Looking for Gwynedd Mercy University’s policies regarding issues such as copyright infringement, sexual misconduct and students’ code of conduct? Click on any of the links below to learn more about your area of interest.
Code of Student Conduct
Copyright Infringement/Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Policies
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
Financial Aid Code of Conduct
Financial Aid Policies (other)
Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy
Sexual Misconduct Policy - Title IX
Tuition Payment Policy
Tuition Refund Policy
Code of Student Conduct
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).
Copyright Infringement/Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Policies
Copyright Protected Material
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.
Prohibited Use of Audiovisuals: Use is prohibited in non-profit educational institutions when:
- 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.
Rental tapes or tapes borrowed from the library may be shown in class. Libraries have the right to loan, sell, or otherwise dispose of legally obtained tapes. The “for home use only” labels do not prevent library or classroom use of legal tapes. Back-up tapes are only permitted when the original is deteriorating and is no longer available on the market.
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.
Teachers may duplicate enough copies to provide one copy for each student in a course, as long as each copy includes a notice of copyright and as long as they meet the following three tests:
- 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 email@example.com 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”.
When using the copyrighted materials listed above in a digital transmission, the instructor has the following obligations under the TEACH Act:
- 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.
For more information on United States Copyright Laws, see: The US Copyright Office.
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.
The following information is considered “directory” information: name, address, dates of attendance, full or part time status, class level, fields of study, degrees conferred (including dates), honors and awards, date and place of birth.
Under the provisions of FERPA, currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of such information. To prevent disclosure, written notification must be received by the Office of the Registrar by the end of the Drop/Add period during the fall or spring semesters (see Academic calendar for specific dates) and will remain in effect until rescinded in writing. Any requests made from non-institutional persons or organizations will be refused. Students who do not want their directory information released to a third party must fill out the FERPA No Disclosure form (PDF).
Please note: In order for GMercyU to speak with your parents or other concerned parties about your financial aid or your University bill, you will need to complete a FERPA Consent Form with the respective office. The consent form also will be enclosed in your financial aid award packet
Students who would like the Registrar's Office to mail their grade report at the end of each semester to their parents must fill out the Grade Disclosure form (PDF).
Gwynedd Mercy University is committed to providing students and their families with the best information and processing alternatives available regarding student borrowing. In support of this and in an effort to rule out any perceived or actual conflict of interest between Gwynedd Mercy University officers, employees or agents and education loan lenders, Gwynedd Mercy University has adopted the following:
- 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 beginning on page 30 of the Undergraduate Catalog.
Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility
Gwynedd Mercy University policies regarding academic progress and financial aid eligibility are set forth beginning on page 30 of the Undergraduate Catalog.
Return of Federal Financial Aid Policy
Return of Title IV Funds for Students With Title IV Federal Financial Aid 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 on page 30 of 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 on page 66 of the Undergraduate Catalog and page 17 of 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.
For additional information on the University’s financial aid policies, please refer to the University catalogs or contact the Financial Aid office.
Institutional Technology Services (ITS) at Gwynedd Mercy University provides and supports information technology resources to faculty, staff, students, and guests. All community members are responsible for using technology resources in an ethical manner that does not interfere with the reasonable use by other community members.
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 Policies 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. Read the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy (PDF) for more information.
Gwynedd Mercy University is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment that is free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. Gwynedd Mercy University does not discriminate against any applicant for admission to or employment at the University because of race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, color, marital status, veteran status, genetic characteristics, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law (“Protected Classes”). This includes, but is not limited to, admissions, financial aid, educational services, and student programs and activities, as well as to all terms and conditions of employment including, but not limited to, recruitment, selection, hiring, placement, transfer, promotion, training, compensation, benefits, discipline, and termination. The University will not tolerate unlawful acts of discrimination or harassment based upon Protected Classes, or related retaliation against or by any employee or student.
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.
Consistent with our mission and the core values that are at the heart of our Mercy tradition, Gwynedd Mercy University is committed to providing our students, faculty, and staff with an educational, residential and employment environment free from sex discrimination, which includes all incidents of Sexual Misconduct as defined within the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (PDF). GMercyU's Title IX Coordinator is Robert Wood, who can be reached at 215-646-7300, ext. 21140, firstname.lastname@example.org or in his office in the Connolly Faculty Center, Room 114. To report a concern via the University’s Anonymous Reporting Line, call 866-528-9304 or go to www.gwyneddmercycollege.ethicspoint.com.
Gwynedd Mercy University will send one paper statement to your home. All other statements will be updated and posted to your self-service account. If someone other than yourself, for example, your parents, are paying your tuition then it is your responsibility to provide a copy of your invoice or give a parent access to your self-service account.
Statements are updated on the 2nd Friday of each month to reflect payments, financial aid disbursements and adjustments. You can access your billing statements through self-service under the finances tab. You may view a statement which is a snap shot of that day or view your live balance under balances.
Payments are accepted by mail, in person (at Campbell Hall), or online. Gwynedd Mercy University accepts cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards. Make all checks/money orders payable to Gwynedd Mercy University. The Bursar’s office will honor Master Card and VISA with a minimum payment of $20.00. Gwynedd Mercy University reserves the right to apply late fees to any student account that is not paid in full by the due date.
Please send payments to:
Gwynedd Mercy University
1325 Sumneytown Pike
PO Box 901
Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437-0901
If you are financially delinquent, you shall forfeit the privilege of attending classes, and GMercyU will withhold grades, transcripts, and diploma/certificate until such indebtedness is paid. You are not permitted to register for the next semester unless all outstanding debts, e.g., tuition, library fines, etc., are resolved. All debts must be resolved prior to registration and before graduation regardless of pending financial aid . Diplomas and transcripts will not be issued to you with an outstanding debt.
Pending Financial Aid is not considered payment. Student accounts that are not resolved by the end of a semester will be placed with a collection agency. You will be responsible for the full amount due to the University plus all associated collection and legal costs.
Resident Students-Please Note: Room lottery deposits and room reservation deposits will not be accepted or processed for any student that has an outstanding balance on his/her student account.
If you are reimbursed by an employer, you may be eligible to receive an extension for payment of a portion of the amount due. Prior to registration, a copy of the employer's policy and a statement from the employer stating the student's eligibility must be furnished to the Bursar's Office. Ten percent (10%) of the tuition is then required at the registration, and the balance is due prior to the end of class/classes. For summer classes, tuition is payable in full at time of registration.
Right to Adjust Costs for New and Current Students
In view of rising costs, Gwynedd Mercy University reserves the right to increase charges at any time and to make such changes applicable to students presently enrolled as well as to new students.
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. Read more information and details on Gwynedd Mercy University's Tuition Refund Policy (PDF).