparent about the Personal Data it collects or processes and the uses it makes of any Personal Data;
- keep track of all uses and disclosures it makes of Personal Data; and
- appropriately secure Personal Data.
This policy describes the University’s data protection strategy to comply with the EU GDPR.
2. Policy Statement
2.1 Lawful Basis for Collecting or Processing Personal Data
Gwynedd Mercy University has a lawful basis to collect and process Personal Data. Most of the University’s collection and processing of Personal Data will fall under the following categories:
a. Processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by Gwynedd Mercy University or by an authorized third party.
b. Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the Data Subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the Data Subject prior to entering into a contract.
c. Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which Gwynedd Mercy University is subject.
d. The Data Subject has given consent to the processing of his or her Personal Data for one or more specific purposes.
There will be some instances where the collection and processing of Personal Data will be pursuant to other lawful bases.
2.2 Data Protection & Governance
Gwynedd Mercy University will protect all Personal Data and Sensitive Data that it collects or processes for a lawful basis. Any Personal Data and Sensitive Data collected or processed by Gwynedd Mercy University shall be:
a. Processed lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner;
b. Collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes, and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes;
c. Limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are collected and processed;
d. Accurate and kept up to date;
e. Retained only as long as necessary; and
2.3 Sensitive Data & Consent
Sensitive Data is a subset of Personal Data and is subject to stricter collection and processing standards. Gwynedd Mercy University must obtain consent from the Data Subject before it collects or processes Sensitive Data.
2.4 Information to be Provided to Data Subjects
Individual Data Subjects covered by this policy will be provided the following information at the time Personal Data is collected from the Data Subject:
a. information about the Controller collecting the Personal Data;
b. contact details for the data protection officer (if assigned);
c. the purposes and lawful basis of the data collection/processing, including the legitimate interest for the processing (if applicable);
d. who the recipients or categories of recipients of the Personal Data are;
e. whether the University intends to transfer Personal Data to another country or international organization;
f. the period for which the Personal Data will be stored;
g. the existence of the right to access, make corrections to, or erase Personal Data, the right to restrict or object to processing, and the right to data portability;
h. the existence of the right to withdraw consent at any time (if applicable);
i. the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority (established in the EU);
j. justification for why the Personal Data are required, and possible consequences of the failure to provide the Personal Data;
k. the existence of automated decision-making, including profiling; and
l. if the collected Personal Data are going to be further processed for a purpose other than that for which it was collected.
2.5 Rights of Data Subjects
Individual Data Subjects covered by this policy will be provided the following rights (as applicable), provided that the University determines that the exercise of the right is permitted and/or required by the EU GDPR:
a. the right to receive confirmation from the University as to whether the Data Subject’s Personal Data is being processed by the University, and if so, the right to access such Personal Data and the right to receive information regarding, among other things, the categories of Personal Data collected and how such Personal Data is being used;
b. the right to correct inaccurate Personal Data concerning the Data Subject;
c. the right to obtain erasure of Personal Data concerning the Data Subject;
d. the right to restrict or object to the processing of the Data Subject’s Personal Data; and
e. the right to request a copy of Personal Data concerning the Data Subject.
This policy applies to the Personal Data and Sensitive Data protected by the EU GDPR and all Gwynedd Mercy University units who collect or process Personal Data and Sensitive Data protected by the EU GDPR.
ITS collaborates with the University leadership in the development of Gwynedd Mercy University policies that govern the use of information technology. Gwynedd Mercy University policies posted on the IT Services page apply to all members of the Gwynedd Mercy University community.
GMercyU conforms to Pennsylvania state law in its policies, and expects all students to adhere to all federal, state or local laws regarding the unlawful posession, use or distribution of alcohol, drugs and illegal sustances. The University is required by law to inform students of the sanctions which may be imposed on them for violations of those laws. In addition, GMercyU is required to inform students of the standards of conduct, University penalties, health risks, and counseling options as they pertain to substance abuse.
For more information, read:
In keeping with our mission and core values, Gwynedd Mercy University is committed to welcoming a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. The University does not discriminate against any applicant for admission or employment based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, gender identity, citizenship status, or any other legally protected class status.
This policy applies to all University faculty, administrators, staff and students. Persons who lodge discrimination or harassment complaints or participate in the investigation of such a complaint are protected from retaliation (e.g., adverse action or consequences) for those actions. Retaliation will not be tolerated at Gwynedd Mercy University. Although discrimination and harassment described and prohibited by this policy include a wide range of behaviors, certain discriminatory conduct is addressed elsewhere. For example, sexual harassment is addressed in the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. Individuals who violate this policy shall be disciplined or subjected to corrective action, up to and including termination or expulsion.
For complaints against students, use the student conduct process outlined in the Code of Student Conduct and report using the Incident Report.
For complaints against staff members, use the standards of conduct and corrective in the Personnel Handbook and report to AVP of Human Resources.
For complaints against faculty members, use the academic complaint procedure located in the Graduate and Undergraduate catalogs. Please be aware that there is a 10-day reporting timeline for this policy.
For complaints about bias in grading, use the grade appeal process located in the Graduate and Undergraduate catalogs. Please be aware that there is a 14-day reporting timeline for this policy.
For more information regarding Title IX as well as resources, please visit GMercyU's Title IX page.
To be eligible for a tuition refund, you will need to officially withdraw by completing a withdrawal form available in the Office of Academic Affairs. Please see the University's official Withdrawal Policies in the 2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs. You can find our Tuition and Refund Policy and our Non-Term Tuition and Fee Refund Policy on our Bursar / Billing page.
GradGuard Tuition Insurance
GMercyU is proud to partner with GradGuard to offer students tuition insurance. This optional benefit can protect your investment in higher education in the event of an unforeseen, covered illness, injury, or other covered reason resulting in a withdrawal from school. Covered reasons for withdrawal can include:
- Covered serious injury or illness such as mononucleosis, COVID-19, or a severe head injury.
- Chronic illnesses such as an auto-immune disorder or diabetes.
- Mental health conditions such as stress, depression, or severe anxiety.
The Tuition Insurance Plan complements our refund policy and can provide reimbursement for eligible tuition payments, room and board, and other nonrefundable expenses if you withdraw for a covered illness or injury at any time during the plan period.
Tuition insurance must be purchased before the first day of classes and is offered as a voluntary benefit to our families, your participation is not required but highly recommended. The school is not compensated for this program. Learn more by calling GradGuard at 877-794-6603 or visiting www.gradguard.com/tuition.
Terms, conditions, and exclusions (including for pre-existing conditions) apply. Plans only available to U.S. residents and may not be available in all jurisdictions. Recommended and provided by GradGuard, a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (NGI), the licensed agent for all insurance programs. Insurance plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Pricing may vary by state. Insurance benefits are underwritten by Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233) rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co. A+ (Superior) is the 2nd highest of A.M. Best’s 13 Financial Strength Ratings. Non-insurance benefits/services are provided by AGA Service Company. Claims are administered by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA). AGA and Allianz Tuition Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Except as expressly provided for under the plan, consumer is responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors. Contact AGA Service Company at 888-427-5045 or 9950 Mayland Dr., Richmond, VA 23233 or email@example.com.